Taj Mahal

science says, silly goose

An emperor of some sub-state of India back in the day built the Taj Mahal as the tomb site for and in honor of his favorite wife named someone-or-other Mahal.

I learned that on Jeopardy.

My garish lack of detail and the flippant use of favorite brings me to the following:

One-Jeopardy moves really fast, but 1/6th of the time I totally nail it.

Two-I’ve always had a curiosity about having sister wives, except with lots of stipulations about their cooking abilities and that they generally looked like an Oompa Loompa.

Three-It’s been years since I binged all of Big Love, back then I used to put myself in the shoes of the young beautiful wife who had the most gorgeous of the babies and drove Bill wild with a simple glance. As my years tick by, and these wildly hypothetical situations arise, I see myself more as the original, oldest wife. She was composed, rooted in her love for her husband, above petty jealousy. Okay, so maybe I’m elevated these days in most areas save matters of the heart. But hey, I’d burn every ounce of that young beautiful woman and every other potential young beautiful woman to the ground and then rub the ashes across my face like war paint, I mean… if I were Barb.

Four-Really what Barb, Mrs.Mahal and every other wise women in all of history and modernity know is that it’s never the other women. (Save all the implications of vastly different cultures and social norms, that’s not the kinda thing that I’m writing here, this time around).

Five- Once Stacey said to me, that she had found the fallacy of long-term committed romantic relationship. It’s simply that we put too much pressure on our significant other to be everything that we need. When really what we need is a community. She’s right.

Still, I keep a ledger of all the ways that we’re keeping pace for favorite, or not. Hard to shake what you grew up on.

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Goodbye moon

Ever Sophia, Love, pretty things, therapy

I spent my whole childhood imagining what it would be like to be a mother. I would have three kids, all named after early 90’s sitcom characters: Blossom, Clarissa, and Tapanga, respectively. At least one would be a boy.

I was to be happily married, but also an ultra bad ass working mom, like an astronaut working mom. I’d tend to the children between missions to Saturn and stuff. I also magically was going to be there everyday when the kids got home from school. I’d bake pies for snack time, be the room mom and be the biddy basketball coach.

My babies were going to be five times as smart and a light year better at making good decision than me, but also have blonde hair and blue eyes because did you see me as a child? (Okay not those unfortunate ones where I was a morbidly obese infant the other ones).

Let me count the ways that I fabricated what I was sure would be reality: family vacations, family dinners, family meetings, family game night, family sized packs of fruit snacks, pretty much the word family before any noun makes it bigger and better, and who doesn’t like bigger and better things???

I now know that the word family not only makes you look like less of a glutton in the check out isle but it also allows you to share the burden. It creates a home. Relief on the hard days and witnesses for the great ones.

Absolutely none of those things happened. Happily married evaded me the more I chased it. Three artfully named children turned into one artfully named girl. Being an astronaut turned into being a therapist, though I’m pretty sure that I’ve had an alien or two as clients. I can’t even remember a single time that I wasn’t rushing around in traffic at five o’clock trying to pick Ev up before her after school care closed. Last but not least I have no time to coach anything, other than the rousing peptalks that I give both of us to crawl out of bed and even still our morning routine makes it into double overtime pretty consistently.

The moments of feeling like I’ve balanced single parenthood, work, school, romantic partnership, dog ownership (my eulogy to who I thought I would be as a dog parent is next), has been far from eloquent. I’m inclined to say it’s the hardest thing that I have ever done, but also that it’s never once felt impossible.

I haven’t yet gotten to be the mom I dreamed to be. But I did get to be Ever’s mom over and over and over again. Couldn’t have chosen a more majestic little creature to negotiate this family thing with until the day I die, and then some.

There’s a whole other part to this but I’m keeping highly classified information about the most beautiful thing that happened today, so I’ll wait on until the photo deal goes through with People magazine and the gag order is lifted (I’m impatient, you know this).

silly rabbit

Love, pretty things, silly goose, soulfood, therapy

Ya’ll know I’ve been kissing frogs, for a while. I’ve officially been single for a year. Let me do some finger counting like a 1st grader realllll quick…. I’ve been on dates with TWELVE different men in a year. Of those seven made it to second dates. (That’s actually way more than I thought, now that I review the facts). Surprisingly decent odds, but I’m also just a really nice person who likes to give people ample opportunity to let their pretty little personalities shine. For only three of the seven was there any real potential for a meaningful relationship. One out of twelve made it to official boyfriend territory that quickly corroded into a land mine of manipulation, deception, and horrors, but who’s counting.

And then there was lucky number twelve. 

Twelve is an auspicious number meaning that this dude if wholesome as fuck. Someone that I look at and think, now here’s a man who stands up to the grandpa test. 

So, what’s the grandpa test?
My Papa who is absolutely the love of my life. The corner stone of positive male influence for me. The man, who when it comes down to it, I’ve been desperately trying to find. (Uhhh huh, that’s how attachment to our opposite sexed caregivers work, if you’re lucky, you try to recreate healthy relationships in your life and not toxic or disregarding ones… been there too.) I’ve been working on my daddy issues like it’s my job for years, ’cause it is.

This past summer I had the absolute blessing to spend a few days with my Papa. Time crawled by, I savored every moment of it. One summer Kansas evening, we were sitting in lawn chairs on his back porch, and my Pops was telling me about how he had made a number of loans to people who blatantly did not pay him back based on their agreement. My grandpa is savvy, it’s not that he didn’t understand that there was risk in loaning friends money, it was that he couldn’t fucking believe that people were systematically so God-damned shitty these days. Long held acquaintances. Family friends. People from his tiny close-knit community. Ohhhh you gonna do me like that. (That’s what my grandpa sounds like in my head, not reality).

He just explained it all really sadly. Like right in front of his eyes as the decades ticked by he watched as morality completely eroded. Disbelief. But, still he shows up to the next person ringing his doorbell in a terrible bind, with the benefit of the doubt. Still helping people. Still hoping that there will be a few more someones that behave honorably.
That conversation has been a lump in my throat ever sense.

Maybe that’s the word, the sentiment, the everything: honorable.
For a year I have been searching high and low for an honorable man and I didn’t even know it until it was just right there staring me back in the eyes.

I’m learning and learning and learning to listen to my intuition. To stay tuned into my senses. To be careful about getting ahead of myself, be careful about having too many drinks, being careful about over sharing, over promising, over fantasizing about how wonderful it all could be. Learning because the reverse of all of those things is like playing with matches in a kerosene bathtub. And I’ve taken many a self-induced fire bomb bath over the years.

Number twelve, who I shall now rename to number one, because it’s a new year, and a new even more intentional and present me, truly seems like a really good person.

My mantra/prayer/manifesting process before meeting him had gotten super clear:
I just want to find someone who is good to me, consistently.

That’s all. Time will tell. But you know, I’m me, and he’s probably the one.

Born of Fire

create, Love, save the whales, therapy

There’s this picture that my boyfriend took with his arm splayed out as far as he could stretch to fit our whole family in the frame. That photo, four wide smiles all piled on top of each other, that’s my life. Do you know that Jos Stone song, Spoiled? It’s that kind of love. And now he’s sick. I want just one person to tell me how I’m supposed to feel okay about that. In my heart of hearts I’m just so sad.

The Galapagos Islands are an active volcano hot bed. The islands move at rapid speeds, they survive for millions of years and then slowly prepare to die. As their land turns barren most of the native species leave to live on the other islands. But the problem is that some of them have evolved on that island. The Waved Albatross and Sea Lions still travel to the desolate seaside cliffs of Espanola’s  south side. The Waved Albatross, is a huge bird with an eight foot wingspan. They fly for six months to reach the island once a year. The way back to those cliffs is ancestral and instinctual.

These birds can live for up to fifty years and they pair for life. They will wait on the shore for days until their partner to arrive from another part of the world. Once a year the world’s entire population of Waved Albatross are on this island at once. A blanket of white dots stretched across the rocky terrain. When the mates find each other they start executing a dance of sorts where they clack their beaks together in a way that reminds me of the gentleness that takes over when playing swords with a kid, gentle but playful. They take turns incubating their egg, each one sitting for two weeks at a time. They raise the baby and then fly their separate ways. Until they meet again the following spring.

That’s what this love feels like. Like coming home. An old familiar home that I can feel in my bones. This is simply not our first spring together.

I would fly for six months without stopping to see you again.

Bandstand 

soulfood, therapy

There are only so many times that I can hear, you don’t matter, before I ask that person to please exit the box seats of my heart and find a spot way in the back. The nose bleeds are a perfect place for people like you. Suddenly, your opinion becomes more and more faint. I will never control what comes out of your mouth but those sounds now are just a whisper lost in the crowd of cheers. Your face just a pixilated blur and I’m tired of squinting to find you. 

I want to tell you

create, Love, soulfood, therapy

Once upon a time there was a little blue eyed baby born in Kansas.

Why the universe decided that this lifetime was to be spent with you people I may never understand.

It is probably for all of the right- hard- reasons
that with time will start looking more and more like a perfectly executed ballet

bad choices and consequences on point, stippling around all of the majestic parts, waving their arms.

I sit down and have breakfast with death every single morning.
It resides in the belly of a man who likes an over easy egg and a piece of toast.
I think about legacy, leaving one, mine, and what that even means.
It feels like the only why,

but then again Walt Disney turned out to be an asshole.

And somehow she lived happily ever after.

The End.