Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Retreat. And a Year.

I just got back from a Quaker Retreat for kids grade 2-grade 6.  Its the fourth or fifth of these in which i have been a 'staffer', which essentially means that I play with kids all weekend and make them feel safe at night when we all scatter over the property and fall to the ground with weary.
* I am SO good at making kids feel safe, its like a superpower.  I am good at it with grown ups too, especially now that I feel so much safer in my own home life.

Everyone should get to feel safe where they are. Everyone.
Its amazing what a little safety can do. Its a great place to leap off...

But anyhow, and also.  I was at this same retreat center a full year ago, on my first retreat as staffer.  I had gotten my almost ex-husband out of the house four months prior, and just heard that he was in love, deeply. He is a fast mover, yes. He is still with that person, too, and I could have a lot to say about that, but won't. But am glad that was not something I went ahead and did, so lets just leave it at that.

I was such a goddamned hot mess.  Met a lovely man (a happily-in-relationship one, turns out) which freaked me out and I spent a lot of the first weekend avoiding eye contact and thinking obsessively.  And now, we are friends and it doesn't freak me out, and I'm so glad to meet happy and complicated people.
* One of the things I did not have a year ago was my own dear friends, and now I do.  J was not a good friend to me. There were so many reasons for that, but I made it a slow jam priority for the year, to find new connections and I feel really accomplished in the gathering of a people who are delighted by me and in whom I find some real comradery.

I cried a lot that first retreat and journaled a lot and worried a lot that maybe I shouldn't be with kids.  I must I was a real and thorough mess, and I just barely made it through. I called my missing child every night and wept.

 And this time? I laughed and played and made kids and grown ups feel safe. And loved and held and cherished. My phone battery died.  I did try to charge it but the car charger wasn't working.  It was good that I didn't know. The babe was sick at the babysitters and there was nothing I could have done about making it right from there.  SO instead I made s'mores and sang lullabys by a campfire with 28 children.  There were two boys there who had never roasted a marshmallow.  Boy, the learning curve is steep.  The fire claimed tears and marshmallows aplenty. And some of the tears were mine. And I was so content to let them go.

The retreat center is in the middle of Massachusetts and has cabins and woodstoves and log piles that stretch for miles, and so many of them.  The land is curated into beautiful and more beautiful and it is impossible not to feel cherished by the universe when you are in a place of meditation amidst kickball.  And while 'cherished' may slip over into hokey, it is the language of these retreats, and also happens to be true.

Its a really wonderful community of adults, who work at these things. Sometimes with kids in attendance, sometimes with grandchildren, and sometimes because they live for this kind of work.

AH. So, and then.  I woke up early and angry the last two days because of bad dreams wherein I was prodded painfully by J's girlfriend. They were fights that I began.  And 'physically prodded' is literally descriptive as it involved knuckles and elbows.  Very peculiar though she is particularly lanky and angular.  It is an interesting back and forth to consider, especially in the dream world.  That I would be so happy and amazed at how far I have come in a year, and have my brain and subconscious throw me a bitter bone in the midst. A reminder that I am certainly not done.  I do feel like flat-out anger might be my next dipping pool.  We'll see.  I've already spent a lot of time being angry, and so much of it during the marriage... we'll see what it looks like with so much time passage.

Just a fair warning: look out.
:) and there will be much more to be said about this...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mornings. Musings in (Literally) Wild Disarray...

Ala Cynthia Lee... @restoried.explorations on instagram...
what could i do to make my morning contain more magic.  I find it so easy on the days of sun and spring ... laundry on the line, oh my!! but add a little cloud cover, a boy who won't put his sneakers on or a pile of poo in the hallway courtesy of the dog i call 'asshole' in my head too often, whom i love to pieces, disregarding the poo at every turn... complications yes.

How can i add more magic?  Hm.

Drink the coffee while it is still hot. Tattoo the location of the mug on my palm?

Time, time, time. . .  .to see what's become of me... bangles... i can't help it, i still want to be the little vixenish lead singer and I'm still used-to-be blond and still not a singer after all.

- just heard a man called Jeremiah order his food.  I LOVE THAT NAME. And automatically love him too.  I'm sure he deserves it.

-I've made a pledge of sorts to go sit in a coffee shop once a week and write something there. The mild socialization i will get from people-watching might benefit my coffee-addled self.

-for sure, less of the social media. For sure.

-I've got some things percolating for the summer and I'm really mostly pleased.  I'm a little bit daunted too, frankly, as it is definitely new and a little bit outside of my experience, even. I need to ask for help, and I will. I'm actually going to go do that now, while I am thinking about it - and before i forget for another couple of days... summer is far away, but it really isn't...

-ok, done. Waiting.

-Also realized that a mom friend from preschool has a husband named Zeb.  I just have always been swept away by those didiah biblical names.  I just can't imagine any harm coming from a name like that. Right?

-did you know that the teeny tiny black caterpillars that will turn into gypsy moth motherfuckers also pack an itch punch? Yes. This is like a little fuzzy poisonball that is covering all the surfaces of my yard. Yet another reason to burn it all to the ground.  They say you have to stand in ash to be reborn.

- no really, that one up above is a little creepy.  I'm not going to become an arsonist.  I've got too many things on my list to become.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Joy Bubbles: Surviving Divorce...

The past couple of days I have lived in delight.  Everything has been bubbles of joy and the kids and I have been singing, and dancing, and laughing all around the town.  And I've made some bigger realizations, like

1.i should check out cochlear implants, I'm really tired of not hearing conversations, and if there is a medical solution to my insularity, then I should investigate.  This is a multi-step process and may take years.

2. I have been looking at why I've been so bubbly, and besides 'where i am in my cycle' and 'the moon', the only thing I can see is that I've been journaling and writing here a ton more, even if it is still not much.  And Every therapist and person of spirit that i have met in the past year has called me a 'writer', literally, and it is time for me to take them, and myself, a little bit seriously. I mean, tarot readers, reiki masters, angel spirit workers.. all of them... and friends, friends have called me that too... i mean, really?? So maybe i need to write because it brings out my bubbles and relegates crap and monkey mind to the bin where it belongs.

3. I'm doing this stuff on my own, I'm filled up with bubbles of joy on my own, too. And I have handled more in the past year than I ever thought I would, in terms of dealing with an entire reshuffling of the world order and understandings of marriage and love and how little I knew someone I spent 15 years of life with, or thought I did. And I"m still managing my gigantic home, building raised beds, and planting foods and taking care and giving love and presence to three kids, a tortoise, two cats, a bunch of chickens and a dog.. most of the days of the week, and I'm sane... really.

But joy bubbles, really. I'll take them as long as they last.

4. I'm throwing out random invitations all the time now, and my home and heart can handle it.  So- come visit, come stay... we'd all love to see you.



Monday, May 1, 2017

Motherhood: lies and truths ...

All the things I cannot say.  Because I mostly spend my time with children... (But that's the first of many lies ...)

Tell the boys I am not going to another goddamned store searching for basketball cards. Ever. Fuck em.

I'm so beyond tired of fast food but am too goddamned lazy to pack food for driving in the car.
I mean, come on, it involves more groceries and more Tupperware and so I may, in fact, be saving the world. (And i don't go to mcdonalds, i do have standards.)

I'm not going to eat sugar anymore except for the occasional donut, because it kills me and is so clearly responsible for some of my mood swings. I mean, CLEARLY.

It is not healthy to call someone 'dickface' in your head. Especially if they are an 'educator'.

Empty playgrounds. Sad? Peaceful? Paused?

Tell me something. Message me something.  Someone in Texas reads here. What up Texas?!

And I do a bang up job most of the time, except when i am tired.  Guess who calls every.single.fucking.time. ?  I am going to blame the sugar. The many many forms of sugar.

This is tiny, and I have many many more lies and tells to tell...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fuck your Foggy magic.

A friend of mine wrote about how she found a moment of compassion in the midst of a longer space where she was lost in fears and doubts. A hellacious monkey mind misery, and she found that small, still space in which compassion and understanding shine their lights... And that moment of compassion really illuminated things for her, and allowed her a measure of space in which to hold love for herself and for her love.

It was all part of a morning ritual that she has with her coffee... 

And, of course, the beautiful mug with the steam rising and the soft lights... all there...

Get all that? I got to read it, as it was in a post that floated into my days.  I was really touched by the addition of compassion to such a seemingly mundane ritual. (And one that I mostly do in an unthinking and vague fashion, every day).  ... And i told her so... and she said to me, essentially this.... 'I promise you that the moment before compassion was just as messy as any you have had.  Which is the magic moment?'

MY MIND HAS BLOWN UP, and is lying in little shreds all over the kitchen floor.

   Is all this crap just the magic moments I am being forced to practice with ?

Are my magic moments filled with sadnesses and memories that have lost their meaning and angers over the non-existence of closure or peace? AND HOW DO I GET MYSELF TO RECOGNIZE THE MAGIC OF THE MISERY?

This past month I had a job.  It was the most perfect Segway into working for the first time in a decade ever. It was part -time, when I could get there and the boss was a man I went to high school with and while i may make him a smidge uncomfortable, I am incredibly comfortable with him. So, all in all, a perfect set-up, and was just to last a month, so its even over now, as I write.

And the kids got sick, all of them. One of them missed an entire week of school.  (Couldn't-go-to-the-job-sick) I got sick, motionless on a sofa for two days. Motionless.  (No work) And then the sickness extended into vacation and it was the most goddamned stressful, maddening horrifying time of realization for me.  That I am in a really fucking hard place, that I have three kids, and when they are sick, the world shuts down. That any job I ever have is going to have to be prefaced by, "i have three kids and I'm the solo caretaker.'...That I am doing this by mySELF,  no grandparents can babysit when there is such calamity in the house... and i really have no idea how i am going to continue or what the hell it is going to look like.  I did put them all in a school/extended camp/daycare one whole day during vacation and they loved it, so that is an excellent thing to know. And it took up half the money that i made during that whole week. WEEK of part-time work, ONE day of childcare for three.
I am feeling very crazy about all of this, and I am trying to not be filled with Rage at J's every carefree move.

Finding compassion for myself?
Fuckno. Just lots of fear and questions ... and yes, daffodils and lavender.  I'm going to be fine, but man, when i get freaked out, its big, and I try like a motha to focus on the moment to moment and to enjoy the hell out of my flipping amazing kids ....

But holy hell, i am in the rock and hard place. (And I'm getting child support and alimony, but that is finite and i fucking hate it, so i want to  flamethrow myself out of this trap. )

SO WHAT? THIS is the magic? WHAT THE FUUUUUUUCK?  (Kermit arms)