Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The joy that is....

Taper brings up strange feelings.  So does death.  Death makes me want to consume everything in sight.  Food, men, drink.  I want it all - I am a bottomless pit of despair that must feed.  Feed to choke back the fear of the nothingness out there.  Fear - that fills my veins while I prowl.  Fear that walks with me and calls me darling and tries to tempt me with it's silken illusions.  Fear has made me do unwise things.  Fear also makes me laugh -- because it's when I feel the most alive. 

But sometimes this fear makes me aware too.  And if I can crouch low into my being I can watch this little snipper, perched on the roof of my heart and watch.  I watch my fear and my fear watches me and this sometimes is the best way to smoke the ferreted feelings out so no one gets hurt.  Which is why I think I like solitary activites -- running, writing.  I am alone often with my fear when I do both.   It is very intimate and strangely comforting to be with my fear and let it pace back and forth.   Like my cat, it usually settles down and naps lightly with one eye slighty open, squinting.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Taper Madness: Part Deux (Sleepless in Chicago)

It's odd this year all the way around.

Last year at this time I was both nervous and excited that the marathon was weeks away. I had trained and I was ready in many more ways than I am this year - but I was scared, almost petrified. "Could I do it?" I'd ask myself, over and over. Would I get through it? I was nervous and quaky and experienced a sort of restless titillation. I would lie on the sofa, twitching like an electrical wire - trying to watch TV, trying to sleep - doing neither. And I waited. And I waited. But my stomach never once settled nor did I fully rest till the damn race was done. I had every right to be worried. A marathon is hard, very hard. But it didn't kill me. If anything what I remember most about last year was being surprised when it was over. Like, "this is it?!" I experienced more of a letdown than I anticipated. It was as if I had gotten accustom to feeling hyper-excited and when that feeling finally faded, I was bereft.

This year? I wouldn't call it dread but it's something more akin to mad resolution. Like a bad western, gritty, painful - more chancy. One - I'm unconditioned. The calf muscle pull early in the season really blew my training schedule. I was angry I was injured and that anger somehow changed how I felt about running. I was angry I couldn't run and then angry that I had created such a public expectation level by recruiting a team. Suddenly it wasn't about running a race but this team that I had helped create. And then there was Louthor to contend with. Louthor, my Best Buddy/Team Spokesperson - could not stop calling me. Again, and again, and again - till I dread now hearing my cell phone. It's not fun to be stalked by your Best Buddy. For one thing, there is a perceivable sort of male sexuality in Louthor. He's intellectually/developmentally disabled but he's still male. I didn’t really get this till I took him to see the running group and had a few of our other Dragon Runners show up so he could meet them: and he couldn’t stop ogling the female runners. It wasn’t gross so much as awkward because I realized that Louthor was horny. “Ewwww, Louthor --- hey? Really?” It just didn’t compute. But I was pretty dazed to see it and comprehend that fact. I feel no threat it just makes me shake my head. “Oh, God.”

I did not sign up to contend with that but why would I doubt it existed. “Duh.” Good times these….

However, Lothor’s incessant calling was the kicker. In a summer when I’ve been tethered to more responsibilities, work, and worry – these calls have pushed me to the brink. I can’t wait to get this fucking marathon over with it and I hope I can run screaming into the night and change my freaking cell phone STAT because Louthor has been a fucking handful (and I don’t have the patient love of Jesus). I need a flipping break from this fucker or I’m going to pop him. That’s what I mean when I say – BRINK. I laugh to myself because in my head I call this game, “Pop the Gimp.” Which is why I don’t deserve to do charity work and am going to hell. But yes, I have thought these ghastly things and said them to myself and then laughed like a mad woman. Because at one time I thought that this was the right thing to do. I thought it was cool. I was going to run this fucking marathon and do it for charity and be so fucking noble. But volunteering is a hell of a lot harder than training for a marathon. Doing this kind of charity, requires a good heart. Any evil son of a bitch can run for god’s sake. Any idiot can sign up to run for charity too. But to mean it – really commit to it. That’s work on a soul level. And I’m not hitting my mark. I’m a bad seed trying to pretend I’m good. That’s why this race is so hard. I stopped wanting to do it a few months back, frankly.  When people started dying unexpectedly in July, I sort of lost heart.  July was like a fog of grief, peppered with countless calls from my Best Buddy.  "Breisa - when are you coming over?" 

Anyway, Louthor is the worst mirror for me (or the best) because he’s so blatantly needy and manipulative. He's sort of like a chubby little Chihuahua that wants to hump your leg and then without missing a beat wants you take him out to dinner, buy him a corduroy suit and plan his birthday party. Worse, he’s just possessive and demanding and above all LONELY. And the guilt he evokes in spite of all that repels is just tremendous. What a fucking riot this summer has been trying to find time for Louthor in the midst of everything else: 2 jobs, physical therapy, three deaths, two memorial services --- dealing with this wrecked home life/trying to keep the marriage together – and failing miserably, fund raising ----and always trying to pretend that everything is okay when nothing has been okay forever. Nothing has been okay since I moved into this building two years ago and my life fell apart. Two years ago when I realized I had made a mistake. A mistake I’ve been running from the whole time. Hhhmmmm, here we go witches – metaphor/reality. It always plays out this way. The race is like the end of my marriage. Or it has been. This year Don’s barely concealed contempt is withering. He hates this and he hates me. We both know that the end is near. He looks at me as if he wants to see me fail. Or worse, he shows me openly he couldn’t care, even if he tried.
Last year was different; I was excited. This year – it’s like going to war and hoping you'll drop silently with the first bullet.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Back Up!

The moon will be out soon, kids.  Where shall your thoughts be this eve?  Me?  I am wandering about in the old mill house of reverie where I spin little stories and think my oft wicked thoughts.   Also my inspired ideals too but today I am besotted with gratitude and a peckish sort of mischief that surely must be because of this full moon a'coming.  Typing away and not quite sure what I'd like share except the calm of a Sunday night after a nice meal and a blessed sense that the weekend was actually just what I wanted.  Wicked thoughts and all. 

Yes, today was the first long run of the season and it is fine, fine, super fine - to be sitting at home on Sunday night - completely the fuck wiped out from running and about ready to go to bed.  Yes, Virginia, I'll wait till 7p before tottering off to the bedroom, more than likely... but the cats are fed and so am I and I am going to sleep to the sound of cicadas whirling in the early fall cool and sleep like a goddess that's been pleasured all day/night for the millennium.  O'she is content.  And blissed to feel the fatigue - the full out exhaustion of working yourself to your limit.  Oh, to run!  Free free of everything and everyone and only the lake and the sound of foot fall in front, behind.  The glare of the sun as we round the path off Oak Street.  The heat on the cement.  The taste of the water.  I could weep for these mornings.  And it is good after such a long recovery to be back up and to feel strong again.  Oh, thank you.  Thank you - merciful heavens.  It is so hopelessly sweet.  So complete.  Back up and working for it again in the city of my dreams: Chicago.  Chicago, Chicago - you beautiful town.  Is there anything more lovely than to know your streets, your lakeside, your old brick-hewn alleys, your porches.  I could have wept to see the mist this morning on the harbor. Back up.  Geese flying overhead.  The sound of fall approaching even in this heat that sprung up today.  Back up.  And moving forward. 

I hope I have some luscious dreams tonight.   I will moon bathe and concoct a few spells even whilst I slumber.  I promise.  I am running again and the horizon is open and clear.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

here comes the sun!

well, a curse on me for sitting inside when the sun is finally out but blessed sweet relief and glory the man is out of the house fishing and the house is mine, mine, mine, mine, mine and I love it here when its quiet.  I mean I FUCKING LOVE it.  Dear Jesus Christ Allah and Buddha on a stick, I'm so glad sometimes for quiet.  And space.

 And if my home is a holy wreck and slightly untidy (very undecorated)  --  it is at least beautiful for itself, it's structure.   Form/function in this home is truly inspired.  It really is a gem.  But for some much needed updating.  How to describe?  Except this - I call it the secret annex and it really is almost like a tree top with lots of turns and corners.  My side of the building faces a large courtyard building so I'm on the "city side" of the building - and can peer down the galley way between the two structures and hear the heart of each home pulsating from porch doors.  Kitchen cabinets slammed,  a baby crying, footsteps of tired people coming upstairs from work, the clatter of someone running for the metra station, the sound of the train pulling in at Lunt.  Lunt!  Snort.  [asides...oh, the first blue joke I heard in Chicago, "there are three streets that all rhyme with...." ]

All the little noises that people make.  Even then, there must have been a blare of radios instead of TVs. Whatever the case, this side of the building is definitely more European.  Built in a time when you had little nucleus of community that was in your business by proximity.  On this side of the building there is more intimacy with others.  All the kitchens/back half of the homes face in together.  There is a delicate balance between walls.  Not as close and stupid as the ugly little homes of Jeff Park, but definitely in an arena when you know how your neighbors sound.

And because my side faces East, the morning glory of daylight makes this apartment glow.  It's a precious slip of time before the sun goes overhead but as it crests the building next door -- lord help me, it is so lovely I could cry.  The gold of the morning in the dining room is something beyond a cloud.   And all down the hall - north or south, seas of green from the trees.  This annex, this little haven in the city is far grander than my humble belongings can ever glorify.  My home is a deco masterpiece and I am grateful, always, for a tiny parcel of morning when there is no other sound save my clicking on the keyboard.  The quiet hum of my thoughts and surroundings.   Oh, the sounds you can hear in the city when most everyone else is still slumbering.  These mornings are more delicious than sex.  Not quite but just as tasty.  The sounds that come gently wafting are so delicious when everyone else next door is silent but for the hum of a fan, an air conditioner, the morning doves that perch on the gutters next door and coo sweetly. 

Dear fucking god in heaven and all the saints above: thank you, thank you, thank you - for a ray of sunlight after so many damn days of clouds.  Thank you, Ganesha, o'remover of obstacles, for delivering a fishing partner unto Big D.   And bless all sentient beings to know this peace within.  So yes, I should be out, but I'll make another cup of coffee and enjoy this tender little bliss all to myself. 

The cardinals are up and singing and I am so blessed.  A farmers market may be on the horizon.  Some fresh herbs, some new potatoes.  A big tomato.  A love story.  I will deliver these soon, I swear.

Madam S

Friday, 17 June 2011

The Fullness of Summer: what lies ahead...........

I took a long sabbatical.  It lasted through the winter and most of the spring and here on the cusp of summer -- I'm ready to plunge in again and start peeling back the layers. I don't know why I had to take such a long break but the winter of 2011 was a fierce one.  Like Persphone I was definitely underground.   The funny thing is that I didn't recall just how brutal it was till I downloaded some pictures off my camera and came across a few from our last tremendous blizzard in February -- the day after the debacle on Lake Shore Drive when 300 cars got stuck and the wind was blowing at 80 mph.

This is the view from my backporch -- around noon the next day --- when miraculously the sun came out and the world started to shovel. 

What lies buried from the melt, shall be revealed. 

It's too bad that I didn't take a picture of all the vats of soup I kept on my back porch during the winter.  The miniture frig we inherited at the Enchanted Annex is built for two 90 pound French anorexic sisters, don't ya know?  Even if I wasn't writing, I was a cooking fool.  What's been simmering these many months?  Let's find out.............

Friday, 15 October 2010

Acts of God Part II - or not

God did not help intervine. 
Part II takes a raincheck.


The truth is I really suck at making granola bars.  I've have made some 'interesting' batches true.  But not a damn one so far has been called tasty, delicious or even good. 

I have however discovered in the process and dedication to my quest: how to bake a really dense brick that's raw in the middle and burnt on the edges and consequently waste about $10 worth+ of butter, brown sugar, agave syrup, honey, nuts, dried fruit and various grains/oats in a batch.  rrrrrrrrrr.

So we wait for God with our hearts full - knowing brazen acts of defiance and courage are NOT always rewarded in the kitchen and the prudent and the wise stop pretending that they can create a recipe from scratch and maybe stick to writing the story at hand, perhaps with food or cooking involved......but certainly not with a self-published granola bar recipe.  Buy a box and spare yourself.  Oy. 

This failure is only topped by the EXTRAODRINARY 2009 New Year's Eve "I'm going to teach myself to make pierogies flop" that still makes me weep with laughter.  I have never worn so much flour in my life.......................

Monday, 27 September 2010

We're On a Road to Nowhere....

I had this song in my head all day long and I can't quit humming it! Worse things in life than David Byrne so I'll live with it.  I do like the song so no big. But still isn't it funny how some tunes just mysteriously appear? I hadn't heard this song for quite a long while and today it seems I just woke up with it.  Like I had a mental tryst with this ditty overnight and now it sheepishly goes off on it's merry way but not without leaving me with its melody. 

Or maybe I did hear some sort of muzak version and didn't realize it... but I don't think so. I choose to believe that this song came for a reason: mostly that I feel in stasis before this race.  13 days out from the Chicago Marathon and I'm both scared witless and terribly excited.

And I've come to learn that I really don't know the difference between the two.

I also am in that mysterious place known as "TAPER."  I have been told that taper madness strikes during this slowdown phase.  And I think it is so.  I have very little appetite suddenly and after two days of solid rest (an unthinkable 8-9 hours+ each night) I'm wired.  Of course, the added coffee and tea ingested probably helped.  But with that much sleep in my system and no run today, I have reserves.  I am not at all comfortable with this bounty, mind you.  In fact I think I'm headed for trouble because the very thing I don't want to do is think about this next chapter. ANY OF IT. Actually I'm really pissed off to have this hole, this void suddenly to contend with.   I'm bored.  I'm upset. What to do when I so successfully ran from the things that were chasing me all year???? Seriously, I think I've been pushing myself so hard that to stop seems foreign, wrong.  Out of sync.  Because to stop I'm going to have to think about where I'm going. And I still don't really know. 

Am I happy with my lot?  Am I prepared to stand up and tell the truth finally.  To say my marriage is withering into something I'm not really prepared for. That I'm scared to move on but more petrified to stay?  That I miss having a dream. Am I at peace with the fact that my grandmothers are waning as this winter approaches? Who the fuck will I be if my grandmothers aren't here anymore? How can they go on suffering if they stay???  Am I prepared to fight the good fight in this marathon and champion self and will and light and yes even Love's existence itself --- in this mad dash of middle age vigor and vim. To prove what?  That I'm not dead, I only feel that way sometimes.  That I didn't have a baby (greatest sin) and I'm a failure except for this. (If this is really going to be a redemption story.) That I desperately am afraid to stop. BECAUSE TO STOP means feeling.  Just stop. Stop. Stop running, stop pretending, stop lying, stop trying, stop everything but sitting with this monstrous reality of myself and just be.

Yes, Virginia, these thoughts sucks ass.  No two ways about it.   

But I suppose this quest is worthy of some pondering.  Some soul searching.  And yes even a tear or two.

So I sit here with my cat on my lap purring, realizing that this moment -- like all others before it will pass.  And maybe the best thing to do is get acquainted with all the nasty little bits of me that I've been running from so I can finish this race with the best parts of me intact and the rest integrated. 

So yes my shadows can come along too because by hell or high water, we're all going to cross that finish line one day.  Why not for this race?  Get a'packing troups:  we're on a road to nowhere............

About Me

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Chicago, Illinois, United States
A post modern crone, living in an urban fairy tale set in Rogers Park. Two parts story telling -- one part practical kitchen/spell magick.