Sunday, April 28, 2013

Slice of Life

 Things are humming. The hum has been bad but now it's better. JB and I are selling the modest sweet condo in Provincetown we've owned for 20 years and miracle upon miracle, we have just spent our first weekend in the barely furnished very lovely little single family house built in 1910 we unfathomably managed to afford.  Am I moving to Provincetown now? No. Is the house an important puzzle piece of the future. Maybe. Probably. 

These photos span a few weeks. But in them, at least to me, is a transition happening. These photos do not include the view of the bay one block away, the front porch that will be so cool once we decorate, the space for Jess & Mike and the boys and the almost arrived new baby, and the yard--a tiny yard with a brick walkway probably 50 years old and a trellis 8 inches thick with I'm not sure what--maybe roses. It hangs over the back gate. I love it already.

Enough words. Here's a slice of Provincetown, old and new.  

Would you believe that to many 'buyers' this spiral staircase is a negative?
Not to JB and me!

The assembly and decoration of an old little house with character has begun. JB and I will rent the house for some weeks this summer, so we have to furnish and supply it in the coming weeks. Translation: go out and shop and don't feel guilty. We're buying comforters and dishes and end tables and floor lamps; some from Homegoods (discount home furnishings), some from the Provincetown Soup Kitchen and Thrift Store; some from the local auction where I nabbed three floor lamps in good condition for $ 5.00. 

 There is more to say but tonight I will let this slice of life be just that.

Two more things: this house is really fine. And I think my Jessica will love it too.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Place to Be Free by the Sea for Me

I have to show you again!

After weeks of one problem two obstacles and three reasons to cry JB and I closed on this house yesterday, in Provincetown, one block from the bay and beach, with a tiny teeny yard and a furnace in a dirt hole under the living room floor. 

Buying this house required more financial juggling than I will ever do in my life. The deal was on off on off. At times it seems like a shell game, or Ms. Pacman, the pieces moving no matter how hard or how much I tried to stay calm and take each problem one at a time. 

But yesterday....

The house is perfect for us. In time maybe we will end up here, in Provincetown. 

The house has room for little children--soon to be four of them--and their parents.

This is probably the ONLY single family house in Provincetown we could ever afford and I do believe we got it at a bargain price that I will beam about for a long time.

And here, if I may, is a glimpse of Provincetown:

A new chapter begins.

Of that, I'm sure.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Boston

I should show you pictures. I looked for one of Boston that would show the reason it is such a lovely city and why I am so proud it has always been my home town. I want you to know what a quaint and historic and hip a city Boston is.

But I couldn't find any pictures I liked enough, so I will use my words.

I also wanted to show you the Boston Marathon, this 26 mile race that starts in a two lane small town called Hopkinton and runs through Newton and Heartbreak Hill, where I and my family and friends have stood two or three people deep near the the corner of Commonwealth Ave (Comm Ave to most) and Chestnut Street. 

I wanted to show you what Copley Square looks like, where the finish line is; and the majestic Boston Public Library and Boylston Street and all its good stores and bars and restaurants and the Copley Plaza Hotel that oozes history.

But I couldn't find a picture to show you that either.

Boston took a horrific hit yesterday. Two bombs at the finish line, three people killed, blood everywhere in a crowd where many many people, some children, had their lower limbs blown apart. The news today is about trauma and amputations. 

My god, I live in a violent country. Violence is part of the United States. There, I've said it. Bombs and guns and last week knives plus a nuclear threat from a creepy kid in North Korea. Make that we live in a violent world. Things are bad.

I lived ten short miles outside of Boston for a lot of years. I've seen probably ten Marathons from that corner on Comm Ave. I've had the thrill of holding out orange slices for some runner who may grab one and nod thanks while he's flying by me. I've cheered on the Wheelchair athletes and marveled at how cool the whole Marathon is. It's always held on a state holiday: Patriot's Day and some people have the day off and some don't. Even if you work, you know it's still a holiday.And you keep an eye on the Marathon. The 26 mile stretch from Hopkinton to Copley Squared is lined with fans and their lawn chairs the whole route; lawn chairs and coolers and straw hats and huge signs like "Go Daddy!"

The Boston Marathon is as great an event as it gets.

I am only going to say one more thing. In my Boston yesterday, many many first responders and  runners and spectators ran toward the explosions, not away from it. They ran to help. Their concern for so many so very injured is what I've heard emphasized on the news today. What happened at the Boston Marathon yesterday was horrible and horrific. I mourn the loss and impact. But holy shit am I proud to be a Bostonian. 

I knew it all along: that special way I carry competence and kindness when needed and that twinkle in my eye is because I am from Boston.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Little Me

"Long ago God drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. You were never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.” — Elizabeth Gilbert

One two three four
I'm walking through an open door
five six seven eight
No idea what might await
Nine ten eleven twelve
Knees do knock and ready to delve
--ms. kj

This photo intrigues me. I am standing on a kitchen floor in a little house by the sea that JB and I will take possession of next Friday, after a month of hazards and hysterics from a fiesty universe and a disappointing mortgage broker. 

It is not lost on me that while I know I was standing solid on that floor, the photo confirms that I was also up and down and around. Security may have a foundation but who's to say the foundation might be not be made of peekaboo glass or wispy cloud puffs or wiry roots from another world? 

Life is about chance. You can wait for chance to find you or you can venture forth to find it. In my case I seek to shake things up even though I'm no fan of change. In my case I am stretching once again to begin a new chapter yet written. I am leaving my job, taking out a mortgage, planting seeds for a time that has not come. 

I look at my appointment book and I see that I am booked into summer, maybe into fall. A new baby, a condo to sell, a research gig in process, a workshop to design, a book to finish, a garden to plant, a Mother, a daughter, a partner, a friend . 

I am living life. I don't like the stress, the sadness, the unfairness of what comes along with living, but I reckon those feet of mine will land where they're supposed to. Maybe this is true, maybe it isn't. But I reckon to see it that way.

That way works better for me.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Damn Good Reasons

 I have spent the last month in a daze. Too busy, too tired, too hyped up. 

I know better than to let stress or worry get the better of me. But sometimes all you can do is hold on and know that the sun will most certainly sooner or later rise again.

I also know it's not wise to want something or some result so much you can't bear the thought of not having it. But sometimes all you can do is hope to be calmer and wiser the next time around. 

I wasn't sure what I would blog about tonight, but as soon as I began I knew I wanted a reminder of all that is good and right in my life. There is plenty. Come along if you'd like, but this post is mostly for my own human self. :^)



Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Shirley and Lilly and Fourteen Others


"I felt an emotion today."

"Tell me about it."

"It was sadness."

"Because I'm leaving?"

"Yes.....It was a real emotion....I don't feel too many emotions but I felt this one."

"I feel sad too," I say. "But we will take some time to look back and look ahead and make sure that we know we will always care about one another before we have to say goodbye." "And," I add, because I want to tie all that caring into the future, "I will always think of you and carry you in my heart."

Shirley just turned eighteen and I've been her therapist for five years. All this time she's been  in a special school and for all five years we've been working on her pausing before she impulsively throws a chair or a cell phone when she is frustrated or provoked. 


I have begun the process of saying goodbye to my clients. I will leave in mid May and when I count that I will only have four more sessions with Shirley or five more sessions with John I too am sad. 


"I don't want to do this anymore. He told me he'll kill me and my little niece and nephew if I break up with him.'

"What???" I know this boyfriend is bad but I am shocked by this. 

"Are you sure this time? You won't sneak back?" I ask.

"Yes, I'm sure. He says I have to do everything he tells me, that it's my fault if I don't listen to him and he gets mad. He yells at me all the time and we never do anything. And he gets physical. He squeezed my arms and left bruises."

"Are you afraid of him?"

"A little, I think my Mom needs to get a restraining order."

"So are you ready to talk to her about it? Can we talk to her now?"


Oh thank God, finally. Lily is sixteen and her first boyfriend is scary horrible: jealous, demanding, controlling and escalatingly abusive. She can't say why she's put up with this for nine months. We go inside. Her mother, her sister-in-law, a friend, myself--we are all talking at the same time. We talk about what to expect and how to stay safe. Her mother calls the police. She will get the restraining order.

"I'd like to know this is settled and you are back to being a regular 16 old kid before I leave."

I don't mean leave today. I mean I will LEAVE for good. This is a kid I will miss like crazy. She is wildly impulsive and when she is herself she is also light and silly. 


How will I say goodbye to my clients? I won't be their therapist any longer, I am not their friend, we are not related. Protocol says I should lean toward saying a permanent and final goodbye. They need to move on. They need to bond with a new therapist, need to know they have the skills and character to let what we've accomplished together be a glue for self care and insight and the pursuit of happiness. The need to know I believe in them.

They and I will carry one another in our hearts. 

Today was a sad day for me too. There will be more by the time mid May rolls around. 

And I and hopefully they will be the better for it.

We are going to learn how to positively say goodbye.