Friday, August 20, 2010

Almost. Wet. My. Pants.

My friends have *very* funny friends!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Will You Be There?

Face of America Gettysburg to DC 2007

Today I am wearing my T-shirt from this bike tour for wounded warriors. It was one hell of a ride, literally AND metaphorically. This moment, and another, are burned into my memory. I learned so very much about support, trust, hope and faith . These two men were a team. The one in the chair rode a recumbent bike with a pole on the back, and his able-bodied partner would push if need be. At the end of the second day of the ride, the recumbent rider crashed, hard,and was pulled from the race. His helper crashed too, but got patched up and finished in good time. This was the moment they had met again, at the finish line. We all cried. Alot.

Will YOU be there when your partner or friend can't finish the race? Will YOU carry the torch across the line? Will YOU be there for someone?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Do you see it?

Face in the rock

I see eyebrow bones, the bridge of a nose and a mouth opening from the left. But, then again I see things everywhere. Always. Once I had a Beloved Friend who was really quite upset because his lover, a friend of mine, was totally flummoxed as to why he did not see the Man in the Moon. It became a huge issue for them at one point. She just could not imagine how someone could NOT see the Man in the Moon. He never did. She *really* needed him to see it, to feel the magic of that, to share it with her.

But, that's the thing with Magic. Not everyone is on the same channel at the same time, seeing the same things. She would point at the moon, draw pictures of what she saw, plead with him to ***see*** it. But that did not change the fact that he simply could not. That hurt him. A lot. We used to talk on the phone for hours after he moved to Mississippi, to help build housing after Katrina. He felt a huge loss in that relationship.

I recently went through something like this, only it had to do with matters of the heart. I saw, and felt magic, and the other person... Just. Didn't. I would point it out, draw my heart, explain, show, do *anything* I could to make that magic resonate for someone who Just Couldn't. And, both of us got hurt doing that.

My mom has a saying which comes from an I Ching translation:

"Pigs and Fish can't fly"

Which means basically, that you cannot blame people for their seeming lack of capacity. If they are a fish, well then, while they may sometimes jump out of the water while driving upstream to mate, they most certainly cannot fly. No point in condemning them for their lack of flight. It isn't in them to do so.

I am learning the fine art of compassion, and letting go of wanting fish to fly and people to see and feel what I see and feel. I get it that it isn't about ME, per se, because, frankly, I cannot see and feel what others do either, and I let people down that way, too. I cannot be what I am not. And neither can you.

One day, I will find someone who sees the Man in the Moon, the face in the rock, and the Passion in my soul, someone who has and returns that naturally, and who finds in me the magic that I am.

'Till then, remember...."Pigs and Fish can't fly"


Monday, August 2, 2010

Judo Magnets

Friday, July 30, 2010

Beauty, Change, Loss and Bounty

The past few weeks have been chock-full of all the title of this post alludes to. I have found gorgeous beauty all around me, in the breezes that blow about my body, with my arms stretched out wide, in a huge field, alone, being grateful and sad all at once. I have been trying to embrace loss and change, allowing the discomfort of that to wash through me, accepting with Grace that growth necessarily involves loss, death, and rebirth. I have experienced great bounty as well, with a promotion at work, increased time with friends old and new.

The air has changed over the past few days. Flowers and trees are behaving differently than just a week ago. Some are coming to an end, some are revving up for the big burst of Fall. The cicadas are making their sweet "swish swish swee" sound, a harbinger of the oncoming season (my favorite!).

I have been a busy bee lately. My main client has asked for three-fold increase in my schedule, which means a lot more work, and a lot more money. I have finalized my daughter's finances for the first term. One of my dear friends, who has MS, is in mid-divorce and the heat of the summer has taken its toll on her health. I help her as best as I can. I also signed up for a Very Interesting Workshop in October, one I have wanted to attend for years. I have been going to Pot-Luck and Outdoor Movie Night in Jamaica Plain at a friend's house. And, I have taken lots of alone time to balance it all out.

Yesterday on a sales call in Bellingham, Mass, my cell phone was stolen. After getting over the feeling of loss, violation and anxiety, I drove directly to my neighborhood Verizon store and told them of my plight. The kind man there, James, said he would LOAN me another until my upgrade in November, thus saving me over 500 dollars. Not only THAT, but, it wasn't in the store at the time so he, get this...DROVE IT TO MY HOUSE, FULLY CHARGED, WITH ALL MY CONTACTS ON IT. Now, if *that* ain't manifesting Bounty I don't know what is!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Across the Lot

I saw her crossing the parking lot at the grocery store, only from the back, as she was walking away, determinedly. I summed her up in a few seconds, shallow, I know, perhaps, but the images and thoughts swelled in my mind, ripe, rushing and full as a stream in March. She wore tan capris, a dark tone, like coffee with milk, and I could tell by her panty lines that she was definitely not wearing a thong. At the likely decade of her sixties, perhaps leaning ever toward the seventies, she looked like a suburban, matronly, country-clubbing, Grandmother. Her hair was, Just So, curled under at her shoulder, barely touching her navy Izod top. I saw a glint of gold on her wrist. She was treading with purpose, away from me and the thought came to my head…

Was she going home to someone who adored her?

Fragile Webs

These tiny lines of connection, executed by some delicate spinnerets
are monuments to Hope and Determination.
Do not we all weave threads
when we deign to dream
of Possibility?
And, as the faithful craftsman waits
for juicy "Yes!" to fall into
the trap so arduously labored into being,
the tears of God are caught
from the sky.
Drink Well.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Still laughing over this...a week later.


I am not one who has much belief in "luck". Luck of the draw, luck of the dice, luck of anything, really, does not resonate with me. Perhaps it is because I learned from a very early age about Probability. My father used to know all the numbers, the possible options available, after any play of dice or card. He won lots of money at Harvard that way, playing games.

On a more philosophical note, where some hold a sense of safety or joy in playing with "luck", I much prefer intent or faith. I think over the past few years I have felt that my relationship with my faith has been challenged at times, at others strengthened.

This past week we saw huge storms here, and twice I have successfully avoided trees, ginormous trees, which had fallen, crossing the road, making it impossible to navigate around them without driving in the oncoming lane. I felt fortunate to have made it through. But, is that the same as feeling lucky? I don't think so. I felt protected in some way. Perhaps it was merely the numbers, the speed of my vehicle, the time I left my departure point, the direction the wind was blowing, the fact that one oncoming car was blinking their lights at me repeatedly. But it did not *feel* that way to me. It felt like more than that.

I found this die on the street yesterday. It lives in my pocket now. Just wanted to let you know.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Opening Up

Like peonies, some things take a long time to open up. Little things pull at you, as do the ants as they help to unfurl the peony bud each Spring. Sometimes, it is big things that yank and tear you open, but eventually the opening happens.

I want you to open. I want you to unfurl before my eyes so that I may know the "real" you. Sometimes it's ants, sometimes it's storms that blow the petals about, but the end result is frequently glorious.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Question

She handed me some paper and a marker and said "Write this down":

"Is it going to make me FEEL better, or GET better"

So I did, with a deep blue green marker. I stared at it for a few seconds, and looked into her deep blue eyes.

"Okay...what does that mean?", I asked.

"That is the single question you need to ask yourself at every juncture of thought and action, when you can't decide, or even if you CAN decide. That way you will know: Am I anesthetizing myself, or directing myself to a True and Authentic experience?".

I thought about that for a while, coming up with possible scenarios, and how it would feel to face my own addictions to Self Soothing.

"What if what I really want at the moment is to FEEL Better?", I asked.

"Then OWN that, and if you are ok with it, go ahead, have a blast!" was the answer. "Sometimes a beer, or a piece of cake or going to a bar to get fucked is just what it is. Just, well...OWN it." She threw back her head and laughed, her long hair flowing over her shoulder.

I stared at that paper for a while, as she continued to chat about some guy who picked her up hitchhiking once many years ago, a heroin addict who was Native American. She said he used to grab a clump of dirt from every pow-wow he attended, and he would throw it in the back of his car on the floor. There was about 2 inches of dirt back there. She loved him, deeply, and was "there" for him through so much over those years. She got him into the AA program.

She said she knew she was avoiding leaving that relationship, and felt some shame that it took her four years before she asked herself the question. She stayed because she FELT better. But she knew, at one point, that their roads had diverged. She stayed anyway.

Another tale came out, as we sipped mango juice and ate some potato chips. It did not seem, at first, to have any thread back to The Question, but later when I pondered this more, tossing it around like stones in a polishing machine, it was very clear.

There was a friend of hers who invited her for dinner one night. They were looking around for some objects to use in a ritual for the full moon; shells, and rocks, things to be written on with blessings then thrown into Mother Ocean. Going to the bureau in her friend's bedroom, seeking precious things to use, she opened the top drawer and inside that drawer was a box. It was chocked FULL of AA 24 hour sobriety coins spilling out all over the place. She looked at her friend, who tossed up her hands and said "Well, they say keep on trying! So, I do! I keep going back to face my stuff. I always will...try".

She was a very close friend. One who had never, in any moment of her life, told anyone that she was in the AA program.

But, over and over and over and over again, at some point when her self soothing had reached toxic levels, she would ask herself: "Is this going to make me FEEL better, or GET better?" And she did so without judging herself about the 247 other times she had asked herself the same question. Because it is not about judging yourself. This question must be asked with as much compassion for yourself as you can possibly muster.

Is not facing the dysfunction and staying in that empty relationship going to make you feel better or get better?

Is not taking the challenge of clearing up family discord going to make you feel better or get better?

Is that beer you want going to make you feel better or get better?

Is that $200.00 pair of shoes going to make you feel better or get better?

Is that casual fuck going to make you feel better or get better?

Is isolating yourself because it is more comfortable going to make you feel better or get better?

Go ahead. Ask yourself The Question.

Own it.

THEN you can move forward with integrity.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


There is no escape from growth. It happens to you, around you, inside you, all the time. You could no more stop a train with the wings of a butterfly than make the change cease its endless push forward. Like many, I struggle often with growing pains, and much is internal, never spoken. Joys, fears, wonderings, musings, little angers building up and then dissipating like popcorn in a wind storm, all inevitable parts of being human.

I have begun a process of Letting Go recently. I have consciously decided to pry my fingertips away from the edge of the pool of wanting Something So Badly. I had to. I simply had to loosen my grip, my desire to have things go "my" way. Sure, there is a little death there, and I feel it. It is my fervent hope that the loss of what I wanted will be filled in again with Something Even MORE Wonderful in the future, or perhaps a re-visit to What I Want at another time, with other involvements.

I submit to the fact that it cannot be. And I KNOW I am worthy of the things I want. So I will wait for new coordinates.

Until then, I am feeling the need to be gentle with myself, to honor the loss of what I wanted to Be, and to keep my eyes open for New and Wonderous Things on the horizon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My busy inner life...

I met my friend, Andy, for brunch at Masa in Woburn this weekend. It was remarkably yummy. I am a chef and I take the word "yummy" seriously. The portions were perfect, the flavor profiles were clean and delightful and the outdoor patio was wonderful in the spring morning breeze. (click HERE for their lovely brunch menu)

But that is not what I wanted to write about here. I wanted to impart to you a little bit about what goes on inside Julia on a daily basis. I live a very busy inner life. And my brunch at Masa is a perfect example of that.

What you might have seen: Julia reaching for the butter. Julia sipping her coffee, smiling. Julia nibbling some bread.

What I experienced/noticed:

The two people next to us had a small child. The mom was wearing a grey fitted sweater and black pants. The dad was wearing a heather green top, long sleeves and jeans. The daughter had on a dress and green tights, little white shoes. She was not so happy about this whole dining al fresco thing. Mom gave her stickers to play with. They discussed landscaping.

The two people on the other side were expecting a baby. She wore a blue and white top with a pattern and blue stretch pants. She had on large sunglasses and a gold necklace. He was wearing a red shirt and jeans. She spoke a lot about x genes and y genes and how she did not want to sit around and watch sports with a son, so she hoped it was a girl.

There were purple, white and yellow pansies in baskets along the rail of the patio.

Petco had a promotion going on....including sales staff attached to HYOOGE balloons. Six of them. Red, Yellow. Purple. They had words on them like "chirp" and "woof".

There were four kinds of bread/muffins in the basket. Three condiments, apricot preserves, strawberry jam and honey butter.

This was all before the meal came.

I take in more than the average person. I see things people don't. I hear things people don't. I feel things people don't. I taste things people don't. It is wonderful and exhausting. Most of the time it is a three ring circus inside me, while on the outside, it appears that I am totally concentrating on the words coming out of your mouth. It is not ADD, it is more like Super Sensation Input. This is why I sometimes get overwhelmed easily, and need to turn off the radio while driving, why I require quiet time and why I really enjoy alone time or private time with friends, rather than large crowds, or parties. This is why, if I am in a particularly emotional place, my bandwidth for what you would consider "normal" is so narrow. Be patient with me. I have no choice in the matter. It is just the way I am wired.

Monday, May 17, 2010



I have an acquaintance who said something powerful last week...she wrote "Never compromise on your dream. Compromise on how you get there." That hit me right between the eyes, right on the ol' bindi, the third eye, that pluckable property between the brows.

It got me to thinking, and processing, pulling back the many layers of the inner onion, to try to find the kernel of Things. I think all of us get caught in the trap of expectation and attachment to outcome from time to time. Heck, some probably reside there, in that high rent district of the soul.

I am going to bet that some of us even find ourselves thinking that dreaming, or having something, someone, some job, some love, some wealth shimmering in the distance like so much mirage, is folly. Chasing the bright carrot of Now, only Now, never Later, never to squint at a goal post from afar, is the method that works for them.

Some of us need a clear game plan, with charts we hold in our hearts of Return on Investment, Profit and Loss, deposits, withdrawals, interest reports.

Some of us can only dream if we have control of the process as completely as possible. Some can let loose the grip on how we get there, and are open to creative and out-of-the-box ways of working toward our Dream.

As I said before, I know my "it" is out there. And, to be totally and frankly honest with you, holding onto the edge and demanding that the process of getting to that reunion happens the way I *want* it to, is not working for me.

Chasing dreams involve change. Making way for what you really want, deeply inside, involves Letting Go of the edge.

And, if you have been doing the same things, over and over, in your life, your love, your job, your friendships, and that path has not yielded what you seek, then it is time to accept that there might be another way to get there.

Dare to dream, they say. Risk it. Get clear about what you want and do not compromise that clarity. Compromise on how you get there.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I know it is coming. I have dreamed it, and allowed it to percolate up to the surface. I have spoken it,invoked it, coaxed it along. I know, to the very core of my being, that "it" is on the way. Somewhere, someplace it is growing in it's own path, creeping along, or soaring above, to ME. I can sense, deeply, that all will be okay, eventually, that I will find it, or it will find me, and a big sigh will come from inside me, as I wrap myself around it and say "Welcome! I have been waiting for you!"

And the response will echo back "And I have been waiting for you, too! It took me a while to get to you, but I was on my way all along. I heard you ask for me, and I knew I would find my way to you, eventually."

I have looked in places near and far and not found what I was looking for. I have expected it to Be in situations where I had NO BUSINESS expecting at all. I have cried and struggled for something(s) to happen, grasping at the Possibility when there was none there. Only in letting go, truly, and finding the knowledge that "it" is out there, tracking a course to ME, *in it's own time and way*, will I find Peace.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: A comic I love.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Kids...they make me cry, and Laff

Thursday evening, driving to the gym with the teen:

Kid: OMG! It's Thursday??? Really? That means tomorrow is Friday?!

Me: Yup, usually.

Kid: Do you have any idea how awesome that is???!!!

Me:...? Um, Yeah?

Kid: 'Cause, frankly, this week was Shit on Wheels!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


All the Hemispheres

Leave the familiar for a while.

Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season

Onto the meadow and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.

Make a new watermark on your excitement

And love.

Like a blooming night flower,

Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness

And giving

Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence

Lie beside an equator

In your heart.

Greet Yourself

In your thousand other forms

As you mount the hidden tide and travel

Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven

Are sitting around a fire


While stitching themselves together

Into the Great Circle inside of