Monday, September 5, 2011


Fuck, I just need a moment to breathe.

Ugh, these clothing are so oppressive. My body is so oppressive.
Just a moment to breathe. In and out.
I cannot control who reads here anymore than anyone else can control what I write here. Should I use that as a mantra? Maybe that is irrelevant. Maybe it is the wrong statement. Maybe it doesn't fucking matter in the end.

I sit, legs crossed, hands in my lap, feeling the earth beneath me. There is a root growing out from the base of my spine. It winds into the earth, through dirt and clay and rocks, twisting into darkness. The smell of earth and rot and death and life seeps into me, pulses into the furthest regions of me. As I sit, the top of me opens, and parts of me reach high into the sky, arms branching and splitting by twos, twos, twos until it is twenties, all reaching, still reaching for something warm, and reaching for the water too, something bright and comforting and hopeful.

I am a solitary beast. Of both light and darkness.
I growl. I snort. I moo.
Mooo. Mu. Mu.

Mu is a Japanese thing. Or a Buddhist thing. It means no thing. It has an intangible quality in which even saying it is nothing means it is something, but it is the absence of nothing and anything. There is a zen koan in which a monk asks his teacher, Does a dog have Buddha-nature? And the teacher grunts, Mu. And through the years Mu has meant different things in this koan. For a long time it was explained that the answer means that, no, dogs do not have a Buddha nature. But later it has come to mean that you are asking the wrong fucking question.

Do I have a Buddha-nature? Do you write to be read or write to be right? No, I write because I must. It is a compulsion, a disease and a blessing and a friend. If I don't write about my life, I don't write. And if I don't write, I wither. I have no nature, no mu. Or perhaps too much mu.

I am easily wounded. That is something you may not know about me. I am easily wounded. If you use my children against me, I will crumble. If you use my love as a weapon, you will win. Anyone can cut me open, remove my heart, replace it with doubt, but the heart will grow back. It will. The savvy person can hide anger and fear in my own weaknesses and my sins. I am an open fucking book. Here I am, this is me. I am on built on floodlands, stilts are made of guilt and anger, self-loathing and compassion. You can read here and never tell me. You can read here and write a book about it. You can read here and think it is a letter to you. The writer and the reader are only the same once. The reader continues on and on and on until I no longer exist. Until you only read you in these words. But I am an open book. I pretend nothing. I am a drunk. I am La Llorona. I am a mother. A wife. A person on a perpetual diet. I am a sister. I am moody and dark, and also wise and light. I am impatient.

So fucking impatient.

I never sit with the important things. I want to be there, right there, to reassure someone I am not aloof. I don't think I have ever been aloof in my life. I am the opposite of aloof. I am loof. I act on it. It makes me a fool. No matter how damned smart I am, it makes me a fool.


The stillness feels palpable, you know, when I sit. 

It is only a few days. Take the break. Be present with yourself.

But I process everything through writing.

Yes, but maybe that is the problem. It was a problem for someone.

Maybe I can fix it by writing.

You can fix it by not writing. You will have to reconcile the turmoil in your heart. You were a problem long before you wrote a word. You were a problem and the writing was an easy target. You will have to forgive yourself, because acceptance is the answer to all your problems today. 

My fingers are poised over the keyboard. I. Must. Write. Something. What if it hurts to write?

It always hurts to write. That never stopped you before. If you are going to write despite my wisdom, why not pray before you start?

God, help me write something from a place of love. Just one thing. 

Thank you.

I typed thank you. Not fuck you, not something less palatable than even that. Just thank you.  

Thank you is a good start. But who are you thanking?

I don't know. Mu?

I think you need to sit longer.

I think you are right.

But really, thank you. You. You who told me that I can forgive myself, but will still get angry from time to time. You who loved me until I could love myself. You who took a moment to write to me personally, when I was scared and vulnerable.

You wrote, "I don't know what happened, but please remember that this is your community. The power of writing," you explained, "is raw and vulnerable and painful and hard and dark and sometimes unpalatable. We get it. We get you. We have to write in spite of the other people. We have to write because of them. You helped me, Angie," you wrote. "You help me."

And I believe you.

Thank you for reminding me why I write here. Thank you for refocusing me on the reasons I still have this space.


  1. Wow Angie. Thankyou for sharing yourself. So raw. So powerful. You're a Goddess. I was hanging on every word here.
    Loof, I like it. Loof and fool one and the same? Just spelt backwards. Same same but different?
    Your writing is so important to this community. I think we'd be lost without you here.
    I'll be pondering the Mu for quite a while I reckon. Thankyou (not fuck you!) xo

  2. Thank you. I can't say it enough, or with the power I need it to convey, but thank you.


  3. Thank you! Your vulnerability and raw truth are what make you such an amazing writer and mentor to the babylost. I'm sorry if you felt like your space was invaded and unsafe, but you're right, we can't control who reads what we write. I am in awe of your courage to write so candidly in spite of it.

    I hope you and Sam had a nice weekend away and a happy anniversary. You deserve to feel happy and good. xo

  4. I don't know what to say. I've always appreciated your openness, and I continue to. Wishing I had a cure all phrase to leave for you, but I leave my love and positive vibes. ((hugs))

  5. Ahhh yes Angie. Always you amaze me with these words.
    I haven't told you this but I have been falling into the peace of Buddhist teachings lately. I think of you each time I read my kids the book 'Zen Shorts'. Now I just need to get better at explaining the underlying meanings to them. Any advice is always appreciated...
    Thank you also... for remembering with me. It means so very much.

  6. I'm so glad to see you writing, I was worried there, and missed you. x

  7. Love to see your writing, sending much love and a big thank you for being you.


  8. Perhaps it's not what you write, it's the writing itself that's the answer.

    Much peace, Angie. I'm not sure if I have a Buddha fucking nature anymore (whoops, that gives it away, doesn't it).

  9. Wonderful post. Glad you are back.

  10. Angie, good on you. Hope your weekend was fantab.

  11. Happy Anniversary, Angie & Sam. Glad you're back. xo

  12. Happy 5th anniversary. Things to celebrate ... and getting out of town without the kids sounds like it was a long time coming. I haven't left my son yet so I hope it wasn't too stressful. selfishly I am glad you are finding the courage to continue writing regardless of the ....
    We all love and need you. We are so glad you are you. You are perfectly imperfect.

  13. Welcome back. Those 5 days took a long time for us! (and it seems you too!) But you needed them I think. Thank you Angie. For being just that. Angie

  14. xoxooxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxooxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo what else can i say but xoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxooxoxoxooxoxoxooxoxooxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxooxoxooxoxoxooxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxooxoxoxoxo

  15. I'll join the chorus too. Thank you, Angie.


    Love you Ang. xo

  17. Sorry I've been such crap at commenting lately. I just wanted to say hey and that I'm reading and your words are touching me as they always do. I just started working again (I'm a teacher) and I'm totally drowning in the transition so commenting has been sparse. I know I'm lame. Sorry.


  18. You always somehow help me feel connected to this community in new ways, and I'll always be grateful to you for that, and I'll always be hopeful that you'll continue to write and inspire. ~Lindsay

  19. Sending you love and thankful for you sharing yourself - your writing, your art, your feelings, your honesty. xo

  20. I've been trying forever to get caught up on my blog reading & commenting, so this is late -- but I wanted to add my voice/words & say how glad I am to see you back writing again. : )


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