Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In real time

Freezing cold outside, hot tea with honey for my ailing throat. Laundry goes, so does my head, wondering what I can make of the day, and what it will bring on its own.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

In my dreams

Last night I dreamed a man I used to love was lying in a bed--his nose had a strip of tape across it to prevent him from snoring, and his neck was covered in acupuncture needles. In reality, he wasn't a very sensitive man, at least not outwardly, so I was surprised when he broke down in tears and cried because he missed me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's so easy...

... for me to feel loved, and unloved.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

At the end of a calendar year, I can't help but look back--it just happens, it's just there. It's like reaching the finish line of another race, an evaluation of what came before and of how far I've come. It's also a reminder of how much further there is to go.

I want to thank my mother for being able to see more than two sides to everything. I want to thank David for his unwavering friendship, and Tai for being so close, even when she's so far. I want to thank Kerry for understanding heartbreak, and for knowing that when she washes my dishes, she shows me her love. I want to thank my brother Daniel for going to bat for me over and over again. I want to thank Elizabeth for her sisterhood and gut-splitting humor, and Lou Ann for making it impossible not to be part of our family. I want to thank Lisa for holding the rope when I climbed out of my self-imposed hell. I want to thank Norman for sharing with me his inspiring strength, and I want to thank Annie for giving me all the purpose I could ever need to travel through another year, and through the rest of my life.
Savor the tender way he looks at you, the strong way he holds your hand, the clean smell of your daughter's hair, or the easy smile on her perfect face. Because you never know when his words will sting, or how soon she will be leaving home.

Monday, December 14, 2009

In real time

Dinner cooks, Brubeck plays, Annie on computer, Martinis for me and my man.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In real time

Happy night last night--sweetheart, family, friends and martinis. Sad morning this morning--gray sky and longing for nothing. Happy day later--shower, coffee, music, and knowing joy is always a step away from here.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Wait for me

I always find my way back and when I do, as always, I'll have something to say.



Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Moment in time

Last night, I vacuumed the rugs while he played his horn.

Laughing out loud

I love when I'm laughing in my dream and then I wake up because I'm also laughing out loud. (It's why I'm up so early this morning).

In my dreams

Last night I dreamed my friend Tai and I were talking about all the places we'd traveled. I dreamed she'd visited with Cristian, who was visiting his mother, who was visiting Miami. I dreamed I was in a room with Stephen Colbert, and he was making me laugh really hard.

I dreamed I had a new job in a small office, and was given a crappy little desk. I announced to everyone, "Hey, thanks for the crappy little desk, now I can do some crappy little work!" My coworkers looked at me with understanding and in agreement, but also with resignation. Soon an office manager walked in and handed me a set of keys. "These are for you," she said, "But they won't unlock anything."

Friday, November 27, 2009

In real time

It's a gray day and the sun breaks through, my sweetheart still sleeps and his dog chews a bone at my feet. There's a bird outside my window trying to tell me something, or maybe it's just sitting there, and I only imagine the rest.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The way things aren't

I thought I saw a sign that said, "Udder College," but it actually said, "Urban Cottage."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just around the corner

We met for the first time at the corner cafe. He looked at me with a side glance, curious and smiling. The conversation flowed until he said he was leaving town for good.

Almost 4 weeks later, I met him again at the same cafe. He had made his move to the mid-west, and was back in New York to tie up loose ends. He looked at me with a side glance, curious and smiling and something more. We kissed, we courted, then returned together to St. Louis to retrieve his things.

For years he lived just around the corner. Now he lives with me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cleaning day

Opening my heart to someone at twenty-six was like being on a train. I bought a ticket and gave little thought to the speed I was traveling, or to whether or not I was on the right track. At forty-six, I still want the rush and I crave the unknown, but I'm also aware of reckless rides and roadblocks, and that I may need to avoid a crash.

I want to clear shelf space for him, put his toothbrush next to mine--create a sanctuary so, at the end of the day when he's done slaying dragons, he can return to a place of peace. I want to wash his socks and iron his shirts, and see the appreciation in his eyes when I do. My feminine gifts are domestic in form, physical, and spiritual--each one offered in return for all he gives me.

I'm learning a song on the guitar, and the words go like this:

Please, don't let me down this time-
I've come a long way just to fall back into line.

I've been singing those lyrics for two weeks now, silently asking him to please not let me down. But today, after running another load of laundry and stacking dry silverware into a drawer, I made time to practice my guitar. And the minute I sang that line, I cried because I knew it wasn't he who could let me down, it was me.

He requires nothing I don't already possess, demands nothing I don't give freely, but if I'm not careful, I could dedicate my life to being me, for him. I could let go of my blog, my book, my guitar and then my song--and if my song goes, so do I.

"Don't have faith in me," he said this morning. "Have faith in yourself."

I didn't have to process it or test to see if it was true.

So I'll cook when I cook and when I don't, there's take-out. I'll clean when I clean and when I don't, there's tomorrow. I'll walk by the river, write my book and I'll learn new songs, and I'll remember that the sanctuary he longs for won't be found in an empty sink, but in the full and fulfilled heart of the woman he loves.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thoughts in real time

There's so much to say and nothing to say so I can't say a thing. I've found someone and it makes no sense, and it makes perfect sense, and he makes sense of it all.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Meet him in St. Louis

Flying out in the morning, driving back with him, home on Sunday. Bye, all.

Relative ride

Letting go of the reins can leave you out of control and in danger, or it can give you the freedom to do what comes naturally.

Monday, November 02, 2009


How amazing to fall in love in my twenties, feel all the sweetness, intensity and hope in the world and then, in my forties, do it all over again.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

At the speed of sound

He's worked on fighter jets, but he's all lover, and life with him is going Mach 3.2

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I don't want to ride in fast cars or roller coasters, I don't want to pop wheelies or play with fire. I don't want to open my heart, love, be loved and be left--but mostly, I don't want to say no.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Evolving 101

I answered the door, he pushed it open, he moved forward, I stepped back. I told him I felt as if I were crumbling--he told me what's crumbling might be my fear.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pro choice

An obvious choice, a "right" choice, can manifest into something you never planned for, never envisioned and never wanted. A "wrong" choice, a reckless choice, can turn into something that wakes you up and sets you free. Regardless whether we label them "right" or "wrong," our choices will eventually transcend belief and perception, and become the design of our lives.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm here

And the Universe is unfolding as it should.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Sitting at the sidebar

One Of These Things First by Nick Drake

Click on the music player to the right of this post.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Thoughts in real time

I don't like this job and I'm grateful to have it.

Car. Morning. Meter.

I wonder what I was doing today, at the exact moment that lady bug came into my apartment.

I saw a baby chipmunk.


Not the chipmunk.

Too tired for this.

Not cut out for this.



Saturday, October 03, 2009

The garden

When a woman makes love, has she given something away, did she share something sacred, is she taken and returned, worshiped and exposed?

When a woman makes love, is she angel or whore, does she walk in dirt across a sunlit street, or is it all part of the same path?

Jesus, Buddha, Allah, legalize, criticize, until death do you part or love the one you're with--because all of it's true, and none of it's true, so we just try to take care.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Thought in real time

Is it just me, or is there something painfully beautiful and slightly melancholic about the fall?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Facebook & forget

When I was 16, I had a mad crush on a college boy. I never forgot him, not because he was particularly handsome or especially sweet, but because I bought two tickets for us to see Cheap Trick, and then gave him the tickets to hold. The day of the concert, I waited hours for him to pick me up, but he never did. When I called his house, his brother told me he had gone to the show with someone else.

Today, thirty years later, the boy befriended me on facebook, and what a laugh I had when I read a comment on his wall--a friend accusing him of pulling a no-show!

So glad time heals all wounds and God knows, even my bad memories are becoming good ones.

In my dreams

Last night I dreamed a man I recently met found me standing on the corner. He was smiling and sweet, and we started talking beside the mailbox. After a while, I noticed he had only one eye. There was no gap where the other eye should have been, just smooth skin, and as he spoke I was thinking he might look cute with a patch.

Suddenly and abruptly he said, "I have to go!" I looked at him and said, "No you don't, you don't have to go."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Tai!

Secret: There's a gift coming, the old fashioned way.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thoughts in real time

Other than my motorcycle boots and my Converse, I never know what kind of casual shoes to wear in the daytime.

Taking guitar lessons is proving to be transformative.

Why does "Transformative" come up as incorrectly spelled?

I'm constantly amazed by how careful people are.

I wish I were boarding a plane tomorrow.

I guess I do cry a lot, but really, I'm just deeply moved a lot.

Feelings, words, and declarations are gifts, but no one is here taking care of me.

Dirty kitchen.

Look how my daughter rolled up the toothpaste so nice. Look at the person I've raised.

Wow, it's late.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thoughts in real time

To avoid the mundane, I lie to myself in some way every day.

It must be exhausting, all the effort, all the energy my young friends use to appear disinterested in each other. They are all so guarded and fragile. Wouldn't it be nice if they could free themselves now instead of twenty years from now?

The tattoo was the most extreme thing I could do in terms of a declaration. The only thing left would have been to jump off a bridge, but that's just not my style.

One of my greatest fears is that I will cease caring.

Drink more water.

Buy new music.

Sometimes when I make the bed, I imagine someone other than myself will sleep there.
Finish movie.

It's all been worth it.

Fold laundry.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.

~Christopher Morley

Monday, September 21, 2009

"The Professor"

The name given to me by my friend, ChloƩ.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shadows and light

Last week I found myself partaking in superficial conversations, cigarette smoking, and too many cocktails named after me. There was no lack of good manners or good will, but at the bar I am a stranger in a strange land. Who knows, maybe everyone is.

At 2:00 a.m., as I walked home with someone I'd only met hours before, I asked myself: What am I doing, what do I expect, what do I want? And as I climbed his stairs, made my way through the hall and watched as he opened the door, I knew I was not exactly where I wanted to be, but would discover days later I was exactly where I needed to be.

With no interest in punishing myself for the obvious foolishness of going home with a man I didn't know, a man who possibly placed little if any value on me at all, I turned around and walked home.

There was a darkness in that night and in the nights that followed, but I understand that even when I'm making wrong choices, they are also right choices. Sometimes I have to dabble in what doesn't shine to be reminded where the light lives, and sometimes it takes a walk down a deserted street, through an unfriendly world of my own creation, to return me to the bright side where I know I belong.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Simple things, extraordinary color

Photos taken in Cairo by my friend Sari Ganulin--the kind of images that make me long to travel.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mama mia!

Annie: "I wish I were Italian."

Me: "Why do you wish you were Italian?"

Annie: "Because everybody's Italian!"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In real time

Getting housework done, and my Arabic groove on.

Truer words

Life was never meant to be the straight and narrow road you were taught to envision. This lifetime was pre-programmed with such a rich itinerary of convoluted detours to the destination toward which you travel. It is the deviation from what you may have expected that makes this journey fascinating and rewarding in the ways that really matter.

Pure joy

From moment one, my guitar teacher made me believe it was not too late for me to learn, and that I was already armed with the tools I'd need to play a song. Last night I taught myself 4+20 by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and tonight I was inspired to learn Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. After years of resisting an instrument, what a big and wonderful deal.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

In real time

Getting ready for "The Concert For Pakistan" at the United Nations General Assembly Hall. Guests will include Salman Ahmad, Samir Chatterjee, Gavin Rossdale, Sting (via video), Jeff Skoll, and my dear friend, Yale Strom.

Thought in real time

Do what you have to do, be where you have to be, but try to end up where you want--with the one you want.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight years ago & almost to the hour

I'll never forget looking out my office window on Lafayette Street, watching all those firetrucks racing by. I'll never forget calling my mother and instructing her to stay inside, or the next four hours making my way north on silent streets. I'll never forget the weeks that followed-- frightened faces and helping hands, pictures of loved ones glued to every surface of the city, flying hopelessly in a burning sky.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I gotta feeling

More than any other age of my childhood, I remember being eleven. It was the year I first cared about my hair, coveted cool shoes, and dreamed of independence. It was the year music started riding shotgun in my life, and became my refuge, my own.

Annie is eleven, almost twelve, and her iPod is becoming more and more important. Tonight, after her second day of seventh grade, she flopped down on the sofa, offered me half of her headphones, and played me some songs.

"This is my favorite part!" She said as we huddled listening to Supertramp. "Right here, Mom, where the saxophone comes in, I love that!"

Her newly streaked reddish hair and rock 'n roll cut, her deep dimples, shining eyes and sweet smell; I couldn't help but move in closer, stare and smile, wishing I could climb inside her world as she mouthed the words.

"Do you like this?" She asked while playing the new Black Eyed Peas.

"I love this," I replied. "I love this."

Click the music player to hear what she hears, I Gotta Feeling you'll like it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Thought in real time

What a gift to have one person in your life who, with just the sound of their smile, inspires your peace.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Upon reflection

My mom: "Katie, your last post, the one about love, it was such a beautiful piece of writing."

Me: "Thanks mom, that means a lot to me."

Mom: "And someday I'd like to sit down with you and have a philosophical discussion about your beliefs."

Me: "You mean you think my beliefs about love and romance are wrong?"

Mom: "Well, I don't want to say they're wrong."

Me: "But you think they're a little extreme?"

Mom: "Yes, maybe."

Me: "But here's the thing. I posted the piece as a way of saying that I'm not going to deny it. I'm not going to pretend that I feel anything different, because regardless of how I'm perceived, it is the way it is for me."

Mom: "Do you mean you posted it to cover your tracks?"

Me: "Cover my tracks?

Mom: "Yes. So let's say next time, when you write about love, you've already admitted everything so no one can accuse you of being too extreme."

Me: "No, that's not it. I'm not covering my tracks, I'm declaring it."

Mom: "Declaring it, okay, that makes more sense."

Me: "Also, I'm not saying that what I feel or want today will be what I feel or want tomorrow. I'm just talking about knowing myself, and knowing what I feel and want now. The thing is, I was married for 17 years and I know what love is. I know what it is with David, I know what it is with G., with C., and with A. My first serious relationship was when I was 17, and I know what that love is. I know the temporary kind, the cruel kind, and the kind in between. I have no illusions about my illusions, I'm not a 20-year-old girl holding out for something she saw in a movie. I'm a 46-year-old woman who, when it comes to love has a huge body of work to draw from, and who's earned the right to feel exactly what she feels, and want exactly what she wants, and have it change with no warning, and who makes no apologies for anything."

Mom: "You know what?"

Me: "What?"

Mom: "That makes complete sense to me."

Long pause.

Me: "Was that our philosophical discussion?"

Mom: "Yep!"

Fact# 489,004

This is my guitar teacher.