Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Two Sparrow Night

I noticed that the sparrows have taken to roosting in the corner under the metal awning of my back porch. I kinda like them there.  Some nights it's a big fluffy female house sparrow.  Other nights it's a small male.     Guess it's first come first served around here.  

Tonight I noticed that both are comfortably snugged into their opposite respective corners and peacefully slumbering through the cold dark of this winter night.  

...and I wonder what do sparrows dream of?  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Letter to Santa


Dear Santa,

How are you?  I am fine.  How is Mrs. Claus?

Okokok.....seriously dude I know it's been a long time since I wrote to you or asked for anything for myself.  Time to cash in all those hoarded E tickets and request the big prize.  

I know I kid around about it a lot, but this year, with my whole heart, I am asking you to find the dude who belongs in the chair across the dining room table from me.  I am kinda tired of dusting it.  

This year has been tough.  You have brought me the most amazing job for which I dance the fudderwhack daily.  There have been quite a few curve balls this year too.  I'm doing the very best that I can to TCB, I know you know that.  It would just be really nice to have someone provide a little ground support on a daily basis.  I have amazing friends everywhere I look for which I am ohso grateful, but they aren't quite the same.   

Imminently cuddlable and seeking same,
Mary

PS – Please curb the reindeer

PPS - Say hi to my dad and tell how much I miss him at Christmas.  

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Love Letter to My Body

I have been promising myself I would write this piece for a couple weeks.  Funny how it just didn't seem that important and never made it to the top of my list.  Even now I am contemplating ditching it and starting to put together the new file cabinet.  No......stay on target.

Get this book.  RIGHT NOW!
I suspect it feels a bit more important because this week's audio book has been The Joyous Body: Myths and Stories of the Wise Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  She is a brilliant Jungian analyst with a deep love of story that I relate to easily.  So many pieces of this touched me deeply as a woman.  And I wish everyone I know could eat her words and make them part of their own inner workings.

I think the thing that spawned it all was a piece of writing I heard recently that was a long apology to a woman's body for the mistreatment of it.  As I heard it, I wanted nothing more but to love up on the writer and help her love her body more - AS IS.  And there's the rub.  What I really wanted in that moment was to love up on my own body - AS IS.  So that is what I shall do.

I talk a lot on here about my brain and my spirit.  Pretty clear how I feel about those parts of myself.  I know it's hard to believe, but I love my body too.  Yes it doesn't look anything like what the world says it should.  I have decided the world is fucked up and wrong about that.  But then the world is fucked up and wrong about lots of stuff these days.  I have big rolling curves like the Kentucky backroads that hold my soul.  I can't even imagine a body where my bones jut out and dig into my lover.  I heard a comedian (No.  Not THAT one) once deliver the best line ever when he said "Even the three little pigs knew you didn't build a house out of sticks if you wanted to spend any time inside it."  A-MEN!

The world around me spends an enormous amount of time trying to sell me on the idea that I am less than, worthless, powerless, unattractive, and meaningless because I am big.  FUCK YOU!  I'm no longer buying it.  I am big because my spirit is too large to be contained in something tiny.  I am big because I am full of ideas that need to be fleshed out.  I am big because I am defiant.  I am big because I am free.  I am curvylicious.  I am soft because my spirit is kind and generous.  My lap is a comfy place for kids to nap and my thighs are a perfect warm pillow for my lover's head.  My breasts are squishy when I hug someone.  My feet are large to hold up this amazing masterpiece of flesh.  The container is the size it needs to be.  I am suited to it and it to me.

I remember a time when you were smaller, fleeter of foot, perkier in every way.  You are no less beautiful now to my eye than you were then.  Every wrinkle is a story I have absorbed.  I have been 'written upon."  That was one of my favorite thoughts of CPE - that our bodies become the canvas upon which our lives are painted.  I mean, who wouldn't want the oversize canvas for that?  Exactly



Monday, December 19, 2011

I Am THAT Woman

Last week one of my colleagues at work was talking about an AMA article he received via email that polled women about violence in their personal life.  He fussed over this all day seemingly needing to discount the statistics that said 1 in 5 women will experience violence in the form of abuse or stalking in her lifetime.

I tried to convince him, without 'outing' myself as one of those women, as to the validity of those numbers. Tried to explain that these experiences are mostly held in silence or shared only with other women, by which I meant mostly other survivors but rarely with a man.  Still he held disbelief.  I am as intrigued by his need to discount the study as I am by my own certainty that those numbers are correct.

I do know they are correct because I AM one of those women.  I am a survivor of both childhood sexual abuse and of date rape - although there was no such name for the latter when it happened.  Silent for over 30 years about this very thing.  I believe they ARE correct (although in the AMA case study their data collection method and term definitions were biased).  Every time I have ever spoken about these experiences, there is ALWAYS a woman who comes up to me, thanks me for my story, and proceeds to share with me her own untold story of abuse.

I wanted to tell him the truth, but I held back.  Why?  To not feel shame?  To not be judged?  To not be looked at in pity?  To protect the veneer of who I am in this fairly new job?  Lame excuses.  Here was an opportunity to educate a young doctor about something that has never touched his life - at least not as far as he knows.

I am not ashamed.  I am who I am.  Those experiences have made me better, but I would not wish them on anyone.  I am, however, feeling squirmy about my silence.  Wasn't silence the very thing that allowed this to continue?  Isn't it the thing that allows people to discount those stats as inflated?  To believe that this doesn't happen to women they know?




Friday, December 9, 2011

Scientist for Sale

Today I talked to an acquaintance of mine here in research.  She is potentially losing her job when her boss moves on to bigger, better, badder things.  Kinda digging around in my last-year's demon closet?  You betcha.  She wanted some practical advice about how to move through this.  From me?  Really?  Pretty sure I just closed my eyes and cannon-balled like usual, disregarding nearly every syllable of practical advice that came my way - which incidentally was an obscene amount.  But OK. 

As we tried to figure out how long she has been working here, 11 years, she reminded me that I taught her how to make solutions way back when, before her career here started, like early 1990's way back.  Yunno back when big hair was in and I was sporting my favorite Pepto pink high top Reeboks and acid washed jeans.  I'm sure I grumbled and bitched about having to do something as lowly as work with an undergrad helping them learn basic lab skills.  Why can't they just be born knowing what I need them to know?  I know I could have done more and been easier to be around.  I was quite a pill back then.  Mostly I was just trying to figure it all out myself.  All while trying not to be shown up by the clever-as-hell college junior I was training. 

Interesting that 18 years later she remembered it so fondly.  Makes me wish I had taken more care way back.  I looked at this woman and felt a certain pride that even that little action, as poorly done as it was, helped set her feet to become the amazing confident young woman she is today. 

And I promised myself that I would take more care when interacting with trainees in the future because ya just never know.  Just never know who is gonna return the bootstrap you give them.  Need proof?  My last trainee (I had learned a lot about how to be a better mentor in the intervening years) threw my name out for a job when I was unemployed.....a job where I now sit and type this blog.  OKOkok.....usually I am hard at work.  Cut the girl some Friday afternoon slack. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We See What We Want To

Maybe she will come inquiring to me in six months
or six years, and I will shake my head dolefully
biting back the I told you so perched on my lips
She will plead "Why didn't you stop me?"
I will shrug and answer "Would you have heard me if I had?"

because in the end we all see just
what we want to see

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Edge of Vitruvia


Arms stretched wide
Flung Akimbo
Yearning
Barely touching
Circumscribed
Circumspect
Reaching for the world 
beyond those edges

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Not Enough

Yunno when you break up with someone how crushing that can feel.  Having picked through those feelings too many times to count over the last 3 years, I found the part that is the most Owie, the most lingering, to be the idea that you weren't enough, as in you weren't enough to make a go of it.  You weren't enough to make me choose you.  You weren't enough to keep my interest.  You just weren't enough.  Generally followed up by but-hey-this-20something-blonde-box-o-rocks-bim is ex-act-leeee what I'm looking for.  That one's kinda owie too, but I toss that one off as cultural imprinting on both sides of the owww.

Today as my brain ranged in that direction, I gave it enough rope to see where it was headed just in case something cool and interesting might come of it.  Ever ready to yank it back if it felt like it was gonna end up in a box canyon of Ohmygawdmylifesucks or something.

Very interesting thought occurred to me.  I am not the insufficient one.  I rock.  Maybe that other person does too.  But where I am classic rock, they are country.  Different genres with not enough overlap to sustain.  And while I may dig the different and love the alchemy of mixing up the two, I'm pretty sure most people are looking for sameness.  When they realize how different the two of you are it's sayonara.

I might have settled countless times, I found I just couldn't pull the trigger.  Because settling means giving up part of who I am.  Girl is NOT gonna do that.

I am waiting, not for something perfect, but for someone who gets it.

I will not lose hope.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Edge of Vitruvia

I was so very jazzed last night to be back with my fellow writers after a three week absence.  Driving home, brain buzzing with a new poem about Leonardo's Vitruvian Man.  Trying to not wreck my padiddle and cling to a few thoughts about it involving the use of the word akimbo until I could get home to paper and pens.

All thoughts of that poem disappeared when I arrived to find the temp in my apartment to be a crisp 52 degrees.  Flurries of phone calls and hours later, now sleeping on the pullout couch at my moms, I was happy to have a warm place to rest my head for the night.  Only slightly bothered by the niggling thought of something I intended to do but had forgotten.  There is lots of that around me these days and so I fell asleep.

24  hours later the thoughts finally resurfaced......less sparkly and engaging than last night.  Sigh......such is the ephemeral nature of the muse sometimes.  Hoping she will bring it in again now that I am home and warm.

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

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...