Monday, December 31, 2007

for you

For you, for all of us, I wish a new year of splendid things: love, laughter, joy and tears. Those are my top four wishes, heavy on the love and joy and laughter, of course, with just enough damp to add a piquancy to the others.

I am not happy about the state of the world and particularly of my country. 2007 was rife with disappointment in so many areas, foremost the new Democratic congress which never found its footing and was so inept, in so many ways, that I find myself suspicious of intent.

As of this very moment, there are 385 long and frightening days, 7 dangerous hours, 32 minutes and a variance of seconds left in the most destructive presidency in the history of this country. Since I've been sleeping better, I haven't been as openly enraged about politics, but in my heart there is a constant awareness of the urgency of this: we must have more Democrats in Congress come November and we must have a Democratic president. If we do not accomplish this one thing, the Supreme Court will turn against the vast majority of us and will become a tool for those who would use religion to control us.

Vote, vote Democrat, do not stay home, check your registration frequently, vote at the polls if at all possible, ensure your address is correct and that you're at the correct polling place. We face enormous challenges in fighting the corrupt thugs who would steal the last vestiges of democracy from us through caging and corruption. It will be an up hill battle to win this election and we must.

Resolutions will come and go and I'll make my own, mostly involving more time spent in silence, in the pursuit of spiritual connection. But the one resolution I will make and one I hope you will join me in and pass on is this: I will vote and I will urge others to and I will help register the unregistered and I will make noise about the corruption of the process. One thing, one act that can change the world and possibly save it: Vote.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

belated solstice wishes

A fat yellow moon rose last night and hung in the eastern sky for ages. It seemed full of promise, glowing and lovely, as jolly, in its way, as the mythical man in red who's expected any moment now. The darkest night of the year has passed and the days will soon be growing longer, bringing with them thoughts of a fresh new garden and that delicious sense of possibility that arrives with each new year. I hope that you are all well, that you are warm and toasty and full of hot chocolate and fudge. Happy holy days.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

lily girl

Trying to catch up here, 24 hours into having the computer back. I started at the bottom of my blogroll to see what y'all have been up to, because it seems I always start at the top and run out of time.

I read "The trials, tribulations and jaundiced observations of a gay man over 40 in the shining Metropolis of Los Angeles," otherwise known as World O' Jeff.

As a result, I started bawling and had to quit reading. Blame him. But not really, because Jeff's Lily Girl was completely unexpected and so full of love and emotion and heartbreak that it's still making me weep as I write this. Jeff's tribute to his mother.

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Friday, December 14, 2007


So many folks have written to inquire whether we are okay and I've had just moments on the computer since our power went out Sunday night. I'm having a moment right now at Kinko's/FedEx, so while a dozen Tulsans are glaring at me for hogging the computer, I am providing this brief update for those who are interested in our disaster. Sigh.

As a result of the ice storms which hit Oklahoma over the last weekend, we've sustained terrible damage to the trees around our house. The power, of course, is still off and we have no heat, but I am grieving the loss of the two beautiful river birch trees, my ancient pink dogwood, the old redbud on the south side of the house, my golden honeylocust, which provided such lovely shade in my living room, the bald cypress and a big chunk of my pecan. The sole, unscathed survivor is the black walnut, and I've never been particularly fond of it.

We finally got power at our local Kinko's/FedEx, so I'm trying to take care of some business stuff and it's WRETCHED because this is our busiest time of year and people are expecting their things and they don't give a shit that we're buried under ice. It is hard to run an internet company with no phone and no computer. Sick of my whining yet? Don't quit, because I'm about to start bitching about my hair.

This freezing rain crap sucks. It's just not cold enough to make real snow. We always hover right on the freezing rain temperature, whatever the hell that is, and then the ice starts to accumulate and everything's encased in an inch of crystal and then the trees start to fall. Tulsa is beautiful because it (used to have) has huge, old, gorgeous trees. Gone. It's awful and I'm so sorry to whine, but several of you have been asking and I have only another minute or two here before my fellow citizens begin beating me.

I was pretty perky for about four days, but I haven't been able to wash my hair all week and I really really NEED TO COLOR IT!!! and I am going to start screaming if I can't wash my hair and get rid of that little rim of gray there in the front that turns up without attention. I'm cold and old and pissed.

We have workmen in the neighborhood and if I can just GET SOME POWER and AT LEAST WASH MY HAIR!!! things will be a whole lot better. Fortunately, we've had enough candles so I can read. What a whiner. I can't shut up, but you're all fresh ears and we're all bitching at one another down here and no one wants to hear it anymore, so here you are if you're still reading. God, my hair!! Anyway, the candles . . . fortunately, I'd gone to the library on Saturday, so had a whole pile of good books, one of which was Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which I think was recommended by Mark and Rodger or TeddyBear.

I LOVE THAT BOOK! and have been inspired to garden like I used to. I was just making out my seed order when the lights went out, so I've been rereading portions of her book for inspiration and hoping each mail delivery brings some fresh seed catalogs.

Aside from that all is well but I HAVE TO WASH MY HAIR!!! I'm feeling pretty edgy about the hair thing and, well, I just have to wash my hair. If I can't wash it today I may have to be locked up. Shallow? You bet. Love to all of you.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

25 years sober, dry as a bone

Today I have been sober for 25 years. At my first AA meetings, the old men would look me up and down and dismissively grumble "little girl, I spilled more than you ever drank." It took a while, but I finally learned to respond "well if you hadn't spilled so much, you might have got here sooner." At 23 when I hit the doors of AA I was a complete mess. At 25, having tried my version of the steps for two years, I was worse.

Alcoholics Anonymous. It saved my life. I learned how to live again, relearned all of the lessons I was taught as a child but abandoned in those hazy years of excess. Thirteen years of drugs, alcohol, men, crime. That kind of messy, dangerous, ugly living wrecks the conscience and the soul and the body. The happy thing about getting sober is that I've been able to live three lives in one: my life before chemicals, the addiction years, and then the gift of living sober.

I have been in the rooms long enough to see people come in and out and in and out and then go to their funerals. I have tried to pass on this amazing gift to folks who ultimately killed themselves. The disease of alcoholism and its near constant companion, drug addiction, kills. It's easy to forget that with twenty five clean years behind me, when the memory of my own efforts to die seem vague, as if belonging to someone else.

On the beach in Mexico, Mike asked me if I ever think about drinking. I do, of course. I don't know that any drunk never thinks about it. But it's the same way I think about going to Iceland or drilling for oil in my back garden. Passing thoughts, not going to happen. He thinks about it too, at 16 years of sobriety, just wondering what it would be like now, if it could be different this time.

That's probably the weakened voice of my disease, just a whisper, a question: what would it be like if I tried it again. Could it be different? I drank or smoked or snorted or shot up or swallowed something every single day for 11 years and for another two years I tried desperately to quit. Every day I meant it, absolutely, that this day would be the end. Every single day I succumbed to the obsession, the addiction, the craving for alcohol. It will never be different for me and I know that. Still the whisper, every now and then.

Walking on the beach at Mazatlan with the sun warming our shoulders, the waves washing new patterns into the sand before us, Mike and I laughed about the absurdity of imagining that either of us could ever have champagne at dawn on the beach (my fantasy) or a cold beer in hand watching the sun set over the Pacific (his). I'm not made for it. He's not either. I'm made for the funnel mouthed gulping of cheap vodka staggering throwing up three day blackout fucking some stranger waking in a seedy motel sick and hungover and craving more kind of drinking. Champagne on the beach is someone else's life and good for them.

To drink is to die and that's just a fact of my life. It's okay, better than okay. I wouldn't trade this life I have today for anything. I had my lifetime share of alcohol and probably most of yours between the ages of 12 and 25. To not drink is to live free and happy, at peace on the inside, able to experience life as it comes, to feel things honestly, to cry when I'm sad, to rage when I'm angry, to laugh till I'm breathless and to be fully present for those precious, pinnacle moments of exquisite, perfect joy.

Today I'm grateful for second chances, for the possibility of reclamation. I'm grateful to be blessed and best of all, to know that this life I live is purely a gift. Gratitude is the best feeling of all and I am grateful, today, for 25 years of a good life.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

i love lesbians and other random thoughts

It is still too fucking cold. I hate this damp chill. The contrast between the warmth and sun of Mexico and this horror is unbearable.

Coming home to little dogs is truly one of the greatest pleasures of life.

Finding the aloof and dignified cat in a very affectionate state is sweet.

Folks I met from Canada and Mexico and Panama and Peru and England and France also think Bush is a cretin and a thug. Not big news, but comforting. I asked everyone to have their countries send well armed covert ops people to rescue us.

I love lesbians! I found myself in need of help before we departed Mazatlan. In just an instant of looking around the terminal for assistance, I was suddenly surrounded by a trio of helpful gals who conspired to rescue me with a peso. Sweet, funny, no nonsense middle-aged dykes who left me feeling a bit melancholy for my activist years in the women’s movement.

Mexican butter rocks. And coconut LaLa yogurt is fantastic.

There is nothing quite like freshly caught shrimp, quickly boiled and iced down and served with a tongue-burning cocktail sauce thick with horseradish. Nothing.

No matter how nice the accommodations, hotel beds suck.

The average American we encountered in Mexico well deserves the pejorative gabacho. What a bunch of clowns: so rude, obnoxious, cheap, condescending.

Men who grow wide expanses of pubic hair should not wear teensy thongs on the beach unless they’re willing to wax. Or at least trim. Ick.

Snorkeling in rough water can cause a buoyant woman to crash hard into a rocky shore where escape entails a heroic struggle between incoming waves and undertow. To avoid broken bones and drowning, the only solution is swimming like hell under water, thus risking a close encounter with razor sharp coral. That the coral is razor sharp is evidenced by the gouges across my formerly pristine tummy. I am now waiting to see if the legend proves true: that coral will sprout from my wounds.

I was born to live a life of leisure. I don't know how I ended up with this one.

Blogger friends and pals can be missed as severely as "real" ones.

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