SUNRISE & FOG

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Sunrise over the hill causing fog along the creek-line…

I have agreed to care for my new grand-son two days a week starting tomorrow until the end of June when school lets out for the summer. My daughter-in-law returns to her teaching position.

I have become stronger and healthier these last months by increasing exercise and feeding my body in a more healthy, thoughtful way. So I hope I can manage. But 7 am till 1 pm is a long stretch with a 2 month old.

Though the pursuit of health and making those patterns a regular way of life were greatly productive, I look forward to this additional way of feeling productive again. Cindy will join us too after pre-school for lunch and a short play-time. My hands and heart will be full… 

FEELINGS

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photos by patricia

Tears fell on the puzzle as my head bowed. Samuel said, “Go outside and enjoy the day!”

The tears stop. Thinking of a reply to help him understand seems futile, and instead I fervently wish for him to go so that I can have my feelings and release them. So much sadness is yet to come up, sadness’s I learned to squelch. New sadness’s need airing. Feeling feelings is a good thing Samuel.

Upon return from the vet’s I learned Molly has lost a good deal of weight. The tumor behind the eye may have progressed to the lung, or she may have hyperthyroidism. Whichever it is, she is twelve and not feeling well.

My buddy. I have not had a cat I was this close to before and I’ve had lots of cats since childhood, relating to them more closely than any other living being. Molly is more like a puppy-cat following me everywhere. And lately more so. The thought of losing her hurts.

Other sadness’s crop up especially walking the meadow. The first lap brings tears, almost sobs. I look around assuaging my fears that anyone can hear. Both neighbors are working, have your cry.

Now that Chet is dead it seems I think more about what he had done, how much damage. While alive the most I thought about him was what a pathetic life he had; I felt sorry for him and not much more. The tears come for the little girl who feels like someone else…not me.

By lap three my excitement for spring, the green grass and bursting flowers takes over and I go in for my camera. Laying in the dewy grass I snap shot after shot. It feels good to allow tears and sadness, to allow it with no one around to tell me different. It feels good and I feel good, more whole.

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The Deck

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While Samuel’s hard at work, first the deck, now the landing and retaining wall, I have no project and feel a bit lost. For such a small project it certainly is a lot of work and the trips to the local lumber yard are adding up surprisingly in cost. I was even invited to go to pick out the stone path. That was a hot date on a rainy morning, bumping into another couple even older than us also picking out stone for a small garden project. 

“What is our purpose?” I ask Samuel, “Do we just get up and do it again day after day?”

“Yes, maybe that is our purpose,” he answers, barely looking up from his magazine. 

I press on, “You have a purpose. I don’t. The studio bores me,” I stated. 

“Well, maybe you need to do something different,” he responded.

He is right. I need to do something different. But with all the supplies gathered over the years, kiln, clay, glaze, and all the corresponding tools, it had better have something to do with all that. New horizons await. In the meantime, maybe my purpose is caring for this body I’ve spent a life-time escaping.

Being in it scares me, every little nuance making me wonder what is going wrong next. Yet being in it is what can also bring great joy if I work at it and try. Like caring for the burn that turned crimson and scaly. Taking the time to open a vitamin E oil capsule and gently applying it helped, rather than just ignoring it like I might of done.

That’s what others do naturally, care for themselves. And when they do they do great things like become exercise fanatics, yoga experts, lean bicyclists or runners, something physical to complete the whole. 

So my purpose is learning about my body, being in it as fully as possible, which takes work, time, and overcoming the fear. I tend to flee it residing in my head or hovering anywhere else but in it. What wonders await if I allow myself to go deeply into my given gifts?

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PEACE

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Waking, remembering the work of easing anxiety, my breathing slows evenly and deeper. It is almost 5 am, time to rise. My work is calming anxiety that comes each spring. The wiry brain which had plummeted to a lower mood over winter, now sprints into more daylight and an awakening. Anxiety is also an issue dealt with throughout the year as my equilibrium is easily upset.

Spring tends to bring noise in the brain and eccentric behavior, inviting situations that greatly increase the anxiety beast, not tame it. This year the journey is different because I’m feeling more aware of the dilemma, and more aware that this body and mind is not like those around me. I need special care, care I do not know how to provide or feel worthy of.

That feeling is more that a feeling. It is part of my personality that’s staying, formed deep in my core during childhood due to my brothers’ ongoing abuses, other brothers looking away, and my mother’s collusion in the conspiracy of silence; we are a happy, normal family, you will love your brothers, as they continued to creep in my room and attack me.

I don’t like the fact that at my core is a feeling that I am bad, and unworthy, or that whatever is happening is my fault. I run from this fact of what I believe, embedded permanently like a crack in rock. In accepting this flaw, and accepting where it came from, compassion, self-love and a more lenient judge takes the helm. 

I try so hard to function at the fast speed others seem to function at so easily. Then fail, compounding issues of poor self-esteem. My tired body and mind can’t do it. This whirlwind called life has always moved too fast for me. 

There is no one else to provide proper care for myself but myself, as it is for each of us. We can lean on others, help others, but we are each responsible for handling the inner workings of ourselves. And for those like me with chronic, pervasive, and permanent Complex PTSD, it is a daily endeavor that often leads to despair.

What comes as second nature to others and is taken for granted, is elusive for those who have suffered traumas that extended over time. I have to work at it, sometimes every minute of every day, and even then without success. Hence the despair.  

Breathe deep. Keep breathing. The tight chest, is it medical or emotional? Later as the conscious deeper breathing continues, the tightness abates. Anxiety can harm all facets of the body, mind and spirit. And it can cause one to seek out more without being conscious of the urge, adding to the internal chaos.

Be quiet, be still. Bored? That’s not boring, that is called peace…
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LAVENDER and other garden goodies…

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So drawn to the scent of lavender I’ve planted as many of them in my little gardens as possible. When googling ‘lavender qualities’ the information matched the feelings experienced when rubbing the leaves under my nose or spraying my pillow at night with the oils of this wonderful plant.  

“Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can be used to help heal minor burns and bug bites. Research has revealed that the essential oil of lavender may be useful for treating anxietyinsomnia, depression, and restlessness.”

“Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calmingsoothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled.”

Slogging through the mud on the meadow path wishing for green and feeling sorry for the row of pines standing in pools of water, my wishes are granted. All the wild honeysuckle along the hedgerow have little green buds… I dream of green, and growth and flowers. One little vase of miniature daffodils were available to pick, so it’s coming!

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Tulips

MORNING GLOW

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Though frigid, yesterday’s morning greeted my sleepy eyes with a warm glow. Today’s morning hides the sun as the biggest storm of the season descends and all the area schools are closed.  

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from gardens of summer’s past

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Cory made a memory stick for my car with all my favorite musicians. Paula Cole came on and after turning the volume up her words and voice brought chills. 

HOLIDAYS

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I am a sucker for holidays, celebrating each one, always have. With spring bounding in so early the Easter decor cried to be brought out. Cindy, Poppy and I made Easter Baskets out of used egg cartons. I think I have more fun with these projects than even Cindy does. Afterwards I watched them both ride bikes in the driveway while sipping coffee in the sunshine, brisk breeze and chortling birds, nestling into my soft coat and hat. Ahh, Spring! I feel renewed and ALIVE!

Still, the juxtaposition of wintry weather one day and warmth the next causes havoc with brain chemicals and my spirit. Old hard-wired habits arise, excessive worry along with repeated thinking about one particular negative thought like a gerbil in a wheel.

After previous work on these pesky rituals I am much better equipped to use the ‘Stop’ technique, and replace it with a positive thought or memory chalking up it’s presence to the change in daylight. Coming into spring takes adjustment as challenging as the winter doldrums and the acceptance of less light. 

Sitting by the creek after a meditative walk tears come. My immediate reaction is to talk myself out of them and impose positivity. Then I remember Janet Cate’s recent post, a woman of great depth and wisdom. Allow all feelings. With permission granted, my mind, body and spirit settled and a wholeness was felt. Thank you Janet. 

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As the sun set in west a golden glow appeared in the east…

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Vegetarian Dishes

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I threw out one casserole, but the rest have been divine. Samuel will eat some but wants a beef burger, not veggie. I love veggie burgers and am taking the time to cook them. Black bean burgers are my favorite so far, but these exotic lentil burgers with ground walnuts are scrumptious too.

It called for herb de provence which has a long list of spices, some I had, some not. Topping the list was ground rosemary and fennel. Easy, I can do that. And I added many of the others listed. What an aroma. I also hate peeling garlic, but a friend gave me a bag of fresh garlic from her abundant garden last fall and I peeled. There is certainly a much better highly herbaceous scent from fresh garlic. I am enjoying my escapades into this new arena of vegetarianism with a great deal of success.

The simmering Moroccan stew concocted yesterday was so different and appealing to my taste buds. I had ground many spices together adding a hefty amount of curry. Time was taken to finely chop or grate celery, carrots, peppers, onions and carrots. Rice, lentils, black beans and orzo completed the dish. I made up the dish and the name, but it worked. (unlike the casserole that was thrown out)  I am not adverse to adding meat and this tasted good with cut up chicken breasts.

Today, a grape pie for my son’s family from the grapes harvested last fall.

The morning glow before the sun rises while the birds call is so pretty!

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STUDIO FRIEND

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Whenever I pick up a camera, Molly appears. Sit on my work why don’t you? So I shoot her as if she is a model, which she seems to think she is. The repeated click of the camera is so satisfying after using an ancient one that had to re-charge after every shot. (even though I have to do it one-handed…)

I have always loved hands; babies, old ones, my mother’s, all hands. It is the one body part of my own that I love… Hands tell a story.

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