For my Friend…on his Birthday.

Gio and I have ben friends more than 20 years now, since we were in our teens. It’s rare that a friendship is both so intimate and so enduring, and I cherish “us” for those qualities and so many more. I could go on and on about the characteristics that qualify great friendship…but I think you know…it’s been said before and anything I might say would only be a reflection of your own experience i am sure. So instead I will offer some words from one of our favorite poets, Pablo Neruda…who we would read aloud to each other late into the night in that tiny colorful apartment on, “5th and B”…Funny how romantic love and sustained friendship (love) share so much in common.

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”  – 100 Love Sonnets

I love you Gio, today, tomorrow and always, your conchita.

Thoughts on Friendship…

I have every excuse for not writing…but it would be the same you’ve used before…so I will spare you, and return with where “I am”…thinking about friendship…and because my own words escape me presently…I will share my thoughts and feelings with you through the eloquent words and images, of others.

The quotes were found through reading and internet jaunts. The images are from Nicole Shau, an extremely talented, multi-media artist, who I recently stumbled upon…Her work can be explored and viewed on this site: and she has a Facebook page under her name, ENJOY:

“You understand my past, believe in my future, and accept me today just the way I am.” (Michael Powell)

“Everyone has a gift for something, even if it is the gift of being a good friend.” (Marian Anderson)

“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.” (Euripedes)

“Anger is the fluid love bleeds when it’s cut.” (C.S. Lewis)

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” (Mother Theresa)

Friendship involves many things, but above all, the power of going out of one’s self and appreciating what is noble and loving in another.” (Thomas Hughes)

“When it hurts to look back, and I’m scared to look forward, I suddenly notice you standing beside me.” (Michael Powell)

The greatest friendships are not serene, they are truthful, accepting, and…fun.

xxx c.

(Image by: Daniela Sessa)

Just a Bad BAD Bunny, on a Good Friday

I have never been a fan of Easter or any of the overly wrought religious holidays, in all honesty. As a child, I recall enjoying my new fluffy pink dress, and DESPISING sitting in church all day, only to be semi-placated by my mothers horrific cooking (no it is NOT okay to replace ricotta with cottage cheese in lasagna, ever.) Despite that there was this idea of family that surrounded Easter. I may not have liked the set, or the script, but I loved the actors. I miss that now, living 3,600 miles away from any semblance of (related) family.

However, over the years I have developed a surrogate family of my own. We don’t share blood; we share love. We are not related; we are relational. And we do not go to church; we preach from experience and exploration.

On this Good Friday, I recognize the religious significance of sacrifice…not between the pages of the bible…rather in the passages of my life.

And this Easter, as with so many in my more recent past, I appreciate both sacrifice and resurrection…of family, as a feeling and not simply a surname.

Love, xxx c.

(all images courtesy of M.Wild Photography)

(OUR) Wild Night!

This Saturday was one to remember…yes, it was a WILD NIGHT: we celebrated, we danced, we partied, we laughed, we kissed, we gave lap dances, we sang, we drank, we talked, we shared…but more than that: WE LOVED ONE ANOTHER…and that is the memory I (we) can hold on to FOREVER! Cheers to Wild Nights! xxx c.

Wild nights! Wild nights! 
Were I with thee, 
Wild nights should be 
Our luxury!

Futile the winds 
To a heart in port, 
Done with the compass, 
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden! 
Ah! the sea! 
Might I but moor 
To-night in thee!

Emily Dickinson

Celebrating LIVING Through Death: A Thought for Gi’

I find it frustrating that so often grieving is filled with comforting the living, rather than celebrating the dead.

I wonder if the death of another frightens us in such a way that we become fixated on the fragility of LIVING and not just “life” itself.

Suicide seems another matter entirely. Its impact seems to only intensify this reaction to death.

I have been touched multiple times by suicide, my father, my aunt, my patients…and now my friend and lover Gi’. In a very real way, I can identify suicide as a primary factor in my own development. Suicide has shaped who I am: my choice in career, my relationships with others, even my personality.

Suicide has given me a rich appreciation for life, for the impermanence of relationships, the enduring nature of love, and the importance of contributing to society as a whole.

Perhaps I have hit on it, where my frustration lies, it is not in the fixations of others, but rather in my own.

It is difficult to go on living with death on your back (literally and figuratively, I have a calaveras de azucar tattooed on my back); frustrating to look for “life in death” constantly. Yes, it is painful and trying…and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lately I find myself re-reading the Hume…returning to his and other related work on suicide, with the intent to make philosophical sense of this unthinkable “life”-choice. I found this excerpt…which rings true, for my (our) most recent loss:

Suicide is justified when man’s life, owing to circumstances outside of a person’s control, is no longer possible; an example might be a person with a painful terminal illness, or a prisoner in a concentration camp who sees no chance of escape. In cases such as these, suicide is not necessarily a philosophic rejection of life or of reality. On the contrary, it may very well be their tragic reaffirmation. Self-destruction in such contexts may amount to the tortured cry: “Man’s life means so much to me that I will not settle for anything less. I will not accept a living death as a substitute.” – Leonard Peikoff, Objectism: the philosophy of Ayn Rand

Reading this…I can only envision Gi’ dancing in the spotlight…


xxx c.

A Birthday Epiphany

I woke up this morning…overwhelmed by melancholy…tearful actually. But, my birthday is saturday and I am reflecting a bit…well I always seem to be reflecting, but perhaps a bit more than usual. I am thinking about the things I have accomplished and the things left undone…the “WHY” of it all.

In this relatively short lifespan, some would say…I have done quite a lot. Career-wise I have been lucky enough to occupy positions from the fashion industry to medicine…account executive to clinical psychologist and researcher. When it comes to artistic expression, I was never shy about exploring the lesser known underbelly of the NYC sex, swinger, and erotic art scene and I still believe the work that came out of that was thoughtful and maybe even a little bit impactful. My relationships, while there have been a few missteps; have only added luster and depth to my life.

What am I missing?

If I had to sum it up I suppose I would say family. It’s no secret; I’ve written about it previously in my blog, my childhood was not ideal (but whose is). I moved myself 3,600 miles at the age of 17 to NYC to “get away” from family. I was so naive and yet brilliant, now that I look back; there is no doubt in my mind, that move saved my life. I struggled. Oh how I struggled. But I managed to develop into a person I can say, now, I am proud to be. In truth I couldn’t have done it without the love of my friends and partners, who in fact are my family.

People say things like, “blood is thicker than water,” or “family comes first.” I hear these epitaphs, but I cannot really understand…those sentiments have never found truth in my life. I can say that I believe in love: mutual, non-judgmental, unconditional, and everlasting. That does not mean I believe in traditional, static, or defined love…but you knew that right?

Something funny just happened…I started writing this with the intent to talk about how amidst all of my accomplishments I DIDN’T HAVE A FAMILY…A WIFE OR HUSBAND…A CHILD…and yet, THIS is where I AM NOW:

I HAVE SOMETHING BETTER (for me)… I have YOU. My friends and lovers, the people in my life…YOU have helped me be who I am today and who I will become tomorrow. I realize in writing this…I do not lack in my life…I am full of COMPASSION…give and take…and I am so grateful that life has presented me with the opportunity to have and to give…I think, no I know, it is all I ever wanted.

Thank you…on my birthday…c.

When the energy of unbearable compassion is unceasing,
     In expressions of loving kindness,
     the truth of its essential emptiness is nakedly clear.
     This unity is the supreme unerring path.
     Inseparable from it, may we meditate day and night.

–Tibetan Prayer

What’s in a Name? (Part I: Conchita)

What’s in a name?

Well I don’t know about yours, but what’s in mine? WAY TOO MUCH is in my (given) name.

Growing up, in my family, every person and pet had AT LEAST three names. These names were invoked at different times and for varient reasons, but they were always GIVEN and EARNED. NO ONE chose their names; not their given name, nickname, alternate name, etc. A name was bestowed.

Often we have names we don’t care for, but we accept them…names are a necessary referential system of communication…But sometimes…sometimes we are given a name we simply cannot identify with, one that feels so foreign we cannot accept it.

I hate my given name.

It is interesting, it represents both mother’s and my father’s desires. But unfortunately it also represents the painfully divide between them.

My name was supposed to be: Mystery Dawn.

It was the 70’s. My mom was a hippy. No further explanation is necessary.

My father argued against this name choice. He exclaimed, “Children will make fun on her!” (because children didn’t make fun of me, ANYWAY…right…lol).

And so he suggested another more “regular” name that was also the name of my mother’s best friend and my mother added the “y” because…she had to have something from “Mystery”…or so the story goes.

Here is the problem: MY MOTHER’S BEST FRIEND, WAS MY FATHER’S LOVER. (The later, was not known until after my birth.)

So, my given name represents so much…that had nothing to do with me…and yet I bare the burden. The affair dissolved, the woman left. but, my name remains.

My (given) name = PAIN.

In my late teens I moved to NYC for college and met Gio-Shazzamity (no, that is not his given name…rather his earned name). Gio decided that I needed a new name, one that I had truly earned.

He settled on: CONCHITA

Why, you ask? Well,

  1. I have a long given name with hyphens and syllables and such, so Conchita was meant to tease me, as a play on: Maria Conchita Alonso (famous 80’s actress)
  2. Conchita is a derivation of conch, little shell…some thing cute and small…It’s also slang for vagina…which is great!
  3. Conchita is also short for: La Immaculada Concepcion, which is actually a “real” name in Italian and latin cultures, although the more common shortened form is Connie. Either way, associating me with the immaculate conception is HILARIOUS.

It’s been 20 years since I earned Conchita. Almost half of my life. And to be honest, it feels more real than my  given-name. Because it was given to me out of affection, from a person who has known me longer than any one friend. It does not represent painful memories or unsolicited guilt. It is not the name I would have  picked for myself, but the best-fitting names rarely are. Rather Conchita, is the name picked for ME…

Hello, my name…well, one of my names…is Conchita. It’s a pleasure to meet you.