“Sometimes I worry I will die before I will write the books I feel compelled to write. Sometimes I worry that my years of being a productive writer are somehow over, and yet I don’t feel I have really written anything yet, that I need to if possible become stronger as a human being in order to write the books I really want to write.” ~ Kate Zambreno

Storm, Panama City Beach, FL
by Karsun Designs (FCC)


the cricket’s song
has no words,
it sounds like sorrow.” ~ Izumi Shikibu,”Untitled (Crickets)” (trans. Jane Hirschfield and Mariko Aratani)

Friday afternoon. Overcast and humid, high 70’s.

The air outside is liquid. Even though it’s not nearly as hot as it has been, just going to the trash can made me feel like I was wading instead of walking. I want autumn, which is kind of ironic as I wanted to spend my afternoons in the pool, and I haven’t done so since the baby was born. Will I ever achieve a happy medium?

Brighton Beach Storm, UK
by Elsie esq. (FCC)

I can finally check one thing off my list of broken things needing attention: my brakes. I asked Vic, who lives across the street, to take a look at them because the left wheel cylinder blew the day after Mike installed it. Turns out The brake shoes needed to be behind a plate on the assembly. Now that problem is solved I need to get the darned thing inspected, which is turning out to be more of a production than it should be. I need someone to follow me while I drop off the Rodeo at the garage. Apparently, that’s a big request . . .

Yes, I’m snippy. You would be too if you’d had the August I’ve had. Everywhere I turn I run into another hurricane-force storm. It’s exhausting.

Wednesday was the one-year anniversary since my m-in-law died. Hard. The boys and I visited Ann for a bit. Her house looks like a tornado hit it. I’m not criticizing. I know how crippling grief can be, and we all deal in our own ways. She has dealt with the double blow of losing both parents in one year by tuning out. I feel so bad for her.

“I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” ~ Anaïs Nin

Actually, I can mark off two things. Yesterday a guy from the cable company did a service call. Our Internet speeds have been slower than slow, and the television in the living room wasn’t getting a signal. He replaced several lines, the connection at the pole, and the box thingy that controls everything (yep, technical, I know). As a result, our Internet speed increased 20-fold, no lie, from 1.5 megabits to 23 megabits, bits not bytes. That’s a real number.

Before the Storm, Saskatchewan, Canada
by krystian_o (FCC)

Brett is happy. Eamonn is happy. I’m happy to have one more thing done.

I still haven’t tackled the washer yet as my back is one big knot. Add to that the fact that my stupid long-term disability carrier wants to do a home visit to see how I am. Seriously? I’m worse if anything. Whatever. I told the woman to send someone. I didn’t care. It won’t change anything, but for some reason they had in their records that I was receiving money from Social Security. Ha. Now that’s a fairy tale.

Anyway, my to-do list is long and full of things that I may or may not be able to do. Corey wants me to make two payments to my health insurance, and I’m really reluctant to do so because I know that as soon as I do, I’m going to need that money for some emergency. Forgive me if I don’t have more faith in the way in which my life unfolds, but as I mentioned before, I kind of live by the laws of inaccurate perceptions . . .

“Our lives are spinning out
from world to world;
the shapes of things
are shifting in the wind.
What do we know
beyond the rapture and the dread?” ~ Stanley Kunitz, from “The Abduction”

So late last night, because this is the kind of thing that I do, I decided to clean the computer cabinet in the dining room. When the cable guy was working, I was mortified to see how much dust covered everything, that and all of the cables and cords were one big tangle in that area. So I untangled all of the lines, wrapped them with wires, and then pulled everything off the cabinet. It’s one of those computer tables with doors so that—theoretically—you can close off the mess when you’re not using the computer.

Storm Front, Port Phillip Bay, Portarlington, AU
by mrpbps (FCC)

The reality, though, is that we’ve closed off mess in general since that particular computer died a horrible death about three years ago. It was Corey’s computer and his desk, so I never really did anything with it, that is until now. The dust was akin to the dust beneath the bed: heavy, thick, and massive. I found a box of Chantix that Corey got four years ago to try to stop smoking. He never took it. I also found a flash drive that I’d been looking for that no one had ever seen.

So an hour or so later . . . the shelves had been dusted and organized. I made a bag of things that Corey needs to look through when he gets home to see what/if anything can be chucked. There were computer parts that I have no idea as to the source, so now they’re in the bag. I think we’re going to move the desktop in Eamonn’s room into the dining room since he only uses his laptop, and (I hope) just bin the dining room computer. It would cost more to fix it than it’s worth, and now that Corey has his own laptop, it only makes sense to move the generic desktop into that unit.

All I know is that I gave myself another asthma attack, and I was covered in grime when I finished, but I suppose that makes three things, even though that wasn’t on my list, but I just hate it when a stranger comes into your house and ends up seeing messes that you’ve managed to hide from yourself . . .

“In writing as in speaking, the music of the word is never just a matter of sound. It does not result from the harmony of vowels and consonants. It results from the relation between the speech and its meaning. And meaning—content—must always lead.” ~ Boris Pasternak, interview with Olga Carlisle

Tomorrow is Corey’s birthday. We sent birthday cards with him, so he’ll be opening those tomorrow. I hope that he isn’t too lonely. We can’t call him, but I’ll e-mail him on the satellite account to send him good wishes.

Storm, Panama City Beach Pier, FL
by Karson Designs (FCC)

Since the ship’s cook hurt himself running with the bulls in the Azores (true story), Corey has taken on the galley. At first he was splitting meals with another AB, but everyone liked Corey’s cooking so much that they asked him to take on the duties temporarily until a new cook arrives. However, now they’re talking about letting him cook for the remainder of his hitch.

Corey really is a wonderful cook, and I know that he’s enjoying showing off his skills, but I also know that cooking so much for so many people can get old. It’s a nice change for him, and it gets him off day work like scraping and painting, but I don’t imagine that it’s something that he’d want to do all of the time. Anyway, the captain is trying to find out if Corey’s pay rate changes while he takes on these new duties as he’s working as both an AB and a cook.

We’ll see what happens.

“I am decutie. Worn thin. You know that word?” ~ Hélène Cixous

I’m tired, so tired. Weeks of going back and forth from Lex’s apartment to home and trying to take care of everything for everyone has finally caught up with me as I knew that it would. But more than tired, I’m bone-weary, decutie (what a perfect word)—I am feeling everything all the way down to my bones, and no amount of caffeine or chocolate is going to help this.

I wish that I had an answer, but I’m not even really certain as to what the question might be.

Storm Clouds
by KellBailey (FCC)

Everywhere I turn is something else waiting for action. It makes me feel almost helpless, and I really, really, really hate to feel helpless. You know that whole “hear me roar” mindset? Yep. That’s me. Except not so much, or at least not at the moment.

I just had a flashback: I was around 15, and my boyfriend (the boy who lived across the fence) came over, and I actually apologized for the way the house looked. The house did not look bad, but I was so conditioned by all of those commercials and television shows that a female should apologize for the state of the house. Now here’s the kicker: I knew, really knew, even as I said it, that I didn’t mean it and that it was a completely fatuous statement, but I said it anyway. I remember this same boy’s mother criticizing another neighbor for not keeping her house clean enough; she said something along the lines that the living room was clean, but if you went into the bedrooms, they were messy.

Long story short, I broke up with this boy a few months later when I realized (maybe not then, but later) that the person I was when I was with him didn’t exist. That person was someone else, a creation of expectations. No idea where any of that came from.

More later. Peace.

Music by Nickel Creek, “Out of the Woods”


Open Closed Open

I, may I rest in peace – I, who am still living, say,
May I have peace in the rest of my life.
I want peace right now while I’m still alive.
I don’t want to wait like that pious man who wished for one leg
of the golden chair of Paradise, I want a four-legged chair
right here, a plain wooden chair. I want the rest of my peace now.
I have lived out my life in wars of every kind: battles without
and within, close combat, face-to-face, the faces always
my own, my lover-face, my enemy-face.
Wars with the old weapons – sticks and stones, blunt axe, words,
dull ripping knife, love and hate,
and wars with newfangled weapons – machine gun, missile,
words, land mines exploding, love and hate.
I don’t want to fulfill my parents’ prophecy that life is war.
I want peace with all my body and all my soul.
Rest me in peace.

~ Yehuda Amichai

“The trouble with life isn’t that there is no answer, it’s that there are so many answers.” ~ Ruth Benedict

Swaledale Valley, Yorkshire, UK
(globe images)


“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.

Door to Ireland
by rchevalier (cc license on deviantArt)

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?

Packhorse Bridge, River Conway, Wales, UK

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.

Glow of Life, Rhododendron Gardens
by rchevalier (cc license on deviantArt)

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.

Greenfall, Olympic National Park
by rchevalier (cc license on deviantArt)

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.

Oneonta Gorge, Columbia River Goge, Oregon
by McD22 (FCC)

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”


Love Song

I lie here thinking of you:—
the stain of love
is upon the world!
Yellow, yellow, yellow
it eats into the leaves,
smears with saffron
the horned branches that lean
against a smooth purple sky!
There is no light
only a honey-thick stain
that drips from leaf to leaf
and limb to limb
spoiling the colors
of the whole world—
you far off there under
the wine-red selvage of the west!
~ William Carlos Williams