Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I’ll tell you when you’re older.

You know how frustrating that answer was to us as children. I feel like that’s the answer I’m getting now. In mild-to-moderate panic about the end of school in May, what I’ll be doing then, what I want to do, and where I want to do it, I’ve been knocking on the Universe’s door, being like, HEY! Throw me a bone here, eh??

Trouble is, the damned Universe has been throwing me a bone. I just don’t like the taste.

I’ve written here before that it’s been indicated to me via multiple meditations that I need to do this work on untangling past sexual trauma before I can move forward, before I can get any further information.

This, makes me mad. Frustrated. Besides the fact that when that information was once again given to me in a meditation about 2 weeks ago, I kicked that information in the shins. I had a right ole’ tantrum about it. WHY?? (She asks again…) Why do I have to do this shit – this uncomfortable, vulnerable, honest, and sad shit. I. don't. want. to. feel. this. I don't want to feel sad. I don't want to acknowledge that I am. I don't want to do this. 

I phoned a friend of mine who knows me well and who had done EMDR for a whole year before, and I expressed my frustration. I also told her that this trauma/funky relationship with my sexuality and femininity is kicking me back... She said that I could take all the acting classes I wanted, all the music lessons, and painting classes, but that THIS was the real work. That this, doing this work within myself and with the help of Team Molly, is how I will move forward, and enable any of the rest of that stuff to enter my life, and inhabit it in the way that I really need, and in fact, want, to.

I pout. I say that being sad is for pussies, and I should be over this shit, or rather that so many other people are walking around psychicly limping, how come I have to actually do the work? No fair. >:(

And, yet. I know she's right. Later in that conversation I told her, I do have a choice. This is a choice that I’m making to work through this. Not to “get over it.” To discount it, or to continue to walk as a wounded antelope. My sexuality began wearing a heavy cloak of shame, guilt, fear, and pain almost 20 years ago. I don’t really even know what it looks like anymore. And so, that’s what I’m doing.

I have a vision I sometimes use of a table at which all my disparate parts of self sit. There’s me at the head, and the smart girl, the baker, the Vixen (who is not the same as my sexuality), there’s the goofball, the artist, and sadness who is a recent invite to the table – now that I don’t believe she’ll infect everyone with her sadness. There’s gentility. All of these parts of me and more sit at the table, and I’ve been gathering them from the far corners for a few years, and there are too those who were never banished from the table or had to hide or escape.

Then, there’s sexuality. Mired in her leaden cloak, like the kind you wear in the dental office when taking x-rays. I didn’t actually know until recently that all those emotions she’s wearing are not a legitimate part of her. That shame and sexuality are in fact mutually exclusive, and that … they can part ways.

She’s somewhere outside of the house where the table is at the moment. Somewhere in the woods perhaps, in this sodden cloak, which she is now, I am now recognizing is removable.

I look forward to meeting her. I imagine that she has a lot to teach me and show me. I told another person recently that I believe that eventually she’ll sit on my right side up at the head of the table – she’s that important and that potent. That does not mean that there’ll be rampant sex – that’s much of what saddled her in guilt and shame to begin with – but that the power that comes from owning my body as well as my voice. The power that comes from owning my boundaries and my needs - and really really speaking up for them. The power that will come with the kindness and mutuality and trust. The power that comes from sexuality’s creative bent.

The chakra that is associated with creation is located in the area of the reproductive organs. This area produces life in the literal sense, and life in the metaphoric sense. This is a way in which I have been cut off from my own ability to create, to own voice, to know what the fuck I’m supposed to do with my life, now, after May, hereafter. Of course I can’t know yet. All the information is still tucked away in this miasma of trauma and grief.

So, as I was once again informed this morning in my meditation upon asking, “BUT WAIT!! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO??? WHAT DO I NEED TO DO NEXT TO MOVE FORWARD??”, I need to do exactly what I’m doing: feel sad, have tantrums, cry in my bathrobe, watch Pixar's entire catalogue, listen to friends, admit what's really going on, and to let myself become fully and usefully whole. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 29th

My parents married on February 29th of 1976. This day of the year comes only once every 4 years, and true to their oddball senses of humor, they thought it would be funny to marry on the leap year day.

It’s been on my mind, as I know that Feb 29th is coming around again this year in a few days, and … sort of cosmically, my childhood home, their home while they were married, goes on the market this weekend.

You know, I’m sure my Dad didn’t plan it this way – he’s not much of a cosmic guy – but, I see it as pretty “full circle” in some ways. A sad one, but I’m happy for the people who will get to enjoy that home next. It, for all that it harbored, is a great home.

Most suburban sprawl children grow up feeling like there’s got to be something better than this po-dunk town. Or, at least, the teenagers think that – we did, I did. But as a kid, actually, it was pretty great. A number of parks in walking or biking distance. Everyone rode a bike, and it was around the time they began to institute the “must wear a helmet” law, and so everyone had some graphic neon print on theirs – or at least I did. Hey, it was the 80s.

There were supersoakers in the summer, and a fire in our fireplace in the winter. For all its hardship, this was a wonderful place to grow up.

Sure, we got antsy, and angsty the older we got. And we spent many many an afternoon as mallrats, being dropped off and picked up by our parents via a call from the nearest payphone. We would posture and stand outside the mall. We would walk it’s many corridors – we knew it back and forward, and could tell you the fastest way to get to the food court. We rarely bought anything. If anything, we would shoplift a bit. Or at least I did. I still owe some financial amends to a Junior’s department!

And then we’d be at someone's home, their sunken living room with the enormous box t.v. At a friend’s who had cable and this marvelous thing called Nickelodeon and MTV.

Back at my home, there was the “secret passage way” to my best friend’s house next door that my brother never figured out was just a path through the pachysandra, and would beg to know the secret.

We’d, my best friend and I, block out the sunlight in my parents room and play "blind man’s bluff" with my brother, which was an awful game in which we covered him with a blanket, spun him around, and then he had to find us in the semi-dark. The bed was out-of-bounds, and you couldn’t go on it to escape him, but we did. And more than once, we spun him around so far that his first step forward was into the nearest wall. …!

I spent hours in my room, later as a stoned or drunk person, doing little projects around my room. Creating a collage around the doorframe. Whittling down this enormous candle with designs and indentations. There was the time when the sort of cream, sort of yellow carpet began to swirl into different faces and shapes on one particular evening.

When my friend and I would spill glue or paint onto the carpet as little girls, we would use scissors to cut it out, so no one would know.

The attic was always a scary place filled with junk and treasures. Cascades of ribbons and wrapping paper – the only reason I ever went up there -- and would see in the periphery furniture, a bird cage, and that pink insulation stuffing that I once got all over me and the little glass pieces made me itch, and I had to sit in a bath of calamine lotion.

There were the number of times I puked in that house as a sick young girl. The times I listened to my brother playing our grandfather’s piano, and when I was doing homework and asked him to stop, he always had to play those last few notes.

There was my dad trying so hard to help me with my math homework, but him always being a frustrated teacher, and me becoming a frustrated student, and fireworks and yelling would ensue.

There was my mom and I using my spelling list in second grade to create magical stories that used all the words, and I’d get little red ink stars on all my spelling homework.

There was my first kiss. :) When I was 11, and my mom’s best friend came over from Switzerland with her family (though she too was from Brooklyn), and she had a daughter who was 16 (tres glamourous to me at 11), and a son who was 14. Erik. Tall, Blue Eyes, Blond Hair. Accent. And he told me I was beautiful. When with my bottle glasses and frizzy hair, I’d decided already I wasn’t. In the dim evening in my mom's office, on the worn blue carpet, after chatting giddily and eagerly, he kissed me.

177 Woodland Ave., River Edge, New Jersey, was my address from 3 – 24 years of age, with it being my fallback location until this past fall. It was a dream house when they bought it, and it will be a dreamhouse for its next inhabitants, and their mall-lurking, supersoaker toting children.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Yesterday, during meditation, I began to notice that I’m alive. Now, before you scoff, it was more I sort of sensed whatever it was, that spark of life within me, that is not in a fire hydrant or end table. That mystical, magical thing that happens only for us, that rides on our blood cells and sends messages to synapses and invents thought, hormones, and waste.

Anima, is what this is. The life property of us living things.

It wasn’t as if I sensed my soul in that sense of the meaning, but more, that simply I was aware that -hot dog!- this is being “alive.” I found this interesting, this unique "blessing," perhaps. To just notice that there is something in me, as in you, that is not in everything.

Later that day, I found out that a friend of mine overdosed on drugs, and died this weekend.

At the moment, it felt simply like shock, indignation, and anger. I am believer in a Higher Power, and an order to the Universe, or something like that – although my understanding and relationship to that power changes and evolves, like most relationships. However, this this felt abnormally cruel.

He was my age, 30ish. Tall, blue eyes, light hair. Handsome. I had a crush on him.

Granted it was a from-a-distance crush, because I knew the struggle he was having with staying sober for the year plus that I’ve known him.

When I got sober, I was told to buy something black – the men told to buy a suit – as we were going to be attending a lot of funerals. (That’s not “recovery”’s position on the matter; it’s just the half joke/half not of some people in it.)

When I was a few months sober, someone I’d been peripherally running around with being wild and crazy and ISN’T LIFE GREAT WHEN YOU’RE NOT PUKING AND BLACKING OUT ANYMORE?!, well, I found out that he’d walked off a cliff one night on purpose.

A girl I know died last year, and a lot of folks I know were affected by her death.

But, for me, this one has come the closest to home. I sat in the same room with this kid almost weekly for over a year. I heard his dry humor, and his despair, his attempts, his hope, and his … anima. I heard his life. We all did. And now, he’s dead.

My emotions of shock were sent in a sentence up to G-d: What The Fuck.

Sure, I do believe in the order of things, and that “things happen for a reason,” but I’ll tell you, believe that though I do and may, this happened to be a great way to shake that conviction. But moreso, I feel indignant and righteously angry and my firm belief in a kind Universe. I know it sounds antithetical, but really, I have no other choice.

I, like many people I know, have no other choice than but to believe in some cosmic goodness – to me it is a goodness. And, sure, I can choose not to believe. I can choose to say that this world is fucked, and aimless, and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, and there’s no reason or order or lesson or anything. Cold, inanimate life.

But. I don’t believe that. And, really, it’s not because I must, it’s because I do. I simply do.

And, so then, how to “reconcile” at all the tragedy of the loss of a … how can you describe a person in a word?

I cannot reconcile the loss and my worldview. And often my worldview is replete with paradox, and for now, today, I will hold them both. I will be furious and mystified at the shortened life of my friend. And, I will continue to scrape the residue of that which covers my own anima – because I do also believe that whenever the light is turned on in one person, the whole world is lightened because of it.

And though I still don’t feel that this is now some cosmic balance of we now all get to improve ourselves and not take life for granted and all that bullshit, … well, what else can we do?

Dear Aaron, I'm sorry I didn't offer to lend you the two dollars you needed when you were on line behind me at the grocery store last week. I wish I had. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dr Palm Reader

I am currently trying to convince my body that decaf coffee is just as wonderful as regular coffee.

For anyone who knows me, or shares this wonderful love affair with the warm caffeinated beverage, you know this a difficult task. In fact, liquid tranquility was once how I put it – despite it’s technical opposite affect on our bodies.

Why, then, you may ask? Is this a further foray into asceticism or self-denial or militant straight-edgyness?

It’s because of my feet.

Well, it’s more because of my pelvis. Well, it’s more because of my jaw. Oh wait, it’s a global problem with my body.

True to the magnificent nature of coincidence in this Universe, I walked into a conversation between two girl friends of mine about two weeks ago. I forget what brought it about, but one of the women mentioned her chiropractor. When I added in that I’ve been clenching my jaw at night pretty severely, she handed me his card. Apparently, he’s not the pop and crack kind, and is very holistic to all the body’s needs – which is good, because I have never seen a chiropractor because I thought it was a racket: to pop and crack, come back in a month, pop and crack, ad nauseum.

So, I googled, I yelped, I read all the info on the website - including his own "journey" to this angle of the profession - and then I called. Turns out, Yes, jaw problems are something that they deal with, and I could come in in a few days.

The yelp reviews are like the gospel praise for Jesus himself. You’d think this guy performed miracles or something.

… and, he does.

I went for my initial interview last Tuesday, and he spent an hour telling me to stand up, sit down, raise one arm, now open your mouth raise the other, lift this leg, turn your head and lift it again, … and then he asked a strange question. Was your childhood stressful? HA! Yes, yes it was, Dr. Palm Reader. and on with his gentle poking and prodding.

See, the problem is that because I clench my jaw at night, my dentist told me about 6 months ago that I was getting micro-fractures in my molars, and if I didn't take care of this my teeth would fall apart in my head. That it was likely caused by stress, and that I would have to wear a night guard… forever. So, luckily, I have a retainer thing from the interminable period of my adult braces, and I’ve been wearing it semi-regularly, and then more regularly, waking up in the night or morning feeling like opening my jaw is like open the jaws of life – it’s so stiff and tight and ouch.

So, Dr Palm Reader… actually, I’ve really come to call him Dr. Eyeballs. … because he has the most incredible blue eyes. I’m a sucker for them blue eyes.  – So, he says okay, I’ll see you in two days for the “download” appointment, the one were basically he tells me what’s wrong with me, and what we’re going to do about it. … "and," he says as I'm walking out, "which organs aren’t functioning properly." Oh hell, you say this as I’m leaving!? Which organs of mine aren’t functioning properly? Chew, or clench, on that one!

In any case, I do come back. And on Thursday, he tells me all kinds of stuff. Firstly, he says my adrenal gland is shot. The childhood question was because often if there is a lot of stress in childhood, the adrenal gland is over-active and overly called upon then, and so, in later life, it crashes. Have I been extremely fatigued lately? Why, yes, Dr. Palm Reader, I’ve been going to bed at 8:30 or 9pm when I can, but I thought it was just “winter,” or, you know, what my body needs… 10 or so hours of sleep a night.

Nope. My adrenal gland is shot. Okay. What else you got? Well, flat feet – get this – are a symptom of early stress. Perhaps it’s not “genetic,” although my mom has them too (“Did she have a stressful childhood?,” Yes, Doc, yes she did.).

The bottom line was this, all kinds of things are out of whack, ligaments are falling apart in my pelvis, over stressed and twisted. My hip pain another dr. said was tendonitis and I’d just have to NOT USE IT … uh, yeah, no, it’s these loose ligaments. The jaw? Well, (cue “the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone”), pretty much, it all ascends from my pelvic problem, into my diaphragm, and into my neck, and then, into my jaw. All the muscles are doing work they shouldn’t be doing, and are overstressed from doing them.

… Now that you have gotten my medical history, what on earth does this have to do with anything? Well, firstly, after he did a few pressure pointy things, and one crack, guess what? I didn’t clench my jaw for two nights. I never thought that would happen. Or would have guessed the relief I felt without it. But, this is a long-term issue, and so, over the course of the next 6 weeks, I’ll be seeing him 3 times a week, to train my body into its proper form and function. Which also means that YAY!! I won’t have to see him forever, I won't have to wear a night guard forever, and all different kinds of systems in my body are going to be starting up again… and mostly, I won’t be so fucking tired all the time.

Down side? I feel like an 80 year old woman at the moment. I’ve been told that for the duration of the treatment, I can’t bend in x y and z ways, …. and although he hasn’t said it… the pamphlet he gave me on what’s “wrong” with me (which btw, has an illustration of a completely fucocked spinal cord…), well, it states that caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and sugar aggravate the system and inhibit healing.

Well, Balls. Caffeine and sugar are the only ones I still use/abuse, but hell. Really?

So, this is not my swan song to coffee. I've had one cup of regular and one of decaf this morning, … and I guess that tub of “no sugar added” ice cream is gonna have to go…

But, indeed, it’s true. This is some sort of miracle. And if there were ever a time in my life when I had the time, health insurance, availability, and Universe conspiring for me to bring my physical, emotional, and spiritual health into, … alignment, it’s now. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012


In the movie Adaptation, Charlie Kaufman struggles to adapt a book for the screen. His struggle at adapting the book becomes a part of the screenplay, and in essence, he writes himself into his own movie. At this, he says, “Oh no.”

I have decided what my thesis will be – it will be my blog. At this, I say, “Oh no.”

Unfortunately, due to all the everything else I’ve been working on, my thesis draft due date came and went. Not that I didn’t know it was due, but more that I had no idea what on earth it would be.

It wouldn’t be poetry – as that’s not at all what’s coming out in my writing right now. It wouldn’t be the watercolor language and visual art – there’s not enough time, and I’d want to develop it and experiment with it more. And so, like Charlie, so consumed with the struggle of artistic production that the drama of that struggle became his body of work, so it is with mine.

Or, at least until my thesis advisor rips me another one on Monday.

This, is part of the problem of the honesty and visibility of this type of artistic forum – you may recognize yourself in these pages. But, so be it.

To catch you up on nearly a month absence from this daily blog, … well, i’m not entirely sure how to do that. But, I will say that I did miss this. I know that my ego loves it, but I know too that I love it – and, some of my friends love it too. I like this style. It works on the level a friend suggested I write: “You should write the way you speak.” I don’t know how to do that in “poetry,” but I know how to do that here.

The requirements for the thesis are as follows:

The thesis should be a minimum of 48 pages of creative work. In general, most theses average between 60-100 pages. The thesis should consist of the best work you have written while at school. You are encouraged to write a thesis that is risky, investigative, and confident.

I’m pretty sure that the work I do here is investigative, confident in its honesty to my wavering confidence, and risky perhaps in the unabashed woo-woo spirituality of it. And, likely, risky in that I let you know much of how I process the world, with all my foibles, fears, shenanigans, and humor. – That feels pretty risky (and thrilling) to me.

So, after a series of tense emails between my thesis advisor and myself, in which I was accused of “not taking this seriously enough,” I will be meeting with her on Monday following my submission of the first 3 months of this blog.

The irony, and the motherfucking craw sticker of her accusation, the thing that wounded me the most, was her assumption that I wasn’t doing any work.

On poetry, no, she’s right. On every other goddamned thing, for fuck’s sake, YES. I have been working my ASS off to address, face, and work through every goddamned thing that is holding me back.

EMDR with my therapist: check. Working one on one to get my financial life in order: check. Clearing out the boxes from New Jersey that contain the diaries of a madwoman and a sad child: check. Seeing a holistic chiropractor to address physical manifestations: check.

The truth is, I have been doing A LOT. And when her email came through, as raw and vulnerable as I’ve felt with all these processes going on, I was thrown WAY overboard. Suddenly, what someone else thought of me meant more. Suddenly, I felt that all of my current work was worth bunk. That my experience was being invalidated.

And that, for me, dear reader, is my very worst trigger. To feel that my experience is not valid, that what is happening for me is not important, or indeed is not happening at all, is a VERY old, and VERY strong catalyst into despair.

Did she know any of this? No. Did I let her know that I was unsure about my thesis? No. Does she have any idea whatsoever of any of the other work that I’m currently doing? No.

So, is it reasonable, therefore to assume that from her point of view, I wasn’t doing much? … Yes. Stupid perspective, Yes. 

It still hurt. And I’m still showing up anyway. I’m going to hand in the work I have. The work that I’ve written here since November charts a course, not of my daily lunch, but of my daily struggles, successes, progress, hope, and failure. Of my relationships, my loneliness, my gratitude, and my attempts.

This blog is the best work I’ve done while at school, because, ultimately, it has the very most of me.

Thank you for reading, and welcome back. :)