Autumn Musings

Autumn comes in with its warm sunny days, and crisp nights, I pull out my down comforter and put away the quilt my mom made me and the acrylic blanket that is surprisingly warm.  Later I will need to buy new flannel sheets to fit my smaller bed, the most comfortable bed in the whole world.  I am grateful for the gift of it.  I put away all my shorts and tank tops, and keep out only my favorite short sleeved shirts and cropped pants.  Sundresses are gone and lightweight sweaters replace them.  At night I leave the windows open for the fresh air and for as long as possible, one of my students comes in to school shivering and complains about how her dad goes around opening windows when everyone else is freezing, I would rather put on a sweater than close them.

I come home to German soup cooked and ready to be eaten sitting on the stove.  I make corn bread to go with my many jars of hot pepper jelly, and the soup.  I hear chickadees chirping outside the window, and stop to watch as they fly to the feeders, my pirate moved my dough hook close to the house so I can watch them will I wash dishes or stand at the sink.  Often we call to each other, to look at the six point buck that is frequenting the yard, a doe, or some other animal that lives in the wooded area in the back of the strip of houses on the street.

I love this street, peopled with artists, teachers, peacemakers, and families.  It is quiet and friendly.

I watch the pirate sitting in his tool shed, my extension cord lighting the lovely little hand built cottage.  I study his concentration as he works, sheltered from the damp drizzle, he taps the rocks, checks, taps again.  When I came home I stood on the back porch and looked out at him, he looked up and smiled at me, and then as we looked at one another across the space for an extended few seconds, just grinning at each other he put his arms out wide and I run over and wrap my arms around him, kissing him on the mouth.

Sometimes I am scared and don’t trust what the future will bring, other times, I feel completely home.

 

Looking for Rocks

I explored a new park, it is fun to discover all the wild space this town has to offer.  It is one of those places everyone loves to hate.  The endless cloudy skies (absent this summer) short days of endless snow and seeming perpetual darkness that make up six months of the year are tiring, exhausting, for me depressing.  This is why I took up snowshoeing though, and though I only get to enjoy it on weekends because the darkness keeps me from doing it during the week.  I thought at first that the park was a wide field with a worn dog path along the edges, until we ducked under some trees and emerged onto a wooded path.

The pirate is tinkering with flint knapping, two sets of eyes scanning the ground for Onondaga Chert, we tease each other like two kids, sword fighting with reeds and whipping each other with them as they break, brittle, on our shoulders and thighs.  I emerge first onto the long swath of engineered flatness of the Onondaga Creek.  I look upstream, then down, and a dark brown and sleek muskrat scampers across the path.  He emerges and immediately goes to the goldenrod and wild aster and picks me a bouquet, which later I drop on the ground as I see skinny microscopic bugs crawling on my arm, but it doesn’t change the endearing quality of the gesture.  I tell  him how my grandmother used to tell me that a boy who brings flowers to his mother, or grandmother, will make a good husband some day.  My memory of it in the wooden cupboard kitchen of the ranch house, the smell of cigarette smoke and lavender, and the scrap of the red vinyl and chrome chairs across the tiled linoleum.  The taste of root beer, and gouda cheese, shrimp cocktail and Bugles swirling in my mind as we bang rocks together, sniffing them for the tell tale smell of the rock we are looking for.  We find a couple that obviously have some of the chert in it, but mottled through it, it breaks brittle in our hands and not tearing off as it should to make a stone knife.

Later I read my book in the sun as he burns junk mail in a barrel, and plants fall lettuce in the garden.  After an hour I go inside and make second batch of hot pepper jelly and pickled jalapeno peppers.  He BBQs chicken legs as I make salad with raspberries and walnuts and mashed potatoes with chunks of sauteed mushrooms and garlic.

Later as he lay on my bed, my head on his bare chest, laughing about something, I cannot recall what I feel blessed despite the struggle of adjustment.  The cats hiss at each other as his low cat wrestles with my little Sadie girl for dominance.  His boy fights fiercely for a role he will not win.  As she, still happy from her brief excursion outdoors, rewards us with a long cuddling purr.  Pirate kisses me good night as he goes to his bed.  A gift of space that I am so grateful for, my promise to never have to share a bed full time with another again, made to myself after the asshole left me.  The endless nights of good rest the best thing that happened in my life in those long seconds, upon minutes, upon days upon weeks, upon months after he left.

Blessed and Jaded

I wake to the streams of sunlight as it pours through my eastern window.  Blind I pull my hands to my face and am caught by the strong sabi beauty of my fingers, the small lines, and cracks, callouses, and broken nails.  I close my pointer finger onto my thumb and watch as the light makes the edges of my skin translucent, I pinch the  sun, I set it free.  I kiss each of my finger tips in turn, thank you artist’s hands.  I see every detail, one eye closed, hands mere inches from my face.

What do you call it, the autumn drills of starlings as they prepare to fly en masse to warmer climes.  The brisk autumn air, my cheeks pink, my mind lost, my soul firmly in hand, each day is so beautiful.  Murmuration.  Susurration.  A mantra of a different sort.

Wobbly kneed I stand up, I cannot keep my feet and fall back down.  No.  No. I feel as though I have been punched in the stomach.  She tells me my worst fear for the day is wrong.  Thank you God I tell her, thank you Jesus.  I am not a woman who prays this way.

I watch a movie that is perfect in its artistic vision, enraptured; he snores in his chair as I put down my tech and draw my finger to my lips.  This earth has a woman’s body, this universe is a giant and I a mote upon its body, see that is the giant’s eye.  I think of wicker baskets, and bags of pins, and the smell of redwood, the feel of grass under my bare feet.  I smile as I think of frosted glasses with autumn leaves.  I see on the screen the antique table set with crystal and polished silver and fine bone china.  I smile at the thought of green Melmac plates, and chili eaten out of Currier and Ives bowls, with a side dish of buttered saltine crackers.  I smell the first smoke of autumn woodstove, the smell of snow wet mittens and felt boots, taste bread and butter pickles and drink blueberry juice with salted stove popped popcorn.  I feel the weight of a chickadee on my cold hands, I dream of weeding the garden, the smell of the grass and the plants, the ragweed with it’s whistle knots, and spit bug bubbles, I did not even know that cicadas existed, the buzz of summer was just that.

You come to me pleased with yourself.  A gift.  Joy, Love, Peace, Faithfulness, Respect, Self Control, the Tree of Life; a ceramic disk to warm my bread.  I look in your warm melting eyes.  I come home after a long day and find all the jobs done, and your shining pride.  Oh it is not a love of poetry and daydreaming.  It is a love more like granite than it is like a puppy.  It warms in the sun, and heats my body slow and pleasant.  I rest back down on it and name the shapes in the clouds.  You take my hand and I spill coffee all over myself in surprise.

Walk out the side with me.  We can go out together, for the first time.

I shake her hand as she asks me the big question.  For now I am doing this, but I am like the ant and the grasshopper, I am prepared for another winter.  I am a bit jaded I say in a goofy voice.  Divorce will do that to you, she says back without hesitation.

But I find grace for my blessings.  So great are they.

Born Again.

He calls me and I am happy to hear from him, he has been a good friend, he has helped me tremendously since the divorce, fixing my car, fixing a leaky tub, helping me with some things when I was working on the house this summer.  He has been a hard working co worker, preparing curriculum, literacy in art plans, and just someone to talk to when things at the district are difficult.   He loves my sycamore tree almost as much as me. His wife is a wonderful sweet woman, his kids are awesome.  His baby used to run to me calling out Hi Meg with his chubby little arms outstretched for a hug.  Sometimes we have talked about God and about religion and nothing would make him happier than to have me accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

But I cannot do it.

He says, what if you are wrong?  If you just accept Him when you get to the end of your life you will be accepted into heaven with God.  He says, his way is the only way, in fact even Catholics are suspect, they will not get into heaven, their belief in God is wrong.  See I think this way of thinking is wrong, it puts up a barrier between you and other people.  I think this kind of thinking leads to violence between religions, I think this kind of thinking has actually caused the deaths of millions and millions of people over the eons.  I think this kind of thinking is actually deeply evil.

He called me the other night and once again told me how much he wants me to be Saved.  He told me that God wants me to know that being Gay is a sin.  He told me that even if a child is raped and becomes pregnant, they should not be able to have an abortion, that God wants that child to be pregnant, and that the baby’s life is sacred.

I just don’t know.  Or rather, I do know. He is wrong.

I have a very strong faith, but my faith is not his.

Let me put it in a nutshell.

We humans, have small minds which cannot fathom the greatness or the vastness of the higher power.  It’s like we are in a house and we are all looking out the window at God, but some people are looking out different windows.  What they see is God, but it is not all of God, and it is their view, their perspective but it is not the only view, it is not the ONLY way to God.  Some people have this basement view too, their view is so limited and so dark.  Some people are on the widow’s walk, they see a whole lot more of what God is than others.

We humans have such a limited view of how to get to a greater understanding of God, we all have our paths but it is all a path to God.  Its like the sky is God, but we are all on different paths to the top of the mountain.  Some people are shouting out, this is the path, not that one.  Some paths are clear and straight, but some are rough and require a bushwhack.  Some paths are riddled with obstacles and some paths are easy slopes.  Some people are climbing up a completely different mountain, some people think they are on the summit, but it is just a beautiful mountain pond, and look there up there, on the face of that other hump is an overlook, but even that is not the true summit, and when you get there, its just a small section of what is God, it doesn’t come close to the whole of what IT is.

Here is what I believe, God made people who are heterosexual and people who are homosexual, and our human minds cannot fathom how or why or what, or any of that, and really it isn’t our place to judge God’s decision to have some people love each other one way and some people to love each other another way.  If my friend can accept the raped baby of a pre-teen child, why can he not also accept the gayness of a grown man or woman?  And what kind of person would have a child give be to a baby of rape or incest?  In some cultures these girls are murdered, not the men who do the heinous act, but the innocent one.  I don’t think any one ever choses abortion easily, but what I do know, is that sometimes people do, and absolutely it should be a legal option for someone who wants one, because the illegal option is horrible.  Awful.  Ugly.  And usually ends up hurting more than just the fetus, it often results in the death of the mother, and the end of her chance to bear further children.  It is not a man’s place to make this place for a female.  Not ever.  It is not an option to eliminate the choice legally, because women will continue to make this choice without sanction from men.  This is not YOUR body, it is mine, so mind your own damn business, and make sure healthy options are available for any choice.

My friend thinks Buddha is a God.  Buddha is not a God, Buddha was a teacher.  A man who said listen to my words, if you find them to be true, good, if not keep looking until you find the truth.  You do not have to believe my words to be the only truth.  Buddha said this life is full of suffering, that you must accept your life, not with a passive giving up, but with an active sense of knowing that all that happens will happen, kind of a let go and let God.  You can be a Buddhist and a Christian, you can be a Buddhist and a Muslim, you can be a Buddhist and be an atheist.

I sometimes let him proselytize to me because it helps him, that is something he feels a need to do, and as his friend, I let him, it is a small price to pay for all he has done for me.  But sometimes I want to tell him to join me on the widow’s walk because the view is so much better.  And sometimes I want to shout his name and wave to him from my mountain top and tell him how beautiful my view is.   But I don’t.  I let him believe what he believes.

Next time, I will tell him.  Thank you my dear friend for your concern, but at the end of my life God will judge me, and I am pretty sure, IT will judge me as worthy.

 

Wearing My Shoes On The Right Feet

First I just want to say that I know I talk about it alot, maybe sometimes on here a bit too much.  It surely doesn’t occupy my every thought, but here is a place where I have been able to work through the trauma of what happened to me, here is a place where I can safely express what has happened after, the realization about what was wrong, and how I can only see it now that everything is feeling right.

Megaclown

When you are surrounded by people who are crazy, and you are not, you begin to wonder if you are the one who is crazy.  This is such an important lesson for me, and I think for the world as it is right now.  This world is crazy, and sometimes I think normal people must feel like they are losing their minds.

When I was talking regularly to drunk boy, I said and did things within the confines of the friendship that made me stop in my tracks and ask what the hell is this person doing?  That isn’t me!  And when I finally decided to cut off all ties to him and his insane caretaking drug addict friend, suddenly I was walking by the mirrors and recognizing myself again.  It was the drinking yourself to paralysis and seizures that was the illness in the situation.  It was NOT at all who I was, but the dynamic created by a lifetime of insanity.

My pirate is quirky as hell, and really so am I, but I see that being around him, being with someone like him allows my goofy side to shine, not just with my students as it always has, but with others too.  Funny now that people I went to college with are calling me a Bozo, a term of respect and love.  Funny how I am satisfied to post pictures of myself acting and looking like the clown I am at heart.  So very good with it.  Funny how I meet his friends and at the end of the evening I walk away feeling LIKED.  Funny how I meet his family and I don’t feel like my shoes are on the wrong feet, or that my arms were sewed on backwards.  I feel comfortable and accepted, they request my email before I can request theirs.  They hug me and tell me how great a time they had with me, instead of me being the one everyone is making fun of for expressing my pleasure of their company, and then here they are already inviting me to visit them.  And instead of whispering to him about how he needs to leave me, they are whispering to him about how to make me stay.  Instead of sneaking behind my back trying to put a wedge between us they are doing everything in their power to make him give in to me, though he is clearly dominant.

I think about how the ex’s girlfriend has continually stalked me, how I felt it necessary to sell my house to get away from her, how I won’t allow my phone number to be published at work to prevent her from calling me, and think about how he actually has mental illness in his family, and how he constantly was telling me I needed mental health services, and yet I think maybe it was me all along that was normal.  I am not saying my family isn’t quirky as hell, because we are.  When I swear or act ribald in this new grouping people laugh, they don’t click their teeth and shake their heads.  What a damn relief it is.  How good it is to be comfortable in my own self.  To love myself, even when I am tired and hate myself.

It all comes down to a feeling of the right to judge others, to look down your nose at people that are not just exactly like you, a sense of such low confidence that you feel a need to make others feel badly about themselves in order to make your self somehow seem better.  I never judged him for being so damned uptight, I just strived hard to please him, never quite accomplishing it, never quite fitting in because I was wearing someone else’s shoes, someone else’s shoes and hating myself for hating myself.

I never ever want to feel that way again.  And when the pirate gets assy and starts to overdo and I get angry and walk away, he comes to me all cute and sweet with that sparkly eyed grin on his face, wraps his arms around me and makes it clear he knows he was being an ass.  I can call him an ass and he doesn’t get all huffy and annoyed.  Because sometimes we are all judgmental asses.  What we have to do is recognize when we are being that way and step back from it.

Here is to divorce!!!!

Thank God that he left me.