It’s about life…

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Our daily adventure on Wednesday was something entirely new – we were rear-ended twice on 6th Street, by which I mean twice in quick succession, as in BAM!…BAM!! I screamed (ever wonder how you’ll react in a sudden crisis?) because it felt and sounded like we were being run over by a tall heavy truck, which we were not, but if we were I should have been saying “Kim, I love you. Forever. For always. No matter what.” No, I’m not the quick-thinker of the family. Kim – who is – calmly, with a hand over his bleeding right ear, steered us to a safer area, followed by the offending “truck,” a shiny late-model black Lexus, out of which hopped an adorbs young woman saying basically “Omigod, omigod, omigod!!”

She could not believe she hit us, but what she couldn’t believe MORE is that there was no visible damage to either car. Her words were, I believe, “Omigod, and I hit you HARD!! TWICE!!” The sweet virgin backside of our sparkly new red Mazda 6 GT was unmolested except for one teeny-tiny nick in the precise center of the lower bumper which we all vowed never to speak of again. The Lexus may or may not have experienced a miniscule brush with road rash of some sort, which wiped away with a touch. What I’m sayin’ is that they’re both leases and all is well. We’re confident my “whiplash,” and Kim’s eardrum will experience happy endings, too.

Meanwhile, we got to meet Terri, yet another lovely Lawrencian, whose intriguing business card bears this quote from Virginia Woolf: “One cannot live well, love well, or sleep well, unless one has dined well.” Amen, Ms. Woolf, and that’s why most of our daily adventures somehow end up revolving around food…

Final comment before parting ways? Terri told me my hair was cute, which strikes me as so quintessentially #lfk. What was the Love Level at YOUR last fender-bender?

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Cold skies, warm hearts…

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when it’s cold and gray

the fireplaces of the heart

keep us warm and safe

JSmith 11/27/2016

 

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A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou…

Thanksgiving equalled good…

Prosecco splashed with POM

Brut splashed with POM

Rita’s/Joy’s Cheesy Potato soup with crispy bacon bits

A crusty loaf of whole-grain bread from Wheatfields

Red grapes

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RITA: Grains and tubers will set you free.

KIM: Every 8 hours.

We YouTubed for dessert:

The Judy Chops, Hazzard to Ya’ Booty, The Union, Jeff Lynne – If I Loved You, and Kim and Rita singing ALL the lyrics to Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s Our House because they’re cool like that and know all the same music.

Then we snuggled in with the fireplace and the National Dog Show – and what could be more quaintly Zen? As the afternoon deepened, the man person Made Football Great Again and the women persons set up camp on the vaguely-temperate balcony and lazily contemplated tradition, the seeming universal angst over life, and how it’s all about change. There was wine, and the man person joined us during half-times and other breaks in the action.

All three of us are pissed at the people who did this…

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…so the holiday we celebrate is not that, because nobody would actually celebrate that. For us it’s about being grateful in every direction for the good, in spite of the bad, every day. If the powers-that-be want to give everyone a day off to be properly thankful, all the sweeter. {For the record, we do not personally know anyone who celebrates the unfortunate bit of history articulated above.}

There is always much good to celebrate, because later there was ice cream – English Toffee Caramel – and our 2nd-Annual-Sometime-Between-T-day-and-New-Year’s viewing of The Producers, with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, which makes us cry laughtears every time through. If The Producers turns out to have a shelf-life (blasphemy!) we’ll start on Blazing Saddles.

The Morning After brought The Saturday Breakfast on Friday, a spa soak, lush coffee, and NO SHOPPING. Amen.

I hope your day yesterday held all the things that mean most to you, and that our thankfulness will help carry all of us into the new year and the unknown. Again.

 

 

 

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From hope to hope…

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chilly damp and gray

life alters and love is all

we cling to the true

JSmith 11/22/2016

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All about the fat lady and a song…

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heart upheavals come 

and go and we are still here

we are made to live

JSmith 11/21/2016

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The only safety…

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when someone loves you

your name feels safe in their mouth

your heart is their gem

JSmith 11/19/2016

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Safety that counts…

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being seen and heard

gifts to those we meet in life

gifts of wings and joy

JSmith 11/19/2016

 

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Be not afraid…

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First you cry, that’s what they say…unless you’re stunned into silent disbelief, in which case you walk around still living and breathing in a world that turned strange in an all too familiar direction overnight while you were sleeping…and you keep doing this – living while dead…and then ten days in, you’re spending possibly the last warm evening of the season outside with your husband…and he starts telling you things he’s never told you before about how life changing it was for him to love and care for your former mother-in-law for the last six years of her life, and how important it became to him that she not be afraid…and like that, you find yourself back with your dad in the nursing home while he slides deeper into dementia and can’t find the handholds, and he knows what’s happening, sometimes, and he’s afraid…and you’re there to reassure him and encourage him back to peace…and when he’s dying, and he knows it, and he’s afraid…you’re there to warm his chest with your hands and remind him about love and forgiveness, and to let him go…and to stay right there until the fear of the unknown leaves his eyes and his agonized lungs call it a life and end the struggle.

That might be when you finally cry, because maybe the enormity of what has transpired has funneled down to this one fact: you can’t BE THERE for everyone you love when it’s their turn in the barrel and shit gets real, and they are justifiably afraid. But you’re going to wish you could be…so much.

Now that you’ve kicked DENIAL’s ass, you can slope right on down the road into ANGER, wherein you make it clear to one and all that their opinion is not your reality. In addition, it’s where you figure out who really loves you, because they so have their work cut out for them, by which we mean how long can you watch somebody implode, and still maintain radio silence?

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ~Gloria Steinem

There’s no point in BARGAINING, what’s done is done, and you hope to skip the DEPRESSION stage because you have to wonder if you’d come back.

So what about ACCEPTANCE, then, the accepted final stage of grief and loss? Not happening. You can accept that it happened, but not that it’s normal, and you know that means you’ll be at odds with about half your family and acquaintances for the duration, whatever it turns out to be. Your friends will be right where they’ve always been – in your corner and ready to defend you from pain and harm – but some of the relationships in your life will be and already are fraught with tension and division.

Borrowing generously from Amanda Diebert’s moving blog piece called “Dear Trump Supporter who says they love me”

“A man actively promised to dismantle and harm my family. To destabilize the security of my child. To harm relatives and friends and you still voted for him.

“Those other reasons matter more to you than my life and my family. It was on the line and you chose. That is the reality.

“And I know, I know that makes you really angry that I actually said it. That I won’t let you off the hook. We have a long history and you’ve made it clear I’m supposed to apologize for making you feel guilty with all my social media posts about my sadness and my anger. I should get over it already. Your guy won and you are such a nice person and how dare I… 

“First of all, you love me? Stop telling me how to grieve.

“Yeah, I know that’s not WHY you voted for him {his racism, misogyny, homophobia, et.al.}, but again, it didn’t stop you. Actively applauding someone who is doing wrong does make you culpable.

“I’m tired. ……. I do not have to apologize for you hurting me.

“You hurt me and now you are telling me I am not allowed to be sad or scared or angry.

“At the very least you allowed me to be hurt by someone else while you condoned that abuse with a ‘yes’ vote. You gave it your stamp of approval and now you are telling me my pain doesn’t exist.

“That is not love.

“I keep being told (by the people who harmed me) that I need to be a model example of ‘we go high.’

“…this is a long road. It’ll take a while, but you said you love me and you didn’t mean to hurt me.

“So let me heal while you do the work to show that you recognize the pain you caused and are working to minimize its impact.

“If you don’t want to do that work: okay.

“By ‘okay’ I do not mean I forgive you or that we are cool. I mean, you have made a decision and I will react to it accordingly. Notice I didn’t say respect it. A blatant disregard for the well being of others is not worthy of respect. But I will acknowledge this is a choice you made and I will walk away.

“Also, yeah, I do judge you for this. I’m being super honest about that, just in case you thought I might try to gaslight you too.”

You can read Amanda’s blog piece here: You Say You Love Me

I relate to everything she wrote – she’s a woman and she describes the pain of people who are my world. Nothing in the days, weeks, and months ahead will be easy, and much of it won’t be pretty. But I vow never to accept those things as “the new normal.” That kind of acceptance is a bridge too far.

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Sacred Sound of the Universe

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Constant Reader will remember my brutal fall on the ice in January and the mystifying soundtrack that has inhabited my skull ever since. After nine months’ time, during which the music has morphed from one personality to another, and countless days when I’ve found myself astonished that Kim can’t hear it because it’s so overwhelming and all-enveloping, I’ve finally stumbled across an answer that resonates with me.

It’s a passage from THE NIX, by Nathan Hill, in a scene from the tumultuous 1960 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Allen Ginsberg has seated himself cross-legged in the grass, palms raised to the universe, listening, as the hordes of protesting flower children stream past him toward an unseen ambush.

“He wants to soothe them. ‘The way forward is like water.’ But he knows it isn’t good enough, isn’t radical enough to calm the wild appetite of the young. And so Ginsberg strokes his beard, closes his eyes, settles into his body, and answers in the only way he can, with a deep bellow from the bottom of his belly, the great Syllable, the sacred sound of the universe, the perfection of wisdom, the only noise worth making at a time like this: Ommmmm.

“He feels the hot holy breath in his mouth, the lifted-up music breath released from his lungs and his gullet, from his guts and heart, his stomach, his red blood cells and kidneys, from his gallbladder and glands and the long spindly legs he sits on, the Syllable issues from all these things. If you listen quietly and carefully, if you are calm and you slow down your heart, you can hear the Syllable in everything – the walls, the street, the cars, the soul, the sun – and soon you are no long chanting. Soon the sound settles into your skin and you are simply hearing the body make the sound it has always made: Ommmmm.”

The music inside my head is simply the sound my body has always made, and when I’m intentional about calming every cell and listening it sounds like Ommmmm, the sacred sound of the universe. It’s a G-major and I would deeply miss it now if it ever went away…

 

 

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Suspense, you’re killing me…

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the hours pass snail-like

finish line is close at hand

we will all survive

JSmith 11/05/2016

 

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Just write…

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just enough sunshine

which is all the wide blue sky

to chat with my muse

JSmith 11/01/2016

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Fickle Fall

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fall is full of whim

having its way with the world

running hot and cold

JSmith 10/26/2016

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Nasty women get shit done…

 

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we need a haiku

making this a better world

for nasty women

JSmith 10/20/2016

 

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Head toward the light…

Colorful autumn

 

sunshine everywhere

how i want the world to be

no shadows the end

JSmith 10/18/2016

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Paean to a Shower

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so privileged, yo

joy of squeaky-clean chassis

water fresh and warm

JSmith 10/7/2016

 

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