Friday, August 31, 2012

Mother

Mother
Oh man, I am a lot like my mother. How does this happen?

Our similarities are nothing terrible, some are great and some are just plain embarrassing. I do the things that embarrass me when my mother does them, like create drama over losing something, a big burst of hysterical energy and then- POP!- bubble bursts- oh never mind, I found it.

My mother was in town for 8 days. We both thought we lost our drivers license. Neither of us did.

The more important thing is this. Becoming a mother not only gives me great appreciation for my mother and the sacrifices that my parents made to have me and raise me, but it also gives me relief from the issues we had between us and there were many of them. I did not talk to my mother for years. She was invited to my wedding because
we had made some cordial peace but we were not rocking out as mother and daughter. It was a long hard journey into daylight

I chose to do the work. I respect people who break with their families permanently. Some things are too hard. I know. I showed up the best I could and so did she and we found a way to be with each other that didn’t cause a lot of pain.

The cool thing is that things actually got better. First we dealt with each other with anger, then politely, then warmly, and eventually lovingly. We were reconciled before my daughter was born, and having a mother around was actually a great deal of help to me as a mother. I am glad that I did not just let the relationship crash and burn. You never know, people.

I have written somewhat loosely about how after my daughter was born, my husband and I were taken to court and the ordeal lasted 2 years, which was quite traumatic for us. I was a brand new mother dealing with all that that brings and living under the intense stress of not knowing if I would keep my baby and never having the needed luxury of sweet peace externally. There was always another court date and a visitation and pressure to be perfect, and a brief to write and research to do and a fucking deposition to prepare for, all with no sleep. Dear God in heaven as my irish grandmother would say. It was way too much for any one person to deal with. But I did. I did it. With yoga, meditation (coincidently, things my mother modeled for me) and lots of late might crying and support from the right people, I could get to internal peace and create a safe warm home for my daughter. I did a lot of work to handle the trauma while it was happening and after it was over. The events were still staggering but I was in the best place I could possibly be. All that AND, I reiterate, the events were still traumatic.

The beauty is that I write about this because my mother had had traumatic events of a different nature before having me and she raised me without much support around her experiences. My hideous experience gave me a lot of compassion for her. It made it easy for me to understand her behavior; behavior that had seemed awful and baffling was more understandable, some of it was even behavior i was capable of in my darkness, and she became more human to me. And I could forgive her more easily and that somehow lessened the hurt and damage that I was holding.

And at the end of the day, when my baby is needy I have to tend to her, I do not have much time to give to my mother or her issues, or our issues. It all takes a back seat, which is a gift as well. My mother has so helpful on this visit and my daughter loves her so much and so do I.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

We Three

WE THREE

It is not an easy life for a sexual outlaw. I was one, I should know. Not the most heroic kind, I was more of a self center one with a mission, to find liberation from the legacy of being a woman in my family and in the world. The struggle was how to deal with being a victim of sexual abuse but not be a victim of the world? How could I get back to my power and not see the world as an unsafe place? How could I get out of the cycle of the power struggle, with winners and losers, and just be? Oh the things I could write…

Suffice to say that my story is a positive one. I never went to jail and although I overcompensated for a long while before I found peace, I did find it.

Had I not been born in a country where I was free to express myself the way I needed to I could have easily found my self in the shoes of the women in Pussy Riot. So easily. Because when you need to express something, you either express it or it comes out sideways. There is no way to keep it in, no way to suppress your truth.

God bless those women and their families, and while we’re at it lets include Reinaldo Arenas, Marcia P Johnson, (oh do I have the strength to write everyones names…) and all the others, the good the bad and the ugly.

Since my blog is so off the cuff, write it-read it-publish it in a matter of minutes, I hesitate to write about the sordid stuff. Some of you know about it and there are lots of funny adventures that a young woman can have but I will save it for another time.

Right now I will tell the story of a more innocent time, when I was on the brink of being sexually active. Pre outlaw…..

I was just a teenage girl into hardcore. I really wanted to go see the Bad Brains and Minor Threat at Irving Plaza. They were my favorite bands. No one I knew could or would go, namely the two of my teenage friends who liked this kind of music. I was alone. Also, I knew that a guy I liked was going and he certainly did not invite me with him. I was feeling really left out and that was intolerable so I took direct action.

I acted most boldly and called up a store where a guy I knew worked. I had met him because I would wander into his store every week when my friends and I would take the A train downtown from the tip of Manhattan to the west village to buy records and clothes and “see the world”. He would talk to me and tease me about being with my friends “going to the village” which was true. We were not worldly at all, we were trying to be but we were really suburban, even though I lived in Manhattan. He was funny and nice, which was enough to make me fond of him. His store was a silly card shop but it was thrilling to me- to see interesting photos and artwork on these cards. There was no internet and physical images were rare and special. The experience was closer to going to the library or a museum, having access to beautiful visuals, like great photography books or something rare. A card shop in the west village was truly special, that is how innocent I was.

Innocent but bold, I called 411 and got the stores number and he answered and I asked him if he was going to the show and I if I could go with him! He said yes. We met outside of Irving Plaza. It was intense to see the throngs of punks going to this monumental show. I remember so many of the kids I got to know on the hardcore scene, but even more, I remember this one “older” woman in the lobby of the club wearing stilettos and iron cuff around her ankles that had iron chains attached to her wrists. A real throwback to the scene before ours, the original New York City punk scene! Everything was larger than life.

The show was about to start and I naively went right up front. The first chord rand out and chaos broke out. It was like being caught in a rip tide with waves that were too rough to handle. In the first few minutes I was getting so beat up by the bodies flailing about that it was actually scary. It was so early in the movement that I don’t even think the hideous word “slam dancing” existed. I told my buddy that I would meet him in the back of the club. He stayed and watched for a while and then joined me. Later, we made out on the stairs. Not my plan, but I was curious and interested.

Needless to say the show was awesome. My new friend put his hand inside my tight black bondage pants and felt around. Nothing new here, as I seem to always find myself in the shark tank with every guy I liked. No surprise since I was hanging around on an intense scene, seeking it on purpose. And yet I was still a little girl. My mother had made me promise to call a private cab company, because she thought that was a safer alternative than a young girl coming home alone at 2am in a regular cab. So I did. I felt so square telling my buddy that we had to wait for this dumb car to come get me instead of just hailing a yellow cab.

On the way up the Harlem River Drive I rolled down the window and let the cool wind whip my hair around in the 3am glow of the neon across the river. Alive and free.

A few days later another guy I had met on the scene who had had interest in me (lets call him #2)(leave out the names to protect the guilty) called to tell me that my friend from the bad brains show (lets call him #1) had told guy #2 that we (me and #1) had had sex!!! Gossipy rumor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I felt stabbed in the heart. It was so gross an idea to me- that people talked about having SEX with me and that it was a lie and that someone else believed it. It was devastating on some level. I was a kid. What the fuck! Did I mention that at least one of these guys if not both were adults, living on their own, supporting themselves. Also, I had no idea about anything, much less what guy #2’s motives were. I just believed him, that this conversation happened and that guy #1 had told this lie about me. To this day, I do not even know if he did say that or if #2 made up a story. Also, I didn’t have the life experience yet to just tell #2 what the fuck are you doing telling me this, whose business is it anyway, etc.

Later on, guy #1 called me and I refused to come to the phone. My sister kept telling me to come and kept saying no. I think I finally got on and said some thing about not wanting to talk.

That was that, we didn’t talk again. A giant teenage failure to communicate that was never clarified. I never talked about it to either of the two parties. I have no idea who said what or who lied or what happened or how they felt. I just shut the door.

I wound up getting a boyfriend shortly thereafter and seeing those two guys around for years and chatting with them casually, but never talking bout the incident that was such a big deal for me and never taking down that wall.

I forgot this whole sequence of events until our three names came up together in a facebook post, so fucking random. In fact it was four of us mentioned, as my boyfriend of that time was included in the post. Just us, all mentioned together in one sentence. How fucking random: My x Jesse did some radio show in the city guy #1 and #2 both live in and they both happened to be there and he played a song of mine and there we were, all together again. And some fifth random person from that old hardcore scene mentioned the reunion in a post. God Bless, I hope you are all doing amazing. I have no feelings but good ones toward everyone involved. Love and peace, dudes. Life is so long and beautiful.

two of my all time favs...


Sunday, August 19, 2012

liberation

So our vacation was challenging. Then we got home and moved, beautiful new place but short notice. Lots of work. We got here and our dear cat pushed out the screen that I had checked. He has been gone for 20 days. I have looked high and low, as if I had the time or the energy. Did it anyway. No luck. I am accepting that this is what he wanted. He is liberated in one way or another. I try to think of him happy, as opposed to the devastating alternatives.

So can I just get a fucking minute of rest anytime soon? No because I have no pet, but we got a flea infestation. Today I bombed the house, did 20 loads of laundry and then came home and vaccumed and mopped.

We have an unlimited reserve to draw from. I have been drawing and drawing. It works. Did it. Done. Goodbye fleas. Come home cat! I miss you and love you so.

We took ourselves on a date to end the evening. Saw a heavyset woman in green spandex shorts and high heels, (sounds cool, but it didn’t really work) getting out of a Maserati and a man still in his hospital gown on Santa Monica blvd. They were not together but that was a lot to see.

"i wasn't looking too good but i was feeling real well" xHolly

Thursday, August 9, 2012

hold on papillion

oh my god, has it been a week already. dear lord have mercy. I agreed to write once a week and cannot believe that the time has come again to try to write something.

Sometimes it is interesting and sometimes lame, yes, I know, but I do it. It is like any art, just do it, move through the resistance to get to the good stuff. Even iggy has to make a bad record every blue moon to get to the next one, hopefully great one, or better one, or another bad one, to get to the better one.

I have burnt the pot twice tonight, trying to make tea. All the water is gone before I get up to pour it.

I am in deep grief over my missing pet, who escaped from our new home, and who may not know where he lives and may not know how to get back here.

I am exhausted from looking in the neighborhood and hanging signs and exhausted from the emotions. During the court proceedings that would end with me keeping our daughter or not, I was able to live in the spiritual place of putting it in god’s hand. Showing up and letting go. (how the fuck did I do that?) This cat situation has proved so difficult to stay in god consciousness.

The thing about life is there are so many feeling to process, so much to move through. Addiction seems so appealing because it seems like you get to skip the hard part, but really you only postpone it, making it ever harder to face. I would love to tune this shit out, but really, as my old pal Charlie Bodt used to say, see me now or see me later. I think that is what he would say.

My husband just caught the tea water before it boiled away and poured it for me. Small victory for the weary.

Twice I was told by the strange coincidences that feel like the spiritual guidance of the universe, twice I was told that it is not the fruit of the labor but the labor that matters. Just because you cannot see the outcome of your work, the fruit, that does not mean that it was in vain or unimportant. In the fight for justice and freedom, or in the search for a lost pet, or writing a quick blog, or in the tiny gesture of feeling your feelings today, and not checking out- all the efforts count. If you pray, please say a prayer for the great grey cat, Papillion. Continue on dear ones, I got your back, and thanks for having mine. xholly


i love the jagger-ness of this.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

teacher

I taught drama to grammar school kids in los angles public school for a while. It was the most amazing job. I kind of figured out that I wasn’t a teacher as I was doing it, but that did not take away from the gratifying moments of magic fulfillment success, (actually those words suck in describing the feeling and the experience) of when kids got it, or where moved, or shined, or where a bit more secure, or truer to themselves, because of our interactions. How fantastic is that? My little students, sometimes in second grade, would respond to the work, the creativity, the truth of what we were doing and you’d see the physical change, they would beam, their inner light would shine through brighter. Wow. I was so lucky to get to have that experience.

I would leave there each time exhausted from working with kids all day and depressed because I really wanted a music career at the time and I was so far away from it. That all worked itself out, but the truth is you really have to be a special special person to be a good teacher, to want to be there and do what it takes. I moved on and got to do music the way I wanted for a while before putting it aside to be a mom. I have lived so many lives and have gotten to do so many things and have no regrets and am thrilled to be where I am right now, but again, am so lucky to have had that experience.

My students were 99% Mexican and one day I was subbing or for some reason I was completely off lesson, just teaching freestyle and I decided we would sing the Stevie Wonder song Black man, which talks about all the people of all colors that helped build this America. (Yes, he only mentions on woman and that story is for another day). I still brought with me the radicalness of this song and its words with me to the school. I felt like an outlaw. I felt free and alive and empowered as I played this song for my students and we sang it out together. We yelled it out, out loud and proud that it wasn’t just the white man whole built America! We yelled out Caesar Chavez’s name, a name they heard their families have pride in, we sang it out together in school. We sang about the brown man as well as all the other colors of men and one woman. We came together in the power of great music and we all shined a bit brighter that day. God bless all you great kids, thanks for letting me have the privilege of knowing you and working with you…

I have more to say but I am too tired, stay tuned.





First man to die
For the flag we now hold high (Crispus Attucks)
Was a black man

The ground were we stand
With the flag held in our hand
Was first the redman's

Guide of a ship
On the first Columbus trip (Pedro Alonzo Nino)
Was a brown man

The railroads for trains
Came on tracking that was laid
By the yellow man

We pledge allegiance
All our lives
To the magic colors
Red, blue and white
But we all must be given
The liberty that we defend
For with justice not for all men
History will repeat again
It's time we learned
This World Was Made For All Men

Heart surgery
Was first done successfully
By a black man (Dr Daniel Hale Williams)

Friendly man who died
But helped the pilgrims to survive (Squanto)
Was a redman

Farm workers rights
Were lifted to new heights (Caesar Chavez)
By a brown man

Incandescent light
Was invented to give sight (Thomas Edison)
By the white man

We pledge allegiance
All our lives
To the magic colors
Red, blue and white
But we all must be given
The liberty that we defend
For with justice not for all men
History will repeat again
It's time we learned
This World Was Made For All Men

Here me out...

Now I know the birthday of a nation
Is a time when a country celebrates
But as your hand touches your heart
Remember we all played a part in America
To help that banner wave

First clock to be made
In America was created
By a black man (Benjamin Banneker)

Scout who used no chart
Helped lead Lewis and Clark
Was a redman (Sacagawea)

Use of martial arts
In our country got its start
By a yellow man

And the leader with a pen
Signed his name to free all men
Was a white man (Abraham Lincoln)

We pledge allegiance
All our lives
To the magic colors
Red, blue and white
But we all must be given
The liberty that we defend
For with justice not for all men
History will repeat again
It's time we learned
This World Was Made For All Men

This world was made for all men
This world was made for all men
This world was made for all men
God saved His world for all men
All people
All babies
All children
All colors
All races
This world's for you
and me
This world
My world
Your world
Everybody's world
This world
Their world
Our world
This world was made for all men

Here me out...

Who was the first man to set foot on the North Pole?
Mattew Henson - a black man

Who was the first american to show the Pilgrims at Plymouth the secrets
of survival in the new world?
Squanto - a redman

Who was the soldier of Company G who won high honors for his courage
and heroism in World War 1?
Sing Lee - ayellow man

Who was the leader of united farm workers and helped farm workers
maintain dignity and respect?
Caesar Chavez - a brown man

Who was the founder of blood plasma and the director of the Red Cross
blood bank?
Dr. Charles Drew - a black man

Who was the first American heroine who aided the Lewis and Clark
expedition?
Sacajewa - a red woman

Who was the famous educator and semanticist who made outstanding
contributions to education in America?
Hayakawa - a yellow man

Who invented the world's first stop light and the gas mask?
- a black man

Who was the American surgeon who was one of the founders of
neurosurgery?
Harvey William Cushing - a white man

Who was the man who helped design the nation's capitol, made the first
clock to give time in America and wrote the first almanac?
Benjamin Banneker - a black man

Who was the legendary hero who helped establish the League of Iroquois?
Hiawatha - a redman

Who was the leader of the first microbiotic center in America?
- a yellow man

Who was the founder of the city of Chicago in 1772?
Jean Baptiste - a black man

Who was one of the organizers of the American Indian Movement?
Denis Banks - a redman

Who was the Jewish financier who raised founds to sponsor Cristopher
Columbus' voyage to America?
Lewis D. Santangol - a white man

Who was the woman who led countless slaves to freedom on the
underground rairoad?
Harriel Tubman - a black woman