The Y in the Road

It seemed like a Y, that day in the parking lot. You two went one way, I went the other.

I imagined you veering off from me, further and further away, and my heart broke. Then I realized it is your dad’s branch, not your’s. You are free to go back and forth. You couldn’t hold the branch together, that was never you job, but there’s love for you on both sides.

You are mine. You always will be my boo. Just look down at your belly button whenever you doubt that.


Our song:


Just you and me, sitting under a tree,

You and me, you and me,

talking about electrons and God and space

Why a twisted donut is better than a bar


Just you and me, sitting under a tree

You and me, you and me

I ask what you’re thinking

And you thank me for asking


Talking bout’ Fibonacci and doing art

Listening to Neil Young

and I won’t stop singing

Mom’s are meant to sing


Just you and me, sitting under a tree

You and me, you and me

It will always be

You and me under a tree











A Man and A Guitar – Part 2

I almost didn’t go to the show, reasoning I’d seen John Doe plenty of times as the lead man of the LA punk band X. I like is solo work, but I just wasn’t that motivated to drag my butt out to see a guy I’d seen so many times before. However, the show was close to home at a small venue I like, so I went. Man-o-man was I glad I did.

I’ve really been on an acoustic kick lately. My affinity for bluegrass and folk music is probably the culprit, but the fact that I am also learning to play the guitar gives me a real appreciation for what a person can do with just a guitar, no embellishments. I didn’t really think John Doe fit the bill as an extraordinary guitarist. Sorry JD, but I gave Billy Zoom the credit for being the man with the skill in X.

I stand corrected. While I expected a burnt out punk rocker, capitalizing on past deeds, I was humbled to see a man that has honed his skills over decades. He blew my mind. Not only did John Doe produce complex multilayered sounds out of an acoustic guitar, factor in that he is one of my very favorite male vocalists of all time. He. killed. it.

John Doe played a nice mix that included some old X songs, and some of his solo stuff too, all the while speaking to the audience between songs with and affable, warm, charismatic personality. Not only did I get the feeling he is the kind of man I could talk to, I did feel like I was hanging out with him, due to the small size of the show.

This post is to say, “Thank you John Doe for years of excellent song writing, singing, playing guitar, and performing live music that was well worth the small price I paid.” I’d definitely do it again.


I thank God for my dead babies. Now I do. Seemed cruel at the time, and I couldn’t see the point of going through all that, but now I’m thankful the last three babies didn’t make it.

I couldn’ta left him with more than one kid. It was hard enough to leave him with one, but if there were two, I’d still be there, I know I would. Still livin’ with a man that hates me, but won’t admit it.

I can’t tell you the day he started hatin’ me, anymore than I can tell you the day I stopped lovin’ him. Didn’t happen like that. Someone told me you can boil a live frog if you put it in lukewarm water and turn up the heat real slow. The frog don’t have the sense to jump out.

My heat got turned up real slow. Over years. Plus when you become a momma, you don’t just think for yourself anymore. The rules changed. It became okay to tell me to shut up. I’d never marry a man who would tell me to shut up, but I guess I’d stay married to one.

I should probably mention that he never actually hit me. That’s important. He didn’t want to be a man who hits his wife, plus he knew I’d leave if he did. So he never hit me, he just meant to scare me, is what he says now. He did a damn good job, somedays.

But a man’s voice can do a different kind of damage. So can his eyes. Funny thing about the eyes, they can say so much. I love you. I want to kill you. Or I won’t even look at you.  For days on end.  A whole lot can be said without ever speakin’.

His eyes reminded me of Clint Eastwood in the old westerns, cept’ there was nothing handsome about someone lookin’ at ya’ like they want to kill you. At first I would look in those eyes and wonder where my husband went. Could I reach him if I spoke in a sweet voice? Could I get past the anger and find my husband who loves me? Was he still in there behind those crazy eyes?

Eventually I learned not to reason with crazy. If he got to that point, if he crossed that line, there was nothin’ to do cept’ try and weather the storm. I’d  agree with every bit of nonsense that came out of his mouth, or I stayed quiet. I became someone I didn’t recognize, passive and dishonest. But if I tried to talk sense, he’d take it as arguing and he’d stand on his toes with gestures of a streetfighter, asking me if I wanted to fight. All I ever wanted to do was not fight.

Later he might apologize, or still be mad, or forget about it, claiming whatever he said when he was mad didn’t really count. I never felt like it was resolved properly and came to expect it would happen again, just didn’t know when.  Drinking didn’t seem to be much of a factor. He’d never over indulge, or go and bar drink or anything like that. There were spurts of days of drinking a tall beer, and spurts of days with no drinking at all.

Occasionally he would go on a marijuana holiday. I always loved that at first, since he’d become real nice. My shoulders would relax during those times and I could breathe easy knowing I wouldn’t see crazy eyes. Plus he would be sweetly reasonable. Once I even convinced him we should get a kitten, but the weed holiday ended and he remembered he hated cats and the cat had to go. The weed vacations were only great at first anyway, since eventually he’d turn slothy and grumpy. Then there was the time he accidently lit the garage on fire. I left something at home and we had to turn back and saw the smoke coming from under the door. He was quick to get the fire out right before the firemen arrived and right before the gas can in the garage ignited. It was a close call. The plastic gas can melted a bit, but all our belongings in the apartment above were safe.

The fights started coming closer and closer together, and in between the not looking at me or touching me got worse, and the days I felt like I loved him got further and further apart.  I started thinking about leaving and he must of sensed it. It made him crazier.

His behavior those last few months is something I don’t like to talk about, it sure embarrasses me. I was damn near a boiled frog. I’m grateful now, thankful he couldn’t just be nice. Just like the dead babies that hurt so bad at the time that I now thank God for. I’m thankful he couldn’t be a decent human being when he needed to be.

I don’t need to rehearse the misdeeds to remember.  I still see him on a daily basis, since we are sharing our son. He has tried to convince me he is a new man, but now I can see the turbulence under the calm surface.

Besides, he can act as nice and polite as anyone, but nothing in me wants to hug him, touch him, or go back to that iceberg bed. I can breathe now. I can think of other things. I no longer feel my heart racing. Not for fear or for love. He can look at me with longing or contempt. Doesn’t matter. The frog is dead, but I survived. I learned that the frog isn’t really me, just my marriage. I did have the sense to escape, but the frog got boiled and there ain’t no way to unboil a frog.



I once broke up with a guy because I learned he didn’t read fiction. (Sorry Daniel, it’s true. I let you believe that the other issues of incompatibility were the culprit, but it came down to your aversion to fiction.) Fact.

I can’t relate to someone who doesn’t appreciate a good story. It is like trying to be friends with someone who doesn’t care for music. Did you know these people even exist? My mother is one. She’d rather have silence than music and she has no music collection. Now that I think about it, she doesn’t have any fiction books either. Her shelves are filled with religious and self-help books.

I own some of those books as well, along with a decent collection of Science and other topics, but I can’t… no, I don’t want to live in a world without fiction. The man I spoke about is an avid reader, but believes his reading time should be devoted to learning, as if this can only happen from non-fiction.



But one thing I can say in that man’s favor; he was honest. Most people say they read, but don’t. Here is the most depressing infogram I have ever encountered:






I truly hope you are upset by that data. I was and still am. And yet, I admit my reading has plummeted since I started writing voraciously. But my ipad is as much to blame. I read and help edit other writers, I read blogs and short stories, blurbs on the internet, and I spend a lot of time doing ‘research’ on the internet.

But I still read books. I still hold a few fiction books in my hand each year and read them, because when I am asked the question, “What have you been reading?” I want to have an answer. I want to drink my own koolaide. I want to be a true bibliophile, a promoter of reading, and a fictionista. And the only way to do that is to actually read and not just talk about it.

So I am ending this blog to pick up my book. I’m reading, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” in case your curious.


Felina Ponders

Felina’s thoughts were interruped by a splash of water on her foot.

“I have been trying to catch your attention,” the fish said. “I have been shouting your name and finally had to splash you to get you to notice me.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Felina answered, removing the buds from her ears. “I couldn’t hear you.”

“Obviously. What are you listening to?”

“Myself. My own voice.”

“You’ve recorded some music?”

“Oh no,” Felina laughed. “I am not listening to music. These are ear plugs, not headphones. I wanted it quiet so I could hear my own voice.”

The fish swam in a circle, pondering what she said. “In this pond, it is always quiet. I don’t need ear plugs.”

“Well that is why I came out here. To get away from the people and noise and hear myself clearly.”

“And instead you are listening to a fish. I’ve interrupted your solitude and if I apologized, it would be insincere. I get very lonely in this pond and am happy for a brief exchange, even if it is unwanted.”

Felina was quiet for a moment and the fish was sad, thinking the conversation was over, but then Felina lifted her head.

“Thank you,” she said. “I have now heard what I was meant to hear. The real reason I came out here was unknown to me until just now.”

The fish remained uncharacteristically quiet, hoping Felina would explain. He got his wish.

“I came out here to get away from people and experience solitude. You can not leave the pond an have the exact opposite problem. My legs can move me from company to solitude, while you have to wait until companionship comes to you. It must get very lonely.”

“It does,” admitted the fish. “Will you promise to come back and visit me regularly?”

“No. You are a fish and I am a girl. You must accept the limitatiions of our frienship, or you will always want more than I can give. Besides, fish of your type are meant to be solitary. You are clearly not a schooling type of fish.”

“Yes, you are right. I am a very evolved fish. I might just crawl out of this pond and kiss you.”

Felina threw her head back and giggled, then looked at the fish in his one eye she could see. “What makes you think I want to be kissed by a fish?”

“I don’t know. I am just a crazy talking fish with big ideas.”

“A dreamer with time for imagining the fantastic.”

“And you are a strange girl who seeks solitude and ends up talking to a fish.”

Reminded of her quest for quiet, Felina stood and said goodbye.

“See you later?” The fish asked, and Felina just shrugged and waved.


Sensitive Bliss

After I reached my destination, I but sat in my car to keep listening to the song.  And the next thing I knew, I was crying. No, it wasn’t one of Gwen Stefani’s God-awful break up songs. It wasn’t a heart break song at all. There weren’t any vocals, and I was not experiencing a flux of hormones. I felt moved by the sound of bows being pulled across strings, and my eyes flooded over.

Why does it slightly embarrass me to admit this? If someone says my writing made them cry, it is the highest compliment I can receive.  I have really touched them and they became invested in my characters.

I embrace my sensitivity as part of being fully conscious and alive. If you have never been moved to tears by music, art, or writing, then you have something to look forward to. And I am immensely grateful to the musicians that moved me so. (Do you want to know who it was this time?)


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Freedom To Be

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I want.”

– Jack Kerouac



I guess it is pretty obvious what is on my mind today. Opportunity. Regret. Missed opportunity. Expectations. A jumble of feelings fueled and fanned and about to ignite. Hope nobody gets burnt. Especially me.

Wrestling St. Francis

This one is for the artists, musicians, and writers who have felt the kind of loneliness conveyed in this video, as well as the connection made by one listener:

Jake Bugg Broken

I related to this video on many levels. In fact, I was watching it during a  class I teach (a small class of four adults) and joked with a student sitting near me that this is how it feels to be a teacher; I pour my soul out, hoping at least one person is listening. I said it in a pretty funny way and we both laughed, but the loneliness is real.

There is a prayer by St. Francis of Assisi prayer that says “Better to be understanding than be understood.” I am not a saint. I strive to be understanding, but my desire to be understood pushes me to create and share, in hopes that someone will get me. And I do this unapologetically. It is what artists do, not saints.