It’s been a minute since my last post. No reason, really. Just life. Lots of overtime, but even when I took my vacation time in January, I wasn’t moved to post. I was sick for part of the vacation, and for the other part, I was just detoxing from overtime. You know how that goes. I’m fortunate for the work and fortunate for the pay and fortunate to be able to take time off from work for downtime. And although in a perfect world, none of that should be anything I should have to feel grateful for – we don’t live in a perfect world, do we? Regardless, I am grateful.
In between radish harvests, chicken tending, and copious amounts of work hours interspersed with hot eucalyptus baths to relieve my congestion, I spent a good deal of time passively consuming media (aka watching television shows and movies.) I watched all 10 Decalogue stories and enjoyed them immensely. I have a movie list that I keep with notable movies from various lists and sources, and in order to foil my confirmation bias (and eliminate time spent on trying to figure out what to watch next) I randomly choose things from that list. There are well over a thousand movies on that list, and I try not to read too much about what I’m about to watch, so I’m never sure what to expect. With the Decalogue, I was expecting to be preached at. In fact, it took me a couple of weeks to get around to watching after checking the DVD set out of the library because I figured I’d need to be sure I was wide awake when watching because surely this would be a sandy re-enactment of the bible filled with voluminous language and expansive metaphors. Also, subtitles. And while I was correct about the metaphors, I was incorrect about the settings and deeply wrong about the boredom factor. Each of the ten 1-hour segments had me riveted. The setting of the Polish housing community tied everything together in a way that caused my interest to increase over the course of the episodes as characters from previous (and perhaps future) episodes interact with one another briefly and tangentially as they each unfolded before me slowly in all of their humanity, joy, and tragedy.
Watching a series of short films loosely based on biblical morality without the fire and brimstone provided a good frame for my usual end of year/beginning of year/change of seasons recalibration – especially as it was coupled with the isolation of not having any children at home AND being a contagious kind of sick that wasn’t debilitating but which slowed me down enough to consider my smallest actions and intentions. To balance things out, I watched Night of the Living Dead and all four seasons of Luther.
Of course, I did a lot of talking to the chickens and the dogs and the plants while I was off. Sometimes they even talked back.
Also, this happened.
The old Ameraucana hens have started laying again. I’m getting between 3-4 eggs from my flock of 9. I imagine this will steadily increase to about 6 or 7. I’ve been busy giving eggs away to neighbors and friends. And boiling them when I hit overflow mode. And eating a lot of egg salad, which is thankfully something the Tao of Bird also enjoys.
The second writing prompt over at the League of Unsponsored Blogs is about Kindness. Or about acts thereof. I think a lot about kindness. When I was younger and starting to form ideas about myself and who I wanted to be, I didn’t bother with the concept of career goals. Instead, I always told myself (and sometimes other people) that I just wanted to be nice. And by “nice” – I believe I meant “kind.” The difference is subtle, but to me nice implies acting and kindness is an action. I am often nice. I am not as often kind, though I strive to be. However, I am kind enough to forgive myself when I am not.
I am fortunate enough to have been the recipient of kindness many times in my life. Particularly as a young mother going through divorce amidst a sea of happily married people. From the care I received before, during, and after the birth of TOB on through the dissolution and gradual ending my my marriage I was blessed with good friends who inspired, assisted, and risked to provide me and my children with a modicum of security and safety. The collective and individual acts of SO MANY PEOPLE at that point in my life is enough to make me tear up even as I type this. I only hope that at some point in my life I have, or am, or will provide others with that kind of support.
But there are kindnesses that are smaller than that. More ambiguous. Kindnesses that you have to squint to see. These are much more difficult to recognize, like the neighbor who shares a plant with you, or a friend who leaves you a note to remind you you are loved, or just someone who simply says “I appreciate your honesty/talent/bravery/existence.” I would like to initiate more kindnesses like these in the coming year.
And, for crying out loud, I have enough stuff to give away now that all of my lettuces and greens are in full swing. Not to mention eggs.
My birthday this year was mellow and uneventful. There was breakfast by myself.
And, of course, key lime pie. <3
Oh, and also cake. Because.
And lots of sitting directly under this specific sky in particular, with that specific ray of sunshine illuminating.
Since we’re talking about reflecting – I want to spelunk into old journals to see what I was doing on this day throughout the years…I’m still missing my early early spiral-bound journals (ugh! I’m hoping they are tucked away in a box somewhere and not LOST, but UGH!) – So here are relatively recent-ish excerpts from this time period in my life…It’s fun to cut these random quotes free from the moorings of time and just let them be anonymous passages from my life.
I need to refocus and re-energize & I can’t do that while I’m focusing so much of my energy on one person. Which is not to say that I can’t have late-night hangouts, but that I need to confine the time I spend on him to the time I spend WITH him.
Pistachios in bed and Cherry Doctor Pepper. My hands are covered w/eggplant paint. I can’t figure out what’s wrong with my toilet. And it’s a New Year. I hope it’s a good one.
Imbalance in perpetuity
Shed your skin, your ties your bind
Numb. To. Find.
Forced to gentle. Resound.
There is a stillness
In the in-between.
An effervescence, unheard,
but not unseen
That silent air
To the top
of a pot
Who freaking knows? Too many shelves, not enough space for them.
How long should I be expected to live with the corpse of our love? How long should you be expected to do so? It’s stagnating and it’s festering and I can’t bear it any longer.
Thirty minutes before I begin my 12-hour day after xmas funstravaganza work shift. Joy to the motherfucking world.
So, anyway. That is my life. Secretive, forbidden sex…and cancer. I keep having sympathy boob pain.
When Monk came out of me, the doctors said he smelled funny – like there was an infection – and he grunted like a piglet, instead of crying. These things they took to mean he was a sick little boy. He had a fever of 102 degrees, as well. Since then, he no longer smells funny, nor does he have a fever, but he does still grunt. All the time. And that is why we call him piglet.
No apparent reason but still frustration. I don’t understand. I guess – or do I? Trying so hard to do the right thing but it seems to leave me wide open. So vulnerable.
Tonight Collapsing on my bed I found you there. Caved in and twitching pained and alone panged with twinges of lonely tonight collapsed inward into me. Freedom is a one way street and you just can’t throw it in reverse.
Seldom have you seen me this way (collapsed) without throwing it in kicking it in until gone dead gone to you youth to tomorrow.
You say you need me – what does your need give to me? It’s a hollow promise – a hallowed threat – a shallow grave to lay all my eggs in.
The painting is starting to get old. I’m trying to focus on the process as practice. And I’m trying not to think of all of the things I am NOT doing because I am painting, and instead focus on what I am doing as a function of painting. I am getting exercise. I am balancing and stretching. I am cleaning things that need to be cleaned and decluttering as I go. I am being creative and working with my hands. I am focusing. I am learning. I am improving my surroundings. I am going to really surprise the kids. I am having ideas and working through scenarios.
- ✓Brochure Copy/Emmett
- ✓Call Mary (find out when Protest happns)
- ?? Note about A.G.
- © post
- Bill Moyer (responsiblewealth.org)
Oh, by the way, I found my journal. Which is what this is.
But some things I do not want to forget. His cry squeal that he emits when he’s on the verge of a crying jag. His little pouty face he gets just before he explodes and how red it gets. Mostly, though, the way he seems to almost pat my back when he’s resting on my chest with his arms over my shoulder. And his wake-up ritual – how long it takes him to wake up out of sound sleep. He is an angel. Absolutely.
Went outside this afternoon to check on chickens. Hawk the chicken jumped up in my lap and then on my shoulder to preen me. I wonder if I could market chickens as lice remedy. Motherclucking Nitpickers.
Regret is a seed, unfertilized
A stone surviving cold soil
Side by side with circumstance
Yet takes root
In light of love.