Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Weather Vanes, a Shanty

One of my neighbors has a weather vane on top of the house
in the shape of a pirate ship.

The leaves on the tree in front
have spindly veins, bright green,
like a tree frog or a strange crayon,
except for the leaves that are dead, still hanging,
brown and breaking off.

If you get close and touch the leaves,
one side is smooth,
and the other side is soft, with little hairs,
and the bark of the tree is rough but
not too rough
and then you look and you notice
a bee buzzing over a small flowering shrub
and the weather vane shifts just slightly
and the house is made of stucco
and through the window
you can't quite make out
but someone has just passed through a room
and a shadow lingers where a human once tread.

Are there veins between us,
we humans, veins we simply do not see,
but feel, and react to in anger, or hurt,
or love?
As if we were a group of Aspens,
you know,
how forests of Aspens are one large organism

A little girl told me that
and I believed her
because children in school learn amazing things.

Maybe we don't see where our roots connect us.
People, that is.
But that doesn't mean they aren't there,
just below the surface,
pulsating with information
not of the school children variety
but something deep and primordial,
something beyond the facts and figures of tests and essays,
something intangible
but wholly real.

Then the weather vane shifts again,
or was it my imagination?
And the slow voice that let me walk
unperturbed by the worries of the world of the grown up?
It speeds up, getting louder now,
reminding me, oh, look at the time,
but you can't because you don't own a watch,
but you can feel it, yes, can't you, more energy on the streets,
traffic a block over?
and there are important people to invoice
and coffee to make

home now,
no coffee,
ignoring still this maddening humanity
cutting off its own connection
as if an Aspen could take an axe to his roots
we are the crumbling leaves
we are the shadows dying in the dust

but I am a pirate
my treasure, my soul
my heart is my gold
and my dreams are my sails
and the high seas where I bravely sally forth?
well, they are made of secrets,
of the songs you forgot
and the things you learned in school
all those facts and questions that never did make it on to any test.
Now they are all tangled below with the seaweed.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Gratitude Saturdays #246- 265: of Mice, Self Help, Tipping, Counting My Blessings. and Nature.

The Colorado Edition ;-p

I'm visiting the horse ranch in Colorado again! I have been coming here every year in August for the past few years to work, but I am so enriched by the beauty and majesty of nature, the kindness and love of the people who surround me, and the fresh air!

Continuing my 2016 things I am grateful for in 2016... Before coming on this trip my attitude was getting pretty bad again. Those of you who have been reading for a while may recall that a bad attitude back in January was the entire reason I came up with the impossible idea of listing 2016 things for which I am grateful in 2016. Ha! Well, no one will say at the end of the year that I didn't give it my best- and really- my entire attitude is really changing for the better. I am seeing how blessed I am, truly, and things are working out. So! Let's continue!

246. Screenwriting Awards. Carlo and I have quarter-finaled in a few. Results come out next week about next levels and a few new competitions I have entered!

247. Pinterest: I have been using Pinterest to create visual story boards for a web series I wrote to start Carlo and MOI.

248. Colorado- majestic place

249. The Ranch: I love to roam its grounds and discover new friends and old!

250. Baby deer! There are so many doe and their little Bambis are bounding around everywhere. Just adorble.

251. The moon is so bright here that I don't even need a flashlight to walk around, just the light of the magnificent orbs in the heavens.

252. Coyote. I spotted a few! One of them practically grinned at me.

253. Instagram lets met take pictures of the beautiful scenery and preserve it!

254. The Perseid Showers- Encouraging wonder since prehistoric times. Brought to you by the Cosmos. (Not Neil deGrasse Tyson's show, but that wondrous thing after which it was so called! LOL)

255. Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Amazing dude.

256. Marc Maron. Sir, your podcasts have kept me company for many years now. I particularly loved the recent-ish one with Jeff Goldblum.

257. Jeff Goldblum. When I was little I remember my grandmother rented "The Fly." I totally had a crush on Jeff Goldblum. I didn't really know what sexy was, but something in me stirred, and it had to do with that. I was a little scared, and intrigued.

258. My employer here at the ranch. I love to see how he loves his family and this place.

259. My other employer here at the ranch, the lady of the two. I admire her so greatly.

260. Horses!

261. Tips. People don't always tip me in my day job lines of profession. Some do! And I am so grateful for them! I just keep counting my blessings.

262. Fresh endeavors to improve one's circumstances. I have been doing self help since my first eating disorder rehab. I don't remember how or why I heard about Tony Robbins- I think I was home from rehab and saw an infomercial or something. I begged my mother to get the set for me and it really did help, a little bit. But you know, self help can become an addiction itself. I have since done every retreat, done every program, read every book and listened to every audio. And I am at a point where I have had to curb my enthusiasm on certain programs and not have FOMO (Fear or Missing Out). I want t participate in what I came here to earth to do: to act, to sing, to write, to read books, to write books, to make movies and TV and web series. To perform! To travel and sing and dance. To love, to laugh, to be of service. And so, self help got in the way of that for a little while because I was always WORKING ON MYSELF in that heavy way. These days, I do have rituals and routines, but I allow myself only ONE coaching program a year. But then my mind goes, but Erin, you have also your voice teacher (who also sometimes is a guru and a therapist to boot! Thanks, Gary!) and your acting coach Jimmy (who is also changing my craft AND my life!) and your man and your sister and your friends and your coworkers... so, I guess I have a TEAM and I am so lucky! My team can be my next one, but about the fresh endeavor. I mean, life is a constant ebb and tide of every kind of circumstance, financial, emotional, social, romantic, sexual, sensual, spiritual, and etc. and etc. and etc. And as I count my blessings, I no longer am in and out with the tide. I'm just walking along the beach enjoying all of it.

263. MY TEAM!

264. Mice. There was a mouse in my bedroom last night. I've seen him in here a few times. I used to be so afraid of mice. Then I lived in New York and met the rats. So, now, mice, while not ideal in the house, don't freak me out so much. Still it took me a while to fall asleep last night! I had to talk to the mouse and tell him this was my rest time. Swear to God it got really quite. I fell asleep chuckling, wondering what on Earth Henry would do if I had brought him here with me to Colorado. He would have had a FIELD day with the mice and the chipmunks an the Prairie Dogs and the weasels. I would NOT bring him though because probably the wily country coyotes would have a FIELD DAY with him! He's a city dog. He doesn't know how to behave around horses and cattle.

265. Guy Towe. Guy was an acquaintance friend of mine who passed away suddenly and shockingly this last week. He was one of those kind, special, lovely people who make the world better. He will be missed.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Letters to God

Author's Note-
I use the word God. Some say Cosmos, some say Divine, some say source. Sometimes I say Goddess. You get the drift. 

Dear God-

when you come to me as the bright half moon in a starry mountain sky, I want to reach out and pluck you from the velvet dark, hold you in my hands and stroke your porcelain skin, feel the sun reflected in you in a warm buzz, a pot half cooled from the stove top.

When you come to me as a bad dream, I am confused by you. I seek understanding and clarity. Perhaps I should not seek to analyze and compute but merely allow the experience, like I would go on a roller coaster ride, not wondering what the conductor meant by those strange images and feelings, the paralysis of my own fear clutching at my throat, no words, just desperation to force my lips and breath into sounds to scream for help.

When you come as one of my addictions, I am fraught with terror, consumed with desire, eased by wisdom only after a taste of that which is insatiable. In this longing is you, I know it, if only I could find you before I fulfill the hurtful want. I cry out, as I do in the night for the moon, for the words- a child reaching for mother, for that place from whence I came and was part of wholly (holy), where I can never return for now I am separated from that thread of dust and blood.

And when you come through me,

as you do always, but I only sometimes notice-

in my capacity to love another-

I am in awe.

Such beauty is you in all these ways and means to return me to that place I never saw but know so well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

When blogs replace love letters... to self, to other.

Dear ______,

I love you. 

Hear me now, listen inside my words, read between the lines, and let me state more closely what I mean.

I love you.

I love you whether or not you are famous or successful or wealthy or cool.

I love you whether or not you ever get anything done.

I love you whether you are skinny, or medium, or fat.

I love you in all your ease and all your struggles.

I love your eternal heart, your kindness, your beauty. And I also love everything else that comes along with that, everything that doesn't invoke the Romantic poets' ideals, or a spiritual perfection, or a glossy magazine cover.

I love your true self,

and I love all the false selves trying to protect your deeper being.

I love you.

All of you.

That is (thunderously, profoundly, charmingly and alarmingly) all.



Friday, August 5, 2016

Fiction Fridays- travelling. No novel, but random thoughts on Love, money, being wrong, what if we're wrong, thank God if we're wrong, wildflowers and coyotes.


I am traveling the next few weeks and left my external hard drive at home. "My Life as a Phone Psychic," the novel, lives on that external hard drive! So I won't be able to post chapters until the end of August. I will create a link and link it up HERE.

In the meantime I thought I would riff poetically in prose on:

Love, money, being wrong, what if we're wrong, thank God if we're wrong, wildflowers and coyotes.

Love is a weird thing. We never tire of reading about it and writing about it. We're obsessed with it. In the last few years I have finally separated out the difference between love and romance. I have both in spades, naturally, as a person. In fact, I have so much of both that I think I offer both to the world in giant waves without reserve. Maybe I'm wrong? That's my thinking, anyway. And I don't know why this is so. But the thing is, is that when it comes to relationships, it's like we as creatures are obsessed with romance and forget about love. And while I definitely want romance in my life, and being a romantic person, I give that without trying to- like tagging my fellah on a sonnet by Shelley yesterday because it was Percy Bysshe Shelley's birthday, or would have been, because I know he loves the romantic English poets and because Shelley lived in Naples where Carlo is from (albeit 200 years ago) and then I realized that it was also a very romantic gesture, and the poem was a sonnet about love and kissing. I mean, I *knew* it was all wrapped up in there, but I am sitting here typing this and wondering, oh geez, have I accidentally mislead anyone by tagging THEM in poems I merely thought were something they would enjoy but they saw the more obvious content that related to romance or sex or something? It might explain a lot about a certain number of failed friendships and business situations. And I WANT to be responsible without being codependent and I definitely want to be aware and have excellent boundaries but I am tired of losing myself and my ways to thought of "but what will they think?" So here is my relatively low stakes dilemma of the day.

Money is another weird thing. Honestly, it barely feels real to me. Almost every business transaction I do is connected via my phone, the computer, and this tiny little plastic card. The only time I really use hard cash is for laundry, because I don't have my own washer and dryer, and so I prize these stupid little quarters as if they were my diamonds and rubies and other royal jewels. Everything else is so abstract and yet, I read "The Divide" by Matt Taibi, I saw Lawrence Lessig's TED Talk about getting money out of politics, I am aware of white privilege, I have seen the Enron movie and studied Wall Street and protested with Occupiers and voted for Bernie in the primaries. But I don't hate wealth. I would never want to keep someone from creating their own incredible kingdom. It's only when so many are hurt (Lehman Brothers?) that I have issues with the "system" so to speak, but then again, I wonder if the "system" and all of these strange arms of it- racism, classicism, capitalism versus variations of reform on the theme versus socialism, sexism, old versus new, change... I think about how easy it is for me to sit and think about money as a philosophical pursuit, and trust me, I'm still paying off my college loan for a degree I love but never use, and separate myself out from any emotional ties to money as a real thing. This whole paragraph is probably so dumb, just a bunch of links to things I've read, and I don't mean that in a self deprecating way whatsoever but moreso as someone who is aware that she really just doesn't know a lot in this arena, that I'm not sure I should keep it, except that it's on my mind a lot lately, but most likely in a manner different than what others are dealing with. For example, I'm not worried about money. Maybe I should be. I definitely ask for help when I need it, and I give to charity when I probably shouldn't. But I just... barely care. It's like I'm living for some other reason than the almighty dollar [sic] and while in my heart and body that's amazing, in my mind I wonder if I am missing something.

On a final note about money, well, probably not final, but final for today, the other hard part about it, besides the fact that we're not all paying in gold coins or emerald tear drop earrings for things, is that I live and work amongst every class imaginable. Literally I have massaged Saudi royalty in their vast estates that most people don't even realize exist in the Hollywood Hills (seriously, who knew there was even that much land to plot upon?) I gave a private concert one afternoon for one of the wealthiest and most famous old Hollywood Tycoons who wasn't exactly hurting for money and while I cannot say much about it, I wish I could, because it's fascinating to see how the rest of the outfit (family, friends and company) are jockeying for position. I grew up pretty solid middle class, my neighborhood now is pretty middle and upper class (a place being gentrified as we speak) and yet has a few of the creative class left, and a LOT of homeless people. I know a number of my homeless neighbors by name and they ALL know my dog, Henry, and love to pet and play with him. What am I to do, ignore these people who live in my alley way and feed off my trash? Of course not. But I cannot solve their problems, I can only be human with them, and try to share what I can.

And I hunt for quarters like my homeless neighbors hunt for food that's safe enough to eat and some folks hunt for the next FOMO Venture Capital Entrepreneurial Opportunity. What the heck is up with this world?

On being wrong: I am wrong all the time. A close friend once told me that I always need to be right. That isn't true, and I would argue with her, although I didn't want to come off as someone who always needs to be right and so didn't want to argue with her in the moment hahahahahaha, that in fact, I just hate wasting time and so often this particular friend wastes time on things that just don't need to be wasted on. Does that make sense? You know what I mean. But I took it to heart, what she said, and really examined it for myself and saw that in deedy, there are areas where I just assert myself a lot. I really don't need to be right so much anymore and the older I get the more and more the fallacy of being right just falls away. One cannot be an artistic explorer and need to be right. It will lead to boring art. And I try to just let Carlo, my partner, be right all the time or whenever there is an argument if it's not a boundary thing, and a lot of times we agree to disagree because the truth, if there is such a thing, often just works its own way out later on down the line. Very consciously, in the past year or so then, I have practiced- not being wrong- but being okay with being wrong. It is incredibly liberating, eye opening, and actually fun. Like going down a roller coaster fun. It has also removed an incredible amount of stress and anger from my personal life. And it really opens me up to connecting to more possibility. I wish I could give a concrete example but the only one I can give is about politics. I have a lot of die hard Hillary fan-friends get mad at me for voting for Bernie (they asked! I did not bring it up. But I don't lie, well, not about Bernie, and I don't feel a need to "not discuss politics.") as well as I have a number of family and friends who are voting for Trump and by the way, none of them are stupid, although some of them may be living in fear of a certain religious order. What's amazing to me is, I don't need to be right about my political viewpoints. Politics "works" when many different opinions come together to work for the common good. I'm very use to being shockingly out of touch with "politics" and the opinions of people, and I don't mind it. So, I have had many people explain to me why my opinions are wrong, and guess what? Maybe they are. But they are mine. And I have thought things through for myself, and I extend that same courtesy to others....

So, what if we're wrong?

Well, of course we are.

Look. People used to cut a whole in your head and drain blood out of it as a treatment for headaches, and that was an accepted, scientific, medical practice. And people believed it would work. Were those people stupid?

Those people?

Were US.

So of course we are wrong about all kinds of things and the quicker I realize that the more I get to have all kinds of amazing discoveries.

This is not a recommendation to doubt every choice you ever made or live in worry that you were wrong about that relationship or this career choice or that note you sang or this money you gave.

It is a way to liberate yourself from the impossibility of being right all the time. It will connect you up to people because you might just start to look for common ground rather than where you're different and therefore dangerous.

And magic happens in that bridge from heart to heart.

Finally. I am in Colorado and I saw TWO coyotes at different spots here in the mountains where I am staying, and also, the wildflowers are gorgeous.

That is all.

You are loved.