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.

In Case You Forgot

If ever any friend of mine has ever felt I talked over them, ignored them, told too many stories that weren’t true about them, grabbed at them too much for their attention, made them feel second best, or that I shoved them aside because I had something else going on that was more “me-centered” and it hurt their feelings, please know that it was never my intention to make you feel disregarded, or disrespected.

I’m too excited when you’re near me, I don’t know when next you’ll go, so I’m anxious to tell you everything I’m thinking because I so easily forget it, sometimes way before you leave.  I can’t let you leave before I get the chance to share with you all the wonderful things I’ve been saving up while you were gone.

I forget that you are just as excited to share as well.  I don’t know how to listen to you.  My thoughts are racing.  I’m sorry.

I’m alone too much.  I know no other life.  The world all around me is too wonderful and too much.  Everything spins me around.  I’m turned on all the time.  Even my own voice is on volume 10.  I can look at your face and not hear a word you’re saying because I’m distracted by the scent of your skin, the bands of light in your eyes, and, look over there!  A squirrel just darted up the tree behind you, but I can’t say anything about it because the scent of peonies is riding the wind, and when I blink I can’t understand anything for that moment you were talking.

I don’t dare ask you to repeat what you said.  It’s embarrassing to admit I blanked you out. You’re going to hate me for doing that.  You don’t deserve to be blanked out.

I can’t tell just any tale about you.  When I talk about you, I will make you fantastic.  I will worship you a hero.  I will breathe into you the poison of a monster if I’m angry with you.  You’ll always be poetry to me.  I won’t name you.  You’ll always have many different names.  I’ll dress you up in costumes.  I do this to avoid reality.  I suppose it’s unhealthy at times, yet it’s too fun to quit.  Try to guess who you are.  You’re all my friends.

You are fantastic.  Let me like you.  I know who you really are off the page.  But let me dress you up some more.  Because I don’t get to play as often  anymore.

I don’t know how to get your attention.  I don’t know how other people do it.  I always think I need a gimmick.  I have to perform.  That’s what I do whenever I’m in public.  Me alone is not enough.  And I can’t let the space between us be silent.  If you’re too quiet, I panic.  I don’t have your attention.  You’re not responding.  I have always had to fight for attention.  I go over looked if I’m not dramatic.  I gotta stand out and shine.  I must entertain you.

I don’t know how to show or return affection.  I really don’t!  I have never understood it.  Giving hugs and shaking hands is uncomfortable.  I never know when someone is sincere when they are touching me.  People touch each other for all kinds of insincere reasons, but when I touch, I am for real, and I pick up all sorts of unsavory feelings from strangers.  No one gets that.  They don’t operate like I do.  Do you know me?  Or do I have to touch you in some special way, and if I do, will I find out if you really like me, or not?

When I reach out, it’s an awkward dance — was that a real hug of comfort or when you were saying hello, you were really telling me good-bye, right?  Like when some people say ‘Let’s do lunch sometime!’ and ‘We ought to meet up…’ and not really mean it, yet I always take it literally and believe it, especially the ones I really want to like me.

I’m alone.  It’s the only way I know to be.  Only way I’m confident to be.  But even I can reject myself…  I should not do that.  We all only have ourselves in the end.  No one else gonna take care of you, who else will love you most?

Do you know I always have to give myself something to look forward to in order to keep going?  I’m so busy pushing myself and patting my own back that I forget to see you giving me support.  I get caught up in my sorrows, hurts, and past complaints, I can get lost within my own shadow.

And I am always somewhere supporting my wounds,  not doing enough to support my healers.

Healers need healing the most.  Because they do the most work.

I take a lot out of my healers.

I’m difficult without wanting to be.  I wish I wasn’t.

I don’t know how to listen.  I can’t listen to you.  I’m in a cloud.

Every night I torture myself with thoughts of what I could have said, or should have done, and talk to myself like I would talk to you if I could talk to you one more time before I sleep, as if you are there in the room with me, so I can make things right with you. And every night I cry because I pray so hard that somehow my wishful words could reach you and bring my love to you so that you never again feel like I don’t like you.

Don’t get caught in your own shadow.  Remember, somehow, remember, despite what you think you swear you may know about me, I’m in my dark corner of the night unable to sleep, saying out loud my “if only you were here’s” and “what I would do different’s” but knowing that when you break away…

When you say it’s “for now”, it really means “forever”, and I lose track of everything with you not in it.  So continue to be in my everything, because you mean so very much.

Without you I would not have been able to crawl out of the pain hole I fell into when my baby boy died, when my mother died, when my aunt died, when my roommate died, when my boyfriend died, when so many others died, and, when I died you revived me, took me to the hospital, held my hand until I woke.  Thank you for being there when no one could be and refused to be.  You were there when my heart got broke a hundred times.  You stayed up with me all night to talk about all the boys who used me.  You were the God who carried me home.  You were the Goddess who tucked me into bed.  Yours were the lips that kissed me on my forehead and bade me many wishes well.

Thank you, a million times, thank you.

Don’t forget!

— For Mindy

The Love the Mirror Predicted, or Sometimes True Love isn’t a Lover, it’s What We Love Doing

Sometimes the spells we cast, break, especially the ones we cast upon ourselves, and perhaps righteously so because what we want to happen isn’t meant to be.  Or so I thought.  As an experiment, the very last love divination spell I cast was on Samhain 2012, it required the use of a mirror, and behind me a blurry image of my true love was to appear. The image I thought I saw was that of a creepy comedy mask, like that of a Venetian carnival mask or the Greek comedy mask associated with the muse Thalia.  I interpreted this as a sign of something funny, or representing an actor in a costume, or just a spirit making fun of me.  The simplest answer to my quest for love was: someone’s smiling at me, I’m making them laugh, or happiness comes my way!

I considered the spell a success, but then on February 14th, Valentine’s Day 2013, the mirror BROKE.  It didn’t shatter, however, it just broke within the frame into the shape of a crow’s foot, the rune Algiz, also known as the “z-rune”, that popularly means, when pointed downward, an omen of warning. I didn’t pay attention to it as a bad omen, until my cat took ill in the summer and died August 30th. I was blocked from writing and feeling anything for a long while after that.

What I did not mention were all the feelings I held back the entire year, and what was really going on in my life, I could only let some poetry out of me. What I did write last year I censored a great deal, and I was very self-conscious about sounding too sad. I felt shame over being shunned by two friends who exited my life just before I cast the mirror spell. I think one of those people thought perhaps I cast it because I wanted to see him, but my infatuation over him was long gone. He misunderstood that when I reconnected with him in 2011, I was attempting to let go of the past and be a better friend no longer bound by pesky crushes, but I tried too hard to impress that upon him. Desperate to make a friendly connection with him, one like I felt we didn’t get to have before, my behavior came off as the desperate kind that came off as me wanting a romantic relationship. My other friend, and several others concerned, all felt I had lost my mind, I was accused of not being able to let him go. It was all very poisonous. No matter what I did to defend myself, it just further sabotaged myself, and the more frustrated I was, the more of a mess it made me look. I was even told by one friend that she would stop talking to me if I were to mention the subject to her again. I stopped talking about it entirely and kept my tears to myself. I bet even now bringing it up I’ll be accused of changing the story to further my ends whatever they are because, you know, I’m such a manipulative cow, right?

What was unhealthy was I was ashamed of my own words, of expressing myself the way I do, of how I talk, which is who I am, what I am about. Despite being told, in a sense, to shut-up and not speak my truth, I’m breaking out. In reality, does anyone really care what I say? If you don’t like me, you don’t have to read me.

But I beat myself up. I am a kind creature, I want to get along with people, and I love my friends, and what they say to me matters, their words go to bed with me.  At night it’s what they say that repeats over and over in my mind, and I give that power over me.  The disgust I felt coming from them for me, had me believing I was the ugliest woman alive.  I did not shower for over a year, and it wasn’t until the very next Samhain that I made the most wonderful new friends…  yes, despite even the power of my shame working a poison throughout my body.

A month after my cat’s death I was contemplating suicide, but not in the physical sense, more in the giving up completely sense, yet still praying for something to happen to give me more to look forward to, and I created goals, nothing stuck, and I kept quitting things. I’ve always said that the worst thing manic depression does to you is it robs you of your self-preservation, you lose care, and even when you have support, you do not have the ability to know it’s there, you sink and drown, especially when weighted down by loss — I just can’t see past it at times, so I hermit myself away to get rid of that. The only thing keeping me alive was hugging the blanket my cat last slept in and staring at pictures of my friends. When I got invited to a haunted house, I almost turned it down…

“No, I don’t think I can do it,” I said, “I just want to be alone.” But did I really? I all but forgot about the mirror spell, too comfortable in misery, not even recognizing the cool, new friends I just made who were not quitting on me.

It all started in a hospital elevator. My new friend Lisa was coming in from physical therapy and I just got done with a routine annual eye exam. When we hopped in, the elevator got stuck for a few seconds and kept flashing the floor number “6” to look like “666” and we laughed.

“Looks like the elevator’s haunted!”

Lisa then winked at me and remarked rather quickly, “Yeah, well, I just bought a haunted house.”

“Really?” I did not take her seriously until I looked into her eyes. “Really.” It sank in. True. The elevator started to run again as we got to talking and thereafter we were new best friends, especially after I told her I was a spirit medium, oracle, psychic, um, Witch… Yes, I’m all kinds of useful in a haunted house.

Flash forward to the weekend of Samhain and I’m in Lisa and her sister Chris’ lovely haunted house, one of the most haunted historic places in Wisconsin, known as The Cottage Cafe, also known as the Old Sherman House, it’s got a long documented history of paranormal activity, but more interesting, is its natural history of all the lives who have come and gone from there. Located at a crossroads, it is yet another place I find like home for me.

Some people desire a paranormal experience. They want ghosts to come out of the walls and touch them, to hear voices and disembodied footsteps, or even witness a possession, or get possessed themselves as some kind of thrill ride, like going to a haunted Disney Land. Most people want to check out a haunted place cautiously, experience the activity from a safe distance, yet also make contact and see if life after death is real. All people want proof, or some assurance, and often they come bounding into the house with many, many questions. The more people you get coming through a haunted place, the more excited energy builds up, and something’s bound to happen. Things sure did.

Never before have I ever experienced more spirit activity in one place so close to home. Not once was I afraid. I was making many spirit friends! Too many stories to share with you. I can say that I fell in love with a house.  I do that.  I fall in love with houses.  With places.  Especially old places filled with memories and echoes.  I was in love with the spirits. I wanted to take care of them and make sure the people coming and going respected them. I began to understand what was going on there, but the funniest thing was…

Next to me in the hallway, while I was giving customers readings, a big smiley face balloon ghost silently watched the gathering during the Halloween festivities and late night paranormal investigations. It was the happy symbol of True Love I asked for!

Sometimes it’s not a person, but what we love to do that is a true love.

It took me a long while to write about this subject because it was too close to my heart. I didn’t know how to form it into one story. As usual, I’m long-winded and don’t even know how to end this post, but I can report now that I’m happy “talking to dead people” and also happily debunking things, too. I want to travel to other haunted places, but this one no longer has such an angry energy to it, the spirits are happy, there’s no breaking of plates or windows. We get along. Why not? The bakery is delicious.

And, did I mention I’m taking showers again?  You can smell me.  I’m clean and perfumed.  I’m obsessed with perfume!  I allow you to send me all kinds of pretty-smelling things because a Spring is happening inside me.

My Fight to Save My Cat

Fighting to save my cat has been like fighting to save my own life. As I struggle to improve my health, he has gotten sick, and I don’t know why he is sick or how he got sick. It could be something small, easy to solve, or it could be an illness that is more complicated, requiring expensive surgery, something that could take his life. So far, in the six years we’ve been together, every little thing I’ve done to save his life has worked. When I rescued him, he rescued me. If I lose him, I will lose everything. I will be gone. He’s my last connection to life. He is my life. He is my baby.  He’s all I have.  I have no children.  I have no boyfriend.  I have no steady circle of friends who gather at my doorstep.  I only have him.  And he keeps me going.  He saves my life everyday.

I have been very depressed for many months now.  Mr. Snuggles has kept my spirits up a great deal — a very big job for a cat to do!  I have digestion problems galore related to the depression.  I withdraw from people while I concentrate on getting better, all the while he is at my side, and we drink the same water, share the same bed, play every morning, cuddle every night.  Yet could how I feel be killing him?

How can I save my cat?  What is wrong with him? I’ve already taken my cat to a vet and have followed her advice.  My cat has not been able to poop in many days. It started early in July when I noticed he stopped eating. It’s not like him. Mr. Snuggles loves food as much as he loves water. He likes to eat and drink whenever he sees me eat and drink, so we share our meals together. I don’t give him any of my own food, he has his own, he just follows me, always my shadow, always next to me. So whenever his behavior changes, it’s very obvious, and he “tells” me whenever he’s not feeling well. I knew right away his body wasn’t working right. He vocally alerts me whenever it comes to problems with his litter box routine. Even though this time he still pees regularly, and he’s not in pain, straining to poo is uncomfortable, usually a sign he ate something he can’t pass like my hair or pieces of fabric like string. This time nothing showed up, nothing came out, all a mystery.

Too many days passed, and after a week, we made a visit to the vet for a solution. I didn’t tell anyone how upset I was for fear I would jinx things. I seriously feared for Mr. Snuggles’ life. As we killed time in the waiting room, the people ahead of us had to make the decision to put down their six-month-old puppy because they could not afford the surgery required to save its life. I was too freaked out to go into the room they were in. I waited until another room was free to ease my panic. The next folks to come in were a cute Korean couple with a kitten who could be Mr. Snuggles’ mini-me. Adult black cat and black kitten shared the same golden-green eyes, and Mr. Snuggles cheerfully mewed at the kitten in such a way that had us all laughing. It made me forget about the puppy and gave me hope. ‘Maybe Snuggles needs a little brother or sister,’ I thought as his name was called by the assistant and we made our way to see who would be Mr. Snuggles’ doctor.

As usual, Mr. Snuggles takes the vet appointment in stride, plopping down and making himself home anywhere. He doesn’t even mind it when he’s examined (but if I do it, he squirms and fights me). The vet’s diagnosis was that he was simply constipated, so I felt that the visit was a relief, yet even though I spent a lot a money for it, I’d pay anything to keep my baby happy and healthy. So we took her advice, within two days he did his duty. Not to be too graphic, but his poop was large and full of hair.  His last bowel movement was a normal soft brown.  But ever since the bad constipation, he’s become anorexic.

I wondered if perhaps he’s afraid of becoming constipated again. He’s active and happy, drinks plenty of water but will not drink or eat on his own, he needs me to encourage him. He became accustomed to me syringing him water and force feeding him. Weening him from this became a pain in the ass. For a little while he started to eat on his own. I walked away and ignored him to get him to eat on his own. It worked. However, I’ve had to water down wet food to get him to eat. He likes to eat soupy food now. Hard food is a thing of the past. It’s of no mind. The wet food is better for his digestion anyway. But he stopped eating altogether again when he stopped pooping once more.

To get him to poop again, I re-started a laxative the vet prescribed that worked before, but after a week and a half, nothing is working. Mr. Snuggles’ backside is greasy and wet.  What is going on?  I’ve examined his anus, there’s no irritation there or anything coming out of it.  I called the vet and tried the laxative as a lubricant (it’s made of cod liver oil and used both orally and analy). Kitty hated me using a Q-tip to get in there.  I also used belly massage techniques given to me to help ease his bowels.  I don’t know what else to do but go back to the vet, yet I have no more money to keep going back and forth.  What do I do?  Am I going to lose Mr. Snuggles?

This morning he woke me up, all bright-eyed and extra-loving, and curled up close to my face and neck as if nothing is wrong, as if to tell me everything is going to be okay. He pushes his nose into my cheek and purrs so loud it seems to shake the entire bed. I put my hand over his belly. I feel him shiver a little. I worry that he feels cold, but then I realize I feel cold. It’s supposed to be the tail end of July, one of the hottest weeks of the year, yet it’s 50 degrees out and we live in the shade. It feels like autumn has closed in early. Are we alive here in bed together? Yes. More alive than ever.

We’re more alive together because all we have to live for is each other for as long as we’ve got and for the most of it, the best.  And because he is worth it.

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. 

Great Adventure in My Language, Illustrated, Defined by Color


It was his finger that started it…
pointed at the center of the shatter, into shards, like ice, like swords and daggers, his one eye set on the darkness before him, ready to press on into the night.


Best steps forward crunch into the dead leaves of virgin woods, leave behind the dusty gravel places peopled with strangers and go for the ever stranger abandoned, forgotten homes peopled by spirits, guarded by owl and trees.

But never go without sweetness, savor the emergency chocolates, the cinnamon browns, ice the fire in the heart with honey and sugar, sing like the padosan eager to serenade his lover but even without the voice for it, let the very noise of your feet wake up crows and sparrows, let the squirrels sing of your comings and goings, in the land where you are the only thing unique.

No road ends, the edge only leads to another means of daring…

Spell no fall, cling to your surface, face the sky and climb like flying.
You can reach further without trying hard, it is already dreamt, so it can be done, hold this in your hand, grip with your whole body, and if such slip shall slide away the soul, may the waves receive the creature kindly, and float, do not sink, catch yourself on a wave, carry on by surf nymph home to start again.

No matter where the stop, the road is always there, and if it isn’t, you can make one where ever you want to go…
Not all roads are black, not all roads gray, not all brown, they come up to greet you in shades of purple, blues, lavender, cream, even moss-green-yellow with hints of Queen Anne’s lace all along the sides like sleeves.

Black-tops hold heat far longer it seems than any substance, like cooling lava stinging through the shoes, steaming up into the sinuses, the stench of rubber from tires threatening to bring on migraines. How then can anyone stand to be in a car?

I don’t believe that adventures only belong to heroes anymore.
It all has changed, parts gone missing, with that one touch, last look, a shattering, breaking through, break down, melt down, poured into shape, into a dark thing that needs sharpening.

Are you listening to these echoes, echoes tracing my passing from out of the cave, echoes in the language of poetry and color — only true way I am comfortable to speak — flashes of light, echoes, words, letters in shapes I’m losing sight of, appearing as sigils as my consciousness drifts in the middle of my describing — losing myself — in the dream of adventure, that old obsession.

Let the colors talk. I’ve lost the ability to write and speak. For a few simple moments more.


There is something else I can say:
I can describe the Great Adventure as a taste and the colors of that taste I can put into a bowl and smell, feel them, let them slip in between my fingers and even hand them to you to carry because the very idea has a substance to it, it all exists, can be represented as tangible, in familiar things laying around the house.  I could get them right now, but is it not more interesting to imagine, just spell them out in these colors and poems and let guess what they are?

That’s was the adventurer’s breakfast.
Below is the atmosphere — the very breath that surrounds him, the mountains, the rivers, the ground — she’s a woman, you see, far beyond him in experience and know-how, as old as she is young, she smells like sage and rosemary, coyotes follow her everywhere, in fact they announce her coming, but you’ll never hear her approach, and she leaves before you guess her gone.

She is like fog, a mist, beads of rain, dew-soaked blanket, the sensation of stones under bare feet, the rush of cold entering your lungs as you take that first yawn…

Can you divorce yourself from the legends?
The epic that is sometimes Great Adventure is too much to live up to, impossible to strive for, mere mortals need Gods to intervene. Sometimes the fairy tale inspires, sometimes it is the creator of fools, luring geeks to a mediocre fate. Please, don’t put on the plastic knight’s cape.

Answer the urge to rise above the ordinary, follow the points upward — a horse standing on hind legs, hooves in the air — a sword slashes sky — a strong finger shatters the glass and breaks the eye — every direction is the direction and it does not matter where the end, only that the song begins again, again, again!



I still dream of heroes, of men and women gifted by the Gods, but a darkness within is sore and tired, asking for proof, tortured in disbelief and angry at all the dreams never come true, yet still asking, still wanting, hoping someone will turn it all around, make me believe in good men again, or that I can be super, too.
This is what every fan wants, every dreamer seeks, every girl I was wished for, every woman like me — illustrator of heroes, ever-seeking-ever-compelled by the pageantry of superpower glory and magic, all the magic glittering and bold — what I forever chase after, look into eyes and even if I don’t see, I’ll create it, it’s what I do, I’m a dreamer who also makes dreams.
Try to deny it, cannot fake it, it’s an addiction.
These are the colors we paint our make believe heroes with, the colors that make their adventures glow with as if they live in strip club underworlds, where everything stands out at attention, artificial yet accepted as part of the show, believed in order to make the characters seem noir, look real. The Great Adventure here is high-voltage acid surreal beyond fairy and into the alien where everything natural has eroded, where everything normal now is the dream, and my sentences, words, colors are coming out so delusional enough to make you think I need a hospital.

Adventure, I love you, but you make me afraid.
You steal away people, you can steal away me.
Like the time you took me underneath the water.
Did you think I would ever forget that?
I’ve never forgotten. Never will.
That was the day we parted.
The day I turned my back on you.
Before then I thought you my lover.
I never knew the fear of that pull.
Adventure, you still won’t let go of me.
Even after I survived the drowning and grew up.
I still hear you calling but I won’t answer you.
Not when you shout for me to come out to the deep end.
No, I’m not falling for that anymore.
No matter how many of my friends convince me it’s safe.
There are too many dark and unknown undersealings below.
What next will pull me under when I’m lost and unknowing?
And, hey, what about that time I thought I finally got over it and then started to swim out into the deeper places? What was up with that humongous sturgeon the same size as my own body?! That thing bumping into me like a living rock, eyes more curious about me than I was afraid, swimming away from me, then coming back at me, next time smoothing up to me, all friendly-like, but enough then for me to notice it was bigger than me, and too late I find I cannot swim faster than I can run and too slow and clumsy I try to reach shore, everyone laughing at me, the sturgeon even teasing me going underneath me, along side me, my choppy swimming making myself all the more interesting to explore…
Okay, I get it now. I became adventure to the sturgeon that day, right? Sometimes it works out like that.
I cannot stop talking about what I fear.
Just like I cannot stop talking about adventures.
They are the best stories.

Not all of the best adventures happen outdoors.


From his chair he can define his universe, create it, destroy it, build it all up again, play the God, make the heroes, be the heroes, find the quests, set new challenges, erase and save, pause, come back, do all the things in real life I sure as Hell can’t, become enthralled just as much as old ladies with little dolls do, yes. That is how I see the action figures that go along with games and their gamers — the merchandise that accompanies almighty Great Indoor Adventure — collect the whole set, win your prizes, all like being a kid, or staying a kid grown up and with money. This is adventure as indulgence, as escape, as time-out and zone-out.

His eyes remain on target, fingers and thumbs in a blur, oblivious to everything outside, and one wonders where wonder really is inside that box, or if I’m missing something I should discover… I watch him play, observe the ways every gamer takes each hit and loss and carry on, how they interact with each other as a different cultural unit with a language all their own, a realm I don’t understand.
Each world has its rules, its adventurers, its places to explore, continents to map, people to meet, everyday new discoveries, perhaps he or she or you will never understand my way of knowing, tasting, seeing, feeling and appreciating great adventure, but it is my way I carve out my own path and it does not make me crazy. Yet the drive of it makes me feel that way.
I see what others do, where others go, the distant fires burn straight back into my heart and it hurts to be home when all I want to be is with those in action. I dream the dream.
I keep the home fires burning…
well, candle fires burning, but fires nonetheless, and they smell like spiced vanilla, honeyed and iced, making me want tea right now, red lavender tea with a spot of mint and a drop of soy milk.

Great Adventure, he can wait, he’s out there with his finger making a smash where ever he comes and went, he’s in the news, out there in space, flying like a bird, making a mess, rescuing people from hurricane Issac and evacuating animals, too. Oh, he’s all over the place, at the start of the trouble and will be there at the end of it as well. He’s up to all the things — riding past me on the road, waving hello and good-bye in one stretch — up to all the things I can’t do while I’m walking on the sidewalk mumbling to myself, thinking about how I’m going to illustrate what he is in my language, my own form of poetry, and define him in colors, because that’s what I do, and it’s all that I can, and somehow it fits my dreams.