Saturday, February 28, 2009

comedy of error

another day, another anniversary.
on this date, i was flying. on this day, i was waking.
we cannot let go of anything. we can only let things find their place in us.
i wish i knew where to put these memories. what part of me can contain them? for they bring comfort for a moment before they cut. every memory - an emotion. slicing through me. struggling inside me. a wrestling body within a body. i want peace. i want to feel these struggling limbs within me lie still.

there is nothing reasonable about love. no rationale, no explanation suffices. there is only the waiting. for the rest to come. holding out for a day when i don't care.

i don't know what i regret more. what matters more to me? what holds me in this grip? this playing over and over and over and over... what has paid greater toll...?
the desire? or the uttering of it? or the not getting it?

or perhaps just the discomfort at acknowledging the pride i must let go of. to admit i made myself a fool.


fountains are exploding like fireworks in the cold sunshine. children are jumping up and down in excitement. throwing their hands up in what looks for all the world like exhaltation. squealing with delight. unabashed. no thought given to containing their spontaneity, their marvel. their wonder. the jets gush and dance in rainbows.


all i wanted was the chance to give love... to get to feel what others feel... to know what it's like... and in response to find the words that would make a home for the heart of another... so they would know... perhaps that is the unbearable thing... to know one cannot make magic... that to make love to the heart of another is only make believe...

or perhaps the unbearable is one's utter folly. the idiocy of the illusion that my feelings could make a difference.

so perhaps it is with shame that i should say, a year ago today i believed in a God of second chances...
i'm starting to wake up to just how ridiculous that was. what foolishness lay in my wishes. the butt of a joke of my own making. i guess i would've expected it'd seem funnier by now. but somehow, it doesn't make me feel like laughing.


line 'em up

jayne and i decide we want some fun. we haven't been out on the town in an age.

round one doesn't get the honour of a photograph. our way was barred from my venue of choice. i wanted to find my inner emmet honeycutt and plant my feet firmly in the present on the dancefloor with the twinkies and drag queens but tonight it's the Goscars and the staff are still setting up for a ticket only event, decked out in wingtip collars and blacktie. we move on.

i'm not willing to conclude that gin makes me morose but an otherwise fashionable alternative venue sends my mood down rather than up. an hour earlier i was hyped up and ready to embrace the night and now i'm feeling decidedly prickly. there are demons in my head and i wish they'd stayed at home. we move on again, this time to more colourful setting, with drinks to match. i came for fun and i'll be damned if i'm not going to get it. i shrug off the past at the door like a too heavy coat and inside our destination is less jammed than i've ever seen it. the credit crunch gives us a good spot at the bar with room for elbows.

round 2. poshmopolitans. i think the name a bit of mouthful but the taste matched. a kick ass combination of citrus vodka with chambord, fresh lime juice, cranberry and orange zest. it's all we can do not to down it in a one-er. holding a martini glass is akin to placing a pile of books on your head. it begs for some poise. so we drink as slowly as we can.

round 3 is an unexpected donation from a man doing a good impression of an id with legs, whose middle name must be lame. sex on the beach, (for us to share, since he is convinced we girls are more than 'close'.) i last drank this in 1991. he returns to his guest for the evening and we get on with having a good time.

round 4. i forego my usual rule of never drinking anything i don't know the ingredients of and we opt for the mystery house mix. one cranberry version. one apple. whatever it was it was vodka based and refreshing, but nothing to write home about. lacking in a certain kick.
we're enjoying the buzz and i'm glad of the buffer it creates when our friend mr id returns. turns out there's no such thing as a free drink after all. he laughs his way through homophobic 'jokes' with our barman, and since 'fairy boys' exist to be ridiculed, but perceived lesbians exist to decorate the pleasure garden of his mind, announces what he wants to do to me right then and there in the bar. it's all i can do not to openly gag on my drink. i pray for a miraculous growth spurt as i'd like to be a foot taller but it doesn't happen. i'm not laughing at him. i'm mentally castrating his tongue. finally he leaves and the barmen congratulate us on putting up with him as long as we did.

we need a round 5. so we repeat round 2 to go with our horrified laughter. wasn't quite the entertainment we'd be expecting, especially here in the Pink Quarter, but no matter.

it's been a long time since i've been out on the tear and while we didn't get to dance, we have a good laugh with our own company. which was exactly the mission. accomplished.


Friday, February 27, 2009

i don't want to cry again...

i'm not sure if i ever wrote about this...i might have given it passing mention before, but came across it today on iTunes shuffle and was glad of the reminder. of being 12. and of my brother. because he also remembers me at 12. and passed this my way in the first place. and who plays guitar in a style not unlike eirik glambek bøe, (on the left).
lovely reworking/ cover.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

lost in space... or finding ground

Paul has a gentle but provocative post over at his blog today. for me, it weaves well with conversations of late about silence, and simplicity and space... and has me thinking about what we are avoiding in ourselves when we seek words and people and noise and activity... the risk of finding oneself there is not knowing what will be revealed... what self we'll meet with... maybe the fear of finding we are lost.. adrift...rather than finding a self we want to care for with intention...

last night a friend recommended listening to david walliams' desert island discs on Radio 4, in which he speaks frankly about his relationship with aloneness. the show doesn't get put on the beeb iPlayer but it is being re-aired on friday, the 27th, at 9am(gmt). sounds like it's worth hearing - some great music mixed with surprisingly candid expression of feeling... expressing perhaps the tragedy that goes with the comedy i guess...
i lived in a similar vein in my old life... silence was abhorrent... it was this season three years ago now that i remember sitting for the first time in intentional silence - facing into the dark night... was a scary process, actively choosing silence and aloneness and experiencing the demons and ghosts that came to visit... i stopped watching television around the same time...

i'm not giving up anything for Lent.
i only have one glass of wine a week these days, so giving up alcohol, as others around me are doing, wouldn't even register on my radar. i've a history of denying myself consistent nourishment, especially when on my own or feeling anxious and so i have a policy of avoiding anything that looks like dieting or restricting my food intake in any shape or form. so i'm writing with fresh bread baking in the oven. not for virtue but bodymeetssoul care...sometimes carving spaces of silence is about breathing in, and finding nurture...

a friend said the other day she was considering quitting Facebook for Lent. that i can recommend. i did so about a month ago - admittedly for psychotherapeutic rather than spiritual reasons. although perhaps those things aren't much different most days. that action has created it's own form of silence but for the most part that's been a beneficial thing for me. it's hard to feel grounded by, or find the deeper meaning in relationships, in virtual reality. i've been enjoying a return to old fashioned email, knowing that i want to relate, not social network. perhaps one day i'll go back to it. but for now i can see just how much it had been serving unhealthy purposes in my world, triggering my anxieties and bringing unhealth, hurt and abuse of boundaries to my table.
creating a feeling that it was distorting and colouring actual being and relating in the world... if i felt like i became a doormat in 2008, then this year has been in large part about re-establishing trust and avoiding feeling used...sometimes carving spaces of silence is about breathing out, and finding freedom...

in past years i've taken Lent as an opportunity to take things on rather than give things up. but that too is something the silence has allowed space for me to already do. part of the 'getting myself back on solid ground' efforts has been a return to reading for pleasure. breathing in, and finding inspiration...

over on the SoF Observed blog someone recommended me Sarah Maitland's, a book of silence
i don't know if i'll be adding it to my reading list but it's encouraging to see the themes out there in the world helping others on similar journeys of self discovery and nurture. i keep thinking of Jean Vanier's interview on SoF and that line about 'being present to reality'. i've found that silence with the self brings that. it makes for hard silences and confused internal voices for sure, but i'm learning how to extend silence and space into a more centred way of being... allowing myself time and room to reflect and respond rather than freeze or react in fear... to run to my own rhythm. the things in life that need healing, don't just take doing the work, but time... breathing out and taking that time to feel one's feelings...

along with the Team Fury crew i've just started into Walter Brueggemann's Great Prayers of the Old Testament. makes for a refreshing change to be reading something theological. haven't done it in a while. i'm appreciating the phrase speech of the extreme he's using to describe the cry of natural (as opposed to liturgical) prayer...breathing in and finding wisdom...

during 2008 i read a truck load of books as i tried to tackle my ACoA-related issues head on. i've been turning my eyes to other themes and putting the stuff i found useful into some kind of practice (there's only so much one can read before you just have to get down and do the work). but as a sort of coda to all that reading, a friend came across and recommended an audiobook, Warming the Stone Child, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of
Women Who Run with the Wolves.
i had read that book several years back, and though it represented at the time a kind of feminist perspective that had limited resonance for me, i was intrigued enough by this audio-book to give it a try. i've given it a couple of listens and found it relatively helpful. i enjoyed her Jungian insights into the stories she tells. and if nothing else, it made for relaxing listening... breathing in and out, and finding healing...

in silence we give up choose a quiet cloak of nurture rather than the muteness of fear
makes for good change for me. not for virtue but for soul care. i'm starting to feel safer these days and finding my voice in a small, tight world... the edges and horizons expanding bit by bit. i am grateful for those in my life who respect how reluctant i am to extend trust... who with patience give me room and constancy in return for it. who understand that's no trivial thing for me. as i move towards significant change, all these small, so small, changes are building more solid ground... and bigger transformation seems something more like possible... i'm breathing easier.


trAsh Wednesday

tell me the stories of Jesus i long to hear...

when tom hanks' hair in the davinci code came under ridicule, his stylist for the film was quoted as saying that a character's hair, "tells a story"...

if that's true, then Christian Bale is telling me that, somewhere between Gethsemene and Golgotha, Jesus stopped off at a salon... Entertainment Weekly marks the beginning of Lent.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

i still remember

and so normal service resumes. or maybe not... for i don't know where to start, or end...

this is an anniversary week. filled with memories. i'm not sure where to put them...
there are things you need to cherish, because to regret them would be to regret being who you are...

Bon Anniversaire...


Thursday, February 19, 2009

only works if you work it

borrowing my housemate's laptop for an iFix...

creatively things have been fallow of late - actually, the last time i really felt like creating anything was decorating my Christmas tree, filling the house with warm light and creating handmade gift wrapping from all sorts of found stuff. i've been struggling to find my voice. afraid to express all that's been locked up inside me this past year and yet knowing that i need to let these things out... and to do so creatively. for that's what has helped in the past - that's where health is born. to let go of self-judgment and give oneself permission to put on the page or on canvas what one fears expressing... i feel like i'm relearning something i already learnt... makes me feel like an old dog. still, there's no past, no future, only today.

so i'm guessing i might need to get the paints out and make a mess on some paper... i'm itching to try some mixed media with fabric and paper and paint... play about a bit...

but for now i'll settle for choosing a nail polish to work with the purple streaks in my hair and experimenting with something i've not cooked before. necessary nourishments of a whole other kind...


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

musical things

by way of my brother, and a little on the weird side... Pattern is Movement. ewan assures me they are one of the best live acts he's ever seen and admits seeing them live is certainly the best way to get what they've got going on. apparently these folks started out as a Christian rap group. and are now quite popular with the gay 'Bear' community. (one look at 'em and it'll be obvious why).
ewan rarely ever makes a wrong move with his recommendations so i'm gonna give this my best shot.

when bringing me these offerings to broaden my musical horizon, he typically gives me a familiar starting point, something he knows i like... with andrew bird, "it's like rufus wainwright meets the frames". with pattern is movment it was, "think very baroque duke special". and i can hear divine comedy in there too.

via chris, comes the absolutely beautiful Float by Peter Broderick. i cannot believe this guy is only 21. this is pretty much guaranteed to please fans of Max Richter.

and Caesura from Helios continues to be a heavenly experience... i can't believe he could ever match Eingya but i think he may have pulled it off... do not pass through 2009 without this soundscape. beg, borrow or steal for it.
the burst of sound at 4minutes and 14 seconds into the second track causes a choke in my throat every time...


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

in the words of Bobby Vee,

take good care of my baby

i'm booked in with a genius today at the apple store. i've suffered that annoying cracked palm rest problem that plagued the late '07 edition MacBook. i've held off as long as possible but i've finally decided to get it fixed. so, despite there being two other MacBooks in the house to borrow and my own iPhone, colour me feeling jittery at not having my own baby for the next week to ten days... of course i realise now that i should have booked her in for this repair while i was on one of my therapeutic retreats in Tucson in the fall. that would have been sensible. ah, hindsight...

it's kind of like losing a limb.

still, the weird flu bug that knocked me off my feet for 24 hours seems to have passed its worst and i am back feeling relatively well again.

and yes, i've backed up. that's one mistake i'll not be making again.


Monday, February 16, 2009

feck this

bugger. i'm sick. i had the chance to honour and celebrate my dear friend, Mo, tonight and i hate that my body won't play along. i'm fine really. as long as i don't stand up. so i've been packed off to bed with a double dose of vitamin C and a cup of earl grey.

this little slice of NPR is keeping me company. this Andrew Bird guy is weird. but in a good way.


new tunage

recommended by my brother, who's judgment is always to be taken seriously, is Andrew Bird.

and i've just discovered that he's playing live on Morning Becomes Eclectic today.

i'm quite liking this

i fear i've caught some fluey thing. i. feel. like. crap.
so that's all for today. i'm meant to be speaking at a friend Mo's art opening in a couple of hours and i need to muster some energy.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

safe inside my 'phones, back to the days before

colour me finally getting to listen to mark koselek's ::7 songs:: ep - recorded live in the black box in belfast back in the days of my life...well, before... in november 2007 - one of the most breathtaking gigs i've ever witnessed. it's a beautiful recording and affirmation of just how good it was... that night's version of Carry Me Ohio has me stalled over the keys...

...'s still breathtaking painful beauty right up to the sudden cut of an end...

and colour me looking forward to hearing ::Finally:: - his recent covers compilation. ewan sent me straight to Send In The Clowns. if the rest of it is half as good as that it's gonna be a treasured addition to the collection...

there's a week's worth of stickly awkward and painful feelings to be written around...and my beloved bro had a pile of recommended stuff that's worth sharing but i think it'll have to wait. gonna nestle down into reliving that precious night, before sleep...

but while i'm here, i'll recommend jonathan demme's ::rachel getting married:: which i got to see tonight at qft. i could've seen this in tucson last fall but i felt an inner resistance. having seen it, i think i should learn to trust my gut. 'cause i'm glad i waited. i think if i'd seen it then i might never have made it home. it undid me. raw stuff this. at its centre is anne hathaway in a heartbreaking and remarkable portrayal.

Just when I'd stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours,
Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
Sure of my lines,
No one is there.

Don't you love farce?
My fault I fear.
I thought that you'd want what I want.
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don't bother, they're here...


Saturday, February 07, 2009


if you have time in your weekend, i recommend the company of Stephen Fry's Podgrams. see the audio list on this page.
Favourites are Wallpaper (on Oscar Wilde, recorded in Colorado, and a nice lesson in the basics of aestheticism) and Language (unsurprisingly enough, on language. fans of Fry and Laurie will get a good chuckle at a certain chess reference). Bored of the Dance had me in fits of chuckling, even as a Scot who likes dancing and wouldn't turn her nose up at stripping the willow.

it's deliciously enthusiastic and wonderfully ranting stuff... some are off-the-cuff musings, others more structured 'blessays'.
either way, they're perfect for pootling about to and for clearing out the head of invasive, prickly thoughts like a glorious flourishing sweep of a broom.


Friday, February 06, 2009

That Which Cannot Forget

"There are times....when we are in the midst of life - moments of confrontation with birth or death, or moments of beauty when nature or love is fully revealed, or moments of terrible loneliness - times when an awesome awareness comes upon us. It may come as deep inner stillness or as a rush of overflowing emotion. It may seem to come from beyond us, without any provocation, or from within us, evoked by music, or a sleeping child. If we open our hearts at such moments, creation reveals itself to us in all its unity and fullness. And when we return from such a moment of awareness, our hearts long to find some way to capture it in worlds forever, so that we can remain faithful to its higher truth... When my people search for a name to give to the truth we feel at those moments, we call it God, and when we capture that understanding in timeless poetry we call it praying..."

"There's an old Jewish story that says in the beginning God was everywhere and everything, a totality. But to make creation, God had to remove Himself from some part of the universe, so something besides himself could exist. He breathed in, and in the places where God withdrew, there creation exists. ... He watches. He rejoices. He weeps. He observes the moral drama of human life and gives meaning to it by caring passionately about us, and remembering."

"In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom, through the awful grace of God."

- from
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. italics my own.

i'm not sure to whom i'd recommend
The Sparrow... no... i would be cautious... the closing chapter made me feel (literally) faint with horror and i had to lie down...
but i will be thinking about it for much time to come... it's not the kind of story one will shake off easily...

perhaps wisdom is another name for remembering, or not forgetting... perhaps that is all God is, that which bears eternal witness to the beauty of love and the horror of brutality... i don't know if i find that comforting or awful... and perhaps that's the point... we can choose meaning, or not... either way, moments of love and moments of pain persist... and somehow we have to find a way to reconcile ourselves to that... and keep on keeping on...

the latest offering from Helios, Caesura (seehear at Boomkat) made for a good accompaniment to reading. (also available on iTunes.)


also recommended, Stephen Fry presents Oscar Wilde's short stories


rare beauty

we've not had snow or low temperatures like this since 1991. so used to a light of snow falling once a year and usually lying for only 24 hours at the most. but here at 300 ft above sea level, nestled at the foot of the mountains, it's not melted in 4 days. lots more fell yesterday and yet more is forecast to come at the weekend.
thick layers of snow, nuggets of ice falling from the branches, frozen lakes, the sound of crunching underfoot... the neighbourhood park was beautiful. brilliant sunshine reflected off the expanse of white under a blue clear sky...

in such a temperate, wet, coastal climate, days like these are made for enjoying for the rare treat they are...


Wednesday, February 04, 2009


don't really have anything to say today...

finished The Worst Hard Time - a powerful and compelling lesson in the ecological and human consequences of tampering with nature, (let alone destroying an entire eco-system.)

next up: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.
i am enjoying a return to reading - feels like a long time since i felt such easy pleasure in it.

i am feeling the walls closing in. heading for a few days to my soon-to-be-home, hoping to return with a moving plan. this has been a better week - stable and steady in pace. but i am ready for change. i have no idea what this new path will bring but it will be different. and that's as good a reason as any. i need things to be pedestrian for a while. for things to be present. i can no longer live in the past or in the future.

i've lived here for almost eight years. i always said, i wouldn't stay. there is sadness in leaving. there are people i will dearly miss seeing on a near daily basis. i expect i'll return here frequently and there will be likely be many days i will regret leaving them. but here is not where i want to be, even with such dear friends in it. so for better or worse, i'm moving on. with no idea at what lies ahead. i feel little or no excitement, or even thoughts of possibility or opportunity. just relief that things will be different in a different city.


Monday, February 02, 2009

days of toil and trouble

i picked this up in Nashville in the autumn, and now i've finally gotten around to reading it, i can't put it down... an absolutely riveting account of the primarily man-made causes of the 1930s Dust Bowl that swept the Great Plains, and their dire consequences...

details here on amazon



another day, another post. i'm gently pushing myself to stop here each day - some kind of defiance i think, to act against my instinct to give in to silence and isolation from the world...

in the early days of this year someone suggested by implication that the choice to not keep living might be a reasonable option... i don't think they meant it with full intent toward me, but they were careless abstract words of hard rationalism - far too careless for the place i was in, desperately needing a sense of meaning... a few days later someone else questioned the worth of me seeking out nurture amongst family at a time when i was in desperate need of it... more care-less and far less abstract words, meant (for whatever reason) to undermine my choice to seek help and presence and home where i find it hardest... something in me felt defiant of both... hard experiences both, but yet, something in me fought back... something in me got, for a moment, very angry... and kicked back at the darkness... slammed a metaphorical door shut and has little, if any, intent of ever opening it to either of them again... for both were speaking from a place in them that cannot speak compassion or love into moments of deep despair, despite knowing by my own confession i was in an extremely lost dark sea and struggling to keep my head above water... something rose unbidden to defend my life, my need for nurture... and that fight spoke to a strength i thought i had lost...

sometimes compassion for the self feels like an act of an unseen, unknown God, kicking back in harsh revolt...a fist of life...


i came across this by way of Shirley, so this comes with thanks to her for the headzup - a Guardian opinion piece from 4 years ago. but timeless and powerful stuff it is...

God is not the Pupper Master

this put words to something i find difficult to let past my lips...


sometimes we need to kick at the darkness, and sometimes the darkness itself seems bleeding with light... fissures cracking open... however it comes in, may it keep coming. thanks to those who are helping me see it, who are doing the work of defiance too... it's helping me. you know who you are, beloveds...

may we each find space to welcome ourselves saying, with however faltering or quiet a voice...

all will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well *


*Julian of Norwich

Sunday, February 01, 2009


must have turned some kind of corner...

this small, tight world is working better for me. these pages feel like a friend again. voice returning. i'm getting a little more used to the idea that i have not ceased to exist...

the carousel of regret still turns but it's spinning slower... and as i prepare to step off and into a new kind of living - starting on morsels that will become moments becoming hours then days into future that draws me magnetic, there's glimpses of shine... glinting sparks of life... flutterings of quiet hope... change is coming and i feel relief...

and i find i still believe that there's lips that don't need to betray out there waiting... one day you might find me... i only hope like me, you believe you don't need to hide forever... but perhaps you're slaying dragons of fear of your own... or perhaps you're tenderly holding a nest filled with wishes... you're out there... somewhere... perhaps you're trying out words of kindness without fear on those lips of yours... shaping yourself around them... trying courage on for size... being yourself in quiet moments when no one's looking... taking off your mask and feeling your face just like i do... wondering if it could be loved without complication, just as you are... standing at the sink imaging being welcomed without you having to front it... catching your eyes reflected in the mirror... you dare to dream someone could look through with love into you without you needing to be on defense... in silent corners your dare to hope that one day you'll be happy to be small and unimpressive and finally feel you're worthy of relating without pretense... we'll get along so well, you and i... you won't mind my bruises, nor i yours... we won't mind our own... i hope we find us... and if not, may we do more than exist with this life we've got... dear you... i believe you're out there... i hope we recognise each other... til then, i'm learning to look up without fear... but like you, i'm learning to be patient...