adulthood · authenticity · band · compassion · courage · dance · discovery · letting go · life · maturity · music · performance · persistence · poetry · receiving · responsibility · self-care · singing · surrender

Pulling a Carmen: 2

When I began this blog-a-day back in November of last year,
my first post was called “Pulling a Carmen,” as I’d been reading and was encouraged by her own blog-a-day postings. In the time since, sometimes I
just find it hugely funny how parallel my path is to my fellow blogger and
For recent example:
  • I also just starting going back on to the internet dating
    scene. In fact, I have a coffee date today with someone I met on JDate
  • I too have said fuck it, and asked out a dude yesterday.
    Unfortunately, turns out he’s married, but it felt really good to do so.
  • Several of the books that are lining my desk and bedside
    table are travel books about Europe, underlining my intention to take a real
    freaking vacation some time this century.
  • And, I also rented a camera and video camera from the
    school’s A/V department to begin taking pictures again. 

Sometimes I feel awkward about our exceedingly similar
trajectories, as if I’m copying her, but the reality is that independently, we
come to these things, and then come here to write about them. It’s really
funny, and also somewhat comforting to know that there is someone who is
traveling a similar path toward “To thine own self be true.”
On that note, I went to see my friend’s band play in the city
last night, and then headed with my girlfriends to go out dancing in Oakland.
Prior to both these… we went to the Dharma Punx meditation – nothing says
spiritually fit like meditating for 40 minutes before downing coffee with an
add-shot. 😉
But to relate it to the ‘self be true’ part – each of these
are places where I want to feel more connection. I hadn’t been to see live
music in MUCH too long. It’s on my current list of “Serenity Moths” on my
refrigerator (a list of things that aren’t cataclysmic, but slowly and
subterraneaously eat away at my serenity and foundation). Yes, “Absence of live
music” is on there, and so should be “dancing.” I’m a white girl. I have no
ambition or goal to be anything but a mildly flailing Elaine Benice, but … i
love it. The absence of self, the absence of self criticism or posturing or
need to be anywhere or anything else. Lost in the music.
The band brought something else up for me. Like the
“dropping” of the whole acting bent at the beginning of this year, what I’ve dropped
more often than anything is the “being in a band” idea.
As you may know, I have 2 guitars, a bass, and a small USB plug
in keyboard. Each as dust-covered as the next. The bass amp sits as a monument
to abandoned dreams in my apartment.
Last night, watching my friend’s band, I remembered that this is
something I want to do. In fact, I’d emailed one of the guitarist’s wife about
6 or more months ago to talk to her about her own process of getting toward
singing in a band – embracing her inner teenage rock chick. If I had my … well, if I had my own back, I guess, I’d play
bass, and I’d sing. Talk about vulnerability.
This week, I stood practically naked in front of an audience
and spoke my poem into a microphone in a moderately full theater. That isn’t nearly as frightening to me as
standing in front of an audience, singing, or playing.
The truth is that for several years, I’ve been gathering information
about the whole bass playing thing. But, no, I haven’t been playing. A few
years ago, I asked a guy I knew for bass advice, and he sent me a long list of
places to start (which I didn’t pursue). About a year later, I contacted this other guy about bass
lessons (which I didn’t pursue). … And the guy I asked out yesterday is also a bass player. Apparently,
I have a thing.
Every few years, I’ll troll craigslist, and I’ll answer a
few ads for singers. I even recorded myself a little on my computer’s
Garageband to send as a sample. I got a “not a good fit, but thanks anyway” from one,
and no reply from another. And, hey, I don’t blame em. When I’m terrified, it
comes through. I don’t know. I’ve written here about it kind of frequently –
and dismissed it and been “embarrassed” by it just as often.
However, once again, the thing that occurred to me last night as I
watched my friend’s band was another case of “I want to do that” … followed by
“I can do that.” There is no one stopping me, obviously except for myself and
my fears, and that critic that says “Not good enough” and chops me off at the
knees before I start.
One thing I’m working on releasing at the moment, a pattern
and belief and behavior that is just not fucking serving me anymore, is my need
or habit to stay small.
When I was living in South Korea, my friend nicknamed me
“Ballsy Mollsy.” I had the absolute chutzpah and hubris to ask anyone anything,
go anywhere, and do pretty much whatever I felt like doing in the hedonistic
way most drunks do.
However, there is a quality of that Ballsy woman who still I am,
somewhere, and who I want to resurrect or reveal or uncover or let loose – or
even just let into the light a little tiny bit.
I find it’s happening in some ways. And I know to have
compassion for myself as I try to aim in this direction which has been a Siren
song for me (uh, no pun intended) for … oh, 15 years.
But compassion for slow progress, and acceptance of
stagnation are two different things. And I’d really like to move forward from
So, for your reading pleasure, here’s a poem composed about
a year ago. Reading aloud is encouraged.  As is recalling the line “So let it be written, so let it be done.” Cheers. m.
Band Practice
Tnk tnkTNK thwap
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TNK tnktnk THWAP
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TNK tnktnk THWAP
Tnktnk THWAP tnk tnktnk THWAP
Tnka tnka thwap
Tnka tnka tnka thwap
Tnka tnka thwap
Tnka tnka tnka thwap
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Tnka tnka tnka thwap
authenticity · healing · letting go · love · maturity · self-care


My best friend from the east coast is coming in tomorrow to
visit for 5 days. I’m excited and nervous – and I think I’ve written this
before! I tried to write a blog this morning about real and fancied fears (that
i’ll end up pushing a shopping cart: fancied; skin cancer: realish), but I
couldn’t get it going, so I dug around for what’s really on my mind.

So, that’s happening, and part of my nerves are that she and
I haven’t spent such significant time with one another in Years. We’d had a
pretty bad falling out at the end of both our college years, almost 10 years
ago, and didn’t talk for about the next 5 or so. We both had some growing and
changing to do, but as Fate would have it, about 3 years after I moved to
San Francisco, we began to reconnect.
Like any friendship, and especially a reconciliation, it’s
been by degrees. The warming up, getting to know you again phase. And
particularly with reconciliation, the “what’s it going to be like this time”
friendship fear. Will it be the same? Likely not; we’ve both changed our lives & ourselves dramatically. Will it be based on nostalgia? That, is something that a few
of my friendships from New Jersey have faded into, and have thence faded
completely. A friendship based on nostalgia doesn’t really work. It’s great to
reminisce, but that can’t be all there is – if there’s no current common
ground, no interest in pursuing something forward, then there’s really nothing
to bond over. The bond was made, but it’s … in the past. 
Luckily, with my
friend coming out this week, we’ve been able to learn that we have more in
common now and more to talk about and bond over than we had then. We have the
wonderful ability and common shared history to be able to talk about that
ridiculous party in the sand pit – the “pit party” – or the terrible yet funny
nicknames we used to have for people in high school (Money, Teeth, Banana –
because he looked like a monkey… go teenage girls…!). But we’re also finding
now that our lives, despite our separate courses and coasts, have miraculously
similar trajectories.
It’s been a blessing of the highest sort to have this
friendship come back together. There were a few years when I didn’t know if it
would, and I was viciously saddened by that, but it was not my business or my
plan as to whether someone wanted to be in contact with me again. So, when I
would hear a song on the radio that we’d played 10,000 times at the local
diner, I got sad, but wished her well. When that movie we’d loved as children
came on, I felt a twinge, but sent her the blessings for her life that I wanted
for myself. I hope she’s happy.
And then, as luck would have it, we came back together.
Slowly, for sure. We’re still in the slowly part. This visit is part of the
solidification, but also, I have to take my expectations out of it. I want to
make it a “great” time, so that we are friends again. I want it not to rain, so
the weather doesn’t reflect something about myself or my life. I want us to not be awkward or have tension
so that I don’t lose this again. But, none of that is anything within my
All I can chose to do is to be myself. If this is a person
she wants to befriend, then she will. As with romantic relationships, if it’s
meant to be I can’t screw it up, and if it’s not meant to be, then I can’t fix
I had a conversation several years ago with a girl friend of
mine about the power of female friendships. The “best” friend friendships. How,
really, in many ways they are – we said, then – more important and more
complicated than romantic relationships. I still think some of that is true.
However, part of the difference today with me is that I recognize that people
are human (duh), and cannot, simply cannot, fulfill all the things a person I
wish ought to. One person cannot be someone’s all. One person cannot be my only
friend, or my only social connection, my only vessel of personal relations.
Like seeds, you’ve got to spread it around. Part of this is
self-protection, but part of it is simply being realistic. And that is the protective part. If I am realistic about my
expectations of other people, then I won’t be hurt if they don’t live up to my
demands about them. It is simply unfair to anyone to expect them to fulfill my
needs. Firstly and foremostly, I need to ensure that I’m taking care of them
for myself to the best of my ability. Then, I can look outside myself to other
people, and form relationships where my needs are met. Where my realistic needs
are met.
Sorry for the tangent on what I think friendships and
relationships are, but this writing is also a reminder to myself of this as my friend comes to
visit. For someone who’d been labelled your best friend since the age of 3,
that carries a lot of weight – and I’ve recognized, unfair weight. Part of the
reason for the separation all those years ago was that we each had massive
expectations and need put upon one another – or, I’ll speak for myself, I did
that on her. That wasn’t fair, and the friendship burned down painfully.
So, coming to this visit in a spirit of open-mindedness. And
a loose set of expectations and desires will help us both to have a better
time. The weather isn’t a reflection of me. She’ll have a good time if she’s
meant to or wants to. And I can take care of myself, so that I don’t put the
onus on her.
However, those two hot chicks you’ll see blaring STP down the
interstate? Yeah, that’s us. 
change · growth · letting go · sacrifice · surrender

the sacrificial bull

I’d written some in the blog “The Hero’s Journey” in January, when
we’d been asked in a workshop what part of a particular mythological journey we
were on. It was the story of the Minotaur, but it begins years before with his father, or
maybe even grandfather? Can’t remember.
The part that I identified with in the story was when the
hero (one of them) asks to be crowned king by Poseidon, the sea god. The god
agrees to make him king, but only if he will sacrifice this gorgeous white bull
Poseidon gives to him. The hero, thinking, sure of course, anything, says No
problem. And he becomes king.
Problem is, he becomes attached to the white bull, perhaps
even falls in love with it, I can’t remember. But he refuses to sacrifice the
bull, and instead sacrifices 100 goats to appease the god.
The god is not appeased. And ruin falls on generations of
his family, including on the poor not of this world/not of that Minotaur.
I’d written then that I felt like I was at the point in the
journey when I’m being asked to sacrifice the bull, but instead have been
sacrificing a litany of goats. There were a few things I had in mind as being
“the bull,” something I wasn’t ready to give up, and instead would twist myself
into a mental and emotional pretzel to keep, thereby “sacrificing goats.” But
the gods have not been appeased, the bull remains, and I am plagued.
This morning, while writing my Morning Pages, I was struck
by an awful thought. A thought so harrowing, I gasped aloud, “No.” Not this.
I was talking with a friend last night after class, and she
is looking to move from her house with 7 roommates, to a more manageable house
with 4, perhaps. She told me how much she’s looking to spend, how much
she pays now, and that went in my mental hopper.
So, this morning, when writing, when the thought came to me
that perhaps I ought to get a room in a house with other people – I was struck
aghast. This cannot be my bull. My apartment, with afternoon sunlight, big enough,
where people come and say, It’s perfect for you. No, not this.
I was so terrified of the idea of giving this place up for
money, to sacrifice this small little studio for a room in a house with
roommates that I actually started to tear a little in desperation.
What this did, then, was show me that giving up this housing
situation would be another goat. It is not the housing I need to give up, it is
the staying small. It is my refusal to put myself out there. And perhaps, I
have hit a bottom when this option has become my best thinking’s best resort.
I began to write in the pages that I am willing – I am
willing to give up my hiding. To work, to earn, to share my gifts, to stop
staying small. I am willing to be big to save this apartment from my own hari
Whether that’s the lesson of this or not, I don’t know. But
I do know that I am not at all willing to give this apartment up at the moment.
For all I have to say about Oakland, etc., I live in a wonderful neighborhood,
close to my communities of choice, and as conveniently located as possible. My apartment
itself has become a part of my skin, taking on the tone and tenor of my inner
changes – dressed in the swag of my current expression. Not this.
Staying small, hiding, refusing to take the action that will
really help me move forward (i.e. really putting on the damned workshop I’ve
been working on for a year), not believing in myself and my abilities — these are my bull. The familiar but horrifically
painful and consequence-producing patterns of my contracted, constricted behavior is my bull.
The apartment is not. I still do leave it up to the Invisible
Sky Faerie, but faced with the option of giving up this seriously not that
expensive apartment, I’m becoming willing to sacrifice my bull. I am becoming willing to Go Big, and Go Home.
anger · family · integrity · letting go · self-care


*spoiler alert*
Gaslight is an old black and white suspense movie in which a
wife is tricked into thinking she is mad. Things disappear from her dressing
table. The lamp lights in her room dim and brighten without her touching them.
And her husband tells her she’s crazy, and says here’s your purse, you left it
x, even though she could have sworn she left it y. She is basically told that
the things she thinks are happening, which we as the viewer see happening, are not, in fact, happening. This, one can
imagine, produced fear, worry, self-doubt, and eventually a crack-up. This is gaslighting.
It’s funny that I’d been telling someone else about that
term yesterday morning, which made itself into regular parlance (like
“catch-22” from the book title) or at least made itself into my mom’s parlance
from whom I learned it, because later that day, I was gaslit.
On the phone with my dad, who’s wanting to coordinate about
my graduation, etc., as you may recall, I’d been anxious about him and my mom
being at the same place at the same time. So, I let him know this. I told him
that I know that he and my mom don’t have the most communicative relationship,
but that I hope we can all show up with a spirit of celebration. I told him
that I was anxious about them being here together, and that I hope they can get
along in a civil way.
He said, I have no idea what you’re talking about.
He said their relationship is fine; there’s no hard
feelings; that I must have gotten the wrong idea, and that, in essence, I was
wrong and there’s nothing wrong.
I reminded him of asking me to tell my mom about his
mother’s passing because they “aren’t talking,” and he had no recollection of
saying this. I said that he asked me to tell her, but I said I didn’t feel
comfortable doing so, and he said okay, Ben can tell her.
He has no recollection of this.
So, I got defensive, feeling like I was being told that what
really happened hadn’t happened. And he got defensive feeling, I imagine, that
I was attacking him for behavior that he doesn’t recall. I got a little
offensive in my “lightly insistent” reminder of his recent behavior, and he got a little offensive
accusing me of making things up.
And, so we got off the phone after reverting to the
“everything’s fine here” light, fake, cover-it-up tone.
I’ve never been divorced. And it became, now, less about my
parents’ interaction than about my interaction with my dad. This is usually how
it goes – it’s either, Everything’s fine, or it’s antagonistic. It’s either,
Gee my life’s swell, or it’s Oh wait, I’m not in control, I better use my vast
resources of rage and anger to intimidate it back into order.
This is the way it’s always been. To varying degrees of
each. He can barely ask a waiter for more water without it sounding like a
But, I’m also hyper-attuned to it, as his daughter.
So, moral? I told him what I hoped could happen at
graduation, he said things will be fine. So, needs voiced, needs heard. 
I know what my experience has been,
and I know the truth of things as I see them. And I have to have enough value
in my own experience that it doesn’t matter whether it’s verified by him, or
anyone else. It is not my job to break through someone else’s denial; to
instill in them proper manners of communication that do not swing from hot to
cold; it is not my job to change my dad. It’s just my job to not be gaslit by
him; to allow the conversation to hold contradiction, not have to “be right,”
and to let it go.
Not sure I have all of the “moral” here yet today, but I’m
pretty sure this is a lifetime process.
Next, it’ll be time to tell the same thing to my mom. … I
may need to do some work before I take that phone call on! … Or maybe I don’t need to call her on this at all. ?
art · fun · letting go · poetry · recovery · school

The Reluctant Poet

I had the wonderful opportunity yesterday to sit in a park
with one of my best girl friends in the SF sunshine and shade and download the
mental vomit of my thesis bananas.
She had some interesting perspective too. She said that it
seems like I’m meant to be a poet right now. That I’ve tried to hand in and do
something else, and I’m being blocked, and that perhaps, I’m supposed to write
poetry right now.
I don’t want to. I have ALL these “thoughts” and “opinions”
about “poets” and “poetry.” I can’t tell you how rankled I am at conversations
that have included the following after I reluctantly reveal what it is I study at school:
Oh, I hate poetry. (my dentist’s receptionist…)
I don’t really like poetry.
I don’t know any poetry.
What are you going to do with that?
There’s no money in that.
Uh, I don’t know anything about poetry.
I hated poetry in high school.
I think I read Walt Whitman once.
I. Don’t. Give. A. Fuck. I don’t give a fuck what you think
about poetry. And, further, I ought to not give a fuck at the moment what I think about poetry.
I have some messed up ideas and beliefs about poetry. Like it’s not cool;
nobody likes it; nobody cares. Why can’t I be a painter, or a musician, or some
other “acceptable” form of artist? Why do I have to write like that?
So, yesterday before I met with my friend, I went into the
nearby indie bookstore, and I went to the poetry section – which although
toward the back, was not underlit (!). And I began to pick up titles that
interested me. I got to put some back … skip over the Walt Whitman, and … buy two I’d skimmed and thought I’d like. I bought two books of poetry.
I never buy books. Ever. (Well, unless you count the Harry
, but they’re always OUT at the
library!) I therefore never buy books of poetry. I’ve had the opportunity
through school these last 2 years to read a lot of books of poetry, and buy a
lot of books of poetry. But, they’re not “for me.” They’re not ones I’ve chosen,
ones I’ve looked at and been sparked by. My hand, like Moses, was being pushed
away from the gold. And I burned my tongue — I lost my taste for it.
I’ve been so steeped in poetry, and the language of poetry,
and the analysis of poetry, and the conversations around poetry that I could
probably puke enough letters to make
Therefore, it is not suprising that I have not been all that
enthused to reapproach the project I’d vaguely been working on. I know what I
was working on. I know that it’s raw, and honest, and revealing, and
vulnerable. I know that it talks about trauma, and I don’t really want to talk
about trauma. I know some of it is revealing of my parents’ human fallibility and I don’t want to come off as a thirty year old woman blaming her parents. 
My friend asked me what the work wants or needs right now. I said … it wants to be honored. I thought it would
be enough to write some of it out, have some folks read it in class, and shove it away as random pages in random drawers. But apparently this work wants to be held differently.
Apparently, it wants more of a laying to rest than that. That’s what the work
is. It’s an honoring of the past. Like the purpose of a funeral to provide a
space and a container for grief and letting go, this work wants to
be compiled, honored, and set to rest. Not left as it is, scattered parts
of a whole.
Which I suppose is its own metaphor.
So, I, the reluctant poet, got to read some really good,
funny, poignant, clever, honest poetry from my newly purchased book yesterday, one which I bought with my own sense of attraction and desire, not assigned, not suggested reading, not a professor’s newest book. I got to sit on that train with a slight grin, reading art with a perspective shift about my own work that I’m not completely on board with yet, but which apparently is happening anyway.
home · laughter · letting go · love

February 29th

My parents married on February 29th of 1976. This
day of the year comes only once every 4 years, and true to their oddball senses
of humor, they thought it would be funny to marry on the leap year day.
It’s been on my mind, as I know that Feb 29th
is coming around again this year in a few days, and … sort of cosmically, my
childhood home, their home while they were married, goes on the market this weekend.
You know, I’m sure my Dad didn’t plan it this way – he’s not
much of a cosmic guy – but, I see it as pretty “full circle” in some ways. A
sad one, but I’m happy for the people who will get to enjoy that home next. It,
for all that it harbored, is a great home.
Most suburban sprawl children grow up feeling like there’s got to be something better than this po-dunk town. Or,
at least, the teenagers think that – we did, I did. But as a kid, actually, it
was pretty great. A number of parks in walking or biking distance. Everyone
rode a bike, and it was around the time they began to institute the “must wear
a helmet” law, and so everyone had some graphic neon print on theirs – or at
least I did. Hey, it
was the 80s.
There were supersoakers in the summer, and a fire in our
fireplace in the winter. For all its hardship, this was a wonderful place to
grow up.
Sure, we got antsy, and angsty the older we got. And we
spent many many an afternoon as
mallrats, being dropped off and picked up by our parents via a call from the
nearest payphone. We would posture and stand outside the mall. We would walk it’s
many corridors – we knew it back and forward, and could tell you the fastest
way to get to the food court. We rarely bought anything. If anything, we would
shoplift a bit. Or at least I did. I still owe some financial amends to a Junior’s department!
And then we’d be at someone’s home, their sunken living room with the
enormous box t.v. At a friend’s who had cable and this marvelous thing called
Nickelodeon and MTV.
Back at my home, there was the “secret passage way” to my best
friend’s house next door that my brother never figured out was just a path
through the pachysandra, and would beg to know the secret.
We’d, my best friend and I, block out the sunlight in my
parents room and play “blind man’s bluff” with my brother, which was an awful
game in which we covered him with a blanket, spun him around, and then he had
to find us in the semi-dark. The bed was out-of-bounds, and you couldn’t go on
it to escape him, but we did. And more than once, we spun him around so far
that his first step forward was into the nearest wall. …!
I spent hours in my
room, later as a stoned or drunk person, doing little projects around my room.
Creating a collage around the doorframe. Whittling down this enormous candle
with designs and indentations. There was the time when the sort of cream, sort
of yellow carpet began to swirl into different faces and shapes on one
particular evening.
When my friend and I would spill glue or paint onto the
carpet as little girls, we would use scissors to cut it out, so no one would
The attic was always a scary place filled with junk and
treasures. Cascades of ribbons and wrapping paper – the only reason I ever went
up there — and would see in the periphery furniture, a bird cage, and that pink
insulation stuffing that I once got all over me and the little glass pieces
made me itch, and I had to sit in a bath of calamine lotion.
There were the number of times I puked in that house as a
sick young girl. The times I listened to my brother playing our grandfather’s
piano, and when I was doing homework and asked him to stop, he always had to play those last few notes.
There was my dad trying so hard to help me with my math
homework, but him always being a frustrated teacher, and me becoming a
frustrated student, and fireworks and yelling would ensue.
There was my mom and I using my spelling list in second
grade to create magical stories that used all the words, and I’d get little red ink
stars on all my spelling homework.
There was my first kiss. 🙂 When I was 11, and my mom’s best
friend came over from Switzerland with her family (though she too was from
Brooklyn), and she had a daughter who was 16 (tres glamourous to me at 11),
and a son who was 14. Erik. Tall, Blue Eyes, Blond Hair. Accent. And he told me
I was beautiful. When with my bottle glasses and frizzy hair, I’d
decided already I wasn’t. In the dim evening in my mom’s office, on the worn blue carpet,
after chatting giddily and eagerly, he kissed me.
177 Woodland Ave., River Edge, New Jersey, was my address from 3 – 24 years of age, with it being
my fallback location until this past fall. It was a dream house when they
bought it, and it will be a dreamhouse for its next
inhabitants, and their mall-lurking, supersoaker toting children.

abundance · fear · finances · letting go · love

Two-Way Street

The phrase I hear in certain spiritual circles, You have to give it away in order to keep it,
has always bothered me. So, lately, knowing I’m coming up against this as a
block, I’ve been altering it to, I have to share it in order to keep it, just to make myself feel better about it.
I made a few realizations recently about my reluctance to
share. Notably, in each case when I’ve been “down on my luck” financially, and
have gone into what I call “lock-down mode,” I’ve been forced to surrender, and
let go of my pride, or my ideas, and let other people know what’s going on, and let them help me.
It occurs to me that lock-down mode is a closed circuit. It
says, anything that I get, I must hold on to fiercely, because I don’t know if
I will ever get more (this goes for love, and finances, and jobs, and
creativity, and more, I’m sure).
Lock-down mode is also a closed circuit because it is like
battening down the hatches of a ship, bracing for a storm. Don’t move, or you’ll be swept overboard.
In these circumstances when I’ve locked-down, it’s been like
increasing the speed of a flushing toilet, I realize. It’s gotten worse,
not better, faster.
Abundance, community, love, creativity, require an open channel, an open circuit, one which allows energy in, and allows energy out.
I reported on here a little while ago about a meditation
where I noticed that although still reluctant to do so, I allowed energy to
pass through me into those behind me, instead of, as I’d done in a previous
version of this meditation, simply fill others from my own bucket, denying and
absolutely refusing to take in from those sending to me.
Either ends of this constriction is a closed circuit,
depleting, and ultimately self-defeating.
Whether I choose to lock-down, and absorb, reach for, demand
everything I can, and horde it; or, whether I choose to close off the inflow,
and simply – and resolutely – give to you from my own bucket. This, is not a
When someone had mentioned to me recently that I have to
close these holes in order to be able to hold abundance, that there are places
where I’m letting it seep from me, and will never in fact be able to hold it,
this is a place of that fissure. Seems ironic that in order to have abundance I must begin to stop holding it, but, such is the paradox of spiritual
To quote what I’ve heard, There is enough time, there is
enough love, there is enough money. Therefore, if there is enough, then I don’t need to hold on to it.
And, I need to address the other side too, the part of the
inflow. Like in Tuesday night’s class when I’d recognized how little I’d been
letting other people “give” to me.
In the moments when I’ve been broke, looking at the price of
Ramen noodles in the discount grocery store, I’ve let go. I’ve stopped folding
the end of the hose, and let it open, fear or not. And, miraculously, I’ve been
taken care of … abundantly 😉
So, there are two sides of this constriction that I would
like to address. The part that says, I can give to you, but you can’t give to
me. And the part that says, once I’ve got anything at all, I’m holding onto it
for dear life.
The “dear life,” it seems, occurs only, only when I do let go of strangling it. 
creativity · joy · letting go · poetry · recovery · school

Say Yes.

Oh dear reader, as quickly as they flit in, they flit out.
Remember so recently my choreographing a ballet as a part of
my thesis? Well, perhaps not. Or, simply, perhaps not now.
My new thesis idea is a book of art with poems. Not novel, but
novel to me.
My dad’s voice is readily in my head, “You’re paying $100,000 for THIS?!?” Yes, Dad. Yes.
But, to address first things first, yesterday’s intro to EMDR
was much gentler than I’d anticipated, as my therapist had mentioned to me. And
we’re starting small, gathering positive resources, grounding in safe space,
assembling Team Molly, as it were. I cried only the teeniest bit, and did not
get struck by a streetcar. In fact, I cried only that bit when I was recalling
something really lovely actually. ~ I am grateful to have a woman as gentle as
she is to guide me through this. And she’s consistently reminded me that her
experience is not that patients have dramatic, radical shifts, but rather
subtle changes they may not even notice till later when they realize they’re holding
these things differently.
That said, the first thing I said to her yesterday when I arrived was that
I was terrified, but we did the groundwork anyway. Because, yes, it is time. (insert
Rafiki’s voice from Lion King here – “Eet ees
To return to the thesis though. (First draft due Feb 15th… Insert Marisa Tomei’s stamping foot from My Cousin Vinny … lol, I could do this all day…)
On Wednesday night, I had a wonderful experience. Having
bought a copse of new, brilliant markers from Blick Art Supply store on Sunday,
I sat down and began to experiment with these new, saturated, luscious,
dripping, succulent colors. You can perhaps tell how much I enjoyed them.
I felt almost as if I were getting to finger the crevices of
the greatest gemstones of all time. Basking in their glow. Delighted at how
they caught the light, how they were able to instantaneously create something
out of nothing.
I experimented for a while. With the different points and
pressures and textures and shapes. I felt so calm and exhilarated. Like, this THIS is what it feels like to be engaged in what you
want to be doing. And moreover, it feels like finally breaching the surface of
the water after you’ve been under for too long. Relief in a way that makes you
want to cry.
After I’d done a few of these just luxuriating in the
experience of manipulating these colors and markers pages, I turned a page, and
began to write a part of a story. Portions of the words fell right off the
page, and the next line began somewhere a few words in, as if the others were being written
… invisibly, on the other side of the page, on a bigger page that got cut, or weren’t actually written at all and there aren’t any words to connect what
you’ve read.
With my markers, I wrote a few more of these partial
stories. Then I put them up on the wall in my kitchen. The drawing before I
began writing continues to arrest me when I look at it. Something about it
captures me. And it is under this one, that I’ve taped the first story piece,
both are in red.
Perhaps, this is the beginning of a book. Perhaps the image
and the story, or poem, relate.
And, perhaps as I thought about it this morning, perhaps
there are blank pages for you, reader, to write your own story. Or perhaps blank pages for you to draw above the stories. Perhaps it’s children’s book-like. Perhaps the content isn’t though. 
Maybe. Maybe
not. But I sure like the idea. The idea of collaboration, of interaction, of
experimentation, and creativity.
I’m currently reading a book by Thomas Moore called, A
Life At Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Meant to Do.
And as I also look at some of the work I’d done
in response to
What Color is Your Parachute, I am faced again with the notion that my work
demands to be integrative, collaborative, fun.
This new idea, whatever comes of it, is part of this
discovery process. It’s part of the milemarkers on my path to my path. (And, I
will tell you, Thomas Moore agrees with me about not needing to “CHOOSE ONE” life path.) ;P
I’m going to play with this new idea. A little more
implementable than the dance. We’ll see
what happens. I may stick with all the work I’ve got and “Make it work,” or
I’ll head here for now, and “Follow the fun.”

acting · courage · intimacy · letting go · maturity · modeling · poetry · sex

The Hero’s Journey

See, perhaps it’s not that San Francisco is actually cold.
Perhaps it is the proliferation of single-paned windows and inadequate heating.
The wonderful high ceilings don’t do much to trap in the heat either. So,
solution? Munchkin houses. Winterized. lol. See, there’s even a word,
“Winterized.” I’m not sure that the Bay Area has much acquaintance with this
notion, as we all sort of seem to believe that it doesn’t actually get that
cold, or that we’re more like Southern California. Perhaps this is what they
meant when they said “California Dreamin’.”
In any case, drafty as my home is. Grateful for it.
Especially on what are Bay Area winter days.
There is a big part of me that wants to write an addendum to
yesterday’s blog. To somehow mitigate and soften the “I haven’t had a great sex
life” theme. Most of that is because I want you to see me “better,” some of
that is that I don’t want to insult anyone I’ve slept with who might be reading
this and tell them of course there are occasions when it’s been marvelous.
But, that’s only wanting them to like me too, another way of “seeing me
better.” So, I will leave the truth as the half-truth it is, because, for
certain, there are the good experiences, and there is the truth that it’s less
about them, and more about my inability to ask for what I need (in most areas
of my life).
And, I will hold the truth that, still, I feel naïve and
unexperienced or uneducated in this way, and am holding that with compassion,
and an intention to head in that direction. There’s a fair amount on one of my
collages that’s the phrase, The Joy of Kissing, and I wonder if perhaps part of
that is a call to start again at the beginning, you know? To start with one of
the most tender places, and just meditate there, pause there, let myself savor
it, and not skip to the main course.
Also, I want to soften the “this is not an invitation” line,
because although it’s not a plea for you, reader, to initiate me into the
softened world of pleasure, I actually DO
want to offer an invitation into the world/Universe. This IS an invitation from
me to the machinations of the world to head there, to gentleness, and intimacy,
and … well, whatever else I feel I’ve been missing in this area. So, Universe,
this is an invitation, written in velvet, in loopy script, and something less
intimidating than red for experiences of physical intimacy on a softer plane.
Speaking of physicality, I had my orientation for the art
modeling guild yesterday, and 12 year old girl that I still am, it was hard to
not giggle when the facilitator said, “And men? No Erections! Ever.” Lol. “Any
man who tells you he can’t control it is lying. And if he really can’t, then he
shouldn’t be a model.” It’s nice the systems of protection and comfort that
they have set up, which is why I’m really glad to be doing it this way, rather
than freelance, which can be ICKY (see
former blog about older man with vagina skulls).
After the orientation, I went directly to my audition for a
Shakespeare company, and guess what? Not that bad. 🙂 THIS TIME, I didn’t blank out in the middle of the monologue.
I futzed a few things, but, if you didn’t have a script in front of you, you’d
never know. Point being, I actually did better than my last spoken word
audition, and really, “Better than last time” is all I’m lookin’ for. I also,
miraculously, ran into a girl I have just been beginning to see around lately
over here in Oakland with some of the financial healing folks. She’s been doing
this circuit for a long time, it seems, and knew nearly everyone who walked in
and out of the building, and chatted with another girl about, “Are you working
with David? No, with Bobby.” and other such insider speak that I am totally
novice of. But… now, we both have an ally. Someone showing up and letting go of
the results, and also some who’s willing to sit with me and initiate me in some
of these lingos, and people, and classes, and companies. She even suggested a
company she thought I’d do well with. 🙂 Go G-d.
Finally, for today’s blog. I had a very vivid dream last night about an older friend of mine
who I found out – in the dream – had killed herself suddenly. I was shocked and
devastated, and went out from where I was directly into her funeral. It was
packed. And yet, even her husband, who was shocked was actually not as shaken
as you’d expect.
Part of Saturday’s spirituality workshop included a story about Minos
and the Minotaur, using the myth as a frame for us to see perhaps what part of
the story, what part of our own hero’s journey we are in. Minos made a deal
with Poseiden. Poseiden said that Minos would become king if he sacrificed this
gorgeous white bull. Minos said sure. Became king. … And then decided the bull
was too special and meant too much to him, and so he sacrificed 50 goats
instead. (This did not go well in the end.)
I said that I feel like this is the part of the journey I’m on. In order to ascend to the next
level, the next stage, the next iteration of myself and my life, I have to
sacrifice my attachment to what it had been, aka my bull (dying we awaken to a
new life, kind of stuff). Instead, I’ve been hemming and hawing, and saying,
well, what if I give you
instead, what if I sort of dance around the issue, and lop off my foot in the
process – won’t that give me the result that I ultimately need?
No dice.
I also said, that I also felt like the part of the story
when they kill the Minotaur, when this beast that cannot be a part of society,
but it’s really not his fault, is killed. With this spirit of sadness and also
with relief do I … intend? to kill my bull.
I think that part of my dream was about that, the death of
these attachments to my past. I put up a whole host of new (to the blog) poems,
and as I was editing what work I had, I felt like all the family stuff, all the
blamey stuff and most of the trauma stuff didn’t need to be up anymore.
Which leads me to wonder: if what I wanted my thesis to be was an excavation of old stuff, a laying to rest of it, haven’t I already done
that? In the very writing of it, and even in the sharing of it with my
professors and classmates, haven’t I given voice to this? Is this actually what
I need to say anymore? Is this anymore where the charge is for me?
I’m not sure. Well, no. Actually, the answer is no. But I’m
not sure what that will mean for this specific piece of writing I have to hand
But, I also said in the workshop on Saturday that despite my
reluctancy to sacrifice the bull, my reluctancy to grieve for what was lost and
misplaced in my youth, the fact is, I’m already in it. It’s no use saying, I don’t
want to. Or I won’t. Or I can’t. Because, baby, I already am. 
joy · letting go

The Birth of Everything (for Kate)

I’m having a hard time getting this blog out today. I have
written a couple of false starts, but they feel just that, false. Maybe
pedantic. So, apparently, I give you this instead. With love, M.
on an ancient surface of being there was a traveler. he sat
in his solitude for the time of nothing and worried that his everything was perhaps on the underside of the cushion on which he was sitting.
the traveler opened one eye, squinting through into the
vastness, lit like a clown in the spotlight of a tragi-comedy. there was
glitter on the lashes of his one eye and in the new light, they danced a fortuna among the lampposts of strands.
he hadn’t been able to pop his hip bone for a few millennia,
and it was thrumming in a monotone bassoon voice. hum hum hum. there were
other sounds too. the sharp and defiant crack of a planet being born. this made the corner of his mouth
turn up in mild approval and awe. 
new-born planets have a very particular ring to them. like
the variety of meditation bowls. cheepey little excited planets, proud of
themselves for having been manifested into existence. the long slow toll of a
heavy planet with many moon brides, undergirding what ought to be a cacophony
of celestial banter, but which was also so encompassing, it was silence itself. or
not silence rather, but noiseless vibration.
through his cracked eye, the traveler concluded that it was
perhaps safe to open his second eye, but this one was turned inward to his soul
and teaching and center and calm, and he wasn’t quite sure that two outward
eyes were in fact what he wanted. but outward or inward, all of the eyes were
in fact in all of the directions already and without the deliberate gaze, the inner limitlessness would remain. without his gaze on the throbbing heart of invention,
it would still nonetheless be the throbbing heart of invention.
and so our traveler with his radiant vocal hip and internal
oculars intact, opened his second eye.
in that instant, both immediate and eternal, having been
happening all along and yet never once before, the darkness of his
surroundings burst into a firework finale of swirling color. the colors were
in full and ecstatic possession of themselves, and ran in spirals toward one another, creating for
a moment the scene of a forest or a skyscraper or a hyperfluorescent deep sea
creature with no eyes and 8 antennae.
the fluid colors tumbled about in the joy, merging,
separating, one color, multicolors, sparkles, pulses, and chased themselves around the
giddy and somber planets.
with his two eyes, and his trillions of bodily cells, the
traveler met and observed the dancers, all of whom were
encasing him and yet not existing at all. it was both void and dark stillness, and chaotic, sincere beauty.
with his two eyes, one an iris of pale blue
diamond, the other a slick curve of onyx, he brought forth the
invention, but also simply recognized it for the first time.
the glitter grabbed hold of the boulders of tears, careened down his face, and splattered into a thousand beads of light.