You Are The Powerful Goodness

This is from the archives because Sunday is for silence.

Up before the sun. Doesn’t happen often, but I secretly cherish it when it does because it makes me feel like Ben Franklin.

Speaking of which, have you see this?

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This is Ben Franklin’s daily plan, and it makes me swoon. There is so much about this plan that I love, from the rising before the sun part to the ‘addressing the Powerful Goodness’ part, to the fact that he doesn’t scarf down a face full of lunch – no. He dines. DINES! He doesn’t just ‘get shit done’. No. He prosecutes the present! He doesn’t do the washing up. He puts things in their places. IN THEIR PLACES! He asks himself the hard questions! He examines his day.

*Dies of swoon*.

Aside from totally nerdgasming over Ben Franklin’s daily planner, I am up at this wee hour thinking about you.

You!

You are the Powerful Goodness Ben’s jamming about in his planner. Your hopes and dreams. Your kindness and how hard you try. The little things you do that are the divine’s hands on this world – the supportive word, the white knuckling it through, the act of kindness, the boundaried ‘NO’, the trying again, the willful refusal, the VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS, the prayers, the pleas, the songs of gratitude, the arias of sorrow.

How much you matter. How much you are a part of what makes up the powerful goodness – at least, in my little world, and I suspect in many worlds, seen and unseen.

I know that my saying you matter won’t touch the place within you that doubts it. I know that because it doesn’t matter how many times someone else tells me *I matter*, I still have my doubts (especially in the wee hours of the morning when life looms large and I’m not entirely sure how I can light up the darkness with my teensy tiny little spark of hope). Still. It’s good to be reminded, and at least reading those words “You Matter” set *my* head to bobbing in agreement as though I’d just heard something I’d long since forgotten. It gives me the opportunity to fake it ’till I make it. To remember that my every action can be a part of the powerful goodness in the world if I so choose. It reminds me I have power – the power of a tiny flame in the darkness.

You are the powerful goodness.

Love you,

Effy

P.S. There is a huge giveaway going on over here and you don’t want to miss it!

 

The Voice In The Other Room

I’m blogging every day in April. You can find out more and join me here.

I. One of the things I cherish most in intimate relationships is the way things feel when we’re ‘around’ one another without necessarily engaging one another. You know what I mean? Is there peace between us when I am doodling and you’re reading? Do I feel safe if I want to break the silence? Can I reach out and touch you? Can you reach out and touch me? Can we drift apart and then come back together with ease?

One of my ex boyfriends called this ‘the voice in the other room’ in a poem he wrote for me recently. This idea of me presented in this poem is very close to what I know to be true. I am everything expressed within it, and more that he never got to discover.

II. Here is the poem.

There’s a back alley I visit,
A place with the scent of leather corset 
Laced black boots, straps that bind
A turn in the sheets signifying
Depth to bone and toothmark alike. 

But she’s the summer asphalt,
Reflected heat and want of light
A honed edge, cutting
But not something that speaks of trends

I know
She’s the knife that pares the apple

Below the skin, draws out the seed
Brings the truth of it up
Through capillary action

To head and present plane. 

This place I go is portal
It’s not now or here
It’s not a clock face I read
I find no hinge or heft 

But yet everything that could be
A time here
A time there
She’s always away
She’s always with me
That voice in the adjoining room

Over the shoulder and more than arm’s length
I don’t turn around to see. 

M.O. 2018

III. The thing I love about this poem is how well known I feel when I read it. The thing that saddens me to my core when I read it is that I *did not know how he saw me until 16 years after we separated*. I didn’t know how he felt about me. He was not effusive *at all*, and I was very insecure. There were a lot of reasons for this, but mostly it had to do with the way he kept me at a constant, tension inducing distance. I was the voice in the other room *for him*. He was not that voice for me.

Still, this poem proves to me that he saw me. He saw my paradoxes and the cracks in my armour, the light within me, and the darkness, too. He *valued* my ‘to the bone’ honesty. He valued my presence.

I didn’t know.

IV. I have always had a deep, tragic attraction to what they call ‘attachment avoidant’ men, so I have spent most of my adult life craving a sense of certainty, a sense of *mattering*, that was never actually on offer. Most of the relationships I’ve been in have had a certain ‘trauma bond’ flavour that did not allow for real, mature love to grow beyond the initial attraction. This has resulted in relationships in which I got a few months, maybe, of something good, and then years of trying to fix what I was all too painfully aware was broken.

V. Until now.

The me of then, to whom I’d say “Oh hey…it gets better…”

VI. I do not love half way. I am a ‘love as a verb’ human, and I think that might be why no one ever really gets over me.

I don’t ever really get over my loves, either. I let them shapeshift, let them mellow. They go from songs I play on repeat to songs I hear now and then, and love no less, but do not seek out anymore, because, look, those songs make me *fucking cry*.

Most of them are about how much I wished I’d mattered enough for commitment to be a thing I could count on, could rest in, even in the storms, even when I go dark or scared. Even when I can’t really see you for the past that rises up like a spectre and obscures my vision of who you really are.

VII. Still, I have been the voice in many rooms without ever having one of my own. I have always longed for that for myself, that certain, steady sense of ‘yes, you are my person, and yes, I can break the silence, and no, you will not recoil, and yes, I can be playful with you, and also serious with you, and yes, I can be my whole self with you – the bone deep truth, the sex kitten, barefoot in the kitchen making you a sammich, hands on hips demanding your respect, and no, you will not keep me at a distance, and no, you will not be ambivalent with me, and no you will not think about leaving me for years before you finally do it, only to regret it later because all that time you spent thinking about leaving me, you could have spent fixing whatever was broken between us…

VIII. I don’t think this post has a real point. I’m just thinking out loud in the afterglow of having had that voice in the other room all weekend, and in this unexpected, newly found certainty that this voice *just is* for me, and always will be, even if I bruise him with my (inevitable) mistrust and my terror. Even then.

IX. It takes a strong man to commit to a woman who has been through what I’ve been through because he is often going to come up against some awful thing someone else did to me. I will bruise you. If I’m afraid, I will be more thorn than rose. I am a fucking force of nature when I’m afraid, because, listen – I have had to be. My whole life. I have had to be the thing that rises up in protest against being violated – physically, emotionally, covertly – being hit, being taken, like an object that existed solely to be taken. I have spent decades pouring love into black holes, into voids that took everything I offered, and offered very little in return.

Just enough to hook me at first, and then just enough to keep me until my despair became untenable.

X. The way to avoid the dark turns I take, though, is to provide me with a sense of safety and certainty, to do whatever you can to soothe me, to reassure me, to stand up to me when I’m out of my fucking mind with calm assertions about what is *actually true*. To show up. To ensure I know how much I matter.

I take work.

I’m worth it.

I’m beginning to think he thinks so, too.

 

He Whispers Me

I. It is not a good idea to forget to eat on a day when you are already in a trauma response. Especially when the day includes lots of wine, whisky, Robaxacet (for the skating related tailbone pain) and Caesars. Trust me on this. It leads to things like believing your boyfriend is breaking up with you when he *is doing no such thing*.

Melt down.

Thankfully, we worked it through, because he is my home now and there’s no where else for me to go but towards him, even when I’m terrified.

II. That feeling when your brain *won’t stop can’t stop* being guarded and full of mistrust, but your body is totally on board with the unguarded trusting thing. It takes my breath away what my body knows and how it responds to that knowing. Something about the tenderness in his eyes when I catch him looking at me like he does. Something about the way he really adores my kids. Like, ADORES. Something about how, when he is here, I am home.

III. Moving in silence from book to dozing, snuggling on the couch. I read a poem that I feel in my body, hand it over so he can read it, and that is a moment I will never forget. The way I just knew I could hand him the poem, knew he’d read it, knew he’d feel it with me.

He touches me lightly every time he turns a page – my hair, my shoulder – a gentling, steadying presence.

He whispers me.

IV.

The Whisperer

You work on my days
like one might work
an unbroken horse

with nickers and whinnies,
now and then, and
steps forward, 

the offered
braided tether,
of your voice,
of your time,
the hand on flank,
and before I can bolt,
your step away.

You whisper me.

I’m no broken thing.
Never have
nor ever will be but
in the face of this

taming, this gentling,
this sweetening
of my fiercest days

I’ll choose to stay.

(Always, my love.)

V. Given how much pain I’m in, I’m pretty sure the area just above my tailbone is either cracked or very, very deeply bruised. Either way. Nothing one can do for that but ice it, and rest it. I have full range of motion, so I know I’ll recover, but damn. So. much. pain. Triggering as holy hell. Being supremely gentle with myself. So is he.

VI. Despite yesterday’s meltdown, Fireball Jenga was super fucking fun. If you lose the round, you take a shot. We made it through three rounds before we all dissolved into fits of laughter and moved on to taking turns making Alexa play whatever music we wanted her to play. There was *not enough food* at this gathering, despite my ordering hundreds of dollars in groceries the day before. We all crashed here, except my kid who took his leave early to let the old people have their party.

He is the most mature of all of us, I think.

That rack though…*cracks up*

VII. Have I told you lately how much I love my kids? Fiercely, and as soon as there is a sincere apology or an expression of regret that I feel in my soul, grace is on board along with the usual dose of mamapants.

VIII. We’ll figure it out. I know this to be true. We will. Figure. It out.

IX. I’m starting to get really excited for fest season which starts on May 17th for me. My friend, Snow, is picking me up for Come Together at Frontier Ghost Town. He’s taking care of all the things like where I’m sleeping. My friend, Dani, will feed me in exchange for cash. All I have to do is show up with a satchel of clothing and some booze, and it’ll be days of music and shenanigans from noon till the ass crack of dawn. Then, Wiccan Fest, in June, which I work (at the registration desk, no less). Then KG, which my love might actually come to (BOUNCE). My daughter and Stacey and I are all going to have the very best most wonderful time. YES. MY DAUGHTER IS FESTING WITH ME THIS YEAR. SO EXCITED. Then, another weekend of debauchery at Come Together Music Festival, and then my very, very favourite fest of the year – Harvestfest.

X. Despite my rollerskating related injury, I’m going to the derby on May 3rd TO OBSERVE and to pick up some protective gear, including those padded shorts that the bad ass derby girls wear. I am bruised, but I will find my feet again. This is a promise I’m making to myself because this one thing is the one redeeming thing from my childhood and I really fucking want to reclaim it.

That’s me, today.

 

Self Compassion

I. I missed blogging yesterday due to the brain fog that comes from sleep deprivation. It just completely slipped my mind. This provides me with a really lovely opportunity for self-compassion. Missing a day does not a failure make. Missing a day and then giving up altogether – that’s a failure. So, yes. I missed a day, but here I am, winning.

II. I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get everything done in time for this afternoon, when my people will descend upon my humble abode to hang out with me. There will be bralessness, Chardonnay, Caesars, and tipsy Jenga, because that is a thing I deeply enjoy.

III.I can’t even begin to tell you how active my imagination has been lately, and how many brain gremlins I’ve had to wrangle. Two sleepless nights. Wicked weird and bad dreams. On a constant edge. I know from whence it all stems, and I am tending to it all as best I can, but I would deeply love a break from it all, and I am hoping this weekend provides me with that.

IV. Two days with my love should fix me right up. I have finally accepted that he’s a needful thing. All this ‘want’ vs. ‘need’ inner dialogue can suck it. Need is human, and I’ll allow it. Especially when it is simply *what is true*.

V. Finished this beauty just in time for Full Willow Moon in Libra. We do two paintings a month in Moonshine – one time lapsed, and one full length. This was full length, and in it, I covered layering watercolours with acrylics, creating simple iconic portraits, and ‘three colour shading’. It was deeply satisfying.

VI. Tam has brought back the coupon code LOVEBOMB2019 for 20% off of Life Book 2019, which will be going into its second session shortly. If you missed the discount the first time around, this is a great time to grab it!

VII. I started my week by strapping on my brand new roller skates (they’re super cute and sparkly), standing up in them and then immediately flying – legs out from underneath me, arms flailing wildly – and crashing to the floor. I have been in pretty severe pain ever since. Sitting is no fun. Standing is no fun. Bending is no fun. Sleeping is no fun. I also skinned and bruised my elbow quite badly.

Being in any kind of pain is triggering for me, so this explains a lot of the wobbly brain gremlins and weirdness that I’ve been experiencing this past week. I am trying to practice self-empathy, but my immediate thought was “YOU FUCKING IDIOT”. My son came over, though, and reminded me that what I am is ADVENTUROUS and that I know to go easy now. Sweet kid.

Still. I will not put them on again until I have some kind of protective gear because, apparently, my centre of gravity has shifted since I last strapped skates on my feet.

ARE THEY NOT EPIC?

VIII. A goodly chunk of my family are coming over for dinner on Sunday, and that includes the Bean, who we will pass around like a football between bites of whatever I make for dinner. I *can’t wait*.

BEAN!

Some time and distance has allowed my little family to heal up some, and that has meant more time with my delicious little slice of heaven. This little Bean deserves as many people in his life that love him and delight in him as possible, and I happen to be his number one fan, so I’m grateful to have the opportunity to love the dickens out of him whenever I can.

IX. I drew The Hanged Man today and snort laughed at my cards. “Don’t you think I’ve sacrificed enough already, you tyrants, you?” Apparently, the answer is ‘no’.

X. That’s today, loves. I have a list the length of my arm to slay, so off I go to slay it.

See you tomorrow.

Remember The Now

We’re half way through the Artfully Wild Blog Along. This is day 15. You can find out more here. 

Checking in with you here at the half way mark of what has become an semi-annual thing – I spend a month twice a year blogging every day. Some years I make it, some years I don’t, but I always value the fruits of the attempt.

It’s been a bit hard to wrangle my time properly with all that’s going on. Some things are slipping off the radar – like the poeming, like the housework, like the self-care – because these posts do take quite a while to compose, and I tend not to write ‘lightly’ most of the time. I’m a digger. I like to excavate. It’s my jam.

That being said, today *requires* quick and light. I spent the last four days procrastinating on a bunch of stuff that’s very ‘eat the frog’ gnarly. Writing I have to do for a thing (it’s an interview. Believe it or not, I hate writing about myself. I find it irksome, but it’s good exposure, so I say yes to these things. Otherwise how is anybody new ever going to find me?), two bedside tables to put together, a kitchen that needs a deep clean, some laundry. I have to film a thing for a thing, too, rather urgently, actually, and in the midst of all that, I have a dinner guest tonight (my kid, but still – a dinner guest means I have to actually *gasp* make dinner instead of just grabbing a hunk of cheese to gnaw on when my blood sugar starts to tank) and I’m five or six poems behind, too.

In the interest of self-care, though, I’m going to start my day with a long shower, which feels a little bit indulgent given the size of this list. If I *don’t* start with a shower, though, the shower will have to wait until tomorrow, and that is what we call ‘putting ourselves last’ and that will not do.

I did art for me throughout the weekend (instead of tackling the whole eating the frog thing), so we’re going to call that a win, even if it did put me way behind on other things.

I wish I could tell you that all is peaceful with me, but I’m pretty stormy, and feeling all kinds of feels that I can’t even get into. I’m definitely *okay*. Fine, even. Just working through some uncomfortable things that I wish I could just slay like I slay my list every day. Some things need integrating, though, not slaying, so I’m doing the work as best I know how, gently, steadfastly, with my eye on the prize, which I’m hoping is some kind of sense of solid ground.

But first, a shower, because that will invigorate and motivate me, and there’s nothing like squeaky clean hair and a freshly scrubbed body to set the tone for the day.

I’ll see you tomorrow.