Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pretty Poetry

Written over a thousand years ago, but still so touching. I love this poem, I read it for the first time over two decades ago. Halevi was a Spanish Jewish poet. The paintings are by spanish artist, Luis Ricardo Falero. I think his romantic, soft style goes perfectly with this poem.

Comely gazelle
Pity my heart

forever it dwells in you;
Give this a thought:
your distance now
Is my misfortune.

Truly my eyes have
trouble enough, still
dazed by your splendor;

Fanged snakes
hatched from your cheeks
sprang at me, stung.

Breasts of hers
hold me in thrall:
from her heart of stone

Two apples grown
hard to the core, or stood
like lances akimbo,

Her fires far off
ablaze in me, drink
my blood through her mouth.

Small though she be,
gazelle, her eyes
frank as you please

Breaking religion's
back, God's laws, me-
I am beyond help.

Have you looked into a lion's heart? Well,
her eyelid has

Such puissance
at kill, her piercing
arrow glance hits bone.

One day, with wine,
with love, like a drunk
I cried out for joy:

There she stood,
actual, in the shape
of certain messages.

Three times I heard,
or twice, from her delegates;
peace on the table,

Her terms utterly
swept me away, her favor
gave me fresh spirit.

One day in a garden
my hands in air brushed
over her breasts:

Coaxing, plunging me
into dismay then,
"No," she said:

"Amigo, do not touch,
this tender bodikin (bodkin),
still it is such
a fragile thing."
                     - Yehuda ibn (ben)  Halevi

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Goodbye Harry Potter and other things....

Over the weekend I went with the family to see the last installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise. I've been anticipating this movie for awhile and as I put on my 3-D glasses and we all took our seats, I felt a nervousness come over me. Throughout the entire movie I was freezing and shaking. I felt the same way when I was watching the movie Basic Instinct, slight panic. Along with allergy induced asthma, I think it may have been the extra stimulation from the 3-D glasses, the extremely loud crashing and booming sounds, not to mention all the dying. It sort of reminded me of when I was younger and started having panic attacks all the time. I first felt this way during Basic Instinct, that was the beginning. I blamed the attacks on movies for a bit, then when they kept happening after I stopped watching movies, I knew things were a little more serious. Unless you have suffered from panic disorder yourself, it is almost impossible to understand what a person goes through while having them. To explain how you are feeling is just difficult, everyone has varying symptoms. I would feel my heart rate start to rise, feel extremely short of breath and then panic as my heart would beat right on up to 180/190 beats per minute. A person could touch my shoulder and feel the speed of my heartbeat. I think back on those times and it makes me shudder. I am extremely happy that I have not had an attack in over ten years. In talking to a few of my siblings, I discovered that they too had had these same type of panic episodes, two of my brothers and my sister (weird). Doctors are very swift to dispense anti-depressants and such, but I never felt that was a solution for me. I really wanted to get to the heart of the cause, so I chose therapy. Bringing yourself to expose all of your thoughts or things that have happened to you in life is really difficult, I went to four different therapists before I trusted/ liked one. My doctor was a very serious, intense person and he liked to look at you through the small black glasses perched on the end of his nose. He was in his mid-fifties, tall, slim and quite handsome. I still don't know how he managed to get all of the information out of me that he did, but I left his office in tears more often than not. He always greeted me with a nod and a "Let's talk about _______"(money, love, family, childhood, travel, moving, everything) always a different subject. One day I came in and he asked me to sit down, this was after several sessions. Today he only wanted to talk about my family, and oh, did we ever talk. That day marked a huge breakthrough for me in so many aspects of my life. I guess I faced my demons, as they say. I left his office in tears once again, but this time I was pulled over by a police officer, I told him I had just come from my therapist, he took one look at me, patted me on the shoulder, and told me to be safe driving home. Seems sad that things from your childhood can build up so much that they affect your adult life so many years later. On the bright side, the brain is a wonderful thing, and healing sometimes can be as simple as sharing a thought. The paintings below by Machado Juarez remind me of those times, surreal, unsure, scared and eventually liberated.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Today is my 15th wedding anniversary. I remember picking fresh flowers off the trees in Jamaica, washing the ants off of them in the sink while I was waiting for my wedding dress to be delivered after having the wrinkles from travel steamed out. My wedding dress, which was actually a skirt and top, was made from a beautiful Chinese silk, given to me by a friend (Jan). My dress was slightly too big because I lost 8 pounds the week before I got married, I was a nervous bride. My wedding outfit arrived to our room and it had been ironed, not steamed, I had to hang it in the shower to steam out the creases. We didn't have any family with us, so we asked a couple that we met the night before to be our witnesses, they were also our photographers, I wish I could remember their names. Our minister was a very serious fellow and he made me even more nervous, I was slightly terrified after he gave Greg and I a long speech about what marriage meant. Going through my mind were all the divorced people that I knew, then I looked at Greg and he smiled, his eyes said he loved me. I felt happy, I felt protected, I felt secure, my pulse slowed and it began to rain as we said our vows under the Caribbean sun. I am so happy and lucky to have spent eighteen wonderful years with Greg, and have had such beautiful experiences, along with our three handsome sons. I have enjoyed his company immensely, laughed so much because of him, learned so much from him, thank you Greg for these fifteen sweet years of marriage! Happy Anniversary!
December 1993

July 2011