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.

Unpleaseable

I am not greeted as I enter, and I feel awkward as people stare at me and do not say hello.

In the morning I am thinking of how uncomfortable it made me feel.  I talk about my feelings, I guess this is my first mistake.

I am told I am un-pleasable.

I am not the un-planet Pluto in the vastness of the solar system.

I am not the circumnavigation of the ocean on a row boat.

I am not the Sahara desert with no water or shade.

I am a verdant forest with a waterfall and slate stream rilling through I am surrounded by lady slippers, lush ferns and jacks in the pulpit, I am trout leaping in rainbow mist, I am the song of water, I am a fawn dappled in the sun, I am a lizard basking in the sun, I am a red eft, a black salamander spotted with yellow, I am a fox, lapping at the water.

What you mean is, I am not worth the small effort it takes to please me.  I am not worthy of kisses to my neck and shoulders.  I am not worthy of having strong arms wrapped around me.  I am not worthy of a date even.  I am not worthy of being told Hello, we missed you.  Glad you are home.  What you mean is, you do not care enough to please me.

I am told, you have changed.  I hear, I don’t care for the person that you are.  Loud and clear.

I am in my spacesuit un-tethered.

I am parched in the noon sun of the desert.

I am in an inner tube somewhere in the arctic sea.

I have fallen through the ice in the tundra in January.

 

 

The heart is full of this endless yearning

echoing through this cavernous abyss

the hearth fire spreads out licking warm fingers from this small lit alcove

the darkness at its edges a great icy obsidian wall

the wind whines, or is it the keen of mourning from far off deep

i rest my face on the cold glass of winters night, gleaning the warmth of the fire from the wrong side of the wall like a face pressed against the window from outside a winters night.

there is a hush as though owls wings have soared through

as though fat flakes of snow were falling windless

the ululating voice silenced

I am restless

 

 

 

Trial by Social Media Part 2

 

“Use your aggressive feelings, boyL  let the hate flow through you!”  – Emperor Palpatine

In grade school we learned about the Salem Witch Trials, putting people in stockades, witches being tried by mobs, burned at the stake, people being publicly whipped or hanged.  We learned though that this was morally reprehensible.  And worse was the crowd who delighted in the torture.  It goes back even further to people going to the Colosseum and watching people getting killed, gored, eaten by lions.  The distaste for people getting pleasure from this was horrifying.

And yet here we are in the 21st century doing exactly the same thing via social media.  We feel hate, anger and aggression and we delight in watching people squirm as we verbally abuse, excoriate, and vilify every one, from a dad writing a standard letter of good character for his son to a judge, a son who did a reprehensible thing, yes, but my doubt is real as I wonder what the media has fed the masses on this case, what is real and what is in fact manipulated.  I read the dad’s letter, it was a standard take it easy on my kid letter, oh but now the dad is the demon.  I am not judging this case, because I don’t have the facts in front of me.  And I no longer trust the media.

There but for the grace of God go I.

How many stupid mistakes have I made in this lifetime?  And how thankful that so far I haven’t been called out on too many of them.  And most thankful that the media has not gotten a hold of my transgressions, because you, me, all of us are now only one stupid mistake away from this aggressive hate filled mob of cabbage and rotten tomato throwers.

*S No worries folks drag your kids to the public hanging.  Delight in the strike of the guillotine.  Get your sick thrills out of public shaming, out of public life destroying.  Get involved, say your piece.  You aren’t physically harming anyone, you are just stating your opinion.  Call people names, let them see your outrage.  Allow the media to manipulate your emotions.  These people are not victims, they are at fault and deserve your judgment.  Tit for tat.  He raped someone so I will socially rape him.  He deserves it.

“You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.”-Buddha

“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.” – Buddha

Tread with caution people, it is only a matter of time before you or someone you love will be thrown to the lions.