Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Hi, My Name Is...

I stare in to the mirror and draw a blank. Before me, a woman drowing. I run so fast, I don't know where I am when standing still. Wear so many hats, I've lost touch of who is here hatless. Reality can't hit a moving target and denial makes a fantastic running partner.

Hi, my name is... Perpetual Motion.

The first day I sat in the office of my very first (and still my favorite) therapist, she said, "Tell me about yourself." Without thought or hestiation, I launched into a diatribe of attributes (physical and personality), giving the root foundation for each. "Mother's eyes, Father's nose.... Father's angry mumble and Mother's prediliction for clutter."

Years later, that shrink confided "I had never met anyone with so little sense of self." But they do affect us, don't they? The Nature and the Nurture. They all have their say. From gods to parents, from peers to societal norms- every level has a few more rules and guidelines. Everyone says "Don't." Everyone says "Shouldn't." Everyone defines "Appropriate" for you, until you come to this place: Jane Doe, living in AnyCity, USA... and those few simple definitions give you a whole rule book of "supposed to."

Hi, My Name is..... Boxed In

We each have fantasies and hopes. Dreams that we struggle to keep feeding, trapped in the shoebox, hidden in the closet. We sneak it bread crumbs and the brocolli we hid in our napkin. And for what? The having of a hope makes the keen edge of not realizing it even more painful to endure. Then again, what is the other option?

Hi, My Name is.... Despair?

Like a 13 year old, I sit glowering "if only you knew..."
- what I really want to do
- what I really CAN do- if only you'd let me. If only I'd let myself

Hoodies with skirts and knee-high fuzzy boots and BigDog comments "One of the many perks of having Teece in the office that you never know what you'll get with.... (*pause* searching for the word)

A co worker suggest, "her avant-guard style??"

BigDog continues, "... her adventurous take on fashion."

I smile. I shrug. I giggle. I search and hold tight to the compliment, trying to purge from my mind Mitzi, who defined my junior year with the wicked words, "You don't have money and you dress weird. Now go away, we don't need your opinon."

My other boss, she recently looked at my hair, now shades of lavender and said, "I like this one. It's.... (*pause* searching for the word) subtle." Something I have never been by nature. Again I smile. I thank her. I try not read the sneer on her lips.

Hi, My Name is... Unappreciated? Misunderstood? Weird.

Today, I have classes to teach. How can I tell those women to love their bodies, to embrace themselves just as they are if I can't leave these demons on the page? They say "We teach best what we most need to learn," but I haven't figured out how.

Angry, deep within.

I am a volcano ready to erupt
I am a villager, living the in fearful shadow of the volcano
I am the village dog, chained and unaware

Hi, My Name is... (*pause* searching for the word)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Avast! It snuck up on me...

... but thanks to that snazzy radio dj, I remembered that it was

I be wearin' my jolly roger shirt and wishin' y'all a fierce and fabulous day.

(hrmmmm... i bet pirates don't say "fabulous," do they? *oops*)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Intentional Drowning

"Your body is drowning."

"What?" I asked, somewhat startled.

The soft Asian face tilted up towards me, her look pensive as she sought for the words to explain. "Your is... drowning. Too much fluid. Is holding.... um, retaining."

Oh, yes... that. I'm retaining water. I'm bloated. Twas a combo of PMS, stress, and bizarre temperatures. And apparently, unknown to me, a great deal of extra mucus in my lungs and sinuses. Through the miracles of acupuncture and herbal teas, I've been draining profusely ever since. Breathing is easier, but my nose is still recovering from the repeated blowings and tissue wipes.

But it is her words that still stay with me. Drowning. I am drowning. Never has a diagnosis felt so right on the money.

Working two jobs can be overwhelming. And the teaching, although it is wonderful to experience, is growing in hours and demanding on the voice and body. I often feel that my most fierce doggie-paddle just barely keeps my head above the surface.

More than that, as of late, dreams and signs are filled with underwater images and icons. My long time love for mermaids has grown into a nearly obsessive fascination. I hear the sirens call me towards the rocks anytime I see their images (and I'm currently reading a fascinating book on the subject as well.) Octopi (octopuses?) are everywhere. Painted graffiti on the street, Discovery shows that happen to be on when I turn on the TV, books and fliers that chance to come across my desk. Even my dearest love (& subject of my first 6th grade research paper) Nessie has returned to my consciousness, lurking in the corners of my mind and popping up in unrelated conversations.

Until lately, I'd complained about feeling frozen or numb. My coven sister speculates that this new drowning sensation is merely the effects of the ice thaw.

Could that be it? Could it be that I'm coming through the winter of this endlessly long transition? Something in me broke in 2005, and I've not felt whole since. The experience has been 2 years of highs and lows and general angst without resolution, and I'd love to think that phase is finally wrapping-up. But drowning is an odd sensation. Not one of relief, but neither is it one of suffocation or panic. We breathed and lived in liquid within the womb. Is it possible to find that skill again, amidst a sea of uncertainty?

Water is essential

Water is affected by thought & intention

Water is in all life, all things

Water is the connection

I am mostly water

My world is mostly water

Can I sink into that, and find the way to live?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Pissy from the Heat

Dearest Department of Water & Power,

I understand that I live in LA, a town fraught with self-indulgent people who do not listen to suggestions like "turn your AC up to 78 when you aren't at home" or "turn off lights you aren't using". So when our power shut down at 6pm on Friday, on the hottest weekend of the year, I tried to be understanding. We opened our windows (nearly useless without fans in them) and hoped for an errant breeze. We found our flashlights and sat in the darkened courtyard of our apartment building, sipping water and trying to think cool thoughts. It was challenging, but doable. Two hours later, when the power returned, we were most appreciative.

The fact this all repeated on Saturday was a little more annoying. Rumors of a blown transformer were whispered down the block, from one grassy courtyard to another. Still, two hours later in the steamy September evening, power returned, and fans could be restarted. Ice could be made in the freezer again. I longed to believe that you folks had some inkling of what you were doing, and I hoped that you, concerned about the overheated citizens of Los Feliz, were working towards preventing a repeat performance.

However, when we returned to our house on SUNDAY evening, to find the neighborhood once again dark and muggy, my patience began to wear thin. Even though the sun was gone, the temperature in the area was in the high 90s, with uncharacteristic humidity making it even more unbearable. I likely would have rained curses on your heads if my kind neighbor had not distracted me by pulling her laptop into the courtyard, and sharing downloaded episodes of "Californication" while we all drank luke-warm beer. My fury subsided as I watched David Duchovney do a lot of naughty things to half-dressed women.

At least it HAD, until I returned home last night (after teaching 2 hours of dance class) to a totally black and silent Los Feliz. Once again, some brilliant yahoo somewhere had blown something or improperly repaired a do-hickey. Theories ran wild amongst the overly-hot Angelenos as to the cause of the repeated outages, but the point for guessing why was passed for me. I just wanted it to end. Is that too much to ask, LA DWP?? That on the hottest weekend of the year, I have at least ONE day out of four during which I do not have to run a bath of cool water in which to sit!??

To add insult to injury, this last outage lasted from 8:30 last night until 7:30THIS MORNING!! We slept naked on sheet in the middle of the living room with the front door standing open, as it was the only way not to wake in our own personal puddles. The cats had bearly the energy to walk from one spot on the floor to another, before they collapsed in a furry heap. The ice bottle we put in the bunny's cage to help him regulate his temperature melted, and there's not more ice to replace it. And I won't even discuss the inside of my freezer, now a large lemony lake that used to be 4 "real juice" bars, because my blood pressure continues to rise each time I think about the massive cleaning/purging that now needs to be done in the refrigerator.

IN short, I really want to send you the thanks you deserve, because without your incompetence, I would never have been able to spend my Labor Day holiday IN HELL.

Many are the ways in which you suck!

With much loathing,