catelin: (durgapink)
( Jul. 17th, 2008 11:18 am)


In that space where he fluttered inside you

(and I when I say him it is not so much

about gender or form, although I know

no other name for him than Gabriel),

the seraphim who rested his wings

waited in your belly and whispered against

your innermost ear the secrets that you

were, for so long, too afraid to know—that

you were good, not merely good enough,

but absolutely deserving in a way only

the intensely faithful are; and the universe

was replenished with your understanding,

the world finally grew large enough to

accommodate his joyful soaring, too

divine for human eyes to bear, trumpeting

your true name—mother—in a thousand

languages across every sky that ever existed.

catelin: (sculpture ranch)
( May. 25th, 2008 09:45 pm)
It's been an odd year so far...I have been far less communicative than I have in a long time--and it's not necessarily a bad thing--but I have simply felt the need to process much of my life internally.  I'm not so quick anymore to vomit up every feeling onto the floor before I look at it and try to figure out what it is.  It's been a rough few months in a lot of ways, full of changes and facing fears of all sorts.  I was afraid of growing older, I was afraid of being left, I was afraid of planning for things because I couldn't believe there would be a point to it, I was afraid not to plan because chaos was sure to follow.  I was afraid of how quickly my sons are growing, of how little they seem to need me anymore.  I was afraid of my animals dying, of something terrible happening to my man.

Middle-age, I think, is a stage in life where we all necessarily go through a period where we are scared shitless.  Mine lasted a while, but I am making my peace with all the changing landscapes in my life.  The landscape of my face and body continues to shift and I am at peace with it in a way that I never have been before.  Oddly enough, Madonna had a lot to do with this.  She looks strange to me now, with her ever-so-slight work.  She's still lovely, but she looks nothing like herself.  The one thing I have always chosen, even when I lived in the land of nip and tuck, was to look like myself.  I decided that I was still very happy to look exactly like myself, even if that self is my aging self.

The landscape of motherhood is shifting, but the floor of that sea remains.  My oldest is almost 13 now and hardly lets me touch him.  His favorite answer to almost anything is "whatever" and he hides his beautiful face with too much hair in his green eyes.  Still, he is the same amazing child, even with all his new bravado and tentative efforts to separate himself from me.  That's what he's supposed to be doing.  He's at an age where he's supposed to think I'm a big dork.  I still enjoy the occasional glimmer of unreserved love when he forgets to act like Mr. Cool.  His ten-year-old brother is not far behind him, but I'm ready.  They get bigger, but they are still my sons.  They have learned exactly what I set out to teach them...that they can be themselves, separate from everyone, but still always loved, safe, and connected to family.

The landscape of love and friendship in my life continues to amaze me.  I am, in the end, luckier in love than I ever thought possible, with a man who never fails me.  We are both tough and tender in many of the same ways, but we fill in our gaps with our different approaches and experiences.  Together we are a badass two-headed love monster that can deal with anything.  That's been a nice change from never being able to count on anyone to shoulder the burden with me before.  He's solid, this man of mine, and I have learned that I can count on him and believe in him without reserve.  That knowledge gives a soul a lot of breathing room, and breathing feels good.

Times have been bad and good, all at once, a swirl of life with a pace that leaves me dizzy sometimes.  I feel sometimes like if I stood in the grass and planted my feet for a few moments, I'd be able to see it all moving past--circling and changing even as it is all perceived.

My life's horizons move like oil on water.  That frightened me at first, the uncertainty of it.  There are still times when the uncharted territory of the faraway can leave me in a panic.  Then I began to see that even unfamiliar landscapes are always decorated with markers that I've crafted for myself and those I love over the years--markers that remind me of my strength, of my courage, of my joy, my laughter, everything that I have to offer and everything that I am still learning to give.
catelin: (Default)
( Apr. 11th, 2008 09:52 am)
Everything is fine, benign. Huge sigh of relief for me. Thanks for all the kind thoughts and good energy. I am certain it played a big part.
catelin: (cowgirl)
( Apr. 8th, 2008 07:59 am)
In a not surprising synchronicity with the sun, [personal profile] notwolf , I am trying to grasp the crazy-quilt universal weave of good/bad/ugly that life can sometimes be.  Biopsy today, needles in my left breast and holding my breath for two days to see what comes next.  Otherwise, my life if full of sunflowers, gardening, work, my beautiful children and my beloved.  He's here, for the most part, with some loose ends to tie up but we are laying our heads down together each night and smiling at one another each morning.  So this time, I'm refusing to give in to my fear of the other know, the one with dog shit on the sole that drops as you merrily roll along?  I worked too hard to come to this happiness and I will not let it go without a bloody fight.  I am living proof that love can make a person fearless--not because of him but because of the journey and experiences that brought me to him.  He made sense of those.  He made sense of everything, even what I could not.  So I may hold his hand a little tighter when I close my eyes for the next couple of days, but I will not let go of the certainty that I am finally and exactly where I need to be.
I'll be forty-four years old next Sunday. I don't know why, but every time I think of this birthday and its number I picture 44 blackbirds flying out of a pie. It's an odd age, close to 45 and 45 being almost fifty. Weird. I don't feel old. I do feel wise, after a fashion. And happy. Not even happy, so much more than happy. I am blissful.

I got a big promotion at work that came with a fancy schmancy new title. I have a new attorney working with me. Everyone is very happy with the change and feels like the cases are now being handled better. I think I did the right thing in accepting the position. I'm the Chief of the Family Justice Division. See? I told you it was fancy! It's still all the same Creeps & Perverts cases, but the name sounds so much more civilized.

In other news, my man gave me the best Valentine's day gift ever last month--a beautiful new sewing machine. It wasn't anything I was expecting, but it was more perfect than he could have ever imagined. It was the ultimate gift for a holiday marking love. Sewing, for me, is so connected to both of my grandmothers, how they loved me and how much they taught me. When I sit at a sewing machine and work, I can picture both of them sitting there next to me, heads nodding, both of them smiling at how much I can do now. It may seem silly that sitting at a sewing machine binds me to that wonderful universal light--call it love, grace, god, whatnot--but it does. It conjures every good thing I ever had in my life that is related to being loved and loving without reserve. I'd never talked about this with him, so it wasn't anything intentional. But whether happy accident or intuition, it was one of those sublime acts that struck such a heart chord in me that I wanted to melt. I sure do love him.

Last week we drove in a borrowed pick-up to the boonies south of San Antonio and picked up some wrought iron patio furniture. Next week we're heading out on a road trip to the bayou country of southern Louisiana for my birthday. Spring is going to be a season of all sorts of movement and travel, but home for both of us is becoming the little house here at the lake and that makes me grin like a kid.
catelin: (birthday)
( Mar. 16th, 2007 07:22 pm)
I am forty-three today. Holy shit. ; )

An Older Woman

I am not that girl.

I tell you this and what I mean is that
I am not 36 and I don’t stay up late much anymore,
I only wake up at four a.m. for no apparent reason.
What I mean is that the last joint I smoked is now old enough to vote.

I am not that girl.

I tell you this and I mean that I am wise
Enough now to see the value in being patient with you,
Even you, with all your flaws and fears and troubles.
What I mean is that I understand the terrible ache for things we can count on.

I am not that girl.

I tell you this and I mean that I am faithful,
To myself and to the truth as it reveals itself to me over time,
I have shed the need to proclaim my purpose so loudly.
What I mean is that I grow more quietly subversive and fierce each day.

I am not that girl.

I tell you this and I mean I may have been her
Or a variation on that same theme of false bravado and fuck off,
Sometime before I learned to be rather than to appear.
What I mean is that I am already what you can only hope she might become.
catelin: (Default)
( Dec. 30th, 2000 02:20 pm)

My friend Irene got a boob job. I suppose as soon as the bandages come off and the oozing stops, she'll look very much like the images that encouraged the operation in the first place. We've always had divergent concepts of beauty. She never leaves the house unless she's fully made up. I barely manage to wash my face and comb my hair most days. She took me once to a department store cosmetics counter for one of those free makeovers. Irene and the counter lady (some European chick with a funky name) ooohed and aaahed over me, telling me this was an easy routine that would only take five minutes each morning. I couldn't figure out how they came up with that since I sat in the fucking chair for over an hour while Eurochick glopped her commissioned wares all over my face. I got home that day feeling like the man in the iron mask and immediately ran for the sink. Irene was, of course, disappointed but resigned to my dismal failure as a makeup goddess.

This was the day we talked about her tits. She told me that she was getting breast implants. I tried to contain my revulsion at the idea. I guess the eyes rolling into the back of my head and the retching sounds gave me away. What's the big deal? That was her question to me. So I began to tell her how sad I thought it was that there's an entire generation of men who've come of age jerking off to plastic tits on over-exercised, under-fed bodies. How women have succumbed to this and see their bodies as inferior products, something to be "fixed."

I told her that I was disturbed by the growing numbers of women who shaved, powdered, douched, enlarged, nipped, tucked, lipo-sucked. Well, you get the idea. I explained that I thought the perfect man is one who adores the imperfect woman. One who is happy to lose himself in soft, fleshy mounds of breast and who inhales unperfumed snatch with gusto. I told her how I thought it was much sexier to have swollen lips from sucking cock than from collagen injections, how blush on the cheeks from a good morning screw was about all the makeup any girl should care to put on.

Mostly I tried to tell her how absolutely beautiful she was. Her breasts were gorgeous. I'd seen them many times over the years we'd been friends. Delicately curved, each dotted with a small rosebud nipple. I told her what a pity it would be to butcher them, to deform them. She just took a long sip of her iced tea and told me very matter-of-factly that her mind was made up. I knew her well enough to believe her. We didn't discuss it again.

She's at home now, wrapped up with some sort of elastic bandage thing that makes her look a bit like Elsa Lanchester. I'd brought over a copy of "The Birth-mark" for her, still trying to make my point, even after the fact. I was just about to pull it out of my bag and slap it down on the bed when I noticed how unhappy she looked. I asked if she was all right and she started to cry. She told me it was much more complicated than she thought it would be. I stuck my book down into the bottom of the bag as far as it would go, ashamed that I can be such a bitch sometimes. I just sat there holding her hand. I told her yes. It was all much more complicated than we thought.
I had the chance to pose for a men's magazine when I was about 20. No shit. It was back when my tits were still firm and I had an ass that would stop traffic. Some guy who looked like Rod Stewart on crack lit my Camel, gave me a business card and started spewing what sounded like the sweaty, desperate ranting of a novice bullshit artist aching for some coos. Turned out to be legit, though. I was interested not so much because I would have ever done it, but because I was bored and it did give me some sick sense of validation to know that "I" had been chosen. I enjoyed all the tittering gossip that the encounter generated amongst even the most blase of my friends. I was beautiful back then. I was also shallow, lazy, and frightened of being alone. I did change, of course, over the years. I accumulated lovers and friends, traveled, created, destroyed, rebuilt. I went to grad school, to law school, and the school of hard knocks. I spent most of my twenties in Hollywood--first, with a rich, uptight, closet homosexual who paid my rent and fucked me once a week; last, with a perpetual boy--a long-haired beautiful genius whom I still miss sometimes even now. I don't live in the city anymore. I moved back "home" to where I'd spent summers with my grandparents growing up. I have two sons and still no husband. It's strange, really. No one even contemplates the possibility that I've never married. Everyone just assumes I'm divorced. I have, for lack of any better description, what I'd call a pseudo-husband. He's the father of my children and we have a relationship, but we live separately and my life is very much my own. So what does this have to do with the dirty pictures that I never took? It's about looking back and trying to make some sort of linear connection with then and now. I have come to the conclusion that I probably will never find my "soul mate" if such a person exists, and that perhaps my lesson in this life is to learn to be alone, to find a completeness within myself, to be my own "better half." I look back and wonder if I somehow missed something, if I am paying now for my vanity then? Or is it just that this is the great universal plan? I dreamed last night that I was being followed in some sort of festival by a dark-haired man who kept offering me an apple. He wasn't particularly attractive, but I sensed immediately that he and I were the same. I knew that he'd recognized me too. I kept motioning for him to wait, because I was busy with my children and talking to friends. He moved behind an oak tree, and I thought that maybe he'd gone until I could see his feet. He just sat there very patiently, knowing that I would be there when I was done. The first thought I had when I woke up was how if you cut an apple just right, you'll see a five-pointed star. I had a feeling that it was a message from the Goddess, letting me know that there was someone for me after all. I thought it was an odd dream because I haven't been lonely, and I haven't felt that awful pang of yearning for something without a name for many years. My life is full to overflowing, and I'm finding that even as I head toward middle-age, I am so much more lovely for the marks of living I've gathered along the way--my crow's feet, my breasts that sag a bit after nursing two children, my belly that's grown softer, my hands that have roughened with age and gardening. So, while Mr. Hefner might not be interested anymore, there's a five-year-old and a three-year-old that think I'm the most beautiful woman in the world. And, hey...who knows? There may be a dark-haired guy bearing apples in my future as well.


catelin: (Default)


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