"If I knew all the words, I would write myself out of here." MRAZ

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

the coming storm

The air has been heavy all day- pregnant heavy. The sunset sky took on that pre-ominous hue of blue-gray that belies the impending doom of a dangerous storm. And slowly, as night overtook the day, the danger of dark is accentuated by the forking-bursts of silver-purple lightening. The flashes are eventually accompanied by the booming sounds of cracking thunder as the sky surges into a full-blown storm.

And, I can't help but think how this example of nature can layover my life as a transparency of my current events.

The summer has been a continual series of unfortunate events, each one a little more costly than the last - and I've been trying to ride them out- safely, cautiously- like a buoy out at sea. And as I brace for each wave, I hope that there will be a break in the tremendously growing swells, but find that there is only time to breathe, to catch my breath and brace for the next hit. And now, the bracing comes within the impact of the next bit of drama. And I wonder, at what point will I lose the endurance to brace-for-it and be required to ride through the pressure completely unprepared, naked to all the elements of negativity...and I will pass to the other side intact?

And amidst all this, I remember that storms eventually pass. The sun shines again. And I can make it through until then- to pick up the bits, if there are any, or just to brush off the whole of me and keep dancing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

stealing legally

There is something deeply satisfying about getting new clothes off the rack on sale and then using a coupon to wrap up the purchase. I feel like I stole today:

59.99 sweater for 2.71
49.99 black top for 2.71
59.99 sweater for 4.05

(insert evil laugh here)
And soon, I will take over the world...

Monday, May 17, 2010

consider the difference

Consider this:

What would the world be like, what would relationships between people be like if we were forced to understand loving ourselves before we were distracted by loving someone else.

Imagine taking the time to know and understand yourself. To confidently, unashamedly list your excellent qualities and your faults. To look at yourself in the mirror and smile at who and what you see. To understand how you receive love; and how you give love- and then not being afraid to talk about it, because vulnerability with others betrays confidence within yourself. Acknowledging and defending your boundaries- knowing what ground you are willing to share and what ground is protected no matter the circumstances.

Knowing what makes you happy; what pleases you.
Knowing what makes you sad; angry.
And knowing how to convey it directly.
And not being worried when someone disagrees.

I am not talking about being selfish- we all do that naturally enough.
I am talking about out-and-out pure love and acceptance from the person you need it most- you.

If you don't love you; why would you expect anyone else to?
If you don't take the time to know yourself; why would you expect the investment from anyone else?
If you don't take the time to challenge your weakness and grow from them; why in the world would you expect someone else to do the work for you?

Take possession of your self- and love you.
So that you can better love others.

Just a thought.


Funny what inspires me into fits of writing.

There are so many times, and so many things that I think of to express in words. But I am turned off by the amount of work that word formation requires. Truly and honestly- there is no other way to put it. I don't like to write- it is too much work; and I love to write, because when done well, it can transform minds and moments. It is just so much darn work to accomplish good writing. Forget excellence. I was content to leave that behind long ago- not to mention the time that it takes. Good grief. The craft can suck minutes down in an instant- and then the outcome can still be indistinct and subject to the reader.

And then, there are other moments- when I forget about all of the work; because the words are coming whether I want them to or not. There is no invitation. I am moved- possessed even- by a will, a vision greater than my own; and words flow, as if written by their own volition. The mad insanity of moments passes and I look upon paragraphs of content. Written and done; and I am waking from a dream.

limited posting

I can appreciate the intense power of words- as I use them and wield them. Sometimes, even I wince at the formation of thoughts that appear from my fingertips. And sometimes, I write and delete, ashamed at the raw vulnerability of the expression. And I think of the young ones- no matter the age; and my possible negative influence.

And so, I censor myself.
And then feel irritated at having done so-

Because sometimes, ugly and raw and hurt and anger need expression too. They need life and form. A moment in reality, black and white, when I can inspect and evaluate and decide. And sometimes, having others take time to inspect- for me or for them- is a good thing too.

It has the potential for being a moment of growth for everyone involved and invested in the process. And so, censor no more- but posting will be limited. Just as available, but a little extra to get the goods will be required.

The old ones will fight for the ripe fruit, because they know it tastes good.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

jen-xtreme living

I don't really pursue extreme sports, but I do like taking risks. In fact, I can show you a pretty impressive handful of scars as proof of deliciously fool-hardy stunts-gone-bad. But we all have our scars, don't we?

So, risk-
I like it. To a certain extent- within reason. I like pushing the boundaries from time to time; and scaring myself back into paying attention to life and the precious moments that pass. Sometimes, in the doldrums, in the routine- I forget to take advantage, to suck the marrow; and a good dose of adrenaline is what I need to wake up and engage.

Now, I can't do anything too risky- I mean, I am a mom. I got to get this kid to 18, at least, before I do anything really crazy. So, in the meantime, at around 9:30pm on a rainy stormy night you'll find me jumping on the trampoline in the backyard (providing my own music, since I don't want to ruin the iPod).

I thought next time maybe I should take my shampoo out with me- I do like to multi-task after all.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

just a little satisfaction

I am really glad that I am one of those people who tends to be open to change. I am not saying that I don't fall into my ruts; and have wrestling matches with my inner-(wo)man because I want to lazy-soak in my stagnant bath, a typical creature of habit-

(I mean, I am human, after all...)

But, I do try to pep-talk myself into embracing the challenge of new experiences- a little RA RA can usually get me through. And I try to be confident enough in myself that as my sphere of influence shifts and meshes with others in the ebb and flow of life's tide, I firmly maintain my sea legs.

Not always successful- but these days, more often that not; and that makes me smile. I've received many a treasure recently as reward for my efforts, compensation for the ongoing fight to make myself better than I am; priceless jewels so beautiful that I would have subconsciously mourned not having the opportunity to hold them.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

a moment

I love observing a moment with someone-
You haven't known them long, so you are just in the "getting to know you phase" and you are engaged in a good conversation- a pleasant exchange of information that leans on the polite side of things.

And then it happens- you start on a conversation topic that changes everything. It is the moment where all the polite, superficial conversation is forgotten because they've magically been transformed by the topic of conversation- and suddenly, you see their passion.


It is truly transcendental-
They don't even realize they've crossed a threshold, because of the joy and conviction that has overwhelmed them; and they share their heart without worry for the restrictions of polite etiquette. In a single moment, the stranger before me has revealed their naked heart for my pleasure and review.

who you are, as you are

I received a really sweet and sincere compliment this morning. It made me feel really good because the compliment targeted something that I consider a not-so-pretty feature. It made me feel loved and acceptable for who I am, as I am.

And I thought, how nice would it be if we could love and accept people for who they are, as they are more often? In essence, cut each other a little more slack for not fitting into the accepted stereotypes that have been created- and that we put up on those pedestals.

How hard would it be to implement this into our daily lives with the people within our spheres? I am certainly not suggesting that we have to be best-buds with everyone we know- I am definitely not an advocate for that. But giving each other a little grace isn't a bad idea- last time I checked, we are all living this moment for the first time ever.

Seems to be that a little extra sincere grace running around would make the life journey a little easier, and less stressful for all of us-

Imagine: being accepted for who you are, as you are
And then providing the same courtesy to others.

Monday, May 3, 2010

relationship changes; connection doesn't

I've had the interesting experience of being close to many people who are in the process of redefining long term relationships. Since about January, there's been a distinctive concentration of people in my life going through this evolution process in their personal lives-

And focusing primarily on those who are resetting the boundaries on what was once an intimate, life-partner relationship- the ultimate question is what is the best way to move forward in relation to what's been stored up in the past and what was hoped for in the future.

Good question, I think.
A question whose answer betrays the fundamental outlook of the person coming to the answer. Can you move forward in a way that is different than what you hoped for but still honors the past that will forever be unchanged?

An intimate relationship with someone can be stopped or changed- often, the connection remains. After all, it is the beginning to any relationship, some sort of connection to the other person from which you both make a decision to move forward in an egaged relationship.

In the steps to change or stop a long-term relationship, the original connection is often completely ignored in order to wade through the pain as simply as possible.

What if we would work through the pain of a changing relationship, mourn the loss of the hoped-for-future without pretending the connection didn't exist in the first place? Can the connection be honored even though there is no longer an ongoing decision to act on it or to act on it at the intimate level?

Am I asking too much of the general human heart?


Connection from one person to another- it can sometimes be a hard thing to define, even though we try. Connection can be superficial or intimate on so many different levels (sometimes, shared levels): professional associations, friend of a friend, next door neighbor, lover, long time friend, life-partner...

I wonder if we are too concerned with defining our connections to people; and do we define them for ourselves (because we need the safety net of a boundary), or so that we can explain a relationship to others (even though no one else will ever completely understand what is shared between 2 people)?

How would it be to just enjoy a connection with someone without trying to define it? To let it evolve to the ebb and flow of 2 lives converging for a length of time as it will and for whatever purpose? To keep your heart so open, so vulnerable to any possibility vs. the limited possibilities as regulated by a general definition.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

12 Months in a iPhoto Library

Just a random thought as I was scrolling through the last 12 months of pictures in my iPhoto Library: I've had an AMAZING year. I mean, the last 12 months have literally been something out of a book. I am so happy that there is evidence of changes that I wanted to implement in my life- I have actual proof that I can put my money where my mouth is. I am really proud about that; and clearly, I've had a blast!

spontaneous combustion, anyone?

How many blissfully new experiences can a girl handle before she just explodes from all the fun? I don't know the answer that- but, I had a vibe wash over me this I'm getting dangerously close to the razor blade edge of finding out. And it concerned me- I mean, spontaneous combustion could potentially cause problems- just sayin'- but only for a split second.

Let me clarify that last statement (I wouldn't want you all thinking the wrong thing)- my short-lived concern applies to the vibe, not the post-SC living complications...or more likely, the complication of not living. But enough of that- take comfort in the fact that my affairs are in order, so that if the SC ends up being my fate- all will be well and life will go on (well, for you).

What I'd really like to focus on is the razor blade edge and living on it, and my getting closer and closer to it. It is amazing the effort involved in pushing yourself beyond the status quo. And not just the expected status quo or society's status quo- I am talking about your own personal status quo. Only you know when you've become party to habit because it is easy, predictable and means you don't have to grow.

So, my concern was quickly put aside, because I choose to push myself. I choose to put myself in the path of new experiences and challenges; because each one will help me evolve into the person I want to be, the person I have the potential to be. What's the point of having potential if you don't bother to do anything with it? I will not be or become someone that they speak about in hushed tones: "Oh, well. She had so much potential."

I choose the possible explosion from too much fun. I choose living beyond my potential. Would you like to join me?

Monday, March 1, 2010

self discipline vs. accountability

No one will create, maintain or sustain self-discipline for me- I'm on my own for that.

So, what is accountability?

A situation you create to challenge your self-discipline.

If you haven't identified and practiced your own self-discipline;
If you haven't tested it and established it-
Accountability will serve only as a weak surrogate.
It will not stand in its place.
Accountability will then be a farce- as you,
instead of cleaning house inside of yourself,
instead of starting at the very beginning,
and anchoring in the foundation, in the source,
In the glory and confidence of yourself-
Take energy and effort to establish an outside source for discipline-
Something easy to ignore;
Something easy to take the responsibility,
And blame for your failure.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

in this moment

She inhales deeply and is awed by the wild innocence of this scent. The spice is tender and clean; and provides a sharp memory- there is nothing else that smells like this, nothing else that pricks the olfactory nerves with this specific distinction : it is the perfect balance of fresh implusivity and timeless beauty. She purses her pink lips and kisses the edge of the scent; hoping that her offering of affection for such overwhelming loveliness is accepted and understood.In this moment, love is shared.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

the phantom

So, I am seeing a counselor. During our last session, we started talking about live performances and how much I love them. So, of course, she gave me homework to consider during our time apart.

"I give this type of homework rarely, but I love it." Her eyes twinkled at me. "Consider your favorite live performances, like The Phantom, and figure out what it is that captures you; what makes you love it so much; and how do you identify with it?"

(Have I mentioned how much I love having a counselor in my life?)

And so, being someone that has always taken homework very seriously (and some things never change), I started thinking about live performances that I adore and that have gone into my memory books as unforgettable.

The Phantom is certainly in my top 5; and then follow a list of music concerts I've had the privilege to witness. Lots and lots of music came to mind: Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews, Duran Duran, Santana, etc... I tried to focus on The Phantom since that was the specifically plot driven or least more than my other options- and it was easy to figure out the others. The music, the feeling the music gives me; the way melodies and harmonies change the flow of my blood and jazz each cell into emotive movement. It was pretty easy to figure out the connection to those experiences.

Why do I love the Phantom?
Why have I seen it so many times? And why am I always ready to see it again?

I wondered if it was the secret relationship between Christine and Erik (the Phantom)? The fact that he shared knowledge with her that enhanced her natural ability? The drama created by the love triangle when Raoul enters? The kiss she shares with Erik- one last shared moment before she chooses to leave with Raoul and engage in a more normal life/relationship? The fact that the Phantom choose the higher road at the end and lets her go? Do I love his miserable state and want to love him?

I am tellin' you- I've been rolling it around in my head- trying to figure out what part in the plot captures me, what I identify with- and I never had that "ah-ha" moment. And I was worried- because today's date was getting closer and closer. My homework would be due, and I would have nothing to say except that my skull is still thick and the nuances that make me are still illusive- even to me.

And then it happened. iTunes was on shuffle.
And then I heard it: Masquerade by Andrew Lloyd Webber

If I remember correctly (and I do), this is the first song after the intermission. (Well, to be precise, an instrumental medley starts just after the intermission, Entr'acte). It makes me stop dead in my tracks. My blood gets hot. And, in those moments, I am consumed by the music. There is nothing else. In particular, there is this moment towards the end of the song, which has ebbed and flowed; and carried the likes of people like me to the ends of the earth and beyond, where everyone catches their breaths in order to finish- and just when you think they've given it all, the high sopranos take it higher.....and I get goose bumps every time, my eyes fill with tears. I can remember every time I've heard those high sopranos, as if the music itself is a conduit for time travel; and because of the music, each moment related to it is then related to each other.

I am amazed by the aching beauty and in awe that I can stand it, that I live beyond the end of the song. I am stunned that I possess the capability to return to normal life after such a moment.

And so, after having experienced this moment, there was a sweet spot to the return to normal- my homework was complete. It wasn't the plot. It was the music; and in particular, this song. As I dutifully (and proudly) offered my homework report to my counselor today, I started crying. Just talking about it, remembering it set me to tears.

What an amazing thing.

Here's a link to a YouTube video of the song that I am referring to: Phantom Of The Opera- Masquerade

The end starts at 4:00 mins
The sopranos at 4:28 mins

Just a note: this is a clip from the recent movie. It is a little different from the live performance, but can be just as powerful if you take the time to listen to the whole song.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

they start early don't they

A conversation this evening with my 4 and 1/2 year old son:

ME: Rand, it is way too quiet in this house. Let's listen to some music.

RAND: Want Bear music.
**Rand is referring to Bear in the Big Blue House.

ME: No. Let's listening to some of Mommy's music.
**Yes, I was being selfish. We had listened to the Backyardigans all afternoon as we scooted through town on our errands.

RAND: No (whine). Want Bear music.
ME: Let's find a compromise. How about John Mayer.
RAND: No John Mayer.
**I really thought he might go for this one. We taped a John Mayer concert off of PBS and he loved it. Watched it over and over again. It was a good one. Lots of songs from Continuum.

ME: Okay. How about Jason Mraz.
**We are HUGE fans of the song, "I'm Yours."

RAND: No Jason Mraz. Want Bear music?
ME: No Bear music. Remember? We are shooting for a compromise. How about Simon and Garfunkel?
RAND: No (whine). No Simon and Garfkel.
ME: Really?! We are talking about Paul Simon and Art Garkunkel- are you sure?
RAND: Are you sure?

ME: Rand, what about the Barenaked Ladies?
RAND: Yep.

**To my knowledge, we've not really spent a lot of time listening to the Barenaked Ladies together. His quick acceptance got a giggle out of me. We listened to Gordon. A great album- thoughtful and silly as only the Ladies can deliver.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What he said...

He had just indulged in another chuckle and shake of his head over my Jenny-ness.

I was exasperated over the gesture- as always. But these days, the exasperation is tempered with a genuine dawning of understanding- "Jenny-ness" is and often can be something to chuckle at if you haven't lived with it all your life; heck, it is something to chuckle over even when you have lived it with all your life- I just have to step back to gain the perspective of outsiders to truly and sincerely chuckle without feeling some measure of hurt over misunderstanding.

(What misunderstanding- oh, well, we'll talk about that later.)

"What," I asked him.

"Nothing." He sighed over the delight at my expense. And then he looked at me with care and thoughtfulness, "You have a fun life."

I smiled.
The kind of smile that radiates the sunrise from my eyes, which you can't really see because they get all squinty.

"Thanks. I do. I really do."

And I meant it with every single fiber of my being.
Every ounce that is my essence believes that, and makes effort to claim that truth.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bath Sheets

I was at the store today with half a mind to buy a couple more towels for my house.

To preface: I like big towels- always have. I like wrapping up in them after a shower and dancing around. I like doing everything possible in the post-shower towel and have been known to prolong actually getting dressed, instead preferring the body-warm, damp towel that hugs me- fitting me perfectly with a twist and a tuck. For this reason, I tend to prefer using beach towels all year long, but they are really on the edge of too big. The hug-fit around my body is more bulky than snug.

So this store has a particularly large bathroom section- absolutely full of towels of all sizes: washcloths, hand towels, small towels, bathmat towels, bath towels, and bath sheets.

What is a bath sheet, I wonder; and why it is worth the extra $3. I don't mind paying extra money for things, but I do like to have justification as I am handing over the larger-than-I-wanted-to-pay price.

I pull out a bath towel: $5.95
A beautiful wild rose color.
I unfold it, shake it out; and realize that it may do a nice job at the drying of my body, but there was no way that I would be able to prance around....well, not decently at least. I struggle to fold it "just so," and place it back in its place.

I go to the bath sheet area: $8.95
I pick sea-blue, the color of the ocean when the sky is gray.
I unfold it, and it keeps unfolding. I hold it up in front of me, inspecting the size and my arms are stretched to their limit before me. I grin. All tests are passed but one. I wrap myself up- twist and tuck. I look down to inspect the amount of coverage. I look over my shoulder at the curve of my hip swathed in a fuzzy sea-blue cotton sheet. I tap my toes, shake my shoulders and sway just a bit. The towel holds position. Hands on my hips, I giggle. This is perfect and well worth the price, I think. Now, I just have to pick out which color- oh, there are so many.

I don't know how long I stood there. But a laugh brought me back to reality. I looked to see who was laughing and why. Yes, I am nosey, and I certainly like to share in a laugh when I can- who doesn't. These two ladies were staring at me- the older one with a look of shocked disapproval, the other with humor in her eyes. I didn't understand. Was I the cause of hilarity? Why? I looked down. Ah.

I unwrapped myself and decided that sea-blue was a perfect color. I grabbed a match from the shelf, flashed a grin at the ladies and shrugged, and walked toward the register. Definitely worth the price- every penny.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Confession Cont.

There is too the fact that I've got 362 fans on facebook- so maybe...just maybe...I am expressing those "flashes of heart" in the area that I have the biggest audience.

Now, I ask you- who is looking for attention?

Just a thought. Hit me when I was done with the first part of my confession. I had closed my computer feeling good about the fact that I added something to my blog. And as I was reaching my my still-warm cup of vanilla coffee, the thought hit me: who reads my blog anyway? Maybe, I post on facebook because the chance of anyone actually reading it- no matter how short it is- is much higher. Hmmm....


So, I just had an ah-ha moment.

I've been using facebook to avoid blogging-
Do you know how easy it is to post a status update or post a link with a small explanation of why something is important to me? So easy-

My writing style has always been defined by minimalism, except in rare moments when I take the time to explain. Short and sweet- leaving the reader to infer and imagine instead of putting the thoughts out there for them in black and white.

I will try to do better.
When I want to post a link on facebook, I will think twice; and instead, try to take the time to really share my heart instead of flashing you with it.