Friday, March 28, 2014

Today....

Today… 

Today, I want to write the most eloquent thanks…and not hold my breath, and not have the all-to-familiar catch in my throat when I ‘Thank God’ – A God I am increasingly having problems coming to terms with…

Today, my son is one year clean and sober! One year, out of the clutches of a monster that would have taken him in the blink of an eye, without a second thought.

 Today I want to shout it from the rooftops and still protect him like a mother hen, from the scourge, from the ‘publicity’ of even admitting to this, from everything that could possibly harm him, or make him return to that slavery.

Today, I want to reach out to other parents, and give them hope and tell them that everything is going to be OK….without cheapening their experience or dismissing the fear they too live with EVERY.SINGLE.FUCKING.DAY.

Today, I want to help others to get help, to know there is hope, to know that there are people who will love them no matter what, not judge them, because they are fighting a demon and a disease that they have no control over, that there are many of us waking up and listening and searching for a better way.

Today – I want it to be enough…for just one day.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Rare Bird Books

A shout out to the folks at Rare Bird Books/Rare Bird Lit. Per their respective web homes:


" Los Angeles and New York-based independent publishing house formed by Rare Bird Lit founder and former Book Soup marketing and publicity director, Tyson Cornell.

Rare Bird Books has three imprints, A Barnacle Book, A Vireo Book, and Rare Bird Books, specializing in literary fiction, political nonfiction, crime, mystery, entertainment, narrative nonfiction, cooking, and humor."

Go check them out - buys some books - and tell them Colette sent you!

We're Moving






Change is inevitable....soon, I will be moving my blog home to:

www.colettesgrave.com

After all, I may be an institution, but I am not an organization. I will be working on a newer, fresher look for the blog as well. So...stay calm & stay  tuned mes amis!

Monday, March 03, 2014

A Book Review: The Bachelor Chapters - by Vicki Marie Stolsen


I have been writing as Colette (alas from Cleveburg, not Paris) for over a decade now.  In that time, I have talked, mused, ranted about love –in all its glory – or in many cases its no-so-glorious ways.

To that end, I was recently asked to review a book: “The Bachelorette Chapters” written by Vicki Marie Stolsen. The book is being published by FOREVERFORTY-FOUR. You can find a link to the book here: http://thebachelorchapters.tumblr.com/




While I am a self-proclaimed ‘free thinker’ when it comes to love/relationship – I was nonetheless a bit confused by Ms. Stolsen’s approach to this book and to romance in general.

The book opens with an out-and-out insult to white males.  Despite being a bit put off by this, I decided to read further.  I was taken on a roller-coaster ride of ‘wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am’ from that point forward with very little in the way of introspection, or apology for seemingly out-of-control misogyny on the part of this woman. The book claims to be: “Staking out the terrain between Sex and the City and Eat, Pray, Love.  While I would grant that on certain levels, I can see ‘Sex and the City’ – this book in no way, shape or form resembles Eat, Pray, Love (that I could see at least, and I think Elizabeth Gilbert would keel over if she knew this was the publicity/marketing scheme for this novel).

I will say that Ms. Stolsen is a good writer. She has a knack for description, especially sexual scenes, which were not in any way demeaning to women, and are to be applauded for their unabashed eroticism.

Eventually, I could simply not keep up with all of Vicki Marie’s ‘conquests’.  While I agree that women should absolutely be as free in love as their male counterparts (unapologetically!), slamming people for having affairs, and then enticing some poor schmuck into cunninglingus (so he in essence, ends up cheating on his own wife and is then terrified that Ms. Stolsen is somehow going to blackmail him) – while shrugging it off with “I forgave myself soon enough” – was more than distasteful – it was dastardly.  I began to despise the character at that point.

I do applaud Ms. Stolsen’s inner journey and moments of introspection – but they were mere moments and never seemed to teach her anything. It is not that I am suggesting that she ‘settle down’ or not have her cake and eat it too, but acting as though women have never done this in the past is a bit naive on the part of the writer (Colette anyone? Anais Nin? Just two examples that come to mind). While again, there does seem to be interplay and some learning about certain partners, it falls short of the true exhilaration of finding and really learning about a new lover.  After all, if you are so busy, moving from tryst to tryst, how can you in all honesty have a lover?  Ms. Stolsen has taken a story that could have been incredibly liberating, only to have it seem like a sexual free-for-all, with no mention of personal responsibility, let alone, practicing safe sex, and that screams poor judgment to this reader.  My feelings on this matter were further corroborated by Ms. Stolsen’s very own closest friend (who in one scene accuses Vicki Marie of having NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), and in the very same week her own brother disowns her.  While I am not one to encourage friends diagnosing friends vis-à-vis the DSM-V – again Ms. Stolsen seems to take it all in stride and never stops to think, perhaps her friends and family have more insight into her actions than she herself is capable of having.

The other aspect of the book and character I struggled with is, how a person, who was a self-proclaimed lesbian for over 20 years, turns her back so easily on that part of her nature. I do not pretend to know the ways of lesbian inner circles, but I found this at the very least, a bit odd.  Was it because she felt that a lesbian assisted with the downfall of her ‘marriage’ to her last heterosexual husband? Again, so much seems left out of sight, out of mind - the subtitle of the book claims to be “a thinking woman’s romance” -sadly, much of the thinking (and what I consider romance), was left on the editing room floor.

If you want to read a book with some very well-written juicy bits, learn about salsa dancing, and have a whirlwind ‘fuck tour’ of major cities, then by all means, pick up this book.  Otherwise, I suggest you find yourself some episodes of ‘Sex and the City’ and DEFINITELY buy a copy of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ - save your money for a decent martini, shaken, not stirred.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's a social media blitz...

...like a ballroom blitz....but without the long-haired guys in spandex..well...hmmm

Anyway - the new gig requires social media posting! Yes! And to those out there who doubt the usefulness of such endeavors, I am here to tell you that they work.

That is all for now.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Raining inside my head

Was diagnosed with bronchitis/sinusitis (waiting for a visit from St. Vitus *smirks*). Was lucky enough to have a former colleague as the CNP who actually gave me meds to help me...and now... I am leaking!!! My eyes, my nose...just terribly...can't stop blowing my nose (now raw), my eyes are watering...and I just want to go stick my head in a sand dune to dry out. The frigid air outside actually feels GOOD to me.... Ah modern medicine.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Too close to home

NPR - On Philip Seymour Hoffman, And His Many Appearances

This breaks my heart....and it hits way to close to home, for obvious reasons.  Every.Single.Time. I hear these stories, I die a little inside.  The fear that I try my damndest to keep at bay, settles inside my heart and mind to roost for a while...

I battle with my dread, and I hold my breath all over again...and there isn't a fucking thing I can do, except pray, pray that I will never get one of those calls myself...

I am so sorry for this loss, for his family, and for us...it is a battle we seemingly cannot win - or somehow don't know how to....

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Really???

I hate it when my mind plays tricks on me...
Sometimes I want to take my memories and crumple them up and throw them away....

Ugh..W.T.F. is the matter with me???

OK off to try to rest now.

Robert Plant | 'Darkness Darkness' | Official Music Video

Beautiful Boys (another repost)

Remembering can be a slippery slope at times....

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There are dangerous places for me to go. One of them is Half-Price books. If you do not have one of these fine establishments in your town, I am sure you have discount bookstores. I have books (so many books) and since I had to move out of my previous home, many of them are still boxed up. I tried unpacking the books I thought I would need – my Yoga books, my ‘collections’ etc. Alarms should go off when I walk into a book or record store. Klaxons sounding out “SHE HAS TOO MANY BOOKS ALREADY!!!” 
At any rate, I was in this particular bookstore and I was perusing the isle with the books on religion and philosophy. I noticed there was a person sitting on the floor in easy pose (Yoga – simple cross-legged pose) – holding two books in his hands. One of them happened to be a book on Meditation, which I already owned and which I felt was a great book on the subject (it was actually required reading for the Yoga teachers program I was in). I don’t usually talk to people in bookstores but lately I find myself just talking to people (a lot of times afterwards I think perhaps they view me as being crazy or rude – but what the hell). I said, “That one on meditation is great, it’s very helpful”. He looked up at me and suddenly I was looking into the face of an angel. He was a young man, probably in his mid-20s and his face was seriously beautiful. This is a real problem for me and I don’t know why. My ex looked like a beautiful angel too and so now I want to run screaming when I see men who look this way; almost effeminate, usually blonde hair, and piercing eyes.

He mentioned to me that he had read the book a long time ago. I think to myself perhaps he is not as young as he seems – then he informs me he read it when he was 14-years old. I was really impressed by this. (You’d have to know the book) – I kind of stammered (me being a stupid girl and all) “You read THAT book when you were 14?” (pause) “You must have been some 14-year old young man” – smiles are exchanged. He then asked me when I had read the book. I explained that I had to read it for a course of study as a Yoga teacher. This young man lit up like a Christmas tree. “Really” he said, he began to ask me about studying Yoga and I gave him what I thought was accurate information about various places in the area where he could go take classes. He also mentioned T’ai Chi so I gave him information about that too. There aren’t many places in our area to ‘study’ T’ai Chi that I am aware of…he was familiar with the place I mentioned. He had by now stood up because he was writing down the name of the place where I studied Yoga and I also gave him the website address. After doing this, he extended his hand to me and introduced himself “I am Matthew” he said – I took his hand (really bad idea here kids) – his grip was so strong, so certain, so intense (you know I used to think that stuff about handshakes was a load of crap – no it isn’t; gee can you tell what kind of a LOVER someone is going to be by their handshake? Hmmmmm *insert evil thoughts here*). I gave him my first name and we talked for a couple of brief seconds and then parted. I stayed in the bookstore for a while looking for things (it was depressing because I am so broke right now and there were several things that caught my eye).

This young man has not left my mind. I have silly ideas that somehow he will figure out a way to contact me (actually if you go to the website of the place where I studied Yoga you CAN get in touch with me)…but that’s just a simple fantasy and is more than likely not going to happen. Pipe dreams. I guess I just feel a bit strange. Strange because I felt an immediate connection – but I am sure it was only because in my soul, I hunger for a kindred spirit. I am even more certain that this young man (Adonis “Matthew”), is this way with every person he meets, which is really wonderful. I hope his life is full of the lovingkindness he seems to exude.

But it’s nice to think…to day-dream a little n’est ce pas?

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Screams in Space (a repost)

Another post...another 'ghostly visitation' of a life gone by...

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The sunset the other night was just spectacular. A celestial event, the sky soaking up all the colours, orange, red, pink, royal purple all fading away into the pale blueness….eventually blurring and becoming the velvet-winter-night sky

I’ve been feeling so bleh lately, so empty and void. Part of me though feels like I am on the verge of something…big…some self-discovery, waiting just around the corner. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, I just know I am heading that way. Part of me is still ‘back there’ as well, trying to sort things out, make sense of what’s happened and is still happening to me. I think in a way that for the rest of my life I will wonder about these things – I will keep trying to figure it all out. I don’t want to be a prisoner to that.

Over my years of blogging, it has been suggested to just let go, by various people whom I respect. I have to laugh. Especially since I ‘dabble’ in Yogic Arts and I am interested in the Zen/Buddhist path…

LET GO!

Um yeah, ok. I don’t mean to sound this way but it is so hard and I just don’t know why. I have had so much happen to me in my life (and no I am not complaining, or trying to say that ‘my stuff’ is worse than anyone else’s stuff). I mean I have had friends actually comment on my lot in life – like the old song ‘if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all’. *laughs* I have even had one friend at one point in time suggest that we go down into Little Italy to find an old Italian witch who could possibly remove this ‘curse’. Years ago, when I was reading Isaac Bonewit’s book: “Real Magic: An Introductory Treatise on the Basic Principles of Yellow Magic”, one of the things I seem to remember him saying about curses is that they really only work if the person cursed *BELIEVES* they’ve been cursed. I don’t believe I’ve been cursed. I do believe in Karma – and I believe I have a lot to ‘burn off’ apparently.

There are ‘good’ things happening too and together it all forms the patchwork of my life. I guess I just want for the good to outweigh the bad (who doesn’t) – I want the clouds to clear and me to be able to ‘see’ again – but I think in order for that to happen, I have to distance myself, move away from the trees in order to see the forest.

Part of me still wants to ‘run away’; just leave it all behind; become an anonymous person and possibly a hermit. Part of me feels the need to do a lot of work. Unfortunately, all my energy seems to still be going into the ‘figuring out’, the unanswered whys? I am still a slave to HIS sickness, to HIS betrayal, to HIS actions. Only though, because I allow this to have power over me. He does not deserve this power – he never did – no one deserves this power over anyone’s life. But we all do this. For one reason or another, we all fall in love – usually one party falls harder than the other and then, when the other party does not return the love the ‘right’ way, we seem to fall apart. Or perhaps we get stuck in the ‘caring’ or the ‘fixing’ of others – I am prey to all of this and more…and I so desperately need to free myself. However, I don’t have the money or the time to get into intense therapy and frankly I am not sure anything other than time and thinking (because ‘the unexamined life is simply not worth living’) – is ever going to end all of this. Or perhaps I have not learned my lesson yet? *laughs* My Yoga teacher would tell me that I am simply not getting the cosmic joke. I don’t know anymore. But I don’t want to ‘ease into this’ like it’s some old coat I have to put on or a suit of armor and then I become stuck with it for the rest of my life – or eternity – which is how my life feels at times.

Just rambling…putting thoughts out into the universe for obviously no particular reason, to no particular audience – reminds me of the bit about a tree falling in the forest and no one around to hear it fall – does it still make a noise? Can anyone hear *MY* screams in space?

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So I don't lose my place...

Because I keep trying to find certain posts....


More reflections - a repost

1/30/2014 - I need to get some rest...but I am of course, wasting time.  I look out over this blog, like it is land I used to own, wondering what I can reclaim.  Bear with me, I have a feeling it's going to be a bumpy ride....(note, some of these re-posts may be edited from the originals for personal reasons)....

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I sit here in the early morning hours of the New Year - 2005 - the house surrounds me, settles around me and it's so quiet now (aside from the occasionally 'meeping' of my cat Penelope - Penelope is the only cat I know that meows in her sleep) - no loud revelers stumbling home from being drunk to disturb my time. I am thinking back over this past year, this past couple of days, this past couple of weeks and months. Trying to 'think' forward, it's like walking in the dark - the way I would imagine a blind person would be having to navigate in an unfamiliar room.

To quote a Grateful Dead Tune "What a long, strange trip it's been."

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Today I was out and about and it was warming and the snow had melted and at one point I even had my window open to allow in some fresh air - I have just felt so stagnant lately - things get stale when you don't have fresh air. The sun was trying to peek out and at points it succeeded and I could smell the air and I could actually smell the breath of spring on that air - like a slumbering giant - waiting beneath the cold ground - not long now - and for a moment, just a fleeting moment, the air and the sun felt like happiness.

I wish I could bottle this shit and sell it - I'd be rich.

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My good friend from NYC being here has really lifted my spirits as well. It's just so nice being with her. We spent New Year's Eve-Eve and New Year's Eve together. She had me laughing so hard at times I was crying. She does not pull any punches and her stories about her life, and of New York always are just wonderful. It's like being with a female version of Mark Twain - only with a New York attitude. She's one of the most genuine people I know. I really miss her and somedays I dream about/think about moving to NYC just to hang out with her. I love that city. I reason (to myself - and of course she tries to convince me as well) - that I would easily be able to find work there. I know for a fact I have a job teaching Yoga if I want it. That would be wonderful - but I doubt enough for me to live on in New York. I am sure I could find work as an executive assistant somewhere in NYC. Part of me would love it - but then there's the other part of me that knows I could never live there. Yeah, that's the part that wins every time.

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My New Year's Eve started off so strangely. I really wanted to sleep in; I *needed* to sleep in - however at 7:00 AM - I was startled awake by the sound of loud hammering. I looked out my bedroom window to find 6 Amish guys working on the house directly across the street. I was quite furious - but what the hell do you say to a bunch of Amish guys working on a house? Especially when 7:00 AM is like Noon the them.... *sigh* so I got up and made some coffee.

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I had an incredible phone conversation with a 'friend' today - I just don't know what to say about this person - except to say I am amazed at how easily we can talk to each other and the depth of the conversations always take me by surprise. I just think that for now, that is all we are going to have is friendly conversation - not that I don't love that - there's very few people in my life I can talk to (really talk to) - and this man and I talk so easily - it flows from both of us - we seem to speak the same language (no pun intended) - but then I might just be projecting all of this onto him - desperate for some male contact that isn't destructive while at the same time not being 'too close' either - because I am scared to death to get close to any man right now - they frighten me and I feel like a piece of bone china - so very fragile - and I don't want to feel this way damn it! And yet, he totally understands all of this - and doesn't push.

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The day finally culminated in going out to a nice restaurant with my friend Linda. We went to Sergio's down by CWRU. It's a wonderful restaurant and we got to sit in the Glidden House (yes the Glidden paint people) - it's a lovely place to have dinner - nice atmosphere, great Brazilian food.

We then retired to Linda's daughter's house and sat around drinking wine and talking. All in all it was a nice evening.

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The problem is I find myself longing - longing for a return of my 'old' life - as awful as it was. Longing somewhere for him - for the familiarity - for those arms holding me and I get so sad about it all. And the anger and the hurt are so close to the surface all the time. All I can think about are the things he said to HER, the things he did with HER and all I keep wondering is WHY? Why the hell couldn't he have been doing those things with me, to me???

I keep thinking about this being an epidemic - I am just some small insiginificant person in a world where families crumbling and people being unfaithful is common place - and perhaps I am just too fucking sensitive and I need to get over myself...'It's just a little casual sex, right?' - what the hell is the matter with me??? I feel like I am losing my mind - like I need to somehow find a way that this is all going to make some sense to me - that I am so completely out of touch and out of step with the rest of the world because I can't seem to condone any of this - I feel like a staid Victorian woman trying to live in the 21st century and it's just not working. I am like some sort of weird time traveler with different customs and everyone else is having 'fun' - meanwhile I am trying to figure out if I can *ever* have fun by lying and cheating - and I just can't seem to wrap my mind around it.

And it's now almost 3:00 AM and I don't think I should be wrapping my mind around anything right now....but that mind of mine - it keeps on ticking and ticking - like a fucking Timex watch.

Tick, tick, tick...

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Night all - Happy 2005 to everyone - may we all have a better time of it this year.

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Love among the ruins (a repost)

Looking back...and finding posts to share again...it is like a window into a different time - when I struggled to remember who I was.....

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Sometimes, I think relationships are like dreams and I am wandering in a nightmare right now...
Somewhere along the way I lost my joie de vivre, my raison d'etre, I seem to have misplaced me...
Somehow I am just sitting here, helpless, watching my house of cards come tumbling down around me like Athena's temple, crashing down, taking my life away...
Somewhere, somehow, someday I need to believe there will be love amongst these ruins, but
Somehow, I don't believe there will be a phoenix rising from these ashes.
Sometimes, I think I will be just an illusion of my former self, a facade - and if you look very closely you begin to see the cracks...
Somewhere along the way, when I gave my heart, I did not realise that you have to ask them not to take your soul too...
Sometimes, I just want to wake up from this horrible dream - and just be me again, even if it means being alone.

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"From where do I return,and on what wings, that I should accept, so slowly, humiliated and exiled,
to be myself" - Colette

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Days of future past...

When I was a little girl and felt this way during the winter, stuffed up, heavy in the head with a cold - I used to crack my window a tiny bit and breathe in the cold air, or rest my forehead on the cold glass.
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