Tag Archives: writing

Eye Contact, some thoughts

14 Feb
I used to be the one who looked unflinchingly into the eyes of others.
Who noticed that it was them, who would shift around after a moment,
break my gaze,
a bit uncomfortable at the continuity of it.

Now I find that it is me who shifts and shuffles.
I only see it at times, because there are so few people in the world who really drink you in when you are with them.  Who turn themselves fully towards you, eyes locked and receptive, ready to hold an unwavering space for you to just be
or speak.
I can only think of two.
(And one additional who manages to do it through video)

And each time…
I find myself being the first to break the contact.
Unwilling to accept the space? The unconditionality that they offer…
on some level at least.

Even though, I am quite certain that is what we ALL crave.

Soulcare of a Different Kind

11 Apr

Mason was a gem yesterday.  Sweet and cuddly, quick to laugh, happy to play on his own fora  while, and easy to lay down for naps.  But beforehand, I was kind of worried about how the day would go.  Mark was going to be out late for a work event, so it was going to be just baby Mason and I all day and night.  No one to pass the baton to if things got tough.

So I developed a strategy for the day.  Each time Mason took a nap, I let myself watch a show on hulu.  To the unforgiving eye… this might seem like a lazy excuse for an excess of zoning out.  But let me tell you, yesterday was exactly what I needed out of the day.

Here’s the catch… it’s nice to watch a show every now and then.  But usually, when I do… I’m mentally beating myself over the head because I “should” be doing something more productive.  Something that will make the apartment cleaner or more organized.  Something that will contribute to dinner, or to a blog post, or something that will turn one of my collections of magazine cutouts or photos or blank notebooks into something creative and pretty.

But today I didn’t.  Today I decided, this was my day to start putting into practice some of the soulcare stuff I’ve been learning and contemplating over the past month.  So while tv watching isn’t generally applauded in the realm of self care, what was nourishing about it is that I laid down the whip.  And that’s about the best thing I could possibly have done for myself.  (Because even when they’re gems… caring for little ones all day by yourself is still tiring!)

So I watched my shows.  I did a spot of yoga when I felt too in my head.  I ate well and deliciously.  And I even treated myself to a ((vegan, gluten free, sugarless – sweetened with agave)) chocolate brownie cookie.  And when Mason was awake… I had the energy and enthusiasm to play with him.  To recognize when he wanted to be left alone.  To catch those times when he got sleepy before or after his normal naptime.

And after a couple post baby-bedtime shows… I didn’t feel like watching anymore.  And I turned off hulu.  Turned on some music.  And I wrote.  Listened to The Weepies.  Eventually turned that off too and just listened to the rain.  And can I tell you just how lovely yesterday was?!

Small steps to soulcare.


2 Apr

I wish I could take language
And fold it like cool, moist rags
I would lay words on your forehead.
I would wrap words on your wrists.
“There, there,” my words would say —
Or something better.
I would ask them to murmur,
“Hush” and “Shh, shhh, it’s all right.”
I would ask them to hold you all night.
I wish i could take language
And daub and soothe and cool
Where fever blisters and burns,
Where fever turns yourself against you.
I wish I could take language
And heal the words that were the wounds
You have no names for.

– Julia Cameron

Building Courage

18 Jan

smelling the flowers

I’m building up the courage to write about the miscarriage.  Miscarriages.

And I’m a little surprised that I have to build it at all.

It’s a shame that the arrival of new wonderful things in life, a baby boy for instance… don’t just erase the lingering traces of old heartbreaks.

The fragments that led me here… To the place where I’m realizing I still have to sort through these feelings…

The dream I had, the details of which are unrealistic, of course.  But left me with the sickening feeling that I’d lost everything I had built.  My life, my family, my sense of peace and joy and wonder.

The electric bill, that I’ve felt like I should keep under my name.  Just in case.

Pieces of a talk by David Whyte.  About how much potential love and adoration there is in the face of a family you’ve created, and how terrifying it is to give in to that love because what would you do if you lost it.

The strange hesitation, something like nervousness… like it’s the very first time, even though it’s obviously not.

So I’ve been biding my time…

Not biding really…


Trying to gather strength to dive into my own muffled pain.

Part of me accusing myself of melodrama.  But I know I’m entitled to the traces of pain.  As much as I’m entitled to the sifting.  As much as I’m entitled to the releasing of it.

There’s a part of me that really wants to tell my story with my own voice.  Right here.  It just feels like I could own it more that way.  Bare a little more soul.  And leave less room for editing.  But I don’t have the equipment to do that.  So I may just buck up and write it all out.

Just know that I want to do this.  I’m just a little scared.

Deep breath and…. Artist’s Way – Week Two

7 Nov

         Yes, I just realized I’ve taken about a month and a half hiatus from my poor little blog.  And while my Artist’s Way update may not be the most fascinating thing to read… it’s the only way I really have of keeping myself accountable to the project that I’ve long since slacked on.
         I don’t know what it is about this book, and why it’s so difficult for me to get through.  Week 2 could more accurately be called Week 2 over the course of seven actual weeks… but here I am. Actually ready to move on to week three despite some very confusing and irritating hesitation and near anxiety over the idea.

         Now I most definitely did not do my morning pages every morning.  I could blame it on the busy month of October, which it was… and I could blame it on the unpredictability of my work schedule, which it is… but really, if I don’t write immediately upon waking up, before leaving my bedroom… then there’s a very slim chance that I will write them at all (Although the thought of them will loom over me all day).  So while my writing has been spotty, and even though I hate it half of the time when I am in the middle of it, I really truly can breathe better when I am writing them on a regular basis, so I’m putting more effort into making this a habit.  I’ve actually noticed that the times when I stop writing so often… are generally the times when I’m trying to avoid acknowledging a feeling.. or seeing the truth behind a thought that I’m trying to claim is something else.  Morning pages are like a conversation with myself I guess.  It’s hard to write a sentence that isn’t entirely accurate without being immediately aware of it.

         The exercises this week though, are always some of my favorite and I finish them quickly when I actually sit down to do them.  The time exercise always kills me, but always prompts me to make some immediate changes.  In fact, maybe I should do that one on a monthly basis, just to check-in.  I had to sketch out a break-down of the 5 activities I spend the most time on.  I spend an unnecessary amount of time sleeping… and while I’ve gotten better at not spending hours upon hours tooling around on the internet, I’ve replaced that with watching old episodes of either the Office, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Glee (no judgment please).  So, several weeks ago, I started limiting my time spent on both those activities, but I’ve since slipped a bit…

I listed ten tiny changes I’d like to make and I did make one of them.

I drew a little life pie, as she calls it, and rated my satisfaction in various areas of my life.  While I’m feeling fabulously about the Romance & Adventure, Friends, Work and Spirituality areas of my life… the unsurprising appearance of Exercise on the low satisfaction scale and the more suprising Play area are suffering.

One thing I thought was interesting… kind of sad… and perhaps explains the unsatisfactory rating of the existence of “Play” in my life was the last exercise that I did.  List 20 things I enjoy doing.  Easy, breezy, right?  Except it took me a while… I didn’t just bang out twenty things like i expected to.. I got stuck a few times and had to sit and think… and think… and think… That made me feel a little underexpended in the fun department.  When did this happen?!  I don’t know if it’s because things start to get so busy that even the fun things don’t always register as play? So I picked one, “reading for fun”, and started doing much more of that.  Not monumental, but a first step.

20 Things

So that’s that. Week two finished. It was called recovering your identity… but I think it was more of a navigational status report. A look at where you are, what you do with your time and what you’d prefer to be doing with it. Interesting results, to say the least.

AND…. This will be my first time every starting Week Three! I’m kind of excited. And for the record, I did do a couple versions of artist dates over the past seven weeks.  Here’s a couple photos of them.

Carpinteria Beach
A morning at the Carpinteria Beach

Painting Workshop
Painting workshop in Oakland

Reading under the trees in Alameda Park