Monday, October 31, 2005

there's a bug in my coffee

I have a number of choices...I can leave it in there and pretend I don't see it. I can scoop it out, drink the coffee and pretend it was never there. Or I can take a good look at it, figure out why it's there, and decide if I should still drink the coffee.

Life is that way sometime...drops a bug in your coffee. For me, a sweet cup of coffee is a comfort zone, and there's nothing worse than the universe dropping a bug in it.

Yesterday it was a big bug. The kind that's a little scary and warrants more than just a casual notice. And it was very alive. It stared at me, with big bug eyes, and said..."Look at me. Figure out what I am, and why I'm in your coffee." At first, I tried to ignore it. No bug, no decision to make, right? But it wouldn't go away - and just when I wanted a big warm sip. So I scooped it out, held it in my hands. Watched it crawl around. It crawled up my arm and into my brain, where wandered around. It annoyed me for hours, tugged at every thought and feeling that exists up there until I thought I would go mad. Then it crawled right down into my heart, where I harbor all the self-doubt and worse-case-scenarios. It played with them, swished them right into my bloodstream where they could course through my entire body and make me tremble.

But I know all about bugs. So I coaxed him out, took another look, and realized that he wasn't really that scary after all. All the thoughts and feelings in my brain were right where they were supposed to be, and my heart had at least opened up to let him in. A little trembling is good. Feelings that make the breath catch are proof of life. And I so want to live.

So only one decision remained. I could either squish the bug, forget him and drink the coffee, or I could free him, let him fly away. I decided on the latter and waved goodbye as he flew over the jasmine and into the clouds. And I relished the coffee.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


TRUST. This word should always be written in all caps. It's a big one. Learning to trust others, learning to trust yourself. Learning to trust your guidance...that little voice inside or the messages sent from the universe. It's unsettling really. Knocks me off balance. My head gets in the way. And there's always this much of my guidance is from part of me connected with the universe - the divine, and how much of my guidance is really just my head, disguised as the part of me connected with the universe?

And then I want to put on a mask. Halloween weekend is a perfect time to think about the masks and disguises I wear. I have lots of them. Some are frightening - mostly to me. And some are quite wholesome and jolly.

Let's begin with one of the most useful masks...Suzy Creamcheese. She smiles a lot. She is white bread, wearing a Catholic school girl uniform. She says the right thing at the right time, careful not to disturb the balance. She knows the response that will elicit a favorable reaction. She has served me well, but at this point in my life, I know she's really the devil in disguise. She leads me far away from my true feelings, and puts me out where I don't want to be with her constant "yes, ma'ams" and "yes, sirs."

Next there's the prime time favorite...Desperate Housewife. She lives a lie, and paints a pretty picture of the perfect suburban family, when she's really dying inside. I haven't worn this one for about seven or so months. In fact, I don't ever plan to wear this one again.

Next, the Great and Powerful OZ. Okay, so this one is a real power trip, and proves the point that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. When I wear this mask, I am all knowing, and the way I talk makes people think so. One little-known fact can be the basis for a diatribe on "what is." When used in conjunction with the voice of authority, loud, booming and coming from behind lots of smoke and mirrors, it comes in handy when I need to feel "right." Besides, it's a big ego stroke when Dorothy and others like her follow the yellow brick road to find the way home.

Then there's Defenseless and Helpless Woman. This mask is best worn when the car needs some work or the drain is plugged. I don't really like to wear this one much, but it can come in handy, and works best when it is accompanied by cleavage.

I also have Teacher and Graphic Designer masks. These are useful for paying the bills. These masks allow me to make tons of excuses for not showing my writer face. They let me ignore the pages where I so need to be spending time. And I do like them, and the arty costumes that go with them.

My Fortune Teller mask lets me take the credit for those on the other side who provide me with insights and guidance. It's kind of nice to wear this one. Makes people think I have some special gift when the truth is, we all do.

I'm sure there are more. Some more fun than others. Clown makes people smile. Vampire sucks energy from others. Femme Fatale lets me explore the Goddess in me.

Funny thing is, though my trunk is full of great and useful masks, they are really just me, broken into a thousand pieces. And if I put them all together, they make up me, naked and vulnerable, strong and wise. So this year, I will wear a new looks like me, talks like me, acts like me. it is a combination of all these broken pieces, brought back together with glue I'll call TRUST.

Now that I'm no longer broken, I'll TRUST that other people will react to the "real me," and that this is good, and that it doesn't really matter what "they" think. I will TRUST my intuition, and hope that the person facing me is not wearing a mask, and if he is, I will see through it.

Yep, it's a big word TRUST. Happy Halloween...whoever you are.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I feel like a photograph that's been left in the developer too long - overexposed and not very clear. And I'm trying to start sentences with "I feel."

I feel...tired. Restless sleep. Chaotic deadlines. Responsibilities. They leave me wishing for quiet and a space in which to disappear for awhile.

I feel...impatient. Waiting for answers. Waiting for a sign. Waiting for a promise. Why does it feel so impossible to live "in the moment?"

I feel...uninspired. Museless. Blank sheets of paper glare at me, begging to be filled with words that don't materialize. I scurry like a squirrel, preparing for winter - long and cold.

I feel...alone. Never really lonely, but disconnected. There is no one to reach into my soul and see what's there.

I feel...overexposed. I've reached out, worn my heart on my sleeve, spoken my truth, taken the risk, yet the picture of myself remains fuzzy. Not sure what I see when I look in the mirror.

I feel...unfinished. Writing the next chapter of my life has never been so difficult. If I'm being called to move forward, I need to see the door, and it needs to be open. Wide. With sunshine on the other side, and perhaps a strong hand to pull me over the threshold.

I still have the negative...I can make a new print. One that is clear and vibrant, filled with emotion and passion. And then perhaps, I can leave the dark room behind.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

embracing the unknown

Why is this so hard for me? I just wasn't born under that star. Always in my head, I analyze. I figure it out. I get all the facts together, synthesize them, and choose the course of action that will ensure success.

Yet all around me, the universe speaks of embracing the unknown. It says, "it's okay not to know." But it's not okay, and for me it has never been okay. It is a struggle with my very nature. And while my soul longs to dance at the edge of a cliff, my head is dizzy with the what ifs.

What if you're wrong? What if you get hurt? What if you fail? What if you fall into the mistake-making human race?

I have no answers here. Only questions. And I have no net, only the promise of making a splash in the river below. My body wants to sprint to the very brink, but my feet know better. They proceed cautiously, until my toes tingle, breaching the barrier between the known and the unknown - the soft, safe ground and the cool water below. And in the space in between, so much air, thin and translucent, undefined and indistinct.

On this edge I tremble, but remain unmoving, a statue made of flesh and bone and light and darkness. Blood courses through stone and I am still and alone.

And I think that a single human touch would make all the difference, nudging me over the edge alone, or holding my hand in firm grip, joining me on the journey.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I spent the last hour writing here about commitment. Public commitment, marriage, and what it all means. And then, magically, it was gone. This leads me to believe that it wasn't meant to be posted. And so it won't be.

Instead, I will only say I have been stuck on this thought for a few days, and obviously, it needs more time to percolate before I commit it to this blog - a permanent record of my thoughts and least for now.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


I dreamed of you last night. You were here, so close I could touch you, hear you breathing. And you were looking for something. Then you asked if I had any crayons. I do. And in my dream I gave you a big coffee can full and you smiled and took my hand. We sat on the floor, surrounding by big blank sheets of paper, and made pictures with bright colors. I don't know what it is we were drawing, but we were laughing like six-year-olds. And life was good.

What are dreams anyhow? Are they the manifestations of unrealized hope? Do they allow our unconscious a space to roam? Do they allow us to visit a parallel universe? The future? The past? I like to think that when I meet you in my dreams, you are dreaming, too. And that somewhere in the vast space of the night, there is no distance between us. When I look up I can see into your eyes, and when I reach out I can feel your touch. I wonder if I tried hard enough, could I know what is in your head? In your heart?

And when I woke up. I smiled at the memory of you. And I thought perhaps that the universe was affirming what I know. You bring out the child in me, and spark my creativity. You remind me that I can paint my future with bright colors as you paint yours, and that it's important not to take life so seriously, and to indulge the little girl in me.

Last night, I think our souls went out to play, and you were so close I could hear you breathing?

Monday, October 10, 2005

out of control I'm a little bit of a control freak. I never really thought that I was, but I'm learning that I am. I really do want to change this. I think though, that some of us are born with the need to affect each situation we touch. I happen to be one of them. And so on this morning, I am making a commitment to release this piece of me that has been so ingrained into my very being.

Like everything, I think maybe it goes back to the religion thing. Let's say, I'm a little girl again. I'm sitting in the pew at church with my family listening intently to the priest who talks about saving one's soul. He says something like. It's up to you. It's about the choices you make. You can choose to be good, follow the rules, and go to heaven and be with GOD. Or you can choose to be bad, break the rules, and burn in the fires where the DEVIL dwells. So, being a very little girl, it all seems very black and white. Since being with GOD, floating into heaven, white dress, great pair of wings, angelic music seems much better than being with the DEVIL, no wings, scary, dark, very hot, melting skin and EVIL, I decide I better follow the rules, and along the way, I had just better make sure that everyone else that I love follows the rules, too.

So I begin to follow the rules...what I find is that following the rules really isn't too difficult, and the benefits are great. Mom and Dad smile more and never yell at me. My teachers give me good grades and say what a "joy" I am to have in their classes. This makes my mom and dad smile even more. What I learn is that by acting a certain way, and doing certain things, I can affect the way other people respond to me. Hey, works for me, even as a little girl in my blue and gray plaid school uniform.

Then I begin to grown up. And I start wondering about this GOD and the DEVIL thing. Somehow there are many contradictions in the story. So if this GOD is all about love, then how could he possibly send the people who've never heard THE STORY to be with the DEVIL? And I realize that it was an accident of birth that I was lucky enough to get this family who told me the THE STORY so I could go to heaven. Then more questions began to pop up. If all the people at church were good, and going to heaven, why were they mean when they were not in church, and why did they not live THE STORY?

So the religious stuff changed for me...I am recovering from the whole GOD and DEVIL virus, but what remains is the belief that I can somehow save the world and affect the way people see me and way others act. This is a much more difficult recovery. It has served me well throughout my life, and it takes tons of energy to get rid of it. There is no cure, I fear, only an easy acceptance. And despite my willingness, I have to fight it every day, and every moment of every day.

I've read the words of many wise people. These I could choose to follow, to repeat to myself everyday and every moment of every day. Instead I've chosen as a new mantra the words I read on a wall plaque...

"How can I control my life when I can't even control my hair?????"

Saturday, October 08, 2005

saturday morning

Cool front blew in to the region, and into my soul. With the weather my emotions have tempered. I too cool off and take time to regroup and rethink with casual acceptance that the heat source that warmed me so is distant and unreachable. And this is part of the ebb and flow of time, like the sun that moves away from the earth as winter approaches. Not being a scientist and unable to prove that this theory is truth, I accept it without understanding. Not being an expert on the male psyche, I also accept the theory that this is the way the other half behaves - gently pulling away to process what's in their head and heart.
And so I will wait, knowing that even as the sun retreats, it will come full circle in spring. And I will again feel its heat and bask in its light. For this is the way of the sun, and of men.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

fighting the tide

Waves rush in
reaching for my feet with watery fingers
beckoning me forward
into frothy depths

and as I did yesterday
and the day before that
I move away
afraid to step into the deep ocean that is you

You are mysterious sea
with whitecap laughter
and unseen bottom
and endless and engulfing

Your pull is too strong
And I am at surf's edge
my toes warmed by your caress
cooled by a breeze that whispers promise

I know the danger in your darkness
yet I move forward
until I am weightless
the safe shore distant in shadowy moonlight

You lap at my face
and tug at my flesh
and I cannot breathe
but let you hold me

Buoyant I float
in your arms
electric with life
until you pull away

As if directed by the very moon
that brought you to me
you retreat called away
and leave me beached

Lying in the dawn's soft light
I watch the sea birds
and wonder at the magic of the tide
and you

I shake the sand from my feet
Salty memories cling to my skin
and your scent is everywhere

You will come again tomorrow
and the day after that
And I will be waiting on the shore
unable to fight the tide

Melissa Bachara Rohwedder

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

casting shadows

The weather is finally becoming a bit cooler in the morning, allowing me to enjoy my first cup of coffee on the patio. The hum of the neighbor's air conditioner is a bit annoying, but it fades into the silence as I watch the sky erupt from darkness to light. The cycle of the moon and sun continues, and my life with it.

Legs tucked under me, I sipped from my cup and noticed the shadows that fell around me and wondered at their source. Their shapes made no sense if they came from the east, or even the south, but these were the only two options. On looking more closely, I realized that they were a combination of the two, cast from three different sources, their forms intermingled into things unrecognizable.

Are we not like these sources and their shadows? While we think ourselves solitary, alone, we cast shadows, leave behind our own energy, that mingles with that of other beings. Something foreign and unrecognizable takes form, and we are its creators. It is your energy and mine, and the energy of others.

Do I make this new form more interesting? More beautiful? Will the shadows I leave behind make my world a better place, or a fearful one? Do I bring harmony, or chaos? And will I consider my responsibility for this form with each action I take as the cycle moon and sun continues?

Or perhaps it is all inconsequential. As I empty my cup, the sun rises - the shadows disappear. For those who walk in the light, there is no darkness. All is cleansed and purified by the Source. And shadows are illusion.

Monday, October 03, 2005

new moon

With the rising of the new moon, I am reminded to reaffirm my heart's desires, to be clear on who I am and what it is that I really want. And so in the quiet of last night, I sat on the floor and reconsidered my place in the world. I spoke out loud to the goddess, the woman in the moon, and listed carefully, clearly, and with thoughtful concentration and humility, those gifts to myself that I will graciously accept in my life.

The last month has been one of rediscovery. I am reminded of the person I was before things seemed to fall apart. And I have decided that she has returned and is no longer buried beneath those choices that do no serve her.

It's been a long time since I really thought about what I want in life. Instead, I spent too much time thinking about what I didn't want. Those things that no longer serve me seem to be falling away as the days and months pass. But they have been replaced by the void, as I never filled those empty spaces with those things my heart really desires.

Gazing up at the stars as I walked with Bailey this morning, I felt renewed. Stars in the heavens marked each and every desire I hold in my heart as I move forward, playfully, in fearless anticipation of joy. And as I gaze at the sky each night, I will reaffirm..."so be it."

Saturday, October 01, 2005

this moment

It sounds great in books..."be in the moment."

What happens when the last few moments seem better somehow than this particular moment? And if there is no time, just the eternal now, and if all moments are not a stream, but instead exist simultaneously, then why can't I seem to experience the good moments all the time?

Sound a little scattered? It's a reflection of this moment.

I long, linger, fear and rejoice, all at this very moment. Complex...I long for a simple answer. Yes, I spend too much time in my head. But how does one get out of this labyrinth of mind? I'm guessing it has to do with meditation, or long walks in the woods, but I feel like sleep might help. Then there are the dreams. I fight with my pillow and kick off the blanket. I am cold then hot. Resigned to sleeplessness, I light a candle and a cigarette and imagine that I am not alone, but somehow connected with another soul. In candleglow, darkness is kept at bay. I lie against my pillow and feel shared body heat, hot breath on my neck, feel the reverberation of heart in chest against my back.

What is real? What is not? It becomes nebulous and gauzy. I dream.

Until the moment I awaken.