Authentic Antenna

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Each of us has our own unique GPS system... Truth-telling is the most thorough navigation tool.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

For Better or For Worse

This morning in the New York Times I read an article in the Opinion section written by Michael Cobb entitled The Supreme Court's Lonely Hearts Club. I didn't read all the links and research put into the article. I just sat and felt the feelings that came up as I read each paragraph.

Simply put, the argument for the change in marriage laws was based on the fact that single people are miserable and everyone deserves to be happy in a union. Cobb wrote, "Once again, being single is the dreary, awful, mournful alternative to marriage. A condition to be pitied, and quickly corrected by a sprint to City Hall."

I've chosen not to marry. I have received seven proposals and ignored or ran from these opportunities. I chose to marry me, my writing, growth process, and soul's true work which evolves over time. Doing what I want to do, when I want to do it, having choice every day instead of fulfilling a role someone needs me to do for them, because I need them to make me an "honest woman" in order to be valid in this world. Fully engaging with the Self in life has allowed me to know the people I interact with daily on a deeper level. I'm not just repeating patterns of acquiesence because that is expected and normal. Choosing to have an authentic moment, whether alone or with another, is something single people have.

I know there are satisfying marriages out there, but honestly, in all my years I've not known many married people who are sincerely content. They might not want to be single, but the compromises necessary for a successful continuation of the union make for an uncomfortable, irritating life and lifestyle. How many people are stuck, unsatisfied with either the situation of their solitude or their union? How many talk about it, get it off their chest, go to therapy, or live with an addiction in order not to feel what is unacceptable? How many walk down the aisle with doubt and dread that this isn't the right person, right time, or the right reason to get married? It isn't a black or white decision as Justice Kennedy makes it out to be, that marrieds are good and singles are bad.

So many people choose to marry because they don't want to be alone. So many others marry because they don't want to deal with the social alienation in a "couple" society. We can't neglect the many who choose marriage because of the economic incentives. Justice Kennedy wrote in his opinion that, "No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family."

It is certainly profound when the "for worse" part of the equation arrives. When illness transforms personality and suddenly the person with whom one stood at the alter is no longer the person in one's bedroom. Our society doesn't talk about how difficult giving birth is, or how traumatic the aging process affects families, or how to prepare for and talk compassionately about death. All the money instead is put into weddings, new real estate, building up 'the life,' having a companion to join forces in 'keeping up with the Jones's, coffins, plots, and funerals. Greedy fa├žades crumble through deceit or illness, violence or neglect. Yet, the push to marry and reproduce remains ever constant. Deepak Chopra is now contesting Darwin's theories in OM Times Magazine. He says Consciousness Drives Evolution. I think its about time. Besides, the Bonobos have more fun and I think live longer lives.

I recently saw a wonderful video of a man caring for his wife with Alzheimer's. How many people are that caring, patient, and kind with those they profess to love? How many people on the planet receive and give that level of care? I'd really like to know. I wonder if that's the kind of love that Justice Scalia knows in his own personal life?

There are too many people on this planet. Yet do we look at the real issues on our plate, or get distracted by created conflicts; the racial wars, and now the promised marriage option while  quietly taken away is our ability to know what country our meat originates from, as daily our physical environment (climate) seems to get more unstable. Getting back to seeing marriage as the solution for loneliness, how many couples live in the same house but barely speak, rarely if ever have sex, share little if any affection, and basically live separate lives? Someone is there if you fall, maybe. Other than that, the daily grind of existing without thriving deadens imagination and creativity. That kind of an existence compromises and destroys the soul, because their is no growth or happiness that enlivens it.

The judge is talking about an ideal and yet, most marriages don't even start with that ideal manifesting in their lives. Why can't we deal with reality honestly in our country? When can we all stop pretending?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Miracle Journey

What do I notice about myself in the long length mirror as versus the small hand held mirror? Can I see myself without a critical eye? Is there an eye of loving acceptance and joyful reunion when stopping the world for a while and just being with me?

Turning off the external sound of a local leaf blower, to touch and sense how my body is doing? My body loves the attention when I slow everything down and don't forget who is capable of getting me one place to the other, who comes up out of a dream each morning, who is his fantasy and has journeyed through so much pleasure.

To just be, not have to do, not have to push, not have to finish, not have to perform anything but touch and pay attention. Simple instructions. What can be found when one isn't expecting results or needing outcomes? This body is made for pleasure yet the world demands it produce so many other things necessary for survival. How joyous to touch with no time limit, with no mournful memory attached, with no incurable longing making the moment uninhabitable.

Be here now with this breath, with this finger, with this fine piece of architecture designed only to move me toward mirth. Finally the sensuous lessons move us toward the concept of excitement and anticipation.

This second to the last class especially vital for me because someone pursuing me recently insisted a woman had to do Kegel exercises. I forcefully explained that my experience didn't align with his book's theory. He balked at my not buying his head trip that it's up to the woman to do the work so the man's size doesn't matter. He attacked my entire body of work and said my skills went to waste with such archaic and close minded sexual opinion. It made me feel ungrounded even though I knew I was carefully protecting my own boundary.

Then Class #5 said Kegel exercises constrict the energy and deplete our pleasure. They gave scientific reasons why that explained what my intuition knew after years of exploration and delight. I'm not scientific, especially about this subject. I just know what I know and what has worked for me after intense internal study both when isolated and when in entwined. Our bodies are such a miracle and the sensual sexual journey the best trip imaginable, if one only gets the ticket and says yes.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cycles Can Caress or Careen

The sensuality class is heating up. But of course, it's Spring time. Today started out discussing heat cycles. This is something I've come to notice about myself in the past two years. This isn't something I ever thought about ten years ago, or even twenty years ago. I was so into the heat of it all then it's as if my brain was too hot to really get logical about it all.

Of course animals have mating "seasons" and other times when they aren't fertile or furtive or interested in being bothered or touched or climbed onto or approached. Other times when they called out and didn't necessarily care who came running.

But the female human has such a big brain she can basically decide when she wants to get hot or not.

When writing my book and reading again so many experiences I had when younger, then charting my longer relationships ebbs and flows I became very aware that there were times I was hyper sensitive and interested, almost too hot to touch and times when even getting everything on my list crossed off couldn't stir me to stand up.

What is fascinating about this class is that there is a logic that gets illuminated that otherwise gets lost in the shuffle of modern life. There are exercises that encourage a person to take what they are learning and create an exercise or experience which expands their pleasure in a variety of safe and sensual ways.

The experience today called SPECIFIC FRAMES reminded me of the story BREAD CRUMBS I put in my book. My editor tried to get me to change the name for the longest time. We even researched Hansel and Gretel. I was horrified when I learned just how violent the actual story was, not the fairy tale I remember where both kids get out alive. But I love reading my BREAD CRUMBS story because every time I do, I remember each and every step along the way that night. I remember what I was wearing and how he reacted. I remember what we did on the chair before ever getting to the bed. BREAD CRUMBS is a story I tried to tame down for public consumption, yet my brother encouraged me to keep it as raw and real as I wrote it. Celebrating my 36th anniversary with FOG reminded me of the many March 25th's we got to celebrate in the past. As men age their cycle changes immensely. It's wonderful I kept such a record of his earlier days when he was so hot I hardly had a head in heated exchange. It's nice to remember, like that best vacation ever, or the time I first saw the view from the Campanile in Berkeley. There are some moments we don't forget. What a gift it is if we actually made notes and can remember exact details that would have unfortunately gotten lost in the rush of advancing time.

Choosing Joy Instead

In the third class I was exposed to the concept that we live in a pain-oriented society and pleasure is a questionable goal in life. I’d never quite thought of life in this way. I have noticed that it seems for most of society the only time to have fun is when they can get drunk on the weekends or holidays and get beyond their daily mask. I’ve never liked having a mask, or living under a label.

When I was young I was introverted and listened very carefully to what was going on around me. I trusted who I was told to trust. I didn’t question those whom I was told to trust. It never dawned on me. Three experiences in my youth inspired me to become less introverted and I learned successfully how to become more externally motivated. I won awards and the admiration of peers at that time. I soon discovered that having won (repeatedly) a top office the responsibilities involved necessitated I become entrenched with commitments. I didn’t have the freedom to explore in the moment what my deepest self wanted.

After toeing the line for 22 years I broke free. Tonight’s class asked us to write up a gratitude list. I wrote the basics like my wonderful home, friends, family, improved health, successfully ruled legal attack, and the gift of having found wonderful dance and yin yoga classes nearby. I’ve known for a long time that focusing on what feels good brings more good feelings than focusing on what hurts. I remember hearing a Maori healer once tell a class I got to attend the year before he died, “Give thanks when you stub your toe.” The next time I stubbed my toe I remembered and gave praise. It amazed me how much more quickly the pain of surprise and real pain dissolved.

When I was young I was vexed being confused. Elders told me to enjoy the chaos of not knowing. As I look back, I think this applies to the gift given in tonight’s session. You can focus on how others prefer pain and find pain acceptable, but you yourself, in your own heart and soul can smile and avert your eyes. There is bliss inside, a humming of internal joy that the body is alive and needs nutrition, movement, and loving attention. Life can be fun solving the dilemma to acquiring those needs. It doesn’t have to be a drag. It can be a joy.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

What gets in the way of sensuality?

In today's class I got an understanding of how many rules I broke after class #1 when running errands with just my button-up shift, the cover-up coat, the no-see socks and my shoes. Did knowing I broke rules add that skip to my step or was it the freedom from constriction whether others saw or did not see that lifted my spirit? My mother doesn’t break the rules. She doesn’t want to get in trouble. Growing up with stringent rules I have stayed safe for the most part, but less than alive when the rules are more important than my desires.

In today’s second class it was brought to my attention that it is limitations placed upon us as we mature, usually quite unconsciously, that end up giving us the identity we take on as individuals. As babies, we are sponges, masses of clay on which the artist carves the next statue. As a baby I was told my older brother would do everything. I was seated in the middle of the room by my elders and asked what I wanted and how I would get it. The story goes, I always answered, “Marc will get it.”

It has taken many decades to return to my own self to determine that I will get what I want. Not how I’ll get what others want for me to get, or how I’ll get what I think will make others love me, but how I’ll get what will help me to grow and evolve into who I really am.

There are so many rules that we inherited and mostly agree to abide by without even questioning their origin or necessity. The work ethic that we must work five days to have a weekend off, or work fifty years in order to retire and do whatever it is we wanted to do in the first place is a debilitating rule and one the younger generation isn't buying so readily, especially since the job market has undeniably changed since the 50s.

We aren't supposed to make much noise, except on Independence Day. We're supposed to look a certain way; wear certain clothes in a certain way, eat according to accredited guidelines, enter and act in a bus or an elevator in a certain way. Rules have a tendency to deny citizens their individuality. I remember when growing up I was told in the United States we were free to be ourselves. Yet, in the USSR or China, children couldn’t have their own thoughts. Are these society rules for the betterment of our culture, or the ease of those hired to protect us from ourselves? I remember in English class 7th grade Mrs. McKenna said, “Once you know the rules, you can break them.”

If so much of life demands we do things as others do them, what could possibly make anyone feel brave enough to claim credence to a concept that adding more pleasure and sensuality to our lives would be a good thing? Shutter to think we’d become a hedonist or nymphomaniac. Certain circles would shun us if we smiled more and perhaps even hummed from time to time except when requested to do so?

I was able to sequester myself off the road more traveled years ago. I've learned by isolating myself that when I do interact with others, it feels sacred. When I had to interact as expected and as I'd done for decades, I couldn't see all the little miracles along the way because my eyes had been closed by the heavy pressure of conformity.

It's important to determine which rules really apply to our lives and which ones we can adapt or shift more to our making. One thing is certain, we do have choice, some more than others but if determined to gain consciousness one can create more choice instantaneously.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Insecure Excitement

I’ve been waiting for this class to start. The educators are a group of people who take my favorite subject very seriously. They live together and pleasure is one of their top priorities. I think as we age, we think pleasure is what our ancestors thought was pleasurable. If it was fine dining, or spending, or playing cards, or going to the beach; it’s pretty likely those things might be on our list. The concept of expanding the list of what brings us pleasure is a huge gift and one I think people should contemplate. Daily we have so many responsibilities/duties/obligations, but there are only certain acceptable pleasures we should indulge in, right? Expanding that concept might be healthy for millions of people.

The timing involved was perfect for me, as a leg up from one part of my life to another. Like this class will get me off my human legs and onto my Sagittarian ones. That big of a sea change.

Last night was the first of six classes. I listened at the time the class was taught. It’s only an hour long but I wasn’t sure what they were talking about or where they were going with it. What did confrontation have to do with orgasms? I thought the class was called Deliberate Orgasm. I did pick up that the class was getting us to think of our life in more sensual terms. That makes sense. They were encouraging us to become sensual researchers. I like that assignment.

Today when speaking with one of the educators it was explained to me that this being one of their opening classes, it is about sensuality. While on the call I realized that I had something to say about sensuality and as much as I know about my own orgasms, the chance to turn my writing towards the art of sensuous living sounds like a delightful adventure.

Laying on my beige micro-fiber (fake suede) love seat, I realized the beige dress I put on after court last night and haven’t taken off yet is a sensual adventure all in itself. It’s a dress I got somewhere for $3 about ten years ago. I’ve never worn it and it’s not my color but it’s been hanging there nonetheless. Yet it feels so good on my body; sleeveless, v-neck, buttoned up, a soft old cotton. Nothing itchy. Nothing restrictive. My body felt protected yet free at the same time. After class I put a coat on because I needed ink and groceries and had energy to go. I ran from Staples to Trader Joe’s and home again fully aware that other than my lavender no-show socks I had nothing restrictive or uncomfortable on my body. I don’t find fancy clothes or high heeled shoes to be very sensuous or erotic. But that’s just me.

Now, just sipping my thick kale avocado cucumber and strawberry smoothie seems a grand escape from the focus necessary to get my work done for the day. Yes, focusing on pleasure and sensuality for the next three weeks, I’m in! Are you?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Time To Blossom Again

My father said: “Love-making is an art form.” My curiosity about what goes on between Ken and Barbie has been persistent and riveting. No longer playing with dolls in the eighth grade, I asked Nancy in the locker room how to kiss because she already was, and I wasn’t. She showed me how to kiss my hand. It really is an internal process before it becomes an external activity/shared joy.

Since I was twelve, I’ve had many peak moments writing privately in my diary. At eighteen I was more corporate than ever after. When alone having removed all facades, I poured out the voice screaming inside, buried under all responsibilities and expectations. If I wrote long enough, without interruption, the endorphins kicked up as they had during my college runs. Once all circuits were realigned, calm advice and encouraging support flowed through me in poetry.

In my early twenties I was completely stuck in my head. Any effort to experience love-making as a smooth reality, cubist expression, or abstract interpretation failed because I was thinking too much. I didn’t begin to get a glimpse of what a woman’s orgasm was until my early thirties. At that time an astrologer told me my chart is all about the deeper mysteries of sex and I should be writing about it as I educate myself.

Once I started having physical orgasms, I became obsessed with them. They re-calibrated my energy, attitude, and emotion. Even if the experience was clumsy or uncomfortable, I walked away feeling more integrated. What I experienced I knew I had to describe for others. In that most desired embrace, I could hear the ticker tape translating touch into words.

Even being so cerebral, I did learn to let my guard down, untie my inhibitions, expose my most tender reaches, and allow myself to scale the mountain with bare hands. Once on top of that peak, I slowly learned to take in every inch of perspective and profound nature the panoramic view provided. I published my first book in 2013 about my quest for The Big O, my growing appreciation for its healing benefits, and awareness of what gets in the way of sensual satisfaction.

I once heard if a couple can keep a woman on the orgasmic plateau for four hours, that at any other time during that week, one sniff of his scent, hearing his voice, looking at his scribble or sketch, any sense of him automatically lifts her back into the orgasmic plateau and she'll be vibrating again. To me, that seemed like an experiment worth underwriting, and a behavior modification program that could alter world history.

Starting March 18th, I will be blogging about a three-week tele-class called Deliberate Orgasm (DO) put on by Welcomed Consensus. I won’t share the lessons these sexual educators provide, merely how I feel receiving this information and how it is affecting my life.

After working diligently at therapy and healing core wounds that have disturbed me over the years, Spring 2014 has almost sprung. I am about to blossom again. This class is a gift at the right time. Serendipity and synchronicity are assisting the universe in guiding me to life’s greatest gift and most manifested potential. After four years of spending night and day worrying about cancer, I have good years ahead of me to explore emotionally what I’ve previously discovered physically about orgasms.

Let me catch you up, in the past I’ve known exquisite bliss. One man, I knew for ten years, before we became intimate. He knew all the right buttons. He had a god-like talent. Like a laser, he focused in on reading what I needed most and how many orgasms were locked inside needing to come out. He let nothing interrupt him when we were together. With him I had three hours of orgasms. Twelve years later I experienced a younger man with whom I could enjoy five hours at a time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t commit emotionally enough to either man to enjoy my deepest desire in a more continuous manner, thus unable then to prove my earlier stated theory is indeed a realistic possibility.

Those moments when I got very close to that place my imagination had pointed towards, were the ones I lived for the most: tuning out everything but the curiosity and enthusiasm for how big these orgasms could be, for both me and he? In my forties, I believed the final frontier was a woman’s body. Yet still, overwhelmingly the media portrays feminine sexual satisfaction as the loving acceptance for a man needing medicine to continue “acting” like a boy.

Erica Jong wrote in The Devil At Large, women who write about sex either don’t live very long or are banished from all modern acceptable society. It is so worth the risk. During this class I will re-enter a part of my life that has been barren for 76 weeks. Will you join me?

A year ago while discussing sex with my mother, she said after reading my book, if given the chance to do life over, she’d choose mine. She still adores my dad, yet there are inner hungers each woman has that must be addressed in life. I hope in these next three weeks I’ll be able to write about sex in supreme and sublime enough terms that will lift it out of the debauchery and shame so many still feel in 2014.

After reawakening from long months of sorrow and fear, if the universe conspires, I will share how raw flesh, when compatibly united, needs no electricity or gas to heat up and become digestible? I can describe slow moments of anticipation when hair-by-hair, each follicle comes to stand at attention, waiting for the hands that play me like a Stradivarius? Eight specific blogs will describe what flows through me when I can release desperation and become delight.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mark Rothko feared: "One day the black will swallow the red."


When most of my girlfriends were getting married the first time or having their first babies, I was involved with an artist four years older than my father. He had been famous in the 60s, when I was a young child. He had been involved in the Washington Color School, was an artist’s artist, had taught at the Corcoran Gallery, his paintings hung in many museums, and was still committed to Abstract Expressionism. I used to sit at his feet and spend long hours walking the streets of our nation’s Capitol, mesmerized by his Southern accent as he discussed many subjects he had studied and mastered in order to come to the conclusions he had by the age of fifty-five.

I include the story of this relationship in my book, COURTING ME(N). It is called The Artist: Painter of the Dancing Circles. Ours was a very brief union but it was archetypal for both of us. He was Pygmalion, I was Galatea. Being with me in his 55th year had him all of a sudden come back to life, paint again after many years of disillusionment, drop weight, and feel hope once more. He who had painted dots, or circles, inspired by me finally put onto the canvas thoughts of transformation inspired in him by The Tibetan Book of the Dead

I recently saw the play RED, which is about Mark Rothko at the Los Angeles Mark Taper Forum. I remember in 1983 Thomas Victor Downing was always talking to me about Rothko and Barnett Newman. At that time I thought he was telling me about three separate artists.

My last physical encounter with Tom was when he gave me the red painting (which looked like a red curtain going up or coming down on a stage) he'd painted for me called ORTUS. Ortus was the name of an Ezra Pound poem that had special significance for him, and he hoped for me. 

Ezra Pound

How have I laboured?
How have I not laboured
To bring her soul to birth,
To give these elements a name and a centre!
She is beautiful as the sunlight, and as fluid.
She has no name, and no place.

How have I laboured to bring her soul into separation

To give her a name and her being!

Surely you are bound and entwined,
You are mingled with the elements unborn;
I have loved a stream and a shadow

I beseech you enter your life,
I beseech you learn to say ‘I’,
When I question you;
For you are no part, but a whole,
No portion, but a being.

A few years ago I studied all the major artists via Netflix biographical films. I was completely taken in by the Rothko story. When I was twenty-three, I didn't understand much of what Tom was telling me about life, philosophy, art, the hypocrisy of consumerism and its effect on art. Tom left the planet twenty-eight months after I left him.

As I finish final edit of my book, as I prepare my web page to explain to the world my fifty-two year labor of love I know I have brought my soul into separation, but I still question if I have the technical ability to share what I've learned with the audience I was told twenty years ago is ready and waiting.

I recently did a Virtual Blog Writing Day with Denise Wakeman.  There are so many technical ways to connect with my audience now, that there weren't five years, much less fifteen years ago. There are so many who can do this in their sleep, the reaching out online and telling their story. So many of them charge lots of money to help those with selfish stories they feel must be told. But I'm not just telling my story. I'm telling many stories that will affect many lives. I trust that the right connections in the perfect moment will help me unfold my gift while I still have the time to get it out there.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Path Diverted.

I agreed to do a fundraising campaign for my book, and then, I demanded the campaign be shut down. While I'm a master multi-tasker at home, I couldn't quite focus on both finishing the book and beginning to push it out of me and into the world simultaneously.

My dead brother used to say I was a reluctant writer. While I write daily, I do so in private. However, it isn't because I never wanted people to read me but I wasn't sure of my self or my thoughts enough, since they certainly didn't follow the status quo.

The book is almost finished. I've been saying this since March 25th which was the date I wanted to be finished. That was a hypothetical date since it was Olivia's birthday. Olivia is my womanhood and since the book COURTING ME(N) is about our journey on the path of sacred sexuality (Big O's) and spiritual evolution (therapeutic alignment) I thought I could say I wanted it done in March and it would be done.

On the list still to put into the book is a tiny tale about soap, one about eight men, and one about seven drawers. I'd say another month and it will be in an agent's hands.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Going Public Before the Summer Solstice

I have a friend who said it was very important to get the book out into the world in front of agent's, publisher's, and reader's eyes before the sun turns back, and the days start to shorten again on June 21st. She is very astrologically educated and she has been right about many things in my life. Another friend told me that if the book is good, it won't matter when it gets into the hands of others.

I have avoided being "public" for a very long time. Those who knew me early in my life, knew I was very externally oriented. Yet, I believe I was born an introvert and after college it took me many years to reclaim my inherent nature.

This is a difficult step. I've enjoyed being a trunk writer. I've loved my relationship with  the muses, how they inspired me, and how I learned to write as they have dictated or instructed words to be put on the page. It's been a delicate dance, and one I didn't want to disturb.

I've often wondered if it wasn't about getting me out of the way, to let them speak. But I've come to realize it was all parts of me hidden, parts connected to full consciousness. My editor, Michele Fergus, came up with the term TEAM LISA three or four days before ABC News Anchor Robin Roberts announced her second diagnosis and called her older sister, the bone marrow perfect donor, and others were all part of TEAM ROBIN.

I hope you will become a part of my team. This blog, the most personal of all, the one I've been told is the least professional, is where I announce it first, to the fewest of readers.

My brother helped me put this KICKSTARTER campaign together. It was his idea. I didn't want to do the video. I wished we had come up with this plan eight months ago when I was thin due to the wasting aspect of my cancer. I didn't care that I was grey, or yellow. I loved being thinner than I had been in decades. However, that is such a superficial thing, and my book is not superficial.

Why don't you take a look at my very first attempt to let others know my baby is almost ready to be born.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Yesterday was difficult. I dealt with the kind of emotional mentality that was predictable, even repeatable. It’s like how many times does one need to get bashed in the head, or have a knife in the back, or experience a heart attack in the same veins and arteries without seeking help to heal those blood bringing vehicles.

I was painted black yet again. I was pushed beyond where I felt comfortable sharing myself, and then accused of doing it on purpose. The lesson is I didn’t protect my boundary and was punished for not doing so. The gift of the cursed experience is the truth. I discovered the game that was being played on me and can now move forward. I can release the past, release the caring and concern for another. It is difficult to give up that which is my highest physical temptation to date, but perhaps that is all it has been. It’s not like I really learned love and patience and caring. I learned to give more of myself but that was never truly appreciated. This was the physical temptation of that which is promising all the wonders and delivering too many woes. How many times must one repeat the process to realize it is toxic?

I move forward now. I will go put my feet on the sand and let the water cleanse my soul. I will walk a different walk, while getting the glorious sun on my skin, which is shining down upon us all. I will move back into a state of productivity and gratitude for the time I have to transform. I can still accomplish my goals. I can still finish my work. I can still heal my heart and give my gifts to those who have nurtured and nourished me. I need to be proud of my existence. I am the center of my wheel. Each spoke is a story I’ve added to the power of my roll. Some spokes have sped my movement and some have slowed me down. Each one taught me something along my journey. Both my brothers married early and made great effort to make better bad situations. By dating as I’ve had the opportunity, by exploring many different relationships, to learn that some are supposed to last and others not.

Each day is a new day. My body has had certain urges and needs that I’ve compensated for by allowing relationships that weren’t healthy for all parts of my being to continue when the demise of that union would have been better in the long run. I paid a price for that. Now I’m fighting for my life… it’s not the kind of illness that will surely bring me down any time soon, but it’s threatening enough that I must pay attention and streamline my ride. I must release all negativity, which causes stress to my body. I must incorporate new habits and ways of being. I must return to the calm baby who was curious about everything around her. She had no judgment or blame or little anger in the beginning. She was content to sit and learn, or had a way of showing her happiness with a delightful skip in her step. It is my aim to return to her and let her know the coast is clear. She can come out and play again.

This is the human’s job. To raise the self first, and then provide gifts for others. That’s my intent. I do have gifts to give but in the past I’ve forgotten about them when fighting in wars that weren’t mine in the first place. I didn’t come here to fight.

Friday, December 16, 2011

1000 Birds for my Birthday Moment

In 1797, How to Fold 1000 Cranes was published. This book contained the first written set of origami instructions which told how to fold a crane.  

                    The crane was considered a sacred bird in Japan. 


Japanese custom: Person who folds 1000 cranes are granted one wish.   


Origami became a very popular form of art as shown by the well-known Japanese woodblock print that was made in 1819 entitled "A Magician Turns Sheets of Birds". This print shows birds being created from pieces of paper.


                         Trusting one’s gift and making space for it IS the most beautiful expression 
                                                 any human being can commit their energies to completely.

Total flow, commence.  
The blue sky inhales into my organs, expressing health and lighting the day.                      
                                                                                Regina Spektor plays Samson as my fingers prance across the page. 

My 52nd birthday became the surprise of perfection when I'd previously been stuck agonizing, out of control, over disorder. After many years of protecting my ritualistic and solitary guided 1:06 pm birthday moment; I was instead breathing deeply, grounding my deepest connection into the core of this planet, with someone else in the room.

I was in the hands of a young, exquisitely peace-filled Goddess, a Geishi of the Facial. Her hands danced as her voice, shy but excited, chanted into my ears. The wings of her fluttering on, above and over my face, caressing my neck, the sensitivity of her touch to my nose and how she re-energized my eyes made my headache disappear. My hunger went missing. Enraptured, I surrendered, completely mesmerized by this JAP's ease in manifesting her gift. The JAP within me? Her equally intense doubt about what I'm worth, constantly evaluating my value by external standards, was silenced. My spirit was singing. 

I asked her, “What do you do when you are stressed out?” 
She thought for a moment. “I either do sports, or take a bath. Sometimes I do nothing. I need to compete. It is more fun.”   
Listening to her, being the focus of her vibrating hands, my upper corridor was ecstatically enraptured. I felt changed, transformed by her healing zone. 
"What is your name?"
"It is Chizuko."
“Chi, yeah energy… how is it translated?” 
“When someone is sick, we make 1000 origami birds and create a mobile that floats above our recipient in the hospital, healing their illness or disease.” 

My miasma of fear and indecision evaporated. 

I give great thanks to the Artemisian goddesses who chase after and protect me. 
Every inch of me is inspired. 
1:06 pm completely melded me together, all selves present and accounted for in my new mobile. 

1000 birds of beauty. 
I know how to do this. I should do this every day, soberly with a complete stranger.
This is healing. 

                                                           I am as clear now, as she was then. 
                                                            I still have 1000 birds healing me. 
                                                                  Such a Blessed moment
                                                                 I had to share it with you.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


11/3/11    Re-Examining Options         6:03pm

We can get stuck easily, and unstuck less readily if we don't learn how to make a practice of it. When I was younger and had all the energy of my convictions to heal the planet, elders warned me that I'd soon lose the desire to do good or the belief that my little plot of good will have much impact. Unfortunately, as I was taught to listen to my elders, to be a good girl, to be respectful of their years of experience, I listened. I pulled back from believing that my deepest intuitive impulses, insights or inspirations were to be followed whole-heartedly. I did step off the beaten track, but I walked hesitantly instead of joyfully in the wilderness.

Now, at my age and in my position, I know better. I spoke today with someone I met when I was 17 and she was 16. I was Junior Class President. She was Sophomore Class President. We had our journals and were sharing notes out on the girl's softball field. We've remained dear friends and trusted guides to each other all these years. She's one of the ones who encouraged me to step off the path. She wrote me a poem over a decade ago about how she was the Mother to All Men, and I was the Guest of the Land. Today she said, You did thirty years ago what kids today are starting to do and getting criticized by their elders. Your stories would give them assurance that they are not wrong or crazy for streamlining their life choices to subjectively suit them and not just take on someone else's excuse of a life.

I shared with her that after reading Lori Gottlieb's writing in MARRY HIM: The Case For Settling For Mr. Good Enough, I had five fascinating men who were suddenly extremely interested in me. Gottlieb says that every year after the age of 35 a woman loses her power, allure, value in our society. Gottlieb chose to have a child before she found a husband and is now experiencing difficulty finding a suitable man she can stomach, yet she writes threateningly that unless we settle now, we won't have a chance later. She says at 41 her options are increasingly limited but they aren't as limiting as they would be at 51. This is utter and pure hogwash.

Karen said, "I don't understand why you aren't pissed off that she's writing this old fashioned dreck and getting it out to the youth of today as common knowledge." I told her that they were in the process of making a movie about the book. "All the more reason you MUST tell your story, write of your experience. You truly are a Guest of the Land. You are welcome everywhere. Don't doubt that this is true." I said that a guest is perhaps welcome for three days. "Do you want or need more than three days?" I admitted that after three days I need to return to my own self. She said, "Exactly. If you'd stayed on the path by now you would be on your fourth divorce. Instead, you are delighted to be valued and appreciatied for who you are and what you think and feel instead of playing a role that others insist you be for them." Just as I could have listened to Gottlieb and shut down in fear, I can listen to the American Cancer Society and do the same, or take what I know about healing and implement what I know will heal me.

Decades from now I can sit with Karen on rocking chairs in Ireland, all wrinkled and wise, laughing that we each made this life our own. She the palliative specialist guiding the masses into their next life, and my writing out in the world giving permission and guidelights to one's own BIG O.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Totally forgot about this place to post...

Totally forgot that I have this linked to my Huffington Post. Totally forgot that people might come here looking for more me.

I really must get more organized. Since I started putting up blogs @ cb I totally forgot that I started this site because I thought I needed this to be accepted onto the HP. But between the HP and CB I feel covered.

It took me 30 minutes just to get into this site again because it has been so long since I created it.

How many blogs does one person need?

I still have to get back up and running. I took it down because I thought stories were there that were too private. It's time to get professional about this and stop treating my writing with so little respect. Top of the list for the summer.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Have decided it's time to perhaps do my more personal blogs here...

and save Huffington Post the gnarly details of my chemo. Still looking into the journal on Haven't yet organized it all. But something to shoot for instead of bemoaning my silly fate. It's a challenge, not a death sentence, despite what others keep pointing out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How Come Nobody Ever Says Anything?

I was in a spinning class again. I'd stayed out of the classes for about five months when a teacher was particularly snarky about the volume control. I'd put my hands up to my ears, motioning that the noise level was too loud. Her reply? "I don't read sign language." Twenty minutes later, I walked out.

But after five months of missing the kind of sweaty workout that is particularly good for my soul, I found the head spinning person at the gym and talked to her about the noise level. She assured me it's not that I'm getting too old or "unhip" to spin. She was out tonight and the 'sub' might have had the switch set to the legal limit, but was raising the volume on her iPod and then screaming above it.

I said something. I moved over to a bike farther from the speaker. While spinning my mind was remembering a recent condo meeting. A renter in the building had been so rude to the renters below him that my favorite couple moved out last Saturday. During the meeting in which the owners of those two condos were trying to get to the bottom of all the emails back and forth, the neighbor who had called me at 1:30 in the morning to ask if I heard the noise downstairs was afraid to complain as I'd heard her complain numerous times in the past 100 days.

The owner who'd lost her renters called me the next day and said, "I'm so glad you were at that meeting. If you hadn't been there, I don't think anyone would have said a word." She hinted that perhaps it was a racial issue. "Maybe everyone was afraid of offending the person in question," she said in her squeaky voice.

I don't know what it is. We complain about things under our breath but rarely take it a step farther to confront the situation head on and try to make it better. If we're rebuffed once, as my neighbor had been by the person in question, we often feel intimidated to speak out again.

Sweating away on the quieter side of the room, getting completely into my ride, I started remembering the concept I'd learned in a Political Psychology class at UC Berkeley. Pluralistic Ignorance. Person A thinks that Person B doesn't care. So Person A acts as if they don't care. Person B reading Person A also thinks they don't care, so they act aloof and uncaring as well. The truth may be that both A & B care very much, but pride or ego or saving face causes behavior that protects self instead of fostering communication or connection.

When the class was over, I was heading over to my bag near the speaker to get my stuff when a pretty brunette spoke to get my attention. "I'm right there with you on the noise issue. It's actually unbearable much of the time." She was a young, perky South African and she spoke with that wonderful accent. "If you bring it up to the head teacher, I'll stand right behind you because I totally agree with you."

I was really glad she'd shared her opinion with me. It showed me two things...
  1. I'm not too un-hip.
  2. By saying my truth it made it safe for another to do so.
As First Lady Michelle Obama said in her address to the graduating seniors of Washington Math and Science Technology Public Charter High School today:

"When you set foot on the soil of whatever campus that has admitted you, understand that you are responsible for your own experiences. So what I want you to do is own your voice. Own it. Don't be intimidated by your new surroundings. Remember, everyone else is in the same position that you're in. Be an engaged and active participant in all of your classes. Never, ever sit in silence, ever. That first day, raise your hand, use your voice, ask a question. Don't be afraid to be wrong, don't be afraid to sound unclear, because understand this is the only way you'll learn."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Moment is Now

As a reticent child, I always tested the water before jumping in. As a young girl, I'd purposefully alter my looks in some way in order not to compete with other girls for boys. As a Berkeley undergrad I chose political science because I thought I'd have to write more papers for the English literature department. It's not that I take the easy way out. I don't.

My life has been one sacrifice after another. There is much I’ve been willing to give up in order to live my dream; children in order to give birth to books, relationship in order to seek and understand solitude, money in order to focus on what is truly valuable-sustainable-connect worthy. It would have been much simpler to lower my ideals, to set my sights on something easier, more mainstream. I couldn't do that.

It might have been more “fun” to take the Best Dressed award instead of Most Friendliest or Most Likely to Succeed It is much harder to be a good friend than to decipher what the latest fashion is or how to achieve a look instead of show off a label.

Much more difficult to determine what is truly successful... and to go for that no matter the cost. It would have been so much easier to cut off parts of myself in order to fit into the corporate structure. But I couldn’t do it for long. It would have been so much easier to break the glass ceiling without the inconvenient emotional part already amputated. But I couldn’t focus on achieving when I had to leave so much of myself at home.

Instead, I came into each moment with too much emotion. Many labeled me "too sensitive." Early on I was told, "You think too much." It's not like I could stop. Like Madonna, I've always had a strong masculine energy swirling around my center core. Instead of moving out into the world to conquer it, I moved inside to understand what was there.

When I started this blog I assumed I could just deposit here pieces I wrote two years ago. Yet, since I've placed a few blogs I've realized that I must share what is happening now, important now, what is real now...

Life is moving so quickly. They (who?) say that more is changing technologically, energetically, and historically now and in the coming four years than ever before. What might have taken a decade to process in another century can now be experienced and expressed in a heartbeat.

I've always thought I had to be perfect before sharing my wares. Yet, I've never believed in perfection nor tried to achieve it in my everyday life. I've remained silent instead of voicing opinions if I didn't have valid alternative solutions. I've denied myself in a myriad of ways. Brilliance I produced prior on the page overlooked for too many years when memories of certain experiences left me with an ache or a hole or a wish unfulfilled. I left it on the private page and kept moving forward. Privately I’d tried to process, but I didn’t really know then how to move through a trauma drama.

Instead of honoring my process, accepting my emotions, understanding that what I feel is a blessing and not a curse, I judged myself as others had judged me; too this or too that. Instead of just being profoundly me. It's just me in this moment, processing this emotion. As if being me, alive and breathing in this moment, isn't enough to be grateful about.

I have a dear friend who is struggling. Who isn’t these days? He has the soul of an artist and can produce paintings, sketches and collages that anyone would want on their wall. Yet, he’s cut off so much of himself in order to be a partner in an architectural firm. With the economy STILL in shambles, he’s had to fire most of his staff. He worries about his job, and subsequently, his loft bought at the peak of the bubble. It is affecting his health. He is not alone. Millions in cities around this country are in his position.

So what’s my valid solution? I don’t have one. I just pray he and the many others, who have such special gifts to give to the world, might use this time to focus said gifts to express these feelings that are instead now causing havoc in the body.

I’ll leave you for now with this. For years I sought answers. In the Jewish tradition, why were men expected to study and women were only allowed in the bedroom and the kitchen.

Finally one Rabbi gave me an answer I could accept. He said, “Women are already connected to God. Women can reproduce. Men cannot. Men must study how to connect with the divine.”
If it is true that men move forward physically and mentally, and women move forward emotionally and mentally…. And that’s why it’s been easier for men to jettison said emotions and why women have struggled when having to do so… Maybe the answer is to honor our feelings once and for all.
Honor how sad it is that a major American auto firm is biting the dust and how that will affect so many souls in the process… but channel that sadness into action, into choices that will improve our future. Choices like Michael Moore suggested today on his Huffington Post Blog:

We all must sacrifice to get to the promised land of peace. What can you give up today?

Changing Our Minds, Speaking Up For The Truth!

In May 18th's New York Times, Maureen Dowd talks about Cheney and torture.

"I used to agree with President Obama, that it was better to keep moving and focus on our myriad problems than wallow in the darkness of the past. But now I want a full accounting. I want to know every awful act committed in the name of self-defense and patriotism."

This, after now determining that water boarding wasn't used to protect Americans, but to justify invading Iraq.

I don't want soldiers over there to experience any more danger as a result of our moral cleansing of the beastly criminal record -- legacy from #43... but I was taught that the truth would set us free.

As a kid, I was taught that when I lied, I'd be punished. If I told the truth, I might be reprimanded for being careless but I wouldn't get spanked for lying. I'd broken my grandmother's velvet headband and denied I did it. I got walloped, not for breaking the headband, but for lying about it.

I'm always kind of hesitant to make waves. Once at Romoland Horse Camp the counselors took us to a spot up against a hill where we had to walk our horse into a small six-foot space in between two hedges and turn around. All the other campers did so quickly. When it came my turn, my horse (I forget her name but it started with an R) walked into the tight spot and just stood there. I tried to urge her on. She started to paw the water that was beneath me... I kicked her sides and got her turned around and out of the bind. The counselors laughingly said, "Do that again Lisa and see if you can get R in and out more smoothly."

I tried again and this time R really started pawing the water. Nothing I did seemed to get her to move. My anxiety started to lift but it really exploded when all of a sudden yellow jackets that had been in the water R was pawing, started swarming around me, seemingly hundreds of them that my horse had now disturbed and antagonized.

Somehow I extricated myself and R again only to watch the counselors laugh their asses off. They thought it was hysterical. They knew R liked to do this and because R was my horse for that two week period, I was the one tortured by the humorous annual experience.

Did I report the incident to the old lady who owned the camp? No. Did I ask to call my parents and get me out of there. No. Did I trust those counselors the rest of my time there? No. Was this torture? Yes. Did it hurt anyone? Could have...

My 8th grade Chinese Algebra teacher once locked us in our classroom, closed all the windows and turned on the heat. This was the last week of school. It was June. It was already a hot day. When we started to complain that it wasn't fair, Mrs. W said "Life isn't fair. Get used to it."

Was that torture? Yep. Was she brought down by it? Nope. Did we learn anything from our discomfort? Not really...

If life is indeed about learning... If life is indeed about healing... If those of us who are here to do those two things believe in peace and make steps to seek and find peace, our mental alignment and calibration will simultaneously lift those in the business of greed that continue to escalate the differences and the violence. It comes down to power... use and abuse of power.

In retrospect, reporting both incidences in my early life, might have saved other unknowing campers/students from similar scary experiences. Was it fair or nice or necessary to threaten safety and cause discomfort? Did these counselors and this teacher get something out of abusing others? In the moment they did. But was it right? I bet they don't remember their behavior but many of us kids did. Had we reported their misconduct, they might be remembering it too and thinking before doing it again.

My therapist wanted me to write a blog about torture weeks ago. I resisted. I'm not an abuse specialist. She is. She said, "We heal by owning and acknowledging our mistakes." The more we hide, the more we have reason to hide and the more such treacherous thinking causes missteps and wrongful living. By saying, "This is what I did. I blew it and this was why. I'll try to do better", Then all involved can move forward into greater health.

Some think we'll lose face by admitting our sins. I think we just might regain it. We beat ourselves up, we sabotage our self or abuse family members when we harbor uncomfortable unspoken truths. What happens inside our own tribe is a microcosm for world politics. By fessing up in our own circle, we make it possible to heal that which is broken and wounded. By walking away, the wounds fester, eventually needing amputation. What's worse, a moment of discomfort in order to clean the wound and make possible, a healing. Or the continual lies that strip us of our souls and make us continue to abuse and therefore punish. What is your take?

Btw, apparently Ms Dowd lifted quotes from someone else...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Body Payments, in this economy?

We use our bodies something fierce. We demand they work long hours with little sleep. We expect them to walk us where we need to go, release waste and huge amounts of toxicity (I'm not talking about recreational toxicity, but more along the lines of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the power lines we can't escape). We expect them to behave like our toaster (efficiently), and give us what we want when we want it. Rarely do most of us do what our bodies need for such optimal performance.

Athletes know that along with their training they need to feed the body well and let it rest. They know the body is a machine, or a temple and they do everything humanely possible to elicit the body's best.

Stars, models, and celebrities who make their living being in the public arena are usually more aware of what the body needs and how to satisfy these needs. But often, these people and most of the mainstream population that wants to look like them think of body payments as a process that adorns the body.

For instance, in a nail shop, so many women will pay the extra money to have rhinestones or painted flourishes graphically placed onto their big toes. They'll spend oodles of cold hard cash to buy toxic materials to build out their nails into creative claws. How many women will pay that little bit extra for a chair massage? Ten dollars for fifteen minutes is nothing in the scheme of things, two Starbucks coffees.

I was stressed this morning... Feeling like a powder keg about to blow, the thought of going to get my toes done so I'd look nice for an important event tonight didn't sound appealing. However, the thought of someone's hands on my occipital ridge and rubbing away my anxiety was enough inducement to get me moving.

I know exactly how to breathe in order to download my stress, how to focus on touch so it does the trick. But rarely, especially these last few months, have I allowed myself the extra expenditure to "indulge." Even though I know that body payments which reconnect and make friends again between the head, the heart, and that which encases them is not an indulgence, it is not a luxury. It is the best money spent...

These last few weeks life seemed to be squeezing me extra tight. I'd forgotten that simple moments, like a quick chair massage, are often the difference between continued exponentially accumulating stress and a momentary readjustment, which realigns the breath with the body. The attitude with what is truly important. The soul with her purpose. I'd momentarily forgotten that something as simple as deep breathing while someone puts pressure on my Trapezius muscles could be the difference between experiencing life or being done by life.

When I had a full time job, instead of a car payment, I negotiated a body payment for myself. A massage therapist came to my house after her last massage and when she left, I rolled into bed. It was always my best night of sleep. At that time I discovered that if there were a three-week break in between massages, my body would begin to feel like a prison. As if my bones were closing in on me. Almost overnight, I'd be in lock up again.

Because of this economy, I haven't had a massage in many months. Today, sitting in that chair, focusing on my breathing as a man rubbed out my sore spots and stretched my arms in ways I rarely can do for myself, I regained perspective.

The reason I call myself a stress reductionist, is because I know how important stress is and the effects it has on our bodies; increased aging, disease provoking, illness enhancing. I know simple cures like certain breathing techniques, pin pointing trouble spots and finding an immediate solution, and choosing another option when something isn't working can be had without spending a dime.

I get more stressed than most people and as a result I've searched throughout my life for ways to release and reduce stress. Sometimes it gets to be too much for simple measures. But sometimes, like today, a simple $10 body payment did the trick and reinstated my body, mind, and soul.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wide Open and Abused

April 13, 2009 - Monday 7:01 PM


There I was, on my back, off the ground with my mouth open wide. He had instruments; drill bits, probes, and needles attacking my internal flesh and bone. I had to trust him. Yet, I’d never felt so vulnerable.

He’d been my dentist for over ten years. I’d trusted him. I’d had a sign that maybe I shouldn’t trust him. A friend I’d referred to this man for a cleaning came back and said, “He’s the worst dentist. How can you see him?”

I didn’t think he was the worst dentist. I liked that he was relaxed, independent, and not stuffy or clinical. Maybe he wasn’t as thorough as other dentists… he didn’t take x-rays during every visit. He also didn’t charge exorbitant fees.

I also liked that he reminded me of my childhood dentist who I had a crush on. Whenever I had a dental issue, I went to this salt and pepper full head of haired man. I didn’t go regularly. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t have kids. I figured if I couldn’t get myself to the dentist every six months, what made me think I could get my kids there without a fight?

There I was, having driven over thirty-five miles to get to him, because he was in the old neighborhood where I used to live.

When I entered the office, there was no one there but him, sitting at the front desk. I knew I had a filling in the back lower right of my mouth that needed to be crowned. I knew that meant I needed that nasty shot in my jaw that hurt so much.

“Can you put on a topical to ease the pain?” I asked.

“A topical won’t help you. The shot you need is about this long,” he said as he motioned with his thumb and pointer finger that the shot was to enter into my jaw about two inches. “When I have to get that blocker shot, I always dread it myself. It’s the worst,” he added, I’m sure, to comfort me.

I mentally prepared myself and endured the prickly penetration. After all I told myself, “Grandmother could endure dental work without Novocain, least you can do is endure the shot.”

A minute later as he was preparing something over on the counter with his back turned to me he said, “It’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be. Anticipation is the worst part of it.”

“Why couldn’t you have said that when I first arrived instead of pointing out how big the shot was going to be?” I was perturbed.

He didn’t answer me, only motioned that I should open wide and allow him to put the purple moldy material on the plastic tray into my mouth and bite down hard. While my mouth was practically glued shut he explained the many benefits of a new type of crown. When finally my mouth was free to speak I said, “I’ve heard the benefits. What are the drawbacks?”

“It’s $750 instead of $550?” He responded very matter of fact.

“Your wife (his receptionist) said it was going to be $500. Now I’m already anesthetized and I find out the price is at least $50 more and possibly $250 more? That’s not cool.” My other option to have the tooth done was by a family dentist for $1200. I didn’t think there was a decision to be made.

He bristled and continued placing tools on the little silver tray and getting me a glass of water to gargle and spit out during the procedure. He said, “You do what you want. I don’t care.”

I needed to get this tooth fixed as the crack in it was now causing heat and cold sensitivity. I didn’t want to have this shot repeated in the near future. I never thought of getting up and walking out or actually renegotiating before we continued.

As he proceeded, the environment in the three-chair office was quiet but tense. I said, “This doesn’t feel good.”

He said, “How do you think I feel?”

I’d always wanted to know how he felt. I’m an empathetic person and I always thought this white clogged, blue jeaned man with a beard and a goatee was worth trying to understand through his thick accent.

He continued on. I discovered he’d decided for me that I was going to get the cheaper crown since I’d complained. I’d been trying to renegotiate with myself that the more expensive crown was something I should have. Now, it was a moot point.

So there I was with his hands in my mouth, drilling my tooth. The shot hadn’t blocked enough of my gums for him to go as deep into them as he needed to go, so he started to stick more needles into me. After the second prick I complained and he stopped, quietly proceeding with my brutal and bloody present moment.

I didn’t know what to do so I just sat there and endured what I’d gotten myself into. I felt more vulnerable than I’d ever felt. This in the hands of a health provider I’d trusted and never felt uncomfortable around. I said, “After all these years, you know I’m very careful about money.”

He responded with, “I’m not a mind reader.” The next thirty minutes were a kind of agony I find hard to describe and distasteful to remember.

When finished I said, “Are we ok?”

“It actually went better than I thought it was going to go,” he said with remaining hostility. “I’ll see you next week to glue in the crown.”

Walking out I felt like an idiot. Why did I ask him if we were ok? We were not ok because I was not ok! For the first two nights my tongue kept tearing between two teeth. When I called to complain he said, “Just take an emery board to it and file it down.”

A week later my new crown went in without a hitch. When I handed over my credit card he said, “How much?”

Seeing my confusion he said, “We had a problem last week. I’ll give it to you for $500. My wife will have to take the loss.”

“Huh,” I didn’t get where he was going with this.

“She controls the money,” he said as he slid my card into the validation machine.

“So she gives you an allowance or something?” I said remembering previous complaints over the years how unhappy he was in his marriage.

“I never see it. I never need it. I’m always working.”

When I exclaimed what a bummer that must be he continued the same old complaint. “I want to get out, but what can I do?” We shook hands and I walked away.

I heard from a friend who has spent top money with the best dentists only to be undone by their neglectful hygienists, and also gone the route of Tijuana dental work she explained was cheap but unrefined. Neither of those options promised a better experience than what I’d had up until this latest procedure with this particular dentist.

My therapist said his behavior had been abusive. He’d taken advantage of me, verbally abused me, and left me in a compromised position. I realized I’d chosen this dentist for personal reasons but our relationship was professional. I needed to judge him according to professional standards. Feeling dis-empowered she said, “You empowered yourself by recognizing what was going on, and by deciding to protect yourself in the future by never going back.”

I don’t feel empowered. Now I have to find a new dentist.


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