Isn't she lovely?
This print, called "Angel Unaware" hangs in my living room.
It's one of the very few classy things I ever bought for myself.
I got it from a Home Interiors party. I went as a favor to
my neighbor to give her warm bodies to count for points.
This was in, what, something like 1982 or so. I didn't
expect anything to move me since I don't really go for the froo
froo stuff and the catalogue had been nearly all froo froo.
I watched with basic disinterest while people cooed and cawed
over every sconce and circumstance the woman unveiled, using a
flourish previously reserved only for divine second comings and
from the dead raisings. Then she whipped this print out in
a beautiful burgundy frame and nice mat and I knew I had to have
it. I wrote a check on the spot, eating far into the
grocery money (it was $32, a ridiculous amount to spend on
something so frivolous). I knew Paul was going to
kill me for it (this was long before I was a Diva... I was more
of a cringing puppy then), but I didn't care. I'd have my
picture. Actually, he was quite pleased with it, which
surprised me greatly. That was the biggest problem with my
relationship with Paul. We were constantly either over or
underestimating one another and I don't think there was ever a
time that we really saw one another, even to this day.
This time, it worked in my favor and I still have this beautiful
picture. Mine does not twinkle. ;)
Saturday night was our
annual graveyard crawl where we go visit the dead and find
purpose in our own lives and such. We've done this for
five years now and this was the first time we re-visited one
from before. There are still plenty of new ones to check
out, but for whatever reason, we were drawn back to this one.
Last year was
such an incredible experience and we knew in advance it would be
a hard act to top. Click on that last sentence to read
about it. It was a definite Moment with a capital M.
This year the event was
very quiet. The graveyard itself is very isolated, but
ironically, is in the middle of a business park that was built
around it. It's abandoned and quite dilapidated. I
managed to find a listing of the people who are buried there,
printed them out and divided them into plots. I rolled the
papers into little scrolls and everyone drew a plot to visit.
Each person did 2-3 plots, just reading the stones, thinking of
their lives and communing.
I was visiting with an
older couple, he was from Norway and she was from Denmark, and
while they were chatting away in my head, my mind drifted and I
found myself looking toward the cement foundation of one of the
larger plots with overturned monuments and weeds growing up
through the cracks. I remembered that the last time we'd
been here in 1999 (when there was ironically a new grave when no
one had been buried there previously since the early 70's).
Joe had been with us before moving to Canada and he and a girl
named Vida had gone over to that area to smoke. While I
sat on the little brick wall (about 6" tall, so my knees were
around my ears, a position I seldom assume unless there's a
money making opportunity involved), I was stricken with a huge
wave of missing him. He's such an incredible person, so
creative and fun and smart and we're so often on the same wave
length that we can talk endlessly. He's going to be
visiting in less than two weeks and I'm very eager for that, but
in that moment, I missed him so much it hurt. I closed my
eyes and told Goddess how very much I missed him and it sparked
on how lonely I've been lately.
I opened my eyes and
let my head drop and right between my two feet was a Djarum
clove cigarette, which is the brand that Joe (my son, 25) smoked
back then. (Believe me, I'm furious that ANY of my
children smoke after all my preaching and bitching, much less
TWO of them - >:< ) It was unsmoked, perfect and broken in
half. I felt a tear slip out and bent over and picked up
the pieces. I grabbed the lighter I'd used to light the
candles for circle and I lit the business end of the cigarette
and let the clove smoke was over me. The scent reminded me
so much of Joe. I walked around with it a bit, burning the
clove cigarette like a stick of incense. I put it out
after a bit, because I wanted to keep it as a treasure.
There were no other ones around. I looked.
I spent time at a
couple of other plots, but I didn't really get much. One
was pissed that their son Lawrence had planted them in this
cemetery rather than in a plot at their church cemetery.
Lawrence was there too and he was arguing that he'd bought this
nice family plot where they could all be together and that none
of the sisters and brothers had wanted to be buried in the
church cemetery and yadda yadda yadda. Another plot I
tapped into started yelling "WHERE'S FRANK??" at me. I
didn't have a clue who Frank was, much less where he'd gotten
himself off to, so I Ieft them alone pretty quickly. There
was another one where I couldn't get anything except long dead
people who just didn't, well, have any life in them. I
collected a couple of nice rocks and got a bit frustrated
carrying all of the papers (with the plot names on them) and the
cigarette pieces and the rocks and absently wished I had
pockets, then I glanced down and saw a perfect little lunch
sized brown bag, as new as if it had just slipped out of its
package. I said thanks and shoved in the stuff.
Afterwards, at dusk, we
all gathered under the branches of a giant old tree whose
branches almost touched the ground around us in about a 20 foot
circle and shared the stories we'd gotten. Other people
got some really cool stuff, but my experience was rather benign.
After we talked about our experiences, we shared a few spooky
stories, which moved me to rekindle
the spooky story section that we offer every year. It
was fun to revamp it and go back through those stories again.
I know there are a couple of others rattling around in my head
that I have to get written down if I get the chance.
I had another
interesting experience over the weekend to which thusfar, only
one person has given an appropriate response. There
is a gentleman down the road named Arnie who is 72. I've
known Arnie for a year now and met him when I would walk past
his house while taking the kids to and from school. He and
Nathan hit it off and so a lot of days, we'd stop and talk with
Arnie for a while. His is "the squirrel house" because he
has a huge squirrel feeder and a few families of squirrels that
live in his numerous trees. He's very politically active
and is a major person in the democratic party in this area.
I knew he was a Buddhist who attended the Unitarian Church here
in town. So we'd had some good conversations and knew a
good bit about one another. I live on a corner and Arnie
came down to hang a yard sale sign on Friday for his sale on
Saturday. I had just gone outside (in my housecoat)
because Nathan (ye gods!) heard a fire truck and went flying out
the door to see it. We watched the truck go by and then
talked to Arnie a bit.
He mentioned going to
Pagan Pride Day, which is always great people watching.
Out of this, we learned that we have a wonderful mutual friend,
which is always nice to know. Out of that, he asked about
a group she works with and I mentioned to him that they remind
me of The Merry Pranksters (Ken Kesey - One Flew Over The
Cuckoo's Nest author, Electric Koolaid Acid Test
subject matter). His eyes lit up and he said, "I was on
the bus!!" HE was a Merry Prankster!! HE has
pictures!!! As it turned out, he graduated from Harvard
and went to Haight-Ashbury and ran the free clinic there!
He knows EVERYBODY who was in that scene. *sigh* I
told Joe and he wanted to know if Arnie knew Hunter S. Thompson
(he did). I told Eric and he was more shocked that Arnie
knew our friend, Beverly. I told the people in our group
and they blinked at me. I called Karen and she hooped and
jumped around on the couch like a sane person should at hearing
such things. That's why I love her.
Eric STILL is out of
work and of course, any funds I managed to preserve with a
lockdown on money as soon as I found out he was laid off are now
dwindling to gone. I was really hoping that his business
would have taken off by now or that he would have been called
back to his old job. I'm trying to avoid the negative
"well, here we go again!" attitude. It's tough and I'm
trying to view this through the filter of the harvest and to
believe that this is ultimately for the greatest good. The
faith and grace are starting to feel as shy as the money and I'm
trying to keep all three above the deficit mark. It feels
like I'm fighting a losing battle on all fronts.
many things are happening right now to challenge my security on
a whole lot of different fronts. It's hard not to feel
like this guy, the seven of wands. Sticks are coming at me
on all sides and all I have is one little stick of my own to
fight off all these other ones that just keep coming and coming.
Since they have their work divided and I'm having to fight them
all alone, my arms and my will are both getting pretty tired.
I also feel like I'm him in that I'm defending this tiny little
mound of sanity that I have left while everyone else is going
I can NOT believe I
just watched my blind, 17-year-old, bitchy, whiney dog just pop
her bony little legs apart and take a firehose piss right on the
carpet of my office. I mean, she pees in here all the time
because I have to keep her sequestered in my office (she gets
lost in the house and runs into walls and pees everywhere if
she's not), but I always figured it was because no one was there
to goose her out into the garage when she whimpered. But
Nooooo. She just doesn't much give a shit where her piss
lands. I can assure you she also does not give a piss
where her shit lands. poke poke poke
Gotta get some
entertainment flowing here or Katrina's gonna crack. I
need... inspiration and liberation and regeneration and a stiff
libation and some pink carnations and a celebration and above
all, a good vacation.