Nov 26, 2013

Light

I sit at the dining room table with the lights off.
Staring out the window, the November light is Decemberish.
And then I remember that December is only 4 days away.

It is a sort of rainy, sort of cold day.
It is sort of an uneasy day.

It is 2 o'clock in the afternoon as
I sit at the dining room table
with the lights off - it feels so much later.

But even tho the November light seems
like December, the day does not.
I think December does not feel so unsettled.
But I don't remember.

I can feel light, I experience light, its weight and substance.
I can smell light and sometimes I think I can hold light.
Light talks to me and tells me stories.

Today the light tells me a story of December
Of darker days and longer nights
Until the subtle shift. December light whispers
Soon...

Why can't I remember how December light feels?

Nov 11, 2013

Passing through my mind...

A long time ago my husband and I agreed that...

"It's not that I can't live without you, it's that I don't want to live without you"

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda will drag you to the edge of the mountain and throw you off, laughing as you crash on the rocks of regret. 


Nov 7, 2013

Something in common...

I've never known anyone like me. I wish I did. It would be so nice to hang around with someone who likes the same things I do. On the surface that sounds boring. Isn't variety supposed to be the spice of life? And how do you find out about new and interesting things if you only hang around with people who are interested in only the things you are interested in?

The thing is I've never had a problem finding new and interesting things in the world. My problem has always been finding other people interested in them too. And since I've gotten older it's difficult to find anyone to share my enthusiasm about anything.

For years I had separate circles of acquaintances  to do things with - and those acquaintances rarely overlapped. Because I like opera and other "classy" things someone thought I might like ballet - Wrong. My patience for ballet lasts about 15 minutes - max. Because I like music of all kinds and theater someone thought I would like to attend Broadway musicals - Wrong.

So there was one or two people for opera going, and different people for theatre, and different people to go out dancing with, and different people to hit the museums and still other different people to hit the galleries and I always, always shopped alone.

If you put all the people who say they know me, or were my friends, in a room and you asked them who I am you would get very different answers from all of them. Each knows one little bitty part of me. And that may be true for everyone - we reveal to any one particular person only what is pertinent for that person to know.  That may be a universal condition. Probably is. So never mind about this paragraph.

I don't seem to have much in common with my contemporaries and I certainly don't have much in common with those either older or younger.   I don't share a common frame of reference with anyone. I am reminded of that every day when I scroll through Facebook posting or read blogs - most of the time I haven't a clue what people are talking about. I don't listen to the same music, then or now. Certainly don't watch the same television shows, then or now. Don't even read the same books, then or now. I don't relate.

Oh and please let's not discuss home decor. My husband is the only other person I know who likes clean, modern, minimalistic decor and architecture. Folks will post pictures of furniture, or rooms that they really like and I'm thinking "How many ways can you say ugly". Now diversity is a great thing, and certainly I have always maintained that if everyone liked the same things it would be a very boring world, but where do I find a contemporary who likes contemporary?(This is like a big thing with me because I spend a lot of time looking at houses, furniture, designing my dream kitchen and bathroom. I have a bookmark folder filled with with tile, flooring, appliances, faucets even. It's my little hobby.)

Sometimes I want to write about what my life has been like, things I done, people I've known but most of it is none of anyone's business.  It was my life...in retrospect it might seem a little - I don't know - unordinary - but it was ordinary to me. Then. Now - I shake my head and think "What the hell!" And "What absolute fun!" Oh man I had me some fun.

And there was a whole lot of not-so-much-fun - Bad decisions - I made them. In spades. And paid for them. Some of those bad decisions started out fun...

And all that sounds so ominous - but I never did anything illegal - ever.

I'm not sure I've explained this well, or at all. But it's been bugging me - this feeling of having lived my life on another planet, in another galaxy, far, far away.

I am craving "Aha- you too?" moments. 

Oct 14, 2013

I'm crazy mad in love

I'm crazy mad in love
     with me
Just now, this minute
Surprised? Me too!

Not the best, or the brightest
     not even close
with all my lacks and
failings

I'm just crazy about me.

Saint is just part of my
     name
not a part of me
But wings are - a part of me.

I fly.

I flash with anger, then
     Poof - calm
deep in the center
of me .

I hug in and then
     out
I flow and expand
I gather in.

I laugh because,
     you know,
I've come to this,
I don't know how.

I am my own safe place.


(Oct. 14, 2013)

Oct 12, 2013

Things that have stuck in my mind so I stuck them in a folder...

"Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning."

(From the poem Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith


"I went back and memorized it. Not because I believe it's true, but so that I have a choice of what to believe, and it doesn't always have to be the worst."  ( From "A Trick of the Light" by Louise Penny)

“Now here's a good one:
you're lying on your deathbed.
You have one hour to live.
Who is it, exactly, you have needed
all these years to forgive?”

(From "A Trick of the Light" by Louise Penny)

Sep 15, 2013

1. Riffing on someone's comment & 2. Something else

1. Vanilla of String Too Short to Tie Sunday posts usually are based on a Bible verse. Today's verse was from Job. One of the comments was from Vee and she said something that I think we should always keep in mind, in service to being kind to ourselves and others.

She said "Being reminded of Job's trials makes mine seem trivial - but not less real"  

How many times have I talked about being ashamed of complaining about something in my life because there are so many people who are far worse off. Whatever problems or challenges you are facing in your life, regardless of how they may stack up against some others, they are REAL.  They are yours, and they, and you, deserve consideration. This should be extended to those around you, whose very real problems may seem less dire than your own.

Yes, there are people whose complaints elicit next to no empathy from me. (Oh, your Mercedes is in the shop again? So sorry.) And while I often deride the phrase "It's not all about you" sometimes it just isn't. But that doesn't mean you should not be as kind to yourself as you are expected to be to others.

2. I rarely get headaches. Mostly when there's a change in the weather there is a change in me (and that reminds me of a song which has nothing to do with this). Saturday afternoon I had a blaster of a headache, so bad that I actually took pills. I never take pills. The odd thing was that along with the headache was a pervasive feeling of not belonging here. That I wasn't real; that I was in the wrong place. That I was slightly amorphous. But definitely feeling like I didn't belong where I was.

The headache never really went away, and this morning it is still there and the feeling of being not quite here, not belonging here, persists.

It is very odd.

Aug 6, 2013

Unconnected and homeless

"A man unconnected is at home everywhere; unless he may be said to be at home no where." Samuel Johnson. 

I wrote  the post title and then went in search of a graphic - as I usually do - instead I came across the perfect quote. It expresses what I want to write about so perfectly I almost decided to not write at all. 

I often refer to myself as 'a little Italian girl from the Bronx'  but I really have no connection to the Bronx. I was born there and lived there for 8 years. I don't remember much about it - I remember 2 of the places we lived. I vaguely remember the house we lived in; definitely remember the apartment we lived in. I remember the school, the playground, the marble factory, the Bond bread factory, or at least the way it smelled. I remember some of the people but not really much about the place. I don't feel connected to the Bronx in any way.  When I say I am a little Italian girl from the Bronx, I mean "Don't f**k with me because I will wipe the streets with your ass." That's what the Bronx means to me.

My father moved us to Queens when I was 8. I'm sorry I never got to ask him why. Back in the 1950's Queens was considered a suburb. We lived in a white picket fence neighborhood, and while Queens is purported to be the most ethnically diverse of all the boroughs, we lived in WASP-ville. To me Queens is a non-entity of a location. As as teenager I took every opportunity I could to sneak into Manhattan. That's where my life was - Manhattan I could identify with. Queens? A huge zero.

As an adult I lived in Manhattan for a short time but mostly lived in Queens. Why? It was way cheaper and truth to tell my apartments, where I lived, were just places to keep my stuff. My life wasn't there, those places weren't home.

In the mid-1980's I moved to Baltimore for a short time and one of my NYC friends said "What is a Broadway Matron doing in Ballermore?"  Then I went back to New York, living in the non-place called Queens. But still feeling like New York City was home. I was the Broadway Matron.

When I was 43 I moved to Vermont and got married. I was sooo homesick for NYC and I stayed homesick for NYC for years and years. Moved to Northern Virginia, still felt like a Broadway Matron. Moved back to NYC for 6 months - Ahhh - HOME. Moved to the Bahamas - homesick for NYC. Moved to Boston - homesick for NYC. Moved back to Northern Virginia - still homesick for NYC - but a little less now. Moved to Philadelphia - now I was homesick for Northern Virginia!

So I am back in Northern Virginia but I'm not home. I've lived in so many places, moved so many times that I have no home. I am homeless. Do I have some place to live? Yes, of course. It's nice. But...It's not my home.

I would prefer to live in Alexandria, rather than Arlington, not because it is home but because it is familiar and comfortable.  I'm not a Virginian; I don't feel connected to this place. It's a nice place, and way better than some I've lived in. But - it's just a place to be.

I've come to the realization that given the opportunity, and money, I wouldn't move back to NYC. Shocked me when I realized that. I may be from NYC but I am no longer a New Yorker, don't even want to be. It's my home town but it is no longer my home and never will be again, even if I lived there again, it wouldn't be home.

I could move tomorrow, and it would be nothing more to me than a place to keep my stuff. Just like where I live now. Mansion or apartment - nothing more to me than a glorified storage unit.

I am unconnected and home-less.And you know what - I'm pretty much okay with that.

AMENDED TO INCLUDE A FB EXCHANGE WHICH MAKES MY POINT MORE CLEARLY - I THINK

Someone on FB responded to this post with:
"Home is inside you head and where people you care about (for you, hubby, for me hubby and kids) for some of us. The what place your head resides in is secondary. .....I do like my tiny house though. I think it's the first place I've ever lived that I've felt is MINE."
I responded to it with:
"I have never felt like where I lived ie: the building itself - was my home - we have now owned 2 abodes - the first I disliked from the moment I saw it and the second is a reasonable compromise. The second is far more pleasant to live in...I'm not attached to it in any way - could walk out the door and never look back or miss it. It is just a building.

I understand your definition of home - many, nay most people would say the same - doesn't have any meaning to me. Since I live mostly inside my "head" then yes - home is inside my head - my intellect and my imagination is my home, I guess. But that's not what I am talking about or feeling or not feeling. Once I felt I had a home - it was NYC. Now I do not have that feeling about any place. I am not connected to any place at all -"
 

Jul 20, 2013

Down a rabbit hole

No one understands every thing.
No one understands any thing.
Not really.

If any one understood every thing
Or even any thing
We would have no thing to think about.

We would sit and stare blankly
We would be all 'whatevah'

We would never be all
OMG - THAT'S AWESOME

Now who wants to live that way?

Down a rabbit hole and through a looking glass...


(This is part of a mental conversation I had with an imaginary person while I was doing some housework this afternoon)

Jun 22, 2013

Sometimes I just have to write things down to get them out of my head or

so I can look at them in black and white, and solid.

I had a bunch of 'inspirational' pages on my FB list - on a good day they contradict each other. Most of the time they make me barf.  Often my reaction is "And what universe do you live in?" And sometimes they make me feel bad. Words from a nameless stranger making me feel bad...yeah, that's got to go. I'm not going to allow that.

What is wrong with wanting more or better? It doesn't mean you don't appreciate what you have. It doesn't mean you are greedy and ungrateful, unless of course you expect someone to just hand it over. It just means, as good as something might be, and as much as you might enjoy and appreciate it, there is a version of that thing you would enjoy more and like better. "You're never satisfied!" - I do not understand why that is a bad thing. We are always being told, by those inspirational sayings, to go for the gold, reach for the stars, live your dream. Then we are told, don't be such a greedy bastard.

I think I need to stop reading such crap. Along with horoscopes and anything to do with my chakras. Or anything remotely metaphysical, philosophical, spiritual or religious. Eyes straight ahead, find my own way. Thank you very much.

I don't think I do woulda-coulda-shoulda all that much. Certainly not in a poor-me-want-some-cheese-with-that-whine sort of way. When I make mistakes I make big ones - at work, in my personal life - mistakes made - Huge.  I look back at them, on rare occasions, and think - suppose I hadn't made that mistake. What then - how would my life have been different. I don't have enough imagination to come up with anything. You can't come up with anything because there is no way of knowing. Zero, zilch, zip, nada, ninguno - no way.

Did I learn from my mistakes? Absolutely not. Because I kept making the same ones - over and over. Go Me! So much for being in the moment. Caught up in the moment you forget there are more moments coming hard on the heels of the current one. And you'd better be thinking about them, planning for them - you can enjoy now but later is looming over your shoulder - Big Time.

I've always had a thing about security. I needed, still do, to feel secure, safe. I've never felt that, most probably never will. But that need for security immobilized me - I stayed too long - in jobs, in apartments, in places, with people. It took me a long time to decide to move on, move out, and tell people buh-buh. Once I did, finally, make the decision - it was made. And done. And no going back.

Sometime in my late 30's, after 3 years of therapy, I started making those decision more quickly. I learned to say no, I learned to say good-bye - quickly. As quick as I saw that it was not a positive place to stay. Done! Bam! Moving on. NOW.  That made for a lot of - What now? Didn't care, as long as it wasn't that/them/it. I survived, sometimes I thrived. Sometimes I didn't.

I will never be able to put my needs before others. I will never truly feel, in my bones, that my needs are just as important as someone else's. I will think they are. I will whine, but only to myself, that they are, but I won't act on it. Whether it's my innate nature, or something that has become hard-wired in me, from my life experience - don't know. I do know it won't be changing  - not in this lifetime.

I will always feel unworthy. Do I know I am smart, funny, loving, loveable, a good person? Yes. But the only thing I believe, unshakably, arrogantly - is that I am smart. The rest - I might know it, but I don't believe it.

I will always, and forever, be six years old.  The six-year old I was when I was six-years old. With one tiny difference. The six year old I am now, and forever, is a happy and loved six-year old. She lives in my heart where I keep her safe...


Jun 15, 2013

Allegory

Allegory : The representation of abstract ideas or principles by characters, figures, or events in narrative, dramatic, or pictorial form.

I don't like them.

My husband's youngest daughter is fond of allegorical novels. She sends him books as gifts - "The Life of Pi" was one. He never finished it. I, having read the reviews, never started it. Yesterday, as a Father's Day gift she sent him "Cloud Atlas". I Googled the book and said "You're not gonna like this book!" He said "Why?" I said "It's another Life of Pi - no plot". He started the book this morning and yeah, 20 pages in, not liking it.

I'm a straight forward sort of person. Yes, I can go on and on about things, but the things are the actual things. My things aren't things that are substitutes, allegories, for other things. If I say something is, then it is. No head scratching needed.

I do appreciate allegory in art. Dali is allegorical, as is Magritte - stating the obvious here. But not in novels - not in such a way that instead of enjoying a story you spend your reading time trying to figure out what the hell the author is talking about and what the point is. I have no patience for that.

I like psychological stories, I like Alice Hoffman because so many of her novels involve, I don't know what to call it, the supernatural? For me it's not - but I'm weird that way. I believe in selkies.

There is a way to tell a story, make a point, have there be layers of meaning, and still be entertaining. Aesop's Fables are allegories. But so is Winnie the Pooh.

I'm not a deep thinker. I know what I know. How I know a lot of what I know is something I question - but not for long.

I have no imagination. I love dragons, always have. They are not something I thought up - they don't represent anything. They are what they are - dragons. Large lizards that fly...they come in different colors with different skills and abilities. I love them, they're cool but...they're just dragons.

And this post has no deep meaning other that what it appears to be - a disjointed, short ramble of what's going through my head while I wait for my waffles to toast...

May 17, 2013

Generic

Last night - 1:30 in the morning - not able to sleep - pain - husband snorting/snoring/gasping/talking . Went into the kitchen, just leaning against the counter, in the dark. Thinking: I've had enough - of everything - of it all. Thinking: I am afraid of everything, all the time. Afraid - every moment of every day. Have been so for years. Irrational fears - of course - most. Not afraid of dying - just dying violently, painfully - I've had enough physical pain in life, prefer death to be easier. There is nothing that does not scare me. Cars - oh my god - I am so afraid of cars. Have been for years and years. Afraid of the houses I have lived in - especially the one in Philadelphia. Appliances - every time I turn one I expect it to blow up, catch fire. Every time I flush the toilet or turn on a faucet I expect a massive leak. Every time I eat I expect to get food poisoning. I'm scared that I will say the wrong thing and someone will sue me. There is nothing that doesn't frighten me. There is nothing that I do not fear. I am scared. Every. moment. of. every. day.

I went back to bed. I lay there thinking that I want to go. Let go, and- go. There's nothing I want, or need to hold on to. Time to go.

And how does generic apply here?

I get these little inspirational quotes from The Universe in my email every morning. They are generic. Everyone gets the same message each day. This morning the message was:
"Everyone's scared, Grace.
Few carry on.
Keep calm,
The Universe"

Did that inspire me? No. Did that comfort or calm me? No. Did it make me smile? Yes, yes it did. I love coincidences because there is no such thing as coincidence. Not really. Or at least not often. Because there is no such thing as 'never',  is there.  So - sometimes - yes, a cigar is just a cigar and shit does just happen. But mostly - there is no such thing as coincidence.

I am always amused that, indeed, I seem to get what I need, when I need it.

Today, a generic little message, made me smile.