Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thankful for family

For the past month or so I've been keeping a daily journal that notes every day what I'm grateful for. Ten things I'm grateful for. And --it's funny that usually the things are people. People and food. Mostly those two things are what I'm most thankful for. The experience of being in relationship with other people is precious. It's really the most precious meaningful thing I can come up with in my life.

I just spent the past week with my niece and nephew and while being with them is sort of's one of the best feelings I've ever experienced in the world. It's the deep deep compassion and love I feel for them. With them, it's easy. It's like a freebie. It just arises. Even when they are total jerks, I can understand why and forgive them so quickly. I don't know what it is. It's quite fascinating to notice though. When I compare their behavior to other people in my life and really look at it, rationally --it's quite shocking. They physically abuse me. They scream in my face. They are constantly demanding my attention and validation and energy. And I have nothing but unconditional love for them. Of course, the reason is that they are innocent, and new to all of this life stuff, and so full of wonder and joy that I just find forgiveness for them. Like I said, it's sort of a freebie.

But, truly, if I'm going to be truly honest..the people in my life that I have trouble feeling compassion towards are also innocent, new to the life stuff (because life never does get old), and absolutely full of wonder and joy.

So, I guess I'm grateful that I am able to consciously experience that depth of compassion for two creatures, Isaac and Audrey. My relationship with them forges a path of unconditional love for other relationships in my life. They allow me to realize that I have the ability to experience that compassion for every creature on the planet. It just requires a little more work for others. But the work is for me to allow the same flow of compassion and empathy for everyone that I allow for my niece and nephew. Just because it's not as easy for me to give this to others in my life, does not mean it's not possible. A dear friend said to me that forgiving and forgetting is for "giving" so that you my experience the "getting". I want to continue in my life to give people the same compassion and love that I am able to give my niece and nephew, so that I may be open and available to "get" the love that comes as a result.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A sea of love beneath

I remember Jason. I remember his soft head. I remember his disalarming smile. I remember our battles. I remember how much he loved his subwoofers. I remember how much he loved me and Carise. I remember his demons. I remember his laugh. I remember getting high with him and just laughing so terribly hard. I remember fighting with him. I remember how he loved to climb trees. I remember his smile. Did I say that already? The memories loop.

The problem with someone dying is that they stop showing up in your life and you're forced to recycle old memories to regain the sense of connection and intimacy. And the longer they're gone, the more you long for that intimacy and the memories drift further and further away. And every time a holiday or birthday comes up (and with Jason it feels constant with Memorial Day and Veteran's Day and every other rally round the flag holiday this independent freedom loving nation honors), you're forced to reckon with the fact the he's not here to call and say 'hey' or 'thank you for your service' or 'stop being such a dick, Jas.'

So you start to recycle old memories and year after year you feel cheaper by the attempt to remember him. You sift through old pictures and realize you've used up all the good ones to put on FB and people get it. They get it. They feel sad to see it and so you start saying less and thus remembering less because frankly there isn't that much that floats organically to the surface because its been so damn long since you've seen the little son of a bitch. And what's the point really? Since he's not even here to pick up the call.

206-931-5883. That's Jason's old number. Every time I punch 206 into Skype, that number pops up. I don't delete it. It's comforting. I don't ring it either. That would hurt too much.

Silence is what exists now in this space between Jason and me. So many years, most of my life and all of my childhood filled with back and forth daily noise --his voice. Oh how I longed for this silence then and how I long for that noise now. When I do remember him, a layer of sadness rises to my lips. What follows though is a sea of love beneath. I say hello to him and meet the silence with as much grace as I can.

Each year, I can only hope to have the grace and courage to continue to speak about him. About his smile, his wit, his subwoofers, his heart. His passion for being a soldier and being of service.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

31 Days of Rejection --Day 7

I was jogging in Golden Gate Park this evening and I approached a woman.
I started walking right beside her and began, "I'm doing this thing, 31 days of rejection, it's called. Its this thing." I looked over at her and smiled.
"Oh ya?" She smiled back. "Sounds interesting."
"Ya, well see the idea is that you come up with some interesting way to get rejected for thirty one days straight see. And well. I'm wondering if you would do it with me. Would you do the 31 days of rejection, starting today?"
"Hmmm." She thought. She chuckled. She decided, "no". You could see it in her eyes.
"Well, that sounds far too much like my real life, I'm afraid." She finally said.
"Okay, I see. That's cool! No worries. You actually just filled my rejection quota for the day. So thank you!" I started to jog off.
She was smiling.
"You should try it sometime though." I said as I was running away.
"It's good stuff."

I would add that I also ended up jogging along this amazing path full of flowers.
And felt really complete and happy and not chasing after anything. Just happy.
This was right before the rejection.
And I don't know that they are correlated at all.
But it was pretty special.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

31 Days of Rejection --Day 6

I actually had a nice date with a cute boy today.
But that's neither here nor there.
Off to business!
My rejection was a success!

It took place around 9:30pm on the Panhandle.
I was biking along and I biked up next to the girl in front of me.
"Hi there. Do you want to switch bikes?" I asked.
"Oh, that might be hard to do, while still riding!" She joked back.

She took a quick look at my tattered-up bicycle.
I looked down at her shiny blue beauty. She had a basket.
And rims on her wheels.
She really did have a nice bicycle.

"No, no. I mean for good." I returned.
"Um..." She stammered (clearly not very experienced at saying "no")
"Can I get back to you on that?" She finally said.
"Oh! Okay! Sure." I said cheerfully.

I tagged back a bit, having a chuckle.
"I really do like your bike though!" She shouted behind her.
"Thank you! I really like yours too!" I returned with a hint of crazed bike-envy for dramatic effect.

Poor girl. I think I might've done some damage on that one.
Oh gosh.
Oh goodness me.

Monday, March 24, 2014

31 Days of Rejection --Day 5

That's Vito himself!
I call up Vito's Pizza, see.
To order myself some pizza.
It's been a lawng day.
Mama's hungry for sum pizza.
"Vito's Pizza"
"I'd like to order a pizza" I say.
"Pick up or delivery?" He asks.
"Delivery!" I say.
"Okay, sure. What's your number?"
"206 910 4020"
"Whats your address?"
"1980 Fell Street"
"No, no Fell Street" I correct him.
"Zip code?" He asks.
"94117. That's uh San Francisco."
He sort of half sighs half laughs.
"Maam, we're in LA. We can't deliver to San Francisco. We don't deliver to San Francisco."
"Ah. I see." I say.
A pause.
"Don't you think you could make an exception?"
"No, no ma'am." He laughs and hangs up the phone.

Dang, they're the highest rated delivery spot, according to Yelp, in LA.

Ah the sweet taste of rejection.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

31 Days of Rejection --Day 4

Sunday I was in my car at a stoplight, and I have a gold hoopdy for a car. I was in my car and at a stoplight and I rolled down my window and waved at the guy in the smart car next to me. He was friendly. He turned down his music.
"Yes?" He asked.
"Wanna race?!" I shouted.
"Sure!" He said! And laughed loudly.
His eyes lit up. The light turned green. I totally was racing him. I'm not sure if he was racing me.
No rejection today. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

31 Days of Rejection --Day 3

This morning I walked past a man pulling a chest of drawers out of his garage with an amazing display of succulents. It was a sunny Saturday morning and the plants were stunning in the light. All different sizes. All different clay pots. "Oh my! What lovely succulents!" I exclaimed. "Can I have all of them?!" I asked cheerfully. There were about thirty pots total. I dont know what I would have done with them if he had said yes.

He laughed quickly and replied. "Well, no! But I'm selling them. You can buy some of them!"

Heheheheh. How delightful.

This reminded me. I do want to get a few succulents for my room. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

31 Days of Rejection -Day 2

On my bike ride to and from work I was calculating things. So many ways to get rejected. It's delightful. I wanted to do something with a sandwich board outside a store. Maybe go in and ask the worker if I could draw a picture on one side of the board. I wanted to ask a woman to hold her baby at the crosswalk. The trickster in me is loving this. I wasn't quite sure what to land on until I hit the wiggle and biked past this homeless man, who I came to find out his name is Donald. He was very focused on drawing a picture in his sketch book. I yoinked my bike to a stop and stated, "I want a picture. Can you draw me a picture. I want you to draw me a picture in one minute." "Well, heck yes, I can!" he exclaimed.

Fancy that. I was sure he would stare blankly at me or tell me to fuck off. He set off to drawing as I shouted down the seconds. "59! 58!"

Quite a sight the two of us were, I'm sure. I didn't even get off my bike. I just straddled the seat and shouted down as Donald furiously drew. "43! 42, 41, 40!" He was drawing a picture of me.

"You want the helmet in the picture too?" He asked.

"Ya, sure!" I shouted. "20, 19, 18, 17."

After my final ten count down, I shouted, "Stop stop stop! Let me see!" He showed me the drawing. "It's not all the way done." He said.
"I dont care. I want it" I said.
"Really, though? Do you really want it?" He countered as he tried to navigate tearing a page from his fine pocket sketch book. I was filled with a pang of guilt that I was defacing his sketch book, so I folded.
"No, that's okay." I offered. "Even though I really do want it."
"Tell you what," he said. "I'll work on it some and next time I see you, Ill have it ready for you."
"Okay, deal. What's your name?" I asked.
"Donald." he said. "What's yours?"
"Micael." I said.
"Thanks!" And I rode off giggling in delight.

Hehehehe. Ahem.
What a rad human interaction, that resulted in me not getting the rejection I was seeking at all. I got basically what I asked for.
If I had insisted, he woulda given me that picture.
What a sweet dude.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

31 Days of Rejection -GO

Last night, I got blindsided with this really raw rejection. I will spare you the details but it did not feel good. I was not the one asked to the dance. I was the girl in the corner. I got the short straw. Didn't get the part. Last picked for the team. You get the picture. And I cried and screamed most of last night. And threw my fit and talked and wrote it out. I didn't get drunk over it. Which is new.

And then today I ran across this rad video about rejection.

Here it is.

And I decided. Yes. I could use some of this rejection therapy. And thus. Today begins my 31 day saga of rejection therapy.

Rejection #1: I was walking at dusk with a friend in Portero Hill and we walked past a house I've seen before and loved. The garage door was open and a man was cleaning up in there. I walked directly up to him and said, "Hi. I really like your house. Can I live here?"

He stopped and starred. He was speechless.

"Umm, no." He finally stammered. "But what an interesting question."

My friend was floored. So was I.

I intentionally sought out rejection. It felt great. It felt liberating. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow.