Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Shallow and Deep

Herself speaks.

I confess that I am somewhat bothered by the general lack of depth of posts for the past month or so; with the preparations to ship both Offspring the Second and Offspring the Third off to college, and pressing tasks at work, and general states of clutter and distractedness, it has been somewhat difficult to find the time and energy to sit quietly and focus thoughts sufficiently to write longer and more meaningful posts. Alas. Perhaps, as we settle into the new routine that is the fall, matters will improve.

I confess, too, that there has been an issue dwelling in the depths, one of sufficient importance that light should be shed upon it. For to bring it to the surface will, I hope, ease its impact, and allow me to focus outward instead of inward.

The issue is difficult to put into words, because if precisely the correct words are not chosen, I run the risk of inadvertently accusing other people of a failure which is not, in fact, a fault of theirs in particular, but instead is a flaw that lies within me alone. Let me try these plain words:

I feel insufficiently nurtured.

How can this be? There are several people close to me who love me, and who would like nothing more than to see me happy and successful. And these people would, I think, not hesitate to help me if I told them that I were in dire distress and in need of assistance. This I know. And I do not point a finger at these important people and accuse them of being insufficiently nurturing -- not at all. They all do the very best they can for those they love and for themselves. Of this I am absolutely certain. They are good people.

Despite having these good people in my life, deep in my core there still slumbers a longing that may in fact encompass a Black Hole or a Bottomless Void. It is a primal need for nurturing, and this need is a tiny, fearsome beast, one that I fear may never be content.

The beast both craves and fears attention. It wants to be left alone: I will do it all myself! -- and it longs for companionship and assistance: help me.  It does not want to be a burden, or something to be scoffed at or scolded, and so it struggles along alone as best it can, not ever asking directly for any assistance.

I know it is there, and I am shamed by its presence.

Sometimes, it slumbers, and both it and I are at peace. Other times, it howls, and I must try to soothe it. I do the best I can to take care of it, but because it is a Black Hole/Bottomless Void, I cannot ever do enough. I endeavor to keep it content, and to rock it to sleep again. I resent it, and I pity it.

I wonder, sometimes, if my enjoyment of (and drive for) nurturing other people, is borne in part from the presence of this tiny beast in my heart.

Indeed.

Perhaps this acknowledgement of the existence of the creature will placate it. I hope so. I will continue to care for it, for it is my tiny beast. It needs love, as we all do. And perhaps, given more time, it and I will learn to dwell together in harmony in our solitude.

With hope.

Illustration: Ged and the Otak, from
A Wizard of Earthsea (Ursula K. LeGuin)
Found here
http://www.murrayewing.co.uk/mewsings/2016/02/27/a-wizard-of-earthsea-by-ursula-le-guin/

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Divinyls

Herself speaks.

I might be a thoroughly middle-aged woman, but that doesn't mean I can't rock out to somewhat naughty classics.

Today's satisfactorily questionable song: Divinyls, I Touch Myself.

Enjoy.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Flashback: Scout

My father's boy scout knife, from about 70 years ago. Neat. 


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Flooded

Hurricane Harvey has deeply wounded our home state. We watch the news, see the pictures, read the articles, and still cannot comprehend the enormity of the tragedy. 

"Do not attempt to escape floodwaters by going into your attic unless you have an axe to break through the roof."

"Alligators and fire ants in the floodwaters." 

Photos of highway signs hovering barely a foot over the water, with the highway itself many feet underwater. Elderly people being rescued from their homes by newscasters. Big rig drivers pulled from their flooding cabs. Strings of tweets pleading for help because 911 is overloaded and cannot be reached. Horrific.

And yet, we cannot fully despair -- for there are heroes among us, and in such dark times, we can still see the good of humanity.  

Bless them. Amen.

Photograph credit: David J. Phillip/AP
Found here: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/gallery/2017/aug/27/flooding-houston-hurricane-harvey-in-pictures

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Bar Room

During the summer, Offspring the Second's school belongings lived in the area that is normally the wet bar in the family room. (It is an area of the house that is virtually never used; we did not miss the space once it was occupied by Things.) He has returned to Parts West now, and so, the bar is once more free.

All this empty space is rather lonely, emphasizing, as it does, the absence of Offspring the Second.

Good luck this year, our thoughtful, witty, intelligent young man. We miss you already, and will think of you often.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hey Look

"There is a HAMSTER in there."


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fortune

Clearly, someone else's fortune accidentally ended up in my cookie. 


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Empty the Fridge

With Offspring the Third away, and Offspring the Second leaving shortly, it was time to defrost the elderly garage fridge. 

Cleaning Things. This is apparently my coping mechanism for the departing of Offspring to college. 


Monday, August 21, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Twice the Humming

Offspring the Third misses the hummingbirds. I assured him that I would take good care of them in his absence.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Crumpled

Crumple-eared, three-toothed, elderly dog is not quite sure where Offspring the Third is, and I do not quite know how to explain to him that it will be a rather a while before Offspring the Third is ensconced in his usual place on the family room couch once more. 


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Snacks

Herself speaks.

One of today's errands was to procure a small box of Offspring the Third's favorite snack foods. Tomorrow, he leaves for college. (How can this be? Wasn't he just a little boy yesterday?

There is always something oddly tender, to me, about selecting food for someone else. Perhaps it is because I have a complex relationship with food. And as the adage goes, Food is Love

If only I could actually pack a box of love for him, for when he needs it most. 

Onward, Offspring the Third. The whole world awaits for your. Know you are loved, always. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Flashback: Favorite Cartoon

Pearls Before Swine is excellent, especially in this particular strip, which shall always be my favorite.




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fly

Today's earworm: Fly (Maddie & Tae).

We hope you enjoy.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Lovely

Arrangement from my in-laws. Lovely flowers, lovely people.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Good Bones

We read the news through our fingers these days: nuclear arms, terrorists, supremacists, climate change, pollution, despair, discord, disaster.... We are more cognizant than ever of the tenuous nature of cooperation among peoples, of peace and goodness. Help us, Universe, to save the world, for the children. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Day We Need

Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. 

-- Maya Angelou, as quoted in Sloth Wisdom (Levy and Berman)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rules For 50

Herself speaks.

I've heard it said that "age is just a number." On the one hand, that is true. On the other hand, though, it is not: for to have reached the half-century mark is somehow an accomplishment -- or at the very least, an indication of having gathered a relatively significant amount of life experience. I was initially dreading 50, but now that it is here, I am... well, not delighted, necessarily, but OK, all things considered. So, brava, me.

I've established a few Rules For 50 for myself.  I think they will serve me well.

Rule 1: I will no longer explain to other people, the words I would like to hear in a particular situation.

Why Rule 1? I have spent a lifetime trying, trying, trying: if I just behaved properly, if I just did the right things, if I just explained myself sufficiently, surely the people around me would understand and spontaneously (of their own determination and volition) utter the words of consolation and understanding that I longed to hear. 50 years in, I've learned that it doesn't work that way. People have their own thoughts and their own internal lives, and may not understand, or have the ability to respond, in the way I would understand or respond myself. And no amount of effort on my part is sufficient to somehow cause people to say -- or do -- what I would like. So, no more.

What shall I do instead? I'll continue to turn to my Safe People when I am in distress; however, I'll do my best to bear in mind that I might not get what I would like, or what I need. And I will talk to myself -- because who is likely to know what will bring me comfort? I am. (You can read more about Self-Talk here.)

Rule 2: I will make a conscious decision to ask for help when I am feeling overwhelmed. I will do so with the understanding that help may not be given. And I will remember that if I do not ask, I cannot be angry or sad that no one is helping.  (This ties in with Rule 1 -- I cannot expect other people to determine what I want or need.)

Rule 3:  I will no longer be concerned with whether other people find me physically attractive.

This does not mean that I will "let myself go;" rather, it is a conscious decision to stop looking for external validation about my physical appearance. Should I receive a compliment, I will be grateful; but I shall not expect or hope for compliments. Should someone flirt with me, I will be pleased (assuming, of course, that I recognize behavior as flirtation -- for I am sadly rather oblivious to what constitutes flirtation). Nevertheless, I shall not expect nor hope for such occurrences. I will take care of my appearance and dress in a way that makes me feel comfortable and (hopefully) good about myself. That will have to be enough.

Rule 4: I will take care of myself.

This means, I will make myself nutritious meals on a regular basis; I will exercise diligently; I will take my vitamins, and get rest, and generally look after myself.  I have spent 50 years putting others' needs ahead of mine, and that should change. I do not intend to put myself ahead of everyone else -- that is wrong, unnecessary, and likely impossible -- but I do intend to at least care for myself in the way that I try to care for other people.

Those are the rules. Only four of them. They seem simple. Their implementation will take time and effort, and I am sure that I will backslide into negative habits periodically. But I will keep trying.

I shall let you know how it goes.

Thank you, gentle reader, for walking this Path with me.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Flashback: Upside-down

It was always amusing when Giant Oafish Dog slept with her feet sticking up. 




Sunday, August 6, 2017

Flashback: Sloth Hole

The sloth hole, AKA Aden Crater (site of an ancient ground sloth -- see, e.g., this link for more), circa 2010. If you look really, really, really closely, you can see Cherished Friend hiking on the distant side of the crater.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Flashback: Waiting for Mom

'Twas always nice to come home to an awaiting Ottoman-shaped dog.


Snap

Alas, the prescription sunglasses spontaneously snapped. This shall make long distance driving frustrating. Alas.