I remember my first gemstone. I bought it when I was probably seventeen at a little place on Kings Highway in Fairfield, CT called "The Wizard". I always felt so strange in there, surrounded by candles and statues and so many little bowls of stones. I felt like the owners could see right through me.
I still have that Tigers Eye among the countless others I have collected since then. I don't even know all of their names but they have traveled with me up and down the east coast and my latest addition was the one I got at the flea market, that I previously wrote about.
As I empty the storage unit in Fairfield, I am finding my papers and pens and paints. I am aware of my massive amounts of pages and journals and books being the largest part of the bulk and I have been missing my paintbrushes and parchments as well as my canvases, slates and Moon Jars. I think of them all often as I struggle to create a new schedule for this new home and everything else that must be done. I get overwhelmed really easily and have to talk myself down off my creative ledge quite frequently because once I get up there, time does not exist. Suddenly the sun is setting and I have a piece of work in front of me that I could sit with for hours and hours until it is complete. Except I can't because we have to eat and clean and play and read and write. We have to get aggravated and anxious and overburdened...don't we?
If you know anything about me, you know that I write and paint, draw and create. If you are a fan, you know about my parchment art collections and other such pieces of work. Last year I learned how to create digital downloads so that I could sell them on Etsy and on this site as well. Soon after I figured that out, we decided that we were going to start clearing out the house to get ready to start the process of putting it up for sale. It felt like just as I was gaining some sort of progress and momentum with that part of my world, suddenly I was on a slide covered in butter - fast track right back to attention deficit obsessive complusive over functioning under achieving blender type mentality.
Recently I started a new painting with that new stone in mind, Celestite. When I first picked it up I had no idea what it was or what is was for. When I came home and read about it, I was happy to find that it is a stone that connects one to the angelic realm and is a great stone to meditate with so that you can connect to higher frequencies and feel the comfort and calm radiate from the pale blue stones.
As I have created many pieces of work based on the properties and associations of many things, crystals and gemstones being one of these things, I set out to use a different technique just to get started again and be excited about a new method. I wanted to paint "Celestite" - an angelic being who could radiate with the energy and meaning of the stone. But as I went on, I kept hearing Amethyst and Ametrine. Both light purple quartz like stones. So, I just assumed that was what wanted to come through. I kept painting and adding and wondering if I was going to be able to do a Celestite page and let the other painting just be what it wanted to be.
Today, as I was re-reading the entry for Celestite in one of my books, I saw that it said there was a light purple specimen...and I as blown away. I feel like that was an amazing manifestation that came through and it was beyond me why I could not put that purple paint away.
So, that was an amazing discovery for me. All morning I struggled with the old way that I used to create pages and art for the Book of Shadows collection that I am well known for. I had it down to a science, I had a certain formula to follow to avoid certain issues with paper, pen, ink, smudging, muddying of ink and paint, etc. Today I just couldn't get it. I sat with Celestite some more. I tried three different kinds of papers. Six or seven kinds of wet paint and ink media. I took that photo of my own personal piece of Celestite in the birds nest that I got for the garden, also from that flea market. It made me grateful to have a great prop to use. On the way back into the house, I got stung by a bee on the foot...
I struggled some more. I decided to take a break and be close to the boys in the pool and think more about what I wanted to try to do differently. I get OCD about my art and how its done and when etc. What it means to me, the first piece in the new home and all that. I can get a little ridiculous. Then it was time for dinner and I moved my pads and paints and pens to my desk again. I happened to put one upside down and as I went to put it right side up, I noticed a blue face staring at me from a back page...and guess who it is now?
Celestite, in blue.
So stay tuned for the reveal of the new work!
Check my Etsy shop for a portion of the existing art
And thank you for reading my rambling connecting the dots of my haphazard labyrinth of thoughts.
Until next Monday
What is that they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Well, the road to my blog last night was paved with requests for me to "lay down with me so I can sleep in my new room". Which almost always ends with me falling asleep before he does. No large iced coffee nor glowing computer screen from across the room on the dimly lit new writing desk could pull me back to it, and the blog I had started writing was something I was sure wasn't going to be a quality entry. So rather than throwing up some conjunctive piece of shit just to say that I kept the promise on time again, I felt that my intentions were askew and that there was no doubt about it, I would write a considerable blog in the morning...this morning...and here it is.
Yesterday I had a visitor to the new home and was given a special set of gifts, one of which is one of my totems, the Bee. I tend to have them tattooed on me (my animal spirit guides) and when I was thinking about first publishing "Whispers of the Goddess" I had gotten my Carpe Diem tattoo that I had designed with a Queen Bee right in the middle. Complete with crest and crown, this tattoo was my first large tattoo that was enlarged because the text "Carpe Diem" was going to need to be at least that large so that over time it would hold up. It made me a nervous wreck until I told myself that it was for the love of the book, for the love of the written word and for the love of all that I create, including the design for the work itself.
I have loved bees for a long time, even if the first memory of bees were the ones that I had accidentally disturbed in a hive under a porch where I had followed a neighborhood cat and then had the whole swarm follow me home only to sting me as I tried to escape into the house but the screen door stuck and caused the incident to be a permanent painful memory, even now, decades later. At that moment, I would have never seen myself being tattooed regularly, or even thinking about such a thing. Tattoos were a rare sight in the time of my life I am speaking about.
As the person who gifted me this special new addition that graces my current desk items knows, learning about the power of a creature helps us to recognize what its importance in our lives it has come for. In the above picture, there are, of course, three bees. One on my arm, one on the key, and one of the card that I pulled with my eyes closed this morning from my Druid Animal Oracle deck. I had been waiting to get that box here, and opened, the one with all my tarot and oracle cards in it. But as my husband has mentioned, the boxes all over the place are causing an ill effect and he is correct. When I look over in the corner I see them lingering, open and not being unpacked. It is a feeling of perplexion that I don't feel the need to deal with anymore. One by one, those frigging boxes can go down into a dark basement room and wait for me as I unravel my current intentions which have a better chance of becoming realized without all that excess in the way.
I have set the intention of changing on the wings of a dead butterfly, a scorpion, and countless creatures in my life. Just yesterday, we walked the dog down a different path. In the crosswalk was a tiny dead garden snake being eaten by ants. This morning I was making coffee and saw tiny black ants walking along the edge of a cabinet. The ant could make it into my collection because not only were they there, they were crawling across the window in front of my computer when I sat down to write this. As I write this, at this very moment, I look at the tiny books I have chosen to sit on my desk only because they are small and they are ones that I reference often. I decide I need to know about ant, as well... and what do I find... in the picture below:
Ant, following immediately by Bee. Double messages today. Industriousness, creativity, pursue your work for the common good. Oh, and is that Chapter THREE? Lol. Of course it is. Which will cause my seemingly micromanaging thought process to lead me to the third creature...which I want to hope is going to be a butterfly and not a big huge spider...as I wrote that, a crow glided past my window and is sitting on the wire outside.
I suspect the whole day will be like this. I think it started yesterday when one of the two TOADS we have left performed a Lazarus type move. Which I had to Google just now and you know what it says? Lazarus experienced THREE BIRTHS. Which is what this toad (we have been calling them frogs, but they never were frogs) has just experienced because yesterday morning we found him belly up floating in the water dish. When we took the dog for a walk I wondered where I was going to bury him. When we returned from the walk, there was no toad in the dish. I thought maybe somehow the dog got him or who knows what. Then I saw him staring at me from the corner of the dish. Fully alive and well, just as he is right now. His three births? Tadpole, toad, and reborn toad. His name is officially Lazarus. He will be a year old soon, as will his last brother in there. I appreciate the cycle and lives of these little guys, they have taught us many valuable lessons and on my desk is YES a black toad who is perched on a leaf that my son made with the first sparrow feather I found last week on the new lawn. Toad is a newer totem, but a totem nonetheless.
So where do I start with all these intentions that I have? How do I align with them and figure out which are priorities and which are not? Getting those boxes out of my face will help. Being organically inspired helps. Being able to sit and listen in meditation helps, and it has been hard to get that time recently. It is the key that unlocks that door that I shut myself. I cannot align with my intentions if I shut the door on them by cluttering all this other stuff in the way. I can't see them or hear them and it is the presence of the animals and creatures that have been a powerful intervention for me. I value and revere the presence of the animals and creatures, no matter how small like the black dots of ants and the dead cricket in the corner of the porch. All of them have a message and they, in their own simple and natural way, inspire the biggest and best changes possible.
Aligning with the intention of listening to the signs and omens, the energy of it and its frequency...connecting those dots.
Until next week...
Monday mornings are the ones that people like to say they hate. As a waitress, I love Monday mornings. It means that everyone goes back to their regular 9 -5 or so and I get to get back on some kind of track. Which is always going to be writing, teaching, creating. To start out this process of switching tracks there are several things to be done and one of them is choosing what kind of music I am going to listen to and start aligning with the thoughts that I will be writing on both on my blog and in my personal journal. Sometime I think I don't need it, but then I sit and stare at blank pages and remember that yes, yes I do.
I get intuitive nudges about what I want to write and what I should not write. Sometimes those things that I should not write become the most spontaneous and combustible things that I must write. My shifts in perception have come in such gossamer sheets that I am very grateful because they are allowing me to catch up and see what I need to still focus on and the things that are breaking my heart are dealt with on a slower level.
(...that I know you can't afford like that tattoo on your shoulder...)
I've been listening to audible books that have been helping me restructure some of the limiting thoughts that I have been harboring for years, possibly my entire life, about the things that I am capable of. With the passing of the full Strawberry Moon and watching the lives of those around me, both slowing down and speeding up with alarming tenacity, I get flashes of the shortness of it all. I get premonitions of wasted time being so much more than just an idle threat. They are full throttle glances at the inevitability of the end of everything. The rise and fall of emotion and the highs that you thought could be only achieved through circumstances you tried to control, that you thought you could manifest for yourself. The time passes, you are happy. Then you find yourself in an impossibly depressing situation that explodes in your face unexpectedly. Then you are contemplating what to do now. What is the right answer? Do you think you have it? Would it be to make the best of the time you have and be grateful as often as you can? To be the best version of yourself while you are still here? Because you know when you are not doing that. You know because you feel like it is all a waste of time. Situations pile up and build up and stack against your happy canvas in your head. Someone keeps walking by with a bucket of black paint and splattering it across the face of your masterpiece.
So what do you do then? It's dripping down over the piece you have worked months on, maybe even a year or two. What do you do about the person? What do you do about your reaction? What do you decide is the reason for this blasphemous desecration? Do you decide that it is probably your fault, that you had it coming for some unrealized ream of actions that finally needed to be brought to light?
So you get in your car and drive away somewhere you have never been, walk among the streets where no one knows anything about you. No one knows your name and you walk under a series of street lamps that make you highly appreciative of their light and shape. The way they are strategically placed along the paved walks. You decide that somewhere along the way, yes, you did bring this on yourself and that it is playing out exactly the way it is supposed to. Your painting is destroyed and you can throw it away now because it can't be saved. You cannot save that old persona. Nor should you want to. It is all your fault. Take it's hand and walk with it so it can show you why.
The images and the speed and the glow of the street lights illuminate things in the darkness. Shadows of the old patterns still hovering over you, by and large, asking you questions that you believe you have already answered. The problem is, you answered incorrectly at that time. You feel that frustration rise up and ask you once again, "The Question" and you say, "I Don't Know." Then you find it on the table in a flea market, a glittering stone, a piece of pale blue quartz like specimen that they are asking $10 for. You pull out your last $10 bill and hold that stone. You have no idea why it feels like an angel in your palm, but you know it makes you feel like silence and prayer. It is the simplest and quietest answer. It is the answer you have already answered and the one that you have been looking for, and all the words in between. It is planted in the dirt of your father's dead rose bush. It is planted in the one you will find to replace it and the bone meal you will drop down in the hole while mourning the passing of a seventeen year old plant. The plant you dug out of the yard where he last was, and you bought because when you were a little girl, you knew how important that rose bush was to him. Or maybe it was important to you. The whole composition of such a plant with its beauty and thorns.
(...so fuck your dreams...don't you pull at our seams...)
The point of all this writing and creating is supposed to be helping and healing me. And it is. And it is what I hope that helps you, too, because I cringe at the thought of all this working and all this moving and all this thinking and getting it down not being carefully perused and inspiring in some way. Of not being helpful or hopeful or dreadful enough to be of some better purpose than to be eroding the inside of my skin with nothing to grow new out of it.
Which is where I will end for now.
Until Next Monday.
XO C 333
I have been noticing so many things now that I am in a new place surrounded by no one familiar, except the girl at Dunkin Donuts who now smiles at me every time she sees me. I notice people drive the speed limit and no one is texting and driving. I mean NO. ONE. Strangers keep smiling at me and I must look ridiculous trying to smile back because its out of the ordinary for me to see so many people doing that all the time.
I have been watching that street light and still don't have the hang of its pattern. I like watching it spontaneously go off and on while I am drop dead exhausted trying not to use the television to push me to sleep. This whole event of cleaning and purging and packing a house full of things from myself, my sons, my husband and things that dearly departed have also left behind has proven to be quite a challenging string of decisions and responsibilities that I needed to and still need to weigh against each other. Too many things to be properly preserved. Too many things sliding into an avalanche of memorabilia. Too many boxes left to be unpacked and its too soon to worry about all of that because my creative complexion is slapping me around inside my head. It says, Sit and Write. Draw. Paint. OR ELSE.
I don't know how many people will understand the sheer raw frustration that stems from the blasting wound of not creating for a long period of time because there are other things that must be done. That have to be done. That take precedence, are higher priority because of one important reason or another.
But then I sit here and say "It's Monday night again. Does it matter if I write this blog or not? What is the point and does anyone care?" Now I know there are people who do. I know. I also know that I have been thinking a lot of the way people have been coming to the ends of their lives without seeming to have gotten a chance to burn as bright as they possibly could have...or maybe they did. Maybe they got to such a point of achievement that was not necessarily the best at all times. That was not necessarily happy or gratifying or pleasurable. Maybe they did it all to bring joy to other people and suffered through many hours feeling as if some karmic clock was ticking and they felt they had done their time.
I used to think that those things that were traumatic and painful and awkward and embarrassing would somehow, could somehow, mercifully fade into the gray horizon that is called The Past. That moving away from the associations and places and signposts could further push them away. But that is not true and my mind is finding ways to envelope those things even more now that I am away from them, as if escaping were ever an option. This is how I know that I will write them out. I will paint them out and I will create avenues of expression through my words and art. I will only purge them one by one like going through these hundred boxes of "things" and "stuff". I will sift through them and choose what will stay and find a place and what I no longer need. This is how the process of writing and creating saves me because just as I am about to go insane with the melancholy of it all, I push those things that others want me to see as priority out of the way and make sure that my creative veins get tapped. I don't like myself much when I am not creating. It feels as close to crawling out of my skin as I can describe.
Sometimes I feel that the fleetingness of life and the speeding of time going by doesn't support the massive amount of potential that a human has the ability to access and embrace. I feel that sometimes we are tired or uninspired and feel like saying, "I don't want to improve. It takes too much time and energy and I'm not sure it matters to anyone like it matters to me." It could be me being overwhelmed with expectation and responsibility and adjustment because I just can't leave well enough alone. I can't forget all those hours of sitting crosslegged on a broken bed for years, writing, crying, wishing, coughing for three months straight, wondering about when it was all going to end, and if it ever would.
Now it has. Now the full moon of June is coming on the 9th. The Strawberry Moon...and in the yard I see strawberry blossoms beginning to pop up. There is a hideous strawberry and random leaf and berry wallpaper covering the entire kitchen. There is a single red rose bud on a frail plant outside. There is that streetlight, flickering off and on like my sleep patterns. Just about two weeks until Summer starts and it still feels like Fall. There are my very addictive thoughts about sources of sugar and caffeine that keep swarming around my brain because it will take three people to maneuver my elliptical machine down a flight of stairs and I have wicked cravings for all things salty and sugary in the meantime.
As the Full Moon comes to remind me, the cycles are short. Time is short, and we do not have all the time in the world to make that dent we wish to make. We do not have time to be tired of ourselves and our pasts and failures and embarrassments because we are able to make a ripple effect that can and will matter for the future. Energy flows where attention grows. We don't need to be superstars but I think we do need to keep our promises to at least ourselves. What ever comes along with them is what should be. I know. I know what my promises to myself are, and when that Full Moon of June rides high in the sky, I will see her face through the trees just over that mountain ridge and I'll seal the deal that I have been scribbling about for so long. One big deal at a time so that it can have the impact I have hoped for. Then I can come back around to the ones that wait for my attention but know how important this One Big One is.
The Forest Labyrinth.
The distance has been made.
The decision has been met.
Full Moon of June.
xox C 333
There is a streetlight outside of the large bay window that I will be now writing to you from. It starts out as a low amber glow and graduates to a stark white blossom, but it's not consistent. It's not predictable, yet. What has become a slight promise of predictable though, is the mannerism of the community. People smile at you and speak to you and look you in the eye. I have not had one panic attack while driving. I have been apologized to while walking around the new block with my son, for something we did and a driver went out of his way to say he was sorry to make us jump in the road when it wasn't even him. It was a cat and hose draining alongside the opposite side of the road.
I am currently experiencing a weird sense of deja vu, as if I have told that story before, from this location before, while that streetlamp does its unpredictable thing. We saw a small red fox this morning preceded by five crows, whom I was blessed to watch arrive one at a time. I filled the bird feeder and watched squirrels hang upside down while stretching their gray bodies from the large oak tree over to the opening and then getting frightened away by the many sparrows who spent the entire day on the feeder. I can't see it now, in this dark new place.
On our first night here, there was a skunk digging in the front yard and a dead mouse on the porch out back. A couple of dry deceased ladybugs lay on the windowsill in the bedroom. I see the face of a monkey in the bark of the oak tree and an elongated skull that matches the skulls at the feet of my Morrigan statue. That streetlight is so erratic. Plunges me into computer screen light and then slowly burns into amber and now white, still no pattern. I am sure if I sat here and did nothing else, the pattern would emerge. I will let you know next Monday.
I have been thinking about how this change of latitude has taken the edge off of the frustration that we have faced for so many years and I am amazed at the way my anxiety has leveled off in the process. Just like the saying goes, "You don't know what you got till its gone." In this case, its a major blessing.
I also have been thinking that there was a whole lot of time where we sat in a purgatory state and I am going to be reflecting a lot on how that, too, was a major blessing, even if a lot of times it felt like hell and disparagement. A lot of times where I felt like it was never going to end, and if it did, it wasn't going to end well. The only thing that helps it feel more worthwhile is the perception that I need to now hold onto, in a great swath of gratitude, for everything I learned, and everything I was taught on a road so appropriately named "School Street".
There were so many statements that we said and that we lived up to that we don't now have the time to regret. There were a lot of ways that we were unhappy with the way things were, and there were things that we settled for that other people probably would have loved and wanted. My perception on how all of this was good or bad, was hard or fortunate is the most important now, as the boxes are unpacked and those endless stacks of papers and notes and words come out to remind me of all of that and the foresight they will reveal will surely be gargantuan.
The fact that it is indeed time to implement the things we had been talking about for so long has finally arrived brings a new sense of apprehension. A sense of movement that is a powerful shift in the way we will now live our lives, and a sense of having to gain a momentum on a time where we feel we lost headway on goals that feel like they are late in coming. But as I kept saying, over and over, The Universe has it all timed out to the last second, and the time we feel we have lost has not been lost at all. It has all been cultivated carefully to bring me right here to this moment, with you. In this dark. In this new place, in the exact right moment. I am grateful, and I look forward to many more Mondays to share the progress of our harnessed time and projects.
xox C 333
Now that I have been writing for so many years, and I have finally gotten the fuck out of my own way, I know better than to wait for the inspiration to nudge me to my notebook or keyboard. It has taken so long for me to figure out the formula that I need to capture this crazy spool of words and thoughts so that I can intertwine the emotion that embraces them at the actual time it is happening.
Originally I started this post on Thursday, May 18th, the day I woke up to find out that an amazing and extraordinary man had passed away. I have been completely beside myself with this terrible news, this void that has been created in the world and the music industry and then to come to find out that it wasn't an illness or a spontaneous accident was even more perplexing. Based on my blog last week, which included the topic of suicide invoked by the Netflix series Thirteen Reasons Why, I am deeply disturbed and concerned as many of the thoughts and issues surrounding this particular death of this incredible person continue to raise unanswerable and alarming questions regarding the use of the medication, Ativan. Regarding the long standing effects and results of an endless and unfathomable depth of life long depression and the illusion of someone of such stature, talent, possession, influence, skill, ambition and a host of other stellar qualities can get to such an irreversible point of tragedy. Regarding situations in which I won't post here that came calling to mind and reawakened to ask me if I could clearly remember the tiniest details of conversations with strangers regarding serious issues in this realm.
I have always had a certain feeling when I heard Chris Cornells voice, truly not like the others. A strong and powerful vocal arrangement that always caught you in a grip impossible to resist. Sure, there are plenty of extremely talented and highly skilled musicians out there and my range of listening music includes almost every genre. But this one, this one was influentially amazing, from day one until the final unexplainable end. Writing, again, prolonged and enriched the lives of countless people who loved the man and the music, and all the bands and times and history of what had happened in our lives as we went through whatever we were going through. The soundtracks of our lives walked hand in hand with this particular artist. I think that everyone has probably heard "Black Hole Sun" at least once if you were born after 1994.
Now, my own writing keeps me grounded. I could easily have said, "Oh, fuck that Monday blog. I am moving in two days. It's not important, this whole shifting of our entire lives and house contents and attitudes and health issues are more important." NO. They are not. They are not less important, either. But writing, to me, is just as important. There are things I will no longer compromise because of the weight they carry within me. Because of the agitation I feel when I do not honor my promises to my creative work. Because I know, that no matter what else happens, I HAVE TO WRITE. It is what reassures me. I know better. I know what I will feel like if I don't. It's like exercise. When it goes just a few days too long, I get real antsy because I know that I never leave a session with regret. Never. I know that between writing and the time spent exercising always alters me in a positive way. There is never an alternate emotion because it has been made clear to me that they go hand in hand. That the thoughts that are purged up as I accelerate my heart rate are ones that are hidden under the silt in my soul, bright little diamonds buried and waiting for me to dive in to retrieve them. Some of them are kept sleeping in my warm ocean mind and they become paintings or poetry because there are no coherent or reverent words to properly describe them. Some of them answer questions that I have been asking for months, sometimes years. And some of the rarest ones come to save me again at just the nick of time. I have found these things that resurrect my own hope and unbalanced grace. I have found the gratitude to remind myself that no matter how tired or reluctant I become that these very important things cannot be left undone for too long or the anxiety rises like a black wave, threatening to take me down and away from the shore of myself.
So, I suppose that mourning the death of this particular artist is so very difficult because there are very true times when music, art, poetry and literature has literally saved my life. To find a publication I had saved from April 2011 with his face and name and interview inside in a stack of magazines I packed today made me hold my breath in sadness as I had never been to a concert to this yet another bright shining star of a musician that I had admired. Like Prince. Like Madonna. God, lets not talk about Madonna passing on. But I just don't see that chance anytime soon. It's not impossible, but I have my doubts.
So as I write this blog on my last Monday as a resident of Fairfield, CT, I am grateful for the many opportunities that I invite to meet up with me. I am ready to stop waiting for what I need to happen, to happen. I am ready to support the goals that have been waiting to be met for myself and my family. I am ready to take my own word for it, because I know better now. I know that doing things that I have been putting off for fearing of upsetting other people and disappointing them because I am not doing what they want me to do is no longer something I wish to be concerned about. I know that the visions I have peacefully been shown are the ones that are not illusions or lofty unrealistic ideas that cannot be manifested. I know better than to doubt my own voice because if I do, the chaos becomes a monster. The regret becomes a barbed wire around my soul and the inclination to quit while I am ahead becomes an illegitimate excuse to abandon every unfinished project, dream and goal.
As my fortune cookies (I got an extra one) tonight tell me: "The most important relationship in your life is with yourself" and "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity"
I couldn't agree more.
Thank you for reading and see you next Monday.
xox C 333
I was thinking about this title and topic before I started watching the Netflix Series One of "Thirteen Reasons Why". As I have been doing for the most part, I have not pre-written my blogs because I feel that authenticity must be present here in this place that is my online home. I had to make sure I chronologically noted this for my own use, and for you, dearest reader, to understand a little bit about how my mind syncs up with itself and then, ultimately with you.
What a brilliant way to interrogate the living after death. To thread together a whole life of drama and emotions and mistakes in a very young life in this day and age where social media can literally kill a person. Had I been a teenager in this day and age, I would have surpassed Hannah Baker’s suicide by age fifteen. Some of you who remember when I was fifteen will remember the time I suddenly disappeared from my freshman class for ten days and was detained on the ninth floor of St. Vincent’s hospital to be watched continuously. Suicide watch. Observed by a medical professional who had a little too much interest in me being a female.
These were the days when you could make a phone call on a pay phone with one coin. I can still see a fifteen year old me watching the “others” playing ping pong through a thick glass window. I can see the Bridgeport skyline and the rushing cars on I-95 as I talked to someone who I would have died for. What an idiot I was but as they said in the piece that they played after the series was over, you don’t understand that things aren’t going to stay the same forever until much later in your chronological life.
If I were to make tapes of the way things panned out and how things have strung themselves together up until now, at this point in time and in this very city in which I grew up and have every single association filed away in sections of dark and excrutiating hallways of my soul, it would be as one of my writing instructors had once said an “unrealistic and unlikely story”. He was the reason I filed for a new instructor at that time because how the fuck did he even know how true it all was? How could he have assumed that I could have just made it up? How, as a writing professional, could he have given that kind of criticism? I guess it helped me because here I am, writing about how his influence and his opinion did not stop me from finding my authentic voice.
However dramatic someone may be, there is no way to ever really know all those things that thread together a life and its ways of expressing what needs to be expressed. If it is ever even expressed in such a way. That is why I think that expressing this kind of thing creatively, has absolutely saved my own life. You have no doubt been reading along and if you have noticed, I have been greatly interested in the lives of female poets who have taken their own lives, Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf. Tragic deaths and young deaths of those who had troubled lives all along. Poetic travails and ways to die that include filling ones pockets with stones and being sunk down deep in a river for weeks. Unavoidable… painful and emotional and emotionless.
My story, The Forest Labyrinth, is a kind of tape recording that doesn’t name names but it reveals the character of those who contributed to the future unraveling of my insecurities and my mistakes and my heartaches to the point of being mean, cruel, and antagonistic in my relationships. I am not giving up any names and not trying to persecute anyone, but this Thirteen Reasons Why has been a very interesting and parallel insightful journey. There are very critical parts that happened to her, that happened so eerily the same to me. I am not sure that I want to reveal so much in a blog like this, but honestly, if you knew me as a teenager, you may remember when you see it.
Objectified and humiliated, I was labeled many things. I have only truly blacked out twice that I recall very clearly. The one time I was at a party where I was not comfortable and was so drunk that I went out and threw up on a sidewalk and passed out for I don’t know how long. No one came to look for me. I drive by that sidewalk, and that neighborhood almost three times a week. I was not even legally old enough to drink at that time.
The only other time was when I was already a mother of two young sons. I was drinking in the living room one moment and then, hours later, the next day I woke up naked and in pain that I will not begin to try to describe. I was on the floor of a very small bathroom and had no idea of how I got there. I literally had to crawl out of there. I was afraid and didn't know where anyone was and when I finally figured it out, the Devil stood in front of me and laughed and lied to my face about what had happened. He was so good at it that I questioned my own sanity for a very long time after that. It was not until he was gone for some time that I figured out what had happened and my young sons had not been old enough or even awake to witness whatever had happened that left such a scorch mark on my soul.
I pushed that way deep down inside where even I could not see it. I understand why I had buried it there for so long, under a pyre of ashes of all the failed relationships and situations that had occurred to me since I was very young. Twelve was a long time ago. Twelve was the age in which I was tortured into keeping a secret that even to this day I have not completely allowed to see the light of day. In that movie, revealing such a thing to other people becomes an insurmountable mountain of pain and distress that keeps a girl quiet. It keeps a girl wanting to protect herself from all the feelings that come with being lied to and abused and forgotten. It also keeps a girl from believing in a way out that doesn't involve a vulnerability she is not willing to risk for herself.
In this spot, I watch the blowing dogwoods against the dark gray clouds and a wave of realization that some of what I have to say is going to be important to someone today. Staying silent about abuse perpetuates it. Allows it to grow into a monster. Allows it to run the Labyrinth in our brains. Like Hannah and Clay when they finally get together to talk and all she wants is for the thoughts to stop. How she runs through all the past ways that her intimacy and trust have been betrayed and violated.
I hate these old things, these old thoughts and patterns where I made so many mistakes. Where so many things happened to me that I cannot forget. These are important stories. These terrible places that remind me of those things and people, that I have to keep driving by because of promises that I had to make to a woman who made it impossible for me to trust anyone, especially myself. These people from my past that come into my restaurant and somehow they end up in my section and there I am, serving them pancakes or burgers or whatever and all I can see is a shameful version of the last time I saw them or of what happened when we used to "know" each other.
This place, this town of Fairfield, Connecticut, is my nemesis. Just like this movie has opened veins in Hannah Bakers wrists, it has opened veins in my own life where I was hospitalized for the threat of opening my own. Which, by the way, was never something I was going to do and had to do with a poem about suicide that I had copied into a journal in my own handwriting, making it appear that I was the author. At that time, I absolutely could have had more than thirteen reasons why I would have justified taking my own life. I am not going to name them out, but I had at least that many by the time I was fifteen. Freshman year was an absolute disgrace. My reputation was set there, in very strong tones.
The importance of these associations, the importance of how things are just not forgotten, the painful things that cause a humiliation and chaos so deep in the soul of people, it must not be lost in the Labyrinth of ourselves. The things that cannot be lost because we seem to be inconsolable dramatics afraid to talk about what has happened that hurt us. That it won’t be taken seriously or that anyone would even care. These things that want to be lost but that no matter what, they cannot be lost. They crop up when you least expect them. They crop up decades after the initial incidents that you can see so clearly, as if you are that twelve year old cornered in a dark place where you are threatened to be hurt if you don’t comply. That even saying “stop” or “don’t” will not cause anything to stop. That it may even cause more abuse and pain. But keeping it quiet, or not finding a way to help yourself, this is certainly dangerous. And I understand the inclination to keep quiet all too well.
My three sons and my husband are the anchors that will never allow me to take my own life. My own life is my own ship, because there are important strong things that must be said. There are important strong things that must not be forgotten because through whatever I had to go through, I was deeply protected by something I would not understand or recognize until I was punished enough. Until I had punished myself enough. I have been through extraordinary accounts of abuse and regret and not being able to explain what has gone on unless it written in such a context that it allows me be in a safe space with “Them”. Honestly, telling people certain things is too horrifying and there is absolutely no safe place for anyone when they are in that state of mind – where they want everything to end.
Hasn’t everyone wondered what it would be like to end their own lives? Hasn’t everyone wondered what would it be like to be a ghost and to see who is left mourning you? Who truly wanted you to stay? You like to think you pick those who would miss you so much, before you go. You like to think that what you will leave in your notes will help them to see how they could have stopped you. How they could have seen the signs. But would it really have happened? Would it really be enough?
That series reminded me of so many things that I thought I would eventually forget. That I had hoped I would be able to untangle and unravel and forgive. That I know will help me write in a way that heals me and that causes those things that I hate to be used in a constructive way that saves me. As I have always believed.
As I have
xo C 333
This past week I watched the series finale of Six Feet Under on Amazon. If any of you are familiar with this show, you know that it is based on the lives of a family who ran a funeral home out of their home in California. I had always been interested in finding out what it was about since it was on HBO, but way back then we didn’t have a subscription for HBO nor did we have Netflix or Redbox.
While waiting for my second son to arrive home late Saturday night I decided I was ready to watch the final episode of season five, the series finale episode. Cried through half of it, of course and then stayed awake long after my son arrived home after 1 am. Instead of being really aggravated about this since I had to be at work just before eight am, I thought about his track record and how it has changed for the most part. I began thinking about the saying, “the more things change the more they stay the same” and I thought “How?” I used to think I understood this.
Of course, there are things that stay the same no matter what. Conception, aging, energy, the way a human body functions. Sunrise and sunset. There are habits that form and patterns that run and now more than ever I feel those things both subtly and intensely. I can sense when certain people change their thoughts around me, whether we are talking or not. It is something I have been cultivating for a very long time and the more you weed out the things that strangle your figurative breath, the more you can breathe and see what is true. Judgement and anger fall away more easily. I still have a whole field of patience that needs weeding, and probably always will. A whole crop of angry red vines that still twist themselves through old cycles and pop in new ones but I see them coming now. I am ready for most of them, most of the time. But, the more things change the more they need to be changed.
It’s not enough to nip something in the bud especially when the roots go deep. I sit down to do something and someone’s random thought or opinion will stop by and sit next to me. I will think, “Wow, the last time I tried to do this I was told blah blah blah.” Then I pause and think, “Well, is that true? How does he or she know?” I realize that he or she does not know what is best for me. That sometimes people like to plant things in my gardens of thought that do not belong there. Or, they belong there for as long as I allow that person to transplant their words in the soil of my mind. Then, it is my prerogative to let them grow there, untended and out of control because something inside of myself feels that it could be true on some level. When I get to the point of realizing and extracting the truth from the actual words, the ones that come organically and thrive for me, I can go and pull up the overgrowth and trim back the excess.
You never know when someone’s words are going to stay planted and others will die alongside a ditch. It is sometimes a stranger who I meet at the edge of table in my restaurant, for a brief moment in time who will say something so profound that these words become larger than the person themselves. These words can come from amazing series and season finales that someone chose to write as an inspirational part to a script that is now over. Words are indeed the most powerful drug known to mankind. It is undoubtedly true that anything that we have ever felt horrible or awesome about was surrounded with either a garden or landfill that tore us up or ground us down. What we chose to keep growing or to kill off is a tedious job. It is a job that will never stop until we, too, are six feet under or resting somewhere in ashes upon the grass or within the waters of the earth.
There are too many times where I have allowed this soundtrack of voices to override the thoughts that I have when I have chosen to be alone. There are too many words that have imposed themselves on the situations that have manifested into cages and tunnels and caves in my mind. The only way I have figured out how to get them out is to slowly pull them up and out like tiny weeds being laid out on the cement to die. To then gather them up and use them to fertilize the new ground that needs to be broken. With proper attention and dedication, the new ones and recurrent ones can be reduced. They can be eliminated if they are choking the growth of the newer and healthier ones. It won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen by the end of the week or the month or the year. Everything has a cycle of seasons, and everything comes to an end before something new can begin. Prolonging that end by keeping everything somewhat comfortable and the same becomes a trapped feeling, like a snake caught forever trying to shed a skin, ending up immobile and blind.
The single most effective tool I have seen to help with this interior landscaping is meditation. When I mention it, people generally tend to believe they are not that type of person. That they cannot dedicate a moment to even trying to understand what it is they want to think or not think. As I have been going through so many different programs and styles of meditation, the best and easiest way to explain it to someone who absolutely wants to try but doesn’t know where to start is this:
Your mind, wiped clean and blue like the sky. There are clouds, stars, wind, the sun and the moon. These are constant things that we all are familiar with, no matter who we are and where we are. These things, thoughts, words are like clouds and stars, sun and moon. Some have a temporary influence, some are always there waiting for the dark to set in so you can again see them. Some are bright and warming like the sun and some are elusive and mysterious like the moon. They are part of you. They cannot be removed but they can be reduced to a neutral reaction the moment you say, “I see you, and acknowledge you. I know you are going to stay there no matter what, but for now I am going to pass by you and we are both going to just Be. I may see you forever or I may only see you a few more times until you burn out.”
There is no way you can stop thinking your thoughts, but there is a way to slow them down and even take just one and examine whether it belongs in your sky or your garden. Gently place them where they should be. Rearrange them to help you or leave you. You have the freedom to chose which ones stay and which ones are ready to go. You make one promise at a time and learn how to keep it. All the ways around it and through it. Write it down and burn it or write it down and lock it away until you see the change you wish to see. Move on to the next one. The hardest one doesn’t have to come first. It’s the little changes that make the most difference.
The Full Moon is Wednesday May 10. The brightness of this Flower Moon at 5:42 pm could be the best time for you to make your most cherished wish come true. You can reduce or remove certain thoughts and opinions as the Moon wanes into black, when you can then take the new thoughts you want to plant in to rich dark soil of a new phase and tend them every chance you get. But remember, you are responsible for their growth and health. You are the provider of their life best lived within you. And you are the one who chooses whether they stay or go.
XO C 333
Where I am sitting right now is one of those places where they have plugs in the base of the booth that you are in so that you can do this kind of thing. There are people and there is music and coffee and food. There is a place for Markus to play with whatever is over there in the children’s section. It is a place like this that I have yet to sit and write a Moonday blog because I figured that the sanctuary of my own house should be just that.
But its not.
So, like all things I think that this feeling of needing to leave “the sanctuary” and finish the endless list of errands for the day came at just the right moment. Just as I have truly begun to believe it is always correct, in all the lines and lures of my life and anyone who is in my life. Whether this be directly or indirectly. My choice to see into the lives of others, in whatever way that means, is indeed my choice. I did not have to come out to a public marketplace and bring my very loud son (who would be loud no matter where we are) to hang out and have a different atmosphere to construct a blog in. I could have left him home, but as I said, “sanctuary” is suspended at this time.
I try to understand how I continue to make the same mistakes that I have told others are always a mistake, such as being too friendly with co-workers. I have said it before, and I will say it again…IT IS A BAD IDEA. I always go and try to prove myself wrong with a person that I particularly like more than average, and time and time again, it is proven to me that IT IS STILL A BAD IDEA. Lines get crossed, feelings get hurt, anger sets in. So a few years ago, I would react much differently. But in the past few years, and this year so far, I have learned that it is really only hurting myself, not protecting myself as I had liked to believe in the past. That blistering anger towards myself for trusting who ever for whatever reasons, the practice of turning this into something more constructive has become a mission that I am willing to embark on. Every day.
So many people ask me how I am. Do they really want to know? Are they truly concerned? I have come to accept the answers mainly to be No and No. I also have come to accept that I need to be more concerned about how I am and not be concerned about what anyone else is thinking about me, which should always be the case. I have spent such a large portion of my life worried or depressed or anxious and since I saw a cycle end again and threaten to anger me I decided to make sure that I ended it and not let that emotion win. I ended that cycle. Even if it was only with one person, the reaction to the incident/incidents changed dynamically and in gratitude, even though painful, I was humbled and excited to see that yes, all of the writing and meditation and talking to myself was/is working. And I can’t care about how that sounds to anyone else because it is what works for me. I talked about it briefly and I set my mind to believe that whatever happened was supposed to happen. That it was all preplanned and that I had nothing to do with it, really. That is was something that had to be painful and cause me to finally be fed up with a certain cycle. And that the cycle was connected to every other part of my life that was timed out precisely down to the very second that I sit here and write about it to you.
It also taught me that the most important person to trust was going to be myself. That if I didn’t believe what I was telling myself, that everything else wasn’t going to align with what was supposed to be happening. That those feelings of “hey, you shouldn’t say that” or “hey, you should stay off social media more often” or “hey, that person is truly someone with ulterior motives” – those feelings are proving to be so uncomfortably accurate and that is how I know they are correct. That is how I know I am still wrong a lot of the time and that is how I know that I am learning at a rate that I am able to understand. For this, and so many other things, I am grateful.
There is the sliver of a crescent moon in the sky. Mercury retrograde ends on Wednesday and the Full Moon is a week from then. Things are rapidly moving towards blooming and longer days and I hope that whatever it is you are learning is serving you well.
Thank you for reading my blog!
Until soon ~
XO C 333
This changing of the seasons reminds me of new beginnings both in habits and relationships. Then something changes in a relationship that I thought I had established trust within. It could be a long standing one or a relatively new one. It comes to be one that is revealed to be a scam. It comes to be one that is a set up to determine my honesty and loyalty. And when that happens, I will absolutely shut that person down. I do give the benefit of the doubt with the person but typically, I only need about three incidents that tell me this is a pattern and not something that I am interested in continuing engagement in.
There are other variables, the top one being the energetic exchange. Most people don't realize this is going on unless you are an energy sensitive person. Much has been written about energy vampires because, even though they may not consciously know what they are doing, they do it all the same. They use their words as a manipulative way to get people to do something for them or in their favor. As a young girl growing up in a world that was very flat and plain, as opposed to the whole world wide web of realization we have now, I paid attention to anything that was out of the ordinary. I was figuratively slapped down and away from things that I wanted to know more about, things that I wanted in general. Minimal things. Emotional things. Spiritual and physical things.
All that pushing away only caused me to magnetically come back around to the source within me that says, "Hey, remember how you wanted to (fill in the blanks)"...
How you wanted to have your parents there supporting you and being present for something important to you that everyone else's parents were going to be there for.
How you wanted to be able to really trust that you would not be made to go through something really hard and scary alone.
How you wanted to say no to so many things that still to this day terrorize your soul.
We all have that, right? So many things we wanted to do differently. Some of them we finally do get to do differently. Do we do it then? When given the chance?
Someone offers to help us with something difficult and then...completely abandons it, and sometimes even does the complete opposite. The bus comes and we are thrown under it.
Well, I have been learning how to stay off that bus. I have been looking out the windows and getting out at the stop no one else is getting out at. And I am totally fine with that, even if I am walking out in the dark alone. It's what I have always known, what I have always done in a way that no one really understands, nor do they need to.
Recently I have been able to understanding where my energy is best spent and what needs to be in what place and when. It is all very subtle, and it involves a lot of talking myself down from places I have no desire to be anymore. It is a lot of time saying no to a lot of different things, and people. It also has been a lot of telling that voice in my head that tells me I can't do something to shut the fuck up and sit down.
I have been listening more than speaking and I have been hearing a message loud and clear, over and over and the more I hear it, the more physically uncomfortable I become. I am taking measures to make sure that my body isn't physically revolting against me and although I have asked for the capability to be able to feel a certain amount of energy to be used as a protective mechanism, it seems that time is running faster than I possibly ever could. This makes it virtually impossible to stay the same way I have been staying in order to be of service to those around me in the way that has made me feel as if I had to stay that way.
I don't and can't stay the way I have been staying. It is only recently that I have been shown how many strings the Universe is about to pull for me. And how many that have already been pulled. All the games that people like to play, or try to play, take them all. You can win all you want. All I know is that I am out and away from this particular playing field now and I am not coming back. I know what I am going to need to do to prepare for the next game and in that space of time I will always continue to be grateful for the people who show me who they truly are, without realizing that I needed them to be liars all along. Realizing that I need to be a liar, too. Because that's the game. And fuck it. If I don't win, at least I learn. And maybe get to teach about it along the way.
xox C 333