Friday, March 27, 2009

Rises and dips in the road

Where did I leave off? Oh yes. Moments before Matt came home. Up in my tiny room which I was decorating to make less drab by hanging sarongs on the windows, I heard his voice slightly boom as he greeted his son. Suddenly he was upstairs just over the threshold with his arms outstretched which then encased me a hug that was sweet, protective and incredibly imbued with love. In a slightly hushed husky tone he asked me how I was in a way that people use then they really really want to know the complete answer. It brought tears to my eyes. All the angst I had been feeling traveled down my body and out the crevices in the floor boards.

Later still he and I went to the grocery store to pick up some essentials, mostly milk which his son demanded in a not particularly whiny way.
“How’s your heart Dharma”? My reply was "slightly broken", which is how it feels. I cannot recall ever having left while the love was still so front and center, not pushed to the far corner of the room so that I could move on without the ache being so strong. Honestly I think this is the first time I have a broken heart. I do not think it is a bad thing for me to experience; it is rather reassuring to me because it means that maybe I do not have an ice core after all.

After his son and he completed a wonderful science experiment – making hydrochloric acid to but into balloons that they lit to fire up the gas – Matt and talked until about 2am. We covered all sorts of topic, including his divorce, a post-marriage relationship which he is still obsessing over just a bit, his sons, my relationship, the nomadic existence I have mapped up, and reminisced our past just a little. Did I mention we were involved a thousand years ago, actually had a city hall wedding? No? Well we did. I went up to my little room and finished Rubyfruit Jungle which I had decided to reread. Truly not her best work by any definition except for it’s boldness.

Tuesday I unloaded more of my things, set up my little travel bookcase and settled into my non-routine. Eli was home all day as he homeschools but he was pretty quiet. Matt came home in the evening and asked if I wanted to go for a walk after he brought Eli to his mom’s house. Since I hadn’t left the house all day except to grab things from the Purple Beast I thought it sounded like a fine idea. At about dusk we walked a path to the Saugerties Lighthouse which bears no resemblance to any other lighthouse I have seen. It looks like a rather stately home, made of brick with large windows. The top floor is a bed and breakfast which I think would be delightful to spend a few days in surrounded by water; watching, listening to the tides go in and out, trying to identify bird calls and breathing in the solitude. I think I will go there a few more times while I’m here.

The next day was the sunny and the most amazing quiet I have experienced in forever. No television, I listened to no music and there is no street traffic to speak of. I felt joy radiate in the silence. At the behest of friends via the internet who were horrified that I had not ventured outside the entire day I drove across the bridge into town and found the Muddy Cup where I browsed the oddly laid out books, ordered a too sweet chai and had a slice of lovely quiche. Once again Matt and I stayed up after midnight talking. It has been such a joy to gab and gab with an old dear friend where the comfort level is wide and deep.

Yesterday was a bit the same except not as sunny and my mood was sadder, feeling more uncomfortable in my skin. I suspect some of that is related to Her Geekyness deciding to cut off contact for the moment. No idea how long it will last, no idea what it means but after almost five years of regularly, almost compulsive contact I think it left me a bit adrift. Certainly having to firm plans and nowhere relatively permanent to live is also part of the unmoored feeling. I suppose that feeling we could still talk and email somewhat at will gave the illusion of something of my former life intact, a sheen of respectability. Without it my transformation to gypsyhood is complete I suppose.

Today I began to feel a little guilty, at least I think that's what the feeling is, that I am happy being unmoored even as it can leave me unsettled. Sometimes I wonder what it says about me that I am not, like many people I know, able to celebrate 15 or 20 years with a person; that the idea of regular job makes me break out in hives. As I write this I am riding the Metro North to Grand Central Station where I will hop on the subway with my over weighted back pack to see Greg and Janet (they are having an open studio tomorrow 3/28 in Brooklyn from 2-5pm, contact me if you want the address!) and hang there for a few days. After that my plans once again drop in the murky river which I hope will carry me to a happier place in my soul, will allow me find who I really need to be, how to take care of myself without losing my center to others, and earn enough money to continue on the path of evolution.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Initial visions of the next stop

Life has become more surreal. I have just arrived in Saugerties. The room is barren in a “in shambles” kind of way. Single mattress and box spring on the floor, a small but neat table, and a horribly beaten up small foam filled couch. How do I know its foam filled? Because the covering on the seat is almost completely devoid of fabric, the top of back has tears displaying white poly fill. The walls are painted soft lovely lavender in distinct contrast to the century old, scratched wide plank pine floors and the sad furniture.

The younger son is home, listening to NPR while making tea or some beverage for himself. Imagine that, a teenager not texting, in front of the computer or television. Hell I was surprised to see there was a television in Matt’s home, I fully expected there not to be one. From downstairs there is a banging as if Eli is repairing something, or building something. Who knows? Marketplace is covering the latest economic news in between banging, odd noises coming out of the boy. From the moment I opened the door the aroma of fried food, like grilled cheese sandwiches made on the stove and the butter burned assaulted my senses. The scent is present even upstairs in my little room. The house is down the road from a river. Out of the window I can see what looks like an old mill that has been turned into condos that are no doubt over priced for the area but I suppose “having a water front view” helped sales. I have barely seen Matt in the last 8 years or so. The boys and I have had almost no interaction with for their entire lives so it should prove interesting to live in a house of testosterone after living with no males for over 20 years.

I have not unloaded much stuff because it feels odd right now. Since I cannot figure out how to get on their wireless (later I discover that there is none), not sure my computer is even finding it, I am drafting this in word until I can figure things out. It could be good to not be online for a bit. I still have my phone if I need contact. I brought in the audio books so I can finish listening if I desire. Staying in Sunny’s basement gave me the opportunity to search some of her book shelves so that in addition to finishing up my rereading of Rubyfruit Jungle and two other books I brought with me, I have three of her books to tide me over.

Staying randomly in people’s homes may prove trickier than I had hoped. Finding one’s rhythm without crossing unknown boundaries is an interesting challenge. Luckily Sunny gave me her leftovers from lunch, yummy rice and beans from the Mexican place down the road from her house, plus the rest of my fried yucca for my dinner tonight. Being physically unrooted is a bizarre state, even at my mother’s home it is hard, though she is giving me large berth, not even using her bathroom once while I was there for two days since it is down in the basement. Her bathroom is her haven, designed and decorated to her specifications down to the color of the towel warmer. Eli told me, “Dad said to make yourself at home.” What does home mean right now? Oh sure I had an answer to one version of that esoteric question. On one hand I know Matt in a historical manner, in a family type way, in a body sense memory way; we have now each other more than half my life. We lived together a thousand years ago as a couple, so yes if I felt like grabbing a book and going downstairs to read on the couch it would be fine. Really. I get the sense that his sons could care less; they have had other roommates sleeping in this room, sharing their space. I am merely another friendly transient. After staying at Sunny’s that sounds wonderful because there is no such common, comfortable gathering space so the idea is compelling. The reality feels tentative. However soon I will venture downstairs, grab a fork, get something to drink and eat my dinner, with a book in hand in the living room. Well assuming I can block out Terri Gross’s interview with one of the actors from “I Love You Man”.

(Since writing this a few hours ago, life has become gentler, easier, and feeling like a good place to rest)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Landing but the ride has only begun *

As I suspected I did not sleep well. Too hot, tossed and turned. Slept two hours woke up cranky but back to sleep quickly only to wake two hours after that. Woke around 7 am and decided to just be awake.

The radio provided memories and feelings again today. At some point I remembered that a song played yesterday that brought a name for the long ago past up from the depths. Mr. Keirmeyer? Something like that. He was my gym and health education teacher back in junior high. He was an unlikely ally in my burgeoning adolescence which was heavily colored by depression. If I remember correctly he reached out to me and to my mother to act as a support. It has been probably decades since I thought of him; he was blond and really tall as I remember.

This morning I heard "Addicted" by Saving Abel, a favorite song of Her Geekyness. It's totally her kind of song but I also like it; the sound of it works. Then I heard a song became a favorite of mine when I heard on So You Think You Can Dance, it was one of my favorite numbers from the last season. Stark played this as the second song of that incredible set at DNE this summer. I adore everything about this piece. As I sang along this morning the tears flowed without thought, just pure sadness, loss. Immediately after this I changed stations and I caught the end of a bizarre song that rarely gets played anywhere, which luckily just made me laugh as if I was just as mad as the lyrics implies.

Somehow near the end of my trip I totally missed a turn off and drove an additional good fifty miles to my already long day. I am going to blame Dawn who in an attempt to get me hooked on audiobooks, succeeded as I listened to Nick Hornby's "A Long Way Down" - it's amazing! Yesteday I had started the other book she gave me, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Unfortunately the second cd had a skip and I had to stop listening to it yesterday. Dawn may have convinced me of the charm of audio books, at least while driving - great stuff. Plus these were two truly excellent choices, from what I've heard so far! Of course almost no food all day and emotional/physical exhaustion may have contributed to the extra drive time as well.

In the end, after eight hours of being on the road I landed at Sunny's. Sunny kindly put me in her amazing massage chair for 15 minutes which was a miraculous experience. Afterwards I announced that while I realized I need to not be in a relationship right now I wanted to marry this chair (not sure this is exact one but she has one very much like it!). We went out to dinner and afterwards I began to get settled in the basement space. I also checked the boxes I had shipped and realized that all of my Cooks Illustrated bound magazine volumes had gotten lost. It is very sad but at least I know exactly which books I am missing. Sigh. This will be an expensive thing to replace. Oh well, another opportunity to practice letting go.

Now I just feel rather surreal and am trying to make friends with this hobo life I have assigned myself for the moment.

*Thanks to Dru for inspiration of the post title.

Friday, March 20, 2009

In which our heroine embraces her gypsy spirit

There has been a lot that I have not been writing about, most prominently I have not been discussing the turmoil between Her Geekyness and me. We had to process, cry, laugh, and agonize a great deal; I felt that privacy was necessary so there was no mention of such things here, on twitter, or facebook, so please know I wasn't keeping anyone out so much as respecting the relationship. In the end we decided to separate. We both have things we need to work on, living together our baggage crashed against each other so that rather than enjoy and revel in our differences they began to bristle, leaving us raw.

Unlike what happens other places I will not be enumerating her faults, recounting she said/she said arguments. What I intend to do is talk about my patterns in relationship, areas where I think I need to do some examining and growth. I will also talk about my less esoteric journeys, starting now!

As many you know I love my neighborhood of South Park, but Dayton itself, and Ohio? Eh. I never felt at home so given the separation I decided to head east but I did not know where specifically. Again in an uncharacteristic move I wrote to my Dance New England community, to my GLBT Knit elist and a handful of friends far and wide asking for cheap housing in either the Boston area, Hudson Valley (New York), or Western Massachusetts.
Given my work plans which mean I need to be in California in June and New Hampshire in August I wasn't looking for anything long term. The responses I received eveloped me in love and validated my choice to actually reach out rather than do something last minute and fume that no one cares (see? baggage). In the end I received offers of couches, guest rooms, crash space in about seven states.

After reviewing everything I decided a number of things, plus other things unfolded that are helping to shape the next few months. Being a jewish buddhist, flavored with neo-paganism I decided that I would leave on the Spring Equinox, today. This decision was made about a month ago. I will be staying in Saugerties New York until about the end of May when my friend is planning on moving to New Paltz. As it turns out I have been invited to a wedding back in Dayton for late May. Her Geekyness also started making plans as well - which include beginning a certification program that will make her even geekier (if that's possible!) and together we figured out a time that coincided with the wedding date and my California plans. This means I will return to Dayton for the wedding and stay through the beginning of June to take care of our babies while she is getting schooled down in Atlanta. I may head directly to California from Ohio. Or not. It's all open right now. Either way I will need to find another place to lay my head after NCDC's camp until DNE's camp. Oh yeah, and beyond that since I have no plans. Hell maybe I will see if Steven is still living in Thailand and go hang with him there in the fall.

My focus will be on being alone on purpose, writing, internal growth. For the next two months I will be able dance at the Frolic, or drive up to Northampton to dance (I can't link to Dance Spree since my system sees a trojan there, bummer), to see friends. I am hoping to spend at least part of Mother's day with Sunny since this is the first year in many that I can. Oh yeah, I need work. Or, um, send money folks if you want me to only dance, write and soul search!

love & rocket people!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

January was for finishing

Yes, yes I know I totally missed posting in February. Happens. Life has been very topsy turvy. In the meantime I have been meaning to post about this stuff.

I wanted to finish projects in January and I did actually finish a few.

One was a holiday gift for Aunt Suzy. This pattern was easy, fast, reversible, unisex - in other words, pretty much perfect! It's Steam Scarf and free on the web! See perfect.

Another project I fi
nished was the matching sweater for Henry. Here is a photo of Owen's, Henry's is identical but just a smaller size. It's amazing what happens when one stops freaking about the idea of twisted cables and pays attention to the flow of the pattern! The second one went SO much faster and not just because it was smaller. Lesson learned - breath, read the pattern in the yarn, flow in the knitting and less in words.

Finally I finished th
e sweater I started in November 2007 for Nation Knit a Sweater in a Month. Yeah well that didn't happen. Another lesson was learned here - the right tools make the craft so much more enjoyable. Never again will I use needles that make me feel like I am experiencing nails on chalkboard on every.frigging.row. Once I finished the second sleeve of doom (seriously I reknit serious sections of both sleeves!), the joining and yoke cruised.

The project that gave me the most joy on many levels was the shawl for Michele. It really deserves it's own entry but it was finished in January as well. I searched high and low for just the right yarn but like Dorothy I found what I sought in my own backyard, er, stash. In the hank it seemed okay but did not make my heart race. Then I wound it and fell in love.

However the issue of the pattern still loomed. The one I did was the third pattern I tried. Leaf Lace Scarf, nope. Nereides, nope. Finally tried this one, but started with a size 9 needle. Changed to size 8 and added a pattern repeat. I think it's a winner. After blocking it measured 13.5 X 70 inches.

So that was my finishing month! I have finished two more projects, another getting closer to done. Those matching sweaters still need blocking though. And one of the newly finished projects still needs to be felted, but hey it's done-ish!

More later my beauties. Promise!