Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bug Motel

My Terminix Pest Control people missed spraying my home last time (I was not in). I therefore, went and bought an ant trap to annihilate the little meandering trail that seems very fond of my sugary -snacks and seems to be consistently on the move.

The ant trap is a quaint looking dome shaped little structure with several openings all around. I am fascinated by it. More than that it smells really good. I wonder what sort of bait is inside... The warning label says to keep away from pets and kids (and hungry blogging Shahnaz in search of chocolate at night!) (you see I CANNOT live without chocolate... my choco hunt often gets me in very compromising situations- but that is another tale entirely, and anyway i digress...). So where was I? Oh yes- ant trap.

You see I am very curious as to what the inside of the thing looks like. I wish I was ant sized and could strut my way in there. I wonder what the ants are thinking and saying as they traipse on inside,

"Darling, it smells divine!"
"Only the best for you my love."
"Oh I have been looking forward to this evening out for ages now"
"You do work very hard- all that lifting and scurrying"
"So do you"
"...Yes, yes well..."
"This way sir"
"Could we have that table at the end?"
"Certainly sir"
"Better view.."
"Our specials today are- ant bait and ant bait"
"We'll take two"

Poor little suckers!

"Dearly beloved we are gathered here today"
Hmmmm, I think that's the wrong ceremony....

"Dear Friends we are here to honor the memory of Pip and Bud.
Pip and Bud were good ants, very anty in their likes. They loved to work hard.
They did enjoy last last meal too- ant bait.... their favorite.
In their memory, let us celebrate their lives, rather than mourn their death.
Together let us partake of their favorite and last meal- ant bait!
Pip and Bud would have liked that.
Raise your cups now.
A toast- To Pip Bud!"

"To Pip and Bud!"



It is quite a nifty looking contraption, that little ant buffet, situated front and center at the infamous Bug Motel.

Bugfully yours

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What followed later at Starbucks...

So after I left Elwin and Stephen I walked back to the Starbucks where I was to meet my friend.
Still somewhat charged by the experience I decided to have a coffee...(I never drink coffee!). So I walk in and after a quick visit to the loo, ask at the counter for an iced cappuccino. What the heck I could use the sugar- I'll take the ginger snaps too. After having paid with my fancy colored money (I kid you not, Swiss francs are FUN! Bright reds and greens and all shiny silver with faces all over and cool). I balance my drink, the ginger snaps, my sunglasses, the purse falling off my shoulder, and my loose change and go and plonk myself on a comfy sofa outside.

When I am all settled I take a sip, UGH! The coffee tastes yucky... ummm... forgot the sugar! So I scoop myself and my belongings up and go to get the darn sugar. I watch out of the corner of my eye as one very studious looking fellow with his nose in a book thick as the DSM-IV, surreptitiously glances at me out of the corner of his. He probably thinks I am a total ninny.

"I don't drink much coffee..." I offer and then muttering to myself that what the heck does he care anyway. I return only to find my comfy sofa taken. The others all face the sun and I am not too keen on sun. So there is only one thing for it, I walk up to Mr. hoity toity booky nose...

"I'm afraid you're going to have to share that sofa with me."

He looks up. I throw him my most winning smile.... he grins and scoots over and I cozy myself up on the second half of the sofa for two next to him. Finally comfortable and content, I take a deep breath and settle down to enjoy my snaps and ccino.

Bored and craving company, I eye my sofa partner... he hardly looks up. Not impressed I venture forth anyway.

"Gorgeous afternoon hunh?"

"Hmmm... yes..." (eyes back to book)

"It's my first time in Geneva- I love it! Do you live here or are you visiting?"

"No I live here..."(eyes back to book)


I look around me again... I notice two young women. They look like students. They look like tourists. They speak English! One gets up to go use the loo. And I pounce!

"So how are you surviving on English here... or do you speak French?"

"Gosh it's been so hard! I don't speak any French... Are you from here?"

"No I'm not. I was telling this nice gentleman that it's my first trip here."

She is across and one seat over from the guy I'm sitting next to, so he is now stranded between a relatively LOUD conversation between us. I chuckle to myself at this state of affairs and continue nonplussed (he looks like he could use some socializing....)

We continue our introductions in this manner of loud speaking for a while, but as we get more familiar and as we have to keep repeating ourselves because we can't hear... she offers me the seat close by in the sun. I explain I am a troll and will melt if touched by the sun. She laughs and the guy next to me offers to switch seats. I wink at him and state that we were too loud and annoying and thus disrupting his studying anyway.... He blushes and shakes his head in the negative, we change seats and the conversation continues.

We venture past the formal and move into more real chatter. Her friend returns, there is another round of introductions. I introduce the guy next to me (and in the process get to know who he is myself!). And the conversation continues. There is a middle aged man sitting and reading the paper by himself and after we have discussed psychology and Freud(they were psych majors too!) and I am regaling them with Elwin the ganja man's tale, The middle aged man folds up his newspaper and shamelessly begins to listen in on our conversation.

Booky nose by now has give up on his book and is actually smiling and offering minimal encouragers "umm hmm.." and all. The newspaper gentleman explains from across the way that the lake is actually a favorite spot to "spot some" if you know what I mean.... Hence the Elwin encounter he explains further. But even he is amused by the singing. I offer him the empty seat next to the girls and he ambles over.

"Why didn't you ask him to sing No Woman No Cry?" (Girl 1)

"Or even Don't Worry Be Happy?"(Girl 2)

"I wasn't thinking! Buffalo Soldier is the first song that popped in my head." (Me)

"He is most well known for that one..." (Swiss newspaper man)

Grin (Booky nose)

And ENTER friend who I was waiting for. He stands a while and looks at the scene before him. Me on the sofa with Booky Nose. Girl 2 next to me on the other side. Girl 1 across from Girl 2. And Newspaper man across from me. All chattering away...

I see him and wave him over and proceed to introduce him to everyone by name and explain who they are and what they do. He sits down and asks me in Urdu- (You ran into your friends in Geneva?) (No no silly, I just met them here- they're cool aren't they?) (You can't be left alone for a minute without getting into the middle of something can you?) (You haven't even heard the half of it...)

We all have a nice chat after. He is regaled with the Elwin incident and there is much debate over whether No Woman No Cry would have been a better choice of song. After a while the debate swings to the best chocolate in Switzerland. The three females, myself included, demand a single pick. The three Geneva residents, the gentlemen, unanimously agree- Martel.

We make our farewells and head on out to dinner. My friend looks at me and rolls his eyes.


"I've been in Geneva six months and I know two people! I leave you alone for half a day and you know half the town..."

I offer a pout. A fake one ;)

He just keeps on walking, shaking his head.


Elwin- The Ganja man

(Pictured front and center is the "Tree" under which the entire episode unfolds!)

Okay folks... my life never does cease to amaze me, especially the people I meet and the way we interact. I mean there are events in my life that seem like they were just pulled out from sitcoms! Edited, scripted and perfectly hilarious. I don't know how I end up in there but these situations are 100% true.

Let me elaborate:

I was in Geneva this summer, and one fine day I was entertaining myself because my friend had some urgent business at work that needed attending to. So I souvenir shopped by the lake, rented a boat for a couple of hours and had a generally relaxing afternoon. After returning the boat, I decided to stroll around the lake.

I followed the generic lakeside boardwalk and enjoyed the sights and smells of a charming day. As I was walking, I was accosted by a charming Swiss native who after introducing himself and inquiring about my general specifics (tourist/student/single/sigh....) offered to walk with me and give me the general specifics of the historical significance of the Jet d'eau- pictured here. He turned out to be quite a good guide actually and gave me detailed answers to all my queries about other significant landmarks that I had seen.

My feet hurt so I sat down, on a bench under the tree and Swiss man and I chatted for a little while longer. Across from us on the low wall sat a dread lock wearing Black man. Quite "cool" looking and listening intently to his Ipod and our conversation. Swiss man asked if I would like to get some coffee and I declined. The conversation drifted off and after a while, as I gazed around he made his polite farewell and walked off. Hmmm... I had just successfully evaded a random "pick-up".

I looked in front of me and caught the black guys rather bemused eye. I couldn't help smiling in return. We both gave each other a knowing nod and chuckled to ourselves and then continued to look around and enjoy the lovely weather and beautiful and serene surroundings.

"So would you like to buy some ganja?"

I was taken unawares. My instant reaction a goofy grin.

"I'm sorry.... What?"
I bought time and also clarification. I did not want a French/Caribbean accent doing tricks with me and getting me in trouble for hearing things that were not uttered. I looked him straight in the eye.

"Do you wanna buy some ganja?"

I was completely intrigued. Also completely gobsmacked! A dozen things ran through my head. He just sat back, glanced around and watched me. I felt very vulnerable. What should I say? Would I sound naive? Would he decide to follow me if thought I was a twit?

"But I'll only sell for 50 francs"

"50 francs!"

My response blurted out before I could restrain myself- yes the "poor" student in me blanched at the price of a fantastic meal in a posh restaurant/or three days groceries! Apparently it was a good response. Crap!

"It's very good stuff... high quality. You can smoke it for a week"

"I'm flying back home in two days. I don't need a week's worth."

Why the hell was I bargaining. I don't even smoke. Why wouldn't I just shut up!!! How to make my exit?

"You are funny, man... Help yourself to a beer. It's right there on the bench..."

"Thanks, but I don't drink beer."

"I don't sell it by the joint.... but I'll roll one for you."

Now I just finished my internship at a drug rehab center. I was fascinated. Of course I had no clue about half the drug lingo but in the name of research, I was very intrigued. But also very much at a loss. I needed to get the hell outta there. But how? I was by myself for the rest of the afternoon and did not want to be trailed around by a ganja man. That is, if ganja men do trail people they want to sell to or kill or mug. Yikes! Overactive imagination....
I got my wits back and decided to roll with it. I looked him square in the eye and held his gaze a moment. Then I said,

"No man, I am not buying today."

Right about then, he looked up and said

"Oh man! Be cool, be cool... The police are coming. They are checking around."

I looked over my shoulder and saw a couple of the Swiss police on walking alongside their bikes among the tourists.

He (guy) looked around very calculatedly.

"I am going to have to trust you now."

I took a deep breath. Holy Shit!! How the dickens do I extricate myself. This was getting worse by the minute.

"Okay, I am going to come and sit by you on the fence and we are going to be cool and keep on talking. Be cool now."

He came and plonked himself next to me and his beer on the bench. I closed my eyes and took a breath and opened them again. I laughed. Most inappropriate, I know but when befuddled that is what I always do. I laugh. At the situations I often find myself in. And also at myself for being at a loss...
He started talking to me. His name was Elwin. He was Caribbean. Another fellow showed by shortly. A friend of Elwin's apparently. He sat across from us where Elwin had been sitting a minute ago. They spoke some French. He also introduced himself. He was Stephen, from Burkina Faso.

"West Africa.."

I stated, at a loss for any conversation now.

"You know Burkina Faso?"

"Yes, near Mali and Sierra Leon... Benin..."

I answered trying not to think of the many ways this could end badly. Stephen was very impressed.

"I was born in Uganda."

I offered by way of explanation. They spoke some more in French and kept looking around. Finally Stephen said.

"They have gone away. So you were born in Africa, eh?"


"Beautiful place.." (Stephen)

"Very beautiful... and great music..." (Me)

"Do you like Bob Marley?" (Elwin)

"I love Bob Marley" (Me)

"What is your favorite song?"

(What is my favorite song? I am freakin' trying to get out of here and he wants to know my favorite song!)
"Buffalo Soldier."

And Lo and Behold! Elwin starts to sing. He has a magnificent voice I might add... and Stephen joins in. I start to smile to myself. There is nothing else to do. It is almost charming and sweet. Let me restate. This part is VERY charming and sweet and so completely weird! I laugh. I don't know what else to do.

Once done, there is some clapping from a few tourists, who have also been lounging around, close enough to hear the singing but not much else, of the rather fascinating exchange between the gentlemen and myself.

I am convinced this is my cue. I get up and offer Elwin my hand.

"Thanks for the song, but I have to meet my friend in a half hour. I best be going. It was nice meeting you."

"You're not going to stay for a while? The coppers just left. I was going to roll a joint for you and we can smoke a little. Free for you..."

"No, I really must be getting along. I wouldn't want them to get worried if I am late. But you have fun."

"You are cool! You like Bob Marley, You're born in Africa.... I like you..... You sure you don't want to stay and have a smoke with a rasta man?" (Elwin)

"Yeah... I'm sure. Take care gentlemen" (Me)(Smiling)

"You take care, African sista!" (Stephen) (winks at me!)

"Viva Africa!" (Me) (Viva Africa???) (Well what else could I say?)
"Au Revoir!" (That's better!)

And I walked off.
To meet my friend at Starbucks....

Monday, July 28, 2008


Wanting and needing...
There is a difference between the two.
There was a time I knew what is was that I truly wanted. And then there is that which one needs.

The odyssey of life...
A constant ache.
Knowing what you want.
Almost getting it.
And then watching as it slips through your fingertips...
While you scream in silent anguish.
At first...
And then,
You salve it over with time.
Layer by layer,
And then,
Slowly as the numbness begins to set in...
You are still.
For awhile...
In limbo.
Not wanting.
Not caring.
Not needing.
You become so good at it,
That you forget
What it is...
You forget.
What you need.
What you want.
What you care about.
If it came back now.
You would not care.
You would not need it.
You would not want it.
The moment is past.
The time is lost.
You are gone.
To a place,
Even you
Have forgotten how to return from.

Existential Dilemmas

def: to collapse inward (violently).
to demolish by causing to collapse inward.

So acute that you cease to be...
You dive inward and are lost...
In the abyss...
Engulfed in the darkness.

You implode...
Slowly collapsing into
Outwardly whole
Inwardly...non existent.

No reflection
In mirror or pool...
A spirit
A soul
A waif

Yet not...
Who are you?
Who am I?
What is truth?
What is real?

Like a fleck
In Brownian motion
Tossed and teased
"We exist,
But to make sport for the gods"

The Red Tie

(Oil and acrylic on canvas- 2008)

I play games sometimes...

I don't know when I started, or why....
I just know that sometimes these days, I play games. Maybe it is because I am guarding myself against hurt, and playing is easier than truthing. It is less involved. It is more casual. It is less invested.

Or maybe it is because I am scared. Scared to be in a real place with someone I do not know so well. Someone I do not as yet trust. Maybe it is because a game automatically sets the rules. And they are easy rules. Maybe it is because I am a good player- I have fine tuned playing to an art.

I play games sometimes.

The Red Tie.

I saw many red ties that night. And then my eye fell on this one. This particular one.

It was as if all conversation around us ceased to be- for me at least (I cannot speak for him). I played my game. He played back. We were equally matched. It was a draw. That is the thing with games... you only play them with people who are not as good as you. The minute you meet your match you are surprised, intrigued, interested. Game playing denotes a certain lack of interest. It is about boredom. It is about trying to entertain yourself. When the players are matched- it takes them both by surprise. They stop a minute and sit up and take notice. They are curious again. There is no curiosity in game playing. You know the beginning, you know the moves, you know the end. With well matched players- where there is a draw- there is no end in sight. You have to stop playing. To play is futile.

That is when reality sets in. That is when truth comes out. That is when the game stops.

I sat for an infinite amount of time. I gazed into eyes that spoke. Mine spoke back. On occasion we spoke some words. For the most part we just sat and gazed. I searched his soul and saw. He looked through mine. The eye contact was what sustained the communication. I felt the layers of disguises fall away, as bit by bit I returned to being who I once used to be. The skins of time and events and hurts and years scaled off, and I sensed the unguarded me emerge. I felt still. Time stopped. I floated out of myself into a place at once remembered, yet altogether new. If it is possible to feel nostalgic in the moment- that is what I felt. I knew that I would forever feel a nostalgia about this time, this place, this person and I felt that nostalgia in that moment. I was electrified and at peace. I was in the past, the present and in the future remembering this past.... all in that time.

At some point in time there were no words left. We simply sat and looked and took away what was needed. To nourish, to energize, to sustain, to inspire. We broke eye contact, and the communication stopped. The world returned. We walked in the park side by side, in silence. We watched the sun rise. We sat a while side by side. I took the tie. It was freely given. We parted ways and said good bye. Nothing more asked, nothing more given....

Except for,
The Red Tie...


I have never been one to pussyfoot around stuff, and yet diplomacy, charm and a degree of decorum (read selfish yet sound reasoning) demands that I... well, pull my punches when delivering. Just the other day, in a private communication, Sista wrote to me- wouldn't it be great if you had an anonymous blog?

It got me thinking of all the stuff that I could divulge in such an instance. I grinned from ear to ear luxuriating in the wealth of stories that tumbled into my head. The shock value of some that would put the tabloids to shame!

Now there is very little about me that those nearest and dearest to me do not know about. I am transparent as a Windex cleaned window to some people in my life. And yet with others my real self is encased in a vault they seldom are even aware of.

But, yes I have to agree... to write anonymously would be uninhibiting. I keep silent not for me. I have long since battled my demons and faced every last bit of my self. I have indulged in self loathing and hatred and have long since forgiven and emerged nonchalant. There is nothing about me now that embarrasses me. I have accepted who and what I am. So why is it that I need the guise of anonymity?

I pondered over this a minute and realized. I do not care to expose the whole of me to just anyone. It takes a very special sort of humankind to completely accept and understand another human. And the only humankind capable of doing that is the humankind that is also as evolved in self acceptance.

You see when people see in us traits that they run from, hate and despise in themselves... they channel all that self loathing toward the object that reminds them of its existence in their own self. They then seek the revenge and destruction upon the objectification of that memory. That is why I choose to drop the veil only in front of self evolved people. Who has the time and energy to do battle with unevolved humanity. Why distress them? Why detract from your own purpose? It is a time-consuming, unrewarding and painful engagement I prefer to avoid.

"You can't handle the truth!" This line uttered by Jack Nicholson in "A few good men" never rang so true before this awareness. But still I am fortunate to have in my life "A few good humans" who know the transparent truth about me. No anonymity required. And "real" relationships are unfettered by diplomacy and decorum. There exists a fundamental understanding of truth and reality, no holds barred and acceptance- unconditional acceptance. For all else there is the suspension of disbelief.

That is the funny thing with relationships. I have all sorts of them with all sorts of people. Casual, purposeful, indulgent, masked, forced, and real- but never fake. I do not do fake. I just choose not to have one. Fake would imply pretence. I do not enjoy pretending to like someone I don't. I'd rather make it clear that I do not care for them and we can be civil and tolerant and respectful of each other's space. But I cannot pretend to be friendly. Life is too short to waste time on people I do not like. I hardly get enough time to spend with those I actually like. The suspension of disbelief in this case is that you pretend to believe you know me well.... and I do not correct you, the effort of correcting you is wasteful. You only know that which I expose to you. What you do with that is your choice but is certainly no fact. I expose a lot, but by no means is that everything.

One can choose not to expose fully, and that is our prerogative. We can have completely fulfilling and satisfying surface level relationships. In fact there are people who have never experienced the "let's get down to the bare bones" kind of relationship and are content simply with living on surface levels their entire existence.

For me. My "real" relationships go beyond the bare boned kind. We know and understand every atom and every instinct of each other. Those are the most earthy and fulfilling of my relationships. Those are my real existence. Anonymity there is a joke. There is no need for it. There is no need for anything. On occasion I will even meet someone with whom I will share an "encounter" only of complete reality. For that brief period, there is only truth- the bare boned, down to the last atom and element truth. Sadly it is becoming harder and harder to find those. But I take refuge in the solid real ones.

A few good humans in my life; I share that with them. And I know that we are a blessed few to have that.

Sista: I think we stumbled on a real encounter. I think that is how we became friends.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The art of my expression series # (i forgot the #....)

(Watercolor on paper)

I painted this one after I got back home from San Francisco last summer....
It is the memory of a beautiful sunset spent by a lake talking with a dear friend of mine. It is the same evening that I had a wonderful conversation...

This one is for IQ- Good memories...

"That's how I would like to remember us..." PHSHAW!!!

Okay folks... I have to warn you. This is my "grouchy week!" as my daughter likes to term my PMS. So while still completely rational, I do tend to throw lady-likeness and genteel mannerisms out the window.... in private of course! But catch me at a time when I am sleep deprived (was up most of last night watching my fave stuff on the tube...and had a ton of fun- lots of guilt today!)in my "I shall suffer no fools I do not absolutely need to suffer today" mood and then add to it a complete WTF??? situation and that is when the PHSHAW!!!! emerges with scathing honesty and a complete intolerance for the absurd ninny pinny in life.

And I mean it.

So here's the deal... I get this e mail that is all coy, flirty and cocky! From an ex. None other than the one who called me self-centered and selfish! I would not have cared much for it had it not been the umpteenth one in a row (and one that I absolutely refused to politely reply and chuckle to).

So I very bluntly decided to make my point in my reply. I stated that I did not appreciate the flirty come ons and insisted that in the interest of a civil friendship those boundaries not be crossed; and decided to leave it at that.

But Oh no! It just could not end there.... it was followed up by an IM: "Ouch! are you OK?" directed to me.

I'm peachy darling! Just sick and tired of being tolerant of this kind of blatant and unwelcome communication!!!

So I was irked (to say the least). I was chatting with some VERY dear friends online in a fine and perfectly happy mood and Lo and Behold! The Im window pops up with the "Ouch...." I took a deep breath and proceeded to deliver my piece. I stated that in the interest of civility and friendship it would be best if certain boundaries that I did not particularly enjoy were not crossed..... and gave the reasons why.

And get this... The said male has the gall to end with, "civil and friendly- sounds boring" "....I'm positive you enjoyed us more before the mistakes....I will continue to make them and so will you, but OK".

...Hmmmm.... "but OK..." he says, I thought I had made that clear when I broke up, and when I did not reply to e mails, and when I was distant, and most importantly TODAY in my reply before the "OUCH"!!!!

This post would not have emerged had the misogynistic, patronizing and egotistical quality of ACK!!!!...."I'm sure you enjoyed us before the mistakes.....I will continue to make them and so will you"!! not been uttered (typed) by him...

Darling, (in my most flinty, and British even toned voice)(almost like Bond...)

-(Newsflash): I NEVER make the same mistake TWICE!! Hence we are over... So sorry to prove you wrong but...NO... I will not continue to make mistakes with you....
(you may continue to get your foot in your mouth if you so please and I shall tolerate (or not) as the tolerance quotient, available after the days consumption, in my system sees fit)

-(Newsflash a deux): I did not "enjoy us" which was one of the major reasons I ended it...remember???
(and don't even get me started on that...)


-(Last(but certainly not least) Newsflash): "Boring" hunh???...
Sugar, I get my "not-so-boring" elsewhere... so you better hop on board and stop trying to sound/write/make "non-boring" with me!

And FIN!

(That is my cattiness that emerges when pushed too far)
(I have claws- I just choose to keep them padded, so don't ever try that chauvinistic you are a female I once dated and therefore I must flirt with you, and you must entertain me because otherwise it would be boring CRAP!!! on me or any other female... ever.... again!

Oh and FYI.... Denny's is a diner. My kitchen is not!!!



Yours Truly.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Buy me a rose...

And get this.... A guy played this one for me. It was his favorite song and I had never heard it... so he played it for me. It was so sweet.

So, "S" this one's for you. I finally found this song on youtube!

Hope you are well...
And hugs from a friend...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Of conversations and aching hearts...."I am a feeling doctor!"

If a heart can break and melt at the same time, mine did both last night. My one true love, my child, was miserably unhappy last night.

We had a little discussion last night and I was explaining to her why I would not do something... and her face crinkled up into an unhappy face. So I asked her to tell me what she was feeling. She stated that she "did not know!"

I recalled my skills class and how people sometimes cannot put words to their feelings and so I started out naming feelings, "angry, unhappy, sad, hurt..."

"HURT!" she said, "I feel hurt, because I think you hate me!"

My heart cracked wide open. I held her hands and looked her in the eyes and said, "I could NEVER hate you. You are a part of me. I love you so much. Just because I don't want to do something does not mean I hate you. I am sorry I made you feel that way. That was not my intention..."

"Will you please hug me." she stated simply.

I hugged her close and she burst into tears and out spilled stuff. She talked about aches and pains that an 8 year old has. She talked about difficulties in communicating with dad. She talked about pain at a broken home. She just talked. And all the while I held her close and rocked her gently and kissed her sweet little face.

When she was done, she looked me in the eye and said, "I love you so much mommy. Thank you for understanding."

My heart melted and I thought to myself, this little person, this tiny being is a mountain of courage. "I am a feeling doctor", I said simply. "It's what I do. And you make it easy... thank you for talking to me. It is the best thing you can do, to tell people how you feel and not be afraid to ask for what you want. I am proud of you..... Do you feel better?"

"Yes Mommy."

We had a chuckle after that and cuddled some more and she went upstairs to get ready for bed, taking her aching heart with her- while I scraped the pieces of my heart off the floor and tried to gather my thoughts."

I went up later to tuck her in. "Get into bed pumpkin, I'll just brush my teeth and be there in a minute", I said and headed to the bathroom.

"Mom, just to let you know, I talked with my dad..." she said, choking on a sob...

I rushed into her room, "And what happened?"

"He did not understand me..." She said and burst into tears. "He did not understand what I wanted to say..."

Her heart was hurting and mine just stopped beating. I held her close and debated with myself. Is this a counselor moment or is this a mommy moment? I don't know how but the right combination of both emerged and the right words came out. I comforted her and talked about how much her dad loved her and that even though he did not understand, she had expressed herself.

I felt a twinge of guilt- had my encouraging and praise of her open communication egged her on and resulted in this hurt?

"You know, even if he doesn't understand it, at least he'll think about it. And you can talk more about it later..." I comforted. She sobbed in my arms. Her tummy hurt from the stress and she was anxious to have the issue resolved. I took a deep breath and asked her if she wanted to talk with him again. She wanted to do it in person. She wanted to go over to his house and spend the night there and talk with him. I offered to call. I did and after giving a brief background handed her the phone. She asked me to leave the room so she could talk. I complied, and stood shaking in my room as she sobbed into the phone in her room.

There are few things harder than seeing your kids hurting. I kept repeating to myself that she needed to be able to talk to him on her own and prayed little prayers of courage for her. She hung up and I rushed in and hugged her close. We talked some more and I was awed by her eloquence in articulating her feelings. I felt shameless and fierce loving pride.

Then she got up and picked up a portrait of her father and I from her shelf. It was in a folding, studio cardboard frame. I turned it over and my heart turned to ice. Scribbled on the back were the words, "I miss my mom and dad together" and a heart with a jagged crack running down the middle.... and on the other flap, "It was better before".... in her childish handwriting.

I took a deep breath to still my pounding heart, and looked into her beautiful dark eyes. So many hurts, I thought, so many aches....

"Life is a tough thing isn't it sometimes?" I stated simply and honestly.

"Yes it is..." she responded equally simply and honestly.

Her dad stopped by to pick her up. Exactly thirty-five minutes later I called his place to talk with her. "Mommy I told him and he understood. I told him everything...!!"

"Do you feel better?" I asked. "I am so proud of you for being able to do this".

"I feel much better."

The rest on my night is a bit of a blur... A friend called, I let the voicemail get it. She wanted to invite me over to a luncheon.... I did not have the energy. I'll call her later....


My kid came home today....
I hugged her. "So... how did it go?"

"Mommy, I talked with him and explained it all and he talked with me about it."

"And how do you feel?"

"I feel strong!"

I laughed and hugged her close. The ice around my frozen heart melted right off.

I thought, "I am a feeling doctor..." "And it is a tough business..."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Love me tender...

On the drive back from from Paris to Geneva, my travel companion and I stopped for a late dinner at a roadside diner. I was blissfully content and satiated, in part because of the glorious music of my favorite band U-2 that I had been lapping up for some 90 minutes and more, and partly because of the beautiful scenery that whizzed past.

I stepped into the diner and made a quick stop to the bathroom. As I was touching up on my makeup this song came on. I walked out to see an old Frenchman mopping the floor and he swayed to the music with his mop. He looked up and smiled a crinkly smile and then proceeded to take my hand and waltz a few steps on his arthritic legs... until the song ended to a loud applause by the servers and diners in that nifty little joint.

I didn't even catch his name. He kissed my hand and went back to his mopping and I ordered my baked poulet and roasted potatoes and proceeded to dine with my travel companion...

One of the many nostalgically touching moments in my travels....

Holier than thouness...

I have been gone a while... and with just cause. The problem with having an open and non-anonymous blog is that every now and then propriety demands that one refrain from blatantly voicing critique of fellow humans lest they read it and cause trouble for you....

Never one to heed that voice, I did resist for a while but now my frustration and not being allowed to vent has taken over.

I visited a concentration camp while I was in Europe this summer. One of my fellow companions, post visit, verbally attacked me for photographing the premises claiming that I was being "insensitive" to her. I was floored. I responded with something like its a free world.... but the point was, how could my action of photographing be insulting to another. Not only that, apparently her irritation with my actions- very impersonal on my part, entitled her to make some very personal attacks on me!! (And I wasn't the only one photographing the venue in our group!)

I don't understand people some days...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kitta pyar bay kadran naal tay kakhan wang rul gayan...

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Browsing my sista's blog today I stumbled upon this one. After I had sobbed over it for a while and commented on it, there were still words left to say...

...kitian kubul assa jidiya ghulamian
dil laikay day gayan sanu badnamian...

After staying up all night 'till 5 am and smelling familiar smells and sitting in remembered surroundings, talking familiar talks...from distant selves... on the drive home I couldn't help but feel familiar hurts...

...kitta pyaar bay kadran naal
tay kakhan wang rul gayan...

There is a giant rawness that will forever remain... a gaping achyness that refuses to leave... No mistakes made and still it falls to my lot that...

...chad kay zamana jinu aapna banaya si
saaday naal hans hans pyaar jinay paya si...

The distance and the indifferance is what hurts the most, simply because the memory of the closeness is such a torment...

...aaj puchda nai saada hal...
tay kakhan wangu rul gayan...

To have given it all and then lost it all for no good reason...

...unnay sadday pyaar diyan kadar na jaanian...
dil laykay day gaya athuru nishaniyan...

And though years have passed yet I can still cry at the memory is simply fucked up...

...huyyan ro ro ankhian laal...
tay kakhan wangun rul gayan...

...kitta pyaar bay kaddran naal...
tay kakhan wangun rul gayan...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Coming Home...

It feels good to be back home after having been gone for so long. While I love to travel, I feel I may have become a little too used to the comforts of home and hearth... and it felt good to snuggle into my own bed after an eventful three and a half weeks!

The icing on the cake was waking up to the delivery of a beautiful vase of white orchids to welcome me back home! There is something so elegant about orchids. They make a woman feel special... they say you are cherished... they say you are classy... they say you were missed... they say welcome home!

So pish posh to the pile of (clean) laundry on the guest bed! And YAY! To the friends who know me well... who care for me... who heal the hurts... who make bright each day...

I am blessed to have you!
I am blessed to be home!
With heartfelt thanks...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to fight Loneliness....

This one is for a friend who has been battling his demons and been my highest bidder today!

How to fight loneliness
Smile all the time
Shine your teeth till meaningless
And sharpen them with lies

And whatever is going down
Will follow you around
That's how you fight loneliness

You laugh at every joke
Drag your blanket blindly
Fill your heart with smoke

And the first thing that you want
Will be the last thing you'll ever need
That's how you fight it

Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time
Just smile all the time