Category Archives: Life & Love

love and imperfection

People will always let you down.
Love is seldom forever.
The hurt will always come.

I don’t want to know one part of those closest to me.

I don’t want to see just one facet, one side of them.  I want to see the ugly parts as well.

The whole picture, that’s what I’m after.  The multi-layered biopsy of the soul.

I can’t be content to hear things like I love you and I would never hurt you anymore.  Too often these sentiments have turned out to be lies.  Maybe they weren’t intended to be lies, but time always tells the ultimate truth.

Perhaps this stems from my childhood.  From never hearing I love you out of my parents, from never feeling at ease in my own home, from living with near-constant chaos and animosity.  Or, perhaps the root of my insecurity can be traced to my failed marriage, or the many lovers who followed in quick succession that promised me the world and gave me shit, or who promised nothing and left me empty.  Maybe – probably – it’s because I just lost something precious that belonged to someone I love dearly.

But, as Kurt Vonnegut once said, we are trapped in the amber of the moment.  And in the amber of the moment, I am insecure.

I find ways into the secret places people where people think they have their privacy.  They assume that just because it’s password protected they have an almost god-given right to absolute secrecy.  So they say whatever they please, with no thought for consequences, and there I begin to piece together the less desirable truth.

I wish there was a way to become more accustomed to betrayal, but it’s like that feeling of vertigo you get when you take a step expecting solid ground and find air: it’s always unexpected; the heart always skips a beat as the body panics and tries to work out a way to minimize the impending damage.

But I don’t mean to say that I can’t see the full scale of the bad and weigh it against the good.

An ounce of goodness is worth a great deal more than an ounce of badness, and so in the end it becomes a calculation of risk.

Recently, I learned that the badness drastically outshines the goodness in one of those people who are supposed to love and care for me unconditionally.

I’ve also begun to piece together a picture of someone I want to love unconditionally.  It’s hard, though, because the initial feeling of euphoric love wants you to believe in fate and synchronicity and meaningfulness, and it’s hard to feel that blind euphoria erode into a clear-sighted but happy contentment.

In the amber of this moment, I am scared.

I know time will reveal what the amber hid from my sight.  Betrayal is almost sure to follow.

Because hurt is inevitable, people will always let you down, and love is seldom forever.

The trick is to find a balance between love and imperfection, to see things for what they are and nothing more, and move forward the best way you can figure.

And hope.  You also need hope.


there is no why

Religion is based on an ignorance of nature and psychology.

Long ago, people wondered why it rains, or why people die.  They felt grief, and consoled themselves with the idea of an afterlife.  They saw the sun move across the sky and wondered who put it there, and how.  Life all around and no explanation as to why.  A man once said Homo sapiens wasn’t an accurate description of humanity, but rather Homo religiosus.  Not the upright man, but the religious man.  All over the world, throughout history, there is a religious up-welling that permeates the development of human society.  But as we move forward and expand our knowledge of the world around us, we don’t need God to tell us why.  Indeed, the most commonly heard argument for God is “someone had to put all this beauty here for us to enjoy!”  But really, it’s all chance.  We got lucky.  We evolved out of primordial gook out of sheer luck on a planet that wasn’t too hot or too cold, had just the right amount of gasses in the atmosphere, and the right kind of stuff growing along side us.

Someone asks, Why me?  Why am I here?  Why did my marriage fall apart?  Why did my child die?  Why did my car break down?

They say, Everything happens for a purpose.  It’s like mommy kissing a boo-boo: you think it works, so in your own head it does.

There is no why.  There is no purpose.  There is no grand design.  Life is a series of accidents we happen to get caught up in.  Sometimes happy accidents, sometimes lamentable ones.  The human experience is a series of cause and effect, consequences to our own actions or actions taken by others that we must deal with.

The secret to life is there is no damn secret.  Life is what you make of it, it only has the meaning you give it.

Love is important.  Love and sex and happiness, those are the key to making the most of it.

Everything else is up to you.

a blip in the flatline of my hiatus


i went to church once.  the pastor brought a piece of wood, some nails, and a hammer up to the pulpit.  he called me up to drive the nail into the wood.  it was hard.  i didn’t want to hammer my finger at first, and then the nail wouldn’t go in straight, and i couldn’t swing the hammer hard enough.  i handed the board back to him.  he said, pull the nail out.  that was equally as hard, but i retrieved the nail and handed everything back to him.

he said, get rid of that hole.

i said, i can’t.

hurtful things are like nails, he said.  when we hurt someone we drive a nail into their heart.  you can pull the nail out, but the hole is still there.  you can cover it up, sand down the rough edges, and paint over it, but the hole will always be there.

i was pregnant.  we stared incredulously at positive pregnancy tests.  we talked about names, looked at baby clothes in the mall, cringed at price tags in baby sections, and smiled despite people’s thoughtless words.  a few weeks later, we were holding our breath as a doctor searched for the flicker of a heart beat.  today, there is no more baby.

for a while, my insecurities were gone.  hope had numbed the pain of past hurt.  now it’s like i’m waking up still a little drunk from a night of trying to forget.

i’m insecure about my body.  about money.  about my worth as a person.  about love.  maybe i don’t deserve this.  i’m probably going to fuck it up.  he’s going to regret this.  maybe he regrets it already.

part of me knows it’s irrational.  i read into things way too much.  i’m constantly looking for affirmation of my fears, trying to keep my guard up so i can be prepared for the inevitable hurt.  but focusing on the possibility of failure never led anyone to victory, and right now is not my past.

i’m abandoning salvation.  i was going to give casey nine months to clean up the town.  nine months because cherry is pregnant with the native’s baby and if casey didn’t drive out the bad guy the baby would be killed.  i was going to give myself something to focus on so maybe i would still have the drive to write between feedings and diaper changes and whatever.  but there is no baby, so there is no salvation.

maybe i’ll write a story about a heroine who overcomes her insecurity.  i’ll make her do something completely out of her comfort zone, and i’ll put the life of someone she loves on the line.  i’ll drive nails into her and leave her to rip them out.

i think i’m actually going to start on that right now.

A Word on Love

A Word On Love



Love is…

Oh my.  It really can’t be contained in a simple phrase.

Let’s get this straight though: I’m not talking about the love you feel for your friends, or your family.  I’m talking about the love you feel for someone you’re dating, or engaged to.  (But not that married kind of love.  That’s a horse of a different color.)

First of all, most of all, love is one force felt differently depending on who it’s directed at.  Like that line from that song goes, you never stop loving somebody, you just start loving somebody new.  My love is, was, and always has been my love.  A unique brand, you could say.

Love is also chaos.  That’s probably love’s most important characteristic.  Love is a thing so unpredictable that it appears random because of its great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.  To think that love is something that can be understood is utter bullshit.

Love is seeing an imperfect person perfectly.  In that way, it’s also a paradox.  It tells us that the person we love is, in their own way, perfect.  But people are, in no way, perfect.  Love is knowing this and not caring.

Love is irrational.  It doesn’t care about what people think is a reasonable amount of time to cultivate the feeling.  It springs up at you at the strangest times, under the craziest circumstances.

Love doesn’t care how old you are.  I was in love when I was in third grade.  His name was Mike, and I was pretty sure he was the greatest thing since chocolate milk at lunch time.  And my grandparents, I’m pretty sure, will still be stupidly, adorably, hopelessly in love if they live to be a hundred.

Love is longsuffering.  It can take a lot of grief for the sake of the greater cause.  It’s the heart that gives out.

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
-Lois de Bernieres 

Love simply is.

20 Great Things About Dating a Writer

You can read the original “20 Great Things” post here.

I’ve seen this list several times floating around the internet, and I guess for a while after its publication it went viral in the blogging world.  Maybe I’m a little late to the party, but after a long conversation last night with my boyfriend, I realized that posting this might help him get a little better perspective on what he stands to gain or lose by choosing to stay with my slightly cracked writer self.  But in the interest of being genuine, I’ve taken the skeleton of the original post and added some new flesh to make it personal.

20 Great Things About Dating a Writer

1.  I will romance you with words.  Love letters are no longer a thing of the past, not with me.  Maybe a note turns up in the jeans you wore to work, or a letter appears on your night stand after I go home.  I will tell you everything that’s great about you, at length, until I’m sure that you know exactly what kind of a wonderful person you are in my eyes.

2. I will write about you.  Sometimes you’ll notice I posted something new in my blog, and you’ll recognize yourself reflected in what I’ve written.  You will, in a way, be immortalized in word.

3. I will take you to interesting events.  Part of being a writer is broadening my horizons, which in turn broadens my writing.  You don’t always have to go, but expect to be invited to anything from drag shows to flea markets, or to watch a weird movie, or to find some beautiful natural wonder hidden in the woods near where I live.

4. I will remind you that money doens’t matter so much.  I know it matters, in its own way.  I know that money can’t buy happiness, but a happy home can’t be built on hopes and dreams.  But I also know that persuing one’s passion is the key to happiness, and the money should always be secondary.  After all, I am a writer, and writers don’t write to get rich.

5.  I will acknowledge you and dedicate things to you.   Open up the cover of any book and you’ll see a page with a dedication.  Sometimes it’s long and lists several people by name, and other times it’s short and sweet and refers only to a loving wife, or a supportive boyfriend.  Expect to be named as a motivator, a supporter, or a muse.

6.  I will offer you an interesting perspective on things.  As a writer, I experience life twice: in living and in writing.  I don’t just let little details slip by me in a rush from one point to the next.  I take in as much as I can from every experience, whether that means noticing a dandelion popping up through the ground in February, or all of the many and crazy ways people handle life, love, loss, disappoinment, and the rest.  Stick with me and you’ll soon be privy to all of my insights, and maybe you’ll begin to see the world a little differently, hopefully for the better.

7.  I’m smart.  I have to be.  I can’t just pick up a pencil and put it to paper and expect to create something worth reading unless I’m well-read and well-educated.  I won’t ever stop trying to learn new things, whether it’s fixing a car or finally figuring out just how the hell to properly use a semicolon.  I can hold a conversation.  I can match your wit.  I can make you laugh and make you cry, and it’s all because of what I’ve learned.

8.  I’m really passionate.  I use all of my senses, every one of them, in writing and in living.  I live my life with purposeful intensity, realistically expecting that hurt and joy are both inevitable.  Maybe, if you let it, my passion can enhance yours.

9.  I can think through my feelings.  I may be passionate, but I don’t fly off the handle or shoot from the hip when there’s confrontation.  I take a long time to process my thoughts and try to never make a decision without first weighing the possible consequences.

10.  I enjoy my solitude.  Unless we’re in a “honeymoon” phase, I’ll have times when I want to be alone.  That means if you want to go out with your friends or play some video games or otherwise do something that doesn’t involve me, that’s fine.  Because the act of writing can’t involve you.  I need my space to write, just like you need your space to be a man.

11.  I’m creative.  That might seem like a “duh” statement, but there’s a deeper application to my creativity.  I’m more capable, as a creative, of finding solutions to problems that most people wouldn’t recognize.  I can see a problem from many different angles, and from there work out what the best strategy is to handle said problems.

12.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I don’t hide my emotions, not one little bit.  If I’m happy, I’ll smile.  If I’m excited, I’ll giggle.  If I’m sad, my gaze will be downcast.  If I’m gloomy, my shoulders will slump.  You’ll never have to guess what my emotional temperature is at the moment: if I’m hot I’ll be hot, if I’m cold I’ll be cold.  I won’t fake anything.

13.  I’ll teach you some cool new words.  It might be agitating to hear me use a huge word in an every day conversation, but I’ll do it.  Don’t feel silly asking me to explain myself, either.  I love to explain.  I love words.

14.  I can adjust my schedule for you.  Even if I’m working, I don’t have to spend my writing time at the same time every day.  Writing is great, but life is better.  And life with you is best.

15.  I can find 1000 ways to tell you why I like you.  I’ll call you lovely, or handsome, or gorgeous.  I’ll tell you that you’re wonderful and remind you that your quirks are sexy.  I love to express myself, especially when my self expression means giving you a little boost in self esteem.  Because, honey, you certainly deserve to feel just as special, wonderful, and unique as you are.

16.  I communicate in a bunch of different ways.  Communication is important to me, but text works just as well as a call or a conversation face to face.

17.  I can work from anywhere.  It’s important for me to work on my writing, but I can take my iPad with me anywhere we go.  Fishing trips, family visits, wherever.  As long as I’m not being rude, if inspiration strikes wherever I am I can just take out my iPad and work without interfering with what’s going on.

18.  I surround myself with interesting people.  I know hippies and bikers and factory workers and hipsters and rock stars and goths and drag queens and rappers and gamers, and I value each and every one of them for what makes them unique and interesting.  Meeting new people doesn’t frighten me, and the thought of introducing you to old friends is certainly exciting.

19.  I’m easy to buy gifts for.  If you want to figure out what to get me, look at the kind of notebooks I’m using, my pens and pencils, and the other weapons in my writing arsenol.  Go to a craft store and look until you find something that seems like it could be useful for my writing.  Chances are it’ll be cheap, so you won’t go broke keeping me happy.  I value thoughtfulness over dollar signs any day of the week!

20.  I’m sexy.  Come on, now.  Bookish types are hot.  Imagine me all dressed up like a librarian, horn rimmed glasses and a pencil skirt and a ruffled button up shirt with my hair in a bun… Yeah, you get the picture.

Apostacy & Me

There’s something unsettling about losing your faith.

If God died, like Nietzsche said, then it would be easier to make sense of losing him.  I could be mad at him then for abandoning me, for dying before I died, for leaving me all alone in the world.  I could mourn him.  There would be closure.

But God can’t die if he never existed.  A flame can’t be extinguished that was never lit.

There used to be a time when I felt God in the kiss of a summer breeze, saw him in the bark of a maple tree, heard him in the songs of birds.  God was everywhere and nowhere all at once, and always in my heart.  Jesus was the warm center my world crowded around, my purpose.

I remember when God “died”.  I was standing beside the bed my ex and I used to share, shaking, trying to hide my phone from him so he wouldn’t take it from me.  He was furious because I told him I didn’t love him anymore.  He said, “Get out.  Get out or I’ll make your life miserable.”

For a long time, I tried to hold on to hope.  I thought, I’m backsliding, that’s why I can’t feel him.  He’ll pull me in, like a fish caught up in a net.

The Parable of the Sower goes a little something like this:

A sower went out to sow.  Some seeds fell to the wayside, and were eaten by birds.  Some fell on stony ground and sprung up, but because the soil was thin they were scorched by the sun and died.  Some fell among the thorns, but the thorns grew up and choked them and they yielded no fruit.  And some fell on good soil, and sprang up, and produced fruit a hundred fold.

You could say I’m the seed that fell into the thorns.

Or you could say I’m the seed that woke the fuck up.

God asks you to believe in him unquestioningly, and then when you get a little curious he presides at his own trial as Judge, Prosecutor, and Witness.  He says, believe in me and you’ll be happy for eternity, or don’t and rot in hell.  He says, be happy when good things happen and be happier when bad things happen because those bad things ultimately speak to my awesomeness.  He splits the world in two: the saved and the unsaved, the righteous and the unclean, the saints and the sinners.  And then he sends forth his church to bring the unsaved to him, to dunk them under water and feed them wine and wafers until they stand when their told to stand, sit when their told to sit, and do what Jesus would do even if it’s at the cost of comfort, happiness, and freedom.

Do you know how many people I’ve talked to that believe they’re saved and aren’t?  I mean, even if God did exist, they’re still boned and they don’t know it because they got some glossy message from the pulpit about how nobody is perfect and the only requirement for heaven is faith in Jesus.  But Jesus said if your eye causes you to sin, cut it out, cause it’s better to go to heaven half blind than to go to hell whole.  Meaning, if you’re sleeping with your boyfriend, either get rid of him or stop having sex or you’ll go to hell.  If you’re doing drugs, stop it or you’ll go to hell.  If you gossip, cut that shit out or you’re going to hell.

Oh, but what about forgiveness?  Come on, Katelyn!  That’s what Jesus is there for, right?  To forgive!

I’m sorry, have you read your bible?

Half assing it with the divine sire of God doesn’t quite cut the cake.  Doubt me?

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”

ONLY the ones who do the will of the Father.  MANY will come begging for acceptance and be turned away.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

FEW find it.  I’m sorry, but the entire professing Christian world isn’t a few.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

Look, if you’re professing Christianity and still breaking those commandments every day all willy-nilly without a thought because at the end of the day, or the end of the week, you’ll just pray it all away, you’re lying to yourself.  You’re a dog, you’re swine.

The irony of those pictures of White Jesus cradling a lamb or hugging white kids just eats me up inside.  Jesus, when he is described, is freaking scary.  He’s riding a war horse and pulling a sword from his mouth and decimating his enemy with a single blow.  He’s a motherfucking juggernaut, not some soft headed nice guy out to spread sunshine and daisies across the world.

Furthermore, let’s get down to the roots of Christianity, shall we?  Christ dies and comes back and tells his disciples, “Go make more disciples.”  Meaning, show people what they gotta do to get into heaven and tell them to follow your example.  In case you didn’t notice, only one of the twelve died naturally.  They walked around with one pair of sandals, one robe, and no walking stick to town after town at the risk of their own lives.  The closest thing to this sort of faith are the missionaries who throw themselves at the mercy of cannibals in the name of Jesus, or the Christians who died under the Communist regime in Russia, or the hundreds of thousands of Chinese Christians getting their tongues cut out so they can’t pray, and still praying until they lift their faces out of the dirt, leaving puddles of tears on the ground.


Let me breathe for a second, OK?

The thing about it is, the thing that got to me and made me finally give up and say, “I don’t believe in God,” is the fact that there is so much potential for the human experience.  I have, on the outside, 80 years on this earth.  A quarter of them are already gone. I could chose to put my common sense on the back burner and have “blind faith” in some deity that hardly makes sense when you compare one half of his holy book to the other, or I could take control of my life and suck every moment of happiness, pain, pleasure, and whatever else out of each and every experience, answerable only to myself and my son.  The latter seems a whole hell of a lot better to me.

And if you’re reading this with a sense of heart break over the girl who a year ago was trying to baptize the world and is now some cynical backslider on the fast track to hell and damnation, pray for me.  Seriously.  If there’s a God, pray to him to save me again.

I don’t hate God.  I don’t resent Jesus.

I miss them terribly.  I want them to feel real to me again.  I want my heart to skip a beat when I hear voices raised in praise of God’s glory.  I want to cry during revival services.  I want to look forward to death as a rebirth into a world better than this one, more clean and pure than what is.

But right now, I don’t feel it.  I don’t see it.

Right now, I am the God of my world, the master of my fate.

And to tell you the truth, it feels pretty damn good.

1/17/12 Was A Bad Day

If I could do today over, I wouldn’t.

Here’s a life lesson for you, so mark this down and take it to heart: never, never, never mess around with a married man. Even if his wife tells him she would rather have aborted their children than be married to him, even if he starts sleeping on the couch, even if he promises that a divorce is well on its way, even if he’s already started moving his things out of the house, even if he’s talking to land lords about moving closer to work, even if he’s really good looking and a total charmer — no bueno. If there’s anything shiny on that left hand, walk away. Better yet, run away.

The thing of it is, people lie. They lie to people they care about, people they hate, people they don’t even know. They lie to themselves. Sometimes they think they’re telling the truth at the time, but in hindsight it was clearly and always a lie.

What I’m trying to say here is, nobody is ever entirely blameless. I shouldn’t have flirted. He shouldn’t have pursued me after I walked away. She shouldn’t treat her husband like a yard dog.

But, it’s whatever. We’re moving on.

I moved in with my mom yesterday. It’s a relief, really, to be around people again. Being alone too much really took its toll on my senses (obviously). My parents are chill about it so far, which is great and a huge relief. I’m back to doing dishes after dinner and holing up in a room by myself most of the day. In a way it feels something like being a teenager again, and I’m completely fine with that at this stage in my life. Maybe it sounds weird, but there’s something innately comforting about opening up the fridge or the cupboard and seeing so much food. If there’s one thing that’s always been true about my mom, it’s that she’s got enough food stored away to feed a legion.

No, you know what? We’re not moving on. We’re backing up.

Let’s get a few things straightened out, hm?

First, I left Spike because he was toxic. There’s only so much negativity, hatred, and anger I can tolerate without becoming the same. My life with him amounted to waiting for the next fight. People said, oh, you should have stuck with counseling. You should have given him a better chance. No. It takes two people to make a marriage work, but it only takes one to decide not to keep trying to breathe life into something that’s been dead for too long.

Furthermore, I love my son. I have him three days a week, and during those three days I am the best mother I can be. The other four days of the week, he’s with his father. That’s part of a divorce: going days without seeing your children. Those other four days, I am me. Completely, utterly, and irrevocably me. That’s my time to live. But on those days when I do have him, I’m a mother. Through and through. My personal life never effects my ability to love my son.

Most of all, I’m not a bad or worthless person. Sure, I make mistakes. Sometimes, especially lately, they end up being big ones. Well-intentioned big ones, sure, but good intentions or no the mess is always there. And sure, there are casualties, innocent bystanders that get caught up in the wake of my blunder. I’m not saying I’m a perfect person, and you’ll never hear me claim to be a saint. But the bad things that I’ve done don’t define who I am. How I handle the mess, what I do with the knowledge I gain from the consequences of my actions, that defines me.

I can be cold. Oh, so very cold. My heart can simply turn to ice.

I can also be hot. Very, very hot. I can make your heart melt in the palm of my hand.

I can go from hot to cold in a moment’s space. That’s a bad thing about me, the one thing about myself I don’t care for.

What do I like about myself? Plenty of things.

I like that I’m confident, I like that I’m a little cocky. I like that I can be a dude about it. I like that I don’t take shit, that I can walk away from an argument without some overblown sense of pride tripping me up as I walk.

Look, I’m 21. I’m still young. Most people my age are spending their Fridays at the bar, or running drugs, or working on degrees, or just now thinking about having a family. I got married a few months after I graduated, moved to California with the Marine Corps, had a baby when I was barely 20. I’ve had a very different walk than most people, and all I’m trying to do is iron out the wrinkles while I’m still young enough to bounce back. That’s it, and that’s all.

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