Thursday, January 31, 2008



Enough said? Hope so.

In a cooperative community everyone has the same rights as everyone else. Nobody is more or less important. Nobody has more or less of a value.

Competition moves against equality. Competition wants winners and losers, better and worse. Cooperation says we are all equal.

Here's the rub. EQUAL DOES NOT MEAN SAME. We are all different. We all have talents and gifts, areas of strengths and areas of difficulty. In a cooperative community, everyone operates from their strengths, and those areas that need fortifying, are bolstered by the gifts of others.

Those of us that are parents, we know we love all our children EQUALLY, but not the SAME. Each child is different, and so is our love for them.

It is my personal opinion that in our country we've done much to bring equality to men and women, and between races. MUCH, but with much further to go. But where we struggle is believing people of higher "education," "intelligence" and career "prominence" are "better" than the people in menial jobs with "less" of all those things.

You don't even want me to START with how crazy I get when people toss around words like "idiot," "retard," "stupid," "dumb," etc. We will never see the equality of all if we allow this kind of language that clearly makes some more than, and others less than.

OK, I'll climb off my high horse (for now) and leave you with this: Let us all see OURSELVES as equal. Period. Don't worry about anyone else. Walk today with your head held high and look eye-to-eye with everyone you see and greet, and say to yourself, "I am equal to this person. We are two souls on the path together, one no further than the other, and if we can grab hands and walk together we'll both get there with more grace."


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Years ago (Lord, have mercy, I just realized it's been over 20) I learned five rules that CHANGED MY LIFE. I'm going to re-focus on them over the next few days. One. At. A. Time.

They are called THE RULES OF COOPERATION. And here is number one:


- There is always enough of everything when we cooperate. Always.

- Someone's "win" is not my "loss"

- There is abundance to all things. More begets more.

- Fear comes from scarcity. No scarcity? No fear. When I'm feeling afraid, I need to ask myself, "What is it I'm afraid of there not being enough of? Money? Time? Friends? Sleep? Peace? World commodities? Love? Security? Attention? Validation?" Then I see if I'm operating out of competition or cooperation. Ideally, this shuts fear down. Ideally. It takes a ton of practice. After 20+ years I'm still very much a beginner.

Yours in abundance,

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I am finally, FINALLY, reading the book, Their Eyes Were Watching God. I've had it on my shelf for at least 7 years. It's been recommended to me countless times. People I love have told me it's their FAVORITE book.

But I didn't read it.

I tried. Just couldn't do it.

Now I am. Now I can't put it down. Now I am blown away by the writing. The language. The story.

And Janie.

And how 'bout that Zora Neale Hurston? Her story of publication and posthumously being recognized as the scholar she was.

What I am choosing to focus on as a theme of the book, is being "chosen."

I get that. I get the thrill of being selected from the throngs, made to feel special.

Then being put up on a shelf to stay nice and look pretty, but not be able to shine in your own glory.

I get that.

I dreamed all night of such a thing. I took part in a semester-long class with a man that everyone thought was it on a stick. There had been a personal crisis at home and the last day of class I wasn't able to turn in all my work. I'd DONE it, but I didn't bring it with me.

At the end of the class the teacher announced he was going to marry me. He thought that nullified my need to turn in my homework. After all, wasn't marrying him better than getting the A?

Not for me. I forged my way back to my house and gathered up all the work I'd done. Then I turned it into him. I wouldn't marry him until he recognized the work I'd done and checked it off in all the official places.

He did.

Then I decided I wasn't going to marry him, even if he chose me.

I didn't choose him.

God, if I had half the resolve in my waking life that I had in my dreaming life, well, I'd be twice as far on the journey that I am.

But at least I'm choosing my own journey now.

That's something, right?

Monday, January 28, 2008


10. Would I rather freeze to death or burn to death?

9. Which "Seinfeld" character is the funniest?

8. Would I marry my husband all over again?

7. Would I rather lose my sight or my hearing?

6. What am I going to say to Oprah when I get on the yellow couch?

5. If chips and beer are technically a "meal?"

4. At what time does it officially become too late to bother getting out of your pajamas, because it's practically time to put them back on?

3. Why, or WHY didn't Carrie Bradshaw ("Sex and the City") stick with Aiden?

2. If I could be one of the Brady Bunch girls, which one would I be? (Definitely not Cindy, but between Marcia and Jan it's a total toss up!)

1. If perhaps I need to boost my dosage of OCD meds?

Saturday, January 26, 2008


10. It's easier when you get the edges done first. Boundaries are important.

9. You can force a piece to fit, but it just messes everything up.

8. The more you study the pieces, the more they work for you, and not against you.

7. It's easier to do the same puzzle a second time. By the third time you're smokin!

6. Fully-interlocking is best. Interconnectedness rocks.

5. It sucks to have someone work on it for you. Some things you've just got to figure out in your own good time.

4. There is such a sense of completion when you're done. Deep satisfaction for a job well done.

3. Usually the piece you keep looking for is right in front of you. That, or you're sitting on it.

2. When you're done, you're done. Then you tear it all apart and put it away. But until you're really done, you've got work to do.

1. The more colors and complexity the more interesting.

* Photo from

"There are days when the result is so bad that no fewer than five revisions are required. In contrast, when I'm greatly inspired, only four revisions are needed."
— John Kenneth Galbraith

This photo could be me.

Except I don't wear glasses.

And I'm 20 years older.

And I wouldn't be caught dead drinking from such a tiny, ridiculous excuse for a coffee mug.

Plus, most of the time one hand is typing and one is yanking my hair out.




And those are on my good days.

Other days I'm ready for the straight jacket, totally and completely.

WHY did I think writing was what I wanted to do?

Because of this:

"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you."
Zora Neale Hurston
(Thanks, La La.)

Friday, January 25, 2008


I'm all stirred up over my whole "nobody believes me thing." I really, really appreciate those of you that carte blanche believe me. I also appreciate, begrudgingly, those that need to challenge me first, believe me second.

Here's the deal. When someone walks out of the house on a sub-zero day in a sundress, that is a choice "worth" questioning. But in the end, WTF do you care, they are the one that has to be cold. Their degree of warmth is none of your business, and unless they whine and carry on, it doesn't affect you.

Let's say that same person/child/friend/whomever comes to you in a moment of deep intimacy and says, "My step-dad sexually abused me." YOU BELIEVE THEM.

People don't lie about this shit! Yes, it's a harsh "claim." Calling someone a sexual predator is a harsh "label," but the odds are OVERWHELMING that the person is telling the truth, and negligible that they are lying. Your first response CANNOT be, "Are you SURE?" It MUST be, "Wow. I believe you. I am a little in shock right now, but give me a minute. I support you 100% and will do whatever it takes to help you."

Every "Are you sure?" subtracts, exponentially, the chance that this person will ever try to tell another trusted soul anything of significance.

My kids go to a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Portland. The Archdiocese is requiring that every parishioner, parent, volunteer go through a Called to Protect class. Of course this is partly (maybe largely) due to all the lawsuits against the Church involving sexual abuse. None-the-less, the message is excellent. We are all called to protect. The point is well made in this class, that KIDS DON'T LIE about this shit. They MUST be believed! In the rare, rare, super rare case there IS an "exaggeration," far better to beg for forgiveness from the "accused" than to not believe the child and risk the abuse continuing.

And study after study shows that kids that are abused continue to be in abusive situations the rest of their life, and/or become perpetrators of abuse.

With the world in the state it is, there is no room for, "Are you SURE?" There is only room for love and acceptance. If ALL you do is assure the child that you believe them, and NOTHING else, you've done more to correct the situation than perpetuate it. You've validated that child and given them courage to go on blowing the whistle. You have encouraged them to self-advocate. But if all you say is,
"Are you sure?" you've taken that child one step backwards. A HUGE step. One from which they might never recover.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm down today. No longer sad-ish, full on down. Can't get myself to do anything I need to do, or think I need to do, and can't seem to even find something amusing to piss the day away.

So I thought I'd take a little walk to the "Little Store" in our neighborhood. It just re-opened yesterday, after being closed for three months for renovations. There are new owners, neighbors, and from all accounts they are wonderful. They've made the changes we all hoped to someday see. Now they take credit/debit cards. They put in an espresso bar with stools and a few little tables. They have yummy treats and ambiance.

It depressed the hell out of me.

I miss Gary and Carol. I miss the "wrong ness" of the The Old Little Store. I miss the old-fashioned way they did everything, the sloping floor, the way they didn't even have air-conditioning until the last couple of years. I miss the over-crowding. I miss the way everyone knew the traffic pattern and the proper way to line up to pay. You could always tell a newbie by where they stood in line, oblivious that it wound back around by dairy and through the fruit juice and pickles. Duh, they thought you could just stand in front of the check stand!

We tried to get in yesterday to check it out on opening day, but it was packed. From those that came out we heard they'd been in there an hour just waiting to pay. That is not our scene.

I'm really glad the new owners and the New Little Store are being warmly greeted and everyone is bringing their business back. I'm sure the feelings were bittersweet for many.

Change is hard, but good. I get that. But can you both grieve and celebrate? Can you get those two things to hold hands? Can you miss the old and welcome the new? Can you know that you are in a better place, while missing the place you've left behind?

Obviously I've got more stuck in my craw than the business down the street. While seeking to improve, changes are necessary. The more some things change, however, the more they stay the same. I'm trying to get my head around all that. Sometimes, some days, I look at my life and marvel at how far I've come. Other times, other days, I feel I've only moved backwards. Maybe I'm in "retrograde" like the planets sometimes are, where their usual pattern is reversed, and everything is just "off."

Apparently Mars is coming out of retrograde on 1/30. Maybe I will too.

Here's to Mars.

Here's to me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I'm feeling very NOS tonight. Not Otherwise Specified. We with "special" kids get to use fun acronyms like NOS when what the "experts" are really saying is, WTF. I guess WTF is not well-accepted in the medical community. It. Should. Be.

Anyway, back to me (see? I'm trying to scoot over on the narcissism continuum) I'm feeling sad-ish. Not sad, sad, not grumpy, not angry, just NOS.

I need to read a book about the "No one ever believes me" phenomenon that has been the story of my life. Is there a book out there? If I had a nickel for every time I've tried to blow the whistle on someone and I've been doubted, at best, and called a liar, at the worst, I'd be a RICH and doubted woman, which just HAS to suck less than plain old doubted.

It's like Lucy and Charlie Brown. I'm Charlie, always willing to try again, even though history has PROVEN the results will not work in my favor. Lucy will yank that football, Charlie will go DOWN. I will try AGAIN to tell someone a deep truth, someone I believe will believe me, and they don't.

No one believed me when I said my dad was an alcoholic. Until they planned his intervention.

Nobody believed that a person we all knew was evil with a capital E. Until the evil came their way.

Nobody believed me when I said something was very, very wrong with my son. Until they made me hire every specialist in the metro area.

Nobody believes me when I tell them someone I know and love has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They believe I must be the crazy one. The NPD believes this too. That is their strength. It would be easier to go along with them than to continue to be the clanging gong everyone is tired of listening to.

Someday they will see it. Someday the NPD will slip up and I will not be alone with what I know.

Until then? It's lonely being "right."

God, how I wish I were wrong.


10. Very similar to Borderline Personality Disorder, but a NPD most often is male, and a BPD is most often female.

9. We are all on the continuum of narcissism. Too little is dangerous, too much is dangerous, as with everything, moderation and somewhere in the middle is where life is the easiest for the individual and those around that individual.

8. Adolescence is a natural and normal time to be "way over" on the narcissism continuum. Unfortunately, "life" often "happens" at adolescence and arrests the development, keeping the needle stuck in the extreme range.

7. NPD is often masked by extreme altruism, the distinguishing characteristic is that it isn't true altruism, it is to make the NPD person look good. They don't get the "don't let the left hand know what the right hand is doing" concept, they want to make sure everyone knows just what they are doing that is "selfless."

6. Being "other-centered" is not something they are refusing to be. They CAN'T be. It's not a "won't," it's a "can't." That is helpful, to me anyway, to understand.

5. If raised by a NPD, chances are higher you'll turn out to be a NPD, or WAY over on the other end of the continuum. "Normal" is very hard to recognize.

4. Those with a NPD will think I'm writing this just about them. Everything is about them. I am writing this about all the MANY NPDs in my life, both actively and in my past, as well as just in general.

3. The grandiosity that often comes with NPD is really a mask to cover a deep sense of worthlessness.

2. The key to "curing" NPD is to come to terms with it, and realize the tendencies will always be there. It's like being an alcoholic, you must accept you are powerless over alcohol, and work each day to stay out of the trap. You can "be in recovery" but you can't be "cured."

1. This is a good site to find out more. The author is a recovering narcissist.
FYI: I (briefly) had a post with an Autism Speaks link and a way to donate to them by watching a Five for Fighting song. Here's why I took it down:

Michelle O'Neil has left a new comment on your post " The band, Five for Fighting, is generously donat...":


Now I have to go and get all political.

Fine to click on Autism Speaks for the video, some of their money might help someone I suppose, but AS is not a good friend.

They are squarely in the pocket of big pharma, think OJ looking for the "real killers" as far as getting down to the cause of autism.

The founders sold their own daughter down the river when she publicly stated the her son's regression was the result of his vaccines.

They have a ton of money. They have slick campaigns, but they're doing the old razzle dazzle.

For more info see

Michelle knows WAY more about this than I do, and I trust her implicitly.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I have a friend, I call her Valentine. Her name is Val and she loves hearts and is the epitome of love, so, there you go. Valentine and I are cut from the same cloth. We are doers. We are movers. We don't sit still. "Being" is very hard for us, "doing" is a piece of cake.

Still, we are excellent at procrastinating on some things and our endless list of what we "should" be doing runs a continuous loop in our busy brains.

"Do you know about the 15 Minute Rule?" She asked me one day, while we were comparing lists.

"No, tell me," I answered.

"You set the timer for 15 minutes and you go do the thing you are most procrastinating. At the end of 15 minutes you will either have finished the job, gotten so into it you want to keep going, or made enough of a dent that you aren't daunted by it anymore."

I tried it in the basement, my most procrastinated upon room of the house. It worked. Like. A. Charm.

I got so into the basement I moved throughout the house (over the course of 2 months) and am almost done de-junking our house. It's a cryin' shame how much extra "stuff" we have, but I'll go on and on about that in a different post.

While in a meditative trance pitching, sorting, filing, and organizing the basement, I realized the 15 Minute Rule could work the other way.

When the compulsive, impetuous, impulsive sensations pop up, ask myself, "Is this something I could wait to do/buy/decide for 15 minutes?" Then, if necessary, add another 15 minutes to it, until I've worked myself out of the craziness.

That whole, "One day at a time" thing is great, but for some of us, we need to take life 15 minutes at a time.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


A friend of a friend found out she was pregnant. The friend of the friend (FOTF) made the brutally hard choice to terminate the pregnancy, for very personal reasons.

I feel a final exam coming.

Nearly 45 years of life and my view of abortion has swung from one end of the pendulum to the other and back, finding balance somewhere in the middle.

The middle, though? Can there be such a thing with that hot button topic? Can you be kinda for it and kinda against it? Is that where the issue of "choice" comes in? I don't know. I know that the more Buddhist I become the more I am able to let go of the choices other people make. I have opinions, but I don't want to be in charge of the world anymore, it's so damn tiring. I can only make choices for myself.

And my underage daughter? Do I make her choices for her?

Woohoo has been bugging me for weeks to take her to "Juno." She didn't want her dad to take her, she wanted me. Mother-daughter thing.

So yesterday we went. GREAT movie. We laughed. We cried.

And then we talked.

Like I was at her age (13) she is being shaped by her culture, and her school culture is Catholic. We chose that for her. That's where our choice took place.

"Mom, I wouldn't have an abortion AND I wouldn't give my baby up for adoption. I would keep it. I would want to make sure it was OK. Plus, I would have help. I'd have you."

"Hey! Don't get any wild ideas!" I say, trying to add levity.

"MOM!" she moans, "Of COURSE NOT! But, I'm just saying..."

The thought of being a grandmother in the next few years sends me into a panic.

Then into a peace.

I've always wanted three kids. What would I do if there were a baby in my life now? Not my baby, my daughter's baby. What would that even be like? Would it be the end of the world? Really?

The real-ness of this issue hit home for me. I am out of the baby making business now. Officially. She is just entering that stage of life where each month there is a possibility of life being formed. I've passed on the fertility baton. Is she ready to take it?

My walking buddy and dearest friend, Kathleen and I were revisiting this issue on our latest walk. She has three teenage daughters. This subject is close to her heart.

"You know," I said, "it's my belief in reincarnation that is helping me with this issue."

"How so?" she asked, wiping a tear from her eye. Could be the cold weather we're marching in, could be the sadness she feels about this lost life, could be both.

"I don't believe in accidents. Look how many lives have been affected by those 14 weeks of life in utero? That family, all the friends and now friends of the friends, we've all felt a shift. Who is to say that's not the reason that soul incarnated? Perhaps that is just what that soul signed up for. 14 weeks. No more, no less, and now that soul will reincarnate into another family member, perhaps."

We walk, talk, pontificate and try to settle into something that will ease the pain, the loss, the holier-than-thou thing we've got going.

I get home from the walk and put on Kris Delmhorst. She is it on a stick. The song comes on, "Lullaby 101." (Another great recommendation from Jess.)

Kris Delmhorst

sleep you little soldier boy, with your ear against the wall

you have held that rifle all of your life, now it's time to let it fall

sleep you little alibi, with your reasons in a row
you have turned in circles all of your life just so your shadow wouldn't show

dream with me, dream with me, we'll wake in better days,

and we'll build a boat and we'll hope that it floats

and then we'll sail, we'll sail away

sleep you little resume, with your head above the crowd
you have held your breath in all of your life just to make somebody proud

sleep you little reservoir, let your banks just overflow
no you can't contain all of that rain, you're gonna have to let it go

dream with me, dream with me, we'll wake in better light,
and until we rise with open eyes, goodnight, my love, goodnight
yes until some sun wakes everyone, goodnight, my love, goodnight

Let it fall.

Hope that it floats.

Sail away.

Let it go.

And until we rise with open eyes, goodnight, my love, goodnight.

Friday, January 18, 2008


She had eight children, six boys and two girls.

She had 28 grandchildren.

She had 25 great-grandchildren.

I gave her number 26 just a month before she died. I was the last one to make her a great grandmother while she was alive.

I didn't realize that until right now, when I added things up.

It's interesting to take a minute and add things up.

She was not an effusive or demonstrative woman, but there was never any question of her love. My grandfather was both effusive and demonstrative, and his love came through with all the force and drama his Sunday sermons at the Baptist pulpit did. While he was alive she was his silent partner. When he died and left her a widow after nearly 60 years of marriage, she went on to live 20 more. Then we got to meet her, to know her, to sparkle in her gentle love.

Living on a preacher's paltry salary and with all those children, grand children and great grands, she simply could not give gifts to each of us. I don't remember ever feeling jealous of the kids I knew that did receive birthday and Christmas gifts from their grandparents. My grandmother sent me a card every year for my birthday. Every year. And to every single one of her family members and loved ones. Without fail. We all looked forward to this yearly event as though we were being honored with a reward.

And indeed, we were. We were being honored to be her family.

One year, somehow, some way, she was nominated for Mother-of-the-Year. Yes. That's a real thing. And she was so proud, pride, you know, one of the big seven deadly sins. But she was, you could tell.

As part of that process she received a necklace with a mother-of-the-year pendent. She adored that necklace. She wore it for all special occasions.

I have that necklace now. I also have her wedding dress (circa 1920's), and her cedar "hope" chest.

Three of the most special things in the world to her are mine. Of all the kids, grand kids and great grands (and now many great-greats) it is I that have them.

On the 364 days a year that I am feeling decidedly NOT mother-of-the-year, I remember that I have that necklace. I am no way a contender, but I'm already a winner.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven."

Johannes A. Gaertner


10. That my mom sailed through surgery and recovery and is fully back to driving me crazy.

9. That I live where I do. The substitute mail carrier yesterday stopped me and asked, "Is this a HOUSE?" When I assured her that yes, it was a house, not knowing where she was going with that question, she just stood in awe and said, "It's SO beautiful." And while I agree it's beautiful, I choose to believe it's the vibe from the house that has the greatest beauty.

8. That I have the friendship circles I do. Old friends, new friends, true and blue friends.

7. The Internet that answers all my questions within minutes of my impatient seeking to know

6. The GOOD coffee I'm sipping on right now, and every morning, which makes me deliriously happy

5. Repeats of "Seinfeld" that my husband and I watch together, still laughing, reciting the lines right along with the actors

4. i-Tunes and the instant availability to new and wonderful music my true blue friends suggest to me (listening right now to Divas and Devas, per Prema's blog)

3. A dozen roses that I treat myself to each and every week. I put six by my bed and six on my desk. They make me happy. They are $9.99 at Safeway and worth. every. penny.

2. That I've touched heaven often enough to know it's possible to live "there"

1. love.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I've spent the day at the hospital with my 77-year-old mother (note our "power years" line up). She had laproscopic gallbladder surgery this morning. We're going home very shortly. She is way ahead of the recovery for this surgery, especially for someone her age. She'd tell you it's because of Healing Touch. I would tell you that too. I saw it. I'm a believer.

When she spoke to the surgeon this morning during pre-op, she said, "Now my Healing Touch Therapist is going to come. I hope you don't have a problem with that!" He said, "You know? I used to think that was just a load of huey, but I had this weird thing with my leg and I'll be damned, one of those therapists did her magic on it and it felt great!"

"And that's another thing," my mother cautioned, "no profanity in the OR. I don't need that negativity entering my body while you have me open there on the table!"

"OK!" he answered. "I used to be a sailor, but I'll check it at the door!"

This is not the woman that raised me. That woman thought doctors were gods and were not to be questioned, let alone bossed around.

Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Turns out her Episcopal priest, a woman, is a healing touch therapist. My mom has been to some of the training to become one too. She thinks it's something I should look into. I'm all over it.

This is not some "New Agey" thing. This is ANCIENT. We born with the Bible in our hands folk know all about the "laying on of hands."

The woman that came to the hospital, about four hours after surgery, stayed for an hour. She whispered blessings, rubbed lavender oil into her palms, and moved them both above and on my mom's body in a very "I know just what I'm doing" way. My mom fell into a sound sleep.

Before and after the treatment, she held a silver necklace with a heart pendant dangling from it. It swung like crazy over certain areas of her body, and held still over others. Where there was extra energy, extra swinging, extra attention she paid.

I don't know what I was expecting this woman to look like, but she wasn't it. This woman had salt and pepper hair cut short, no make-up, sensible shoes, a wedding ring that said to me, "I've celebrated at least 40 years of marriage," and she told me she was an RN. Fascinating.

If I had more time to spend here, I'd start my research now, but darned if we aren't checking out!

*Photo from

My husband was curious as to why I read a whole book on narcissism. "That's quite a commitment to understanding others," he said.

"I didn't read it only to understand THEM, I also read it to understand ME."

"Did it help?" he asked.

"A ton," I answered.

Shortly after that exchange I was sent this quote from one of my favorite sites, Inspiration Peak, home of the love. t-shirt.

"He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts." Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

No accidents.

I cannot change a narcissist. I can only change my attitude, my disposition, when needing to deal with them.

And dealing with everyone else on the planet, too, including myself. Sometimes dealing with myself is the biggest obstacle to overcome. But even with myself, a tweak of the disposition can make a difference.

A difference.

A shift.

A budge in the right direction.

Enough to gain momentum.

Momentum begets momentum.

After that it's all up to gravity.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Saturday, while shopping at "Little Safeway" with Rojo, we walked by a display of knives, and I almost grabbed one and threw it in my cart.

"I need to replace that person's big knife I broke," I thought to myself.

Then, before my compulsion won, I realized, THAT WAS IN A DREAM!

OK. Say it. I'm saying it to myself, I've lost all track of what is happening in "real" life and what is happening in my "symbolic" life.

But I ask you, dear readers, are they not one in the same? Is not our dream life merely a reflection of our awake life? And while I didn't actually break someone's actual knife and don't need to actually replace it, I did break off the big, sharp, dangerous edge of something I was holding. It's gone. And I'm not replacing it.

Instead of duller for the loss of that sharpness, I am softer.

Instead of being less useful for cutting a crisp, clean line, I am better at gently cooperating with an object to get it to break loose. Less force, more cooperation.

Instead of less than without that leading edge, literally, I am more than.

Turns out I didn't need the "edge" I thought I did.

Less is more.

*Photo from

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Being self-absorbed is bad, right? We hate those people, right? It's good to be completely selfless. We must give freely of ourselves. We must be concerned for others. We must always do for others, as we would have them do for us.

If only they would actually DO for us.

Sometimes that happens.

When you are in a healthy relationship that happens. You do, they do, fair and square.

I've had a couple of those. They are really great. Those are the relationships in my life I'd categorize as "easy." But most I would consider high maintenance. Exhausting. Frustrating. Confusing. Constant. Depleting. Tiring. High highs and low lows.

So what is it about ME that keeps finding these people? Are there really so damn many out there that I can't help but keep running into them?

A friend and I were talking Friday, and she mentioned a book she'd picked up and found helpful. As she continued to describe it, I continued to know I needed to read it. ASAP. She dropped it off later that day and despite all the "games" I endured yesterday, I'm almost done. It answers so many things for me, and upsettingly, raises so many more questions.

What I love about this book is it is KIND to we co-dependent types! It's written by therapist that works a lot with co-dependents, and particularly as they deal with narcissists, borderlines and adults with ADHD. Check, check, check. That would be me, me, me.

And now I know why. I know why I know a disproportionate number of these people. I was groomed for the job. Beautifully groomed. Honor student. And until I finally "got" this, I was doomed to keep drawing these people to me with my A+ ability to feed their never sated appetite for attention, praise, accolades and empathy. NEVER. ENDING.

Listen to this...

"The more narcissistic, self-absorbed, or 'me focused' an individual is, the more she is caught in the perpetual striving to feel important, valued, stable and secure. The codependent individual, who is 'other focused,' is stuck striving for a sense of self by gaining and maintaining the acceptance and approval of others (primarily through their ability to give - especially empathy). The narcissistic individual typically externalizes her flaws onto others and defends against the self-reflection that would require developing empathy for others. Similarly, the codependent is the person who internalizes the flaws of others onto herself and defends against recognizing her need to develop her strengths through self-assertion and self-care."

Yea. A little like that.

And here's the clincher. Our tremendous outpouring of love for them will not change them. They are unlikely to EVER change. But we will die trying!

Unless we abandon the cause.

I like to fight a fight worth fighting. I'm going for world peace. I think I have a good shot at it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


OK, would somebody PLEASE tell me how the time between Monday morning and Friday afternoon goes SO fast, and the time from Friday afternoon to Monday morning CRAWLS??? And, if you don't know what I'm talking about, would you please get yourself over to my house and I'll show you?

Here is Rojo's schedule for me today:

8:00 Blow out all my candles, mess up my made bed, breathe garlic breath on me, touch everything on my desk and force me to make a grocery list. AGAIN. Then reassure him that yes, we will go to Little Safeway at 9:00 and get everything on the list. Everything.

9:00 Little Safeway where he will hold the list and lead me in excruciating disorder around the store getting everything. So far we are getting seltzer, water, Mike & Ike's, rootbeer, Goldfish crackers and chips.

9:30 Game #1: Golden State Warriors vs. Boston College Eagles. Elmo is an eagle today. I've. Already. Been. Reminded.

11:30 Game #2: Portland Pilots and Fresno State. Elmo is a Pilot.

2:30 Game #3: We must find a college with the initials QSU because he'd like them to play at this time. Elmo will be their mascot. I am to spend the time between games Googling.

4:30 Game #4: TBA

5:00 Sourdough toast time

6:30 Game #5: TBA

7:00 Bubble bath with LOTS of bubbles. Don't forget. Elmo will sit on the toilet seat and watch.

7:30 Game # 6: TBA

He is allowing me a nice "break" between games 2 and 3 because his sister has requested that I take her and another 13-year-old girl to the mall. On. A. Saturday. That. Is. My. Break.

He's worried sick I won't be home in time for the 2:30 game. Daddy just can't do the scoreboard, cheering and "captions" like I can. We've synchronized watches. We've signed deals. I'm promised. I've promised to not forget. I've pinky sworn. I've sworn to God.

Can't talk now, gotta go, I've got a schedule to keep.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Wow. Last night I broke up with an old boyfriend. I argued with my dad. I drove 18 hours in a car to go to California (probably Disneyland!) and broke the tip off a really expensive knife trying to pry something off a wall. I was a bridesmaid. I got sunburned. I stayed up all night talking, finally going to bed at 7:30 AM. I paid for dry cleaning. Someone gave me $21. Everyone got an ottoman for a thank you gift for being in the wedding. I sat at a posh club with someone else's photo ID and tried to get in. Told the person, when finally busted, that I was there in the place of the woman I was pretending to be, because she had cancer and couldn't be there herself.

So, part of me is:

Breaking up

Breaking off



An insomniac


Accepting charity

I'll let you all in in a little secret. I'm waiting for a couple people to finish reading my proposal and manuscript, and until they do, I'm in a bit of a holding pattern. We Aquarians do not do well with inactivity. We are decisive. We get things done (however badly) we "wait" poorly. I know that this is a gift of time I've been handed. A time to rest. A time to re-group and re-charge, and I should be relishing in it.

This I know.

This I cannot do.

This I can do.

This I must do.

OK, here I go...

* photo from

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Yea, the Laugh Like You're in Third Grade bit was due to writer's block, but I needed to laugh. Nothing breaks a block like a good belly laugh I've found.

I woke up this morning with more confusion, more dead and dying thoughts crowding out the new and growing ones. I spent the night squeezing all the air out of inflated toys at Disneyland. I also obsessed about all the waste and hoped to God a good recycling plan was in place there. I fumed over my part being cut in a play we were doing in Disneyland. I had to publicly announce, at Disneyland, that my marriage was meaningful.

What can I say, I'm complex, and apparently, deeply disturbed.

And obsessed with Disneyland.

And getting my fair share of the limelight.

And recycling.

And in squeezing the life out of things around me.

Like I said, deeply disturbed.

Or is "disturbed" just a negative word for "processing?"

I'm going with "processing."

Plus, when I was squeezing the life out of all the inflatable toys, literally, helping them die, I was singing beautiful songs to them. I even harmonized. I chanted reassurances in their ears: Relax. Let go. All will be well. It was quite impressive. Even while singing I was thinking, "I'm such a damn fine singer, it's too bad only the dead and dying get to hear it!"

When I woke up I started the coffee, lit the candles, put on the pretty music, and took a look at my new peace lilies. They are big, in galvanized buckets flanking both sides of my desk. The little white stick thing that identified them for me, says they require very moist soil. It's a lucky thing they are so close to me, and yesterday's water glass. Check, check, they get a little baptism every single morning.

While sprinkling them I noticed a couple of leaves in the center that were struggling. They were brown on the edges and ratty. They weren't getting proper nutrition. They were dying.

And their dying was taking from the greater health of those around them.

I snipped them off and lay them aside. They will go out to the compost pile when I get around to it. That is their rightful place. They will die with all the other yard debris and spoiled fruit from our house. They will turn to mulch, hot and stinky, and we will spread their mushy goo on living creatures in our yard to help them grow. Their death process will nourish the life process of their fellow flora.

The life and death process both aspects of each other.

I am taking scissors to myself today. I am going to snip off the parts of me that are dead and dying, and put them where they go, with all the other dead and dying things around here. And while they wait to be turned with the pitchfork and spread over the spring land, their absence from the actively growing thoughts and ideas inside of me will be felt. There will be more room. There will be more nourishment going to the ideas I am encouraging to grow. Less nourishment will be needed if there is not so much decay hogging it.

Snip, snip.

Toss, toss.

Mulch and turn.

Death and dying.

Life and living.


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Q: What goes ha, ha, ha, plop?
A: Someone laughing their head off! And lucky you, today is LAUGH LIKE YOU'RE IN THIRD GRADE DAY!

Who's there?
Frank Lee.
Frank Lee who?
Frank Lee, it's none of your business!

Q: How many New Age gurus does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: none---change must come from within.

Q: How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One, but the light bulb has really got to want to change.

Q: How many kids with ADHD does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Wanna go ride bikes?

Q: How many Californians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Six. One to turn the bulb, one for support, and four to relate to the experience.

Q: How many Oregonians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Five. One to change the bulb and four more to chase off the Californians who have come up to relate to the experience.


Do you feel you've been "doing the work" and yet there are deep aspects of yourself that refuse to be "teased out?"

Do you hear yourself sounding JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER?

Do you feel that the sins of the father are revisited on the son, and dammit, that just ain't right?

Me too.

And that is why I working with Ruth King, author of Healing Rage to help me deal with this. She is coming to Portland, Oregon at the end of this month. There are two opportunities to hear her, one is an in-home book reading, one is a day-long workshop. She is also opening up slots for 1:1 coaching sessions, 1 hour each.

Please e-mail me for more information.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Needed to change the energy of my writing space. It was good, but I was going for great. Too many shelves with too much junk were harshing my mellow. Took 1/2 away. Needed things that bloomed, grew, babbled and glowed. A quick trip to Freddie's and I was set. A $23.99 fountain, two peace lily plants, a bag of tea lights and I found an old kata (greeting scarf) in my drawer.

Chose the lilies for one reason and one reason only, they were $19.99. Came home and noticed the pretty blooms. Did a quick Google and learned they are the #1 office plant because they do an extraordinary job of purifying the air. No accidents. And the blooms are really pretty.
So now I'm all set, right? No more excuses? Everything is pretty and conducive to writing? Rojo isn't even home tonight, I've got extra time.

And it's the last thing on God's green earth I want to do. Write. Usually all I want to do. But today isn't usual. I don't know if it's the extremely rainy weather, or looking through those old yearbooks that did it. But one thing is for sure. I'm not inspired. I'm, in fact, uninspired. I don't feel like reading. I don't feel like watching TV. I don't feel like doing anything.

Tomorrow I am having a mom come over for coffee. Her life is where mine was several years ago. She has no time for herself. Not one minute. She is with her young kids or researching what the hell to do with her kids around the clock. She goes from crisis to crisis to crisis, no time to fall apart, one foot in front of the other, full survival mode.

I was in that mode for years. Years. About ten, actually. Now I'm not. And when I have more than a little extra time my mind goes back to those days and the pain hits me straight between the eyes. I'm glad to be out of sheer survival mode, don't get me wrong, but when you're finally out, that's the time to do all the reflecting, re-evaluating, processing you didn't have time to do for all those years. And it's not all that pretty.

So now my writing space is pretty but the process I'm going through is not. One out of two ain't bad.

Monday, January 07, 2008


It's all Kathleen's fault, my walking buddy and true blue friend. She insisted her cousin and I had to have gone to high school together. After our walk I went down to my newly organized basement and dug out my old yearbooks, to prove her wrong. Of course, there she was, her cousin, plain as day on page 52. I have a good reason for not remembering her though, I was a SENIOR, and she was a FRESHMAN. Enough said.

Someday when you really want to stumble, trip and crash down memory lane, open up your old yearbooks and read what everyone said to you back then.

And then there are the pictures. Wow. An avalanche of emotion came at me when I took a look at those babies. To see those young faces and know what happened to them later, hard to get my head wrapped around it all. The couple that couldn't keep their hands off each other and we knew they'd never last? They've been married for 26 years. Happily, from what I hear. Scott? The boy next door? The one every mother would have been proud to have date her daughter? Died in a freak accident the spring of his freshman year in college. I was there. Went to the hospital and heard the doctors tell us he was brain dead.

Eighteen years old. Our first class reunion was his funeral, less than a year from our graduation.

Then there's Don. Jerk in high school. Jerk at the 10 year reunion. At the 20 year reunion he apologized. He grew up. Marriage, divorce, children, funny how that matures a person.

That really pretty girl with all the friends? Good at all the sports? Smart too? I married her eventual boyfriend.

There's a picture of me standing on an outdoor bench, acting crazy with a caption that reads, "Carrie Wilson just being herself."

That's not how I remember myself in high school. Animated? Funny? Silly? That's not how I remember things at all. But by the sounds of the signature pages and the pictures, that's how I was. On the outside. That's what they said about me anyway.

Four of the most brutally painful years of my life, physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, every way. Yet I fooled them all. Nobody saw that. Man, I was good.

My daughter goes to high school in eight short months. I cannot believe that. She has a lot more going for her already, than I did. She is past the awkward phase that took up a good three of my four high school years. She will know 1/2 the school when she walks in the door, her grade school is a big feeder there. She will not have just moved to a new city. Her home life is stable, albeit crazy, but crazy in a stable way. There will be no new step-parents or step-siblings to contend with. She will not wear a back brace, braces on her teeth, nor a cast on her leg, at least not all at the same time, like I did.

Still. It's high school. There will be drama. There will be tears. There will be joys. There will be people that mean everything to her then, and nothing to her later. There will be teachers that make her life miserable and those that set her on a path for which she will still be grateful 26 years later.

And someday, years and years from now, she will have a daughter embarking on her high school career. She will pull out her old, moldy, scary yearbooks and go down memory lane too. May her lane be a happy one.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Remember! Tomorrow is the 7th, so at 7:00 PM (your time) light a candle, go outside, and have a 7 minute prayer/silence/meditation/what-have-you for peace! If we all do it, in all our various time zones, it'll be like the wave! A big ol' wave of prayer for peace! WOOHOO!

"Mom," Rojo says Friday morning before school, "are you excited it is the weekend? Are you excited that you can watch me play my games all weekend long?"

"Uh huh," I answer mindlessly.

"Because I have a lot of games this weekend, and you get to watch them all! I have NBA, NFL, SEC and Pac 10! I have high school too, and I have some all-star games! Aren't you excited to watch me play all my games all weekend long?"

"Uh huh," I think I answer, not really sure, still in full denial that we already have a weekend after 2 1/2 days back to school from 2 1/2 weeks off.

First thing when he gets home Friday, "Mom, I have a game at 4:00, another one at 6:00 and another one at 7:30 tonight. Aren't you excited to watch those three games?"

A familiar tightness in my neck begins to emerge, my arms raise to massage it away, even though I know it won't really go away until 8:00 AM Monday when I see the back of him walking down the street to school.

"OK, so it's time to get ready for my 4:00 game. It is the Golden State Warriors and Boston College Eagles. Don't forget. Who do you want to win? Boston College? The Eagles? Are you going to cheer for the Eagles? Are they your favorite? Are you a fan of the Eagles? Because I am a fan of the Eagles, and I want the Eagles to win. They are going to win 35 to 28."

I walk down the steps to my basement as though I'm headed to the gallows. I systematically turn on all the right lamps, neither of us can stand the harsh glare of the overheads,and situate myself in the center of the futon. I place Elmo, the mascot for the Eagles on my left, and Sam, the pink Build-a-Bear and mascot for the Warriors, on my right. They are the cheerleaders, and when their teams score, I am to raise the appropriate mascot in wild excitement and shout, "Good job!" to their team. In. Their. Voices.

On my lap is the "score board." It is a small, 9x11 inch white board. Strict rules dictate that I am to write the names of the team on the top, mark the score as 0, 0 to start with, and then as he "announces" the teams I am to take note on the proper side of the board. Elmo and Sam must be extremely enthusiastic. In. Their. Voices.

We've got your Taylor Wilcox, Tyler Wilcox, Jordan McWhoo-ha and Michael, whose last name is whatever day of the week it happens to be. Elmo and Sam really love these names, and say so, repeatedly. In. Their. Voices.

There is no rhyme nor reason to the number of "halves" the game can have. Three is quite common. The game may or may not have halves of equal length. Overtimes occur frequently. Booth reviews, time-outs and slow motion all have been known to slow the game considerably. A typical game lasts 30 minutes. A typical game leaves my writhing in agony and Rojo smiling ear-to-ear. The more miserable I am, the happier he is.

Saturday we had games at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00 and 7:00. We also had scheduled trips to Safeway for bottles of water.

Today we've had games at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, 4:30 and two more coming up. We've been to Safeway today, too. Twice.

It's now Sunday at 5:47, and I better wrap this up. There's another game at 6:00, followed by the last game of the weekend at 7:30 tonight. At eight Sam, Elmo and I will tuck Rojo into bed. Sam and Elmo will stay with him. As I close his door and begin to feel myself sigh deeply, his last words will be, "Thanks, Mom for watching all my games this weekend. We really had fun, didn't we? Aren't you excited for my games after school tomorrow? There's a game at 4:00, 6:00 and 7:30~! Who do you want to win? Do you want the Eagles? Are you an Eagles fan?..."

Friday, January 04, 2008


Perhaps it is my low SAT scores. Perhaps it is my very average I.Q. Perhaps it is my work with Talented and Gifted then Special Education children. Whatever it is, I've always been fascinated with the difference between being "smart" and being "wise." Here are some of my favorite quotes I've gathered on the subject. Feel free to add your own!

"Knowledge is merely brilliance in the organization of ideas. It is not
true wisdom. The truly wise go beyond knowledge." - Confucius

“He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” - Confucius

"A donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey." - Sufi Saying

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." - Ruba

"Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future." - A proverb of the Lumbee tribe.

Dictionary statements for:

Intelligence: The capacity to acquire and apply knowledge, especially toward a purposeful goal.

Scientist: A person having expert knowledge of one or more sciences, especially a natural or physical science.

Science: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method and concerned with the physical world and its phenomena.

Dictionary statements for:

Wisdom: The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.

Philosopher: A student of or specialist in philosophy.

Philosophy: Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.

And my favorite: "Knowledge stays in the mind. Wisdom is knowledge that has moved through the heart." - Susan Johnson

Thursday, January 03, 2008


I've received lots of e-mails about people wanting more of an explanation on the whole Part-of-Me approach to dream analysis. So here goes, in my favorite format, a list:

1. The theory comes from Carl Jung that we are all aspects of our dreams, or that all our dreams bring to our consciousness, different aspects of ourselves.

2. Upon further exploration of Jung's theory, however, I've learned he believed SOME aspects are symbolic, but not aspects of ourselves. For instance, a ladybug symbolizes luck, so when I dream of a ladybug it represents luck, rather than an unconscious part of me (which may or may not be ladybug-ish).

3. The point of the activity is to get that "Aha!" sensation. You first insert the POM after every "important" word (think, "Would I capitalize this in a title?").

4. Then, with compound words, you break them apart and insert POM. i.e. Bookstore = book (POM) store (POM), coffeepot = coffee (POM) pot (POM)

5. Play around with this. The point is not to be "right" the point is to gain insight into yourself, particularly your subconscious.

6. When I dreamed the little girl was black, I wanted to be PC and call her African American, but that did not "work" for me, it was really a black, or dark part of me that I was looking at, not an African nor American part of me.

7. When you break down a compound word and the overall effect is not helpful, put them back together for greater "aha" effect.

8. If this is too tedious, take the whole dream and just ask yourself a few general questions. i.e. "What part of me is attached and can't be cut by anyone except myself?" "What part of me is dying to be born, feels like it's going to explode out of me?" "What part of me is female and dark and infant-like that I need to take a look at?"

9. If you "don't dream" and we all do, or we'd be psychotic, just take the overall sentiment you wake up with in the morning, and play with that. i.e. "I feel anxious." "I feel hopeful," "I feel fat and disgusting."

10. Play with this. If you aren't having fun with it, then bag it! Make it work for you! You are the boss! You'll really have fun when WHILE DREAMING you're able to step back and say, "Hey! That's an interesting look into myself!"

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


I gave birth to a huge baby that torpedoed out of me in the hall of a hospital. The baby was a girl and she was black. The nurses called her "Ladybug." Nobody would come to help me cut the umbilical cord.

Ready for some fun? Remember, POM = Part Of Me:

I gave (POM) birth (POM) to a huge (POM) baby (POM) that torpedoed (POM) out (POM) in the hall (POM) of a hospital (POM). The baby (POM) was a girl (POM) and she was black (POM). The nurses (POM) called (POM) her Ladybug (POM). No (POM) body (POM) would come (POM) to help (POM) cut (POM) the umbilical (POM) cord (POM).

It's going to be a great '08!


*Photo from

I was going to write something super deep and thought-provoking, but these two poems say it better than I ever could. I particularly love the last line of the second poem, "May you be true love." Not "find" or "know" but "be." Love that. Love. That.

I Am The New Year
Author Unknown

Life, I am the new year.
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.

I am your opportunity to practice
what you have learned about life
during the last twelve months.

All that you sought
and didn't find is hidden in me,
waiting for you to search it out
with more determination.

All the good that you tried for
and didn't achieve
is mine to grant
when you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn't dare to do,
all that you hoped but did not will,
all the faith that you claimed but did not have -
these slumber lightly,
waiting to be awakened
by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity
to renew your allegiance to Him who said,
'behold, I make all things new.'

I am the new year.

May peace fill all the empty spaces around you
And in you, may contentment answer all your wishes.
May comfort be yours, warm and soft like a sigh.
And may the coming year show you that every day
is really a first day, a new year.

Let abundance be your constant companion,
so that you have much to share.

May mirth be near you always,
like a lamp shining brightly
on the many paths you travel.

May you be true love.

Author Unknown

(Photo from