“Strangely I heard A Stranger Say, I Am With You…” *

Dear Michelle,

I see as usual for the last few months, you’ve taken a couple of days to get more than part way into writing something you thought you felt you REALLY wanted to blog about. What’s up with that, lazy betch? How ya going to finish a book if ya can’t finish a blog in a reasonable amount of time? OK, really I’m just busting your chops. I know the whys and wherefores of your writing’s slow down. But I do want to nudge you a little. You know you’re happier when you’re writing on the regular.

Oh, BTWs, HI. Its me. The Universe, your Higher Self, God, Allah, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, that which is everything, or nothing, etc. Whatever title you want to give me. You humans in the 3D certainly are attached to your labels. Anyway, it’s me. Lets talk, shall we?

I know it seems like just yesterday you were “Counting Stars and Burning Intentions” but its been almost a year since you wrote that. 2017 is now in its waning hours and days, and things have changed. You’ve figured some stuff out, and still have not a clue about most things, which is cool. The love you came into this year with remains, has increased in fact. Both given and gotten. There’s not been a minute when you questioned your ability to provide yourself with shelter, or food, or clothing, and that’s more than many can say, so yay for that. But also, lots and lots of curves. Am I right or am I right?

So I’m wondering, where is your heart Michelle? And your head? And how are they? Those parts of you that have to be more in this realm as a function of the human condition than you’d perhaps like for them to be. But if the answer to the question “Is the cat alive or dead” is yes, then they have to be in this realm, while not being of this realm. How’s that been going for you lately? This is rhetorical, but inherently, not.

I don’t want to do a year in review. This isn’t a Hallmark emo blog, irrespective of the (momentarily) deeply emo place from which I/you/we, are writing. The Ari moving, you moving/making a left turn on your income (which is NOT your career) path, realizing you’re somewhere in the midst of; a spiritual awakening/becoming aware of at a conscious level the oneness you’ve always known/giving in to the bat shit crazy side of ya, sis being diagnosed with cancer, Chester committing suicide, all things that while huge and important, aren’t part of the today’s menu. But I do want to talk about the last couple of months. The “what the fuck is occurring and why the fuck am I an unintentional Jerry Springer episode” events that were a little bit like a lifetime of shadows in review, squished into a relatively tiny amount of time.

So, thing/event/lesson/random bit of bullshit/challenge, number one; lets call it a test of your trust, which included a challenge to not hold your past against your present. That came at ya rather fast and furious, didn’t it? Irrespective of the trust being still smack in the middle of the something which was supposed to be not much, or not at all, which has ended up being a brilliant something that is remarkably complex, and beautifully effortless, it was unquestioned because it just IS. Until the moment you were told you should question, and doubt, and run and hide. Even though a source lacks credibility, when (figurative) TMZ shows up at your (figurative) door, unless you’re completely insane, you take a beat and a breath, before deciding you’ve got a grip on things.

I know of the 3 I want to discuss, this was the biggest one for you. Those 12 years of being told the sky was green and the grass blue, and having had your trust (along with your tender heart) put in a blender, (points given for knowing the song I’m referencing) repeatedly, fucked you up a bit, as they would have anyone. But the baby steps to clear that, which became leaps when you finally remembered you, did they serve you to the degree you thought? Did they heal you as much as you’d hoped? As I see it, the answer is yes. I watched as the breath got knocked out of you for minute or 17. Your sleepless night was not to be unexpected. But it was only that 1. I saw you shake as you fought the fear of speaking up, which was really the greater fear of speaking up creating an ending/loss, and asked your questions/spoke your truths. You recognized red flags INSIDE OF YOU, that bade you to proceed with caution in your actions/reactions, because they are all you can control. You pondered, and felt, and sought wisdom and counsel both inside and out, and cried a little. Also, you laughed because; what the actual fuck?? But then you remembered your/you’re magic, and you let that shit go.

If I were your teacher (and I Am) I’d give you a gold star.

Next was more a blip than a real occurrence, but it’s relevance to your things that have been part of your history, cause it to be of note. That stupid tweet from a sad little troll, making a “haha” about sexual assault. Previous statement all sorts of oxymoron as “haha” and “sexual assault” are always mutually exclusive. The real reason this is worth mentioning is that there were paths which could have been gone down, which were not. Of course the path of verbal sparring with the troll was an option, but, meh. Sticks and stones from strangers on the internet aren’t ever worth a tussle, really.

But I saw your feathers get ruffled as you considered the collective, and considered if had said troll directed his words toward a someone who gave a fuck what strangers say, who had been assaulted and hadn’t healed, she might have caved. And while in the midst of the Weinstein, Louis CK, Kevin Spacey, too many others, disgustingness, the topic of how sexual assault is never funny, and how those who think joking about it is OK are part of the problem, and possibly even one of those who have/will commit it, your choice to not put your energy there, even just in writing about it; well, it was probably the right way to go. It was good you examined it, and what you may be able to do to help others, to make things better, instead of reacting knee jerk (you, knee jerk? GTFO! you’d never do that!) in any direction. There will be a moment when you can shine light on it, but your physical energy being low of late, and much else going on, now I don’t think was the time for it.

If I was your teacher, (and I Am,) I’d give you a gold star.

And the last item up for review on the parade of “you have to be fucking kidding me” is; “Catfish, The Job Interview Edition.” For this one I’m just going to cut straight to the congratu-fucking-lations. Well done you for realizing that, although you are often treated as one of the boys, and that’s a role you’re absolutely cool with, you have to actually know the boys, and they you, before you can be one of them, with them. In the absence of that, (with the exception of the one that is the exception to all) it’s best to keep your guard up, while trusting, and to really HEAR what is being said to you, and respond accordingly. That you were healed enough around a dude saying mean stuff to you, a definite misogynist, probable sociopath, likely psychopath, trying to manipulate you for specific reasons unknown, was not in question. But…

Remember how he said to you; “everyone has a price” and how you said “I don’t” and how he laughed at you? Remember how the number he threw at you, which was to be your salary, but only a portion of your income, made you feel warm and fuzzy because you were going to be able to do so much for your kids, and grandson, and Hospice Rocks, plus travel at will, and pursue your training in energy healing full-force? You knew the moment you drew the line, created the boundary, that IF what appeared to be a sort of perfect fit for what you’d been working toward, which would allow you to get to where you really want to be with ease, was real, it would go away if you didn’t stay silent. And you were right. But, the path of seeming least resistance (if this was real) may have led to something much worse than a few hours, which really in total was a few days, wasted.

I know you’re still dancing a little with that one. They “why” of this experience. If there was no job, and he is just an ugly predator, that makes it even more what the fuck, than if there was a job, and he is also an ugly predator. …….

(Holy FUCK!! “The moment you get attached to a very specific outcome, you limit possibility waves!” The synchronicity of hearing those exact words as I am writing what I am writing, because the Extra Terrestrial Unicorn randomly sent me a link to a YouTube vid, which I challenged myself to listen to while I am writing this, is astounding. So what I was saying is no longer what I am going to say. The song has ended, as has that dance. Yes, there was attachment to a specific outcome. Not for nothing, the opportunity ticked many boxes, in a great way. And the semi-truth of the situation just came out a few days ago. But, it deserves no more time or attention. “Why” doesn’t matter because that maintains attachment to a specific outcome, even if the outcome is no longer a possibility. It is what it is. {I hear you finishing/adding to that sentence!!} I am here now, and here does not include that which was then, there.)

All that remains to be said is; healing isn’t linear. These situations that have come up recently, which could be called shadows, or lessons, or re-visits, or tests, or mind-fucks, are behind you now. I think it’s important that you had the experiences. Each tiny flapping of the butterfly’s wing serves its purpose. The self-examination has had value.

(They stopped me to send healing to someone. I don’t know who you are but they moved my hands to gather energy, and then direct it to the root chakra area, although maybe not to the root chakra, specifically.)

The pause for the healing has turned to a full stop. So the “letter” ends, with love.


Because I feel these events to have been, at least in part, a form of self-examination, I chose to write this as a letter to myself, from something outside myself, but not, because I have been observing myself, and how I have acted, and reacted, in each of these situations. I can’t explain it much more than that, much as I can’t explain the vast majority of the goings on in my head, heart, or life, these days/this year but also, ever.

I felt the need to document the process of walking through these events, in the most abstract of ways. It has something to do with the year coming to a close, and words written by Anais Nin and Ranier Marie Rilke, beautiful music and conversations, love, and other things too. As it is always about me, but never just about me, I felt I MUST do my best to ensure I am healed around these things which are of my past so that I can continue to be(come) the healer I am (to be). The details are largely inconsequential, as it is the lesson, not the story, I seek to remember.

To the strangers, and non-strangers who are no less strange, (ha) who have found me, or me you, thank you for being with me. For saying you are with me. To you I send continual, and copious amounts of love.

To anyone who may read this, who may think parts of it are about them, or that they may know who parts of it are about, or who may make assumptions about any part of it – and might feel the need to get crazy/be butt hurt over it, kindly fuck the fuck off. Really.

*Rainer Marie Rilke

Image by Dennis Potaker






“…There’s A Feeling I Get When I Look to the West (and East) and My Spirit Is Crying for Leaving…”

In the last couple of months filled with exhaustion and awesomeness, (which in part brought said exhaustion) there has been the constant ache to write, and the words always lingering, asking to be (said) or written or something. But almost every time I sat to write, no matter time of day, the exhaustion won, and the words stayed hidden behind eyes that couldn’t stay open. I know the words were about anniversaries of sorts. Final goodbyes, and hellos, new and renewed. And about love because there is always love in all it’s forms, even if I’m writing about sadness. But also because love and LOVE have become such huge, real parts of my world, in ways I’ve never known, and didn’t foresee. Which is cool, and weird, as fuck.

I woke this morning to 30+ notifications of new likes on my Instagram. All the likes were for posts prior to the anniversaries of which I’d meant to write, and I was brought back to the place when darkness was still wrapped around me, but I had found my voice, if not yet light, (not yet become light) or love as I know it now. I didn’t know what the sudden large number of likes were for, until I started to read some of the posts. Surreal isn’t a big enough word to describe the feeling of reading those words, written by a version of me I can no longer imagine being. If absolute love for/from someone is the best feeling in the world, the lack of hate/extreme anger for someone toward whom you once felt those things, has to be the second best. But the one who wrote those posts was still pretty deep in hate/extreme anger, which really are masks for hurt if we’re going to be honest.

So someone found them, those posts fueled by hate which was hurt. A someone who specializes in helping those who are sex addicts, and their partners, as well as those who are experiencing domestic violence. And all those posts he found were my time of coming clean, to myself and the world, to use my voice, and be a voice. So maybe if they found those words, they found something that will help them, help THEM. Those who are where I was, or where I was by proxy. That notwithstanding, it was an odd thing to wake up to.

(It’s taking me so long to write this… they keep stopping me. The energy flowing from my hands stops me. The magick stops me, and asks me to redirect my energy to someone(s) who need clearing or healing, and I can’t not listen because more than ever it is not about me, while always being about me because as I heal {you}, I heal. But if you could let me write…just for a little bit?)

Yesterday morning’s memories brought to me by social media were so much different than today’s. I don’t always check out memories from the “On This Day” thing on Facebook, but the pic it showed me compelled me to look. It was a pic of a blue sky, and of fluffy white clouds. Specifically the photo is of a heart, and an angel, formed by the joining of, and spaces between, the two, and so lovely is said picture, I made it my (whateverthefuck is the name of the pic at the top of my Facebook page.) The horizon is one I’ve not yet seen for myself, in real life, but was sent to me as means of sharing a journey with me. Of taking me with. The something so simple, that was a something so huge. Like so much else has been in this last year, for so many reasons in so many ways…

(…if you envision me dancing in the stars it’s because you showed me I can….)

There was so damn much to say, not just from yesterday’s memories, and the anniversaries of the last couple of months, but also from having a movie day of LA LA Land, (a new favorite) and Audrey Rose, (old favorite, exquisite Anthony Hopkins, beautiful book, woo woo as fuck, sad, and gorgeous). I was deep in the vibe of love, and nostalgia for times I didn’t actually live in as this me, but am probably currently living in as others who are me, and not. I was wrapped in blankets, sipping tea, drifting between here, and there where I want to be. And words were coming to me, or ideas of them anyway.

Also there things to be said from time before, from Arizona, last year and this. Of seeing my friends, who are (were? fuck) his friends, (Chester’s and mine) and speaking of their last memories of him, and mine. Of the amazing show that was Hospice Rocks. Of how beautiful is my friend Yvette, in heart, and soul. How magic she is. How much I want to be half as good a friend to her as she has been to me. How much I admire her as a mom to Divo. (How jealous I am that a 9 year old boy has better hair than me!)

There were words also, of seeing faces I’ve known for 20+ years, and many I haven’t seen in far too long. As “back to life” and myself as I have felt in the last year, when one of the dearest faces looked into mine and said “you’re still doing it, after all these years, and from so far away, you’re still promoting music. I came to see you Michelle. I mean, I’m here for the cause, I’m here for the bands, but I came to see you because you’re still doing it.” it was as if the last little bit of myself that was laying (lying? fuck it) dormant, came all the way back. As small as was my role in this show, it was like flexing a once often used muscle, and it felt good. Because; music, creativity, shared passion, art.

(I sing from side stage, because that’s where my star shines brightest. Being the keeper of music. Supporting those who create it, in whatever way I can. ~ Random Muse.)

The music was (and is always) magic. Even the show the night before the show. Soulfly. Me in my pink shirt, and strappy sandals, amongst the none-more-black jeans and t-shirt crowd. The sounds aren’t those I crave, but the energy was breathtaking. Onstage, and off. It was people watching at its finest! It was observing people’s passion as they got lost in the moment, and the mosh pit. It was knowing my friend Donny, who has taken care of me from day 1 I walked into the bar he owned where my bands used to play, who calls me “fun waiting to happen” is still taking care of me when I’m at his venue, so no matter the crowd, I am always safe. And rarely sober! (Which is not to say drunk; reference “fun waiting to happen”)

And then it was tears, as I sat in the balcony in the venue, watching, realizing that balcony was where I was meant to be sat on September 29 just past. There where Chester and Grey Daze were to have played. …

This was all so much more poetic, and meaningful, as written in my head. But the poetry of it has waned, as the day has wanted to be focused on energy. On light, and being light. Healing, and being a healer.

This something that has become so much a part of everything and me, that as I was getting ready for the show last weekend, on 11/11, the downloads, or symptoms, or the feeling the remnants of the departure of a someone, through the filter of a heart I hold most dear, almost buckled my knees, over and over and over. And unless you’ve felt those sorts of moments, they defy explanation. But I had to ask them, or it, to allow me the night to be present. It worked that night. Today, not so much…

As I figuratively look to the west, and the east, both of which contain elements of my past and future, (for whatever any of that means) I fight to remind myself that for now I am here. For now there is contentment or even something more, which I have to choose as my reality because it is reality. I remind myself that all of this is so much bigger than me, and not just about me, although all of this is of my own design, (maybe).  I search for the value in the moments that challenge me most. Those moments are most often the ones in which I feel lonely, and when I am missing what I have never had, but have never been without. Because of the blessing and curse of a memory that makes yesterdays as palpable as right this minute, (but only the pretty parts, so thank you for that, whatever it is that makes it all so real) sometimes in the silence, the lonely is amplified.

It’s now 1:30 in the morning of the morning after the morning during which I started writing this. Its 38 degrees, and I’ve just come back from a walk meant to clear my head, ground me, tire me out, but didn’t. Instead I walked outside myself, watching as a paragraph or more (of the book, not this blog) was written, becoming a few frames of a movie, with shades of Jackson Browne playing in my ears.

In 4 days its Thanksgiving, and in a month Christmas. Dates which are often relevant, but in this instance only relevant if you are me, and have my memory, and can recount in vivid detail words, and the moments in which they were exchanged, that changed everything. “…becoming a more awesome version of yourself…”

I’m still figuring this all out. The light, and being light. The love, and being love. Because its really fucking odd to say, and odder still to feel, that I’m ready now. Ready for the parts of me that are so separate from everything here but are also not because of the oneness. On the daily I work to stay in the magic of it all, to be patient, and to act in the highest good, for the collective, and for me, which inherently includes you. Because I am ready. Ready to move (in)to where I am meant to be. Ready to not be surrounded by others fear, and vibration which I must fight to stay above, in a not snobby but real way. Ready to heal the one’s who need it. Ready to learn that craft, and devote myself to it. While writing the book. And singing the songs from side stage, figurative and real.

(I’ve no doubt that when my first book is finished, some editor will become rich, because there will be so much work for them to do!! Did I make a point? Any point? No idea. But if you’re still reading, you’re beautiful, and I love you.)

The Absence of Fear

It’s 38 degrees, and I woke at 4:45 today, more due to having passed out on the couch somewhere around 10 last night than anything else, I suppose. Undisturbed sleep which I can’t exactly term as peaceful or sound due to having had a 12lb ball of fluff taking up a larger portion of the couch than one would think he could. No doubt happy to be “allowed” to sleep with me, as generally night time is when we go our separate ways. Morning cuddles are always a thing, but I don’t dig middle of the night wake ups that include puppy butt in my face.

Puppy butt, cold mornings, and too early aside, if my writing about fear the other day was Yin, this writing about it’s absence must be Yang, and just must be. Been in the back of my mind for some time now, in some form or other. And what its about more than the absence of fear specific, is how almost exactly a year has passed, give or take, since so many corners were turned, choices were made, calls were taken, and I remembered me.

I don’t know exactly what was my mindset, or where was my heart, or “soul,”  a year ago this time. Meaning, how happy I was, how clear I was, how anything other than starting in earnest the climb up from the place that I’d dwelt in for many too many years. What I do know, courtesy of Facebook memories, is that I had purchased my plane ticket for my trip to Arizona, and was making plans to see my friends, and to immerse myself in myself, and meditation, and whatever else I’d find when I got to the workshop which I was traveling to AZ attend.

Similar plans now made, at least where traveling to Arizona is the topic, and where I am today, what is my mindset, and where are my heart, and soul, … what a difference a year makes. I have so much clarity in so many ways, and so much confusion which is possibly more just a lack of defined path or steps than true confusion, in others. And even the places which are clear as crystal, don’t as of yet have plots or plans, or blueprints, to outline them. there is just, knowing. And love.

What I didn’t know at the start of what was this year of tremendous change and transformation was how deep it would all go, and how far out, as well. When it started for me it was just a shift from being the lost spouse of an abusive sex addict, to (re) becoming the rad chick who wasn’t afraid of most anything (that isn’t a creepy crawly, or slithery icky thing), who explores people, places, feelings, and ideas. It was just that simple, which wasn’t simple at all.

Meanwhile, there’s this book I’m writing, and these feelings I’m feeling, and thoughts I’m thinking, and things I want to say… and when THAT all ended, and THIS (which also includes this, which is no less THIS than the other THIS) all of those things came out in rushes and tumbles, minutes and hours spent wrapped in laughter, and beauty, tinged with occasional tears that weren’t the kind that hurt, but just a last little clearing of a long ago past. The absolute absence of fear, which didn’t and doesn’t mean recklessness, was like wings, to sound like a cliche jackass, but it was. THIS –  the first, while still blurry, is so much more clear as light shines in, on, and through me. As downloads, or upgrades or shifts, or whatever it is, fill me with energy

4 days later. Not that I haven’t written since then, just, not this, not here. And nothing complete. Too often is the case that by the time I get home from work, later than I want to, walk a couple miles, which I want to do for as long as I can while the evening weather still flashes between summer and fall, cook, eat, clean up, my mind is just too worn out to formulate full thoughts on virtual paper. And it frustrates the fuck out of me. My mornings are either too early when I all but beg sleep to take me back, or a semi-rush to get out the door for work. I never was much for the middle ground.

I keep seeing a meme the last few days that says something about hoping the last 3 months of this year (which is closer to just 2 months now) is the plot twist “you’ve” been waiting for. And I think with sort of amazement about how the last year has been the plot twist I didn’t know I was waiting for. And it’s here where the absence of fear returns to me.

If there is such a thing as miracles, the changes in my life in the last year has been the stuff of that. Not in the fishes and loaves, or dead men walking sense. (which reminds me, The Walking Dead is back on tonight!! Holy fuck am I excited!) … To sort of echo what I’ve written in other blogs, and because at its heart this blog is not for me, but is for anyone who may need what it says, underneath the sometimes silly or indiscernible bullshit, there was a point in time where I absolutely did not want to wake up again. I saw no hope for a future that was of interest to me. I said those words to more than one therapist. I have daughters I love to the greatest depths, and the highest heights, but I didn’t think I had anything of value left to give them. My trust had been so utterly eroded by one person, (on top of the residue of erosion from others) that I didn’t see myself ever trusting anyone again, and life without trust is a very bleak place. I also though myself absolutely unloveable, and unworthy of being loved. So what was the point, of anything, ever, at all?

Maybe this was my “Dark Night of the Soul” except while I was in the midst of it, I’d never even heard of such a thing. (Which is likely just as well as I, for myself, believe that I wasn’t focused then on a target in the future, and what was coming, seeking out a something mythical around a next corner, but was instead fully immersed in the present, feeling every ounce of every bleak, black, horrible emotion.) But even if it wasn’t, even if it was just depression around being married to an abusive sex addict, to have gone from there, the absence of light, to here, where there is light so SO bright…. I know it’s not just me who can go from that dark to bright. I know part of why I am here, the biggest part of why I am here, is to be the light which allows others to find their way to the light.

I think for those who are where I am, or in places similar to it, it is easy to understand how almost happy I am to have shadows, such as fear of a certain something, pop up. Hold up the mirror for me, (or be the mirror, incredible as it is, that it is so) so I can SEE, and FEEL, and work through, every teeny, tiny, or huge, thing. While it is for me, it is absolutely not just for me. I have come to accept, and embrace, and be astounded by, the knowing of how much not just for me my path is, so if clearing, or embracing shadows is what it takes to get me fully there, I’m in! Because I am here to shine light, to be light, to heal.

With that said, I am, (we are) also here (I believe) to shift or destroy paradigms. If everything that was “how it’s always been” was still “how it is” no progress (or what passes for it, in some cases) would ever have been made in history. And I’m not saying I have all, or any answers. But I am saying, an energetic return to ancient ways, doesn’t mean a return to the way it’s always been. Its the usual case for my life; if you try to put me in a box, I’m going to protest, and hopefully find a productive way out. I’m going to find a new path. Or forge a new path. Chaos theory (magick?) all up in here. Where this once might have been done in protest, it is now done in a something “higher” way.

It was my own steps that, once again, brought me back to the absolute absence of fear. My own steps that included seeking wisdom, and knowledge, and then using my discernment to see what applied to me. My own steps that included going as deep inside as possible. And as far outside myself as possible. But also, it was the reminder of unconditional love I give, and get, that has been one of the most amazing part of the plot twists of the last year. The sort of love that can’t not activate, and elevate. A love that is intelligent enough that it requires me to do my part, as in; getting the fuck out of my fear if I’m dwelling rather than working through. (As a preemptive strike to questions along the lines of “are you in a relationship now?” Of course I am! Any interaction with another human is a relationship. Ha. But really, I’m not speaking about love in that way. That’s not what I mean here. 3 words have 2 meanings, which can be, but don’t have to be, mutually exclusive. So for purposes of the words I am writing here, think of love in the biggest way you can, multiply it by a billion X infinity, and you’ll have a fraction of the idea of the kind of love I mean right now. Is this about a dude I’m dating. Also no. Stop being nosy.)

So to recap my blah blah, not even sure (as always) I’ve made any sense; I was in a dark shitty place, I got happy and light, I realized I am light, I realized I’m here to shine light, and love so that everyone can remember they too are those things, here for those reasons. I am the luckiest human on the planet to have received, and allowed to give, unconditional love, shadows sometimes pop up, I let one get the best of me for a minute, now I’m through it.

And I’m sending love. Always, always.


4AM wake up. Was it you, or them? Or them through you, or the converse? As I turned to meditation in hopes sleep would take me back, found myself instead surrounded by angels, or aliens, or nothing that is also everything. Surrender was for what they were asking, and what I must give, as light poured in, energy poured out, in an exchange of love, and knowledge that I’m yet to understand.

Even now as I am asked to write, in between are pauses for hands raised, (mine) re-positioned, (by unseen them) as they teach me; ancient ways of healing? They won’t say. But each time I’ve tried to withdraw, they have pushed back on me, and made it impossible.

As quickly as words come, they melt away before the path is complete from mind to fingers to keys. If the words I write (or hear or say) are for you, then they have to be for me too. Immutable truth.

Over and over and over; “Don’t fear the embrace.  In the embrace all fear will be lost.”

Iteration 4562. Which is really 3. And instead of 4am, it is now 2am, and my alarm will happen in 4 hours.

As I search for the reason why I have so much of others fears around me, have so many around me who choose fear, knowing that now is my time of revisiting shadows and to choose (or not) to fully, finally, learn certain lessons, I realize I can’t joke or laugh my way through, because this is bigger than me. I am bigger than me because its never just about me.

My biggest fear I am able to identify at this moment is losing people I love. This is not about death. This is not about abandonment. This is about temporarily letting go in the knowing that it is for the highest good. Last time I let go, temporarily, from the most pure place in my heart and out of the most absolute and unwavering love, my world exploded, then collapsed. No matter what hindsight says about why it had to be as it was, I don’t want that again, ever.

But still, what if temporarily letting go is the best thing? The highest thing? The thing that will (fully) heal? (you) and me? Will I be able to stay in my magic enough for it, and you, and me, to reach the place we’ve for so long been journeying to?

All I want to do though, is love. Feel love, be love, give love, and as far from least as possible, receive love. Which I know I do on the daily, but that’s not what I mean. I don’t want my super power to be letting go, even when it’s with love. Loving without the letting go is so much less sucktastic.

And I’m weirdly emotional today. Which maybe isn’t so weird because I’m also utterly exhausted. But everything is perfect. Leaps of faith have been taken, and even as this writing tells me it’s drawing to a close, I feel the clearing, and the rising, and the tears that cleanse are here now too.

Don’t fear the embrace…., they keep saying it.


“…2 am and I’m still awake, writing a song

If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,

Threatening the life it belongs to

And I feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd

Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud…”

Anna Nalick “Breathe”


(Drawing credit Austin Osman Spare. Recently tweeted by someone I follow and I meant to remember who, but don’t. Used cause it seems to capture fear well. Going to have to check him out.)

The End of The Beginning of Whatever

Awake before the sunrise to find another blanket, as a chill from the breeze through my open window tells me that its here now, the season that sees the start of the end of things. When light gives its position of dominance to dark. Bright colors turn to deep, which are no less brilliant, in a muted sort of way.  Traditionally the time that marks death; the falling away of things which no longer are alive, and of hibernation, is now symbolic of (re-)birth, and (re-?) awakening, for me. Which should surprise no one as I’ve always been (unintentionally) loathe to do anything in the time and manner customarily done.

At my deepest (or highest?) levels I know that this is some sort of cosmic agreement that pre-dates everything of which I am consciously aware, but here today, some 11 months (and eternity + forever) in, my everything is sometimes holding back screaming, (or maybe whimpering) whataya want from me??? (The Pink and Adam Lambert duet version, I like better than his solo version.)

For days has sat this start, and hours now sat me, (Indian Summer’s return and warmth; extra blanket, and blanket in general put back away) attempting to remember where it was meant to go, knowing only that it has to go somewhere. I have to go somewhere. I’m repeatedly told patience (and trust) but the former has never been my long-suit, and the latter got crushed repeatedly this lifetime around so I sort of suck at that too, although I’m remembering to never hold my past against a something/one. Or to always do so, as means to remind myself that what is, isn’t what was, and just get on with it. Excepting of course, to paraphrase; the risk, the mystery, the most certain (thing) I’ve ever known, where trust was/is always, even in moments of vibe dropping as a hazard of this dimension.

(And I hear the words, no story is perfect, it just needs to start…)

Within the blur is writing about how it’s been a year since I first “came out” as a someone who had experienced domestic violence, (If you thought I was going to say came out as a lesbian you clearly don’t know me in real life. Not that there is anything wrong with being a lesbian, it is just inherently impossible for me because  men = yum) which was step 1 (million) in the transformation. I want to write about that, domestic violence, and maybe my experiences, as a means to continue to send the message, the face of domestic violence is not what you/I/we may think it to be. Because it’s me. It is/can be a strong, independent, intelligent, opinionated, attractive (yeah, I said it) woman who  gets so beaten down emotionally that when the physical beatings start, she stays. And stays. And stays.

Again I find myself wondering how to write about something that seems like it can’t possibly have been my reality. Also, I don’t think I want to write about that past right now. As still I weigh how to wrap myself around the hearts who are where I was, to be light for them, to shine light on the issue as a whole, without going into “it.”  Silent muse that one. So if you’re reading this, and you are where I was in the life formerly known as mine, know I love you, I am here for you in whatever way I can be, and will help you find what you need, that I can not give. And I get it. I do. I get that one “no big deal” shove, can turn into being thrown to the ground, getting punched, and kicked, repeatedly, and still not leaving. And you’re not an idiot for not leaving, when just getting out of bed is a Sisyphean task.

…When I took that first step a year ago, and then answered the unexpected call to the higher, deeper, something, there was an ease and an effortlessness to each next step. Everything was wrapped in a beautiful, (enigmatic) simplicity, that seems to have (just for the short term?) gone really fucking far to the wayside. And after years of absolute cluster-fuckness, where the color of the sky was brought into question if it didn’t suit a lie, that simplicity is what I needed. Still need. Even now, which is the end, of the beginning, which places me firmly in the beginning of the middle, I need that simplicity. I will do whatever I need to do, and then some. It doesn’t have to be easy, and “I don’t know when, confused about how as well” but the retreat of the energy given, is sort of fucking me up. I get that even the moon will wax, and wane, I do, but I’d rather not feel like I’m standing here alone, surrounded by amazing people, and where it is inherently impossible for there to be just me but alone none-the-less.

This is a unique place for me, one of having my arms still thrown wide open as I know that is exactly how I’m supposed to be, but also of surrounding myself in protection so what “shouldn’t” get in, does not. But this is the middle now, and the middle will be the forever, so I want to get to the juice of it. Not the bottom of it, but the active parts of it, where I/we are working toward my/our purpose which is always about me, and never just about me. These things that on occasion still make me feel a little bit crazy. “Are you SURE you’ve got the right person for this gig?” Except they do, and I am. Synchronicity after synchronicity after synchronicity tells me so.

What is this writing about? The beauty in the falling leaves, and the sunset. The flowers that cling to life, or only come alive in the fall. The hawks that accompany me so often now, and deer too. They are about remembering how much walking barefoot was always my way. How each Halloween that I’ve dressed up, my costume has been a variation on a a witchy something, and the moment they become available in the fall, how I purchase a cinnamon infused broomstick for my home. They are about seeking beauty everywhere I go. And a journey that is more clear than any other has ever been, that has absolutely no parameters, and confusion. They are about (global) love that washes over me in waves, and about the love I feel that defies all explanation, that runs more deeply, and more profoundly than I’d ever thought possible, and that I know is absolutely given back to me.

Mostly, as I reach what I am understanding is a circular conclusion, I am acknowledging that these words are about me letting go of anything I need to, which no longer serves, and doing so, fearlessly, as do the trees their leaves in the autumn, knowing that around the corner is more beauty. Knowing that everything that is meant to be, is and will always be. Confidant that everything which has vibrated so high, was not just a fleeting “summer romance,” because it started (again) with the return to me, in the fall. It started where I am now, except I couldn’t be further away now, than I am from where I was then. With the exception of those things which I have left unfinished, or not yet started but carried over, that need to be cleared away before the next phase can begin.

So here is another begin, again. Still don’t have the answer to whatya want from me; but understand now that its the wrong question anyway. To my higher self, to my “they” who speak so clearly to me, even though sometimes in another language, and to the other voices, (beloved 👽🦄 most) thanks for being cool. Onward!

Summer’s Eulogy

Waning days of summer, fighting melancholy at the thought. Not just for the inevitable arrival of winter, albeit months away, but also because I a little bit (really a lot) missed the mark of my wishes for summer. The things that were for sure to happen, that did not. The things I intended to do, but didn’t, and as my own worst critic ALL THE TIME, I’m a little bit salty toward me right now. But, I hold onto the idea that everything happens exactly as it is supposed to, and when it is supposed to (maybe) as solace in moments of sadness, and as “get the fuck over it” in moments of “just quit being a whiny bitch, everything is great.” Sometimes I’m feeling a little trapped in the box I chose, until I remind myself that the lack of a comfort zone (excepting that which is inside myself, and the warmth of the few I keep close) is what has propelled me to here, where I need to be.

Its been a really weird fucking summer. I mean, an absolute 180 from last summer. I’ve manifested a couple of things in ways I didn’t think possible. And I’ve found a peace in most moments unlike I’ve ever known. I’ve made new friends who get what’s going on with me, and offer brilliant support. “Old” friends too, have been steadfast in their support. But there has also been extreme sadness. Absolute broken heartedness. And my shadows have come out to play with a vengeance, which is fine. I understand that to move on to the next place, they need to be embraced or cleared or in some instances nuked, to ensure they don’t dip in again.

In tandem with sadness, and heartbreak, have been things I’ve not got words to describe, and am also loathe to put labels on. Things that have amazed me and caused me to say quite literally and absolutely out loud, are you SURE you’ve got the right person? Not because I doubt myself, or because my self esteem is low, but because for as much as I’ve often been deeply psychically connected to my daughters (Sorry I knew who you kissed and when! And told you what you were eating, when there were HUNDREDS of miles between us.), astral projected since forever, have had some CRAZY experiences, nothing has ever been what is now. Never have I felt or experienced things like those of this summer. (Unless you count those dreams and dammit this is a reference that wasn’t here a few hours ago and this is why I should never re-read, because then I re-write, and then things happen)

This writing is, at least when I started it, a return to the roots of my reason for having this blog. A place to breathe or bleed, as needed. This is not written in sadness, as I am not sad. This is being written as a place marker, and a reflection. As in, reflecting on the past, which means last year, and a minute ago. Maybe to learn from it. Maybe to help another. It’s a little bit (psycho)-therapy too. Which should never be confused with psychotherapy, because the former is simply me exorcising (or possibly just exercising so it won’t destroy things, like, for example, me) my “psycho” side. There is no university degree involved here, there is only the knowing that sometimes shit gets crazy, and shadows happen.  I’m just Michelle with the windy path that has led to here, and many pauses along the way have taught me deep lessons; the most important of which is the continued theme of being light, and love, and a hand to hold, or whatever is needed by the one in need. And that there is bliss in the surrender to everything that was supposed to be not much or nothing at all.

Thoughts come in waves of feeling, interruption (with tears right now, each tear that washes another something away only I don’t know what it is being cleansed and I’m feeling someone else’s something right now, and it hurts a little so I’m sending love wondering if its your tears I’m crying) …I’ll set fire to your fears, to stop them hurting you. (Because I think I see, or saw, you ~ in a blaze of yours that altered your course, and you were so close to the everything or way to get to it/there.) Mine too flicker in and around me with varying degrees of (in)frequency. And as I come back to myself, and re-read, the addendum is; do not assume these words are for you, please, unless you KNOW these words are for you because you FEEL them which has nothing to do with me saying them. But maybe if you, whomever you are, react in the least to them, pause. Feel. I think they (who is maybe just me) mean them for more than one person. If you landed here, maybe, if you want to, go deeper….

When I started writing this, it was going to be about the year anniversary, as it were, of me fully leaving behind the life that used to be mine, of which I am only aware thanks to the Facebook “on this day” feature.  It was going to be about how I’d been triggered by a co-worker telling me women make up lies about domestic violence. It was going to be how that caught me off guard because even when the ex leaves me mean, and threatening voice messages, as he did week before last, I’m not triggered, and how I still think it’s important to be a voice for domestic violence. Probably Chester would have been thrown in the mix had I gotten that far, because next weekend is the weekend that was going to be the Grey Daze reunion, and I was still going to go to AZ for that weekend then thought it better to not, and now I am regretting that choice because I am longing for the familiarity of my friends, and to feel that sunshine on me. And to cuddle because there is where I can safely, simply, cuddle with those who have known me forever, and I sort of need to cuddle because irrespective of it being by choice, sometimes cuddling only with puppy is lonely, and this is a huge tangent. Sigh. And cancer too was likely to get a nod; as the dance continues. But everything that is everything else keeps pushing all of that away, in spite of the fact that I’ve said next to nothing.

Maybe it’s just all the waves that have been crashing lately, into me, around me, as I learn to master the energy, instead of it mastering me, that has me so flustered in moments. There’s so much information everywhere about what is the right thing to do, and what I shouldn’t do, and how my path will unfold, or not unfold, and I believe all of it, and none of it. And all of it matters, and none of it matters. (And this isn’t an echo of the mirror I thought it too, before it was said then. Just to say, so if you see, you know, and now I’ve done it, twice)

If some of this isn’t what I believe it to be, then its nothing I want because that would make me crazy. But the labels about what it is don’t matter. All that matters is the (global) love the transformation has reminded me of. I can’t speak of magick and mysticism and play by the rules which don’t allow for them, so, all that matters, is the love. All of this, whatever it is, is an utter gift, and difficult as fuck, but more beautiful than difficult, and all that matters is the love.

There is likely no cohesion here but I won’t be re-reading again because I’ll end up editing and fucking it up. And as my muse was silent for a few week, and then I silenced her, accidentally, for a couple after that, I feel like I have to push publish, just to get the writing happening again. Not to say this is all I’ve written. There is never just one and never just here. But this is the rehearsal space, so here is important.

And as I sit on my couch, in my living room, all I can think, all I keep feeling is; I want to come home. …

“I Don’t Like My Mind Right Now” – A Call to Healers, Lightworkers, Prayers…

It’s 1:30 in the morning, and my alarm will be going off in 4.5 hours, and I worked 10 hours today, then walked for 3 + miles to clear my everything, of everything. And then did yoga too. Pretty sure I got accosted by a bat while I was walking. Or maybe a really big dragonfly. It was dark. It flew into my neck. I didn’t have my glasses on. I’m a big baby. I screamed a little. Possibly also jumped around like I was doing the Mexican Hat Dance. It was definitely a bat. But probably a really big dragonfly.

The bat incident, as it will henceforth be known, which is not to be confused with the mushroom or the spaceship getting closer to us, incidences, happened a bit after I got cocky, turned down a street I’ve never walked before, and then made a couple more turns, and got lost. In my own neighborhood. And had to use my GPS to find my way home. For the record, Leonidas, my 12 pound Pomeranian, is ridiculously cute, but he’s no Lassie. If me or Timmy fell down a well, we’d be fucked, because Leonidas would be too busy barking at squirrels to go get help. The incident was also after some dude on a bike pointed out to me that, as I paused to take a picture of a pretty stream thingy and trees, I was singing, ear buds in – out loud – likely not sotto voce, and also dancing. Which is apparently a frequent occurrence as some of my neighbors know me as the chick who sings, and dances while walking her little fluffy dog, who chases pit bulls. We’re cool, and everyone wishes they were us. And I’m awake but shouldn’t be.

There are more words that are brewing, and have been, about Chester. About his light dimmed too soon. (Except exactly when it was supposed to be?), and the gift that he gave me by having been. About lights of others dimmed to soon, too. About suicide, but not because this is my torch, my thing I’m going to work on. That’s my sister’s thing. But we need to keep talking. And about how artists do not need to be, or stay in, “tortured”, to create. They are also words about the impact of being molested as a young child. This too is not my torch, which strikes me as odd, as I’m pretty fucking passionate about the topic. But I can speak of it with horrific first hand knowledge. And maybe if I tell my story, or at least say that it happened, it will help give courage to one who still keeps theirs inside. Mostly I think the words still brewing are about Chester’s words about his own mind being a bad neighborhood, and how very much I GET that, but don’t want to get it. But now that I’m aware of it, I have to think deeply about it, to work through it. To shine light on it. For him. For me. For anyone else who may need it.

There are also more words about being light, and love, and confusion, and growth, transformation and tears of no known origin except I think I get the origin now, beauty, magic(k), and amazingness. Probably also about adventures soon to be had, and the gorgeous charitable organization, Hospice Rocks, I am privileged to be helping a friend create, or recreate.

These words today though, are about a dance. Not a fight against, but a dance with; cancer. Not mine, but that of my sister. Not the one referenced above, another sister. These words are the other heartbreak of which I’d referenced in my writing about Chester. Her diagnoses came days before his death, and the two events left my head in a swivet. My heart too. I’m writing because it’s part of how I process, when I’m not singing, or dancing. Or screaming. Because that week, the week of Chester’s passing, still trying to fathom that my sister has cancer, I screamed. Like; bullshit made for TV chick flick, screamed, so that I wouldn’t explode. Or implode. So I drove, and I screamed. Then I sang while driving. Then screamed some more. While crying.

And my sister has cancer. Which started out as a routine screening for colon cancer, found a mass. Which was NBD (no big deal) as far as cancer goes. Except a couple of weeks later it was metastatic, and in her liver. And stage 4. My sister, who never did an illegal drug in her life, who drinks socially, which is to say, not much, not often, never smoked cigarettes, has worked out fairly regularly for much of her life, has cancer. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? But she was a 9/11 first responder, so maybe its that? Or maybe cancer is just a mother fucker lacking rhyme or reason.

In addition to writing this as means of processing, I write this as a place for me to update where things are right now, for those who wish to know. She will starting chemo this week. Very aggressive chemo in 48 hour drips. The response rate is 60 to 70%. They will do a few rounds of chemo, then more tests to see how the cancer is responding.

This is also to ask every single person who reads this, who feels so inclined, to pray, to send healing, to cast spells, to burn offerings, to slaughter chickens (100% NOT serious about that one) to visualize her, whole, healthy, and completely free from illness. I ask also that, anyone who wishes to do so, send her comfort, and peace, as she embarks on this very aggressive treatment journey mapped out for her. To my brother in law, and my nephew too, if you would. I know we all have a lot to pray for (or kill chickens for) what with impending nuclear and/or civil war, on top of all the things each of us encounters in our personal lives, so please know that I offer my most sincere gratitude to each of you.

I’m also going to say, in case anyone hasn’t picked this up so far, I’m fucked up. I have an inappropriate sense of humor. I sometimes use humor to get through moments. What my sister is going through is a big deal, and I work every day to keep my energy around it at as a high a frequency as possible, when I’m not crying or angry. Its a big deal, but also, I’m fucked up, I almost punched someone in the face at a funeral in the past, (she had it coming!) and sometimes I laugh when people do things like fall up the stairs, so I’m going to joke about how I now have to have an anal probe. How September 11th (more than likely the day) is what I am now referring to in my head as “anal probe Monday.”  Don’t judge me. Or do, whatever. I like Southpark. And I believe in aliens. (But don’t know that anal probing is one of the services they offer.) I’m not going to Katie Couric this, and have my anal probe (my mom is so proud right now!) filmed for TV, but also, I’m going to joke about it. Except I have to have it done because my sister has cancer, and it might be a familial thing, and I’m 50. So for myself, and my other siblings it has been /Oprah voice *you get an anal probe, and you get an anal probe, and yep, you TOO get an anal probe!* But really, its cancer, and, #fuckcancer.

Now its 3AM, because I paused in the writing to sit and think, and feel, and send myself to you, to wrap myself around you for a moment, and sing. Now I need to sleep. Now maybe I’ll be able to sleep, and dream, and for a minute forget.

For Chester, For Me, For You

There's a thousand places, (to match the thousand pieces of my broken heart) where I want to start this writing, but I'm so fucking mad, and sad, so so sad, that THESE THINGS about which I must write (or be crippled by the confusion, and pain) are things at all, that words come to me in rushes, and I think them, and write them, hate them, then delete them. And I have emotions colliding against each other with such ferocity I've felt literally for the first time in my life, over the last few days, that I might pass out. If this is where I am at, I can't begin to imagine where must be those whose pain is mine only by association, admiration, and friendship. By history. By love. This writing which had started out about 2 heartaches, I am refining, which is not to say making shorter, to be about just 1.

I want to be very clear about something; I am gutted by Chester's death, and it is a HUGE  loss for everyone who knew him, loved him, and loved his music. And this time "one of us" for me, for my huge extended Arizona family of ridiculously talented creative feelers, really was ONE OF US. But I do not seek to appropriate the pain of those who REALLY lost him. The one who lost her husband, the children who lost their father. The parents who lost their son. The friends since youth, business partners, and band mates. To them I send endless amounts of love, because if my pain is at 11, theirs must be at 11,000,000.

Chester and I were not BFF's. We were more like super casual F's, (friends, just in case that might read other than intended) who were part of a brilliant, ridiculously talented, absolutely insane in the best, and worst ways, group of people in the music scene in Tempe, (really metro-Phoenix) AZ, at the same time. "Tempe Jangle Pop" was big then, with bands like The Gin Blossoms and The Refreshments making names for themselves on the national stage. But also, The Meat Puppets and their punk/country thing, and Jimmy Eat World, were (and are in the case of Jimmy's band) kinda big time too. DJ Z-Trip, The Phunk Junkeez, Dead Hot Workshop…these are just some of the bands/artists who "made it" to varying degrees, from that time, and place, and only representative of a small percentage of the talent that existed then, in the Valley of the Sun.

By now the world knows that Chester in the mid to late 90's, was the vocalist for the band Grey Daze, with his Club Tattoo business partner, Sean Dowdell on drums. I, when we first met, was working as an independent Booking Agent/Band Manager. Having also been a singer, and writer,  most of what we shared was the arsty fartsy creative thing. I was later to find out we also shared being molested at age 7, and drug addiction. Lucky us, right?

Its not very often I know the exact date I first met someone, but thanks to how we met, and the internet, I know the first time I met Chester was September 10th, 1994. I think he was 18, but maybe 17. I was the Booking Agent for, "Tripping With Grace" and Grey Daze was the support act for them that night. It was my first show with Tripping With Grace, and my first show in the Phoenix scene. Literally in the hundreds is the number of shows I've been to in my life, so thousands is the number of bands that I've seen, and I will NEVER forget that night. Not because he became CHESTER BENNINGTON of LINKIN PARK, but because "who the f is the skinny kid with the braids and the HUGE voice, radiating raw passion, and energy as he sings?!" Truly he was riveting to watch, to listen to, even then. That voice. THAT voice. And him, on stage, so young, unpolished, not yet having perfected the front man thing, but riveting none the less.


Forever in my mind I see his stance, singing, bent at the waist, leaning forward, which anyone whose had any vocal lessons knows is the exact opposite of what you're supposed to do when singing. Cupping the mic in his hands, which anyone who has done any singing into a mic know is the exact opposite of what you're supposed to do. Unless you're Chester Bennington.

This is DAYS worth of writing, attempts at writing, and so little said. Because I stop to cry, and remember, and wonder, and to FEEL my sadness and my anger.  I find myself unable to read most of what is written in the last week about him, except the memories written by my friends, his friends, our friends, and the tributes paid to him by fans. These precious memories we carry of this man who touched so many. Not just with his music, but with his genuine kindness, and humility. I'd say I've strolled down memory's lane, but it has been more like a sunshine filled day – running through broken glass. Looks shimmery and pretty in the light, but hurts like a bitch.

I wrote a blog a few weeks ago, after Chris Cornell committed suicide titled "Who Cares if One More Light Goes Out? In A Sky of a Million Stars… I do." Click Me Taken from the Linkin Park song which Chester, with great emotion, sang the day after Chris's passing. This particular blog is about how us ridiculously talented creative feelers are sort of fucked up in our own ways. But how some of us, inexplicably, make our way around, or through, our fucked-upness, to the other side. The side where we're still fucked up, but we're not actively, or passively, trying to off ourselves because of it. And I wrote of  3 (anonymous)  people whose lives to greater or lesser degrees I have been privileged to be a part of. These 3 people who have had certain situations and circumstances  sadly similar to each other, and mine, and each rose to such amazing heights, in spite of bullshit, and pain, and for a couple of them, (and me) in spite of stupid choices. And Chester was one of those of whom I was speaking. The one of whom I wrote "Rise doesn't begin to describe this story's (not yet finished) end." Because he had "made it." Until he didn't.

The last time I had a real conversation with Chester before he became CHESTER BENNINGTON OF LINKIN PARK, has always been for reasons I could never quite understand, indelibly etched on my brain. 4 years had past since the first meeting. I'd been to who knows how many Grey Daze shows, gotten my first tattoo by a Club Tattoo artist at an event called "Club Sex" which was basically live music and tattoos happening all under one roof, on my birthday (known to some as Valentine's Day), and had seen him out and about every now and again because; music scene.  Now working for Never Records Group as the Local Marketing Representative, I had one of our bands playing a show at Gibson's in Tempe. (Either Lords of Acid or Curve, I can't quite nail down dates)

At one point in the evening I was outside the venue, and Chester came walking up. We hugged, exchanged hellos, and "what are you doing here" sort of questions. And then we talked about real life, and heartache. His heartache. And I see him now, just like I do every time I've thought of this the last 20 years, I see him, leaning up against the wall, hands pushed in his pockets, back curved, leaning forward, head down, one knee bent, and one foot on the wall behind him. When he'd look up, the emotion, the hurt around what he was sharing with me, was written all over his face, and reflected in his eyes. His life, and hurt at that moment in it is not my story to tell the world, and is ancient history now. What I can say is that he told me of new opportunities, and changes he was going to be making because he had to make them. I don't recall what I said, but I'm sure I offered some words in which I'd hoped he'd find comfort, and hugs, and wishes that all would turn out for the best. Then we went inside, him to enjoy a show, and me to work my show.

Within a year or so of that is when he started to become CHESTER BENNINGTON OF LINKIN PARK. Every time I've thought of that conversation over the years, I've thought about how desperately sad he was. How he had no idea that the choices, and changes he felt he had to make, were going to lead him to heights none of the rest of us ridiculously talented creative feelers in Tempe, Arizona, could in our wildest dreams imagine achieving. I know by his own admission that even in his happy moments, he was prone to self sabotage, but I'd like to believe that there were at least some periods of time where he was able to ride the wave of happiness.

Grey Daze was set to do a reunion show in Tempe on September 23rd this year, and I was flying home for it. Having only seen Chester a couple of times since 1998, and always in some sort of mob fest meet and greet situation, I've never had the chance to remind him of that day, and how sad he was, and how far he'd made it. Not just in music, but in life, with the work he did with MusiCares, and in love with Talinda, with his kids, with Club Tattoo. I wanted to tell him how much hope he'd always given me, and how privileged I'd always felt that he, the human being Chester, not the eventually famous guy, had shared something so deeply personal, and allowed me to hold that space for him. And like so many others around the world I wanted to thank him for music, and lyrics, that brought me a measure of comfort in so many moments in time when nothing else could. Even if it was just because his was a voice from home, and a challenge to "scream" with! In this last week I have mourned the loss of that opportunity to say those words, which I do know he is aware of anyway.

This really has been a tough one that has brought back around my lifelong deep think about why so many of us ridiculously talented creative feelers go so low, even when soaring so high. I have grieved for him, for the pain he must have felt. I have cried copious amounts of tears. And screamed. And sang, And danced, And walked. And run. I have asked WHY god bless it WHY? I've sent waves of love, and peace, and healing, to the hearts that need it most, so that I could at least do something. I've been moved by the tributes to him from ALL OVER THE WORLD! Over and over reading words, or watching videos in which someone is talking about how they owe their life to Chester, and Linkin Park. I have had coworkers, and friends tell me that they directly credit Chester with getting them through some of the worst times of their lives.

Tonight, the day after the memorial for Chester, I have found myself in the place I feel I have to be, and that feels right, with all of this. I, as usual, have no answers, but, what is a possible truth that resonates for me, even while knowing it doesn't comfort those he left behind, is that his work here was done. He has touched thousands upon thousands of lives with his music, and with his heart. He has been a voice to give courage to those struggling with depression, and addiction. He has literally saved lives because of those things. And now, he has "leveled up." With his passing people from all over the world are coming together to celebrate him, to mourn the loss of him, and to comfort one another.  Funds are being donated in his name, which will help a someone in need someday. People who may not have reached out for help, are doing so. Suicide prevention information is being spread across social media at a rate I'm certain is much higher than usual. Chester's friends in music are openly speaking of his passing, and urging anyone who needs help to seek it, and to reach out to each other for support, and friendship. People are coming together, sharing love, trying to make a positive difference in the world, because of the skinny kid with the huge voice.

For me the loss of Chester has brought about the renewed desire to have the conversation about how the paradigm of the tortured/suffering/starving artist is played out. How there must be a way to create, and be happy, all at once. Not always of course. Not fake "church lady" happy. But that we don't need to be unhappy because its what we're "supposed" to be. We don't have to self sabotage when we do find ourselves happy. We must tell the ridiculously talented creative feelers that it is OK to be those things when they are tiny humans! Nurture that. Give them the opportunity to explore that. Don't bullshit them about it either. It's not pretty, and it sure as hell isn't always fun. The music business and all of the arts don't often give, but when they do they also have a habit of taking away. Allow the tiny humans the space to create because they need to, but maybe also help them find a practical application for their creativity that will provide a steady income. But don't tell them they HAVE to be a Dr/lawyer/scientist whatever. Teach them the value of taking care of reality, while pursuing their dreams!

I get that I'm not solving the problems with this very 101 "choose happy" sort of thing. See above and "I don't have any answers." But I am willing to shine a light, to be a light, to give a hug, or be the ear or shoulder that is needed. There can't be anything more important to do in this life than that, right? If I never remembered another time when I made a difference in a persons life, I will always know that even for just a minute, I helped a sad someone feel, if not better, heard.

The last thing I want, need, to say, is Thank You to that skinny kid, with the braids, and the HUGE voice. Thank you for crossing paths with me in this reality. Thank you for the music that was the sound track for so many moments large, and small in my life, and not just sad moments, at all!! So many happy memories of you, with Grey Daze, and Linkin Park. Thank you for writing lyrics that I understand at a soul level. Thank you for your courage in being forthcoming about your abuse, your addiction, and your depression because it helped me when I was in my deepest, most dark place, where I didn't care if I woke up the next day, feel not quite so crazy, knowing it wasn't just me who'd ever gone there.. Most importantly, thank you for giving me your trust, and the opportunity to be whatever you needed at that time, all those years ago. I will not say goodbye to you, I will simply say see you later, for whenever later may be, and I love you.


Photos not mine but were found via Google Search

“…I’m a (wo)man whose tragedies have been replaced, with memories tattooed upon my soul…”

Because I'm deep in the depths of my other writing, my writing to, and about, Chester, and cancer, but my thoughts, and heart, betray me so often I can't focus, there is this. Other thoughts that aren't those. They are all here, HERE, in my soul and my fingertips, the words I want to finish,  which I've been writing for almost a week. Today though, I've been riding the waves of memories from ages ago, tinged by anger, and hurt, or something, of right now, but I have to say something. Something… Because the other writing is as much about me as it is about him, and suicide, and depression, and cancer. But this one is about me, as I relate to him, and just me. And Liz Gilbert. (Eat Pray Love) And I don't know why I'm writing it, just that I'm supposed to.

This is not a cry for help blog. This is not an "I'm in a scary depressed place" writing. Because by the grace of what the fuck ever it is, as much as I am some insane mix of angry and sad right now, and clearly dancing with expansion that has left me exhausted I'm OK. I mean, I'm often these last few days on autopilot, and I would LOVE for now to be the moment of melting into the arms of the one I trust implicitly, who trusts me implicitly, and to just let go. (There, I said it, I SAID IT. I'd shout it from rooftops. If I could. Because as much as I'm scared to say I want {translation: need} that hug, I'm not scared to feel it at all, anymore. Mostly not scared. OK, sometimes a little scared but also, not. Fuck. Note to self: finish clearing fear of saying I need that hug, and of actually needing hug, etc.)

There's some sort of irony in the timing when need might be said (more than once) but… reality makes it not really possible to say. C'est la vie. I trust there is a reason to the timing of it all. Maybe now is a time for me to lean in, more than to lean on. Except I do know I'm not alone. That it is inherently impossible for me to ever be alone.

These things that I am going to say next are being "spoken" into smoke to lift them, carry them away, as they are what has been but does not still need to be. I will phrase them in the present tense as in this moment while I am writing, they to some degree still exist as my truth.

I have abandonment issues. Big fat the size of the Milky Way (galaxy, not candy bar, in case you weren't sure) abandonment issues. These stem from boringly typical, and fuckeduply atypical, events throughout the course of my life.

I have trust issues. Whatever is bigger than the Milky Way, (galaxy) is the size of my trust issues. I believe in the best of people. That people are inherently good. My half a hippy wants to bounce across the earth giving hugs, and cupcakes (except cupcakes with their processed flour, and sugar really aren't good for you, so that's kind of not a nice thing to give. But how lame would it be to give, like, celery, or cheese, which are actually better for you? I mean, I LOVE cheese, but, cupcake trumps cheese most of the time.) I will absolutely trust everyone, right until they give me reason to not. Or right up until I start to look for a reason to not. To look for, and find, the teeth that fit the scars, and then say the teeth came before the scars. And it's not just a male/female relationship trust issue thing, BTWs. I can not trust you irrespective of your gender. To not hold my past against anyone continues to be my quest.

My mind, if too much time is spent by me, alone in it, is a bad neighborhood. (I've stolen that from Chester, yes I have!) I over think, I over analyze, I "should" on myself, and have been known to spend entirely too much time looking over my shoulder, or into a figurative crystal ball trying to catch a glimpse of tomorrows. I have been prone to a melancholy I did not understand. I doubt my appearance, my intelligence, my worth, and second guess myself, a lot.

I have a fear that if I don't say everything I need to say RIGHT NOW, I will not have the chance to say it. I believe this stems in large part from ~ went to visit for a weekend, dude I was dating, who lived in another state. When time came for me to go home I said to him, in tears, "I'm afraid I'll never see you again." (Random, melodramatic, and clingy much, 19 year old Michelle?) He said "of course we'll see each other again, we have too much fun when we're together, to not." The following weekend I had a brief phone conversation with him. He said he was going to go for a ride on his motorcycle. He wrecked his bike. His injuries were catastrophic. I never saw him again. Each of his friends thought the other had called me to tell me. It was 5 days after his passing when I called to speak to him, and was told what had happened. So not random, melodramatic, or clingy, at all. I could genuinely have anxiety on the daily out of fear of losing someone I love, and not getting to tell them I love them, in general, or one last time. This is compounded by fear of something happening, and no one calling me to tell me.  So I often say too much, and its never enough.

I've made an art form of self-sabotage. Frequently because of attempting to fit into the boxes others think I should be in. As soon as I acquiesce and climb in, I start fucking things up, left, right and center, in a form of futile protest, as the only damage done is to myself. I can pinpoint every reason I have this tasty little habit, but, meh. Is it when I'm happy too, Chester? (Because he said of himself that he is {was. fuck.} never content, even when happy.)

As I re-read, I can say in all honesty, a lot of the above have decidedly been more my truths in my past than any time recently. But as they each have presented themselves to me tonight, they got included. Many of them find their origin in molestation when I was 7. I only mention it as it is one of the things Chester, and I, share as a commonality. Part of why I GET everything he said, in every interview I've seen, when he's spoken of his depression and where it has taken him.

*Cue smoke into which they will float away*


I listened to a brilliant Ted Talk given by Liz Gilbert titled "Your Elusive Creative Genius." Only 20 minutes long, but, a game changer if you choose to hear what it says. As it relates to me, to Chester, to Chris Cornell, and too all of the other ridiculously talented creative feelers I have ever known, what I HEARD above all was (screen captured 'cause I couldn't copy/paste)


This proved to me once and for all that she is my hero, and possibly my spirit animal. Because I have spent YEARS thinking about WHY so many of my creative lovelies, are so fucked up. But more than that, seem to almost wear it like a badge of honor. "I'm starving for my art." Well, go you! You go right ahead and be that stereotype. Imma be over here, trying to create something, and also, eating. Since you'd rather starve, I'll eat your portion too. You've seen my ass, right?

In all seriousness though, in the years I was working with bands, and in my interactions with artists, always, I have had a very clear train of thought, that starving for one's art, literally and as a euphemism for a bunch of other dumb shit we do because we are "arteests" and sensitive, isn't really cool. Or fun. Or interesting. Also, its been done, to death. Literally. Irrespective of at a point being the girlfriend in the "what do you call a musician without a girlfriend? – homeless" joke, I always ALWAYS walked away from working with those bands who by choice were starving artists. Music was too important to me, people were too important to me, to do either the disservice of saying "Yeah, sure I'll watch you be your own worst enemy, in the name of creating art." My standard line, which was never just a line, but really IS the song of my soul, "keep pursuing your dream, while taking care of reality." Read: get a mother f'n J.O.B. if ya got to, so ya not living in your momma's basement, while you're trying to be the next (Chester Bennington.) Don't be a drug addict while thinking its cool to be a drug addict, because its not. If you accidentally become a drug addict, don't decide it's cool. No judgement. I've got that t-shirt. But heroin chic, is not.

I am not saying that Chester did anything he did, ever, much less at the end, because of the paradigm of the tortured artist. I do not assume to know what was in his head, and heart at any moment in time, less the time he told me exactly what was in his head and heart. (Which is part of another blog, and of a blog to come.) What I am however saying is, perhaps as a group, we should stop accepting that this is who we must be. How we must be. I understand, with a capital UNDERSTAND, how that may not be easy, because we do FEEL, so deeply, so everything, and because when I was in my darkest, most horrible place, I might have told someone attempting to shine a light in, to get fucked. But maybe if we shine a different light on it, each for ourselves, which will then affect the group of us, maybe it will help a little, until it helps a lot? Maybe if we nurture the tiny ridiculously talented creative feelers while they are still tiny, instead of discouraging their dreams, it'll be a preemptive strike but in a good way.

As I see it, Chester did not "go gently into that goodnight." No matter how that goodnight came about. I believe that Chester with every ounce of his energy worked to shift what needed shifting, inside himself. For himself. For EVERYONE. He put his life into his lyrics, in the most raw, and vulnerable of ways. He furthered his transparency by speaking candidly, and frequently about his hurts, and fucked-upnesses. I know many people are watching his interviews and posting them as his alleged cry for help. I think that's absolute shit. I think he was just being his honest self because he knew on some level that to be so would help him, and others. So maybe we can shift that too. Speaking about what hurts, or sucks, doesn't mean you're crying for help, or crying at all. Maybe its just that you know it is the right thing to do, for yourself, for others. Perspective baby. Get some. See where yours takes you. Might not be the same place I go, and that's cool.

Why I put myself so fully onto these "pages"is a combination of my NEED to create a something, joined with my NEED to work through my shit, and my HOPE that maybe my words will give a someone the tiniest something when they need it most. Even if its just because they read what I write about myself and think "this bitch is CRAZY, and I am absolutely NOT" right when they need to think they aren't crazy. Maybe in me they will find a kindred, and feel not so alone, even if they never speak to me. Or maybe they will reach out to me, as some have, and say, "You have been where I am right now, you are giving me hope that I will able to be happy again, someday." And I'll have a new friend, and so will they. THAT is what it is all about, really. Touching lives. Experiences. Making a difference. Helping others. And not being afraid to show our crazy, while also being happy, and creating.


To Liz Gilbert, thank you for being so wise, and bad ass, and inspirational. Please don't ever stop writing. I mean, unless you want to. Also, tons of love to you, and your Rayya.

Thank you to those who today helped me to walk through the mini fire that popped up. I am so very grateful.

http://wp.me/p6f5rK-1FEChester, your thank you is in another writing. But also in my heart, which I know you know.


Title is an excerpt from "Into You" by Dead By Sunrise

Your Elusive Creative Genius – Liz Gilbert



“…Remember You’re Loved, and You Always Will Be, this Melody Will Bring You Right Back Home…”

There are words. So many words. But exhaustion, emotional and physical, keep me from finishing what I’m trying to say to work through this fucked moment in time. Not that it will fix anything or even help anything to make sense.  

Meanwhile, I need to say, you matter. You are important. You are needed. You are loved. Whoever you are. Even if I don’t know you, I care. If you need someone, I’m here. I’m nobody special, except I absolutely am someone special, because you are too! And I will pour every ounce of my love into you if it is what you need to help you get thru. No matter who you are. I will be your sun today, as best I can.

Rest In Peace Chester. I’ll see you on the other side. 

And fuck you cancer. Just fuck you. 

Thank you to my not heros for once again helping me to remain standing in the moments my knees begin to buckle, which are many too many this last couple of weeks. I love you.