Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Paisley Soul

Inspired by Jacob Nordby's pigeon shit on a parking lot raven.

I remember Sister Sarge, or was it Father Mac, teaching us about our souls in first grade.  I was taught that my soul was a glowing white ball that lived in my chest and that each sinful act I did created a dark mark on that ball.  Why such deep philosophical concepts as sin and soul were being taught first graders seems an even deeper mystery.

I was a willful child and full of sin if you believed what I was taught.  I sinned before my feet hit the floor in the morning and continued sinning all day long.  I imagined that each time I spoke back to my mom, another dark mark appeared on my soul.  Each time I refused to eat something that would feed a starving child in India, another mark appeared.  Each action leaving a soul bruise that never passed through the blue-green stage.  Never healed.  Never went away.  Each mark accumulating one after the other like Pongo and Perdita's pups growing into their spots .

I was also a fairly logical child and knew that this ball must be finite in size, rather like a hard ball, given the description Father Mac had made of it.  The marks too were of a defined size.  Maybe bigger sins left bigger marks and venial sins left tiny ones (I could never get a straight answer on this).  I became obsessed with knowing what happened once my soul was full of black marks.  What happened when the last empty white space got filled in.  I know I asked this question.  I know the answer was something stupid like don't sin.  So the worry and obsessing continued.  How hard would it have been to tell me that confession was like turning my Etch-a-Sketch over and clearing my soul.  Instead, all I got was don't sin.

I just knew that my soul was black and knew that god must have another more elaborate way of keeping tally.  So I proposed in my head that once it was completely black, it acquired red marks.  Once red, it became blue and so on through the rainbow.  And that when I died god would judge me based on the evolution of my soul color sure to bounce me to hell or maybe Purgatory if I was lucky.

I don't believe any of the BS I was taught at the tender age of seven anymore.  I do still imagine my soul as brightly colored.  Today it's a vibrant paisley, made so, not because I have sinned, but because I have loved.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Converstaion With a Rake

The truth is that some days, I do not want to write.  I have things I want to say, but somewhere inside me there's a thing that keeps popping up, like a rake buried in the grass that I step on and it cracks me upside the head distracting me and moving me away from wonder.  Perhaps if the grass were mown, I would see the rake, put it away, walk around it.  Instead today I have stepped out and gotten writing rake bonked a half dozen times.  It's so easy to quit, just flip a bird to the writing and move on with my day.  Today I choose to stick with it, to grab another cup of coffee and write without expectation.  It's OK if it's word vomit.

A Conversation Between Yours Truly and the Head Bonking Rake

Mary to Rake: 'Sup?

R to M:  Same old.  Just hangin' here in the grass.  Waiting for you to step on me - AGAIN.  That never gets old.

M to R:  Yeah - sorry about that.  Why are you laying around in the grass anyway?

R to M:  I'm grounding myself (insert rake laughter)

M to R:  ??

R to M:  Jesus.  It was a joke.  Sense of humor much?

M to R:  Nope.  So really, why aren't you in the garage where you belong?

R to M:  Oh bitch you did not just go there.

M to R:  Go where?  I'm right here.

R to M:  Try to put me in my place.

M to R:  Does that bother you?

R to M:  Yes!

R to M:  No!

R to M:  IDK

M to R:  I feel like that too sometimes.

M to R:  Is there anything I can do?

R to M:  IDK

M to R:  I really do care about you.  And I need you not to just sit around getting rusty.

M to R:  And I'm kinda tired of all this bonking.

R to M:  Then come out and get me and put me away.  Or better yet, use me.

M to R:  OK

R to M:  And mow the grass while you're at it.

M to R:  Couldn't I just get a goat?

R to M:  What-EV

M to R:  Yeah......ILY2.

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...