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Scratch test

“This indecision is bugging me…” “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” The Clash
“When something itches…the natural tendency is to scratch.” From The Seven Year Itch
In the last decade, I have worked in three different schools and held three different jobs. Every three to four years, I search for something new. I refer to this as my three and a half year itch. Fortunately for my familia and friends, this pattern seems centered around career.  I served in ministry in my last parish for six years. I have actively volunteered with Girls Inc. of Alameda County for five years.  I have been running half-marathons for nearly nine years (with a few health-related breaks). I don’t lack the ability to commit, especially when I find an activity and/or organization purposeful and positive. But once the itching begins, calamine lotion won’t help.
That three-year mark is a test. I analyze the pros and cons of moving onto something new.  I evaluate my progress and areas for improvement. Mas que nada, I ponder the value of change. I refuse to be complacent for too long. If I’m not learning or I begin to become negative (i.e. resentful, cynical, unmotivated), then it’s time for me to move on. Change is difficult yet it moves me forward.
I don’t worry that I will always be on a quest for the next best thing.
Quintessential seeker Holly Golightly
I have surrounded myself with friends who have fostered my growth for years, if not decades. I pursue my passions. My family is my foundation. The challenge is to find that(job/activity/organization/fill in the blank) which helps me be at my best.
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Mananitas for my mentor

“A las muchachas bonitas se las cantamos asi…”

Feliz dia, mujer,
Tu, mas que nadie, have been my mentor
though we’ve spoken only three times in the past twenty-five years,
through your wisdom, your poetry, your stories, tu voz.
The first time I read your work,
I thought I was reading my own.
Tu eres maestra
and I am always your student.
Though my life has led me across dance floors
and into my own little casita,
though my obra maestra sleeps with dolls and teddy bears,
I know that deep within me, my own books wait,
my own voice draws strength.
You sowed those seeds and
someday they will bloom
like girasoles.

JAC
December 20, 2014

Happy birthday, Ms. Cisneros!

Dream Recollection 25: The Race

I’m supposed to be running a race but I am taking care of Watts’ baby boy. Finally race day arrives and it is both foggy and drizzly. Part of the race is on a gently sloping overpass. Part of the course is indoors, the final leg in a ballroom with hardwood floors. I pass an open bar, district employees including a higher up who radios for my running coach. At one point, four of my work friends, including Work Mommy, throw a heavy canvas tarp over me. I growl that its not funny and that I need to keep running. I crawl through the final carrel.

Dream Recollection 24: The Valediction

In the dream, I am driving down a dusty Southern California freeway with Lisa and one other person(Mom?). I pull up in front of a high school building and place a call on my phone. A woman answers. She tells me Soldier is gone now. I have arrived too late but she is willing to talk to me in person. I make a snide remark about how surprised I am she will talk to me since it is likely he hates me. She denies it, says she admires me because of what he has said. Lisa is wary and warns me to be careful. My life is wonderful now and worrying about soldier is something I should leave in the past. Biarraza(her last name though I’m not sure why she goes by it) arrives. She is a slender Latina, much to my relief, not overly sexy, and down to earth. We get along instantly. After a heartfelt conversation in which we fill in the blanks for each other, she pulls out her phone and places a call. She hands me the phone. It is Soldier. His voice puts me into a quieter mood. I tell him all I ever wanted to do was help. He says he knew but that I risked my own health which was unhealthy. I tell him I thought I could relate to the urge to kill myself. “You would have never willingly killed yourself.” I argue with him, pointing to the many episodes of early 2007. “You might have had the feeling but you never had the will. That’s not you. You love life.” We congratulate one another, wish each other well, and say goodbye. I hug B. Lisa and I head back onto the road.

Dream Recollection 23: The pills

from the audio transcription

3 in the morning, Wednesday, September 12th
I dreamt about a Korean special ed student. He was taking notes in a Korean notebook. I had directed several cartoons featuring classical music.
My dreams are convoluted right now. Probably because of stupid Benadryl.
I don’t like when people are in my dreams that I wish I’d stop dreaming about.
I miss my Play Brother. I think he might have been in a dream.
I’m confused.

5am, Wednesday, September 12th
I was at a costume party in El Cerrito. It was at a mansion full of African and Roman sculptures in all six front picture windows. There was a contingent of black drag queens leaving. My bro, my sis, and my high school best friend were in business attire, getting in an SUV. They said we’d meet up at the park. I was with Lisa and Cho-Cho and Cho’s little sis but they reminded me of the sisters I met in conflict mediation today. We were casually dressed in sweats when we met a friend of the sisters. She was dressed like a princess with wings. The host looked like Fabio and he had a horse. My brother and his friends were there including Fresa 2. There was a Latino who looked familiar: late 30s or early 40s, graying. The sister made fun of another duo of sisters for getting food stamps. I felt guilty because I had taken their box of health products and Cho-Cho had used up the aspirin.
I don’t like Benadryl.

Thursday, September 13th, 2am
I woke up around 1:40am. I had several dreams but the one I remember most had to do with friggin’ MySpace. I was logging on to make some changes. Someone was erasing my entries. There were blogs I hadn’t written.
I’m tired. I’m not groggy anymore but my mind is still affected.

Dream Recollection 22: Another reunion

Soldier came back. We were teamed up for an activity like a relay. At one point, I fell and he fell because we were tied together. Next thing you know, we were kissing. We got up, kept going, but found ourselves embracing again. I said I wasn’t sure what to make of it because of all the issues we’ve had. But I didn’t fight it.
At the end of the dream, I was happy, he was happy. Everyone was looking at us crazy.
It was a good dream, not a nightmare.

Dream Recollection 21: The Visitation

I had a dream we were in a horror movie. Or maybe it was the Apocalypse. There was a long drive to Sacramento or somewhere, gathering people together. It looked like my house but it wasn’t.
A black bird was the first sign. I was in the guest room and I saw a white barn owl. That was the second sign. I looked at it and felt it was talking to me. It moved to the telephone pole wires by the front door.
I sat on my couch with my new colleague and my ex-co-worker. They squeezed me out of the couch so I had moved to the other couch to read. I told them about the owl so they went outside. The owl became an angel, a woman in white. She said I had a purpose to fulfill, that I needed to move forward and forgive everyone because of what would happen next. I said I had. She said she knew. I said I didn’t know who to trust. I know exactly who I was talking about. She looked right at me and her eyes were big and blue with no pupils like alien eyes or the eyes of the blind. She touched my face and she said my heart was saying the right thing, that I knew who to trust, and that I needed to be strong.
Then I woke up to the alarm.