Lab Girl by Hope Jahren is a novel about a woman biologist, and she described a fact about trees that impressed me. Continue reading “taproot” »
Captain Kangaroo was on TV when I was in kindergarten, and I didn’t want to miss it. My mother warned that if I got to school late, her note would tell my teacher TV made me late. I didn’t care, and I was late.
My seventh grade friend Lindy and I hung around Tiburon’s Angel Island ferry dock on Main Street’s Penny Arcade behind Bird and Hound Clothing. Goofing off, we watched penny movies for a dime and played foosball. Continue reading “What feeling ugly does” »
My grandmother Brown was in her eighties when she moved from Baltimore to live with us. She had nowhere else to go. Neighbors helped my mother convert our garage into her bedroom, with a portable heater. My grandma shipped her stuff in moving crates to Tiburon, and somehow I was in charge of unboxing, deciding values of things I knew nothing about. Continue reading “roots of confusion” »
I started sixth grade with every popular kid in the school in my class, but I played on fringes of cool land. Like any class, we had our share of major dip shits, the poor freckle-faced girl who picked her nose and ate it in front of us, just about killing us all. I was hard to ignore, being the tallest kid in the class, five foot-eight inches, shoulder length hair. Girl hair in the mid-sixties was in-between the singers Brenda Lee with the beehive and Cher’s straight long black mane. Continue reading “no more secrets” »
I’ve struggled with understanding my emotions, because they are often confusing and overwhelming to me. My personality wants to quickly understand my ‘feeling’ and get the hell out of it as soon as possible. I often have tried to act my way out of feeling uncomfortable. Continue reading “Living through a negative emotion” »
I have been throwing an axe for years.
West Point, California women annually throw their axes on Lumberjack Day in competition, before a standing bull’s eye. Axes fly end over end, and smash into shaken beer cans located in the center of the bulls’eye. West Point, Calaveras County, west of Nevada in the Central Sierra Foothills, once flourished as a logging community, but no longer. The eight hundred person town has a forty-year history of annual parades, with over 75 floats and afternoon logging activities. Professional logger skills are performed in an arena format by members of the community.
After watching my first competition, I spoke with my favorite thrower, confiding that I also wanted to compete.
“Yeah, right,” she said. Continue reading “Axe throwing” »
My childhood friend’s very short mother stood eye to eye in front of me, a seven-year old, and shook her finger at me, “YOU are so BIG!” I remember thinking, “big was bad.” I wondered why I was not seen for who I was. When I grew to over 5’10” and over two hundred pounds at certain points of my life, men and women have called me ‘a force.’ Something is dreadfully wrong. I scare people who think they know me, but they don’t know my insides.
I do not think of myself as big, or a force. I am strong enough to move a roll top desk by myself, shovel a ditch and spread forty five-gallon buckets of pea gravel into a zen garden. I have always felt like an athlete, not a fast one, but capable of swimming over a mile at a time without struggle. I rely on my strength to feel accomplished. I have felt shame and confusion from being judged because of it.
My pinball approach to life, acting and then feeling weird about what I did, is part of my character. I’m trying to articulate what is going on inside of me. Continue reading “Where does the inside meet the outside?” »
My nurse friend sent me a link to a nursing journal article about Guided Imagery used as a valid nursing tool. I’m responding to this topic from a liberal arts point of view. I have healed from Guided Imagery experiences and happily share them with you, in hopes you will find them useful.
Theatre was a wonderful major in college, and I had a blast in those classes. So many opportunities to grow and develop various skills, writing, performing, directing, designing and constructing stage sets, working in the team spirit to accomplish deadlines. In my opinion, Liberal Arts majors like those of us in Theatre, can respect what we learned in our classes. For instance, in basic theatre classes, we learned to relax and concentrate with visualization exercises, and it was there I first learned about Guided Imagery.
Two nights ago I stayed up late trying to find my ex- first husband online, and I also looked for his wife of decades. I’ve been happily out of his life for over thirty-five years. Since he’s eleven years older than me, I wanted to get a look at how he’s holding up. Trying to find him left me feeling weird. I even woke up feeling weird the next day, and it took me the whole day to recover from the weidness emotion I don’t understand.
What is weird? For me, it starts as a suck feeling, and my friends who are into emotions try and help me understand, or at least try to teach me, “to notice” what I feel. Due to my family of origin training, I hammer feelings into a paste I don’t want to eat. Emotions are super confusing, often hurt and I’m better off pretending like I don’t have feelings.
After years of self-examination and sobriety, however, I have learned a few strategies, tools to channel weird confusion and help me cope.