...transcending polarity

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~ words mean nothing (everything) to me ~


the year in review...

as it stands thus far:

i said goodbye to Piper. that was hard. it's still hard looking at her pictures, her bed, her toys. she was with us over 15 years and her crossing over the bridge was something i really thought i was ready for, but in the end, i certainly was not. and not so soon after Bodhi - it was too much. too hard. i still dream about her at least once a week.

we welcomed Dexter into the mix, a shelter rescue. he is all brute and fur. and sweet and mean. and funny. he is a kitten that acts like a puppy and he loves the snow. right now, he is 8 months old and weighs 11 pounds, so i'm thinking he will be quite large in a year or so.

my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in October. it was amazing. my Dad turned 70 the next week and my Mom turned 69 last month. it's funny, though, because i don't think of them as being 69 and 70. to me, they are Mom and Dad and they are going to live forever; i can't imagine anything else.

so, the household is me, Craig, Nikko, Stuart, Dewey, Otis Flywheel, Dexter, Mr. Hobbes and Miss Pippa. i am considering adopting 2 more ferrets, but with finances the way they are and no real upturn in the economy appearing to be happening anytime soon, it might have to wait. but soon.

my job is the same. not great, but not all gloom and doom (this week, anyway). it's a paycheck. and right now, that's pretty damned important. Craig has been out of work for the better part of this year and is trying to start his own business. so far, it's been slow going. but everything is slow going right now. nobody has a bunch of disposable income to throw at a contractor to rebuild a kitchen or bath. and those who do have a little to spend are either too paranoid to spend it (and rightfully so) or never had any intention of spending it in the first place. so, here we are...trapped in the amber of the moment...with bills to pay and no real money to pay them with. yet.

so basically, i am stuck in the same spot as last year, only moreso. is there any end to this? i wonder all the time if the middle-class lifestyle Craig and i worked so hard for is really worth anything at all. it seems to me that any misstep can spell disaster - and it wasn't that way when we landed here. it is just that way now. and maybe it won't be that way in a year or two, but right now, the struggle to stay afloat is more effort than i want to expend on something i don't really believe in in the first place. seems to me that this is all smoke and mirrors and for what? so we can have a house that we 'own'? we don't own a damn thing. the bank owns it. and the bank cares nothing for us and only for our money. it's not really all that different than renting, except now we pay taxes and all utilities and maintenance. joy. the American dream. blah...

so...what? what now? hell if i know.

i think i am to the point where i am now just going to go for it. i am tired of making careful decisions and trying to maintain normalcy (whatever that is) all around me. it doesn't fit into what i want my life to be and so it makes no sense. this 'real' job thing isn't me and i don't want to be 90 years old looking back on my life with regret. so far, i don't regret a single thing - but i have a nagging feeling that soon, very soon, if i don't just squeeze my eyes shut and jump, i will get stuck on this ledge forever. the middle-class ledge of hell. i don't want this. i want life.


Spider One

The world is a tunnel of death;
it's hard to concentrate with
low-flying conversation overhead.

She stalks only the twins, the girls,
her faces mirror his moods -
together in isolation, partners in desolation,
condemned by genetic mutation.

Her gift to him is rollercoaster fury
tempered with indifference. He is
the long-forgotten ruby slipper essence
when she was single in a relative sense.

Now he is one among the sleepless,
never alone and always by himself.
He is going to line them up
(in real life there are no quick fixes)
and mow them down in sixes.

The gun is in a golf bag in the garage.

He fires it up and flips, one by one,
through each fine fuzzy frame;
his characters are very much alive
in his own home movie and
tonight the stars revolt!





I dream treason to my truest self,
that which is not born of me. I swallow
the bitterness that surges
into the back of my throat;
I choke it down. I pretend not to see
the glimpse of the kestrel harlot
I encounter each morning.
I whet my beak and sharpen my claws.
She folds her wings and lingers
in the shadow of the eaves of my lids
ever vigilant for new and exciting prey.

I cut her free and I am all that a starling is not.




Mr. Nobody

I've lost him, I think.
I don't know.

No, I do know.

I know all too well that look;
the black hole eyes that see only red, red rage.
The lights are on, but nobody's home
- Mr. Nobody to you, fucker -
only there is somebody home
and that somebody only wants
to hurt to stop the pain.

His eyes are lit with power and fury;
it consumes him and I understand.

I want to go with him.
I want to bring him back.

But I am only his sister that knows,
so I hug him and I hope.

Stupid hope.





i woke up at 2 a.m.
piper was having a seizure.
it was pretty bad,
but she snapped right out of it.
call me later if you want, he said.
love you, he said.
a misfire and the brain is flooded
with backwards current.
two more weeks to fifteen -
or is it one hundred and five?
our togetherness includes her.
it always has. what reason
will i have to call him when
she's gone? what will happen to
us when our noble sky hound
takes her final leap?





No poetry here, no creative twists, no quotable lines. Just me as me and nobody else. A rarity, to be sure...

I am 35. I am the daughter of Frank and Pat Owens, forever and always. I am the first of seven adopted children. I am the younger sister of Frank, Lynne, Mark and Sean, the older sister of Danny, Ryan, Chris, Karen, Katie, Michael and Andrew. I am Craig's wife. I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a friend. I am the birthdaughter of Judy. I am the birthsister of Ellen, Shelley, TJ and Terrence. I am me.

I am 5' 3" and I was born bald. I might have had 2-3 blonde hairs by the time I was a year old, though. I have terrible vision, but the auras and the voices make up for that. I am an emotional sponge and other people's feelings/judgments affect me to the core, spoken or not. I cloak my true self with sarcasm and feigned apathy. I choke my true feelings back with nicotine and drown them away with alcohol. I create imaginary lives that I want to claim as my own. I talk to my dogs, cats and ferrets more than I ever talk to any person. I am weak, I am strong. I love too much and, sometimes, I am quite sure I don't love enough.

I am a creative writer, an artist, a poet - I suffer the part well, but not by design. I make drugs to make money. I hate myself for it every single day; I am not corporate material. I am a chameleon for 8-12 hours a day. For now. I tell myself that all artists suffer, it is part of the mystique, it is what makes it so romantic, this double life of horror tempered with expression. You learn to love the pain you feel and from that, true art springs - but what happens when that spring runs dry? Is that all there is?

I want to believe in an afterlife, I want to feel that there's something more than what I live, but I simply don't. I exist. I am all about the human condition, helping other people on this planet and making it a better place to be for those who are here right now and improving it for those who will end up here after I'm long gone. I want to make a mark indelible and then I want to disappear - isn't that what immortality really is? I want there to be a God so I can air my grievances, but I can not and will not depend on that, so, for now, I take responsibility for myself and do what is right because it's the right thing to do. It's really that simple.

This year brought me to life and then killed me. 2009 closed out leaving me in a deep depression and I am just now beginning to climb back out of the hole and see a hint of daylight. Part of it is just me; I am, by nature, an emotional rollercoaster running out of track. Part of it is my job. I can't shake the feeling that it's slowly killing me. Part of it is how I perceive myself and where I am versus where I think I should be in life at 35.

I remember things. Small things. Not so small things.

I remember a yellow room and a red-haired lady with blue eyes that seemed very sad. A lemon tree, a low slate wall just above a freeway, a patio top that made the sunlight fall in sharp, perfect squares on the concrete just outside the garage door. A yellow crib and orange and yellow shag carpet. Cream cheese and jelly sandwiches and Mom watching soaps while I colored at the coffee table. I remember fish pellets in the Kawabata's backyard and tearing Patty's drawing by accident and how she cried.

I remember getting up early to go pick raspberries with Mom. Dad grilling chicken legs and telling me they were frog legs and how I took a headcount of all my pet frogs in the window wells that day. Reading with Frank on the sofa in Ohio and how my goldfish jumped to his death not long after that. Lynne cutting off her fingertip and the blood staining the kitchen ceiling an orangey-red, her first house and going on roadtrips with her when she worked for GMAC. Mark's yellow car with black stripes, his basketball hoop, him leaving for school and how I missed him and still do.

I remember playing army with Sean and how proud I was when he received his appointment to the Naval Academy. The day Danny came home and how he refused to move away from Dad. The night Ryan was born and how I cried when Mom went to the hospital. I remember the morning Ryan died and how, for a while, everybody else did, too. Chris arrived in time to see Nana pass away, all chins, innocence and contentment. Karen and Katie as infants asleep on a blanket, each with a tiny hand extended toward the other. Michael's perfect red hair and genuine smile, his drive to always be first, and he was - still is, in many ways. Andrew slicing his finger open on an art easel when he was 2 or 3 years old and how far the corners of his mouth turned down as they put in stitches. Tears pricked his eyes but he refused to let a single tear fall; I wanted to cry for him.

I remember Nana showing me how to make peaks in frosting. I remember Pop Pop letting me pick out his tobacco and making me promise not to tell Mom and Dad, and especially Danny, that I had figured out they were Santa; I was five, maybe six. Pops laughing and calling everybody 'butterfinger' and Mom Mom picking her numbers over a wine cooler.

I remember Craig behind glass, his long auburn hair tangled down his back. That was sixteen years ago. Craig is my constant and I admire him. Sometimes, no matter how bad things seem, when you have a feeling about somebody, it doesn't matter what you see in front of you, only what the potential is and how you can be a part of something bigger - I knew at that moment it was do or die for both of us, we needed each other, our life paths had crossed for a reason.

Together we have lost three children, our credit, a job or two and many wonderful pets, but together we have also worked our way through college, paid off our bills and recovered our credit, bought a home and share it with many hairy kids, maybe someday a human one or two as well. And I regret not one bit of it.

This year has made me think, take inventory of my life. Family is so deeply important to me, yet, when I am around them, I don't know what to talk about, what to say, how to relate. I am an open book in many ways - what you see is what you get - but I am inaccessible as well. How can you get to know me when I don't even know me?

As an adopted child, I am fortunate. I know my birthmother and I communicate with her regularly; I know she loves me and I know she did what she did out of love. I can never thank her enough for that selfless act. I know my sisters and brothers and I have many things in common with them. I am able to see who I look like, who I take after, where I came from and how those discoveries fit into my worldview - some things, I've learned, really are just a part of who you are when you are born. At times, nature can and does override nurture. And that realization made it possible for me to start to find my authentic self. But I am not there yet. Sometimes I think I never will be. Knowing my birthfamily has given me a path to explore I didn't have before...it's a gift I am truly grateful for.

This year for me, especially at the holidays, was a disconnect. I lost myself and, I think, my family. There was no point of reference for me to hold on to, I was over-worked and exhausted and I really didn't feel a part of anything, including a part of myself. It was like I was there, but I was watching myself from a distance and I couldn't will myself into my body to regain control. It was all I could do to speak and when I went home, it was all I could do not to cry. I witnessed everything and felt a part of nothing. Why? No idea. And right or wrong, that's how I felt and I own it but I don't know what to do with it. I guess that's why it's here - I just need to get it out before I slip back down and lose sight of the little bit of light I glimpsed this morning.



~ in transit ~