PERFECTION

photos by Patricia

And so we take the way less traveled, or so we thought. Dogs off leashes, one coming up to the truck to bark at me before even exiting the vehicle. Others on leashes, but not one person, walker, or biker, wore a mask, not one!

As if proud of their independence from wearing one, each turn their head to puff out GOOD MORNING, possibly spreading germs our way… infuriating me. Even if the passing goes quickly, the space between us is only a foot or two. So don’t turn towards me with your big mouth opened wide spewing out a greeting that could also spew contamination. Dumb as rocks, dumb or in denial.

How hard is it to wear a mask? We keep ours on, but pulled down on our chins, making it easy even on bikes to pull up when seeing passersby’s. Doesn’t anyone remember there’s a pandemic?

“Shut you pie hole,” I want to scream, but I don’t open my mouth even if it is covered showing others respect they don’t show us.

Just wave if you have to, or nod your head. But if you’re not wearing a mask don’t expect me to reciprocate. That would be like thanking you for trying to kill me.

Still, we love the trail along the water, miles and miles it. Abundant wild roses last week wafting a heaven of sweetness through the air. This week, daisies, buttercups, chicory, and many other wild flowers dotting the path to the bridge in the next town.

Though the ride is an hour and half, after returning home, the glorious day drew me out to more azure skies warm with sun, and breezes causing the meadow to dance dappling the ground with lacy patterns. The humidity had been swept away leaving one of those days to capture in its splendor of perfection. 

 

 

Make a Nice Day

photos by Patricia

With a temperature dip of 20 degrees, my bathrobe feels snuggly and warm socks are pulled on again. Yet the sun rises in its glory as an array of bugs, birds, and breeze fill my ears with pleasurable sound.

The ridiculous bird is at the mirrored mosaic, wondering during meditation what that pecking was. He will make himself in need of therapy if he doesn’t stop attacking his own reflection trying to ward off competitors that are really just a ghost of himself.

But that is also my own problem, the person living within always harping on my faults, mistakes and shortcomings, like two people residing inside myself. During a walk, huffing up the hill, the conversation goes on.

One side plummeting my self-esteem with jabs, the other answering, ease up, be gentle, be kinder. That takes work with conscious effort. The wild roses are out, pausing a moment during my walk coming close to a blossom, its light scent sweet.

The comfort of sitting creek-side after laps is exquisitely restful, and one of the best parts of each day, losing myself in peaceful reverie. Go easier, be easier. That is the way, though that ‘other’ person takes me on detours from habit, places that hurt, cause needless pain, and slam me down.

Make a nice day, make the effort.

Quarter Back or Openness?

Waking, shoulders tense against the day. While sipping coffee on the porch, squelching the tendency to move, the message to self—stay. Go deeper. Go into the body.

Go from the shoulders, which hold a defensive position from habit, as fighting my way through life has been, or seemed necessary, and instead relax into my body.

With a sigh, the rest of my body is felt, wholeness occurs which isn’t all in my head and shoulders. It is in every pore and sinew, it is in that space with no name that dwells between the muscle, bone or blood.

The songbirds sing sweet melodies as the rock fountain gently gurgles brook-like waterfalls, and I am complete.

Bestow Love not Hate

photo by Patricia

An unease invades the morning reverie. Perhaps it is the lack of sunshine hiding behind thick clouds on a balmy morning still warm from yesterday’s heat. Perhaps it is a change in me. Day after day of an upset stomach the realization surfaces that my body is telling me something. But what, so disconnected from it that I really don’t know. 

Connect. That doesn’t come naturally, though it must have in my first 8 years before the attacks began. A skinny kid with long blonde hair, happy on a beach before my father died, Then all went tragic and crazy.

Boom, like lightening, weight came on and stayed on for the next fifty years keeping me safe, hiding me, making me someone other than who I was meant to be.

Trust is the most grievous loss, gone forever. What kinds of relationships sustain without trust? None. The daily feat is picking up pieces of shattered me trying to trust enough to get close… husband, son, or friend. 

The timidity to speak up about likes, dislikes, to put forth anything looking like a boundary, gone. Boundaries obliterated when even my body was not my own. When unmarked boundaries are crossed and my mouth stays mute, then grudges, resentments, and hate howl. 

Oh that anger, not allowed either. It takes a lot of food to suppress anger. Over the years anger began to  erupt naturally on rare occasions expressed in the moment, naturally, freeing and normal. Taught to stay quiet this was miraculous even in its rarity. 

And with a quiet muted mouth, my body grew large screaming unhappiness, terror and pain. Nobody listened. It was one more thing to hate about myself.

But what if I listened to its cues? What if love was bestowed not hate? With no map, no direction, no permission, could I do it? Over and over I try, and fail. But what if?

 

Dig for Joy Beneath the Terror

Sleeplessness occurs on the night after picking up groceries. Going out in the world in any way terrorizes in unconscious ways, yet my body knows and reacts. Mostly OK, there are moments when it hits piercing like dark rays of fear almost bringing tears.

Dying is scary enough, faced each day as part of living, and on good days causing me to squeeze every sweet moment from every day that is possible. But dying this way? Thinking of others in the hospital all alone, gasping for breath, or comatose under assisted breathing never to come out of it. How horrific.

That is no way to die. No way is a good way to die except in ones’ sleep, but who chooses? And only humans know there is an end to life. Animals blissfully nap life away, at least domesticated ones. The others are out surviving never sitting around wondering about death and how they will die.

I do. Sometimes I do very much, especially now with air a possible killer. Driving to pick up the order the thought occurred, if the driver going past has the window down, and my window is down, what if they cough and I breathe it in?

Quickly closing the window and opening up the passenger window, some relief creeps in. But what of this terror filled world? Always a fearful place for me anyway since age 8, it is uncommonly stressful now. Blogging out posts of our incapable, bloated, selfish president deters me from the fear, rage an easier and more familiar feeling to me.

But the stress of anger on a heart is no good. Mercy, and compassion for humanity softens my heart. That doesn’t make his crimes less or OK. But my heart. Save my heart.

Go back to the basics of love and care. Do the things that bring joy. Walks in the meadow. Planting the flowers that were chosen by others in this curbside pick-up world. They did a good job, scarlet bright geraniums, and deep magenta impatiens now dot the patio and front porch.

Hands in dirt on a spring day is joy. It didn’t allow for sleep, but that will come again with the knowledge that I’m safe at home, or as safe as possible. Samuel has started to go again for coffee hour with his friends. They sit outside and he assures me they are far enough away from each other, but are they? 

MOTHER’S DAY

On Mother’s Day my gift is that my son’s and their family’s are people that they are. Each one offers the world so much of what’s needed right now; warmth, compassion, and love. My gratefulness spills over

The morning starts cool, crisp, and sunny drawing me out to walk much earlier than usual. Stunning, just stunning. My heart feels full with thankfulness as the leaf of grass sparkled with morning dew.

Later, both sons call, and with one we enjoy breakfast together during a video chat while our grand-daughter eats her oatmeal. The baby sleeps in front her on the island in a contraption that looks like a stuffed doughnut, but is generally used to support an arm while breastfeeding. 

The other son calls at the same time, so we drop one call to talk to the other. He also surprises me later by setting a balloon and fruit bouquet on the porch, ringing the door bell, then running to the middle of the yard with the rest of his family. (wife and three children) 

We chat, and laugh while the kids tell the latest stories while running around doing cartwheels and splits. 

It was one of those days being cognizant of what is going on in the world while remaining in my body…. a good day, a productive day, a day filled with love. Even my cat benefited from my being present. There is a difference between acting loving and really feeling it. Barriers and dissociation took a day off. 

Peace During a Pandemic

photo by Patricia

Having a plan for the day brings goals. Sometimes the goals need to be cut back in order to go at a pace without rush or anxiety. Anxiety bubbles below like constant running water during the pandemic scare.

How to find calm? The usual ways, puttering in the kitchen making home-made whole wheat pizza. White, of course, for Samuel. That is an all-day project, making the dough, letting it rise on the stove, baking, toppings, then baking again.

In between kitchen prepping, a call to a friend who isn’t able to zoom into her church services or our planned zoom group gathering today. And between the two of us, success! So a lovely visit with a friend where I could see her face and her smile.

And the most precious times are walking the meadow with meditative time at the creek. Samuel eventually joins me. We sit quietly listening to the orchestra of birds. .

There is peace to be found during this pandemic, a marathon rather than a sprint.

Yin and Yang

photos by Patricia

When trust is lost as a child in a harsh traumatic way, no amount of therapy brings it back. Years and years of therapy didn’t make my teeth stop grinding at night when the monsters came. Monsters at night, people by day. Daytime people are just as scary.

Teeth guards for grinding. Toe dividers for bunions. Powders for areas on the body that are dark and moist. Vitamins for this, that, and the other thing. Drops for dry eyes, white noise for ear ringing, and on it goes as a body ages and needs more care.

And those things are tended to, but what about the psyche that craves things not found in a bottle or bought in a store? Things in my psyche broke early on and there’s no fixing them.

As spring waves in green overtaking the falling snow, my brain chemicals go awry and this is yearly, some years more frantic with upheaval than others. Tears roll down my cheeks as the harsh childhood voices break me in two, feelings of badness embedded into my personality booming as the ghosts of what my child suffered become real once again.

Bad, bad, bad. Looking around at others during that time when traumatic attacks were suffered by brothers loved and trusted, I felt ashamed wanting to hide. It wasn’t them, it was all me. Trash, rotten trash. And spring brings the feelings crashing in like a steam-roller.

Waking in the night with these thoughts of every thing done wrong in my life, returning to slumber was impossible. That made the day impossible with teary episodes throughout it. Yet magic still occurs when both sons call and their love is palpable.

When one son says after seeing tears that couldn’t be hidden, ‘Go out and get some vitamin D. Love you,’ with eyes intense looking straight into mine. (through the tablet)

And the walk was glorious on a crisp spring morning. Yin and Yang.

 

Care and Love

photo by Patricia

So easily the ‘self’ is lost in the fray. Going robotic happens quickly. Then the letdown, the loss of sleep, anxiety consuming like a hungry bear.

Moment to moment, be there. Slow down. Slow way down, catching the inner workings as they happens, not going on as if all is wonderful, but as it is. Not so wonderful. Not when the world suffers, and fear gurgles in the quiet moments.

Only in being there can it be soothed. And it is OK, more so, necessary to be there deep inside where my being hides and resides, even from myself.

Playing old roles when interacting with the origin group, the pull of the role that makes others comfortable. Losing all growth in an instant, becoming clay molded unrecognizable.

Come back home inside, moment to moment. Take care of the precious soul finally found; spiritually, physically, emotionally, and wholly.