Monthly Archives: October 2010

zero moral code

a string of sneezes

not even one god bless you;

that’s insensitive.

[white lies]

it’s safe to assume that
everyone tells a white lie
now and again, right?

to keep the peace, be
safe or mysterious.
I’d like to think that

we limit ourselves,
on the ones we choose to tell,
to fingers and toes.

disregard |complacency

Kidney stone clues lock
hold of the third eye and
creativity stops.

Closed off, robotic
the dark space enveloping
the beacon missing.

Freud: alone, floating.
The abyss a perfect storm
to be lost at sea.

Things I Know

My cat will survive 14 hours without eating. He will no doubt be angry and pee in a corner out of spite but he will still be breathing just the same.

The people you love and respect may not understand or accept the choices you make, but they’ll get over it.

Not every decision you make will be the right one, but it will be yours alone to live with and own.

8 out of 10 times your gut instinct will steer you in the right direction.

When in doubt, take a step back. Perspective is everything.



Words That Matter

the sixth sense: intuition

Sometimes I feel like I have extrasensory perception (ESP), a mild clairvoyance for finding things, things that are lost. Like keys, notebooks, metrocards, a charm bracelet, a ring. Things hoping to be found amid the camouflage of my belongings. Metrocards in jean pockets, books kicked under couches, car keys frosting in the freezer door.  Just this morning, as I walked out the door I realized my work ID had gone missing. After a 10-second frantic search with no immediate results, I paused trying to remember where I saw it last, like a futile game of hide and seek.

I try not to sweat the small stuff, the hiccups of inconvenience. I count to ten and take deep meditative breaths to clear my mind.  Sometimes this works, sometimes not. Most times I find my mind wandering, redirecting itself toward the mundane. Cleaning up cluttered counters, retrieving wet towels from the bathroom floor, hanging up clothes that find themselves on doorknobs instead of the closet. The big reveal: a bright orange lanyard branded my photo dangling from its loop.

These small moments of knowing without knowing make me wonder about coincidence, luck, fate–and whatever other word you might conjure. I don’t question the wondering, some things are just meant to be intangible. I leave the small stuff to itself and revel in its karmic beauty.

As for the big stuff, I don’t sweat that either…I know St. Jude’s got my back.

Down the rabbit hole

A quarter of a century is a long time…25 years ago .com became a part of every day vernacular, I was just entering high school and like every young girl prone to hormonal changes.  A late bloomer, my adolescent experiences included painful periods and headaches–an understatement of course, as we’re talking mind-numbing, splitting clusters of pressure.

Migraines, while not proven to be hereditary, often are a predisposition in a the family of sufferers. My mom was a sufferer, and so was my brother. I remember my mom disappearing in the middle of the day, or early in the evening, to be in a quiet, dark space. As children we were often warned she not be disturbed. Of all the traits I’ve inherited from my mom, migraines were the one thing I wish I hadn’t. How many times I’ve wished to inherit this part from my dad, he’s never had so much as a hangover headache let alone a migraine.

I can still remember my first migraine–half-wrapped in white sheets and a pink quilt, eyes closed, head pounding, curled up in fetal position, back against a cool stone wall.  I felt stuck between a rock and a mammoth elephant, spatially sabotaged with no means of escape.  I first started seeing floaters in my early 20s,  I thought something was wrong with my vision. They took on the silhouette of Bullwinkle, saline lines of moose horns on my sight periphery. Occasionally accompanied by aura perceptions, the appearance of Bullwinkle brings on a weakness and exhaustion that only sleep can diffuse.

Stress, food, change in weather, behavior and/or habits are all common migraine triggers. I find that when I keep myself busy, engaging in exercise and activities, they happen less frequently. After awhile one learns how to live with and manage migraines, but it takes some time getting used to them.  I once kept a diary, tracking their occurrences, treating them with the drugs like Imitrex and Treximet. The trouble with the meds is catching the migraine in time, if not caught within its earliest stages the prescription lags.

Lately they’ve become elusive, temperamental, in the last year sporadic. This may sound crazy, personifying a migraine but sometimes it feels as if they are strategically planning a sneak attack. I’ll be moody, impatient and curt with friends and family, with a short fuse. The day will end and I’ll go to bed, the black clouds of the day festering in my sleep, permeating my subconscious with dark dreams or nightmares. I wake up, tension pulsating from my temples, reaching for the bottle of water and Excedrin Migraine on my nightstand. Tigger always seems to know when the pain is especially unbearable, he’ll curl himself in the crook of my knees and the warmth of his body makes falling back asleep easier.

When accompanied by nightmares, I find myself more susceptible to panic attacks. They ignite the deepest and darkest of my fears into tangible semi-realities, and like monsters lurking in the darkness of a child’s closet, I feel trapped. Frozen in my own skin, mentally incapable of a clear thought. I imagine the magnification of this feeling 400x over is just a fraction of what mental illness feels like. Everything about it makes me sad…when you are alone, lost in your own thoughts and self-talk, fighting an invisible pain, your emotional sensitivity heightened–everything is out of sync, and seems so much larger and impossible than it really is.

An eternity seems to pass before my mind and body can relax. It takes a day or two for me to get back to normal. My body weak, my mind vulnerable, I feel subdued. I think back to the irrational thought and fears, and can’t help but feel foolish for being so afraid. The memory of the migraine leaves an indelible impression in my psyche; but that too, like the residuals, eventually fades and disappears.

I wish I had the luck of Lewis Carroll, the famous writer suffered through his migraines and found Alice in Wonderland. I keep chasing the Mad Hatter down the rabbit hole looking for a blessing beyond this curse.

permission to touch

touch involves the permission to feel, and as a form of communication can reduce stress, alleviate pain and anxiety, and translate unspoken words and silence into understanding and compassion.

one of my most cherished memories as a child was the coming and going of family. For with each hello and goodbye there was a hug, a peck on the cheek, a kiss-kiss, a pat on the shoulder, fingers entwined, brushing of a cheek. In the longest of embraces, warmth and love passed filling the air in between. there was a closeness of souls.

there was touch.

Save the double and triple hello kisses among my European friends, i find myself less exposed to the benefits of touch, as if it is disappearing from my  every day life. When I do observe its presence–in the passing of strangers, small groups of friends, couples, families, special events–i find myself wondering if touch is becoming extinct. Will it one day be an illusion, its only proof found in archival video footage from old movies and photographs?

i sometimes think that touch, once a necessity has become a commodity–it is on these days that I feel like I am on an island, detached from everything. For me touch is an anomaly, rare in its occurrence… an occasional hug from a friend, a kiss on a cheek when friends or family come together, the constant of a lapcat.

I forget what it feels like, the genuine sincerity of hugging among two or more people, the cuddling. kissing. embracing. loving. of life.


Touch – Natasha Bedingfield

The Touch Challenge