Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tied To The Moon

"For women who are tied to the Moon, love is not enough. We insist each day wrap it's knuckles through our heartstrings and pull. The lows. The joy. The poetry. We dance at the edge of a cliff and you have fallen off. So it goes. You climb back up again.

You rare girl. Once again you have a body that belongs to no lover, no father, belongs to no one but you. Wear your sorrow like the lines of your palm, like a shawl to keep you warm at night. Don't mourn the love that is lost to you now. It is a book of poems whose meters worked their way into the meter of your pulse. Even if it has slipped from your hand, it will stay in your body.

You loved a man who treated you like absinthe; half poison, and half goddess. He tried to sweeten you, water you down. So you left. And now you have your heart all to yourself again. A heart like a stone cottage. A heart like a lover's diary. Hope like an ocean."

Clementine Von Radics

I wish I could take credit for these beautiful words. They reach deep into my soul and speak to me of secrets and sorrow,  I am tied to the Moon, she is a goddess who shines her pale, silver light down to light my way through the night, to chase away my demons. My mind plays with thoughts such as these, that love is not enough. I don't think this out of any sense of love lost, or taken, or denied. These are not the bitter, jaded thoughts of a woman scorned, or betrayed, or cast aside. I used to think that it was my love that was flawed, faulty, not worthy. No, it is not that simple, romantic love is not enough for me. I wish it could be, but it is not. I think this radiates off of me like a palpable wave, making me untouchable, intimidating, unloveable. Again, these are not the words and thoughts of an oft-jilted, resentful ex-lover. For one who wears her heart on her sleeve, has "a heart, strong and true, loyal to a fault," one who can see the beauty of spirit, and the worthiness of nearly everyone, one who all too easily gives of the heart, this is a heavy burden. I wish it were so simple, to find "true love," and ride off into the sunset to a happily ever after. But I know that will never be my fate, because love is not enough. The realization of this, some time ago, actually, has led me to seek out alternative paths, stop looking for love, and find a different way. I am tied to the Moon, I am hers, and she is mine, and in the darkness we will shine.

Friday, February 21, 2014


    Processing. Processing. I don't know why I am ever surprised when things don't go according to plans. "Battle plans never survive first contact." Ain't that the truth. Even when, or maybe especially when, my plan is to keep it simple, uncomplicated, no strings. Instead, things become complicated, complex, and definitely entangled. For once I decide to keep emotions out of it all, avoiding the serious, seeking play, plain and simple. It doesn't work out. Am I falling for self-induced reverse psychology? Now, here I sit, sipping rosemary tea, grumping at the dogs while I try to figure out what just happened. Funny, at any other time I would have been elated at this turn of events, instead I am stuck here almost fuming that things are going so well. This is not what I expected, and with my vivid imagination, I can have astonishing expectations. Now, all I can do is process. Digest. Gestate. Ferment. See what happens next. I did not want complications.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lighting The Fire

    If you do not like the way things are, change them. If you aren't getting the results you want, change the way you are doing things. If you aren't finding what you are looking for, try looking for something else. I know one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. There are aspects of my life that fit this definition. I was looking so hard, and making attempt after attempt, and getting nothing but a heart full of grief every time. Every. G'damned. Time. Failed to the point that I thought I was finally broken. And I don't break easily. I feared that I had lost the fire. The spark that has always been a vital part of who I am. The spark that had dimmed, but never been extinguished, and had roared back to life with furious, manic energy seemed gone, lost to me. I tried to rekindle it the same old way, and there was nothing. Nothing. I felt like I was filled with cold, grey ash. I was so frightened that this time it was truly lost to me. Since what I had been doing was so obviously failing, I have decided to do something else. I am standing on the edge of a mighty precipice, staring off into the unknown, mist swirling about my feet. There is a Siren song of carnal desire encouraging me, urging me on, drawing me like a sailor to the sea, a moth to the flame, the bee to honey. This is no plebeian affair. There is nothing staid or grey about it. This is not going to be comfortable or easy, but that is why I choose to go. I have had comfortable and easy, it is not enough for me, it pales, loses the fire, and apparently it shunts me off to be Friend Zoned. No more sedate, calm, unassuming, proper, and inadequate. I have chosen a new path, a different route, the chance to take life by the balls and run with it. It is exciting, innervating, insane, arousing, alarming, intimidating, spiced with danger, spine-tingling, sensual, heart-stopping, marvelous, and absolutely crazy. I am stepping into a whole new world. Into the unknown. The fear and excitement of not knowing what is coming, where this will go, how far I can take it, where it will take me. The spark is back, and has leaped into a fire that is blazing hot and furious. My maelstrom is back. I have recaptured my spark, am lighting the fire, and about to pour the gasoline.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


    Thirteen years ago I made a vow to myself that each year on my birthday I would be healthier than I was the previous year. This isn't an easy promise to keep, but I have held up my end of the bargain. Each year I like to look back and do a mental accounting, make sure I am still on track, and think ahead to what the next year might bring. Last year was pretty epic, I have to say. My birthday last year I was at the lowest weight I had been since having children, I had finally had knee surgery (although it only fixed part of the problems), I had participated in three sprint triathlons, and a number of running events, a 6 mile obstacle course race, the firefighter stairclimb, I was in what I thought would be a long lasting relationship (amazing how I can be easily fooled in that regard), I was in the middle of firefighter academy, and was looking at a summer of training for my first half-Ironman. Not too shabby, and a far cry from where I had been the previous birthday, when my weight was down to the lowest it had been in probably 20 years, I was on the road to becoming more fit than ever, but I was in the middle of an emotional crisis and nervous breakdown, but knowing I would be mentally and emotionally healthier and more stable once I got through the "perfect storm of stress," as my doctor called it.
    Where am I this year? I completed my half-Ironman last September, and had a glorious time with it, it was truly the best swim of my life, and one of the coolest accomplishments I have done. I am actually 10 pounds lighter than I was last year on my birthday (though 5 pounds heavier than I was at the peak of my training), and a size smaller. I am probably the most slender I have ever been, at a solid size 10 (size 8 in some brands). I am at the most fit I have been in my life, I know that if I wanted, I could, with two weeks to taper properly, do another half-Ironman right now. This last year, along with my 70.3 race, I ran several tough trail/adventure runs of about 6 to 7 miles each, I ran 2 trail half-marathons, a 10 mile road race, an obstacle course race, the firefighter stairclimb, graduated firefighter academy at the top of my class, got EMR certified, learned to live my life with a pager at my hip, am currently single and not looking for any more heartache (got dumped, twice.... like I said, I am so easily fooled in that regard). I lost my Wolfhound to cancer, and still miss my big, hairy girl. I finally got a new job where I am appreciated, love my work, love my boss, and love my coworkers, which has removed a major stress point in my life. I am no longer on any anti-depressants or sleep aids, even if I do still struggle a bit in that arena, I can't afford anything that might interfere with my ability to answer my pager in the middle of the night. I am working out everyday, sometimes twice a day, preparing for a full Ironman length race in September.
    So, this last year there have been highs and lows, as there always are. But my highs are higher, and my lows are not quite so low, and are more likely to have a solid reason behind them other than "it is just that time of year," or some ongoing stress point that I can't seem to resolve. I am slimmer, lighter, stronger, and have better endurance than ever before. I am learning to swim smart, ride strong, and run tough so I can cover 250K under my own power this coming autumn. I eat conscientiously, and always healthy unless I choose to indulge myself. I make conscious choices to improve my health and my life, and don't allow life to just toss me about like a leaf on the wind. Yes, I am single, and lonely at times, but my life keeps me charging ahead at such a breakneck pace that I don't have energy to waste fretting about it (which may be why I am single, no one can keep up with me). I do get to help people when they are having a bad day, and get to drive a fire rescue rig and fire engine while doing it (which is totally epic on all counts).
    I can easily say, that this year on my birthday I am healthier than I was last year, far healthier than I was the year before that, and galaxies ahead of where I was the year before that. It is hard to imagine just how far I will go by this time next year. Only time will tell.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Blue Blatherings

    Sitting here, on the eve of my birth, pondering life, wondering if I dare take out my soul and examine it. I have avoided writing of late, thinking that to voice my feelings will just give them more power over me. This is not my S.O.P. Normally, when demons whisper in my ear I find it most helpful to drag them kicking and screaming into the light, dissect them, flay them wide open for all the world to see, learn their names so that I might have power over them, and vanquish them back to the murk they crawled out of. But this year feels different. This is the year that I seem to have gone cold inside. I am learning that it is not that I have gone cold, but that I may have finally reached that point when I have withstood all I can, until I just can't take another hit. Knowing that the next blow to fall could very well be the fatal one. Or not. Knowing this, I have wrapped my heart in bands of steel, clad my soul in cold iron. It is all I can do. Protect myself. Protect what is left, and hope that in time wounds will heal and I will become whole again. Or at least a close proximation of whole. Just the act of voicing these thoughts inside my own head makes the world seem in shadows, and lends a chill to the air. Hugo senses it, and tries to crawl into my lap, all 90 pounds of empathetic lunkhead with a heart of gold, as he tries to comfort me. He knows, even if he does not understand. Hell, I don't even truly understand.
    Here it is, the eve of my birth, and Valentine's Day, both equally bitter reminders that I live alone, and my source of comfort on cold, grey days, are a pair of ill-mannered dogs, and a trio of diffident cats. This is not where I thought I would be on my birthday this year. I don't know what I was expecting for a birthday, I have spent the bulk of my birthdays alone, and basically uncelebrated this last decade, so why should this be any different? Although it has nothing to do with my birthday, tomorrow is the annual banquet and awards ceremony for my fire district. So I will dress up and go hang out with the one group that I know would at the very least, attend my funeral and give me a good send off. But it is also called "The Sweethearts Banquet," since it is a way for the firefighters to honor their significant others. I will be one of the very few there that does not have a significant other, so it will be another reminder of my status. I really hate this time of year, there are reminders of loneliness at every turn, reminders that I really am one of the few single people that I know.
    I tell myself it does not matter, that I am happy being single and independent. And it is true, the majority of the time. Or at least that is what I tell myself. I talk a good talk, too. I do love my independence. I love my strength, my self sufficiency. I love the way I have arranged my life, and the goals that I am striving for. I tell myself that the reality is that I do not have time or energy for entanglements. But I would make time, if it mattered.
    See, I started writing a few lines about my impending birthday, and it quickly digressed into another woe-is-me pity party, guest list of one. This is why I have been silent on these pages. I know myself well enough to know I should just keep my mouth shut, my head down, and wait for this to all blow over. But that is my fear, that it won't blow over. Here I am, in an endless loop. Time to call it a night. Tomorrow, for my birthday, I will write again. I will write of goals reached this past year, promises to self, and plans for the coming year. I refuse to dwell too long here in the state of self pity, there is too much to do to waste this kind of energy.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


    I weary of feeling like a wounded animal. It comes on me so strongly that I have to wait for the bulk of it to pass before I even allow myself to write about it. I keep telling myself that all I need is time. Time heals all wounds. Maybe so. But how much time? How much longer. Will I ever feel whole, or will I always feel as if the scars are just waiting a slight prod to burst open again? I know that parts of me are held together by scar tissue, but I would wish that the scar tissue had more strength than wet tissue paper. It takes so little to rip it wide open, and then I am left frantically trying to hack together an emergency bandaid to halt the hemorrhaging. It does not work so very well. I pack the wounds with gauze, liberally apply a salve of exercise, healthy food, positive thoughts, plans for the future, but the seepage continues. So many times I have thought that the healing process is finally complete. So many times I have been proven wrong. I just want to get on with life without the shadow of pain that follows me like a loyal dog. I know I try to rush the healing, using all the tricks in my kit bag. None of it works. Some treatments backfire, leaving me feeling shallow, sullied, alone, lonely. I tell myself that it is just that time of year, when I always am more susceptible to feelings of angst, ennui, melancholy. The time of year when, from my little perch in the world, it seems as if everyone manages to move on with their lives, leaving me to trail behind, dragging a wounded limb, no longer part of any pack. I am the omega. It is far easier for me to make the conscious decision to be the loner than to allow myself to feel the outcast. How much longer? How much more time? I wish the universe would give me an answer. If I knew there was actually a time frame it would make it easier to pull though times like these. Instead, I pull back, drift away, let myself dream of summer sun warming my skin. Yet knowing that even the summer sun does not heal. But does time? I am beginning to doubt that as well. Maybe damaged is just the new normal.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Time To Find Silence

    I managed to find a place of quiet inside my head this weekend. Silencing the waves of bleakness. It is peaceful at the moment, the silence. The shelter of my home, the zen of lap swimming, the meditation of a bicycle on back roads in cold winter air, the seduction of healthy food, the peace of winter gardening, tending my surroundings as I tend my spirit. I shut myself off from the world, surround myself with nothing but what is mine. My fortress of solitude. There are reasons I wish I could be a Hermit in The Woods, not the least of which is the harm that seems to befall me when I become entangled with someone. I should be glad that there is no way I could truly hide myself away from the world, because I very likely would, and that would not be healthy. But what is "healthy?" Who sets the bar on healthy? My body is very healthy indeed. My brain functions better than most. In so many ways I am at the top of my game. So, as I sequester myself away, who is to say that my self made hermitage is not the healthiest place for me to be? Here I find peace, quiet, solace, solitude, surrender, sanity, health, happiness. I do cherish my time away from the world. Is this what makes me difficult to love? That I am distant, distracted, and have very little need for human interaction? It is true. I need very little. But I do need some. Maybe that is the crux, I need less than most, and am trying to find it on my own terms. I am not unbending. But neither am I particularly flexible. For all the time I spend working, training, and trying to maintain my little corner of the world, I have little time to spend elsewhere. But if I choose to spend some of my time that means I am spending it on something of great value to me. I don't think others appreciate that. Minutes are like diamonds, small and priceless, irreplaceable, valued beyond reason. If I give someone my time, willingly, gladly, it is evidence of how priceless they are to me. This is not understood. Maybe someday I will find one person in the world who understands and appreciates this. If not, then I guess I will get to keep all my priceless minutes for myself, and that is not so bad. It gives me time to find the silence.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Manifestation? Or Same Old Song and Dance?

    Still trying to regain my balance and footing. I don't know why I am struggling so hard against whatever this bleakness is. I could easily lay the blame on heart break, heartache, and rejection, but that seems too trite and plebeian. There has to be more to it than that. I can't have been so deeply effected by just one thing. Can I? No. Despite the barrage of dreams to the contrary, I know there has to be more to it than that. Yes, I am still feeling as if there is a blankness to the very core of my being, an emptiness, a force field that deflects and negates positive energy and joyful emotions. Oddly, this is like no other winter melancholy I have known, and trust me, I am a bit of an expert on my various stages of melancholy. Maybe this is just a new manifestation. A mutation, grown out of my ever increasing physicality that has somehow altered the way my heart and spirit are dealing with my regular visitations to peer down into the darkness of the abyss. I know that when a motion causes the body pain,the body will become reluctant to repeat the motion, even over-riding the brain to some extent, lessening the motion in order to lessen the pain. Maybe this is what Spirit is doing, learning from repeated blows that it is time to back off, circle the wagons, throw up defensive walls to any and all intruders, benign or malevolent. I have always known I can be a slow learner, maybe this is one such case. Hit me over the head often enough with an idea and eventually it will sink in? Is that what has happened? Maybe this is merely self-preservation at its most extreme. Somehow that is slightly more comforting than the thought that I have finally broken, snapped, succumbed, given up entirely. Defense I can understand, surrender I cannot. But it seems as if this is all far beyond my control, I have no say in the matter. I have even tried to buck the tide, force the issue, get back in the game as it were, but to no avail. I have tapped into my vast arsenal, tried and discarded one weapon after the other, as they all prove ineffectual against this strange, new, shadowy adversary. Maybe, this time around, it will not be a war won by direct assault, but a war of attrition. I will keep using all the weapons at my disposal, despite my lack of success, because I really don't know what else to do. Definition of insanity? "Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result." I have never tried to deny that I am crazy, but that was one aspect that to this point I had tried to avoid. Now it seems it is my only recourse. Oddly, another version, said to be the original version, comes from Narcotics Anonymous, "Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results." Maybe that is the crux, I repeat the same mistake, I lead with my heart, and see where it has gotten me. Or maybe it is just a new manifestation of the same old melancholy, a new face on a familiar demon, same old song and dance but just a different tempo? Regardless, there is nothing for it but to keep moving forward, getting up each morning, throwing myself into training, pushing Body to the limits so I can fall into bed at night exhausted, then start it all over again. I just don't know. This time, I just can't figure it out.