sing for the girls

Sing for the girls who grow up in war zones.
Sing for the girls who grow up scared.
Sing for the girls who grow up abused.
Sing for the girls unprepared.

Sing for the girls who grow up with alcohol.
Sing for the girls who grow in broken homes.
Sing for the girls who don’t tell anyone.
Sing for the girls alone.

Sing for the girls who grow up beaten.
Sing for the girls who grow up raped.
Sing for the girls who care for siblings.
Sing for the girls who learn to hate.

Sing for the women who now look frozen.
Sing for the women who now look old.
Sing for the women who survived it anyway.
Sing for the women who told.

Sing for the girls who grow up broken.
Sing for the girls who break everything.
Sing for the girls who break the silence.
We are broken and breaking: sing.

I took the photograph at the US Synchronized Swimming Nationals in 2012.

Armour Suit III

My trial run for this vacation is swimming 400 yards. The swim is slow but fine. However, at 4:30 am I start having vertigo and throwing up. Have to cancel clinic. Lasts about 4 hours. Not reassuring for our Christmas plans.

My daughter has her wisdom teeth out on Monday before Christmas, so is instructed to not exercise heavily for five days. I got dry sockets and was sick as snot in college, but mine were much more impacted. She does fine, stops the hydrocodone in 24 hours, and drops to a 200mg ibuprofen three times a day by Christmas. On with the ski plans!

We head for a family resort on the east side. Up to to slopes on a hotel ski bus the first day, renting skis. For the first time ever, my goal is to ski gently. I have been skiing since age 9, but have not skied in five years and had two major bouts with strep A that affect my muscles. The second time my fast twitch muscles didn’t work for ten months. The first goal was to survive and the second is will I get my muscles back?

I rent downhill skis. Last time I skied telemark, but they don’t have any to rent, and anyhow, tele is harder. In college I had 190cm dead straight Heads for downhill, so now they rent me 163cm skis. We ride the lift up. 20 degrees at the top, an inch of new snow on groomed slopes and gorgeous. And… I can ski.

I am trying NOT to engage the armour suit. My massage person thinks that’s what made me sick swimming, reengaging it and just trashing my muscles. He’s right, I think. I just swam the way I always have, but slowly. My goal down the hill is NOT to fall into old patterns. I ski gently, let the skis do much of the work, carving swoopy turns. Every so often I get quickly and feel the suit kicking in and I back off. I drag my right pole for balance when I am tired.

My daughter asks for pointers on our third or fourth run. She has not skied for five years either. She is doing the work and I show her how to finish a turn using the curve of the ski. Finishing the turn lets her slow down, so she gets the swoopy feel in the turn but doesn’t lose control. On the lift we watch people. Nearly everyone drops their hands. Try turning your lower body with your arms dropped behind. Doesn’t work. Hands and shoulders down the hill and let the lower body do the turning….

I can ski! I ski with my toes lifted, not curled and gripping the ground. It changes my balance and I have to pay attention not to engage the suit. By 11 I want food and on the chair at 2 I am on my last run: I can feel the cold through my coat. We have a few more days, save energy. Also my right shin is informing me that I’ve bruised the crap out of it…

And the next day! Bruised shin, but more skiing, still gently. Now I have hope that I will get muscles back! Hooray for hope! Hooray for skiing toes up! Hooray for skiing without armour!

my love is so sweet

my love is so sweet
my heart sees him and skips a beat
my heart feels like it trips
how many beats do you think I’ll miss?

(all count the skips out loud)

you’ve got it really bad
it’s pathetic, you’re so sad
all day long I hear your sighs
guess how many times I roll my eyes

(all count the skips out loud)


The photo is mine from the 2015 Wooden Boat Festival

You can’t make someone love you

You can't make someone love you

How can we fall out of love?

I mean it. If we love someone, how can we fall out of 

Falling in love, according to my understanding of the 
Jungian ideas, is projecting some of your best aspects 
on the other person. You see them in a haze of love, of 
perfection. I've seen something to the effect that 
falling in love is the only time that psychosis is not 
treated. That is, when you are in love, you are psychotic.
You are crazy. You are nuts.

I, then, am currently nuts.

One of the things that I admire most about my ex-husband 
is that he is friends with all of his ex-girlfriends. And 
his ex-wife, that is, me. When we were first married, he 
told me about the ex-girlfriends. He was in contact with 
them, by phone or email. I was ok with it and admired it. 
We met dancing, jitterbug, east coast swing dancing. We 
would go to the live dances in Cabin John, Maryland. We 
would dance two dances with each other, say bye, and race 
off to dance with everyone else. Five hundred people would 
show up, for an hour lesson and three hours of live band. 
In the summer the guys would bring 4 t-shirts and change 
them as they were soaked. There was no alcohol in the park. 
No air conditioning. We didn't clap for the bands at all 
because we were too busy trying to find the next partner to 
dance with. You could signal next dance, one or two fingers. 
Not past two, because no one could remember.....

Anyhow, jealousy seemed silly. My ex-husband transformed 
each of those relationships with his ex-girlfriends from 
lover and partner into something else.

I think this is the right thing to do. If it is our best 
aspects projected on the person that we are in love with, 
then perhaps it is our own worst aspects that we project 
when we "fall out of love". We hate the person. They have 
broken our hearts. They have been cruel.

But have they? They were not required to be in love with 
us. Just because we love them does not mean that they have 
to love us back. Or really, they do not have to love us 
"that way". You can't make someone love you.

I want to be like my ex-husband. I want to continue to 
love the person that I love. As a small town doctor, I have
taken care of both halves of a divorcing couple. My brain 
managed to keep them entirely separate and not connect them 
until the day when I saw both. Even then, I had trouble 
believing that they were talking about each other: because 
what they said had almost nothing to do with what the other 
person was saying or doing. I said to my nurse, "Are they 
really talking about each other? Or is it at last name 

She said, "Took you long enough to get it."

If I am rejected, I want to keep loving the person. Perhaps 
I too will fall out of loving them "that way". But if it is 
aspects of myself that I see in them and love, why would I 
turn to hate? I don't want to project the ugly parts of myself 
on them.

I'll save the ugly parts to project on the greedy corporations. 
Now, I am perfectly content and happy to hate them.......

Say yes

At the improv tryout
for Lark in the Park
Joey said

Say yes to everything

He said

It is easier to say no
But then the improv ends

He made us try
Saying no to everything

Each skit was a fight

He made us try
Saying yes to everything


We bloomed bloomed

And is that it?

All the Beloved wants?

He said
You learn to say things
Without a question
With a hint
With an idea
With a suggestion
The other actor responds

I’ve noticed
People don’t respond well
When I say

I need to learn
To suggest
To let them choose
To change their direction
Another idea

I need to learn
To listen
When they offer
Another idea

Say yes to everything

Is that what the Beloved wants?

I say yes

previously published August 10, 2009 on everything2