through like an arrow

last night the matriarch of my father’s family had a double stroke. she is strong in a way that no one else i have ever met is strong. she has played a key role in raising just about everyone, her house has been the community, the safe space, the place to fall. she is ancient and mobile and tiny and her whole face is a huge grin.

in the middle of telling my staff about her at our lock-in today, we noticed that the ruckus mascot, otherwise known as megan’s dog spiff (who has had a broken leg in a purple cast for three months now), was trying to make love to a heart shaped pillow. further proof that any set of circumstances or feelings, from grief to the absurd, can exist in a single moment.

the department of home security listed ruckus as “extremist” and a “cyber attack” threat. responsive thoughts abound. mainly, when you point one finger at someone, the rest of your fingers are pointing back at yourself.

the first day of our lock-in was amazing, exciting…we’re brewing up some good trouble. sadly, i brought a soup that was completely too spicy, folks swallowed it all but we all knew i coulda done better.

i went and got my brows done and got a pedicure. every time i do anything like this, i hear nina simone singing “the other woman” in my head.

i went for a swim to work off some energy. on the way to the pool i heard that song again, “blame it on the alcohol”. this time it made me angry, as anyone who has ever been assaulted under the influence, or loved someone who experienced that, should be. especially this line:

Shawty got drunk, thought it all was a dream
So i made her say i, i i

What I hear the singer saying is, blame it on the alcohol if I turn that dream into a nightmare. Not sexy at all.

So I swam that off, and then sat around hearing some friends talk about the ways people can jerk each other around and hurt each other in the process of learning to love. Vulnerability can feel so many ways. It might be the heat, but I can’t build up a dramatic energy in my heart. Everyone deserves love, to be treated well. But love comes like oxygen, all around you if you give into it, and in an emergency, you have to give it to yourself first before you can really be of help to anyone else.

I can stay present and keep moving forward, some things are within my control and most aren’t. I feel I moved through this day so steadily, like I released myself through it, through it like an arrow. That’s the only way to hold loss and love and life in 24 hot hours.

the good things

this has been an AMAZING weekend. here’s why:

1. farmer’s market now that i am actually getting totally into vegetables. i used to just enjoy the feeling of walking through, past the vegetables to the gourmet olive oil and honey. yesterday i got rainbow chard, broccoli, asparagus, cilantro, yams, onions, carrots, beets…and my olive oil. and i came home and made a delicious green soup puree.

2. swimming. i am pushing myself harder and harder now, beyond when i feel like i might be done, with challenges to swim long enough to get lost in it and not look at the clock. swimming past my mind and into the pure experience of my body, the water, the quiet and water sounds, the resistance of the water against my movements, the completely new set of muscles worked by different strokes. its a meditation now, makes me feel so peaceful.

3. good music + singing. i got to hear valerie troutt live at the red poppy (23rd and folsom in sf) on friday night. she’s a real musician, using her voice as an instrument and a storytelling device. she’s giving a group lesson there today – i’m going. i’ve been writing songs again.

4. in fact, i’ve been getting creative in a lot of ways again, drawing, singing, writing, cooking, thinking. letting it wander. recently heard someone say that people with fast minds and dark edges who don’t work their creativity out go mad.

as anyone who has known me for any period of time knows, i am a perspectivist. the world is all going to hell, or its all conspiring in your favor and miraculous, depends on your outlook. both are true, at all times, and i am fortunate to live a life where i work against the hell we create with our fears and weaknesses. i need to do this other piece more often though, let it conspire in my favor, be miraculous and easy and wonderful.

hope you all roll back some massive rock and come back to life in whatever way you need this weekend. (that’s easter, right?)