29 November 2012

Posts That Haven't Quite Made It

I write.  A lot.  And I share.  A lot.  But I also write a lot that I don't share.  Sometimes it's for the best, sometimes it's because I start a really great post and then get sidetracked.  It's the sidetracked posts I miss the most.  And I say "miss" because sometimes I have no idea what I was thinking when I started writing them.  Take for instance this one...it was started sometime in October and was titled "Uh-Oh":
I've been having a lot of, "folks, shit just got real" moments lately.

Yep, that's all that was in the entire post.  I have no idea where I found that picture, but it is a doozer.  And obviously I'd just had some sort of wake up call...I just don't remember what it was.

Here, let me share more.

This one was from February and is titled "Vegetable Fail"

So I bought collard greens, and they rotted before I ate them.  So I basically jumped off the vegetable bandwagon and at this point I have no intention of going back.

That one I do remember.  Nasty greens...ick, ick, ick.  While I stopped doing a new vegetable a week, I didn't give up vegetables completely.  I've had more of them in the last year than I'd had in the previous four...overall I think my 2012 New Year's resolution was a success.

This one was titled "Grrrr" and fell somewhere in March

Once again, not sure what was the inspiration behind it, but I was obviously in a good mood that day.

This one is from June...I remember what it's about.  It's title: "Mill Weight"

You've become the mill weight.  So they cut you loose.  And you spend your time wondering how you went from being something good to something discarded.

You think after 36 years heartache wouldn't affect a person...yet it's always a new, and rarely less painful experience.

Then there are posts I haven't quite worked through yet.  I'm still milling them around in my head, teasing through the thoughts, organizing the confusion.  I hope to finish and post those.  Maybe not on this blog, but maybe on my other, nameless, secret blog (because that's where my deepest thoughts go).  But maybe some of them will make it here.

There is one from July titled "Truth".  It contains a list of things I've come, or am coming, to accept about myself.  Like I bite my lip when I'm nervous...or insecure...and I'm nervous and insecure a lot.

There is another one from August titled "Drifting Into Darkness".  It was inspired by a drive home from Duluth and my oversensitivity to the changing light as the day settled from afternoon to evening to night.  Life drifts into darkness a lot, almost imperceptibly.  I'm definitely going to finish that one.

Then there is one from September.  It's titled "Truth, Trust, Trauma & Trees".  It was born from a long walk taken on a beautiful fall day.  In it I talk about the big (T)'s and little (t)'s of truth and how truths don't always match up.  I talk about the interlude of trauma that transpires between the gap, the breaking of trust, and how that all ties back to the symbolic nature of trees.  I don't know if I'll finish that one.  It may be too much.  To close.  To raw.

But raw is exactly what a writer should be.  A good writer anyway.  Writers are suppose to be the brave ones.  The ones who say what many of us think.  The ones who put the words down and speak for the rest of us.

I made a commitment to myself, years ago, that I would be a good writer.  In some ways I am, but in many I am not.

It's interesting for me to reflect inwardly on the things I share, and the things I do not.  The ways I share, and the ways I do not.  Believe it or not, there is plenty I keep to myself.  But there is even more that boils inside of me and begs to be put on the page.  They may or may not make it to print.  I may or may not be able to write them.

For writing makes them real.

And some things are too real.

Even for me.  Especially for me.

So what does the writer do when the writer can't bear the burden of writing?

Because that is where I've found myself.

22 November 2012

My Favorite Little Turkey

A year ago she was a moody little peanut that spent two weeks cradled in my arms.  This year we cuddled quietly on the couch.

I love little Lou (and the rest of her family for that matter).

19 November 2012

The Reward for Curiosity

This past week I was the moderator of an online discussion about suicide assessments.  While responding to one of the commentators I was struck by the thought, "how many questions do we not ask, because we can't bear the responsibility of what we may hear".  I was thinking about this question in terms of my professional life, but then I started thinking about the questions I don't ask in broader terms, in terms of me, in terms of my private life.

I can tell you that in many ways my curiosity to ask questions has been squelched.  I either can't bear, or simply do not want, the responsibility for what I may hear.  Because hearing means accepting, and sometimes I just don't want to know.  I just don't want to accept.

So I stay silent.

I don't ask.

Somewhere along the line I learned that in some situations the less I knew, the safer it would be.

In fact there have been moments, when I can literally see my house of cards crumbling, that I tell myself to stay quiet, to not ask, to just sit back and watch as life falls in around me.

As if silence is the brave thing to do. 

As if silence will make things easier.

As if silence will stop my heart from breaking.

But at that moment, the moment when the first card is pulled, I freeze.  I can literally feel the icy hands of silence gripping my throat.

We call that the Fight, Flight, or Freeze response.

It's a reptilian reflex buried deep inside the primitive part of our brain.

I don't fight.

I don't flight

I freeze.

I don't ask because I fear the answers.  I fear the responsibility.  I fear what it would mean to be left holding the truth. 

The ugly, unchangeable truth.

One day I hope to be safe enough that silence isn't needed.  And brave enough to bear the responsibility of what I might hear. 

10 November 2012


I have been a gremlin this week...depending on who you are that either means this...
or this...

Either way it is U.G.L.Y.

In fact it's like the 16-year-old me is back...only I can't blame puberty for my irrational orneriness...maybe it's the fact that no matter what I do, peaceful sleep evades me...maybe it's the Minnesota winter that's creeping in...maybe it's year 3 of this PhD...maybe it's the fact that I have zero time to entertain my right brain and I'm suffocating from lack of creative time.

Ugh.  Whatever it is, I am impossible to be around.


I need my funny back...or a good scream in a subway station.
Today at the Costco pharmacy I saw a special dog coat that guaranteed to "calm the anxious, barking pooch".  If they'd had one in my size I would have bought it.

But they didn't.

So I bought bacon.  Because bacon is balm for the soul.

Let's hope it chills me out.

07 November 2012

Phun in Phoenix

Last week I escaped the frozen hell that is Minnesota and attended a conference in Phoenix where I presented some of my research findings.  It was serious business and the crowd was so wowed they didn't know what to do with themselves, and really, neither did I.  I mean, what I do is sooooo important.  I knew the trip was going to be well worth the pennies I spent when I flew over this
We don't have mountains like that in the Min.  Any kind of altitude makes me blissfully happy.  I was glued to the window the entire time...yep, I'm that person
The plane was loaded with old people and I was slightly worried God would take us all at once, out of pure economy...but alas, no such luck. 

After my research spiel I took to the streets and ran, and ran, and ran, and ran.  It was FANTASTIC.  I haven't run that far, or that fast, in years.  The warm weather was amazing and solidified what I've known for months...I am done with the cold.  Done.  Come May, when I am no longer tethered to the U of MN, I am selling my life and heading somewhere warm, maybe even hot...stay tuned....now back to Phoenix...

They have palm trees in Phoenix.  I love me some palm trees.
In fact, I love them so much that I gave one a high five as I ran by...did you know that palm trees ARE NOT the tree you want to just slam your hand against?  When I high fived it, it shot a 1/4 inch sliver back.  Son of a biz!  I then spent 5 minutes trying to dig the sliver out of my finger, blood was dripping all over...I had no idea a little sliver could cause so much damage...I'll be honest, that kind of mellowed my love for the palm trees, but on I ran.

I ran by this guy one morning
I think we went to high school together.  I stopped to ask but he didn't remember me...like all of the other guys in high school.  So on I ran...until I came upon a quaint church with a meditation labyrinth.
I haven't done one of those since Kentucky.  So I took the time to walk and contemplate...I'm sorry to report, no revelation or epiphany...so I ran on..right into this guy...
Eek!  It was Halloween so I thought it was fitting.

I also ran by some cool sidewalk art
 And roses...IN NOVEMBER!
And a basilica with this awesome woody tree
And blue, blue skies.
Phoenix was phun, yes, ph phun.

When I wasn't running I was working, or just staring into a void...in the sun.
IN THE SUN.  I have learned to actually like the sun...this new fact about myself kind of scares me and I'm not sure what to do about it.

Oh yeah...MOVE the hell out of MN.

May ya'll....May.

04 November 2012

I Miss My Cooter

Some days I miss my Cooter. 

My soft, floppy eared, Cooter.

My Cooter that loved romps through the snow. 

Up.  Down.  Up.  Down. 

I miss petting my Cooter after a long day at school.

I miss the love only my Cooter could give.

Tonight I miss my Cooter.

Best dog (and best name for a dog) ever.

Heaven is lucky to have my Cooter.