Monday, January 15, 2018


Facebook just reminded me that today is my birthday... you know... in case I forgot?

I have loved seeing the wishes come in from the other side of the world, watched the sun rise in Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, South America, North America.

The power of technology, used for good. 


There is a man I love. A man mowed down for the power of his peaceful words. They mean more to me each year.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that."



You are a vehicle for this light, right now. In this moment. In each moment. It's easy to forget - I forget it every six seconds.

I was in line at Costco yesterday, buying coffee and a suitcase, swarmed by carts overloaded with children eating samples. And the darkness rose up. The sadness. The desperation of self-pity.

Costco is the cruelest of places.

I wanted to go home and cry - sink back into bed and let the darkness wash over me.

But instead I phoned a friend. I ate lunch. I stretched my mothering muscles in another way. Had dinner with a kindred spirit, sent another to the beach on my behalf. Told my parents I loved them, reached out in all directions.


I am not in charge in this life, a fact I dislike immensely until it comes time to send out warnings of inbound ballistic missiles, and then I'm entirely grateful.

The darkness is here. It is all around. The universe is made of darkness.

And you?

You are made of light 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Things You Cannot Teach

“Some things you cannot teach, only learn.” - my friend Zreba

I'm on the eve of 37, and just realized I never wrote a birthday post last year. Last year, I woke up one month into working full time for Tommy Rosen, and DJ brought me a gift as I started the kettle for tea.

I had intended to go to New Mexico, as I had intended to go this weekend, and instead found myself facing a day off in Venice, by myself, for my birthday. Instead of bounding off to go and play with his local friends, DJ asked me what I wanted to do, and took me to the beach. He took quite a few pictures of me (which I'll forgive) but otherwise gave me space to contemplate the completion of another year - one no one promised me.

It's funny, to think back, isn't it?

Knowing what ultimately unfolded?

These men have been my guardian angels, watching me re-emerge from the wreckage of my own burned out, self-destructive, worthless ways.

(maybe you have, too?)

36 was a Year of Sadhana. Chanting. Phoning a friend. Al-anon. Home Improvement. Therapy. Letters I wrote and sent to Hannah instead of the intended recipient(s). Eating on most days. Crying on most days. Making My Bed.

(Not in that order).

I graduated from cambio, a place I feel does good in the world, who no longer needed my energy and effort. I graduated from Enso, a place I helped build, whose community became so nurturing and so painful – everything I ever wanted – a place for mothers and babies who instead reflected back to me my own emptiness.

I wrote a book about love, and all of the different ways I tried (and failed) to be The Right Woman. A primer on the ways I've defined my self worth and sought to heal one relationship with others.

(It's also hilarious).

Last week, I started on book two, because I cannot help myself. I'd rather be in the desert right now, alternately soaking in healing mineral springs and wandering west towards the mica mines, a place where it looks like God dropped a mirror and sprinkled the hillside with glitter. But I needed to be still. To work from my own bed, my perch above the burned out hills and the coyotes in the canyon.

Last year I was an infant in recovery, just a few weeks new and still near sighted. I needed loving care and regular monitoring.

Sometimes I get lost in the minutia – the steps and missteps I've taken along the way. I forget the miracle of all miracles, which is that I was born.


The woman who cannot successfully get onto an airplane with a roll-a-board suitcase and a latte without The Kindness of Strangers.

The woman who can look you square in the eyes and champion you birthing or dying but cannot accept a compliment without turning 100 shades of red and choking back tears and vomit.

The woman who looks in the mirror and thinks (simultaneously) I have some redeeming qualities. I meet some of these beauty standards. And. It's a good thing you're smart, Kwinn, because you're rotting on the vine.

(Hannah reminds I have nothing to be redeemed for – and some things are better with age.)

I have believed that my love is a weapon, a cause of suffering for anyone in the wake, and so I've tried to keep it within the exoskeleton of the cage I've built around me. I have been sorry for existing, for the inconvenience I've caused. And I have so wanted to be seen, for who I am – a bumbling idiot with sexy defense mechanisms, a malnourished heart, and a few morsels of things to offer. Compassion and eye contact.

I'm such a toddler. Needing a rest and fighting against it. Except for me, the rest in question is human connection. Come at me, and I'll bury my head. Run away, and I'll follow.

The things I will do for a hug.

This year I'm publishing The Book. Finishing a few more. Buying an airstream and going to the beach. Sitting by the fire by myself and letting love come to me.

Last year was the dress rehearsal.

This year, the reveal.

It may have taken 37 years to get here, and that's ok.

Some things you cannot teach, you can only learn.

Friday, January 12, 2018


I overslept again, which I know because I woke the first time before the sun and stayed in bed. Drifted back into wonderland where three men in my life collided in a frantic attempt to get back from India and settled into a place that was full of secret passageways and did not feel like home.

This is the language my body uses to tell me – with greater certainty – that it is time to get up. That laying in among the sheets is a recipe for getting lost in the gnarled and dark passageways of my mental illness. That I'll wake tangled in sheets and grief, both hot and cold, wondering where the easy nights of sleep and youth have gone.

The Universe it seems is cashing in on the nights I powered through, the tempestuous spending of the trust fund of my energy. Many of these expenditures were indulgences in love and full moon walks on the beach, others binge-watching Dexter and horror stories.

Rather than bounding out of bed, I kept score, weighing myself with the communications that came in during the night – and those that did not. I feel like the coastline of California – first ravaged by fire and then drowned by the storms that we prayed for, that always seem to come a week late.

The rain is so fast and so soon after the fire that it changes the very shape of the earth, tearing away what was once a piece of the massive part of gravity that keeps us from floating off into space.

How is this possible?

I cried a lot last year – many sleepless nights spent burried in the misery of my past, unpacking one memory at a time. Tears that came years too late, after the burned out soil had hardnened over and was no longer able to accept the healing of the waters. But somehow, something softened me, just a little, just at the edges, near the roots.

Rain in the desert runs off and away, and only soaks in when it finds a safe place to land and rest.

I would like to be a safe place to rest.

In Search of Water.