“I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals . . . ” ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Parrot Tulips, 1988

 

“I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes!'” ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

A bit better today. It’s amazing what 12 hours of sleep will do for a person. Of course, if that were 12 uninterrupted hours of sleep it might be a different story, but in my case, it’s an hour here, and hour there. Very strange dreams last night: something about painting the kitchen, stepping into a puddle of paint on the floor, driving, getting pulled over by state troopers, and Corey having to take a Rorschach test, you know, the ink blots? Have no idea what any of that meant.

Yesterday was such a hard day; I even had two anxiety attacks, something that hasn’t happened in years. My heart began to beat rapidly, and I couldn’t catch my breath. I just felt as if the entire day was an out-of-body experience that I would have much rather avoided. I ended up picking an argument with Corey in the evening that left him thoroughly confused and which resulted in my feeling even worse than before I posted. If only such days had a rewind button, or maybe even an erase button.

I’m beginning to move into the predictable regret stage after cutting my hair. It’s too short in the front, and as a result, it’s doing this curly thing that looks absolutely ridiculous. The end result is that I’m just pulling it back into a pony tail again. But it doesn’t really matter as the only people who see my hair are my family and the dogs, and the dogs wouldn’t care if I were bald.

“It doesn’t interest me if the story you’re telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when its not pretty every day . . .” ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Anyway, reading the news today felt a bit like peering through the looking glass:

  • People who are depressed eat more chocolate. But which comes first—the depression, which leads to craving chocolate, or the chocolate, which causes depression?
  • Medications that treat depression can sometimes cause significant weight gain. Really? You’re kidding. I’m so surprised.
  • A British woman who suffered from a severe migraine awoke with a Chinese accent. Apparently it’s a phenomenon called Foreign Accent Syndrome. After my next migraine, I’d like to have Marlene Dietrich’s accent.
  • But the most horrific story concerns a homeless man who came to the aid of a woman in NYC. Apparently the homeless man was walking behind a couple who began arguing. The homeless man tried to intervene and was stabbed by the man who had been arguing with the woman. The injured man then chased his attacker for a few feet before he fell to the sidewalk. He lay there for over an hour while 25 people walked by. One man took a picture with his cell phone. Another lifted the victim’s body, revealing a pool of blood beneath him, then dropped the body and walked away. The 31-year-old Guatemalan immigrant was dead by the time emergency workers arrived. But wait. There’s a psychological explanation for this as well: the Bystander Effect in which the more people who are present, the less likely it is that someone will intervene because everyone believes that someone else will do something. I think that it’s just more of the inhumanity that prevails in today’s society.

“I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Outside, I can hear an approaching thunderstorm. Just a few minutes ago, the background noise was coming from the park. For me, that noise is indiscernible; I no longer notice it. But now, there is the sound of a hard rain and distant thunder. It is a good sound, a calming sound.

Yesterday, I felt as if I was immersed in a storm, a pelting, loud storm. Today, there is a storm, but I feel none of the turmoil.

The entire Oriah Mountain Dreamer passage from which today’s quotes are drawn is called “The Invitation,”  and it is much longer and very lovely. Some parts of “The Invitation” do read like something written by a Native American mystic. However, Oriah is not—as many people have mistakenly claimed—a Native American elder. She is a writer who took the name Oriah after she had a dream in which several elderly women told her to take the new name. Mountain Dreamer is the name a shamanic mystic gave her after a healing. Personally, I find it to be a very poetic name and don’t really care about its origins.

I wonder if I renamed myself  Lola Proceeds with Pain, if I could sell books and be labeled a visionary . . . Probably not.

More later. Peace.

All images are photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, from his less controversial images of flowers.

“Cry,” by James Blunt

“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.” ~ Herman Hesse

Raindrops on Saucer Magnolia Bud

 

“As soon as we put something into words, we devalue it in a strange way. We think we have plunged into the depths of the abyss, and when we return to the surface the drop of water on our pale fingertips no longer resembles the sea from which it comes.” ~ Maurice Maeterlinck

I feel like a total failure today. So many reasons why. Perhaps it’s that fall that I’ve been dreading. Perhaps it’s just an accumulation of things. Perhaps it’s nothing at all. Sometimes, too often, I hate the way that I am—the eddy and flow, the swirl of emotions, the long sleepless nights filled with thoughts moving too rapidly to collect, the sensitivities floating just below the surface only to be so easily bruised.

There is no one explanation when everything matters and nothing precisely is the cause. I only know that my heart aches for all of the things that I cannot do, for the unwritten pages, for the unsung songs. My sense of self fractures much too easily, especially when I dwell too much on the minutiae of life.

Nothing is wrong, but it all hurts too much. I write of being a parent, loving my children, loving my husband, and then I turn the corner, and WHAM. Reality smacks me in the face. All that I long to do for my children I cannot do because I am caught here in this never-ending cycle of nothingness and constant failure to thrive.

Failure to thrive. That term that is used so callously to describe those beings who do not grow as expected. Isn’t failure to live more accurate?

It’s not a competition. Really, it’ not. So why do I set myself up against that to which I cannot compete? So many things undone, put aside until the time is better, and meanwhile, the time never gets better. Never. Gets. Better.

Excuse the endless flow of words that do not move in any logical direction. It just cannot be helped today. Sometimes, it’s just better not to write, especially when the words make little sense. But sometimes, it’s easier to write than to think, giving voice to the unending questions: What if? Can I? Why can’t?

Perhaps, but no.

Great Lake Swimmers, “Moving, Shaking”

Moving, Shaking
I can’t write
I can’t sing
I can’t play
My insides have been broken
My inspiration has flown away
It’s hard to see all the little things

There’s a universe
In a crack in the wall
Or an ant crawling across
A broken tile
And it’s hard to see all the little things
When the big things get in the way

I can’t eat
I can’t sleep
I can’t think straight
I did not know it could be like this
Some things are better off being left alone
There are things that are better left unknown

Oh hands,
Don’t fail me now
They’re the only things I have left
Oh fingers,
Don’t let me down, now
They’re the only things that aren’t gone

Oh world, come
Come crashing down, now
Oh hands, don’t fail me now
Oh let me become deaf and mute to this
Oh hands, don’t fail me, now

I’m carrying my life in a cardboard box
Carrier bag on my back
I’m carrying my life in a cardboard box
Carrier bag on my back

Oh hands,
Don’t fail me now
They’re the only things I have got
Oh fingers,
Don’t let me down, now
Oh hands, don’t fail me now

All Hell falls
All down around me
Oh hands, don’t fail me now
Oh fingers,
Don’t let me down, now
Oh hands, don’t fail me now

“. . . In movement there is life, and in change there is power.” ~ Alan Cohen

 My Last Collage in My Last Office

My Last Collage in My Last Office (bottom left) 

                                

“After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully.  After five years, look at it with suspicion.  And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.” ~ Alfred Edward Perlman, New York Times, 3 July 1958

So, what do you think? New layout. New header.

Collage (top right)

I’ve been wanting to change my format for a while, but doing so takes a lot of time and thought, and I just haven’t felt like thinking that much. I’m happy with this layout. For some reason, it feels cleaner. I like the fonts, and I like have the sidebar on the right for a change.

I know that it’s nothing drastic, but any change for me is drastic as I tend to find my comfort zones and then languish in them for too long. I also changed my header from the cropped picture of my big collage in my last office, so I thought that in this post, I would insert sections of the wall that I had decorated with my favorite stuff, accumulated over the years.

No one else may find these images interesting, but I like them because they remind me of several good things: having a huge office with a window, being able to decorate said office in the manner of my choosing, and not the last of which, having a job. You can tell a lot about me as a person just by looking at the kinds of things that I have saved: a Mardi Gras mask and beads, artwork my kids made, birthday cards from friends, postcards from everywhere, magnets, bookmarks, bumper stickers, and buttons (yes, that is an original ERA button).

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” ~ Anais Nin

Collage (bottom right)

Just an amusing aside: When I was re-reading yesterday’s post today, which I always do to find those errors that I have missed the first time around, I came across a wonderful typo: I referred to Corey as getting a goat instead of a boat! Too funny. No, we are not getting a goat, although goats are really cute animals, especially when they are babies. Corey’s mom caught the typo before I had corrected it, and sent him a text message with one word: Goat??

I love how my mind works, or perhaps, fails to work might be more appropriate.

So last night was the finale on this season’s Project Runway. Emilio did not win (audible sobs on his part). Seth Aaron won, which was too cool. Mila came in third (tee hee). Actually, I was really impressed with all three collections. I loved Emilio’s evening gown and his coats, and I even liked one of Mila’s dresses (not the blocked one). But Seth Aaron’s collection showed the most creativity as far as I’m concerned.  So that’s a wrap, and now I just have to wait for the next season.

Real Housewives of New York was bo-ring. Bethenny got her engagement ring (can I just say humongous), but other than that, ho hum. Speaking of change, these women really need to change their attitudes: The Countess (“Darling, there’s a wall there,” when commenting on why she didn’t like one apartment. Geez. It’s New York. Of course there are walls.) I mean get a life, a real one. And who says “darling,” anyway?

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” ~ Henri Bergson

Collage (top left)

Well, Brett’s graduation announcements arrived via UPS today. Another major milestone for our family. His graduation will be in the evening on June 14. I know that he will be glad to be leaving high school. In May, he takes his IB exams, and depending on how well he does, he may be able to accumulate some college credits so that he doesn’t have to take some of the general studies classes his first year. That would be wonderful, not only because we will save money, but also because Brett gets bored when he is repeating things that he has already studied.

I cannot remember if I mentioned it, but he has received his admittance letter from Old Dominion University. The plan is to attend ODU for the first year, and then depending on what he wants to study, perhaps to transfer to Virginia Tech. I am really happy for him as I believe that he will enjoy college so much more than high school. The atmosphere is different. The learning process is different.

Eamonn called today to let me know that he got a job at a pool store that is owned by someone with whom both my ex and I attended high school. They are a really nice couple, and their business is very successful, so I hope that Eamonn acts professionally and shows up when he is supposed to be there. Now we know where we will buy pool supplies. On the downside, he told me that he is failing Western Civilization. Not good.

Alexis picked up Brett from school today, and the two of them went by their grandfather’s house to visit, and he was so happy to see them. He does have liver cancer, but Alexis says that he seems to be doing well. Other good news is that Alexis has found a job, although it might be temporary. It’s working for a manufacturer, but when I asked her what the company makes, she wasn’t sure. Oh well, at least it’s a job, and we should be thankful for that.

Corey works tonight, so it will be television for me. I wish that I had a book to read.

(This last picture includes my magnet board, which was to the right of the collage, as well as my rock fountain, and some of my personal photographs.)

More Stuff

That’s all for now. More later. Peace.

Music by Mazzy Star, “Fade Into You”