Thursday, September 25, 2014

Warm Sweaters (so to speak)


Somehow I am at a point where it is very easy to spot love in plain sight and around corners. I have such dear people around me. 

Look at her. She turned one in August and every time I see her a new facet of who she is and will be shows itself. This is Reese. 


And this is Logan. He was pretty silent for his first two years. Now at three, I could listen to his questions and joy all day. 

I  have four children, ages 1 through 7 in my life, who I find just amazing. I am so grateful to know them, to be astonished by their perspectives and their silly dilly ways. 


It's good to push back on secrets. You never know when authenticity may help someone else. So with some relief I show you my (beloved) partner JB who has had a time of it; anxiety and worry to the brink over too many months. She's finishing up a month in our (beloved) Provincetown and all the release and replenishment we'd hoped for has happened. JB has spent time with herself, making art, walking along the ocean, hearing the waves, stepping into sunsets, and greeting strangers and friends. A world of good, it's done. Amen. 


Look at her: my (beloved) Mother who in January will be 99 years old. I carry such love for her; I'm the most present daughter I can be. But. It's gotten hard. Nursing homes are hard. Personal care needs have increased, remaining memory has decreased, sometimes I become her sister Betty. Sometimes she tells me the truth that she is alone in that nursing home and how great and safe she feels when I am there with her. It's hard. 

The people I love are warm sweaters. 


This brings us to this poem about the mess of current affairs:
What can I tell you?
Of course the world is turned upside down:
Wars and worries wear thin
Even though the seams.
But the sweater of the years is knitted tight,
Weathered wool that softens and warms 
Even the prickliest skin.

I’ve worn that sweater in pouring rain
And I’ve faced the nighttime shakes
and only once did a chill remake,
In some strange manner 
Only once is too often now
But I am better 
And with better comes hope.
And after all, hope is the warm sweater
Of days to come.

Before I end this, I want to thank you so much for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave such welcomed comments. it means a lot to me and I hope you know.

love
kj

Saturday, September 20, 2014

For Love….

Forgive me, Spirit of my spirit, for this, 
that I have found it easier to read the mystery 
told in tears and understood Thee better 
in sorrow than in joy.
George William Russell, 1867-1930


I get this statement and a good while back it inspired me to write this poem.  I modified and cleaned it up a little tonight. I can't say it's joyful, but I do think it's hopeful.


love

kj

For Love 
It’s only one arm,
Okay its dominant
But I can still
Raise broth to my frozen lips.

Only one eye,
The other choked blind
Though still I see shadows
Gracefully in flight.

I gave up my voice
So I could hear another
When the wires
Misfired and static reigned.

My steps though mis-shapened,
Hobble past space
Where molecular memory
Settles in.

Forgive me on a day
When my knees give out
And I whimper toward
Whatever grace isn’t.

When I was whole
I moved too quickly
To notice almost anything.
Now, lucky loss has given me sight.

My smile survived
because it double duties
With a tearful turn downward
At midnight, through the howls.

Yesterday I watched a cattail
Bend and balance
And I remembered when
My heart moved like that.

The loss of limb and love,
Lust and luster:
What a tiny price;
What a tiny price.

I wonder in the years ahead
Should my parts should regenerate
If I will miss
The space I’ve forfeited.

I wonder if sorrow
Might reappear as joy
filled with a love
That’s made me whole.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mish Mash in a Nutshell

Blah to my last post. Too serious for the times. I've had a very good summer and I'm ready for a New England fall. I'm writing daily in-between and aside from some consulting work, yard care, laundry, family, the nightly news and trips to Provincetown. 

Tonight I'm just thinking out loud:


This drives me crazy. Why is it so hard for so many people to use 'your' and 'you're' correctly. You're means you are. So you don't say 'your so lucky.' Please pass it on. It will make some folks seem instantly smarter. 


In an alley way in Provincetown, this woman from 1906 lies unobtrusively lies in front of the Atlantic House, a well known gay men's bar and a great place to dance.  She is not well known or well visited, but once seen, who could resist her?


Ahh the beach at low tide.  I took this shot one block--one block!--from our new house in Ptown. I am still orgasmic that we have this house. I still can't figure how it happened.


Said beach.


 Can you pronounce it? I can't. I can and then I forget. If you know a way to remember, please help me.


This was taken last Saturday night: It is the story of friends as far back as junior high school getting back together. Most of these folks I have not been in touch with for forty plus years. But we didn't miss a beat. There is something good to be said for being known.

That's all. I'm good. Because I'm riding the horse in the direction she's going. I hope you are too.

love
kj

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Hard Friends"



Before I tell you my own story I hope you will consider sharing with me and others a time when someone has nudged your life in this way; someone who you were destined to love and learn from.
My family won't like my choice. My friends won't either.

There are people who reconfigure your life in ways that nurture and exalt and others who blow things to holy hell and leave you wondering how or why any of it could have happened.

Someone hurt me so deeply I wasn't sure I would recover. I might have hurt her deeply too but that I will not know: her words have dripped with so much vilification and vehemence toward me that I believe she walked away without conscience and without a glance.

We met in 2006 and crashed in 2009.  For a time after that she was clear and public on these blogs that she viewed me with disgust and contempt. I've had relationships end but never like this one.

I've come to understand well more than I did then. There were many concerns: convention, politics, geography, culture, religion, sexuality, and I dare say mutual psychological issues. I don't miss the Rush Limbaugh demonizing and I don't miss the crazy push and pull of my emotions. I do miss the wild impromptu fun and provocation, the art and mail and passion and affirmations.

The bad was so bad. 

But.  I  cracked open. I became more myself, not as dependent on the opinions of others or life on the edge. I'm calmer and I finally know how to think as much as feel. I don't jump into any relationships the way I used to and I take my time before I commit my time or a hand or my heart. I'm not disappointed so often and when I am, I know that sometimes things just don't work out. I know when a person lacks empathy or quotes Rush Limbaugh arbitrarily that person is not for me.

I also know that I live my life without bitterness. Sometimes I still wait for evidence to bolster my side but mostly I try not to.

To JB and Jessica, you are my North Stars. Your love and  lessons come to me gently from security.  Even still, sometimes I learn by being broken.

So Miss Meanspirited Sunday Painter, thanks for the privilege Anyway I wish you peace. And sometimes I hope somewhere somehow you like me understand more now than then. 

Love
kj




Monday, September 08, 2014

Mish Mash


This summer:


JB & I did three rounds of Artist Trading Cards with eight other women. Each of us had a theme--I did this one for "Animals" (obvious liberty taken on my part, since birds are not animals.) I so rarely use my colored pencils or water colors and I am always happy when I do. 

My Micron pens--I use all the time. If you don't own a Micron, spend $ 3 and buy one. They don't smudge. And their lines are everything you'd want lines (and circles and shapes) to be. :^)


Our peach tree delivered.  I was  impressed.


This is our friend, Barb. She was always fascinating, but has somehow morphed into this fascinating stunning woman. A joy to behold, wouldn't you say?


I drew this for the ATC's--the theme for this one was People. I would say these are the kick-ass Sisterfriends. I can't draw from imagination. I tend to try to copy something, even though I might then make it my own. These three were on a black and white calendar.


My writing friend and I hope forever friend Lora sent me this chart when I publicized my struggle to keep my characters and events and their ages organized. This is the 'organizational chart' for a Harry Potter novel. Aha! I wrote out a chart for myself, vertically from 1947 through 2012. Next to that I put in a title of a scene or a chapter--some event in the book. Horizontally, I put the names of each character (7 of them, including the singer-songwriter John Denver) and added their ages over the years, and what was happening with them.

Something is now clearer in my head. I am starting to thread people and time and place together. I have written 35,000 words and I have to say I am laughing my ass off in parts. I read a chapter to my ferried Liz and she laughed her ass off. Good sign and fun times, writing this book (disclaimer: so far).


I created this graph a while back after I read about the five balls. Four of the balls are made of glass, sufficiently fragile that if you should drop one it can break. But the fifth ball--work: work is a rubber ball. It can bounce. I offer this as a quick lesson in What Matters Most…..

I have some blog visits to catch up on. I will. I am still cursing Facebook for changing too much about my blog. And just about everyone else's too. Still, I cannot even tell you how many actual true blue friends I have made and I will always love from blogging. From all over the world. Fantastic.

love
kj

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ponders & Google



It's a weighty decision whether to chin up to the violence and sadness in the world where buildings and people are blown up or to retreat to the sight of my grandfather's birdbath just outside my kitchen window where I watch all these birds splash their mornings away. Yes I know I can do both and I do. But it's still about what I let into my head and my consciousness and how that then affects the energy I give and receive.

I keep up with the news. Lately I'm likely to write a check or a letter or both in support of the values I believe in. Thanks to Facebook and Utube, I am well more sensitive to the plight of animals and thanks to my age, I am well more able to make choices about my time and efforts.

I am knee deep into writing a novel that will span forty years and god knows how many people. I have 30,000 words done which on average is a third of the length required by publishers. Unlike my first book, there will be back stories and places as characters. The back stories and dates require research and I like that even though plugging it all in accurately and orderly confuses the heck out of me. 

It's the end of August and the air says it's Fall already. I've returned to work until early next spring. I will return to Provincetown in two days after a season of rentals and I'm glad for that. I am laying pavers around my garden here at # 9 and that is such a 'concrete' act it tickles me.

Meanwhile, are you like me? Do you google every day? Multiple times a day? It makes me laugh to think of the index cards I would bring to the library before there was Google; how I would organize my homework and assignments with those index cards and how I would then type each word from the cards onto my typewriter.  Now, I sit at my desk or on my couch and I research the world. I'm doing a lot of research for my novel but also for things small and large that give thanks for my life. This week on Google: 

1. Gay legal employment issues in 2001

2. How a seventeen year old would enter the Sisters of Mercy to become a Nun

3. How to bleach a weathered wood fence

4. The significance of 1969 (JFK, MLK, Bobby Kennedy)

5.  Inexpensive wood enclosed outdoor showers

6. Stand up tents from LL Bean

7. Ordering a copy of 'Patty Jane's House of Curl"

8. What can I give 5 year old Drew and 7 year old Ryan for their first day of school?

9. Researching Meniere's Disease

10. WTF with Iraq, Ukraine, and ISIS

What are the last two things you've googled? I and everyone here would love to know :^)

love love
kj


Sunday, August 03, 2014

Close to Heaven


It meant a lot to me, this week's vacation in Provincetown with my family, and I hoped it would feel like a real vacation for each of us. I hoped it would go well. 

Turned out to be one of best times ever. JB, my daughter Jess, sil Mike, their four kids ages 1 through 7, and a fantastic mother-in-law named Pat--nine of us in all--fit perfectly into our little house by the sea and together and apart we each had enough of everything good. 


 It's a beautiful place--Provincetown. We are located one block from the beach and we walked that block so easily every day. Some days we went to the little beach, some to the wacky Provincetown Inn pool, other times visiting Auntie Heather's family in her nearby motel pool. 

The kids looked for hermit crabs and shells and sea glass and in the company of at least one adult, waded and swam over their heads. 
ryan and drew

We had the most perfect weather.


There was posing in front of murals depicting ptown's early years.


And mid mornings swims and again after afternoon naps. 

reese turns one 
logan
We filled the kiddie shark pool on our deck. 


And sprawled out in the sand.


Floated on crocodiles.


 I cannot describe my deep joy knowing my daughter is happy and loved and so blessed with a wonderful husband and these great precious children.


We collected shells


And drew pictures


We caught some minnows and caught some light


We giggled over lobster rolls and fried clams and fries and chicken tenders


and….hahahaha…I'll let this photo speak for itself.

I'm exhausted. 

And jubilant. 

It might have been my best vacation ever. It was all I hoped for.

Thank you, universe. Thank you so much.

love
kj