All week month I've been trying to cultivate conjure gratitude
It has not been easy.
Not only has is it not been easy to not feel grateful see all that negativity but it's even more uncomfortable knowing that I'm not feelin the love.
Before prozac I was painfully aware of all things wonderful in my life.
I was even more painfully aware of my inability to FEEL the wonderfulness.
Then the cloud was lifted the veil pulled away the scales fell from my eyes
and I saw the light
Can I hear an amen sistah?
Well. Once a body truly experiences gratitude and thankfulness and contentment and maybe possibly just a wee bit of joy it really sucks to go back.
Recently I've been Discontent. Edgy. Wanting. Lacking.
Feeling these things in the heart and the body when the mind knows everything is
SO FUCKING GOOD really sucks donkey balls.
A few weeks ago, I was all in a confused tizzy.
I went to yoga to stop my head from popping off. I hung out after class with Yogini Shannon.
I was am in a
what the fuck am I doing? what the fuck am I thinking? what is my problem?
I don't know what I'm doing I don't know what I'm thinking what is my fucking problem?
kind of space
Yogini Shannon looked at me and said yourMOMdied And BANG A flash of light woke me up. I looked at her and kind of laughed as I burst into tears
my MOM died
Shannon saw me and hugged me and felt me dissolve as I sobbed on her shoulder
Oh my GOD Shannon, my MOM died
She said it was like watching a blister pop. She said it was radical.
Michelle, you still have to GRIEVE.
Since then I've been having weird dreams about my folks.
A dream that we're arranging for them to move to a new place and I'm worried my dad will decompensate and
IN THE DREAM I realize he's already dead and I don't have to worry about him.
In the dream I feel relief and gratitude he's already dead he won't suffer anymore thank god he already died
And dreams of my mom. One of her being very present but not being able to speak to me.
And last night an oddly reassuring dream. We were all lined up in a bed head to foot like sardines she loved sardines on saltines or enslaved africans crossing the ocean. I could feel her lying cool and dead on my right and it was ok.
Then energy infused her body and I felt it warm up next to mine and she was alive. Her hand reached for mine and squeezed it it's ok but I could feel her fingertips were still cold despite the warmth coming from her body.
And the coolness of her hand told me it was temporary and then she was gone.
So today is Thanksgiving. I think it was Her favorite holiday. We'll stand in a circle at Sister Halona's and I will remember that last Thanksgiving I stood next to Her, her cool left hand in my right. I will remember that Ted announced there would be a new family member at the next Thanksgiving and I will remember that my mom kept looking at me in disbelief and I was aggravated by her and I will remember saying don't look at me I'm not the one who's pregnant.
But that was before I understood.
And today there is one less and one more.
A new baby is in our circle. A baby she tried to wait for.
I don't know. I'm feeling so off balance and I'm having to re-examine so much.
So this morning I'm standing on the corner with Dawn & Diane, my realtors.
Yup. Realtors. As in Real Estate. I'm buying real estate.
We're moving into a New House. I'm looking at investment properties.
Cause you know how good I am at taking care of this house.
And since I'm so good at it, why not take care of more?
Never fear. We're keeping the pink and purple house. We'll rent it out.
I promised Mia we wouldn't sell it.
Dawn & Diane are the kind of ladies who LOVE Black Friday.
They start at 4:30 in the morning.
They told me so themselves.
As you can imagine, I HATE Black Friday and almost every thing else that has to do with buying more shit.
Unless I'm buying real estate
So they asked if I had started my Christmas shopping.
Seriously? I'm buying real estate. I have no time for Christmas.
I already warned the kids it's gonna be a lean Christmas.
What does that mean mom? I thought lean was like bacon or something.
Christmas shopping? I can't even do grocery shopping.
Being the lazy undisciplined procrastinator I am, I haven't started packing yet.
I told myself there was no point until we were actually in contract, but in all honesty, that was just an excuse to sit in the sun, or go to yoga, or whatever.
I told Dawn & Diane I don't start Christmas shopping until after December 15th.
They looked at me like I had two heads.
So. I can't think about Christmas cause I have to think about packing.
I've made several attempts to organize climb over the stuff in the attic.
All the crap we don't need and never use had been packed up in labeled boxes from the last time we moved.
Or so I thought.
Lo and behold, Mia has discovered the attic and all the boxes of cool shit she's never seen before.
Now the attic is a big jumbled pile of unused and useless crap that I have to either repack or throw out. where's that roll of hefties?
There are like 112 boxes of books up there. Most of them are mine.
Alice Walker, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Rice yikes.
Books about farming. Books about gardening. Books about medicine. Books about meditation.
Books about India. Books about Mexico. Books about food. Books about sustainability.
Michael Pollan. Bill McKibben. Vandana Shiva. Arundhati Roy my secret girlfriend.
All the books that put me over the edge.
The More You Read the More You Know.
I can't get rid of them. They're Good Books. But they are Flowers in my Attic.
They are banned from my living space. Hidden away.
I can't look at them cause they'll just look back at me and hurl accusations.
Seriously Michelle? Giving the babysitter money for FAST FOOD three times a week?
What about all that plastic? What about all that industrial meatwheatndairy? What about fossil fuels?
And now a swimming pool? We know you were drinking bottled water today. What about the dry aquifers?
What about India? What about California? What about FOOTPRINTS goddammit?
Damn books. I wish they'd shut the fuck up.
The only books allowed in my living space are cook books and art books.
And we have a lot of those too.
So. We looked at a building today. 5 small residential units and a ground floor retail space.
Right on my beloved Main St.
Brick. 1889. In really good condition.
As Patrick, my soon to be Partner in Real Estate Crime, said this is a no brainer.
Before entering the last apartment, the listing agent kind of apologized.
There is one tenant who has been here a long time. An older man. He's kind of a hoarder.
There are piles of book everywhere.
Very neatly stacked piles of paperbacks lined the small hallway and the walls.
Then rows of stacks in between.
Very uniform. Very deliberate.
Very. Neatly. Stacked.
On one cluster of piles, there were 6 wrapped rolls of paper towels, balanced on end, carefully arranged in a hexagon with 2 more rolls in the middle. A bowl was balanced on top of the 2 rolls. It looked shrine-like. Something else was going on with the paper towels but I don't remember what because that's when my nose started to sting and my eyes started to leak goddammit.
he's crazy poor thing
There was a small bedroom with a single bed. No photos. No tv. No nothing.
A couch. A bed. And stacks of books.
my heart hurt
Something about it reminded me of my dad.
My dad was not a hoarder or obsessive compulsive. Nor was he alone.
But he did have dementia which was eventually diagnosed as Alzheimer's.
We watched him slip away.
It was like watching someone fall down a bottomless well or looking at someone backwards through a telescope.
I'm disappearing. Pretty soon there won't be anything of me left.
Sometimes it felt like I was drowning, being with my dad in the last years of his life. Not for me, but for him.
I couldn't still can't imagine what that must feel like.
Knowing that your SELF is disappearing.
I had hoped it would progress to the point where he would feel no pain and no sadness and no loss and no regret.
No such luck.
So I got that drowning feeling being in this old man's apartment home.
What must that feel like?
I told myself it's ok this is how he alleviates his pain manages his anxiety combats his loneliness
On our way out we saw him. Old guy. Maybe cataracts. Big coat. Hat. Dementia.
Holding in his hand a few more books to stack.
He was very sweet and friendly. The 5 of us filed past him.
Oh wow that's more people than have come to visit in years!
I've allowed him to play Rated M shoot em up sniper games AND I've bought the gaming systems on which to play them.
And the headset so he can play with his friends online and interactive.
That's some crazy shit.
Last week I took him to pre-purchase the game and promised I would pick it up Tuesday while he was at school.
Tuesday morning, Jack was like a kid on Christmas Eve.
mom there was an hour long preview of the game on line. It's SO COOL. I can't wait. this is gonna be the longest day of my life. 8 hours of igneous rock and dividing exponents. oh my god i can't take it.
Let me tell you, standing on line at GameStop with all those guys who were also picking up their newly released Black Ops games was WAY more disturbing than the thumb sucking chicken dick
All these arguably adult men were crawling out of their skins to get their hands on it.
And the looks on their faces when they had their hands on it, it's shape smoothly covered by white plastic, clutching it to their chests and scurrying out of the game store, a gleam in their eyes. eeek
I actually heard some of them hehehe on their way out.
Pathetic. And kinda pervy. It gave me the willies.
I can rationalize ANYTHING. It's one of my talents.
When Jack was a baby, I vehemently expresed my outrage at the whole toy gun thing.
Even water guns. I remember he went to the birthday party of a 4 year old, and the party favor was one of those monster super soakers.
I was appalled
Flashforward 9 yrs and I'm spending my hard earned money on uber violent war games.
I heard a report a while back from my beloved Amy Goodman that these interactive military games are designed with Pentagon backing and George W signed some piece of paper requiring high schools to release the academic records of all juniors and seniors which then get interfaced with the online gaming info so kids can be recruited.
For the military.
Based on their academic performance and video war game acumen.
Can anyone say Big Brother?
I told Jack that the Pentagon was snooping on him. Wow mom. That's messed up. It's just a game. I'm not joining the military. I don't want to really shoot anyone. Don't you know that about me?
He was totally offended and probably thought I was a dumbass for not trusting him to know the difference between real and make believe.
War is not make believe. The military is not make believe.
There is an HBO special on tonight about soldiers and PTSD.
I heard exerpts from interviews.
A mom talked about the effect that 2 tours in Iraq had on her son.
He could not make peace with the fact that he had killed people.
She said he wasn't raised to kill people. I tried to explain to him it wasn't the same. He was a soldier. It was part of his job. He was doing his job. I couldn't get him to see it was different. Its not the same.
It is the same. Killing people is killing people. Period.
He shot himself in the head because he couldn't live with the memories.
As do hundreds of other veterans. And thousands more think about it.
Still. I tell myself it's ok that Jack plays these wargames for hours every day.
I tell myself it's ok because he does his homework first.
He's in all honors classes.
He's a Good Boy.
He has no desire to enter the military or really shoot anyone.
I tell myself it's ok.
I'm not sure it's ok.
Is it a coincidence that this new call of duty game was released 2 days before Veterans Day?
"it occurred to me that the only real sin you can commit as a mother is to deny your children's right to be who they are and what they want to be and that the only real sin you can commit against yourself is to deny who you truly are and prevent yourself from being who that is"