Friday, November 30, 2007

feisty feisty

Well. Some days a girl wakes up and feels all that adolescent angst fueling her with a certain rebellious kind of energy. And, dear reader, today is that kind of a day. I have been cranking Stereophonics, Liz Phair, Linkin Park, and crazy music that makes me want to drive fast and be reckless. Which is slightly hilarious since I am not exactly the Adventure Girl I used to be.

I find myself in limbo, in the gap, in BETWEEN. It is wrenching, and uncomfortable and makes me anxious. So there that is.

As an outlet for this energy, I have been walking, doing yoga, writing, and dancing in the kitchen. Again, hilarious. I mean, how many times can a girl listen to INXS' Pretty Vegas and still like it? Is there anyone else who thinks ...Baby One More Time is an amazing song, even if Britney butchered it? If so, you can be on my secret dance team.

I won't tell a soul.

Next post will be extreme, friends. I have an idea for an essay that might just be a three-year project. Mostly, however, it is always good to explore the topic of encounter, and how we meet each other on various landscapes, on different planes of perspective, different times in our lives.

Oh. There's The Cat Empire on the ipod. And my dancing shoes are still on...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


And so begins the holidays.

I was in Los Angeles this last week, joining my mom, brother, and sister-in-law for some turkey and football. We also got very lucky -- my cousin Jill Boxberger, and her boyfriend Haven, performed at a venue called Room 5 on La Brea Avenue. Jill is a gorgeous girl, vivacious, kind, and loaded with talent. But her voice just gets better and better each time I hear her. My aunt and cousins were there too, as was Andrew Kupersmith (my honorary brother), so the whole weekend was filled with family and good cheer.

And bad football. Oh KU. To raise our hopes so high, only to dash them. And Missouri. Detest Missouri. Now my Hawks just have to reign in Allen Fieldhouse this season to exact vengeance upon them. This will make me happy! Rock chalk jayhawk. ku.

Mom and I read an article in the New York Times about keeping a gratitude journal. It seems that those who count their blessings really do have more positive outlooks, and feel more content. So we decided to give it a go.

Here's a very abbreviated version of what I am thankful for today:
I am eternally grateful for the family I have, especially the times when we act up around each other. I mean, who other than family will put up with your shenanigans, and then call you out when necessary?

Every day I count the blessings of my friendships. This year has been about a rededication to my relationships, and my lovely girlfriends in particular. Some of my greatest friendships have been with the girls I used to hang out with back in 1976, at the swimming pool, when our moms dropped us off in the summertime. So, that's now (yikes) 31 years! I love the fact that we've all watched each other grow, change, succeed, struggle, and still turn to each other.

My new friendships, the ones I have made in the past few years, open me to new worlds of understanding and grace daily. I never knew I could be so accepted, or challenged, or gratified in my life. I cherish these friends so very much.

Books, and psychology, and dreams. These create the foundation I stand upon today, and I must be thankful for all the gifts of my education. Because of these gifts, and my loved ones, I can bring the best parts of myself into the world and be a good therapist and writer.

Never could have done it without you. I carry love with me in every step I take.

Amor vincit om,

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stay close, we'll look for a welcome shore

Oh BOY. Spent all day today in myth and fairy tale, with Dr. Lionel Corbett at the helm of our Jung class. He has a wonderfully British sensibility and is terribly funny. I took fifteen pages of notes, and have so much more I feel like I need to find and read! I love this PhD program more than the Master's already, and this is session number two. It's going to be quite a journey, I can tell.

On that note, I will briefly speak about water, an element that keeps coming up in my dreams, and my thoughts of dolphins.

Something in the stars lately must be acting up, because I there has been much too much pain lately. Some has been the pain of transition, and transformation. Remember being a kid and feeling your body growing, your bones aching as your body readjusted to its new shapes and sizes? Growing pains, we call them. So what do we call them later, when it is our soul, our capacity to endure, our capacity to love or forgive, that find themselves stretched?

There have been tragedies amongst my community of friends, and I witness one of the phenomena that makes me feel the most alive, the most grateful.

I call it "dolphining", because to me, it's a noun we can just go ahead and make a verb. When one of the pod is sick or mourning, the rest of the group circles, protects, lifts, and serves to hold and care for. When I witness or participate in this kind of loving, it humbles me, and reminds me of human vitality, and my utter, naked thankfulness for being alive.

If not for this community, this love, we may just drown when life drags us out into the rough water. I am reminded to turn to my friends in my joys and in my disappointments, my tears and my laughter.

And to remember the many qualities of water. And the many qualities of dry land.
Thankful and exhausted,

Monday, November 5, 2007

Thank heavens for basketball season

OK, well, enough with the morose, people. Sorry about the foray into the darker realms of my psyche. Yikes.

So! Today I will tell you that I am SO EXCITED for basketball season. I am ready as ready can be for some Rock Chalk Jayhawk supporting, all the way out here on the coast. I am eager to see what happens when the Celtics actually give my man Paul Pierce some greatly needed support and depth on that team. I am most ready to satisfy my Steve Nash fix, and see what in the world they've done to his hair this year.

I was not a sports fan growing up. I am a Johnny-come-lately. I used to be all about tennis, and that was it. And Federer or no Federer, I can still get glowy around the Open and Wimbeldon.

But then I found college basketball and my love for KU. I fell all giddy with it, and formed opinions about the play, the struggle, the heart. Shot clocks, time in the paint, saying things about how "long" players are...And by God, the Lakers. I despise the Lakers. Showboating, diva-esque, self-congratulatory Lakers.

I then learned that in sports, it's good to have the rivals, the long-standing enmity. The closest I knew in college about this was the Big Game, between Cal and Stanford, that seemed more like a Bay Area party than true rivalry. Once I became a KU basketball fan, however, I came to scorn Missouri, Duke, Arizona, and Kentucky. I think Bill Self is refreshing, and a terrific recruiter, and what I needed to see for my boys.

Ah, it's chilly tonight, and I am still adjusting to the time change. Just in time to snuggle in and get back to regular sportscenter viewing.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

today: thoughtful batch of melancholy

The word of the day is "surrender," and we are going to look at that for a minute. I have been listening to my friend Brooke formulate and delineate her therapeutic perspective. We spoke today of the body's release, as she refers to it. She is becoming certified in yoga instruction, as well as psychotherapy, so for her the body is psyche's map, a conduit, a source of pain, play, tension, and relaxation. This is where working with her begins.

Ah, but me? I escape into the mind, I flee into the soulful subjects, the romanticism of image. I have a fear of letting go, fear of this very release she spoke of so eloquently today. I have thought it would sweep me away. Or under.

I was practicing yoga myself last week. My instructor, Mario, was helping me into position, some sort of back-bendy, one-legged, foot-holding thing. I looked at him and said, "I can't do it." Mind you, I hadn't tried yet. He said he would be there to help, make sure I could, make sure I did not fall. I realized all of a sudden that this was very big business for me. Way more than just an asana whose name I cannot remember.

I was afraid. I had to trust. I allowed myself to give in to the position as I leaned my head back. I felt how hard I tried to relax, and how I could somehow, awkwardly, hold the position. I felt proud. And I started sobbing as soon as I got to the car.

To catch you up, now, I am here in San Francisco, and I am in a hotel room. Alone, exhausted. If the other day was filled with the emotional aspects of desire -- the patience, the excitement, the sadness, the hunger, and thirst -- today is a day where I surrender. I give up, and I feel the shift in my body, even as I type the words. It is a relief not to run, a relief to ask for, a relief to let something be what it obviously, very nakedly is, instead of wanting so badly for it to be different.

I say it again. I sit in a hotel room. Temporary places -- I wish I could just live here a while. I surrender to the truth of it. I surrender to the fact that, as much as I try to make it not so, I have a harder time allowing love to come to me than giving it out.

Through the fear, I have always wanted to be swept away. I find myself out in the current, a little sucked under. I have been afraid of these moments, and fled into my mind, keeping my body (and heart, of course) neatly, cleanly, efficiently out of things. Less messy, I thought. I call it despair-avoidance.

But guess what? (and this is the really meaty, good part, dears) I am looking around at the waves rolling and crashing, and it is okay. I feel that my desire and where I am going is out of my tightly-held control, and it is okay.

I am blessed with extraordinary friends, that I love deeply. I looked at an old family photo the other day and thought, "how could I love them more?" And I realized yet again, how lucky I am, deeply blessed to have such parents, such a brother, such a sweet, funny sister.

Today I am reminded that joy is a process, and love is a movement. Whether we try to run, struggle against, or deny deny. Love wins.

And, (ok just say it) it's worth the surrender.

Thanks for sticking with me through the meandering.
More later; more playful too.

My wishes of surrender to all,

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

OK. Ryan Adams can help us all.

Yes, I have a ridiculous thing for Ryan Adams. Well, not really him. Just his music. Imagine how excited I was to download his new music from itunes the other night! You've never heard a cover like Ryan and the Cardinals tackling "Down in a Hole". Your heart ever been broken? Ryan's your man. Check out the version of "Oh My Sweet Carolina" from the Bridge School Concert series. It makes ME homesick, and I don't even know which Carolina he's singing about.

Somehow, listening to him lately has led me to investigate my crushes. I have my un-Godly crush on Michael Chabon, author and Pulitzer Prize winner. 'Course I loved his work before all that, due to The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. A must-read for all. There is my unflagging admiration for David Foster Wallace, despite his incredible use (or misuse) of footnotes. Oh yes. And I do not care at all that he wears headbands in his press pictures. Very Loverboy; very 80's tennis chic of him!

Try Wallace's "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" and see if you agree. I have a feeling...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Almost Halloween

Yes, yes. I am going out of my mind due to the sheer volume of partying from across the street. The kids from Brooks Institute can really get saucy, that is for sure. My sleep deprivation may be apparent here but don't worry. I catch up quickly.

I was in San Francisco for a few days. Amazing what happens when you let yourself open, and experience. I met interesting people, had a few excellent, mindbending conversations, bought some killer (very sexy) boots that brought a whole other side of my personality to the fore. So there was that.

I looked around, imagining myself living there, walking the city day by day. Some things are better left in theory, but some need to be brought in to the world; to manifest destiny for ourselves and others. I had a glorious feeling this weekend: a surge of excitement, followed by the utter calm of knowing what I was to do next. So good to feel.

I connected with a lovely friend, who brought me along for her haircut. This was dramatic, because 10 inches came off for Locks of Love, replaced by a sultry, sophisticated look. She looks fabulous, and it was a stunning transformation.

So I am in transition again, this time not so hurried. I want to embrace it all, and get back to the first home I knew after Kansas. Back to the Bay Area, as an all new me, 15 years later! Wow!

The pomegranate is a symbol I seem to stay with. It is the link between Persephone and Hades, the corporeal world and the divine. My dear friend Sue gave me a beautiful necklace with an image of the pomegranate on it. For now, I will wear it on my neck, as I see what comes up for me. It's the season.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

me pondering

two weeks in, hanging in the room...

Calypso? Penelope?

I have been flooded with images over the past few days, mostly back in the Odyssey. Most of this, dear reader, is memory (which, as Hillman points out, is part confabulation). Yet memory is the mother of the Muses; the access to creative arts and expession.

Oh, I digress. A lot.

Anyway. I was thinking about Penelope, the patient, crafty wife of Odysseus, the one who never gave up pining away for her husband, gone twenty years. She tells her suitors (who clearly view her as a prize, and a total package - Odysseus' kingdom as a bonus) that she will entertain their entreaties for her hand when she finishes her tapestry. Every day she weaves; every night she unravels. She is the penultimate "home" Odysseus longs for; the idea toward which he moves.

But, there are a lot of other women, nymphs, and goddesses in this tale. Odysseus is sunk under time and again, by wrathful Poseidon and the sea. He is tired from the long war, and the losses of friends and years away. In this tale, it is the feminine that pulls him through, anoints him, pleasures and heals him. He charms others, regaling them with tales of his adventures, but the women pull him to action, recognize his strength, as well as his cunning. They see his wound (his scar) and both compassion and passion arise.

And some want recognition. Calypso implores him to stay with her, forever, in a state of bliss, warmth, sex, and love. She wants him to stay, and see that her devotion is so great that she is deigning to care for him. She reminds him of how she pulled him from the sea, near-death, crew dead and gone. She hid him and healed him herself. And, by order of the gods (thank you Athena), she lets him go. Calypso stays behind in her lonely paradise, and Odysseus faces the sea, alone, with his strength, wits, and longing for home.

So I think of desire. Lately there has been a lot of talk about this coming up in me and my friends. Desire for stability or excitement; family or freedom; the past or the future. Desire is full of endless distances (or something like that -- robert hass), and I am beginning to see how desire moves us. Whether island to island, or to weave and unravel, we long for.

At the end of the day, you know, I'm just a girl from a Glen Campbell town! (you know, needing more than wanting, and wanting for all time...)

"Even his griefs are a joy long after to one that remembers all that he wrought and endured." -
Homer, The Odyssey

wink and a curtsy,

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

well. so it begins

I am trying something new. This year has been full of new things, and now I am launching headfirst into computer stuff I know nothing about, while simultaneously starting a PhD program in psychology. A good time to sort out the thoughts, and keep the neural pathways exercised.

Beyond all that, look for pictures. I have been taking them every day for several weeks now, as autumn comes, and as I feel the shifts and changes that come with the new. At some point we must share or feel stifled, I think. This is where the sharing begins!