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10 March 2015 @ 10:46 am
If intimate is something I want too occasionally,
Is there a punishment for that? Or is it simple economics?
Does Relationship cost too much to save for Sunday Best,
Are we who crave connection rare as Sabbath-day
Denied this avenue of sacred?
Have only this choice: pretense or isolation?

Can I touch you when I want to touch you?
When I am lit up with curiosity and appreciation and enchantment?
Can I be alive with you when everything alive about me
Wants nothing more than to be with you
And if that doesn’t happen very often, is it of no value when it does?

There is only so much of my life, and less every day.
Is it wrong to say
This is what makes me feel like living
And then spend the most of it there?

What if there are no faces attached to it…
No smiling eyes, no embraces,
No people in my paradise?

How can I say this? It’s not personal.
I just love what I love.
The spaciousness of time alone.
The quiet light.
Falling asleep while the rain falls too
Through a grey soft afternoon sky.

And catching fire one thought to the next.
Bouncing and bouncing ideas between fast-firing brains.
Speed and slang and shortcuts and shared vision.

And the again and again
And again
Of perfecting so that,
Some moment,
Everything can go wrong and beauty will still rightly arise.
Working alone or -
In silence - side by side,
Toward impeccability.

Alone, at work - in love.
Everywhere else –
Except for fleeting, miraculous moments of serendipitous connection –
Punching a clock.
Struggling to be courteous until I can run home to the open and the empty,
Dive back into the deep-currented dark ocean where the work of shaping swims.

I want to be there more than I want to be with anyone.

But not instead.
09 March 2015 @ 10:18 am
My last post? That was the hardest word to include. "Lonely".

Because it invokes a storm of protest. It feels like an attack, I think. Like I've said something about YOU.

Please resist any reaction to the discomfort of just sitting with the idea, for a moment, that I might be deeply, profoundly lonely, and that it might not have anything to do with you.

It might not be about if you call me, or how often. Or your willingness to hang out. Or your wish that we could be closer. My feeling lonely despite your availability and/or proximity (real or aspirational) might not be a reflection on you at all.

In fact, it isn't.

I am lonely because I can't connect - except fleetingly, flinchingly - with life-force though the medium of other life forms. Well, human life forms.

Well, living human life forms.

I do fine with animals, and the dead.

I want to want connection but, honestly, interaction is hard for me. And that is about ME. MY way of being - my energy system, my energetic hygiene, my defaults and patterns and body-learnings and inherited phobias - intersects un-smoothly with most normal human social behavior.

This isn't a whine. Or a plea. It's a noticing. Because this is the way I notice things - I write them down. I suspect a predisposition to a sort of essential, intrinsic loneliness may just be a part of the wiring I'm adapting to in this lifetime. But I can surf any set of circumstances with more grace and integrity if I understand those circumstances.

There can be strategies. And space. I can grapple with what I can grasp.

I've set an intention to bring "fun, nourishing friendships" into my life. I planted that intention, along with a couple of others, in a little ritual of manifestation magic along with a bat-faced cuphea plant.

Which has since died.

I'm working on staying out of mythic space around that fact. Just gonna pick a hardier plant, re-write my intentions, and do the ritual again.

I'm willing to accept the idea that Lonely may be a part of Who I Am. Even a big part - I've got more to say on the important place held by intentional (or at least acquiescent) solitaries in the social mix. But I'm enough of a witch to know that Lonely doesn't have to be What I Do.

If I don't want "enough", does that mean I can't have any?

New forms. New rules. Part of the work of this year.

Welcome Air.
08 March 2015 @ 10:04 am
Today is my birthday.

I don’t remember consciously noticing, until yesterday, that my birthday falls on the cusp of actual spring. Just after February turns into March and the word we write on our checks (remember checks?) doesn’t look so long and cold anymore.

My year begins with springtime. This sounds uncharacteristic but hopeful. I care about how things sound, nowadays (remember old words like that?) I am looking for omens everywhere.

This is the day that suddenly feels like the true beginning of the year. Conveniently located in the aura-phase of spring. Taking advantage of that gathering energy. Feels more like a beginning than the cold, percussion-filled mid-season night of December 31. It’s culturally-sanctioned, sure, but the truth is that I have a wad of cultures from whose sanctioning to select. The witches say the year begins at Samhain (some of them) and the Buddhists have another day altogether (the Tibetans anyway) and in the theatre we pretty much all say the season starts in September so, in the end, it just seems like a year is an arbitrary thing and I might as well make it personal. My year starts on my birthday.

I am 52. This is the first day of my 2015. It's an Air year, alchemically. It's a Chariot year, numerologically. These facts together argue for a triumphant emergence from a period of dark-tinged transition. At the very least, an unfolding.

If you want to really grok (if you don’t remember that word, look it up. It’s dorky but useful) an unfolding, you have to pay attention. You have to notice stasis and small changes. And to do that you need a baseline. So I got quiet and asked my head for simple words. Art-less words. Rooted in what my body knew (I almost never ask my body anything - like long-estranged family members we speak only through intermediaries).

At 52, how am I?

I am sick. And sad. And really lonely. And I don’t know what I’m doing, or why.

I’m not ready to be dead yet, but I don’t know what I’m alive for.

All hail, beginnings. Again.
03 April 2010 @ 09:52 am
Some of you may know that this LJ blog began as an exercise during a year in which I was dedicated to Air. I wanted to explore the discipline of daily writing, and skillful speech. The latter of which means that this blog has almost always been entirely public. I wanted to push myself to write honestly and openly about what was really going on with me, at a deep level, while still honoring boundaries and respecting the privacy of others... basically speaking my truth with enough integrity so as to allow me to stand by anything I wrote, no matter who read it.

That's been an amazingly useful practice and I find my needs are changing.

I have a new public blog. Eighth-housebarbie@blogspot.com. I'm going to switch this particular writing practice (the skillful speech bit) to that venue. And keep this one as a place to talk a little more candidly than I might be comfortable doing in the full gaze of anyone who happens to come along.

I actually know most of my flist, I think. Was looking at it today and saw a few names I don't recognize, although most of you are friends of folks I do recognize. Do me a favor? If I don't know you personally, and if you are interested in sticking around for a little more behind-the-scenes style electronic witnessing, would you drop me a line and introduce yourself? If I'm going to let the skillful speech intention drop a bit, I'd like to feel safe about who I'm dropping it in front of.

I'll do the final culling and make this a friends-only site next week.
25 March 2010 @ 03:53 pm
Yes. Really.

And I can say, without question or hint of hyperbole, that these have been the worst six months of my life.

They've also been kind of amazing. So much good stuff happening. Creative and performance opportunities, incredibly supportive friends, a whole new life getting ready to blossom into being. Good work to do. Some sort of peace that has been elusive for so long.

I hope to get to the place where I can honestly feel that what I lost was worth what I gained. I'm not there yet.

Maybe I never will be. Depends on how I shift my perspective. What I *actually* lost was an unworkable, slowly soul-killing situation. There was no good end to what my life had become. Or, I guess, this was the best end possible, given the realities.

But it still feels like what I lost was the dream. Even if it was only ever that... it's still a huge thing to lose. Ghost or not... almost all of my adult life. My self-definition. Everything I had prioritized. Everything I had trusted and believed in and planned for.

And, saddest of all... if it wasn't always a lie... someone I loved died. Something I loved died. Died slowly and painfully and there is an actual ghost, walking around out there, wearing a face I think I remember. But behind those eyes is no one I know. And maybe the person I remember is trapped and lost and suffering, in there somewhere. And maybe that person is truly, irretrievably gone. Either option, frankly, sucks.

Back in the world of physical reality - I am now officially divorced. My house is on the market and I have a contract on a downtown loft. I am working at a kick-ass theater company and I have opened my own photography gallery and I have a really good therapist. Somewhere along the way, without even trying, I lost 40 pounds. My sweet Bram finally lost his fight with cancer, as did my black kitty-boy Pyke. Pyke's brother, Pluck, threw a clot and died ten days later. Bram's cat, Stevens, disappeared not long after Bram died.

So much loss. It's re-shaping me. Quite literally, and in much more profound ways. I am questioning everything. I am brave in a way I've never been, in that nothing-more-to-lose way. And also more afraid and alone than I can ever remember feeling. Most days it feels impossible to start over, so completely, at 47. And of course, it's impossible not to.

Living in contradiction. Surfing the in-between. Putting one foot in front of the other. Blessed moments of relief and escape, into performance, into service. Times when I lose myself in a way that is bliss. Remembering, if nothing else, that I can never give so much of myself away again. And knowing that being myself, uncompromised, may indeed make for a long, lonely road.

So that's where I am. Also, I plan to be here again. Finally ready/able to talk about what's going on with me with some measure of objectivity.
21 November 2009 @ 09:21 am
So. I'm not dead.

I'm 2+ months into the separation and there appears to be no hope of reconciliation.

It's been the most painful thing I've ever lived through. Bar none. No hyperbole.

I seem to be past the part where my body gets into the pain act. The constant anxiety, crippling panic and desperation seem to be over. Now just a lot of head pain, and heart pain. Sadness and anger and loss and humiliation and all the other things you'd expect. Stories are circulating and, in the way of stories, most of them are not even half true. Salient point here is that this separation was not my decision. And I don't want the divorce. Hence all the pain-talk.

In the meantime, though, there is movement. Have a roommate. Very good, very long-time friend has moved in with me and that's been great. Have a new job - Artistic Associate at Jump-Start Performance Co. Office hours, flexible schedule, supportive friends, co-creative work. All very good things.

Not-so-great thing is that John's theater moved in next door to Jump-Start, just a few weeks after I started working there. Lots of possibilities for awkward encounters, but so far there have been none.

I'm getting the house ready to sell, as soon as the divorce is final. Committing to SA and Jump-Start for 2010, so looking at loft spaces downtown to relocate to. Find I want something small and clean. No shadows. No dark corners. Want to see every part of my home from every other part of it. A physical metaphor of clarity.

Other things are coming my way, too. Teaching gigs. A very-long-delayed return to performance (in SA at least) in V-Day's Vagina Monologues. Opportunities for development of my own work. Lots of coolness.

My therapist asked me to keep a list of things that were leaving my life, and things that were coming in. So far I've been pretty fail at that. I keep trying, and all that comes out is that what is leaving my life is everything. And what is coming in isn't worth the loss.

But that is finally starting to shift, a little bit. I have not reached the end of the tunnel, by any means. I don't even see the light yet. But I am beginning to believe there might be a light there.
27 September 2009 @ 05:15 pm
Things are getting worse. No chance now of this being amicable. One of the reasons I created this blog was to practice communicating in a way that could be absolutely honest and still absolutely public. What can I say, now, with integrity, in this very public forum?

Only this. I am through the looking glass. I don't know how I can be in this much pain and not be bleeding, not be physically broken open in some way. I still believe there is a shore on the other side of this ocean. But I'm thinking now the waters are much vaster, deeper and colder than I had imagined or wanted to believe.
19 September 2009 @ 04:38 pm
A lot of you flister-folk live in Austin, it seems.

I'm trying to distract myself with thoughts about what-might-be after the current sadness is concluded. On second thought, I don't expect the *sadness* to conclude for years, really, probably should have said after the legalities and logistics are over.

So, Austinites, help me play.

If I wanted a small, older house in a nice neighborhood close to conveniences and culture.. where would I look?

And if *you* could live anywhere in town (my stated preferences notwithstanding) where would it be and why?
15 September 2009 @ 07:44 am
...thank you thank you thank you to those who have expressed support, here and elsewhere.

Yesterday was brutal. So far, this morning, the emotional waters are at least a little calmer. Imagine it will all remain unpredictable and intermittently awful for some time. Knowing ya'll are out there, thinking of me kindly, helps with the awful. It really does.
14 September 2009 @ 08:08 am
I met John 18 years ago today.

In a couple of hours, I will make the phone calls that will begin the legal ending of my marriage, based on a conversation/agreement we had yesterday.

This was both a long time coming, and an utter, devastating shock.

Don't expect too much from me for awhile. While I know, and believe, that there will be an "after" - that I will laugh again and enjoy things again and care about things again and even trust again - right now there is just an ocean of shifting tides of pain.

Bummer blog to continue for awhile, I fear. Don't expect too much from me. I believe in healing, but right now I am well and truly broken.