Poem: I Forgot to Live

•March 25, 2016 • 2 Comments

I wrote this poem in Wordsworth’s Garden only a day after going to the hospital due to stress at work and loss of a support structure. Being out in the Lake District reminded me how much I had missed while working so much, which this week felt all for naught.

img_5552 Continue reading ‘Poem: I Forgot to Live’

My New Life

•March 21, 2016 • 2 Comments

This will be uncharacteristically short.

Even though the past two months were much better than they’ve been over the past four years for reasons I’ve discussed and explored here, they were still very emotional for reasons I also discussed and explored here. Because of the time of year and all the exciting and wondrous and painful changes, many of my recent posts have been processing emotional pain and unrequited love and past traumas.

But not this one. Continue reading ‘My New Life’

Two Steps Forward…

•March 20, 2016 • 1 Comment


You know what comes next.

Any progress or learning truly takes on this pattern. We take two steps forward and just when we’re feeling so great about our progress we find ourselves taking one step back. Perhaps something unexpected happens, thus we take a step back to catch ourselves from falling. That’s normal, expected.

Still, so many of us beat ourselves up for taking that step back. Self included. Although, I’m recognizing it faster and faster each time, and I’m showing myself the compassion I so generously offer everyone else.

The other night I had one too many glasses of wine and was feeling really down on myself. I don’t drink often or much, but it had been two very long, demanding, 12-hr work days, and I wanted some wine. Sadly, the night ended in tears. A lot of tears. I beat myself up pretty hard that night, but I caught myself in the middle of it and changed that self-cruelty to self-soothing compassion.   Continue reading ‘Two Steps Forward…’

Never Say Never

•March 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Two years ago I posted this image on my OMGrey Facebook with the words “Never Again.” Someone commented “then he wins,” and it really pissed me off. It angered me so much that I wrote a blog post about it. Yesterday, I reread that blog post entitled “Then He Wins,” and I still agree with most of it, even though I was in a place of anger at that time. That’s a damaging thing to say to a survivor. Most of my rant holds true, except…

I’m no longer in the “Never Again” space. Continue reading ‘Never Say Never’

Who I Used to Be…

•March 12, 2016 • 1 Comment

While waiting to catch my train to Lancaster today, I was chatting with a friend on WhatsApp. She told me how her teenage daughter is in a filmmaking class. It got me talking about my filmmaking days and how the documentaries can still be seen on YouTube. How I interviewed two of the greatest political minds of our time: Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. How my first film theatrically premiered in St. Michel, Paris. How The International Herald Tribune, among others, interviewed me and how I had a photo shoot in Paris for the press. She was very impressed and wanted to see the articles, so I tried to find links for her.

I found my old list of links in my server archives, but after 12-13 years, most of those links are no longer any good. Still, it reminded me of how much work I did back then. How those films earned me a listing on IMDB. How I traveled the country leading up to the 2004 election and visited over 40 cities on my tour. How Peace & Justice centers would welcome me and people would line up to hear me speak. How a group in New Hampshire held a parade in my honor. How my film was at the Gothenburg Film Festival in 2005. How the Oscar-winning writer/director Alexander Payne came to see my film. How we talked afterward. How all these things seemed so promising at the time. Continue reading ‘Who I Used to Be…’

A Reflection on The Master Builder

•March 10, 2016 • 2 Comments

Last night I finally realized my dream of seeing Ralph Fiennes on the London stage. His inspiring work has touched me for the past twenty years from “Schindler’s List” and “The Constant Gardener” to “Maid in Manhattan” to his brilliant depiction of Voldemort. I felt truly blessed to see him perform live.

His performance, of course, was phenomenal. I expected nothing less from Fiennes, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Before last night, I wasn’t familiar with the play “The Master Builder.” Henrik Ibsen wrote it in 1892 when he was in his 60s. It is a somber and darkly humorous piece whose characters, on their surface, could almost be clichés.

The emotionally rigid, passionless wife. The nubile temptress. The “misunderstood” husband looking to recapture lost glory between the thighs of said temptress while grappling with a middle-age crisis and emotional cowardice. Continue reading ‘A Reflection on The Master Builder’

The Dream of Connection

•March 4, 2016 • 5 Comments


One day in high school, my English teacher showed us a short film that stuck with me. I don’t remember the name of it. I don’t even remember much of the plot, but I remember a few images and the emotions they inspired like it was yesterday rather than 30 years ago.

An old woman sat crying alone, and she said, “I’m so lonely” out loud for no one to hear.

Those words bring tears to my eyes.

When I say those words out loud for no one to hear, it’s as if I’ve woken from dream where I have genuine connections with people. I live in this wondrous delusion until I say these words:

I’m so lonely.

Then reality consumes me. Continue reading ‘The Dream of Connection’

On My Own & != Too Much

•February 26, 2016 • 3 Comments

Leicester Boer War Memorial

This has been an incredible year so far!

Since January 1st, I’ve met brilliant co-workers, made new friends, traveled to five countries (9 cities), reconnected with old friends, met someone special, and danced – danced – danced. For someone who has become accustomed to copious amounts of silence and solitude, all that has been considerable stimulation and emotion in a relatively short amount of time (especially for an HSP with C-PTSD like me).

Earlier this week during a very emotional time (yay menopausal hormones; intense, new, confusing feelings; and a full moon…all at once!), I was listening to Les MiserablesOn My Own” (the ultimate song of unrequited love) and “I Dreamed a Dream,” trying to convince myself that my current tears were the direct result of having hope, of opening my heart again, of daring to feel new love and desire. I lamented being on my own, fully feeling the exquisite agony of unrequited, impossible love until the sadness naturally passed.

I started writing a blog post about being “too” — too much, too sensitive, too intense, too verbose, too needy, too emotional, too loud, too nice (critique, not compliment), too fat, too thin, too weird, too insecure, too dramatic, too fill-in-the-blank, as I’ve been told far “too” many times in my life. Continue reading ‘On My Own & != Too Much’

Lessons in Letting Go

•February 21, 2016 • 1 Comment

Upon waking this morning, I slid my hand across my stomach. While I had slept, my PJs had shifted to expose some bare skin. An image came to mind. A lover’s gentle caress across my body while pulling me closer. A few tears soon followed as I realized:

I hadn’t been touched tenderly by a lover in years.

As I’ve learned through the stages of grief and recovery, it’s important not to push away uncomfortable or painful emotions, but to feel them fully in that moment. So I felt sad, telling myself it was okay to feel sad. It was okay to cry.

There was a time when I cried so many tears every day it was surprising there was any moisture left in my body, but those days are long past. Sometimes the tears come now, like this morning, but I find they don’t stay for long. When they do come, I remind myself that it’s natural and it’s okay. It doesn’t make me weak. It doesn’t diminish who I am. There is grief after loss. Of course I’m sad sometimes. Anyone in the same situation would be. It’s part of life, loss, and recovery. Continue reading ‘Lessons in Letting Go’

Poem: The Moment You Smiled

•February 18, 2016 • 7 Comments

The moment you smiled
The moment you laughed
The moment your sparkling eyes fixed on me
The moment you spoke
The moment you sighed
That was the moment my soul was set free

The curve of your neck
The shape of your lips
The way that you tilt your head when you speak
The tone of your voice
The depth of your mind
The way that the raindrops fell on your cheek

Continue reading ‘Poem: The Moment You Smiled’