Lightning On My Feet



Stay on the road.  Keep going.  That was the message I am taking away.   I’m taking it under my arm and sheltering it through this storm.

I can do things if I can allow myself to do them like hell.   Let them happen as monstrosities happen, flapping and flailing to everyone’s aghast expressions.  We see the faces, we don’t know what’s in the heads.  I can do them if I can do them illogically.  Irregularly.  With reproach from within or without.   Not perfect, not right, not gliding, not pearlized, not gleaming and slick with ell sounds.

Therapy was good.  It was good because it was depressing and deflating and it drew me up from the bottom of the river to sit on the top, float with it as it moves again.  Not flying in the heaven cities above the river, not stuck still as a rock rounded off in its bed, eroded by it, but moving as it moves.  A hundred thousand gallons a minute.

When I said that one of the worst compulsions when I drive is to stop.  Even in the middle of the street when I feel myself start to leave my body. To stop and gather myself in case one hair falls out of place as we raft down 32nd, so that I remember to breathe.  When I said that, she said that was the lesson.  I can do this messily, I can be bad.  Have bad days, but continue on this journey.  Keep going.  Stay on the road.  And today, I half-did it.  I kept going, but stopped, but kept going.  Imperfectly.  I didn’t use my logic to fly up, I didn’t use my heart to sink me down, I just went.

So tip your cup to this brave ol’ girl.   Standing here at the mouth of hell and listening to it sing.  Opening my own throat to sing with it.  Ride this river, too.

Now, the rains have come after a screaming, sinister thunderstorm.  Lightning still flashes intermittently. The hail comes again, angry.   Gushing, pouring, sobbing sky, a bleeding Niagara overhead. I am wanting to write on this story because people in group want to hear it and I am nothing if not a glutton for a few kind words, though I find the pattering and clattering euphonious and distracting as it plays behind Laura Marling.

I am tired.


Everyone wants to know where it begins, but it that doesn’t seem to matter so much as it did.  It did and it spilled out in a hundred different directions so if we care about it…whatever it ever was, we have to care about all of us who were drenched by it, made to turn a hundred different ways than we might have without it.  It’s fate, it’s water, it’s somebody else’s river.



It’s not so far off.  Tomorrow’s Friday.  That’s good.  The rain will eventually stop.  I have a book or two to read.  I have a story to work on.  I have an email to send.  I have

Last Minute Sally

It’s funny how you can be happy and freaked and miserable and calm all at once, and all below the surface.  Story of my life, really, but I made some progress today if only just for knowing a little bit more about what the problems are and putting out a few potentially hot fires, kicking the can down the road for a few more days on the rest of them.

Yeah, I need to go on a diet.  Not for anyone but myself.

I just played through the Omega DLC for Mass Effect 3 and two things I knew would happen certainly did.  One, I loved it.  I loved being back in that world and omni-blading through upgraded and revved-up mechs and letting Ms. Shepard do her thing.  But also, two, and it follows that because of the nature of DLC, it’s kind of depressing that Shepard will never get to chat to anyone about the events she just went through because they didn’t record responses for everyone on board.  It was never going to happen, but now I’m just watching her shift her weight on the crew deck and because I’m tired and have so many other things going, it’s going to be ages until I play through with her again especially given the ending.

Okay, yeah, the computer just died and with it all my motivation for life.  Sorry.  I have to rush and now I…just….yes.  Okay, time to get all that composure back and write something beautiful about the weather or something.

But really, the weather has been the biggest blessing this year.  I know that I would be out of my everloving skull right now if on top of all of my work stress and life stress, if I also had the pressure of snow driving on my head.  I think I’d just give up.  Go pack a bag and jump off the side of a cliff or something.  It’s been in the low 60’s all week and will be through our big holiday outdoor event extravaganza on Friday, and foreseeably, the parades on Saturday.  Not having to navigate that is such a relief.  I know this just happened this year and really, it’s not exactly nice to prance around singing the praises of global warming for the hugely selfish reasons I have…but Al Gore can suck it right now.

Went to the party tonight.  Wore my regular work outfit, not the green dress, but felt alright about it since I had makeup on and my hair was alright and I got compliments that I looked okay and there were boys.  Men, I guess, if you want to be technical.  And I sort of sat at my desk and watched them mingle with other single girls, having provided them this lovely ambiance for mingling, and felt…it wasn’t nothing and it wasn’t something.  It was just a twinge.

Cotton mouth and an urge to vomit.  What a way to leave you.  Sorry I’m such a last minute Sally.

You should cross my path tomorrow.  Just by accident.   We don’t have to say hello.  Just nod a bit, and know.


Small miracles:

Being able to stop on a dime because it is time to stop.   And because you don’t need waffles for dinner, not in this heat.  Not when you’re not even hungry.  Not just to satisfy the random and merciless bondage that is the concept of dessert.   Being able to turn Civilization V off is a victory as well.  I was tooling around on my ukulele, which I finally put back in my hands after having a craving for it in my muscles today, and squaring myself to learn once again C, G, D, and F properly and going through the pain of rebuilding the calluses and strumming without knowing precisely what I’m doing just to get back to the point of being faintly sure of how to do it.   And as I was working on this between turns, I was thinking about how much more I could be doing with the right nows of right now.   That I could always come back to this game.  It fucking saves for a reason.  I don’t have to drive myself down into the ditch every time.   Not EVERY time.

The internet hanging in there with me today.

This little fan hanging in there, too, making cool air, somehow, in this stagnant coffin I call a bedroom.

Having my shirt complimented.  Even if only by a random pre-teen.  I will take a compliment.   Being called “awesome and/or terrifying.”  I will accept that as well even if I don’t know how, exactly, to take it.

I completely forgot how much “The Last of the Ghetto Astronauts” impacted the genesis of the story I’m working on.  I forgot how much Matthew Good’s voice is the voice of one of the characters, the one I’m currently feeling least connected with.   I think the random development of a roll of film my sister found laying about with images of at least ten years ago has put me in a very nostalgic mood.  I was just getting into Lord of the Rings.  I was thinnerish.  I had a lot of shit in front of me.  I would tell that girl a lot of things if I could.  But I can’t, and there’s no going back to faux-face tattoos and life back then.   There’s just the future swimming alongside me.  Just going the way it’s going.

There’s  just a hot night at Red Rocks and the heat of the East coast weekend and there’s just how I want things to go.  And as much as I tell myself otherwise, changing nothing actually changes nothing.  There’s the horror and the comfort, balancing on this daffy little fulcrum I call a head.   So I wrote him back and I used my cleverest, snarkiest voice and didn’t care and he said I was awesome and terrifying, and maybe in some ways, I am.

Time to get on the bike.  Even if it’s late and sweaty and hot and even if it’s just for a few minutes.  Kind of planning to take over the world.    Happy little Independence Day.


Victorian Princess Fingers

“Sucking at something is the first step to being good at something.”

Wise words.    Also wise is turning the fan so it actually hits me.

The other day one of our clients, a warm and effusive woman with something of a penchant for odd non sequiturs was helping me at the table and she leaned over and put her hands on the table next to mine.   She exclaimed (it was, totally and utterly an exclamation) “You have Victorian princess hands!”  And I said, while laughing, because, really…”Oh!”   And she turned to me, utterly serious,  “Really, you know what I mean? You are the first person to understand my reference!”  And then she pulled her hands away because they were the veined, sun-spotted hands of someone older, as if they were ugly and horrible – though you’d think a Victorian princess would win that contest (hands down, ahem).  And then she was distracted by the project and I wasn’t able to draw out of her just what the hell she meant.

But today, with my multiple nosebleeds, and my being trapped indoors until sunset, I did feel a bit like some consumptive Victorian princess.

Strangely, enough, even with the deck stacked against me and the heat still infernal,  I did sort of start moving in the right direction.  I did have a good breakfast, a good dinner, a fairly decent lunch and a couple bad choices otherwise.  And I managed to crave and execute a short walk in the out of doors, so, along with some water, and groceries, I feel a bit more ordered.  I weighed myself.  I know what I’m doing, more or less, and I’m kinda sorta doing it.

The walk was so nice.  There was just this dwindling, intermittent rain shower and then cool air and overcast skies muddying the sunset and the air was actually moving of its own accord.  You didn’t have to flap around to get a bit of flow.  I had some strong memories of being a kid and liking those strange moments at dusk where some sort of natural magic seemed to be animated the world around me.  Nice to remember a bit of who I am.

Not all of it is on record.

That said, it’s interesting, at least to me, how bibliomantic this blog sometimes becomes.  Someone – one of you faithful readers or some random internet searcher – will look at one of these archived blogs and it’ll turn up and be the one I need to read today.  I’ll click the link to remember what was going on and “Nostradamus Never Saw it Coming” was the link of today.  And in it, since it’s questionable whether or not I’ll be arsed to actually link it here, it would be nice of me, but in it…I was talking about imperfection.  And going ahead because maybe the next day you could get it a little bit closer to the form you intended.  All of this is just practice for the big show.

So I continue to have to look at it like that.  To think otherwise is to invite catastrophe and meltdowns and just more wasted time.   And I have plenty of that on-hand.

Everything You Say Is Not A Title for a Post

Takin’ care of business! Every day!


The day is a hot, muggy blur behind me.  We’re closing in on midnight and I’m sure it’s still in the high eighties.  Doesn’t seem natural or possible.  And yet again, the weather we have at the moment seems like the most obscure, anomalous weather there is.  Record-breaking, death-defying, Mother Nature is kicking ass and taking names kind of weather.   Tomorrow is due to be in the hundreds.  Still the fire burns up north.

Joan Didion heard the Santa Ana winds and felt in them the end of the world.   Sometimes I feel this suffocating blanket of heat come off the streets, come off the furniture, the windows, even the ceiling fan itself seems to fold the fevered peaks of air around me.  I am a papoose, swaddled, and unable to escape the warmth that holds me safe, leads me backwards through life.

I feel a pressure on my brain like a thumb is pressing right on the top of my head.  It makes the necessary words spit and strain like there really is some sort of kink in the hose that carries the thought from the spark in my cerebrum and dances it to my fingertips.  On top of the sweat and the delightful bloating I will impolitely mention now, I am in quite a state.

But it is Friday, and it would be ungracious of me not to recognize my blessings and luck on a Friday night when the dead heat is cracked by a cold blast of darkness.  Like an untempered glass carafe shattering at a touch.

I am well.   I know you weren’t asking, but I thought I might update you anyway.   I am missing you keenly though nearly not at all, meaning by the word you, the idea of you, as ever.  I have to shift and roll my shoulders because the idea is an unwieldy one.  It’s an idea that has the terrible habit of glomming onto other ideas and make these massive katamari of idea and ache and memory all knotted with the gum of days gone by.  And not at all because I know better and I know what you are and how you move, hiring bodies for residence and then giving them up like a crab gives up its shell.  He does because he outgrows it, you seem to move at a whim or whenever I hover over you with a stick and a mason jar.

You went like a Santa Ana wind out of your conch today and left me one less altar at which to invoke you.  Soon I’ll be scraping along on the the street, agog at any face I think might answer to one of your thousand names, offering up the bread, the blood, the tithes that might tether you for an hour.  All of this is passing time, you see, before this transubstantiation.  This man of air becoming man of flesh.  And I have another purpose, surely, on this great if boiling earth, but what girl doesn’t peek between her fingers to witness a miracle?

Evidence of a Rich Inner Life

And you know it’s been far too long doing this for me if I’m considering and grousing that I’m wasting all those words on the damn title.  But, as I hear frequently, it is what it is and sometimes the title for a piece becomes immediately obvious even before the ideas start churning.  Not that these are pieces, Jesus, no, but you get what I mean.  Maybe.  I hope.

Speaking of titles, up until this instance, I had decided via the swirling jets of my brainpan that today’s post would be called Manichean Monday for puns and lols, but the day is never all that black and white.  It was the usual frustrating sort of day, though, where I told myself one thing and then life conspired to disallow all my plans and instead run me through a maze of its own devising where struggled through the switchbacks and turns until the whole proceedings were eventually called for time because the maze staff was tired and wanted to go home.   Saw the Farmers Market totals which were good, though less explosively amazing as everyone typically always expects.  Tried to get the books done.  Couldn’t quite amidst everything else, so I have to go in early tomorrow and buckle down (knuckle down?) and get that done.  There was much talk of my boss’ vacation which will mostly be to see family, not all of whom are well, and I feel more than a little guilty about how nice it will be to have those days to try and organize and get things done instead of chasing my tail, chasing my clerical dragons.   He hasn’t been gone for that long, possibly ever, at least for good year or two and I could just use it.

Sigh.  Well, I am, as always, a shadow of the graceful creature I will ever fail to be.

Exhibit A of that is that when I arrived home, it was shocking to discover that both my sister and I were in a decent enough mood to clean up a bit and I offered to drive us the very short distance to the recycling site.  I said I feel resistant about it, so surely, that means I need to do it.  And I did and no one died!  And as a reward for this great victory against the marauding bastards in my mind, we walked to the park and futzed around on the playground equipment until we felt dizzy and silly and the cool breeze and dark clouds ordered us home.

Run-on sentence!

I am hoping to get on the bike for ten minutes here, another nothing thing that has to be done if only to prove that it’s nothing.    Hoping to snag a little time on the ukulele since I think the guitar is too noisy right now.  Hoping to answer that email I keep putting off because I can’t figure out how to do it perfectly.    Can’t hope.  Gotta do it.    Can’t wait for Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Body to scoop you and awkwardly force you to do it.

Today: 162.8

And some music:

Earthly Ministrations

I was sure that today was going to produce from me an excellent post.  I had it halfway written, I think, and I’ll only be able to recreate some of it from memory.  It goes a little something like this:

I don’t hate snow, though I have come to regard as a source of a great deal of negative emotion.   There was a long time ago when the crystalline egg whites spread out over the lawn, I’d sit in the windowsill and imagine how long it could exist without a wrinkle or dimple to destroy that smoothness.  It would be so cold there if we hadn’t put the plastic sheets up and made them taut with our hair dryers.  It’s funny to think that there will come a time where you can write that and no one will even be able to conceive of what that was all about.  They won’t have draft dodgers for their doors, or rain collectors for their downspouts.  They may not even have downspouts.  They’ll have, I hope, other things, little human mechanisms invented to correct imperfections in other human inventions that have generally been deemed “good enough” but we humans, in practice, see that some alteration is needed and they’ll go about figuring out what’s on hand that can do that.  Like a sheet of plastic over your window from late October to mid-February.  You just can’t open your window.  But you can tap out songs on the plastic, that reverberate like a giant transparent drumskin.  And you’re fine with that because it’s winter and these are the things we do for winter.  We’re taught this almost genetically.  Our bodies react differently in winter.  We eat more.  We slow down.   We scale plans back.  We watch the calendar suddenly with an urge to fall forward, to trundle out of the failures of this year and into the potential of the next.  We see 2012 as that perfect sheet cake of snow, untouched by footprints or Picasso-styled snowmen or even just the slide of snow off the roof into a messy berm along the eaves.  You know it’s going to get fucked up.  It has to because you are going to get involved and you are going to kick things around or even just factors are going to arise that you cannot anticipate or control or resolve by your very best and most genuine intent.

But there’s the thing, the rub, the takeaway, the what have you.  And I think of this as I get up and look out from behind the curtains and find that the promised snowfall has indeed come for us once again.   Winter, for all Mr. George RR Martin would have us believe otherwise, is just a season.  And it takes a fourth or so of our year and makes it cold, it makes the roads wet and slippery, it brings the glittery, steely, impermanent snow, and it slows us down.  But it doesn’t turn the works off.  It doesn’t make the blood stop flowing.  We’re the ones who put the plastic up, and when spring comes, sometimes even sooner, we’re the ones who have to take it down and feel what’s going on outdoors.