The truth is dawning on me like a giant fire-filled orb complete with miniature explosions. I see just the bright sliver of it peeking above the horizon. I can’t force it down any longer. My body is weak from concealing it. I don’t want this truth. And yet it is here, and rising.

It leaks out of me in small quiet spaces like here with you or with my closest friends. I can’t bear the weight of it alone any longer. I want to vomit it out but something prevents me. I don’t even want to tell you what it is.

The only thing I know to do with the truth is to acknowledge its presence and breathe in and out. Now that I have been sick for so long, and contemplating the possibility of my own death, I have little patience for even the smallest of untruths. There just isn’t time. Or at least, the amount of time is ever so clearly unclear.

For now all I can do is circle around this truth, neither approaching nor fleeing from it. Did I mention that this is neither the truth I expected, or wished for? My priority is staying alive for my son. In service of my priority, all things that separate me from that which is most important must be eliminated. At least, my mind is telling me this. Or perhaps my soul is telling me this.

doebayRecently I was in Washington State at one of the most spiritual of places, Doe Bay on Orcas Island. The resort has been there for years and has a great hippie commune vibe. I was a frequent visitor there in my early thirties when I first began to “find myself”. They have a natural hot springs and a hot rocks sauna. Clothing is optional. I peeled all of mine off unabashedly, in spite of the cold turning my breath to a cloud of mist. For the first time in my life, I didn’t mind who saw my body or what they thought of it. I was older than most of the people there by a significant amount. I imagined they looked at me as an old wrinkly and sagging elderly person. We chatted back and forth with the sweat pouring off our bodies.

Something happens when people take their clothes off in the presence of one another in a non-sexual way. Suddenly it is so much easier to see the humanity and divinity in each soul. Respect and kindness are given freely. I was so cleansed from the experience. No clothes, no defenses, no useless mind chatter, no LED screens glaring. Just humanity. I was surprised to feel as if I had never left. My thirty-ish self was still there, right where I had left her.

The path to the hot springs and sauna is through a small patch of old growth forest. There were statues of Buddha and Ganesh and a waterfall rushing in contrast with the serene quiet that seemed to say, be still and listen. A sign on the sauna door read The path lies between two opposites. It is this sign that comes to me now, as I contemplate the truth that at that moment had not yet revealed itself.

I’ve sat with the truth for seven days now. It hasn’t changed. If anything, my vision of it has become increasingly clear.

I know what I must do.


Dear Robin

Things have been different around here since you left. As a person who knows the high and the low and has envisioned the step you took, I was greatly affected by your decision. Many seemed comforted to find out you were facing a serious chronic illness. As if suddenly it all made sense.

The People magazine with your face on the cover stared at me for too many days from its place on top of the bathroom trashcan. One day I picked it up with a huff, deciding People had retouched your eye color. They made your eyes look too blue, like a black and white movie with the colors painted in. It reminded me of that movie you were in that I can’t remember the name of.

There were a few retrospective shows, some repeat performances, yada, yada. Then with Joan and football as distractions, everybody settled back down into their relative existences.

Today I read a whole magazine about you while I waited in a really long line in Safeway.

Look, what I really want to say is this. I don’t know what was going on in your mind right before you did what you did. But, why hanging? Because you couldn’t take it back?

I don’t want to talk bad about the dead. And I’ve been feeling spiritual lately and thinking a lot about compassion and not doing harm. But I’m pissed.

Look, what I really want to say, and I hope you take it in the best way possible, is fuck you.

Fuck you for going through with it and fuck you for getting to go when I’m still here and fuck you for setting such a fucking bad example and how could you do this to your kids????

How could I do it to my kid? Have I not yet been where you were, in the space right after you cross every con off your list?

Fuck, I’m sorry, Robin. You don’t know me. You don’t owe me anything. You’re just on the receiving end of a lot of things I’m pissed about right now.

That’s about all I’ve got for now, Robin. Except, say Hi to my dad for me, will ya?

Love, T



Every few years throughout my life, I’ve ripped up everything by the roots and planted myself somewhere new. It’s been four years now since the last time. As I moved my stuff into this house, including the boxes that still held unpacked items from my last 4-5 moves, I swore, as I always do, that this move would be the last.

Two days ago I put my house on the market.

This move is going to be hard and fast. The universe has opened the door for me but it’s not going to stay open for very long. It’s not as if the yellow brick road is leading from my door to the emerald city. I still don’t have an address, a location, and my son needs to be enrolled in 5th grade soon. If he’s not there by the first day, I’d like him to be there by the first or second week. Schools in the areas I’m looking at start August 27 – 28th, which gives me a very short time to prepare.  I don’t have the luxury of waiting for my house to sell before I move. I don’t have a job in my new location. I have a partner of 18 months there and the energy of a city that I love. I have the possibility of creating community, perhaps working somewhere that appreciates my experience. Perhaps I will start a private practice for LGBT couples. Maybe I will become involved in psychodrama training. Maybe I will finally have a life again.

1959 Series Logo

1959 Series Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t know when I accepted a job and bought my first house over three years ago that I was embarking on one of the most difficult periods of my life. I thought the opposite. I thought I had arrived somewhere, and that I had achieved some things. When I used to watch The Twilight Zone I had no idea that one day I would live there.

I was going to rent my house at first. I contracted with a rental company and wrote them a check, signed a contract and watched them put a sign in my front yard. I tried to keep an open mind when the lady came to show the house and complained that my beautiful Russian Sage in the front yard was “infested” with honey bees. I removed my Tibetan prayer flags and hid my Buddha statues before she came. People in these parts are threatened by that kind of stuff. I figured I should also remove the picture of my beautiful butch partner from my mirror where she looks out at me each day, all tatted up. Out here in The Twilight Zone everyday is like a game of “One of these things is not like the other”.

When I called the property management company three weeks later to ask when my house would be placed on Craigslist she acted defensive and annoyed, She sighed and said, “I’ve been really buried” with a tone that said, “You should feel bad for asking”. I’ve heard that tone before. I’ve heard it constantly over the last three years. By the next day I had made my decision. I didn’t want to be dealing with this from afar. I needed to let go.

I needed to let go of the mess that the last three plus years have been. My toxic job, and the toxic people who have come in and out of my life in this time period. The blundered real estate deal that I had to go to small claims court to resolve. The nasty third grade teacher my son had to suffer with. My decline in health and all that has ushered in. The surgeries, the medicines. The drugs. The dismantling of the family I was born into culminating with the death of my mother. The long road to licensing in my profession. The lack of community and the narrow-minded people in this stuffy little bee phobic town. It’s done.

And now, finally, when that small voice inside of me asks yet again, if it is really over, I can say, “Yes”.