Coconut Chana Saag by the author writing as Jillian Marks

Well. A lot has happened in the past two weeks. But, here we all are. I am still trying to bend the world–testing the malleability of my personal life and work situation. I keep rearranging my mental and emotional furniture, but the house still stands. Ha! Part of me thinks I took that 9 to 5 job just to get out of deciding what to cook for dinner! Am I crazy or what?

I find myself, in times of transition, drawn to my Indian spice pantry. Yes, I have one–filled with whole cardamom pods– both green and black, cloves, cumin, peppercorns, fenugreek, deep red chili powders, bright yellow turmeric. When I am busy working with clients, unless they are “into” Indian food, I just don’t take the time to add it to the rotation. But I love it. And honestly, I feel like it heals me in some way.

I added fresh ground green cardamom to my coffee this morning. Not bad. I think it’s better in a creamy cup of chai, though. I blend my own chai spice and curry powder and I used to sell it when I was promoting my chef biz. I kind of miss that time.

Right now I am making no new commitments. Just being– and noticing what I gravitate toward. I need to regain a sense of balance and allow the concept of opportunity to rise up again in my mind. I felt trapped before. That’s why I took such a drastic leap. Then I felt even more trapped. Painted into a corner.

We both mused after dinner last night how, if I were still drinking I would have kept the 9 to 5 job. Yes, I believe that is true. And every evening when I hit the door I would hit that bottle. And I would start buying more expensive wine, because hey, I’m worth it.

I’ve kept to my writing practice, even through the storm of my emotions. Especially though the storm of my emotions. I’ve been working on a few threads that I’ve managed to keep running:

All Adventurous Women Do: Erotic Tales From an Ordinary Life. This series features stories of my personal experiences, written from memory, with minimal editing. I have lots more stories to tell here.

Client Confidential. Pure fiction, whipped up from scratch. A good mental exercise in the genre I am most unfamiliar writing in. Imagination is a temperamental muse for me, but when I have good ideas I set down a few leading paragraphs in this series.

Portland, 2013 This is a difficult memoir series for me, although it reads quite mundane to the casual observer. It’s a forensic study of my hand-written journals in the pivotal year preceding an important emotional shift in my personal life. I’m looking for clues. Deep exploration.

The Poems. My original poetry is where I work out my emotional fatigue, battle demons both new and old, explore the dark, murky corners of my mind.

The Lyrics. As a daily music listener, often a song hits me in just the right spot with how I am feeling. I like to pull out the passage that resonates the most or is just so well-crafted I want to honor it by presenting it along with an original image.

Personal Journal. It’s fun for me to toggle back and forth between past and present. It keeps me engaged and interested in my writing. I am also aware that today’s post becomes tomorrow’s history. I am documenting my experience for later examination.

There’s so much more that I plan to excavate and put to the page in the upcoming months as I watch the wheels of my mind turn–one word at a time.