If I would have known what my life would be like and how happy i would be a year and a few months ago, I am not sure things would have happened like they did. This year has been one of transformation in a very serious way. In may of last year I was neglected, tired, frustrated, belittled, silenced, and walked all over. I was planning a wedding that I figured would change things, or I guess I was hoping it would. My mothers health was on the line and our family was in survival mode. At a certain point I realized that the most important thing was to find the joy in every day and that nothing should get in the way of that because at the end of the day our time here is fleeting and I dont know about you, but I would like to have enjoyed the ride.

My mother and I spent countless hours in the garden, cultivating our friendship that had lapsed for too long and her passing along the knowledge that can only be handed down from mother to daughter in stories and anecdotes.

As the year passed and it got cold, the garden was winding down and I found my solace at the barn once again. Wonderful supportive friends and horses who don't judge you but just lend an ear and unconditional love. The winter was a hard one and i found myself drawn to a man I had known of for quite some time, and yet had never connected with. Fast friends we became. He held me and let me be me, made me dinner while I wept to my mother on the phone about my disintegrated relationship. 

He never held any judgement, just listened and held me up. He brought a kind of joy into my life I am not sure I had known before, playing games, sledding and remembering how beautiful and joyful the littler things can be. Appreciating the beauty in the winter and the comfort that can be found in the cold dessolation of the winter months.

I am not sure when I realized I had fallen in love with him. I do know that at some point I realized that i would and that there was nothing that could stop it from happening. The love I had had for her had been gone a long long time. This was something different. This is something different.

I am in a place now that feels more like home than I can ever remember.  It is a feeling of fullness, a swelling of the chest, an expansion of the heart so great, you feel like you might burst, and yet it is not scary, it is comforting and wonderful and nurturing and exciting! To feel satisfaction and contentment in the path you are traveling is a beautiful thing. a beautiful thing indeed.


sometimes it happens.

sometimes it is overwhelming.
you dont know when it will happen.
its this thing that overtakes you.
and the only way to get it out is to let it go.

how do you let it go.
how do you let it free?
how do your face your biggest fear as a human?
how do you face death?

My own death would be easy(ier) for me.
i would be gone.
i will see my loved ones one day soon. soon enough. in another life, in another place, just not here and not now.

but the death of my mother?
of the person that made me?
the person that dreamed of me and wished of me (even if she didnt know it then)
the person that raised me and made me who i am.
the person who, with my father, has loved and held me through thick and thin, and no matter what has never let go, but has only loved me more?

this is something we all go through. it is completely inevitable. and yet it is the hardest thing any of us will ever encounter. You think that it will be hard to lose the one you love. you are wrong. nothing will ever compare to losing the ones who begot you. you have no idea.

And still, I am so lucky, or unlucky, i have not yet decided. To know they are going to leave this life and leave you to fend for yourself, is that a wonderful or a horrible fate? who is to know. Each experience is so different. We have spent the last few nights sleeping in the same room. and not last night, not the night before, but tonight is when i feel it. Tonight is the night that i feel so separate. Why is she so vulnerable tonight? She has us to protect her. is it that i am so vulnerable tonight?

it is like a puddle of self pitty. i cant decide if i am jumping into it or if i am appreciating that there is this huge, beautiful, wrippling puddle of self pity there, and i am going to jsut sit here on the edge and know its there but not jump in.

I think i jumped in, and now i am wading to the edges. I can look back as see what is there. I cans see that my mother has reached this point where she is just so happy to be here. She is just so happy to be with us, and in her garden, and with my father and her friends and she doesnt give a fuck. Her life is hers. Finally. After all this time. and here i am being a total twat and thinking about myself.

We really are just such selfish creatures. So selfish. We want what is easy, what is kind, what will spare us. And yet the reality is that the fates are cruel. This is what she has always said. They will send all the best things your way at one time, so you have to choose. They will send you all the worst parts at once so you feel like you can not go on, that this world is a horrible place. They will throw things at you one after another to see what you can handle, and it is your job to figure it all out and make the best of it.

Make the best of it.
Here it is.
This, for me. This is me laying it all out.

my tears have dried, my nose is only sniffly once and a while, and i can begin to appreciate the little things again.
the breath moving in and out of my body. the smells. the fresh smell of rain. of a wood fireplace. of maine. The sound of the rain. The sound of my parents sleeping in this beautiful old room. The sound of bon iver singing me into a place of calm and acceptance. Not complacence. But acceptance.

Here. This is place I have been before. It has been a while. It is always slightly different. It always a place of growth. always a place i am just a little familiar with but a place i have never been before. here is a place where i know i am doing the most work. it is perpetually uncomfortable, and indefinitely wonderful. I spent a long time here this last year. Who am I? Who do i have? what do i have? how did i get here? how will i move on from here? who will support me? What do I love? who do i love? do i love myself enough to do... To move... to be... to exist... to question... YES.

and here we are. You and I.
For if you are reading this, you have have accompanied me on this journey.
We have arrived in a place of peace. can you feel it? i am calm. we are calm. there is no infinite right now. there is only now and this place and us. I feel you with me. This is a new place for me, and if it is not for you, than i take you as my guide, and if you, like me, have never been here before, let us grasp hands, and walk as one. This part is unguided. I can not wait to see where we go from here. let this be exiting for you too. let us explore. let this be. i can not wait to see where we go from here.


just another night

there is a furry ball of purrs curled in my lap. she has been screaming at me for the last half an hour, following me all over the house... i guess she got what she wanted. she just slowly kneads my leg, ever so gently, and perioticly looks up at me, she knows i will look into her big brown eyes and rub her ears between my fingers,

there is such comfort in such small gestures.

recently ive had this recurring feeling of dread. well, its been since i moved out here i suppose. ill be at the barn, ill be in the garden, ill be working out... and i have this moment of panic... i must go home! or... fuck. i have to leave soon, i better not stay any longer or dillydally or stay and talk to soandso... and then i remember.
then, inevitably come the
overwhelming urge to pinch myself. WAKE UP!

this is so dreamy.... you must be sleeping.
but im not. i am awake. i am more alive than i have been in years. or maybe ever. i am more in my body, more in my mind... so present.

it feels so good.
and sometimes i feel myself sliding backwards, and i have to think.... "where are you going? think on it a moment. what is wrong in life? nothing? well then get the fuck over yourself!"
and really....things are soo good. just so. so. good.

gosh riley is cute.

im not sure why exactly i sat down to write. im not sure what the purpose of this particular writing is.... besides to settle my mind, my racing mind.

i have written about this and that and most things in between and i cant bring myself to repeat myself right now. even though the feelings this time and this place and this night elicit are similare in all but time past and time present.

here is where i sign off. adieu


today. part 3.

every time i go to sit and write... my fingers move over the keys in the same way. the same words, the same tone.

........today i sit where i want to sit, and am doing what i want to be doing.

the circumstances have changed this time though, and altough those words are still true the sentiment  behind them has changed.

so many things have changed.
Every day i wake up not wanting to leave bed but so excited to be awake.
there is someone new next to me now in this bed is mine and no one elses. 
the fire that i have been trying to suppress for so long is burning bright and wild.

i think back to sitting at my desk in the living room of my old house. i closed my eyes and saw visions of  my future. i heard the birds singing... so loud that it is almost unbearable. the din of the crickets at night. the soft breeze of the freshest summer winds rustling the trees.the sounds of horses munching lazily without  a care in the world.
everything felt so close.... and yet it was the furthest thing from my life. i could feel it. i could feel it.

"As I type this there is a swelling in my throat. You know the feeling. The feeling when you think of the someone you love coming up behind you and wrapping their arms around you. When you can feel them, smell them, hear them, but you cant see them unless you close your eyes.

i wrote: "My lust and day dreams are of this picture. This house, these animals, this life, but in ten years. I am seeing my future. The plants hanging, drying from the rafters with a fire in the wood stove. The windows frosted that look out of the fields with our horses lazily grazing in them. Our kitchen filled with eggs and plants and herbs grown from our love and our fingertips.The noises have changed though. In my daydreams of the future there are chickens chuckling, wind blowing through the trees, the crackle of the fire, the birds singing their winter songs. The sounds of an old house breathing. "

i still see these things. but now it isnt ten years. i am not spending this life waiting any more.

My "now' is one of those moments i dreamed of.
there is a fire in the fireplace of my beautifully old and creaky house....or could be if it wasnt warm and the air filled with satiny waterdrops of humidity and early morning dew.

there is a cardinal and her beloved who live in my wisteria.

i can see and feel the same future for myself but now it doesnt exist in this fairytale world where i spend the "now" living in my personal hell and only being able to escape for short times to this place... this  magical land where my dog can run free and my days are spent with sweet warm breaths of ponies only an arms reach away. where my plants can reach their roots deep into the ground if they choose. deep deep down where the soil is cool and nourishing.

here is where i want to set my roots.... not in the city. i have played the part for far too long. i have loved the city, i have loved in the city.... and always in my heart i have been yearning for the day when i could leave... leave the nonstop sirens and children screaming. the endless loop of mister softee's plea for business.

i have been day dreaming of this life for so long. the anticipation made the desire so much i could barely stand it and the reality so much more fulfilling.

and the best part of it all is knowing that this is just the beginning.
i wake up everyday not wanting to leave bed but so excited to be awake .


self sufficiency

With every passing day the vision i have for my future changes. What the fates have in store is always cruel and always tough love, and yet when it comes down to it without life's trials we would be weak and ungrateful and unhappy. For when do you learn what happiness truly is, but when life throws something difficult at you.
however i am not here to say that life has left me battered and beaten, that my life is somehow inexplicably hard and it sucks being me.
 i lead a charmed life. I do. I am one lucky son-of-a-bitch. that is the absolute truth.

I mean, even now as i write this, I am sitting in an ancient house in a medieval town on the edge of the atlantic ocean in France... with my feet up and a fire in the fire place. a hot toddy in a beautiful metal mug next to me.... life doent get much better. and i am trying not to count my blessings, but instead to appreciate them.

sitting on the edge of the ancient Seine river yesterday i had a moment of realization. the kind one will have when surrounded by such grandeur, history, ... the sense of being so small and insignificant. your worth becomes something so menial that you can do nothing but figure that in fact you must have some purpose because otherwise the universe would not even bother with such small inconveniences as making sure you continue to live and to thrive.
and this is how i came to reflect about how i have changed so much since the past time i was here in paris. the last time i was here i spent so much time pining, for a boy who didn't want me, for a life i didn't have, for experiences i hadn't had yet... for these things i thought i wanted so desperately.

and there i was, sitting in the sun. book in my lap, the water of the Seine lapping gently below me as i sat on the very edge of the stone wall that has been keeping those waters contained for longer than i can fathom, and i watched a couple kiss up on the pier. I waved to my dad standing in the middle of the bridge, i watched a gigantic mallard fattened by how many seemingly kind souls offering up pieces of their baggettes. And i thought that indead what i have always preached but never truly lived... was something i had had to grow into:
Self sufficiency is the greatest of wealths.
and this is a sentiment that i had abandoned for so long. i used to hold the phrase so close to my heart, i tried to live by it. i tried to not rely on anyone else for monetary security, for my moods and feelings of worth. but that is absolutly not what the phrase means. or what it means to me now, and i am sure its essence will change until the day i die...
but sitting with the sun washing over me, feeling the heat, the slight breeze that was just barely warm coming off the cold water, i felt truly self sufficient for perhaps the first time in my life.

i do not need anyone else to validate my experiences. and when it comes down to it, that really is all that life is. it is whatever you take from your experiences.

I have been trying to be present in every moment. Yes, planning must happen. you get excited about the future, you dwell on the past... but those are all parts of the experience, part of the journey. they make up your moments. they make up your memories, and there isnt anyone else you can rely on to carry your memories for you... they can help make them, they can help fuel them, they can help remember them, but ultimately it is you and you alone who is responsible for existing, remembering, and living. you must be solely responsible for making sure you are really living in the moment and making these memories and appreciating them.
appreciating your moments. i guess it doesn't even matter if you remember them. its about existing, and appreciating. and living, and being ok with being the only one living that exact moment and that exact set of circumstances with your past and your future and your you-ness.

to me, that is the essence of self sufficiency. that is the most valuable gift.

these moments have been been elliciting a deep gutteral feeling in me more and more. the feeling of a connectedness that has perhaps been elluding me for quite some time.

it not quite like the euphoric sort of shakey butterfly feeling. it is the feeling of things happening, big things. you can feel them in your gut. that constricting of your chest, but in a good way.
i alluded to it before, as that feeling you get when someone you despretely love comes up behind you, and you can feel their presence. you cant see them, you cant feel their touch yet, but you can sense it... just before their hand touches you.... you know that it will be there on your shoulder, your hip... and you know the warmth of their hand, their body behind you... you know these things before they happen, and its not really a premintion, its not a vision. its just knowing. its being connected to someone that has no sense of urgency or reliance but of mutual appreciation and pure and unadulterated love.

the connectedness. that thing, that invisible thing that ties people, ties experiences, places, smells, touch... all of it is so deep inside of us, and yet so many of us have never experienced it, or have and think they are crazy. it isn't real. your sense of deep human knowing somehow makes you looney.

but it doesnt. it makes us real. it keeps us grounded. we can cultivate it, listen to it. feel it.
i try and listen. taking moments here and there to feel that building up of excitement, of yearning, of knowing.

there are these images of the future that i had in my head. i had them in my heart. they were mostly of small things but for me, necessities. to feel connected to the world. to be able to have my hands and feet in the earth all the time, to be still for a few moments in my everyday life and think... YES this is it. this is why i was put here. to be able to experience this and live this and this is me

every day it was drifting further and further away. i was just waiting. stalling my life until i could make it happen... and getting more and more resentful of the life i was living... i wasnt free. trapped. and it was partially self inflicted. i couldnt see the connection. i couldnt feel it. i dreamt it. i could sense it was there, but it was so intangible, so far, and getting farther away with every day, with every new commitment.

for a while i tried to make things happen. i quit my job.  i went to the farm several times a week. i went to the horses several times a week. i loved every minute of it while i was there... and yet i always had to leave. leaving was always at the back of my experience, or my consciousness, thinking: why cant i just stay. i just wanted to stay. to have that be my reality instead of the escape from my reality. and i knew it was that. and i knew that wasn't the way for me to get to the place i wanted to be.

i needed self sufficiency. i needed to be able to feel like i was solely responsible for my happiness or my triumphs or my failures and subsequent lessons learned... that in fact i was not reliant on the whims of another to make or break me.

and it is the human condition as herd animals to care what others think. to be drawn to the closeness of other people, both physically and emotionally. but there is a sense of independence and self reliance that can still be cultivated and nurtured and can be the backbone of your life. and i think maybe this is what makes us strong. that connectedness to the greater self, the gift we are each blessed with but not all of us are willing to give in to. and there is a certain relinquishment of control that goes along with it. that you do not always have to be in control of the moment but that sometimes your job is to just stand there and let it wash over you and appreciate it.

... and my fire has reduced the once damp logs to piles of loosely connected neon orange ash. every now and again the flames surge up, willing themselves to not give up. the last of the water has evaporated leaving a meager remnant of wood ripe for incineration. 

and with that i will retire for the night.


a love letter

This is a love letter.

Every once in a long long while you meet someone who has a profound impact on you. Sure, everyday people are changing your trajectory in one way or another and you yourself are always changing, shifting, altering... an inimaginiable number of paths your life could travel down.

But sometimes, just sometimes, one person can completely flip your world upside down.

And in this moment, the one that happened a few minutes ago, all of my worlds just collided together with such force that i only wish it could rise souls from the dead. Because Rob, this is for you.

Dear Rob,
I still maintain, whenever i tell the story of my trials and tribulations with college and how i got to be where i am today, i always mention you. I make a point to say that you were the only worthwhile thing to come out of Drexel. You were the only reason I stayed as long as I did. You were the only person who pushed me academically... i mean really pushed me, challenged me, and made me reconsider very little thing about life. This wasnt anything you saved just for me though, you challenged everyone and everything and every idea and concept, every preconceived notion about people, society, and any sort of semblance of normalcy.... you blew it all up.

Your tanacity and love and vision and clearness about life was so apparent. So forceful. You were totally fucked up, but such a powerful force that everyone you met had a reaction to you. Some were so loving and grateful for your brilliance. Some so hateful and cruel.
I think i have a few favorite memories of you. One was the first day of sociology 101. All the kids that were enrolled in the class were going for law. And the first day, i remember watching their faces as you went through the books and topics we were going to cover. All of sudden it was real. Real people. real problems. Abuse. Neglect. death. birth. rights and lack there of. and the destruction of our safe little cocoons. I loved it. I'm not sure they all did, but hell, nothing in life is worth doing if it isn't hard.

Maybe that was one of the biggest lessons you taught me. That shit isnt worth it if you arent making a difference. that its not worth it unless its hard. and Fuck, your life was not easy. But i always got the feeling you didnt really mind, because it made you who you were in this way that is completely indescribable and fabulous.

Halloween was on a day i had class with you. Remember? You walked in late. You were always late for class. Your five inch platform leather boots, fishnets and tiny little leather dress, and fabulous wig... were not enough. you waked in, snapped your whip at all the boys in the front row.... and said, "today we talk about gender".

And i was in love.

we became friends after a group project work day. You played regina spektor while we worked... that one song that is just heart wrenching.. you know the one. Samson.

Here I am now. Rob. Why did i just decide to listen to the song? my heart is breaking all over again.  I wish you were still here.... but i also know that you are one of the few people who had lived a thousand lifetimes in this last one, and even though you were so young, you were such an old soul, and people dont get to just be like that. I know you will be back to finish your work. And the only thing i can possibly hope for is that i can somehow be so blessed to meet you again. 

It had not occured to me, i would assume because i am a little thick sometimes (which was why i always loved drinking margaritas with you... my brain was always sore afterwards, a combination of the intense conversation and tequila no doubt), (off topic) that the path i am on now is a direct reflection of all that poking and prodding you did. Listening to a lecture about nutrition today... albeit a little half heartedly... all of a sudden I heard your voice. "This is structural violence. What are the social, political and economic conditions that drive the problem?" WHAT THE HELL ROB! full fucking circle.
You were always right.

I hope I do right by you and do this thing the way it needs to be done.

I miss you. You know that.

With all my heart.