Friday, October 21, 2005
But I'm going to keep on moving. I feel as though this is a momentous occasion, some sort of watershed in my life, although I know it is not. But it really feels like this is closing a chapter of my life. Much has changed since I started this and as usual, they were all the things that I secretly hoped wouldn't, or would never have expected to. But that "is the life"...That's what a French friend of mine used to say, he would always add the extra article. He also always translated the french word for neighborhood (quartier) as quarters no matter how many times I told him otherwise. That was annoying, but he was a great kisser, but that's another story...
Anyway, here I go. I still think of the boy whenever it's quiet and still or I'm alone with my thoughts, but maybe I always will, it really was that kind of love, at least for me...But I'm settling into Seattle. I even got a promotion and a raise recently and I've only been on the job a month. So now, while I still sometimes feel like a doe on shaky legs trying to balance myself and stand on my own in this new life of mine, I do think that I may finally have the ganas to make it happen...
Here I go...
Monday, October 17, 2005
Straight from the cask said that writing is "the most beautiful and meaningful activity one can adopt." He's French, he knows these things...
I have to be about the business of writing, for real now.
*everyone knows, it's from the song "Luchini aka This Is It", Camp Lo ("Uptown Saturday Night" Profile Records, 1999), don't they?
Saturday, October 08, 2005
I was walking to work yesterday and I realized that my life has begun to return to what I don't want it to be. That everyday drudgery, that go-to-work- come-home cycle. I know that it is only temporary, but I'm not helping myself because I'm not doing the things that I need to do for my future, ie, writing, and for my soul, ie, writing. Why? Because I am alone here and feeling fairly lonely. I am feeling sorry for myself because the adjustment to this place has been difficult, as some of you know, and I seem to have once again taken up my most familiar past time of wallowing in my loneliness. It might be fairly accurate to say that I just know that I am a lonely person, but I guess I have to admit that I wallow in it sometimes too. Yes, I know that this is not productive and I know that the intensity of the way I am feeling is only temporary too. The fact is, I have always been keenly aware, since I was a child, actually, that I am lonely. There have only been a few times in my life when I was not.
I don't really know what to do about that, I just live with it, I guess loneliness is my companion in a sense.
Wow, does this sound pathetic or what?
I don't mean it to, it's just that I know ultimately what I need to make it go away and that's not something I can necessarily make happen on my own.
See, I am not lacking in the self-esteem department, or too shy or afraid to make friends. I am not a weirdo -at least not in a disturbing sort of way- I am not one of those people who needs constant validation from others. BUT, I am one of those people who is really strong, independent, no nonsense, and even at times, enchanting. Yes, I said it, so shut up. It's true though and I forgot one thing, I'm not arrogant or exclusive. I am sure of myself and accepting of others at the same time and I am very honest.
You would think that I might have hordes of people flocking to me. But I don't, I've realized some things in evolving into the person I describe above and am fiercely proud of, and that is a lot of people don't like those things. This is starting to sound like I ripped a few pages from the martyr handbook and posted them here, but that is my intention. I suppose I'll just have to find away to abate the loneliness. I go through these periods, kind of like phases, when I realize that I am alone. Now more than ever, because so much has changed this year and I still don't know how to reach my destination and there's no one to really help me or even accompany me on the journey, as I thought there might be a few months ago.
Anyway, I feel okay about it and I know that my own behavior, ie, not writing, is a huge cause of this. I'm postponing the thing that makes me whole. Why? No complex answer, I am being lazy, I am a procrastinator, and at times I've been feeling sorry for myself. I wonder if Toni Morrison or Louise Erdrich ever went through these things.
By the way, I went to see Louis Erdrich read passages from her new book, The Painted Drum, last night at Elliot Bay Books. God, I want to be like her. This is big, because I don't want to be like anyone, ever. Her writing is so moving, so like a painting in muted colors that captures your attention through the subtlety of its expression. Like Toni Morrison, her writing, really touches you, moves you in ways you didn't know possible.
Could I be like that? Could I touch people, move them in ways they didn't know possible? Something in me tells me that I could.
I better get on that.
By the way, stop by and say hello to Sharon. She is home now and sounds like she is doing well, which makes me feel a little less lonely...
*my favorite book by Louise Erdrich is the Antelope Wife.
**Elliot Bay Books along with 57th Street Books in Chicago have to be the most amazing independent bookstores I've been to.
***my favorite book by Toni Morrison is Song of Solomon. Oh, and the newest, Love is quite amazing too.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Well, only three really, but I guess that's a lot for the period in which they sprang up. Three days by the way, that's when all of these things occurred. I am alright though, I don't feel emotionally bruised or battered, I guess these disappointments weren't so serious but they were definitely unexpected.
That's life, I suppose. I wish it didn't have to be. I wish that everyone was given one day when they would be granted their heart's desire. You would decide when you wanted that day, but that would be it, one day, and after that things would go back to normal. You couldn't wish for anything mean or spiteful, like the death of your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend for breaking up with you, or a lifelong curse on the woman in the minivan in the grocery store parking lot who slid into that space in front of you when she knew... Of course, some people would use their day by the time they were six years old, or at least by the time they were 25. Only the most sage among us would hold on until at least our mid-thirties, when you finally begin to understand a little bit about life and what it means.
I'm pretty sure I'd be stuck in there somewhere among the 6-25 year old set.
I'm slowly learning what it means to be an adult and I'm keenly aware of that. This week made me see...You have to accept your disappointments and move on, even though a little bit of each one we experience sticks with us. If we're lucky, it sticks in the form of experience that we draw on and use to navigate the rest of our lives in a positive manner. If we're not so lucky the vestiges of those disappointments stay with us in the form of a big, sticky mass that lingers and turns into something we can't seem to shake no matter how hard we try. Something may happen that allows us to clean it all up and free ourselves from that sticky mess, like a big bottle of Goo Gone or something. Unfortunately many people don't open up that proverbial bottle. Even more unfortunate, sometimes people don't recognize that big bottle of Goo Gone for what it is and there's usually no one to tell us, at least no one we're apt to listen to.
This is a little corny, but you get my drift, I hope.
Monday, September 19, 2005
"What kind of thing?" I asked.
"In signs. You know like, do you believe that things happen for a reason, or that certain people are put into your life for very specific reasons?"
"Of course." I replied.
So today I am thinking, well, not just today, but often I think about this. Especially this year, forgive me if this is sounding trite.
Anyway, I look for signs in life. Sometimes, I think I try too hard to find them. I don't really do this because my life has no meaning, or because I'm necessarily looking for something, but I really believe that life is full of signs, in fact Sharon wrote something along these lines not so very long ago.
Today I met a man who is going to help me make Algerian pastries. A chef. He described himself to me as tall and dark-skinned with glasses. When I met him today, he was with another man, who was actually tall and darker-skinned than he was, he also happened to be wearing glasses. I assumed it was my guy, but no. Not a sign, but kind of a funny thing today. When this man described himself to me, I was tempted to ask, "Do you mean tall by Algerian standards or American ones?" Because those are two very different standards. After meeting him, it's clear to me that he meant Algerian ones. He talked lots to me about food and how Algerian men misrepresent themselves to women when the leave Algerie and immigrate. He kept saying Algerie, instead of Algeria and Alger instead of Algiers. "I have a little experience..." was my reply.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
The gist, a magazine in Morocco published an article about immigrants coming in to the country from Sub-Saharan Africa. The article was titled "Les criquets noirs envahissent le nord du Maroc" or "Black crickets invade northern Morocco".
The King of Morocco issued a statement saying essentially that he condemns the paper's publishing and stance saying that 'the Kingdom of Morocco does not advocate any sort of discrimination against anyone based gender (perhaps this includes sexual orientation too, but I'm not sure if it would), religion, race, or color (probably skin tone, for those of you of lighter hue, not in the know about these things), because, to do so, would go against sacred principles of Islam and international law.' This is a loose (but fairly accurate) translation...I know we (black people) do this to each other all over the world, but it's interesting to see it playing out on the continent... I also have to point out that this sort of paints a slightly different picture of Islam and Muslim attitudes. I don't know tons, but I know that on paper (and even historically), it really seems to be the fairest, most inclusive of all world religions. Oooh I better watch it before I make it on to some Homeland Security watchlist, but I guess it's too late for that....
I couldn't find the site or a link to the article itself, but here are some reactions from message boards and the French web portal & search engine Wanadoo...Sorry non-French speakers....
Lord, let my people go!!
Thursday, September 15, 2005
I think that experience was good for me, because much like the complete and utter failure that I also experienced last year, I learned that there is nothing to fear in fear, if that makes any sense. Sure, there is uncertainty, pain, and sometimes even despair, but it's not the end of the world and going through it, makes you realize in the end that you can do anything, or what your limitations are, whatever the case may be. This is a very good thing. I've said before, failure is liberating. I should perhaps restate that and say failure and fear are liberating.
Another thing I'm afraid of: there is a boy who is interested in me. A tattoo artist. He seems very nice and clearly he likes me. I ran into him today and made him giggle. Picture a big, muscular man with long hair and biceps covered with tattoos, giggling. That may be hard and sounds kind of weird, but I often have that effect on men, I make them giggle, what does that say about me? What does that say about them? He practically ran out of the shop to catch up with me as I walked by today. I shouldn't be scared, I realize, but this is new. He seems different, nice. He treats me like he has a crush. He could be a freak, yes, I realize this, but maybe not. I sense that he is, gulp, perhaps kind of normal. I'm scared. How will I act, if he is nice, if he is normal? What will I do? I've never known that before...
Monday, September 12, 2005
I saw a flight to Morocco advertised in the paper. Not too expensive and you know, I was so tempted to call and reserve. In fact, I did and held it for a day, but then I called and canceled because I realized that if I did actually buy it:
a. I'd have no money for food here until I left, or there once I arrived
b. I'd just be running away from the pain of the past few months. It would be like a really expensive drinking binge, but of course, way more fun.
Anyway, I tend to do that when I am sad, I want to travel and explore, because it takes my mind off of things. I think it's a pretty harmless escape mechanism, but just like anything else, alcohol, crack, heroin, chocolate cake, when it's all over your pain is still there. But this is a different kind of pain that maybe a jaunt to Morocco would clear right up. I don't know. I'm still debating. Do I really need to eat or ride the bus when the alternative is Casablanca, or Fez, or the Sahara? Eating is overrated, isn't it? Besides, I'm cute, I could swing a meal or two once I got there. Makrout, chorba, bastilla. I can work it for all that.
Okay back to reality. Reality can be so unfortunate sometimes...
Friday, September 02, 2005
I am thinking of the people on the Gulf Coast and how the dark skin of so many of them has sealed their collective fate. I am thinking of how I was struck suddenly after seeing the front page photo of today's New York Times, by the realization of how undervalued Black people are in this country, it's something I've always known. It's something every Black person in this country grows up knowing; it's just a part of life here for us. I have cried today. And I am feeling again today, that I just have to pick myself up, write more, read more, go out into it, and take the next step.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Now I say this, not as a sort of "oh no" aside, but because I went out with her recently, for the first time and her husband came along. Prior to this, we'd had several conversations about what she did on weekends on days off, etc. They all seemed to include her husband. It could have been something she did just with him, but more often that not it also included other people, single women, mutual friends. So, after awhile I asked her
"Do you do everything with him?"
It was then that I realized that it made her feel a little self-conscious when she replied in a stilted manner with this explanation:
"No, I do other stuff without him, I guess it just happens to be these particular stories. You know, I mean, we're friends, we like to hang out, you know? I mean, we have lots of mutual friends, really." "That's really it, we don't do everything together."
But I didn't mean it critically, or did I? I don't think it's bad to do everything with your boyfriend or husband, I guess I've just never had a relationship like that, where someone wanted to do things with me all of the time, so I can't imagine it. It sounds kind of nice, but also kind of annoying. Really, what she made me think of was another friend whose boyfriend (now husband) had recently moved in with her and consequently they began doing everything together. One day when we were both still living in Chicago, she suggested we go to yoga and I said that would be great, she then said: "Oh, I'll just tell Marcus* and he can meet us there." I remember thinking 'hey, since when did Marcus enter this particular equation?' First, I actually thought it weird that a guy would do yoga**, I'm not sure I'd want my man doing yoga, a little too sensitive for me. Then I thought, why would he want to do it with us? And why would she want him to? I ended up canceling and thinking who really is the third wheel here?
So my outing and conversations with my new friend got me thinking. Am I/Have I been jealous because I don't have a boyfriend, because I am perpetually single, or is it weird that a couple does everything together ALL THE TIME-- from hanging out with his friends to hanging out with hers?
I have to say I think it's weird. Maybe because as I said, I've never been with a man who accompanied me everywhere I went, but I think that I wouldn't even want that. Or would I? Maybe it's wonderful. But from this end it still seems like it would be way annoying. You know, maybe that's why I'm still single. Well, at this point it's not, but maybe it's why I will be single for awhile yet....
*names have been changed to protect the innocent.
**please don't write comments about this, I know plenty of men enjoy and benefit from yoga.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Lush greenery. Olive trees, cherry trees, apple trees. Blackberry brambles and wild rosemary. Everywhere, complex symphonies of fragrance and color in the flowers that seduce me each time I pass.
And tonight there is a beautiful full moon, encircled by glowing yellow rings and suspended in a sky full of stars.
You can't beat that.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I've mentioned before that I like the language. I really do love it. It's beautiful and sexy and I can't wait until I can communicate. It's also kind of hard, pronunciation is difficult and unlike French, a misplaced accent can change the meaning of a word entirely. Wait, let me be more clear, that's not true, misplaced accents in French can change meaning, but generally pronunciation doesn't change. Anyway, I love the language and I am considering a trip maybe during Christmas, or in the spring.
Just one more thing, there is a great blog, from Jôka P called Avenida Copacabana. Even though you may not be able to read what he is writing, his photos are beautiful. Check it out Eunice, especially. I think, his writing is very nice too. :)
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):
I couldn't believe the show I saw on the cable channel Spike TV: "Blind Date with a Crackwhore." Fred, a twenty-something stockbroker, got set up on a date with Propecia, a fortyish crackwhore. I watched with horrified fascination as she rejected all his genteel attempts to create rapport, constantly turning the conversation back to where they could score some crack. I bring this to your attention, Scorpio, in hopes it will serve as a shining example of how *not* to proceed in the near future. You have in place everything you need to experience a week full of intensely meaningful adventures with allies who bring out the best in you. Therefore, don't flirt with senseless, random distractions--like blind dates with crackwhores, for instance. And don't do what I did, which is waste precious time entranced by stupid crap. Give every spare moment to capitalizing on the integrity-filled success that's available.
There are a couple of things here I need to know, first and foremost, when does this show come on again and why did it in the first place? Second, who or what is my proverbial "crackwhore"? And since when did crackwhore become one word?
Thursday, August 11, 2005
But now, I think of
I feel compelled to mark this day. Why? The universe only knows. It is quite a dreary day and the weather changed suddenly about five minutes ago. I feel like I am in the Chi. Maybe I'm being prepared for my imminent return.
A sudden downpour has turned to snow, the big fat flakes with a bit of a violent streak...
But I have the good fortune to be inside a little café sipping a café crème while watching Mother Nature throw her temper tantrum.
I am a lucky girl. I know this. I didn't before 2005.
A Jack Russell Terrier, presumably belonging to the owner but maybe not. Perhaps the girl who made my coffee. He's up and ready for action now, much like the weather has changed so suddenly, first lying curled up in his bed fighting sleep and then in a split second up surveying the weather situation and making his rounds in the café.
Right now there is the most fabulous jazz radio station playing--none of that WNUA stuff. Despite all of the adversity, I realize
But I told you, I feel good now. I know more. I'm closer to being ready for her...
Saturday, August 06, 2005
This hasn't taken over my life or anything, I just feel a great sense of loss. I have always been one of those people who thought that when someone dies, no matter how tragically or violently, it is simply their time. I have stood by that over the years. But now, I am tempted to say 'NO, IT JUST WASN'T HIS TIME." But it was, or he'd still be here, right? I don't know if this belief is my attempt to make sense of something that makes no sense.
Some things just don't. I should know that by now.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
This has made me think, for the first time, that I rather it had been me. Or, I wish I could have protected him. Senseless. There are no words to describe it all. Not because I'd been particularly close to this child, or that I 'd taken him under my wing or anything. Certainly, I saw him as a special one. I can honestly say, that when I worked at that school just knowing he was in the building made me feel better. I don't know how to explain. I watched over him, even though, he probably had no idea. He was a good one. It's not necessarily that he would have been a Nobel Prize winner or a world-reknowned mathemetician (he was really good at math), it's just that he made the world a better place somehow, believe me. But maybe he would have been those things on top of being a gift from the universe. He was a gift to us all, even though I'm not sure he really knew that.
I could say something cliché like 'this whole thing makes me see how insignificant my problems are' or 'I can't waste another moment because life can be snatched from you in an instant' but I won't, because frankly, I knew that before Greg was taken from this world. I will only say, I don't understand the ways of this world, I think I never will.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Male Coworker: "You know, in my biology class we saw a film from about 20 years ago called The Miracle of Life and in it they say that when men ejaculate, they release a fluid that contains sugars from their prostate into their semen."
Female Coworker: "Well, it sure doesn't taste like it."
Me: "Yeah, that's for sure, if it did, we'd all have a mouth full of cavities by now."
Of course, we laughed hysterically. But I can't really even remember how we got on the topic in the first place.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
It got me thinking about how anesthetized we are to the plights and suffering of others. I mean, I am here in Seattle and everywhere you look there are nut balls walking the streets, homeless or drugged out and there they are. Everybody just looks at them, the city, clearly overlooks them. This IS NOT liberalism, folks, this is indifference. It's not cool to have a place called skid row (road, actually) and have lots of people on the skids living there, still. People turn a blind eye to these things. This is one of the reasons, the major reason actually, I had to stop teaching. Kids suffering, not getting what they need, because those in charge want to maintain the status quo and continue to get paid their fat bonus checks and salaries...I can't take it. It makes me sick and angry. Here in this place, there is an area where all the homeless people kick it (they are all over actually but especially concentrated in the Skid Row area, which most Seattlites know as the area in and around Pioneer Square and Yesler Way specifically) and another area, the U-District, where all of the homeless kids hang out. I saw in a bookstore window that someone had published a book of photos of these children. What?!? They need homes and services and food and drug rehabilitation, not their pictures taken. Believe me I know that issues surrounding homelessness and drug addiction are multi-tiered, but they need to be addressed. It is disgusting that we live this way in the 'free' world. Even moreso, when I realized that we're pumping cash into a useless space program and, God, I don't even want to go further with this...
Anyway, you may wonder what I did after seeing the crack-smoking children at the bus stop. Well, I got up and let the bus driver know and then, I called the police, because while I have a huge problem with the po-po, I have an even bigger problem with kids or anyone else, for that matter, smoking crack at a bus stop in broad daylight.
Now, I've seen some shit, but never anything that bold even in Englewood on Chicago's southside, the murder and drug capital of the city. Come on now. You will not smoke crack at the bus stop.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
because I think the picture of the pomeranian is hilarious. Why? I don't know exactly, but everytime I see it, I laugh hysterically. By the way, the blog is good too...
I found this awhile back on Craig's List and sent it to all of my friends. Again, hilarious to me. I don't know why, but here it is...
Wacky animals. They can either tug on your heart strings or be the very bane of your existence. Either way, they are often good for a laugh. Even the annoying cats I am watching make me laugh, sometimes, after I have cleaned up the poop that the fat one (25 pounds and hey, how does a cat balloon to 25 pounds anyway? I mean seriously, stop the madness. I always say fat kids and fat animals are always the fault of the parents/owners) seems to shoot over the edge of the litterbox everyday and the hair balls that the skinny, surly one seems to be plagued with and spits all over the place. Whoever said cats were clean and low maintenance lied. Eeew.
If they were mine, they wouldn't be this way. They'd suck it up and take baths and they certainly wouldn't weigh 25 pounds. They'd more than likely be surly, though. My bunny is. But, that's good, we give each other space and she certainly doesn't shoot her little poops onto the floor over the side of her litterbox. That only happens when I don't clean it out for a week and a half or something.
Anyway, I am rambling. I'll end it here.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Now, this is what my ex did when I first came to visit him upon returning from France. He hurt me deeply by lashing out at me and refusing, on my final day in Seattle to spend time with me after he had promised. He wasn't feeling well, it turned out, but instead of making clear exactly how sick he was, he was mean and didn't stand up as a man to tell me A) he just didn't feel well enough or B) he just didn't want to spend time with me. As I look back, I think that he, as was the case with my former friend, just didn't really like me. There is something there that maybe even he could not articulate if asked. I say this, because in both of these cases, there was more arguing, disagreeing, and withholding of affection on their parts than could be explained by anything else. So, I have accept the cold, hard truth, I guess.
It was over with my ex and I before I moved to Seattle. I was not over him but I was over all of the possibilities I had created for the two of us in my head, if that makes any sense. With my other, former friend, I knew it was over long ago.
These are all the right steps in the right direction, I am convinced. I'm just sad things had to happen this way. It wasn't necessary, they both could have just told me and I would have left them alone without all of the strife, you know?