Friday, March 30, 2007

Mother

I've felt keenly of late the loss of my mother. In those few words I try to encompass much. There is history and hate, tears and love, anger and comfort. We battled one another and served one another in turn until, in the end, there was little to be said outside of small touches and looks. Ah, even now the tears come...

She came from that mad Welsh stock that traipsed across the pond and landed, eventually, in Ohio. With her and down through to me comes the old Welsh madness and that touch of the Other. I can look at old photos and see her face in the pale, wrinkled flesh of women long dust.

There is something in that history, that ancient and thin lineage that echoes inside me and I am thankful to have gotten it even if it has leant to me a sort of difference and a lack of satisfaction with this world and time. And I think it gave much the same to her so that she was always a bit scornful of life. Perhaps, too, she hadn't the willingness to consider it - that echo inside - for what it might be.
I know, though, that she was brave. She went through agonies that I would not. She took one disappointment after another and was still able, in the end, to smile softly and curve her gaunt hand around my cheek. We were the closest, I think, of all the girls. To me she would give her complaint and her courtesy. And I tried very hard to be a good daughter even though I know I failed her more often than not.
There was once - ah, memories come to me lately that I had long forgotten - once a time wherein her beloved became a monster. I stayed to my room, music and writing my only solace. Oh, they were horrid little chapters full of Romance novel fluff and drama. But she came to me one night and held the papers in her hand - "You write very well. You should do more of it." I blushed and recoiled, the thought that someone had read that stuff bringing much shame. But she just handed them back to me kindly, a soft brush of her hand over my hair and a kiss on the head before leaving my room and returning to her own wherein a waking nightmare lived.
There were other moments, too, which were just our own. I was moving, leaving behind that marriage home and after long days of packing and troubles, I stood at the top of the stairs and just...could not do more. I looked around me in fear and confusion. But there she was, in the doorway of the bedroom and I went to her as though a child again, tears and sobs rolling like a tide into her warm shoulder. She shushed her man, this one fine and gentlemanly, as he came up the stairs unwitting. Her hand fluttered in the air - I could see it off to the side - telling him to move along a time. She let me cry and cry and then wiped the tears away. "Better? Well, good. It's all going to be fine, you know. Now, let's get this last of it and go, okay?" God, I can hear the words and see it clearly in my mind.
Stages and snippets of our life together coalesce and form in my mind so that I pick and choose them now and then and wade into it, letting the sadness and tears come. I remember well how she ate that last meal with us - it was lovely roasted chicken and mashed potatoes. She ate so little those days - perhaps a bite of applesauce now and then. But of this she ate spoon after spoon as I sat there in the small chair at her bed and fed her. The roles reversed, I did not mind. It seemed the most natural thing in the world. She watched me intensely and, as I said, we communicated in the smallest of ways.
But even that time had to end and I saw as we prepared to leave that she had so little fight left in her. If we had known how little, I'd have made my proper farewell but just as was her way, she didn't press for it. She hinted - I told her we'd be back in a month - but she said she didn't think she'd be here. I told her that was nonsense and gave her another kiss as she watched us leave, curled around in that bed to see us. I wish even now that I could race back for another kiss, another hug and smell of her. Another hour of mashed potatoes.
This Mother's Day I shall buy carnations and tulips in her honor but sooner still, some for her graveside which we shall visit in a few weeks as we install the plaque I had made. Her birthday will come just before and I shall honor her in her own small town. With love I shall wend my way to her small plot and try to remember again each sigh of wind and toss of the trees. And in that moment remember to thank her for the lovely memories. I miss her so. If there is an Afterlife, I dearly hope she's the first one I see. I've so much to tell her...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Laudanum, Love

I'm missing it a bit lately...those halcyon days - and nights - of sonambolism. There is too much going on and I cannot seem to find enough rest. It's all foolishness, of course. I've a ton of guilt, anger, and sadness going on about how I left my finely carved body behind in GA so many months ago. I had forgotten that mental exercise wheel where you constantly hear the echo of the self-loathing. "Doesn't fit...what's it matter...who cares...fuck em all...God, you look like shit..." I think men must not have it or maybe their inner voice says something different.

I should have been upstairs getting back on track tonight. Instead, I had to play catchup on work which ate into the grocery shopping time which then trounced all over the exercise hour until I came home hungry, tired and utterly sick of email inboxes, meeting requests and the like.

Oh, yes - it's a lovely rationalization! I know it. I am quite clear on that point. But...I wonder, distantly, if that dark melancholy is reaching out again. I address the matter rather scientifically rather than emotionally, now. I question myself - is it real or is it just the rainy weather? Is it the music or the endorphin loss? Am I dwelling and drawing it in or just eyeing it on the horizon? And I do ache to feed it, of course.

I am a natural depressive. Never sought out the speed, never the hyper. No, that was not my bane. No, it was the slow...the dulled and the quiet that I sought out. Mindlessness wherein there was no pain or worry. And perhaps that is it - too many concerns right now and I am trying to wend my way back to that womblike security. Hmm. Well, regardless, it's not possible. Not only is it Not Allowed, I don't think I shall give in to it anymore. It is a weakness. Not only physical and mental but also of character.

But then...maybe it was the carnage of Tuesday...as a Scorpio woman, I am deeply drawn to the dark things of life, to an understanding of them - of death and pain and lust and the like. It's all one, sometimes. But there was on Monday a horrific scene of death that he had to deal with. Home, late, he related the details that he felt reasonable. But the next day he had to get photos of the poor soul. The issued 35mm wasn't a nice SLR and he needed help. I volunteered. And took the digital. Heh..yes...

Suffice to say the young man was not whole after his final experience. But I sat on the old sofa in the small town funeral home and watched the process - the large freezer holding the table on rolling wheels - the table that held him - what there was left, anyway. The gentleman rolled it out with respect, unzipping that black bag with care and folding back the standard tarp just like you might use to gather autumn leaves or cover your woodpile...the blue tarp was bright color in an otherwise dull world. I could not see the entire...affair. And strove not to as he dealt with the photos and making his own notations about condition and the like. But the face...faced me. And the arm, awkwardly akimbo like a GI Joe who had a few too many war wounds. It wasn't - there was no one home. Does that make sense? Unanimated. Entirely bereft - oh, and that is the word, is it not?

It could apply, too, to his now utterly bereft young wife. She waited outside along with the extended family, her own parents recently gone, his parents so obvious in their similar appearance to the lost. He continued his work as I assiduously avoided rising - no, best to keep eyes at table edge level and avoid the worst of it. Only a flicker now and then of what one would not want to consider. But I thought to myself - no reason to put a picture in my mind if it was not necessary. I think too often kids today and their torture porn movies place inside sights that are...not right. Not healthy. It's not like the old mummy movies. Our monsters were never human back then, were they? But now? They are ALL human - just like us except capable of so much worse.

I left that horror in that room and we went back out into the overcast world where a kind wind blew away any remnant of the experience. And he went to that huddled group to explain to all who would know what lay behind those brick walls. I did not need to know more.

And so perhaps that is the link...that is the yearning for the sleep and forgetfulness. But the inner dialogue has to be stopped. The battle will be skewed otherwise. I will not win. And I'll be damned if I'll settle for what Is. Not when I know What Can Be. Not when my body softly sings from a corner what it knows is Possible.

Meanwhile, all of you out there, drive careful. I mean that most sincerely.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Hunt

What is there to say except that it continues? Of course, there is more than one hunt just now. For one, I am hunting for a reason that a system update needs 2 hrs to complete itself - and especially one that is really not as simple as they say - yes, there is manual involvement. (Thank goodness I am watching over it vs. believing CIO else I'd have come back in a few hours and still only been halfway done.)


And then there is the house hunt. What a market this is - no sooner do we find one than a contract is placed on it. Or we find one that is nearly perfect only to see some very important defect after the walk through. We continue looking but it does grow old. We begin to wonder how hard it would be to just build the damned thing.


Ah...the hard drive encryption portion of the update - I predict utter tragedy. Let's all take a moment to consider a laptop that becomes a (though handily unhackable) brick. Think good thoughts!


Now, then, where was I? Yes - house. Which then leads to gardening. Why? Because I am a woman and I like fleurs. Yes, yes I do. And the latest pretties I have found delight me to no end. Here - have a look. Veronica, they call it. Georgia Blue Veronica. I call it the prettiest blue I've ever seen. I cannot wait to put it somewhere that might survive the summer. You can see from its tender tendrils that it shall utterly fail if I don't get just the right microclimate. With it I planted some Lily of the Valley tubers but I doubt they'll manage. Perhaps but it was just a fling. A flight of imagination that was likely doomed from the start. Nevertheless, in my mind's eye they were a lovely pair. LOL
The photo also serves to illustrate precisely why we must move and soon. For long and long I've appreciated my empty view at the rear of the house. But now, in the grand tradition of "Texas hi-density housing" I shall now have the opportunity to view someone's - well, let's just hope nudity isn't involved. Of course, my own fleshy prancing on the 2nd floor is also no more. Not that I pranced, per se, but - well, damn it! - no one likes to get dressed immediately after a shower, do they? I mean, weather permitting and all that...sigh...well, at any rate, I feel very much assaulted by the nearness of thee so I shall hie me to a place where there is a bit more than 20 feet betwixt us.
Oh! What's this? The update done, the drive encrypted and...and...it wants to let me log in? No! Hmm. Well, let's just finish this first, shall we?
At any rate, the house hunt continues and all of our must-haves become may-we-please's and the Never! has become For The Right Money. It's unbearably sad!
As to the other hunt - it has been for reason among the unreasoning. I hesitate to send you hither - particular if you have, for some reason, managed to get here even whilst being rabidly Liberal. Or even only slaveringly so. Still, see the linky for Billy Beck? Go there and look for the reference to his latest battle. If you read the comments - if you can manage to stomach it - you shall see why this republic is doomed. Mind you, I figure a goodly 75% of them are under 35 years of age. Still, it frightens me to see people who simply resist or refuse logic and reason! I may not agree with a viewpoint but if you can eloquently, logically and rationally explain why it's correct I may just change my mind.
Such is not what you will see there. It's rather strange, really, to see the mental contortions going on to avoid absolutely the concept of "personal and private property" and to link it to its very basest points. Sigh...well, it's a good fight and Billy wades into it well. I think he sullies himself in the process but sometimes the bleach needs to be tossed into the fetid swamp. I dunno. Madness reigns.
I saw elsewhere the tale of someone who went under the knife all unexpectedly to have her own womanly innards ripped out. It's a horror. One tries to think of the antiseptic nature of it - nice, clean gloved hands gently taking out the bad and gently coaxing the good back into place. But the truth is likely far worse. I imagine in my mind intestines poking out - er - incontinently. I can see them poking it in one place and having it just shove a bit out elsewhere until every hand is brought to bear while the surgeon quickly sews it all back up.
Personally, I can no longer lay on my right side for very long - a wee pain in the left side begins to remind me of the long slice in the belly that just wouldn't heal for the longest. I assume there are guts askew there that dislike the gravity's demand on them. I refuse to believe that more...goings on are going on in there. I've little left for them to take out, after all. But the poochy belly makes me wonder, sometimes. What if...well, what if hell. In April we'll know soon enough if anything else has wended its way to...what was it the notes called it? Multicystic degeneration. Morcellated it says there. What a word! It means, I take it, to be taken in pieces - morsels, you might say. Though it ruins forever the delicious associations one has with the word. God but they carved at things. MY things. I try to remember the very fast processes that took place over 24 hours. Indeed, that lovely sonogram of the innards - can you imagine a job where you performed acts otherwise illegal in many states each day? Amusing, really. But I remember the faces of the ladies told me more than they thought. It was bad. I knew it then...
Well, it's over, now and there isn't that much wrong with me, I suppose. Being tired, yes. Scarred, yes but it's sort of...cool. The "I had my guts cut open and I'm still here!" sort of cool. The lack of children...that hurts now and then. It's a different pain. A sort of guilt in some ways. But it passes, too. But dear me how I look at all those sweet baby things in the store and wonder. What might it have been like? I would have given him a son if I could. That saddens me...but the rest is just administrivia for the body. It copes. It heals. It does the best it can with what it has. And sometimes it turns on you again. I just hope I have scared the damned thing into obeisance. "I'll cut you right open again, mofo, if you wanna play!" Yeah. Take that you non-cancerous bastages. Just even THINK about stirring things up again - I'll take out the OTHER ovary! I ain't skeered!
Now...I have to start preparing myself for what is to come - namely, the return to the home gym. I have been so ill for a month that what little I started fell away and the habit process has to start anew. I blame all of you with children, all of them near each other and passing this disgustingly strong germs about. That alone is solid reason for home schooling. Dear me, how do you stand it?! I have at least had the courtesy to remain home with my germs, thankee. And after clearing nearly a gallon of mucus I dearly hope to avoid all future crud through the direct and frequent application of...well, whatever agent is strong enough to battle it. Wipes, gels, sprays and unguents - I do not care. But I hope to never feel this horrid again.
Alrighty. So that's just about it from here. Same ol, folks. Same ol.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Haunted

The evening's mood is related to the CD by Poe of the same title. It really is a fantastic bit of work that I forget about for months and months, only to rediscover it. The cats have all been asleep and are waking again, their internal clocks declaring it moon-time, prowl-time, even though they nothing of either.

We, too, have those clocks. So comes the frenzy and the somnambulism. And rather than understand it for what it is we try to treat it, dull it or shove it aside. But I will admit that I am one that is too ready to wallow in that darkness. I think now of those days - years - spent in that place and wonder at how I have moved past it.

I think often of the line in the book, "we all go to our wedding bed with our past lovers in our eyes" and I know it truth - no matter how happy we are, we prick at the old memories, toss them out like cards on a table, selecting this or that one and mull over it. Who controlled whom? Who was the dangerous one? Which one was fooled and which one used? I am pragmatic, perhaps too much so, in this. I am honest with myself and can readily admit that I was to blame for a majority of what I've dealt with. A great amount of my unhappiness in the past was directly related to my making horrid decisions. Over and over again. Oh, yes. And, like a fool expecting a different result.

So I look now at this...sanity and I sometimes marvel at it. There are bits and pieces of that madness left in dusty papers and cracked leather, words upon words. I can revisit it whenever I like and that is the best, no? So much better than living in it - you can close that mental door and walk away, the scratching from behind it growing more faint.

There are times I think of mom and wonder if there is Other - a life after or no. A part of me has echoes of so many other...experiences...that I feel confident it is so. But the rational part of me thinks it all nonsense. This is it - live it up. And, of course, adhering to the latter will not hurt even if the former is true. But I flirted so long with death that I don't know if it will hold the same import for me. And then I remember...it was hardly anything like that. It was a game, with rules and measured responses.

Still, I wonder if she has company where she is. Or has she moved on, a soul in a new life, learning what she was not able to in the last. What might that have been? In the end, the cancer was such a misery that there was simply no choice for her - to let go the easiest thing. I have to believe it - I was not there. I still close my eyes and thank the gods that she met the Trooper, that she could know I'd be okay - that I'd left behind that nightmare of hers and moved beyond that need for extremity. I think she had known it herself, in the past, and so worried for me. But she knew, in the end, that I'd be cared for and safe. I know she had to be comforted by it.

There were revelations the other night as we drove home, of childhood cruelty and destitution. Tears coming to edges of eyes as we remembered the kindness of people we hardly knew, of how one had to be harder and tougher than the rest just to get through. He and I, we are very much the same in so many ways. I think it is why we manage to get along as we do - crave each other's presence even if it's just driving down a remote Texas road, looking at hills and smiling to each other across the small distance. Here is where we were supposed to be and, I have to wonder, what we'd be if we'd met so long ago when we were both here, before. I, too young to see him for the clean thing I so needed and he, too young to see me for the good woman I was, inside. No - fate was good and right. We met when we were supposed to, when we were the people we needed to be.

I still marvel at it. The timing...it is all very strange and I wonder if he didn't send him to me as he sent that other creature. All things in their time, you know? A greater hand at work...or just...coincidence. In this vast world, two lives slip together. Rather too coincidental for my tastes. But I'll not look the gift horse in the mouth. Blessed - it's a word I don't use often. But I think it applies. No matter what else happens, we were blessed with this time together. I hope it lasts forever.