both sides of life

both sides of life
native americans often called these people “two spirited” and they were held high in their culture…. what was it about their culture that they understood this aspect of life and today our society struggles so hard with it…

i am blessed as i have walked both sides of life and today i truly know what it feels like from both sides and to be in love with yourself and with life from this side…. and there is also a peace now, a peace over “his” past, no longer is there the pain, tears and frustration…. i don’t deny “him” or hate the fact that i had to be “him”, actually it was a true blessing and i can look back at “his” past and smile…. today i choose not to focus on “his” pain but “his” joy, and “he” did have much…. and today “he” gave her “his” beautiful heart and those big chocolate eyes that both my mother and Joanne loves…. “he” gave her an understanding or knowledge that unfortunately many on this side of life are unaware of, what it’s like on the other side

our house is still filled with a hundred reflections of “him” and “his” life….. i smile and think of those good times, for they were the minutes of “his” life that yes, “he” was happy and blessed…. and unfortunately they were only minutes because “he” struggled so hard with “his” pain, tears and frustrations, all of which “he” never understood but only knew it ripped “his” heart apart most of the time…. and there came that time when “he” finally had to cross over, “he” crossed over because life is too precious a gift to let a bullet or an empty vein steal it all away…. but this i can honestly say, for i have walked both sides of life, the joy of being in love, as a female, is the most amazing emotional high i’ve ever experienced…… i wish i could put these feelings into words, but you can’t, all you can do is smile…. is that why women have the most beautiful smiles…. today i have this incredible freedom to let out all my emotions whether they are tears or joy, and i love it… and i have loved Joanne from both sides of life and from my perspective loving her with this emotional freedom is beautiful…. and i know i can say this about every aspect of my life now…

i have what is now a two year journal called “Songs of the Sirens”… i add to it everyday of this journey…. in this journal it tells you what it was like for me to take my journey… it recorded all the tears i cried, the pain and frustration and now the gift of happiness… it’s a beautiful friend… someday maybe you can read it

thoughts written to a dear friend…. my journal…
thank you Mary for telling me to journal through this journey

the pages were empty..
without ones hands to gently turn
to stop and linger in thoughts
be they of pain or happiness…
you were unfilled
alone and empty like my broken spirit…
and then came my words

you didn’t care if they were words of pain or love
you never judged
but always accepted…
you knew my words were honest
the pain it was real,
for the tears would stain your pages…..
you taught me to hold on tight
when i was falling
being broken by ugly thoughts….
pain was all i felt for many of your pages
but you said “hold on tight you must”
for there was always another page
waiting for that smile
you promised….. just write one more page

all those words…..
pages and pages of silent words
never felt, but by your soul
and of those countless pages of words
you taught me to believe
that tears could be wiped from crying eyes
and my broken heart could mend….
you told my hand
never tire,
you must go on
find those words amongst the many
for the words can heal,
they have that magic, if you believe,
and so the words continued to come….
you told me honesty can hurt,
it will stain these pages with painful tears
but write the truth
with all its pain for then the words can change
and the tears can dry
and words of joy can start to fill these pages.

today i looked at the words
and like always tears were felt…
my heart it ached
but as the words continued to fall
i realized you were right,
you promised me,
you never lied…
today these pages had joy,
joy i never knew
and as i write my tears they rain
tears of joy
tears that wash away the pain
tears that know that the many empty waiting pages
can and will be filled,
filled with beautiful words….
oh my friend
with this tired pen
and all my words,
pages and pages of words,
you hold them dear…
never oh never let them fade
but let them rest in peace
if you will,
i love those words
because with them you showed me how to smile
so i write….
thank you my dear friend
tess julianna 4/13/2016

Dreams #64

i question, does this journey ever really end… how will i know, or do you ever really know…. i have found a happiness i never thought existed yet i know i still have many miles to pass

“dreams #64

she sits in a restless peace
with her mind flashing through a thousand photos
of lost moments…
silver will always tarnish,
and she always believed his dreams would rust,
die before their time
wilt before they could ever blossom….
and she wonders in these silent moments
was her essence a beacon
that his eyes frantically searched for,
like a sailor,
his way lost
sirens screaming
teasing him
tempting fate
like his dreams always did…..

and if today
she could steal that dream for him
would he believe…
for he had no faith,
his God had forsaken him…
but she would plead
let me paint a picture for you
and take this dream
take this dream and run
i promise
let me paint this picture for you….
but his eyes were blinded by lies
so he could never believe
for he never wanted to cry
and he knew
knew that lies never became truth,
like they promised
and so he cried

and today
they remind her time and time again
“you were blessed
your life, so beautiful”
and she quietly smiles
i hid his tears well
you never knew
you could never understand
his pain….
and it’s sad
it’s sad because i never even understood,
yes life can be like that….
journeys that had to be taken

and she silently wonders
when will my journey end
and life
my life will begin

tess julianna 6/7/17

it’s now one month later and i know i have found the happiness i’ve always prayed for… to all those Grand Princess passengers this summer (2017), i thank you for your love, and to the crew of the Grand you are beautiful…  yes this journey will continue, but everyday i love waking up and seeing her beautiful smile

“beautiful feelings”

life is nothing more than a multitude of journeys…. and with these journeys i had my share of pain, tears, frustration and what i thought was happiness… i faced everyday looking for happiness because life is too precious a gift to waste… and today i love the journey that i’m on…. for my smile has never been brighter…..
written after watching the evening’s first production show of “Born to Dance” and waiting for the second show to begin… i am now in love with my life, it’s beautiful and so is my smile

“beautiful feelings”
my stomach is in knots
i can’t concentrate on anything
my eyes dance across the screen unable to focus
and there’s an energy flowing thru me,
a high i’ve never experienced before
and i ask
why does my heart feel like this,
is it joy
i know not
but i want to sing
i want to dance
i want to be young, alive and in love,
all that she was denied..
and if this is happiness
i’ve never know it as such
and it scares me…
“he” never felt like this
and i ask
am i addicted to “her” essence
or that potion that flows through my blood
so i cry
i cry because i can’t get enough
will there ever be enough of this feeling
for i would not want to live without this joy because now i know what true happiness is

tess julianna 6/24/17


i’m battling thoughts of my immortality and i write:


i’m Ketchikan bound and
dreams…. they are chasing me…. scaring me through this night,
and yet their cries of joy still echo all through this sleepless night…..
my window to this world was thrown open…..
a broken twilight comforts me…… it paints that world that i love…. that i cry for….
am i blessed or cursed
do i really know……..
thoughts and visions dance through my sleepless state….
and yet i’m scared…..
i grow older
i want to grab out and cling…..
hold on to this blessing…
i want to sweat again….rest on a rock and cry out in joy
i want to feel fear racing through my blood
i want to lay and feel her heart beat
smell her scent
i want to mold memories that won’t rust in time
i feel my shelves are still only half full
all those books that call out for my weary eyes….
cry for my hands to caress their pages
i want to feel the loss of throwing out boots that carried me through endless journeys…..smell the leather that was bathed in sweat
i want to look into his eyes…. his unconditional love…. his scent…to see his shadow walk with mine

and i cry
i cry for those tranquility days are gone
dam-it, why did i let them slip away in the night…
do we ever know our blessings until they are stolen from our grasp…
you tell me there are others to be had
the hell with you
for i will never be able to replace perfection
she was mine
and she’s gone
god i love….no i hate these memories…
does the pain of loss feel good
does it bronze those lost memories forever

part ll

its 4 in the morning and my spirit is restless…
tormented by words that scream out to be felt….
to be written
the wind sings a haunting song as i stand on a lonely deck bathed in the tears of dew…
my favorite sweatshirt
worn from use
hugs me in a feeling of warmth as this new day unfolds…
i love this loneliness of dawn,
solitude that is all mine…
i’m selfish…. as i want to steal these moments so they are mine alone..
the sky is undecided between the gray clouds and broken blue…
the forest
still a shadow of green that floats by ever so slowly
i wonder do these islands have names
do they really need a label placed upon their shoulders
a burden they must carry on the charts of those who live on this sea….
a new day begins to dawn
the mountains drift by
my heart and soul cries out to these broken dreams of mine
and these dreams will keep this broken body…
keep my hands grasping…… and clinging
keep me dreaming….
for my dreams are my tomorrows
and my today’s
well they always become my yesterday’s

tess julianna 6/30/15


the goodbyes in life

today is “turn-around day” on our cruise ship…. today one group of passengers disembark only so another group can embark on a journey…. this past cruise from June 7-17th was so beautiful, it was beautiful because of the gift of love that i felt from all those beautiful faces…. i’ve struggled so hard this past year and a half on a journey i had no choice but to take… there were far too many tears cried…. i struggled and prayed for happiness, and it was the happiness that i prayed for that i finally felt this last week from all those beautiful faces…. they gave the gift to me that now, now i finally know that my tomorrow’s will be the tomorrow’s that i always prayed for……. and then i had to say goodbye…. so i wrote about “goodbyes”….


“the goodbyes in life”
goodbyes were cried and hugs were given, but it’s never enough to take the aching out of my heart…. i hate the goodbyes in life….. at times it seems all we do is say goodbye…
Joshua is gone (my dog) and i cry because i couldn’t even say my goodbye…. i left on this journey never knowing he would not be there to greet me once again when i walked through my door…… i just woke up one day and received a phone call that he was gone….. and gone is forever…… sometimes i hate forever’s, yet don’t we also hate our yesterday’s… life just tugs at us one way and then the other……
and once again our ship heads north, north in an adventure that so many have waited so long for….. my eyes drift among the shadows in this room, they paint a feeling of happiness with smiles that sparkle, their voices sing but i sit alone keeping company with my tears, for i want my yesterday…
often life is like that and it’s like that because of the people that walk into my life… they just appear out of nowhere and before you know it they are stealing a part of my heart…. what draws our souls together, for if i knew, maybe i could avoid the pain that will always follow with goodbye….
and time moves on, it’s constant but in our heart it never is…. i can remember when it took forever, my tears, my pain never letting go… i prayed for time to pass, pass so my tears would dry and i could maybe smile once again…. and now those beautiful faces have all left, gone on to their tomorrow’s and just left me with my aching heart for a yesterday that just wasn’t long enough….. i wish i could go back and freeze all those moments, hold on to them forever, but then i would be stealing their tomorrow’s…
i loved sitting on my stool, weaving stories, looking at their faces, eager for each word i would speak…. did they know that in those quiet moments that they were slowing stealing my heart, that i was being held captive by the love that was painted in their eyes….. and like a beautiful chorus they sang out my name, day after day…… and now i cry because will the music of my name be forgotten….. will they ever sing it again….. i promise myself over and over i will never forget their smiles but i’m afraid of time because time is a force, a force that can even erase the tallest mountains….

i think of my summer and all of the faces that greeted me everyday… i get confused with each cruise and all the faces that i prayed i would never forget…. each face i wanted to hold on to forever, yet forever always has it’s goodbyes and i’m tired of these goodbyes….

our journeys in life must go on, but i promise myself that i will never forget the love i felt from that cruise (June 7-17th)… and to that special voice, well i refuse to say goodbye
tess julianna 6/17/17

Winter thoughts heading into Ketchikan

Winter thoughts heading to Ketchikan
Feb 11 2016
i am once again at sea….. we left in the darkness of night as the tide started to flood…… a journey i talked about all last summer…. a journey that tess always wanted to take…. i’m aboard the Aleutian Ballad, the famous king crab boat from the Deadly Catch, and we are heading to Alaska…. outside the rain is falling and i’m in the darkness of an early dawn…. the sea seems to be alive although the swells are small, yet the swells are pushing us around quite a bit…. the wind is blowing at 20 kts yet i’m protected as i sit in the pilot house both safe and warm…. i’m sitting in the helm chair on the port side of the boat and in the background is the steady hum of the engines…. slowly pushing us northward… we’re only still off the coast of Washington on a course that will take us north of Vancouver Island…. and the rain continues to fall

thoughts wander back to my time with Tranquility… i truly miss my little lady….. an unbroken dream that lived for 11 beautiful years until i walked away from her that evening in January…. my heart crying as real tears were felt…. a goodbye that was the hardest i ever had to do…. i often wonder where my lady is….. are hands like mine tenderly caressing her everyday…… i miss her scent….. i miss her touch…. i miss her being
i sit and watch the constant rain and the flight of the gulls….. carefree, just drifting with the winds…

Feb 12
and the rain continues to fall…. thinking back through yesterday i wonder did the rain ever stop….. once again it’s the quiet hours of predawn…. the world is dark and silent for i can’t feel the wind or hear the sea…. slowly this island that i float upon moves ever northward…. slowly and silently the wind and currents push us towards Alaska…. i am at peace in this moment, for the sea has always brought me peace… the steady rhythm of the swells…. the rain against the glass that i stare out through, to this cold distant world…. the marine radio breaks the silence with an advisory of a waiting storm in the distant…. but our journey will have taken us safely to the north of this storm…… looking to the east awaiting the dawn of this new day…. and the rain falls

Feb 13
the rain continues to fall…. i sit once again and look out at a world of wind, rain and swells….. it seems we left Astoria at the right time as we are staying ahead of the worst of the weather….. yesterday afternoon there were small windows of sunshine but mostly we been accompanied by gray skies and rain….. i can feel a drop in the chill in the air as we head further north….. north once again to my beloved town of Ketchikan….. but for the rest of today the swells and wind will continue to push us northward while this rain continues to wash our pallet….

being on this journey upon the sea one finds there are many idle moments that allows ones mind to drift like the currents….. at times i think of my past…. my many journeys that this soul of mine has experienced….. and as i think back to each of those journeys i wonder did i really know my course i was taking through life….. i feel most of the time i was just caught in the flood or ebb of the tides of my life…. did i really know my true destination……. with each summit that i reached there was always a moment of idle satisfaction…. i could reflect over what was accomplished and also stare hard into the unknown future…. yes there were always the deep valleys that i descended into….. and at times it grew dark and i felt lost…… my course felt uncertain…….. so was there always a careful laid out plan…. i think not, but a course i set, and always i seemed to move ahead

Feb 14
it was late last night with a gentle rain still falling that i saw the lights of Ketchikan once again…… a thousand memories does this small town hold…. rainy walks amongst rainy days with a thousand puddles that my boots did play within…. it feels good to be back to my alaskan home…. only the noise from the bars could be heard from the docks that were empty of the thousands of tourist who wander about in search for their alaskan memories…. this gentle winter rain is washing away, for yet another day, the stains left from those crowds…… for tonight the streets belong to those whose songs are heard from the many bars…… and the docks are empty and stand silent and so beautiful without the ships that will come once again with the summer rains…. yes its good to be home once again

Feb 16
the sky is gray and the mountains are blanketed in clouds as the rain continues to fall….. i always wanted to spend a rainy winter day in my Ketchikan and today my dream comes true…… its cold, its damp, untold puddles cover the sidewalks as small playgrounds for the boots of those who wander aimlessly without destination other than a walk in the silent rain…… it’s a day that i find myself sitting in the wheelhouse of the Ballad in my chair just reading and napping as ones sees fit… my morning did have a beautiful walk in this rain as it felt good to be cleansed by this winter rain…… the boats sit idle in the harbors enjoying a winter’s sleep until the rains of spring…. as i let my eyes wander to the many windows overlooking the waterfront, i wonder how many chairs are placed by these windows with hungry eyes that soak in these rainy days….. with a pile of books by my side, a mug of hot tea and wrapped in my blanket i would spend my Ketchikan days throughout the winter…… and today is a beautiful day to let the mind travel through memories and dreams…..

my friends have all left….. the crab pots are soaking in the cold tidal current awaiting the crabs… there is noting to do but wait… to watch the days slip slowly by…. the afternoon rains quietly fall while i sit in warmth by a window, my mug of tea and my sleeping bag as my blanket……. finally my dream of spending a winter in Ketchikan has happened…. my book is closed now as i spent the afternoon hours reading and dreaming…… when my eyes grew weary of words i took to my raincoat and walked the rainy streets of this quiet town….. the sidewalks are empty of the summer crowds as i can freely wander at will….. the puddles were all mine to splash through as i walked with no destination in mind…. i treasure the thought of another full day alone in my rainy paradise, with nothing other than reading and walking in the rain before i must head for home…..

Feb 21
with my dream and memories packed in my bags i took my final walk in the rain… a taxi and then a ferry and the rain continued to fall…. i took my wool cap off so i could feel the rain for one last time…. i feel cleansed by this rain… now in a broken silence i awaited my flight but in a way i hope it would never arrive…
and as that jet lifted into the clouds, i looked for one last time at my beloved town of Ketchikan….. and i thought… journeys must all end if only for another dream, for another journey to begin

bittersweet, these days are

my mortality… it stares at me everyday… i often hear, “your life has been blessed, you’ve done so much”… but i am restless, where has my youth gone… often my body says “no i can’t do that anymore”, but my dreams are defiant, i cannot let them rust… my summers in Alaska are bittersweet… i want so much more… will i regret these days passively watching this coast with these mountains drift by… ah, these dreams, are they curses or my tomorrows…

it’s 3 in the morning,
but it could just as well be noon
for my dreams are restless,
restless as this ship drifts
through a maze of time,
are we northbound or southbound
hell, does really doesn’t matter
for this restlessness is devouring me
while i’m chasing dreams…
and of time
well it doesn’t stand still in this void,
no, no it’s stealing my precious years,
time that i need to chase my dreams….
dreams that are taken from memories worn thin
from the many lonely moments…
moments that became my thoughts
thoughts that once again fade into new dreams….
my boots sit tossed in a closet
restless for a path to wander,
they cry to be muddied, and washed in sweat
instead of the dust that slowly covers
a face that also cries for more time….

i regretfully finish yet another book…
i cling to its essence
i cry “why must you end, my friend”..
a book that stirred more dreams than time will allow
and of the books that still await my hands
are they too filled with dreams…
and i ponder
are these books filled with curses
curses rather than dreams…
the curses caused by my fading years,
journeys that will never be taken…
and it’s then that i hear my spirit screams
its restless in these empty hours that pass
and as i sit and watch this canvas painted
painted with mountains that i can’t touch
i can almost feel the tranquility of its forest
being wrapped in that cocoon of green
ah my essence cries in restless desperation….
and time passes slowly by

my summers
yes they are bittersweet
i do love the sea
for as Dana spoke
“nothing will compare with the early breaking of day upon the wide ocean”
i love the taste of the salt in the air
a wind and sea that are alive
but my heart cries as i stand watch
and a coastline silently passes
i want my kayak days back again…
i did not walk this coastline
for it is not a part of my memory of time
and of time
well it’s 3 in the morning
but it could just as well be noon
for my dreams are restless,
restless as this ship drifts
drifts through a maze of time
tess julianna 8/29/16