The sun is here, feels funny after months and months, buried beneath white and gray. I think, one day I will move away, escape the blasé. I don’t know. The future eludes me. Maybe, the sun’s shine wouldn’t mean so much, if I saw her everyday. I don’t know. Flash floods require mopping, cleanup, restructuring. I don’t know much, I know hope. I pray, I uncover infinite wells of wisdom, reserves of strength, courage, joy, humility. I know some things, in silence. I place intimate, dark thoughts on the page, where they belong. Sharing my time in the sun. Healing, questioning, replenishing you, and me.
Stuff I’ve learned the past five years. Good-bye, NY.
-when in doubt, go back to the start, go back, go back, keep going back
-I don’t miss cement towers, crowds, noise, designer flare and busy streets full of empty strangers -if you plant seeds, they will grow -closets filled with fancy things are just that, overcrowded -sweats, sturdy hiking boots, practical dress may not look cool, they are warm and efficient
-purpose. find a purpose that nurtures the five-year old dreamer, naive, exuberant, happiest parts
-choosing love is hard, brave and healing -loosing your mind, over and over, putting the pieces together is not what I would have chosen, it’s what I got
-right now is it, tomorrow is guaranteed different, tomorrow is not a guarantee
-I have lived in many countries, cultures, cities, experienced various tastes, varying people -you have only one heart-happy home
-when asked if I wanted to replace Lupe, born blind in one eye for a different puppy, my answer was a vehement no, thank you -trust your first instinct, even when living in a constant flux of polar opposites
-at my sickest, darkest, scariest I knew, I would take care of her -what I didn’t know was how well she would care for me, asking for nothing -Lupe sees and feels with her heart, much like her mama
-where I am going is…nowhere, nothing special on the agenda -I am here, doing my best to make it count
-there is pure, white magic on the small-town Street where I come from -doors remain open, smiles greet me no questions, no judgement -warm welcome home.
-simple is good, simple is okay, simple is not very simple at all
Immersed in the land of Georgia Pine., a glimpse. The mysterious, ethereal image was the first I found. It helps shape the divine character I see in my imagination, so vividly. The cover, a sneak peek. The Vast Landscape sequel,is a steady work in progress. Harrison’s raw, honest beauty carries on, through Georgia Pine.
I like to fix things, the fixer am I. Without a toolbox filled with talisman, memory and crazy glue, the fixing proves difficult. A house is built with cement, nails, wood, copper and steel. A home is adjoining parts, veins, bones and good intention, feeding the heart. The most perfect, precise pump ever made, says the master journeyman, and my ancestor. Impossible to understand, at times impossible to fix.
When I’m stressed, I clean. When I’m confused, I clean. When I’m angry, I clean. Exhausted, nauseated, in full-blown Benzo withdrawal. Not permitted by my shrinks to travel, basically I’m assigned to the nut house. Only, this house arrest comes with a ton of perks, comfortable amenities. Yeah, you could this house is pretty clean. Benzo withdrawal is worse than heroine. You could say, that, yes could.
Just when I think I can’t take one more day of the absurdity that has become my existence, apparently I can. I blame the doctors in part, the shrinks, quacks, they don’t a clue what might work, and what won’t. Mental Illness meds that could very well kill you, they’re so quick to write a script. Well, that one didn’t work, let’s try this on top of that. Pretty soon, your brain is a full on pileup of conflicting signals, no wonder it’s lost without a roadmap. My beautiful mind, gets more and more tangled, lost inside forgotten memory, drooping eyelid, psychosomatic illness, blindness, hallucinations. They’ve really fuked you now, you have no choice but to go nuts. There’s no winding the hands back on the clock.
Me, I’m the anomaly. The med-resistant patient, the BiPolar opposite. I hate the drugs. Muscle rigor, swollen tongue, numbness, vertigo, ringing ears, eye paralysis, what’s next? Fuk off, you can keep your pink, white and yellow pills, in various doses of madness. When I can’t fight anymore, when I can’t find the will, I will look to the clock. With what’s left of my shredded dignity, faith, courage and hope, I’ll simply go, on my time. My brain, I’m donating to science.
I received ‘the phone call’, email. The sad news we dread, three times in one week. Each ring, every broken heart, gave me strength to fight the personal pain, fear and sorrow. Empathy takes over in tragedy, gratitude settles in. One loss hit hard, knocked the wind out. The loss of a child. I would’ve gladly given away some of my time, to his mother. I have lived so much beautiful, loved so deeply and laughed so loud, freely. Time doesn’t work like that, the hands do not stop. I will fight for her, silently, the unbearable loss. In honor of mother and child I will live, because that’s all I can do. I offer prayer, for the loved ones who’ve gone missing. Maybe they’re not missing at all, maybe they returned home. To an ethereal world where there is no pain, no disease, filled with Technicolor dreams, and Opal crystalline riches. Enough for us all. Home to an impeccably clean house, with five-star amenities and perks, and no sorrow.
Time tells me I’m here, for a reason. For now. Until I’m not.
This morning I told my mother to fuk off. I did not mean it, not exactly. Living here, where I don’t want to be, being sick, bad genes, I blame her. I can’t help it, I do. As I watch her walk to the car, a fragile, old woman it’s too much. She gave me her whole life, I can give her a fraction of mine. She knows I don’t mean it when the venom spews, before I can retract. I was her precious baby, happy girl, her funny, fearless child. I wonder how she felt, when I became a brat. The loud, mouth teenager, forever unhappy. She couldn’t fix me, Lord knows she tried. I called her, every night from NY pursuing my dreams, crying and alone. “You can always come home.” That’s what a good mother does, a mother like mine. She knew I wouldn’t give up, even before I did. Keep at it, she taught me persistence. She was my first call when I booked a modeling job for $12,000. That was a boatload of money, she was proud. I could tell. She has one tone, but a thousand different voices. One for every mood, situation, emotion. That’s what a good mother does. When my glorious, faulty wired mind went missing, I didn’t understand. She listened as I sobbed hysterically, for hours and hours, months on end. She never hung up the line. “You’re coming home, that’s it.” I believed her when she said I’d be ok, that’s what a good mother does. She was right, on Lithium my mind got better. I mustered the courage to go back to NY. She promised everything would work out. I called her, just to check in. She was my lifeline, to sanity. Everything was fine, until it wasn’t. I had seven years in New York, working, living without one psychotic episode. She listened when I was incoherent. That’s what a good mother does. “I wanna come home,” I cried, scared out of mind, seeing dead people. I could not find my way back. Out of the pain, the indescribable fear, the black hole. She came to get me. My seventy year old mother came, to bring her broken, adult daughter home. “Everything will be fine.” She lied, it won’t. On the days I hate her, because there is no one else around she takes it, silently. On the days I hate this place, this house, this illness and exhaustion, it’s mostly because I hate myself. I want to die, I don’t. I vacuum my frustrations, do the heavy lifting for her because she can’t. Because, that’s what a good daughter does.
I write stories, about mother-daughter relationships, that are only partially untrue.
GEORGIA PINE. – excerpt
Addie stressed over the twins, checked on them two or three times a night. She couldn’t breathe, scared they might break. “Comb your hair, brush your teeth. Chop-chop.” Adelaide was never so grateful to see her mother. That was a great day. Harry did that, she could take your worse days and throw them in your face. Make you face your fears, move on.
I used to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the Village, head-down, unassuming posture. The year was 1995, I was studying acting and a mega fan. My brother saw him on the subway, asked for his autograph for me. He graciously signed a pack of matches, he was kind. Addiction, Mental Illness are merely misfirings, faulty wiring in the brain, that cannot be fixed with duct tape. People judge, self-involved, some do anyway on any given Sunday. He didn’t judge, why should you?
I know – part 2
I look nothing like I felt yesterday. I have two friends who knew me when, and still like me now. I might be peculiar, have you looked in a mirror lately? Be prepared if you get around to The Vast Landscape, just sayin.’ I don’t feel like playing nice, I’m a grown-up shouldn’t have to. I try, was brought up with manners of a sort. I’m stuck in a place I don’t belong, temperatures below freezing. The agoraphobiac, surroundings don’t matter much. State of mind is the devil’s business.
I knew from the age of five, I was different. My father remains alive in my heart, my most favorite person. He draped me with love and kindness. I was rich, well rich enough, spent time in exotic places. I rarely said, “sorry.” Thought thousand dollar bags, shoes would make me happy. They never fit, are of little use now. I had ‘fancy friends’ who stopped coming by, when I started seeing visions. My family didn’t understand, yet hung around. Obligation or not. I was skinny, young and less sad, some time ago.
God’s listening to the internal discourse going on in my head. Maybe he can show me a future, one with me in it. Give me a reason to choose hope, not hell. I best get back to the make-believe world of Georgia Pine. I’m so enjoying the bayou, lingering spirits, the deep south. Three stories intertwined gets complicated, direct descendants, sisters and friends of Harrison. The character I adore, who doesn’t exist in real-time. She shines bright and vivid in my imagination. I dare, hope.
I watched On the Road this week-end, and wanted to pack a bag, just go. I felt the itch crawling up and down my spine. Creative freedom at its maximum. Those boys drove sex, drugs and beats into the gravel cemented streets like hot gum melted in tar. I did not realize the date, 1950. Artistic freedom and exploration came early. I recognized a small piece of me on the journey. The struggle to break free from societal tradition I have no use for. I long to grow, experience, to see. Take to the open road to discover all the things I cannot know. The curious fever, planted perhaps before conception. Drawn west, the beat boys only reinforce the pull. The 90’s were my pinnacle, the height of exploration. Music dominated my world, words, places I visited, which stories to catalogue, which to share. Long before my existence, there was desire. Long after, the insatiable search for truth remains. I’ll go west someday, before I leave this place. Stopping from time to time, to take in earth’s majestic beauty, refuel and recover. The spirit tells me don’t give up. Don’t rest stop too long, ask the questions, challenge the beliefs, embedded. Freedom is the truest form of self-love.
They ask too much, expect more from me. To sit in a room with gut wrenching, broken, beaten down souls. There is too much pain, upon the blood, stained walls. I cannot, I will not. I refuse to spill my intimate, tragic, sad story. This fight is personal, entirely my own. Between God and me, she is not the enemy. I wonder, I do. I can’t help but be curious, where did the cracks begin? The precise second the dam opened, were the leaks there all along?
The words don’t betray me, they remain strong. I trust the visions, the intangible guide. As I work Georgia Pine., the sequel to The Vast Landscape, I am back there. The oh, so familiar place, I have not known. I have visited and revisited the soulful jungle, inside the hidden crevices of the mind. “Sweat trickling down her face. She envisions swampland, mossy bayou, a green so vibrant she cannot describe the magnificent beauty. Massive Cypress’, musk smell, painstakingly slow-moving, gator filled muddy waters.”
I am reminded I have dreamt Louisiana before, bluegrass bayou. Through the eyes and mouth of a wild, reckless, blond angel, with the devil tattoo on her bicep. I loved her tales, I will visit sometime. And dance the day into night overtaken, losing track of space, obligation and time.
I choose the write therapy, for today that is what I decide. The stories drift in and out of memory, always returning in due time. The words sacred, a safe place to call mine.
I never paid much attention to a normal, calendar year. When you have a serious illness, days are measured in hours, minutes and even seconds. On a good day, when the mind is quiet, belly laughs come and go. That usually happens when my favorite people are around, the ones that know me best. Yes, being loved without the label or judgment, counts. On a bad day, I fight. Alone, no one can do it for me. I have to choose life, the want to live, dimmed by shredded, twisted neurons of a misfiring mind. I don’t count years anymore, I count the seconds. The good and bad days a mashup, strewn together like broken bulbs on Christmas trees. I prefer the lunar year, where the sun, stars and moon align, and misalign. That, I can relate to. Goodbye lost friends, career, moments I won’t experience again. A warm embrace to those that stuck around. Yours are the ‘likes’ on Facebook, the thoughtful cards, the small kindnesses that make time bearable. There have been happy moments; love, laughter, May sunshine, colors in bloom, life filled with purpose. Personal goals, I set for myself. Come hell or high-water. In the middle of the raging war inside my head, I set only one, besides getting better. A lofty, intimate, soul fulfilling, goal. To write, and finish a book. Not any book, but a glorious, life-affirming story filled with raw, flawed, humanistic beings, who choose hope and love. The things that truly matter. No small feat for the ‘normal’ everyday person, a gigantic leap for someone like me. I hate labels, I find them abhorrent, run of the mill ordinary, much like holiday festivities. There is no other me, or you. There never will be. Embrace it, give yourself a hug and pat on the back for enduring another year, gracefully, humbly and with integrity. All of it, the messy, and the emotion. Say good-bye to the evil snake of 2013, welcoming the Chinese New Year, 2014. The year of the majestic, elegant, lithe, spirited, strong, dreamy, ageless, wild, fast, beautiful horse.
Horoscope 2014, forecast for the 2014 year of the Horse
The 2014 Chinese Year is the 31 number in the sixty-year cycle called Chia Wu and described in Chinese tradition like “Horse in the Clouds”. 2014 is the year of Green Wooden Horse. The upcoming compassionate 2014 year of the Horse is going to be attentive to all our troubles and quick to react in protection of those who cannot fight for themselves. The optimistic nature of the 2014 allows us to cope with financial hardships in the belief that good fortune will soon be on the way, while kind-hearted nature of the 2014 year provides us with supportive friends, ready to help us in difficulties just as we have helped them. More:http://www.gotohoroscope.com/chinese-zodiac-horse.html