Tag Archives: self help

trimming the roses & Zen

I don’t ask for help until long after I should have. I have been asking for help this week. Hormones, diet or circumstances, something has left me with no resilience, no stasis. Still days go by.


7:30 am – Trimming the roses is an hour of peace I never knew before I had a rose bush.

9 am – The company of a good friend is comforting. And there were many years I didn’t have that, so I am still surprised daily that I do.


12:30 pm – The threat of tomorrow, and the way my mind will move through work tomorrow, threatens to take away any peace in the rest of today, and send me in loops of despair.

12:37 pm – I decide that I need to stop caring. About anything. Take a step back. Somehow it helped. Letting go of attachment to anything and everything made it seem like life could go on all around me, and roll of my back, speed past me, swirl in turbulent eddies while I sat on a rock observing. Unaffected.

I remember the Zen outlook that got me through adolescence and early adulthood until I eventually all my repressed emotions locked me in a moment in time in the 7th ring of hell. Then therapy and a hundred other ways to change the storage and organization of this mind and heart, and gave me a fear of detachment and of Zen.

But today little Zen got me through the afternoon quietly. Tomorrow is tomorrow. I can process things then.



of ants and anxiety


I was decimating an ant swarm around my kitchen door (which already seemed to be dying) when one ant walked up on my foot and pointedly bit me. It felt like on tiny voice of rage and defiance, defending his tribe, expressing himself. I killed him, told him I was sorry, and realized I can relate. That’s what I feel like when I’m battling depression and anxiety. The size and futility ratio feel about the same.

That said I’ve been feeling good this week, and maybe I’m winning the battle, but sometimes it just seems random. Like I could have just as easily turned right into the house with the death soap bucket, but I happened to turn left into the sugar pile today.

Current state of ants and anxiety – detente.





My life in a Creative Writing MFA program – T minus 10 weeks

Preston Sturges said that the night Isadora Duncan’s charms stopped working to seduce and beguile men was the night that the scarf took her. He said she let it take her.

Tonight I over heard a young man at a dance I was attending say of his dance partners “I had these two old biddies.” If there is a chink in my armor, I guess it’s that. Still shopping for men at 54 gets old. Yoga, seven minute workout, face creams and I can’t complain. Assume there’s 40 years ahead to complain. But still, we know how things used to be. It’s odd to be in a body that wasn’t designed to be maintained so long. Much less remain attractive to the opposite sex so long. Genetically speaking.

My mind travels to the MFA program I am starting in January. Is it a strong enough future to put back together my waning self-esteem? Sometimes. Maybe I’ll teach. Teachers get laid. Writing teachers are cool, and expected to be in their 50s and 60s and excentric. If it works out. I write well. Maybe I’ll get laid. Get loved. Is that why I’m doing it? To avoid the scarf?

scarf in the wind