Monday, November 1, 2010

"Emergency Repair Kit for a Broken Heart"

(20 or so things you can do while you're waiting for time to step up and heal all wounds)
by Ruby Bell

My Pen Name is Ruby Bell, more to come on the story of Ruby Bell later.

Emergency Repair Kit for a Broken by Ruby Bell > Available on amazon!

"Rejection is anarchy to the human heart, blinding paths for self discovery and can put life in a stronghold"

Every single one of us has suffered from some kind of loss, or at the very least we know someone who is going through some variable of heart break. Perhaps even someone who can't stop calling you, because someone has dumped them in a cruel way.

Well after having suffered from many of my own repeated losses, I realized I just was unable to heal.

Finally, I gathered everything anyone ever told me .. and all the things I felt or needed someone to say to me during those painful times and ...

Quite by accident & then very on purpose I created this feel good hand holder for the broken heart.
It really works! I am living proof!

It has already been acclaimed by a licensed therapist and I have also been told it's something that everyone should read even if they never had a broken heart!

Please help me create awareness for the worst invisible injury on the planet - Rejection.

Book Launch party news to come soon!

Thank You all so much for your loving support.
~ djs


Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Ocean is My Mentor

It almost seems as if I can feel the ocean screaming. I have always felt connected to the ocean, beyond connected really. The ocean is my mentor. Throughout my life it has mothered me, healed me, and sang to me.

Now, I can feel a definite change as I stare in gaping mouth at the flagrant disregard for humanity and our precious earth, by so called commerce. I watch our Atlantic Coastline taking the full brunt of humanities assault with humility it seems for now. But I know her so well. Once she lifts her head up from her fatal injuries she is going to have her say. As any mother worth her salt, she will admonish her children for having forsaken her as they kneel weeping at her feet inconsolable with guilt. Well one can only hope. We humans have taken more than has ever been our right to, from our mother earth. We have had the luxury of taking this earth for granted from the beginning of time. The very blood of her existence, water, is poisoned because of the greed of her children. Like any mother, she gives willingly, but I don’t think it will be quietly. There is a horrific lesson to learn here when we all will eventually get the “howler” on this one.

The entire catastrophe is insulting and makes me personally feel ashamed for these people in charge of such a huge responsibility. It has become painfully obvious that they lack not only integrity but the maturity to handle so great a responsibility. Oh wait that’s right, greed is never responsible for its behavior is it? Ok well let’s just say that is true. Everything in equal measure to consequence is a universal law. The one thing humanity cannot get around. Oh it may seem to for a time, but sooner or later karma washes up unto shore and makes toxic sand cookies.

Every one of us has seen mother earth take back everything that was always rightfully hers. But she has been a good mother to us. We should handle her not with fear or brute force, but with love. We have pummeled, pumped and purged every part of her precious resources. From rocks we get diamonds. We build kingdoms and legacy for generations to inherit. Our homes, our clothes our technology all gleamed from the bounty this world has to offer. Yet we still have so little regard for the life the earth gives us and for human life itself which is evident by war and neglect and worse. We can recycle, turn off lights, we can call ourselves “green” thinking we are somehow giving back. But compared to what we have already collectively taken, can we honestly say we are giving back? Sometimes the best way to give back is not to take in the first place.

The one thing every country has in common regardless of culture is the wanting of “stuff”. It sickens me to watch leaders play tug of war games over oil instead of learning how to share and embrace diversity and care for one another. Basic principles I struggled to teach my own children seem to be lost on the mighty. Now the mighty may not even have a sandbox. At least not one they’ll be willing to wiggle their toes in. We have no idea what the impact this BP event will have on our great grand kids.

I’m so confused why we don’t learn from our mistakes. For example; in the 1800’s our government gave land to farmers in what is now referred to as the “dust bowl”. These farmers were encouraged to farm the land, seems innocent enough. But in doing so they scourged the earth of its protective foliage which kept the earth from rising into dust storms in four states. By the 1930’s the area suffered long droughts. As the winds rose, they blew miles of earth thousands of feet into the air and traveled at up to hundred and fifty miles an hour. These were called “black storms” and would last up at three days at time and one of these storms hit from Alabama to New York City. The loss of life was catastrophic and some of the regions hit by these storms have still never recovered, so much for commerce, right? The government was apprised of the situation years prior but did nothing until it literally showed up on their doorstep.

The point is, we have many of these references and we still don’t learn. The precious eco systems are not going to just stay and play nice in areas we’ve “decided” to designate them in. We have wild life reserves, and call ourselves protecting forests, while our hand is still in the cookie jar with drills piercing the earth like needles digging thousands of miles for oil. How do we actually know what the impact will be because of this? The earth works in perfect and delicate balance with itself. Oil may in fact protect or rather lubricate some greater part of our planetary core. Perhaps keeping plates from shifting even more violently then they do, perhaps even assisting a greater balance with gravity as it relates to our solar system. We don’t know everything. This is acutely apparent with our situation in the gulf.

As children of the earth, we can do more to secure and preserve what is left of it. How? By shifting our priorities and changing our collective minds and value set. If we work together and value life itself over “stuff” I believe it will have a global impact on our humanity, on our commerce and its integrity and ultimately our planet.

The tongue and cheek approach our media is taking with this BP tragedy cannot in any way minimize the devastation it’s creating. Nor can there be an attempt to “manage perceptions” to the public which is what most of corporate America does. Our manufactures have found a way to put petroleum, which is a derivative of crude oil in everything we use, by “managing our perceptions”. It’s in everything from our lotions to our cosmetics. Perhaps there is no way to stop everyone from driving cars, but maybe we can do something on a smaller scale, by each of us refusing to buy products containing petroleum. Aside from alternative fuel sources, we have alternatives to other things as well. By the way, hi Jojoba and hemp oil how are yah!?!
I am just a nobody and maybe my little two cents on all of this may seem to be naïve. But we have to start somewhere and make a stand with greater intention then we have ever had before. Shame is not enough. Some loss can mean forever. If we don’t mama’s gonna get the last word. She always does.

By the way must read article in Herald de Paris “It’s Not a Spill”

Want to see if the products in your cabinets have petroleum?

Greed cannot, must not win.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hope Lives among Us

My son Isaiah has been once again nationally honored for his contributions and recognized as being a champion of hope. The event was a celebration of the 50th birthday for The Los Angeles Department of Mental Health hosted at the California Endowment Society in downtown Los Angeles.

As I tagged along in mommy fashion, I found my heart wretched cleanly from my chest throughout the day. As I gawked in sheer amazement at his artwork for the event and the outpouring of love and adoration for my son’s shining achievements, I was struck in awe and a little bit paralyzed. Watching him charismatically weave his way as he was surrounded by celebrity as well as professionals in the Mental Health Care industry was nothing short of stunning. His bright humility, moved with sincerity warmth and kindness, neglecting no one.

We soon watched the tearful video he created in company with his mentors, which inevitably moved hundreds. >>>

His story, as he tells it, is his testimony of hope for all he has been through and his purposeful effort to transform his pain into art.

As he talked about his trauma of being homeless or rather "houseless", it hurt to the core of my existence. He talked about our family struggle and the ripple in the water effect it had on him. In my attempt at listening as an objective observer, all I could feel was beyond grateful. Even though sequences of actual events are a bit blurred in the translation, his heart bursted through every precious reflection. It is his story and the telling of it, is his right to champion for his own healing and the healing of others as it turns out.

The LADMH and their affiliates of this event, deal personally and professionally with all issues dealing directly with the voiceless of our American society. In a land of the free, there are so many shackled and imprisoned by the stigmatism of a mental and/or emotional infliction.

The seemingly voiceless, are creating a world of hope walking with an invisible limp. All the while, the language they speak is about wellness. I was enthralled as I heard testimonies from war veterans, the hearing impaired and the physically paralyzed, to the victims who have lost family members to suicide. Every person now apart of an advocacy program mentoring others through hardships they themselves had been through.

The list is endless and came up close and personal when our Key Note speaker Mariette Hartley addressed us with her own brave and heart wrenching story. As she mentioned the term PTSD, I was capsized. Having been in stronghold from within throughout the day, her bravery unraveled my heart.

The power of her warm words made me realize how powerful my son was as she mentioned him several times having been moved by his story, but also how alone I had been feeling for years. She melted me and made me realize it was time for me to come forward.

When I was first diagnosed with PTSD, I attempted to write the about the experience of the trauma I had suffered in a paper I called Corporate Cancer. However, since then I made a conscious decision to attempt to keep moving forward, with my maimed inner self. Not because I was in denial but honestly because I felt no support for what I was going through. There simply has been no voice for it and even though I worked within the healthcare industry to support my sons, most of their young life, there was no advocacy or support. After all every mama needs a village and unfortunately the one that surrounded us was severely lacking. Sometimes it seemed there just wasn't enough "village" to go around.

The fact that my son found the resources I needed all along is not lost on me. This is so telling, the ways of the ironical vortex and how it always seems to find a through line. Needless to say, I too will be contacting these people and finally get the care I have needed for years. So in truth my son will by default also be healing his mom.

The life events and traumas which created my sons story is only one among many thousands of people who have suffered throughout the world as well as throughout history. But the difference my son makes is the voice he is willing to give to his story through his art and his generous heart and soul. My job is done. My baby son can be one of the finest human beings on the planet.

So, should I discuss the hardships we all suffered that made this so? The truth is if it could happen to us, it could happen to anyone, and often does. An entire family can fall apart from one single trauma. Whether it is a lengthy hospital stay from an illness, to a car accident, job loss, loss of a loved one, or even something as seemingly simple as a broken heart.

I could say if I hadn’t been diagnosed with PTSD, he could be already teaching and sitting in a bistro in Europe by now discussing philosophical art and its impact on humanity. I could talk about long painful nights in worry about my all children and my own illness. But really the truth is, Isaiah has become the person I ultimately wished him to be as I cradled him in loving sincerity. Now he is well on his own life path which screams to the universe his right to exist, much the same way he kicked while in the womb forcing me to my knees. Today he brings the universe to its knees, in souring hope. I know I don’t regret a thing, as long as whatever it was, it got him here; to these moments of triumph and understanding as he waves his banners in colorful benevolence on canvas.

Isaiah’s story began before he was even born, before I was born. But the one he tells is appropriate and timely. In response, I can only say I have always been proud to be his mother, and likely would have found him in friendship even if I hadn’t been. My testimony is I am grateful others value and love my son as much as I do. There is no greater gift for any unselfish parent.

In Isaiah’s artwork is a logo which was coined the “stigma buster”. If someone else had created such a logo during our little family’s time of trauma, there may not have even been a story for him to tell. When he was born, he looked as if he’d been dipped in gold. Now he has the heart to match. What more could a mother ask for? Thank you Isaiah, my sweet baby son, your artful banner is healing my soul.

I would personally like to thank Gina Perez with the Pacific Clinics for her warm mentoring, kindness beyond the call of uh oh from the very beginning.

My gratitude continues for Kathleen Piche, LCSW with LADMH for championing Isaiah right to the steps of everyone’s heart.

To his older brother David, my sweet son, who has never let go of his brother’s hand in caring and love.

I would like to also say thank Mariette Hartley for her beauty and bravery. She truly is a triumph of spirit. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for embracing us.

For anyone dealing with these tragic circumstances, please never give up. I have seen for myself that there are resources and more importantly PEOPLE who not only care, but understand. There is HOPE among us.

See more of Isaiah’s beautiful artwork >

“Stigma Buster Website” > http:/

“Breaking the Silence” by Mariette Hartley & Anne Commire

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Inc. - helping individuals a& families facing addiction 800-622-2255 800-622-2255).

"National Center for PTSD" -clinical care & social welfare for US Veterans/General public-

"Suicide Prevention Action Network USA" -opening minds/changing policy/saving lives-

"It's very hard to be useful & unhappy at the same time" ~Spencer Tracey

"A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart." ~Johann Wolfgang Goethe

"Nothing and no one is a lost cause" ~ djs

* jussayn *

******************************** ~ *********************************


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Brothers & Sisters

At the request of my sister, I am back to watching the television program “Brothers & Sisters”. The show pulled me in when it first aired, for my fondness of Sally Field and for the obvious title. I stopped watching after my mother passed away because it was serious "in your face family" at the time and I just could not deal. There are elements of the show’s heart and story lines that can speak a hard reality.

Being able to relate to some of the story lines, can be like reliving them. But now, being pulled by my sister, I’m again taken in by the warmth of Nora’s kitchen, sweet banter and fast paced hydro-drama. Through Kitty’s cancer and barrage of sibling eye rolls there are the tugs that yank on my own life strings.

I suppose it’s silly to compare my family to the Walkers, because in truth we are nothing alike. We are not running for senate or together running a family business or dating people from Paris. But we are survivors, my own siblings and I. We walk the planet in testimony to it. We all have our own warm kitchens and conference call rally every now and then. But we have no one person at the helm in control like Nora. We had our mother as a touch point of comfort when she was alive, but we are all ships with our own sails and I might add, without a neutral common port.

We are blessed with a great bond and are given to hysterical comedy and music between us. But we are not very good at the hard eye rolls or the rally. When something happens of course we are all there for one another. But we are not very good at listening to each other either. So when one of us is in trouble or has discovered an anomaly, we often run rapid in judgmental terror to try to fix it, or we sail off in the direction of a disconnect button. All of us are guilty of doing this to each other. We are also extremely charismatic and have a lot to share at once, whenever we get together. Everything is always important and cannot wait, which is something we do have in common with the Walkers. Vibrating with high emotion, we also can not help but run toward each other in deep sentiment.

Above all there is always the element of surprise and our random acts of kindnesses we give each other, even though we are infected with conversation "interruptUS". In truth, we never really learned how to work together except when it comes to the kitchen or our music. It fascinates me. When we cook, it is a poem of pleasure as we gather around the table by candlelight and toast mom. When we sing, all four of us are the loveliest blend of harmony anyone has ever heard.

Now personally, I have never been very competitive. As a matter of fact, the discovery of this took me a very long time to understand about myself, coming to the conclusion in loath, even for the word "competition". So when the green eyed monster of sibling rivalry rears its tenuous head, I have mostly recoiled. In doing so, permitting my siblings the limelight of conversation or song. This gave me a deep appreciation and value for observation. Of course I have my own frustrations with each of them. But I do get my point across and my turn. We are each mini powerhouses, not to be trifled with. Even stranger to me is we have so much in common, yet we spin in separate orbits. A curse and a blessing. But, whenever we do join forces, we are together a stronghold of intention unbreakable. It is all a perfect balance of contractions and perfect imperfection. My brother and sisters and I, are so very lucky to have each other. Maybe we don’t have Nora’s kitchen as a common port, but we have four of them at any given time.

I’m glad my sister changed my mind to watch the show again. Aside from dreamy Gilles Marini and tearful moments, the show gives me warm perspective about our own little family. Maybe we are not very good at the conference call rally, but we mostly hold each other close to our heart squeezed marshmallow centers, such as we are. I would not change us for the world. We just need patience, a lot more wine and a gentler eye roll. Oh, and the listening part.

I’ll be watching … thanks kid :) *kisses & grins*

"Speak kind words and you will hear kind echos" - unknown

"The National Mentoring Partnership" -a resource for mentors & mentoring initiatives -


Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Gifted Life

I don’t think there was ever a time I wasn’t grateful for at least something unless maybe when I was sick. Even then I still remember being awed by a pillow or moved to tears at the ice cold touch of a commode.

Throughout my younger years, there was rarely a moment I wasn’t abandoned, neglected, abused or taken advantage of. But by grace, I didn’t always know it at the time. Youth comes with it the gift of naivety, with me especially.
My mind thought in flowery ribbon rainbows. No matter what the hell was going on, somehow a little switch would flip, misfiring bullets of pain and offset them with pink bubbles. They acted like tiny shields of crystal armor, forcing my eyes toward beauty through tears to a different picture of hope and to believe in the best in people. Everything would be alright. Somehow believing even at the tender age of nine, the intention in my big heart would make it so. It did.

The channeling of cartoon noises may have doomed me to a giddy up Pollyanna perspective. But somehow I think it served me well. Perhaps it was a way of keeping positive. Also from the time I could walk, I heard music in my head. I now have a treasure trove of art songs, each one providing therapy all along the way, giving me sanctuary. Moments of art I could create like a painter paints on canvas. Only my heart was the canvas and all I needed was a pen. They alone birthed their own little world inside of me. In the face of life’s brutal realities, my mind cut me a break. The combination of trauma and fantasy, gave me the ability to create something beautiful beyond it. Even to push boundaries past everything which was locked up in my skin.

Ok, so what, my parents abandoned me leaving me with burdens much too big for my tiny shoulders. I stood tall with my three foot self and grew inner muscle. I also didn’t have to answer to them. As a result, I learned to cultivate who I wanted to be as I ran in the opposite direction of their behavior. In truth I was spared the possibility of becoming an addict/alcoholic. Even though I was not always completely dependable in every situation, I was resourceful and no one has ever had to be responsible for me.

Ok it’s true, I did wish to have someone to fall back on once in a while. But I didn’t.
Surrounded by flakey people, I cultivated my own sense of values. Even morphing inner abilities to create footholds which gave me planks of foundation I could count on. Being a nurturer, it brought me great comfort when I became the something from nothing girl.

Ok, so what, I suffered abuse. No one deserves it and I don’t think I needed an extreme experience to figure it out. But I did learn how to be a friend to myself, eventually. Now I am a cushion of comfort to others as well.

I am an extremely flawed parent, but I am honest and in the end, I never gave up. So, I thank my sweet children for loving me anyway. When I look at them, I know the world is a better place because they’re in it. Their benevolent cores raise higher banners than I could have ever waved in my lifetime. My ability to make them laugh is one of the greatest gifts to my soul, I could ever ask for.

So I never had a golden net, but I became one by default.
No one has ever had a right to judge me. My overall survival is not even by chance. I believe I exist because my heart was full of love no matter what.

So, thank you selfish controlling husbands and lovers who failed to value me. I appreciate my own time now.

Thanks mom and dad for giving me just enough of your good stuff and leaving me in charge of the rest.

Thank you so much lunatic abusers. You gave me a deep appreciation for irony, the ridiculous and absurd. Now I am the life of the party.

Thank you, sorry excuse for a healthcare vortex I once called a career. Even though you gave me a nervous breakdown, it taught me how to be nicer to myself.

Thanks to you; stupid dumb broken production company. Because of you I am finally learning how to rest. A gift of time I am using to reflect, forgive and create the life I have always wanted and didn’t realize I deserved.
The list goes on.

As for the really good stuff:
For every hand that held mine with intention of fusing hope into my heart. I am so grateful, thank you, the magic worked.

For the precious eyes of my children and all of my family and friends; I can see you and know you love me deeply. I hold you inside me. I light candles for you to be blessed and cared for. You are kissed and adored and my love for you back can fill up the universe to bursting. What gifts you are. Not just to me, but every person who is blessed to know each of you.

More of my own gifts are becoming apparent to me, but at forty nine, I don’t know where I belong or what to make of them yet. Perhaps my songs will create their own path of destiny, warming others in friendship within, they way they do for me. After all, a song can save a life, even in the face of complete devastation. I am living proof.

My anatomy screams with gratitude. Now I am not ashamed. I am raw authenticity and lucky to be alive. I give myself a little wink in the mirror. I dance in public and walk in the rain with my face up to the sky. I’m even that girl who sings in the grocery store and believe it or not, everyone smiles back and some even sing with me. Just think, the real journey has just begun … happy birthday to me ~
So blessed, so very blessed.

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. - helping individuals and families facing addiction (800-622-2255 800-622-2255)

"The National School Lunch Program" -contact this agency to ensure nutritionally balanced meals for kids-

National Center for PTSD:

~ *** ~ *** ~ *** ~

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Boxes of Joy

After almost four years, I’ve finally done it. Pulling out all of the boxes from my little shed was a task I dreaded and loomed over my head like a Linus cloud. I guess I really just didn’t want to do it. Go through my mothers things and donate them to her charity. Not to sound as she would say, maudlin, but I knew what was in there. The emotional tugs of heart had everything to do with the fact that her DNA was in them all. In her brushes, her decorative soaps and I could smell her essence as I sprung her clothes from their cardboard prison.

So many memories of hugging her in certain outfits, knowing these were all things she touched. I wondered how long she had some this stuff. It was likely years and years. In combing through these things of hers, I found myself spending hours trying on her clothes without looking in the mirror. When I finally looked up I realized I was looking like an old lady from Boca and said bubbye, to the purple silk jump suit, wild sparkly sweaters and Half Moon Bay sweatshirts that didn’t fit anyone in the family but me. I am as small as my mother was, all except the shoes. In trying to do the right thing, I left out some soft and squishy things that still held the smell of my mother for the rest of my siblings. Just in case. As it turned out one of my sisters was very glad I had cared enough to do that.

My mother cracked me up. She was a very funny woman and her sense of humor was also beaming from all of her belongings as well. My god, how many tubes of lipstick can one woman use in a lifetime. If nothing brought me to tears this did, as I recall her quirky way of saying Estee Lauder. A funny little rewiring thing began to happen to my brain as I chided myself for my own drawer full of happy purchases that came with free gifts. Which is every girl’s secret happy place the “gift with purchase” And I realized, my children would one day do what I am doing now. My goodness, they already think me as eccentric, they say they mean it in a good way, but I can only imagine what they would say about most of the things I’ve chosen to keep. This also became painfully clear when I actually put one of my mothers sweaters on my oldest son. Bless his heart, he kept it. But it was very telling to me I really needed to rethink my approach.

Holding on with so much intention to stuff was silly. But I also realized it was an over compensation for a lack of interaction. It was time to get real with it. Front zipper robes are not my thing. Knowing my mother I don’t think they were even her favorite either. She was too glamorous for them. I remember seeing her inner glow flowing about in negligees with matching slippers. It’s strange to me now seeing only happily printed flannel nightgowns. Her glamour finally revealed itself among her purses. The woman had little purses inside of each purse that matched, from her gold evening satchel to her cigarette cases. Anything I am choosing to keep, I don’t really keep for myself, but more for my sisters and our daughters as expressions of who Grandma was. As the oldest sister I feel it my duty to find a way to keep the best of my mother alive. It’s upsetting how a person can be reduced to boxes of stuff. She is not her stuff. When you walked into any room my mother was in, you had a particular feeling like something wonderful was going to happen. She had a way of creating an atmosphere of beauty around her and an aura as if company was coming.

My mother was special and will be remembered in the hearts of her children and those who knew and loved her. Not many could ever forget a woman named Joy who lived up to her name right down to the sparkle in her eyes. Even through all of the hardship and dysfunction, my mother somehow found a way to give her children something incredible. Aside from the fact that I can’t look at a kitchen tool without thinking of her, my siblings and I have each other thanks to her. We are all expressions of her. And now I’m letting go of her belongings as legacy, even though I am thoroughly convinced she haunts them. In doing this I learned something, the legacy of letting go. Oh but I did keep the lipstick, how could I help myself…

So Mom, if you can hear me, I’m sorry it took me so long to go through your things and fulfill your wishes. It was really hard to do because I miss you so much and I hope you can forgive me. I am also so sorry for other things that you know about, just between you and me before you passed, which were unresolved. Yesterday sister found a sealed card to me you never sent. It looks like Thanksgiving. I can’t seem to open it yet…

Spring cleaning and looking for place to donate?
Please consider: The Women in Recovery @
Thank you.


Friday, February 12, 2010

No Love

I may just be the Rodney Dangerfield of the “I get no’s” regarding love. It’s strange really. Because anytime I ever heard anyone complain about wanting to find love, I always seemed to have had it, at the time. Being a serial monogamist has well assisted the illusion of love being in perpetual motion for long stretches at a time. When in truth I was merely opening my legs prospecting for the hope of love. Now it seems irony is holding its belly in hysterical laughter and pointing at me. It’s cracking up, because I think it knows I really don’t care if I have it or not at this point. Actually I’m leaning toward the not wanting it part. The long hours I’ve spent at the knees of friends encouraging them away from their tears to believe and not give up hope on that special someone out there waiting to meet them, leaves me furiously mocked.

You see the problem is, something in my programming told me I was supposed to be Donna Reed. An apron, my swishy skirts and pointy vintage shoes are in the closet as proof. But nothing else in my life experience has ever supported it. But also No one ever told me I Didn't HAve to get married. A baby boomer, orphaned at 9, mesmerized by TV and mentored by characters like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, only assisted my propensity toward delusional. Living my life in bubble thoughts in my head, saying words like darling, with flashes of Ziegfeld Follies kicking up can cans in response to traumatic events. I really didn’t stand a chance. I still have a pop out closet brimming with boas and opera gloves in almost every color, pretending in testimony.

All of my loving affairs were benefactors of this frivolity. Some knew me others had no clue who I was and are likely still scratching their heads in perplexity. One almost lover once told me I was "in every sense of the word female”, which I took as a compliment even though the implications may have had everything to do with my menstrual cycle. When I took to my fainting couch there wasn’t much anyone could do who wasn’t toting a heating pad.

With all my props, and passion, I don’t think I was really good at sex, although some of my lovers professed I was, most of them even declared undying love for me. I think I had that little thing called abandon which creates the element of surprise and spontaneity but also lends itself to fantasy. I was really good at that. No wonder they liked me. But fantasies move on into real life. I was never very good at that. I seem to still be the place people like to escape to, but not the girl anyone ever really wanted to take care of. There she is, did you see her? Pollyanna just popped up her coiffed head again. When I see her now, I yank on her pearl necklace and listen to the baubles clank as they bounce off the hardwood floor.

Most of my lovers were even illusions. What this really means is when I saw them for who they really were, the reality check left my nose print in the wall, where I slammed into it. You see, I have the uncanny gift of seeing a person as they are in their highest evolved self. Not what they truly are the moment I happened to crash the hell into them. Such evolvement would have taken many more years of other lovers besides me, to cultivate.

Oh falling in love was always fun. So many feelings, pulsing surges you think are going to burst the skin from the inside out and light up the world and inspire a hopeful forever from a lover. Oh yes I have been there, from the crooning to the pining.

I tried to take the Zena Princess Warrior approach to love, but she was after my generation. I’m not that girl, even though I do have a funny little whip hanging on my bedroom door. I never used it. I do have a slight temper and can be moody. But I’m not even good at being angry, wishing beyond my Jeannie blink, I was a hot blooded Italian woman flinging plates when I found a fiancé in my own bed making love to another woman. Or the time I was struck mute at the discovery of the husband leading a double life then later another fiancé having unprotected sex with men while we together. If ever there was a girl who had a right to break dishes it was me. Instead I left or forgave, cried and kicked them out, or all of the above, always a lady and one in dire need of a tantrum. I definitely got the E ticket when it came to experience and should be awarded the E in effort even though I was attracted to all the wrong people. Such is the plight of most women I know.

There was a song in a commercial from the seventies; the lyrics go something like; “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and never ever let you forget you’re a man, ‘cause I’m a woman, w o m a n.”, as she whipped her hair about along with the kitchen towel. Talk about your subliminal messages. Oh and I often heard this drill of the ideal woman; “A cook in the kitchen, a whore in the bedroom, a lady in public, a mother to the children”. Check them all off the evah loving list then darling, because I’m it! The most unselfish person I ever met was me and they still cheated. Hilarious! Because most men, LET me … without reservations bring home the bacon, but none of them let me be a woman, let alone stay long enough for me to heal the fractured little girl that lived inside me. I am doing that all on my own. Listen people I even wrote a handbook for the broken heart. Take that lemonade! I can’t just have a broken heart no I have to blaze a trail about it and write my own tool to get over it. No Donna Reed here.

From the idiot savant healer guy, some musician guys, to high powered executive guys, they all now have a place of honor in my walk of shame and I am their widow. Irony of all ironies none of them were “Daddy” which is what I was supposed to be attracted to according to textbook psychology. Unless of course I take into account the word “coward”, which is something they all had in common including my father.

Some of the men I’ve met would have made perfect companions in a retirement home when I’m 88. Then maybe I could have laughed with them over meds, as they regale their tawdry stories of debauchery and deceit. Oh please, I’m not bitter and I am certainly no cynic. No Pollyanna worth her salt ever could be unfortunately. No, I gathered all of my flowery essence and my apron and took it to the gay men. Becoming a Grace to a Will was the perfect answer to my woe-be-gone heart, which can be quite satisfying. It has the close proximity of a lover without the pitfalls of sex. The excitement of funny banter and tantalizing recipes makes good use of my apron strings as well as my boas, without Fred Flintstone yelling at me. I only wish I had done it sooner.

No, no love for me I think. It’s better this way, because most of the time I'm not lonely. I enjoy my own company and have much work to do. Besides my karmic ally may have traded in the possibility of so called love for myself so my children would get to have it for real. So far so good, three out four of them have found their soul mate it seems, which are pretty good odds. Shhhh… can’t say it to loud, knock on Formica, I don’t want to jinx it. Believe me I’m no martyr sacrificing my heart on the anvil of wishes. I’m too exhausted to be in love, let alone get married again. I want the universe to use the energy and continue to give it to them because they are going need every ounce they can get.

Truthfully it is liberating to decide no love. It is a purposeful decision. It is succinct and in perfect timing with my plans that were so often interrupted by my wildly clinging hope for love. Although as a song writer, my insatiable desire was often a catapult for my music. But it was also an appendage, an albatross, the monkey on my back. So all of my tears just ended up creating a spring of well water, which is a wealth of reference now for me to use, instead of abuse within myself. That’s ok, I’m ok. I’m lucky to be alive. I’m even more blessed to have grown children and a reason to have survived my demons for higher purpose stuff. What else is a girl to do? What would you do in my place? Would you counsel me at my knee and beg me not to give up? Please don’t. I know anything is possible. It wouldn’t surprise me if I did crash into someone again, it would just be my luck.

There are plenty of opportunities for mischief any time I let myself out of my Jeannie bottle bedroom and powder my bewitching nose. But being on this side of the wall has its perks. I have control of my time, my dinner, and my dvr, for as long as we both shall live. I buy my own flowers, take myself to the movies and still sing in the shower. What more could a person want? What ever passion once left under my pillow, was not lost on me, because it still can leave me wondering. Not enough to hold its hand again, but just enough to light candles with romantic notions and to keep my lipstick handy. I think that something about love must have at least liked me a little. Because when I am feeling quite myself, I can create the aura of it and most importantly dream a little. If you could be a fly on the wall of the doll house, at any point in time, you would find me still swooning to Puccini. Would I make someone a good wife? Anyone lucky enough to find out would likely say of course. The real question is; do I want to be? uhm .. Not so much. But then you never know …

Hope you had a Happy Valentines Day Lovers … have a saucy romp for me … *wink*


Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Hope Garden


Caressing hope I stumble from within. Such a glittering shiny thing this faded jewel, even now.

But just like the majesty of the rose, hope too has her thorns. I buried my face in her fragrance for as long as I can remember. She lifted me and taught me patience for her.

As she grew, I grew. And many times, I confess, I plucked her from her stem long before she was ready. But not before her precious seedlings made their way to the soil of my life. Dry, rocky, but once nourished and fertile, which I watered with every ounce of inspiration I could find. Even attempting to will my soil to remember its once fertile luster.

But I did not understand. Hope being a direct descendant of faith, can be broken, defeated and destroyed. It can even come to withering powder, like the petals of a flower dusting the earth and carried away with the wind. Really, this is what is commonly referred to as a reality check.

How many times have we all tried to mend a most treasured object with glue? Even though whenever we look at it or handle it gingerly, from that moment forward it will forever still be broken. You can’t put petals back once they are died off the stem. Well, some people have I suppose and proceeded to call it art. But in the potpourri of all the broken things in my life it has not been art, even though I watered with tears in hope of not art, but worth. A flurry of glittering beauty that always remained precious even though they all came to be broken.

As I look back on my life in truth, I can see these pieces whole, even though they are but a beautiful glimmering mutilated mess winking up at me in hope. And now the soil in me is no longer able to render fresh seeds. A sad story for my little hope garden.

Years of taking life experiences and willing them to forge and cultivate the person I am, in hope of being whole, well rounded and strong. Even hoping beyond hope I would be of some value to others. Using pieces that don’t seem to fit together to create something from the nothing they would be, if I had not attempted to fuse. Perhaps in refusal to give up hope I did this.

I inherited broken. But because it was seemingly gifted to me that way, I did not see broken. It is only now as I handle these worn pieces inside me and watch them bleed my heart from hope that I understand. The stories and the reasons behind all of these relentless metaphors, are far too lengthy to explain here, but I'll say this.

We look out our windows in hope of seeing something. We have children in hope of sharing and having more love or legacy. We light candles with hope for light and in hopes of honoring lost loved ones. We eat in hopes to fill ourselves and nourish our bodies for health. We learn, we listen and we cry, we work, we love, we heal and we even change all for the sake of hope. The list goes on. I write this in hope.

Writing this is likely one of the most selfish things I have ever done. How dare I dissect hope in a time when our culture is teetering on a hope for hope it self. To expose my own dried up garden when a collective consciousness is hungry for the bounty of a well tended and thriving one. I can only give my own truth as my feeble and humble excuse. It is a last rendering from my victory garden that survived the wars of my life thus far. This singular seed is called forgiveness.

Like drops of wine, this nectar came from my flowers once full in hope. Even after they dried and came to dust, forgiveness was left in bounty to nourish me when anything I ever loved was lost to me. Through countless horrors and hardships, loss and personal torment. When ever I permitted myself to sup on the essence of forgiveness, hope was restored to me. This is how I was able to survive and now it is my gift to give.

The beginning of a new year is always filled with a chance for new hope. A chance to start again or continue on healing.

My only hope is stored up in all of things I have been able to find forgiveness for. My life cannot survive without it and every moment is work.

Undertaking the task of forgiveness is lifelong and endless. Like pulling unforgiving weeds. They are constant, seem to come out of nowhere and can suffocate the life out of even a well tended garden. I have had to furiously force it from within me and through me. Learning to recognize when it is required and forgiving even when it isn't. Finding out, forgiveness is the glue, the mender of hope and the difference between false hope and the miracle of pure hope.

I understood this when I forgave the flowers that died and planted again. I forgave the dry soil and tilled. I am learning to forgive myself for my past peril and the hurt I have caused others. In not knowing what to do next when hope seems remote, I forgive myself for hopes loss and hope it will forgive me back.

Whatever else is leftover can all only be restored in what I can muster to tend to next in my garden. I wish I could say that forgiveness comes easier in time or with practice, but it does not. But I can say the bigger the blooms of hope restored in me, there are as many precious pearls of forgiveness in equal measure. I can also say the moments I was able to bury my face in the blooms, it was sustaining for long periods of time. I can say, when I was filled with it, others around me seem to be too.

It is winter and my weary plot seems buried under ice. Perhaps the spring will reveal what was left there waiting to grow wild. But for now, I'm willing my words and the essence of the music I hear, to manage my heart and return hope back to my garden and bloom in forgiveness once more for the thorns.