today i was nearly overcome by a dried hydrangea tumbleweed crossing the road.
gave me pause.
tested math facts for fourth graders. reminds me how much i love and how good i am at the one-on-ones with kids. i am. supahstah.
forgot to go to the library.
made plans to go to the funeral of my lifelong neighbor.
these times, they do change. i wonder where i was all that time?
i'm waiting for the books i've requested to arrive at the library, checking on them doesn't seem to quicken the process.
sometime in the next week i have to buy a turtle creature, and all of its life-sustaining equipment. this, all, for a boy who is turning seven and has kept his interest in a turtle for six whole months. he will still not care for it, and i will be scooping turtle poop for the foreseeable future.
what i mean, or think i mean, or , am thinking about.
dried hydrangea tumbleweeds. how fantastical.
having a job wouldn't be as good as helping out, i know this.
ahg. funerals, i got through most of my life without any true understanding of death. lucky me. but where was the 'I' that i have now? was it just tucked away behind the cupboard door? how is it that i am able to meet most of my fears on a daily basis and yet i am so overcome so regularly? what does this portend? how do i get out of this warren?
a birthday, a birthday. how i wish it were farther from christmas. but how lovely that the boy is so excited by a turtle, how lovely. i'm purposefully getting a vegetarian tortoise to keep myself from having mealworms anywhere near my person.
and, so there, again.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
today i was nearly overcome by a dried hydrangea tumbleweed crossing the road.
Friday, November 21, 2014
today marks a year that my dad has been gone. a year when memories have flooded,
'missing' has become a very active verb and sometimes a deluge of incapacitating grief. i feel marked in a new way in life, an inability to look around death as a giant easterisland monolith in the road makes for slower traveling, i think. there it is, the huge rocky mystery in the road, again.
today is also a friday. the relief i was expecting, naively, is not there. i suppose i thought that the 'year of firsts' ending would be some relief, but the truth is that there will be so many thousands of 'firsts' that i can't share with my dad, and that still is a fucking humdinger to my heart.
my closed-up walnut heart.
someone tried to pry it open these past weeks and it slammed so hard shut that i have been reeling this week.. it is hard to be so closed, when the world is full of tiny little beauties. and it is, and if i could find my camera, i would show you. i suspect the kids have taken it to record tv shows again. ( a stunningly redundant use of a camera, yes?)
i will leave you here, now...
love to you.
Monday, November 10, 2014
summer, things i think... long walk, short pier... in the summer, like a dream.
just read a 'noir' detective novel from 1957. it rocked. made me want to finger someone for the snatch. ( and... will probably never type that again, right? times, they have a-changed. fuuulll stop.) but it rocked, nonetheless.
tonight is taco night. the bliss of tortillas warmed and tacos crunchy. hallelujah for Mexico! why the hell are we building a wall to keep people out? we should have folks sitting at tables to sign up for the tax role as they enter. make 'em all bonified! we'd (we?) make millions!
why the hell not simplify that whole deal. want to be legal? AWESOME. welcome.
i'm thinking the short and sweet might be the way to go for me. the littlest turns 2 this wednesday and its the anniversary of my dad's trauma and death and i'm sortof 'back in shock' if one can do that, a year later. i'm almost literally walking in circles.
Friday, November 7, 2014
1.My first grader punched his friend in the gut yesterday because he kept saying 'dude'. I get it, I'm appalled by it, and I have no distinct reaction in my repertoire, except to yell a bit about what 'deserves' punches and what doesn't . banner. bender. he loses games all weekend and we'll wait and see if those parents ever invite him over for a playdate. and THAT may be the consequence he feels.
2. Hubs and I are having a break from our much bealeagured 'maritalstress', realizing that the other is still 'in there somewhere', and have been getting along pretty well. It is hit or miss but right now its a hit... It must be what the 'other' people have in their marriages. cool. i can see why people do it.
3. My fourth grader boy tried to make himself throw up rather than go to school last week.
more yelling in response and then some panicky visions of teenage bulimia and so on and so forth. then i remembered ferris bueller's fake temp and tech-licious lying to his parents and so on and so forth. felt mildly better. kid went to school. teacher says no big thing is going on for him there. meh.
4. I'm going to a potluck dinner tonight with my kids. I'm nervous because I'm overly judgemental and scornful even of one of the participants and I don't want to be rolling my eyes at everything he says. I want to be better than that. He tends towards platitudes and 'quips' and I want to throttle him. (keep your fingers crossed for me.)
plus, all three kids in a room with a smart, intelligent woman who has no idea what she is getting into. none. (keep your fingers crossed for her.)
5. thats all i got, but its friday and i wanted to finish with a bang! :)
Monday, November 3, 2014
I'm in the midst of cleaning the house. Between my emotional and physical absences lately, and Halloween and a whole lot of children and life and all, there is not a surface to be seen. I've 'addressed' the dressupbox which hasn't fully closed for months. I have turned the sideboard into an art supply center, mostly to keep my husband from putting a fish tank on it. I can't handle the fishtank, honestly, i just can't. fish? no. can hardly handle the idea that we'll welcome a turtle into our family any day now. (not a euphemism, i mean an actual turtle. actual turtle. ) human people are so damn weird. why do we want to 'capture' everything? fish? turtles? they have a place in the world already, and its really not meant to be the place where I am, pretty sure.
so anyhow, the cleaning is at that stage where everything looks way more fucked up than when I started, and here i am breaking to type to you. to here. whathaveyou. ( i realized this morning that it is fully november and it didn't even cross my mind to try nonoblopo this year, not even a little bit.) and since i only wrote maybe twice last month, i'm going to do my best to double that one this month. and then maybe a double again next month. i've got to get back on the train, so to speak. to mix my metaphors shamelessly, i've got a long strange road ahead and behind, and i've got to keep on truckin' .
on the road less traveled.
with rings on my fingers and bells on my toes.
(man, anything, ANYTHING to avoid the disaster the house has become.)
love to you.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
that tone is too ridiculous to continue.
I was a sewing dervish. Had my own room, no tv, didn't carry my phone, was fed, didn't have to clean up anything, was poured coffee and brought snacks as I worked, or within 10 feet of my work. One morning I woke up early and decided to just 'go on up' at 6:30, to find that there was hot coffee and four other women ahead of me, quilting in pajamas.
The women I was sitting with were sisters, all 3 of them quilters with experience and I was mildly in love with them. There was laughter all weekend...
It was the perfect situation for me with my hearing... all the social awkwardness was taken away because i was just as focused as anybody else - on a whirring machine which precludes conversation.
I missed my kids and hubsJ fleetingly, but not painfully, because I was so fixated.... I missed my husband tenderly while having a large male masseuse rub my hands during a chair massage on Saturday. Even typing it feels sortof soft porn-like. pbbst. My hubsj does have many good points, and his sheer physicality is one of them. I didn't even go to my room after meals, just 'back to the grind'.... lovely. i read a little bit of an Audrey Hepburn autobiography, which I have been wanting to do FOREVER. and it was crap. but i did learn what i was looking to learn. so there.
In the last hour of the drive home, my mother and I talked about our grief processes. I worry so much, now that a year without my dad is finishing up, about her deep loneliness for him. . . and her frailty and anxieties seem to be growing... and I have my own worries for myself and this life i have had for such a long time. and what is so difficult for me, in a way, is the realization - or i don't even know if 'realization' is right... the recognition that the only way through is to keep plodding on. while i may feel like lying down in the middle of the driveway after putting the kids on the bus, and it would be fine if i did that... eventually, i have to get myself up... i do. nobody is coming to rescue, or even to give a hand up. ( maybe if i were literally there still when the bus got back, i imagine the kids or the busdriver might give me a hand up, but i don't think i'll wait to experience that particular thing..) I find it is something that I have to re-learn time and time again, and maybe it is so strong right now because I've lost my faith, and my father all in one, and the startle of it is what makes it so 'truthy' .
I'm heavy with the plodding these days, and I am looking for more. MOOORE. MOWER.
Maybe i'm looking for a landscaper? pbt.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
eventually, the waves will get you, the sand will pull at your ankles and you'll topple like so many trees... eventually it will be timber for you.
this, of course, is only true if you don't step out of your self-imposed beach stillness.
this weekend we'll be burying my dad's ashes, doing the graveyard thing, doing a go out on a boat thing, to drop some more bits in the ocean. i have to say i'm on the crumbly side of things, finding it hard to deal with my mother's style of grief and event-planning. and so, finding myself in deep grief with nothing but deep resistance to all the planning. right now i am a little bit worried that i will literally refuse to get on the boat, the finality of this all being something that might splinter me, and i'm not sure i've got the stuff necessary to make it through any more of this.
and on and on... i did post that this event was going on, i don't know... may be too much sharing but i wanted to know a bit about how people handle this shit... and mostly people said to look for signs, and others said they were still sobbing sometimes after 18 months, 2 years... i imagine that looking for signs will help when i get to it- if only because nature is pretty damn impressive, and it would be good to be distracted... and i guess its good to be more realistic about how fucked up i am when its only been a year and its a big final push right now...
i'm sorry i havne't written more, i am.
let me add a picture. nature sign from june. hold on...
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
i might need to be medicated.
1. i can't get in touch with chakra carol and so i'm convinced that she has died because death is all i can see around me, the futility of life in the face of it, the inevitability of isolation.
2. wine does not work.
3. i am not a good time girl.
4. i literally barked at my husband in cynicisitic rage. no, i don't think that is a word either.
5. losing my faith has made me feel more lonely than I ever would have believed.
6. tigerscouts is rolling around again. shit. caucophony, is all i can say.
7. is being medicated like going through life a little stoned? i always said i didn't want to get through that way but i am worried my anxiety is growing into something unmanageable.
8. i can even be anxious on a beach. and that is sort of heartbreaking.
9. i'm scared of women. don't care much for men, as a general rule. but boy, i am intimidated by women.
10. today's dinner is supported by a new store i discovered, after following numerous rumors. hello, bags and bags of frozen soups. ( and a bread, and a bean and cheese quesadilla for the one who won't eat anything else.)
11. laundry ad more laundry and then more.
wanted to end at eleven, so did.
Posted by Kate Bowie at 4:05 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Last night was the informational night for the cubscouts. The middle is deep in thrall to all things 'turtle' and was told that they look for turtles and so now i believe i am conscripted into one of the damndest levels of hell that dante skipped over. bastard.
the problem is not what i had originally thought, that i was too judgemental about skinny fathers who smell of smoke and whos kids can't run. its not. its not the class issue that i berated myself for, its not the distaste for uniforms, social order based on hierarchy, 'family-building' which happens outside the family, splitting the family up for one night a week.
its these things:
1. 6:30 at night, for an hour.
2. little or no 'control' of kids behavior. They sit for 30 minutes doing an 'activity' and then they run. i love my kid to have fun, i love it. but at 7:30? i'm almost dead at this time, and i need to keep all things quiet and calm.
2. a large cavernous church hall is impossible to hear anything in and i need a decompression chamber in order to calm myself afterward. seriously, last night i was in tears when i got home because i don't know how i am going to contribute to the social life of my middle. he gets shafted out of so many things. i say it really really rarely, but yesterday i said ' i just want to hear'. . . it would make this shit a whole lot easier to handle if i could hear the parents and grownups around me and converse like a normal person. its almost like i'm the only person speaking creole in the room and so i'm lost. its heartbreaking and it would be easier if i wore a sign. ALMOST DEAF. APPROACH WITH CAUTION. (or compassion, whichever comes easier.)
2. lots of twos.
2. I've got the toddler with me, like i did when the eldest tried this out. this means it is a total and complete waste of time for me to be there and yet i am supposed to be there all the time to promote the 'bond'.
3. i don't like the quotes and statistics that they put up on the board about how noone gets scholarships and scouts keeps kids off drugs. i know noone gets scholarships but that isn't why kids play sports, right? and PLAY is the operative word. AND i think drugs and the role they play in our future is not up to us as much as we think. we all do our talks and love our kids and stay involved with them, and keep our fingers legs and toes crossed. because we all know how it can go. so we cross them starting yesterday.
4. i don't want to ask hubsJ to do this, because he is already doing a soccer practice directly beforehand and would then be overstretched.
oh my god. uniforms.
(my kid LOVES this part. costume.)
(really nice people, yes, some REALLY nice people. some of them i have met in situations where i could actually HEAR them so i know they are nice, good, eggs.)
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Janes Addiction cues here:
as a matter of fact... when i like somethiiiing and i don'wanna pay for it....
i get it, just like that... from
we have an overload of books, and i mean roomload of overload. and so in place of writing here or anywhere, i have read. the kids have still been fed, but some errands are taking weeks to complete rather than a day, and that is what that is...
i read the lord of the rings trilogy. i did. and i want to know desperately about the entwives. where the hell are they?
i think i have a tree complex. i also want to know a whole lot more about Groot, from Guardians of the Galaxy. he is the only reason i made it through that movie, which lots of other people seemed to like, even barbara streisand liked it... good lord.
i've read the paper. yes, digitally, but still.
i've read a book called 'White Bird Flying', by Bess Aldritch, which is really dated, but showcases a young Nebraskan writer who choses to marry rather than pursue the 'big life' of a writing career and inherited money. hmm. BUT, it is definitely a midwest beauty book, changing times, sentimentality about dugout living and pioneer skills as well as dropdead love for landscape. and sometimes i need to be reminded that this here that I am doing, this 'homelife' is the biggest 'biglife' that there is.... and no problems that are here won't be found in all the other places in the world. and dropdead landscape is something i really go for.
(the toddler has hit the twos, and my nerves are being pinched, i tell you. but she still naps for a large chunk of the middle of the day, if i do things right, hence the reading. )
so, that was a four book check-in... i hear there is a louise penney book on its way to me from my mom, so that'll be my next lovedrop.
i hope you're all well... i do, i do. i'm sort of on lockdown emotionally, so i find it hard to come here as i don't know what i'm offering exactly.... but a drop has been made!
take care, have care,
Thursday, September 4, 2014
*If the sun rising is the only promise we are given... what then?
*All the shells on the beaches, with the broken hinges? are those wings lost at sea?
*the kids are off at school, how do i feed myself without a witness? and i mean it literally, food-wise, and figuratively, spirit-wise.
*some people say fear is a real motivator. not me. its a damn refrigerator in my path.
*tomato worms are a complete travesty of design. i love me some brachonid wasps and i feel guilty for it. (this is a gardener talking.)
*i have written in my journal lately, and it seems that i can still be thoughtful. took me a while.
*i don't even include my almost-two year old with my 'kids', most of the time. she is separate, somehow. gender, age, ability, expectation, etc. Wonder what will become of that...
*seagulls can feel threatening.
*salt is best when it comes on the air.
*schoolbuses make the best noises.
*started the community website. have been distracted. want to look? www.welovewestport.net
Monday, August 25, 2014
Funeral services give you a little glimpse into a family, a life you only knew in bits and pieces, shows so much that you didn't know. When a life is well-lived, funeral becomes celebration and thanks, and it is a miracle that in all millennia, we have only learned and figured how to gather, hold hands and sing... to help us all through this darkwinternight of loss. . .
a high school friend's mother died, and were it not for her attendance at my dad's wake, i might have passed it by, in my coldness... but she and her mother and father all attended, and i mark that in some deeper way, and am weary and so full of sorrow to share grief with her so soon.
and being so far from it now, months out of the shock, into the longevity of the thing... i am humbled over and over, an out-of-control tumble... into how much of life we take for granted. and how, with time, you can convince yourself so deeply that you have got it all 'taken care of'. we spend an awful lot of time lying to ourselves here, i bet it is almost a universal, but i guess it is true that i can only speak for myself. some time after my dad died, hubsJ commented that we are all such pathetic creatures, so wretched, that we can't see the joy and value of what we have until it is taken from us.
i've known for a few weeks that i need to sit down and write out what will be my list of desires and dreams for the future of me. and i can't. i can't seem to see beyond my own nose, beyond my own skin. there are some who might mistake this for some wacky 'mindfulness' notion, but i can firmly set you straight, at least about me. i'm completely scattered, completely awash in incredulity, grief, disappointment and some fury as well. i'm swampwater, baby.
and so, sometimes i can share the grief of another family, another loss, and in the distance of my gaze, i got nothing to give but the sharing. and so, since my self-judgement is spiralling all out of control, i need to sit down and make a list, and a number one priority should be defense against the darkarts of the self-judgement. (and number two? better hair.) heh.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The neice and aunt are leaving for their coupla months at home soon. So we are on our own for the first time this summer and I'm now officially on a bender of 'oh my god, the summer's almost over'/'have to buy school supplies and track down all that school information'/'summerlist!!'. . . a bender it is...
today my mother comes to babysit some while i take one shoe shopping. boys are deleriously easy, i understand now... i'm taking ONE to go buy ONE pair of shoes. no friends, no outfit matching 'fancy shoes' or any such snarkery of the insane consumerism that is completely running amuck amongst the family when it comes to this little girl. and i'm not so much betwixt, as i love the beautiful things this kid is wearing, but i am slightly at a loss as to where it is all going to go... i am not prepared... her bedroom when she moves out of mine, is about the size of a large cucumber.
what am i going to do with all this stuff?! how do i get her to WEAR it at all if it is buried under more utilitarian things? WHat does one do with a highchair that only fits a doll?
i swear, having the boys first has done quite a number on my expectations for childstuff. and now having arrived at '3'kids means we have just too much stuff accumulated, and all i want new for the babe is crayons and coloring books. and a single pair of shoes. one. do you know how much easier that is, in terms of finding them, getting them on and getting them out of the house?! good lord. ONE.
this is not going to make me most popular mom in a few years.
but yesterday we unveiled our tie-dyes, today we are drilling holes in our suncatchers and we can cross some things off my own personal list. we've done waterboats and a hundred beaches... (we're skipping the water park but don't mention it tothe kids) we might go walking today at the nature preserve and i think i am still owed some more pizza dinners before school sets in... i like these late starts, i'm always sad to see the kids down south already started... this is one of the most beautiful times to be around, this late august, early september thing... the light is crrrrazy.
wish us well as we expand ourselves into our new spaces. . . may we all renew and refresh in a cold, clear, salty dive.
Monday, August 18, 2014
This is what an old and beautiful rowboat can get you in this town. I am most assuredly a landlubber, my most wonderful moments are pulling BACK into dryland and pulling boats OUT of the water. But i married into a family for whom boats and travel in boats are a part of life in the summertime and a source of comfort all through the wintertime, so I am working on adjusting. Its been about ten years and I'm still working on it. I think the addition of kids into the mix has not settled my nerves. Today I foisted the littlest off on my mom, she loves it and the littlest is not happy with a lifejacket on which makes EVERYONE very uncomfortable. (imagine screaming, trying to crawl out of it, whilst being afloat in a boat?hmm)
My hubsJ, his dad, his sister, my two boys and a niece, all set out for a little row, canoe, kayak to a magical mystical island that they've named 'mushroom island' in the middle of the river here. There are moss-covered paths, jungley trees, a picnic table clearing, and a vision of several nests of osprey. It really is astonishing.
And when its over, I like to have a cigarette and some land-based time to recover. (yes, cigarette. no, pride.) I am proud of myself, however, that my kids are getting this, and that the nervous energy that I have has not entirely been passed onto them. My eldest has some of it, but as long as he gets enough time with his dad, most of it is eased in the reckless abandon to the joy of life and experience. The eldest kayaked solo to the island and was beyond the beyond in his pride. The six year old controlled the tiller on the rowboat and his crooked path of genious made for a relaxed ride, though perhaps a little bit longer than completely necessary.
It is good that my ying has its yang in their father. so good.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
i'm stuck, i admit it. i let the kids watch tv too much, i can even get irritated when they approach me for food... when do they grow up, anyhow?!
and then i cry a little and make up for it with marshmellow fluff and fortbuilding. or trampoline supermanning. . . or rainy day children's museums.
a roil of resistance:
i can't seem to get over this grief, this daily churn of horror and disbelief and sickening ... it is as much a missing of my father as it is the missing of my faith in something larger. the whole world, when you lean on a pragmatic 'science' for its meaning? doesn't feel that revolutionary, certainly doesn't feel certain or safe or protected or any one of those ...
its a shock, its been long enough now that i can forget for a while and then it sneaks up on me and whacks me down to size. the world is empty, the world is mean.
(gah, its a rainy day again, morose is the word of my day. i'm sure i'll still feed the kids and laugh with them too, i'm sure... the babe is still asleep after all, there is much still to come.)
its wonderful to read wonderful quotes, but every single one of them, has to feed into your belief in order to be effective.
so i am husk-like, corn silk on a picnic table, no longer with form or function. and so the kids watch tv and tv and tv.
the elder was horrified to hear that nietzche was famous for his 'god is dead' ... his towel on head he says, 'but god is NOT dead, why would he be famous?' i could see the seriousness in his face.
oh, these days.
i'm 'not' hoping and 'not' praying that this is simply my dark night of the soul and that i will come out on the other side, into the blueberry fields and rainbow elation of the wonderworld... i am. and not.
i fight it, and i don't allow for hope, i resist what has always been easy for me, the language of prayer and divinely inspired wonder, and so what that leaves me with? is stumbling languages, shrugging shoulders when the topics get too big... how does one apply grief to wonder? lay it on thick, tell me what happens when they intermingle, because i'm going back to be quiet and wait wait wait for this rain to stop.
Monday, August 11, 2014
I mentioned to my brother in law a curiousity that i had about the name of a website. within 20 hours, i had a website and a twitter account. this is a good thing. but a little bit foreign. and the learning curve is wickedly steep.
i am totally whacked out and nervous. ( this has no relationship to actual events, this is entirely internallydrivencomplextypestuff.)
i have to spend some time thinking about how to use a website to build a community. can a website do this? this town is crazy, yes, but lovely, more so. how do i get the elderly to attend the highschool sports? will this even change things, is it a worthwhile thing to attempt? how do i get churches to start preaching the value of setting down roots, putting up your money to support what is good and right to grow and sustain a community?
do you see how deeply my manipulation runs?
how do i make a priest tell his population that higher taxes are the way to go? is that even true?
how do i get wealthy, summervisiting people to drop their wads on the people who live here ALL the time?
and really, do i want to do any of that at all?
what do you want to see when you look online at your town? huh? geez. i can't truly believe that anything of real import for a community can really be on-line in the first place. i think i may be dealing with some issues this week. heh.
i am betwixt and between some weighty things, and grief still rides daily...
i want to channel jack black, in school of rock... and live hardcore... dye my hair and shake my stuff for good and for detachment...
bigger garden, more animals, more isolation, less isolation, beaches, hermitage, off the grids, live from the waldorf, much... and less.
i have utterly given up the idea of homeschooling and i'm cool with that, but public education has its pits and follies and the lurking schoolyear is in the air already, and i'm not so cool with that. - although the possibility of a quiet home does not disgust.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
not raccoons or foxes, but peoples... late night... we call them the church people. they are nice and kind and all that jazz, which i 'have to' say first because when i tell you they live in 'community', people get all freaked out. it must be something American, the shocking fear that community really means the stripping of individual power. veeeery deep-seeded... the women wear long clothing, loose pants with tunics and long hair. the boys have ponytails all trimmed, all the time. they don't have a doctor in their community right now, so they use hubsJ. they do most of their own treatments, as they are very good at herbalism and healthy living.. but at the occasional infection or oddity, they will be our late night visitors. They are so very friendly, really, and they never push their ideology, at all, as far as i have seen. we've been to some of their homes, we've seen the baby goats, we've eaten their very tasty food. at one point, they did have their own doctor, and that man is the connection to hubsJ... his wife was the wonderful Martha, of the five babies and the no toys and the capoeira dancing in the kitchen... at this point, i have made her a deity of womanhood... and the best lasagna maker ever. ever. makes me want to cry to think i ate it up so fast.... she was so shocked when i opened the door to the house so soon after the 2nd baby was born. she wanted me at rest for the full 40 days. part of this expectation is realistic and possible when you live in community and there are 10 other women who can answer the door. in my case, no such situation. (and she moved to brazil. and she was beautiful too. beautiful.)
last night's visitors were Ken and friend J. they had to wait as we weren't home, but were out to dinner. So ken played ball and pumped up the balls that weren't any good so the boys could play... then sought treatment for J, and measured the back of the house so they could put a bulkhead in/on. besides all the communal living and cooking, the men of the community run a construction company. and since hubsJ takes no payment, they are bulkheading in trade.
I don't know what to make of it all.. but I do miss some Martha, and I will be happy to take a bulkhead and think more about what makes a community so much more wonderful than scary... but this is a seasonal regularity for us, here in the balmy southcoast... a day of heat and swimming in the neighbors pool to relieve the sudden screaming overheated ones... and yesterday it was me.
my brain is on a constant loop of grief, anger, regular, grief, anger, regular... so much so that my regular is getting a little pinched. . . i can't seem to get good sleep, but have to tell you our tomatoes are about to burst into red... and that regular is pretty dang fab. tomatoes for breakfast, kids?!
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
i sent my hubsJ an email this morning that went like this:
my being so entirely of the earth, buried in fact... makes it harder and harder to hear your ether. the muffle is great and i struggle to bear it witness and mourn again who i once was, untethered. and the great and tidal sadness in me creates such distance ...
post-fight, i am struggling again to understand how we have become as we are... and i am standing by it, my relationship to being deep into the dirt of it... buried but not suffocating... and amazed by the tethers by which i am bound to the earth, the flap of a flop, the whack of the cheese powder pack against my belly while making lunch, the chatter on the deck of boys re-meeting each other on a new summer day, pages turning, a toddler leaning into my side in a moment of rest... the meat of the earth... the dirt in my fingernails, the scrapes on my toes from the rocks underwater... the bready smell of an overfull diaper... the sweat on these boys reminding me of teenagers, scooping legos from mouths... the wild fears that overtake as they seem to be too far away in the waves... the yelling and guilt of the yelling... balls in all the corners of all the corners. . .
so physical, so much tether.
i look so fondly at who i have been, and so wistfully at what i used to take for granted... it seems too much... and i'm no fool, so i know i will look back at these times with fondness and wistfulness, so i am trying to turn in on myself while still remaining sentient and present... and it is a stretch, i tell you...
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
(may we all be forgiven)
HubsJ's car has been in the shop for over a week, and this weekend we got a loaner to cut down on the carsharing -he'd been driving his mother's car, a nondescript vague brand green car with a puttputt sound... love me some putt putt... i do.. but its funny how i have no idea what the make or model of that car... couldn't identify it in a parking lot, for instance... funny, that.
so we got this loaner, and into the driveway rolls a mustang.
and do you know how well carseats fit into mustangs? hmm? do you?
and when you need to go get diapers.. like, right away, while its still light out and your eyes still are functioning at daylight levels... and you've got to fit a gigantic carseat into a two door low-lying throbbing penis car?
and then you drive an overtired toddler the three miles to the cvs, and have to drag your body out the door legs first, then do the full re-climb in order to retrieve the screaming child and you have to park in the middle of the lot because these cars are expensive and as big as small boats-on-trailers.. i'm now a professional big-rig driver and now i understand some of those road-side parking choices.. but i digress. i scurried away from the car to the diapering world of safety.
boy, did i feel like the biggest assho** in the world.
yes, yes i did.
Monday, July 21, 2014
I do, I feel like I've been away from the house for a week... away from writing for longer than that. we've had family here, of the hubs' persuasion, though mine now with so much time passage... or at least, it feels like that most of the time, complete with total familial disrespect and overt generosities...... every single bed and spaces 'madebed by sleeping', full. all the groceries i think are there, are not. ... inbetween two weekends of baseball tournaments... last nights' championship game which kept us and the eldest out of the house until 11!!... babies and siblings with aunts and grandmothers to keep them from the ballfield glare. . . beach visits with old friends which lasted into the night.... dishwasher load after dishwasher load, til i'm afraid it will fail... a car in the shop. . . a working working husband. . .
i have been away. this week the boys and cousin living here for the summer, are at camp. full day. a pool! a rock wall! archery! songs! kidskidskids!! today is the first day. the return of a routine for myself and the babe is a cool summer evening, replete with sweater. lightning bugs. happy children yelling in the summershadow.
i know the evenings will be chockfull but the hope of a morning breeze is there... so changing, that hope. i am returned. i think the baby is inhaling me in the fear/worry/anticipation of being left with someone else... but hear this: baseball is over. today i throw away the baseball pants with the stains and the worn out knees, the irredeemable polyster would insult the ethos of the salvation army, so they are in a pile by the laundry, washed (i know.. why? who can tell) but ready to be tossed when i can really admit that they are as used as they will be.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
I'm all bagged out and not writing these days. Its happening faster and faster, all the time, this summerpassage. I haven't even had time to complain, and the first half is winding down. shoot. This summer has been so busy and manic and emotional and upheavel-y... its that whole 'first year' withoutmy dad stuff, first birthday, all that... plus my tomatoes are ripening and somedays i feel like i've got noone to tell. and i'm aware that i'm romanticizing my relationship with my dad and that sucks. i can't go changing it now. it had its ups and downs, and i liked him a lot and sometimes didn't. its not as if i'd be only telling my dad about the tomatoes. its just not true. there is always something else going on, and i'm heading to another baseball tournament tonight and i gotta tell you how wrongly these men are setting up sports these days... mothers need to be a bit more vocal about simply not allowing baseball to be a three season sport, or not allowing three games in one day on a hot july sunfest. just Not allowing it. . . i'm afraid i'm seen as 'not a team player' or a 'pansy' for giving my kid water over the fence during an inning shift, i'm afraid my complaints or worries about the 3rd game are seen as insults/criticisms of the other mothers. i'm afraid of how often i am afraid of things like that... and then i realize i must not be too afraid, because i continue on... and i am pretty sure that we'll be skipping this tournamentseason next year... i do not want the entire family life to be centered on one person, or one sport, or one strive. we are a multiply talented group, with multiple needs and desires, and we should all be fed. obviously, i've been in the mothergame long enough to know that there ARE sacrifices. but, also obviously (to me), i know that game has limited benefits and returns and that the quip 'if mama ain't happy, nobody happy' is a very strong truth.
and i'm a bit awonder at how much all of this is about the dads. 'coaches' getting mad at their kids for striking out? woah.
i think its like getting too involved in a tv sport. its some sort of misplaced energy, a misdirected emotion. . .
i donno. ... i'm sure someone has studied it and has all the answers. somewhere.
but its summer, and i'm not looking anything up. the kids're going to watch too much tv, do some craftprojects and be forced to try reading more and more each day. so be it.
off to baseball, on a wing and a 'prayer'... fingers crossed.
Monday, July 7, 2014
Remember that? For reasons in the dozens, but mostly for the tears he shed and the real sorrow we felt, this year was very different. It has been a year, invitations were made to dozens, and family friends and last year's friends, and all the mom's whose numbers I've collected and reminders were sent, and all sorts of things.. one friend was invited to come early, so the waiting for him was less onerous.... but for me? at ten past two i though i might throw up, when noone else had arrived... but then they did. lots, and fun was had and all was passed by, again. the uncles came, the cousins, the grandparents, the friends.
i cried with my mother at the end of the driveway, my dad was here last year, and is now missing, still. i passed off my toddler on to an almost eight year old, fairly successfully, i might add... i had almost a whole beer, i served some salad, some watermelon, some ice cream cake. i yelled at kids on a trampoline, a goodhumor yell. i ignored the kids i wanted to ignore, i felt impressed with the quality of the people that i like. . . i navigated multiple layers of family,mostly by avoiding... i had more potato salad than you can shake a stick at...
the boys were both! thrilled... but my nine... he was on cloud 9. really. and not just because its a cliche that matches. . . not just.
and the colors of the summer . ah... and soon the reds will arrive...
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
its been an indescribable period of time, this year i'm in -my fourth decade. my introduction to the realities of death was pretty fierce and fire-filled and while it may be that way for every single person, i am still in the sway of shock, i think. the consideration of the mortality of every single thing that I love is too much with me, and I am reeling on a daily basis, and feeling altogether acquainted with the mid-life crisis vibe.. where am i going? how did i get here? is it relevant? here i am, right now, how do i get through the minutes, the afternoons, aware that it all ends in death. ? i know it sounds morbid, and overly dramatic, but there it is, how does one grapple death to the ground, deal with the futility of the knowing ... notice the caterpillars, the butterflies, acknowledge the incredible beauty in their unbelievably short lives, and then complain about baseball tournaments on my birthday or socks on the kitchen floor?
the baseball tournament didn't happen, my birthday did. i did not use the paper like i hoped, i carried the journal with me often, unused and uncracked, i read some, visited the library, dropped off a bag i'd been looking to be rid of for over a year. . . the socks for sure were on the kitchen floor, and outside by the trampoline...and under the sofa... but now it is summer and there is no need for socks so the irritation at their sight will dissipate for almost 60 days...
the kids went away for two nights, hubsJ and i stayed at a hotel one night as per my sister's swagliciousness, and we stayed home the next night. it was indescribably marital. it was so very nice, so liberating to get along most of the time, to relax in my own house to such an extent i could actually nap. nap! and laugh... and stay up late...
how does one - why does one abdicate so much of one's personal responsibility in a marriage? i read pam's essay over at Walking on My Hands and it was so resonant, for such different reasons, but again, part of my year of turning 40, and turning and turning and turning. . .
i am watching my mother learn and re-learn thousands of details of life each day and month as she navigates all those things that 'dad used to do'... and how grief keeps her moving, and i'm not sure that is enough. and i have so much worry, and many days when i can't face her because of it.
and i wonder about my own marriage and the days i abdicate my responsibilities and ... i'm not sure thats the same as teamwork. it surely doesn't feel like it. , though i feel the loss of my dependence on anyone else, magnifying the loss of my dad. in the marriage, the exhaustion of the navigation of obligations, 'having to do it all vs. being able to do it all...
what grace we grant each other, or don't.
the heaviness of disappointment in one's self for the stumbling pace ... the overwhelming pound per pound pressure of self-judgement. blagh.
i'm reading : sue monk kidd, when the heart waits... a midlife crisis book for sure, she's christian-ish with a focus on waiting in prayer of all sorts... waiting as the place where all the action actually happens...
and : madeleine l'engle... the year of the great-grandmother... part two of her crosswicks memoir, this one about caring for her dementia-bound mother over one summer...
and i'd like to have a stride, a pace... or at least to believe that i could develop one that helped me keep my breath.. and in the desire, i am going to tuck a kernel of hope. a mustard seed, if you will.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Do you really slip UP? well, i am in mid-slip, it seems. Away from writing, away from not-grieving. This holiday weekend just jacked me all up. Between grief and worry, I was a hot mess and did not get no respect, nor relief from any of it, in any way. The babe had a bugbite which slowly swelled and consumed her entire left leg. (and by 'consumed', i mean, 'made her mother insane with worry'.) Tiny bodies and swelling are not a super mix, and so i was consumed, and my husband had so little patience with it, i really needed to punch him in the head, but didn't, and so sublimation takes on its own radical presence in the days.
i need to start using paper to write. paper, for gods sakes. PAPER.
its time to take a restock, a look at the inventory, an eventual reshelving of the current stock and so on and so forth. buying, selling, producing to buy, sell. you dig?
I went to see Chakra Carol yesterday and while she really beseeches me to stop with the self-loathing, i seem to be having a hard time with that one, she also tells me to finish with the 'give it a year' thing of the grief. also, trouble.
HubsJ covered me so I could go. so there is that. no head punching.
I think I am going to take the month off, and check back in again in July. June is my month to turn 40, avoid many school fieldtrips and school events and shindigs and so on, so there is that. but i am sick to death of how much time i spend staring at a screen. i don't even think i read anymore. i can't be sure, because i have the memory of the fish.
I hope I'll be reading other people's writings still, cause i enjoy the hell out of them. get the joy. but i just want to get clean, man, and the only way i can see to do it is to go back a few steps, to when i had an inner world full of words and self-unloathed.
some people can their tomatoes, i need to find some PAPER.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
I set my coffee mug down on the railing of the deck this morning. It was one of those moments that stand out. a new deck, a first time with a railing! in my own morningtime life, a first time with a railing that is not at the beachhouse of the past, i almost took a photo...but it was the first time, and i didn't want to miss it in order to get the camera. blue mug, fresh and unstained wood, green grass beyond... new sun coming over the trees.
the mosquitos chased me away shortly, anyhow, so i've got the minutes to sit here. . . but i am going to plant them out of commission as soon as i find me some lemongrass. there is already a plant called 'dusty miller' out there, which makes me remember how much i would like a friend called 'dusty miller'. wouldn't you? hey, lets call dusty, see what she's doing today...
dusty miller = artemesia... pretty silver leafed thing that flying bugs think is smelly.
a lot of things settled into me in this moment this morning, as the mug landed. my dad has died. he has popped off the earth. my mom is a much bigger part of my life right now than i'd ever have envisioned and sometimes that overwhelms me with grief. my moments at 5:30 am are my only quietude, and i'm going to have to use them better with summertime arriving, rely on them for more sustenance than i have been. some things are finished, some things are not, somethings will never be.
i'm getting 'used to'/'resigned'/'competent at' being busy with the kids afterschool and in the evenings. driving places, ferrying, eating quick carry-able meals... last night we went to a marionette show with/for the kindergartener in our midst. it was an absolute delight. an amazing dazzle of a moment for kids and beauty and simply complex artistry. similar to the bonsai exhibit i saw in brooklyn at the botanical garden. even in new york, there isn't any way to make bonsai trees 'fabulous'... they are, in their form, vessels of patience, quietude, observation... bloom. . . artistry of the simple set. no neon need apply.
my husband in his way has challenged me to dream/plan for where i want to be in five years. i have been home with kids for 7 years now. seven! and my hearing has taken such a turn that i really don't think i would do a good service to a classroom of kids anymore. so what to do? how to be? who to be? so far, i've just mildly entertained the thoughts, but i need to really think about it, really mull it, as this next month is my turn 40 month, and i would like to begin a revolution in my path.
what a phrase.
revolution in my path. shoot.
what lies in your path?
Monday, May 19, 2014
i'm not proud, i'll drink it. i usually do, in fact, drink the dregs of yesterdays pot when i wake up.
lately, the sun and i have been tussling and i'm up by 5:30, which, frankly, hurts a little bit. minor sunburn from 5 hours at the ballfield this weekend. the sun is exerting her lifeforce, i suppose.
hubsJ is freaking from the busy-ness of the weekend. i am sad and sorry about that. after all this time, i still try to get him out of that mood, which ends up in an argument and makes it all worse. why can't i just leave him to that mood? it sucks, but it is his, and not mine. i am sad and sorry about it all. i am, at the same time, thrilling because the week-days are finally going to slow down. afterschool stuff is finished, both kids ride the bus home, mama doesn't even have to turn the engine over if there is food in the house. pretty amazing. not necessarily great for a slightly agoraphobic me. so slight it is almost inappropriate wordchoice. i like individual people a whole lot. and loathe big systems for people. politics, education, politics, etc.
for a hot minute, i thought i'd get involved in the politics of this town but i am feeling fatalistic this morning, and so, think that minute may have passed. how can you get involved in something for which failure may be certain? hmm... do you really want to get involved in something for which manipulation of emotions, ( propaganda) is the status quo?
hubsJ and my father in law built a deck off the back of the house. where previously there was a deathdrop to the ground from the sliding glass doors, there is now a 16 foot long stretch of lumber. its amazing. and i'm still able to feel like its not really there, some hallucination of the light. very weird.
i'm gardening. but the waiting game is on, there is a woodchuck in the yard and i'm finding myself insane with 'checking on the carrots'. yes, i think there are problems in my emotional makeup, but they are slight. :)
i realized in talking to someone i really like that self-deprecation can end up insulting other people as well. chew on that. eg. she says... 'how is one of my favorite families?'... i say, 'oh, you have so many, we're not really your favorites'...
meant it in good nature, and she wasn't slapping me, but i did apologize, take it back and gobble a bit about my own awkwardness.
maybe i should make some fresh coffee now. looks like a long day ahead. sunshiney and all.
Friday, May 9, 2014
I'm on my way to the opposite end of the world from the hippy farm life, grey hair in a bun, straightforward looks, intense focus. I'm goin' to Brooklyn, baby. home of the 'fuggedaboutit', the pizza slice, the occasional anarchist stronghold, the wealthy student/struggling artist wannabe, the ghetto, the yelling on the street at night, the best and worst smells in the world... ... try and stop me.
my mom and i are hopping a train to see my brother. my sister, businesswoman, is already there, so we'll meet her for dinnah after her work is done. my brother is a suburban boy at heart- don't tell him i said that- so he is driving us around town. the most walkable city in the world can in fact, be driven. who knew?
its the longest i've been away from the babe. i'm quite upset already and i haven't even left. didn't sleep well last night, trying to stay in the moment but failing with wild abandon. oldest boy is off to a retreat for the youth of Quaker Meeting so its HubsJ with babe and the Six Year Old ... ah. home will be fine, but I'm just pbbbt.
Its going to be sad, i think, although i might get to walk the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, so I'll have a real tree to look at ... but sad, nonetheless.
I'll be glad to see my brother's place, its new to him and I'd like to see where he's going to keep growing up that cutie little kid he has. We'll even see Vanessa Williams, who at this point is like a frozen yogurt shop, she's everywhere... so, yeah, it'll be fine, i just can't work myself up to get excited about it. i want to stay home. like, as in, rock hiding. let me putter around, following the 18 month old from grape hyacinth to birdbath, to picnic table and so on and so forth.
for mother's day dinner? ! PIZZA!!! because i love it! and it will signal my triumphant survival of the weekend.
Take it easy, see you when i'm done guzzling the slices...
Monday, May 5, 2014
I went to an event this weekend that has me thinking quite a bit, about myself, my dreamplaces, my judgementalness, my own place in the universe, etc.
Ridiculous, yes? yes.
|I messed with the colors a bit because it is so far from capturing the reality, i just opted for surreality...|
It was a May Day celebration at the farm of a man we go to Quaker Meeting with... J** is 80plus years old, a cantankerous character, who frequently nods off in the midst of all that quiet worship. When he does speak it is during announcements to tell us of a choral group meeting somewhere and doing oldschool singing in the round or something similar. He and his wife have been having May gatherings for the 12 years they've been married and the gatherings have been going on for two decades before that. There was a MayPole and everything. I've never actually seen one done before, as far as I can remember and man, the fluttering of the ribbons at the start is one of the more beautiful things I have ever seen. ever. (and i have seen a lot of beauty, babies, a LOT...i know you have too...:) it was like a movie of a hippy production, a throwback to what i vaguely remember of the childrens' events of my early youth... my kids wandered and wove and lost track of things as they moved in the circles they moved in. . . it is thrilling to see their lives, sometimes.
There was a play with puppet horses, sculptural pieces with floating shimmery bits, and linen rag manes... there were fiddles, there were maybe a hundred people and it was a potluck. (really, a potluck! ... hippy, lots of glutenfree, beanoriented dishes, and someone even brought fish..:) but there were also brownies and juiceboxes, and snapple.
There was a barn, kids in the hay... there was a house, with door open to the chill ... superwarm low-ceilinged kitchen, smelled of bread, wide worn floorboards, golden warmth, joe in the corner with dog at his feet, some kids ate at the table, maybe grandkids, maybe strangerkids... the porch of the house had so many tools, and doodads, and old comfortable chairs.. and an exercise bike that was just a bike on a stand, so it was trapped from motion... the tomatoes had been planted which made me leap at the bit and try to plan when i'm going to do that this week. two huge glass jugs, huge! for what? .. a picnic table, a skateboard, 4 loppers, a skull of a cattle cow that J** had once raised.
there was a wood-fired kiln to bake pottery, and a whole building for all the other steps.
there was a tractor parked next to a car. a whole mess of chainlink fencing in a heap grown over with grass. it was freaking gorgeous. really.
there were many women comfortable in themselves, of an age beyond my judgementalness...
and the wife of J**, i had been looking forward to meeting for ages, and found myself tonguetied by my own flightiness, unconnectedness. I felt my tentative hold on the world at this event. this was a place of rootedness, calamity and mess of decades, decisions made and followed through and abandoned.
there were so many gardens left unplowed, waiting a cycle of the moon.
In my judgementalness, There were many there that i found hyper annoying, but that is my own problem, yes? the hyper dancing for the drums, the drunken linenpant wearing energy worker, the adults pissed off at my kid because he went his own direction decorating the maypole and didn't 'follow the rules'... the german lady who was just being german when she yelled at me for setting my trash down next to her... had my hands full with moving the kid, the bag, the blanket, etc out of the sudden downpour... german.
But what is really the pendulum my thoughts are pinging towandfro is a love and longing for connectedness like that, or maybe its a need for more authenticity. as much as i loved that place, i imagine that in winter, when empty of the community , it is truly at its most breathtaking... and breath-allowing. so am i looking for the community or the communion? are they exclusive of one another?
i found the place moving, almost heartbreaking to be there. the kids were out of my purview, the babe was going up and downstairs, getting dirty, finding paths near the tulips, planted a dozen years ago, if not a generation. even after this writing, i'm not sure what it was that moved me so, although i think i will dream of that kitchen many times more.
Friday, May 2, 2014
waking up first in the morning, mad. at a sameold sameold routine, flush with marital routine. . . mad...
kids rush, dress for 'dresslikeateacherday'... we need more male teachers, it gets difficult for boys in kindergarten to find clothes they're willing to wear to dress like a woman. strange choices. backwards day? flipflop day? lots of choices...
the mess of marital discord is like that stinking whale carcass that is making internet rounds. what has great beauty is having a moment of fester and it stinks to holy hell. (if hell is holy. i suppose it must be if it was created by something Good.)
I hate starting days like this. all the trite 'don't go to bed mad' sayings weren't loud enough for me in this 12th year of marriage and avoiding eye contact takes all the spirit out of my anger. I am tired and trying to think of what can get me over my hurdle this morning... no retail therapy option, trying to stay away from the magic of badforme food.
there is of course, this writing therapy... and i'm hoping it'll alleviate some of my resentment and repetitious assault on what is this marriage i am in.
noone ever lets on how difficult it is.... unless for them, it is truly not difficult. is that for real?
i am in a season of stink, a grief-stricken calamity of spring. yingyanging back and forth internally. waiting desperately for something longer than a half hour of sun.
thinking of my kids and how much i loved them yesterday made me want to gobble up the dirt... stick my face in it and glory at its richness... how weird is that mess?...
maybe something to do with hope, and growth... should be making eye contact more, maybe. dirtface.
all done with my five minutes... no edits, yet again...
- this is from the Five Minute Friday prompt at http://lisajobaker.com/2014/05/five-minute-friday-mess/
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
today i am going to make a list of what bugs me, what i 'cannot stand!' in hope that it can alleviate some of my feelings of aggreivement, if such a thing is a word. i think it may be simply misspelled, but it may be that i've made it up entirely. so be it. this is the utter opposite of a gratitude list. dark side, i float on you.
1. raw chicken. top of the list. horrorshow. flop flop, smear.
2. the way my hand scrabbles for the switch on the bedside lamp, every time... like a panic claw.
3. not recycling . . . hello schools, it matters. hello?
4. feeling so overwhelmed by the issues that plague me that i spend the entire afternoon staring at another issue that plagues me, screen addiction/there's-nothing-better-to-do illusions...
5. waiting for the garden to be warm enough to plant stuff in. i might not make it two more weeks. i'm irrationally mad about it. the option is to plant things knowing that they will freeze and die. how's them apples?
6. i can't go to the big Town Meeting this Saturday because I am going with my mother to a Funeral Memorial Service of a woman I really liked, who died suddenly right after my dad.. GAAAAAH.
I am missing my chance to be truly 'famous' in this town in order to focus on what matters in life and death and sorrow, and my heart is hardening further, 'to the pain' ... Princess Bride quotes might help me here... I'll see if I can come up with more.
7. so much beer is shit. I hate that. Why can't it be better?
8. I'm sure there is more but I'm going to leave it at that. because thats how i roll.
9. i can't plan my writing, that drives me bonkers. imagine what i could do with the occasional edit? Imagine?!!
Monday, April 28, 2014
i'm washing clothes and dishes today. I'm just sort of dithering right now. boys have gone over to the one neighbor we have's house and I can't see them and don't know what they are doing and the babe is asleep so i am landlocked. dinner's parts are put into order, but no assembly has been done. i am at a loss, thought about browsing amazon which may possibly mean the universe is dissolving right this very second. browse the largest online shopping channel? browse? my soul and the soul of the world would crumble and perish.
its been a weird day, waves of despair and futility passing through, grocery trip made, watched 'cowboys and aliens'... thought i'd like to see more of daniel craig's body, confessed to my husband...
it may be the dampness of the air, but the outside is not for me today. all internal clockworks are clicking along, but i don't quite know what time is being told.
my mom has been really sad lately. used the word 'unbearable' today. that is hard to hear.
spring is hard. and amazingly ludicrous. and peel your skin off hard. i don't want more abrasion right now. my heart aches.
wish the world had more vocal voices for good in it. there are so many negatives. i guess they are easier to produce.
go forth, go forth.
spread some good words.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
I found Easter really hard, which was a humdinger. Something about it took me off guard, which is astonishing, in and of itself. How could my guard be down? its a holiday, one that made my dad giddy... how could i be surprised to find it so difficult? I wept . when you weep an awful lot, it is called something a whole lot less romantic than 'wept' but I choose to see myself in a dusty shift, looking out into a western sunset, with 'wept' rather than 'ugly sob' in my mind's eye.
I think my mom, sister and brother were having an equally difficult time. There was much gladness at the kids, and not enough of my dad. not enough. we are bereft.
man, it sucks a whole lot.
We got in a load of loam yesterday. People here say 'loom' and it makes me want to punch someone.
I spent all my minutes when H forgot me yesterday, moving wheelbarrows full of loam back to the garden box. 2.5 cubic yards. a small amount but holy smokes.The driveway is still unusable, but the box is half-full, and I'm not even crippled by the physical activity yet.
Last night was C's first official baseball game of the season and we are on watch for HubJ's stress levels. C did not care a whit about hits/strikeouts blahblah because the team won. So we go from there. The E will have his first game on Saturday, and he was asking many questions about how things go. He is still uncertain what to do once he gets to first base. HubJ may have to do some serious walking meditation. His love for the game and the boys and for their self-satisfaction levels is what is behind this all, but it is going to be a process for him, to access the lighter side during these games.
After the game, C says to me, 'mom, i'm not trying to be mean, but i don't know any other people who are so excited about dirt'.
bahah. wait til he eats one of my tomatoes.
today we go out for breakfast in a wild freeforall of children and school vacation expenditure. the dirt has arrived!! let them eat eggs!!! (or cocoa krispies, whathaveyou)
next week i'm hunting down my tomato plants/basil.... i can't really really plant most of my stuff til may here, and i am chomping at the bit, loaming at the mouth....
seriously, not a typeo.
love to you, and may you have lots of dirt wherever you are.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
it is spring. it snowed last night, it is cold outside, the wind calls for a coat, even. . . but i did my morning walk around the yard and everything is still alive, like it always is. honestly, spring is what keeps me alive, its the internal fester and boil of the soul, come to rest and progress and growth .
how amazing the world is.
ah. i'm still hiding, dealing with my own resistances and disbeliefs and so on and so forth. but i remember now the balm of walking outside, grubbing hands in the dirt, scratches from the brambles. and thats all so damn good.
i lay in the boys bed with my husband last night, the middle, 6 year old boy, rolled over us, making us a flattened love pancake 'so it would stay forever'. my 8 was on the floor reading and the girlie was wandering to and fro. it was one of those times when you know it would be allright if you left right then, that everything would be okay... and blissful, it was blissful. ( i don't mean the morbidity, but just to suggest that giving them and me that one memory, makes everything allright, its all good. )
i moved around our indoor plants, window changing, light allowing... watching the seedlings like a hawk circling my chickens...
my hands are dry, cracked, all my nails are different lengths, and most are a bit dirty. i am wrinkly. my son told me the top of my head was white. i can't figure out how to look up there and see for myself. it may be time to get my hair cut.
a woman i like invited our whole family for dinner. i'm afraid she has made a mistake. it would be nice to be wrong.
agh. its cold out. i might go open a window, i might turn on the pellet stove. i can't decide. there is a ball game tonight, might be perfect.
Monday, April 14, 2014
i did submit a letter to an editor. the town firechief saw it and tweeted it. ( i use the term but don't exactly understand its ramifications, okay? so if i do something wrong with it, just give me a break. ) So someone stopped HubsJ at the ball practice to ask if his wife was Kate and to tell him they liked the letter, because they got the tweet. so, i'm famous. just wanted you to know. it was a good letter. . . but today, i spent the day indoors on a blustery day because i've realized that all the first responders in the town who were here the day my dad had his heart attack know me. i knew one of them, andy, because his kid was in my kid's class in preschool. but there were so many people here... and i can't remember any faces... don't know any names... and now i want to throw up.
there isn't anything wrong with the relationship between first responders and the people they witness, it is a real one, an intimacy that doesn't go away i think. but i'm just hanging out at home today, and when the paper comes out and all the people who don't twit/tweet/twat get to read it, i'll stay home that day too... except for baseball practice, when i'll force everyone not on a team to stay in the car.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
To the Voters in my Town Who Always Vote NO,
Hi. I live in the Northernmost tip of this town, on the most beautiful street I have ever lived on, less than a minute from the town nextdoor. I'm a newbie here, but I grew up one town over, in the North as well. My kids go to school here, and will through high school because my mom and my mother-in-law were both teachers and I was raised with a great deal of respect for the labor of love that was their work. This town here, that I love, even as a newcomer, is falling to pieces. Locally, people sigh and grimace when they talk about town politics. Parents and confused newcomers like myself do not understand. I've heard it blamed on the elderly, on fixed incomes. Is that true?
Maybe we don't know what happened ten years ago? Maybe it doesn't seem relevant to us? Maybe. Maybe I'd just like my kid to be able to learn Spanish or Portuguese in Middle School like I did. (I took French. not that useful to me, but thats in the past now... I think I had dreams of Paris in my little 12 year-old head)
We've now had two opportunities to vote for overrides since I've been here, maybe three. Each time? No. The teachers are pleading, the selectmen are pleading, superintendents are telling you you're getting a substandard education, highway supervisors are begging for equipment, but still ? No. We're talking about less than 200 bucks over the course of the year, for most people. less than a dollar a day.
What is going on here? Is this some new townwide 'philosophy of No' that I haven't caught on to? Angry pennypinchers? I read through all the comments on that big MasterPlan Survey that went out last year and so many people were worried sincerely that the Town was going to change. Well, it is changing, certainly. It is a laughingstock. Its schools are becoming subpar. Most who can afford it send their kids to the surrounding Catholic High Schools. Saying No does not prevent change. In our case, voting No is bringing the change in faster. Great, our taxes are really low. You get what you pay for, right? Maybe the town will just disband. That's cheapest, right? All of the neighboring towns are bigger and more successful at governing themselves than we are, so lets do it. Just give up. Shout out the NO! Lets make sure we do it in the name of debt reduction, otherwise people might think we don't love our town, that voting No is more satisfying than a healthy Town Hall, strong Fire and Police Departments, working plows. (all of which serve the WHOLE town, stem to stern) ...
GAH!!!! - should i fix it up, send it to a paper?! GAHHHHHHH.... my town, my town, what are you doing? ....
Posted by Kate Bowie at 3:03 PM
Saturday, April 5, 2014
*i'm a yo-yo type evidently, or a pendulum swinger... of the non-libidinous sort... i go back and forth, swing up and down, all around... about bigs and littles, all the time. i love you, i hate you, and then there is all that time in between, when i just don't care.
*stripper shoes are stripper shoes. don't kid yourself. kim kardashian is a stripper. stop it. it doesn't matter how much 'fun' you think the shoes are... you look like a stripper. if thats okay, then fine. just own it.
* dark nights of the soul are no damn fun.
*all you negative people are stupid.
* i just hate reality tv. (unless it is clothing related...) why are all the plastic surgeons making everyone look bloated ? i mean, this is now A LOT of people.. is this a standard of beauty? fishlips?
*moderation is my middle name, and lately i have seen what a loss it has been.
*i have nothing against strippers.
*it seems like the world is seeing a winnowing, and that freaks me out. so very much.
*conspiracy theorists are really delusional. right?
*phone etiquette has been completely lost. i mean you, you and you.
*why does what makes sense to me seem so aggressive and repressive and crazy to others? choice in vaccination? choice in medicine? education which is a class-equalizer? freedom of speech? government which is for and of and by the people and not for and of and by a company?
*i'm incredibly lazy. i feel it. you should know it.
Monday, March 31, 2014
there are hundreds upon hundreds of tiny decisions that we make everyday. to spin off and make the bed? carry the laundry up now? wait til the baby goes down? read books or sew the quilt blocks? why did 'miss lucy' do such a shite job knowing what the baby wanted? why did she name him 'tiny tim'- seems like a bad choice, somehow. ... walk to the window to watch the chickens? put the green paint on the canvas? start the laundry? make those brownies? buy the brownies? take the pasta aisle or the soda aisle? unload the rest of the groceries immediately or wait til the boys get home? address the boy's fighting or let them resolve it themselves?
so many. all the dang time. most of the time, without thinking. . .
but the big ones?
*do i want more people to read here? (all 3 of you !! are fantastic ((really)) but sometimes i pine for some comments to spur me on some more..) do i really want that? why the hell would anyone share something i wrote on fb? i have literally no idea. . . but i put it up there because a blogsite told me to.
whats my 'niche' anyhow? gross, blugh, shudders.
*how do i get more humor into my life? how do i shut down my carping and let out the goodnaturedness that i swear i really do have? i'd sure like moving through this life if i were a bit lighter on a regular basis...
*if i'd like to paint more, why am i so resistant to a class?
*if i'd like to write more, why is my journal dusty?
*if i think meditation is incredible and life-changing, why don't i ?
*why won't i exercise, damnit?
*how do i figure out my new position in the world, now that my dad has gone and my mom needs more companionship? how do i take a more central role when my whole body wants to isolate itself?
why am i jealous of people with wider social networks when i finish sentences with the above phrases?
answers? actions? whut.
i suppose its a rut. again. but i am tired to death of it. and completely inactive in my bigger choices, which is all sorts of frustrating. i feel pretty damn boring in my explanations to myself. TO MYSELF. gah . . .
Friday, March 28, 2014
but i've got stuff to do today, man. i'm taking a pill from studio mothers and writing something even if it sucks. so here it is.
really, i feel terrible. i had two kids in my bed last night, tossing and turning apiece, and now this morning i have a stomach which is suspiciously volatile.
i've got to pick the two boys up from school to take them to their yearly physical and then make an attempt to race back home because there is an afterschool movie for the kindergartener, which is the only event for him IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. gah.
race. drive. race. maybe throwup, maybe dive into the nearest stall.
i've been wondering lately about skepticism vs. cynicism and which one of them leads to paranoia. what do you think?
i'm so irritated by baseless conspiracy theories assuming the absolute worst of people. it seems such a waste of time.
i mean, i assume that 'organizations' are awful, but remain committed to the fact that they are made up of individuals, who will at some point, assert their responsibility towards the world.
this may be crackhead logic, but i am sticking to my guns and wishing the world were a different place today.
maybe i should just continue on my self-isolation journey, and then i can feel more hopeful all by myself.
- i have a feeling that might not be effective. but i've never been that good at picking up hints, so i guess i'll soldier on...
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
I read someone's comment on someone else's blog, commiserating that humpday had given her the hipcheck. I think I am in love with that vision. (although, because I don't have an outofthehouse job, I don't really get to commiserate/evaluate something as a humpday...)
anyhow. today, everyone went to school, my mom slept over due to the impending blizzard and so the kitchen was cleaned! .... the blizzard that was supposed to arrive was just a whole lot of wind... it was peaceful. baby and i watched a lovely little movie for free... at lunch, hubsJ came home with the sickness. an hour later i got a call from the elementary school nurse that my 8 had thrown up...
the 6 got off the bus all bubbly. so thats good.
back in the saddle. and i had just caught up with the towels.
so we got hipchecked, teenaged girl style.
'nice socks, kate'...
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
i could spend an entire day browsing pretty things and places on pinterest. honestly, and sincerely. facebook is losing its allure lately, right down to the boredom of monotonous games actually forcing me to get up from the computer. astonishing, never thought it would happen....
but looking at wonderful bedrooms? covered in quilts, beds made... empty spaces? clear and open countertops? sparkly lights and wooden floorboards? sign me up. a respite for these tear-cried-dry eyes of mine.
we have made our garden bed, now let us lie in it.
hubsJ has literally made us a garden bed, and when loam arrives, we will be comforted by the dirt which we have grown in...and hopefully? in which we will grow. and by we? i mean me. i want to grow something, watch it change without being fearful of it... feel responsibility without crushing defeat.... just a little thing.
dust to dust and so forth. while death is still so heavy with me, this is the flipside season to it, and i am aware. though still sunk.
... and stink and dirt are what my family is doing best these days. between the vomit and the crazed desire to be outside in the foolishly-cold-not-spring-yet weather we are having, we are dirtydirtydirty. and our jumpshots are slowly improving, and my muscles are being used, ever so slightly. and gasping breaths are being had, and neighbors have been sighted.
- i cut the last of the sick ones hair this morning. that'll learn em.
( might have to dash out to a barber to get him fixed up... seriously. poor thing. thats what you get when mums get inspired by the crazeddaze of spring.)
we'll all muddle through. or not. but still.
Monday, March 24, 2014
the third of my kids went down to the stomachbug store this weekend... piles upon piles of towels and sheets and a comforter too! are headed to the laundry machine/center of the house this morning. and i am only vaguely aware that he is not quite finished. the tv is on, he has a bowl within reach, i am calling it enough.
it is amazing how differently the three handle the vomits. one, almost adult-ly, wakes up, goes to the bathroom, hits the john. he is 8. he calls when he is mid-way, usually.
the baby, just wails and pukes forward, onto whatever is held in front of her, when something is available, otherwise the wail brings the pail.
the current? the middle, will be fast asleep, throw up all over everything in sight, then come and notify us that it has occurred. once we have been alerted, he will be fast asleep, cough, we run...because he'll cough til he throws up, turn over and go back to sleep. he does not get up, does not rouse from his sleep, just rolls over/in it, and retires yet again.
this all has made for exciting nights this week.
the laundry is intense.
the slowmotion of it all is something i can only report, but not describe ...
we have been getting days off, but the nights man? shoooot. we've been getting our asses kicked.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
i can say that there is a new dog in town these days.
it is not a friendly one, but it does make its presence known and we are all having to adjust to it being attached to my hipbone. i call it 'loss of faith'.... and you can call it what you will but it is a huge fucking animal sitting in the middle of my chest as i go about my daily business.
and yet it isn't.
an enormous earthquake the likes the world has never seen, the darkest night, that, evidently, i share with many... i don't know where to point my inner dialogues, i don't know how to, where to give gratitude...
i've had friends my whole life who were doubters, athiests, 'intellects'without faiths... and i always thought their lives were somehow less glowy, less likely to tend to joy, less less less. and what i learn is that, while maybe that was true for them, or is, or isn't... i really have no idea... but for me, the change is minimal... except its not, its incredibly huge, but it is ALL internal. the world outside of my eyes seems all the same. i still love those friends, i still love my friends who feel certain about things, but i haven't talked to my mom about this, and i probably won't. ever.
the change is big, and yet i feel like i may be still on a fatalistic wheel, taking my turn at the biological determinism landing, figuring out why exactly the cardinals are red, biologically speaking.
figuring out why it is that i feel the way i do about things, why it is that i approach my children so, why it is that i am scared to go to the back of my yard where i watched my dad getting cpr, if there is a great 'nothing' beyond here, why do i chase figments so ? why does my brain rattle and rattle around its treehouse?
in some ways, it makes everything seem sad, this loss. did i really lose God when i lost my dad? it seems i did.
i had to cancel an appt with Chakra Carol because of my belief-loss, and so I had to talk about it with her, and it was good, and I'll probably go see her and have coffee and she'll still like me anyhow. probably.
i've always chastised myself for inner dialougues that sound like blogposts or conversations, because i believe it is a weakness to need an audience... but i give over to it now, if i have no other place to point it, it will wind up as a lecture to myself, and while i may need a lecture? i will have to be satisfied somehow, and here it may end up, to keep me closer to sanity than otherwise. i don't know if i'll write more at all, but at least i give myself permission to speak to myself in my writing voice. at the very least.
i'm trying to write out these changes, because they are really so molecular. i don't have any clue how to move about without a light within, and just a heart... i don't. who am i without my 12-year-old-girl- within, that Aslan-believer?
and its easter. and i'm sure it's evolving and changing and i'll hold on while it roils.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
i'm done with the afterschool 'destination imagination' hoopla for the boy. my big, 'push it through' event of this year. and we are finished... and the boys won third prize in our region, so that is pretty damn amazing. it was a very exciting day, with a stage walk and all.
and, of course, the let down of it ending, for him, my 8, means that he is sulking unmercifully on the ride home and i almost ditch him by the side of the road.
we made it, but barely.
euphoria last night has made me a headachey mix for this morning but i am up and rallying. i am tired of rallying but think maybe there isn't anything else, really.
i think i've forgotten to make choices for myself for 8 years or so, or maybe i started that when i got married, as a lark... and then forgot.
a deep well.
(jack handy? )
i'm reading a circle of quiet by madeleine l'engle. i'm amazed by how good it is. i think i'm going to have to go read all her books as an adult and see what i can find... her writing is really really good, and it caaaalllls to me. i haven't finished it yet but hope to go slow enough to recollect it all later. a very good sign.
i've also picked up the prayer journal of flannery o'connor... and what i'm surprised by there is that it is too familiar, and i don't want to read it. it is literally her prayer journal, prayers written, god thought of.. .and it pleads, and rambles and discusses, like my inner workings, and i fear it goes contemptuous in my familiarity. i put it down. i have my own work to do, i don't even want to read what work she had to do.
i've also read book two in the chronicles of the necromancer: the blood king, by gail s. martin... because i love me some sorceressing and swashbuckling. just wanted to flush out the reading partridges.
and i'm reading five little monkeys jumping on the bed, multiple times every day. multiple upon multiple.
Monday, March 10, 2014
when it comes right down to it, i don't think that people think for themselves very often.
its much more comfortable to do what is 'written', 'right', 'explained', 'advised'... and we are all so connected to so many systems of thought and love and family that we have untold number of sources to look to for advice. i find, lately, that the impetus to ask my dad's advice, seek out his knowledge, has grown. well, crapshoot. lost my chance.
my son took this picture on a walk for animals in the woods across the street last spring. It is tremendous. Do you see all the curves first or later?
it seems my dad's death has shaken many people. he was one of those guys people just thought would always be there, til the end... too soon, etc. etc. i have been knocked right off my mooring and am at sea, while still trying to do this household, mother, wife thing. i can't say i am doing much at any of them these days. my mind feels diseased, replaying things that are over and finished, ad nauseum.
The afterschool coaching gig that I have been doing will be over in one more weekend, and I find myself hanging in and on for dear life. It began the week my dad has his heart attack, and I missed it... and each week I have been in dread of it, and soon it will end.. and I fear the end while I plan my utter collapse at its end. I will have to drive home, and so I will.
may be i should go on one of those nature walks with the boys. the picture is such a good one.