Sickness allows us to detach, quiet down and reconnect with ourselves.
The art of not giving up. Life is survival. If there is a symbol to represent survival it would be ” the dash- a run for it”- It could be a hyphen, placed so deliberately between the year one is born and the year of death. In my own life I survive when the family falls apart-when the dog has to be put down-when a friend becomes distant and silent.
I see refugees and immigrants being tossed across the world by the storms of war and apathy. Nobody seems to notice their pain. They survive. Some don’t.
We stand up when it would be easier to lie down or stay down. We endure heart breaks and separations. We survive poverty. We pull though. We exist like green blades of grass that grow in the cracks of concrete.
Survival skills include the word ” wilderness.” it is an area of desperation and desolation. Void of love, kindness and nourishment – be it for the body or for the soul.
Tortured souls become numb and pass out when the pain is unbearable. Every human being as a breaking point. A broken heart is a heart attack.
There are those days I grieve- the loss of youth- ignorance and vitality. We have regrets and ambitions. We survive the consequences of bad decisions.
Maybe it was omission. ” I should have but I didn’t.”
Maybe it was greed. ” I asked for too much.”
Maybe it was delusion” I imagined the outcome differently.”
Whatever you think survival is. I think it’s life.
More like a few thoughts. Damn, this is really hard.I feel like the luckiest girl in the universe. However, this does not stop me from being annoyed by the tediousness of modern life, people’s pettiness, and their lack of vision.I get so annoyed with people being one dimensional characters. Don’t they know this is real life and not a B movie?I am way less annoyed than I used to be, and it doesn’t make me any less grateful.To whom am I grateful? To everything and everyone.
As weird as I am inebriated, I’m much weirder sober. I can’t believe I am impatiently awaiting 78 pounds of barbed wire, and excited for a year of farm repairs and chores. In the movie of your life, doing what’s easy makes for a lousy storyline. You owe it to yourself to make it interesting. The best food is something shared with someone you love, or as Christ said “It is better to break bread with your friends, than to eat ox with your enemies.”
Today I was trying to decide if I would rather be a tiger or a fox, but then I realized, that being an animal removes the ability to be human.Tigers don’t sing, they just do tiger things and fences don’t work on creatures with wings.
It occurred to me, in the middle of one of my more high-anxiety moments this week, that the days are going to keep coming. The future is always right there, waiting to be had. While this can seem a bright and beautiful thing for some, to me it can be terrifying. How will I deal with all of those pressures? How will I handle everything that everyone expects of me? How can I be better? Read more
I don’t wear pants because my legs get hot during the day, and I don’t need to shave my legs anymore because I’m an old woman. So I wear short sweatshirt-material house dresses. They always have them in stock at Penney’s, or at least, they have for the last 20 years. This is a style that never goes out of style, probably because me and your grandmother and your spinster aunt all wear them around the house and out to the mailbox and to take the trash to the curb.
Why pretend that I have dark hair anymore? My salt-and-pepper has taken over. When I was younger I used to get it dyed “to tame the grey” that was so wiry when it first came in, now I just let it go. I let the hairdresser lob it off. It’s about the only time I feel pretty, is when I come home from the salon. Sure, I’ll try on some nail polish at the druggists, and I’ll purchase a new lipstick about once a month, but it’s always in the same shade of nearly-nude pink because I’m too shy to really go for the red I want, and it would wipe all over my face anyway.
Why pretend that I care about anything other than looking out the window and watching the world slowly bloom, flower, open, breathe, and then fade again? Sure, the sun rises and sets, and the days get longer and shorter according to the seasons, but I don’t really care about all that. I want to watch the leaves grow and change, watch the bushes push their little buds out into the open air, brave against the late spring snow, and force their spring green way into the world. Anyone who crosses my view while watching this happens is just a distraction that I’d rather be rid of. The only creatures I’m acknowledging today are the robins hopping around the backyard, trying to pull those gigantic earthworms from the soil, and the red-capped woodpeckers.
Why pretend that people interest me anymore? They don’t. Their emotions don’t make sense. There are so many emotions, so many feelings. I don’t want to deal with all the feelings they push upon me, or all the plans they want to talk to me about. Don’t tell me to smile, don’t ask me how my day is going. You don’t really care. Don’t pretend anymore. I’m not pretending. This scowl isn’t my mask, it is my face. I brought my face to the world, just like the poppies opening in my garden, and I’ll let you see it, but you may not want to.
Every garden has its grubs and slugs. The lightning bugs wouldn’t survive without the slugs, and the slugs are eating your pretty red strawberries. They’re just slugging all over them, slimy green trails behind them. Don’t you know that the garden is full of those nasty things? You can’t stay away from them. Just like you can’t hide from the nastiest parts of yourself. Look in the mirror, just like that slug will look into the bowl of beer right before it dives in. It feels so good, it smells so good, and mmm, it’s going to be great to go for a swim in that nasty beery ick.
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This one is a look into the future. It was made by my GrandBonnie with her little Brownie Kodak in 1963 in her yard in Cross Plains, Tennessee. No one is standing close enough to touch anyone else even my youngest brother, Clay is trying to find his mother. My mother’s fingers touch his hair. He is her child. My brother, Dale standing with his hands to his sides like an obedient soldier is protected by my father. It is best not to move and to smile for grandmother. Of course , I stand on the end of the line with flowers in my hand. I am the one that clings to nature.
In 1986, My brother, Clay was murdered in the streets of Nashville. He was twenty six years old. It was an honorable cause: to rescue and protect a damsel from her ex-husband.
My mother died in Jan 2012 from a heart attack. I think it was more a ” broken heart.” In my family people buried their worries, their feelings and when my brother passed my mother’s persona changed to that of an addicted gambler. She spent her days of sorrow at ” Kentucky Downs” an appropriate name.
My father died Nov 2014 from lung cancer. He chewed on cigars when he was upset. I inherited his car. The auto repair man said, ” This car was driven by an angry man. The pressure to the brake pads is worn out.”
My brother, Dale has had heart attacks, heart surgery and now self-medicates with whatever he can smoke or swallow. He has inherited the farm and can now change the sign in the front yard,” Harold Covington and Sons.” I passed the other day. The sign is rusted and faded. It still says the same thing, ” Greenwood Farm.” Nothing is living there so I doubt the green.
Today I am sixty two. I have a husband that works in North Dakota. I live in Nashville. My two children have chosen their own pathways-the opposite direction of mine. I cling to nature and smile.
I ask that you drag out of the shoe boxes and the albums old pictures of your family. Maybe you will see something you have never been aware of.
When a mother is told ” Your milk is not good enough.” Capitalism is born. For the USA it started in 1950. Milk companies taught mothers to be ashamed of their bodies and to doubt the integrity of nourishing their babies with their own breast milk.
I was born in 1953. My mother feed me with Carnation milk and Karo Syrup. Quite nourishing- growing babies on milkshakes- no vitamins-no antibodies- nothing except sugar and milk.
In 1978 I had my first child. My mother marching up my front porch steps had a very big box in her hands. It was a dozen glass baby bottles.
Looking at her struggle with the container I smiled and said, ” Mom, I don’t need these.”
She didn’t understand. We didn’t talk about female issues: menstrual periods, sex or having babies. That topic was more like underground conversations- polite people didn’t utter such words. Pregnancy came and babies were born- that simple. Her face wrinkled into a frown and then she looked up at me and said, ” Is the baby ok?” I assisted her to sit the box on the porch floor and opened the front door. We settled at the kitchen table. The kitchen table was the hearth of conversations and relationships. It was annointed with glasses of sweet tea with sour lemons.
My due date was only a couple of months away. It was her intention to supply me with glass bottles and cloth diapers. She sat in the chair and settled into a cigarette.
” No bottles?” How are you going to feed a baby? Are you crazy?”
” I’m going to breast feed, mother?”
” How?” she asked.
” I guess I can do it. Mothers have fed their babies for thousands of years.”
” It’s just risky, she said. You have to depend on your own milk and most women can’t do it.” She puffed and took a big hit off her Viceroy cigarette. The kitchen filled with smoke and confusion.
I noticed her hands. Brown and callused. Her hair was thinning. Her wrinkles not ready to display her face of worries quite yet. She was only forty nine. Her menopause had been quiet and tormenting. She never said a word. I was too wrapped up in my own hormones to notice.
” When I had you women were told to be ashamed, to cover their breasts that only poor women fed their babies ‘ that way.’ ”
” Well, I think I can ask my grandmothers. They fed you and dad. It was only your generation that started having this ” no-breast-baby-generation.”
Years passed. I had two babies. I breast fed them both. I could have done better but I had to go to work and still it was unacceptable to feed babies after the age of one.
My daughter has fed her daughter by breast feeding. Both are happy, healthy and bonded.
The world didn’t pollute them. Capitalism was killed in that connection. Mothers learn that they are capable of feeding their babies without a milk company. Women are powerful. We cannot lose our power and self appreciation.