“Never are voices so beautiful as on a winter’s evening, when dusk almost hides the body, and they seem to issue from nothingness with a note of intimacy seldom heard by day.” ~ Virginia Woolf, from Night and Day

Ferdynand Ruszczyc Bajka zimowa 1904
“Bajka zimowa (Winter Fairytale)” (1904)
by Ferdynand Ruszczyc

“Go down to the place in you where fire and silence dwell—the place of power . . .” ~ Anne Powell, from Going Deeper

Saturday late afternoon. Sunny and cold, 34 degrees.

Hello. Once again, a bit of a break between posts. I can only say that for some reason, my cough has returned, and for the past two days, I have been little more than a blob. It could be the drastically falling temperatures, or it could be anything. I hate so much to be sick while Corey is home because it seems like such a waste of our measured time together. Having said that, there is little than I can do when my body rebels.

Ferdynand Ruszczyc  Młyn w zimie  1902
“Młyn w zimie (Mill in Winter)” (1902, oil on canvas)
by Ferdynand Ruszczyc

The Botox injections that I was supposed to get earlier in the week did not happen, and I cannot say that I am surprised. Yet another glitch on the provider’s end, and now to complicate matters, since it is the new year, my old insurance with my former employer is going away, and Corey’s insurance is now my primary, at least until my Medicare kicks in in conjunction with my SS disability.

It’s all just to much folderol. The nurse at my pain management practice has been working tirelessly since October to get my Botox approved, and now she has to start all over with a new insurance. I feel terrible about putting her through this, but I am also less than happy with my former insurance as I paid for that Botox already, and they are not sending it.

Of course, the ensuing migraine was predictable . . .

“Words or wax, no end
to our self-shaping, our forlorn
awareness at the end of which
is only more awareness.
Was ever truth so malleable?
Arid, inadhesive bits of matter.” ~ C. K. Williams, from “Lost Wax”

So it is January 10, ten days into the new year, and I already find myself in that time loop in which I seem to exist most of the time. Ever since my mother’s death last January, all of 2014 was a blur, and I never quite knew what day it was, let alone what month. And then finishing the year with a truly brutal bout of bronchitis left me floundering so much that I now find myself in the second week of January, and I have yet to write 2015 on anything.

Ferdynand Ruszczyc Pejzaż ze stogami Ok 1897 oil on canvas
“Pejzaż ze stogami Ok (Landscape with Stacks)” (1897, oil on canvas)
by Ferdynand Ruszczyc

I did get many, many trigger point injections in lieu of the Botox, and I was left with lumps in weird places where the muscles had seized. The best thing for it, though, is a hot bath, which, in my view, is one of the best things for just about anything that ails one.

So each night, I force my body into a bath as hot as I can bear, and then I soak until the water begins to cool. It’s that whole affinity for water that Aquarians have. It has always been there. I have pleasant memories of soaking in the tub in my mother’s house while my friend Sarah sat and talked to me. It never struck me as a strange way to have a conversation.

Have no idea where that memory came from.

“I can remember looking at the stars in the summertime, for instance, and feeling a tremendous sorrow from simply knowing that they are not permanent; the stars can blow up, can crumple, go away. And somehow that idea of the end of things, the changeability of things entered my mind, and my psyche, and my imagination at a very early stage. It was connected with a kind of universal sorrow that I perceived in nature everywhere, and in human nature everywhere.” ~ Anna Kamienska, from “In That Great River,” trans. Clare Cavanagh

Last night I dreamed of the department store and doing massive markdowns, the bane of any manager’s existence in retail, and one of the other managers with whom I had a shaky relationship at best kept showing up in the dream, making the whole sequence yet another painful reminder of another close chapter in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to reopen that particular chapter of my life as the entire thing was a pure accident in the first place.

Ferdynand Ruszczyc Most zimą most winter 1901 oil on canvas
“Most zimą (Most Winter) (1901, oil on canvas)
by Ferdynand RUszczyc

Alexis was out of school with a very bad case of mono and a secondary virus, and once she went back to school, I decided to pick up an interim job until I could find something in my field. So I applied at the new big mall downtown, and landed a retail job, something I never wanted. Anyway, I ended up overstaying my time there, and the entire situation became riddled with bad memories, with the sole good thing to arise from that period being finding Corey.

Looking at it philosophically, I suppose that was the whole reason I was there as had I never accepted the position, we would never have crossed paths, and that, in my estimation, would have been tragic.

“Nights have a habit of mysterious gifts and refusals,
of things half given away, half withheld,
of joys with a dark hemisphere. Nights act
that way, I tell you.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges, from “Two English Poems”

So we have spent our fourteenth Christmas together. The first one we spent in Ohio, and boy was that a scary proposition—meeting his family, in particular, his father, who I was quite certain would not like me at all. I remember just about every aspect of that visit, but what stands out in my memory the most, and you’ll pardon me if this sounds strange, is New Year’s Eve, which Corey and I spent in his brother’s hot tub.

Ferdynand Ruszczyc Krzyż w śniegu 1902
“Krzyż w śniegu (The Cross in the Snow)” (1902, oil on canvas)
by Ferdynand Ruszczyc

The air was cold, and the water was hot, and it was a lovely night, and ever since, I have yearned to have a hot tub that we could sit in and look at the night sky together. Perhaps one day if we do finally make it to the mountains and build our house. I can hope . . .

Anyway, our years together have ebbed and flowed as with any relationship, yet I still adore the man I married, still have a strong desire to have him all to myself when he is home for his three weeks, and I suppose that’s a good thing, albeit selfish, yet my feelings have only strengthened through the years, and sometimes I have to stop and remind myself of just how much time has actually passed.

I’m not exactly certain how I ended up on this tangent. Perhaps it’s that whole memory time loop thing I was trying to describe in the first section.

“With the silky hands of longing you tame distance as you make borrowed stars the roof of your sky . . . .” ~ Mahmoud Darwish, from “In the Presence of Absence,” trans. Sinan Antoon

So anyway, I’m hoping that since I feel better today that I am not relapsing. Would that I could get back to some kind of rhythm with this blog and with my tumblr and not least of which, with writing poems again.

I haven’t had any words come to me in several weeks, and that is quite disheartening as I was so beginning to enjoy the creative spurts that have eluded me for years. With any luck, once I have kicked this illness-generated ennui, I might be able to make a foray into 2015 with a little more creativity.

Ferdynand Ruszczyc Młyn zimą 1897
“Młyn zimą (Mill in Winter) (1897, oil on canvas)
by FerdynandRuszczyc

Wishing and hoping . . . wasn’t that a song?

So Corey leave on Monday, a day earlier than usual because he came home a day early because of Christmas. I’ll have to try to get back into some kind of routine in helping out with Olivia and helping out with ferrying Em to campus and just generally muddling through the next 21 days. It’s not as if there aren’t hundreds of little things that need to be taken care of around here, not the last of which are taxes . . . insert audible groan here. Not even going to expound on that for now.

But chances are good that instead of taking care of things, I’ll spend at least half of my time immersed in more books and more binge-watching of the backlog on the cable DVR. And you know what? I don’t feel guilty about that because it’s what keeps me somewhat sane.

Here’s hoping your year has begun with more productivity than mine.

More later. Peace.

All images are by Polish painter and printmaker Ferdynand Ruszczyc (1870–1936), because, well, snow. It should snow . . .

Music by Mecca Kalani, “Feel Me”

                   

Snowshoe to Otter Creek

love lasts by not lasting
~ Jack Gilbert

I’m mapping this new year’s vanishings:
lover, yellow house, the knowledge of surfaces.
This is not a story of return.
There are times I wish I could erase
the mind’s lucidity, the difficulty of Sundays,
my fervor to be touched
by a woman two Februarys gone. What brings the body
back, grieved and cloven, tromping these woods
with nothing to confide in? New snow reassumes
the circleting trees, the bridge above the creek
where I stand like a stranger to my life.
There is no single moment of loss, there is
an amassing. The disbeliever sleeps at an angle
in the bed. The orchard is a graveyard.
Is this the real end? Someone shoveling her way out
with cold intention? Someone naming her missing?

~ Stacie Cassarino

 

Advertisements

“The weather varies between heavy fog and pale sunshine; My thoughts follow the exact same process.” ~ Virginia Woolf, from a diary entry dated 21 April 1918

Leon Spillaert, L'Arbre au Bout de l'Escalier
“L’Arbre au Bout de l’Escalier” (nd)
by Léon Spilliaert

                   

“Who will you be tonight in your dreamfall into the dark, on the other side of the wall?” ~ Jorge Luis Borges, from Dream, trans. Alastair Reid

Monday, early evening. Intermittent thunderstorms, high humidity, high 70’s.

It was nice to sleep later today after having Olivia for two days, but it was nice to have her on Saturday and Sunday as I had really missed spending time with her. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t the best circumstances in which to introduce a baby . . . Awoke last night several times with a headache, a different headache each time. It was very strange, but all included extreme light sensitivity and nausea. Not sure if it’s the barometric pressure or the powder keg pressure that is the current state in our house.

Leon Spilliaert Clair de lune et lumières vers 1909
Clair de Lune et Lumières vers (1909)
by Léon Spilliaert

Even Corey, even-keeled as he is, admits that the stress is really getting to him, and he wants nothing more than to be left alone.

It’s an amalgation of many things: Tillie’s heightened stress over the battle with Jake; the whole idea of taking Jake back to the shelter from which we adopted him; the futile attempts at training the puppy (whose name is still not quite fixed because no one (myself included) seems to find Kopi fitting); Corey’s upcoming trip to Ohio, which, coming at a really bad time, means that we need to resolve so much before he goes; the broken air conditioner in the living room, which is making the front part of the house unbearably hot and uncomfortable . . . and on and on and on.

It’s no surprise that we are all feeling the pressure, and less of a surprise that the dogs are reading it and reacting to it.

“There are a thousand things I want.
Each begins with going back in time.” ~ Jill Alexander Essbaum, from The Devastation

I suppose much of it goes back to bringing home two dogs at once. If we had just brought home the puppy, she and Tillie might be bonding by now, and the puppy might have been able to pick up on Tillie’s demeanor. Instead, the puppy and Jake seem to bring out the worst in one another, and Tillie spends most of her time hiding and trying to get away from both of them.

XIR213998
“Green Seascape” (1909, pencil and watercolor on paper)
by Léon Spilliaert

When we brought Tillie home, we had both Jack Russell boys, but everything integrated so smoothly that I suppose we have been thrown off-kilter by how very different this experience has been so far. Tillie seemed to house train herself. She never chewed on furniture or shoes. She was an amazing puppy, and she has grown into an amazing adult dog.

The recent additions? Not so much.

I have taken to spritzing hairspray on the bottoms of some pieces of furniture to try to curb the chewing. Water mixed with hot sauce only seemed to make the furniture more tempting somehow. If the hairspray doesn’t work, I’ll buy some bitters. Granted, our furniture is far from top of the line, but we do have a few pieces that I really cherish, like my Bentwood rocker, which seems to having glowing lights around it serving to lure in the two miscreants. That rocker is over 30 years old, and I love it.

“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways . . . Without it, no species would survive.”~ Yann Martel, from Life of Pi

That paralyzing lethargy that I spoke of in the last post? Well it’s traveled to Corey, and now he feels completely unmotivated to do any of his projects, including installing the new air conditioner. I can hardly say anything to him as my own desire to accomplish anything is fueled only by the compulsive desire for the house not to be in a constant state of disarray, and a keen need for the living room not to smell like a kennel.

Leon SPillaert, Longing
“Longing” (nd)
by Léon Spilliaert

I keep washing throw rugs and pillows, and am doing a lot of moving things out of reach, but the puppy grows more each day, which means that things which were inaccessible three days ago are now within reach.

We had moved the dry dog food into the dining room this past winter to keep the raccoons from getting into it. Unfortunately, the puppy has realized that if she hurls herself at the bag, she has a good chance of knocking it over, which means FOOD NOW! Yeah, I know.

This morning we woke up to find that the whole house had been t-p’d—inside. One or both of them had unrolled a full roll of toilet paper from the bathroom to the dining room.

To say that I’m hating life right now is a massive understatement.

“What remains of its beauty yesterday?
I have kept all its feathers.” ~ André Gide, from Prometheus Illbound

I suppose I should be happy at the good news, which is that I seem to have lost a few pounds since Alfie died, but I’m too stressed to be looking at the glass half-full thing. I mean, I spent an hour sweeping the floors and wiping things down once I was able to get out of bed this morning.

Leon Spilliaert 1908 The-Royal-Galleries-of-Ostende
“The Royal Galleries of Ostende (1908)
by Léon Spilliaert

The guilt-infusing reality is that we have made arrangements to surrender Jake to the shelter on Wednesday. The woman with whom I spoke yesterday was able to reassure me a bit by telling me that all of Jake’s brothers have already been adopted, so chances are good that he’ll be able to find a new home, but I’m so worried that he’s going to end up back in that cage just wondering why? I’d be wondering why, and yes, I’m human, but dogs are sentient beings. Never doubt that.

Every time that I think about it I can see him sitting there with his beautiful dark eyes filled with sadness. Coward that I am, I don’t think that I can go with Corey when he takes Jake back. I mean, I actually started to tear up on the phone when I was explaining the situation to the woman on the phone. I have never in my life given up a dog, taken a dog to a shelter, albeit a no-kill, extremely clean and well-maintained shelter with lots of volunteers.

It’s all too much, and the thought of Corey going off and leaving me in a few days, even though it’s for a good reason, just makes me sad and more stressed.

Stressed. Stressed. Stressed.

“I’ve always been dark with light somewhere in the distance.” ~ Dallas Green

Leon Spilliaert-Wharf-with-Fisherman-on-a-Mooring-Post-1909-large-1340860501
“Whart with Fisherman on a Mooring Post (1909)
by Léon Spilliaert

So let’s recap shall we?

  • I made the mistake of adopting two dogs at once too soon after the loss of Alfie
  • The dog who has been queen of her doman is now living in constant fear
  • The dogs we adopted are feeding off each other’s energy, resulting in massive entropy
  • The little decent furniture we have has become chew toys
  • The barometric pressure is wreaking havoc on my sinuses
  • The humidity is thick enough to bottle
  • Everyone in the house is overwrought
  • The house that I have been OCD’ing over cleaning seems to be falling to pieces before my eyes
  • The puppy still needs a name.

Yep. That’s about right.

More later. Peace.

All images by Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert (I was able to find the associated medium for only one image).

Music by Lucie Silvas, “Place to Hide”

                    

At Half Past Three in the Afternoon

On one side of the world
I was watching the waterfall
shake itself out, a scroll unfurled
against a grey sky slate wall,
when on the other side—
it would be half past nine, and you
in bed—when on the other side
the night was falling further than I knew.

And watching the water
fall from that hole in the sky
to be combed into foam, I caught
a glimpse in the pool’s dark eye
of us, eating our bread
and cheese, watching the fallen light
crash into darkness. “Look” you said,
“a rainbow like a dragonfly in flight.”

On one side of the world
at half past five in the afternoon
a telephone rang, and darkness welled
from a hole in the sky,
darkness and silence. Soon,
in search of a voice—how to recall
“a rainbow like a dragonfly
in flight”—I walked back to the waterfall.

The trees had lost their tongues—
as I did, coming face to face
with the glacial skeleton hung
behind our picnic place.
The spine was broken, cracked
the rib-cage of the waterfall.
The pond under its cataract
knew nothing of us, knew nothing at all.

And what did I know, except
that you, the better part of me,
did not exist? But I have kept
your anniversary
today—or there, tonight—
returning to the creek, and trying
to understand. I saw the light
falling, falling, and the rainbow flying.

~ Jon Stallworthy

“All the hardest, coldest people you meet were once as soft as water. And that’s the tragedy of living. ” ~ Iain Thomas, from I Wrote This For You

Ice-Castle-Brent-Christensen1
Ice Castle, Silverthorne, Colorado
by Brent Christensen

                   

“I, too, seem to be a connoisseur of rain, but it does not fill me with joy; it allows me to steep myself in a solitude I nurse like a vice I’ve refused to vanquish.” ~ Julia Glass, from Three Junes

Friday afternoon. Sunny, low 40’s. No snow . . .

So we had wet snow and rain last night. Absolutely nothing stuck, but we had delayed openings and closings anyway. This area is totally unprepared for any kind of winter weather, so accustomed to mild winters devoid of white. In response, I thought I’d post something I’ve been saving: images of real life ice castles.

Last night I had the weirdest dreams, and consequently, I woke up mad at Corey. Don’t you hate it when a dream causes a waking reaction? The gist of it was that Corey was flirting with a woman, and he thought it harmless, but I was offended, and it escalated from there. In between, Elliot, formerly of Law & Order SVU showed up because I found to women buried in the sand. I ran into an old friend of mine who made me the best mixed drink I had ever had, and oh yes, I won the lottery, twice. I was an uber millionaire, and I was planning to hand out money right and left to relatives.

Ice Castle image2 from Huffington Post
Silverthorne Ice Castle
by Ryan Davis via Huffington Post

Also in this same dream sequence there were aliens, three to be precise. I had packed up my car to go somewhere (it was my old Trooper Izzie), and I was carrying a strange assortment of goods, including some kind of taser especially for the aliens that I carried. They were supposed to awaken in 12 hours, but woke up 9 hours early. I was fighting all three as the people who were traveling with me were running about inefficiently. Then I went to the Navy exchange to replenish my supplied, but I couldn’t find a charger for my phone, which I needed because I could communicate with base back on earth via Twitter, and I also needed some kind of battery charger for my vehicle.

I ended up going to an auto store to buy things, and I picked out a pickaxe for a weapon, but it was too heavy. I didn’t buy the generator because it was $450, but I bought a car charger for $40 and a portable lantern so that I could see in the dark to kill the aliens

Very, very, very strange. Perhaps I should not have watched “American Horror Story before going to sleep.” The insomnia and headache didn’t help. I saw something on my tumblr dash about a supposed Japanese legend that says that if you can’t sleep at night, it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream. I couldn’t find anything to confirm that statement, but I found it intriguing.

“Your head’s like mine, like all our heads; big enough to contain every god and devil there ever was. Big enough to hold the weight of oceans and the turning stars . . . But what do we choose to keep in this miraculous cabinet? Little broken things, sad trinkets that we play with over and over. The world turns our key and we play the same little tune again and again and we think that tune’s all we are.” ~ Grant Morrison

Today began late as I got to sleep late, even though I really needed to contact people early. We’re trying to get my health insurance reinstated so that I can get my prescriptions, but in the meantime, I’m trying to get samples of my antidepressant from the doctor’s office so that I don’t have a full-blown crash. All of the maneuvering is causing incredible stress, and I really want to hide under the covers until it all goes away.

On top of everything else, I’m having computer problems. I couldn’t get my Yahoo mail to work, and I keep getting redirected on various sites. I cleaned up all of my unnecessary files and made sure my malware was active, but I’m just not in the mood for a persnickety computer. I did a little research, and apparently, other people have been having Yahoo issues. I found a site that offered a couple of fixes, and one worked, so that’s taken care of for now, but it slowed up my ability to deal with Human Resources.

Silverthorne Ice Castlevia Huffington Post
Silverthorne Ice Castle
by Ryan Davis via Huffington Post

Add to this growing pile of crappiness the fact that my birthday is coming up next week, which I hate, and I realized as I was doing dishes today that I still haven’t done the paperwork to try to get a life insurance policy, which I really need to do before my birthday, as it’s one of those landmark ones that causes my available rates to go up. I don’t know how they arrive at these numbers, but I find the whole thing mystifying. So far I’ve been turned down by any mainstream insurance providers because of my health, and for some reason, I have it in my head that I need to have a hefty policy so that my family is not left in debt. Go figure.

“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.” ~ Shauna Niequist, from “Bittersweet”

I was really hoping for snow so that I could take some new pictures. I haven’t shot anything (with my camera) in quite a while. Brett, who has changed his mind about sitting out this semester, was thinking about taking a digital photography course, but he changed his mind, which is a bit disappointing because I was hoping to pick up some tips from him. The problem is that art classes are so limited at ODU, and art majors are always fighting for spots, so Brett didn’t want to take a spot that an art major may have needed.

Silverthorne Ice Castlevia Huffington Post
Silverthorne Ice Castle
by Ryan Davis via Huffington Post

He does have a very cool semester awaiting him. I had suggested taking no physics and no math, just things he was genuinely interested in, so he’s taking an advanced poetry workshop (so jealous), a Harlem Renaissance lit class, a film class, and an art class. Personally, I think that having a semester in which he does only what he wants instead of what he has to take will really help him to get grounded again. I had anticipated that he would be a bit out of sorts when the semester began and he wasn’t going to class.

He’s still planning to go to New Zealand, just postponing until May.

Can I tell you a secret? The other day, I started filling out an application on the GW website for the doctoral program in English. Haven’t finished it yet because I got scared. Maybe this weekend I’ll be able to finish it.

“Which one of us has never felt, walking through the twilight or writing down a date from his past, that he has lost something infinite?” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Just remembered another strange detail about my dream sequence: I was putting this money into a counting machine to verify that I had won the lottery, and I kept messing up, inserting paper money when the machine was counting silver and vice versa. I had 10 pieces of silver shaped like forks which were worth one thousand dollars each. How does my mind work when I’m asleep? How do I end up in these places with these people doing these things?

Ice-Castle-Brent-Christensen4 as found on inhabitat dot com
Ice Castle, Silverthorne, Colorado
as found on inhabitat.com

I mean, wouldn’t it be great if I dreamt that I was walking through an ice castle? But no, I’m walking around a store looking for an adapter. Am I boring even in my dreams? Sheesh.

My response to the stress of the last few days and the bad sleep of the last few nights is to want to go into the bathroom and chop at my hair with scissors. Fortunately (or not, depending upon how you view it), my head hurts too much to stand in the fluorescent light long enough to do anything. But just another thought here: what genius (and you know it had to be a man because no woman would willing subject other women to this) decided that fluorescent lighting would be best used in the bathroom?

If I ever get to design my dream bathroom it will have block glass in the window, a moonlight above the bathtub, which will be jetted, naturally, and nary one tube bulb will be in sight.

“You’ve got forever; and somehow you can’t do much with it. You’ve got forever; and it’s a mile wide and an inch deep and full of alligators.” ~ Jim Thompson

I need to confirm with HR that I still get most of my tuition paid for, but I don’t want to hit them with that until I’ve resolved this health insurance fiasco. I’m not really certain what possessed me to begin the application; I just found myself looking up the program and then clicking on the complete application link. Perhaps clicking on links might be the death of me. It’s far too easy.

Silverthorne Ice Castle via Huffington Post Ryan Davis
Silverthorne Ice Castle
by Ran Davis via Huffington Post

Jon Stewart was talking about that last night, how the White House petition website had such a low requirement for petitions to garner a response, beginning at 5,000 signatures, now at 100,000 signature. Hell, Gangnam Style has over one billion hits on YouTube, so how could the White House not imagine that people with nothing better to do would sign bizarre petitions, like requesting secession from the union?

Anyway, my point is that I was just talking about being linked in and what it’s done to us, and then I have this epiphany that my life now is just jumping from one link to the next, kind of like exploring the world the easy way. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? I mean, fear is what compels most of us to withhold, to stay put, to refrain from attempting things, but a wired world tends to push that fear from the forefront of our minds, allowing us to jump into things we would never have thought about a decade ago.

There be dragons, and there be alligators, but the water is fine . . .

Hope you enjoy the music and images.

More later. Peace.

(For the full story on the concept behind the ice castles and how the structures are made, click here.)

Music by Lindsey Stirling (filmed at Silverthorne Ice Castle), “Crystallize”

                   

Textbook Statistics

On average, 5 people are born every second and 1.78 die.
So we’re ahead by 3.22, which is good, I think.

The average person will spend two weeks in his life
waiting for the traffic light to change.

Pubescent girls wait two to four years
for the tender lumps under their nipples to grow.

So the average adult has over 1,460 dreams a year,
laughs 15 times a day. Children, 385 more times.

So the average male adult mates 2,580 times with five different people
but falls in love only twice in his life—possibly

with the same person. Seventy-nine long years for each of us,
awakened to love in our twenties, so more or less

thirty years to love our two lovers each. And if, in a lifetime,
one walks a total of 13,640 miles by increments,

Where are you headed, traveler?
is a valid philosophical question to pose to a man, I think, along with

Why does the blood in your veins travel endlessly?
on account of those red cells flowing night and day

through the traffic of the blood vessels, which if laid out
in a straight line would be over 90,000 miles long.

The great Nile River in Egypt is 4,180 miles long.
The great circle of the earth’s equator is 24,903 miles.

Dividing this green earth among all of us
gives a hundred square feet of living space to each,

but our brains take only one square foot of it,
along with the 29 bones of the skull, so

if you look outside your window with your mind only,
why do you hear the housefly hum middle octave, key of F?

If you listen to the cat on the rug by the fire with
the 32 muscles in your ear, you will hear

100 different vocal sounds. Listen to the dog
wishing for your love: 10 different sounds.

If you think loneliness is beyond calculation,
think of the mole digging a tunnel underground

ninety-eight miles long to China
in one single night. If you think beauty escapes you

or your entire genealogical tree, consider the slug
with its four uneven noses, or the chameleon shifting colors

under an arbitrary light. Think of the deepest point
in the deepest ocean, the Marianas Trench in the Pacific,

do you think anyone’s sadness can be deeper? In 1681,
the last dodo bird died. In the 16th century,

Queen Elizabeth suffered from a fear of roses.
Anne Boleyn had six fingers. People fall in love

twice. The human heart beats 3 billion times — only — in a lifetime.
If you attempt to count all the stars in the galaxy, one

every second, it’ll take 3 thousand years, if you’re lucky.
As owls are the only birds that can see the color blue

the ocean is bluish, along with the sky and the eyes
of that boy who died alone by that little unnamed river

in your dreams one blue night of the war
of one of your lives. (Do you remember which one?)

Duration of World War 1: four years, 3 months, 14 days.
Duration of an equatorial sunset: 128 seconds, 142 tops.

A neuron’s impulse takes 1/1000 of a second,
a morning’s commute from Prospect Expressway

to the Brooklyn Bridge, about 90 minutes,
forty-five without traffic.

Time it takes for a flower to wilt after it’s cut from the stem: five days.
Time left our sun before it runs out of light: five billion years.

Hence the number of happy citizens under the red glow
of that sun: maybe 50% of us, 50% on good days, tops.

Number who are sad: maybe 70% on the good days—
especially on the good days. (The first emotion’s more intense, I think,

when caught up with the second.) So children grow faster in the summer,
their bright blue bodies expanding. The ocean, after all, is blue

which is why the sky now outside your window is bluish
expanding with the white of something beautiful, like clouds.

Fact: The world is a beautiful place—once in a while.
Another fact: We fall in love twice. Maybe more, if we’re lucky.

~ Arkaye Kierulf

“I cannot walk through the suburbs in the solitude of the night without thinking that the night pleases us because it suppresses idle details, just as our memory does.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

I wrote this last night, but decided to mull it over and come back to it in the morning. Still feel the same way. Apologize for the disjointedness (is that even a word?)………..

President Jimmy Carter Signing an Extension of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Ratification (1978)
(Wikimedia Commons)

                   

“I could as easily bail out the Potomac River with a teaspoon as attend to all the details of the army.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Friday night. Cloudy and humid, high 60’s.

I’d never heard that Lincoln quote before, about using a teaspoon to bail out the Potomac River. Isn’t it wonderful? Reminds me of Eliot. I still feel that I’m measuring out my life in coffee spoons, and now I can add teaspoons to my list of metaphors for not being able to get things done.

So I’ve spent a lot of this week amassing a bizarre list of things that I’ve noticed that perplex me, but I have to warn you, this post is all over the place. Here are a few:

Suffragettes (1908)
Wikimedia Commons
  • Why, when there is a clearly marked turn lane, must there always be the one person who pulls into it diagonally, thereby blocking at least one lane?
  • How do I always manage to park in a puddle, and why do I only find out this reality once I have stepped into said puddle?
  • Why do the cars in front of me always seem to be in a conspiracy to keep traffic moving at least three miles below the speed limit?
  • Why do defoggers only work on the magical setting, you know, the one that comes from moving the different settings several times until you reach that nirvana that can never be duplicated?
  • Why are there no Obama signs in my neighborhood except for mine? Did the Dems just decide to concede Virginia’s swing state classification to the Mittens and concentrate on Ohio? It would appear so . . .

“Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details.” ~ Heraclitus

And then there is this (true story): While driving Brett to campus the other day, I asked him what that window decal on the car ahead of us was supposed to be. I assumed that he would know because it looked like some kind of character out of a game.  It was pink, and smiling, and cartoony. To wit, he replied, “It’s a uterus.”

Demand Equal Rights

Now, let me pause here as I am certain that you are pausing also. “A uterus?” I asked. “But why?”

Brett replied that the uterus has become the new pink, the new breast cancer, the cause de célèbre, if you will.

Okay. I need to say a few things about this one. First, I am a firm believer that what goes on in my uterus is my business and no one else’s. I find it to be a very personal relationship, one that I do not particularly care to share with the whole world. Second, I also believe that I am a pretty radical thinker, open to new concepts and ideas, welcoming a steady stream of new data into my hard drive, as it were. But a uterus?

Seriously?

Apparently so. The uterus decal is a woman’s way of saying something along the lines of this is mine, or perhaps, I’m female and I’m proud of my lady parts, or maybe, This is how I look on the inside. Yes, yes. Don’t get testy. I know that it’s a political statement, but still, I think that I’m almost offended—a pink, smiley uterus with eyes. I think it’s the eyes that creep me out. I’m going to have to ponder this little detail some more and perhaps come back to it later.

“It is in the treatment of trifles that a person shows what they are.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

Other things I’ve been mulling over:

  • Why are Republicans so caught up in having fake tans? They’re kind of like the Real Housewives of Orange County in that vein.

    Equal Rights Conference (1922)
    Wikimedia Commons
  • Will there be any paper magazines in a decade? Newsweek will no longer be in traditional print. That saddens me probably way more than it does them.
  • Why do people in Hampton Roads act totally insane when there is news of a tropical storm or hurricane somewhere in the Atlantic. There was a run on water in the Wal Mart Market this afternoon. You would have thought those jugs contained gold.
  • Did you know that I also have accidents with shopping carts? Just thought I’d mention that.
  • I can’t find a decent ringtone for UB40’s “Red, Red Wine” on any reputable sites. This is not earth-shattering, but I’ve been wondering about it.

“I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on.” ~ Rita Dove

Getting back to that whole uterus decal thing—and yes, I am, sooner than expected—I can’t help but think that these same women who are displaying their female reproductive organs on their rear windows would be highly offended if they pulled up behind a truck with a big old decal of a penis and accompanying testes. I mean, wouldn’t that cause an uproar? Bad taste! Offensive! ya da ya da ya da . . .

A Bumper Sticker I Could Live With

Look, I understand militant feminism. I stopped wearing a bra when I was young (truthfully, I didn’t really need one, but that’s beside the point) because I heard that’s what real feminists did. I was on the forefront of fighting for equal pay for the same job before most of you were born. I adopted the Ms. moniker proudly, declaring to all within shouting distance that my marital status did not need to be indicated in a formal title, after all, Mr. did not indicate marital status. I mean folks, I still have an ERA NOW button. I understand that women are taking back their uteri (is that the correct plural for uteruses?), demanding that men-folk stop sticking their noses where they don’t belong. I completely agree.

But a smile? Eyes? Just ewwwwww all over the place.

“After all it is those who have a deep and real inner life who are best able to deal with the irritating details of outer life.” ~ Evelyn Underhill

So, I’ve also been considering a few other things:

March for the Equal Rights Amendment
  • I wonder what would happen if one night I crept into the yard of the guy in Lex’s neighborhood who has 20 Romney/Ryan yard signs in his teeny, tiny front yard, and swapped one out for an Obama/Biden sign? Not in the front, but somewhere in the middle . . . how apoplectic do you think he’d get?
  • Is it really sad that I can’t wait for December so that I can go see Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movie?
  • Is it pathetic that I wish there were going to be more Harry Potter movies?
  • Should that last question really have been more along the lines of how pathetic would it be?
  • Does anyone want to sew Brett’s costume for me?

“The devil is in the details.” ~ unknown

Okay, back to this.

2011 Reintroduction of the ERA
by Rebecca Koenig

People, please. Feminism came about because women wanted to be treated as equals, you know, that whole equal rights thing? It’s a pretty basic concept, but somehow it’s morphed into something I don’t recognize, something that promotes misandry, something that contends that the owner of the vagina is better than the owner of the penis. If I’m making you squirm, good. Misandry is no better than misogyny. And let me pause here—I am not talking about sexual orientation. Unfortunately, at some point, the Rush Limbaughs of the world began to pair the words feminist and lesbian. The first can be the second, and the second can be the first, but not necessarily so.

Who you share your uterus with is none of my business. What you do with it is none of my business. Do you really need to shout to the world that you have a uterus? If this makes me old fashioned, then I guess I am, but I’m still a feminist, in the truest sense of the word because I do not believe for one second that one gender is better equipped (no pun intended) to perform a job or hold an office or make a decision than the other gender.

And by the way, if you are so inclined to try to turn this into a debate about rape culture, don’t bother. This is definitely not about that and that is not about this. It’s essentially this: I’m for human rights, equality for all. It doesn’t get much more basic than that.

Oh, whatever. As Bukowski said,

“I decide that the only definition of
Truth (which changes)
is that it is that thing or act or
belief which the crowd
rejects.” (from “The People Look Like Flowers”)

More later. Peace.

Music by The Chromatics, “Into the Black”

                   

The Strongest Of The Strange

you won’t see them often
for wherever the crowd is
they
are not.
those odd ones, not
many
but from them
come
the few
good paintings
the few
good symphonies
the few
good books
and other
works.
and from the
best of the
strange ones
perhaps
nothing.
they are
their own
paintings
their own
books
their own
music
their own
work.
sometimes I think
I see
them – say
a certain old
man
sitting on a
certain bench
in a certain
way
or
a quick face
going the other
way
in a passing
automobile
or
there’s a certain motion
of the hands
of a bag-boy or a bag-
girl
while packing
supermarket
groceries.
sometimes
it is even somebody
you have been
living with
for some
time –
you will notice
a
lightning quick
glance
never seen
from them
before.
sometimes
you will only note
their
existence
suddenly
in
vivid
recall
some months
some years
after they are
gone.
I remember
such a
one –
he was about
20 years old
drunk at
10 a.m.
staring into
a cracked
New Orleans
mirror
facing dreaming
against the
walls of
the world
where
did I
go?

~ Charles Bukowski

“I can give you my loneliness, my darkness, the hunger of my heart, I am trying to bribe you with uncertainty, with danger, with defeat.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Seagull by Georgia Mizuleva (GeorgiaM) on 500px.com
Seagull
by Georgia Mizuleva*

                   

“The lover’s fatal identity is precisely: I am the one who waits.” ~ Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse

Saturday, mid afternoon. Partly cloudy, hot, not quite as humid.

Good morning! by Georgia Mizuleva (GeorgiaM) on 500px.com
Good Morning
by Georgia Mizuleva

The water in the pool is green because I had to turn off the pump two days ago when a hose sprung a leak. Eldest son was supposed to bring home some kind of hose patch from pool store yesterday, which, if he had, would have meant that I could float in the pool today. He did not, and I cannot. The pool and I have had an unrequited love affair this summer, and now summer is nearing its end.

Ah me.

The dream I had right before I awoke involved me being at a Republican campaign rally that I had inadvertently stumbled into while trying to find a place to park my bicycle. I somehow ended up backstage, got yelled at for being backstage, and found a coffee shop in which I could order a large latte or cappuccino, but I couldn’t remember which I preferred. Then I learned that they had ginger scones, so I was unbothered about paying $7.03. Why this amount? I have no idea.

I came out of the rally and found myself on the back end of a Sears parking lot, and had no idea as to where I was or how I had gotten there. I awoke with a migraine, craving coffee and ginger scones.

“I will take with me the emptiness of my hands
What you do not have you find everywhere” ~ W. S. Merwin, from “Provision”

It has been a very long week. I ordered my new glasses (regular and sunglasses) at Sam’s Club on Wednesday, which came to a grand total of almost $400. Painful, but admittedly, I have not had new glasses in almost five years, and watching television in my old prescription sunglasses is not helping the head or eye situation. What was quite disappointing was that my discount when using my insurance to buy one pair came out to a whopping $2 discount. That’s two. Only two. Seriously?

Sun-up by Georgia Mizuleva (GeorgiaM) on 500px.com
Sun Up
by Georgia Mizuleva

Thursday, Brett stayed on campus until the evening, and I was ailing horribly, chills, nausea, vomiting, all from a migraine. I paid eldest son to pick up Brett from campus, and on the way home, his car overheated. It’s his radiator. This is very bad news for a couple of reasons: It’s an old car that keeps costing lots of money, but he cannot buy another one because he has no money. Because he has no money, I have to front the money for this repair, which will be around $225 for parts and labor.

I realized on Thursday, that after I ordered glasses and paid several bills, I was down to almost nothing until the next paycheck. Now, that amount will be swallowed up by Eamonn’s car repair. I still need to get prescriptions, and I have a doctor’s appointment for which I owe a back balance.

All of this makes my head hurt more.

The one good piece of news is that the court has agreed to push forward my hearing with the medical carrier who wants big money for back bills, but I never would have found out this information if I hadn’t called to see what action had been taken, only to be told that they don’t send out notifications. The letter in which I made my request will stand in for me on the court date. I immediately got this image of a giant piece of paper standing in the courtroom.

“Beneath the blue oblivious sky, the water
sings of nothing, not your name, not mine.” ~ Don Paterson, from “Poetry

Add to all of these financial issues the fact that youngest son is having a major identity/career crisis, Alexis is still wanting/needing my presence almost daily, Corey’s distance, and I’m feeling quite overwhelmed myself. I wish that I had answers, solutions, recommendations for everyone, but I don’t. That bothers me because it’s my job as a mom to have answers, isn’t it? I told Corey in an e-mail that I really had forgotten just how hard this single parenting thing is, but then I wished that I hadn’t said that because I don’t want to make him feel bad for not being here. It’s all just a big conundrum. It feels like I’m in a maze, and I keep running into deadends, but I can hear people talking and laughing on the other side of the hedges.

Away... by Georgia Mizuleva (GeorgiaM) on 500px.com
Away
by Georgia Mizuleva

Does that make sense?

For two straight nights I skipped dinner (unless you count a handful of Oreos dinner), and I realized by Thursday that my headache was probably from eating too many gummi bears and ingesting too much miscellaneous sugar. So I regrouped and ate a big salad and tried to abstain from too much sugar. All of this made me ponder an absolutely insane question: How fast does the body digest gummi bears? Do they stay in your digestive track for days? Why would I think of such things? Which led to me making the most bizarre comment to Alexis: If they find a body that they cannot identify and the stomach contents are nothing but gummi bears, it’s probably me. Yes, I know. I watch entirely too much Dateline ID and CSI and all of those other shows.

This is how my mind works. And by that I mean, not too well. Truly.

“We sit and talk quietly,
with long lapses of silence,
and I am aware of the stream that has no language,
coursing beneath the quiet heaven of your eyes, which has no speech.” ~ William Carlos Williams, from Paterson, Book I

I’ve been searching the Interwebs for a working IBM Selectric, and they are not easy to come by. I really wish that I could get one from an old office that has one just sitting around. Don’t ask me why I imagine such things to be possible. I found a few on e-Bay, but they were selling for parts, which doesn’t help me at all. If anyone out there in the ether hears of an old working Selectric that someone is trying to unload, keep me in mind.

>>>>> by Georgia Mizuleva (GeorgiaM) on 500px.com
Flying
by Georgia Mizuleva

Corey is thinking of taking a few days off when the ship gets in port here. I think that’s a great idea. He needs to step back and regroup, see if he wants to finish this hitch. He sounds so tired. He does this thing when he’s upset—doesn’t eat. Just smokes and drinks Mountain Dew. Very not good. I mean, he’s so lean as it is, and the intake of caffeine and nicotine without food doesn’t help anything. I found out that his phone, the one that we just got fixed before he left, was submerged in salt water. I have no idea if he’s managed to get it working, but I have a feeling that we’ll be purchasing a new phone for him soon. It can be a belated birthday present.

So yesterday, because I had no vehicle and was waiting for Alexis to pick up Brett at school, I decided to try out the new mower to mow the yard, front and back. It’s been raining almost every day, and the grass was so high. Eamonn hasn’t wanted to do it when he gets off work, and finally, I had enough and went outside and did it myself. I haven’t mown a yard in a decade. I mean, I used to do it all of the time. It’s great exercise, but not so great when you have a bad back, and both of your wrists are locked up. Eamonn is certain that I did it just to make him feel bad, but actually, I was just so frustrated by absolutely everything that I decided that it would be a good thing to do—mow, make the yard look decent, get some exercise, do something different.

Yep. Right. Good idea.

Not so much.

“Words have been spoken; things that were bottled
have burst open and to walk in now
would be to walk in

on the ocean.” ~ Simon Armitage, from “At Sea

By the time I finished, my wrists were tingling and numb, and my back was shot. Perversely, it felt good. I hate that my body cannot do the things that it used to do. I hate that the entire time I was mowing, all I could think about was my disability claim. I hate that by the time that I finished, I had numerous injuries: a slice in my right pinky from the leftover glass in the sliding door; it wouldn’t stop bleeding, a blister the size of a quarter in my right palm, a numb left arm and hand. What the hell?

This morning V by Georgia Mizuleva (GeorgiaM) on 500px.com
This Morning V
by Georgia Mizuleva

I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll tell Corey what I did. He will not be amused.

Anyway, today I’m not doing much of anything. I have some laundry going, and I cleaned the kitchen. I pine for a long hot bath, even in this weather, but it’s not going to happen, so what’s the point? Maybe one day I’ll be able to emerge myself in a natural hot spring. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Eamonn drove the Rodeo to work yesterday and today. The guy across the street is supposed to work on Eamonn’s car this weekend. I had hoped to float in the pool, but I’ve already talked about that, so the only thing left on my dance card is a new episode of “Dr. Who” tonight, and a new “Wallander” on “Masterpiece Mystery.” I am simply agog with excitement. Try not to be too envious of the thrill that is my life.

More later. Peace.

Music by Imperial Mammoth, “Requiem on Water” (lots of water and sea on my mind, obviously)

*All images are taken from the 500px site of Georgia Mizuleva

                   

Indian Summer

Like a deep blue wave
of passion
you shore into the room
where I sit waiting quietly,
open-booked.

We have moved through days,
loss, pain
to hold this moment,
this picture postcard seascape
of gentle harbouring.

You say
‘I knew you were here
I could smell you’
and effortlessly I sway
to seal my fate.

You taste of ocean,
avenues of grassy dunes,
like a magician
you pluck a tiny pebble
from my hair—

Ancient survivor, sun-kissed
on this summer afternoon,
unconditionally
I step out of my dress
into your dream.

~ Eileen Carney Hulme

“If you know what you are going to write when you’re writing a poem, it’s going to be average.” ~ Derek Walcott

Lilacs by Muffett (FCC)

                   

“The central fact of my life has been the existence of words and the possibility of weaving those words into poetry.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges, This Craft of Verse

This poem came to me a few words at a time, the rough opening lines a few weeks ago, and then they took shape as I drove Brett to school on Monday. The rest came over the past few days. Tuesday night I could not sleep until I committed the middle to paper, and I’m glad that I did as too often I say to myself, I will remember in the morning, and I never do.

It’s still a bit rough, but I think that I’m almost there.

Late prayer for my daughter, heavy now with child

Once,
your father brought me lilacs
pale purple blossoms
to quell my anger.

Years after,
you sat so still,
posing,
holding your sister,
mere weeks from the womb.
Your Easter dress—
black
covered with pink rosebuds,
the picture I took,
lost somewhere to time.

Now,
you wait for your own girl child,
counting down the days,
a mere wisp on your lips
where happiness untroubled once dwelled.

Memories of other Aprils
lurk nearby,
reminders of spring’s inconstancy.
I hold
both heaven and hell in my heart
like a tea cup full of fragrant blooms.

L. Liwag

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.” ~ Sylvia Plath

“La Belle Dame Sans Merci,” Frank Cadogan Cowper (1926)*

                   

“’You see I am fate,’ it shouted, ‘and stronger than your puny plans; and I am how-things-turn-out and I am different from your little dreams, and I am the flight of time and the end of beauty and unfulfilled desire; all the accidents and imperceptions and the little minutes that shape the crucial hours are mine. I am the exception that proves no rules, the limits of your control, the condiment in the dish of life.’” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Cut Glass Bowl and Other Stories

Wednesday afternoon. Unseasonably warm and very sunny, mid 70’s. Feels and smells more like spring than fall.

"La Belle Dame Sans Merci," Arthur Hughes

Thought that I’d try to bang out a post today. Haven’t felt up to sitting here for more than a few minutes for the past few days. Same old thing—headaches, pain, weakness. (That phrase “bang out” reminds me of how Rebecca used to say that she could hear me typing from anywhere in the office because I hit the keys so hard, which I do, but I learned to type on a manual typewriter (yes, I’m that old), and I learned to type very quickly on an old IBM Selectric, so my touch is not acclimated towards a computer’s keyboard. Funny the things that pop into your mind at the turn of a phrase.)

I’ve finally gotten an appointment to get my botox injections at the neurologist’s office. It took talking to a different nurse and saying that I was tired of being jerked around, and voila—appointment. Funny how that works.

So in the next six weeks or so, I’m banging out another four doctors’ appointments. So excited. Cannot hardly wait for the poking and prodding to begin. Actually, I am excited about the botox as I’m really hoping that it helps with these damned headaches. I mean, if this stuff deadens nerve endings, it makes sense that it would kill pain. Too bad they haven’t approved it for back pain. Not enough studies done to show conclusively whether or not it actually helps the kind of pain that I have.

Too much to wish for at once, I suppose.

Anyway, after spending time making telephone calls to various doctor’s offices for prescriptions and/or appointments, I decided to go back to bed this morning, and part of me wishes that I hadn’t as I had more intensely bad dreams. In the past few nights, I keep dreaming about this doctor who is treating me, and he’s a sadist. I won’t go into the kinds of things that he’s trying to do to me, but suffice it to say that they are quite unpleasant. The dreams are probably coming from the subconscious part of me that is wholly fed up with doctors and treatments.

“Sixty six times have these eyes beheld
the changing scenes of autumn
I have said enough about moonlight.
Ask no more.
Only listen to the voice of pines and cedars
when no wind stirs.” ~ Ryonen, Buddhist Nun, 18th Century

The quote above appeared on my tumblr dash a few days ago, but it was only attributed to a Zen nun. That’s one of the things that I really hate about tumblr, how lax some people are about attributing quotes and images. It took me about 20 seconds to find the source of the quote and to learn that the line breaks were incorrect in what was originally posted.

"La Belle Dame Sans Merci," Frank Dicksee (1902)

Now line breaks might not seem like a big deal, that is unless you write poetry. Line breaks are all-important in poetry: They indicate the point at which the poet wishes to break the thought, add a pause, add a breath, indicate a new train of thought—all or none of these. But to quote a poem and not to take care to get the name of the poet correct I find really problematic.

But I’m also a stickler for the Oxford comma. So shoot me . . .

Anyway, I love tumblr because it continues to be a great source of quotes and images for my writing, but it really bothers me when people post something without quotations marks or an author, and people who may not be familiar with the phrase might not realize that it’s not original, or when people post art without listing the artist’s name or giving the attribution for a photograph. All problematic. So when I repost, I try to add the missing information, or if something has an obvious copyright on it, I don’t repost it.

I know. Not really a big problem in the grand scheme of things. Just file it under things that bug the crap out of me.

“There is among all your memories one
Which has now been lost beyond recall.
You will not be seen going down to that fountain
Neither by white sun nor by yellow moon.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges, from “Limits”

So my uncle in Florida has decided that I shouldn’t send for his Explorer as he feels that it’s not worth the money to ship it from his house to ours. I have to respect his decision, although I really wish that he’d understand that any working vehicle, no matter how old it is, is better than no working vehicle. But he doesn’t want us to waste our money, so what can I say? It’s not like we have the money to waste . . .

"La Belle Dame Sans Merci," William Russell Flint (1908)

He wrote me a very nice letter explaining his decision, and he sounds so much like my father, which is always just a bit painful. This uncle is the last one of my dad’s siblings who is still alive. He’s 80, and his wife, my aunt, has breast cancer. It just breaks my heart for so many reasons: that he’s the last, that he looks so much like my dad, that they are both in poor health.

When I was a child, I didn’t really have that much of an attachment to my dad’s side of the family, mostly because I was always around my mom’s side. But as an adult, I think that I’ve spent more time trying to stay in contact with my uncles, my dad’s brothers. Both of the ones in Florida kept asking us to bring the kids down for a visit and offered their homes if we wanted to visit Disneyland, but it was never the right time, and now the kids are grown, and no one wants to go to Disneyland . . .

Perhaps I should just think of a few more things to chew on in this guilt fest . . .

“Here I sit between my brother the mountain and my sister the sea. We three are one in loneliness, and the love that binds us together is deep and strong and strange.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

Corey has a medical transport tomorrow, so he’ll be gone from early morning until around 10 tomorrow night, which means good hours but a very long day for him.

"La Belle Dame Sans Merci," John William Waterhouse (1893)

I think that we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel as far as getting the truck fixed. We had thought that by hiring the guy across the street to fix it, we would save money, which we have, but he’s taking his sweet time in finishing, which is always the problem in not going to a shop. He knows what he’s doing, as that’s how he makes his living, by working on cars, but he has his own issues, the least of which is that his elderly mother (with whom he lives) suffers from Alzheimer’s and dementia and forgets who he is and calls the cops on him because she thinks that he’s a stranger in her house.

I do sympathize with him, and he really is a nice guy, but we just want the truck to be fixed. Once he finishes with the transmission and the transfer case, we need to get the brakes done and get it inspected. I’m hoping that we don’t have to do four new tires as that’s a big cash output, but we’ll just have to see how that goes.

I know that Corey will be glad to have his truck back, but I also know that he’s in for a rude awakening the first time that he fills the tank as he’s been spoiled by the four-cylinder engines in the rental cars and the six-cylinder in the Rodeo. His truck is a V8 and a gas hog. I don’t even want to think about how much it’s going cost to fill, and I’m not looking forward to finding out how much gas it uses to get back and forth to the peninsula where he works.

I know. I know. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. My life at the moment is a tired cliché. Sorry that I don’t have more exciting things to say, but frankly, I’m lucky to get any kind of post out of my head at the moment. Perhaps I should call it a day.

More later. Peace.

*This is my favorite version of this subject, a particular favorite of the Pre-Raphaelite painters.

Music by Blue October, “Amazing”



From Out the Cave

When you have been
at war with yourself
for so many years that
you have forgotten why,
when you have been driving
for hours and only
gradually begin to realize
that you have lost the way,
when you have cut
hastily into the fabric,
when you have signed
papers in distraction,
when it has been centuries
since you watched the sun set
or the rain fall, and the clouds,
drifting overhead, pass as flat
as anything on a postcard;
when, in the midst of these
everyday nightmares, you
understand that you could
wake up,
you could turn
and go back
to the last thing you
remember doing
with your whole heart:
that passionate kiss,
the brilliant drop of love
rolling along the tongue of a green leaf,
then you wake,
you stumble from your cave,
blinking in the sun,
naming every shadow
as it slips.

~ Joyce Sutphen