Sunday, April 25, 2010

April, though I already think of it as May

It's been a day of many moments, one might say. Sunday School was fun, even though I only had the one girl today. We rang bells and blew bubbles and talked about the Holy Spirit -- how do we know it's there, if we can't see it? Like the air we blow into a bubble or a balloon, like the sound of a bell when it's hidden from sight; like something hidden under a cloth. We hear, we feel, we know our breath lives inside us and inside a bubble; we know our ears hear the bell and that tells us the bell exists. Love -- received and given -- can be felt, heard, and like the breath in a bubble we know there's love in a kindness or an embrace. The Holy Spirit is like these -- it teaches us to love, and to live, it brings us knowledge and directs our thoughts. We can't see it -- but we can feel it, and we know its effects. We talked about Pentecost (a little) and about tongues of flame, we even made crowns of flame from orange and red construction paper -- but that was just for fun. The lesson was in the bells, and the bubbles.

We baptized a baby at church today, our second in as many weeks -- this one the child of former members, a loose connection, and this reminded me that we need to reach out to the parents of some of the infants we welcome, because they don't attend. Their children are members of our church body, but their parents seem to have observed a formality, which is a shame. Why do something half-assed? Of course, I'll refrain from using those exact words with the parents.

Baptisms are fun, a celebration and a healing hand on the wounds of loss left by members who die, members who leave us. We have weddings scheduled this year, and enough regular visitors to schedule another new members' class. We're a small church -- the stakes are high. And we voted today to sell one of our buildings. Turnout for the vote wasn't terrific, but this must seem like a formality to many at this point in the process.

It's a cloudy day, cold and wet at the back of several days' intermittent rain. I've made another pie -- today's was apple, French apple, yesterday it was rhubarb. We ate an early dinner, and not long afterward my son had a bath. In between folding loads of laundry and rattling around on the internet, my son helped me bake the pie (apple is his favorite). He and his father are on the couch now, watching a nature program. I feel sleepy, the combination of a long week (another one starts tomorrow) and the warmth here in the sewing room (which lays behind the kitchen, back of the oven.) A friend of mine grew up in a house with a similar configuration -- he tells me that this room was his as a boy -- the room with two doors, one to the kitchen and one to the hall. Safe and snug. But small, in our house, so my son has the larger of the two bedrooms.

I want to sew tonight. I may yet. We'll see. Outside, the greening is two weeks ahead of schedule.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The problem always becomes one of Doubt.

I lose the sense of my role in the lives of my friends. Lose the sense that my job has some Purpose, or a Future. The horizon begins to look bleak and unprofitable and I lose my Way. I slow and slow until my ability to process with optimism grinds to a halt, and I'm left alone. Alone, in a wide flat landscape of isolation, vast distances between my self and the people I love. Do they love me? How much should it matter to them, what I think, or say, or feel? How much expectation is fair?

Doubt, and Shame.
How can I be so selfish when damned near everyone I know is struggling with considerable personal challenges right now? What can I possibly expect from people? What could the ones I love possibly do to convince me that I am needed, valued, desirable? Why do I need convincing? Why can't I get over it? How old AM I ANYWAY?

Flailing away in the hope that you will simply keep afloat, until someone comes and pulls you out of the ocean.


It's getting harder, for everyone -- the Process.

Today I got a massage. I think it must be my third in the past couple of months. Seem extravagant? Maybe, but it's the only think keeping me relatively sane these days, that and the Zoloft. For which I got permission today to double my dosage.

My massage went over by a few minutes today, which was fine with me -- she put extra time into my back and shoulders, really working on it, keeping me talking the whole while, until I finally relaxed. It's a kind of loved feeling that I don't know from anywhere else -- a sense of wellbeing, and almost a kind of peace. Walking back to the office, I feel as though I might be floating down the sidewalk, instead of merely thumping along in whatever poor-choice footgear I'm modeling that day.

I haven't had any serious should problems since I started. Some headaches, which can be blamed on poor behavior. I needed so much to get in today -- started thinking about the appointment this morning, anticipating, happy to escape to the quiet room and the warm bed with the snuggly comforter. Never mind the slightly distracting new-age music. By the time she's finished, I am ready to give again.

I just wish I had someone to give it to, who would understand what it was, who would make the time. But no matter. Sanity is the main thing. Staying calm is the main thing. There's just so much happening right now, and I'm struggling to make sense of it all, to do better then mere blind reactions. The past two weeks have been really difficult, after a six-week stretch of feeling fairly composed and upbeat. So I get a massage, and I call the doctor. Everything's gonna be fine.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's a Shoe Thing, really.

Fetish - Louboutin and Lynch

I confess: In a pretty messed-up way, I really dig this. I always had a sad weakness for David Lynch, and, well, for shoes. These shoes are almost as bad as Chinese foot-binding; they combine all the beauty of ballet with an over-generous helping of BDSM. Far out. My feminist friends would be appalled. Thanks to Wendy Brandes for the link...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Marlena on the Wall

A song that still encapsulates an unchanging facet of my personality...

so I'll continue to be wanting you...

If you want me
you can find me
Left-of-center, off of the strip
In the outskirts, and in the fringes
In the border, out of the grip...

...left of center, wondering about you.

Suzanne Vega, vintage eighties.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

revisiting an image

I produced this in a sketchbook about one year ago, May 09. "For I was hungry and you gave me food." Eventually, everything I think about evolves into a visual theme.

Friday, April 9, 2010

meeting a stranger on the road

Yesterday was yet another deeply tired day in a long string of them, and I though for a few hours that I was getting worse instead of better (pneumonia?) Left work a little early, went home and slept an hour or so...and after wolfing down some dinner, ascertaining that I had no fever, putting away the laundry...went back to bed at 9pm and slept almost continuously until 7am.
H is still waking up -- wide awake -- at 3am. Has for days. He is complaining of dreams that disturb him, and wants to sleep with me. Two nights ago: Snow is created by a chemist (him?) that when it falls makes all people melt. Last night was similar, dreams of "disappearing people." He has been struggling with health and the concept of mortality for weeks off and on. Overlay this with the fact that he and I are both trying to shake the same virus; at one point I had laryngitis for several days, and this really disturbed him. I seldom get very sick, and I suppose I just sounded creepy. "You have to rest and drink plenty of fluids" he'd say, frowning. This morning when I awoke, he appeared next to the bed and asked, "Is your voice still working?" He has a sensitive ear, always has. He worries about his mommy.

This sensitivity might have been confirmed in some way later this morning, on our way to school. As we crossed the street and began walking towards the school building, a middle-aged woman called out from behind us. "Excuse me!" I turned, and she apologized for "scaring" me. She approached with her hands out, extending a see-through calendar-wallet that had a picture of two lovely young children on one side, and a check for fifty dollars tucked into the opposite side. She wore a light pink hoodie with the hood up, and sweats, no coat. She looked, not surprisingly, anxious. "I need help," she said, and began to tell the story of an ex-boyfriend and non-custodial parent trying to kidnap her two youngsters and take them to St. Louis. She needed money -- to travel? I couldn't tell, though the check she flashed me was made out to Greyhound Lines. At a certain point, a few seconds into this, I steered H around behind me and tried to put his attention elsewhere -- I don't need my six year old hearing stories about children being kidnapped by their fathers and taken away. She saw this and apologized again. I knew she was going to ask me for money -- knew that in the first five seconds of the encounter -- and knew I'd say No because I wasn't carrying any cash at all. When she finished her story I touched her hand and apologized myself; and she said simply "Oh," and turned away before the sound of the word had quite left her lips.

I knew H would need to deconstruct the scene, to trying to understand it as best he could prior to a day of kindergarten. What did that lady want? She needed money. Why did you tell her you don't have any cash? Because I don't -- cash is money, and I don't have any to give her. "But she needed it." "Yes, that's what she said, but I didn't have any." "I know," he said, "She needed to get life, she needs life in order to survive. She needs to survive."

This is an idea he has absorbed on his own. Once, when my husband temporarily shut one of the cats in the basement to keep it out of the way, H became very upset and cried repeatedly, "But she needs air, she needs to survive!" And he couldn't be consoled, assured that the cat had air -- and food -- in the basement and would be just fine. To H it seemed cruel, a crisis.

But, too, I think he simply heard the desperation in the woman's voice. Whether real or assumed -- I've grown a little cynical over the years, I'm afraid -- this desperation was convincing. In a sense of course that woman is desperate, regardless of the immediate verity of her tale, because her circumstances have driven her to begging for change from strangers. For that reason I'd have given her a few dollars, had I possessed it. But H saw only her anxiety, her pleading, and while he wasn't especially bothered by it, I'll bet it sticks in his head for a while.
It's certainly stuck in mine.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

deeply tired

Working on a post about the Good Friday Project over at True Companion, but still struggling with a virus that has me coughing so much my muscles ache. It's relatively early, on Easter Sunday, but I should go to bed. Monday is a school day.

God bless every one of you.