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For Magic: In Memoriam (4.7.2004 – 2.16.2012)

February 18, 2012

Hey there Blogges,

How are you?  Me, I haven’t been so good.  Out there surviving a job, sick and on interferon treatment for Hepatitis C and waiting for another heart procedure.  But still, I’m okay.  I’m here, I’m clean and sober, and somehow I know that God is on my side through it all.

I’m here today to blog about someone I love, someone who has made the passage.  That someone is my cat, Magic, and he was definitely a big someone to me.  He was my baby boy and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  I’m sure that many of you have also felt the terrible grief of losing your pet to sickness; of having to make the decision to have them put to sleep.  For me, the decision came a few days ago on Thursday, February 16th at 10:00 am.   I will miss him sorely.

So here are a few words, some pictures and a poem in his memoriam.

I never wrote too much about Magic because he was always such a seamless part of my life – a part of me – and someone who I thought would always be there.  He did so much for me.  He let me be loving and unselfish.  He asked me to be soft and sweet to him (and I was.) He required that I should be responsible and giving.  And he didn’t demand these things of me or yell at me to get them.  All he did was love me.  Unconditionally.

He taught me how to be committted and give 150% of myself.  He taught me to enjoy a moment in the sun and how to watch the rain.  He taught me to be excited about the birds singing in the trees in the morning.  He taught me that cuddling is as necessary as breathing.  He taught me that all the love I could give could be returned tenfold.  He taught me to never give up.  And in the end he taught me that death is to be accepted and that there is only freedom.


The Passage
I lay twisted and broken on the forest floor
cool pine needles touching my hands
and as shadows slid round and behind me
my breath grew still, was no more.

Down through the earth and sky I fell
deep into sweet icy waters
until rocked by the currents
I drifted away and the stars
rushed up to meet me.

I opened my eyes in the grey before dawn
no chorus of birds in the trees
but then small sounds came to my ears
So I knew.

I will never forget him and I will always love him.  He really was magical, just like his name.  I will be back soon with more blogs, more about the book and more about the journey in general.  I will try to give 150% and be free, just like he is.

Love & Perseverance

Kate

Happy Birthday to Me! (Maybe)

August 24, 2011

Hello Bloggees & Friends,

It’s the day after my birthday – and I am floored! Happily so. So many people checked in with me to wish me happy birthday, and here I was, sitting around thinking I was all alone. Really, it’s true. I’ll tell you what it’s all about.

You see, sometimes the bike pedals uphill. I think a lot of you may know what I mean. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t let go of my dream, haven’t let go of my heart, but the desert’s been mighty dry lately, the oars have been pretty heavy, my wheels have been spinning fast trying get up the hill (You may insert any stock “hard times” phrase you wish right here.)

So….back to sitting round all alone. I don’t really have any excuses. It’s just that I got tired. It’s just that for a minute, even though I tried to hold on, I lost hope. I stopped believing that it could ever be different and all of a sudden the world got heavy.

I don’t want sympathy, I don’t want to whine and cry either. But on the other hand, I’m not going to deny that sometimes I don’t feel good. That sometimes old feelings, old fears (and new fears) feel very real.

I’m only human, and contrary to all that lovely advertising and happy facebook living everyone seems to be doing, l want to say that I often feel confused about what is possible, what I’m entitled to versus what I’m not, and even what my deluded mind is telling me I’ve got to have, do or be.

Whew! Am I going crazy trying to sort it all out?

Probably.

Happy Birthday to me.

I love all of you.

Love & Perserverance

Kate

Spring, bugs, self-esteem. There’s a connection……

April 1, 2011

Hey, Bloggees and Friends.  This was originally posted as “Today I can Try” – and trying is definitely what I’ve been doing, maybe even succeeding a little.  I know you haven’t heard much from me lately.  All I can say that life gets crazy busy and hard sometimes.  Still, that’s no excuse. but here goes.

Well, I had bravado, and I lost it.  I searched for self-confidence and couldn’t find it.  Then someone told me I should go get self-esteem.  Self-esteem would know where self-confidence was, they said.

So I began my search for self-esteem. 

I looked everywhere.  I fought through swamps, climbed over mountains, even looked deep underwater because I knew self-esteem didn’t want to be found.  He was hiding from me.  And I’d heard it was rumored that he was the last of his tribe.

I had to find him.

Exhausted after all that fighting, the running and then the climbing, and after such a long swim, I crawled out of the ocean, sat down on a rock looking out to sea, and cried.  It seemed I would never find self-esteem. 

Then I felt an uncomfortable little tickle on the sole of my foot.  It felt like some horrible bug.  Scared at what I might find, I jumped up, shook my foot as hard as I could, and wiggled my toes.

“Hey,” a voice said.  “Stop that!  I’m trying to stick with you, but if you struggle too much, I’ll fall off.”

What?!

Shocked, I plopped back down on the rock and gingerly lifted my foot to my lap.  Sure enough, stuck to my sole was a wiggly little bug.  Was that where the voice was coming from?

My silent question was answered immediately.

“Hi,” said the bug, “I’m self-esteem, and I’ve been waiting for you to sit down and take a break from all your running around so I could let you know I was here. You’ve been squishing me to death with your big feet.”

“Okay…?”  I answered, feeling pretty unsure of myself, and the whole situation as well.  I looked down in disbelief at the tiny little bug on my foot.  “Well, I guess I’ve found you, but I thought you would be a little more impressive.  Definitely a lot bigger and more powerful.”

I must say, I was surprised at self-esteem’s appearance – and his tinny little voice.  After all, I had been told that self-esteem was a big deal and I thought his voice would be loud and sonorous, sort of like the voice in the Wizard of Oz.  But then, when I took the time to look more closely, I realized that self-esteem was quite beautiful, with his tiny antennae of irridescent blue, wings coated in a rainbow of colors, and a body in the sweet round shape of a ladybug covering a multitude of feather-soft tentacles.

Self-esteem sighed.  “That’s what people always think.  You don’t know how many of us get squashed as soon as we’re hatched, what with all the crazy running around we have to endure.  And, you know, some people actually kill us on purpose.  Can you believe that?”

I didn’t know what to say, but self-esteem didn’t need an answer.  “Oh, how I weep when I think of all my dead brothers,” he lamented, his voice cracking. 

Was that a tiny drop of water I just felt on my foot?

Well, this was certainly a twist I never expected.  But, by now I had learned to go with the flow, even if only a little, so I decided I’d try to wrap my mind around the situation just as it was and ask self-esteem what to do.  It was better than guessing, I supposed.

“Okay Self-esteem, you tell me.  How do I make you grow?”

“Great question,” Self-esteem replied.  “And I’m happy that you asked.  I knew I had attached myself to the right foot.  See that ocean over there?”  he asked, flicking his irridescent antenna toward the matching blue beyond.

“Yes,” I acknowledged, “I see.” But for the life of me I couldn’t tell where all this was going.  I mean, DUH, how obvious can you get?  After all, it’s the ocean.  It’s big and blue and all encompassing.  You can’t really miss it.

“Well,” he continued, “Take a nice clean glass, fill it with water from the ocean and then put me in the glass of water so I can live happily and grow.”

“Wow, that’s great!” I exclaimed, impressed with how easy this was all turning out to be.  “But what does this have to do with self-confidence?” I asked.

“Wait,” Self-esteem commanded, raising a tiny tentacle in warning.  “Listen to the rest of the instructions.”

“Okay, I will,” I promised, now intent to learn the rest.  I sat quietly with my sole up, foot perched on my lap, ready to listen to his every word.  After so much pain and hard work I had learned, at least, to do that.

“Hm, hm…” Self-esteem cleared his throat, or maybe what passed for one, and then continued. “Most important, you must replenish the glass every day with fresh water from the ocean.  If you don’t I will never grow and may even die.”

“Oh, Wow.”  It suddenly struck me.  This was serious.  Growing self-esteem was hard work.  His life depended on me. 

Then my heart went out to self-esteem and in that instant I knew I had made the commitment to care for this tiny creature I couldn’t help but love. 

“Okay, Okay, I’ll do it!”  I nearly shouted, now excited at the prospect of  a new adventure.  Then I remembered.  “But self-esteem, I need self-confidence,” I insisted.  “Lots of it.  There’s so much I want to achieve and I need self-confidence to get it done.  When I asked other people about finding self-confidence, they said I needed to find you.”

Self-esteem rolled his eyes (was I hallucinating?)

“My dear, that question is so easy to answer,”   he sighed.  “Self-confidence, self-love, selflessness and self-forgetting are all my children.”

I peered down at Self-esteem.  Was he grinning?  At least I thought so.  Although maybe I imagined it because the truth is I would’ve needed a magnifying glass to see.  Still, I could swear that Self-esteem had the enigmatic smirk of the Mona Lisa plastered all over his tiny face. 

Wait a minute.

Had I mistook his gender?  Was Self-esteem a he, or was he really a she? Or something else entirely?

“Oh, and one more thing,” Self-esteem added, sounding now quite mischievous.  “You were asking so many quetions, I forgot to tell you.  I’m pregnant.  Now go get me a glass of water.”

Love & Perseverance

Et, Voila!

January 11, 2011

Hello out there, Friends and Bloggees,

And there is exactly where I am.  Most definitely.  In that quasi-space between being done with the past and completely ready for the future.  That middle ground where the ground doesn’t seem very stable at all.  I guess that’s what happens when you let go of the won’ts.  You’re left with the will’s, would-like-to’s, the what-if’s, even the (dare I say it) possibles.

Well, so now the question is  – What do I do while I’m here? There, that is. (Just in case you’ve lost the thread on this whole train of thought…)

Well, this morning, in an effort to manage said situation and to try and stay on solid ground, I roamed up and down hallways which cut through the carefully planted rows of cubicles at my 9to5, answered a couple of calls I really should have let go into voicemail, ate a few potato chips, and then ate two pieces of fruit for lunch to counteract the effect of the potato chips (I’m sure many of you know how this works) until finally I couldn’t take it any more and succumbed to the lure of the “what-if I sat down to blog for a minute?  It wouldn’t take so long” and the irresistible “sure, it’s possible.  I can sneak it in.”

Et, Voila!

Here I am, right where I want to be.

Love & Perseverance

Letting Go of the Won’ts

January 2, 2011

Hey there Friends and Bloggees.  Whew! It’s been a  long haul. That’s right.  Look below and you’ll see the last time I was out here was November 13.    Been carrying around alot of won’ts. If you know what I mean.  But in 2011 I’m going to try to try to unload them, let them go.

What’s a won’t?  Glad you asked.

I don’t know about you, but my won’ts look like big roughhewn sandstone blocks.  Oh, about the size of the ones that went into making the pyramids.  Believe me, when they get stacked up they’re hard to get around.

You see, I’ve always had this idea that my will, that thing that pushed and moved me hither and thither, banging me like a pinball around the universe from one calamity to another was THE problem. 

I came to think, “If I can just get this stupid will under control and into alignment the rest is gravy.  No more problems for me.  Yes sirree, Bob. ”

Wrong again.

What I failed to realize was that all that will had left behind a big pile of won’ts.

Won’ts like…

I won’t have enough to give,

I won’t have enough energy,

I won’t have enough time,

I won’t be good enough.

Or how about…

I won’t know how to do it.  So I better not do it at all.

I won’t do it perfectly.  So why bother.

I won’t be a big success.  So what’s the use.

You get the picture.  Frustrating isn’t it?  After all, how can I get anything done with all those won’ts standing in the way?

So, like so many of us out there at this time of year, prone to New Year’s Resolutions, I have decided that I too, will make a resolve.

To let go of the won’ts.

Love & Perseverance

I dream of Catalina

November 13, 2010

Hey there Friends and Bloggees.  Here we go again.  Is it really November 13?  I guess it is. And it’s been 3 weeks (gasp) since I’ve sat down to type in the little box.  So, before I start donning the hair shirt and getting out the cat-o-nine tails to punish myself for not keeping up my creative commitments, I am just going to say “Oh well,” and keep on dreaming of Catalina.

Obviously, as you can see from above, dreaming of Catalina is my way of saying something else.  What it is, I don’t know yet, but by the end of this blog maybe we’ll both find out.  Who knows, maybe you even do the same sort of thing.

Here goes.

So this morning I’m sitting in the sun at the cafe down the street, drinking coffee and eating the scone I’ve been waiting for all week, surrounded by other people who are also enjoying a sunny November morning with their significant other, kids, dogs, etc.  You know the drill. 

Anyway, after about 45 minutes hanging out with the sun in my eyes I’m feeling pretty relaxed, feeling pretty much a part of this friendly little scene, when all of a sudden – Bam! – I’m dreaming about Catalina (the island off the coast of California – in case you were confused.)

And just that quickly I’m thinking about how much warmer the sun would be if I were in a cafe in Catalina, what the bike ride home would be like if I had a place in Catalina, and what sort of people I might meet in Catalina.

Are you getting the picture?

Now here’s the kicker.  I’ve never been to Catalina Island.  I don’t even know what it’s really like.  But I’ve always wanted to go and sometimes I even get on Google World and browse the satellite photos for a while, imagining its beaches and harbors, its ranches and marinas.

Aah Catalina…. A life of sunshine, fun, and relaxation.

But – Hey!  What about my little cafe down the street, with the great scones and the gourmet coffee? What about the nice people with their kids and their dogs?

Rewind.

I looked up and the sun was in my eyes, the clock on the tower was moving forward, I was once again an observer, and it was time to go.  Damn, I thought, there I go again.  Never quite satisfied, never quite committing to the rock-solid present, just a little out of sync, maybe one degree removed from participation.

Aah, Catalina, thy name is imagination.  And I wouldn’t give it up for all the world.

Love & Perseverance

Mushy

October 23, 2010

Hello there, Friends and Bloggees.  I know it’s been a week since I last sat down to type in my little box, floating along out here in this backwater eddy of the internet, but hey(!), I just made it through the first week of a new job.  Not all good, not that well paid, but not all bad either.  Turns out it’s an okay place to work with some okay people. So we’ll see what happens.

What does all that have to do with the title?  Well, I have no idea – yet.  But by the end of this blog I might and you might, too  (I hope. ) That whole train of thought was pretty mushy, wasn’t it?  See what I mean?

So here goes.

I was sitting outside this morning at my favorite place up the street, drinking coffee and enjoying a scone in the semi-cold, slightly rainy, transitional sort of Bay Area weather so typical in October when I paused in the middle of writing my morning pages and wrote…my thinking feels so mushy….  Then I went back and underlined it twice.

That’s when I knew I had the title for my Blog.  I hate it when that happens.

Because when it does, I have to get out here and go out on a limb so I can discover why I have been mandated to use said title.  It’s happened to me before (see “Hey There!” – 7/1/10 and “With a Vengeance” – 7/3/10.)

And to be given a word like mushy to write about.  Well, what am I going to do with that?  After all, mushy is how baby food is described.  Mushy is all about overly sentimental, trite story lines in romantic movies with unbelievable happy endings.  Mushy describes soft, squishy, vulnerable feelings, almost embarrassing in their baby softness.

Give me words like razor-sharp, delineated, driven, dynamic, clear, incisive, sharp.  Those words feel good; speedy, cool, rushing down the straight-away to a goal I’ve got my eyes glued on.  Whew! I can practically feel the wind whistling past my ears.  Now those words I can like. 

But MUSHY!?

So who knows what will happen.  Because as I write what I think changes and meanders, finding its own path as it drifts downstream in the sunshine, following the course of a powerful river making its way to the sea.  And then suddenly, the future becomes mushy; as in unclear, undefined, unknown, unfettered, uncontrolled, and yes, even unimagined.

Hmmm, maybe mushy isn’t so bad after all.

Love & Perseverance