8:09p 5 august, 2019 proof (dys)positive

proof (dys)positive

I’ve seen the show, Big Little Lies.
Tall, thin, impossibly beautiful and wealthy women still
stuck in terrible situations
I have clients, women I see, with proof
that elusive jewel that
vacation that
I have clients, men that I see,
who come to me for proof that they are still worthy.

Proof is a diamond, clear and bright.

Proof is a photograph, photographs. A vacation.
A shared
hobby. An experience.
Underneath it all, under those covers
lie secrets, secret desires, shame.
leaving me wanting nothing more than validation. proof of concept.
Proof of value.


letters into the void — wishing you a happy Fourth🇺🇲🎉

dear Mike,

(here’s me, with some Seattle’s Best in a mug my friend Dave made, with some good coffee and relaxation)

I’m supposed to head to Caramoor today with B; her husband, C, is playing with the band. Knitting, food, music, naps, staying pretty much baseline stoned all day, packing extra sunscreen and bug spray and water. Knowing I’ll need a way to go inside my own head when being surrounded by couples and families gets too overwhelming. I am grateful to my friends for including me in things, and the balance between this gratitude and feeling so very alone, so much “which one of these things is not like the other?” is shaky and blurred. Desperately wanting to go, to not be weak.

She and I went to a Yoga Nidra class last night, guided meditation, and while I’m the least woo-woo person I know, something about it was truly magical. It’s the second one I’ve been to in as many weeks with the same teacher, and after a lifetime of not being able to meditate EVER with this noisy head of mine, it appears that I’ve found the way for me. I don’t believe in chakras and stuff but she’s telling us to imagine the color orange when we inhale and exhale, to imagine that color coming from a place right above the navel. Orange. Feels like a fire to me, breathing in and out.

I was able to focus on the sound of the teacher’s voice, to allow the noisiness to enter my head and then just sort of flick it away, dismissing thing after thing after thing. It was harder, this second time; I’d been at the pottery all day, prepping for tomorrow’s firing, and thinking a lot about my upcoming move and everything I need to get done (and just how much I’m not getting done), feeling the pain in my shoulder and trying to disassociate from it, feeling that I want to share this with you, this destressing thing, feeling like you might find some value in it. Feeling energized afterwards and wanting to share that, too. Remembering after the last class that I was able to recall the feeling of peace I’d had even when at work, and that I was able to carry it with me. Wanting to share the small things that are helping me find a measure of peace and comfort in the hope that perhaps they might help you, too.

Having no idea if you even read these anymore and knowing I need to write anyway, that writing always soothes me, that it’s one thing I can do alone and anywhere that is at once cathartic and productive and that some version of this will make it into my work.


(after writing this and editing for an hour I’ve decided to not go to Caramoor. Heading across the street to K and B’s at 4 for a small bbq instead, then back here for an air conditioned bedroom and Netflix with Mojo.)

breathe. 3 July, 2018

Today was pretty okay.

Yesterday though, yesterday was most definitely not okay.

Yesterday I came as close to suicidal as I have in a very, very long time. Yesterday I nearly gave up; gave in. Was frantic enough, manic enough to not be able to focus for long enough on the idea of Teaz’ka and Mojo to keep me off the razor’s edge. Yesterday I nearly lost everything; my struggle with my illness, my sanity, my life. Exactly six people had any glimmer of an idea that I was in trouble; two of them I work with, who listened to me struggle to keep my composure at work. The second two had the misfortune of being on the other end of the phone working at places I desperately needed help from and were as sympathetic as their scripts would allow but absolutely got off the calls as quickly as possible because really, who wants to listen to that. The final two, only these most important two humans know the actual extent, the depth of the abject terror I was in thrall to. To these two I am eternally grateful. You helped to save my life. You listened (over text because again, I was working and could just manage texting) and gave me the virtual equivalent of soft murmurs and comforting touches. “Breathe”, you both admonished carefully. “Just breathe.” What I heard, what I took away was “Keep breathing, just keep breathing. I’ll help you. I’m here”. You listened not only to my words but to my tone, my cadence, my silent keening. You were there.

To the rest of my friends, my family, I cannot “just reach out” and “let you know” if I need anything. I cannot. It is the most difficult thing to admit, to take in, that I need help. Obviously I know that I need help, that I am struggling, suffering mightily, that I cannot do this all by myself. “But you’re strong!” you might think. “You’ve done so well!” you comfort yourself, thinking that I really am doing so well. I am not. I am not strong. I am not doing well, not at all.

I am failing, breaking. Things are failing, breaking. Systems, physical things, mental things, failing. Breaking. The CPAP mask I use to breathe at night is two years old. Designed to fail after six months and be replaced. Going through insurance is a nightmare on the best day, so Gary and I had gone around insurance, paying out of pocket. This time it would still be out of pocket since I haven’t yet my deductible, but it would go towards fixing that. I’d done the work to get mine replaced, yes, late, but I should have it by now. I don’t. Glitches between systems causing failures, no one advising me of that, just wasting time as my sleep dwindles to near-zero. Summertime homicidal dysphoric mania/mixed states coupled with no sleep throupled with 100° temperatures outside/86° temperatures inside my house. Take away nearly every cent I have to pay for luxuries like housing and commuting and bullshit expenses like electricity and oil and food. Pile on predatory degenerates hunting widows like game for a tv show. Mix in fear for my father’s upcoming surgery and all that entails, needing more than anything to be there to see his face when he wakes up, both for his sanity and my own.

I’ve had a consultation with an MMJ doctor, have been prescribed medical marijuana. The time in between the relief of the consult and attendant prescription, waiting for my card to come from the Department of Health, waiting to register and make an appointment at the dispensary in White Plains has been excruciating. Scraping up the money for that doctor’s fee, while well worth it, has been eye-opening; humbling. I won’t go into detail. In between that, I’ve availed myself of hemp-based CBD which has helped, but yesterday? Nothing helped; nothing touched my fear. I kept from taking the Klonopin in my purse by not wanting to feel dead. As much pain, as much anguish as there was yesterday for me, my two, what? Saviors, angels? No, because they are so very human, but these two walked me away from the edge, talked me down from the breathless height of that pain. Breathe, they said. I breathed. Between the three of us I was able to calm down enough to just breathe, to use the CBD and exhale, to let it work. Enough to give in and accept the gift of a new mask. Enough to get me to the appointment at the dispensary. Enough to talk coherently (I think) to the pharmacist who wore a shirt that read “cannabis is medicine.” Enough to drive home with my new medicine, to medicate and feed the cats, to then take my own new meds. And they work.

I still have no idea how I am going to make it work, to make ends meet, none at all. I work, I commute, I make and sell my art. It isn’t enough. There are things I can do, have done, of which I am not proud and of which I am even less comfortable, that help. Which I think cannot be avoided to an extent.

Today was pretty okay, calm, even. Thanks to people I love, people who love me, to MMJ, to breathing.

I am breathing. Still.