Friday, May 31, 2013

Tree Poses

Have you ever done something wrong and despite numerous attempts to let yourself off the hook, you just can't seem to?  I've begun refusing to admit I'm human and fallible lately, therefore I am shocked when I take a look at my imperfections. 

Tonight I decided to take a hot yoga class.  It was 90 degrees in Philly roday but what's 10 degrees more inside an enclosed room with 12 other sweaty bodies and hot breath surrounding you?  I thought maybe, just maybe, contorting my body into tree pose, taking deliberate deep breaths, and forcing myself to repeat, "let it go" while the teacher made us all link arms would relieve me of my mental obsessions and force me to gain peaceful perspective, but I was mistaken.  Half way through the class, I resigned to my favorite pose, "child's pose" for three minutes straight and then got up to see if the water fountain was running (it was not).  Yoga was not going to be my solution for serenity.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

so fresh and so clean in 2013 (i didn't mean to rhyme but that was awesome)

Hello, World.  It's 2013. 

Other than my extreme phobia of watching the ball drop at midnight (for reasons unknown), and the realization that I am yet another year older (and one year away from 30--eek!) I do like the idea of starting a new 365-day chapter.

In my own personal world, I was a bad-ass in 2012.  I say this because upon looking back, this year looks to me in my minds eye, like one full of color.  I credit my job for forcing me to speak up and be bold, I credit my on-again-off-again relationship for pushing me to decide what I really f*cking want, (and what I want is to not be in said on-again-off-again relationship anymore) and I credit red lipstick for making me feel sexy.  (hehe).

This year I want to of course, grow.  Don't we all?  I'd like to let a little bit more roll off my back, I'd like to be more sensitive to others' flaws, I'd like to dive head first into the rest of my 12 steps, I'd like to run each morning at 7 am (maaaaaaaan, this one is tough), I'd like to work more to my potential career-wise, I'd like to stop taking prisoners and let em' fly, I'd like to somehow help kids in need and I'd like to use my iPhone less. 

What I want for the world is for us all to forgive ourselves.  I'd like us all to take a good look in the mirror (after we wash our makeup off/the day off) and say, "I'm human."  We are limited creatures.  We can't control all we wish we could.  We can't always have our way.  But we can try to be more compassionate today.  We can start to slow down and listen today.  We can look each other in the eye and get to know each other before we judge and we can smile more often.  Because, yes, we've all been through some sh*t, but we are esssentially all we have.  So, let's make the best of it.

Cheers to 2013.  Bring it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Last night I woke up abruptly at 3 AM to the faint blue color of my TV screen clashing against the darkness of night.  My dog was next to me in a sound sleep but I was as awake as I would have been had I just finished a cup of extra strong coffee.  Remnants of my horrible dream began flooding me and I recognized the fear as familiar;  this was the same fear I experienced as a child and adolescent when I woke up from a nightmare. 

My grandmother was laying in the same hospital bed that my grandfather was laying in just a few months ago, right before he died.  We were all crowded around her bed, just as we were with him.  Only she was much more lucid and coherent than he.  She was crying and begging us not to let her go.  She didn't want to leave.  She looked around at us as if we held the key to her destiny, to her life.  But I knew in my heart that we didn't.  That it was so much bigger than us.  Than her.

She didn't say it, but she was begging us not to let her die.  And the pain I felt in my heart was physical as well as emotional - if I could have, I would have given her life, just as I would have given life to my grandfather had I possessed that power.

After coming to my more rational and stable senses, the fear and sadness I felt began to pass.  I scanned my surroundings again, feeling comforted by my blankets and pillows cacooning me.  I reached for my dog and felt her safe and familiar body.

It's now clear to me that even when we are not knowingly processing grief and loss, our subconscious is turning those pages for us in our sleep.  My inner dreamer is trying to make sense of what's passed and perhaps reminding me that more loss will come. 

I haven't written much or spoken much about my Gramps' death since it occurred, quite possibly because I've never dealt with death so up-close before.  I don't quite know how I feel other than missing his smile while simultaneously sighing in relief that his pain is gone.  To watch someone you love endure such tribulation is something that I think most of us can't quite make sense of.  Why do good people leave us so early?  Why must strong people endure such pain? 

There are so many unanswered questions that life presents us as is relates to death--questions we may not have the right to know.  Whether you believe in a God, a Higher Power, The Universe, or yourself, you cannot argue that you have no power over death and when it comes.  Something larger blows the candle out for us.
Which leaves me with one last remark: when I am able to swim with the current of life, I am able to live in the moments as they happen and fear LESS what I don't understand.  I have lived so long wanting to know everything, wanting to uncover all truths and analyze all options.  It began to prove to be an exhausting and distracting way of life.  I struggle with "letting it be."  I'd much rather just give up the illusory control I think I have and let life unfold as it should.
And if I'm struggling with something, perhaps I'll meet it in my dreams.

I love you John Staniec, Schwartz.  And I love you Angela Longo Staniec just the same. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Steel beams and lyrics

You painted the picture for me once.

We are all walking along steel beams in life,
Beams like the ones that create the structure of the high-rise buildings we saw in the city,
When we walked the streets together often.

And most of us, the lucky ones, the ones who believe in love,
Once we reach the end of one beam,
Instead of falling to our deaths into the darkness below,
Are picked up by another,
That suddenly appears just in time.

These beams come in the form of new people,
New loves,
New faith,
High Powers,

Why was it never me?

I sit here listening to, "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" by David Gray -
A song you told me you loved.
I said the lyrics were powerful, describing a relationship with pieces that didn't quite fit together
You said it wasn't the lyrics that touched you.
I didn't believe you.

You never wanted to admit you related,
Especially when it came to lovers, to break ups,
To anything that may have related to me.

And why was I always looking?

For the answers in songs, in your antecdotal thoughts.
I was always reaching for a way to get there,
To that space that I hoped was reserved only for me and my love.

Now I see that it may have never existed.

Truthfully, I think I see that there isn't really space for anyone-
inside of you -
for someone else.

I will tell you that our kisses were just as powerful to me as the David Gray lyrics.
We were often unable to fit together.
We were often unable to catch each other as one of us fell off one of our steal beams.
We fell to the darkness below, to our deaths,
And then tried to re-birth ourselves, come back to life.

How can one do that when the other won't catch them before they fall?
How can trust be built on something that dies again and again and then tries to rebuild itself on nothing?

While I remember our devastating misses,
I will remember our kisses.

I will say hello and wave goodbye.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Oh, words.
Most of my life you have been all I need.
You began with me in Winnie the Pooh diaries.
We then graduated to thick woven journals with covers etched in Chinese symbols.
The symbols meant nothing to us, what we shared in our pages meant everything.

Oh, words.
Downstairs we could still hear the turbulence of our loved ones roaring.
Other words were being used as stabbing knives, striking the heart and the gut.
Upstairs you and I met in our secret space, my tears blurring the ink of the feelings we recorded.
We had each other, words; to soothe the pain of what we heard.

Oh, words.
Do you remember when I left you?
I was lost for a bit; hiding from myself.
I was feeding an insatiable thirst that tried to destroy the me that you needed to come alive.
I forgot that I had you to comfort me, to bring me back to the place of truth.

Oh, words.
When we reuinted, I must say it was out of desperation.
I had finally starved the deadly thirst and felt a terrible void.
It was then I reached out for you; you were waiting as you always are.
We had so much to share; we had so much to say. 
We wrote pages, we filled journals, we uncovered who we were again, but also for the first time.

Oh, words.
Tears are dropping on these keys, but they do not stop me.
I am needing you like I always have.
Below I hear again, the roaring of voices who are abusing you, and each other.
And here I am, soothing the pain with you, because you're always all I have.