Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Snow Love

All my life I've loved snow. Then, over ten years ago, I got married and something odd happened; I feared, dreaded, and hated snow and yet found myself living in a snow belt. The strange wonderful thing is all of that's gone, including the marriage. I love snow again and love as in, new love, little kid excited puppy love, even madly in love and I live at an even higher elevation!

 But there's no more fear of falling, losing power, more dread of 'will it ever end?' or the roads will be more hate of the sight of it and mess and cold and wet.

 I'm watching it fall right now in the meadow outside my window, as it covers the woods beyond and I think of how beautiful and peaceful it is. And I'm grateful because it's a sign of what's changed within me and what's yet to come.

I wish you all peace and joy in the future, this new Golden Age. I wish you unlimited abundance, freedom, growth, and recovery. I wish you your heart's desires and mine too. I wish you sweet dreams and warm sunny days. I wish you success in all your endeavors and that you always have enough faith to believe in yourselves and those you love. And I wish you to be surrounded by people who love and appreciate and encourage your beautiful light within.

 Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2012


I remember a story from church about a farming community that was going through a drought. They were church-going folk, simple people of faith and called in an evangelist to help pray for rain. The evangelist looked at the packed house and said, 'Where is your faith?' It was standing room only and everyone looked at each other confused. They had showed up, hadn't they? The evangelist waited a moment until things quieted down and said, 'If you had faith that God would give you rain, why hasn't anyone brought an umbrella?'

So I was thinking about how I put out to God, Spirit, The Universe, who/which has limitless abundance that I want a kiss for Christmas. I know, silly, but it's something to me, because of the events of the past few years, if you know me, you know....and I was talking to a friend last night and said, 'Santa is bringing me a kiss for Christmas!' but then I thought, where is my faith? Where is my 'umbrella'? So I said, 'No matter what, wherever I go, I'm going to doll up, to get Santa's attention, and to hedge my bets, bribe some reindeer to put in a good word for me. My friend said, 'Deer like carrots.' Well, shit. I have no carrots. 'Do they like celery?' 'They're herbivores, so yeah, I think so.' 'Okay, so celery it is. I'll bring celery with me.'

Today when I was leaving, I gave my grandma a kiss goodbye and almost walked out the door and remembered and asked her if she had celery. She looked at me funny and said, 'Tak. Take as much as you need.' So I opened the crisper drawer and found TWO CARROTS and a head of celery, so I took a stalk of that too, even though I really think the carrots will really get me in good with Comet and Cupid. Still, it's good to have back-up.

No, I didn't catch Santa in his sleigh today. The weather was foggy and drizzly (more work for Rudolph) but every time I looked at my purse, I saw two carrots and a stalk of celery sticking out and giggled, all day long. So either I get a kiss or I make soup. Either way, it's win/win. (And I'm going to the hardware store and buying a big bag of deer corn tomorrow. Hedging bets doesn't hurt).

If you're praying for rain, don't forget to bring an umbrella.

Monday, December 3, 2012

If It Fits

You, gentle reader, have suffered and sorrowed and some of you have even snickered (I know who you are and it's cool) at my flaws and foibles. You've chosen to deal with the small string of broken hearts and a couple of big ones that I chronicled with, shockingly, more grief than words, which is a feat considering how I like my words. Today a confidante chuckled and said, 'Elaine, you do so love your analogies and metaphors.' It's true, I'm addicted but it's my medium. It's also my comfort.

As I spoke with this friend, the sunlight sparkled through the windows and she asked me, as she always does because she has impeccable manners, if I wanted to move (there are no curtains; the one wall is literally all glass and wood framework) to get the sun out of my eyes and I told her that it invigorated me. It does. If I'm radiant in my photographs, in person, I glow. The sun feels good on my skin and I soak it in deeply, as if I'm in bathwater. Like the skylight that sits over my former marriage bed, waking me every morning in a pool of light, it is a gift of simple bliss.

We spoke of many things as we do each Monday and she asked about a ring that I'd never worn in her presence before. It was notable because I'd sold nearly all my jewelry to pay for my divorce and other than costume pieces, I don't have much left. Any piece remaining would have to have significant sentimental value for me to keep and this was one. It was my grandmother's. And I remembered the lesson of that moment as if it were yesterday.

Two years ago, I weighed around 200 lbs. more than I do now. Five years ago, it was 400 lbs. I embarked on improving my health and saving my life due to illness, the acknowledgement that I was not happy at my size then, and that I wanted to be more active and could not be the person I wanted to be at that size. I celebrate anyone who believes they can and I know many who do. But it was not for me. I did something about it, I was blessed to be able to, although I made a lot of mistakes, some near-fatal, along the way. I also sacrificed a great deal. My health has been compromised. I have horrific scars on my body. My marriage did not survive.

The night of the ring, I was visiting my father and grandmother. My brother was still alive, so he was nearby. I was in poor health, even then, so I'm going to take an educated guess that it was a holiday since it was difficult to get around. My mobility had been affected by my choices. My former husband was there, because I remember not being able to fit through the small space between the entertainment center and the arm of the oversized sofa, to get to the bathroom, and on my return, I brushed my arm, hard, against the wood and cut myself hard enough for blood to drip to the floor.

Normally, when it comes to physical pain, I can endure it like a champ. Like my mother had, I've a very high tolerance for it. But this time, I cried out and sat on the opposite couch in the dark (my dad was watching the ever-present football game) and looked at my wound in a daze. It wasn't a little cut or scrape. I might need stitches which would be a first, and uncharacteristically, my ex ran to my side, and soothed me. He applied pressure to my arm, went into the bathroom to find bandages and antiseptic and I sat there more in shock at his kindness (as did my family) than at my own injury. He put the Hello Kitty Band-aid on it (which promptly fell off, but he got points for trying) and kissed my boo-boo, as I had done with him many times. I realized that yes, I had done that many times for him. The only time he would ever show any emotion was if he had a small injury, illness or slight, as if it was okay to be sick, but not okay to actually express feelings. With injury, he felt more free and because I'm a born nurturer, I would run to his side. Although he took care of me without complaint the entire time I was very sick a few years back, he would also always remind me that it was out of duty (and not love) which probably would have hurt more had I not been on strong narcotics for chronic pain. I would remember all of it, though, when I detoxed myself after my sister's death.

When I went to my father's to ask if I could stay with him because I was leaving the ex, he and my grandmother knew that we were having problems but I had spared them from the worst because I had hoped with all my heart that I could 'fix' my marriage. Their disbelief, however, was not something I was prepared for. I'd hoped they'd say, 'Of course, move in for as long as you need' but they kept bringing up the one and only moment when he showed me tenderness. And I felt terrible guilt for allowing it because here they were saying how could it be, how could it be, he was so sweet to you. I didn't know why I let him. I was in pain? I wanted him to acknowledge me? I wanted the rare kiss, even if it was on my bandage? I brought that up to my friend and she explained that it was completely normal for me to want love especially from my own husband and in the rare moment he offered, for me to accept it, even if the relationship was essentially over. This perspective, well...this truth, gave me the freedom to forgive myself for accepting love from someone abusing me and also the guilt for my family having seen this and assuming everything was okay, as if it were my fault.

Later, on the night I hurt myself, I was sitting with my grandmother and she was wearing a lovely pearl ring. Anyone who knows me knows that if I see something beautiful, I'll admire it. I'll gush, even. They also know of my affinity for pearls, my personal talisman, so it was no surprise to anyone that I'd tell her how pretty it was but she surprised me by saying that if it fit, I could have it.

I knew that it couldn't fit. I may have long tapered fingers, but she's very petite with a dainty build and isn't even five feet tall. I'm 5'8" and I'd say my build is slightly larger, somewhat taller than average. It was not going to fit. Still, I thought to myself, 'What the hell' and asked her if I could try it on and it slipped on my finger as if it were made for it. It was impossible and to this day, even taking into account how malleable skin and flesh doesn't make sense but it fit anyway.

I told my confidante that it took a while to learn the lesson tied into that but I had to experience more for the big picture, for the puzzle to be complete enough to not be finished, but show me the form to continue the process. My grandmother had said that it was mine if it fit, but it, no matter what she intended and what I thought, had nothing to do with size.  It was meant for me, so it fit. It didn't make sense, but it fit. And I mused on that and wondered at how much more this applied to my life.

How many times had I tried to force something to fit? Square pegs in round holes....I'd be so determined, I'd go so far to shave off the corners but it wasn't meant for that. I had to learn the meaning of 'no'. I had to also learn, a bit later, that 'no', might really mean, 'not yet'.  No, my marriage could not be fixed. No, my husband was not my soul mate or twin flame. No, no matter what I did, I had to let go and move on. No, the beautiful house and that skylight bathing me in morning sunshine was only temporary, so it was lost but for memories. And no, nobody said there would never be love in my life again. That was a 'not yet'. That was a 'there's something and someone better for you'. My problem was, I was trying to make everything fit. That included some people and a lot of heartache on both sides, before I got the message to relax, breathe, live, breathe some more, enjoy now, give myself a break and love me exactly as I was. I had to be my own soul mate before he would show up. He's always been inside me, as Rumi says, and I think of him that way, wherever he is. I hope he's learning. I hope he's having fun. I hope he's happy. I know I am.

But what about the other side of the coin? What about all the things that we assume won't fit? The things we think won't work out and we dismiss out of hand because they're not practical or don't fit in with our plans? What if we pass up on rewarding opportunities, large and small, elegant and simple or grandiose and impossible because we limit ourselves? What if we overthink things so much that we let our lives pass us by, still remaining busy, but using that busy-ness as an excuse for actually experiencing joy? Is surviving really living? Is drowning really swimming? I think of that ring that should not fit. It's on my finger now, one of the few belongings I own and now, my treasure. I too am my own treasure and that's how I've come to approach life. Try everything that appeals to me. Shoot for the moon (if I fail, I still land among the stars) and give it a shot because unless I try, I'll never know if it fits.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I'd said just last night to one friend that I'd bury bodies for my best friend, so loyal am I, and she is so 'there' for me, and now I find myself at the kitchen door of her niece's first cousin's house wondering why the kitchen lights are on. Well, not her house, well, yes, her house, but really her parents' house who just decided like that to go abroad indefinitely and instructed her via voice mail to watch the house while she was on break from school but didn't even bother to ask her if she'd made plans. She had, and was indeed well on her way to them, so I was drafted to medicate the ancient cat, and keep an eye on the place and since I was conveniently (or rather inconveniently for me) in between places, how could I say no and I fumble with the alarm code while watching a tall man with broad shoulders (they all have them, I've noticed) making hamburgers in a frying pan at the gigantic stove in the lavish and no expenses spared house. He's a stranger to me and no doubt I'm one to him and he turns just as I open the door. The cat is snoring in an empty laundry basket on the kitchen island. Stranger says, 'Do you know where his medication is?' Just as I ask him who he is and he doesn't even wait for my answer, he says, 'Bill. I'm Bill', and turns back to his burger. 

'Do you want cheese or carrots?'
'Excuse me, did you say carrots?'

I think to myself, 'Well, I wouldn't consider carrots ordinarily but they are healthy' and  he says, 'I wouldn't consider carrots ordinarily but they're healthy' and every hair (not many exist, I want to point out that I'm not an APE) stands up on end and I feel this zing of glee, kindred spirit and weight of dread, serial killer with the ability to read minds? Ordinarily I would question him. Okay, I would back him up against a wall and interrogate him but I'm considerably smaller than him (which is rather uncommon) although a part of me would certainly like to back him up against a wall and he me but I walk past him to Jennifer's bedroom. To get the cat's medicine. Top drawer, dresser next to the second window on the left.

 And I drop the bottle which rolls beyond my reach and I silently wonder about the physics of anything rolling anywhere on a shag carpet so thick and when the hell did shag come back and who the hell buys it and how could such a gorgeous house in such an affluent area even allow shag carpeting to be installed on its floors and then remember that Jennifer is a kid but not really because she's in college and even, abroad, only in the opposite direction from her mom and step-dad and I also think about how I have a passport but have never actually left the continent. This 'kid' gets around more than I do and I mull that over while on my knees looking for the bottle of medicine behind or under a dresser too big for me to move. 

I reach up to turn on a lamp but the cord switch is beyond my reach but seconds later it's on and I feel fabric (linen, summer-weight, nice) brush against my hand and then he is on his hands and knees beside me asking me what we're looking for. Ordinarily, I would suppress the smile playing on my lips and fake outrage, well maybe not entirely fake, that this stranger hasn't even told me why he's here when *I*, *I* was given the responsibility of watching the cat and the house and the 1500 satellite stations and the fucking jacuzzi (well, not fucking, but well, yeah, it could be) and the pantry and bar, and I look down to better keep my cool although it's kind of cool that he's down there on the floor helping.

 And I see scattered among the carpet strands--are they strands? Fibers? It's a shag--is it carpet fur? are tiny little stone chips, semi-precious mostly, and they're EVERYWHERE as if something exploded and now I see a bigger pieces around but no more than a half inch or centimetre or so and I see snowflake obsidian, sunstone, lime green calcite, ocean jasper, apatite that blue is sort of rare, and I begin to pluck them and pocket them since I don't have a bag or anything but I do consider a pillowcase which is just as out of reach as the cord on the lamp and he says, 'I just came in from a movie shoot in Europe (everything is vaguely 'Europe')  and Jennifer's parents were gracious enough to let me stay here and I'm sure they meant to tell someone.'

Europe? Movie shoot? I don't say it but it's clear on my face as I look up from the floor into very warm brown, no green, no brown-y green, they kind of dance, eyes mmmm and oh no..I'm not going to, fuck you, ...well...ordinarily...wait not fuck you fuck you, but you know, fuck you I'm not falling for that shit fuck you, but he sees it on my face and offers more like a question, 'I'm big in Europe?'

This time I can't help but laugh. Okay, he's an actor, I get it. He's big there but not here, but he is big here too as evidenced by those shoulders and even on his hands and knees he's a foot taller than me and I'm kind of tall for a woman and he asks me what I'm picking up and I tell him that Jennifer has stones and crystals all over her floor and I'm picking them up and he asks me why and I turn my head sideways and without thinking I say, 'I really don't know.' I pick up a clear quartz point and say, 'Here', and he takes it and I say, 'Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose, feel the cool air in, and then breathe out through your mouth, warm air out, don't think, just breathe and feel the stone', and he does and shock fills his face and he drops it and sits back or up and says, 'What the hell was that', and I say, 'It's the vibration of the crystal' and I laugh and at once it's high and sparkles in the air above us and I fall down on my side and laugh deeper at this, with this stranger, this Bill, how odd this whole scenario is, I'm hunting for treasures with a giant and I don't feel the dread or suspicion anymore although a voice in the back of my mind says, Oh that's the last thought anyone has before their throat is cut and another voice says, Oh way to go with the melodrama, and I stop laughing and smile at him and he smiles at me. 

'The last time I heard 'I'm big in Europe....'...He nods and says, 'Yeah, obviously I'm not that actor. But the work is steady, the pay is great and I can come here and be anonymous. I'm sorry no one told  you. I didn't know you'd be here either until about half an hour ago when your friend called to see if you'd arrived.'
'It's okay, but I'm not leaving so we have to share. I don't really have anywhere to go and I like it here. I can come here and be anonymous too. At least for a week and I promised to take care of the cat.'
'Right. That would explain why he didn't come when called.'
'He didn't come when called because he's deaf. He's also a cat.'
'Right'. He moves a hand over his scalp and down his face. His hair is light brown and thinning, I see the receding hairline. It's short, shaved by the looks of it,  but growing in and just the way I happen to like it and I tell myself, 'no,'. Self mumbles back something unintelligible.

I feel nervous. It sideswipes me and I don't like feeling something and not knowing why and I fight the urge to get up and do something but I don't because I like it here with him, talking on the floor, so I start picking up more stones, crawling around, so he starts picking up more stones, and begins to ask me what each one is. That one is a celestine or blue barite, the light isn't good....angelic realms. That one looks like a citrine, that one ooh that one is nice..tiger's eye. They all have different meanings, different vibrations...' 

'They're nice. The colors.'  He hands me a chunk of rose quartz and an amethyst cluster. 'Rose quartz is for love.'  I blush. Why did I blush, did I just blush? 'I mean, not just romantic love, but heart healing, self-love.....amethyst is peaceful. Both great stones.'

The room isn't, but it feels very small, but not claustrophobic. Cozy. We could be having a picnic. The carpeting is grass green, the walls are blue, the sun is shining through the windows.  We just need a blanket and some ants. And some burgers. 'Your burgers?' 
'They're okay. I know how to cook. I mean, they're on low, lid, steam? You like onions too?'

We talk. I really don't remember anything except for little bits and pieces like the stones all around us. At one point we're sitting up against the foot board of the bed and laughing. 
'You. You have a great laugh.' 
'Yes, the snorting is quite ladylike, I know'.
'No, really.' and he leans in and just like that he kisses me and it's a question, 'Would you, will you?' and I kiss him back and it's a question too, 'Do that some more and can I think about it while you do it some more?' and I can feel him smile through our kisses and I say, without stopping because to be perfectly truthful, it's been a while, 'You don't even know my name'.
'He says, 'Lenny. Your name is Lenny.'
'You can call me 'Lenny'.

I think about the possibility of me prancing around in the baby-dolls I only get to dance around in for my own entertainment and my heart skips a little and I remember my mother telling me she was disappointed that I wasn't a virgin for my wedding and then I think that she would have been even more disappointed if she knew my ex was actually gay, but probably more in me than him and for the first time ever, I think about how I don't care what anyone thinks and while ordinarily I wouldn't jump into such things, I try to say that I'm spontaneous but there are rules and stuff which means by default, no spontaneous and I imagine myself getting naked with this guy and stop. The fight inside is relentless but I think the happy is going to win because it's telling the scared not to penalize him for what anyone else ever did and I agree with the happy and his next kiss is definitely that question and I sit back and say, 'I really need a shower. Do you know where the towels are? I'd be right back. I just need water, shampoo...?' He says, 'I'm doing laundry. The towels are in the washer.' 'All of them?' 'Yes, well, no...there's a washcloth or dishcloth or ten, I think'.

I reconsider. Not just the shower but everything. He sees this. He sees this internal debate and he waits. No pressure. Want, desire, but no pressure. And he's here with me, and me with him. I can feel him and reach out to him if I want to and he's here and real and just as I think that, he takes my arm and runs one finger down the inside to my wrist and lifts my hand to his mouth and kisses it gently and waits. I feel my entire body relax and I say, 'Carrots' and he smiles and I know everything will be all right.