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.

Heal us

Happy hump day Travellers,

I’m back at work for half days, which is weirder than I could ever have imagined. I’m alone there, in my office, my other colleagues are not working alongside me as usual. It’s like being a ghost of my former life.

As hard as it’s been to adjust to the safe at home agenda, I don’t think we’ve thought about what it’s going to take to recalibrate ourselves back to our regularly scheduled program. It almost feels like going back to school after summer as a kid, except it’s not…because most of us aren’t kids anymore.

Continue reading “Heal us”

Fix me

Good morning Travellers,

This morning on our walk I felt a sense of relief. I had survived the night before and here was the dawn. Though a bit stuffy, even in the darkness. We’ve largely escaped the Midwest humidity this summer, but now it’s here in all it’s glory. Ta-da!! Even at 5:30am in the morning. I can’t imagine how humidity feels to animals, has to be like wearing a zipper-less fur coat into a sauna.

The other thing that made me heart feel better this morning was that rooster, the one I mentioned a few weeks ago. We haven’t heard him since that morning, I was afraid he had met with an ill fate. Or someone choked him to shut him up. This morning though, he was cock-a-doodle-doing with all his might. And it felt like a sort of heralding for me personally… Continue reading “Fix me”

I’d like to redefine

Good Saturday to you Travellers,

Do you ever want to change words? What I mean is the way the word sounds to you, the way it rolls off your tongue or it’s pronunciated cadence seems to defy what Merriam Webster and all of humanity before thought it should mean? Like it just seems completely fucking wrong? Everyone was wrong, and I laugh because it’s absurd, but I am the kind of person who likes to take words and make them my own, do you ever do that? When I was little I can remember my mother frequently saying she wished she had written down all the words I had invented to better serve my own language. I blame Dr. Suess, because he pretty much looked at English and said, yea, I’m just gonna have to make something up….

There are two words today I’d like to make the case for reassessment , LANGUISH and LANGUID…just look at them, they are virtual twinsies, like the exact same, but one is missing an ear, otherwise the exact same…if you positioned the hair correctly they would be identical, would they not because you couldn’t see the missing ear, now could you?

Continue reading “I’d like to redefine”

Armor Up Ladies

Good late evening Travellers,

 

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This image pretty much sums up the past few days. I would say it’s been a mixture of unscheduled storms and delays, non-walking mornings and a general sense of atmospheric moistness. Then combine all that with a sort of drive by accidental moodiness only reserved for PMS…but aren’t those puffy low clouds just wondrous looking?

Sorry not sorry to the men in the room, but any lady can tell you that for let’s say about a week out of every month, it feels as though your mind and body are not your own. I’ve had many unpleasant fleeting thoughts in the past two days, but we’ll talk about the trafficking your mind another time. Then there’s the fact that I feel so bloated, like a non-land mammal, I’m thinking, a beluga whale. The disconcerting part is always the fact that my clothing fits pretty much the same, but I feel swollen, and I feel like I look swollen, but my clothes say otherwise…it’s just the most unpleasant deep down disorientation..

And it’s been making me think about a few things with regards to the card carrying vagina members of this society…maybe it’s just the estrogen talking here, but…

Continue reading “Armor Up Ladies”

Speak now, or forever hold your piece..

Ciao Travellers,

I have to tell you whenever I type Ciao, I think of Eddie Izzard in THIS skit…his comedic prowess is really beyond compare. Take a few moments, I insist, it will brighten your morning and then we can reach an agreed understanding that when I type Ciao, you hear his voice, like I do…

Last night my brother from another mother and I were talking about the ramifications of me pursuing this little venture here on a grander scale. You see I’m getting business cards made, I know that’s probably not the normal approach to find readers but I’m an unusual girl who employs these types of unusual methods. Because I was raised in the tactile world where we liked to touch things versus just look at them on a flat monitor. I’m a fan still of reading books that I hold, and shopping in stores where I can touch the clothes. I see the cards as an invitation that I can’t extend in the same way virtually. And I’ve decided to just treat all of this as a great adventure and on great adventures we are brave and try new things. Continue reading “Speak now, or forever hold your piece..”

All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Movement, #1

Good morning Travellers,

It’s been storming here all night and the ground is soaked as are my shoes I left outside with the dog harnesses. Obviously, no 5am walk was had. It amazes me how smelly those things can get from everyday use, so I’ve been leaving them out to dry in the sun each day.

Speaking of stinky, yesterday as we were walking thru the neighborhood, every other block or so smelled like skunk. (I meant to tell you this yesterday, but I forgot..) I think skunks are the cutest little creatures and it seemed this one had rather boozily been spraying it’s scent. I sometimes wonder with a creature like that, do they ever just spray it for fun, like was he just running down the street letting his stink flag fly? That sort of created an amusing scene in my mind that I giggled at while we were walking…

SO I have a new idea or rather an old idea that I’m thinking is worth a little deeper dive…

Continue reading “All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Movement, #1”

“D” is for dragons and doorways

Good Morning Travellers,

If you haven’t been here before on a Monday, this will possibly seem odd. Because we are not here to dread Monday’s arrival, but instead celebrate it with a creative vigor that is quite possibly missing from you life. Let’s begin…

The letter “D” is our starting point today.  It’s a capital “D” by the way, you can use lower case letters if that serves your art better. I forgot to mention that earlier, my bad.

What would you make with a “D” as a kid?

Continue reading ““D” is for dragons and doorways”

It’s all in your mind…

Buenas tardes Travellers,

I hope this day finds you well in this world wherever that may be. Whenever it may be…I saw this random flower when I was mowing earlier this morning. No idea what it is or where it came from. Just seemed to be popping thru the fence to say, “Hello there”…

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Let’s talk about the brain and movement. I think the number one benefit of exercise is brain health. AND learning how to control the body with the mind, which helps you be present in the moments of your life. Which in case you didn’t know, those things are super important for everyone. There isn’t a human alive who shouldn’t be present or aware of their own body.

Continue reading “It’s all in your mind…”

Bring you home

Good evening Travellers,

It’s the tail end of Saturday, which has not been particularly eventful for me, and now it’s about to be over. I’m not very good at doing nothing on any given day, do you know I mean? I take off time to relax and well, relax and instead I find my thoughts drift to berating myself for not doing more. I can’t really say I did much today, outside of our morning walk, my work out, weekend house cleaning, grocery shopping and now I’m here writing. I think I feel like I should be making giant leaps in a daily bound. I think my recent return to singledom makes me feel like I shouldn’t stand still for too long or I may get stuck…I should be making progress in some forward direction.

I’ve been holding the idea for this post in my head all day long…it goes a little something like this

Continue reading “Bring you home”