Sunday, November 30, 2008
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: Well, I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT!!!
Me: : Excuse me...
CB: You talk way to loud (hateful tone of voice and facial expression)
Me: Don't worry, I'll be quiet as a mouse during the movie.
CB: You'd better!
Me: (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
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
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
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
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
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
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
- 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.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
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
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.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
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.