Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 349

It's reached the point where I just don't have it in me to go over the crap going on with my family again. I fluctuate from disgusted to weepy to frozen inside in no time at all. I've been spending a lot of time with friends, haven't been staying at the apartment much. I wouldn't say that I'm not enjoying my holiday, though. The break, the chance to heal somewhat, is a good thing and there's a lot of positive energy and love around me.

I'm still here and I wish everyone a beautiful holiday, however you choose to celebrate it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 340

I want to recap the whole mess that has been the last almost-week but it feels cruel to inflict that on those of you who read this. And, of course, some of you have been around for the day-to-day drama of the whole thing. But, to fill the rest of you in briefly...

Thursday: I started off exchanging texts with Amy about the family plans for xmas only to be brought up short by the suggestion that I talk to Angie about spending the 25th at her house with all of them (Mom, Kevin, Amy & her group as well as Angie & co.). At first, I debated the idea of asking permission to be at the family thing with Amy. Then, I resorted to repeating, to Angie, what I'd said to her right before the munchkins' birthdays--that I was planning to be there, that I was still planning to be civil with my mom, etc. I'm sure that it would've been better if I'd been able to call her but, being at work, I sent her a text. Didn't hear back from her but did get a phone call from my mother and a voicemail asking me to explain to all of them *why* they should let me be with them since I "don't believe in god, don't believe in xmas and don't want to be around them any other time." After that, I just started falling into the whole family drama cycle and went home from work. Tried calling both Angie and Amy to talk about the whole thing but got voicemail and left Angie a message. That got me a response from Angie, finally. I'll spare those of you who haven't heard it already. But, to relay the gist of it, she didn't want to speak with me as she was pissed that I'd assumed (rather than ask permission) I could be at her house on xmas day and that she didn't want me to be there and that she'd shared with the kids what had been going on. No idea what that means, exactly. Maybe she's passing on to them just how sin-filled my life is or that I've been terribly mean to their Mem or that I've been brain-washed and am not fit to be near them anymore... I am allowed to be at the extended family gathering at my aunt's, though.

Friday: I took off work and stayed home. It was not my favorite day.

From then to now, I've been going back and forth between questioning whether I have, finally, done the worst thing possible for the kids and put myself above them, selfishly to feeling like I've done all of this for a good reason and that my 'family' is just being shitty and cruel to just plain crying my eyes out over the whole mess. Numbness, as recommended by a friend, hasn't set in. When I think about the fact that the munchkins are being actively turned against me... Well, I try not to think too much about that. I can't say that I'm totally broken down, thankfully, which is good. Several of my friends have been keeping me from shutting myself off from things and almost everyone I know has stepped up with an offer of hospitality for the holiday. It still makes me tear up, thinking about all the kindness that my friends have shown me in this. I have to, in particular, say that J.C. and Ella have been awesome at getting me out of the house and making me laugh. (Is it weird that I feel guilty for laughing?) Brandie nudging me to go to at least some of the jeerleader holiday party, C saying she wanted to scoop me up and take me to GA with her and to smack my sister's head into the wall, all the invites to spend xmas with people at their family gatherings... I just don't know *how* to offer thanks enough except to say, again, that I love all of you.

Yesterday was interesting as I sort of felt some numbness soaking in. It seemed to make the day go by faster and I barely felt it when a couple people asked me about what I was doing for the holidays. However, I owe the fact that I feel much more human today to a wonderful talk with C that made me feel both silly for not turning to her right away in all this and so supported and cared about. I held back some of the things that felt uglier in the beginning of this mess, feeling so damaged/tainted somehow by being the woman whose family could behave like this. Then, I also talked with my father (Doc) about things. As closely connected as it seems everyone in Southern MO is, I started thinking it was time to come out with him, as well, so that he didn't hear it from one of my aunts or someone else that my mother vented to. His reaction took me completely off guard. I must have gotten some degree of my tolerance from him and his family. Doc: "I figured you were going to say you were just an outright lesbian. Did I say that right? That'd be okay, too, just so you know!" *sighs* I'm 34 years old and I don't think I'll ever stop being surprised at humanity.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 334

Last night was the BASL discussion meeting. Nothing is better than spending an evening with a group of people with whom you don't have to 'hide the weird.' I somehow ended up being the facilitator of the discussion so I threw some Glee talk in for good measure. Lots of giggling over the idea of stealing Baby Jesuses (Jesi?) from nativity scenes to test their GPS capability. It's an awesome group. I hope I didn't *really* run the newbie who joined us last night off...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 333

Recent dreams: One in which I was on a cruise with assorted people from my life, including my sister, J.C. and some coworkers. While on said cruise two other cruise ships blew up and I rescued a little boy from one only to realize he was my son. Then, I lost him in the confusion on *our* ship and fell overboard while my sister watched and did nothing.

Dream 2 has faded except for the part in which my sister shot me in the chest six times while I tried to hide in a public restroom.

And yet, I still summoned up the nerve to ask what the family xmas was going to involve this year. Waiting for a response on that text. Still planning to shop for them the same way, regardless. I just need to know whether to ship the gifts I buy or whether I'll get to deliver them in person.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 326

The idea seems to be out there that I’ve lost my ‘muchness’ these days. I don’t like that floating around in the universe. So, I’m blogging today in a typically random way about some things that I think balance it out.

1) I have the word ‘wish’ on the brain a lot lately. I like it. It seems particularly holiday-ish to me. Of course, I’m also going to blame its persistence on Brandie since she started talking about wish bread for the Yule party she and Chris are hosting at their new home.

2) I also have to say that a new bright spot is in my life. Let’s just call her ‘C’ for now. She makes me grin a lot these days.

3) I’m in the process of narrowing down books to give the Munchkins for their Yule gifts this year. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

4) Almost on the last stage in the latest lace project I’ve been working on and 2/3 of the way done with some rainbow socks for another friend who makes me grin with his silliness and irreverence.

5) I appreciate irreverence more and more these days, btw. Saw a car today with a silver Jesus-fish type shark on it that said ‘lawyer’ inside it. Made me giggle.

6) One thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot is the nature of the universe. I was talking with someone (okay, I admit it, it was C) about the belief that the universe is ultimately benevolent. I’ve heard the idea that everything is chaotic and/or random but I just don’t feel that that’s true. I’ve seen a lot of bad things out there but, deep down, I have a sense that balance and peace are being sought after by whatever higher power exists.

7) I’ve been on a baking kick. Went out to J.C.’s house the other day to make oatmeal raisin cookies and, now, I’m thinking it’s time to start playing with some new cookie recipes for the holiday gatherings coming up. Something with cranberries and dark chocolate, maybe…

8) I dreamt of sunflowers last night. I wonder if I could grow some in the apartment.

9) More teaching applications will be going out soon for spring. I’m so ready for a job where I don’t scan things all day long. Had a potential interview with St. Charles Comm. College but I haven’t heard anything since they contacted me and I confirmed my interest.

10) I went to see the new Harry Potter movie the other night. Best adaptation of the books so far. I cried, I confess.

11) Lacking from my calendar so far is any celebration for New Year’s Eve. If someone is planning something, I meekly request an invite… If not, it may be time for another potluck at my place.

12) It’s time to go dancing again. Anyone else think that? Let me know!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 324

I've not really blogged in what feels like a long time now. Mostly, it's because everything feels so jumbled lately. There is the persistent family issue, feeling rejected for the simple act of being who I am, for acting according to what seems right to me. Being out as a bisexual was not initially a 'decision' with my mother but the result of answering the phone at a bad time, while melting down over heartbreak. That was over two years ago. From then until a few months ago, I kept my silence, thinking it was better to keep the peace and hide parts of myself from the people I'm tied to by blood. Then, an inadvertent slip on Facebook made me realize that I couldn't keep hiding. I was tired of monitoring everything in an attempt to avoid controversy only to have a hammer slammed down on me when I slipped up or something out of control revealed the truths they didn't want to hear. That was sometime in June. I sat my mother down and explained to her that, like it or not, it was time that she accept me as I am, love me for the real me and that I felt an apology for some of the labels she was pasting on me was in order. I realize that some of this is redundant for some reading this and new to others. Forgive me for repetitiveness. To jump up to more recent events, my sister and my mother have been working hard to bring me 'back in line' through a lot of emails and efforts to get other family members to cut me out of their lives. It's been hard. I miss Alex, Emma and Parker a lot. Luckily, I got to see Parker for a bit when I drove down for a birthday lunch with Amy and Kevin had Alex and Emma call me while Angie was out on the actual day.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, possibly my favorite day of the year. It's always been a less stressful day and, to me, more about sharing time with those we love than gifts or religion or anything that divides people. Yesterday, I was with the people who have provided me more support and love in all this mess than I know what to do with some days. Lately, being treated with the kindness and understanding they give me makes me tear up (happy tears). I continue to try and focus on that, on what makes me smile. Like I said, there are days when it's difficult. At one point yesterday, I stood and watched the snow fall and wondered what the munchkins were doing. But, I remain thankful. It was a good day and I felt surrounded by love and light for much of it. I have to bastardize the video campaign promoted by Dan Savage and just keep telling myself that it will get better.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 308

Dear Grandpa,

Today's your birthday and you're on my mind as you are every year. I miss you. I think often about the things you taught me and the mannerisms you had that made you you. Of course, I'll always associate you with the jelly beans you kept on your dresser and the memories of you when I hear certain hymns are almost overwhelming. Today I find myself recalling the way you had a coconut cake each year and your sense of humor. That smartass streak you had, not that I would ever have called it that in your presence, seems to have been passed down to several of us and I know I find strength in that humor so often. I keep thinking of stories that Mom, Francie and Edna handed down to me--tales of how you would sit with me for hours, holding me when I was a baby, the way you punched Zeno Boyer for popping Keith's balloon and making him cry, how you used to chase Grandma through the house and catch her and tickle her until your kids pounced on you both...

Sometimes, lately, I think about the direction my life has taken, the things that make me so happy now that others find fault with and wonder how you would have reacted. I try to weigh the man you were as a minister with all those ideas about sin with the memories I have of you opening your home to me and Mom when she was ending her marriage to Doc or how you spoke out when she left Kevin, encouraging her to pursue happiness over stability. I think, honestly, that you shared that attitude with Grandma that being a family and supporting each other was the most important thing and that you would have found a way to still love me and be happy for me.

There are so many things I wish I had asked you, so many moments I would like to return to. You taught me what strength really was and that being strong didn't mean that you couldn't cry when a song touched you or that you couldn't laugh and be silly as an adult. I love you so much for all you were in your life and all that you gave me to carry on in my own life. You and Grandma are always, always with me.

With a heart full of love,


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 290

Last week, I was in a place where I could see things improving with some of my family over time. Particularly with my sisters, I felt like they were growing more accepting and tolerant of me. And then I got the most hurtful message from Angie and it just made me realize how little interest they have in being a family with me at all. I still got to visit the munchkins for their birthdays but everything felt different and false. More so than it ever has. I don't know what else to say or do with them but the fragile hope I had has faded almost completely. I've been telling myself since that it will get better or hurt less but I simply can't see how right now. The one thing that has provided some comfort are the many messages of support and love that I've gotten from my friends over the last few days. Shoulders to cry on, hugs, willingness to listen-I need more vocabulary to fully articulate just how much I needed those things and how readily available they were from people who were (in some cases) also directly targeted by my sister with hurtful words and labels. That's all I have right now. Maybe tomorrow will find me with more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 285

I got married 14 years ago today. Maybe someday October 19th will just be another day and I won't find myself occupied by the two thoughts that have kept recurring all day long. Thought 1: I know that I both did the best thing for me in ending my marriage and that it was a decision that I made under pressure and not in the way I would have liked to have made it. I regret that I couldn't find a way to end things calmly and honorably after the years I spent with Alan. But, I'm not fond of hanging on to what's gone and I value my ability to look ahead. Things ended. My life is different now and, in many, many, ways I have a far richer life now than I believed possible before November 2007. I'm happier now and more at peace more of the time. And yet, thought 2: I feel like I contribute very little to the world around me. I enjoy my life and I recognize what I've done in pulling myself back up out of the hole I lived in for a very long time. But I still wish that I were able to see something more than just the passage of time being accomplished as days, weeks and months pass. Failing in the attempt to help a friend who needs it recently-I'm still just disappointed in myself and my lack of patience. I think it disappeared at some point near the end of my marriage. Even though I care deeply about people, I have so much less tolerance and just plain patience than I used to have and I feel very badly about that lack in my character.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 276

I finally got in that hike I'd been promising myself and it was so great to get out in the woods, far enough out that the traffic noise disappeared. I really pushed myself this time and that tiredness might be why I have felt so 'blah' the rest of the day. Had to take scissors and cut away some of Sable's fur since she seems to be developing some kind of skin condition. Hopefully it clears up without a vet appointment. Back to the blahs-I'm starting to feel like the only single woman left around here again. Big, empty, apartment and a growing feeling of purposelessness and getting a couple buttons pushed have me feeling like I'm turning into my father despite all efforts to avoid it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 271

The last few days have been rough. I'm starting to feel a downward slide in my mood as winter approaches. And, I'm trying to think of ways to combat it but they're just not readily forthcoming at the moment. Mostly, I'm trying to just not devote much energy to that feeling so that it doesn't get a stronger hold on me.

One thing that has been occupying my mind a lot lately is the way some people approach dating/romantic relationships and how it varies from my evolving perspective on it. Back when I was married, the idea of belonging to one person was a big deal. He was *my* husband, my responsibility, my other half, etc. And, one of the things I realized in the process of extricating myself from that relationship is that that way of thinking is just unhealthy for me. So, now I find myself looking at other people's relationships and wondering why they would pursue such an attitude or whether it's healthier for them than it turned out to be for me. Anymore, what I ideally want is not someone with whom I shut out the rest of the world but someone who engages with it along with me, who could add to and join the circle of friends I so value rather than drawing me away from them. I've been spending more time lately with a couple who seem to really have the healthiest marriage I've encountered. Brandie and Chris truly seem to be each other's best friend and partner and I notice that there is an attitude of openness and support for each other's outside interests and friendships. I hope that it's not as rare as it seems to be. Are they the only ones who can achieve that? I certainly see a lot of couples who *don't* manage to do that successfully but, having seen that someone, somewhere, can make that happen makes me think that I wouldn't want to settle down with someone with whom I didn't have that.

My last doctor's appointment turned up a vitamin D deficiency and I'm still deciding whether to go ahead and get the supplements she prescribed or not. Been spending time outside when possible in an effort to get more sun and I'm hoping that that will help to correct the issue.

I did get to spend weekend before last with the munchkins and it was exactly what I needed. Emma has developed quite a bit of sass over the last few years and, despite the fact that she bloodied Alex's lip at one point, I think it's actually a good quality in her. She doesn't take anyone's shit. On the other hand, I think Alex's confidence level is still about the same and I'm starting to have some concerns about ways to get him out of his shell more. He did well at football and is still pursuing guitar lessons so maybe he'll strike a balance there with time. Parker? He's a chunky little ball of sunshine and should be walking anytime now.

I've been trying to be more active in the community (think I talked about that some in a previous post) but I'm finding that difficult to balance at times with other activities. I love jeerleading but I need to find some kind of balance with that and other things.

Oh, and I'm putting together ideas for my birthday next month. I hope that some people who couldn't make it last year will be able to this time around.

That's about it for now. More another day, hopefully with knitting goodness included.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 264

I'm swiping another idea from a friend's blog today. A fellow knitter, Ann, is always posting a Tuesday Ten in her blog. Here's my version.

Ten things I believe:

1) There is, generally, more wisdom to be found books that used to be written for children than in books written today for adults. For evidence, I point to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Anne of Green Gables and Little Women.
2) The power of single words or simple sentences is far too often underestimated. They have more ability to create and destroy than anything else I can think of.
3) If you hurt someone, it is your responsibility to try and make amends somehow. The idea of relying on a deity or some other external figure to fix it is just passing the buck.
4) The practice of genderizing colors, music, activities, literature, etc., is really abhorrent.
5) Lennon was right. All we really do need is love. Starting with oneself is the hardest but most important step in that.
6) No one ever made better fried chicken than Gladys McGuire and no one ever will.
7) Someone who treats animals and children with disdain is someone who is damaged inside. Everyone doesn't have to love all animals or want to be a parent but basic kindness should always be able to extend itself to the smallest among us.
8) Everyone should read to their children. Every day, if possible. Even when they've become strong readers themselves.
9) The truest families are the ones we create for ourselves.
10) Most adults don't play enough. I will always have to acknowledge the wisdom of regressing to childhood and playing periodically. It feeds us just as nature, the beauty of music, art, and literature do.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 260

I'm fairly tired and it's not even ten yet. So, I'm not feeling like putting together a bunch of wisdom in this post. But, I do like to recycle the wisdom where I find, especially when it comes from a musical. So, I'm going to fall back on something from Oklahoma! for this blog rather than just giving a random list. Aunt Eller in that one said, "You have to take the good on one side and and the bad on the other and say, 'All right then to both of ya!' "

Good stuff:
1) I get to leave work a half hour early which means more time in Munchkinland this weekend.
2) I'm starting to take ever larger steps to decluttering my life and the apartment which means that certain things that needed to be moved out and certain strings that needed cut are being taken care of. It's not huge steps but not baby steps either. I need a new term for those kinds of steps in the direction of assertiveness.
3) I finished Emma's cape and I think it's adorable. I just hope it'll fit her and that she likes it.
4) I finally broke down and bought a digital camera. Not so fancy but I like it and I think it'll make putting pics from various happenings in life/knitted objects/the munchkins online much easier.
5) I've been enjoying being more involved with BASL lately. As an organization, it's a really positive one and I think that there's a lot of potential building there.
6) Sort of connected to #5-It seems that I've both been more social (or maybe just social with different people or different groups of people)lately and finding more time to be home and to pursue some interests I had been neglecting. So, more reading is getting done as well as more knitting. I'd let feeding those interests fall by the wayside over the last few months and it's good to reconnect with those aspects of myself.

Really there's not much to list under this heading, just a few small things here and there mainly. I've had some days recently when I wished I could discuss things with Rachel but I've done okay. Not great-I can't claim that because one day in particular was really tough. And it left me wondering just what it is about friendships and relationships that is so damn difficult sometimes. And, what's so tough about communication and honesty? I know that we all have our fears and, I'm certainly not the person to claim title for best at either thing. I have to own up to having been blatantly dishonest with a very good friend on one occasion in particular out of fear over the reaction honesty might have gotten me. But, with that exception, I try to be honest as I can be. Well, okay, I do get a certain kick out of being cryptic. But I don't like secrets, being deceived or being mocked behind my back. And, the past few days seems to have been hitting on all of them, in one way or another and to one degree or another. Well, some of the above were lessened after conversation. But, some of it wasn't. And all of it has left a bad taste in my mouth and has me wondering just who I can trust completely anymore.

Overall, I feel pretty okay at the moment. I've just been hitting some bumps lately. But, to go back to being positive, I pat myself on the back for not melting down over them. *And*, I am looking forward to my weekend with the kids. It's going to be good. I think, based on Emma's recent phone call, that they need some time with me just like I need some time with them.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 255

Today was BASL's Swingin' Social and it went really well. Lots of people that don't always get to make the events and even a newbie joined us. It was a pretty successful event and, actually, the whole weekend was good. So wiped out now, basically but I can't seem to fall asleep without getting some thoughts out of my head first.

Sometimes I just don't feel like I know where I fit with everyone or what my purpose in this mixed-up bag that life is. I believe in my own worth and appeal in an intellectual, logical sense. The sense that all of us are valuable and worthwhile, I mean. Sometimes I don't know exactly how that value could be measured in a non-esoteric, every person is special, sense or what my actual contributions to this world/life are. I'm surrounded by artists, activists, parents, workers for social justice in different forms... And, I really do wonder just what I offer that makes me friend-worthy. Seeing it myself and knowing that it's perceived by others are two different things. I always want a scorecard or a system of measurement to use and evaluate these things. "Well, I see you're an A on friendship and listening ability but just a B on the interesting factor. I'll have to sleep on it before I decide what level to award you." I'm not trying to express anger or sadness (although I could understand that interpretation of this post) but to give voice to some of the perplexedness I feel when faced with questions like "What do people always love about you." Mostly I fall back on 'nice' or 'funny' for those but I do think and hope that there's more being seen in my character than just those two terms.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 252

From a friend's Facebook page: "Is "tough love" an oxymoron, or isn't it?"

It's always seemed odd to me that we have embraced this concept so whole-heartedly in modern life. In an age of self-disclosure writ large, (witness the phenomenon of blogs, talk shows, etc.) we seem to have also adopted a tough guy approach to interpersonal relationships. Just about the worst thing one can be these days is too needy or co-dependent or lacking independence. And, most of the time, I find this a very healthy approach. Of course we should be responsible for our own emotions! Of course independence is valuable and should be encouraged. And, in terms of the idea of 'tough love,' I think what most people mean is that they want to be assertive of their boundaries and needs. When it comes right down to it, that's what I did when the time to end my marriage arrived. For, ultimately, being with someone who doesn't respect your individuality at all is the height of unhealthiness.

And yet...

When does the line between protecting yourself or being assertive and being cruel or disconnected from those around you get crossed? Too often, I think, 'tough love' simply serves as an excuse to be harsh and demanding of those we say we love, a way to ensure that our needs are met even at the expense of someone else's. (This does *not* apply to the source of the question.) What troubles me equally about the concept is that it seems difficult to balance with an idea that I really hold dear: that we are all connected and interdependent in this world. We need each other to get by. We need back up and support networks and friends and family and love, above all. I don't think anyone ever suffers from an excess of love.

So, what's the answer? Is 'tough love' an oxymoron? No, it isn't. It's just a misappropriated, bastardized term far too often. To my way of thinking, we all seek a balance between our own independent, assertive selves and the ability to connect deeply with others in meaningful ways. That beautiful, happy, medium must lie somewhere in the middle as so many things do. Finding it is the Grail of our modern age. Here's to the continued search!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 248

Brick by brick by brick I built them once
Rough though they were, scraping the skin raw
Where some brushed against them,
They were built high and strong
And they served me well.
Let me be the cryptic, the literature buff...
Far more together in appearance then than now.
Brick by brick I took them down only to be reminded
(Perhaps too late)why they were there.
Now the hands that once put the walls up so easily
Are the ones left raw and bleeding.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 242

So, Mia is aggravating me again, leading to internal debate about writing and disclosure and quality of writing. And, yes, I realize the insanity that could be deduced from that sentence. But, I've been told by other creative types (aspirant (as opposed to being fully deserving of it) to the label that I am) that personifying one's muse is fairly common and often helpful. In the interests of getting some of this conflict out, I'm throwing it on here. Basically, the debate goes something like this:

Mia: Nice skirt. You ever going to finish it?
Me: *sighs* It's a cape for Emma. And, yes, it's almost done.
Mia: (leans over my shoulder) It's fucking huge. Kid'll never wear the damn thing. Put it away and write something.
Me: I'm just relaxing. I'll blog later.
Mia: Bitch, you've been saying that for days. That last entry was just sad. That poem? The fucking dentist poem? Subpar. Get off your ass and write. (Looks through journals)
Me: You know I've been thinking a blog post out. But, they've been really negative lately and I'm trying to be a bit more positive and stuff.
Mia: Fuckin' blah blah blah. You're bitchy. Try and hide it all you want-it's gonna show up again soon anyway. Get. off. your. ass. and. write. (Pulls out half-finished story) Look at this shit! You started that 'un in FEBRUARY!
Me: Yeah but it was too revealing. I'd never publish it anyway. And, I decided the narrator was too defensive.
Mia: Fuck publishing! Finish the damn thing! (Kicks me in the shins) At least write a friggin' blog entry so people don't just think you're dead or abandoning writing completely. Write about this weekend or dating or those fuckin' munchkins!
Me: I'm not writing about certain things. I can't get that personal. Who knows who all is reading the blog anymore? Plus...
Mia: Again with that shit? I *know* you get the blog concept. Fuck, even J.C. told you to write about what you were doing and your feelings and all that bullshit. You're still not doing it and you even *agreed* with him! Aw, you're a fuckin' wuss.
Me: FINE. (Puts away knitting and gets laptop)
Mia: (Grins smugly and goes to eat the last of the chips)

So, in order to satisfy the abusive muse who keeps after me...

Things with my mom are still the same. I haven't heard from her and it's actually reducing my stress level greatly. I did have some flashes of guilt last week over being a bad daughter but this last fight was the final straw. There will be no repeats and I'm not caving. Cold? Maybe. Honest? Finally and absolutely. I told her in my last message that she needed to apologize, accept me 100% and adjust her behavior. I blame replaying 'Defying Gravity' over and over but this is much better for me. I've been keeping in touch with Angie and Amy more and that's been good. Might be visiting IL w/Amy near the end of this month. I miss the kids and a weekend away would be good.

On dating? Screw you, Mia, I'm not getting specific. Let's just say it's been very nice and fun. And, given the way things have been changing with some of my friends lately, I'm not sure if I'm entering a new phase here or not. I'm enjoying myself (despite my tendency to want to stomp my feet and throw a minor fit when things change) and working on figuring out exactly how the whole dating 'thing' is supposed to work. *gets jabbed in the neck* Okay, I'm having a good time. And, I'm forcing myself as much as possible not to overthink it and to just ask myself if I'm having fun and happy. Increasingly, that answer is 'yes.'

I have nearly given up on finding a new job. Searches on the net aren't turning anything up and I have little time to look at work now anyway since it seems like someone is *always* in the office, peeking at my computer screen. It's a downer but I'm wondering if I'm not just meant to stay put for a bit in the interests of further moving toward full-fledged adulthood. I want out and I feel increasingly tainted by the job but I feel like I just can't get away to anything else yet.

It's autumn. My favorite time of year. I'm smiling more lately. When you come right down to it, that and my efforts to refocus on more positive things (i.e., driving to work and looking for *anything* to use as a happy thought for the day) are good.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 238

On A Thursday For J.C.

Stupid dentist prodded my teeth into a state of whimpering pain
And vowed to reduce their numbers soon
Seemed fitting for a day that started pleasantly cool
Only to turn steamy halfway through
A Thursday-close enough to the weekend to
Rake your fingernails along its edge
But not close enough to justify
Rumandcokelunch. So, the irritating mess of my mouth
And I will stay put and content ourselves with
Ibuprofen cocktails.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 235

When I was a kid, my mom and I used to argue periodically about whether a person can feel more than one thing at a time and/or have more than one motivation. She, somewhat simply, refused to acknowledge that this was at all possible. One motivation, one emotion, one way of viewing actions and thoughts. I still want to win that argument because, these days, I'm feeling about 5 things at once sometimes. Happy that good things are happening for friends, jealous that they're not happening for me, scared that they never will, disgusted and frustrated with my inability to simply feel pure, unselfish gladness and gratitude for what *is* good, sad that I'm just not getting out of this job that I feel more and more guilty for doing... I want a pensieve now. Each of these emotions jostles the others aside at times and makes for even more of a mess when I try to explain them to someone only to be met with disbelief because, I suppose, they've picked up on one of the other contenders for emotion of the moment. *sighs* I'm 33. Somehow, the fact that everything is still this complicated makes me long for a way to turn the clock back just a year or two so that I can process this at more leisure.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 239

So, apparently, I only write on Tuesdays now? Weird. Back from a much needed (albeit too short) visit to Stina's. Someone asked me what we did during the visit and then asked how come we didn't really go do anything. I was amused. Last visit, it's true, we did a bit more running than we did this past weekend but, one of the things that I appreciate about visits to my chosen sister is there's absolutely no pressure. Something sounds good and the weather cooperates (or, as with last time, if she has a class assignment) we head out. If it sounds good to just hang at the house and watch movies and talk each others' ears off, catching up, we do that. No pressure; just going with the flow, basically, and resting. Maybe other people get that more in their day-to-day lives than I do but I appreciate so much the respite it provides. Then, of course, there's Stina herself, the most grounded person I know. Everyone should have a Stina in their life. (Yes, Stina, I know you have your moments and could tell some stories. That's your label. Accept it.) Another label she has come to deserve over the years I've known her: family.

There's a label that takes me into the less fun area of this post. It's a double-edged sword, that label. I've been the odd one out in the family I was born into for, hell, my whole life, I guess. I'm the girl who'd rather read than go shopping/play sports/whatever, the girl who couldn't cut with scissors properly and who took *forever* to get the hang of driving (without significant property damage, anyway). I'm the unrepentant Pagan bisexual in a family of conservative Baptists. Even without all that, I'm the girl who grew up knowing that family members could just disappear on you without a backward glance.

That knowledge and the accompanying sense of insecurity...I do know that that's what motivated me to maintain relationships that were unhealthy for me. But, it's also what has driven me to try and build a family that is the supportive (and source of constructive criticism when needed), loving, accepting group that I longed for for years. It's an ongoing, evolving process that isn't without its bumps in the road and resultant bruises. Due in large part to my personal hangups, no doubt. I fear rejection and I dread loss. Sometimes, even the small rejections (or perceived ones) make it so much harder to continue to risk further. When I was growing up, I swore I would have an even number of children (i.e., two or four) so that no one would feel like the oddball, the one left out while two of them bonded and went their own way or made one the butt of all their jokes. And, yet, life moves on at its own pace and loss is a part of that. People leave our lives for a lot of reasons. Relationships end and we make ourselves go on. That doesn't mean it's easy or that I, especially, cope with it well. And, the fact that this is the week when I lose a major source of support makes this a tough time for me (as does realizing ever more vividly what a dream that keeps recurring means over the last few weeks). I pat myself on the back for managing to keep going and not let that become bigger than it has to be. I'm trying to do that, anyway. Trying to find the evidence that, even if I do lose at times, there will still be those who won't disappear as I inevitably, humanly, fumble and make missteps. My gratitude and love for those people is immeasurable.

(Sorry for the somewhat morose entry today. I promise more sunshine another day.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 232

The week sped by. I meant to post more last week but, suddenly I turned around and it was the weekend and last weekend was *nuts*. Derby Saturday (including an actual routine by the Jeerleaders) was preceded by working at the Farmer's Market and a lunch and movie date. (No, I won't get into the date or the Jeerleader routine on here. For date details ask me privately. There's a video of the Jeerleader stuff on Facebook.) Sunday I was so wiped out and dehydrated that I didn't do much of anything but lie around and watch Buffy. I'm almost done with the series now. *Someone* insists that all the characters get slaughtered in the final episode. I remain skeptical and have so far resisted temptation to look around online for spoilers that would confirm or deny it.

Discovered that, not only am I rapidly accumulating white hair in my eyebrows as well as atop my head, but that my eyelashes are coming in white now. Nice.

Things are the same with my mom. She and I are just going to keep butting heads until one of us gives in, I think. I'm tired of being called evil and wrong, though. I wonder from one day to the next sometimes whether sticking to my guns on this one is a sign of maturity or stubbornness. Maybe both?

Emma has an appointment with a thyroid specialist at Children's tomorrow so maybe I'll get to see her for a bit. I hope so.

More times with several of my friends swinging in parks around the area have been so much fun that I think we're going to incorporate it in an upcoming get-together. What strikes me most about those times, aside from the pure fun I have during them, is the pictures that have come from the outings. I keep hearing (from people who really notice these things)that I've lost weight. And, obviously, I'm aware of it as I have to buy new clothes when things stop fitting. But, I guess I still don't see it or I didn't until some really recent pictures started getting put online. To clarify: weight loss has never been a goal for me in recent years. Eating more healthily and ethically as well as reconnecting with nature has been. Seems that the two are going to go hand-in-hand for now, at least. In terms of food, in general, I've not been cooking at home as much and that needs to change. For some reason, devoting time to learning recipes and cooking has lost a bit of its appeal since this time last year. I think part of it is just that it's more challenging to cook for one person than I realized. And not good challenging.

I was greatly amused by yesterday as it was declared 'Pester Anita Fitzwater Day' on Facebook and several of my friends went all out to find amusing/tacky/bizarre things to post on my page. Only at the very end of the day did I see anything *truly* aggravating but I think they enjoyed the search for things to share as much as I enjoyed seeing what they came up with. Sequels devoted to each of them will be coming up soon.

This weekend will find me in Kentucky, visiting Stina and Tor again for a few days. I need a break and some serious girl talk. There may even be baking of cupcakes! So excited to get away for a bit. I'm worn down and even bitchier than usual lately.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 225

Since it’s the 10th and I’ve got nothing really important to share, here are ten random thoughts.

1) Trying to decide whether painting my bedroom purple would be worth the hassle of repainting later. On one hand, duh, a purple bedroom would just be kick-ass. On the other, painting it twice? Not so awesome.
2) The little stress ball I keep on my desk has been named Mikey for ages but, the more I look at him lately, the more I think he might actually be a Bert instead.
3) Been reading the second of George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Ice series for reasons I’ve forgotten. 500+ pages in and I’m really just reading it to be done now.
4) I keep looking at this sweet potato plant that I threw in a bucket with some potting soil and have just left in the yarn room. It’s getting huge now and I’ve got *no* idea what to do with it when it outgrows its bucket.
5) I like the word ‘earthy’ a lot lately for some reason.
6) I watched the musical episode from Buffy the Vampire Slayer like three times. And, every time I watch it, the scene where Anya goes all rock n’ roll about evil bunnies *still* makes me nearly cry with laughter.
7) Along the same lines, I need to find a way to make a ribbon award for someone who made me laugh so hard I had to pull the car over and let someone else drive the other day.
8) I spent most of today booking meetings for 2011. It sucks. But, I got the nicest email from another administrative assistant, telling me she felt my pain and that I was doing a great job. Her name? Karma.
9) Before I leave this job, I’m going to seriously consider sneaking a year’s worth of breath mints into a certain coworker’s office just to see how he responds. Stop chewing tobacco all day long, dammit!
10) I keep wondering if Jane Austen *would* appreciate that Jane Austen Fight Club video that’s gone viral recently. I sort of picture her finding it amusing, especially when the girls wander around all disheveled and just shrug it off.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 224

So, those of you who have Facebook (shame on all who don’t!) got that status where I mentioned some things that are going on with my niece, Emma. Emma’s had her share of health issues so far. Nothing has been really serious but several things that have been painful and/or required visits to Children’s Hospital. First there were the tubes in her ears, her adenoids and her tonsils. Those three things we got knocked in one day of surgery, miserable as that made her. Then, there was the issue with her kidneys/bladder and the multiple infections/doctor’s visits/meds for those. (And, let’s *not* even get into the dumbassery that she had to deal with in Marion due to a urologist who didn’t understand that kids are different from adults and require pain meds for certain tests…)

Now, she’s almost 7 and, imo, pretty scrawny. Her weight’s been between 46 and 48 lbs for about the last two years. She runs fevers a lot still and, during last month’s visit to the Magic House, she suddenly had a spike in temperature and got *very* tired and cranky within just a few minutes. Then, when her ankles started swelling about two weeks ago, her mom (my sister, Angie) took her in for testing. First set of blood tests, fairly inconclusive except for the presence of a hyperactive thyroid. That’s when the doctor started talking about the possibility of Lyme disease or Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or some other variety of arthritic inflammation. The ankles, according to Em, aren’t painful unless they’re pressed on but, at least last time she and I talked, that made wearing even tennis shoes a problem. So, during this visit, she’s been running around in flip flops, climbing the monkey bars and playing fairly normally. I’d be more concerned if she seemed less Emma-like but, the uncertainty of this combined with the wait time required to get her to the specialists she needs to see is a pain in the ass to say the least. Right now, Lyme disease has been ruled out but a referral to a thyroid specialist is in the works. As for the possibility of some form of arthritis, there is obvious inflammation in the joints but the cause is still a question mark. The process of getting her referred to a Pediatric Rheumatologist, according to Angie and the insurance drones, will take around three weeks. Add that to the required six weeks they say Em has to display symptoms for and we’re looking at a significant wait unless they can somehow combine visits with the thyroid doc and the rheumatologist. That’s sort of what the hope is at this point. Either that or the much more pleasant possibility that the blood work will come back and tell something it’s not revealing now.

So. I’m trying not to spend too much time dwelling on the possibility that something else will be wrong that will require painful testing or surgery or an extended visit to Children’s Hospital. I’m concerned but taking some comfort in the fact that she *did* laugh and play and have a good time at the park during this visit. Generally, I try to find at least a few minutes alone with her (and Alex) during Munchkinland times. Alex, to switch gears, seems to be growing more introverted and shy as he gets older. We talk about school and his guitar lessons and what new Lego creations he’s come up with, mostly, but he’s still one to fling himself at me for a hug at random moments. Trying to connect with him takes more work than with Emma, sometimes, but he’s an Air sign, literal, future geek (hopefully). Emma, my fellow Scorpio, is much more emotional and goofy with me. As for Parker, at four months, I’m going to hold off on the labels just yet. He’s drooly and smiley and does just wonderfully as long as he gets to be naked at certain times and fed when he deems it’s time.

(Wow, this is a long damn blog. Maybe I should get down from the aunt podium for a while. More another day, I’m sure.)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 217

I've had this word, fragile, stuck in my head lately. I think that's because I've had a couple people I respect(ed) use that word to describe me on different occasions and because there have been times recently when I have genuinely felt emotionally fragile. But, I question this as a label for my personality or a facet of my identity in part because I can look back over what I've carried in the past. It, somehow, feels like a bad thing to be viewed as. We humans value strength, bravery, courage, etc and somehow the definitions of these concepts gets conflated. Can one be brave and courageous and still have moments or times of fragility and the need for support? Does one have to be strong at all times to earn that label? I think of times when I was able to find within myself the ability to handle more than I would expect of almost anyone else and still smile and laugh over the good things in life. And, there are definitely days when I feel that I don't have those reserves anymore. I'm not sure I could do now what I made myself do during those times. So, what does that say? Have I become a weaker person as a result? And, at the same time, how negative a trait is being fragile when things are difficult? Is it fair to expect people to be perpetually strong? I don't think that anyone is placing that expectation on me aside from myself, perhaps. But, I think it's obvious that fragility is viewed negatively a lot of the time. The feminist perspective has it that we should encourage men to feel and express their emotions and, yet, my perception of late is that more and more women seem to be admired for their ability to hide those same emotions. Restraint and the ability to temper one's responses-I'm not questioning the value in that as much as wondering where and when the space for those emotions and feelings is supposed to be or has gone.

Perhaps if we all had a space like this, it would be easier to manage them. Or to come to a realization of what we, as individuals, feel is an appropriate balance between emotion and reserve. I guess that's what I'm struggling with. Balance. Between finding one's bliss and being responsible even if you just feel like you're going through the motions of life. Between being open with people you respect and trust and leaning too much on them or letting the emotions direct your actions without reason intervening. Striking that balance between daring to try something new that you've considered exploring and substituting someone else's direction or path for forging your own. Balancing your needs (especially when they've sort of been ignored over the years) with sensitivity to the needs of those you care about. *sighs the dreaded sigh of the tired and frustrated* I'm confused and I've been struggling with that confusion. Some days, I feel like I'm finally starting to pursue things that make sense (because they make me happy) and other days I feel like the pursuit of them is just as artificial as anything else I've tried in the past.

Moving on, I'm still ironing out the details of this new plan that will get me out of this job. I started off trying to go ahead and get my loan situation under control. In order to get transcripts from UMSL and apply for positions at either a community college or as a substitute teacher or, even, at a HeadStart program, I need those. As of right now, I've spent time on Friday and today calling three different offices multiple times to get some straight answers. It appears that getting my loans consolidated will allow UMSL to release official transcripts as soon as it goes through and, in the meantime, I *can* get unofficial transcripts sent to potential employers. Two questions: why this took so many calls to get to the bottom of and what the difference between official and unofficial transcripts is, I'll just pass over for now. It looks to me like I should be able to start working on getting out of this office really soon which is an amazing relief (even though it's still just a prospect at this point and hinges on actually getting a job somewhere else). It makes me feel so much better that it's even a possibility now instead of just something that *might* be possible someday.

Sort of a mixed bag blog today, I guess. More another day, hopefully more cheery stuff then.

Friday, July 30, 2010


"How did you get like this," she asked me.
As if I followed a faulty map or a poorly written recipe
But I paused before answering
How *did* I get to be this person, this me?
Blame Alice Paul
And Sesame Street
L.M. Montgomery
And my grandma

Genetics for the sense I have to disregard dogma

Jane Eyre for voicing thoughts I hadn't the words to speak

Life for the scars
the strength to refuse to repeat history

Point the finger at Shakespeare's Portia, Celie, Elizabeth Bennet and
My fifth grade teacher

Or my rebellious discovery of Sylvia Plath

Maybe it was knitting

Or the first woman I realized I 'loved' loved

Or the position of the moon at the hour I was born.

Day 214

I was all set to write about the new plan I've got so that I can get out of this job and actually do something I like. (Most likely adjuncting at a community college around here but teaching in some capacity) I have a fairly reasonable plan for that, paying off a student loan in the process. But, I made a couple calls today about that and got some information that may completely change what I have to do to make those things happen. I will know more after the weekend, hopefully, and will have something good to share then. In the meantime, I'll try not to blubber from potential relief and get my hopes too high.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 213

Okay, so, I actually got some sleep last night, sort of breaking that streak that was developing. And, yesterday's counseling session went really well. Feeling *much* better about the progress I've made when I sit down and weigh everything out. Brief meltdowns of late aside, that is. The fact that they were extremely brief, though, is something I'm awarding myself kudos for. Also had another enjoyable evening walking and hanging out with Ella. The laughs and puns and double entendres continue on Facebook from those evenings. We do need to find a park with more swings so we can invite some others to join us, though.

Despite all that, I'm not cherishing this neck pain and sinus headache and, as a result am being crabby with those who wander in my office and dole out dumbassery.

Still thinking about getting some folks together for dinner and possibly a movie Saturday or some other equally fun activity. Could be just what the weekend needs.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 212

Stress dreams, I haz them...

Despite telling myself before bed last night that I was going to only have nice, peaceful dreams, I had one hell of nightmare. And, I say this with the preface that I'm really *not* a violent person. But, somehow, in this dream, I accidentally killed my mom and then had to figure out what to do with the body. While I panicked over that, she came back to life and wouldn't shut up. So, I then had to find someone to help me keep her quiet about what I'd done. Not sure how I had resolved that question, thankfully, because that's when I woke up. Thankfully, Ella was awake to talk about the dream a bit and get me to laugh it off.

We've been talking a lot lately and it's been a really good feeling to see that I'm not the only one out there questioning some of the same things that nag at me.

Worried about what's going on with another friend. There's been a lot of (understandable) silence from him, and I can't imagine how much pain he's in at the moment. It's so hard to sit back and feel unable to even offer comfort to someone I care about.

#1 of my last three counseling sessions is tonight. Not sure how I feel about that. Rachel gave me a lot to work on over the last two weeks and I've spent a lot of time thinking about behavior patterns and how to break out of these 'lifetraps' that hold me back. *sighs* I just feel like this is both good and bad. I've felt better since I've been looking at the ways I've already worked through some of these things and have an awareness of what trips me up. I'm still just plain not looking at how this could go badly for me. Maybe that will keep it from happening? Who knows...

More later, I'm sure.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 211

Two things happened over the last weekend that have left me feeling much lighter than usual or, at least than I have been recently. One of them, being honest with someone about my feelings toward them was very difficult for me. I just worried right up until the moment I made myself start talking about what the response would be, whether I'd just be laughed at or ridiculed or worse. Okay, I worried about it up until the conversation was just about over. Clearly, I survived and, it was the right thing to do. I have always struggled with and feared rejection and I know that some of my current relationships bear the tension of that since it's kept me from being completely honest with people. It occurred to me, afterward, whether my fear had contributed to the demise of other relationships in the past. I suppose that's not something I need spend much energy on but, it's sort of there, still. But, having been able to step past that fear and open myself up this way-that's got to make being honest in future somewhat easier. After all, none of the truly terrifying things I thought might happen did...

Second thing, much more fun than the first and just as positive in its own way, was going to hang out with Ella Berg and play on the swings. Aside from the fact that we both got lots of fun double entendre stati on FB out of it, we had a really good conversation and it definitely brought that little kid part of me to the surface. She so rarely gets to go play. I know I've spent a lot of time shutting that part of me away out of yet other fears but, just recently, I've been catching more opportunities to let her run around and I think it's probably one of the better things I'm working on lately. It was good. Hopefully, I can find time to do that again soon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 210

Yesterday, I got to spend some time with the Munchkins, Angie, Amy, the BIL's and, of course, my parents. Pretty good afternoon, played dress up with Emma and crawled around in the airducts with Alex, held Parker and rocked him to sleep and got what I think will be some good pictures. Unfortunately, I'm broke until payday so I had to use some black and white film again and can't get the pics developed until Friday. Also, and this really aggravated the hell out of me, my mother has decided that the way to deal with our 'disagreement' is to be in my face and be uber-artificially cheery with me. She kept patting me and asking me how I was until I finally snapped at her after about the fourth time she repeated this little performance. I was proud that I didn't lose it earlier, when she (after inserting herself in almost every picture I took) actually stuck her face right in front of the camera lens while I was trying to get a picture of Bobby holding Parker. *grumbles frustratedly* What is so difficult for her about the concept of owing me an apology and treating me like an adult escapes me but, this saccharine act for the benefit of extended family and in public just pisses me off more.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 209

It's a random list o' thoughts kind of day.

1) Great party at Janessa's house last night. Got to see some people that don't usually make it to my potlucks. Hope they can make others in future.

2) Tired of this fucking heat lately. Can't we have just one day with below 95 degree temps?

3) I'm all for people using the word 'fuck' more. It's an underused adjective. Throw it into random fucking sentences, I say!

4) So not happy with the poems I've been able to come up with lately. The one from Friday's blog is disappointing and it's the best I've gotten together.

5) Someone should invent a cat hair resistant fabric.

6) It is disturbing how much I love jeerleading and the accompanying practices.

7)I love this. I may have to think of a present for Jimmy for sharing it.

8) I want cookies without having to turn on the oven. Correction: Homemade cookies. Screw storebought ones.

9) I realized that I gotta quit bitching about work on facebook so much but the fact that work is akin to HELL makes that tough. On the list of things I want, that's #1.

10) That makes me think of a better list. I want: a pizza and board game and movie night with friends (nothing fancy, no cooking, just Papa John's and hanging out and watching something), to get something published, more time with the munchkins (way more than an afternoon), more furniture that is actually mine, a few *good* dates (although good sex would be a very very close second), inspiration, guitar lessons, book recommendations, a massage, somewhere to garden AND either an Xbox or a Nintendo Wii (not *one* word about that one.)

11) My dreams have been disconcertingly vivid lately. I blame BP.

That's all at the moment. Oh, except that I'd like to go see Inception and The Kids are Alright when I get paid. Anyone interested?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 207


Today I set out to make myself do things I've never done.
The resultant fear pooled nicely in my stomach
while my palms beaded over with sweat. I still sat down
and opened my mouth and let fly with the truth.
The nicely awkward pauses just hung there
until I filled them and kept forcing out the words
I needed someone to hear...even if they just fell to the floor and sat there, ungathered up and waited
for the cats to mistake them for catnip toys.
All the while I contemplated just how fucking wrong
saying these words,
discarding the comfortable mask,
asking for what I want,
could actually go.
While debate over the risk/benefit continued, I wondered whether
I could just run from the outcome
as the familiar voice of fear chanted, 'Don't' again and again.

Today, just when I thought I couldn't,
just to see what would happen,
I went ahead and jumped.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 203

In which I drift back again to Camp Zoe and Pagan Spirit Gathering.

In thinking about PSG, moments from that week come back to me in small flashes at times. To start with, the drive down was punctuated with questions. I had never camped for such an extended period of time and had doubts about my own ability to handle the weather, keep myself fed and other physical concerns of that sort. I also wasn't sure what to expect from the people attending, the rituals, the workshops, etc. My biggest concern, that my tendency toward introversion at times would keep me from truly connecting with the other people attending, was looming larger as I got closer to the campground. Making that turn into Camp Zoe, inching along behind other cars from all over the country, I turned off my radio and just listened to the sounds of the forest, hearing the murmur of voices and an occasional bell in the distance as I drove up the steep hill into camp. As I wound around into viewing distance of the gate, a few people's voices stood out. "Welcome home," they called as they waved people through. I'd been following the PSG list on Yahoo and knew this was their greeting but I hadn't thought about how it'd feel to be the recipient of it. When my turn came, after having presented my paperwork and gotten my map and asked a couple questions, I kind of basked in it. I liked the idea that this community wanted most to start the people joining it with a gift, with the feeling that they'd arrived somewhere that contained all the comfort and acceptance that one's true home should have. I felt a huge bundle of my concerns shift away as I slowly drove further into the camp, accepting at least the potential for true connection with this part of the Pagan community being proffered so freely.

That feeling sort of ebbed and flowed over the next few days. The diversity presented in PSG was almost overwhelming at times. I had people camped near me that went beyond me in terms of their seriousness and introversion while others camped near the main path and offered food to all who walked by at times. One of my neighbors, displaying great restraint, witnessed me fall out of my tent the first morning we all woke up at Camp Zoe and managed not to mock me. Another had a nice kitchen set up at her campsite that she was kind enough to share with us all. We made a nice little community and, when Jimmy's daughter (they camped a short distance away) stepped on a bee on her way to my tent one afternoon and was panicking from the pain, people came running from all directions to help us out, bearing ice and helping hands to get her to the med tent (one of many, many visits there for me).

That first day, putting up my tent, cutting open my foot in the process (visit number one to the med tent), I discovered really quickly just how unnecessary half the clothing I brought was. The heat was breathtaking and I ended up giving up a lot of my usual ideas about what to wear and not wear. I still went barefoot for most of the week, especially after my flip flops wore identical cuts in both my heels (multiple visits to the med tent for those). I also noticed early on that time just seemed to run at a different pace at PSG. Time seemed to just flow, sometimes speeding up, sometimes allowing me to savor the moments that I knew I'd want to remember forever. I've never been someone who tries to do everything and I've never managed to fully defeat my tendency to need to turn in early. There were nights, however, I pushed past that to attend drum circle and dance into the night (although that was mostly later in the week as I felt more comfortable).

Being a morning person, though, had the benefit of connecting me with people that I wouldn't have met otherwise. A festival of around 900 people means that you'll almost continually see people for the first time. The people that I met on more than one occasion were people that, as the universe would have it, I really felt connected to. But, I digress. One morning, a notably quiet one, I ventured down to the creek to sit on the bank and just be. After about ten minutes there, I was joined by Sarah, who had come to that spot to capture on film some of the beauty the creek offered. Immediately, I was struck by just how beautiful she was, typifying an ethereal, Piscean artist in many ways. As she snapped some photographs, we introduced ourselves and talked about our common interests (photography, animals, nature, our experiences of PSG) and found that we had similar outlooks on several topics. For a while, it was just quiet and we were just watching the still-misty water flowing around the bluffs and rocks. That creek was such a welcome respite over the week, not just for the relief from the heat it offered but for the peace I always feel around water. That, among other things, seemed something I shared with this new friend.

After we both realized that morning meeting was getting close to starting, we walked up there, continuing our conversation on the way, comparing impressions of the campsite and spots we'd found to swim and escape the heat. I found myself, as we kept talking, discussing books and music that we loved and sharing recommendations, lamenting a bit that she was straight but being glad as always at making a new friend. During morning meeting, they came around with some necklaces to gift everyone with. Choosing colors that spoke to each of us, mine purple, hers blue to remind her of the water, we discussed meeting up later to visit other spots in the winding creek and cool off. We met up a couple more times as the week went on, swimming and talking and exchanging contact information and agreeing that next year would find us both back at Camp Zoe.

Other days, other events: I participated in the most meaningful ritual I've had the chance to be involved with. I got clear, straightforward insights into the direction I need to take in my life as we walked a midnight, candlelit labyrinth under the full moon and I felt so strongly the connection to the earth we're blessed with. I laughed, I sang, I danced, I played, I thought and wrote and grew immensely.

It was that kind of week, all in all. Peppered with moments that stand out and stretches of time with which to contemplate and consider all that noise the outside world brings to 'real life.' One of the reasons it took so long for me to write about this is that the experience touched me on so many different levels. I had plenty of the kind of fun people normally associate with vacation and, yes, it was hot and, yes, I got time to relax. But it was so much more than that at the same time. The people I met there, the feeling of connecting and re-connecting with the deepest parts of myself-those are the memories I continue to carry with me and return to as I keep in mind the idea that the next 11 months represent preparation time to return home.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 192

Back to thoughts of honesty and how much to share again. I like honesty-almost as much as I like knowing that I haven't shared too much.

Wednesday, as I wrote last, I was contemplating the potential in moving beyond the counseling I have relied on for the past few years. The idea of stepping out into the sun without feeling the need to turn to someone for the kind of support and encouragement (not to mention the ability to see things far more clearly than I can some days coupled with skill and knowledge that a professional has) has its positive aspects. I've been focusing on those. And, I still see all of that as true. In the light of day, I *know* that I'm going to be fine.

Yet, as I sat down and we began to work on wrapping things up and Rachel pressed me to discuss my feelings about this abrupt change, I just found myself weeping. Not sobbing or attempting to reason away the transition, just quietly weeping over this loss. Because, that's the only way I can describe it-it's a subtraction from my life, a loss of someone that has figured importantly in my support system. Even now, I find myself tearing up slightly over these thoughts. And, those who know me well know that tears are rare for me. Simply put, this is difficult. I've dealt with greater losses (if we're assigning a valuation to the place someone holds in one's life, I guess) with the same strength I'll be bringing to this and, to risk redundancy, I truly will be fine. But, to be wholly honest, I'm sad over this and am aware of the hole this will leave in my life.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 190

Okay, I think I've made this decision. I'm troubled by it but I think it's the only way to go. I suppose I can be more specific, lol, now that I've made up my mind. I've been seeing my counselor, Rachel, for more than two years now. That'll be moving to the past category within the next few weeks. It's not a decision I made all on my own nor do I feel completely comfortable with the idea but, well, there are lots of factors in the decision. It is what it is, as some would say. I'm choosing to view this as an opportunity to move forward and, hopefully, I can make it become that.

Life has improved enormously over the last few years. I struggle often and, yes, if you're someone I'm close to, you've undoubtedly heard a great deal of bitching and moaning. View at as a sign that I'm honest with you and trust you, lol. (If that doesn't help, I'll throw some cookies your way) Trying to adjust my expectations and ideas about what life holds for me is an ongoing lesson in patience and strength. Step by step I see myself getting further along the path I can't see all of yet. I take comfort in recognizing that progress.

Last night, I dreamed about planting trees with some people I really adore and, in the process, uncovering small things from the past that made them happy. It was really visceral and I relished the feeling of the cool earth in my hands. Nope, I don't know what it means. It just felt good in some ways. (Other parts and implications of the dream, not so much but, that's another lesson: not getting everything I want.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 189

So, I have to make this decision by tomorrow night and I still don't know what I'm doing. It represents a big change, either way I go and I'm not enjoying the idea. And, yet, somehow, it feels less drama-laden than it did when it was thrown in my lap last week. I'm confused. And, I hate that feeling. I want things to be clearer-cut.

Still processing the shift from PSG and its magick to reality and the mundane. I'd love to be able to craft a synopsis of it, to encapsulate all that it is here for you guys but it's still too big an experience for that. In my usual quiet way, I feel like I absorbed a *lot* from those eight days not to mention picking up some more wonderful friends.

I'm feeling less fearful/anxious/worried since returning, though. (Less doesn't equal without, sadly) I'm looking around for some fun these days and finding bits of it here and there. Going out and getting my first tattoo (quite spontaneously for me) counts in that direction. Trying to find time for a visit to KY and camping again AND going on a derby float trip soon amid all the other stuff I've got going weekends is a challenging bit of that 'fun' thing, too. Stina: I swear I'm visiting soon so get the spare bedroom ready. I'm recovering my love for St. Louis but still need my escapes.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 180

Can't deliver a regular blog today, trying to figure out how to handle returning to non-PSG land. Two poems written out in the closest thing to Heaven I've seen have to be worth something, though.

Fading (For Mia)

Yet again you leave
I feel your presence slip away
It sears me anew
Each time you take more
And the schism grows
Less of me stays alive
Less of me breathes
To make room for the longing
For you.


My unceasing plea: Stay.

Solstice Prayer
O Muse!
Speak to me of sun
and wind
and rain
and earth.
And the solace of mistlaced morns,
of drum scored dusks.
We watch and laud that the sun
Pushes on,
Gilding the treetops
Sending the supplicant leaves' edges curling upward.

We turn 'round with joy at the spiraling dance
Our true mother leads us in.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 160

Does anyone else ever have days where you feel like you want to say something and you have no idea how?

One of the things about hitting a plateau, emotionally and personally, is that you can feel both stuck and bewildered by the potential directions you could take. Think about it: You have this expanse of possibility in front of you with few things blocking the path but a lot of it looks the same and none of it seems to have any clear advantage over any other direction. And, at the same time, you don't feel like you're progressing or growing much. I've been going through days where I feel like I should withdraw from everything again and I can't seem to make myself do it. That's mostly because the flashes of joy I get lately are coming from *being* with other people and not from being alone. Right now, being alone sucks and it used to be a way for me to reconnect with me, to feel more centered. Something has changed again and I don't know if that's what's driving this recent upswing in bitching I've been experiencing or if it's just a sign that I'm not listening to me enough or doing what worked in the past until it starts working again.

Obviously I'm excited about PSG and getting all that together is still taking a lot of my focus. 12 more days until I leave for that and I still need something to sleep on and a few other supply items (not even getting into food). That makes me happy lately, thinking about that. That, some conversations I've been lucky enough to get to have with Emma recently, and joining up with the ARRG Jeerleaders (oh so much more on that another day) are the small bright spots in a time when I just feel out of step with so much else in life.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 156

In which I talk about an idea that seems weird even to me.

So, my counselor, Rachel, has this habit of assigning me homework. (I probably mentioned this and forgot. Redundancy is the new new.) Anyway, at our last appointment she gave me the assignment of finding a picture of myself from childhood that I liked (that showed me being a happy, unabashed kid) and putting it in a frame just as I would one of the munchkins. This actually presented more of a problem for me than you might think since I don't really like many pictures of myself as a child and usually respond to them with something close to "What the hell was I doing there?!" And, after a certain age my teeth started to go crooked so pictures of me smiling at all naturally are in short supply. However, I don't skip homework assignments-I'm pathologically unable to do that. So, yes, I found one. And, since I don't have a frame for this oddly sized Polaroid, I'm putting it on here (since I do that with pictures of the munchkins, that counts, right?)

Please reserve your comments (if you're inclined to make any...).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 151

I feel like I should have something to say but that the heat has affected my brain. Either that or I'm in shock due to having a three day weekend. It's still continuing silent around here with the exception of my mother sending me a 'poke' on facebook and calling without leaving a message today. I only know I feel an apology is in order and that I'm not settling for less this time. Beyond that I feel like I don't have anything to say at the moment. I'm feeling less stressed as the days go by. And, I wonder at times if that's a sign of some inner coldness on my part or, instead, an indicator of the negative influence she's had on me. *sigh* Time to turn on the A/C, methinks. More tomorrow, probably.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 144

Went hiking again today, this time at Chub Trail out west on 44. I think the park is actually called West Tyson. It was probably the toughest trail I've checked out so far-lots of hills and very rocky in places. Very beautiful but very muddy. Enough with the rain, seriously! About 2 hours in, I got to a point where I figured I'd head back before I got completely covered in mud. About 5 minutes after I do, I see these three little boys walking by themselves, heading in my direction. I stop, thinking I'll let the parents catch up with them and let the group get past me on the narrow trail but, when they saw me and started waving their arms like they needed help, it was obvious that something was up. Turned out that they'd wandered off on their own, walkie talkie in hand and had no idea how to get back to the trailhead. Poor things, the walkie talkie was out of range of their parents, they'd dropped and cracked open one of their bottles of water, leaving them with just one between the three of them. The oldest boy kept tearing up (but continuing to walk along at the same time) and the two younger ones, only wearing flip flops in all that mud, had given up and were going barefoot. I couldn't imagine what their parents were thinking, as I chatted with them, sort of shepherding them back toward the trailhead. Luckily, one of their parents met us coming back after we'd been walking about half an hour and, then, these little boys (I'm guessing the oldest was 9) just dissolved. That whole time, they'd done the stiff upper lip thing and held it together even though they'd been wandering, according to one of them, 'for a long, long time. Maybe an hour,' before I ran into them.

There's not really a point to this blog, I suppose, except for the fact that what I usually get out of my hikes is a sense that I'm doing something vaguely exercize-ish and getting to connect with nature and the chance to clear my head after accumulating a week's worth of crap at work. It was kind of nice to feel like there was a little something extra out there this week.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 142

Okay, so, I'm still struggling with the fallout from my most recent encounter with my mother. (I prefer to think of them as mini seminars in tolerance-sounds so much more positive.) And, actually, the fallout so far has just taken the form of silence. It's both a nice break and slightly unnerving as I'm left wondering what she's going to come back at me with now. *sigh* I know, deep down, that I'm just doing what feels better for me and that I'm fighting for what I deserve. It's still just really hard.

The other thing on my mind, the thing that has me creeping on here at work, is this larger issue of honesty and pretense. Work has gotten more and more difficult lately as the emphasis is shifting to impressing on me the importance of acting like I care about what goes on here. I'd say that I don't care but that's not an accurate description. I do care about doing a good job and meeting the expectations laid out for me. But, do I get excited about the work that this department does? Do I want to understand on more than a superficial level how what I do fits in with what everyone else is doing. No to both questions. I've said before that I take care *not* to read what comes across my desk too closely and I really don't want to know exactly what goes on in the labs we oversee. So, I'm left with the dilemma of trying to act as though I do care well enough to keep this job until I can find something I do care about. This gets the 'dilemma' label because, well, I just plain suck at pretending enthusiasm anymore. About the only time I can manage it is with one of the munchkins and that's nowhere near the same thing since I really do care about whether they're happy or not. But, here? I really just don't care if the staples line up or the ink on the agenda is the right shade of blue. Is this a sign that I'm immature or ungrateful? I've tried to refocus and find again that gratitude I used to have for just having a job but the feeling that I'm being pressured to treat this as a career when it's not going to be that for me is making it more difficult.

Okay, enough bitching for now. More later.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 137

Ugh. Just ugh. I'm right on the edge of my stress threshold after this week and the usual suspect is at the bottom of it. And, I feel like I've both talked the topic to death and gotten what is the most sensible, caring advice from people who genuinely know what they're talking about. So, why do I still feel so torn? Why is it so godsdamn difficult to just make a clean break?

My best friend all through school had what I could only describe as a childhood right out of a very melodramatic tv movie. If I hadn't been there and seen a lot of it happen, that is. Her parents-man, they were some winners. Passing her back and forth after their divorce as they fought each other through her affection, letting her watch new lovers abuse them, doing crazy shit like holding the other parent at gunpoint. And, I always held whatever was happening in my home up against what they were doing to her and kind of said, "It could be *so* much worse." That's the biggest roadblock to recognizing a different form of victimization or abuse than the overt, more physical or even easily labeled varieties of emotional abuse. I mean, very few people (aside from this friend's mother) would justify having sex with someone in a car while your 12 year old is in the back seat trying to cover her eyes and ears. It's a bit more difficult to draw out and label the more subtle forms these things can take especially when you've watched someone grow up dealing with stuff like that.

Realizing that people can live through so much worse than I've had to face makes trying to fight for respect and the right to live my life free from condemnation and what feels more and more like harassment seem petty and childish sometimes. Yet I've reached a point where I feel so cornered by all of this that I see no other, reasonable course of action. So, no, I don't like making these decisions and I don't relish the idea of letting the 'inner bitch' go to work and doing what seems necessary to establish a lasting autonomy. And, my short-lived attempts to do this very thing in the past make me feel like I'm never going to succeed for that very reason. I don't *want* fights and disagreements and turmoil and drama. I don't *want* to have to avoid phone calls and messages. And, I really hope that doing these things won't result in the things I fear. But, I recognize that I haven't sought or initiated this drama and that I've done nothing to deserve the continued craziness being thrown at me. So... I'm trying to let go. I'm trying to step back from the insanity that still feels like normalcy after so many years of it. I'm reluctant to use these tools and I'm not very good at it but, I feel that there has to eventually come a point when you just have to either lie down forever or put an end to something that's killing you slowly once and for all.

Perhaps I won't be able to do this with confidence or without doubt. Perhaps? Okay, fine, I am probably going to keep having to tell myself I'm not the bad guy in this for a long time if things aren't resolved the way I need them to be fairly quickly. But, I'm tired of espousing certain ideals to others and not getting to see them realized in my own life. I only get once around, here. So far, it's been tough and cold, living in this world, more than it's been the happy-making thing it should be. I am tired. I'm going to try and find a new game to play while the larger pieces of my heart are still unshattered.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 130

The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran
"On Children"

"And a woman who held a babe against
her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable."

We devote two days each year to mothers and fathers. We send flowers, buy cards, give gifts, etc. Yet, it occurred to me today that we don't really discuss what's important about parenthood. And in my usual way, this makes me want to throw questions at the general populace. How separated is the idea of one's mother or father from the biological definition of the labels? How much importance do we attach to the idea of gender in them? Where we place those who exist outside these labels says so much about us a culture. We, culturally, seem to like nicely delineated roles and labels. How many stories do we have about the quietly hardworking mother who bakes cookies and kisses hurts away? Or about fathers who are gruff and stern and teach their children about work and stoicism?

We could provide, perhaps, just as many about deadbeat dads who vanish on their children or single moms ill-equipped to handle motherhood who inflict their own variety of harm on kids through negligence and/or ignorance. We thrive on these simple, relatively uncomplicated archetypes of parenting. Well, I can't say that with a completely clear conscience. There are plenty of people in my life who I know see past that, who embody a different model proudly and with a great deal of deserved resentment at the limiting attitudes they see lauded with regard to what makes a mother and what makes a father. There are also those who don't get the honor of a title who parent in ways unnoticed and unsung.

When I honestly sit down and think about what seems valuable to me about the idea of a parent, a mother or a father, what I think about are the small ways so many people have helped to form who I am. Who are helping to form who I am becoming, I might even say. I spend a lot of time around people who have children lately. As someone who's wanted to be a parent for a very long time, I pay attention to them. And, I want to have a nice, neat conclusion here about what I've seen, what I plan to borrow and steal and avoid based on the different types of parenting I see going on all around me. But, I can't. The closest thing to an essential truth I can put in words is that most parents seem to make it up as they go along and that the strongest, happiest, most loving children I can point to seem to be the ones whose parents (whether single, partnered, of either gender, whatever) fall outside the carefully constructed ideas of parenthood our culture puts out Hallmark cards for. They're still strong parents and teach their children well but I see in their homes love balanced with discipline and more importance placed on the joy of being a parent than on modeled perfection. These are the parents who, it seems to me, who value their children as individuals and, if I can paraphrase Gibran, realize that their children aren't really 'their' children.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 123

Noticed today that a blog I read regularly has shut down temporarily citing (albeit obliquely) concerns over the blog's content being read by those the writer is connected with in a professional capacity. At least, that's what I got out of the carefully worded statement that has taken the place of entries. Now, this particular blog does deal with sex and sexuality and the blogger's experiences with sex in a very...explicit manner. Regardless of the content, though, it's troubling to me. Wouldn't you think one's private life should be respected if one made clear, successful efforts to keep it separate from one's professional life? Also, it raises the question of what's an invasion of privacy these days. When does who we are outside the office become fair game for the boss, in other words? MO, I believe, is a right-to-work state, which means they can let you go for almost anything... Something that I'll be thinking about for a while, I'm sure.

Went out hiking again today, this time to Pere Marquette. Horribly muddy but I did manage not to fall this time. Gotta get some decent shoes for this, though. Took some pics which I'll put on fb as soon as it starts cooperating.

Another job interview on the 10th. I keep applying places and hope that something will turn up soon. In the meantime, I registered for PSG and joined the online group for that so, I should be able to put together everything I need and not end up down there for a week without something vitally important.

The next vegetarian potluck is on the 22nd, too, so, if you're reading this and not on fb for an invite, consider this one.

Got to see the munchkins yesterday for a couple hours. We all went to the Science Center and I think they had a good time. Emma and I had a discussion about who would win if a porcupine and a crab had a fight and decided that the crab would be okay as long as it kept its face hidden. Emma: "The porcupine would stick him in the face! In the face! In the face!" You'd have to have seen the demonstration she gave with two puppets to really appreciate it, probably.

Aside from that, I've spent the last week continuing to think about risk and being literally dared to take one or two. We'll see how that goes. If I go through with it (which I will unless I am somehow prevented from it by the gods. So there!) , I'm sure it will find its way in here. Oh, and I had a very nice date the other night with someone far too young for me but who is also quite fun. :)

That's it for now-more another day. Maybe even before next Sunday!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 116

I'm on the beginning of a sock knitting phase again, I fear. Picked up some great yarn at Knitorious in variegated green shade named (wait for it): Pagan. Love it. Can't wait to use it.

Went hiking out at Castlewood State Park this morning. It was fabulous right up to the last part of the trail which went right down to the banks of the Missouri River. Actually, the trail didn't but it was so close, I couldn't resist leaving the trail and going down to the water for a few minutes. And, even that part (the part where I fell in the mud trying to get back up to the trail) was great. It's just a bit too cold and windy right now for my liking. It'd be nice to go back out there when it's nicer.

Also stopped by the Earth Day festivities at Forest Park for a bit before the rain picked back up. More mud. So, now I'm home and re-re-watching When Harry Met Sally and contemplating whether to use the $5 gift card to Ted Drewes I got for Administrative Assistant's day or eat some of the leftover cookies from yesterday's vegetarian potluck. Trying to choose a potential date for the next one so, I'm open for suggestions there.

That's it for now. More another day, I'm sure.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 108

It has been a very long day and week once again. Some bad spots but more good ones, I think. Today started off really well-I visited a state park out near Troy that featured several good walking trails. I've been trying to find ways to get outdoors more and get some exercise and a couple friends' mentions of hiking made me think it might be worth trying. Cuivre River Park has two 1 mile trails that really took me back to that feeling I was trying to capture in my last entry. I didn't find the longer, 2 mile trail until I was leaving the park but a return visit may be in order. I'm kind of wiped out from that and not getting much sleep over the last few days. I had planned on driving down to Cliff Cave park in Arnold tomorrow and seeing what that had to offer but may just make it a lazy/cleaning day. Also, went to the BASL social tonight and had some interesting conversation with that crowd. Slight moment of panic and near-running away from yet another sighting of She-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless. She'd been on my mind today, as with the last sighting, and the next time that happens, I'm not leaving the apartment. I feel like I should get credit for not acting on that impulse to flee but the fact that it's still there bothers me. It needs to vanish.

I've been thinking a lot about risk vs. responsibility lately, too. Sometimes, I just look at the level quality I've tried to achieve in my life after such a long period of drama and see it as the only reasonable response to having escaped such a roller-coaster existence. Other times (like lately), I think I'm just taking the easy way out and not really living fully. Life, itself, is a risky endeavor, of course. But, I do see some people taking bigger chances, daring more than I seem to have done for a long time and I wonder if they're happier for it. I don't know the answers on this one. Anymore, I pat myself on the back for being daring by pursuing occasional 'play-dates' or by asking someone I'm interested in out. And, those represent big steps for me in some ways. In other ways, though... I had a fair share of big hurt resulting from what seemed like reasonable, manageable risk in the past. It's still hard to shake that off sometimes. We're supposed to learn from the past. How do we do that and not let it direct our future?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 102

There is something about Tower Grove Park-no idea what it is exactly but it has something. There are no more peaceful moments these days than I get just sitting under a tree there, letting the sun soak into my skin and breathing in and out. I look around at the weeds, the tulips, the daffodils and it takes me back to the afternoons spent at my grandma and grandpa's, just sitting and looking at all the plants growing out there. Or, creeping around in the woods until Grandma came looking for us, finding little would-be creeks that we all knew better than to set foot in. I remember seeing some of the 'weeds' and thinking they were just as pretty or prettier than some 'flowers' I saw others growing on purpose. The way the water sounds when the wind blows across it, the way the air contained that hint of honeysuckle and wild horseradish... The sweet and the bitter together, making up this collective memory of spring and summer.

Now, when I walk around in T.G., I see all the violets and tiny white flowers carpeting the ground, making it more of a challenge to find a good sitting spot since I can't help but try to walk around them. Every time I visit, I try and find a new place, a new vantage point to enjoy. I keep telling myself to explore, say, Carondelet Park or one of the others around here but, so far, my ability to find something new at T.G. hasn't been exhausted and I keep returning to it. It just has something.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 101

It is definitely, finally, spring. It is absolutely beautiful out and I miss having somewhere to plant flowers again. Back when I lived somewhere with a yard (or a balcony like I had at my last apartment) this would be the time I'd be putting out daylilies and trying to coax some tomatoes to grow. Never actually had any success with tomatoes but I did manage to get some flowers to survive. These days I'm making myself content with my rosemary plant. Maybe when the Farmer's market starts up again, I'll find something I can grow indoors and keep the cats out of.

Aside from that tangential thought, I've been trying to throw my resume at all possible jobs and have an interview next Thursday for an admin. position with a nonprofit agency. It means I have to get interview clothes again since almost nothing fits these days.

That's it for now, more later, I'm sure.