Butterflies=the start

I was revising another job description for our agency.

Crafting language, revising, rewriting, reformatting, when it hit me.  This description looked utterly different and 100 times better then the first one I did when I first began writing them.  I’d made mistakes, I’d scrapped older versions, I’d started over, kept the basics.

Then of course, like I always do, I related it back to relationships of which, unlike job descriptions, I have not been successful at.

However, in my many experiences I have narrowed down some key factors that I believe are necessary for success; at least for me.  And it’s simple really.  I’ve boiled it down to at least two items.

1.Look for butterflies.

You know, that feeling when you heart beats a thousand times a minute when you see your beloved.  The kind of feeling you get when you are energized just thinking about them, and then you can’t stop thinking about them.  Their beauty, their humor, that funny expression they make, the way they smell.

2. Find your own JF…Jaime Frasier.  Look for someone who doesn’t leave…period.

Yep, that person that when you drive them absolutely nuts, or infuriate them with your own humanness…they don’t leave.  Sure, they may want to take a belt to your backside, but they still don’t leave.  They can’t, because they know…life without you in it…just is not as colorful.  They further know that ever minute without you, even you being an occasional asshole, in their life is like living with a huge hole in your heart.

And this is why…

Relationships are a lot like job descriptions.  They have basic elements that will always remain, but expectations and duties will change, and the more you write them the better you get.

The more you do anything in life, the better it gets.  Relationship with those you love are no different.  The more mistakes you make, and the more you do it, the better you get.

You see…mistakes…errors…are how you get better and how you learn.  So pick a man or a woman that will be by your side when you eventually say something incredibly stupid, or totally fall flat on your face, loose your job, make a huge social faux pas.  Find someone who knows you and expects you to be a raging absolute asshole…or stupidly self centered.  We all are at some point.  But also knows, this “jerk” within is just a cover for true self, which is good and kind and loving, and just a scared little kid.

They will find a way to communicate with you…they will find a way to make it work.  If they love you, because love just is.



A Cincinnati Rain

It was a beautiful stormy night.B73387E9-4C3A-47AF-93E7-D5EB668ACCC2

A Cincinnati rain on the pavement sounds very much like the solid applause of the audience after a great symphonic  performance at Music Hall.  Steady, then occasionally rising in thunder as a soloist takes his bow.

Music Halls walls have had stories coursing through its veins for 130 years; it’s structure aches with art and emotion.  Its a live thing that has always filled me with a sense of peace. A place I go when I want to simply be myself and happy.  It reminds me of home, , where elegance and passion, and beauty and mud and mire coexist.  It is a building that is exquisitely beautiful and grand, yet made so by the labor of thousands of souls that have turned on the lights, swept the stage, pulled worn bows across worn strings, thrust the power of a heartbeat into percussion, and blown their own breath of life into to horns and woodwinds.  It is a building that is humanity in sound and motion.

As I sat perched in the heights, blending into the 2500 person crowd, I was very alone and connected at the same time.  I had mastered the art of singleness.  Very strange that I had to learn to master it as an adult.  We are born single and manage it very happily through most of lives, until some of us don’t.  My reasons for this uncomfortableness of being alone are a long an winding tale of which would be a book rather then a blog post.

Interestingly enough, I was finding it wasn’t just me that had an issue with alone.  When I offered my lone subscription ticket up to my mother for the Saturday concert, she bulked and said, “Oh thanks so much, but I wouldn’t want to go by myself.”  I was a bit shocked by that phrase.  Going by myself to events is what I did, if I didn’t, I would miss out on some of the best experiences of my life.

I was beginning to actually like it, this by myself thing.  I found that other people were more uncomfortable with it than I was.  But really, was it so strange?  Many a notable and powerful woman either chose a single life or found themselves in it after a spouse had died, or they lost someone they truly loved.  Queen Elizabeth comes to mind, but as a single woman she wasn’t without companions.  Being single doesn’t mean being alone for me anymore, it means being whole.  Mastering your own wholeness is a gift.  And once you have, it’s freeing.  A world where I have found myself most fully alive and busy making my own art.  So much so, that I won’t settle for anything less then magic in my friendships or relationships.

Magic is that wonderment and excitement that surrounds those people who are cut from the same fabric of stars as you.  You know these magic tribe members by the feeling of excitement that you get from a conversation, how you can loose yourself for hours in interesting and laugh filled jabbering.  Self consciousness is thrown out the window with magic people. Magic people find you when you are busy with doing what you love.  For me that was writing, attending art gallery openings, photographing the city, playing in the digital darkroom, learning new things, reading a good book, heading off to the Mercantile, cycling, running…figuring out my next transformation, or listening to beautiful music.

The first act was…well…not so good.   But the typical Cincy crowd stood to attention like they always do, even after a bad performance.  I can’t figure out if they don’t know it’s bad, or they are just overly polite.

The second half was poetry in motion, the kind of music that made my soul rise up in my breast till it beat against my skin longing to escape into the sound.  This is the place where I am most me, lost in intonation, and notes, wandering in the musical landscape my head creates when embodied with sound that is full of passion and energy.

I left feeling…well…very happy, inspired to go home and finish a story I was working on.

Music was my muse.  I think we always fall most in love with our muses.  I have also come to believe that the person you choose in your life to be your partner should also be your muse.   Find your muse and your life will become more the masterpiece that it already is.  And when you meet that muse, make sure to recognize them and cherish them as the gift that they are, even if they are a bit infuriating.

Some of us can settle for less than a magic muse, some of us are comfortable with the simple comforts of steady, reliable….boring…

But then there are people like me…who well…require a muse and a bit of magic.

A man who can sneak into the secret passage ways of music hall with me, stumble upon names etched into the brick, touch the walls, and feel the story of all those who came before us.


Till that time…

I’m busy making my own magic 🙂



Junebug Part I

It was a gorgeous fall day as my daughter and I walked to Coffee Please; crisp sunshine, cool blue skies, light breeze to tickle the backs of our ears as we Sunday strolled down the street.  Happiness is always in the present moment, that’s where magic hangs out as well; in the road less traveled, in the walk you weren’t planning on taking.

I have this theory about life:  When you come to accept all of you, when you have forgiven all who have harmed you and forgiven yourself for harm done, and see yourself as worthy of love, when you stop denying yourself this love and give it to yourself on a daily basis, when you come to the ease of s a magical thing happens, your tribe shows up.  It’s as if you have a magnetic pull of your own ease and peace, alerts them to your presence.  It’s as if all the cells in your body are firing in rhythm, vibrating on a frequency of your likeness.  There are more of us then we think.

I first came across this serendipitous law of the Universe in February, when I bumped into Michael at a CSO performance.  We bumped into each other and never stopped talking, it was like meeting my mirror in male form.  Same outgoing personality, same love of the arts, same business acumen, same take life by the balls sort of attitude, same live and let live, same overly forgiving nature that allowed us both to often fret over where we doing the right thing or not.  Same good heartedness. From there, I was introduced to a whole new world of art and music and travel.  But it took me getting over my own fear of stepping back into the place where my heart felt the most ache, and took me chucking my self loathing out the window and say fuck it…I’m doing what I love come what may, it was in that moment that a tribe member showed up.

Since February there was a slow and steady progression of forward progress into the life that called me to it over four years ago.  Often I didn’t realize I was even on the path to get here, I just knew I was going somewhere to…it…this Magnolia House with it’s Red Lotus Room, on a street full of stories.  Traveling abroad had given me perspective, but traveling to the netherworld of my own self and examining the dark recesses of my personality is where I found the most peace.  When you go into the cave and face your deepest fear, your monster within, you find it wasn’t the monster that you thought, rather my monster was just a very hurt little girl.

When I came to see very clearly how this wounded part of myself had been running my life for 25 years I was able to finally give her a hug and say…”Yes…you are worthy and good, there is nothing wrong with you, and you are lovely.”  And with this acknowledgement, understanding, and self-acceptance I almost skipped down the street to the little white cottage which was had the most beautiful gardens I had seen.

The detached garage was open.  It was full of finely detailed cabinetry with old fashioned handles.  It was immaculate and ordered. I was taking in the strangeness of a precisely ordered garage.  My garage was always a muddled mess of tools and items for storage.

“I’m over here!”

Startled I looked to see where the voice was coming from.  As if appearing out of thin air was a woman in her late 50s.  Full figured and broad shouldered, sporting tan shorts, a t-shirts, a sensible bob of a haircut, and a hose of running water with some sort of fertilizing spray attached.

“Oh Hi!  How are you…I have been admiring your garden since I moved in.  I’m Cindy, I live up the street.”  I proudly pointed to Magnolia House.

“Good to meet you, I’m Junebug.”  It was a magic name, a name one never hears, I was enthralled and felt instantly connected to this woman who wore confidence like clothing.

(To be Continued…)

Love Lessons Come in Three’s

“Let the lesson sew itself into your bones.”

I wish I had come up with the phrase, but I didn’t, it was Vanessa. Beautiful words, beautiful conversation, beautiful everything.
I sat outside on my deck watching the sunlight sparkle off the leaves. It does indeed sparkle in the morning light particularly when you have fallen in love. I remember the first time the trees sparkled for me. It was late summer, it was evening, and the sky was turning a dusky pink. This feeling as if seeing the world how angels do, all glittery wonder. That wonder of feeling so connected to another human soul that for some reason, everything suddenly makes sense, all the pain, all the heartache, everything is worth it to have this feeling. This feeling that suddenly you are not alone. You have found what you have sought your whole life and didn’t even know. That feeling you thought was just for a book or the movies.
The second time I felt it, it was gold and reds, and shimmering people, and crimson carpet coming up to meet my feet. My heart beating like a thousand butterfly wings, my head full of music, glorious music. My synesthete self still had sound rippling through my veins, that knowing, the kind of knowing that lives in the secret places of your body. It was different than before, more intense more… everything. I think I almost ran down the hall to embrace him, and when I did it was like coming home that sense of wholeness that comes from meeting yourself in another person.
This moment was the third time I had fallen in love.  But I was alone, very much so, sitting on my deck, feeling the breeze on my neck, watching the light transfer from the leaves to a lone dragonflies blue iridescent wings. It was that feeling of wholeness again. And everything glittered gold. I looked around at the world I had created out of the ashes of my own death and broken dreams. This home, with my red lotus room, and my Southern Magnolia waiting to be planted, the French doors open wide to the morning, as I drank coffee, and cried joyful tears, waking up to me again. No need to chase or trip over someone to find this feeling, there was no need to look for it outside of myself, it was me, just simple me, and the light and my intense expressive way of experiencing life in words. These words that tickled me and tugged at my toes like little children crying out to come play. It was me with me, my beloved, my tribe.
How could I not fall in love with the positive joyfulness of experiencing the colors and coolness of a fall morning. How could I not be blissed out by words bouncing off my eyelids, the self-knowledge of knowing what the deepest desire of my heart was and then, following that without apology, or the absolute pleasure of experiencing joy after such pain. Or the realization and knowledge that love and grief is both and one in the same, and the confidence to enter in once again, to love, yet with the wisdom of knowing, when the pain comes it does not mean that there is not love, it does not mean you must run, it means you say simply, “This, this we carry together. These feelings sewn into our bones, are both of ours. We have knitted ourselves together.
This is what I need to fully breathe, this complexity of feeling. This falling in love with my own depth of emotion in all it’s fury and rage, grace, compassion, dark sorrow, passion, and ecstasy, that is cooled down by kava tea at night and gentled into a softness reflected in the candlelight. How could I ever expect another man to bare it with me until I had come to this place, this golden morning where I learned not only to bare it, but fall madly and hopelessly in love with it. Till I learned not to dull the brightness of the refracted light off shimmering leaves, or people or dragonfly wings. To understand that this depth of feeling wasn’t something to run from, it was the essence of my being.
I had always left me…
And now…
I did not fear…
I have learned to stay by my own side…through every emotion….and not apologize.