thunder and strings

If we were having coffee right now, you’d probably ask me what I was doing having coffee at midnight when I have to be up in just a handful of hours.

I haven’t been sleeping well, I’d tell you.  Some days, I’m out for ten hours.  Some days, I don’t sleep at all.  I’ve pretty much abandoned the ritual that goes along with a normal sleep schedule.  Combine that with all my dinosaur toys and children’s books, and you’d think I have a toddler.

But I don’t.  I like kids, but I don’t want kids.  That’s one thing I still know about me and the life I want to build.

The rest, I am figuring it out.  Sometimes I feel like everything is so clear, and then something shifts and I’m foggy again.  That’s the problem with having no strings attached.

It’s really easy to float away.

You might say here, what everyone says.  That I don’t have to know where I’m going just yet.  That I owe promises to no one.  That I don’t even have to sit down and figure it out, I can just live each day like the beautiful day it is.

You’d be right, but I’d feel myself swim a little further into the clouds.  Like a flying mermaid.  A fish out of water, a fiction off the ground.  Going up, going up… going, going… three worlds, two worlds, one world, no worlds– SOLD.

Someone remove this girl’s cuffs.  Her strings.  She’s free to go to no place at all now.

I’m free, you know.

The thought of that still hits me in odd moments.  This morning, it made me cry.  In just over a month, I’ll be completely free.  Erase the trappings of last year.  No more parole.  Erase the trappings of the year or so before.  No more prison.  Erase the trappings of the four years before that.  No more case hanging over my head.

Nothing above my head.  Nothing under my feet.  A flying mermaid that can’t even find a cloud to build a castle on.  A flying mermaid who doesn’t even know how to build a castle, and wouldn’t recognize a cloud if it hit her in the face.

Maybe all this fog is the inside of a cloud?

At this point, you’d probably want to sip my coffee to check it for alcohol.  I still don’t drink.  I don’t object to it.  I just really like other beverages, especially the refillable-at-restaurants kind.

I think I’ll have beer at the reading of my poetry book.

Did I make you spit your coffee out a bit?  Did I say book?  Yes, yes I did.  The book of ugly prison stories is complete and will be available for sale on July 4th.  I am planning a party in late July — a party in triplicate.  A book shower, a post-parole freedom party, and a reading.

It’s called Sack Nasty and I set up this fun program to promote it.  It’s called ThunderClap and people can basically pledge their support.  On the day of the release, it’ll post a tweet or Facebook message or Tumblr post for you– that way, everyone’s post goes live at once.

It’s like slapping the internet in the face with a glittery mermaid tail.  Since I shared this on Facebook today, the reach has expanded to  44,000 people.

Take our magic! Hear our rawr!

44,000 people?

It’s moments like this where I realize I’m not as lost as I feel.  I don’t know if I can’t see because of a terrible storm-ridden fog, or a beautiful dream-kissed cloud, but I know you can see me through it all.

Somehow that makes it less terrifying.

If we were drinking coffee, I’d tell you I finished a book.  It’s just poetry, but I finished it– while stuck between worlds, lost in haze, and out running the sounds of chains.   It is about the ugly moments that still make me pause, the ones that make me vomit, the ones that make me cry.   It’s about the moments that turn my sleep into nightmares.

I haven’t been sleeping well, I’d tell you, and I’d refill my coffee.  And I’d refill yours.  Because being awake in my mind when my body is tired doesn’t feel so bad when caffeine is coursing through my veins and you are here with me.

… and maybe that’s just a load of hot air, but don’t worry …  I can’t really float away.   I don’t fly or splash or swim.   I’m not really a flying mermaid, or just a regular mermaid, or even just a fish.

I’m just basically a dinosaur.  And all we do is keep on keeping on.


I know this post seems melancholic and while that’s been the general overtone of my year–  I’ve been doing alright except for the sleep.  Last night I dreamed clumps of my hair fell off– what does that mean?!

How’s your sleep been?  Do you ever drink coffee at midnight?


  1. It means you are losing things that are attached to you. Or that you fear you are losing things that are attached to you.

    When I got divorced all those years ago, people told me to take off at least a year before dating anyone, to allow myself the chance to grieve my marriage, to adjust, all that kind of stuff. My circumstances were different, but I think for you, it might fit. You’ve needed this year – you’ve had so many things to process, some good, some awful. On the stress scale you’d be off the charts so it’s no surprise that your sleep is messed up.

    And I’m having coffee right now, too! For real! So we really ARE having coffee together! 😀

    But, you can’t float away sweetie. I’ve got your toes. And I’m going to paint them when we meet. Orange and yellow, with lots of sparkles.


    Love you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on your book Rara. It struck me when I read your post that I have seen this in a very different application in business called the “Theory of Constraints” The theory is that you identify the bottle-necks in a supply chain or assembly line and you design the rest of the process around that constraint. In doing so you maximize the through-put and productivity. It is the the recognition, identification, and acceptance of these bottle-necks that come to define the process.

    I would suggest to you that when you were in prison, you had to accept and deal with that as a behavior bottleneck – you could only be what they allowed you to be. Now that that that constraint is about to be removed, I would imagine you would feel lost and unattached to your reality.. It would be natural Rara and simply means finding other motivation or even the next bottle neck to be conquered.

    The prison system deliberately modified your behavior patterns to make you totally dependent on them. By cutting you off from eternal influences they maintain better control. You can reattach to reality now and it may take some time to do but this is a good thing Rara – not bad, even though it may feel that way.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. I missed your Facebook Live yesterday! Seems, I have no problem sleeping… I went to watch it later but I guess you didn’t post it.

    Congratulations on completing your book. Can’t believe it’s been a year already. Too bad it’s still a month till your probation is over, my sister and Mom will be in LA for Amma’s programs, and you could go and get a hug if you wanted… If it is in your radius and your interested, the public program is June 14th:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How exciting. I’ll email you with more questions once I look at my schedule. 😀

      And I did post my video but in the process of trying to embed it, deleted it. Doh! Maybe it was for the best. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on the impending book release! That’s huge!😆 Where will it be available?

    Hope you sleep better this weekend. My sleep has been messed up since last weekend combined with some creepy dreams. Have you tried any natural remedies like warm milk or lavender under your pillow?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I sleep badly at night (still combatting jetlag and a cold) and I nap frequently through the day. I sent you an email which states unequivocally that the 8 hours thing is a myth. I’m SO GLAD for the 44,000 people and your book and your community.

    As for expectations, yours or anyone’s, you just meet them as and when you’re ready. You can be *twinklysparklywonderful* whether you’re a dinosaur, a mermaid, or the rhino sculpture that’s at my big library in town. For reals ❤ Keep trudging.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooo, you feel my pain that is insomnia. I’m sorry about that. It sucks. Congratulations on finishing your book, I am so excited for you! You do good work. 🙂

    And if my comment here seems weird or loopy, my only excuse is it is almost 4 AM here. Alright, well hopefully you get some sleep tonight and I think I’ll go try and do that too. (Oh and yeah, completely relate to the feeling foggy aspect)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m awake. It’s 3 in the morning. I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping. Then when I do fall asleep, it’s for just a couple of hours then I’m wide awake again. I try not to drink my first coffee until after 5.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s awesome about your book! As for the dream, I’m honestly not sure what it could mean. 😕 My sleep has been pretty consistent for the past year or so, most likely because the antidepressant I take helps me fall and stay asleep. And I try not to drink coffee too late at night, going with little sleep isn’t a wise thing for me. It makes me cranky and emotional. 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  9. congrats on your book release. I see many books in your future, I’m psychic that way 🙂

    I do not drink coffee at midnight and my sleep lately has been spotty. I do remember being able to drink caffeine at all hours and still sleep like a baby, But no more, I am grateful I slept well last night and I am grateful for anything coffee, taste, color, heavenly aroma,

    There is much sadness here, and yet, so much vitality. You are a breathe of fresh air.

    love, litebeing linda

    Liked by 1 person

  10. HUGE congrats on the book! I knew you could do it, and it will sell! I think the dream about your hair is about letting go of the most personal part of you, which for a woman is her hair. You will soar, so grab some sleep when you can and believe that all will be well. I sleep like a log but have the most interesting dreams…
    Hugs to you and I would drink coffee at midnight if I could be sitting across the table from you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Because I care for you .. I’ll say this. From a person whose been there a couple times. Lack of good sleep is extremely hard on your body and mind. Find things that will help you sleep naturally. I’m so excited about your book. If only I lived in Cali. 💚💚. If you ever want to talk about the not sleeping you know where to find me. Someone all ready covered the dream. Your friends are smart cookies! Love to u. You’re doing hard work every single day. I just want you to know that. Be well

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sleep is just a cheap trick to make weak dreams stronger.

    I’ve been too busy losing my mind again. Trying to decide if I feel confident enough in my abilities to go back to school or if my desire to go back is just me giving up on hunting for a job… I shouldn’t start because of quitting, that would mean I’m not ready and I’ll fail…. again. But I’m so glad you finished your book. I was happy that I helped a little in the beginning. Roar to the heavens! Let the world hear.


    Liked by 1 person

  13. Writing a book is a sort of ….release. I know, I’ve done it, although not one of a true story kind of thing, still it was something I needed to do. Love you my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You can build a castle in my clouds anytime. 😉 & You already have. Your imprint is there.

    The sleep will adjust in time. It means your mind is still very busy – and not all the way done with grief. & There is not a darn thing wrong with that. Saying you have been through “a lot” in such a short amount of time almost sounds like an understatement to me. You climbed a metaphorical mountain while rocks & storms were being thrown at you.

    I’m so happy & proud & all the things for your book release.
    *High-five* sister. ‘Cause high-fives are still cool around these parts. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am excited for your book release. It is one I plan to own for sure. 🙂 I do drink coffee whenever the mood strikes me… no occasion is necessary. Sometimes my sleep is irregular and that’s okay… it just is what it is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Congratulations – that is wonderful news. I know it is bittersweet. You have every reason to be proud of yourself for turning a dark time into something positive not only for you but for those who will read your book.


  17. Love you, thanks for the reminder to do this today (done and done). I don’t sleep well still, but I am trying to do better about unplugging when I can’t vs. wandering online. Maybe that’s why I feel so disconnected from everyone? IDK

    ❤ and hugs, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. OMG! My work computer let me in! YAY!! 🙂

    Anyway, OMG! A book by Ra?!? YAAAAAYYYYY!! 🙂

    Yes, I love poetry and cannot wait to get my hands on your book; no, I never drink coffee at midnight. Sleep is not something I have trouble finding, UNLESS I fill my body with caffeine after noontime.

    Here are a couple of possible dream interpretations:

    “To dream of hair falling out indicates extreme fears may be running unchecked in your emotional body. There is a strong message here to examine your inner world before stress manifests itself from uneasiness. If the loss of hair in a dream is random and in clumps, a fear of death is lurking and needs to be addressed so as to improve your general demeanor.”

    “To dream that you are losing your hair denotes that you are concerned with the notion that you are getting older and losing your sex appeal and virility. You are preoccupied with aging and your appearance. Losing your hair also signifies a lack of strength; you do not have the power to succeed in an undertaking. You may be feeling weak and vulnerable.”

    The bottom line when it comes to dream interpretations is to ask: What does hair falling out mean to ME? That is going to give you your best answer.

    Congratulations, Mighty Ra! So proud of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It’s good, I think, to have a direction, while realizing that life is Alive and anything alive moves, changes.
    Most often, I sleep well, don’t generally have anything to eat or drink after supper.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. That’s very awesome, Rara! So happy that you have a book coming out, and that you are paving a new path for yourself—however uncertain it may feel. I always say writing is free therapy for many of us. Even people who claim not to be “writers” can benefit from releasing thoughts and randomness onto the page.

    On the coffee front…I can’t do it after 3:30. I’d be up all night writing complete nonsense. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dreams are strange creatures at the best of times. I wouldn’t worry too much about that.

    Ra, you are loved, and I reckon you’re grounded because of the love you give and the love you receive. You don’t need cloud castles in the sky when you can write them so well with your words here on the ground.

    Love you. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person


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