Jul 31, 2012

Scar tissue and "getting over it".

Two things have been knocking around in my brain since last night.

Scar tissue
and getting over it.

Some of it spun out of my last post, and the quote about suffering and each additional pain being both trifling and unbearable.

There we go again.  The opposites.  One thing cannot exist without it's opposite.  How would we "define" good vs bad, us vs them?   Our essence really is juxtaposition.  We feel the pulls of both, always.  We can only hope to grow and understand life when we acknowledge and embrace our always of opposites.

I digress.

So of course that quote is as true as anything.  Think about it.  Think about it pertaining to heartbreak.  I have recently learned there are many types of heartbreak.  I already understood romantic heartbreak, career heartbreak (us actors are experts) and now I know death heartbreak.

Isn't it amazing what we can endure? That we survive it? And how we do get up to go on another day? We can almost feel the visceral scar tissue we build along the way.  With every sad period, every disappointment, every cruel word.  It adds to us and whether we know it or not, it stays.  We heal up, but we heal differently than before.  Something that wasn't there previously, now is.  And we heal up with that remaining scar.  Some are big, some are small.

That's why I believe there is no such thing as "getting over it".  Otherwise I wouldn't be able to tell you a comment that hurt my feelings in my childhood, or share with you an experience about a boy who broke my heart, or give you a story about a role I wanted and didn't get.  We wouldn't remember these things.  We wouldn't be able to recall them if they didn't matter and stay with us, no matter how deep it may be buried, how neatly tucked away, no matter how rarely or how often we think about it.

If I am truly honest with myself, I am not over any heartbreak I've ever endured.  That's right.  Ever.  Even from those who I claimed at one time I "hated".  I can still be hit with a wave of nostalgia.  A minute of being "in the mood" for the company of a person in my past.  "In the mood" for a different and or simpler time.  "I miss things all the time".  Someone once said to me.  Yup.  Me too.

When you've exchanged time and parts of your life with a person, you can't take it back.  It belongs to your scar tissue.  It is literally part of you.  Forever.

There are people who will be important to you.  "Good" important and "bad" important, and they will shape you and teach you.  You will not be the same once they are "out" of your life.  Sometimes these important people come to us for a time, and then we are no longer able to have them in our lives.  (Sometimes we feel this is for the best, and sometimes we feel it is a mistake.  Both hurt terribly.  Both can hurt so much we're sure we can't go on.  And then we do.) And sometimes when a person is no longer in your life, they are still alive...and sometimes they aren't.

We learn to live with their absence, not always because we want to, but because we have to.  There is no choice.  We just learn to live differently.  We are forced to adapt to a new normal.

I've never believed, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".  I've always said, "whatever doesn't kill you makes you...well...not dead."

The scar tissue they left us with is forever, and there is no such thing as "getting over it".

Each time the scar tissue gets bigger, and it is both unbearable and trifling.

Tweet me: @DeenaMarie

Jul 28, 2012

The first time.

The first time.
I could ask why.  Why the first time of anything is so meaningful.  
Why the first time for anything and everything is so powerful.  But the answer is obvious.  

Because nothing came before it.  Events can and will only follow.  

The first time of something good or bad is defining.  Life shaping.  I've been thinking about firsts, being that this was what I've truly counted as my first funeral.  I've been to a handful of them before, but but it wasn't anyone close to me like this.  I've marked this as number one.  This was it.  

I've also been thinking how nothing ever quite compares after, and what that will mean in the future.  Will funerals be easier?! That seems absurd.  But possible.  

We build scare tissue with every first.  
We grow resilient.  
We grow strong.  
We grow tired.  

“When you've suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.” 
― Yann MartelLife of Pi

 I think that's it for now.  

Tweet me: @DeenaMarie 

Jul 25, 2012


Disillusioned: Disappointed, Dissatisfied.  Disappointed in someone or something that one discovers to be less good than one had believed.  

You know how you hear people (yes, mostly ladies) say that romantic movies have disillusioned them when it comes to finding love? That it sets them up with unrealistic expectations? That they want a sweeping romance with their Edward? But nobody measures up? 

I have never been bothered by this.  I can enjoy watching / reading a tale of great romance for what it is.  I know truly good men (and women) do exist.  I guess I have been lucky in the love department.  So what I have struggled with and yes, been disillusioned by, are movies (or a tv show) about great friendship.  

Specifically female friendship.  I've had good friends come in and out of my life.  Some have stayed longer than others.  Some have been there for over a decade.  But I have never, in my adult life experienced anything remotely close to a bond like the "Sex & the City" four.  All the extravagance and sex aside, let's talk about the commitment.  Those ladies can balance! They have careers, relationships, eventually children and yet always seem to be able to make time for each other.  They are there for each other, they drop what they're doing when one needs some support.  Their friendships are clearly important, a priority.  

What loyalty! What adult woman is like that? I mean, remember in the movie on New Years Eve when Carrie jumps out of bed and rushes to Miranda's side? Ughhh.  I love this show.  I've seen every episode multiple times over the years.  I've even brought this up in a blog long ago.

I guess as I get older I am more accepting that I will never have this.  The problem is, I've always longed for this.  I've never been able to figure out why I'm not successful? I have the romantic relationship, so am I denied this kind of a friendship with the ladies? Is it too much to ask for both? Is it me? Do I try too hard? Am I just awkward in female friendships (good male friendships come so easy)? Am I doing it wrong? Am I attracted to the wrong types? Ha ha.

Or does this kind of a friendship only exist on screen?  

But seriously.  Sigh.  I guess this is my "Twilight".  

My fantasy that I just don't think will ever happen for me.  My Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte will never rush in and sweep me off my feet, showering me with support and love and cocktails and nights out on the town.


Have I been disillusioned? Do you experience this kind of a friendship(s)? 

Tweet me @DeenaMarie 

Jul 24, 2012

Why do you act?

The other day I read a blog post that got me back to thinking about the question why.
Why do I act?

JayC Stoddard writes one of my favorite blogs to read.
Here is the full link of said blog and an excerpt:


"When I am onstage.  In a moment.  When I have discovered that connection with someone else.  As someone else.  I find my honesty.  The truth hidden inside a well rehearsed lie.  Like cracking open a plastic bauble and finding a diamond inside.  

This is rare.  It doesn't happen every night of a performance, or even in every production.  But it does happen.  I've had moments of more beautiful intimacy onstage with strangers that have transcended any experience I've had offstage."

I suggest you follow his blog.  Did you? Good.

Now I want to talk about the why pertaining to acting, but specifically theatre.

I remember being pretty young, cast in a straight play with actors older than me.  During one of our last rehearsals before opening, the director asked each of us why we do this.  Why we act.  I had already finished acting school in New York at the time and this was my first play back in Salt Lake.  I don't know that I'd ever been asked that or really thought about it.  I didn't know what I was going to say.  So I said I didn't know that it was my favorite thing to do...but didn't know why.

I know the moment when I decided it was what I wanted to do.  It was my junior year of high school.  It wasn't my first play.  I wasn't playing a leading role.  But I realized I was experiencing pure joy.  Community.  Fun.  On and off stage.  Every aspect about it was good.  I knew it was a path I wanted to head down.

I wanted it all, and I wanted it big.  I wanted plays outside of school.  My senior year I was told by my drama teacher that I'd "messed up The Crucible big time" when I chose to play Cinderella outside of school instead.  I was already ready to start working my way up and make a plan for NYC.

And I did.  What I said I was going to do, I did.

I did some community theatre.  I went to Westminster College for a year and did shows there as well as outside of school.  I found the NYC school I wanted to go to.  I went.  I got great roles every step of the way.  I got the lead in our end of of the year play just before we graduated.

I went back and forth between SLC and NYC over the span of five years.  I worked my way up at home, and did some things on off broadway stages in NYC.  I don't know if I thought about the why, I just did it because I had to.

Somewhere along the way I did file away the realization that onstage was where I felt beautiful.  Interesting.  I never had time to doubt a body part or self criticize.  It was freeing.  Years after being asked why I do this, I became aware that I'd often shoved down some of the big and not so happy events in my life, and that onstage was where I got my emotion out.

Onstage was where I felt most connected to my emotions.  

And of course, in my why was also because I'd loved playing dress up, playing pretend since I was little so getting to keep doing that into adulthood was pretty great, right?

I read something from Nicole Kidman along the way, on her why.  She didn't know, either.  Maybe because, "I like to escape, or I don't know who I am", she said.  That went into my file of why even though I wasn't sure about that one.  I kept wondering what that meant.  What that meant to me.

I've been a huge reader since I was little.  I loved not escaping from life, but getting to escape to.  Stories.  Books.  Characters.  I could go so many places and learn about so many people this way! I remember being in elementary reading book after book, casting my friends as characters to picture as I read.

After feeling like I'd failed my why test, the question stayed with me.  Years later.  I thought about it with every show.

Had I never been asked why, maybe I would never have delved so deep into a quest of figuring it out.  Maybe I would have simply gone through each performance without questioning why, without thinking so hard, just enjoying.

And there is something to be said for what makes us happy and calls to us on the most basic level.  
It might need no explanation at all. 

But over time I wondered.  It wasn't for any of the stereotypical reasons.  I had plenty of love and attention growing up from my family.  It wasn't because I need praise.  School humbled me so much it all but made it hard to accept any kind of compliment for a long time ( and as I've come into self actualization over the last year and some months, I've started to see and embrace how detaching from the ego and becoming immune to any praise or criticism seems to be my truth).  

Some other tidbits that went into my why file to think about: I read Angelina Jolie gets tattoos because she spends so much time in other peoples skins.  In Yann Martel's "Beatrice & Virgil", Henry joins a community theatre troupe for fun and describes it like getting to live extra life times.

For me, part of it was simply growing up performing in some way or another.  Since I was three.  It was what I knew.  It was just what I did.

But then I learned I felt beautiful, free, and was able to get my emotions out.

I also knew that watching theatre, moved me.  Moved me in a way like nothing else ever did or has.  I wanted more than to watch, I wanted to be that.

But we grow, we learn and we change constantly.  This affects who we are when we are onstage and what we bring to a performance.

With the last year or more being one of more growth than I could have imagined, I learned something new.

That we do theatre and go to theatre because we need it as human beings.  It is that simple.  It is where the secret self is revealed.  It is revealed by the actors you see, because we are connecting to the most secret, private parts of ourselves and letting it all out for you.  We are people (who for whatever reason it may be, whatever your why is) have a need to do that.  We also reveal to you the secret self that a playwright has created! A secret, private self that we get to both hide behind and reveal.

In hiding behind this facade we give you our truths.  

In doing so, we give you the secret self of a character.  We go to the theatre for the same reason we read a book, see a movie or hear a symphony.  We want need to be moved.  We look for it.  We go time and time again and we don't let a "bad" play, movie or book deter us because we have an instinctual, primal need.  To remind ourselves we are not alone.  To relate.  To feel comfort.  To identify.

What an intimate thing, when you thing about it! What an actor strives for on a stage, and what an audience member strives for while watching.  What an absolutely intimate thing!

Art keep alive and keeps circulating the collective stories, archetypes and lessons we all share in our history.  As humans.  There are many tongues in which to tell a tale.  What speaks to one person (be it actor or watcher) won't to the next.  And that's okay because there is so much to pull from and create and resonate with.

No wonder people become so passionate about the theatre!

So maybe this rambling turned into more of a what than a why.  But that's okay.  It's an ongoing ever changing experience.  It is hard, but it is joyful.  And maybe sometimes simple is best.

Our needs are ever changing so what we'll need to both get out as artists and take away from watching in an audience will, too.

All I know, is that it is a part of me.  It does not identify me, but it contributes to what makes me me.

It's something I've known my whole life and I have never not known it.  But I am aware that I am lucky.  That I've always been able to participate.  That I've crossed many dream shows and roles of my list.  That I've always worked steadily.  That I can thrive in the Salt Lake City theatre scene as a professional actor.  I'm wrapping up my fifth year with an equity card and I've done at least two shows a year with five different theatre companies as well as many readings and workshops.  That is a rarity.  That give me such pride in where I live and what I do.  My eyes tear up with gratitude when I think about it.  It's come easy for me, but I have never ever ever taken it for granted.  I talk about this without any kind of reference or judgment to ability.  To a concept of "talent", of being "good", or "bad".  I'm simply saying for whatever reason, I've been a participant and I've a good place to do so.  And for that...thank you.

When you think about it in these kind of terms, it makes it impossible to judge art or a performance.  Every story and every character will resonate a different way.  Depending on where the actor and where the audience member is and is experiencing in their respective lives.  This is also why the whole concept of reviews make me laugh! I don't read them until long after a show is closed, if I read them at all.  Why do I need one person to tell me what my experience was? I don't understand the point.  I don't understand the judgement.  I don't understand the high praise or the painful words that cannot be undone.  Multiple times have I found (for my own personal experience when sitting in an audience) the opposite of what I've read in a review to be true.  I think of a review along the lines of, "those who can't...teach".  It's a longing or a need to participate in this world, this shared experience but why in this way? I wish there was a new way that left out any element of judging for something so ingrained in our human existence and so intimate (and what at times could even be considered bullying) and just tried to get more people to a theatre!

But I digress.

Back to why.

Because storytelling shows a secret self.  That audience, actors, playwrights have a primal need to connect to.  To feel comfort.  To be reminded we're not alone.  To see we're more alike than we know.  To remind us that we all have our story, but they add up to the same whole.  Storytelling is our essence, and essential.

“...We are all connected...You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind..." 

- Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Tweet me: @DeenaMarie

Jul 22, 2012

Broken Record

Eight weeks today.  Eight.  Since Chuck passed away, died, transitioned.

I'm going to be a broken record for awhile.
I am making no apology for it.
I'm just letting you know.

Time has been playing tricks on me, big time.  I'd begun to see time differently the last year as I had embarked on my quest to learn and read and see what called to me spiritually.  I'd already understood and accepted that time is not linear and we control how time passes.

Talk about proof! 
I've been experiencing time in speeds and sensations that are all sorts of mixed up.
I've been present for a lot of the last eight weeks yet I have no concept for most of it having passed until I get to a day like today and honestly can't figure out how another four weeks snuck in there when just a moment ago I was at the one month mark! The feeling of time has completely changed for me.  I've never felt it like this.  So far away, yet so immediate.  So slow and yet accumulating.  Accelerating.  I'm aware of the opposites in a different way.

The feeling that time is and it isn't.  Simultaneously.  
I guess that sums it up best.

But then again, everything is different.  Says me, the broken record.

If you've been keeping up with my blogs, you might have noticed I mentioned feeling sick.  I've held off from talking about that in detail.  I haven't quite known how to write it yet, partly because I kept thinking it couldn't be possible (the correlation of the event of his death, and my feeling sick).  But it is, and today I think I found the words for it.  At lunch with My Sweetheart today, we were talking about it and I said this has been "a shock to my system."  I hadn't thought of using that phrase until it came out of my mouth, and then I knew why that phrase even exists.  Yes.  This has been a shock to my system.  And when your system has a shock, it alters.

The change was more than emotional, mental and spiritual.  My body, my insides, are in a state of...trauma...you could say.  I did take note of that.  I even know the date I took note something was not right.  I just filed it away because I thought it couldn't be.

He was gone May 27.  His funeral was on his mothers, my grandmothers, birthday.  May 31.  The night of May 27 I came home and drank three red plastic cups full of 7-up and vodka.  I cried myself to sleep.  I talked to My Sweetheart about the experience of that day until the wee hours and one of the last things I remember saying was, "why should I get to sleep in a bed when Chuck doesn't get to?" I wasn't sick when I woke up.

June 8 was opening night of a show My Sweetheart was in.  We celebrated at a bar near our house, where I had one long island, a kamikaze shot or two and half a beer.  Later at a house party I had a little red wine.

I should make it clear here, I don't booze regularly, but when I do I can drink quite a bit for someone my size and I am never hung over.

After that opening night party, I woke up sick.  Really sick.  Throwing up, can hardly stand up, splitting headache sick.  It was bad.  It was like having the flu.  It was so close to having the flu that I thought I had the flu, because that never happens to me from drinking alcohol.

June 8 was the day that marked my sick.  From then on, it has been in the back of my mind that this whole experience with Chuck has made me sick.  That word keeps whispering to me.  Sick.  I was even dreaming I was sick.  In one of them I was laying on a sidewalk and people were around me, my mom was there, I think she was holding my hand.  I think I was dying.  My brain was swelling and blood was starting to come out of my eyes but I felt peaceful and I think I wanted her to feel peace, too.  What does that mean?! I actually started to get worried.  What were my dreams trying to say? I have not felt totally okay since.  I have not been able to drink since.  I have tried to have a glass of something just a couple of times and I can't do it.  One drink, if I can even finish it, and I wake up sick.

Last night I tried to have a glass of my favorite champagne.  Today I am so sick I don't know how I made it through all I had to do today.  I feel terrible.  This is the exact opposite of how I have been my whole life.  I can't believe there was ever a time when I could go out to a bar have multiple drinks and be okay.  My body is repelling alcohol.  It does not want it.  It is rejecting it.

Okay, okay, I hear you.  That's that.  And that's fine.  I haven't wanted to be drunk anyway, because I've wanted to feel what I'm feeling and I've wanted to be in tune with everything.  I haven't wanted to go out to a bar with friends because I haven't felt social.  But now I wonder if I'll ever feel like it (or even be able to) again?

Let's talk about the other change, the exhaustion.  I hate naps.  I don't function well on too little sleep.  I am someone who definitely needs to get a good amount of sleep to feel rested and function properly but taking a nap is a rarity.

I think yesterday was the first day I acknowledged I am in a state of exhaustion.  I am so tired, all the time.  And it hit me I have had to nap every day, regardless of how strenuous the day was or wasn't, for I don't even know how long.  Days? Weeks? I told you time is playing tricks on me and I don't know how long it's been.

The effect of alcohol and the inability to fight these naps are completely out of character for me!

There's been a big change.  I think for the most part I am a very aware person.  I am very in tune with my emotions and thoughts with the last eight weeks...but I must not be completely.  I think there is a part of this sadness, a depression hanging over me even more than I've acknowledged.

My body is trying to communicate with me.  I have to heighten my awareness in that department.  I can still go through motions, I can work, I can talk, I can run errands, I can run outside, I can go to the gym.  But beyond the requirements I don't want to take on anything additional.  Make social effort.  I don't want to try to be good company.  I don't want to stay busy and go out for the sake of staying busy or going out.  I want to hibernate.  I want to be in my home.  I want to be with my family.  I want to read.  I want to write.  I want my animals.  I want to rest.

I want to feel better.
I want to be alone or with my loved ones only when I cry for no reason.
When I fall asleep unexpectedly.
When I don't feel good.
When I need to give in to all of the above.

I'm not sure what else I'm trying to say.  Other than I'm realizing the sad goes deeper than even I knew. That it's changed me in all ways, even my internal makeup.  That I am sad.  That I am so tired.  That I never feel good.  That I am in a funk.  There you go.  That this is my new normal.  Forever, for awhile, I don't know.  I would guess it's for awhile, but I have no idea when it will change.  It will probably sneak up on me, it will probably just happen.  Before I fully realize.  Just like now.  As time is tricking me.  It will trick me again.  That I probably won't stay a broken record forever.  But right now, here I am.  This is me.  Today.  And I'm trying to embrace and acknowledge it.  Even thought it's not happy.  Especially because it's not happy.  That I might need to really give in before I even come out, in a deeper way than I have been.  I just didn't know.  I can't believe how much I don't know about this process.

This is me working through it,
at this very second,
at eight weeks in.

Tweet me: @DeenaMarie

Jul 21, 2012

This guy.

Seven years (and counting) of this guy.
I don't know how I'd do it without him.

This guy:

Reads my mind.
Is my best friend.
Is security. 
Is my family.
Is my home.

Tweet me: @DeenaMarie

Jul 18, 2012

The Summer My Uncle Died.

The summer my uncle died
I shaved my head
I got a cat
I accidentally took up running.
How do you accidentally take up running?
The same way you do anything else.
The same way you fall in love
fall into a job
fall into a friendship
fall into a hobby.
It sneaks up on you and you trick yourself in or out of it
and before you know it,
you're running.

The summer my uncle died
I saw an audition notice for a Shakespearean play
I felt I should audition.
So I did.  And got the role.

The summer my uncle died
I went to the Llama festival at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple
I remembered the power of a new or unexpected sensation
and when I took off my sandals and entered the temple,
The moment my bare feet hit the tile I felt vulnerable and I wanted to cry.
It reminded me of acting school in New York.

The summer my uncle died I felt myself wanting to embrace my age
my place my past and my present.
I gave my first public speech, something I wrote from my heart of hearts
It was the first time I've shared something for the public
It just happened to be his funeral.

The summer my uncle died I learned I hate the term "passed away".
"Died" seems better but "transitioned" feels best.

The summer my uncle died I started to really see what family is,
the roles we play, the changing of the roles, the passing of the torch
and that death and birth are part of the same whole.
I stopped seeing borders.
I learned to start listening harder.  To my heart.  To my soul.

I learned.  That summer.

The summer my uncle died was a summer of animals.
My dog, my new cat.  My bird and my frog.
Llamas, what museums held, and on every walk something new.
A giant wounded butterfly we moved out of the street
A family of ducks or a family of quails.
Sheep at the farm nearby.
Lizards and rabbits and birds and a snake.
And the squirrel.
The dark brown baby squirrel in the same spot, twice,
that walked along the top of the fence beside me.
Looking at me.  Making sounds.  Communicating something to me.
The squirrel I was sure was some kind of omen
and the squirrel I went back to see multiple times.
I even quietly called for it.

The summer my uncle died I felt sick.
I kept dreaming I was sick.
That my brain was swelling
That blood was coming out of my eyes.
That something was wrong with me.

The summer my uncle died was also the summer of family.
And goodbyes.
Six people I knew moved.  Six.  To various degrees of knowing.
Friends, acquaintances, all people who'd passed through my life in their way.
All gone, all the same.
I silently started saying my goodbyes to myself.
To who I had been and secretly marking certain events as the last time.
For me.  For awhile.
But there were grandparents and nature and cousins and aunts and uncles and parents
and husband and climbing mountains.
And there was reading.  Reading everything I could get my hands on.

That was that summer I accidentally learned everything.

Tweet me: @DeenaMarie

Jul 14, 2012

Scatter gold dust...

There is a line in a poem by Rumi, "scatter gold dust all over the world".  A year or so ago I was considering getting that line tattooed on me.  I recently read a line in one of Yann Martel's books (I know, I know, I'm referencing him again but what can I say? He makes me think, learn and feel!) "Beatrice and Virgil", that said we "parcel out the earth".  In countries.  In boundaries.  In labels.  It's one of my favorite lines of the book, one of those pieces of poetry that I have said before stick to me, adding itself to the book that is me and pops up every now and again.

Thinking about that line spun into another realization. How we parcel ourselves over the earth, how we scatter our gold dust.

I long to travel.  I long to live everywhere and see everything and experience as much as I possibly can. The want fills me to my flesh.  It can barely fit.

"When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn't know.  "Oh sure you know", the photographer said.  "She wants", Said Jay Cee wittily, "to be everything." 
- Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

I also have a path to travel and I am aware I may or may not be able to fit certain things into this lifetime.  I understand the choices I make and want to make change over time and that it might not quite work out that I can squeeze every bit of life out in this go round.

But that it's simply a matter of choices.
We either do, or we don't.  Because we feel this way, or that.
And so it goes.

The other day the idea that we're already scattered all over the world hit me, satisfied and comforted me.  I thought about all the places I've been.  And I haven't been many, but think about every time you've stepped away.  To the mountains, to the ocean, to another city, another state.  A museum.  A library.  A zoo.  Think about every person, pet, or part of nature you've ever encountered that has impacted you on a large or small scale.  Or the strangers we pass all day, every day.  Every encounter has meant energy was exchanged.  You left a part of you and gained a part of them.  And then I remembered that we breathe the same air.  The same atoms making up the molecules that the dinosaurs breathed.  That Jesus Christ breathed.

We really are all one.  

I started thinking about the parts of me I've scattered so far.  I thought about a line in a poem I wrote nearly ten years ago, and how I understand what I was saying then in a richer way now "...I compare you and contrast you to the last life I lived and remember nights of cosmopolitans and wooden floors and smile to myself knowing I left behind teardrops all over the streets of New York..."

We're scattering and parceling at all times.  Right this very second.

Tweet me @DeenaMarie

Jul 11, 2012

You have to die to be reborn.

Once again, I've stumbled onto a gem that fits perfectly with the themes and emotions swirling in me.
"Rebirth: What we don't say"here is the full link, some excerpts, and my thoughts:


"Here are things that no woman tells another about motherhood. I will tell you this: I died. It was not childbirth. My labors were long and hard and beautiful. I have given birth twice: once to a screaming soul who shattered my idealistic visions of motherhood, the second time to an infant so ancient she didn’t utter a sound as she was lifted by the midwife from the water of the birthing tub, she just started at us. Both times my heart was cracked—shattered really and there would be no repairing it. The love that stretched and tore and suckled and broke my sleep was one so profound that nothing could have prepared me for it...

...When I did get back to me, I was gone. This is the thing that women don’t tell each other about motherhood. That you will never be who you were. That you will not see anything the way you used to see it, you will never hear language the way you used to hear it, music, color, photos, friends, family, career path–nothing or no one came through my transition from single woman to mother unexamined. Least of all myself...

...Old friends with self-absorbed ways didn’t make sense to me anymore...

...I just knew what she had to do. Knew what she needed to do to help her family get through that day and the next. She was lonely sometimes. I surrendered. Let myself dance invisibly. Let my identity fall through the cracks. Waited for a new self to emerge...

...A new self did emerge. This is what women do not tell each other. I want to say it here: You will die when you become a mother and it will hurt and it will be confusing and you will be someone you never imagined and then, you will be reborn...

...Their births have brought me closer to the earth and they have helped me pare my life down to its essentials. "

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh wow.  I copied the pieces that jumped out and grabbed me and pertained, for me, just how I would also describe what transpires after the death of a loved one.  The other night on a walk with my mom I said, "one family member dies and all the others are reborn".  Death propels you into an instant rebirth.  Remember what I said a few blogs ago, how material things no longer made sense? Spending money to dye your hair, amassing things, going the same places for the same purposes extracurricularly suddenly seemed foreign? That's what happens.  And it is sudden.

Right now I still feel trapped inside myself.  Thinking too deep.  Feeling too much.  I have what I call my "internal days" more often  than not.  I still don't completely trust myself to be good company or to come out of this new shell.  I've become unreliable to myself in that way.  I have a web of heavy emotion over me and it's so fragile that it's hard to get out or pretend it's not there.  You can't go on as before, because there is no such thing as going on as before.  When Chuck died, the person I was did too.  You can never ever ever ever prepare for a death even if you know it's coming.  But I was never prepared for my own.  I have never heard anyone in all my life say that that's something that happens to a person.  To a family.  

When you lose someone, they way things were just one second before and everything you were and thought shift instantly.  I was instantly reborn.  I was aware of the simplicity one really needs.  Follow your heart and live authentically cried my soul.  

I feel lonely, too.  Because I can't shake the sad and I am letting myself feel everything I need to feel whenever I need to feel it.  I will be in the car in the morning and suddenly my eyes will well up with tears.  I'll find myself sobbing on the living room floor when earlier that day I thought I was doing...okay.  The process of grief is all over the place.  It hasn't followed the "stages".  It bounces around and there's no such thing as being "done".  

It is what it is.  

This is part of the new me, the for now me at least.  The me who's now beginning to understand soul and death and metamorphosis and the cycles of life.  

The me who in learning loss first, can begin to grasp life.  For the first time ever, truly seeing that this is life in itself, this is the way it must be, and desiring to participate in the change, the switching of roles, from daughter to mother herself and fully accepting the death of the old me.  

What this also teaches me is that there will be more.  More deaths.  Which mean more rebirths.  When someone is lost.  When someone is born.  We have multiple layers of skin to shed through a life.  Metamorphosis is the essence.

Tweet me: @DeenaMarie

Jul 8, 2012

"Tell the Wolves I'm Home"

I just finished the last word of "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" by Carol Rifka Brunt and while I've been wanting to write about it over each of the three days I've been reading it, I waited until I knew it all.  And I don't want to wait until too much time has slipped by and I'm not feeling this emotionally full.  It's filled me to capacity.  A haunting, beautiful, complete world in that book.  I couldn't wait to get back in each time I was forced to come out.  Each time I came out, it was jarring.  I could barely put it down.  It creates the kind of world that pulls you into yourself.  You feel flipped inside out.  Introverted, shy, and like your secret self is on display because you've dived so into the depths of it.

The Secret Self.  That's something I've been thinking a lot about.  Those words keep floating up in me.  The seed was planted while reading Yann Martel's "Beatrice and Virgil" (which I've now had a second run at & highly recommend as Yann Martel is a favorite of mine).  Henry the writer talking about Henry the taxidermist.  How what he wrote was nothing like the man he appeared to be, but that art sometimes comes from a "secret self".  Henry says that the eloquent words the other Henry writes aren't at all like he speaks.  He speaks haltingly, in fragmented sentences.  Not fluid and poetic like what's on the pages (I'm paraphrasing here but just wanting to give you the idea).  I've been taking comfort in those ideas.  I've never put them into words for myself but they are worries that bubble up in me from time to time.  I feel when I write, what comes out is from another self, not the self that presents itself to the world.  The self who feels she can't often explain out loud what lies in her heart of hearts.  How others perceiving her as inarticulate is one of her biggest fears.  How she could seldom speak the way she writes, because people just don't talk like that.  How if asked an important question she'll fumble at being put on the spot and won't think of the way she could have answered until later, when the muse comes and gives her a piece of poetry for an explanation.  

But then I worry that people won't get to see the self that can sit down and channel words and poems and translate feelings and thoughts onto a page or screen.  So.  How comforting it was, to know that art can come from a secret self.  It doesn't have to be able to jump out at the drop of a hat to prove that it's in there.  That it comes when it comes, how it comes, in it's own time.  The secret self that is so alive in me and surely this must be in others who are also artistic and sensitive.  And how wonderful that is.    

"Tell the Wolves I'm Home" is a peek into protagonist June's secret self.  So raw.  So visceral.  It's what is private.  What private means is brought up several times in the book.  There's nothing more comforting than peeking into a secret self of another person.  Knowing that others must and do have the sensation that they are the only ones on the earth to have such strange thoughts passing through heads and hearts.  Knowing another's secret self is like having a secret, too.  It's a little piece of humanity that adds to who you are.  It's having a secret that makes you feel wise, comforted, sometimes sad, but also loved.  

I am becoming more aware all the time at how important it is to share our secret selves.  That's why people go to the theatre! Read poetry and novels! See movies! Listen to music! Because that was created in the place of the secret self.  The truest, beautiful and most vulnerable spot that lives in each of us.  That part we don't always embrace.  That part we often question or try to explain away.  So in seeing or hearing others show theirs, we get to have something to relate to.  To be inspired and comforted by.  It's how we know we aren't alone.  

That brings a new perspective to sitting in the audience during good theatre.  Or a movie.  Or symphony.  Or whatever it may be.  Thinking about how we're all sharing in the collective consciousness of the experience but we often don't realize just how intimate our reasons are for being there.  We are all there because we need to be.  

Look at the importance of tapping into, getting to know, and sharing that secret self!

That's it.  That's the stuff.

Tweet me: @DeenaMarie

Jul 7, 2012

Another change! Video / YouTube news!

It is the end of an era, folks! And in year FOUR of making a weekly video for the SLC City Weekly website...I got the news that it's, well, going to be a thing of the past.

I knew it couldn't last forever.  
I consider myself very lucky to have been able to have this freelance gig THIS long.
Bill Frost, who got me this job has been nothing but a gentleman and a scholar.  
On my side every step of the way.  I leave my CW folks on good terms.  
I love them lots and they know I'd do anything to help them out in the future! 

In deleting a ton of old footage off my iMovie, I felt a little nostalgic and grabbed a couple screen shots to post (that now feel and look like a long time ago what with all the changes that have and are transpiring).  

I am sad to lose this job and the money, but I feel it's a good time to...conclude.  
That version of me ran it's course for me.  The timing feels very right.  

Now, does this mean I'll be spending more time making YouTube videos again?
I've gotten a lot of people asking me where my videos have been, requesting characters, telling me they've missed my videos, and it has been quite awhile since I've made one!

It's been a life changing platform for me, it opened up a whole new world and gave me jobs and opportunities I never would have had otherwise and I'm still in awe of it myself! MTV, Ranked as a Hottest Woman of the Web on G4TV's "Attack of the Show".  A Ford Fiesta Movement Agent with a free car.  A YouTube gathering.  Collaborations and meetings with people all over the country.  Hired for jobs out of state.  Awards and features in Salt Lake Magazine, IN, CW, and more.  Filling in on the local news.  Playing characters on the news.  TV interviews.  I know what it's like to autograph & mail off headshots.  To pose for pictures.  To sign autographs.  All because of online videos.  Sheesh!

So the big answer is...yes.  I want to get back to posting content on YouTube.  In fact, I have some things brewing as we speak.  I intend to continue forward with my fan base and that platform...but don't be surprised if I steer you all in an entirely different direction. 

What happens to Little Miss Honey Bee? Jack & Coke Lady? Jan? Lola the MILF? Larry? Twilight Musicals? Impersonations? Parody?

I'm not sure right now.

BUT I hope my viewers grow with me, and I hope to gather up new ones up along the way!

I can feel my energy, attention and heart gravitating and growing toward other endeavors.

Time to evolve.

Right now my time is for family, for reading, for writing, for learning.

But yes.  A youtube comeback will happen.  I'm excited to bring you what's next.  

The reinvention continues!

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another" - Anatole France