Switching Things Up

tortoise and hare

Taking one’s time at figuring out the next step in a situation is not a bad, or weak, thing to do. On the contrary, moving slowly with major changes allows for a greater opportunity to have things be more successful. In this age of fast tracking information, and constant gratification through internet feeds, the old road of the tortoise still has ground.

In the beginning of my life in academia, I took on whatever task I could fit into my schedule, which meant each day was filled with multi-tasking, and late night sessions to complete an assignment ready for submission the next day. There was little time for play, and if there were extra moments, those belonged to my daughter. As a result, the marriage failed, and gaining my freedom just became a greater opportunity to get more done, in as little time possible. I was the “hare” in the race.

I competed with myself, through the eyes of others. A good decade, and then some, older than the average student; married then divorced; a single mom on welfare, while very insecure about academic writing; these essential elements of me only fed my desire to make good. Determined, I set out to become something that was shortchanged right from the beginning of my life. Success.

I created a competition for myself, which shaped my approach to everything I set my mind on.  As my children grew, and have slowly left the home nest, the hare eventually became exhausted; tempered down from mediating academic and domestic life. The creative flame, which once burned bright with passion, although dulled over time, continued a low, hidden light in the shadows. Slowly the tortoise came to be. So slow that she grew into grey.

So as the ages come to the salt and pepper phase, I am blessed with switching it up. Starting the race again, in competition on an unknown playing field, with eyes wide open, and fears in check. Like the students in college, some 35 years my junior, we are both leveled by hearing our words give import to fictional moments in time, showing loves, jealousies, insecurities and sometimes death.

There are no visuals, no lecterns to lecture behind, or advertising of a portrait. All these things would expose the greyed novice and feed the bias of audiences. Blind to the writer, the audience and performers speak whether my truth is real or fodder for what they see, not who made it. Knowing age compromises, or blurs the lines of acceptable art.

So, a new decision, long in the making, has switched things up. I show up each week, hoping to find some inner humbled light shining on a jewel, hoping my words see the place, and understand the psyches. Words that for so many years failed me — so I sought out others with similar talents, as a way of turning up the light burning inside.

The maker, or builder, of tableaus creates images that move on a stage. I sit as this computer, marking when the curtain rises, and at the same time, for this moment in a life’s journey, I can more confidently choose when the curtain falls.

The Whitewash Firing!

Senate Armed Services Committee

Michael Flynn resigns in the late hours of Monday night, in the shadows of being fired for misleading everyone about his phone antics with the Russians!!! Forbes magazine spun it during prime time with a detailed article about real leaders resigning in the face of disgracing the White House. But as we all know – REAL LEADERS DON’T BREAK THE LAW!

Up into the 9:00 hour, T’Frump and his K-K-Kellyanne Conway spewed her doublespeak support of Trump with alternative facts, despite the warnings of Congress and the Department of Justice inquiry. Perhaps the earlier DOJ firing portended a challenge to this very issue.

Flynn’s negotiations with Russia, at the same time that President Obama was enforcing sanctions, undermined the United States position in favor of the Putin-Trump marriage. This fiasco basically affirms Trump’s love-fest with Putin, and affirms the Republicans have no moral political compass against President’s breaking the law as long as the Republicans are in power.

Although T’Frump dumps on the media – calling journalists the opposition – they have been the keepers of the truth flame. Back in early January, Indira Lakshmanan, a writer for the Boston Globe, called Flynn’s actions, and the support of T’Frump and his goon squad, to task:

What did the president-elect know and when did he know it?
Not to go full Watergate, but it’s a fair question, considering Donald Trump’s persistent defense of Vladimir Putin, some of his advisers’ close ties to Russia, the credence he’s given to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and his stubborn refusal to credit US intelligence findings that Russia hacked Democrats’ e-mails and peddled “fake news” to influence our election in Trump’s favor.

In his resignation letter, Flynn believed his service as National Security Advisor was carried out with distinguished service, when in reality he brought shame and corruption to the highest offices, and made a mockery of what it means to be a leader.

The circus continues, and this House of Cards is not falling down, just gluing the corners in a different way to make the fragile truths spin differently. This new administration, and their machinations of power, are about dividing so we are trailing off in different directions, failing to unite and stand strong as a nation against their lies. Now begins only another chapter to a nightmare story that can only end badly.

Reflection on Downtime

Photo on 7-20-14 at 1.09 PMNot sure how the times pan out as we roll along this republican joy ride; however I am sure of my feelings of depression, which sit in the very back row of my room, veiling forward over each conscious notion of hope.

To get thru the bleak flash that sneaks in during the day, I focus on putting one foot in front of the other, and not worrying in that very moment what is beyond where my feet stand.

The pall that hovers affects the way I interpret my life’s daily reflection. Today, questioning writing dirty tricks. Wondering why I ended up standing in this limbo spot; contemplating whether there is another spot I should be in: or should the conversation be something else which I cannot see or have been excluded from.

Am I a casualty of clearing the swamp of UN-notables? Should I be content with my mediocrity, and see my creative as just another self-indulgent grandiose hobby? The fear of fear plays tenacious tricks that never seem to let the thinking remain in any place of contentment. Stay on the move, traveling forward  thru the delusion to safe ground, is consciously to conscious.

I have to re-affirm that the next mountain is right around the corner, bordered by the sea of opportunity. I enjoyed sailing on the masthead with my spade flag, and want to continue the ride across unexplored oceans and byways.

Upon giving name to this angst, I realize my guttural voice – that which the stars aligned from inception – always there – was preserved by my years of neglect and brewing, and re-imagined and re-born by recovery from the debauchery. I try not to be afraid of myself, or worry about acceptance. But I worry anyway. In the end, my intellectualism understands that me is me; you are you; and they are the others. Yet only one sits in the chair and types.

Sure (K)Not

My slowed processing does not keep pace with the people around me. I always saw that as a disadvantage, but then I realized that there are reasons for who I am. That at my birth, the stars aligned and the energy converged particular conditions by which I was born into. I became concrete in a way unlike others. I am who I am not just because I have a particular class, birthdate, or upbringing that claims pre-conditions for success. My distinct self is energy formed in certain ways that moves my DNA unlike any other force. My unique being should be a thing cherished, not disregarded because people don’t always see my way of doing things.

Learning to celebrate individuality works against a society that craves conformity. Looking back through our history, at some point the reinvention of the self could not gel without financial security. Today we live in a world where varied classes of people have the basic material goods that signify a middle class identity. Our cell phones, sneakers, hair styles, music and cars speak to a concerted MC formality. Many times the rich dress in MC ways to hide their wealth, while the lower classes dress to shield against the widening poverty.

Materialism, at the heart of our obsession with material goods, comforts us in ways that lead to uniformity of denial. We acquire accouterments of modernity for its age that speak a relative sameness in our expressive language. Although we tend to walk in varied philosophical clans that compete for power at any given point of public persistence, in the end we are all converging to sameness – conformity of a prescribed way of acceptability.

Personal stresses usually come from comparing our disparity, whatever it may be, in whatever relative term, to other people’s “prosperity”. In a constant mindset of being “disadvantaged,” we make decisions of trying to find a way to “advantage” ourselves, while dismissing the notion that all of this materialist mindset drives us further from our true selves.

People will defend that any counter of their codified path to success, require defending their beliefs on how things in the world function, despite creating wrongs to those who deserve compassion and dignity. Their motivated reasoning – trying to make their ideas win – while others lose – forms a type of denial. They righteously claim, “the proof is in the pudding!” People don’t like you – you have a hard time getting along with people – you are too much against the grain. All of these rationales disqualifies each strength in a person. So…that man or woman accepts this way of thinking out of fear of failure – still/always believing there is a chance to overcome the shortcomings. In reality, each step can never really right itself without buying the legitimacy of mainstream competition that disadvantages the “uncool,” “ugly,” too “loud,” awkward “irrational belief of greatness,” which sends the loser to the back of the line.

Our self-centered market worlds spills into every crevice of our social interactions. People’s denial refuses to acknowledge this, and so people don’t see their bad behavior as a part of their own competition – they will rationalize that is what talent and success is. The golden ring of power over people.

Altruism is dead. Service alludes to the principle of selflessness, however there is no such thing when you exist in a dog eat dog race. The two faces of a person – the success and the virtuous – is a product of one’s state – tabula rasula. The inherited hierarchy of being feeds people more for a material greed, supporting the race to the top, than a shared community. Competition kills equanimity.

Taking on the Role


Always thought the role I played was of an observer. Watching time pass, while at the same time, catching a framed tableau in a moment’s consciousness. Waiting patiently for the rain to roll in, the sun to set or witnessing the river flow. Taking in the scene.

The trees always sang the wind’s song, while pantomiming a narrative. Nature holds the only truths – it has no intentions; it only breathes the in and out of air to CO2 in a skin of designated cells that repeat through the cycle of life and death. Energy shapes nature, which witnesses our stories.

My voice used to hide behind a fearful eye that needed a boost to find its confidence. Once given the instrument, the heart and sound flowed freely – that voice became comfort and calm – the only sound that I could hear with clarity. As time moved forward and the ages grew, that voice moved from one symbolic page to a different script – then another and an other script. Nothing came full circle. The scenes always moved on before coming to fruition.

I always thought it was my uncontrollable passion that stopped my clarity. My brain never seemed to work right. I would see one way, then execute the strokes, which always derailed at some point. No follow through. No clear line that was a flawless run. I always believed good intentions over-rode the jagged starts and stops, which were just a part of the process of reaching for the stars.

When I read deeper into the story, my reflection painted a picture where people moved further away – repulsed? scared? I considered too afraid to face their own fear. I retreated with their retreats. I moved further from the center, and packed my bag and moved to the next studio. New circles. Inventing a new role to play. Looking for the right fit – the right being in the nothingness I clung to.

The human’s tension, so cerebral, does not shake the possession of time easily. With eyes closed, I envision something different, and then strive only to breathe and let the mind full flow to something else…

Racing for Answers

Imagine a concept of self as high functioning compassionate worker, passionate creative artist, and purposeful friend, all at the same time.

Can this type of person actually exist?
Success depends on detachment from deep feelings of apprehension or fear.
Can success sidestep acrimonious, self-serving competitor’s eyes?
Humanness without ridicule needs a strong determined and grounded right being.
You cannot move forward, while holding on to the past at the same time.
You become stagnate.

Your Mercury/Messenger clears nature’s obstacles with intellectual swords of crisp language in a well thought out script, balanced on strong limbs. The rat race proceeds – hurdle after hurdle – each leg having to lift higher, stronger and maintaining momentum – keeping the running stride.
If at any point between hurdles the Mercury/Messenger slows down, then time becomes wasted in re-accelerating or recalibrating the course. The desperate effort to “win” gets the race of ideas to the end of the track. Adrenaline rising as thousands of voices claim their ideas as more deserving than other’s, deafening the senses. Mercury/messenger pushes forward avoiding a fall or stumbling moment; working hard to land on both feet at the finish line – so close with a photo finish showing a mix of elation for finishing without dropping to the ground. On closer inspection, the runner’s pensive brow, and nervous hands pose in uncomfortable positions, while limbs search for grace to make the stress worth it.

Races – competition – one’s life work.

Arrogant, headstrong determinism believes the delusion that manipulations are everywhere and necessary. Is cheating necessary to reach the highest categories of success? The broad – vast – playing field, covered with many categories of learning, many paths to run, is impossible to master. So gaming the system becomes part of the system. Does running this type of race actually bring out one’s best self?

Questioned intentions.
Only the lines on my face speak the truth.
Yin and yang cannot hide from the eye if you are looking close enough.
Can you see the real lines?
Or do you see what you only think you see – hear only what you want to hear?
is there an objective truth?
Truth is only true to the depth you are willing to see.

Self-serving antagonists hide behind their limited generosity – just enough to play nice in the sandbox so the unobserving eye only sees their glitter in the sun drenched sand. The truth sits in plain sight – on the sleeve – within the movement of the eyes – the posture, or forced wear and tear of the voice. Eventually, the light reveals the truth when sight clears from foggy obsessions.

What to do if faced with such a truth?
Go into the breach, or look the other way?
Focus on that hurdle of unforgivingness, or focus on the letting go of the illusion of unforgivingness?

Ideas are chimeras until made into something tangible; until they acted upon.
If races are never run, then nothing would be made real.
Illusory ideas would never be built because no one would show up to build the structures thus affecting us all to become puppets to the process of the “chosen.”

Divisive minds not rooted in consensus dialogues reject anything they don’t like. They shut out voices because they assessed the unworthiness of other’s voices because they know better and usually hold a resentment. No weighing options because they have figured everything out. The rebuke with their unyielding absolutes creating greater hurdles for Mercury’s success – greater moments of unforgivingness to overcome. Is this divisive mind trying to break spirits so they will all just leave?

Each has their own truth.
Each must speak their truth.
But in giving truth a public speech, each must hear the return of that voice in other people’s truths.
Compromise between voices volleys back and forth but if the runner stops mid track because they have decided to play it their way or the high way, nothing resolves.
The players will not able to shake hands at the end of the race – because the game wasn’t really played.



My dislikes of women has only to do with what I refuse to see or accept in myself as a woman. To work toward equal ground, and celebrate the differences among us and the talents between us, depends primarily how comfortable I am as a woman in my skin. I project my fear of not meeting the survival of the fittest standard by asserting strong likes or dislikes. This counters the very essence of feminism: women accepting the equality of others despite our differences.

Now this goes the same for those women who wield their hatred against me – brandishing your judgment like frogs shooting out your mouth, into the air either as a casual quip, or out-and-out calculated aggression. Such testy rivalries only serve to reinforce how feminism is a dirty word – something truly illusory and unrealistic as women can’t seem to exist on an equal plane among themselves. Such competition among women, tearing down others whom they have declared unfit, reinforces a standard, or rather a cloaked perception, around a patriarchal notion of right and wrong.

For my feminism, I too easily have experienced that uncomfortable act of trashing another woman. My aggression, internalized by patriarchal tendencies, consciously and unconsciously acts in ways to seek approval by men as the right move. In my youth, I reinforced division by dressing like a man, seeking androgyny, spouting thoughts in hard language or aggressive tones. All this showmanship co-opted a belief of womanhood that purposefully created a division among women because it made me feel powerful in a powerless position. Working among men who only feel safe around women who don’t challenge them helps to pit groups or women against other women because they are establishing the norms of a woman’s right or wrong view. All who reinforce that kind of subjective selection are complicit in allowing men to dictate the norms of womanhood.

This marginalization of women reinforces the growing popularity of anti-feminism. When women co-opt competing womanhood by judging other women’s level of femininity, belief systems or choices – too fat or slim, tall or short, sexy or bullish – women lose their ability to have feminism as a tool toward a true condition of equality.

We have a tremendous capacity for change. So stop it ladies and grow the fuck up – take a good look in the mirror and accept your part in the process of shaming others whose politics, lifestyle or preferences are different from yours. Don’t judge based on age, or size or the power of some singular talent – embrace feminism and see beneath the veneer of your materialism that although gains in access for women exist, we are still operating in a privileged patriarchy.

Dear DA


The battle long ago, some twenty-six years in the making, came to an abrupt end when the door slammed behind me. Into the padded room, I stirred with my worst self. Delusional of clarity, being, and thinking, I laid curled in a ball on the floor with frightened conflicted tears wildly rage-full; while at the same time filled with a strange sense of relief.

In my memory’s glimpse, that moment represented all of my youthful self annihilation coming head to head with any glimmer of potential for a future. Straitjacketed by my bottomless self-centeredness, anesthetics removed, the chemical hangover lived larger than that other self understood. The long road laid before me. Choices.

The nurse came in and took me to another room with sunlight. She smoothed my crying spirit of angst and disbelief at being in this place. At this crossroad, self-centered blindness continued to shield my ability to see a future of any real possibilities beyond this captivity. My thoughts possessed only strategies to change the course on my appointed condition. However, as time slipped by, forced into seeing what I created, acceptance became the key to my freedom.

There was never a loss of a god. The edge of streets and late night harbors shadowed the very being of me and my spirituality. I didn’t know who I had become, and could not see any possibilities to change that broken girl. My life reeled inside my head like a cinema feature out of synch. Yet a presence always surrounded me. Something intangible. Like an invisible cloak protecting me from the demon, until one day, that safety disappeared. The end game was in sight, and that finale became the only possible end available to me.

Looking back at growing up without an intellectual voice to mentor me, subjected to Reagan suburban expectations, dis-ease motivated my search for something darker. I pushed to the edge of moving in faster beats, and shadowy tonal scales of percussive rhythms, and moved to New York City in quest of kindred spirits. Our street theater soundtracked by an alternative mix of 70’s back room tunes fed our revolutionary spirit against the tyranny-of-the-corporate-majority destruction of alternative arts. We launched MTV images of anxiety, dressed in dark uniforms, and danced in skank clubs that reeked of alcohol and dry goods. Life seemed fearless as we masked the apprehension and delusion.

My geographic to San Francisco tightly nailed the coffin shut. It was only a matter of time, and the resolve, set in stone, tempered a careful stride as I tried to get money from the ATM. The memory of standing that last balmy day of January as the sun set, scrambling for $20, etched the reckoning. This withdrawal led to the last crystal memory of a journey doomed toward oblivion. By Sunday, I followed the money trail back to New York, thinking I had it all under control. Nothing was as it should be, and in my room, back on The Crossway, the mirror lied, and I thought no one could tell. By Wednesday, the door slammed, and the future was born.

This present memory-tunnel post reminds where I came from, however not as something stoically held on to. This recall of the ‘flatlining of my life’ expects that I find gratitude in each day for another opportunity to practice flexibility, open-mindedness and generosity of spirit. The ball and chain of youthful resentment, anger and fear stopped me from being whole. So the memory of this embryonic critical moment reinforces the point-of-view that a future can exist where my talents may live to their fullest potential only if I get out of my own way.

We show up for the road less traveled.
We remain on the path.
We seek to recover despite the surrounding chaos and pain of accepting truth.

Work Shopping Development

leadership-valuesSelf-reflections are the necessity of design.

The essential self needs the ability to reflect, however, the way we feel about ourselves colors that reflection. So if a fruitless character trait, ingrained over years of use and misuse, weirdly appears whenever you don’t want it to, coloring a too sensitive lens, reflection becomes skewed. The result is not a state of truth, but rather a more self-centered degrading state, from a life long trait staying despite efforts, at a crossroad of needed change.

“Why me?” retorts provide opening to reflective counter arguments of silent discussions that have no audience, but in one’s mind’s eye seeks to answer the frustrations swirling over and over, rehearsing right voice.
Although time-consuming, reflection becomes the only process that leads to a safer personal space after the wrenching moments of fearful regret that forebodes being turned out.

Searching for breadth to hope.

Social norms shape responses, prohibiting truth because people act within the confines of polite virtue, especially when they want others to like them, or give them something. Fear of failure, rejection or loss outweighs celebrating a true self in these moments, especially when weakened by lack of sleep, rest and basic nourishment. No one values a good “f— you” at the expense of propriety. Society directs us to embed maneuvering through the social protocols as a means of survival. Yet in the end, this strategy lessens the ability to follow through on the things that make you happy.

The work-shoppers, a collection of self-seekers, who pretext their actions with justifications of uplifting themselves to be more of service, in truth only act and move the discourse when it elevates their positioning. Their strategic anecdotes move into the arena to seize the opportunity to tell a story of self, the subtext of which is a maneuvering of power. Stories, moving audiences to some great emotional finale of a lesson learned, only pit one against another with competing emotional narratives tuning to the pulse of repression and gross rights violations. After these types of performances, dogmatic dialogues prevail because no one dares to mention how the fabrication is just that – fabricated to manipulate people to some end. It is always about power for work-shoppers.

How did I get here?

I daydream at these points. Competing for attention only reminds me of a youth I rejected. So for survival, my attention diverts to understanding character, and how they fit into the play. Their lives become part of a script, which in the stage directions describes the way they wear their shoes, hold arms folded, or purse lips, listening, but always thinking of the next thing to say. Or the ones whose silence waits to find strained comfortability, yet still struggles in the way they hold their bodies, hearing the quiver in their tempered words, always seemingly working toward mastery, yet continually uneasy, with what feels like slight emotional instability. The work-shoppers become part of a scene, only a glimpse in time. People sacrificing for a check in their bank. I see the scene unfold, and predict the end.

I am a narrator, crafting a monologue of my reflection to divert to some distant place, searching for who I am.

The workshop facilitator explains, in squint and exhorts great excitement, to awaken interests with stories of leading the ship in treacherous waters of data, while riding the waves between the symbolic and the theoretical, and then gliding into the sunset, along to real world applications, always linking back to theory, then forward with personal quips and quivers for dramatic effect. Like a yo-yo, up, down, in, and out, moments pass: the process repeating each week, after week, into months. The work-shoppers, some tried by their own process, yet there’s always that ‘one’ who continues to maneuver.

I feel like a camera.

Processing so many stories dizzily jams my elder brain, which weighs priorities differently; knowing in the end, nothing really changes. Days provide dull light with faint overviews of what feels like a hangover from working overtime into the early morning hours, alone with my stories. monologuing in my head.

People will perform in what ever manner that provides the best path of least resistance. Power, privilege, and authority drive the soul of the go-getter – the work-shopper – only to find that something can be anything if you can hold your head high.

In the end tho, we only have ourselves. The goal is to live without regret.


Rock It!


Born into third wave feminism still meant I would be defined by men’s concept of femininity. Growing up struggling with my identity of womanhood led me to rebel into playing music on the fringe. Rock and roll women redefined femininity in that male dominated field. I’m not talking about Lilith women – I mean women who possess the raw, energetic rhythms of crunching guitars, rants and churning melodic choruses. Hard core women redefined my concept of gender and power. Many abandoned femininity for androgyny to keep a foothold of “being in the business,” and not to ruffle the boy’s feathers. Surviving beyond the misogyny, female players remain true to the rhythm, not pining for stardom, yet keeping the beat in whatever respectable position they can. Women carry our feminist culture from generation to generation, helping to support women to reach their fullest potentials. Although we look to Patti Smith and Kim Gordon as iconic rock and roll mothers, all rock women, in their own measure, pave the way to carry forward the art punk/hardcore feminist anthem.