words are foreplay for the soul

Archive for the ‘Send in the Clones’ Category

April 19th, 2012 by Akua


I am desperately trying to come to terms with the unfortunate fact that I have been in a place of fear pretty much all my life.

Let me put it another way. All my life, I have been afraid.

Sometimes I feel snarling and wild, an animal backed into a corner. Fight or be eaten. My claws come out. I hate this. Rage hurts. It burns like fire.

Sometimes I feel like hurling myself down a deep dark hole, never to be seen again. I think this would feel peaceful. At least, I think,  the pain would stop.

Sometimes — most of the time — I just push most of me inside. I am in there somewhere, in some tiny safe place deep inside. I feel small and helpless in there, but being bigger feels more scary so I stay in the familiarity of smallness.

I am afraid to come out. I am afraid I will hurt. I am afraid I will be shamed. I am afraid I won’t be enough. Read the rest of this entry »

December 28th, 2010 by Akua


I am greeted this week by a view of diffuse brown and green mountains tapering off into a distant haze, clouds melting up into white gummy skies. From up high, everything looks soft and peaceful. There is no hint of the constant frenetic undercurrent of movement that is so apparent when you drive down the mountain into Northern California freeway traffic. Things change when you look at them from a different vantage point.

I spent Sunday night not sleeping. I knew I was “processing,” a catchall term that really means “going over and over in your mind all the stupid things you have ever done/said since the day you were born and thinking about the grand meaning to them while trying not to kick yourself too hard for having done/said them.”

[See: compassion for self]

I decided to use the time as a doorway. When I awoke in the morning, I decided, I would have stepped through this magical doorway back from the Land of Who I Was Once and into the Land of Who I Am and Wish To Be, Dammit. I noticed the potential irony of that decision at about 3 am, when I still hadn’t slept, knowing I had an alarm set for 5:10 so that I could catch a plane the next morning and realizing the very real possibility by that point that I would fail to sleep at all and therefore fail to step through the magic doorway.

Ha, ha, Self. Who has the last laugh?

But I dropped off into oblivion at about 4, missing entirely a text message that came in at 4:44 (auspicious sign)(I know people who are awake very early) but becoming instantly awake at 5:10 with the sense that I made it through the doorway after all.

I’m not the only one this past week, or in my case two weeks since I can pinpoint with deadly accuracy exactly when the shift back into Revisiting My Awkward Past began (not to mention the embarrassing nadir on Christmas Eve, replete with family — not my own, but does that matter? — and an sudden overabundance of wine), who has been revisiting old patterns and becoming immersed in the sense of inevitability and disempowerment that comes along with such an often unwelcome visitation. I’m glad I had the presence of mind to remind myself that I have a choice in how I experience things. The steamroller approach didn’t work well, but coaxing things along did, apparently. And now I’ve shifted back into The Good Place after taking my personal Black Swan moment as a jumping-off point with which to enact internal transformation.

Yay me.

What this all means in a tangible way is that I can now see that, for instance, I had a completely different experience of childhood than my brother did, and that neither perspective is probably the entire one that was available to us. Meaning, I can now try to flow into the entirety of what was really happening and change my Now as a result of allowing myself to experience the possibilities contained within a different Then. It really is that simple if you can become disconnected from attachment to things having been a certain way. The crappy childhood I had existed mainly in my perception of it. Yay!

It might help that I am perhaps just a little unhinged (loose grasp on reality). I mean that in a good way.

February 23rd, 2010 by me

Proof of my powers

An actual IM conversation with my son, 14. He had a headache and I said I could fix it for him:

Karen: Go to sleeeeep, you are getting sleeeepy

NW: yes

Karen: look into my eyyyyyyyyes, you are very sleeeeeeeepy

NW: yesssssssss i am sleeeeeeepppyyyyy

Karen: you will do everything I sayyyyyyyyyyyyy

Karen: you arrrrre in my powerrrrrrrrrr

NW: yessss i will follllowwww commanndsss

Karen: cluck like a chicken!

NW: bock bock

Karen, to herself: IT WORKS!


Karen: when you awake, you will not remember anything. You will not remember being a chicken, or robbing that bank, or running naked through the halls at school. But you will trust me completely. 1-2-3-  AWAKE!

Karen: there, feel better?

NW: what just happened?

Karen: oh, um, er, nothing.

February 23rd, 2010 by me

The time I blew my nose and brains came out

I’ve been sick as a horse. Wait, do horses get sick? And how would you know? Whenever you ask them questions, they just say “neigh.” Ba dum bum. You can tell I am feeling better, because my really bad jokes only emerge when I’m feeling pretty good.

So I went down to Portland a couple of weeks ago, the place that was built atop an ancient unicorn burial ground (I did not make this up — it’s on Facebook so it must be true — but they only bury the really really ancient ones so they leave the perky young ones to prance around and make rainbows)(unicorn euthanasia)(don’t you love alliteration that doesn’t even start with the same letter? Am I a word nerd or what?) and that pulled me like a magnet all the way down I-5. I awoke that morning, my voice two octaves lower than usual (Matthew said, “Ooh, sexy!” and meant it) and my throat feeling like someone had taken a barbecue grill brush to it during the night.

I was sick.

With a job to do.

Meeting people and being all Professional In a Suit. Also wearing New Riding Boots, even though I had no idea there would be actual horses. Which made my hand muddy when I stroked their muddy necks and tried to avoid their long yellow boot-eating teeth, also teeth that mistake fingers for carrots. Hey, it happened once. Could happen again.

So for two days I was perky and also wise, and talked and talked and talked. Three hours non-stop on Saturday. NINE HOURS non-stop on Sunday. In between sleeping in the Room of No Sleep, the one everyone said casually the next day that, “Oh that? Everyone we know who has slept in that room had trouble sleeping there.” Thanks. Yes, it had a bathroom of its own, which I appreciated. Considered sleeping in it, too.

And then I drove back up I-5, a whole state’s worth of I-5, afterward.

And then died.

But wait! Then I had to pack! And drive again on I-5 to an airport! And sit on a plane with wadded-up airport toilet paper in the pocket of my Holt Renfrew stylish trench, because I had forgotten real tissues that weren’t made of sandpaper.

And then flew and died some more in someone else’s house.

Like I said before, I am an awesome guest.

(By Day 5, I was doing the dishes, so be kind.)

But all that was TWO WEEKS ago. So why am I still sniffling and coughing? I thought I could blame the trees, which burst into blossom while I was away and stand there, smirking and covered with pollen, but for four days I stayed indoors and didn’t even breathe, so it can’t be that. I am tired of coughing up gooey lumps and I forgot to buy real tissues even though I have now been to the store TWICE this week with tissues on my mind and sill I came home with marked-down Valentine’s candy instead. Twice.


Why am I still sick?

Is a breast pump adaptable for noses?

I do have a nice vase of pink tulips, though. You don’t think it could be those, do you? They’re so … pink. Innocent. Even though I watched the water level get lower and lower and the one tulip with the really short stem drooped over the side of the vase, head down. Downward dog tulip. But I gave them all a drink and what do you know, he’s (yes, I made the tulip a him) standing up again! Yay tulips!

It’s not eBay, is it? Because I left the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show thinking I surely had not spent nearly enough money and by the way I needed two silver chains for the pendants I bought as a combination Christmas – New Year’s – Valentine’s Day gift for myself, maybe with my birthday thrown in. Plus I needed new Tibetan prayer flags, you can never have enough. Also probably something else. You know how it goes when the bidding gets crazy. So I hope it’s not eBay that is causing me to cough and gasp.

Maybe it is eBay. I should pretend it is and that could be my excuse to weaning myself away. I hate eBay anyway. It’s so yellow. You know that eBay yellow? Awful color. Probably causes uncontrollable urges. And coughing. It’s probably the yellow.

Yellow is the color of mucus. Not my mucus, exactly (I haven’t been checking — should I check? What if it’s, like, brown? or black? Sign of the plague? Is this plague?)(IS THE PLAGUE CONTAGIOUS THROUGH THE INTERNET?)(Maybe you;d better stop reading now, just in case)(Hey! Maybe that’s how I got sick to begin with!!!!!!!!), but general mucus.

[Insert military joke here. “General Mucus?” the officer coughed, “Slimy fellow. Slippery.”]

Yes, as of tonight I am approximately 6% done with the book I am writing. Congratulate me!

September 4th, 2009 by me


Photo 75Two posts in one day! See if you can hold down the excitement.

September 4th, 2009 by me

What I really need is a good operatic soundtrack

Well! So I can write Poignant and Painful! Isn’t that just made of awesome? But! There’s more than one way to skin a cat, which means, well, ew. What do you do with a cat skin anyway? It’s far too small to make anything useful out of. A hat, maybe? A cat hat would be sort of cool. Here, pussy! As long as it’s not the skin of a cat you actually know. That would just be sort of wrong, except maybe as a tribute. You could keep your cat’s head on the skin and wear the hat so it looks like there’s your head, and then there’s your dead cat’s head perched right on top of yours. Freak. People. Out.

So, what people don’t know about me is that there’s a cartoon world inside me that’s been waiting a long time to come out. It surfaces at odd times. Like when Matthew and I were in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, walking over some stepping stones that were thoughtfully and artfully placed over a wee artful stream, dodging the Japanese tourists wanting to cross from the other side, and I burst out laughing at the thought of pushing the tourists in, one quick shove and there they go, cameras and all! I also think about knocking people’s canes out from under them. Or dropping water balloons on them from the 4th floor of a building. We even had a conversation about this.

I think it would be great to drop water balloons on people from tall buildings.

Water balloons? That would hurt.

No, no, not from the top of the building. The third or fourth floor.

Go with the fourth. Fourth is funnier. But getting hit from the fourth floor would still hurt.

Oh, no. I wouldn’t hit people directly. Just throw it near them. It would splat on their feet. And on hot days only. Otherwise it’s just mean.

Yeah, you wouldn’t want to be mean.

And this from a person who can’t bear to walk on someone’s grass instead of the sidewalk. After all! Someone’s grass! That’s like part of their person, their space. The sidewalk is safe and avoids breaking rules.

Oo, rules. That’s changing too, the rule thing.

The other day I bought something that had one of those little magnetic don’t-steal-me tags on the box. You know, the tags that set off an alarm when you walk out of the store with it, unless the cashier remembers to disarm it when you’re paying. I used a self-checkout, paid for the item, and walked out of the store. When I passed the you’re-stealing-something alarm monitor things at the exit, the alarm went off. WHOOP! WHOOP! WHOOP! STEALING ALERT! STEALING ALERT!

Old me:  Stop! Dead in my tracks! I’m not stealing anything, see? Here, I’ll hold up my receipt to the hidden cameras so you can see I AM NOT STEALING ANYTHING. And then! Let me find someone with a red smock or whatever and a name badge with little stars glued onto it, and tell them! I am not stealing! See! My receipt! I am not stealing this! I AM A GOOD PERSON!

New me:  Keep walking. I know I paid for it, WTF. It’s their problem. If they want to send someone after me, fine. But no one even notices when the alarm goes off. So whatever. Keep walking.

I am pretty sure that 99.8% of the population thinks like this “new me,” and that it’s only .02% who are actually concerned with what other people think of them. So glad to have jumped groups, that other thing was exhausting.

August 23rd, 2009 by me

I’ll have to keep my post titles short now

I wrote this about a week ago:

About a year ago, I drove out of one world and into another. I thought then that I had left certain aspects of the old world behind, but I failed to see the invisible trailer attached to my black Honda CR-V, the one carrying the pieces of who I had been. When I started writing here I wrote as if that trailer didn’t move the 3000 miles along with me, as if it was just The New Me here, the one that didn’t feel as if it had walked out of the two-dimensional world of a Mother’s Day card.

In the past year I’ve been rewriting what it is for me to be a mother. Writing and rewriting and endless editing, mostly from within my head and from 3000 miles away, connected by infrequent phone calls and the thick strong cord that forever links us heart to heart. I’m not the mother I was. But not only can’t I escape being a mother now, I have no desire to. I love my children. They are a part of me, and most assuredly I am a part of them.

Two of them are here with me now. We have a week together, not to make up for lost time, but to enjoy the time we have.

Want to know something sorta scary? I have absolutely no memory of writing those words. Oh, sure, the sentiment. Yeah. I remember that. Something something my kids are here and it’s great and something something I’ve been writing for a while as if I have no kids and something something the times they are a-changing something something. Right?

Something like that.

It was a good visit. Too short and also just long enough. 3% of the year. You can pack a lot into 3%, apparently. Like hiking up vertical slopes to regard pristinish mountainish lakes. And hikingsliding back down again. Like skipping through vertudinous* mossy fernlush verdant forests. Like breathing in air dusted with seasalt, pine needles, and ripening blackberries. Like endless shouting games of Wii Tennis and Wii Bowling and wee Wiiness. Like 19 pounds of freshly-picked blueberries and thirty bluestained fingertips. Like tooshort airport hugs and awkward pleading looks.

*made up word

I am a mother.

For a year now I’ve been exploring othermotherhood, alternatives. Just as they, my progeny, my heartspawn, have been exploring their own otherness, their Selfness. They are good Selves, strong Selves, capable Selves, those heartspawn.

I blow them 3000-mile kisses, hoping that can be enough.


So, do you like my new look? [twirling a little to show the newness off to its full advantage] I adore this new theme but have not yet found a way to wrap long post titles. Variety makes life interesting, and you’ll just have to guess at the ending.

April 25th, 2009 by me

Where I’ve been lately

Yeah, I’ve sort of missed blogging, but I’ve been busy.  It’s this alternate-reality thing.  No, really.  A few weeks ago I discovered I can slip into this other from of reality.  It’s way cool and yet sort of frightening at once, so of course I like it, I’m fascinated by it, and I can’t wait to do it again slash never want to do it again.

So this is what happened:

Matthew put on some music, and I became immobile.  Went somewhere else.  Spent an hour looking up at the skylight and the trees and whatever other little slice of outside I could see, the rain dripping on the glass a little.  For an hour.  I couldn’t move anything but my eyes.  I sort of thought I could and that somehow I was faking this, but when it came down to it … I couldn’t.

The music?  Mercan Dede.  Went through an entire album, whatever was there on his iPod, and there I was, immobile and thinking that here I was in this world and there Matthew was in his, and somehow the worlds  just didn’t quite intersect.

After an hour he started getting a little concerned.  An hour is a long time in that place, but he could unlock the spell by touching my hands (though I had no idea what to do with the cup of tea he gave me).  Some voice in my head whispered commands to me but I couldn’t make my body do them.  Walking was new (how did I get so high up from the ground?), and who was that person in the mirror?  Driving was interesting, all those distractions from the “furry trees” (trees with moss on them) and the excitement of passing the “ocean,” (a lake) and having to read every sign out loud and realizing I was the one driving, I mean how funny is that?  Trusting the crazy child-woman behind the wheel.

I’m still not convinced I’m not totally making this up, but I did stand motionless on a chair, paint brush raised in hand, for several minutes after Matthew put Madonna’s “Ray of Light” on and I found I couldn’t move.

New Age and hypnotic music does this, but I think that’s just an entry point and that there are other ways to get there.

So this was all happening at about the time I was finishing “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and musing about one’s possible descent into other worlds and what that might be like and what a total relief that would be.  Coincidence, I scoff at thee!

(Books, incidentally, have always been a sort of beacon for me, illustrating in a surface way the things that are happening inside me as well, and I take my reading choices very seriously, allowing an intuitive guidance to occur and always enjoying the juxtaposition of the inner world with the outer.)

So … that’s where I’ve been.

Also I’ve been delving into fear a little.  From skydiving I went to getting my motorcycle license and riding around on one.

But, as always, the things I fear most are the ones I hide best.  The ones deep within.  Unlocking that monster-in-a-closet is next on the list, I swear.

April 3rd, 2009 by me


I am about 3 weeks late on a deadline. I am never late with deadlines (except for a notable exception because I can’t seem to operate Google Calendar). But this one requires going deeply into something, something I just don’t want to touch.

But I have to.

It calls to me, whispers to me at night just as I’m drifting into sleep and makes my eyes snap open as if on springs and my heart suddenly pound.  I push it away with safe thoughts, good thoughts, and push my leaping heart back into my chest.  It wriggles, fishlike, for a moment, then lays still, obediently pushing blood into my arteries again.  I can breathe.  The moment is gone.

The other day I was meditating and felt guided to have a hot bath.  Bath preparations were narrated by my inner voice: insistent, encouraging.  The water in the bath, I understood, was me. The essence of me.  I was to immerse myself in … me.

I undressed and got in the water.  Hot.  Stillness.  Yes, this was me.

Inner screams.  Panic.  ME??  I am immersed in MYSELF??!  It felt like bathing in acid; I could feel the inner awfulness burning, burning, searing my skin, destroying me.

I wanted nothing more than to get out of that bath.  Immediately.  But I couldn’t move.

The inner voice still spoke to me.  I listened.  I breathed in my fear, breathed it in and felt it, loved it.  I felt my panic subside.  I could love this water, this me. I could love it.

My body relaxed.  The voice continued.

The project that has this deadline is like the water in the bath.  It requires me to look deeply at things I’d rather not see. Things that are painful to think about, let alone become immersed enough in to write about.   But who am I, anyway?  I am my story.  I am the stories I tell.  And if I don’t look deeply, if I don’t touch the burning acid inside, then my stories lie deeply hidden, burning a hole deep within me.  Touching the burning acid, then, is the only way to set it free.  It’s the only way not to burn up inside, becoming an empty hole surrounding a pool of fire.

January 26th, 2009 by me

Why, yes. There it is.

omfg it has been busy, with little sign of let up. Twelve hour days have melted in sixteen hour days, and this parttime gig is now paying me about a buck an hour. And, oh, I should be announcing it with fanfare (we launched! last week! and the site—Super Eco—totally rocks! go see!) but sadly all I can think about is the fact that the letters double themselves on the screen and make it nearly impossible to see.

Last week it was cold, and I was in Pennsylvania. It snowed there. My heart froze. I hadn’t seen three cherubic faces in seven months, hadn’t held them in seven months, hadn’t been a part of their daily oatmeal-to-teeth-brushing for seven months, and all I could think about was when could I leave so I could get more WORK done. I miss them. I am ashamed. We didn’t have the week we all envisioned, and I am sloughing off thick layers of guilt over that.

Today, like the past three days before this, I am in Vancouver. I am hoping my own house hasn’t slid down a muddy slope or burned to a cinder along with my beautiful bed or frozen into a solid block of ice.  I sort of miss it, although it is so very empty still.  I have not imbued it with my essence, a thing which I still keep close inside me.  Once day I will let it out, and that will be a joyous day indeed. Am getting closer all the time to that moment.

Next week we may fly to New Zealand. It boggles my mind that we STILL haven’t decided, STILL haven’t made plans, and STILL don’t know, and that I’m mostly okay with all that. Details to follow when they arise.

And I am still very tired, and still trying to find my balance in this world.  It *is* there, isn’t it? And I am not deceiving myself?  I ask this in earnestness, because I am not sure.  I have to wonder if balance is ever a thing really achieved, or if the trick instead is to simply fly just a little, lightly, over the surface.