28 April 2008

keep looking

never give up. get back on that horse. aim as high as you can. keep looking.

i believe in a life that is fulfilling. amazing. purposeful. i am amazed at my own voice these days. i've been noticing that i'm describing things with near perfertion. explaining my own visions & viewpoints clearly. doing an excellent job following through. actively pursuing my ideas. doing what i say i'll do & getting GOOD things done, often.

however, i have been trapped in a constant cycle of self-frustration and discontent. i hate me for some weird reason. i hate my narcessistic ways. i hate my face. my thighs. my creases and cracks. i have love more than i ever have before, and i somehow have lost it all for myself.

now, let's get this straight: i am absolutely in love. i am affectionately involved with a young man who makes my heart palpate. he is constant & his love is contagious. i see that bearded face and just follow suite. he is a lover deep in his core. even though he is (admittedly) not perfect, he is absolutely a purveyor of all things whole and full of life. i hope i catch on one of these days.

i was just searching my favorite guilty pleasure: the missed connections space on craigslist. it's so beautiful. these people who are too ashamed to love freely during their meanial daily tasks, but bravery strikes them and craigslist is their publishing point. tonight i read the following:

Tammy from CT + John from KY in Daytona 1984 - m4w - 48 (Louisville, KY)

Tamarra Annie Elizabeth Michaud. This is John, from Louisville. I met you in the spring of '84 in Daytona Beach. After a beautiful but trying long distance love affair we called it quits after about a year, and I have never heard from you since. I am just trying to find out whatever became of you. You were my first true love, and I've never forgotten you. I have been happily married now for over 21 years. I have a super-genius 17-year-old son and I am an executive with GE Corporate. I am in no way trying to reestablish a relationship. I would just like to know that you are safe, happy and healthy. Please respond and end my worrying.

now i'd like to mention a few things:
-he is "in no way trying to reestablish a relationship" but i tell you what,if i was this man's wife, and twenty one years later he's thinking about the spring of 84' with Tamarra, i'd be a little concerned about his intentions. and i might point that out.
-Tamarra, what about you? how long have you been trying to FORGET john? it's amazing, the cycle that love carries us through. absolute to absolved. and back again. he's back, knocking on her door.
-he's worrying about her, what was she like? did she die in a bicycle accident? while he watches april showers cover his years, flooded, washing away the old, and 24 springs later, tamarra you are still his may flower.

but i'm putting my overly cynical self aside. i hope i both experience & remember love as vividly as john does. he hasn't forgotten the passion of that spring. the hope of making love be the most important thing in life. i admire that john. despite it all, love is what keeps us connected.

"wait for the wisest of all counselors, Time."

23 April 2008

spitting it all out

waiting. waiting. waiting.
disappointment. frustration. letdown.
waiting. waiting. waiting.


1: to stay in place in expectation of 2: to delay serving 3: to serve as waiter for

1 a: to remain stationary in readiness or expectation b: to pause for another to catch up —usually used with up 2 a: to look forward expectantly b: to hold back expectantly 3 a: to be ready and available b: to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized

i am so sick of waiting.
i shouldn't look at it like that.
i shouldn't.
i feel like i've been passed over.
but is that really so bad?

"Passover commemorates the Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Israelites from slavery. In the story of Moses, God set ten plagues upon the Egyptians to convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites. The tenth plague was the killing of the firstborn sons. However, the Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb, and upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord passed over these homes, hence the term "passover.".[3] When Pharaoh then freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is also called "The Festival of the Unleavened Bread" [4]. Instead, matzah is eaten, and is the primary symbol of the holiday." wikipedia

Coincidentally, it's the week of passover, and here I am waiting to hear from various employers. Upon discovering that what I'd hoped for is no longer an option, I am feeling incredibly let down,exhausted, drained, dropped, looked past. As if I really expected some organization to chose me. I should know better.

There are a few ways to look at this, I understand that. But I don't want to be civil about it. I want to scream & wail & maybe, just for once, be heard. I am exhausted. I know waiting is a part of this thing we call life, but I am actually spent. Just done with waiting and waiting and waiting. Having a hard time seeing passover as a blessing and not a curse. Chewing on this and wanting something more.

17 April 2008

too deep or too wide or too fumigated

this is fascinating: i have woken up, naturally, around 7 a.m. all week long, let's be honest: i was never an earlybird. in fact, getting up early isn't something i crave. i am one of those people who shoves their lover out of bed, and says, "don't come back without cafe." sweet, really sweet. but this week, i've been rising early despite the hour i go to sleep. granted, i've been overwhelmed with stress, a chattering mind, a muddy flow of never-ending thoughts paired with never-acting's unbearable. so when i roll over in bed, i just start in on myself. on answering interview questions i haven't yet been asked. on my grocery list. on your birthday card i still haven't sent. on what i'm going to say to the doctor. on trying to calculate the current status of my checking account. on whether i drink prune juice today. on the aches and wails of my body. on what he said to me yesterday that i'm still trying to understand. on this & that & everything in between. it's borderline insanity, i swear.

this morning i got up out of bed because i realized i was probably agitating paul with all my movements and heavy sighs. that and i was basically writing letters in my head so i figured i would get up and write something on paper. virtual paper.

i have a few thoughts: (ok we all know that's a lie. i have a million thoughts, but here is a few!)
- i wrote my friend an email this morning, & now that i read it again, i think it was actually an email to myself. and i quote: " i wish so much for you that you could find something satisfying, a position that you felt moved you forward. i wonder what words could be spoken to us in this season of "draught." your work is not your value. that's one that might hit me pretty hard. what else? am i spending my time listening for the wisdom of this season, or am i eagerly chattering, on and on and on, in my own head? i am so hard on myself----it's overwhelming at times."
- i have a friend name heather who i like very much. she's been an acquaintance for sometime now and i'm beginning to think we'd be very close if we were a bit more intentional. she said something about relationships last night that i hope i never forget: "each ebb is tough, but every time it makes the flow longer and smoother, and that much better." Alas, we must experience both!
- when i was composing letters in my head this morning (or was that my heart?) i wrote a little letter to paul about helping me out of the deep black boxes i tend to get trapped in---the stephanie box is what it's labeled on the outside, but of course, i can't see that because i'm deep within. anyway, i found myself asking paul if he'd be willing to climb down the internal ladder of that box & remind me it's not too deep or too wide or too scary. and it reminded me of a scene from the kite runner when the wealthy little brat boy and his dad really connect for the first time. they have escaped afghanistan, which is being taken over by communist USSR and they are entering palestine via gasoline tank trunk. Rustic for this pretty little boy. Well, as the boy is climbing down the ladder, the dad collects what will be his final specimen of afghani soil---it's a beautiful moment for him, and then, he follows his son down into the belly of the tank, and the boy rests his head on the father's leg, complaining of the suffocating smell of fumes, and the father places his "indiglo" watch before the child's face and holds onto him tightly and says: "i'm right here. don't forget, don't be scared, i am right here." then he asks the boy to recite some Rumi to sooth them both.

i tell you this story for a few reasons. perhaps we all need a person in our life with an indiglo watch and the confidence that we will find our feet on the ground again; someone who sees us, even in dark spaces. perhaps we need a companion when we fall too deeply within ourselves to still have perspective and love at the capacity in which we need it. yep, i said it, we need love. i will be the first to admit it. and most of the time, we need love right where we are, not where we should be, or have been, or might be in some distant future day. right here. right in this black box. come down here, please. remind me that it's not too deep or too wide or too fumigated, even for me.

thank you. thank you. such gratitude i have for you.

09 April 2008

create create create some more

dear life,
thank you for allowing for the beauty of creation. i love how you let me lose control with color on paper; writing and drawing and doodling and expressing everything with little precision. i really appreciate it.


un-officially published

so not that anyone is paying me to publish this, but it's worth a shot.

“I Wonder If You Use Them?”
By Stephanie Alaine Tabb

I pulled out my watercolors last week because I needed some inspiration. I needed to add some color to these drab winter ways. They are on the way out, I frequently remind myself, but I want to infuse my life with color this year from the inside out. Habitually I am focused on making it look good on the surface, when I know for certain that what you see is often what matters the least. We forget that plants and trees brave winter’s harsh weather and come effortlessly into full bloom when spring arrives. I am reminded that winter is the season of preparation, a season that should provide the time to rest and rejuvenate. This is time we will need as we embark upon new adventures in the spring.

The watercolors and I were set up as a team to combat the rigid, gray day. It was early morning, as it often is when we find time for sacred self-discovery. As I splashed and played with the paint, my creation took the shape of wings on the page before me. I had no intention of drawing wings; my only intention was to give myself something I knew I could count on to lift me up during these last weeks of winter. Though I admit I have recently become obsessed with hearts with wings, what became of those colors on that paper was changing for my cold winter heart.

It was in doing this watercolor project that I realized that we are no less whole because we experience both the peaks and the valleys of existence. We learn about ourselves and those we love by going to the heights and the depths. The straight and the meandering places of our lives make up our whole selves. Embrace them, we must, or live a rigorous life of trying to smooth them out. It is only natural to feel the way you do, the way I do. Adventure awaits you, right where you are. It is perfectly good to crave meaning in the unconventional forms in which we desire it.

I grew, with each stroke of the paintbrush, magenta colored wings, with solid brown barbs and purple flight feathers. I added bright gold accents, and made an effort to add some glitter to enhance the page that lay before me. The finished product, a pair of bright wings, hangs before me now, on my board of inspiration. They serve as a reminder of the adventures I long for. The caption I added to the paper just before I set it aside to dry is this:

“I wonder if you use them?”

I wonder: when did your last adventure take place? When was the most recent time you sat down and visited a dream of yours? When was the last time you conjured up the courage for a feat that you could only imagine? I know, hypothetical questions, but they all come from a place of discovery. This is true: challenges grow us, from the inside out. We call to arms the true colors of our being, the ones that have come to blossom within us despite the harsh seasons of life. My adventure took the shape of wings supporting this flesh heart beneath my breast.

My most recent adventure involves the inevitable: love. I fell in love just before I was planning to move. I had quit both my jobs, packed my boxes, said my goodbyes, and was headed home for the holidays. Then, out of nowhere enters into my life a bearded man with a soft glow, sweet character, a wrecking smile, and a plaid soul. His heart softened and embraced my own, which is often referred to as being “made of stone.” I felt, for the first time in my life, loved, and I couldn’t go. But I still tried.

Despite my best efforts to summon myself on towards yet another independent adventure, I found myself feeling like my heart had weakened from within. I felt no strength while I attempted to flee these feelings of love. My independent “adventure” only lasted for about ten days, and they were some of the most emotionally challenging days I’ve experienced. So I did the craziest thing I could’ve imagined: I stayed. And though I never imagined I could say it: Staying became my adventure. We celebrated my “staying” week by drinking grower’s champagne and talking about the inevitable, my heart with wings.

Now, it is certain, the color is springing forth. Spring is almost here, and I believe you can see it in my cheeks, mostly because within I am fully in bloom. I desire to spend my time being made more alive in great company. I love that moment in life when you look over your shoulder & see a face that is changing your life. I love knowing I am using my wings, and the full rainbow of their potential, even if they are simply resting at the sides of my beating heart.