There we are, 31 minutes away from November 1st. I’m not sure where the time is going; I keep saying it feels like “the race to the end of the year”, and it does. Didn’t I just pay October’s rent, just a few minutes ago? The calendar says I’m wrong, and I have enough sense, for now, to back off and not argue.

I enjoyed a couple of glasses of red, red wine before Burlesque class tonight at one of the fine establishments along Randolph Street – which by the way, is experiencing a restaurant boom unlike any I’ve ever witnessed. The rents must be skyrocketing. I was sitting there, alone, still in my “costume” (which is really just a better accessorized outfit than one I might wear some other Wednesday that doesn’t fall on October 31st), when I realized that I was present, in that moment; not expectant of anything or anyone, not waiting, not anxious. What a lovely thing that was, to not look for and long for that blinky light on my phone, to not wonder what was coming next, to just BE.

A joy. A GIFT. Delicious.

And speaking of the outfit/costume, I decided this year that my life is such a circus, with all the very best implications that word carries with it, that I would dress up as a ringmaster, a modified one. Only a slight step up from something I might wear on one of my evenings out, it was a fun outfit, with my Tiny Top Hat ™ sticking out of the top of my head like an antenna for mischief.


What a great debate!

The Barack Obama I know and love and admire was back in a big way. Mitt Romney is just so suspicious, and I’m glad he was at least partially exposed for his lies and inaccuracies.

For someone with so much wealth, he seems to be of such a small world. I think if I’d had an opportunity to be in that audience, I would have asked him if he has ever met anyone of limited means, and how it changed his outlook on life.

Because if you’re a real person, you have, and it does.

If you missed it and would like to see it, the entire debate is over here.

Oh, and both wives wore the same shade of pink. Odd. I guess it is that month.

For all our talk about our “small world” when we discover something or someone in an unexpected place, aren’t we actually so very lucky to find one other? There are millions of people and thousands of miles of possibilities…

And even though we say life is short, that’s not always completely true. Time seems to not be of a constant measure; it seems to bend and twist and occur in a series of fits and starts — three weeks of despair can feel like a decade, thirty-five years of memories can gather up in one swollen moment of emotion, four days with a kindred spirit and you can forget that they haven’t always been part of your life.

Here’s to the freaks – may we continue to find each other as we scamper down the path.

Like many of us (and this seems to apply especially to women), I am always eager to give and reluctant to receive. Giving has always come more easily, but receiving, whether in form of a favor or even a simple compliment, is more difficult for some reason!

I have read several of SARK’s books over the years, and they’re always inspiring and soothing. These days I also subscribe to her newsletter, and that’s how I got this to share with you:


Giving and receiving is meant to be circular, with no real tracking of “who gave” and “who received.”

In order for this to work, you will want to practice doing both.

Practice by being willing.

Willing to be unfair, not keeping score, to be unconditionally loved, to bask in caring arms, to lift yourself up and squeak:

“Help!” more often, and in more ways.

Be willing to invent new ways to give and receive.

Find your true expressions of the words yes and no, and mean them when you say them. This will open new love channels.

Open yourself to give like crazy and with no strings or attachments.

Invent receiving practices for yourself that make you feel a little uncomfortable.

Act on your receiving practices in tiny ways all the while.

Give until you’re dizzy, receive until you’re glowing with love.

Be willing to be turned down, turned inside out and to be drenched in love.

Gasp in wonder at your human spirit and what it can give AND receive.

Be both receiver and giver. Tune your receiving station up and allow others to chime in. Smile at the gifts offered.

Practice all of this in a glorious circular swirl of LOVE’S energies.

Our constant communication is useless. We are “in touch” and virtually together, but there is such a shallow quality to the companionship that the important stuff gets lost.

A good friend is in the hospital, and has been there since Wednesday, and was in the ICU for days this past week, and I just found out about it this morning when she called. We traded missed phone calls on Wednesday, she either never left a message or I never got it, and that’s how we landed where we are.

And even though we have 17 friends in common (17!), the word didn’t spread far enough or fast enough to make it to me.

We overshare (or, more likely, I do), and so we assume everyone knows what’s going on with us. Is there anyone who doesn’t know my mother passed away this year? That I have has some incredible travel adventures this year? 

You know some of it. You don’t know all of it. You may have seen the pictures and read my blog blather about my grief, but it will never be like sitting across from each other, having a glass of wine, whispering the nearly-unmentionable parts. And that place where we are in each other’s presence and share, that’s the essence of friendship.

Or at least, that’s the essence of the types of friendships I want.

I saw Marilyn today, and we did much probing today into my desire to get out of town for Christmas, my indecision about the destination, my uncertainty about whether the potential trip is just a form of avoidance so that I don’t have to grieve for my Mother, which we decided I finally started doing (actively) last weekend. (Delayed much, Diana?)

Of the 36 Christmases I’ve had (I’m heading into my 37th), I can think of at least six that happened in Lima, Peru (1977, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1989, 2009); there were numerous ones celebrated on Florida winter-break vacations when I was a kid. I’d estimate well over half my holiday seasons have been spent traveling, almost always celebrating someplace other than at home.

I travel over Christmas. It’s what what I’ve always done, and what feels natural to me. But it took answering a half-dozen questions to get there, to the most obvious answer.

I’m a bit scattered, lately. I’ve started carrying a notebook around — a NOTEBOOK! Filled with pages! Made of paper! With a cover! — and a pen (double !!) to write down my Things To Do / Things I’ve Been Meaning To Do / Don’t Forget To ongoing list. My thoughts pop in and pop out just as easily; I walk around my apartment making a horseshoe shape as I pace (bedroom, hallway, living room, kitchen, living room, hallway, bedroom) and wonder what was I doing? Why was I coming in here?

What day is it? What month is it? Which season?

This will get better, I know. I think my brain is working overtime placing memories on a shelf; I get to see and enjoy each one as it is put away for later. Part of my brain and my memory and my soul wonders, “Where is she? Where did she go?”.

I constantly have to remind myself she’s gone. It’s way more painful some times than others.

Gold Dust

October 4, 2012

Ohhh… this year.

So much joy; so many tears. Perhaps more of each than I’ve ever experienced, all crammed into just over nine months, so far.

I’m stepping away from comfort. I’m finding new family members. I’m toying with notions and letting them go just as easily, like rubbing sand through my fingers.

I’m dismantling. I’m rebuilding.

Nine months. Maybe I’m “birthing” the new(est) version of me.

So many blessings, and opportunities, and losses, and grief. A veritable pendulum of emotions, I have gotten to experience both ends and seemingly everything in between.

I’m in a little bit of a holding pattern, and I know exactly why.

I need to decide. Because nothing falls into place until we do, right?

~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~ . ~

I’ve been listening to a lot of Tori Amos this week; it started over the weekend listening to her entire catalog, and then she released a new album on Tuesday, “Gold Dust”. The songs are reworkings of previous releases, recorded with the Metropole Orchestra, and the result is rich and gorgeous. The title track is heartbreaking, even moreso than the original recording of it already was.

This is going to be one of those albums that gets me back to the piano.

If you fancy giving it a listen, Paste Magazine is streaming the album over here.