“Words become powerless to express your pain; what others hear from your words is so distant and different from what you are actually suffering.” ~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

                   

In the morning it takes the mind a while
To find the world again, lost after dream
Has taken the heart to the underworld
To play with the shades of lives not chosen.” ~ John O’Donohue, from “The Visitation”

Saturday evening. Rainy and chilly.

I did not sleep well last night. Every time Shakes would cough, I would sit up and look at him to make sure he did not stop breathing, so today has been a whole lot of nothing on the computer, lots and lots of knotted muscles, and forgetting to eat until I got a headache.

The above lightning gif appeared on my tumblr dash. As you know, I love lightning, the crack, the flash, especially lightning over water, so this image, as violent as it may seem, is very comforting to me.

I won’t even try to write a regular post, just share an image, a quote or two, and a poem. In a Gaelic kind of mood.

More later. Peace.

Music by Anne Jennings-Tauciene, “The Rose of Allendale”

                   

Beannacht (Blessing)

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

~ John O’Donohue

Much ado about nothing in particular . . .

Lake George Autumn by Georgia O'Keeffe 1927Lake George Autumn by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1927 

 

Random thoughts on Saturday afternoon:

Michele Bachmann close up
Michele Bachmann's Crazy Eyes

* Michele Bachmann of the one l, two n’s never ceases to amaze me. Just for fun, go to Daily KOS to see a selection of some of her more outlandish vids. I agree with Zirgar that her eyes are just plain scary.

* Need to schedule a mammogram. When I hear men complain about their annual physicals, it makes me laugh. Have they ever had their private parts put into a machine and mashed into the size of a pancake? No? Then shut up about it already.

* Latest version of treatment for my migraines: Massive doses of magnesium daily (working up to about 2000 mg) for prevention, and then Relpax and zanaflex for relief. We’ll see. Forgive me if I just don’t have any faith in migraine relief any more.

* Any more. One word or two? One of my common mistakes. Also, always misspell minutiae.

Red Rotary Telephone* When you are a teenager, getting your own telephone is a rite of passage, one that you anticipate eagerly. Once you have one, you use it all of the time. I remember that I had a deep red rotary telephone in my first apartment. I loved that phone. There’s something to be said for using telephones that are plugged into one place: You don’t have to listen to the person on the other end do things that you don’t want to hear . . .

When you are an adult with obligations, the telephone is a pain in the butt. Have come to hate mine, and since it’s been turned off because I don’t have the money right now for the bill, I really don’t care.

* Have I mentioned that I love pens, specifically, pens that write smoothly, not too fine of a point. Hate ballpoint pens. Remember using old black ballpoints from the Navy. Yuck. The ink would always get gloppy and stain my hands. But they smelled good. Isn’t it odd how you remember little bits of minutiae like that? Love rollerballs, especially in purple. Use purple to address all of my cards. Red for Christmas cards. Oh the small things that make one happy.

* My friend Mari just had her birthday October 1st. I am so lax. I still have her birthday present from last year. How hard is it to go to the post office? Very if you are slowly turning into a complete homebody bordering on hermit. I really need to get out more.

* Since I have no new books to read, I am raiding the storage bins for reading material. Picking books at random. Hoping enough time has passed that I don’t remember all of the plotline. Not complaining. Usually read books at least twice anyway.

* Dreamed last night that someone sneaked into our home and cut off my hair. Woke up (in the dream) only to realize that almost all of my hair was gone. Symbolism? Hair equals power? Hair equals beauty? Or something much simpler: I need a haircut.

Georgia O'Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz 1920
Georgia O'Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz (1920)

* Watched a thoroughly depressing episode of 20/20: Albinism and the growing trend in Tanzania of killing albinos for body parts to be used by witch doctors in concoctions for power and long life. Visit Under The Same Sun website for more information about this very real, very tragic situation.

* Also watched the movie about Georgia O’Keeffe starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons (as Alfred Stieglitz). Actually very well made for a television movie. O’Keeffe was an incredible talent and, gasp, a freethinking woman well before her time. Her art never fails to amaze me.

* I want to have a bumper sticker made that reads “Danger: I am a Freethinking Woman.”

* I desperately need to clean my desk. There is not one square inch of surface that is not covered by paper or something that does not need to be there. I have resolved, though, that I will clean my desk when Corey cleans off the dining room table, which he has somehow claimed as his desk. Kind of defeats the goal of sitting down together for dinner.

* Shakes is currently positioned directly adjacent to my feet. Normally when I am at the computer he sleeps off to the right. Very clingy today.

* Too incredible not to be true: I actually had to reschedule my doctor’s appointment on Friday because I hurt too much to get out of bed. Now that’s pathetic: too sick to go to the doctor. I despair of what is happening to me.

* I want to see the new movie 2012, although not for the same reasons that Zirgar wants to see it. First, I love John Cusack because he has one of those faces that is perfect for disaster movies: What? Me? In case you’ve been living in a cave, December 21, 2012 is date on which the Mayan calendar ends; hence, all of the predictions of the end of the world, the apocalypse. I wonder if the Heaven’s Gate people will finally be shuffled into their UFO. I mean, they’ve been waiting since 1997. Sorry if I sound glib, but doomsday predictions tend to make the cynic in me take over.

Eamonn Summer 2009
Eamonn Summer 2009

* I miss eldest son. He works all of the time, and when he isn’t at work, he’s with his girlfriend. He stops in to put his dirty clothes in the hamper and play a little XBox. Still hoping that plans to start college in January are a go.

* If I am to believe all of the ads, then collagen from the sea is the best thing for keeping my skin looking youthful. Youthful. Such a subjective term. Do I want to look like I did when I was a teenager? No. In my 20’s or 30’s? Only as far as my weight is concerned. I’ve earned my looks. I haven’t been through all of my trials and tribulations for nothing. For now, I’ll continue to be thankful for my good genes and Filipino skin which does not begin to show wrinkles for a long time (if I am like my father), and a touch of Oil of Olay Regenerist daily.

Gummi Bears
Gummi Bears

* I am craving Gummi Bears. Isn’t that a weird thing to crave? But they’re such a great snack—small, sweet, chewable. I know. I really need to get out more.

* Stats: I’m starting to obsess over them again. I had stopped doing that, and it was much less stressful. I mean, I made my goal of 100,000 hits by October 1st, which marks just about a year since I’ve been blogging seriously. But recently, I saw a nice jump in hits, and I began to look at my stats again. Now, if I drop one day, I begin to obsess: Is my blog boring? Do people not like what I’m writing? Should I write about politics more? Should I write about politics less? Should I stop obsessing? That’s about the only question to which I can state a firm yes.

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera . . .

Reya's Jilted Rose
Reya's Jilted Rose from After the Gold Puppy

I have set for myself a goal to post everyday in October, to try to get back to my daily posting. My reasons for doing this have less to do with blogging and more to do with trying to get back into some kind of active schedule. When I was writing at least two to three hours everyday, I felt better: emotionally psychologically. I know that I need an outlet, and I have learned from many years of trial and error that writing is the very best outlet for me to use to exercise my mind. Reading does come in at a close second.

The point is, though, that I know what I need to do to help myself, but sometimes, it really is much harder than it would seem. I am well aware that part of the reason for my being lax in the past months has a great deal to do with my state of mind, which has been, shall we say, less than optimum. But it’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy: I don’t write because I feel too depressed to write, but if I don’t write, then I feel depressed. Hate those Catch-22’s of life (great book, by the way, much better than the movie, which was hilarious).

Hence, my declared decision to write and post daily again. All of that being said, there’s a very good chance that the Internet service is going to go away fairly soon, for obvious reasons. But I have a plan . . . I’ll write my posts in Word, save them up, and then post all of them once I can get service back. Why I am I bothering to mention this? I don’t know. Maybe because I’ve made this declaration, and I don’t want to appear to be wishy washy when my posting stops (even though I can be wishy washy).

That’s about all for now. I was trying to think of the perfect music to accompany this rambling entry. Couldn’t decide between “Save Me” or “Humpty Dumpty” by Aimee Mann. Found a vid with both. How cool.

 

 

More later. Peace.

Reflections on Hope (part 2)

 Reynard 8-2009

 Fox by Brett Sutcliffe (August 18, 2009)

The Possibility of Hope

Maybe im still searchin
But I dont know what it means
All the fires of destruction are still
Burnin’ in my dreams*
 

Corn Queue Henry County Indiana Julayne
Corn Queue, Henry County, Indiana, by Julayne from When Worlds Collide

I’ve sat down at this “add new post” page for the past four nights. I’ve sat, waited, and then closed the page. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say; more, it’s that my mind seems to be in recovery mode still after so long away from this forum that gives me a voice, as if I’m in the same room with a long lost friend, and we are still in those first few moments of awkardness, when there are a million things to say, but none of them seem to be the right way in which to begin again.

I love this blog. I appreciate the people who stop by just to read and even more, those who leave comments and words of encouragement. I love being part of a bigger blogging community, filled with people who sent me messages over the past three weeks, letting me know that they were out there if I needed them, that they would wait for me to come back.

But my last post was so full of despair that it actually left a physical pain in my heart. To put into words all of the bigger things that have happened over the last two to three years somehow makes it more real, and therefore, that much harder to reconcile.

That post also did something else to me: It made me a bit nauseous. It smacked of poor, pitiful me, and far too much navel-gazing. So let me just pause here to apologize for being so maudlin. Admittedly, though, wearing a virtual hairshirt every once in a while does seem to help.

But time to move on.

I wanna come in from the cold

Tree Frog at Rest
Tree Frog at Rest by L. Liwag

Last night, as I sat here, I heard the wonderful chirrups of the tree frogs in the backyard, and then as I was walking through the dining room, I looked out in the backyard and noticed that a strap on the pool was vibrating. A tree frog was inside the little tunnel, and every time he sang, the strap vibrated.

He was too far inside his shelter to get a picture, but I could see his small green body peeking out. Unfortunately, my invasion of his space made him cease his calls for a bit, but in about half an hour, I could hear him again.

And make myself renewed again

Uncle Melchors Trumpet Flower
Uncle Melchor's Trumpet Flowers

My uncle’s funeral was Saturday. He never regained consciousness. I wanted badly to go to the funeral, but the family lives almost 800 miles away in Florida, and this just isn’t the best time to rent a vehicle and get a hotel room.

So I stayed in touch by telephone. My aunt, who retired only last year, told me that all of the people who used to be in her department came over one day and did her yard. What a wonderful gesture. My uncle loved his yard and would send me pictures of his flower gardens when they came into bloom.

To hear about people who cared, taking the time to care for one of the things that he so enjoyed made me smile. A happy remembrance.

It takes strength to live this way

Tillie Happiness b&w
Tillie Happiness

Today, I braved the brightness of the sun to play ball with Tillie and Shakes in the pool. I think that I must have done a good job because both of them are sound asleep.

Tillie is a ball hog. The only way that I could get her to release the ball in her mouth was to tease her with the other tennis ball. Wanting both, she would drop one while I threw the other ball, and then I would throw the ball that Tillie dropped for Shakes to retrieve. Quite a complicated system for a simple game of water tennis.

I found myself relaxing, though, and just enjoying the moment—something that I do too rarely. I didn’t think about anything of consequence, and I just focused on exercising the dogs and looking at the birds flying overhead.

The same old madness every day

Captain Corey
Happy Birthday Corey

Tomorrow is Corey’s birthday. He is none too happy. It’s all well and good for me to try to point out to him that he is hardly old, but he doesn’t hear me. I know old. He isn’t old.

When I told him to go ahead and flirt with someone while he was at Costco, he said that he couldn’t because he was losing his hair. What bollocks. He has a head of beautiful, healthy hair, and he is losing a few hairs a day in the shower, undoubtedly because of the stress. My husband is too funny.

We won’t be doing too much of anything to celebrate this week, but with any luck, maybe we can have sushi sometime soon.

I wanna kick these blues away  

On other fronts, Brett is trying to gear up mentally for the school year. It looks as if they have set up his schedule for him to go every other day, which is wonderful.

I’m hoping the day off between class days will allow him to rejuvenate and to feel less pressure. If this works out well, he should miss less school and be able to stay more caught up with his work.

I’m very grateful that the head of the program at his school, as well as his guidance counselor are working with us and trying to come up with a way in which Brett can succeed this year.

Unfortunately, Eamonn was not able to start fall semester, as I had feared. Even if we had come up with the funds, we don’t have a second vehicle at the moment, and the fate of Izziethe Trooper is uncertain at best.

I feel really terrible that we weren’t able to get everything together in time, and to make matters worse, my ex called me up last week and cursed at me for three minutes for not getting the financial aid taken care of. It was a short conversation that ended with me saying something along the likes of, “If you’re so freaking concerned, why don’t you do something about it.”

Talking to a brick wallHis (my ex’s) reasoning that I needed to take care of everything and was falling down on the job was that his schedule is so full, and if that my computer was broken, why didn’t I go to library or something to use a computer? My pointing out that the financial aid was just one part of the equation didn’t matter. When I tried to tell him that even with the tuition taken care of, there was still no vehicle.

He actually asked me what happened to the Trooper, this after I had a conversation with him over two weeks ago about the Trooper dying on the way to Ohio. That’s the problem with trying to have rational conversations with someone who has an alcohol problem: You never know their condition when you tell them something important, and then they claim they were “never informed.”

Of course, I thought of a really good rejoinder after the nasty conversation ended: He lost the right to speak to me when he moved out of the house . . . This from the man who never took a day off to take any of the kids to the doctor. I did it because somehow I let him drill into me that it was easier for me to take a day from work.

Then I thought about it for a minute. He should have never had the right to speak to me that way. Why did I give him that right? Too often, verbal abuse isn’t recognized, even by its victims.

I wanna learn to live again . . . 

Butch Edentons Sunset
Sunset by Butch Edenton

Which brings me back to the subject of this post: the possibility of hope. I won’t pretend that Corey and I have a perfect relationship, but we have a really good relationship, and he doesn’t verbally abuse me. He doesn’t belittle me for my weird habits, and he loves me, imperfections and all. As do I him. Immensely.

Life has sucked lately, a lot. We run into walls, and we seem just cannot seem to get a break. But as I have been reminded of all too much with the loss of my uncle, we live in minutes and hours, not days and years.

I will make certain that Eamonn is ready for college next semester. I will take extra care to watch out for Brett’s signals that he is overwhelmed. I will enjoy the joy that my animals bring me.

I will remember to tell Corey that I really do appreciate everything that he does for me, even something as small but caring as making sure that I have Pepsi in the house. And I will appreciate the fact that I have a partner in life who could belittle me if that were his way, but it is not. His way is to tell me that he loves me every day of my life, to lie to me when I ask if I look fat, to tell me the truth when I ask about my writing, and to love and care for Eamonn and Brett unstintingly, including taking both of them to the doctor more times than I can count.

They are my shelter, my comfort, my great joy, and my peace of mind. With them, I really need nothing more.

Shantih, Shantih, Shantih.

Thank you for allowing me to be self-absorbed and for your kind words. But thank you more for continuing to visit here, for reading my words, and through your own words and beautiful images, for reminding me of all of the good and wonderful things in this world, one of which is this poem by one of my favorite writers, Langston Hughes.

Goodbye Uncle Melchor.

More later. Peace.

*Lyrics from “Dark Road,” by Annie Lennox

Mother to Son

by Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.