my forays through love and other gastronomical stories

Today’s blog is brought to you by the letter R — July 27, 2015

Today’s blog is brought to you by the letter R

I have healed all my addictions – food//cigarettes// shoplifting// making up stories that would inflate my life.. but I have not healed this one place -name – my personal kryptonite. Twenty years ago, my friend and mentor Jan Bell came over to my home and said ‘my name is now Andrea Vlachos Christos, Jan is dead.’ And while I did not think it was a good idea to kill off a part of one’s self, I got it. I have tried for twenty years, to re-name myself. I have spent thousands of dollars on I.D gold bracelets ( silver when my money ran low) and necklaces with “my” name on it. I have changed my name legally twice. I still can’t fucking get it. I was a pack a day smoker for twenty years. The day I  found out I was pregnant I stopped. Over..  Serious food challenges for almost forty years. Healed.  Shoplifting was done occasionally and only in high stress moments, long long over..I have changed my behaviour from crazy to calm and still and still this one fucking elusive thing eludes me to this day. I thought that once I was published (book coming out in November) and HuffPo stuff, that I would be ‘cured’. But no..I was name obsession free for about a week, and then I read a review of Harper Lee’s book and thought ; hmm… maybe Harper? Fuck me and my mother..I thought I was healed of this naming insanity. But this is bigger than conscious me. I get it , intellectually a name is not going to bring me a good mother, or safety or — but still , I search. I am sharing this  here because I want my  friends to know that I am flawed and fucked up but always, everyday , trying to be better.. whole -er, happy -er, truthful -er ( because I came from a family that lies like they breathe.) so this is me, trying to be transparent in the hopes of A. Writing this might help someone else and B. Writing this might help me. My little hopeful bunny self is slightly excited today, because this morning I realized I was out of coffee and went to Starbucks in the Village (Jew village, not Gay village) and because it was Forest Hills they had specialty limited offer coffee and I had to buy it because it was small and cute and came with the letter R on the front. I immediately thought “This is my letter!” (I am not certain that thoughts need quotation marks but just in case).  Perhaps I have pertinent information now. I have been praying to the Grandmothers for help  in this painful place, to find my true name. I believe they are showing themselves here; because my parents named me Rhona after my great grandmother Rchl (it’s Yiddish and Yiddish does not have vowels). My favorite ex had written a story about us, and in her story, gave me the name Rowland. Perhaps I can go with that, after all I AM A SURVIVOR! ( Kelly Rowland Beyoncé Michelle Williams)

Charming — July 25, 2015


I collect mothers like

charms on a bracelet

heavy on my wrist;

always on the hunt

for just one –


My covert obsession,


scanning the sidewalk

for another ; more luminous

than the last

longing for that glimpse

of my past

that never was

and never could be.

I felt her before I saw her

passing me on the street

last Tuesday,

kind eyes shimmering

light – filled , imbued with


I brushed up against her


almost casually

just to share a few words

to experience

the soft touch of her hand

on my shoulder as I

breathed her warmth

into my frozen


*”I am so sorry”

I say..

(I will lie prostrate in the gutter for you)

“It’s all right, my dear”

she says

(she has no subtext)
I fall into her

silently hoping

maybe this time –

just for a moment

I could believe

she was mine.

My real life

mother is the antithesis

of soft

all hard lines and planes

no give there ..

no breathing space

for me

to arrive.

This morning

lying in my bed

watching the light

play off my heart –

shaped mobile

a thought kept

trilling though

my mind

like a tiny hopeful


what if –

I can raise myself

out of my mother stupor ?

leave the bracelet behind

tucking it safely


my indigo velvet pouch

and hold

myself afloat

by a sliver of

a hope

a belief

that I can indeed

someday –

become the woman

I have been searching



Forgiveness — July 12, 2015


Yesterday as I was walking in the bluffs with a friend and , of course Lucille the circus pup, we came upon a steep incline. My friend went first and when it was my turn I looked at her back, silently willing her to turn around and say “Hey, Katharine  need some help?” for of course I needed help. I have bad knees and bad balance and a broken motherless heart. YES I NEED HELP MOTHERFUCKER!!!

But she did not turn around and so I proceeded to go down the very steep incline by myself and in the process injured my knee. And, if it would have ended there, it would just have been another in the series of shame blame Saturdays , but here is where the miracle happened. I FORGAVE MYSELF. For not being able to ask her to turn around and help me and for then tumbling down. I FORGAVE HER for not having a mother who encouraged connection and reaching out to others, literally and figuratively . I did what my amazing therapist the wonderful Jodee has been asking me to do, which has been so hard for me to even contemplate , never mind put into action which is this.

I am my own good enough mother , I might even be my own good mother(having graduated yesterday from good enough to good) and I said to myself “it’s ok katharine, everyone here is doing the best they can “. “you are ok, and i am here for you” (good mother does not like writing with caps) and I then felt a surge of love for my friend , who gave me this opportunity to practice the practice of truly loving myself.

“Wholeness is the goal, but wholeness does not mean perfection. It means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.” -Parker J. Palmer

%d bloggers like this: