Cast into turbulent seas
Polished and refined
It forms the sands
Upon which we lie
In warm silence
Lost in the cacophony
Of our own dreams
Younger than my age.
Not safe for work.
I pulled a u-haul behind my jeep and I moved in, with myself.
BIG sailboats out of the sight of land.
Jeep in a Baja MX desert way out of sight of man.
Wreck diving the Philippines.
Sleeping bag under the stars in the bed of a good friend’s pickup.
The National Gallery all day long.
No words in my songs.
Oil paint on a white skirt.
Motor oil on everything but the engine I rebuilt.
Teddy bear named BooBoo in my bed.
Four pillows for my legs, arms and head.
Laughing until I cry.
A few more hours I almost died.
Best friend I met in Sweden.
West Coast you are my Eden.
The beach, ocean and stars above.
20 pounds lost after 20 years the same.
Labels do no justice to the person I am.
Two lives lived, I have loved lost and am…
Complex and confident.
I never kissed a man.
Accepting the variety of us all.
But my own worst enemy when I fall.
Not a Rose but an Orchid or maybe just star.
Falling from the skies, I am stardust as are we all.
Friend, daughter, aunt, cousin but never a mom.
I am an artist, musician, nerd and this is my song.
When the mind and the body are in two different worlds, one seeks the other never meeting in between. Young is my heart and playful the mind. Drawn to youth and racing away the same. Foolhardy feelings lend to adventures and unsettling moments. Bold, gentle steps into the open I go. Many lives lived and many more to go. Young is my heart and creative my mind. Never satisfied with the present, my past left behind. I’ll build a great castle with walls crumbling down. See me. Feel me. I am none of deaf, dumb or blind. But touch me deep where only the mind may roam. One woman, one heart, many journeys must I live. Young is my heart and determined my mind. Let me not fall into old. Graceful steps. Frightening leaps. I venture forward. Youth chasing dreams. Aging vessel chasing time.
I wrote in my journal today. It was the first time in over a year since I had written anything. Coming out of depression is scary and amazing. Change is scary and amazing. Living is scary and amazing.
As I sat outside around the corner from my apartment writing outside the coffee shop, the sun warmed my skin in the cool air. It has been so long since I last wrote. I had so much to put down. Over 7 pages of the highs and lows of an entire year plus growing plans for this year flowed out. I doodle and ponder while listening to music as I write. It is therapy. One thing I have learned in my life is that you cannot hold everything inside. It will eat you alive. I have so much to do in a short time. Keeping anxiety at bay is a challenge but I am managing. Moving is stressful enough. Not having a job or a place to live is like walking a fine line next to a minefield. But I am going to make it. I am a very determined woman. I can do anything and mostly in my life, I have. When I set my mind to something it get’s done.
Next for me is jumpstarting my new old career in the arts and music. I wrote in my journal.
“I started off my adult life as an artist. A true tortured soul of an artist. I gave it up for 20 years to do what?”
What?… to learn I should have never given it up to make a lot of money. In the end I did make a lot of money, but it is all gone and it did not make me happy in the long run. It is time to change that. It is time to live for me for a change. I am going to do the things that make me happy. For that provides riches far greater than money. Dreams do come true for me. I make them happen. Maybe not all of them but I don’t give up easy on anything, even my endless pursuit of living a good life, self love and just being happy. I will succeed. I always do.
I took to the sky
Imaginary wings beating into the void of space
Earth rises to meet my gaze
Tumbling uncontrolled it vanishes once again
Am I falling to my death
Am I only floundering every direction up
Horizons roll into view
Brightest points of light chipping away blue crescents
I think for a moment
How beautiful are the simplest things
The darkness becomes the light
Flying and falling again and again
With a very heavy heart, I must leave San Francisco. The place I have called home for over 4 years. The tech industry has both powered and ruined this great city. The rent on my apartment will double the day I move out. Some high paid programmer and his girlfriend will likely be the only people to afford where I live now. Tech has sustained me for 18+ years. It has afforded me a life most would be very satisfied with. Yet it has taken my health and my sanity. I am very good at what I do. But ask me if I enjoy it anymore.
It only takes a few too many bad experiences and unemployment streaks to break a person here. I have had 8 different jobs in 4 years. The startup world can be brutal as war. I gave it my best. I worked my ass off. I put up with an overwhelmingly male driven career field. Unless you are a woman you can never understand what that is like. I have some amazing triumphs in Tech. Many of you see my work daily on various retail and entertainment sites based in Northern California. I am proud of what I achieved. And honored to have worked with some truly phenomenal people here in San Francisco. A few are my friends now and forever. I will miss many things here. Especially the dreams I had that were never fulfilled.
My future lies in my past now. I started off in this world as a full on creative doing production art in a small regional ad agency back east. I still have a piece of the artboard that covered my drafting table when I left as Art Director. I rocked graphic design and photo retouching. I drew constantly. I was deep into ceramic arts, even building my own kilns with another artist.
Now 48, I paint, draw, do photography and even record my music after nearly 15 years out of the arts, in preparation of a complete cold start back to a new old career. My brother asked to me to get back into ceramics last night. He is not the fist. I am amazing with my hands and I will when I land. I am not sure where I will land. For now I will be homeless and jobless. I will survive on a short sabbatical because of the support and love of family and friends.
What I can say is I will move somewhere more laid back, much less expensive where I can eventually have a yard and hopefully my own house and art studio. I will miss the mega conveniences of this most walkable city. But I will gain more freedom to create. I will not miss the near constant worry of how to just get by when most of what I earned went to rent, food, taxes and parking tickets. I will miss a few friends I have made up here. I will not miss the egotistical, ladder climbers that infest and gentrify this city.
I read almost daily about more and more people actually being driven out of San Francisco because of evictions by greedy landlords and a cost of living so high teachers, cooks, barista, artists, musicians, and even life long residents of the city can not afford to live in the city. As for the homeless that litter the streets, they say there are well over 5000 homeless living on the streets here. More daily. There are growing tent cities expanding under the highway around Cesar Chavez and Bayview Ave. Real tent cities of firmly encamped people with furniture and children no less! This is nothing short of a tragedy. The dirty underbelly of technology running wild making millionaires and ignoring the poor. This is a city of mass consumption too. It is easy to fall into that trap. Drugs and alcohol are the norm here. I have seen friends take it much too far. I have seen wasted wrecks of meth users convulsing on the sidewalks and drunks passed out face first in the street. This city WILL eat you alive if you let it.
I will leave this city in tears. Because it is a beautiful, eclectic melting pot of every culture you can imagine. Where it does not matter if you are gay, straight, bi, queer, trans, questioning, intersex, weird, artsy, scientific, nerdy, blue, tall, a bear, hipster, pony, unicorn or a furry. There is something for absolutely everyone here. I had so many hopes and dreams when I moved here over 4 years ago. For me I was never able to get that foothold I needed to make them all come true. That hurts the most. It will be hard to reconcile as I do not accept failure well.
But in some masochistic, ritual way I seem to have perfected, I will pack my shit and just leave as I have done many times before in other cities. I leave this city the same way I got here. Broke, unemployed and full of piss and vinegar and feeling much older. I will start completely over somewhere else with the same dreams and the same hopes I had almost 5 years ago when I decided, Fuck It! I am moving to San Francisco. And I will succeed one way or another. I am older and wiser now. I am experienced in “battle”. I can do this one more time. I just have too because that is what I do. I survive and keep moving forward no matter what.
Adieu et Bon Chance San Francisco.
Build my life upon these dreams
Comforts and cozies fill my thoughts
Returning to a place familiar and warm
Memories of achievement and joy
Love, yes love felt and expressed
The lie roles off my tongue like marbles on hill
Expressed yes, but not love
Comforts are facades hiding what lies behind
Dreams are more easily dashed than delivered
My achievement is this empty shell
Medicated my heart beats at a safer pace
Medicated the knife never draws blood
Medicated sleep without dreaming is peace
Medicated darkness is not so cold
Medicated is no life to be wished on anyone
Suicidal thoughts, Can anything be more frightening
How do you take a life without the mess
How do you take a life without hurting everyone you love
I will not
Survival is a skill perfected by years of practice
Battles lost and won in my mind
The physical toll evidence in the lines on my face
The blanks stares, the tears and distant presence
The unseen damaged liver and once failed kidneys
Everything hurts some days, everything
The deepest pain is beyond human touch
Why do I keep fighting against this unwelcoming tied
I just do, a promise to myself and my loves
The hardest part of fighting the emptiness…
There is nothing there to take a swing at
I looked into the sun and sneezed as my eyes watered and my face felt warm deep into my skull. A 5 year old really does not know any better. Mom held my hand as I cried, blood still fresh on my arm and my clothes. The doctor tried to ease the pain, but the cut was deep to the bone. A 10 year old and a new pocket knife are the first of many hard lessons one can only learn and not be taught.
As I looked out over the ocean towards a distant horizon, I became smaller as the world grew in size around me. The sun set and darkness fell upon the moonless waters. My hands disappeared before me. Startled by unfamiliar sounds and the roar of crashing waves, I sought refuge and safety within. Eyes closed, only the wind leaves tactile traces of the outside world. A waking dream. Floating on the ocean in a boat of own my making. At thirty one only begins to comprehend the scope of the universe and her place on Earth.
The time in between is perceived in growing increments of ever faster moving time. At 48 I remember seeing that 5 year old standing on the side of the road, her gaze always upwards. I remember the sun, the blood and the pain, laughter, love, the open ocean 100 miles from shore and a lifetime of living with spectacular highs and crushing lows. I look back and see that little girl is me and she is still looking to the sky and out in to the distance as the journey unfolds.