Spring, Sex and Salmon



You should be very jealous.

Those of you not in a wheelchair likely were moving too fast to smell the air today.

Spring has burst past some of it’s budding and as I roll slowly down sidewalks and roads

I pass an apricot tree in bloom; barest pink known to man.

Fluttering spent petals petalling (Cathy word) down..

Next there is a white blooming specimen that makes me flush at the sex smell it exudes

And THEN.. I arrive at a coterie of five salmon colored tulips vying for property on an untended island mid-thoroughfare..

My senses wave the white surrender flag and I say: “ENOUGH!” “TOO MUCH!” “I CAN’T HOLD ANY MORE GOODNESS!”

You should be very, very jealous.


The Art of Giving

detail of hand-painted wool flannel


I saw a young woman on the street.

She sat there on the ground outside Starbucks with a sign: HOMELESS. ANYTHING HELPS.

There are so many scammers around these days that my first instinct was to dismiss her.

I at least said hello, reached around her to buy a paper from the box and asked if she was warm enough.

We actually had a great conversation.

She told me about these cool hand warmers she had that were hidden in her pockets. “Yes.” she said. She was ok.

I went in, ordered my drink and thought I’d get her one too but then thought better of it.

I cruised over to my table and looked at people, read the paper and settled into musing.

There she was.. out there beyond the window. I could still see her. I watched for a disingenuous look of fakery. But it wasn’t there.

She looked cold but resigned. Almost at peace but with the stain of humiliation.

Is she an impostor?

Does she REALLY need?

I stopped my mind for a moment and felt into my heart.

My initial urge was to help her.

I decided to go with that.

I rolled out and stopped in front of her saying: “I was going to get you something to eat but decided you’d probably like cash instead.”

She smiled and bestowed a blessing and I left.

I felt light.


Right in myself.

I realized it didn’t matter if she was an impostor because I had followed my true inner prompting which came from compassion and not from guilt.

The gift was for me.

Not so much for her.

I rolled on….

Symptoms As Compass

“DOOR GIRL”, m/m, 1996


My recent Urology appointment included a definition of the current state of my bladder:

“Interstitial Cystitis is caused by the degradation of the mucus membrane in our bladder which acts as insulation for waste leaving our body .”

I have been musing about the proclivity of my diagnoses of “loss of insulation” both of my nerves (MS shows up as little chunks of nerve insulation disappearing leaving raw, exposed and faulty conductivity)

And now my bladder is challenged by the absence of it’s natural protection.

Let’s see…. well- there seems to be a pattern of loss of protection here..


I am no dummy and think anyone in their right mind can put two and two together and see that the message my body is trying to convey has something to do with PROTECTION or INSULATION.

Now, it is my task (if I want to heal which is always a choice) to figure out what these symptoms are pointing to.

One thing of interest is the fact my mother died of Bladder Cancer.

Do you think this is really a coincidence the two of us share this symptomology affecting this organ?

I think not.

As infants we are supposed to be soaking in the balm of the secure and dependable foundation a mother can provide.

But what happens when we are not privy to our due?

In my family history there have been a number of women; strong, isolated, depressed, very smart, powerful, angry, judgemental and alone for various reasons.

I do NOT want to carry on this legacy.

My sense is that I am being urged to address how I need to protect myself, insulate myself, care for my precious being in ways I am not aware of at present.

I think learning these new skills has more to do with recognizing myself as highly sensitive and trying out different ways of celebrating this and nurturing these tender parts of me in ways other than pulling out of the world like a monk.

I am a connective person and love Life so it is up to me to experiment with different methods and see what works.

The other option is to sort of collapse my life-force and make myself less available to day-to-day caustic living.

When I am able I choose the path of discovery with all the bumps in the road inherent in a walk into a dark wood with no apparent path set.

Women I Love



“The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”

—  Elizabeth Gilbert


On the Road


I asked a good girlfriend to drive me up to Taos (hour and a half North) to a new Urologist.

My governing “M.O.” has been “I can do it by myself.”

Case in point when I ambled off to the neuro appointment years ago to get the diagnosed.

I was so used to doing stuff without support that I didn’t even know that having someone at my side that day would have helped me bear the news.

Asking my girlfriend to come with me yesterday was a great exercise in conscious asking and receiving.

Since I no longer drive I obviously needed SOMEone there but to visit a new Urologist is a dicey affair; MAJOR vulnerability quotient, stress, exertion of the new, etc.

I have had SUCH horrible experiences with ALL THE FUCKING Urologists I have seen to help me figure out why I have had a bladder infection for a year and taken antibiotics for that long.

My experience of this new guy was beyond fabulous in EVERY way! My friend sat there with me in the room and I was comforted that I had someone with me who was smart, attentive to all the info the Dr. presented and whom I trusted implicitly.

She kept her eye on me in a non-invasive way, opened doors, filled out forms, laughed with me, lunched with me afterward and generally held the space for me during the long, long day.

She gave me the huge gift of carving out an entire day to help me do something very intimate and VERY vital to my well being.

The doctor spent over an hour with us. There was never a whiff of him patronizing or discounting my own research into my condition (Interstitial Cystitis).

He was smart, kind, compassionate and extremely present.

He had some specific things to try but I witnessed in myself the huge shot of strength on every level- emotional, physical, spiritual from the unwavering gift of Presence both he and my girlfriend gave me.

I have to acknowledge myself for doing what it takes to keep looking for who and what are a part of my healing.

This whole journey I am on is really the ultimate testing ground for learning radical discriminatory abilities. If I don’t figure out real quick who and what boost my well-being I will die.

It is that simple.

And oh……such a tangle of thorns at times.

But HERE I AM STILL! A lover of Life and certainly, with endless gratitude and Grace, not alone.

Girls and Boys of Summer


Girls And Boys of Summer

Sitting at Starbuck’s
Some girls in flouncy seersucker
Skirts made me nervous
Because they seduced even me.

Taut, smooth black leather
Pants and padded pricey jackets
Hug testosterone-laden young bucks
Cruising in contorted
Motorcycle poses.
One can almost feel
The tug their pole cast,
For the tidal pull
Left in their wake.

They got me, I tell you..
I saw my skin tanned
Wearing cool sunglasses
Practicing nonchalance and
Scooted too far forward
Behind some Marlon Brandoesque
Kid (In his youth).

I wore a white
Eyelet bell-sleeved number
And my jeans
Were thin and torn.
Cherry flavored gloss
Leaving wear marks
On my back pocket.

One time the INDY 500
Came to Detroit
And spewed the fumes
And searing pitch
I both hated and loved
But never forgot.

Some things
Like boots and gas
And a sunburned left arm
From resting casually too long
On the truck’s opened window
Mean freedom to Me.

I saw those youngsters today
So hungry
For each other, the wind,
The hierarchy of cool..
I loved them.
And me.
Both then and now;
The urgent teenager
And the tenderized me
Of today.


-CA March 2015


Six Daffodils


On my door this morning I found six daffodils.

Wrapped in clear plastic and tightly budded

They are sure-as-shootin’ the best harbinger of the passing of Winter into Spring.

In Santa Fe we look forward to the HOSPICE fundraiser (where these blooms came from) selling little bundles of yellow blooms to support their vital work.

My secret flower-deliverer made me love the world.

I see them sitting here on my desk in a pretty square glass vase just quietly gathering their wits to give up the bud and BLOOM!

A riotous yellow bellowing with the message: “Yes, indeed…I did it again! Braved the dark and interminable winter; waited patiently for the frigid earth to warm, soften and reclaim the fecund perfume that turns me ON!

I wriggle and push the earth to the side as I reach and reach and reach for light.

Then- I relax awhile as I make my way to the HOSPICE fundraiser folks table and some good soul buys me and takes me to Cathy’s door and she finds me and loves me so much she has to tell someone and so she tells YOU..

Only then..when I know I am where I need to be can I give my final gift and yellow myself up

And give Cathy my gift of what can only be called LOVE.”

Let Me Outta Here! …or.. No Escape


I just love this tiny little warrioress nun named PEMA CHODRON.. So real. So alive. So darn authentically human:

“In the early seventies a friend kept telling me, “Whatever you do, don’t try to make those feelings go away.” His advice went on: “Anything you can learn about working with your sense of discouragement or your sense of fear or your sense of bewilderment or your sense of feeling inferior or your sense of resentment—anything you can do to work with those things—do it, please, because it will be such an inspiration to other people.”

That was really good advice. So when I would start to become depressed, I would remember, “Now wait a minute. Maybe I just have to figure out how to rouse myself genuinely, because there are a lot of people suffering like this, and if I can do it, they can do it.” I felt a sense of interconnectedness. “If a schmuck like me can do it, anybody can do it.” That’s what I used to say, that if a miserable person like me—who’s completely caught up in anger and depression and betrayal—if I can do it, then anyone can do it, so I’m going to try.”




painted terry robe


I’m quite sure posts such as my last one cause concern for those that love and care for me.

The point of sharing such tender stories with you all is twofold; I get to get it out of my head and therefore become more the witness of the thing which often takes a good deal of sting out of it.

I also am well aware that if I am experiencing something I am likely not the only one and seeing a topic like futility written about as I did can perhaps help others recognize the rightness of IT ALL.

Even when it feels all wrong.

I am fascinated by resilience; THE GREAT URGE to see, note and carry on.

How does this happen for some and not others?

What keeps me curious about life?

The theater of it all…

How could it be possible that 24 hours ago my bright spirit was dulled, weary and bereft of comfort

And today I sat with a great friend and shared a gorgeous and civilized lunch with inspired and acutely present conversation, honesty, humor and true fulfillment of my hedonistic self?

I left the restaurant and felt buoyed by our mutual recognition of one another. There were places made for sharing our fuck-ups but the space we always hold for one another is for our best and brightest selves lest we forget which we often do.

The thing is as I see it: futility creeps in…then leaves…then some other feeling happens and we can label it good or bad but the deal is that EVERYTHING CHANGES !

The scary thing is that when we are in it..it seems WE ARE IT!… and it feels permanent.

The realest thing to me these days is my very life force which seems to be the stage where all this sometimes ugly, sometimes glorious stuff happens.

I’m falling in love with sweeping the old, old wooden planks of that stage and appreciating the depth of patina.

Sit. Stay. Lie Down.


“I would make a good disabled person” she said….

I laughed so hard I snorted.

I knew just what she meant.

Her world is the deep. Down there in her silent diving bell at depths few have braved are creatures that create their own light shows; they use their flickering and banded beams as lures to sustain themselves..to eat..to live.

When I sat down in my wheelchair I thought I’d get out; that it was a temporary rest.

Then the realization it wasn’t.

I continue to plumb my own deep and think about my situation here which becomes progressively more static.

Lately, I have been lying down more and more with the attitude of futility.

I hear myself complain more. My skin is paler and blush ain’t doin’ it.

My own “deep” has never been a lonely one for me. Till recently.

Because the way I roll is to be INTERESTED in what I see from my diving bell, I ask myself: “CATH..WHERE IS THAT PRIMAL URGE IN YOU THAT MAKES THIS LYING DOWN UNACCEPTABLE?”

Inside all this stripping down, the naked and trembling girl once again goes to find her perfect shade of red lipstick to re-enter the world.

The fact I keep asking this question is a miracle and surely not solely generated by me.

The heaviness of the diving bell releases it’s pressure as it surfaces once again and the girl emerges having tasted her own sweet tears but wanting/needing/knowing that her lover in life is THE GREAT URGE to sit back up and BE in that hallowed and innocent state of awareness which is her canvas now.

The Girl Be Tryin’

“SEEDS”, ceramic, ea. 1″



Do good work.

Every problem can be solved.

Stay noble.

Less is always an option.

Don’t be afraid to say no.
* Don’t be afraid to say yes. (My addition to his list..)

Be perfectly clear. (This eludes me, I tell you…)

Never lie.”


-Joseph Barone