The darkness

“When we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering.  We’re discovering the universe.” ~Pema Chodron


“Welcome to the machine”  Pink Floyd

I hope you have enjoyed your stay thus far?
the cog broken rusty wheels creak
oil stains slick and oozing on the concrete
the layers of paint chip and peel
the hastily spun yarn unravels tangled in a heap
the words fade on torn and worm eaten pages
the only light fades along with the colors
and the evidence of my existence

The crackling yearning
spread out and thin and brittle
fairy dust dreams upon awakening
are old ash from a cold fire
the shivering spirit isn’t broken
it just no longer wants to do battle
it does not play
skirts lifted and laughing
it only listlessly opens an ice crusted eye
to check the time.

Even prayer is too much effort
for God’s face is turned away
eyes shining elsewhere
ears deaf to the thin wail
no longer resonant across the vastness
no one cries out I am here
and no one checks to see if you are
Darkness darkness
the winter is here.

I put on my zombie suit and roll in the scent of death
but somewhere inside

is the burgundy heart.

Changing Seasons · Great Quotes · Movies · Music · Nature · Treasure

Boots or Heels?

It was a glorious autumn day.  And the dog was just as happy as me to be out in it.  We walked along the leaf strewn paths. Typical of an autumn day the sun was hot, the sky a brilliant blue and the wind cold, I alternated between hat on and hoodie zipped and hat off and hoodie unzipped.  At least twice I would swear in a court of law that the dog stopped, looked up at me and smiled the elusive and effervescent dog smile.  I walked for an hour sweaty and my breath rough in my chest and throat.  My full belief in the power of fresh air to cure my stuffy sinuses and still sensitive digestive system.  The pirate and I discussed this last night, we think something we ate last weekend may have been a culprit.

When we were at Scare-A-Cuse meeting Walter Koenig of Star Trek, and Adrienne Barbeau of many shows but my personal favorite, Carnivale, and Reggie Banister of Phantasm, we also meet two young men from Utica.  Of all the booths and vendors at the mini comic-con, the best was that of Cayo Industrial.  We partied with the two men who are the creators, in the Zombie themed after party at the Crowne Plaza, which was playing techno music along to a video homage of George Romero.  Cayo Industrial has a fantastic horror realm (haunted house) in Utica with a strong urban decay theme.  The pirate picked me up last night and we drove the hour or so to check it out.  They have three separate sections, Bio-Shock, Bio-Tech and Revelation.  The sets were incredible and the setting itself, an old factory was absolutely perfect.  We both really enjoyed it.

A quote from one of my all time favorite musicians, Tom Waits, who just released a new album:

“The only way down from the gallows is to swing. And I’ll wear boots instead of high heels. And the next stage that I am on it will have wheels.”

What a lyrical genius.

Here is to wearing boots instead of high heels.

Energy work · Zen Buddhism

Energy Work

I drank too much wine and am really dehydrated.  I am dizzy and I throw up my coffee and water.  I try to eat knowing it is just a hangover but throw that up too.  I do not usually have this reaction, and I haven’t had that much wine.  But for whatever reason my body is rejecting it.  Now a week later I think I was coming down with something, because my belly is still not fully recovered.  But at the moment every smell and every taste was abhorrent.  I admit that I usually do drink this much when I am visiting this particular friend.  And sometimes lately I feel like I am drinking too much.  (I haven’t touched it since a week ago today though)  I recognize my increasing need to numb myself from the difficulties of this life and now as I have spent the last 16 hours in a state of contemplation I know that something has to change.  I know I need to eat healthier, I know I need to drink less, I know I need to exercise more.  I know all of these things.  But lets go back to one week ago.

So I am outside, because I am a true believer that fresh air will cure any ailment.  And I am standing on the porch in the cool Adirondack air.  And despite the fact that I am trying hard not to wretch I am appreciating the fact that you cannot hear cars out here in the middle of the woods.  The other person who is staying with A. my dear friend, comes outside.  She is a holistic healer and energy worker.  I buy into holistic healing, I believe that we can get more from the natural world than the world of drug companies but I am a skeptic always.  I guess in some ways this explains my inability to embrace Christianity.  What the hell do you mean that she was a virgin and her baby was the living son of God.  Come on. She was screwing around and got pregnant and tried to make up a story to cover her ass.  Bitch, Please!  The friend whom I will call K. gave me two Nox Vomica tablets.  And a cup of Umiboshi Plum tea. Goji berry powder tea. I do not throw up again, although I dry heaved a couple times.  I drink the tea, slowly.  I move to a spot where I sit on the steps and I begin to meditate, centering myself and just focusing on my breathing.  It is easy to do this when you are crazy nauseous.  It is hard to think at all.  K. stepped outside and asked how I was feeling and asked if it was okay to do energy work on me.  Now here my skeptic steps in and with a hand on an akimbo hip says.  YEAH sure!  I said okay, whats to lose, and it will help her if nothing else.  So she begins at my feet not quite touching me.  As I sit there in my meditative state something quite obvious begins to happen.  I begin to see a change in the light that moves behind my closed eyelids.  It is like those trip disks we played with as kids, where you spin the disk and the light makes patterns.  That started to happen to the light in my eyelids.  She continued to do this work, at times with me asking questions, if I release negative energy will it harm you?  Oddly she focuses alot of her hand placement at my lower back which has been having spasms lately, my hip which has hurt now for over 10 years (since I fell on the flagstone while hanging a hummingbird feeder) and my knee which had an overuse injury this summer.  I don’t tell her this and I have no outward evidence of my daily (hip) and occasional pain (back and knee), no one ever says why are you limping.  We continue on like this for several minutes and at some point my eyes are open and I am done, and a few minutes later the pirate is standing looking up at me from the ground level and I say, he is ready to go.  She stops.  I thank her.  I feel tons better.

Later  both the pirate and A. tell me it was a dramatic change.  The pirate asks K. what kind of voodoo did  you do on her because she was better.  And I was.  We tromped around in the woods all morning.  I was slow, but I felt fine.  I tell A. and the pirate, I am a skeptic, I really don’t believe in that shit but I saw and felt something without a doubt.  Now I know that in the Zen practice there are times when people say that you can feel an energy in the meditative practice, and when you chant KanZeOn I can feel a vibrational energy that I link in my mind to sound resonance.  But sometimes when I practice I feel a something inexplicable.  And I have a certain clairvoyant energy that strikes at times.  Like the time my daughter, napping in her car seat had slid down, I was in the bathroom and saw it all in a flash in my head.  Or the night my grandfather died and I dreamed of him all night and knew he was gone long before my Mom called me to tell me, and my brother had said the same thing to her when she called him to tell him.  The door to belief was open, but the skeptic was guarding the gate.  Now I think the skeptic is just looking quizzical, and curious about this notion.

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Artists · Painting · Paintings

Experiments in Watercolor

This was the first watercolor painting I have done in a very long time.  I think the last was the year my father died which was nearly 18 years ago.  I did this at Bachelor #1’s house on the shores of Fair Haven Bay Lake Ontario.  It was a very cold and windy day, and I really struggled with placement of the buildings on the isthmus opposite where I was sitting.  I don’t think I am very good at watercolor, but at least I was painting.  (insert grimace)

I did this painting in my friend Bill’s backyard.  He has the most restful and peaceful backyard, I find myself sighing with pleasure every time I am there.  He gave me permission to paint there anytime I wanted to, whether he was there or not, and I took him up on it.  I struggled with getting the shadow and subtlety of the black markings on the birch while still trying to maintain the white.  I failed bitterly, alas.

I did this scene near a dear friend’s home in the Adirondacks.  Her young daughter sat beside me creating a painting of her own.  When we moved the blanket to place it better a small snake slithered out from underneath.  We were buzzed by red and blue dragonflies and her daughter and I discussed Bigfoot and how she was of the opinion that it could be living in the caves that spot the cliffs high above the meadow.  Ironically there have been many Bigfoot sightings in this area.  I think this one turned out best of all.  But it seems dark in comparison to the brilliant hot day.

Musings · Photos


Photos from my recent trip to the ADK’s

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There was a hard frost last night and the windows of my car were coated in it, the doors creaking and not wanting to open.  There were patches of black ice on the pavement.

When I came home from work I spent about an hour raking up a layer of damp leaves off the back yard.  I really could have waited because it is supposed to dry out some next week, but I wanted to be outside, and I wanted to be doing the work.  I am really in a deeply contemplative mood and I feel a strong need for silence and reflection, although right now I am sitting in front of the TV with the laptop.  So much for silence.  I cannot be the only one who tries to numb the hard feelings with media, or I guess drugs or alcohol or ?

I have been eating alot more meat in recent weeks than I ever have in my life.  This is inspired by a former boyfriend who is doing the Paleo diet and has lost I think 80 pounds.  I have been eating less carbs, but instead of just walking about hungry all the time I am replacing the carbs with tuna, eggs, and other lean proteins.  I also have been putting meat in my soups.  I know ethically eating animals is wrong but here is the rub.  I am losing about .5 pounds a week.  So which is right.  Do I live with being fat, (and considered lazy and a glutton) or do I live with eating meat.  I am ethically disturbed.

I am curious to see what transpires as I continue on this path.  I will keep updating.

Buddhism · Changing Seasons · Eating Locally · Healthy Eating · Musings · Nature · Strong Woman

Tells Bells and Gone Fishing

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It is cold tonight, the first spitting snow falling as I took the children to the bus at 5.  I took out my plaid wool jacket tonight and wore it to my hair appointment.  When I returned home I took the dog out in the crisp night, it is damp, and my breath was heavy in the air, but it was a refreshing walk that had the dog hugging me when I got home.  The week is nearly over and once again the weekend is upon me and I haven’t even blogged about my fabulous weekend with the pirate in the Adirondacks.  I have so many pictures to upload!   But here at least are a few.

I am thoughtful about the lies people tell themselves and tell to others and how there are tells that let you know when something doesn’t ring true, it is like an instinct.  I think sometimes that when I feel insecure it is because there are tells, and over the long term of that wrecked relationship what I began to accept as normal, undermined my confidence, undermined my sense of well being, though I could never quite put my finger on it.  I always knew something was not right, he always told me I was crazy, and needed help.  I really didn’t.  I was just seeing clearly and he didn’t want me to.

But in the now I find my mind drifting to the tells I am seeing.  A heart shaped venison sausage pattie, the softly whispered words in the dark, when the teasing gets too brutal and I insist he say something nice, the you look beautiful in the light of the setting sun.  I want to believe these are my tells.  But I have a tell of my own.  As I step up to my door to unlock it, the pumpkins and jack o lanterns shining in the porch light I know that I am still so afraid, I fear rejection, that somehow I will not be good enough.  Though I am certain of myself, I am uncertain of the other.  And that uncertainty makes me feel squirmy and uncomfortable.

The following is an excerpt from a private journal entry:

Gone Fishing

He baits my hook for me, though I have dug night crawlers from the muddy soil on many a rainy night.  His golden eyes sparkling and skin crinkling up as he teases me in hushed voice.  The evening is silent, we cannot even hear cars, all I hear is the rustling of some animal across the road in the wooded and rocky area there.  The stream is quiet, the current is soundless.  When he hooks a fish at the culvert that passes under the main road, I can hear it flopping and that is how I know he has caught one.  I turn and look at him, and he gives me a thumbs up.  I stand and watch my bobber bobbing.  Nothing.  I fumble with the reel, that I am familiar with but have never used.  I keep making rookie mistakes.  I get my line caught under the bridge and in the weeds.  I keep calling his name, helpless which of course annoys me and I worry that it will annoy him too.  I thought you said you had fished before?  I have I whisper, but its been thirty years, and I used a different kind of reel.  You mean the idiot proof kind where the line is enclosed?  Yep.  That’s the one, I say.  The night is getting colder but I am warm under the worn, and slightly musty smelling camo jacket he has given me.  I kiss him and he tells me my face is cold.  He shows me the deer tracks in the sand along the edge of the road.  As the night falls and it gets darker and darker he catches a second fish.  They are not terribly big and he tries to save the first one, but the fish won’t swim and he throws it in the creel instead, the second added to it would be big enough to feed us both, if we were the only ones eating.  As we get in the truck to go, I tell him, this is the good life right here.  As he guts the fish in the stream that runs near the house, I am telling my friend that when I am with him fishing, I feel like I am home.  I am grinning and my cold cheeks feel warm in the wood stove heated house.  It is my fault we didn’t fish in Lake Champlain first thing in the morning, and he is annoyed by it, but I wish he could see inside my memories, and in my heart and the feelings I have fishing here on the bridge in the darkening night.  I almost wish I had a bicycle to ride back to the house, or that there was a smell of Seagram’s 7, gingerale and pot roast in the house when I got home.

There is the tell of my own heart, I keep coming back to it, he feels like family.

And though I do not want to let him go, I realize that non-attachment and comfort with the uncertainty is key for me right now.  I cannot trust my tell, nor his tells.  I am having a hard time trusting my instincts.  I am having a hard time trusting that I will be good enough, not because I am not, but because I know how people judge.

It is freezing in my house, the cat leaned against the cold heater and meowed at me, I know I say, give it a minute.  My nose is cold and the dog is cuddled up close.  And two of the three cats are suffering each others company because this is the warmest room at the moment.  I feel a kind of peace, and at the same time a kind of deep irritability.  I do not know yet what this feeling is.


I wake to a stomach ache, and the steady beeping of one of the smoke alarms in the house.  I guess I have neglected to change the batteries on my birthday.  I am tired and for once sleeping soundly.  I don’t even remember waking up, except somewhere around midnight to turn off the space heater.  I am in a funk this week.  I don’t know why.  I had an amazing weekend, but I just want to be alone, I want the time and energy to create, I want to sleep.  Deeply.  I feel like a lump though, lazy, tired and bitchy.

I haven’t actually felt this way in a relatively long time and I am searching inside myself to see what is the problem.  I dream I am being operated on by a character not unlike the mad scientist in The Nightmare Before Christmas.  He has fixed  my eyes not so that I can actually see without glasses but so that I can see with my contact lenses in.  But then I go blind in one eye, and the contacts need constant blinking to stay in place so I can actually see.  It is a useless operation.  And the world around me is decaying slowly, lazily.  Or is that me?  I am not sure.

And so my Tuesday (a day I am no longer allowing myself to complain about) begins, following a very long and very challenging Monday.  I would say I enjoy teaching afterschool, but the stress is tremendous.  I hope it is worth the 24 dollars I get paid an hour to do it.  I practice shutting off my feelings, but when I make a valid idea known; can we have a “runner” who can go to the office and find out which kids are absent everyday so we are not scrambling?  I get told it is the first day it will get better, and the neophyte teacher standing next to me says it got better last year.  No it didn’t I say, we were still wondering where these kids were in May.  I am just saying someone to find out who is absent at bussing time would be great.  An older teacher walks by me and says I need a good stiff drink.  I hear you, I say.


Home again home again jiggity jig

In the pre light moments of the morning I am a wretched wreck.  I feel a sense of fear and dissatisfaction with myself.  This is a familiar feeling and it is not exactly comfortable, but it wears me well.  It wears me like a glove.  I am coated with the shitty nastiness of it.  And it has ahold of me in a way that it seems will never let go.

All of my failures and imperfections loom over me as though I am in a sick bed at the Frankenstein household.  They are giant hideous creatures filled with violence and desperate for love.  I see nothing but their blinking yellow eyes and green heads as I open my eyes looking up at them.

And I realize that I am a monster, waking for the first time, and I will one day be one of those faces looking down at a new monster, also filled with violence and desperate for love.

I want to run away, and not be in with this crowd anymore.  But I it is on me and I cannot escape my true nature.

Back to civilization fishing seems like a dream and I must now face the demons of my day.

Most of which come from my own heart.  One of these days I will have to tear out the stitches and see if it holds together by itself. Oddly enough they have grown deep into the flesh and it seems it has become an irreparable aspect of who I am.  Like Frankenstein’s monster.  Like all the little monsters I sew.  It is who I am.

Ugly with it.

Changing Seasons · Musings · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Zen Buddhism

The leaves of the burning bush are in the stages of changing from dark green to scarlet, and as I step outside the sky is a crazy color of angry pink and hideous orange and the wind is whipping.  The first spots of rain are falling on the driveway.  I zip my fleece hoodie and then my down vest.  The dog is literally bouncing with happiness.

I realize the janitor at my school thinks I am an idiot and it makes me angry.  I tell him it is hot in my room and he points to my north facing windows and tells me it is because they are absorbing the sunlight.  Huh?  Then today he says, you are hot because you are wearing a sweater.  Really?  This to the girl who has been known to wear a down coat in October.  I am always cold.  If I say my room is too warm, honey it is boiling hot.  I promise.

Then the anger gives way to understanding.  It is not me that is not too bright, it is him.  He still hasn’t figured out how to turn down the thermostat.  And I am suffering for it.

My Mom, hi mom, has been asking me about marriage what would I do if he popped the question and telling me it is just a piece of paper anyway.  And I am literally making this confused face as I read her IMs, who said anything about marriage?  Suddenly I realize it isn’t me it is instead, that she was married at this point in her relationship with my step-dad.  Maybe she still believes in marriage.  I am so cynical.  I need marriage for financial stability and help with my work load.  Do I want to get married? Maybe someday, but I cannot even fathom that my boyfriend is there yet I am not sure if I am, but either way my daughter graduating from college comes first before anything else.  He doesn’t even come over to my house, like, EVER.  And you see I am a teenager again.  I will never get married, no one will ever ask me, he will leave me for another woman either way, 10 years into it.  And claim, no swear, he did not enter her world until I was out.  LIAR.

Gah.  I hack on my own vitriolic nonsense.  I tell myself to just shut the hell up and take it as it comes to me.  One page at a time, no skipping to the end.

I light my incense and a candle and put on my yoga chants, my back aches for some reason, spasming terribly lately.  I say my prayers.

Once I wrote down all the things I was looking for in a man, but I cannot find the note I wrote and prayed to God that he send this thing my way.  I think I threw it away in a pique.  You never answer my prayers.  Why do you hate me?

I hunt through my journals, and find one thing, I want a man who is willing to put the time and energy into being with me without me questioning.  HA.

I want a man who reads more than he watches TV.  HA.

A note here, a note there but all put together, dear God send me anyone.  I laugh at myself.  My loneliness was so palpable it is painful to read.

Words like prison and trapped and get me out of here litter my poems.

I feel like I am a completely different person.

And  yet here I am saying my prayers, exactly the same.

I feel like I am being watched, I am paranoid.  I dream he has moved back to town, and it is only a matter of time before I run into him.  It makes me feel ill.  I pray, please just let me be rid of the poison he injected into my veins.  Please let me never be the rejected girl ever again.  And most of all, please make it so I don’t ever have to see either of their faces ever again, they have done enough damage.  I have brutalized myself enough.

I find myself sewing again for the first time in months.  It feels good, but I am lazy and uninspired.  I have at least two doll ideas swimming in my head.  Treading water, biding their time.  I am in no hurry, but suddenly I feel frantic.  I have to do it now or else.

Gah.  I tell myself to shut the hell up.  Just sit and be quiet.  I close the top of the lap top.  And I listen to the yoga chants as the incense curls up.  I wish for sleep, for love, for affection, for attention, for energy, for peace.  I say, shut up, again. I wish for nothing.   I just breathe in and out again.