“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.

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” ~ Kenji Miyazawa

“Rose Pastor Stokes,” by Clarence H. White (1909)

 

“Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece.” ~ Vladimir Nabokov

I found a new blog last night called Crashingly Beautiful. It’s the kind of blog that I might create myself, filled with quotes, poems, music links, passages, Zen stories, photographs, and other artwork. Lovely, just lovely. I found several quotes there that are new to me, and I liked them so much that I am using in tonight’s post. I am also borrowing some images that were posted on the site. Many thanks to Luke Storms for offering such inspiring material.

 If you get a chance, check out the site, along with the companion blog Intense City, also by Luke Storms.

“if we could do nothing for once,
perhaps a great silence would
interrupt this sadness,
this never understanding ourselves . . . ” ~ Pablo Neruda, “Keeping Quiet”

"Autumn Trees," Egon Schiele (1912)

Aside from finding new blogs to read and achieving high levels in online Bookworm, not much new to report. Corey’s burn on his arm is healing nicely, just a little sore and no infection on the part that blistered. It’s getting ready to rain again because we so obviously need more rain. Tillie has been hanging out on the platform of the pool’s ladder, almost as if she expects to go swimming at any moment. I had to inform her that regretfully, November is not swimming weather, even for a Labrador Retriever.

I am feeling a bit better emotionally. No big changes, just a slight upswing. I’ll take anything that I can get. Perhaps I am feeling a bit better because I have printed out pages and pages of forms to have my PCP sign and then send on to various pharmaceutical companies (five total). I decided finally that being without my medication has gone on long enough, and there is no reason why I shouldn’t apply for patient assistance directly with the companies.

Happily, I found that I can get almost all of my medications through the companies, with the exception, of course, of the ones that now have generic formulas. Nexium will probably be the hardest one to obtain, mostly because they want my entire life history to prove that I am worthy of receiving assistance from Astra Zeneca. AZ recently received the right to retain their formula for the purple pill, so no generics anytime soon on that front.

If anyone else is having problems with affording his/her prescription medications, look up the name of the company that manufactures the medication, and then enter patient assistance into the site’s search. Almost all of the major pharmaceutical companies have some sort of patient assistance program. I really wish that I had thought of this three months ago.

“Whatever it is that pulls the pin, that hurls you past the boundaries of your own life into a brief and total beauty, even for a moment, it is enough.” ~ Jeannette Winterson

"Four Trees," Egon Schiele (1917)

Thanksgiving is only a week and a half away, and already the drama has begun in my family. Incredibly important issues such as who is going to cook what dish are on the forefront of family discussions. Three vegetables or two? Really?

I made a passing comment to my mother about butter, and her response, verbatim, was this: “I can’t get you to lose weight for anything.” Ummmm, alrighty then. I have real butter on my bread maybe three times a year. I’ve gotten comments like these my entire life. Now do you see why my self-esteem is so low?

Brett and I stopped by my mother’s house the other day on the way home from school. Brett had his sketch pad with him, and I thought that it would be nice to show my mom some of his recent work. Big mistake. Brett is really good at pencil sketches, and his latest was done during the nor’easter. It’s a dark self-portrait, done in sort of an anime style. For those of you who may not be familiar with this style, anime (アニメ) is short for Japanese animation. Anime, like manga (Japanese comics) is considered to be a non-traditional but pervasive art form.

The facial characteristics in anime can be exaggerated or muted (e.g., very large eyes and head, or simple lines for eyes), depending upon the artist. Coloring the cornea to indicate depth is sometimes employed. Some anime (sometimes spelled animé with final acute accent) attempts to draw characters whose nationalities cannot be discerned (e.g., Pokemon). The sketch that Brett showed my mother had very exotic, piercing eyes. The first time I saw it I was amazed by the detail that he had included, and I think that it is one of his better sketches.

After I got home, my mother called me to tell me that she’s worried about Brett. Specifically, she’s worried about what’s in his mind, “all of these dark pictures.” She asked why he doesn’t paint geese. I tried to explain to her that Brett doesn’t like to paint, that he likes charcoal and pencil. I noted that not all art is mountains and fruit, but it really didn’t matter what I said because now my mother has decided that Brett’s art is cause for concern.

I made a point of telling Brett how much I like his work, and I told him to take what his Oma says with a grain of salt as she doesn’t realize how much her words can hurt. She really doesn’t realize this, which is something that it took me many years to realize myself. My mother has good intentions, but she has no sense of self-censorship: whatever she thinks comes out of her mouth without any consideration of the hearer’s feelings or reaction.

I hate to have to say this about my mother, but it’s true. It’s also something that I have learned to live with, although not without its consequences, so I want to ensure that her remarks do not affect Brett’s already fragile self-esteem.

“Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.” ~ Erich Fromm

Untitled by Maurice Tabard (1932)

Anyway, that’s about all for now. I must pause here, though, to express my incredible gratitude to all of you who took the time to send me very special comments in response to my last post. Maureen, Kelly, and Andrew sent very lovely expressions of support, and no matter how many times I say it, being on the receiving end of such generous statements always makes me feel better and helps more than I can say.

Even though I have not been as focused lately as I would like to be, this blog continues to be incredibly important to me. It allows me to vent, to bemoan, to rejoice, and to share with a wonderful community of people.

NCIS this past Tuesday night featured a major power outage in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area as a backdrop to the crime. The investigators had to do things the old-fashioned way—by hand—and they were all complaining about how hard life is without computers, without mobile telephones, without PDA’s. I know that when we lose electricity around here because of a storm (which happens more than you might think), I always enjoy the quiet; no sounds of air conditioners or televisions permeate the neighborhood, and the streets are so dark.

Having said that, I do have to admit that as much as I like the simplicity when the lights go out, I do love the convenience of a lightning-fast search engine and the fact that the Internet and the web keep us connected all over the world. Just a decade ago I was still struggling with dial-up and having to wait to get online. Now I am so completely spoiled by our high-speed connection that I cannot imagine living without this convenience in my life, although I’m sure that I could if I had to.

I suppose that all of that was a very roundabout way of saying that yes, I am able to appreciate the small things, but especially how technology has afforded me new avenues to friendship and support.

YouTube video courtesy of Kelly. I’m including a poem by Mary Oliver, and I apologize in advance if I’ve already included this one, but it seems very fitting.

 

 

More later. Peace.

                                                                                                                                     

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver