Monday, May 31, 2010

raw - draft

----------in my experience, drafts never get finished ... so, instead of trying to finish this, I am jut going to post it. Raw as it is -------------------------------------------------------------------from 5/16/10

The stress of the last week was like a protective covering in a very odd way.

I should not be surprised. This is not new for me... it is something that requires care. When I am busy, I am not feeling; I am rarely emotionally present. It wasn't that complete this time, as I recall the tears flowing as I wrote my papers.

I wish I could have made all my runs last week. I have been using the physical release as a surrogate for emotional release.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


So if you don't believe in apologies, how does forgiveness work?

Is forgiveness important or necessary to healing?

I am not sure I have an answer beyond the fact that trust must be rebuilt slowly but there is also a place for compassion and the benefit of the doubt.

I have been more than a little obsessed with this song originally sung by Don Henley and covered for Sex and the City (the first movie) by India Arie. It's called The Heart of the Matter. And the salient line goes: "I think it's about forgiveness."

And this line: "we all need a little tenderness, how can love survive in such a graceless age?"

Grace is something I haven't really considered since a classmate back in Catholic grade school told me she was stock piling grace by going to confession even when she didn't have anything to confess. And that's the kind grace I imagine they are singing about in this song. Not the one that refers to elegance, beauty or any attractive quality.

I imagine it is about the kind of theological grace. The one that refers to favor, good will, mercy. To quote the dictionary, the "freely given unmerited favor and love of God."

Though I don't believe in apologies. I am a fan of forgiveness because I do think just the act of trying to forgive provides grace. And by grace, I mean favor in the form of compassion. We may not always be successful on our first attempts at forgiveness, but just trying nourishes us with compassion and, perhaps, the strength to keep trying until we get it right. So, like my former classmate, Stephanie, by trying to forgive even we aren't necessarily capable, we are collecting grace. Something we always need.

Blessed be!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

He Never Apologized

When I hear a love song, my mind NEVER wanders to my ex-husband. Other former loves, one in particular, but never my ex-husband. Why I cared to notice today must be because I have been thinking about how to let go of all the ugliness I do remember. Some of it is provoked by the fact that for several months, I have been trying to figure out how to ask him to send me my things without having to talk to him or tell him where I live now. I know... this shouldn't be that hard. In fact, some people have offered me a way to do it. But it is all part of piece...the letting go, the not caring, the moving on.

It's just as well that he never apologized because I don't believe in apologies. That is to say, I know they exist. If you knew me, you would know what I mean when I say "I don't believe in ..." But, you don't know me, so I will just say, I don't put a lot of stock into apologies. I am sure my ex heard me say this a million times, though that is not why he didn't apologize. I had to endure the apology jewelry, but I realized many years later that they were not really meant for me ... they were a grandstanding play for my family who didn't even know what was going on in my marriage at the time. Ah, more ugly memories...these uncovered, reconstructed memories are the worst. These are the ones that make me wish I could forget. But since forgetting is not really possible, I will take letting go.

In almost every way possible, I have moved on. I moved away almost immediately even before the divorce. And now we have been divorced almost longer than we were married, certainly longer than we lived together married. I know that there are people who never let go, moved on or otherwise, but I don't want to live there. I don't remember the good times; I don't remember if there ever were good times. Rather, I am fairly sure there were never good times. If that's not bitter, I don't know what is. That bitterness doesn't linger, but it doesn't feel like letting go. Honestly, I don't need to look back fondly on our marriage. I looked at blog he keeps recently and noted that our marriage takes up all of two lines in his "bio." The problem is that the ugliness continues to live in me. I don't really care how he is handling the divorce, mostly because I am sure he is still taking no responsibility, and I am still just the "quitter" in his mind who got out of the kitchen because it was too hot.

I don't believe in apologies because I think that it is far more important and meaningful for the person who did wrong to note the mistake and work to not make it again. When people apologize, they let go. They let go of everything ... they think it makes everything okay. But it doesn't. It is the work afterwards, the work to do a better job, the work to understand why it was wrong in the first place, the active work to not fall into the same temptation to wrong again that matters. Apologizing doesn't erase the harsh words or actions, it doesn't soothe the pain in any way for the wronged person, especially if she is holding her breath for when it will happen again. Trusting things will get better, be better, be taken care of more carefully, that is the only way to soothe the wrong. Building that trust takes work, much more than the courage to say "I'm sorry" one time and move on. So, don't apologize to me, try not to do it again. I mean really try.

I carry every word, every accusation, every insinuation he ever uttered or didn't even bother to utter, just issued my way with a look or behavior. I carry it all in my soul...that is the ugliness that I refer to. It was years before I even realized that it was there. That is to say, I felt the pain but I didn't know its origin. No apologies would fix that, but, perhaps it might have helped to dislodge those "agreements" from their status as "truth" into something more manageable like his opinion. Yes, I was willing to take all those negative things and put them in my soul, and that certainly isn't his fault. Yes, I kept them locked in there for all this time, he has no idea, so he gains nothing from it. It's up to me now to dislodge them, to confront and refute, to disown and let go. To move on.

I know what I must do, but, as is so often the case, I am not sure how to execute. Where to start?

Friday, May 28, 2010


Can't help myself.

Chair butt almost made me come to blows with some old dude.

One of the Asian smokers using a magnifying glass to text on his phone.

Blond woman trying to write a letter to someone (at the same time I was finishing a letter). From the back her skin was do haggard I thought she was in her late forties or early fifties. She turned around and had a young face. Lesson: don't sun worship.

Oh, Jeff sighting at s'bucks ... But I couldn't stay for the performance.

The ride home provided this gem: rail thin woman with four inch heels and leather jacket riding a scooter type vehicle in 90 degree weather.

taking the plunge

Bought the camera today ... just now pushed the purchase button... someday there will be photos on this blog again!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I made it out for that run this morning, rearranged my schedule to get some archive work in and wanted to treat myself to a little reading at the starbucks and some eye candy and then I locked myself out of the house.

I still brought myself to the s'bucks but there was no eye candy to be had - until just now. He just walked in as I started to write this.

Hmmm. I was just about to leave when ... I guess I will update you later on this little development.

So... I took a moment to chat with the hm since he came and sat right in front of me. I had intended to finish up the blogspost and head out into the wider world to take care of my craziness (locking myself out of the apartment, that is). When I saw him coming in I was in sheer disbelief and contemplated staying, but then he told me his son was on his way. I decided that I would let them have their chat and be on with my business.

But the son tarried a bit and hm and I got a minute to chat. Then he actually introduced me to his son. That was nice. He had an odd look on his face, like not another one, dad. In case there was any doubt that dad has been a player since the divorce. Ah, well, hm introduced us and the son took my hand firmly and looked me in the eye without a smile. There is a part of me that would have liked to have been a fly on the wall for the conversation. I wonder if hm told his son about the missed connection posting... or that they were together there at that very sbucks at that very table when I first saw the hm. HMMMM....

In any case, flexible has been the word of the day for several days now... starting on Tuesday night when my internet went down, mere hours before I was to have an eight hour shift ... the dollars of which I was already spending in my mind. Let's just say that a little troubleshooting of my own and then twenty minutes with the tech guy on the phone, I still had no internet and was facing -$120. They, by the way, promise 99.99% solution rate ... yeah, let's just say I was the .001%. Eventually, I went out on a limb and diagnosed the problem myself and SPED to the mall to get a replacement modem before they closed. And apparently I gave the mall employee some attitude, but then again he didn't charge me so it might be ok to throw a little attitude once in a while...or a lot as the case may necessitate. I "fixed" it by getting the new modem and installing it, and worked that shift... can I buy my camera now? Or should I get the custom boots??

Today, I worked out the locked out situation ... and while I was out and about took care of other business, so it turned out alright. Though I was not as productive as I wanted to be... that's how the ball bounces. Off to get drinks.

Location:Central Ave SE,Albuquerque,United States

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Scenes at s'bucks

Sometimes I see a man with chivalrous manners and I think how wonderful to see the care and concern being given in small, intimate gestures, such as leading a woman to a chair and pushing it in for her.

Almost immediately, I wonder if it is just a habit nurtured through discipline and imposed through convention. Could it be merely instinctual? Could it still be heartfelt?

I had to stop myself from tapping the man on the shoulder to ask him.

Not sure how it would have gone over.

Location:Historic U.S. 66,Albuquerque,United States

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I decided to just leave that not so happy post on the back burner.

There is a lot to process, but, today, I enjoyed these things:
the wind -- I know it is not every one's favorite thing, but I love the feel of it; first when it was pushing me towards the end of my run; it was hot and sunny and I was sweaty, and the wind was like my personal ac. Later at sbucks it was tickling my face with the strands of hair that fell out of the clip... beautiful.

the sun -- I have been indulging in sunbathing...sort of...the only kind I can, while sitting doing something else (and inadvertently when I am running). My arms are super brown and I wish the rest of my body could catch up without having to sit out in the sun at just the right angle.

the dog on the patio at sbucks -- I am not a dog person, but I enjoy dogs with personality ... there was the one that looked like a wolf who paced when his owner tied him up to go in for a coffee; the dog paced and paced in a circle and then sat down ... I swear I heard him sigh. His owner's buddy came out and said to the dog, "he'll be right out" because he must have known how much the dog missed his owner, even though it had only been a few minutes. When the owner came out and walked past the dog to the table where his friend was, the dog let out a reprimand. Awesome ... then all three of them left.

long talks with good friends ... processing, trying to learn, trying to be compassionate and patient with myself ... remembering other good talks.

I leave you with a photo I found in the treasure chest that is the box of photos in my mom's closet. He is not quite 3, kicking back at a beach in Ensenada, sporting his very cool cowboy vest; I am looking forward to some beach time this summer!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Is it natural...

to be brought to tears by writing academic papers??

So, five days, three papers for three different classes ... I know that there is a lot of pressure, anxiety and stress involved here ... but it wasn't sleepless nights or lack of sleep.

And they weren't tears of frustration ... I am not sure I can really name them.

It is some odd combination of relief, being moved by the work I have done observing in the classroom, being 41 years old in graduate school -- and I guess being me.

I have been wearing one of my grandma's medallas all week (I thought for moral support) and going through the pictures of my other grandma. I am guessing I was needing to feel close to them as well as their strength and protection.

I can't really do any of this without thinking about them, and my mom and my sisters, Ms. Tatum, all the truly wonderful teachers and professors I have had, and all the people who have had a hand in shaping me: the teacher, the student, the academic (ok incipient academic).

And the tears flow ... it doesn't feel bad, just strange... in some way this is the release I have been wanting and needing.

There are my two grandmas on the right. I love that they were friends!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Psychic Once Told Me...

that New Mexico was my destiny.

I scoffed at her.

I am starting to believe that she was on to something!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

radio silence

I have a million things to write about, but all of my words are being reserved for the TWO papers I have due tomorrow.

However, I need to pause to acknowledge having had a fantastic day.

It was to be, and has been, a very full day of trying to get these papers written between running, office hours and meetings with professors. Each of these complicating events that were to take time from the writing were phenomenal.

One...after a week of not running, I got in a personal 3K in nearly record time (for me, mind you). Awesome, beautiful morning, great run!

Generally office hours consist of me reading something because no one shows up. Ok, that is not bad because I always have something to read and not enough time, but, frankly, it is a waste of my time and talent. I am a teacher and I never get to teach. The other use the students sometimes make of office hours are to come and ask me to give them more points on their tests. And, often, they are justified in asking for the points, but sometimes I just have to tell them that if they want more points that they need to answer the questions. I do it nicely, but, again, it feels like an awful waste of time to explain to someone that they can't have points because they didn't answer the question.

Today ... I had a full house for the entire hour and a half... and I got to teach albeit it in abbreviated form, fifteen minutes at a time. It reminded me of why I love to teach when you see that light bulb turn on over their heads!

Then, then then ... I got to meet with a prof I have been avoiding meeting all semester. Truthfully, I have been so beaten down by the grouchiness of some of my profs, that I didn't have the emotional energy to deal with another rejection. Wrong, wrong, wrong. She was awesome in every way. I left that meeting on cloud nine.

Wow...then I drafted half of my paper in TWO hours... and I still have one and a half papers to write before tomorrow at 5pm, but I am so rejuvenated by that meeting...

Life is good.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

S'bucks to the Rescue

Ok, I will admit it publicly, I already wrote it in the paper.

I am an s'bucks regular. There, I said it. As though you hadn't already noticed.

Call me a corporate whore if you like. I won't deny it.

When I couldn't get Internet at the airport for free in Burbank (after having it free in abq and phx), I decided to ask if there was a walkable s'bucks. And there was!!

So, flashy gold card in hand, I rolled on over. The airport was going to put me out at 9:30pm anyway. They will close here in a few minutes.

But there is a chance my sis will get here by then. If not, I have my hot chocolate in hand and internet access either inside or sitting outside.

Life is good. Or at least predictable.

Oh and California how I have missed you.

I stepped into the crosswalk and the guy in the prius thinking about turning red on right way on the other side of the road stopped short. Yes a pedestrian caused that.

I have already had two in depth conversations with total strangers that I did not start. And that was with headphones on and nose in a book for one of them.

Yeah. These are my people -- SoCal.

NM may be my destiny, but SoCal is my home.

The usual frustrations will appear in time, but they are generally known quantities. And with only three days in Mecca, the nostalgia is likely to mask them.

Hope wherever you are, you feel at home!!

Location:N Hollywood Way,Burbank,United States


At the risk of having yet another post eaten by the Internet and the itouch, I will write again.

It's too late to recreate the last one and I forever deleted all the drafts that had been squatting in my account for over six months.

So it's just me, raw, as it were. I am sitting in the Phoenix airport munching on my home packed carrots because, you know, we are boycotting Arizona, but the plane stopped here. And I am hungry. I did buy a brownie in Albuquerque!

Some things I have been fuming quietly about:

People, particularly my people, in New Mexico don't get that the crazy law in Arizona is about us and not the undocumented. So they sit back complacently while others march. A grand total of about 1250 people gathered in the entire state. So, yeah it's sparsely populated, but it is also a majority minority state (as if that weren't the most idiotic phrase).

I guess that's it for now. All I can muster. Back to the books while I wait for this plane.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

bloggable moments

I was on a roll there for a few days and then ... last week of classes, finals and my brother's 50th party started looming a little too large.

But, I wanted to share one thing from my Friday evening at the bar ... no hot man sighting (thankfully), but I did spy a group of people that caught my eye.

They were wearing what can only be called electric blue *matching* t-shirts; on the front there was a large pair of googly eyes and on the back: NOBODY'S STRANGER.

I was describing the crew to my drinking companion, and she asked ... "Nobody's stranger, like nobody is stranger or ..."

I told her she could take her pick... at first I saw two guys and a woman, then I noticed there was another woman buying a beer... there might have been more back at the table (we were at the bar).

I decided that either construction could work ... but the story I made up is that they were a "meet up" group (you know the internet site that hooks up people who want to do like activities and need activity partners). They decided since they go to bars together to get matching t-shirts.... and sell them to new members. That way, whenever they are together, they are nobody's stranger.

And what could be stranger than that anyway??