Spring Into Action

The snow melted from the field behind the cabin two weeks ago, and the yellow-brown grass and dark leafless trees of the forest beyond are changing with each day.  The field has chartreuse coloring now, and darker green has begun to infuse some patchy spots. The enormous Willow towering among the other trees has brightened, though her foliage remains darker yellow.  A red fuzz has touched the tips in most of the low brush, with darker reds outlining the trees beyond.

The deer still blend in when they stand at the edge of the field, but they’re rooting out the left over crab-apples now, standing in the open, ever ready for a hasty retreat.

We’ve spotted a bobcat sniffing around the shed where some woodchucks have taken up residence, while robins have been the most plentiful, grabbing up the easy worm crop after all the recent rain.

The songbirds awake far earlier than I wish to be hearing them, but their busy mornings remind me that Spring is truly here, and it’s time to air out the cabin from its long, dreary, slumber, filling me with hope and energy at my corner of the world renewed.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

bluemoonAug312012walkingwmyson

My son took me out for a birthday dessert two summers ago, and I asked him to take a shot of the full moon, but mostly enjoyed this street life scene after viewing the photo. I also find it amusing that the street and car lights obscure the photograph’s main focus.

Greenfield, MA, late summer.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Driving Test

Today was the first day I drove since my neck operation, and the unintended non-working left arm debacle still not functioning made for an interesting ride.

It felt weirdly terrifying to just get in my car, pathetically struggling to buckle myself in, which added to my anxiety about driving into town, where there would be people and objects I could potentially run down.

My legs and right arm are working just fine, as well as my sight, hearing, and thinking capacity – now that I’m off the daily drugs – so, after pacifying my fear, I drove the car out of the driveway and immediately almost ran off the road trying to negotiate the sharp left with my one good arm.

After righting the direction, I made my way down the hill feeling like it was my first day driving for the next mile or so while berating myself mentally for being such a wuss.  I finally sped up to the 25 mph speed limit, and I was so thankful no one was behind me.  The good news is I drove the speed limit the whole way to my appointment, and then felt more like myself on the way home, and speed limits be damned, I’ll go however fast I want – until I had to make another extreme left, and an extreme right, looking like someone on one of those carnival bikes where the nut is loosened and the steering reversed, and hardly anyone ever accomplishes the feat.  Thankfully I was going slow enough, and my brakes work really well, even though my brain and body has to adjust to my new limitations. I’m also pretty good at knee steering, and one arm suffices for driving most of the time.

It’s just getting used to this new reality, which is supposed to be temporary, but the doctor also said it should only take two weeks to get my nerve signals back, but now it’s week three, and there is no difference from the day I left surgery to now with my arm. My overall pain has greatly diminished, and I am so grateful for that.

If any readers have had experience in learning to navigate the world in a new way, I’d love to hear about it, and I am well aware that my limitation is minimal compared to lost limbs or paralysis, but it’s still challenging and frustrating.

I appreciate the listening, even if there’s no time to respond.  :-)  Cheers!

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

If St. Patrick Had A Smart Phone

I’ve embraced technology pretty well for someone born before PC’s came along, and later, when car phones were available for the masses I thought they were extravagant and pretentious, but, of course, envied those I knew who had them because I was barely able to afford to keep a car never mind the latest gadgets.  Then when personal cell phones hit the mainstream I mocked those needing to be tethered to a phone 24/7 – until the day I was late to get my son, and there was a terrible thunderstorm, and he was alone waiting for me, and there was no way to let him know I was on my way, and how awful it was to meet him crying and afraid because he thought I forgot about him, and that was the day of my first cell phone purchase.  A Nokia TracFone for each of us, which we would only use in emergencies.  It wasn’t until my son was a senior in high school that his cell phone became indispensable for him, although it was his leaving for college that texting became our main means of communicating as I found that he would answer texts but rarely call me back when I left messages.  My boy trained me well.

The technological revolution was well under way by then, and it seemed that better, faster, more powerful hand-held devices were unveiled every other week.  I couldn’t afford anything other than a pre-paid crappy phone, and I still can’t, but at least even the crappy phones are dramatically better than what they were in the late 1990′s.

Now most of my friends have smart phones that they use for everything, and I’m once again behind the proverbial eight-ball, envious of their on-the-go, instantaneous connections to each other & the world, while I’m always replying to their texts that I can’t see the funny? cute? important? messages they send because my phone is dumb, and could they please forward it to my email so I can see it when I get to my computer.  If it’s a timely note, they’ll usually chisel out a message for me that I can see so I won’t miss out on spontaneous get-togethers, but still, it’s embarrassing to be the last one of my group without the latest iPhone or Android, or anything ‘smart’.

It’s St. Patrick’s day, and if he had a smart phone he could have tweeted his spiritual messages out to his followers, and corrected the rumors that he had driven out the snakes from Ireland by reminding them that there weren’t any snakes to drive out, and even if there were, he didn’t own a car – lol.  He might have added an emoticon too, you never know.

Sadly, the trolls – maybe even actual ones – would have maligned him for joking about spiritual matters, and improper grammar, and he might never have achieved sainthood.

Oh well, maybe we’d still be lifting a draught in his honor because any reason to drink alcoholically in America is good enough for us.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Sunshine On My Shoulders

These beginning days of Spring are so deliciously intoxicating.  The air smells more earthy as packed snow melts, uncovering fall detritus turning to mulch, and the warmth of 50°F feels like 70°F after so many sub-zero and freezing days this winter.

The streets spill out with people celebrating the loss of heavy winter wear, and excitement over nothing but a beautiful sunny day links us all like no other common event ever does.

I will revel in today. Tomorrow may bring rain, wind, snow, or sleet, but the forecasters can’t make us fear winter havoc anymore this year.

Winter’s back has broken, and we gleefully stomp it into a million more pieces.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Another Pain In The Neck

This has been a hell of a week. I haven’t slept more than a few hours a night because of the pain and discomfort – the worst being from compensating for my non-working arm.  I’ve used heat, ice, Bio-Freeze, pressure-point massage, and I cannot get that muscle to relax – even using a muscle relaxer!  Everything else in me relaxed except that fucking muscle all in a knot, pulsing its raw nerve signal like water torture all day and night.

I took a sedative they gave me at the hospital, and was able to sleep for a few hours, waking in crazy pain, and I’ve been trying visualization exercises, and even just accepting the hurt as part of my new life, but the pain is a little bastard insistent on remaining ever-present with no respite.  I took a full dose of my pain medication this morning and that dulled it pretty well, but I sat on our couch in a vegetative state, unable to sleep, unable to concentrate or focus on anything for several hours.

I could take another dose, but I really hate the way the drug makes me lethargic and feel strange.  I’m also worried about regaining the use of my left arm because it’s been a full week without a speck of change.  The neurosurgeon said it would probably take about two weeks before the nerves wake up, or find new pathways through my arm, or whatever the hell is going to happen, but shouldn’t I feel something different by now?

This is very isolating and lonely, even though I have been keeping up with my life as best I can.  The new, bright, terrible pain is probably a product of my need to keep some sense of normalcy by cleaning the dishes, trying to cook dinner, make the bed, clean up, and not be such a slacker.  I hope I can find something other than drugs to relieve this pain, or reduce it to annoyance rather than suicidal feelings.

Allegedly I will get better.  That’s what’s everyone’s saying.  I’m trying to believe it.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Post-Operative Haze

I wish it were a better haze.  I feel all weirdly disconnected from life, or myself.  I think I’m stunned I went through with it.  I got in the car with the love of my life who drove me to get sliced and diced.  I’m trying to figure out if he really loves me, because why the hell didn’t he try to TALK ME OUT OF IT?

Fine, the surgery was mostly a success.  I’m now fixed where I was broken, but broken where I was fine – even though it’s supposed to be temporary, I’m minus the use of my left arm.  Nope, not my dominant arm, and probably not worth mentioning, except that not having the use of both arms is not only disconcerting, it sucks.  I will probably get a working arm again, which is more than so many people who have lost limbs, so I’m just a complainer.  But, it’s my turn!  I’ll stop in a minute, and whether or not I’ll be better than I was prior to surgery, I’m not now.

I worried so much about this surgery, even going to a psychic, who was precious little help, just telling me that I was in a world of emotional shit at the moment, basically.  Ya think?  The outcome was unclear, but life would, indeed, go on.

The steroid I’m on is horrible – making me shaky and nauseated, and I’m to take it for several more days.  Blech. The pain med is alright, but also makes me feel like I’m floating toward the ceiling when I lie down, and not in a good way.  I don’t make a good drug addict, which I suppose is good news.  I’m glad for pain minimization so I can sleep a bit better, but I keep waking up feeling like someone else is inhabiting my body, which causes me to bolt upright in a panic, which I’m sure is not good for my neck.

I know it’s only been a few days, but I’m afraid of the eventual outcome.  I’ll deal with whatever comes my way, as I always have, I’m just not that skillful in adjusting to my environment.  I watched Cast Away with my boyfriend last night and was bawling at the end because if it were me, I would have died on the island.  I don’t want to get in a situation like that, but I really want to travel.  Maybe I should just go by boat and always have a contingency plan, or I should probably stay away from emotional stimulation until I’m off the drugs and healing better.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Things Remembered

When he was a boy

When he was a boy

101 Dalmatian pajamas, 4T. I breathe into the fabric, trying to catch the scent of my little boy, but I forgot that I washed them before packing them away in the box of baby remembrances when he had outgrown them.  The box also contained his cloth Madeleine doll, which showed where the scar was from her appendectomy, and the yellow rubber duck received at his baby shower that he had to have at every bath time.  I say ‘contained’ because when his sister, my nearly step-daughter, had her first child four years ago, I sent the rubber duck, after sterilizing it, with a letter, saying that I hoped her daughter would like it, and if she remembered how her brother had loved it when he was a baby.

His sister emailed me after she got the package, telling me how sweet that was, and her daughter liked it too.  When we went to visit them a few years ago, it was gratifying to see the rubber duck in among the bathtub toy collection.

She mentioned in a post how her daughter was enjoying the Madeleine books, and I knew it was time to send along the Madeleine doll, so beloved by my son at her daughter’s age, along with a little monkey puppet for her latest family addition, who is now a year old, and I haven’t yet met.  I got a note the other day telling me they received the package, and her daughter asked if she could keep the doll forever.

It seemed overly sentimental and silly to keep those few things from my son’s childhood, but I have no keepsakes, and no pictures from mine, so it was important to me, and I thought my son would one day appreciate the link back to his youth.  He thought it was cool that I had sent his niece the Madeleine doll, and we spoke about how he used to watch the Madeleine cartoon, and have me read the books over and over.  Rather than merely keeping useless things that only had meaning to me, the items became an heirloom of sorts, and re-connected my son and I with a happy memory from the past, as well as furthering my son and his sister’s bond, with her children too.

Keeping sentimental things just adds to my pile of stuff, so I’ve done my best to pare down, taking pictures of things before giving them away or recycling them. Having some tactile link to the past is important to me though, so the 101 Dalmatian pajamas will remain in the (now smaller) keepsake box.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Greetings From Boston With Love

My boyfriend and I came down to Boston for our Valentine/Anniversary weekend, and we had fun, mostly…

We stayed at the College Club of Boston, and couldn’t have found a more romantic setting for what we paid.  The room was beautiful, filled with antique bureaus, desk, and table, with window views of skyscrapers, the John Hancock building, and the Old South Church, I think, out another window – and although the bed could be updated, the bathroom was very modern – creating a dichotomous mix of old and new world.

Arriving around 7:00 p.m., we were ready to eat, and had a dinner certificate at a place that looked easy to find on the map, but once we were in the area my beau’s phone GPS couldn’t find it, and the kitchen was soon closing.  I was feeling more and more stressed out, and started blaming my boyfriend in my head, coming back to the blameless situation we were in when I took a second to just breathe, and then felt ashamed for my changed attitude, which he felt but had no idea where that shit was coming from.  I apologized for stressing out on him, and suggested we just find somewhere still serving food – especially because I was wearing my short black dress with calf-high boots, but had forgotten to pack nylons so I was bare-legged, and now freezing after walking around for 45 minutes in 23°F temps, even if I did have an appropriate winter jacket on.  I silently fumed about how women go through these ridiculous gymnastics of physical constraints in high-heeled footwear, and fashion, and face-painting, while men throw on a pair of new jeans and a shirt, and they’re good to go.  I know there are plenty of men putting themselves through physical and mental contortions to attract women, as well as women who have no compunction to prettify themselves, but I see far more women trying to fit the media beauty mold than men.

To be fair, boyfriend would have been happy had I put on whatever makes me comfortable, but this was special, and I wanted to be dazzling, not ordinary.  My efforts were much appreciated, but didn’t deserve the attitude I was throwing his way.

Once I gave up the mission I was on and accepted our present circumstances, the night became much better.  We found The Bell In Hand Tavern and missed dinner by minutes, but ordered off their bar menu (don’t order the Grilled Cheese & Tomato unless you like American cheese on white bread with mealy tomatoes, but the Waffle Fries and Chicken Tenders were great!).  A rock band was playing in the bar area, while we were sitting in the dining area that piped in Top 40 tunes, so the discordance was somewhat hard to take, but once we finished eating and went into the bar area, the band was pretty good.  They had a great mix of old and new tunes, and the mostly college-aged crowd were having a great time, dancing and engaging in Young American mating rituals.

I was so glad to be out of that meat-market vibe – and I never liked it even when I was college-aged.  That’s probably why I didn’t date much when I was younger, well, that and the few guys I ever met at bars ended up being bad ideas.

Today, the snow wasn’t supposed to start until later in the afternoon in Boston, but it began around noon and stayed steady.  We decided to go have lunch, and then see a few historical sites.  By 2:00 p.m. the snow was heavier and made our sightseeing less see or sight.  Boyfriend and I weren’t as chipper as we had been yesterday, and I was ready to head home. especially because the forecast was for 3 – 7 inches of snow in Boston, while Western MA was forecasting an inch at most, an ironic twist on the usual weather patterns in this area. The ride home was more enervating than the going had been, and the relentless snow made driving home treacherous, especially as it got dark.

Traveling on, I thought about this first year together, and started a conversation about highlights, and soon we were in happy remembrance more than focusing on the terrible conditions.

Bottom line is my life has been radically improved, and I am so grateful my soul mate found me, and remained through my traumatized soul’s doubts and self-sabotage attempts.  He knows how much work I am, even though I don’t want, or try, to be.  I’ve found my heart’s desire: a man who loves and likes me as much as I love and like him.  Valentine’s Day might be a made up holiday linking gruesome martyrdom with romantic love, candy, cards, and flowers, but celebrating love will never go out of vogue.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Winter’s Loveliness

The latest near foot of snow brought the lighter variety, with icy flakes that glitter like diamonds in the sun, and is so beautiful viewing in the moonlight too.

Boyfriend and I went for a ski lesson last night on a bunny slope in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Even though it’s only a hill with a T-bar lift, the lesson was free, the snow was perfect for skiing, and the night sky was so bright with stars the cold was more bearable.  The lesson was only an hour and a half, which was good because numbing cold left no feeling in our toes and fingers by the end.  We took a few runs on our own and veered off the groomed area into the untouched deep, and it was like skiing on slick, soft, cushions – just as I had always imagined jumping on clouds would be like.  The unpacked snow slowed us down a bit, but it was worth it to experience that light powder.

Winter weariness has set in, but doing whatever activities I can will help usher Spring in sooner!

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Doing The Right Thing

I wish I had a reliable oracle at my disposal so I could make choices with confidence rather than the fear and anxiety that accompanies all my big – and sometimes not so big – decisions.

The job I got in October proved too stressful, and has compounded my ‘loser-itus’. I know I have skills, mad skillz, baby, but no clue where to use them, how to be employed through them – how to be a money-maker.  The lowest common denominator cash pursuits flit through my brain, but it’s important that I retain whatever integrity, morality, and ethics I ever had.

My neck would like compression relief, but I’m worried that the operation will screw me up worse than living with the constant pain.  A psychic could peer into my future and see whether I’m walking or not.  I joke, sort of.  I want assurances, and knowns, and this world is scant on both.

The good news is that my significant other still likes me, and is pretty sure that I’ll be better off with the operation, but then again, it’s not his neck!  He also has a job that gives him satisfaction, challenge, and esteem.  He has varied work, and even though he has a bear of a commute, he’s more happy than not.  I’ve had the opposite, and the work that brings me joy is creative, which pays shit unless you’ve got an in, are extraordinarily talented and motivated, or get lucky.

I saw a poster reading: ‘The harder I work, the more luck I have’, and while I agree with that sentiment, it’s not lack of hard work that I’m where I am.

If I go through with the operation will I be at least as functional as I am now, keeping in mind that I have chronic pain, pain related insomnia, depression and anxiety disorder?  The neurosurgeon told me that the procedure will not reduce the pain I’m having, and could increase it, but, it will save me from worse neck problems, and reduce my chances of paralysis.  I like the doctor, and want him to operate if that’s what I choose, but I’ve talked to dozens of people who have warned me away from any neck surgery, ever.  It’s like when I read the comments about a place I wanted to go on vacation to last summer.  Reading the suggestions and ratings only added to my uncertainty.  And while staying at the motel anyway turned out great, this decision has lifetime consequences.  It could ruin my vocal chords, and I’m a singer, it could increase my suffering and sleeplessness, and it could limit my mobility when my quest is for better physical health and movement.

I’m trying to leave room for the positive too, because no matter how much I stress out about terrible possibilities, the outcome could be fantastic.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Evening Hope

I experienced it a couple of days ago as I left work after 5pm, and I could hardly be happier.  Even though December 21st is the official date, that only feels like a tease because January 20-something is when I noticed the return of the light. Walking out of work and seeing a brighter sky increased my lightness of being for sure!

Winter’s back doesn’t break until late February, I believe, but the beginning of Spring is nigh!

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Full Moon in Wendell Brings A Coffee House

Last Saturday, January 18th, Livingston Taylor played in bucolic Wendell, Massachusetts, at their monthly fund-raising Full Moon Coffee House.  The day had been snowy off and on, my boyfriend and I wondering if the event would be cancelled, or if we should attempt the winding back-road drive in the now heavy-falling snow, but it was so worth the risk getting there and back!

Taylor’s voice is higher toned, although of similar timbre or resonance as his older brother, James’ – but Livingston has a playfulness and sardonic sense that’s evident in his music and story-telling.  He grabs your attention from the start and holds it to the end through his self-effacing stage presence and excellence.  Whatever talent he defers to his older brother, he has himself, regardless of public acclaim differences.

The show opened with Carrie Ferguson playing the piano and singing several of her songs with her lilting, tremolo, vocals and sweet sound.  Taylor took a few moments after her performance saying that’s a tough act to follow, and then continued with ‘notice how I’m standing here, waiting for the memory of what you just heard to fade.  I’ll give it a few minutes more.’

From that opening, to his songs such as Life Is Good, Never Lose Hope, Pajamas, I Will Be In Love With You, Everybody’s Just Like Me, and several more entrancing tunes, he wove stories, and musical history through a magical hour and a half, bringing us snippets of Yip Harburg’s pop song work, who was inspired by Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert, and Harburg inspired others such as Edward Harrigan and Tony Hart, who also clearly enthralled Livingston Taylor, informing his musicality and love of music history.

Livingston Taylor teaches at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and his performance made me want to take his classes, and become the best musician I can be.  I bought his book: Stage Performance, and asked him to sign it for me, to which he readily obliged.  When asked to whom he should address it, I said ‘to Jerri, and add how wonderful it is to meet me, and what a great time we’ve had…’  His droll smile illuminated his face as he penned: “Wow! What a time!  To Jerri, Livingston Taylor”  I’m most pleased that I made him smile.

Taylor’s performance closed with his sweet rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, to which we all joined in, and it was a truly lovely ending to a superbly entertaining show.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Un-Resolved

Lose weight, eat better, calm the fuck down – all goals for not just this year, but for my life.  I lost 20 lbs. two years ago by basically starving myself and dancing for at least 45 minutes a day.  The dancing was fun, and at the time, I was living in the haunted third floor apartment, dancing to 80′s music and Latin beats, when I came home to a note taped to my door with an offer to take Salsa dance lessons, given by the dude downstairs at a local gym.  I cracked up wondering if they’d had plaster coming off their walls or something.  Maybe my dancing on the carpet wasn’t as sound-free as I thought.

I counted every calorie that year and went to the gym at least 5 times a week.  I did strength training and aerobics and had joined Zumba at the YMCA, and it was great.  I had a pretty good year, and it was even better because the previous year had led up to a ‘dark night of [my] soul’, and I had to choose whether I was going to live or whether I was going to die.  My typing tells you which I chose.  I also had a spiritual epiphany, or non-spiritual as the case may be, when I realized that maybe God is a bullying jerk, randomly handing out goodness and keeping it from others, and that such a deity couldn’t possibly be loving or caring and definitely not kind, so I decided that maybe god doesn’t love or care about me, but I can love and care about myself.  That changed the flavor of my soul that night.  The apartment was still haunted and scared the crap out of me every night, but that night, a calm came over me as I had stumbled on to a personal truth.

While I wasn’t exactly set free, I was set upon a new path, and that’ll do, pig, that’ll do. (See, Babe, the movie).  I live with myself, and I am not easy to live with.  I’ve actually asked my boyfriend why the hell he stays with me, and why does he love me.  He is the most constant man I’ve ever had in my life, and he’s probably completely crazy, but I think it’s a good insanity.

Now, my job is not working out, which I see as me being a perpetual failure, fuck-up, loser, etc. (and this coming from someone who ‘loves’ herself now), the difference being that I can dial back from that, or at least make an incomplete call more of the time.

I like me in spite of me.  I have great qualities, like the ones my boyfriend reflects back to me – humor, fun, adventure-seeking.  I’m happier than I have been in a long time.  Maybe I should stop questioning it and resolve to just love myself as fully as I can.  Oh, and not get bent when I have more chocolate…

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Morning Joe

Dumping the remaining coffee from my cup onto the frozen lot outside my car,

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I stepped deftly over the pooled scar

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But later I slipped – much to my chagrin,

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On the coffee-ice that formed where the puddle had been.

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I smiled grimly through my ache, realizing that this was my first

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True coffee-break.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

New Year’s Day, 2014

I haven’t written in a while.  Life has been moving fast, and I’ve had trouble keeping up.  This year has made me realize how not-normal I am, and I’m not sure what to do.
While I’m involved with a loving man who wants to spend his life with me, I’ve lost on the friend and family front.

My son’s father has a daughter who is a decade older than my son, and she spent quite a bit of time with us when her father and I first got together, and when I was pregnant – even helping to name her brother – and I’ve always loved her and wanted to remain in her life regardless of the hell I went through with her father.  I’ve kept in touch with her over the years, sometimes better than others, but I especially wanted her and her brother to have a strong connection.  I succeeded in fostering that, and that’s wonderful, but she isn’t interested in knowing me anymore, which is just the way it is, but is so incredibly sad for me.  She has two daughters now, and I met her oldest, but not her youngest, and I so wish they had invited me to come see them when they were out here visiting this past week, but at least they spent some time with my son, and I understand that that’s what’s important.

The women I spent most of my time with prior to this year have all been absorbed in various pursuits now that our common bond, karaoke night, ended.  We loved singing together and we got to know each other pretty well, spending happy weekends in each others company, and I had hoped that was a lasting bond, but just like water, everything seeks its own level.  Other circles of friends I spent time with that I made through theater have also moved on, and I miss having every day friends.

‘Where do I belong?’ is my big question.  The job I had didn’t work out, and I’m not sure what to do, and my son is graduating college this coming May, and already has a great job lined up, and it seems like the Universe is creating my exit plan for me.

I’ve not had bootstraps to pull myself up with; I’ve never been good at blazing a trail.  I’m in awe of those who can do that, and I’m happy for them.  Many just struggle and can’t seem to find that extra spark, or whatever it is.

This has been a pity post, I understand that, and whatever disdain it receives, I can’t help.  I continued striving and trying, and whatever god I might be called to account for this life to will see that.  Maybe it will be a compassionate god, if it exists, but regardless, I know I tried with all I had.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Humility

A clock’s tick, my life drip – I watch the ebbing tide.

See the day pass away, each dark or brightened hour.

Smell the flower, test the water, eat forbidden fruit.

Try your hand, strike the band, dream of far away.

Make failure your friend, your will to bend, greet it on your knee.

Or head held high, you lie and lie, and pray for a better end.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Oh Deer!

English: A pair of (Odocoileus virginianus) gr...

English: A pair of (Odocoileus virginianus) grazing from a tree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

August and September are melancholic for me.  I enjoy autumn, but I love summer. I mostly love the long summer days.  On the longest days, 9 p.m. saw the final light fading, as my side of the Earth turned away from the sun, and the early summer light made me feel happier.  But, the season is turning now, even though the humid August days belie what’s soon to come.

In July, I moved in with my boyfriend, and we’ve both been adjusting ever since, and trying to make it ‘our’ place, but I do not easily assimilate, which I suppose could be a strength in other circumstances.  Regardless, we’re living in a beautiful rural area, and I’ve seen more wildlife – alive and in road-kill form – than I had in the last several years.  Nearly every morning, and early evening, for instance, several deer graze on the far edge of the yard, near the tree line down in back of the house.  My boyfriend and I noticed a doe with three fawns this spring, and we’ve watched them eating nearly every day.  At first, the fawns mostly nursed while mama ate, but she was weaning them a few weeks ago.  She’d let them suckle for less than a minute and then shake them off – sometimes engaging in a sort of hip-hop dance getting them away from her.

Several weeks ago, mama deer came out with only two fawns over several days, and I was so sad that one of them must have died.  I imagined illegal hunters, and then maybe a coydog, or bob cat, or some other asshole animal, taking down the cute, innocent fawn.  Then, The Lion King, came to my mind, The Circle of Life song looped in my head over the next few days, and I moved onto acceptance in my grief cycle, when lo and behold, mama doe came out one morning with three fawns in tow!  My boyfriend and I wondered aloud what had happened.  He thought maybe it had been two deer families making separate appearances, and while that’s plausible, there’s only the doe and her three fawns out there everyday.  I thought the fawn must have been sick, and laid low for a while.

Which brings me to another thought: where the hell is their dad?  It must be rough for a single-doe family, raising three rambunctious fawns, while papa buck is out there – doing Goddess/God knows what – probably munching on fermented berries and fruits with all the other bucks, not getting back to the thicket until well after dark…

Then again, maybe some asshole mammal took daddy-buck out in the bloom of fatherhood.  The Circle of Life, indeed.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Lost And Found

I last wrote that my younger brother was missing, and suicidal.  He was either found and brought to a hospital, or checked himself in, but he’s relatively safe again, and I hope he’s ready to accept help and work for his life.

Our dark legacy is sad, and makes life weary, but I know that as long as we’re taking in air, and able to function, we can change.  I so want his ending to leave good ripples.  I wish the same for myself.

I had decided to be done when my son graduated college if nothing else in my life changed, and since then, many things have changed.  I understand that doesn’t mean my life will be free from unwanted circumstances, but I feel more able to deal with what’s in front me now.

So many failed dreams litter my mind and make forward movement difficult, but I have a lovely man, and many friends and relatives willing to help me through hard times, and revel with me too.  I wish the same for my little brother.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Dark Legacy

We used to be good friends, my little brother and I.  We were silly together in our childhood, and that probably kept us somewhat sane and protected from the hell we lived in.  We didn’t grow up in a war-torn nation, and I do understand perspective, but we did live with domestic violence and constant fear of harm.

As many older siblings experience, my younger brother was a pain in the ass quite often, and all I wanted was to be with my older sisters, who, of course, eschewed my company.  My little brother was the last of six children, and most likely has Asperger’s Syndrome, along with Attention Deficit Disorder, so he was different as a child regardless of what else was going on around him.  He didn’t speak until he was nearly three years old, and when he did, it was in full sentences.  My parents thought he might be mute for a while.  When he was four or five, he took apart and re-built a lamp, and while it wasn’t as good as it was before dismantling, it still worked.

Time wore on, hell got thicker, and my parents finally split at the loaded end of a gun.  I’m glad my father didn’t kill any of us, but no one talked about that horrible night with us. I remember whispered conversations among my mother and her family, even though we were never privy to those talks.

My brother became more of a nuisance to me, and even emulated behaviors he saw around him, asking me one night, in the twin bed we had to share, if I wanted ‘to fuck’.  He was only about six years old, and my punch cured him of ever asking that again.  Still, it was the beginning of my emotional separation from him, even though he wasn’t a pedophile in the making.

In our twenties I rarely saw him, but when I did, he was always full of grandiose ideas about how his life should be or go, and the chip on his shoulder about what the world owed him was starting to grow.

My brother never got that life didn’t give a fuck about him, or anyone.  He bought the idea of attraction as a causal force, and was devastated every time his directed intentions didn’t bring him health, wealth, or whatever he was trying to materialize.  He tried so valiantly to heal from our childhood, but those demons followed him and after several attempts at suicide, he finally acquiesced to help.  Sadly, he couldn’t stay sober either, so the half-way house for dually-diagnosed clients had to let him go.  He moved to get away from himself, just as I did so many times, but even in his beloved Cape Cod, he hasn’t found solace.

He took medication for his A.D.D. that made him paranoid, and he wouldn’t trust his psychiatrist, or his medical workers, and thought that neighbors were trying to break into his apartment – no matter where he moved to, and no matter how small he made his world.

Being around my brother was so stressful and depressing that I had to remove myself from his world.  Maybe I suck as a human being, but I barely keep my own mental health stable.  I was always willing to help him if he would accept help, but my stipulations were too stringent for him.

Now, he’s been missing for nearly a week.  He left behind his phone, his wallet, all his personal information, and cut out his best, and nearly only, friend, who also recently set a boundary with him.  I hope he’ll make it through this last shadowed valley, but I feel powerless and deeply sad.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Stuck In The Muddle

I knew that a boyfriend wouldn’t fix my issues, make my life perfect, or fulfill all my needs.  I haven’t spent much time with friends, however, and every time I talk about what I need vs. what ‘we’ need, or ‘he’ needs, I end up feeling like I’m the one lacking.  He thinks I’m somewhat selfish, well – I am!  I am an autonomous being – quite apart from anyone else.  Too much of my life was spent in the shadow of someone else, and that isn’t tolerable anymore.

My friends are mostly still raising families, or younger, and I feel somewhat of an island unto myself, and it’s lonely.

I’m adjusting to being a ‘couple’, and how that fits with the rest of my life.  I keep thinking I should leave and go west again.  I have several friends in California, and I no longer have a little one to worry about and design my life around.

I never wanted to write a ‘Dear John’ letter – especially since that’s not my boyfriend’s name – but every time I tell him I’m not sure I’m cut out for a relationship, he tries to talk me out of it.  I feel like I’ve stepped into a life that’s not mine.  The admonishment ‘don’t self-sabotage’ plays in a faint loop in the back of my mind, but freedom’s siren call is strong.

A pro/con list will help, as well as making sure I’ve got a place to stay in California, and that’s really where I want to be.  I could make a go of acting, and see if that works out for me, and if nothing else, I’ll know that being single is preferable for me.  Or, I could decide that sticking this out might lead to my best life, because I have it pretty good, even if it’s not perfect.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Early July

Bonfire Night

I’ve moved into a fairly close-knit community with a vibrant social center in Western Massachusetts, and I went for a walk with my boyfriend downtown from our house on a large hill, late last night, to see if the town’s annual bonfire was still burning.
There’s only one street light at the top of the hill and we walked in near darkness until we reached the town center at the bottom of the hill. If my boyfriend hadn’t been with me, I probably would have turned back. The only marker’s we had were a few fireflies now and then, blinking in the grass and bushes at the road’s edge. Crickets and tree frogs filled the humid night air as we walked hand in hand – occasional rustling from some other animal breaking into the night chorus – filling me with fears of bears and wolves, while my real fear should have been skunks searching for grubs. Being sprayed by a surprised skunk would have kept away any bears or wolves, but everyone else as well!
As we walked down the street, we saw great flames and sparks streaming up into the sky, lighting a wide expanse around the park. We continued around the park’s edge to the playground and swung for a while, watching the emanated light show, and hearing the chatter of several generations around us.
I felt linked to all the people there, as well as those from bonfires past – and to cultures who’ve used bonfires to mark celebrations and festivals throughout time.
The fire and sparks shimmered in the night air, sometimes looking like mini-fireworks, other times looking like live creatures taking flight from their great burning mother. I stepped backwards for several yards as we left the park, mesmerized by the ever-changing, shimmering glow and off-shooting flares.
We walked back up to our house and laid down on the driveway to watch the night sky for a half-hour or so, later drifting to sleep on a comfortable bed, grateful for such a magical night.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

 

Egads!

Thank you new followers to my blog, and thank you to all of you who’ve stayed following me through the past few years as well.  My neglect hasn’t gone unnoticed by me, but so much lived life is happening that I haven’t felt able to keep up. 

Now that I have to pack and have so much to do that even eating feels like losing valuable time, I’m ready to write. The dishes are done too, in case you were wondering…

I’ve observed hundreds of things that I wanted to include in my posts, but every time I sit down, I can’t seem to think of anything I tried to make a mental note on.  It’s usually when I’m driving, so I need to get a voice recorder and save my ideas for later.  Sometimes when I sit down to write, the brilliant ideas I thought I had suddenly seem trite and unremarkable.

I still want to write about pet peeves, like when someone pulls out in front of you and then stays going slow, as though you inconvenienced them.  That’s when I wish I had a great big magnetic attachment to my car that I could deploy to lift their inconsiderate asses up in their vehicle and drop them behind me.  It’s either that or get to pinch them at the next stop.

I’m a fast driver, but I’ve slowed down over the years – just enough to avoid the hefty tickets.  I belong on the Autobahn, which of course, now has speed limits.  I want to be a test driver on the desert flats, where you can see anything coming for miles.  Speed thrills me.  I just want to go faster and faster.  I’m not thrilled by potential (or actual) crashes, so I reign in my dangerous habit most of the time.

I’m also not very mature – I don’t act my age – whatever the hell that means.  I guess those who’ve looked at me with disdain, or told me I should ‘act my age’, came with a manual that I never received.  I’m here once.  I get to live it mostly my way – as long as I do as little harm as possible, and follow my inner compass that has a very distinct line on right and wrong, but it’s not a very big compass.  Live and let live is my main credo, but the exceptions are when I witness harm being done to others, or when harm is being done to me.  Stopping harm, to me, is anywhere from intervening in a fight, to going after rapists, molesters, child abusers, and other assorted devil’s minions.  I have zero compassion for them.  All you all can have whatever compassion you want, but my goal is to see their scourge wiped from the Earth, and to have them exiled to some uninhabitable planet.  They never cared what they were doing to others, and in fact, some boast about what they’ve done, and continue to do.

Moving on from that happy topic, I hope to blog more regularly again, and respond to all the wonderful posts I’ve been reading through these few months! 

Cheers.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Universal Punk

I’ve not written in a few weeks and that seems to be the pattern lately.  So many things are changing in my life it’s hard to keep up – IRL – as the acronym generation is wont to say.  I am in a steady relationship, which is weird and wonderful, and I’m moving out of my apartment – the last apartment I lived in with my son – to move in with my boyfriend.  It’s a happy change, but it’s also fraught with discomfort that I’m not sure my boyfriend understands.

He and I are very compatible in so many ways, but we’re also very different in others.  He’s savvy and understands nuances, but he’s also not experienced the kind of life I have and has difficulty understanding my perspective.

I wish I didn’t have my perspective.  I’d love to be positively focused more of the time rather than disaster minded.  He doesn’t think of all the ways he could die when he walks out the door, for instance.  For me, it’s death insurance.  If I think of many ways I could die as I walk out my door to my car, then driving, etc., then that won’t happen.  I’ve punked the universe.  It can’t win because it won’t blindside me.  I’ve seen life as my adversary, and now I have a new outlook and it’s screwing with my serenity.

Ahhh, I think.  The universe did punk me by going in the opposite direction.  Well played, Universe.  Well played!

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Modern Immaturity

I was racing from one appointment to another today, and nearly missed my last one because the previous one ran longer than expected.  Knowing the area as well as I do, I opted to take some back roads which are usually slow-going, but more direct.  I passed a few people on double-lines where I knew the sight line was long enough for me to pass safely, but safety was the least consideration in my time crunch.  I kept thinking how ironic it would be if I crashed because then I’d really be late for the next appointment…

Nearing my destination seemed the perfect opportunity for the universe to throw more obstacles in my way, because, naturally, it looked as though I was trying to outwit all the things, and the universe just wanted to be helpful.  I think I can still hear the cosmos snickering about it.

I didn’t set out to be that asshole today, but from the number of one-finger salutes in the final mile or so, I’m sure I’d place second, if not first.  The last short-cut I took was a dirt road that runs behind an old mill, and I like to think of my Subaru as an off-road vehicle, but it’s really not.  The dirt road normally would have just been bouncy and dusty to zoom down, but I had forgotten that it rained most of the week, and last night’s torrential downpour only deepened the near pond that I went careening down into in my race against the clock.

I nearly didn’t make it.  I swear I felt the undercarriage get lighter as my poor car’s engine strained to keep momentum through the wash-out.  I was so happy when my back tires spun onto drier ground, and I made it into the doctor’s office lot with a minute to spare.  It was an interesting adventure, even though the mature adult in me tried to berate my irresponsible, reckless behavior, while the twelve-year old in me couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.