About Me

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In this blog I have created a haven, a place I allow my deepest emotions to go and sit. I can write easily about what I’ve accomplished. This biography I can recite in my sleep. But I’ve always written poetry and in diaries since I was a teenager. I continued to write poetry in my journals, and not until 2006 did I show them to anyone. I generally write every day, at the present in memoir form. I haven’t written poetry since my mother died in January, 2007. I didn’t write at all between her death and the death of my father three years later in January, 2010. On my father’s birthday in March, 2010, I began this blog, to honor my father and to help me grieve. But I also desperately needed to write, and this stream of conscious style emerged. I needed to find my organic voice.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Oh, haaaaaaaaaaai there...

I feel extraordinarily blessed today. Of course there is a story involved, one that may or may not interest anyone, but I have finally had some time for reflection--more accurately Time for Reflection. It should *absolutely* be in capital letters. My god, I've been running like my life depends on it, for months now; perhaps running AWAY from something is more accurate...hmmm. Like I said, I finally have an hour and the inclination to reflect. My primary goal for the past few years has been to stay in the moment, be there, be present...and while this is the best thing I could ever have chosen, there has been a lack of balance in the pendular swing of things--that of the Time for Reflection. This blog challenges me to do just that.

First, as always, I think about the preternatural speed at which time is flying. And my father's watch is still ticking away in my bedroom. I check it every time I go in there, as if to check for a pulse, or a breath.

It is nearly November. This brings waves of anxiety. Halloween is a bad time, because that's when my mother was found, nearly dead, at my parents' house. Halloween is also a blessed time, because I spent TWO of them with my dad, sister, niece and nephew in CT. I dressed up, followed the kids as they went trick-or-treating, and walked arm-in-arm with my dad, who was starting to slow down. Last Halloween, (I mean THE LAST Halloween) was lovely; a beautiful night, happy kids, my dad furiously taking pictures. I think he knew, although didn't tell, he didn't have much time left with us. In retrospect, yes, the signs were everywhere. I was intentionally blind to them, as he asked me to be. I remember now the soft cushiony feel of his sweatshirt, the black one, underneath which he wore his "halloween" shirt --black, with orange letters spelling 'Poppi' that I made him--and the work of his gait. His hand over mine as we enjoyed his grandchildren, my niece and nephew, who were blissfully unaware of his condition an ran like maniacs from door to door for more candy. Just the way he wanted it!

So, back to the present: I've sung four concerts in three weeks in addition to overload teaching and fighting some ungodly ailment. Been through antibiotics and corticosteroids to relieve the swelling of my vocal cords.  This is very stressful for a singer and a teacher on whom the voice is depended.  I was happy with one of the four performances, and I'll take it.  Just recently flew to New Hampshire to sing a couple of gigs and to see some friends.  I was so surprised at my melancholy; I thought joy would finally overtake me as I escaped for a few days to New England at the peak of foliage season. Instead, an immense sadness filled me, sapped me of the energy I usually feel jolted with before a performance. There wasn't enough time with the friends I longed to see. I slept for close to an entire day: 17 hours, and stumbled through the rest of the weekend somehow disheveled and groggy. Some of it I can attribute to a slip in philosophy; the rest to depression, grief, and exhaustion.

I am at the precipice, looking out and down, at the last tasks to be completed, the finality of it scares me. It also propels me into frenetic action that has left me devoid of compassion, of interest, of anything other than *getting it done*.  I've hired two people as assistants to help me deal with the amount of work that needs to be completed in a very short time. One there, one here.  All this work was waiting to be done until the house was sold. It is under contract now, my dad's place,  and the flurry of action between me and real estate agent, me and attorney, has flung my overwrought brain into a tizzy. So much to do in three weeks.  Estate sale; Movers; Salvation Army; Utilities; Final dispersement of estate funds. OH, and I'm sure one more hefty attorney's fee, even though I was assured over the summer that my huge check was payment in full. Bullshit. I knew it.

My heart is telling me it needs to go to the house one last time. To attend the closing. To visit my parents' graves.  This comes at a terrible price of time I do not have. When I miss lessons at school, I have to make them up. This means I double, sometimes triple my workload, depending on how much I am gone.  There is no room to double a load that is already past the maximum.

But my heart,
My heart needs this time to
Say goodbye, to
the person I was before
the little one I was
the child, the daughter--the protected, loved one
Who is now out on her own,
in her own boat,
sailing as the captain
she is meant to be.
But to leave port,
I must say a proper good bye.

My guess is that I'll be seeing my CT friends in a few weeks. We'll see.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Isn't this supposed to be getting better with time?

The first six weeks of the semester went well; I've been making strides dealing with the busy-ness of being back at school--with a teaching overload to boot-- preparing for upcoming gigs, and have even entered into a tentative agreement with a publisher to write a textbook.  Work has been a solace. My dad taught me the values of working hard, not letting shit get you down; but now I wonder if I've been avoiding some unfinished emotional work.

In fact, I'm sure of it.

I led a finely choreographed dance and the balance of things was on the point of a needle. And I've either been pierced by it or at the very least,  tipped off it.

Amidst the stress of re-entry into academia, I am now, apparently, going through some new phase of the grieving process. It feels like it's happening all over again. That damned car accident two weeks ago was the thing that did it. It jolted me back into reality. It created a vortex into which I have plummeted; at least temporarily.

There is a transition in the works for me and I believe it's life-changing. Everything is swirling and I want to stay mindful to get the Universal message as it is sent me.  What happens if I can't figure it out? I'm frustrated because I don't understand what's happening inside me.

Time to refocus, rebalance--the emotional work is ongoing, and I need to respect that. But there are only so many hours in the day. I asked the Universe for a Time Out and got the bug floating around my department. Nice sense of humor, there ;oP

Home sick for part of this week, I looked around and realized my house is stuck, too--I can't move anything, clear anything. We are frozen in time.  Nothing has changed at my place since Christmas. To move even the mail recognizes the enormity of my loss and my inability to move forward. And yet there is a profound urge pushing me--driving me--from the inside out. This internal dilemma is making me sick, ruining my sleep, and causing my fibromyalgia to flare. Anxiety is through the roof. While this is definitely a wake up call, can *this* the push I've been waiting for? And if so, what the hell do I do about it? I loved my father. I don't know how to move on.

So many questions. So much unrest. I am befuddled and a little discouraged.