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
Potters
, 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
poetry.
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.
fear · fortitude · poetry · responsibility · school

Make It Work

True to the mixed bag that life is, yesterday was a mixed
day. I’m insanely grateful that I wrote my confirmation of the goodness of the
Universe blog before I checked my email
yesterday morning. Because in that email was one from Thursday from my thesis advisor
which stated that my blog cannot be my thesis – that it is being rejected. …
And further that she strongly recommends, “no, let me put it more firmly,” she
writes, that I must go “thesis in progress.”
TIP means that I pay about $500 for the luxury of not having
to turn something in this semester. It means that I pause the thesis process
and am able to work on it and deliver something and meet with her still over
the course of the next year. It also means that I cannot “walk” for graduation
in May.
I write her back that this is my reluctancy to do this. And
that for the love of G-d, I want to be “done” when I am done. But I don’t tell
her that this time; I’d already done so in our previous … terse email exchange
before I handed in my blog in a “well, I don’t have anything better to give”
moment.
She says back that, okay, bring all the poetry I’ve got when
we meet on Tuesday, and we’ll try to make something work, “no promises.” Cobble
something together out of poetry and prose, and to clear my slate for the next
month to do a lot of revision, and who knows, she says, “you may just like it.”
Sniff. Ahem. It’s not
that I don’t like writing, or haven’t enjoyed writing poetry in the past. But, she asked me, I just don’t get
it, didn’t you come here to write a book? And
this is where she and I are on very different pages. What
I have to inform her, I don’t know if I do. But, no, lady, I did
not come to school to write a book. I have no
aspirations to be published. I believe there is a rich landscape of poets whom
I consider awful to not my style but have much merit to striking and inspiring. Do I really feel the overwhelming
need to put my voice in with them? As a book? In that limited particular, stick
on a shelf in some dusty graduate school library and possibly a few books
stores with shelves already lined with a million books in an underlit poetry corner?
No. I don’t have an overwhelming need to do that.
Do I believe in my voice? Yes. That’s what I’m doing here,
in this blog. With my community, and in other creative manners. Do I believe that
even if there are a million other people
on the shelf that I have as much a right as any of them to add my voice? Of
course. But that doesn’t mean I want to. Not now. Not in this way.
But, I’ve now recognized the pattern I have with her, which
is her as the little man in The Wizard of Oz in the circlular porthole
of the gigantic green Emerald City door saying “No way No how, nobody gets in
to see the wizard.” And we exchange a few emails, and then she says, Well,
we’ll see what we can do.
In the time between No Way No How, and We’ll See What We
Can Do, I am thrust into a dither of indignation, righteousness,
misunderstoodness, and despair. And then, on the other side, I am back to feet on the
ground, Okay, cool, we’ll see what we can do, hope, things can and will work
out – they always do, and I have faith that by doing some work it will.
That, dearests, is not her fault or her problem. That I get thrown WAAAAY overboard into a tizzy is not her
fault. And now, especially that I see the pattern, I am more prepared for it,
and more able to do what I’ve heard other people say, which is “to wear the world as a
loose garment.”
The reality is, yes, my family has plans to come out to see
me walk for graduation. I don’t believe they have their plane tickets yet
though. I do want to walk at graduation.
I do want to be “done” in May. I do want to move on to other things, and take a
flatbed of gratitude for the time that being in school has given me to pursue
all the other angles of healing that I’ve needed to pursue.
The reality is that if it does come down to it, I will take
the thesis in progress. I will be disappointed, my family will be disappointed,
but this really is the best I can do. And I have to allow myself that
compassion. If I could have written a book of poetry, I would have. But that’s
not what I’ve been doing. So be it. I am where I am now, and that’s looking at
making something work. I’ve seen Tim Gunn say his catch phrase in both his dubious, one-eyebrow-raised tone, and in his hopeful get-er-done tone.
I don’t need hope here, I just need to do the work. Satisfy
this requirement and get on with my life. This woman is not my enemy. Nor is
she my judge and jury.
So, beginning Tuesday, I will not be a poet, I will be an
editor. I can do that. 
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
time.”)
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
this
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
in.
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. 
acting · action · courage · direction · faith · intuition · letting go · maturity · performance · poetry

Just Row, Darling, Just Row.

So, I’m feeling both immensely relieved, and a bit of an
emotional hangover from all of the worry and intense “gotta get it done”ness of
the school semester. I finally finished
my paper for my Shakespeare class, and emailed it to the teacher last night at 9pm.
Granted, it was
only six pages,
but this whole working plus school thing really walloped what I was able to
give to school, and squished everything else into weekends that wasn’t school
and school sort of got shunted along every day, moving down my calendar like a
shuffle board disc – I can do it tomorrow, I can do it tomorrow. Like Scarlet
O’Hara – After all tomorrow is another day.
Which may be true, but tomorrow has been another day of
intense activity, and not in any way better than the day before it.
So, the paper is done. My third out of 4 semesters of my MFA
degree is done. And again, relief but… a big dose of “uhhhhhh….???” aka now
what. I’m familiar enough with situations like these to not have to worry too
much about the “now what”, but rather to just show up for what’s next, even if
that’s do the dishes (which, duh, I do have to do), and also, as I’ve been
doing more of lately, follow my little internal nudges, cuz they seem to have a
better idea than I do about wtf is going to happen or is meant to happen, or
which way I should row.
It’s funny. I had mini-epiphany a while back which went
something like the following: I only need to row. I don’t need to know which
way the boat is headed, I’m not steering, I’m not making the waves do their
thing – I only need to row, and I’ll get there.
But that didn’t quite
sit right with me. Sure, I agree, do the next indicated action – which for me
at the moment is to wash up and get ready for work (I’ve decided – for now – to
do my blogs in the morning – I procrastinate them at night, and then end up
past my bedtime – plus one thing I really did learn from all this paper-writing
pushing was that I really do write better in the morning. I’m a morning person
– sort of. I’ve already had one cup of coffee! – I’m more of a “mid-morning”
person – catch me at 10:30 or 11, and I’ll be ON IT… perhaps that’s also cuz
the other two cups of coffee will finally have kicked in…).
In any case, rowing is great – I can row, and sit backwards
and still question where the hell are we going. But I also do believe that it
is sort of my responsibility to have some vague idea of which ocean we’re in –
to extend the metaphor beyond its bounds! Maybe that’s still just me wanting to
have some control, some idea of control if I know where I am, where I’m
heading, and more about what I need to do to get there. Maybe that it doesn’t
sit comfortably is just all part of the action and practice of this thing – to
sit in the discomfort of not knowing, but to do the work anyway.
I don’t know what will happen at auditions. What will happen
after school. What will happen tonight, even! I want to know – especially the
“after school” part. Somehow I’m way more willing to let the audition stuff be
how it will be – I’m way more que cera cera about it. Because I really know that I can’t control the outcome, I can only
control how I show up and prepare for it – how I do or do not do research, take
action, practice, and look for an acting coach, like my acting friend suggested
to me. Somehow, letting go of the results of this is easy. Partly because, to
me, it also feels fun. It feels like an adventure. Like trying a new ice cream
every time. Like, I wonder what this flavor tastes like. So, of course it’s
easy to show up more lightly to those. (But I will say, I’m sure I wouldn’t
have always felt that way – which is why it’s taken me so long to even get here
to stage zeropointone or wherever I am.)
But, “after school,” the looming deadline of “you ought to
know.” More lies. I don’t know. I know that school has been the best thing I’ve
done for myself in a while. Not cuz I get to study and write poetry – that’s
cool, but it’s not where my passion is – but cuz I get to have this time to
discover all this new stuff about myself. I said when I arrived that I wanted
the two years of school to offer me time to “solidify my foundation within
myself.” And I think I’ve been doing that. Concretizing who I am, how I want to
be in this world – to have the time to become someone who can show up to
auditions with a sense of fun.
I am uncomfortable not knowing. I am uncomfortable feeling
like I’m not taking the “right” actions (not writing a sample syllabus, not looking at
teaching jobs, not knowing where I will live or want to live). But, I also don’t
want to teach. … So, that’s leaves me with a WIDE field, and too many options
feels a little like none at all in my fear-brain.
So, before I talk myself out of the awesomeness that is my
ability to show up and let go of the results, out of the awesomeness that is I
FINISHED my semester, I’ll go get my second cup of coffee from my microwave and
pray that all this rowing is better for me than I can possibly see. 
acting · action · courage · faith · gratitude · joy · performance · persistence · poetry · recovery · school · spirituality · synchronicity · time

Alright Sports Fans

You know those montage-y frenetic moments in movies or,
well, Looney Tunes, where they play “Flight of the Bumble Bee” and everything
starts moving insanely quickly?
Well, it’s sorta like that. I feel like saying, Drivers!
Start Your Engines!
This morning, Monday of the beginning two weeks of
school/work insanity, I emailed my boss at my temp gig and asked her if I could
have Wednesday off. I also asked her to get a little more clear with me on when
this assignment ends, as it’s really vague, and I don’t like my income hanging
on “really vague.” So she said, Yes to Wednesday off, and that she’d love to
keep me into January, so let her get back to me on Thursday. So, Okay.
PHEW on Wednesday off – my crazy long day with evening
class, and now I can meet with my professor to talk about my final project –
due next Thursday. I emailed him this morning too and suggested what I think I
might do for my project – it might be a script involving the two heckler muppet
dudes. Yep. He wanted creative! I’m thinking of having them, as images of the
upper class, watch several scenes from the Shakespeare plays we’ve read this
semester – scenes where Shakespeare seems to be calling out the upper class.
He’s got a lot of commentary on
classism, and I found myself drawn to those pieces in all the works. So, we’ll
see. That does not seem like an “easy” thing to do. But, it could be fun – they
get all ruffled and heckle-y, and then maybe that bald eagle guy comes in at
the end (You can tell I’ve been influenced by the Muppet Movie advertisement at
bus stops…)
After I emailed him, I packed up my shit and went to school.
I knew that hanging out here would only mean distraction – facebook, cat, tea,
nibbling, general procrastinating. Luckily, both the girls I was supposed to
meet with this morning cancelled – which was totally HP doing for me what I
couldn’t do for myself, as I really didn’t have the time to meet with them, and
would likely have been distracted.
So, I went to school, and plunked down in the English
Department with my tea, my laptop, and my homework. I got pretty far. (Poem for
evening class, two singing critiques for Friday, printed thesis draft.) There’s
still a lot to do, but I am feeling better about it.
I have to do a teaching demo on Friday of the workshop I’m
piloting in the Spring – “Creativity and Spirituality”. I co-facilitated this
workshop last semester with the Director of Spiritual and Religious Life at
school, and it went pretty well. So on Friday, I have to demo a portion of the workshop
to my professor and my classmates. I’m not too worried about it – but I do need
to get my own script down a little more. Leading people through spiritual
processes – well, you have to have a degree of confidence in yourself and the
work, to come from a calm position, or else people who may already be nervous
about WTF is going to happen – am I going to speak in tongues? is there going
to be “G-d” stuff? – feel like they are being led by a knowledgeable guide.
Luckily for me, this is all work that I’ve done. Some of the
pieces for the full workshop next semester (3 times, 3 hours, for 3 different
groups of women) I haven’t done, I’ve created from my own imagination, but I
believe in them. The whole workshop is about helping the participants to see that
they can access creativity in a variety of modes, and to call that pathway by
which they access it “spirituality.” To begin (or continue) to understand that
we always have something to say, to give, to create, to invent, because we have
the un-tap-out-able well of creativity inside us already – we don’t have to
“hunt” for it, “work” for it, we just need to access it.
And sure, it sounds “woo woo” hippie shit, but, I believe
it. I don’t always remember it – and try to create from a place of desperation
or scarcity – but the real juice is always there.
So, that’s my workshop. I also have 4 reading responses and
a final paper to do for this class. … And a final paper and an end of semester
portfolio for my poetry workshop.
BUT, on top, next to, in spite of all this – the Universe
works without me – often.
I get an email this afternoon while writing with frenzied
fingers that a slot opened up in the auditions…and I can get in Sunday at
8:30pm, if I want it.
I want it.
Of course, this week of ALL weeks (cue “Bumble Bee”), I now
have to memorize 2 one minute monologues, get my headshots printed, and read up
on this Strindberg fellow. But … it’s general auditions for a bonafide theater
company in SF for their upcoming season in a bonafide theater – and *I’m*
auditioning. Holy Crow.
The very next email I get? From another theater company (no
lie) I emailed in my diligent action moment of a few weeks ago. They can’t fit
me in this time, but will keep my info on file. Fabulous.
Just when I was beginning to feel like I was watching myself
retract from the whole acting thing again, the Universe throws me a bone. I was
watching myself follow the pattern of “flurry of action, then nothing, flurry
of action, then nothing” – but, this time, with my small little actions, these
self care little moments of listening to myself, this comes along. It is just an audition, I have to keep reminding myself, because I get easily scared the f
out.
To counter the crazy “I have no idea what I’m doing,” I
called in help. I called Lorraine, my acting friend I called a few weeks ago.
We just spoke, and she gave me some good tips on the monologues I’m choosing, a
classic and a contemporary: Gertrude from Hamlet cuz I just read it– and The Flood from Vagina Monologues cuz I know it, as I’m cast in it at school in the
Spring! Plus she gave me head’s up on a place to get my headshots printed in
the city, precisely where I will be on Thursday at noon.
So, yeah, I’m alright. A little dazed. But, I did a lot of
work today (and some action a few weeks ago) and some unexpected bounty
happened. Fancy that. 

action · balance · coffee · finances · persistence · poetry · responsibility · school

Hunkering Down & No Drastic Movements

These were two things Patsy said to me this morning – to
hunker down in school work mode – which I have actually diligently done today –
you can check out the most recent installation of my poetry thesis on the MVD
page (it’s 9 poems, laid out to sort of make sense as a mini-collection). I
have to meet with my thesis advisor tomorrow for our second meeting.
At our first, she said, “over produce and cut back.” So, I
got paralyzed by that(!), and blundered along writing my poem-a-week for my
workshop class, and that’s pretty much what I’ve got. But, today, I did sit in
a café with ALL the comments from my peers and professor, and sifted through
it all. I copied the comments I liked onto my master copy, making my own
new edits, with fresh eyes and some space from having written them.
Just now, I put them all into one document and edited the
hell out of them. And in very much likelihood, they still need or want work –
it’s like a painting, or a recipe – sometimes you’re not sure there’s something
missing till you add salt, and suddenly it comes alive – poetry is like that –
there can be one thing somehow off by a degree. But also, people’s barometers
are calibrated differently 😛
But, it’s done, for tomorrow’s purposes at least, so that’s
one huge thing off my mind/plate.
As to “No Drastic Movements”, Patsy suggested that perhaps
this week of all weeks (the 2nd to last one of school when I am so
aggrievedly badly procrastinatorily overworkedly behind), perhaps I shouldn’t:
break the 6 months silence with my mom; look at ads on craigslist for SF
apartments; look at ads for hybrid cars; flagellate myself for going over my monthly spending plan; or do
any other such thing as would be drastic.
This week at least 😉
Despite the fact that I am over my spending plan for this
month (an interminable month, if you’re
looking at it through my financial numbers; though staggering to realize it’s
nearly December!), I am in need of groceries. So, today on my way out of the
city, I bought myself a pound of coffee. I still need to get to the real
grocery store over here and stock up, but it felt like, SO THE FUCK WHAT – YOU
NEED TO EAT – GO BUY SOMETHING silly girl, for christ’s sake. Martyrdom is
way overrated. And I’m really f’ing sure that not having
any groceries is not what this whole “financially solvent” thing is about.
Yes – I bought clothing that wasn’t in my
plan (work appropriate! Though I did turn away from the oh so
sinfully supple black leather jacket at Bloomingdales) – and I also bought
myself a facial yesterday, because I’m exhausted and needed the recharge. I
knew these weren’t in the plan – but I earned more than I anticipated this
month …
However, I know that
pattern of my behavior – it looks like, Eh, a little more won’t hurt –
it’s self care,
or
it’s my friend’s favorite color,
or
so what, my dvd from the library is two weeks overdue. …
And then finally, it once again looks like an empty fridge
without the finances to refill it. It always looks like that in the end. I know
that place.
So, here I am, seeing it early – “Awareness, Acceptance,
Action,” right? But, I am also self-flagellating ;P
I’m a little punch-drunk from staring at my poetry and
reading the rest of The Tempest today,
so I’m signing off.
Lastly though, I did all
of my dishes this morning. And, really, that counts for something.

family · growth · poetry · recovery

Excavation: Chapter 3

So, it’s been bothering me that I have recently been writing about all this fucked up shit about my family and childhood, particularly now when I feel that I’ve been “doing so much better” and “moving beyond it.” Or rather, truly feeling that it (the past) doesn’t have the same power to inform my behavior and interpretation of the world that it used to have.

And so, I’ve been curious then to see that it’s been coming out so much in my poetry. Then, I had a realization. I had begun a serial poem a few years ago titled “Excavation”, and it has a few “chapters”, Curiosity, and Betrayal, and a 2.5 that I can’t find, But I’d always been curious as to when the next chapters would show up, and, I believe they are. I believe this is the work that is happening right now.

It occurs to me now that “excavation” is not just, dig stuff up and get rid of it. It’s dig stuff up, examine it, and then get rid of it (or lay it aside, or hold it differently, etc.). And so, writing all these poems, I’ve recognized, is the examination. This is what these ancient pieces have to say; there’s a reason they don’t feel current, and that’s because they’re not. They’re like fossils of an ancient emotion or experience, and my work now is just recording them. Acknowledging they exist, validating the experience, and setting them aside with honor, but without the power of tyranny.

I find comfort in this realization; that I am “moving beyond” these old wounds and experiences. But, I actually have to process them (record them) as I excavate them, or else they still have a hold on me, they’re still unexamined, and therefore like the ghosts of souls who still have work left to do on this plane. By writing about them, I am finalizing the work of these experiences. By recording what was written in and on these fossils, I am laying them to a final rest. And so, “Excavation Chapter 3: Examination”, so that eventually, I may come to the next chapter, Freedom.