confessions of wet cement and pussy power

confession: i’m a love bandit belonging to a gang of unknown others who can’t pass wet cement without finding a rock or stick to carve an offering. if you see a heart symbol or the word “love” or “you are love” or “you are loved” or “love you” then you’ve seen our work.

confession: membership to our love bandit gang is always open. we welcome all new members to claim allegiance by carving love into new cement.

confession: i’ve found lots of new cement in the past few weeks.

confession: there are people i begin missing as soon as i’ve hugged them goodbye and they drive away from the airport drop-off curb.

confession: i’ve been playing games in my head about death. i imagine situations involving who dies when and how and why and what happens next for those left alive. these games begin spontaneously and require effort to end. i don’t mind playing through a game when it highlights who and what matters to me. i don’t like playing the versions of this game when they involve suicide scenarios. yesterday while innocently driving papi home from a dentist appointment, i accidentally imagined my suicide and its preparations, all the stuff i’d need to give away and letters written to loved ones to explain, the gun i’d have to acquire (because hanging ain’t my bag and pills aren’t reliable and i’m not a public spectacle bridge jumper and razor blades along forearms might be something i’d enjoy and suicide isn’t something i want for pleasure), and the take-aways from that round of the game were two-fold—i have too much stuff and it is a wise choice for me not to own a gun.

confession: i’m not suicidal, only anniversary-related ptsd-fueled depressed. march is my darkest month. death is a friend that keeps me choosing life.

confession: on the outside everything seems calm. on the inside i feel pressurized, carbonated, and shaken. if you could pop open the top of my head, the shadow thoughts and feelings would blast from a geyser spraying demon fire and vampire ash.

confession: i went to a women-only workshop this past weekend and was archetypally reminded that hetero women at women-only workshops think their vaginas are powerful and mysterious. i’ve been inside, around, beside, and within too many vaginas to find them mysterious. fascinating, beautiful, sensual—absolutely. mysterious–no.  powerful—maybe, depending on how you use yours. my pussy is most powerful in the service of my heart, mind, and voice.

confession: i want to hear your voice. i want to listen to your heart. i want your thoughts in my ears. tell me. write to me. whisper. telepath. text me. visit my dreams. whichever feels best, easiest, most honest for you.

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confessions about my favorite jeans

confession: in my household mocking loved ones is a show of affection. here’s an example from last night that begins with what i initially misperceived as a compliment…
him: you’re a bad-ass.
me: thanks.
him: do you wanna know how i can tell?
me: how?
him: you’re wearing acid-washed jeans.

confession: i’d like to explain the acid-washed jeans. not defend because i know they’re ridiculous, but explain. my favorite pair of jeans i’ve ever worn i purchased while i was in middle school with money i had earned babysitting for the lecherous neighbor guy’s kids (creepy dude who would call me on the phone at night asking me irrelevant questions meant to keep me talking while i heard him whacking off in the background). oh, those jeans. they were guess’ brand acid-washed jeans that were faded in a pattern that looked like lightning had struck all over them. at the time i imagined george michael and the other guy from wham! owning similar boy-version pairs of the same jeans. i loved those jeans. no pair of jeans i’ve purchased in the 32 years since have matched my love for that pair of perfectly fitting acid-washed glory. presently (and for the past decade) i buy all my clothes from thrift stores (yay for recycling and reducing my carbon footprint!) and from one thrift store in particular in philadelphia that has a $1 sale (every item for a buck) the first saturday of each month. a few months ago while digging through the jeans bin (clothes are divided by type into huge bins that thrifters sort through and often offer up sifted items to other thrifters around them in appropriate sizes, meaning thick and thin women tend to bin-dive together since they won’t be looking for the same size), i found a pair of jeans in my size (which doesn’t happen most months). i knew they’d snug my curves with flattering almost-tightness-that’s-also-comfortable. i was thrilled with my find. i didn’t care that i never would’ve bought those jeans in a retail situation because it has been so many years since i’ve bought retail clothes i can’t imagine what i’d buy. honestly, i barely noticed that the jeans were acid-washed because they fit, they cost a dollar, and those two qualities qualify them as a win. plus, somewhere sunk deeply in my subconscious there’s a magical notion that these jeans could be my favorite jeans from middle school reincarnated.

confession: i don’t know what happened with the lecherous neighbor guy after i told my dad about the phone calls. dad went over to “talk” to the neighbor guy and i never saw or heard from the neighbor again. his wife and kids continued to live in the house down the street, but i never saw the male neighbor or his car on our street after my dad “talked” to him. i wondered at the time (still do) if dad hurt him permanently (permanent like dead). dad was capable and culpable of worse things which is why i had waited to tell dad about the phone calls until the phone calls became increasingly dangerous-feeling with sexual suggestiveness. oh, the irony of my incestuous father protecting his daughter from a neighboring sexual predator through the use of violence. moving from irony to gratitude, thank goodness for the happy fact of acid-washed jeans, then and now…and an extra helping of gratitude for the monsters from childhood who have since died. rest in peace, dad. rest in peace, lecherous neighbor guy (unknown whether dead or alive, but if alive, he’ll be dead soonish since we all die and he’d be old now).

confession: i want more favorite things that feel good to wear, eat, do, share, think about, write about, and wake up to. in order to discover more favorites, daily experiments are required to experience more new things. a full-hearted YES in advance to all the failures encountered while exploring options for new favorites!

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confessions of cat ears and sativa

confession: yesterday i had a perfectly good day. not a perfect day, but good enough and better than most and i like to call the good enough days perfectly good because i’m trying to be more optimistic. not because i am optimistic, but because i’m trying. i try a lot of stuff that doesn’t come naturally. failing is fine. keep trying, keep failing, keep trying; a routine easy enough to follow even when it’s hard.

confession: i had an actual perfect day on monday, no optimism required. i did all my favorite things in one of my favorite places in the world. i planned the trip two months in advance. i aligned the details to guarantee my greatest pleasure. what constitutes your perfect day? where are you, what are you doing, how are you feeling on a perfect day? please plan for your next perfect day. execute that plan.

confession: my next perfect day is planned for the end of this month. my next next perfect day is planned for the end of june. my challenge between now and the end of june is to plan and execute several  more perfect days. this sunday looks wide open for the stay-at-home version of perfection that includes reading, hiking, and napping.

confession: because marijuana is legal in california, i purchased my favorite edibles while i was there. for the first time in my life i experienced the potential hazard of i-feel-so-good-high-i-don’t-want-to-get-off-the-couch-to-do-anything which worked out okay because i was on vacation and by the time i dosed 10mg of sativa in delicious chocolate form it was evening and i’d already accomplished everything i wanted for the day and all that was left to complete the day was getting hiiiiiiiigh, but damn, i get it why i’ve never been the girl who woke up, rolled over, and smoked a bowl first thing in the morning because if i were that girl i’d be a half-lidded loser.

confession: today is the first day this week i’ll be sober for 24 hours. that’s sweet. (self-mocking and serious, both.)

confession: all afternoon i’d been wearing gold glittering cat ears that i had borrowed from my eight-year-old niece. during dinner that evening at a restaurant with my brother’s family, i gently reminded wizard that we needed to use our “grown-up manners” at the table since we are accustomed to eating feral-style at the sink. he gave me a funny look i didn’t understand…until the end of the meal when i went to the restroom and realized i was still wearing the gold glittering cat ears.

confession: wearing gold glittering cat ears is now part of my perfect day itinerary.

confession: wizard and i steal candy from kids. (we get permission from their parents to raid their children’s candy stashes because we are friends with parents who don’t let their kids eat candy.)

confession: i have a landline for business-related reasons, although i use it as frequently to dial my misplaced cell phone as i use it for business purposes. how do people without landlines find their cell phones?

confession: my 28-year-old self would think my 44-year-old self is lame. my 44-year-old self thinks my 28-year-old self was stupidly ignorant and naive. my 82-year-old future self thinks all my younger selves ought to be kinder and more compassionate toward one another.



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confessions of poetry, pacing, and dancing

confession: today i received a book in the mail from amazon, a gift without a note attached. i opened the book in the middle as if i were in a bookstore. i always open a book i’ve never read to the middle and begin reading to see if i want to invest my time from beginning to end. if the book entices me with any sentence i randomly choose from the middle, out of context, then i know at least the writing is good and if the writing is good then i’m usually willing to read that book, any book, on any subject, because i learn to become a better writer by reading good writing. once in a while, a book wows me. not that often. this book wowed me. this book was written for me (and everyone who wants to read it). after some investigative text messaging to the most likely candidates who might send me a book as a gift from amazon, i learned the sender was the poetess. of course she did. lemme give you a teaser scrumptious nibble because i believe we ALL benefit from a daily dose of poetry and as of an hour ago Eirean Bradley, author of the little BIG book of GO KILL YOURSELF, is my new favorite poet.

there are rules to everything
By Eirean Bradley

us skater kids
used to make fun of
the way the rich kids would slit their

it was just so obviously

lose the keys to the jetta for a
and brittany would show up to
biology on monday
with a paper thin pinkish cry for
wrapped around the underside of
her wrist
as dainty as a charm bracelet.

her friends would be dinner theater
productions of concerned.
for about a week.

the gossip would fly like darts.
for about a week.
so lame.

daph came back from the hospital
we threw a house show at maria’s
dad’s house
while he was graveyarding at the

as we passed the joint around in the
living room
daph’s hoodie slid up her arm
and we saw her scar
thick and angry
stitches black and obviously cheap
zigzagging from the meat of her
to the crux of her elbow.

mikey let out a low whistle,
several of us nodded in quiet

we all agreed.
daph was punk as fuck.

confession: earlier this week i paced circles in the airport around my backpack in a chair (so as not to leave my luggage unattended). because i arrived to the airport hours early, i paced for hours. my thoughts focus better when i pace. (my talking points focus better when i pace, too…and you’ll know i’m truly comfortable speaking with you when i ask if you mind if i pace while i talk to you.) security people took turns monitoring my “suspicious” behavior without approaching me. i tried smiling at them to let them know i was sane and not dangerous, but none would make eye contact with me.

confession: i didn’t think ex-wife would read my blog because for years before i left her, she never did…which hurt my feelings more than i’d admit to her or myself. therefore, when i left her, i had no reason to think she’d read what i uncensoredly wrote about her, sharing what i never would have if i knew she would read it. last month i found out that after i left her she went searching for my blog, found it, and read things i had written about her in the months after we parted. i don’t know what those things were because they were written almost a decade ago and every time i’ve thought about revisiting those old posts i’ve chosen not to because that pain belongs to those years and not these years. dammit, i never would have blogged anything about her if i had known she would read those things and they would hurt her…as is true about everything i regret with everyone i’ve loved.

confession: luckily, my mother has never known i blog. my mother knows very few true things about me. my mother has many false stories she tells herself about me and those stories are mostly unknown to me and none of my business.

confession: if the current nor’easter “bomb cyclone” (which meteorologists will attest is not a legitimate weather term) doesn’t cause a cancellation in my flight plans, i fly to california tomorrow to visit my brother and my nieces and we are keeping my visit a secret from my mother who lives a few miles from my brother because i’m empowering myself with healthy boundaries and those who love me well respectfully honor those boundaries. (input celebratory happy-boundaries dance here which includes gestures of hands pushing away while joyfully shaking tail feathers.)

confession: i don’t know where 2017 went. if i were forced to account for my whereabouts last year, i could pull up my credit card records and verify where i went and guess at whom i was with, but 2017 is a blurred photograph in my memory. i feel more present and aware and HERE in 2018. thank you for being HERE with me.


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confessions of things said in my head

confession of yesterday morning’s conversation in my head:
i don’t have time for this.
for what? what other more important thing do you have going on right this second than cleaning up protein powder you just spilled on the counter? c’mon now, slow down, clean the mess, and get enlightened already. what else is your time for if not to practice toward your singular goal? use this minute, use this mess, use this tiny aggravation to lighten up. enlighten thyself, mess-maker and mess-cleaner-upper.

confession of this morning’s conversation when i woke and looked at the clock:
fuck! i overslept! i’m late!
late for what? beginning later this morning working for yourself, little miss bosslady? late for writing and editing and exercising? you’re not late for anything. you’ll get done whatever you get done and the rest won’t get done today and that’s okay. chillax, sweetheart. you aren’t late. you are right on time to practice slowing down and breathing and getting in the flow.
i still feel late, like i don’t have enough time, like i won’t get it all done.
feelings lie, time is an illusion, and it won’t all get done. take a breath, slow down, and enjoy it more, darlin’. the objective is to love more, send more love out and let more love in, love this moment, love your feeling-late low grade anxiety and have more fun with everything, okay?

confession of my last thought before i get out of bed every morning:
what are the three most important things i want to do today?

confession about the question listed above:
about two-thirds of my days i answer the three-most-important-things question with three distinct tasks or qualities or missions. about half of those days i accomplish those tasks, qualities, or missions and half of those days i accomplish only one or two or none of the three. one-third of days i don’t bother to answer the three-most-important-things question because i can already tell i have a bad attitude and that day is gonna run together with all the other days that feel meaninglessly the same and i don’t feel good enough to make a difference in the world because i’m too tired or too sad or too hopeless or too discouraged before i even get out of bed.

confession of what i’d like for us all today:
let’s ease into appreciating this moment, this warm beverage, these perfect little toes that can wiggle inside socks and shoes, these eyes that can look at the trees. let’s play the appreciation game by focusing on what is best about each person, place, thing, circumstance we encounter today. would you like to play the appreciation game with me for the rest of the day? i’ll begin with whisper-yelling in all caps but with hushed excited voice, “I APPRECIATE YOU SHOWING UP HERE WITH ME!” also, in lower case and still whispering, “thank you for considering playing the appreciation game with me today. it’ll be more fun if we’re playing together.” and an additional boost of appreciation for three bonus points, “i appreciate your heart opening in this next breath as we remember today’s privilege to be awake, alive, and able to love each other.”

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my love-filled confessions

confession: i have always prayed. during early adolescence when my agnosticism appeared, i continued to pray without addressing my prayers to anyone outside myself. repeating mantras during meditation came easily to me and began in conjunction with my nascent agnosticism. mantra meditations were newly familiar in their prayerful form. throughout decades i’ve often wondered to whom or what i am praying. i’ve always understood why i pray. praying centers and soothes me. this morning i realized for the first or the thousandth time that my prayers are addressed to my own heart. each prayer is a conversation. my mind speaks. my heart listens and responds with the calming comfort of its slowing heartbeat.

confession: reading another person’s poem or fiction or memoir feels like listening to that person’s prayer, a prayer secretive and quiet lying in wait underneath the story, waiting to be recognized.

confession: currently i am reading a book that is shifting the sand dunes upon which i’ve set my life. because of its page-by-page impact pacing through the maze of my psyche, i want to give a copy of this book to everyone i know who has ever contemplated suicide. i want anyone who has spiraled inside the mystery of one’s own self to read her story, listening for the prayers underneath. i found this book in the free box outside my favorite thrift store a few weeks ago. i tore off its cover because someone had stuck blue chewing gum to it. this 25-year-old yellowed coverless paperback copy is the most important book in my possession at this time…and the thing most meaningful to me that i could give to you if you asked me for what matters. alice koller wrote an unknown woman in 1968 about months spent living alone on nantucket during the winter of 1962. she didn’t kill herself. she’s still alive. more than any author i’ve read, i want her friendship, but in her desire for privacy and solitude, i understand that she wouldn’t want mine. i love that about her. the truths she wrote and published in this memoir before i was born support me as much as any friend can. reading her book, i affirm my own intention for writing. i write because i want to love-in-action everyone i encounter inside, outside, and through my writing. i want to love them with my words, my stories, my heart on the page. i want every reader to know she and he is loved. we give out of our greatest need. i give from my quenchless need to be the love that i long to share, feel, extend, and multiply.

request: however you feel about the holiday this week, please sit with me for one breath. breathe love with me for one full inhalation and exhalation. ahhh…i love you. thank you for letting the love in.


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confessions of writing

confession: after falling away from my writing group a few years ago, i sat in a circle of gifted writers today. if, according to  annie dillard, “how we spend our hours is, of course, how we spend our lives,” then i am doing life correctly and spending my hours well, at least during 11am to 1pm on wednesdays in austin.

confession: when i returned home after writing group, the apartment reeked of bleach because i am de-mildewing the shower and i was hungry and the laundry in the dryer was still wet and suddenly i felt less sure of my capacity to rock this life, but i lit candles and incense, opened a window, set more time on the dryer, and grabbed a spoon plus a jar of peanut butter, so all is right and well and good again. i have no real problems and very few imaginary ones.

confession: i have real fears, though mostly unlikely or leftover and inapplicable.

confession: i learned this morning that relative to other writers’ journal entries, i journal like an angry semi-literate teenager. luckily, i’ve always been a journal burner, so no one besides you and me need ever know.

confession: wait…pause…i just had to take a deep breath before writing this next confession…so let’s take a collective deep breath and consider the next big scary truth we might speak. if you actually pause…you’ll probably know right away which big scary truth you’d confess if you could, if you were ready, if you were brave. what is that truth?

confession: i need to write what i know so that others may know themselves better, may recognize their own desires, may make connections to their own insights and wisdom. the specific things i know come through a bisexual filter…and those truths are the same as any other universal truths…because sex is only a small part of what informs the whole and sex is often untrue.

confession: months ago i set an intention for sexual awakening and as my awakening wakes up, sex is the smallest part.

confession: i rendezvous with the ex-wife tomorrow night, our second meeting in the past three months, which is also only our second meeting in nearly eight and a half years. i’m going to apologize for the way i left, not for leaving, but for my silence that required her to imagine the reasons since i offered none. i won’t offer the reasons for my leaving unless she asks for them, because she might be content with the ones she constructed. in order to finish my unfinished business with her, i need to apologize for what i most regret, for everything i would do differently if do-overs were possible in divorces.

confession: my favorite thing about revising my writing is that i can do-over anything.

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