In the land of the Goat Warrior Princess

Once upon a time, in the land of the Goat Warrior Princess it was a glorious day in the kingdom. Our dearest F (who is also a brave mountain goat warrior princess) was sleepy as she got up from her royal blue fluffy sheets.  Even warrior princesses like soft and fluffy things for sleeping. Groggy, she walks around her quarters stretching her strong warrior arms and opening windows to let in the light and soft breezes. She is tired from slaying demons (some real, some imaginary, some solely her own) the night before. Wearily she walks past the strange box that hums with the clickety-clack buttons. We wonder if this wretched box is cursed and drains our goat princess of her warrior powers?  Sometimes our goat princess sends wise messages through the box to people in far-away lands. Why send her messages through the clickety-clack box instead of using steadfast ravens?

We watch as she dresses for battle. No chain mail or leather cuffs instead she puts on strange garments and slicks her wild red hair back demurely. Maybe this is some sort of disguise to confuse the badlands demons?  Perhaps if the demons do not suspect her true identity then they will not engage her in battle to steal her inner light. Warrior princesses have this brilliant white light that shines through their hair, their clothes and their person. It illuminates dark corners of our world. It diminishes the power of the badland demons and threatens their existence.

She exits her abode and moves toward her beautiful metallic horse. It is grey, shiny and happily responds to F’s commands. As she sits astride it, we marvel at her speeding through the badlands with such bravery and confidence (just like everything she does that makes us proud to be in her service).

Our brave goat princess arrives at a shabby forest with a clearing that has other metallic steeds and walks toward a short, ugly brick and glass edifice. What type of poor kingdom is this? It must be a kingdom in need of a champion. The warrior princess ascends many floors by commanding a large coffin that carries her upwards. Thankfully she arrives at her station. We watch anxiously as a strange creature approaches our princess. This creature has the hair color of bed linens and things painted over her eyes which give her a continuously surprised appearance.  Her lips curl and the creature bares her unnaturally glowing teeth at F. It may be a demon that has taken over one of the shabby kingdom’s villagers. Our goat princess is confident but cautious. We wait for F to raise her weapon and slay the beast by chopping its head off. Today is different. Instead a wry smile passes over the princess’s lips. F faces the demon and disarms them with pleasant chatter.  The beast leaves with no armed combat. As F watches the demon walk away she whispers to herself “foul beast I should have beaten you to death with your own leg.”

Evil was thwarted this day and our goat warrior princess didn’t even need to draw her sword or chop off any demon body parts. She continues to be our champion and lives to fight another day.  THE END FOR NOW…

She is not Living Here

I used to love to linger over the beautiful images in the Martha Stewart “Living” Magazine. Staring at photos of pristine cream sofas anointed tastefully with colorful DIY pillows in sun drenched rooms. These things spoke to me.  It left me with a longing. “Your home will never look like this. You are too disorganized” said the voice which sounded something like Martha Stewart, my Mom’s stringent housekeeping rules and my own critical director all joining evil forces to make me feel bad. I was dumping on myself voluntarily for not having perfection before I had even tried to create my own worthwhile space.

After I cancelled my subscription and had some therapy it still takes negotiation to let go of these harsh expectations around how things “should” look and make peace with the way they do look (home or body). I am constantly recalibrating those standards, recognizing that the demands of work, family, and health must be balanced for my own sanity.

Our home is lively, peaceful, and filled with love. The house sits on a street lined with tall and broad Linden trees that protect our home from the elements as well as cushion us from the city sounds. They carry the sea breeze through our windows when it rains.

My home has a beauty that flows. My friendly front hall greets visitors with the shoe collection of the 11 yr. old hot mess and my generous, size 13 wearing, big-hearted man.

Then there is the forgotten child of my home: a lonely and neglected area known as the back hall. This area is heavily utilized as a dumping ground for STUFF. The gorilla glue, empty bottles, as well as my fears and shame are packed onto those shelves. There are abandoned dreams along with cleaning supplies. I keep screwdrivers, paper bags, and flashlights. Functional tools at my ready to repair a cabinet, glue a leg back on a chair, or light my way if the darkness creeps in. Sometimes I feel like I am teetering on the brink of disaster along with the empties, ready to fall off the shelf at the slightest vibration.

I used to think about ways to hide the stuff on my shelves. Hide my shame and the really weird juicer thing that never gets used. Maybe I can choose to be exposed, even a little cluttered while I live in this safe space. Loneliness evaporates and hiding is no longer necessary.

Taking a deep breath, I resign to be more than just storage area.  I can cultivate flexibility, access creativity, promote recycling, embrace disorganization and cherish my memories. I can fix the garbage disposal and cook the magnificent holiday turkey with my big-pawed handsome man using the tools from my shelves.

Like my imaginary perfect space — my back hall shelves hold all my promise, purpose, light, and bubble wrap. Now it’s time to ditch that stupid leaf blower my Mom gave me. Fuck Martha Stewart.

Running out of Gas

It’s early in the morning. A new day is supposed to be a fresh start, right? I peer through the windshield and squint at the overly cheerful sunshine that burns through the cracks in the trees.
I push the button and the window lowers. I inhale the woody taste of earth and pine. The smell tickles the back of my throat and I cough a little.
I feel groggy and slow to wake up. The back of neck is a rocky landscape that needs grooming. Trying to relieve the tension in my hands I extend and flex.
The car dings again as I turn the battery on. The gas gauge still says empty.
I look at my phone and clearly see 7:00 am taunting me. For some, this is the
hour to begin their day’s pursuits. For me, 7:00 am is the end of a triumphant night and time to head to bed. “You’re too old to keep rock and roll hours” I chide myself. Maybe, but keeping those late night hours is one of those bad habits I never broke.
I have been driving all night. Somehow I missed the turn. Went off course and fucked it up again.
The rental car smells. It’s remnants reek of prior occupants. Clues to lives left behind. What did the last people do in this car? Fast food wrappers and beach sand. Greasy palm prints on the windows.
I have no idea where I am. I thought I knew where I was going but somehow I ended up here and it’s a dead-end. It’s time to turn around now.