June 15, 2004
It should be MY special place. I've been thinking about it a lot lately. It's a lot like this. There is a red corner booth just for me and the fare is Italian.. the best chicken alfredo ever. There are magnificent bread sticks that are soft and warm and buttery and potato soup for an appetizer. The iced tea is bottomless. The musak is soft and gentle and the conversation from other tables barely drifts to mine. It's little more than a very soft murmur. The service is excellent. I can feel the tension falling off of me as I sit there. Sometimes, I'm alone, sharing silence with me and closing my eyes to melt into the solitude. When I'm there, I don't have a headache, I'm rested and alert and wise. Sometimes, a dear and trusted friend, or two or three are there. They all know me well and we are so comfortable together it's like slipping into a warm bath. We laugh and talk and share and remember and laugh some more. It's bliss. It's...fun.
If I want to have a drink, it's the perfect strawberry daiquiri. It goes down smooth and easy and begins to warm me from the inside out. My thoughts get relaxed and swimmy and I go between the world and dream. My body feels loose and weightless and I begin to float away on a billowy cloud.
There's no laundry, no tubs to scrub, no dishes to do, no kids to tend, no husband to please. There are no obligations; just peace. The assholes of the world, you know the breed, just do not exist. I can read if I want. I can write in a journal. I can do tarot card readings for pathworking.
After my tummy and my spirit are full, I can move on to my next favorite place: blessed sleep. The room is completely silent and dark. The temperature is slightly cool and there is a breeze coming through the open window and it bats playfully at the soft curtains. There are no animals hopping on the bed, demanding to be let in or let out or fed. There are no kids needing attention in the night. There is no one stealing covers, nudging me to stop snoring or flopping around like a fish out of water. I sleep soundly and cleanly. No stirring. No restlessness. No night sweats. No heavy energy rushes. No insomnia. My dreams are rich and vibrant adventures, not scattered, fragmented snapshots that fall away as soon as I open my eyes. I sleep until my body knows it's time to wake and I wake up full of joy and completely rested.
But here in the real world, Dylan wrote Nathan's name on his head in green marker, then lied to Eric and said Nathan did it himself. Um, yeah, Nathan can write "Nathan" in upper and lowercase letters backwards across his own forehead. He's grounded off of all video games for lying. Eric is off at his mining claim and a friend will be joining him soon so they can spend the day digging and sluicing and panning away. He works tomorrow and will maybe get paid not long after that. The bills are being paid according to whoever had become the most threatening and for the mean time, everything is still turned on.
is chewing on everything we own, including the kids. He's madness. I don't mean Eric. I mean the dog, Spooky. He has a million chew toys, but he prefers the coffee table, shoes, etc.
The kids are upstairs making more noise than I've ever heard before. I'm breathing in the clean air deeply and drinking lots of water to get rid of the headache. I want to exercise, but I don't have the energy. I feel fragmented and cotton packed. I woke up at 3am, feeling this sensation I used to have when I was pregnant (nope, not a chance, the plumbing is derailed) of "power surges" where a rush of strong energy would go through me in wave after wave until I couldn't sleep any more. I was so tired, but I got up because I couldn't stand to be in bed any more. Came downstairs and thought about journaling, but knew I was too tired to look at pixels, so I sat up on the couch and managed to doze a bit that way until about 6:30 when I realized I was feeling better. Slept for another couple of hours, then got up with the kids. I've been fairly scattered since.
I forgot to tell you that about a month ago, THIS thing wandered itself into my house. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. When I was on Guam, I got used to chameleons and geckos being in the house and so they don't bother me. This thing was huge. There's some point where cute little lizards turn into snakes with legs. I wish I could explain my snake terror. There is absolutely no basis for it. Freud would say that it's an aversion to penises, but I can assure you, I don't have any of that. I have an aversion to snakes and that has nothing int he world, in my case at least, to do with a penis. I've been terrified of snakes for as long as I can remember, right down to screaming panic attacks. Once, I went to pee in my wonderful friend, Joan's, bathroom (God, I miss Joan. I have so many beautiful friends who I've lost track of thanks to the stupid Air Force) and had a screamin' mimi fit when I saw this freaking anaconda on the light fixture on the bathroom. Joan tried to calm me down, telling me, "Oooh. That's just Lola, a little boa. She's lovely! Here, just cuddle her a minute." Insert more screaming here. I couldn't even go back into her house again after that.
Once, we were at the Colchester Zoo in England and I went to pee (for some reason, I have a lot of peeing related snake stories). I returned to find that in my absence, a presentation had started and arrived just in time to see a big snake being placed around my 6-year-old son's neck. Yes, I made a bit of a scene.
Absolute unreasonable, irrational terror.
The last time Eric took the kids to the river, which they love, they came back flushed with excitement, full of stories and new spots they'd found to swim on the river and I was eager to go with them next time. Then in the context of another story, Delena mentioned, "...and Hayley and I saw three snakes and then..."
"Three little snakes. Garter snakes swimming in the river. Mom, they were only about this long [holds out her hands about 2 feet apart]."
full body shudder
Eric went pale and instantly started damage control which largely involved discrediting Hayley and Delena. "Honey, I swear, I've NEVER seen a snake there and we've been turning over rocks and digging and plundering about every inch of that river and I've NEVER seen even ONE snake even though we've been rooting all over the place I'm telling you not even one snake."
Pfft, yes, yes, I'll go and I'll make a total ass of myself, climbing Eric like a tree and screaming like a banshee, if I see even one of the little bastards.
Those who love me, I mean truly care about me, don't fuck with me on the snake thing. It ain't gonna change.
Other vital Katrina info: I cannot swim, cannot dance and cannot roller skate. It's unreal the number of people who have determined that they WILL teach me A, B or C. It was to no avail and they might as well have been trying to teach a pig to sing. There is some integral, vital *something* missing in me that prevents me from getting it. It's like when you say, "No, seriously, I don't like fruitcake" and the other person smiles knowingly and says, "Oh, but you'll like MY fruitcake." Then you think, "Well, shit, here we go again." Other people care far, far more about whether I can swim, dance or roller skate than I ever have.
For My Real Life To Begin'
Any minute now, my ship is coming in I'll keep checking the horizon I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing Come crashing down, down, down, on me And you say, be still my love Open up your heart Let the light shine in But don't you understand I already have a plan I'm waiting for my real life to begin When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened But in my dreams, I slew the dragon And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again And you say, just be here now Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin Let me throw one more dice I know that I can win I'm waiting for my real life to begin Any minute now, my ship is coming in Iíll keep checking the horizon And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call It's gonna happen soon, soon, soon It's just that times are lean And you say, be still my love Open up your heart, let the light shine in Don't you understand I already have a plan I'm waiting for my real life to begin
Colin Hay was the lead singer for the band Men At Work from the 1980's. I loved the song "Who Can It Be Now?" :) This song has particular meaning for me. I feel like I've been in a holding pattern for a long time while things happen around me for other people. It's not inappropriate. I mean, other people have a lifepath as well and things that need to unfold. Eric has always wanted to live in the mountains and own his own property. Eric has always wanted to be his own boss and own his own business. Those things needed to happen and when you join up your life with someone else, you get swept along in their karma and lessons and yes, their rewards just by proxy. I've lived a lot of life in my time and he needed some things to happen to catch up. None of the things we went through on his behalf ended to up our ultimate detriment, although some of it was really hard.
I just don't really have any goals or plans. I know a lot of it is age. When you're 27 (Eric's age), you're still in that place of "becoming" and when you're 42 (my age), you're in a place of "being." The thing is, I never really did get around to having a place of "becoming." Life was really, really hard through those years and by the way of a lot of different messages, I was conditioned to believe I didn't have any choices and shouldn't make any plans. Paul (the ex to whom I was married off and on for 18 years) came and went from our marriage and whatever I was doing at any given time was depending on whether he was coming home, getting ready to leave or gone. Between that and having children with their own needs, I became accustomed to wrapping my life around what the people to whom I was bonded were doing at any given time. I learned the future was not to be trusted and that others had the ability to derail my plans without notice. Ultimately, I stopped planning at all and became more reactionary than pro-active. I waited to see what was happing naturally and through the acts of others, then determined my course of action after the fact. I automatically fell into those same patterns when I married Eric. He is a force of nature. I've never met a more assertive and determined person in my life. It is truly inspiring to me and in some ways, convenient because it keeps me from needing to make my own plans or do my own thing. I can follow along, caught in the tailwind of his momentum. Typical conversations go like this:
Eric: "Where do you want to go out to eat?"
Me: "Oh, I dunno. I'm not really in the mood for Chinese food. Maybe some Mexican food or wholesome stuff like Marie Callendar's."
Eric: "Chinese is fast though. I'm really hungry."
Me: "Yep, but with Mexican, we get chips right away."
Eric: "True. But we get a full meal right away with Chinese."
Eric: "Do you really want Mexican a lot?"
Me: "Mexican, Marie's, any of it sounds good."
Eric: "But not Chinese."
Me: "You seem really invested in the idea of Chinese."
Eric: "That's because Chinese is goooood...and cheeeap...and fassst."
Me: "You're right, let's go get Chinese."
At some point, it becomes too much work to defend my wants and anything sound good. He's not doing it maliciously and when we've discussed this kind of thing, invariably he points out the obvious, "Then SAY what you want and stick to it!"
Often, I don't even know what I want. I've gotten lame at trying to define my wants because once I get them in place, it seems that something comes up to crunch them. It doesn't feel safe to want things or situations any more. I'm just not good at it. I'm not really wimpy, just apathetic. There's definitely a difference. If I was pining for something and being trounced on until I relented or doing some passive aggressive thing of "SURE, let's go get CHINESE because YOU want it!" then that would be one thing and THAT would be wimpy. It's just that there comes a point where it doesn't matter any more and I'm just glad to be getting out and doing something.
More than anything, I feel kind of numb and lost. I keep "waiting for my real life to begin" and to find the next big thing, the next big project, the next big passion. I've been consumed with raising kids and writing about soaps (and in the case of the nonsoapy, notsoaps) for so long that I seem to have lost the need to do anything else. The "power surges" I felt last night herald something new coming into play. I'm in place in my house in this natural wonderland and I couldn't be happier with my surroundings. Eric and I are getting along better than we ever have and it 's (again) looking like our finances might stabilize at last. In August, Nathan (my youngest) begins school half days and after Christmas break, will be going full days. That's endless time I'll have alone. I've had so many people say that I won't know what to do with myself; that I'll hate it. No I won't. I've been taking care of people for 32 years. I started taking care of my mom's family when I was 10 and she began her regular trips in and out of the hospital. I've been doing it ever since. Some days, fortunately only one or two a month now, I am just *done*. I don't want to do one more thing for one more person. I'm totally kidded out and nurtured out and don't have a damned thing left for anyone.
I know that I've had a tough time refilling my cup when that happens. My means to do so have greatly reduced since I've moved up here to the mountains. Previously, I could dart out to the thrift shop for some cheap retail therapy. I could go get a pedicure. I could have lunch with Georgia. Eric and I could go out to dinner. I could have a good group meeting with the coven. Now, almost none of those options are available to me and I'm finding that I am really struggling to replace them. That's left me feeling pretty empty. The area is so beautiful, but it doesn't fill me up. I've been fighting hard not to fill the emptiness with food and that has been a real battle. Some days, especially when I'm overtired, I am just a bundle of nerves and every sound, every light, every need of others just grates across those nerves like razor blades. I pray a good bit. I journal out a lot of it. I throw myself into the love of my family. I clean. I cry, which never fails to make me feel better. I lose myself in music. I cry a bit more (Why do people see crying as such a negative thing? I find it truly beautiful. Must be a menopause thing.). Pray some more.
I know that when this chapter of my life begins to close this fall, when the kids have lives outside of me and this house, that things will change. I will begin writing my books. I will learn more about Me as an individual separate and apart from the Mom and Wife identity. I will become more deeply immersed in the art of healing through herbs, Reiki and visualization. I will sleep. :) I will become... again, I guess. I'll see what happened while I was "busy making other plans" as John Lennon put it.
Meanwhile, I need to live in the now and try to collect myself and enjoy the time I have left with these guys before Fall comes and I have to turn them over to the machinations of "The Man" via public schools again. I have to pray I did enough, said enough, WAS enough to keep them on the straight and narrow away from me. Keep it between the lines, kids.
I'm not afraid. It's more like the anticipation of a big adventure and curiosity for what it will bring. Right now, my mind is on that corner booth in the Italian restaurant and the bedtime that follows.
Oh, if only.
Excellent! One of the good cleansing cries has arrived! Time to savor it!