Saturday, November 01, 2014

Nano, First Night

I am not attending the "first night" of Nanowrimo at Denny 's because a) I can no longer stand the smell of greasy burgers, cooking meat, etc (it is the only thing that brings on chemo nausea anymore for me, a vegetarian), and b)...I am so tired from traipsing around with my little Munchkin.  She was so darling when we came home and said, "I want to put all my candy into a big bowl and all of us can share it." I love her generous little spirit.

I will, however, use this time to make a dent in my book about Asha, and commit to setting up important interviews, starting with some of the detectives who worked the case and began to connect McClish with the crime.

I spoke to a friend last night online and he said he admires me for committing to this book despite its subject matter. I told him that this book is to show Asha as a light in the world that was taken away, and that, though her story is unique to her, there have been millions of women whose light has been extinguished because someone, somewhere, thought they were a problem.  That I stand in the world and live today despite all I have gone through means, for me, that I have a responsibility to bear witness.  These women can no longer speak for themselves, but I can delineate the magnitude of their loss. It is all I, as a writer, can do.

Friday, October 31, 2014

My Lanterns

My little collection of ceramic pumpkin lanterns.  The little luminaria with the jagged edges is over 30 years old.  My sister died in 2008 and because Halloween was THE special holiday for us as siblings together, when we were kids and also as I parented 4 kids on my own, it was very hard to light these.  I finally did so tonight, for the first time after she died.  I hope everyone had a lovely, safe Halloween!

Pumpkin Prize!!!!!

Well, I messed up and did not get bats, but Thistle and I collaborated on fixing it up with making a window, cupcake picks and a piece from a floral display, from years ago.  We won a prize at her school today for Most Theatrical Pumpkin!!!!! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Short post:  tomorrow is the annual pumpkin carving display at school.  I am carving a pumpkin even as we speak (taking a break from it) and am ambitiously carving bats and such on it.

I have also created a ghoulish carrot cake (standard carrot cake, with Thistle's added touch:  Halloween M&Ms).  It is ghoulish because the dye on the M&Ms ran and now the cake looks like it is bleeding.

I am so excited about tomorrow, going around trick-or-treating with Thistle.  I like doing all this stuff again.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Changing Tide

I have had two very busy and fruitful days just getting ready for Halloween.  It is really fun to see Thistle so excited about this!  She always seems to have two costumes at the ready (a bee costume and a fairy costume, this year).  It's been both exhilarating and tiring to get ready for this holiday.  I'm trying to figure out how to dress her more warmly--she is the type to run around in short sleeves and proclaim that she is not cold when her lips are turning blue.

Next month at this time, she will be my daughter, as well as my granddaughter.  I got her new medical card today in the mail, with her new name on it (her first name and my last name.  I never had a child who shared my birth name; all the others had their dad's surname).  I feel like I have summited Everest and K2 and Annapurna all at once.

I am about to put in for retirement, as it is time and I am feeling good about this choice.  I received more adoption assistance funds than I thought I would have and, given that my house will be paid off in three years,  I do not think I have as much to worry about.  What I am now, is the mother/grandmother of a beautiful five-year-old girl, and have been called on by Spirit to do this work.  Sometimes Spirit asks of us very ineffable things, things we don't know the meaning of at the moment they happen.  I think that is where faith and trust really abide, in situations like this.

The tide is going out for Thistle's great-grandmother, the mother of my ex-husband; she is in her nineties and her body is shutting down.  We always had a very conflicted relationship, but became good friends when she forgot, as she grew older, that she hated me.  That was just fine with me: we watched Downton Abbey and other stuff on PBS, and talked about being grandmothers, and I brought her flowers three months ago at her birthday.  She is dying peacefully at home and tonight I told her I loved her and meant it.

It is strange to see someone in the same state I was in last year, sleeping continuously...but the dying process as I began to experience it last year was gentle and very beautiful...my body seemed to float between worlds and the only difficult part was when I would gasp for breath and come back.  I watched her drift in and out of consciousness this evening and thought of how much a dying person acts like a newborn, with the same short periods of waking and falling into deep sleep.

Life is too short and too precious to hold any grudges.  I am glad that all the interactions I've had with her in the last three years have been kind ones.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

M. Dream

I dreamed the nicest dream of M. last night.  I dreamed I was walking through a suite of very nice, well-appointed apartments, with dark wood furniture, shining tile and wood floors, and brass ornaments everywhere (mirror frames, etc).  It was all very beautiful and in great repair, like a nice suite in San Francisco.  There was a city visible outside the windows, and all the buildings were bright white, like limestone.

The curious thing is that unfortunately I was in a bath towel!  It was one of my real bath towels too.  There were a few people passing through and I remember being unbelievably self-conscious.  I finally took refuge in a small alcove next to a beautiful picnic on a yellow tablecloth; I remember there were pomegranates and oranges.  I did not know how I would get some clothes and that was my big concern.

Then M appeared right in front of me, sitting in a lotus position and floating in the air!  He looked exactly like he does in real life, down to a tie-dye shirt and pants, except his hair had been slightly trimmed up and neatened.  I said, "It's you!" and he smiled and said, "Of course it's me!  I am always with you."  I asked him what he had done to his hair and he said he'd singed some on a candle and had to get it evened out.  He then landed from the lotus position, gestured to the food, and said, "Why don't you join this feast?" and I said, "I will, when I get some clothes, but I don't know how to get them here." He then produced (pretty much out of thin air)  a rose-pink shirt and a long denim skirt (the same skirt I have on right now which I really did get in a clothing exchange).  I dressed very quickly ( I remember feeling warm and grateful for these clothes) and then we both sat side by side at the picnic/feast.  It was so real; I even felt his body's warmth when I sat next to him.  I don't think I had ever seen him so happy in so long--he had the kind of happiness when I had done something really nice for him and I could tell he really appreciated it.

I love dreams like this, when he comes to me and is so real that I think I really have had a visitation.  It's considerably nicer than the dream I had last week, of losing my purse in a huge store and a mean woman would not let me back in to find it!

Monday, October 27, 2014

From the WTF files: extremely scary McClish statement

If you ever want to delve into the shadowed side of human nature, peek into the McClish murder trial.  I pray to God Almighty right now that this man never gets a retrial.  He clearly has chosen evil over good.  Perhaps this is the root of all evil: never being able to look at one's capacity to do harmful things.  We ALL do harmful things in life; it's inevitable, even when we make a commitment to not do so.  I don't believe in Hell for evildoers, but I believe people get appropriately reincarnated.  I don't think there are no second chances, in this life and in the life to come.  There are at least five people in my life who hurt me terribly many years ago; we have now very good friendships and the past is put away.

However, I've rarely heard of a repentant murderer and certainly McClish is not repentant: he has never even admitted his guilt.  Of course not: these folks always paint themselves as the victim, of conspiracies, vengeful exes, law enforcement etc.  There is a degree of respectability when a person says, "I did something horrible/stupid/cruel," etc. and owns it, and is willing to recognize honestly the degree of hurt they have done.  Saying "I'm sorry this happened but it's your own fault for doing x." is not an apology; it's blaming the person you hurt for YOUR actions.  Believe me, sometimes that sort of blame hurts worse than the original action; it's meant to hurt, whether the one who says it is conscious of that or not.

Note from later on:  The reason I was musing on the above is because Mr. McClish got up at his sentencing trial for the murder of an innocent woman and a precious baby and said, "I am the victim here."  He really f-ing said that.  Victim of what, exactly--I'd like to know what his justification is for that one.

Anyways, I found a chilling statement in the court documents regarding the first-degree rape with which McClish was originally charged:

"When (McClish) threatened 'Jane Doe' about keeping her mouth shut, he sometimes mentioned his ex-girlfriend Carol, a recent affair his wife M. had found out about...He would ask 'Jane Doe' if she ever wondered why no one sees Carol anymore."

This part of the documentation goes on with McClish's lovely statement that if M., his wife, ever cheated on him, he would have to kill her.

You know, that's a terrifying statement, actually more than one terrifying statement.

Who is the woman he's talking about?  I am sure he was investigated as a potential suspect in cold cases, but the statement about "Carol" is very strange, very threatening, and is buried in the criminal file also.

I hate to say this, but I wonder what else is going to come out as I write this book...I have already learned what I am 100 percent sure is the absolute truth about one aspect of Asha's case, and it  makes this all the more appalling and tragic.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tell Truth

I went to my singing group tonight and someone I used to attend at the Thursday night African dance class was there. She said several people wished I had been at the final class and greatly missed me. I have never told anyone from that class except for the instructor why I never returned. I am truly glad that class is done so that the person who kept me away can no longer hoard it. It was quite the note of divine justice that the universe swooped down and finished it forever.  I fully believe if the person in question had been generous and negotiated with me so that we both could go to the class at separate times, that class would have continued for years more.  Instead, the class lasted just a little over nine months after he told me I could not go there.

I believe far more in spiritual/divine justice than I do any other spiritual force (the kind where it is clearly some force beyond what any people could do), as I think it has stopped more evil things in this world than anything else.  I think McClish is behind bars partially because of spiritual pushes from the other side, including finding Asha's body in that remote area (it was a miracle she was found so quickly, before he uprooted his family and left town or something).

Fun Night

Tonight was my troupe leader Siwa's beautiful birthday party at the Crepe Place, a local venue which also hosts bellydance shows.  There was a wonderful cake, rituals, lots of good food, and laughter, as always.  Between the witches, bellydancers, drag queens, and the sudden rainstorm which nearly drowned out the (excellent) chocolate cake, it was a fun and festive night.  I wore a glittery multicolored butterfly mask, my violet velvet medieval princess dress, purple and black striped tights, and purple lace gloves, ruffled at the wrist. I almost tried absinthe for the first time, but decided against it. Tired now, goodnight.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Rain, beautiful rain in Santa Cruz: I wake to rain and am happy.

The great horned owl on my property is a loud and very present presence.  He--I think it's a male--was screeching in the tree just across the deck last night.  I told the family not to hoot at him, or any owl, as they will think it is a rival owl and leave.

Friday, October 24, 2014


I am in a "holding pattern" regarding something very important regarding Asha Veil's story, though it is contingent on the decision of others, not me.  I asked for a sign from Asha about it, and tonight, as I walked out  onto the dance floor of my Haitian dance class, I saw a beautiful gray feather.  There are NO birds around that area, at all, and it definitely was not a decorative feather.  I always feel like such things are messages from Spirit to keep going and keep trying to do the right thing with this book, to be pure in focus, in that it is to have the world know Asha as best I can portray her, and that the world lost much when we lost Asha and Anina.

I put the feather on my altar, with the goddess charm from many weeks ago.

Nature news:  a great horned owl has taken up residence on my property and hoots away all night. I am stoked and truly hope there will be a mating pair, as I have with the screech owls.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

End of an Era

Tonight was the end of an era: a long-running African-inspired dance class in Santa Cruz.  I had wonderful times in that class, but for the last year, had to avoid it because of the fear that something highly unpleasant might happen to me during a personal conflict with someone.  There was absolutely nothing done to help me get back there when I asked for help.

Anyways, I have a wonderful American Tribal Style bellydance class on Thursdays at the Tannery, and I have Haitian dance there on Fridays; I feel safe there, and I don't have to worry about someone trying to take these things away from me.

Nathan Cirillo, In Memory

I am deeply saddened and shocked by the violence in Canada today, as are many people tonight.  Here is an article about the young soldier who was murdered today.  Please keep his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.