Saturday, May 31, 2014

how are you?

i really, really, really, really, really, really, really, 
when i used to be able to speak freely on this blog.
now i cannot. i started getting stuck when i knew my boss, years ago, was looking. then it worsened when my daughter's school secretary stopped me to say she read it often. i came to the slow realization that members of my extended family were one by one finding this blog. and my identity here became not the writer, but the more social version of myself. which is death to great writing. which is death to freedom of spirit and therefore for me, does not provide the mental health benefits that for so many years roared rich and full from here, like a great river. i could write it out, and i would feel free, and calm, and my mind would be at peace, and some of you would write me and comment, and we would connect, and i felt right with the world.

i miss it.

it will never be like that again, in part because my oldest child is now 19 and his view on this blog has changed from a metamorphosis that went like this:
completely unaware
partial awareness with total indifference
awareness with indifference
amusement with slight interest

i will not start an anon blog, which would not provide the same experience. it's not what i want. i want what everyone wants, but some of us want more wildly, enduringly and in more areas of life- i want to be free. not that bullshit freedom where you say whatever you want no matter who it hurts, the one where you do whatever you like no matter the hearts you break. no the freedom where the person you are- and the way that you experience life and are naturally drawn to experience life, over and over, or all at once and always- where that person is the most person you are. it is the truth we understand from the time we are in second grade and dare to wear the wrong shoes to school, the truth that being who you are is a way to be alive that nothing else compares to. the more secrets we keep, the less alive we feel. another layer is in between us and the rawness of connection, the rawness of feeling the synapses of the air crackle around us. energy responds to energy. repression brings more repression, it brings pressure, and that pressure brings pain, and that pain, in human beings, brings depression, rage, or simply… 'most men live lives of quiet desperation'. 

i am not quiet, and not desperate.

but i am deeply sad. and although i am also other things, most of all in love with my children and aware of the gift and beauty of life, i am also tired of no one knowing how i feel because no one ever asks. lord knows as mothers, our children do not even realize we are real and complete human beings just like them until they are in their twenties. 

you didn't ask, but reading these words? coming here? that is the most wide open ask of all- a reader, and a writer, together on a page.

so now- How Are You?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Ebook Is PUBLISHED! ' Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From A Marriage '

In 2009 I stared at this same beautifully empty white space surrounded by a thin dark stamped line, and began this blog. What has come from that humble beginning is the making of my dream into a reality. I have a published book. I have been paid to publish a book. I am a published author. In case you haven't noticed, I'm still letting this sink in.

I feel slightly numb. It's really too much to take in, because it's not- these things never are, just like a fight about the dishes isn't really about the dishes- about just the actual publication, but about the kind of pride and joy I feel in the fact that I determined a goal, worked my ass off, sacrificed ( which may sounds melodramatic but I don't believe it is- I have read and written and studied and humbled myself and gave up sleep for years and traded in many things, money included, and cried and been humiliated and embarrassed and insecure and sat in a chair writing while many other fat lovely joys of life were happening ) and after years, this has happened. I have published a book. 

In the heyday of comments, I often- to my great delight, something I think I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life for it's bolstering effect- had other bloggers or blog readers say to me here, ' If you publish a book, I will be first in line to read it. '

I so hope some of you are still around.

This memoir is published by Shebooks  and can also be found on Amazon

Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From A Marriage is the memoir of my marriage and how my husband's diagnosis of bipolar invaded and changed that marriage. Really it is a story of what is means to fall deeply in love and then have your world turned upside down by some force out of your control.

If you buy this book, I have one request: if you find you like it or even love it, please write a review on Amazon, and please share on one or all of your social media channels. This could make all the difference in the book's success or who sees it- some amazing agent, I would hope, or an editor, someone who will love it.  I wrote it, now I have to set it out in the world and hope the winds are to the East, as Mary Poppins knows brings in good things, magical things.

Winds in the east, mist coming in. / Like somethin' is brewin' and bout to begin. 

My dedication in this book is to my husband, Edward John Curry KOMH
he knows.

Without him, this memoir would not exist. Without his courage and grace and most of all, love for me, this publication would not exist. For this, I am eternally grateful to him, and proud of him.

Shebooks is having a really exciting campaign on Kickstarter:

2014 Equals Writes Campaign 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Video Interview about 'Scenes From A Marriage' on Pixleydust

My book comes out tomorrow on and I am so happy and nervous and overall, grateful that I can experience this. 

I interviewed with Taymar on Pixleydust about the book and writing and marriage, come watch!

 This is T. and I just before our talk. We are really cool, aren't we? I like our knowing expressions.

Friday, May 23, 2014

love on the edge of eternity

in the dusk she wakes from time to time, her fat fingers moving slowly over my chest, looking for a nipple to pinch. it's milky dark and i am only awake in the humming furnace of my consciousness, the slow awareness that is just enough to recognize danger, sex, love. i feel her fingers and the annoyance is infused with love. this is the truth of my heart for my children that is not the truth of my heart for any other person on this planet, not even my human self- love is always felt. in the worst times, in post partum depression, in rage, in distraction, in eyeball popping irritation, in midnight sanctuaries busted by baby's cry, in the endless months of no reprieve that stretch before us through some teenage hell, in the face of mocking, rebellion, misdirected anger and dismissal, i can always feel love for my children. i never have to recall it or reach for it although at times i have had to pull it closer. if anything in my life was to make me believe in a higher spiritual order, it would be the cellular, omnipotent and omnipresent fact of the love i have for my children. i live in love because of them.

before my children it was as if an invisible wall of energy separated my heart from each human being around me. even the ones i held most dear felt distant, like planets that orbited with me, never touching. i felt profoundly alone in the world. constant anxiety and insecurity left me vaguely angry, then furious- filled with a rage that profoundly frightened me- as it should. this aimless drifter of rage is the dark heart of so many profoundly inhuman acts, as it comes from a desperate feeling of inadequacy and disconnection that turns over time, untended and untouched, into a merciless cold, a frozen heart. i can't understand how they could do that! the world cries like a Greek chorus after so many acts of violence. i sit quietly. i do understand how they could do that. i hate it, i mourn it, i fear it, i would do anything to protect my family from it- and i understand that the clock work of human civilization runs on machinery built bathed in emotion and the kindred, connection. when a human beings ability to connect to the world around is severed- through neglect or brutality- so is that person's ability to discern any longer why the rules matter, why any person matters anymore than an ant, a star. in the way that naked bodies standing all together begin to look alike, disconnection leads to this spiritual consolidation of human beings, one after the other appearing as remote as the moon. mental illness, soul sickness, existential grief, whatever you like to name it, it is a hollow and meaningless wasteland. the only remaining course of action is endless numbingness of the numb- moving toward death- acts of violence that break the emptiness and fill it with the noise of suffering, or love.

i was so lucky that love came quickly.
so lucky to have been born with a deep feeling for my connection to nature, so that when i was growing up and afraid and lonely, i could crawl underneath the honeysuckle bushes and lay my face against the dirt and have a real and unnameable experience of connection. i felt the world- the actual physical world of dirt and tree and water and sunlight- was my friend, although i understood that this same world would stand quietly by and let me be torn to pieces by a wild animal, let my mother's teenage brother fall into a murky Mississippi lake and never come up again on his own accord. still i felt a simpatico with life itself, and for this, i am lucky. this slender thread kept me from taking the steps over the cliff one, two, three steps to far. i danced on the edge. i held my foot over the ledge and tested the shift of my weight. i hurt myself, i hurt others. and then i became pregnant with my first child, and it was as if every good and true and important thing that i new about the world's makeup, the delicious dirt, grass and stones, bark and leaf, flower and river, beast and mountain walls, had all rolled into one cellular explosion that was creating an entire new life inside of me.

when i hear young girls talking about how a baby is going to save them, be their best friend, bring them back to life- i understand. i empathize. of course they are hopelessly naive, and wrong in many crucial ways, leaving out the desperation and helplessness and every day every moment not gratefulness of children- they do not understand that it is not a reciprocal relationship in the way that they imagine. and not every parent loves their child, this we do not say, but it is as true as the fact that many parents love their children more than they they were capable of loving anyone, anything. yet--
for me, it was perfect. it was the best thing that could have happened, and it didn't matter to me that our relationship went one way for most of the trip. i just wanted a child to take care of before all others, a child to devote my innermost self to, a child for whom i could sacrifice everything and who would give meaning to a life that felt meaningless to me, a life full of tedious jobs, friends with drama that never ended but meant nothing, a brain that seemed to endlessly reset to the child i had been, needy, alone, afraid, sad. i took care of my child in the way i had formed in my mind from my books, the books i had read over the years that talked about honor, devotion, laughter, forgiveness, modeling, healing, hard work, long nights, the satisfaction of knowing you are doing the right thing, the endless meaning that purposeful sacrifice brings, the anchor that love can be to a life. this is what many of our romantic movies are made out of, but i did not find it in a man or a relationship, but as a mother. i knew i needed help, and i sought it in spades- i found a therapist and saw her for years, years, and i read and i prayed and i took up exercising, and i listened to tapes every night that helped me heal my anxiety and i took medication- and i loved my child with the fierce completion of a warrior. i nursed him and i held him and i never let him cry and i set boundries with a 'firm but loving' voice and i did everything with him and for him and i read to him and played with him and slowed down and explained everything to him and by the time he was two years old it was clear that he was the most confident, happy, kind, sweet, best boy that any mother could have wanted. 

and then i had more children and i realized that the love i felt for them had bridged the space between myself and other people that i had felt my entire life. i no longer felt alone in the world, a singular planet hung at the tip of eternity, but one cell of a singular planet hung on the tip of eternity. we are all in this together- i say that often, i deeply believe in the importance and truth of those words. i will never lose sight of that again. 

now i am mothering my last baby, my Everkins, and i love her and adore her so much that no matter how hard life gets, the light of that love infuses it all. even when i am frustrated beyond words and shutting myself in the bathroom for a moment of freak-out, i can still feel the complete adoration for her. she is the cutest, best smelling, snuggliest, sweetest voiced, most charming, smart, funny, most lovable and adorable child in the world. i love her beyond all reason. it is exactly this kind of unconditional, almost annoying love that builds the foundation for a lifetime of feeling connected to other human beings, that builds, i believe, the kind of people who know they are one cell in one planet on the edge of eternity. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Storytellers: A New Series On Blogs

Do you ever miss the 'olden days' ( a whole few years ago ) of blogging, when everyone was telling stories instead of hawking product?

I am a featured Storyteller at Leahpeah's blog, come check it out 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Shebook Release Date

My book is coming out May 28th


Sunday, May 18, 2014

be here now

our little beloved condo sold. we have to move. we are being forced by life into motion. a slight foggy ghost of depression moved into my eyes and face and hands and i would like to sleep more. i don't want to leave the white plantation shutters, billowing trees outside the window of my room, wraparound porch, swimming pool, white kitchen and wooden floors of this home. i love it here and i've never loved where i live before- it was my first love of home, this place, and you can say ' it's just a place ' or ' it is just a thing ' and i would quietly believe you wrong. it's not 'just'. it is, as Mr. Curry and i hate to say but say just the same, what it is. this place is a brightness and a whiteness and a clean lined snug fitted safe and beautiful home for people whose marriage is broken. us people. me. i lean into the beauty and ease of this home daily. i lean into to and disappear my heartache into the scratching of leaves against my window, the beautiful long slanting dark shadows that fall from the shutters like artwork and angels, the cheerful and white glow of our kitchen and the smooth wooden floors that subdue so much grief. i do not have rosary beads or a confessional, i do not have a kibbutz or a culture of shamans-

Who will forgive me for the things I do?
With no special legend of God to refer to,
With my calm white pedigree, my yankee kin,
I think it would be better to be a Jew.
anne sexton

but i have had these floors, this ticking clock, this sliding banister, this wooden porch, these white and widening blinds, this courtyard with birds, raccoons, trees and grass and winding paths. i have loved a home. i have been comforted and sheltered here and that is enormous, huge- a comfort that i have consciously cherished every day. 

this weekend was full of comforts and pleasures, for our whole family- well not Dakota, who doesn't live here anymore, and not so much Ian, who lives here part-time and is almost graduated- we looked to focus our thoughts and emotions elsewhere. i saw Godzilla with Dakota, Ian and my mom and the next day Mr. Curry took Ian and Lola to see Spiderman. we went swimming, we ate burgers out, we took to the hills and hiked. 

in these moments, some captured above, i remained completely grateful, still heartbroken and afraid of change and also deeply happy and comforted by my family and the enjoyments of the world. nature is always available as a rosary. i climb trees and splash water and poke bugs and am renewed. i hold my children's sweaty arms and necks and am relieved, remembering over and over that everything most important is all right.

Friday, May 16, 2014

People In Your Neighborhood

take a seat and read with Agatha!

Meagan Francis is a friend of mine and an extremely talented blogger, writer and the mother of a large, thriving family of five kids. She has been published in places like Parenting and now has an Ebook out: Beyond Baby: A Week By Week Guide To Creating A Life You Love When Your Kids Aren't So Little Because we all get growing pains, we all get lost.

Sarah Silverman, the poorest famous person in the world. 

Computers kill.

I love writing like this: Scientists Claim Quantam Theory Proves Consciousness Moves To Another Universe At Death

Slideshow of mothers turned activists 

It never fails to amaze me what life is like all over this planet. In Israel, there is a literary bomb shelter where creative writing is taught.

Recovery Diaries: a website on the subject of mental illness of unusual insight, compassion, intellect and creativity.

I don't know this person, but this touched me so deeply, the picture of him, the look on his face somehow very innocent despite all the pain and fear he has suffered. Funding Dean's Bionic Arm

Julianna Baggot is a writer and blogger: An Open Letter to the Well Intentioned People Who Keep Telling My Family To Hedge Our Bets

'Jesse Lee' by Sandy Ebner 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

the luckiest

There's a quality of ridiculousness to my luck. I can't add 'with my children' because that with is reductive, and there is nothing smallish or secondary about being lucky with your children- it is everything, or not everything, but almost everything, so close to everything that you don't dare press your fingers hard into the spaces and wounds and unluckiness. Not to say I don't feel the things that have hurt me. Just to say that I understand, in a truly complete and human timeline way, the place where they belong, those other unlucky things. Not to say my children fill every nook and cranny of my being, of course they do not. Of course I still desire and want and need my writing, books, movies, friendship, love, passion, sex, nature, career, success, travel, great food. All to say that none of that compares for me to the totality of satisfaction and soulful joy I receive in birthing, loving, mothering and eventually befriending my children. I do not say it is so because I think it is the righter thing to feel, or truer- only that it is undeniably true for myself, and has been since the day Dakota was born, almost twenty years ago. 

One day, my luck could change. And then I will never forget, that for all the years before, I was the luckiest. I will hold that like the jewel of the ages that it truly is, and it will burn into my chest as it does, and I will shine until the day I die with furious rage and grief and the everlasting brilliance of love, as the stars so now in our sky.

“For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth - that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.” - Viktor E. Frankl from Man's Search For Meaning

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


the wind slaps, sighs
lack moisture, lack relent-
bones bleached concrete.

wildfire, eat canyon
hare's ears erect eyes overbright
frozen still amongst their young

coyotes scream and streak
across rock, through
wide red swaths of chemical retardant

mammal beards drip red
flocks of birds wing frantically side to side
crows call in scattered gunshot

across suburbia an unsettling
nests in the houses and condos and carports

ashes fall on children's bikes
news blares each window, each door
the freeway caravans of heat

i stand in sunset, hand over my eyes
watch the birds
news blares from each window, each door

wildfire, across the canyons
something coming to the bubble
something breathes and breaks

flocks of birds wing frantically side to side
my daughter calls, points-

Monday, May 12, 2014

a mother at ten pm, monday night

for a half hour, thirty minutes, black line around the clock and Lola's piano music on cellular background, i did not know if you were ok. a headache, an illness, the last time anyone talked to you was at 7am. your friend wrote me! your friend. this is strange, too strange, and one by one the list of who hadn't talked to you, who received no call back, no return text, grew: your father, your grandmother, your friend, myself. i heard your voice in the message ' leave a message ' for a half hour, i was stuck here on the ends of the earth, suspended above Dante's inferno, the heat licking sickening my stomach and a spiritual hypochondria awash in my cells. for a half hour i was almost the damned, almost crossed the veil, lost my mind, never knew the meaning of anything only the black hole of its loss. are we doomed to understand loss more deeply than love? i do not live there because the phone rang, and it was your soft voice, the voice of my heart and own cosmos, the center of gravity and meaning, everything it cannot be and cannot hold, life in one. life in one. ' don't put all your eggs in one basket ' my mississippi grandma said. all my eggs, in four baskets, and still with one blow, i would be as shattered as if the universe melted with the ice caps and i slipped through the cracks to the endless spinning, the unknowing and knowing of loss, the free fall curvature of where love goes we follow, we have no choice, we follow.

Friday, May 9, 2014

People In Your Neighborhood

take a seat and read
Dakota's sweet hearted friend, Romy Rome, is a young man who just found out he has Stage 11 Lymphoma, with spread. He had to quit his job and right now is debilitated with constant high fevers, pain and surely a great deal of worry about what is going to happen. He lives with his mom now, who also has had cancer. He is educated about nutrition and wants so badly to be eating whole, organic foods and juicing, which is the FIRST thing I'd have any of my kids do if they were ill. I can't imagine wanting to live so badly and knowing how important nutrition is and not having access. Romy has no car and the closest store is Wal-Mart. Like many in his position, he is doing the best he can. He does have insurance now and recently did a full evaluation and scans and was properly diagnosed.Your donation will go toward his nutrition program, and healing. Even $5 is important because aside from the money, seeing those donation notices brightens a person's heart so much when they are afraid and without resource. Here is his YouCaring page.

On that note, I am looking forward to watching this movie, The Food Cure, a documentary that follows five cancer patients who give up Western medicine and attempt to heal with food.

Now, look at this baby red panda and melt a little.

There was some confusion about this hilarious, spot on letter written to a journalist who wrote about Jennifer Lawrence. It wasn't written by her, but it IS awesome. When I was a little girl growing up in Louisville, I was looking up at the sky one night and I said, "God, please let my behavior always meet the exacting standards of a male blogger who doesn't really understand how to use babble as a noun," !!!!!!!!!!

If you are a mother and an artist of any kind, you will relate to this.

I really enjoyed this narrative by the daughter of Carl Sagan, on mortality and parenthood and beliefs.

I just bought this for Ever for the pool. These things are great for water safety. They don't slip off and are hard/impossible for littles to take off.

Random blog reading- A Mom's Life

Thursday, May 8, 2014


she is twelve. once in her life i called her brat. i felt the word fly like spit from my mouth to her face, hit her, the widened eye, the recognition of a small indelible wounding. i turned to the side and looked at the wall to say i'm sorry. i wish i hadn't said that. she said i know and she knew. all the kids and i say 'in our family, we don't/we do', and whatever follows is understood thems the ground rules. in our family we don't call each other names. 

in our family we don't hit each other. in our family we talk about our problems. in our family we stick together. in our family we are there for each other. in our family we talk it out. in our family we spend a lot of time together. in our family we put family before the rest of life. in our family we don't hate other people because they look or sound or are labelled differently than us. in our family we don't pick apart women for how they look or comment on how they look most of the time. in our family we read books. in our family we know that therapy is great when you find the right therapist. in our family we are kind. in our family we love weirdness. in our family we love travel. in our family we believe in moral obligations. in our family we believe in change and growth. in our family we forgive. in our family we spend a lot of time outdoors. in our family we stay connected to each other and monitor our connections to our phones and computers and tablets. in our family Friday night is family night, if you are six or sixteen. in our family we know that how you eat affects every part of yourself- your mental, emotional and physical health. in our family we talk about the worst parts of life. in our family we celebrate the daily gifts. in our family we believe that exposure to art, books, literature and other cultures is an ongoing and crucial part of life. in our family we eat dinner together at the table. in our family we support what is different and not like our family within each of us. in our family we say 'everybody makes mistakes' and 'accidents happen'. in our family we never give up on each other. in our family we believe in hard work. in our family we keep our word. in our family we give to others. in our family we help those less fortunate. in our family we believe in education. in our family we believe in each other.

in our family we eat diner together four or five out of seven night. modifiers are fine for some of these credos, some not. calling her a brat is not ok. 

it was a moment when the helplessness of the mother of a twelve year old manifests itself into some nasty behavior. where the growing ache in my chest as she carves out her space in this world is met with an equal knowledge and pride that she is loved and strong enough to carve out that space. that she knows one hundred percent the meaning of unconditional love. the helplessness and irritation and discomfort and sometimes outright fear that i feel in realizing that i no longer modify her behavior as easily as i modify our family credos, that she now will push back, hard, if she's in the mood, or had a bad day, instead of pushing into me for comfort. the transference of her slang and sarcasm with her friends to her talk to me and her dad is not all right, and we'll keep working on that. it happens. she's testing the boundries of our relationship. it's my role to model how a woman acts. a kick ass woman, who does not call her daughter a brat. 

right now she is sitting in her room and Taylor Swift sings her sweet girl voice so loudly that our condo is full of her long blonde hair and overly perfumed young woman emoting. when she gets out of school either the excitement of a hilarious so funny oh my god no way kind of a day or the hard edges of pre-teen girl behavior put a sheet of glass between us that i can feel as i lean in toward her, driving. i turn Let It Go down and ask how her day was, and when she gives a half answer and gazes out the window, i want to yell at her. but she is doing nothing wrong. Ever begs for her attention and when she half gives it, i want to yell at her. but she is doing nothing wrong. i am amused to realize that the same yearning of Bonnie Raites ' I Can't Make You Love Me' fills my heart as my child enters these years. she loves me. she loves me dangerously so- her survival might be in danger if she continues to cling to me the way she has for 11 years. her entire cellular structure is demanding that she learn to forage and find water and friends. and she trusts me. she trusts me more than she trusts anyone or anything in this world, more than she trusts the sky will be there when she wakes up. she knows she could be 'a little brat' for ten years and i would be standing, trying to find her in the mess. she knows i would believe she was still there, in the mess. 

at night we watch The West Wing together in bed, Ever between us. after Ever falls asleep, i always slide over and ask if we can cuddle. more often now she says no, she feels 'claustrophobic', she 'needs space, mom'. I fight the urge to demand that she come back to me because that urge is completely opposed to every healthy thing about my daughter- she is not a little child anymore. she is a young girl. to demand that she stay the same is to resist the biology of life. i 'make her' do things, of course, i am still her mother. usually it's not a matter of making her, but sometimes, yes it is. and in those times when i set my foot down, it's usually important, and i often see a satisfied glimmer in her eyes, a relaxing of the muscles in her neck, when she realizes i am still taking care of her. 

we go on runs together and the entire time we laugh. i'm not sure it's much of a workout. the last time we ran we came across a dead bird and then one moment later an enormous dead rat and with some sick humor were laughing so hard i was running with my hands on my knees when we passed an elderly gentleman who easily outpaced us, with a rather surprised look on his face i might add. there are still so many ways to connect, and even cuddle, but the tiny little girl who walked through the house in dress up fairy wings and had the nickname Snow White for her incessant singing is gone. she still sings, she still dresses up, but yes that little girl remains only in the way that anything human remains, in my heart, my memory and some cellular smudges in the body of a person i love. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

healing from depression

the most important threads to weave together are love and meaning. love and meaning can become the same cell but do not have to, do not always. emptiness, depression, anxiety, these are deep thrashing or motionless helplessness when love or meaning are absent. 

in depression the meaning and interest of the world drains away. the thoughts of depression are difficult to propose to average people who have no replies and often no interest in looking in that direction at all. they are afraid of what you are saying and their own lives hold no answer. brush your teeth, they are thinking. take a shower, drive your children to school, work hard, get some exercise! i like dark chocolate. sometimes wine at the end of the day. do something nice for someone. have you seen that show Arrested Development? hilarious! i like a good tv show at night. family, of course. i enjoy planning trips, yes a good trip, a vacation. good for you. 

when meaninglessness approaches it devastates these rituals as a tornado devastates a southern town, clipping gasoline tanks and yanking electrical lines from the ground like bad teeth gaping with mounds of dirt cavities, scraping the ground clean, leaving the soil, the core. so the depression asks what is the core? 

if you are depressed and asking regular people what is the core it is being buckshot in your gut and walking with hands holding your intestines in and asking the next door neighbor lady if she can please, tell you how to fix it. she can't, and if you wait for her, you will die.

if you are depressed and you rub up against your friends, they might get those flecks of molecules and become infected and buckshot and holding their guts in their hands. so your friends may not stick around. they may stick around but take two steps back, big steps like they tell you to take in the army. people still love you but they don't want to be swallowed by the void. what you need is people who have already tesseracted. you need people already got shot and still run round the streets with their huge ugly scars. people who aren't gingerly sitting at home rubbing their scars will coconut oil and never bending over to get toys from underneath the couch because the scars might rip. you need people who aren't afraid to rip open. this isn't most people. one way that you end up more depressed when you are depressed is by moving toward and being deflected person after person. you can start to hate everyone or be confirmed in hopelessness. this is false. you are not finding the right people. they are there. i am here. keep looking. if you don't have the energy, retain the knowledge that when you do, they will be out there.

after those people you have the works of people, and the works of nature. the work of people in books and art and film are the college that your best surgeons went to. they know how to sew you up. lesser and better people than you have been buckshot and lived. listen to them. they told their stories, they recorded the images that sat with them in the darkness and then in the light. watch. learn. move from the prison memoir to the saint and connect the two. 

in the wild if an animal is wounded it may roll in the mud and lay in the sun next to the water and pant. this is good practice.

if you always know the direction in which to move, no one can promise you that you will have the energy to move there. but there are some promises and truths that even a buckshot depressive can hold. we are all alive and we all die and we do it all in and out of two states: alone-connected, and connected-alone. 

alone-connected is when you are alone inside your experience no matter who loves you or who you love. this is trapped in the brain. we spend a sad amount of time here. part of moving away from depression is moving out of our brain and into the larger shared experience of life. this is abstract but not completely. there are ways. alone-connected can be peaceful. there are times where alone-connected is restful. when it is not, you can usually move out in time. when you are depressed, you can't, you don't.

connected-alone is when your primary state of being is an awareness that you are connected to other human beings and to life on this planet. in this state you feel pain or even suffering but you are not despairing. 

depression is alone-connected. depression is lack of meaning. depression is lack of emotion. depression is repression. knowing what depression is, we know what it is not; we know to force our bodies to do and hope our mind and soul catches up. hope our buckshot gut heals. this is the scene in a movie where the depressed character is so depressed she barely speaks or eats and most people give up on her. but someone doesn't. someone takes her to the garden everyday and they sit in the sunshine and the other person does what? reads poetry out loud? who would do that these days? i would. the other person watches movies with her. the other person takes her every day or every week to deliver food to AIDS patients. what happens next in the plot? the depressed character makes a connection with one of the AIDS patients and begins to heal. or the depressed person becomes obsessed with the butterflies in the garden and begins to paint them. she wakes up. it could be that the depressed character never wakes up and never heals her buckshot gut and never gets out of the prop wheelchair. but probably she will.

if we are patient and consistent the mind can heal. the spirit can heal. like parenting a small child, we offer love. we wait, we have faith in the process, we nurture, we model, we are gentle. we apologize for our mistakes.

finding meaning and connection. i had my oldest son at nineteen years old. i was depressed when i became pregnant with him, and by the time he was born, i was not depressed anymore. was it simple, or easy? no. but it's true, that statement i made. his life gave my life meaning and taught me a lifelong lesson: finding meaning is the antidote to depression and existential crisis. 

i still had to go to therapy. i still took medication. i still did yoga, worked out, and listened to tapes that helped anxiety as i feel asleep. i still kept a diary per my therapist's request. i still read self help books. but i had found what remains. i had found the ground to stand on: help someone else. ( my baby ) love someone who no one else is taking responsibility for. ( my baby ) give your physical energy ( wake up in the middle of the  night five times a night every night for the first year ) give your mental energy ( read a million books on parenting, join a website on attached parenting, write nightly therapy lists ) give your spiritual energy  ( pray every night even though God, who knows ) give more than you think you can ( face my demons in therapy, be honest about who i was, give up smoking cigarettes all day, start college, change my eating habits ) and you will begin to be connected-alone.

one of the times in my life i felt the most depressed was right before i stood in front of a mirror with my bra off and eyed my swollen purpling nipples and asked out loud why they might look like that, before my mom said ' could you be pregnant? ' and the answer was yes. the  year before this i was deeply depressed and it is because i was not engaged in meaning. my friends were nice but they were all running from hard truths, again, like most people. my job was fine but meaningless to me. my writing had no purpose and lay on the page, lost. i went to coffee shops with  my friends and sucked on cigarettes and listened to everyone bullshitting and thought if this was life, it had nothing for me. i can only be happy when engaged on the deepest levels of life. i can only enjoy bullshitting when it is accompanied by everything else, not the blanket i drag along with me as a comfort, gathering mold and shit and dirt and covering me even in sleep. 

i have a friend who lives in Portland. she has little money and many problems of many kinds like most of us. she was upset that bees were dying. she was scared about the effect of rapid bee death rates on our planet. she read about it. she talked about it. she watched movies, she thought, she wrote. and then she decided to start a fundraiser and raise bees in her backyard. and now she stands with huge gloves and goggles and looks at the miniature world of bees. she created meaning in forward motion, she created meaning by connecting and helping. 

if you don't eat well, and your body is out of balance and you don't exercise and you take in chemicals in your food and products all day, you might get depressed even if you are raising a million bees and saving children every weekend. if you have mental illness in your family history, you might get depressed even if you start your own charitable foundation. there are components. there are things to consider. there is the reality that you are a biological organism and you must address the health of your body and mind. 

but without connection and meaning, you will not heal.

right now i am depressed. 
but i am not hopeless.
i am not despairing.

i connect myself as hard as a bee ejecting its stinger into the flesh of a human being, and wait for the effect. it will come.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

the sunshine is health

the clearest eyes. a health like river water, rocks, sun bleached clarity, the aftertaste of leaves. skin like velvet, limbs plump and strong. fat padding the white knit bones. hair thick and unbroken. clean breath. white teeth, formed strong and true. sleep of peace, awakening of awareness. the movement of blood through veins in perfect proportion. my children are like suns. i gravitate toward them in my autoimmune clusters; they are long limbed and energetic, bright eyed and made of tree branch and mountain rock, magnolia blossom and lake water.  they are suns. bold, bright, true. this is why-
no chemicals in our cleaners, laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, lotions
organic foods

this is why we take the time, do the research, spend the money, because real health is one of the most glorious, life affirming gifts a human being can know. 

in my autoimmune i am swollen, my fingers, my face, my feet, my ankles. pain comes and goes, throbs, stabs or swells. my stomach rounds like the fourth month of pregnancy. my tongue is cut with dents along the side. fatigue, emotional and physical exhaustion, an sense of urgency coupled with a sense of futility. i eat and drink and sleep and try not to look in mirrors or judge myself against the healthy version of myself. i wait for my body to stop attacking. i tell my family. i let the dogs press themselves against my legs, i rub their heads. i work, take care of my children, clean slowly and with the pace of an old lady, sitting every ten minutes with my hands in the air, forcing the fluids down my veins.

at dinner, i ask Ever a silly question. at nine months pregnant Ever was still flipping in utero, so I ask:    ' Ever, why did you go round and round in my tummy? '
Ever says ' Because I couldn't find you '

Thursday, May 1, 2014

the opposite of controlled

Am I forgetting, becoming surviving
real world
the American
success story
a chaotic submergence in busyness
a re-structuring of the word adult
adult means controlled.

the opposite of controlled
swimming naked in the ocean
mid-Winter, only boys as
mermen companions, the salt thick water slicing through their
balls, their laughter an unhinged
slightly hysterical
mix of pain and arousal.
i was twenty years

a pocket full of pie,
smearing whip cream and green
jello, the candy creamed top of cupcakes on each other's
faces, moving through each room
without awareness of
each room
only aware
of life

baked in a pie, the blackbirds
flew upward and i climbed the brown
horse's back with a fistful of mane,
barebacked and skinny legged I rode the strange animal
without awareness of
the risk
only aware
of life

beginning to sing, we leaned out the windows
blew smoke to the night's black
bold face and the moon's round bottom back
fuck you motherfucker we screamed at no one
never laughed harder
never a reason
never a rhyme
just life

simple is a word for crayon drawings
not human beings
yet i am sure we are getting
something very wrong
in the definition of adult.
do you want to die
like an adult?
or do you want to die
wingtip touching the sun,
the crayon colors of some big bang
melting the Pi of your eyes

licking the cellular stuff of your face
until you are a
wave, a tree branch scraping mountain rock,
a mud hole underneath the magnolias,
a cloud, honey on the stinger of a bee,
the dirt forming the footprint of your child
as she walks down the wooded path.

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