VAMPIRES n shit

“just a bunch of stuff that happened”

Yoga. Tonight on the floor, on my mat, my mind wanders. I think of a cigarette. Then I think how funny it would be if I just calmly lit up in class. There are so many people here on the floor we have to be careful not to touch one another. Heavens no!

Smoky aspirations aside (I’ve been Quit over a year and a half!), my body can go deeper into yin now that I’ve been practicing. The body feels great; but it is unpleasant to have my face on the mat. I feel panic that I can’t breathe. I return to the breath and tell myself, I’m not going to die here. Mental discipline. I suppose.

So: life is busy.

VAMPIRES n shit

I forgot to tell you – I’m watching a vampire movie every day this month. Almost all of them are those I haven’t seen: the above-pictured is one I have, years ago. Had to get a DVD and everything!

Puppy Timez

 Puppy Times. Not our puppy! Oh my gosh. This puppy was built like a cube. It doesn’t even have a job!

Troublez

So this is what I come home to at night. Nels says Herbert Pocket has “intelligent” eyes. What do you think?

Phoenix

Soccer season is about halfway through. I don’t know what I’m going to do about Saturday’s game; I have about four places I’m supposed to be at once.

A Shared Meal

Friends joined us for a movie. And some taco dip. And taco soup. It’s fall, so it’s time for tacos. (It was also time for tacos during spring, summer, and will be in winter too).

SQUATCHIN'

Working on a pretty awesome project! Unveiling in two days.

Just Before A Walk

The kids are rocking it at school – and come home with energy to spare. I miss them

– but it’s liveable.

 

day 5

 

E. and I pull up to where Nels is waiting for us, after his appointment. He’s on the side of the rather busy road, standing upright like a little reed – playing his new (to him) trumpet. The sight of him cheers me immensely. It’s been a hard few days. The kids are in school, and while it’s hardly the free time extravaganza people without children might guess it to be (for instance: in five days I’ve had to drive out to the school three times; I am also literally a soccer mom which is a big time-suck); all the same it is a change.

Later, on the yoga mat: lying prone, sweating into my kerchief, not looking so “pinup-cute” as I get called regularly. Rumpled and tired, my wrists a slight throbbing agony. I patiently wait to return back to flow. I’m so tired I’m pretty good at just being on the mat. In general, my mind doesn’t race like it used to.

Home: sewing a heavy, disagreeable vintage wool fabric. It’s hot. The kittens race around the room and Hutch follows me with his steady brown eyes, wishing with every fiber of his being for me to give him Nels’ lunch chicken bone. Ralph on his way, after getting groceries. Sunlight through the curtains, the sounds of children (not all of them mine) laughing in the living room. Preoccupation. Planning. And then: gently setting aside the plans. I’m here now. I can do now.

Night falls. Ralph and Phee are off on a run. Nels asks, “What is for dinner, mom?” I am longing for hot shower and a bed to fall into. Tomorrow: a meeting, more yoga, soccer. Tomorrow: fabrics in the mail; a new project.

But that – is tomorrow.

Pip

we’re all sensitive people, with so much to give

Pip: He is a doll. Truly. He is feeling so much better.

Pip

Plants: I set aside a few for a teacher who wanted some for her classroom. And put them in cute little pots. It felt right.

Avocado, Spider, Succulent, Wandering Jew

Progress. We are fixing some flooring in need of repair. I’m trying to find some old tongue-in-groove fir, 3 1/4″. This flooring is common as dirt but I haven’t yet found it around these parts!

Flooring

Plans. Taking a break from an overstuffed schedule of sewing for clients, I… sew for another client. In this case, a project to donate to a local auction. 

Auction

Perfect. Turns out the kittens are way into Ralph’s beard. Like really into it.

Pre-Colonoscopy

“What’s the buzz?” – or, about three weeks somehow shoehorned into just a couple days

The last few days have been growth days. Doing new things. New, often scary things. Being very busy; busier than I am normally

For instance I am hustling to finish up my projects from the Bundle Up! boys’ blog tour. Typically in my tailoring work I stroll with my head back, cockily finishing up before deadlines, like a Boss. However this time around my fabric order was freakishly late – the fabrics arrived last Thursday. And even then I might have had time but a medical project reared its head. Thursday afternoon I prepped for, and Friday I underwent – a colonoscopy.

Pre-procedure: tired, tired, at the tail end of a thirty-six hour fast, and ready for my Twilight Sleep:

Pre-Colonoscopy

(the “Shadow of the Vampire” look I put down to a puke-green “gown”, hospital lighting, and a very special adventure the day before.) That said I’m not sure if anyone’s done so well during a prep and colonoscopy as I did. (Is that something to be proud of?)

Post-procedure, I slept most the day.

Saturday, feeling quite amazing and energetic, I got to sewing as quick as I could. But of course: kids, housework. A long-lost friend resurfaced and needed some time. And of course – before I forget: we put together the Event Page on Facebook, printed the tickets, and rolled out the poster for our upcoming benefit for a local animal rescue:

(For the love of god, buy a ticket or donate to the cause. We put up our household grocery money to reserve the Theatre and secure film licensing – $750!)

And today?

Well, today. Ralph and I tried out for lead parts in a local production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”.

Yes. Yes, we really did.

Ralph & I Off To Audition

(we both channeled the late and great Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance as Sandy Lyle in Along Came Polly)

I didn’t mean to have such a busy week, but when things get busy I get very “one thing at a time” – and sometimes I don’t notice how many “things” I strung together.

I guess out of everything… I mean I am proud of myself for stretching, for reaching out and doing things scary. But the auditions? That is huge for me. Not that long ago the only people who’d heard me sing were my children.

I’ve had a lot of adventures the last few days. I’m ready for a little rest.

Some people in the home, however, continue on much as before. So after a very busy last five days, I leave you with some precious Cat Serenity.

Just An Old Hat

Champions

Pip, Sleeping

 

god doesn’t want you to be happy; he wants you to be strong

“Look at me,” my son says. “Look at me with your pretty eyes. My Little Golden Finch.” I put my arm around him and my face into his neck. His skin smells wonderful – dusty-sweet. His arms around me. A little tender cloud, keeping me company.

Tonight I am tired. I’ve had poor sleep the last several nights and it has caught up with me. Far from being the energetic at-home worker today, I rested – a great deal. I rested, then I’d get up and do a little bit of housework, and of prepping for Ralph’s birthday. Then I’d rest more. I watched junky television. I rested. I had an evening commitment; I tried to help others.

We ended the day with a lovely dinner – Greek meatballs, lemon dill roasted potatoes, and tzatziki – then some time in the yard playing badminton. A lot of laughs there. And now: a hot bath and a soft bed. Perhaps I will feel better tomorrow; perhaps not. Tonight I want to wrap my arms around my children, around my husband, and sink into sleep, and I’d really like life to be a little easier, a little bit.

the untrained mind

Tonight I wrote, by hand, a letter to the men responsible for my child’s sexual assaults.

I wrote by hand until my hand cramped. I wrote as articulately as I could. Even as I wrote I knew I had a bit of spiritual wisdom; wisdom I did not used to have. Even as I wrote I knew that these men had destroyed my sleep, my peace of mind. They had taken things from my child, things that can never be fully restored. Doubtless they had taken things from other children. They had removed my security regarding the person I love most.

But they had not taken my compassion, and they had not taken my faith.

Folded-up sheets of yellow paper sit at my elbow. I will read my letter to one of my spiritual mentors, the woman who told me to write this letter. She is a Catholic and I am a Buddhist but she is the only human being who has given me lasting comfort because she is not afraid to tell me the truth. Of all those I have had the dubious honor to deal with during this time – the advocates, the professionals, the social workers, the counselors, law enforcement – many who have added to my confusion, one who has misled us intentionally, some who have caused my child more harm than good – this woman alone has been able to help me because she has been where I have been and she knows the thing, the Bravest thing, the truth about faith that so many are afraid to surrender to.

I will likely never meet the men responsible for what happened to my child. I wrote the letter anyway because my friend told me to, and I trust her.

People think a sexual assault is just the assault. But when the law gets involved, it is much worse. We have had agencies, strangers, crawling up in our family business. My child has had interviews in a police room, suffered many night terrors and panic attacks (for many months we were entirely ignorant as to why), been submitted to a rape exam, and had many freedoms curtailed. My child has endured mistakes by the adults, professional and familial, who are supposed to protect. My child has endured the inept, clumsy, and stupid mistakes Ralph and I have made – because no parent is prepared to deal with this well, no parent.

This has been the hardest thing I’ve gone through, no matter how carefully I’ve tried to do the right thing. Since late September my world has changed and it has been relentless. My anger, my confusion, my grief has exhausted me. It has kept me depressed and anxious so that even while I function “properly” and do the things I’m supposed to, I am never without this pressing fear, a fear few intuit or even think of. Prayer and meditation have helped; helping others has helped immensely. “Restraint of pen and tongue” has been a godsend. Doing the next thing I’m supposed to – doing the housework, returning texts and calls, helping friends – has kept me sane.

Tonight I needed there to be a point to all of it. To what has happened. Because I know there is. So even though she was dead-tired I grabbed my friend and mentor. I talked with her and she told me some things. I cried – but less than you might think. Because I am ready to understand a little more than I’ve thus been able to understand.

Before we parted she told me, “It’s like that tree across the way. The leaves will fall soon and they’ll pretend to be dead. But you and I know they’re not dead. They are fertilizer for other things to grow.

“This experience is going to be food for you, it is going to make you stronger;

“But first you have to fall.”

diez y seis

Ralph & His Son

Today Ralph and I have been together sixteen years. What is there to say about this time together – of growth, of quarrels, of many laughs, shared tears, anger, confusion, solidarity and strife? The kinds of sorrows that bring one to near collapse. An elation between two human beings who stick by each other – no matter what. Two children who’ve chosen to walk this very scary path through the dark forest together.

I guess what I want to say is, intimacy is worth it. And you might as well go for it anyway because you will crave it the way my dog craves a giant sandwich. You will come to hunger for it so deeply, if you try to eschew that drive.

And don’t be so shamed if you’ve tried and failed before. Shit, we’re all human.

Out On The Lake

 

Ralph & Phee

your bible and your gun / & you love to party and have fun

The weather is so gorgeous right now. It’s raining, but it’s also sixty-five degrees out. A summer rain. Just deepened from gloaming into night. So lovely. My potato plants are going to yield produce early. I can walk on a soft lawn through summer. Barefoot.

Today: a lot of work, all of it good. But I’m tired, and afflicted with nausea. In waves, it comes and goes.

& poor sleep the night before.

Distraction. An argument with my son, after he breaks something precious of ours. He leaves the house for a date with friends, hot on the heels of exchanged cross words. I clean the bathroom sink and as I hear the car pull out the gravel driveway I put him in my prayers (again). I love him; he is such a struggle for me at times.

My children are especially bright, especially clever. They notice that I have a hard time forming a completed thought. That housework and errands and groceries and cooking and cleaning (and writing and sewing) distracts me. I can work in my own world; the kids are by turns patient or angry. I apologize for my scattered-ness; maybe this is one reason I hold them so often, so many times during the day. I’m here, dear one. I want to stay.

At five o’clock Nels tells me he wants to go to Vacation Bible School – the last night – after all. I’m standing in the kitchen doorway with a clean kitchen towel and feeling despair. My car isn’t running, I can’t ask anyone to take the child; I have a large meal to get to another family way across Aberdeen. But I told my son to make up his mind and he’s made it up. The lasagna in the oven and a sink full of dishes and I drive him across town.

On the way home and police lights on the side of the road. I’m grateful we are all safe. I have been trying to drive more carefully, noticing others seem more careless during the summer weather.

We are safe. Right? I don’t feel safe. I have been re-living a trauma over and over again, and this has been sapping my strength the better part of a year. I pray, I meditate, I work, I rest, I help others, I am kind to myself. And yet I still haven’t gotten over it. I hear all the correct words in my head – the people who know more than me. They say, “Remember, this happened to your child – it didn’t happen to you. Don’t make it about you.” I know there are people who have the key, who are more correct than I.

And yet I feel a kind of terror I’ve never felt.

I think I sourced it, about three weeks ago in a gathering of relatives and friends of alcoholics. I think I know why I don’t feel safe.

Believe it or not, knowing why I feel so unsafe actually helps. It isn’t something I can share while certain parties are alive. But it is something I can know and share with trusted friends.

Unsafety. I can live in Unsafety. I can do this thing.

American Cyborg: Steel Warrior

in retrospect, most films with the title “Cyborg” in them don’t really work out so hot

I know y’all missed #BondBFFs. But you know what? My friend Court and I are at it again! By the way there are PRIZES associated with this wonderful venture! (Read on:)

Follow @BmovieBFFs & I next Tuesday 7 PST for…

AMERICAN CYBORG: STEEL WARRIOR

American Cyborg: Steel Warrior

which we will be watching and tweeting (and FBing).

Yeah you heard me. AMERICAN CYBORG: STEEL WARRIOR! This 1993 gem (33% on Rotten Tomatoes… and that’s a stretch) is basically a straight-up Terminator rip-off. The “Sarah Connor” figure however carries her future-hope-of-man fetus in a glass jug in a backpack (if memory serves) and the film features such dialogue gems as, “You’re a cyborg! You lied to me!” (son of a BITCH how many times has this happened to me?! Men!), and “You want me to take off my pants?”

If you can’t find a copy – (although you can rent or buy it on a few streaming sites) – let me know. I can hook you up.

I have a VHS COPY of this film. If you want it, enter your name by PMing, texting, emailing (kelly AT hogaboom DOT org), the word “CYBORG-ERRIFIC” at me. I will be doing a drawing and mailing out the VHS in a timely manner so the “lucky” winner can watch with us next Tuesday!

Get your best post-apocalyptic greasy-hair, leathers, and denim vest on and LET’S DO THIS!