Unusual To Find

It was I that thought of you today. I often do. Others may as well but I only know of me.

You were in a dream first and my sister was luring you with her charms – you succumbed and I was fraught with pain and anguish at the thought of abandonment. I had been clamoring after you in my usual attempt to find the love you have for me – it isn’t often clear.

I found you in a bed together.

You tried to convince me that it wasn’t that you didn’t love me.

She wouldn’t have purposely done a thing like that when she was alive. Just as you told me in the dream, “I couldn’t help myself.”

No one could resist her. She attracted everyone. I repelled. She couldn’t help herself either – it was just the way things were.

If not for you and a scarce few others, including my sister, I might not have had any chance to try to be known. That is what we all want – a chance to be known. We want someone to want to know us. Someone to ask questions. Someone to say, “Is that really how you feel? How did you come to feel as such? That’s very interesting. Tell me more.”

You don’t always do that but you do it enough to make me believe. My sister was the same – sometimes but not always – interested to know what thoughts I had. It wasn’t unlike her to call me a cynic and point out all my flaws though – too.

We want someone to want to see pictures of us in our younger days where we might be able to see our better side. We want someone to want to recall those days when we might have been together in them. We want someone to want to be with us – even if we must remain silent. We might even prefer the silence – just want the company and we want someone to want to accommodate us.

These things are quite unusual to find.

Sometimes, mostly in dreams, I find that unusual thing in you. Other times, I find you in bed with someone else.

Isn’t it a pity.

People At Parties

“What do you think of this new girlfriend thing?” the little boy asked her. 

There was a party going on and she was mingling. The little boy found her. She was returning to the little boys father every so often and reminding him that she was there. The little boy’s father always seemed pleased to remember and didn’t seem to be paying any attention to any of the other women in the group. He was a man’s man and the men were just as attracted to him as the women were and he seemed to prefer that recognition.

“What do you think?” the women asked the little boy in return. 

He shrugged his shoulders but had a pleasant look on his face. The woman grasped him lightly by his shoulders and jostled him just a little bit in friendliness. She could tell that the little boy liked her.

Antony was what the man called his littlest son — his name was Anthony, but that was one of the many nicknames his father used to express his grand love for the little boy.

The woman’s delight in the whole affair overcame her so she went to where the father was and jumped up to be received in his big arms. He lifted her up to be close to his face and she put both her hands on his cheeks and said, “I love you,” and then kissed him.

“I still want to see other women,” he blurted. 

She said nothing but gazed at him with soft eyes in return. She knew that she had blurted too.

All she could think to do now was to leave a little time between them so that he might see her in a different light. She retreated to fetch her coat. It seemed like a good idea to just let him be. She did love him and was tired of holding it back. If he didn’t love her, it was time to know. Clearly, the little boy wanted to know too. Her heart felt brave, if for no other reason than for the little boy’s sake — it just wasn’t fair that he was being jostled by people at parties.

Her fingers lightly crossed the little boy’s face like a feather. He was standing in the path to the exit.

“I shall have to see you another time. I must be off to the races.”

Obscure surely, but she had said some kind of adieu. 

 

Image by Prettysleepy from Pixabay

 

 

 

 

Enough To Dream

His nose was long and pointy but very handsome — classic Greek-ish with no sign of a lump or hump. She kept touching his face as a way of intimately letting him know that she was with him, in all senses of the word. They seemed to be spinning around each other like butterflies as they advanced toward where they were going. They continued to talk and share their thoughts as they went ahead. They were in love. They ended up at a farmhouse as it had been advised to them that they would find a place there to lay their heads and stay the night.

Suddenly they were in a single bed together — a twin size where they just fit if they were close together — which neither of them minded. It was a plush bed with lots of loft and softness and they were under warm covers. They couldn’t quit touching each other and ended up embracing with long kisses even though the keepers of the house and their children were milling all about in proximity of their bed. Everything was in one large room with a fireplace and wooden floors and dancing children who didn’t seem to want to go to sleep yet.

The children kept trying to engage them in conversations with questions and one or two pounced on the bed and on them some too. The parents, (who by then were in a bed of their own right across from the lovers), admonished, though very softly and with smiles, for them to stop pouncing. The children smiled back at their parents and kept asking the lovers questions — smiling at them too while waiting on the answers.

The lovers didn’t seem to mind. They were in a world of their own and felt as if they were really only one and whatever they might do would be invisible to others and it didn’t feel, even the slightest, tiniest bit, any kind of wrong to be in a big open, warm room with quite a few others as they lay there feeling so much love.

She touched his beautiful face some more. It felt so wonderful to be touching his face and it made her feel just like she was now complete and all the puzzle pieces were fitted in their rightful places. She could tell that he was comforted by her behavior — not letting many minutes go by without touching his face again. That is what lovers do to stay together after all — touch each other with words and feelings and hands and feet and pointy noses that might just happen to be a little bit classic Greek-ish.

She loved to look at his profile with his chiseled nose and curly brown hair and strong jaw. He was taller than she and she fit right under his arm comfortably, whenever they needed to fit. They made excuses to fit as often as they could.

They must have fallen asleep because the next thing she knew, it was cats pouncing and they were, all along probably the ones asking all the questions. Where had all the other people gone, including him? It must have been another dream and the cats were asking when their breakfast would be put in dishes for them — trying to rouse her by pouncing.

The handsome man had gone where handsome men always seem to go these days — to distant places with her dreams only to be woken again another morning just before rising with the hungry cats. It seems enough to dream these days since dreams are not much different than what happens in reality — if reality is real. At least in dreams — puzzle pieces fit and men are at their best.

 

All The Intersections

What is it like to be happy?
Isn’t it time to try?
So much of life is wasted caring about things that just don’t matter — like matching all the intersections perfectly on a quilt — though it can be fun to try.
Once the trying’s done though, might it be better to let go so that going on to something else can happen instead of getting stuck there doing nothing but matching seams on fabric in a place that nobody else might ever know.
Unless, of course, all that matters is that only yourself and whomever you point it out to can possibly know.
As it happens, there are a lot of things to try and trying to get them all perfect can be quite a challenge and possibly, just possibly, a little bit like wasting time.
Does anybody really have time to waste? Only if they don’t want to be very happy.
Even though happiness is not a certain thing, it’s better to look for it than to not.
It might even be better to believe that you have already found it and better yet when others you love can tell you that’s true.

Instead Of Floating

Even philosophers can get it wrong. Who are they but thinkers just as we.

Alain de Botton buttons up a thought that anyone who doesn’t find endearing love is not enough and love is someone loving someone outside oneself and both have been hunting and waiting and waiting and waiting and working trying to find that one specific way to be loved.

Such misfortune for the unfortunate wandering hunter missing that particular prey.

Could it be that love is for the taking all around us — in little dogs and flowers — might it well be floating in the air with arms that wrap anyone who’s waiting for a wrap. Might it be a state of mind that only vanishes with someone else because we let it. What we had in our mind is still in our mind — not left with their leaving. Love might be the same as grief. Grief might just be love that’s wrapped around itself instead of floating.

He might be wrong —  so don’t spend any time feeling sorry for yourself and who knows, as long as there is breath, one can breathe. As long as there is a breeze, floating love might come along to wrap you and if it shouldn’t, what you did instead of waiting and hunting for it might matter more.

The Showoff Business

Jamie Lee Curtis used those words, the showoff business, in an interview she gave speaking about being in recovery for substance abuse.
Kevin Bacon said in another interview that he had a make-up pro create a disguise for him and apply it so that he could go out into some public space where celebrities frequent but where other people also horde to try to catch a glimpse of one. He wanted to see what it was like to remain incognito. It worked. No one knew who he was. He hated it. It really bothered him that no one knew who he was.
I had to start wondering why any of us want to be seen.
Or heard.
Or read.
I garden.
I sew.
I research health-related issues.
I write.
I keep pages on Facebook for the first three and post links to things from here as they are completed each day on my own timeline — much to my own chagrin because I’m not really sure I want family and close friends to know me this well. Strangers are much easier — though, I must say, I have deep challenges to overcome due to responses, or lack thereof, that I have to navigate and I have to keep reminding myself that I post things strictly for accountability.
Originally, the pages on Facebook were just a means of trying to keep track of what I found as I investigated things — but, as time went on and followers accrued, emotional challenges started to accrue in relation to follower’s engagement or, again, lack thereof.
Lately, I’ve been reading a book called You Are The Placebo. It’s more of the research on health-related issues. As I’m reading it, I’m wondering if it is just pseudo science and if it will be effective the way the author claims. That said, it is being useful to uncover some things about thinking patterns and how delicate thinking really is. Thinking has a huge impact on outcomes with regard to how our lives manifest to large degrees respective to satisfaction or I can’t get no satisfaction outcomes.
Something I am WELL aware of, and he brings up, is the part nature plays in how satisfied or not we are with life and I think of how much, each day that I am out in it working with my own yards and witness ants and birds and lizards and stray cats and leaves falling, etc., etc. of just how utterly sustaining it all is and then I want to run in and tell someone/anyone/everyone about it.
My own mother spent five years enduring a clinical depression that almost exhausted all the life in her. Somehow, she managed to escape it — in large part due to two people, who are also not alive anymore, that wrapped their arms around her and, almost literally, lifted her out of it. There didn’t seem to be anything her own family could do — it was strangers. Strangers that saw her pain and loved her out of it. Our love, she expected — strangers she did not. It was a gift and once that started, her life began again.
I remember of how absolutely excited she became and animated when I would show up and she would present the list of things she had done that day. She made lists. She kept every novel she read in a rack, hanging on her bedroom door — a tally of accomplishments is the best way I can imagine why she did it. Once she came back to life, she needed some way of accounting, some way for herself to see what she was becoming again. For most of the years prior, before the depression, she was her children. We were her. It was the empty nest that started her dissent into that literal hell that is depression. She had everything she was tied up into us. She had to relearn a new way to be once she got past that living hell.
So, where I am in the placebo book, he is speaking to just how we become what we are — how reinforcing behaviors by constantly recalling them — like PTSD — there is some biological process, (I have to read slowly and process things so this is the best I can relate it back at this point), that makes it rather permanent. I will give fragrance as an example. I can smell the fragrance my sister wore or an old boyfriend and bam, the memories flood my mind — and not always good ones. I intentionally gave away many of my CDs because I DO NOT want to provoke feelings associated with the past that are dredged up when listening to them. I don’t want to hash and rehash certain memories. I listened lately to Police’s King of Pain and went directly to a broken heart episode in my life. I had to quickly find something else to replace the negative, unwelcome feelings. That might be the moment that Jamie Lee Curtis would go for the Vicodin. Me, I go outside and watch ants march, collecting things to make their fungus — cutter ants.
Writing is different, at least for me. It is cathartic. It is a way to get the memories out of my head, on to paper and then the words can be stared at like my mother might have gloried at the rack of books she had read or the list of accomplishments on a given day. My past serves as fodder for stories and once they are out, they become friendly again — almost like they are someone else’s life.
So, for interest and to make this so-called story asymmetrical, (since I favor odd numbers and think they are more interesting), Diane Keaton brought up how she loves kissing and having love relations but she meant while acting. She says, relationships are perfect that way, they don’t have to go on and become anything more, or less. They are what they are and can be left right where the movie ends.
Why is it that so many actors abuse substances? Maybe they don’t any more than the proportion they represent within their own sphere that the rest of those of us that abuse do in our own spheres.
Why did Jaime call it the showoff business — and when she did, mind, she did it with a little bit of a snarl such to imply that she meant for us to hear the words with a negative connotation.
Someone might say that my mother was showing off when she couldn’t wait to present her list of daily-things-crossed-off to me the minute I arrived — like she had been waiting all day for someone to see her. I love those memories of my mother. I love to remember how animated and happy she was the last few years of her life. She was a wonderful person and deserved to be a celebrity. She was to her children.
At this point in the placebo book, I’m almost wanting to quit wanting anyone to see, hear, respond/not respond, read me. I am wanting to just watch the ants and for that to be enough — the focus for living a life of meditation — contemplating meaning as seen through nature.
Trouble is, I made a commitment. I said, to myself, and YOU, I will write something every day and post it. I think I committed to one year. If not, I will now. That seems fair.
People have been leaving my gardening page. I don’t know why. I can guess all kinds of reasons.
People have been commenting on my comments on other sites where I have felt compelled to have an opinion. One called me bitter because I called out a professional artist/writer for dissing his own son because he thought his son was stealing his artwork. He chastised his son in public as if his son was just one of his followers. I thought he was wrong to do it and simply said, “I feel like I shouldn’t be hearing this.” To which one person said, “Thank you for saying that. I felt the same way.” The writer went into a long recital of why he did it and tried to make it sound like he was admonishing anybody for stealing artwork. But, sorry, he said, “my son.” So when I said, “That’s family business”, and some other, I thought, well-chosen words back in response to his excuses, the second lady called me bitter. So be it, but it did instruct me that I would rather spend my valuable time watching ants from now on.
I will, however, honor the 365 day commitment to write something every day and continue to post here and link it on my timeline — for whatever it’s worth.
I may drop off the pages on Facebook, (except for my own timeline for the remainder of the 365 day commitment). Ants are so much more interesting, they don’t care how I look, I can’t get them to leave me, (not that I would want them to), and I highly doubt if they think I’m bitter or a showoff — they’re way too busy to bother with that bother. From now on, I want to be more like ants — busy in my own world doing something of value.

 

Mom, hovering over me

Mom, hovering over me.

 

Thinking About Leaving

As unusual as it is for anyone to reach old age without ever having been married or had children, it’s not necessarily an unhappy event. Contrary to the popular advice that one needs them to be cared for at the ripe and rotting stage, it also isn’t unusual to be abandoned by them —  more often than not.
Of course it could be nice but for some reason, the value of hanging around just for the accrued wisdom is received like advice, painfully, by the recipient and most younger samples want their freedom more. Hanging around to help is another thing altogether.
Maybe it’s a delivery issue. If old people could just speak meme, who knows, but they seem to want to tell whole stories and no one seems to have that kind of time — therein may lie the trouble — time. Wisdom and stories aside, helping them get out of the tub is too much like a job they didn’t want and who signed them up for that?
Seems rather more like congestion than speed though. There’s so much clutter and Kondo says to get rid of all of that — throw the baby pictures out with the old folks’ dirty bathwater. No time for reminiscing or heavy lifting — only time to post perfection on insta-whatever — minimalism the current rave with snippets of their wonderful lives trimmed of any fat and oxidation.
Time travels so fast when you’re 90, if you get that far — by and large, lucky are those who do. It travels fast enough when 60 hits. Life is wonderful after all and only ones who have found the margins can know if there is another world that leaving this one is improved by.
There are plenty of options while living in this margin for comings and goings within it that the mind can easily be cluttered with thinking about leaving or staying in a place or situation.
“George Bailey, I’ll love you till the day I die” can be true if you come or go. “Love is eternal” it is claimed.
Imbibed by what ifs can render a stupor of helpless thinking with possible stumbling, falling and fractures that might lead to something akin to death by chocolate. What if that love is even better?”

“…obviously the odds are long that things, even as they’ve developed, will ever get off the ground”

Oh yes, but what if?

Alas, maybe best to stay where things are safe, comfortable and not prone to be about trying to fix a festering failure or quench an as yet unmet thirst where things can turn turbulent and unpredictable or into another “same old story” kind of additive thing left by unhealed childhood wounds.
Good enough is good enough and 20 years is a long time to quit a comfortable, even happy thing even though people have been known to do it even after more than 40 — albeit possibly, could be happier, largely uncomfortable, even miserable ones.

“I don’t know one damn thing, but I know this — the only things in this life that you really regret are the risks you didn’t take. Mel, if you see a chance to be happy you grab it with both hands and the hell with the consequences.” ~ John Gustafson/ Grumpy Old Men

Ariel said it first. He was copying her. Ariel knew. She wasn’t afraid. Certainly not afraid of being left alone by the kids she didn’t have in the movie. She simply was more interested in really living than of watching life go by outside her window like the grumpy old men in the movie were, at that stage, prone to do. John was upset because she was upsetting his apple cart.

Lucky are the ones who can look out a window at the end of life with their fur kids by their side, and maybe each other, and be happy that they took the road where venture gained.

thinking about leaving

A Little Boy

It was a little boy and he had deeper red hair than the girl had had, but he had a brown nose just like she. He was a wee bit smaller too, but so cute and very much the same body type that she had loved to pick up, hold and smooch. He just appeared from nowhere and she decided to invite him in. She asked her favorite man if he thought it was okay and did he want to name him?

“Shall we call him Hernandy?” she asked. His middle name was related to it, so her thinking was that that would delight him and enjoin him to consider her plea, not that he could deter her and not that he didn’t love dogs as much. She was just trying to be considerate.

Hernandy’s new father pulled her in to dance a bit. He was tall and tubby, warm and friendly and they danced awhile around the room. She loved him, but things never seemed to go as planned. He was effervescent, she not so much. He needed to talk, talk, talk and be listened to. She needed to be quiet and contemplative, but yet, opposites are known to attract.

Hernandy

When she awoke, she spent the day with feelings of fulfillment, sated emotionally from the story she had conjured while she slept. It was a bright beautiful day and even though he was hundreds of miles and emotions away, she felt like he was right there with her even though he likely never would be.

As the day went on and she further thought, she realized that things always turn out as they should, eventually. Maybe eventually one comes to realize that what they want, they already have.

It was nice that they were still friends, but it hadn’t worked because it wouldn’t work other than how it was working. She wondered if she could ever be happy with someone in her space. Probably not. You have to learn that when you are young, just like a language — much more difficult to do as you get older. But still, she would love to dance with his tubby self that wasn’t tubby anymore except in her dream.

Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can only be know in orderly successions; and that only teachers can reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind conceives of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessible only to those who carry the proper tag.. ~ Ivan Illich

She wanted to know all of the secrets of life. He just wanted to live slaphappily — “cheerfully irresponsible”, “happy-go-lucky” — yet he loved to know what she knew and oddly enough, he usually came to the same conclusions just by his osmotic way of existing. As with learning a language, how to learn or how to have other people in your space, it’s a matter of upbringing and culture as much as an individual’s preference. He had been raised in a huge family, she in an insulated/isolated one.

“Where are you, Jean?” he called from the living room where he was surrounded by his kids and their friends. She was in the garage doing all the laundry just so she wouldn’t have to engage but could listen and love it just the same.

He came looking for her and they touched in the hallway, just like feathers falling in the air. “You don’t have to do that.” he said. She didn’t mind. The next time he came looking for her, she was sitting on the floor in the walk-in closet in his room reading a book because it had all gotten to be too much for her emotions. “What are you doing in here!”

Later that night, they all sat in the living room, she next to him on the couch. He had a bowl of peanuts handing them out – one for her, one for him, shelling them as he went. He was generous and caring. When she spoke, they all stopped to listen. She felt important — “When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen,” kind of thing.

They were both just barely 40. He was raising his children alone but they had a mother and she was always in the periphery. They hadn’t been divorced for long, but the mother had remarried and the children didn’t like anyone new in his life — it was enough that she had left them.

They worked together, so there was no escaping it. Fortunately, he had a private business that just happened to reside where she had to spend the whole day confined — she was grateful that he came and went. There were years and years of on-again, off-again. They kept trying but just couldn’t seem to work things out.

She would finally move store locations and eventually leave the state thinking she could sever the tie. It didn’t work.

“Some people come into your life…”

They say it lasts until the lesson is learned. In the meantime, dogs come and go and many dreams too. She wonders what the lesson is and there isn’t a teacher near. She shall have to keep digging and digging, mostly in her garden where the thoughts are free and floating, like the feathers or their touch. Sooner or later it will come to her and maybe Hernandy too.

Light as a feather

Make a wish