Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
THAT seems the right question at last. Growing up we got a letter from a local toy store called Johnny's Toys near our birthday. It contained a small metal key that opened a child-sized door in a child-sized castle in the store and you were allowed to choose one gift, an ingenious marketing ploy. I loved that key. It was the potential for every toy my kid brain could imagine. It was power. It was magic. OK. So I told you that in order for this next piece to make sense. I see my grown up self now standing in front of an adult-sized and more realistic version of Johnny's Birthday Castle. The lights are on inside and they are casting a warm yellow orange light on the linoleum floor. I press my face to the window and gawk at what I see inside. The castle is stuffed with the most amazing gifts. These aren't wrapped and I can clearly see what they are jumbled and stacked in there. Gripped with a child's greed I want it all! Happy Twirling Dance.
Friday, December 24, 2010
My mom was not a cuddle-you-kinda mom. I'm sure she did cuddle us, because none of us turned out a deranged killer. But yunno how some kids are just fiends for crawling into your lap and nesting there? I was one of those kids. My mom not so much. Our family always attended midnight Mass. There is a magic in staying up late when you are little. Magic made all the brighter for snow, clear dark skies, new red velvet dresses and the ethereal voices of the choir in the darkened church. There were five of us and growing up the little ones jockeyed for positions near our Mom, the older ones jockeying the away ones. My happiest Christmas memory is not a gift at all. It is the nights I landed that coveted position next to my mom in her mink coat. (Back before PETA people). I was not allowed her lap, that would wrinkle both her dress and mine. But I was for that night only allowed to nestle beneath her arm in her mink coat. A place that felt safe and warm and silky smooth against my skin. A place of sleepy Christmas dreams of such innocence. A place where memories are made.
I am against the wearing of fur and have been since I saw a video of how the skins were harvested. I understand that for my mom and women of her generation that fur symbolizes a whole other set of things than it does me. I would never wear it, but I will sheepishly admit that I have been known to close my eyes and rub the sleeve of a fur coat against my cheek just to bring back that sense of clear skied awe and snuggled wintry safety.
Five of my family members have the deep misfortune of having birthdays Christmas week. Wah wah wah. If you don't like it, well then be smart next time and be born in the summer like folks should. For me the only misfortune is the financial hit of double dip presents and the endless caking that threatens to burst the seams of my jeans. Made one cake worse by my mother's insistence that we celebrate Christmas as Baby Jesus' Birthday. No lie. There was birthday cake and singing which should have been enough to have an omnipotent being take us all out. Proof that Baby Jesus is either benevolent or tone deaf.
I have four brothers all towering over 6 feet. Most carrying a little extra in the midsection like my family is wont to do. My brother Tom has 4 kids - girl, boy, boy girl - two of whom have the dreaded Christmas week birthday. Jackie, the youngest one is the soul of sweetness like youngest children mostly are. She was also the girliest girl - princess, twirly skirts, sparkles, the who shebang. The year she turned four there was a party with relatives from both sides.
At one point in the evening, I wondered where she had gotten off to? I walked down the hall toward her cupboard of a room where the door was ajar. I heard voices from inside. When I peaked my head around the corner I saw a knot of people laying on their stomachs around what looked to be a gameboard. Jackie, aka the birthday girl, had roped her dad and her Uncles Phil and Jeff into a game of Pretty Pretty Princess where you compete for the rhinestone crown. Jackie's tiny body nearly lost in that sea of dude in her tiny bedroom. My brother Tom was wearing little plastic clip on earrings (Some things never change brutha), Jackie's Uncle Jeff was wearing a big plastic 'diamond' ring, and my brother Phil was wearing a sparkly bracelet of some kind.
I stuffed my fist in my mouth until I got to the living room where I collapsed in wheezing gales of laughter. When I finally manage to stop, I waved my sister-in-law Cindy and a few others women with me. We crept quietly down the hall and each poked our head around the doorway one above the other like some cheesy 70's sitcom intro. Pretty sure Cindy got off a picture before she fell over on the floor in laughter. At that point none of us could contain the giggles at the sight of all those dudes in their little plastic jewelry.
It is the part that comes next that makes this my favorite memory of the holidays. The guys might have gotten up embarrassed, pulled off the plastic gems and harrumphed their way down the hall, pounding their chests back to whatever sporting event was on the tube. Instead these big dudes lying on the floor turned and gave us dimply princess smiles and little princess waves and went back to the game.
I know my family is fucked up some times. Maybe more than most. Maybe not. I could focus on that fucked upness like I did yesterday. Or I could see those hulking dudes in that cramped room busted by sisters and wives calmly go back to their game with a wave because it is what made one little four year old girl ecstatically happy.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
|Cool photo by Jeremias Stelter. |
More of his work here jeremiasstelter.com
Go check it out.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
He offers to give me the moon as if he is the earthly successor to George Bailey himself. As if I couldn’t get the moon for my own damn self if I wanted it. I know it is a gesture on his part of what he is willing to give me. But the moon – really?
I am a woman. I was born with the moon in my pocket. She has been my confidant since conception. She has followed me since I was born watching, waiting. Eager for me always like a lover. Every month we have danced together, she and I, as sisters, naked to the drums – faster and faster until the blood comes. The very celebration of blood that creates the world instead of destroying it. Give me the moon? Why would you offer to give me something I so clearly possess already? Besides, you can’t give me something you have no idea how to wrangle. And it is plenty clear that you understand neither of us.
And so I ask, Why do you not offer me the sun?
He looks puzzled as if that line has always gotten him laid in the past and that I am the first to question it. I stand waiting for his answer which comes in the form of spread hands and shrugged shoulders. A look so pathetically cute, that I throw him a bone instead of blowing his hair back. The evening has seen enough fighting. Instead I sigh and try to explain.
I don’t want to be the moon to your sun. That is the old way – the way that we have been for two thousand years – the way that doesn’t work. I don’t want to be the one who shines no light of her own, the one who simply reflects your greatness back to you.
He looks confused, I sense he isn’t following the metaphor.
I don’t want to be relegated to being the moon stuck in orbit to your sun. I want to be my own sun and moon. To make my own light. To reflect back all the wonderful things I see in the world including you. I want to be my own solar system, my own galaxy, a cosmos entire unto itself.
Now he just looks tired, a look I have seen many times. His tiredness becoming a shield against any further discussion. The end is coming. We both sense it. So we both go back to contemplating the moon each in our own world, thoughts incomprehensible to the other.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
1) They are sometimes technophobic. I don't know how they even get online to look for dates they are so awful at it. They are marginal at the art of email. And texting - they don't do that! WTF!?! I channel my inner 19 year old diva . I love texting.
2) They LOVE to talk on the phone. Grrrrrr......I hate the phone except for its lovely ability to text. I think this one is more me than them. But I especially struggle trying to talk to someone on the phone that I have never met in person. And I certainly don't want to talk to you for hours every day if I have never met you or even if I have met you and we are dating. I have a life and other things to do. I have met a guy or two who was such a great conversationalist that an hour or two flew by while we talked, but that is a rarity.
3) They are kinda boring. Were they not encouraged to have hobbies? No TV watching does not count as a hobby. I dunno. In that regard I find them generally snor-ey. When I ask you for some ideas about what to do, you should be able to have at least one. Also, YOU are not so interesting of a topic as to occupy an entire evening's conversation. Trust me on this one.
4) They don't know who they are. Not really. They know nothing about what makes them tick. Nor are they interested in looking. Nope they want to skate through without ever giving it a thought. This is just unacceptable to me. How do you build a relationship with someone if you have no awareness of your own junk?
5) They want the whole 1950's life they grew up with on TV. June Cleaver in the kitchen or cleaning in her impossibly small waisted dress, CFM heels and pearls while Ward sits on the couch watching TV and sipping on the perfect scotch rocks with his feet up. It's as if they missed the whole sexual revolution and women's movement. This is the same guy who will go on and on about how he could never respect a woman he could sleep with on the first date who will then proceed to push for exactly that! And when you point out the absolute hypocrisy of their words and their actions they will shrug and say "I'm a guy" as if this will make it all understandable.
After that, I so understand why women become cougars.
NB - If you are a dude reading this, don't get your knickers in a bunch. I do know some amazing men who are not like this. Thank God. You guys give me hope that there maybe a few available still.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
There is a certain satisfaction in figuring stuff out for me. I am a classic J in that regard. Yunno Meyers-Briggs kinda thing. I am an INFJ. That last means judger (J) v perceiver (P). A judger likes rules and order, likes to have plans and know what's coming. And this part of my life is all full of directionless P-ness. ZOIKES! There is no order and very little in the way of planning, all of which causes me a bit of angst. The perceiver likes to examine all their options, likes to leave things open and just see what happens. That sounds a Mary unfriedly place to me.
I was OK last week, when there was the trip to VA to plan, details to clean up, actual cleaning up that needed doing. This week has felt all full of P. And I find that I have floated through an entire week without doing anything. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact a certain amount of nothingness is good. But I know me and know how a bit of nothingness can easily turn into 6 months of it. And I am not gonna have that.
I was listening to some beautiful gong-y music this morning from my friend Fabeku when it kinda settled in like a warm blanket. Yes this place is P to the extreme. But it doesn't have to stay that way. I can choose to carve a bit of order from the day rather than let it all just float around me. That the rules and scheduling that have mostly been provided by the presence of a job can be brought in and created - BY ME! I hate rules and scheduling, but somehow I need to have those to bump up against to feel comfortable.
Maybe I will learn to be a bit more P for having this experience, but for now a bit of self-imposed schedule seems in order.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Interesting thought that. I think of things contagious as mostly negative. The flu is contagious. So is a bad mood. Fear and hate - absolutely. Why not contagious courage? Contagious laughter? I have definitely seen the latter at Laughter Yoga where the laughing starts out forced and awkward but shifts more and more toward deep conscious laughter originating from the belly.
If courageousness were contagious would it start in that same awkward way? The same sense of 'I can't do that because everyone is watching me' followed by 'Oh wait. They're all being courageous too, so they probably won't notice me.' So it feels safe to take a step in that direction. Step by step until we each step into that place of personal courage - the place where stories are written and shared without consciousness of self. The place of WHAT THE FUCK where writers thrive. I do believe that is exactly what happens here [at WWfaC].
It has happened to me many times - that leap or tiny step into the place of fearlessness. And what seems like courage when I finally get there is really just being me and nothing more.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A couple years ago,
that phone call would have
made my heart race, my palms
get clammy and my stomach
launch a flock of butterflies.
I loved the way that felt then.
A year ago
when the calls stopped coming
the silence sliced my heart
Six months ago, I would not
have taken the call.
Today I took it
Waiting for butterflies
and found neither came.
I waited for the tears
they didnt come either.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
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Mom's sojourn in Memory Care ended when she could no longer stand and became what they term a 2-assist. She transitioned to Skilled C...
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