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Saturday, March 14th, 2009
1:12 pm - The Beginning of Shakti North Shore?
Hello, Ladies

Hope you all are well and writing. I've been on a long-term hiatus while getting adjusted to life on Cape Ann.

I'm happy to let you all know that the spirit of Shakti lives on with a small group of women who met at a little coffee shop called Trevi in Beverly, MA. If you are local to the area and want to meet with us, we welcome you. I am hoping to add some new members to our infrequent online community and I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Be Well,

Chris Mellen

current mood: creative

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Sunday, December 30th, 2007
9:23 am - faeriegodmother, I'm okay
I just haven't been on LJ lately.

Real life has been busier than online life, which is sort of a change for me....

Here's for positive changes, and blessings in the New Year

Thanks for caring


current mood: happy

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Wednesday, September 5th, 2007
10:19 pm - Me and Dear old Dad

Here's me and my Dad impersonating Janis Joplin and Woody Guthrie at the family picnic......

I think it's got to be the best picture of me and my Dad ever taken.

current mood: pleased

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9:49 pm - That's Ms Roboto to you.....

This article was sent to me randomly through one of my online newsletters.

It got me thinking about some of the recent trends I've been noticing in my life.

My new job is not nearly as repressive an atmosphere as the insurance company. It's not the same people eating the same micromeals talking about "American Idol" and the latest episode of "Medium." There's a great deal of diversity, and the pace is so busy that there's rarely time to chat with co-workers. Still, I find myself a little emotionally stunted.

I know I've only been there a few months, but I don't have any pictures or plants or other signs of cubical habitation. My desk is blandly functional, and I find when I'm at work I go into a kind of task-oriented tunnel vision. I guess that's a type of "compartmentalization", slowing everything down while I'm still learning the ropes. I hope that I haven't been rude to anyone inadvertently.

That's what would happen at TTSOA. My boss would get upset with you for interrupting her train of thought to ask a question. She had zero personality, but most of the time I was automaton enough to let it all slide off my plastic back. The only time I would betray any emotion was when she yelled at me after we had all worked a 15-hour shift. Sleep deprivation does nobody any good.

I really missed the easy camaraderie I had with Anita at TTSOA when I wanted to go out for lunch on Friday to the Bollywood Grill. I thought of asking the other returns guy out for lunch, but didn't want that to be misinterpreted. I definitely click more in work-related social situations with women than with men of my age. Friday lunch dates with Anita were a kind of built-in reward, giving us both a chance to let off steam and catch up on our lives. I got an email from her sister - they are throwing her a big bash for her 50th birthday on the 15th. I really feel I ought to go, but it's all the way in Oakham, and I've been spending a lot of time on the opposite end of the state. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to go.

Work friends are always the hardest to maintain, especially after I leave. I never learned the art of keeping in touch, and I can't say I really make a lot of friends where I work. Most of the friends that I have now are either my oldest and dearest college friends or friends I met through poetry, which is another kind of "work", albeit with more of a spiritual goal than a financial one.

I have to say that I've made a lot of progress in knowing where my boundaries are and in keeping the worst aspects of my compartmentalizing in check. I'm in touch with my feelings, even when I don't always know how to express them. The funny thing is that compartmentalizing is a great trick for working out things through writing. If I channel everything through metaphor, or through a third-person, it's not really me, and it can be safely expressed. There's some poems that started out in the first person that had to finish in the third, I think mostly for that reason.

Just some interesting new perspectives. I'm still learning, and making most of it up as I go along.....

Which isn't so mechanical after all....

current mood: contemplative

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Monday, September 3rd, 2007
6:37 pm - Poet-Struck
This holiday weekend was both ordinary and wonderful. Spent time with friends, loved ones. Listened to stories of ship-houses in the Orkney islands. Kissed in a swamp, faerie-ringed by dragonflies. Lit a lamp of conscious loving with gold-and-crimson moons. Made peace with primary colors. Cried for beauty and for joy in Judi Collins's ethereal voice and Leonard Cohen's tantric-mystic hymn to Joan of Arc. And like the saint, I have finally forgiven the fire.....

Friends, I hope you don't think I've forgotten you. Poetry, I hope you don't think I'm leaving you behind.

Funny how a whole summer can go by between the space of two breaths. Funny how a love affair with a town can bloom and fade with no regret. How I can find a community in the U.U. Manchester church, and yet happily move away. Funny how this Worcester girl now only feels at home when she smells the ocean. This waverer between Central and West now gleefully explores the shores of Northern MA.

Sometimes I need to forget about the words to remember what's real. This summer has been about making things real.

I know better. The words won't stay away forever.

They are already rushing back to me.

My new job, my new life, my old-new love -- everything is new. It would be foolish to think that I would write in the same way.

One thing that has always given me creative satisfaction in the past has been blogging. Something in the ambiguous dance between what is revealed and what is concealed has always inspired me. Writing in this journal used to be a form of meditation. A type of deliberation and intention-setting. A synchronicity magnet.

Why did I start blogging in the first place? Patty Larkin had the answer and the question in her song "Dear Diary".....

"Dear Diary of the great unknown" ..... Writing is my way of wrestling with emptiness and God. God is in the emptiness and the everything. In the sacred fools, in the "Beautiful Losers" (a book I read at the beginning of the summer, by Leonard Cohen). The Answers for me, the meaning I need to have life make sense, have always been in the Questions, in the Quest. I ask these questions of myself, and share them with my friends, and any strangers who care enough to listen.

I have nothing to hide. I am not trying to re-invent myself. I understand privacy is no guarantee of security, and I do not possess a right to other people's opinions of me. I also understand that I am not so concerned with the mundane details of who and what and when and where. Not every story is told in chronological order. Flash back, flash forward, the molten flash of moonlight on harbor waters -- in some ways, you have always been here.

More later,


current mood: happy

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Monday, June 25th, 2007
8:32 pm - Pass the CUUPs
A lot has been happening, and most of it is good. I quit the temporary telemarketing job because I felt I was missing out on opportunities to search for "real" jobs, and that it was just a holding pattern and not where I wanted to end up. So I've gone back to the job search in earnest, and had quite a few interviews in the last few weeks. I've been asked some pretty weird questions by temp services and on interviews:

1. Are you allergic to dogs? (Apparently, one of the temp services has an assignment with a software company in Manchester that has a "dog-friendly workplace. I told them as a matter of fact I was, but that they should send my resume over anyway because it would all depend on how many dogs and what breeds they were -- if I was sneezing all through the interview, then I would know that it wasn't going to work out)

2. Rate your personality on a scale of one to ten -- Bleah? This one took by surprise because I don't think I have very much of a personality, at least where work is concerned. I'm hard-working, even-keeled (the word I latched onto like a life-raft) and get along with almost anyone, but personality -- nope, not really a factor in my work history. I think they were looking for bubbly-cheerleader gung-go sales types, so my matter-of-factness would not appeal to them.

I have another interview at a medical software company in Lawrence on Wednesday, and at an investment company in Manchester on Friday, so at least I am finally getting called back on all those resumes I sent out online. That's encouraging. And while I am looking for work, I'm helping Rob with DVD reviews.

I really like malgrin 's "Gratitude lists" -- they really are an affective antidote against dullness and general carping

Gratitudes (in no special order of appearance or importance)

1. I am grateful for getting to spend the weekend with Rob on a walking tour of Gloucester -- including visiting the "Our Lady of Good Voyage" church with the Virgin Mary holding a ship that was mentioned in Charles Olson's "Maximus" poems and shown in the "Polis is This" movie.....and Squam Rock, and the lighthouse at the Annisquam Trust beach....

2. I am grateful to The UU Church of Manchester's CUUPs chapter for their absolutely beautiful Summer Solstice ritual this Sunday. It seems that they are also grateful for my presence, since these very busy women have been actively seeking someone to help with planning CUUPs events -- and the event was very well-planned, from the gorgeous selection of music to the inclusion of poetry by e.e. cummings and Walt Whitman in the service. I helped the ladies disassemble their elaborate ritual decorations and enjoyed connecting with some local Pagans. I am looking forward to meeting the minister, Mary, who has been described as very pagan-friendly and instrumental in getting a CUUPs chapter started at her church.

3. I am grateful for sad beautiful music that make me glad to be alive and crying....

4. I am grateful for summer days and the freedom to explore the new green roads around me......

5. I am grateful for the spirit of discovery that allows me to appreciate this journey, even the speed-bumps and hairpin curves

6. I am grateful that today was my last dose of medication, and I am now mentally stable without chemical assistance

7. I am grateful to be finally reaching beyond my self-imposed isolation and finding a community

8. Of course I am grateful to Ruby and Jeremy for opening their home to me and allowing me to take advantage of the opportunity for change.

current mood: content

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Saturday, June 16th, 2007
8:36 pm - Sunday Go to Meeting
In moving to New Hampshire, I was taking a chance, lighting out into new territory, leaving behind the familiar and comfortable. I am enjoying getting to spend time with gemmintheruff and J and little Julia, but I am finding myself wanting to get involved with a wider sense of community. While flipping through the local free arts and entertainment paper the Hippo, I read about a lecture series happening at the Manchester Unitarian church that sounded interesting. It had a link to their website and I liked what I saw. After several years of trying, I haven't made many connections within the pagan community, and the idea of an established church that doesn't insist on any particular dogma, is very inclusive and celebrates Earth-based holidays sounds like it would be right up my alley. The minister's posting on the website says she considers herself a "humanistic mystic" and finds that poetry can be a path to spirituality.

It's part of the general feelings of welcome I have had since I moved here.

The Friday night poetry scene at the Bridge Cafe was very exciting, with an amazing feature Shirla Erkman who was well worth the $3.00 cover charge. I also got to check out the Monastery Artists Collective that I have heard about. They had a hypnotist who put people into trances, then had them paint. It was pretty cool. I have always wanted to be hypnotized, but I have been resistant to it in the past, or at least people who have tried to put me into a trance for past-life regression have told me that I was resistant. If I had gotten there earlier, I probably would have volunteered to be hypnotized because I'm curious to see if there is anyone who can hypnotize me. Perhaps my belief that I can't be hypnotized causes this subconscious resistance? But how do I know if it exists for everyone, or just for those few people (admittedly amateurs) that tried before?

At the Monastery Arts Collective, they have an "arts jam" that involves music and painting -- the band was a couple of local "noise artists" who played a real, honest-to-goodness Theremin. I am not sure if there have been any Theremins in any of the Industrial Sonic Echo shows I've seen before, but if not, this was definitely my first opportunity to see one played live. Very intense.

I saw one of the girls from the poetry group who is actual part of the the same MFA program as myainsel at the art event, and we started talking. She seemed grateful for a recognized if not already known face. It always amazes me when people see me as outgoing when I see myself as relatively shy. I suppose that I am fairly comfortable around artist's groups, or that my shyness is overcome by my curiousity. I am definately going to go back to the Monastery Arts for another event. The setting reminds me a lot of the WAG back when they were still ensconced in Harlow Street. After they left Harlow Street, the WAG was never quite the same to me. It's very informal, and doesn't seem to be cliquey. Of course, I'm just getting to know the area.

I am using the Internet as a resource, even joined a group on Meetup.com so I can meet new people for socializing. One such group that I joined had an invite to an Indian restaurant in Lowell, with a bowling social afterward. Now I LOVE Indian food, but I was afraid I'd be late and being hyper-conscious about punctuality I didn't want to get there 30 minutes after everyone else. So I'll have to wait until I have more time to prepare. But I'm looking forward to making new connections with people. And who knows, I might find information about job openings as well.

current mood: rushed

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8:23 pm - LJ user info meme from thea8lr
1. My username is _____ because ____.
2. My journal is titled ____ because ____.
3. My subtitle is ____ because ____.
4. My friends page is called ____ because ____.
5. My default userpic is ____ because ____.

1. Sassenach1970. "Sassenach" means "outlander" or foreigner in Gaelic. It's also the nickname for Claire Randall Fraiser in the popular time travel historical fantasy series The Outland saga. I got into that saga because Claire is a nurse, and a very can-do sort of character - definately a plucky heroine with a twist. Being a nurse, she has a lot of practical nurturing skills, and in the story she falls in love with a young soldier after she patches him up after a battle. Perhaps I have a soft spot for her because I have always fallen for the downtrodden and/or wounded. I also consider myself to be an outsider of sorts, and I was born in 1970.

2. My journal is called Outpost

3. My subtitle is "PostCards from the Outpost" because I kind of consider it to be an emotional travelogue over the territory I visit. I often don't write chronologically, but according to what inspires me.

4. My friend's page is "Outlanders" because well, they are each in their own way outlandish and proud of it.

5. My default user pic is me with a purple flower painted on my forehead. My Mom is a face painter, and she put incredible power into that artwork. I know she's a non-church-going Catholic who doesn't quite understand my pagan beliefs, but she's also participating in an ancient ritual art form of mask making -- not just painting Spidermans and butterflies on some kid's face at a corporate party. I think some part of her intuits that... Either way, I'm damn proud of her doing her own thing and following her bliss at her age. I only hope I'm half as strong when I get there.....

current mood: amused

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Thursday, June 7th, 2007
10:32 pm - birth month and eye color (thanks angelika_nick

---------------DECEMBER BABY ---------------
~This straight-up means ur the most good-looking person possible.. (hardly)
~Better than all of these other months!
~Loyal and generous. (yes)
~Patriotic (not in a traditional sense)
~Competitive in everything. (but only against myself)
~Active in games and interactions. (not really)
~Impatient and hasty. (sometimes)
~Ambitious. (hard-working- is that the same thing?)
~Influential in organizations. (so-so)
~Fun to be with. (sometimes)
~Easy to talk to, though hard to understand. -- (YES YES YES)
~Thinks far with vision, yet complicated to know. -- (YES YES YES)
~Easily influenced by kindness. (sad but mostly true)
~Polite and soft-spoken. (most of the time)
~Having lots of ideas. (yup)
~Sensitive. (yup)
~Active mind. (yup)
~Hesitating, tends to delay. (kind of)
~Choosy and always wants the best. (sort of)
~Temperamental. )(a little)
~Funny and humorous. (try to be)
~Loves to joke. (not really)
~Good debating skills. (ok)
~Has that someone always on his/her mind. (SOOOO true)
~Talkative. (sometimes)
~Daydreamer. (yes)
~Friendly. (can be)
~Knows how to make friends. (ditto)
~Abiding. (yes)
~Able to show character. (I think so)
~One guy/girl kind of person. (not always, although leaning that way lately)
~Lovable. (most of the time)
~Easily hurt. (true)
~Prone to getting colds. (nope)
~loves music. (YES YES YES)
~pretty/handsome. (isn't this a repeat?)
~Loves to dress up. (sometimes)
~Easily bored. (unless there is something around to read)
~Fussy. (not really)
~Seldom shows emotions. (yes)
~Takes time to recover when hurt. (yes)
~Sensitive (yes)

Hazel Eyes
People with hazel eyes are very lovable. They are really hot and are awesome to be around. They don't enjoy 'pet names'. They don't care what people think or say. They are lovers, not fighters. But if you mess around, they'll knock you out. They are very satisfying and they love to please. They can exceed your pleasure standards. They are very laid back, chilled and love to just be around. If you repost this and have hazel eyes then you will be happy soon with the person who is on your heart.

you know who you are :)

current mood: amused

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Wednesday, June 6th, 2007
9:33 pm - Mass-Hole No More
I now have New Hampshire plates on my car, and I have a part time job in Nashua.

I'm still looking -- I applied for a Research Assistant position for an Internet company. I think that is something I would be good at, and it's work at home, which would mean that when I am ready to settle I can go anywhere. There are still a lot of factors that are up-in-the-air. I am determined to make the best of everything.

Irony of ironies, the part-time job I managed to find is telemarketing surveys for a dating service! I have mixed feelings about it. First of all, I went to the website, and it only allows you to click on Man-seeking-Woman or Woman-seeking-Man. There are surely a lot more options than that! I have a feeling that the people seeking this service are probably very conventional in that respect. Although I am humbled to think that I am one of their target market, aged 35 to 55. The pay sounds good - $15 an hour for a 30-hour week. I can work nights and keep my days open for interviews with other companies, because ultimately I am looking for full-time, non-sales-oriented work.

The woman who is running the training has a pentacle, and mentioned "The Secret". But I'm not sure if I'm entirely comfortable with the "rags to Witches" version of motivational paganism. Combining religion with a sales pitch has never appealed to me. But what do I know, I'm still an old-school tree-hugger, not a new age wheeler-dealer. I don't think I'm cut out for sales, but part of this move has been about going outside my comfort zones, so who knows, I just might be good at it ....

I'm trying to be open to the possibilities without losing touch with who I am.

I've been talking to local people online (one nice guy in Manchester) through OK Cupid and other social sites. At this point in my life I don't want to date or have a relationship (I'm all set in that aspect) I just want to meet people to hang out with. And that is difficult once you are out of college.

Long distance relationships have there challenges, and that "I-just-want-to-hang-out-with-someone-local" has always been one of those challenges. I don't want to lead anyone on, but sometimes I can be unintentionally flirtatious, if that is possible.

I watched part of "Harold and Maude" with gemmintheruff and realized how much I loved that movie. It's perversely romantic, just like me.
I've also added most of the soundtrack to my "Pronoia" playlist that I created once I realized how much music affected my mood, and how I wanted to put all the positive, upbeat songs together. That's only a very small percentage of my music library, but it's nice to have that extra cosmic boost once in a while. (I think "Harold and Maude" is a Pronoiac movie. Not that it isn't sad in parts, but it kind of slaps you in the face with both beauty and death at the same time. It challenges what you think you know about both.)

More later,

current mood: curious

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2007
1:02 pm - New Hampshire Resident
I know I tend to rapidly fall in love with places the way I never would with actual human beings (I can't forget my poetic raptures over the town of Sutton, just a few years ago), but in spite of all that I really am digging New Hampshire. The poetry at the Bridge Cafe in Manchester was great - of course, a lot of that was imported from Wormtown, as there were so many Asylum-ites who came out to see Jack McCarthy that it was almost the Java Hut all over again ... except the menu is more extensive (tiramisu to die for, or at least to suffer a lactose-induced coma for). Jack's reading was moving and powerful -- I don't believe I've ever seen him as a feature before, and it was well worth the $5 cover charge.

While nothing will ever replace the Poet's Parlor, my poetic cravings will definitely be satisfied by every-other-Friday night readings at the Bridge Cafe. They are so enthusiastic about their new slam team -- they haven't had time to become jaded about it. And Manchester, NH is an adorable town, with foot traffic, street lights and a lively night life. The only place in Worcester that is even sort of like Elm Street might be some nights on Highland Street, but the folk seem a lot more friendly.

At the poetry reading, it was almost standing-room-only, but when a group of college kids who were sitting against the wall got themselves a table they made sure to leave some room so I had a place for my salad and my notebook. That kind of consideration is not something I find very common.

This all makes me wonder is there a reason why they call us Massholes? It was even easy to get my driver's license and registration, as there are convenient signs pointing to the office where I had to go. And they have protected left-turns at almost every intersection -- having spent four years of my commute on Rte 20, fighting like a salmon upstream, I find this very refreshing.

So it will take a lot, I think, to get me to move away from here. I know I have time, that the next step is finding a job, then finding a place -- I know that I do miss my friends in Western and Central Mass -- I know that there is always that internal pressure to find a place to fall in love with, as if some stubbornly feline part of me finds it easier to love places rather than faces. I know there is a nomadic child in me that still claims its transitory territory -- home is where my posters are -- or, in this case, where my origami paper star and my giant purple dragonfly kite happen to be.

There is more to it than that, but I am keeping it to myself.

Although there is irony in that the past has brushed its wings on me in the form of Reunion.com. Because I became a paid member, I can see it any time someone views my profile. She hasn't responded to my email, either from a few weeks or a year ago (yeah, I'm stubbornly nostalgic) but she did check me out electronically. I don't know how much farther this virtual sniffing around each other is going to go before mutual curiosity will create a confrontation. Whether that will result in a flicker of greeting or snarling fisticuffs remains to be seen.

Either would be preferable to silence.

More later,

current mood: chipper

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Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
5:44 pm - way too freakin easy
Your Vocabulary Score: A+

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

current mood: unimpressed

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4:17 pm - "I'm gonna quite these rambling ways one of these days soon"
Well, here I am, in New Hampshire.

Yesterday, I turned in my keys, vacuumed up as much of the residue of four years as I could, and stepped on the blue train into the next destination.

I left my stable but stultifying job. I am now looking again, which fills me simultaneously with hope and dread.

Ruby and Jeremy have made me feel welcome, but I am still aware of being out of my territory, a temporary visitor.

Eventually, I will venture out of my shell-shock and start investigating my new territory.

If anyone knows of any poetry venues around here (I've heard someplace in Manchester, NH mentioned at the Java Hut once or twice, but didn't catch the name, I'd appreciate the info.

In the meantime, I hope to make the best of the change.

I've been meaning to leave Worcester, saw a window of opportunity and flew through it. I have friends here who are willing to give me time to figure things out, maybe get a job that I actually enjoy, not just something to take up my time.

I've been given a clean bill of health -- have ended my long-term therapy and have gotten permission to go off my medication once this last bottle is finished. It's the achievement of a long-time goal, but I am conscious of so much more I need to do. It's quite overwhelming, even in my hard-won state of mental stability.

Maybe I'll take this time to work on some writing. I have four years' of transition to rummage through. So many boxes of journals, first drafts, scribbled half-formed ideas. I'll be lucky if I get five good poems out of the lot.

Why do I want to cry now, when this was what I wanted?

When I have nothing to lose?

current mood: confused

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Friday, May 11th, 2007
9:43 pm - what do lj memes have to do with creative visualization?
gURL.comI took the "what's your love token?" quiz on gURL.com
Your love token is...
a flute

Mostly because you don't need words to express what you're feeling. You're not shy, though, just a little introverted. You might not crush often, but when you do it's major.

Read more

What's your love token?

Often I find myself like a beach comber picking up words and images that wash up and sparkle at my feet. I recently picked up the book by Rob Brezny (the Real Astrology guy) "Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia, or How the World is Conspiring to shower you with Blessings". A work of groovy gnosis -- makes me grin and think at the same time. Well, this little meme reminded me of a Creative Visualization exercise I did (following the Shakti Gawain book "Creative Visualization") which was to meet your Anima and Animus. My results would have puzzled the most open-minded Jungian analyst, because the traits that are traditionally considered "male" belong to the female Anima, and the traits that are more "feminine" belong to my Animus -- a figure who appears in my visions sometimes playing, yes, a FLUTE. Non-verbal communication seems to be his forte -- sometimes he communicates with masks, taking on the faces of animals, other people -- even his own sister, the Anima who often gets bored with visualizing sacred space and would rather visualize a large shopping mall. She is loud and verbal while he is all visual and musical.

Music has always played an important part in my life. It's not just background, sometimes it's right on top of things.

I used to listen to the lyrics of songs on the radio searching for clues and omens about thoughts/feelings and events in my life.

Preparing to make my move to New Hampshire and start my right-now unrealized new life, I have been thinking about Rachel's year reading last Samhain - how May's card was the Tower, which is usual a sudden destruction that will ultimately bring about rebirth. I've always seen it as a rapid turnaround -- but maybe this time I do have some ways to cushion the fall.

Everything is happening. It's as if once I made the decision to leave, the details are working themselves out. I gave my two-weeks notice at work. I told my landlord I wasn't staying and I was told to leave the key and my forwarding address - they would send me my security deposit later. So simple, really.

I had an interesting dream last night, one that may have been my Animus and other aspects of my subconscious mind trying to talk to me through using the faces of men I knew. It involved me somehow getting a hold of Todd's comic book collection and selling it to Jay. Although I don't think I was directly involved, just somehow responsible for Jay ending up with it. I felt vaguely guilty because I am not the sort of person who takes other people's property, and when I was trying to defend myself, I woke up. I have been trying to figure out what in myself is being expressed -- maybe part of me feels guilty for leaving, because it's too easy, because I have to temporary share space with friends to make it happen. Because I know that leaving Worcester is only the first step, and I have no idea what the next will be.

The universe is telling me I have to get there first. I have to be willing to sit with silence -- Waiting Is. This is not the time to quibble over property -- this is not the time to analyze every little omen -- this is time to do, not try. I have a Yoda in my head that cautions me to allow myself the same non-judgmental detachment and absolution I usually bestow on everyone else.

I know it's been a long time since I've been to Shakti. I'm planning on being there on the 19th so I can make it to Sonja's party. After that -- who knows?

It's not that I'm too cowardly to say goodbye it's that I've never been good at it.

More later,

current mood: contemplative

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Sunday, April 22nd, 2007
12:40 pm - Everyone comes from somewhere
I've been meaning to visit my friend Anita at her new home in Oakham for months and months now, but I just got to it this weekend. She lives walking distance from the home in New Braintree where I lived for the beginning of my childhood and most of my teen years. I had to drive through North Brookfield, where my sister and her kids used to live, on my way to her house. We walked in the woods behind her house that lies adjacent to the Massachusetts Wildlife Sanctuary, and alongside the country roads where the trees are gnarled and ancient, the rock walls are moss-covered and crumbling, and the spring peepers sing louder than the non-existent traffic.

I remember how Julie used to tell her children that they lived in a vanishing American paradise but they would only appreciate it after they moved away and saw the rest of the world. Under the green shadows of those sprawling leaning trees, I feel the presence of the past -- it is always dreamlike -- every road is deja vu. Yes there are tastefully constructed new houses (including her home, which they had built last year) but none of those McMansions I saw dropped haphazardly into what might have been corn, cow or tobacco fields in Northern Virginia like so many Monopoly hotels. I know that I have always been a nomad, going to three different middle schools within three years -- I know that when I was growing up in Virginia, home was "where my posters are" (and I find it ironic here that the walls here resist any attempt to make them my own where I am now, for not so very much longer).

Anita hasn't found a job as quickly as I was able to, although I think she's been more particular about where she wants to work in terms of salary and commute. She won't go any farther than Westboro, and I don't blame her. They live only a few miles from Rutland State park, where her boyfriend and his song went fishing, and she's able to walk two miles every day undisturbed by exhaust fumes (although she does carry hairspray as mace to discourage any wild animals that get too curious -- they do have moose and coyotes out there. I was amazed that I was able to keep up with her considering she's had this healthy outdoor lifestyle and I've been a pale couch potato through most of the winter. But there is something about that country air that invigorates me, and I swear that I could walk forever, or as long as my blistered feet can endure.

I think that I will always feel more at home in the country than in the city. Londonderry, NH is yuppie suburbia, but there are still horse farms and patches of woods to explore. And I will be helping with the garden this year. So it will be sort of like a rural retreat in some ways, while still close to the 128 corridor.

I'm trying to make the most of this in-between time. I was able to donate some books to Books and Beans in Southbridge, and the last bag that was in my truck I donated to the Hannaford Market in North Brookfield, where they were luckily having a book drive. Little things like that make me feel validated by the universe that I am doing the right thing in leaving.

Maybe I can take some time in between looking for work and learning the lay of the land to allow the mental debris to settle long enough to actually write something.

There's a difference between stopping and settling. There's a difference between settling for and settling down.

I'm trying to find that difference.

More later,

current mood: contemplative

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Saturday, April 21st, 2007
11:20 am - it would be more touchy-feely if I wasn't now in another LDR
h5>I feel loved when...</h5>

The Five Love Languages

My Primary Love Language is Words of Affirmation

<th colspan="2">My Detailed Results:</th>
Words of Affirmation: 9
Quality Time: 8
Physical Touch: 7
Acts of Service: 5
Receiving Gifts: 1

About this quiz

Unhappiness in relationships is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. It can be helpful to know what language you speak and what language those around you speak.

Tag 3 people so they can find out what their love language is.

Take the Quiz!
Check out the Book

current mood: amused

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Friday, April 13th, 2007
6:40 am - it's here and it's happening......

current mood: ecstatic

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Sunday, April 1st, 2007
4:24 pm - A Pilgrim's Progress ....
Procol Harum came on I-tunes, and I haven't listened to them in a long time. I bought the CD for the song "Too Much Between Us", one of my favorite melancholy long-distance love songs, but the song that came on was "Pilgrim's Progress."

Maybe this is some kind of a pilgrimage. Maybe this is about more than just moving away, maybe I am actually going somewhere ....

I passed my Life and Health exam for work -- more than passed, I got a 93 on the Life, which was the second-highest score the woman who was working for the testing company had seen. Maybe I am more intelligent than I give myself credit for. I feel a little guilty that my job paid for me to get my license, and I am not keeping it, but I don't really feel that guilty. I think that I will give them my two-weeks-notice in the second week of May, giving me time to finish getting my stuff together and also to look for work.

The canned career counselor from the Outplacement program hasn't done much for me. I have a resume that shows what I have done, but so little of what I have done is what I want to be doing. She said it was like trying to get to Boston without having a map .... Yes, I am very much aware that I don't have a map. I am hoping that the practical experience I'm getting writing for Worcester Movies Weekly is going to help me ease my way into a job that involves writing. I have another article coming out in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, there is this floating dislocation, as I am coming untethered from where I am but I still haven't landed where I wish to end up. I am looking forward to moving in with Ruby and Jeremy as a temporary respite, perhaps some kind of resting place while I get prepared for the actual journey. As there's been a lot of Tolkien getting tossed around randomly, it's sort of an Inn of the Last Home. I feel like I am the Fool in the Tarot -- I am at the Zero Point, all quavering potentiality. Hel, I'm more like the Fool's little dog, only this little dog is diving straight over the cliff. This little dog has all the enthusiasm and none of the fear ....

I am feeling guided. I am feeling responsible for my own destiny. There is a ray of tentative sunshine peeking out .... It's no less terrifying, but at least I know that I'm going somewhere.... and for me, getting started has always been the hardest part.

current mood: hopeful

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Saturday, March 17th, 2007
12:36 am - No new poetry but I am (sort of) a published writer....

I suppose given the fact that I know how to put a paragraph together and I have been hanging around with a movie reviewer for almost two years, this was inevitable.

I especially enjoyed "Shortbus" (and now own a copy of it thanks to the few hours of work I put in) so I'm glad this was my first review. It's not poetry but I do believe that the performance is purer if there's some passion behind it, and John Cameron Mitchell is someone that fans that flame .... I loved him in "Hedwig" but now I am truly in awe of his creative genius ....

I've got another one coming out next week, stay tuned, if you are not already a WMW subscriber. I'm not sure if this will be a regular gig, but it does feel good to get my name out there in print. It may be a while before I feel I'm ready to start poetry again, and this way my writing muscles are not going to atrophy.

A lot of things are happening, most of which I am loath to describe lest I breach some superstitious conspiracy of serendipity and silence. Let's just say that I am not moving West, but North and East, thanks to the good graces and generosity of Ru and family.

I have been taking each day as it comes, and I'm not so much hung up on knowing what is The Right Thing so much as what is the Next Right Thing, which is all I can really be expected to handle. Spirit is guiding me, and I am no longer feeling like a cosmic orphan wailing in the abyss along with Damien Rice singing Radiohead's "Creep." I no longer feel that there is any scarcity of love, or that what love there is has passed out of my reach. I'm not standing still, so it can't leave me behind. I'm following my bliss, finally leaving a harbor where the water has been polluted for years.

I am feeling that there are signposts pointing towards something, and pointing away from the familiar. In the city, two places that once nourished me have closed their doors -- one is Albrizio's Deli, an icon of downtown where the food was fresh and the folks were friendly, and the other is the Zodiac Cafe, and the poetry reading that lived there. Another thing is the bumper sticker I bought at Acme Surplus when I was last in Northhampton -- it says "Happiness is a Journey, Not a Place" ....

I feel like, little by little, I am finally finding mine ....

More later,

current mood: content

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Sunday, March 11th, 2007
10:05 am - it's Ru's fault
Can you cook?
2. What was your dream growing up?
3. What talent do you wish you had?
4. Favorite place?
5. Favorite vegetable?
6. What was the last book you read?
7. What zodiac sign are you?
8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings?
9. Worst Habit?
10. Do we know each other outside of Livejournal?
11. What is your favorite sport?
12. Do you have a Negative or Optimistic attitude?
13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
14. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
15. Tell me one weird fact about you.
16. Do you have any pets?
17. Do you know how to do the Macarena?
18. What time is it where you are now?
19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
21. Would you be my partner in crime or my conscience?
22. What color eyes do you have?
23. Ever been arrested?
24. Bottle or Draft?
25. If you won $10,000 dollars today, what would you do with it?
26. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew?
27. What's your favorite bar to hang at?
28. Do you believe in ghosts?
29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
30. Do you swear a lot?
31. Biggest pet peeve?
32. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
33. In one word, how would you describe me?
34. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?

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