Simply Grateful

Today I am grateful for all the things I over look, take for granted, grateful for the ground underneath me staying still and solid, for the sky above me remaining calm, that I am in good health and so is my cat, Velvet. Even though I have zoned out today, letting time skip in a blur, I am letting tomorrow come as I would unfold a new and unexpected gift — because everyday I’m alive, even if I’m sore or lonely or sad, is a day to celebrate! Even if I have no place to go tomorrow, I plan to dance out the door and face any little adventure available to me with great knowing gladness.

This is the conclusion I come to most usually despite the nights I weep over the friends and family who have died, or left, and sometimes in their absence I have to pinch myself to remember to refresh the experiences of joy that they brought into my life. It’s far too easy to beat myself up over the losses. I’m not sure why my body and mind misbehaves like that when I’m most tired, weakest, vulnerable… most usually when I can’t sleep, or haven’t slept, and the days and nights of insomnia blend into a kind of non-existence. There are times when living the Solitary Life can cage me into a shadowy, hidden place, when my introversion doesn’t serve any purpose but prolong depression.

Last week, as part of an independent living community volunteer service, a peer counselor invited me to a house run by people like her. It was a way for me to get out of my shell again, and I have to tell you, I did panic a little! All of the panic immediately faded when I recognized women from downtown. It’s a relief to know I’m not the only woman in town dealing with menopause, grieving, and depression, etc., and the plus side is none of them were the judgmental type. All of them were used to dealing with the same things I deal with, some of them trained nurses and “travel buddies” who assist people like me with communicating with other people. What a relief to discover resources around and about where I live! The only con is we have limited volunteers. But it could be worse. A neighboring city isn’t as open-minded as mine, treating such “club houses” for the mentally ill community as troublesome. *makes frowny face* Whatever.

I once wrote about there needs to be a shrine on every block, or in every neighborhood, well, I want to revise that and say there needs to be places of refuge in every city for people who have emotional and mental distress. In these places we should be able to let ourselves cry, volunteer our time there to be shoulders to cry on, and provide ears to listen to other peoples’ concerns and problems. There should be kitchens and stoves for free that we can stock for anyone who needs a break, or who ever wants to brew a hot beverage or warm up a hot dish for people who need a little home style comfort.

Because not all of us have that kind of social interaction with others. I got through months without it. When I don’t see people so often in that ordinary way, I get all kinds of homesick. I miss my mother. I miss her home cooking. I’ll never get her kind of care ever again. There are no substitutes for her. Just as there are no substitutes for anyone else. Each loved one I’ve lost is a gem!

And I used to shine so brightly when I had more of those gems in my crown.

But as I write that, I cannot ignore the brilliant new gems in my life whom I should polish on a more regular basis instead of neglect while I fall into my darkness. I don’t want anyone to feel like I don’t listen to them more than I do voices who put me down in the past.

However, it’s a slow process to turn off the repetitive memories and words of those whom I could not reach a resolution with.

I will not talk about any one relationship, but there are three people I wish would have talked to me in person, face to face, in order to erase all the assumptions that ultimately severed us. But, then again, to even request contact would mean to them, I’m assuming, that I’m not able to let go, that I’m still unhealthy and manipulative, and whatever. I’m “meh” at this point. I just want my passion back. I don’t know how to get it back. I only know how to go on living… and dancing.

When I get moments of release, I eat them up! Early this morning at 4am, I had this incredible surge of energy and started to just dance, dance, DANCE. My cat, Velvet, chased after me, so I grabbed a ribbon and lashed it around me so we could dance together. Moments turned into an hour. As I got my wiggle out, it was good to just let my cares go, to work myself into exhaustion, and drop into my pillows again, anxious for the evening.

Because I slept all day, and now that night has come, the woods and cool, wet night air is heavy with that wet bark smell, I feel all cares are gone. That there is hope for my passion to creep back. Velvet is a doll, she tilts her head up, prances around me, anxious for me to get off the computer so I can go to being her giant cat toy again. She hasn’t taken the place of Mr. Snuggles, but she does the same thing he used to do: remind me to unplug from all the bad memories and PLAY!

And so I plan, just like I wrote at the end in the first paragraph, even if I have no place to go tomorrow, I plan to dance out the door and face any little adventure available to me with great knowing gladness.

I Am My Cat’s Familiar

skinnyblackcatChanges, upheavals, under-heavals, transformations… We are undergoing, over-going, going-through them at my home right now. All I want to do is finish this cycle and ease out towards a future, one right now I cannot see, but wish to hope for. Wish to hope for? It’s too dark in here to see over the hump just yet. I feel like I’m being carried, cradled? I am certainly cradling my cat, focusing all my healing energy on him, singing to him, my own body completely in sync with his, sharing breath, listening to his beating heart, and doing everything I can, including letting him be alone.  I miss sleeping with him the most.  He curls up into the comfort of shadow a lot lately, this skinny-little-fur-heart-wrecking-ball bombarding me whenever I dig him out of my closet in the morning. He likes to convalesce on a laundry basket of my old clothes, a place where everything must all smell like me. It must be like a big womb of me in there.

I once agreed with a friend that the only magician’s familiars are spirits, but now, my doubts are gone and I no longer give credence to that because of this special relationship I have — in fact I’m going to go as far as saying there are no such things as familiars, spirits whom we conjure and command, sometimes form kindly bonds with, existing separate from the rest of living things, or may not be alive at all and only existing because we think them up. What I am going to say with pure conviction is that every living thing IS a familiar because every thing that lives has a spirit, and because spirit is life force, and all that soul-energy-life-forming-stuff connects us to each other because it simply makes us who and what we are: alive

The illusion is we mentally block each other from a spiritual connection. We create rites to re-connect ourselves to spirit(s) we think are on a separate plane of existence than we are. The relationship to spirit is always there for us to tap into.  When we choose to be open, there is no closing the door, and the only thing to fear is, well, things that are bigger than you just like anything else when you decide to go walking through a dense wilderness. There are animals everywhere!  All of that I just mentioned is the subject for a conversation for another time. I don’t want to runaway from the tenderness of how I feel in this moment…

How this all relates to me and Mr. Snuggles and all of you is this: what we all have in common is we have life, we are living, and it’s that life stuff that glues my cat and I together, permits us to communicate with pure emotion, allows us to take away each other’s pain, and take part in each other’s lives as if we were destined to take care of each other. I struggle with him to stay alive as do all alive things who wish to continue living and to keep their young living. And yet being alive can be illusory, too, right? So can death? I am finding the boundaries between being and un-being soft lately.

If anyone’s a spirit familiar, I am my cat’s Familiar. He uses me to help himself survive. He charms me to do everything for him. I’m at his meow.

And you know what? It was magic the way we met, the way we carry on, the way we live, the everyday we operate…

All of life, and death, and the continuing of all of it, is magic, and I’m so in love with it, you will never see me, ever, failing to fall out of it.

It goes on… with or without me being able to see what’s ahead.

Will This Pain Ever Cease? If I can Help it

I need to confess something, no matter how ridiculous, why I do not update my blog often this year, something I am reporting to you tonight because it causes me too much distress, and I can’t take hiding it anymore.  Maybe you can understand.  Maybe this will make me out to sound crazy.  Or maybe, in the course of writing this, I’ll find the strength to do away with this so I can move on and just write whatever I want to again!

I am too overly concerned over the stupidest details that flash by my way while I am trying to concentrate on other things I am enjoying working on. One tiny detail associated with a person(s) I have emotional hardship over, and it can throw my focus off course, ruining an entire day.  I’m not being dramatic in saying that it’s been such a problem that I’ve spent entire weeks offline in order to avoid even the slightest chance of seeing a photo, or even catching names and news, but nothing I do blocks out their existence.  And their existence by proxy reminds me that they have blocked me out of theirs. It’s an unavoidable shunning-kind-of-thing, because unlike being offline, despite all our apps and settings to keep people we want to avoid out of our notice, we’ll still know they exist, especially if they are friends with our friends and their friends are friends your friends, and there’s just no getting around it.  Offline, if someone lives thousands of miles away, they’re gone, no way we gonna bump into them at the grocery store unless they want to spend thousands of dollars for that plane ticket to come surprise us at home, in which case, highly doubtful.  Besides…  if one of us wanted to stalk the other we’d have to be rich in order to do it if we lived such long distance anyway.  So a cyber-block is cool.  I’m okay with that.  People have their reasons.  Even if they’re wrong.

There is not much I can do to curb the comings and goings of other people who will criss-cross my path.  I have many friends, and those friends are mutual friends with former friends, including those few individuals who have deliberately made the choice to block me for every reason from the tame to the so-very-unnecessarily-not-right.  I am only counting at present three (not counting anyone from the past), and one of those is my own brother, whom I still talk to, we just don’t talk online to respect our privacy (a good thing because we drive each other crazy).  As for the other two, I do not know their reasons, truly, why, nor can I speak for them.

I, unfortunately, have blocked people, too, but only under great stress, giving some friends way too many chances.  I’m like that.  I shouldn’t be so nice, and yet I like being nice.  I don’t throw away friends.  I even unblocked folks as well.  I let people back into my life even others warn me it isn’t wise.

My heart doesn’t “no”.

Tonight’s upset happened when I read the briefest broken English comments from a reply to a reply I made at an old website where someone claims to be someone I don’t hear from anymore, but isn’t, and the said comments (even though already deleted at said site) still get filtered into my email.  I end up reading what I’m thinking is directed to me, but it’s just someone being stupid, however indirectly they describe me as a “complication” that deterred the website designer from using the site as a form of amusement, telling the reader that they are “okay” to be in contact with them.  Ugh.

So I feel the bitterest, littlest inkling of paranoia creep up my backside, as if I’m to blame for the most terrible of atrocities known to old friend — because why else would they have stopped talking to me?  The old feelings of being singled out again because I’m different and because I can’t be included because that person does not want to be friends with me even though they seemed over joyed to be so, and I thought that they wanted to be closer because they once planned to make a personal visit to my home just made me seem like I was romantically chasing them…  Blah, blah, blah…  My thoughts race back & forth like a ping-pong match in hell.  I drop everything, my tears don’t burst, I just start to silently crumble into disgust with myself in such a poetic way, it’s beyond pathetic, it’s self hate at its most putrid.

But this isn’t just tonight.  I hate to, yet I have to admit it, finally, to you, that this is every night for the past nine months!  I’ve been slowly killing myself, stressing over what this former friend may or may not think about me.  It’s not if they are truly the one behind those comments I read tonight, it’s the comments I imagine they would say inside my mind that torture me.  I can’t blame anyone.  Only the pain of grief — the same grief I still feel over the kind of relationship I had with my mother — we always debated and critiqued religion, philosophy, life, everything, anything, nothing I did pleased her and she always had to put a damper on my enthusiasm.

It was only until she was on her deathbed that she winked “Yes” to me when I asked her if she was proud of me.

I don’t blame her for everything or anything anymore either.  The origins of our problems may start with our parents and background, but it is how we live the rest of our lives that we choose to make a difference in how we turn out.  Never forget I just said that.  Remember I’m doing that.  It’s not easy. But you should try it.

I sometimes make myself feel better by imagining I can talk to her, or that friend of mine, late at night when I cannot sleep, and tell them everything I want to say.  I wish I could do that, right now, right here, on this blog, but such a thing cannot be done.  I am already taking a risk writing about my feelings now.  I feel like I’m leaving myself out in the sun.  I might bake.

My mother is dead.  That’s one thing.  But the living are young, and they get online, and they have vast networks of friends, friends who read what I have to say, or happen upon what I write, and people talk, because people always talk.  I also tell myself people don’t care as much as they can care, too.  Some friends have told me that they will not talk to me anymore if I talk about the friend I miss.

Oh, did I forget to mention the other — the second friend who blocked me nine months ago?  That’s a different matter, the one I don’t want to talk about. That one followed the other in quitting me, as if one kicking me down wasn’t enough, the other had to get their kick in to keep me down, at least that is how it felt.  Again, I cannot speak for them, I can only speak for how I feel, and it is unhealthy for me to keep on suppressing my feelings like this.  I also could do without the threat of losing any more friends.  I’ve been “good” — I’m not addicted to anyone or any substance, I’m not found longing for an imaginary lover or obsessing over anyone, and yet — ta da!  here I am proving I am obsessing! — it’s just a different matter, being stuck in a loop of relationship communication difficulty preventing me from being able to really be friends with anyone.  Will this pain ever cease?  If I can help it — !

I pay professionals to talk to, I get therapy, I do all the things I’m supposed to in order to stay healthy and keep a steady mind, and I journal privately, yet I do not have anyone to really, really talk to like I used to.  I don’t want pity.  I have enough sorrow to go around the world.  Just bits of me are dying each night while I fight this battle to stay sane and pursue my happiness, part of that happiness is claiming peace of mind, and you know what?  There are times I cry out, “Please stop this pain already, [name of person], please, if I ever meant anything to you, stop hating me now.”  It may not do anything to actually make me feel better, but that’s something they would say, so then I tell myself to stop policing me with that and just feel like myself without imagining their criticism already!

One thing I haven’t done is Witchcraft to help me with my problem.  I have been dealing with it on a strictly meditation basis, guarding my thoughts in order to not spread the will to harm.  It’s a practice I always put into motion whenever I am out of sorts and it has served me well.  Even when someone wishes me ill will, I don’t return the favor, I have to let it drop off me like water off a duck’s back (or I try awfully hard to).  I had my breaking points in my youth, however, but I decided to no longer wish harm, let alone cause it.

The only magic I’ve used is my favorite practice: Divination — why?

Because sometimes the only thing I have is to give myself is something to look forward to.  A future, besides doing something you love, is a very important key to keeping happiness, and we all must do what we can to pursue it well, especially when people fail us, because we can always count on them to do just that (that’s why we learn to trust ourselves more).

Postcard #45: Celebrating Friendship!

“Friendship should not be mourned,” They said.

And when I say, They, I do not speak of People, or voices that may populate my head.  I talk of They that travel on the wind, whisper unseen, guide the lost when they stumble, and sometimes purr through the cat who shares my bed at night.

“Friendship should not be mourned,” They insist, keeping me awake when I want to slip into a nap this afternoon, “Friendship has no funeral. It requires no grief. It should not be mourned. You must celebrate it!”

Pick up your favorite pen, Valentina, my fingers ache with longing, and my back burns with hurt as I stretch and strive for a comfortable position, groaning as I seek my journal, find a page and make your mark so this won’t disappear. Don’t let these thoughts go! Come on, get going, make it so!

Out the words flow — ! My handwriting a river I fall in love with every time I give a damn, I set my pen in motion, the very act of holding it (although pinching my fingers and strains my wrist up to my elbow) is a flight through water, like Antarctic birds do under the ice in the deepest, darkest, undiscovered places. My pen is black and silver, shines in my hand, sharp and slim as a dagger, but does not cut paper as my every drawn word appears thin, small, and slants distinctly stiletto to the right.

I once challenged my friends with my handwritten letters… My handwriting, considered fancy and too archaic to easily decipher, only friends with a curiosity I could pique for Graphological inspired Cryptography (a pseudoscience that I thought I had made up when I was in High School), or who had a penchant for recreating the sort of 19th century literary correspondence our favorite authors had, would be interested and dedicated enough to read, let alone appreciate my letters. Such writing made for excellent handwritten essays only professors lavished attention upon, and I would sigh and dream of a day when I could enjoy a romantic friendship worthy of all my handwritten sentiments. Who did I kid? My rivers of right-slanted, sharp-emoted writing would not serve anyone good but land me a role only worthy to frighten people away as the demented, obsessed woman who scribbles in some horror movie… almost. In real life that is the impression I give! I ought to change it. Yet. Now it does not matter. I write my letters to myself. Occasionally I type them as I may, as I am now, in celebration, too good to keep secret.

This is the public side of true friendship — the celebration of sharing experience — for is that not what friendship is all about, what starts the love between people, this drawing together of mutual interests, the stringing together of the things we enjoy that ties us to one another and leads us to collaborative co-existence?

“Do not EVER mourn it,” They possess my pen, and I shake with so much passion, it takes every part of me not to burst, “Dance it!”

Words escape, the pen does not drop, only feeling excites, makes me fall into bed, pillowing my every thought, They comfort and do not quit, a swooning peace, of only knowing love. I forget all ills. Mercy replaces anger. Tears all dry. A reverse Lachrymatory appears; a bouquet of white roses soaks up the river at my bedside.

“Friendship won’t be mourned again,” It is I who says this, without question, without another memory of a slight or disappointment to mar it, only closed eyes and a smile to support it.

Why My Love is Constant

If my love is not enough to light your way through the dark, then let me be a conduit for the love of the Gods to shine along your way. I live in love, live for love, and love always.

Every part of me hurts. Hurts out of love. I do not understand why a few people I love reward me with rejection. Yet still I love them the most. I feel that they need it the most. Perhaps more than I do.  The process of loving the people-who-hurt-me-for-loving-them is a hero-ing.  Puts me through fire.  I’m so tense, my swooning and melting hardens into steel, and my bending down to the floor in heavy cries of agony are the banshee songs of pre-mourning.

I cannot hold onto the pain alone and I do not protest. I do not weep in the dark for want of attention, or out of loneliness, nor cry for release of this life, no, not nothing as immature as that. My tears stream out of how unnecessary the rejection is — I have too much love and I find it so valuable, I must share it, give it unfaltering, like a holy mission, forgiving, wanting to pour it over everyone because I do not wish anyone else to feel the pain I do — yet this love I have is not received.  How can it be too much?

Why aren’t you taking it? Why can’t you see the good I’m giving? Why do you turn your back on me when I never will?

When your love is absent, I love ever the stronger, feel it the keener, and hear the voices of the Gods even louder… their light shines into me in my most painful darkness.

Yet I long to give it up to you.  Just so you know what constant love is.  Why it’s worth all pain, all sacrifice, and all the joy that can be come from it.

I may not believe in romance, but I believe in the holiness of friendship.  A life spent in devotion to friends means more than ever a romantic dalliance ever did in my past.  I gave up on the dreams of marriage and motherhood long ago. What I live for is friendship.  I mean it with all my heart.  Like religion.  I want to be a priestess of friendship. 

Postcard #35: Missing

The Weeping Willows do not weep, they only droop… Droop.  Drooper. Drooper-Trooper. Just like the nick name I gave a friend. I miss that friend. I miss him like a limb I had to cut off, not so I could survive, but so that the limb could be happy and free… So I could watch it dance and leap around the world, play hide and go seek, go places and build things, fly like a seed on the wind and never let me know when or if he’d come back again. Not that he ever grew out of me, no, not really. It was more like I grew attached to him.

Like every friend, I seem to say good-bye more than hello to you. Like stripping pieces of clothing off. Tearing off bits of bark. Peeling off paper from the birch. But when I rest against the oaks and seek out the willows, their deep and solid wood speak to me of years of seeing all come and go.

I see faces in the hollows of trees, find company with the wild things, and sing to the hum of life in the green growing life in the woods all around me… It’s the most constant, comforting thing I have to turn to, the most nearest and dearest. But the sky and wind turned against my woods last year. That storm ripped down the oldest and youngest of trees. The first week of July 2011 was one of mourning for me. Even when I was warned not to walk through the woods because of the danger of the falling trees, I had to know how my best friends were doing.

The Weeping Willows were some of the ones hardest hit. Some split straight down the middle. The other fallen trees were one thing, but by the time I came across the willows, my heart gave out. I fell to my knees and cried, cried, cried without shame, with complete shock, causing panic to strangers passing by. I was more of a crazy sight than the storm’s paths of destruction.

But that is me.

I lament.

But there was no reason to. As you can evidently see in the photo above, a year later the willow with the missing limbs is doing just fine. She’s been trimmed with chain saws, her wood has not been discarded, she has healed, and stands as if no storm ever blew through. The shock of that time is over. It is a reminder that even now, while I weep over missing someone, or anything, at this time, say, next year, there will be nothing to be sorry over.

But I am me.

I seem to need to cry over everything.

Better I do it alone right now, and joyfully, if you can imagine, than in a crowd of people who do not understand what it is to be so passionate about everything.

I’m not obsessed. Not actually mournful. Not this moment. I am brimming with the aches of joy and the desire to reach out and share, but all I have is this medium — these words, today — no limbs to touch you, only characters and sentences to use as fingers to reach beyond myself, beyond this oneness, and tell you that even though I am missing someone, I am not dying. The missing makes me live.

Like pain reminding my body I am alive.

Postcard #28: Another Mother’s Day Without Mom

I almost did not write anything today. I almost did not sleep. My heart was sore with the familiar ache I get when I desire something I cannot touch. No matter how much I can hear and sense the beyond, I cannot break the veil, only try for a reach. I stretch out my arms, rise up on toe-tips, groan to make myself as long and as tall as much as I can, but nature still limits me to my shape, my size, my squat, short, smallness…

I have meditated often on this body of mine, seeking to manifest a transformation, yet first the body tells me it wants to stay this way, it is thickly rooted, as heavy as my mother, my grandmothers, all the mothers… They were stout, strong, stubborn creatures, hard workers, elbows and little hands rolling out bread dough, making babies and pastries, baking and pulling, great at caressing as much as they must have been at holding.

My mother was a Venus of Willendorf which seemed a curse to her, and a premonition of what was to become of me. Never seen as holy, always unhealthy, the reason for strings of diets and self-abuse, too much time and energy wasted on the surface, not on substance. Mom and mine’s battles with body image were the same. As I age, I see more of her emerge out of me, and I promise her I will take better care of myself like I wished I could have taken better care of her.

She does not want me to follow her to the grave too soon.

Even though my mother passed some time ago, she still lives in me and all around me. As her daughter, I am a living being saturated with her love, hopes, emotions… maybe still a reservoir for the tears she shed. I still feel guilty for our disagreements, fights long ago forgiven, but… Why am I not looking back and forward with joy now?

I believe I miss having the duty of caring for my sick and dying mother. I got so used to her in that bed. Like an infant she was, curled up, squeaking out her words, her skin baby-soft, hair silk-fine, and her expression frozen-pure, those eyes of hers looking up at me so wide. I enjoyed feeding her and wiping the corners of her mouth. Every month I would take photographs of my nephews, even try to sneak ones of my brother, the excuse was that I was doing so to document their faces for mother, and I’d print the photos and pin them to her cork board. I would decorate her room like I would have a dorm room, fill it with images of everyone she loves, faces smiling and looking back at her, so at any moment of pain she’d be reminded she’s being prayed for, thought of…

I don’t have that duty anymore. Tried to start it up with my father. Attempted to assist my brother with duties he needed to get done. All I got was their anger and contempt. What use am I now to anyone? I then seek a cause. I volunteer. Yet nothing so far is proving to be a right fit for me.

Oh, Mom, what would you recommend?

You would say just go to church, yet you know I don’t have a need for that. You know I’m a Witch. So what is church for a Witch? I can almost hear her laugh. “You know that answer, Tina!” The first image that comes to my mind is my sketchbooks. My little pencil drawings of gods and spirits — the visions I’ve been collecting in secret — a lonely project so far, and one I feel is too special to share on the internet.

Mommy, who has any use for me?

First you need to discover how useful you are to yourself. Help yourself. Put what I’ve taught you into action. You’re not supposed to make a life taking care of everyone else. You are free. The world is before you. Where do I begin? Just take one step forward. Where do I place that first step when I do not know the road to take? You are already on the road. You’re just standing there. All you need do is move.

I remember dreams, plans, wishes, ideas, all the desires I thought possible before I got heart-sick with lonesome, worry, and loss. Before I got stuck here thinking that this is all that’s left for me. Why do I still feel like my life is not meant to be my own alone? I feel like I am meant to partner up, be supportive, lend a hand, or a heart, and yet I resent this feeling. I am best alone, too. My mother always would want me to be married and make a family, but whenever she used to ask me if I had a boyfriend, and I gave her my usual answer, she would say, “you never did want a normal life.”

After someone has died, why is it that sometimes we remember small things they said in passing as being so big? Am I just putting more meaning to it all to create some comfort for myself? Is it possible that I will be going through the grieving phases for the rest of my life?

I still have parts of my mother’s funeral bouquet; myrtle and palm leaves, baby’s breath, dried roses, all hanging about the front window of my home. I re-discovered the photographs of the dying flower arrangement and re-display one of them here. Like a cloudy old painting it seems, and it comes with the memory of its perfume, the arrangement itself was a poem of sympathy that, to this day, when I smell the same combination of flowers it reminds me funerals. I should not hold on to these reminders anymore. Perhaps this is why this second Mother’s Day without Mom is hitting me hard. There is no more need to hang on to the reasons why I put my life on hold. There are no more excuses for me to stay here alone. I can choose whatever I want to do now.

There are no more obligations. Nothing to tie me down. With freedom comes nothing to lose… but I’m reaching out for something to keep. Because that’s what keeps us living, right? A thing to work for and look forward to. A cause. Like a duty, but not a necessary obligation, more like a desire, a following-the-heart that never gets me lost.  Advice today from a friend: it tends to reveal itself…  It better reveal itself soon.

Til then, thank you, Mom!