Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rockin' the Kwan Yin

Years ago I had the image of Shiva given to me from a therapist. At the time I was going through a not so pretty divorce and coming out to my family. The therapist had likened the change I was experiencing and initiating to the Hindu deity of transformation. Shiva is sometimes described as the one who creates birth through destruction. You can think of Shiva's power like that of a forest fire. The idea was that, while change can mean an end, death or destruction of something (the end of my marriage, the end of how my family perceived me) it is also the beginning of something. This was a great tool for me at the time and helped me stay the course of much needed change.

More recently, in the last few years, as my life has undergone a completely different kind of transformation, one that I don't quite understand fully yet, Shiva hasn't quite worked for me. I've needed a different Eastern embodiment of some "om" figure to fixate on. The change I've been working on has been a much less personally empowered change; a giant wave that I must attempt to ride out and just keep my head above water kind of change. It's been changes that have happened to me rather than change that I have initiated.

Enter Kwan Yin, or White Tara. The Chinese or Tibetan embodiment of compassion. In my paid job I have learned a great deal about compassion over the last seven years. As I have had countless first hand opportunities to practice witnessing to the trauma of families with children who are ill, I have dramatically improved my deep listening skills. I've become a practitioner of "being present" with others in their struggles. I have come to place an enormous value on just sitting with someone else's pain. Compassion for others has never been something I've been challenged by (I am the type of person who sees a stuffed animal on the side of the road and I get an ache in the pit of my stomach thinking about a sad child missing a fluffy friend...). Compassion for myself is a entirely different story and the brand of compassion I've been practicing is depleting and I've been left exhausted and drained.

I've been reading Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, by Tara Brach, nightly over the last month or two and just came across a passage on Kwan Yin. Ms. Brach presents us with the image of Kwan Yin as the mother of compassion who extends her healing presence through acknowledgement of the suffering of others. Ms. Brach then invites us to turn that image inward. For those of us who work in the community service sector, it is easy to view compassion as an outward practice and something that we embrace for others. Ms. Brach challenges us to turn that compassion inward first and posits that compassion will then naturally flow outward. I woke up this morning with the image of a pebble thrown in water, the ripples radiating outward effortlessly from that central point. Compassion begins with lovingkindness towards ourselves. When we greet ourselves with compassion, there is no effort required to share that compassion with others. It flows naturally outward.

Postscript: For another good book on self-care, especially for those in non-profit work, please see the lovely Ms. Laura Van der Noot Lipsky's Trauma Stewardship. Ms. Lipsky's book gently turns us toward self care as a source of energy and asks us to consider how we may improve our service to others through that self care.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meaning and Purpose

I have often heard the most famous of Viktor Frankl's quotes from Man's Search for Meaning: 
"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." This is a profound thought, often repeated, but difficult to implement. It is a quote that I often cling to in difficult times.

I am currently reading Man's Search for Meaning and today I came across the quote. I read it with surprised joy, to come across it in it's original context. What surprised me more was the quote on the exact opposite page. It is not a single sentence that can be easily picked out of the paragraph and quoted alone, which is why I'm certain it's not as frequently recited. It had as profound an effect on me though. So I quote it here. To best understand it, I am adding the context of the quote above, with the emphasis added:

"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.... It is this spiritual freedom - which cannot be taken away - that makes life meaningful and purposeful."

This is the further action. The action that does not require difficult circumstances before we show our best. This is the part of his thesis which compels us to make a purposeful life even absent suffering. So appropriate for this time of year and for those of us to whom fortune has been more attentive this year!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wedding Thoughts

Officiated another wedding last night! It was fun, beautiful and sweet. This morning I woke up thinking about how much weddings are about community. Just the whole idea that when things go wrong, our friends and family can really be there to help us. Not everyone can for every need, but we rely on our peeps for their different strengths right? I had the notion though, as I lie there thinking, that when we share celebrations and happy times with our friends, they share in our sorrows and difficult times.

I am reminded of the poem "Solitude" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that I used to fixate on as a morose young adult. There is a line in the poem that goes something like this, "...laugh and the whole world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone...."

Well, I think she is wrong. I think that if all you do is project and look for others to share in your sorrow you will find yourself alone. Turn that around though and if you actively seek to share your joy, to invite others to celebrate with you, they will weep with you when the occasion calls for it.

Ella, share your joy with others first and they will share your sorrows.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I am going to be EXHAUSTED today. I am working the overnight Friday to Saturday shift at work and I could not sleep last night! It's been a while since I've only had 5 hours of toss and turn sleep. I stayed up watching "Howl" last night. It was so motivating to me that I had to update one of my blogs midway through the movie.

I absolutely was pushed by the scenes in which James Franco, as Ginsberg, describes his writing process. I do not in any way wish to compare myself with Ginsberg, but I've never heard a better description of what it feels like to produce prose.  "I saw windows and thought 'eyes' and I felt 'dun, da, dun, da.....' so that's the way it should be..." (Not an exact quote.) The push and abdominal need to spit out authenticity, through words, through descriptive auditory paintings  - I can feel this. I can feel a corporeal response to that - as if my body rather than my mind agrees with him. In a grunting, hands pushing a plough, feet digging in kind of way. A delicate at times, other times guttural, "unh" "this is me, this is my inside out." It is as if you are slowly, beautifully and grotesquely, inch by inch, from your toes up, pulling your insides up through your gut and out of your mouth to examine, to share, to both shed light on them and to protect them. To declare them safe, valid and real. As if the are not real until they are seen, the very solitary experience of them not enough.

That said, like "Leaves of Grass" I have a feeling that "Howl", if I read it, would feel overly masculine to me. Whitman, while the pure relishing of earth and form resonates with me, has always felt distantly male. I don't know a female voice for this same genre, for this same cry to be seen, to see ones self, to self-validate at the same time you are making an argument that you are valid without question and in prose. In a hazy, half poetic, half drunken or drugged, or elated lyrical way.

My little half asleep, sleep deprived, morning meow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another Blog?

Yes, it's true. I was thinking as I woke up this morning about starting yet another blog. This one I envision being a collaborative blog though. I have recently met several other gals who grew up on farms and have this shared experience with me of disconnection and yearning. I would call it "Once Upon a Farm." The three of us could post our thoughts, memories, and experiences of being from a farm family, but no longer living on the farm. All three of us have family still in farming, we just aren't a part of it for various reasons. It's such a unique experience I'm finding. As a young child I knew lots of others who were living on farms. Throughout the 70's and 80's there was a mass exodus from family farming operations though. Again, for various reasons. Each year, the number of other people I knew who were living on farms dwindle rapidly. Now it is such a unique way of having grown up that I would like to preserve the experience as much as possible. Even if just in a little blog. Here we go again!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


This is so, um, I don't know, brash? I am awakening this morning from thoughts about Georgia O'Keeffe and pregnant rivers. I want to do with words what Georgia did with paint. She invited us into the smallest of spaces and opened them to us as vast landscapes. She exploited the tension between what is and where it is. The non-existent boundary between an object and it's surroundings. A seductive touch of surface, object and the caress of our eyes. We are invited to stretch ourselves along the visual curve of a body, to see it at once as a flower, bone, hill. We are challenged to own the joy with Rumi-like passion that borders on sexual. To immerse ourselves in the world around us, to dive into it like warm water, and to experience that as a divine joy rather than a perversion. It is the ultimate invitation to be present in our body.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Meditation Tapes and Reading Pay Off!

This morning I woke up thinking about work. I am going through a slightly stressful time at work right now and yesterday was especially stressful. The day started with a volunteer, that I have grown to think of as family, telling me that her cancer is back. She had been diagnosed with cancer and had surgery shortly before my mom's cancer. Her surgery went extremely well and they were so optimistic that they did not give her chemo. Now it's back and she is scheduled for chemo right away. I care about her and don't want to see her go through this. It also brought up my biggest fear for my mom and that was hard to swallow yesterday. Then there are other personnel issues going on that took a turn for the worse yesterday that just sent the day down the toilet. It ended with finding out that a family lost one of their triplets.

As I was reflecting on these things, laying there in bed, I start spinning off into "what if" scenarios, worst case scenarios and "why" questions. What I didn't notice was that it wasn't just my mind that was wandering down this path. At one point I realized my entire body was tensed. Every muscle was poised for action or braced for impact.

A light bulb went off just as soon as I noticed this and with each breath I allowed my body to relax. I envisioned my muscles unfurling and the thoughts about work vanished. I was able to bring my mind back into the present warmth of the bed and the comfort of Jovi's body next to me. I instantly felt better. It made me wonder how many times I have sunk into this whirlpool of negative/worrying thoughts without noticing what it was doing to my body. This made me grateful that I noticed it this time.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Have I told you yet that I am attachment disordered? Yeah, yoga is perfect for me. Eastern philosophies are good for me. Not in the avoid attachment sense but rather the learn to be in the present with our attachments. I mean, everyone has some sort of disorder or such right? As a cultural anthropologist I also feel like it is less that we are dysfunctional as individuals as it is our culture has not figured out how to deal with our individual gifts.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Impulsive Me

Woke up thinking about how I impulsively look for and friend people on Facebook once in a while. Why do we do this? I know I'm not the only one? Is it some kind of weird addiction? You know they have green therapy now. Of course this was spearheaded in Portland. "What's green therapy," you ask? Well, counseling for those with eco-guilt. Compulsively collecting your food scraps even when you don't have access to compost, arguing with your partner over gray water for your laundry and whether you can afford solar or not - losing sleep thinking about not having solar? Yeah, we have therapy now for that. I laugh, but sign me up.

I think the next big thing will be social networking addiction anonymous. Counseling for those who have little panic attacks when the network is down or they don't have a signal on their phone. "Have you changed your network provider so you can get a signal when camping? You have a problem." I might need help.

Then again, I love that I can connect to people without the formality of a letter and without the face to face rejection/intimacy of a phone call. (That's right I just called a phone all intimate and face to face. Cause that's what it is now.) No awkward, let's get together over coffee when I haven't seen you in years. Sweet bliss of distance for us wallflowers.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Realizing good questions are usually more important, transformative, and meaningful than answers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I'm reading a novel in which a woman reads a novel based on the meeting of Shams of Tabriz and Rumi. Each time I see Rumi's name I am filled with warmth. I can't help but instantly remember longing for the passion about which he writes. I first read Rumi as a Sophomore or Freshman in college. It was an honors seminar entitled "Sacred Meanings." The 6 or 7 of us read works from different religious scholars including Martin Buber, Thomas Merton, and non-traditional scholars like Meinrad Craighead. The Coleman Barks collection entitled Like This was my introduction to the Sufi mystic Rumi.

I had never been in love at this point in my life. I had never understood a passion that would allow oneself to forget oneself. These poems of spiritual passion and longing touched a river inside me that I didn't yet know about. While it would be years before I would abandon myself to that river, I understood the spiritual longing of which Rumi wrote. Well, I understood that there was something missing from my life and that the world around me could be beautiful even if I didn't often see it as such.

I had read some Emerson and Thoreau. I had experienced the Divine in nature. While at times the woods in which I secluded myself as a teenager were isolating and lonely, I had witnessed stillness and connection. Not the ecstatic joy that Rumi sings of instead I encountered a profound quiet. To sit for hours beside a pond, partially engulfed by woods and bordered by fields, I could use all my senses to experience what was going on around me.

While it's difficult to talk about because I know it sounds odd to most people, I had my first spiritual vision there. Laying in the tall, dry grass, looking up at an empty sky, I saw myself as a bird traveling overhead. Then I was the air around the bird - literally the particles of air surrounding the bird. I felt the caress of the feathers, I felt the weight of her wings and my own connection to her. Then I felt my pressure against the surface of the pond and the solidity of the water below me. I felt it pressing back. I became the surface of the water and I could see the body of water below me and the air above me. I could feel the air move across me and the tension of the elements that held me together. This vision went on this way until I was the mud beneath the pond with the fishes and worms and turtles above me, through me.

It was an exquisite experience that I wasn't to share with anyone. It was a little gift I carried around inside me, not truly aware that it was a vision, a glimpse at what I would continue to define as God. I could not articulate this at the time. Partly because I knew most of my friends would either think it blasphemous or they couldn't connect with God this way. To them, well and to me at the time, God was a patriarchal concept that I could not accept and have turned away from. In fact, it has been decades since I've even been able to embrace the word God because I define it so differently than many people. I do not like to use the word. It is so limiting. It invokes a shared image that does not reflect what I want to communicate. I think God is something one can only experience and is far too complex to be captured in a word. God is experience, a verb or adverb.

It is interesting this thread that has run through the course of my life. This interest in that quiet chaos of love, passion, commitment, fellowship, endurance and solitude that is life. I am just now beginning to see that I am walking a path. I am not wandering aimlessly. I have always been on a path. It is in the weaving together of these memories into stories that illuminate that path for me. Each step I take is in concert with the steps I have already taken.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Pants Dreams

Remember dreaming that you were running to the school bus, late again, and part-way there you realize you forgot to put your pants on? Or maybe dreaming about being in class and not knowing you had a major exam that day? Or maybe being halfway to work before you realize you still have your slippers on (oh right, that wasn't a dream).

Last night I had a dream that it was time for me to officiate Jack Nicholson's wedding. The bride and Jack were walking up the aisle before I realized that I had left my folder with the ceremony at home. Panic! The crowd waited while I frantically looked for a copy of the ceremony before finally accepting that I was just delaying the inevitable. Jack came over at that very moment and asked me what was going on. I fessed up and asked if he had a copy on him. Nope. But, he just told me to wing it. I asked if there were any parts that he absolutely didn't want me to forget. Then he looked panicked. Crap!

At this point everyone was drinking and so I took a deep breath, told Jack,  "I got this," and reminded myself to tell everyone to sit down (something I forgot to do at my first wedding). That was it, end of dream. Who knows if I pulled it off or not? And, why Jack Nicholson? Really?

So anyway, the next wedding I officiate isn't for another 4 months, but I'm dreaming about it already?? Is there some bigger message I'm supposed to get here? The bride is extremely organized and prepared for just about everything to do with the wedding already. I will also know just about everyone there. OK so maybe I'm feeling a little performance anxiety.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Just Dreams

No brilliant ideas, just dreams. This is unusual for me though - the dreams. I don't generally remember my dreams and lately I have. Some are delicious dreams like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" type flying dreams. Others so definitely related to my daily life. This morning I awoke from a dream in which I was stretching. Yoga style stretches to work out the kinks from the first week back in boxing. Thank god I have a massage in just a bit.

The funniest part about this dream is that it also happens to be my 39th birthday and well, the body is a bit stiffer. That said, I'm also in some of the best shape I've ever been. Thank you boxing. Now the goal is to get in shape for a trip to Peru next year. I plan to be there for my 40th and this time I want to hike the Inca Trail. So I should be in the best shape ever by then.

Why does this matter? Well, I've always had this thought that once a person hits their 30's they have it "all together." They know who they are, what they "want to be," etc. Then the 40's became the new 30's and well, I started to worry that my generation was going to just spend our lives chasing these milestones... like the 50's are the new 40's and so on.

What does this have to do with dreams? Well, not much really, just that I think I'm ending the 30's here on a good note. I think, in fact, that while I don't have all my shit together and I don't exactly know what I "want to be" that I know who I am a hell of a lot better than I did just 10 years ago.

The 30's have definitely been a Jupiter return decade for me. They've been the decade of coming out, getting divorced, starting and finishing grad school, getting remarried, getting a home, creating a home, putting down roots, they have challenged my family with serious illness, and finally they have been about learning to take care of myself.

I'm excited about this 39th year and I'm excited to put a close to the 30's. I am looking forward to my 40's but in a "being in the present" sort of way. I plan to have the last chapter of my 4th decade of life be fabulous. I'm excited for the dovetail of a decade that has pushed me beyond where I thought I was capable of going and brought me back to a self I never knew I possessed.

Happy birthday dear Maria, M, Chris, (er and Crissy too even). MOG you are coming into your own.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

James, You Foiled Me

I tried to cut and paste together some pictures of James Franco's hair to show you just how unoriginal his "style" is, but apparently I'm not licensed to use the pictures... Well, you can just Google "James Franco hair" and come up with some pictures of him yourself. I'm telling you, his hair is so not his own style. I'm older than he is, I've had this hair way longer.  Then again, if little James, I can do anything, Franco can make short curly morning hair a new style, well, maybe that's good for me. Maybe I could just leave the house with this hair and call it Hollywood Maria. I'm going to go fall asleep in some overpriced lecture now. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

James Franco Stole My Hairstyle

James, when you have naturally Bob Dylan hair, you have to get it wet in the morning. You can't just walk out the door, unless you put on a ball cap. It's not a style, it's a condition. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just Move

There are mornings where I wake up and tell myself, just move. I start to get lost in a sink hole of thoughts. Thoughts about work, thoughts about family, thoughts about my career, thoughts about upcoming projects and conferences. Thoughts that are half-finished before my brain moves on to the next. Anxious undercurrents. I interject, just get up. Just get showered. Go do yoga, do I have time, I need to be on time to work, did I snooze the alarm, what's up for today at work, did I take care of that contract, did I return that call, I should have planted the rest of the garlic this weekend, I didn't get the desk drawers cleaned out... wait, stop. Just move. Just roll over, shove your legs onto the floor, push up, feet in slippers, body toward the door, wrap yourself in the bath robe, get the bathroom light on. Get the shower turned on - don't want to waste water, that'll get me in the shower. Just move.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Morning thoughts for the week...

Didn't have my day off this week so I don't have one single posting. I can sum up what was going through my head this week though...

First off, how can a person not think about the earthquake, tsunami and then nuclear power plant explosions this week?? While what is first and foremost on my mind is the unimaginable situation people in the affected areas must be going through - I can't imagine trying to get through the next few months and then years really of clean-up and recovery.... I can't help but think about the earthquake that's due here. I have asked myself several times this week what kind of preparations have I made? Would they make a difference? How would you make them make a difference - how would you maximize your preparedness? I am certain that most folks in Japan were at least prepared for the earthquake and as much as possible, the tsunami. I am certain it made a difference in many cases.

Jovi and I have talked before about what we would do if an earthquake happened while we were at work, who would try to get home and who would stay sheltered in place. I know where our camp stove is, where our sleeping bags are. I know where the animal crates are. Would we be able to access them?  We have a barrel of rain water that could be used for drinking if boiled. We always have some canned food. I'm sure many other individuals and families on the West Coast are having the same conversations, if not together at least running through it in their minds. I go to bed each night so grateful not to have been in the disaster. So thankful to have shelter, a warm place to be in, no emergency to attend to (not at home), and that my family is all safe and healthy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hello, Good Morning

This is how I feel this morning:

It means, if I hold my eyes open enough, perhaps I will feel awake enough... It's also an "I feel pretty 'cause I had my brows waxed last night," look. I feel like brow waxing removes at least 3 years from my face :  )

Speaking of years, one of my morning thoughts this morning was that I want to have a big birthday party this year. Nothing fancy, maybe bowling like my friend Amy. Just thinking, this is the last time I get to celebrate a 30-something birthday so why not make a big deal out of it? 

I've also been waking up thinking a lot about attachment disorders, what that means to me now, how much I need to think about that and how much I can just "move on" and be in the moment. I'm choosing, when I am conscious of my thoughts about things, to try to take this in an in the moment, awareness challenge. More of a, what might this inform me about how I'm reacting to something or feeling about something right now. Ah therapy, to go once a week or every other week... 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Why did I schedule an 8 AM dental appointment on my day off - for two hours worth of dental work? 
I don't run. What the hell am I thinking? I will be the weakest link. Seriously, who conned me into this? AND I'm running in a tennis skirt? OK, the whole costume part sounds fun. 
Why did I volunteer to make the T-shirts? Oh, wait, I didn't Jovi did. Why am I making them on my day off?
I need to veg today, completely. Yesterday was emotionally hard. I am good at my job, but I don't like telling a family they have to leave when they are sitting in front of me in tears. 
I don't like seeing myself in the angry/sad teenager across from me. 
I love cuddling Jovi. 
Here puppy, come cuddle with us. 
Is that mud on your nose dog??
I need to call mom and grandma. 
My grandma rocks. She is so tough. 
I have attachment issues. Therapy was deep yesterday. 
I judge my own issues so much. 
I am about the happiest I've ever been. 
Catching up with Peter is hilarious. I love our email exchanges. I can't wait to see what he wrote last night. 
I love that there seems to be a thread now running throughout my life, the gap is closing and I feel more whole, more complete, more integrated. 
I loved my two and a half hour lunch with Chris. I love our discussions about life and creativity. 
Time to play music loud and get covered in paint again. 
Errands, schmerrands
Oh damn dental appointment. I could really write a lot this morning. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Let it Come to You

SO I've been talking to my therapist about what's "next" for me. You know, what I want my next career to be. I don't want to just have a different job. I love my job in many ways and I work with great people. It's rewarding work. It's not like I want the same job at a different place. I don't at all. I want something entirely different. No on call phone 24-7 and not so much of the emotional gymnastics. I am thinking maybe I'll become an acupuncturist or something. My therapist says, "Just be open to something new and let it come to you." I'm like, "No, that doesn't work for me. I did that basically all through college and then I was stuck with low-paying entry jobs for liberal arts majors." I've made myself into a type A personality in the last decade and that's not who I've been the rest of my life. She said, "Start keeping a journal then of things that are interesting to you and then think about them and let things percolate." OK, probably not her exact words, but I like that she included some kind of action I could take : )  So I'm trying to percolate.

The other morning I woke up from a fabulous dream that included hot wax. No it wasn't that kind of dream! I dreamt I was taking a class on encaustic painting. I was making my first layers and feeling a little like I wasn't sure I was doing it right. Then, when I was a little way into the class, I stepped back from the piece and looked at it in the light. It looked great!

The next day I was talking to one of my coworkers about it and she mentioned there is a shop that gives classes on encaustic painting! She's going to forward me the info the next time they are offering workshops. Percolate, percolate.

Then I was asked to perform another wedding. Several friends have said I should do this on the side and that I could probably ask for a couple hundred bucks per wedding. Not sure I could get that much or that I'd want to do this for anyone but friends, but still.... percolate, percolate....

Trying to see opportunities in non-traditional places and work that doesn't look like typical work.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sick, Snuggly, Mine - Weekend

I will sleep as late as a I want, I "don't" hear the dog, Jovi's turn.
I may agree to a "I'll make you breakfast if you get out of bed" bargain.
I will not shower.
I may take cold medicine and sleep longer.
I will run the fireplace even though it's probably 45 out.
I will wear Jovi's sweatshirt because I have no clean clothes.
I will download 20 bucks worth of music that makes me happy.
I will blog till it's time to eat again.
I will sip on this chai for hours.
I may go bra-less all day long.
I may make something or I may be completely unproductive.
I will daydream all day long.
Snuggly blankets, thick socks, puffy soft eyes,
there is comfort in the stillness required by being sick and on a Saturday....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Illusions of Grandeur

I secretly, deep-down harbor a hope that my words, diaries, boring class papers and half-assed artistic attempts will outlive me. And I don't mean they will linger in an attic buried in dust for a decade after I'm gone. I fantasize about them being "discovered" "finally" and lauded as brilliant pearls. "How sad she never knew what a talented and appreciated artist she was," they will say.

There are two issues with this closely held wish of mine. If I'm talented enough that later folks will appreciate and want to be exposed to my thoughts then why don't I take a risk at present failure and try to produce more and put my thoughts and ideas out there now. The opposite side of that is that my inner monologue is also its own worst enemy. As soon as the little diva inner Maria says "my voice matters, I have something of import to add to the body of what is public," the inner critic Maria (who is quite articulate and intelligent) adds "you have unrealistic beliefs in your abilities and you intrinsically know that you only have mundane things to say."

The real problem is that the diva is maybe six years old and the critic likes 50 cent words that diminish the diva. Damn inner conflict. Inner.... wait, watching this 18 month old at the table next to me throw crayons at the table of "auteurs" trying to have an extremely significant conversation is more fun right now.