Monday, December 31, 2012

Me with my niece Deja

J- What's your favorite sport?

D- Soccer.

J- Why? I thought basketball was your favorite.

D- Because I think I have the best chance at soccer. So...I'm puttin' my heart into soccer. And even if I don't make soccer in high school I still have a chance at basketball.

The first year in high school I'm gonna do travel basketball and play soccer for the school team.

J- What high school you goin' to?

D- Poly.

J- Why?

D- Because they have a good basketball and soccer program and because my mom told me that all the women in the family went to Poly and I wanna continue the tradition.

J- How do you feel about making the team at Hughes as a 6th grader? They don't usually take 6th graders right?

D- I feel good because my brother didn't make it in the 6th grade and that was my goal, to brag in his face.

(She laughs)

J- So what's the plan after high school?

D- I wanna go to Bayler College for basketball reasons. They have a good team. I haven't really thought about soccer in college. But...now that I made my soccer all star team then...

J- How did you feel when your coach called you and told you you made the all star team?

D- I felt surprised but then I also felt like I earned it. Like I deserved to be there.

J- Ok, so what happens after college? What's going on?

D- My career. I'll probably be on the L.A. Sparks.

J- What if sports are out of the question? What are your other interests?

D- Um...acting because I'm good at it. I was working with an acting group and I had the opportunity to try for a commercial but I had a game.

J- Oh, so if you have a game the same day as a commercial...

D- Duh, game no question!

(We laugh)

J- So your last game in San Diego I heard there was a man in the audience taunting you. How was that?

D- I just tuned him out. I didn't listen to him. I play for myself, not for the audience.

J- Could you understand anything he said?

D- Probably, but I didn't pay it any attention.

J- Do you feel like you compete with Reuben a lot?

D- Yeah. I compete with him but to him it's not competition. He makes it look so easy.

J- What do you wanna tell me?

D- About what?

J- Whatever.

D- I don't know.

J- How are you doing in school?

D- Last time I checked I had all A's and one B.

J- What's your favorite subject?

D- Math.

J- Really?

D- Um hum.

J- Why math?

D- It's easy to me. Other subjects it seems like it goes in this ear and comes out the other. God just gave me the gift in math I guess.

J- Remember when you had your second hip surgery and I said "Deja, you gon have to slow down. You wanna be able to walk, don't you?" You remember what you told me?

D- Yep.

J- What?

D- I said "That's ok. If I can't walk I'll just play in the wheelchair Olympics." There's nothing that's gonna keep me from playing something.

J- Go 'head, girl!

Dear Blogspot

With the old layout I was able to easily read other people's blogs just by clicking that arrow in the right hand corner. There's no arrow anymore. Are you suggesting that I keep my eyes on my own paper? What is this, 5th grade? Is this a test? From time to time I like checking out random photos and stories by other folks. Strangers. The guy whose blog is next to mine who lives in Russia or something. Also I liked my picture above my posts. It was the cute one of me holding my camera and I kinda looked like I was really handeling business. Oh well. You don't care. Happy new year to you anyway.

Happy new years eve!

I am boss charged about hanging with my family tonight to bring the new year in. Hanging at the house tonight. So many memories there. So many more to come. Whatever you do, please be safe.

I like big bags and I cannot lie

Yes, often my purses look like small carry on bags one would take to the airport. So what. I was at the check out stand recently and a security guard remarked as I was paying for my items "Dang, what is that? A suitcase?" Really? I mean, if I pulled my wallet out of a cereal box what difference should that make to you?

Sickening

This whole "Stand your ground" defense is just plain scary and just plain straight out evil. I noticed that in the previous sentence I meant to type plain but typed pain instead. I started not to correct it because pain is what it really is. Our young boys are being murdered and no one has to be held accountable because the killer was what? Standing his ground? Against what? What ground? Jordan Davis was riding in a car with other young men and they were playing loud music. Yes. And somebody was afraid and now the boy is dead. He is dead. Our young man, our son, our blood, our baby is dead. And maybe and probably, no one will pay. As if payment could ever even be made.

Dear Brother and Sister

Yesterday after church a woman I have known almost all of my life walked up to me smiling and said "You gettin' hipty. You got big legs." Smiled again and walked away. I'll note here in case you aren't a regular reader of my blog, that I don't regularly or even often attend this church. My mother still attends. It's the church I grew up in. It's the church of which I hold some good and some painful memories. Anyway, she said that and walked away. What brings me to write about her comment is this. Every time I come to the church I see her and/or her husband, both ushers, first greeters of the guests, one of them makes some remark about my weight. What if I was sensitive about that to the point it would have me never come back? What if I didn't happen to think I was as sexy as I think I am? Smile. What about how incredibly inappropriate that is on so many levels? Especially with the majority of the remarks coming from him. I never say anything. I don't know why. I don't though. I never give any expression. They can't read that? So this is to you Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, no, I'm not a size 2 anymore. I, as you put it, am hipty. Love it and me or don't. But as you wonder why the children and other members are disappearing from the church, listen to the "love" you give.

Yes, let's be that petty

If you aren't speaking to my mother, then stop speaking to me too. Mkay?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The children. The family. The moments.

Seriously, the children in my life are phenomenal. My son, nephew and niece. I am so proud of each one of them. They are all incredible human beings I would want to know even if I was not related to them. I am so thankful to God for blessing me to know them and even more, share blood with them. I am thoroughly enjoying the moments we share.

Today the family was together again. My sister and I went to church with my mother, which was a surprise to her. After church we went to the house and ate the awesome dinner my brother in law cooked. All present were my mother, sister, brother in law, Uncle Therman, son, neice, me of course, the dog, and then later my nephew joined us from his visit with his friend. My sister played some game with the kids (ok, teenagers) while we watched silly movies on television. The sillier the better. Step Brothers and some other movie just as crazy. I so enjoyed laughing at the foolishness. Together. Playing with the dog. Ok, I don't really play with dogs, but I watched and took pictures. My son finally said it was ok for me to post the photos of him playing with the dog on my blog. "But I'm just playing around with the dog. What's so big about that?" I explained as best as I could that that was the point. That it was just a moment. A beautiful moment that wasn't big or small or sad or drama filled. It was a normal, wonderful moment. Maybe he will never get it. I almost hope he doesn't. I almost hope he never craves to see pictures of moments that are just moments because sad thoughts and anxiety fill his mind. Praise God for moments. And really normal happy times. Oh how I love Christmas break.

It's 9:21 now and I'm at home. About to shower and ready myself for maybe another free write and movie and conversation with Love (who had to work today but was lovingly in my thoughts). Have a wonderful night all. A wonderful night indeed.

This world. Sad face. This world.

I just passed by as this story was being told. Gotta go back and get the details. It seems a woman today or yesterday pushed a man onto the train tracks because she hates Hindus and has hated them since 2001. Her defense now is that she is bipolar and I guess didn't know what she was doing. Ok, you know...I get it, the urge to snapp, to go off. I'm not accepting though that she didn't know right from wrong. I'm not. So if she has a mental illness then she needs help. Being bipolar is not a get out of jail free card.

Dear Sir, it's almost 2013

It's hard to sit in a church where women preachers aren't allowed in the pulpit.

Bliss

I love watching movies with my son.

Last Sunday of the year!

9:39. Home. Happy Sunday morning all. Spending another day with family. Today I believe I'll take a kagillion pictures of my son and niece and nephew if he's home. I'll be sure to post. Enjoy your day.

Black people, do better

I just watched the worst YouTube video ever in the history of YouTube videos. Why did I watch so long? Because it was a link on Facebook and the person sharing it said that she had been sick all day but that video made her laugh. I'm such a sucker for the funny. I fell for it and played it. Two men with full on beards were sitting in a car with wigs on and women's clothes talking crazy and calling each other bitches were waiting for one of their "baby daddies" to purchase a blanket from a guy selling things in front of some house. The camera went from the bitch this bitch that conversation of the women to the bartering of the men. The whole thing was rediculous. It ended with baby daddy walking to the car to settle something and the seller running off with baby daddy's EBT card. Yep. What about that would make anyone laugh? How sick was the person who shared this craziness that this blessed her life? Really? Aren't you disgusted just reading my description of the video? Have you ever read me bashing anyone's creativity on my blog ever? No you haven't. I'm usually an if you don't like it just move on and it just wasn't for you type person, but no, not this time.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Breathing

I still don't like this new layout on Blogspot. Blogspot does not care. It knows I won't move permanently to Tumblr. Tumblr doesn't feel like home. I don't want all the interaction or whatever. No, that's not it. I just don't post there much. Besides most everything I post anywhere else I post here too so...Whatever. This is a dumb free write. There are things I want to write about but haven't decided to move those thoughts past my journal yet. Maybe I will. Thoughts about my son. My absolute favorite person on the planet. He is fifteen now. And I can't take it away. None of it. None of the fifteen year old stuff. None of the lessons. Even if I could answer every question he will never voice inside his head, there would be a million more to take place in his head. I can't take away those feelings. Those whatever awkward feelings. I can only love him and do my best by him. I can only be here and look him in his big amazing eyes and tell him I love him. Listen when he speaks. Hold him in my thoughts and prayers. Laugh at his funny stories. Twist his thick locks and remind him to keep his phone charged. There are things I can do. And he is fifteen now. There are things I can't do.

Creepy

I still don't know how I feel about Facebook asking me how it's going.

This is why

Because sitting up in the living room fiddling on my blog is what I feel like doing
Because the candles are still burning
Because I haven't made it to the kitchen to put the pumpkin pie away yet
Because I don't feel like going to bed right now
Soon though
Just not now
With these whatever free write nothing no matter words in my head
Itching escape
Leave then
Here is your chance

11:39pm
Saturday night
I passed on a holiday sipping party because of the sipping
Because I don't want to sip tonight
Because I don't want to sip and drive home
I don't want to drive home after every one else has sipped
I passed on a holiday sipping party because of the sipping
Because I do want to sip
And sip
And
Sip

Coming to a close

You know how every year this time people talk about how fast the year went by and they just can't believe it's almost over already? Well, I'm usually one of those people. Not this year though. This has been a long year. New experiences and lessons. New adjustments and stuff and stuff. And...always blessings. Long year doesn't mean bad year. Hard in a lot of ways, but hard didn't kill me. Not sure how much stronger hard made me either, but whatever. I made it. At least to here.

Seriously

If you are in a church where the members call each other Brother This and Sister That, then please act like family and not just the reality TV bickering type drama brothers and sisters. It's a church remember? Or does that count? Where is the love? Really, stop wondering why your seats are empty. That's why. You are why.

Good Saturday morning all!

10:06. At home. I am loving all the rain. I love this gray day. My favorite kind of day. Still in bed. Yep. Went to see Flight again with my family last night at the 10:30 show. I had a wonderful time with them. My mom, son, and niece. Seriously, time spent with family really is priceless. On the drive I played iPad Scrabble with Deja and Uraeus. Uraeus won. We laughed and shared stories and Uraeus and Deja competed for the last word (because they are so much alike). And the evening was beautiful. And then I get to wake up to these musical drops of rain patting against my window, my roof.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Free write part 2

I heard there were other girls after me. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe if I had said something way back then there wouldn't have been. All the maybes. I was a child. I still beat myself up about it though. Every now and then there is this space inside of me that feels free. Then I feel guilty for feeling that because I picture some other young girl who thought she could trust him because he wore a robe. Some young girl feeling violated who grew up and maybe forgot about him but couldn't shake his tounge, maybe his fingers, his voice in her ears. Maybe something I could have stopped.

This is the work. This is putting up or shutting up. This is being of service to someone else or not. This is honoring myself or being a victim to some old something else some old other sad story. This is making a difference or turning my head. This is the line. This is jumping into freedom or not.

Free write (like all the rest)

3:20pm. At work. I'm full of boring random thoughts today. But isn't that better than my breakdown reports? I thought so. I feel better after therapy. I usually do. I heard that was strange though. Whatever. Thoughts though, about therapy today. Places I'm stuck. Places I beat myself up on for being stuck. People. Him. Today a him. From my childhood. Inappropriate kisses and conversations and guilt about keeping secrets. Some people shouldn't be around children. They just shouldn't. I've been stuck here so long because he is still around children and I doubt he has changed. It's not enough that I'm free of him. There are young girls who are not. It's not the memory of his touches that haunt me still (well, a little) but my silence. My silence haunts me. This is hard to say. But necessary. I Googled him a few weeks ago to see if he was still preaching. I found him. Behind the podium. That voice. Stern and clipped. That fire that brimstone that pointed wrinkled finger damning souls to hell. It's not that I haven't forgiven him. I have. As best as I know forgiveness to be. I haven't forgiven myself. Haven't forgiven my sewn together lips for not calling the foul. As a child I thought I may have misunderstood and he didn't mean for his tongue to slip in my mouth every single time he kissed me. When I purposely extended my cheek he didn't mean to force my nose to his. Every. Single. Time. Then I got older and didn't know how to answer why I didn't say something before. Now I'm a grown woman and why should I believe that he has set his predatory behavior aside? As much Criminal Minds as I watch? And I'm ashamed I listen to the nine year old girl in me who reminds me that at least it's not me. At least it's not mine. But I'm not free from it. Silence does not set you free, you know? Time does not heal. Words heal. Actions heal. Making the world safe for others heals.

Dear Netflix

Thank you for all of the seasons of Psych.

Dear Jaha

Stop posting stupid stuff and get up.

P.S. I love you very much. Mostly.

Hmmmm

If I get up now I will have time to use the restroom before I go into my session. But...

Dear Anybody

I seriously want a new Samsung Galexy phone. Really.

Hey

The barista at Starbucks looks like Bridget Gray. Except shorter. Whiter. Straighter hair. Smaller nose. Darker eyes. Thicker. Different smile. Ok...so...no.

Oh well

Taking myself off of my meds was probably a bad decision. Probably. And I will probably never be on them again. This feeling is temporary. I will probably feel different in an hour. This post is really about how many times I can say probably before you stop reading.

But...

Why am I so nervous right now?

Happy birthday, Dad!

Yep, today is my father's birthday. I do miss him and think about him often. I still have his number in my phone and will probably never delete it.

Switchin' it up

Gonna start posting more short fiction and poetry on this blog. Tired of talking about my life.

Making list. Checking twice.

7:31am. Therapy day. In Starbucks right now reminding myself of all I have to be thankful for. And I am...thankful.

Good morning all

7:15. Starbucks. Good morning is it for now. And maybe that's enough.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas recap

Hello all. 2:09pm. At work. I had a relaxing and easy Christmas evening with family and friends. Was glad for the peace of mind because I had a breakdown Christmas eve. I could feel and was determined it wouldn't last long. I was happy, hyper and anxious the day before that and the measure of my pendulum to the right is the measure to the left it seems. I was going into a store and just became overwhelmed with ugh. I pulled it together and took care of what I needed to do in the store. When I got in my car I lost it. The car seems to be my favorite lose it place. Tears uncontrollable. I told myself out loud that this was just an episode and wouldn't last long. Gave myself the best pep talk I could, prayed and drove home. I try as best as I can not to bring my ugh into our home because it's not something I know how to explain. I got it together. Was kind to Love and to myself. I grabbed my favorite blanket and numbed myself with iPad Scrabble and cable.

I was still feeling the residual blah from the night before when I woke up but that...that funk was gone. You know? I played fake it til you make it til I made it and had a wonderful time and meal on a boat with Love's family then at my mom's house with mine. God is good.

This is totally switching topics but whatever. This morning when I woke up, I don't know why but I was thinking about a woman. I don't know her but she is a family friend of someone I knew. This someone I knew and I were at a wedding a few years ago and this woman was there. She sat in the first five rows of the church and we were about twenty rows behind her on the opposite isle. She cried throughout the wedding and I was sad to learn that her teenaged daughter had died in a car accident a year before. I understood, as best as someone who has not been in that situation can understand, her tears. When a child dies, I know that it is not just that child that dies but a lifetime of dreams and what ifs die too. I can only imagine her pain as she sat there so close to the front of the church and watched a young woman march down the isle and make promises to her new husband.

I don't know why that woman was in my thoughts this morning and now. I pray that she has some ease in her heart. I hope she had dinner last night with friends and family. Hope she has found some space, some corner where she can go to and be understood and heard and loved. I wish for her the words to say to herself when she is in her car and the ugh lands on her like rocks. Maybe I will never see that woman again. Still though, I wish her peace.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mother is home!

2:39pm. Work. New day. Still excited my mother is home and enjoying her "new room." My sister and I spent all night her last night in the hospital cleaning and rearranging her room, preparing for her return. We lifted crazy heavy furniture and work super hard. She loved it. Next chapter, recovery, diet and exercise. We're all in it together.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Yeah

Love is so wonderful. He just is.

So happy

10:05pm. Home. My mother is out of the hospital and breathing without the oxygen machine. Although she does have one to use at home it is only as needed. We are so happy she is home and we continue to pray for her strength.

Love you Mom!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Why yes. Yes you can do something for me.

My nails are chipped already and the next person who asks me if she can do anything for me while my mother is in the hospital I'm going to ask her to meet me in the waiting room and paint my nails. What?

In other news, I'm finding a way to get comfortable sleeping in this chair.

Hospital with my mother day 7

5:39am. Hospital. Good morning all. It's officially day 7 of my mother being in this hospital. God is good. I can say that. I am thankful this morning for hospital and staff and skilled professionals who monitor my mother with needles and beeps from machines. With charts and x-rays and technology. With all of it. I am thankful for all of it. For the meals they bring her and jokes that are rarely funny but so what and water and phone and Internet service. I am thankful. I am thankful that I am counting days of my mother being here and the number is rising and I am thankful my mother is where I can see her and count. I am thankful for counting. Thankful for prayer and free writing that eases my mind. A little. Thankful for the little bit of hair on my head that I have (for now) that I can twist with my fingers and busy my hands when writing is not an option. Writing is not always an option you know. Not even this free write with no structure. Like this post. Though my blog has been so filled with no structure these days that I should rename my blog free write to prepare the readers. You. I am thankful for you. All of you who are with me on this journey. I exist because of you. We keep each other alive. Thank you Therman and Carla and you and you and you and others like you. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Update anyone?

And now we are singing Tracy Chapman and B.B. King and Amy Winehouse and TuPac songs together and laughing and I like this.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hospital night free write

11:24pm. Hospital with my mother. And sometimes what there is to do is sit and let the night fall and let the quiet be. And if she wants to listen to gospel music about Sweet Jesus and healing and hands clapping and organ playing then that is what I want too. These four walls have us tonight. These white walls with baby blue trim with O Mary don't you weep bouncing off of them have us by the hopes. These walls know we need their permission to breathe and sneeze and be. I don't know how to sit and watch my mother fight for comfortable position each night with mask blowing oxygen into nose, down to her lungs. I will breathe for you, Mother! You can have my breath! I want to scream to her and to the walls. Just make it how it was. Just get up and breathe deeply and exhale and run and I will walk with you every day. I am not too busy. And I am hopeful and afraid and prayerful and ready for us to pack her things and go home to her bed. I am ready to sit with her in her living room.

The spirit of the Lord is here
The power of the Lord is here
I feel it in the atmosphere
(drums, clap clap)

The spirit of the Lord is here
The spirit of the Lord is here
I feel it in the atmosphere
The power of the Lord is here
The power of the Lord is here
I feel it in the atmosphere

The presence of the Lord is here
The presence of the Lord is here
I feel it in the atmosphere

That is the song playing right now. She is resting and there is power in prayer and music and hands clapping.

Dear God, fix this. Fix all of this.

Hospital with my mother day 6

8:28am. Hospital. This is what I do with my nerves, I write. It's also what I do when I'm relaxed. Go figure. I didn't sleep much at all last night. I'm sleeping in the "big" chair at the hospital next to my mother's bed. It's not very big. It's also not meant for sleeping. We talked last night about how she wants to change her room around when she gets out of here. I did like that. It seemed to light her up too. It's almost 9 and I need to be at work at 12:30. I don't want to leave at all. I want to sit here with her. Even if it means I have this helpless feeling that washes over me when she doesn't feel well. I know she sleeps better when someone is here. Roshann will be here soon. Janice will be here. I am not the only one. We are all in this. There are many praying. You can tell I am nervous. I am babbling. My mom and I suspect that this rash all over my body is not just from the shrimp but from my nerves. Probably. She has been given medication for an upset stomach and is resting now. I will try to rest some too. Keep us in your prayers please. Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hospital with my mother day 5

9:11pm. In the hospital with my mother. The nurse is taking blood now. They are always taking something. Blood. Food trays. Bed linen. Rest. They will not take my hope. My prayers. My want. My vision of her outside these walls. Free of tubes and needles.

I stayed the night with her last night and went to work this afternoon. Got off tonight and went home to rest a few hours and now I am back. Happily. I walked in and she was resting. There were no visitors so I sat quietly, appreciating how hard it is to sleep and stay sleep. I stared at her until my staring brought her back.

Every moment is precious. For all of us. You too. Your loved ones too. Cherish them, the moments.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Free write poem like

10:56pm
Hospital with my mother
My hair has grown into this collection of soft nappy raw silk
Black and gray at the temples
I keep twisting little knots with my fingers
Squeezing and rubbing my scalp until it is sore
That is what I can do now
Rub my sore scalp and pray
Feel the oil between my fingers and
Be grateful my mother is getting some rest
This is no new poem
These are just words
To busy my mind
To occupy my hands
My hands that cannot erase her headache
That can only straighten her bed
So that's what I do
I busy myself with straightening her bed
I fuss over covers and fitted sheets and TV channels
That is what I can do

Hospital with my mother

10:46pm. We are together. And that is important. She is awake now, watching something on television. I just finished a movie on Netflix. We have laughed. I have watched her in pain and felt my arms and heart cotton candy away not being able to help. No magic abracadabra in my whisper to unclot the blood in her lungs. She is my mother. I am praying and seeing her in her home. In her living room. Her kitchen. Driving her truck. That is what I can do now.

Hospital

6:59pm. In the hospital with my mother. She has been here since Saturday night.
The thing about this new Blogspot layout is that I can't navigate easily in it. I want to get to all of my posts at once to edit and I have to go through all these hoops to do that. And yes. Being irritated about this layout is easier than being frustrated about something else I can't control.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I really wanna take some Benadryl for these hives but I'm not because I'm not taking any medication this week. Really want a glass wine right now but I'm not gonna have one because I'm not drinking any alcohol this week. So there.
I don't like the new layout of this site. I didn't ask for a change. I don't want it to change. I didn't do this. Fix it back Blogspot! Please.
Been in my journal because the past couple of days have been too personal to post. I will later though. I'm well. Just checking in. Just free writing for the night. It's 11:05 and I'm home. Finally. I have the craziest rash ever all over my body. Just found out I'm alergic to shrimp. At least we all think that's what it is since I just had some of Love's awesome gumbo and then woke up covered in hives. Oh well. Gonna chill out for a bit then turn in. Love yourselves.

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's just too easy to dismiss him as crazy and that's why he did what he did. Too simple a solve to lock him up and throw away the key. What about the other hims? The hers to come next? What about the screamers and criers screaming and crying in their own quiet ways. In our own quiet ways. Begging for help. We the screaming and crying cannot tell you where it hurts. We cannot point to this spot here and ask you to fix it. There is no thermometer to gage the snap. We are waving hands and asking you to believe us when we cry. Believe the jokes. Every one. It is the language we know.
I. Can't. I'm going to play iPad scrabble now.
This gray oversized sweater day cozy should be filled with chimneys burning and hot chocolate with too sweet whipped cream fat and bread and mismatched socks and bunny slippers. Heavy traffic and Donny Hathaway on the radio and long lines and bills due and so whats. But Ryan Whatever his last name is walked into a school and killed thirty people. And maybe it's too easy to make him the monster. Maybe something else is to blame. My hot chocolate is filled with I don't knows and everything is too bitter to taste.
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. Tragedy.
Sade's Cherish the day keeps playing in my head.
No
No the devil is not a lie
Believe the devil of your gut
That tells you he will kill
Makes jokes about suicide
And mass murder
Even the devil knows better
Than to lie about this
You are the liars
We are the liars
We turners awayers of illness and sadness
We ill stigmatizers of the mentally ill
Let
Us
Be
Clear
The devil did not lie
He showed himself for what he is
A thief
He did not whisper
He called
Begged to be stopped
But we were too busy
To notice
I had to get my nails painted today. Purple. The color is not significant. Sitting in a chair watching and feeling a fresh coat of opaque glitter stroke cross my fingernails was important. It just was. Not because I needed it. And I did. Not just because at breakfast this morning Love said "Baby, what's wrong with your nails?" And he did. But because it calmed my spinning head after hearing that a man walked into a room, a school and took so many lives. My painted nails will not bring them back. My pedicure will not ease the pain. Not even my own. It is silly, I know. But it was what I could think to do after prayer.

More on shooting in Connecticut

A 24 year old young man went into his mothers kindergarten classroom and shot her and all of her students and the adults that care for them. Life is so fragile and precious and we just never know when the last time we are going to see our loved ones will be. This is a sad day for us. It just is. Also, this young man's father was found dead in his home and also his brother. Did he kill them too? They are saying now that there are 30 dead. There were signs before this. There were jokes or subtle comments. Someone got a feeling. This wasn't a snap, an idea that happened today. It wasn't.
I am sick and sad about the news this morning that 27 people were killed at an elementary school in Connecticut. 18 were children. This is horrifying! The reports say that one of the shooters is dead and another is in custody. No news yet about who they are. I'm so sorry for the families. So sorry for all of us.
Good morning all. It's 8:09 and I'm about to get up and at 'em. Heading out for breakfast and then to work. Stayed up late painting. I do like my new work. I'll post soon. I have completely taken over the kitchen (my studio). But I like how the act of painting makes me feel, physically and emotionally. Yes, I should go for a walk. But I'm not going to right now. Though I think we are going to walk over to the restaurant down the street. That count? Love yourselves today.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Keep your heart open and love will always find its way." Kay Jewelers commercial

Dear Therman

It's 2:43 and I'm at work right now. Thank you for your last comment. Last week mostly I was just sick with the flu. I actually did make Ann's event. I decided at the last minute to go. I had been resting for most of that day and the day before trying to heal. By Saturday evening I decided I was ok enough to get out. I'm glad I did, though I probably should have rested more since all of the symptoms were back the next day. Thank you though for being concerned.

I'm feeling pretty even today emotionally. I was a bit dazed on Monday after a conversation with my therapist. She thinks I numb myself more than I should. She is right. Though I have not conceded that it is a problem. Not out loud anyway. My ego is too stubborn for that. My reaction to the conversation is a tell that I know I need to make some changes. I have been trying to be committed to being honest with myself and others on this bipolar journey. Truthfully though, instead of accepting this and being more powerful about dealing with it, a huge part of me keeps trying to prove that I don't have this thing, this lie, these highs, these lows. But I do. Every time I turn around there is one more symptom, one more sign that says I do. Even down to the ways I cope with the shifts in my head. I have always felt this rise, this chemical elevator go up and up and then this weird anxiety. Pills and wine have how I have self medicated. Whatever pills. Codeine from the dentist, Roshann's headache medicine, some whatever it was the doctor prescribed for my cramps, whatever, oh...and wine. Something to bring me down, to help me sleep. This is hard to admit. This is the part that's not pretty. All of this. I remember in Landmark Education they used to say that there is no truth about somebody without the ugly of it somewhere. We always want to show our pretty. I'm no different. When I told my therapist "no, I don't have a problem, I just take something every day" I could have dug a hole in the floor and crawled in it. Who was that? Certainly not me. And when she suggested I go to group therapy sessions I looked at her like she belonged in the hole I considered digging for myself. I just can't wrap my head around standing in front of a group of people and saying "hi, my name is Jaha and I'm a pill head." I've been finding ways to cope with an illness I never had a name for until earlier this year. I never considered it an addiction, I was doing what I could do to make it through. I mask it well. I'm never socially visibally out of pocket (mostly, maybe, ok wait...) Keep a pretty cool and together enough demeaner. I'm ok, you're ok. Right?

Then there is still the question in the room. What am I numbing myself for? What do I not want to feel? Those were her questions, not mine. We talked. Progress you know. All of this was on my head as I drove home. My mind was racing with how wrong she was and maybe this therapy thing is not what I need after all. Of course I would consider getting off the roller coaster when the work is being done. Right in the middle of the ride. Then when I got home I took like five Advils to take a nap. Therman, I'm raw and vulnerable right now. I don't want to be writing about this. Someone though, is hiding this. Someone though, is on this journey too. Someone though, should know she's not alone. I'm afraid you know sometimes. Of my words, my confessions, my posts. Afraid of being judged by all of the people in my life who only see the pretty in themselves. Yes, sometimes I am afraid. And I get over it.

So that you know, Monday was the last day I took any pills. I did have two glasses of wine on Tuesday though. Nothing yesterday. Nothing today. Something can become such a coping habit for you that you don't even realize it's a thing. You know? Well, it's a thing. Sleep or no sleep. Anxiety or no anxiety. I don't need the pills. I don't need the wine. Ok, giving up the wine might be more of a commitment than I'm honestly willing to make right now. But today. Today I don't need anything. And that's where I am. In today. Thank you, thank you dear uncle, for always listening.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Therman

I haven't been really posting but I'm well. Now. Been down with the flu since I last saw you on Thursday. I was ugly and achy and stuffy. I had a good full days rest yesterday and am ready for the real world. Tomorrow will be my first day back at work this week. I did go to my therapy session on Monday and...well I was uncomfortable but as open as I could be revealing things about me I have never really said out loud. Not ready for the details to be posted here yet, but we'll talk.

Love you, uncle and thank you for reading and checking in.

Me

Monday, December 10, 2012

I had a dream last night that I was in jail. I so afraid and every time the fear would become so overwhelming I thought I would burst I would get these visions of bridges. I don't know why bridges, but bridges. Big long ones with no traffic and some with bright lights. I like the symbol though, of bridges. What they represent. Escape. Enter. Travel. Above water. All that. Jail. Fear. Bridges. And then I woke up.

I thought about my own jail. Of bills. Of fear. Whatever. And alongside the fear are always the bridges. God. Friends. Family. Art. Whatever. They are always there, the jail and the bridges. I choose.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

3:57pm. At work. Feeling physically and mentally well although the sniffles are threatening to surface, but it's nothing a few oranges, peppermint tea and rest won't cure. I haven't been to Vibrations for the open mic session in too long and plan on stopping by tonight. I have no plan to perform though. Just sit in the most comfortable chair there and send and receive love. And if I'm hit with the stage bug, well then...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Morning all. Slept fairly well. Feeling much better. Looking forward to a beautiful day. I'm painting in a live art show downtown Los Angeles for Brookfield Properties today. I haven't done a live art show in many years. I'm thankful and honored to be a part of this production. Also thankful that it doesn't start until the evening because I need some time this morning to get it together. Plus I have to pick up another canvas and more paint. Well, it's 9:46 right now and I need to get to gettin'.

Enjoy yourselves today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Free write

Today's breakdown doesn't define me. As hard as it was. The feelings of hopelessness and extreme anger and frustration and sadness and hopelessness again. That was the moment. I am bigger than this. Maybe I will always have these ups and downs. I will work like a dog to not stay stuck in this mess. I am thankful for feeling at all, even this pain. I am thankful that I can force out these words. I was angry even at this blog for some reason today and could have just deleted the whole thing in my anger. So I didn't log on until late in the evening. That and I couldn't write anyway. I couldn't do anything easily. Not even breathe. That's what this is. I am trying to give up saying that I can't explain it and just do the best I can. This is the sucky part about this shit called bipolar. These floaty fake ups and funky fake downs. It's all fake. Nothing is so much that I can really fly and nothing is so much I should kill myself. But this is the life, remembering to remember that.
Days like today I regret going off of my meds.
For the past month and a half I have been on such a high. Some days the high made me nervous and seemed more than I could take. While it felt good it was still a bit overwhelming. I believed the hype. I thought the doctors were wrong. I was feeling way too good to have what they said I had. Bipolar. There were days I knew I could fly. Ironically, I was in the air when I started to crash.

I was in Washington, D.C. over the weekend working with WomanPreach. As I was in the plane coming home on Sunday I could feel it. The sinking I thought I was through with. Why? Why did I think I was through? Because I just did. Because I had over a month of normal. "Normal." The sinking, the low, low feeling. Then today I crashed like Denzel's plane in Flight. All turned upside down.

It's 5:54pm and I am at home right now but must leave for work in a few minutes. I really wish I could lie here and rest for the night. That would be bliss. It's not likely to happen though. I had to get the stitches pulled out of my gums today and that was...eventful. I couldn't stop crying. I was not in pain. But I was in so much pain. On the way to the dentist, somehow I missed the exit and spent five whole minutes crying over that spilled milk. Bridget called me just as I was pulling into the parking lot and at first I was happy about talking to her and then couldn't take it. She was only being a friend but I couldn't hear her consoling me. I felt weak, like someone who needed to be consoled. But that is what I needed.

I've had a little rest and feel a bit better but I have this headache that I usually have the first day of the crash. I'll be better tomorrow. That's what I'm claiming. Today was hard though. Really hard. It's 6:04 now, I've got to leave for work.

Friday, November 30, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 30 - part 2 - Dear Mary

It's 11:07pm and I'm in my hotel room in D.C., Springfield really. The flight was easy and I slept through a lot of it. Even managed to get a lot of work done. The event at the church tonight was uplifting. So uplifting. Every time I work with them I am so inspired. Renewed. I work with an organization called WomanPreach as the artist in residence. Did I tell you that already? Anyway, tonight Catherine lead the ice break session and even from the beginning I had chill bumps. The women went around in a circle and talked about the social justice issues they were passionate about. These women, these amazing, powerful, passionate women. I should have written all of them down to tell about each one. I didn't though.

Well, Mary, I started these letters to you thirty days ago for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and today is officially the last day. I'm glad to say I completed it. I had more to say on some days then I did on others but I did finish. This was my first one. I look forward to doing it next year. I also look forward to April of next year for National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). I learned some things about you. The most fascinating I guess is that your birthday is today! What a coincidence! Not that I believe in coincidences. But you know. I will write you more. Perhaps not every day, but today will not be the last day. I do love you. Even though we never met (really). Even though I have never known the sound of your voice (really). Even though there are questions I may never have answers to. All of that is ok. I do love you and I'm glad we got to spend this time together. So glad. I hope you got to know me more too.

It's 11:23 now and I'm quite tired from the day, the flight, the early morning, just tired and I must be up early in the morning. I'm going to go to bed now. Thank you again. For everything.

Before I leave I want to share something interesting I am experiencing. Basically, I'm experiencing normal and easy. Before it was a feeling I used to scare away. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like I couldn't possibly have a moment of my life when it wasn't stress and crazy. And by normal and easy I don't mean easy like I have no concerns. I do. I'm just getting better at recognizing and breathing through my triggers. My self talk is often and loud. Whatever I can do to keep me feeling even.

I'm sleepy. Very sleepy. I know it's the last day of NaNoWriMo but let's talk later, ok? Take care, Mary. Take care.

NaNoWriMo - Day 30 - Dear Mary

It's 6:25am and I am at the Los Angeles International Airport. I'm headed to Washington, D.C. to perform at a WomanPreach event. I am so thankful for poetry. I do enjoy traveling and I probably wouldn't be able to afford to travel as much as I do if I weren't traveling for shows. I am thankful that there are people who enjoy my work enough to fly me across the country to perform. God is good. I'll only be gone for the weekend which is good because I have some events I need to be back in L.A. for. I'm happy this morning. Not even because of circumstances, I just am. I am majorly in love with Love. All of our moments together are such blessings to me. Yesterday I read a blogpost by a woman I know online. She said everything I wanted to say and all that I feel. Her name is Carla and I can't quote her exactly right now but what I got from her was basically, in a marriage, the beauty is that you have someone present for you to witness your life. The good, the bad, the mundane. And you get to be that for someone else. What an honor for someone to say with his words and actions, "I will witness you." And to look at him and say and be the same. A witness. Thank you so much for that, Carla. Love wakes up dark time early in the morning to make his lunch and get ready for the day. Sometimes I get up with him to watch him. To look at him dress and pour sala chips in a bag, heat water for his tea, slice banana for his oatmeal, put juice in his bag, breathe, I watch him be. Sometimes we talk. Sometimes I break the silence with an episode of Law and Order. Sometimes we just...are. Yesterday I read him Carla's blogpost. He loved it too. He is my witness and I get to be his. O Mary, you know how I go on.

In other exciting news, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARY! This is the day you were born! This day 75 (or is it 76? I'll have to figure it out) years ago, you came out of Grandmommy's womb and met your family. What an exciting time. I still don't know what I'm going to do for your day. Something private and special in my hotel room I suppose. What will you do today? How do you celebrate yourself? I am your witness, Mary. Your witness that you were here and your witness that you are here now. You are. You are here because I feel you and talk to you and will keep your memory alive, sweet aunt.

I just looked out of the window and noticed that it is very foggy outside. Send me love on this trip. It is amazing how these planes fly in the sky in perfect weather, how they do it in rain and fog is even more incredible.

My plane is boarding now. I will connect with you later. Happy birthday again. Enjoy your day!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 29 - Dear Mary

2:37pm. At work. I had an interesting conversation today. The topic was "imaginary radio" from an article a friend read, or conversation he had with another friend. The topic was to prompt us to imagine what works great artists would be producing if they were here and even better, what works would we hear from them if we could hear what they are producing now. Assuming, of course, that they are still producing. I believe they are. What would we hear from Nina Simone, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye? What stories are Octavia Butler telling now? Do you hear them? Is there a space where you are where you listen to music and dance and sing along? Do you sit at poet's feet and listen to their words and stories? Do you sing and tell stories yourself? Who listens to you? What do you sing about, write about? What pictures do you paint? How do you move when you dance? Is it possible for me to hear art from where you are? Can it only happen in my dreams, my imagination?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 28 - Dear Mary

It's 9:23pm and I am home with Love. It's quiet now, after dinner and I am enjoying a movie. Some silly movie about men plotting to kill their bosses. It's dumb, but I'm watching still. I will be up for a while tonight working on a writing project I have not made much headway on so far. Words. Art. Creating. That's what my night will be about.

Today was an easy day. My posts have been pretty dull lately, I know. I haven't been working too hard writing. This will shift. It always does. I just have to write through this phase. I am not the victim of it. I am bigger than this weak writing I've been doing. It will take energy though. But enough about me. Your birthday is in two days! How do you feel about that? Does that even matter to you? I told you that I will celebrate your birthday this year and I will. In my own way, I will. I haven't settled on what I will do, but something.

I'm happy right now. Really happy. Just because. I am appreciating this comfortable. This easy. This period of my life. It seems like things are always moving so fast. Always something to stress over or complain about. That or I'm over excited about something. I'm in such a different space in this season. I'm thankful for it. They say that the measure of the pendulum swing to the left is the measure to the right. I welcome that. I have been stressed and tired for so long I welcome a season of...not that.

It's 9:43 now and this movie staring at me is getting sillier and sillier by the minute and this writing project isn't going to happen magically. Before I go though I want to share how wonderful it was having dinner and watching a movie with Love tonight. I'm not usually home when he gets in but I was today. We sat and talked and found a good movie on television. Well, I liked it, he didn't. But we watched it together and talked and shared simple stories about our day. Just simple, regular, easy. I've waited so long for this. We've had our challenges this year but through all of it he has been there. Dependable, dedicated, friend. I have worked on letting go of negative stories and issues that have prevented me from moving forward in the way I wanted to. I have allowed myself to let pain surface and feel it. I didn't run. I stayed and talked through the feelings. I wrote and painted and took pictures. I did whatever I could. I was finally tired of carrying bags I was carrying. Tired of putting bandages over the bruises. I let them air out and breathe. Finally. I feel the difference in myself and in my relationship. I let my bags tell me lies and I believed them. I believed that I wasn't capable of being in a healthy romantic relationship. That I wasn't lovable. I know that's not true. I know I am lovable and very much worthy and deserving of a healthy romantic relationship. I know the journey isn't over. I am still healing. I'm in the process and I'm thankful for the lessons I've learned so far and know I have many more to go.

I love you, Mary, but I must get some other work done tonight before I get too sleepy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Because it’s too easy to talk about how good you are
Then you are in an elevator with a transgender man
And refuse to speak because you don’t approve of how she
Chooses to live her life
Or call him she

So what about your religion if
You can not give your time to mentor
A child or take care of your grandmother
And listen to her stories
The ones she tells over and over

Your money is nothing if it only feeds
Your self
Your poetry is a nuisance if each stanza
Serves to make you seem bigger than you are
All of your stories about you
You
You
So what so much about you

What about the old man down the street with no food and two jobs
The girl around the corner with cancer and no hair no friend
The dog with three legs
The apartment with broken windows

So what about your self
For at least a moment of the day

NaNoWriMo - Day 27 - Dear Mary

It's 3:00pm and I'm at work right now. I took my client for a walk today and thought about you. I wondered what it would be like to go for a walk with you and enjoy nature together. Wondered if you would have preferred warm sunny days or slight cool days with gray skies. Maybe it wouldn't matter to you at all and you would have just loved being outside no matter the weather.

My client loves to touch the trees and smell the flowers. Isn't that wonderful? I love walking with her and watching her reach out to embrace as much nature as she can. There is lesson and love and God in that. So much God.

Today is my kind of day. Cool, gray, Christmasy. Today as we were walking we came upon an elderly woman who was washing her car window and we stopped to talk with her. She was a gentle, short, Mexican woman who spoke to us in her best English. She told us that she came home from church last week to find her car stolen from right in front of her home. "My son bought me this one and it is ok. But I like my car. My old car. But this one is ok too." We will always have to adjust to change, Mary. We get to choose how to react to it. We get to appreciate what we had and adjust to what takes its place. That's life. It's not good or bad. It just is.

Imagine how your parents (my grandparents) felt feeling you move around inside Grandmommy's belly for nine months and finally giving birth to you, holding and kissing and loving on you for three days and then to have to adjust to you no longer being there. Imagine that. They are strong people, to have to live with that and keep going. I never want to know that kind of loss. Life is something, Mary. Something.

Monday, November 26, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 26 - Dear Mary

It's 8:35pm and I am at work. It's been a long but easy day and I have about four more hours to go before work is complete for the day. But then is work ever complete? Mary last night was splendid! It was the two year anniversary of my show, Red Stories. We had a wonderful time celebrating. Tamara Blue was the feature for the evening but I had a few other guests perform to open the show. I felt so much love last night. So much. Roshann, Reuben, Therman and John were there last night. I loved having family in the audience, although I also consider many of my friends family.

It's the Christmas season now. People have their homes decorated with lights and trees and other ornaments. Although I'm not one to decorate with holiday decorations, I enjoy seeing them as I drive along the street.

Today was therapy day. I was very tired this morning and didn't really want to get out of bed, but I did go. As usual, I'm glad I did. I shared about some shifts in my life that I will not be specific about here but I am riding the waves of the shift.

I don't have much I choose to say right now and I have a writing project to work on with a deadline coming up soon. There is always something to do. Always.

I plan to celebrate your birthday this year, Mary. Has anyone ever celebrated your birthday since you left? You ever hear or feel people sing or cheer for you? Counts your years or the years you've been gone? How would you like me to celebrate you this year. November 30. Perhaps I will light a candle for you or buy a cake. Maybe gather with family or write a letter to you. I haven't decided yet, but something. I hope you will feel it. I surely do.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 25 - Dear Mary

It's 7:14pm and I'm at Vibrations. It's the second anniversary of Red Stories tonight and I've been running all day and haven't stopped to write to you. I don't even have much time now. I am so thankful for all of the people here. The people, love, joy, words, all of it. We will talk later Mary. I will tell you all about it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 24 - Dear Mary

6:19pm and I am at home. I saw two friends today. They are sisters. I've known them since middle school and haven't seen one of them since high school the other I recently saw at my birthday party but before then, it was high school. It was so great catching up and meeting their lovely children and the husband of one of them. Time goes by so quickly. Do you feel that? Does time ever go by with you? How do you mark time? How does each day pass where you are? What is like the sun, the moon? I will always have questions.

I asked about another friend from high school they were closer to than I. Today I found out that she passed away last year. I was shocked. She was only 40 or 41. She had high blood pressure and they think she died of a heart attack. At 41? She was in a coma for six months and then eventually died. I was saddened by this news. She had three children, two of them teenagers and one girl around 5 or 6. Apparently she was living with a lot of stress. Stress is a killer, Mary. It's pressure and negative energy that we store and store and it becomes a part of us. It gets into our blood, our pores, our minds. There are so many triggers around us. I feel it too. I've learned to breathe. To consciously inhale and exhale. To purposely push it out as best as I can. I am no master though. I just do what I can.

The small amount of time we have on this planet is so precious and we don't know when it will end. Just something happens one day. Just our breathing gets short, hands get sweaty, chest starts tightening and then the time is over. Just over. Not over. But different. Forever. The older I get the more particular I am about my actions and words toward others. I know that my last words to someone are my last words to them, if and until I see them again. There are many areas in my life I need to grow and do much better. Every day though, I am doing what I can.

What were the last words you heard? At only three days did you even understand words? Did you understand love? Could you see love in Grandmommy's eyes? Who held you last that you remember? Did you have goodbye words of your own, in your own way?

This life is not for us to understand, I suppose. Just moments for us to experience and take in and do the best we can with. All of the life experiences I am so curious about, are they clear to you? Do you understand? Do you wish you could share your knowledge and wisdom with us and you can't? Are you waiting patiently for us to know too?

How is Lena, Mary? Is she where you are? My high school friend who passed on last year. She was so sweet and kind. I wish her peace now. I hope she is well and relaxed. That she is free and can see and feel and love her children.

It's all so much. Or maybe I make so much of it. Either way, here we are.

Friday, November 23, 2012

NaNoWroMo - Day 23 - Dear Mary

It's 11:24 and I'm home. Home sweet home. I spent the day with my wonderful son and family. One of the experiences I cherish the most is watching movies with my family. Your family, Mary. Do you get that these are your people too? These are your faces and voices and opinions too.

I wish I had something profound to share with you today. I don't. But I couldn't go to bed without writing to you. These days at home with the people I love the most have been blissful. I have so much to be thankful for. I know I do. I have things in my life I'm thankful for yes, but mostly it's the people who I call family and friends that have me glowing and mushy and cliche tonight.

Right now my mother, uncle, son, niece, nephew are sitting around watching a movie and laughing. I was there too but had to leave to shut my eyes for the night. These are the times I hope to always remember. These are the moments that feed me when I am starving for something to hold onto.

I wonder what would have made you laugh, dear aunt. What movie, joke, story would have made you cry, remember? If you were here, in the flesh, you would be seventy-five years old now. Seventy-five. Still young enough to tell stories about your yesterday. Old enough to see your children and grandchildren grown. I never thought about that before. I would have grown up with your grandchildren. What would they have been like? What about your children, my aunts and uncles? Do you think about these things? Are these human thoughts too beneath you now? Maybe you had children anyway. Perhaps there is a man who loves you and holds you now and children and grandchildren where you are. Perhaps. You are right, Mary. I don't have a clue.

Last night when Therman, my mother, Love and I were talking, Therman asked an interesting question. He asked if we thought your personality would have been more like Mildred's or Bobbie's. Either way would certainly have been a winner because both women are amazing. Both are creative and kind. Funny and gorgeous. Mildred is more the wife and mother. The nurturer with the quiet but rock strong spirit and the most sincere smile you have ever seen. Bobbie is an awesome woman too. She is bright colors and loud, free spirit. Fancy dresser and bold talker. Your sisters, Mary. Your sisters.

We talked about you. Played guessing games and what if and maybe maybe. I guess we will never know though. But you were there with us. There in our conversation. We love you. We do. In the best way we can. I hope you can feel it. There where you are.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 22 - part 2 - Dear Mary

O Mary, it's 11:08pm and Love and I are just getting in from having Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I have so much to tell you. I know that I won't go into the story as deeply as I would like because I want to chill before going to bed. That and there are conversations I still need to process.

Here are some of the things I want to tell you though:

1. Therman told me that your birthday is November 30, 1937!
2. I was in Rustin, Louisiana with my grandmother for a reunion and I remember her taking us to visit a graveyard. Therman was there too and he told me tonight that your grave was one of the graves we visited! O my! I do recall being there but not going to your grave.
3. My grandmother, your mother was twenty years old when she had you. I always thought she was much younger.

We talked about you tonight, Mary. We did. Were you there with us? Could you feel us, hear us? What part of today was your favorite? The children are all getting so big aren't they? I am thankful for you. Thankful for your life. Thankful that you are a part of me.

More tomorrow but I wanted to get that out as soon as I could.

O Mary, I love Love. Can you tell? What do you think?

NaNoWriMo - Day 22 - Dear Mary

It's 1:27am and I got in from work about twenty minutes ago. It's been a long day. I have one more week of the long days and then my schedule will go back to normal. These days have been easy though. I'm just breathing now, Mary. Breathing. Unwinding from the day and appreciating the moment.

Tomorrow, today rather, is Thanksgiving day and I'm looking forward to being with my family. Laughing, talking and sharing stories. And taking pictures, lots of pictures.

I had a good conversation with Therman this evening. Thinking about it now. About growth and releasing drama and old stories. That's what family does. They help you see life in a perspective that sets you straight and able to walk further on your journey. That's what I appreciate about family.

Later on today we will share things and people we are thankful for. As for me, right now, I am thankful for my friends and family. For Uraeus. For Love. Usually around this time I say how fast the year has flown by but this year it doesn't feel like that. This year feels like it took a whole long year to get to this point. I am thankful I made it. I am thankful that I am mentally well and at peace. My body and spirit are well and I am happy. I am writing, painting, performing and working. I have food, shelter, clothes, a car and entertainment. I'm able to laugh and cry, run and play, read and rest. I have a wonderful and full life with room for more. I am thankful. I am greatly loved and appreciated. I have so many people I love and cherish. I am well. I have challenges and triggers and lessons still to learn and I am even thankful for those. I'm thankful for this moment. This moment with you, typing these words. Having these thoughts. Sharing memories and blessings. Sigh...thank You, Mother/Father God. Thank You.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 21 - part 2 - Dear Mary

8:21pm. Still at work. I'll be here until about midnight. The day is going by nicely. I don't have much to say right now except I have some great news. I talked to Therman this evening and guess what? Therman has your birthday! He couldn't tell me tonight because he has it written down somewhere. I'll remember to bother him about it. It will be so great to have that. To know when you were born and to be able to celebrate your day on the day...yeah.

NaNoWriMo - Day 21 - Dear Mary

Good morning. It's 10:24 and I'm at home getting ready to head out. Today is my mother's birthday. My mother, your sister. The sisters in the family, in the order of birth, are you, Mildred, Barbara, Patricia and Janice. Patricia is my mother. As I've said a million times already, I so hope you know them. Hope you were able to meet them in your way. In their dreams, visions, thoughts.

I knew I wouldn't be able to say much this morning as I am rushing out of the door now. I will connect later though.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dear Love, why I love you:

1. My life is bigger with you in it.
2. After all this time it feels like the beginning.
3. I trust you like I have never trusted anyone.
4. You listen.
5. You care.
6. You share.
7. You are worth it.
8. I have never felt this safe.
9. I know you love me.
10. We are growing together.
11. My feelings are important to you.
12. Your feelings are important to me.
13. You are patient.
14. You are kind.
15. You are gentle.
16. You are handsome.
17. You feel good.
18. You know God.
19. I can open up to you.
20. I can unpack my stuff in front of you.
21. You are reliable.
22. Your body is gorgeous.
23. You make me happy.
24. You give me space.
25. You hold me well.
26. I miss you when you are away.
27. You are intelligent. So intelligent.
28. You are good for me.
29. You are who I want.
30. You knew me when...
31. And so many more reasons...

Memories

When I took my last long bus trip to Philly, Love took me to the Grayhound station and waited with me. Waited there with me til he couldn't wait inside any longer. Then he stood outside the building and waited there until he couldn't see me anymore. That's why I call him Love.
I'm challenging myself to go the rest of the year without using the word beautiful.

NaNoWriMo - Day 20 - part 2 - Dear Mary

6:44 and I am home. They ran tests in the hospital and my blood looked "good" and so did the x-rays of my chest. Thank God! Mostly I needed to make sure I wasn't having a stroke or heart attack or something like that. My chest still feels stiff and a little achy but I can deal with that. The doctor said that I may be coming down with something and my inside whatevers are just inflamed and that I can take some Motrin to calm the inflammation. Whatever. How many times have I told you, Mary about the maintenance these human bodies require? It's no joke. And I'm only 43. Truthfully though, I have it really easy compared to a lot of folks. Aside from the occasional cramps and other small stomach issues, a headache here and there, I don't really get sick sick that often. More than I like though.

I was being released from the hospital at the same time Love was getting off work so we met at Denny's to eat. I needed soup. Again. His company and concern felt good. Good to sit across from someone who loves me. Someone I love. Someone who cares about my health, my day, my thoughts, me. We shared stories of our day. We ate and came home. Beautiful real life.

It's good to be home. I'm tired. It's not even 7:00 and already I wanna grab a blanket and curl up on the couch. I have a few things to do though before I do that.

I found out that today is national transgender day. I'm going to assume you understand what that means. I send love today to my transgender brothers and sisters around the world. It takes courage to live your heart in the face of hatred, confusion and bigotry of others. As a black woman I experience a lot of prejudice. Still, as a black, heterosexual woman I often forget the privileges I do have in this society. My heart as a woman is to dress and move about as most women do, for the most part. But what if that was not natural for me? What if what was more natural for me was to live as the opposite gender to what I was born? I don't know that I would have the courage to follow my heart. It is dangerous to live amongst people's hatred. So many transgender people are killed and abused just because of the choices they make regarding their own bodies. All abuse hurts, Mary. All of it.

Many people don't agree with me, and that's ok. It does not hurt that people do not share my beliefs. It hurts that many people abuse others because they choose to live their lives differently.

I remember about maybe fourteen years ago I met a woman. Well, she was born a man but identifies as woman. Because this letter is public I will call her Jeri. We met at a club I used to work in. Then I would frequently see her at a poetry spot I often attended. Jeri and I had fascinating conversations. We always greeted each other with a smile. She listened to my stories and shared hers. She was/is a human being just like I am. Who am I? Who is anyone to deny her human rights? Human space to catch the bus, walk to a store, have coffee with a friend without being tortured? We all deserve this. I think about Jeri from time to time. I just stopped seeing her around. Do you know her, Mary? I treat you like you are God. I guess you can't know everything, everyone. I was just wondering though. Wondering if she was safe, happy, had a community of people she could trust, felt safe with. Things we all need.

No one should kill themselves or even have that consideration because of how they choose to express themselves. Sadly though, my brothers and sisters are dying every day. At their own hands and at the hands of others. There is so little time, it seems. So little time to complete everything we want to do on this planet while we are here. You know something about that. More than most I would say. Why do we spend, waste any of the precious few moments on causing harm to others? Especially others who only want to live out their moments as comfortably and as freely as they can? It doesn't make sense to me.

NaNoWriMo - Day 20 - Dear Mary

It's 1:27pm and I am at Memorial Hospital. I started having chest pains last night. I was in bed asleep then woke up from a weird dream. In the dream, Love and I were in bed and there was a young girl lying between us. I told Love that my chest was hurting (in the dream) and he said, "Ok, I'm going to pray for you.) Then he rolled over and started praying for me. I couldn't understand what he was saying, but he was praying. After that I woke up. I don't know what woke me up. I woke up and calmly said, "My chest is hurting." I told Love about the dream and he got up and got me an aspirin and water. I went back to sleep and I think I slept well.

This morning when Love left I felt fine. An hour later though I felt this heavy pressure on my chest. I waited hours, went back to sleep, woke up and the pressure was still there. That and I felt incredibly dizzy. Better safe than sorry so I drove myself to the hospital. They said my EKG looked good. Good. Hopefully it's nothing. Mostly I wanted to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack. Right now the pressure is still there but not as heavy as this morning. Thankfully I didn't have to work today but I do tomorrow and I wouldn't want this to be something serious while I'm alone with my client.

Another day in the hospital. This isn't how I planned to spend the day, but this is where I am.

Monday, November 19, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 19 - Dear Mary

It's 4:49pm and I'm at work. The day is going by easily. My mouth is still a little sore and I'm not eating much more than soup, but that's ok. I needed to get a lot out of my diet anyway. I also said I was going to stop drinking wine and I'm not able to drink with this medication so I guess that's good too.

As I typed how easily my day is going I am watching reports of war and an Israeli man who lost his son today in the violence. This touches my heart. The loss of lives and human beings living in such fear. A man being interviewed just now said "Every day is worse than the day before." I can not imagine that life. I can't fathom an every day of missiles being launched and hearing bombs land and destroy homes and businesses and lives.

It hurts to know that people are dying and living in such great violence and then read about people's concerns be focused on trivial matters like reality shows or what to wear, black dress or blue. Dear Mary, we live our lives like we are not connected to each other. Like we are not concerned about each other. Do you see what's going on? Does it hurt you to watch? I could stay on this topic and get lost in sadness. More and more lost by the sentence. How awful it is for me to protect myself from sadness. To turn away from someone's pain because it might make me sad. If people can live without shelter and food and heat, dodge flying rubble, be trapped under buildings and watch their loved ones die right before them, then I can at least be informed about their world and so what about my sadness. I'm very guilty of not appreciating the abundance in my life. I have so much. Some things I am not even present enough to be thankful for. Things I act like I am entitled to.

I didn't expect to say any of this. I'm watching the news right now, that's how it all came up. It's inspiring watching President Obama in Asia speak to an audience about "America's belief in human dignity." Those are beautiful words. Would that our belief were much deeper.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 18 - Dear Mary

It's 11:13pm and I am at a Denny's restaurant somewhere about two hours north of Los Angeles. I just dropped off Uraeus with his dad. As always it was my pleasure being with my boy. My young man now. We had a beautiful, intimate family birthday party for him at my mother's house last night. I'm so proud of him. How he's growing. It was wonderful being with my family. Thinking about the gathering last night has me wonder about what you would look like and be like. Mildred was there. She is your sister born after you. We know her as the oldest. I wonder how you would have been like as the eldest sibling. In case you don't know already, Mildred was/is wonderful. As a sister to your siblings and as an aunt to my generation. She and my mother look very much alike. Although Jimmy and Therman said they couldn't see the resemblance, to me, they are very much alike.

I'm rambling as usual, Mary. Just writing to get the words and thoughts out. I pulled over to have a bowl of soup and tea before I go farther on the drive back. Also it gives me some time to write to you since I haven't yet today. My always handy iPad and free wifi at Denny's rock. I told you that before.

I'm listening to a book on tape as I drive home. It's a very popular book but to me the writing is just ok. The story holds me enough to be entertained on a drive but it has me geared up to write a novel of my own. I've been saying it for years. I have a few ideas too. I've got to stop just saying it, I know.

I will write more perhaps when I get home. My soup is here now.

Love you.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 17 - Dear Mary

5:46am. I'm at home right now preparing to go and get Uraeus. Looking forward to the drive. Update on my mouth, still sore. But a much better sore. Yesterday I had my second wisdom tooth pulled. It hurt but I'm ok. Just healing now. I'll get my prescription filled today and start taking the medication. Enough about that though.

Emotionally I feel great. Not excited great but peaceful. I love early mornings with Love. Before work. Watching him eat breakfast. Sitting with him early in the morning sharing the quiet. This morning was like that. Reminding me of the beauty in my life.

What is beautiful to you? What do you hold as precious, dear aunt? Do your moods swing? What are your good days like? Your bad?

I'm going to do a bit more in preparation for my day but we will connect later.

Friday, November 16, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 16 - part 2 - Dear Mary

11:52 and I am at Jiffy Lube. Again. This time I'm getting my power steering flushed. I don't know why that's important for a car, but it is. Apparently if you don't get it done then your car will make a really bad noise and then something bad will happen to the something pump and you will be mad that you didn't spend the $70.00. I don't know much about cars, Mary so I just keep up on the required maintenance. I'm behind on the power steering thing because my car is making that grrrrrrr grrrrrr noise. I'm going to pick up Uraeus tonight and I don't want to be on the road and something happen.

You know I was supposed to be in the dentist's chair right now but my appointment got moved again from noon to 1:30. Yes, I'm still in pain but I'm hanging in there. It's not as bad as it was last night and early this morning though. Thank You, God. Seriously. I'm also thankful that there is a Jiffy Lube just two doors from my dentist. This isn't my regular Jiffy Lube, but they will do. It's best to hook up with companies that have free wifi in the waiting area. That's major. As usual, this is another exercise in patience. And I told you before when you know you will have to practice patience then it is best to have your iPad with you.

12:05. The dentist's office just called me and told me that I didn't have to wait until 1:30 but that she would be there at 12:30 instead. That rocks. Hopefully my car will be ready by then. If not, the dentist will have to practice patience. I hope she has an iPad.

NaNoWriMo - Day 16 - Dear Mary

Good morning. It's 6:02 and I'm home. I didnt sleep much at all last night. The pain in my tooth was a pain on the whole right side of my head. My right ear, throat, everything. My appointment is at noon and I'm so happy about that. Mary, I shouldn't start off right away complaining. I have so much to be thankful for. I even have this toothache to be thankful for. This reminder that I am alive and able to feel...anything. What I am also thankful for is how much love I get to experience in the face of this pain. Love is wonderful. Feeling the weight of his arm across my body. Knowing he was awake with me. Feeling his concern. What a blessing. What a blessing I wouldn't have known without the pain. You know me by now, Mary. Always trying to find the blessing, the lesson.

It's early. I'm going to try to get some rest before I have to get up. Let's talk later.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 15 - part 2 - Dear Mary

8:57pm. Home. Been home all day. O Mary, I am in so much pain and have been every waking moment of this day. My tooth is hurting so badly. I was supposed to see the dentist today but her office called me to tell me that something came up and she had to reschedule my appointment to tomorrow! This is awful. Toothaches are horrific. I feel like there is a nail stuck in my tooth and it's pinching a nerve connected to my ear that's connected to something in my head and any moment something is going to snap. Seriously, that's how it feels. I can't sleep. Eating is a joke. I have to keep my top and bottom teeth from touching each other because that touch feels like an electrical fire in my mouth. If I take one more pill I may just overdose.

There is a lesson in this. I don't know what it is but I'm guessing that just being in the moment is the lesson. Every moment I feel like is all I can take and then hours go by, proving me wrong. We are stronger than we think we are when we just stay in the moment. Which really, is all we can do anyway. Be right there where we are. The drama and pain and suffering comes, I guess, in imagining that all of the moments will be as painful as the one we are in, when really, we don't know the next moment. That's my lesson. Being right here. In this second. Experiencing the pain and ease of this second. I'm breathing through it. Breathing.

NaNoWriMo - Day 15 - Dear Mary

It's 2:23am and I just got home from work about an hour ago. I quickly ate and now I'm in the bed. It's been a long and pleasant day. My son's birthday has come and gone. Fifteen. Fifteen. Fifteen years old. It's going to take some getting used to.

I'm about to doze off to sleep now, Mary. Let's chat and this time, let me remember it when I wake up later. I am waking up later, right? You don't know anything I don't, do you? I'm weird. Bare with me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 14 - part 2 - Dear Mary

5:12. At work. Still. I'm cool. Just got off the phone with a good friend of mine who is living in Georgia. Who do you call friend, Mary? Anyone? Who loves you and is looking forward to seeing you, hearing from you, knowing your stories? Who remembers when you cried and who reliably makes you laugh? I suppose I will always have questions.

There is something about catching up with friends. Something delicious about someone way across the country stopping to share words and thoughts and memories. I am getting older, Mary. Maybe you know what that means. Maybe not. It takes energy wrapping my head around what getting older means. What it means to me. How my body, my mind, my energy is changing. Truthfully, most days are better than others. That's what my friend Mika and I were talking about. This getting older thing.

There is a new way I have to learn to love myself. A new way I have to look in the mirror and love this woman I don't always recognize staring back at me. Every day she is changing. That woman in the mirror with my names and face. That woman is beautiful too. Lovely with her crooked smile and dark eyes. Her graying temples and thicker flesh. She is fleshy and lose and her breasts hang where they didn't before. I know I am the she in the mirror. I know. Sometimes I don't though. There are moments I have no clue who she is. Now I know I am that woman.

O Mary, me and my free thinking, free writing. Free writing is never free. Never. It always costs me something. It costs me remembering and letting go. Costs me feeling and accepting. Bare with me please. Be patient with how I go on.

NaNoWriMo - Day 14 - Dear Mary

12:59am. Just got in from work. Long day today. Will be another long day tomorrow. I should be going to bed and I will. Wanted to eat and write a bit before I did though. My mouth is still horribly sore. I go to back to the dentist on Thursday and let me tell you, the time can't come fast enough. This toothache is giving me a headache but I'm trying not to take anything today because I've been taking some kind of pill every day for a week now. My liver, my liver. Plus, whatever I took last night was so strong it scared me. I was talking crazy and my head was spinning. For real. My mouth is awful though. I can't bite down, can barely chew, ugh.

In better news, today is my son's birthday, Mary. He is fifteen years old right now. I am so thankful for him. So thankful. I miss my baby. He's no baby anymore. He's growing into a wonderful young man I'm very proud to know. Do you know him? Do you walk and talk with him in his dreams too?

It's 1:07 now and I better get into bed. I'm sleepy and my head is getting worse. And I haven't seen Love all day. Good morning, Mary. Talk to you later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 13 - part 2 - Dear Mary

6:09. Still at work. I'm well. So, I read an article today that a church, I forgot where, somewhere in the United States though, has accepted a man as pastor who is a convicted sex offender and because he cannot be within a certain distance of children under eighteen years old, then the children are not allowed at the church on Sundays. Mary, I think this is a tragedy. It's horrible that already our children are not safe in way too many churches but this, to me, just adds insult to an already scandalous injury. Why would they do this?

I have grown. Grown to a place where I do not demonize the predator. He or she is not the monster boogieman. That would be too easy. I have grown to see them as people. I didn't before. But because they are people does not, in my opinion, give them right to head a church and ban certain members based on their age and based on social limitations by the court. What do I know?

NaNaWriMo - Day 13 - Dear Mary

Good afternoon. It's 2:48 and I am at work. I have a long day ahead of me here so this probably won't be my only letter to you today. I should have written to you very early this morning because I had a fascinating dream last night, only I can't remember it. I remember dreaming though. Remember walking and scenes pasing like in a movie. I remember talking and laughing. You know I always think I'm with you in my dreams. I so wish that I could recall the dream.

I don't have much on my mind to communicate with you right now, maybe later though. My jaw is still sore. I go back to the dentist on Thursday and hopefully something can be resolved. I don't know what though. It seems like this is something that only time will truly heal. I took something last night that still has me a bit groggy.

I'm sleepy, Mary. Told you this wouldn't be much. Let's connect later.

Monday, November 12, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 12 - part 3 - Dear Mary

4:41. At work still. Just came back from a walk with my client. I am writing because I thought about this woman I saw as I was going into a store today. I was sitting in my car gathering my things and she approached me. Her energy was hurried and frantic. She appeared to be on some type of drug. She was shaking and moving rapidly from side to side as she quickly told me a story about how she had to get her medication and she needed $2.00 and the place was gonna close in ten minutes and could I please... I reached into my wallet and handed her $1.00. I didn't believe it was for any legal medication or that "the place" was gonna close in ten minutes. I gave it to her anyway.

The story wasn't for me. The story was for her. Did she really think I was gonna believe she was just $2.00 short on meds or that a pharmacy was about to close at 10:00am? Of course not. But she needed to tell the story. That's how human beings are, Mary. Attached to a story. Attached to some drama.

What if we released it all? The stories, the drama. What if we let it all go and just told the truth about what we wanted?

NaNoWriMo - Day 12 - part 2 - Dear Mary

It's 2:42pm and I'm at work. Therapy was a blessing as usual. I left the coffee shop this morning to go to my car. On the way there I saw a woman, I am tempted to call her homeless but what do I know about where she lives? I saw a woman pushing a cart with no shoes on. It was a chilly morning and I remembered that I had a pair of shoes in my car. I was excited about giving her my shoes. Happy that she wouldn't have to walk the street with her skin touching the cold concrete. I held out the shoes to her and asked her if she would like them. To my surprise, "No, thank you" was her response. I didn't know what to make of that. Still don't. She seemed very clear. Looked me in the eyes and understood what I was offering her and still, nope. Uraeus says I turn everything into a life lesson. He's right. I've been thinking about the lady since I left. Not everybody wants what we have to offer. We think they need our things and our selves but not everybody wants them, or us. What a lesson, Mary.

NaNoWriMo - Day 12 - Dear Mary

Good morning. It's 7:21 and I am at Starbucks in Los Angeles. It's therapy day and I like to arrive early so that I can park, Starbuck, write, think, stuff. I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. It felt so good. Today is Veteren's Day so Love is home and I would have loved a few more hours of snuggle. But no. I love therapy day though. For me it's a place where I can go to leave another load of my stuff. I like dropping off stuff in appropriate places.

In other news, my teeth hurt. All of them. Seriously. I have another dental appointment on Thursday. I feel like I will be in the dentist's chair every week for next year with the amount of work to be done. Growing up I was a teeth grinder and sometimes still am. Everything makes my whole mouth hurt. I'm giving up on food, wine and hot tea and cold tea. Giving up on fruit and yogurt and juice and cold water and... I think I'm going to find some pill that has all the nutrients I need and take it every day. I told you, Mary, these bodies require a lot of maintenance. A lot. I am in pain right now. Another tooth. I forgot I was giving up on all things chewable and hot and ordered a peppermint tea and cheese Danish this morning. The moment I swallowed the last bit of the Danish and took two sips of tea the pain started again. This is actually horrible. It's 7:36 now, my appointment is at 8:00. I'm going to go to my car and get some pills I have in my trunk.

Talk to you later. I hope.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 11 - part 2 - Dear Mary

Good Sunday morning. It's 10:29 and I am at home. I'm awake but in bed. Reading and writing and eating. Awful. It's nice and chilly outside of these covers just like I like it. Today will be another thick leggings, sweater and boots day. My favorite.

I had a weird long long dream last night, Mary. Were you there? I was walking and talking with someone. Was that you? That's what my dreams have been lately. Me talking to some person I never see. It's easier and more fun when I think it's you. But last night, even in my dream I thought it was you. I remember telling myself to remember everything to write it down in my letters to you when I got up. I remember that. Who says that to themselves in their dreams? I do I suppose.

The dream was in black and white, I remember that clearly. Grainy black and white like old sit ins photos. I was walking along with invisible person (let's call her, you) and we kept seeing scenes from today as if they were back in the 60's. You kept telling me how black people were going to be slaves again and how hard it was going to be. I saw all of these black sad faces working in regular jobs but in black and white film. They looked as if they were working in fields. I remember newspapers. I don't know what was written on them but it was bad news. I could feel it. As we were walking we went into a theatre and it was black and white in there too. We stood along the isle and watched the performers. They were poets. You told me that the poet's writing was going to get better because there was so much to write about. The only things they were talking about was heaviness and grief. It was a scary, sad dream. I was afraid in the dream. Afraid for my son. For our children. For black people. For the world. What was this dream? I went straight to bed. I didn't even watch Law and Order or Criminal Minds like I usually do before I went to bed. And then that dream?

Last night felt like I was in my own version of...of...what's that show when the three ghosts appear to the guy and show him his past, present and future? What's the name of that story that's right on the tip of my tongue? Sheesh! Well, I felt like I was in that story. You know the one.

Breathe.

Pause.

I need to get out of this bed now and get to work on this painting. It's pretty large and I think I'm hesitating because it's cold and I need to work on it in the cold garage. Ouch. But, praise the Lord.

I have another birthday party to attend today and then I'm performing tonight in Riverside. If I could only move Riverside much closer to my home, that would be great. But no. I can't. It's 10:51 and I seriously need to jump out of this bed into the chilly air and get going.

Also on my mind, Mary, I was invited to submit some of my work to an anthology. It's going to be words from women to women on living and safety. I'll tell you more later. I love it though. Give me ideas if you have any. I'm sure you do.

Seriously, later.

NaNoWriMo - Day 11 - Dear Mary

12:22am. Just got in about a half hour ago with Love. We went out to celebrate a good friend's birthday. We ate. We danced. We posed for pictures and we had an opportunity to remember to love each other. Love is so important. Love and friendship and connection. It is vital to truly living. What keeps you living, Mary? What love, what connection, what feeling or being keeps you living? What is living for you?

I am in bed right now. This is early for me but it's what I'm feeling now. I didn't get everything done today that I had on my mental list but I did make a huge dent. That counts. Taking one step at a time and remembering to drink, rest, eat and love is what counts.

I'm sleepy, Mary. Or maybe I'm just avoiding you. Refusing to get any closer. Denying you any more of me. Cutting off connection. I am dramatic like that. Don't mind me. I don't think I'm doing any of those things. I'm just sleepy now and I just haven't had much to say lately nor have I had the desire to create much to write about, that's all. Is anything ever all?

Before I get too silly and ramble on forever, good night. Good morning really but, good night.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 10 - Dear Mary

Good morning, it's 9:53 and I'm at home for now. How are you? Where are you? Were your ears burning last night? I was talking about you with a group of friends late last night at a birthday party. We had a great time.

Not much to say right now. I have a busy day ahead. I have to work on this art project I was commissioned to paint. Wanna get that completed by this weekend. Send off another project and attend two birthday parties tonight. Though that's a bit ambitious of me. Something's not gonna get done. Especially since I'm still crazy cramping on and off. Before any of that, laundry. Much much today. Plus I gotta go and get my car whatevered today at Jiffy Lube. Work.

I'm feeling well. I think I'm gonna give up wine, again. It's just not good for my body and I know it's not good for my mood. My moods. So, we shall see.

Let's talk later, Mary. Later.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thank you, Shirley Rodgers for calling me this morning and reading my words back to me. Words I wrote so long ago. Thank you for remembering. Thank you for reminding.

NaNoWriMo - Day 9 - Dear Mary

Good morning there. It's 8:05 and I'm at home right now feeling a bit blah. Blah but thankful for this beautiful day. One of the things about being human and a woman is that once a month you have your period and awful cramps. Some women have awful cramps. I'm one of the some. I was so happy when my period stopped a while back, then it came back, Mary. Why? I didn't ask for it. I wasn't missing it. I was fine. But I don't want to talk about that. Right now.

I have a full day at work today and should be there until the night. A very good friend is having a birthday celebration tonight. If I'm off in time I'll go by there and celebrate with everyone.

I don't have much to say right now. Perhaps later when the meds kick in. Not now though. Blah remember.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NaNoWriMo - Day 8 - Dear Mary

It's 5:28 on this rainy good morning. Just now I accidentally typed hood morning instead of good. I should have left hood. In addition to good. This is my weather. This rain and chill. This tap on my window, my roof, my head. I love it.

I feel amazing this morning, Mary. I had these dreams last night. All night. In my heart it was you. In my head I am silly and seeing what I want to see. In my dream I was talking to a woman. Was it you? Was I talking to you? Except I couldn't talk and neither could you. I had these thoughts and typed words appeared. I tried to speak but only the typed black, bold, something different font, letters and punctuation marks and spaces. I don't remember all of the content but my heart remembers it was my best writing ever. I remember thinking that even in the dream. Even there I was excited to wake up so that I could write it all down because it was so good. We talked and I shared in ways I never have. We. We. Who was she, Mary? She was a she I could feel. I never saw anyone. Just this feeling. I was sitting on my bed. Or a bed anyway. I was sitting on white sheets in a white room. Even the sheets and walls had the typed words. What did all the words say? Were they my words? Yours? Why am I so happy right now? Even with this sore jaw, why am I this happy? Is something wrong? Love could feel it too. He was walking out the door this morning and turned back and smiled at me. I asked him what he was laughing at, because I can't leave well enough alone. What's wrong with me? He smiled again and said, "I just looked at you and I smiled." That is the sweetest. I have never been loved like this. That's such a cliche. But it's true. It's so true. I am so thankful for him. So glad I stayed. Came back. Stayed. So glad I'm here. So glad for the moment.

While I'm clear this morning and not sleepy, this free write will not be any better. Perhaps I am a mess either way.

I have so much energy right now. More than I may want at 5:46. I am thankful though. For it all. Thankful for Love and my son. My friends and family. My life and peace. My health and the moment. God is good, Mary. That's a cliche too. But a good true one.

I have enough energy to write for the next few hours but I must go to work today and I know I need to get some more rest. I'm running out of pills for my tooth. I would rather be running out of this soreness in my mouth. Will my smile straighten? O, Mary. Good morning. Just, good morning.

NaNoWriMo - Day 7 - part 2 - Dear Mary

11:29pm. Got in from the Topanga library about twenty minutes ago. The evening was just what I wanted and needed. I read with Ann, Jean and Paul. Well, I shouldn't say just what I wanted because I would have loved for there to have been another black face in the building, but it's cool. I had a great time. I was on a panel with other poets and we shared our work and works of others. The audience was eager to participate. Their energy fed us greatly.

My mouth is still so sore. I didn't take any medicine just before I left because I knew the drive one way was going to be a couple of hours with the traffic. The show another few hours and then the hour drive back. I couldn't be sleepy. I wasn't sleepy but I was way sore. I think the dentist did something wrong. I still can't open my mouth all the way and my smile is all crooked. This is a lot.

Mary, again, I am rambling. You know what I do. It's late and I've taken my medicine and am trying to get the words out before I get too sleepy, which I hope is very soon.

I feel it already, this free write will be a mess. I'm sure. Whatever.

The theme tonight was on relationships. Just what I needed. Just the area where I am trying to really grow. Relationships. Romantic relationships specifically. We talked about this earlier today, you and I. I did the talking. When will you talk to me? But don't spook me. Remember we have an agreement.

We talked tonight about relating to each other. Humans relating to each other and to everything around us. Isn't that great? I talked about you. About how we can create relationship through words and thought and prayer. I shared my story of relationships and my new relationship to relationship. In my past thinking, a relationship was something with a year and a half to two years time stamp on it. I never created romance without an expiration date. The question was never if, always when. Finally, I am creating endless. I don't know if it will end, but if it does it will without my pre stamp on it. I'm working on the long run. The thought of that does scare me a bit because it takes some re wiring on my part. But I am working on it. Day by day. We both are.

I love the way he totally shows up as partner. The way he is even to my up and down and that he listens and shares. We have areas where we can grow toward each other and that's the beauty of this thing we have. We are creating friendship. Daily. This creating is not always easy or fun but it is worth it. This is worth it.

I see him as mirror, showing me where and who I am right now. When I see myself honestly I see the walls I have built around myself. I see where I am not sharing myself. I see how I am still walking with one foot ready to run. I see myself as still afraid to unpack literally and figuratively. I am too catious about heavying my load so that my bags are always easily carryable. Any of that make sense? It's work. Looking at the big picture is more than what I am easily able to do, but this moment at a time feels right. And truthfully, that's all we have anyway. The moment. And then the next. Our whole lives are collections of these moments.

Help me, Mary, not to make a mess of this.