A Little Left (of center)

To the other mother sitting across from me, hugging your purse to your body, as you sit scared and cold and alone.

You’re not having a good day. Your hair is neatly tucked behind your ears, and your clothes look a little too big. Have you lost your appetite? Are you sick inside and terrified?

Did you look around, and ask yourself, “How did we get here?” Do you see parents you wouldn’t allow within 10 feet of your kid, sitting around you, brashly complaining and smelling of smoke? This feels like a good mothers’ cruel joke.

I know you’re thinking of all the ways you have been derelict in your motherly duty. That we teach women today mom’s must be ALL things, ALL the time. Don’t skip dress rehearsals, join the PTA, keep your home spotless, and drive all the kids to soccer and ballet. A meal should be warmly waiting, and the job you have must allow you to attend the monthly mommy & muffins, and camp outs, dance parties, play time, homework, and endless perfect patience, and unconditional love.

You’re only Human Warrior Mamma.

I remember my first parent visiting hour in a place like this one, and I sat tightly across from women and I remember thinking, as only a mother can, ” where Angels Fear to Tread” . If an Angel had been beside me, I would have heard a chorus of other Angel Mothers, saying to me, singing a prayer like a choir.

It’s going to be okay. It’s all going to be okay.

Your child, like mine, is in a safe place. Maybe you don’t realize how lucky you are, today you can breathe a little easier than yesterday. Admit to yourself, Warrior Mamma, you don’t remember the last time you knew your child was safe from themselves. For me it was 2003, she was 4 and I still held her hand before she exited any door.

Stop with the harmful shame. Mom, we are in this together for the next few minutes, stop looking for the thing to blame. Accept that this will pass. Yes, its going to be bumpy, this mom stuff may even kick your ass.

Say it with me slowly, your child is unwell. Your child can be well again. She is still your baby. She is hurting, perhaps, pretty badly. She needs to see you be authentic, but this is a visit. This is not the time or place to parent. Just be with your child, hold their hands and smile. Remind your child what it felt like to hold you. This isn’t the place for therapy, this is a place for play. Kiss your baby, make it last, it may be all they have to hold on to for a few more weeks, months, or just til the next day.

If you dared to make eye contact my eyes would plead to you warmly, it doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do enough of. What matters now is, you can both move forward.

I think you can tell I’ve been here before, watched my beautiful, fragile daughter from beyond the window, on her “unit” behind a locked door.

I haven’t slept much lately, and I cant concentrate on conversations, and when people ask me how she is, I stare blankly sometimes, too. I wish I could tell them I knew.

But, mom, how are you? How is the book you aren’t reading? The quilt you’ve stopped sewing, the husband you can’t kiss? How much have you lost while letting your heart drop into  your child’s abyss?

It’s okay Warrior Momma, put one foot in front of the other, you can do this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Minutes in Heaven

yesTo make my grandmother’s special chicken and noodles you must first be fearless.

You gotta clean your hands and enter her kitchen with your sins washed away for she will see them. All of them, saying nothing as she stirs the fine flour into a dusty powder.

You wont need to speak much as her few words carry weight- and will ring in your ears

You must never stop listening as she hums and moves from chipped bowl to bony fingers yielding in her way to form the dusty powder into a perfect ball. And watch with reserved fascination at the expert way she rolls out the dough, telling you not to worry, that first time you make your own. Because honey, she’ll say as she nods her head knowingly at counter she stands at,  the dough is forgiving… just keep kneading, and when it gets too big, or little sticky pieces get away from you- you can gather them back into the fold with your gentle, loving fingers.

She will clap her hands and you will watch the sunlight catch her smile.

She’s singing under her breath the songs she sang to my mother as she tucks experts fingers in her apron pockets. From her pockets she will pull a secret, something you wont see, but it is there in her lilting fingers, she’ll hold it almost out for you to touch, she will say, nothing you do for them will ever say better, I love you so much.

She will ask you to test the broth bubbling like a brook in an old silver pot atop the stove where she stood days before she had my mother, resting her hands atop her swollen belly, telling my mother as plain as day, without you my dear, there is no me.

And you will know in that moment as I did when I first had my moment, that you will never forget the feeling, the warmth, the sounds, the scent of her lemon skin, and that pure, perfect love smells like chicken soup and sunshine pouring in through the kitchen window.

Watch her as heavy hips sway with the clock on the stove as she watched patiently, as the minutes tick, waiting as if by instinct for 8 minutes to pass- to drop the roughly cut, fragile noodles, cut wide so you know they’re special, they hold her secrets. The ones she whispers into the pot. The ones you can taste, because know this now, you will never get her recipe quite right, no matter how many times you recreate it in your own kitchen- its not just the love that pours itself out over all the food she’s ever placed in front of you. Its her hope for you. Her worries for you.

She will tell you to serve this with something else, that this dish on its own isn’t quite enough. It was always enough. Please when she says this, tell her as I must remember to tell myself. Its enough, Nanna. You are enough, Nanna.

Learning to Count (on)

I used to discover things…
Once I explored a ship that had sailed across the ocean connecting it’s lines from one corner of the world to another.
Once I saw the world’s largest frying pan.
I heard the voice of God once…

I was maybe 26, when my son said to me, “you’re a wonderful mother” I remember the sweet, grateful smile he gave me as I soothed his little hurt.

I’ve tasted so much of the worlds’ offerings. Gazed in wonder at sunsets at foreign shores.
Played in the worlds wide gardens.

I used to be something more than this ordinary.

I never noticed it til now but everyone on the whole shitty planet shares your name.

Once I am sober from my drunken deliciousness long enough to…
wonder when if ever you’re this fixated if just maybe …

when someone stalls out in the middle of saying something …. Landing far too fucking softly on the D if Annnnnnnnnn(d) doesn’t at least to you…sound a lot like me.

I find myself looking for one thing…
The key To unlocking our little mystery.

Where it all ends perfectly. Where we are just one.

That is synergy. I don’t believe that is enough for you.

If I dared give you all of me, I’d be returned to sender, a box well wrapped, but empty.

You’ll always be an unfinished conversation away from really choosing me.

Or maybe you chose her and this riddle is really just another dark place I find avoidance from reality. Places I cleverly hide to avoid more of my own responsibilities.

You told me I added to you.

But I knew then, if it comes down to equations I cant measure up.

I am more a pleasure to see walking away than the simple sight of me begging you to stay.

And I’ve done that before. Begged for breadth I had no right to take. But, I can’t do that anymore.

Not after I let them stone me to death with words that hurt so much it stole the body from its breath,

Not so much a lover, maybe once, a friend.

Nothing much to see here.

learningJust a whore at her end.

Blankets and Boxes

I am not your puzzle to put together. I will not fit your form. I am an undulating storm. I will gather my skirts like billowing gusts of winters; air, I will bite at your cheeks. I will leave you begging for blankets, twisting in my sheets.

If you have need of order, find another.

I am done with boxes, locks, and ties. I will love you. Hard. Completely. Discreetly. Without shame.

I do not take your heart for granted. I will not consume you, as others would have done to you. I will expect you to run wild and free. And when you need to be held, my hands are open. Always open. Accepting.

My eyes will take drunken, lasting gazes over you. These eyes, they burn with passion.

I am too wise for what is the latest gossip, or your notions of fashion.

I have grown too large for the small minded places you will put me. I am not your mother, daughter, whore. I will break the glass at the ceiling and refuse to sweep the floor.

What is more?

I will define my success as happiness. As my own. As a birthright devined to me by my mere existence.

I will determine myself worthy. You don’t get a vote anymore. Your opinion of me, is ugly.

I am done caring what you think. I will drink in the nectar from the vine. I will call this victory

I will call me… Mine.

Woman Silhouette Waiting For Summer Sun

What is lost can be found

The heart of a complicated and mostly kind man broke- and the damn earth still moved on without it.. a few well wishers called to say “so sorry” and, , ” how can we help” ?

For him something great, and precious, and nearly perfect is lost-

And the world didn’t stop spinning, the breeze blew the way it wanted to.

And I found you. I found you in the corner holding flowers wearing a sheepish grin.

I found a place my hand didn’t just interlope.. it fit right in, Right in the place it belonged.

I know it because it is familiar. His hand, much BETTER than my own

Tea & Oranges

Leonard  Cohen and I need to talk.

He basically destroyed me.

I think he knew and loved a crazy girl once and she must have hurt him, bad. She was crazy and that clearly implies- best lover the poor guy ever had. Her tendrils wrapped around his finger and her broken pieces unfurled like a churlish bitch- you haven’t met yet.

I was born in the wrong skin, too thick in some places, and my intentions just plain too thin. His Suzanne and I were probably friends. I was born two decades too late bereft of almost anything innocent by the time I was 8.

But his songs they call witness to something inside me- his words a lullaby to all of my crazy- there is little hope any other will understand, or ever appreciate these things in me. Does your Suzanne still feed you? Are you there when she needs you?

tea and oranges

Notes on a Suburban Scandal

This place is for losing. For the coward in me who is too frightened to do the choosing.

The place my whole being begs to be heard by you. To laugh with you… You’re the only one who gets me. Without that feeling I draw a needle back and it reveals me, empty.

It literally hurts. My goodness this breathing when you’re not talking, when you’ve stopped singing – it hurts.

Have you become so unfeeling?

And then I play the game… I play the game all alone and I feel it tearing my whole being apart. I remember why I hate loving you. Why I wanted to escape from our madness.

My therapist would call this a thinking error — narrow thinking or catastrophic thinking. It’s a sign of a chemical imbalance and I find that shit funny because you’re my chemical equivalent to whatever that feeling is called that’s past serenity except when you’re not, sometimes you’re not. Still, it’s fucking better than anything else I’ve gotimage

The Place Time Forgot

Just sharing this old post as I have my eye on the rear view this morning.

imperfectionperfectionist

Brick homes with stone walls, and tree lined streets, cool blades of blue green grass quaffed perfectly at our feet.

We began a half dream there together, lying under a perfect tree, on a perfect day with perfect weather.

Your smile speaks to me… to a place I can’t deny. A part of me where strangers are unwelcome, the tender bits that when touched too roughly show the tear drops spilling from my eye…

This place you shared with me, untouched by time… a place where love for you found me, and your heart felt mine. Its a place we can travel back to… somewhere a long the line.

Only a pure heart can beat here, only a strong, steady hand can lead here…

Only you can take me here to this place where time forgets and the world ignores, and the sunshine pours out of a sky made for…

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