Ravelation

The gift of used knitting needles, is gratefully received; many offered but I take only the wooden ones and a pair of size 0 lace needles.  I offer to make a sweater for my sister and check my gauge.  But I cannot bear the odor of another person on the needles.  I have to put it down before the swatch is done.  I have hankies from an estate sale I cannot use because they carry some residue (in my mind) of another.  I suds up the needles in Dr. Bronners peppermint soap, and contemplate why I stopped.  Knitting, that is.

I stopped painting again, feeling like a hack, it all comes down to self esteem right?  A normal person would carry on, I suffer instead, with why bother syndrome.

Disdain then is what stops me, whether from myself or another.

I leave myself open like a sweater that has not been bound off.  Unraveled by the slightest tug.  Stitches getting dropped, or twisted.

Confession of your deepest feelings, met with combative response.  A frond of hair touched in an off hand manner, I have met this knot before.

I used to dream that when I tried to ride the elevator, the doors would not work, either too fast and dangerous, or it drops out or it doesn’t go to the right floor.  And then I realized in a dream that this elevator is not under my control.  And it is dangerous.  And I am just a passenger.

Unraveling.

I pick up my knitting and as the needles click together and my tossed line stitching moves rapidly, even, clean stitches.  Of my own design.IMG_0148

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Breath

The night is a constant rush of crashing waves the wind whistling with the perpetual undulation, the whisper.  Late and long into it, I float on the cold surface of stars and moonlight.  A billion light years between each spark.  Underneath, there is nothing, just this thing shallow and hot and gnawing, like a prescient ember.  Where will this hunger be satiated.  Day is night is day is night is day……

I curse the tangled warp, and wad it up and throw it, it is my own hand that cuts and rends.  The little boy blue and grey mist and my back, and the hook and the heddle  and my neck, and the loom at rest on my legs, as I run my shuttle left and pinch and beat and right and pinch and beat, surprised when the shed is too narrow again.  I feel like an egg cracked open and all my dark is spilling out.  Dark, and sunlight, stars and reflections, shadows and oil slicks and raindrops, just a heartbeat and wind in the trees, they whisper stories of a childhood, tears of the ocean, and only there in the middle is me, like a pearl in crane mountain pond, who would look for one there?   Shuttle, pinch, beat, shuttle, pinch, beat.

I am lost in the polished creaking wood rooms of someone else’s  house, the lace curtains and lead windows, the velvet fainting couches and the hand crank laundry, the pocket doors and heavy curtains, the gas lamps flickering and hissing, the shadows.  Rambling up the back stairs and in and out of the dusty library and pretending to take my tea in the parlor and eating at the counter.  Feet bare on stone floors as sunlight tries to warm this perpetually chill place, up the backstairs down the front stairs up the back stairs again.

Me like a wooden doll with cracked composite coating and a now silent voice and the stained and naked muslin of my skin, I chew on my broken finger tips and peel the flakes from my wooden hair.  I peer inside the open mouth and see only darkness.  Sometimes if I fling it just right it will say it ever so softly.  I sit up and my eyes are open I lie down and they are closed, I sit up, I lie down, I stick my finger in to hold them open and they snap shut as soon as I pull away, I sit up I open them.

I am a sepia toned photograph; I am the ball that is never thrown, the stocking that is always about to bunch around the ankle, the foot that will never outgrow it’s shoe, the shoe that will never show wear.  Hopelessly out of fashion, I am old black paper faded to brown.  I am the aperture of the camera, opening and forever holding still long after it closes again.

I am the chained and snarling army dog.  I lunge and snap.  I retreat to the soothing meadow and gurgling stream. I am dizzy and turning and turning and turning.

I love and do not love and love and do not love and love………

 

 

 

 

 

Delicate thing

All of this, this cowering in the shadows, this vile beast thing,

it is not working.  It is working, it keeps the slime on us,

its fetid and rotting and fungal, but yes that too is life

the constant spiraling eternal gut wrenching pulling pushing waiting praying screaming crying laughing spinning of it all

life or a whirlpool or a black hole

you try to ride it

thinking you have a semblance of control

but it has you

you know it has you by the balls

and you know that every word you whisper to yourself

when the dreams, nay

the nightmares

drag your whining crying baby self up from the depths of yearning you cannot even bear to acknowledge

because if you did

you would unravel and unravel

like boogie oogie

not like piglet in the cutest possible way

but like a stinking hideous mass of creepy crawly.

do you feel it?

Alone.

As you compulsively revisit the grave every goddamned day

as you pick that scab until it’s just a mass of snot and mucus waiting to be pulled from your insides, hoping, begging for it to go away just as you pull its oily ragged, filthy gnawed gruesomeness back to you like a beloved doll, precious.  My precious.

fuck all of this.  What a thing this is.  This horror you have brought down upon this great treasure.

Go fuck yourself.

love does not exist in this trembling jelly mass of putrid goo.

it is a myth of unicorns and pots of gold.

such a pretty delicate thing.

Anniversary

I just received a notice that this is my anniversary.  So I guess nine years ago I started this blog.  I haven’t written in it in months.  I suppose a few updates may be in order.

It is officially spring, even though it is ten degrees F. outside this morning, the frost glistening on the empty fields, and trees and the mist floating over the river.  Geese are on the move, and spring song birds are begging for food, which I am too lazy to trudge through the crusted foot of snow in the back yard.  Plus at this point there are small brown bombs scattered like hidden treasure through the path to the feeders.

Tom had to buy more coal, and the wind is so cold that even the house feels cold despite the constant heat of the coal stove.  And my art room is cold despite the steam heat he installed there this winter.  It is finally above freezing, but not by much.  The wood stove sits cold most days, only on weekends do I fire it up, time for painting.

In the evenings I sit and knit, or read, or play a game on my iPad by the warmth of the coal stove while Tom watches Star Trek or Big Bang Theory or one of his recorded shows.  Most nights I get into bed early and fall asleep not long after.  The gift of a mild muscle relaxer allowing me to sleep with out the constant waking and lessens the talking in my sleep considerably.  The dog sometimes wakes me as she asks to snuggle under the comforter with me, especially on cold nights.

My granddaughter is a gift in my life, I watch her two evenings a week and one weekend day every couple of weeks.  She is growing fast and so bright.  Her language skills are incredible, she is counting and understands numbers under five.  She is funny and has the best sense of humor.  And she loves her Buddhas and chanting and looking at Pinterest with me.  She even has her own boards, horses, Buddhas, buttons and Elmo. My mom let her sort her buttons, a fun activity that I enjoyed immensely when I was a child.  Mom is living in Syracuse now, and visits regularly with Morgan and the baby.  It is nice to have her close by.  And it is great for the baby to have four generations of strong women to raiser her.  Her daddy works at the steel mill and earns good money, enough for my daughter to work half time and stay with baby the rest of the time.

Life has its ups and downs, and generally I am good.  Horrible bout with depression until I started this carb free diet, cutting way back on craft beers, It is amazing how good I feel on this strict diet.  Even though I have bad weeks where all I want is pizza or a baked potato or homemade bread, I am keeping at it.  And am please with the slow results.  I cannot believe I ever felt fat at my previous weight.  It makes me laugh now to think of it.  The echoes of the pirate squeezing my stomach and telling me what a turn off it was, still in my skull, and I shake my head thinking of it, and how, in a way, I gained this extra weight after I moved in with him.  The jerk.  I roll my eyes.

And so this is spring.  And so I am finally moving out of my seasonal depression, and so I am twenty pounds from my goal weight.  And so life goes on.

mud and rain

It is the time of year when crisp brittle cold sears your nostrils and steals your breath; when the snow crunches under your boots.  But it is not that time of year, it is, instead, drizzling cold rain, the snow, a week ago covered in ice, is mostly melted and the driveway, is a drive-puddle.  The sky is grey, the snow that remains in heaped piles is black and brown and the world is muddy and cold and damp and all you want to do is curl into a comforter and sleep.  Or do nothing.  Or weep.

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I take a double dose of vitamin D3.  I beg the universe for some beauty, some glimmer in this lifetime of hopelessness.

Ugliness.  Emptiness.  Emotional Drainage.  Like a sinus infection, it makes your head feel heavy and painful.  And your body which has already betrayed you more times than you can count, drags like it is trying to slog through a deep pool of molasses.

I drive by a muddy farm, on a sandy road, in the drizzling rain and stop to take a picture.  The ducks rush to either attack me or greet me.  And I call out to the chickens, HI LADIES.

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And when my gallon of washer fluid thumps and bangs in the back, I stop and get out to place it more carefully and I can hear the starlings making their beautifully awful noise somewhere in the vicinity of the misted river.

 

 

Baking bread

I pour out the soft dough that has risen beautifully on the counter above the roaring dishwasher.  I carefully spread the flour on the handcrafted wooden board given me by the ex husband, too big, rarely used, but suited to the task.  The dough is workable and easy and well made.  A recipe taught to me by my mother, and her also to my daughter.  I feel a sense of pleasure at the simple task of rolling it out and spiraling it into the bread pan, and then sprinkling cinnamon sugar on the other half.  A pot of chili bubbles on the stove.  I feel a sense of worthiness at this small accomplishment.

I think on a text that came to me in the dark as I read, feeling the hard edge of it, grateful that my grand daughter was not there to see me upset.  Grateful too of her requests and our ritual of listening to chants as we lie down to sleep before her mother gets to my home.  I respond with hurt and anger.

But I guess I deserve its brutal arrow into my heart.  I have worked to soften my heart, to make it flexible, nourishing and open, it is so crusted and scarred.  I am not perfect. I know this must be news.  I say things sometimes that are ignorant, without having an ignorant heart.  Do things sometimes that later I regret.  I have not spent my life keeping up on the lastest terminology, or frozen in my understanding until heated words thaw out the treasure of my love.

But I am not mean spirited, nor do I wish to be cold, hard or ignorant.

I am so sorry, please forgive me, thank you for your forgiveness, I want nothing more than to love you.

 

 

The Void

I.

My heart a vacuum

void of any life

cold, dark, and hollow.

My soul is empty

a hole in the universe

gravity absent.

My body broken

as it shelters in it’s place

grieving as it licks it’s wounds .

Nothing can fix this,

mirror, still water, deep thought

a useful solace.

Hard thought blended with horror

head bent in sorrow

face on bitter wall.

 

II

Stand facing to the world, child

let your fingers touch the wind

this too shall pass, breathe.

One Spirit has it in hand.

Trust that what will come, will come

let chaffe float away

dandelion seeds

Que sera sera.

Change

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I feel a kind of tenderness, a need to curl up against the warm, clean, good smelling body of Tom.  I lift his big hand and popeye arms and wrap him around me.  Whats up with you today, you okay?  I am I say, I just want to cuddle.

The time change, and my lousy sleep pattern intersect with a harshness, I am up too late, I awake too early.

I pull out my yoga mat and finally.  Finally, finally.

So long the voice of, “if you don’t want to do the pose it is the one you most need” is hushed.  Be quiet, I tell it.  It is okay to just do the poses you really like to do.  You don’t have to do a bunch of poses that hurt, that are keeping you from doing what you love to do.  Just do those, just do triangle and down dog.  Just do them.  The dog cuddles me and plays with me as I bend over stretching.  It feels so good.

I turn on my Ipad just to look up lemongrass, I awake with it in my mind.  Later the dog and cat are chewing on the grass.  Tom yells at them, no, I say, it is okay, its really good for them.  Maybe me too.  I want to make lemongrass oil.

Later, after I am ready, very early, I take the dog for a short walk.  She is astonished.  Be careful, Tom tells me, this road is dangerous.  I know.  I say, but Mike told me not to walk out back in the mornings during hunting season.  He won’t shoot you, Tom says.  I know I say, but it is his property and I have to respect what he told me.

I don’t know what happened over the weekend.  I went from feeling really depressed to opening up again.

I feel tender, and cold, and fresh.

 

Trying to do this again

The first hard frost of the season was on Tuesday morning.  There had been a frost earlier in October but it was a light frost on some surfaces.  The sun was a giant magenta ball in the sky on Wednesday.  All these things difficult to photograph as you drive by at 65 miles an hour.  Geese are flying but not going south, last year the waterways remained open and I think I saw geese all winter.

Savage heart that delights in the trees dancing as the wind blows purple tumble weeds and yellow leaves across the canvas of my night time vision, that stands in doorways as icy rain falls and falls, that sees snow in the dark air, that delights in a child noting that at night darkness makes the sky touch the ground.  Savage heart that cannot leave its bed, its nest of feathers and cotton, it cannot continue this deluge of humanness.  Savage heart still broken a decade after the fall, finding joy in the scars, running its antenna over tingling edges, tearing off the scabs and eating them as it bleeds. Like a mantis chewing on her husbands head as he fucks her still. Savage heart that beats too hard for all the lazy wastrel life.