Saturday, February 19, 2011


I've just returned from the mountains of western PA, where I spent a couple of days taking care of Mom and sister.  Mom had a bad fall, face-planted in the middle of the night in her bathroom.  Woke up in a pool of her own blood.

All her other hospitalizations and illnesses have happened without her asking me to come to her.  This time she asked.  So I went.

She's so tired of the effort of living.  Everything  is so difficult for her, physically.  She's over it. And discouraged.  When she's aware.

What is it about cities in the mountains that are so depressing?  Especially the old coal-towns.  Everything is so dark, the sky, the building materials, the whole environment is dark.  Even when the sun was shining, everything felt dark.

And what is it about the mountains above and all around me that make me feel so pressed in?  I don't live in a completely flat environment, but it sure seems so once I'm out there.  Here in the central MD region things are more open and gentle, even when there are hills and such.  It's easier to breathe here, I don't feel claustrophobic, things are easier.  I realize now another reason why I like visiting Las Vegas so much - it's the flat and wide-open space.

But my feeling of being oppressed by the environment, while it is physical, is no less real than Mom's feeling of being oppressed by her body, age, and disease.  I have it a lot easier than Mom does.  I can rid myself of the oppression just by coming  home.  Mom can't flee her body.

And all the while, my sister is struggling mightily with her own demons.  It's intolerable to her that Mom is not able to be the young, vibrant, energetic, decisive woman she used to be.  Sister is not prepared nor able to accept this chapter in Mom's life.  More the pity that she is Mom's primary care-giver.  And I can't fix any of it.

Seems like a little bit of oppression all around these days.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Good Vibrations

There is something deeply soul-satisfying about driving alone with the car stereo turned up enough so that the throbbing bass vibrates the doors and mirrors.

I don't know why.  It just fills me with contentment.



Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Sometimes problems can seem insurmountable.  I think I get caught up in all the worry and twists and turns, and end up stuck.  Like the proverbial cat who can't fight his way out of a paper bag.

There's a song by One Republic called "Secrets" that I like.  It offers this gem:

"Til' all my sleeves are stained red
From all the truth that I've said"

And it strikes me how like me that is.  I get so caught up in my rightness, my clarity and how accurate I am, how I can see the best path, and then I need to prove that I knew best and I was right if only people would do as I say.  I get caught in that, stuck in the paper bag, and I can't get out, often not until my sleeves are running with the blood of those I've injured with my rightness.

I don't mean to be that way.  And I promise myself I'll just smile and bite my tongue.  I remind myself of what I used to tell my son when he was about 9 or 10 years old.  He too, had the need to correct others and explain what was right to them.  And I told him that it was OK to be right on the inside and not share it on the outside.  That people, his friends, don't need him to always be the answer man.  And I didn't even understand where he got that behavior from.  Must have been his biological father.

And tonight, I am shocked to discover that it's me.  He got it from me.  No wonder he looked at me like I had two heads when I told him to stop being the know-it-all.  omg.  How was I unable to see myself in him?  How was I so focused on that splinter in his eye and unaware of the log in my own? omg.

I gotta say, it's hard to breathe right now.

And the I hear Bonnie Bedelia, who plays the role of Camille Braverman on "Parenthood", tell her granddaughter Haddie to go back home.  (Haddie is a teenager who is upset with her parents and left home to go live with her grandparents.)  Haddie explains to her grandmother that she doesn't want to go back home because her parents still feel the same way, and she hasn't changed her mind either, and nothing is fixed or solved.  Camille tells Haddie, "Just go home.  Go because they love you and you love them.  It doesn't have to be solved, it's not math."

And I hear that, and I want to be a little easier with myself and forgive myself and let go of my upset that I've hurt others with my rightness.  I want to be perfect.  And I'm so far away from perfect it's not funny.  I know it's not all solved, I know I won't be different quickly, it will take a lot of effort.  And it may require bloodying my own tongue instead of letting the truth out to bloody others with.

This is a journey, and I think it's going to take awhile.  I know it doesn't have to be perfectly solved like a math problem, at least not any time soon.  But I still want to try.  Because honestly?  This hurts.  Realizing this less than pleasant trait of mine hurts.  A lot.  Which I know is partly because I hate that I've hurt others, I am in many ways one of the most compassionate and gentle people on the planet.  And to realize that my tongue has caused pain to others, kills me.  And I think it's also because it hurts my self-image, and the image that I want others to have of me, that I'm perfect.  That I could never do something as nasty as hurt someone else.  That just doesn't mesh with how I perceive myself and how I want others to perceive me.  So it attacks my fragile little ego. :/  But I also think it hurts my pride to realize that I'm not perfect.  So this little unplanned self-discovery tonight is a three-pronged whammy that has me reeling.


Well, I guess all I can do is move forward, and let go of the past.  I can try anyway.  It's not my strong suit.  Wish me luck.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Why do humans need to organize?

Why, when they do organize, do they make a mess of it?

Most can easily see that these questions are brought to my mind by pondering organized religion.  And no matter what religion you consider, mankind has made a mess of it.  The spiritual world is best accepted on faith, and there are many aspects of it that humans simply cannot fully understand.  It seems religious leaders love to try to do so though, which generally causes negativity in the physical world including (but not limited to) oppressed humans, wars, fear, and failure to see the divine in all.

But I've also found that the same need to organize, and mess made of the attempt appears everywhere.  Government, politics, civic groups, neighborhood groups, book clubs, you name it - anytime it gets organized there are problems.  It's really not just with religion.  And I know society needs organization and rules to function, really I do.  I'm not naive.  But I do wish we were more tolerant and gentle and loving with one another.  I wish that individuals were  a bit  more altruistic, and less willing to be out for their own gain.  I wish that people weren't subject to needing to exercise power over others in order to feel good about themselves. I wish that people checked their fragile little egos at the door before harming another.  Words as well as actions cause harm. Thoughtlessness and ignorance cause harm.  Selfishness and stupidity cause harm.

It's enough to make me want to live on an island where others can't hurt me, and where I don't need the rest of the world.  But that is naive thinking.

The one place I (very naively) believed would be free of such organizational blundering and negativity was within the BDSM community.  hahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa-gasp-stopdon'tmakemelaughIcan'tbreathe!

I was used to it in religious and political and other social places, after all, I was brought up with such things and thought they were normal.  But when I "discovered" the "Scene", I thought that mess was all behind me because people in the Lifestyle, being considered "different" and "not normal", "kinky" and "weird" would be totally tolerant and loving toward others.  Whoa Nelly, not so at all.  Shew.  Getting into the organizations we discover the same messes (perhaps in microcosm) that exist anywhere else humans are organized. gah.

Is there an answer?  Nope.  Is there anything to be done?  No, not really.  Human nature is what it is.  The only person I can affect any change in is me.  (Well, and hopefully I raised the child to be more tolerant and open-minded, but that's a different matter.)  I can only take care of how I interact in the world, and only control my own actions.  I choose to believe that my thoughts and actions send ripples of energy out into the cosmos, so I choose positivity.  Even though sometimes things seem bleak and I don't feel very positive.  In the end I don't think my negativity helps at all, so I work on making positive choices.

Wish me luck - and join me.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Why Sentence Structure Is Important

The  boss had to fire somebody, and he narrowed it down to one of two people:
Mary  or Jack.
It was an impossible decision because they were both decent workers.

Rather  than flip a coin, he decided he would fire the first one who used the water cooler the next morning.

Mary  came in the next morning with a horrible hangover after partying all night.

She  went to the cooler to take an aspirin. The boss approached her and said,
"Mary,  I've never done this before, but I either have to lay you or Jack off."

"Could you jack off?" she said. "I feel like shit this morning."


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


So much imagery relating to circles.  Expressions and sayings and explanations using a simple circle.

Collars and wedding rings all reflecting on the way we 2 are united and flow into a mystical one-ness.

Wagon trains circling the wagons for safety, better to keep everyone within the circle away from harm.

The family circle, that place where we are supposed to be safe and united in the bosom of love.

How about the great circle of life which can be quite joyous and quite sad by turns?

These thoughts float through my head as I meditate upon the comings and goings of friends and loved ones, the changes and twists and turns of our lives that see us happy and contented upon a plain of life, and then take us to places of despair.  And it seems we will  be in the darkness forever, while it seems as if the places of light will last forever. In truth neither one does last, but flows, in the blink of an eye, into the next passage of life.  The circle continues and flows.

The seasons of life that allowed me to experience a vibrant and decisive and intelligent mother are passing into another season of alzheimers.  The comings and goings of my mom can be challenging to experience.  I never know who I will speak to when I call.  When she' s there, I want to weep with the joy of having my mom back, and just bask in her presence.  She has such insight and keen intelligence, always helping me to make sense out of the world.  But when she's not there, I want to sob with the pain of loss.   Mostly I ache for her, for her awareness that she is diminished and frustrated and trapped and feels a victim by her physical limitations and her mental failings.  I do think I would be somewhat comforted if she were completely away, and not suffering with the knowing that she's lost.  At the same time, I don't want to lose my mom.  Not ready for it.  At all.  No one asked me if this was OK.  And it's not.

My Dad's life was here one moment and gone the next, and it staggered me.  The shock took long to wear off, and foundations of my life were almost destroyed.  He was young, I was young, there was no warning.  No time to prepare.  It took so very long to heal, I guess I still am healing, but it's much better now, even though I'll never not miss him.  And I don't know how this prolonged, protracted going away will take with Mom, I don't know how much she will have to suffer, nor how her actual passing will be.  I suspect very different than the feelings I had when Dad died, I suspect there will be a feeling of relief and gratefulness that she is no longer fighting and suffering.

All in all this circle thing can suck.

OK, not really.

Look at how it brings blogging friends back who've been away!  That's good, very good.  I believe it is the wisdom of such friends that ultimately help me through some of the darkness.  The universe is so very good to provide just what we need, from the "pen" (ok make that keyboard) of real time strangers who are virtual friends.  So often we blog and have no idea (NONE at all) of how our words will grow in the heart of another.  And that is such a gift to strangers - willingness to share your heart here, so that I (someone you've never met face to face) may read it and gain wisdom and strength and courage for her own journey.  Talk about a circle.

So I may be in for a bumpy ride for some years to come with Mom, and I thank you in advance, for the words you will nurture me with without even knowing it.  I thank you for writing as you are led -not knowing how that will touch others, because I know it will touch me as it has in the past.

And we come full circle.  Again.