Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Welcome Home





     Sometimes a gift is unknown, a traveler from another time winding up on the right doorstep. These are treasures that pass from hand to hand until a precise moment connects an object, to the person that it will bring sublime joy. 
     A beautiful young woman, on the brink of motherhood, hears me exclaim over her childhood tea set.
     "Oh! I had a set of these. Well they really weren't mine, an older cousin loaned them to me when she outgrew them. Then when her daughter was born she asked for them back."
Holding the tiny cup, l remember the day the china was returned. Playing tea using lukewarm Lipton is one of the only sweet memories I carry with me from growing up. 
     I do not share this at that time because in several hours a precious little girl will we born, a child who will be loved in ways that I was not. The young woman, in the midst of a brief respite in her eventual 33 hour labor, watches my old-little girl face light up, as I finger the delicate china. 
     A few weeks later, we see each other again, the bright fresh baby in a carrier alongside. In her hands my young friend has a gift. She smiles with a knowingly.
      "I thought this would be exactly the right thing to say thank you."
Holding the fragile cup I welcome the sweet memory home.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Stupid Sh*t Day




     I'm sure everyone has Stupid Sh*t Day. It doesn't seem to be a topic that anyone else brings up, but I know I can't be the only one who has woken up to dog puke, a gargantuan dust bunny that is blocking the sunlight, Christmas decorations that haven't been put away yet (oops that one is probably only me), and a basement storage room that has gotten so out of control that it threatens to kick them to the street.
     Welcome to hiatus or better put, welcome to what happens when I don't look too closely because if I do I'll have to do something about it payback day. My husband is conveniently out of town on the exact Thursday that I am forced to see the dust bunny. 
     The Godzilla of dust bunnies. One that's reproducing full born off spring. In multiples. Every second of every minute. My house is overpopulated by hopping, floating, disgusting dust blobs that are made up of...dog hair. Dog hair, dog snot, dog puke, dog piss, dog poop and dog skin. Yeah, I have those kind of dogs. 
     Pi our rat terrier, is having a complete allergy tantrum. It has been going on for seven months. If he's not scratching, he's licking or biting or chewing himself to death, leaving body parts all over the place. Fur balls for dinner, as a garnish or as a decorative element on my clothing. I believe more of him is in me than me. If we did a DNA test of my cells, I'd be part Pi. The biggest part.
     So my wake up call was in the form of puke from Pi's partner, Maggie. She very delicately and precisely with one long gack maneuver, purged the entirety of her stomach contents next to my bed at 2 AM. As I stumbled for paper towels, my feet slid on Godzilla. Afterward when I got myself settled back under the covers, it was necessary to ply dog hair from my nose and between my lips. Rolling over to commiserate with my husband, I remember that he is in California. Probably in mid sip of a frosty margarita, gazing at the roaring ocean under sparkling night stars. 
     Gotta love my man's timing. Today is Stupid Sh*t Day and he's out of town.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

How I Hiatus




     I'm necessarily reminded again and again that not everyone thinks like I do. In terms of a hiatus this is readily apparent. My husband has "had to" hiatus, meaning he lost his job several times during his twenties and thirties. He's the kind of guy who doesn't like having someone tell him what to do, so it took him a few tries to find exactly the right position. Like having a job with a boss who let's him figure his own shit out. Thankfully, he's happily employed while I'm on a break to write a book.
     Which brings me to my point about people doing things differently. When my husband was between jobs, twice for six months, he did things like clean the garbage cans, vacuum the inside of the cars, separate the nuts from the bolts, make intricate dinners and plan meals for the entire week.
     That kind of itinerary would have me back to work lickity-split. Cleaning the garbage cans sounds positively medieval and separating the nuts from the bolts would literally break the hemispheres of my brain in two. Cooking or planning to cook goes without saying, but if you need a metaphor, plucking my eyeballs out with a toothpick comes to mind.
     This hiatus, my first ever, is being spent writing a book. Not a fun book about faeries and magic, but a difficult, introspective one about childhood abuse. As the pages flow I'm looking out the window onto our wooded property. For two days straight two enormous red tailed hawks have been stalking a wee squirrel (well not so "wee", he's been dining quite well on the birdseed I put out for the birds). Yesterday the chub master was pinned to the side of tree, while the birds of prey moved in for the kill.
     I watched the story play out, similarly to the one I'm writing about two much more powerful individuals, holding the life of a smaller person in their grasp. Knowing that my interference would only set the birds onto another target or delay the inevitable, didn't matter. I went outside in my slippers to interfere. The hawks left immediately, while chubs waited until the coast was clear.
     After being the hero in someone else's story, I made chocolate chip cookies. Which I hope I don't have to explain is way different than making dinner. They turned out perfectly perfect. I ate three in a row with a glass of milk. It was a "hell yeah" reward for giving chubs another go at the bird feeder.
     At the end of this day of hiatus I have 12 pages written, temporarily saved the life of a squirrel, pissed off a pair of hawks, ordered take-out sushi and did not touch the inside of a single garbage can. I'm thinking that all is pretty damn well in my neighborhood.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Awareness is F*cked Up and Amazing



Image result for pictures of cupcakes


A hiatus is for facing what is easily unfaceable when otherwise engaged with matters of earning an income. How to make $$$, how much $$$ to make, do I have enough $$$, is there ever enough $$$ (?), what happens to the $$$ between Monday and Sunday (?), those $$$ sure take up a lot of time!

That's convenient.

On hiatus, with no $$$ to think about (because then I would think about the $$$ I'm not making), I am able to be with what is real. Not that incomes are wholly unimportant. They just don't matter in the big picture.

THE BIG PICTURE.

Who I am, who you are, what is happening in the world and whether or not I can do anything about anything. That's the big picture. It's what impacts a singular viewpoint. So the big picture matters. A lot.

When I'm consumed with daily matters of hoo-ha I tend to get myopic and overindulged in cupcakes. Not literal cupcakes, but the kind of cupcakes that make me feel nestled in my toddler bed with a blanky. Like puppy videos, a couple of extra glasses of wine and mindless ditty's designed to make me believe all is well everywhere.

All is not well everywhere. It never is. That doesn't mean it's a good thing for me to avoid looking, hum loudly and plug my ears to escape the knowledge or lie to myself by saying "well at least all is well in my neighborhood" or "not knowing is better than knowing". Not knowing is not better than knowing. 

There have been thousands, perhaps millions of times I've looked away on purpose. Like when I covered my eyes from seeing violence, maimed bodies and starving animals or when I forgot most of the horrible parts of my childhood.

Not looking doesn't mean nothing happened. Not looking means forgetting. Not looking means not doing. Not looking means staying as is. Not looking means stagnation. Not looking means being afraid. Not looking means avoiding the knowing. Not looking means hiding. Not looking means never healing. Not looking means not witnessing. Not looking means not looking.

Forgetting the horrible parts of my childhood made my adult life, lifeless. All the breath of my existence was utilized in forgetting, nothing was left for living. I didn't realize this until I was forced to look backward.

I held my gaze in place, even during the horrendous re-remembering, because not to do so would be continuing to give the abusers my power. Abusers live large in the dark. They welcome darkness and the ability to hide who they are from the light and from themselves.

It was one thing to have an abuser take my power. At such a young age I didn't realize it was happening. But as an adult, minus a toddler bed, I'm fully aware that by not looking I'm giving away what is mine.

A hiatus brings focus. The kind of focus that goes from a scenery of cupcakes, to a full spectrum of existence. I see. I remember. From this place is how change happens. 

Awareness is f*cked up and amazing.