Photo by Mikki Baloy

All that separates me from my neighbors is a line of blacktop driveway. I hear them get in and out of the car, I know when they have friends over or do some gardening or their kid has a tantrum. I mean, not to be creepy about it — I can’t help being able to hear them. They probably hear me, too, when I have tantrums.

Even that line of blacktop is bigger than the distance I kept from New York apartment building neighbors over the years, whose arguments could be heard from across the hall, whose kids seemed to…

We didn’t have a chance to really talk, you know?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Hi Truck Guy.

Do you remember me? I seemed to make an impression on you.

I woke up out of a sound sleep last night remembering that I had parked my car in the wrong spot, so I got up to move it. I blearily put on yoga pants and sneakers and grabbed my keys. You know how they are about tickets in this town.

On my five-block walk home, I crossed the street. You had the red light, remember? And then — be still my heart — you honked. …

May 6 is National Day of Prayer in the US and I have mixed feelings and a few suggestions.

Photo: Chris Liverani for Unsplash

“The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked “to turn to God in prayer and meditation”. The president is required by law (36 U.S.C. § 119) to sign a proclamation each year, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.” (Wikipedia) Its roots go back to colonial days, when John Hancock, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson encouraged the public to fast and pray — even for self-governance.

In 1952, President Truman signed a bill proclaiming that a National Day of…

Perfect onions. Image by Canva.

Healing isn’t what I thought it would be when I started in therapy in 2004. In fact, I’m not even sure the word “healing” had occurred to me then. I just knew I felt like crap and either wanted to die or get better. (More accurately, I didn’t want to die at all. I wanted to not be how I was and didn’t see many options.)

I had PTSD from 9/11, and doing trauma therapy opened a Pandora’s box. That sounds awful, and sometimes it was. I grieved a lot in that office, and discovered how traumas are set up…

What should happen next

Image: a woman wearing black clutching a bouquet of tulips. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

It’s the time of year when I go through the rituals of spring cleaning, though this year that feels really different. As I get the stuff to goodwill or rearrange the furniture, I notice it’s with a mix of emotions. I’m really grateful for this house that has sheltered us in every sense of the word, and that sense of thanks is infusing my tidying, even as I’m eager to finally go somewhere else. I’m cleaning not for houseguests or in anticipation of a dinner party, but because my partner and I need the fresh air and a feeling of…

I used to have this idea that I was 1/4 this and 1/8 that. To some extent, it’s true: it’s many Westerners’ common way of quantifying our heritage and acknowledging where our ancestors lived, particularly given the US’s status as home to some many diasporic peoples. I thought that my “whole” was made of many parts, and I felt rather fragmented as a result. I mean, I don’t look Filipino, I don’t speak Gaelic, I didn’t know my Swedish granddad, and I haven’t been to Hungary or Germany. So am I really any of those things? What are the criteria…

Miscarriage in another dimension

Photo by Jonatán Becerra on Unsplash

TW: medical situations, miscarriage

In a parallel universe, I’m well into my second trimester.

I don’t quite have the fortitude to illustrate that sci-fi timeline for you. But in some other world, my experience of miscarriage would have been very different from what I went through here in this one. In that alternate reality, it all might have happened like this instead:

At my eight-week ultrasound, the one where I hope to hear the heartbeat for the first time, the technician introduces herself warmly and lets me know that the testing will be done trans-vaginally. She makes sure I’m comfortable…

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

I’m saying no. Even to the happy noise from kids on scooters or dribbling basketballs. No cell phone talk from that loud lady in the distance who just has one of those voices that cut glass, no ringing binging buzzing phone of my own. No notifications pushed to laptop. No traffic, trucks in reverse, deliveries, or 18-wheelers on the distant highway. No planes overhead. I will also say no to the boosted bass on that car down the block, and to the neighbor’s insistence on gas-powered leaf blowers. Just no.

I long for quiet and it is so very hard…

Everyone’s susceptible — not just “snowflakes.”

Photo by Spenser Sembrat on Unsplash

My hometown’s Facebook group has been filled with agitation and complaints about people not wearing masks in public. Included in the comments on a recent post like this were two succinct words from an older man: “Stay triggered.” It was intentionally dismissive, which is bad enough on a normal day but horrifying during an international crisis (because ideally, this might be a time when we work together for the common good rather than try to silence each other with pithy insults). …

Or why I suddenly feel like Juliette Binoche

Photo: Rafael Serafim for Unsplash

I cut my own hair two weeks ago. God knows my hairdresser has nothing to fear from my DIY experiment. I was just sick of the weight and unruliness of it and hacked a few inches off the bottom with my crafting scissors. Desperate times, I guess.

There’s a scene in The English Patient where Juliet Binoche, playing a nurse on the front lines of World War II Europe, cuts her own hair. She’s decided to stay in Italy with the titular burn victim who won’t survive being moved again. As she bunkers down in an abandoned villa, she folds…

Mikki Baloy

Shamanic healer, retreat facilitator, and author exploring the sacred with other curious modern people. ~ Insta:@mikki.baloy

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