abundance · adulthood · integrity · maturity · progress · reality · recovery · responsibility · San Francisco · synchronicity · work

Breathing Room.

Sort of makes me wonder if there’s a room somewhere where
all people do is breathe? Maybe that’s called a meditation center. Or a
In any case… yesterday, the interior design company I’ve
been temping with these last few weeks (and on and off during the last year)
asked me if I’d like to come on with them for a temp gig for a full, firm 6
weeks (possibly 2 months, but 6 weeks firm)?
Of course, I said yes. !
This gives me 6 weeks to really have the mental space to
look for permanent work, while not freaking out about bills being paid or not.
I know, now, that I not only will have July rent paid (HUZZAH!), but I will
have August rent paid. I haven’t known if I’d have two months’ rent in a row in
a long time. I can’t tell you what a relief this is.
I noticed how much more I was breathing after I was asked
and after I accepted. I have a tendency to hold my breath, or breathe
shallowly, when I’m stressed out. Most people do, I think. I realize it’s not
only then though. Sometimes the muscles of my stomach are in contraction even
when I’m sitting by myself at this computer writing this – or at my breakfast
nook, writing my morning pages. Why on earth would I hold my breath, or be all
tied up when there’s nothing to stress about? I dunno.
But, I recall what was said at a meditation I went to a few
weeks ago, where the facilitator suggested we allow ourselves to have “abs of
jello.” People snickered, because really, we all probably are holding (well,
not maybe ALL) some sort of tension
around with us.
The way that I walked into work yesterday, and the way I walked out of
it were two vastly different ways of
being. I was angry – as you might have learned from yesterday’s blog – and all
bolted up in worry and fear. I did also leave the building at noon to head downtown to meet up with a group of folks for an hour, which was unbelievably helpful – and I
began to notice, then, the whole tightness of my belly thing – the not properly
breathing thing. I hadn’t been asked to stay on yet, but I began to notice that
I didn’t have to hold my body in freak-out mode.
When I was asked to stay on, if you could visualize that
metal bib they put on you at the dentist as a cape, and watch it fall to the
floor with a thud, then you’d know how I
felt. I felt acres lighter. It’s huge. It’s a big thing.
And… it means even more that I have to show up for this
position for what I’m being paid to do. It means getting to work on time,
basically, and not hanging out online that much. That’s cool. I mean, I set my
alarm for 6am yesterday in an attempt to get to work earlier (aka “on time”),
but didn’t make that. I snoozed til 6:30. So, this morning, I tried again. And
up at 6am as I was this morning, I might have to wake up earlier still to
ensure that I have the…breathing room… to do everything that I do in the
morning with more ease and less stress – a constant look at the clock – even in my
meditation feeling crushed by my awareness that it’s ten minutes I “don’t
Although I cringe at the thought of anything earlier than
6am, it’s really not that big a deal. I’ll gripe about it some – but the
benefits will be way worth it. I won’t hold my gut in as I write this in the
morning, or as I’m cooking my ubiquitous eggs.
It’s hard to not imagine that some of the work that I’m
doing around money isn’t related to this sudden
“windfall.” I’ve been in a limbo of not knowing whether I have work from week
to week and day to day for the last few months. And now, “suddenly,” I’m asked
to stay on for 6 weeks – 6 STABLE weeks?
I sent out those letters last week to former employers (see:
Bollocks) letting them know that I was a lousy employee and that I was trying
to do better. And in the intervening week, I have been trying to do better –
and think I’m progressing along those lines.
Also, it’s hard to imagine that my work of freeing myself
from “wrong” sources of power and validation (see: yesterday, and the entire
history of my life…) aren’t in some way influencing the curvature of this road.
Sure, it could all be “coincidence.” Nothing to do with
anything, but I don’t believe that, personally. But. Nor do I believe that I am
“rewarded” for “good” behavior (and thusly, punished for bad). I rather believe that as I let go of behaviors
which aren’t serving me, I’m more available for the good things the world has
to offer. Usually those things were available all along, but I’ve been too busy
peering down the dry well, begging it to be water, that I miss the river.
Whatever the cause and effect, or lack thereof, I’m
grateful. Hugely. I bought a (cute, but) cheapy new notebook for my morning
pages yesterday. I intend to take another look at how I planned to distribute
my funds this month. Because the truth is, even though I hadn’t planned or had
money in the item lines of entertainment, or notebooks, or toiletries – the
reality is that I spent money in them anyway.
Last night, I found a note from February when I was meeting with some
money folk, and there’s a huge note-to-self that says to be honest about my needs, so
that I don’t overspend.
This month, instead of having been honest about what I
really need, I wrote up a meager, scarce, and skeletal spending plan, and of
course I haven’t stuck to it. Be honest about my needs. They’re not
overwhelming, they’re not indulgent, they just are what they are.
And I can allow myself to own and take care of them, while I breathe into my abs of jello. 
San Francisco

In Other News

Nothing yet on the job front, but an interesting connection
was made this week. So I work for this interior design company now, or rather, I temp
with them, and currently, I’m organizing their massive book library. Friday, I
was cataloguing their catalogs 😉 and at around the same time, I was looking at
job listings at NYFA, an artsy job board. An auction house’s very furniture
catalog lay on the table in front of me as I sat looking at a their job listing
on the board.
That evening, I emailed the owner/boss of the interior
design firm, who knows that I’m looking for full-time work, and asked her what
her thoughts were around that particular company with whom she obviously is familiar, and if I could use her name
if I did apply to them.
She emailed me back and said of course I could use her name,
and that if I were interested in furniture, she could give me a reference to
three other auction houses, here and in New York.
I wrote her back just now, stating that I’m more interested (and
slightly more educated) in the visual art side of these companies (“although
furniture would be a welcome entrée”), and that I’m fully open to her
suggestions on how to proceed. Because I’m not entirely sure what “a
recommendation” meant – is that one for me to give to them, or to give to them
of me? Not sure. But… YES.
This would be a great
Yes. Sure, it’s admin work – or it might be – but it’s a potentially stable
position in a creative field, which would be lucrative enough to enable me to
pay my bills, my soon-to-come-due student loan payments, and the acting classes
that I now have my sights set on. That sounds like a Yes to me! 
We’ll see. We’ll always
see. I still dislike that – I still want to know upon which door to knock,
which one has the best chances, but unfortunately that information has been set
aside for more divine deities, and I just have to go around knocking on doors.
In fact, about a month ago, I went into the city, and
papered this one building of galleries with my resume. Most of them looked at
me like, Hey lady, we’re just barely hanging on to our own jobs here. A few
were friendly, but mostly, it was the cold shoulder. That said, I did go and
embarrassing as it was, hand people my resume with my most winning,
you-really-want-to-hire-me smile. No dice, but good experience.
Did you know there’s a degree now in arts administration.
That those folks who sit at the computers in galleries all day have a degree
for that? It seems to be that that’s something new – that it used to just be an
Art History degree and background could get you in, but apparently, there’s
And I’m glad for it. There’s a lot that goes into the business of being an artist, and
the business of being in the art world. But, it’s just another piece of paper I
don’t have.
The more I apply to teaching jobs, the less I want to do it!
But, that’s also NOMB – none of my business – and I’ll continue to apply to
stuff until I get work. Even after all that chatter I had about not
wanting to sit all day, now I’m back to applying to jobs where I’ll sit all
day. But, a) my back has gotten used to sedentary (even if my gut has preceded
its enthusiasm), and b) well, I guess until I teach again, I really have
nothing to say on it one way or another really. Is it something I want to do? I
have no idea. I have a ton of preconceived notions about a ton of things, and
one by one, those ideas get picked off. So, we’re back to “who knows,” and
“we’ll see.”
Next Sunday I’ll have an art modeling gig with my
friend/artist. I’m a little trepidatious about the muscular disintegration that
is my body at the moment, but, it’ll be what it’ll be. I’ll be with the temp
company through this week for sure, and likely through next week.
In other news, I got to dance last night. At my friend’s
wedding. It was a marvelous affair – gorgeous, and funny, and touching. And
fun. Or at least I had fun. I spun a few little kids around the dance floor,
coaxed my begrudging friend to come dance with me, and they had to drag me off
the dance floor when it was time to go home.
For the first wedding I’ve ever attended, the food was
great. No, just kidding (I mean it was). But, more importantly, it was epic for
these two people to get hitched, even though they’ve been together for 7 years.
It’s epic that two people make that commitment to each other, and it’s just
buoying and heart-flutter-making to be there to witness it. 
Congrats to Freather. May all your years together be [insert uncheesey, totally puck rock sentiment here.] With Love, M. 

authenticity · community · creativity · friendship · frustration · kindness · maturity · recovery · relationships · San Francisco · writing


Yesterday was a day off from work, as they needed the room
I’ve been stationed in, the library, so I got to experience a lot of loll and
gag. Less gag, more loll.
I still did spend
time in a library, peeling myself from my couch to go sit in the local library
and email and submit applications for higher education jobs. Here, Southern
California, New York City … Northern Florida. Throwing out the seeds and seeing
what sprouts.
I also got another book out of the library, and began to
notice a trend of mine over the last few months. The latest books I’ve read
have been:
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
I’ll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do) by Mark Greenside
Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine by Eric Weiner
Seriously, I’m Kidding…
by Ellen Degeneres
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
and now
Bossypants by Tina
As I was checking Tina Fey’s book out, I was able to connect
a few dots through the above list. Firstly, there are the books that are
about redemption – about people searching, seeking, going insane, going sane.
Mark Greenside’s book is more of a bridge to the other category, not being a
redemption, but certainly a “coming of age” (at 40) kind of an adventure. The other
category, of course, being the comedienne’s books.
Something about this strikes the right balance with me.
That, yes, I want to read about your harrowing walks through dark nights of the
soul and wilderness and Vegas (see : Man Seeks God), but I also want to read the levity, candor, and
strength of women in showbiz who are being pioneers in a
different way.
I’d never been one for non-fiction, and all the above are.
They’re all “memoirs.” I was raised picking up the library copies of my mom’s
Stephen King novels, and for most of my junior high and high school years, I’d
sit on the couch in the downstairs living room, engrossed in the psychological
and physical mystery of King’s characters and plot. Everyone would eventually
go up to bed, but I was too page-turned, and soon, it was late. And I was by
myself, reading Stephen King in the middle of the night.
This, was not an altogether pleasant experience, so I’d read
further, because if I closed the book, I’d have to turn off all the downstairs
lights, and walk upstairs in the dark with visions of deranged clowns lurking
in my peripheries. So, I read on, and then it’d be 2 or 3 or 4 in the morning,
and my eyes scratchy from being open so long, and I’d finally give up, too
exhausted to care if there were a rabid dog perched somewhere in the stairwell.
I’d climb up to bed, and fall in, too tired to be awake enough to contemplate
the darkness.
There were the years when I didn’t read anything at all,
really. I call these college.
No, (!) just kidding. But after college, I read nothing much
at all, or nothing that stands out. And I don’t really remember what I picked
up next, but it wasn’t that many years ago.
I remember when I first got sober, within the first year, I
went to see a movie at an indie theater in San Francisco. I had befriended a
group of people who were wonderful and hilarious and lovely, but none of whom wanted to see anything like what I was seeing that day. I enjoyed
the movie immensely, and when I walked out, I began to panic.
I’ll never have the kind of friends who’ll want to see
anything like this with me. No one has the kind of taste I have. I’ll be
destined to watch things and do things that interest me alone forever
Fatalism is not just a river in Egypt. Melodrama, the same.
I began to cry. Honestly.
I called the one woman I trusted, and sobbed to her on the
phone how alone I was, and that no one “got” me, and that I was too weird to
have friends.
She told me to come over to her house right then. I sobbed even
more that I didn’t know the San Francisco bus system, and I’d be stuck in Polk
Gulch forever.
So, she told me how to catch the Geary or the California
bus, and picked me up at a mutual spot, and fed me tea and calmed me down.
A few months later, I was outside my car with a group of
people. One of them I’d just met, and she looked into my backseat and saw a
book I had there (I honestly can’t remember what it was). She exclaimed with delight – she had been meaning to read
that book! How did I like it, what did I think? And I told her she could borrow
it when I was done.
It felt like a revelation, even though it was such a “small”
thing. I leant her the book. She leant me one. I began to form friendships with
people who had similar tastes and interests, and who would undoubtedly today
come with me to an indie movie theater.
It took time. It took
a lot of time. I have a friend now who is going through similar transitions and
longing for those kinds of connections, having been immersed in a relationship
involvement so that it’s been hard to make the kind of friends she wants. So, I
told her that story of the movie theater breakdown and the book-in-the-car new
At some point, I turned from the sci-fi, novel genre (though
The Illustrated Man sits on my shelf – moment of silence for Ray Bradbury, and his children’s room/lion story
that has never left my consciousness). Today, the books I read are not paths
into the mystery of the mind and the world, but out of them. (Though, someone once gave
me a copy of
The Power of Now,
and each time I tried to read it, I a) threw up a little in my mouth, and b) twice —
TWICE– simply threw the damn thing sputtering across the room – this
last time, just a few months ago. I’ve since given it away. Self-righteousness
in a “spiritual” teacher is an ugly characteristic.)
It’s just interesting to me to notice what I’ve been
attracted to lately. That it points to a change in course. I yoked a friend
of mine to driving up to Jeanette’s reading when she was in town a few months ago, and that
friend now has my copy – a friend of mine, wants to read something I’m
interested in too. A friend of mine is interested in the things I am too. And she’s not the only one. I’m
no longer bereft and alone on a street corner drowning in the electric whine of
MUNI wires and the stench of human misery.
Thank you, Brandie, for asking me about that book in my
community · intimacy · joy · love · relationships · respect · San Francisco · school

Going to the Chapel.

In an effort to hold myself accountable, I’ll here announce
that I have an art project to complete by this Saturday, for my friend’s
wedding. And… in an effort to be honest, I mean start and complete by Saturday. It’s all good – I’ve
already sketched it out, but theory and practice are disastrously different
This will be the first wedding I’ve ever attended. Somehow,
it’s just never happened that I’ve been around people who get married, or been
in the same state or country to attend. I did work with a catering company at a
few weddings last summer, but that’s not the same. Although, it did give me
some great perspective and insight into the whole rigamarole.
The first wedding I did was between two women, which was
pretty cool. But, I got to learn that you shouldn’t have speeches during
serving time at dinner, as people are really confused as to whether they should
eat or listen, and then the courses get backed up, and you’re removing plates
while people are speaking, which is hella awkward and earns more than a few pointed
I learned that if you’re having a sunset wedding in the
Sonoma hills that bugs will flock to and then drown in your water, champagne,
and wine glasses. I learned that before you blink, the whole thing is over.
This is not meant to be a diatribe on marriage or weddings, it’s just
observations – and a reminder to really be present for things like this – they
really are fleeting.
I decided that, personally, a set of anonymous towels was
not what I wanted to give this couple. I met the bride within the first year, I
think, of being in San Francisco. We met out front of a building where folks
like us gather for an hour, and I asked her for a light or a cigarette, or we
just both happened to be smoking out front, me feeling socially awkward as
We talked. And somehow, stars aligned, and we knew that we’d become really good friends. Nothing
momentous was said. No raw secrets were shared, or raucous joke exchanged. We
were just ourselves, nervous, anxious companions in the semi-dark on the
concrete steps to a massive warehouse-like building by the San Francisco Marina.
When I left, we exchanged a hug. We reflected later that
neither of us were a huggy bunch. We were, or at least I was, still much too guarded then, and hugging was restricted for the very few people I now was
beginning to consider friends. But, hug we did. And it was almost that
spontaneous act of mutual affection, an act neither of us typically allowed ourselves,
that sealed that something different was here. A friendship had been
formed in the 5 minutes it takes from lighting to filter.
More than 5 years ago now.
She’s part of the reason I went back to school. I watched
her quit her lucrative job as a store manager in a touristy spot in San
Francisco, and go back to school full time in an unusual major – or at least
completely unrelated to anything she’d been doing previously. I watched her
walk, even painfully, through the process, and in the middle of winter in 2010,
I sat on her couch – maybe it was our Christmas or New Years, or something
gathering. She cooked, we talked. I asked her why this major, how come, out of
everything in the world, she chose this?
She told me that it was a thread throughout her life. All
through her life, she noticed that she’d gravitated toward information around
this subject, she sort of watched herself nurture and feed this interest. That
phrase, a thread through my life, stuck
with me.
It was hard to imagine that someone with a lucrative and
stable job (with all the attendant mishigas of a lucrative and stable job)
would quit all that to go to school, and start nearly at the beginning of a
career. But she did. I admired her dearly for it.
And so, when, two months later, I found myself at a
crossroads in my own job world, I asked myself, What is my thread? It was
writing. I have poems that date to 2nd grade. It
was her conviction that she was insisting something to herself almost
unconsciously through her choices of hobby and interest and book perusal that
underlined that this was her arena. And so, I followed my own thread.
Because of the nature of life and distance, and full-time
schooling for us both, we don’t get to see one another often at all. It is her
I blame, full disclosure, for having hooked me on the horrifyingly ridiculous
and addictive Twilight book series –
that very night, actually back in 2010. Walking out toward the end of the
night, I glanced at her bookshelf – and there it is, the entire series. I
guffawed. I was stunned – attractive, intelligent, funny, generous, achingly cool, and
reads Twilight??
This couldn’t be right.
She asked me if I’d read it – I looked at her as if she’d
asked me if I enjoyed stepping in dog shit. No, I had not read them. Scoff,
scoff. (!) Then she gave me the first volume, and told me to try it.
And so I did. And damn her, if she hasn’t turned me into one
whom others scoff at. And I thank her for it. Cheesey, and melodramatic, and
angsty, she helped me to learn to not take myself too seriously, and to let
myself have uninhibited, puffy fun.
I am honored to be attending her wedding this weekend. I
have watched her and shared with her over the course of years, and the deep
affection that was tapped on that lonely concrete outcropping has murmured like
a brook under the surface of my life every day since. 
community · compassion · family · generosity · laughter · life · love · relationships · San Francisco · willingness

Modern Family

Yesterday could not have been more marvelous. Oh, San
Francisco friends ~ How I miss you!!! And how I don’t realize it until I see
Having lived in SF for almost 5 years before moving here to
Oakland, I had the (I can’t even think of the proper word – I don’t think I
know it) intensely fulfilling and soul-affirming opportunity to meet and grow with a pack of women. Many of my
desperately favorites were at my friend’s Memorial Day bbq event yesterday.
The feeling of guts relaxing, smiles expanding, hearts sighing, that’s how it was. I can’t stand it.
But I could, and I did. I was there, and present, and
helped, and talked, and listened, and laughed, and sun-baked (beneath a
generous layer of SPF), and hammocked, and cherry picked, and peach picked, and
dribbled little lines of peach juice down my chin, and made children laugh, and
they made me laugh, and caught up, and shared, and understood, and was
understood. Oh, this family gathering. This is my family, part of it anyway.
And how good it was to be back with them.
So many things have changed. The children are bigger. One is
moving to Japan. One got braces. One got certified. How many things change when
we aren’t looking – or in communication.
The phone works, sure. The bridge works, sure. But how me
and this particular group of women met, and shared, and grew, it was in person.
It was by witnessing monumental and incremental growth over weeks and weeks
which became years and years.
Yes, I’m feeling a little sappy. But I can’t help it. I love
them. And, they love me. This is a section of people who know me in a way few
do, who have witnessed my own growth and change, and who like me, accept me,
are fond of me. As I do them. What a miraculous gift. What a fucking gift.
I don’t know quite the solution. Does there need to be one?
The ache that I realize was there? I felt the same way when I went to a
workshop run by the same woman who hosted this barbeque – the workshop was in
January, and I arrived and saw two women I hadn’t seen in likely a year or
more, and again, my guts sank down from somewhere behind my ribs, where they’d been benignly pinching my
lungs and inhibiting my breathing, they sunk, phoom, back down to where they belong in the
grounding, rooted, centered calm.
It was at that workshop that I realized how much I missed them
all. This won’t be another diatribe on how I don’t feel connected to the East Bay as in the
“Exile” blog. I do feel connected, more
connected, than I had, with more women than I had. I feel friendships, and
activity partners, and women to share with. But. … I’ve only been here a year
and a half, almost two. That’s not 5. That’s not in the same way.
Things change. They must, and they have to. Can I change
with them? How do I balance? How do I maintain – or if change is necessary, not
“maintain,” then, but evolve? How do I evolve with the reality of distance?
Because I won’t always be here in the Bay. That much is
likely true. And what happens then? I have a dear friend who moved to Brooklyn
last year, and we speak on the phone maybe once every two months, with some smatterings
of texts, but we’re not nearly as close – this woman who was once as close as
my heart.
How do we do this?
I’m not sure. I know that I obviously missed these women
more than I knew. I missed the way I feel
when I’m around them – known and loved, exactly as I am, for who I am. Women
who know me well enough to jibe at me, laugh with me at myself, and poke into parts of me that need to
be poked for movement to happen. These are women… for christ’s sake, I can’t
stop gushing.
What now? If I’m aiming to be responsible and adult in my
life, to take action where I’ve taken none, to believe that no one is coming to
change or live or make my life for me – then, how do I incorporate this
knowledge? The knowledge that I want more of that – that I want those
connections kindled, or renewed?
I love my new friends – they are buoying me in ways they
don’t even know. But I miss my old friends. I miss so much of what’s happening.
Life is so damn short and quick, and things move so suddenly. Someone moves to
a new town. Someone to a new country. Someone is engaged, or married, or
pregnant. Someone is in a break-up or new relationship. Someone is changing
careers, or expanding a business, or taking a new class, or forming a girl’s
band (yes, that’s me and my friend with plans to jam with her drums and my bass,
here in the east bay).
I want. Terrible words. But, I do. I want – I want what I
had, but in the present. I want what I had yesterday – the gut-release, the
warm bath, the mild pleasant smirking at the familiarity of us all.
I want. In the present. And how. 

adulthood · authenticity · fear · honesty · progress · San Francisco · self-support · work

Sans Cape

For an unemployed person, I’m mighty busy, and double
booking, or booking right after another.
So, I was honest with the painter yesterday and simply
emailed her to tell her that I was feeling a little daunted at the thought of
modeling for 3 hours after working a full day – I’ve been so tired, guys,
normal people hours are weird – I almost
wrote “wired,” which I suppose they are too. My caffeine reduction experiment
tanked last week at the temp job with a return to 3 cups a day, but I’m trying
again, and yesterday was only two.
A friend of mine said, when I told her on Monday night that
I was thinking of canceling Tuesday’s modeling gig, that there was no way that
I could cancel with this woman, the artist, that I had made my commitment, and
that it was less than 24 hours notice, and that it would affect my
“reputation,” and that if I didn’t want to model ever again than it was fine for
me to cancel.
So, considering that this woman is someone I go to for
council in other matters, I took what she said, not to heart, but to left
ventricle maybe. But it didn’t sit well in my left ventricle. I am/was tired, and was not really going to be emotionally or
physically available to do what needed to be done. This date was set up over a
month ago, when I had no idea I’d be working 9-5 in SF. I went to sleep on
Monday night contemplating lying to the artist, and telling her that I had a
stomach issue, and couldn’t make it. Then, I let it go, and went to sleep.
I woke up, and decided to just be honest. So, I wrote the
artist an email, said obviously I made my commitment to her and would be there,
but was there another way.
You know what she said (of course you do), she said, NO
PROBLEM. “I’ll paint instead.” And we rescheduled for a weekend evening next
month. “No Problem.” Once again, I’m shown that when I’m 100% honest, it
usually goes better than I could have imagined. I tried my very best to let go of the results after I sent the email
yesterday morning – I brought all my modeling gear with me, and said to myself,
if I have to, I have to, and I will – … then I habitually, compulsively,
checked my inbox to see if there was a response. Then… I remembered that I was
“turning it over,” letting it go, and I was actually at another job that was
needing my attention.
And so it went for about 4 hours. I even left for
lunch. Ha! I even let myself take my little breaks and walk around downtown, to
relieve my poor spine of compression for a few non-sitting minutes. I let
myself take care of myself, basically, even though I didn’t know what “the
future held.” That’s sort of new. Usually, I’ll clamp down – I don’t know
what’s going on, what’s happening, what will happen, I better stay here, worry,
consume, agitate.
Nope. I took a walk. I wore a dress yesterday even, I think
I’ve worn it once since I bought it, and I looked nice. I looked presentable. I
looked Molly. Only nicer 😉
I come back from lunch, there’s an email from the artist,
and, I guess I spoiled the surprise already, but, NO PROBLEM. I can’t stress
enough what a relief that was. I was able to leave work and go to meet up with
some of my peeps for an hour, we even sat in some 15 minute meditation, which was
unexpected. I was able to come home, play with my cat, … attempt to get to bed
at a decent hour.
I haven’t told my friend who chastised me for considering
canceling that it all went well. I know that she’s human, and as another friend
said to me recently, We can only see as far for others as we can see for
ourselves. And, I “get” what she meant, that it’s not okay to cancel last
minute – or rather, it’s not ideal, but it had to be asked. So, I will have to
tell her – and maybe when I’m done with this set of work I’m doing with her,
I’ll move on – she is helpful in a lot of other ways, and again, she is human.
She has her own history, and beliefs and patterns. Whatever it meant to her to
arise such a virulent reaction, really doesn’t have much to do with me,
honestly. I’m glad I’m able to see what was mine, what was right for me, and do
what was right for “Human Molly,” not “Super Molly.” I may look good in tights,
but the cape is a little much.
One of the reasons I didn’t want to do the gig yesterday was
that I wanted to continue to apply for work in the evening. I didn’t do that yesterday – I sat
on my couch and read this book I’m reading. Man Seeks God. It’s actually hilarious, and informative. But one
thing that came up at my workshop on this past Saturday was my answer to my
question for the group – What, honestly, is your favorite creative block – or
put another way, what is your favorite thing to do instead of being creative?
In the past, I’ve written facebook, or t.v., but this time,
I think I got a little closer to the heart of it: Reading about other people’s
lives instead of living my own.
Yep, that pretty much fits about all the manifestations of
what I do instead of living my own – that’s what facebook provides, this book
I’m reading offers, it’s what t.v. or movies do. Let me witness someone else’s
life, instead of participating in mine.
Sure, there’s a time and place for it all – I’m not going
Luddite. But I’m glad to be more focusedly aware of what it is I’m doing when I
decide to read for 3 hours, instead of send out one resume.
That said, today, I commit to creating a teaching resume,
and sending out one job application.
I also commit to taking a spinal decompression walk. 😉 

community · family · forgiveness · love · maturity · recovery · San Francisco · willingness

Three’s Company

Best Laid Plans are luckily not always the best plans.
Overambitious as visits with family usually are, my brother Ben and I did not
get to see all of San Francisco in an hour and a half. He did say the sweetest
thing, as we swept back into the car off of Pier 39 on our way to Lombard
Street – that he came here to see me, not San Francisco.
My brother is 3 years younger than me, lives in New Jersey,
and is a highlight of my life. It was not always rainbows and puppy dogs between
us, but the last few years have seen a dramatic, but incremental shift toward
mutuality, trust, and love. It’s been one of the greatest gifts that I’ve
gotten, this renewal of our relationship on a basis of support and respect and
admiration – to get to know each other as adults, or as adult as we are, rather
than as two kids fighting each other for the crumbs of whatever there was
So, he and I got to briefly traipse around those tourist
spots, and then had to get to SFO to pick up our mom. Another relationship which
has formed and reformed many, many times. It’s in an iteration that neither of
us know, and so we’re sometimes formal, hoping not to cross boundaries or
offend, and we’re sometimes deep, treading carefully for the same reasons as
above. Mostly, we’re funny. Mostly, the three of us together is like an old
left-off conversation, dotted with movie references, and cackles of laughter –
though my brother chortles rather than cackles.
An old boyfriend of mine got to meet her once when she came
to visit me in San Francisco about 4 years ago. He said that we laugh the same.
I’m sure we’re many things the same – sometimes I catch the strangest sights of
myself, and am struck at how much that’s a “mom” move – reaching for a kitchen
cabinet, I see the hollow of my thin, graceful wrist, and it’s hers that I see
and remember. Sometimes it’s the way I click my fingers together when I’m
nervous or anxious. And sometimes, it’s strange things that I’ve picked up from
her, like when I was in college, cutting up chicken breasts in the kitchen, and
I started clucking at the chicken – and didn’t even notice it until my roommate
came it and laughed – this, is a mom move.
Irreverent, sensitive as all get out, brilliant, worried,
with a kind creamy center like the inside of a cadburry egg that you cradle so
you don’t crush it. That’s my mom, and also my brother and me. We each have
varying degrees of it, but we are apples not fallen far from the tree. And
however embarrassing it was growing up without cable or Nintendo, so that we
watched Fred & Ginger movies, and all the movie musicals, and The Marx
Brothers, so that no one our ages would get our references, we’re older now,
and people still may not get our references, but I can appreciate that we have
them at all.
A friend of mine told me maybe a year or more ago, how
distancing she felt that her father could really only communicate in quotes
from movies – that it wasn’t personal enough or intimate enough. I shared with
her my and my brother’s experience, and said, for me, now, it’s actually one of
the ways we do share intimacy – sharing
something, a witticism, with each other that we know the other will get, and so
we bond and revel in our commonalities.
My cell phone broke recently. In it were saved text messages
over the course of several years. I’m a hoarder of texts. One of the last that
I know I have saved in there is from my brother a few weeks ago: “Of course
your president is an actor – he has to look good on television.”
For those uninitiated, this is a Back to the Future quote, just one in the long continuous conversation
that my brother, and mom, and I get to share with each other across time and
We cannot be present in person with each other often. And
when we are, we’re all still learning how to relate in a way that is open
without overreaching, and fun without being superficial, among many more
balancing acts that all relationships aim to master, but likely never fully
achieve. We figured out that the last time the three of us were together was
about 3 or 4 years ago.
Last night, at dinner, which didn’t go “as planned,” as my
dad and his fiancé were stuck in the city and didn’t make it to the ceremony at
school, it went perfectly. It wasn’t as I’d planned, it was better. And the
three of us delighted in the bright, animated, multi-faceted, infinitely
tangential company of one another.
For all that has come before, for all that it took to get us
to that dinner table, for all that will continue to need to happen to help us
show up to tables like that with one another, I have a family whom I love, and
who love me dearly.
TODAY’S GRADUATION DAY! So, as Abe Lincoln said,
Be excellent to each other, and… PARTY ON DUDES!!!

change · compassion · forgiveness · fortitude · life · maturity · poetry · progress · recovery · San Francisco

Poetic Noise.

I was all set to write a blog about 7 years. How really when
someone is 6 years old, they’re beginning their 7th year of life.
How I’ve been here in the SF Bay Area 6 years to the day, and so I begin my 7th year in
the Bay. And how, further, and don’t quote me, that our cells are said to regenerate every 7 years – all of them – so that I am now beginning a set of 7. Any and all cells that I had in my body when I arrived in San Francisco
have absolutely been purged and regrown, replaced.
I think about this, and intended to write about all the
things that have changed in these 6 full years. About where I am not as I begin
my 7th – about how I feel it’s completely cosmically appropriate
that I stand ready to graduate from a Master’s program and contemplate a return
to the East Coast, and even maybe a career.
I wanted to list things like getting my teeth fixed, a
several-year process that I started here, after 10 years of having a few molars pulled
in high school but never replaced, which made me self conscious in photos,
though few others noticed (I certainly do now, as I smile entirely with every
ounce of my cheeks).
I was going to write about my return to art. About taking up the pencil after several years’ neglect and the first tentative and
judgmental sketches which I shoved away for another few years before warming up
and into myself – culminating in selling a painting last year – me?! of all people.
The last 6 years witnessed a return to the stage, auditions,
head shots, community plays. Two acting classes, and two performance poetry
classes, and some modeling to further my return to being present in my skin.
They also signaled a return to writing, the scribbled in
margins and the back of notebook hobby of mine. Who knew that beginning to post
my poems as Facebook notes for several years would morph into what it is now –
reading in public, (almost) owning my mantle of poet. 
I got a cat, for chrissake. Something I was loathe to do –
my first pet-able animal I’ve ever owned, and having her hasn’t make me a crazy cat
lady… so I’m told.
I put up curtains, set root in San Francisco, didn’t run
away, cut and run, shrink or hide. I’ve emerged slowly, shyly, tentatively,
reluctantly and painfully for sure.
I took guitar lessons and voice lessons. Which I dropped,
but the piano creeps in these days, sending crescendos of joy into my marrow.
For years, while I’ve been here, whenever someone told me
that they were in school full-time, I looked at them as though they were a
movie star, a little starry eyed and goofy and admiring, and said (I remember
so clearly), I envy people who do that – go to school fulltime. And now I’m one
of them. I forget that I really asked for this. I asked for it often and
As each of the cells on this corporeal form have dived their
swan song into the ether, I have changed. People sometimes use the term inwardly
– how literal it is here.
Yes, I intended to write my blog about that – about the
nature and surprise of continuing to beat a heart consistently for 7 years.
But I read my email before I came to write this, and there’s
some poetic noise in the interwebs about some highly public class tension that
occurred last night in the direction of a classmate, and I’m just sort of sad
about it.
We are all human. We are all trying to be free from
suffering and doing the best we can. 
How we act and react — teacher, student, classmate … parent, co-worker, acquaintance, dude who cut me off on the highway — is simply and ultimately the best we can offer for that day. We may not like it or approve – we may reprove ourselves for how we acted or reacted or neglected to act – but we also get to reflect and change what isn’t working for us, whether that’s our perspective or action. 
So mixed with the awe and gratitude I feel for not being the sloppy,
grubbing, manic splash of a young woman I was when I arrived in San Francisco 6
years ago today, I also feel a melancholy compassion for last night’s wounded artist (who
for all I know, may not be), and for the reality that we are all somewhere in the process of this perpetual
fun · San Francisco

"Summer Lovin’" is Putting it Mildly

So here’s how I see it: I get to REVEL in the marvelousness of this completely unseasonable
warm, sunny, vibrant climate-change-induced weather. But to make up for it,
I’ll practice conserving water? Deal?
I know it’s awful to
feel like this shadenfreude kind of feeling about the planet – getting off on
the poor withering and decimation of natural resources. However, I gotta tell
you – I probably haven’t felt this open-chested in years.
I. Love. The. Heat. I know Bay Areans are of mixed minds –
most of the locals love the fog and the temperate, mid-range, year-round
temperatures. I, however, can’t stand
that I feel like I never get the time to thaw out properly. This was especially
worse for me when living in SF, and despite my claims of woe-is-me about living
on this side of the bridge, the weather
is better.
See, the problem that no one else seems to think is a
problem is that the nice days tend to be COMPLETELY unpredictable. When I moved
here, everyone claimed to high heaven about the “Indian Summer,” i.e. the warmer months of September and October. But in my tenure here in the Bay, each year,
there’s maybe 3 days where it hits 80 or above, but those days are not in a
So, really, there’s no predictability,
and no sense, for me, of ease and comfort that comes with the knowledge that
“it’ll be hot this week.” Nope. Not my experience here. Sure, it gets warmer in
those months, but, nevertheless, even so, at 7pm, as soon as the sun hits the
water, the temperature drops radically, and we’re back to the whole “layering”
theme that San Franciscans seem to have learned at birth.
On the east coast, which is all the other experience I have
– well, in South Korea too, — there are seasons. Say it with me people – SEASONS. There are ENTIRE MONTHS when you
have the absolute knowledge that you will not need your winter coat. We call
this Summer. Not qualified Summer. Not Indian Summer. Not mythic summer. Just
damned Summer. We call it wearing tank tops INTO THE NIGHT. We call it warm summer
evenings, sitting out with a glass of iced anything, and the slight coolness just enough to warrant jeans, maybe, but you will NEVER need a jacket in August at
Perhaps this is a rant. But, I’m genuinely chagrined at the
unpredictable nature of weather here. I NEED time to defrost. To thaw out. I
need consistent time to sleep naked with just a sheet and all the windows open. I need to feel
that each and every last cell in my body has sloughed off its introverted
winter layer, and has come out to bask in the glorious healing power of the sun
– my very blood cells want to hoist on an inflatable duckie and high dive into
the glistening pool of hot.
In Judaism, there is a law. If there are two people in a
room, and one is cold, and the other is hot, the cold person gets the say on
changing the temperature – this is an old law, having been written when the
person who was cold was more likely to get sick and die, so it was a
preservation thing. But, I dig that law. I’m ALWAYS cold – unless, of course,
I’m not. Unless I really get to sink into the warmth and sun and gut-releasing,
lung-expanding breaths of sun-caked air. I personally really need the heat.
Furthermore, and I’ll wrap it up, for me, there is
something that feels so closed off about too much coldness. As I’m always on
the colder end of the spectrum, I spend a lot of my time “out” thinking of the
next warm place I’ll be, or just thinking “fuck, i’m cold.” In winter anywhere, you see people huddled into their
coats, marching as fast as possible to the next sanctuary of warmth – and to me, it
just feels so isolating. No one to nod hello to, no one to stop and chat with; you’re inverted, huddled, hurrying, and busy getting somewhere. Summer is quite
the opposite. You laze. You loll. You amble and stroll.
I know this unseasonably warm weather we’re having is just
another death knell of the planet. I realize that perhaps even the very next
generation will have zero concept of what seasons are, as the weather continues
to play “Gotcha!” on all of the coasts. But, I will gladly take an army shower, carry as many
reusable bags as I need to, and even… G-d help me – take public transit, if it
means I get to go outside today wearing a dress, flip flops, and the world’s
goofiest grin.