Sunday, November 29, 2009

Poetry Sunday

This Was Once a Love Poem
by Jane Hirshfield

This was once a love poem,
before its haunches thickened, its breath grew short,
before it found itself sitting,
perplexed and a little embarrassed,
on the fender of a parked car,
while many people passed by without turning their heads.

It remembers itself dressing as if for a great engagement.
It remembers choosing these shoes,
this scarf or tie.

Once, it drank beer for breakfast,
drifted its feet
in a river side by side with the feet of another.

Once it pretended shyness, then grew truly shy,
dropping its head so the hair would fall forward,
so the eyes would not be seen.

It spoke with passion of history, of art.
It was lovely then, this poem.
Under its chin, no fold of skin softened.
Behind the knees, no pad of yellow fat.
What it knew in the morning it still believed at nightfall.
An unconjured confidence lifted its eyebrows, its cheeks.

The longing has not diminished.
Still it understands. It is time to consider a cat,
the cultivation of African violets or flowering cactus.

Yes, it decides:
Many miniature cacti, in blue and red painted pots.
When it finds itself disquieted
by the pure and unfamiliar silence of its new life,
it will touch them—one, then another—
with a single finger outstretched like a tiny flame.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I think this is the most beautiful, melancholy Christmas song and it's been stuck in my head for days so I'm sharing it with y'all to get stuck in your heads. Because haven't we all wanted to be able to just skate away sometimes?

It's comin' on Christmas

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Poetry Sunday

Wallace Stevens, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


When I was little one of my most favorite things to do was dance. We had a huge living room with no furniture, which turned into a ballroom for me. I never took classes, but turn on Aretha Franklin, the Dirty Dancing soundtrack (minds out of the gutter people, I was 7), or Vivaldi's Four Seasons and I would be leaping and twirling for hours. Get me drunk now and you end up with similar results.

I've been watching So You Think You Can Dance as often as I can (stupid evening classes!) and it makes me wish I was someone who is flexible enough to at least touch my toes so that I could be the ballerina I planned to become when I was 6.

Fear and Addiction

Dreaming with a Broken Heart (this is my absolute favorite, it kills me)

Your Ex Lover's Dead

By the way, my last post was apparently my 100th post. Which is really pretty sad, considering I've been on here since 2007 according to my stats. I suppose I make up for my infrequent posting with my longevity?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Poetry Sunday

The closest thing I have to church or prayer is poetry. When I am conflicted or sad or seeking answers I find myself turning to poetry the way other people turn to the Bible. Thus, Poetry Sunday- a new weekly feature. Well, perhaps weekly. Maybe bi-weekly. Actually it may never happen again considering my track record with regular blog posting. But we'll try and see.

The Meadow- Marie Howe

As we walk into words that have waited for us to enter them, so
the meadow, muddy with dreams, is gathering itself together

and trying, with difficulty, to remember how to make wildflowers.
Imperceptibly heaving with the old impatience, it knows

for certain that two horses walk upon it, weary of hay.
The horses, sway-backed and self important, cannot design

how the small white pony mysteriously escapes the fence every day.
This is the miracle just beyond their heavy-headed grasp,

and they turn from his nuzzling with irritation. Everything
is crying out. Two crows, rising from the hill, fight

and caw-cry in mid-flight, then fall and light on the meadow grass
bewildered by their weight. A dozen wasps drone, tiny prop planes,

sputtering into a field the farmer has not yet plowed,
and what I thought was a phone, turned down and ringing,

is the knock of a woodpecker for food or warning, I can't say.
I want to add my cry to those who would speak for the sound alone.

But in this world, where something is always listening, even
murmuring has meaning, as in the next room you moan

in your sleep, turning into late morning. My love, this might be
all we know of forgiveness, this small time when you can forget

what you are. There will come a day when the meadow will think
suddenly, water, root, blossom, through no fault of its own,

and the horses will lie down in daisies and clover. Bedeviled,
human, your plight, in waking, is to choose from the words

that even now sleep on your tongue, and to know that tangled
among them and terribly new is the sentence that could change your life.

........The last two stanzas make my heart stop, just for a second.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Need to learn how to turn off the blushing

I am learning that being a therapist means that people who you have just met will tell you the most intimate details of their lives without hesitation. Things that I do not talk about with my nearest and dearest, much less someone that I met 20 minutes ago. I do not judge these people, but I struggle to control my tendency to blush, because I am a very pale person who immediately flushes to an attractive tomato color as soon as something uncomfortable is mentioned. Just the thought of blushing usually makes me blush. So, I need to find some "blush reduction techniques". I'm hoping my threshold will be higher as I get more used to hearing these things, but I'm doubtful. I'm keeping a list of some of the things I have so far heard as a therapist that challenged my "counselor poker face"

1. Various masturbation techniques
2. Detailed descriptions of stool samples and problems with incontinence (NOT urinary incontinence either!)
3. Detailed description of a particularly difficult prostate exam (it made me thank the lord I am not male)
4. Erectile dysfunction, difficulty sustaining erections, and a whole lot more information on a variety of men's penises (penii?) than I ever wished to know.
5. The sex life of members of the over 70 generation

That's a pretty significant blush-worthy list considering I've only been in this internship for a couple of months, right? Lord only knows what all else I will hear about before May. If exposure is the key to raising my tolerance level I should be blush-proof by graduation day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Wow, I can't believe it's November already! Perhaps that's because it has been July according to this blog for the last 4 months. I could say that it's because I've been busy with school, but I would be lying. I officially have senioritis, and have discovered that the benefit to going to a crappy grad school is that you can do the bare minimum and still get As! You think I'm exagerating? I got a 99% on a midterm that I didn't study for. Not, I only studied for a couple hours right before hand. I. Didn't. Study. At all.

Anyway, it's been an interesting couple of months. While I've been busy NOT doing any school work, I have been doing a lot of self reflection. By the way? I don't recommend it. Self reflection causes you to both become totally absorbed in your own troubles, and unless you are Gandhi you will not like everything you discover.

One of the more positive things that came out of this period was that I've started creating what some call a "bucket list". As in, things you want to do before you kick the bucket. Considering my intense fear of death I am not calling my list a bucket list. Instead, it's my "things to do once I graduate and have actual free time" list. Right now it's kind of a small list, but I expect it will grow.

1. Learn to play the cello
2. Train Siva as a certified therapy dog
3. Take a dance class
4. Go to Europe, and start prioritizing travelling over possessions
5. Start writing again (started this one)
6. Start rock climbing again
7. Create the garden in the backyard
8. Read poetry again (started this one too)
9. Reconnect with old friends

There have been a lot of pieces of myself that I have buried while I've been emersed in my career, marriage, house renovations and school. It just took too much energy to do everything at once, so I feel like I've become a bit two dimensional. But I've been woken up a bit, reminded of what I used to be like, what I used to love. And that's coming back. As soon as I finish slacking through my senior year.