Juicy Peach

peachy

“They had apples. Honeycrisp. Some other kind, too…I forget what–well, they’re all new apples.”

I smiled. “Thanks.” It was the closest I would get to the market that day. I love choosing my fruit and veggies from the farmers who grew them. The dried mud on a mound of small potatoes, flaking off around the little crate that contained them. The weight of a fat tomato in my hand. The smell of a bundle of herbs. Feeling like a Duchess as I peer at each package, choosing which would serve me best. But I wasn’t feeling my best that day, so he went alone. He delivered, though–Honeycrisp is my favorite. Pink Lady, second.

“I got some peaches, too.”

“Ohhhh.” I tiptoed to the kitchen to peer inside the bag. There they were, three perfect peaches.

I selected my favorite, though they all looked lovely. I turned around and let water run over it, washing the fuzzy skin gently. I gave her a little rub with the dishtowel on the counter, to dry her off. I put the fruit to my nose and inhaled, to my satisfaction it was delightfully fragrant. I bit into the fruit, grabbing  a paper towel to catch the juices. Sweet, wet, divine–the last taste of summer.

“This peach is perfect. Come have a bite.”

He poked his head into the hallway, peering at me standing near the sink. Eyebrows up, “Well, alright.”

I watched him take the four paces to me. His light brown hair in want of a trim. His green tee making his eyes more green than ever. His eyes are magic that way, pulling green, light brown, or hazel–depending on the shirt.

I held the peach up, about breast high. He stood in front of me for a beat and looked at the peach, put both of his hands around my hand, cupping it from beneath and raised the peach to his mouth. He looked me in the eye as he bit into the flesh, I was transfixed. Any words that had begun their journey to my mouth were halted in their tracks as I watched him take another bite, his eyes locked with mine. Juice running down our hands. I forgot the paper towel in my other hand. I forgot that I could look away, if I wanted to.

He released my hand, smiled and chewed, still looking me in the eyes. I felt a chain of electrical tingles run down my spine, then back up again. He made a sound that indicated the peach was, indeed, as perfect as reported. He then turned and walked back into the bedroom to sort books, and fold laundry. I enjoyed watching the back of him as he went. I stared at the space where he stood as I finished the peach in four bites, then made my way to the bedroom as well.

We’re Gonna Be Ok

hlb

I’m a little surprised at my last two blog entries. It seems as though I’m still working through some of that old stuff. Maybe I am to some extent, but mostly it’s all background noise now. I care so much less about most of it than I ever did before. Maybe this is a way of filing it into the boxes it all belongs in.

I’ve gone back to regular journaling and I’m seeing an awesome therapist, so maybe that has contributed to busting a log jam?

I wonder what it is about writing about things that helps me so much? I suppose organizing thoughts is a big plus. I love lists, too. Makes you feel like you have some semblance of control in your life. Also, when I write something down that’s been swimming around in my head for a bit, it kind of lets it have a place to live when I don’t want it hanging out rent-free in my brain anymore. Sort of a detox.

I think that there can be the danger of meditating on the negative in journaling (and blogging). Every time we send something out there, there’s a good chance something is coming back – and I prefer the stuff coming back to be happy. It’s hard to be Miss. Positvity all the time, though.

Is it for validation? Am I writing this so somebody will validate me? Hmmm. Lots to consider. Maybe some validation would be nice. But more than that, I believe I speak out to the people who these topics will resonate with, so they don’t feel alone. Because no matter how good of a person you want to be, stuff bubbles up sometimes. You can’t be sweet and rise above it ALL THE TIME.

When people sleep with your man, or lie to you, or lie to you so they can sleep with your man (I’m beginning to see a theme here) – it can really be difficult to rise above it. To just say, “HEY, whatevs, you go and have fun, catcha on the flip side.” Then go on like it’s no big deal. At the VERY LEAST it’s nice to get an apology, or even some kind of explanation. A little bit of salve for the wounds. I don’t want to go around being pissed all the time, bleeding from my hurts. Who has the energy for that shit? So…what do you do? You decide whether you’re taking the high road, or the low road. Sometimes you actually climb down that stupid little berm FROM the high road TO the low road because you can’t help but run on that low road a bit, then you try hiking back up (don’t slip!) to the high road (don’t get snooty!) and be your better self.

And it isn’t just stuff that people have done to me that gets me to twisting inside and writing stuff down.  I need to work out the wrong stuff I’ve done that has hurt others. Sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m ALLOWED to talk about the bad stuff that I have endured, because I know I’ve fucked up a bunch of times, and there’s nothing I dislike more than a hypocrite (except maybe an MRA or a Westboro Baptist). I wish I could go back and fix all of the things I did that were wrong, but I can’t. (If you feel I owe you an apology – please write to me and we can talk about it!) And it doesn’t take the sting away from what’s been done to me. Maybe it makes me sit in the corner a bit longer with it, and when I come back out to talk about it, I’d better be ready to work on my own bad habits and trespasses. Right side up. Upside down.

Then there’s the bad stuff that happened to me that isn’t as bad as the bad stuff that’s happened to other people, so do I have the right to be hurt or upset? The answer is YES we do – we get to feel our hurts however small they may seem by comparison to others. Your hurts count. You count. But never forget to be grateful. That is so important!

So, now I’ve dusted some stuff up, and when I sit down to write journals and blogs this is the stuff that’s coming out. And I guess that’s fine – I must have needed it. Working it out. Process.

I used to use that old saying with my kids all the time, the one about life giving you lemons. Well, one day I said to my youngest (who was 20 by then), “Well, if life gives you lemons…” and she replied, “Well, life better give you some goddam sugar too, or your lemonade is going to taste like shit!” And so the child is correct. Fortunately I have lots of sugar. Good friends, good health, a generous lover, and great daughters. I’m fond of my sister, too. HI SISSY!

Anyway, if you need to work some stuff out, I definitely recommend journaling. Make your lists. Take stock. Redraw lines. Feel your hurts. Put some Windex. It will be ok. We’re going to be ok, you and me.

The Choice You Make – Sensual Sunday

I don’t know if I would undo it if I could. Your shirts are here. And your toothbrush with the fancy nubby side. I actually folded socks today (not my specialty). They weren’t mine. That’s how you know I care.

When you lift your head and put your feet on the cold hard floor, I swoop in and grab your favorite pillow, hook my arm around it and pull it in tight. I watch your naked back bend forward, the valley of your spine is perfect and I reach out and run a finger down.

You wipe the sleep and look over your shoulder, peeking through a mop of messy hair.

“I wish you didn’t have to go.”

“Me too.”

It doesn’t matter who said which, because we trade off these sentences, depending on what day it is.

I don’t know what force on this earth got to decide what love is or how it manifests, but I know what it is for me. Love is in the Don McLean song that crackles out the same line every morning, “The auctioneer saaaaaaaaid, I’m not through yet…” from your alarm clock. Love is around the edges of your iris, where light brown gives way to hazel. Love is in scrambled eggs and toast next to the window, on a single plate with two forks.

“I like ketchup on mine, do you?”

And now, even after what happened, we’re still here and maybe a little less sorry about it than the two years that followed, because love can also be an opportunity to choose somebody every day. We keep making that choice. I can’t undo it, so I will take solace in this.

 

 

Summer 1981

IMG-20110716-00377

I miss waiting for “The Wizard of Oz” to come on once or twice a year. I miss the lead up to the end of the school year and the phenomenon of the summer blockbuster. I miss not understanding about bills and politics. I miss jump-rope and jacks and creeks with smooth stones. I miss that first kiss feeling, when you weren’t even sure how kissing worked. I miss grape soda and skinned knees, tire swings and climbing trees. I miss swimming all day for weeks in a row. I miss the coolness of a desert night, sitting in a concrete pipe with a friend talking about everything, after the rest of the neighborhood had gone to sleep.

The Heart Tapestry

knitheart.jpg

I don’t know what motivates other people to do things–or not to do them. Nor do I pretend to believe that all hearts work the same way. I’m not here to judge why or how somebody does or doesn’t respond to me. How somebody does or doesn’t connect to me. I put it out into the universe, and if a thread comes back and weaves into the tapestry of my life, it will be all the more rich and colorful. All the more complex and beautiful.

What I don’t really have time for at this point in my life are those who can’t be bothered to connect, or worse, pick at the tapestry, snagging, leaving tears and frayed ends. My life is full of wonderful, beautiful, talented, insightful, caring people. If I never made another friend for the rest of my life, many beautiful connections would remain and sustain me.

Why am I writing about this? I saw a Timehop that reminded me of this topic. I had had a couple of really big hurts in my life, starting with a teen pregnancy, but 2009-2011 were the worst by far. I was reminded of how hard it was to recover from that kind of damage. It reminded me how much I had turned in on myself – for almost three years. I decided I didn’t want or need any new friends. It felt to vulnerable to open up to that. I closed up. Put up a wall. That is something I had never done before. Sure, I had some short-term hurts that made me withdraw for a bit, but being an optimist at heart, I always bounced back pretty quickly. I felt the risk was worth the payoff of a connection and a friend – before.

For the new friendships I’ve formed–I’m glad I dismantled the wall a bit – brick by brick, leaving a small space for people who really wanted to squeeze through. For those who chose the other side of the wall, or who I walled out, our time has passed, I guess. For my part, I’ve always been as authentic as I could. And I trusted–until I couldn’t–for reasons.

I didn’t always respond or behave the way I wish I would have–but I’m human. I’ve hopefully learned and evolved over the time with each bump and boulder in my path. Whatever mistakes I made, you got me honestly, and my honesty, and the sincerest bits of my heart.

The Dark Side of Light

heatherblue

I don’t know anymore what it means to not worry. I worry about everything. I think this is supposed to be one of the downsides of being a sensitive person. The way I figure it, sensitive people go through life like an open wound, raw, gaping. Sometimes we manage to sew ourselves up enough to keep it together.

The gift of being sensitive is in feeling good when you help somebody. Or loving so hard and so much that you know that no person has loved as hard and much as you are “right now.” And the sensual side of sensitivity certainly has its advantages when it comes to touch and taste.

But the downsides are so hard, y’all. I try to live in this worry. It’s more like carrying a load than living inside of something. If you live inside of something, then you at least get to rest sometimes. You at least get to eat and sleep. This is more like carrying something. When you carry something, even if it’s small, if you carry it long enough, or in the wrong way, it can become heavy.

It can make you doubt yourself and question your worth. It can make you feel like everybody you care about will be snatched away because you don’t deserve them.

There is a dark side to the light of looking into the world with sensitive eyes. Each thing is either brilliant and blinding, or it is devoid of even a tiny flame. And flames cast shadows.

There’s good news though. I used to wait for a rope to be dropped down to me. These days, I find the damned rope or holler up to somebody to toss one down.

I’m still journaling. Or I should say, I’m back to journaling. As you can see, I’m back to blogging, too.

I hope to catch up in here. My sensual side needs some stroking. My brain has been focused on the daily struggles of just getting through life. I want to come back here and say hello. I missed you.

How are you today?

 

Sensual Sunday – Valentine’s Edition

Valentine’s Day happened to fall on a Sunday this year. So, I was determined to do a Sensual Sunday post today. Here it is. Happy Valentine’s Day all of you lovers out there.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

wchofhlb

He writes. He observes. Quietly. Warmly. Kindly.

I woke up to his whispers.

“You looked so soft,” he said.

He used words like “elegant” and “curvy” and “lovely.”

“I took a photo of you. Look, here…see.” He shows me. I like it. I used to hate every photo of myself. Now I’m more selective with my hate of things, self and otherwise.

All freckled shoulders and my face buried in pillows. My pixie cut obviously well on its way past bob length. Look at that flip in my hair, I thought. It’s nice that the sheet decided to drape that way.

It’s sweet. And loving. And the kind of thing I always wanted in a lover. Somebody who would look at me when I am sleeping and think that I’m beautiful. When I’m not vying for attention or trying to be seductive, he still notices.

“It looks kind of like a ball gown,” he says. “Low in the back, of course. Elegant. You just look so beautiful.” His face searched mine and I saw a flash, that momentary request for approval – that I didn’t hate it and that it was ok that he took it.

I feel my face go soft. I smile.

“Yeah, I guess it does. The way it’s draped like that,” I say.

And I watch him, watching me. Messy hair and barrette falling out. But I don’t feel like a disaster. I feel like I am glowing. And the sheets are so soft and warm. The sun glow is even cooperative, diffuse and comforting. And he puts a hand to my leg and strokes it and then leans in to kiss me. I am at peace in that moment. All of myself focused on that kiss. It’s all I have to offer at this moment in time and I guess, for now, it’s enough.

Happy Valentine’s Day – A Racing Brain At 4am

wchbwLaying there, one fleshy pale leg resting on top of yours. Layers of blankets hugging us to the bed, I pretzel and twist – one of my arms over my head, one of yours, over yours. I find your fingers with my left hand and you squeeze them, even though you are mostly asleep. I try to touch as much of my skin to yours as I can, curved like a bean next to you. I lay my head in the sweet spot that your body has made for it. Was made for it, long before I met you. When you were born, maybe. I put my right arm across your chest. I know you love this – a woman resting on your chest. “There is something so…satisfying…beautiful, about it,” you once said. Or something like it.  And even years later there is an impression there, and an image in my head. It’s faded like a washed-out photograph. You know the one. And it doesn’t hurt anymore, but it’s there. Maybe it always will be. I decide it doesn’t matter and I start a poem in my head. God, it’s almost 4 a.m. and I am composing words as I feel you breathe. None of the words are good enough. Some of them don’t even make sense. I will never be good enough, my brain says. But you already are, I counter. Your thigh is twice the circumference as his. And it feels good for that not to be something I hate. It’s a non-issue. I take that back. It’s a celebration.

I think of him, a swat on the bottom in the kitchen – I laugh and turn to kiss him. The way he takes handfuls of me like worship. Nothing but praise for my flesh ever passes his lips. It’s the way it always should have been. It’s what I needed when I was a teen. To be given the message that I am good the way I am.  Hell, it’s what I needed as a young woman who’s wounds were rubbed raw by a man. One I don’t talk about or know anymore. Though he ends up in my Timehop sometimes. Like yesterday. What was it? Oh – something about his love of the word “nefarious.” The day before I think it was something about science fiction and the day before that, a discussion on love, seven years ago.

Ghosts. Ghosts of ghosts, because they don’t haunt any longer. They are sluggish, thin versions of themselves.

So I just lay there, warm, feeling you breathe and I let things flood in as I try to find sleep. I don’t even know all of what they mean. I hope they become jumbled and incoherent and lull me to peace.

I am all dry bones and wet lips. Hungry holes. You are warm skin and heartbeat.

Dry bones. Wet lips. Hungry holes.

Dry bones. Wet lips. Hungry holes.

Dry bones. Wet lips. Hungry holes.

It repeats in my brain. Dry bones? What does that even mean? I like the image. Bones, cleaned and dry. Down to the most basic of what I am built on. Dancing, clicking together. Maybe a bit macabre, but not the way it is coming to me, so warm and cozy and like the stem of a flower rather than a dead one. I can see them clanking about. Hear them in my head, making a funny wooden xylophone sort of a noise. Is there a special name for a wooden xylophone? Part of me wants to look it up. I swear I had a conversation about this very thing on Facebook recently with a friend…Rob I think. He’s a musician, that makes sense. I don’t know. It’s too late and I post too much. I’d never find it. I like to get it right, but surely you know what a wooden xylophone means, even if I don’t use the right word for it. If that isn’t the right word for it.

Is there such thing as responsible dairy? Is that chocolate made with child slave labor? You made sure it wasn’t. Because that’s who you are as a person. You’re better than me and I know it. But that doesn’t mean I’m bad. It just means I have something to aspire to.

Why did she lay across your chest like that, then take it back and blame me? I’m pretty sure she blames me. Even though she wrote to me and said she was not, and never would be mad at me. Why would she be mad at me, I wondered? I was never anything but sweet and enthusiastic. But she said a lot of things that turned out not to be true or real. Why am I still talking about this? I don’t want to think about it anymore. I’m not even mad anymore. Just, so confused. Still, so confused. Stop thinking about it. Why am I thinking about it? I’m just…ghostbusting? Do you have to bust ghosts that don’t haunt? I mean, the ghosts aren’t causing trouble anymore – not sliming anybody, or ruining chandeliers, or haunting paintings and stealing babies.  Is it too much to expect I won’t ever think of these things? Yes. It is. So they’ll be here, showing up like thin watercolors, barely coloring parts of my life, but there. Always, I guess.

Scalia is dead. So much division in this nation right now. It’s reached the point of inability to function under stress. Getting older isn’t what I thought it would be. “Nothing ever is,” the waitress says to Frenchie, flicking the light switch with her elbow and missing it by a mile.

I inhale you once more, kiss that spot right at the top of your breast, before your shoulder – there really needs to be a name for that part. If there is one, I don’t know what it is. I throw off the covers and here I am. 4:21 am. Thinking about how much I’ve let go and moved on from the hurt and resentment and being grateful there is nothing left but a ghost impression. Glad I’m here celebrating us. You tell me all the time, how glad you are at the way we stuck to it. I still am amazed at how happy I am. This little nest we’ve feathered. Even errands aren’t a chore when I am with you. Too many red stop-lights? Doesn’t matter, it’s just more time to talk to you. Ok, I’m not so good at the hardware store. I turn into a child. But you don’t even hate it, and how can I not appreciate that gift that you have to love me that way?

Theo “organic fair trade” chocolate – thanks love. Salted. Almonds. It was for today anyway, right? Needs bourbon on the side. And probably some sleep.

Happy Valentine’s Day, lover. We are what we are. All of these things are part of us and live alongside us. How lucky we are.

 

Leting Go – Mostly