There is so much in that, because its just today, and I might forget it tomorrow, but today I stood up for myself, and all my people are standing and applauding right now and it feels pretty damn good.
My home is sacred to me. The chaos and the beauty, all the things that drive me nuts. She’s becoming a person in my life, this dwelling place, and that’s something I’ll not turn down.
Life, growth, green things, living things, they are sacred. I cannot be a Buddhist but I do avoid stepping on ants, and I’m aware of the loss of the tiny. And I’m blown away by the big.
The birds in the bush. Their tiny lives as big as mine.
November is the month my dad died. I kept saying I didn’t want it to be an anniversary, but it is, no matter what I say. My daughter turns eight before that though, but once the party is over, I typically fall down. Time is funny, and I allow it to blow through and continue to ruffle things.
Lights, lights in the darkness. Twinkle. Stride, a stridency. A candle flame in the deeps. Auden.
Wind. There is something truly clarifying in it. And danger rides along as well. Maybe the mix is what brings it to the level of sacred. So often it is there, just out of sight, waiting our notice, or acting out until we stare with our jaws dropped.
Friends. The ones who always answer the phone. The ones who stand up and cheer you.
Skin. Touch. Feeling the humanity of another. Being felt.
I think I wrote about this ages ago, when my dad died. BUT that was another lifetime ago, and I just tried to go look it up and find where it was, and reading that stuff was too hard, and too foreign. The lifetimes having slipped far away down that river.
when my dad died, I was wrecked. Not only was his heart attack in my backyard, and my now former husband was giving chest compressions that kept him alive long enough for all his kids to get there to see a living body… but the suddenness of the loss and the incontrovertible NO, HE WILL NOT MAKE IT. . . there it was, there it all was.
I found my mind racing and racing and racing, and I couldn’t get back to where I needed to be to function as myself and as the mother and householdrunner that I needed and wanted to be. it was memory, and memory and more memory world-shift and fear and grief welling and complete detachment from the people I was sharing a house with.
and oh, the racing. the fucking racing of my mind. pinging from wall to wall. a highspeed badnews montage, looped.
Quickly after the death, I drew a hand and wrote ‘RIGHT HERE’ and I don’t know if someone suggested it to me or if the HUBSJatthetime suggested it, but I hung it on the cabinet door next to the stove. I saw it multiple times a day. and I physically put my hand in front of my face multiple other times per day. I smelled my skin. I closed my eyes.
Here I am. Here is my skin. This is all that there is, RIGHT HERE.
the circles are small. the physical space I am is all that there is. when the quakers say ‘center down’, this is how I feel, all the energies bringing me back to the RIGHT HERE.
I kept it up there during the long and painful divorcing process. Really helped when I put out the wrong number of plates, or when all I could hear was his disapproval, even after he was gone.
Somehow the hand fell off the cabinet, or I replaced it with another missive. Its been quite a few years now.
And, this week, I noticed it moving from place to place in the kitchen, showing itself in my new time of need. In this new sadness that is so familiar.
so, i’m going to put it back up. because…
HERE I AM. HERE IS MY VERY OWN SKIN. BLESS WHAT IS RIGHT HERE.
what’re you up to now that the world has shut down?
in truth, so far, about once a week I have a complete sobbing meltdown. the fear, the anxiety, the worry for the kids, for LM, for my mom and for everysingleperson.
LM is here, as he has severely compromised lungs and my place is best for not being full of germshare.
my kids dad doesn’t believe in the benefits of social isolation, so gave them to friends for a sleepover a little over a week ago. he does not have much respect for my being an informed adult and seems to think i am a hysteric who gets her news from gossip.
so i am doing all that i can when i can and cursing his soul. i hope he feels it. and yes, i am a little kidding, and some of me is not kidding at all.
and then there is hope. because, as hard as it is for me to believe, beneath all the layers of fear, anxiety, cynicism, despair, niggling worries, fear of schooling my children and deep betrayal lies a golden molten core of beauty and brilliant LIGHT that, evidently, cannot be dimmed.
and so she SHINES.
sometimes. when the night is dark and dreary, she flashes. and i’m seeking her out, and holding hands, and
SEEKING HER OUT.
and i think it is saving me, and so there is that.
and i’m hoping to re-enter this world here more often. but lets not hold our breaths.
the structure of things is simple. an outline, a scaffold of right angles and sturdy support. the veinous structure of the map.
and then there are the details.
the rhythm of the heart. the out-branching, the outlier, thinner and thinner and prone to dissolution. age and wear. the curve of a doorway arch. the dirt road still in use. the ‘what’s for dinner’ call at the bus stop at 8 am…
in my brain, something snagged. A detail stuck out and hooked all the scaffolding for miles in a precarious leaning-towards a vast nothing.
I have believed, for months, that I needed a w2 from my last ‘real’ job, and today I started acting on finding it. Because an answer did not immediately fly my way, my body got anxious. as in, my heart is still tight now, hours later, my skin was flushed hot and prickly and i was buried in shame. and this, all this, in a series of maybe 6 text/message/email exchanges. six. (and I’m wrong. I don’t need that w2.)
simple. not simple.
i want to joke about death and taxes. i really do.
i can’t entirely figure it out. the shame? dear god. Shame? COME ON. shame is for cain and abel. for trump, if in fact he had a heart or soul… but me? shame?
ugh. brene brown, come and get me.
Something about being a good girl, I am sure. Following the rules. Having clear countertops. Failing. Failing at taxes, being ignorant of what you need to get by in the world. Not knowing the loopholes, not knowing the structures to climb. Not knowing what you do not know.
I survived the November/December overwhelm but something needs to be different when it rolls around next year. There is grief for my father, yes, which can’t be undone. but it is complicated by the loss of the marriage (Yes! Still! I can’t believe it either!) and all the dreams I thought were mine for so long… the holidays are a minefield of negotiations, two kid birthdays and thanksgiving, christmas eve, christmas day, new years eve, new years day and all of the days in between… and full days of childcare/love in amongst it all. negotiations between what is and what I thought life was, negotiations between their father and me, so many of them. Negotiations for myself and my expectations of real life and real love and the real-ity that I am in with the Loveliest man. (he’s still a lovey) I’m fully exhausted.
There is the world, which is frankly, and still, just TOO MUCH.
I have made my own laundry detergent. LM did the grating of the soap and it still smells lovely. Fels Naptha, Washing Soda (think baking soda) and Borax. I think that is it. Pretty sure. no link for now because everything i just looked up was corporate or link-laden. i hate that.
I have more plants than fully makes sense.
I’m going to forbid my kids any plastic bottles, starting tonight, which, believe it or not, might cause an actual walk-out. it used to be a thing to get drinks after sports. cold ones. now there’s a whole lot of ‘suckit up, kids, we’re almost home’. I’m going to save a lot of money as well. so, bonus.
and, lastly. i hate gingerbread houses with a passion straight from the divine. molten lava hatred. this one was delivered to a little girl by the LM, who did not know. It was all pre-formed, all of it. all i had to do was frosting it together. has my hatred dissipated, you ask? no. no it has not.