“Are you interested in catastrophes?” ~ Paul Leppin, Blaugast: A Novel of Decline

Waterfall in Suriname Rain Forest
by Robert Caputo (National Geographic Travel)

                   

“This enormous, murky river with its deep current, this is the familiar river, but familiar from where.” ~ Péter Nádas, from Parallel Stories (trans. Imre Goldstein)

Photos of Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, Paramaribo
Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, Paramaribo
Oldest Wooden Church in South America
(source: tripadvisor)

Thursday afternoon. Cloudy, warmer, and very humid.

I got up early to get my fasting lab work done (finally) before Alexis’s ultrasound appointment. Of course there was a backup at the lab, so I left so that I wouldn’t be late for the appointment only to arrive before Alexis and to find out that her appointment was 15 minutes later than she told me. I had forgotten that she does that—writes down her appointments as being 15 minutes before the scheduled time so that she won’t be late.

So anyway . . . went back to the lab after her appointment only to have the lab technician tell me that I needed to register because I wasn’t in the system. Luckily, Alexis noticed that the lab tech had called me by the wrong name. I was still in the system because it hadn’t been that long.

When I got home, Tillie wouldn’t leave me alone until I took her outside to play, which distracted me and made me lose my train of thought, so when I got back to the computer, I looked up songs from the “Revenge” soundtrack, but I’m back now.

My back is killing me, by the way. I could chalk it up to just about anything: the barometric pressure, the rain, the heat . . . whatever.

“So I wait for you like a lonely house
till you will see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache.” ~ Pablo Neruda, from “100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor”

Corey texted me this afternoon. He’s in Suriname (I was unaware that the country was spelled with an e on the end, but it is, which is odd as certain things from the country do not have an e on the end, like the Surinam Toad, or Surinam Airways).

Paramaribo Open Market by permanently scatterbrained (FCC)

Anyway, he’s just 1 degree above the equator, and it’s hot.  From there they will go to the Ascension Islands, which are in the South Atlantic, between the Horn of South America and Africa. Then from there they go back to Suriname for fuel, and then he’s not sure, maybe back to the U.S. or possibly Columbia, SA, wherever the ship is going into the yard, so about another 31 days or so.

He had shore leave for a few hours, and he wandered around Paramaribo (a former Dutch Colonial town), which is the capital and the largest city in the small country. He said that there were lots of open air markets. I read that shrimp are supposed to be wonderful there. Most of the population lives in the north, and there is a rainforest in the south that covers up to 80 percent of the country.

“There are ways of naming the wound.

There are ways of entering the dream.
The way a painter enters a studio:

To spill.” ~ Tracy K. Smith, from “History”

Friday afternoon. Sunny and humid.

Fort Zeelandia, Paramaribo, Suriname by madmack66 (FCC)

I just couldn’t finish yesterday. For some reason, I was quite weepy, and a song came on my playlist, and I got that feeling, and then I couldn’t write any more. Just as well, probably. Who knows what I would have said.

Very bad night. I dreamt that Tillie ran through plate-glass and was blinded in one eye, and Corey renamed her Joe, and I didn’t understand why, and I walked out of the house and didn’t lock the front door, so I turned around and went back inside, but it was a different house, and before I could lock the door, a man pushed his way inside, and he tried to grab me but I pushed him, so he pushed me back, and I thought to myself, “this is very weird.”

Corey called last night, and we tried to keep the conversation short so that we do not owe our carrier a second mortgage. He sounded tired as he had just come off watch and had to be back on at 4 in the morning. He’s still liking this job very much and is getting along well with his co-workers. That’s a really good thing, especially when you’re confined with people 24/7.

“Wherever I am
I am what is missing.” ~ Mark Strand, from “Keeping Things Whole”

I do want to take a moment to apologize to my followers whose own blogs appear on my blogroll. I have not been a regular visitor of late, but not by choice. This computer in Eamonn’s room is truly on its last leg, and I am very limited in what I can do. Sometimes as I’m writing, the letters appear on the screen one at a time very slowly, much like a typewriter. I had planned to put my CPU in for repairs this paycheck, but then we had that huge hiccup with T-mobile, and well, more of the same.

Suriname Rainforest Village (Wikimedia Commons)

Once I get my computer up and running, I can get back into my regular mode of visiting people and commenting, something that I truly enjoy doing. It seems that I’m always apologizing for something not being the way that it should . . .

Did I mention that eldest son truly believes that I’m lazy? He (who is very, very much like his father) has never accepted that I am on disability. Whenever we’ve had money issues, he’s said things like, “Well why don’t you just go back to work?” And he’s serious. Not matter how many times Corey or I have tried to break down the realities for him, he still thinks that I’m not working because I’m lazy. This is a very bitter pill to swallow, I have to tell you. It always makes me question myself.

His father could never accept any kind of illness or physical impairment, always believing that the individual affected was just faking. Funny, the things that are ingrained in the DNA.

“And so when all the time had leaked,
Without external sound
Each bound the Other’s Crucifix—” ~ Emily Dickinson, from “[13]

So, well, I’m still weepy. I’m taking my medication, but I did miss one day when I ran out, but that’s been days ago. Truth is I would hate to see how bad I’d really be without the meds. And as always, I am reminded of my mother’s mantra: think happy thoughts . . .

Paramaribo, Suriname by permanently scatterbrained (FCC)

At times such as these I really feel for the people who suffered from some kind of mental illness in generations past, how they had to try to hide it, how if it came to light, they were forever marked as being crazy. The Scarlet A, except it would be a Scarlet C (for crazy?). I mean, there was a time when any political candidate who had ever sought mental health counseling would immediately be out of contention for a race, and even now, few in the public arena are willing to admit that they may have had to seek help.

It’s as if mental health is still in that category of the unspoken verboten: sex scandals, counseling, depression, homosexuality. It’s okay if you ran a company or two into the ground, if you caused thousands of people to lose their retirement, but say that you once had to get help for depression? Nope. Not so much.

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), in any given 12-month period, 26.2 percent of the adult U.S. population will suffer from some kind of mental disorder, and contrary to popular belief, women do not suffer more than men. That’s one-quarter of our population.

Chew on that for a moment, and think happy thoughts while you do it.

“I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things —” ~ W. B. Yeats, from “Fergus and the Druid”

I have a vivid memory of being 14 and sitting on the floor of my bedroom just weeping buckets. The family down the road had moved to Tennessee, and the daughters were two of my best friends since we had moved back to the area. I spent all of my time with them. Their moving left me hollow. My mother told me that nothing was really wrong, that I just had my period.

Colonial Houses, Unesco World Heritage, Paramaribo Center
(oursurprisingworld.com)

Right. But you know, I have to say that it’s not really her fault. She’s a product of her generation, one in which such things were not acknowledged, that to admit that someone in the family was frail (euphemism) was cause for shame. Still, at 14 all I knew was that it felt as if my insides were being torn apart.

Another time when I was really in a bad state a neighbor said that I had “growing pains,” that seemingly innocuous phrase that so many adults use to categorize youthful angst. I remember being so pissed. I just wanted to scream at her that she didn’t know what she was talking about, but I didn’t. I remembered my manners and kept my mouth shut.

Those growing pains produced some of the most angst-filled, emotional bad poetry probably ever written, but at least I sought a way to unburden myself. I don’t know how I got off on this tangent, and now that I’m here, I don’t really want to pursue it any more.

“The red balloon outside rose up
to an unsuspected sky, its chains
strained by the certainty that the nearer the inferno
the greater the paradise,
the nearer the prison cell
the greater the freedom.
Cantabit vacuus coran latrone viator.” ~ Miroslav Holub, from “Interferon” (trans. Dana Habova and David Young)

The penniless traveler will sing in the presence of the highwayman . . .

Paramaribo Photos
Houses Along the River, Paramaribo
(source: Trip Advisor)

In spite of my current state of mind, I can still be amazed by the serendipitous nature of life, how I can come across the perfect quote, a new poet, a new poem—something that says exactly what I’m feeling—when I’m not even looking. I had never heard of Holub, never read this poem, but this section of the poem (quote above) is apt for today. I especially like the Latin phrase at the end of the section.

A penniless traveler has nothing to lose, some would say, and on the surface, that is true. But we all have something to lose, even if it’s hidden deep within, so deep that we have forgotten about it. We all have something to lose, even if it is ourselves.

More later. Peace.

Music by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors (from the very last episode of “House” ever and the song that keeps making me weepy), “Live Forever”

                   

Poems in Braille

1
all your hands are verbs,
now you touch worlds and feel their names—
thru the thing to the name
not the other way thru (in winter
I am Midas, I name gold)

the chair and table and book
extend from your fingers;
all your movements
command these things back to their
places; a fight against familiarity
makes me resume my distance

2
they knew what it meant,
those egyptian scribes who drew
eyes right into their hieroglyphs,
you read them dispassionate until
the eye stumbles upon itself
blinking back from the papyrus

outside, the articulate wind
annotates this; I read carefully
lest I go blind in both eyes, reading with
that other eye the final hieroglyph

3
the shortest distance between 2 points
on a revolving circumference
is a curved line; O let me follow you,
Wencelas

4
with legs and arms I make alphabets
like in those children’s books
where people bend into letters and signs,
yet I do not read the long cabbala of my bones
truthfully; I need only to move to alter the design

5
I name all things in my room
and they rehearse their names,
gather in groups, form tesseracts,
discussing their names among themselves

I will not say the cast is less than the print
I will not say the curve is longer than the line,
I should read all things like braille in this season
with my fingers I should read them
lest I go blind in both eyes reading with
that other eye the final hieroglyph

~ Gwendolyn MacEwen, from  A Breakfeast for Barbarians

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This, always this, forever and eternally . . .

“The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream.” ~ Wallace Stevens

                   

The first time I came across the word concupiscent was in the following poem by Wallace Stevens. I have loved the poem ever since and forced my freshmen to read it every semester, and they would say, “But what does it mean,” and I would say, “Think about it. How can one be an emperor of something that does not last?”

Aside: Stevens said that he thought the word concupiscent was made up . . .

I’m tortured and torturous that way . . .

The Emperor Of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month’s newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal.
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

~ Wallace Stevens

Can’t get this song out of my head: “In the Garden” by Royal Wood

The duende stirs as a way of saying: you will only stay whole by moving—day after day, note after note, poem after poem—from one world to the next.” ~ Tracy K. Smith, from “Survival in Two Worlds at Once: Federico Garcia Lorca and Duende”

Charles Bukowski

“Don’t leave me alone with self-
knowledge and these rich, fruitless, unspoken words.” ~ Dan Albergotti, from “Bad Language”

                   
(Note: I know of no HTML coding that allows deliberate spaces within copy, so the only way that I could figure out how to put in this poem with all of the intended spaces was to convert it to a jpg. The result is a bit fuzzy, and I apologize. If you know of a better way, other than using the <pre> code, which makes the copy small, please let me know. Thanks.)

                   

Music by Mariah McManus, “Shame on You”

Keeping the Grey Matter Active

                   

Reblogged from History Receipts Itself (comments in brackets are from original post):

Some of these are groan-worthy, but make you think, nonetheless . . .
1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall and he wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

5. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly?

6. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

7. In California, you cannot take a picture of  a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

8. What was the President’s name in 1975?

9. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in second place, what place would you be in now?

10.Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”?

11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?

Here are the Answers

1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

Answer: Johnny, of course

2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall, and he wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

Answer: Meat. (I know. I groaned . . .)

3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

Answer: Mt. Everest; it just wasn’t discovered  yet. [You’re not very good at this are you?]

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

Answer: There is no dirt in a hole.

5. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly?

Answer: Incorrectly

6. Billy was born on December 28th, yet her birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

Answer: Billy lives in the Southern Hemisphere.

7. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

Answer: You can’t take pictures with a wooden leg. You need a camera to take pictures.

8. What was the President’s Name in 1975?

Answer: Same as is it now—Barack Obama  [Oh, come on …..]

9. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in second place, what place would you be in now?

Answer: You would be in second place. Well, you passed the person in second place, not first.

10.  Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”?

Answer: Neither, the yolk of the egg is yellow  [Duh]

11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?

Answer: One. If he combines all of his haystacks, they all become one big stack.

“We must travel across lonely and rugged terrain, through isolation and silence, to reach the magic zone where we can dance an awkward dance or sing a melancholy song.” ~ Pablo Neruda

The Night Sky by Eric Hines (found on Universe Today)

                   

“Life is heavier
than the weight of all things.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, from “The Neighbor”

Sunday afternoon. Overcast, intermittent showers, mid 60’s.

Feeling quite low, sensing an impending fall. Thoughts are running all over the place, so instead of linear, I shall merely convey mixed musings for a Sunday afternoon:

  • I have come to realize that I shall die with my heart placed firmly upon my sleeve, bruised and battered for all the world to see.
  • Given a choice between wide, sweeping stairs and narrow ones, I will choose wide ones. Between straight and curved? Curved.
  • I am deeply moved by images depicting a man and woman kissing.

    Night Sky (featured in Scientific American 2-25-08)
  • Show me two pictures of skies, one blue and one with a coming storm, and I will gravitate immediately towards the impending storm.
  • Sometimes black and white speaks so much louder than color; hence, my fascinations with zebras. I think that they are truly beautiful animals. I love everything about the way that they look, but I know nothing about them.
  • Probably because I have been terribly nearsighted most of my life, sound affects me more than sight. Music can bring me to tears faster than an image.
  • Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Mozart. How did they do it? Did they imagine they were hearing the universe?
  • I have an immediate gut reaction to images of large cliffs and water. It’s as if my psyche senses a kinship to such places.
  • Sunrise or sunset? Sunset, always sunset.
  • Sunlight or moonlight. Moonlight. Night skies. Infinity. Corey says that he has never seen such night skies as those from the middle of the ocean.

“What do we know about the postulates, the basic rules of remaining faithful to life? We write afternoon instead of early evening, Geneva instead of Prague; one omits to betray an uncertainty . . . So there is nothing for it but to accept the fragmentation and the superficiality and the emptiness, and with each journey to restrict oneself as precisely as possible to what can be written, faithfully, about reality.” ~ Daniel Robberechts, Arriving in Avignon

I hate days like these, days in which I can feel my heart beating and every sound seems to permeate my senses. I hate it because in this state, it’s not an appreciation but an intrusion.

  • I know that I’m not alone, but that knowing does nothing to reduce the sense of aloneness.

    Somerset Night Sky: View over St. Michael’s Tower on Glastonbury, UK
    by Ben Birchall (guardian.co.uk)
  • Not loneliness, aloneness. Not solitude, which is a second skin, but more an alienation, but from what?
  • What keeps me from actively pursuing the path that I have wanted for as long as I can remember? Fear.
  • I hate fear, hate being afraid, hate my trepidation.
  • I do not abide cowards, so why do I tolerate it in myself?
  • Honor. Bushido. Big talk. Why does it seem so important?
  • I have no idea as to why I filled yesterday’s post with tulips.

“There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.” ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Today’s poem is quite long, and I thought about just using a part, but it didn’t feel right to do so.

  • I move through life attributing human characteristics to everything: fish, dogs, frogs. I do not find this odd.
  • I was probably a canine in another life. I do not find this odd either.

    Night Sky by Jim Richardson (featured in National Geographic 11-08)
  • Things I thought about pursuing: oceanography, medicine, law. I only regret not pursuing oceanography.
  • I still remember the lead paragraph to a story that I wrote for a newspaper article a lifetime ago.
  • My last religious epiphany: Maundy Thursday, years ago, sitting in an empty church, reciting the Apostle’s Creed over and over again.
  • I have no explanation for what happened that day.
  • It has never happened again.
  • Real mystery begins and ends in the stars.

“There are things we know by heart,
and things we don’t.” ~ Andrea Gibson, from “Birthday”

Images I cannot erase from my mind:

  • Caitlin lying on a hospital bed, so small, surrounded by white. White noise the backdrop to all my days.
  • A naked child running from napalm.
  • A homeless man holding his dog, the sadness more palpable in the dog’s eyes than the man’s.

    Mars in the Night Sky, 2003 (nasm.si.edu)
  • My father sitting in the back of a car, sideburns.
  • Hundreds of pigeons in Trafalgar Square, completely unafraid of the people.
  • The flapping sails on my friend’s catamaran, the smell of the bay.
  • A child with a small ball on an elastic string, the ball moving back and forth as the child walks down the dirt road beneath the relentless Philippine sun.
  • The child is me.
  • Lying in a hammock on a summer afternoon. Alexis asleep on my chest. The sunlight dappled through the leaves of the oak tree. One perfect afternoon.

“But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exits and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths.” ~ Joseph Sheridan, Le Fanu

My family converses in onomatopoeia: jibby-jabby, thingy . . . it all makes sense to us.

  • I continue to dream of the large attic room filled with antiques over which I have been given charge. The woman who owns them is a museum board member.
  • Each time I dream of this room, I am trying to steal something from it, but I never succeed.

    Beauty of the Night Sky by Eric Hines
    (featured in National Geographic)
  • I dream of a tall man with blond hair, a lawyer. I do not know this man.
  • I dreamt of little people flinging themselves off a building.
  • In my dream, I do not recognize my eyes; then I realize that I am wearing false eyelashes. I don’t know how they got there.
  • I seldom seem afraid in my dreams.
  • Last night I dreamed of my mother and father together: They were dressed to go out for the evening. Then my father said that he was going by himself. My mother got out of the car resigned.
  • I think that I’m just looking for a place to land.

“Now I know a language so beautiful and lethal
My mouth bleeds when I speak it.” ~ Gwendolyn MacEwen, from “But

Recurring phrases:

  • tears, idle tears
  • do I dare to eat a peach?
  • I shall be a pair of ragged claws

    Solar Eclipse in China (2009)
    by Wan Peng (featured in guardian.co.uk)
  • tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
  • the waves beat back
  • water of life
  • such stuff as dreams are made of
  • the sorrows of her changing face
  • green rooms like lit glass
  • the heart is an organ of fire

“The mind was dreaming. The world was its dream.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges, from “The Circular Ruins”

Arch of the Milky Way over Argentina
by Luis Argench (featured in National Geographic 2012)

Lines from poems I have yet to write:

  • Can it be that I am alive still
  • Who will write my epitaph, the lines of my life
  • Such a fulgent lie
  • When night’s darkness comes too slowly
  • We are all fools and beggars
  • In motley, I shall slay no dragons
  • Proust was wrong
  • In that moment between sleep and wake
  • I cannot, I said.

Peace.

Music by Gareth Dunlop, ‘Trick of the Moonlight”

                   

Birthday

For Jen

At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon
and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts.
I fought with my knuckles white as stars,
and left bruises the shape of Salem.
There are things we know by heart,
and things we don’t.

At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke.
I’d watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos,
but I could never make dying beautiful.
The sky didn’t fill with colors the night I convinced myself
veins are kite strings you can only cut free.
I suppose I love this life,

in spite of my clenched fist.

I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree,
and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers,
and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath
the first time his fingers touched the keys
the same way a soldier holds his breath
the first time his finger clicks the trigger.
We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.

But my lungs remember
the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly
and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister’s heartbeat.
And I knew life would tremble
like the first tear on a prison guard’s hardened cheek,
like a prayer on a dying man’s lips,
like a vet holding a full bottle of whiskey like an empty gun in a war zone…
just take me      just take me

Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much,
the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood.
We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways,
but you still have to call it a birthday.
You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess
and hope she knows you can hit a baseball
further than any boy in the whole third grade

and I’ve been running for home
through the windpipe of a man who sings
while his hands playing washboard with a spoon
on a street corner in New Orleans
where every boarded up window is still painted with the words
We’re Coming Back
like a promise to the ocean
that we will always keep moving towards the music,
the way Basquiat slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain.

Beauty, catch me on your tongue.
Thunder, clap us open.
The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks.
Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert,
then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women
who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun.
I know a thousand things louder than a soldier’s gun.
I know the heartbeat of his mother.

Don’t cover your ears, Love.
Don’t cover your ears, Life.
There is a boy writing poems in Central Park
and as he writes he moves
and his bones become the bars of Mandela’s jail cell stretching apart,
and there are men playing chess in the December cold
who can’t tell if the breath rising from the board
is their opponents or their own,
and there’s a woman on the stairwell of the subway
swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn,
and I’m remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun
with strip malls and traffic and vendors
and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it.

Ya’ll, I know this world is far from perfect.
I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon.
I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.
But every ocean has a shoreline
and every shoreline has a tide
that is constantly returning
to wake the songbirds in our hands,
to wake the music in our bones,
to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river
that has to run through the center of our hearts
to find its way home.

Andrea Gibson

“She was like the moon—part of her was always hidden away.” ~ Dia Reeves, Bleeding Violet

Early Morning in a Tulip Field by stoneysteiner (FCC)

                   

“. . . must I polish
Madness daily, rub nacre into a world

We must climb inside the world to live.
A sand-grain in the mind tells us to survive.” ~ Dan Beachy-Quick, from “Sonnet”

Saturday, late afternoon. Sunny, beautiful, 70°.

Well, I just lost my post, everything. And I was almost finished. I’m not sure if I’m going to try to recreate, or just chuck it all and go crawl into a hole and hide. Let’s just see where this takes us, shall we?

Seattle Tulips by marbla123 (FCC)

I had planned to post yesterday, but once I gathered my quotes, my heart just wasn’t into it. Truthfully, I was a bit sad yesterday, more than a bit. It could have had something to do with getting a text from Corey in the morning from . . . Antigua. I could have had something to do with him being there, surrounded by blue seas and white sands, and me being here, surrounded by little league parents screaming at their children in the park next door.

Hmm . . . but today’s foul mood? Squarely on the shoulders of our cell provider.

Eamonn awoke me this morning to tell me that we had no service, which, for him, is akin to the end of the world as he is completely unable to communicate with his friends on a face-to-face basis. I mean, that’s so old-fashioned. I rolled over and woke up a short time later with yet another migraine, the remnants of which are still haunting me—dizziness and light sensitivity.

What’s new?

“Everything is imprinted forever with what it once was.” ~ Jeanette Winterson, from The Stone Gods

I spent some time with Alexis at my mother’s house, cataloging what she has put over there so that she can update her registries at Target and Babies r Us. One thing is for certain: She doesn’t need any more small Onesies, bibs, or blankets.

Alexis has been having some bad days lately. It’s that pregnant woman syndrome of I’m big and awkward, and there’s never enough time. Actually, I think that she might deliver a bit early if she’s anything like me. I was early with all four of my babies. I just hope that she can make it into mid-June, at least.

Field of Tulips, Ottawa, Ontario, by Vince Alongi (FCC)

Taking care of the puppy is proving to be a full-time job (not saying a word about that), and no amount of puppy adorableness can compensate for the work. She was telling me about her latest meltdown, in which she just kept saying, “I’m so tired,” and Mike tried to make her feel better. My daughter is very much like I was at her age in that she’s obsessive about cleaning and having things orderly and in their proper places (interesting how that goes away with the years). But because of her OCD, she creates work for herself, and then feels overwhelmed when there is too much to do.

I know that she’s also stressed over the whole house-hunting thing. They haven’t started to look, and they want to, but should they do it now or wait? I remember when I was pregnant with Alexis I took her father all over Northern Virginia, so convinced I was that we needed to buy a house before I gave birth. Of course, we did not have the funds to do so, and we didn’t, but it was that pressing need to have a good place to bring the new baby home to, some place that was ours.

We were fortunate, though, in that we lived in a spacious townhouse in Alexandria with three bedrooms, a big kitchen, and a fenced yard. She and Mike live in a small, one-bedroom apartment. I  can relate to how she is feeling.

“9. Introducing Decimals

A dream, like trying
to remember, breaks open words
for other,
hidden meanings.” ~ Rosmarie Waldrop, from The Ambition of Ghosts:  I. Remembering into Sleep

So Corey texted me to let me know that the phones are back on. As I’ve said, I could live without them, but at the moment I probably need them to work as my phone number is on the invitation for RSVPs. Alexis pointed out that it would probably not be the best idea to have my mother take the calls as she would just turn around and call me anytime someone called her, and chances are good that my mother would keep the person on the phone forever drilling them for information.

Windmill in an Oregon Tulip Field by McD22 (FCC)

RSVP: répondez, s’il vous plaît. Texted. I always find it curious how words and phrases make it into the lexicon, and most people never give the origins a second thought. Me? I’m a purist when it comes to language, so I’m having a bit of a tough time with certain new words. Friend as a verb, for instance. It’s that whole turning nouns into verbs thing (like text to texted) that really drives me crazy. I still do not recognize impact as a verb.

I know. Language is a fluid thing. It evolves constantly. It’s just that when it evolves to bastardize existing words that I shudder.

Anyway, back to the phone bill. Our cell carrier got enough money out of us to run a small, third-world country for a week. No exaggeration. It’s that huge bill from Lithuania. Bigger than when we used our cell phones when we went away on our first cruise. Apparently they were not willing to work with us, so essentially, the bills are screwed once again. I hope that eldest son enjoys that very expensive piece of technology with which he cannot live . . .

So very tired of this.

“Some people remind me of sharp dazzling diamonds. Valuable but lifeless and loveless. Others, of the simplest field flowers, with hearts full of dew and with all the tints of celestial beauty reflected in their modest petals.” ~ Anaïs Nin

About my big plans for a Sonic milkshake? Never happened.

Right after I finished my post, I was overcome with a serious bout of nausea, which kept me in the bathroom on and off for an hour. Haven’t had that happen in quite a while. I was literally so sick that I had to ask Eamonn to pick up Brett from his class, which, thankfully, he did.

Tulip Fields at Table Cape, Tasmania, by martinhoward (FCC)

Now, unfortunately, my stomach (brain?) is associating Sonic milkshakes with throwing up, so I don’t know when or if I’ll ever be able to have one again.

I remember when I worked at Dillard’s, I would often have a milkshake from Johnny Rocket’s for lunch. Just a milkshake. I worked it off in a few hours of running around the floor and up and down the stairs. And since I don’t have that level of physical activity in my life any more, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t have a milkshake for dinner, or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

Tillie is trying to crawl into my lap to get my attention, so I think that I’ll finish now and go read more of book four in the Game of Thrones series after playing a rousing game of stick. My life is so filled with fleeting wonders of excitement that I can scarcely contain my enthusiasm.

More later. Peace.

Music by Mindy Gledhill, “Anchor”

                   

Genesis

Cylinder sacks of water filling the oceans,
endless bullets of water,
skins full of water rolling and tumbling
as we came together.
As though light broke us apart.
As though light came with the rubble of words,
though we die among the husks of remembering.
It is as we knew it would be
in the echoes of endless terminals,
in the slow scaled guises of ourselves
when we came together in the envelopes of ourselves,
the bare shadow, the breath of words invisible;
as slight errors repeating themselves;
as degradation passes like madness through a crowd.
It was not ordained.
It was one drop of salt water against another.