Feelin’s and Stuff



These are the stories I will tell myself until they are true.

I am feeling lonely. I realize that this might be amplified by a variety of factors. Today, for example, I was moved to tears listening to reggae. Seems sufficient evidence I might be particularly emotional, just now.

There are lots of perfectly valid reasons this could be so:

  1. Oscar has been less-than-totally quiescent. The grumbling and churning has woken me several times in the last few days.
  2. I have another, newly discovered and utterly revolting health problem rearing its head.
  3. In part because of items 1 & 2 I am not getting even my customary level of not enough sleep.
  4. I am in the final stages of tapering off the steroids I have been taking for over three months and the hormonal shift is taking a toll in the form of constant headaches, joint pain, fatigue, and general malaise.
  5. Louise (my remaining ovary) is doing her monthly song and dance.
  6. I have been spending a greater than usual amount of time alone.


And, if I am completely honest, I cannot discount the fundamental, embarrassing, and irresistible truth that it’s been just long enough since I got laid that all of this is much more pressing thereby. So far, I’ve managed to avoid taking any hasty measures to remedy this*, but I know that feeling lonesome is amplified because of it and that my resolve to make careful choices with long-term potential in mind seems less important by the day. Usually, I try to distract myself with affection from other sources. While less potent, it certainly helps take the edge off.

Add to that the inherent summertime challenge. People are busy; there are so many options it can be difficult to get on the schedule. Since I am also contending with Oscar and Louise, it can be hard to plan time with people who might offer a different kind of company than my body can afford. It’s also the case that in an effort not to languish in my illness or recurrent bouts of self-pity and take advantage of what has been very favorable weather for a variety of adventures, I have tried to keep busy with things I enjoy. By and large, the hiking, running, camping and general larking about has been very good for me. However, the fact is I have been doing all of this by myself.

Cast in the best possible light, the idea is that I shouldn’t feel the need to wait around for someone else to come along and validate my plans. And while I can and do often have a perfectly lovely time on my own, I think I’ve fallen into the habit of assuming I must do everything alone. I can hardly recall the last time it occurred to me to ask someone else if they’d like to join me on an impromptu beach trip, hike, run or any other activity I employ to keep myself entertained.

In a less favorable light, I acknowledge my tendency to isolate myself when I am in pain; physical or emotional. I have tried to make a concerted effort to reach out and ask for help and support, and whenever I do, I receive it from multiple quarters and with gratifying speed and enthusiasm. The trap, of course, is that the more I need to reach out, the less inclined I am to do so. The more overwhelmed I feel the more I want to run away toward the horizon with the sappiest music I can find** and sing at the top of my voice while sobbing, or crawl into bed at 2:45 p.m. and not get back out until I next have to present myself at my job.

This doesn’t have a ready solution, in the sense that the protocol to remedy things is less than totally straightforward. I think too, that occasionally doing any of this is fine. It becomes troubling only after I notice myself tilting into a pattern where the only person I see outside the office for days on end is my equally hermit-like housemate as we pass each other in the kitchen executing a run for snacks to take back to our respective ends of the house.

So. What remedies? Other people, rest, hugs and kisses. Guess it’s time to get my prescription filled***.


* Really, shirtless selfies aren’t that bad, right?

**Customarily not reggae.

***That’s what she said.


Though I’m not dwelling on anyone at the moment, this song speaks in language I can absolutely relate to… Oh, yes indeed.

[uh-ban-duh n]

verb (used with object)
1. To leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert: to abandon one’s farm; to abandon a child; to abandon a sinking ship.
2. To give up; discontinue; withdraw from: to abandon a research project; to abandon hopes for a stage career.
3. To give up the control of: to abandon a city to an enemy army.
4. To yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation; give (oneself) over to natural impulses, usually without self-control:
to abandon oneself to grief.

It’s rare I get to combine a Defining Moment with Explodingdog, but so apt considering the weight of the subject and timbre of the moment under consideration


What caution might prevail in the face of persistent evident truth? Is there any litany of reason sufficient to overcome the tide of plunging heedlessness? None, in my experience; and though there have been any number of voices – my own included – ringing on occasion to warn against surrendering to such headlong reckless tenderness, it neither pleases nor serves to do so.

I have always been a Love At First Sight kind of girl. The unwisdom of this is of course totally evident to any rational person. Yet, like mystery, there are some things to which reason may not be meaningfully applied. And though I can, should, and will exercise caution in my actions, it both impossible and arguably misguided to attempt such restraint upon my heart.

To defy the draw of the fall is a feat I have never once managed, and I know I shall not now. Unprecedented though, is the accompanying confidence about what awaits on the other side of that tumble.  Foolish, perhaps this surety, but it is as irresistible after all, as the cause of all this consideration.

I was in Bend at almost this exact time last year. Virtually every detail of my life is different now than it was then. The ways in which my life has improved are multitude and I wouldn’t trade it.

Yet despite the fact that I am undeniably happier, in better physical condition (recent spate of ailments notwithstanding) and closer to where I want to be than ever, I cannot help but dwell on the realization that the last time I lay in this bed, it was with someone I was falling rapidly and unwisely in love with. How though I do not want him back, and never have since I sent him away almost six months ago, I still miss him in ways I wish I did not. 

Wise people assure me that it is not so much him I miss as simply having a lover. I believe they’re right. That his significance, though real, is primarily situated in his being the most recent, rather than the most important. I can say with surety, that is true. For, though I loved him very much, there were always things that felt disconnected and I never fully trusted him or the situation.

Yet as I approach the full measure of time since I ended the relationship now matching the amount of time we were even together, I want the scales to tip away from thinking about him everyday. From things I objectively know are ordinary and unremarkable still feeling poignant and of import.

When I compare my life to a year ago, things are better in every particular. The only thing missing is a dangerous headlong tumble into the arms of someone who wasn’t really interested in catching me. As ecstatic as that feeling is, even that wasn’t better, just more exciting. I am far happier without him; I just want my heart to come around the curve, catch up with me, and notice.

verb (used with object)
1. to confuse or puzzle completely; perplex: These shifting attitudes bewilder me.

I’ve long since come to grips with the realization that I confuse people. I can be capricious, contradictory, and have a whole slough of subterranean influences at work at any given time. I do my best, when it seems important, to clarify the pertinent details to interested parties. I’ve been told I manage to articulate myself on these subjects with considerable skill. Seeing as I have identified my purpose in life as being a Courageous Truth-Teller, it’s a reasonably important skill to have.
From time to time though, I completely defeat this purpose by not only failing to communicate meaningfully to others, but even to make things clear to myself.  It is generally not until I catch myself behaving in ways that are not in alignment with my stated goals or implicit intentions – or worse yet counter to my aims – that I realize I have managed to bamboozle myself. 
And in this moment where this feels so very true, I am trying to adopt a gentle and compassionate response to my confusion. If I confuse other people, why not me?

It’s Sunday. I usually leave this to be the most self-indulgent of all my days. I do only what pleases me best or is absolutely unavoidable. 

Today I ran 6 miles, scrubbed the kitchen floor and other much needed chores. Then, inexplicably, I started listening to reggae; something I have previously never done without the incentive of pleasing someone who would then give me amazing sex. It’s Caribbean oompah music for Jah’s sake. Bleh.

I have no means by which to explain the progression of events. Blame it perhaps on a moderate dose of emotional whiplash and uncommonly powerful and sudden onset attack of nostalgia. 

Whatever the case, it’s made me feel the approach of Monday might come as welcome respite from my capricious mind, for once.

[kon-floo-uh ns]
1. a flowing together of two or more streams, rivers,or the like: the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippirivers.
2. their place of junction: St. Louis is at the confluence of the Missouri andMississippi rivers.
3. a body of water formed by the flowing together oftwo or more streams, rivers, or the like.
4. a coming together of people or things; concourse.
5. a crowd or throng; assemblage.


“Everything hits at once. What we needs is just what we wants.” ~ Spoon

It is true unto the point of being tiresome cliché that events never pause, nor helpfully spread themselves into manageable intervals. In many cases this is exhausting, overwhelming, and awful. No breath-catching, no respite, no moment to reflect and choose to see an upside; merely a never ending swell of the sea relentlessly pounding the shore.

On rare occasions, it happens that some of the things happening cast all the other things into a brilliant new focus. Or by delightful happenstance, suddenly make everything easier, more beautiful, and full of new possibility.

For a fairly long stretch of time it has been the latter case, and I have been waiting with as much patience as possible either for a quiet moment in which to rest, or for something uplifting to counterbalance the relentlessness of it all.

I pause in this moment to once again acknowledge that my most focused intent always seems to yield the most spectacular results. The longer the outcome takes to manifest, the more marvelous it seems to be when it finally does appear.

So then, in this moment where the sun is being eclipsed by a super moon on the first day of spring, I say my gracious thanks for all of the things that are happening right this very moment.


verb (used without object)

  1. to roar and be tumultuous, as wind.
  2. to be loud, noisy, or swaggering; utter loud, empty menaces or protests: He blusters about revenge but does nothing.

verb (used with object)

  1. to force or accomplish by blustering: He blustered his way through the crowd.


  1. boisterous noise and violence: the bluster of the streets.
  2. noisy, empty threats or protests; inflated talk: bluff and bluster.



It happens occasionally that the weather perfectly reflects my inner climate. Yesterday was one such. Events have been at a gallop for a while now, and it was perhaps inevitable that with all the swirling influences at work, a gale might rise to life; and so it did.

Instinctively, I lean into the wind, most times. Experience tells me that making progress usually requires a willingness to press on against resistance and bear up under forces set in opposition. That to do this builds character, produces results, and is the process by which wisdom is gained.

Every so often though, it seems safest and best merely to take refuge and let the gale blow away whatever is not strong enough to endure the storm; to clear a path of the withered and outworn in favor of possibility nascent and unseen. That this may result in the loss of comforts long taken for granted seems only the proper price of such headway, made almost entirely possible by complete surrender.

And after all, the lights came back, after a dark and quiet spell.

Every year on this day, for some years now, I have composed and sent a birthday greeting to the girl who was my best friend in high school. Though I haven’t seen her in person since I was about 20 years old, I still feel a connection to her that is tangible, and informs my life still in an immediate and meaningful way.

I can’t say exactly what motivates me to reach out over distance and through time to acknowledge her – to let her know I still think about her – I simply yield to the impulse and tell her that I hope things are going well in her life.

I would do so with other people drifted far afield in either temporal or tangible space, but something about her temperament and the quality of the friendship that once was between us makes the approach both easier, and I suspect considerably more satisfying, than other attempts might prove.

I decided the day that I met you that you were the love of my life

I decided the day that I met you that you were the love of my life

I am an inveterate sentimentalist, nostaligiarian, and sap. Even more than that – both in this instance, and generally reflective of my current frame of mind – once I have bestowed my love upon someone, it is essentially never withdrawn.

Dangerous this, for a girl who cannot help but believe in love at first sight, having been afflicted times beyond recollection. My heart makes up its mind all but immediately and ignores all evidence to the contrary, no matter how compelling it might be.

What I’ve decided, for a variety of reasons, is that this isn’t the shortcoming I have always thought it was. It speaks, not about the worthiness of the person upon whom I have bestowed this love, but the quality of the love itself. Rather than shame or chagrin that I have lavished this feeling regardless of merit, I am proud of my enduring capacity for love in the face of all challenge. That this love can persist through years, past separation, and beyond irreconcilable loss. It is a gift to bear a love like this, no matter its cost.

The returning call of that kind of love is full of music I am fully delighted to hear, time and again.

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