Monday, January 19, 2015

I Hereby Bequeath.....

I wonder how my mother would have finished the sentence fragment that is the title of this post had she left a last will and testament. But, she didn't. Instead, scrawled in a spiral notebook in her elegant, but nearly undecipherable, script were a few scant directives that only a few of us understood and that had no legal weight whatsoever. She left with no indication as to who was to get what,  and so each of her fourteen surviving children gets to guess and formulate opinions concerning her desires.

I'm trying to take the higher ground on this. I keep telling myself that no one thing that belonged to my mother means so much to me that I will fight with any of my siblings to secure it. I just want my mom back. But, things have gone missing from the estate, and even though these were items of nominal value, disregarding sentimentality, I find myself mildly irked by their disappearance. And I hate that it bothers me. Or maybe what perturbs me is that I cannot come up with a statement to justify my removal of anything from mom's house as some of my siblings can, i.e., "I know Mom would want me to have this."

I'd like to think Mom would have wanted for me to have her garden shears and maybe her trowel or hoe. I'm pretty sure she would want me to take a cutting from her rose bush so that I could start a new one. (We shared a love of beautiful gardens and especially of hybrid roses.) I'm also fairly confident that she would have wanted me to have a big clump of her lily-of-the-valley, any of the wayward ferns that crossed the invisible boundary of their shady bed into the lawn, and all of the bearded irises that manage to survive this northern winter.

But, Mom did not specify that I was to have any of these things. So, tell me, how do you divide a rose bush fourteen ways?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Potato Soup for the Soul

So much for New Year's resolutions...
I might have known I would not be able to "write a bit" each day as I vowed, overly optimistic, as 2015 hurtled towards us. Maybe I should shoot for a weekly post. That would be a more realistic goal.
I continue to have very dark thoughts. How dark? Think of being in a deep underground cavern in which there is no, and never has been, light whatsoever. That is how dark my mood has been. Are my meds working? Who knows? They have been giving me some very thought-provoking dreams at the very least.
The common element in my dreams is of someone in despair intoning "I can't do this any more." In one, I was stuck in a huge vat of cream of potato soup trying (unsuccessfully) to swim my way to the surface.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

White Picket Fence

Has it really been almost four years since I last entered a post? Amazing. I would have guessed maybe a year and a half had passed from the time of my most recent entry. That leaves two and a half years that have, seemingly, vanished. Poof. I have nothing to prove I even existed during that time span at all. Sure, I have pay vouchers and tax returns and cancelled checks and receipts that would offer a chronology of the minutiae of my life, but, I have nothing that can tell you what I was thinking and feeling. I must not let this lapse of writing occur again.
My New Year's resolution is to write a bit each day. It won't be grand or eloquent and, in fact, it may not even be all that interesting. I want to do this so that I will have some record of the journeys my mind makes. Sometimes it is so difficult to understand what is inside my head. It is such a tangled mess. I begin 2015 occupied in a search for my self. I don't know when I became such a stranger to me, but I can't really recognize myself anymore. Maybe writing will help me to sort things out.
Long ago I should have taken my mom's advice: "Get yourself a notebook and just put all your thoughts and feelings on paper." Somehow she knew that I needed to express something unspeakable--e.g., that I really didn't want to be a part of this world anymore. I mean, really, how can one say to one's mother "I want to die."?  But she sensed the poisonous sadness that shrivels my soul. So, here I am, finally doing  what I should have been doing all along: writing. And I'm not just writing, but I'm writing about how I feel, because for some reason, I cannot say the words. Truthfully, it is impossible for me to verbalize my emotions. I can't even imagine saying the words. I don't think my lips and tongue would cooperate. But, I can write.
This is very scary because I really have no idea what this process might dislodge. I have hidden away emotions and reactions and impressions that I just didn't know how to deal with when they originated. Right now I just feel sad. I don't know where this sadness is coming from--it just wells up and spills out of me, literally. I actually wake up at night and find that I have been crying in my sleep. How is that even possible? I've tried to trace the source of the tears the way an explorer might search for the headwaters of a stream, but I can never quite manage to find it. It feels as though I will never run out of tears--no matter how much I cry the tears just keep coming in an inexhaustible supply. I'm thinking that for each tear I shed, a tiny bit of space is opened up in my soul that allows "seeds" of sadness to develop and mature. Apparently I have been stockpiling sadness "seeds" for some time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Antiques, Collectibles and Eclectic Things

I have always been a collector. I guess I was born to gather, group, rearrange and admire objects. When I was a little girl, acorns, feathers and pretty, sparkling rocks filled the pockets of my play romper. A fierce interest in stamps festered throughout my school-age years. As a young adult, I dragged home from auctions those things not worthy of the bidding price asked: lamps in need of rewiring, musty feather down pillows, scraggly quilts, etc.
While my contemporaries amassed LP record albums that sat squarely in milk crates, I took an interest in accumulating textiles. Laundering linens, yellow with age, stained by rust, and gray from detergent, gave me sublime pleasure. I would soak the intricate lace doilies in a solution of vinegar and water and coax them back to their snowy whiteness. Then, I would hang them on a clothesline to dry under a hot, hot, sanitizing sun and to soak up the impossible-to-capture scent of the outdoors. Finally, I would press them, poking the iron into tiny frills and ruffles to ease any rumples. I enjoyed every minute of this labor.
When I should have been purchasing sensible things to furnish my first apartment, a treasure trove of multiple strand necklaces lay glittering in the top drawer of an antique vanity. I didn't have bath towels, but I had the colors of the rainbow held captive within a bureau. Because necessity forces practicality at times, I scored,at a garage sale, a bed, a brass one with a small dent in one of the bars of the headboard. And so I could offer guests a place to sit, albeit not a particularly comfortable one, a wicker settee served as my sofa. It was purchased on clearance at a store closing sale.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Get Me Out of Here

A gray day surrounds us. The weary sky is the color of the rinse water one might find in an old-fashioned galvanized wash tub. Lacking conviction, an erratic breeze is causing the awnings that hang out over the sidewalk to ripple in tiny canvas waves. The air is cold, cold, cold and stings the nostrils and lungs upon entry. It is annoying to have to invite in such an annoying guest. I'd rather be anywhere but here right now.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Big, Bad Mom

Breezy is angry because I would not commit to going to the gym and working out with her. It's snowy and cold and I do not feel like venturing out into the darkness. Besides, because exercise has not been part of my life for quite some time, I do not own the appropriate gear and accessories for weight training and using a treadmill. This makes me a horrible mother and also distinguishes me as the one responsible for ruining Breezy's weekend. It seems I cannot be true to myself without hurting someone else. I'm beginning to think I am a failure at interpersonal relationships. Why is being a parent such a constant struggle?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mine, All Mine

Today as I was walking to work I realized something that will affect the way I approach writing my blog. Heretofore, (love that word--its pompousness renders it silly) I carefully edited my choice of topics and labored to get every word just right. I worried about who would read my writing and how they might judge me and my prose. I agonized that perhaps no one would read it at all. But, today it occurred to me that writing is something I do for myself. It's what I do to express myself. Some people talk. Some people draw. Some people dance. Some people perform. I communicate most easily by writing. So, I guess you could say that my writing is a sort of conversation I am having with myself. Others can read my written narrative if they so choose, but they cannot determine what I will commit to paper (or to the screen, as it were). What liberty and ease I feel! Unleashed and eager to launch forward!