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29 October 2007

a bangles revival

so i'm running at the park, i'm super motivated, fresh-minded, got my engine turned on. and i'm running, this cold, first frost of the fall monday, and i'm feeling like i SHOULD feel: alive. and then i see this piece of humanity i'm growing to despise. not because it's flawed, i understand that, but because it causes me to take a mental mirror, and look deep at myself, that way this piece of life is looking at me(OR not looking at me), and in that self i see a cause for change. NOT because i actually need to change, but simply because this "other" isn't affirming who I am. look at me, i am the picture of life. i am alive, independent, open, educated, working, healthy, moving, thinking, trying, listening, learning, looking, pursuing life to the ends of the earth. and you, the thing, also human, also breathing, also trying to life, you are making me feel like i am flawed. affirm me; just try, i sware i won't look too far into it. but maybe it will cause me to not burn holes in my self. my already struggling to survive, my so hard on herself for no apparent reason, my i will never let myself live this down self. "we are just breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys." ingrid michaelson

so i wish i had more confidence than i do. because i wouldn't have thought twice about this incident. but i don't, and i did, and i finished doing what i do at the park (probably more pushups than you can do, ha, just a joke), and i found a way out of the mire you mucked on me. K T Tunstall, and track numero dos on her new disco... and i sang and danced and flailed my body around because i am ALiVE. and moving and shaking and walking on limbs, cRiP WaLkInG on LimBs for that matter! but i was doing whatever i felt like, and i had a moment: I had this sudden realization, and it was incredible. when i was a little girl, little, i mean like 3,4,5 years old, i would sit in the backseat of cars and sing songs to myself...ones that were playing in the cassette player, like the Bangles, or Paula Abdul, or Madonna's Immaculate Collection, or some other 80's quinessential hit, just something of the sort. And I sang because it made me feel like I had friends and fans and maybe even a person or two trying to hear what I was ReALLy saying...and they listened well, because they cared-deeply- And you won't believe it, but I was singing like that in my car tonight. After you made me feel like I had nothing of the sort, I found a way to go back to my core, offer myself songs of LOVE & efforts of RESTORATION so that I won't forget wHO I aM...even when you made me do so momentarily. I found me again, and she's considerably kinder, wiser, more loved, and definetly heard.

25 October 2007

the past twenty four spontaneous hours

in the past twenty four spontaneous hours, i have learned so much about who i am, what i am experiencing, what it sounds like and more importantly, feels like, to have a heart that beats and pumps and shivers and melts. i offered the universe a twelve minute limit on getting me out of the house last night, and in that short time came calling wonderful social hysterical company. and lack of sleep, but two a.m. means nothing to your body and your weary eyes when you spend the time in the presence of people who intrigue and inspire you. and then meaningful work, meditative and mundane, walking for people who lack limbs, greeting downcast and cold hearts with warmth, lighting a room with small gestures; that is life. giving yourself freedom to play, to ask for what you need (in my case: conditioner, or as my madre calls it "cream rinse"), to go after that which seems impossible but is just the opposite. to ask a friend to go along with you, and then to follow them in their spontaneity. in my case, that so happened to be le relais, and i would never complain if you placed champagne and gloriously prepared food before me. unless, you see i was in the presence of poor company. then i would have to excuse myself, because, as you can tell, the past twenty four spontaneous hours have proved life's meaningful existence and purpose to me: great passion, great people, great presence. these wonderful things go hand in hand. walk with me...

"and if you don't recognize my presence, i am here." (jill scott)

22 October 2007

10 letters, 1 bill

dear friends and family,
i would just like for you to know a few things about me. today, this rainy (glorious!), gray, falling leaves, quiet, ambiguious fall day, i am sending 10 letter and 1 bill by postal mail. many, i mean MANY, of you will be on the receiving end of my interests. jane buchanan is receiving perhaps the most well-composed of the bunch. she is my long-distance therapist, you see. I pay her per word. I write her, she promises to read my letter, and I include a check approapriately scribed with an amount that matches the word count. Aside from the already 81ç i am spending to put a stamp on this beast of a letter, i sware i am sending a $51.87 check along with it too. And her fees are cheap. At 2ç per word, that's a lot of freaking writing. I'm just kidding. But she is getting the best letter in the pile.

make that 12 letters... i just made two more in the midst of writing this little blog piece. oh and by the way, i made 8 cards yesterday too, and they are just sitting in this drawer... waiting to be discovered.

oh and the one bill: amex. but that's secondary.

19 October 2007

i am changed

"come on in, i've got to tell you what a state i'm in." (coldplaY)

i've been obsessed with coldplay this week. and really good quotes. and the idea of letting people know how much i appreciate them. but i haven't acted on all of those genuine feats of thanksgiving. and i apologize for that. could you please spare me a brief moment of your forgiveness? i will now list those who i would like to thank:

thank you julie harper, massage therapist extraordinaire, who kneaded my skin and my most tender spots and revived life into my parts----so exhausted my self---and you touched and awakened my sensory preceptors, giving them reminders of life and lust and the gentle evidence of being connected to humanity. i am thankful for your wisdom imparted unto me, and i hope you know my sincere gratitude here, though i can only touch you through words, your touch truly moved me and restored hope unto me. thank you immensely.

thank you to my grandmother, who provides me with a safe and comfortable home. i am living with a piece of history. a body of counter-culture lifestyle, under a roof where your pleasure is met and granted just because you exist. thank you for hot showers and bottles of red wine, and a t.v. that allows me the luxury of jeopardy @ 730pm. thank you for listening to my silly stories, letting me be silent when i need to be, offering me hot coffee in the morning, going on an ear-x-tacy date with me. when no one else beckons, you are there.

thank you to men. thank you for being much more than i understand. for challenging me when i challenge you. for not giving up on me and my calloused heart. thank you to men who run in different directions than the norm. thank you to james franco for being beautiful. thank you to ross for showing up daily. thank you to sergio for noticing my haircut. thank you to brooks for ginger candy. thank you to todd for high fives with butt slaps at the end. thank you men, guys, dudes, for working on yourselves, digging deeper, deeper still, until you've come to the core of it all: that fleshy, bloody, beating heart. then, having found it, ripping it out, and noticing, in comparison to mine, which i am holding in my hand, that we are identical within. that you are not supposed to be one way and i another. we are all just humans inside, and i praise you for how you live that out. so whether your penis is circumcised or not (this was last night's dinner topic), thank you for having one and still having a heart. that is important.

thank you to john johnson at the wine rack for wine tastings. you educate me, and the community as a whole, on how to eNjOY libations, and not only enjoy them but see them as miracles. from the vine comes the wine, and just like humanity, it is a cultivated and intentional process. thank you for reminding me to honor and respect that. and of course, thank you for the wine. you're welcome for the sliced baguettes.

thank you to this city, and this street, and this address for constantly giving me a place to go. even if it's only to my bed at night to be thankful.

i am changed.

13 October 2007

psycho and red headed

and i know nothing. that is a good way to start any conversation i'm about to have. i am always trying to figure it out, just like you, and i know nothing more than, less than, greater than, or equal to you. but i am trying. i will hold in my pain until i am red in the face and i will scream at the top of my lungs in empty homes and your words will not break my heart but what you didn't say will resound for days and hours and minutes and seconds until i break it down into small particles in my life and mind, "figuring you out" but really i'm just figuring out what i'm going to do with you, the way you are, not changing you but changing me to be okay with you that way.

and you are psycho and red headed,
and i am brazen and bare-breasted and blonde.
but this is not me and that is not you until we stand face to face,
fingernails digging deep into one another's skin,
hanging on and tearing and groping at the smallest inch of unseasoned skin.

and i know nothing.
but you already knew that.

11 October 2007

twist my arm

let's just say estoy hasta las narices. and if you can translate that, them congratulations. i am not a super human. i'm super honest and super hard working and super freaking exhausted. for a good reason, yes, i admit, i contributed to my own exhaustion today (four hours of sleep, 11 1/2 hours of work, 1.5 hours powerwalking) but have i contributed to my own joy? so after won-ton soup from p.f. changs and a delicious bluedog brownie w/ my peppermint tea, i was watching ugly betty. yes, i know. anyway so the inspiration, the twisting of my arm, the fire under my culo:

are you going to be one of those people who lets life happen to them?

me? i'm twenty three? betty responds

so?


you know, i didn't remember until rIghT nOW (10:23pm) that on my way to work today I saW StArS. that was 6:17am and i've spent 16 hours seeing pavement...there have been millions of stars above, and i've seen none. save me save me from my self.

10 October 2007

LOVE is free

well i'm eating chocolate and drinking hot tea as i scribe this, and i'm laughing, partly at myself and partly at this life: because it is so sweet and it is (most of all) meant to be enJOYed! we are so quick to judge ourselves and so slow to love-----this thought crossed my mind today: LOVE is free. it can hurt and tear us to shreds, but despite all of its aftermath, it is free to GiVe.

07 October 2007

what i crave

i am so tired of refusing myself that which i love.
i spend so much time wandering around thinking i'll find life in the midst of those things foreign to my self.
i'm starting to think i should just do what i love and keep pace in that direction.
always work towards that goal.
doing what i love.
seeing who i discover on that path.
why i walked that way.
and maybe, what i crave will nurture and deliver the life i've conceived.
the question is, my actions.
the seldom companionship,
the resistance to invitations,
the often lack of optimism,
the deficit of energy,
the comparison,
the frustration, and in the midst of it all,
that one spark,
that ignites,
the soul within, and sets fire to the curtain that i hide behind.
alas, life.

03 October 2007

this is not the lotto

"Is it really your time to be blessed? This is not the lotto. This is the kingdom of God." keisha boyce williams


my mental state-of-mind is like a random ball with a number on it---pick a number, any number--- well that is me. being tossed and turned and thrown around inside of the lotto ball mixer...and there i am, just being thrown the hell around, thinking, one of these days, it's going to be my chance:life is going to chose me. well no wonder this ladies word struck me today.

what if i am chosen? what if i have it all figured out, and this, this is it? well then in that case, i would probably find a way to be content with it. but for now? now it's tearing me ever-dualistically in half. right down the middle. halfway between believing and hitting the road, halfway between here and ANYwhere, halfway between deal with it and deal me a new hand. is there any middle ground?

let me scribe her words again. "Is it really your time to be blessed? This is not the lotto. This is the kingdom of God." It is ALwAyS our time to be blessed---your hands just have to be OPEN, not clinging onto some THING, IDEA, PERSON, THOUGHT, PRAYER. It is always your time. Whether you're here or if you're halfway to Hatteras. WhERevEr yOU aRe, yOU caNNoT escApE beIng BLessed. This is not the lotto.

02 October 2007

tell people that you love them

tell them that you love them.
whatever it is about them.
whoever they are.
take the moment!

an inspiration: the life of louise doire

dear doire,
so facebook tells me its your birthday and that makes me incredibly joyful.

i can't imagine what my life would be without yours having been. your wisdom and courage and leadership drove me to pedal along paths i'd never even imagined. they lead to peculiar lands, but your encouraging spirit sang "keep gOinG," and i did, and you kept going too. when i saw you ahead, you were there JOyFUL, twirling in those skirts and cowboy boots and homemade pieces that shouted out that you knew how to love you and love others. and your mind, your incredible mind, adventured through places unknown to me, you took hold of old stories that had taken on new meaning, and i watched you desperately, knowing that your challenges lead me to rip the metal curtain that i'd hung, so securely, sure that i was going to be safe if i didn't see beyond it. oh! beyond it, i discovered, is an entirely new place, more full and abundant than i've ever expected. these places i've gone, the experiences i've had, the stories i've heard and shared and retold with the new meanings they carry, the stretching i've encountered....many of them are a direct product of my time with you...you've brought and encouraged and initiated such glorious things for me! glorious, doire. simply glorious!

yours is truly a life to celebrate!
thank you for sharing yourself so faithfully and so genuinely.
i've loved being a student of not just your classroom, but of your life.
you have been so much to me.

love, love, love to you!
and happy biRthDaY!

01 October 2007

cha-cha-cha-cha-CHANGES

tonight: i'm really calling out to Jesus to make clear the way. i can't help but feel that these are the days that we call into being all those places inside of us that we long to heal, enhance, recreate, externalize, give to others!

i had a few revelations during my holiday, most of which involve these truthes:
+ i must begin to incorporate the aspects of change that i desire
+ i am personally responsible for my well-being (and therefore, my happiness)
+ i can trust that i have everything within me in order to be successful and to follow my biggest, craziest, wildest and most absurd dreams
+ i have the power to choose!

now you're probably thinking, "she's crazy," but i say these things because i see places where i need to coach myself more positively, i need to slough off the dead and make room for the new, i need to practice love, love, loving people, i need to chose my own life----i am not stuck serving some fake power----i get to be LIBERATED in christ, and i know so deeply that i am well from within...

i simPly hAve to LiVe that OUt!

so these are my thoughts, and my prayer is that these changes will begin to occur because i chose to participate in the whole of creation in NeW and MeAnINgFUL ways that i've not tried before.

i am always open to your ideas, encouragements, wisdom, and sharing. and of course, again, i would ask your prayers over my place, my location, these changes, and my self------ knowing i have so much good to give others makes me want to be better to my self!

this is just the beginning, ashferd!
cant wait for the journey ahead!
love love love
stepho
p.s. wrote up my 6 month goals and STARTED my workout log----a copy of them will be in the mail to you SOON!

(an email to hepburn reformatted to tell my story. that's legal, right?)