Monday, April 30, 2012

It Is Upon Me

    It is upon me. That moment when I know the mania is inevitable has now come and gone. It rides me like the Fae ride the stolen mare, whipping her through the night and returning her to her stall lathered, heaving and near foundered. I can feel it. It is a force that fills my heart and soul. It heats me through to the marrow. My brain is afire with words, stories, memories, too many to try and put into print, all I can do is hope I remember once the inferno has cooled. My passions are rampant, I want to tastetouchfeel everything, anything. I want to feel the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair, sand beneath my bare feet. I want to roll naked in soft, sun-warmed grass. I want to climb the tallest tree and sway with the winds, laugh at startled birds. I want to experience the world. To laugh, love, lust. To breathe in the scent of your essence. I yearn for action, any action. Pleasure. Passion. Exultation. I want to yell at the top of my lungs. To sing aloud. Dance like a Dervish. I need a channel. A focus. My needs drive me, but without a path. I am driven, but I know not where. I must hold on as I feel the energy coursing through my veins, filling me to overflowing, erupting through every pore. I am explosive. Passionate. Driven by desires. If I only had a focus. I must focus. Find my focus. Focus.

Emotions. More Emotions

    Feeling a level of angst with no perceptible cause. Is it just pent up emotions with no place to go? The stressors of my every day life? Maybe just a manic episode hovering over my shoulder awaiting its moment to rain deliciously delirious chaos down upon me like a sweet, fiery shower? Whatever the reason, I feel it in my chest like an itch I cannot reach. It buzzes inside my skull like honeybees on the buckwheat blossoms, harvesting the dripping nectar of my brain. It is a physical manifestation of emotion. It is a burning desire, a hunger, and yet it is an over abundance. My hands clench and unclench with the need to be holding and held. I feel the heat, and yet I shiver. I want to explode upon the world. Run. Shout. Weep. Giggle. It builds, pressure in my heart, burning in my mind, humming in my veins. My body feels alive with whatever emotion seems to be attempting a coup upon the vessel that is me. There are few things that will tame the flowing, fiery feelings building like floodwaters behind a dam. Too few alternatives. And most of those explosive releases are not available to me. I know where this will end. Not where my mind and body might wish it to. It will end as it always does, with weight lifting and striding for miles, and maybe, if I cannot reach the point of satiation, then another manic Dance Party for One. Such is my fate, it seems.

Primordial Emotions

    I freely admit that my emotions are prone to run rampant. And as a rule, I am okay with that. Although there are times that when, for my own sanity, I feel I need to rein myself in a bit. Make a vain attempt at control. Keep myself in check. It does not work very well, and I find myself escalating through the gamut at lightening speed. It is a regular occurrence that should leave me feeling depleted and injured, but it does not. If anything it has an opposite effect, leaving me feeling manic and powerful, at least once the initial shock is over.
   My wild emotions, manic and euphoric, exhausting and painful, have led me to consider emotions and their impact. Emotions are not quantifiable, measurable, or even understandable. They are inexplicable, unpredictable and volatile. Mine are, anyway. Emotions burn themselves into our memories, far deeper than actual events, we remember how events made us feel. We will forget details, words, actions, intent, but we do not forget how we felt. To "forgive and forget" is a nice sentiment, but unrealistic. We can forgive, that is within our power. But we cannot make ourselves forget. I often wish we could. There are memories I would gladly wipe completely from memory if I could, for those are the fodder for the demons that torment me.
    The negative emotions are the most powerful. Those emotions wrapped around pain, loss, betrayal, fear, humiliation, failure, rejection. Those are the emotions that will return, unbidden, unwanted, to blindside us with brutal impact. Out of nowhere they will materialize, in raw power, that does not fade easily over time. Woken in the night to tears, shocked in broad daylight with panic, beaten down over and over with the deep pains of harsh memories. We remember emotional anguish for what seems an eternity. We may forgive, but to forget is really beyond our capabilities.
    The sweet memories are often more difficult to recapture, and much quicker to lose their initial intensity. I close my eyes, remembering the laughter of my children, a first kiss, the caress of a lover, a triumph of spirit, a victory against the odds. These memories stay as reminders of a life worth living but they cannot carry the same visceral impact of pain. This seems unfair. It feels as if I am cheated out of the pleasure of reliving cherished moments. Yes, if I focus, I can feel the shiver of excitement from pleasures remembered, but it is fleeting. There are recent memories that I can capture and hold, feeling their warmth and excitement, and they do sustain me. These memories are like a talisman against the dark emotional ghosts that seem to lurk just beyond my vision, waiting to pounce. I hold the sweetness in the front of my brain, keeping my finger on its pulse, maintaining contact, holding it dear, reminding myself that despite the painful past there is delight to be found.
    But it begs the question; why do the negative emotions hang on with such tenacity, when the sweet emotions seem fragile and fleeting? Is it primordial? An instinctual holdover from a time when pain, loss, fear, rejection and failure were reactions to potentially deadly situations that we should not ever forget, for the survival of the species? Do we remember anger and hurt as a protective mechanism against foes, long past, that may have in reality been deadly enemies, not merely insensitive idiots oblivious to their impact on the world around them? Are emotions survival mechanisms? Do we fall in love as an instinctual way to form a bond with a potential mate, to overlook their flaws, to stand beside them during the onslaught of life? Is that why love is so all encompassing, powerful, overwhelming and earth shattering? Is it our instincts kicking in? Our emotions going beyond reason, linking with instinct? It is said, "the heart wants what the heart wants," but is it "survival wants what survival needs?" Love and passion as a survival tool? I think it is an interesting idea.
    So, then can I look at my emotional enthusiasm as being in closer touch with my instincts? Am I allowing myself to be in deeper contact with the primordial Me? Is this why my rampant emotions seem to alarm most civilized people? Most tend to be fearful of wildness, savagery, animalistic impulses, instinct, gut reaction, the power of desire, the impact of uncontrolled emotions. Most shy away from such "uncivilized" behavior, it is not socially acceptable. I want to revel in my animal nature, my primal desires, the power of my emotions. Even when the negative emotions rise from my dark past to cause tears, panic, longing, ache, they make me feel alive. My rampant emotions acknowledge my fiercely passionate nature, fuel my fire, unleash my desires. I accept the pain that may accompany the pleasure, because instincts should not be denied. We all need to accept our primordial passions, even if we do not understand them. They are not to be feared, avoided, nullified. They are to be embraced, indulged, enjoyed. I embrace my primitive, primordial passions, and will continue to unleash them on the unsuspecting.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brain, Shut Your Pie-Hole

    Once again, Mania and Body to the rescue. Brain goes into spastic arrhythmia, panicked, dysfunctional, cowering in corners, fleeing from life, threatening to go dark, when in steps Mania and my strong Body to protect delicate, fragile Brain. Brain is easily sent into self-flagellating circles, berating, accusing, introjectively focusing fears and failures. Brain is easily thrown out of control, spiraling into gloom. But Mania and Body are made of sterner stuff. They are proactive, defensive and violently protective. When Brain can't handle events, failures, rejection, then Mania and Body take over, take control, fight back.
     When the demons rile Brain with predawn poking and prodding, Body decides that enough is enough and drags Brain, who complains bitterly, from the dubious security of a warm bed and launches into as much physicality as time allows before work. Of course, that is never enough, especially after a brutal day when Brain is attacked on all fronts. Home, into the sanctuary, shielded from the chaos of the world, Brain tries to convince Body that rest, the oblivion of sleep, is the true course to peace. Body, encouraged by Mania, strongly disagrees. And so it begins. No namby-pamby, easy, casual workout. It will be long, arduous, painful, nausea inducing. It will take hours, literally, to bring Brain back online. Body and Mania join forces to push, drive, cajole, abuse, rebuke and praise. Body forges ahead, dripping sweat, trembling, aching, while Mania continues to supply the needed force and energy to maintain the pace. Hours, literally, hours. Body continues to push. When Brain starts to whine and complain, Mania threatens to duct tape Brain's pie-hole, Brain shuts up. Finally, 3 hour workout complete, knowing muscles will be complaining loudly on the morrow, Body thinks Brain has had enough. Mania disagrees.
    Without consulting the other two, Mania starts the music. Fast and loud. The music cajoles Body to more movement. The dancing has begun. Body and Mania always revel in the delight of the fluid, sensual movements, the feel of rippling muscles beneath caressing hands. Hips propelled by lithe waist, arms lead by strong shoulders. Hands moving over hips, waist, curve of the back, feeling the interplay of sensuality, sexuality and strength. Movements calculated for fitness, and optimal sexuality. It is the perfect coalescing of power, stamina, sweat, joy, excitement, pleasure. The music soothes Brain, the sweat placates Mania, the sensuality fires up Body. The dancing continues, music pulsing. loud but not overbearing, lyrics encouraging Brain, "Hey, you know they're all the same. You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in. Live right now, be yourself. It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else." It reminds Brain, in a sophomoric manner, that Brain, Body and Mania are who we are, who we will always be. We are an alliance, the sum of the whole greater than the parts. We are who we are, a united front, a force to be reckoned with. And we truly are awesome, amazing, strong. Though now, we are also tired, sweaty, stiff and sore.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Licking Wounds

    There are days I feel like a wounded animal. I want to crawl into my den, lick my wounds, and hope to heal. Fatigued, thirsty, hot, aching, longing for rest. I lick my wounds and wait for the healing power of nature. Alone, I shun any attempts to lure me from my den, even my pack is unable to help. I curl around myself, longing for the healing balm of sleep, but the pain drives sleep from my grasp. The pain pulses through me, growing to a dull ache as endorphin and adrenaline do their jobs. I begin to shut down, shut out the world, I am still but for the occasional tremor or shuddering breath.
    As I heal, I am still over-reactive, sensitive, delicate. Even the hint of my foe wafting on the wind and my hackles rise out of sheer instinct, I have no control over my grumbling snarls. I run on gut reaction, hackles up, lips curled to bare sharp teeth, I lash out, claws extended and razor sharp. The movement hurts, reopens wounds, bleeding resumes.
    Retreating again, curling tight, licking wounds. I know the wounds will close, eventually. I know it isn't a thing to be rushed. Wishing it will not make it so. But I feel my strength returning, the gaping wounds closing, They are sensitive to the touch, but the pain is no longer constant. I know I am healing, but like the wounded animal, I am skittish and easily spooked. I will need a gentle hand, a kind voice, a soft touch. Healing will come, soon, I know. I am stronger today than I was yesterday. Stronger, but weary. And tomorrow will be better yet. I am well along the long road, but not there yet.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Just Beneath the Surface

    I spend so much time picking apart my psyche, poking it with a stick, examining it under the microscope in an attempt, so I lie to myself, to be better grounded. Truth be told, it is a mechanism I employ to hide from myself the truly fragile nature of my being. As long as I am actively examining, I can think less about the delicate balance I work so hard to achieve. I know that just under the surface, the calm, rational, steely exterior, is that fragile creature, the delicate nature, the emotional rollercoaster, the brittle me that can shatter at a touch. I delve deep into my motives, actions, reactions, my past and present, my desires and needs, delve deep to keep my mind busy. My mind must stay busy, active, in order to maintain at least a semblance of balance, calm and stability. I know for fact just how easy the exterior is penetrated, how quickly my stability can be undermined, that the gentlest push can tip the scales. I do not like living a precarious existence, though it is my nature.
    Some days it can truly be a moment by moment effort to hold tight to my tenuous grip on what passes as reality in my life. I know that the next meltdown is always close to the surface, held in check by sheer willpower and stubbornness. Because I also know that I cannot return to the depths of despair that are still so fresh in my mind, that abyss that threatened to swallow me whole just a few short months ago. Just under the surface, so close I can see it rippling under my translucent skin. It writhes like salmon in a shallow stream, fins nearly cresting the surface, causing the water to shiver in response. There it is, I can see it, feel it, touch it. I know it merely waits for the opportunity to break the surface, to leap free of my carefully constructed constraints.
    Despite all my efforts to keep the inevitable meltdown contained, I also find myself forcing issues that are bound to sabotage my hard won control. I pursue, push, press. I cause conflict, chase unobtainable dreams, set unrealistic goals. I reach beyond my comfort zone. I lay bare my heart and soul. I confront with open honesty, knowing that rejection will likely be the result. Is this a subconscious drive to keep my demons well fed, active and productive? Am I, as I was once accused of, a drama addict? I chose to think not. But the thought niggles at my brain. I know I cannot keep myself reined in, but know that to unleash myself causes mayhem, mayhem causes disaster, disasters leave me shaken and alone. Alone with my demons. Then I berate myself, knowing I crossed the line. But knowing I had to.
    It is a true conundrum. Be true to myself, true to my nature and risk all, or forcibly alter my nature to maintain a calm course. Knowing what lurks just beneath the surface, what waits to be loosed on my world, knowing but feeling helpless to stop it. Fighting against my own nature, the struggle, the mental anguish I bring upon myself. Hand in hand with the meltdown is also my inner lunatic. That vital spark that is my very essence. I cannot have one without the other, or my life will be lived in shades of gray. I cling to at least the appearance of calm, though I want to let my inner lunatic out into the sunlight to dance and play. The inner lunatic that drives my creativity, sensuality, sexuality. The manic dancer, the insomniac, the whirlwind. I think I might as well try to capture the wind, tame the fire. But I also know it will likely keep me delicate and brittle. There is always a price to be paid.      

Demon Pinata

"A writers brain is full of little gifts, like a pinata at a birthday party. It's also full of demons, like a pinata at a birthday party in a mental hospital."

    I have written about my Demons often enough that this quotation seemed incredibly apt. It made me laugh, for a brief moment. Then I had a visual, as I usually think in images not words, of my head being struck with the knobby stick of my reality, skull broken open, with no idea what will spill forth. The days when beautiful gifts shower down, covering the ground with brightly colored surprises, can seem few and far between, though cherished. The nights when my brain cracks open and the demons spill forth in a darkly chaotic flurry seem far more common. I never really know what will spew forth when Brain opens up and lets loose the secrets hidden inside.
    I have thought that I would love a little predictability in my life, just a little. But it eludes me on every front. I have become accustomed to the chaos, unpredictability, disappointments, and the sticks upside the head. I've been brained all too often. So often that it does seem to be the one thing I can expect out of life, that smack upside the head, rattling me, blurring my vision, making thoughts spew forth without rhyme or reason. I do feel like a pinata, dangling casually from a tree limb, minding my own business, watching the party from a safe distance, and along comes some blindfolded miscreant swinging a lethal length of wood, intent on cracking me open, while some other yayhoo starts yanking me around by my tenuous hold on reality. It really is an assault on my peace, my sanity, my stability. I know the stick swinging savage isn't thinking of the damage to be wrought, only in the violent act itself. The glee of breaking open a carefully crafted, brightly colored, delicate shell of papier-mache just to see what is inside. I have spilled myself often enough with humpty-dumpty damage, to know just how difficult it is to gather up those gifts being trampled in the grass by careless feet, pawed at by gluttonous hands, then reloading myself, repairing the damage, only to await the next assault.
    I wouldn't mind if on occasion, the demons would be loosed and trampled in the grass by those careless feet, stomped into well-deserving puddles of goo, or let to scamper off and infest another pinata. Sadly, my demons are clever, nimble little beasts, avoiding the jack-booted thugs with ease. And they are quite fond of my brain, having found it to be a warm, nurturing environment to raise their devilish brood. So they always return, finding their way home to roost. Nestling in, drowsy, waiting their 2am wake-up call, eager to burst forth from the smallest of cracks. Like I said; clever, nimble little beasts.
    If I could even limit who wields the stick. Limit it to a select few with whom the sharing of my gifts would be a pleasure. Instead I feel the world has a free hand to grab that stick whenever the mood strikes, so assaults can come from any and every direction, even the least expected. I never know where the next strike will come from, or when. The parties just keep coming. The best I can hope for is to add extra layers of papier-mache, maybe slip in a few layers of steel, to keep my shell from cracking, to protect my gifts from careless hands. I rebuild, patch the cracks, revitalize my colors, refill myself with my little treasures, and yes my demons, and await the the next hack-handed attempt to break me. I hope I get stronger with each party.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Balancing Act

    My life seems to be in a constant state of confusion, no matter how I try to work things through. This last year has seen me rocket through the extreme gamut of emotions, be drug through the range of highs and lows. I have suffered major defeats and won some hard fought victories. And it continues on. Though, truth be told, things seem to be evening out a bit, there is less trauma and drama being inflicted on my psyche and self esteem, and I have regained much of my sense of self. I have found the Me that had seemed lost forever, the Me that had hidden away for decades, avoiding the light of day, remaining as a mere ghostly image on the eye of my mind. Regaining contact with that vital Me has made me vow to not lose her again. I won't let her sneak away, hiding herself to spare me the ramifications of  her exuberant personality unleashed upon my world. I have suffered from her enthusiastic pursuit of dreams and desires, as she steamrolls over and though obstacles. But when she knows what she wants, she is not afraid to let her needs and wishes be know, sometimes forcefully, often with dire results.
    Now I strive for balance. How can I allow my exuberant, enthusiastic Self the freedom to chase our dreams and desires, without inflicting irreparable damage? How can I allow free rein to my personality, and yet garner a semblance of control? I cannot allow my Self to ride roughshod over my cherished wishes, irregardless of how well intentioned she may be. And so the balancing act begins. I know what I want, I can see it and taste it, but how to get from point A to point B? How do I proceed? I need the strength and boldness of that Self that had lain dormant for so long. I need her joie de vivre, her je na sais quoi, her all out balls to the wall, steel cahones to give me spine and courage. Without her I can become timid, shy, nerveless. I will squelch my dreams as too unobtainable. She doesn't know the meaning of the words, "can't," "won't," and "impossible." I need that support, I need her motivation. But how do I find that balance between caution and carefree, slow and easy versus fast and furious? I know I must proceed with a modicum of caution, my psyche demands it. But I must allow the bold Me to keep the forward momentum. So, my cautious Self holds the wheel, my reckless Me fuels the engine? Bold energy as the powering force, wisdom as the guiding hand? I must find the balance. I must proceed with caution and care, but I must continue to proceed with a bold heart. There has got to be balance.

Grail Quest

    My 2am internal wake-up call was as abrupt as hitting a light switch. From dead asleep, to brain on full speed, with the flip of an internal switch. I wish I could disconnect that switch. Curled up on my side, arms wrapped around a pillow that is my only bedmate (except for a plush cheetah named Turbo, but if word got out about him, my tough reputation would be toast), once again I ponder life. I think about life, the now, the future, all the paths facing me, decisions that may or may not present themselves, all the possibilities, all the realities. I think until my head is buzzing with options, choices, decisions, most of which are far in the future, or only in my imagination. As I have said before, the downside of a writer's imagination is the vivid reality of my thoughts, mental meanderings, fantasies, fears, and desires. I see them with a clarity that evades most people when they are remembering true events from their recent past. I think in images, more than words, and they roll through my brain with the speed and clarity of movie previews. Some, I see over and over, intentionally hitting the mental repeat button. Of my repeats, some are beautiful and sweet, some sensual and seem out of reach, some wishing for a future that may be unrealistic and beyond my reality. But they are my imaginings, and I can watch them as often as I like.
    Often my repeat showings are lessons learned, as if the movie theater of my mind wants to lash me with parables, using my own shortcomings as the prime examples. I become the central figure in my own tragic Grimm's Fairy Tales. I am the dancer in The Red Shoes, The Little Matchgirl, the voiceless Mermaid, the Tin Soldier with one leg who pines for the Paper Dancer. And as I watch my parables scroll past, feeling alone in the dark, I wonder what I can do to rewrite my script. I heard it said once, "He writes his own script, and yet complains about the plot," and found it an apt and poignant observation. I watch my parables and know there has to be a way to rewrite the endings. I don't mind being the Tin Soldier, but won't stand by to watch my paper dancer be blown into the fire, then cast myself into the coals to be melted into a heart-shaped mass. I will not be the tragic, long-suffering, silent, ineffectual character of a bleak tale propelled ahead by fate, without fighting back. But how to rewrite my script?
    Lying awake, the 2am world hushed and still, I hold my pillow to my chest, curl around it for comfort and attempt to edit the scenes playing out in my mind. My favorites, the beautiful, sweet and sensual, need no editing, only elaborations and refining. They are fuel to my desires. But the parables, the life lessons that my brain is trying to drum into me, as if I have no choice in the paths of my future, these must be rewritten. But how to write in my small cast of characters? How to rewrite their roles? I know that I cannot write the future for another, that is a true path to failure. But I want, need, must write my own script to lead me through the dark, demon haunted forests and perilous, rocky ravines to the happy ending I know can be mine. At times it feels less like a simple fairy tale, and more like a complex Grail Quest, replete with challenges, tests of courage and strength, raging rivers with well guarded bridges, impassable paths, darkest forests, and bottomless pits. I move ahead carefully, knowing a misstep will take the Grail farther from my reach, perhaps even destroy it before I can so much as touch it. I have seen my Grail, or at least one of them, for who is to say there won't be a series of such in the long life that stretches ahead. I have seen a Grail, felt it's perfection, and then had it moved beyond my touch. I know I am not ready yet, know there is growing and healing to be done before the time will be ripe. But I can still see it in my mind's eye, I know it is there, that it may still be mine, if I prove worthy.
    So it will be a matter of writing my script, mapping the course of my quest, patiently approaching the trials I know will present themselves to me. If there is one thing I have learned from the parables and quests of history is that the over-eager, impatient questers will fail every time, it is the patient who will survive. The questers looking for the fast, straight road will fail as quickly as they had hoped to succeed. But the quester that sees and accepts the long road, the winding path, the obstacles, will find the Grail, and understand its true worth. For if it is worth having, it is worth the trials, worth the Quest. I am writing my script, hopefully with the happy ending, but if not, there will be a treasure of growth and understanding to be had in the end.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


    Humans are not solitary creatures by nature. Even those of us that are introverts and disinclined to seek out companionship, preferring a level of solitude and independence. It is human nature to seek out others to share life with. I know I am not an easy friend, I am too solitary, forcing myself to be independent and self-reliant. But even I know the value of the kindred spirit. Once in a great while you stumble upon another being that seems to fit easily into life, someone who fits you with an ease and comfort that can never be manufactured or falsified, a true kinship. There is a physical, intellectual and emotional connection that is like a final piece of a puzzle, snapping into place and completing the picture.These people are rare gems in a world of stone. I know I am lucky that I have family that are kindred spirits, as well as a few cherished friends; fledgling new, lifelong and true, and those yet to be.
    When a kindred spirit is floundered upon, it is an inner struggle for me to not want to grasp them, cling to them like a life preserver found in the jetsam of a sinking ship. A buoy to keep me afloat in icy, lashing waves. But I must force myself to relax my panicked death grip, allow them breathing room, not come across as desperate and alone in the vast, cold sea of humanity. The rarity of a true kinship makes it more valuable than any earthly possession, and so cannot be passed by, ignored, or let to just slip away. Such a rare find makes my heart ache with a longing so penetrating and vibrant I become nearly disfunctional. I fear the slightest wrong move will whisk this treasure beyond my reach, and it will be lost to me forever. I recognize my need for these few, rare beings, and am happy to enjoy even brief moments of their light in my life. A kinship, a brother, a sister, a son or daughter, whether by blood or fate, miracle or accident, should never be allowed to slip away, to pass us by, to be denied or ignored. Such a rarity should be cherished, even in miniscule amounts, cherished, treasured, recognized for the miracle it is. The miracle that two beings can find a level of mutual understanding that transcends words and worlds. Such kinships should not be lightly dismissed, or allowed to lay fallow, they should be gently nurtured, respected, cradled in cupped hands and held gently to the heart.   

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Body

    I love my body. Not because of how it looks, but because of what it does for me. My body is strong, powerful, graceful. My body protects my spirit. When I am at my most fragile, emotional and brittle, my body steps in and encases my delicate nature within muscle, sinew and bone. When my spirit is cowering within, my mind shrinking from the world, my emotions running amok, my body courses with the pent up energies of the emotional conflict. The energies build, pounding through my veins, lending vigor and stamina to my lean muscles. And so my body takes over, my body is in control. When all else is raging out of control, my body takes charge. And so I stride for miles, faster, harder, faster, harder. My lungs fill, pulling oxygen deep into the pinkness, invigorating my blood until it flows rich and red. My heart pounds with a slow, forceful pulse, feeding muscles with my rich blood. I can almost feel the blood carrying away stress, anxiety, fear, doubt, and flushing them out through exhaled breath. I stride for miles, faster, harder, faster, harder. I feel the weight of the day fall from me with passing miles.
    So many days it is not enough to merely sweat and breath, while pounding down the miles. And so to weights. I lift and strain, groan, moan, my face contorts with effort. I lift until my breath is ragged and my limbs are trembling. I am bathed in sweat, exhausted to the point of nausea, stress and tension bleed from me, falling to the floor with the droplets of sweat that run in rivulets down my face. Trembling, sweating, pulse pounding in my ears, feeling the strength of my body. Reveling in my power, knowing my body can protect my delicate spirit.
    And then there are the days when the miles and weights are still not enough. Days when anxiety and doubt, sadness, loneliness, assail me without relief. Those are the days when, exhausted and trembling, I begin to dance. The music louder, faster. My body forgets the exhaustion and is empowered by the music, strength gained through the need to continue the fight against the demons that seem to plague me even during daylight hours, on days like this. I dance, sweat, let the music and motion finalize the cure. Finally, my heart sings, my spirit lifts, I shed doubt and pain as if they were leaves scattering before my dancing feet. I love my Body, it is Strong, Powerful. My Body saves me when nothing else in the world can. My delicate nature is well protected by my lovely form built solidly of muscle, sinew and bone. I love My Body.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


    As much as I wish my life were a smooth, straight, well-paved country lane, wishing does not make it so. My life is a slow climb up a steep mountainside with so many switchbacks, dead-ends, and washed out bridges that I don't even know what direction I am traveling most of the time. Inevitably, as soon as I think I have a level, straightish section, where I might be able to coast on autopilot for a brief moment, out of nowhere a mudslide or boulder will come careening down the slope, missing me by a hair's breadth, and adding another obstacle to an already arduous climb. I should be accustomed to it by now, but every time it takes me by surprise. It could be that fatigue has lowered my ability to cope with the unexpected, even when I should be expecting it. For it has been a difficult climb, no doubt about it. Even if it takes me by surprise, my recovery time is swifter. I am more likely to take these obstacles in stride once the initial trauma and emotions have spent themselves.
    At least I am continuing to climb upwards, which is a vast improvement over the last year, when it was truly one step forward, two steps back. Now I continue to put one foot in front of the other, with very little backsliding. Okay, there is the ocaissional backslide, but it is brief, and only a mis-step in the scree, not a full blown tumble off a cliff. I have had many a tumble, some quite extreme and involving some serious injuries, but I have recuperated, mostly, and am back on track.
    I think the most difficult aspect of my climb may be the uncertainty of what may await me around every tight corner, every switchback, behind every mudslide. I can't see my way because the path is so convoluted. I like having a clear image of where I am going, what I am reaching for, what lay in wait for me. There is a fear behind my climb, as I reach up for a handhold, reach up to grasp a ledge, not knowing what may lurk within striking distance. I crane my ears for the sound of rattlesnakes, expecting my blind gropings to result in venomous snake bite. So far the worst that I have had is a few bee stings, minor gashes, scrapes, bruises, and only one broken heart (which healed fine, thank you), and some minor heart abrasions to remind me that I am still tender-hearted, not steel clad.
    And so I climb, sometimes one foot in front of the other, sometimes hand over hand, sometimes on my belly inching forward. But still I climb. I know that I will finally round a curve and see the panorama of the world spread out before me. I know that above the dense canopy of forest that shades my progress is a blazing sun and azure sky. I know there is clarity ahead, even if I cannot see it as I climb. I know that I will find a clearing, a gentle slope, a straight path ahead, if I just keep climbing. And so I climb. I climb. 

Monday, April 16, 2012


    Unfettered. Unbridled. Uninhibited. The genie is out of the bottle. Pandora's Box has been opened. I had warned myself of the circumstances, knowing all too well what was likely to happen if I allowed my true nature to explode upon the world. I have an understanding of self that comes from far too much introjective introspection. I have known for years that were my true self to be allowed free rein I would be isolating myself from much of humanity. It was a self-fulfilling prophesy. And with it does come an ache of loneliness that I have begun to think is inevitable. But I have to be true to my nature. If I force myself into the role of placid, benign follower it causes a inexorable build up of  pressures that will explode unexpectedly, alarmingly, and chaotically leaving damage in their wake. Granted, I am the one to suffer most from the damages I can wreak upon the unsuspecting. I am the one that feels the isolation of my nature.
    So I turn the music louder, dance faster, work harder, write more, work the soil, all in an attempt to outrace the loneliness that seems to lurk about the edge of my peripheral vision. I know it is there, can feel its presence, but refuse to acknowledge it. To acknowledge it is to give it power. To make it a driving force behind my actions. I can't allow that. It is not to be tolerated. I won't let an insipid emotion like loneliness rob me of my vivacious energy and exhuberant zeal.
    My nature does give ammunition to my demons that wake me in the night with their prodding and probing. They delight in reminding me repeatedly of past mistakes, past over-reactions, past explosions that led me rapidly into this long, cold winter. The demons whisper that if I had just managed to keep my true nature guarded and held tight, that my life would probably have taken a whole different path, an easier path. In the dark of the night it is hard to argue. It is a point I am all too aware of, and has been a weapon of my self-flagellation over the grimly long, dark months. But I fight against the despair. I know that I have chosen the path that is right for me, though it is a rocky, steep, narrow path. Doubts assail me at times as I climb, as I tear my hands scrabbling for a handhold, as I look over the edge of the precipice to either side of me, knowing that every stumble, every false step risks a plummet back into the abyss, as I cry into the darkness, and rage against the unfairness of my destiny. But it my true path, it is where I must go if I am going to be faithful to myself, my needs, my desires, my passions.
    To fetter my nature would be nothing less than criminal. To rob myself of fire, passion, intensity, sensuality, energy, enthusiasm, the true depths of my feelings, to cut myself off from me, to keep myself hostage, hands and mouth duct taped to prevent me expressing deepest desires. If the fire is not allowed freedom, if it is kept confined, it will consume me from within, leaving a dry husk behind. To allow the fire free rein, to let my passion and intensity roll like thunder, to unleash the torrent of my sensuality and enthusiasm, to release the heat of my desires, to let my true nature out to laugh and play, it is as vital to me as the air I breathe.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ode to Bob

    I have had an eleven year love affair with my motorcycle Bob. He is everything a girl could want in a lover; strong, powerful, thrilling, patient, loyal, sensual, erotic, dependable, and mine. There was a sense of destiny from the first moment I tentatively sat astride his beautiful Concord Purple Pearl and chrome body. The smell of oil and fresh leather were pheromones in my nostrils, triggering a primal need unlike anything I had felt before. Bob made me believe in reincarnation, for nothing has ever felt as honest and natural to me. The anticipation begins the moment I grab my helmet and jacket, smelling the leather sends a shiver of pleasure through me. Slide the key into the ignition, pump the throttle twice, hit the switch and he roars to life with throaty bass of a mating tiger. I straddle the 700 pounds of steel, feel 1200 cubic centimeters of  engine throbbing between my thighs, vibrations course through every cell of my body, he warms me through and through. Gently I maneuver him into place, he responds to my touch, feels solid and lively beneath me. I pull out onto the asphalt, hit the throttle and crank up through the gears with smooth gusto, he is responsive and as eager as I. I feel a rapacious grin flicker across my lips, and a predatory glint light my eyes. With the pulsing beast between my thighs the predator within rises easily to the surface. I am the tiger amongst the herd animals, hungry, lean, vicious. They scatter before me, moving quickly out of my path, they know I am the carnivore. The cool wind slides across my skin, teasing the fine hairs until they are sending a million tiny signals to my brain, a million points of stimulation. When I ride I become hyper aware of all that is around me; movement, smells, changes in temperatures, dips in humidity. I feel it all, as if I have sprouted antennae, ganglia, a thousand orifices with which to experience the world that I am powering through. I act and react, I see the road ahead with almost superhuman clarity, at times it is as if I truly can see around corners. I anticipate all the workings of the world around me, and react before the incident occurs, I can see a split second into my future and avoid the pitfalls.
    I have written love poems and love letters to my beloved Bob, and he is worthy of every word of adoration and praise. I have been told that he is all engine, wrapped in a bit of frame, and then wrapped in a redhead. The fit is perfect and divine. He makes me come alive, makes me value every moment. The thrill, passion and fire have never dimmed. In eleven years he has never failed to arouse within me a desire to live to the fullest and experience every minute we have together as a gift freely given. He is, and always will be my Beloved Bob.

Friday, April 13, 2012

This is Your Brain On Overdrive

    My brain is on overdrive. It is as if the darkness clogging my synapsis has finally cleared, a weight lifted, the light shining through my eyes igniting a fire as sunlight through a magnifying glass. Is it the emergence of the sun after a long, dreary, coldly wet winter? Or possibly a symbolic sun, beaming warming rays into a mind slumbering, hibernating, germinating. As a seed slowly warms, swells, then suddenly bursts to life, so is my mind. It is an uncontainable entity, driving ahead of its own accord. I can barely keep pace, I am running alongside, trying to get my foot on the running board, wanting to hitch myself to the wild ride I know is inevitable as the dawning of a new day. A smile touches my lips in anticipation, my heart quickens, a shiver ripples through my muscles. I am eager for the soaring elation, the giddy joy, the boundless energy. I feel it as a drug in my blood, pulsing, pounding, heating me through and through. It overwhelms me and I get up and dance, wildly yet secretly, knowing that at any moment someone could walk through the door. But I am as an exhibitionist, the possibility of detection adding additional thrill and sensuality to my dance. I am flowing with heat and energy, exhuberance and anticipation. I am vibratingly alive, ashiver with pleasure, trembling with anticipation. The world holds secrets for me to discover. My mind and spirit hold discoveries as well, just awaiting the proper enducement to flower forth in glorious color and heady fragrance.
    Is it Spring? Is it Mania? Is it too much coffee? Regardless of the cause, the result is worth every trembling, breathy moment. I do not know what lies ahead, honestly my future is shadowed to me though I look ahead for rays of light. But that does not matter. What matters is the here and now. None know what lies in their future. Tomorrow we could be dining at Odin's table. But today, today is glorious and full of promise. Today is mine, and I hold it in my trembling hand, caressing it, basking in its glory, cherishing today. The energy and delight that courses through me adds sweetness and savor to even the mundane. I see through eyes undimmed, seeing the beauty all around me, the brightness of today. The Sun, warming my soul, energizing my spirit, awakening my mind. By the gods, it is good to be alive. I love Life in Overdrive.   

Being Naked

    "It's easy to take off all your clothes and have sex. People do it all the time. But opening up your Soul to someone, letting them into your Spirit, Thoughts, Fears, Future, Hopes, Dreams... That's being Naked."
    On ocassion, a quote will strike a chord with me. A deep, visceral understanding of its truth. And as much as I am inclined to scoff at the over sharing of trite, blythe, homogenized happy horseshit, once in a while I stumble upon a truth.
    Baring your Soul, sharing your hopes and dreams, revealing your fears and weaknesses, allowing another to see and share your vulnerability is to indeed be naked to the world. It is frightening yet exhilirating, terrifying yet empowering. I know from experience. It is not something I have done often, truly only once. And in reality, it did not turn out well. As a matter of fact, once the whole experience was over I was left feeling violated and betrayed. I bared all, trusted at the deepest level, and in the end that trust was betrayed, I was left torn and alone, left on the side of the road with my dignity in shreds and my soul sullied, but my spirit was unbroken. It led me into a long, dark winter, but also a season of rest and rebirth. Never at any point did I regret my choice to bare it all. It made me feel strong, inspired. It was as if I had transcended to a new level of self understanding. Yes, there was terror, and in the end agony, but it was a journey that allowed me to understand how deep I am willing to go, how much I have to offer. I regained my self esteem, and self respect. And in the end, after wrapping the shreds of my dignity around me, brushing the ash from my soul, sweeping away the carnage, my true passionate nature burst to the surface. Taking the plunge, risking all, daring to be truly naked earned me my hard won freedom. My Spirit was freed from a lifetime of restraint.
    Where does this leave me, besides alone? It has left me with a willingness to take that risk again, a desire to allow those that know me to know me better. I wish that I could be open and honest, passionate and vulnerable with anyone who is important to me. I know that my vulnerabilities do not make me weak, they are a strength, to face my fears makes me brave, to dream of a future gives me hope, my thoughts though wild are intelligent, my lunacy is my grounding. My newly awakened fire and passion are incredible forces of nature, and I refuse to rein them in again, force them to be dormant, though they may alarm the unsuspecting. My nakedness is joy, beauty, passion, elation, enlightenment, freedom. From the depths of my heart I have learned that I am smart, sexy, funny, passionate, talented, strong, kind, and honest with myself. Baring my soul, my self, was a journey to truths long hidden, and worth the pain, worth the fear, worth the risk. And it really taught me that although life never seems to turn out as planned, I can grow and change, learn and improve, from either failure or triumph.  

Show A Little Courtesy and Compassion

    A brief interaction with the gas attendant this morning reiterated the necessity for kindness in our day to day existence. It was nothing special, just my normal friendliness with the guy standing in the cold, pumping my gas. Every time I stop, I make it a point to smile honestly, greet him cheerfully, thank him, and wish him a good day on leaving. Today, he actually engaged me in conversation, nothing particularly meaningful, but pleasant and courteous. For years I have made a concerted effort to always be kind, friendly, cheerful and interactive with the people that are often overlooked as trivial by so many people rushing through their day; the kid stocking shelves at the grocery store, gas station attendants, checkers, maintenance workers, janitors, truck drivers. These are the people thought of as the drones of our society, but in reality they are people just trying to make a living and make it through their day. We all need to take a moment and think how our actions, words and deeds effect those around us. Having a bad day? Don't bark at the the gas attendant. Life sucks? Don't sullenly ignore the clerk's courteous "find everything okay?" Make eye contact. Smile. Say please and thank you. These are all courtesies that were taught (or damned well should have been taught) when we were children. I remember in grade school, a clown that would perform every year doing magic tricks and pratfalls. His Magic Words were "Please and Thank You," and the whole audience had to shout them out to make his magic tricks work. As a kid, I thought it was funny, as an adult I understand the honest truth of it. There is true magic in courtesy and kindness.
    The current state of affairs have everyone and their mother stressed beyond the norm. I know I am. The last few years I have seen my pay cut 35%, the cost of living is soaring, my job is an emotional blackhole, my personal life has had painfully cataclysmic upheavals, I bought my first home despite my meager income, this winter brought a near total mental collapse, and I turned fifty (fucking fifty, fuck). But back when the depth and breadth of the economic collapse became so painfully evident I said over and over, "Now is when we really need to be kind to each other." And I meant it. Truly. Some few have agreed with me. Most seemed to have missed the memo. Some of us, including my crazy coworker, have formed a strong, protective bond. As angry and volatile as both he and I can be over our state of affairs, we never direct any animosity at each other. We talk of our anger, rant, blow off steam, but in a fully commiserating manner. He knows I have his back, and he has mine. At times we feel like soldiers in the trenches, withstanding mortars, surprise attacks, constant gunfire. We have formed a bond, a soldierly bond created by the knowledge of safety in numbers, and a common enemy.
    Walking the streets, reading the news, driving the freeways, there seems to be an underlying current of anger almost everywhere you turn. There is hostility building, a common thread of impotent rage, that runs through society. As stress levels rise from constant, unending economic hardship, job instability, national and international conflicts, uncertainty, crisis after crisis, the rage simmers with no viable outlet. We see eruptions, over-reactions, outlashing, violence in the streets. These are the strident cries of frightened people. People feeling trapped, hopeless, terrified, angry, enraged, and yet impotent and confused. And as the fearful masses look to their leaders for hope and inspiration what they see is political infighting, anger, hostility, finger pointing, squabbling over minutiae, cutting benefits, attacking civil rights, trying to enforce the "will of god." It has become a chaotic nightmare at every level. Imagine a room full of injured, frightened children, needing comfort, and all the adults can do is fight amongst themselves, ignoring the cries of the children. We are feeling vulnerable and alone.
    And so, as I see it, the need for kindness, compassion, understanding and courtesy is at an all time high. But demand has far exceeded the supply. We are in a spiritual crises that far outweighs our economic woes. Sadly, the only reason that supply is short is because we choose to not share what we have. We each have enough love and compassion in our hearts, enough kindness, enough courtesy, for thousands. And yet we become miserly with our abundance, as if sharing kindness will somehow diminish our supply. I know that the more love I share, the more I possess, and the more I have to share. It is a renewable energy source that outshines the sun. To take that 10 seconds to say "Please and Thank You." Just a smile, eye contact, a nod. The briefest exchange, acknowledging their humanity, sharing a bit of your own.
    People, we are in crisis. We need to stop looking to others for our salvation. We need to look within ourselves, find the kindness and compassion in our hearts, share our bounty with others. Sow the seeds of understanding and courtesy, so we can reap the harvest of spiritual health, mental growth, inner strength, emotional stability. It is neither a difficult nor arduous chore, it is a pleasure we all need to remember. A pleasure to be shared.        

Thursday, April 12, 2012

To The Victor

    What a difference a day makes. I have heard those words and never felt the full impact they can have. Truly, what a difference a day makes. I have run the gamut in a 12 hour period. Low to lowest, to struggling, weeping, fighting back, standing tall, final victory. In 12 hours I have run a circuit that is usually, at minimum, 48 hours. But as I have worked though my demons, my past, the ghosts that haunt me, each battle becomes easier, quicker, more defined. Today was what I am hoping was the final battle, the cataclysmic climax, the death blow, my knock out punch. I cannot say today was easy, but it was worth the fight. It was cathartic, freeing, empowering. And I am victorious. I am strong.
    Today my firestorm was called to the fore, a cleansing, purging fire. Flames caressing my spirit as they lashed out and turned to ash the ghostly fragments of a past I have been fighting to shed. The ash, gray and fine, catches in the wind and scatters, disappears into the distance. My fire gave me strength, lent me energies I had never known I could access. The warmth cradled my battered soul like a caring mother, the flames caressed my spirit like a passionate lover, the heat engulfed my mind, the scorching winds lent power to my voice. I was the flame, the flame was mine. My fire was my power today.
    Now, flames ebbing, flickering blue and gold, hypnotizing, calming. peaceful. My fire is banked for the moment, reclaimed from the inferno that saved me. The warmth soothes my soul, and is a balm for my battered spirit. Flames that burned to ash are now healing. I will crawl beneath my down comforter, let it wrap around me like a lover's arms, cradle my fire to my chest and let it seep into my bones. I will find the bliss of sleep tonight, knowing tomorrow holds no more war for me, this battle is done. I am victorious.

War Torn and Battle Weary

    There are times, more frequent than I really care to admit to, that I wish I had a strong shoulder to cry on. An ally. Someone at my back. A voice in my darkness to tell me that, "everything will be okay." A voice that can say it with truth and conviction, not as an empty platitude, a placebo. A companion in the foxhole to relieve me of guard duty. But in the end, it is my shoulders that must remain broad and strong through storms and assaults. Lack of sleep has left me brittle and susceptable to damage, and I am easy prey for emotional turmoil. My defenses are ragged, my battlements weakened by seige machines, I am ripe for defeat. I try to rally the wounded, bolster the shellshocked, revive the dying, equip the few healthy remainder in a last ditch attempt to fortify and defend against the oncoming forces. I dig in and entrench. For it seems the axis forces know when I am at my most defenseless, and they will launch an assault. It is a two-pronged attack; full frontal attack on my gates, and a nefarious undermining of my foundations. I try to react, respond, launch a counter attack. But my forces are depleted, I need reinforcements that will not miraculously appear at the last minute in a perfect Hollywood ending. It is my own fight. There is no backup, no options, no allies. It is my own fight, and I am battle weary. I am truly weary to the bone.
    These assaults blindside me. I begin to think I have won the war, and yet skirmishes continue to flare up in unexpected places, at unexpected times. I have relaxed my guard, called in the forward observers. My scouts have gone awol.   
    But once again, in the tradition of the likes of the WW2 defense of England, Robert E. Lee, Vercingetorix, I will continue to fight with inferior numbers. I will out-maneuver my assailant, I will be victorious despite the odds. I will rally my spirit, shoulder my weapon and ready myself for the next attack I am exhausted by the battle, weary of the fight, dreaming of an ally. But I will soldier on, become the silent sniper, a furtive guerilla, the lone gunman if I have to. I will continue to fight the good fight, find mental reserves long after I think I have tapped the well dry. I will force a lone victory, because the alternative is not to be allowed. I may change tactics, find a dry bunker to catch some needed rest, raid a farmhouse for supplies, but I will soldier on alone, hoping for peace, dreaming of an ally, knowing I will be the victor. I have to be the victor. 

Conquering Demons. Again

    The voices are back. Those whispers that wake me at 4am, making sleep impossible. Doubts, fears, panic, turmoil, whispering into my brain, my companions in the night. I had thought these demons tamed and placated, slumbering in my dark recesses. But I was wrong, again. They wake as easily as I do, from the lightest touch, the slightest movement, gentle soughings, soft sighs. Any slight disturbance and they are reawakened, invigorated by their brief rest. My nocturnal visitors stay with me until dawn finds me groggy, distracted and incoherent. Their gentle gropings, sibilant slander, hissing harassments deprive me of much needed sleep, rob me of my peace, steal away my confidence. When dawn arrives and sends the demons back into the shadows, she finds me raw and brittle. Once again.
    The demons do speak truths in their own derisive manner. They remind me of past mistakes, delight in revealing that I seem doomed to repeat them. They show me the path I find myself on to be all too similar to paths I have trod. They show me landmarks that I should remember, must remember, in order to flee from what may likely be imminent doom. The path takes me to graves of my buried past, shows me that cold, heavy rains have washed away loose soil to reveal skeletal fragments I had hoped decayed into dust. The demons make me examine the shards of bone for forensic evidence that will prove to me my own serial nature, my modus operandi. It seems I cannot step outside of my profile, no matter how I try. I actively seek and pursue what I think to be a different route, going so far as to head in the opposing direction. But it seems to be of no avail. The tangled pathways of my heart and mind keep slowly turning me back towards what the fates have deemed to be my inevitable, lonely, solitary existence. I feel lost in a dense forest, circling back on myself, stumbling over roots, tripping over brambles, bruised and scratched, returning again and again those exposed graves. I want to sit down in the dirt and sob, weep in sheer desperation and frustration, cry out against fate, finally succumb to the dark loneliness of my predicament, lay down and just give up. But is it reality? Or demon trickery?
    Demons are well known for subterfuge, mind games, deceit. They can conjure images from sulpher and smoke, images tangible, visceral and solid. Or seemingly so. But they are really just fakery, smoke and mirrors, slight of hand, deception. The pile of clothing in the corner that takes on the visage of a horrifying night terror, exposed for a fake with the first light of day. Though there is truth salted into their nocturnal whisperings, it is only there to add to their believeability. Any truth can be convoluted and twisted until it becomes an obstacle to reality. Demons take my truths, mold them, torque them, contort and crumple them, until they are no longer recognizeable. My convictions and beliefs falter, my sense of reality distorts, I believe their truths instead of my own.
    But knowledge is power. I know what my demons are attempting to do, I know their methods, understand their techniques. They make me see insurmountable obstacles where there are really only challenges, they try to make me give up before I truly get started. These bastard demons attempt to make me feel unworthy, undesireable, unwanted, rejected. At times they stage all out war on my Sense of Self and Self Worth. Clever as they are, I am more grounded than they give me credit. Despite the fears and doubts that assail me when I am vulnerable in my lonely nights, I can hold these fears at bay until light reveals their deceptions. Fatigue may leave me brittle, raw, emotional, delicate, but I have inner strength that I can draw upon as reinforcements while I fight back. It is a battle I fight over and over. But each time I back the demons into their cave and do my best to block their escape, they lose a fragment of the power they hold over me. I refuse to let them twist and trample my dreams and desires. I will keep my eyes lifted to the sun, and follow its path, until I reach the edge of the tangled thicket and look out over the vast expanse of my future.
    "Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable." T.N. Vail 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Manic Dance Party For One

    This has become a bit of a running joke, the Manic Dance Party For One. Long evenings spent dancing myself into exhaustion to music that I can't seem to make quite loud enough. It usually starts innocently enough, a little music to help banish the blues, chase the loneliness that is always lurking just out of sight. The first notes stream forth, the rhythm strikes a cord deep within my core, my body moves, my mind lets the music replace all thoughts. I dance. I dance wild and free, with no thought of dignity or self control. I revel in the natural rhythm of my body, feel pleasure in my movements, sensuality guiding my muscles. Hips, thighs, shoulders moving in synchronicity, supple and strong. Arms flowing, hands orchestrating moves or caressing my fluid body. I move. I am moved.
    It begins innocently enough, a distraction, a spirit boost, just a dance. But sometimes a dance is not just a dance. My dance is another weapon in my arsenal. My dance controls demons, quiets doubts, and holds abject loneliness at bay. I dance when I am alone because I am alone. Music becomes my cherished companion, a friend from the past, a temporary distraction. Sometimes dancing is the only way I have to stop the crying. When I dance, my body is the boisterous Extrovert, the lonely Introvert removes herself from the dance floor, ever the wallflower.
    There are times when the music feels scrambled, my brain cannot seem to make sense of the patterns. It becomes just so much noise. I close my eyes, cradle my head in my hands to quiet the chaos, let my body feel the pulse of the bass, the thrust of guitar, the pounding of drums, ignore the unintelligible ramblings in my brain, and regain my rhythm. What begins as just one more song will extend into an hour, or two, or three. Dancing with no concept of time. Just dancing until either I am too exhausted to continue, or the demons are finally quieted. I will dance unawares, until I smell my solitary dinner scorching. I dance until the aforementioned scorched dinner is cold and congealed. I dance until what is left of my rational brain is telling me I have to stop, have to eat, have to sleep. I am like the little dancer in The Red Shoes, dancing until I drop.
    Sometimes dancing is all I can do to regain my sense of balance, a fragile inner peace. Dancing is my own personal war against abject loneliness. When I dance I am not alone, my mind is peopled with memories of my youth, of simpler times, of easier times. I dance because I have to. I dance because I can. Manic Dance Party For One is usually the best party in town. And so I danced tonight, scorched my dinner, and will sleep alone but with memories of the music to lull me to sleep.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Life in the Wild

    Lying awake, staring into the predawn darkness, I rummage through my brain, touching on recent events, past events, memories, emotions. I feel the swell of emotions, dampen them down by sheer force of will, wish they weren't quite so easily accessed. I live my life with my emotions just under the surface. They are there, awaiting the slightest flicker to light the fuse. There are many times when I wish I could submerge my rampant emotions, tame them, rein them in, regain control. But after so many years of keeping them pent up, corralled, tethered and silenced, their wild nature became more than any cage could ever confine. I released them back into the world in a furious flurry, it was my Pandora's Box. Once opened, what was released can never be recaptured and confined again.
    I do love my tempestuous, impetuous nature. It is the vital spark within me, the driving force, my power. I have learned to love the exhilaration of the rollercoaster, exult in the maelstrom, ride the whirlwind. It is not a matter of control, or lack thereof, no more than I can control the weather or a wild river. It is acceptance, understanding, adaptation, flexibility. It is knowing that I will forever be a bit raw and oversensitive, exuberant and delicate. But it can be exhausting.
    There are times, usually when tears threaten, my chest constricts, and panic nips at my heels, that I wish I could regain the rigid control I forced for so many years. I sometimes almost wish that my life could be lived in shades of gray, of calm, quiet, neutrality. My own emotions can overwhelm me with intensity, their effect on others can be stampede enducing. At times I miss the cold, calculating protector that sheltered me from myself, and from others. As well as protected others from me. But even that stern overseer regularly lost her tight-fisted control and my emotions would erupt onto an unsuspecting world in a violent array of explosive temper, violent weeping, giddy laughter. Each outburst became that much harder to stop, to confine, to regain control. It eventually reached damaging, critical mass, as explosive things often do.
    When any wild thing is kept caged for too long it either loses it's will to live, or becomes a dangerous  unpredictable beast. I never lost my will to live, I became the beast. When the caged creature is finally released back into her native habitat, there will be a time of readjustment, relearning survival skills, and a heightened fear of entrapment. Long periods of captivity can result in an animal that does not easily fit back into the social norm, the pack. The freed animal may chose to be the lone wolf, a solitary creature. The pack may be too disturbed by aberrant behavior to be willing to allow the lone creature back into their fold.
    I do love my rampant, wild emotions. I love being freed of my self-imposed shackles. But I am reminded almost daily why those restaints were put into place. I find many people are uncomfortable with honest, vibrant emotions. People love the beauty of wild creatures, but want the safety of distance or a stout fence. They are enthralled and attracted, but fearful and cautious. They want to approach, touch, feel the thrill of danger, but will run at the first hint of fang or claw. They want the beauty, but want it tamed and collared, not understanding that the wildness and danger are a vital aspect of the beauty. Without freedom the wild creature becomes a moth-eaten, hollow shell and the beauty is lost forever. But with the freedom comes the knowledge that many will keep me at arms length for their own safety, or wish to collar and tame, cage and covet. Is it too much to wish for the hand that will let me run free, and yet be there outstretched, gentle, patient, knowing that trust and kindness, not collars or cages, are the true ways to live with The Wild.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Follow Your Dreams?

    For too much of my life I have allowed my dreams to be rerouted by others. Dreams, plans, schemes, wishes, what I want to be when I grow up. I do manage to find my way to fulfilling many of my hopes and aspirations despite often feeling railroaded into the dreams of others. A large part of my Nature is that I like making people happy. I enjoy making life happy for those I love, through things both small and large. There is a deep satisfaction to helping someone realize their potential, or find thier bliss. The flipside of this is that I often put my own dreams on the backburner while helping another attempt to find their path. This is problematic on too many levels. The biggest crime is that I often place my needs and desires secondary, and delude myself that their path is my path. The truth is that we cannot, and should not walk another's path, or try to lead them along our own path. I know that it would be ideal to find that soulmate who is walking the same, or parallel path, a companion to lessen that lonely void in the night. But solitude is preferable to being pulled away from your dreams.
    I allowed myself to be distracted from my dreams long enough that some of them became unobtainable. Instead of bemoaning my fate, I have chosen to strive for those dreams that are still possible, and realign my thinking about those that aren't. Just because some dreams have slipped from my fingers does not mean that I cannot rethink my future, find an alternate path, new Dreams.
    A hard lesson learned is how the pursuit of a dream can descend into a nighmare-like abyss. I have had to make hard choices that were as painful as severing a limb. Choices, that at the times threatened to break me into brittle shards. Days would pass when I would question my ability to stay focused and on track, question my own sanity. Doubts and fears would assail my every moment. Darkness seemed to shroud my every choice, my every move seemed destined to fail, cursed. The nightmare seemed endless, my constant companion for the better part of a year. Panic, terror, abject loneliness, desperation and failure were my bedfellows. When you know the hard choices that must be made, and can see with clarity where those choices will force your life, but knowingly move forward with eyes affixed to the goal despite violent opposing forces. That is the true pursuit of a Dream. To find the strength within your soul to move ahead despite the foreknowledge of the pain and trauma you will suffer en route. To keep struggling to put one foot in front of the other, against the odds, against the tide, pushing upstream. To fight, struggle, weep, bleed, pay the ferryman. To rise above one's own doubts and fears. To face the fire, be seared and blistered, but continue through the flames. This is my truth. This is my struggle. To fight and win, risk and reward, bleed and heal. When the Dream becomes tangible, solid, real, then it is truely mine. The reward is all the sweeter for the pain and risk involved.
    A strictually spiritual victory is won with a hard-fought battle. There is far more potential for spiritual damage in pursuit of dreams. To throw yourself, body and soul, into a quest is to risk your heart, mind and spirit. To open your heart, bare your soul, is truely to risk all. The fear of that deep a risk is what often turns many people away from reaching for their dreams. But I have discovered that to risk it all, to fail, to fall, to feel that heart-wrenching agony, is not the end of the world, though it may feel so at the time. Instead what I found, to my surprise, is that even with the possibility of abject failure, the risk itself can be worth the effort. All out risk can become an epic failure. But even the failure can lead to a victory, when you come back stronger and more determined than before. When the pain of failure passes it leaves behind the knowledge that the victory is in the battle itself sometimes, not the outcome. Spiritually and emotionally I risked it all, failed, and am eager to risk it again. The exhiliration of the risk, the adrenaline of battle, the red hot energy of the pursuit, is a dream unto itself, regardless of the outcome. I believe I may have developed an addiction to risk, become an spiritual adrenaline junkie.
    And so I have learned to follow my Dreams. I have had major success through sheer force of will. I have had abject faliure that merely whetted my appetite. I do not need to curtail my wild imagination ever again. I may try and fail. But I tried. And failure will show me an alternate route, and add to my strength. I may win through the fire and wrap my hands around my reality.  I am already in hot pursuit of the next group of Dreams.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tested by The Gods?

"I have found both freedom and safety in my Madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us." Kahlil Gibran

    In my continual Search for Self, my convoluted path to Truth, my rocky road to Growth, I am not at all beneath seeking truths in the words of others. Though I disparage self-help books and their slick, commercialized gurus, I know that out amongst that chaff are grains of intelligence and wisdom to be found from sources less touted by media mega-giants. I have long felt that I travel my path alone, despite the naysaying of friends and family who all assure me that I am not alone. To be alone is not a travesty, it is not to be feared. We all face our own truths alone, and should be able to stand up to our own reality without the need for assistance. I have learned inner strength and independence from my alone-ness. Yes, it can be lonely. I admit to having spent many a night weeping into the darkness from sheer, desperate loneliness that threatened to envelope me in it's cold, lifeless embrace. And then, with the arrival of the new dawn, realizing that it was not loneliness that caused my nocturnal wailings, it was grief over feeling a loss of self. Grief at my own loss of identity. Feelings that I had betrayed my Self in my own blind fumblings to attach my own sense of Self to others. That I had allowed myself to rely on any outward acceptance, approval, attachment or affection in an attempt to feel whole. I now know that everything that I need to feel whole, to regain my sense of Self, lies within me. I have the unlimited power to assauge my loneliness, I don't need to seek outside assistance. The long nights spent in body wracking grief, silent weeping and chest restricting sobs have passed. Weeping has been replaced with introspection, loneliness with love of Self,

 "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest of Souls; the most massive Characters are seared with scars." Kahlil Gibran

    I have honestly felt that this last year or more has been a Trial by Fire. Partially self-inflicted, partially from allowing external forces to rule my life, but I accept all the responsibility. It would be easiest to point a rigid, accusing finger of blame at every variable that I allowed to exert insidious, malicious influence over my life. But that is the crux, I allowed it. I allowed the actions around me to be a factor in my ability to find my Sense of Self, Self-Acceptance. I accept responsibility for my actions. I also accept and embrace the scars that I have garnered during this trial by fire, they were honestly earned. Some scars are superficial and will disappear over time. Other scars are deep, to the bone, and have left a permanent mark on my psyche. This is not to say these deep scars are in anyway a negative factor. Quite the contrary, I am proud of these marks. I am proud to look into my Self, trace these scars with a light finger, and know that they have made me stronger and more resilent, but have not hindered my abilities to trust, love, and risk. Along with these scars, the Trial by Fire has taught me that risk, though terrifying, is also exhilirating and satisfying. Even when the risk ends up in a total, painful fall, the thrill of the risk itself is worth the effort. Maybe I have become a bit of a junkie, wanting to recapture the intensity of the gamut of emotions that tore through my body. The highest highs, the lowest lows, the hysterics, the mania, the soaring giddiness. It was an amazing, exciting, fulfilling ride. And at times I do miss the inner drama. I now know that I can risk everything, and it will not kill me or my spirit. I can bare my soul, offer my heart wholely, and despite what seems like abject failure, know that I made that Herculean effort, and be proud of my willingness to risk it all. Out of that suffering I have learned Love of Self, Respect of Self, Pride, Inner Strength, Strength of Spirit. I have learned that there is no shame in honesty and truth, pure love and passion. I have learned that naivete and gullibilty, trust and belief are not character flaws, but strengths that are essential to my Nature. I feel I have been rigorously tested by the gods and my mettle was not found wanting.

"The feelings we live through in love and loneliness are simply for us, what high tide and low tide are to the Sea." Kahlil Gibran

    Through it all I feel I have come out the victor. I have grown, changed, metamorphosized. I am not who I was, but I am who I am. I am more Me than I have ever been. It is a giddy, empowering realization, this feeling of coming into my own. I feel complete and whole, for the time being. But I will not be satisfied to bask in this glory of rebirth. For what is birth? It is the beginning of a new journey. A journey of risk and rebound, fear and fulfillment. A journey that is worth every single step.

"Beauty is not in the Face; Beauty is a Light in the Heart." Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stability? Or Lull in the Storm?

    Life has had a perverse tendency to continously derail me this last year or two. It has been an ongoing barrage of curveballs, road blocks, potholes, dead ends, and do or die choices. I have labeled the last two years, individually, as "The Year of Fail," which started as a joke, but after two years it failed to be funny. At all. So, here I am in a whole new year, that I have vowed to be "2012, The year of Win." So far, it is a definite mixed bag, with far less Win than I would hope. It has been undeniably the roughest winter of my life, a Perfect Storm of Stress. I have been assaulted on all fronts with dramatic life changes, mental instability, nerves frayed raw, emotions beaten to a pulp, promises broken, trust betrayed, brutal self-analysis, self-vivisection of my very core of being, microscopic examination of my inner workings, rending of spirit, shattering of self-esteem, dismantling of Self, and finally the need for a total rebuild of Spirit, Ego, Id, Sanity, Security, Self Worth, Self Esteem, and Self. I have ridden the Hell Mare and come through scarred but not broken, burned but not beaten. I feel stronger today than I have in my entire adult life. Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, I feel toughened, empowered and unbeatable. For the moment I feel free from the wreckage that my life had become. Free from baggage I should have discarded on the tracks years ago. But I do know that this sense of strength and freedom can be transitory, though I hope that it is not. Fervently hope it is not.
    Today, I feel as if I am finally on solid ground, that the winds of change have calmed to warm, gentle breezes instead of the icy, hurricane force gales they have been. I have felt like a leaf being tossed randomly at the whim of the storm, settling momentarily with the hope that the storm is past, only to be snatched up and tossed about until I am dizzy, ill and tattered. It has happened time and again, for too many months to count, too many storms to factor, too many gales to measure. It has been exhausting and upsetting. Painful and destructive. But I do feel as if I may have finally settled myself calmly, peacefully onto a small patch of solid, stable ground. I can feel the energy of bedrock beneath my feet. Yes, I do have lingering doubts as to the reality of this sense of grounding, doubts fed by nerves made jagged from repeated, unexpected assaults on my tenuous hold on stability. Will I have the rug yanked from beneath me, again? Will a ghostly zephyr from my recent past gust through me and unsettle my hard won calm, again? Will my own chemstry betray me, again? Is The Perfect Storm truly over, or merely resting to regain strength for the next assault?
    I have fought hard to find this patch of ground that feels rock-solid beneath my sore feet. I lay upon it, feeling the power of Earth against my cheek. I dig my fingers into the soil to reaffirm its solid reality. I embrace the very ground upon which I have found this momentary sanctuary. I will lay low, cling to the ground, and keep a low profile. If the gale force winds return, attempting to snatch me back into their cruel, merciless clutches, I will lay flat to the ground, feeling the Power of the Mother course through me, and I will let the winds blow harmlessly over my bare skin. I will become aerodynamic, letting the air flow as it will. If the wind does affect me it will be to lift me on new-found, powerful wings. My wings, hard won, and strong. The wind can lift me and let me soar, I may falter and tumble as I learn to fly, but I will not let the wind control me anymore. I am ready to fly.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What is Past is Past

    There are days, many days, when life is exhausting. I push myself to my limits, and beyond at times, and am unwilling to admit fatigue. I am inclined to perceive fatigue as a sign of failure on my part. A sign that I am not strong enough, stable enough, tough enough. That I am somehow letting myself down by admitting that, damn, I'm tired. I am trying to readjust my thinking. I don't let myself off the hook easily though. I don't like to admit to having human frailties. I have kept the old adage, "I will sleep when I'm dead," as a motto lurking behind much of how I drive myself through life. I have been told over and over, by so many friends, that I need to relax, take some down time. It is not something I do well. It seems that I expend more energy attempting to relax than I do keeping busy. My life has felt like an uphill battle of late and I'm feeling bruised and battered, though still retain all my limbs. I feel as if to relax is to let down my guard and open myself to further attack.
    I know that a driving force behind my energy expenditure is a combination mild manic mode, and a constant attempt to keep my mind from delving too deeply into painful reminiscing. The reality is that though constant motion may help with the mania, it does little to resolve my painful past. I know this. I know that I need to let the Past be the Past. I tell myself this, and do quite well moving ahead into my bright future, for a time. Then some dark ghost from the past will rear its ectoplasmic head and slime my best intentions. I find myself embattled with a past I want to leave behind me. It is my nature to fight. It is my nature to stand up to injustice, to stand up against those who have caused me pain and injury. I want to lash out, strike back, stand up and protect myself, hand out a beat down. But the past is an ephemeral cobweb, the harder I fight against it, the more I struggle to escape, the more ensnared I am by its cloying, clinging web. I know this. But my nature makes me ignore my own advice.
    I am slowly working my way towards acceptance of the past. Acceptance that I did indeed fight for what I believed was a right and true path, fought the good fight, and though I did not win what I had hoped, I won back my sense of self. I have to acknowledge that though not a victory, it was not a defeat. Sometimes the best we can hope for is a draw, and a tactical retreat. I need to step back and reassess the battle plan, regroup, tend to the wounded, and maybe wait for reinforcements. Despite my knowledge that fighting against my past is futile, what is Past is Past, I still need to rally the troops for future engagements, though I think some R&R might be in order to raise morale.