abundance · level up · partnership


Not the actual bathroom we saw, but not that different either!

This weekend, J and I checked out a place for rent in the East Bay.  We’ve been considering the option of moving out of the homogeneous, one-horse town we live in back to a place where the average age isn’t 25 years above ours and the options for adventure are more varied (though outdoor options here are plentiful).

Afterward, J commented that he was proud of me.  “Why??”  Because in the past, I would have jumped on the place that we saw.  It barely eeked past the necessities, in that it had a roof and four walls!  But the truly atrocious absence of upkeep and update of the place were obvious to me—for perhaps the first time, he said.

I’m a Satisfiser.  Meet the lowest, most basic requirements?  Done.  He’s a Maximizer.  Suuuure, this may indeed meet those, but what else is there?

Each approach has its benefits and deficits.  I can tend to be okay with some pretty low standards (see my blog about being “shmutzy”!); he can tend to research at the expense of taking action.  My way means there’s movement (mostly forward!); his way means he’s aware of a greater field of possibilities available for the taking.

There’s a concept of couples becoming more similar to one another over years, and while this has some pieces within me screaming, “AGENCY!!”, there is a benefit to being positively influenced by someone you’re so close to.  I’m becoming more discerning; he’s becoming more content.

While we still have vast gulfs of difference in some areas, the ability to appreciate one another’s style for its benefits means we’re more effective and efficient.  Being able to make decisions that raise my acceptable standard of living at a speedier pace means I get to spend more time living in and with those better things.  And as Maybelline told me years ago: I’m worth it.


deprivation · level up · music

“Do you hear the people sing?”

8-24-18.jpgOver the summer, while in muggy Massachusetts dorm-living for the month, I began to listen to music again.  There’s a piece of deprivation that can be about things you may not ordinarily peg, like sensations: scent, touch, sound.

When I drove to work last year, during my hour+/- commute I would generally listen to talk radio, getting some “grown-up” ideas into my head especially at the end of a day of disseminating information.   Yet, I’ve noticed, I’ve been putting the music on as I drive this week instead.

In the dorm, I played the soundtrack to RENT on full blast (just like in my true college days!), “The Song of Angry Men” from Les Mis (over and over), and Norah Jones for a mellow roll.  It was surprising to me that I was craving music.  And yet whenever I begin to listen to music again (as this is a common, long-horizon pattern), I feel like the lake diver coming up for air—sucking oxygen into my chest with relief and exhilaration and something like surprise.

I chatted with my friend the piano player the other day and, when he returns from a trip, we’re going to get together and start planning the set list for our duo for the artists’ salon on October 7th (did I mention that’s my birthday?  I did, I’m just stoked).;)

I think it’s two 15-minute sets, so that’ll be about 4 songs each set, and he’s totally down to do whatever feels good.  I’m thinking Norah Jones/Alicia Keys inspired works.  Something languid and liquid and feminine.

When I begin to sing again, it’s the awakening of a facet of my soul that in its drowsing I forget contains everything about love, aliveness, and power.  When I begin to sing again, it’s like falling back in love with myself:  “Oh, there you are.  I had kinda forgotten you were made of glitter magic.”

The arrival back at self reinforces these pieces are here all the time, but I guess a question (fear) becomes, if I see this all the time, will it become too familiar?  Will my continued engaging in something that brings me to life eventually become something that is dull?

Fortunately, not even I believe that bullsh*t.

Sing on, singer.

dating · level up · trust

All About that Bass

8.22.18Or, “I want the world. I want the whole world.”

The person I went on a date with Sunday texted to say he didn’t see a love match there, but it was nice to meet me, etc.etc.  I concur with his conclusion, but it doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed.  It dropped me back into my low-grade loneliness and longing for my ex, and the truth that I must trust if it’s meant to be, then it will, but that I have to let him go completely.  Which I haven’t.

What I am seeing is that I want it all right now.  I want romance and finance to soar!! Effective Immediately!  I want to hear the manic trill of frenetic notes as I flit from success to success.  The joie de vivre of a person loved, those high silvery violas and piccolos, maybe.

What I have is a sonorous resounding orchestra in the bass clef, holding everything up — not too exciting … until you attune to it.

Wonderful home: a cello sings.  Car that works and fits my life: perhaps a tuba pumping along to a jaunty rhythm (tubas have pistons, too, after all!).

But moreover, more resounding, more languid and supportive is the work/career/creative arena.  This arena is humming and crescendoing, right there, if I choose to listen.

My thinking is that this deeper section is where my focus is and will be for now, cementing in the time signature, the grooved practice of my life.  There are exciting things happening in that section!  I am increasingly being asked to perform, professionally and creatively.  I am increasingly saying Yes.  I am increasingly revealing more of myself, and that liquid, reverberating bass is hugging everything in, dependable and warm.

My attention to the treble is a distraction at the moment.  I am not yet in harmony with the bass rhythm of my expanding life, and frankly, I’m pretty sure that until I “level up” and sink in to my expansion, whomever I attract from this frenetic place will not be the right person.

I wrote a blog earlier this year called “Who’s Next,” wondering not who my next partner would be, but who I would be, if and when I attract my next partner.  I know, and can feel, that I am not that person yet.  I am not the grounded, velvet waltz I am becoming.  I am getting there.  Each time I write a blog, each time I share it.  Each time I write another line for my play, another title for a poem.  Each time I own my desires a little bit more, I am becoming.

They do call a beautiful woman “becoming” after all.

I want the manic syncopation of love and sex and dating and union.  But what I have is the dark luscious creation of rich ground.  A thrumming beat, expanding.  Boom.  Boom.  Boom.


art · creativity · level up

Gallery of Indeterminate Art.

still life feb 2011In an effort to “not go back in the cave,” I’ve been (egregiously slowly) asking for and (less slowly) accepting help.  I’ve been tending to the idea of getting an “accountability buddy” for many months now, someone with whom to mutually check in about progress on our goals, but I haven’t gotten far in that realm.  There’s something so daunting about accountability—even when it’s in service of my own health!

So I’ve been skirting up to the line by asking for help around smaller, task-specific items, which seems like a nice middle-ground and huge progress nonetheless.  Yesterday, I texted an artist friend of mine to come by and help me “look at” my art studio space.  To help me talk out what it is I want to do with it or in there.  Because most of what is up there is of the “Someone could use this for something” variety, but that someone hasn’t been me.

Magazines for collages; baskets of fabric samples; all sizes of canvases, plywood, and thick paper.  I have finger paint, oil paint, acrylic paint, watercolor.  I have charcoal pencils, colored pencils, water-color pencils, and pencil pencils.  In my art studio, there are scissors, brushes, glitter, embossing tools, stamps, ink, turpentine, and gesso.  Rulers, compasses, sharpeners, and cleaners.

And what is a girl to do?

I have no idea.  I’m no painter (“yet,” she adds hopefully).  I took an oil class in grad school that produced all the paintings that are up there, 6 years ago.  I loved it—more specifically, I loved the accountability and deadlines.  I loved having to work toward a goal, with an assignment (interior, live painting, still life [seen above]), an end date, feedback, and completion.  I also loved being around other people creating, too.  Yet, in the absence of an end date and the presence of self-judgment, all my ideas spool out to the egg yolk on the horizon.

(Speaking of spools, I also have a sewing machine, bobbins, embroidery thread, and knitting!)

So, I’m hoping that my friend standing next to me today, looking into this candyland of undiscovered art, will help me discover:  What is next for my art studio?  What is clamoring in there to come to life but I can’t hear over the shaming voice that tells me I’m wasting it?

Perhaps it’s something I make, perhaps it’s a group I host with access to it all, or perhaps I tell her about the few pieces I’ve done that I know would make a series, but that I’m unsure I feel enthusiastic about anymore.

In order to create anything, I need people.  And in order to have people, I have to ask.