Chaos VS Peace

And so the mundane once again, which is a rather interesting way of describing peace. Perhaps chaos feels more more familiar since that has been the state of my being for much of my life.

Peace. The preferred way of being. With that comes sleep, and last night brought that miracle. No sun to rise, just fog over the creek and a light rain with balmy temperatures. The house is quiet, my spirit is quiet, and the critters outdoors are hiding out from the clouds not making any noise either.

 

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Marriage Discord

And so one day opens to another. Internal peace searched for is hard to find when marital dissidence occurs. By day two without talking to the person who would call me such names, it was not possible to soak in the now with pleasure. The frozen numbness didn’t begin to melt until this morning as the sun came down with morning coffee on the patio.

The bad eye makes adjusting to wakefulness sometimes difficult because the mind tries to make sense of one better eye in conjunction with one that is a terrible blur. It causes a bit of nausea and unsteadiness.

You can handle this. It has been this way a long time now, but has steadily and quickly worsened. It will be a relief to see clearly again. The upcoming call notifying me of the surgery date needs room inside my belly and heart vying for attention along with the grief over such a spat with Samuel. 

At least 90% of the time, harmony exists, then a fireball of bickering. My rage through the years exploded like lava searing the flesh off Samuel with the foulest names.

As the rage cooled the better my behavior became. The most recent years it has become an uncommon occurrence. Nasty words surely came from me over the past year, yet not without remorse accompanied with an apology. Most always an apology.

Though not perfect, better. But Samuel? I’m sure he has called me the ‘B’ word a million times in his head, but not out loud. This was first. It has to stop. On both our parts.

We are too old to act like teenagers, and we are better that this. It has upset the two week string of sleep filled nights unheard of in Patricia world. Reaching for the cannabis oil at 4 AM for the first time after leaving Cory’s, by 4:30 it seemed more was needed. As usual my upset system needs more of what others might need due to damage unprocessed PTSD caused over the decades of it being trapped inside.

It seems helpful as my eyes finally opened for good at 8 AM, another unheard of occurrence in Patricia world. Or maybe it’s the placebo effort, doesn’t matter. It seems to have, and without the next day drowsiness that medication always comes with.

I think of the oil as holistic without the grip of college day’s memories accompanied with the possibility of police at my door.

And helpful too was a friend’s kind words about being gentle to myself, not to pay any attention to the names as they have nothing to do with me. It is about his anger which he needs to work on.

Her email was a balm bringing me down from a place that felt lonely, unsure, and wrong. So we don’t have to sign divorce papers just yet? Sometimes things erupt, and two people say and do things they wish they hadn’t. We are human.

So the experiment with pot oil continues, and seems my marriage will too, even with all its flaws and inconsistencies. .  

Bitch and Asshole

Then it turns to shit, a peaceful happy world turned upside down. Maybe it was something eaten from the freezer that had been there too long. Who knows? But the surgical procedure years ago to be thin therefore ‘normal’ has repercussions, many. One is a colon which reacts to foods with great sensitivity.

So two days of abdominal cramping laying on the couch with a heating pad, an added attraction, my husband calling me an asshole and a bitch. We have these ridiculous arguments of dishes on the counter. Me asking that he rinses them putting them in the second sink ready for the dishwasher…. as we’ve done for all of our marriage, 40 years.

But with retirement much of what was my space has been invaded, the kitchen one of them. He feels he is helpful by washing and drying his plate, fork, and pan then covering up counter space while it dries.

What we usually do, what we’ve always done, is rinse in one sink, put in the other until I load the dishwasher. I am almost always the loader, unloader, chief cook, and clean-up person. But he is determined to be ‘helpful’, and I dam well better like it. 

I’ve asked, begged really, for him not to do that. But on a day I’m sick he does it once again causing a blistering feud. What is wrong with two people who would debase themselves by calling each other names over such a small thing? What is really going on?

It is not possible that it is about the dishes. It is about having my request honored even if the other says it is stupidest thing that ever was, which he also said in-between asshole and bitch.

It is hard to forget words. They sink in, they hurt, and they make me believe they must be true.

 

Love of Self

“Spend,” she said. Imagine having a financial adviser after our careful life of spending, and one who says SPEND!

“You have too much cash on hand.” she added, “Statistics say one of you will live to ninety.”

“I’m not connecting the dots.” I said, “If we live that long then we need all the money we can save.”

Legally she is not supposed to let on what we already know. Existing cash can be siphoned into a nursing home if one of us had to go there. So she and our attorney suggested spending some of it, doing things, or giving some to our sons.

Don’t wait and let the state take it, was the inference raised. This goes totally against our life-time of being exceedingly careful about expenditures. I doubt their advice will change our ways.

How did this happen? Spend? Please, I feel guilty adding to my DVD collection, or buying specialty coffee. I reuse plastic baggies until they don’t hold water, and some of them last years.

When Shane was a baby, cloth diapers were hung around the wood stove to dry. Our house had no walls, no real floor, no good water, septic, electric, or a sound roof which needed a complete tear-down. And none of that mattered. I was just glad to out of my mother’s basement, and extraordinarily excited to own our first home, even if it was more like a shell of one.

Most items, from kitchen supplies, to clothes, to toys, were bought at garage sales, even Christmas presents when Shane and Cory were too young to know the difference. And that’s OK. We were, and are, happy.

Our sons know the value of a dollar and how to spend wisely, and do not allow manufacturer’s to take advantage of them. They speak up about poor quality, asking for the manager when necessary.

What is needed, and craved for, can’t be bought— living in the moment without fear. Not fearing death, the future, or now. What I want doesn’t grow on trees like money does, so the old adage says. It isn’t found in stores. It exists in the fields of nature, the mountains of the Adirondacks, in the glens nearby where we camp, in our back yard, and mostly inside myself.

Calm, peace, acceptance, and triumphing over the battle always lost in decades prior, that of loving myself. The childhood attacks inflicted upon me meant a life of self-loathing. But that is changing, if ever so slowly it is.

There lies inside a generous, loving soul with great courage, fortitude and strength. I am learning to love what is found beneath the filth of my brother’s hands, coming up out of 60 years of shame that is not mine and never was.

 

A Time of Peace

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Maybe the sluggishness of shorter days makes me reach for the second cup of the deep, dark brew, usually consumed later in the day. Savoring the freshly ground coffee the sun dips over the trees slowly warming the cool 47 degree morning. 

It is a good time to naturally soak in full spectrum light from the sun’s rays instead of electrically. Sit, sip, and soak it in. Notice my body, relax my shoulders, not do, do, do. Do nothing, just sip the luscious black liquid and feel. No running. Accept all that is there.

The tiny fountain sprinkles a waterfall gently adding calm as the echo of a train whispers in the distance. The cat perks her ears running to the screen wanting to snare the chipmunk skittering by on the patio.

What is inside? Go there, do not fear it, be. After a life of buzzing erratically, the feeling of wrongness so deep it made me sizzle with angst, self-loathing, and a tremor of terror without end, this period of grace is welcomed. Without bitterness for what was, the intent is to fully let in the peaceful beauty of now.

The field brings joy each day as my need for movement drives me out to walk. My need to calm a too busy mind takes me in for meditation lying flat on the bed. Turning on the white noise device with a timer, crickets chirp adding to the chorus of crickets still chirping outside. The kitty kneads a place on my tummy finally curling up for the usual one half hour, her body offering warmth and comfort. 

These are the things for body and mind. All the rest is frosting on the cake. That these luxuries exist now are gifts received with gratitude, thankfulness, and relief. After a wearing life the repose is relished. The demons of bitterness, hate, and judgement have been cast out from time not intent. Love growing for what lay within took its place. Peace reigns.  

HAPPY PLACES

photos by Patricia

A lower mood descends as it usually does this time of year, like a shroud until the sun moves back, and longer days return. But it is controllable under most circumstances, and accepted for being how it is for me.

If not sucking up early rays on the patio to induce happy chemicals into my brain, then the full-spectrum lights can be used, adding to the ever expanding self- care list for an aging body.

Peace still reigns, even as the heavier mood washes into me to stay for winter. So much to be grateful for, so much to enjoy, and allow into my being each day.

Walking the meadow in its array of yellows, dotted with purple, white, and glorious butterflies, my mind drifts to sad things of the past. NO! Stay with now. Take in the moment, it won’t come again, and the moments are counted. There are only so many.

Happily I was able to re-direct my self to the present, and stay there. Time after lap 5 is rewarded by resting creek side. There the silence enveloped me, as splashes in the pooling area under the willow meant carp were searching for bugs underneath.

After the calming period, my internal tempo centered, the walk back up to the house completed the graceful respite. A time of reflection, centering and wholeness that nature gives freely if one absorbs it. Thank you….

 

MEADOW JOY

photos by Patricia

Though sitting on the porch is still an option as the cold hasn’t made it too unusable most mornings, at 5:30 AM it is still dark without sound. The quiet is unsettling. Oh, don’t go birds, but they left weeks ago.

Finally a dove coos. She stays, along with a few other hardy varieties. But it is a lonely feeling when my friends leave making me want to fly south right along with them.

The morning crimson breaks over the hill as the low lying fog clears with the sun. Neighbors like to mow their back property right down to the creek, but we like the wildness of the meadow in all it changing hues.

As the warm rays permeate my shoulders, finally feeling it after the whoosh of travel and reclaiming my bearings, the beauty of the yellow meadow descends into me. Yellows of mustard and another plant also yellow, dotted with what’s left of the Queen Anne’s lace sprinkling the yellow field with white.

The mural changes over summer, from buttercups to daisies, to grasses over my head swaying in the breeze, the meadow offers splendor in its flowing growth bringing joy.

The comfort and routine of home has returned, and with it peace.  The world is at my feet.