Jan 21, 2009

33 years.

I realize in the eyes of many I'm still quite young. I have wisdom beyond my years, yet have much to learn. I know this. But there are nuggets of wisdom that I have gained and share with others constantly. Many of my other FB notes are proof of this.

My 32nd year was full of things that I learned and decisions I made that, while difficult, were the right ones. I'm rebooting my life. I'm starting fresh and new. I also gave someone the greatest gift in giving them the same opportunity. I gave a box of fresh and new to someone I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I'm glad he now understands as well how right that choice was and how great that gift was. I hope that within the six sides of that box he finds nothing but happiness.

There are many things I'd like to do with my newfound life now. I'd like to get healthy, and lose weight, and take care of myself. I'd like to find my Milk and Honey - but mostly I'd like to continue to get to know myself. Relationships with others are nothing without a relationship with the self.

I know who I am and what I have to offer the world, and regardless if the world wants it - I give it - freely. Someone recently told me that I'm super nice and they were about to say something and stopped themselves, and while I don't know what they were going to say for sure, I felt the thought. There was an "I don't understand" attached. Just in the way the word nice dripped out of their mouth and all over the floor. I took it to mean they didn't understand why I wasn't with someone.

I'm fairly certain I know why. I'm not ready for that. People are too quick to judge you, for your looks, or your body type, or your job, or how you live, the company you keep... the list goes on and on. But I wonder, am I judging myself this way? Am I the one who thinks I'm too fat, or too tattooed, or too loud, or silly, or independent, or unpretty, or uninteresting. Am I the one constantly judging myself and assuming that others are judging me with the same set of standards as my own. Am I setting myself up for the ultimate of life's failures?

Truth is, I love myself. I love my body, and my tattoos, and my face, and hair, and scars, and even my maladies. They make me - me. They are my 33 years of life and I wear them. Would I like to lose weight, GOD yes. Should I for my health? Absolutely. But I'm happy exactly how I am.

I wake up every morning smiling. I laugh every day and make other people laugh. I have more friends than I know what to do with. I make sure I do something for someone else without regard for anything in return multiple times a day. So right along with my inordinately large ass, and my scars, and flaws - I wear the 33 years of being Lisa. And I am not only loved by others but by myself.

Jan 20, 2009

The ocean and sky reflecting the blue of one another
and burning on the horizon an orange crown circling the sun
flecks of gold within

Tsunami-like waves of emotion
Hurricanes of love

A spray of salt on sand
Eradicating the footprints of us as we pass
Holding hands without touching.

Jan 19, 2009

Milk and Honey by Toby Lightman

Totally rocking out to this right now...

He had big brown eyes - beautiful lies and a smile to keep me warm for days,
But he always made me chase him around in his maze
I had to get up, get out, get off this ride - I had to get away
I always knew deep down he wasn't right for me... for me

I want to find a beautiful mind
So perfectly packaged for me
Tailor made, like a little girl's dream

Ooh oh yeah, I want Milk and Honey
Ooh oh yeah, I want love and money
I only want cake if I can eat it too
Then wash it all down with a man that's true
Ooh oh yeah, Milk and Honey...

Flashback to another man stuck in the palm of my hand
I tried to spice him but he always came out bland, so bland
if he had stood up, stood out, took a chance on life
Enough to make me care, then maybe we'd still be makin' out somewhere, somewhere...

I want to find a beautiful mind
So perfectly packaged for me
Tailor made, like a little girl's dream

Ooh oh yeah, I want Milk and Honey
Ooh oh yeah, I want love and money
I only want cake if I can eat it too
Then wash it all down with a man that's true
Ooh oh yeah, Milk and Honey...

I'm not gonna sit here and wait
No time to waste
Cuz I'm gonna get my milk and honey
Oh no time to waste... oooh

Ooh oh yeah, I want Milk and Honey
Ooh oh yeah, I want love and money
I only want cake if I can eat it too
Then wash it all down with a man that's true
Ooh oh yeah, Milk and Honey...

Jan 18, 2009

Emmett McBain III

So, it has been quite some time since I wrote a note with meaning. Basically, instead of writing notes, I've been working, throwing parties (dinner or otherwise), painting, decorating, unpacking, knitting, and injuring myself. I realize now that the reason I haven't written anything is because I had nothing to say. You can't force words to come out of you when they aren't there. Can you?

Well, apparently you can. I'm not forcing them now - but I watched someone force them recently. They weren't expelled out of their brains to paper or a computer screen - but right out of their mouths. They were on the train and trying to sell their art.

The words came out in a monotone, as though they'd been said a billion times, regardless of how forced they were. They were meant as tears perhaps, little drips of sadness rained onto the commuters. The words became grenades midair and missed all of their targets except me. For weeks I've carried the shrapnel.

The man looked like a soldier, a veteran of a war on his life that no boot camp could have prepared him for. He looked as though he had seen unimaginable horrors. Mostly though, he looked beat down.

He stood in one of the entrances to the train car and braced himself with his stance. He almost looked like a gunslinger ready to draw his weapon. He bent over and out of a backpack pulled a folder. Then with his monotone he wept his words. The commuters shielded themselves with the kevlar of indifference. I stood listening, without armor.

He spoke and held out a card that he'd made. The card was filled with poetry that he'd written and he was selling each card for five dollars. When it was clear that no one was going to purchase the card, he sighed and offered a book - home published - for seven dollars. Then he simply offered a single poem for one dollar. No one even blinked.

I would have bought the cards, and the book. It took great courage for this man to stand up on this train and launch his heart at people. I could sense from him that this is not exactly how he'd planned his life. No one grows up thinking that their greatest self is selling their words on a train. He didn't want to just beg for money - so he wrote - and he had something to say. I watched him, and the funny thing was, he wasn't selling his words to me. I was not his target audience apparently because he walked right by me even though I was clutching a dollar in my hand and had tapped him on the shoulder.

This man was trying to break through the kevlar. He was trying to make the indifference disappear. It didn't. He realized that he'd been defeated by what he'd clearly decided was the enemy and returned to get the money that a fellow soldier - another poet - was offering. He thanked me and handed me a sheet of paper. A poem which, with permission I will now share.

* * * * * * * * *

I feel no pain

I feel no pain
I feel no pain
It's not really raining
It's pouring

My love life is boring
Me to tears
And I don't know
What to do about it

It sounds like a song
It's from a song
I don't know how the rest
Of it goes

But then again
I don't really care

I feel no pain
I feel no pain
It's not really raining
It's pouring

I am standing in the rain
I can not feel it
It is too light

A turret of rain water
Passes under and around
My feet
My feet are not wet
Good shoes

I feel no pain
I feel no pain
My pain mechanism
Is burnt out

I feel no pain
I feel no rain
It's not really raining
It's pouring

-Emmett R. McBain III


Jan 12, 2009

Invisible People...

On Sept 3rd 2008, I woke up at 4:30am and couldn't go back to sleep. There were so many things floating in and out of my psyche that I just couldn't manage to go back to bed.

I had set my alarm for 6a so that I could go to the Oprah Show in Millennium Park - and get there by 7:30a. I was meeting my friends on the steps of the Cultural Center on Randolph. I got up way before the alarm though, and sat in bed trying to empty my mind. Trying to just FEEL. By 5:45a I figured there was no way I was going to go back to bed so I thought I'd take a bath.

I filled up the tub and went through the whole bathing ordeal, including the requisite soak. I washed my hair, and conditioned / detangled. I got dressed - you know - a morning ritual. At 6:20 I left for the train and it arrived almost as soon as I got to the stop. I knew I was running ahead of schedule but with these types of situations the earlier you get somewhere, the better.

As I waited for the train I noticed people basically walking though this one man. He was carrying a humongous backpack. It was the kind that mountain climbers use. He was cute too. He looked a little tipsy and smelled of beer. He noticed my tattoos and came up to me and said - what he must have been asking the people walking through him - how to get to the Fullerton stop.

"Do you know which train I take to get the the Fullerton stop? No one seems to want to help me and...."

"YES" I said, "just hop on the same train with me."

That's when the train came and he jumped on with me. We spoke while riding and I found out that his name is Jason. He is a War veteran from the Iraq war. He wanted to get to Diversey and not Fullerton because he was actually on his way to The Iraq War Veteran's Office.

The man served our country and people walked through him. The man witnessed horrors I can't even conceive of, and was clearly self-medicating with alcohol, but is that any reason to ignore his small request for DIRECTION? He didn't want money or pity or even thanks, just directions.

On my way to meet my friends on the steps of the Cultural Center, I met a man named Tim Harrison. This was immediately after I left Jason with clear instructions as to how to get where he was going. As I crossed Wabash on Randolph, I noticed him standing at the bottom of the stairs leading out of the train platform. People were walking through him.

I watched fifteen people as I crossed the street completely ignore this man. Again they walked around him, bumped into him, completely avoided listening. It broke my heart. I walked up to him and said, "Everything alright?"

He looked at me and said, "You're the first person to listen to me," Fighting back tears he said, "I just want to know how to get to a church to get some food."

Now, I don't know which churches give out food or really which direction to walk in to get to a church. I knew where there were a couple of churches and told him how to get to those - but I knew I could probably help him without sending him to a church. He was so elated that I was actually LISTENING to him that he kept weeping and hugging me. I had done something so small and in that one gesture - LISTENING - had made him VISIBLE again.

"I can't ask you for money, but if you can help me get to somewhere..."

I told him that I'd take him to 7-11 or something to get him something to eat. He wasn't a con-artist nor was he panhandling. He was hungry. He was tired. He was completely brokenhearted. I am not the person who thinks that it's 'not my problem'. I am the person who truly believes that we are all but cells in the bigger organism of humanity.

We walked to the 7-11 and it looked like all they had there were slurpees, and cigarettes. There was a Walgreen's up the street. 67 dollars gave this man and his 3 kids what they needed to feel human again. Cereal, milk, Canned Pasta, Diapers, Baby Wipes, Soap, Toilet Paper, and Clothing Detergent. He only asked for the cereal - milk and soap, but I told him to get everything he needed and fear not asking for it.

Before I had finished paying, he'd popped open a can of Chef Boyardee. He ate it in the line of the Walgreen's straight out of the can. He was too hungry to wait to even get outside. I didn't want to break down in front of him. I smiled the whole time. It was killing me to do so but I did. He needed the happiness. I gave him a farecard I had that had enough for one ride on it. I put him on a bus home. Home: a temporary shelter...

As soon as I reached the steps of the Cultural Center I sat down. I was completely drained emotionally. I was kinda feeling good about myself but feeling icky about the situation. It hurt me to think of the invisible people. And then it got worse.

The same people who had walked through both of these men and were still walking through others, continued to amaze me. As I sat thinking about things, there was a car accident. There weren't any injuries to people, only to the vehicles. The people all stopped to look. Cab drivers got out of their cabs and huddled around the scene. Business people who were clearly running off to the office stopped running and joined the cabbies. Some people actually came out of their offices to witness the spectacle. Not because they could help in case of injury, but just to see the wreckage.

I cried. I cried for the invisible people. I cried for the situation. I cried for the hearts of anyone who has ever made another person feel invisible. I cried for the war veteran who deserved so much more than the treatment he got. I cried for the rubbernecks. I cried for humanity - for the cells that forgot their place in the whole and have been forming cancer in the body of the all.

When I stopped crying - I sent love out. To every corner of the Universe. I sent the love that I had shared with two men that morning. I sent the love that had been given to me by a man named Tim Harrison, his tears and his embrace. I sent it out in hopes of healing the cancer of the current human condition. I sent it out because it was too big for me to hold. My heart was heavy as it had been filled a million times over that morning. It was needed by many, clearly.

I sent it to YOU too. So pause and breathe - feel the vibration of the earth and dance in her music. Perhaps this pause will help you see someone who has been made invisible - and you can help make them whole again. All you'll have to do is acknowledge them.

Jan 7, 2009

Bravery - reposted from Facebook

My mother told me that I was brave for posting the stuff I've posted here on Facebook. I wholly disagree with that. Personally, I think the bravest thing is that I post without thinking about grammar or punctuation. I feel my words and write them. Sharing your feelings isn't the stuff of bravery - it is the stuff of necessity. The world needs us to all share our emotions - bottling them up has caused cataclysmic eruptions.

Until now. This note will take all of my courage. Reading this note might take some of yours. Together let us hold hands and move forward. Here goes, no turning back now.

When I was in my junior year of high school, I fell in love with a boy. The emotion at the time was so strong and pure that I didn't know what to do with it. I broke his heart, and my own within a very short span of time. I then proceeded to adopt a lot of self-destructive behavior. I went the opposite of love.

I started hanging with the wrong crowd. I started cutting classes - not to live happily in the theater - but to go self-destruct all over the city with my new found "friends".

One night my friend called me and said she'd had it with her mom and just wanted to sneak out. So, I went with her. I got in this big blue Blazer with 4 guys and my friend and we did what we did every weekend. We cruised up and down Fullerton. Someone lit a joint, and said that they were stopping at the liquor store on Central Park and Fullerton. "WE NEED BEER." I went along for the ride.

I stayed in the car and my friend went inside the liquor store with one of the guys. They came out with the liquor and they drank beer but my friend and I drank some hideously evil crap called "Mad Dog 20/20". Red Banana Mad Dog 20/20. If hell sprung a leak, this shit would flow.

Time passed, and I passed out. When I came to, one of the guys was over me - high fiving one of the other guys. I didn't understand. I didn't understand until I saw one guy get off of me and zip up and another one climb on. And that's when I left my body, for the first time.

I floated high above myself, and watched a massive amount of horror take place. I didn't feel it, I just watched. I didn't feel angry or like a victim, though I clearly was. I was floating there and understanding that this was happening to me for a reason. This was the TIME of TIMES. This was the great crossroads in my life where I am to understand who I really am. And I went higher. I saw pain everywhere, and love everywhere. I saw the world like a speck covered in light and dark.

I didn't blame anyone. I didn't blame myself for being drunk and a fool. I didn't blame them for being violent and evil. I didn't blame my friend for leaving me alone with them. I didn't blame God for it. There was no blame. There was only the world, and the Universe.

I saw myself as an angel. I was an angel - armorless with a quiver full of arrows of love. There was evil around my physical body and here I was floating high above it with my quiver and bow. I felt for the men that were having a jolly fun time beating and abusing me and conceiving a child inside me. I felt an immense sadness for how could one love themselves so little as to inflict any kind of torture on another human being?

I went back into my body and to a Port-a-John that was nearby. I was covered in urine and blood and fluids. I walked to Fullerton, finding my friend who'd left me and she and I walked together. A car pulled over that saw us. Two men were in that car and they let us in and took us to the closest place where we could find a phone. I smelled of urine and vomit and they didn't care. I was their chance to live the greatest good that night. They were my miracle and I was their ability to be one.

I still don't know who they were, and I hope they are some where continuing to spread love and light. I hope they know the greatest truth about themselves. They too were armorless angels, and they lanced me with their arrow of love.

I thank them.
And thank you, for sharing this with me and letting me be brave - now the emails I've received mirroring the words my mother spoke will ring true.

This note is dedicated to 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men.
And to every angel who stands armorless with a quiver full of love.

Jan 6, 2009

Bored Beyond Belief

I'm sitting here and can actually count the dust particles in the air. They look like huge snowflakes falling from the lighting grid in the studio. I almost feel like I'm under the influence of some nefarious substance - but I'm not. I'm sober as can be waiting to walk into the control room to direct my show.

It's gotten to be so horrifyingly boring here. Day after day doing the exact same thing. I sit at my desk and watch television for several hours while answering emails, and typing in the computer codes that will make cameras move and video clips roll. Don't get me wrong, I completely ADORE my job, it's just that well... My day is like a tuba concierto. It's fairly monotone and only occasionally is there a high note anymore. Weekdays here at work are like - sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, and I'm all out of magazines.

I can barely focus anymore. It took me 12 minutes to code the newscast and the rest of the time I've been distracted by anything that moves. I am currently contemplating making a panda out of origami for one of the producers here. 45 minutes til my show goes on the air. Ugh.

Jan 5, 2009

For Kate


Sports Sunday Sadness.

There is nothing sadder than walking into the studio and realizing that the people you've grown to adore are gone. Going in to work and noting that your favorite stage manager's sunshine won't be making your night brighter, sucks. The guys who have become like brothers, your dysfunctional family, aren't there to mess with. This would not be a week of fruitcake fights.

It was quiet. Too quiet. It was eerily silent, as though a storm were brewing. My favorite Technical Director and Audio Engineer were there to keep me "sane" (whatever that is) but the life had been sucked out of the room.

I missed the crew.

I missed Florida for two reasons, 1) she truly is sunshine and whoever named her after the Sunshine State was a genius. 2) There was no one to abuse. :)

I missed the guys, Ron, Donte, and Jeff for multiple reasons... there was no one to ignore me during a camera meeting. There was no mention of guites on the PL or juice boxes. I didn't get to hear their laughter from the other side of the room while I was locked into my desk to code the show.

Mostly though, I just missed them.

Here's to them and to the Little Guy, whereever he may be.