Friday, June 22, 2007

love poem

This was sent courtesy of my friend Tim, who has all the best poems. Beautiful, huh?

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)

i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)

i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

ee cummings

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I have anxiety. I found a diagnosis once on the Internet -- I think it said situational panic anxiety. Anyway, anxiety SUCKS. It's sucky and awful. And incredibly common.

I think hormones and heredity are involved. I wish I had time to study it more.

Anyway, a LOT of women suffer from it. I'd bet the numbers, if we could get accurate ones, would be astonishing.

I am worried that mine is aging me from the inside out. My heart starts pounding, my mouth goes dry, and I feel this sense of total despair. Sometimes it is actual panic, and I can't exactly control my actions from there. If the anxiety was that someone was breaking into my car, there would be nothing stopping me from running out into the parking lot. (It's never anything like that--just needed a random example.) I'm too embarrassed to say what my anxiety tends to be about.

Therein lies the rub. It's EMBARRASSING. It's like erectile dysfunction. Genital cosmetic surgery. Halitosis or excessive armpit sweating. Inverted nipples. Fetishes.

We humans, especially women, are very persnickety when it comes to this image stuff. How I perceive myself, how others perceive me, how I wish to be perceived, how I dread being perceived, etc... I am smart, kind, self-deprecating, fun, easy-going, loving. That's my "how I wish to be perceived." How I perceive myself is a bit harsher. How I dread being perceived I can't even bring myself to type.

So, now 20 posts later or whatever, I have gotten back to the reasons for the title of this blog. I came up with the title on the spot, without thinking about it. Which is how all the greatest stuff comes to be, in my life anyway. So, because of my anxiety -- which is really running on high these days like an air conditioner in August -- I have to tell myself constantly to breathe. And when I do yoga, and really focus on breathing for an hour at a stretch, I feel so, so much better. I do not have anxiety when I'm doing yoga. And that is a lovely, lovely thing. You can't imagine. Or maybe you can.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mom's Heartbreaking Metaphor Dream

My mother had a dream last night. My dad was still alive. She and he were driving and she had to go somewhere and he had to go somewhere different, so they decided to go separately. They stopped the car and she got out. She ended up crossing a highway meridian and going to the other side, where the traffic was going in the opposite direction. She started walking back along the highway and realized there were no cars ahead of her. The road was completely empty. She realized she'd made a mistake, but it was too late to do anything about it.

She told me and I cried.

Friday, June 15, 2007

hard boiled eggs and wet jeans with ashes

Whenever I eat hard-boiled eggs, which I often do, I end up nearly choking to death. Why? I use them as a fill-in food. At the moment, my top, fill-in foods are hard-boiled eggs, nuts (peanuts or tamari roasted almonds), Kathie's Kitchen seasoned pumpkin seeds, and mozzarella cheese sticks. My diet is made up primarily of fill-in foods because I tend not to eat meals. I eat too much and get too full when I eat meals. And today I am 42. Who wants to be fat and forty-two?

So these near-Heimlich-maneuver episodes are probably because I eat the eggs too fast, because I'm starving by the time I go get one. I just did it again about half an hour ago. It's like an eating disorder. I was in pain and mildly freaking out. I followed it with a cheese stick, which made matters worse, and I almost stood up and just impaled myself on the back of my office chair.

Change gears. I promised someone I would write about the ash scattering. It was a cloudy, almost stormy day. It did rain on our way back in on the boat. My son was astonishingly cuddly and devoted to me the whole trip. He'll never say anything to let you know, but he's got a pretty sensitive radar. He knew exactly what was going on inside of me.

I feel bad about one thing. I didn't hug my mom when she was sitting by herself crying. I was talking, laughing, holding it together with my relatives. I did get up and sit next to her after a while, but that was all I could do.

So we got to this special spot, named by his brothers, "Roy's rock." It's a rock formation that's deep down at the bottom of the Sound and apparently their dad, who I called Pop-pop, discovered it long ago as a great fishing spot. I went down below and got the special scattering urn, untied the twisty tie that cinched the plastic bag inside and, with my mom and my son holding my jacket from the back (choking me a little actually), so I wouldn't fall in, I leaned off the swim deck at the back of the boat and poured out the ashes of my dad's body. Roy's body. Everyone else threw in a single flower. That was a nice touch. Thanks, PBH. And so, as life goes, it wasn't exactly a movie-perfect scene.

The ashes kept getting caught in the wind and blowing back all over me, the waves were pretty high, and ended up crashing over my legs, soaking my jeans, and it took me a long time to get it all poured out and I finally, very unromantically, had to jerk and jiggle and eventually just pull out the damn plastic bag and shake it till it was empty.

I was crying the whole time, so my face was all wet, my jeans were all wet, my jacket was up around my neck from my son and mother's attempts to keep me from going overboard, and it was cold. When I was done, I closed up the pretty urn, and I hugged my mom, my aunt and uncle, cousin, other uncle, my son, and the friend who was captaining the boat. Most of us were crying.

Then we headed back in. My son had a birthday party, I had a wine dinner to get to, and life just kept on. I'm still breathing.

Today is my birthday and I miss him like crazy right now. It's so true, what people say and what you hear in song lyrics. I'd give anything to have him back just tonight, just to have him sitting next to me at my birthday dinner. Not him sick and in pain, but him smiling and laughing and healthy -- his nose sunburned from a day on his boat.


Thursday, June 7, 2007


On Saturday, we are taking my dad's boat out to his favorite spot and scattering his ashes. I have the ashes in my bedroom. The funeral home put them in a weird, black container and when I went to pick them up, I saw that it was going to be very awkward to try to do any kind of scattering. They told me theyhad a special, "scatter urn," that would be another couple hundred bucks. What a business that is. There I am, holding the remains of a man I loved to the end of the earth, trying to control myself so I didn't start blubbering. Not exactly in a position to say, "Do you have anything cheaper?" So I left his remains there again and they transferred the ashes into this new one.

So nowthat's on a beautiful, little table in my room, along with his blue baseball hat that says the name of his beloved boat on it, and also his reading glasses. It's my littleshrine to him. When we first put the urn in my room, my son and I both gave it a kiss.

I'm not looking forward to this boat ride. I don't want to be on his boat without him. I am even having a hard time with the idea of parting with his ashes. It's all hard, this stuff. So much harder than I would have guessed if you'd asked me when I was 25 what it would be like when I lost a parent.

But now, yoga. Just breathe, right?