Who Am I?

Welcome to this healing blog.  This site focuses on writing; the content related to my professional healing practice has its own space.  Click here to enter that space. 

I practice as a Feldenkrais teacher, TARA Approach practitioner, and counselor who is trained in EMDR.  My own healing journey has flowed through developmental psychoanalysis, somatics, Karma Kagyu Buddhism, dance, and energy medicine. Essentially, I'm an indigenous American healer, born and raised in Austin, Texas. My healing gifts developed along several pathways over the years, all of which flow together and interweave as the need arises.

I've been in the performing arts for 30 years; I dance with my friends Julie Nathanielsz and Heloise Gold.  Recently joined the Midnight Lotus dance collective with my lovely friend and teacher Amae Amani.

I hope that your visit here finds you something to laugh about, something to think about, something to dream about. 

You can subscribe to the blog through the boxes on the right. 

Peace to all, and thanks for visiting.

The Monkey Searches For Her Crack

Not really.  This Earth Monkey actually hunts down her Aleve.  Sometimes that's what a dancer's life is--spending 45 minutes trying to find your bottle of Aleve before you give up and just go buy another one.  An even bigger one so that you don't lose it.  Right?

I think I may have overdone it a bit in the last week--so am spending this morning icing and monitoring two almost-or-maybe injuries.  I'll know within a day or two if I did anything really stupid to myself.  I hope not.  Such is the fine art of training--sometimes you don't know if you are doing too much until you've already gone and done it.  However, it's also a chance to switch training methods for a few days, to lyra or something else that doesn't put stress on the lower leg joints.  Or doing Feldenkrais.  One has to be smart about these things at my age.

I was thinking again about the date yesterday and really appreciating the experience.  How awesome to be on a date with a man of color.  How awesome to be on a date with someone who is a lot like me, who leads a simple life, who's not materialistic, not a slave to money or his job, who has or makes the time to think about things that are meaningful.  Before I went to the date I looked in the mirror and it was Sunday morning and I thought, "Jeez, well, this is about as good as it gets at this time of day I guess."  It was alright with him though.  He even noticed and appreciated the fact that I had put on fresh, glittery nail polish for our date.  What a relief.

I mean, one of the hard things about "dating" is that I HATE GOING ON DATES.   I really hate it.  I don't care much about things like dinners and movies and stuff like that.  I'm an active person who likes to do lots of little things all day long.  I'd much rather go for a walk with a guy, or swimming, drink a coffee, or listen to music, any of those things.  I really liked the fact that at the end, when he was asking me about my schedule, he asked if I'd be into going to a lake or doing something simple like that on a date.  And I was so relieved that this is not someone who is going to expose me to things that make both of us uncomfortable.  Yessssss.

I mean, dating takes time.  Who has that kind of time?  I don't know how my friends who date all the time do it.  Some of them are very extroverted and can interact with a million people all day long and be fresh at the end.  I am not like that.  I got the sense yesterday that he wasn't like that either, thank God.  It means we can cooperate in leaving each other alone as needed without taking it personally.  He said the last person he dated didn't get it at all about how he needed space to do his artistic stuff.  I nodded.  I know about that one.  

I was thinking on my way there that it would be so good for me to meet someone who would pull me into being in nature, which I need and won't do on my own...

A Beautiful Man

I met the Beautiful Man yesterday.  We talked for two hours and then I had to go.  He's even better looking in person, with the deepest, most liquid velvety dark eyes I have ever looked into on a man.  Long dark hair.  Tawny skin.  Built.  Dressed in elegant black.  Just a cool, utterly sexy hunk of a man.

I like that he's an introvert, like me, and can be with the spaces in conversations.  I like that he's artistic but also has a good job that takes care of the necessities of life.  I like how steady and non-rushed he is about getting to know me.  I like how kind, confident, relaxed and thoughtful he is--and how open he is with his feelings and interior world.  I was open with him about the fact that I'm in a healing process and that I have questions about being fair to someone I'm with because of that.  He thought about it for a minute.  Looked into my eyes and said, "We've all had bad relationships.  I understand.  Just let it happen naturally between us.  Don't worry."  

I felt really comfortable with him from the very beginning; by the end, I kind of think that all we were both thinking about was potentially kissing each other.  Yeah, it was like that.  I checked in later, and yea, he felt the same way.

We will be seeing each other again, I think.  I hope so!

A Dark And Fragile Heart

No more dancing tonight.

I became overwhelmed by grief.  I stopped dancing and turned off the music.  I went outside and lay down on the warm concrete in the dark, under the stars and the Milky Way, and just cried and cried.

I knew today that I was kind of triggered, but I didn't know how bad it was, I suppose.  I know that part of it is these upcoming meet-and-greets.  I have this dread about being asked anything about my last relationship.  Even six months later and in trauma treatment, I still can't talk about it most of the time.  So meeting others becomes a deft dance of trying to avoid anything that might come close to putting me into a place of answering questions.  So far I have done a really good job of this.  But it stresses me out, a lot.

I also questioned myself, feeling the concrete beneath me, if it's fair that I be "out there" when this stuff is cycling through. I myself can't predict when it's going to come up, and it could be frightening for someone dating me when it does.  This is another reason I hesitate about dating.  I was fine all this week and earlier today, up until about an hour ago, when everything collapsed and I turned into a wounded animal, inarticulate and primal.  It deeply hurts my pride that I go through this and the last thing I want is for someone I don't know well to see me in this place.  I don't like that thought at all.  This is not someone else's problem.  This is not someone else's burden to sort out.  This is mine and mine alone.

So I lay on the concrete and looked at the stars, feeling the fragility of my body and the movement of my breath, in the deep darkness of nature and night.  I lay and thought about all of this and asked myself what is right.  What is right?  What is true?  What do I need to do?  Or not do?

How do I find the answers to these questions?

Should I do it alone?

Does anyone know?


Being out here in the woods has been great, though I did come into town for work today.  Dance dance dance.  I'm getting stronger; trying to moderate what I'm doing to build strength without overdoing it in preparation for the upcoming rehearsals.

I also still get sad driving out here--I always think about my ex, and feel sad, and miss the times we had together, driving around out in the country, spending time together.  Those were some of the happiest moments of that relationship for me, and there were a lot of them.  Part of me wishes I could write him a letter, or call--but I know I'm still too hurt and traumatized to risk any kind of reaching out, and I don't know if that will ever change.  

I'm also still angry.  Angry at everything--the horrible mental and emotional abuse, angry at him that he wouldn't look at himself or work on things in counseling with me, angry that he couldn't do what I asked and give me a year to get my feet down with my business.  I told him that it would get better if he could just hold on, but no, he had to have what he wanted now, and it broke everything.  And here I am now, a year later, just where I thought I would be, said I would be, and everything we had is gone because he couldn't wait.  I don't know if I will ever not be angry about that.  I just don't know.  I loved that man a lot, I sacrificed a lot, and he threw it all to the ground and crushed it like it was nothing.  I don't know if I will ever be able to forgive it. 

It is a good thing, though, to finally feel some positive feelings, some grief moving, and to accept that this is the process of healing and that it takes whatever time it takes.  I said to Brett the other day, "Sometimes, a part of me wonders if the reason he tried to destroy me was because he couldn't stand to lose me."

Brett was quiet for a minute and then he said gently, "I'm sure you're right.  I'm sure, Elaine."

Someone, my hairdresser, said to me today that she was glad I am getting out there and going on some dates.  She said, "You're ready."  

I said, "I think I need about six more months actually.  I could probably date someone, but I don't think I could go very deep with it."  

She said, "I'm going to wish for you that you find someone sweet, nice, who is all about you and shows you a good time and treats you right."  

I sighed.  "It would be nice to have that.  I haven't been touched or held regularly in a long long time. Sometimes it almost hurts when I feel lonely.  It would be nice not to feel that way for a change."

"I'm gonna pray for that for you," she said firmly, and I laughed.  Why not?

A lover who adores you and can give you your space continues to stick in my head.  South Texas checked in.  Asked what was going on.  Did guy A reappear?  I told him, nope, think that one took off.  But here's this one I'm meeting in a few days.  

He looked at The Picture and texted back to me,
"Take it all."

Well, I guess it's a good thing I have so many people rooting for me.
Now, though, it's time to dance.

Rehearsal Schedule, With Warnings

Well, I've never had a rehearsal schedule show up before with warnings embedded about the intensity of the process, but that's what I expected for this show and it arrived today.  I sighed and felt happy at the same time.  Basically my life is probably going to go away for 8 weeks starting the week of August 10 because that's when rehearsals start.  Doing 8 hours of butoh a week is probably going to reduce me to a fragile mess for the first three weeks, that is, before I turn into an unstoppable uber-shaman for the last five.  This is why I decided to go ahead and go on a few more dates before this starts--it's highly unlikely I will be able to do anything new after rehearsals begin.

I'm glad I did the OKC thing and I think I'm done with it for right now.  I met/am meeting a few interesting guys and hope I make a friend or two out of it.  Honestly, the most I ever expect out of anything online is to meet a few people, have a few dates, if I get lucky make a friend or two.  I say that, but today, I found myself wondering--what if I actually met someone out of this, someone who would actually want to develop something with me even though my schedule is going to fall into the depths of hell in a few weeks?  Would I be open to that?

You know what?  I probably would, actually.  I've been avoiding looking for anything serious because I don't feel it would be fair to someone interested in me that I can spend so little time on a relationship right now.  But what if he himself was in the same situation and wanted to date me more seriously, to build a connection however it could be done?  Would I do it?  I just might.  Because that would say to me that he might just be flexible and mature and have his own life too, and know how to balance things.  I've tried dating a workaholic before, and it was a huge bummer--he never had time to spend, was always tired and preoccupied when we did see each other, and everything had to revolve around his life--it wasn't equal or balanced.  I don't want to be that person to someone else.  I would try hard to be fair.

It came up for me as a question because the two guys I've not yet met are performers, and have their own things going on.  They get how a performer's life works.  I've heard from rocker guy every day so far, and this is someone who works a hard regular job, plus has his own studio setup, rehearsals, etc.  I honestly don't know where this guy gets the energy to do all the things he does and then find time to send me texts on top of it.  And they're not stupid "hi" texts, but real questions about my day, conversational stuff, interesting things.  I'm enjoying it--a lot.  I told him honestly that he kind of scares me a little bit because he looks extremely fierce and burly in his photos.  I just had to get it out there.  Not used to this Manly Man thing!  

A friend said to me, "What if he just wants a hookup?"  

I pulled up The Picture and turned it around to face her without comment.  She gulped.  Finally she said, "Uh, yea, okay."  
I think this meant, "Whatever happens, go with that."

Sometimes the texting before you meet is one of the best parts.  Right?  Nobody's been disappointed yet.  Everyone's having fun and learning new things.  He seems like a cool guy and full of surprises.  Life is so strange!

It's The Unusual Ones That Get Me

I'm still laughing at Jonathan's reaction today to the picture of the metal guy.  I mean the guy is a heavy metal frontman, so you can imagine that look, right?  But what I really remember about the conversation I had with the guy was the discussion we had about what it takes to keep looking good enough to wear a fishnet shirt on stage.  

I told him that I'd seen someone at Justine's who was wearing a fishnet shirt who definitely hadn't done the work needed.  It wasn't a pretty sight.  What's even worse is that he was a friend of mine.  Should you say something when this happens?  I don't know.  I kind of don't think so.  There are some things a woman should never say to a man no matter how glaringly obvious.  "Hon I don't think you should wear that fishnet shirt" is very likely one of them.  There's just no good way to say that to a man without the meaning being obvious.  Ya think?

What I was really thinking, though, is that conventional good looks don't faze me.  I often can't fall for a guy unless there is something really unusual or odd about him.  I think that if I were to ever disclose to people the full list of men I had the hots for, they would be very, very surprised at who was on that list, most of all the men themselves.  I am so good at hiding it.  I keep such a good p-p-p-poker face about my crushes.  No one knows.  

I like brains.  I like spirit.  I like a sense of humor and a certain amount of cocky arrogance, IF it's warranted.  I like a sweet earnest heart and a somewhat unfiltered mouth.  And I like the unusual ones.  The ones who have something different about them.  They are short, or thin, or have a crooked tooth, or a stutter, and so forth. 

What's even greater about this is the fact that a lot of my male friends are attractive men.  I kind of think that if I ever get married again someday, I'll know I picked the right man because he will relish watching me walk past all these attractive guys, up to him, and he will turn around and say to everyone, "I took her home, dawgs."

Maybe it's because being a dancer and artist, I've been around a lot of pretty people my whole life.  And as an artist who is on the dark side of unusual, that is what draws me.  Something a bit odd or off or unusual.  It gets me going.  Just the way I am.

This Ink Has Always Been Here

No woods tonight.  Karuna's other house sitter wants to stay through the night so I'm going out in the morning to stay tomorrow and Friday night, though I'll be coming into town on Friday for work and so forth.  It actually makes things easier for me, so I'm relieved.

I finally peeled everything back to take a good look at the new ink, which has now formed a healing layer over it.  It's funny--I can't even remember what it was like before this was here.  I looked in the mirror and my first thought was, This ink has always been here.  It feels like it's been a part of me forever.  There are two, maybe three more stages of this process--the final part of it came to me yesterday.  

Funny how the process of adding sometimes is one of taking away to show what is really there.  It's like passionate love and resignation, which is what the final piece of symbolism will be about.  I have been thinking about that, about how falling in love and resignation are the same, the giving in to something, the stopping of trying to control what's happening.  The last symbol appeared to me in a dream, as have the other parts of this design.  When I looked it up, I found this sentence:

I love what is rare and difficult to obtain.


The Kill Bill Gesture

I went into my usual Mexican restaurant near the office to get tacos on my way into work.  I ordered at the counter, turned left, and a stately Mexican man sitting in the next booth said, "Please.  Why don't you sit and talk, beautiful lady?  While you are waiting."  He turned his palm over in that slow, regal gesture that only Hispanic men can make.

It was so, so Esteban Vihaio, just like this clip.  OMG.

"My name is Donato," he said, and started talking to me about machacado and his mom.  It was very sweet.  His order was called and he stood up and said, "Thank you for talking to me, beautiful lady, see you again soon."

It's very strange, but lately I've been getting hit on a lot by very manly men.  This has never happened before in my entire life.  It happened a few weeks ago in this same restaurant and I was so embarrassed I couldn't even make eye contact.  The other week, I was walking down the street to Allen's clinic, and there were two cops standing across 38th in front of Cherrywood Coffeehouse looking at me, two handsome men standing there in blue uniforms. 

I kept on walking--it was that really bad day and I was crying and tears were running down my face so I was feeling very, very exposed and unhappy--but even so, I finally thought it was rude of me not to say hello, so I said, "Hi there."

"Hi!" they said, smiling.

"What are you fellows doing, standing there?" I asked.

"We're looking at you, pretty lady," one of them said, and the other smiled.

I was so, so embarrassed.  All I could say was, "Oh...Have a good day."  I turned and went into the clinic.  It's really, really strange.  Why am I suddenly on the radar of the Manly Men?  I've never been noticed by men like this before.  Ever.  I always think I'm in trouble at first, for some reason.

Am I doing something wrong?  Am I doing something right?

What up with that?


Just Let Me Keep This Phone, Okay?

I went to see my dear friend in the hospital today.  He was pale and stoned from the morphine and utterly bored.  I sat with my hand on his arm for as long as I could stay.  Didn't want to leave but had to go back to work.  But we had a good visit and they sent him home later on.

He said he wanted me to talk about my dating life to distract him from the pain he was in.  I smiled and said, "Well, it's not much of one.  I have a couple of coffee dates coming up, I guess."

"What's going on with that guy you liked?" he asked. ''

"Eh, he seems to have backed way off," I said.  "I guess he's not that interested, I'm not his thing, or he's seeing someone he likes better.  That's okay.  I asked if I'd done anything to upset him and he said no, so, I let it go.  That's all you can do you know?  I don't think I did anything that horrible.  I hope not, but even if I did, nothing I can do about it."

"It's hard for professional men," he said. "I know you don't know this, Elaine, but there are a lot of crazy women who lie in wait and scope out these guys.  I get approached all of the time by women because I don't have a wedding ring on, pretty much anytime I'm alone and someplace a woman could talk to me, like sitting at a table alone or waiting in line or whatever.  Men are guarded about this, and then if they actually like you, whatever their stuff is about it comes up, so you have two things going on already that aren't even about you."

"I did my best," I said simply.  "What else can a woman do?  I'm not for everyone.  It just is what it is."

"What are the coffee dates?" he asked.

"Couple of musicians," I smiled.  "Younger guys.  They seem interesting.  One of them fronts a heavy metal band.  Want to see the picture he sent?"

He did, of course.  And then he took my phone and clasped it to himself.  "Can I have this one if it doesn't work out?  I mean, I know I'm in a committed relationship and everything, but if this doesn't work, could you send him my way?"

"I don't think he goes that way," I said.  "It's just a coffee date for Chrissakes."  

"No really," he insisted.  "Can I just keep this phone?  Do you promise you'll try?"  

Okay.  Do I think the morphine drip had something to do with this?  Yea.  I do.  It was pretty hilarious.  I finally got my phone back.  It wasn't that easy.