Wednesday, July 29, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

when i was younger i danced for years. modern and then ballet. i was not very good. okay, let me rephrase that, i was okay. but the problem was i just had no awareness of my body. at all. i had no natural rhythm.

as my friends would say, it seemed i had no control over my limbs. zero.

ballet was better. i loved it. all that structure. it fit. it's like the rhythm was built in. i just came to it too late. i was 18 when i first tried ballet and then did it on and off in my early 20s. but then i just sort of hit a wall where i knew i would never advance and it became frustrating. and i didn't want to go back to modern dance because by then, at that age, it's all about the woman energy and the sharing. shudder. no thanks.

so what does a frustrated former dancer do?

speakers. i started dancing on speakers in clubs. not at first. at first i just started dancing in clubs and i loved it. went every night. there was something so limitless and freeing i found dancing that way. something i never got with the choreographed dance. something i saw other fellow dancers have, it just eluded me at the time.

and that's when i realized i did actually have control over my limbs, that rhythm was indeed mine. have you ever tried to dance on a speaker? let me tell you, it ain't easy. throw in a couple of other somewhat scantily clad, sweaty, gyrating girls and it becomes downright dangerous. especially so when they'd play you dropped a bomb on me. baby. oy.

and i don't know what changed, how i tapped into what had probably been there all along. other than time and maturity, that usually does the trick for a lot of things. that and a lot of regular sex and a lot of drinking. that can help with personal rhythm, too. especially in the art of speaker dancing. (sorry mom, i had to put that in there)

the one thing i couldn't do was yoga. good lord yoga bugged the shit out of me. all that sitting and breathing and awareness. i tried it a few different times and each time i thought i was lucky to have made it out of the class without beating the shit out of someone. it seriously made me angry.

but that was then. now? well presently i have somehow lost my internal rhythm. i don't know how and i don't know when. but i seriously cannot dance in public ever again. i came to this discovery a few years ago at a wedding. i caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and not only was i doing the white man's overbite, i looked like elaine on seinfeld. you know that one where she says she's a good dancer but then she actually dances and she. is. not.

and it's not for the lack of regular sex and drinking (again. sorry, mom) i don't know what it is really. but y'all are lucky i spare you.

but curiously, now i absolutely love and totally rock on the yoga. except, you know, when i'm injuring my back in the senior citizen class.

it is this spirit that i am happy to bring back from hiatus this week's moment(s) of zen.

i would also like to dedicate this to the genius who was merce cunningham. national treasure, local boy. you were a force and an inspiration. especially to the rhythmically inept. may you rest in peace, sir.


Friday, July 24, 2009

pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain.

recently a newish old friend who reads my blog and is on a certain social networking site asked me

"don't you ever get vulnerable, self conscious, or scared? how can you be so sure about the parenting thing?"


um, yeah. every. single. day. of. my. life. the blog is called sillymortalmama after all. right? and with that i'll stop short of saying, DUH.

let's just break this down, shall we? the only way i can be sure about my parenting is to ask, what's my alternative? always WORRY about it? TELL myself i'm doing a bad job? KNOW deep down inside that all my choices are wrong and i'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop?

in that same vein, what about the vulnerability and the self consciousness and the fear? like i said. DUH. but i'm sorry, i did that for nearly 38 years. i'm done. and i've decided i'm trying something new.

because what if we raised ourselves like we do our babies/kids? or how we were or *wished* we were raised as babies/kids? what if we praised ourselves and honored ourselves and loved ourselves just. as. we. are.

ooooh, look how cute you are with all that chub! look at your beautiful smile! i wuv your bald wittle head! you are SO smart! you are so creative! you are so clever! oh i love you SO SO SO SO much! you are the best thing that ever happened to me!

and then when we tantrumed or got sad or hurt, we held ourselves with soothing words and gentle hugs and just stayed open to it. we didn't run away from it or get disgusted with our behavior or just simply ignore it all together and hope it went away. we sat with ourselves until we felt better.

it's not that i don't feel all that crap. it's just that i'm done letting it be at the forefront of what's happening here. because trust me, the column of "cons" in my life is long. i'm just choosing to focus on the other side of the page.

look, i know you're all tired of hearing about me losing my house. trust me folks, i'm sick of hearing about it myself. but it is the perfect illustration of the other shoe dropping. and then you're like, okay, now what? roll up into a ball and wait for the auction? be really really sad and never recover? drink a big ol' cup of penny royal tea?

fuck that.

you know what i did when i found that notice tacked up on the house for the first time? well, i knew it was coming and i'll tell you what i *thought* i would do. i thought i would fall to my knees and never get up. i *knew* i would. because that's just what you do when vulnerability and self consciousness and fear rule the roost. ooh, then maybe i could somehow find a way to blame it on my childhood and then be able to milk it for all its worth. oh poor poor me. right? i'm being semi-facetious, of course, but you get the picture.

but you know what? i didn't. i untacked the letter, handed it to my husband, and went in and wrote the best damn query letter of my life and sent it off to a slew of literary agents.

and now i prefer to believe that you can't know what it looks like until it happens, and then you just go from there. so you might as well focus on the good stuff. might as well give yourself a chance.

the fact that i've faced rejection after rejection after rejection in the time since is neither here nor there i suppose. ;)

i'm finding everything in my life that is good or charming. from the teeniest to the hugest. and i'm exploiting them fully. why wouldn't i? why wouldn't you? or any of us?

so yeah, pretty much it's all about me and how fabulous things are. because this is my life so why wouldn't it be? why wouldn't i tell about the good things? i've done enough of illustrating all the negatives in my life. i'm done. because not that it's not valid or necessary to work through them, but just because it's ultimately taking up all the space. where is the light gonna go? where will the good things take up residence? and besides, how much fun really is it to complain? (after the initial bitching that is.)

but, just to expose a huge flaw, i will now contradict myself and tell you the following illustrate that it really *isn't* all about me.

wingman was recently stuffing his gullet when i asked him to slow down, actually chew his food. then the duke piped up and admitted that he used to swallow his macaroni and cheese whole because it was so easy to do. then wingman admitted the same thing!

okay i have to interject a side note here to those of you who are not mothers. please don't admit things to your mother after the fact. no matter the amount of time that has passed, no matter what it is. it will always piss us off and make us worry and upset us. we will rarely be amused. you could be 80 and and your mother over 100 and this would still be true. trust me.

"guys, i'd be careful with that. i'm sure i can do the heimlich if i had to, but i wouldn't be able to follow it up with CPR if necessary."


"yeah, i think everyone, especially parents, should know CPR. but i am totally rusty. so chew carefully and don't have a heart attack, okay?"

to which wingman replied with

"well, i'm not going to need to know CPR. but my wife will."

and then i got this sinking feeling. because wingman doesn't even like girls but he HAS mentioned a wife before in passing. and it's never pretty. read on.

"your wife? why your wife and not you?"

"because my wife will take care of the kids. so she'll have to know."

"um, won't you be taking care of the kids, too?"

"um, no. because that's why i will have a wife."

oy. like i said, not pretty. and this isn't the first time it's been brought up. this mythical wife and what her duties will be. and that list is long and ever growing. so far wingman's duties include making them pancakes and eggs and teaching them how to play the Wii. i've not seen it grow from that.

and where he gets this i cannot say. because while i am fairly traditional in my role as wife and mother in this house, he sees his father do all the same things i do. sometimes better. he is being raised to know that gender doesn't have to play a role in our roles in life. it can, but it doesn't *have* to.

so yeah, you want vulnerability and self consciousness and fear?

apparently i'm raising a male chauvinist pig.


happy now? ;)


Monday, July 20, 2009

happy birthday carlos santana.

38 things i've learned in the past year.

38. i am way more patriotic than i thought i was.
37. i had to be talked into liking obama. (i know, right? WTF?)
36. algebra makes me sweat. seriously sweat.
35. my kids are smarter than me.
34. they just don't know it yet. whew.
33. i've learned to not take life personally. it just is.
32. i am totally okay with the gray hair.
31. i am totally digging the curves.
30. i could totally do without it being hard for me to see while driving at night.
29. i am way more hypocritical than i thought i was.
28. i have learned to do things with full intent.
27. i have learned to trust that i know what i'm doing.
26. and yet half the time i feel like i'm winging it.
25. i still feel like i'm 17 inside.
24. i am really good at this parenting thing.
23. i am not modest.
22. scrubbing people's toilets for money is honest work.
21. i can do anything for money if it means taking care of my family.
20. except let people take advantage of me.
19. and i've learned to flip a table a la real housewives of new jersey if you try. FINALLY!
18. i like wine more than a girl should.
17. i will no longer dance in public because i have lost all rhythm.
16. i don't know how to be fashionable without asking for help.
15. i don't text. i won't text. don't ask.
14. my heart keeps expanding. it is limitless in its capacity.
13. if i love you i won't stop. ever.
12. i miss you when you're not here.
11. i have come to absolutely love the field out beyond wrong doings and right doings.
10. i can keep calm and carry on.
9. i have abundant faith.
8. i am braver than i thought i could ever be.
7. i am strong.
6. i can let go.
5. i will probably have to.
4. and i'm okay with that.
3. and that is probably the most surprising thing from the past year.
2. only love prevails.
1. i am the luckiest girl in the world.

happy birthday to me.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

i'll miss you when you're gone.

i went to my high school reunion with my dear friend's ashes in my purse. i didn't mean to. it just happened that way.

she died five years ago and my share of the ashes never made it to me. i met up with my friend, her partner, and he handed them to me. and i wasn't in my hotel room and i was on my way to the event and so i just popped them in my purse. i figured she was already sick about missing the reunion. i know i was sick about her missing it. it seemed fitting. it fit.

they're in a film canister. i kinda chuckled thinking if at some point during the evening i met up with those who vow to serve and protect they'd think i was holding. do people say holding anymore? yes sir, i am. little did they know exactly what. and do people carry weed in film canisters anymore? do people say weed anymore? jesus, i need to get out more.

and no, i don't generally go out with the idea that i'll meet up with the police at some point in the evening. but i think that evening i figured anything was possible. being forced into a tight space with the people you spent the most awkward four years of your life with while wearing kick ass heels and carrying ashes in your purse will do that to a girl.

and they make a rattling noise, too. that would be the chunks of green glass from the port bottle. her best friend is/was/is ?? my best friend. the night before she was cremated we split a bottle of port. her favorite. 1/3 for me, 1/3 for the goddess mother, the rest we left for her. for the journey. we tossed it in the next day with her.

i guess maybe we didn't so much say much about the bottle. because the green crystals that appeared in her ashes gave some pause. but that would be her. sea green crystals at the heart of her soul.

i have a box i'm going to put them in. she gave me the box the last time we visited before the very last time we were together. a beautiful box that i had absolutely no use for. i feigned a need for a box, though. oh i said, i've been needing a little box like this.

she gave me her best don't bullshit me look. ooh, but she was good at those. she knew i didn't need a box. she just saw it and thought of me.

what is it about humans that we have to validate everything? make everything necessary? she just wanted me to have it and i had to qualify it. it's a good thing she never let me get away with much. i appreciate that, because i don't try to as much now.

anyhow, i've never used that box. but now i will. and it's perfect. and yet i still have that film canister sitting on the mantle. next to the box. next to the mary. next to quan yin. next to the miniature replica of the red velvet couch i met my husband on. holding vigil. there.

because once i pour her ashes in the box it's going to get sealed up. super glue around the edge of the top. an inscription on the bottom. and it seems so final.

which is funny. what about death five years past isn't final? right?

but what i like to do is open the lid to the film canister. because when i do a little white puff comes out. and i can see the crystals. and it makes me feel better. like she isn't gone at all. and when i seal those ashes in that box i won't get the puff. i won't see the sea green crystals anymore. and that makes me sad. and that is so selfish.

and this is coming up because i've been thinking about loss lately. how we get so attached and yet it's all so transitory. and i'm not saying that in some boo hoo let me journal my pain crying girl kinda way. just that we get attached. our hearts, our bodies, our lives. we get attached to things to people to ways of being in the world. we get attached to the life we are living.

but what happens when those things aren't there? when the people aren't people we can be with anymore. when life changes whether you want it to or not. when the life you've been living isn't yours to live anymore.

what happens indeed.

and what we want to do, what we silly mortals are conditioned to do is to hang on. hold tight. don't go. on our knees. and that's normal. justified. authentic.

that's mine and it means this to me and i won't give it up. i won't.

but at some point we have to. we just have to unclench our grasp. to open our breaking hearts. to say this person can go and i won't break in two. or to say it's just a thing. it isn't me. it can go and i'll still be here. i'll still be me. i can move forward without it. i will move forward without it.

why do we put so much of ourselves into things and people that can just go away and leave us sad? because we can. because it feels good. because that's how the world moves forward. the ebb and the flow of love and the inevitable heartbreak keeps this world balanced.

because when you look back there's always some point you realize it was worth it in the end. all of it. even the crappy parts. and that in letting go you are better able to hang on to the good parts. and the pain and the crap just go somewhere else. sometimes never "away" away for good, just somewhere more manageable.

that being said, i'm not rushing over to the mantle to seal up those ashes. because right now i just want to hang on to missing her. because there's already a lot of potential for loss for me right now, and i want to keep her close. even though i know. even though i just said. even though i know it's worth it in the end.

it will happen. i'll get there. and because i'm me you'll probably know all about it when it happens.

(and good lord hopefully not in some boo hoo let me journal my pain crying girl kinda way. ;) )


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

crowing about my kids and why i love friends.

i can be a one woman fan club. not in that i don't think i can do no wrong, just in the things that i choose to do, i do with a combination of dedication and passion, research and intuition. in this i can go forward confidently. i make mistakes, sure, a lot of them, but i only consider them mistakes when i don't try to learn from them.

i am supported by my husband, my family, and my friends.

so when i go about my life and my choices, home birth, co sleeping, extended breastfeeding, home schooling i just assume that the people in my life go right along with me. that they know me, they trust me, they get that i know what i'm doing.

this would be an incorrect assumption. not for all in my life, but for some.

in fact, a dear friend a few years ago actually said something to the effect of

"you know, i was a little skeptical there for awhile about how your kids would turn out. but they're pretty cool."

oh dear. bless the 1000 mile distance between us. because as a parent, those are fightin' words for certain. plus, i'm bigger than him and could fully kick his ass.

he was referring to how long i breastfed them, how we chose to home school.

at first i was a little peeved, how could such a good friend not trust me? then i realized how could he know? he doesn't have kids, doesn't want them. to his mind i was probably doing everything i possibly could to fuck this parenting thing up somehow.

to him, how could i nearly die giving birth at home then go on to choose to do it again? how could sleeping with my child possibly be good for either one of us? and how in the world could i NOT fuck up a boy child by nursing him until he was three and a half? times two!

i was moving forward in full confidence and he was holding his breath on the sidelines.

so i started to realize that just because i have it in me doesn't mean others get it. and that's okay.

and i don't mind telling you that even i look at my kids and do a big old WHEW! because sometimes it doesn't matter what you do as a parent or don't do as a parent. you get what you get. the kid is his own. you're the one who has to adapt. and you're the one who is the first to get blamed.

which brings me to a more recent interaction with another friend. again, no children. he expressed to me that he was impressed with how my kids were both intelligent AND engaged. seemed pleasantly surprised. so i asked

"you mean you were worried they wouldn't be?"

"honestly, yes."

"because of the home schooling? but you know me? didn't you think i could pull it off?"

i think he said no, but i must have blocked that part out. i still want to like him, after all. plus, he's bigger than me. i don't think i could take him.

and the conversation went to what he had thought about it, that he knew how hard it must be to parent let alone be the teacher too, etc. etc. etc.

i would choose to be irritated (and for a minute i was) but i know it comes from a place of love. of caring for me and ultimately my children. that he hadn't seen it, that he just didn't know.

and if you don't see it up close on a day to day basis it can seem so other worldly. they spend all day together, they aren't with other kids their age on a regular basis, what the hell does she know about latin or the fall of the roman empire or split infinitives? and we all know she has NO business teaching anyone any math beyond second grade!

you know, that kind of thing.

all i know is i don't have any concrete answers to other people's skepticism other than come spend the day with my kids. hang out with them and you'll see it isn't weird. that they aren't weird. no weirder than any other kid, that is. that they are both intelligent AND engaged, well rounded, that they haven't been fucked up, and as far as i know have no apparent breast fetishes. yet.

they are snarky and sarcastic and hilarious, too. but now i'm just bragging.

all of this brings me to the following tidbit i'd like to share.

so a little background, recently the duke took his end of the year, two day test. this is a standardized test. (they all are, right?) and i'm not huge on the standardized test, but if you home school in my state you must test your child(ren) every school year. it's incumbent upon the parent to facilitate this, and there are a lot of options.

i feel like the one i chose years ago and we continue to use is one of the best of the bunch. a student cannot pass or fail this test. the results from this test give an "objective picture of how your child or the typical child in a specific grade is progressing in school."

it also shows how a child has progressed in a certain area from year to year, where your child falls in terms of other children in his/her grade. it also shows "the grade level of students for whom a score is average or typical." meaning that the test measures your child's answer and determines what grade level that answer/thought process matches. for instance "a grade equivalent of 4.5 means that the child's score is about the same as what the typical score of children in the fifth month of the fourth grade would have been if these children had taken the same test."

so i'm explaining this all to the same friend who expressed his pleasant surprise at how intelligent AND engaged my children were. and i'm further explaining that it doesn't mean that they are ready or able to do the work of that grade, but how they measure the maturity of the thought process and match it to the grade level.

"and you know what for the duke? in every area except reading vocabulary, which he scored 12.3 in, he scored PHS, which is post high school!"

then there was a moment when i was beaming. all happy to share this news. and i assumed he was taking in the awesomeness, further seeing how fabulous this home schooling thing was going. how wrong he had previously been in his worrying, and i was assuming full vindication was mine. then he said

"so what you're saying is, the duke can think like and solve problems the same way a college freshman would."

oh. and indeed.

to spite myself, i laughed.

and there you have it. because if your friends can't support you and love you AND give you shit then who can?

and having friends who can bring you down a peg or two is actually a gift. smack worthy, but a gift. because if you can't laugh with others at your own expense, where's the fun in life?

yes, the control freak has learned to laugh at herself.

will wonders never cease?

let's hope not.


Friday, July 10, 2009

thursday evening wingman.

last night i was making the bed. it had been fully stripped earlier in the day and i was putting it all back together. this used to be a more daunting task when i went through the our bed needs to look like a hotel room bed phase. the only way a mattress cover and topper, six pillows, three sheets (yes, three), a bolster, a blanket a bed spread and a duvet, plus decorative throw is EVER a good idea is when someone else comes in to clean your room while you go off somewhere to eat, drink, sunbathe or shop.

wingman popped in after he put his pajamas on. he was chatting at me, per usual, about this and that. how he wanted to repaint his side of the room in the colors of his favorite baseball team. how he'd love a mini fridge and a toaster in there, too. about how he'd like his side of the room to smell like a hotel room.

(we're big suckers for hotels around here. i wonder what that says about us?)

so as he's talking and i'm interjecting the timely uh-huhs, and head nods, and oh reallys? i realize that he's automatically gone to the other side of the bed and is helping me. he's straightening the top sheet as he's chatting, helps me smooth out the blanket, and grabs up a pillow to cover.

i don't know that he's aware that he's doing it. he's just doing it. and it was all i could do to contain myself. it broke my heart in how it was just so sweet.

sometimes with children it's better to just let them break your heart, in a good and SILENT way, rather than pointing out that what they are doing is "a good thing," "helpful," or "cute."

but with all things wingman these days, the sweet lasts just so long until the baser parts of him take over. this usually includes, but is not limited to, the idea that either one of his parents is ever naked.

"mama, i really don't understand how you can sleep next to someone who doesn't wear a shirt to bed."

he's 8, so i decided to humor him. so with a big sigh i said

"well, when you love someone i guess you're willing to put up with a lot."

he's 8, so i decided to ALSO gross him out.

"you know, sometimes he even sleeps naked."

he broke into a fit of giggles and shouted

"OH MY GOD! that's SO GROSS!"

i thought he was going to pee his pants.

i remember thinking how he does. how in the world do people do that!?! be naked, have sex, kiss even. in fact i remember being his age watching television and just assuming that there was a clear glass wall separating the two people kissing. because that would be gross otherwise, right?

i love having little kids around. there's just something about being reminded about how simple the world really is.

that being said, getting over that was a part of growing up that did. not. suck.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

there's a reason lunatic comes from lunar.

it's a full moon.

i'm feeling twitchy, restless. also very sleepy.

i want everyone to come close and to go away. love me love me leave me the fuck alone.

i feel like anything can happen and that nothing is.

suffering as i do with depression i'd be inclined to believe, with all the signs, that this is the beginning of a cycle for me.

but i don't think it is this time.

i think it's just a matter of me on the edge waiting. having patience. and patience can be a bitch. because when you're waiting for a miracle, for the good stuff, patience is not only a virtue, it can also become an exercise in total frustration.

maybe it's because it's the full moon in capricorn. the exact zodiac opposite for me. that cold saturn energy trying to infuse into my warm moon energy. and i'm supposed utilize that energy during this time. to take stock, nurture my ambitions, make my dreams a reality. i am supposed to be "doing" something.

and i think i am supposed to find this all amusing.

actually, i still kind of do. the big cosmic joke, right? the cancer girl losing her home. but my cheeks are getting a little sore from all the smiling. and my arms are getting a little tired from all the juggling. and i'd like to go sit on a beach by myself until i'm done sitting on a beach by myself.

but (i'm a cancer, there's always a but), it's also the blessing moon this time around. time to count your blessings. to be grateful for what you have.

and i am. i can't imagine a better life for me. i don't know when i've been this excited to see what the next day will bring. my heart is full of life and love.

and to borrow a phrase from a friend, there's light at the end of the tunnel and it's not a train. and i believe that it truly is not a train.

so do i hunker down? do i force an action? what do you do when the whole world is at your feet? when the universe has its own plan and you're used to being in charge?

who in the hell knows. i think i might just channel siddhartha and think and wait and fast until it comes to me. until something happens that needs a reaction. (but not really "fast" fast, just metaphorically fast. because this girl doesn't fast. i mean, what if i got hungry?)

i do know this, though. i am so very glad i stopped writing poetry. because every awful poem i ever wrote came during the full moon. oh good lord but they were bad.

oh, so there's one more blessing to add to the pile. nice.

to mine AND yours as i won't be foisting bad poetry on you. right? i mean how much can i make you take? ;)


p.s. you're welcome.

p.p.s. oh my god i just read my horoscope from free will astrology. maybe i should just shut up now. i think i will.

I believe that when you chatter carelessly about a big change that's in the works, you're in danger of draining it of some of its potency. So I don't want to trumpet or gossip about the gift that's on its way to you. I'll just mention that it's coming, and urge you to prepare a clean, well-lit place for it to land. Here's a hint: It could, among other things, help you convert one of your vulnerabilities into a strength or inspire you to start transforming an area of ignorance into a future source of brilliance.

Friday, July 03, 2009

place value.

so i recently went to my hometown for my high school reunion. i made it there and back in one piece. though i will admit this is the first time as a full grown adult that i left a little piece of myself in my hometown.

because while i went for my reunion i ended up reconciling with a place that is at best bittersweet for me. and that took a little out of me. and i left it there.

with high hopes that the sun and soil will nurture it better this time around.

i won't bore you with the details of my growing up there, but will say that it was shocking for me to learn just how much i had built up this kind of mythology about it. how attached i have become. because all the other times i visited i didn't feel it. i didn't have this kind of little pit in my stomach about it.

and maybe it was just a combination of events. being alone in my hotel (i am never alone) and staying up too late and reconnecting and letting loose. there's something to be said for routine and stability for keeping the demons at bay.

which brings me to the first morning after i arrived and finding myself in a pool of tears on the most humongous king sized bed i've ever seen. why am i crying? what is this? oh, you have to ask? really? says that voice inside. you know why you're crying.

and what started it was talking with a friend on the phone. about an issue of his. 1000 miles away and not even part of "this." we discussed his issue and when we were done he asked me what i was going to do that day. i mentioned with no family left in my hometown i had no real obligations except to my friends later. and he said

"oh, you should drive by your old house or something."

and that was it. i was a crying mess for two hours after that. what is it about childhood that makes it so hard to get out alive and intact? not all childhoods, but some. mine.

what is it about childhood that doesn't let you forget. ever. and what i thought i dealt with didn't even make it to the second afternoon.

what is it about pain that enables it to hide away for so long? in plain sight. to know it's there, to have occasions with it, but not let it get to you. to be able to keep going and just ignore it.

and then you're in some hotel off the highway in your hometown and it's standing in front of you. and it's no longer giving you the opportunity to choose. because it's not going anywhere.

i didn't learn enough as a child, a teenager. not about the world, except the small world around me. and that was learning, but also just a matter of surviving. i look back and i can't believe i did it. got up each day. figured it out each day. know what to do when i had no clue.

i didn't learn enough about my hometown and the valley it sits in. and when i go back i just get that full force. this is where you are from, going back generations, and you have no fucking clue what it is even about. you have no idea.

place is so important. sure, wherever you go there you are and all that. but my god you came from somewhere, and that sticks with you. wherever you go you came from somewhere.

and for me, the quadruple cancer girl, home and hearth and all that is about as important as it gets. and to know that i have no real connection now to the place of my birth, that i didn't learn enough about it when i was growing up there sits awkwardly on my heart.

please understand, it wasn't all tragic and awful. there was a lot of love. there was. a lot of love. and sometimes love is enough. and sometimes it isn't. it's not enough when it can't protect you.

and looking back on it now, the visit, a week out, i see that i didn't even want to try and see it this time. the town. wanted to be there, but not be present. because the whole time i was there i didn't wear my glasses. i had them on on the way from the airport, and took them off right when i got into town.

then it wasn't until we were hitting the highway to go back to the airport that i put them back on again.

and so the whole time i was walking around, riding around, hanging around i was in a kind of a haze. not up close, but surrounding me. a way to be there but not fully be there. funny how we can call up the same old coping skills and just transform them for the time.

humans are so fascinating. especially the silly mortals.

and people ask me why are you so attached to being jewish, you know having "just" found out about it? how come you fell into it so fully?

and i think it's because i need to come from somewhere and understand it. to not need it fuzzed out around me. to not blur the edges in favor of protecting the hurts. i need to have a place to start from that is tangible and accessible to me. i need a history that is bigger than the pain that surrounds it.

and damn, if that isn't some shit right there, right? being jewish somehow gives me a history to attach to less painful than the one i experienced on janna ave?

jesus, between that and not wearing my glasses i think i could be a psychiatrist's wet dream.

but hey, it's just because it was "my" history that makes it so intense. it's nothing if not all relative, right?

so where do i go from here?

forward. ever forward. because i made it there and back. nearly whole, even.

and i'll do the same thing i do for every difficult moment.

i'll open my heart and i'll open my arms.

i will love the shit out it.