Archive | Essays

The Blue, Blue Bridge of Twelve Novembers

blue tears, white hat

I carry so much loneliness that sometimes I forget this is not how everyone moves through this thing called life.

I carry so much loneliness that sometimes I forget it’s there at all.

Then something comes along to amplify that loneliness–to sharpen it so acutely that it stops my breath and squeezes my heart–and I simply can’t bear it by myself.

That’s how this last month has felt. First because I was in so much immobilizing pain that it prevented me from doing many things myself.

And so I reached out to people I assumed were cross with me only to discover I’d read their momentary frustration as something far more damming. I reached out to people with whom I’d been out of touch for years only to discover a great sympatico between us still. I reached out to people I hadn’t known well until my need, primal and pure, deepened our connection. And I reached out to people whose hearts I steadily hold but had kept afar while I malingered on this bridge called my book.

Thus warmth flowed and it helped.

And then I opened a channel with a woman I’d admired online for months—a woman beautiful and butch and kind-hearted and quick-witted. And, lucky me, warmth flowed from her too and we found ourselves moving from friendship to something far more molten and engulfing.

And that helped a lot. Continue Reading →

The Church of Aretha and Apple Music

I wake, tears slipping down my face because of yesterday’s disappointment, love lost before it could be fully found. But also: spinal discs slipping back into place, master healers having manipulated muscle and tissue as I submitted to magic sleep.

I feel better and worse–the human condition, don’t you know.

My heart aches: The sadness of not being held by someone I’d hoped could receive my rawest and shiniest states. Fear about my health and ragged humanity, all our future. Rage about ego, all that ego, run amok. Grace gone wrong when we get afraid.

My heart soars: Hope and her sweet and sundry ways. Coffee, blue divan; the sun’s glorious ascent from my small city window. I turn on music and let the shuffle gods sermonize as I take their holy-holy communion. Continue Reading →

This Side of the Snow, This Side of the Haze

All stories end in death if you want to tell the truth.–David Simon

I’m afraid of endings, always have been. I am not alone in this fear, of course; many of us fear endings. Not just death but departures, demises, denouements–the invariable deflation of crossing a finish line. But my fear is acute, to the point that I privately view success as dangerous, possibly even fatal, because it will end life as I know it. (Glamourously underachieving is pretty core to my current existence.)

I’ve had so much time to acknowledge this fear since last month’s hunter’s full moon, which was the night my back went out. A catalog of the reasons why it did: loose joints; a rigorous, not entirely mindful exercise practice; shame about my middle-aged midriff; the 10-year anniversary of an acute neck and back injury.

All those contributing factors are real. But if there weren’t a deeper reason, I think I’d be better by now. After all, my list of treatments reads like a 1970s self-help saga: I’ve done acupuncture, astrological readings, Alexander Technique, reiki, physical therapy, and so many herbs and homeopathics. (I”m not really a painkiller girl except for the occasional whiskey.) I’ve meditated, prayed, danced under the light of the (next) full moon. And it’s all helped. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy