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A little box pops up on my Mac…Fathers Day is tomorrow.  I just stare at it.  Let it sit there for a minute.  There have been 14 Fathers Days that have come and gone since he passed away and each one is different.  The first one was very difficult and I had no idea that Fathers Day was even coming up and then I walked into a Rite Aid and there it was a huge sign, Fathers Day is Sunday June 20, 2004 with a huge display filled with cards and gifts. I stood there staring at it just like the little sign on my computer but with tears in my eyes and a twisting of my gut.  I whispered out loud, but I don’t have a daddy anymore and then remembering that the last time Fathers day was more than just a day to celebrate my dad, it was also the last day I saw my father alive.  Each Fathers Day after that is a remembrance of him and I going out to get lunch at a brewery in Irvine.  As a kid it was the day we made daddy breakfast in bed or gave him silly gifts but as an adult it was the day I took him to get him food and something related to beer.  This time he sat with a large tray of beer samplers.  I don’t drink beer, so they happily were all his.  He sipped and commented on the mix of odd hops from pumpkin beer to super dark brews.  He was happy as we sat and talked.  He had recently taken to letting my mom take the helm and work and him being the stay at home husband.  He would fix things, do laundry, watch a little tv and talk to me sometimes while I was on break from my working for a large corporation from 9 to 6.  I wasn’t immersed in my work, it was okay but I was bored and unchallenged by it.  I did like he money but hard to spend it when working 14 hours a day.   The company was noticing my lack of drive but I didn’t realize it until one day I was asked in a meeting, do you like your job.  I instinctively answered, of course, I love my job.   Knowing somewhere inside the real answer was, no I am not challenged enough and need to express some creativity soon or I will burst.   My boss nodded and said, well okay but I don’t think he was buying it either.  I think my father sensed it also, he would come and visit from time to time, everyone in the office loved him.  He had a huge child like smile and would brag about his youngest and how proud of her he was (that is me, if you didn’t get the reference yet).  I was so glad he was proud of me, I hadn’t always been the best daughter in the world but at least now I felt like I wasn’t letting him down or worrying him about my financial status.  I think parents always worry, even if just a little and a good parent like him, wants to help out even when I was financially taken care of.  When he would come to visit he would fix things, he even changed he handle on my refrigerator door so when I opened it and was standing at the stove, I could just reach in, grab what I needed and put it back.  He wanted to help his little girl and it was so sweet and I loved it but what helped me more than anything was our talks.  Was him opening up about his experiences, his childhood and those rare moments when he would talk about what it was like for him being my father.  Those are the conversations that stick with me, those are the things that on Fathers day I remember.  I only wish I had taken more video of him, recorded his voice more or written down every moment where we connected.  One in particular conversation stands out, the last one we had while sitting in that brewery.  We were both relaxed, and enjoying our food and I asked him what  being at home was like for him. He said he was enjoying it and then he told me the words that stuck with me, “I spent way to much time chasing money instead of my dreams”.  I knew in this was some regret, I knew he had wanted to do more sailing in his life, had wanted to teach but he seemed to be in a place of more calm than he had been in.  He seemed less stressed out.  I knew he was right and that life isn’t all about money but it is about memories and doing things that make us happy.  I also knew he was a good father and he worked jobs he may not always have loved because he wanted his wife and children to be taken care of and he was wiling to sacrifice some of his dreams to provide that for us. I had a great respect for him now and I saw him as wanting to be happy and at peace in his older years.  His children were grown and he didn’t have the same pressure.

Shortly before his death a month later, in a one on one meeting with my boss, I was asked the question again, do you like your job and I blurted out No I don’t.  He paused and looked at me and said, we knew this and were trying to figure out what to do.  It was discussed and we both agreed that I didn’t fit in at this job.  He said to me that I was like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole and it just didn’t work.  We decided I would stay for another month, giving me time to train someone new and look for another job.  Then my dad passed away and they graciously let me stay for another 2 months while I worked through emotions and looked for work.

Now 14 years later I have discovered so much about myself, that I love being creative, that I cherish times over things (though sometimes I do miss being able to just randomly buy a nice purse or a pretty new dress), that I can survive more than I thought I could and that I am happiest when being creative.  I think my dad would like my artwork, I think he would still say he is proud of his little girl.    I am not sure where my path with my artwork is leading me, but it is what makes me happy and I know he would want me to be happy.

I walk into a Rite Aid now and see all the Fathers day signs, cards and gifts and I smile at his memory, I know I still have a daddy, he may physically be gone but his heart, words and love are always with me.  Thank you daddy for all you gave me and still give me.

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Why do I present answers when the question hasn’t even been finished being asked?

Why do we presume to know what he said, she said

When we never heard it from them

Outside there is rain falling

Inside I am surrendering

Or at least trying to do my best

To believe that your thoughts

Are forming into your heart

To remember the love

The patience

The peace exuded in our holding of hands

I breath, the doubt out

Only hoping that I will breath in your yes

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I watch the repeats of Sex and the City and find myself thinking that Carrie is my least favorite character, most of the time. She dates big, over and over again, even though she gets her heart broken each time. Where was writer Greg Berendht’s input in this (consultant and writer on the show and wrote the book, he is just not that into you).

She opens herself up to Big, she is the epitimy of what drives me nuts about media’s portrayal of women. We are either pushy bitches who will stomp on anyone to get anything we want or we are powerless over love, repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Of course the reasoning is always, We Can’t Choose Who We Love or I can’t help. The I love him so what ever am I to do, I can’t help myself. I believe it may be difficult to not have feelings for someone but we have a choice as to whether we take action on those feelings. We are a reactionary society however that feeds of thinking we have to have it, and we are taught to go with our first reaction, instead of being taught to stop and think about what we are doing, what the consequences of our actions will be or remembering perhaps a lesson learned in the last time we went through this and realizing, hey I am not going down that path again.

Every time I see the episode where Carrie tells Aidan that she slept with BIG, I get upset. She tells him right before they are to go to Charlotte’s wedding.She is looking at him with sad eyes, as if to say, okay come with me to this wedding, after she just dropped this huge bomb on him. He leaves and I get the feeling we are to feel bad for her but all I can think of is, why did you cheat on such a great man, I would love to have a man who was like Aidan. Then when they get back together and he has a difficult time dealing with trusting her, she comes to him and pleads, “You have to forgive me, You Have to” To keep a relationship going where someone has cheated, it is very difficult for the person who got cheated on to trust. Sometimes it takes years, and from most of the people I know, the relationship usually ends because it is so difficult to trust the person. Well this is television however, the place where most people are supposed to just get over things in an instant. A great example of this is when a person dies, and the widow is single six months later and her friends are saying, you need to get out and date. Our society is afraid to be alone, afraid to be with who we are. The thinking is always, you will be happy if you have someone. When someone gets married, what do most people say, Oh now they can be happy or happily ever after? No wonder there are so many dysfunctional people out there, and believe me I am guilty of being one. I haven’t always made the greatest choices but I realize they were mine and I do all I can to learn from them.

This fairytale all starts when we are young girls…fairytales where there is a maiden or young girl, trapped by some evil witch and the only way we can get out is to be rescued from a tower or to break the coma she is in to be kissed by a dashing prince. How unrealistic is this in the real world? We see on Television shows and movies that a girl who doesn’t get asked to the dance is a loser or pathetic. To quote one show where a girl didn’t get asked to the big dance ” I will probably end up an old maid”. Where is the teaching to our children that hey, don’t wait, you don’t get invited to a dance, then go with friends, or gather a group of people who didn’t get invited and go as a group or even better go by yourself. Yes it is hard to be independent. I have struggled with this my whole life and still do but when I do go out to a coffee house, a movie by myself it is getting easier. I am lucky to have been surrounded at times by strong women. I had a good friend who used to tell me when we would go dancing, you want to dance, then get out there. Men were so shocked at times to see me out there dancing by myself, and not sitting demurely waiting for someone else to have fun. One time while at a club I had a guy yell outloud in front of a bunch of people (trying to embarass me), “what you couldn’t find someone to dance with you” to which I replied, I don’t have to have someone to ask me to dance, I am not trapped in the 50’s, I can dance with myself and that is just fine. The crowd around me clapped for me. I felt good.

I am not saying we don’t need love nor am I saying not to want another to share your life. I am talking about loving life even if you don’t have that person, or as Inyala says, In the Meantime. To dance with yourself and your heart is a devine and powerful thing, filled with mysterious wonder and magic.

Even after bra burning, and woman’s rights, there is still an imbalance. There still are so many people out there teaching young girls that her happiness will come when she meets Mr. Right. That if we are to loud or speak our mind, we are bitches or obnoxius. Did anyone call Kurt Cobain obnoxious, okay probably some did but the masses of critics called him a genius, I don’t disgree but what about Alanis when Jagged Little Pill came out…she was labeled an angry woman. She still is by some people though her music reflects a whole new person who has emerged and I have seen anger is just an emotion she expresses, just like Kurt did.

The messages for both sexes are not easy. Men being taught not to show emotion and woman being portrayed as only emotional or if they have to much emotion, they are crazy. Men being taught to be fighters, to be bread winners, and to be rescuers. Women being taught that if they aren’t pretty enough or sweet enough no man will want them. The pressure for both sexes is crazy. I say teach the children to love themselves and those around them. To appreciate the talents and skills that they have. That happiness is something that is created not something you wait to have happen. I say this for them but also for myself.

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Tomorrow (December 12) is my 41st Birthday.  To celebrate I want to write 41 things I am grateful  for.  In this life we tend to concentrate on what we don’t have, and where we aren’t. There is always something to be grateful for and at this time of the year it easy to forget when we are consumed with buying gifts, driving here and there in a frenzy. I challenge you to stop each day of this holiday season to take a minute to think of the things you are grateful for in this life, it is not hard to do, it can be from small things (I am grateful for the bird outside my window) to large things (I am grateful for the money a friend sent me). Recenter yourself and your life and have a grateful New Year.Here is my list of 41 Things (not in any particular order, they are all important to me)…

  1. I am grateful for my mom buying me a plane ticket to be with the family at Christmas.
  2. I am grateful for the sun shining today – feels so good.
  3. I am grateful for my adorable cat Romeo.
  4. I am grateful for my dearest friend Linda, for her being there for me so much, for making me laugh, crying with me and sharing with me through good and bad.
  5. I am grateful for my friend Christina, for her laughing with me, growing with me, spiritually guiding me, and for being an amazing woman and friend.
  6. I am grateful for my sisters, for there emails, phone calls, and caring so much.
  7. I am grateful for Verdugo Jobs Center and how helpful they are.
  8. I am grateful for my feetsie pajama’s and how warm they keep me at night in this cold weather.
  9. I am grateful for my friend Yavonne, for her humor, for taking me to the movies when I need to get out, for her wisdom, strength and inspiration.
  10. I am grateful for Clothing swaps, media swaps and swaps in general.  I have had so much fun at them.
  11. I am grateful for all of my paints, canvases and supplies, that allow me to express myself and do something I truly love.
  12. I am grateful for my god children, Jai and Naia, for there constant love, acceptance, joyful exhuberance, creativity and intelligience.  I learn so much from you.
  13. I am grateful for friend Sam. For his caring about me, for his humor, for his smile that stays with me, and for the sweetness he exudes.
  14. I am grateful for my friend Mary, for our late night phone calls about family, and life, for her dedication to our friendship and for her knowledge about so many things.
  15. I am grateful for nature, for the beauty that surrounds me, for trees, flowers (roses are right outside my apt) and for the beach and mountains.
  16. I am grateful for cotton candy ice cream from Rite-Aid…..Yummmy.
  17. I am grateful for the show Extreme Makeover Home Edition, for what they do, how they inspire me and for being able to see people do care.
  18. I am grateful for movies that make me laugh, cry and think.
  19. I am grateful for my computer and for my friend Mark who lent it to me.  Thank you Mark, you are such and good friend and I am grateful for you.
  20. I am grateful for my Woman’s Artist group and for the support I recieve there.
  21. I am grateful for the Spiritual group I belong to, for the wisdom, caring and joy I get from it.
  22. I am grateful for having an adventurous spirit.
  23. I am grateful for my bed, yes you read right my bed, the best bed in the world that helps me get a very good sleep every night.
  24. I am grateful for all the wonderful gifts I have got for my birthday.
  25. I am grateful for chocolate…oh devine chocolate.
  26. I am grateful for the Really Really Free Market, for what it represents, for what I have got from it and for the people who run it.
  27. I am grateful for Alanis Morrisette. For the vulnerability, humor and growth she expresses in her music.
  28. I am grateful for surprises, oh how I love fun surprises.
  29. I am grateful for the memories I have of my dad, of his hugs, his laughter, and our wonderful talks.
  30. I am grateful for being able to express myself, living in a place where I can do that.
  31. I am grateful for chinese food, especially Wonton Soup from Panda Inn.
  32. I am grateful for the medical clinic that I go to, for the way they are patient, caring and help me when I need it.
  33. I am grateful for the Library, for me being able to use the computer to print things when I need to.
  34. I am grateful for Sunday drives that lead me to interesting places.
  35. I am grateful for being able to be in Santa Barbara to celebrate my birthday with my friends.
  36. I am grateful for the  new curtain rods I got today, they are very cool.
  37. I am grateful for my friend Charles who always remembers my birthday and sends me funny e-cards.
  38. I am grateful for Starbucks Vanilla Frappucino, man I love those little bottles
  39. I am grateful for Charles Schultz creating the Peanuts and especially Snoopy which I just love.
  40. I am grateful for being open to change, for being inspiring and inspired and for learning so much in my life and sharing my wisdom.
  41. I am grateful for having lived 41 years and still going strong, learning more and smiling at the journey ahead.
  42. This is the bonus…going into my 42nd year…..I am grateful for new adventures, for the love I have from family and friends and for dreams coming true.

Thank you for reading my gratefulness, now go share yours 🙂  

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Dare

So many messages we are given, but do we listen to the most important one…that small little voice within our head. These are my thoughts about it put in poetry form.

Dare

    Girl goes to a dance alone,
    She is thought of as a loser,
    Women sings lyrics about her anger
    Of a cheating lover,
    She is labeled a bitch.
    Woman over 40,
    Posts an ad ,
    For true love only,
    Told no man will want her,
    Her eggs are all dried up.
    Tales told,
    are old,
    Time to let them go.
    Woman,
    Hear the words of those,
    Who have been there.
    It is okay to yell,
    It is okay to dare,
    to love,
    Yourself,
    To love another,
    Dream of a being a mother.
    Stand on a dance floor,
    Shake your groove,
    Make a move,
    To Dare to be bold.
    This story is yours,
    Make it the one,
    You want to be told.
    Let go ,
    Of the book,
    That they have given,
    The media,
    The Voices,
    The Ones who make the choices,
    To bring you down,
    To the level they live in.
    It is your time to believe in,
    Stories they never told.

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Sunset Blvd

I wrote this some time ago, but after talking with someone yesterday about the homelessness in Los Angeles, I thought it would be a good one to post. I hope somehow, some way this country can help the homeless people out there.

SUNSET BLVD

BMW pulls up to the corner
Valet,
Helps him out of the car.

Homeless Women.
Timid,
Afraid to approach.

So many people,
In one small area.

She walks to the corner.
Where the man just stepped out of his BMW
“Can You spare some Change?”
He scoffs,
“Get a job”

She walks away,
Turns the corner,
Faints.

The Man enters the club,
Brushing her off,
Spends 60.00 on some drinks.

Midnight hour,
He thinks I am moving on.
This place is slow tonight,
Walks out the door.

Sirens blazing,
Paramedics.
Woman lying on the ground,
Groups of people gather,
He glances,
Then turns away,
His heart beating faster.

Pushing harder,
They try to revive her.
She was only 25,
Only needed one bite.

He hops in the car,
Tries to shrug it off.

Lies his head on his pillow,
Could he have saved her?
Now he will never know.

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Thorns

200px-lightmatter_thorns.jpg

She sat at her desk.
Came in,
Did her job,
No one noticed that she didn’t say a word.
Left and went home.
Microwaved a meal,
Watched the latest reality show,
Cried herself to sleep.
Stains from the tears on her pillow.

Emptyness.
All around her,
Creeps in,
She is glad it hasn’t hit her slumber,
Not yet.
Wakes up.
Ache in her chest,
No not a heartatache,
Lies in her bed asking it to leave.
The silence,
The wanting,
The realizing she is alone again.

Drives herself to work,
Does it all over again.
Comes home,
Hears the words of the song:
Do I have to go to sleep with Roses in my Hand?
Misses him,
He was gone even when he wasn’t
Wishes she had more friends
She could lean on.
He was one once,
Wonders where he was.
Remembers,
His words,
About her having thorns,
Her prickly heart,
Lies her head on the pillow,
Petals of her heart were once soft and warm,
Slowly they are falling from her.
The ones that are left,
Are barely holding on,
Gathers them all and holds them in her arms,
Weeping herself to sleep
Slowly drifting off..
Dreaming of her thorns being gone

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