Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Missing Oneness

My guys are coming home.  QueenMaker and Beloved have been gone a week now.  They boarded a plane westward on a business trip. They also took a few days to see Redwood trees and visited Crater Lake.  They were looking forward to their trip as father and son.  They haven't spent much time alone before and as Beloved said, "This will be the first time we are going together as grown men.  I think I can be considered a grown man, don't you think Mom?" "Yes, baby. You're a grown man."

I get to experience the day on a totally different timetable.  I still take care of our business, but my days are less structured. When there is no one waiting at home I'll wander. I'll hang around.  I'll stay put longer. I'll stop at a bookstore. My day is mine to do what I wish.  I eat when I want and visit family and friends without looking to see if it's time to go home.

Of course, knowing this, my family has made all kinds of plans for me.  I don't mind.  It's always a good time to refresh family bonds.  But I allow myself to selfishly decline if I want. I never feel guilty when I say no because I need my alone time.

It's been a while since I have been completely alone.  I'm not a person that gets lonely.  I like solitude and seldom need the companionship of other humans.  But the feeling this week can only be described as empty.  My bed seems particularly cold this past week.   It's hard to sleep when the furnace of your life is away.

I'm ready to leave aloneness. I'm glad I can set aside this state of being until another time. It's an option that some people just don't have.  I miss my companions and the togetherness of our little trio.

Please bring them back safe to me.

Crater Lake

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mini Heroes that Change Your Life

It's after midnight here and technically it's no longer Friday, but after a long day of distracting minutia, I finally got to the meme topic for Sprite's Keeper Spin Cycle.  I have avoided memes in the past because truthfully, I didn't know what the word meant.  But thanks to Jen, I think I understand.

Beloved has taken to drawing famous characters or persons on backpacks, mailbags, and clothing.  He asked me to name a few characters in pop culture or history that I would want on a mailbag, people I admired or are my mini heroes. And without hesitation, three names came to mind. Bugs Bunny, Walter Cronkite, and Sgt. Hans Schultz.  Yes, yes, I know.  His left eyebrow went up too.

Anyways, here is my spin.

Name the people or characters that you grew up on that have changed your perspective on life.  They can't be anyone you have met before because that would be too easy.  As a kid growing up what had an influence on the way you look at the world today. Who made you sit up and take notice? Who became mini heros in your mind.

1.  Bugs Bunny.  - I learned a lot from Bugs Bunny.  He taught me the nuances of language.  He was  inquisitive, charming, honest and always in control of every situation.  I learned that you don't always have to be nice, that it was okay to be a "stinker." He used cunning and wit to outsmart his opponents.  It was okay to be sarcastic, irreverent, and even nasty at times.  When he looked at his audience and said, "Of course, you know (realize), this means war!" It meant I could stand up for myself.  I loved it when he said, "Whatta maroon! Whatta a ignoranious!" or "What a gulli-bull! What a nin-cow-poop."

2. Walter Cronkite - I sigh just saying his name.  I watched this man every night with my parents and fell in love with him. I remember wishing he was my uncle.  That voice was so soothing, his manner so forthright.  When he talked I listened. I believed. I knew I was getting it straight.  He exuded honesty, fairness, and integrity. He was a role-model of what I thought a mature adult should aspire to be. Years later I heard him described as the "most trusted man in America."  Too bad those days are long gone.

3. Sergeant Hans Schultz - As a kid, I loved this character on Hogan's Heros. He was so cuddly and cute. Schultz was definitely a lover not a fighter. In one episode it's learned that he is really a pacifist and owned a toy factory before the war.  I loved him even more.  What did I learn from Schultz?  That calling a person your enemy is not as cut and dry as one might think. That both sides in a conflict has its share of unwilling participants. It was hard to think of him as an enemy soldier or even a traitor to his own country. It was more that he wasn't a traitor to himself.

4. Carl Sagan - He taught me about the Cosmos.  I can still hear his voice and his unique way of phrasing a sentence.  He gave me an appreciation for everything stellar. He gave me a new way to think, beyond myself and my own little world.  One of his quotes stays with me today, "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."

5. Mother Teresa - I watched a documentary following Mother Teresa in Calcutta.  It was very hard to watch and I cried and cried from beginning to end.  The depth of her compassion defined for me what it is to have real strength, super human strength.  The depth of the poverty and suffering I witnessed in this film showed me a level of pain and suffering far beyond my imagination.  The depth of their need to be held and loved and to watch Mother Teresa compassionately cradling, stroking and loving the ill and the dying was too much for my soul to take.

I learned that I can never again complain about my life or my hardships again. They are infinitesimal, an affront to those that are truly suffering.  I learned that I truly lack nothing in this world. We in America are truly rich, even when we are poor. I understand that nothing I can experience can compare to what others around the world must endure.  Kiss the ground you walk on people!

6. Our Town - When I was a young girl, I watched a production of the play, Our Town, written by Thornton Wilder. One particular scene had a profound effect on me. The character Emily Webb, after dying in childbirth joins a group of dead souls in the local cemetery.  She discovers that she can revisit and witness any time in her past life. She chooses to go back to visit her family.  She's back in her mother's kitchen, watching her mother cook breakfast, her father at the table. She realizes that everything is so beautiful and she revels in every detail down to the wallpaper.  She tries to get her family to realize that every moment is precious, to realize and experience the joy of being together. But they cannot  hear her. For them it is just a routine morning and they are blind to the beauty of the moment. Emily's lesson is that human life is precious because it is fleeting.  It becomes too painful for her to remain among the living and she returns to the cemetery.

So I have learned to be in the moment as often as I can, especially when I am with the people I love.  When I visit my parents and sit in their kitchen having coffee, I look around. I experience the moment. I absorb every detail. I listen to the timber and vibration of their voices. I smell the coffee in the air. I feel the breeze from the window on my face. I look at my dad as he does his crossword puzzle, and how my mom's hair frames her face.  The beauty of the moment fills my soul.

7. Benjamin Franklin - How about this guy! What do I admire about this great historical figure? Let me count the ways.  Well I guess I won't because the roll call of his accomplishments already fills volumes and volumes. A scientist, inventor, printer, philosopher, economist, musician, statesman, and don't forget  a Founding Father. Huzzah! Founding Father in the house.  But under each of those categories or careers listed above you will find a list of accomplishments that boggles the mind.  When did he find the time to do so much? What energy! What stamina! Oh yes, let's add to the list, Lady's Man. If he were around today, I would be a groupie.

What did I learn from Benjamin Franklin? I learned to never be fearful of changing your career. Your job does not dictate who you are. If you are not happy with your career, change it. Never feel stuck. Change it a dozen times or be like Ben and do them all simultaneously.

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing." ~ B. Franklin

Friday, September 18, 2009

Introducing Great Aunt Ellie

Oh yes little ones, you are going to know me well.  I have the time and dare I say it the inclination to visit you every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Your mommy just had a new baby, your new brother and brought him home this week.  She has joined the ranks of women who have three children under the age of four.

When I came to visit, you were both screaming at the top of your lungs and running around like whirling tops. As soon as I walked in you both decided it would be wildly funny to come over and start smacking me. Little girl started screaming at me to get out and generally maligning my character.  Kid, you barely know me.

I looked over at your Mom exhausted and staring out into space.  I heard that when her hubby came home the other day, she grabbed the keys and got in the car and had a good cry.

Now I know for sure that I was right to offer my services to her when she was in the hospital. Don’t worry; you will have the times of your lives when I am there.  So you will be more than happy to bend to my will. So kiddies, get ready, here comes Great Aunt Ellie.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Spin Cycle - So Much to Hate, So Little Time

What do I hate? Sprite’s Keeper’s Spin Cycle is on the topic of hate.  After reading some of the other posts regarding this topic, it got me thinking about true hate. Do I know hate?  Have I felt real hate?

As the oldest of five children, all one year apart, I can honestly say that we all experienced hate.  Put five rambunctious children; keep them closed up in a tiny house, always hungry, playing and arguing constantly with each other. Add to the mix a dog, a cat, and a bird flying around and you have chaos. The four girls had to share everything, clothes, shoes, socks and coats.  Four girls eyeing the same outfits or stealing clothes from each other and it’s a recipe for knock down, drag out fights, with lots of hair pulling, name calling, clothes tearing and lots of tears. (Go ahead pull my hair.  My scalp doesn’t feel a thing. Mega Scalp.) By the time I was eight years old, I knew my sisters hated me. They kept telling me so.

Now don’t let this Lord of the Flies situation get you down. It is so true that there is a fine line between love and hate. But I have to admit, that as a child, I experienced great love and great hate when it came to my siblings. I wailed at my mom many times, “Why didn’t you stop having babies after me?!” 

But do I hate as an adult?  Like many of you, I do not hate individuals.   People can be misguided, sick, ignorant, ridiculous, blinded, dramatic or unthinking.  People can also be con artists, greedy, unfeeling and prey on their fellow human beings. I do not hate individuals.  It’s what they may do as a group that scares me.

Here are a few things I do hate.

Hypocrisy – I can avoid hypocritical individuals. When they come into my life, I run the other way, closing the doors and windows behind me.  But massive hypocrisy as I witness in our political system and parties, I truly hate. They all move like schools of fish, first one way then the other, swishing around, changing direction in ethics, speech, and mores.  It hurts me to listen to the parroting rhetoric, the propaganda, and the hypocrisy. Have our attention spans become so small that we can’t remember?

Dramatics – I can avoid dramatic individuals. I can avoid the “chicken little” people or the “poor little me” people that dot the landscape with a quick side step or by using the phrase, “You and a thousand other people in your situation.”  But mass dramatics as I witness in everyday television is frightening.  It’s like a primer for our nation on how to act. 

Here you go folks, a little problem, and no big deal, really.  Let’s see how to handle it.  Oh yes. Blow it out of proportion. Right, have a tantrum. Finger pointing, Excellent. Oh good, make a scene. Let’s make it much bigger than it really is. Did you just call him a bleep? Fantastic. We’ll put you on television. You will be our new national hero! 

Oh yea, what was the problem in the first place, inconsequential. No need to correct it. It was just a means to an end, dramatic anarchy and incivility. Don't worry your little pretty heads about it.
When did we become satisfied with the lowest common denominator?

But what I hate is that it has leaked onto our political scene. Why has the high school mentality taken over our politicians?  I hate it that the struggle between them is not for our benefit (American people), hasn’t been in many, many years.  It’s more like the jocks against the greasers, the Jets against the Sharks, the nerds against the pops, just a struggle for power.  They would rather bring each other down instead, taking us down with them. 

My, this has truly turned into my own dramatic tirade. I’m going to stop now.  Oh believe me there’s more.  But the post would probably be way too long. But in my defense if you asked me what I loved, it would take up volumes and volumes.

Gee, reading over my post above, it seems I hate politics.  And my friend, you would be right. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RTT: Purge or Become a Collyer Situation*

My house is getting smaller and smaller.  Storage has become a big issue.  Beloved informed me yesterday that he decided he had to move back home as a base of operation. He was hoping to be in a new apartment by this time but needs a second job to accomplish this goal. For the last month he has been staying with friends while he searches.  Finally, the truth of what needs to be done has hit him. No more living in limbo.

Since he graduated, I have been purging, reorganizing, and making room for his belongings.  How do I fit an apartment’s worth of stuff in our little bungalow?  I put up three shelving units in the attic. Wow, look at all that floor space. Yessssss!  I bought eight 18-gallon bins, all still sitting in my living and dining rooms, ready to head up to the attic. So if the floor or ceiling depending on the way you look at it holds up, we might make it. 

I need one of those $19.95 television products, the one that sucks all the air out of a bag filled with comforters and throws making it a mere four inches thick.  I imagine a whole linen closet full of those bags. The only thing I’m worried about is if they get pierced or fail, will the resulting explosion destroy the closet?

Speaking of purging, why is it so hard?  Well I guess the word itself may hold a clue.  Throwing up one’s stuff, not pleasant.  My house was supposed to be a starter home.  I was looking forward to my dream home, with a fantastic kitchen, immense closets, and a family room that could accommodate big family gatherings.  Well, that’s been way out of reach for decades.   

The lovely gifts I’ve received over the years are wasting away in the attic.  Would I like to display the Peanuts’ Schroeder playing a Grand Piano with skating Snoopy on top? Damn straight.  Would I like to display my Christmas village with operating railroad?  You know it. Would I like to show off my Guy Noir bobble head? Yes, indeed-y. Would I like to display the exquisite Asian tea set that Queen Maker’s dad got in Okinawa? You betcha. These are possessions that I will never get rid of, yet will never see the light of day.  Sigh.

How about the one room I never, ever use.  I could make it into an office or my artist’s sanctuary.  I could get rid of the couch. No one sits on it.  I could get rid of the electronics. No one listens in there. I could get rid of the coffee table. No one takes coffee in there.  Would it be wrong for a home to be without a living room, especially when no one lives in it? Or is that taking purging a little too far?

RRT is getting huge. Check UnMom for more Random Thought Tuesdays.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dear Four and Five Year Olds

Dear So and So...
Visit 3 Bedroom Bungalow for more Dear So and So's. This is my first one.  

Dear four and five year olds,

Please refrain from calling my name 17 times in one minute.  Although my ability to hear three conversations at once is amazing, I can’t possible do five, six, or seven.  The cacophony of noise actually made my brain freeze.

Yours in hiding, Teach

Dear four and five year olds,

My bad. After my brain unfroze, I realized my mistake.  Please raise your hands if you want to talk to me.  Thanks.

Hopeful, Teach.

Dear four and five year olds,

I meant raise your hands and wait until I look at you before talking.  Thanks a heap.

Got it Now, Teach.

(With a deep breath and thinking, "How do real teachers do this?) 

Dearest four and five year-olds,

Again my apologies. Raise your hand and wait until I call your name before you start talking. 

Learning lessons, Teach

Dear four and five year olds,

Please don’t get angry because I call someone else’s name first. I’m sorry I didn’t get to you fast enough, no offense meant. That furrowed brow of yours is so deep I’m tempted to sow some seed.

Tired, Teach

Dear four and five year olds,

Mom and Dad are here to pick you up.  I will see you tomorrow.  It will be a different day I’m sure.  I will be better prepared, I promise.  I’ll figure it out. I’ll be going to bed early tonight, and for my sake, please do the same.

Lessons learned, Teach

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Exciting News for Crazy People

randomtuesdayWhile visiting some of my favorite blogs, Sprite’s Keeper and historymike I found the word neuroses on both of their blogs.  When I visited Keely's blog UnMom, she had a link to something called, Emails from Crazy People. How timely.  My very next entry was about one of my many little crazy eccentricities - talking out loud to myself.   I often say things to myself like, “Well, that’s what you get for being so…” or  “You’re such an idiot!”  Now many folks might do this too, but I actually will answer myself.
“Well, that’s what you get for being so…”    “What, What, being so what? You don’t know what you are talking about!”   Or   “You’re such an idiot!”    “No, I’m not. You are!”

I will attribute this to the many years of conditioning, yelling, arguing, or telling secrets with my siblings and old friends.  Maybe I miss the tete-a-tete, or maybe I am just crazy.

How exciting for crazy people. At first I thought more and more of us were all coming out of the closet.  Based on anecdotal evidence the percentage of people talking to themselves in public seems to have risen significantly.  Now of course, I realize that it isn’t the crazies that are talking out loud, it’s the normals. 

A new technology has been introduced to the world that allows us to walk among the normals.  We no longer have to hide the fact that we talk to ourselves. Now I can go out in public and talk away to the many people residing in me.  I can have whole conversations or let my inner child playact, rehearsing imaginary dialogue out loud. I can gesticulate all I want, flailing my hands, pointing my finger to the sky to make a point.  In the ancient times, in the twentieth century, people usually crossed the street.

But now it a new millennium, it’s the twenty-first century and I’m giving a shout out to the inventor of the Bluetooth earpiece. Now everyone sounds and acts crazy.  While waiting in a line, for a split second I wonder if the person behind me is speaking to me. With a sideways glance I realize, “Ooooh, the person is on the phone,” which seems sane enough for some reason, even though they are staring out into space having what seems an imaginary argument with someone.  My fears of standing next to a weirdo subside and the person will segue from the “possibly insane category” into “just really annoying category.” Yes, even crazy people are scared of other crazy people.

My route to work goes through the middle of a park. I’m used to seeing dozens of people walking or running on the walkway along the rode every day.  But yesterday I noticed that some of the walkers are doing something bizarre.  They are waving their hands and talking loudly to someone.  What used to be a contemplative time has become “crazy person walking!”  Honey, look at that woman.  What is she doing?  Poor thing. Why isn’t anyone with her? Ooooh, she’s on the phone. She seemed crazy a second ago.  And that’s when the light in my head went off. 

Now it is relatively easy to talk out loud whenever I want. So whenever someone looks up with a queer look on his or her face or when a whole room becomes silent because I made the mistake of saying something out loud, I can point to the cell phone and say, “Oh sorry, I’m on the phone.”  (I really don’t have a cell phone. I just pretend I’m holding one. With my long wavy hair, no one can tell the difference.) They look so relieved, give me a little smile and nod their heads knowingly. Their world is right again.

So crazy people go right out and buy an earpiece for your phone. Wear it all the time.  Or get the earpiece and don’t bother getting the phone. Go take a walk in the park, to the store, or even up and down your street. Talk loud, wave your hands about, and tell yourself some stories. If someone spots you, point to your earpiece and smile. You will fit right in because you can now hide among like things. Crazy no more. Priceless.
“That was a dumb post.”  “So what, you didn’t even try to come up with anything better.”
Related Posts with Thumbnails