Shattering Sea

July 23, 2012

  Tori Amos – Shattering Sea

I miss my mother, so intensely. It comes in waves, and tonight’s tide is strong. Among many other things, I miss her boisterous laugh, the one I inherited, the one I hear and almost recognize as hers whenever I can really let mine loose, in a room that’s already too loud so it doesn’t matter.

And so my delayed and intermittent mourning continues, spurts of emotion that are released as they see fit. I am fortunate enough to mostly be at home and alone when it happens, but my fellow CTA riders have also witnessed sudden tears down my cheeks, much to their collective discomfort I’m sure.

So what do I do, as I seem to endlessly reach for the phone to call her, to tell her about something I did today or something funny I saw or some stupid thing that the cat did? I’ll sit at the piano and mess around and see what comes out. I’ll make the room dark except for the light of a flickering candle and listen to the album I listened to when we went on our last trip together in December. I’ll write this thing and post it and hope it doesn’t make anyone sad, because that’s not my intention for it.

Hug your people. Hold them close. Don’t keep anyone guessing about how you feel about them. My mother knew exactly how much I adored her, and that’s one of my only sources of solace tonight.

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So Damn Close

July 17, 2012

What a grueling few days. I can’t even recap this trip and and have it make any kind of sense, it has simply left my brain too tangled. My nerve endings are frayed, and I’m resurfacing from my haze and increasingly realizing the magnitude of what I’ve lost. How wonderful is the brain, the way it protects us and slows the rate of recognition of a personal tragedy like this down to a speed which we can emotionally handle, if we’re lucky.

But the end, this different end, is nearing: tomorrow I’ve got breakfast with family,  the last moments at Mom’s condo, I’ll return the car to the dealership; everything else can and will be done remotely.

There are trips to plan and theater to enjoy and concerts to attend.

There are letters to write, real ones, on paper! With ink!

There are people to hold, smooches and squeezes to dole out.

Tomorrow, I’ll get on that plane, back to Chicago, back to my life. My life.

Oh dear. I can almost taste it, and it’s fucking delicious.

 

Versions of Our Selves

July 16, 2012

In front of the camera

I sometimes find it odd that my favorite version of my mother is one that existed before she even dreamed of being my mother.

It is her persona from roughly 1962 through 1973, when she parlayed her modeling career (which, to have heard her tell it, she fell into quite accidentally) into being, for a little while at least, the face of her generation in her little corner of the world, appearing in numerous print and television ads to television and then film and finally theater, her ultimate love.

When I commissioned the piece from Kass Copeland to honor Mom, I made a decision, consciously or not, to incorporate only elements of her life from that era.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about the versions of Edelmira (model, actress, wife, mother, divorcee, patient, among many others) and more generally, how we go through our phases in life, sometimes seamlessly and sometimes with hard stops and defined starts, and how we often cannot see these iterations until they have passed. I’m eleven days out from my 36th birthday, and so charmed with the way things in my life are currently, that I don’t long for a past or other version, even though I’ve already had several “lives” and versions of me: the daddy’s girl; the rebellious-but-not-quite-goth teenager;  the bi-chick-then-lesbian-then-bi-chick-again; the wedding planner; the girl whose Mom has cancer. Those are very one-dimensional and based on aesthetics or sexuality or circumstance, but all of them are me.

What’s your favorite version of you?

The crossed arms, the pout…

Fast, unexpected friendships

That moment when you feel a connection with someone, so smoothly and quickly that there is an almost an audible CLICK as it falls into place, where it should be. As I get older I seem to be making even more of those connections than usual; is it just a result of knowing what we want in a friend/relationship, or more importantly sometimes, knowing what we don’t want?

My friendships just seem to get deeper and more intense, the new ones as well as the ones that are aging a bit, and it’s for the better. The casual connections, the “acquaintances”, the people we often keep around even though they’ve become extraneous, all of those seem to be falling away from me. Not in an ugly, aggressive way, but very gently. I’ve always been the kind to have a tight-knit circle of friends and support, and I’m glad that it’s staying strong even as it expands.

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠

The absence of “the other shoe”

I am keenly aware of my good fortune, or whatever you’d like to call it. One of my dear friends today called it a result of “karma that’s been paid in”.

Whatever it is, I am reminded of my exchange with Alicia LaChance when I saw her here in Chicago earlier this year for her gallery show.

“How are you?”, she asked.

“Scared to death,”  I answered. “I’m doing so well, that I keep looking up at the sky and waiting for that giant, heavy, other shoe to drop.”

Don’t drop.

♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠

Delectable Solitude

It was a lovely evening to get caught in the rain, on my way home from picking up Thai takeout for dinner. Soaked from the downpour, I left a trail of clothes in the kitchen, and proceeded to eat dinner out of the container, sitting cross-legged on the sofa in my damn underwear, no one to demand I put my pants on before I could eat.

Yea, it was more than a bit uncivilized, but sometimes it’s fun to find a little magic, and just be a bachelorette.

“bachelorette, you fly alone now and you cry sometimes
there’s nothing like it in the world
you’ll go to paris on your own
just bachelorette you climb on rooftops and you bachelorette
you can turn dust into champagne
you even remembered his name…”

Ain’t she grand?

July 12, 2012

This ad is in one of the windows at the Merchandise Mart, and I love it. Nude fishnets, yellow outfit, hot bod…the feathers are a major bonus.

 

 

 

Where your eyes go…

July 11, 2012

Where your eyes go, your body will follow.

It’s a phrase I first heard in Bikram as part of the script, probably during a backward bend, and it’s true: if you are positioned correctly, and practice enough, your body will release and bend toward what your eyes focus on. It works in the positive sense with the aforementioned backward bend, and in the negative sense: if you (incorrectly) look at the floor during certain poses, you will end up on said floor.

But it’s bigger than that, isn’t it? It’s the same kind of thinking that tells us to keep our eyes on the prize.

It’s been a day filled with trivial difficulties and stress I’m refusing to give in to. And so, I re-shift the focus of my eyes.

Next stop: Barcelona

Image

The full pin board (which I’ll continue adding to) lives over here.

Re-entry

July 10, 2012

Jealous, much?

I’m seeing a disturbing trend online, one that seems to be social media-based and applies anytime anyone is doing anything that is even slightly out of the ordinary. Someone posts about a trip they are taking (as I have recently), or some concert they are going to, or even something mundane like some meal they had, and undoubtedly there is someone in the string of comments responding with “I’m jealous!”, or the ever more frustrating “Jelly!”, because jealousy has become so commonplace that it now has a nickname.

Maybe I’m rubbed a bit raw from the comment on my Paris photo album by a “friend” asking “How can you afford all these trips?”, and trying to corner me about it, even listing my recent and upcoming destinations after I tried to laugh it off. Would you like to see my paystub? Maybe my bank statement? What if I told you it was with money I received from my recently-deceased Mother, would that satisfy you?

We are forgetting, collectively, that some things are none of our damn business. It is not enough, apparently, that many of us overshare (myself included); some of us must now overask, and even demand information that has nothing to do with us. Stop it, now.

And even still, Monday wins.
Aside from the occasional brief vertigo, my re-entry into weekday routine was welcome. I can only loaf around for so long before restlessness sets in, and paychecks are nice, so off to the office I went. There I discovered I had been missed, not so much for my qualities of indispensability as much as for my willingness to answer even the most asinine queries. No matter: I know that my brain isn’t used to even 25% its capacity, but it’s an office to go to and a paycheck twice a month and it allows me to do the things I want to do with money (buy art! travel! take classes! see live music!) and the time to plan and process it all. I love the people I work with, I don’t dread getting up in the morning, I’m not stressed to death, and the times when I go in before 9AM or leave after 5PM or don’t take a full hour for lunch, they are rare. It’s a freaking gem and I know it and I’m grateful. I’ll take it.

“Can a bitch get an ‘Aww’?” -Valentine
“You said we didn’t have chemistry. Here’s chemistry. Next problem.” -David
Mid-day I got a call asking me if I was available to help with the Reiki Share at Equilibrium; I wasn’t sure how I was going to work it to help out *and* make it to The Moth (and get my ass into a chair), but DH had his superhero cape on and was able to save me a seat. ROCK. Great stories were told tonight, and as the theme was “Chemistry” many of them were about love gone really right (or really wrong). It’s always a great night though, and that’s not just the Templeton Rye talking.

I’m also craving pie, something fierce.
Paula Haney may see me in the morning. Early.

A peek at the Hoosier Mama pie menu…

Big Wheel

July 8, 2012

La Grand Roue at the Jardin des Tuileries

We are so Rat Race-y. I’m talking to you, Americans. Us, myself included. It’s like we don’t know any other way.

It’s undeniable that I’m noticing this because I was just in Paris for a week. Those people know how to relax. They grab a square of grass, any little piece of green space, and sit. For a while. No agenda. Sometimes there is a meal, or some beverages, but mostly they sit, take in their surroundings, read a book or talk to friends if they are in a group.

Exhibit 32443: When there is a park or a square with a fountain, there are chairs around it. Sit and stay a while.

What is wrong with us? Is it too late to reprogram?

This morning, a friend who works at a coffeehouse posted about someone who phoned in her latte order. Folks, it’s Sunday. What’s up? Can’t we relax, a little bit, ever?

In Paris there are literally hundreds of cafes, and you are hard-pressed to find one that will even make you a coffee to go. There is one place where you can do this, that I noticed. It’s called Starbucks.

They do have street food and carts with crepes, sandwiches, etc. But they don’t walk-and-eat, as we do, like we’re starring in some Aaron Sorkin teledrama and we have a walk ‘n’ talk to do. They find a spot. A park bench.

Can we change, a bit at a time?

We can do this. Try with me, just for a few minutes.
Sit down.