because mama, mama I’m coming home…

 

It’s interesting to see things from ages ago. The faces I used to make, the company I kept, the manner in which I used to see and navigate the world. I’ve spent months contemplating what to do with old social media accounts that I deactivated several years ago. They just sit there collecting e-dust. Untouched. For a while I just liked to pretend it wasn’t there because the idea of it was daunting. There was so much there for me to endure. Nothing but memories that felt like daggers every time I saw them.

I guess that’s where the growth is in ways, because for once in a great while, I could look at the photos, the messages, and it not cut as deep as it used to because the truth is, this is where we are now. Is it a bummer? Absolutely. I can’t help but ask myself how I managed to get here. I mean, I know why but it’s a real mindfuck. How do you go from being someones friend or lady, to the diminutive adjectives used in the place where my name used to be? And just like that, we are strangers once more.

Nothing like skimming through decades+ worth of imagery and words to send you back to wonderful moments, the color of your life, the moments you forgot about and the sometimes dark that hid behind smiles. The lies that so many of us tell ourselves for the need to keep up the facade and expectations. Instead of being honest about how messy we all can be. I was done with that and now more than ever, it resonates even harder. I’m messy and complex… but so much more honest with myself.

I miss writing, reading and somewhere along the lines I fell prey to the drugs of attention and empty validations. It isn’t what I am about and in hindsight, never was. The great distraction and I thought I knew it all. The mirror we look away from because what looks back isn’t its best.

In any event the files were requested and as soon as I obtain them, I plan for a full on delete. I am fucking tired of the fb machine and how unproductive it has become. Not when I have art to create, things to say in person or in written form and a lot more authentic living to be doing.

Time to build something better.

 

Xmas is a week away but the past 24 hours have been mine. This will be the first one in 15 years that I don’t get to spend it with my kid. It makes me sad but they understand why. The beauty of it all is that tradition is what we make of it and I’ve always been kind of a rule breaker anyway. We adjust the sails and course to the wind.

Last night we went to see Ghostbusters Afterlife, the first time we had set foot in a theater since 2019. It’s such an unsettling feeling especially since we have been so cautious with public outings. But we got a relatively empty theater, snuggled up and watched a perfectly done film that hit us in the laughs and tears all at once. I forgot how much I enjoy our adventures, even when they’re the simplest of moments like holding hands and squeezing them when another moment of nostalgia kicked us in the feels box.

They got to open gifts from me this morning. Not a whole lot but things I knew they needed and really wanted. A lunch date, finding a rad copy of one of their holy grails at the record store, and now I wake with the whole household piled up on the couch, from a nap in the light of our spooky tree and the last Full Moon of 2021.

I hope they know that every day with them is my Christmas morning and I’m fortunate enough to have had so many of those. They really has no idea how utterly grateful I am for it and them and no amount of colorfully wrapped boxes pieced together with tape can ever measure up to the time we get to share in the most crucial of their years. Or maybe they do? Happiest of Yules my Darling.

I have a trip home to make in the next couple of days. I’m nervous as fuck about it on so many counts. Another first since January 2019, a pandemic that continues, a confrontation with the realities of the mortal coil. Every visit made is one step closer to the possibility that it could be the last time I see my Mother breathing. What remains of her, anyway. A bittersweet journey, and one of the many heavy loads I have been carrying as of late but most people don’t know, or care to understand.

I don’t speak about a lot of things publicly, not how I used to. I had a lot of reasons not to, still do. My peace and their privacy being the biggest motivators. There is a lot to be said about the ideas of perception and reality. I don’t care about said perceptions and haven’t for a great while. I am used to taking the hits, blame and finger pointing for things I had zero play in and that isn’t something that has changed and sadly, won’t. But if there’s one thing I will not do anymore of is be subdued while traveling on my avenue of Truth. I don’t owe that shit to anyone, especially when Respect Blvd. was turned into a one way street.

These corners were dusty for a great while, it’s time to do things a little bit differently.

feliz navidad.

 

beautiful meals and holiday themed libations with excellent company

the bittersweet anticipation of a looming pilgrimage home

when plans go as hoped for, if not better

Our mutual respect, admiration and appreciation

frozen yogurt runs and bouncing to music with Them in the car

plush socks and a winter storm

rain and a xmas tree

when that karmic retribution finally arrives

when I crack open my journal to Your letter falling out

warm mugs in cold hands

conversations that flow like smooth lubrication

in tears holding Their hand to a chorus of gay men singing holiday songs

“hand out the drugs” by Kite. on repeat, in the rain

Coven reinforcements who remind me I don’t have to do it alone

holiday cards arriving in the mail

knowing I don’t have to pretend or fake it till I make it

being met where I am

the girl and I making holiday gifts in the kitchen to Silk Sonic’s “fly as me”

singing Megan Thee Stallion with R and their friend in the car

sleeping familiars on my desk as I work

eggnog flavored nonsense

when you feel a connection plunge into a more profound depth

when I now find humor in things that used set me off

group chat inside jokes (love you bitches)

witnessing my squad reap the rewards of all their hard work

candid conversations filled with perfectly imperfect humanity

homemade lemon meringue sugar body scrub

the BEST neighbors

the sound of His voice so vivid I could feel the sparkle and smiles when it finally arrived

smell of: cedar + balsam, Fantabulosa, fireplace from outside

revelry in Our devilry.

 
we will always have spells and gravity
gazes from across the room
grey skies parting 
to rain 
traveling sideways

 


My annual birthday post comes late. It was my party and I will cry if I want to. I did. Truth be told it was a hard day – life doesn’t stop, even for special days and it’s not every day your birthday ends in a rare lunar eclipse. I am such a fucking Scorpio.

46 left me with so much…

Happy reunions with loved ones I hadn’t seen in far too long, an undiscovered vertebra that told me to take none of that shit, being kissed mercilessly, revelations that plummeted disappointment to lower depths, friendship that continues to be loyal as fuck, solidified and deepened connections, songs that cut me deeply, art that moved me, endless amounts of laughter with my kid and watching them be a god dammed warrior, tribe, tested comfort zones, being met, seen and accepted for nothing less than I am without agenda.

I got on a plane again, met several e-friends for the first time, passed a kidney stone (not recommended), too many covid tests, got vaccinated, had another successful solo art show, fell in love with taking care of my plants and arranging flowers, saw Nothing, went to Death Valley, reclaimed my motherfucking name, saw the world with a more amplified sense of wonder, wrote and wrote and wrote some more… and shared it all because I have nothing to hide. And a really big one? The out loud admittance that my previous life was abusive and unkind in many places – only to be packaged and sold as “love”. It wasn’t. I am not ashamed of Her, she didn’t know better and really wasn’t sure who she was just yet. I thought I did. I like who I am becoming so much more.

46 showed me that my truth continues to be the sharpest knife in my arsenal, that fear and insecurity are poison and I don’t give a fuck what people think of me. The greatest love of my life will always be Me, I enjoy my own company and that being wanted is far more meaningful than feeling needed. Because if there’s something that 46 gave me in abundance is choosing to not settle for mediocrity and bare minimum efforts from anyone. To tell those ghosts that come knocking again, “thanks but no thanks”. She showed me how to say “go fuck yourself” with silence or a gaze, how to stand my ground, how my peace has no price tag, that I enjoy being and feeling utterly free to live a life on my own terms, how to truly be accountable when I needed to be and when to hold others to the same standards because I deserve the world.

The most valuable lesson? Self worth. Every inch of my Olympus is not an altar for mortals to pray at, much less reside in. I am not a liner note kind of woman, I am the whole leather bound anthology and only the worthy will get to be a part of this story. And if they’re lucky? Turn. My. Pages.

*licks fingertips*

Hello 47. Let’s see what you got.

xo



 

I sensed it in the air from the second I woke this morning. A fragrance of Earth, salt, sea and magic. I could feel it coming and it has not been disappointing thus far. A clap so loud the house shook, the aroma of soil, asphalt and renewal rising into my lungs.

My missives are usually scrawled in ink on paper these days… sometimes for me, sometimes for those I know care to read, or when asked to, just because he loves seeing certain things wielded by my hand. And what would have been a hand written entry has surprisingly found itself in these dusted off parts of me. Maybe I will scan those scrawled pages so those revelatory words can be felt, just as much as seen.

Maybe.

Nonetheless, on a whim I opened this page several days ago and re-read the very few entries that remain public. Sparse, but colorful and jagged, like a rare piece of sea glass. What a ride it has been since then, since before then, and never in a million years did I expect to be where I am now. So much has happened.

I cannot even begin to list out the amounts of things, beings, experiences, emotions and wisdom the last year has given me. Treasures and revelry with those who are willing to ride this ride without fear or abandon. Willing to slam the brakes or step on my pedals just to see how fast she can go.

I have fallen in love with everything around me. With words, scents, prose, poetry, art and flora. Every day I am shown selfless care, truth and wonder from places far and wide or sometimes in my own back yard – a welcome revelation from the least expected of places. All a journey to being the Me I always knew was within, but they didn’t want me to be. Unapologetically raw, devastatingly sensual, brimming with peace in my own truth.

This hasn’t been without its hardships, that’s for sure. Painful lessons of violations and eye-opening disappointments that felt more like nails holding my eyelids open than the gentle light coming over the horizon. All while living through the most bizarre of unplanned timelines filled with death, ignorance and abject cruelty, some of which arrived in the places I least expected them from. Add trying to guide and shape not only my life, but the one I brought into this world? Ouch. A perpetual juggling of daggers and every once in a while, a little blood is inevitable – but I do my best to make sure it isn’t at my own hand. I am not in the business of wounding and I have a lot of scars, what’s one more?

My space is brimming with the sound of water hitting concrete, the trains wailing by and the occasional laugh from the couch by the light of my life – who continues to make everything so very worth it.

The veil thins and I can feel my intuition searing through my veins. And if what she is telling me is correct, there are a lot of really incredible and wicked things working their way to find and savor me.

I just need to open the door, sink my feet into the water and let the sky pour her majesty onto my skin…

And let the storm in.

 

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and I already have the best gift I could have asked for. I’m so incredibly grateful for what they brought into my world. Not sure what I did to get this winning lottery ticket of a person in my life. Don’t pinch me because being their Mom is a dream come true. 

The bond we have will never be superseded. Not time nor space. Nothing and NO ONE will get between us and fuck, have I worked HARD for her and us. Of this you can be assured. 

We continue to teach each other about growth, resilience and resolve – through laughter and tears, mistakes, profanity, awesomely bad music, balance, indulgence, adventure, acceptance and honesty.

This perfect, not so tiny human gives me drive, intention and fight. Tooth and fucking nail. They deserve the world and I will do everything I can to make sure they get it. And I will remind them of it till breath stops filing my lungs. It was always just us anyway. 

Happy Mother’s Day to us, Reza. Thank you for choosing me to be yours.

 

Never do you feel more small and delicate when you’re hit with yet another sense of loss. Grief arrives in many forms: loss of loved ones, watching things go in a direction you didn’t them to, being embraced by memories of your former life. And they all sting.

Today that humility arrived in the form of a friend passing on. I can’t help but be angry how Charon keeps paddling across all these wonderful, kind and inherently good people. It’s beyond unfair.

Yet I try to find the purpose and meaning in it all. Sometimes things like this happen cause the Universe is a cruel bitch, but sometimes they’re the Universe slapping you upside the face, kinda like Cher in Moonstruck, “SNAP OUT OF IT!!”

You see, the past 24 hours have been a bit of a mindfuck. I take it back, the past month has. Another round of what feels like dog years, blow after emotional blow where I feel like I cannot come up for air before something else is tying itself to my ankle to sink me back down.

What was that? It’s early February? 2020 is gonna be aces? Shit. I am not throwing in the towel by any means here. Me? But look, I was having a real “woe is me” moment. A “can I catch a break? Because I am fucking exhausted!” pity party moment.

And then I read the news and boy did I feel like such a first world problems BABY. I’m not going to diminish my struggle by any means. It doesn’t mean that some of the things I have had happen to me in the past year aren’t absolute fuckery, cause lord knows they have been. But damn…

Another friend’s heart stopped beating… another set of lungs took their last breath today.

And I am sitting here squandering those moments.

Every day I strive to be a better, stronger, more authentic version of myself. It’s a journey that will always continue because arrival is for people lying to themselves. We are never there.

And yet here is another reminder knocking near my door….
Life is short. Life is fleeting.
Why and what are you waiting for?
Don’t be safe. Be bold. Be brave. Tell fear to go fuck itself.
Want it? Then get it.
Don’t have it? Then ask for it and be ok if it isn’t the answer you hoped for.
Say what you need to say. Be authentic to yourself . Be true.
Answer truthfully when your best friend starts questions with “You need to ask yourself why….”
Allow yourself to be vulnerable and trusting even when both of those things have been absolutely decimated.

Rewiring old thoughts, habits and behaviors are hard as hell.

Recently a close and long time friend said to me…

“Remember, you were the gold Ivonne”


kintsugi.
 
Days old / thirteen

We have been talking a lot about gratitude lately. 

Having to be a single parent, who really has to prioritize time and money is a huge change for us. I try not to feel bad about it, but it gets me from time to time when I know I just can’t. When you want to provide the world, the experiences and having to restrain.

All things considering, I think I am doing pretty ok despite it being less than a year since I moved out. They have had to watch me rebuild my life up from next to nothing. Ground zero. Blood, sweat, scars and a fuck ton of tears. Through minimization of the struggle and sacrifice like its been easy. To see almost half of your life, love and efforts brought to a close like it was a seedy back alley business transaction. To having to hear “What DID YOU DO in those 12 years?” in a job interview and have some dude look at you with the “oh that’s cute” face when you tell him you were a stay-at-home Mother. If you only knew, sir. If you only knew just how much I did, continue to do and am capable of. I am guts, heart, truth and spine.

I protect them from the burden all while showing them my vulnerability. Safe-guarding them from the reality and weights I lifted, far more than I should have had to. The stress I carry within, working to heal my broken heart, while simultaneously holding them up, imparting the lessons I have learned from arduous paths, building them and us into this new normal that our lives have become.

I remind them of what we need to revel in. To focus on what we do have instead of focusing on what we don’t. Focusing on needs over wants. That we have a great roof over our heads, in a city we love, the basic needs are met, we’re healthy, breathing and surrounded by an amazing tribe of support. Oh and let us not forget our two cats who know when we need it the most.

I don’t know how much longer this will last. She still comes in for hugs, climbs in bed for snuggles, reaches for my hand while we watch tv or falls asleep leaning into me. Those years of being home got me them. This amazing person I call my kid. Our bond.

This is what those 12 years got me. 

And I would do it all over again.