December 4, 2014

hello in there

Moon Peek
Things are not always what they seem. The thing that was in your boot all day, stabbing your foot painfully, turns out to be the diamond earring you lost yesterday. That cute beach place you found on VRBO turned out to look suspiciously "abandoned meth lab" featuring a bloody sock behind the bed, strange cables coming out of the wall. And then there are the people who turn out to be quite different than you thought. I kind of wonder sometimes what people think of me. They probably think I'm shy, or quiet, but really, I'm just listening. I don't know. Sometimes I do really feel like there is this spirit peering out of the windows of my eyes; I get a real sense of  being in this body temporarily. It's strange. I try to do it when I'm looking in the mirror but it doesn't really work. Maybe my spirit isn't recognizing itself in the mirror?

December 3, 2014

Past lives

Does everybody hang out in the past like I do? I de-stress by playing backgammon with my computer. As I play, I find myself back in some memory, trying to remember a detail, a sound, a smell. Tonight I was remembering a very cold, snowy day in Waltham Massachusetts. I was in kindergarten. I think the snow must have been very bad, because my parents wanted to go to the store, but instead of driving, they bundled us girls (3 of us!) up in our little gray hooded winter coats (I think they had red trim?) and put us on our sled. They pulled us through the streets to the store. I remember the snow drifts looked like big white walls. My mom had big "stadium" boots, I think they were called. But most of all, I remember the smell: a very fresh, cold smell that only newly fallen snow can make. Any time I sense that smell, it takes me back to little 5 year old me on that sled. I think they were going for cigarettes. I don't know.
Sometimes I wish instead of dwelling in the past I could put my mind to more useful things, like planning a dinner or writing a story. But on cold dark nights like this, I find comfort there, like I do when looking through one of my mom's many photo albums. I saw the movie "Interstellar" this past weekend, and I envied the wormhole that allowed the characters to time travel! Wouldn't that be wonderful.....


November 30, 2014

November

is always rough for me. The daylight is miserly, rainy, and cold. A rude reminder of the frigid nights to come. So yeah. I do always look forward to the bright spots that are Thanksgiving and Willa's birthday; it also means that the month is almost over and it's a nice reward for getting through the month. But a family member has been very ill, causing flashbacks to 20 years ago. Exactly 20 years.

We had shared a lovely Thanksgiving weekend in 1994 with my in-laws. We usually traveled to my dad's during the holiday week as well; but he was in the end stage of lung cancer. I was too pregnant to travel. I phoned Dad and his wife Nancy; they had had a quiet holiday dinner just the two of them. I felt immensely sad, remembering all the wonderful Thanksgivings we'd had in years past. We said good-bye to the in-laws pretty much by Saturday night and Sunday I began to have contractions. I didn't say anything to Matt until near the end of the day when I was feeling them regularly. I ended up having an emergency C-section, everything was crazy but we were ok. I talked to Dad the next day and told him about Willa. He was writing me an essay about Pearl, his mother, which is where Willa gets her middle name. By Wednesday, my mother-in-law was catching me as I collapsed at the news that my dad was probably not going to make it to the Christmas holidays. I talked to him again on Thursday, and even then he held out hope. I told him I loved him. I sent my older daughter with my sister to be with them all. I couldn't leave my bed. He died Saturday morning. It was a rush of emotions that week, more emotions than are usually felt much more gradually over a lifetime:  I felt ripped in half by love watching my older daughter withWilla and seeing the spark between them.... the horror that I was, really, going to lose my dad and realizing I had to stay strong for this little baby, and for myself.... the deep wells of grief I felt when he died, the frustration of being bedridden for almost a month....the gratitude I felt at the outpouring of support from my friends and other family. So, yeah.

Fortunately I got to spend a lot of time healing at home with my new little baby. I remember soft light, KD Lange on the CD player, my mother-in-law coming to feed me at lunch time. Hours staring at the baby's eyes, wondering at the same time, exactly where my dad was right now. So yeah, I'm always pretty glad when November is over.

....Segue...
All of a sudden Patti Smith is talking in my computer speakers. She's a guest host on some Bob Dylan podcast I was downloading and it shuffled in. Which reminds me. I was listening to some podcast last night -- I can't find which one, about a young lady who got the "opportunity" to audition as a private performer for the Prince of Dubai. At first, she rejected the idea, but then put it to her litmus test "What would Patti Smith Do?" (yes, she went). Yep, I've done that (the Patti Smith thing, not the Prince of Dubai thing). Not only that, I have imagined entire musicals with Patti Smith songs as the soundtrac. The song that would be playing for November would be "Kimberly:*" "I've also imagined a character who speaks only in Patti Smith lyrics. "Hey, Bibi, how are you today?" "Well, I feel like just some misplaced Joan Of Arc
And the cause is you lookin' up at me. How are you?"  So.

I'll take Patti Smith showing up in my playlist as an omen and keep moving forward. And besides, now Bob is singing "She Belongs to Me." My favorite Bob song. I've always thought it described Phoebe perfectly.

*"Kimberly"

The wall is high, the black barn,
The babe in my arms in her swaddling clothes
And I know soon that the sky will split
And the planets will shift,
Balls of jade will drop and existence will stop.
Little sister, the sky is falling, I don't mind, I don't mind.
Little sister, the fates are calling on you.

Ah, here I stand again in this old 'lectric whirlwind,
The sea rushes up my knees like flame
And I feel like just some misplaced Joan Of Arc
And the cause is you lookin' up at me.
Oh baby, I remember when you were born,
It was dawn and the storm settled in my belly
And I rolled in the grass and I spit out the gas
And I lit a match and the void went flash
And the sky split and the planets hit,
Balls of jade dropped and existence stopped, stopped, stop, stop.
Little sister, the sky is falling, I don't mind, I don't mind.
Little sister, the fates are calling on you.

I was goin' crazy, so crazy I knew I could break through with you,
So with one hand I rocked you and with one heart I reached for you.
Ah, I knew your youth was for the takin', fire on a mental plane,
So I ran through the fields as the bats with their baby vein faces
Burst from the barn and flames in a violent violet sky,
And I fell on my knees and pressed you against me.
Your soul was like a network of spittle,
Like glass balls movin' in like cold streams of logic,
And I prayed as the lightning attacked
That something will make it go crack, something will make it go crack,
Something will make it go crack, something will make it go crack.

The palm trees fall into the sea,
It doesn't matter much to me
As long as you're safe, Kimberly.
And I can gaze deep
Into your starry eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby,
Looking deep in your eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby,
Into your starry eyes, oh.

Oh, in your starry eyes, baby,
Looking deep in your eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby, oh.

Oh, looking deep in your eyes, baby,
Into your starry eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby


November 12, 2014

Sabotage

Upon hearing yet another story of someone close to me ending a relationship because their partner continually did things to sabotage it, I feel sad. I was in such a relationship, and now, some 30 years later, I think I know what was going on. My former partner really didn't think he deserved a good relationship; actually, he probably didn't know what a good relationship was, considering the alcoholic, selfish, neglectful partnership his parents shared. Every time there was an event, it involved liquor. We'd go over to their house in the afternoon, and there they'd be sitting in the TV room, half-gone gin and tonics sitting on the coffee table. His parents continually berated him, even as an adult, for silly things like a frayed buttonhole on his shirt. I know, as a child, he would be locked out of the house. He was often spanked. Other behavior like making him and his brother spend endless hours in a parked hot car while his parents shopped for antiques doubtless resulted in low self-worth.

Drinking is usually a factor, I've found. People who don't feel they deserve good things often self-medicate with liquor or other drugs (although it's mostly drinking, for some reason, in my experience, anyway). They drink, and pick fights, flirt outrageously with other people, forget important things like picking their partner up somewhere, do something outrageous at work to get them fired, or simply disappear. They also seem strangely accident-prone -- some kind of self-fulfilling fate, I suppose. My ex-partner did all those things and more. When I questioned anything I was often told that I should just leave. As a young wife, I didn't understand, and I thought (of course) it was my fault. My pride and desire to make everything better resulted in staying for 10 years! But after awhile, I figured it out, and also realized that I deserved a partner who knew they deserved me.

Isn't it sad, though, that there are all these otherwise usually charming, smart people who won't ever have a loving relationship? Why can't they make up their mind that, yes, they deserve someone who cherishes them, a job that fulfills them, dreams that can happen?


September 5, 2014

Promises Made to My Land

I love my backyard. I always feel like I'm in an embrace of all the trees, the sky, the air. It always smells so nice, flowery and woodsy. So I was sitting out there this evening, the temperature was perfect, just a bit tangy. And I was feeling that protected feeling, and finding myself saying "thank you." Although the half moon was nearly set, I could see very well. The clouds were reflecting whatever light there was. I always appreciate the silhouettes and shadows of the trees. I'm beginning to feel familiar with the shapes of the trees; the tempos of the biophony. I promised my land, the 5 acres of it at least, that I'd take care of it. I thought of all the things they do for me - shade, color, the wildlife it attracts... and I began to hear bells, little tinkly bells among the regular symphony. They stopped. I carried on with my thankfulness feelings.... and then they came again. That went on for awhile, and now I'm here, writing about it. Think I'll go wrap that night around me and go to sleep for awhile.

September 4, 2014

Doodling

I think I remember when I last really doodled. It was when I had an office job where we had a lot of meetings. I did some awesome doodles. I designed stuff to embroider.... or just for fun. I hated meetings; I still do. But now I fiddle with my fucking phone when I'm bored.

I loved to doodle in high school. I hated high school, too. Soooo much. My art teacher loved my doodles. I loved spirals, and I could draw them forever. It was meditative. And being in a meditative state, or a really stoned one, was the only way I could deal with the rednecks and pushy jocks. And I was just so bored. I can't remember most of what I supposedly learned. Oh, wait.... "BRITTANIA EST INSULA"!!!! What was that Latin teacher's name? Mrs. Livingstone?  She was huge, and somehow, misshapen. And old, very old. She walked with a limp, she might have had a cane. But she drew pictures on the chalkboard as she told us stories in Latin. It was great. But I do remember "Brittania est insula."  I had a really awesome 11th grade creative writing teacher. I can't remember her name but we had some really nice talks. But the rest of high school sucked. I just hated sitting still in a chair all day when there was life going on outside the classroom. I frequently skipped school. I'd just stay home, and maybe bake some bread or something.

Anyway, I found something I must have done in high school. I miss doodling. Think I'll pick it back up again.

August 31, 2014

Prove it

Both the parties here in WV are in a contest to prove who is the best example of how you can't tell the two apart. They are busy trying to kiss the biggest piece of King Coal's ass. Check out the two articles that appeared one right after the other when I searched for "West Virginia candidates."
According to the first linked article,  "Coal is key" during the first debate between Senate candidates. Then in the very next linked article, we find out that a poll shows that coal is not West Virginian voters' top priority.

So who's feeding who here? The coal mining industry is insisting that it is important to West Virginians, and spending the money to convince politicians that they are.

We all know what's going on. 

But here's the flip side, WV Progressives and Liberals. Picture this. You're one of 15,000 coal miners in West Virginia. You're this guy. Your daddy was a coal miner. His daddy was a coal miner. Ever since they came to America, dad's been a coal miner. You've put food on the table, bought a nice little house, have a nice little family. You quietly know that mining and coal is bad for the environment, as well as your own health, and you know you should care. But it's hard to think about all that happening so slowly, while your family is growing up so quickly.

But, just suppose, an exciting new business is coming to the area. Maybe it's a builder who installs solar panels, or a solar panel or geothermal manufacturer, maybe a research facility.  The company is paying for training. The hourly wage is at least $5 more than you're making now, and their benefits are amazing. The work environment is totally healthy and 100% safe. The business is owned by some metrobillies who also got some of that government money. The owners knew their political leaders would never figure it out, or admit that it was possible so they're doing it themselves. They  know that once people see this new economy in action, they'll realize how they've been lied to by the coal industry. And that is why the coal bosses are so afraid. 

So you go to work there. At first you feel disloyal to your old job, but then you start to learn new, leading edge skills and feel proud of yourself. You are so grateful that you were able to get involved in the ground floor of this thing! It makes you hopeful for your children.

..........
Or, maybe a bunch of those metrobillies bought a few hundred acres of land -- and built a wind farm. But instead of making a profit, they decided to form a co-op with the entire area, so they could all own it.

Who knows who will win these elections. The only way to prove to people that there is alternative to fossil fuels, is to prove it ourselves. Let's form partnerships, actively go after green manufacturers, buy acres and acres of land. People have the power! And they can OWN it too.