Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mortality

As the story goes, faced with two weeks of changing diapers while his wife was away my cousin Duane succeeded in potty training his 2yr old son before his mother returned.

He grasped the idea that he shouldn't go in his diaper before he got a firm hold on the "go to the bathroom" bit; so once early in the training when he really needed to poop, he just squatted in our cousin's back garden and let go. I wasn't there when it happened, but when I was told the story, I cracked up and said "Oh, I can't wait until he's old enough for me to torture with that story."

This morning I was remembering, and wondering what's the right age? At 12 he might have enough of an awareness of himself for me to tell him that story, but he might not truly grasp my reason for telling it - bonding. When my family retells my baby stories - a lot of them for a laugh at my expense - the laughter is only a small price to pay for the sense of well being I get, the gratefulness I have for the people who shared in my childhood, these stories are the evidence of the bond that has traveled with and sustained me since birth. 15 might not be much better, I think the 20's and older are a great time for the retelling of his baby stories, but that's 17 years and a few weeks from here; and I found myself wondering would I be alive then.

I am not terminally ill or had any great epiphany lately, nor do I have any great fear of the abstract idea of death. I've accepted it as an inevitable bridge I'll cross when I get to. I've also accepted that I won't know until my dying moment that I am leaving, and from time to time I stop to affirm that be it days or years upon years that I have left I accept my fate and am grateful for the time I have spent so far.

This morning though, I am hoping that in 17 years and a few weeks I'll be around to do in the retelling of baby stories what my family friends and family friends have done for me throughout the years, and I that I can hang around to keep sniffing that sweet spot on his neck so that when he's twenty he won't forget that I am the one who used to powder him with kisses because that's just what he smelled like.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dream Animals

I seem to dream a lot about animals (also ghouls and monsters but I've never posted about that).

I just found a dream I jotted down a few years ago. In this dream there was a hurricane that changed the terrain, and I am caught on a sandbar that used to be Lime Cay waiting for a boat to come and get me.

Many boats come and go, and still mine doesn't show so I decide I'm gonna just jump on the next one that comes in. Instead of taking me back to the mainland I end up picking my way across a craggy landscape. As navigate the sharp rocks dark and shiny with the sea water, in the distance I notice a spray erupting from the surface of the water. At first I think it's oil but suddenly I am with people and one of them says "no that's a fissure, air is escaping from the earth". As we continue across the rocks we see a network of pipes that suggest the fissure is man-made. The instinct to follow the pipes rises, but as I move towards them a boat comes. As I wait to board the boat I am suddenly aware that I have a pin and a needle driven horizontally into my heel, but I cannot get them out because my heel is frozen.

Standing at the side of the boat I ask for a container for the finless tailless fish I have in my pocket. The fish had been terrorizing my mother and I don't want it to die because I want to gift its fate to her. I knew I couldn't put it anywhere near the water at the risk of it escaping, so I'd put it in my pocket and poured some water in. As if it were magic to the fish the water made my pocket larger and gave the fish so much room to move around I was afraid it might escape.

I am aboard the boat and almost ashore when I check my heel; it has thawed and there is only a pin, the edges of which I can see sticking out so I try to catch a hold of it as the boat sways. The driver says to me "doesn't that hurt? Why don't you wait til you get to the shore to take it out? The boat's jostling." I yank it out anyway and say "Nah, it doesn't hurt".

He seems impressed by my bravado, as the boat pulls up the dock I double check that there's nothing else in my heel, check my pocket for Mummy's fish and step onto the sandy shack-lined terrain.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Temperance

When I decide to accomplish something I have this great drive to do it and do it NOW; but I am figuring out that this great sense of urgency is a shortcoming as much as an excellent tool depending on the task at hand.

In the case of goals that need to be accomplished over the long term; this sense of NOW can be a set up for failure; because if NOW passes and you've got nothing to show, you've failed to achieve your goal. I am trying to learn now how to translate this energy into a long term sense of motivation. I kinda figure what I can do is turn that initial feeling of urgency to plotting the course of my goal, and everyday dedicating that sense of urgency to what I can do for it NOW.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No really does mean no.

I watched Californications "Land of Rape and Honey" (where Marcy tells Runkle all women have a rape fantasy, and where his boss confirms by detailing hers) and I'd just like to put this out there:

That's the stupidest and most dangerous absolute to put out there. Not all fucking women have a rape fantasy; I don't.

I can't even detail how upset and disgusted I am.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Skeleton Woman

As told in "Women Who Run With The Wolves"

"The Skeleton Woman"Sedna, legend tells, was a beautiful girl who lived by the sea. Although many courted her, she would not leave her widowed father, and refused them all. But one day, a raven disguised as a handsome man came to her. He promised her a better life - and best of all, he promised he would also provide for her father. And so, full of hope, Sedna left with him. But he took her instead to a desolate island, where she was cold and hungry. When her father came at last to visit, he grew very angry. Taking Sedna into his kayak, he paddled into the open sea, but Raven caused a terrible storm to arise. And Sedna's terrified father, in desperation, hoping to save his own life, cast his daughter from the boat. Sedna clung to the side of the kayak, and would not let go, until her father cut off her hands with his knife. Then Sedna's hands and fingers fell into the sea, becoming the the fishes, the seals, and the whales. And handless Sedna sank to the bottom of the ocean to become the skeleton woman.

One day a fisherman came fishing, he had drifted far from his homeplace and did not know that local fisherman stayed away from this bay, saying it was haunted. When a heavy pull on the his line drags his kayak to sea, he thinks he has caught the "big one," a fish so large he can eat for weeks, a fish so fat that he will prosper ever after. As he daydreams about his coming ease, what he reels up is Skeleton Woman, a woman flung from a cliff long ago, her fish-eaten carcass left to rot at the bottom of the sea. In terror her flings her from his kayak and paddles with all his might for shore. Skeleton Woman is so snarled in his fishing line that she is dragged behind the fisherman wherever he goes. She is pulled across the water, over the beach, and into his house, where he collapses in the darkness in terror.

Thinking he has lost her, he falls into an exhausted sleep. The fisherman wakes in the morning, and lights his whale oil lamp, and there lies Sedna the skeleton woman. A pile of bones and fishline tangled on his floor. Perhaps it was the softness of the lamplight, or that he had passed the night unharmed by her, but feeling pity for her, slowly disentangles her. Muttering words like a mother to a child he untangles first her toes, then her ankles and so he works through the night gently untangling her. When her bones are in order, he dresses her in furs to keep her warm, and exhausted falls asleep. During the night, Skeleton Woman scratches and crawls her way across the floor, drinks the tears of the dreaming fisherman, and grows anew her flesh and heart and body. Her flesh from his flesh, her heart from his heart, the fisherman wakes to find himself wrapped up with a beautiful woman.

The people who cannot remember how she came to her first ill-fortune now say she and the fisherman went away and were consistently well-fed by the creatures she had known in her life underwater.

Wah eye nuh si heart nuh feel

"if you can't see it it won't hurt you".

When we were little my sister was so afraid of thunderstorms she would hide from them under my grandmother's bed. Recently laughing at that memory she said "I don't know why I did that... it didn't change anything".

I know why: "wah eye nuh si heart nuh feel" - somehow, being unable to to see the thing that scares us makes us feel safe.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Melodrama of my youth

I think Mills&Boon and all the assorted romance junk (I was very particular to the historical stuff) I read as a child ruined my early love life. Gee... is your computer hot from my embarrassment? Aneeeeeway, I didn't grow up with both my parents (hell I barely grew up with one!) so I didn't have a realistic example of relationships in my life so when I got to a boyfriend having age, those relationships were what I modeled mine off - or mebbe I did but Mills&Boon made it so much more exciting to look forward to.

From age 7-ish when I smuggled my first cheesy novel under the covers to about 23-ish when I began to realise my formula wasn't working, the Mills&Boon idea of love is what directed my love life. I thought that love always triumphed, if he offended you you should slap him run away and he'd always follow, that girls always had an orgasm too, you were supposed to pretend not to need him while secretly spending your hours obsessing about him, and that no matter how horrible the stupid fight he'd always come back. I thought everything was supposed to be uberdramatic; and boy did I honour that idea by living my relationships in heightened drama. And in retrospect, when I look at how ridiculous I was, I realise those boys must have loved me extraordinarily much to put up with me - I dare you to try and guess just how many of my shenanigans were straight off the pages of one of those books.

Ultimately though, all that junk didn't work out so well in my favour, and I had a wake up call when I was 18-ish (I'm getting old enough now that I'm forgetting dates and ages) and my 2nd serious boyfriend left me. Left. Me. Rejected me really. I was utterly confused. The men NEVER left their heroines, at least they never stayed away. I'd kept breaking up with him cause that's what the girls in Mills&Boon did! And finally the last time I broke up with him, while I was busy preparing for our passionate make up he was getting to know a girl less obviously nuts, and who his mother actually liked . So after I bitched slapped him (I'm so embarrassed) and had him in such a tangle HE was the one calling me to apologize, he wised up and told me "Listen, I'm tired of this shit. I love you, but you're crazy and you're going to drive ME crazy, SO STOP CALLING ME! I'm gonna go date someone who isn't crazy" After being told that way too many times for a girl as smart as I am I realized that I was the only one following this formula, and um.. it wasn't working. It actually kinda was the opposite of working.

The months after that were one of the saddest times in my life, Sade's "King of Sorrow" album had just come out, and I spent my days behind blacked out windows, crying to the title track on repeat. I'm serious. DAYS on end in a dark room... weeping. I should get some kind of Mills&Boon award for that. "life most screwed up by Mills&Boon" or something like that.

After he kicked my "feisty heroine" wanna be ass to the curb I went to visit with my girlfriends on the other end of the island. I called probably in a last ditch effort to beg him to take me back, of course he said no his exact words might even have been "hell no crazy!" So I slunk into the dark kitchen to sob by myself, but I was so frikkin dramatic it was more like cow bawling that had everybody piling into the kitchen to see what was wrong. I explained everything to my friend Shani, and she put her cup in front of me and said "pour all your sadness into this cup and then throw it away". And me with my dramatic self started wailing and said "All my sadness couldn't hold it this cup." Wail! "All my sadness couldn't hold in this room".

This post is a public service announcement to say "Use my life as a cautionary tale, don't let your kids read that junk"
And since today is thursday, let's just file this one under TMI thursday cause you just might not have needed to know this tidbit about me:
***Alright, folks, you know the rules. Join us all in humiliating the crap out of yourself every Thursday by sharing some completely tasteless, wholly unclassy, "how many readers can I estrange THIS week??" TMI story about your life. Or hell, about someone else's!***
p.s. I learned about TMI thursday from Racquel at Smell the Glove