Help you, help you

Happy Monday to you fellow Travellers,

I’ve decided that Spring is nature’s version of bad dating…hear me out. You give me these amazing sunny warm days where I get to lie on my patio in shorts and bask in the splendor, which was yesterday, but then that wonderousness disappears for a few days or more. I don’t understand what just happened, weren’t we having a great time? Or was too exhausting for you? Was my happiness just too much for you? Were you overcome with emotions you weren’t ready for or is it too soon to commit to the next season??

WTF?? How am I suppose to walk my dogs on these crappy borderline Spring-ish fling mornings?

Then I realized, I think this is how it is every year. I get so excited and then so disappointed…expectations do not always serve us well, do they? Certainly not when we can’t differentiate between what we expect and what we just hope for…

And I just think I’ve got alot riding on this one, I’m trying to secure myself on the other side of grief and I just need some cooperation here…but that’s really about me isn’t it? This is not how partnership works. I’m gonna have to sort this one out with relying on Spring…

Since it’s Monday, I thought I would discuss something that I find very helpful and yet challenging. It’s a very necessary perpetual practice in my life. It’s one of the most important skills I have gleamed from therapy.

As I have said before, let’s be clear, therapy isn’t a cure. It’s where I go to learn skills to survive my humanity. And I go to therapy for a sounding board and I’m a big believer that it’s something we need to normalize. Zero shame, all awesomeness that’s what I’m saying…

And it’s just like Robert Frost’s poem says, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

So go get a pen and paper. I’ll wait…

And no, we are not using our cell phones, actually writing the words here is important.

Here is the question my therapist asked me many moons ago: What do you value? Make a list.

And this isn’t a right or wrong answer, but 100% honesty is required. If you are not honest with yourself, you are lying to everyone else as well. And you need yourself here.

What do you value?

Take your time, just listen to what you hear inside. Don’t wait forever, don’t try to make it look like a good list, because you know the answer.

The list does not need to be a novel, just what speaks to you…

Here is most of mine…

HOME, honesty, compassion, Friends/Family, Furry kids, Health/Mobility, Humility, Tenacity, Vulnerability, Acceptance, Discipline, Kindness, Intelligence, Stability, Communication, Learning, Adventure, Inner peace, Trying new things, Bravery and a handful more.

I wrote this list over a year ago, and I’ve actually crossed off some things and added new things since then. Or refined a word. And that’s how we work, our values change based on what we learn about ourselves, right? Our values change based on experiences and the ability to recognize what no longer serves us.

Or maybe we realize there is something we’ve been missing and when we find it, like a little seashell on the beach of life, we pick it up and put in our little mental pockets we all have inside. We want to carry it with us.

Now here is the hard part, this is the bread and butter. This is what it’s all about: do you base your behavior on your values? Or are you basing it on your emotions and immediate desires or need for gratification?? Or is your behavior a misaligned coping mechanism that needs more exploration?

Get honest. Try not to judge yourself too harshly because remember you are the only person in this whole world who will never leave you and therefore, ya gotta learn to like this person and believe in this person. Get on your team. No matter what other persons have told you…

I have my list in my planner, I see it everyday and I find that the more I work on it, the easier it becomes. I’m not saying I get it right all the time, because I don’t… I think we go into autopilot so much in this society that we really don’t pay attention to what we do each day…Do you remember what you did yesterday?

This is not an easy thing, BUT if you will consistently do the work and observe as you are about to make a decision or react or behave in a certain way, you might be surprised to see how often you abandon what you value.

Just pause and ask yourself, does what I’m about to do align with my values? Am I making this choice from that place or where is it coming from?

Make this Monday worth something is what I’m saying… Take in all words I just left here for you. Make a list. Trust me this one time. It works. Not easily, but there is a feeling that this cultivates inside that I would diminish with mere words.

Good luck!! And let me know how it turns out!!

A Sunday rambling

Buenas Dias Travellers,

And HAPPY SUNDAY, or my day as I call it…WELCOME TO MY DAY!!

I mean technically, yes this is pretty much the day we have established as God’s day, but for me, it’s the day of the week that is always mine. Meaning I don’t share it with others very often. Because I think it’s important that we each have a day that is ours during the week whether it be to take some spontaneous adventure or bask in the silence or take a long walk or tend to something that requires your attention or just sit for awhile on your own. Let yourself unfurl. Even inside of chores on this day, there is something really good still.

Now to all the naysayers, yes, it’s easier to accomplish this if you are single and live on your own. Allow me to acknowledge my privilege here. If you have a partner or children, perhaps you could negotiate how this works. For each other. Because the longer I’m alive, the more I have realized that if we cannot function wholly on our own, we cannot be truly good for each other.

We extend whatever energy is inside us to everyone around us.

So, BEING ALONE, ON YOUR OWN, have you done that lately?

And I mean by choice, not this weird domestic house arrest that COVID has placed all of us under for crimes we have not bothered to understand.

I mean CHOOSE for YOU…try it…where there is a will, there is a way.

I think this day, Sunday, has a sort of cadence unlike other days in terms of time. Maybe that’s why God gets this day, because a God would certainly not obey something like time, would they? Why is there time anyways, have you ever thought about that? Humans created a way to measure it, but where did it come from…

I’ve experienced more Sundays than I can count where minutes and hours seems to lie down and release their grip on my life. I also stay away from clocks on Sunday and just move. But I tell you, time does not work the same on Sunday…

In fact, if you choose another day to make yours, lemme know if that still applies…the cat napping time that is.

As far as GOD, I’m not quite sure if that’s what I would call what I believe in at this point in my life…I’m not sure where Dave went, or any of the other people I’ve lost. I don’t think it’s as simple as most religion has us believe, I think it’s way more nuanced.

Since Dave died, I have had three specific instances where I know he was here, in this house. With me. The first was on the night I found out he was gone. I came home and his TV was on. I had not been in the room in days. And I could feel him.

The next time occurred shortly a few days later, I was listening to THIS SONG for the first time on that same television (go listen to it) or THIS VERSION, and there is a line that says, “I’ll take all the love and all the pain” and just all of the words. Every word felt like an ushering forward, like a message, because I found the song just then. Like he wanted me to keep moving on. And I just sat there, music pouring out of the sound system, balling my eyes out, but I know he was there. Sitting next to me.

And lastly, I had a dream unlike any dream I’ve ever had…he was leaving and we were in the house he always wanted to build. I was offering to pack up his stuff and he said where he was going he didn’t need any of it. And we were kissing and then he vanished. And it was gone, but the weirdest feeling of my whole life. Like my mind had been violated.

Some part of me felt though in those moments like maybe he didn’t fully realize what he had done. How could he…

I can’t help but feel that there is no way for anyone in that situation, choosing suicide that is, to realize the true gravity of what they are deciding, If that makes sense…we cannot know what our death is until we cross that line.

I believe there is something happening here in this life, there is an unseen connection between all living souls and all the souls who have been here before. Something that makes each one of us necessary. Something greater than us. Maybe a God, but something we can feel when we are alone with ourselves.

It is a quiet hum. Almost. And if you sit still, it’s almost a whisper. It is the thing that I was referring to in my last post about magic. It is the way we meet and the way we choose inside ourselves. It is the thing that propels most of us forward. It’s found in the moment a child is born and in the moment we each leave. It is outside in nature and in the eyes of my dogs, my cats and each other. It is something beyond our control that we will fail to notice when we are so busy.

It’s the thing about taking a day of your own, there are moments.

AND whatever comes next after we die and whatever came before we were born that something connects us all together in a way that our human minds can not yet comprehend. I’m not sure we even have the vocabulary. I think it applies to everything that is living here with us. In a way it is unseen but waiting for us to notice if but for just a day. Or a moment.

And I don’t think it’s mine alone, or even meant just for me. I think it is inside of all of us. But I wanted to tell you about it, in case you’re missing it. Maybe you’ve been seeking it without even knowing. I think it wants you to you give yourself space and time to breathe, just so you know it’s there…

Limited Magic

Happy Friday Travellers,

I’m still struggling to figure out where to begin talking about Dave’s suicide and my feelings about it in a way that will hopefully be helpful and insightful versus just a lot of loud words scrambled around on the page.

I do not under any circumstances wish for my words to resemble Shakespeare’s line from MacBeth “Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” Because right now, that’s where I’m at. And in the moments, where my thoughts and feelings have felt organized in a more eloquent way I’ve been nowhere near pen and paper or keyboard. But I know it’s coming..

Until then, perhaps a more intriguing and lighter dish befitting a Friday morning…

I was thinking this morning about how the conditions were not quite right for a walk. Abit too cold, it was 39 degrees and abit soppy wet from all the rain, which would prevent us from walking our usual route. In case you didn’t know, dogs are creatures of habit, just like us. And when I deviate from the regular path, it seems to cause abit of a dust up.

This got me to thinking though about how many elements have to come together or into fruition to create really great moments in life. You know what I mean, those moments where you stop and take notice of something particularly exquisite. And think, remember this...The times when life is fully realized for the gift it is.

Maybe it’s A particularly delicious fruit. A really transcendent emotion. A kiss. A first embrace. THE first cry of your baby. THE first time you meet someone. A conversation on a phone late at night. THE way the sunlight sneaks through and shines. THE stars in the sky. THE weather on a particular day/night. THAT sunrise. THAT sunset. A look in the eyes of someone you love. ONE act of kindness or compassion or curiosity satisfied. A moment of realization.

Just ONE moment where it’s magic. And it is magic, don’t sell it short, because most of life is mundane and practical and required living. For these moments to occur, everything aligns, all the senses and your soul. And like magic, it’s gone almost as quickly as you realize it’s here.

And we cannot control it or force it or replicate it, that’s why it’s magic.

These things don’t happen often, not the REALLY REALLY good ones.

I’m not even sure if other people can see these things or it’s just me. But I hope you do.

Dave always said he couldn’t.

And I’m not saying they are always joy-filled, but rather life-filled. They feel full in every sense. Full of the gravity of being human. Full of my life. They make life really real.

And I feel somewhat certain that these things belong to this place, Earth and wherever we go next, I don’t think these exist, not like we sense them here.

And I just so happen to have few in photos, so I’m just gonna roll them out now.

Since you aren’t me, you really can’t feel what they meant to me, but just know that what I am showing you is magic.

REAL MAGIC.

You do believe in magic still, right??

Re: Wrong/defective Item

Bonjour Travellers,

I woke up to another dreary day and decided I’d try a little experimental writing to amuse myself and hopefully you laugh a little as well…enjoy!!

To whom it may concern,

This is not the Spring that I ordered from your catalog. Obviously someone sent me the wrong item and I’m gonna need to talk to your supervisor to straighten this mess out. I have been a good customer all my life and this is just unacceptable. I’d also like to preface that I did not request a refund for the item you sent during this Winter, when I purchased “Winter Wonderland” and you sent me what I can only describe as a simulation of planet Hoth.

In early February, I ordered “Glorious Spring”. The product description included warmer days with features of sunshine, birds singing, grass growing with simultaneous tree budding, earlier sunrises with occasional moments of transcendent beauty ideal for early morning outdoor activity, mostly clear skies with light breezes and all the stars in heaven at night. Additionally, there would be occasional showers to grow my May flowers. This product was guaranteed to warm the soul and provide ample amounts of hope to give the purchaser all the energy required to create positive change in their life.

“Occasional” does not mean raining over 48 hours straight. And with no sun in sight. I know it’s out there somewhere, SOMEWHERE, but seriously do I have to go drag it down here myself?? And yes, the birds are randomly singing, and the grass is growing, but look at my poor flowers. JUST LOOK AT THEM!! Perhaps someone has broken the tap on the God water system?? Is it a plumbing issue? Do you need the number for a plumber?

Or maybe my item has gotten lost in the mail? Maybe you substituted my purchase without my permission believing that I would not realize this is not my order? Because J.Crew did that one time, and look how that turned out for them.

Or was it so poorly handled in shipping that it’s broken, and this is what happens when it’s broken? Is it broken??

Look, here’s the thing, I’m trying to change my life for the better, recovering from one of the most heart breaking experiences of my life, and starting a new business that will partially operate outdoors. Spring is about starting anew, right? THIS is the kind of thing that drives people into the deepest recesses of their bed, never to return again.

I’m willing to work with you because I know that seasonal weather items are “temperamental” and there is always some responsibility on the part of the buyer, but I just started using this item and again, it’s not acceptable. And I really don’t want to leave a poor review on your website because I’m usually a fan of your products and I regularly recommend them to others.

Please respond within 24 hours with either a refund of my purchase, a new item, or some kind of repair to fix it. It appears I’m probably going to be one of your customers for quite awhile longer as I’m only maybe half way through my journey on this planet, so I would hate for our relationship to become contentious for the remaining duration.

With appreciation for all you do,

Amy Crow

On account of rain

Hello Travellers,

It stormed here last night to such a degree that I have had to call off our morning walk on the account of rain. More than likely it will be rescheduled to a later time today.

Should it stop raining.

Let’s not be discouraged together.

I also find myself struggling with any words worth saying this morning. But I promised myself and you, that I will show up and say something…Here’s what comes to mind:

I think that one of the reasons change is so hard for humans is because we all secretly hope if we make the choice to change, the stars will align, the clouds will part and the path will be revealed. And that path will be an unencumbered one. Perhaps through a field of poppies or daisies or along the beach by the ocean or down a picturesque highway leading to a horizon with a setting sun or some glorious shit like that.

That is our tiny hope inside, the little flame that we are all carrying. Secretly.

BUT don’t we all know it won’t be that way?

Because what is the equivalent visual for the struggles you will encounter on your way to changing your life?

Would you go down a path that looked like it require a machete with perhaps a side arm? Or a large amount of bug spray? Maybe you’d actually just have to swath yourself in a layer of mesh to keep all the bugs out. Like a mesh mummy. Would you travel that path if you knew everything you are seeking was at the end?

Would you go into a volcano? A slightly active volcano. Like jump into it. Could you agilely hop across the little stones in a river of hot molten lava in order to retrieve the knowledge you require?

How about a suspicious splinter filled wooden bridge suspended over a gorge?

Or shark infested waters, while nursing a massive paper cut? Two things there, the blood. AND the stinging from the salt water. AND paper cuts hurt so disproportionately to the actual injury, don’t they? Would you do it?

How about green eggs and ham, with a guy named Sam? Because let’s be honest, that’s food poisoning waiting to happen…we just didn’t know that as kids…

How uncomfortable are you willing to be? (I’ve been asking myself these things lately)

Maybe it’s a question of how much Lara Croft or Indiana Jones do you have inside yourself?

The path to a different kind of life requires so much. So much work, so much discomfort, so much sacrifice, so many new things that you do not know how to do OR how you will do them OR learn them. But we have established that nothing worth having will come easy.

Of course what is easy is up for grabs, as we are all different in what we can tolerate in terms of loss and pain and judgement and disappointment and our ability to stand with ourselves, only ourselves at times.

And can you be inventive and responsive and flexible enough to allow your plans to be somewhat nebulous? Because adaptation is a key piece of any idea or plan or travel for that matter.

Can you handle your own emotions and thoughts and remain detached enough from them to keep a clear head?

Can you not attach to the outcome and instead take in the experience for what it’s worth, on it’s own merits, will that be enough?

WHAT IF YOU FAIL?

Is there such a thing as failure, really?

What if your life depends on this?

Mostly, since I work with actual elderly people, those who are in their 80s and above, it’s mostly the question of, are you living in a way that will make you happy when you are in your 80s and recalling your life?

Will your 80 year old self be proud of you?

If not, then here it is. Another day to take another step forward. Because it’s just one step at a time.

I gotta keep walking and so do you. I think it’s all we have in this life, forward.

And now a random pointless photo of Charlie. Because he is across from me, doing this and making me laugh about it.

AND….ONE LAST THOUGHT, and it’s a good one: Dave used to always say that I sought out books/stories about the guy/girl who climbed a mountain with a three legged dog and overcame some kind of huge obstacle against all odds. He teased me about it. And I realized somewhere in the past six months since his suicide, that I might be that girl. Because coincidentally I do in fact have a three legged creature for just such a climb. He’s right there in that photo.

Prepare yourselves for that story.

Through the cracks

Buenas Dias Travellers,

Apparently, I’m going to pen another gardening related post here today…because it’s good for you or me, or both..

To say life has been abit bumpy lately would be an understatement. To say the suicide of your former partner is life altering would be criminally inadequate. To say that grief just abruptly ends and life is as it once was would be a lie. But I’ll talk about the depths of that grief and all the things that people feel you shouldn’t say, or are too uncomfortable to say very soon.

Today I want about the other side and how it seems to seep into our world. I’m not talking about angels or heaven or demons and hell, I’m not talking about ghosts, or even reincarnation, but the rather subtle signs that appear before us to remind us of those who are longer on this plane. A simple thing that may mean they are still here. Saying hello. Because everyone that you have loved and lost is still with you. I feel very strongly that the energy of their love and their life remains anchored in this world, in us, until we die. I don’t think we are really each other.

Let me set the scene: I’m outdoors gardening the weekend before last and I’m feeling pretty good. It’s good work if you can find it. And you most certainly should try it. And yea, I’m gonna keep telling you that, so just give in and go start a garden…

Over the past few weeks the weight of Dave’s suicide has been squarely on top of me. As I’m sure it’s weighing on all those in his family and friends. I’m certain to not be the only survivor who is treading in that particular ocean. Looking for the black box from his crash. Knowing that none of us will ever find it.

I have been rummaging around in my mind trying to get my thoughts together about so many things that until this last week, I have felt like I’m not really here. Or if I even want to be here, but I decided to plant the garden because it’s what I do this time every year. Because it gives me hope, a real solid kind of hope. And there is nothing more reassuring than watching life grow right in front of you, and under your care.

So I’m doing the gardening, planting the plants, digging in the dirt, hauling around the rocks and mulling around in my mind, and for some reason I just glanced up and saw this…

I bought pansies last year, which I have never planted before, because they reminded me of my Grandma Biv, whose name is Vivian but I had a problem saying “V”s as a kid and for some reason I continued to call her that all my life. A term of endearment. She passed away a few years ago and last year, I felt moved to plant these little guys. Because she would have liked them. And because it made me feel like she was there in my garden.

Pansies are not for my patio, too much sun, not enough shade. They had a marvelously abundant and yet short life last year. But when I saw this little one, randomly growing in between the cement slabs, I just had the strongest feeling that is was her saying you’re not alone, you’ll be alright. AND if a pansy can grow in this crack where it never grew before, then you can grow into new ways that you’ve never grown before.

Just think how hard that little guy had to work to grow there!!

Mostly, it was just the feeling of being not alone. She was here with me. Watching me. Rooting for me.

And I realized in that moment, she is who I learned to love gardening from. Her backyard was my favorite as a kid. She didn’t grow veggies, but she had pots of pansies and peonies and other flowers. And bunnies and birds. And bird feeders. And wonderful lush green grass. And she was always delighted by all of their splendor. It was her unbridled joy about it all that I remember the most.

And just like that, my hope came back.

I should mention it’s growing right next to my little random determined strawberry plant, that also lives in this particular crack in the patio…and it appears another pansy is growing there as well…

And I could not be happier to see life so determined to find a way. Just look at it seeping through the cracks of this world.

Thanks for showing up again, same time tomorrow??

Have you ever felt like someone you lost has visited you here on Earth? Have you continued to find hope in this rather difficult period of human life? I hope so…

Most important, when are you planting your own garden, hmmm??

The Miseducation of Strawberries

Happy Monday Travellers,

It’s been a minute, how are we doing on this fine Monday?

I’ve decided to do a whole 30 days writing every single day journey again. Because I’m trying to reassemble my life in a way that makes me feel good about myself. I decided it’s time to give all the effort that I have inside me. This is the first morning I got out of bed at 5am, walked the ladies with the sunrise and now I’m here. This is me resetting my life. A life that I wholly want for myself.

I cleared and planted my garden a week ago. And once again, it’s a never ending source of just feeling goodness and joy in a way that only a garden can. I kid you not, I smile just typing those words. It warms my soul to say those words and to stand in their presence.

There is something about us, as in humans, that I genuinely 1000% believe needs to have that kind of connection to the Earth. Putting your hands and feet in dirt is the best. And I think if we all grew our own food it would change the way we eat. Nothing ever tastes as good as something you have grown for yourself. And I think widespread communal gardens could change the world. I know that’s a bold statement, but I’m dead serious. Everyone working together side by side with the common goal of nourishing ourselves and our families. Just think about it.

I believe there is a whole world living with us that we have forgotten. And in forgetting that we are neglecting something inside of us…

Lemme show you a little something I learned recently…

Look at that lifeless, dehydrated, sad, once was a lively green plant. It looks dead right? Down for the count. This is one of my two containers that had strawberries last year. I didn’t have the idea for this post until I came to second container and in order for you to appreciate the next photo you had to see this one first…

How does seeing that make you feel?

Take a moment, I’ll wait…

Now look at this…

This is not a new plant.

This is what grows underneath.

LIFE.

Life tenaciously continues beneath the surface of death.

This is the other container, which was even more of dead mess than the photo above, but look at those little guys.

Just look at ’em. Never have I been so happy to see life.

Those dried up layers formed a crunchy blanket for the vines to bundle up inside of as the winter raged on. And we had a two week spell here in Kansas with nights of 20 degrees below zero. There should be no survivors. But there are.

The first few years I grew my garden I cleared all the containers because I didn’t know better. And in truth, I don’t like seeing the little carcasses of my once glorious greeneries. It makes sad to look our my kitchen window and see all the dull brown where there was once vibrant chlorophylled community. And in truth, it makes me uncomfortable to see my little garden all decrepit and broken.

What’s more interesting is last year, one or two little berries offshoots appeared in that second container. Somehow they made their way through that winter and the berries that they grew were the sweeter and more luscious than any first generation berries. I daresay they earned it.

Now take everything I’ve just said and shown you and apply it to life. Your life. I’m not gonna tell you how, because that would rob you of the sweetness.

Let’s cue up one of the greatest albums of my lifetime, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” because when the sun comes out and the weather slides into warmth, it’s what I’m feeling right now…

Thanks for sharing your time with me. Please let me know your thoughts. Do you indulge your inner gardener? Are you believer in the come back? Do you see the relationship between death and life as the dance we are all dancing and yet we continue to fight the rhythm?

And are you ready for all this summer yumminess?

The High Dive

Hello Travellers,

It’s been awhile. Like a long while.

I’ve been trying to find my way back to this place. Obviously with no great success. So much has changed and yet so much remains the same, right? The world has been transformed in a way that I’m fairly certain, it will never go back to as it once was. What has been seen, cannot be unseen and I’ve reached a point where I don’t think we should. We should never waste our energy wishing for what can never be, should we?

I’ve been looking for a way back into this place. It’s felt like I’ve been looking for the right key to open the door. Hell, many days I’ve been uncertain that I even still owned the keys. Or maybe the right words would be like a combination on a lock. If I could just fumble through the pockets of my mind long enough and find the words. Because there has been some serious change in my life and I’m no longer the person who wrote the last post.

I left here with adventures on the horizon and all the optimism in the world despite COVID. In fact, as shit got real, I learned that there is one thing we all forget about our phones and their photographic technology, they hold evidence of our happiness. You can freeze a frame of happiness in a lens. IF you should choose to see it that way…but I’ll talk about that another time.

What I’d like to discuss today is something I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to lately, perception. How we choose to or fail to see people for who they are. Including ourselves. For me, it’s related to how I have withheld myself from being seen by others as well. And I’m pretty sure for me there is a direct correlation between those two things. Like so many things, it’s the inside job that is affecting the outside.

At my last therapy session, we were talking about how I’m afraid to let people to see things about myself. That I will be judged and come up short. Things like the fact that I played piano for a quarter of my life, yet no one who knows me as an adult has ever seen me play. Or that I can sing, pretty well, yet I sing for no one. Or any of my mistakes I’ve made. I’ve always been an at arms length kind of person. And it’s been keeping me from fully trying to do what I want to do. It’s keeping me from everyone.

On Christmas day, I had some friends over and drank more wine that I can ever remember drinking. Not out of sadness or anything like that, just sometimes wine gets away from you. Do you know what I mean? Anyhow, in my intoxicated stupor I had this fantastic conversation with someone whom I did not know well at the time. There was this moment where was explaining to me why he doesn’t sleep well as an adult. It was tied back to childhood trauma and yet I could see in his face, he was still quite clearly haunted by it. Here’s a fully grown man who isn’t sleeping because of memories formed over an almost life time ago. And I don’t know if it was the vino or what, but in that moment, I could see him. Like really see this person in front of me as a witness without any illusions. It was the most sobering inebriation I’ve ever experienced. And to be clear, I only drank three times in 2020.

A few days later, I began to piece together that moment and my dialogue with my therapist and realized, this is my key. This is how I find my way back here to this place that I created. Along with one other detail…

Five days after my birthday in October, the man that I have written here about, my ex husband, took his life. He was dog-sitting for a friend and killed himself in their house with a gun. And it has changed everything in me. Forever. I’ll talk about this again and again and in more depth because I believe it’s worth talking about. It needs to be talked about. I want his death to mean something because he meant alot, whether we were together or not and this moment is entirely germaine to what I’m writing about right now.

When I met Dave, and we are going to use him name now because I want him to be known, not long after we met, he told me about his previous failed suicide attempt. He told me about his life long battle with depression that he was on medication for. He told me about his beliefs and his family and at the time we met, he had a sort of girlfriend. I was drawn to him like a magnet. He had a kind of gravity I had never encountered before.

And yet, I didn’t fully see him. I saw what I wanted to see, an intelligent funny guy who gave the best hugs I’ve ever known in my entire human life. He hugged people with his whole soul, as we should all hug. I didn’t understand the depths of his illness or the shadow that it would cast over him and us. I didn’t see him. I saw what I wanted to see.

And I didn’t see myself either. I couldn’t see through the haze of my own trauma. I wasn’t acknowledging what had happened to me or it’s ramifications on my life. I wasn’t addressing my own behavior. I was choosing to see as a means of survival. And while I think that this kind of vision can be necessary for our ability to endure at times, ultimately that kind of short sightedness robs us and others of the thing that we all so desperately need, to be fully witnessed and accepted by the humans in our life.

We want to be understood when we are completely indecipherable. We want to be heard even through the barriers of our differences. We want to feel safe enough to show our gifts and not be ridiculed or judged. We want to be able to be different and accepted for that, to understand our viewpoint is not the same and not be attacked. We want to meander deeply into our own souls and dive in to find who we are and when we resurface holding what may appear a be a common rock to others, understand it’s a pearl to us.

This lack of vision also causes us to harm others and ourselves. We choose from a place of fear or insecurity or pain. We deprive ourselves of realness and closeness which is also scary. Vulnerability people, it’s the only key. And Dave’s suicide has only served to drive this realization so far home it’s like a permanent mile marker on my soul.

Look around your life, do you really know the people in your life? I’m not talking about knowing every detail in their story, I mean their essence. Do you know yourself through your blood, bones and back again?

I can’t help but to think about this country, America, and the events that have unfolded in this past year. I feel like we no longer choose to see those whom we disagree with, do we? Do we even understand our own motivation in the COVID world? This is the moment to dig, into ourselves so we can see again. Because I still believe in hope and all the possibilities that lie beyond the horizon, but we cannot get there in blindness.

Lastly, let me leave you with a quick story from my childhood. One summer, I went to a swimming pool with my brother from another mother, his brother, his mother and my mother. There was a high dive and I’d never been on one before. I can’t recall how old I was, but I know I was a child. Because the memory has an immense height attached to that board. Both of my cousins climbed the ladder and jumped with the greatest of ease and I was encouraged to do the same. I’ve always been an avid swimmer, so why not, right? I remember scaling that ladder and when I arrived at the top, it was a helluva drop. But there I was and just when I was about to go back down. Crawl back down actually, there was a bee. And I jumped. I told my therapist that I feel like I’m on that board right now and Dave is the bee. And so despite all my fear, I’m gonna jump.

A solar year later…

Good evening Travellers,

I have officially lapped the one year mark since my ex left our home AND on last Friday, it was one year from our divorce. One solo trip around the sun. Somewhat hard to believe, but true.

And where I began is definitely not where I am now, so that’s progress. Maybe not the kind of progress I rather ambitiously hoped to have, because I think we all want to excel after we crash and burn. We wanna get back up at a racing pace when the truth is we were knocked on our ass and are completely dazed and out of breath. I wanted greatness while everyone in my life said, all you have to do in the first year is survive.

Well, I have survived.

Continue reading “A solar year later…”

Give up the ghost

Good evening Travellers,

Here’s something I never thought I’d write, a bit of a glimpse into a recent life experience of mine that I’ve come to learn is a sort of pandemic of it’s own merit. Not the kind that causes blood clots, strokes, difficulty breathing and overall body pain, but more of a socialization virus that causes a disruption in our days and sadness in our souls.

I’m talking about ghosting. 

In case you are unfamiliar with that word, ghosting is when a person who has been romantically present in your life in some capacity for any period of time just vanishes without a word or explanation. Just POOF. Gone. And the ghostee is left wondering if the entire experience was all a mirage. Or an illusion greater that anything David Blaine has ever attempted.

Continue reading “Give up the ghost”