Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I was so in love with you. I did not think about the future. I did not think about our kids or money. I did not do the math. I only saw your translucent white skin, black hair, green eyes. You were gorgeous. I was 14, what more did I need? Nothing, right? I had no idea that one day you would grow old and doughy, and your face, the same face that killed me would become a fat round face bloated from too much drinking and too many perogies, too many allergens. I did not know that you would be happy and strive to educate yourself but that age would only accent your conservative tendencies, your little bit of racism, sexism, but not too terrible, not like you ancestors but still there. Actually, I did know it a little bit, but so little that I could ignore it. You weren’t exactly my people, dig, but oh so handsome. I didn’t know that that you would be happy doing your art, bad art in my humble opinion, but staying true to yourself in a way that could only be admired, not the art, but the commitment to it. I didn’t’ know what your true self was, so how could I know how it would manifest? I did not know how different we were in every way. Maybe I did a little, probably. I thought you were so beautiful, but that was it. I didn’t know that there was more, didn't know that it wasn't enough. is was enough for a while i guess. I didn’t know that you would not be the person I would want to grow old with. Funny how our hearts hurts over things that become so unimportant. Our smart hearts know so little sometimes. Our crazy hearts just want what they want sometimes. Maybe my heart wasn’t all that invested but I still felt a deep desire that I longed to fulfill and never quite did. I longed to own, but didn’t. longed to own, but why? So random and irrational, these feelings of youth

But I am so happy that you turned out ok. I hope all your dreams come true. I love you all.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

one lucky motherf##@er

Apparently when Buster Keaton was a toddler he was taken from a hotel window by a tornado and found safe and sound three blocks away. They mentioned this on NPR today suggesting that that might be why his films reflect a helpful universe. The entire universe is working towards my ultimate good, doing for me what I cannot do for myself. Our ultimate good, if you want in on it.
“habituate yourself to the clemency of god” Rumi

Have patience, everything will reveal itself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Twice I looked the devil in the eye and lied and got away with it. Is my poker face really that good?

Twice in this long life of mine I looked the devil in the and lied and got away with it.

The second time, I was in a car with someone carrying a large amount of marijuana in their vehicle, before it was legal. (I will protect the guilty and leave his name out of it.) I knew about the substance, but being young and reckless, I did not think it a big deal morally or as a risk, we were only taking a drive together. What I did not know was that their tiny triangle side back window, like cars used to have, was missing, and that that marked the car as possibly stolen.

Shortly into the afternoon ride in the West Village a cop car started trailing us. We circled the block to make sure. Yep, they were. Only then did the guy mention the back window, something I had not noticed. “Shit, they probably see the back window” “What?!” Asshole.

The cops called out to us on their speaker to stop the vehicle and get out! I was eating a spinach knish as we drove, and had just taken a bite when they made the announcement. I froze with fear, unable to chew or swallow, and the food sat in my mouth as I opened the car door and got out. My body was in fight or flight mode and my digestive system had shut down. I did not want to go to jail, particularly because of someone else’s stupidity. Standing on the curb I opened my mouth and let the half chewed knish fall to the ground. Oddly the cops did not pick up on anything that my action might have indicated.

The cops looked us over and listened as the driver gave his license and registration and explained that someone had broken into his car recently and he had not had the chance to fix the window yet. “Yeah, I figured that’s why you stopped us. Glad to see you are doing your job.” They looked me in the eye and I met their judgment with what I thought an innocent person might look like. I was acting. They believed me. They sent us on our way.

The first time was way worse. Sister Della Rita was the devil herself, the cruelest second grade teacher in Good Shepherd catholic school, and probably in the whole county, possibly the whole state. She would taunt us and attack us in her ancient cantankerous way, hitting our hands with her metal ruler, ouch! Bitch!

Della Rita had a great name but that was the extent of her good as far as I could see. The only other ok thing about her was that she had this little metal alligator clicky thing that she kept in her desk and she would click it every once in a while to get our attention. She’d press the object and it would “CLICK CLICK.” “CLICK CLICK.”. Clicking her alligator was the only time I ever saw her smile, like for a second she was a kid too.

One day we were on line at the classroom door waiting for the bell so we could leave for the day. I put my hands in my coat pocket and my fingers found a small metal button I had left in there, a yellow smiley face that should have had a pin on the back but the pin part was missing. When I pressed on the button, the metal indented and then popped back out, making the same “CLICK CLICK” that Della Rita’s alligator made. I could not help but press it a few times until the devil herself stopped in her tracks and slowly turned to us. “Who has my clicker?” She cackled.

Della Rita walked slowly down the line of children, pausing at each kid to look into our eyes to find the guilty face. She was getting closer and closer to me and I felt the fear of god in my stomach, that same fear they were trying to instill in us. She was three kids away from me when I pressed the smiley face in my pocket one more time. Della Rita’s demonic eyes rolled in her head, turning red, and two horns sprang from her forehead. I could see her ears working to trace where the noise came from. looking down,I saw her navy blue old lady nun shoe turn into cloven hooves and stop at my feet.

Time stood still as I looked up and met her stare with a defiance that I did not know I had in me, a defiance that looked like what I thought an innocent second grader might look like. The ancient nun paused for a second and I could see her nose hair move from her breath and then her gaze passed over me like the angle of death might pass over a house with the blood of a lamb smeared on it.

“If I find out… blah blah blah.” I didn’t hear the rest of the words because I was so elated that I had gotten away with something. I tricked the devil herself. She rambled on but was not able to achieve efficacy, and with no other choice of what to do, she let us go.

My very bones sang out in joy as I passed through the school doors and ran out into the sunny street. I had not only tricked, but defeated as well, the devil herself.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Ralph 1981
We met Ralph on line to get tickets to see the Clash at Bonds. being a freshman in high school, it was so fun to stand forever on a line with people who had the same passion, who loved the same music. Everyone was joking, singing, laughing. Just standing next to them was enough to feel good, to feel free. We started to talk to these guys in skinny pants with new wave tee shirts on. They were older, grown-ups. They had a band. They lived in our neighborhood. We visited their rehearsal space in the ghetto-y part of the neighborhood. Pioneers, getting cheap space in the bad part of town. They liked the cars and put on the first record, Ralph plugged in a bass and started playing along. I don’t think he was playing the right song. It just sounded noisy.

The Clash at Bonds was chaos. You probably remember how the club over sold the several night event and the fire marshalls closed it down and then the clash played a bunch of extra shows to accommodate everyone. Fire marshalls were there the night i went. it was packed. I did not see much. I sat on the floor upstairs and listened. I’m so bored with the USA sounded good. So did Police on my back and janie jones. I forget who open. Someone historical. My white Calvin Klein Jeans were too tight, My friends mother sewed them to be pedal pushers with zippers at he bottom, custom, designed by me. My stilettos were too high to stand for long, much less in a pushing crowd. It was a let down.

Another night Ralph took me with our ticket stubs to try to get in again. We did not get in. He left me alone in Times Square to get home. I was scared to go alone and I asked him to take me to the train. He did. Then this man kissed me on the lips and said goodbye. I did not like him much. He wasn’t that cute or that cool. Just a guy I met on line to buy Clash tickets. I never saw him again.

Friday, January 11, 2013

send a smile over to you

I have a cold. I have not been myself for several weeks. I just want to do what I want to do. I am annoyed by limitations and have lost sight of the bigger picture so I write this to remind myself….

How many beings am I going to help leave this world. Hold their hands and be brave for them. Keep them safe and let them go. How many miracles am I going to get to be part of, watching them enter, having the privilege of seeing birth. New babies, one human being coming out of the insides of another, bloody miracle. How brilliant that we all came about that way, came into this world that way, the same. We came out of another person, lived inside a person until it was time to come out and be here now. How much has to be shown to us before we can trust. trust that it is all happening as it is supposed to. It is all perfect. We are safe. We are free. We are all the same. Equal. Perfect. Each other’s teachers. Love is all there is, ever. Birth and death come randomly into our lives to remind us of the big beautiful mystery of life. We get to have this…. thing… this experience. We get the privilege of being alive today. Use it wisely. Enjoy it. Have fun. It is fleeting, beautiful, perfect, a gift. Thank you.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

i think i'm on another world with you, with you

“I don’t remember anything, back then, ya know, they would just knock you out and later they would bring the baby all washed and combed. They taped a bow onto your head. You were perfect, beautiful. The doctor said, if he was going to have a baby, he would want one just like you. They didn’t let me see you for a long time. Your father saw you, so you were ok, but it wasn’t until night that they let me see you. Ya know, Holly, hospitals were different, they had a lot of rules back then.

So when they finally brought you over, this big black nurse handed you to me and said ‘she gonna be bad.’”

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

soft heart in 2013

My New Year’s Resolution.

I live a magical life full of miracles. I try not to stress about the big stuff and it all seems to work out. Two nights before my non-refundable trip for three to NYC to spend Christmas with my family, my daughter work up crying and said her ear hurt. She is almost 3 and has never had an earache. I tried some crazy home remedies, yes hot oil and garlic on a cotton ball, but even kookier than that, I cut up an onion and put it into two small bundles, which I place in front of and behind her ear and I tied it to her head with a pair of pink fishnet stockings, the first thing I found when I looked in the scarf draw. The remedy was from my pediatrician’s book. She is uber natural-style, more so than me. So far so good. Anyway, the doctor is NEVER in on a Saturday and it was two days before Christmas, but I called her and she said “Come in, I am on my way to the office”. That was the last thing I would have ever expected. Then when she examined my daughter she said, “You must have done something right because she looks fine. You can fly tomorrow.”

I was so stressed over making a decision about what to do and so happy to get a formal OK. Our Christmas was so wonderful, white with reindeers and family and good food. It doesn’t get much better than that.

All these things happen and work out, it all works out. There is never a need to worry. You might have to show up and do the footwork but it all works out.

What I really wanted to write about was my New Year’s resolution- to be soft and non-judgmental, patient and kind. We watched A Tree Grows in Brooklyn over the holidays, a favorite book of mine as a kid, and it was a reminder to be here now, this is all you get. Value and respect these precious days, love your peeps and be kind to others, you never know what burden they have to carry.

I come from a tough crowd. Man we can put up some serious armor, but my goal is to feel this life and love my man and my daughter and take a look at myself and say I am sorry when I am wrong. I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield. Don’t need it.

Wishing you all a soft soft heart in 2013.