Saturday, January 31, 2009

Your Love


Your love made it safe for me to love.
Opened me to the
freedom at loves core.
Your love,
Embraced me.
Pierced me.
Healed me.
Your love taught me how to love.

Wanting You





I know the difference between a want and a need.
I need very little.
I want a lot.
I practice wanting less.
I want you.
Now.
So intensely it feels like a need.
I just can't settle down until I have you.
So I need you to come and give me some of your calm.
Nothing else is working.
I don't want to practice wanting you less.
I like the feeling.
But come soon anyway.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Loving Our Children

I've been contemplating Love--currently as it specifically relates to children. Recently I said to someone that the bottom line of what children need is love and if they get enough love, even with all else lacking, they will be okay. I mean this. I believe this. I wonder if it's true. So, I've been contemplating it more.

During this same conversation a couple of other people chimed in with "Children need more than you just saying "I love you" and "Children need boundaries". Of course this is also true. Parents give children love in many different ways and they need this, in order for the love to really get through and nourish them. Sometimes we love our children by setting boundaries for them. Sometimes we love ourselves by setting boundaries for our children. But what if a parent does not give their child appropriate boundaries (and who is the judge who deems whether the boundaries offered are appropriate or not) but gives them a lot of love in other ways? Again, I think that the bottom line with children doing well in life is the love they receive, in whatever form. A child who receives a lot of love but very few boundaries will certainly fare better than a child who receives very little love but a lot of boundaries.

And what boundaries are actually appropriate for a child? I've read a lot, raised my own children, and witnessed many different parenting styles...who is to say what boundaries (and to what extent) and how those boundaries are enforced, are and are not, appropriate? I'm not getting into that here because I have my style and you have yours and ultimately I think that whatever your parenting style is, your child will be fine if you give them lots of love.

I'm speaking generally here because I also believe that depending on the individual child, certain parenting styles are contraindicated and can really damage that child when that same parenting style with a child of a different temperament might do just fine--relatively speaking. But I will offer a few of my my personal beliefs that I feel strongly about: children need to hear the truth (to the extent that they can understand of course, but never be lied to); they need to have their questions answered honestly; they need to be trusted with a lot of personal freedom (some boundaries, yes of course); they need to be respected physically (touched frequently and never be hit).

So, how do we go about loving our children? Every parent does this differently and every child needs to have love expressed in a way that suits their individual characteristics and temperament so they can actually receive the love and experience the full value of the love that the parent is trying to offer. Like my one friend said, you can't just tell a child you love them and expect that that is all they need. Of course not. Some parents might rarely say the actual words "I love you" but are constantly and consistently giving their child love. Another parent might say "I love you" constantly but otherwise give them little else in the way of time and attention. Most parents love their children. Personally, I've never met a parent who didn't feel love in their heart for their child. But I've met many parents who are almost totally incapable of showing that love. When I worked as a drug and alcohol counselor and later as a domestic violence counselor, I saw some pretty awful parenting and I would come home and look at my kids and think, you guys have no clue how good you got it. Those times really helped my self-esteem in the parenting department. It's all relative. So when I say that all a child really needs is love, what I'm referring to is a love that is freely given and received. Usually this love will involve words of endearment, physical affection (such as touch, food, clothes and whatever makes the physical body comfortable), an abundance of time and attention that is focused on the child, and opportunities that are made available for the child, depending on a parent's means.

I've learned that one cannot both love and fear at the same time. People often think of hate as the opposite of love but my experience is that fear is the actual opposite of love. Fear blocks love. Love opens us and expands our possibilities. Fear closes us down and limits our options. Fear and love are intimately related because the more we open our hearts to love, the more the accumulated and unprocessed fear we hold inside is revealed and released to finally be dealt with. I notice this phenomena a lot in regards to parents and their children--the great love they have for their child seems to devolve into a base of fear. Parents so want to protect their children that they stop trusting the child's inner guidance system that allows them to take care of themselves. And children know what they need to grow into their healthy, authentic selves. Most children are more in touch with this inner guidance system than adults are. Especially children who have been well loved by their parents and afforded a lot of personal freedom. But even children who haven't been loved well will often be very connected, sometimes more so, to this inner guidance system--it's our foremost means of survival! Parents who raise their children with the assumption that they are their children's sole source of protection and survival have a skewed perception (in my own humble opinion).

There is a fine line here of course. This is a big bad world with lots of scary people and situations that a young child can get caught up in. That's one story anyway. But the truth of the matter is that at some point a child has to make it out in the world on their own and they need to be equipped with a fine tuned inner guidance system that they have learned to depend on so they can take care of themselves. Protective parents warm my heart. Over protective parents scare me just as much as negligent ones. Each parent needs to figure out for themselves where this fine line is and it's not easy. Each parent is going to do it differently and each child is going to have unique needs.

I have a lot of ideas about parenting and one of them is that I was a lousy parent overall. Truthfully, bad. That's my story. I loved my kids and I tried so hard to be a good parent. I failed miserably time and time again with them. Parenting is my biggest source of shame. I was only 16 years old when I started my parenting journey and I was emotionally wounded, immature, and unbalanced. I didn't really know how to take care of a child because I had never really been cared for properly myself. I was desperately seeking love and I thought that they would be a good source for giving and receiving it. I was both right and wrong. I loved my babies from the moment I conceived them and I've continued loving each and everyone of them into adulthood but I've made huge mistakes a long the way and my children have paid the price for those mistakes. I took my job as a parent seriously and tried to learn how to do it right but theoretical knowledge about how to raise kids is one thing and practically applying that knowledge is another. Add that to my own still gaping and bleeding childhood wounds that I was still carrying around when my kids were young and it didn't bod well for my parenting skills.

My good friends know how I feel about my parenting and the pain it still causes me to this day. They think I'm too hard on myself. Maybe. They tell me how they remember how dedicated I was to my parenting and remind me of all the ways I was a good parent. They think I take on too much of the blame for the things that went wrong--"There is another parent to add to this equation that you always seem to forget about, Adrienne." Yes, I know--my children all had fathers, of course. Father's that I chose, for better or for worse. And there was a lot of worse. I did not know how to pick men that were good partners to me or good fathers to my children back when I was having children so the struggles in those relationships were very intense. Those times were hard. Those times were fucking horrendous. But it's not all the fault of the fathers. I was a lousy mother of my own accord.

And I don't forget all the ways that I was a good mother. I was sweet and loving and quite awesome in many ways. I put a lot of and attention into my kids. Sometimes. Especially when they were little. I gave birth to them at home in my own bed. We slept in a family bed and I did extended nursing. I held them constantly as babies and fed them completely organic food, mostly what we grew in our own gardens. I rocked them and read to them for hours. I bathed their little bodies and braided their hair. I even sewed their clothes. But when they got older they overwhelmed me. There was too many of them and I was too poor and too focused on the misery of my relationships to focus properly on them. I was tired and angry and sad for too many years. It's just that I don't think all the good I gave was enough and the bad was too much. Simple as that. I did my best and my best wasn't good enough. Not for my standards. I'm just saying.

One thing that amazes me, and makes me sad and embarrassed and happy and comforts my heart all at the same time, is how awesome some parents are. How easy and naturally (relatively speaking) being a good parent comes to them. How easily being in love with their children they are. It's a beautiful thing and I thank god there are so many of them. So many of my friends are these types of parents. And then there are the ones who like me, have struggled immensely and we share this awful pain together and comfort one another.

In the end, I won't deny all the love I gave. I think my ability to love my children as well as I did came from how well I was loved as a child. My mother loved me. She wasn't a great parent but I always knew I was loved even if I didn't feel it. I wasn't understood. My needs were not met. My biological father was completely absent from my life and my step father was crazy as well as physically and emotionally abusive. My mother consistently abandoned me emotionally. I was her emotional care taker which meant I denied myself to take care of her needs. My mother was always physically present but otherwise she was pretty absence. She had lot of fear that she choose to give more energy to than she gave me. She had very little interest in me really. I think I bored her mostly. But through all this, it was somehow obvious that my mother felt a lot of love for me in her heart and that she wanted the best for me. She was fairly incapable of giving her love when I was younger (this improved when I was an adult) but I knew the love was there and that she wanted me to have a good life. She did her best but it wasn't all that great.

But I did receive a lot of unconditional love from my mother's parents. Both my grandfather and my grandmother loved and adored me. They understood me and saw me for who I really was. They loved the real me. In the love department, I attribute a lot of my ability to love and be who I am in this world today to my grandparents, Ivan and Mary Jane. They were my saving grace. Them, and the fact that I am simply who I am. Love incarnate. And I've always been fortunate enough to experience that to some extent or another--now, more than ever, in this lifetime at least. And I pray that my children will all come to realize that too.

Vibrators In The Bedroom

Mistress Matisse has a good article out in her Control Tower column from Seattle's alternative paper The Stranger. It's on the use of vibrators in the bedroom and is called No Bad Vibes.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What A Week!

What a week! Monday night was the Carolyn Wonderland concert and celebrating my friend, B.'s birthday. Tuesday morning was Obama's Inauguration and then Chico's Inaugural Ball on Tuesday night. After watching the celebrations surrounding our new president being sworn into office, D. and I went for a 9 mile bike ride and then spent the rest of the afternoon shopping for various items, (bed sheets, mop, etc. for me--clothes, red dishes etc. for her) We did a repeat on Wednesday afternoon and then in the evening my friend Kathy who lives in the mountains came to visit and met me at my office after I was done with clients for the night. Then we went out for a salad and a couple glasses of wine while H. was home enjoying some time with his lover. On Thursday I did more running around, this time with Kathy and we also went to visit my mom, who it turned out, wasn't having a very good day.


Jerry surprised us with tickets to see Jonathan Richmond on Thursday night, at Duffy's, the Irish Pub just a couple of blocks from our house. If you don't know who Jonathon Richmond is, he's the musician who played in the tree in Something About Mary. He is quirky and odd and totally awesome. He's a very talented poet and performer and he's married to the bar owner's daughter so we are fortunate to have him play in Chico quite often. That was a lot of fun, especially because it was Kathy's first experience of him and she adored him.

Friday morning I was up early preparing for our trip to San Francisco this weekend and I had so much to pull together before our 2:00 departure time...ha! I had a dentist appointment at 10:30 to get my permanent crown put on and that went well but took an exceptionally long time. Then I had a client a 1:00 and when I finished with her at 2:00 I still had to go to the bank, pack clothes, wash dishes (I can't stand coming home from a trip to a dirty house) and gather all those little extras together. We finally left at 4:00...

I'm digging our room here at the Serrano Kimpton on Taylor St., very close to Union Square and even though the free Internet in our room is dsl, the cable is long enough to reach our bed! Yes, I am definitely laying in bed as I write this post. After checking into our room we didn't have much time before we needed to take off to the Sundance Theatre in Japan Town to see Milk. The Sundance is a Green theatre, with a restaurant that serves alcohol and a Peet's coffee. You also pick the seats you want when you purchase your tickets. Very upscale place.

We are actually here in San Francisco to celebrate Lover Who Is My Lover's birthday with his wife and some other friends. They will all be arriving tomorrow but Jerry and I decided to come a day early to see Milk since it isn't playing in Chico yet. The funny thing is that tickets for the two of us were almost 30. and when you add the price of our room and parking for the night, we just put out 200. to see a movie. Ouch! Well, it will be nice to sleep in and already be in the city in the morning. We both love San Francisco and always enjoy spending time here. It's the city of my birth and the first place Jerry came when he left New Jersey when he was 18 and moved out to California to start a band.


Milk was exceptionally well done. Sean Penn did an incredible job playing the gay Harvey Milk. And it was fun seeing him kiss his gay lovers in the film too! I remember when Milk, as a city of San Francisco Supervisor, along with San Francisco Mayor, George Moscome were both assassinated by the just resigned Supervisor, Dave White. And then came his incredible Twinkie Defense! So crazy. So sad. And he served only 5 years in prison for their murders. It's apropos that we watched the movie in San Francisco, the city where this all came down. What really annoys me is that all this struggle for gay rights under Milk's leadership happened in the 70's (Milk was assassinated in 1978--that's over 30 years ago--almost 40 years since Milk became a leader in the gay rights movement) and here we are after all this time and Proposition 8 just passed! There are so many people still full of so much fear and hatred. It sickens me and hurts my heart.

What warms my heart and inspires me is Milk's commitment to come out of the closet and put himself on the line to fight for what he believed in. He encouraged gays to come out to their family and friends, to their neighbors and at their jobs. He realized that it was the only way to normalize their lives and he refused to live in fear of other's judgements. Powerful stuff that speaks to me personally.

Tomorrow we get to play! Happy Birthday to My Lover Who Is My Lover!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tomorrow Is Today

I'm laying in bed reflecting on yesterday. What a day! I thought I had to start work back at the college so I was up early and then out the door and on my way. When I walked into my office my boss said, "What are you doing here?" Oops. I was a week early. I felt pretty silly. "You should look at your semester calendar" she said. Yep, I suppose I should. She was kind and acknowledged that for some odd reason the semester was starting a week later than usual.

It didn't take me long to get over my embarrassment and into the excitement of having an extra week of vacation. But on the way home I realized that I was all alone for the inaugural celebration so I called a friend and got myself hooked up so I had a hand to hold for Obama's speech. Wow. Here we are folks, in 2009. Old is out, new is in. Happy New Year!

Last night was Chico's Inaugural Ball. Jerry, Pema, K., and I attended together. It was a special night. I was really happy to be celebrating with my community and those I love best. After nearly 8 months the inevitable happened... Lover who is not my lover was there. Something inside of me knew that when I finally connected with him again, it would be in a public place and I had wondered how I would respond. Since he is my friend and I love him, I had hoped I would respond with an open and generous heart but there was nothing I could do to prepare for that moment. I knew I would see him and it would happen--my emotions would do whatever they would do and I would respond accordingly. Fortunately they behaved well and dutifully submitted themselves to my authority as I immediately suppressed them. I did not close down and was happy to connect to the extent that was possible in such a setting. When I told Pema of my encounter she looked at me with that deeply penetrating and knowing look and asked me how I was. When someone knows the truth on that level it's dangerous--I felt the tears well up on their journey from my gut to my eyes. I halted them. For now I'm good, I told her. Tomorrow I will cry.

Tomorrow is today and it's a lovely one. I love my life.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Seize The Day!


OBAMA'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS:

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers ... our found fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

OBAMA SONG OFFICIAL VIDEO - Michael Franti and Spearhead

Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK


Today I celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day by reading his Letter From A Birmingham Jail.

Tomorrow we have a new president.
There is a lot to celebrate.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I Yearn For That


Basking in the sweetness.
Remembering
how you fill me.
In my mind.
Over and over again.
I yearn for that.
And breathe it in.
Loving you.
K.

Dog Love

I must have really needed a good cry today. Jerry and I took 3 of our grand children to the movies and we saw Hotel For Dogs. Now just for the record, I am not a big dog fan. Don't get me wrong. I don't dislike dogs and I have many dog friends via my human friends who love dogs. But I don't have a dog myself and I have no desire for an intimate relationship with one. So who would think that I would be crying during Hotel For Dogs, a movie made for children? Not only did I cry, I sobbed. Well, I wasn't really sobbing as in making audible noises so people in the theatre were actually noticing me. But I was crying, and crying and crying. I had tears running down my cheeks throughout at least half of the movie. For goodness sakes girlfriend, I said to myself. What on earth is going on for you? This is ridiculous. Nevertheless. Like I said, I must have really needed a good cry.

It wasn't the doggie dilemma that got me going in the movie. It was the human connection thing. What we humans go through in relationship whilst attempting to keep our hearts open and love. My heart is so open right now. I've been battling my fear and choosing love. Love is what I am. I know this. The more I know this, the more love I attract into my life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Am Blessed


I'm loving lots right now. Feeling my fear and choosing love instead. Missing lover who is not my lover. Thinking of contacting him. Not. Missing lover who is my lover. Waiting. Appreciating my sweet dear loving husband who is right here, loving me, always available. Thankful for my girlfriends who are right here with me. I cried tonight with them. That felt good. I have so much love in my life. So much good fortune. I'm opening. And opening more. I am blessed.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Religulous

Gillette has a good post to check out today. It's about Evangelists having sex and being good Christians as well as a bit about Bill Maher's film Religulous. I highly recommend it too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some Rumi

If you could untie your wings and free your soul of jealousy, you and everyone around you would fly up like doves.

When love first tasted the lips of being human it started singing.

I see my beauty in you...a mirror that cannot close its eyes...a moth caught in flame's allure...

There is a moon inside every human being. Learn to be companions with it.

Your soul has become an invisible bee. We don't see it working but there's the full honeycomb.

With life as short as a half taken breath, don't plant anything but love.

Sometimes I praise love, sometimes love praises me.

The flower of what is true opens in the face.

Love is a language that cannot be said or heard.

Sit with the essence inside love.

A little while alone in your room will prove more valuable...than anything else that could ever be given you.

When the heart has a friend like you, the universe cannot contain their pleasure.

--The Enlightened Rumi by Coleman Barks

Love and Fear

I've been contemplating love a lot these days. Jerry and I will be attending a Love Intensive in Ben Lomond during Valentine's Day weekend and I'm really looking forward to that. It's been too long since I've done an Intensive and I can really use a tune up.

I bought several books while on holiday. One of them is The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. It's a simple little book where he does a lot of repeating simple understandings about life, love and relationships. It also contains a lot of simple and powerful wisdom about love. He talks about how people live either on a Love Track or a Fear Track in relationship. I know this one. It's a constant choice. My experience in life has been that I can't love and fear at the same time. The thing is though, I find that the more I open to love in my life, the more fear I have to face. It's interesting. It's also scary and challenging. I've had a lot of fear programmed into me and it doesn't just slink away with its tail between its legs the more love and happiness I allow into my life. Rather, it seems to rear it's ugly head in defiance, continually enticing me with the opportunity to invest in its nonsense. It still traps me a lot.

It all comes back to being in relationship with real people. I can't love and control people at the same time. I either love people for who they are and the choices they make and choose to either be in relationship with them or not--or I take their choices personally and create unhappiness when they don't do what I want. I know that true happiness comes from within and when I allow my happiness to be based in the external (another) I am setting myself up for the fall. Yes, the fall. I know this fall intimately and have suffered many a bruise and broken bone in relationship.

I'm practicing living in the moment. Because the moment is where true happiness resides. My breath is the greatest tool I've found to keep me in anchored in the moment. Everything is perfect in the moment...mostly. The biggest challenge I've found with the moment is when I'm experiencing physical pain. It's very difficult for me to not resist the moment when the physical pain is intense. Fortunately, I haven't been experiencing much physical pain these days and relatively speaking, I suppose I haven't experienced much of it in my life. I'm grateful for that because I don't seem to do physical pain all that well.

I'm much more expert at emotional pain. Ha! Not that I do that well either. I've experienced a lot of it in my life for sure and I'm sick of it. It's self centered and self created and quite frankly, unattractive and pathetic. I know, I know. Compassion. Miguel Ruiz talks about our self-created pain in The Mastery of Love. He also talks about our self-created hell (our lives and relationships.) Been there. Done that. Don't like it. Want to be done with it. I've come a long way. I grew tired of living in an illusion of mind fuck nonsense. I'd rather live in heaven, thank you very much.

So today, I'm watching what is and breathing through it. I kinda feel like a drug addict who is in the 12-step program. Just for today...just for today I will not use another to project my fear onto. Just for today I will not create unhappiness in my life by taking another's choice personally. Just for today I will live in the moment and appreciate this incredible beauty that is my life.

One of the aspects of love that I've been contemplating is the difference between simply loving someone and being or falling in love with someone. The distinction I make is a blurry and spurious boundary/definition that I've created in order to keep up some illusion of safety. I feel grounded, powerful, and safe when I'm simply choosing to love someone. I feel vulnerable, needy, and fearful when I'm in love. My clarity (or confusion) on this matter seems to be related to the idea of choice/no choice. There is a contrast between the experience of loving someone as a conscious choice as opposed to the experience of being swept away on a wave of in loveness. Rather than choosing to love, it feels more like love chooses me and I try to just surrender it. Like I said, I'm confused with this notion. I feel in charge and in my power when I'm choosing to love but when I'm in love I'm more prone to neediness and becoming dependent on another to behave in a particular way which includes giving me a certain amount of time and attention that I need to be happy. The gist of this delusion about being in love is believing that my happiness comes from an external source and therefore it depends on another giving me what I want. When I'm choosing to love, I'm very much in touch with the source of my happiness as coming from within.

I'm pretty sure that what happens for me is that when my heart opens to greater and greater levels of love, and this love pours into my being, I get afraid. Why do I get afraid? I'm inexperienced at handling the full potentiality of love--similar to getting too high on pot for instance. The love seems to function as a light that shines on all my old patterns of relating where all this fear lives in hiding. The love light forces the fear to come out and be seen. The fear brings along attachment and I get this attachment all mixed up with love. I'm just a baby lover and I'm doing the best I can here. For me, being in love with someone is very connected to being attached to them. Attachment doesn't bode well for enlightenment or love relationships that are based on freedom and truth which is what I seek to create. And of course this brings me back to the illusion that my happiness is attached to another giving me what I want.

So just for today, just for this moment, I choose love over fear and I choose to breathe.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Life is a Dance

Yesterday we had a leisurely morning with B. and M. in San Luis Obispo. They have the biggest yoga bad I've ever seen and I rolled around on it a bunch before hanging from their back inverter machine. That was an awesome stretch. In the afternoon we headed out for the Elfin Forest and walked the wooden trail that overlooks the Mud Flats. That was and interesting and mellow place to hang. In the evening Jerry and I packed up and headed to Atascadero where my cousin lives. It's always so good for me to connect with my cousin. I love him so much. I've had a huge crush on him since I was a baby, or maybe it's better described as my being head over heels in love with him. He was almost eleven when I was born and we both spent lots of time with our grand parents. In fact, I lived with them until I was 6 years old and my cousin lived there for a while too and visited often when he didn't. We lost connect for awhile as adults and then several years ago we reconnected and I confessed to him how I had always been in love with him and he told me that he had always felt the same way about me. Aw, so sweet. Our grandparents were also the loves of our lives.

He took us out to Thai food for dinner and then we stayed up visiting until he had to leave for work (he works the night shift in the mental hospital.) We slept until he arrived home from work in the morning and visited some more over coffee until it was time for us to head home for Chico and time for him to crawl into bed for some sleep.

Jerry drove us all the way home and we arrived safe and sound after about 5 and a half hours. It was a pretty easy trip. After unpacking the car I went and visited my mommy who was doing really well and it soothed my heart to see her looking an feeling so good. I was gone 8 days and have been concerned about her but she seems to have taken my absence in stride.

It feels really good to be home and we just relaxed for the rest of the night. I put a little erotic slide show together from some pictures from our trip along with some others. That was fun.

Jerry is back to work tomorrow but I still have another week off. Very glad about that. Pema is coming by in the morning to walk in the park with me and I'm looking forward to seeing her.

I miss my lover who is my lover...

Here the a few more pics from the last of our holiday:
1. Bo and Milly's refrigerator art. This a a picture of Jerry's band Spark-n-Cinder, back in the old days. That's Jerry, second to the end on the right.
2. Bathroom window.
3. Bathroom art.
4. Bathroom Buddha.
5. Bathroom Ganesh
6. Prayer flags.
7. Refrigerator art. Obama
8. Refrigerator art. A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year--check out the lettering.
9. Me in the Elfin Forest at the Mud Flats.
10. Meeka, Bo and Milly's dog. Can you see her dreadlocks with beads?
11. Milly and Jerry.
12. My boots at the Mud Flats. Obviously not in the mud.
13. From my cousin's--Life is a dance to the music within you.















Saturday, January 10, 2009

More Holy Days

Drinking really yummy espresso that D. made me and now he is making oatmeal for breakfast. I'm looking out the window into the mountains of a beautiful, warm, sunny, Santa Barbara day. Last night we listened to the coyotes yipping from these mountains. Today we leave for San Luis Obispo to see my god daughter and our good friends Bona and Milly. D. and Ren are coming with us so it will be a little partay...soon our holiday will be winding down and it will be back home and and then soon, into back to work mode. No one is quite yet ready to let go.

Pictures from yesterday:
1. I love this bird flowers. See the bee?
2-5. The two great loves of my life. My sweethearts, Ren and Jerry.
6/7. Ren is addicted to yarn. If I saw her stash, which she was going to reveal to me but we got sidetracked, I think I might have deemed an intervention necessary.
8/9. Self portraits.
10/11. More moi via Ren.
12. Two Queen of Hearts, one from me and one from Ren. You must understand, when the Queen of Hearts ends up on top of the discard pile she is not being discarded. She is blessing the game and showing herself, ready for love.
13. Ren's new Naughty and Nice winged shirt from Lucky Brand store.
14. Check out the 4 jokers. This is a virgin hand.
15. Ren keeps score. I've gone from She to Hoar you can see. She actually was the Queen in this game. I admit it.
16. A sweet little altar
17. More cleavage.
















Friday, January 9, 2009

Spearhead - One Step Closer To You

Tonight it's Nasty. Michael Franti and Spearhead...One Step Closer To You. Dancing. Loving.

ISLAM For The Western Mind

I'm reading ISLAM--Understanding Muhammad and the Koran for the Western Mind by Richard Henry Drummond. I've been picking it up and putting it down for quite awhile and for some reason I keep forgetting what I've read so I don't really have much of a sense yet as to whether I like the book or not. But something that the author wrote that I do resonate with is one perspective on human nature.
"There is a great deal of quiet goodness in the world, among all peoples in all periods of history. This conviction is born partly of faith, partly of long observation and experience. This quiet goodness works in the midst of, and in spite of, the horrors of human mistreatment of others. It acts in slow but healing contravention of these horrors and puts the lie to theological doctrines of "total depravity." If such were not the case, I believe that our societies would explode en masse. I believe, in particular, that there is very much "quiet goodness" in the world of Islam, past and present, even as I make my appeals to both "them" and "us" for more honest and rigorous corporate and individual self-criticism.

Here Is What Is

Being nasty last night with Ren.

1. Scarf finished, all but felted. Will be domestic and to that today.

2. Self portrait.

3. The Queen of Hearts reveals herself.

4. Born to be wild. Only a few swigs of scotch, plus...

5. That turned out to be a fun hand. I discarded the fives and received all I needed.

6. Another aspect of self.

7. I turned off the flash and got a better view of Kokopeli.

8. My sweatshirt laying in the chair.

9. I am She. The Queen of Nasty.

10/11. A couple of the albums we were listening to last night. Lucinda Williams newest one, Honey. (The song posted from You Tube below is from this album. It's called Plans To Marry and Daniel Lanois, here is what is.