Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nuns exist! and they drive pickups, and golfcarts, and beat-up Chevys.

The Abbey Regina Laudis is where I stayed this past week, its in the hills and valleys of the middle of Connecticut somewhere and that place, right now, is GREEN.  As in, earth bendingly GREEN. dappled and shaded and glistening and GRRREEEEN.  Its slightly ahead of us in the way of growing things, and it is lush, and bordering on the edge of chaos in its growth. 
I'm not going to link to the abbey, because you should really look for it, in your own time, and not be fooled by the easy linking that speeds everything up, and leaves us still empty.
I got four nights there, was counciled by Sister Deborah Joseph, because I wanted to be...(on the phone at the guest house, i heard her name as Sister Brother Joseph, and wondered what exactly i had gotten myself into....  dug holes for lillies, planted a dozen or so in a garden of the Lady Abbess..(foundress mother-sister-woman-abbess)... watered excessively, sat down, took pictures, ate a lot of fresh bread with 'fresh butter' and looked longingly at the raw milk and homemade soft cheeses. I dealt with the fact that I am not actually roman catholic but I am in love with the rituals of an ancient church ... and with the oft-difficult-for-me-to-access-God. I went to church services four times a day. The Sisters have at least two more, there are rumors that they have a middle of the night service which the guests are not invited to...this Abbey sings its prayers, they perform something called 'the hours'...a chanting of the Psalms, as far as i can tell.  I don't know exactly why its called 'the hours' but maybe some real Catholic could tell you.
I LOVED IT THERE. it was quiet. i went to church at 6:15, mass at 8, worked in a garden, church at 12, lunch, the afternoon to myself to read and walk and write and mess around with my hair, then vespers at 4 or 5 depending on the day, then dinner... and compline service afterwards which i usually skipped because it was time for calling home...
I was in bed shortly after 8 every night, and awake sometime in the 5 am range, and i loved it.  I'm sure I would have loved to sleep late, but I seriously found the morning prayers to be something of a cool mist for my soul.  whatever happened in the night, or whatever was going on in my internal world, was soothed and cooled by the singing women behind the grate.  Except for when the Sisters were out working in the world, they were cloistered behind wooden grates, and their 'enclosure' holds much mystery and magic for me. They use cellphones to keep track the time, they call each other about their work and needs, they are hip to the groove, in their full habits in the full sun.  I cannot imagine what August is like for them. I do know they do all the haying for their property, also in full habit.  The itch of that image alone almost undoes me. 
One of the things Sister Deborah Joseph (shorten that at your peril, she was a formidably nice woman, human completely through and through, but NOT a debbie jo. ) said to me on my first day was that I had to have the ability to be nurtured.  I confess, this was a humdinger that I have heard before, in different shades, from Chakra Carol, and in my own journal writing.  Heart Walnut anyone? One must be open to accepting tenderness and vulnerability and nurturing, before one can feel them.  I say.
I say, captain.
it was a good beginning.. and much of what i read throughout the four days seemed to leap at me and show me that perhaps the 'work' that I need to do involves more vulnerability and more cessation of self-protection, which of course, scares the hell out of me.
so we will see.
thus concludes part one.  i don't want to talk much about the re-entry into family life except to say that there was vomit when i left AND when i returned, as well as fevered worrisome child behavior. and allergies have made me their bitch.

wait for more, valiant readers!  all four of you. :0

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Burning Up on Re-entry

really, the title does it. the post about the four days with the Benedictine Sisters will have to wait for tomorrow. (it was good, those ladies just do not burn, i tell you... )

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hatching an Asterisk

a natural follow up to Incubation...of course... we have a hatching going on, a five chick success rate (from 30?!) ... we are happy with the five, this chicken-tender most-so. I am visiting parts of town I have not visited before, and finding chickencoop-makers under every stone.  If we had time and scrap lumber, we would build our own, but I find it romantic to think about a coop that is the best design element in the whole house.... and I need it to be protective against foxes, coyotes and other nefarious creatures... (= well-built)
and I am still ready to go... even with these new babies under wing, ready to go.

I hope to be equally ready to come back.

*ha! am i really a chicken-tender? ha! go figure.  all these self-defining terms and thats one i simply never thought to add... i guess its time to re-do the blog description... :)

*um, yeah, there are 14 chicks now. .  so far. we may have moved into and 'alien' featurette.

*there is a stink here that will only worsen as I am gone, and will be mine to figure out when I return.

* haven't packed yet, but think I've got the stack of books figured out.  Here they are:
Bible. duh.
Journal, also duh.
the way the crow flies, ann-marie macDonald.  hubsJ passed it on...
Selected stories, Alice Munro... hubsJ actually purchased for me, for this trip.
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett, because I feel like a little girl and this was one of my favorite magical places and stories.  where is the Dickon in your life?
The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp... because i figured why not?

Four nights, three days. alone, with nuns and prayers, and a garden.
So, I am ready to read, probably should bring a pillow for sleeping, and I presume I will be eating- although there will probably be a substantial drop in my swedish fish intake this week...

*there was vomit in the house last night, and lots of laundry to do this morning, and a visit from the midwife to take my blood, she still thinks there is just one bebe, which will keep our sanity at least in its original ballpark.
*15. uh, 16.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Today is Monday.

Sure as hell is.  What was a very long week of headaches and blugh and sick in strange places, all of it mine own, ended with a whimper and a, a nice kiddisplay of food, a family visit with grandparents and sitting with my feet up... and now today is Monday.  Kid one is in school after a violent struggle, Kid two watches Scooby, and KidinUtero sits calmly without waves of nausea... always good.  On Thursday I leave for my retreat at the Nunnery. So soon.  I feel already checked out a little bit, as if a 'reserve' now will make the leaving easier, making HubsJ more prepared for the solo parenting that I do all day, every day... I'm not sure it works that way, but it is something that I fall into without any thought, so ... it has begun.  I'm not sure what to bring, what to pack, what to read.  I'll bring a bible because, hello, they might not have one there.  (?) ... and what else? warm clothes for cool nights, cool clothes for garden work, sweater for early mass. . . pajamas. . . toothbrush.  books. journal. cellphone for tucking the kids in at night, should they even approach 'bedtime' bedtimes. . . part of the reserve is a suspension of control... what i won't know won't kill me, or even bother me.  For instance, bedtimes... who cares?  I wish HubsJ well getting them up in the morning if they are up too late, but I'm sure he'll manage something, even if its a world of difference from what I do.  it'll all be fine.  and I'll be away, doing something a world away. . . even if bored and unable to sleep, the new environment sits in its newness like a gift, a brown paper package tied up with string. . .
the idea of four days wherein I do not have to find any shoes but my own, I do not have to pack a snack, I do not have to even look at the laundry piles, I do not have to think of the things I have not done, the things I have to do.  
All of a sudden, I am ready. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Marriage, MOFO.

Don't care what stupid North Carolina has to say about it.  self-centered that way, i suppose.  anyone in love should be able to be married, if that is what they want to do. it is a very hard business.  straight people certainly do not have a corner on doing it well... what a church has to say about it is also their business and it doesn't need to affect my business because I do not belong to the kind of Church that says certain adult consensual love is lesser than another. so there.
and I believe in the separation of Church and State, like, as in, it is a founding principle of what created our country, and is ONE of the few we should hold up as a GOOD ONE.


Do we tell each other the truths about our marriages? Do you talk to your friends about despairs? hopes? desire for change? difficulty? great laughter?  Do you consider it private? too private?
I'm in a marriage which has moments of great difficulty. It does, and sometimes it breaks my heart more than once in a week and it is hard to rebound from that.  I do believe that if a heart breaks, something greater can grow there, in that space, so it is not really broken, but shapeshifting. . . so I have hope when I am not actively self-mate-recriminating/rebounding.  Doesn't mean there isn't pain...
I'm working hard on re-assessing my disappointments... after all, its an 'expectation' that has been disappointed, and not something true.  a wish perhaps, but not 'what is'... it is very hard work, all this re-perceiving... and I often often do not achieve my goal, and disappointment can really eat at you. really.
But I realize that I think its all too private to write about here, for sure, and I realize that it can be many months since I have shared any of the details of the relationship with anyone. anyone.  and there is something in that.  Is it me? my own isolation and desire to spend time with friends in laughter and frivolity rather than gripe and tear? or is it something bigger?  a womanly desire to show a 'good form'? to refuse to acknowledge disappointments? to not show the 'real' to the outer world... how easy it is to believe that they all have it easier, all those other couples... those couples who met in high school, those couples who dated for 5 years before marrying, those couples who make each other laugh and appear to be wildly best friends.... I imagine some of them Must be in good shape, they can't all be suffering (sometimes) and hiding, right? 
How hard is marriage? even when its really good, its hard, right?  the sharing of space, the sharing of life... flip the coin and its great, remarkable, funny, full of light and love and laughter.... my god, look at the kids we make!  flip and flip and flip again. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hello darkness my old friend.

Last night I was up for most of it with a monster headache.  We in New England call many things 'wicked', i wonder if it all stems from our collective experience of Salem and the way easy condemnation springs to our lips? hm. but anyhow, wicked would fit this headache fairly easily, containing vomit and leading to the lying-awake-painful-head that is unacceptable when it lasts from 2 in the morning right on through to the dawn, when i rouse the Hubs to make him promise me that taking excedrin-type medicine won't harm the apple in my bellypouch.  he promised, he roused the almost-seven year old and prepped him for school, and I spent the rest of the day sludging around the house. The four year old is still in his pajamas, I have changed because it was necessary, hello.   I am alive, the headache is gone but exhaustion has settled into my bones like the damp. Its almost five now, there is dinner to be 'warmed' and an evening to be withstood before my bed calls my name, and I, its. 
If I drank, I would do everything in my power to pass out. soon.
Instead, I will have some more water, stare furtively out the window at the blustery day and wish darkness to fall an hour earlier, just for today. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Real: Five Minute Friday, again...

Five Minute Friday:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here   (thats Gypsy Mama to you)  and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you and encourage them in their comments.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on: REAL


come on.  its all real.  its all nothing.  but something.  meaning is dropped by the bucketfull here and there and we just keep walking through it.  I am the center of the world, and so are you.  And that is what we have to learn, all of us walking about in our own ecosystems, thinking our geographys and our hills and valleys, our gross domestics and our five year plans... we have that, even the boys i went to school with who are cops and won't marry their children's mothers...they have that, those boys, those women, those children.  we are the world, and songs of that nature.  what made you cry in 1980- does it still do that to you? catch me if you can, and i will be crying.  and its real, but passes.  Real? how deep does the real of today go?  Seems there's an assumption of the deeper real for me, the faith-based one, the one that keeps me moving and moving through all the incubation periods, all the 'lull' of development, for development... the growth of the spring.. the death and lifechange of the fall and winter.  stockpiling for the future, this real... the knowledge of root cellars and fabric.... the faith through the storm of it all.   what you got?
my five are done.

doesn't seem like that many sentences for five long minutes, does it?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Juju, Intravenous. . . field mice.

Two days of field mice in the house has topped me off on my ridiculously-cute meter.... they really are.  BUT, one was a plaything for the three cats, and one was VERY stunned and confused by his housebound predicament... both were saved and returned to the great outdoors but I have discovered that I have some primordial problem with rodents and cannot handle even the fatally cute field mouse. I can easily have a completely internal panic attack even thinking about them now.  fyi.

Two weeks from today I am off to my four-day Benedictine retreat.  I haven't been thinking about it too much, I think there is probably some unexplored psychological drama there, but hubsJ asks if I am excited about it every other day and I find it annoying...(see said unexplored drama...)
I probably am not easy to be married to.
I AM looking forward to it, but in an unrealistic way that I have gone through before, like, I'll be spinning in the mountains with Maria-type things, or that I'll be working in the garden planting for hours and I'll get beautifully tanned, because the sun will not seek the Sisters, because it knows better, coming from God and all...
so, because of the unreality, I am just trying to ignore all my feelings about the impending retreat.... just get to it, on a daily basis.  I seem to have most of my daily energies back up to level.  Someone remind me about water on a regular basis, allright? sheesh.  what a simple fixit. water. Hello?!
I am happy that it is coming, I hope I come back a better person.  and I'm not sure if that fits into the unreality or not, so I am both ignoring it, and trying to let it linger so I can look at it a bit.  Does this come from some insecurity and self-doubt place? or a hopeful one? or both, and then what does this mean? what story am I telling myself about who I am right now?
too bad Chakra Carol can't fit in my pocket. or that JuJu fish can't be enjoyed intravenously, because I'd go to THAT clinic in a heartbeat, and my excitement would be clear.