And The Sun Burns Into Your Eyes

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I write to you today as a doer of deeds.   Some less ably than others, but all of them noble enough.

There was a list and I look around and I know that I worked hard with the time I was given.  I did not throw it away heartlessly and blearily stare into my screen.  I want to do that, and usually do.  But I think that perhaps relaxing in the security of the middle distance would be more satisfying if I wasn’t too petrified to look around and see the odd, stilted creatures that make it their home.  Not looking is not easing your eyes.  Not looking squinches other muscles: the inner eye is lidless so there is considerable effort required to draw one’s self around it and blot out its sight.

I have been waiting for signs, omens, help, lighted walkways, arrows, marquee listings, maps and miracles to divine my way.  I’ve been waiting for someone to walk first or walk with me or yank my wrist and pull me into the street.  Now, I’ve been waiting to hear, it must be now!  And every now and then, nowadays, I hear, it should have been then.  It should have been and if it wasn’t, it won’t.

It is enough to make you stand stock-still, and let your eyes peel and turn, as if you’ll get that message you’ve been looking for and not risk getting hit by the everything that has already decided its time is now.   This, I have come to believe, is only one philosophy.  And the rightness or wrongness of it is only measured in whether or not you are satisfied with the standing and the seeing.

I am no longer satisfied with what I can see from this bed frame.  From this hallway.  From this solitary plot I happened to happen upon.

Those hopes to exist without risk, without presence or engagement, or bearing the weight of being the object in the lesson, they’re actually as unhelpful as a bathing suit in a blizzard. Because this isn’t that kind of life.  As painful as the change thus far has been, it is not even the beginning of it.

So I realize now that the plans I used to make on my own, I need to make again.  The closing around myself, swaddling myself with stillness, looking past what looks at me so that we don’t connect – there is no story there.  The heroine has to look the villain right in the face and know his weakness and how to break it.

Today, I’ve done things I didn’t want to do.  Made 30 phone calls to strangers who all had opinions of me that I will never know.  I let the caffeine get to me and then drank some more.  I exercised and tracked my food.  I looked at myself in the mirror, sighed, and then used that body to load the dishwasher, to type this report, to flip the pages of a book that thrills me.

Tomorrow, I demand the same.

You didn’t love me and I will never know why.

Instead, I walk off the mark and love the trees budding a lime-bright green, the stem bent that bears a daffodil cup full of dew and honey, the air that lifts a seed up into the air and twirls it as far as it needs to go to find an open space to live as it was meant to live.

 

Something More than Nothing

pexels-photo (2)I am not sure how long this will take.   If yesterday was the exhilaration of realizing I can do more than nothing when it comes to exercise, today was about realizing “oh, you mean, today, too?”  Having the day off – one more day of having an excess of freedom with my time, means that I have the ability to do more than might otherwise be necessary.

Did it, though.  Wasn’t leaping out of my skin with the same joy, but I did it, because I want the habit more so than anything else.   There was a little bit of soreness in my legs, nothing felt the same capacity to leap and herk and jerk as yesterday, but it was possible to do the exercise with vigor and not with rage or fear. Do the situps, do the tracking, do the tromping around to Missy Elliott and hope that it’s adding up, not worrying about calculating it all today.  Nothing needs to be decided or changed after 3 days of real effort or 18 days of cleaning out bullshit ideologies.   We have plenty of time for reassessment.  Now are the days of derring-do.

Reading Big Magic, avoiding the fumes of whatever lacquering or shellacking or staining they are doing downstairs unannounced, watching more of the Tribe, working ever so slowly on the novel, but sometimes breaking through a wall and the tortoise transforms into the hare.  Also, thinking about a secondary story, secondary worlds, secondary hopes and dreams.  Living creatively by chewing all the gum I can get my jaws around.

Accepting the new week.  I cannot push it away with my feet.  I cannot draw it nearer with a curled index finger.  It is just as it is.    Ah-hah!

All this and +200 story words, too,  I can’t even believe it! Look at the girl go!

Secret Ravings of a Homeless Witch

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This is the post I wanted to write – the post I am writing despite still needing to do my romantical paean or whatever the heck rutting behind the chiffarobe sort of scene I’m aiming for.

I need to track exactly what I eat.  Or as exactly as the software allows.  I need to document my choices without curling up into myself.  Without yellowing and peeling as soon as I realize that I fucked up and then, trying to alter the record so that it isn’t written down, in digital stone, that I am a failure.

I have been really good and today, that fuck-up happened.  But if there is nothing to fuck up, and that is fucking with my head!  There was the Timely Garnet Extravaganza playing all day long in my undercarriage, with the glorious attendant rumblings of pain, sharp and bright like sheet lighting.  There was the financial dealings that have bled their way into my financial dealings which meant, at least for today, there was soup for leftovers and a crap outlook for grocery shopping. Then, there was me sealing that aforementioned soup shut in the microwave, and me in my new but already shaggy-dog looking poncho which is a look jokingly referred to as “homeless witch” by a sharp-tongued co-worker.  Whose sharp-tongue I usually appreciate and am amused by, but today, instead, felt rather a bit exhausted and irritated with.  I had put on makeup today.  I had pulled my hair into a cute ponytail.  Everyone was a little surprised at me getting the brunt of it, even him. Even though we all know that he just says whatever he thinks for better or worse. That’s the bit that bothers me, because nobody gives me feedback, really, and then, suddenly, out of the blue, this wry negative I have to laugh off.  I mean, I am totally down with witchery and wildness, but that wasn’t what he meant or what I had been gunning for.  I feel sort of messy and melted, but nobody’s allowed to pick up on that.  It sort of pisses on this idea that I thought maybe I was getting somewhere, yesterday.  It was feeling easier.  And today, I’m feeling like I can’t move two inches but for falling into another black hole of unsolvable problems.  Like my self-esteem got kicked in its imaginary junk.

So, the pizza I said yesterday, oh no, it’s crap, I would never eat it.   It is crap, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t eat it today because it Or the doughnut holes I am eating before dinner and probably in a minute going to have again.  I really wish I could have not.  But I did.  I have to own that I did it and not do it again tomorrow when things are going to be equally haywire.

Life is always going to jam me up.

I think the shame exists because I wish I could have some backbone in me that would feel obliged to say, hey, you are trying to lose weight and that means that you can’t do do what you did before.  This is what you want to escape.  You have to dig your heels in and pivot.  And when you don’t listen to your better voices, and you know you’re giving up time just to feel…not good or bad, but simply nothing, it’s embarrassing.  It’s embarrassing to say I ate maniacally and privately and in an attempt to keep myself from feeling regret about my job, regret about my body, from perceiving the failure I so often register myself as being.  Not resulting from my choices, but in-born, genetic, terminal failure.  I can hear the tsk-tsk, and the berating tone, and nobody’s said anything.  I make myself feel terrible so that I can keep eating poorly and have this same exhausting conversation over and over again.

But it doesn’t have to be.  Because before, I would do this binge-eating (which, I think in my personal history of bingeing and the collective one I believe exists, is not so bad) and nobody would know about it.   Food was medicine. Food was private.   Food was the panacea and where I didn’t have be nice and polite and silent.   I didn’t have to think about  I had the power to make sure I could get all I needed.   If I happened to eat publically, that was a social requirement, not nutrition.  Lately, though, all I needed is a hell of a lot.

So we have to say what is.   I didn’t want there to be rules I could fail, but there is still the desire that I want to meet. So we have to track what I actually ate.  Even if it’s “bad.” Even if it says that I took a flying leap.  Because we can’t work from nebulous generalities.  We do choose better when we know better, so pretending we can’t know – that it’s all incalculable intangible ATE GOOD or fluid, approximate ATE BAD, how do we replicate it or avoid it?  We end up pulling the same experiments over and over again, every time coming up REPLY HAZY, ASK AGAIN LATER.

Time for the bike and the floor.

The Cant-ery

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The unending allure of cat fluff.

Ack! Okay, mes amis, the day is coming to a close and I have yet to get any legitimate writing done.  I will not rush this – I am always rushing about at eleven o’clock in the evening and I have to wonder if it isn’t an unhealthful thing to do.  There is plenty of time to write five hundred words and put some sort of substance in them.

Like cauliflower.  I found myself with a head of cauliflower and this oddball taste for cauliflower soup.  This is not something we grew up with, so I can’t claim it was a craving borne out of nostalgia.  Perhaps some evening I watched them making it on America’s Test Kitchen, I’m not sure.  Wherever it came from, it coincided with a craving for creme fraiche.  Obviously, (obviously?), I didn’t grow up with fancy ingredients in 99% of our meals.  Eating something like a caper or a pate always took place with a little dose of suspicion because you just never could tell.  Growing up, in fits and starts, I’ve expanded that palette so that now and again I’ll buy an ingredient just because I know it makes everything taste better than the blue-collar, factory-frozen, salted to oblivion, prepackaged food that typifies my diet.  Just for kicks.  But I didn’t really have a plan for it.

The recipe took care of both of them in one quick stock pot.  It’s essentially, cooking up some onions and garlic with butter and olive oil and another ingredient I consider to have cache – a goddamned bay leaf, before adding 3 cups of stock.  I used water and added the bouillon-type stock starter powder I have.  Brought it all to a boil and then added the chopped up head of cauliflower.  Cooked that on a heavy simmer for half an hour, used a magical immersion blender and suddenly, thick, velvety soup.  Added in a few dollops of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of dill and I felt like, I don’t know, the Barefoot Contessa?  I’ve seen it done with leeks as well, and would like to try that.  I don’t think I’ve ever cooked leeks.

The official recipe is here: http://www.theharriedcook.com/2011/05/cauliflower-soup-with-creme-fraiche.html and the lovely photos on that blog are not unlike my effort at all, which made me pretty happy.

Not eating breakfast and having this for lunch with a ton of bread and then a ricey, soupy, chicken for dinner with cheese is not making my daily totals look great.   But I have to feel much better that the calories for today all came from kitchen experimentation and not out of a paper bag with Chipotle written on the side.  I did my ten minutes, I did my situps, I didn’t lose focus.  So, booyah.

And then! Then! Skyping with the absolute lovelies about Seattle which is shaping up to look just like what I need (I can’t say I need a vacation after just coming back from 2 weeks off, but I think come May, I will need just this –  a plane ride and an adventure on the horizon.  A short-term goal for head, heart and the canister that hauls them both about.

 

 

Punky Brewster

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Feelin’ kind of punky tonight.   I have lost 0 weight this first week.  In so doing, I have failed nothing.  I want to lose it as a concept a few percentage points more now, just organically, by keeping up these habits and knowing I have more effort left in store to give this.

Went to the Texas Roadhouse and did mostly as was intended, mostly.   That fucking bottomless bread that has some sort of hidden sweetness in it that I don’t even like.  It was really nice, though, that we were all able to talk like a human family together.  A bit irritable about something work-related (on a Saturday, too!) that is not immediately resolvable (is this a word?), and feeling just funny and punky and lonely and weird.   Writing things other than this really poorly, but enjoying the fact that I can do it even when the Crone and all her nodding retinue swears that I can’t.  That I’m blocked and locked up and don’t know my characters, when I do.  Bitches, I know them so terribly well they’ve been tattooed on me for aeons.

I am caught up on A Chef’s Life.  Tomorrow: soup.   I continue to read my third book of the year (happens to be Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – feel a bit like someone distilled my most optimistic, empathetic, romantic regards for writing and I’m not sure if I taste the saccharine in it or if I’m just being a punk.   Have had some positive self-thoughts today, tried to be sarcastic, but this time the disingenuity was wholly on the part of the jerkface parts of me.  I kept thinking nice things.  I should stop before I end up believing them.

Figuring out that as soon as I want something to happen and I stop with my bullshit and get after it, I can have it.  It is basically tantamount to just needing to turn my head to the left.  Not even figuring that out, I know that much, just realizing the whole fucking psychological ping pong game my life is. Yearning being slapped back by vulnerability being slapped back by over-defensiveness being slapped back by desire being backhanded by shame.  Can we just sit still a moment, please?  One person, under her own power, indivisible.

Tonight’s soundtrack:

1.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PinTAGbIsV4
2.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYvmhpIRmoM
3.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SyBR-M2YvU

+300 story words.

Wherein Ingrid Bergman Gets Real Positive About Life

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Fridays are good days to get listy.

  • I am feeling good because it’s Friday, and because I started on the road to take care of something work-related – other steps are not mine to take – but I did as was asked of me even though I was pretty anxious about it.  Mostly because anything under the sun has the potential to make me anxious, but yeah, it was tackled today, it was not left to rot over the weekend.
  • Sometimes I feel like I should do hardcore low-carb, but it doesn’t teach me how to live, how to chill the fuck out about food and how not to allow it to be a sedative. Right now, I feel as though even if I’m not eating all the vegetables I might or even if I’m eating a fair bit more sodium than I should, I  have awareness of it.  Like I am aware of the fact that the restaurant we’re going to tomorrow – Texas Roadhouse (we have a gift card and are taking the parents) – has a brownie on the menu. Eh, I like brownies.  I eat that brownie, I’m not breaking a rule, I’m not “naughty” or “failing” – but I am eating 800 calories.  800 calories! And my body would slow down to a crawl to process that and I would go drifting into a sugar coma and I’d lose the rest of the weekend.  It doesn’t have to be that way anymore!  Tracking – even after the fact – is just helping me learn the impacts of the habits I already have so that as I gently course correct, I want to do more.  I want to win the day by eating a bit less than I might have, not prowling the kitchen when I might have, not picking the fattiest, heaviest thing on the menu with this defeated attitude that it is the only thing that would make me happy.  I don’t want to feel defeated by eating under 20 carbs for weeks and weeks and not getting anywhere and then saying fuck it all, and not daring to look at the scale for another six months.  That does get you somewhere – 20 pounds away from where you started and having to cobble together enormous force to start dieting.  Instead, I am tracking, getting on the bike for 10 minutes of physical activity, doing 10 situps, and reiterating my business to myself over and over so I know this is what I’m working towards.  I want to be free.  I don’t want to be beholden to patterns of food or being made to feel okay through food anymore. So I’m probably not going to order the brownie.  I’ve been able to keep up these things so far this year and I feel good about that.
  • And tomorrow, instead, for dinner, we’ll try cauliflower soup with creme fraiche.  I can do all sorts of magic shit you don’t even know I can do.
  • I’ve finished 2 of the 52 books I aim to finish reading this year.  Mindy Kaling’s Why Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? which I liked, but didn’t love.  I would get close to relating to her, close to finding it hilarious, close to delightful, but in the end, not really.  Sorry! Ah well, on to the next one.

On to tomorrow!

Manifestation Station

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So, here’s a thing that we should be really, clearly, surface-level, genuinely aware of.

Exercise one day, get up early and find yourself able to get dressed, wash your face, brush your teeth and get back to the computer, etc with enough time to start a post.  Even if you stayed up rather late watching videos and had your legs mangled in the night by an animal who doesn’t care that maybe once in your life you’d like to stretch your bones out while you catch those forty winks.  To have any sort of energy, any sort of pep, well, that’s fairly miraculous.

And that’s just from a half an hour of walking/spazzing out.  Imagine if I had energy like this on the regular, like off and on I have in the past, when I don’t know, I exercised or ate right or thought positive or..?  This is pretty much a one-to-one, if, then statement.  If I exercise, then I feel good.  If I don’t exercise, then I feel shitty.

You want it to be other than it is, but at the same time, the way it is…is simple.  Uncomplicated.  It’s a recipe for less bullshit, better mornings, bigger ideas, less fear, more output.  So, I don’t know about trying to go and see a movie or doing something for the last part of my therapist’s request tonight, because it’s probably a better idea to make time to erode some of this general exhaustion I still feel.  I mean, it’s not magic, I’ve still got my aches and pains and I’ve still got this strong desire to just lay down and close my eyes.  But it’s not worth trying to “sleep” for two minutes before I have to get up and finish readying the day.   And sometimes, the shittiness makes me think it’s worth falling apart over.  Worth pushing everything else out a bit just for two minutes of awkward, unpleasant silence.

Don’t forget to make that payment today.

There will be time for more, one hopes.  One thinks.  Time to put some tights on and get to work.

…………..

I am rather interesting.  I am always sure I have it right and then I ignore that in favor of good feelings.

Working on finding new sources for good feelings.  Setting a land speed record for unloading the dryer?

Tomorrow’s the official start date.  Pulling on the Wellingtons, gripping and regripping the harpoon, and marching down to the shore, standing on the docks in my yellow raincoat for a brief moment of sea air before clambering down into the rowboat that will take me to the places where there is no shore, no dock, no reef or buoy.  Here I will cast my net and here I will catch what is offered up to me.  It may be nothing, but I will be there to receive the nothingness.

I have to email Ms. B.  It will be hard to explain that a dash of heartbreak and a lot of perfectionism is what has kept me from doing so before now, but I want to do things rather than regret not having done them.