I know.. Life Journey needs an editor

No one has to point out how bad my grammar is. And trust me people it was worse if you can believe that! Please accept my apologies and if it still bothers you I can always add you to blog as a author and let YOU edit my writing. I am aware of my poor editing jobs but since this is a PERSONAL site and the purpose of it is for me to write everything that I can, editing is far from my mind when I’ve got words and sentences doing acrobats in my head trying be the first typed out! I started this blog purely to MAKE myself write. Hence the none linear and mixed matched posts of subject and time line.  I can only hope that my grammar skills and editing improves as I write more. But I wouldn’t hold your breath. I was once told by a very smart lady that a writer that can convey emotions and make the reader feel as she does and writes purely from within is a skill that cannot be taught but a good editor anyone can eventually learn to be… So this is what I tell myself when my lazy ways bother me and I begin to think that maybe I need to try harder to write better. At the moment just writing is hard enough, I’m of the mind that the editing can be added into the mix later when things like comma placement has a seat in my crowded brain.

An ode to Coffee

The smell of freshly ground coffee is quite intense, it can make a lesser person quiver with endorphins of anticipation of the hot smooth bitterness of heaven in a cup. There are so many ways to drink coffee, bold, bitter and black. Light with cream. Sweet with sugar or fancy with syrups and whipped cream. Cold and refreshing on a hot day, warm and comforting on a cold evening or a breath of life before the dawn breaks early in the morning when nothing else will chase the sleep away. Coffeecake, coffee ice cream, coffee shakes and cupcakes. If they made a mocha oatmeal I would probably buy it. We add it to protein shakes and energy drinks. Granola bars and chocolate desserts – you can find the coffee flavor everywhere. Before breakfast, after dinner and every waking moment in-between. The world runs off of coffee. While sadly the caffeine does little for me I love the taste. I’m a coffee addict without the addiction. With Money tight and a rebelling stomach against anything acidic (from all the ibuprofen) I haven’t had hardly any in the last month (teas and hot chocolate I still do) so when I do get to enjoy a cup after stuffing myself with food to protect said sensitive stomach I feel truly blessed (and that I’m splurging..) and smile at the face of exhaustion even though it’s not the caffeine that makes my day better. As silly as it might seem, coffee and a good book can turn around almost any off day. The simple things in life you always hear people say should be the things we focus on. I’m of the mind that very little is actually simple if it has to do humans (I mean coffee can be pretty complicated with all the stuff we add to it!) but I simply enjoy my coffee even if it’s not a simple thing to have in my life. And only the good stuff!

Small steps

I had a beautiful day. While though I was at work for most of the day, I got out and drove south to the foothills to visit some family friends. The sky was blue, the sun drifting into the set position and the mountains bold and beautiful. I had a good day because I somehow managed to not die while falling asleep driving the night before. I had a good day because a manager who finds something wrong with everything everyone does at work didn’t find anything wrong with my training classes (or not yet anyway) that were audited today. Mostly I had a good day because I was working and wanted to work, I got to dance the night before and saw the sun rise. My joints hurt like hell, I haven’t been sleeping and I still am not quite sure what this living situation is going to be. But I refused to let those nasty details be my whole day. I’ve a feeling my day with the dentist (which is happening sometime this week) will be cause enough to have a bad day (dentists and I, we don’t see eye to eye..). So I had a good day, even though I hardly talked to anyone outside of work, only got to eat once and worked most of it. I’m proud of myself for this, maybe some people think this is sad but I am content with my small achievement.

I can’t sleep even after a good day. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever really sleep again (without the help of a substance).. I haven’t slept properly since the trial, Brad dumping me and realizing that at my weakest point in this whole retched scene that not only could no one pick me up off the floor of my hell to give me comfort, they said no to my plea for help and told me I had to learn how to be by myself. I can see that this might be morbidly fucked up but from consistent experience it’s sadly true (at least for me it is). I am under no illusions that people might come through and help me. When someone does lend me a hand I view it as a surprise gift. I never expect it and don’t include it in my routine. Anytime I get comfortable with ANYONE I’ve had in my life (okay not Lorien ~but that is why she has the only title of best friend) something happens (whether on purpose of their doing or just shit in general) and I’m thrown to the curb (s0metimes literally) and life slaps me upside the head reminding me that I cannot count on or factor anything  but what I can do for myself in that moment. Otherwise I will be left in the dust (or ice as it is Alaska..) wondering how I will handle this mess I’ve found myself in.  A good day is small step in the challenge I find myself in. But I’ll take it  even on sleepless nights like this.

Originally written March 4th 2011~ Today it has been 2 years

Today it’s been 2 years.  So hard to believe yet with the changes in our lives and the shape of the world it must be true. Somehow two years seems worse than the first year. The first for everything was (this time last year she was with us. She was here. She was our life.) This year its memories of the first time she wasn’t with us.  There are no happy memories of how it was with her amazing life force the time before.  Now its how it was without her the first time, and how the second time around feels.. well the same only without the sweet memories of a happier time before. Now it’s the look on Jesse’s face as he tried to be brave for the first Mother’s day we can’t give her that comes to mind. It’s how we planted a tree on the year one mark and how empty it was, how unresolved things were and how fucking awful everyone felt. And now a year after the first year mark, everything is still empty, NOTHING is resolved, there isn’t even justice. 23 years in jail and that’s supposed to be justice? No one has agreed with this statement of justice yet.

I don’t know how it is for others, but my mind struggles endlessly with putting the memories in the proper order. I keep going “last year.. wait no. The YEAR before” she was doing this and the world made sense. I try to recall what “this time” last year was happening and more often then not I draw a blank. And upon investigation I find its because the memories are cold frozen images of grief, pain and despair.  Of being unable to comfort innocent children in agony of needing their mother and having no answers as to why she is not here with them.  It’s the pain that etches new lines into every face that is recalling life before.  I remember now why I didn’t want to remember.

On Mom’s Birthday it’s a bittersweet memory. On Mother’s day is a sad but happy memory of the most amazing mother. And the rest of the holidays its up and down with the wonderful memories of what was and the sad ones now without. But there is always something to be happy for, to smile in the face of pain for having such memories of those great days, to have been given the times we did have. But today, there is no happy time, no light to recall in the dark and pain. As a realist I believe it is more honest to say this than to “try” to remember all the good days because that is what we do every day. But today there is the dark hole because until March 4th 2009, this day was like any other soon to be spring day. Now it a mark on the calendar of our hearts, the darkest of days, the end of the world as we knew it and sometimes there is nothing to be found in such pain. This is one of those times. To me it ‘s crueler to “try” to smile, to “try” to enjoy things, to “try” and remember the good times; of course I remember the good times! Don’t we all? But to down play, to try to say anything but the truth of what is, is simply too much. Tomorrow I will smile. Tomorrow I will light my happiness candle and feel joy. But today.. today is sadness, today is a grief so great that words cannot be found in the dark trenches of my mind. And by accepting what is somehow gives me peace.  By not holding back my dark thoughts, I am given peace to experience tomorrow.  I can only hold the space of thought (my version of prayer) that you will do whatever you must to find the same peace in  darkness so great.

On the note of peace, I was sent an invite on facebook a while ago (those of you who use it -you may have seen it) that we celebrate a day of peace. And for reasons nonrelated (I asked) this person picks March 4th as his day to remind the world to celebrate peace.  I don’t know if it will continue or not on the web nor do I really care. I just thought ~ what a message from the grand scheme of things it is, and how I received it was to be at peace with how things really are. And to many of us, this day is truly hell and there is little to smile about.  I get through by being at peace with the depth of pain I am in and not forcing myself to be something I am not today.

State of living

Well I am officially out of the apartment I was renting. There were many things I didn’t like or enjoy about it but could deal and live with. Now the cats messing on the bathroom floor (and me being the one to clean it up) and the amazing amount of dust and mold from utter lack of cleaning and overall condition of the living space on the other hand I cannot live with (as more than two doctors informed of) since I was sick pretty much the entire time I lived there. I continue to be unpleasantly surprised at how much drama people insist upon for NO reason. My ex roomie is of the mind that I ruined her life by giving her two weeks notice and leaving the place cleaner than when I moved in as I moved out… How that works I do not know and at this point could care less. Anyway I am back to ‘where will I live’, ‘where will I stay and how am I going to make it happen?’ I’ve plenty of places to go in the short-term and the long-term I’ve no clue but working a few angles. But maybe I don’t need long-term ( ??? ) Maybe I should downsize the stuff that I have and just accept my nomadic lifestyle. I mean who needs a home? I haven’t had one for over two years now.  The safest most home-like  feeling places I’ve stayed at was in a tent in the woods of New Jersey, A shelter along the AT trail (in the middle of a snow storm) and sleeping in the barn with the horses. Room in a house, hotel rooms, apartments, couches, floors..they all feel the same whether mine, good friends, family, or someone I hardly know. Even if I’m paying rent and totally up to par and not bumming. It all feels temporary, NOT mine, that I don’t belong and need to move on. That I could be kicked to the curb at any moment (and I have been!). Some people can make me feel a little more welcome than others, but still! I’d rather not stay until I’m not welcome anymore.. I’d rather sleep in my car on the side of the road than be some at a place where I am not wanted. Having someone stay over when you don’t want them is very alien to me. At my house friends, family, friends of friends, pretty much whoever..were all welcome and just “made” a part of the family. Yea you might get told “hey don’t drink all the milk” but you got treated like everybody else. Over the years I noticed that this type of familiarness is not comfortable for some people and they didn’t like that everyone just “did” what they wanted. It wasn’t uncommon to go downstairs in the morning and go “who is that on the couch??” Or when a way led college kid showed up on our doorstep one day, she was given a couch..for four months. I’m not saying it was easy or always a cut and dry way of living. But everybody belonged if you wanted too. No body was ever made to leave ‘just because’. I know what it feels like to be somewhere and not have the undercurrent of ‘it will be so much nicer when she leaves’ and ‘I just want my life back’. So while I do not begrudge those who are not so comfortable with space sharing, I know when they don’t want me there and desperately do NOT want to be intruding. As I already stated, I’d be way more comfortable sleeping in my car. Again I have thoughts of maybe I don’t need a place. Maybe being a nomad is what I need to do right now. Either way I don’t have a home..somewhere ‘safe’ and comfortable. And speaking of ‘safe’ it’s not nearly as straightforward as many people would think. For me (right now at least) no where and I mean NO WHERE feels safe. I’m told it’s part of the whole PTSD and trauma deal. I don’t particularly care what it’s from, it’s there and I’m more interested in how to make things easier. Just try thinking of this; wherever it is you go to deal with the things you can’t deal with, to cry when you can’t hold it in, to sit and think, to try to find some peace, some balance, to SLEEP. That place could be your bed that has your blanket that is comfortable, your pillow that you know it going with you, you favorite chair, spot in the house, WHATEVER it is you do and where you go when you feel alone and small and that things are too much. That place of quietness and not being bothered. That place that feels half way safe. Now take that all away. The objects that make places yours, the space, the quietness, the safeness and familiarness. That’s what my “usual” state of being is. So when I say things like, maybe I don’t need a place and should just go camping for the summer, I’m saying it because I’m going to be in that constant state of wariness and question anyway. So I might as well actually live that way. Would be cheaper. Lot less drama. I wouldn’t be intruding or being a burden. And I’d have a hell lot more control over when I move and where I stay. Just some thoughts I’m tossing around.

 

 

Dance

Who dances to relieve stress? And how can it be that engrossing? And of all people how in the hell does Joannie fit that picture? I’m asked and told many things along those lines. For most people dancing is a group of friends having a night on the town, its a high school and college get together where everyone is all gussied up and with their crush (if their lucky), its something we do at weddings, anniversaries and New Year’s parties. Unless of course it’s a treated more like a sport. Dance classes, dance rehearsals, competitions and teams. Ballet is usually what comes to mind first. Then maybe broadway type plays and theater. If your super modern you might have heard dance terms such as top rocking, break dancing and popping. Usually today’s top 40 artists and their music videos is what people think of first. The ‘Step Up’ movies shed a new light on the after hours dance competitions for many. But still, it’s organized, it’s a statement, it’s a performance. So what the hell is Joannie doing? None competitive doesn’t quite capture my personality. I was the person who swam on swim team for two hours six days a week but refused to compete. I trained with top trainers and show coaches with my horses, but never showed. I was asked by many competitive and professional soccer leagues to play but I didn’t want to. That’s not to say I never showed, competed or played the game. I did and did well. But I liked it better without. So where do I fit in the dance world? I did Ballet for years as a kid. The horses took me away from it (wasn’t hard to decide which one). Mom loved to dance along with gymnastics and any other type of physical movement. When I was doing liberty training with horses everyone always said the same thing-that I was dancing with the horses. That WE were both doing an amazing dance. So my life has been full of various forms of dance. Once I was old enough to grace the clubs I knew I wanted to go and just dance. I wasn’t old enough to drink and none of my friends wanted to go with me. So I went alone. Just to dance.  In Tennessee I’d have to drive an hour each way just to get to the clubs. But I’d still get there now and then. Sometimes I find someone fun to dance with for a bit, but I always go back to dancing by myself. I was there to move, there to express through movement to music, there to get lost in the crowd and the energy of a mass of people moving (more than some rather drunkenly). As I got older and smart (and the right age to go anywhere) I found the places that played the music that I truly liked to dance to. My dance evolved and I got decent enough that people at least didn’t laugh at me. Dating a break dancer changed my dance as well and now it could be loosely said that I top rock. Anyway, I dance for me, I don’t care if people are watching or not (I’d usually rather not be the only one out there and have people just staring..true story). I don’t care if people like my dancing (though I will say it’s nice when people do tell me that they do) and often I’d rather dance alone. When I dance alone I don’t have to worry about anything but the music and it makes me want to move. I feel alive. I feel good. I want to be here when I dance. I smile when I dance and mean it. I feel emotions that aren’t just pain when I dance and the world can see it and not want to look away. I can get lost in the moment dancing. Everything just melts away, there is just the music and me (okay some drunk people too but hopefully not in my space) and I dance. I am alive and happy and I dance.

Poem ~ A Wind Across Time

I wrote this in the spring of 2006.

Where does the wind go? Does it ever stop? Does it ever die? Or, does the wind live forever, blowing across time that we cannot measure? Time is forever changing, so is the wind. Neither stops, neither rests. But if played by the right hand may they be directed? I wonder if some were to catch a ride on the wind, would she too catch a ride upon time? Would he blow past others or even the whole world on his whirlwind ride? Would she realize the time she misses while riding the winds? How the wind passed time by with no care? The ever changing breeze passes us, moving forward faster in time than us. If we could catch that breeze, would we too pass time as we know it on winds across time?