delivered, unintentionally

Today, I saved a little fuzzy yellow caterpillar in Rockefeller Center. It was be-boppin’ along on the (cement) stairs trying to climb the (cement) building next to the (cement) sidewalk just off of the road, in a high traffic place, going the opposite direction of what little (meticulously planted) foliage was nearby. So, I scooped it up and let it off on a leaf. Perhaps that will save it from being squashed by some tourist’s unsuspecting shoe.As I walked along the trees (wrapped in holiday lights) and shrubs and ivy growing along the edge of the Center, I noticed that there were dozens of birds foraging for food (read: grubs) in the same foliage planters.

I may have delivered the poor thing into the beak of the enemy.

flight and migration

A red balloon tattooed on the side of my lower right leg. Small, simple, looked like it was floating, maybe the string wrapped around my ankle a little bit. That’s what I visualized clearly yesterday, randomly. Perhaps a little shadow of a person holding the string on the back of my ankle. I have a few tattoo visions really, though I’m not sure if I’ll ever actually get one. Those with tattoos say they’re addictive.The other one I want right now is a (small) flock of (small) birds (starlings perhaps?) on my left shoulderblade, with one perched, not flying, more on the chest side of my left shoulder.

Apparently, I am being drawn to flight.

The ABCs of Intimacy

an article my mom forwarded to me this week. Thought you might like it too.

The ABCs of Intimacy – a toolkit for getting closer

by Nina Utne, page 56 of Nov-Dec 2004 issue

During nearly 24 years of marriage, my husband Eric and I have picked up a few relationship-saving practices. Though we learned them to help navigate our marriage, they are useful in any relationship.

The Art of Apology
. An effective apology begins with a sincere ‘I’m sorry.” Don’t bother with excuses or explanations until you know your apology has registered.

The Re-Do. If you blunder into a delicate communication, request a re-do lest you dig yourself in any deeper. When you’re granting a re-do, let your hackles down and listen as if for the first time. (It’s also a good idea to offer the option of a re-do if someone is flailing too much to request one.)

Freeze-Frame. You may have heard the saying “Be still and know.” When you practice Freeze-Frame, a stress-prevention technique devised by the Institute of HeartMath (, you simply stop so you can evaluate a situation more clearly, become still inside, and frame the moment. Then, focusing on the area around your heart, generate a positive feeling. Using your intuition, ask your heart for an answer to the stressful situation. Most importantly, listen to what your heart says.

The Faithfulness Verse. During a particularly low moment in our marriage, I issued a desperate silent plea for something, anything, that might lift us out of the mire. At that moment, a piece of paper that had been tacked to a bulletin board wafted to the floor. On it was Rudolf Steiner’s Faithfulness verse. It isn’t about sexual faithfulness, but about the dogged commitment to see what is best and highest in those around us. Eric and I said it out loud together every night for a year (sometimes even over the phone when one of us was out of town), and we still say it sometimes. I swear it works a potent alchemy. Here it is:

“Create for yourself a new indomitable perception of faithfulness. What is usually called faithfulness passes so quickly. Let this be your faithfulness: You will experience moments, fleeting moments, with the other person. The human being will appear to you then as if filled, irradiated with the archetype of his/her spirit. And then there may be, indeed will be, other moments, long periods of time when human beings are darkened. At such times, you will learn to say to yourself. ‘The spirit makes me strong. I remember the archetype, I saw it once. No illusion, no deception shall rob me of it.’ Always struggle for the image that you saw. This struggle is faithfulness. Striving thus for faithfulness you shall be close to one another as if endowed with the protective powers of angels.” -Rudolf Steiner.

Be Nice
. Don’t underestimate the power of simply being kind. John Gottman, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, has developed an uncanny ability to predict which marriages will dissolve based solely on the number of kind and unkind interactions. His formula? When the ratio falls below five to one, sound the death knell.

new rules for being me

dear self,

it’s okay to be scared. it’s okay to be a little mad at me, but don’t be too hard on me please. this wasn’t planned, this isn’t the end of the world, it matters more how you deal with this sticky awful complex situation than whether or not you could/would have avoided it all together.

this is an opportunity for growth, for change, for fixing something that isn’t working. these are growing pains. this is hard, and that’s okay.

these are the new rules:

  1. be honest. especially to yourself.
  2. be daring. jump into the unknown confidently and trust there will be something there to break the fall. the moment you step off is the moment you touch down.
  3. be kind. think and think and think before saying or doing things that will hurt other people’s feelings, and try to do the kindest thing, if possible. treat these beautiful women (and everybody) with respect, because they deserve that.
  4. have courage. you are strong. worthy. worthwhile. try to remember that.

something has to change

dear girlfriend,

we’ve been together almost four years and it isn’t working.

um, i’m not sure what else to say except that.

i’m not sure what you’ll say. you knew when you left for africa for the summer that it was a gamble, you were afriad I would fall for someone else or leave you or both and look, voila, here we are. I have confronted you, told you what I needed, asked for your help to fix us, at various times in the past and things have never changed. even if you said just what I wanted you to say – that you love me, you’re committed to work on this, that you want to, that you’ll fight for me – I’m not sure that’s enough anymore.

no. it isn’t enough anymore. and even if those things change, I don’t think it will be enough. we’re too different, we want different things, our life paths are going different places.

funny, sometimes i think this stuff up to tell you and I see your reaction as completely calm. not only you were expecting it, but you agree, and have some relief to be free of me.

it is not a relief to be leaving you, to be without you. it’s terrifying. I know what it feels like to break up with someone, both with desperate wanting that nothing will stop and with some hesitation but with knowledge that it’s the best thing. this is neither of those, this is only terror and anxiety.

but somewhere underneath I still know it has to happen. something has to change. and since it hasn’t been you, I think it has to be me.