“Sweet Relief”

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It’s like watching you, caught in a whirlpool

You come close to me, but only for a stolen moment,

before the cares of the world steal you away

again

*

Down, down the waterpipe you’d go

If not for keeping your eyes on mine

Keeping your eyes fixed on Love

We hold on

*

Your hand in mine

My feet on the bank

Which I hadn’t noticed, until you pointed it out, is

Oh

So

Slippery

*

If I fall in, we go down together

Sadness but not terror

Perhaps sweet relief

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“The Fiddler”

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He plays his fiddle

And I am lost

In the rhythms and drones

Whining at me, it moans

*

“Your fiddle is much more suave than you are.

More suave than any man I’ve ever met.”

He turns pink and, when I look away,

a

dirty

note

I’m gonna marry that man

“Rock Steady”

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You make me blush

Make me remember who I am

Make me want to write poetry

Make me want to raise a flag

Take a stand

Make love

Make anything

As long as it’s true

You excite me

Without words you invite me

To expand

To spread out

To explore

To expose

To rest and to revel and to Love

Your easy way is healing

Your celebration of what is is reliable

Steady

The foundation of my exhilaration

The bedrock upon which fulfilment is built

“Caught”

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It’s been nearly a year since I last posted here (rhyme-y!) for fear of offending those close to my beloved.  Alas, I need somewhere other than the squeaky cleanness of my Gratitude Blog to post odds and sods that pass through my brain and ache to leak out my fingers for relief.  So, here I be.

_________________

Stuck

Caught

Not what you want to be

Not what you ought

*

If you ascribe to the only “lifestyle” on offer

Leap and then look

Swim or you’ll sink

*

Don’t talk to me of “off grid”

Of unplugged

Of freedom

As though you could eat it

As though it’s a “thing”

*

The only hope for living

Is to be trapped

But you can’t even find your way clear to get caught

Not what you want to be

Not what you ought

*

Depending on who you ask

And why you care

What they think

Unconditional Love

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I am a skeptic, but not a cynic.  I am a dissenter but not a pessimist.  I am a pragmatist – hard-headed but not hard-hearted.  I believe in logic but I delight in love.

I believe all lives are of equal value and all deaths are equally sobering.  I do not believe in special treatment for women or children or the elderly.  I believe in kindness for everyone.  The rich, fat-cat CEO who can’t find peace in his heart is no less worthy of love than the starving street urchin.  The woman sold into sexual slavery is as tragic a figure as the man emasculated by a bitter wife in front of his sons.  The cop slain in the line of duty, the wounded soldier, the cancer survivor (or victim), are no more noble than the gas station attendant held up at gunpoint in the night, the immigrant with a university degree working at a convenience store, or the old lady with chronic arthritis.

Society makes distinctions, to our own detriment.

Love is only unconditional.

Lovely Week

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Hello sunshiney day.  It is feeling a little like spring.  I have had a lovely week.  Some moments that stand out are…

  1. Sitting on the subway I overheard somebody singing (not well – but still) and it was a man with downs wearing headphones and reading the free paper.  I love people who sing in public.  🙂
  2. My boss has offered to loan me the money to go back to school.  I am so, SO excited.
  3. My son turned 26 yesterday and we had a lovely little family get together last night.
  4. Man oh man I love these sunny mornings with tangled arms and legs and the scent of sleep and sweat and the warmth of each other’s bodies.
  5. My lover got a chance at a second job, lost his first job, has had his second interview for the second job delayed until next week, and got an email inviting him back to his first job.  What a dramatic week.  In summation, we can still pay the rent, for now.  But we never worry.  We never fear.  We are so lucky to have each other that we know everything else will work out.

This morning I was dismayed at a friend of a friend posting on Facebook that her husband had booked them a trip to Varadero, Cuba about which she was disappointed.  She doesn’t want to go to Cuba.  The food isn’t good.  She’d have rather saved the money to put in a pool this year.  I was a bit high and mighty about it, in my mind.  “First world problems.  What an ungrateful bitch.  Poor husband.”  etc.  But then I recalled that I had posted something earlier in the week about having software issues.  Isn’t that, also, a first world problem?  We are such ingrates sometimes.  But, if we have worked to earn our money I guess we get to be disappointed if, when we spend it, we aren’t satisfied.  For example, I have an item to return today to a national electronics chain.  The last three products I have purchased there have all been defective.  I am friggin’ irritated.  But that doesn’t make me a small person just because, for the cost of the item I am griping about, I could have fed a village for a week.  A part of me thinks that, by complaining about it on social media, one appears small and ungrateful.  But who died and made me judge?

I am looking forward to the weekend.  Not because I had a bad week but because, as is usual, I had a beautiful week and I expect the weekend will be the same.

xo

The Abuser Upstairs?

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Oh dear.  I don’t know what to do so I do nothing.  I have been a well-intentioned busybody in my younger years and have been burned so now, I keep my mouth shut.  But I think that there is spousal abuse going on upstairs.  No hitting, as far as I can tell.  But the screaming and shouting and the language and the awfulness of the things that are said…

We often hear the pitter patter of the little daughters feet as she plays but, when the screaming starts, you hear them patter away and then nothing more of them.  She must be hiding somewhere.  From the screaming.

The thing is, it’s the mother screaming at the father.  All the time.  And at the little girl too.

In the last month we’ve heard snatches of conversation…

“What?!  You think I don’t like to fuck??!!  You wanna stick it in my ass??!!”

“That’s right (sarcastically) I hate my daughter!!  I can’t stand my own daughter!!  I’m a horrible mother!!”

“I can’t stop screaming!  I can’t stop screaming!  I can’t stop screaming at her!!  If you want me to stop screaming I need the medication!!!  I don’t wanna hear that we can’t afford it!!”

“I could have had ANYBODY!!  I could have been with ANYBODY!!  I didn’t have to be stuck here with this friggin’ baby!!  I’m going to KILL you!!!”

We’ve also heard clapping.  Clapping, clapping, clapping before we finally hear him say, “STOP that!  You KNOW I hate it when you clap in my face.”

We’ve heard him trying to talk her down.  “I know your dad hit your mom but, sooner or later honey, you have to let it go.  You have to get over it.”

He leaves the house a lot.

She says she has fibromyalgia.  I think that means constant pain, which must be exhausting on a deep soul level.  She sends her daughter to daycare every day.  I don’t know how he, on a single income, pays the rent and for daycare as well.  She may be tired but, when his car pulls in the driveway, we hear her leap to her feet.  She’s ready for him the minute he crosses the threshold.  Imagine?  No place of sanctuary in the world.  Your own home, a warzone.

Face to face, she is nice as pie.  She can’t weigh even 105 lbs.  She’s a little woman.  But what a voice on her!

If the situation were in reverse, and I heard a man treating a woman this way, I would struggle to refrain from offering her help or support.  I’ve said to my partner, “I just want to get him alone in the driveway at some point and tell him that, if ever he ends up in court (divorce court or otherwise) that I will testify regarding her behaviour.”

“Stay out of it,” he advises.

Don’t get me wrong.  The injured party is not perfect either.  But the way she speaks to him?  I wouldn’t speak to a dog like that.  I wouldn’t speak to anybody like that.  Ever.

What a world.  So many men are being abused and can say nothing.

(Okay I just read the Wiki page about fibromyalgia and now I just feel sorry for the whole family – I am so blessed.  I wonder what I can do to help them?)

And Today…

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What a wonderful morning.

I am so grateful that the sun is up very shortly after his alarm goes off so that I am disinclined to roll over and go back to sleep when I could, instead, be sharing some love with my soulmate before we head out into the cold, gritty, beautiful world.

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After he left for work I did a quick little tidy-up around the place (I rarely do before bed) and then crawled back into bed to finish off “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” (oh HOW I will miss Baker Street – I know there are more Sherlock Holmes’ to read, and I’ve read all of them before and let about twenty years pass so I could forget how they turn out).  Now a book from his mother looms from the nightstand.  It’s a Christian book.  Sigh…  There are so many other gems awaiting me on my e-Reader.  But I’ll make her book my “subway” book.  That way I can force myself to read it during my commute.  I usually do this with books I plan to read that are not delicious novels.  For example, I need to finish a library book I borrowed called, “I Don’t Want To, I Don’t Feel Like It – How Resistance Controls Your Life And What To Do About It”.  I haven’t been reading it every day during my commute, however, and have been cheating by reading my novel instead.  You know why I haven’t been reading it?  Because I don’t want to and I don’t feel like it.  Hah!  But it has been a good book about mindfulness thus far.

Readin

Another book I should finish reading but which will be a subway read for me is Deb Maybury’s “Unlock The Door”.  Deb and I were both volunteer facilitators for a program that helps adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.  My dad abused me for years.  Deb published a compilation of varying types of prose and poetry from survivors, including a last minute entry from me.  We met just before she published and she was looking for a couple more entries on specific facets of the journey, including anger.  As luck would have it, I had just written a poem that really tapped into my anger toward my family and that poem is published in her book.  When I bought a copy to support the cause, I was really dreading reading it, thinking it would be very gloomy and heavy slogging.  But it’s not.  I’ve really enjoyed it thus far.  Now that there is a Kindle edition, which I just purchased a couple of weeks ago, I can dip into excerpts as I choose quite easily, even if I am reading another book on my reader.  It’s always just a click away.

http://www.amazon.com/Unlock-The-Door-Beyond-Sexual/dp/1484993802

I had the good fortune to board a relatively un-crowded bus this morning and my boss bought me a muffin so, off to a glorious start.  I also heard from a friend today.  I used to work at the phone company with him and he also sung opera, which I thought was fabulously mad and exciting.  He actually took a leave of absence, pulled up stakes, and moved his wife and two boys to Europe (perhaps 7 years ago now) to see if he could make a go of it, full time, in opera.  And, bless him, he has.  His family is thriving and he’s living his dream, which is a delight to witness.  He is back in Canada doing some auditioning and performing for a couple of months and I am excited to catch up with him again.  I think this is the only time I’ve seen him since he left, despite the fact that he’s often in Canada annually.  I have avoided him on previous visits because 1)  I am a loner and an introvert and 2)  I am uncomfortable with how my body looks.  Sigh… it’s true.  Even though it’s so ridiculous.  But when he knew me, I was freshly divorced and down to a much leaner weight because I had that horrible angst that divorcees have when they realize that, at some point, somebody new is going to see them naked.  Horror of horrors.  Anyhow, nothing a pair of spanx and five minutes in his company won’t alleviate.  I’m just going to buck up and do it.  No cancelling.  I’m friggin’ lovely inside and out and nobody is judging me harshly except, on occasion, myself.

opera

The Hard-Working Voice Within

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We put up our new mirror this weekend.  It’s facing the bathroom door so, when I am standing naked after a shower (we don’t close doors around here) I can see my full self, from head to toe.  I guess I haven’t in awhile.

This is where “Self Love Warrior Princess” comes in, right?  Popeye’s old standby; “I am what I am and I likes what I am”?  Right?

Well, you had to know.  Look at your lifestyle?  What you eat?  How lazy you are?  I’m not criticizing.  You’re better than some and worse than others.  But beauty isn’t what’s on the outside anyhow.  You know how, when you’ve been in love with a man, suddenly, and genuinely, whatever he’s like gradually becomes your type?  Well, your sweetheart raves on about your body all the time.  If you can look at yourself objectively and realize that there is no WAY your body deserves such praise – well then it’s a testament to how much he must love the real you inside.  Right?  And isn’t that much better?

And I do, actually, start to feel better.  Then!  There she is.  THAT voice.

You’re a fat fucking cow.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  You look disgusting.

Aha!  I remember her.  She hardly ever does that to me anymore and, quite frankly, she isn’t even speaking in an angry or accusatory tone.  She sounds bored with herself.  Disdainful of me.

“Hello there.  I remember you and, honestly and from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you.  I want to thank you for never standing down all these years.  For taking me down a peg or two if ever hope and happiness got me feeling a little too big for my britches.  For kicking me when I was down.  For keeping me disappointed so that I would never be caught off guard by disappointment.  Thank you.  I mean it.  Good work soldier.  Thank you for protecting me.”

You’re welcome.  She looks relieved.

“I see you.  I hear you.  I know you have my best interest at heart.  But I am all grown up now.  I am better equipped to avoid unnecessary hurt and better equipped to embrace pain when it comes.  I’m not dismissing you.  I’m just saying, you deserve a rest – and I can hold down the fort if you want to take one.

So many of those old voices.  The well meaning but too angry voice of our internal critic, coach, mother, world.  Old soldiers now – and getting tired, just like me.  I picture us, someday, sharing a ward in a government run charity nursing home.  I listen to their rasping breath while they sleep.  Do they sleep?

Sometimes, when my lover plays the violin or fiddle, he gets worked up into a lather and may suddenly stumble on a part of the music.  He always lets out this cute laugh (maybe a smiling expletive) and gets right back in the saddle.  The way he stumbles and laughs in the same instant remind me of a child falling off a toboggan.  A bit startled and a bit chagrined but mostly exhilarated by the ride.

Right now, he is playing Bach on the piano.  It is so beautiful.  And I can smell the lovely carnations an old lady client brought me on Friday.  “Wow.  This is so lovely.  I can smell the flowers even.  I feel like I am at a really nice funeral,” I sighed to him.  He laughs.

Marriage

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It is as cold as a witches teat out there.  (That’s a saying.  Google it.  For realzies.)  But the sun is shining in a cloudless sky, so I’ll take it.

Today has been lovely.  One of my old favourites came in and she always brings me flowers which, really, is so unnecessary.  But she thinks I’m such a nice girl.  I’ve also overheard a client’s wife say to him this week, “I forgot how great she is.”  I am having a good week 🙂

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Yesterday my queer friend told me the sad news that she and her wife had split up.  I feel terrible when families, (conventional or otherwise), fall apart.  I remember my divorce.  Even though it was a relief when it finally happened, I recall thinking, “I just effed up the biggest promise I’ve ever made.”  😦

I don’t get marriage anyhow.  It’s a license for love.  The government makes money from you procuring a marriage license (never mind those who profit off the ring and the dress and the venue and the food, etc.) but it doesn’t actually mean anything.  Your feelings are your feelings.  Your commitments are your commitments.  If you break your commitment down the line, the act of marriage didn’t protect you from it happening and now you get to pay a bunch more money to get out of the marriage.  Even an amicable divorce, with court filing fees, etc. is costly.

There are those who still hold to the idea that, if he really loved you, he would marry you.  (Yes “he” not “she”.  Women are the ones who perpetuate this crap in my experience.  Men don’t want to get married.  Why would they?  What’s in it for them?  Hell, in the twenty first century, what is in it for women even?)  Well that logic is ridiculous.  If a government license is the only acceptable symbol of commitment, then all those dog owners who don’t have a license don’t really love their dogs.  Puh-leez!  The license is a cash grab.  Hell, municipalities will license anything just to make money on selling them to you or fining you if you don’t have one.  I rather reluctantly admit to having spent a summer as a stripper and, surprise, in Toronto, you must have a license to be an exotic dancer.  Kind of makes having a license of any kind seem like a friggin’ tax – not a statement of undying love.

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I also wonder if marriage doesn’t kill passion.  When I was 18 I was told a story of a couple who were so in love and lived together for 10 years joyfully and then married.  Within six months, the story goes, they’d both cross the street to avoid one another.  Lady friends of mine who I always thought were a great catch marry fellas that seemed okay and, within two years, the guy is a millstone around their neck and she treats him like a dog who keeps shitting on the carpet.  I’ve also heard from countless people who say they are in sexless marriages.  WTF?  Is marriage the kiss of death?

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I feel bad that the queer community wants something that has failed the heterosexual community so badly.  Perhaps I should go on a lecture tour and tell them the pitfalls and perils.  I could sell t-shirts that say “Just Don’t Do It” (swish).

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I am no cynic where love is concerned.  Love is grand.  But marriage?  When people ask me if I’m married I just tell them, “I tried it once.  It didn’t take.”