• Ho, Earthling!

    Piano Hands

    A few minutes ago I happened to look at my left pinkie finger. For the first time I noticed that it looks deformed, much as my right pinkie finger does which developed its deformity a few years ago. The middle joints are affected in such a way to cause those fingers to be unable to fully straighten. I said to myself, it’s only a matter of time before all my fingers look like that: claws. Growing up and for decades really, people told me I had “piano hands”. What’s that, I asked. Long slender beautiful fingers, elegant hands, they said. You should be a hand model, they said. My mother…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  Whole New World

    Only the Lonely

    I’m lonely as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. I realized yesterday that I’ve been traumatized by the conditions of my new home. And I kept it inside and really had no one to talk about it with. I kept telling myself I would get used to it, that I committed to living here for a year and that I needed to make good on my commitment. Yesterday I told my landlord I intended to move at the end of the month. My friend is leaving her apartment and even though it costs more than I’m currently paying, overall it will be a much better fit for…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  Whole New World

    Brown Recluse

    It’s been weeks now since the “stay at home” orders began. When they started in California I was in a mad rush to pack my earthly belongings, get my car repaired to pass the smog test so I could sell it, and then get across the border to Mexico before it closed. The orders followed in Mexico soon after I arrived. Stay at home. Don’t go out. Don’t risk infection, yours or anyone’s. (I have to say, people seem fairly casual about this here in San Miguel, or they did the last time I was out and about, which, let me see … counts on fingers … was actually about…

  • Go Places,  Ho, Earthling!,  Whole New World

    Alone in the Time of Corona

    There are doves everywhere, cooing their lovely dove-sounds. And other birds of unknown-to-me varieties, calling out to one another, letting the world know that yes, they exist, they are here, they are alive. My window this week faces a brick wall. I ask you, is that a metaphor? Someone nearby lets some light jazz drift out their open window. Everyone’s windows are open because it is 90 degrees here and there is no air conditioning. Someone else is singing, maybe it is singing or maybe he is simply talking. His inflections rise and fall. Sometimes he is saying a thing and sometimes he is asking a thing. I think I…

  • Ho, Earthling!

    The Light in the Tunnel

    For a long time I was shrouded in darkness. There was no light at all, not even from the spark of life that lay dormant in my heart. For a long time I saw nothing but endless dreary winter, felt nothing but bone-shattering cold. For a long time I wasn’t even myself. With some help, I found a doorway. I walked through it and found a world I thought long lost. Much like when Dorothy enters Oz and transitions from endless black-and-white to a world bursting with color, my long-lost world thrums with the life I was so long denied.

  • Ho, Earthling!,  Poetry Slam

    Endings & Beginnings

    Big changes have been happening, both internal and external. 2020 is a big year. Can you feel it? An old friend observed today that my energy has changed. It certainly has, I thought when I read what he wrote. He said: the old you is gone and another power has come in. You are more open now in a different way. And then he went on to say: you will teach others. I suppose I will. I have been for a long time now. It will look different now. Less doing, more being. One can teach quite a lot simply by being.

  • Ho, Earthling!

    Hands

    I haven’t told you yet about my hands. When I was in middle school and high school, people frequently told me I had “piano hands”. Long slim fingers, oval-shaped nails — I guess those things make piano hands. The same people also assumed I played piano, which I did a little if you count “Für Elise”, “Moonlight Sonata”, and “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel. My hands have been so useful. Writing, chopping onions, riding horses, soothing fevered brows, folding towels, driving cars. For all of these things, my hands were there, helping. In my 30’s I became a knitter. Knitting was the thing to do among moms…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    Where Did My Brain Go??

    Guess what it’s like, knowing that you used to be pretty capable and smart but now you struggle remembering a thing from just 5 minutes ago, and your vocabulary is down at least three notches, and many days it’s hard to even make words? Go on, guess. No wait, I’ll tell you. It’s scary. And it totally sucks. I don’t know whether my abilities will ever return. Maybe they will. I hope they will. I know now that my two brain surgeries from over three years ago aren’t responsible for these deficits. For a long time I thought, well my brain is just healing and needs time. Fuck healing. I have…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    Goodnight, Mensa

    My dad belonged to a group for smart people called Mensa. As a child I imagined the meetings as a bunch of guys standing around talking logarithmic equations in their white short-sleeved button-down shirts with skinny ties, with pens protruding from their pocket protectors. Maybe a slide rule poking out of a back pocket. My dad had to take a test to get into Mensa. Mensa means “table” in Latin. There are now about 134,000 members around the world. My dad was very proud of the fact that he had been tested at a 165 IQ or maybe 190, and he was obviously a card-carrying Mensa member. I mean, really.…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    My Beautiful Broken Brain

    There is a documentary out called My Beautiful Broken Brain, about a woman learning to communicate again after her brain injury. I keep meaning to watch it. But I just realized I don’t need to watch it — I am living it. It turns out that I am not as invincible as I once thought. Repairable, yes. Invincible, no. I have permanent brain injury. Brain damage. My brain got jostled about during its two surgeries, and it was even shifted over to one side for a few months, which I am now told is a Bad Thing. Some people don’t recover well from it. I’ve beat worse odds than this…