The Summer of Love

1965 thru 1968 • The Haight, San Francisco ~ I worked for Dad in his store on Haight Street during the summers, saving my money for French fries, milk shakes, school clothes, and college. In the early '60s the Haight was a middle-class white neighborhood with a smaller community of black families. … [Read more...]

A Higher Possibility

Forty Principles, Tools, and Aphorisms  Consciousness is that which recognizes itself. The universe is not oppositional—only our minds are. Everything changes. Everything happens in cycles. Everything contributes. Everything contains within itself the seed of its apparent … [Read more...]

Money, ’tis better to have it than not

Money isn’t my issue this time around, not that it’s always been abundant. I’ve saved it, spent it, lost it, found it, stolen it (I was seven), borrowed, gambled, lent, collected, stashed, donated, and shared it. I’ve frittered it away and hoarded it close. I’ve been foolish and wise, thoughtless … [Read more...]

My Impending Demise

We think we have time. The question is, “how much?” That leads to other questions. Will I be satisfied with how I lived my life? What am I compelled to complete before I die? What legacy will I leave? I recently attended my cousin’s funeral. She was 81. Her son said, “I assumed we’d have another … [Read more...]

Credo For Today

Why am I here? Who am I? What do I believe? How shall I live my life? Where do I stand? When do I speak out? CREDO FOR TODAY Ten Commitments 1. I shall honor Spirit: my God, your God, their gods, and the god within me. 2. I shall honor my word, and take responsibility for what I speak. 3. I … [Read more...]

Rattled

At 4:00 in the morning, I’m jolted from a sound sleep by a long, eerie howl—and by then on high alert with a second one that quickly followed. The ear-splitting cries are coming from the top of the staircase just inside my bedroom door. It was either a deranged human, or a crazed animal. I’ve … [Read more...]

Queen Bee

I am the Queen Bee. You know how I know? My friends tell me, and I also have a pair of blue bikini panties with a queen bee on them that proves it. I have been known as the Carrot Juice Queen, the Dance Floor Queen, and the Queen of Curb, Gutter and Sidewalk. I don’t like to show country property. … [Read more...]

Putting Pen to Paper

Why write? It’s complicated. I never had any intention of becoming a writer, to externalize my life and expose it on paper. But as life would have it, I had a meltdown as the result of a course I was taking, and out of that emotional quagmire, I wrote a short piece called “Queen Bee.” That’s how all … [Read more...]

It’s All About Me

Life... it’s all about me—me, and what I want. No one wants to admit that. Why? Because we don’t want anyone to think we’re self-centered. Google synonyms for self-centered. It has four pages of like words for those of us who are all about ourselves. Yet, we abhor others who are like that, you … [Read more...]

Dharma

“We’ve been brought here for a very short time, against our will, and we don’t know why.” I love that line. What is the point of our birth and life and death? Why are we here? What is our true purpose? These thoughts keep some of us up at night; others have never examined the questions. Some … [Read more...]

A California Mid-Century Classic

On my last marker birthday (sixty-fifth) I muddled over penning my obituary, my epitaph, or a newspaper ad. My own obituary was too weird to write. My epitaph was a no-brainer... Since I’ve been in real estate forever, the ad copy was also easy: Celebrate a Contemporary Mid-Century … [Read more...]

In Search of Funny

At a recent talk, a woman asked me about humor, and how do you learn to be funny. I said I don’t think you can learn to be funny. Either you are, or you aren’t. I told her I thought humor is often closely related to pain, that it arises as a reaction to suffering—like a coping mechanism—that … [Read more...]

A Dream Story

Many of my dreams, the ones I remember, are of me trying to get somewhere, usually on some odd form of transportation, not knowing how to get there, and often with people following me who think I actually know where I'm going. In one I'm riding a horse, leading the way; in another I'm in an  English … [Read more...]

Bless This Mess

I’m hard-wired for formal prayer. I find myself reciting the Our Father when an earthquake hits, and oftentimes at night as I go to sleep. "How weird,” I think, stopping in the middle, but then a Hail Mary (a woman about whom I hold equally wobbly beliefs), arises to take its place. I surrender, … [Read more...]

The Shape I’m In

This house was one I often drew as a child, and other than simple stick figures, my only attempt at art. An illustrator turned my drawing into the cover for Behind These Doors: a red house with a peaked roof, a door, a window, and five flowers—surrounded by a tree, some grass, and a sunny blue sky. … [Read more...]

Sin and Prayer

My parents were like black and white, oil and water, sin and prayer. My father, not one to boil over, married a kettle of emotions. If he could’ve loosened his grip and if my mother hadn’t completely unraveled, perhaps my childhood would’ve have been different. But it was what it was. We all have … [Read more...]

Cosmic Patience

I hadn’t said a word the first three days; I had nothing to add and was seeing plenty about myself simply sitting on the floor and listening—how I still need to control my environment so I’m not too hot, not too cold, not too tired—and how hard it is for me to relax and not believe my discomfort … [Read more...]

I Want What I Want When I Want It

I am self-made, self-sufficient, and self-supporting, along with being self-reliant, self-confident and self-motivated. I am also self-righteous, self-serving, self-critical, self-centered, and perhaps just a wee bit self-absorbed. I reek of responsibility and good reputation. I hold dear my … [Read more...]

None of My Business

A recent blog post of mine provoked a response that mildly caught me by surprise. I sent someone down a rabbit hole regarding my use of the word "retarded" and she nearly tossed me into the briar patch when I read her response, but hey, at least I'm being read and she took the time to comment. In … [Read more...]

19 Nods to Facebook

1. Finally! I can quit feeling guilty about not sending Christmas and birthday cards. 2. I'm partial to posts that are interesting, insightful, or just plain weird. Where else would I find a zillion uses for white vinegar, coconut oil, and WD40, or know about the Ellen DeGeneres show. 3. I can … [Read more...]

Facebook Fiasco

I've come a long way, baby... Catherine Clemens Sevenau You go to a Real Estate convention and take a Facebook class. You joined FB a year ago and seldom came back on because it was confusing, and you felt like you couldn't possibly keep in touch with more people, and then you get home and … [Read more...]

The Mind is a Dangerous Neighborhood

Scanning for Gratitude It all started with the white showing through on the hole in your pocket. Of course it started before then, but the hole is when things really began for me. I watched the white go back and forth in front of me as you did the room, talking, sharing, inspiring- calling … [Read more...]

Match.com

"I enjoy candlelit dinners, a walk on a moonlit beach, and spending time in the woods enjoying the beautiful nature around us." Oh please. Who writes this cheese? I've perused dating sites and laugh at the liars on there. Give me someone who has honed at least some self-reflection, won't … [Read more...]

Soul Musings

How do I care for my soul? By dancing and being whirled so fast that the room spins and I shriek! What else? Cowboy boots, painted toenails, and my faded 501s. Lavender fields, weeping willows, and sweet peas; a ripe pomegranate, a preening peacock, and Sam, my son’s dog. An armada of leaf-cutter … [Read more...]

My Mother and Me: From A to Z

Over the past few years my mother has been following me around, showing up in my stomach, my bones, and my dreams. She used to be a dull ache inside me, but not so much anymore. Mom wasn’t cruel or abusive—there was no sliver to take out, no bullet to remove, no thorn to pluck. In the five years I … [Read more...]