A honorary birthday party for SP

October 28, 2011 Candace Morris 4 Comments

I woke up this morning to the graveyard of a gathering.  In honor of Sylvia Plath's would-be 79th anniversary of birth, I had two people come over, drink wine, eat curried sweet potato soup, sit around the fire, and read poems.  In true Candace fashion, I was going to put together a curriculum vitae for the evening...but instead I thought Sylvia might want it less formal.  I placed all the books I own of hers in the center of our cozy hearth and we picked through them, reciting aloud only if whim, muse, or wine directed.  We then moved to the media den and watched, Sylvia.  After they left, I went to bed in a stupor of wine and beauty and left the house destroyed.  It felt good.  

Joel is out of town again and I've proposed a challenge for myself.  Leave things as they lie, don't pick up after yourself, don't clean anything.  I doubt my ability to do it, and even if it will be good for me in the moment, but there is something oddly comforting in spreading out, occupying the space, and letting it all go.

//The less room you give me, the more space I've got//


she swoops to save her friend, thereby saving herself

October 24, 2011 Candace Morris 4 Comments

Every so often, we all need a little saving.  Sometimes we can save ourselves, but I've found a remarkable beauty in the self-saving that is inevitably and surreptitiously hidden in the caring for those we love.   Mrs. Clark came with her superman tight-suit tucked under layers of color and patterns, and saved me from a weekend of ominous introspection and way too much trash television.  In a way, I suppose she came to care for me, but thereby cared for herself.  She remembered she is irreplaceable, connected, and sophisticated.    She remembered she is wise, open, healthy, and always at the ready with leg-wear. She made me hummus, made me laugh, made me sit still with magazines; then she made me go to a drag show.

We are both in gestation...on the brink of new women, and we needed to speak to friends connected to all versions of ourselves (past and future included) in order to incorporate them soulfully.  It's hard, confusing, subjective work.  She is strong for the job. So am I, but in part because I have her shoulders to rely on.  And yours.

I have loved solitude.  I will always love solitude.  But you know, it's just another thing that's changing about me.  Hell, I might even start reading Harry Potter and thinking Gaga can write music. My craving for company and the realization of the unmistakable goodness of those enfolding me and in my fold is humbling my independent nature something fierce.  In fact, the only ONLY way I found a road back to peace last week was through other humans.   I was saved by the solidarity and assurance of your human existences, different in circumstance, same in process.

photo photo

Kelly with her friend, "Mama Tits"

Thanks for the visit, Dove.
Sometimes we just need a bitch to say, "Hooker, please! I've been there.  Get dressed, rat that do, buckle your Louboutins, and start strutting, cuz DAMN. You are fiiiiieeeerrrce."

Or something like that.


coasting into pure being

October 20, 2011 Candace Morris 1 Comments

I've been saying it too often lately, but this week has felt like seven generations of myself have passed through this tired brain and body.  It has made tonight's goodness even good-er.  I enter my house in solitary reflection as I used to enter St. Mark's cathedral - in awe of the sacred, anticipating a message from the cosmos, eager for the communion of wine.  I turn on Debussy, I pre-heat the oven.  Each movement feels important; turning on a bedroom light becomes a whispered prayer as in vigilant lighting of a candle for your soul.  The unintentional intentionality of cooking, pouring, cheersing friends in solo whispers.  I am happy to feel happy to be alive.

I am buoyed by you this week, your gentle eyes reading without judgement, your helpful email, your quiet ache for me, your determination to write me a letter, your driving to visit me, your making me laugh, your helping me see, your meeting me for a glass of wine, your commitment to refrain from flattery and love me true. 

It is pure.


the weekend alone

October 16, 2011 Candace Morris 9 Comments


I've felt really stuck inside my head this last week.  Finally on Friday night, before Joel left for a long business trip, we had a meaningful conversation that drove me past my fear of communicating to him all the ways I was stuck, just terribly stuck.  In his normal unflappable manner, he assured me that not only were my thoughts acceptable, but that because of them, he found me more attractive than ever.  He then left, and I've been ruminating all weekend upon us.

That and baking, nesting, wandering around my neighborhood, talking with Jess, and trying to give my thoughts a reprieve.

In life, I am still surprised by how damn good it feels to express something to someone.  I have been seriously scared shitless to say some of those thoughts to Joel, asking hard and hurtful questions of our relationship and if he hadn't the internal strength to handle it, to handle whatever I can throw at him, I would be a lesser, sadder, broken-er version of myself.  He has buoyed me to a place of such confidence and love that I am now secure enough to doubt.  Lucky him.  In a way, it reminds me of my relationship with god (or whatever/if whatever). I've been given enough security that I can throw it away and know I'll still be caught.

Loved enough to question, strong enough to doubt.

But it doesn't feel very good, and I've been terribly hard on myself.  One thing I cannot seem to shake is the judgement of my feelings.  I cannot control how I feel and this eternally pisses me off.  I can control WHAT I do with how I feel, how I treat people with what I feel, but I do not possess the power to stop feeling what I feel - dark or otherwise.

So we are left with an internal battle, a viscous mental game of repression and anxiety.  I am slooooooowly learning that I need to just stop trying to control the feelings at all...my insides, my reactions to the world, my relationships, my heart.  I feel how I feel that that's just that.  I'm tired of asking hard questions, tired of being scared - but that's my reality right now.   I must have to learn to let it be, otherwise there will be no peace, and worse, no honest discovery, no pure answers.  We do not get to change how we feel.  I keep raging against this notion, and I'm getting very beat up in the process.

My insides quietly whisper, "Leave me alone."

You know, I think it's normal to always want to feel in love with your spouse.  I want to go back to when we first knew each other was more than a friend, that we had somehow become each other's "person."  I want to feel his arm touch my waist and get chills.  Don't get me wrong, I still can feel all of those things, but what do we do when we simply don't FEEL those things as readily?  Is it as simple as needing to nurture the relationship more, more therapy, more dates, more lingerie?  I can assure you dears, Joel and I are doing, have always done, will continue to do any and everything to keep us connected, but there are phases impossibly harder than others.  When we don't FEEL the nuances of a novice relationship anymore, how then do we then begin to foster a different, more mature feeling?   We get restless, we get bored, we get curious about anything other than our current life.  These are scary, scary feelings at any age of marriage, but after almost 9 years, feel silly.  There is NO guarantee that we'll last a lifetime just because we set out to.  Is Joel scared, no (it's really, REALLY hard to scare that guy).  Am I?  Yes.  I am scared that we won't always be each other's answer, that our marriage will fall prey to the daunting divorce statistics, or worse, become a comfortable, unintentional relationship where we are only excellent roommates.  Joel and I have only ever known a marriage of peace - and something is shifting.  I am petrified that the earth will crack beneath us and we'll be left standing on opposite sides of the the earth's tectonic plates.  

But we don't always get to feel what we want to feel.  Sometimes we feel distant and isolated from our spouses  despite our very best efforts.  This has to be okay.  A lifetime with someone is not about only ever feeling love (the emotion of love, I should specifiy).  Phases are to be expected, and I'll be honest - I'll be damn happy as hell when this one passes.  

And when Joel comes home.


Saturday Evening Entrée

October 10, 2011 Candace Morris 2 Comments

Cornish Game Hens with Tarragon and Grapes in a White Wine Butter Sauce.

After a long leisurely stroll through Whole Foods, Joel and I decided that Saturday night would be spent cooking.  We decided on a dish from my French cookbook I love so much.  I put together the appetizer plate and nibbled while reading, and Joel worked on the entree.  I love the nights where the answer to "what do you want to do" is (Joel) making something fabulous in the kitchen.   

p.s. Do you like my galaxy nails?


Editing the work

October 07, 2011 Candace Morris 1 Comments

Octavia has missed me writing

It's true, I've found it hard to put pen to paper lately. Upon the opening of my journal today, Octavia immediately decided to welcome it back by gracing my lap with her presence.  She's missed me writing, too.  I am not sure what it is...something about that stark black line permanently defining that minute, solidifying feelings and people.  I hadn't put two and two together, my recent lack of writing and my recently undefined sense of self, but as is the result of my time with Jess, sipping wine in front of a fire at a historic hotel, I realized their correlation.

That and I'm chicken shit.

Journal Entry, 7 October 2011

For those of you who cannot read my scribble, "Once the moment is gone, the inspiration fleeting, I find it hard to go back and edit my poems.  They are so momentary in nature, meant to store the tone of one particular feeling.  It's as if the muse blindfolds me, then uses my hands.  Later, when I'm more objective and the tone of the moment is no longer, I see that the writing simply isn't as good.  So now, I'm defining a process for myself.  It's time to do the work, remove the blindfold, and see what I'm actually made of."
Fear = 72%
Bravado = 23%
Good Poetry =  5%

Fear = 20%
Bravado = 20%
(damn) Good Poetry = 60%"

Here's to taking the next step with only the courage of NOW in my pocket, 


Dear Self,

October 05, 2011 Candace Morris 3 Comments

I've not been feeling like myself lately, or so I hear from the ol' brain.  It just occurred to me that  perhaps it doesn't know what myself actually IS and what it's supposed to feel like - and who the hell am I to say what I can and can't do or be?  Perhaps the truest way to see it is that I am changing.  My profile blurs the more I try to see it, the definition of my soul vaporizes through my analytical hands. 

But are there things I can do to recover my old self, if I want to?  My comfortable self? Does Candace have to write to truly be Candace? Or can she take up spelunking and still be Candace...or does the definition of that Candace then change? And what is it Candace has to do to be a new Candace? 

Oh my.  I just had a horrible thought.  What if she starts wearing sports gear OUTSIDE?!  I shudder.  

The question remains, "What makes me, me?"  Is it my interests? Relationships? DNA?  Physical body? Soul (if one exists?) Character traits?  Lifetime on the earth?  Possessions? Big nail beds, fine hair, green eyes?

I am perpetually intrigued with the incongruities between a person's projected self and internal self.  Someone could be the biggest asshole to everyone else, but inside is sweet, sad, and broken.  Another might fancy themselves horrible at hosting when in fact they shine the most when cooking for company.   One person might pride themselves on being proper, another interprets that behavior as stuffy.  Some days I can feel so beautiful, then walk by a mirror and note objectively, "Huh - I'm just me. I'm average."  I don't FEEL average, so which is true?  Last night, on a date by myself, I made a love list.  It's the list of every man with whom I've ever engaged in a reciprocal romantic relationship.  I did this because it's good for me to remember that I am more than my marriage, am attractive to at least 20 guys.  Call it superficial, but what I need of late is the superficial boost.  I can't quite define what's happening, but for one of the first times in my life, I don't really need to.

And that, my friends...that is change.

Thoughts are power.  What are you feeding yours? I had officially gorged on screen time last month, so I made a new goal to read one book per week.  Four books and four weeks later, I'm cruising through my to-read list like a proper bibliophile.  My thoughts are thanking me.


Monday Night's Match at Bastille Cafe and Bar, Seattle

October 04, 2011 Candace Morris 2 Comments

Round One
Round One (cont)
Round One (cont.2)
Hendricks Martini w/ an Orange Twist
and Monk's Habit (Calvados, Aquavit, Benedictine & Antica Formula)

Round TwoRound Two (cont.)
2009 Domaine Dupeuble, Beaujolais 
and Two Beers Evo IPA