Monday, August 31, 2015

What the F*&k does a bird have to do with Abandonment?

2015-08-25-1440528085-3468265-IMG_5977.PNGWhen I was young I was a huge lovey-dovey, gregarious type of kid. My mother has told me stories of how she had to awkwardly apologize to the kids in the fast food lines after I had invited multiple strangers, children, and pedophiles to my upcoming birthday party with my address.

Then shit got real. I grew up.... I was about six.

I dropped that mushy sweetness like a crinkled and warn knapsack that was no longer able to carry the weight of all the expectations I had for it.

I gave up on ideals. I learned that nothing ever turns out the way you think. Most importantly, I released everyone from being responsible for nurturing or caring for me. That way, I couldn't get hurt when no one showed up. Or, so I thought.
I abandoned those people who felt "suspiciously loving" towards me before they could bolt. Obviously, that's what anyone does when you feel safe loving him or her, no?

That was my mind's truest belief. I lived a life that followed those rules directly, and because of that, I have lived.I've been completely alone, scared and without hope. Yet, there are the times that my blood was flowing like white-hot electricity. I did risk. I did reckless abandon. I did act as if I was tough, and strong and independent. I believed it. Truly.

The thing is: I needed to. How would I have survived and processed being unattended to so often in my formative years if I didn't convince myself that I was "special" and "stronger" and super "grown up" in comparison?

The problem with acting so strong and independent is that no one offers to help. If you are "Faking it to make it" and you are convincing then something crazy happens.... People believe you, and thus, no one offers to help. Even if they did, I refused or politely evaded it and they would give up. That's rational.

Nothing really scared me. Not on the surface at least; and certainly not anything that surely scares other people. That would be rational. I never did rational well.In the past year, I've traveled the precarious slopes and valleys of failure, public humiliation and a mass exodus of "friends."
Ironically, I'm more grateful, more hopeful and even more unafraid. Instead of berating myself for being so full of fear and fake and obnoxiously unwilling to accept help, I have found a way to look back and think: 
"Thank you, Abandonment Issues, for the useful defense mechanisms and the deep fear of almost everything. You've served me well, but I'll take it from here. Truly, I wouldn't be here without you. Cheers."
My heart leads and my rational mind has a deep latency. This has changed severely since having kids, but still exists within me. I don't really buy into labels of what it means to be "rational" or "irrational." Ultimately, most people are making those distinctions solely on the belief system they have of what "rational" means to them.

That's for the birds. Actually, even the birds wont take it, because a bird lives in the visceral. She operates in the thick richness of feeling. A bird has instincts. Instincts are another word for intuition. The instincts she is born with include but are not limited to: the intuition of knowing which way to migrate, having the ability and urge to sing or call for mating.

It is that very instinct she had to leap out of a high-perched nest into thin air! Did she go to "fly-training school?" No. Did she read up on all the new-aged aerodynamics of fowl travel? No. Did she have an app to remind her to be brave with affirmations? No. Maybe she watched a YouTube video on "proper landing and dismount techniques?" Something like that, right? Wrong. I came across an incredible poem by Erin Hanson that conjured an image in my mind.

What would be rational for a baby bird to do if she did not know she could fly? It's a serious question. Imagine we all just magically appeared in a forest. No recollection of anything except instincts. No memory, no language, nada. That's right- you, me, a bird, an ostrich, a peacock. (I love them.) And, throw in a dog or two. No hamsters, rats or pigeons. We're all vegetarian, btw. So there.
Anyway, would you base your advice for the bird on how you perceive yourself?
As in- If you are human, and disappointingly, you weren't included with wings. Therefore, if you fall from twenty feet, you get hurt. Rationally speaking, you would advise that bird not to leap, its dangerous and/or stupid. But what if the bird took no one's subjective advice to heart and gave no
heeding caution to what others were doing in comparison? 

What if that sweet little fear-ridden, conflicted baby girl-bird got quiet and listened to her inner guide? (Whatever you define that as.) What if she was lead only by her heart singing it's song and the courage springing up in her soul?

That bird would choose intuition over whatever other confusing sensations going against it, and after it's mother leaped out, she would hop to the edge. i bet her heart-rate would increase but she would trust, I said trust in her feelings and instincts to jump.
We know how that little leap of faith ends.

Do you think the bird felt self-pity? (Have you seen GI-Jane? - kidding. Not kidding.) No one said it's easy or simple. Where did we get the idea that growth is easy, or comfortable, or convenient?
I had growing pains- physically and otherwise as a child. Ask a tween boy in middle school if it's easy to grow into puberty!

Moving on, moving out, advancing to the next evolutionary step or passage of stages in our lives is not meant to be comfortable and pretty. Its quite silly that anyone or almost everyone somehow feels entitled to both the ability to be "evolving" and the right to have it come without pain, fear, judgment, accusations, alleged insanity or selfishness.


Be a bird. Trust. Open up. You'll dive, float, fall, get ruffled and maybe loose your cookies a few times... but then,
You'll soar.


"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway." 
More from Lulu:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Shimmer-words and Lovely logophilic morsels.

People seemed to enjoy my last post defining ten of my favorite things...words. 

I love the way one, seemingly innocuous word has the power to explain four emotions most people knew they had experienced but never found such a succinct, yet thorough way to explain it. Yes. Words me at least. I was the kid who when bored, would pull out a dictionary and write down words for FUN. Ha. I did other "cool" things, I swear.

I will say that I am fully aware of my obvious and embarrassing ability to botch spelling or typo no matter how much I try. I blame my parents and their languages, or Uni in Australia, or poetry. Yes! That's why...less rules. My first love was writing poetry and thereby explaining everything. You can still LOVE to make and eat cookies even if you burn a couple each batch...just saying.

Enjoy these delicious "cookies" from me to you. I winged some sentences. Forgive them...I'm delirious.

Ludic (adj.) full of fun and high spirit.
"So that guy, um...over there, right behind the gaggle of girls talking to each other...he is ludic! I saw him karaoke Elton John at the after party, without music."

Frowzy (adj.) habitually unkempt.
"Her skin sagged and hung sallow from days of no sleep. Her frowzy appearance caused people to cross the street to avoid close contact in fear of smelling her."

Sapiosexual (n.) one who is attracted to, or aroused by intelligence in others.
"I would be remiss to tell you that I am a recovering sapiosexual; I can't promise I won't judge your lack of smarts as it is my only and most visceral draw to a woman." he said on his first Tinder date.

Kalon (n.) beauty that is more than skin deep.
"With hips wider than most other girls, and eyes quite close together she was a homely sort, but it was her heart's breadth and even her mind's ability to soothe without words that made her a true Kalon. Beauty with Helen, was something you felt, not saw."

Tacenda (n.) things better left unsaid; matters to be passed over with silence.
"The tacenda of Earl's untimely death and it's correlation to his latest sexual escapades was adhered to by all. No one broke that unspoken rule of the unspoken."

Forelsket (n.) the euphoria experienced by an individual when first falling into love with someone (thing.)
"She was having trouble concentrating in class due to the tingle in her energy and the heightened awareness of the fledging relationship. She was doomed to get destroyed, but her heart could not deny the forelsket brewing within it."

Selcouth (adj.) unfamiliar, rare, strange and yet marvelous.
"Stepping off the dilapidated boat was a feat of balance. As his foot hit the shimmering sand and the salty air softened his hair, it was the selcouth mix of emotions that dropped him; seeing her face again after so long was scary and incredible all in one."

Petrichor (n.) the smell of earth after rain.
" Even as a child, Molly recognized the rich mineral and wet petrichor as home. Ireland always greeted her with olfactory sensations first."

Habromania (n.) delusions of happiness
"Mike's habromania and inability to see his own false of glee was becoming more worrisome than we were willing to admit."

Cicatrize: (v.) to find healing by the process of forming scars.
"There were no words, no expressions, nothing she could write to explain how she was to cicatrize in this molten hot fire of finding herself. The battle of this journey would leave a mark, but the arrival at authentic happiness was imminent."

My favorite Florence Scovel Shinn quote: "Your word is your wand." 
See? Five words put together make a sentence that is so thick and dense with meaning on many levels. How do people not love words? So strange.


"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."

Poems of the long gone: So. Many. Words. Never enough time.

Poems on pictures of paintings by Lulu. 
Warning: Overuse of both commas and similes. So there's that. 


"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Kids Are Screwed If I Don't Fix This.

Sure, they LOOK cute...
 I know that summer is reaching its imminent end. Perhaps I'm "over it." I can admit it. I get sick of it. My son acts allergic to clothes, my daughters fight and snip at each other with shockingly impressive satire and comedic timing, but seriously...I'm ready for school to start.

If I'm being honest, the aforementioned points don't really factor into why I'm so frustrated and ready to not see their pretty, cherub smirks. I'm having trouble understanding not their behavior, but something deeper- Character. 

I'm hoping it's about age, or stage, or the upper-middle class life they are lucky to be afforded. I truly am a little nervous it’s not just that.

This brings me to my point: My ten year old spends money on in-app purchases. She also truly believes just because her friend gets a hamster, she should. What have I done? It is bizarre because I say "no" a lot. 

I suggest she give to the homeless or those less privileged. For her birthdays, she donates books. We say it. We push it. We make them aware of how blessed they are.  BUT.....we buy the iPhone. She has her own computer and both my girls get beautiful dresses from boutiques in NYC.  My six-year-old daughter came into my office and actually said: "It's not money; it’s just the credit card. We want to go to the candy store." (WTH?)

The tween breaks a phone and her dad takes her straight to Apple. So, do the words we say even matter? It doesn't seem so.

Let me run you down memory lane for a second. I'll give you my best version of "I used to walk four miles to school, barefoot, in winter, carrying my sibling brother and we never complained." (Ha.)
I was nineteen. I wasn't asked to do this, nor did my father see it coming. I wanted to move to Sydney. I wanted to go to university there after spending years living alone in Boston in summers and attending boarding school. I did what my daughter would do, right? Walked into his office with a scowl after not speaking to her all day, and then said: "I need your credit Card." **RECORD SCRATCH** No.

I wrote a proposal. A thirteen-page proposal full of hard-selling, some sappy comparisons and even original quotes, a poem and more. Did it work? Eventually. BUT...When I called him to see if he received the package his response, I was giddy and typical me. As he answered I started in: "You must be preeee-tttty impressed with your little girl, eh?" He said nothing, then this:

" You realize if you were pitching to get backed by a venture capitalist or investor, you couldn’t use their FedEx account to overnight YOUR proposal, right?"


He then told me he was super busy and hadn't looked at it yet, but that he would get to it in the next couple days.  I literally laughed out loud remembering that now. He was so...

It worked though. I still to this day understand very clearly that the world does NOT revolve around me.

There is still time...I still hold hope and I will find new and creative ways to teach them about life and balance and work ethics.

Below are some pretty comical excerpts from my proposal. I asked myself if my own kids would do this? That's a negative ghost-rider. Pattern is full of...apathy.  

The "Hook."

The "Overkill Inspirational drivel."

The "Hard Sell" and the "Close."

I read it last night. I hadn’t read it since 1997. I think, when he died, my husband had pointed out the funny simple expense comparison that would lead one to believe it was just about the cheapest option. After reading this back, as a parent, I know without question he was proud, a little annoyed by the dripping sales-y pitch feeling, but proud that unprovoked I knew his language, and I spoke it well. Okay, not that well, as I misspelled more words that you’d think humanely possible, but if nothing else, this proposal gives me claim and proof to my kids that:

infusing effort, gratitude and real passion into anything you seek or want (even asking for an in-app purchase mod for Minecraft) is not only important, but necessary! 

Buh. Sigh. Rant Complete. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Beginnings and Endings- The backstory for le coeur de paon

Anyone close enough to really know me, probably doesn't even know me now. Ha.
They would, however, know that I've been in my home-office for the better part of every day since May. Why? Because I'm a writer. Writing is in my veins, my soul, my sanity.

The catch: Writing is NOT the most lucrative career (for most.) It also is one of the slowest build-up and get paid professions there are. I've seen amazing novelists have to self-publish, wait three years for their material to get noticed in masses and THEN, get published and gain "fame" or "success" in mainstream. I don't really hold my breath, but I hold all the hope in the world for the Trilogy I'm knee deep in.

What then? Well, I started painting to fill the need for creative outlet when I was burnt out or when words didn't fall out of me. (Mostly, because I have three kids, am going through divorce and getting long uninterrupted time is hard to come by.) Writing requires, for me at least, solitude, loud music, emotions...but painting doesn't.

I'm a risk-taker, a dream-maker and a lover of all things emotionally charged, soulful or even the slightest bit helpful or thoughtful. So I started making painting that mean something. I incorporated my original photography, and writing and it just kept coming.

I'm no genius, or brilliant artist, but I care. I care a lot. Too much, I'm sure, so it's a healthy and creative way to love. We all might sit around laughing at "Lulu's cute little endeavor during her mid-life divorcee stage." or....I may just have found a financial way to pay for the time I need to write. Either way, I'm loving it. I'm glowing in the fun and challenge and heat of nay-Sayers.

Click below to see the a five-minute back story video I made to give people a glimpse. Be nosy, be inspired, laugh at me, it's your choice. I choose to believe. In myself, in this whole journey and that endings and beginnings have a way of weaving and surprising us all.

Beginning and Endings - The Peacock Heart

Beginnings and endings- The Peacock Heart from Lulu Salavegsen on Vimeo.

"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Not a poem, not a pep-talk, nothing profound. It's just a statement: "I am here."

I am here.
I’ve been born from energy and matter and pushed forth through flesh to be held by a mother in self-questioning and a father who seeped in guilt.

I am here.
I’ve danced and sang and laughed in innocence until the world taught me that all things end and all things are not what they seem.

I am here.
I’ve stood on the hot pavement watching cars, dogs, parents leave in the flurry of forlorn and freedom flowing around quick goodbyes and my betraying eyes showing them all how much it hurt.

I am here.
I’ve walked in lonely Amsterdam airport with a small, hard and grey suitcase with no rollers marked for “The Kingdom.” Fear didn’t overcome me because it was never an option. Not then and not now.

I am here.
Holding the remnants of the person I thought I’d become and seeing for the first time I was always in pieces. Pieces that I held with patches and strings and loosely sewn threads of hope and resilience.

I am here.
A mother trying to build a world in which my own three children feel unconditional love, acceptance and are guided through the honest version of their beginnings and how the world will react to them.

I am here.
Retracing my steps to understand how my marriage is broken, my children may end up hating me and there is no one to play back-up defense when my breath quickens unable to suck in air fast enough, or when my body quivers in fatigue.

I am here.
Fending off the demons of my own self-judgment, an unexpected by-product of letting go of what other people think. It’s harsher, mine. It’s deeper and more all knowing and it holds no punches.

I am here.
Immersed in my choices and their gifts and misgivings looking at the small light within me that needs fanning from me, from love, and from acceptance I so freely give out to all that need.

I am here.
Honestly. Despite all the attempts from outside and within that have tested my will to be so.

I am here.

Thinking On It: "No Sorrow?"

What would it look like if there was no sorrow to contend with?
Would you be moved and drawn to beauty or take it for granted?
Would a story be impressive or inspiring if all things had been content and easy?
Would a challenge even be a challenge if no one had the capacity to comprehend it?
Could love be tormenting and torrid and as equally transforming and transcendental?
Could a mark upon your heart be present to remind you to heed the lonely road of self-betrayal?
Could a mood change and swing so fast that time stood still to allow for extremes in comparison?
How would happiness feel if no heartache were known?
How different would that feel from wearing socks everyday or your hair on your head?
How would a tear be categorized and what mark in a moment does it make? Joy or joyous joy?
How would you know your soul wasn't lost in the crowd of assimilating to numb?
What would it look like if there was no sorrow to contend with?
It would look like the manila wafer, soggy and bland
or  the grey soot-covered snow, and the barren river valley where water once could flow.

It is a sight, a feeling and place I shall never, not in my life, or any other, want to know.

"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."