penultimate

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It’s my second-last night in the treehouse, for about 6 weeks. J leaves for Atlanta on Thursday, and I’ll be sleeping most nights in the former conjugal home till he returns mid-April. I’ll take every opportunity to spend an hour (or more) here; it’s only a 15 min drive and it’s on the way to and from work. But I need to admit the fact that I’ve committed to being elsewhere, pretty much full time, for the next while.

It’s been made worse by the fact that L had yet another major fight with her mother last Friday night, so even the every-other-weekend-with-mom plan is blown.

J asked me to come over tonight, to go over the last details (here are the Disneyland tickets, there are the tax papers, put these dr appointments in your calendar), and because he just wanted to see me before he goes. He hugged me tight and told me he loves me. He said over and over how grateful he is for my kindness and generosity. I looked at him and thought: you will never have another wife like me. Knowing he and the chicky-babe are “in love, and everything is great” leaves me wondering why I am doing this.

But I know the answer.

I don’t stop loving just because someone else does. Not that I want him back. I’m past that, and I deserve so much better. But neither can I muster any hate. A friend asks for my help, I’m there.

the wedding

Tonight, Lola and Lynne exchanged vows before their loved ones, and I felt privileged to be there.

It doesn’t matter that gay marriage is not legal in CA, that they had already formed a domestic partnership, that they were already wearing rings, or that I am jaded about “forever” promises right now. What matters is that we gathered to celebrate their love and commitment.

What follows is a bunch of funky pictures and my reasons why I love them.

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I love that Lola is the only one posing, and she is out of focus. That Lynne looks so severe, even though she’s not. And that Sara looks so naturally beautiful, when usually she pulls a stupid/ugly face whenever a camera is pointed her way. (Only with friends. She’s actually a model and actress and certainly knows how to play to the camera.)

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Case in point: Sara pulling a stupid face. Though this is mild, compared to her “hungry constipated” face.

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Our much loved ASL professor, Cindy Herbst, interpreted the ceremony. I cannot begin to tell you how much respect and admiration we (myself, Lola, Sara, Michael and many other guests tonight) hold for this woman. She has changed many people’s worlds, mine included. Cindy, you rock.

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Conrad Coy, you were born four days after #felixhepburn, and you stand toe to toe in the cuteness stakes. Not that it’s a competition. I have to say I love the way you are sucking your thumb while trying to redirect the attention with that pointer finger.

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It was awesome that Michael came from New York for the occasion. And that he hardly knew anyone else there, so I got to monopolize him for most of the evening :-) He, Lola, Sara and I met in the ASL Interpreter Training Program.

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I love that Lola looks like she’s about to hear some really bad news. But no, all she heard was how much Lynne loves and appreciates her. Yay!

And when the vows and speeches and food were all done, I got to rock out on the dance floor! My favourite part of weddings!

filling with light

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On weekdays I’m up by 6am, and on the road before 7. But on weekends, ah! I can lie in my treehouse bed as the room fills with light, embraced by the quilt, peaceful and quiet. Nowhere to be but here.

in sewing news …

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I made another Two Zip Hipster Bag, this time at the designer’s intended size. I don’t like it as much as the original. The pattern calls for both iron-on and sew-in interfacing; I used canvas for the latter. But as my main fabric is home dec weight, it really wasn’t necessary, and the whole bag just feels too bulky for my liking. Also, predominantly-white is an impractical color for me, so I’m thinking of dyeing the whole thing dark blue, which hopefully won’t change the color of the dupioni silk lining too much.

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Last night I made the trek to Sew L.A. in Silver Lake to meet Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns fame, and get my book autographed. Unexpected bonus: Oonaballoona and Mena Trott (neither of whom live in L.A.) were also in attendance. Both high energy ladies, and a barrel of laughs.

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As I’d been creeping through Saturday night traffic on the way there, I’d questioned my sanity about making the outing. But I’m so glad I did. It really put a smile on my face, and inspired me to sew some clothes at last.

solace


This poem by Jen Lee speaks my heart.

My new place is so simple, just two rooms, with only the possessions I need, nothing extraneous. I’ve ‘cleared out the objects of seasons past’. Well, actually, I just didn’t take them with me.

Each day
” … begins and
ends with me
just me
laying in my bed,
seeking assurance in my breath
and clinging to this mantra:
Just be a body.
And I let myself be covered.
I let myself be held.”

Thank you, Jen.

wings

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

I often wake in the night here, usually to the sound of coyotes. But last night it was a bird who serenaded me. Surely not a blackbird, but I thought of these lyrics when dawn broke.

My friends, endlessly supportive but not shy to voice their concerns, were very skeptical about my reunion with J last October. “Please protect your heart,” they warned me. And they flat out told him, “Don’t mess with Hashi again. Or else.”

And now, as we separate a second time, they look askance at me as I am still there for him on a daily basis.

“Just don’t take his calls!” some say, as I listen for half an hour to his tales of angst.
“L has a mother! She should be stepping up if J leaves town!” others urge.

But .. but … but … I tell these women who love me. But … I have compassion for him. But … I love the kids. But … I am just trying to conduct myself with grace and courage. It’s OK, I’ll be fine.

Fine. Until the cracks appear, and I cry at work. Until it becomes obvious that my wings are, in fact, broken, and in need of mending.

Before 9AM this morning, a text from J told me that the out-of-town gig may not, in fact, be happening after all. I sat there, stunned. Yes, I’d prefer I could stay in my treehouse. But .. could you please stop messing with me? One day you want me, the next day you want the chicky-babe. One day you’re ready to kill yourself, the next you’re deliriously happy. One day, you’re leaving town and my life is upside down, the next you’re not.

And suddenly it became extremely clear, that, if my wings are ever to heal, I need and want to finally and fully separate from Mr. Rollercoaster.

finding my right place

I went for a walk this morning, climbing my winding road to greater heights.

I ponder how different I feel here in Topanga, from how I felt when I moved to Inglewood last year. There, I loved the home, it truly was a House of Healing. And I loved the short commute. But I didn’t feel any affinity for the neighbourhood or its inhabitants. They were very nice, but just … not my peeps.

While I am no longer the feral hippie of my teens and twenties, raising babies without water and power in hand built shacks, I still resonate with the counter-cultural vibe of Topanga. You can take the girl out of the commune, but you can’t take the hippie out of the girl, I guess. It just feels good here. Which is why I am quietly freaking out about going back to West Hills while J is out of town.

But I still have a few more days. Time to paint again. Oh yeah.

and on the seventh day …


I have slept six nights in my lovely new home; slept peacefully and well (once we stopped the compressor below my bedroom window running half the night.) I am so content here. My landlords/roommates are a delight. They took me out to dinner on Thursday, and we got to know each other a little better. We’re a great fit.

But … it suddenly seems I will not be spending a lot of time in my haven over the next 2 months. J has taken a job out of town, and I’m going to be L’s primary caregiver in his absence (starting mid next week). So, just days after moving in, I’m mentally preparing to go back to the marital home.

I’m far from thrilled, but I know it’s in all our best interests. J needs the gig, I need him to be able to pay the taxes in April, and L needs a parent. It’s just till early April, and I’ll surely have SOME nights when I can come back here to my treehouse to sleep.

But for now, I still have four more nights here….

morning has broken

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My new bedroom is high up on the south-east corner of the house, with big windows along both exterior walls. I get to watch from my bed, through the branches of a big old conifer, as the sun rises over the mountains. It’s magic, I tell you! Magic!

moving day

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You have to wait till tomorrow for photos, but tonight I just want to let you know that my new place feels so so RIGHT. J helped me move; he walked in here this morning and was gobsmacked. “Wow. WOW. This feels like YOU! It’s perfect!” I just beamed and said, “See? I told you!”

(He was slightly less enthusiastic after 79 trips up the many steep stairs.)

When everything was in, we rested, me stretched on the unmade bed, J in the computer chair, the Boy in my meditation chair. The sun streamed in through the branches of the pine tree right outside the window. We listened to a woodpecker and the Boy caught us up on what’s been happening in his world for the past few weeks. I felt every muscle un-tense.

When the guys left, I took things very slowly. I couldn’t have rushed if I tried. Much is still in crates — key furniture items (mainly my fabric cubes) could not be finagled in here so I need to figure out how to deal with fabric and art supplies. But clothes and kitchen things were gently given new homes.

This time, I do not feel bereft. This time, I feel blessed..

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