on falling

I’ve long struggled to balance my need to be engaged with my peers with my need to escape them. This push and pull is never more evident than after a few days of spending time with a group of friends.

There is a palpable feeling that invades my brain at the end of a great weekend or even as an evening winds down.

It’s a fall. A let down.

This afternoon, as I was desperately ready to be alone after what was genuinely a fantastic gathering with people I enjoy spending time with, I found myself near tears while walking to my car.

It’s a swing. An ebb and flow.

I don’t understand why the shift from engaged to disengaged is so wild but I appreciate that it is.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve experienced emotions very intensely. Everything from love to anger has always been a more of a tsunami than a wave. It’s taken years for this to become a strength instead of a weakness.

The most positive aspect of the intensity of my emotions is that they tend to pass quickly.

There was a period of my life, before I understood how my mind worked, when I thought I was  manic. Because depression has been a part of my life, I did a lot of research and reading about manic depression. Of course, I do not suffer from manic depression but after speaking with therapists and through my own research, I’m comfortable with the term hypersensitive.

I do not find life overwhelming anymore because I’ve learned how to use the way my brain processes experiences as a positive. I believe that if I had not taken these steps, I would be in an extremely dark place.

I remain quite sensitive and I’m grateful for it. I get a great deal of satisfaction from supporting my friends, being compassionate and being a friend who people come to when they need advice.

Days like today, where I go from high to low to “normal” in the space of a few hours, remind me how lucky I am to be the person that I am. I love that I process things differently from most people. I love that when someone I care about is hurting, I can physically feel their anguish. I’m grateful that seeing people happy and content makes me smile.

I don’t ever want to be the kind of person who goes through life where emotions are tempered and dull.

I love falling because it means the rise is coming and it will be spectacular.

on impact

I believe everything we do has an impact. No matter how small an act, it ripples through the universe; touching lives.

After an appointment in Dallas today, I found myself driving around looking for a place to have lunch.

I happened to drive past a fountain in the middle of a retail complex. Since it’s about 30 degrees outside, the water in the fountain was frozen in feathery cascades of ice.

Since I’m never without a camera and don’t hesitate to stop what I’m doing to take a picture, I pulled over and got out of my car.

As I was circling the fountain, admiring the beauty of the ice and taking pictures I noticed a car slow to a stop for a moment and then drive on. A few moments later, an older woman started walking toward the fountain; camera in hand.

I smiled at her and said “It’s beautiful isn’t it?”

She said “It sure is. When I saw you taking pictures, it made me want to get some too.”

I said “Have a nice day” and started walking a back to my car.

All of a sudden, I heard a happy squeal and heard “I haven’t seen you in years! How are you?”

I glanced behind me to see the woman hugging someone through the driver’s side window of a car and smiling.

A smile of my own found its way to my face as I got in my car.

Not everything we do has a positive impact on the world. It’s nice that even by chance, we can bring a smile to someone’s face now and then.

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On ‘the fourth wall’

My friends in the entertainment industry may be familiar with the term “the fourth wall”.

The fourth wall describes the “wall’” at the front of the stage in a standard box or three-wall theater.

This concept first made an appearance in 19th century theater and became popular alongside theatrical realism which brought more truth to stage productions.

In theatrical terms, breaking the fourth wall means speaking directly to the audience; nullifying the disbelief and boundaries between audience and actor.

Television and film have become a prime stage for breaking the fourth wall. In Marx brothers films, Groucho routinely broke from dialogue to address the audience and cartoons like Bugs Bunny are ripe with character/audience connections.

I was thinking about this concept the other day and realized how closely it mirrors the walls we build around ourselves.

What barrier is at the front of your stage that prevents you from making a solid connection with the people in your life?

Fear? Shame? Apathy?

For me, the interesting part is that in my professional life my fourth wall is fairly non-existent. In my personal life, my fourth wall is built from layers of fear and shame.

Older and wiser now, I don’t look to external sources for validation as much as I did when I was younger. I don’t have any deep dark secrets about nefarious deeds in Vegas. I was never popular in school, labeled as weird and not cool by my peers. I have no real reason to be afraid of being more open and honest with the people in my life and I don’t know where the confidence issues came from.

My goal is to break my fourth wall to make deeper connections with people and trust that they aren’t simply tolerating my presence.

What is your fourth wall? How are you going to break it?

On perspective

I realized today that I will very likely not change the world but I can damn sure change the way I see it.

Something is happening in my head.

Something evolutionary.

Revolutionary? No. Not in the grand scheme of things. People do this every day.

When I went to lunch today, I held the door for a woman who didn’t say thank you. She didn’t even seem to register that I had held the door, she didn’t even look at me. I responded in the way that I’m used to. In my snottiest voice, the one that will make your insides quiver, I said “You’re Welcome”. She stopped at stared at me with daggers in her eyes. I was furious.

Of course I tweeted about it. I wanted everyone to know about this injustice.

Then, as I was reading through the responses. I started replying to one. Almost without even thinking. I do that a lot, respond without thinking. It’s not the talking out my ass response though. I’m good at talking to people, I don’t have to spend time pouring over what to say.

I started typing something to the effect of “in retrospect I shouldn’t have said it with any attitude…” Mid keystroke it hit me.

I shouldn’t have done that.

I don’t mean it hit me in the sense that I was responding with something that I didn’t mean. I knew I shouldn’t have said that. I knew it logically. When it hit me though, I knew it somewhere else. I don’t know where.

It was just different.

I’m not making any grand promises about sweeping changes. I’m just going to see where this takes me and for once I’m going to let go of the reins.

On friends…

I am grateful to have wonderful friends.

Over the past three years or so I have made an incredible number of connections with some equally incredible people.

Some of them will stay acquaintances, some if them will be friends and still others will be the kind of friends every person craves.

The friend who will listen without judging and who will instinctively know when to help vs. when to just shut up and listen.

I have a handful of friends like this. I don’t think a person can ever have more than a handful of this type of friend.

I am in dire need of these friends as of late. I would not be as ok as I am if I didn’t have them.

Despite the challenges life has dropped on my doorstep, I still consider myself a lucky lucky girl.

on dreaming…

I took a nap this evening and while in the land of Nod, I had several dreamettes. (Note – these are not summaries. This is how I dream.)

1. I dreamed Luke had thrown away all the dumplings from the Chicken and dumplings because he had “leaned over the pot and his hair fell on top of them”.

2. I dreamed I was sitting in my chair in the gameroom when I saw one of those walking sticks (the bug) climbing down a pile of twisted branches. The pile of branches was next to my chair and somehow this was not unusual. I tried to capture the walking stick but it evaded me. I thought i captured it once but it turned out to be a sock. There were also young kittens in the room.

3. I was part of some type of military squad and had been instructed to drive to a certain location. The vehicle was my Honda Accord & there was a very small kitten in the car. This bothered me because I distinctly remembered cleaning out the car and removing all of the kittens.

4. I was in my car with my mother and we were picking up a high school acquaintence of mine that I never really cared for back then. She was about 8 months pregnant and was smoking a cigarette. I admonished her but she confidently said she’d been smoking and drinking throughout the pregnancy. Confidently.

5. At some point my friend Angela asked me to stop by our mutual friend Kelly’s house to make sure everthing was ok. I pulled into the driveway and the yard was packed with people because there was a party going on. I stepped out if the car and asked someone for Kelly. Before I got any further, both Ang & her Dad came walking toward me. I have no ideas why she would ask me to stop by to check on something if she was going to be there.

on poetry….

A couple of old poems:

<warning – severely emo and often crappy poetry>

Your Mistress is a Memory

Wisps of a memory slither in through walls built from pain

Finding the cracks you forgot to fill.

Wrapping itself around you, squeezing your mind and draining your heart.

You patch the holes in your wall but you leave the door open for the memories to come in

Sabotage.

Wanting to be free, but won’t let go

The memory settles like fog in the depth of your soul.

You crave what you cannot have while refusing what you can.

_______________________
She walks along, ignoring the voices
turning away from the warnings
ignoring the signs
She does what her heart wants

Head down, eyes focused.

She travels down the path
blind to the obvious
deaf to the cries
She does what her heart wants

Quickens her pace.

She crashes through the branches
climbs over the walls
pushes past the weeds
She does what her heart wants

Determined.

She nurses her wounds
bandages her cuts
pushes through the pain
She does what her heart wants

Wipes the tears from her eyes.

She reaches the clearing
limps to the middle
raises her hands to the sun
She gets what her heart wants

_______________________
If I could run my hand down the side of your face…
the world would be ok.

If I could tell you that it’s not to late…
the world would be ok.

If I could show you that you can still have faith.

If I could hold your hand until the pain fades…
the world would be ok.

If I could cry for you
feel for you
ache for you

so you don’t have to…
the world be ok.

_______________________

I am not your toy
I am vibrant
I am intelligent
I am alive
I am not yours
I am fascinating
I am sexual
I am good
I am not a token
I am not a last resort
I am the reason
I am the why
I am not the maybe
You are not my life
I am whole
I am here
I do not need you to tell me that Im special
I do not need you to show me that you care
I do not need to you give me your attention 
I am validated
I am aware
I am okay
You are not my pride
You are not my verve
I am my motivation
I am my ambition
 
I simply am.

_______________________

Betrayed

how I waited for you
longed for you
needed you 
 
you said through thick and thin 
for better or for worse
 
you lied. 
 
you broke me
made my worst nightmare come true
 
i can’t get the image out of my head
 
god how i love you 
how i want to think it was all a dream
why can’t i wake up
 
i don’t know what to do, where to start or how to feel
 
i’m calm now
but there is a surging wave of emotion building inside me
 
hurt shame anger fear inadequacy
 
was she prettier than me?
was she skinny and cute?
did she do everything you asked her to?
 
did you think about your family? your son? 
did you think about what you’d lose for those moments of false happiness?
 
how could you do this? you ruined it. 
 
you said you were “over it”, you’d had time to think. you say you’re still upset and ashamed and it’s tearing you up inside. 
 
yet you didn’t try to comfort me you didn’t even care. 
 
i’m not over it and i don’t want to think. 
 
you make the decision to stay or to go.
 
i feel sick

_______________________

you

for hours i could watch you
listen to you
feel you
for hours i could want you
hold you
need you
for hours i can pretend that i have you
with me
always
i am captivated
awed
stunned
by your wisdom
your views
your reasons
i am taken in by your words
your eyes
your essence
your very being

_______________________

Missing You

I just wanted to tell you that I love you
I wanted you to know I care
You should know that my life is nothing without you 
And that you are my everything.
 
I just wanted to tell you that I need you 
I wanted you to know youre missed
You should know that your presence is calming 
And that your touch can heal my pain.
 
I just wanted to tell you that Im proud
I wanted you to know that I smile when I think of you
You should know that youre making a difference
And that your bravery is felt the world around. 
 
I just wanted to tell you that I love you 
I wanted you to know I cry
You should know that your love is precious
And that I pray for you to come home.

_______________________

temptations

An innocent glance
A roaming stare
A subtle touch 
 
Forbidden thoughts erupt 
Emotions swirl with increasing force
Temptation looms
 
A secret meeting
Perhaps by fate
A shared embrace
 
A moment of laughter
A twinge of regret
A sly smile
 
A slow lingering kiss
Fingertips 
Shivers 
 
To close to resist
Skin against skin
Passion exists

_______________________

Twisting

With deep despair
I imagine you there. 
 
I hear your voice pleading with me to stay
I see your thoughts telling me to go away
 
You twist me around and trick my heart again.
I have no concept of where to begin
 
I knew you once, a long time ago
You’ve changed since then, you know. 
 
You’re not the one I thought I loved
You’re not the one who cared. 
You’re not the one who held me close and put to rest all my fears. 
 
You’re a problem now; a situation to be dealt with. 
You’re a convenience, an easy-out and the reason for my tears. 
 
I tried to keep you. I tried to be perfect. I tried to be yours
It wasn’t good enough, it wasnt right. 
It wasn’t me you wanted at night. 
 
I hate myself for not being what you want 
I hate myself for wanting to be what you want. 

_______________________

Desire

A smoldering ache burns within 
A shiver caresses her body; awakening long dormant desires 
She reaches for him slowly
Hungering for his touch.
 
He goes to her tenderly
Drinking in the sight of her beauty
He touches her milky skin 
And feels a slow stirring
 
She rises to meet him
Barely able to contain herself
She draws him to her
And presses him close. 
 
 He traces her curves gently
Just a fingertip
Shaking with anticipation 
He kisses her lips.
 
She cannot wait
She needs him now
 
He senses her desire
And meets her there
 
Her hips rise to his
And the world disappears
Moving together they are as one
A final sigh of pleasure and they are done.
 
She reaches out to hold him close
Swearing she’ll never let go
 
Holding her tightly, he looks in her eyes. 
He tells her he loves her
 
True love never dies.

on trinities…

In the culinary world, a holy trinity refers to three staple ingredients. There are differences in the makeup of the trinity depending on what type of food you’re cooking.

 Here’s a list of common trinities used in eastern and western cuisines:

 Brazil – dende oil, coconut milk and malagueta pepper. Dende oil is more commonly referred to as Palm oil and is extracted from the fruit of the Oil Palm tree. The malagueta pepper is a small, extremely hot pepper (60-100,000 on the Scoville scale)

 Chinese – scallions, ginger and garlic. These three ingredients usually used to create yuxiang, a sauce which many meats and veggies are cooked in. In some regions of China, the scallions are replaced with chili peppers. A completely pepper based trinity exists in Sichuan cuisine. This trinity is comprised of chili, sichuan and white pepper.

 Cuban – garlic, bell pepper and spanish onion. Referred to as sofrito, the Cuban trinity is closely related to the creole trinity.

 French – celery, onion and carrot. This combination is referred to as mirepoix. There are two other standard combinations in French cooking. The base of many sauces is comprised of butter, cream and eggs. The second, called bouquet garnis, is made of parsley, thyme and bay leaves.

 Greek – lemon, olive oil and oregano. This is definitely in my favorite flavor combinations.

 Hungarian – paprika, lard and red onion. Hungarian cuisine is full of amazing soups and pastries. Goulash is probably the dish people think about when Hungarian cooking is discussed but other dishes like Paprikas and palacsinta are equally delicious.

  Indian – garlic, ginger and onion. The garlic and ginger are typically mashed into a paste and the three ingredients are sautéed to form the base of incredibly fragrant Indian dishes.

 Italian – celery, onion and carrot. Referred to as soffritto, this combination mirrors the French mirepoix. The combination of tomato, garlic and basil is prevalent in Southern Italian cooking.

 Japanese – dashi, mirin and soy sauce. Dashi is a stock made from edible kelp and katsuobushi, a smoked skipjack tuna. Katsuobushi is commonly called bonito. Mirin is a rice wine.

 Korean – doenjang, gochujang and soy sauce. Doenjang is a thick fermented soybean paste. Gochujang is made from soybean paste, red chili pepper and glutinous rice powder.

 Lebanese – garlic, lemon and olive oil. Commonly referred to as a Greek dish, Baba Ghanouj is a perfect representative of these three ingredients.

 Mexican – ancho, pasilla and guajillo peppers. The combination of these three peppers are used as as base for many sauces. When combined with corn and beans, this trinity helps create a second trinity.

 Spanish/Phillipine – garlic, onion and tomato. In the Philipinnes, ginisa (sautéed) is used to refer to this combination. It is referred to as sofrito in Spanish.

 Thai – galangal, kaffir lime and lemon grass. Galangal is an herb in the ginger family. It is often called Thai Ginger or Blue Ginger.

 West African – chili peppers, onions and tomatoes. This combination is used to flavor many of the delicious stews and sauces.

On clarity…

If you’re holding on to a goal that only exists inside the small microcosm you’ve created for it, you will not only fail to reach your goal but you won’t be able to enjoy the experiences that life has to offer.
I think we all have one goal that we shouldn’t be trying to reach. That one goal that we’re trying to attain just for the sake of attaining it or because we’re afraid to give up.
I have a goal I’m afraid to give up on. I don’t even like typing that because I’m so entwined in reaching it.

I wish I could say the words I want to say but I can’t. I can, but I won’t because I’m too scared.

If you love someone for something they aren’t you can never lose them because you didn’t really find them in the first place.

Clarity I have. What I need is chutzpah.

On racism…

I wonder if people who judge dark skinned people by the color of their skin ever go to tanning salons.