“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