May 5, 2016

didja ever ramble

i work a lot at night because i don't like a lot of commotion around when i'm trying to do stuff right. so yeah, i'm up until about 1 most nights. i try to go to bed earlier, it just never happens. now that it's nice out i'll probably start going out to the deck to meditate. it's the only place i can. anyway, so tonight i'm doing what i'm doing most weeknights, taking information from one source and putting it into another source so i can make sure bills at the office are paid, people are paid, etc. i'm usually here with the cat. sometimes i put something dumb on tv, not something that requires a lot of visual attention. or more often, listen to music or an audible book. i usually start sometime around 9-ish, work until 12-ish, and relax for an hour doing whatever.... dancing around the house, yoga, meditating, blogging, imagining buying the ten acres behind us and getting a horse, admiring my kitchen, making tea.  anyway, i'm having to hustle because i've been away for more than a week.... checks and automatic deposits have been piling up.

~~~~~~patti shuffle: Farewell Reel~~~~
Obviously i'm listening to music tonight. It's been raining a lot here since I got home a few days ago, not much solace from saying goodbye to my spirit home at Spoutwood. So iTunes has Patti Smith on shuffle to make me feel better, or at least help make sense of things. When I'm old and senile (tomorrow, perhaps) I'm only going to speak in Patti quotes. "The children will rise strong and happy,  be sure." "We're only given as much as the heart can endure." "Ain't it strange?" shit like that. if i were a playwright I'd write a play with the whole script being Patti lyrics. Or maybe Bob Dylan....John Douglas and I did a cool coffee house thing where we typed up maybe a hundred scraps of Dylan lyrics. As we sat at a cafe table, we each took turns drawing a piece of lyric, read it in such a way that it seemed perfectly normal to say to your dining companion, "She's a hypnotist collector. You are a walking antique." Good times!

 ~~~~~patti shuffle: cartwheels~~~~
 Back to Patti. I often ask myself, "What would Patti do?"  Or, as I'm trying to make sense of something, sometimes just the right Patti song will come on. Here comes "Gloria" with all its swagger and rebelliousness. Totally sexy song: 'here she comes crawlin' up my stair." So what does that mean? I have no idea because i'm here typing instead of thinking on it but it could represent reckless action, but one that may have rewards. Then comes "Wing," about surrendering all for the sake of freedom. "i was a vision in another eye and i saw nothing no future at all... yet i was free.....". And she wants to share this with someone she loves.... And so on....

 Now this little game disturbs me a little, because in high school i had a truly crazy boyfriend who thought lyrics were telling him things about me; "lying.... cheatin.... hurtin.... that's all you seem to do." He, however, was taking lyrics literally and trying to make it about him. i guess it's not really the same thing....

 But now it's almost midnight and I can't make myself click over to the work screen. I glance at my progress and decide, it's enough.., and so is this.

May 3, 2016


"...Oh my land Oh my good
People don't be shy Weave the birth of harmony
With children's happy cries 

Hand in hand

We're dancing around In a freedom ring

Come on now Oh my land

Be a jubilee Come on girl

Come on boy Be a jubilee..."
Jubilee by Patti Smith

Trying to explain the Spoutwood experience to someone who hasn't lived it is like trying to describe things like the feelings you get when you fall in love, or when you look out at the sky and see the connections between the stars. 

For one thing, everyone's experience is different. 

Spoutwood's May Day Fairie Festival, for me, is a faecation. From Monday night to Monday morning, I'm in a whole different place with a whole different community. No ringing phone, Quickbooks backlog, confusing emails, insurance company rage, a growing frustration with having to depend on technology for every single thing, sometimes, boredom. At Spoutwood, I'm outside most of the day for a week. I've learned a lot and had way too much fun.

But for me, my favorite part of this faecation is the people. Too many of our relationships are fleeting, just enough to get through the event with a few pleasantries thrown in. Some of my dearest friends are from  Spoutwood, some I'd even call family. Stories abound of those who found love at Spoutwood, and come back every year to celebrate. We're from all over, and for some of us, it's the only time we get to see each other. For some of us, Spoutwood is a sharp contrast to what we do the rest of the year. I'm a practice manager most of the year, working in our family practice office, trying my best to keep up in a rapidly changing medical practice environment. But my bestie there on the right is an artist, the pretty woman in the middle is a shop owner (and an artist herself). We've watched kids, like Willa, go from toddler to adulthood. Of course, sadly, some old friends have passed away or just passed along. 
don't worry -- this happened the Thursday before Festival!
By Friday it was all gone.

Throughout the week and into the Festival weekend, we work hard, solve problems, hug, eat, walk up and down Frodo, run up and down Frodo, sleep, catch up on each other in bits and pieces, hug, answer questions, work in the Swap Shop, dance. We carry on thru any weather; it's all been done!!! 

It's a reunion that also happens to be a Festival. It's a reunion that happens to wear wings. 

Welcome to Spoutwood!

May 2, 2016

random restless thoughts.

post- fairie festival. i usually write about the festival. but i can't go there yet.

you know why. you imagine he knows why.
the daydreams of a lonely housewife
could create a decade's worth of soap operas.

Fran├žois Boucher Daydreaming

make sure them apples are ripe, she said.
and don't you already have enough at home?
yes, but these green ones taste so snappy, not too sweet.
why not have both.

like when you dream  you're naked in a room of fully clothed strangers
don't know what to say and it's soooo awkward.
not willing to make the first move.
so vulnerable.
better you play it coy.

the sterile hotel room swallowed her ideas and spat them out
"wrong!" it says. "now go think about something else!"
she was only dreaming.

April 25, 2016

She's probably One of those weird fairies that live out there in the holler

You can tell she is because she doesn't photograph well. The glamour doesn't make it in a photograph.

March 9, 2016

Spring fever, maybe

Maybe it's the monotony of gray and brown.
Maybe it's because people are so annoying.
Maybe it's because the insurance companies I have to deal with are driving me crazy, giving me wrinkles, making me tired. Press this number to be connected to that, get hung up on, wrong number, wrong person, wrong ID. Wrong diagnosis code. Wrong everything. Wrong place.
Maybe it's because what I do requires a lot of sitting, and I'm getting a tummy where I never had one before.
Maybe it's because I'm tired of people complaining all day and not doing something constructive about stuff themselves. It's easier to make a person sound stupid so you sound smart. Ok. Whatever. Don't try helping them; that actually takes effort.
Maybe it's because I hate tedious shit, minutiae, typing numbers from one place to other, adding them up, making sure they balance. God, I really really hate that. IT IS SO BORING.
Maybe it's because I see the people around me doing awesome shit, and here I am, in a fetal position on the couch because I'm either too fucking tired or too fucking frustrated to do anything else.
(I can't look at your book cover, sorry. It just reminds me that I haven't written anything in two weeks. Or was it three. I don't even know. I just know I have nothing left at the end of the day. Nothing.)
Then I feel guilty for working on something I actually like -- or I feel guilty for not being grateful for being able to afford the lifestyle that all this gets me. Or someone takes offense that I'm not happy for them, that I'm not happy all the time.
Maybe I just need to shut up.
I don't know.
I just know that some days I just feel like curling up into a ball. I also know that tomorrow I'll feel better.
Spring, please?

January 30, 2016

Fear of flying

I have what some would call an irrational fear of heights, acrophobia. I've had it since my oldest daughter was about 4. I remember the exact moment it hit me for the first time. I was probably around 23. My then-husband, Phoebe and I were at a dam, on the bridge going across the dam. It was a beautiful day and we were having a picnic. Jay was holding Phoebe, but I noticed he was standing a bit close to the edge of the bridge and I felt myself getting nervous, nervous that she would suddenly leap out his arms and plummet over the side of the bridge into the massive dam below. Ridiculous, right?
From NPS Grand Canyon website

My dad had the same problem. I'm not sure it was as severe as mine. I remember distinctly our trip to
the Grand Canyon when I was a teenager. I believe dad had to wait in the car rather than watch my sister and me start walking down the crooked, rocky path that hair-pinned its way down the canyon. We didn't even go that far. I remember the sheer joy of that place - the blue sky over that mighty crack in the earth, a river far below snaking its way through the canyon. The path was treacherous - one mistake at the wrong place, and surely it would all be over. I don't remember being afraid; I just remember the beauty of it all and the exertion upon climbing back up.

Johnstown's Incline Plane/Visit Johnstown photo
Apparently my father and I, and my middle sister Becky, shared a terrifying incident when the two of us sisters were very young. He loved to take us on hikes all through our young lives, at least until we got too snotty to admit we enjoyed them. When I was around 4, and Becky was 2, we lived in Johnstown, a gritty city surrounded by majestic hills, cliffs, and caves. On this particular day, he somehow got us onto a cliff and couldn't get us down. He only told me about this once, and that was enough to realize how truly horrible it must have been for him: his two tiny daughters perilously perched on a cliff with no seeming way to get down. The details of how he finally got us down
escape me, but I believe that incident has stuck in the back of my head, waiting to come out when I had my own small children to protect.

my picture
So now I am limited by this fear. And I have to admit, some of it is totally irrational. For example, after anticipating for months the Bruce Springsteen concert at the Verizon Center, I was chagrined when I realized our seats were in the Upper Concourse. As we were led to our seats, I felt the familiar vertigo, the churning of my stomach. I tried to breathe deeply, tell myself it was all in my head, that nothing bad could happen at a Bruce concert. I tried to imagine the tiny people I saw below, the dollhouse sized-stage set was actually a movie that I was watching. For two solid hours nothing helped. I tried meditating my way through Bruce's River set, pushing thoughts of crashing through the meager guard rail four rows ahead of me out of my head every time they popped up. But it was too much concentration for too little reward. For every good thought I had, I had 5 thoughts of falling. Unimaginable horrors became real:  the seats ahead of me became a solid, slippery surface that I would trip onto, and I'd slide, clinging like a cat to anything to slow me down, faster and faster until I went over the edge into a bloody mess as a horrified audience watched my descent. Or, a spin on a modern horror: a gunman, or maybe multiple gunmen, opening up on the audience, which would panic, rushing to the exits, and I would be the one pushed over the edge. I finally realized, into the third hour (yes, Bruce is still doing that!) I hadn't thought of falling in at least... oh, five minutes.

Photo from Wikimedia
So many other things: The first fight my husband and I had as a married couple was on our Masada, the ancient fort in Israel that sits atop a rock plateau. I've forgone at least several beautiful hikes, or ditched out; my poor husband has had to rescue me several times, when, unbeknown to me, a hike had taken us much higher than I was comfortable. He practically had to carry me off a mountain in the Canadian rockies when a path, up til then disguising the sheer drop with thick trees, we suddenly came upon a waterfall going straight down the cliff we had ascended.
honeymoon in Israel, when I refused to ride up the cable car to see

Jaco Transfers photo. Not me, but similar to the view I enjoyed
I am happy to say that I've conquered part of my fear, though it wasn't conscious, I wasn't trying. It just kind of evolved.  It's only when I'm "in charge" that my fear of falling overcomes me, In other words, airplanes don't bother me, in fact, I covet the window seat so I can enjoy the clouds, map out zipline and dangled there for a few minutes until I figured out how to get going again - and I marveled at the view of the far off ocean and the verdant canopy of trees beneath me rather than panicking.
the scene below. Incline planes and gondolas are fun! The really only horrible part of a zip line for me is waiting on top of the platform for my turn. In fact, a couple of years ago in Costa Rica, I got stuck in the middle of one of the longest, highest sections of a

I realize what some of my fear is, besides whatever primal fear was left from the experience with my dad. A crazy part of me actually wants to jump. Well, maybe not 'wants" to, but there is a sick curiosity of what it would feel like. We've all had those dreams where we're falling - and it feels pretty liberating, at least in the dream, and it's harmless, because we usually wake up before we land. I remember parasailing in Jamaica, the gentle currents guiding my wing far above the bay. I really felt like a bird and I want that. My head knows that if I jump I'll die, but something in my heart wants that soaring feeling.

Have I tried anything to cure my fear? No, not really. There's the part of me that's in every phobic, that my phobia is based on something real, and I'm the smart one for fearing it. Will I ever be like Jimmy Stewart in "Vertigo," forced to face my fear in the face of real danger? God I hope not. If I am, I will probably just.... jump.

November 29, 2015

getting older

I recently turned 60.
That just sounds wrong. I remember when my mom turned 60 and it wasn't that long ago. My sisters and I took all my parents' old movies of us kids and turned them into a VHS tape. On the other hand, maybe it was awhile ago.
I looked at my 38 year old daughter recently and reminded myself that when I was her age, I was pregnant with Willa. I looked at my 21 year old daughter and reminded myself that when I was her age, I was pregnant with Phoebe.
Also: turning 60 means I've been with Matt for half my life!