2008 – some highlights

Let’s see. Thinking way back to the beginning of 2008…

I had to go into my blog and try and see what it was like last January. This post seemed to be my summing up then:

Can’t Look Back so Give it a Moment

Things aren’t so different, but they’re completely different. Isn’t that weird? And weird how the people change, from year to year. You don’t think things are changing, particularly, but subtly, the characters in your circle change.

This year is different in that I actually attempted and am still working on my long term goal: To write a book.

So the decision to write that I made two years ago, January 2006 has evolved in its way from daily writing practice, to articles, to articles and a blog, and now  novel writing.

Wow. It seemed for awhile there that I’d never be brave enough to start a book. I have nanowrimo friends to thank for that, particularly Lazy Buddhist

Last year, at this time, I was getting over a brief and intensely romantic fling with a man who used to speak broken Italian to me in the morning. I thought myself heartbroken for the span of a very long weekend, and I thought myself disillusioned and done with the love game for a couple of months, and then I met the most stubborn, solid, accepting person I’ve ever met who has been anchor to my storm, support while I explored old wounds. My brief declaration of heartbreak evaporated and I haven’t felt lonely since those late days in February when my heart got all tangled up in him. 

I don’t know exactly what we are, or what we will be, or what will happen before we can be more, the way things stand- but I know he’ll always be in my life. 

And while storm and transition took place in his life, I met someone who also brought me joy. And then there was sadness because I couldn’t really decide which direction to go- or if I was in a good state to be with someone at all. So I stalled out a bit.

So I start this year with choices that I may not be ready to make. And that actually feels harder than losing someone. Because unlike the story books, where one is actually the better man, and the other has a hidden agenda or a bad character, they’re both incredible people of integrity, people I’d be lucky to have as a romantic partner.

So there was that confusion.

My daughter… she’s older, and taller. I can’t stop that need in me with each passing year to dig my heels in and stop time somehow. That’s a feeling I may always have because of mistakes I made early on, time that I missed being engaged in her. Being ‘out of it’ in my early twenties was hard, I guess, but it’s harder, this continual process of waking. There are definitely benefits to anesthesia of the spirit, but that’s scary stuff. 

So much time can pass before you wake up.

2008 saw the death of Heath Ledger, who gave a mesmerizing last performance as The Joker in Batman.

2008 was a year of exhaustive campaigning. And we weighed in here, and everywhere over the internet, blogging and writing and reading about political possibilities. And then Obama won.

That was a big part of 2008.

2008 saw three friends of mine return from Iraq. I don’t know how the experiences they survived there will influence their 2009’s, but I know it will be there, maybe deep under the surface, a silent factor in everything they think, feel and do.

2008 I met Bob Church, here in blog world. I met others too, who mean a lot to me today, but I must mention Bob specifically because our acquaintance was brief. He no longer is able to type and to write due to the cancer that has ravaged his body, but that acquaintance was very meaningful to me. I feel cheated that I didn’t get to know him for longer, but incredibly grateful that I had the chance to know him at all. His blog ‘Not Quite Right‘ will be on my blogroll for as long as there is a Stop & Wander. I hope people who read this will sometimes go and visit his words.

In 2008 I learned a little bit more about patience, but I’m impatient with myself about all there is still to learn. :)

In 2008 I took steps to seek help for the long-lasting repercussions of the abusive relationship I was in when I was twenty and pregnant. All that time and personal complication, and the diagnosis was pretty simple and clear cut: Post-traumatic-stress disorder. For some reason, having the name that identifies the set of personal set-backs I’ve encountered gives me a sense of relief. I have identified the problem. That’s the first step.

I’m no more extroverted then I was a year ago, but I derive more pleasure from my intimate relationships. More than ever, I love a good story. I think stories are important. Maybe this year I can look around more at my family, at their stories. For a long time it’s been easier to focus on the stories of people I didn’t know.

And that’s my summary. 

It doesn’t call for resolutions, just a continuing along on our story, Sierra and I. And the people I come to know, like all of you here. It’s beautiful to me to see your stories, to get to laugh along and cry with you. To be touched, to reach out and draw in. Those patterns of a really great story.

I wonder what will be in 2009.

I wonder.

The oldest trick in the book…

Memed. You heard me, Memed. Memed again. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been memed, so long in fact, that I thought I’d somehow developed immunity. But it’s cool, cus it’s Norm over at ‘Costant Change is the Norm...’ who did the meming, and it’s one of the oldest, most venerable memes on the web: 7 random facts.

Here are the rules, such as they are: Players start with 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged should post these rules and then post 7 random facts. Players should tag 7 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

(By the way: Norm only tagged two people, which I think is thoughtful, because memes spread kind of like viruses around the blogosphere, and it’s clear that he was using something of a quarantine tactic to prevent wide-spread panic and mayhem. I will not be so thoughtful, as widespread panic and mayhem rather appeal to me, as long as they aren’t a result of republican scheming.)

MY SEVEN RANDOM FACTS (pay attention, there will be a quiz)

1)  I do not care very much for shoe shopping. This is foremost in my mind, because yesterday, I did, I did indeed, I did indeed shoe-shop. The occasion: my cousin’s wedding, which is a week hence, and to which I’ve been invited. They did not explicitly state a dress code, but I gleaned through my fantabulous deductive reasoning skills that they would prefer people to wear clothes, and shoes, if at all possible. I guess I could have used this as another fact, but planning ahead isn’t my forte. Doh, there’s another one.

2)  I hate parrots.

3)  Hate is kind of a strong word, but when I hate something, I really hate it. I strongly, strongly dislike soap operas, c.d. wrappers, the 2nd to the left teller at Bank of America, and the way my crisper smells ever since Sierra dumped apple juice in there, and forgot to tell me. (Did you know apple-y stuff can create an absolutely horrid smell if it is allowed to grow old enough to smell that way?)  But I hate parrots. And I stand by that. I’m also none too fond of ring worm or explosive diarrhea. Just sayin’.

4)  I have never been married. Ever. But I’ve been engaged quite a lot. Four times, in fact. Twice was to the same person. In all honesty, I’m very happy about not marrying any of the people that I didn’t marry.

5)  My cat is sleeping on my bed. It is my cat, not the other cat which is not mine, but doesn’t make the distinction. This is a boring fact, but it is true, and it’s also true that the cat is sleeping there after being kicked out 4 times. How is that possible? Well, here’s the part I really wanted to tell you: Because my cat can open doors.

6)  I was born at… well, you don’t care about that. But here’s the fact: The building in which I was delivered is no longer used for the same purpose it was back in 1977. The building in which I first caterwauled my dismay to the big, bright world is now a mental health ward.

7)  When I was a baby- old enough to crawl, but not yet walking, my parents had some sort of party. That may be the most outrageous part of this story. What little I remember of the marriage of my biological parents is not conducive with loud, crowded parties. However, they had a party, and I was crawling around, and people were going in and out, and I was crawling around, and when someone opened the door I happened to curl my hand around the door frame, which no one noticed, and when the door shut, the heavy metal guard on the edge of the door sliced the end of my right, pointer finger off. People then noticed I was there, as I became rather loud and overwrought. I would love to know whose idea it was to find the tip of my finger, but apparently a whole gaggle of grownups spent the next 15 minutes on their hands and knees, searching for my finger-bit, while my mom tried to wrap me up and get me ready to go to the hospital. I’ll continue this story on #7.5.

7.5) They arrived at the hospital sans finger-bit. It was decided that since I was very upset about having a missing part, that the best course of action would be to take some more of me from my hip region, and stick it on the end of my finger. But first, I had to be calmed. The doctor gave me some sort of shot that was meant to sedate, but it had an opposite reaction, and according to my mom, some of the nurses were worried I would actually howl myself to death. Frankly, I think it was a reasonable response. If you have lost a nice bit of finger, and then had people decide that they’d also like to remove a nice bit of your hip, and if they then come at you and stick sharp objects in your person, I think howling is the very least of the responses you’ll be issuing.

Eventually they gassed me unconscious and went forward with the brilliant idea. The tip of my finger never fully healed, but I wasn’t aware it was abnormal till about the age of six. I thought everyone had a finger like that. The two inch train-track shaped scar on my hip, however, I’ve largely ignored. So my 7th fact?

I do not now, nor have I ever responded well to medication. So I pretty much only take it if I think I’m gonna die otherwise.


And that concludes my 7.5 random facts. I tag:

mercury, Jaynova, anhinga, ybonesy, Corina, Ombudsben & Bo. Also aefiel. Because you have invoked the inner muppet. Have fun!


The things I believe in, they don’t make any sense. The sound silence makes on the end of a long-distance call that isn’t connecting. The idea of faith, bandied back and forth in circles with strangers who are closer than the people you’re supposed to know. The soft disappointment in a child’s eyes when she knows you aren’t going to make it, though you want to make it theoretically, and you’ve decided to make it, and cleared your calendar to attempt just that, you still know there’s certain things you aren’t up to and facing the fact of your life right now is one of them.

So I deal in concretes. The space from paper to pen-point when I sit down to write something and know it isn’t good. There are specific measures that failed here, facts that didn’t draw breath from unknown quantities. This isn’t a picture of damage, this is a picture of the self, creating around the edges. Producing from tenuous borders a whole kingdom of overlap so that the heart can bypass your fragile boundaries for a high, slick freeway.

This is a song about the terror that nestles in at night, snug up against the covers. A familiar thing, something that will move and make way for you the way his body doesn’t, night after night, as he stays accessible for someone else.

This is a song about life, not the way you learned it young and early, a game with rules you were groomed to be fit to play, but rather the real, barely real thing that turns around the daily axis. Life the way it turned out to be.