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dreams of autumn

I dreamed last night of my dad, he wanted to get the wood in for winter, and I wanted to wait until closer to Christmas, then the unusual warm fall turned to winter in one day. As it does some years. I dreamed of my friendand artist Adriana Meiss, who passed a few years ago, she was having a big party and all there was to eat was chocolate chip bisquets and she was living in a big old whi8te Victorian house, not the half hoarded one she actually lived in, in the country. I was stuffing the bisquets in my mouth and they were so fluffy.

In the morning I wake and I am as always barely on time, but along the way the sky was first on fire, then painted in hues of peach and blue and that grey lavender of the clouds; the sun was a fluorescent red on the horizon and nearing work a paintbrush slash of a rainbow, then a double.,

Am I doing, are we doing the right thing by my mom? Always a refrain in my mind these days.

She insists we are not and garners allies against us. Well meaning relatives. Who aren’t here. And suspicious cousins, who are here for nefarious reasons, like a plot in a bad Lifetime movie. And friends who are likely being friends and saying oh honey you are fine.

I hearby grant my friends the right and courtesy of honesty if my child is indicating that I have dementia please listen to her. I trust her implicitly.

But we have seen things, heard things, and are concerned about some very serious changes.

More on this later.

Also Rainbow image is on FB go check it out.

Meg Gregory

mgregoryyartist on insta

or breezydayhanmades on etsy

andbreezydaybymgregory i think on the Tok

links to follow.

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Transition

You know when a woman(person) is in labor and goes through transition? That place between pains and and birth action? This transition period is a time when the woman is done with everyone’s shit. Kind of like the crone period of a woman’s life… This is where we are in the world of dementia.

A year ago my mom was diagnosed with some kind of cognitive impairment. The stories began to repeat not every visit, but throughout the visit. A loop of 15-20 minutes, there were other changes too, when the alarm was sounded, it became our mission to manage this disease, to get everything in place and make sure my mom could stay independent as long as possible.

The steps we take to make this decision are not done lightly, it involves hours on the phone, reading, research, doctors appointments, tests, and modifications. And there is nothing simple about getting someone who has no short term memory to understand and to remember to understand why we are doing these things. Add in a heaping portion of stubbornness, some mild narcissism and whatever other personality issues a person has, next you add in your own power and control issues, your own trauma, and your own personality issues, and now you have utter chaos. Chaos intermixed with fear, lack of knowledge/comprehension, and love, and anger and whatever other natural emotions a person feels and you have a cup of vinegar and some baking soda ready to go.

I feel lucky that I have my brother, sister, and daughter, my cousin is a free radical and although he is physically helping my mom he is making things so much harder because he is not on the same page, nor is he in the same book, the reasons why are up for debate, is it love? desire for an inheritance, stupidity/drug and alcohol addled brain who knows. But its a mess.

There is so much grace in handling this alone. I cannot fathom how it feels to deal with these things, without someone to help you, to listen. And on this front I am so lucky too that the social worker at geriatric doctor is not only dealing with this in her own family, but is super helpful with resources, advice, and just being a sounding board.

I need a space for this, and if anyone else is dealing with this issue of dementia, feel free to reach out. If you are on your own or fighting a free radical/lone electron, Please comment. If you are not ready to talk, Like and subscribe. Maybe we can find some common ground.

…change the pebbles of our puddly thought to orient pearls.

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Love and Loss

I have this neighbor, our friendship began when i moved here, to this country home. Laughter, nights by the fire, alcohol, jokes and pranks played on each other. Admonished gently by my giant, but when i check with the hunter, he tells me you are all good, honey, and hsi lady laughs and says, don’t worry about it at all.

The small gifts of jars of jelly, and permission to walk his land, to forage wild strawberries and pine needles, the occasional venison, a painting I did on his wall, surely they give more than I, I am terrible at such things.

And then at his Mom’s funeral I suddenly understand, and I also find a deeper way to accept myself. not that I spend alot of time thinking about it as much anymore. His lady tells me about his Mom, how she never held anything back, she cussed, and she spoke her truth and as the lady describes her she is looking at me and grinning. Suddenly it hits me why I get along so well with the hunter, he reminds me of my dad, quiet, loving, a man of few words, a presence without artifice. And, I remind him of his mom, I say this, and the lady says affirms my assessment and as the hunter’s family speaks of who she was, I see myself, lying on a blanket in the grass looking at clouds and finding the shapes with my grands. and at once I feel like all that I am should not be left to criticism, but that I should fall more wholly into myself.

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Dig Deep

Deep in the woods, and not just any woods, but ones that are old, and moss covered and spongey you may find that all the earth beneath the roots is gone and the lattice of roots and earth are all that remain. When this happens the winds can rock the tree and all that lattice work and whatever stands upon it. But the intertwining of all the roots keeps it intact, and if not then life continues does it not?

It may or may not continue as what we would call a living tree, but it does continue in some form or another, a home for a skunk, homes for mushrooms and toadstools, home for other life that lives in the richness of the tree’s remains.

This new life is different, no better, no worse, just different. Roots latch on and roots release, life continues. Older, wiser, less prone to the resentments, and more aware of areas where pain is triggered, areas where pain is released, areas where pain remains. Pain though is there and its real, one wonders if its the bite of a tick, the liver detoxify, the heart re-stitching itself, old age. but it is there. The breath moves in and out and like the tree, the body sways, and moves, to the changing days.

The wind it carries on it words, whispers, spoors and pollens, and the trees receive the messages via the stillness and the fury and all that exists in the inbetween. The branches and bean pods fall to the ground and fire is lit smoke rises up and magic is made. A prayer, a wish, a spell, a breath.

Red Jasper, Bloodstone and Garnet,

T

Toadstools in my neighbors yard, under a pine hedge.

May my words harm none, may my negative actions be forgiven, may you find peace.

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woman’s song

Life is so incredibly perfect and I sit staring off into the distance feeling the warmth of the autumn sun on my black t-shirt. I think about the plants that grow wild amongst my cultivated perennials. The yarrow long left to leaves, the tansy picked and used to dye three skeins of handspun yarn, the last of the echinacea, the grapevine in the bucket at my feet. It is my fifty forth birthday and I am alone here at least for the moment. I pick up the twisted pile of wet vines and begin to form a circle. Life has a funny way to it, doesn’t it? The things you thought you could count on long gone, the rituals you once practiced, a faded memory that makes you wistful for someone that has passed on to the next level of consciousness, the life you want right in front of you, or perhaps not. There really are no guarantees are there?

I weave the vine around itself. I think of my strengths, my weaknesses and my gifts. The magic of my dreams to tell me things I shouldn’t know. The power of feeling family in times of emotional stress and death, the knowledge of plant medicine, the gift of my art, the insecurity that has plagued me for so long its like a cyst. Like tar. The anger, the dismay the lack of acceptance for this feeling. I realize I need to embrace this insecurity. Let it linger in my words and actions, let it describe me. I need to etch it on my skin. But also I need to know its simply a feeling, one that has generally not served me well, in fact can you think of anytime when insecurity served you?

Comment your reply!

I am like this wreath in some ways, parts of me dead, parts still living, parts that grasp and parts that bend and parts that are toughened and hard to move. I marvel too at how all the plants here in this yard serve a purpose. The pokeberry, the grapevine, the ground cherry, the nightshade, the sumac, their ability to dye, to weave, to eat, to poison, and there is an bloom of understanding; these plants were once put here, likely by people, for their practical uses.

And as I sit here writing while I listen to a training for a second time, somehow it didn’t register the first time, ‘I think of my purpose. The practical, the spiritual, the crone, the gardener, the weaver, the artist, all the things I do and know that make me, me. I think of what it must feel like to lose this, this self. And in this moment I take a breath and let it all go.

I feel my power inside my belly, the center a bit of grit, the nascent, the breeze, the light and color through the mist of the morning, the sounds of birds singing, the water burbling, the wholeness of being there in the blue sky. There is a pressure, inside me, a desire for indomitability, swelling magic and intuition and creativity, the desire for recognition poking at me from somewhere, the desire to be fully immersed in this life and the wish to be able to afford it. I want to manifest this, published as a writer, known in an official capacity as an artist, an intuitive wisdom healer, a person of truth and integrity, respectful and respected,

To anyone I have harmed, I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you. I offer only love.

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Depression

And just like that depression oozes in like a slow moving tidal wave, one you can see, but you cannot keep from taking the sand out from under you, taking out the carefully built and decorated shoreline, destroying the hanging lanterns and twinkling lights, pulling up stakes and embedded poles, smashing everything as it spreads slowly inward.

Meanwhile at the cool mountain retreat, water once crystal, sparkling and brisk, begins to muddy, and emits the stink of sulfur.

Grumpy and seated by a fire, with few logs to feed it, one is wrapped in ones thinnest blanket shivering against the wind that soars down the mountain.

What is that rumbling and crashing one hears?

Avalanche.

All things melancholy · Musings · Strong Woman · Uncategorized · weak woman

Pain

there are days when everything hurts, this, fibromyalgia, but I refuse to take pain medications.

i walked alot on Saturday, i mean not alot compared to what i walked five years ago, but alot for now.  just two short miles.  this week has been horrible.  my knees, my right outside edge of my foot, my lower back, my trapezium and my neck.  last night i woke myself many times crying out in pain.

words no longer have the power over me they once did.  but words, damn they can be hurtful and mean spirited and cruel.  words like, lazy.  words like, you are just like ______ (fill in the blank) for a person you strive to not be like, you aren’t __________(fill in the blank) for things that you are, words thrown as weapons, when wit cannot pull up things that are thoughtful and reflective, words that show a person that they have not seen your growth, only bringing up the past to smash you.

and i find myself not floundering and wretched but instead empowered to continue being who i am.

lazy ____ no i do not do as i once did as i sit here recalling scraping and painting the house all summer, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, putting sealant on the driveway, gardening, cooking, doing dishes, taking care of the animals utterly by myself, cleaning, laundry, taking out the trash, taking the trash to the road, literally everything that needed done the house i did or i left a short list for my daughter to do as well.  my grandparents called me lazy when i was about 8.  i wasn’t lazy, i was just being 8, but it stuck, it was used again and again, and still to this day people like to use it on me.  did i mention i am in pain? always?  i still vacuum, sweep, clean the bathroom, cook, do dishes, hose detritus off the deck, garden, shop for the household, which for me as a single person was literally one quick trip a week, but now is a two hour ordeal.  am i a stay at home mom who works two hours a day outside the home and carrying the weight of the whole household in chores?  no, and i have never been.  instead i work 7 hours a day, babysit 10 hours a week, and work on my art which i sell probably another 20 hours a week.  lazy.  that’s me.

when i am angry i tell people.  i don’t sulk and seethe quietly, i don’t pretend like nothing is wrong, i don’t throw out hurtful words, i am smart, i am creative, i am self aware, i try hard to be kind though i fall short at times, i acknowledge my mistakes, i am not ashamed of who i am, i don’t feel inadequate, under appreciated and psychologically and emotionally lonely yes, but not inadequate, not ever.

this blog is a great example of my growth, i try to move beyond my blockages, i try to learn, and grow emotionally, and when i am angry, i don’t try to push my old hurts onto others as labels, and name callings.

pain. inside.

pain. outside.

pain swirls.

the more i hurt from external resources the further i withdraw.  that is what i guess i should be my newest area of growth.

or i could just become reclusive.

i am already halfway there.

 

 

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Vision

My mind is like a pool of water on a river, ideas are swirling around me but the mind is still and calm, like a deep well, a river pothole, cold and dark.

My eyes, they are clouded, by long strings wrapped in a circle, by small black dots that I track as flies and realize later they are not, by short eyelashes swirling in my field of vision.  Eventually, your brain will stop noticing them.  Or perhaps, I think, I will paint them on top of everything I paint.  A final glossy layer separating my eye from my mind.  Can I have those photos of my retina? I ask.  Sure, but you have to show them to us when you are done. I wish I had time to paint, I think, with college graduations, spring gardening and commissions, and perhaps the newest obsession of knitted Christmas stockings.

My ear, it was bleeding, I did not know why, with my eye now a clear pool with autumn leaves floating on top, I feel frightened.  Later, after I am told its just an abrasion, I blame the black flies.  Which is more vicious? Black flies or Yellow Jackets?

My skin, it itches, black flies again.  My nails embedded with dirt as I plant medicinals, bee friendlies, dye plants, cooking herbs, and annuals where Tom has dug up my perennials with the snow plow too many years in a row.  I envision thyme oil, lavender oil, beebalm tea, pokeberry colored wool, and stinging nettles as I dig.  A. helps me pick out the annuals, and plants rocks in the dirt to make them grow.  I lament the absence of bees.  But orioles stab at orange halves and hummingbirds hope I haven’t been lazy about filling their feeders.

My heart, it is no longer strong.  It echoes empty.  It trudges through the sludge.  It aches with each step.  It loves more than it should.  It is just enough to get me through.

So I drink expensive Scotch, and Honeyed Whiskey, and seek out the best less than one hundred calorie beer I can find.  And only drink wine that tastes good.  Even if it is less often than I would like.

I have paintings in my mind though.  And my fingers ache to paint them.

Instead, I paint the yard with flowers and plants.  I paint the world.

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It burns us

I am still holding on to the lumpy ash
of whatever organic rot this has been
a heart perhaps,
or a spleen?
sweet breads?
Soaked in tears.
Necrotic.

I suckle
the soul eating bacteria.

I repeat the steps,
listen to the silence
ask for help
dig in,
hold it tighter.
let it go.
Push it down.
refocus.
regurgitate
yet still
it lurks
a paid actor in a
haunted house.

I am Edvard Munch’s scream.