Saturday, November 25, 2006


Thanksgiving has come and gone.

turkey carcasses slumbering at the bottom of trash cans awaiting the garbage truck.
sweet potato peelings making healthy headway toward being compost.
The silver snuggly wrapped in their special places until the next occasion.
Aunt Jenny and Uncle Bob
headed back to anywhereville
adorned with their Christmas sweatshirts and left over fixins for the road.

Thanksgiving makes me think.

We gather, in whatever way we do, to give thanks.
For whatever it is we do.
Our newest toy.
The recent boyfriend.
The kids.
The ability to visit parents in their fancy schmancy house in Scottsdale.

Then there are others.
Maybe those who dined over a card board box
on a donated turkey and box stuffing.
Yet they give thanks. don't they.
For the love they share.
The hope they have.
The possibilities.
The gifts that they do have.

Then there are others.
Who don't.

Does everyone have something to be thankful for?
The homeless man living under the Wacker Avenue Bridge?
The woman afraid to go home to the drunk, flailing fists of her husband?
The teenager unable to process the pain of growing up?

Who am I to say that they don't have something to be thankful for? Isn't that what I believe? That we all can? That maybe that's the point?

Yet, I want to be cautious when I give thanks.
To remember, that maybe it isn't the things or the specifics that I should be thankful for, but for the fact that we all can.
No matter what.

To remember that the family still living in a trailer in New Orleans are rich with the intimacy that love and tragedy can bring.
To know that the homeless man may have had the most magic interaction with another person when a hand was reached
a meal offered
a smile shared.

Maybe those people
have more to be thankful for

than me.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I just got back from a visitation.
The kind you go to when someone you know has died.

I didn't know this guy.
I mildly know his wife. Amy.
She's a light-filled being that I admire.
They have a one year old daughter. Sadie Grace.
Her husband had a heart attack 2 years ago.
He committed himself to health.
Changed the way he ate.
Started working out.
Riding his bike.
Rode in fund-raisers and competitions.
A 180.

Monday night he went out to ride.
Training for a 100 mile ride to raise funds for Childhood Leukemia.
He didn't come home.
Amy didn't think much. He rode long distances.
She got a call.
We couldn't rescesitate him.

No more bedtime stories from Daddy.
No more walks at dusk.
No more daily love texts.
No more kisses good morning.
No more dutch ovens under the covers.
No more of him.
In an instant.

Life changes.
Life changed for her.
In the shadow of a benign evening at home.
Life changed.

The whole thing has cast a shadow on me.
Challenging me.
I believe this isn't the end.
I believe we can make it through anything set before us.
I believe that dying is like birth to another experience.


Why do I want to hold Eric close and gasp with gratitude for every extra day I have with him?
Why do I wonder if the next moment will take me?
Take him?
Take someone I love?

My mind and heart are full of tumult.
Not questioning.
Not even truly fearful.
Yet, on some level, I sit alone in a corner, covered by a blanket, my knees pulled tight.

Don't change my world.

It's the condition of life, change.
It will.
It is.
My world changes in every blink of every moment.
Even if it's not within the walls of my house today.
It changes.
It changes for someone.

Monday night.
It changed for Amy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


there is love in the midst of every moment,
every disaster,
every conflict.
between the cracks of hate, you can find love.

a hand offered, a bed given, a meal, an embrace, the forgiveness of petty anger,
in seeing the big picture,
in experiencing oneness.

what is going on in the world right now is a mirror. the flipside of love.
showing that on this planet we are the same.
the same challenges, the same struggle. the same humanity.
the same desperation. the same anger. the same want.
the same harried attempt to feel that we have some guage of truth.

it is the darkside of what makes us beautiful.

love lives is in the space around me.
Love cannot be mandated.
It springs up organically when the facade is destroyed.
when the waves sweep ones world to the sea.
when the majestic creation is turned to rubble.
when one's desperate need to be right gives screams out in violence to make it's point.

in the still small spaces of the canvas of those drastic paintings are the places where love can take root.
When you can see another and see not a different person, but your brother. Your sister.
Made of the same stuff as you.
The same hurts.

Same stuff. Different labels.

What is going on in the world is hard to watch.
Hard to know that people are hurt and suffering and abandoned and alone and in pain.
In those moments
someone is reaching them
and the love that underlies all humanity is born.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006


i don't like guns.
i think they are part of the problem.

i believe that everything has an energy which effects the world.
i don't like the energy of guns.

they are created only for hurting.

you might say for protecting.
protecting with violence.
with bloodshed.
with ripped flesh.
protecting with hate.

I can't accept it.
i can't.
I don't want it near me.

I believe that the energy I put out attracts back to me.

I put out love.
I do not put out violence.
I do not expect violence.
I expect love.

From there, I have to trust.

Should I be in a situation where I might find a gun handy, then so be it.
I face it. However I can. The best I can.

There are too many factors.
Too many directions.
Too many unknowns.
Too many......

call me naive.
I call myself protected.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Peep's Words

I have, as long as I can remember, had an issue with my weight.
Well, since I was 9.
It's the first memory I have related to my body image.

I remember that I was walking with my mom and my dad's father.
Peep was what everyone called him.
Anyway, we were walking in one of the parking lots in the apartment complext that Peep lived in. It was evening and there was a light snow. My mom said that she was cold.
I proudly responded that I was not cold.

To which Peep stated something that, as benign as it was intended, influenced the course of my life.
He said, "That's because you are fat."

It had never occurred to me that I was fat before that. In fact, I don't think I had ever had much awareness of a body image.
But there it was.
A statement of fact that I soaked up like a sponge in warm water.
Truth be told, I wasn't fat. I was an average 9 year old.
That all changed soon.

After my mom died when i was 10, I did indeed begin to put on weight. Not enormous amounts, but noticable. Mom died during 4th grade, and I remember my 5th grade school picture.
Round face.
Bad bowl haircut. (Could this be where my deep belief that if i'm fat then i have to have long hair came from??)

Since that time, my weight has vascilated between the heavy side of average, and the more socially acceptable side of overweight. With some pushes toward heavier than that.

I have lost between 20-35 lbs several times. The first time I lost 25 lbs in response to grief. I had recently broken up with my longtime boyfriend and (wisely) responded by working out 5 days a week. Once the grief wore off, so did the consistent exercise.

The second time, I lost with the aid of some brand of ephedra. You know. Ma Huang. Since been made illegal in some states. Effective, while giving you the sensation that you just drank Juan Valdez' entire stash. I lost 20 lbs that time.

The third time, I lost 30 lbs doing Atkins. I really liked this way of eating. Amazing what no sugar and lots of cheese can do. Go figure. I felt great, had the support and eating companionship of my boyfriend, and looked pretty good.

The fourth time I lost 35 lbs, doing Weight Watchers. It works. Until you stop doing it. But, that's the case with everything right? Start replacing celery with ding dongs and you're going to get a different result.

Now, at the low metabolic age of 39, I have begun low carbing again. When I think back, I feel like i responded best to this way of eating. However, I began over 3 weeks ago and have not had the dramatic response that I remember.

I began officially on July 5, 2006, and today, on Aug. 1, I have lost 6 lbs. That's not a lot considering the low-carb diet guru's tout that you ought to lose 8-13 lbs in your first 2 weeks.
I have been following the general direction of the Southbeach Diet. Me thinketh, however, that I was eating too many nuts and cream during this time. After the 3 week mark, I decided I should add in a little fruit. I'm up 1 lb since then. Ugh.

I know that I need to think of this as a long term deal. Perhaps the daily weighing is a disservice to myself. So, this will be a year long journey of discovering what works, and where I'll go with it.

I believe that no matter how many times one says that they are changing their thoughts to change their lives, if their lives haven't changed, then neither have their thoughts.
This applies to me well in this situation.

As I work on looking for the best way to fuel and love my body, I will also work on letting go of Peep's words.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Hoff

Life is so heavy.
Also hilarious.

I'm sure you've noticed the recent resurge in popularity of the ever loved in Germany, David Hasselhoff.
The Hoff
as he likes to be called.

Is he funny? Well, no.
Talented? Depends on your country of origin.
Handsome? Um, in a spray on tan, nip/tuck, trying too hard sort of way.... sure. I guess.


Oh my yes.

I am quite sure that he doesn't try to be amusing in the way that he is. We all remember him from Baywatch. Well, I didn't watch it honestly, but I know that show, and the ever so serious and mysterious Night Rider, are where he draws his original fame.
Could be there is more that I'm unaware of. I do not claim to be a Hoff-o-phile. My respect and complete confusion to those of you who are.

Have you seen this guy on the newly acclaimed, filling the gap for real television entertainment during the summer, show 'America's got talent'?


Really. that's all i have to say.

Please check out this link and read the blog called, "Don't Hassle the Hoff". You'll take a wander through the long and admirable career and wardrobe of the Hoff.

Get a kleenex.
You'll likely cry - either from horror or hysteria. For me it was the latter.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


People stand on righteous pedestals and proclaim truth.

about morality.
about God.
about choices.
about musts.

It is so!
Believe or be damned!
This is the truth!
Accept this or you're....


This is done from many a platform.
It's done from the pulpit, the news reel, the theater, the literary masterpiece,
the cave in a desert.

Thing is.

When we shout our particular understanding of "truth", we forget that it is a a joyful and divine privilege to be able to come up with and create a theory of our own.
To look within, put the pieces together and come to an understanding that makes sense to us.
We forget that to share these understandings with the world is a gift.

These things are gifts. for everyone.

There truly is no way to know for sure if what we proclaim is true for anyone, let alone everyone. absolutely.
We can feel it overwhelmingly. Know it in our spirits. Our hearts.
We can claim our understanding, and our experience.

Then we give it.


Take this. See if it works for you.
Feel this and guage whether it feels right.
Take it if you like it. If not,

When you give a toaster to a bride at her bridal shower, do you tell her that she had better use this toaster for all time or she will burn in hell?
Do you tell the new mother that if she fails to embrace this bouncy seat that she will have to accept the inevitable consequence of having her home destroyed by rockets?
On your best friend's birthday, do you demand that she love your gift or you will reject her?

Probably not.

As people, all we have to give are gifts.
Anything else is an illusion created to make us feel safer in our own minds.
To assure to ourselves that we, indeed, are right.

Certainly I have given my "gifts" with a heavy demanding hand.
Certainly so have you.

If Life is showing me anything right now, it's that all of us could stand to look at how we give.
Of ourselves. Of what we "know". What we believe. What we long to share with the world.

With a fist and a scowl?
With a voice of condemnation?
With a demand?

Or with an open hand.
And no expectation.

I've always thought gifts were nice.

I offer these thoughts to you.
Take them.
Or not.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Rockets Red Blare

Several years ago, I was wrangled by my insatiable curiousity about the mysterious into reading the Book The Bible Code.
I know.
Ok, I'll give you that.
But also thought provoking. Fascinating Even.

Then, I read the Bible Code 2 when it came out. Bleck.
Horribly written, and therefore, held litle credibility with me.
This was sometime soon after George Bush didn't win the 2000 election.
You remember that don't you?

So, anyway. I'm reading the ill written book and it says that within the Bible Code it says that there will begin a World War III in the year 2006.
It will be largely surrounding the middle east, and our dear Mr. Bush will play an integral part. Peshaw.
Perhaps substandard writing doesn't negate prophesy.

So, here we are, more than knee deep in the year 2006.
Now, I don't know for sure that the last several day's international events will escalate into World War 3.

Countries hurling explosives at other countries.
The USA at Iraq.
Pakistan at India.
Israel at Lebanon.
North Korea at..... the UN.

So, no. It's not world war 3. Yet.
But countries are aligning.
Big bad boys from every corner of our planet barking at eachother.
You do the math.

The whole thing makes me wonder about people and makes me very, very sad.
Like, REALLY sad.
I can feel my heart well up with confusion and compassion.
Generally, it isn't these big barking dogs that suffer at the hand of war.
It's all tacks on a big wall map for them.
Intellectual and personal philosphies being held to hearts like personal survival.
But they will survive.
Won't they.

It's the family in the village just miles from the Lebanon border who's cinder block house is demolished by a rocket that suffer.
The Indian child who's father never comes home because his train was exploded.
It is the American mother who goes to the airport to recieve pieces of her first born.
It's them.
It's not the suit, or the turban, or the flowing robes that sit safetly in the SITUATION ROOM.

I wonder if the people at home felt this way during WWII.
Or was there so much American pride that there was no real compassion for our human family members?
I'm sorry, I just can't feel that way.
If we were fighting another planet, there would be no division among country or race.
There would be people. Just people. All of us.
Do we have to start an intergalactic war to see what is really real?

It's a fight between big ego'd boys in a sandbox multiplied by ..... a what. Gazamillabillion?
It's stupid. Every part of it is stupid.
Call me a commie. Call me anti-American. Call me whatever you want.

I'm human.
I'm spirit.
I care.
I care about whomever you are. Whether you believe what I believe. Whatever you wear or what you eat or how you talk or whether you like me.
I care about you.

So, what do I do?
I just care.
I smile at the people I pass.
I tell the people in my life that I'm grateful for them and that I love them.
I make sure what I do in this world makes people feel seen and known and understood.

It won't stop rockets as far as I know.
I hope it does something.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

More than DNA


Such a complicated topic in my own life.
I have 2.
No, not like the 1980's sitcom.

My biological dad. His name is John. Boy, I thought he was cool when I was little. The Marlboro Man. He rode a green motorcycle and took my little helmeted self on Sunday rides. Sounds idylic doesn't it?
In a picture postcard sort of way, I'm sure it was.
Like when he'd talk to the neighbors outside. Sliding his can of beer to me when I'd beg for a sip.
The memory has a slightly grainy, greenish hue - like fading white edged photographs from that time.

When I was 4, he left. I remember sitting on the front porch, holding onto the iron railing as he walked down the 4 concrete steps to my left. Carrying a duffle bag. I was crying. I don't remember if he leaned down to kiss me goodbye. I don't remember. I don't think he did. I don't remember.

I was 4. I dont' know exactly why he left. What I pieced together was that he didn't want to be domestic.
Soon after, he lived in a pepto-bismal green apartment building with a 19 year old girl named Kim. My sister and I visited there sometimes. There were lots of half burnt candles and plates of incense.
He had long hair and smoked cigarettes. It was the 70's afterall.
Despite it all, we never stopped seeing him. I credit this to the eternal wisdom of my mother.

Enter Father number 2.
Though he wasn't a father at the time.
His name was John too. A cosmic joke in my little 5 year old universe.
My first memory of him.
We waited with some excited anticipation as my mom's new friend... old friend was coming over.
My little sister and i were playing a game in which you throw plastic rings over a plastic flower. We played in sight of the door. And then he arrived.
Did he carry flowers? I don't know. I dont think so.
He might as well have. He brought much more than flowers to my mom. to us.

They dated. He taught me how to put my napkin on my lap.
expected manners. I remember that.
We called him a neat-nik.
So different than my other beat-nik dad.

They got engaged and the wheels began to turn. A family again.
Though we never stopped seeing my biological dad, and I never (and still haven't) stopped loving him, this was a different kind of dad.
The kind you see on TV.
The kind that is there when you go to sleep and is still there when you wake up again.
That kind.

Then, a twist.
They had dated less than a year. My mom was diagnosed with cancer. 6 months to live, they said.

Would you? she asked.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
We'll have to ask him.
I know.

Will you? They asked.
Defeatedly, yes.

My sister and I were adopted by our second dad.
We moved to Chicago.
Our mom lived for two more years.
Then she died.

Though my birth father lived a short ways away, and we went on drives in his orange and black striped Datson from time to time, this one raised us.
The second John.
He was there in the evening and the morning.

and Again.
and Again.
and Again.

It wasn't always perfect.
There was an entire year of Swanson TV dinners.
There were 3 Polish housekeepers to help keep our ducks in a row.
There were adolescent screaming matches and being grounded for weeks.
There were disappointments and fears.

But he was there.

After just 3 years in our midst, he had "married" my sister and I. In a way that few marry. With a devotion to forever. with a heart that will not deflate. With a love that is not conditional. With the spirit of love.

In so many ways, this man is my hero. My Dad. My Dad. My Dad.

My first Dad. I love you. My heart often weeps for you. Please find your center and know that you are ok. You gave us the greatest gift in the world when you said that he could adopt us. It does not make you a failure. Find your path and walk it. You have shown me many truths and given me many gifts. I love you.

My Second Dad.
My Dad.
My Dad.
My Dad.
My Dad.

My Father.

My heart explodes with gratitude. You have shown me many truths and given me many gifts. And still do. 35 years later. I love you to depths surprising.

My two dads.
Both have taught me immeasurable things about this life.
Neither perfect.
Opposite ends of the spectrum.

You may want to judge one and honor the other.


Just be grateful with me.

Happy Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


It would have been his birthday today.
I'm not even sure which one. 60? 58?
I don't know.
His name was Phil.

I used to live in Oak Park Illinois.
An iconic, tree-lined town just west of Chicago.
I walked daily to the train to and from work. 6 blocks exactly.
It became my solace. My meditation.
I passed the homes, built in the 1930's, surrounded by picket fences, flowers, bushes, sidewalks with remnants of yesterdays chalkplay.
Hop Scotch, portraits of stick-figure families, giant daisies dancing in green and pink and yellow.

The seasons were my companions on those daily walks.
The lilacs in bloom in April.
Lush green tree-top canapies over the streets in July.
The piles of autumn oranges and reds rising under undressing limbs in October.
Paths through snow mountains pushed to the sidewalks edge in January.
Grey, angst filled winds howling in March.
They were my companions.

About a year before I moved from Illinois, I noticed a person who stood out among the seasonal changes on my daily walks.
He didn't really fit in in Oak Park.
There was no preppy jacket covering an worn oxford shirt that hung out over softened jeans.

The man was bald.
He wore a grey muscle shirt, sleeves torn off many a year ago.
A chain holding his keys hung from his belt buckle.
A mickey mouse earring waving gaily from his lobe.
An ominous linked chain about his neck.
Worn Chuck Taylors on his feet. Ageless.
A somber quietness about him.
He walked a tiny black dog that looked like the pill verson of my black lab Jack.
I passed this large, odd looking guy and his pill sized dog many times and thought that I'd like to know him.
Why? I have no idea.
He had a shy smile.

After months of soft hello's and me petting the pill sized pooch, I said that we should get together for lunch or dinner or something sometime. It took more months for it to happen. I don't even really remember how.
Eventually it did.

His name was Phil. He was in his late 50's. He was gay. Lost his partner Doug over 10 years ago. Well read. Intelligent. Not well spoken. He stumbled over words. Life made him nervous. Somewhere in a portal to goodness in Oak Park Illinois, we became friends.

He had brought tokens of his travels to Mexico and South America to his 3rd floor Oak Park condo. I helped him choose new countertops. We shared rasberry liquer on the back porch overseen by a Mayan Sun. He showed me how he brushed the pill sized dog's teeth.

Phil didn't sleep well. He had started to get sores on his skin. He didn't want to use the drugs. He scoured health stores for remedies made of royal jelly, herbs. He didn't sleep well.

I moved to Las Vegas. We wrote emails, jokes, stayed in touch. In June, I visited Chicago and saw him as he planted a Hawthorne Tree in his front yard. Adding to the canapy. I said I'd be back in a few months. We'd have Thai or Cuban food when I did. We hugged. Said goodbye with a light, over the shoulder wave.
We'd see eachother then.

The last email I recieved from him was July 5, 2005. Less than a month later.


I worried.
After 2 weeks I sent a friend to knock. Ring every doorbell in the building. I felt the panic rise. He hadn't been sleeping. He had been hurting. Fearing.
Then someone.
next door.
No, he's not there.
He died.
2 weeks ago.
Just a day after the last email.

He took his life.
The note.
Pain. No sleep. Dementia setting in. Have to go. I'm Sorry. I'm Sorry.

My heart ached. Knowing he made that decision and told no one. Trusted No one.
He had seen Doug die.
He had seen the confusion, the horror, the pain.
Decided to leave before.
A hard decision that I respected.

This man.
A gay, intelligent, loving, hurting man.
A man who loved life and said goodbye to it when it threatened it's end.
A man who taught me about gentleness. Loving through pain. The subtle joys of unexplored places.
A man who wore muscle shirts and mickey mouse earrings in Oak Park.

Today I think of the memories of my daily walks.
Lilacs in bloom in April.
Canapies of lush green tree tops in July.
Piles of autumn red leaves in October.
Mountains of shovelled snow in January.
Piercing winds in March.
Mickey Mouse earrings.
Chains and Chuck Taylors.
Shy smile.

I am so glad I knew him.

Happy Birthday Phil.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

All things

All things are used by God for good.
All things.
We Say it. We Preach it. Sing it. Proclaim it. Know it. Exclaim it.

Mean it.
Do we mean it? Can we?
Can you feel your soul recoil it the profundity of what that means?

What IS the meaning?

All things.
All things?!

It is easy to see how many things are used for good.
Dance. Joy. Music. Love. Giving. Accepting.
How does God use hatred for good? How is the denial of a human's essential humanity used for good?

When a human is. made. nothing.

Her hair shorn. Her children taken. Every token of her life. Her shoes. Her clothes. Her family.

Her. Him. Him. Him. Her. Her. Him. Her. Him. Him. Her. Her. Unending.

When we move to talk about it. To say, "Of course. It is used for good." My hair stands on end and screams to stop.
But can we. Mustn't we talk about it? Mustn't we consider... And feel... And question... And cry...And act.

We stay silently content to refuse to remember.
Content to wrap the memories in pain.
Someone else's pain.
Behind doors locked tightly too scary to go behind.

If we don't go there.
If we stop.
If we're still.
In our muted voices, our fists clenched, we think.
Someone else will go.
Someone else will reach.
Someone else will remember.

Our eyes and ears tightly sealed as a child singing "lalalalalalalala" so he cannot hear.

Isn't it destined to happen again? Isn't it happening again? It has happened again.
It is happening again.

What could the meaning possibly be?
Maybe the sight of the shoes collected at Auschwitz can shed light.

Piles. Mountains.
Millions of shoes.
Work Boots.
Ripped and worn.
Bought for holiday.
Worn for years.
The fabric of them still holding the stories of those who's footsteps they shared.

Shoes worn by Jews. And Gays. And Political Prisoners.
By humans. By you. By me.

The Holocaust showed no favor. Hatred shows no favor. If you were a Jew, you were denied yourself. You were eliminated. It mattered not if a person was rich. or talented. or poor. or brilliant. or slow. or immoral. or holy.
It did not matter. It did not matter.

What good. What good. What good. What good.

That we are one. We are human.
The talented. the brilliant. the slow. the immoral. the holy. We are one.

Remember this. Live this. Claim this. Preach this. Know this.

And maybe.
Just maybe
That is Good.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


A very good friend of mine has a little girl that she adopted out of the foster care system. Ellie was 2 weeks old when she came to live with Danielle. She was born into situation as different as humanly possible from the one she was about to move in to.

When Ellie was 3, she awoke crying hysterically one night. Wails of discontent echoed through the midnight stillness. Dani ran to comfort her and found Ellie crying, "zschoooos" "Zschooooooooooos!!", amidst unconsolable sobs.

Juice? Juice?
Ellie? Do you want juice?
Nooooooo Mommyyyyyyy!
Then what honey? What do you need?



If this isn't evidence for nurture over nature, I don't know what is. You may have to know my friend Danielle to know this for sure, but trust me. It is. As I am about to discuss, all women love shoes. But for Danielle, it is a love that transcends. A Holy love.

Honestly though.
What is it about shoes?
It seems to be this mysterious vortex that most certainly punctures through all levels of Time and Space, let alone culture and country. A place where a woman's deepest needs can be surely sated, if not completely met.

Shoes. Even the sound of the word soothes my weary mind.

I went to DSW Shoe Warehouse today. It was a lazy, uncommitted Saturday afternoon. Much of the day had slipped away and I wanted to get out.

But where?

Then I felt the pull. Ladies, you KNOW what I mean.
The pull. The pulllllll.
And like Pavlov's Dog, it began. The mental salivation. The wonder of, "What will I find in the cornacopea of footware....?"

It's sandal season.

Beaded flats?
Thongs that fit just perfectly and will make my overworked hoofers squeel with delight?
The oh-so-cool heeled sandals made from the softest leather.... and 40%off?


I was wandering down the first aisle as I found the first pair. Brown Born Sandals. I slipped them on my tired feet. Oh. Oh. Ohhhhhhh.
My first hit.

I realized that I was actually experiencing a high. My heart racing. My mind delighted and eagerly seeking the next find. Is this what a drug addict feels like? I make a further mental note never to try drugs, considering.

The store teamed with women. Really. It was probably about 100:5 as far as the female:male ratio went. Our eyes would meet with recognition, a wry smile of understanding. She has 3 pair, her.... 4. A nod of the head. We understood eachother.

I collected my own 4 pair of delicious, perfect, brown and black sandals and sauntered slowly to the counter. I sighed and metaphorically licked my lips and rubbed my sated shoe belly. All was perfect in the world.

So, my sisters. Here's to the mystery. The secret place, only we (and Carson Kressley and his brothers) can go.

I can't solve all of the worlds ails, and confusion wreaks havoc on our daily lives. I don't know how to meet the needs of everyone, all the time.

But. There is one thing I do know.



Thursday, May 18, 2006

dive in

every day i swim
inside this pool
its walls the edges of my skin

it's water
the joys
ah ha's

swimming here is sometimes lonely.
not always.

in fact, the waters nice.

come on in.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sign This.

i'm teaching sign language to 8th graders.
perhaps this was my first mistake.
no, i'm not fluent and i'm learning a step ahead of them.
we've learned a bunch of words, and their assignment today was to put together a sentence and say it in sign in front of the class.
Other than the general mayhem, all is going smoothly.
They even enjoy it.
Then, there's this kid.
A bit on the morose, may just go postal at some point, side.
He hadn't gone so i call him up.
He pays attention for about 20 seconds a class period, but he manages to pull this out of his trick bag.

You. Are. Fat.

Lovely. One of those moments as a teacher where you want to screw the possibility of news crews at your door later that night.
The kind of moment when your aspirations toward spiritual maturity just vaporize.But, instead... I said,

Yeah, I know. Great Sentence. (and silently muttered "asshat")

Anyone want to beat up an 8th grader??

Saturday, May 06, 2006

too cool

you know,
i've (perhaps erroneously) always thought i was rather on the hip side of life. you know, the right clothes, the right attitude, the right look.
not perfect by any stretch, but cute, and definitely in the realm of cool.
then last night i went to the beauty bar in vegas. off strip, seedy part of town, working girls and meth users wandering the street outside.
trendy in an, 'i'm so cool i've actually surpassed thinking actual beauty is beautiful' kind of way. inside, a dj spinning actual LPs. the base and the smoke thick and oppressive.

then...the people.

the kids.

goth rock hair, the 80's decade back in vogue like leg warmers and ripped fish nets have never graced our ill fated fashion sense before.
pat benetar reincarnated in 22 year old girls -- and boys.
crop circles opening up in gyrating crowds to expose break dancing dance-offs.

break dancing back? oh my god.

even mena suvari was there with her 20something, dreads in a knit cap, grungy oversized jeans, bustin a move boyfriend.

i have accepted the truth.

i am not on the hip side of life.

you'd think my walmart koolots would have tipped me off.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

How Dare You

Thousands of Children in the Sudan walk 5 miles every night and every morning to sleep in a cage to be safe from LRA rebel soldiers.


Those children who are abducted are turned into soldiers. forced to kill their siblings. gang raped by their captors.


Religious intolerance and fundamentalism fuels genocide around the world. The entire region of Darfur Africa has been burned, killed, pillaged. The inhabitants forced out to live with no shelter. No care. No food.


In the Congo Africa, women are gang raped in front of their children by the rebel forces. Their skin carved. Their bones broken. Their legs tied to trees and their innocence consumed by violent rape.


Women in the Middle East are denied the human right of merely being a human. Girls denied the human right of education. Slaughtered in the street for showing the skin of an ankle. Killed for even the illusion of impropriety.


Four million people in Pakistan are displaced. No home. Buried alive.


People. Children. Women. Their breath. Their ability to eat. Their ability to learn. Their ability to sleep the night without fear. Them. Them. Them. Them.


Their suffering lives in my spirit.
Only self absorbsion blocks my view.

Monday, April 24, 2006


“I mean, think about it.
Other than the war in Iraq,
the Katrina disaster,the deficit,
the CIA leak,torture,stopping stem cell research,
homeland security,global warmingand undercutting science,
we’ve yet to really feel the negative effects of the Bush administration.”

– Bill Moyers

Saturday, April 22, 2006

memories of goodbye

My mom died 29 years ago tonite. I remember that it was late. People were staying at our house because she was so sick. I was on the trundle bed in my sisters room. My dad came in and woke me up to tell me that mom had died. It was about 1:30am in Chicago. I was 10. He put me on his knee on the yellow and green chair that mom had recovered. She loved yellow. I covered my eyes and said, "no no no no no" while shaking my head. I remember that I was thinking that I watch too much television. Weird huh? I really thought that.
Then he woke Carrie. He took us into where she was laying on their bed. She had asked him to bring us in before he body got cold. A request that sounds so forensic, but contained love all the same. I don't remember much from going into that room. She lay where she had slept. Still. Laying. Breathless. Peaceful. My next memory is being back in bed, watching from a dark room out the open door. Movement in a late night house. Muted lights, muted voices. Then, people I didn't know. And a gurney wheeled out. My mom on it. She left our house for the last time.
The next day was 50's day at school. Dad said I didn't have to go to school, but I didn't want to miss it. I rememember getting there like a hazy dream. Like the memory has white clouds around the edges. A weird, uncomfortable smile on my face. Like I had a secret. The whispers began. "her mom died?" "whitney's mom died last night". "nu uh" "yuh huh". Then Mrs. Yost told that indeed, Whitney's mom had died.
Me, in my poodle skirt on 50's day.

Friday, April 21, 2006


I wish that I was one of those people who don't have an emotional relationship with food. I don't know how or why it started with me. As a very small child, I have no memories of food, or needing it or wanting it. i really don't have any true memories of food. I think that the shift must have happened when my mom died. At that point, at a very vulnerable developmental period in my life, my most trusting and sacred relationship was taken away from me. It wasn't terribly sudden, but I'm not sure that matters to a 10 year old. So, then began an experience of me feeling like I had to take for myself because Life couldn't and can't be trusted to give to me what I need.

Be the first in line. Have the largest serving. Get more than the other guy. Know something I wasn't supposed to know.

I believe my relationship with food continues to live in that place. Honestly, I don't feel like I really overeat for the most part. But sometimes, I can really feel the emotional tug. Even when Eric and I have dinner, I am aware of which plate has more food. I am quite sure that many, if not most people don't think about this. It's embarrassing to admit. Why is it that if there is cake in the lunchroom at work, I think about how I'll get a piece before it's all gone? These things, combined with what I think must be the slowest metabolism in the Western World, have created a body representing the Goddess of Fertility. Found alluring to ancient cultures.... not so much this one.

I'm 39 and still fighting demons created 29 years ago. Isn't that interesting.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

spring clean

isnt it funny how things that have nothing to do with us become percieved as things that speak directly to our worth? why do we do that to ourselves? let things live where they live. clear our minds of things that we have dragged in there from elsewhere. fill it with love instead.

Friday, April 14, 2006

'Bout time

Lyrics to Pink's Amazing Song: STUPID GIRLS

Stupid girl, stupid girls, stupid girls
Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back
What a paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl
Go to Fred Segal, you'll find them there
Laughing loud so all the little people stare
Looking for a daddy to pay for the champagne(Drop a name)
What happened to the dreams of a girl president
She's dancing in the video next to 50 Cent

They travel in packs of two or three
With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees
Where, oh where, have the smart people gone?
Oh where, oh where could they be?
Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back
What a paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl
Baby if I act like that, flipping my blonde hair back
Push up my bra like that, I don't wanna be a stupid girl
Disease's growing, it's epidemic
I'm scared that there ain't a cure
The world believes it and I'm going crazy
I cannot take any more
I'm so glad that I'll never fit in
That will never be me
Outcasts and girls with ambition
That's what I wanna see
Disasters all around
World despaired
Their only concernWill they **** up my hair
Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back

What a paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl
Baby if I act like that, flipping my blonde hair back
Push up my bra like that, I don't wanna be a stupid girl

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


you're coasting along just certain that life is going to accomodate your every plan and whim and FLAM! no such luck. now. CAN I PRACTICE WHAT I PREACH? that is the real question.

so what if i DON'T start my MSW in the fall? How will I use my year? How will I make it count?

Ideas are swirling. It's an opportunity, not a problem. Right?

Monday, April 10, 2006


I turned 39 yesterday. Felt calm and somewhat quiet about it. Seems I am beyond the days of weeping when I thought my friends had forgotten to call up a local parade for the event.
And yet, my sweet husband went outside of his own comfort zone to invite a few local friends to surprise me. And surprise me he did :)

My greatest gift yesterday was from a friend. She reminded me to let myself believe that I am loved. That I can loosen my grip on my own need to indulge myself because I fear that no one else will. To know that those who love me will indulge me. Not with gifts or money or chocolate, but with knowing and supporting me. It touched me and moved me. Thank you.


Courageous Woman
Courageous Pink
Spoke. Stupid Girls. Sad girls. Losing selves, gaining boobs, Gucci, size 0.

Anything that causes me to be less than i am, in order that someone else can be more than they are, eats away at the essence of who I am.


Who are you? What do you think? What do you like? What do you offer? What are you great at? What challenges you? If you weren't limited by tabloid expectations, who would you be?

We have become oppressors of our sisters. The bar is being silently lowered for us, by us.

The problem has been spoken.
The issue has been seen.
The question has been posed.

We, You, I, They. Responsible for what we know. Listen and Know.

Washing your car in a bikini? Not so sexy.

Beat the local boys at touch football? Debate your butt off without bending to popular opinion? Saying no? VERY SEXY.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm in!

My husband got me an MP3 player and now i'm in the club! He's had one for a long time and loads it religiously. I watched this behavior with admiration and a detached wonder. I've never been the sort who breathes music as many do. I wondered if having an MP3 would really matter much to me. Then, I got Eric Satellite Radio for Christmas. Since the musician's name is displayed on the screen, I've been able to connect the who to the what much more readily. I've even wanted to look for the work of artists who have flitted past my auditory canals.

Knowing an artist + the desire to hear their stuff + the ability to get it easily + MP3 player = fun!!

Math was never my strong suit, but that equation came pretty easily. I'm late to the party I know.... but at least i got here.

Check out Anna Nalick's music.

8th graders are evil

Am I more annoyed at their behavior or at the nagging truth that I was just as bad when I was that age? It's amazing what a completely different frame of reference we look through when we're 14 from when we're over 35. It's amusing, humbling and infuriating all at the same time.

Today I got back from a long weekend in Phoenix visiting the family to find out that several of my classes were HORRID for the sub. Having been a sub, I am sensitive to it, and just mad that I know they can behave like humans if they want to.

Most of them are really fine. It's just the combination of so many of them at the same time that can be overwhelming. It's kind of funny that an hour that can cause me stress for days is barely a blip on the radar screen for them. Nice in a way. Perhaps it should barely be a blip for me too.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Today I had my 14 year old cat, Barclay, put to sleep. I'm sad. Just days ago he started to act sick. Confused. Lethargic. Not eating or drinking. Yesterday the vet said it's congestive heart failure. He wasn't going to get better. Today, it was painful to see him that way. Laying like a wet noodle on the floor. Crying out. Confused. Refusing to eat or drink. I had to let him go. I didn't wait. I let him go. I'm sad. Hoping there is truth to spirit and wondering if he met my Jack on the other side. That's my hope. My heart feels a little empty and the space on the couch next to me is hollow without him. Thank you Barclay for being a quiet presence in my life for so long. I'll miss you sweet boy.

Sunday, March 12, 2006



and on we go

It's Sunday. Already the middle of March. It's true that time seems to elapse faster the older we get. How is it that I will turn 39 years old in just a few weeks?

I remember when I was a teenager how older people seemed a world a way. Out of touch. I was certain that they had no idea what I was going through. And now, almost 40, I am clear that though I now have a much more broad perspective on life, I am the same girl I was when I was that young. I laugh thinking about the drama. The things that were the end of the world, the immensity of the emotions I was feeling. Not that I haven't felt immense drama as an adult (oh, just a few times....). But the feeling is different. As a teen I wasn't able to apply the big picture to the pain. It was just me, and my experience that created the pulse of Life.

I have a new compassion for people at the end of their journey, knowing that they are the same child that they have always been. The reality of it is truly beautiful. And comforting that when I approach my twilight, I will still be me. It's a thought that reinforces my belief that this isn't the end.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Messages come. Often overlooked as chaff in the wind. Unused.
I hear a message for me.

Why is it that though we may technically be adults, there are huge, viable parts of us that don't mature past the time in our lives that we were hurt. When the wound came.

I am hearing Life whisper to me that I am not 13. I am not in need. I do not need anyone to affirm who I am. I am not alone. I am not weak. I AM.

I am feeling compassion for those who seek to fill that chasm in ways that cross boundaries. Boundaries that are important and necessary because they protect others. Boundaries that keep the people we are working to help-safe in their own experiences. I have compassion for those to break those boundaries and I have anger at the same time. I have not done this, and at the same time, I hear Life whisper for me to pay attention. Fill my own chasm. Anything else is to not love.

To allow oneself to fill it with someone else's attention..... attention that is gained by being in a position of trust...... is to use the warm spirit of a cherished person for our own need, our own gain. The thought makes my soul weep. And shudder.

My hearts desire is to be in a position of trust. A place that others can come to to fall, to grow, to weep, to trust. A place where they can be safe to lose their own sense of boundary. Therefore, I will continue to work to strengthen my own fortress of integrity. It is so easy for it to become a thin veil that blends with the breeze around it... possible to ignore. I will not. I move to remember my core and to love others with a trustworthiness strong enough to handle their lack of it.

Life, Thank you for the whisper.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I didn't know her.
Didn't think of her often.

Her death has touched me.
Her smile. Her generous spirit. Her heart.

She was the wind beneath his wings.
Her soul willingly intertwined with his.
Then his wings spread and he left.

It's almost as if she couldn't remain without him.
And she left too.
Knowing her strong son had been prepared.

My morning was touched with sadness.
My own loss revisited.
My own tears invited to share in this goodbye.

A reminder of my own woman of grace.
And her goodbye.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


feeds me
entertains me
sooths me
encourages me
calms me
loves me
lies to me
blinds me
binds me
weights me
hides me
cheats me

More to come soon

I haven't written in a long time. Forgot how to get in here to tell the truth. But after much digging, I found my way back :)