Kenaram’s Memorial

Saturday was the Mormon/Krisha memorial. Sunday was for the ruffians, drunks, and the rest of us. Both were perfect. His family was so generous to open their home to his strange friends, and it was the perfect blend of both worlds he loved so much.

There was so much love and joy. I sobbed. I’ve never cried so hard at a funeral. It was cold and rainy all week, except for Saturday, the day of the backyard family service.

Sunday, I raged, in all the right ways. A friend offered his home to relocate the drum circle, should the rain pick back up (It did), but there was no notification of the move, so I carted myself and my kit to the park. With a tarp.

Kenaram started the circle early this year. They don’t get going that fiercely that early in the season, and not at all in Spring weather like that. Kenaram’s brother brought his ashes and set up his altar in the center of the circle, and we howled, danced, held each other, made merry, and made mayhem. Michael and his lovely daughter stayed for over an hour, letting us party like Kenaram would and finish our send-off.

I’m mourning both Jeffrey and Kenaram this week. I broke all the way down Saturday, and haven’t really stopped crying since. My heart is broken. I ache, everywhere inside.

Sunday, Michael handed me a pink moonstone ring he took off of Kendall’s finger before cremation. It had been Jeffrey’s. It’s mine now!

I’m so grateful for the generosity and love of these people. Those boys and their entire family have taught me, made me better. Michael’s challenge to all of us was to honor Kenaram by loving like he would. I’ve had a hard time doing that this week. I’m cranky and hurting, and I want to be left alone.

But I will. I will. I must. Why is the right thing so hard, especially when I know how good it will make me feel? It feels good to be kind, to be forgiving, to be gracious even in the face of cruelty, but I love and nurse my grudges.

I wish it were easier to let that go. I guess that’s why I’m still here. It’s what sets those dear brothers and their wonderful family apart from what I’ve known and who I want to be – superior, exacting, petty – when I feel low.

Getting even is a lie. It sets you completely out of balance. I’m grateful for amazing examples, but I feel overwhelmed today, reluctant to step up to the challenge and meet it.

I just want to cry.

I’ll heal soon, and do better. I do want to be more like them. They make me feel precisely the opposite of “competing with the Joneses.” I’ve learned from the Joneses and I want to emulate them.

Lori, the only sister, put her arm around my waist at the funeral and introduced me to extended family, saying, “She’s been connected since Jeff!” Connected. 

Not, “She knew Jeff.” Connected! Wow.

I’m awestruck and humbled, and so very sad to lose their brothers.

hare krishna and bagpipes

Krishna song followed by bagpipes. Naturally.

jerry and kiyah

I was honored to finally meet Jeff’s son, Jerry, and his new bride, Kiyah.

spreading ashes at cemetery

Saturday, Mar. 23, 2019

altar at circle

I rubbed ashes on my drums. Native people thank the animal that becomes an instrument, and now Kenaram will sing with them, too. ~ Michael approached me when the cops came. (We were proud to warrant them on such an early, cold, wet day.) “Is it illegal to spread ashes in public?” he asked. I didn’t know, but answered, “We’ll get arrested for open containers before you get arrested for mourning your brother. Don’t worry.” Then we hid our beers.

michael and helena

Michael and Helena Jones

dance and drum
hugging tanya and jude

twins

Kenaram introduced me to Amber (L) in 2014. Since then, she and her twin Angie have become two of my best friends.

daniel's prayer

Sunday, Mar. 24, 2019

be the thing you loved most

Advertisements

There He Is!

I couldn’t find this pic in my collection – even though I’d posted it to Kenaram several months ago. Today, I felt like I needed to find it and started getting a little anxious that it might be gone, gone, gone, for good.

I scrolled back through Kenaram’s feed, growing more desperate that I’d never recover it. (I’d been searching for a good minute. I was about to give up.) I paused, took a breath, “Just help me find it, buddy.”

THE VERY NEXT CLICK, with angel sparkles, no less! Kenaram added them back when I posted it to his page, but I hadn’t known that. I felt like he and Jeffrey jumped out of those digital winks on the screen!

kenaram and me with angel sparkles

Liberty Park 2014 © Brian Palmer

I’m starting to feel him for himself, feel his absence, feel in general. I went numb when I heard the news, I think, then sank into a cranky gut-punch depression.

I broke down in the kitchen of Mama Pam, who called an Equinox gathering at her place last night. It was an amazing, COLD first night of Spring. Powerful. A safe place.

The wind has howled for a month. Last night was wild. I felt Kenaram and Jeffrey in manic air, living such as they did with madness and abandon, parts of nature, changing and moving, not to be forgotten. And that bright, BIG full moon has been speaking all week. Everyone’s been talking about this moon!

Pam’s the only woman I know who can pray to the Mother without sounding idiotic or pretentious, like stupid shit hippy chicks say or that thing triflin’ bitches do to alert other women of their their position as head goddess. I’d rather a man piss on his territory than a woman play that social-climbing, pecking order bullshit.

But Pam, when she calls forth energy, opens an Incantation, for real! She’s an Energy Worker, period, with nothing to prove, just doing her thing. We had pot luck. She read a passage about the stars and the season. We talked about our group collaborative artpiece memoriam for our dear friend Ray who passed – god, what? Five years ago?

And she closed with a Benediction. That woman is pure Power. And she’s so goddamned funny! Just a character from head to toe. She’s this Nebraska country girl, with the thickest accent. And she’s like me, playing with persona, weaving in and out of exxagerations of herself and other mannerisms, like performance art. Play, truly! She’s so fun. I love her!

I needed last night. It’s been since Ray’s memorial that our whole group was together.

We got home early and I climbed in the hot tub. (My Fibromyalgia! Fucking forget it. As kind as 2018 was, 2019 is that rotten. Worst ever, and it won’t. let. up. A break! Please!)

We have wind chimes of every type and variety in our backyard. Even the low, sonorous chimes sang – the deep ones that take gale winds to move. I heard my brothers chanting, making noise, as they did in life, getting my attention.

“We’re just here.”

Thanks for the sparkles, Kenaram. I saw you! I feel you. Damn. You’re not here, for real.

Normal

Ah, it feels good to cry today. I’m actually crying for my friends and not for me as much. I’m well rested, fully recovered from amateur weekend. (Free drinks for cute redheads, even at 46!) (Hangovers are harsher, though, lo, these many decades on.)

All week, people in Facelandia have been posting for Kenaram, and I haven’t wanted to. Writing about it yesterday, here, felt anonymous. I have two readers – you know who you are. Well, three, if you count me. This is my journal. Welcome to my indulgence.

Something about joining the mourning on Facebook made it real. Oh my god, I miss them! I am glad they’re together, I truly am. I’m really sad for me. They were good friends. They were so fun, obnoxious, and loving. They were up for anything!

They both chased me like monkeys. I don’t know why that’s a thing of mine, but ooh ooh! I never laughed so hard as I did when Jeff’s rejoinder was a gorilla! I’d asked people to monkey around with me, and they all thought I was crazy or trying to make fools of them. No, fool, I’m crazy and I want to make a fool of me! Play with me!

My monkey is a long-armed girlchild. Jeffrey was a skinny, hairy MAN monkey.

When I told Kenaram the story, his own male monkey found voice and off we went, screaming and laughing through the yard. I loved those dumb boys!

(One year at Burning Man, this pack of monkeys came chanting down my street, and off I went! I couldn’t believe it! Turns out, there’s an entire Monkey Camp, and they’re serious, like kirtan! They chant every day at sundown or some such, then party and screech across the playa all night long. There are others like me!) (Another time at band camp, I’d just finished telling my Santa trauma story. [5 years old, screaming at my mother in the parking lot of KMart, “Just tell me the truth!” “Okay! Okay! Santa’s not real!” And with that, my broke, single mother’s Christmas died. I murdered St. Nick.] Just then, a pack of Santas came ho ho ho-ing down my street. I ran out to the road, “What’s happening? Why are you here?” I was freaked out sincerely, and surrounded. It’s very disturbing when dozens of dusty Santas ho ho ho you to the ground. I didn’t run off with their circus. I sat down in a new Santa trauma all my own, haha! er, hoho.)

I do feel like I’m losing Jeffrey again. There’s guilt in that, because Kenaram deserves my attention, too, on his own bizarre and glorious self, but they were and are a package. I still had Jeff while Kenaram was here. It’s like Penny holding Cricket for me.

“I’m glad you’re together. I imagine Jeffrey getting away with things now, because Kenaram doesn’t bother hiding his crimes. It’s quiet here without you. I like rowdy people who feed me, and you Jones boys are terrifically naughty. Please put hairnets on your chests and elsewhere while cooking naked, though perhaps no hair on the head or body is lost in heaven. Thank you for loving and forgiving me. I miss you both.”
winter 2013
idaho 2007
penny and cricket

Anxiety Ramping Up

I’m starting to fear the emotions of change. For so long, I’ve been gripping through the trauma and fear of “What will they do next?” that I’ve been able to avoid the heartache and loss of this home I’ve loved so much for 2 years.

And the relationship that turned so very ugly, painful, and dangerous.

I loved him. He was my best friend. All of my girls had gone. He was my whole social life, my whole private life. We were happy in that house, for a long time.

I was. It’s embarrassing to realize in hindsight how much distance he was creating all that time. I wish I’d seen that he was yet another man lacking the courage to be truthful. I asked! Of course I was aware the connection was eroding. So he’s not strong enough to offer difficult honesty. Why hide it when approached with it?

Feelings are coming. Tears are returning.

My new apartment is fine. I’ll adjust. But it’s terribly dark, and it makes me sad for my cats. More than my plants, even, it makes me sad for my cats. My sunroom was such a joy to us. I couldn’t ever get a good shot of it, but it was so colorful and joyful, a place where a new, unexpected talent presented itself. It was a magic space, until that woman cornered me there, leaning me backwards over a table, and gave me the low-down on how it’s going down now that she owns this house. “Meaning no harm,” of course, with her finger in my face.

Since then, I’ve fairly completely forgotten feelings of pain. It was all panic.

Now it’s anxiety of a real and changing kind.

And I feel so much guilt and anxiety about my show. We open in 2 and 1/2 weeks and I’m not even memorized! I don’t know my dances! IT’S AWFUL.

What was I thinking, offering myself to a show I had no time or right to claim availability for? My character is spot on, but I don’t know my part!

I’m trying to memorize, but I still can’t keep my mind on the task at hand.

I’m freaking out.

Today Is A Good Day

… the first in a long time, after a very challenging summer. I’ve cried every day for 2 months. I’ve never experienced that in my life.

I was approved for an apartment that meets my needs. With that stressor off my mind, I can focus on the good things that are brewing – like rocking the part I’ve wanted to play for 24 years – and truly begin my healing. I want to return to my Self and not get lazy again. Once safely landed and getting back to center, I want – at last – to keep going, and rise up to reach for the dreams that I’ve seen before me. They’ve always been mine for the making, but something held me back. Laziness, yes, but something else. I’ve known I could have “more” for so long, but not achieved it yet, or even started. Fear of failure? Fear of success? It’s all in there.

It’s time. I’m ready, whether I like it or not. I’m alive, so I’m ready.

My one-time housemate and boyfriend, with whom I’d gone off my medication to try for a baby, met a girl on the 4th of July, at a party I didn’t go to. It’s true that he and I had not been connecting as a couple for some time. In fact, just a week and a half earlier, at the end of June, I went to him about it, acknowledging that we hadn’t been working together, but that I still believed in us. “We” were still what I wanted, and could he see that in his mind and heart, as well?

****

Years ago, a friend’s doctor told her Effexor was safe to continue during her pregnancy. A couple of weeks after the baby came, my friend brought her sweet little girl to the ER. She was whisked away hurriedly, knowingly, upon disclosure of anti-depressant use.

“We have an Effexor baby.”

My friend lost her daughter. I’m on different Pharma but felt strongly that if I were to be pregnant, my body’s not my own to medicate. It would belong to my baby. Of course, I’d be in therapy and might consider going back on meds before delivery, as a last resort if things became unmanageable with pregnancy hormones, etc. But, with my boyfriend and my life, things didn’t become unmanageable until they were, and then we were smack dab in it. CRISIS.

****

It was messy and painful, and clear in hindsight that I’d been “gripping,” as it were, for far too long. We don’t know what we don’t know. We took a risk that ended up being a serious mistake. Even though he and I would have ended eventually, it was an awful end. Til then…

I asked my boyfriend to think about Us, about regrouping and seriously putting us back together. I asked him to put himself there and imagine it, to find his answer and let me know. I told him I would accept the answer if it was “no,” but please to consider it carefully, to feel and hear my heart, remember our dream, and make the decision for himself. He said he would.

Then he met her. He didn’t tell me right away, but there was our answer.

He moved in with her several weeks ago. I see him coming and going. It’s been good and bad. I’ve met her twice. I’ve been gracious and hands-off. I even offered them my piano! She wants her 10-yr old son to take lessons, and I can’t afford to move it again. Then I reconsidered, recognizing that it would keep us connected and continue my pain. I needed a clean break. My ex was understanding.

Then yesterday, my former roommate texted a simple message that puts a stressful wrinkle in the time frame we agreed upon for my exit. He had given me until October to find a place, at which time he’d put the house on the market. Instead…

“Update: I got married. While I’m in Europe (a trip he’d planned with siblings before he met her), my wife will deep clean/prep the house for sale as soon as I get home in October. Please arrange to have all of your belongings out by Sept. 19th. You can have any of the furniture, including the TV, if you’re out by then. If not, you get none of it.”

So I do have a little to-do about Tenants Rights and Notice to Landlords regarding permission to enter the home, but this will pass. I do have a safe place to land, and faith that somehow myself and my property will be secure ’til then.

Pray for me? Thank you.

Tree of Life

For my 10th drum, I decided to move on to an idea that’s been brewing for awhile. I’m so pleased with how it turned out! I can’t wait to explore this series.tree-of-life
14″ goat hide drum on wood frame, with mallet
$200
(The tone is INCREDIBLE!)
1.30.17

My final mandala left me uninspired. I like it fine, but the outside ring looks muddy from a distance. Still learning about color, I suppose. And it’s lovely. It just doesn’t have the vibrancy, somehow, that I enjoy in the others from across the room. I do love the impact of the blue triangle, but wish for brightness and purity of color elsewhere.

[UPDATE: Apr. 10, 2017 After seeing this drum from a distance outside at a drum circle, I love that outer ring precisely for its ability to blend with the rest of the mandala. 🙂 ]
9
10″ drum on wood frame with rawhide lacing, plus mallet
$150
1.25.17

Love Is Stronger Than Hate

march-for-love
This was a gathering to tell those who feel targeted, marginalized, and afraid that they are cared for and embraced. It was so healing for me.

I was disappointed by how many detractors appeared on the event’s page. As you know, I’m not afraid of anger or opposed to its expression, but I cannot believe how cruel and ugly people can be. For heaven’s sake, let us love each other. You don’t have to play.

I successfully thanked one such troll for his opinion, and politely ended a hateful conversation. (Well, he continued. I didn’t.) I want my gold star!march-for-love
We marched downtown from the Capitol and back. It was such a beautiful, warm sunny day. Feedback felt great, from traffic and passers-by on foot. So nice to be met with smiles, support, and unity.

love-trumps-hate-tshirts

i-love-you

I love her beaming face!

I think it’s never a bad idea to combat some of the hate-flooding that is our new normal with a big dose of nothing but love, for no other reason than love. And this was much more than that. This was a clear message to those who have been injured by the rhetoric of this President-elect, that they matter. They’re not alone. They’re supported by neighbors. Hope is not lost. Kindness still lives. We will get through this. YOU ARE LOVED.
drumming-on-the-wall