February 24, 2011


Thinking today about future kids I hopefully maybe someday will have. Went, in my mind, further than I usually would go. Ballet lessons. Birthday parties. Baseball games. Holidays and vacations. A good man by my side. Longtime friends, and carefully hand-picked family, sharing life with us. Children who understand early on that just because you've never met someone, it doesn't mean they don't belong to you; children who will say "Ailis" and "Noah" out loud -- and smile. Little girls with strong spirits and unfathomable eyes, little boys slow to anger and quick to love. Family as I'd always hoped it could be: united, whole. Bound to one another not just by blood, but by love and trust and choice.

Fierce, I think. My family will be fierce, in the best possible way.

The word resonates pleasantly for me. I think of strength and beauty and passion, of people who own their power. Children so loved they are never afraid to speak truth. Children who know when something is not right, and won't go quietly to their doom. I can teach this. I know I can. I can do for someone else what I wish had been done for me.


These are fragile dreams, tenuous as soap bubbles; but without them... Without them, I am lost.

February 23, 2011

theology of the downtrodden

[excerpt from a letter I recently wrote]

I am in a stubborn mood, and so I won't commit to whether or not God is "real" -- especially not in the way most people understand God to be. But for the sake of argument and of comfort and of logic, I will say, if God is any kind of real: I don't (and never will) believe God knew my parents would fuck it up this badly... God only knew that they could.

I didn't have to suffer. I didn't HAVE to be hurt. But I was. None of it had to happen. But it did. And that is all on them, on my parents. I was entrusted to their care. They could have made better choices. They didn't. I could have been rescued any number of times, by any number of people. But I wasn't. And here we are.

(I also didn't have to be raped. There is no moral to that story, and I can't tell you how many people I've wanted to punch for implying that there might be. The only thing I might concede to is that my babies had to die... but not for any cosmic reason, and not to teach me anything, and not because God "needed" them in Heaven (what the fuck does that even mean?!) but for the simple fact that my poor body could not support their lives and my own at the same time. This is the saddest fact of my life and I don't know if I can ever truly forgive the people whose fault it is. I do know it's certainly not my own.)

So. I just wanted to offer this to you, despite my ambivilance: never believe for one second that God would want this for me, would choose this for me. That is too ugly to be borne, and it will shatter you. Know that every human makes a choice every minute of their life, and the choices are entirely their own. That is what is so desperate and holy and beautiful and terrifying about humanity, what we wish we could deny. That WE did this. All of us. With our creative power, we did THIS. But we can turn it around, too. That is what power is for. For making things happen. Like it or not, we can't deny our power, or the responsibility that comes with it; we can only decide if we are going to use it to make good things happen, or bad.

February 21, 2011


My baby sister is coming to visit me.

She will arrive the day after my birthday, but the date is mostly coincidental. It's not about me. Really it is a mental health break for her, from school, from the bleak winter landscape of the Pacific Northwest, from the drama of our dysfunctional family members... from life.

I love my sister. It's still hard for me to see her sometimes; but it's getting better. I hope that one day, we can spend time together and it will just be good, without any effort. I hope that one day we can forget, even for a little while, the horrors we've endured. I hope that one day, when I look at her, I no longer see the little girl I tried so hard -- in vain -- to save.

I hope.

I think already our relationship is not so strained as it once was. There are a lot of unspoken hurts, old wounds, memories of circumstances way outside of our control. There are tears yet to be shed. But there is life yet to be lived, too. There are lunches to be had, and coffee dates. There are flights to book and visits to look forward to. There are plans to be made. There are weddings and baby showers, and watching our kids grow up; kids who like themselves, and eachother -- because we taught them how, as we're teaching ourselves.

And that's what gives fuel to this strange new hope I have: the knowledge that every day we each are growing stronger and more whole -- and believing, against all odds, that the effort cannot help but pay off in the end.

February 19, 2011


Can one of you please come over and hang out? I am so tired of communicating mainly with a computer screen. Someone with a face, email me and I will give you directions to my house.

I am 90% serious.

Sorry I'm neglecting you, little blog. I still love you, I swear... You just can't talk back to me; and I so need someone to talk back to me right now.

I can't seem to explain anything properly this week.

February 14, 2011

be mine

I was going to bake a cake for today, but my cousin made about a million cupcakes last night, so I figure there is enough cake in the house for now and I should probably wait. I have no one to make it for anyway, aside from myself, so no one is getting let down.

You may or may not be surprised to hear that I am not a romantic. Like, at all. Many of the things that other girls swoon over or have come to expect on this day, I find silly and contrived... But still, I've always liked Valentine's Day.

As a child I really enjoyed the idea of a day devoted to showing love to one another. School parties were the best! Even the unpopular kids who usually got left out due to classroom politics were showered with hearts and candy on at least this one day -- and that made me happy inside. Even when I was older (in college, and abroad in Australia) I still liked to make handmade valentines for all of my friends, and my little cousins as well. I am not a fan of the commercial aspect of the holiday -- but I won't move to revoke its 'holiday' status just because of that. You don't have to buy anything to make someone feel special. And you don't have to have a romantic relationship to be happy that love exists in this world.

I wish that my little ones were here, so I could shower them with sweet treats and too many kisses. I even wish, for literally the first time, that I'd had a date this Valentine's Day. I don't feel bitter about it; not even a little. Humbled, actually, would be far more accurate...

You know, there's so much more I could say about this, so much I discovered about myself as I thought it all over yesterday and today. But I don't think I can write it down very well right now. So I'll save it for later, tuck it away. And maybe one day we'll have coffee together, and you'll say: "How do you feel about Valentine's Day, Vera?"

And I'll tell you. I'll tell you everything I'm thinking. I promise.

deeply loved

What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all
that we love deeply becomes a part of us. --Helen Keller

Happy Valentine's Day, my sweets!

February 13, 2011

if her life is beautiful


Head tilted back to receive the sunlight full on your face, drawn like a flower toward its life-giving heat. (Completely alone and yet clearly visible is as close to safe as you know you can be.) Sand, vast stretches of soft white sand, and the sounds of the ocean to slow the painful staccato beating of your heart; paradise, just as you'd always imagined it. So young and yet already so deeply tired. Wishing this moment could stretch and stretch into eternity, or that you might simply dissolve into this place, lose your shape and your face and your treacherous skin, and become a part of the sunlight and the sand; or find your voice, finally and forever, in the ceaseless roar of the ocean.

You know, any moment now, one of your parents will break your reverie -- and for no other reason but that they simply like to break things. They feel the need to remind you of your place in this world: a low place. A cold place, far from the sun.


I wonder about this girl. I wonder if her life is beautiful. I wonder if she was happy, at the moment this photo was taken, or if she was wishing, like I did at her age, that she knew how to dissolve.

February 12, 2011

alone with my thoughts in a coffee shop

Another day, another Star*bucks... same issues.

I don't miss my actual "mother." I miss the idea of having a mother. And I am staggered by the enormity of my loss, the sheer depth and breadth of what has been missing from my life, and no matter what happens next, no matter how lovely things might (someday) get, I can never go back and fill in that blank. Sometimes we never get back the things we lose.

I know it will be driven home all the more, when I finally watch a child of my own grow, encompassed completely by my love, true mother-love; the kind of love I've never experienced for myself.


Reaching for more words; but they're not very interested in making an appearance tonight, I'm afraid. Or... perhaps that's just it: I am still afraid.

I desperately need someone to cheer me on; to notice when I'm doing well, and tell me so. (Because really, I am doing remarkably well.) But all I can hear is the echo off of 27 years of silence.

February 10, 2011

coming closer to the truth

My words appear to have deserted me. Here's another song, instead.

February 8, 2011


UPDATED: Oops! The music video was disabled. :/ But here's one with just the song, and the song by itself is still pretty great.

found via Dear Stevie (Thanks, Kristin! You're awesome.)

Super inspiring. Infectiously giddy. Love.

February 7, 2011


Well, lovelies, I'm not gonna lie. This has been a very difficult week for me. Dealing with a lot of really gross stuff from my past, but hopefully this is the final stage of that; or at least, final stage of dealing with it in a public forum. Personally, I know very well that the repercussions of my horrific childhood will go on for the rest of my life.

SO. Anyway. *grimace*

On that note... I've barely had it in me to interact with other humans as I try to process my emotions in the moment (still a pretty new concept for me). Work has been really hard, and I've relied heavily on caffeine to get me through it. At home I have mostly been hiding in my room, taking short but frequent naps and putting what energy I do have into some creative projects. It is so theraputic for me to make something pretty when my mind is crowded with the ugliness of the past.

Pictures are doing more for me than words these days. Thus, the photos and slideshow for my sweet sweet cousins (the former of which, by the way, is sunshine personified, and the latter an everlasting firework). In addition, I would also like to introduce to you TWO image-rich new blogs by vera kate!

Vera's Closet

In which I attempt, on occasion, to be fashionable.


vera kate gets creative

In which I show off some of my sewing projects,
and give followers first notice on sales and promotions happening
in my Etsy shop (still under construction).

I think I might have reached a kind of turning point today, and hopefully will be feeling better again soon. Thank you all so much for your sweet comments and ongoing support. xo -- vera

February 4, 2011

shine baby shine

Little Fifi turned 8 years old today! I can hardly believe it.
Baby you're a firework / Come on, show 'em what you're worth...

Happy Birthday, Poodle! You are a firework, my love.
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO forever -- vera

February 3, 2011


It seems that many of the BLMs whose blogs I read are pregnant again; their little rainbow babies pushing out only newly slimmed tummies, showing up as glorious blobs of life in grainy black and white. And I am so, so happy for you, mamas; really I am.

Only... only I wish that it was my turn too, you know?
My turn looks awfully far away from here.