Friday, December 31, 2010

Countdown

If you want to know what the next ten years of your life are going to look like, take a look at the last ten... even the last one. And if you don't like what you see, then stop singing the same song. Stop telling the same story, stop sleeping in the same bed. Move in a forward direction and remember, there's a big difference between taking a step back or getting off course, than there is in standing in the same spot you've always stood.

Either change the channel on your life, or accept that your reality, in large part, is your own creation.

From the Half Note and from me, I wish you all a Happier New Year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sweet memory

I once had a lover who would wake me in the middle of the night and whisper, "Do you still love me?" And in the dark I would always smile and answer, "Yes," because how could I not still love a man who woke me in the middle of the night and asked, "Do you still love me?"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Falling

I've dusted off my old blog Snap shot. Click here to see a few images of the past 24 hours.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

For Love's sake

Treat her the way you want to be treated, honor her the way you want to be honored, and protect her far better than you would ever protect yourself.

If she's a good woman, you will get from her what you give, and more.

k.b.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Snow angel

Merry Christmas

From my niece's dog, Nike (photo taken today in the Chicago snow)... and from me. xxo

Friday, December 24, 2010

For Lucinda

... There was milk and toast and honey
And a bowl of oranges, too
And the sun poured in like butterscotch
And stuck to all my senses.

Joni Mitchell

Thursday, December 23, 2010

In real time

White lights decorate the trees outside, my mother remembers Christmases past. My daughter bakes her pumpkin cookies, and the kitchen smells like nutmeg and home.

Redemption room (re-post)

I received an email from my friend Cooper who told me that in 1999, she created a writing room in her house with the intention of giving it a proper name. Rewind to 1983, I was taking a women's literature course in Santa Cruz and thought the professor had assigned a book by Virginia Woolf called A Room of One Zone. Needless to say, I had a very difficult time locating this book, and when my friend Tai revealed my faux pas at Aerophant, Cooper read it and was inspired to finally name her sacred space.

Happy birthday, Honey

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Q&A (re-post)

Q: What becomes of serious little girls?




A: They become serious big girls.

Secret

This is the first Christmas in my adult, single life that I have not wished for a sweetheart. But regardless, I still find Christmas music a little bit sad when I'm sweetheartless.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sitting at the sidebar

It's been a long time since I've posted something at the sidebar, a long time since I even listened to the music I love. It's been a long time since I've done a lot of things that please me, or inspire me, or ignite a fire or even a flame. But regardless of the wrong choices I've made, being so far from my own joy was something too unfamiliar, so I spent time tracking it down, finding, then reclaiming it.

Today, someone who knows me well said, "Katie, you're back." And he's right.

Lately I've been thinking about how we all have songs or albums that remind us of specific times in our lives, and since this time has been so filled with change, not just in regards to where I live or who I love, but deep down-to-the-bone change, I thought it a good idea to find new music to play in my new background. Music I've never heard before, music that reminds me of nothing else and of no one. Something clean like freshly printed paper, just itching for a pen and a new story.

So here it is, Chanda Mama, the first song on my new soundtrack, from an album fittingly titled, Playing For Change.

Click the music player up top and to the right of this post. I can only hope you'll be as joyful listening to it as I am, and if you also feel something that resembles a return to yourself, well then, even better.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

1 more day

I've fallen in love with this place, and leaving it feels like leaving a lover. The kind of lover that protects and takes care of you--the kind of lover that makes you feel seen, safe and free; the kind of lover that's impossible not to miss.

All in a day

I saw blue jays, hummingbirds, rabbits and doves--I swam alone under pouring rain and a rising mist. When I looked up from the water I saw orange trees and palms, and a flock of black crows. I was reminded again why I love this life.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Not lost & found

Don't you love when you thought you lost something, but you actually didn't? Like your wallet, or your keys, or your favorite ring, or your self?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Superior man

Two weeks ago, I met a taxi cab driver who has a wife and three kids to support. They all live in Maryland, and during the week the cab driver tutors French to high school students. Every Friday after work, he takes a train from his home in Annapolis Maryland to Penn Station in New York City, then another train to Queens. He arrives in Queens at three o'clock in the morning, walks to his friend's apartment and sleeps on the sofa for two hours. He wakes up, takes a bus to pick up his cab, then drives in the city all of Friday, all of Saturday, and all of Sunday. On Sunday night he returns to Queens and drops off his cab, takes a train to Penn Station, then a train back to Maryland, then he does it all again.

From the time I got into the cab driver's car, to the time I reached my destination, he told me his story with humor in his heart, ease in his body, and a smile on his face.

I wouldn't live in Ohio...

... but I would live in Ojai.

3 more days.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

6 days

In the last six days, I've hiked more miles than I have in the last 10 years. In the last six days, I've experienced more natural beauty than I have in the last 3 years. In the last six days, I've spent more time with my friend than in what felt like forever, and if it weren't for my family back home, I might never leave.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Homecoming

During our lives, though we may stray, lose our way, or simply try something new, we all eventually return to the familiar. How lucky that what's familiar to me is a healthy body, a peaceful day, and a whole lot of kindness and respect.

Secret


I took this picture today, and where I am... it's 80 degrees in the sun.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Evolving101

(Originally posted February 2008)

All my life I've handed out gold stars to everyone but me, and tonight I give myself the biggest one. Congratulations Katie, for not spending your days in a career you hate, or immersing yourself in idle gossip, or believing there's a politician who doesn't lie. For being brave enough to leave a man you love, smart enough to know that every disaster since has been a lesson in disguise, and for killing a belief that was keeping you from being that woman, who tonight seems closer than ever.

I don't want to change, I want to understand who I am then customize my world. I don't want to be better, I want to be open. I don't want to be nicer, I want connectedness to become my natural state of being, and I don't want to be prettier, I just want to be so fulfilled that it's impossible to keep the smile off my face.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The need to be seen

(Originally posted April, 2008)

When I was a little girl I used to watch a show called Romper Room, and at the end of each episode "Miss Carol" looked straight at her television audience through her hand-held hoop-on-a-stick.

"I see Johnny," she would say, "and Suzy, oh, and there's Bobby! I see Cindy, and Billy..."

And while she listed all the children she saw through the TV set, I would wave and shout, "And Katie! Over here Miss Carol, you see Katie!"

But she never said my name. Miss Carol never saw me.

I guess that explains it.

Funny

Sunday, December 05, 2010

For Love's sake

Be someone who makes those you love feel loved. Not just on some days, but on every day.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

32 days


32 days of no alcohol, no anger, no caffeine or confusion.

32 days of no waiting, no wondering, no disappointments or doubts.

32 days of no nicotine or neglect.

32 days of no perfect kiss.

Except for that one.

Is it wrong?

...that I burst out laughing when Annie told me a Jewish boy in her class walked up to her and called her a Stupid Jew?


(Posted Dec, 2007)

What a superior man knows

Praise specific things you love about your woman 5 to 10 times a day. Find out what happens.

~David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thought in real time

Once you've let someone into your heart, saying goodbye takes time.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The way things aren't

Tonight, I spotted a pile of abandoned books at a bus stop. At first glance I thought this one was titled, "The Cheerful Writer".

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Evolving 201

Nothing in life is really black and white, but sometimes it's good to make something black and white. Sometimes, when you've had enough of something, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stop examining, questioning, forgiving and fixing it. Sometimes it's best to just draw a line and say that's it, no more.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving moment #4

When the apartment is filled with the smells of home cooking, and you're in the presence of active love, the gray day outside your window matters not.  

Thanksgiving moment #3

Turkey in the oven, stuffed with apples and drenched in champagne.

Thanksgiving moment #2

There's nothing that makes me cry like raw emotion, and raw onion.

Thanksgiving moment #1

Aside from meditating, there's nothing I find more meditative than sitting alone in a quiet kitchen, trimming and cutting 3 pounds of string beans.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Popular poultry

At Fairway Market today, my turkey was approached and filmed by NBC News.

I haven't even cooked it, and already it's a success!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Earlier tonight, I experienced a self-generated feeling of powerlessness, but after taking in the air outside, I realized it was an illusion. Slipping into darkness wasn't real.

For the past several weeks, my subconscious mind has been working overtime to heal what hurts on a conscious level. I may stumble, then fall into dangerous thoughts that mute the pretty colors, but I have not missed a thing. I have noticed the tree on Broadway packed with singing birds, the love inside the embrace of a friend, the dimple on the left side of my daughter's face while she chews.

I've known for a long time, regardless of psychic pain, existential loneliness, violence and turbulence, that life is sweet. I've known for a long time that when you are standing in joy, you might soon be standing in grief, and as quickly as you slip into darkness, is as quickly as the light goes back on.

I can change the channel with my remote, but bad news will always play. So I remember there's hot coffee on a cold day, or a lover who made me laugh. There's a piece of music that makes me feel, and a painting that reminds me to notice. Notice the dimple on her face, and the birds that bring in winter, as I keep open my heart, when all it wants to do is close.

Friday, November 19, 2010

13

Annie: "I love you, Mom."

Me: "Oh, you only love me when I give you something you want."

Annie: "No, when you give something I want, it just reminds me that I love you."
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thoughts in real time

Rainy night.
War begets war.
The first two weeks were easier than I imagined.
Today was harder than I imagined.
It would be nice, if just before bed, I could turn off my heart.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Unsolicited advice from me

When you're caught in a trap... you should walk out.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Homecoming

For the past 12 months, I was not the mother I wanted to be. I listened to a voice other than my own, and put someone else first. Annie has been my girl for 13 years and she needs me now, maybe more than she ever will. She can run me through the ringer, then grow up and fly away, but she's my heart. And even if I fall in love again, I'll never leave her again. Not ever. No way.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On her way back...

She is.

In my dreams

Last night I dreamed I was in the wilderness, elevated from the ground on a rock. There was a bear below, and when it saw me, it began climbing to where I was. I hunkered down and hid. A ranger appeared and started to shoot, and though I was thankful to be protected, my heart was broken. I couldn't bring myself to look at the bear as he now lay dead.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thoughts in real time

I will never sacrifice my peace, or doubt my intuition, or trust the way I once did.

Sad but not longing, alone but not lonely--withheld truth is just like lies.

Pretty windy night.

Wasn't thinking about apples...
... until just now.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thoughts in real time

I never envisioned a future, so I'm never surprised to find myself wherever I am.

I have so little time left to spend with my daughter like this.

I learned about what people are made of and what they're not made of. I learned about bonds that don't break and cycles that don't end. I learned that untruths are the same as lies.

I didn't know I'd like being alone as much as I do.

When a man looks at me and tells me I give him hope, he's just looking in a mirror, liking what he sees, and what he sees is me--looking in a mirror, liking what I see.

Nice, nice weekend.

Why do I keep thinking about apples?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The end

I stood alone in the empty kitchen, the freshly mopped floor under me felt like something new. The glasses were packed yesterday, so like he had done the night before, I filled a bowl with water and I drank. The kitchen is clean, I thought. Ready for new lives.

A wishbone sat on the bare counter, but what could I wish for, and who would make the other wish? Even if he were still here and agreed to play such a silly game, he may have wished for money, and I just would have made another wish for him.

The next morning I would wake to new but familiar sounds. A siren, a workman, a baby crying, but it's all quieter where I am now. The sun gets in, there's a fountain outside, and though I didn't build or create this better place, I did use my degree to get here. I could have kept living in a way that lessened and diminished my life, but that wouldn't have made me strong. It wouldn't have been a test of my character, or meant I was a good soldier--it simply would have meant that I was enduring. I knew I deserved better, and walking away is often more courageous than staying--I knew that too.

I took one swig from the last bottle of bourbon and poured the rest down the drain. I opened the fridge then emptied the milk, the juice, the can of ginger ale he was saving for later. No more cigarettes by the window, no more martinis after midnight, no more questions or doubts, no more failed attempts at everything.

No more morning embraces and hour-long kisses.

I grabbed my bag.

One last look at the bathtub where he bathed, where we were often so playful and sometimes so sad. One last look at the living room where we slowed danced, where he said it was always me--the only one he loved like that. One last look at the kitchen where I made him a first meal, where he arrived on the dot, so handsome and hopeful. One last look at the room where we loved one another and slept, then I turned to leave and turned the key.

And with my newly strung guitar on my back, I left the love nest and the battlefield. I took the train home to where the sky is bluer and the light is brighter, where sirens still blare and babies still cry, but where the world looks more like mine. Now I can wish again for the things I want, and be in a place where I am free to breathe.