Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thanks to all who commented on my deleted blog -I just couldn't keep it up.  It felt too raw, somehow, and even though the words weren't my own, they were speaking my mind so clearly that I felt too exposed.

Things are...okay.  By okay, I mean I am waking up in the morning and getting through the days and the nights, and am trying not to let the feelings take over that whisper in my ear that my life lacks meaning.  I reach out to those who love me, and remember that yes, I am loved; valued. 

While there are small bright spots of sunshine --my mom's visit that turned out better than expected being one of those, and a trip I'm taking this weekend to a friends family lakehouse this weekend for the fourth of July -- the darkness has taken residence upon my heart and just comes along for the ride at this point.

This sound of silence is deafening, and keeping me from sleep.

But here --is a smile for you, from my couch on a Tuesday night, for those who read.  Thank you for doing that.

"In restless dreams I walk alone....narrow streets of cobblestone."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Remember how I had rats?

OUTside, though, remember -not inside.  My mother, who is here visiting, got extremely PISSED at the sight of a big nasty rat outside last night.

She stewed and stewed, and tonight after we cooked a delicious dinner of baked chicken and farmers market green beans and YUM garlic bread, and walked --she announced the thought of these big nasty rats anywhere near her precious little baby (that would be me, folks, at the age of almost-30). 

She is outside right now with a shovel, clorox bleach, a walmart bag and paper towels.  She is furiously shoveling in holes, covering them with bricks, cloroxing the patio....she advised me to go inside, have a beer, and leave her to her business.

She does not need to worry.  I would NOT cross her right now =)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Still breathing...

Shallow breaths :)  Walking through stress at the moment, work and life and all that entails.  Old feelings that have burst anew, and exhausts me with the weight of untold secrets and pressure to run around corners too quickly but finding I can't remember how to put this foot in front of the other.

It's hot.  Here's a true confession from me that I'm almost ashamed to admit: I hate summer.  Oh yes, it is true.  I can't stand the heat, seeing so many other people's feet (I hate feet), breaking a sweat just walking outside and my hair falling flat from the humidity.  It's so much more HUMID here in DC than I remembered, but that's just the way it is.  It's almost unbearable though, to run or exercise outside anymore for me.  I miss running, but running in the city is just different.  It's too hectic, chaotic and crowded.  And the public parks?  Too scary :)

I may have to break down and join a gym although having an extra expense every month makes me want to absolutely scream

I have paid the District of Columbia almost three hundred dollars in parking tickets.  This month.

SO -who wants to hear some good things?!  (I'm picturing all of you breathing a sigh of relief).


Oh!  My best friend from home is coming to visit tomorrow and is staying with me along with her fiance.  I've never met him, so we're all going to bond :)  We'll be doing the tourist thing, so I'll be a sweaty mess I'm sure, after we tromp all over the city, but it will be fun.   I'm excited to show them my little world here.

I went out for drinks with my boss and coworker the other day.  This is becoming an almost weekly thing and it's actually something I really like.  We compliment each other well, and even though my job makes me a bit crazy (an understatement), having good coworkers helps immensely to me. 

I also went out right after that with a few members of my now-over softball team.  I split a burger with one of the girls, drank a bit more, and we just had a good time hanging out.  I've had fun doing it, and I signed up for summer ball which starts July 11.  I can't believe I signed up again to play in the late-summer heat, but its just something fun to do and a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  So what the hell-

I feel like I'm getting a new best friend -across the country and someone who I never, ever would have crossed paths with- but she's getting me through my days sometimes, and you know who you are!

I went to the doctor last Monday for the first time in years and years.  I had bloodwork done, which I was nerovus as HELL about since I hadn't had it done in years and it was such a psychological bad thing to me.  But...it went FINE.  And I'm healthy as anything, and that's comforting.  My EKG also returned a verdict of a perfect heart :)

My perfect heart and I are off to do laundry now, and vacuum and make a presentable apartment for my friends tomorrow.  It will be good.

Stay cool out there.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Twisty Tangly Knots of Love

I have been turning over the coin in my hand, the one called love, and looking at each side again and again.  I look at one, and then another, and realize that this coin has three sides.  No, four.  No, five.  Maybe seventeen or three hundred.

It's been several years since I begun turning this coin.  When I began to realize that things aren't always what they seem -and that sometimes, with love, you can speak out of both sides of your mouth and be speaking complete truth at the same time.  That you can love beyond reason, beyond sanity, and that it can begin to grow something very deep and dark inside you sometimes.

And I learned pure, blissful love.  That uninhabited love that comes with someone loving you completely and irrationally --like a child.  And sometimes (maybe most times) that love IS from a child, who adores you beyond measure.

Mothers (oh, the many mothers I know in my life) often nod their heads and murmer in agreement when someone says that you can't know REAL, true love until you know the love of your own baby.  That its a love greater than anything --beyond all comprehension.  I thought I knew love, they say.  And then I had a baby.

Longtime married couples say that they never thought they could love someone more than the day they married, and yet they do.  They say that lasting love is more thorough and complete than one could have ever dreamed.

And I look at this, and I look at the coin in my hand.  What is my love, if it is not that of a mother?  Of a spouse?  Do I have that ultimate fulfillment?  Am I merely walking around with holes in my heart, awaiting those beating hearts that will fill them? 

Love, to me, growing up seemed like a weapon.  My parents loved me more than they loved their second spouses.  I know this for a fact, because, unfortunately they would tell me so.  I think that children intrinsically know and want their parents to love each other.  They want their parent to be happy, so that they can focus on their own happiness.  They dont want that cross on their back.  They want to be loved--oh, of course.  But THE main focus of the love?  It's too much pressure.

My dad and I pulled up the gravel road when I was ten and he stopped the car.  He pointed to the house and said "I love you more than anyone in that house."  That house, where my step-mother and step-sisters resided.  I think he perhaps thought this would comfort me.  But it made me feel strange, and more aware of my step-mothers resentful glares behind her glass of iced tea at suppertime.  I was loved.  More than her.  And she knew it.  It made our lives miserable for a very long time.

Fast forward to now --they are madly in love with each other, all over again, and everything has evened out.  But that memory cuts deeply in me.

I went through a phase with my mother around that time, obsessively asking her all the time if she loved me.  It started as a joke, but it was very serious to me.  I needed to know that she loved me, and my goodness, the woman DID.  She loved me more than she could rightly put into words and even NOW she holds back in her emotions and words to me because we both know deep down that she feels them too deeply to voice. 

Last week she bought me all new clothes, took me shopping for food, scratched my back in the mornings and cut up apple slices for me.  She pretends she is cutting up that apple for her, and then stealthily slips a slice into my mouth while I am talking.  To shut me up, and to give me nutrients at the same time :) 

The love I have in my life is tenfold.  I am tired of feeling inadequate, or that my life just simply doesn't hold as much meaning, as if I had the husband and the babies.  Don't get me wrong--I can't wait to have both in my life.  But the pity party that I throw myself because I have neither...well, this just has to stop.

Here is love to me, in the last two weeks.

"Everything I have is yours."  My best friend said this to me when I asked to borrow something or another in her house while I was flitting in and out of there during all this time at home, using her home as my own home base.  We were laying on the couch, sharing a bowl of popcorn.  "I love you so much--you must know this."  She said it with somewhat of an urgent tone, and I was reminded of the worried tone in my mother's voice when I kept asking her if she loved me.  I said I did, and that I loved her too.  She then tumbled into a story about her own levels and layers of loves.  And I wondered -how in this crazy world do people find each other and grow and connect enough to get to the point where you're holding hands on the couch and are able to form this completely comfortable friendship that a few years ago, wasn't even in existence.  It's a damn miracle, is what it is.  All of it.

My very youngest neice, Baylor, is two.  She kept saying "no no no no no" in a singsong voice when I was kissing her goodbye.  I said that i would see her in just a couple of days but she latched onto my arms and said "no no no no no" with insistence in her voice and a grip that kept tightening.  I have to forcibly remove her and her big sister from me when I am home.  I have to take them over to the kids at the playground, the birthday parties (sometimes they are THEIR own birthday parties...) and set them down and promise not to leave or go far while they play. 

Case in point:

"Me love you."  Baylor said.  Oh, and my god, how me loves her too.

My older neices and nephew....how can I even BEGIN to delve into that love?  My oldest neice is fifteen tomorrow and I remember pulling her out of her crib and singing that old George Straight song to her to try to get her back to sleep.  It was called "Blue Clear Sky" and the lyrics were dedicated to his brand-new "walkin' talkin' true love" --she was MY own new true love and I loved that girl beyond reason.  I love her little sister and brother beyond reason too.

They are as tall as me now, and they race to pull themselves up to full height beside me and exclaim that they are taller.  And yep, they pretty much are.  But, they still want me to hold them.  They clamor in my lap; ask to be carried to the car.  These 11 and 12 year old children, reaching for me with long arms as they did for so many years when we were all so very young.  I folded my 12 year old neice, Carlee, into my lap on Sunday and whispered in her ear about how proud I was of her, and requested that she please not grow up so fast.

I grabbed Logan, and his growing, gangly 11 year old body up and cradled him like a baby and play-carried him across the yard.  I nuzzled my face into his face and we both pretended like it was all fun and games.  But there was comfort there, for both of us.  "How in the world did I end up with the very best 11 year old nephew in the entire world?" I asked him.  He beamed, and ran off to spray me with a water gun, as 11 year old boys do.  It was a special moment for us.

My cousins and I embraced in desperate love and sadness over my granny's coffin two weeks ago.  I watched as Chris kissed his flower on his coat, and placed it on the coffin.  I held his waist and he locked his hand around my arm and we both shook.  Chris and I have barely seen each other two or three times over the last ten years.  But in that moment, we were completely and totally locked in and drawing comfort from another that is so like us but we can't explain it.  We just ARE.  It just is.

I'm not sure the point of this post, just missing those fingers that intertwine so well with mine as I watch my fingers grasp that coin.  Those smiles and voices and laughter that make up the fabric of my entire support system.  The ones who sustain me as I sustain them.

These are the stories of just a few.  Others abound.

Love, in its purest form.

Flip, goes the coin, let's find another side.

Friday, June 4, 2010

And now, they are mine.

I took a few things from my Granny's house back with me to DC.  A few knick-knacks, photographs, small things.  I took her dishes; her cookware.  I'm teaching myself to cook, and I like using her things.

I also took her dish towels.  I tossed them in with my laundry, and took them out this afternoon to fold. 

I was struck, as I folded all my towels into a neat pile, how interchangable and how quickly little remnants of our lives get handed around to each other.  For example, see this pile below.  Let's start at the bottom, shall we?

 The brown towel was originally for the bathroom, in a house I shared with my roommate Lindsey a few years ago.  She bought it, and somehow I ended up with it.  The year before we lived in that house, we lived with another roommate, Laura.  That red towel?  Laura's.  The one above it, with the birdhouse pattern, is my mothers, which she wrapped some ice into for my split lip and sent me home with it, when my nephew clocked me with a baseball.  The towels above it?  All Granny's.

Not one of these items in my drawer were bought by me --not one of them.  My friend came over the other day wearing my socks.  She remarked that she liked them, and wasn't going to give them back. Most of the t-shirts in my drawer from college were never mine originally.

These things that are so small.  And yet, all these pieces of my life have taken shape in cotton rectangles, and ended up tucked away in a drawer.  Brought out by me to wipe up spills and messes, much like their original owners, all of whom I still lean on almost daily to help me clean up whatever mess I'm in.

My thoughts are still, today, and the anxiety of yesterday and last week are easing.  I slept for a long, long time last night and today was good.  I spent it taking care of me, and taking care of others from afar, and I walked alot.  I breathed in the steamy air and remembered that no matter what, the coolness and clarity of fall always comes back again.

I'm thinking of cool air, and sweet memories of last weekend, tonight.

My neice and I

And a brand-new Three Year Old boy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The things we take, make, break and accumulate.

I don't even know where to start.

I am worrying; nervous.  I am clenching my jaw and stiffening my shoulders.  I woke my best friend up in the middle of the night when I stayed there on Tuesday night to tell her that my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest.  It, and all my emotions, were right there on the surface.  She was mostly asleep but I said I needed a hug and we fell asleep that way, in an embrace with my hands latching onto her arms.

A few hours later, I woke up sweaty and awake and confused.  I drove back to DC that day, and I sang to the radio and listened to my CD's.  I breathed in shallow breaths, and emailed/texted while I drove and almost fell asleep.  I was a reckless driver, and I pulled over around Maryland to fall asleep with my seat leaned back and my arms up over my head.  I had a coke, and candy, and managed to get back here at a decent hour.

I fell asleep on my couch with an old comforter wrapped around me, and its no small wonder that I woke up in time (6am) to get to a car inspection and then over to the DMV.

So here I am -a DC resident with tags and everything.

I barely remember what I'm doing here sometimes, as I take steps further and further into making this my permanent reality.

This afternoon, a homeless person shuffled along behind me to the car and helped me unload my groceries and set them in the backseat.  I was thinking about what a touching moment it all was, and thinking of how I'd give him a few bucks, when I noticed he was rummaging around in my beer. 

"Ima have one," he said.  I told him to consider that his tip, and I just got in the car.  Screw it -let him have a beer.  I almost gave him another to grow on.

I am safe and warm in my home. 

And going to bed, with so many things left to say about my several days in Kentucky, and about what the title of this blog actually MEANS.  But I don't have it in me right now. 

For now, I say goodnight.  And thank you, to all of you, for being one of the good things that sustains me.