“How far away the stars seem, and how far is our first kiss, … how old my heart.”

There are so many things I need to be doing right now, today, this weekend. Sitting on my ass writing is not among them. But THEY(them?), or the words, or something, keep telling me to write.  And to cry.  Whatever it is that calls to me, or feeds me words, and takes my breath away with emotions I didn’t expect washing over me in a random moment, and tears, has fucked timing, because I really do have a lot to do. So here I sit.

And now the bastards abandon me with their direction to write still burning in me, nothing but my scattered, cloudy thoughts to keep me company, and a song playing over and over because it says without saying, everything that I ache to hear but never imagined I’d ever be hearing, and in the moments I am able to focus on it, I find my balance again.

There have been 3333 thoughts flipping through my head this week, most of them today.  I know there are words that I (too) give in disguise, if at all, but mostly I say not at all,  and in the holding back of these, the others also get sometimes paused. Not that these words are reliant on, or related to, those words. Except its all related in some way that I never end up knowing until long after the fact, which actually makes me happy because “…the less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine…”

But meanwhile, words unsaid are currently playing the role of some sort of dialogue condom; catching all the rest of the words I’m meant to say, too. Or maybe its not even that, maybe the words don’t even get that far, maybe I have verbal blue balls. Or both, dependent on the day. I can’t begin to explain male ejaculation, and lack thereof, as my analogy of choice in this moment, but I’ve decided to just roll with myself, in all my glorious weird/possibly disgusting-ness.

Discovery or memory that Art; paintings, drawings, sketches, can make me cry, like music does. Like ballet does. I’d either forgotten that until this week past while at the Guggenheim, or I never knew. Not all art, to be sure. Some of it leaves me cold, and some of it I’m convinced a toddler could create the equal of. But the pieces I feel, and to be surround by works of masters, even those whose work I personally think is shit, made me cry.

And then there was Miss Saigon. To risk a Bogart-esque “gin joint” moment, …of all the shows in all the theaters currently playing in NYC, my sister chose that one to be the one we saw… Was given fair warning by her that she’d cried the first time she saw it, and fair warning too that Unicorn tears had been shed, so mine weren’t unexpected. What was unexpected was how 2 parts of the story line resonated so deeply with me. And a couple of the songs…. I was a goner.

Perhaps equal to that emotion, was the emotion of watching those living a life of which I used to dream, come to fruition. Not because I wanted ever to be rich/famous. I mean, I’ll take rich because money makes life easier, if you’re not an asshole about it, but, never was my desire for life on a stage of whatever kind, about that.

So as I sat there, hearing a song of a sun and moon, of lives so different from one another, and unexpected love, and thinking of my little girl dreams of dancing ballet, of singing, and acting, or combining them, and how I was told so many times by those who are supposed to encourage dreams, I wasn’t “enough” (good enough, realistic enough, skinny enough) or was too much (mostly too much boobs and ass, but also, too much smart for “that” sort of life) and how I let my dreams get wiped away, I got sad.  The sadness lasted only for a moment before the beauty took me away, but it was unexpected, and healing. A healing I didn’t know that I needed, which has been a recurring theme lately.

This writing and I are not friends right now. The words don’t come, and the emotions are exhausting, and I know enough now to know that I am not crazy, but it’s a little crazy making when, in spite of arms thrown wide open, and absolute surrender to what is so much bigger than I ever imagined, so much bigger than me, I am unable to exhale. And I really, really, thought it was time, to exhale.

 

You Were Written Into The Song Of My Soul

Maybe laying here in my bed, typing this into my phone, the words bubbling once again below the surface will find their way to light, in a way they were reluctant to do when it was the couch, and the laptop, and me.

There’s a whirlwind now, circling around me. Everything is changing, inside, and out, and its brilliant, and beautiful, and I’m peacefully overwhelmed. Because I wrote maybe I need to shed skin again, and God, Universe, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, whatever,  responded with “get naked, baby!” So naked I am, in the whirlwind, at peace, overwhelmed, but not. No need to be in control of any of it, but also in control of it all because; manifestation.

And it never looks like I think it will but always looks like what I wish I’d dreamed it to be, now that I let go of what it is, or will be, and just let go. With tears of unknown origin once again finding their way to me, this time I’m not on my knees, or even surprised. This time I’m grateful. Each tear that clings to a lash, reluctant to fall, or makes its way out amongst a rush of it’s peers, is a spontaneous ritual of purification. Is a signifier simultaneously of a closure, and a further opening.

Absent all fear, the step forward, upward, sideways, whatever it’s meant to be, leaves behind another footprint in memory’s past. And I have no more answers to questions than I had when I finally chose myself that day 7 months ago, except so much now makes sense.

Whether it is a matter of heightened awareness or a quantitative rise in frequency/frequency of occurrences, synchronicities abound. And what I need when I need it, words or actions or phone calls or songs or love, reach for me, take hold of me, assure me here is where I’m meant to be. Here where I have the most incredible people in my life. And where magic(k) is everywhere.

I’m still just half a hippy, (the half that will always be well groomed, and never wear patchouli) but in my halfness I am (holy) fully in a place of knowing love more deeply, more intimately, than in any time (in this lifetime) before now.  Love generally love specifically love globally. Starting with me, for me, for both halves (still really both wholes) of me, and with love for all, even those I maybe don’t like, or for whom my first thought isn’t loving, there is love.

Where once I thought a mirror was held before me I’ve come to understand there is no mirror held but is simply a mirror. My mirror into which I reflect back as it’s mirror.  Ideas about, and descriptors of,  history lessons, and titles, none of that matters. Tomorrow, or next week or 2 months from now, it just is. (Everything of light, and bright, and cool)

This is all about me,  but it can never be just for me. While naked 11 (which is not the same naked as skin shedding naked) may appear to be some days a default setting, the absolute truth hovers more around (veiled? robed?) 8 or whatever number below 10 best expresses authenticity & transparency with some (tiny amount of) reserve, except when expressed as frequency (Hz) which makes the number at least 500.  And isn’t about appearance, and only meaningful to those (one) who hear(s) what it/I say(s).

7 months in the past and 15 days into the future are significant, but right here, and now, is where I work to stay.

—–

Fell asleep at 3:00AM, phone in hand, typing. I guess this is the place at which the words stop.

To Elizabeth Gilbert and her Rayya Elias

My Dearest Elizabeth & Rayya,

When I first read the story of your love, of your relationship, I judged you. Not because you’re both women, to that I pay no mind. But because Elizabeth was married. Because she hurt at least one other person, to be with another person. Vows, and promises, and all that we’re supposed to hold sacred. I actually thought you were given a pass BECAUSE you’re both women. I thought if Elizabeth had declared her love for another man, she’d have been labeled a cheating whore, at best. But because it was another woman she fell (or realized she was) in love with, a woman with terminal cancer no less, passes were given.

But not by me. I judged. Because I am after all, perfect. Especially where love is concerned. In particular at that point in my life, where I was very much in the depths of being a hot fucking mess, clutching the pieces of my (repeatedly) shattered heart, because my (abusive, cheating) then husband, had a side piece. Again. But there I was busy being all perfect, and judgey, about you, your love, and your relationship. You, meanwhile, were busy living your lives, and sharing love. Clearly I had the upper hand in things.

Maybe I should have prefaced the formal announcement of my judginess with words about how you, Elizabeth, were a hero of sorts to me. When I read “Eat, Pray, Love” (the first of a thousand times) all I could think was “woah, I want to be as cool, and courageous, as her.” Beside the fact that you were writing as a profession, and funny, interesting, easy to read, but with real depth, writing, and traveling while doing the writing, you were also eating ALL the yumminess in Italy. Then being all one with Shiva, and Shakti or Ganesh or whomever, in India (OK, it took a minute for you to get there… I know! But you got there!) Then you went to Bali, and for hells sake, its Bali!! But also, love happened then. Oh how I wanted to be you! Also too, JULIA FUCKING ROBERTS played you in the movie based on your life, and book!! Amazing!

I don’t remember how long after EPL, came your book “Committed.” Such a different tone, but I marveled at the depth of it. All of the research you did, not just in books, but experientially, and conversationally, whatever it took to help you get to your personal truth, to walk through your biggest fears, and to deal with the curve ball life had thrown you, was amazing. Again, while writing, while traveling, while loving, and being loved.

Some of what you’d found in your research really dug deep in me, taught me history and traditions I’d never heard of. Also, it got me thinking about my personal truths around relationships. I’m a weirdo who digs learning, and thinking, and introspection. Your books brought me all those things because you’re cool! And then you got married to your Bali love. YAY!! Could I just BE you already?

By this point my then marriage had absolutely fallen apart, to put it mildly. Not that I was getting divorced. Oh hell no. My marriage was a horse that I was bound, and determined to beat to DEATH. Then give it CPR to bring it back. Then beat it to death, again.  More than ever, I wanted to be you. Eating, and Praying, and Loving, and traveling, and writing.

September 2016 when you posted about no longer apologizing for your feelings, a month after I’d found out about my then husband’s (newest) side piece, and having either not come forward yet about the abuse in my marriage, or having done so only to a couple of people, when I read about you, and Rayya, and your divorcing to be with  her, I was disappointed in you young lady! I was angry. I felt betrayed. How dare my heroine fall from the pedestal upon which she’d never chosen to sit. The pedestal where I’d placed her, and love, and commitment.

I a little bit broke up with you then.  Not the way I broke up with Shonda Rhimes when she killed off McDreamy, and I refused then, and now, to watch her shows. I still buy your books. But a little bit, we stopped being a thing then, you and I. I’m sure you felt it. I’m sure you being a public figure with a huge following, in a new love, with a woman with terminal cancer, and very full life in general, felt my disapproval from where I live in central Jersey.

I don’t know when it happened exactly, and I definitely don’t know how, or what might have been the events leading to it, but, sometime in October, I, to quote you Elizabeth, got tired of my own bullshit. Or at least started to. It didn’t have to do with the 2 of you. I’m not really sure what it had to do with. Maybe I got bored of spinning around on the nail in my foot. I’ve figured out that I have to stop trying to figure out what it was that caused the shift for me, but, a shift there was. I started to let go of my pain, and to remember to love myself again. And that I was (am) worth loving.

But it was in early November when the change really happened. When I opened myself, to myself, remembered who I am, what I believe, what I feel, and let go of a lot of crap that had been weighing me down for more years than I care to admit. Through a series of events, and choices, and some REALLY unexpected gorgeousness, my thoughts were, at least in part, turned to love. And when I say love, I mean, LOVE. Big, huge, glorious, take your breath away while breathing life into you, LOVE. Self love. Love for others. Friendship love. Global love. Just, love. Which brought me back around to the 2 of you, and your LOVE, and your relationship. And how I’d been Judgey McJudgerson about it, and was wrong for having been.

In moving away from the bat shit crazy woman I’d become in the last few years of my marriage, and closer to the me I’ve always really been, I remembered that, beside the fact that how you live your life is none of my business, love is what is most important. YES, there was at least one person who was no doubt hurt as a result of your having realized your love, your IN LOVE, for Rayya, but had you chosen to stay with him, instead of allowing your love for her be known, you wouldn’t have loved her any less. You wouldn’t have been living as your “authentic self” which is a buzz phrase I hate, but suited to this moment. It likely would have affected him in negative ways, too. 

Also, sometimes love comes from very unexpected places, with timing and circumstances you’d never have dreamed possible. When that love becomes in love, as yours did, I can just imagine how overwhelmingly beautiful that feels. How right, real, and meant to be. How impossible to deny. Especially when you know time is short. 

I don’t think there was a right or wrong choice in your situation, because to each his or her own, but I think you, Elizabeth, made a choice that was brave as fuck.  You knew there would be people like me, who judged you. Some people who judged you were probably publicly mean, and terrible to you about it. (As opposed to me just silently shunning you, from a distance.) Because you live your life in the public eye, and because you wrote the book on your love, and marriage, well, I can’t even imagine what might have been the mental process for you. The emotional process. 

In leaving your marriage you likely left what was comfort, and security, and love, for a love larger than all of that. And to have whatever time you are able to, with Rayya, out loud, in public because your life sort of demands it, and unapologetically, because your love just IS.

When I read 2 days ago of the ceremony you had to celebrate your love, and understanding that you probably don’t know how much time Rayya has left here, the words “does sometimes love come too late” crossed my mind. I immediately answered my own question with, shut up Michelle, because it’s never too late for love. 

Then I got sad for a minute, knowing  your time is relatively short. But that’s sort of silly because you may not have as much time together here as you would like to have, but you have an IN LOVE that many people don’t EVER have. An IN LOVE that I hope to be lucky enough to myself know in this lifetime. And really, that’s the antithesis of sad. 

I’m sure you, Elizabeth, want to know, are BURNING to know, that we’re back to being a thing now. I mean, I know you’re all in love with Rayya, and we’ve never actually met, and I don’t mean it “that way” anyway. But you are a heroine of mine, again. A really human, really “normal”, really just taking life as it comes, and working on your stuff so you can make your way through it as best possible, heroine. You’re brave, and honest, and courageous. I can only hope that I am as gracious, and graceful, and just damn funny, as you, if the really difficult stuff comes my way again. 

I thank you for all the valuable lessons you’ve taught to me, all you’ve helped me to learn, how you’ve helped me to take a deeper look at myself, a deeper look at love, simply by being you, and living your truth. Thank you for reminding me that love is love is love, and helping to reopen my heart to it, no matter what it looks like. No matter if the timing is “off”, and the situation not what would be called ideal. 

To you, and your brilliant Rayya, I’m sorry I judged. I send my love, my light, and my hopes that you get as much time as possible, and then some, together, to share your in love, in this time, and place.

And to Rayya, I can’t begin to know what you in particular are feeling right now. But I’m so happy for you that you have this love to hold you when you need it most. May angels, or whatever comforts you most, wrap themselves around you, now and always. 

All my Love,

Michelle from  8A off the turnpike

 


As a very important PS to anyone who may read this: Please don’t read into what I’ve written. IF you think this is about you, directed toward you, referencing you, unless you’re Elizabeth, Rayya, my ex-husband, (who I’m loathe to mention because my past is really behind me, and its just a history lesson now,  but is indeed part of the history of me) or me, its none of those. Although I did sort of quote a (beloved) someone, if you read this, you’ll know that one thing is you.  And also the other thing you played a part in. But other than that, this isn’t about anyone else’s lives. 

Please don’t think I mean its OK to bang random people if you’re married or in a committed relationship. Random sex isn’t IN LOVE. I mean, if you want to do that, its not my life, just don’t think that I’m all “woo hoo” about it. (As if my opinion matters.) Please also don’t think I feel that one should be keeping their eyes open for greener pastures. Or other pastures. But sometimes pastures make their way to you, or you’ll accidentally come across one.  Also, if one finds new love, but chooses to stay with known love, that is their business, their right, their life. Same same with choosing new love.

To anyone who doesn’t know who Elizabeth and Rayya are, and want to, links below to Elizabeth’s Facebook page.

And also, to quote Ed Sheeran

“…People fall in love in mysterious ways. Maybe its all part of a plan…”

Angel

Come find me. 

I am here, 

where I kiss the sun, 

and burn with the moon. 

Where I hear your feelings, 

and dream your thoughts. 

Waiting, 

but never just, waiting. 

—————–

This isn’t a bloggy blog post, and it’s not poetry unless you want it to be. This started as an Instagram thingy, turned tweet, in an almost mocking way. (Mocking myself, to be clear. Not my writing. My romantic, sappy, emo artsy fartsy creative feeler-ness)

 It ends up I like it in spite of it being the kind of writing I often hate. It’s ended up a love song to both halves of me, which are actually both wholes of me, but that just sounds weird. And also I wanted it somewhere I could find it, in case it needs to say more someday. 

This is not about sitting around waiting for my missing love. I did that, in a manner of speaking, waited to be seen, to matter, and watched years slip by. Highly overrated. And also, my love is not missing. For whatever that means in the moments after this one.  

And tomorrow is another step forward. Tomorrow is the continuation of beginning, again.  Tomorrow is actually 10 steps forward. So if you feel shaking, it’s just my chakras being cleared. And if you hear music, it’s just my soul remembering it’s song. 

The title of this? Fuck if I know why. They just told me to call it angel. So I did. 

…I Want to Tell You Everything, the Words I Never Got to Say the First Time Around…

Last night I cried.

After a day of fun, watching little boys, and little girls, and puppies, running around, swimming, playing, being silly.  A day of marveling at my cousin’s gorgeous little boy, not yet 3, throwing himself with fearless abandon into the pool, in spite of the fact that he doesn’t actually know how to swim. His giggles, and smile, breaking through the water as he’d find his way to the surface, into his daddy’s waiting arms. And of rocking my Babes to sleep, just he and I in a quiet corner of the garden, listening to (beloved) music, as is our way, and what he asks me for in his just over a year old vocabulary *ooh ooh usic* that melts my heart, every time he sees my phone.

A day when adults too were having fun. Which may have been more courtesy of adult beverages than the freedom of childhood, but, fun is fun. With plans to come home, have a “UFC and chill” night; I got a message about terror attacks in London, turned on the news for a bit to see what new horror was happening, and then I came home, and cried.

The no bullshit truth of life in 2017 is that any given moment, of any given day, there can be something truly tragic happening, somewhere in the world, to cry about. That’s not negativity, or pessimism, or perspective. that’s the truth. It’s probably been this way since the beginning of time. Humans have likely been assholes to other humans, whether as a group, or individuals, since forever started. But now, with all of our “modern” technology  which is so fantastic, and important in so many ways, its likely much easier.  Automatic weapons, and bombs, and nukes, long range missiles, and cars, fucking cars… are much more effective weapons than literal sticks, and stones. I certainly don’t always, or even often, cry, for groups of people killed by terrorists, or psychopaths, which really are one in the same. But when its the U.K., and again, so soon, …

Anyone who know me, knows I’m some sort of weirdo who has always, for as long as I can reach into memory, had a “thing” for the UK. Drawn to it, had an affinity for “things” of it, in an  inexplicable way. My weirdo vibe has become exponentially stronger as the years have passed. I see photos of some parts of it, and my heart races, and I get emotional. For reasons that I don’t understand, as crazy as it is, my heart is in the U.K. My beliefs tell me that I am not *just* bonkers. That I am having past life memories, or am feeling the energy of concurrent lives, in universes parallel, where my soul is occupying a body, living there. No matter the reasons why, what I do know is that I feel it more deeply when these sorts of tragedies occur in the U.K. And last night, I cried.

I woke this morning, having watched only the first 30 seconds of the UFC main card, (which thankfully I recorded!) on my couch. TV on, lights on, puppy crowding me with his massive 12lbs of body weight that seem like 1200 when he sleeps near me. Fully clothed. Terrible. I guess my body just said ‘fug it – good night’, in spite of what was an early hour for me.

Today I’ve spent a lot of time, once again, thinking, and feeling, and trying to figure ANYTHING out. Which I should know better than to do but, ‘HI, My name is Michelle, and I’m an over-thinker/feeler!’ I started to spin myself out about the state of the world, the state of my life, the state of my living room! I worried for all the little boys, and girls at the party yesterday, my cousin’s gorgeous baby boy, and my Babes, about what kind of world we are leaving for them. Or if there will be a world at all to be left to them, with assholes being assholes with alarming frequency.

In my spinning, I dwelt for a bit (radical understatement) on my not too distant future, things that may or may not happen, where I’m going, what I’m doing, or not doing, and choices I’ve recently made that will affect my tomorrows. Also, what can I possibly do to affect things not remotely within my sphere of responsibility, that aren’t mine to clean up, control, decide, fix, or even fuck up if that’s the choices made. AND, will the UK ban Americans from traveling, and moving there, because our President is such a ridiculous ass??!!!! (Half jest.)

And SPIIIIINNNN!!! Like a shroomy, patchouli scented, underarm hair having, long flowy skirt wearing, hippie chick at a Dead concert, I spun. And spun. And spun.

Much too long after I started, I realized I was spinning the fuck out, then did my best impersonation possible of Cher in Moonstruck. I (figuratively) slapped the crap out of myself, while (mentally) shouting “snap out of it!”

I’d like to say the snapping out of it was instantaneous, but, as any over thinker can attest to, stopping a super-spin ain’t easy. (My use of the word ain’t, which I ABHORE, is to emphasize how not easy is the super spin, to stop!) But the spinning did indeed stop.

After I got my feet back under me, I pulled a card, petted my puppy, exorcised with peppermint essential oil, the demon ants appearing here and there around my house, let the sunshine wash over me for a bit, spoke to a friend, watched the #OneLoveManchester concert, refocused my energy to within myself to ensure that my needs, my life, is what is my priority, and I remembered. Who I am. How I am. What I feel. What I believe. What MY path is. And that the best thing I can do for myself, for those I love, and the world, is to be my best self, and breath and exhale. To send out love, and gratitude, and beauty, especially in the moments when anything but those things would be easier to send.  I can’t control anything outside myself, but I can control my reactions to it; to get all spirituality 101 up in here.

Now its Sunday night, and nothing has changed since last night, or this morning, except me. There’s some great stuff happening this week, and even greater stuff happening later this month.  I’m going to Arizona in September, (manifesting) and should probably swing over to LA while I’m in the area. Going back to AZ in October. Want to fit a UK (don’t fuck this up for me, DONALD, or terrorist assholes) and Italy trip in, as well. Summer will be here soon, and I’m going to hit the shore as soon as I can, for ocean, and music, and beauty. I have tickets to see some of my favorite bands at The Stone Pony, in July. My best friend, and sister of my soul, just called me as I was typing that last sentence, and we actually got to talk for half an hour, which is amazing. While stuff that will elicit tears is still happening all over the world, maybe if enough of us stop our personal spinning, and remember love, we can change that, even if just to a small degree.

To the U.K., and everywhere else in the world tonight that is hurting, which is kind of everywhere else, “…I wish you all the love in the world, but most of all, I wish it from myself…”

Clairvoyant Skies

“…We are standing on the edge of a choice, And waiting for a voice, Is it destiny that pushes us this far?…”

(Don’t know what lead me here, to listen to this song, this morning, with rainy skies outside my window. This is one of the first bands I worked with in Arizona. And Ive realized I could draw a line that starts with this band, {or really, Conrad, their then manager} that would circle back to this moment in time, and encompass {almost} every person I love most, and experience that has brought me the most happiness in life.)

So with Michael’s Clairvoyant Skies floating above, and all around me, I think. About the memories I hold, the moments I’ve shared, the secrets I keep, the reasons why, of so many things.

And I feel.  Love, and loss, loneliness, and connection. Titanium strength, wrapped in a velvet of gentle. The brightness of  throwing my arms wide open, and the darkness of fear.  Clarity, and confusion.

This year that feels as if it just started a week ago, is unfathomably half way over. And this month is one of changes. It’s beginnings, and endings, and a little bit in between too. But it’s forward motion or die on the vine, and I won’t be dying anytime soon, even if life once again, possibly, doesn’t look like what I’d thought it would.

Pausing in my writing, to listen to the birds outside my window singing their morning song, and to read, and I find these words by Brene Brown, amongst a larger grouping, but these call to me. These are where I am. Where I have been for months.

“…I’m not screwing around. It’s time. …
…Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. … Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

Nothing big, nothing important, happens in the blink of an eye, and I get that. But I also get that I’m ready to dance in the light on figurative tabletops,  and sing in the sunshine on literal mountain tops, or while standing on cool sand, with waves breaking upon the shore. Because I’ve spent enough time not doing those things. Not doing those things was where I needed to be, but don’t, anymore.

Maybe it’s time to shed skin again?? To go deep outside myself. Maybe I won’t find answers to my questions, maybe I will. But not if they go unasked. Unheard by whatever needs to know them.

There’s a quote floating in my head about destiny being decisions not circumstances, or something like that. And being still in Clairvoyant Skies, and the unexpected confluence of so many things in my life, that started with my decision to answer a phone call not meant for me, I agree.

This morning in June, with its rain gently falling, finds a cool breeze coming through my window, and a puppy laying near to me, because to not touch me in the morning is always more than he can stand.  Which is sweet, and cute, but I’m ready for more than “puppy love” mornings.

Now meetings have been had, moves will soon be made, and constant has been the stream of beautiful music this week, that strangely, not however surprisingly, led me here.  Back to where so much found it’s start. To where I begin, again.