“I wish I could say everything there is to say in one word. I hate all the things that can happen between the beginning of a sentence and the end.” ~ Leonard Cohen
Monday afternoon. Partly cloudy, hot, and humid.
The shower is officially in the past. Can I just say how terribly glad I am that it’s over? It’s not that I didn’t want to do it because I did. It’s more the consequences of doing it: Walking is painful. Sitting is painful. Breathing is painful.
I overdid it as I knew I would. It happens when I revert to this manic OCD mode in which everything must be absolutely perfect—the food, the decorations, the whatever. I fret and stew and worry myself into a panic, and then it (whatever it is) happens, and I am left completely depleted, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Here is a prime example of my own insanity: On Thursday when Alexis and I went to Costco I accidentally locked the keys in the Rodeo after I had turned it on. I turned on the air conditioner, sat my purse in the car, and unlocked (I thought) the doors so that I could load the groceries into the rear. Well, in my haste, I locked all of the doors. The sunroof was open halfway. I climbed on top of the hood, reached inside the sunroof and hit the switch to open it all of the way, and lowered myself through the sunroof.
I am no longer 16, or 26, or even 36. But I really didn’t see any alternative. It was that or call roadside assistance while my car idled with the AC going full blast, which just seemed like such a waste. However, that particular scenario precisely captures my state of mind leading up to Sunday.
“We’re stormy, and that which is ours breaks loose from us without our fearing any debilitation. Our glances, our smiles, are spent; laughs exude from all our mouths; our blood flows and we extend ourselves without ever reaching an end; we never hold back our thoughts, our signs, our writing; and we’re not afraid of lacking.” ~ Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa” (trans. by Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen)
Tuesday afternoon. Partly cloudy and warm.
Yesterday, I took a break from writing to give the dogs baths. This is my logic: Since I cannot move without pain anyway, why not go ahead and do all of the chores that will cause me more pain so that I can bundle all of that pain and work on feeling better later?
Makes perfect sense, no? You’re right, of course. It make no sense whatsoever. But, hey, that’s Lola logic.
So I bathed the dogs, all three, administered flea medicine, cleaned ears and tried to put medicine on Alfie’s sore. Then I came back to the computer only to find that I could not get this post to appear on the edit page. It was there on the preview page when I clicked Preview, but as far as making it appear on the page I need to continue writing? Not so much. Well, not at all, actually.
I rebooted. I closed windows and reopened. Logged out. Logged back in. Then I played a few games of Spider Solitaire. Then I gave up. Obviously, the computer was having some type of virtual seizure, and nothing I could do would fix it. I convinced myself that it would be better tomorrow. Only . . . not.
Today I worked on it some more. Then I played some Spider Solitaire. Made myself a fruit smoothie. Gave the dogs treats. And finally, turned off the computer. This is a measure of last resort as I am not at all certain that once I turn it off it will come back on. But it did, and I have my edit page. And life is almost good.
“Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.” ~ W. S. Merwin, from “Separation”
So where was I? Who knows? Let’s just move on. Shall we?
Now that the much-anticipated shower is finally in the past, I have nothing on which to focus all of my nervous energies. We have about four or five weeks until the baby is scheduled to make its appearance; although, I think that she will be about one week early. Just a feeling.
So without all of the shower stuff to keep my mind occupied, and with this latest bout of very limited mobility (cannot turn my head to the right past 45 degrees), I have finally realized that I really want Corey to come home. I mean, I knew that before, of course, but I was able to put it out of my thoughts, able to focus on other things. But now? It’s time. Past time.
He’s scheduled to be home by the end of the month, which is actually not that far away, and I know that I can wait, but frankly, I’m’ tired of waiting. I miss him terribly, and truth be told, I need a bit of coddling (not cuddling, but that too). It’s hard work, this single parenting thing. I haven’t done it in ages. It’s not just the parenting, it’s the whole household thing. Corey really is my other half in so many ways: We complement one another in our strengths and weaknesses. And having to be strong and responsible 24/7 is taxing.
Am I whining too much? I know. It’s not at all becoming in a woman of my age. And it’s not that I need a man in my life. No. It’s that I need Corey in my life, and that’s a big difference.
You know what I miss the most? Talking to him. Hearing his voice.
Listen, when you are fortunate enough to find the one person in the world who genuinely completes you, it’s not something to be scoffed at as if it’s not a big deal because it is, a very big deal, that is.
“When one dreams of another,
Are both aware of it?
We’re apart as darkness is from light
My dream soul exists only for you.
True, nothing can be gained from dreams,
But without them how would I see you?” ~ Yüan Chen, from “Three Dreams at Chiang-ling”
So my dreams of late have been filled with people who are not here. Last night I dreamt of my m-in-law, and I was at her house along with Ann and one of my nieces, and we were going through a lot of her personal belongings. My m-in-law was showing me keepsakes from her childhood as we were moving her back into her house.
There were a few changes in the house. For one, the front door had been moved, which was really strange. But I told her that perhaps it was good that things had happened in this way because all of the things that were wrong with her house had been fixed, and now she could move back in without having to worry about leaks and neglected things falling apart.
I’m sure I dreamt that last part because I’ve been noticing more the things around my own house that really need work: plaster, tiles, the back door (of course), to name but a few.
Aside: When I was in Costco with Alexis last Thursday, one of the sample ladies asked me if I had a dishwasher, and I started to say yes, only I remembered that the dishwasher has been inoperable for well over a year, so I replied that the only dishwasher I had was my hand. Let’s add plumbing problems to the list of things that need work . . .
“And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter—they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.” ~ Sylvia Plath, from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Just remembered—last night I dreamed that I was writing a romance novel. Yep. Went there.
I really hated it, but I figured (in my dream) that I could sell it to Harlequin and make some money. I really don’t remember anything about the plot except that I had named the male protagonist Kenny, even though Kenny didn’t sound like one of those romantic leading men.
I can honestly say that I’ve never read a Harlequin romance, but I worked with this woman at the medical school who loved them. She called them her “history books.” I remember her name was Cassandra, and she was saving her money to have a breast reduction. I have no idea where that particular memory came from, but it was in my dream last night. Cassandra, her green shawl that she wore around the office, and her histories. Too funny. Anyway, in the dream I thought about naming my heroine Cassandra for her.
Don’t think that I’ll be writing that romance any time soon, but I do have to say that it almost wrote itself, at least in the dream it did.
Hmm . . . things that make you go hmm . . .
More later. Peace.
Images are from sources cited. I’m in a verdant state of mind.
Music by Christina Perri, “A Thousand Years”
“Les Tulipes,” by Pierre Auradon (c. 1950s)
“There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.” ~ Anaïs Nin, Journals of Anaïs Nin Volume 3
Monday, late afternoon. Hot and hazy.
I haven’t posted in a few days because, well, first I didn’t feel like it, and then I went on this cleaning binge in our bedroom. I’m halfway done, but my back has given out on me, too much bending and stretching. So instead of finishing the bedroom today, I’m sitting my butt in this comfortable chair and writing, that is, if Tillie will leave me alone long enough to get something done. Poor thing, never gets any attention.
Also, Eamonn has come home for a bit, so the room that is usually my workroom is now filled with black trash bags full of eldest son’s belongings. He says that it’s just temporary, but I’m not going to try to define temporary. It’s just nice to have him here for however long it will be.
What this means to the computer situation is anyone’s guess. After all, this computer that I’ve been using for a while is actually Eamonn’s desktop. Corey’s desktop in the dining room died several months ago, so both of us have been sharing this computer. My computer in our bedroom still needs to have the hard drive installed, which we were actually planning to take care of this summer. We may have to move up the plans to do that since once Eamonn is ensconced in this room, access to this computer will be nil.
After all, he is entitled to his privacy. He’s an adult, not my little boy, and I need to respect that. Corey and I did warn him, though, that this computer is on its last leg. It really needs to be wiped and then to have the essential programs reinstalled. Guess that’s on the list of things to do.
“Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry…have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere—be decietful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.” ~ Betty Smith
Speaking of things to do . . .
Apparently, my blog stalker is still active. He/she is calling/e-mailing people and strongly suggesting that they take a look at my blog to see how insane I am, how dangerous I am.
At first, I was furious. Now, I just find it entertaining. I mean really? Dangerous? Bitch, please.
I may be a lot of things—sarcastic and snarky, bitchy and biting, moody and meandering—but dangerous?
This individual is also calling into question my parenting skills. Now this one has me baffled, really. I’ve raised three children to legal age. None of them has ever been arrested. Two are in college full time. I’ve given them basic life skills (they know how to clean, do laundry, cook a bit, manage a bank account, among other things). But more importantly, I have taught each of them the importance of being compassionate for the less fortunate, thoughtful towards those they love, and mindful of the laws of common decency.
I have instilled in them the ideas of truth, honor, and respect, and I know that I can say most assuredly, that if nothing else, each of my children has a kind and good heart.
That I have allowed them to go their own ways as individuals has not been easy; it’s never easy for a parent to first loosen and eventually cut the apron strings and to allow a child to break free. But this I have done.
Children need space and trust to become the people they are going to be. At a certain point, it is no longer about parenting full time; rather, it is about respecting that as a parent, you have done what you should and what you could, and then realizing that it’s no longer up to you as to what your child will be when he or she grows up.
“If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies . . . It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.” ~ Albert Einstein
Has it been easy to stand by and watch Alexis floundering in her life? Most assuredly not. Do I want to step in and make everything okay for her? Of course I do. But is that in her best interest? No. If I do not allow my daughter to gain her own ground, if I continually make things easier or better for her, how will she ever learn to be strong? And how will she ever learn to respect her choices, to stand firm in her convictions? Does this mean that I do not love her with every fiber of my being, that I would not throw myself in front of danger to protect her? Need I even answer such questions.
I don’t agree with all of the choices that Eamonn has made, but I love him beyond breathing. And he is proving to be a capable young man, holding down a full-time job, planning a career. And Brett, too, is making great strides. He has been thrown into a situation for which he was not completely prepared, but he is showing grace under pressure, and I watch him day by day becoming stronger and more assertive.
These are all good things.
You birth your children, hold them close, sing them lullabies and read them stories. You salve their wounds, both physical and emotional. You feed them their vegetables and you make them brush their teeth. You take them to the doctor when they are ill, and you sit by their beds in the middle of the night when they have nightmares that seem too real. You buy them shoes to support their ankles as they learn to walk, and you buy warm winter coats. Do they always eat their vegetables? Do they always button their coats as they go outside for recess?
Of course not. If they did, they wouldn’t be children.
Are my children perfect? Dear god, don’t be silly. They have their faults, and they have their shortcomings. They have friends who I don’t particularly care for, and they do things that I don’t necessarily agree with—it’s called growing up, and it’s an ongoing process.
“Action is the thing. We are what we do and do not do.” ~ Ralph Ellison
No one prepares a parent for those first few days after leaving the hospital. You stand there, looking down on this small creature with incredibly soft skin, and you wonder how all of this happened. I mean, how is it that you have been entrusted with the care of this incredibly beautiful, sometimes loud, and occasionally smelly little person? But it comes to you, day by day, and you grow together.
And the first time your child cries real tears, my, how your heart breaks. And the first time your child gets hurt, how you wish that kisses really did make things all better. And the first time your child looks at you and calls you mama or dada, you wonder how it is that your insides can feel like jelly and still stay inside of you.
Of course, the painful reality is that not everyone is cut out to be a parent. The statistics tell us that. For every child who grows up healthy and well-adjusted, how many children out there have gone to bed hungry? How many have cried themselves to sleep after being beaten? How many feel worthless because that’s all they have ever heard? How many never make it into double digits?
The world is actually a very scary, harsh place. It is up to us to make it safer for those we love, those who have been entrusted to our care. I have no patience for anyone who harms a child—physically or emotionally. I believe that such people should be locked up, or at the very least, have their parental rights rescinded.
Unfortunately, no one has to take a test or get a license to become a parent. And it is usually not until things have escalated that outsiders are brought in to try to fix the situation. These people, who are overworked and underpaid, cannot do it all. The courts cannot make everything right. And unfortunately, children slip through the proverbial cracks, but the pain they feel as a result is not proverbial. It is real.
I find it abhorrent that supposedly advanced societies do so little for the least among us, the children who have no voice.
“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them—the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.” ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I know. I know. I’m on another one of my soap boxes, but you have to understand that I simply cannot abide child abuse in any form. And the idea that I might be harmful or dangerous to a child, a young adult, or to any person is ludicrous, and quite frankly, insulting.
Right now, I’m simply biding my time. I am handling the situation in which I now find myself with all of the patience that I can muster. The young woman who has come under our care is flourishing: She laughs freely, and her conversation is intelligent and witty. She talks eagerly about her art, about school, about friends. I see little of the introverted, unsure young woman I was told about.
That’s not to say that she does not have moments in which she feels helpless against the forces that continue to assail her. But even in these moments I have seen a strength of character emerging. She demands that she not be coddled, that she be allowed to make her own choices.
I am standing back and simply allowing her to be. She does not need me to intervene, but I will if she asks. She does not need me to advise, but I do when she requests it. I do not judge as it is not my place to do so. Judging is for someone else.
In the meantime, I will keep my peace. For now. But only for now. It is simply not in my character to allow someone to continue to make defamatory statements about me, statements not based in fact, statements based on pure fantasy and conjecture. I will see to matters. Just not yet. Patience. Fortitude. My white whale will come to me.
More later. Peace.
Music by Mason Jennings, “The Light”
“so that each day penetrates each night
so that each word runs to the other side of truth
so that each verse comes out of itself
and gives off its own light
so that each face leaning on a hand
sweats into the skin of the palm
So that this pen
changes into pure silence
I wanted to say into love”
~ Anna Kamienska, from “Transformation,” (trans. Grazyna Drabik and David Curzon)