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August 25, 2013

Astrid

Is the name of my inner Viking. It means "God[dess] + fair, beautiful". I'm channeling her big time lately.


It occurred to me recently that I have been sleeping for a long time. The last seventeen years were about my parents: either being with, worrying about, or grieving for. Before that, The Boy. 

Remember my "Frustration" post? Well, that old fisherman friend referred to in the post has lit a fire under this Scandinavian/Scots-Irish arse and I'm hell bent on finding that adventurous girl I used to be.

I've joined a gym; I'm doing a session with a "love your body" coach next week. When I'm in kickboxing class (which I LOVE), that Astrid is front and center. 

My raven tattoo (finished a year ago this month) heralded the return of the warriorpoet. The beserker. The woad-painted Pict. 

Look out world - I'm awake. And I'm coming. 

August 18, 2013

When I Was Fourteen

I was raped.

Many people who know me intimately don't know that (guess they do now).

The experience is mostly factual for me now, so I'm often unaware that saying it out loud and/or admitting it could be construed as dropping a bombshell.

Interesting that I just used the words - "admitting it". Makes it sound as if I'm confessing to something. Like it was my fault.

And in fact, I did neatly absolve that asshole from any responsibility for twenty three fucking years. Funny how girls/women do that. Like we're Jesus Christ himself, sent to take your burden and relieve your guilt.

The term "date rape" did not exist then. Rape happened to females who "asked for it" by wearing their skirts too short; rapists were strangers who lurked in bushes, not popular sixteen year old high school boys.

But for my best friend at the time, I would not have had the fortitude to slog my way through the shame and embarrassment of each school day, (ninth grade! Can you imagine?!), because that fucker told what felt to me like the entire god damned school. What he told them I can't imagine, but pretty sure it wasn't, "I raped her, then tried to suffocate her with a pillow after she passed out from the pain and came to, screaming."
She threatened to kick the ass of any sniggering girl (wtf happened to sisterhood?!), and kept assuring me I was not going to die, in spite of barely being able to walk for three days and bleeding for ten.

And as if all of school knowing wasn't enough, through a twisted, fucked-up turn of events, my parents and grandmother were aware of the situation. Because I had invited him over to where I was babysitting - IT WAS MY FAULT (said my fourteen year old self), I ASKED FOR IT. They sent me to a psychiatrist, who asked me myriad questions about my sex life (my sex life?! what sex life?!). I refused to go back. And we never spoke of it again. And they thought I was a slut.

It was all too much. I took a shitload of my grandmother's Darvons (for numbing purposes) and climbed a hill with a razor blade in hand to finish the deed.

But Kodiak turned on all her glorious glory for the sunset that night and saved my life. (up on that hill, if you dig down far enough in the right spot, you'll find that razor blade) This little Libra just couldn't leave all that beauty. I woozily shouldered the cross, climbed down the hill, and got on with it.

Many years later, a friend of a friend, a runner, was raped. And suddenly, I could not stop thinking about what happened all those years ago, but what happened to me did not equal rape yet (I invited him over...).
When my friend said their runners group was taking a self defense class called Model Mugging, (just can the "oh you learn how to mug models?" jokes.), I was in. (The BF and I watched a news program about MM; I said if I take a self defense class, it's going to be that one.)

Model Mugging Weapons Class. That's the instructor, J. I was monitoring the "fight".
I signed up to volunteer immediately after the class was over and was an assistant instructor for the next three years. It was always incredible to me that these women, who had lived through the most horrific experiences (thankfully I remember only a couple), had soldiered on, married, raised families, were productive members of society. We women really are amazing. We take the shit and grow a garden.

During those three years, while listening to them pour out their stories, watching them face their fears head on and win, it slowly began to dawn on me that what happened me at fourteen was indeed rape. It didn't matter I had invited him over. It didn't matter we were making out.
I said NO! I said STOP! I said I didn't want to.

I cast down that cross and put the blame squarely on his fucking head. And then they helped me grieve for my virginity, my innocence. (thank you)

That bastard probably deflowered half our high school. I've often wondered how many of the other girls' experiences were non-consensual. But we were all, each of us, keeping it secret, keeping it safe.

Carrying his blame. Carrying his guilt.


August 11, 2013

What is Wrong With People?!

Yesterday, before seeing the movie "The Way, Way Back" (highly recommend, BTW), Anon CP and I did a wee bit of shopping. I had one of her sons in the car and we were chatting about this and that as we headed down 15/501.

A bit of car ballet started happening in front of us, and then a bit more, each time more aggressive. A gray car (didn't notice anything other than it had a spoiler - never a good sign), seemed to be causing most of the kerfuffle and somehow, it unfortunately ended up next to me.

The driver was a young white male, about 19 or 20. I mouthed "WTF dude!?" out my driver's side window. In hindsight, not the wisest move.

Immediately he slid in behind me and started tailgating, flipping me off through his sunroof, calling me a bitch, actually, a fat bitch, and making throat cutting gestures.

Flipping someone off is so laughably second grade, and fat bitch, c'mon, seriously not very creative, so whatever. But the throat cutting gesture (several times) freaked me out.

The 14 year old child in the car said (endearing himself to me FOREVER), "He's fat, hope he doesn't sit on us." Or something to that effect. He probably thought the whole thing was pretty fun, and was up for a scrap. I had to explain that I was in the wrong for even engaging with someone that moronic and don't be stupid like me.

Anyway, because this douche was still up my fat bitch ass, there was no way I was going to let him follow us to the store and headed towards a police sub-station. After about a mile or so, he got bored with threatening to kill me and roared off to make someone else's life miserable.

Future of America. So proud.

Frustration

Oh tiny little group of readers, I am wrestling with the nomadic nesting syndrome again.

Sometimes I just want to scream about the RUT I'm in.

A part of me deep down is adventurous, spontaneous, brave, and bold - the beserker, the warriorpoet.

There used to be more of that when I was younger. The person who climbed up the face of this mountain (Old Woman) one fine summer day by herself, just because:

See the line of trees above the yellow building? That was my route.

This site says it's 2,563 ft to the top; 3-8 miles. But that's referring to the trail on the back side of the mountain. The trail-less face may be more or less than that.

No water bottle, no food, no bear spray; I didn't even tell anyone I was going. Just did it.

The person who lived in a tent in Alaska; washed her hair in a steam, in the coldest water you ever felt. Who clambered over rocks and climbed up cliffs to get to the perfect ocean vista, praying I would see an orca pod. (Never did.)

What happened to her?!

On the other stupid damn hand, I love routine. I love my creatures and my creature comforts. I love my own bed, my jalapeno jelly green wall, my wood floors, my art, my friends.

I had a light bulb moment late last year when The Boy was talking about buying a dog boarding business.
He was always jumping from restaurant to restaurant when he was a chef. It made my stomach hurt. I've worked for the same company since 1999 (minus the "sabbatical" year of 2010-2011).

Then it dawned on me - he is a risk taker. And I am not in this stage of my life.

What's brought all this on (again)?
A friend from the past contacted me on Facebook last week. He's in SE Alaska salmon fishing. He sends me these fantastic pictures of the water and the mountains and I can smell the brine and the fireweed and the alders and the spruce.


Photos - JP


I MISS it. I miss the magnificent breathtaking adventure of the place.

Somewhere near Sitka, AK. Photo - JP

Once again my nomadic Viking blood is stirred up. Hell, those Spanish, Portuguese, and Italians got around as well. 98% of my blessed DNA is composed of sailors, explorers, risk takers.

So what the bloody hell is the matter with me?!

I want to have my cake and eat it too.

More to come...

August 9, 2013

Crossing Over


My friend left this mortal plane today around 4 am Pacific Daylight Time. A swift blessing.

Thanks to the miracles of technology, I was part of the death bed vigil in California.
Text messages, Facebook IM's from the bedside. Dear friends served by proxy - held his hand and told him I loved him. I could just hug their necks for that; it meant more than I can say.

My eyes are practically swollen shut from crying. (I do not look good when I cry. Some people do. That damn cheap Irish/Scandinavian complexion. Just turns red.)

Anyway, no more suffering, no more pain.

Safe journey Mountain Man. We'll light up a few cigars in your honor.

"Paradise is exactly like where you are right now... only much, much better." -- Laurie Anderson



August 7, 2013

My Friend

Is dying.
The only man who ever wrote a song for me. Never mind that it was a parody song set to The Beach Boys "Barbara Ann".

He's just 61 years old.

He kicked the shit out of Burkitt's lymphoma last year. But cancer is a fucking bastard bully and would not leave him alone. He was diagnosed with Mantle cell lymphoma in May.
He went into the hospital last week and by Sunday he was on hospice. It won't be long.


I can tell you these things: he has the most booming laugh you ever heard. (he is also a world champion snorer). The crinkliest eyes when he smiles. You do not want to play Risk with him - he will win - at all cost. He co-wrote a book on making your own willow chair. He wrote a screenplay. He loves his Wildcats, cigars, politics, swing dancing, God, his friends, genealogy, music. Not necessarily in that order - except for the Wildcats.


Good night, sweet friend. Dream sweet dreams for you.