So I am ” living” in a foreign country. It is European so the culture is older than our USA sisters. However, it is the dark ages for women. I can purchase shoes for Italy, handbags from Spain but if I want a dryer the apartment will need a remodel-no space or hookups for dryers. After the remodel I discover from the electronic store that I will have to order one as they don’t ” keep them in stock.”
Now it is October. It is raining outside. It is cold. Last night I hung the clothes that I washed in the shower ( because I haven’t figured out how to wash in this ” toy machine.”
The process: I was nude. I heated up the on demand hot water heater and laid the clothes in the floor in the shower. Then I stomped them; turned them over like pancakes; walked on them and then tried to wring out the water and the bubbles with the dishwashing soap named ” Fairy.” Yes, I am nude as this is something you can’t do with your clothes on.
I hung my husband’s shirt over the shower rod without a curtain – there isn’t one there. I draped the underwear over the heaters that looked like ” fat white ladders” hanging on the wall. I used the loops on my pajamas and hung the over the balcony with wire hangers. This morning they were heavy with rain.
I can’t imagine how a mother takes care of laundry without dryers. Your house has to have some access to clothesline and people in apartments either use the balcony or a set of ropes and pulleys strung across the windows outside their highrise apartments. But what about on rainy days and freezing temperatures? If you drape them around your house you are essentially ” living in the dryer.” Apartments here don’t pay per usage of heating. They pay per square meter. So if you live in a small apartment your heating bill is less than a big apartment. The occupant can turn up the heat and cook the clothes and sweat the family.
When I arrive back to the USA I am writing a Thank You and Appreciation Letter to my dryer and to the women who said, ” If you want me to do your laundry invent the dryer!
This word is overused. There are too many sorry excuses for things being so sorry. You may be sorry I said this and I am sorry if you took it the wrong way. What I really wanted to say was ” excuse me!” but it wound up being more like my problem than yours. Like you were ill and when I texted you were sick and I said, ” sorry.” I don’t know if that means that I am sorry you’re sick or sorry that I bothered you.
Justin Bieber has a song called, ” Sorry.” Is that why my ears hurt from trying to understand why so many people are sorry ( in one way or the other.)
Not enough education. You need those string of alphabet behind your name. They make you acceptable, believable and valued.
Unable to identify helpful people. It’s all about network and connections. Friends aren’t really friends you serve a purpose for them otherwise you’re history.
Have sex to young. It’s like using your Social Security check to buy your first bicycle. It won’t get you anywhere but broken spokes.
Get married to people based on a feeling. Marriage is a business partnership. You have to have some logical connection. Marriages based on emotional connection are like tying your kite to a submarine. It’s difficult to soar with the eagles when you’re swimming with the sharks.
Trusting people-with words, money and possibilities. Even friends and family can’t be considered “trustworthy.”
Investing in “investments.” This means you’re spending way too much money trying to make more money a lot later.
By not valuing my personal potential. Self-esteem seems to be grown from dirt and watered by sweat. Self-confidence comes from skill and experience. Looking into the eyes of people who you want to “give it you” is fatal.
Agreeing to something I knew was wrong in the first place. Intuition and gut feelings are believable. The mind is purely a GPS. It leads you to wear the “ gut tells you to go.”
We think we don’t have to participate in life and activities. Only with action and vulnerability do we actually experience life to its fullest.
Not saying Thank You enough. There are more people in this world that I owe thanks to.
Tears from her face like the fire hydrant at the street- burst and sprayed everything in its path. She hadn’t cried in years. It was if the water in all the world had been held back by her denial of pain and memories and then in one instant even the waters of all the oceans in the world splattered into her world.
The child at the edge of a room standing in the doorway frowns, bends over to hold his stomach, grimes in pain and then in one instant he laughs and holds his nose. His mother scolds his act of “passing gas.” She smiles, too but in the opposite direction. His father laughs, “that’s so cute.” The father is reminded that he doesn’t have control over his bowels like he did when he was young. Sometimes they “slip out” and he is embarrassed and ashamed. As one grows older the passing gas is spontaneous. It is humiliating and painful. It is the loss of control that is undeniably fatal.
Tears can be held back. They can be distracted with thoughts and the denial. Repression works until the dog or the cat dies-maybe it’s the time your hero is murdered in the movies. It’s all about letting go and being able to withstand the pressure of release. As humans we like to think we are logical. We’re not.
We are emotional. The canvas, the years of our life are logical: We live. We die. Inside that frame is art. The art of living. Showing love. Action and reaction. We are emotional. Crying is not sadness. It is “opening the vein” of emotion. It is a release. Crying and farting indications that everything is not controllable.
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.
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.