Monday, November 9, 2009

Mother Nature is the Enemy. . .Kinda.

I've been called a hippie and a bohemian most of my life but I've always hated being outdoors. Hate.

The more I've dealved into the world of alternative parenting the more I've realized that so many mothers find the majority of thier inspiration from nature. I find it strange that for most of my life I've dirived inspiration from the metropolis. I feel like this makes me somewhat of an imposter.

This week though, I've found myself wishing for the open spaces of Texas and Montana. I went all the way out to Trinidad, Tx for a CD release party for a Red Dirt artist that my husband worked with. After being a total brat about drving so far out into the middle of nowhere I started remembering the lonesome feeling of the country that has, historically, pulled my best work out of me. It made me think of the long summers in the country and the longer semesters in Virginia. Maybe the quiet forces me to make noise of my own.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

And the thunder rolled.

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately. Books on financial peace, spiritual peace, peace in your marriage and in your home. I’ve even stopped fighting my personal demons because, well, it might be easier to just make peace with them and fold the laundry.

As a young mother of two little boys I sometimes look at myself in the mirror and remember being three sizes smaller, having great clothes, great hair and wondering where the girl who got so excited about any outing has gone. Now I see t-shirts covered in paint and baby spit-up and really can’t remember the last time my hair was done. My once sizzling and sordid romance with a mysterious guitar player has slowly found its way into what I can only assume to be the “rut” married people always talk about. And the conflict of re-joining the work force or staying home with my children and dirty dishes has become a daily struggle.

I had hoped being a wife and a mother would be like reading the pages of Mothering Magazine; sort of peaceful and wonderful and full of great clothes and alternative choices. I find, instead, that my patience level was NOWHERE near where it needs to be to embark on this adventure as my dreams of Pulitzers and Grammies are having to not just be put on hold but more or less hung up on.

So, as I’m thinking about all this peace, which seems so unattainable -especially in the ridiculous Texas heat- my good friend, Keely, calls and asks for a positive story about something going on in my life. I’ve been reading about the Dalai Lama and Dave Ramsey and The (stupid) Secret for weeks, years even. I’ve been working on learning about positive energy and positive thinking but when called upon for some sort of insight into the blessings I currently have I am a writer lost for words.

Let the soul searching begin.

I spend the rest of that day making dinner, putting kids to bed, and not having any adult time with my husband, the usual. Climbing into bed I wonder how all the mothers before me have managed to keep any shred of identity or sanity, for that matter. I begin feeling even more frustrated since my boys sleep in the same bed as my husband and myself. I wonder why I allowed myself to be sucked into attachment parenting since now I don’t even have my own space to fall asleep in. Then Keely’s request and my response wriggle their way back into my mind and as I say my prayers I find myself asking Heavenly Father to soften my heart so that, maybe, I can stop being a little brat and start being a better woman. And, as an aside, that is how I speak to God.

If you’ve ever lived in Texas you know that we have AMAZING thunderstorms. If you know me you know I love thunderstorms. You’d also know that I forget this during the unbearable heat of August because by that point there hasn’t been rain for months and months.

At about five am I begin to have dreams like we’re being bombed. Imagine WWII England. As I am pulled out of sleep and into consciousness I get the distinct impression that we’re not being bombed but are experiencing, as we Texans call it, sever weather. My husband wakes up with the next crash and asks me when the last time I’d heard anything like that was. A few seconds later there is yet another burst of energy right over our roof so loud and so exquisite the painting above our bed falls off the wall and the windows rattle. With lightning exploding all around our little house I heard the sound of those heavy sheets of rain that come with storms like these. My husband’s big, beautiful hand found mine and I realized, with a certain quiet satisfaction, that all my babies were safe and here. Cuddling out the storm with me. The babies didn’t wake up but I thought about how one day I’d have to wonder where they were while it was raining. Being so depended on would only be for a short time in comparison to our whole lives. They were and are the boys who will one day be men and the man who has become such a part of me. As my husband whispered that he loved me I found myself feeling the thing I’d been longing for and looking for. Peace.

I remembered that all the opportunities for service and inspiration, all the joy and the passion, and all the learning I needed were in this moment. I wasn’t thinking about the clothes I couldn’t afford to buy or fit into even if I were to buy them. I forgot about the struggle for money and greatness. It was gone, even for a moment. So I squeezed my husband’s hand, told him how much I loved him and cuddled up to my youngest boy letting the sounds of rain and winds rock me back to sleep.

The next morning I found my energy and spirits renewed. The love for my husband and children seemed revitalized and the gratitude for the many blessing I have became more prominent throughout the day. I’ve known for a long time that sometimes you have to be word specific in prayer. That it is sometimes not enough to ask for what you need you must sometimes ask for the wisdom or the compassion to receive it when it is offered.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sing With Me

This is the part where things get rough. . .

When you choose the life of a Bohemian you risk certain dry spells unlike the rest of the world around you. Granted, things are rough for all sorts of people right now, and I acknowledge I still have a roof over my head and (some) food in my cupboards, children who love me and a thoughtful (and freakin' hot) husband, but it get's rough when you're the icing on the proverbial cake. Meaning the entertainment industry. While working at The Dallas Children's Theater it made me laugh how the contract labor and production staff parked around back and that there was such a dramatic shift from the Lexus SUVs in the patron parking and the beat up 1990-something compacts where we parked.

So we've pawned jewelry and the nicest guitar Paul owns to keep our lights and water on.

This is the downside.

I know everyone has to learn the principle of the harvest in some form or fashion but sometimes it seems like winter will never end and that planting seeds is endless. I wish for spring. But thank God that I have my lights on TODAY, that I have food TODAY and that my children and I are well on THIS DAY for tomorrow. . .is in His hands.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

little babies.

the days of toothless grins are almost over. milo should have a tooth any day.

i thought the consolation prize for being pregnant the second time was that you got to have another little baby. that like stayed little. and wouldn't grow up.


i don't know if i want to do it again. but sort of i do. i got time to decide. . . right?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

An ever fixed mark. . .

Love: Beginnings

They're at that stage where so much desire streams between them,
so much frank need and want,
so much absorption in the other and the self
and the self-admiring entity and unity they make --
her mouth so full, breast so lifted, head thrown back
so far in her laughter at his laughter
he so solid, planted, oaky, firm, so resonantly factual
in the headiness of being craved so,
she almost wreathed upon him as they intertwine again,
touch again, cheek, lip, shoulder, brow,
every glance moving toward the sexual, every glance away
soaring back in flame into the sexual --
that just to watch them is to feel again that hitching in the groin,
that filling of the heart,
the old, sore heart, the battered, foundered, faithful heart,
snorting again, stamping in its stall.

-- C.K. Williams

I have a friend who just got married this weekend.

I've been to TWO golden anniversary parties in the last month.

I'm four years in. . .and to quote Billy Joel "And so far she hasn't run, but, I swear, she's had her moments."

I guess you don't get to watch your story progress around you. How do you get from that room full of people celebrating the beginning to the room full of people celebrating a job well done?

I've been thinking a lot about these two points. I've thought about the moment I reconciled all my feelings about my husband in one conversation. How I knew I'd could love him since now, finally, I'd found someone who would simply take me as I was with no further demands. I thought about the moment I knew I couldn't live without him. Jimmy Eat World said it best:

"Stay with me.
You're the one I need.
You make the hardest things

I think back on being all doe eyed and engaged. How my whole life was planned. How I knew everyday and the day after. How the phases of the moon moved in my favor and for me alone. He'd be the next Jimmy Page and I'd be the next Sharon Olds. He'd win a Grammy and I'd surely have a Pulitzer. I mean, we're both just so brilliant.

I think on people telling me it would be hard and thinking I'd already seen hard; One night he wanted Chinese and I wanted Pizza. But we got through it. I didn't believe them, but who does?

I've moved past doubting he's the right one. Moved past thinking I made a terrible mistake. Now I love him more than I thought I could. The "what ifs" sneak up on me. But I can't even picture anything without him.

I wish I could go back to the days of sonnets and jewels (even though it was more like Pink Floyd and KD). But doesn't everyone? I'd say the sex is better now than it was then. .. maybe faster because my kids just have that kind of timing, but better. I'd say I like being someone's sweetheart. I'd say he was my biggest lesson in following my own instincts.

But the second point. . .

I've also decided I'm writing a book about this.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Like Tequila on a warm summer night.

I was once standing outside the Liquid Lounge, hot summer night, open mic type event. We went to quite a few of these that summer. This guy named D. Anson Brody had this great sound, he composed like, entire pieces of music on just the bass guitar, the way a guitarist would on a six string. It was hot. Not, he was hot (at least not to me), it was hot. He wrote these satirical lyrics and got really into his performances. I was impressed because he was so different from anyone on the scene at that time.

Being a poet, I try not to approach someone about lyrics unless I really, really HAVE to know the story. This almost never happens because I'm of the opinion that if you have something to share by all means share it, but I'll take away from it what I will. You're job is just to give it to me, my job is to chew on it. Well, he had written this song that was just beautiful. Really sensual really amazing lyrics. The song, if I remember correctly was called, Infatuation, at least it was about infatuation. He talked about thinking about this woman all the time, he wondered what she believed in. Now, having been infatuated with someone myself while living across the country I found myself really caught up in that because that is the sort of thing you think about, what someone believes in; what philosophy they might be subscribing to; what they think they'll be when they grow up; what they think could save the world. Well, after he'd performed that night I walked up to him, picture this guys, eight months pregnant with my first son in a Bob Marley t-shirt and silver jewelry, and tell him I have to know about this song.

The conversation, unfortunately, was a bit anti-climactic considering his showmanship. He tells me about how he'd written it about this woman he'd met while he'd been married to someone else. And that hearing him play this tune in his set list over and over again led to problems. Understandably. He and the wife eventually split. I ask if the woman the song he'd written about was at least still around. He said she was not. He then went into this philosophical sort of musing, that only lead singers and songwriters do and explained that the problem is that girls are attracted to the dark, tortured, poetic or conflicted side from a man they see onstage. That passion is easily harnessed for a moment, especially in the bedroom, but to come up with such eloquence and passion onstage one cannot always function on 'brilliant.' So when the broody, crappy, muse-less musician rolls out of bed a few months later poor little lady doesn't know what to do, wonders where her rock star has gotten to and heads for the door.

I guess the thing that got me is he's telling me this, with my husband, a BRILLIANT, musician standing next to me. Myself a poet. Wedding ring on finger. Like I don't know this. Like I would be surprised when (as if this hadn't already happened many times) my husband didn't have a muse or a gig. Like I didn't have a muse or a gig. Like we didn't know that going into it. I was pretty unimpressed. But I still was moved to tears every time I heard him play that song.

It's never been on his website or I'd give you the link.

What I'm getting at is I'm tired of not being set on 'Brilliant.' It's not like I don't think we're meant for more. I'm just tired of looking for more.

I wonder what I believe in.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Sticks

Paul and I agreed to house sit for his parents while they went to sunny Florida to visit his brother. I don't know what possessed me to say yes. Maybe it was just the thought of having four different walls to stare at everyday. . .that's all I got.

Anyway, day one, well, night one, Paul is working as a pseudo handy-man gutting and then re-doing a kitchen for a former boss of his. At around four in the afternoon my brother, Zaq, calls and tells me he's been pulled over and will probably be going to jail. We live in Dallas. This can only mean one thing: Lou Sterret. This is like, I'm not kidding here, people, the most poorly operated prison in the country, bar none. So, I call my dad to go get the car he was driving so it doesn't get towed and we have yet another expensive emergency on our hand. I then call, everyone I know on advice on how to get this kid out of the slammer before he has to go back to work on Monday. Now, for those of you who don't live in Dallas, or are good law abiding citizens with a steady pay check who always pay tickets if you even get them, the average stay in Lou is 24-26 hours. One guy we know waited three weeks after posting bond to be released. This is what I'm dealing with. So I call all sorts of people, this cowboy my mom knows who owns a bail bond company, a lawyer my parents met standing in line to bail Paul out once, my aunt who knows who to go to since she's bailed her son out so many times. . .and all the while, no one has a land line for him to call.

In any case, I finally track him down and find out that due to a series of circumstances we're going to have to pay $600 in cash to get this kid out. So I, miraculously, get said amount together and send my dad and brothers to get him. He gets out. things are cool. So most of the first night was spent on the phone with him inside the jail, my mom, my dad and my DUMBASS brother who tried to be the hero by bringing a cashier's check to bail him out. Right. Good job.

Day two, wake up early with Paul to send him off to record a session and ask, purely out of habbit, if he'd mind running to Starbucks and picking me up a mocha before he leaves. He looks at me and says "That'd take a whole extra hour out of my day." This is how far out into nothing we are. Freaky. We're south of Desoto. I live two seconds from Downtown. This is gonna take some getting used to.

Day three, at least I have a backyard.

Day four, there is something strangely liberating about living out of a suitcase. I start remembering that feeling from when I used to travel alot, or when I was in college and moved every three months. It's wierd how I want all sorts of dishes or clothes or whatever but hate living in the space I've created for them because there is just so much crap everywhere. I also get really mad at my brother for being a flaky twenty-year-old chasing tale, dose up on some klonopin and muscle relaxers, (because, that's what you do as a suburban housewife, right?) and cook up a storm including cupcakes with home made lemon frosting.

Day five, my white-trash sister-in-law calls to tell me to turn on the news because there are "massive thunderstorms with tons of rotation heading striaght for us." It took a heroic effort on my part not to tell her that people who have a foundation under their house don't freak out any time they hear a thunderclap. I'm proud of myself. The storm comes in and is loud and windy and sorta scary and I'm all alone in this house because Paul is engineering a session. I cuddle up with both my boys in the bed and they fall asleep. That's the time being a mother of really small active children is the best. When they slow down long enough for you to hug them.

Day six, Paul goes to work and has an audition. I do nothing and miss home but still love the backyard.

Day seven, I look forward to coming home has I'm mopping someone elses floors and washing someone elses sheets. I wish my life was still like this, playing house every once in a while, but not really having too much to worry about. Paul's family comes home with an obsene amount of fried chicken, pictures and suveneres. Everyone has a suntan and everyone talks about the beach. We pack everything and everyone up and smell the Trinity River as we drive back to the Big D where Zaqi gives us all hugs and says he's glad we're home.

So, I'm too broke to afford Starbucks today. But it is nice to be home and tell myself that I'm just playing house in this space I rent. That really, I'll get back to wandering the world and living out of that suitcase. But I hug my babies when they sleep and I feel I'm in the right place.

It's a good feeling to have when you're too poor to buy coffee.