GoGo on a Page

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Location: Midwest, United States

"Power lines, my travlin' partner on this ride. Dripping, pulling - up and down, in this sing song, their lullaby blends with the swaying train. I curl myself into this journey; folding myself up into this pocket of time. Old familiars greet me - that swing set in the back yard, the ruins of an old church covered in new birth and old - mixed with unremembered newness." Journal Entry, October 13, 2005~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~All words are copyrighted by GoGo on a Page/gogoroku.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sunday Scribblings: Why I live Where I live.

Dear Grandchildren,

I write to you in the final days of my 20s, under the umbrella of graduate school, in my current Midwest City. I write to you in hopes that, as you walk your own journey through life, you might be able to use some of my road markers to guide your way. I write to you in hopes that as time marks the distance on the spectrum of experience between us, my words might help you to know where you come from and the possible similarities on the road we travel, even if I have done it a few years before. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’ll get THAT mole or make the same decisions I do, though chances are good you might get “the voice”, but we’ll discuss that later.

My words greet you in a cusp year. This is the year that decides if I stay or if I go. I am working hard to get the Master’s degree your parents won’t stop harping you to get, while living in the Capitol of this Midwest State. To be quiet honest, I have no idea where I am going from here. Your nana is doing pretty good getting to this point, but is torn as to what to do next. Like a plant, I am most ready to stretch out my roots, digging myself into the soil, but I also want to disperse like a seed on the wind and see where I land. When school is finished, will I stay in this City or will I hold out my thumb and catch a ride with the wind? When you finally meet me, you will have the benefit of decisions made and time’s trickery of making what will be into what was. So, as you read this, you will know the answer while I am still forming the “what ifs” in my mind. You lucky devils!

I came to this town first to go to college. Barely 18 years-old, my Dad your Great Gpa, dropped me off with a suitcase and a box the day after your Great Uncle Bo was born. Wow, what an experience, one day I was watching your Great Gma give birth to Great Uncle Bo, and the next day I am islanded on the campus of the University looking for a job. I had $105.58 to my name and no clue what college life would be. Be proud, you came from pure blooded working class, Woo Dog! What a great way to start an adventure, though I admit it took a few years before I let go of trepidation and worry as my ores on the river of life. And yes, I was talking like this even before you were born.

This town was great during undergrad. Though it is true, your grandma worked 30 hours a week, studied hard, (and yes, walked 5 miles in the unbearable cold!); she also had much fun with really fun people. It’s okay to have fun. Do it as much as possible! If you are lucky, you will use this time in your life to build a new community of support and bring new people into the tribe of family you care for. But please don’t hold on too tight to these years, because it is the nature of things for people to leave and find new paths. You see, what you might confuse as roots will be the fur on your seeds that catches easily in the wind. Let the self find the journey in these years and then follow it forward. Let yourself find your own identity too, how ever you choose to form it.

So, I suppose you’re asking yourselves, how did Grandma wind up staying in a place that should have been temporary – a place that should have been a launching pad, but for her became a lily pad to crouch upon? It’s a simple answer really, but again an answer formed under the veil that time places over our eyes until the significance of experience unfolds later on. I actually did not stay. After I graduated, my Mom and Dad (the Greats), asked me to come home and help with your Great Uncle Bo. He was going on five and they needed a babysitter. I found a job for that year and helped out, but realized I could not go back home again, for a number of reasons. I suppose it was at this time that I learned that the word home includes everyplace we live, and when we return to our original home, we are different then when we left. Home is still home, it’s just becomes a broader term to encompass a few more places.

With a theme common in my life, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do next. It is in this part of life that a division between what you thought you were suppose to do and the possibility of what you can do become apparent. To be honest, I came back up to this City because I had a good portion of friends, a volunteer job I liked, a possible place to live, AND not knowing much about my own sexuality it seemed like a good place to find that side. Small Town USA was not the place…not at this time anyway. See, nana thought she’d stick around for a year or two then head out with a clear understanding of the world. Yeah, see I’m going to tell you a little secret…getting older doesn’t really clear things up, it mostly gives you time to stop struggling with the idea that “you don’t know anything” and “there really is nothing you can do about it”.

I stayed because experience nourished my learning curve, space offered me time to figure out things, and it’s really not a bad place to contemplate life’s little nuances. There are good people in this town, and Great music! Trust that wherever your nana lives, there will be a decent local music scene! I recommend you do the same, but you have to live your own life. I won’t judge you too much.

With that said, here I am still hanging around this town. I think your nana might be a little afraid of jumping into someplace new. Of course, she also really wants to settle in and down, finding the routine in building a home and continuing to build a community. But the truth is I think this is not the place for me to settle. But you never know. Well you might, seeing I haven’t even birthed your parental unit yet, but I don’t! I really don’t. What an adventure.

With my Love,

Nana GoGo

P.S. If they have invented time travel by your time, don’t hesitate to pop on by. I got good coffee and would appreciate some future oriented hints.



Six Degrees of Separation

Another grocery list kind of day. Took care of alot of details in my life, slept, then came to work. Been dealing most of the night with a financial aid dilemma that has tested my patience to the max, but it will be fine. It's another waiting game, complete with fingers tapping on the table. Even now, as I write the list, I'm yawning. Don't get me wrong, I am most certainly not bored with life, just can't seem to find the words to draw you into reading about it tonight.

If that is the worst thing to happen in my life, I am doing good. Knock on wood. Of course, the financial aid issue is a little dramatic. Nothing I can't swim through though, I am very bouyant.

I wish I had some artistic perception of life or enlightened words to offer. I did play six degrees of separation tonight, connecting Winona Ryder to John Cusack with one person - Eric Stoltz. Um, this was without using the Simpsons TV show. Can you make the connection? Now, that's a piece of insight for you. How does life exist without various degrees of separation?

Yep. It was fun.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cup of Earl Grey

I have writers block. My day and week unfolds in my head like a grocery list. The things I have to say play out in my head like a person who gets lost in the mundane details of the day – first I turned on my car, then I pushed on the gas, then I forgot I put it in drive, so I pushed on the break…

Yeah, no. Not my cup of earl grey, thank you.

People ask me what I want in another person all the time. I usually have a hard time answering it because A) I don’t like to build an image in my head, so I can keep myself open (PC version), B) I think what I really like about a woman is hard to describe in words – I keep saying I will know her when I see her (too lazy to answer version), and C) it really doesn’t matter what I like because who I like winds up not being a good choice and who likes me isn’t my cup of earl grey either (Last year and a half version, badumpbump...no please save your applause for the end).

What I will say now and do know is the person I like would be excited about her life…not overly excited or unrealistically excited, but overall can share her day with some enthusiasm about it. My cup of earl grey appreciates the spontaneity in life, but can balance it with practicality when it needs to apply. Doesn’t expect me to be an appendage to her life, and doesn’t get nervous because I have my own friends. Don’t get me wrong friends can mix and mingle, it’s the nature of things, but please don’t expect me to do everything social with one person. And I already know I wouldn’t want an appendage in return. I want a lover, friend, and partner NOT a codependent loss of identity (for either of us). My cup of earl grey would be socially conscious, but not socially arrogant. See, I’ve come to the understanding that there is a spectrum of understanding and that there is an opposite of Conservative Nazi Religious Right Scary…and it’s not pretty either.

Um, how did I get on this? Here I go labeling. Whatever, I know I will know her when I see her. I was just trying to say, I love a good dialogue about life, and prefer to avoid the shopping lists of living. I prefer this good quality in a partner, and I figured I try and answer that dastard little question posed to me again today. Of course, you don’t have to be my partner for me to tell some poignant moment in my day…but alas today is not one of them.

…then I put the car in drive, and pushed on the gas. Then I drove.

:O) GoGo

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

2 Projects Down & 1 To Go: A 3 Minute Response

I stood in the middle of my study area in my home this afternoon, an island surrounded by an ocean of articles reading through my final paper for the semester. As a side note, clutter has become confined to this area and really consists of a Chaos Theory version of organization. When I write, I layer my thoughts around me in the form of articles, notes, drafts, and scribbles of ideas. This system allows me to wade through my thought process with everything visible and accessible to the touch. I just love writing...even papers for class.

I looked up from my system and realized I was done. Done! With the paper anyway. What a relief. What a sense of accomplishment. I was so excited, the daunting task of picking up the pieces of my organized madness did not diswayed me from my happiness.

I spent most of the night writing the paper at the Library. It was fun to see so many people there doing the same thing. Met up with a number of people I knew, finally settled down in an area with 2 people I knew to begin. There is nothing as nice as supporting one another through a process. It was nice to settle into the routine of crunch-time pressure.

I also came up with a game to play over email called "Duck, Duck, Goose Tells a Story" We had to work out some quirks, but overall the game was fun. I would recommend playing with 5 or more individuals because as the numbers dwindle, so does the response. I think Sunday Scribble has connected me to my game playing sibling of self, and I think I really like her. Of course, I think this was a process that also included new friends who like to play games! Thanks friends. I will post the rules at a later date as well as that story about the college friend who I came out to.

Well, this was a layed back entry. Not as exciting as they have been, just trust that life is good and I am very excited to be done with my paper! Now off to class where I will turn in the deed.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Clarification on a Early Monday Morning

I just wanted to take one minute and clear up something. I DID NOT, repeat, did not take the chocolate from the kid. The mamma did offer it to me, but I turned her down. I did, however, take poetic liscence (Dear G, let that be the right word) and ended the story with "score!" Seemed appropriate.

Now, I can handle much in the false image department, but the thought of everyone thinking I'd actually take candy from a kid's hands breaks my heart. Don't get me wrong, I'll steal candy from my little Bo's halloween bag, but that takes stealth and distraction. It's an artform to not get caught.

All right, now back to your original scheduled programming.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sunday Scribble: A Little Diddy About Chocolate

Racing down the hallway of the Community Center, trying to set up for my home improvement workshop the next day, I ran into the kid. He was under 4 feet, cute and excited because the candy machine gave him not one but two packages of Peanut Butter Cups. The kid saw me and with sheer joy said, "Look I got two". Always on the side of the heart of children, I immediately responded "score!"

Mamma came out and said to the kid, "How did you get more than one candy? Last thing I need is for you to double your sugar high."

"But mamma", the little boy responded putting the candy behind his back as though he knew what was coming, "It came out that way."

"No, nuh huh!" Mamma said shaking her head while holding out her hand to the kid. It is the unspoken language that teaches us the most as kids. When Mamma puts out a hand, it’s the universal language for give it to me now ‘cause you ain’t getting it. Reluctantly, the little kid offered up one of his chocolate-y treasures appearing as though he was making a sacrifice to the Gods themselves, complete with the bottom lip out and a stomp of a foot.

Then Mamma turned to me, the bystander in the hall and said, "You want some chocolate?"



Thursday, April 20, 2006

Between Thoughts

“Riding in back of cars with girls is fun. Eyes sleepy, body cramped, and feet numb just below the ankle I sat between the lull of conversation while swimming through the night sky all around us. Loved every second of it. I came full circle driving home from a[concert] in [A2]…” ~Journal Entry 4/19/06.

Do you know about the Ark? It’s a highlight of Midwest living. Saw Chris Pureka on the stage, singing songs that just make my heart leap. Good time, good fun, good life.

There is a story forming in my head. Images of shirt cuffs, eyes lined with a smile, and a camera. This week the word beautiful has greeted me everywhere. In emails, on billboards, in street chalk, blogs, and on the tips of tongues. Even leapt off the stage and held firm in the car riding home with friends. For some reason the word beautiful has spurred these images in my head like memory’s snapshots of time gone by and by, except it’s not my time or my memory. I can smell perfume, a soft lilac smell with just a smudge of lavender. I can hear the laugh – an open laugh that catches at the back of the throat like a diver's coming up for breath. I can see this coffee table round and flat. Nothing lives on the coffee table except for a single white vase only big enough for the single daisy residing there.

Last night as I listened to Chris play, the story between the photos in my head began unfolding, and I realized it was a story. I hope to shuffle time between now and then to actually write it. I have so many things that NEED to be done right now, I write these words in hope I can remember until I purge them on a page. I am always surprised how stories form, completely a life of their own...

“…On the drive home in a small car with five, I let myself swim in & out of conversation and the dark. The direction in our lives was the road, while we wandered aimlessly in conversation and laughter. I’m contentedly sleepy while writing these words. Yep, riding in back of cars with girls is fun.” ~Journal Entry 4/19/06 continued.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

In The Middle of a Chapter

Dear You,

One class down, checked off, and check out my grade! No seriously, it feels good to begin to wrap up another semester. Two classes to go! I couldn’t let myself feel an end to this semester, until today. I find in coordinating tasks lists, its best to delay that sense of relief to the optimal moment. Like a runner, I see the finish line, but I still want to cross it. To tell you the truth, its dramatic crap on a page. Smiles. I am very happy to be done with my class as I sit outside absorbing the wonderful sun down by the river. I’m listening to Annie Lenox, the Medusa album, just absorbing all the beauty around me.

I love life. I love being in life and all the complications we make for such a simple thing as living. What I love most is the fact that I can appreciate all of my life, even the hard parts. I’m not one to silence the heavy to keep the world light, but rather use the levity in life to lighten the load. I appreciate that Monday, exhaustion seeped into my eyes and it felt like the end of a hard day, keeping faith that letting myself feel the “hard” turned into a dialogue with myself, that simply turned into another day after some very needed sleep…and a project done. All aspects of living were honored. I am finally getting that! To be honest, I also love good conversations, watching TV shows on DVD, and a REALLY good cup of coffee...so my perspective might be biased. Ah, and here I am rambling on a page.

In my personal journal, I sometimes write to my grandchildren. Though I may never have any, it grounds me to the context of life. I also sometimes name my journals like titles of a book...just 'cause its fun to make up titles. This part of self gave me a wonderful idea for a gift I am making right now. Two friends of mine just had a baby and the child’s name itself reminds me of a title to a kid’s book. I started painting the book cover plunking around my head this morning, complete with the two mom’s as the authors to this book. I’m so excited I had to share. I am safe in that they don’t know about my blog. If I can squeeze the work in between what needs to be done, I’ll have it done before the baby shower. No, I’m not pushing myself. I really like doing stuff like this and see it as down time. I’m giving them a gift from their registry, but I think this gift will be the joy in celebrating the new little one. The registry gift is in case they don’t like it. ;O).

What was the best gift you made for someone else? Not purchased. What was the best gift you ever made that really felt good doing?

All right, I’m going back to watching these artists draw across the river while I read some articles for my paper I need to write.

On the Riverbank of a Beautiful Day,


Monday, April 17, 2006

Just Put Me in the Middle & Call Me One of Them

"It’s a quiet night. The eyes sway back and forth following the streetlights up and down the avenue. Cars randomly disperse the quiet into humming motors and tires singing A Cappella to the street. I’m tired. It’s been a long day and a long week. I’m the kind of tired that solicits the soul to acquiesce to the exhaustion in it all, and yet I know I still have more to do tonight. I want to be a streetlight tonight, turning on and off by the rise and set of the sun."
~Journal Entry 4/16/06~

I wrote this last night in the midst of things to do. I was tired and feeling mighty low from the physicalness of it all. The rest of the entry sounded like one melancholy whine about just needing help with it all. Dear Heavens, I needed a violin and some cheese*. Then came the morning, complete with the sun rising above the horizon and I felt a little stronger. No one said the road I took would be easy. Hell, if it was, I'd probably find a way to complicate it anyway.

I am in the midst of change these days, more then turning time into a degree. At least I hope so. The one thing I have learned is that I have no problem "Going to school". This I can do and have always done, turning education into a tool to move me forward. What I thought was taking a leap was really me just leaping back into a realm I am very familiar with. No one ever told me I'd go to college, being earmarked at a young age for trade schools. If it hadn't been for my best friend in junior high school who was colleged bound, I wouldn't have had the language to manuever the college process. But here I am, the perfect example of college material...once again.

Ah, but I shouldn't take this for granted. I know how lucky I am, this priviledge is not something that everyone has where I come from. I simply made the decision not to stay in the box I was put into when I was young.

What was the point of this entry? I wanted to turn my exhaustion into a brilliant statement about outlook, humor, and self-reliance. Damn. Fell short on that one. Oh well, guess I need more sleep...so here is yet another picture of Drew for the world. Oh, and Kathryn too.

Here's to beautiful, smart women who live(d) life the way the want(ed) to.

*The cheese is to go with the whine. ;O)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sunday Scribbles: The Wees Get in Trouble, Often

When we were wee, oh dear, did our imaginations run wild. By brother, sister and I were nothing less then renegades in the play realm, complete with superpower skills in making up new games, rules, and ideas! As I go back, delve down and deep into my memory…so deep they live in the belly of history I can remember a world all our own – a world so innocent we seemed to have a shield around us protecting us from ourselves because, you see, as I look back I wonder how we ever got away with half the things we did.

Yard Darts, remember the game? The rules were simple. There are two teams, one team had yellow darts the other team had red. These darts were on steroids, heavy enough to hold flight in the air and gigantic. The aim was to throw the darts one at a time aiming for a plastic hollahoop type ring a distance away. The more darts that made it in the circle, the more points your team gained. The adults in my family loved this game bringing them out whenever there was a party. While the darts were retired to the garage, my brother and sister and I got a wonderful idea. Wouldn’t it be fun if one of us ran between the trees while the other two threw the yard darts at them? I mean come on, fun right? This was dodge ball meets Fear Factor and we had a blast to say the least. Never got hurt, nope. Did more damage to each other making mud pies.

Then there was the water game. My brother, sister and I came up with Ride’em horsey. Take a standard oversized inner tube and sit on it while floating placidly in the water. This game is for two people at a time, while the third person watches to make sure the riders don’t get too close to the edge. We thought ahead. Each person on the tube sits directly across from each other, putting one foot firmly under the butt of the other person. Now each rider simply starts a rocking, and a rocking, then a rocking some more and like a rodeo horse bucking and thrashing, the tube goes up higher and higher. The end goal is to flip the tube, your counterpart being thrusted off into the air while yelping and screaming "Yeehaw!" If this happens, you’re the winner. Please note, this game is best played in the absence of the parental units, preferably with the supervision of a babysitter who believes you when you say “Oh, Mom & Dad let’s us play this all the time.”

Then there were the chores. I grew up with a huge yard in the city. It took hours to rake leaves, a chore handed down to us kids the second we had the motor skills to do it. It took even longer when we had to stop and fight the evil in the universe with our handy-dandy rake swords. Side note, I was Han Solo. Once, Dad bought us a leaf blower, thinking this would make our task a little easier and faster. For us, this was like going from Jedi Swords to laser guns. Remember the yard dart game we made up? Now picture the person running from tree to tree while the other person shoots Smarty candies from the leaf blower at them. Halloween was a good time to stock up on projectile candy.

Dusting in the house became towel snapping fun as we perfected our twist and snap techniques. And cooking usually ended up with one of us being Julia Childs, while another was the cook from the Muppets, and the third was the Creolle cook guy from TV, complete with “I done did that.” I admit, we fought over who got to be Chief from the Muppets!

We three little wees, were wonderful companions as children. There were game boards, and coloring books, and cards, and games that were made up on the spot. With a piece of string, a straw and gum, we could make ourselves a world of trouble. I will leave you with one more story from the time when we were wee.

My sister and I shared a room growing up, bunk beds our sleeping abodes. My sister, the older one, slept on the top bunk, while I slept below. One time, while my Dad was in the kitchen cooking, we got a great idea. Wouldn’t it be fun if we took the bed railings and slid down them into the closet? See, the closet would offer a cushioned stop. It was great fun, complete with “wees” all the way down. Of course they were quiet “wees” because deep down, we knew we were doing something we shouldn’t be doing. We simply used the loophole that no one told us we couldn’t do it…seeing that we hadn’t made it up yet. Well, at some point we got the brilliant idea for all three of us to slide down at once. If you’re a parent, you probably know the end of this story…as soon as we hit the middle of our ride “CRACK” went the rail and we plummeted down. I remember Dad yelling “What was that?” We three wee’s mustering as much innocence in our voices as we could in a hot second simultaneously responded “Nothing!” The ending to this story was Dad coming into our room catching us trying to duct tape the rails with the biggest grin on our faces.

I love duct Tape!

And yes, even after reviewing my childhhood I want three kids. I've watched childbirth, changed diapers, sat up all night with a crying baby...I think three is ideal to keep each other occupied while growing up!


Humor Smiling

This is my kind of humor ;O)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Just Keep Reading

Dear GoGo,

It’s been a big day for me. I came home, closed my door, and slipped onto the floor; letting all my thoughts fall out like those musical notes off a page in a cartoon. I guess this letter is me trying to pick up the notes, chords, and measures and piece them together to make sense of everything.

The offer was made at 9:37 am this morning as I was putting together my Wednesday Morning group’s agenda. I had my first few members showing up as my supervisor asked me with the biggest grin on her face if I had a moment to come upstairs. Too excited she blurted out, “How would you like a job?” With that kind of question, how could I put her off? My heart completely stuck in my throat between my larynx and the back of my tongue, I followed her upstairs.

My internship wants to hire me as a subcontracted group counselor. Its only 8 hours a month, but they would pay me very nicely and I would be facilitating a support group. Easy right? An easy answer for something I love doing and would look absolutely lovely on my resume. I never expected a job offer. Never expected that my internship would lead to something else, something I can do on the side. This offer has completely blindsided me.

I did not plan something like this for the summer agenda or next school year. In fact, I just got confirmed today as a part of GradSac, the MSW program’s government, thinking that I could squeeze in a little extracurricular. My boss at my “real” job had asked me last week to step in as a clinical counselor while they look for replacements this summer. This is after I made it clear I was not looking to be promoted. I promised myself when I got hired in part time, that I would not seek promotion during school. I try to do the best I can at anything I do, but as I sit here writing this my eyes are overflowing with joy and pride and excitement and humility all at once.

Doors open for me, at all the right times. Sometimes I see them, walking firmly up with eyes fixed and determined. Sometimes they open against my resistance, complete with ego bruises and tears. And sometimes, they open without me ever knowing they were there – like today. I won’t pretend that my hard work and personality doesn’t have anything to do this, deciding along time ago to leave behind the presumption I don’t affect the things around me. I’ve long since given up the notion that letting myself feel self-confidence has any affect on disappointment when it comes time to feel it. :o).

And like the true flawed, etched human I am, my mind wanders to doors still unopened. Doors I can’t seem to find keys to, no matter how bad I want to find them. I am so good at solidifying career, home, and my hair (hey, now I needed a third). I decided this week that it was time to move to stage III of a financial plan I’ve created, intending to go to a financial advisor to begin building my portfolio so that I can buy a house in 3-5 years. Where, I ask myself? I hope its somewhere around here, but elsewhere if the right opportunity presented itself. And yet, as I calculate out what this new job offer will do – weighing the pros and cons of “taking it on” – I wander down roads that feel so foreign and unmarked.

I write this letter to myself, as I pick up the chords hummed today as a celebration. What I love most about me is the fact that I leave room for all of me this day because today was a turning point. I write it to remember and share that today was a good day. I still have no clue of my direction knowing only a few road signs and markers on this road map I’ve got. Nor have I solidified the promise that my unopened doors will someday open. (Um, still knocking). Yet here I am celebrating today and all the hard work that has followed me to this point. I’m still not done forming the direction I want to go, but maybe I can let this be a sign that I am going the right way.

I write this letter as a prayer of gratitude for this day and all days before. A prayer in celebration of what a kick ass job I’ve done. As a prayer that as I come closer to turning 30, other doors might open for me.

With All My Love,


P.S. Drew was for people getting bored reading. I like to call this photo Drew as Kathryn Hepburn. :o).

Monday, April 10, 2006

How I Came Out to a Friend in College

"So, what movie do you want to see?"

"I don't know. I don't want to see anything that sucks."

"Well who is your movie boyfriend, we'll see if he has something out."

"My what?"

"You know the person you go to see because your crushed out with them"

"Oh, so no matter how bad the movie is, your really going to see your crush?"

"Yeah, so who is it?"

"Drew Barrymore."

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sunday Scribble: Part Duex

The second installment for Sunday Scribble here. This was inspired by the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip book I read today, the Proud Family Cartoon I watched, complete with the ratter tat tat of spoken word poetry, the word alabaster that reminds me of the navel of the belly, and the Beancounter. Lady, I jumped out and wound up here today. I'm loving this! Thanks.

P.S. I would love to read this on a stage someday.

Real Life
Now get ready to breathe in
simultaneously through nose and mouth
Head titled back, back arched
Let the air fill the lungs,
Deepening the fullness weighting
down your hips
grounding you to the ground.
And as the breath completely
and you are swimming
in the Fullness of your filled lungs,
Blow out everything inside you.

(all caps, please note)
Is the embodiment of all we experience.
It is the sundry steps of our journey
and the alabaster stones that sharpens our
hands to hold our egos.

Is the blended colors
between happiness
And not,
the spot
on the spectrum
marking where we are at
At any given time.

Is Every moment we choose to do what
At any given moment,
Like the earth rotating around itself
Rotating around the sun,
Spinning around the galaxy
Swirling with the best of the dust
In our own universes!
Life is as real as the context
In which we breathe it in.

Are the stones of comfort
That hold us up in our daily
Lives, the bread of nurture
That we are lucky to find.
The pitter patter of awakened
love, from self and others.
AND the self love permeating
Out for others to hold ‘cause self
Love is nothing if it’s only something

Is the hard times that blisters our souls
And the good times that heal them.
It is the tear that is shed as well as the
Laughter we share,
And we are lucky if we are aware enough to
Appreciate both as life unfolding.

Is the friendships we hold,
all those relationships
We mold by accidental bumps
On all our roads.

Encompasses the beauty of all that
Entails us,
That ties us to living like Gideon’s knot.
Whether we choose to own it
or not,
It is every thing between our first breath
And last.

REAL LIFE ~ is the life we live.

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What Do REO Speedwagon, Blue Skies, the Godfather, and an Immunity Idol have in common?

I grew up in a small city that really was a big town. In our neighborhood our house and two of our neighbors’ houses stood high on a hill above the other houses. Before the neighborhood became a neighborhood, it was farmland and the barn stood where our houses are now. I learned this from the neighbor, Old Mr. Mann, 4 doors down after I tried to sell him spices and he wound up giving me a history tour of the neighborhood.
I’ll do this. Given enough time, I always tell one story or another from my childhood. I admit, most the time in rambling fashion to include the minute details of the event. For the most part I had a wonderful childhood. For me growing up was like the movie "Stand By Me" without the body. There was a story in every moment and I loved the fact that I got that. Of course, I was the type of kid who thought if I could jump high enough I could see the angels on top of the clouds.

I tell you this because I’ve been thinking about my Grandmother, my father’s mother, getting lost in the details of my time with her. She died when I was six-years-old from Cancer, but I still remember her like the color of the sky. In fact, the day I found out she was going to pass away I went outside and hid between my grandmother’s garage and the neighbor’s rusty old fence and I burned the image of the sky into my brain. It was the deepest darkest blue I had ever seen. One singular cloud, no bigger than a puff, floated in the sky. I remembered thinking if I could remember the color of the sky, I’d remember her. (Hey, kid's logic here!)

Grandma was the matriarch of the family. You can tell a matriarch because like the Godfather, she ran the details of the family. Everyone yielded to her decisions; seasons and holidays were ushered in by her ritual, and family was always gathering around her. She was a proud woman who worked as a Janitor in the local High School where her children went. NO ONE dared to make fun of her or her children for it. On the weekends she was the bartender at the local American Legion, complete with sweet sass and bouncer capabilities*. The first words my sister spoke were "Son of a bitch" because "of Grandma". I know all the mothers, feminists, and any decent intellect cringes at this, but I can only offer that this was a different time... That and I loved her with my whole being, so I really don’t care.

For me, summer and my Grandmother are synonymous. I guess because we spent most our weekends at her house when she was alive. One time, I can remember listening to a REO Speedwagon 8track in my Dad’s fire orange (insert car type) with my brother and sister at Grandma's house. I believe a cousin was also involved, but mysteriously disappeared when we accidently put the car into neutral and it began rolling down the drive way. Needless to say, I remember at 5 years of age holding down the break while my brother ran to "get help". After my Dad saved the car from us kids, I remember him getting "full of spit fire" which meant he yelled so loud he was actually spitting. Grandma wouldn’t have it though. Her grandkids were not going to get yelled at for a "stupid orange car". I tell you, this woman was our immunity idol back then, and we knew that Dad could do nothing about it. [Insert Neener neener neeeener here].

She also ushered in summer with two rituals I dearly miss. First, she had all her children over to our house to plant my mother’s garden in the spring. My Mom still complains that "that woman" would have all the kids over to help plant, but she’d be damned if she could get them to weed it throughout the season too. Second, there was always a summer party because grandma wanted it. In my home town, family and friends mixed to the point that everyone had an Uncle this or Aunt that who turned out to be a friend of the family with an honored title. So, when Grandma had a party, it was an event that brought not only family, but friends of the family and their family to boot.

When she died, like a matriarch with no heir, this tradition faded with her. She was the glue that held her children together. Though my Dad and his siblings still talk, no one has stepped up to usher in the summer events or push the family to help each other plant gardens, except once. Grandma was a powerful force of spirit and courage, who always laughed and never held her tongue, even to my Dad’s Dad, a Southern Baptist Minister. He knew how to stimulate fear of G-d in men, but could not keep a G-d fearing woman from speaking her mind. Or at least that's how the family mythos goes since he died when my Dad was 16-years-old.

I miss her. But I’m not sad about this. I just think she was great woman and want to share her with this page.

*She was a bartender/bouncer at an American Legion, it wasn't Hooters!

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

How Did Sylvia Plath Get Into the MSW Program?

Life is pulling me in the direction of projects coming due. Not that they aren’t always due - they’re always due. Its just I have three big projects to finish before the end, and its time to crunch them out.

It’s been a good semester. I find the people in the program wonderful. Finding myself a part of this circle of support, we all seem to be following up with one another about one project or another. There is this constant buzz of conversation before class and after. I’m always saying “hi” to someone here or there, going to and from class. I’ve talked to people about procrastination, isolation, meals on the run, for those in relationships the stress of it all, and those not in relationships the stress of it all :o). We've shared about stinky professors and great ones. We’ve even made time to go out and have a good time. Yep, it’s been fun getting to know the people in the program.

My projects coming due are a paper on crisis intervention, a presentation, and a final exam. Talking about the last one forward, the final exam is actually during finals week. This is abnormal in my program. The Professors are just as eager as the students to get the semester done, so they schedule exams the weeks before. I'm not complaining, I agree completely with the mentality of ending early. Alas, we have this one Professor, who is kicking our butts with reading, who is my favorite Prof, who just won’t due it the way everyone else does it. Its okay though, there is a group of us who are going have “a little” celebration after the exam. A small consolation, but it will do.

For the crisis intervention paper, I have decided to look at suicide. Thank goodness I’m the kind of person who sees the down times as up times that just need time to get there, because alot of people don't get the help they need when feeling suicidal. I came across an article regarding Sylvia Plath while doing research. The authors surmised that if she had the “appropriate” interventions and treatment during her life, she wouldn’t have killed herself. The authors blended her poetry with an analysis of suicide intervention. Who’da thunk that? The English Major in me played with the Social Worker in me. It was a good read.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Picture it, Midwest America 2001

What was my favorite age?

This question intrigued me, so I'm going to try and answer it. Searching my brain backwards and forwards I find I have favorite moments, favorite birthdays, favorite time periods, favorite trips and games, favorite stories, but a favorite age?

…Turning 25 years-old was a good age. It was the first time I finally felt like I had reached the age I was, always feeling older than my peers. Turning 25 was like a Sunday morning in your pajama’s working on a crossword puzzle and drinking a really good cup of coffee, or sitting lazily on the couch watching a movie. Turning 25 was like realizing while sitting among close friends laughing and talking that you have beautiful people in your life and you were one of them. Turning 25 was like finally reaching an age with no milestones except the acceptance that you are what you make yourself. It was comfortable. Turning 25 was like the lines from Paul Simon
“Yesterday was my birthday,
I hung one more year on the line,
my life’s a mess,
I should be depressed,
but I’m having a good time.”

And now that my mind wanders over that year, I find myself asking did the year reflect the age? Was the experience as good as the number? This would bring me to 2001.

Picture it, Midwest Amercia, 2001. The month I turned 25, I was working 10 hours a week at a wonderful Peace organization. I had just quit a job that paid well, but sucked the life from me. It was the moment when I stepped off an old path where I was leading life against the expectation of self and started to lead it for the self. So, I quit my job that did nothing but give me money, benefits, and stress. I had only enough money to pay my rent for three months, food bills, and little else. Pretty much, I gave myself permission to stop and look at myself. This crossroad was an impetus for where I am at now and where I am going. If I hadn’t done this I might be a person who lives life like a crisis, in context to someone else OR (as I swallow hard) leading a passive life on the couch somewhere. I shudder. Don’t get me wrong, I like couch sitting.

Turning 25 was a direction changer complete with jumping off the constructed cliff we all build for ourselves and realizing it wasn’t even there. My goodness, I could give a dissertation on this age and why it is my favorite age. It was also the hardest year of my life, counting Junior High School. Hard in a good way. I started drawing, started to write better prose. I disengaged from drama. I came out to my parents this year (another story to share). I let go of relationships that were all about not being alone. I stopped trying to find myself in crowded spaces. By the end of this age, I made the choice to move out of a house full of nice people to explore my own space and I really didn’t have the option to make it there. I stopped waiting for someone to give it to me. I stopped playing into roles that other people needed from me. But that’s another story. This was also the last year I confused being in relationships as being healthy and value for validation. “Catharses” was the key word for the year and “change” its counterpart.

I went camping and to the beach often.

Turning 25 was my favorite age so far.

Monday, April 03, 2006

30 Turns Around The Sun: Well Almost

Back to the entries about the routine of life. In 3 months and 26 days tomorrow, I will be turning 30. I woke up this morning with this thought in my head and was very excited. Somewhere not talking about age to hide the fact that you are getting older has been unfairly usurped by not talking about age as a sign that you accept the process of getting older. I'm in neither camp, prefering to stare at my age like the phenomina it really is....look at all I've done and been through and realizing I've only gone around the sun 30 times. Hmm. That's a perspective maker if there ever was one. Don't get me wrong, I am human, complete with the full line of attachments like a Kurby Vacuum cleaner. Yeah, and that includes that plastic brush thingy that cleans the carpet, but just winds up collecting a trail of sedentary dust bunnies in its holster. It’s that dastardly attachment that came free with this vacuum analogy. So as I get closer to a mile stone of my 3rd decade, 2nd one living in the double digits, as the sun pulls me closer to the point I came into this world, I am not surprised I am measuring where I am at in life, what's missing, and what I'd really like to get rid of.

In honor of believing growing older is a wonderful thing, I believe I will post here and there the process, complete with the attachments that come along in attempt to shake off the dust bunnies.

Other than that. Am working on my homework for today's theory class. I am getting back on my workout routine at the Y, and am running some groups later this evening, then off to study. I missed Survivor last week, so its my goal to watch it this week...and the dryer at my apartment complex is fixed, so no more having to dry my underoos on a clothes line in my living room. :o).

Life's good.

P.S. Sunday Scribble was really fun. I appreciated everyone who participated and really feel inspired by all that creativity out there. Laini and Megg rock! For the random reader, you need to check out : Sunday Scribble and my favorite entry The Acme Guide to a Literary Free Fall.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sunday Scribble: What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?

Here is my first attempt for Sunday Scribble. I debated whether to write a prologue to this work and decided for the first attempt I would. The reason for this is mostly because I did not expect what I wrote when I started. When faced with the question, I seemed to be searching for a way to change the past, rather then what I would do in the future, partly because I am excited about going forward with the risk of failure still involved. I learned this from life lessons that have ushered me forward. I don't usually write poetry, since I can't keep to a rule to save my life. But when asked the question, the first three lines immediately came to me and I went from there. Pretty much this is me writing head to hand, and this is what unfolded. Very much fun and cathartic. With that said, excuse the roughness.
What would I do, if I knew I could not fail?
I would teach backwards,
all the lessons learned forward,
if I knew my attempt would not fail.
I'd comfort myself on the eve of trepidation
with truth that all will be okay.
I'd not hesitate to take back worry
and comfort gingered isolation,
if I already knew they would not stay.
But then why stop there?
I'd stop myself from trudging forward
when the battles were already lost.
I'd not go down corridors of the past,
full of mistakes and high stake costs -
if I knew my attempts would not fail.
I'd not tell her I liked her,
usurping the exchange of my ego,
knowing now that it's easier to keep silent lessons
then do away with the sideways stares.
But then why stop there?
I'd pass along the things that we-know-now
to everyone who did not know then,
teaching our foremothers the lessons they learned
only after taking steps they had to defend -
if I knew my attempts would not fail.
I'd stop all mother's from the deathly grasps of childbirth,
stop marriages that harbored pain and fear.
But then why stop there?
I'd stop slave ships and puritans and fur traders
and fear. I'd stop murders and wars and forced migration anywhere.
And I'd take away all the chance in the games we play -
if I knew my attempts would not fail.
I'd stop our foremother's mothers finding their way foreward
from original homeland of our birth, if I knew that it would
stop the lost hopes and failures harbored in our hearths.
But then why stop there?
I'd take away all choices that had risk,
all words that hurt, all freedoms that
chain us to our heartbreak and loss,
if I knew my attempt could not fail.
I'd wipe away all we did not know and replace
it with what we think-we-know,
But then, we'd stop there.

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