Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gonna Take a Merely-Mental Journey

This has been a rotten week. One of those weeks where if the world at large mess isn't enough there is always everyday life. The little things.  One of those weeks when the kids are contrary and strangers are rude. When nothing ever seems to get finished. When appliances and technology malfunction. When you find a hole in your yellow scrubbing gloves. After you stick your hand in the water full of lysol cleaner.  Where perfectly trained dogs randomly deside to eat walls and poo on the floor and the cats fight with each other. The kind of week where you wake up and are glad it's a whole new day. Until about noon when you are ready to say, 'next please.'

We are having severe thunder storms and tons of rain which actually makes me happy becauseI love that kind of weather and I refuse to leave my house today unless it catches on fire. Except of course Biggest and DecentGuy are taking Littlest on a trip and they will be out on the roads in it all day. So, with clear visions of overturned vehicles and smash-ups caused by the weather courtesy of the evening news dancing in my head, I will be worried about them. All Day.

 I thought about writing a post called 'I am Grumpy. Hear me grumble but instead I decided to take a little trip. In my head. Coming?

What will I bring?

Some music. I always have a favorite song of the moment but This Song is the Song Of My Life. I have never put it on my blog because I was waiting for a special occasion but it occurs to me that I don't wait for an occasion to listen to it. It is there for me always. Especially on weeks like this it has soothed my soul. This song is my friend. In keeping with this week it has been a real PITA getting some version on here. This one has nothing to watch which is good.

Ah, something to read maybe!

One or maybe all of these books by Joyce Carol Oates. The links lead to summaries that I don't think really do them justice. I couldn't find a review that seemed to really hit it exactly right. They are wonderfully twisted and so easy to get lost in. They have my #1 criteria for a favorite book. A damn good story.


Mysteries Of Winterthurn

A Bloodsmoor Romance

This trip will be outdoors so we need a picnic. What will I bring?
Bologna and Frito sandwiches. Only I will pronounce it baloney and eat it without mustard or mayonaise because I don't like mustard or mayonaise. Part of a Mental Journey is escaping adult cares so I will eat like a child. How does it sound? Disgusting? They are delicious. And always taste best when you have that particular 'been outdoors all day' kind of hunger.

This isn't about the pictures themselves. My skills are nil and I didn't take all of these. Anyone in my family could have taken any of them. We don't keep track. It's about remembering and experiencing.

Where am I going in my head? Easy. Here.

Ready? You can smell the green as you walk in.

As we travel we will be on the look out for these.

And these. We must be cautious.
But if we are aware of our surroundings we will be safe.

And then we will find it.

Maybe we can follow this woman and girl
whom I have,um, never seen before in my life...
up this trail.

And find this.

And this.
Can you hear the water rushing?
The sound fills up everything bouncing off the rock walls.

It's amazingly cool even on the hottest days. You can smell moist life all around you.
 It is the smell of the riches of the earth.

After awhile I will end up here.

That rock is as cool as if it had been taken out of the fridge.
I will sit here and listen to the river flowing past.
I will listen to the birds and watch the butterflies.
Tiny blue ones and giant yellow ones swooping on the draft.
I will look up at a canopy of fresh greenery.
I will feel the carpet of moss beneath my feet.
I will hold wet stones in my hand and know the earth.
I will turn them back in forth in the sneaking sunbeams
 watch the mica flash like jewels.
I will lower my fingers and let the water run through them
until they begin to grow numb with cold.
Then I will sit silently with my eyes closed and breath.
The breath of life
And hear the song of the earth around me
The tune of creation

Well, I am feeling better. I even forgot about the books. I'll save those for bedtime : )

Where would you go on your Merely Mental Journey? What would you take with you?

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Because I'm Bad. I'm Nationwide. or at least within a three mile radius.

I am a creature of habit. When it comes to my hot wheels track of weekly errands I pretty much follow the same course regularly and as a result my ways are well known in the places I frequent. I normally go to the grocery store two or three times a week. In the process of these trips I purchase 8 gallons of milk a week and corresponding cookies to match. 12 liters of everything free soda and vast amounts of various juice. At each trip I pick up dinner items for the next few days because I can't plan meals. I end up not being in the mood for something and don't cook it and the meat goes in the freezer and once that happens it is a cryogenic time capsule. I make sure to have enough jar spaghetti, frozen lasagna, taco mix and tuna helper to feed my dear family a nourishing meal every night of the week....almost.

Last Thursday before I went out of town I went to the grocery store to stock up because I would be gone for almost 5 days and I wanted things to be easy for my MIL while I was gone. I used to leave her cash to get what she felt like making but I would come home to find everyone had been living it up on Chinese food and McDonald's and we were out of milk. We must not run out of milk. Particularly if I come home from traveling and I'm too tired to go get more. So I bought the fixings for a weeks worth of possibilities.  I piled my almost $200.00 worth of groceries on the belt and my favorite check out lady took note:

"Wow, you outdid yourself today! You don't usually get this much."
          Yes, I'm going out of town and I needed enough to last while I'm gone.
Oh. What will your girls be doing? Do you let them stay alone yet?

 No! I trust them but I wouldn't feel safe. My Mother in Law is staying.

And then she said:

Oh, Ok! I get it. That explains the groceries.
You don't want your MIL to catch on that you don't actually cook.

yeah. that was it...totally. Not only do i apparently have a Bad Rep  in the Homemaker Society  i came home and my MIL bought the Chinese food and Mcdonalds herself and i have a freezer full of things like chicken leg quarters and ham and Littlest ate all the Grasshoppers. but....i've still got milk : )

i am on my way to the grocery store right now. i will be buying nothing but milk, soda and cookies.
So There.
© 2010 All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oh My Heart. Indeed

 First off I am thankful to have caught Mari at The Music Mamas post about R.E.M.'s new release
Collapse Into Now. Because otherwise, I have so much going on, I might have missed it and been missing out. 

Oh, my heart is doing it's thing. I know this group does not appeal to everyone. My husband might describe their sound as metal screeching in a 10 car pile up but from the first time I heard them, Long Long Ago, somewhere around 27 years, they have hit something deep within in me I can't explain. No other music has ever given me quite the same feeling that this group consistently does. They get me every time. And even if my heart Does soar to the sound of screeching metal in a ten car pile up I know that I'm not the only one. If you feel the same join me in my first favorite of the latest pile up. This song is about New Orleans after Katrina and is heartbreaking in that context. But it also spoke directly to 'that place' in my heart and found a response there.

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's A Gift.

 And then she said to me, "Guess what I did today."

She coasts along the road nearest the beach. Shoving off with the right foot. The bottom black with embedded dirt stained into the callouses. The other foot just as tough and gray rests comfortably on the harsh sandpapered gripping surface of the gravity board. The toes are ringed. Encircled with silver. Carved and twisted and fanciful. Tarnished in places as black as the feet they adorn.
She wears jeans that are old and stained. ripped at the pockets. The hems too long and shredded at the bottom. Coming apart in strings like over done pot roast. They aren't very clean. A Dead Bears patch flapping, coming loose at one pocket. A graying wife beater tank top frayed at the hems with a safety pin holding a torn shoulder strap. Her ears bear silver studs and small loops in a half moon tacked like upholstery, except for the lobes which are strangely bare. Her features are delicate but the expression on her face is stern. Set in seemingly immovable stone. Her skin is clear and pale though she skirts the sun stewed pot of summer revelers with the exception of her shoulders which bear a dusting of reddish tan and freckles.  She does not play in the sand. She will not swim. She seeks the shaded heat behind the buildings that cater to the beach goer's. Supplying their food, drink and novelties. Her eyes a shocking blue that springs from the paleness of her skin. Standing out even more with the contrast of the purpled shadows beneath them. Her arms stay at her sides with an occasional swing to aid momentum. The skin here unmarked by nature.  An evil brown scar bisects her upper arm. Her hair is wild. Knotted and matted in dreadlocks pointing in all directions. Bouncing about her head rather than flowing in the wind. They are dyed red.  An inferno burning down the street in the middle of a summer afternoon.

It has rained earlier in the day. The old streets drain slowly. Large and small puddles lie about stirred with street grit and muddied with dirt. Tiny bits of gravel and rock that have always existed along the gutters mark an obstacle course she readily weaves through. Expert. It doesn't even take thought to navigate. So she is not thinking about it. And suddenly....

The board stops and slides sideways into the mud and she flies. Not smoothly forward but head first.  Then leaning back and catching herself with an ingrained instinct buried deep within her and never considered. A softball slide. Into a  puddle swimming with grit. The side of her jeans and shirt soaked and muddied. Her arms smeared and scraped. Road burn. She picks herself up and lets fly a string of curse words. Filthy ones. She picks up the board and looking up sees a man standing at the back door to a surf shop, smoking. He stands there watching but when she looks his way asks, "Are you alright"? She says "Yeah". Reaching into her back pocket for a smashed soft pack of Marlboro Reds and pulling one out she asks him, "Got a Light?"  She approaches, placing the cigarette between her lips with all the nonchalance of a jaded dame though in fact her years are merely sixteen. She tilts her head as he lights the cigarette. Her eyes squint whenever she lights up. Her mouth in a frowning grimace. She blows the smoke coolly having saved her dignity in this display of worldliness. "Thanks", she says and looks up at him.

And Smiles.

She turns to go dropping the gravity board to the pavement. Her back straight and proud though painted in drying mud she kicks off and rolls a few feet before she hears, "Wait! Hey Wait! Come back!"

She stops. Turning and looking back with curiosity at him standing there watching her and then he calls out,

Do you want a job?

© 2010 All Rights Reserved

This is a true story that took place in 2004.  My oldest daughter is a charmed person with a smile that works magic and makes people blind to everything else around them. I have taken license in describing the scene where I was not present by my familiarity with her and using the details she described to me.

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