thoughts on life, and on groundhogs and their predictions

The new year came in with a series of deaths.

Death of a short-lived love, which might have bloomed, which never could.

Death of a friend, who long ago assembled a series of my writings and inserted them into something he called a web log, a blog–not this one, but the introduction to a new way of creating, for me. He saw a lot, lived a lot, and I loved to hear his stories, and his gentle urges for me to write, write more. His only request for this gift was that I should urge someone younger, when I am older. His generosity inspires me still.

Death, last of all, of my mother. I cannot say enough to do justice to her inspiration. She had many dreams in her life–grand ones!–and taught me the importance of living well, in so many ways, of loving well. She taught me, too, to dream.

I think of these dear moments, as snow falls gently here on a Sunday morning, snow that cannot decide if it might not rather be rain on this not-so-cold day, day that despite big storms and exertions of winter, may–as the groundhog promised– consider the possibility of spring not so long from now, days that repeat in all the splendor that this life brings us.


He would have been eighty years old today, had he lived.

If he had lived… Did he ever?

Can life be measured in a heartbeat, in a breath? Life wasted, the daring maneuvers that we think distinguish us, that seem so full, so full of life themselves. We shock, we defend, we state our cause, we climb the mountain. We drink, drum, make noise, fill our time to the brim with stuff. Are our adventures and our busy lives just ways to turn away from the vulnerabilities that make us beautiful?

Once, when my dad was dying, he told me that he was afraid. He cried, maybe the first time that I had ever seen him so small, and so big.

When I was a little girl, I loved my dad, believed in him, the reality he presented to me. But in that moment, as I had grown into a woman and seen more of life, I realized that this may well have been the first time I had ever felt that he really knew love. And in that moment, he told me that he finally saw the richness that he was about to leave behind, the long moments, quiet, the laughter, the sweetness of being that he never could reveal until the end. So sad what could have been. Knowing.. but yes, too late to know so well, to find that sort of quiet joy that only comes with time, and trust. How often do we protect ourselves into a sort of silent seclusion until it is too late?

And why? What makes a person turn away from his own heart? What makes a person stop when he begins to feel vulnerable? needy?

Opening enough to absorb love takes courage, I know. Men shun weakness, taunt one another for softness. And perhaps because of this, it is easier to be hard, easier still to hide.

A hand bitten–or worse, ignored–may stay near, but stops reaching. A heart stops hoping, its hunger denied until we starve, even with relief so close. We stay broken but still hoping–and denying that hope, ashamed to hope. Is this a lesson that a child was meant to learn? How do we sit with our heart?

I hope.

Trust is sublime, connection, transport to some splendorous realm, sensation bringing me back to my own heart–but so perilous a place to awaken alone.

Life was meant for more than distraction. Love, slow days, a hand reaching for mine, a secret, a favor, a kiss, a surprise, a word, a heartbeat, a breath, a habit, a safe place to admit that I care.


If this were to disappear, all of this sensual world, what would we become?

If the excitement of your caresses were to become impossible, would you love me less? Would you be here still to kiss me, even in the absence of skin, the responses now different, wiser if changed by time and weather, seasons passing, the imperfections even of this oasis, where nothing bad was ever supposed to happen?

Or would it disappear, our world only fantasy? Would you want to stay where life is still real, and not perfect, no, but not without its beauty?


Faraway, Sylvie pulled her car over and stopped.

The warm day had changed into cold night, and the wind against her face was no longer refreshing. Dark skies seem so vast, so lost in ways, even in a world that feels welcoming in the light.

Rejection. That was really all she could call it, she had decided.

She pulled out her phone. No messages. Not from Todd. Certainly not from Jean-Paul… it all was supposed to be so much fun. The lovely French lover should never have been in the middle of such a mess. And the bartender. Well, it all was the makings of a delicious romp. If only.

And it would have been. Sylvie had fueled the first hour of her drive with anger, with her fury. Todd had pushed her away so vividly, rejected her desire for him. He came close to her, his gentle stroking, his own lust apparent–then pulled back once more, as she had felt in much less obvious demonstrations for months now. But why?

It was always that, though, wasn’t it? Sylvie imagined herself rejected for all that she was, for her wanton desire–which evaporated nonetheless when she felt Todd sever the emotional connection. She imagined him needing to demonstrate that she was unworthy of his love, tempting her with the very thing that he seemed to desire most himself, degrading her, in fact. It was this, then, wasn’t it? It was her sexuality that he rejected, her sexuality, perhaps the most noble and beautiful part of her, she thought. Strong as she was, she still needed the grounding of his love, still wanted him.

It is always the wondering why that is so excruciating, Sylvie thought.

But of course, Sylvie also knew about the unmentionable, the failures in Todd’s own life. When his own business began to go badly, everything fell apart. He seemed suddenly afraid. He never said specifically that he was frightened; he wouldn’t. But Sylvie knew the facts, the figures, the late nights spent restless, the phone calls, the reality of his financial situation.

Todd could never fail her for this–in the scheme of things, his material successes never mattered so much to Sylvie. She told him she still cared, that she admired him for who he was, and not for what he could buy. But the more she tried to reassure him, the more she seemed to push him away. The band-aid of her kiss only seemed to disguise a much deeper wound, and kept it from healing.

What hurt, Sylvie suddenly thought, was Todd’s refusal to be vulnerable with her. It was a test, she decided. Great love becomes stronger when we can reveal our weakness to another, when we trust. But perhaps the wound was deeper than any trust Todd could have for Sylvie. Maybe he needed first to trust himself. He seemed to need that, needed to feel strong again in some way, too.

But not by hurting her.

Sylvie sat looking over at the faint lights, not truly so faraway, but she was lonely and tired. 9pm, her watch said. Not so late, after all. And the fact still remained that she had work the next day. She had been unfair to Jean-Paul, and had left everything in ravels.  Sylvie reached for her phone.

She dialed.

“Yes, I’d like to make a reservation.” Sylvie started the car as she answered, “For one. Just one… Yes, one night.”

the best is yet…

“From the tree of life I just picked a plum.

You came along, and things just started to hum.

Well, it’s a real good bet, the best is yet to come…”

(“The Best Is Yet To Come”, by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh)

Today is one of those rare days that always reminds me of late summer, the type that seems so appealing when I am trudging through the narrow sidewalks of late winter. In my memory, all August days are crisp, long-shadowed, and glorious, full of promise, lust defined.

The fruit hangs low now on the trees, and I will pluck it right off rather than wait for it to descend on its own. I will shake the tree, and let your pungent fruit enchant me, envelop me, remain on me.

Is my fantasy the same of those Tuscan women in the thirteenth century? Ah.. perhaps:

“The mural, found concealed on a wall inside one of Massa Marittima’s public fountains, consists of a tree with human penises and testicles hanging from its branches, beneath which stand eight or possibly nine female figures in medieval dress. One of the women appears to be using a pole to pull one of the penises to within reach. ” (from The Telegraph, 21 August 2011, read here)

Of course, the article that features this fresco does not focus on its discovery, or on its delicious lustiness. It is a story of censorship, whether by weather or by intention. In the name of restoration, the genitals have been scrubbed, covered, obliterated.. perhaps. Or perhaps they are all the more obvious for their disappearance.

After all, would The Telegraph be publishing a story about this wonderful piece if censorship were not the headline?

And if we could see these lovely penises, ripe for the picking, if the article were indeed directly about this, and not about its denial, would we have even noticed it? Or would we, some centuries later, be shocked by the headline describing it? Can we only talk about what we want by remarking what others will not let us have?

It is a curious thing, this desire to hide from desire, the seeming necessity to separate sex from life–to deny it as well as to put it on a pedestal–when in fact, sex is life, woven into it in so many different ways. It breathes life, it sustains us–if not the physical act, then the wish for it, the imagining of it, the rapture of it, the memory of it, the pure luscious taste of it.


I am a gunslinger. I am an outlaw.

I came home when it was all over and poured myself a glass of red wine. I gulped nearly all of it down quickly, then let the remaining jewel finish drip down my throat.

It should have been whiskey, what the gunslingers drink.

But in the end, the wine was right. Luscious as life, ripe as all I believe in.

This blog is supposed to be about sex. It is why you came here.

This is not about sex, not now. It is about life. It is about passion. It is about love.

It is about sex. It always is. I drink, drink you, drink your come thick and delicious as it trickles down my throat, drink the honeyed passion from your face as you sweat there, drinking me, drinking as I wish, drinking as I might, drinking until I fall asleep, unrested when I awake, drinking coffee, drinking time, drinking in yes this life, yes all that I believe in, drinking in the days and the nights and the life that is so short and so sweet and never something that I would want only to drink and not to live, too.


The figs we ate afterward were warm, soft, wrapped in prosciutto. Perfection, on arugula, and I would have offered my bite to you.

I woke this morning to a clear day, warm, gentle. I woke, rolled out of bed and wandered into Sunday, into the breeze and thinking about the figs, and what I would tell you about them. That they were warm, soft, sweet, like a Saturday.

That they made me miss you.

Songs I love make me long for you, but they are not our songs.

I miss you here, wish you were woven into the fabric, and not only wrapped in it.

I wish I knew the saltwater that hits your face when you dream, the sun that freckles your skin.

I wish you could take my secrets and keep them a little closer, a little longer, and not in a box, hidden away.

I wish that the scent of my hair were in your pillowcase, too, so that each morning, when you awoke, you reached for me.