And, so, we begin…

Night Time Rainfall

Now Lord…

I’m looking at the world through different eyes now Lord.
Seeing things in a different way.

Did you ever want to sit down
and cry Lord,
For a child you had lost in the rain?

I’m looking through the world through different eyes now Lord.
Seeing the world in a different way.

This poem was written in 1980.

I was 15 the Spring my first boyfriend broke my heart. It was shortly after that when I felt death touch me for the first time. While I lay on a hospital gurney in a supply room at Kaiser hospital I felt a life that once had fluttered like a butterfly inside me, a baby who had smiled within my heart, shudder and die. It was October 30, 1979, 6 months earlier during Spring break I had gone through an early term abortion the due date for that pregnancy was October 30. This was a late term procedure – I was 20 weeks pregnant and 4 weeks shy of my 16th birthday.

I cried myself to sleep a good portion of the year 1979 and most of 1980. Parents who had been absent in affection and guidance for most of those 16 years didn’t think to seek out help for a child who was so obviously lost. The blackmailing involved to coerce the termination of two pregnancies in such a short time was an example of many things that were lacking.

On October 30, 1991, my second child, Sarah was born. Shortly before her third birthday she sat very quietly and seriously on my lap and watched the PBS showing of “Angels Among Us”. After about 40 minutes she turned her face to me and patted my cheek and said, “Tha’ wha’ I am Mommie, I you Angel”. Is she the little person I had wanted so desperately to be part of my life so many years ago? Did she hover close enough to me that when the time came she could try again, watching and protecting me while she waited?

The tears now, when they come, are fewer and farther between. I think there will always be moments when I’m back there laying on the gurney and I feel that tender soul leave my body taking with it a piece of my heart and whatever was left of my childhood innocence.

“For the life of me, I cannot believe we live and die for these sins, we were merely Freshmen.”
– The Verve Pipe

Abstract and magical image of flying moths.

Like a Moth to a Flame

I am to him,
like a moth to a flame.

I fly heedless of the danger
to his brilliance, again and again.

My wings flutter faster and faster frantic
with my desire to touch him, even as my heart burns.

Like a moth outside a window,
I beat myself against the unseen barrier.

My body bruised and broken,
my spirit drives me on.

His fantastic light draws me closer still,
I taste bitter tears as my soul begins to burn.

I flutter helpless to the ground,
battered by my futile drive.

As life’s breath softly leaves me
I cannot help but gaze into the light.

Soft hands hold my soul
fluttering and exhausted.

My heart dreams
I am warm.

Talking to my old friends, I couldn’t begin a sentence that would refer to Peter without the listener saying something like “Stop! …if this has anything to do with Peter I don’t want to know.” He hurt everyone in my life with all of the pain he brought to me — but some small part of me will always have love for him. I remember once saying to him that either he was the most evil man I’d ever met, or he loved me more than I could understand. I’d walk away when my soul had burned too much and each time I returned to him the warmth was there to welcome me. No quarter asked, none given. I hope he will find peace in his life before it is over. (Original Text June 1998)

(Added May 2001) Peter died on April 16, 2001 after a significantly long struggle of body and spirit; Now he has peace, now HE is warm.

Pools in Guatemala

Sarah’s Gift

“It’s just you and me and the rain. It’s the blind leading the blind. If God will send his Angels, and God will send a sign, and if God will send his Angels will everything be fine?”
-U2

The other night I asked Sarah if she remembered being an Angel before she came to me. She said “yes” and very solemnly told me…

In heaven she watched over me more than anyone else. She watched with my two great-grandmother’s, both named Sara. She said she picked flowers there, for their dresses, the Sara’s had beautiful wings. She even picked flowers for their shoes, except that you don’t have to wear shoes ever there. You can go barefoot everywhere because there are no rocks.

The only place you can find rocks is next to the pond, for skipping. There is a certain amount of rocks there and after you’ve skipped some they come back every night while you’re sleeping.

One day she used up all the rocks and in the morning they hadn’t come back. That was the day she came to earth to be with me.

Sarah started to cry and told me that she missed the Sara’s. I was crying too, and I hugged her and thanked her for giving it all up to come and be with me. Later she said that it was beautiful there, that everyone is kind to one another and there are no bad people.

I don’t think my daughter has ever skipped rocks.

Old womans ice skates on the ice.

Living life – A fresh sheet of ice

You never know when the next thing that happens is going to be the biggest, brightest, and best thing that has ever happened to you. It would be a shame for you to miss it because of a little apprehension.

It’s amazing how little things can shape or change our lives. When I was 11 a friend of mine who was taking Ice Skating lessons really wanted me to go skating. My Mother said I couldn’t go even if her mother paid for it. We ended up telling her mother I had permission to go. It was a lie that altered my life. I was exuberant; I skated with confidence around the rink, balancing better on the skates than my friend who’d been taking lessons. New lessons were beginning in just a week so I bravely took the flier home to my mother and told her about them. I begged and pleaded until she gave in and agreed to sign me up. She thought it would be only for the summer, but it is a love that has lasted 22 years.

I did very well for the level I achieved, really very low compared to the skaters you see on TV, but good enough to be have been accepted into the Ice Capades at the age of 17 (if only I could lose 9 lbs. – another story for another day). Skating was like dancing and flying to me, all about doing the things that my body showed me it loved. I could spin and jump and feel free. I loved just moving to the music, doing whatever felt right – people loved to watch me skate. I wish I could explain the feeling that I find in my body and soul when I’m skating, it’s euphoric.

I love the smell of an ice rink, the crispness of the air, the cold, and the sweat, I even love falling. One of the best things about the rink was just after the zam resurfaces the ice leaving it one smooth glistening surface and each move you make on it was etched clearly, each edge, turn, spin, and jump. I loved to watch the etchings in the ice, to hear my blades creak on a deep edge and swoosh on a hockey stop. Looking at the clean glistening surface was always so amazing to me, it’s still exciting to me even though I’ve seen it thousands of times.

I rarely skate anymore although you’ll trip over two pairs of skates if you walk through my hallway. The last time I went skating was 8 months ago, I can’t tell you how surprised I was to find myself giggling and grinning almost the moment I stepped on the ice.

Yes, there is a point to all of this… but I have to say something else first.

My Mother died in February of 1998 after an 8 year battle with Cancer. I have a lot of emotional issues with my Mother and was very hurt when she got sick because I knew she’d never be well enough again for us to have a chance to heal them together. Her last 6 months or so were really hard for the whole family and the end was just horrible, there is simply no other way to describe it. I tried to prepare my children for what was happening and for the eventuality of her death, the issues of grief that they would deal with, along with the grief process the other grown-ups in their lives would go through. I must have done a really good job because 6 or 8 weeks after her death I was apologizing for my son for being stressed out and losing my temper and he said to me “That’s okay Mom, stress is a part of grief”.

During 1998 I felt that I was in transition, that something in my life was changing and that things would somehow be different when I passed through “this door”, whatever it was. The first couple of months after my mother died were like sleep walking and I honestly don’t remember much of what happened from the fall of 1997 until the summer of 1998. It was hard and there were wonderful people supporting me that’s just about all I know.

So my point… Looking forward in my life these days is like looking out across the boards onto a clean sheet of ice and all I can think of is what kind of etchings am I going to make in it? I’m excited and hopeful and I can’t wait to take that first step, to push and glide and fly.

Leaves falling in mysterious autumn forest with fog

Taken by the Wind

And so it was all the same as it had always been. Nothing had changed, yet it was different. Her heart was an empty cup, devoid of the smallest drop to quench her parched spirit. And low, she sat and waited for the cup to fill again.

Breathing in and out, each breath taking her farther and farther away from the ache that threatened to overwhelm her. She hovered somewhere outside herself, still waiting. No words were needed, the story could be read with one look in her eyes.

She had seen too much, felt too much – but her heart kept on beating betraying the barrenness in her soul.

The wind blew through the trees, sweet, soft, it called her to the sky. She drifted with each flower, the sweet scents driving her melancholy, oh, the longing…

There would be at times a remembrance of a touch or a feeling. These memories of past moments drove her deeper – away from her body. A body that longed for a soft caress, just as her heart ached to be full again.

People are often afraid to look at the happiness that is offered to them, because accepting those gifts can bring with them frightening responsibilities. Do you remember I said that people shouldn’t live with regrets? Some people choose to make a collection of them for old age.

Detail of the Sciore group in the Rhaetian Alps in Switzerland.

What does not destroy me…

What does not destroy me
makes me strong.
– Freidrich Nietzsche

I confuse myself and most of the men I meet by being positive, upbeat and well understanding my value, attractiveness and worth, then turning into the scared, insecure and frantic woman my mother chose for me to be.

It’s almost as if I were Snow White, the princess sentenced to death by her stepmother for fulfilling her potential. I retreated into failed relationships and food to give me a shroud and walls to keep her away from me. (I feel I should add that I recently read this paragraph in shock. Did I say I hid from her behind my weight? Yes, I did. But isn’t it true I hide from everyone that way? Or, am I still hiding from her?)

She led me to believe that it was wrong to be desirable, that if men desired me I should be ashamed of inspiring that in them.

How can you have a healthy relationship with someone if you’re wrong to make them want to be with you? You can’t. If you believe you shouldn’t be desired then a relationship can only happen with someone who doesn’t want you, and they can’t be the best person for you. And if they do want you then you feel you have to run and hide, heaven help you if someone is actually nice. Why do women choose the bad boys who treat them poorly? I have a few theories.

I’m sure you can see where my love hate struggle with my self, body and love found root.

Intellectually I don’t believe the negatives my mother handed to me in the bucket, but emotionally it’s very hard to let go of them and when I feel very vulnerable, when a man desires me, or even if a man is simply nice, I often dig into that bucket and wear my mothers image and my mothers shame.