Musician and Activist devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage

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Perfectly Still

If I stay like this

Maybe I’ll disappear

Maybe this isn’t real

It’s been so long, these few seconds

If I can find you

I promise I’ll care for you

Please don’t hide too well

Because I’ll need help

In my delicate search

There’s so much to tell

You can step on this body

I can’t even understand

In fact I can’t see you

Faces drifting through fingers like sand
Once teeth gritting and a frozen spine

Succumbed to what you took from me that was mine

Frozen, frozen solid, perfectly still.


Prelims cont.. because I talk so much… personal development taking time

Well, today was also a continuation of preliminaries. (again thank you for the candles and well wishes.) Today I took a test on potential dissociative behavior. I had to answer about 15 to 20 questions related to how much I check out in terms of daily life. She asked me questions about when I’m driving do I ever arrive somewhere and not remember how I got there. She asked me if when I’m talking to people and forget what they say or check out while they’re talking… going off in a daydream of something else. I do that sometimes for sure… There were a lot of questions like that and in the end I asked her what exactly she was trying to figure out with this test and she said that on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highly dissociative, I’m about to five or six. That means that I have the ability to put on a face when I need to because I had to in situations to survive.  Sometimes people’s traumatic experiences create the need for whole other personalities… Interestingly, I just had to deal with that over the weekend, putting on a face when I was just about to break open inside. Insert Tori Amos song here:

So here’s some comic relief… Because I am such a verbal processor, we didn’t get to the EMDR therapy today, because I am verbose.. At the end of the session she said, please don’t take offense when I interrupt you and stop you’re processing, it’s not me being disrespectful, it’s that this process really doesn’t need explaining, it just needs for you to feel it. I have no idea what that means, I guess I’m such a verbal processor with what’s going on inside my mind that this is going to be a whole new experience for me.

So now that I’ve gone two weeks without actually starting the therapy and going into the office thinking that I would, there’s even more anxiety about it… Ha ha funny not funny. At least this week I don’t feel like I’m soft as a peach and about to splatter all over the floor. I feel pretty guarded right now and curious about what’s going to happen next. What’s going to happen in the next couple of hours is it I’m going to lay down after taking a walk and then I’m going to come back home and make pickles. That’s what’s going to happen in the immediate future. I’m going to put some love into some pickles.

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Well, I misunderstood, I thought that I would be starting the EMDR therapy today. It actually starts next time, so thanks for all the candles… 

Today was just a “get to know you” sort of day with the woman who will be working with me. I like her a lot. It’s affirming when someone acknowledges your trauma(s) experience(s), it makes you feel understood and validates your existence (since it is difficult sometimes for me to validate my own existence.) 

We went through a timeline I had to create of all the abuses, neglects, and traumatic experiences from my life, up to now, the ongoing abandonment. Making that list wasn’t hard, but going through it was. It was difficult again telling someone new all of the things…. I’ve probably been through six or seven different therapy sessions with different therapists throughout the years and it’s always difficult to start over with the story. The lovely thing here is that I liked her immediately, and she didn’t need to know the details. That something about EMDR therapy that I already like. I don’t have to go into the gory details, I don’t even have to say anything.

She is very confident that while the EMDR therapy will be successful with me because I am so open, she alerted me that it will be very triggering and will bring up a lot within my body and my awareness. I told her I’m game. I’m SO game. 

Right now I feel very soft and ripe like a fuzzy peach, but if I’m not careful and I drop myself.. I’m afraid I’ll splatter all over the floor.  I’m girding my loins, yet also (and definitely) open to this journey, no matter where it takes me. 

(If you’re reading this and wondering, “why the hell is she sharing this publicly and on the Internet?” It’s because I’m not the only one who has experienced this sort of stuff and I would like to make an example out of the journey that I’m on so that other people may find it inspiring to open themselves up and heal from their hurt.)

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I am not ashamed. I am learning.

As of late, I have been learning some very important information about myself. This information comes from years and years and years, perhaps my entire lifetime of searching for something that I could not find. I could not grasp. I would venture and dare to say that it was held back from me, until the right time, which is now. I can’t tell you anything that has meant more to me than the realization that an aspect of my personality, learned as a very, very young child has come to the forefront of my awareness. I was first introduced to the notion of codependency about 3 1/2 weeks ago. At first I was completely turned off by the term. I was in a therapy session and the term offended me. I said out loud, “codependency? That’s not me. Fuck that! I’m not my mother!” Right after I said that, ironically, I softened, felt guilty for expressing my feelings to my therapist (ha!), and accepted the book my therapist handed me. I didn’t realize what I was opening myself to. Just reaching across the room, with the curiosity I seem to have an insatiable amount of, has changed my worldview. I took the book home and devoured it. I read and highlighted that book with fervor that I can only express as a voracious need to heal, because I have work to do. I have a world around me and somehow I feel driven to be an agent of change. I have so much gratitude for the support and love of everyone in my life. Right now however, for the first time, I am showing up for me. I’ve been showing up for everyone else for so long and I can only do the work of fighting for true justice if I can give justice to myself. The small child inside me deserves justice just like all the other children in this world deserve it. All of the other children and children of children and adults who are still children. We don’t deserve to stay broken, and this journey is helping me put the pieces back together. Whether you have experienced sexual, emotional, or physical neglect and/or abuse, if you resonate with anything that I’m saying right now, please listen to this podcast and take notes on the resources that are discussed. I will further explain and update about this process. The eternal, or rather seemingly eternal replay of self deprecating words and thoughts to myself and about myself are slowly beginning to dissipate. I feel more liberated right now than I have ever, I am crying right now just saying these words out loud. I lived in fear most of my life, and I am sure that surprises most of you, because what you’ve seen throughout the years is a glimmer of who I am but also a very clear view of who I wanted you to see. The conflicted person who, I should say this with gentleness, very much hated herself and thought she deserved nothing was very much ashamed. Through much sorrow, they say, comes much joy. (insert Kahlil Gibran quote here

 I don’t know that “Joy” very well at all. I learned very early on that nobody and nothing in this world was safe. I learned this before I was two years old. I learned it over and over again, in fact, I was learning it up until three weeks ago. Thankfully, my grandparents offered temporary respite from the world I lived in as a little girl. Even more thankfully, I am offering respite to myself now.  I’ve only seen the shadow of joy and I want to truly experience it and relinquish my need for control (out of fear that I might lose it), this I am working on. Sending all of you so much love and appreciation, and yet also I am now beginning to send myself the same love and appreciation. Again I have work to do, and I may only get this lifetime to be aware of it.

Careful with this one, very explicit:

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Day 8: 3581 miles driven: leaving California to Bend

12:30 PM PST I just went flower picking and walking through an old grove, ancient Redwood stand called the Stout Memorial Grove. I am driving to Bend, OR as we speak. And I just saw Montana license plate. These roads are very windy, curvy and steep. They are doing construction on them, all of them.  I don’t care, this is the most beautiful drive. Last night I spent the night in Florence Keller Regional County Park. It cost $15. I had to drive into town in order to get change so I could pay for it.  I went to bed around 1130 last night, a little later than I had anticipated but car trouble and getting lost a few times make that happen I guess. So I went to Jedediah Smith state park last night. The campground was full. I had not anticipated this.  Frightened that I might have to stay in a hotel (yikes!), I walked around searching for someone to talk to. I heard a man’s voice speaking emphatically about the Redwood forest. It was right behind the ranger station in an amphitheater where Brad was standing. Brad was one of the most handsome people of ever seen. He was giving a presentation about how much he loves the Redwoods State Park and he was a Ranger. He was probably only about 27.  Giving a presentation to a bunch of youngsters and their parents, it was about 8:45 at night when I arrived mid-presentation.  I sat through the presentation and was really intrigued by the amount of information that he was spouting out. I was also enamored because he was so handsome! You know when you get tongue-tied because you can’t think of anything but how handsome somebody is? That’s how I felt. So after the presentation, I knew a lot more about the Redwoods than I did when I arrived, which was very very cool and useful information. After his presentation I waited to talk to him so I could ask him where I can camp. I wanted to ask if I could camp at his house… but I refrained. (HAHA) He was very nice and gentlemanly of course, he pulled out a map and showed me two campgrounds that I could try out. After that I picked my drool up off the ground and got out of there soon. …When I say as soon as possible I mean I waited like a creeper and watched him leave. No I did not follow him! I wanted to…

So first I went onto the campsite that was closest to the park entrance. That place was super creepy. There was a trashcan that had been turned over and strewn about by a bear and no lights. It was super dark. You have to put $15 in cash into an envelope and then stick it in the iron box, but I didn’t have $15. I was super bummed and I wanted to spend the night anyway because I didn’t want to do anymore driving, but I did not feel comfortable staying without paying. I also didn’t feel comfortable because the place was crazy creepy too. So I opted to try out the other location Brad suggested. The other location was also a county park, so it cost of the same amount of money. So I went to the gas station, retrieved $40 out of my account, got change and then proceeded to Florence Keller Park. I was all ooked out.  It was dark, it was late, and honestly I was exhausted from driving and scared of the solitude (bears mostly). But I swallowed my fear and found a campsite. I set up my tent with my highbeams on, and the whole time I heard an owl that I’ve never heard before. There was also this other sound, and that sort of sounded like when Dorothy was walking through the enchanted Forest and the monkeys came out of the trees, I was even more anxious then. But I went with it…. So I had to go back into my car and drive up to the bathroom where the iron box deposit location was. At this point my nerves were shot, I was extremely tired, but I was reeling on adrenaline. So while I was filling out my campsite information and putting the money in the envelope something amazing happened. If any of you know me, you know that I’m a big cat person.  I used to have a cat named Babydoll, she was a black cat and she was my best pal for almost 16 years. So back to the story, a huge, sweet black cat came up to my ankles and started purring. This cat calmed my heart. I dubbed it Camp Kitty. I looked around and right behind me was the campground host (I had somehow missed this when driving around), and right cross the road from the host was an empty campsite. I wanted to camp near this cat. We were getting along swimmingly, and I wasn’t ready to go back to my witch of the West dark, scary campsite. So I did something ridiculous, but I’m glad I did it.  I drove back over to the scary campsite, partially took down my tent, put it on the hood of my car and drove it to the empty campsite. Looking back at that makes me laugh a whole lot but I’m so glad I made that decision. I went to bed with peace of mind after having a 15 minute petting session with this amazing huge black cat.
There is also some really good rock ‘n’ roll playing in the bathroom quietly, I couldn’t hear it from my tent. So I slept like a champ. I set my alarm for seven, but I didn’t wake up until 830. I got up, called for the black cat and it came to me. I rearranged and organized the mass of stuff in my car, brushed my teeth, and then drove to the Jedediah back entrance. I walked amongst the Redwoods, I hiked up in between them. I FaceTime’d with my grandmother and grandfather so they could see those enormous, majestic trees. For some reason perhaps existence of the age of the trees, I felt an immense calm in those groves. I was also hyper excited about it too, I’d been waiting for this for a long long time, and still had no idea what to expect. Now that I’m commencing on the rest of my journey,  I still don’t know what to expect. That’s the lesson I am sure.

12:55 PM I am almost to Oregon. I just saw a giant logging truck. I wish they wouldn’t cut these trees down. There’s only 5% left of old-growth forest in this country. I learned from Brad’s talk yesterday that the entire northern hemisphere was covered in giant redwood trees millions of years ago during the Pleistocene. Steven Spielberg filmed Jurassic Park 2 in the Jedediah Smith Park. The groves here, they are so dense. He also told us that you can tell the difference between an old growth forest and a new growth forest that’s been logged before by the fact that old-growth forest don’t have a huge undergrowth. It’s mostly ferns and short shrubberies. There were lots of just-about-to-bloom Trillium all over the place. I am so glad that I did not skip this part just because I was behind on account of my tires. I was considering not camping and just doing a day visit, I have Peter to thank for the encouragement to spend the night. He reminded me that I did drive all the way across the country and that was one of my goals.  To wake up in the redwood forest. It happened!

1:10 PM PST I have entered Oregon it is 54° I have 100 miles left on this gas tank.

2:05 PM you know soon as you get in Oregon it turns into a circus. There’s a wildcat gallery, people looking all crazy. Tons of hobnob corn on the cob businesses. I’m about to go see the Oregon caves information. Also you don’t have to pump your own gas in Oregon.

I am on the Rogue River highway and just passed by a road called Peckerwood Lane. It made me laugh out loud. I need a shower, so I’m going to stop at the state park, shower and put on clean underwear. Looking very much forward to that.

5:10 PM entering the Rogue River Siskiyou national Forest, 33 miles from Crater Lake on East 62.  I have just decided to go to Crater Lake.  It’s one of the deepest lakes in the world! Ancient and Magical!

5:30 PM Driving on 62 W. there’s snow on the ground it’s 37° and I am entering Crater Lake national Park.  Unbelievable, I can’t believe it’s 37° and there was a sign back there that said you need snow tires or chains… I think that my four-wheel-drive should be sufficient. We’ll see!

Nope.. turns out the roads that I wanted to take closed due to snow.  Looks like my four-wheel-drive would not have been sufficient. Anyway I’m back on 62 now and I am going down to another road, Highway 97 toward Bend.  I stopped at the guest center/restaurant/gift shop at Crater Lake and went in just flabbergasted at the weather conditions.  As soon as I started talking, all the people there started laughing and asking where I’m from.  They love my Southern accent and all the euphemisms I carry along with me (thanks Paw Paw).  I bought a Crater Lake Book in lieu of the weather denying me the vision.

6:30 PM I just saw a giant, enormous rainbow and it was literally right next to me! There is such a huge smile on this face.

Just saw my first Aspen Circle.

The aspens are all over now, they’re beautiful.

Now I’m on 97 N. headed towards Bend, about two hours away. I’m going to stop in Bend and get some warmer clothes. I only brought this one fleece… it’s COLD!

There are of these beautiful little purple flowers on the side of the road I’m on.  Lupine, they smell so nice!!

Entering Wimena State Park!
Newberry national volcanic monument and the local caves…
I’m about 10 miles from Bend, so excited to see  my dear friend Stephen and chill out for a few days.  In Bend I will explore a marijuana dispensary and Stephen’s going to show me around the town.  I’ve left the planning up to him, so I’m unaware of what I’ll see or where we’ll go!

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Day 7 3274 miles driven, raining in Snag City! Redding CA to Redwoods.

7:30 AM PST I am driving to the Subaru dealership in Redding California. Looks like I have to get four new tires. I’m going to see what I can figure out here, but tonight’s the night I’m sleeping in the Redwoods.  I also will hopefully get to see you, my dear friend Maisy in Eureka California today!

They say it never rains in California, however it’s raining today…

Also, found out last night that something sad happened in Saxapahaw.. that’ll rock my little Community for a while… 😦

12:55 PM Pacific standard time, plans have changed, yet I am now leaving Snagville. I’ve been at the Subaru dealership since 7 AM this morning. These people are wonderful even though I don’t want to be here. Turns out I need four new tires and they provided that service. The service guy named Jason was awesome, he agreed with me that Greensboro should have done a better job. He also said that once I get back I should take this up with them.  I said next to this lady named Debbie who was very sweet and inquisitive and looked you in the eye when she was speaking to you. She and I talked about dreams; I told her that one day I want to go visit the Great Rift Valley. She said that she was born in Argentina and now that her youngest son is graduating she’s thinking in three years she’d like to return.  Once I left the dealership, the new tires sounded so loud, I turned around and got one of their mechanics to ride with me to make sure everything was good.  Upon returning, Debbie said, if you need a place to stay tonight, you can stay with me.  That was such a kind gesture.  I am going to call her upon my safe return to NC to get her address to send her a gift of thanks.  My car was fine though, new tires were a harder version, more long-lasting and they are just louder than my old ones.  Safe and sound! (Loud sound.)

I am now driving on the 299 and I will be in Crescent City right outside of Jedediah Smith state park in about five or six hours. I was going to go visit my friend Maisy, but since I left the Subaru dealership so late, I would not be able to make it to see her and get to the Redwoods by nightfall. Huge bummer that I’m going to miss her.  She and her man tried their damndest to get me to come anyway and stay with them.  I wanted to, but the Redwoods were calling.

So the 299 goes all the way to Arcata and I am on a national scenic byway. Looks like I’m going through another set of mountains. Shasta Trinity National Forest. Looks like it’ll be a good ride, it’s foggy outside and rainy. Looks like I’m gonna get wet. Glad about my raincoat, but Rob Brezsny says that I should just get naked.

It’s 55° out here, I hope I’m warm enough tonight in my tent. I hope there’s a tent space. Oh my God! What is that body of water over there? It’s beautiful! Right outside at Whiskeytown California, I thought it was Shasta Lake, but it isn’t.

I’ll tell you what I want to figure out what lake this is. Also, Right now I want to tell you about how much Californians seem to put into adopting highways. There are tons of signs that say this person or that organization or this business adopted this highway. I’m crossing whiskey Creek Bridge right now.  Saw a sign that said no jumping from the bridge, but I bet people do that all the time. The water’s really choppy right now and I think Whiskey Creek is what that body of water is.

What I wouldn’t give for some pimento cheese right now…

My surroundings are green, lush and rocky.  Dang it’s pretty out here; I just passed a road called Grizzly Gulch.

Passing by Tower House historical District. I’m 130 miles to Eureka. I’m not going down into Eureka I’m going north from the cut off there.
I’m getting really hungry. I had a bowl of cereal while I was waiting at the Subaru place. While Jason was doing a walk around my car, I was eating cereal.  He said “You know I thought I had seen it all, but I have never done a walk around with someone eating a bowl of cereal.” This was a first for him. I thought that was pretty awesome. We all were very entertained today. He kept asking me to keep talking because he loved my accent.

1:20 PM I don’t know what Redwoods look like, but these are some big ass Pine trees I’m driving through right now. Also this road is definitely satisfy my need for speed, these new tires are bad ass and hugging the road like nobodies business. These curves are awesome. Ha ha that’s what she/he/they said.

I’m going 75 mph and the motorcycle in front of me is going even faster than me. We both just passed a cop is hopefully neither one of us is going to get pulled over.

Sky just opened up and I can see a little bit of blue and all of the beautiful green trees to my right down in the valley.

Just was riding by really beautiful Creek called Indian Creek. It looks like a river to me but then again everything so much bigger out here they probably call that a creek. The Colorado is a river. Indian Creek goes into the Trinity River. I’m going to stop up here this rest stop and eat some snacks.

3:10 PM Pacific standard time I just had to stop in a tiny little town called Weaverville, California. It was that his hippiest town I’ve ever been in. I stopped to get some socks and a hat. I ended up talking to this lady about the Redwoods and the Grandmothers (Sequoias) and then I went to the store across the street (Mamma Llama’s) to get a sandwich, gluten-free crazy sandwich, delicious. Then I went to the grocery store and got some tomatoes because I want another tomato sandwich because I don’t have any more. I also got a new bumper sticker. It says “nonviolence: weapon of mass compassion”  I love it! They’re doing road work construction but I just saw sign that said I’m 64 miles to the 101. Driving on the 101 has been a life goal. Driving The entire 101 is a goal that I will have to commence accomplishing later, but even a little stretch of it is going to be good.

La La La I am totally digging this drive right now. Even with the roadwork in between times is really awesome. There’s Trinity River to my left, it looks beautiful I can’t believe there aren’t any people kayaking on it, but I don’t know the details of the river either. These hills are super tall going over this bridge right now.

Sitting still waiting on the traffic to go by with all the roadwork, the car in front of me is listening to Robert Johnson. I’ve turned my car off.  The breeze, the Robert Johnson, the warm sun on my left arm, the blue sky, the amber essence oil I have on… all mished up together smells and feels really magical. Wonder if anybody’s ever thought that before while waiting in traffic. Looks like we’re moving again.

Listening to Paul Simon “Born at the right time” album Rhythm of the Saints.  Just entering Six Rivers Forest.

Just saw a building that was nondescript but it said “The Whole Enchilada”  Giggle.

I am now entering Humboldt County
Just crossed over the North Fork of the Mad River, and I believe I have entered beginning of the Redwoods.

4:26 PM Pacific standard time I have just entered Highway 101 north towards Crescent city. I literally just giggled like a little girl and stomped my feet in the car.

4:36 PM I’m driving on the 101. I have 68 miles until I get to Crescent City and I’m beside myself. I’m actually beside the ocean, but beside myself as well.  Going to pull off here in a little bit see if I can get to the ocean.  Don’t know what will happen if I do that, I’m going to try.

5:35  You will have to stop, that’s a rule. I think I just saw some water buffalo I just drove through. So I stopped at clam Beach toes in, sand artwork, picked up some rocks. My right pocket is full. Only one of them is heart-shaped though.
Driving on the Redwood Highway. *melt*

Just saw the highway sign that said Elk Highway. I bet you those animals I saw a little while ago in the lagoon we’re actually elk.

Just stopped again to play in the ocean. I don’t know what this place is called but it has black tiny tiny tiny pebbles for me!!  I also got my Pennsylvania State tag here in the family of 4, 3 of which were wearing black sweatshirt and Brown pants.  I told them they were matching, they knew that already.

7:35pm, Thursday: Drove through Crescent City, sat on the edge of the North American continent here in California and watched seals swim in the undulating mother ocean. Had a talk on the phone with a friend back home, then Peter, and then shared that magical moment with my grandmother (even though it was almost 11pm her time).  There was nothing that could’ve interrupted the peace and gratitude that I felt at that moment. Then I went off to find my campsite, got lost in the dark (thanks GPS), and then finally found the Jedediah Park campground.