Hands

God, I had forgotten about hands, his hands.

They were ungodly perfect in the way they touched, kneaded, teased, heat moving wherever they moved.
In one touch, I found myself not caring about anything else but that they didn’t stop, and I don’t beg.

These hands made me beg.

I was not in control of them, but somehow they commanded me, a deep pleasing vibration came from them, and I loved them, salivated for them, my mind never leaving them, watching them, asking them not to stop, to never go away.

They were sweet, impossibly sweet, in their attention, a mindful impossible tender attention to detail, to me.

How could hands be so sweet?

The forgetting was as unbelievable as the touch themselves, and so my mind churned as they touched,
pressed in the wanting and asking of me.

How could hands be this way? I wondered what they wanted from me.
I thought of other hands, the way they moved with simple suggestion.

I thought of awkward hands, the way I moved them for them, just in case they did not know.

I thought of my father’s hands on my mother’s neck.
This thought made me begin to sweat. She trusted those hands too.

What if I were like her, trusting hands that seemed made for her?

My heart pounded now, and I felt sick, wondered if I just weren’t ready for hands, not sweet ones, because what if hands that felt this good were the ones you don’t trust?

Hmm. This made sense.

I thought of asking him to stop, but how? What do you say? He wouldn’t understand.

The hands were moving sweetly and elegantly, to music and candles, but now what felt wonderful started to
claw, scratch, burn.

Maybe I just needed some water, or a pill, an anxiety pill, of course.
No. Maybe, well, no.
No, these hands were wonderful and kind. No. NO. I was fine. These hands were fine.
Or were they?

How would I know? My heart now started beating rapidly, but not in the good way,
the pain and burn of them circled with the churn of my thoughts, racing, racing, running away, or at least trying.

Where could I run? I was trapped with these hands, hands so beautiful they made me want to cry.

“You okay?” It came from a sweet voice, its question made me feel like a complete fool.

The room got dark, because I turned off the light.

The hands paused and I wanted to rock and scream and yell to stop, that they hurt, that I was burning,
that they hurt. But, this couldn’t be true. They were sweet hands. Nice hands.
“I’m okay,” I lied.
I don’t know how to love hands yet.
I don’t know how to trust them.
These are the words I wished I said, but what would have happened?
What if the hands went away?
They most certainly would go away, wouldn’t they?
This made me certain. I had to have done the right thing.

And so I lie. I lie and I lie and I lie…..

Hope, a Mid Life Crisis Discussion

I met up with Clyde for dinner last night, had a long talk with my Lovely Phoenix, Melissa Brown, and the theme of the night was heavy, all of us in our own individual ways exploring hope, the loss of it, the desire of it, the sting of having it and losing it.

Clyde talked about the old days, not divorced, debt free, the bitter loss of a dream yet to be discovered.

“Do you know who I used to be, Katie? I mean I was fearless, really fearless,” he said looking into space, his face registering shock at what life once was without the layers of disappointment that have now become part of him.
It broke my heart.

The Phoenix spoke of a spiral, the very bottom, and we finished each other’s words about the climb, the unbearable climb of one foot in front of the next, the daily life of putting one foot in front of the other.

Survival, I was once told, is the way you live a crisis.
It is not the way to live a life.

And so, I look back on my own life, the last ten years marked by excruciating pain, fear, shock, and survival. I feel the tremblings of fear all the time, every day, and I feel the rush of anxiety crushing down, pressing, my heart pounding and the blood rushing to my head as I lay down just to breathe, checking and rechecking my breath, slowly letting air in and out of my lungs.

Those days used to be marked every day, many times a day, and now are so far in between that they annoy me, an awareness something has triggered me, that fear is not even real, that trauma is part of me.
I see it now as my friend asking my help to heal it.
I ask it to look around me, at my girls, my life, my health, my dreams being restored.

And it fights for survival but I eventually win the argument, and when I don’t, I spiral, but I do come back. I always come back.
The only thing we have to fight fear is hope.
I hope for so many things that my heart might burst wide open in the wanting, the beauty, the possibility of what and who I might become.

It is a tricky thing to hope. I have hoped for things that have been harmful for me, the weight of my own lies crashing down on me, on my illusions, on my fear. When you hope to be free, there is usually a door to a long flight of stairs going up wide open and yet my eye is drawn to the blinking exit door to the left, the word EXIT flashing in bright bold colors, tempting and taunting.

I have taken that door and it led to bondage every time, and I am not sure when I decided to take the stairs, my make up smeared, my breath shallow, my body and spirit in pain. I was certain the journey was too far gone and impossible to take, my resources as short as my desire was tall, one more defeat to add to the long accumulating list.

The journey always starts with one step.
http://sevencitys.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/the-gift-of-friendship-zuko/

Lose the Keys and Follow Your Dreams

My heart is full with gratitude to be sitting here, coffee in hand, with my blog and you, my strange friends out in the universe. I have missed writing and have felt the pain of not expressing my ups and downs daily, a balance that always grounds and restores me. I am excited the next three weeks to return to my writing, the blogs of bondage shoots, people, laughter and experiences bursting to be expressed.

I have been living like a hurricane building slowly on the horizon, a dangerous and destructive omen to most, a storm unyielding and unpredictable, my presence unbearably feared by my mother, who has been worried about my health and lack of sleep. I have 26 unheard messages I think, my phone is MIA at this very moment. I missed the annual tree decorating this year with my girls. I whisper I love you to all of you during the day, when a text comes through, a thought pops up, a song is playing, when my heart drops at your status on face book I had again missed, and then in the early morning when my return reply had been replaced by drool on the side of my face, the awareness I went to bed fully clothed again.

I don’t know if the echoes of my whispers find their way, but I just hope, sometimes cry, my tears falling from either trust or doubt.
I certainly have not known the difference, especially at first.
I once thought you should have a key to having it all, and so I looked for the key tirelessly, mostly through my love of all things spiritual, self help books, failed relationships, lots and lots of questions to all kinds of people. I am passionate I can have it all, and my treasure has been an endless search for the perfect key that will bring the energy available to my work and family, friends, independence, and even love.

I have been looking for keys my whole life.

People who know me would laugh because it is so true, my keys are always lost, locked in or out of my car, stuck in 14 foot drains when it is raining, and I feel bad for people who love me for this reason. I could be in a New Jersey Hotel, a cemetery shoot, or in the driveway crying, but it never fails the best friends I have are most likely cursing me in the bushes. Divorcee, who has a gift I might add, knows to always look in the most illogical place possible, which is actual logic, and sometimes, like the bushes, or the fridge, there they are, a white light illuminating them in my eyes, my face overjoyed, his head shaking.

Triple A is probably what I should be asking for Christmas.

I lose but also collect keys, uncertain why, many of them are rustic and beautiful, some are prison keys, concrete and heavy. I love keys, in all shapes and sizes and the best of them tell a story, represent bondage and freedom, wisdom, and love.

Haven’t you overheard the phrase he holds the key to my heart? I used to wonder if that could be true.
Can people hold keys to your heart and is it possible just anyone could have the key and open and shut your heart as pleased?

If keys could represent love and dreams, no wonder I have been collecting them, wanting desperately to unlock all my heart’s desires, the search endless.

No wonder I can’t find one to complete me, so I collect them and have found some of the best in garage sales and nice antique shops, the perfect key makes me smile, especially if it makes you pause and stare, is worn and authentic, waiting to unlock something fabulous.

Strangely today, if the key to solving my disappearance were in my hand, the key to a workable loving relationship with a man, being fully present with my kids, my mother’s fear vanishing, the only key to turning off my brain racing with anxiety and excitement were in my hand, I would not even think twice.

I would toss it right out the window, without even hesitation, unless I was aware of a pedestrian, or maybe to turn up the volume in my car, my laughter and tears of the day falling, which they do fall every day, but rather they come from joy or pain I can’t ever seem to know.

I have become alive and I am never going back.

Becoming alive has been a fearless and painful process because I don’t think I understood it fully till now.

I think about the word “SHOULD” in my life and all that have brought me to you today, my heart beating in that loud beautiful way, the way one’s heart must beat while alive. I recognize it because it is new to me, a bold unfamiliar pattern I am strangely adapting to understand.

You SHOULD lose your best friends because that is what your husband wants.

You SHOULD be a good stay at home mom because that is what your mother did best.

You SHOULD not write about the things your family feels so much pain over.

You SHOULD accept years of unhappiness in a marriage because you brought kids here.

YOU SHOULD NOT BE SELFISH.

YOU SHOULD GIVE YOUR WHOLE SELF, NO MATTER THE COST, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT LOVE MEANS.

And so I did, worked tirelessly to make all the demands I believed should make life matter, and I regret nothing, seeing those decisions found me here today along with a lot of healing, beautiful children and relationships stamped by the word “FOREVER.”

But those things did not make me come alive.
It hurt actually.

It made getting up a hard thing to do, my arms like weights being lifted just to hit the alarm, the voices of doubt pushed so that I had like a robot, repeated these unfamiliar dreams into a pattern now familiar, dreams I thought I had to want o be my own.

“Life is not easy,” and “Look at the good things” and “You could be worse and have been” are mostly the ways in which I convinced my dream to be a good one.

Dreaming is scary for Robots.
Robots are careful not to see too much hope. They know despair soon follows.
Robots are careful not to see too much destruction. They know destruction costs you everything. That is why they do everything the same way, but they are wired incorrectly. They are still living in fear every day, but it okay as long as they are unaware of why or have a creator they blame for the damaged circuiting.

Robots sense fear and loss and despair and so they pretend the life they have is the one they ordered, unchangeable, and for whatever reason, dreams do not get a receipt. You accept the damaged lost dreams and you go on.
Or they can also pitch a fit, blame everyone behind the counter, stomp through life angry and unmovable, completely convinced the people in standing distance must all be punished. Robots don’t even ask about the exchange policy.

It seems strange now I did not question either whether dreams never expire, or believe you can change your mind or even ask for a new dream, uncertain if it even exits, or how much it costs.

Being a Robot has cost me a lot in my life, but I did not know it.
I was just a Robot.
Being alive has hurt, cost me relationships I value, and I tremble at the future, aware it may hold even greater destruction than I know how to handle. I fear not only believing in the dream and losing it, but the reality of losing the ones I love in the process.
It has been hard for me to realize Robots say the right things, the cliche of “FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS,” wanting you to follow your dreams and when you do, what they actually meant all along was,
“Follow your dreams if I am a part of it.”

“Follow your dreams but don’t come to me for help.”

“Follow your dreams if it is the one I think is best for you.”

“Follow your dreams but need me and don’t go far.”

“Follow your dreams but I am pretty certain you will fail and if you don’t, I wont like myself around you.”

Robots don’t want to feel less and it makes them afraid when you decide to do the very thing they desire.
All Robots want to be set free.
So when you set yourself free, it makes them aware that they have not, and suddenly, they do not like you.
And yet, I can’t go back.

I have this funny wonderful feeling that the dreams I had before were all programmed Robot dreams, my life an evolving door of pain and suffering, having been programmed by fear, fully dressed in Robot gear.
I am not sure yet but I wonder if dreams don’t actually cost you.

Maybe that is a robot invasion programming device convincing me I am unworthy.

I wonder if all I have to do is look up.

The dreams may just start falling straight from the sky.

Olivia Maddy Marie, a “Tribute” for Heather Murphy

When Kat was barely two, my boss at the time had a little boy named Alex, her favorite playmate, a child so full of life and contagious joy, there were no walls, counter tops or couch cushions that could contain him. He was a flaming spirit of play and laughter, a lot like his mom, and nothing he did could not be instantly forgiven.

One of the hardest moments of my life was going to his funeral, his mother bathed in unimaginable grief became no longer my boss, but part of my soul as I worked with her every day, my greatest teacher to date. She taught me that being in grief with someone made you not weak, but strong. I will treasure her for life for all the moments she allowed me to practice the art of loving someone who is drowning in grief, and the realization that there is no life jacket to throw, nor did she need or want one from me.

She taught me to look at life, death, love, loss, God, and motherhood through a whole new lens, but the ultimate lesson she gave me, is that you can not say, pray, wish, love, or cry the pain away. You have to just be there, sit in the devastation with her, and just be. It is the hardest and most important lesson I have ever learned.

When I left her and that job, there were lessons yet to remain. I quit to have Lola, to divorce, to grow, and in a full cycle, to return to the same job, changed, irreversible, yet so incomplete.

I had yet to meet Heather Murphy.

My first day back on the job, I found myself in the office with this beautiful young blond mother who in small talk about our girls, took out a picture of her incredibly beautiful Isabella, the perfect vision of brown springing curls and big eyes that would melt the hardest of hearts. Then, she took out a photo of Liv, her baby who had died not too long before we met, just a year old. I thought I could die of heartbreak at that very second, flashbacks of the same office, the unforgivable grief, all the details entirely different, the horrifying reality absolutely the same.

My new boss was a part of my soul now too, in an instant, like someone in heaven were snapping their fingers at me, to wake up, to realize she and I were strangers no longer, but together in that moment, for a reason.

It was bigger than me. It was bigger than us.

I don’t know if she knew it, but I knew it.

I watched that woman outside of my body for months, waiting, asking, praying, wanting. She is a spitfire, a hilarious person full of playful energy with a sneaky smile, sarcastic humor, kind gestures, motherly instincts, strength, and has an uncanny ability to do her job amongst men not just well, but incredibly well. She had walls as tall as Berlin, a tough exterior of strength and professionalism, calling me out when I needed it, running the place when I wanted to fall over from fatigue, but she remained. She exhausts me, sometimes mowing the grass at night, just because it needed to be done.

I believe it is her greatest strength and weakness, this strength, because everyone believes she is capable of everything, and sometimes I wonder is she just wants to sit in a chair and be rocked, mothered, taken care of, a realization that no one is there for her, but her, and she is responsible for everyone else.

Slowly, she let me in, and it took time, and the right moments of listening and asking, to hear her stories of Isabella and Liv, the moments moms exchange with knowing looks and hysterical laughter over what their children do and say, the joy that light us up and the acts that put our heads in our hands with worry. After time, I got to see and experience what happened behind the office door closing, the truths I was ready for, the job I wanted, fearfully, but qualified. I knew the job I had been trained for was not in counting money and doing side work, but in listening, crying, staying, and being.

No money can account for that kind of work, the work of one soul inviting another in, the exchange of pain so unimaginable and unreachable, it is what I believe, the very hope to see life each day as priceless, to approach death in humble awakenings, the thing we fear the most, the loss we never want to imagine. It is a gift and she let me unwrap it, the images of Liv and the stories, her chest of toys and lasts, her journals of letters she writes her, the guilt and horror, the daily hell of waking up to a nightmare you can not numb or escape.

I wrote of Alex, back in the day, and I still have those memories on file, an imprint on my soul, but I was too afraid to share his story and life, the fear and pain a choking sensation around my neck. But, I am ready for Liv.

Alex changed me but Liv freed me. Becky taught me to be in the mud, in the dark, in the grief, and she shown like a star so bright, it was too painful for most to witness. Heather has shown me in your vulnerability, you are invincible. She walks the line of greatness and destruction, a beautiful mess, a tragic disaster, and I know she is afraid of going crazy with her own fear, but I know it will be the arrow to show her the way home.

I am waiting for that day she knows. I wonder what will happen when she arrives, the arrow slicing her heart open, her blood a price will become her gift to herself, to the world. It is a miracle what the human Spirit can endure, that every bit of pain of her loss is giving the world a different lens, a price too high for any mother to pay, and for that, I am so very sorry. That line is almost too pathetic to write, how sorry I am to even write it.
What the hell kind of word is sorry for the price you have paid?

I still will not be sorry to hope, to cry, to endure, to give gratitude, because that is just a piece of what you have given me. I hope to share her with the world, through her mommy’s eyes, her life so big and full and immeasurable in moments not only a mother can understand, but all who have seen angels, walking or not. Her Spirit is too beautiful to have gone anywhere but here, and I feel her now, as I write, and I feel it every time her name is breathed, every time I see her mother cry.

…..I hope you will feel her as well, the anniversary of a year since she left, published on the hour she took her last breath, and I ask that today, you say a prayer for Heather, light a candle, release a butterfly balloon, open your heart to the life you have been given, and remember.

https://buddhathepig.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/the-second-funeral/

Clyde

I have been asked by several people to write a book about some of my dating experiences. OUCH.

I admit that after my divorce I didn’t give a damn, became somewhat a serial dater, protecting my heart so insanely that it just made sense to date the outrageous and ridiculous, rather than risk finding something real.

In fact, I wasn’t real. Not really. Not yet.

I think I will eventually write about some of these experiences, like Mr. Electric, who picked me up at church, took me to Moe‘s, and bought me a car the next day. I think about all the musicians and I just cringe, especially B. H. Rocker, who screamed into microphones and called it music, believing he was so huge underground that I should have to walk behind him into bars. It was for my safety, you see.

The man wore pigtails and different colorful bandanas for God’s sake.

There was the man prescribed to me by my doctor, Prescription Dan, who after coffee, sent a penis shot captured in the midst of ejaculation, a stream so brilliantly photographed, I can’t figure out how he did it. A tripod? My doctor was profusely apologetic.

I think you get the point.

After being devastated with my last boyfriend leaving to live on a boat in Italy, I decided it was time for me to take some serious time out, to refocus, to think about who I was and what I wanted out of life. I buried myself in self help books and work, and at first, I didn’t like what I saw. I avoided mirrors and had night sweats, breaking addictions to sleeping pills and anxiety meds.

I found that all my coping mechanisms came in the form of blue tablets called Xanex and without them, I had to rediscover ways to function. The first thirty days were terrifying. I put one foot in front of the other, took on one day at a time, let every scary emotion I had been running from come to the surface. I wasn’t used to feeling anything much less everything, all at once, all the time.

I felt like I would never stop crying and that I had been issued one big life sentence, a lifetime of pain for all the mistakes I had made, for all the hurt I had accumulated and had been unwilling to address.

And then something rather shocking happened.

Thirty days turned to Sixty and then to Ninety and by the time six months was approaching, I was beginning to not only become comfortable but actually like my own skin. A spark I forgot existed began to ignite inside of me and I was effortlessly laughing, creating, dreaming.

Until my friend M decided it was time for me to be set up on a first date. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Hell no. NO WAY.

I wanted to vomit. I listed out every reason why I was one big mess and she laughed me off saying it would be fun, great, and well past due! It began with text messages and he had this irritating way of making me smile constantly, pulling me in to compulsively checking my phone again and again for what he would say next.

We decided to meet the day after Valentine’s Day and quite frankly, I kind of hoped it might be disastrous, so that I could wipe my hands of this risky relationship business, something I was so tired of failing at.

And well, he wasn’t a disaster at all, damn it.

he was smart, and funny, and kind, and yes, sexy.

The entire time he talked I wondered what the hell he would do with a girl like me. He was a gentleman, thoughtful, believed in taking his time in relationships and I respected him immediately.

There was also something so endearing about his open and honest nature, telling me things about his past relationship that made me know he was healing as well. He let me know things right away that were not easy for me to handle at all, but for some reason, I just couldn’t find any of them reason enough to walk away. And believe me, I tried.

And Oh my goodness, is he funny. Silly, actually and very childlike.

And a really good friend.

On our third date, we went to the movies. It was fun, relaxing, and I didn’t really want it to end at all. He drove me back to my car where we talked for at least an hour, until I noticed a man in a hooded jacket cut across the parking lot, his eyes darting back and forth, and my stomach started to turn.

I felt something might be dreadfully wrong. I felt my blood pressure rise and my heart stop and I worried about what Clyde might have to do, knowing he kept his gun close, having been robbed at gunpoint just earlier this year.

The shady dude slowly opened my car door. I almost vomited. In a flash, I saw every scary horrible scenario flash through my mind like a series of bad movies, but happening to me, to Clyde, to the people who might never see me again.

I froze. My jaw clenched tightly, my fists tight.

“Is that your car, K?” Clyde said quickly, pointing to my actual car a few feet ahead of me, where the relief of the moment melted from shock to hysterics.

I couldn’t stop laughing. It reminded me of nervous relief, and I am definitely the kind of girl that laughs at funerals.

I have been living on edge so long, waiting for someone to hurt me, to break into my car, to crush my heart into a million pieces, to lie, hurt, and suddenly disappear.

My mind has taken over and I see that it has been playing tricks on me, and somehow I had turned a man with a sweatshirt getting in his vehicle into a possible murder scene where I lost my car, possibly Clyde, and myself. I

realize now that I have made the same mistake with my heart, giving it away to unusual suspects and jerking it back before some unlivable crime is committed and in doing this, I have become guarded, afraid, and alone.

I don’t know if I give Clyde my heart some day if he will break it into a million pieces. I just met him.

I don’t know if I can handle the hurt of another failed relationship, what and how much the human spirit can take, but I must have the courage to at least try.

I guess this is what it means to trust, to feel the fear and do it anyway, to surrender to now, to live in the joy of today.

I guess this is what it means to be real.