Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I wanted to say this before the frenzied urge to change began.  I started to think about this in November. Probably in the middle of some seemingly pressing life challenge that had me wishing for the early demise of the year.  The Universe packed a lot of lessons into this year. Thank the Gods, but enough already.  SO about resolutions.  I probably stopped making them when my bad habits were needed to combat my frustrations. 

Anyway, as I considered the end of 2009 and looked to 2010 with great expectation and excitement, I realized that there is one main thing I wanted to resolve once and for all.  This thing has been a comfort for most of my adult life especially when I considered the alternative. I have enjoyed this thing and used it successfully to excuse many manageable behaviors.  It helped me feel good, safe, coccooned in warmth and cradled in comfort.  Unfortunately, I have always been able to be an observer of my life as well as a participant.  In the mode of observer that I almost always return to, I've been able to see this thing for what it really is, a crutch.  A really valid excuse to ignore myself, a really good reason not to change.  I mean fear is real right? Feeling safe is important, right? 

Well, the thing that has challenged me is my weight.  As a person who has thrived through incest and rape, my weight was a great hiding place for me.  After all, no one would want a body that was this much overweight. I would have panic attacks when I lost significant weight. I would hear the tapes of former thoughts replayed in my mind....This was your fault; If you didn't look like that no one would've done this to you; You have no one else to blame but yourself; You made them do this;

Rationally I know that incest and rape have nothing to do with the person who is being attacked and everything to do with the attacker.  These are not sexual acts, but acts of violence.  I could not prevent what happened to me.  No matter how much I weigh now or then, if someone put their minds to attacking me, they would still come.  I also know that I was a child and this was not my fault.  As I say it again now, I can feel the truth and conviction of those words.  So, if I embrace the weight I am or work to change it, I now get to do that for me.  Not in reaction to something I've already forgiven but as a conscious choice.

I resolve to be free of that past.  I resolve to take the final steps in bringing that little girl out from the shadows and into the Light.  I resolve to be mindful of what I eat. I resolve to put myself first.  I resolve to move more. I resolve to be happy in my body. I resolve to be gentle with myself. I resolve to rest more. I resolve to take care of myself.  I resolve to ask for help when I need it. I resolve to be the best version of me.  I resolve to treat this temple that is my body with reverence.

So mote it be!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yule / Solstice

My community and I celebrated the Winter Solstice on Saturday night. The actual Solstice day is today and is the longest night.  After today, the days begin to once again grow longer.  This day is a celebration of the rebirth of the Sun and in Wiccan commnities, the celebration would include the lighting of fires, candles, dancing, drumming, chanting all in celebration of the Sun's gaining power over the darkness.

This time of year inspires introspection, evaluation and rumination.  It's a time to look at where the year has taken us and whether there is someplace else we may want to go.  We light fires for warmth against the cold as well as a symbol of the growing heat of the Sun.  Fire transforms all that it touches and is an important elelment to work with during this time.  We celebrate not only the growing light but we recognize that the darkness and cold are also important.  Without these times we get too caught up in the doing and busyness of life and forget to take stock, to go within. 

This celebration and subsequent introspection is a part of our religious practice as Wiccans. It is about moving in time with the pulls of Nature.  All else is asleep, why are we fussing?  The bear is long asleep in her cave.  The groundhog and rabbits are in their burrows well stocked for the needs of winter.  Yet, here we are busy.  As Americans unless our lives are centered around the seasons, we don't always take the time to notice their passing.  A farmer would, a beekeeper, anyone who works outdoors, anyone that drives for a living.  We tend to see the seasons in relation to the holidays and forget the natural world around us.  The trees have their winter coats on, as do the deer.  The seeming barrenness of the trees always reminds me of their bravery, their willingness to move with and surrender to Nature's urgings.

So, have a wonderful holiday season and embrace the gift that this time of introspection offers freely, willingly and without attachment.  Give yourself a gift of silence and time to truly reflect on what has passed, not to dwell on it but to learn from it and look forward to the New Year with expectancy, excitement.  Declare the year you want to have and allow yourself to have it.  Here's a hint:  if the lesson you glean from your introspection does not lighten your heart and put a smile on your face, you're doing it wrong....LOL.

Have a glorius Yuletide season!!  Enjoy the time of quiet.  Embrace the New Year with joy!!

Merry Yule!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I was talking today about the many people I've lost in the past 6 months.  It was an interesting feeling to  purposely remember them.  A couple of them I had never met but I could empathize with my friends who lost their loved ones.  I could remember what it felt like when it was me in abject disbelief that this person so full of life could be gone. 

There are many beliefs about what happens when you die.  Some say that we are lost forever and that our life is over, ashes to ashes and dust to dust.  Really? I don't know about that. 

Some say that we are evaluated, judged by the divine who then decides whether our eternity will be spent in heaven or hell. Others have a belief in pergutory, a holding place that allows us to repent for our sins and be forgiven.  That seems like punishment as well. I mean if I make mistake, shouldn't I be taught better?

As I mourn my friends and empathize with other friends about those we've lost, I have a hard time with any scenarios that doesn't lead to new life and bliss.  I remember when Princess Di and Mother Theresa died, we were living in Brooklyn.  I was sitting on my stoop saddened by these losses and an image came into my mind that persisted.  I saw the Earth spinning away in Space surrounded in Light.  The energies of the those that had crossed over were adding their energies to the collection of light beings supporting those of us left behind.  I believe we do go everywhere all at once. 

The limitations we allowed when we had bodies are released at the time of death and the magnificence of our souls explodes into everywhere. 

I feel like those that have crossed over are still with me, inspiring me, protecting me, nudging me, letting me know I'm loved.  For the ones that I knew personally, my memories of them come up at interesting times. Pouring a glass of wine in one of Rosemary's old glasses or wearing the hematite necklace that Barbara made for me.  Sitting outside in the sun with Margaret having lunch. Ted taught me how to use the image of the dragon to call in the quarters before meditation and to meditate with them.  They left an indelible mark on me.  I can remember them and celebrate them.  Whatever conflict there was in our relationship doesn't matter anymore. 

There transition taught me that nothing matters but the next heart beat, the next breath and with each comes new opportunity, with each comes change and new perspective if we allow it. 

So, the lesson in all this change is, why not now?  I'll forgive you eventually so why not now? Why not allow the experience of bliss now? Why not allow the experience of joy, now? Why not love, hope, laugh, now? Why not smile now? Why not appreciate what I have now?  There really is nothing worthy of our unhappiness. There really is nothing more important than our joy. 

I know you're probably thinking that your situation is different, your anger is justified, your pain is different.  What if it's not?  What if my anger, pain, disappointment is just as real and significant as yours?  What if I simply chose a different perspective? What if I just gave mine a different level of priority and made my happiness more important than my circumstance?  What if I just looked at my life from the standpoint of my epitaph and asked myself how important is this really from that vantage point? 

As I ponder the lives of those that crossed over, I know I haven't lost them really. They just get to be available to a lot more people and they are lending their energy to assist us with bodies to enjoy ourselves and be happy.  I would prefer to imagine my loved ones this way.  We really do live forever.  Our bodies just wear out ever so often.

See you later Rosie, Margaret, Ted, Paul, Tina's brother, Edgar's brother, Barbara. Thanks for taking care of us.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


On my ex-husband’s 46th birthday, our daughter and her husband closed on their new apartment. I heard my head say “my little girl owns her own place.” I understood more now what that woman had said to me about how it feels to watch her daughter grow up and be a Mom.

I have been a watcher all my life. From watching my Father’s birds in their cage, I watched the fear in my Mother’s face the night he threatened to kick her up and heard it in her voice the night he brought me back from that adventure on the back of his bicycle.

I watched as my aunt was thrown into the mirror on her wardrobe by her husband and watched again when she retaliated by breaking a plate on his head. I watched as his blood stained the pillow. I watched too when she told her mother that she had thrown away her wedding ring and watched her dug up the yard to find it. I watched as Morris' body was driven away in a car never to walk me to the store again and watched again as his spirit came to visit me, all this before I was nine.

I watched as my mother’s husband molested and raped me and watched as my childhood receded. I watched as we lived our very high life and watched as friends walked away when the light of truth was shown. I watched as our lives crumbled and watched myself spin out of control. All before I was 14. I watched it all. Some things I remember, some I see on my movie screen as an outsider, an observer, separate. So many ways to feel; So many points of rage and sadness; so much time past.

New page, new day, my daughter gives me hope. She was the first right thing I had ever done in my life. She made up for all the pain. She is the reason I would not change the past because I’m afraid that I’d miss her and that whatever the ingredients were that went into her making would somehow be lost. I am here for her and now also for my son. They are my reason my why, my reward for this past. They give me hope. Would he be different if he weren’t a premie? Would he be as sensitive, as intuitive as caring? Would he remember the things he does, attract the people he draws to himself, be as loved as he is. I would be unrecognizable without them. They saved my life, gave me a reason to live when the hole in my soul threatened to consume me. I remember why and the why extends to the people I can touch with my work, to the people I impact in my job. I remember the rest of my family the ones born to different mothers. I pull myself from the ledge, have a good cry for myself and find someone to talk to. I remember how fortunate I am to have my circle and I am humbled in the presence of the Old Ones.

Surely now I can begin to look at myself. Surely now the path can turn within. Surely now I can take inventory of all that I have for my journey. I love and am loved in return. Love was never our problem.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Who Am I?

I am the slave in chains and the slaveholder
I am the child whose life was taken and the Mother that took it
I am the Earth that is dying as my body is dying

I am the fucking evening news and the smiling face that reports it
I am the mangled body of a hungry child and the one that says "it's someone else’s problem"
I am the victim of countless crimes and the perpetrators of those crimes

I am the light that shines from the sky and the sky itself
I am the creator, the chooser, the One
I am all there is and the limitless possibility of what can be

I am the chosen One.
Written February 1996

Monday, December 7, 2009


There are places that I go that are secret.
Secret from the world of

Secret from the world of

Places I can go and let
my hair down
my clothes down
my guard down

There are places where I am
nobody’s anything
no labels
no roles

Those that know me in my secret places
would not speak what they witness
to those outside
the trick is to connect
within to without
above to below

There are places that I go that are secret.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The dog that saw a rainbow

Thanks to the movie Kate and Leopold, I learned that dogs don't see color, who knew? Certainly not me.  I have been using this as an analogy for staying true to my vision.  I am a business owner and I am quite passionate about my business and I'm very hands on.  I can analyze data, review facts, read contracts, write policies, manage anything but at the end of the day if the results of my activities don't pass the gut check, I won't move forward.  I think quite effectively on my feet and in motion. 

My partners and I don't always see eye-to-eye on things and that's ok the diversity of thought and perspective is important.  Where they lose me is when the day-to-day struggles of running a business in this economy are allowed to be bigger than the business itself.  I believe in what I'm doing. We are already successful and the proof is on it's way. I am always that dog that sees the colors of the rainbow. I am always the one to stay positive. The glass is always half full.  Somtimes those beliefs are only skin deep as I face the challenges of my life. Most of the time I know and that knowing sees me past the obstacles. 

So I invite you to join me in being the dog that sees the rainbow no matter how gray life may appear to be.

Monday, November 30, 2009


I know that some women feel somewhat put out when a man stands when they walk into a room or holds the door open for them, leads them into or out of a room and takes their coat at the coat check counter.  I have often wondered why these acts are so offensive to them. I had a wonderful opportunity to spend time with a true gentleman.  He was soft spoken, smiled easily, quick witted, easy to talk to and lots to say, he was kind.  There was no discomfort in his way of being. This is just who he is.  He wasn't trying to impress me, or hit on me, or demean me in anyway. He wanted to hear what I had to say and wanted to share his thoughts as well. It was truly wonderful to meet and spend time with this person.

So ladies, it's ok to be treated like a lady. It takes nothing from us or our abilities.  Yes, I can pull in my own chair, put on and take off my own coat. I can open my own door and ask the waiter for more water or wine.  I can do all those things for myself and it's nice that there are men in the world who feel perfectly comfortable doing all those things for me with no strings attached, no ulterior motive.  I am not less intelligent, or less anything else.  It is simply how I prefer to be treated and I was fortunate enough to spend time with someone today who was perfectly comfortable with my preference.

Someone once told me that the Women's movement did more to harm women than anything else.  I don't know that it did more to harm us.  I think that somehow though our ways of being that were natural to us were undermined in someway. We judged those who wanted to be mothers as somewhat less ambitious.  From the perspective of my present, I can honestly say that I have no regrets in my life. Every thing I 've done has brought me to this moment.  I have often wondered what my now would be like if I wasn't so driven in my career.  How would my now look if I had been a fulltime Mom?  What would my children be like?  Don't get me wrong, we managed to raise 2 successful children but I do wonder sometimes.

I am many things in this world.  I am a mother, a wife, a business owner, a friend, a daughter, a traveller but first and foremost a lady who enjoys being treated as such.  So, I call forth the gentleman in every man.  Chivalry is not dead, its just been on a hiatus.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Beautiful morning beautiful road no traffic
Monster recycling truck pulls out blocking my view, my space
How do I get around it?
Slow moving monster down my still beautiful street

The monster turns where I turn
Goes where I go
I want to be in front of the monster
I want him behind me

New turn, new road, broken yellow lines, no traffic
I rev my engine cross the line
Leaving the recycling truck far behind

“That was easy”, I thought
My views returned, expansive, rolling hills
My space returned, no barriers
Enjoying my beautiful morning, beautiful road

What happened?
I chose what I wanted
Universe responded with clear vision
I acted, no barriers, just action

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Many of the people that know me would probably describe me as unconventional, different, on the fringes.  I would probably echo those comments and add some of my own.  I may even tell myself or say out loud that I don't care what anyone thinks of me or of how I live and that is true to a point.  When it came to my family and the things that affect my children I cared very much what people thought. I did not want to be the reason for my children to stand out from the crowd.  "Yeah, there's so and so she/he has such a weird Mom".  I didn't want to be THAT Mom.  So, I did my craziness at home and had a somewhat benign face for the public. People could tell I was a bit different but it was more interesting at least that's what I think.  I never heard anyone give my kids a hard time because of the choices I made except for once and that was from a particularly racist child so that doesn't count.

When my husband and I separated last year, we spent a lot of time rehashing what happened, why it happened, whose fault it was, how do we fix it, how do we change it?  I went around and around in my head. We fought, we yelled, we screamed.  I used to wait until I got to work to put on my makeup because I would cry all the way to work. I'd arrive at work, duck into the ladies room, put on my game face and get to work.  I could be sarcastic and participate in the male bashing prevalent in many offices.  I'd get into my car at the end of the day and rehash my day and realize the price I paid for my conformity. 

Yeah we were separated but I didn't hate him. I didn't like a lot of the things he did but we have kids that we raised together.  That means something to me.  He still had a key to the house until recently, he would come in and make tea every morning and bring our son to school.  He would come over most nights after work and see him again.  We would hug each other and then he'd leave and go back to his place.  After a while the reasons for the fighting waned and I would think, I could be married like this.  Think about it, I had the best of both worlds.  I had my own space, I had an oasis in my home, I had peace. I could recharge my batteries.  It was great.  There were some things to work out but for the most part we were very much a family.  Not a conventional family with parents living under the same roof, Dad going off the work, Mom staying home and taking care of things.  We're different.  Mom and Dad live in different places and we're happier than we've been in 10 years.  We laugh more and can make fun easier.  We still fight from time to time but we have our own addresses to go to and think and regroup the next day.  We apologize easier and try harder to mean it.  Who says that you have to hate the other person because the relationship is over?  Most times it is the best thing for everyone involved and in time it can lead to much happier people.  So I'm giving myself permission to fully embrace my unconventional nature and fully put the idea of conformity aside.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Get Over It

'Get Over It' is the title of one of my favorite Eagles songs and it is very funny as well as being very direct which my sarcastic personality can appreciate. It's not until you're over something that you really see how hard and how long you held onto it. Then you can give yourself the chance to really analyze it to understand why you held on so long and so hard.

I recently began the "Get Over It" process as I felt myself release a relationship. There was no fanfare to mark my final release. No angelic hosts seranading my freedom. No external excitement whatsoever. It was a profound shift in my focus. Suddenly, the angst was gone. I felt me become important and not them. New thoughts popped into my head. It was so instantaneous when the shift occurred that it took me a few days to fully embrace what I was experiencing for the first time in a really long time. I was thinking of myself and the things that would make me happy. I was not considering anyone else in my thinking because I was confident that their happiness, or wellbeing, or life was not mine to consider. I am a Mother and my children are grown. I am single, young, and FREE.

If I want to pick up and move across the country, I can. If I want to walk away from the life I live now and start a new one someplace else, I can. If I want to sit still for a while, I can. If I want to have a wild crazy affair, I can. I can do anything I want. There is no one else to make happy but me and the truth that my freedom has shown me is that there never was anyone else to make happy.

It was not easy to let go of the things that I held close. But when I did, the shift was profound. So whether you're married or single, young or old, man or woman, I am here to declare in a loud strong voice, BE HAPPY!! There is no one else in your life more important than you. Whatever is between you and your happiness, Get Over It.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Marisa's Diary

Why does your god care what you wear?
To go to the altar in worship and prayer
Does god care so much for the cost of your clothes?
That he doesn’t mind the way you turn up your nose
At the ones who show up in their best Sunday rags
And carry their purses in brown paper bags
Do his teachings encourage your bigotry?
Do they really say your path is the best one for me?
Will heaven be denied to the ones who care less?
For the cost of stained glass, that the rich man has blessed
Or will the final day of reckoning show crystal clear
The things held in our hearts are the things that we fear
For the poor will always be welcomed in kind
By those who know the truth of things divine

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A non-Christian take on Jesus

I am always leery when people ask whether I'm a Christian. I immediately feel defensive because I am convinced that their idea of Christian and mine are completely different. I assume (right or wrong) that they are referring to the accepted (narrow) way that Christians are defined. I never like definitions. I find them to be very limiting. I don't think that an idea as grand as the one that Jesus presented can be boxed and packaged the way that organized (loose term) religion has tried to do. His messages were expansive, transformative, thought provoking. They were then written down long after he walked the Earth and translated from several different languages to English. Then you add in the political and financial uses of his teachings to garner wealth, control the masses, and direct political change. Don't you think with all those factors in play that maybe the Bible should not be taken literally?

The messages of love, peace, community, mindfulness, thoughfulness, tolerance, compassion, charity are lost in rules that take away free will, ideas that condemn, and activities that exclude. I am particularly concerned when supposed religious authority assumes to hold special access to the divine and to Jesus. More and more we are uncovering text long buried that present a Jesus and a teaching far and away more liberating than what we see in churches and experience from their attendees. His message was always one of love in all its expressions.

Please don't misunderstand, I am not anti-Christian. I am against those that would use an idea as uplifting as a belief in something greater than oneself as a means to control, enslave, exclude and persecute. For the record, all books are divinely inspired even the ones we don't agree with. All stories are from the perspective of the storyteller. There are no absolutes. Don't let these illusions deter you from getting to know the greater parts of you. There is no need for an intercession with the divine. We are already connected to the divine. There is no separation.

By the way, I do believe in Jesus.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Wisest Part of Me

There must’ve been a part of me that knew
When first I stepped upon this path
That life would be an adventure
If I’d only open my heart

Someplace in me
Surely saw my kids
And knew they would be precious
No matter what I did

The wisest parts of me
Knew that I’d feel pain
And also knew that it would never
Outweigh the truths I’d gain

The divine in me surely knew
That I’d be plagued by doubt
Yet felt assured of my wisdom
As I sorted my life out

The wiser me that lives inside
Knew I’d learn to trust
The actions that I would take
When Spirit said I must

So here I am unsure again
Of what my next step should be
Consult I will as I always do
The wisest part of me


A friend and I were having a glass of wine yesterday and talking about our relationships. I am separated. At one time in this process, I would have said happily separated, having deluded myself into believing that somehow the dismantling of 17 years of marriage was over and I had moved on. Hah!! What a crock? 

It's been over a year and I have felt every emotion deeply, profoundly and more come to visit with me everyday. Right now I'm back to sadness; having passed anger, resentment and disbelief on the way. Somehow this sadness feels fresh and new and deep, as if the first visit was a dress rehearsal, now the real pain begins. Is that even possible? I have glimpses of happiness; moments so sweet that they well up and overtake me and i know that what I'm feeling is real and I drown myself in it. I let that moment wash over me like a wave and I am the beach receiving the bounty that it brings. What I find is that when I let myself enjoy those moments, the sadness is lessened. When I remember them as vividly as I do the faces of my children, I can get through the next stage. I can be hopeful, expectant even. I can allow myself to daydream and in my imaginings, I can see past the sadness, the disbelief, the disappointment, the anger and know that I will be happy again.