Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Dissaprove-Mail Fraud?

Ok, so this is messed up. I got a handwritten letter in the mail addressed to myself and my husband by name. I didn't recognize the name or return address, but it came from someone with a Reno address.

Inside was an earnest note on loose leaf binder paper encouraging me to consider this person's offer to come to my home, for free, to study the bible with me. Hmmm.

Regular readers of this space will understand that this is not considered a valid reason to invade my privacy. Bible-thumping Apocalypse Cheerleaders give me the willies worse than just about anything else. All I could think was: how did these people get my name and address? Is this the beginning of a disturbing trend? And generally What the Fuck?????!!?!?!?!?

Is this considered mail fraud somehow? I have never filled out any kind of card inviting people to preach to me via mail. How did my name come up? We have an unlisted phone number, so it is unlikely we are in the phone book. Bizarre. I don't approve.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Year End Review-2008

In the spirit of year-end recaps that everyone else does this time of year, I figured I would recap the insights I had this year. 2008 generally kicked my ass, but it was also a year filled with blessings. I am looking forward to what 2009 brings.

Links are to what I think are my best posts for each month:

January: Our culture needs a god for transitions and big changes, as the Romans had Janus.

Feburary: Counting one's blessings may help redefine my definition of Success.

March: The world is a poorer place without Art.

April: Sometimes we need to make room in our lives for the Mystical.

May: I remind myself that I am trying ti be a better person and a good mother to Little A.

June: I am constantly in awe of the beauty of Nature.

July: Sometimes the exact words for how I am feeling have already been spoken.

August: Some things bear Repeating.

September: You cant get what you want unless you know what it is. Manifest it.

October: There is a lot to be learned from Animals.

November: Remember, but Absolve.

December: Whether the state recognizes it or not, I am a mom.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Well Played, Palo Alto

Image Credit: pork buns at the Three Seasons restaurant, Palo Alto

It is really strange that I have not been to Palo Alto for years, and this year I have gone to visit people there twice. I went to Gunn High School for Freshman and part of Sophomore year before moving back to Ohio. Then when I came back in 1987 I hung out with Audrey up there and dated a guy named Paul. Paul and his friends went to Paly (Palo Alto High School) a few years ahead of me. Many of my most beloved friends to this day were from that social group. Paul and I broke up after not very long, but I kept the friends, like any smart person would.

If I were a superhero, making fulfilling and lasting friendships would be my superpower. That might not seem as impressive as being bulletproof or stronger than a locomotive, but I would argue that it is a power that is useful more often. And being around my friends does make me feel pretty invincible.

Palo Alto isn't quite as I remember in some ways. It is certainly more populated with money than I remember. But then again, I was just some punk kid roaming around its streets with my punk boyfriend the last time I spent any appreciable time there. Seeing it as an adult is a little bit different. People that still live there tell me it just isn't the same. It certainly is well-manicured.

Seeing my friends is always a major treat, and I braved driving snow in the Sierras both ways to make this recent trip. I had to chain up my car and everything, which is a bit of a pain in the ass. It was totally worth it to gather together and laugh and have cocktails. I was on a lychee kick and had a couple of lychee martinis. That put the Christmas cheer in my cheeks for sure.

Of course, going to a dinner party in Palo Alto meant running into Paul, and as Fate would have it I ended up sitting across the table from him and his wife and son. It was a little awkward, but tacitly amusing. I don't think either one of us was expressley comfortable with the seating arrangements, but we got on amiably enough.

I stayed with my friend Ben while I was down there, which was much more genial than staying at a hotel, especially because he didn't mind me tinkering around in his kitchen. That is probably because he is a bachelor and relishes having a home-cooked meal or two. We had a good time, especially considering we are both sensitive people who tire of the crowd scene at roughly the same rate. When not partying, I had time to sleep in and read a book and generally relax.

I made some memories that are going to carry me through the next semester, I hope. The only thing I dislike about being in school full time is the fact that I have to turn down social invitations. School doesn't start again until January 26th, so I should be able to have some small measure of fun prior to that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Poetry-Sol Invictus

Light returning, eternal, many-faced,
Many-named orb, turning and warming.
Chase chill from weary bones;
Rise up from virgin loins and rule.

Wise men come, and fools alike
Pay pilgrimage to your pauper's cradle
Embalm you, anoint you, enrich you,
Raise you up with Benedictions.

Praise you with no understanding of you
In hymns and fevered whispered prayers.
In you we invest Peace On Earth
And Goodwill Toward Men.

We are made from stardust, all.
Hydrogen lifts us to stardust again.
Souls scattered, we intermingle
Gods and men of common clay.

Violent in delicate equipoise
Exploding and collapsing, turning lead to gold,
And energy to matter, matter to energy.
Ensoul the quickening Holy Womb.

Inside the nucleus of resting ova
Supernova in potentialis
Each child a God in its own way
Down to mitochondrial DNA.

Sol Invictus, spiraling in
Find this spiritual Lazarus a home.
Resurrect in blastocyst form
Inspire Icarus in reckless flight.

(c) Stacie Ferrante

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Back to Work

During the winter break from school I am obliged to work back at my old desk job. It is a small price to pay for my generous scholarship, but going back to the cube farm after four and a half months of semi-autonomy was pretty jarring.

The truth is that when I am in school, there is a sort of built in feedback system. I mean sure, there are tests and homework, but there are GRADES. Sometimes good, sometimes not so much, but at least someone is paying attention to how I am doing and giving me feedback to improve.

Going back to work, where I am reminded by my boss what a cog in the great machine I am was a real letdown yesterday. She didn't ask me how my semester was or even really welcome me back, but immediately went into the old song and dance about how our department was shortstaffed and outgunned. Nothing has changed here. I am doing a bit better today because I am back in the groove more, but yesterday dragged on and on.

I sound like a big baby here, but after getting such nice compliments from my professors and academic advisors, I felt like a snowflake: a unique and beautiful thing that is learning new things with grace. Yesterday I melted into a little puddle with the rest of the drips. It was a yucky feeling.

All this coming on the heels of my spectacular birthday cocktail party and dinner is a bit hard to swallow. I know it is just my bruised ego. But I am reinventing myself, or at least doing some major career refurbishing, so this feels like a step back, although admittedly a temporary one.

Yeah, at least I have a job to complain about. I need to be more grateful, and I really am. I will be even more grateful when school starts again. For about a minute. Then the stress of that will be a culture shock to me again.

I like school, though. I miss it already. And I will be glad to see my new friends there again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nursing School-First Semester Recap

I survived my first semester of Nursing School! Yay me!

I have a HUGE binder full of notes already! WOW!

What did I learn the last 4 months? Here's a tongue in cheek recap:
  • If you go to the hospital and you have to have a Foley Catheter put in, don't be surprised if the Student Nurse assigned to your care is all excited to "try this on a live person"!
  • In the world of Nursing School, getting a 90% is a B. Why? That is so mean.
  • If you are in the hospital and have to choose between having a Foley Catheter inserted in your urethra or a Nasogastric tube up your nose, pick the catheter, hands-down. Don't ask why. Just trust me.
  • There are things that make young people sick that cause dementia symptoms in older adults. Why would a urinary tract infection cause dementia? Who the hell knows, but if your elder becomes suddenly confused, that might be one cause.
  • To be able to do the things that nurses do that involve bodily fluids and may be unpleasant aspects of the job, nurses have seriously twisted senses of humor. More proof that I have picked the right profession.
  • I am already making what I hope will be lifelong friendships. There is no joke there. I just really have a lot of affection for almost all of the people I go to school with. Getting through a tough program like this is as bonding as sharing a foxhole. Only with more pee.
Thanks to all my supportive friends and family for putting up with me in full stress-mode the last few weeks.

School starts again on January 26th.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Disapprove-Office Holiday Party Edition

Oh man! There isn't enough free Bordeaux in the world to make me happy about being at a party with card-trick magicians, clowns, stilt-walkers, and MIMES!!!!

Ok, so Tony's company holiday party wasn't that bad, even though it did in fact contain all of the above objectionable performers. As corporate parties go, it was pretty cool, in fact, even if I did go a bit overboard on the quiche. Tony works with some pretty nice people, and I had a highly entertaining conversation with Juan's feisty Dominican wife. She's from New York and is just abrasive enough to be totally adorable and interesting to me.

But I found myself actually changing course when walking across the room a few times so I wouldn't have a run-in with the mime and the stilt-walking guy. I actually almost broke into a horror movie "running in high heels" moment to avoid that stilt guy. He creeped me out for some reason, and after my third cocktail, usually I am pretty friendly with everyone.

I am not a big fan of card and rope trick magicians, and this party had a number of them roaming about to entertain us. I am in agreement with my friend Ted, who believes that magic tricks are just fancy lies with silk handkerchiefs up the sleeves. I am such an honest person that I don't appreciate lies of any kind, least of all for my amusement.

I know, I know. What is the harm in an innocent little card trick? No, man. Fuck that. You gotta draw the line somewhere. Otherwise, the terrorists win. And by terrorists, I mean mimes.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dream-Here, You Take This!

I had another variation on the "sudden baby" dream last night. I sorta dislike that dream because it is mostly an indicator of stress, kind of a parenting "in the weeds" dream.

I dreamed that a car pulled up in front of my house and an African American woman got out and was shouting for me to come out. She was well dressed but disheveled. When I went outside, she opened the door to the backseat of the car and pulled out a very tiny baby girl. She thrust it at me and said. "Here, you take this. I can't handle it right now." While I stood stunned cradling the little one in my arms, she got back in the car and sped off. I didn't even know the baby's name.

The baby had medium-mocha skin that was very dry, and frowzy, unkempt hair. She had only the clothing and diaper she was wearing. She felt a little cold to me, but she wasn't crying.

I was, to say the least, unprepared. We had no formula, no diapers, no clothes for one that small. The crib was disassembled in the garage as it is now. I think we were also broke, so just throwing money at the problem wasn't going to work.

I got out my purple sari from Bali that Kari gave me years ago and made a sort of makeshift sling to carry the baby against my body. She rooted around at my breast because she was hungry, and I felt a pang of sadness that I had no milk for her.

The last thing in the dream was me trying to turn our car seat to be rear-facing. Anyone who has ever installed a car seat knows what a pain they can be to get right. It was really frustrating, and I was still trying to figure out how to feed and clothe this baby.

I woke up feeling all groggy and out of it. I also reminded myself that if Little A gets reunited with her bio family, there are literally hundreds of children in Washoe County alone that could use my mothering care. I don't know if I have the wherewithal to deal with "the system" that much, but Little A is certainly not my last chance to be a mother if she should have to leave. The court system is just so, how shall I say, messed up. And this process has so wounded Tony and I that I just don't know if we could go on. It is too heartbreaking.

I hate having that dream where I have a new baby that I am unprepared for thrust upon me. I have had that dream more times than I can count. When I wake up, I always wonder who that baby is. I also wonder why I would long to be a mother all my life, only to have achieving that so damn hard.

But I found a kernel of strength last night after having a protracted cry. I AM Little A's mother. Just ask her. No matter what happens, she will always be my daughter. She has changed me for life, altered me down to the bones.

I know this is far from over and far from resolved. We have a long way to go. When she moved in with us, it was projected that we would finalize an adoption of her this month. Now, everything is hanging on a trial that is set for April, and the outcome is far from certain.

Little A's birthstone is Aquamarine. I am going to buy myself an aquamarine ring and wear it on my middle finger. I may not have any rights, but I am a mom. It's my thing.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Public Service Announcement-War Movies

Photo credit: From the movie "Flags of Our Fathers"

It is official. I never need to see another war movie. At first I was going to say that I am fed up to the gills with movies that touch on the Vietnam War. But when I thought about it some more, I think all war. Yup. I'm cooked on war movies in general.

It isn't that the violence bothers me per se, but I think it is fair to say that I never want to see "Saving Private Ryan" ever again. That movie upset me. I just think that there are so many films that do it poorly. And I just crave more original stories than those that seem to come out of that genre.

I don't have a specific thing that set me off about this, and I guess I am not really that mad, but I just threw up my hands when I saw that the movie "Across the Universe" veered in that direction. I just didn't get that movie. The music was cool (who doesn't love the Beatles?), but I was just annoyed with the story that they wound around it.


So, that's it. I'm over the whole Vietnam Era. Yup.

That is all.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008



At the Red Gate I descended
I descended through the Red Gate.
My ear opened to the great below
I abandoned my temples in the upper world.

At the Red Gate I relinquished my crown.
To pass the door this was required.
Taken from me my crown of horns,
Symbol of my holy reign.

In queenship my holy womb did ache.
Expelled the planted seeds upon the earth
And fallow did the furrows lie
Whilst in the Red Gate I remained.


At the Orange Gate I descended
I descended through the Orange Gate.
Further in and spiraling down
With naked head I touched the door.

At the Orange gate I gave small lapis beads.
From my queenly neck they took them.
To pass the door to the great below
No adornment for my holy neck.

In sorrow did the faithful starve
As the storehouse started to empty.
No bread in the roaring ovens.
No bread for my priestesses' table.


At the Yellow Gate I descended
I descended through the Yellow Gate.
In golden glow I proceeded
With naked neck I pressed it open.

At the Yellow Gate my double strand
From my breast the beads I gave.
Relinquished without reason save this:
"The ways of the underworld are perfect."

In my descent the farmers lament,
Tear at their hair in fear and grief.
Though they long for my embrace
They must wait for my return.


At the Green Gate I descended
I descended through the Green Gate.
My double strand beads left behind
I moved toward the heart of the dead.

My breastplate called "come, man, come"
Was removed and pulled from my grasp
But the ways of the underworld are perfect
They may not be questioned.

In lust, men lay with their wives
But they would long in vain for sons,
And daughters denied, their hearts wept
For Inanna to return.


At the Blue Gate I descended
I descended through the Blue Gate.
Breasts exposed, with heavy heart
I could hear the endless voices.

The gold ring at my holy wrist
Was cast away from me.
With my ear cast to the great below
I heard the lamentations of the dead.

This far in, the living world
Cried out unheard as I focused below.
With each gate I passed under
Their hold on me grew fainter.

Indigo & Violet

At the Indigo Gate I descended
I descended through the Indigo Gate.
With naked hands, empty fingers
I felt the first taste of fear.

My final raiment as I entered in,
My royal robe was removed.
I was judged as a mortal woman
The eye of death fastened to my skin.

She who goes to the Dark City Stays there.
But compassion for my tormentor spared me.
From my wrathful sister I was delivered
And given the food and water of life.


I returned to the Upper World
At my temples my priestesses dressed like beggars
In single soiled garments, they wailed
They threw themselves at my feet.

But Dumuzi, who danced upon my knee
Did not move from his jeweled throne.
In grief I cast him to the Great Below
Where they gashed him with axes of stone.

His cries for Justice were heard.
His tears allowed his escape.
Demons who accept neither food nor drink
Could not hold his snakelike limbs.


Through many Gates I descended
I descended through many Gates.
And I returned to timbrels and dances,
Though I lost my cherished love.

I regained my royal robe,
My beads of lapis lazuli,
My golden ring, my horned crown,
My breastplate called "come, man, come"

Now half the year my heart laments
Though gifts aplenty I give to man.
Lost innocence for the wisdom gained.
Lost kisses for what I now understand.

(c) Stacie Ferrante

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poetry-Goddess of Love and War

I drive the tempest before me
Chaos swirls in my wake
But in the eye of the wailing winds
I tremble sometimes and long for calm.

Always so happy making trouble
And loving fiercely, each in turn
Laying my hands on those who linger
But guarding my heart with poison words.

With a knowing smile and curving hips
I'll draw you close to examine you
Testing with my tongue as soft as a moth
For chinks in your armor that could undo you.

No one stays my equal for long
As I drive myself like a weary sled dog.
No one can get me to rest and dream
So they wave goodbye to my sorrow shaken back.

I will pause for gentle love;
Strong as earth and fierce as fire.
Sweep me into arms brave enough to hold me
Unbuckle my chariot and let the lions free.

I'll always need a heroic friend,
A place for my gaze other than the horizon.
I'll entreat you in the morning to remain
To soothe me into soft repose once more.

Withstand me as I wash over you
Give me an unbreachable fortress
And I'll lean my back against yours
And make my stand against the world.

Someday they'll tire of their trebuchets,
Leave the misty mountain to its mysteries
And you and I shall toast and boast,
And decide for ourselves what to conquer next.

(c) Stacie Ferrante

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just Because I am Obnoxious Doesn't Mean You Have To Be A BITCH About It!

If I have one major personality flaw, it is that I talk WAY too loud when nervous or excited. All those years of doing choir and theatre have given me the dubious gift of theatrical projection, perhaps in situations where being more quiet is warranted.

The funny thing is that I am sort of sensitive about it. I get upset when people give me shit about it. Maybe because they really mean it and are not playfully teasing. I don't know. But if you want to see me get pissed off in record time, give me shit about how much or how loudly I talk.

So, Colin and I went to the movies yesterday to see "Twilight" (the book is better, isn't it always?). Before the previews, we were chatting animatedly, like we generally do. Colin and I have the gift of gab together and have great, funny conversations about everything under the sun. The topic had veered onto a discussion about a friend who is very sick with a mysterious illness, and actually was a little serious.

But I guess I was talking too loud, and this woman sitting behind us kinda exploded at me. It went a little like this:

Me: So, they don't know what is wrong and they have done tests on about everything...

Colin: I hate to say this, but have they tested this person for Syphilis?

Me: Oh, I don't know if I could ask them that...

Crazy Bitch

Me: : Excuse me...

CB: You talk way to loud (hateful tone of voice and facial expression)

Don't worry, I'll be quiet as a mouse during the movie.

CB: You'd better!

(sarcastic, acid tone) Well, thank you so much for letting me know your concerns.

CB: (even more sarcastic and dripping with malice) You're welcome.

At this point, I notice the woman's young teenage daughter, with a face full of righteous fervor. I was just winding up to take this nutcase to school, but I saw that it was just going to get me kicked out of the theater, and it just wasn't worth it.

So I did some seething through the whole movie. I had let it go in terms of not having a major public altercation, but I was still pissed.

Why did she have to resort to totally hateful approach right off the bat? If she had approached me politely, I would have apologized sincerely and quieted down. I know I talk loud. I would have been embarrassed but not angry. I could have saved a little face, at least.

But no, she had to go nuclear as a first course. Honestly, I think that makes her the rude one. That made me defensive and bitchy. I have no patience for that. I was still mad when the movie was over and was prepared to confront her in the lobby, but they skedaddled as soon as the credits started rolling.

They are probably high-fiving at brunch today about how they bitch-slapped me. But don't piss me off, or I will probably write about it. Jerks.

I'm a sweet person, really. But I have a temper.

It is her loss. She's the one with the ugly wrinkles from frowning and the daughter who will turn out to be a judgmental bitch. I wonder how that is going to work out for her when the time comes to pick out her nursing home?

Or maybe her daughter will get syphilis. Seems her mother wants her shielded from hearing about it. I don't think purity rings guard against that, though.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Love/Hate Relationship With Authority

Here is a sketch (sorry for the poor quality scan) of one of my high school English teachers, Mr. Ballor. As far as I know he is still teaching at Alliance High School, to the delight and consternation of his students. When I was in his class I made his life a living hell.

I really liked Mr. Ballor, but I also hated him. I had major problems with authority at the time. It could be argued that I still do. I made it a priority to annoy him, even though he was one of the coolest teachers I ever had. He ran with the bulls in Pamplona, rocked the major mustache, and was generally full of wild stories.

I think I wanted to impress him with my writing ability, but it was not to be. I took journalism from him (as well as English and Humanities) and he delivered the news to me that he didn't think I had a knack for it. He told me, in fact, that I would never make it as a journalist because I was too much of a poet. I stormed out of his class and dropped it that very afternoon. I was so hurt, and it sorta stuck with me.

I think that when I was working as a freelance writer and food stylist I actually called the school and left him a sort of "neiner neiner" message that I was, in fact, doing just fine as a journalist, thank you very much. Big deal. I never heard back.

I sometimes wonder what he would make of my writing now. I wonder what I would make of his opinion. I wonder if I would still think he was cool, considering he is still in Alliance, and I have been traveling all over.

He's just one of the many ghosts from Alliance that I will probably never see again, since I don't venture back there. Just a random thing that crosses my mind when people tell me that what I want is impossible.

I think to myself that if a "mere poet" can work at a newspaper against the stated odds, then why can't I do whatever it is that I am being told I cannot possibly do? Neiner, neiner, authority. I point my middle finger in your general direction. I would love it if I had your approval, but if I can't have it on my own terms, then I will just have to approve of myself, and the rest of you lot can get bent.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hawk Sighting

I have been having some very close encounters with wild animals lately. I still am in awe of the owl sighting I had some weeks back. The other day I had a hawk swoop out of a tree I was passing under, trailing fluffy clouds of quail feathers in its wake. (I interrupted his breakfast, I guess.) But he went by SO CLOSE to me. It really caught my attention. It isn't that unusual to have a hawk sighting here, but not usually so close.

Since I put up the owl medicine link last time...

Here's some Native American lore about the hawk: (from: http://media.www.thecampanil.com/media/storage/paper936/news/2007/04/30/Opinions/Joanna.Iwata.Speaks.On.Hawk.Medicine-2888738.shtml )

"Hawk medicine. The power of perspective. The messengers of spirit. It has been said within most native cultures that "hawks have the power to soar high above the earth, giving them a perspective previously only available to the inhabitants of the heavens above." As they bring wisdom from the heavens and the value of their higher vision down to earth, they remind us that there is a bigger picture to be seen. Hawks are most often viewed as visionaries, as they use their keen insights to focus on what needs our attention in order to accomplish our goals.
They see clearly what is not visible unless sought. Hawks also teach us how to interpret and then follow our personal vision. Hawks also remind us to consider a larger perspective, one that inspires us to move through the world we inhabit with "strength, certainty, and grace." In Avalon's interpretation of hawk medicine, she also speaks to the hawk's ability to look directly into the sun and see what is not visible to the rest of us.
She goes on to speak to the spirit of the hawk that resides within each of us in our capacity to operate from a more expanded frame of mind, wherein we can access and follow our own personal truth and vision."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thankful For My Hands

I love my hands. They do so many amazing things. I use them to write and to caress, to comfort and to cook, to heal and to to gesture while talking.

I am thankful for my hands. I intend to take care of them as I learn to do so many new things with them.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Bed down in flames, arise in ashes.
How do you sleep with fevered dreams?
Can you lie with me on a bed of embers
And build your world with lava flow?

I ask nothing less of myself.
When I raise you up, rise with it.
I don't know how to cry to you
To be strong, to come along.

I need you to rear up and roar;
Howl at the moon with me.
In feral snarls tear loose the bonds
That hold you to your mundane life.

Be with me, fierce and free.
Be willing to eat and breathe in fire.
Rise up, beat the air with your wings.
Finally taste the sweet, pure air above.

(c) Stacie Ferrante

Public Service Announcement

I am turning 40 in a few weeks. New decade deserves new manifesto, I figure.

So here it is:

1. I am not interested in doing things in a conventional way.
2. I intend to live my life as a tableau for making art. Even if it is a little abstract.
3. What is important to me is making art and helping motivate others to make art. Especially if making that art will heal them in some way.
4. I don't expect the choices I make to be popular with everyone. I don't want to hurt people, but I am finished with making myself smaller for other people's comfort.
5. As always, my friends and family matter to me, and finding deeper and more fulfilling ways to spend time with each of them will be a priority.
6. Finding new ways to combine left/right brain activities for myself and others will be my hallmark.
7. Expect to hear me roar and howl. I'll still be the nice girl you know, but I have no time for allowing my fears to drive. I intend to be behind the wheel.
8. I am not interested in being told what is impossible. I am manifesting, and am prepared to be amazed at how things come to me.
9. That cosmic egg thing is working out for me. I am becoming.
10. I am emerging. So be it. Amen, hallelujah.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Left, Right, Left, OWWW!

I have been walking 24-28 miles per week. My baby toe on my right foot has had a few blisters, and it is thrashed right now. I might need to switch up my exercise for a few days to let it heal. OOOOOOOWWWWWWWWIIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!

Bummer. Let's just say that I am not the type to ever have had much in the way of sports-related injury. I am built for comfort, not for speed.

But I am trying to be healthy. Even if it hurts???

Monday, November 10, 2008


They call you LORD.
The way I see it is
You mock me mercilessly
Like a second-balcony heckler.

Too far away to understand
The garbled epithets you hurl
But close enough to hear
The audience's laughter.

So many people try to tell me
How great you are, how loving
But why create me impermeable
And so prone to blasphemy?

I try to be a good girl
And in all ways be worth your boon,
But in my way I'm born to sin
And in my descent gather following.

They call you God Almighty
And mighty your judgment falls.
But good or ill, I'm on my own
In discerning what fickle fate holds.

It would feel good to trust you
To just let go and let you.
But I have had a hard daughter's day
And don't need another father.

Why not "God the Lover"?
At least that I understand
For divine fingers hooking my heart
Might make me a believer.

And in the cushioned nightfall
When you've got me godly gravid,
Heavy-seeded, I could forgive
And call you my immortal beloved.

(c) Stacie Ferrante

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Me and My Shadow

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mandava_harsha/1941654651/

Just an excerpt from a manuscript that will never see the light of day in its current form.

He gives me an exasperated look. “You act as if I never had any piece of your heart. Like I wasn’t there first. You never change in one respect. You try so hard to control things that are not in your sphere of influence. You would unmake God if he let you.”

“Humph.” I scoff.

“Don’t get me wrong. I love you for it. You don’t think anything is outside your grasp.”

“Are you kidding? Everything is outside my grasp. I don’t understand anything. I’m afraid of my own shadow.”

“Ah, that is where you are one hundred percent correct.” He smiles. “Your shadow is the problem. Just not like you think.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your shadow is a part of you. You can’t get away from it, even if you run for the rest of your life. And the bigger you are, the longer your shadow becomes.”

“I don’t want it. I hate that part of myself. I wish I could kill it or make it go away.”

“We are beings of light and shadow. We tend to repress that which we find unacceptable, even repulsive and weak about ourselves. Make no mistake; you cannot kill a part of yourself. You cannot hate your faults and still be well. I struggle with this myself, so please believe I know what I am talking about. Your shadow is as much a part of your soul as the light being is. Forget what the new-agers say about dark being negative or “bad”. I have come to believe that is crap. Those aspects of self are only in the dark because you put them there so you wouldn’t have to look at them.”

“I can’t look at the past. It is so screwed up.” I start to tremble.

“You have your work cut out for you. I’m going through the same thing, so you have my empathy. It is hard to love those aspects of ourselves.”

“I have never thought about you having to work on yourself. I always thought you were perfect.”

He shakes his head. “For me, trying to embrace and give love to my inner cynic is very hard. I don’t have very much faith in mankind.”

I agree. “I have had to learn to give love to my inner ugliness, my wrath, my pain, my fear of going crazy if I were to even dip a toe in those brackish waters.”

“Yes, now you see it!” he enthuses. “The deformed creatures swimming in that volcanic crater are what you have done to your innocence, some of your hope, the parts of you that came back burned from reaching out to the wrong people. You could go on being ashamed of them and let them drown, or you could try to wade into the surf and bring them to shore. For me, I’m finding if I clear them of debris and give them the kiss of life, I discover strength there. Your shadow has been there/done that in ways you have been ignoring. “

“I never thought of it in that way before.”

He clasps me to him, his lips the barest whisper from mine. “Your soul keeps growing regardless if you are paying attention or not. You get to choose whether that is a process you will elevate into your conscious awareness.”

“A little like you.”

“Yes, a little like me. You choose when you want to see me. You were always in control of that.”

“Were you mad when I chose not to?”

“I was upset, but I understood why you had to do that. I missed you, though.”

“I’m glad I am seeing you now.” I take up the slack in the space and kiss his luscious mouth, my heart exploding as he opens up to me all the way to the core. It makes my hair stand on end how he is still completely fluent in the language of my mouth. The feel of his hand stroking my face, the way he steadily breathes, brings every neuron in my brain to rapt attention.

When the lip lock reaches its denouement, he pulls away and lays his cheek against mine. When he speaks again, his voice is thick with emotion. “Now what do we do?”

I laugh softly realizing I am now the one who is older and wiser. “Do you hear that drumming in the distance? Let’s just dance.”

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Things That Are Good

I have quirky tastes. But the things I like, I adore. Here are a few:

  • Perrier with ice and lime: I like Pellegrino, too. I don't know what it is about the fizzy water, but I just think it is so refreshing.
  • Super dark, bittersweet chocolate: So dark you can taste more of the fruity qualities of the bean itself than the sugar they usually dump into it.
  • Sacred Geometry: that shit just blows my mind. But it plays into Art and Nature on so many levels, and adds beauty to the mundane world.
  • Roses: Of all colors. Not just because I am a romantic fool, but because they smell heavenly and are edible. They also employ sacred geometry.
  • Interesting pebbles: I can't resist picking them up and putting them in my pocket.
  • Opera: Something about the raw power of the human voice, and the sympathetic vibrations it causes in the listener.
  • Dark, mysterious red wines: For the same reasons I love the dark chocolates. I just like them more complex. Like the people in my life.
  • Extensive vocabularies: There is something about using the mot juste to get your point across. I like to do it and adore people that can keep up.
  • Wild Animals: Don't get me wrong; I love my dog, but that owl sighting I had was just spectacular.
  • Art, art, and art: Art really matters to me. Life is just the things we have to experience so that when we look through the prism of art, there is something to see.
  • Museums: What did I just say? It is about the art! But it is also about the hush and contemplative silence. Better yet, walking through one with a friend you can hold hands with and whisper to.
That is all for today.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lady, Do I Know You?

I just love how October is over so the ghosts are quieting. But now the living people want to chat.

But only the crazy ones.

I was walking across the parking lot into the grocery store. I was low on Perrier, if you must know. And this tall woman passes me, walking faster. She decides to speak, and here's how it goes.

Crazy Lady: I hope those Democrats are happy. He's just going to get assassinated.

Confused Stacie: That would be totally sad.

Crazy Lady: Sure it would, but that is what is going to happen. People have already tried twice.

Confused Stacie: Do I know you? Why are you saying this to me?

Crazy Lady: (mumbles something and throws her hands in the air and keeps walking)

Was it my clothes? I was wearing a sort of conservative looking outfit today because I was coming from a nursing conference. Why would this person look at me and figure me to be sympathetic to her tirade? Note to self: consider donating that beige skirt to charity.

I just wanted some French fizzy water, lady. Not yer damn conspiracy theory.

That is all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Poetry-Falling In

Image credit: http://www.cafepress.com/bronzepig/2696535

Falling In

Something is coming to me
Insights cascading like falling water
Pounding rocks below into pebbles
Wash away the moss they should never gather.

Brand new ambitions rise in the spray
Like hungry fish, mouths testing the surface,
Mute and yet demanding to be fed
Finned, scaled, with lidless eyes.

Silent seeing, slipping through soft rivulets,
In bubbling whispers, urgent pleas,
Crying to be heard but so hard to hear
And hard to translate from fishy tongues.

What do they say after swimming in wisdom?
They tell me not to hold my pain,
To not define myself by what I outgrow,
To refuse to diminish myself with wrath.

My hands in the water, brushing cool sides.
I let them touch the bottom for me
Where I fear to allow myself to sink.
In eddies and swirls they beckon.

Oh, to be a mermaid and plumb the depths
Breathe under water and understand all
Rise up and sing a siren's song
Grant a lonely sailor his dying wish.

(c)Stacie Ferrante

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Remember, But Absolve

Yum, madeleines...

Oh, sorry. I got looking at this picture and was lost in thought.

I had an interesting weekend. Not so much in outer events, but in inner ones. I was very in my head, since I was writing a research paper among other things.

I should have tried to write this yesterday, but my hands hurt from all the typing I was already doing. I'll try to do my epiphany some justice here anyway.

I was a little put out to hear that the people who tried unsuccessfully to sue me for libel actually took their appeals to the Supreme Court. Then I found out that after the high court refused to hear their case, they elected to write a "memoir" about their experience. They used everyone's real name and had some not so great things to say about me and my editor and friend, Ted. We come off as a regular Hitler and Mussolini vaudeville act, twisting mustaches and all. Feh. That made me a little dyspeptic.

I decided that on Saturday I would allow myself to have whatever feelings I wanted about it, and then I would get over it. Since giving it any more attention than that would just give these people the attention they so desperately crave, I elected to make a phone call to the legal department of the newspaper on Monday and then take no other action unless...unless I don't know what.

Then I went to the gym and had an epiphany on the elliptical trainer thingie. I really, REALLY don't want to end up like that, obsessed over and continuing to be hurt by the past and allowing things to "ruin my life".

Then I thought about the various things and people in my past I am obsessed about and continue to be hurt by. How am I different from them, after all, if I still feel bad about those things?

And then I head the thought. And it was a good one: "Those people can't hurt me, because I have all the power. I can decide whether to absolve them. That is way more potent than what they do to try to hurt me."

Something like that. It came to me in a rush of feeling, and I felt the truth in it. What if I just had compassion for the people who have tried to "ruin my life" and saw that for what it is: more about them than about me. That is just sort of sad. I can be the bigger person in that scenario without feeling like a chump.

What would happen if I could apply that feeling not only to the people who wrote the book, but to heavier hitters in my life? How about all of them? What if I just refuse to give people permission to injure me, and just felt sorry for those that try? Like, real pity?

The people that hurt me when I was just a kid are still jerks. I was not the adult, and as the child in those situations I deserved love and protection. I didn't get it. But I can absolve them and refuse to be diminished by holding on to those judgments as though they are relevant to who I am now.

Already things are happening as a result of this shift in perspective. I have been validated in my truth. This idea will work. It doesn't mean I don't learn from those experiences or remember the events. But as the one doing the absolution, the power is all in my hands. I finally get it.

So, David and Beverly (King) Pegasus, I absolve you. In trying to hurt me, you have given me a gift. In hating me, you have taught me how to love myself so I never end up like you. It is a powerful lesson, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.