June 07, 2003

June 06, 2003

skin deep

It isn't in the mirror
that she sees the real damage
No, it's in touching wounds
full flesh giving in to kind hands
that aren't her own

she learned what beauty was
society smart class and manners
affected accents and false language
it is the thing writers are made of
this burrowing into the space between
what they say
and who they are.
The middle is where
stories are made.

How could she know
her beauty wasn't her own.
clarity of message unspoken
this isn't your place
it's mine,
my echo.

the roles we play
take their toll in self.
we meet the world with
a layer of cheesy white
protecting delicate skin.

We spend the rest of our days

wooden world

each day she awoke
a carpenter
hammering nails into
thin boards
building a world by herself
measure twice, cut once
splashing technicolor
paint onto flaws and knots
show me show the world
that nothing is wrong.

A mirage built for one
but you helped too.

It is in the best interest
of love 101 to keep things
as they aren't.

It takes tremendous care
work, cobbling, coloring
mostly imagination
splitting what is from what
should be.

It's never simple
except in pieces
one board at a time
keep your head down
square the edges
some glue here
some screws there
it is amazing what pain
will build
to protect itself.

when her world was finished
she marveled at its beauty
while underneath
splinters and blood
told the real story
slicing and bleeding
terror and peeling

nothing she made
was built to last.

June 05, 2003


it's not that it snuck up on me
like the stairway climb to my father's room
me with a brown paper sack of get well cards
made by the delicate hands of children
him dead.

It's not like that, grief.
you feel it coming
or I have at least
two, three days
up then down wondering
why I feel this way
knowing what I don't know

it eases down
not like terror
not like being jolted from sleep
not like the burning in your chest
before your heart shatters
not like nails dug into the
dirty ash tray on the side door
of the Buick, bearing your weight
hard away from the center line
pressing your 12-year-old feet
on imaginary brakes from
the back seat.

Grief is not like that.

It isn't the warm explosion
that starts in your thighs and
climbs to your cheeks,
dry mouth, clenched hands
immobile. That is still terror.

Grief isn't still; it moves,

June 04, 2003

in case that didn't make any sense...

I'm taking a few days off from the blog universe. But I will be writing.

Let me end the week with this. I had a really good therapy session today, if good is defined by hitting on hard things about what was real instead of what was neatly packaged and protected by me from a very early age and with good reason--reasons I'm not supposed to be angry at myself for. Okay. I can try that. I'm wiped though. I feel like my nerve endings are protruding through my scalp, but my body feels tired and slow. I wish I could sleep, but I have to go pick up energetic jenna. It's a feeling not unlike whiplash to go from therapy to jenna.

Mostly today I am amazed at people who can keep their heads above water with the freelance life. I have learned a fundamental truth: In general, it takes forever to get paid. Way longer than the cash in your bank account lasts. Is this one of Murphy's Laws?

I'm depressed today, but not in a bad way. In a good way. In a way that tells me it's good to be still. It's good to sit with this. Good to feel it. It's not going to kill me. It's not the terror i'm used to. It's something even bigger than that. It has to be, since whatever it's called has trumped my panic. And nothing has ever done that.

Maybe it's saying goodbye to a bastard of a 40th year. One I never saw coming.

One I wouldn't trade for anything.

I can't believe I'm saying that.

Who have I become?


in my 40th year

I haven't been paying as much time to dates lately as I have to deadlines and creditor due dates. So when I noticed it was June 4th, I was mildly surprised. When I realized that it is precisely five days until my 41st birthday, I was, for some reason, leveled. Meaning I crashed. Came down. Time out. WTF. That kind of thing.

It isn't, this mood I'm in, specifically about no longer being 40, but instead being "in my 40s"; it's more about what a hard year it's been for me. This 40th year, rites of passage that have to come sometime. "Who me? I've been blogging since I was in my 30s!" I can say that. Hooopty doo.

When I run up against my face in the mirror--facing myself--I often run up against my blog too. Echos and mirrors--that's what's here.

Driving back from dropping Jenna at her summer camp, I was lost in thought. About another year passing. About who I am and who I'm not. About how since I started blogging--writing out loud--my world turned upside down. I thought about being at the tail end of a generation who can remember life before the personal computer, before the Internet mattered, before global conversation, when the real world was the only world, and the only way out of it was through books, music, movies.

I tried to name my feeling. Nostalgia? No, it's not exactly that. At least I don't think so. But maybe. And maybe not. With nostalgia, I think, comes a yearning for what was. I don't yearn for the real-world-as-only-world. It's not that I would have our loosely-joined pieces disappear. Nor wish that they had never emerged at all. But there is something to my day of discontent that I think I need to acquaint myself with, and I don't think I can do that, not today, not the next few days, here. I need some time to remember who I am becoming. I need to think backwards and forwards without writing myself in either or both directions. I need to be still.

I know more things about myself as my birthday approaches than, I think, at any other anniversary in my life. About the world, about people, I'm still not sure.

In discussing the theories behind evolution the other day, voicing my thoughts on how I don't believe in the notion--change yes, "evolution" as symantics that would have us believed we are decendents of ameobas and monkeys, no. Where once I might have felt unsure or timid in my stance, this time I wasn't. The more I see of humanity in this world we're building here, the more I know. The human heart. Accept no substitutes.

I've never heard anyone voice words around the opinion I formed years ago that evolution--the monkey kind--was spawned and is used most often to give credence to the argument that the white Ayrian race is superior and more highly-evolved than any other. That the proposition that our evolving from tree-swinging monkeys to stooped over monkey-men to complex human beings doesn't wash with me. Agreeing with creationists that civilization and the birth of humanity started in virtually the same area, evolutionists -- at least those I read growing up -- would also have me believe that "primitive man" just evolved his way along until, finally, he got smart and got out of the caves, then got out of Africa, where he left his less-highly-evolved kin. Then the great migration. Then whitey. Puh-lease.

So today, in thinking about my own personal evolution/revolution/stinking-traumatic-development, I flashed on the "big bang" and the development of flesh and consciousness as it relates to the Internet, which, if things progress as they are, will become more and more of an alternate world for all of us. Simultaneous and alternate. A separate but equal dimension.

How did we get here, to this place we co-habitate online? Was it change and growth, or would you call it evolution. I bet some will. And I fear the scientific connotations of that word could follow us here. If we let it. Would you define the beginnings of our online universe as a big bang? Did we crawl up out of the swamp of unintelligible beings, technical cave men evolved into a separate but related species, we people of the net? Hmmmm. I smell a missing hyperlink.

Yah, it's like that.

Let there be heart.

And so it was.

Things fix themselves.

I'd like to say our embeded houshold telematics kicked in and water was re-directed through other pipes, restoring water pressure to its normal strength. But the truth is, things fixed themselves. Whatever it was that made the thud thud and cut the pressure must have repaired itself. At least, I sure hope so!

In other news, I continue to be amazed at the friendships our daughter is developing. One friend leads to two, then three, kind of like blogging and blogrolls, every realword human interaction has the capacity to connect outward.

I think there's something for me to learn in all of this.


Calling all plumbers.

Sound asleep I was when I was rattled awake by a not-too-good sound coming from the bedroom floor midway between the bathroom and the bed. At least that's where it sounded like it was coming from when I jumped up ready to kick some nighttime intruder in the balls. I wandered the house carefully, thinking maybe one of the dogs had been scratching him or herself against the sliding glass door below. It was that kind of velocity, like when a dog scratches, but way too loud I knew.

I turned on the water, used the bathroom. Water pressure seems to be cut by 3/4 its usual power throughout the house.

Checked the basement--no water pouring or leaking from anyplace. All is quiet now. But water pressure is in a sorry sorry state.


June 03, 2003

Little Girls and Fits

It has to be universal. Those scratching slashing fits little girls have. I told Jenna to go to her room after five minutes of her not listening and generally going out of her mind. Every time she fights me all the way to her room. I remember being sent to my room and hightailing my behind to my room at light speed. Home free. But not her. "NO! NO WAY! NOT EVER!" she screams as she runs and slithers, and finally when caught, strikes and scratches, until a fit of magnificent proportions blossoms at the foot of the stairs. It takes me dragging her there, kicking and screaming and biting. All I'm trying to do is to direct her anger to one place in the house where she can work it out while she leaves ME the heck alone.

So this time, I finally get her into her room, and she slams the door with a force no one but her father would believe. So hard, in fact, that the door buckles and the bottom half of the door is sticking out toward me while the top half is where it belongs inside the door frame.


Suddenly she needs me because she's gotten herself in quite a predicament. Essentially, she's locked herself in her room, and no amount of budging by her or me is moving the door. I take the opportunity to go get a glass of water, and wonder if either of the two ways I feel is right: 1) Ha ha. Now maybe she'll learn. 2) Holy shit I'm going to have to call the fire department to get her out of there.

I wait. Tell her through the door that she is GROUNDED for this one. No sleep over. No bike. And this time, I'm really really sticking to it. And this time, she seemed to know it.

It took a few minutes but I managed to jiggle her door so that the bottom popped back into the frame, and I was able to open the door and see her sad-sack face, "I'M SORRY MAMA! I'M SORRY."

"There are consequences," I tell her. "Yours are that you're grounded. No sleep over. No bike."

Five year old girls and fits.


June 02, 2003

George on Jaco

A nice article by George on a new article-blog-we'll-see-what-happens blogsite called The Low End. Good reading for any bass fan, and photos of George with Jaco Pastorius and Mike Stern from the 1980s that haven't been published before. Enjoy!