Tuesday, October 06, 2009

"Suzanne," by Leonard Cohen: it's where I'm at today

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you've always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you've touched her perfect body with your mind.

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said "All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them"
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you'll trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she's touched your perfect body with her mind.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A year to the day

I woke up this morning thinking about my neglected blog, knowing it had been about a year since I had posted anything, and thought, this morning I'll pour a nice cup o' joe and write a few words...

And, while uncanny, it's not surprising to me that it has been literally exactly one year since I've dusted this thing off and took it out for a spin. This week as the wee one has started school and the hubby was out of town and I had a long-overdue few days to myself, I have been able to do a bunch of the things I used to do all the time, that I haven't done all year. Of course I was sick as a dog for 3 of the days, but hey, at least I was alone, right?:
  • Mop my floors (they have been mopped, but I have not had the pleasure of mopping them. I love the smell of Murphy's Oil Soap.)
  • Work on my next story. I am hesistant to call it a book, but at pg 140 and still kicking, it's certainly not a haiku.
  • Sit up in bed at night and read (for pleasure; not for school)
  • Nap in the mornings, after the kidlets scamper off to school
  • Clean out my nail polish drawer (how many shades of red does one girl need?)
  • Save all my photos onto CD, freeing up room on the computer and bringing peace of mind (if there's a random computer crash, the pix are safe) (if the house catches fire, I just need to grab that one case and run)
  • Clean out my closet
  • Change car insurance
  • Wash the windows
  • Bleach all the white towels and sheets

Sounds like a lot for a week, but mostly it felt like puttering. The wee one helped with the windows and the mopping. She can wield a broom like nobody's bizniz. Plus you know how when you have this running internal to-do list, of I can't wait till things settle down and I can... Well, I did all of them, and am still gonna do thank-you notes and ofoto albums today, if I can.

What was I doing, pray tell, that prevented all these things?

I was finding myself, then losing myself, then finding myself again.
I was, as Michael Douglas said in Flirting with Disaster, having an experience.

"And by the way...w-w-why are you not wearing pants?"
"I had an experience, that's why."
"What do you mean?"
"I resisted at first, and then it evolved, and it continues to evolve for me."

That's sort of what's been happening.

On my good days, I think back fondly and with a lite smile call it an emotional rollercoaster.
On my bad days, I seethe with resentment and call it my own personal blair witch project.

Some days it feels like I let myself out of a cage last year, other days I feel like I was in one. Emotions are weird; unprocessed emotions are weirder. And I realize that I am one of those remedial ones that needs time to process. Tasks I bang out super-fast. I pay bills the moment they arrive, I don't miss deadlines, I, as they say, get 'er done. But feelings...I need time. I need to chew them around slow like a horse - you know when they do that thing that looks like they're chewing? They're thinking. They do it most when taking in new information. And to interrupt it interrupts their thought process. This year I kept trying to digest and someone kept poking their finger in my mouth -- made it difficult. I think they thought they were helping (not).

So now I can just sit and chew to my heart's content, and see that even though it was a rough year, a life-changing year, a momentous, difficult, joyous, necessary, delightful, magical year -- I can see that it's okay for it to be over. This October can be something more quiet and introspective and personal than last October. I can focus on my kids, and their halloween costumes, and on getting enough sleep, and decorating the house, and keeping up with old friends, replying to emails, concentrating on school (only 3 quarters left!), and on my own sometimes-precarious sanity.

They weren't kidding when they talked about fall being a time of change, of going within, of solitude and clarity and peace and homefires and a strange feeling of bittersweet contentment.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Back to School!

I'd better get me a little plaid skirt and some white kneesocks...

The letter came today (yes, again with the watched pot: the mail came while I was out running errands with the little one) --- they let me in! I'll be entering Antioch U winter quarter; it's their Bachelor completion program (BA/Psych). My patchwork-quilt of transcripts will have me entering with 112.5 credits, so I'm a little over halfway there...67.5 credits to go...BUT THEY LET ME IN! They like me! They really, really like me!

Oops...looking at the letter reminds me...I left the rest of the mail just sitting there in the mailbox all unwanted and sad. I'd better go get it.




Tuesday, September 30, 2008

big fat sigh of relief!

Jenni, you were right (rather, your Granny Spencer was) regarding the watched pot not boiling. Or the watched cell phone not ringing. The moment I let go, stopped obsessing (and you know I can obsess along with the best of 'em) and hopped in the shower, the mofo called me. I'm walking through the kitchen, hair in white towel-turban, other towel as strapless wraparound mini a-la the Go-Go's first album (minus the face masks) (what is it that I love so much about white towels? I still steal them from hotels and gyms; is that bad?) ANYWAY, I'm padding through the house to find me some clothes to put on, and BEEP! I hear my voicemail alert. I'm like, yeah, it's probably a wrong number, my mom, work, the dentist, anyone other than The Registrar. But guess what, it was her, and I called her back right away even though I had to move the towel to get my cell phone to my ear, and found out that 107.5 of my college credits will transfer!!! Add 5 to that from this biology class I'm taking this quarter, and I'm a mere 67.5 credits from my BA in Psychology...

Not that I've been accepted.

They probably won't let me in.

But IF I do decide to go for this, at least I know where I stand.

And can, quite possibly, get some sleep tonight......

Monday, September 29, 2008

cherry chapstick

Well! Now that I know I actually have at least one blog reader out there, maybe I'll be more inclined to post things. But the things that are on my mind right now are not at all appropriate for public consumption...

So how about I'll stick to the stuff I can share in print, since this is about as public as one can get.

10 hours till the offices at Current University of Choice open; I left a voicemail for the registrar today. And get this: her secretary called me back just to tell me she was out for the day.


More waiting.

So I just stare at my phone and my email, waiting.

Oh - and the mailbox.

I'm not at all in the now, except for these occasional run-ins where I am so focused it's scary, so there. Other than that, I'm not here. Like tonight: I got in my car, turned on my Blondie Live in Concert (1980) CD, and next thing I know, I'm pulling up in front of the house. (To quote David Byrne: How did I get here?). Now I'm sitting here watching my cursor blink, and replaying conversations in my head. My mind wanders......

Maybe I should just go to bed...daydream some more...but it's nighttime..."nightdream" isn't even a word -- maybe it's just so freakishly redundant, like "past history," that no one bothered make up a word for it. (I hope Miss Registrar from CUOC doesn't read this; she'll think I'm a nuthead. Do admissions offices google prospective students? I would. I totally would.)

People Magazine, you are amazing!

Have you seen the cover of this week's People? Clay Aiken: "Yes, I'm gay!"

How is this NEWS? Don't you have to be in, to come out?

What I want to find online and can't is the comedian who did the routine about George Michael's "coming out" --- "George Michael?? GAY??? No! Not the lead singer for Wham!" I guess you have to hear him do it; it's brilliant.

Also: Clay Aiken looks like a cross between Tea Leoni and David Duchovny, with the smallest bit of kd lang thrown in for good measure.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the latest

OK, so Miriam continues to delight me the most out of the four main characters. She is just so flippin' NUTS. We're on page 140; we have 10 completed chapters and bits and pieces of a few more. We have an end in mind but not on paper. We practiced writing a little synopsis and posted it on facebook just for kicks (no one has commented on it though, likely indicating it's as bad an idea as my inner critic tells me it is). The story seems at least moderately entertaining to me, but maybe that's just the flip side of hating your own writing more than anyone, is you also love it more than anyone. Anyway, here's the in-a-nutshell gist of the latest endeavor:

'Westport' is a tale of secrets kept, secrets spilled, things found out, and things never told. A tale of surprisingly intersecting lives as told by Abby, a pregnant teenage surfer girl; David, a seemingly average guy with a hidden penchant for various forms of escape; Veronica, turning 40 and falling fast down the rabbit hole of obsession and desperation (mental illness?) regarding her possible infertility; and Miriam, a pill-popping, chain-smoking nurse with a mean streak whose desire for peace and quiet lands her with a dead husband on page one. It's small-town living at its finest: you can only get away with so much for so long.

I don't know...maybe it's just me. But I'm enjoying it.

And then there's the school idea.

I decided it was long past time to finally complete the degree I left by the side of the road when I was but a wee lass...so I'm applying to {gulp} Universities, and have (as of Monday) officially gotten the science-requirement ball rolling and enrolled in an online class through the local comm coll: Bio125, AKA "The Survey of Human Diseases." It's spectacular so far. Who knew Memmler's The Human Body in Health and Disease 10th Edition could make such entertaining bedtime reading? Though I must say I've been having the strangest dreams this week, and am trying real hard to not self-diagnose.

My latest obsession: finding old pictures and posting them on facebook (1985 seems to be a year rife with snapshots from 10th grade lunchtime and I find myself weirdly sentimental -- mid-life crisis, anyone? Can I be pre-menopausal at 38? Or do I just need to up the St. John's Wort?)

All this while being a mom and a wife and working 40 hours a week at the best darn treatment center in the world, and my life is like, way super-full. The book might have to simmer away on the back-burner for a bit while I do the school thing. If I even get accepted to one (Will I? It's the question of the day, every day, and my sole reason for sprinting to the mailbox as soon as the mail jeep pulls away)...

So there's the skinny. I'm going to run out with this little one of mine and enjoy the last of this crisp autumnal Indian-Summer-with-a-hint-of-a-cold-front we're having up here in the Pacific NW.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Guess Who's Writing Again?

Yes, dahlings, we are about 35 pages in to the most interesting little tale...so far all I really have are 4 VERY ODD characters (whom I love) and their deep dark secrets, which are interwoven and about to come boiling and screaming to the surface! Fun!

If anyone remembers Miriam, the crazy nurse from early drafts of Beachglass, she's baaaack... and crazier than ever. My favorite line describing her so far? "As if Miriam weren’t unattractive enough already, she had a frown on her face when she returned. A single thought in Veronica’s head: Where The Wild Things Are. If Maurice Sendak had drawn a nurse, this would be her." Oh, she's ugly and crazy -- and she's guilty of things we can't even begin to imagine. Not even me. I sit down to write, and every time, she takes a left and totally surprises me with how warped she is.

Stay tuned...