Decipher the Cipher of Life aka Stranger than Fiction

Yet again I am trying to downsize and further compartmentalize my life. Shed some of that heavy weight that no longer serves me. It’s hard to do because it requires me to dig into my past and this time it went to an even weirder zone.

Did you ever see that movie “Stranger Than Fiction” with Will Ferrell?  If not, you should and then maybe you will get the same sensation about your own life, especially if you are the artistic or wordy type.

Basically, today I got the sincere feeling I have been writing my life out, before I actually live it… or something to that degree.  I can look at a piece of writing and know when and why I was writing it at the time, but the way I write things is subconsciously coded language.  I don’t know how or why this happens specifically, but I have some assumptions.

The thing about all of this is, I haven’t had a bad life, over all.  I’ve had a rudimentary amount of pain in comparison to other people.  My family is full of good people who tried their best to offer what they could within their means, and probably unbeknownst to me, went above and beyond when needed.

So all I can do is ask myself  “What the actual fuck?”

I am going to admit that most of my journals are a massive spiritual battle. It has been that way as far back as I have recorded my life.  The journaling started around age 12, but I can go back to certain creations done in Elementary School and see a depth that is or was seen as some what abnormal for a kid that age.

“She is five- going on thirty five.” My grandma would say when I was little.  I wanted to sit at the adult table.  I wanted to converse.  I had questions and quips beyond my years.  Spirit has been speaking to me forever.

Now perhaps this is just the byproduct of losing a parent at a young age and the feeling that I had to grow up quickly to compensate. Maybe I was just born this way.   Who knows?   I do know that I drove my mother crazy when I was just a small child.  Enough so, for her to strip me down to basically nothing and leave me on the front stoop with the old adage “If you don’t want to be here, you are going to leave the way you came in.”  Naked and shivering.

It’s okay.  My aunt lived a couple of blocks away, and my mom would call her and tell her to come pick me up.  She would come over, packed with some over-sized clothing that belonged to my cousin.  She would wrap me up and take me back to her place until the whole thing calmed down.

Once my dad said, “If your mom was still alive, you would probably be at each others throat.”  Sometimes I feel like I am getting that experience with my grandma.  It isn’t a “hate” or loathing issue… it’s just this weird temperament that arises out of our idiosyncrasies and difference in ideologies.  It’s the byproduct of being stubborn and bull headed while still having the best intentions in love.

A stranger once told me “It’s easier to paint yourself into a corner than it is to write yourself out of a box.”  That has stuck with me for over a decade.  I wasn’t quite sure what it meant, but today, I think I got it.

It goes back to Abracadabra. A spell or incantation using the ABC’s.  This is why writing and words are magical.  This is how words hold a vibration that can influence the reality we live in… it’s the way you can send prayers or well wishes or destroy a life in a single breath.

My family can be traced back to the Druids on my Mother’s Father’s side.  There is some witchery in the blood, and that blood still courses through my veins.  I don’t purposely perform rituals or magik; I have a feeling there are a lot of us who don’t.  We settle on titles like “artist” or “writer” or “musician.”   We feel and feed on an indescribable power that fuels our creative spirit.   Words will almost magically manifest on the page without too much work.  We feel born knowing the Muses.  At least, this is how it has always been for me.

I haven’t had to try too hard in creative ways.  “It just comes to me.”

I don’t profess this as any sort of braggart, in fact, in this moment I am questioning all of it.  My family is a mixed up match of “tight lipped” and deceased, I don’t know where I can go to discuss this openly, so I leave it here for you, my few but beautiful readers.   I am realizing that I need to figure out a way to console myself.  Feel free to send suggestions.

“The calm before the storm” is over. I know it and I feel it with a force that is hard to describe. As I read through these papers and place them in a new container, I am god smacked..  I’ve predicted future patterns in my life with no intention of doing so; in alignment with that, the writing has predicted patterns of humanity and what would be worth our attention.  This leads me back a post I made about a week ago in regard to purpose and being a dreamer.  In this moment, I want nothing more than someone I could share the depth of this with, but I don’t have that someone, which is a reoccurring theme in my  personal writing that I rarely share.

I see in this moment that this specific loneliness is a representation of that spiritual battle.  We are all looking for connection in various ways.  I believe in Creation, I believe that Creation will not be out done.  I know I can’t out-create Creation.  That knowing can be overwhelming, like “why even try?” not to mention the clutter!  I make and make and make a mess and an abundance of stuff that may end up at a thrift store or a landfill.   I’ve carried paper around, weighing many many pounds over thousands of miles for what?

This moment.

This is the moment it all shifts.  I might not see the evidence of it immediately so I will leave room for it to shift as quickly as it wants to.

While going through things I stumbled on a good-bye note from a woman named Cecily Monk.  I didn’t know her well, or for very long but I really liked her personality.  She felt like a person that I would have had a long friendship with if we would have had more time together.

Anyway, when she left Keystone, Colorado I was at work and she left a note.

 

The last line is quite potent; “…and remember the journey of self discovery comes not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”  So obviously she was a fan of Proust, or one of her teachers had the actual quote “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” on a motivational poster or something.

I like that she added the word “self” and “journey” because the timing is perfect for today.  Journey vs Voyage is appropriate because I perceive a Journey to be far more relaxed than a Voyage.  Voyage makes me think of a specific conquest, for which I have had none up until this point.  The actual Proust quote takes on a deeper meaning when I rehash my words and see that in fact, I have been on a Voyage but I didn’t know it.  And I have had conquest but I didn’t acknowledge it.

It all comes down to love and forgiveness. And this is going to be so hard because there is a lot of bad shit happening in the world right now.  But just like I am finding illumination in my own writing, we are going to find illumination in just how fucked up humanity has been by bringing it to light.

Today I wanted to get rid of EVERYTHING.  I was feeling oppressed at how much garbage we consume and throw away.  I was overwhelmed by the massive pressure of pain that is the human condition.  I wished I wasn’t part of it because there is no easy solution and by the looks of it, it’s only going to get worse.  I thought about all the mundane stuff we do on any given day just to maintain a “standard” of living.  I thought about all the people who loath the work they do just for a paycheck.

I kept thinking, and thinking about all the stuff I can not stand.  How disappointing all of our entertainment is because it’s coded and getting increasingly ominous in content. I thought about how my creative spirit has been lost because I can’t imagine things getting better and I am sick of rehashing this old script that we are being fed on the daily.  Believe it or not, I believe this rumination to be a good sign.  My art and dreams and writing tell me so.  We really are dancing on the tip of a needle right now.

As I dug through this box the skies turned dark outside.  A while letter the rain came pounding down in sheets.  I laughed out loud and asked if this was a baptism and as I went to shut the screen door the water was falling so fierce that it was splashing out of the rain gutters.  In the few seconds it took me to move the block in front of the door (which is actually a heavy concrete lawn statue of a sleeping man wearing a sombrero) I was soaked and a bit elated.

This isn’t over, though.   I had just begun this excavation and there were more treasures to dig up, so this is only a taste of what that was.  To a certain degree I’ve been pulled into my own mystery.  I am sure it is appropriate timing as next month I will turn thirty-eight.  My life has been amazing, it’s hard not to think it’s a shame that I have felt so heavy through all of it.  Even in times of levity, the gravity of reality has kept me solid and grounded.  Luckily people like that about me, but if they didn’t it wouldn’t really matter because it feels unchangeable.

Last night I re-watched Eternal Sunshine of the the Spotless Mind for the second time, since the first time years ago when it came out on video.  I saw it with new eyes, but I knew the story and when I watched it the story came flooding back.  Looking through my life in writing produces the same feeling.  (Another topic I could probably go to length writing about, but not right now.)

I sense that things are starting to sync up for me again and I am not sure what that means.  I will probably be able to glean some knowledge from further exploration but I don’t know if I will wake up with the energy to keep on tomorrow… or if I will sit in stasis again for a while.  I’ve been practicing forgiveness for myself, and part of that is finding patience when my desires are so vast.  Giving myself time to figure things out without a strict timeline.   It isn’t easy.  It’s hard not to compare myself to other people and their obvious accomplishments.  I think “I’m just sitting on a stack of paper.”  But that “stack of paper” is the analog archive of my life experience in a very raw form.

I like to journal like I like to go bowling.  I can have a couple of drinks and do something to the best of my ability in full enjoyment even if I suck at it.  I feel fulfilled by slapdashedly swinging my dominate hand around without expectation of high results.  It’s something to do that is totally dependent on my personal attitude at the time. I don’t fear judgement because most times I keep it to myself.  If you want to bowl alone, go at 1:30 pm on a Tuesday.  The only people in there are over 60 and there aren’t many of them.  Most are there just for the bar.  Every once and a while a bold elderly man may stop by and offer tips on your game.

It’s like this blog page.  I have like eighty people who follow me.  I get very little engagement and I am fine with that.  Sometimes I just have to express myself out in the world.  When I was younger I was under the impression that I didn’t actually have a voice in the world, or that no one cared what I had to say; now I think that just the right people stumble in at just the right time, not only for me, but for themselves.  My delusions of grandeur have been over for quite some time now.

This digging and sorting is going to continue.  It has to.  Something about “getting your house in order” feels appropriate right now.  May you find patience and forgiveness in yourself, and the strength to get your own house in order.

PS.  The heading image was something my mom wrote on a piece of paper.  I don’t have much of her writing, on the other side is a poem that many people find haunting.  I am not sure if the cipher works for the poem, but if I feel like it, I might see if it does.  If it does, that would be so cool.  On my mom’s typed page it is titled “Love Poem” and instead of “he” it is “she.”  Who knows?  Everyone loves a mystery and the author is unknown.

lovep

 

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Love Letter

The magnetic specter of our dance is gratifying in its own way.  The ebbs and flows, the way it goes carving-marking along the way. Deeper than ditches run, farther than a tumble weed could tumble, we fade into each other and the landscape.

When time is timeless what does time mean?  Perhaps a momentary infinity of you and me on this hypothetical horizon, watching the shades fade from hue to hue. Darkened silhouettes along the terrain, enveloped in some other domain existent but far between.

Specks in the dust, they say

Each meaningful and yet inconsequential in their own way

Working the wheel.

Beating the drum.

Reading the same script, over and over again

“You play this role, and I will play that.”

Expectations, at times hum-drum because you know you’ve played and acted these roles before, whether hero or villain you are familiar with the score.

Dum-ditty-dum-ditty-dum-Dum-ditty-Dum

The pipers come piping, the drummers do drum. The hamsters keeps spinning,  song after song.

So what?  In mixture of this intoxication in our physical being- how can we sequester such meaning? I cop it up to hormones, emotions and feeling. Avoiding the meaning it plays on some higher reality. You have yet to play the lover or the beloved.

The world at my fingertips, hair on end as I keep feeling this world, again and again.

I can be the gyroscope, and if you can hold a steady plane. Let me spin inside your skin until our souls touch.  In some perfect balance of day and night, taking flight to higher heights than either has ever known. Sew yourself within me- carefully.

Together we can be stronger than before, a united front of protection in this mundane place of normality. We would be allowed to dream bigger dreams. See ourselves as champions.

I can share with you my secrets of the cosmos- my ever evolving mind.  This heart holds divine space for you, there has always been a place for you in the core of my cerebellum, telling me to move muscles and sinew forward until the crux of time and space collide.  The horizon simplified, no longer lingering in hypothetical realms or parallel dimensions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our compartmentalization of feeling somehow becoming null and void?

 

My Best Friend: Just When I Was Getting Comfortable

I felt sick as a dog on the night of September 11th.  I was waking up hourly to empty my liquid bowels.  Standing up made me nauseous and I was afraid I was going to shit down my own legs.  I figured maybe it was one of the eggs I put into my dinner omelet.

The cats weren’t helping.  They wanted to lay on my stomach, causing me more discomfort.  I just wanted to sleep it off.

The 11th rolled into the 12, and I tried to go about my normal routine, but I wasn’t feeling normal at all.  My uncle came over to help out my grandma and I tried to sleep the day away, but was reawakened every hour or two by demanding felines.

I slipped in and out of dream space.

The woman accuses me of being an escort because I have a stack of cash.  I tell her I just sold my truck.  She also accuses me of having fake “air inflated” breasts.  I tell her that “that isn’t at all true.  I got fat and lost some weight and now I have stretch marks.”

Other strange thoughts invade my mind as I toss and turn.

I just don’t want to feel this way anymore.  I just want to sleep for 24 hours straight.  I just want to be taken care of because I don’t have the energy right now to care at all. 

I wake up early on September 13th.  I go to my Facebook feed.  There she is in my memories.  My fur buddy’s 10th Doggaversary.  Today would have been our 11th.

See just when I was settling into the idea that I no longer have to fill her water and food bowls, I am reminded of how far we went, and how close we came to 11.  I think about how, we would celebrate together since my birthday is so close to the day we found each other.

I realize, it wasn’t the eggs that made me sick; it was knowing that I would have to wake up on the 13th and deal with a new slew of emotions.  And that settling into emotions is much like the settling of sand which can be moved by a breeze, or a wash of water, dried out by the sun and stepped on, only to be encrusted into the indentations of some passerby’s shoes and transported to places unseen.

I’d like to not have to do anything for a while, so that I can just sleep if I want to sleep and dream these weird dreams, hoping we eventually reunite in that dreamspace for a little bit.  And, see I know I can’t tarry there long, but I would still like the opportunity, nonetheless.

 

Prelude to A Love Letter

I think we knew each other once upon a time.  Like, LIFETIMES ago.  I am writing this like I know for sure… but, in this climate, I can’t be certain, so let’s leave it to fiction… everyone likes a little bit of comedic-romantic-intergalactic fiction, right?

This is our eighteenth try at finding each other in some form of what is now called Earth and basically we have been told that if it doesn’t happen this time, then,it won’t ever be like people hope it is, and we at least want a fighting chance for an intergalactic minute .  I just want you to know I find it fucking cryptic and weird that we’ve been graced with twice as many tries as a cat gets lives.

So here we are in this last “hoo-rah” of life cycles with the chances and potentials and, well… maybe it was just a physical selfish desire to connect, despite all the connection we had previously in that timeless space.

I’m not even sure what I am trying to say…

All of us were, and then we were not, and then we became us again and then it fell apart and reassembled and continued on.  So we were always in the picture while being out of frame, over and over.

So, you know.  We’ve met.   I know you. I love you through the veils that seek to obstruct our views.

On top of it all I feel you and know everything about you, which draws us in and out of one another. Ebbing and flowing like the ocean, sometimes catching you off guard awash with an epic wave the slips sandals from feet causing stable stance to be up turned.

This feels like the Prelude to a Love Letter, so perhaps I will name it as such.

 

Alignment

One of the most amazing things that can happen, is when you want something to happen and it does without any active provocation.

Today I was able to chat with the best friend of my deceased brother.  I’m sure he is mentioned somewhere in this digital archive that I need to go have printed at Kinko’s/ Fed Ex.

We don’t talk often, but when we do, I think it is stellar both domestically and celestially.

Let’s face it, I don’t talk to many people very often.  And when I have a day of insightful conversation I know the world is about to shift again. I feel like everyone else does, just before it happens… a sense of imbalance, perhaps a need to purge, vent and connect.

If people were stars, I would be a distant star in the middle of a few clusters.   I might even be a nebula in the middle of some star systems… I don’t know, I am not an astrophysicist, I am a writer/ thinker who likes analogies.

Either way, shit is happening on the other side of the veil and I am well aware of it, and so are you, even if you don’t get it.

9/11 is a hallmark day.  (Like Hallmark Cards.  If you don’t have words for it, Hallmark has a card for it.)  Only, if Hallmark has a card, it is cryptic.  You’d be better to wait for their holiday ornament.

Feeling uppity or downity with your friends and fam today?  Feeling a strong desire to make life changing decisions with little to no planning?  Writing things like this, that may seem cryptic?

It’s what is up right now.  World wide.  This is part of the “matrix” the “construct.”  There is a self destruct mechanism built into the program.

Fight it.  Stop falling in line with this false “make it look pretty, because it is better than nothing” paradigm.  Fight it, and STOP IT.

I won’t until I’m stopped.

It’s another precipice.

People like me feel ultimate isolation because there is little to inspire real connection and the game gets old.  So if you face certain realities, while realizing that the best connections you may have will be momentary in times of struggle.  You realize you have to hold tight when others can’t. The only way this is possible is when you realize the bigger joke of the matter and if we really do live in game theory, some of us are the people you have to find in order to save yourself in the game in order to move to the next phase.

I’m no savior, but I am a point of re-connection to  that other reality which is unavoidable at some point.

Hit me up when things get weird.

They Want You to End Your Story as an Archetype

Has anyone ever said to you, “You think outside the box.”

Or, “You are different, you don’t think like most people.”

“Dude, you’re crazy.”

Did you think twice about it?

My whole life has been scattered with sentiments such as this and when I watch media I see where people base their reactions.

No, I don’t think inside Saturns Cube.  No, I don’t think like most people, because I think for myself.  And, No, I’m not crazy, I am the best kind of sane.

Here is what I will admit that is uncomfortable for everyone but me;

1.)  I look at Death, dead in the eyes, daily.

2.) If you tell me what I am going to do, I will do everything in my power to work against your orders.

3.) I am familiar with the script, and if I can’t flip it, I am going to burn it.

I probably don’t seem like the “type” with my brightly colored clothing and admiration for Natalie Merchant.  You expect this from people who predominately wear black clothing and listen to death metal.  “Those are the people really looking Death and Destruction right in the eye socket.”

Nope.  I love daisies and sunsets and technicolor leggings.  I believe in some prophetic hope and I choose to support life where pain exists at every opportunity.  I’ve spent a life time feeling like a walking contradiction.

I probably talk about Death, more openly than anyone I know who listens to Death Metal, and only slightly less than a Mortician.   If you just look at me with no knowing, you probably think that the conversation has never crossed my path, or so I assume.

It’s been five dogless days.  I’ve given myself a week to dig deep with no judgement, and quite honestly I don’t give a fuck if any of it offends.  I know I am going to experience new waves of realization down the road.  I know I will never be the same.  I know she isn’t coming back, so I am going to be like the Jews and sit Shiva for seven days.  I am going to purposely mourn the fuck out of myself.

Already, each day is a bit easier because crying is just a pain in the eyes.  It is hard to do anything.  I know I am perpetually dehydrated, so I cried as much as I could, until I couldn’t.  Realistically I know future tears will be shed once my water stores have been replenished.

I’ve reached a point of brief anger, willing to call out any person who thinks they are more Death Metal than me, to sit with me and really talk about death in realistic terms and not just in strange dark corruptions of the real thing for the sake of imagination and anger.  Quit fucking pretending the worst, because sometimes the most innocuous circumstances lacking in violence are actually “the worst it could be.”

Stop hiding behind dark facades of separation, the real end of it all will never make it as a t-shirt slogan worth baring.  Stop pretending to be so callus.  Stop pretending to know more about death than the dead themselves.   I admit I don’t know shit, but I am still so invigorated by feeling, that it is undeniable that I am still alive.

You don’t have to change your wardrobe or interests in order to understand this; just know that those of us who seem unsuspecting to certain concepts, specifically Death, may have been contemplating it’s role in life for as long as they can remember.  The acceptance and comprehension of it is so deep there is no need to display it outwardly until we are called in a moment to do so.

You won’t learn anything from this, I am sure, but I needed to write it nonetheless.

The only useful advice I have, is to recognize your demons and deal with them the best you can.  If you can at least call them by name, you have a better chance at dominating them but few of us can slay them on our own.  Know the names of your specific team when it comes to protection and support; we can all use all the support we can get.

 

 

 

My Best Friend: Cigarettes, Dog Bites, and the Death Diet

This piece may seem a bit off topic in my series about Claddagh.  However she was with me when the whole situation occurred in my writing.  My landlady had found a lost dog, and that dog got along with Claddagh, so I kept it for the night.   While the dogs were playing, things got a little rough and I was on the floor between them.  The scuffle turned into a fight, so in the process of pulling the dogs apart, the visiting dog bit me.  I was hit with a lost childhood memory of being bitten by a puppy while staying with my aunt.  Minutes after this memory returned, I received a call from my family saying that said aunt was in the ICU.

I was completely bowled over with emotions.  I wasn’t completely sure what her prognosis was, but it sounded pretty bleak.  As a coping mechanism, I explored what my family might be going through in that moment, especially focusing on my cousin but at the same time realizing the attributes I didn’t like about her, were/are prevalent in me.

My aunt did not die that night.  It would turn into a drawn out process that would take another three uneasy years.   The following piece is my raw expression from that night.

 

July 18, 2009

Skin is thin.  A scratch, a paper cut, a scrape. Blood from a small wound, the pain radiates for a day; a reminder of some lame excuse for not paying close enough attention.

I am bleeding from a scratch and a bite. Slightly deeper than superficial.  This is payment for being a good Samaritan.  I can’t be mad, it was harmless fun gone awry by animals who communicate some other way.

How often in human reality does this happen?  We are asked to play nicely, then some words are said in jest causing a friend to unravel enough to fight back.  A fight unseen on the horizon.

It was just two beings- doing and then there was an unseen spark.  One took something the wrong way and since I am not fluent in dog play language, I find myself in the middle.  I’ve pulled larger dogs apart without incident.  Why tonight?

As I assess the bite on my forearm and I am taken into an old memory of being bitten by a puppy when I was two or three.   I am in the care of my aunt, playing in the front yard of her humble apartment with a small puppy belonging to the neighbor.  The bite catches me off guard.

The phone rings.

It is my father telling me that my aunt is in the hospital and things look grim.

The timing of all of this makes me reel. I have to write it all down, the perceptions I am having in this moment thousands of miles away from my family.  I’m not sure what is going on, and I know writing will calm me down so that I can process the bite and it’s deeper meaning.

I am jaded on death; the cycle of life few seem to live, all reaching variations of the same end.  Those who live their lives like tomorrow will never come because they already know it’s on its way to greet them.

Then there are those aching to leave their mark, they live for posterity.  For now I am ambivalent, watching it as it comes and goes; feeling l’ve already lost so many important ones and still there are more to come as I continue to keep loving.

There are no words for this, no way to convey the normality of it, despite the pain and what it seems to be.  It is what I call the Death Diet.  It comes and goes, as we all do, in it’s own time- staying for short and sometimes long duration.  A visitor,  unannounced, unwelcome.

As to not forget those I’ve lost; how can the relationship continue, how can each of us live on and keep those who were once here and dear to us, after they depart?

Is Spirit not something that speaks in each ear in due time?  Do remnants of the past not live and breathe around us, still?

And so they do; each person, place or thing.  Our interaction with them is not at all lost when voices stop humming and hearts stop beating; body buried below.  Beyond the picture enveloped in memory…

Perhaps that is the reason I like chicken and dumpling soup.  The one thing she would fix for me that was recognizably made from scratch and not from a can.  I’ve not seen her in years and tonight she lays under anesthesia in a hospital.  She lays in a deep sleep from two heart attacks in a row.

She was found barely breathing by grandparents; those kind and gentle souls who’ve seen one daughter die away already.

Does Leslie sit next to Terri as she lays in  medicated limbo?

Does she hold her hand in spirit?

Does Terri ask, in a morphine induced dream, the same thing Leslie asked when she lay deteriorating her own hospital room over two decades ago?  The same hospital many renovations ago; a place Leslie never left again, alive.

Is Leslie there, and is she honest?  Does she say “No, you aren’t going to make it.  I tell you this because I am your sister and I won’t lie to you.  I am going to sit here with you until you go… and then I am going to see you to the other side, where all of us are covered in rainbows.  I am going to give you the biggest bear hug.”  Does Leslie then squeeze Terri’s hand?

Leslie is eternally twenty-six, or maybe she shows up as a seventeen year old; thin and vibrant.  Healthy and cancer-free.  A spirit in a dream only recognized by the dreamer.

Family waits in the hall.  The son acknowledges his distance. A certain sense of discontent and regret boil beneath the surface.  He questions her sadness and why she couldn’t do more for herself and him.  He knows he distanced himself  out of fear and retaliation.

She left him fifteen years ago.  She gave up being a responsible mother despite how much she loved him, despite how much he loved her…  Something inside of him felt sick with longing and regret, disgust and confusion.   He knew this was coming and in some way it was a waiting and a relief at letting this subconscious worry go.  Yet he knew, this wouldn’t be the end of his worry, there would be others- the grandparents who sat next to him, for instance.

No.  This would be a double edged sword of worry, like, “one down, two to go.”  This loss would only breed more anxious anticipation.   This thought was neglecting to add the dozen or more people he also adored and maybe even loved.  He was focused in this moment on family ties of blood.

In the face of their differences in belief or opinion, he saw and valued whatever it was that this was – “however fucked up.”  This was the only place the son was suppose to be right now.  There was much to acknowledge and heady thoughts to consider.   This was an act all too grown up for anyone to want to take on; he was no stranger to responsibility but this was a first when it came to what many may consider posthumous intimacies- him being an only child of a husband-less mother.

There seemed to be a question of “deserving this.”  Was it something he deserved for being less involved with his mother than perhaps he should have been?  For keeping busy for more time than it seemed necessary in the mentality that “Life is Short. Love Hard. Visit Your Mom”?  He knows he should have visited more.  He shouldn’t have been so fearful of seeing her and trying to help her out.

Questions just become answers that lead to more questions.

Here is where he should be.  Waiting in an ICU waiting room; thinking about all of this.  Taking it all in.

Next to him are his grandparents, now in their eighties.  They’ve been less than active for years, left to sit at home with injuries that happened later in life and never healed properly.  Here they were, watching their second daughter fade before their eyes.  She’d been back home for nearly seven years now.  About as long as she’d been gone when one day she decided to abandon her home and her son for some internet love affair.

She had bought a home just a block away from her parents.  She was working as a nurse when one day she just quit going to work because the internet was more important and interesting than helping the geriatric folks she was employed to care for at the assisted living home.

One day she got in her car, and drove to the east coast to meet a man that she would come to realize he wasn’t who he said he was, only to leave him for another far off man who was not who he claimed to be.

She left the son in the abandoned house and the utilities were systematically shut off.  The mortgage went unpaid and the son was displaced.  She left debt and pain in her wake, only to show up back home – ill of health needing a place to stay.  She would be fifty-three and living in her parents basement.

I suppose we all have regrets.  I wonder if this is hers?

My family is susceptible to addiction but they are also susceptible to will power, drive and sarcasm.  I’ve fallen into the categories.  Right now my addictions are strong and my will has been weak.  This must switch because I have things to do and I suspect my dead mother is sitting with my dying aunt in a hospital room.

I never really got to know my mom but I’ve had my whole life to observe my aunts actions and consequences.  At my youngest, when my mother was still around, she was having a hard time dealing with a smart ass two year old daughter.  It was too much.  My mother would leave me on the door step in only a diaper because “if you don’t want to live here, you are going to leave the way you came in.  Naked.” And screaming.

My mother would call my aunt and tell her that she couldn’t handle me, that she had locked me out front.  My aunt who lived a couple of blocks away would come to get me and dress me in over sized clothes belonging to her son. She would take me to her apartment to ride out the emotional storm.  I would play with my cousin and watch movies until I wanted to go back to my mom.

My aunt would bundle be back up and take me home.  This back and forth is part of my earliest memories.

From what I can tell, my aunt had horrible taste in men.  Manipulators; liars, drunks and a gay man who was in the military.  She chased men that seemed to share her dreams only to leave her in the dust.  Her will was weak, she neglected to see these things in advance.  She was always waiting to be saved from her own squalor so that she could ACTUALLY LIVE!

She wanted to have it provided for her by someone she cared for and in the meantime she drowned her sorrows in some other reality.  A place where she could meet other “real people” feeling the same way she did.  Perhaps she didn’t see that they were all reflections of her.  Lonely, sick and addicted. Weak-willed and seeking, only bound to find one another.

Lost in a basement on oxygen, typing away.  Beauty of youth lost long ago, only to live in a shadow of cyber script.   She stopped living a long time ago.  She craved the life we all do- To love and be loved.

She adored nature, but she rarely visited it in the end.   There were times when I was very young, when she would take us fishing, early in the morning before the sun rise.  The thermos would be full of hot coffee, (and though I scowl at parents who allow small children to drink coffee,) she would pour each of us a cup mixed with a hot cocoa packet.  A poor man’s mocha at sunrise.

How did a person so close to nature, move so far away from it?  How did that sanctuary neglect to hold her interest? Loneliness.

We don’t all wish to be hermits.  How sad to age before your time- what a predicament to want love and to be too sick to attain it. Family was never enough.

She was married twice in her youth, but her youth is a bit of a mystery to me.  The eldest child, the oldest sister of three other siblings.  Did my grandparents have high expectations for her?  Did she lack guidance?  What was the exact moment that made her give up?

She had her son, young, with a Native man who would disappear from the picture shortly after it was taken. Her next husband  would be a closeted homosexual in the military who would tend to be abusive.

Her long time friend Loyd would love her desperately over the year, and their friendship would grow, but it would never be the relationship both of them were longing for.

She smoked cigarettes her entire life, until she couldn’t.  They were always the cheap smokes, GCP’s or what ever was affordable.

She loved babies and believed that everyone that she was able to hold, was a little bit hers and that included me.

I guess I never really viewed her as the adventurous type.  When she left, she must have really believed things were going to change for the better; but she was already lost in a confusion that misaligned her radar.

As this story unfolds under my finger tips, I unabashedly see the personal similarities in myself, things I would rather not admit to.

Now I am left with a dog bite, reminding me of who I do not want to become.

My Best Friend: Lessons In Commitment and Loyalty

I’m not much different than most other females who grew up around the same time I did.  We all watched the same Disney movies and obsessed over Wesley in Princess Bride.  We actively consumed the fairy tales of Princess’ being swept off their feet.  Add in some religion, and there was always some illusory man who was suppose to show up and sweep us off our feet.

By the age of twenty-five, if it hasn’t happened yet, the internal worry mixes with the biological clock and things start to get a little weird.

I didn’t start building strong female relationships until about that age.  I started to embrace the feminine in myself and with that came a new feminine energy.  At times I would think that I was the most “girly” out of the group, even though I considered myself far less “girly” than my cohorts.

I’m certain when I went for a dog, I didn’t care what gender it was, but for the first time in my life I was starting to really make female friends and I am sure that played a role in how everything unfolded.

During this time I was becoming very aware of the emotional pain many women carry with them.  It was a suffering that would come from competing with other women more as an unspoken way of being than a logical reaction.   I was going out of my way to express appreciation for women, even ones who I interacted with just in passing.  It could be as simple as saying “You look fantastic in that shade of blue.”  or ” I really love your hair, it looks so soft!”

I could see that women on the daily were not only trying to meet the world with some beauty, but they were trying to convince themselves that they were worthy of love and attention and the most basic way we are taught to seek that out, is by outward expressions of self care.

I knew I wasn’t out there trying to steal anyone’s boyfriend.  I was trying to find some loyal female friends while seeking love, and if you want to get a lady’s attention, give her a sincere complement.

When Claddagh came into my life, it wasn’t complements that won her over.  In fact it wasn’t complements that kept her around.  But while I was trying to figure out how to bring more love into my life via friends, she was sitting right beside me as I hashed things out.

In February of 2009 I received an art commission to paint a mural on the inside of a pump house at a tree farm.  For a week, Claddagh and I camped out while I painted the mural.  In the evenings I would sit by the fire with a headlamp writing about the various musings I may have had over the day.

Here are my scribbles about “What the fuck the roller coaster of love is”;

  • Doesn’t know what love is but aches for it, due to fairy tales and day time drama.
  • Meet someone who likes you and you couldn’t care less for as an individual.  Sometimes it matters not, for the first timer. It’s the wanting of love so badly that most novices force it based on lame criteria.
  • Settle into that “like-ness.”  For some this happens faster than others.
  • Grow personally or experience partners growth.   Get annoyed with everything you previously adored as “quirky.”
  • Jump knee deep into the dramatic experience of separating ways and the fucked up boomerang that always brings you back.
  • Wrestle with emotions vs. a need to get laid, enduring attitudes turn into pet peeves and the struggle to stay seemingly sane through the process.
  • Question life; it’s meanings and what could possibly be next.
  • Waste a few months feeling bad for yourself and procrastinating making a big decision.
  • Finally settle on something, perhaps the easiest thing….
  • And just when you think you are on the money…..
  • The Universe says “I’m sorry, actually you are going to do this ____.”  Which was your least favorite option from the options you initially had to choose from.
  • Just when you resign to your new circumstance, this new, interesting and attractive person comes in and because you haven’t lost all your hormones yet, your body says “HELLO!”
  • Knowing that you just experienced “love” and you have a lot to deal with, your mind says, “OH NO!”
  • Undoubtedly you spend time with this new stranger and your hormones won’t quit screaming “OH YES! PLEASE, PLEASE!”
  • Since you realize we are all animals who are most responsible to responding to our physical instincts,
  • Consciousness takes a back seat in decision making
  • Cave in and let hands graze nameless places- get high on pheromones.
  • Act like sad orphans literally dying to experience affection.  Once is never enough.
  • Realize that all of a sudden this indulgence and connection produces a a desire to satisfy something primal.
  •  Intimacy becomes a third party to rugged and animalistic behavior.
  • Start feeling things for a stranger while temporarily avoiding the recent void of failure, hoping to be re-filled.

Claddagh sat there as a silent bystander as I purged what could be seen as the worst flow chart for “love” to ever exist.  But what do I learn from this when I go back through it with that knowing?

My views on love have been quite askew.  Claddagh showed me another way to love, and it wasn’t based off of some unrealistic script that we are fed through entertainment.  This is why it hurts so badly.  We didn’t follow predictive programming in the unfolding of our friendship.  Even up into the minute I had to choose to let her go, I had no idea what I was doing and I was simply hoping for the best for both of us.   There was an undeniable trust that we were doing the best we could.

I learned that I need to further listen to my instincts.  Love doesn’t really exist in one-sided affairs and one sided affairs have seemed safe.  It’s easier to reject than to be rejected.   But what does it look like when both parties love?  It is harder to walk away, and I have been good at walking away… but I couldn’t walk away from Claddagh.  She made me look at the worst parts of myself, and she could have disappeared at any point in time to find a new home, and she didn’t.  She pushed through my wreckage.

Thanks to her, I can sift through it, and see more of what she was showing but I was only recording in passing. Thanks to her I can see love outside of that wreckage.

 

A portal of inner exploration