words are foreplay for the soul
October 20th, 2016 by me


On weekends, she wandered across late-80’s on-trend gray-carpeted floors, regarding the mauve sectional they bought after hours of agonizing over seating choices. She walked right through the living room to the front door and peered listlessly out into the blinding-bright Phoenix sun. Then back again, this time through the kitchen with its white tile and whitewashed-mauve cabinets, over to the family room that the house’s one visitor said needed personal touches (tchotchkes, she thought — yuck) and then it would feel like a home.

She wandered because there was nothing else.

No long streams of adding-machine tape to pore over, looking for the one mis-entry that kept everything from adding up. No yellow bags of Lay’s potato chips to pretend into non-existence, to remove any temptations, since she knew that one bite (of anything) was poison and fatness and also a gateway to desperate binging to quell the ever-present inner emptiness she avoided feeling at all costs. No books to read except for the worn copy of Butterfield 8 that arrived in the mail from Chris with a cryptic statement: “she reminds me of you”.

She wandered because she didn’t belong.

Oh, the gray-carpeted floors were hers, as were the mauve sectional and the white metal day bed (with gold finials) in the guest room and the bare tchotchke-free walls and the trendy mauve pleated shades on the windows. It was all hers, technically, since it was her money combined with his that made this Dream House possible.

And yet it wasn’t. Nothing was. Not even herself.

And now, and now, three decades later, the man, the house, is long gone. The wandering starts again. That woman has become this one.

This time the wandering is over Pergo and area rugs, while gazing at multicolored paintings I made myself, looking out onto the wide green world. The details changed but the inner part, the nugget, the kernel of that life-long pain from the long, missed grasp of belongingness, fingertips barely there but slipping off soon after because when you are a person who Doesn’t Belong, there’s really nothing you can do except howl at the pain and injustice of it all.

This time I wander in my mind, my imagination. I pretend I feel connected to this place, this house, but now I wonder whether my lifelong sense of non-belongingness isn’t connected to a place but rather to a person — me.

Maybe I don’t belong anywhere. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe that’s my superpower.

October 17th, 2016 by me

Moonlight serenade

Twenty years ago, a little more, I walked. Nighttime solo walks. Walks under the light of the moon. Walks to breathe cool air and smell the damp on cut grass and hear distant dogs singing to the sky. Almost every night, in all weather, but especially after a snow. It doesn’t snow where I live now. I don’t miss it, but I remember how I loved the sounds of snow shovels patiently scraping driveways, and I especially remember how quiet the world is underneath a white soft blanket.

Those walks, those twenty-years-ago-walks, were my sanity and salvation, my private world-wide Quiet Thinking Space. I do some of my best thinking while walking. The feet just go where they go and the mind opens wide into distant lands and star-bright worlds.

Tonight I slipped on my pink New Balances and a purple jacket and stepped out into the cool night, the just-this-side-of-full moon beaming bright. My world has been so small for so long. I’ve barely been anywhere by myself in more than two years. I clutched my keys in my pocketed fist and then laughed at myself. This isn’t that kind of neighborhood. Still, I was aware of where light pooled on the sidewalks from the occasional street lamps, and I looked for ominous shadows. I saw no shadows — only Sasha, the tiny white poodle who yapped at my ankles (to his owner’s chagrin) when I walked past.

Free. And strong. I’ve missed how that feels.

September 28th, 2016 by me


The second Claire woke up, she knew something was different. It wasn’t the constant steady beeping of the machines next to her bed, tubes snaking to her nose and wrist. It wasn’t the smell of disinfectant and coffee from the hallway outside the door (coffee? was there really coffee here?). And it wasn’t the starched feel of the sheets that lay loosely over her legs, not that she could feel them. No, Claire expected all of those.

What she didn’t expect was the light.

How Claire knew to look at the light that streamed through open institution-green curtains at the broad windows spanning one wall of the little white room, she didn’t know. But there it was. It wasn’t that it was more golden than before, or more pinkish, or even more blue. Light contains all those colors. A spectrum of colors. No, it was more the absence of color. Yeah, that was it. The light was….clear? How could that be.

The coffee smell got stronger. Claire remembered coffee, hot and bitter and milky-sweet, a gift and a punishment at the same time. Coffee meant mornings, and cars, and a desk in an office filled with clacking typewriter keys and ringing telephones. Coffee meant phone calls and memos and kicking off of shoes under the desk. Coffee meant regular, normal, before.

She never should have let them do it.

They said it was an experimental procedure. There weren’t any options, they said. It was either the surgery or…nothing. Literally nothing, as in Claire herself would be nothing if she didn’t agree to let them monkey around in her head. She had a good chance, they said (a good chance of what?). But still, experimental. So no one knew for sure.

Was it really the light?

Now she tasted coffee. Just the way he used to make it for her, so hot and so strong she had to douse the bitter fire with clouds of cream and what he always teased her as a whole tree’s worth of maple syrup. Coffee? Maybe it was the tube in her nose.

Was the light…moving?

The beeping slowed.

The light beckoned. So bright.

June 23rd, 2016 by me

Back From the Dead

I died and I came back. I couldn’t breathe and that fist-sized muscle in my chest pounded a hole through my thoughts and I beat my fist on the wall because I could no longer form words and the ambulance came and the lights were so bright and there I was, walking serenely in a land made of gold where everyone smiled like rainbows and there was nothing that was not made of wonder and goodness but I stepped back through the shimmering curtain to tell my beloved I chose to stay.

Sometimes I regret that choice.

I wish I remembered more. I still see that nurse in a blue smock who walked past the curtained opening of my ER cubicle over and over. I’m told that she didn’t, or that she only walked past once, but I keep seeing her stuck on repeat, right to left, like one of those carnival shooting gallery ducks. But that’s about it. I just remember golden light.

My beloved tells me I demanded sex from him right there in the ER, and that I went ahead without him and had multiple screaming orgasms. I’d like to remember that. I’ve never had multiple screaming orgasms and that would be a memory I could carry with me a long time. Instead, all I remember is the light, that golden light like liquid sunshine that poured over everything in the Otherworld, a magical Midas that turned death into gold.

They tell me I can feel that gold right here, but it’s hard for me to believe.

That’s actually the secret, though. Like Rumplestiltskin who spun straw into gold, I can spin the black mud of my life into light, and from that light I can weave a new life. I think I almost know how to do it.

September 13th, 2014 by me

The Circle Game

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

— Joni Mitchell

This is what reading my archives does to me. Inspires me, that’s what.

Thoughts that go through my head:

1. She’s a damn good writer. Why doesn’t she write more? Where’s that fucking book she promised? (oh hey, I did write this one)

2. Seriously, where is the damn book? The other book?

3. Aha! A Category titled Rants. I shall make use of that one.

4. The Way Back Machine goes all the way to here. The beginning.

5. Shit. I didn’t leave my problems back in 2012 or whatever.

Okay, that last one is a bitch. That’s why I’m here today, to reconcile the sad fact that despite the passage of six years I’m still the same [read: gloriously fucked-up, insecure, self-judging, wants-to-be-awesome] person I was in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

August 21st, 2014 by me




I am reborn.

The birthing process took far longer than I ever imagined — two years and counting — but oh so worth it. I now live less than a mile from a sunny warm beach. I feel welcomed into the warm embrace of loving community. My yoga body looks strong. And I feel very loved.

A year ago last night I stood in the center of a circle of love, pledging to spend the rest of my days (then still an even more uncertain number than for most of us) with my beloved Mister Splashy. A year is a long time. It’s been a lifetime already, these past 365 days and the 365 before that. Two lifetimes ago there was a real possibility I would die within weeks. Now I love one moment at a time, and each moment stretches into eternity.

I suspect this is how we are meant to live — this full-breathed YAWP, inhaling gulps of fresh wonder in each moment, falling in love with every pair of eyes-connected-to-a-heart that I meet.

I have a secret.

Life is meant to be fun, a carnival ride, a glorious adventure.

I rose from the ashes of She Who Came Before, and I stand aflame now and ready to embrace even more yum, even more breath, even more possibility. Life beckons. It’s what you do with your moments that counts.


August 6th, 2013 by me

100 and counting…

There are so many ways to die.

She knew this. Daily she plotted her death. Little ways.

A sheaf of papers could grow edges and slice knifelike across her white soft throat. The cord of his headset, sprawled oh so innocently across her bed, could stretch and wrap itself like a hungry boa around her neck. The closet door could slam so satisfyingly, crushing her skull into the jamb. Kitchen knives could grow wings. Heavy pots with heavy lids could crash like cymbals into the grapefruit of her head. Cars could swerve and leap over sidewalks.

So many ways.

There’s no point to being here if Here just means pain. Refresh. Reboot. Wipe away years of dried tears, years of rust around your heart, and for what? More pain.

The circle stands unbroken. You can’t get off the carousel. She prayed for the ground to open and swallow her into nothingness. She was so very tired.

November 5th, 2012 by me



In the far, far places where

mermaids sing and fishes cry for their mothers

there are no sounds

only the soft slapping of waves


Your heart stills and your breath sighs raggedly

but your feet keep moving, moving

pushing your warm soft pliant body of

stitched-together skin stretched over tangled red-blue pulsing cords

and hard-breathing whitened bone

to find the spot where sky meets earth


You sit and wait

for a sign, a sob, a sweetness

but the roar inside silently deafens

and drowns your fears and ambitions,

grinding past-present-future into a bright purple Now


In the far, far places where

mothers sing softly and ancient stones weep

there are no songs and no stones

except in the stillness of memory

and creation of what-comes-next


This is your time.

This is your time and this driving, harsh road is yours — your child.

This road is your child

and its songs are the songs we sing when we are born and when we die.

This is your time, yours and yours alone and

on this road you walk unencumbered, alight, aloft

until one day wings sprout from aching shoulders and

weary feet rest in cool waters

and you breathe softness and splendor once again


November 3rd, 2012 by me

Why I Have Cancer

I figured it out. It should have been a no-brainer. Why I never suspected that years of self loathing would lead to cancer, I don’t know. But it clearly did.

I hate myself.

I tried to wipe me away by changing my name two years ago, but like a bad penny and a lost puppy, I came back. And all I can do now is imagine I’m jabbing an ice pick into the side of my now-irradiated head because the pain of being me is unforgivable.

Please make it go away. The pain. I would do anything not to feel this anymore.

I shouldn’t be here. I can’t be here anymore. There is no place for me and the pain of being me is unbearable. But everywhere I go, there I am, way less of me now than a few months ago, to be sure, but I’m still here and there are no icepicks to save me from drowning in a sea of me.

August 20th, 2012 by me

I’m a bitch, I’m a lover

Something has turned me into a total raving bitch. Does cancer do that? Although I would like to blame [everything] it on cancer, sadly, I believe this is my doing.

Last week one of the people I love most in the world came to visit. And that was right about the time that TB (Total Bitch) showed up. All her fears and anxieties and need to control came out while this awesome person was visiting. I hate that. I hate that my son, this amazing young man, saw me being a bitch, saw me in my fears, saw me struggling to walk across the room because my body is so weak, saw me fighting with the man I adore, saw me doing anything but being the perfect goddess woman I advertised I was going to become. Read the rest of this entry »