Essays. Meanderings and mutterings. Lots of photos of our cat. Counting coup on fifty years existence.
Borrowed the neighbor's mower to minimize the verge grass. Took a lot more effort than I expected, or was prepared for. Did a thoroughly crappy job, but soon there will be patches cleared to grow wildflowers, and now it does not look neglected exactly. More ill treated. A few square feet at a time. Hacked back the hedge as well, epitome of dead wood in there.
Moby has me pinned down again. I think he likes when we are here alot. Had me held down when I woke this morning, took a fair bit of shoving to get him to move. When I sat in the music room for a moment as the kettle boiled, he was on me for a good petting before I'd properly sat down. Still amazes us, as this is such new behaviour since January. Nice, but a bit much sometimes, and we don't want to shove him away too much.
These three days off work in a row have been a blessing.
The other site is still being sorted out, a weekend glitch. But they are local, so a call tomorrow should do the trick. Probably going to be a bit less stable, since they make their money on commercial concerns, not small personal blogs. Which is, I suspect, what is going on with oogle/blugger. They don't want us clogging up their bandwidth, and are trying to get us to go away.
Maybe I'll head out with the camera later. It was a long walk this morning, though. And lunch was disappointing. Hoping for better from dinner we make ourselves. Got to chat with our neighbors, and invite her to the plant sale in May, since she doesn't drive. She was enthusiastic. It'll be nice to have company. Oh, D would go with me if I asked, but it is really not his thing. He picked the colors for the shades, and knew best where to hang the penguin, but anything outdoors, and he gets that blank look that in some men would come out as a "yesdear." He doesn't think that way, and would never say that, but it's the same brainwave pattern.
Seriously, there will be photos later. But the cat's asleep, and I hate to wake him, since he only gets about 18 hours a day...
Really enjoying the long weekend, even if it is not really a day off. Moby very engaged. He slept stretched out between our backs for the last hour or so this morning, not stirring even when I nearly rolled over on him. Wriggled, and realized this was not D, this was a cat. Very unusual. As I sat with the laptop, feet up on the stool, he looked over the screen, then hopped over it onto the keyboard. Took some convincing to coax him onto my actual lap instead. Meantime, he opened a webpage, took a screenshot, opened it into an email, & turned the sound all the way up. Clever cat. We got grocery store roses, with long grand fronds. Moby knew immediately, and mrrked and pawed as I got them into a vase, very insistent "Give that to me! I know that's for me! Give that to me NOW!" He ingested some, and horked it up within minutes, to his evident satisfaction.
He's having a good upside-down head nap.
Picked up some fish emulsion and bean inoculant, and some wild seed mix. Oh, and some red beans from the asian market, along with oolong bags for work. Still have to wait a couple of weeks to plant. The waiting is the hardest part.
The latest insight into the genetics - excuses. All the excuses to go along with all the drama. I rather figured out in my mid to late twenties that no one gives a shit about my excuses. Do the job, fulfill the promise, actions count, words are just words unless they reinforce the actions. Alone, they are worse than nothing, a affront, a lie. The worst kind, the ones people tell themselves, being so persuasive until the bottom falls through.
Over the years, I have grown most impatient with excuses, and neglect, and earnest promises unkept. Malice is least forgivable, but then, it is easier to spot. When one disappoints, the only response is apology and a clear intent to do better, never to throw up a defensive excuse - no matter how good it is. Worse - to lay on a pile of excuses to make the one let down feel guilty for even asking.
Moby wanted to eat grass, and had no interest in why it was taking so damn long. I apologized, and hurried up. Joy ensued.
I've been visiting myself as a ten year old. Letting her talk, since she knows my story to date, but my memories of her are a bit shaky. I want her to like where her life will go, I want her to be pleased with my journey.
She wanted to be a famous actress, without clearly knowing what that meant. She wanted out of Detroit, away from the father that she would come to loathe much more very soon. She wanted adventure and world travel and success. I've lived up to that in spirit, if not specifics.
I think she would really love that at least twenty people from all over the globe read my words. (That's you, bless you all.) I know she would love Moby. And she would adore D, without question. She would, with some explanation, understand my changes in job choices, and be a bit impressed at my military experience.
She'd have wanted me to do more when I was still young, parachuting, mountain climbing, surfing, river rafting - which I have not done, never will now. She would be afraid of being without a mother during her lifetime, and I would have to reassure her that she will be fine when the time came.
I'm glad she paid such attention, and watched so carefully for truth without flinching. She kept an open mind when there was no advantage to it, and no small amount of pain involved. She loved and trusted and dared, over and over, when perhaps she should not have, but what the hell.
She would be best pleased that I swear like the soldier that I was. She would love that she gets to have sex with more than one guy. She would love that she eventually finds real, generous love, and authority in her work, and a few excellent friends. She would worry that I drink at all.
I'm imagining myself sitting on the edge of the bathtub as mum is about to tell me something, when my father chimes in from the kitchen "I'M DEAD." This is a half true story, when my beloved uncle died when I was 19, my father butted in on my mother telling me by blurting out "Walt's dead." Charming. On the other hand, while I still grieved, my mother berated me telling me I had no right to mourn, he was HER brother. When I was a child I saw it as only my father, since he was the one shouting at me. But during the longest estrangement, I began to see that it was my mother as well, if in a quieter role.
I could not see any of that at ten. COULD not, should not, needed desperately not to. She was all I had, however inadequate, and I couldn't imagine myself without a mother. Took me twenty years to see that she was part of the dynamic, the catalyst for the toxin.
That my mother asked me if I was still with D when I first remade contact still rankles. That she so bluntly showed lack of interest in my stories, interrupting to tell me there was nothing new going on, asking no questions. That she called me 'darling" when she never did before, that that she is financially comfortable (yay!) and I am in the will (gah!) That was the final straw, that I am somehow buyable. I'm not. I don't care if it's $5 or $5 million. I never before even thought there was anything TO inherit. Let the poison stay in Texas with her and the diligent son, and I have now closed that channel back to me.
Just had a flash of memory from school. I'd be shoved into games for PE, not interested in playing, nonetheless winning, and never even being taught the rules. And the girls who loved playing and desperately wanted to win would shout at me for not playing well. All I could think was, why do they think that will work? If I'm on your team, and you want me to play better, is yelling at me going to inspire me? I think not. I think I'm now not on your team, I am going to play as badly as possible to not let you win. I lose nothing, you get what you deserve.
And this is the thing with the genetic kin, they want to have me love them, and understand them, and try to force me by criticizing and guilting me. When the first marriage was falling apart, the ex tried to force me to stop pulling away from him and have me start doing all the work again. And I honestly think they don't understand why this isn't effective.
My age ten self is struggling with her sense of duty, trying to come to terms, still wanting that family to love her, not make her love them - because she was doing that already and they still wanted more. I tried for her, gave them a chance to reach out without grabbing back, and now I have to convince her that it will never happen. Nothing will ever be enough for them, she'll never be able to do the right thing to elicit their love or respect.
I lose nothing that I ever really had. Only illusions.
Burn all the bridges.
Setting up a new site. May take a while, but it's happening. I'll let you know.
Oh, apparently it defaults without this option. Gods. Well, that was a bother.
A short day for work. Very hot for April, if 90˚F is your idea of hot for early spring. The House is cool, with curtains drawn, the advantage of a bungalow. Must research bungalow. Want to research this house, going to the state historical society records office soon. Since we live in a damn historical district.
Another week or so for the blinds. Looking very forward to the change of light. Picked a good week to hide, doing four days in a row, with Friday off due to low census. Actually, no census at all. Dunno why.
Refugee patient, one of those I feel so protective over. North Korean, with a difficult to find interpreter who brought her young daughter. I drew a smiley face on a red ball for her, which she took quietly, but then excitedly showed her mum. She was very patient and quiet for her age, and the patient seemed to see her as a granddaughter. Surgeon did a beautiful job for him.
Three very long, hard cases. The end game resolved as it should, with everyone done in time to help every other room clean up and put away. So tired.
Three long, hard days. Surveys: local Transportation, PhD's spirituality dissertation thesis, called for nurses to answer - read as assuming belief in God, one question ungrammatical to the point of incomprehensibility. Finally, a university self promo - I stopped for lack of an "other" option. Woke up with the Campfire Girls song in my head. Had to admit to D that my father, for all his evil, took physical/financial care of his family, to the best of his poor ability give the devil his due. Not an excuse, but.
Make it an even four. Another transportation survey, this time from work. Delighted to be off three days in a row. Plans for outside work. Snow possible, though it won't stick. A suicide at D's place of work, a jumper from the roof of the library. Another story this evening of a stabbing in the parking lot of the grocery store two blocks from us.
Moby seems to be off laps a bit. Sitting on the futon in front of the fireplace, now that the other blanket is there. More comfortable for everyone, really. Still. Spent quite a while mrowring at the other creature out on the porch, until I shooed the couldn't-be-a-cat-because-he's-the-only-cat away. Even then, his territory, other creatures strictly unwanted.
This was a perfect week to duck down and discover the life teeming under rocks.
Over the last three months of our time in a real house, Moby has become a true Lap Cat. And, although this is lovely and we are happy to have his overt affection and appreciation, it almost seems like a different cat. I have to keep him from jumping up on me whenever, or at least not EVERY time, I sit in the Music Room. He demands our attention and physical presence much more than ever before. I grow to ache, trying not to move once he has settled on me, but inevitably I must, or grow stiff and sore. Perhaps this has to do with his age, or that he no longer feels so cramped and in need of space. But he has completely made the transition from an apartment cat into a House Cat. His love is overt and present, without the old restraints. We genuinely thought he would go through this phase of needing reassurance, then it would wane. Instead, he seems more fond of us now than ever, no sign of lessening. I clipped his hind claws today, and although he growled opprobrium, he stayed where he was, and once I was done, settled in beside me again. Our love has deepened, as with the long, happily, married. Trust runs deep. We know each other, and like each other right down, to the bone.
Maybe I would not feel such a deficit from the genetic kin, save that I have experienced this real love. My cat loves me for who I am more than they ever have, ever will, ever could. D loves me more than that.
I pour back the love, only wanting to return more, a boundless desire to balance. An endless, mutual, debt. The House is part of that.
How'd I get so lucky? (I say this a lot.)
Labels: love story
All virusy today, Moby hanging close, raining. Trees budding, buckets filling. Brain buzzing, as well as my ears. Feeling guilty because I know it's busy at work, but I would not be of any use.
Or as I have been known to say at work, since I keep my strong words out of my professional demeanor, BUCKET! Bucket-all.
Out the front, toward the intersection. A one way coming this way, so that it's important to watch for the left turning traffic, as they tend to angulate too fast.
Dale mentions being a bit unstuck in time, a sensation I have also felt, but I am finding comfort in it. Time has been slinkying around, crawling down into my shoes, bunching up at my waist, rolling up in my armpits, as I patiently pull up my socks, tuck in my shirt, and try to hold on to my sleeves as I put on my coat. Drove me crazy as a kid, but it feels oddly reassuring now, a familiar task, nothing to get fussed about, even as a metaphor.
Joan's comment on a previous post proved to be a tiny silver key to unlock a door holding a vital piece of my life's puzzle. It's all about roles and scripts. I never wanted to live according to the Rules of Family, unspoken and assumed and absolute. Nothing fit me in them, I have always wanted to be seen for who I actually am, and that doesn't work in that dynamic. An authentic life, in it's painful naked truth, does not look right beside the standard facade. My father hated me, certainly - but not for myself - since he never even wanted to know me for myself. My mother loved me, but not for who I really became - she never tried to know the person I was becoming. I kept bracing myself for pointed questions, which I would have asked, but they will not. My brothers assumed I would be the kid sis, never bothering to check, not really interested in my contribution to my own character. It boggles that they could see us as siblings, when we were never children together, or I wasn't with them.
All the heartache and fear seems to be crumbling away. I can't even resent them, since they never saw me as real. They are all quite unreal to me, as well. The sharpness is gone, the dull ache receding much more quickly than ever before. I'm just fighting off some virus this week, residuals of the excess hormones of last week, being a bit emotional. And I had to go in for a damn meeting this morning at 0730 on my day off. When I got home, D was still here, a crown had popped off, and he had to get in to see the dentist. Which he did, all fixed up now.
A day of ill omen, rain and a clinging cat. April can be like this.
Neither of us had any good thoughts for the horrible plethora of brown curtains and shades left by the Previous. Even less than for the ikea crap. The curtains sagged and sucked in all light and color in the front of the house, particularly after sundown. This shows them with a light sheer I added - a cheap solution for the moment, and one less brown panel. The cable system holding them up was put up badly, an utter pain to change the drapery, and from That Swedish Store as well.
So, when we found out we can't have gutters - no way to properly put them up, and an undulating roof edge, we figured we'd go ahead and do the rest of the cellular blinds. Gutter guy suggested we do a DIY section of gutter over the back porch, and call it good. We'll figure something out.
Down with the curtains. I wonder if there is anything to be done with the fabric? I feel it's important to somehow reuse it. Like with the desk (?) panels repurposed as compost bin.
The darkness is lifting, as we work our way through.
Labels: House the Home
My father badgered, harassed, and I was not allowed the option of not answering insane questions. "Answer me! I ASKED you a question!" Well, often he hadn't, or the 'question' was unanswerable, ("Why don't you have any friends?" "Why did you say (something I didn't say) to your mother?") I had to respond, and that response would be hurled back at me, often for years to come. As though he threw rocks at me, and demanded I hand them back nicely, so he could throw them at me again. Yeah, that was my childhood. Constant interrogation. Not physical, but that hardly matters anymore. I wanted to simply shut down and endure, but that was strictly not allowed, I had to stay present - the worst part of it. Look in his eyes - although I learned to stare at the bridge of his nose. He knew something was off, but could not accuse me of not looking at him. Had to be able to answer the vague and contradictory and confusing accusations. Learning not to answer anyone took a lot of practice, deliberate work, later.
So now that the genetic family has failed to acknowledge the abuse, and indeed has managed to reiterate how much I am "like him" (wow) I want only to respond with serene silence. They don't want an honest relationship, they want to prove they are family because they talk with their sister/daughter. Estrangement is troubling to them. Well, that's their trouble. I gave them an honest chance, though I had nothing to gain. Her birthday next week, younger son visiting with older and her, I wait for contact. If it doesn't come, that is an answer, in my view the final one. If there is contact, I will be terse and honest - which will certainly not be appreciated, and that will be final as well.
No more answers from me. Let them make up their own version. From me, silence, a patient smile, and D's example. He's very good at silence, one of his better traits. He will not be drawn in. I admire that so much.
I had to ask him for confirmation this week of what he saw, when my father blew up at me when we were their guests. He did more, reassured me thoroughly, and I am reassured. Soon, I will be able to let it all fade away. Not quite there yet, freshly opened wound and all, but gradually. I just don't let this sort of thing go without care, like leaving the religion of childhood. I need to be thorough, do it well, nothing taken for granted. No regrets later. Dug down deep, rooted out.
The truth shall make ye fret.
strong tea, I am puzzled why.
Plenty of choices.
We heard the crunching crinkling sounds, cat decided that the bin for odds & ends - some plastic, some paper, by the front door, where my jacket got thrown as well, was a lovely place to curl up for a quick nap.
When I got up this morning, D still slept. He'd been up through the night. For a while I looked for Moby. Mystery solved. Wool, warm, lumpy, and one of his people asleep. He gotten D up in the night, patting at his mustache insistently.
Almost there with the big ticket items. The back door, and the plumbing, both can wait a while yet. The chimney, a small area of the roof, the tarp-door for the garage. After that it's mostly odds & ends, and the garden which is a joy.
It's conditioning from my job, get as much done as soon as humanly possible, then sit back to be able to respond to a crisis. Also called (at least by me) the Philosophy of Enlightened Laziness. Get everything done, so I can sit.
Had D's parents over for dinner last night. It amazes him that we can be so comfortable with them now, that their presence is a source of enjoyment, not obligation anymore. Perhaps because all five sons are married (two more than once) and the pressure to instruct the sons is eased, and life has gotten simpler, if not easier, for them. Maybe they have learned that D cannot be pushed (try pushing a cat) but will merely squirm off in another direction. Maybe they see we are on our own path, and although they would chose another for us, they see us happy, still loving, which makes it hard to argue with. We have also learned to never visit them on religious holidays, which meant avoiding them for Easter and LDS Conference weekends, but then making sure to get with them the next available day. That last is the important bit, that they feel loved for themselves, even as we demur on their faith.
And this house, well, it really does want people here.
Moby was sleeping on me when I got up. When I sat, before I could settle, or put my feet up, he jumped up. D laughed.
"He's not putting up with that 'Lap Not Available.'"
This is my new favorite site.
Three months today we have been here. Seems impossible, that we've done so much in such a short time. Three months of Moby running around happily. One of his favorite games is Chase, where I run after him, and he hares off, tail up. Stops, watches me, I lunge at him, and off he goes again. The game is over when he flops down and I have to give him a massage. Cat wins. Cat always wins.
This is love, when he settles in on D's shoulder, blissful and content.
We do take care of each other.
Labels: love story
Back? Great. Here we go.
Record adapters, my parents and brothers had records, and I was allowed to play them sometimes. The 45's needed the little inserts, which were toys in themselves, for tracing around with pencil and paper.
Skate key, and those awful metal, adjustable skates. They never really worked, a bumpy rough unpleasant ride on sidewalks or any other surface. I used those handed down skates, but it was never as much fun as I hoped.
Church key. Handy little device, and I have an old one. I have opened cans with it, at risk of lacerations, but it's not a good idea.
Self service tube tester. I had completely forgotten this one, but once I saw it, I remembered the old Muntz TV, and my parents replacing the tubes to keep it going long past reason. It still sort of worked until I was maybe in high school.
Pull tabs. I remember being up at Sleeping Bear Dunes, and the huge pile of these nasty things, first dropped by neglectful tourists, then gathered up by conscientious visitors. I don't think I ever littered in my life, and this just astonished me. Glad they got rid of that system.
Fotomat booths. Yup. Not much to say there. There they were, now I have digital, couldn't care less.
Wall mounted bottle opener. Got one of those. I remember them from motels and getting cola on vacation.
Milk chute. My Aunt Alma had one of those, on a modern house, and she had milk delivery. So posh.
Vent window. I wonder how that affected fuel efficiency? Would still be nice sometimes, although they tended to leak in the rain.
Green Stamps. That's how I got my first tennis racket, played with friends in high school. I was terrible and it was a very cheap racket, and that was about the end of green stamps.
Typewriter eraser. Always a few of these around in libraries that have not been renovated. I used one when I had a typewriter, but I never remember it working very well, just ripped the paper. But then, I was a terrible typist.
Call it a meme. Anything you'd like to add?
New word verification
I get it more right.
D made chili. Really good chili.
Gutter estimate left on door, guy came by early instead of when D waited in the afternoon. Going to talk at them tomorrow, bastards. Bugger'em, if they can't make an appointment. We wanted to actually talk with them, their loss. Not going to deal with uncommunicative contractors. Oh, the adventures we are experiencing in home ownership.
I had seven cases today, including an add on of a 5 year old who needed her thumb pinned. Good kid, we bandaged her bunny similarly.
From Whiskey River.
One evening Milarepa returned to his cave after gathering firewood, only to find it filled with demons. They were cooking his food, reading his books, sleeping in his bed. They had taken over. He knew about nonduality of self and other, but he still didn't quite know how to get these demons out of his cave. Even though he had the sense that they were just a projection of his own mind - all the unwanted parts of himself - he didn't know how to get rid of them. So first he taught them the dharma. He sat on this seat that was higher than they were and said things to them about how we are all one. He talked about compassion and shunyata and how poison is medicine. Nothing happened. The demons were still there. Then he lost his patience and got angry and ran at them. They just laughed at him. Finally, he gave up and just sat down on the floor, saying, "I'm not going away and it looks like you're not either, so let's just live here together." At that point, all of them left, except one. Milarepa said, "Oh, this one is particularly vicious." (We all know that one. Sometimes we have lots of them like that. Sometimes we feel that's all we've got.) He didn't know what to do, so he surrendered himself even further. He walked over and put himself right into the mouth of the demon and said, "Just eat me up if you want to." And that demon left too.
- Pema Chödrön
And it will have two sides,
Who look lustfully at each other and there is another.
Soon we teem with thoughts and shoots and creation.
The past sucks behind us, the future lures us forward,
Balancing between, in that moment we spin our lives.
We hate feeling alone and grieving and discarded,
But this is where we find our true selves,
In the wholeness that is the tao.
Pit-a-pat. My heart goes pit-a-pat. Throbs, palpitates. An echoic or a mere ricochet word, of which there are a great many in English -- as "fiddle-faddle," "harm-sacrum," "ding-dong," etc.Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat.
BROWNING: Pied Piper of Hamelin.
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1963. p. 707
It's huge, this thicket of hedge, long neglected. I've lopped off quite a lot, but there is so much more to go, so many thick branches. I'm good for leaving the plants, greenery is good. But this mass has gotten out of hand for a city yard - safer to be able to see over it. Spent hours both days making a barely discernible dent. I need to saw, just lopping at least lets me figure out what is there.
The door is closed, done.
Unlocked, they won't follow.
Truth too hard for them.
They failed us again. My one brother put in an appearance and then couldn't be arsed. Older brother at least never pretended, not this go round, only the usual bright salesman sociability. Busy with his own two daughters' estrangements. Mother's phone number blocked, I couldn't stand being implicated in my own abuse. Given how toxic, I wonder that physical abuse was not ever really present in our little branch. Not to my knowledge, at any rate. The odd spanking when I was very small, but even that stopped very early. I remember three, and even I could not count that aspect abusive, just completely incomprehensible. No, it was the constant bullying, then the hypocrisy, the judgement.
Working through erasing the old voices, dropping the old baggage. It should fucking well be all gone now, but there is a massive amount still bobbing to the surface unpredictably, unknown amounts mushrooming in reserve. Trying to let it come and go, as with thoughts during meditation. At least not dragging it along any further.
Talking to myself as a kid now. I like her, I love that she paid attention and saw clearly, even if she couldn't interpret it well - not having the vocabulary or distance. I need to talk with someone who was there, me at ten works pretty well. Oh, and Aunt Evelyn, too. She would laugh at my decorating, but it would be meant kindly, accepting of my eccentric taste. Even when she disapproved, it would be in proportion, I would not feel her love for me was on the line.
She'd love how much this house is like hers. She'd love all the reds. She'd approve of my toy box for visiting children.
This morning. "You know, I could be on your lap... just sayin'."
Perhaps a dozen years ago or so, we got on the train to Glenwood Springs for a short vacation. The town wasn't much, not in February - but then, few places are in February. We bought postcards, including several strange ones, one of a man reading a paper while penguins flew by outside. Today, Neatorama featured a postcard clearly from the same artist, with a link to more.
Michael Sowa appeals very much to both of us, surreal, tender, oddly frightening. I had no idea he was involved with Amelie, although it does explain a lot.
One of those artists who makes me laugh, and I simply cannot pick my favorite, they all are so uniquely wonderful.
Got the hedge partially trimmed back. Still a mess, but at least it's not three meters high all over. The limb caught on the wire out back is down, thanks to D holding the ladder for me to crawl up on the roof, then talking me back down. Having him there, I was able to hold down my panic -fear of falling is strong in me. Then he had a massive allergy attack from the clouds of pollen showered down on him. Not catastrophic, but bright red nose and scleras, punched black eyes, pouring snot, irritated all over. He showered as I got everything laundered, after antihistamines and decongestants. Rough night, even by his standards as a long-time insomniac. Going to be that kind of year.
I usually get my allergies as his wane.
Yesterday was a Good Day. Worked with a great scrub, a surgeon that is difficult but doable, everything flowed well - no technological or supply glitches to mention. Dscrub and I were late last week, the last case, alone, by five hours. This week looked to be shaping up much the same, but the surgeon finished up way ahead of schedule, and we actually got out a smidge early. When I got home D tells me our friends Mike and R are in town for a very short visit, but might stop by, and he got to have lunch with them at the Red Iguana, and brought me home leftovers. This was nearly too much good news for me to handle. So I took a shower and we tidied up, with an eye toward having two children running about. At 7 & 4 years, less of a safety issue.
Now, Mike* & R have a well deserved, and groomed reputation for being late. So I automatically added an hour or two to their proposed arrival time, which proved to be slightly optimistic, but not too much, since we were also prepared for them not to make it at all. Both kids immediately ran down the hall and more or less made themselves at home with little noise or fuss. After greetings, making tea, and adults talking, I got them the toys (a small box with some figures, magnets, marbles, cars) play-doh, crayons and paper, and they pretty much kept themselves occupied. Bright, polite kids, and my admiration for our friends is right off the scale. Oh, I know part of it is their natures, but the other half is the parents not damaging it, or letting it run wild, and this is the kind of family everyone loves to be around. Moby made his usual polite appearance, then settled in the next room. M, the 7 year old girl would have preferred a cat that would be held, but that is not this cat. They have four cats at home, so I assume she did not take it too much to heart.
And we actually had good grown-ups conversation, with the kids included once in a while. I got M some cocoa, left it in the kitchen with her figuring she would bring it in the living room when it was cooled enough. Realized shortly after that she probably wasn't allowed, mentioned this to R, who confirmed. Went back into the kitchen to tell her she didn't HAVE to drink it there, she had the mug still up on the counter and stood with it, assured me "I want to drink it here." Seemed perfectly happy, so I said fine and let her be. P, at four, delighted that we had an Iron Giant figure, and he played with it, and the play-doh for hours. He had much to say about Iron Giant.
Mike so much the same, he and D chatted about all the usual subjects. It's taken me a very long time to warm up to R, always more or less liked her, but didn't feel a connection. Last evening there was something softer about both of us, and I found myself really wanting to be around her.
Moby eager to chase after they'd gone.
All day, aware it was Good Friday, it seemed wonderful just not to have to be in church all day. Holy Week hurt when I was a kid, and in catholic school, we were in church with my class every day as well as in church with my mother all weekend. No choice, I suffered through, bringing out of it only a deep self discipline. And a gladness that I never have to do that again. But I was thinking last night, if he died on Friday, and rose after three days, why is he back walking around on Sunday morning? I know I've never been great at arithmetic, but even I think something is wonky there.
*Mike and Dave get to keep their own first names here, because they have more anonymity with them. How many Daves and Mikes do you know?
The average student hears of the tao, and toys with it now and then.
The wise fool hears of the tao and laughs. There is no tao without laughter. The spontaneous response.
So the way to light is dark and stormy.
Progress feels like giving up.
The easy way is actually long and difficult.
Morality and religion show themselves as empty and fruitless.
Perfection is a sham.
Manners are inadequate.
Power seems brittle.
The keen knife blunts.
And the finest souls find their way only very late.
The most delicate music is elusive.
The universe is beyond our notions of form.
The tao is not to be trapped in a bottle, named and labeled.
Tao is what is behind and beneath and between all we study and strive for.
Common. Short for common land, which is public property. A common cannot be enclosed and denied to the use of the public without an Act of Parliament. Until the late 18th and early 19th centuries every village in England had its common lands, divided into strips of which each villager had the use of one or more to cultivate for his own use. When the crops had been taken in from these, the whole areas was thrown open for the common grazing of cattle, etc. By various Acts of Parliament these common lands were taken from the villagers and enclosed by larger farmers, etc., only the less fertile portions being left uncultivated and given over to the common grazing purpose of the community. In Scotland an Act of 1695 gave the power to divide the common land among the persons who had the rights thereon.
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1963, p. 226.
Well, he has a wife, a child and a dog, they need him to sometimes not to be grieving dad. Still, we all want him to feel cared for, and make him laugh a bit.
Laughter will help with grief. Always does. Not to get rid of it, but to sustain one while going through it. He seems to know this, and that we care about him.
The tao is soft and muddy.
Order is created from raw elements.
Life is born out of death.
"If that Maru you talk so much about can do it, I sure can."
Gridded out for 36 plants. Lots of root room. One of the errors of learning gardeners, apparently, is to not give each plant enough space. Starting my first garden at 50, I'm trying to avoid some mistakes. Time's a'wastin'.
We got a limb lopper, but this is going to take a bit more work. That just ain't right.
The peeling black paint scrubbed off, red spray paint on top. It's a bit odd, but I rather like it. Seals the wood, and brightens up the black. Why black? On a house? Ok, maybe in small amounts, but not this much, on this house. It deserves a bit of gaiety.
Laptop is going a bit mental, age so D tells me. We went to look at the shiny new, and I balked at the price. Keep this one going as long as possible, I can deal with the eccentricities. As my personal IT guy, he gets a lot of say in this, but I can't stomach using money needed for gutters, blinds, plumbing, garden mulch, on an item I can nurse along a while yet. He will watch for a replacement at a reasonable cost. But for now, we'll see how long we can run. I don't really want to replace it. Really, really not.
Moby seems to have officially, permanently, become a lap cat. We are adjusting. It's good, if sometimes inconvenient.
Cracked mentioned Jethro Tull in an article this week. On Monday, Jethro Tull was the answer in the crossword in the paper. I mentioned this to one of the young guys at work, he'd never heard the name. Went in to give a break, and S had Jethro Tull on the Pandora station.
When I was small, one of my brothers left behind the album, Aqualung. So of course I listened to it, as I read the liner notes. I felt like I'd stuck my head outside, where the icy winds beat every thought from my mind. At church, the recent themes harped on not tempting one's faith, which was for me a massive weakness that I had no wish to test -sure it would crumble unto dust. And this seemed like taking a sledge hammer to the hull of an already leaky craft - that had to carry me to a far shore. I put it away, and tried to put it out of my mind. I had to be a good Catholic, harboring atheistic, or even agnostic thoughts would have torn me apart in that reality. I struggled enough with the pervasive misogyny.
In the beginning Man created God; and in the image of Man created he him.
And Man gave unto God a multitude of names, that he might be Lord over all the earth when it was suited to Man.
And on the seven millionth day Man rested and did lean heavily on his God and saw that it was good.
And Man formed Aqualung of the dust of the ground, and a host of others likened unto his kind.
And these lesser men Man did cast into the void. And some were burned;
And some were put apart from their kind.
And Man became the God that he had created and with his miracles did rule over all the earth.
But as all these things did come to pass, the Spirit that did cause man to create his God lived on within all men: even within Aqualung.
And man saw it not.
But for Christ's sake he better start looking
- Aqualung liner notes.
I never went back to listen to the whole thing. Perhaps, even now, I'm a little wary. First impressions.
In the tao, earth is mostly solid.
In all is both space and solid, neutrinos go wherever.
In the valley, water flows through the low places, and life abides
In the tao, life forms.
As thinkers, we try to discover the rules, but they form around the tao, not the other way around.
The heavens roil, as does the earth,
If any of it were pure it would strive to mix,
As life needs variety to fill the valley with messy abundance,
All moving among everything else.
All science needs to be sensitive and questioning, to keep up with the simple complexity of tao.
If you are sure, stop and question.
If you desire perfection, begin to appreciate the cracks.
The wise call themselves silly, desolate, unworthy.
Those who are most certain are most to be doubted. The most charming the most to be suspected.
An airtight argument is most likely to be rotten.
Nothing special about the glimmer of diamonds and emeralds,
Look more at the dull stones for your foundation.
This one was a bugger, a very loose interpretation.
Embarras de Richesse (om bar ra' de rē shes') (Fr.). A perplexing amount of wealth, or too great an abundance of anything; more matter than can conveniently be employed. The phrase was used as the title of a play by the Abbḗ de Allainval (1753).
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1963. p. 327-8.
All the weather predictors were warning of a strong front to push through last night, with rain, snow, acute drop in temperatures. I checked the noaa site, in particular the animated map showing water vapor. The movement was there, but the moisture was not. I thought, well, how is it going to rain/snow if there isn't anything wet on the way? And indeed, although quite windy last night, and probably some places got very strong gusts, it never got that bad, it's not as cold as predicted, and there was no rain at all so far. Listen to the experts, but always look for yourself.
Disownment was a theme of my family growing up, right along with unconditional love. The irony was not lost on me. But I never considered it in terms of disinheritance, since I knew damn well there was no money, no estate, which never bothered me in the least. I knew I would work for my own income, send myself to college, everything I had would be mine. No, I saw disownment as exclusion from the family in emotional terms only. I think it is why I always kept as much of my heart in reserve as I could.
Remembering when I got the scar on my shin, playing with the older neighborhood children, moving a concrete catch for a downspout. I was perhaps 4, maybe 5. It slipped and scraped down my leg. My father panicked and my brother (maybe 12 or 13) took over, got me cleaned up, used all the band-aids to close the long wound. I sat on the toilet seat as he carefully washed and bandaged me, while the parent ranted uselessly outside the door. I thought my railroad of band-aids was rather wonderfully funny.
When I had my lip stitched up in the ER last year, D, who is quite squeamish and after his own medical encounters, very sensitive to these situations, sat holding my hand throughout. Didn't bother him at all, because, he said "it's for you."
Ok, it's snow/raining now. Day late, inches short.