California Sage

Posted on June 17, 2009


A beautiful morning, starting off with a stroll on the beach with Saucerton, actually a rollerblade, with her pulling me along for the first 20 minutes and then finally tiring to a slow trot, leisurely, so we may both look at the ocean. The nice thing about the crashing waves is the recession back into the big blue. I heard somewhere that we are but small drops of water in the gigantic ocean that is life. This has stuck with me all day, even though the day is only half through, not close to finished, and starting off taking in the ocean, the limitless expanse of sky and blue salty water has helped me to stay connected to this moment, the present. This is crucial in my recovery, staying present, and I’m trying very hard not to float away on top of the water, trying very hard to simply be a drop among many.

Something I’ve been struggling with, the idea of intellectualizing emotions, making jokes, using these things as defense mechanisms. In therapy today I wondered how not to do this, how to allow myself to feel emotions as they arise, and how to process them in a healthy and productive way. Therapist questioned the productivity of the blog, asking if I think it’s healthy to put myself out here so openly, that some of my being emotionally open on the internet may end up hurting me. That perhaps I should keep something inside for myself.

And I understand his concern, it’s a concern I’m constantly dueling with, swords drawn with each tapy tap tap of the keyboard, is this too much, have I not allowed myself to feel, am I holding back, letting go, holding on, leaving out?  And where does it go from here? Where do my words and feelings go after I’ve put them on the page? Into the eyes and minds of people reading, into my own soul for silent and thorough contemplation, where do I expect to be able to take this? Just to heart? These are questions that keep me up at night, that make me wonder if this is in fact a good idea, this unveiling of self, or continued unveiling of self in the public forum. And I don’t think I’ve revealed too much yet, but the keyword here is yet. I must remain steadfast in my purpose. To become emotionally open so that I may experience love and pain, but also develop boundaries so the love and pain I experience isn’t unnecessarily rough. And I don’t want to hurt anybody with my words, I just want to stop hurting myself. I’ve never been sure how to do that, how not to hurt myself, how not to drink poison and pray for it to kill somebody else. I’ve only known self-destruction. Thoroughly and deeply self-destructive behaviors with no one person in mind except the person I am destroying. A very obvious me.

Saucy is absolutely exhausted after our run/walk/doddle, and I think this is a good piece of exercise for the both of us. I’ve always been in love with the ocean, the mystery, the ever changing of the tides and crashing of the waves. The violent storms that come winter, and the cool spray that hits my face come summer, the ocean has provided a place of solace since childhood, a place to think. To remember.

I remember the first time I went to Hawaii, one of my first memories, going out into the ocean and turning around to wave at my mom on the beach. A huge wave came up behind, well I suppose not that big since I was only about three feet high, knocked me down, took my breath away and tumbled me in the whitewater produced from the glasslike tubes I had been watching from shore. When I washed up onto the sand, I cried, screamed for both parents, and both were there, laughing and wiping the water and sand from my face. My dad told me to never turn my back on the ocean. I haven’t since that day.

When I was in Paris, at Jim Morrison’s grave, three fellow Americans stood next to me burning California Sage, and immediately I was transported back to the pacific ocean, could hear the gulls and smell the salty air. The man burning the incense was a Native American, had taken the sage from California, from his ancestors, to burn at this specific location. I smoked my last joint with him, and he told me I had been sent to him. In dreams, and now in life. I never told him that it was he who had been sent to me, that in a moment of homesickness it was he who provided the cure, the memories of the vast pacific awaiting my return.

I don’t let everything going on inside out onto this page, mostly because I can’t put everything going on inside into words. This blog is like waves crashing on the beach, and my ocean sits behind, letting a few drops hit the sand when necessary, pulling back when the moon tells me it’s time.

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Posted in: Good Days