014. A summoning.

1. The way rain sounds as it beats down on the yard, the roof, the streets outside our window.

2. That stickiness that comes with roiling thunder and flashes of lightning.

3. It feels different this morning, the air does. As if the atmosphere, too, is waiting with bated breath for autumn to arrive.

4. Family meetings and laughing so hard my abs cramp and my eyes tear up.

Chonathan.

I hope these memories are the ones that stay.

5. Black paint and owning our dreams. Let’s paint the fireplace and the cabinets and drape the couches in sumptuous textures!

pulling back from the curated.

A dear friend and I were discussing the pressures of perfect, perfected, aesthetic, curated just the other day, lamenting the disparity between what we see via social media versus what life can be outside the small, likable square.

So, when I took this photo:

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I initially intended to caption it with something about how ritualistic my self-care needs to be, but then I glanced around and saw that maybe there should be more to allowing you, the reader/viewer, into my small, likable square. That, maybe, in addition to sharing this much curated shot, you might want to also see this:

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That, maybe, instead of just showing you another one of my tarot decks and my comfy leather chair and that gorgeous live-edge side table, I should also show you that three months in to living here there are still unpacked boxes, furniture waiting to be donated, and art needing to be hung.

That, maybe, instead of just sharing how softly and enchantingly the rising sun’s light filters into our family room . . .

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you may also want to see we live here, too:

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That my pillows and cushions all need fluffing and straightening. That my youngest leaves his toys about, even when he’s been repeatedly reminded to put them away before bed. That my life outside of small, likable squares is far from perfect or perfected.

And that maybe sharing this with you is a little self-care that means you will share that with me, too.

xo

so, here’s to new beginnings.

I think I’m coming to the end of a cycle.

Have we chatted about that?

For years, my Bipolar II felt unnoticed by me. I think because I have lived with it since I was 15, I just got used to always feeling off with brief times of not, you know? But, as I have gotten older and have tried to be more self-aware, I can see the markers now.

It’s like walking into the ocean knowing there is a huge drop off, but also not knowing exactly where the drop off starts.

I know I will slip off, even when I am slipping.

I cannot stop it, but I know.

All that to say I am resurfacing. It’s ugly and messy and sometimes I feel like I am flailing, but I’m getting there.

I can breathe again.

The words came back a few weeks ago, followed by the cards, and with the arrival of August (a blessed and happy First Harvest or Lammas to you and yours!), I thought I would attempt some tarot challenges being hosted on Instagram.

You know, as a way to help me wade back to shore.

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It’s a lot, I know, but I’m an all-in type of person.

I used my Nomad Tarot deck for @bujowitchcraft’s Tarot for Growth challenge, finding that the II of Swords—or making the decision to stop avoiding making decisions—may help me grow my patience.

For @wildsoulhealing’s Tarot for What is challenge and @owlandbonestarot’s August Tarot Challenge, I used my Lovely Omens deck. My card for the month of August is the inverted V of Cups, suggesting I am ready to move forward from past hurts and difficulties, while my month’s forecast indicates I may accomplish this through the inverted Queen of Cups, an archetype who speaks to self-care and trusting one’s knowing.

Lastly, and just for fun, I tried @mnomquah’s “Why am I so fucking awesome” spread. According to my True Black Tarot deck, my strength can be found in the inverted Magician’s never-ending potential and will to keep trying, while my ability to walk with my darkness and use it to thrive, as seen in the IX of Swords, is a great asset. And, not to be outdone, my talent lies in my gift of seeing what is hidden, in my inner clarity and intuition, as suggested by the inverted Ace of Swords.

So. Not a whole lot of surprises, really. Which is how my readings—for myself and others—tend to go; I am just connecting with what is already true, you know? But, when I’m in a cycle, what I know to be true can feel like a weighted vest, one even the water cannot help me carry.

Right now, though, what I know to be true feels like a life raft.

013. A summoning. A homecoming.

Four months.

I’ve been away for four months, and in that time:

— we sold a house, and bought a house, and have begun to make the new house a home.

— graduated with an A.S. in Library Information & Technology, having maintained a 4.0 GPA, made the Dean’s List all three semesters, and was invited to apply for valedictorian (which I declined on account of not liking public speaking).

— my oldest finished her first year at university, my eldest son finished his first year of high school, and my youngest finished his second year of elementary.

— have read 12 books in the last two months after years of barely finding the time to read one a year.

— have held hands with my depression, made pacts with my demons, and remember what it is to thrive in the surviving.

— have fallen in love with my husband a thousand times over.

— spent time on the beach, in fae gardens, and under crisp sheets.

— watched the sunrise and marveled at the sunset.

— cried, and laughed, and laughed so hard I have cried.

— written, poems upon poems, finding my way home.

— desired a creative outlet, toyed with lettering, entertained the idea of a newsletter.

— lived life as wholly and wantonly as possible.

I cannot wait to see what the next four months bring. xo

012. a summoning.

01. A boy who towers over me, but still blushes when I count his freckles.


02. Coffee and a whole lot of creamer. Like half the cup.


03. The sound of birds chittering + chirping before the sun has fully risen. I, too, know what it is to be eager for the light.


04. Bergamot + pink Himalayan salt baths. Painted nails + candle light. Watching him struggle to relax.


05. Salty fries.

009.

I think about how it’s 13° somewhere, and wonder if breathing there hurts as much as it does here.  

Sometimes I think the lack of snow just highlights the way things change and we don’t even realize it.  

It all looks the same, verdant and sunny, but it feels different. 

I wish the outside reflected my insides.  

008.

The first things that fall away when I am under stress are any forms of self-care.

I forget to eat.

I forget to drink water.

I neglect to moisturize my skin.

I rush through showers and don’t luxuriate in baths.

The runes go unthrown and the decks go unshuffled.

Esbats are ignored and Sabbats are barely observed.

So, on this first day of the new solar year, I am choosing the word nourish as a guide. I am telling the great void that I am recommitting to new ways of coping with stress by first caring for myself through nourishing myself—emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I am putting out into the universe my desire to nourish myself, even on the days it feels like the last thing I want to do.

I am committing to the work of nourishing my dreams, my goals, and myself.

Friends, hold me to it.

007.

I climb out from under the warm pile of blankets to follow the desire for coffee, and am caught in the lingering mist of his cologne.

It’s sweet and spicy, and I’m immediately reminded of the nights I used his pillow instead of mine and, lying between our two young children, cried myself to sleep, praying to any god who would listen that I just wanted him back home safe and whole.

I’m reminded that I couldn’t watch the news all the way through for nine months.

And I’m reminded about those nights of worry, and then the nights I wondered if we would make it, just two kids with moon eyes and lofty dreams.

I’m reminded about the ways we’ve had to grow together and the ways we’ve had to grow separately, and the ways we’ve made room for both.

And I hear us whispering in the dark. All our fears. All our hurts. All our wishes. All our wants.

Twenty years of whispering to each other before we rest for the night.

I hear me asking across the expanse of our bed if, when he kissed me and made me his girl all those years ago, he expected to be where we are now.

And I hear him say “I didn’t know, but I hoped.”

006.

My Dad used to tell me “The worst they can say is ‘no’” whenever I would tell him I had a question or want that involved someone else. 

And, more often than not, he was right.  

But, the fear of asking is sometimes less about receiving a negative answer and more about the way asking makes us feel.  

When we ask for things—especially things that are important to us—it is not always the ‘no’ that makes us leery, but the anticipation,

the worry,

the churning in the gut,

the panic. 

Because while the ‘no’ could be innocent enough, it is what the asking and the potential of ‘no’ makes us feel that draws the fear.

Ignored.

Disrespected.

Unloved.

Lacking in some way.

Here’s the thing, though: ask anyway

If the worst someone can say is no, if you walk away feeling ignored or disrespected, unloved or not enough?

You should also feel brave. 

Courageous. 

Proud.

Strong. 

Because you knew that asking could make you feel a myriad of horrible ways . . . but, it was important enough to you to ask anyway, so you did.  You put yourself out there, knowing it could hurt.

And I’m pretty sure that’s what my Dad was trying to say.

 

* This is obviously not about consent, which you should always ask for and if it’s a ‘no’ or not freely given, you should accept readily and wholeheartedly. 

003.

We turn out the porch light and sort through the candy.

I see him picking pieces out of the cauldron.

My heart sort of sinks when I watch him. I feel . . . bad? Guilty?

Guilty.

I look at the teenager and say, “Maybe you should have gotten candy tonight, then the two of you could have traded like you and your sister used to.”

“What,” the littlest says, overhearing and grabbing a chair at the island, too.

“Yeah,” says the teenager, “Sis and I used to pour our candy on the floor, sort it, and trade for our favorites. Like, I’d give her a Snickers for two Milky Way.”

The littlest thinks for a moment and says, “Well, Sis isn’t here anymore* and you don’t Trick-or-Treat, so I don’t have anyone to do that with.”

Guilt. Definitely guilt.

*Sis is our college freshman.

002.

I startled myself awake. 

Do you ever do that?

You know, like when dream you is feeling so much, too much, the weight of emotions wakes you up?

That was me at 4:34AM. 

Well, sort of.  

Because dream me thought I was awake, but also saw itself pulling The Lovers, inverted, with their skeletal arms wrapped around each other and a pomegranate oracle card. Since I have neither of those cards in any of my decks, dream me knew I was still sleeping.

So, hello 4:34AM. 

I hope all of Scorpio season isn’t like this. 

001.

 I’ve missed it.  

The full moon, that is.

I always seem to these days.  

Honestly, I feel the new moon’s arrival more acutely. Isn’t that odd, I think. I wonder what it says about me that the absence of moonlight has a greater pull.

Of course, the dreams were all over the place. That’s the only marker I have for the full moon these days. Restlessness and dreams that are so disjointed sleep feels pointless.

Maybe the full moon missed me, too.  

The Wild In-Between.

So. I did a thing. And, really, it's been my whole life in the making. But, also, it's taken me about three years of writing for this first step. 

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And, see, I was going to wait until October, because that was the deadline I had set for myself--be a published author by October 2018.

But, see, this thing happened recently wherein I had to ask myself if waiting was playing small. Not that playing small is bad, just that playing small isn't something I am willing to do anymore. 

And I was.  Playing small, I mean. Being scared. Letting my fear of failure and my perfectionism force me to second guess myself. And in all my almost 38-years fear of failure never brought me anything but heartache.

As you'll see if you buy my book.

My book. It sort of blows my mind that I can type that really, but it's true. I wrote a book. And you can buy it. Or gift it. Or look at the cover with love and longing. Or pretend you read it and write me a raving review (don't worry, I'll keep that secret between us). 

Or do all of the above AND write me a raving review (reviews mean so, SO much to authors--trust me).

Either way, no more waiting. No more playing small.

I wrote a book. 

For a signed copy, please visit my shop. A limited amount of signed pre-orders are available.

Oh, by the way . . .

I wrote a book.

Well, not like a book book. It's not a novel kind of book, but rather a collection of poetry kind of book.

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I'm expecting the arrival of a second proof within the next week or two, but after final approvals, the intention is to offer a limited amount of signed pre-orders by the end of August and have it available for regular release by October.  So, if it sounds like something you might be interested in, keep an eye on this space or visit my Instagram account @thewildinbetween.

Thank you all, so much, for your continued support.

There’ll be no one left to tell our story.

It dawned on me this morning that the United States is a sinking ship.

We are a Titanic with exaggerated, mythical abilities that truly was never built to help all its passengers survive.

See, whatever some of us thought we were, we aren’t.

And some of the first class passengers are just now realizing this.

And some of the first class passengers have always known there aren’t enough lifeboats.

And it’s all hands on deck, but no one is saving us. No . . . no, instead they’re making sure the gates are locked on the third class passengers while the hull floods.

They never intended for us to survive. 

And it’s been women and children first, sure, but instead of helping them, they’re caging them. 

And the rats are fleeing, but not before infecting everything and everyone they can. Because if they can’t have the run of things, they don’t give a damn about leaving a plague in their wake. 

And the water is coming up fast, sometimes faster than we can climb or run or swim, and we feel frozen in place.

Some of us are drowning.

Some of us are jumping. 

Some of us are fighting through the numbness and pain to make it out alive, knowing—knowing—that what awaits us will likely be more treading of water in the darkness before help arrives.

If help arrives.

And the captain doesn’t care about the sinking of this ship because he steered us to the sharks on purpose. 

And the captain doesn’t care about the sinking of this ship because his heart’s already an iceberg. 

So, if we’re to survive this, we need to listen for every whistle of distress.

If we’re to survive this, we need to make room in the lifeboats, turn toward the fray, and risk capsizing to save as many lives as we can. 

if we’re to survive this, we have to realize there is room on the door.  

Five things: a summoning. Twenty-one.

1. Graph the equation , the question reads and I am reminded, yet again, why I hate math.  

Also? Fractions suck ass.  

2. I’m the mom in the pick up queue bumping Biggie, and I don’t even care if it garners looks. If you don’t turn up 2Pac or Biggie when they come on the radio or up on the playlist, we can’t be friends.  

3. I’ve been crying daily. I don’t know if the world is crueler, if I am softer, if it’s a mixture of both, or if maybe I am just exhausted over all of it. In any case, it feels like my heart is an open wound, and I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the privilege of being able to feel this way. 

4. It feels like winter in SoCal, and I wonder if the Japan earthquake in 2011 adjusting the earth’s axis means it shifted what we know to be the cycle of seasons. So, maybe February is now the start of winter instead of December, and so on.

Maybe the combination of global warming and the shift is what is creating weather that seems unseasonable. 

5. Here. And isn’t that some sort of gift.  

Five things: a summoning. Nineteen.

1. I'm not sure whether or not being here is a sign of moving on or coping, and isn't that a fucking luxury.

2. I woke up at 5AM this morning, having forgotten to turn off my alarms, and let myself watch a movie on Netflix.

Things still feel hella heavy, but I'm trying to be aware of just how lucky I am to be here. To have my children safe under my roof. To not be in mourning.

3. Study runes.

4. I don't know what to say.

5. Maybe you don't, either?

Five things: a summoning. Eighteen.

1. I made my bed this morning as my children readied for school, and wept for the parents who had empty beds last night. 

2. I learned about ALICE—Alert. Lockdown. Inform. Counter. Evacuate.—today from this post, and openly wept at the gym.

Our children should not be sacrificial lambs.

3.  I commented The longer I live, the more I understand why people storm the castle, and I meant it. 

No one is coming to save us when lined pockets take precedence over lined coffins. So, my friend, we have to save each other.

4. As a parent, I promise my babies I’ll always keep them safe, but how do we do that when the entities put in place to ensure our safety turn the other way while gunshots ring out?  How do we do that when the entities put in place to ensure our safety gun us down in the streets while our schools become the stage for some sick fuck’s rage fantasy?

5. I am afraid. I am enraged. I am despondent.  

 

Five things: a summoning. Seventeen.

1. She stole my formatting, and then replied with some condescending nonsense that basically regurgitated what I had already shared.  

I wanted to reply Don’t come for me unless I call you, but tried being more tactful instead. 

I hope she read between the lines.  

2. Happy Gooey Hearts’ Day!

May today be but a reminder of how you are loved daily rather than the one day you feel loved.  

3.  Spaghetti for dinner, and I’m just not feeling it, you know? 

4. It was gloriously grey all day and now the sun is out. I wish it would’ve stayed away a little longer. 

5. Clothing designers really don’t design for curvy, petite women.