My favorite ghost…

How do I love you without knowing who you are?

Present and elusive, distracted but aware.

Your energy could be dangerous, but all I feel is a warmth that I reflect and embrace.

Your visits are scattered across the days and blur into a swail that lingers undefined.

My light is yours for the waking, my heart – yours for the breaking.

My soul – yours for the taking.

So promise me, we’ll walk together, when I get to the other side.

I want…

to put my arms around the world and sing it sweet lullabies filled with dreams of hope and peace.

I want to paint the sky with folk songs written in the clouds that celebrate the land and air and sea.

I want to hold your hand in a field of sunflowers and have the love we feel blanket the earth until all the anger fades away.

I want my tears to cause a flood that washes away the pain.  I want what you want, for all of it to stop.

Isn’t that what we all want?

For Love of Face

My memories of you, from the first day to the last, your personality, your heart, your soul, you taught me more than I ever could have hoped for and for that I am so truly grateful.

Your power of persuasion

Your soft and sparkly big brown eyes, that bulged when you begged, positioning yourself under gramma’s hands to get your shoulders rubbed, your ability to get whatever you wanted from me, whenever you wanted because I could never figure out how to say no. Your hovering during meal prep and chin resting on my leg while I ate.

Your expressiveness

The vocal notification of the cat scratching the couch, the pain you felt, the lack of interest in being handled by the vet, the notification of the cat not letting you up the stairs, the notification of the cat annoying you, even when he really wasn’t.

The argument when being yelled at the first time in Manitou, coming running when you heard Cleveland Rocks during the Drew Carey show. The look on your face after you’d snap, because you really didn’t mean it.

Your stubbornness

Lashing out when I tried to get you off the bed, not wanting to get out of the car, not wanting the leave the park and forcing me to get in the car and start to drive away to get you to come with me.  The lack of interest in staying, sitting, lying down or doing anything I asked of you.  The temper tantrum you threw when I attempted to walk you on a gentle leader. How you could make yourself seem like you weighed one thousand pounds when you didn’t want to be moved.

Your sense of adventure

Hiking red mountain together and sliding in the scree.  Climbing Blodgett Peak with Zeb, scaling the front of Pulpit Rock, jumping off a two story porch, breaking my leg as we ran down the trail at Glenn Eyre, chasing magpies at Manitou High School, hiking in the snow at the Crags, navigating the rebar as we climbed The Incline together years before they improved it and made it safe.

Your injuries

Hiking up Williams Canyon with Mina when you were 5 months old, hearing you yelp and howl, watching you limp up the trail and carrying you out. Playing Frisbee Ball and watching you slip on the ice and flip over, weeks later, hearing you yelp as you jumped and watching you limp across the field and finding out you had ruptured a disc in your spine. The digging into the grass and gravel when you ran resulting in ripped nails, sometimes to the quick, when I thought you had a tick and I accidentally pulled out your microchip. Your cancer and the strength of your amazing heart until the very end.

Your love of water

Barking with incessant excitement as we approached both lake Erie and Ontario. Lapping at the rapids in Fountain Creek, running through the spillway from Douglass Creek, swimming at Rampart Reservoir and huffing in joy as you lapped at the gentle waves.  Loving to walk in the rain, just not stand in it.

Your poor manners

Jumping in my lap and peeing on me the day I met you at the pound, jumping up on random people as we went for hikes and walks, peeing in an unknown persons gym bag at the Pikes Peak Marathon recovery tent, never really learning to do anything other than sit, all other commands were done at your discretion. Your need to constantly be reminded to be gentle because you didn’t know how not to clamp down on hands holding treats.

Your athleticism

Covering 2-3 times the miles I did when we hiked or walked anywhere.  Endless games of Frisbee Ball, because you were so good at catching the Frisbee but not so good at bringing it back so, I would have to throw the ball for you to retrieve, while I fetched the Frisbee for the next throw. The unlimited style points I would award you for your amazing moves in the air.

Your attraction to cars

Jumping in the car when the windows were down and parked in front of the house, jumping in a random persons car in the parking lot at the pet store and having them ask you to do it again because they were trying to teach their dog how to do it.  Road trips across America with you by my side, sleeping in the backseat of the car hours at a time at The Territory, barking at motorcycles because they weren’t cars.

Your protectiveness

Standing on the back of the couch in the living room and snarling and barking at the bear in Manitou, growling at passers by while we slept at various rest stops across America, barking like an 80 pound dog and startling people when they saw how small you were, coming face to face with rattlesnakes and somehow not getting bit, your connection to DJ and Patrick.

Your sense of smell

Smelling out water at Pinion Valley Park and digging it up at the sprinkler heads, stealing snacks from gramma’s purse despite being wrapped in tinfoil, the rhythm of your sniffing as you processed what you discovered, walks that should have been 10 minutes were 30 because you needed to take it all in. Waking up to the smell of anything being cooked, even the smallest bits in the microwave. Watching you stand on the steps at Eclipse and sniffing at the air. Sniffing every blade of grass and every drop of rain during our last walk.

Your anxiety

How when I first brought you home I would leave the house and hear you yelping and crying, so I would come back after 2 minutes until you finally accepted that I would always come home. How you never would let me close a door on you in the house and you would scratch and paw and yelp and howl until I let you in. The way you didn’t like people messing with your butt or your paws or your ears.  The muzzle we needed at the vet, panting in the middle of the night when you were in pain. Freaking out when I would reach down for you to put you in the back of the car, smearing peanut butter in my hair at the vets when I tried to distract you when attempting to pick you up.  Barking and yelping for now reason downstairs and making me come fetch you to get you up to bed.

Your warmth

Radiating the heat of the sun as you hogged the bed, getting you under the covers was the best way to stay warm.   The days of snuggle bunnies with the cat. Sniffing in my ears and always being good for a kiss.   What you filled me with every day I knew you, and what I’ll carry with me for as long as I live.

I love you Face. I will always be your girl and you will always be a part of me. Until we’re together again, my wonderful friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guideposts

The universe has a funny way of showing you the way.  It’s subtle in it’s obviousness, if only you pay attention.

This weekend I walked the Paint Mines and as I walked I listened; to the sound of birds telling the world that they’re here, to the sound of the things of man bouncing off the formations and to the sound of my thoughts echoing through the canyons of my mind.

While each step took me closer to another view of another world, they took me farther and farther back to the days when I walked the tall grass around the pond where my grandparents lived.  I could walk for hours;  listening to nature, telling myself stories of a dreamy past life.  I was an Indian Maiden guide and I was showing him the way.  I smile when I think of those days, so much simpler, so much of everything possible.  So much of whatever, whenever, how ever…

That dreamy past life, this dreamy future.  I take one step closer, listening, seeing the signs, believing it’s true.

 

 

 

 

Mirrors and Windows

I’m standing there in the mirror replaying those moments I can’t contain the emotions I feel. It’s awkward crying at yourself watching your face change from peaceful to struggling and this quiet all knowing voice in my head said, it’s not a race. It’s a journey and the journey of this you – this passionate kind beautiful patient you has really only just begun.

A little over a year ago I started writing to my dad. We had been estranged since I was in my early 20’s. Our relationship was filled with should haves, could haves, wanted to and didn’t. There were a couple of things that led up to the moment of my reaching out but the primary reason was that I realized I could never have an open, loving, trusting relationship with any man until I had one with the most important man in my life. It took him a while to come around – close to four months or so. I have asked to see him but he just isn’t there, I don’t know if he ever will be and that’s ok. So we write letters and I think of him often and I fully accept that this is what he is willing and capable of giving and for that I am so grateful.

So why did I find myself going through the emotions in the mirror and wishing I could just turn my feelings off?  There’s always questions when it starts….Why are we drawn to the people we’re drawn to? What makes one person attracted to another and not some? Is it chemical? Is it mystical? There’s a song by the xx, they say…”I’ve been a romantic for so long, all I’ve ever had are love songs”…I always come back to those moments, they fill my dreams and all of it brings me right back to this mirror.   So, there’s a hint of longing in my eyes..and although I’ll turn on the smile and face the day, these windows will reflect my soul.

Mothers Day

I have furry children.

When I was younger I would say I didn’t want kids.  I didn’t like kids.  I would say…I might as well have one, if I’m going to suffer each month as dramatically as I do, I might as well go through the gift of childbirth at least once.  So still, it hasn’t happened and I wonder now if it ever will.  A while back, I thought of doing it on my own, about finding an agency, making a choice, engineering the perfect child.  But I realized, I don’t want to do it alone.  If I’m destined to have a child, I will wait until I find love and if he and I are lucky enough to be blessed with a child, then it will be.  I don’t think about it that much really, even on mothers day.  But for some reason, this year is different.

How do we choose who we love?  Why do some people appeal to us more than others?  Why are we willing to give ourselves to some and not others?  Why don’t we understand the consequences of the choices we make?  I could hear them talking in the hallway, there was something wrong, why wasn’t I at the hospital.  I knew there had to be something wrong, because I never knew he was there, until a day before he wasn’t.

And so I close this Mothers’ Day knowing that everything that has happened is part of something bigger.  Something so much bigger than all of this and it will be so worth it when it comes.

Two trees

She would stare blankly out the window contemplating the pair of trees in the neighbors yard as he droned on.  His drunken animation amplified by the sound of coffee cup on saucer. Boys only want one thing – they’ll try to get you alone, they’ll touch you. Her mother sat at the other side of the table adding nothing to the conversation.

I want to be one of those trees she said to herself – they swayed in the wind – a light breeze would make them dance and in the worst of storms they would only bend. She nodded without thinking unaware that the words were sinking in and taking over in a way she wouldn’t discover for years.

She was smart and yet so stupid at the same time. She liked them all, they could take her away- she was willing to pay the price with that one thing, they wouldn’t just use her and throw her away.  He asked me to go to his hockey game, he called to go to the roller rink and he held my hand, he came to watch me play softball, he walked me to the bus when I got hurt in the soccer game.

When the phone rang she wasn’t home or she couldn’t come to the phone.  She was never allowed to answer. So much everything…wake up sleeping beauty, water thrown.  Stop mumbling, slow down, shoulders back.  Shoe shine, clean your room, take a bath, take another bath, what you believe isn’t real. Nowhere was safe, accusations, beatings, you’re a Lye-errr.  Screaming so no one could hear.  I am a good person.  Why is this happening….it’s Wednesday….

Anger follows the lost truth, monster, scratching burning, banging – always the face – wishing for the scars to show, this is what I’m living, this is what I’m wearing. Feelings were numbed and buried deep beneath 100 pounds of armor. And she let them touch her without knowing knowing how to touch. Hoping for nothing and wanting it all.  She floated through circles and glass hallways, over bridges and under stars, climbed roofs and slid down skree.

Karma’s debt paid, the armor’s been shed. Now she watches the trees and knows that love can be pure and beautiful and free.  The echoes of those lessons fade and new truths embraced.

 

Switches and Dials

There were times when I was angry and there were times when I was numb.  There were years when I wandered; kind of searching for something or maybe for someone.   I spent some time with musicians; one of the last lemmings, a girl called new age val, a small town paranoid, half of an exploding knoll.  And it was during this time, that I taught myself how to mix sound.

Layers of tracks that can be faded or bounced.  Take upon take until the perfect combination of harmony and rhythm is achieved.  I didn’t realize it then, but life lessons were at play among those switches and dials on that board.  You could suppress something with a touch or you could gradually reach an ideal state by fine-tuning.

Years later I started to think that people were like switches and dials.  At first, they were compartmentalized, you were a switch or you were a dial.  As time went on though, I realized, people are more like the entire sound boards.  We all have switches and dials.  Some things are easy to switch on or off;  you can take a different route to work, because of construction, or start each day with a big drink of water.  Other things require more fine tuning;  you integrate more diet and exercise into your life or open yourself up to giving and receiving love and all that it entails.

So now, I spend my time mixing frequencies and layers as I write the music of my life and I share it for everyone to hear.

These days…

I’ve been kind of turned around lately, maybe even upside down.  I’ve been reading a book that says, when this happens, it’s the universe saying…”are you sure this is what you want”?

“Of course,” I say…yes!

Things that may appear to be small seem to be aligned to others and hold much meaning.  Feelings are triggered and surface at odd times.  Confidence builds and wanes in the course of a conversation.  I remind myself that no ones actions should lead me to doubt my worth and that I was fine before I met him and I’ll be fine regardless of whether he’s interested or not.  Everything up to this moment brought me here, there’s something to be learned from everyone I meet.  I know I’m here for a reason, I know I am on the right path.

I have depression, someone once asked me, what kind it was…I responded, “the kind that makes it completely impossible to do anything, to get out of bed or to care”. Dis-ease, it’s an appropriate term for what afflicts so many in one way or another, but this “depression” does not define me.  I’m medicated, I’m in therapy, I journal, but I don’t think you can cure it, you manage it.  It’s always there…And so the other day, I decided, it’s not “my depression”, it’s “my red balloon.”

My red balloon can soar high among the clouds, and skip along the breeze.  My red balloon can get caught up in the trees and will sometimes lose it’s way.  There are days when my red balloon gets so low that it just tumbles and skips along the ground.  Anything is possible for my red balloon.  I will never allow it to be deflated to the point where its’ lifeless shell is left just lying limp and alone in the street to walked all over or worse, discarded.  My red balloon is always with me, reminding me of how to fly, giving me hope and showing me the way to fight through anything that  tries to keep it down.

My birthday is in a week, the date is serendipitous.  47 on 4/7…I don’t feel this old.  I’ve always kind of felt like I’ve had a young soul.  I’ve met people years younger than me that possessed so much insight and knowledge.  So much patience and stability.  I read once the soul continues to evolve until it breaks apart and then searches for its twin and when it finds it, the souls journey is complete.  I also read  once that the human mind processes 11 million pieces of information every second.  At least, I’m pretty sure I read that once, retention of information is not one of my strengths.  Actually, it’s more like selective retention., some things don’t need to stay  Like people, some ideas are just more appealing than others.

And so my thoughts go around and around and bring me back to the place I started.  The challenges I face these days, I choose to embrace them.  These are the experiences I that I need to have, the lessons that I need to learn, the lessons that say….love and be loved.

 

 

Missed Approach

You’re locked in on the target and begin a slow descent.

Hovering, wafting, tilt to one side then the next. It’s actually quite a peaceful engagement.

You can see what lies beneath you and you know where you’ve been.

The landing is inevitable- until – you pull up – let go of hope – turn and try again.

You circle – this time determined – the path is clear – you’re free to land – you’re free to live – you’re free to love.

You’re finally home.