but not somehow

The poem I'm sharing by Randall Jarrell has been with me for years. It was with me when I was seventeen living in the boonies of Stockton, stuck in my room, typing on my electric typewriter and feeling so unbelievably alone. I had  the poem in print and on audio. I would listen to the audio version a lot. I loved his voice and how he read his work, knowing each word so well both inside and out. 

It made me feel better. It made me feel worse. It made me realize I hurt more than I ever knew. I would read it fast and slow, I would read it dark and low. And it was with me. And that meant something because so little was with me in my teen years (really almost nothing).

This poem was with me when I met Ronald. I kept telling him about it, about the Eland, and we listened to it together for the first time in a Carl's Jr. parking lot. 

It was with me when I first started noticing something was wrong with me. Deep inside, something was off, something was broken. I would listen to it at work as I sorted manuals in a conference room. And I felt it, I felt the words too. I started to know them inside and out. And I knew (and know) exactly what it means. Maybe not what it was supposed to mean, but I know what it means to me.

When you read the poem read it however you want. I think the eland in the poem represents something different to each person. To me it represents depression and all that is broken inside me.

Love, C

p.s. I never thought I would share some of these pictures. They are not flattering but they are a representation of my last few months.

Seele im Raum

It sat between my husband and my children.   
A place was set for it—a plate of greens.   
It had been there: I had seen it
But not somehow—but this was like a dream—
Not seen it so that I knew I saw it.
It was as if I could not know I saw it
Because I had never once in all my life
Not seen it. It was an eland.
An eland! That is why the children
Would ask my husband, for a joke, at Christmas:   
“Father, is it Donner?” He would say, “No, Blitzen.”   
It had been there always. Now we put silver   
At its place at meals, fed it the same food   
We ourselves ate, and said nothing. Many times   
When it breathed heavily (when it had tried   
A long useless time to speak) and reached to me   
So that I touched it—of a different size   
And order of being, like the live hard side   
Of a horse’s neck when you pat the horse—
And looked with its great melting tearless eyes   
Fringed with a few coarse wire-like lashes   
Into my eyes, and whispered to me
So that my eyes turned backward in their sockets   
And they said nothing—
                                 many times   
I have known, when they said nothing,   
That it did not exist. If they had heard
They could not have been silent. And yet they heard;   
Heard many times what I have spoken
When it could no longer speak, but only breathe—
When I could no longer speak, but only breathe.   

And, after some years, the others came
And took it from me—it was ill, they told me—
And cured it, they wrote me: my whole city
Sent me cards lilac-branches, mourning
As I had mourned—
                         and I was standing
By a grave in flowers, by dyed rolls of turf,
And a canvas marquee the last brown of earth.   

It is over.         
It is over so long that I begin to think
That it did not exist, that I have never—
And my son says, one morning, from the paper:
“An eland. Look, an eland!”   
                                        —It was so.

Today, in a German dictionary, I saw elend
And the heart in my breast turned over, it was—

It was a word one translates wretched.

It is as if someone remembered saying:
“This is an antimacassar that I grew from seed,”
And this were true.   
                                   And, truly,
One could not wish for anything more strange—
For anything more. And yet it wasn’t interesting .  .  .
—It was worse than impossible, it was a joke.

And yet when it was, I was—
Even to think that I once thought
That I could see it to feel the sweat
Like needles at my hair-roots, I am blind

—It was not even a joke, not even a joke.
Yet how can I believe it? Or believe that I
Owned it, a husband, children? Is my voice the voice
Of that skin of being—of what owns, is owned
In honor or dishonor, that is borne and bears—
Or of that raw thing, the being inside it   
That has neither a wife, a husband, nor a child
But goes at last as naked from this world   
As it was born into it—

And the eland comes and grazes on its grave.   

                                                     This is senseless?
Shall I make sense or shall I tell the truth?
Choose either—I cannot do both.

I tell myself that. And yet it is not so,   
And what I say afterwards will not be so:   
To be at all is to be wrong.
                                                 Being is being old
And saying, almost comfortably, across a table   
             from what I don’t know—
                                                           in a voice
Rich with a kind of longing satisfaction:   
“To own an eland! That’s what I call life!”


then it happened

Life's been tricky this week. Monday I almost went to the hospital because I was actively suicidal. Tuesday something clicked and I realized I was internalizing my feelings and that if I didn't stop doing that I would end up dead from killing myself. I wrote a list out in my journal of affirmations and what I believe. Here are a few highlights:

You don't have to earn anything from anyone EVER.

You know what you want, you are not misguided, confused, or weak. You have control of yourself and your choices.

You don't have to prove anything to anyone. NO MATTER WHAT.

Just because you have mental illness doesn't mean you are weak, need advice, or to be written off by others. Your thoughts and feelings are real. You know what you want and need. You are not stupid, misinformed, easily-swayed, or not thinking clearly. Even if people don't believe this, it is the truth.


This list totally revolutionized my life. The things I have been working on in therapy for months, if not years were actually taking root in me. It was/is a serious breakthrough.

Ever since writing the list Tuesday my suicidality has gone down drastically. I am thinking of all the things I want to do that have been put off due to my depression. I'm able to be excited about a few things (not much, but being excited about anything is a huge step). I have been talking to Ronald about everything I want to do and actually looking to the future and thinking that maybe some of the things I want can really happen.

Today I finally experienced autumn as I sat in my car looking through the open sunroof at a yellow leafed tree. It wasn't a strong feeling, it was faint and left fast, but it was autumn-- that lovely gooshy feeling I have experienced every year since I was a teenager reading poetry at Starbucks and dreaming about being R's girl.

It's weird how that happens. How life lingers and putters but always comes back. I hope it keeps coming back so I can keep going. I hope it doesn't stop coming back until I am good and old.

The last few days have been nice overall, although I was busy and rushed Amelia to the vet thinking she was dying on Tuesday (she's fine). I only took one nap which is crazy as I usually take one every day.

Every day by the afternoon I flatten like a too-old balloon. It's such an extreme change. I start thinking about how I'm not like anyone else, how I don't fit in. How people don't like me, and how hard it is to get through the days. I think most of these feelings come from guilt, and exhaustion. And then I start getting suicidal. I get suicidal so quickly, it's like flipping a coin. But I'm okay and I have a pinch of hope that I can get to next year. This is a big deal. A sea-change within me.

I'm still scared and I still often fucking hate living, but I also see a few shining things, a few possibilities, and I'm going to work on holding out to see what comes of them.

xx, C


Chopin & Dylan Thomas

Listening to Chopin with Ronald this morning, I love how his music has so much movement to it. I can imagine plants growing from deep earthen seeds, or two people dancing or arguing. I love that about his music, and then I remembered how earlier this week I was reading Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas. Oh lord, is he a master of the same thing but in a completely different medium.

His lines and words bounce up and down, pounce and flutter no matter who reads it. Even when I read it silently I feel the movement in my head, the sounds of growing up. And it makes me sad. And it makes me happy. All at the same time.

Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas
Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.

And honoured among foxes and pheasants by the gay house
Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long,
In the sun born over and over,
I ran my heedless ways,
My wishes raced through the house high hay
And nothing I cared, at my sky blue trades, that time allows
In all his tuneful turning so few and such morning songs
Before the children green and golden
Follow him out of grace.

Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would
take me
Up to the swallow thronged loft by the shadow of my hand,
In the moon that is always rising,
Nor that riding to sleep
I should hear him fly with the high fields
And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.
Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea. 



Hello loves!

I'm a bit of a sick girl today. Have been so nauseas and tired, I think I have a stomach bug. This morning I went a little crazy and made peanut butter cookies, baked-oatmeal (used this recipe with honeycrisp apples), and chex mix. No idea how I did all of that without adding worcestershire sauce to the cookies and vice-versa...I am such a scatter-brain these days it's not even funny!

Yesterday R and I went on a little date and saw the remake of Carrie. We had watched the original version the night before, so it was fun to see both. We watched two more movies Saturday (a record for us as a of late). We also snuggled the pups a bunch and watched them be their cute goofy selves. 

This week I'm going to try to do some crafting. I haven't made anything in a while and really need to get busy.

How was your weekend?

Love, C



So I woke up at 4:30. Nightmares keep bouncing me out of bed early, and it's stupid and annoying, but it is. I'm all bundled in the living room, the windows are open and it's very cold, and the pups are flopping around happily after just having breakfast. 

I'm realizing I am a doer, and this is often to my own detriment. I do and do and do and don't listen to my pain levels. Yesterday I went out and ran a few errands. I pushed myself hard to get things done, it was fun, but on the drive home (taking the back roads to beat traffic) I realized how incredibly fatigued I was. Even driving was hard as my body was aching so much. 

The thing is: I like doing stuff. I like staying busy. I don't really watch television during the day, I have a few shows I catch up on but even then I'm not that interested, I mostly listen to music. I'm more interesting in doing. In going places, being outside, and doing things around the house. If it wasn't for the debilitating and sporadic nature of my illnesses I would have a job for sure. 

I get bored pretty easily. I was bored my entire childhood-- I'm done being bored, so I do. I really have to slow down though and meter myself. There is only so much my body can take before flaring up now that I have fibromyalgia. 

I need to work more on projects that don't take as much physical energy, but still keep my mind occupied. That's one reason I'm pushing myself to blog more and to reignite my passion for it. I also am writing, and taking my computer on coffee dates for a change of scenery. I need to read. I can't tell you how much I struggle with reading. I love it, but I haven't finished a book in almost two years...I can't believe that! I am a reader and consider myself a bookworm, but something about reading makes me so anxious. I get lost in my head and my mind wanders too much, but that is not a great excuse as I miss reading more than I hate the things it can cause. 

I have bought audio books too, but I still can't bring myself to start one. I guess I just need to push play.

Do you have trouble slowing down? What are some things you do when you need to slow down?

xx, C


autumn-y fashion

Autumn essentials

Autumn essentials by cateque

I usually feel a bit of a silly and sweet giddiness when autumn rolls around. For some reason I haven't felt that yet this year. I think it's due to how pretty much awful things are and have been for a long time. I'm worn out. And I don't like that, but I can't seem to catch a break.

Regardless of it feeling like autumn or not, it is and so I do my best to keep up. Above is a list of some of my autumn fashion essentials. All of these things are damn well perfect, especially the boots and pajama pants (go to Target and buy the pjs now!). 

The Twilight Woods body splash I actually bought in the spring and really didn't use it much, it's more fitting as an autumn or winter scent, it's spicy but mellow at the same time. 

What is one thing you are wearing this autumn?

xx, C


home at 7 a.m.

I keep waking up around 4:45 from bad dreams. This time I couldn't go back to sleep so I threw on some sweatpants over leggings along with a hoodie under a granny robe and got up. Our house is cold in the mornings since we have been leaving the windows open through the night so I have to dress like an eskimo. I don't mind though as it's nice to get the Summer staleness out of the house.

I thought I'd take some photos of our house first thing. It's weird how different the wall color in our living room looks in artificial light, one picture that I didn't post makes the walls look lime green!

Right now I'm sitting at my desk on my iMac that I almost got rid of, so glad I didn't as it feel really nice sitting here looking at a giant screen. I want to sit here more, I need to sit here more.

I'm doing a little better. Not sure why. Not sure why not. I have therapy today so I hope that will help sort out some of the mess that has settled in my head like a rats nest.

Thinking is hard. Living is hard. Trying to be okay with all that is just about the hardest.

I'm going to try to keep up on blogging this week, I've lost so much routine in my life so it's time to get back at it.

Monday's are boohoos in general. But it is October and pumpkins exist, as well as sweaters, so that's something.

xx, C


So I broke.

It's weird how when I find my strength my monsters soon take me over and bring me down farther and farther. I have been getting more confident in myself and being true, this has been good yet such a goddamned curse. I tumble between believing in myself and then total desperation and wanting to kill myself so bad. I vacillate between these two extremes basically every day.

Yesterday it got really bad. I had therapy and it was rough, but in that good way where I learn something and end up growing. Then by the evening I was thinking about having Ronald take me to the nearest ER. I was desperate to die. I wanted to just cease. It seemed like the perfect answer to all the shit my life has been filled with. I looked up the hospital to see what the psyche ward would be like, to see what I could bring (if anything ). I couldn't find any info. Then R and I went for a drive and I balanced out a pinch.

I'm still teetering on the edge. Ronald is going to be with me today and all weekend. We'll see how things go after that. I just have to take one moment at a time. I am trying to get re-attached to life. I have lost most of my passion for blogging. I have lost most of my connections to friends. I'm so lonely, I start mouthing words and talking to myself while I'm out, then I notice people looking at me, Yeah, I'm the crazy. Holy shit! I'm the crazy.

I bought a journal and spent the morning at Starbucks with Ronald decorating the first page. I haven't journaled in ages. I have to keep attaching, otherwise I will be gone soon. I sort of laugh about how I can't catch a break in life, but then I realize it's really not funny at all.

So I'm writing this because I have to chart it. Acknowledge it. And then I hope get past it.

xx, C


Letter to an Isabelle

Dear Friends, 
Inspired by the book A Letter to My Dog, I decided to write letters to my three pups, starting with Miss Isabelle. Here it is:

September 29, 2013


You are my darling fluffy troublemaker. You smell like chimney smoke, weeds, and all the little secrets kept in the backyard. You are a stubborn girl (just like me). You pounce and puff, and our house is full of matted toy hedgehogs. Somehow you have me on the lookout for one any time I see a selection of dog toys while shopping. I also love buying you too small dog beds, and hair bows that you never wear due to your disdain of fashion.

You are fully yourself at every moment. You know what you want and will do everything to get it (even if that is trying to jump out the car window). You are not afraid of anything. You chase deer and wild turkeys, you stand up to your sisters Amelia and Cricket and have them convinced that you can keep up as you bare your severely crooked teeth in a pretend snarl. You are not tough doll, but I will keep that to myself. One of your biggest enemies is the sound of a bouncing basketball that the neighbor boys plays with outside, you hate that sound. And you let us know it by barking for an hour or so.

You love your breakfast and crumbs of all sorts. You walk around the house like a feather duster, nose to the floor, picking up dust bunnies along with a bread crumb or two. You look up at me, all curious and puppy, only to reveal the new collection of goodies you have on your face. I try to wipe them off but you scurry away or wiggle around like a spoiled child. You are a spoiled child and that is one reason I love you.

I love to watch you 'puff'. You start by wandering through the array of hedgehog toys on the floor until you find just the right one, you lay on your Costco size pup bed and turn in a circle only to plop down in the same spot, hedgehog in your mouth, and then the puffing begins! You suck on the hedgie and I watch your paws move up and down, over and over, usually until you fall asleep. I don’t know how you can be so cute!

My favorite, I have to say, are your snuggles. You are not an all day snuggler like the other pups, you have things to do, you need your own time. But every day you fit me into your busy schedule for some snuggling. You lay on your side or tummy and I put my head up to yours, scratching your cheeks and tummy, making kissy sounds in your ear and telling you how good you are (even when you aren’t), my favorite is when you start licking your lips while we cuddle, it makes a smoochy sound, just like my kisses, and I know you are happy. 

I worry I am not a good mother to you. You get in trouble. Time-outs in the pink bathroom when you bark, and I raise my voice with you more than with anyone else. You are wild, and I love that, but sometimes I have to tell you ‘no’ and make you follow the rules. I do love you so-so-so much. If I could, I would bring you everywhere with me. To the market, Las Vegas, therapy, and to coffee where we would cuddle up and people watch together. 

You’re my wonder. I love you sweet pup,


p.s. you snore.



I spent much of the yesterday decorating the house for Halloween. It was so much fun! I really like how everything turned out. We have so many pumpkins around and I still want more...eek.