Sunday, May 22, 2016

Shaken and Stirred

I was exhausted...emotionally, physically and everything else in between. I had enough energy to get up and go to the day job that I had checked out from three years prior…but the checks never bounced so hey, what was one more day right? Then, over the course of several months, a friend who had begun to mentally unravel tried to plug into me as her emotional caregiver. Week after week the messages were nonstop, trying to flush me out.  I would go home and curl up inside my reading chair like a ball.

Throw in a toxic family member who tried to draw me into their warped perception of life and my place within it and the final domino fell. On autopilot I informed every family member in close proximity to this person that I was exiting stage left for as long as I needed to and they were not to act as go between. The universe was on my side as no one objected having spotted that the writing on the wall was getting darker and more negative for years.  As for the friend, the parents finally stepped in and took her away to get her the help she needed. I was finally given an air pocket to breath, completely battered and bruised.

Slowly repairing the tracks, I zeroed in on one goal. I love books, all kinds of books, so I thought maybe I could start by asking some of those booksellers that were left if there was a spot for me within the stacks. Just a mental refuge, wasn’t looking for pay ( though that was on my list), just one step in front of the other. In a mental fog, I wandered into a bookstore that sold volumes that are way out of my budget, unless I were to hit the lottery. And the bookstore was the size of an office. I couldn’t hide behind a row of volumes, I was front and center. So I admired the books instead, gilt edges and all. There was one solitary shelf that had single books ( the rest were anthologies)  and one in particular kept grabbing my eye. Pulling it from the shelf I noticed it was a price I could afford and justify to myself as a birthday-thanskgiving-christmas gift to myself. Twenty minutes later it was carefully wrapped in tissue paper in a fancy bag coming home with me. I may not have left with a job,but something priceless.

Over the next few hours at home I marveled at its details. Hand painted pages and random passages underlined with faint black crayon. One passage highlighted about a soul being protected when in the midst of trials stuck out.  I fell asleep with the book propped in my arm. When I woke up I felt a little better. For the rest of the year when more upheaval arose, the book became my mental refuge. When the universe tapped me on the shoulder that I needed to finally break free from the job that was slowly killing my creativity, this book was in arms length. Its pages silently whispering encouragement. I may not be in a bookstore, but I am finally on the right path. Not so battered and not so bruised.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A room with a view

"I hate having to dress like a civilized member of society".

So did I.. grown up shoes, little black dress, pearls ( of the fake variety) and a plastered smile. After hours of noise, clapping and the clink of hollowed glasses, silence and space on the way home.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

All that glitters..

 It's a stare at antique clocks and drool over them kind of day...

Blowing off the dust particles...

And cobwebs off this digital portal..

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

pay attention to the signs

" If whispers don't get your attention, bricks will start flying your way".

They haven't been as quiet as a whisper, or as painful as a brick, but the sensation has been quite uncomfortable.

I guess the universe decided after checking off one thing on my list it would arrive at the next. And so the symptoms started to appear that first popped in a different area of my life last year:

Fatigue upon waking despite hours of sleep, dread upon arriving at my destination. The tell tale signs it is time to go. But this time it's a little easier to navigate these waters. I have more of a concrete footing of what I'm looking for. The reason why there hasn't been much activity on here, besides digesting and working in much valued feedback on the back story of the broken-nosed ghost in the fedora, (the light at the end of the tunnel is shining brighter now!), is that I've gone old school. Writing notes and rants to myself in a flesh and blood journal. Think the last time I did this with effort was in 10th grade.

In the words of Annette Hanshaw " That's All".. :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

a tree grows in Brooklyn

A delicate tree with strong roots..

What happens when nature rips it out of the soil and the roots become exposed? Still clinging to the life force beneath it?

There were frantic messages for a safe haven online. Being withdraw from the online world at that point and time, I saw it after help had been offered. But I kept watch. Then out of nowhere a quiet request for help with packing up belongings. leaving the adult home that had been hers since she was 18. Indefinitely.

I knew this tree, our branches crossed every so often. We met at a wedding of a mutual friend six years ago and teamed up as both our trains passed through the same entry point on the other side of the Hudson. Seeing the post I noticed that no one was offering to help. Just "good lucks" and "take care".

I raised my hand.

So last Saturday, I showed up through the slush that was slowly turning into rain. She gave me a big bear hug at the door.

"So how long do I have you for?"

" As long as you need me."

" Really?! You really are a great friend."

Waiting for her parents to arrive with the Uhaul truck, bits of pieces of what happened spilled out. Roommate situation that went bad. Could tell that by the way they blocked off half the apartment and kept themselves barricaded behind closed doors.

Over the next few hours we boxed in addition to all of the basic necessities, her necessities: every piece of artwork, canvas and sculpture she had made from pieces in that borough that has been her only home for the first half of her adult life. At some point, after running down the stairs, I came back up to find her crouched in the corner. Her face trying not to show that she was tearing apart on the inside.

" Oh my's hitting me that this space is becoming empty, it's hitting." She bowed her head and wrapped her arms around her knees. " I will not cry, will not cry, will not cry..". I leaned over and whispered to her that it was temporary. She would be back.

Rooms empty. Devoid of life and memory. Outside in the snow, she stares down at the key ring in her hand. "I have no keys...this is the first time I don't have keys to a home. This is so backward. Their home.." she gestures at her parents. " is not mine. I go to visit them. Brooklyn is my home."

" It is your home and will always be your home. Sometimes you have to take a step back to go forward. And I am pretty certain it will end up here as it always has been."

She smiled " Would you help me to unload on that trip?"


She reached down, gathered a fistful of snow and placed it in a napkin to wrap around the stem of the rose she had in her hand. And probably a bit to water her own roots until she comes home.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

" A Noted Woman"

The gift bag was heavy and unexpected. I had known the woman who gave it to me since I first arrived on this island of misfit toys though we had never exchanged anything more than a hug and agreeting.
" You have to be gentle unwrapping it."
Following her advice, I gingerly pulled back the wrapping paper. I knew from the cover that it had seen its share of use, passing through who knows how many hands, sitting on who knows how many bookshelves.
The card from her gave a brief snapshot of its history, at least where it started with her:
Bought over 30 years ago for a dollar in a bookshop that no longer exists. Piqued her interest by the title and the fact that it was printed  in 1883 in her hometown of Hartford, CT.
She couldn't recall if she had actually read the book in that time span, but came across it as she was clearing her bookcase to make room for new additions. Wondered who she could give it to..
" So I am passing it on to you, an avid book lover and "noted woman'"
It was the most touching gift I had gotten in recent memory. Taking it home and gently flipping the pages, I came across the receipt she had gotten all those years ago. Now it proudly sits on my bookshelf to begin its new life with me.