Monday, July 21, 2014

Not My Worst Part

We're two episodes into Season 2 of Masters of Sex, one of my favorite shows.  While there aren't too many quotable quotes from the story of Masters and Johnson and their clinical sex research at a time when no one talked about orgasms or vibrators, I heard a good one in this last show.

Dr. Masters told a young girl with a debilitating, uncontrollable sex drive, "I'll tell you what you're not - you're not your worst part."  

I love that. 

I'm not my worst part.  I'm not sure which part of me is the worst part, but thank god it doesn't define me.  My smart mouth... my intolerance of assholes... my judgmental nature... my continual fight with food...  I could go on, but one thing I don't consider a negative is my sex drive. 

I can't believe it was such a short time ago when we knew nothing about women's bodies and any health issue that couldn't be explained demanded a hysterectomy.  The story was, men chased women around for sex, and women did their best to avoid them but endured it when they had to.  How sad.  I wonder if my grandmother ever climbed on top of my grandfather and rode him hard until she howled at the moon.   

Good sex is so much more than genital humping.  If all I needed was a quick orgasm, I'd live happily ever after with a box full of vibrators and a never-ending supply of fresh batteries.  Great sex has elements that can't be measured in a clinical study.  

Women stereotypically prefer having sex with someone we have "feelings" for.  But I think we want our men to have feelings for us, too.  A penetrating gaze into my eyes that says more than "I want to fuck you" can do as much to charge me up as a touch in just the right place.  Trusting him implicitly lets me relax and opens me up to receive pleasure with Love, not Fear.  

My body is a vehicle designed to allow my soul to communicate with another.  And as much as I loathe it at times - as much as it fights against me and disappoints me - I love when it starts talking.  

I am not my worst part.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

States of Mind

I love the soothing rhythm of my front-porch rocking chair.  My winged friends are wound up this evening, but the mocking birds are strangely silent.  Usually it's all I hear - the incessant twitter of a dozen different calls from the show-offs of the neighborhood.  I wonder where they are.

The new boxwoods that line the front of the porch are showing light green growth, and the St. John's Wort bushes are joyously presenting hundreds of tiny yellow flowers.  My Pee Gee Hydrangea tree is filled with white blooms, and I am a happy gardener.

I have an upcoming trip to Indiana with my children that's making me feel a little apprehensive.  It's out of obligation and guilt that I chose to go; I had the fortune to skip last year since my parents both came here for my daughter's graduation, giving me a reasonable excuse.  But with every passing year, they grow older, as do I, and I feel like I've abandoned them to live out their last years with only my sister's company, and she has not been well for quite some time.

My family's dysfunction pushed me away as soon as I was old enough to go.  I suppose all families have their shit to shovel - I'm not so unique in that regard.  But going back is so fucking painful.  I appreciate the opportunity for my kids to know their grandparents, but as for me, I would be fine never to return again.

At this point in my life, I am grateful for the Midwestern values and kindheartedness with which I was raised.  The community was poor but loving and giving all the same.  It wasn't like it is here in New Jersey - or maybe I was just sheltered from all the assholes.  And I have come to learn that not everyone in New Jersey is an asshole (and most of them came from New York), but there is a high percentage of them, and it's enough to sour a person on the state completely.

Thankfully, I have found enough things to love about this state that I don't really give a fuck about the assholes anymore.

Anyway... it's always stressful to return to my origins.  My mother will talk about her inevitable death as she tries to send me home with junk so I won't have to sort it later.  She'll tiptoe around my sister and her issues and act like nothing is out of the ordinary while we all sit uncomfortably in a cramped room watching my niece recite commercials and bounce around like a pinball.  My father will talk about the weather and his home projects, which, these days is a welcome reprieve from the subject of my sister.  We might be able to talk him into making us fried pickles and going boating with us.  My son is looking forward to fishing with "the smartest man he's ever met."  Dad's the smartest man I've ever met, too.  At least in certain areas - like the woods and engineering and music and art.

But I will marvel at the kindness of complete strangers and the old-fashioned manners that have become a distant memory.  My language will revert to the sweet-sounding southern Indiana dialect of my relatives.  I will enjoy the musical talent of my father, I will love my mother, and some part of me will feel like I'm home.  At least until I can't wait to leave.

Thank god tomorrow is Chest Day.  There are some very lovely things about the state of New Jersey.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Use Your Words

I'm so tired of feeling intimidated by a blank page.  Maybe if I take up smoking and move to New York City with three single girlfriends, I'll be able to write smoothly about Love and relationships, just like Carrie Bradshaw.  She always has something profound to tap out on her Macbook while gazing down at the city from her trendy apartment window.

Love is always on my mind.

But sometimes the joys of parenting and pet ownership and employment and marathon training and weight watching and bill paying and house cleaning and a million other things set my mind spinning or numb me out completely, and the words get lost before they come out.

And sometimes Love paralyzes me a little.

It's so much easier to just feel it.  How do you find new words to describe something that's been written about since the beginning of time?  None of the words I know are right.  

And now it's bedtime.  Again.  

I guess I'll try again tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Sometimes, when you least expect it, magic comes and opens a door to a world you never knew existed.  Letting my guard down and allowing my feelings to rush in created the perfect environment for a pixie dust moment.  Well, several.

I am exceedingly happy.  I wish I knew a word that meant "happy times a gajillion."

I don't know that I could describe what happened to me to another living soul, but I am certain I will never ever forget it.

I am going to turn out the light and recall every second - over and over and over again until I fall fast asleep and dream of it all night long.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Veni, Vidi, Vici

It finally came.  They've been promising it for days and days.   I carefully managed all the critical timing of two very important parts of my day around what they told me, only to discover that... they lied.  Again.  And again.  And again.

So I moved the grass-cutting up and ran late.  I held off the hoses and watched my garden wilt.

But finally, tonight, it came.

It rolled in like an angry freight train, dumping ridiculous amounts of water on the dry earth and whipping up frightening winds and maybe even a tornado.  I can still hear it out there, growling and muttering under its breath as it loses power and reluctantly moves on.

Meanwhile, life is good and I am happy.

Very happy.

The countryside is bursting with life and growth, much like my soul.

My, how a decade changes everything.

Ten years ago, I was preparing to make an enormous life-changing decision.  It would effect not only my life, but the lives of lots of people I care for very much.  It was painful and heart-breaking.  It depleted me for awhile.

But here I sit, on the other side of recovery, and I am shocked at the amount of unhappiness I endured before I changed my situation.

If only I'd known how much fun I could have at a drinking fountain or putting coffee in a bag or talking... or running though the countryside... if I'd known how happy life could really be without Fear, I would have given it up such a very long time ago.

I feel so grateful.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Lightning Bugs

Heather Carter’s enchanting illustration 

The fireflies danced like thousands of tiny glowing fairies in the dark field, and the lightning flashed in the sky like lights on a nightclub dance floor.  The rain had passed, and the earth was recovering from a quenching guzzle of water that refreshed her parched spaces and left pools of water everywhere for a reserve supply.

My head was spinning - it always does.  Not in a thinking way, but in the very opposite of that.  I felt too crazy to think at all.

The obsession took over, and instinctively, my hands just wanted to touch, which is one of the things that hands do best.  The density was firm and hard beneath my fingers, and no matter where I moved my hands, it was the same beautiful story.

I'm starting to really like this book I'm writing.

My eyes are heavy and it's time for sleep, but I have so much more to say...

Tuesday, July 01, 2014


Sometimes I'm exhausted from being so happy.  My cheek muscles ache from smiling and my energy is zapped from the constant surge of pleasure that courses through my veins like a life-giving drug.  Is it a horrible thing, to let joy overwhelm me?

Every once in awhile, it just gets me.

It's like riding the edge of an orgasm and feeling every good and wonderful thing imaginable until I can't take anymore and I finally surrender to it, letting it wash over me until I am completely spent and totally content in that moment, wishing for nothing else in the world but to feel it forever.

And each wave is more intense than the one before.

There are no words significant enough to explain this thing called Love.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Growing Hope

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life.

~ Snow Patrol, "Chasing Cars"

Until the past few years, I've not been much of an outdoors person.  I hated Girl Scout camping.  I endured kickball only to flirt with the cute neighbor boys, and I tried the church softball team because my dad was the coach and I wanted his attention.  I did ride my bike a lot, but other than that, I could usually be found inside with a book. 

So I wonder why I can't sit still inside now?  

Running has brought me such incredible happiness and fulfillment and Love.  If I could survive it and  didn't have other obligations, it would be ideal to just simply run all day until I was too tired to continue.    

One of my favorite things about my countryside runs is the agricultural scenery.  It fascinates me to go through the seasons with the farmers and watch the land which lay barren and dead explode with new life and produce.  The farms are an outdoor expression of my soul - the cycle of life and of living - and the rhythm soothes me like a lullaby.  

Driven by my hatred of the overgrown/dying/ugly/nasty/builder-installed holly bushes in front of my house and by my son's new interest in culinary herbs and vegetables, I brought the magic of the farms to my very own yard this year.  Carefully selected plants found a home in our raised beds, and others are spilling out into the flower beds, elbowing each other for space and attention and sunshine.  

This is my first successful growing season, and I'm surprised at the self-satisfaction and happiness it adds to my life.  These tiny green things, stuck in the dirt, grow inches overnight and are beginning to yield some produce.  Dirt, the stuff my mother used to brush off me and taught me to despise, is a critical life source.  

The garden snaps me into the present moment, just like running does.  I can't wait to visit first thing in the morning to see what magic happened overnight.  A new flower... a tiny green tomato... a vine that has curled its way up the trellis with no direction or help from me. 

And the plants couldn't care less about their ultimate autumn fate - they grow and they give because that's what they were made to do.  Some will leave seeds behind to start fresh another season, and some will bear fruit that nourishes my body and then die back into the earth from which they came.  But despite the sad outcome for the plant, everything about gardening sings a song of Hope to me.  Hope for growth.  Hope for productivity.  And Hope that in the middle of a pile of dirt, brilliant Life can emerge. 

My garden is another joy-bringer in my life.  It makes me happy.  And hopeful.  And it opens another window in my soul to Love. 

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

~ Snow Patrol, "Chasing Cars"

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I decided to take a little break from running while I heal my body and my mind and my spirit.  It seems counter-intuitive, I suppose, considering that running is usually my soul-saving addiction.  But I just felt like I needed to feel clear again - my lungs have been yucky for months and I felt a little bit worn out.

So I've thrown myself into studying and gardening and organizing a backyard makeover.  

It's a surreal feeling to live in a house this long.  The longest I've lived anywhere in my life was my childhood home for 10 years.  I've been here 6.  

So it's time, I guess, to settle in and get comfortable, though I don't feel particularly tied to this house.    I want to create a peaceful environment that helps me relax and unwind, and for this time of year, the  target focus is outside.  

My family didn't "hang out" outside.  We had a screened in back patio that didn't see much action unless my mother was on the phone with her friends for hours finding support for her (unbeknownst to me) upcoming divorce, and a tiny front porch that was barely big enough for me to stand on with my dates for a goodnight kiss.  We didn't have outside spaces.  These days, people are creating living areas that extend beyond floor plans and into their gardens and the great outdoors.  

We decided to try it, and I spent this evening harvesting, rinsing and bagging a variety of interesting herbs from our tiny garden.  It's just a small part of our outdoor experiment.  

It's exciting to watch flowers and vegetables grow from some tiny green thing you bring home from the home improvement store.  Usually I kill off most of my purchases because of neglect, but this year I'm into it for some reason.  My son has taken a particular interest in the vegetable/herb garden in light of his recent affection for the culinary arts.  I hope to reap the benefits of that fine hobby.  :)

Tonight when I got home from work, my yard was full of kids, and everyone looked happy and relaxed.  The transformation is promoting life and Love, which is the goal, after all. 

Wednesday, June 04, 2014



I never thought
that you would be the one to hold my heart
But you came around
and you knocked me off the ground from the start

You put your arms around me
And I believe that it's easier for you to let me go
You put your arms around me and I'm home

How many times
will you let me change my mind and turn around?
I can't decide
if I'll let you save my life or if I'll drown

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me 'cause I'm already falling
I'll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I'm home

The world is coming down on me
and I can't find a reason to be loved
I never wanna leave you
but I can't make you bleed if I'm alone

You put your arms around me
And I believe that it's easier for you to let me go...

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, 'cause I'm already falling
I'll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I'm home

I tried my best
to never let you in to see the truth
And I've never opened up
I've never truly loved
'til you put your arms around me
And I believe that it's easier for you to let me go

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, 'cause I'm already falling
I'll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I'm home

You put your arms around me and I'm home


written by David Hodges/Christina Perri