motheralice

thoughts randlomly dropped


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Light the torches…

… go into the Earth.

 

“The releasing of anger can better any medicine under the sun…” – Pantera, Mouth for war 

 

I’ve given myself a couple of days to consider the recent turn of events.  I’ve (sort of, not really, kinda, but not quite) forgiven folk for their votes.  At least the ones who were fooled (willingly) by the spin.  That shit is dizzying at best and entirely destructive at worst, so… there’s that I guess.  I wish there was a letter T movement so I could see who deliberately voted for hate- the ones who look at me and wonder why I’m out of the kitchen and wearing shoes (!!), the ones who think my gay friends really do deserve to be stoned, the ones who would kill or deport my friends who are not white.  There should be special glasses that let you see to the heart of a person.  Alas, not yet. 

 

I’ve considered options for my response, and discussed them with Bear- he’s so level headed and an excellent sounding board, especially when I am in full freak out- and we’ve agreed that it would be best for me to stick with my area of ability (expertise feels too ‘experty’ and I’m not sure I’m that at all), so bearing that in mind I’ve begun doing review and research on my plant allies.  As a woman, a mother, and a human being I have always been drawn to work with herbs.  It’s time to broaden my scope and up my game.  I think I need more lists to further distill my ideas, but teaching friends and family how to find and use plants that can help them is at the top of the list- especially those folks who rely on mainstream medicine to keep their hormones balanced, prevent unwanted situations, and generally care for themselves should the need arise.  This hasn’t been a big focus of mine up til now, but I’m thinking it’s time to remedy that.  If you can grow and make your own medicine, then you can carry on a little better in hard times.  Maybe a study group would be useful?  More to consider and discuss with folk I trust. 

 

I am moving forward cautiously, feeling my way in a place that has suddenly become dangerous.  I have good friends, strong friends, loving and kind friends, and I am so grateful for that.  I’ve taken up my gratitude practice again and that has helped me see past the rubble of the tower a bit, into a ruined garden filled with dormant possibilities.  It’s time to suit up and move some stones, and re-create a safe space for my tribe.  I’m so proud to know that I will have the help of my men in this work.  

 

Can I just say how abso-fucking-lutely proud I am of my guys?  Throughout this whole cycle of shitstorm they’ve stood by their woman (me) and by Women and humanity.  They’ve been just as shocked and appalled by this whole thing as I have.  Not once have they looked at me and wondered why I’ve been so upset, so disturbed.  Rather, they’ve been my rock and allowed me to be theirs.  If nothing else has, this proves to me that I’ve done alright as a mother.  I couldn’t be more proud. 

 

I am seeing many folk talking of suicide, in the wake of this result.  This makes me so very sad- that folk are so frightened and downhearted that ending their lives seems a better way.  My thoughts are a little tricky in this arena, but here goes…. 

 

Your life is your own, for better or worse.  Situations that are out of your hands, health that feels impossible to sort out, feeling unloved/uncared for/ hated, despairing, the utter bleakness of depression.  This is a call only you can make, ultimately- but I urge you to talk it through with someone you love who loves you back before you make that choice.  A human being, sovereign in and of zemself, has every right to end their life if they choose, but I feel it is not a choice to be taken lightly or in the heat of a moment.  Make the choice with clear eyes and a clear head.  Remember that all things change and you are valuable because you *are*. 

 

Don’t quit the fight just because you’ve found yourself in a corner- use the leverage and move the world instead. 

 

 

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Awash in Unreality

Yesterday, like so many other Americans, I woke to news that shocked me to my core.  I sat at my kitchen table with the news of the election results and all I could do was stare and wait for my brain to absorb the information that nearly half of my countryfolk voted for a man who has admitted to sexual assault, denigrated women (and called for a repeal of the 19th Amendment), people of any colour, and the disabled, openly fostered hate, and encouraged another country to hack into our government’s computer system.  I spent the morning grieving for the country I thought I knew.  Weeping to know that many of my friends and loved ones feel actively endangered by this result and fear for their safety and wellbeing.  Weeping for the women who voted against themselves.  Angry at white America.  Angry at the media for indulging in what began as something I never thought would progress this far.  

Here we are.  

So, this is how our democracy works.  The people vote and whomever wins the electoral votes (not necessarily the popular vote, as evidenced by our results), wins.  Lacking a justified legal challenge, that’s the end of it.  Many of us are shocked and saddened and angry that a man who fosters such fear and hate was elected to the highest office of our land.  We are afraid of what’s to come.  We expect to have to fight- for our rights, for our planet, for our humanity.  

Many of us grieve the lost trust in our neighbour- even without knowing it- for these are the people who, disregarding his lack of ethics and offensive personal behaviour, still voted for him.  Women who in every case voted against their own personal best interest.  People are protesting already.  It’s understandable, but unhelpful at this point, I think.  Now is the time to regroup and unify.  Remember, the folks who voted for him don’t necessarily see him as dangerous- they see him as hope- for jobs and to correct a government they believe has gotten to big.  We seldom believe we are the bad guy, regardless of which side of the fence we sit on. 

We have to forgive our neighbours for voting their fear, their worst voices.  Forgive them for being tricked into listening without their hearts.  *I* have to do this, or I’m not sure how I can move forward without being bitter/fearful/hateful/walled up all the time.  That’s not helpful and it’s certainly no way to live.  I have to keep moving forward, we all do.  So we need to get clear.  We need to forgive and save the fight for when we know for certain where to land the punch. 

Nothing has happened yet.  They’re all still nodding and smiling (if sadly in some cases) and doing the first changeover steps.  We have a moment to breathe, to rest, and most importantly to plan.  We can be peaceful, quiet, and go on with our lives- but when the time comes, when the first gauntlet is tossed, we must take it seriously and stand for what we believe in.  For our rights, for our neighbours and loved ones, for our planet.  We cannot let him role back women’s rights, civil rights, environmental protections, and all the civil progress we have made. 

He’s told us what he intends to do in the first 100 days of his term.  We have a moment to plan our responses, consider all our options and grow stronger in our chosen arenas, and ready ourselves for what’s to come.  We have learned that he is not a threat to be taken lightly.  Many of us never expected him to be taken seriously when he first threw his hat in the ring, and look where we are now.  We can’t make the same mistake this time. 


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prime the pump

I’m trying to find my way.  Navigating out of the brambles and brain decay of social media to the place where I think and know what to do when I have a free moment (or I don’t but it doesn’t matter).  I am breaking free of the hold the online ‘book has on me and my brain and my time.  My connection with my family. 

 

But there’s so much there!  All the videos and memes and gifs and, and, and,… wait… political shit, and religious shit, and omg how did I NOT KNOW that person is a bigot!?  

 

Enough.  Enough tempests in teapots.  Enough drama for the sake of it.  Enough seeing every mental burp and fart from people on my list.  I have found that, in this scenario, familiarity really *has* bred contempt.  And it makes me sad.  It makes me look at people I once was close with and wonder what happened.  Were we always this different and I just missed it because I don’t live inside their head?  Because I *didn’t* see every mental burp and fart?  I think so, but that it was softened by the natural space we had between us before.  I’ve come to the conclusion that a little space is a good thing.  A little mystery is fine.  How did this online community thing get so out of hand?  It’s time for me to do something else with my time.  If I want to communicate with someone, there are better ways.  More concrete ways.  I feel like social media has become more and more like a mob, everyone shouting over each other and spewing their brand of rhetoric all over everything. 

 

I know, I know.  It has its good points too.  But they’ve become very minor in comparison for me. 

 

I have trouble making eye contact now.  Isn’t that crazy?  I’m so out of practice, that it feels weird to look my loved ones in the eye when I’m speaking to them.  Y’all, that is Not Okay.  What am I modelling for Monkey?  That technology should be allowed to train us to interact a certain way in person?  That it’s ok to spend an insane amount of time looking at the same shit over and over in case someone posted something new?  That memes with twee sayings should take the place of deep thought and meditation?  That it’s ok to ignore physical reality for the virtual? 

 

None of that is ok. 

 

So I have been working hard to reanimate myself.  It’s not physically difficult like lifting weights or moving house.  It is shockingly difficult mentally.  I have been a well trained social media monkey.  I’m getting there though.  That short attention span thing?  That has prevented me writing (like this) or reading anything longer than a blurb and finishing it for a while now.  Longer than I would like to admit to, so I won’t. 

 

But!  This week I read Dr Sleep (thank you Stephen King, for another ringer) in 2 days.  It was like finding a piece of myself I thought was lost for good.  Before social media (and massage school) *that* was how I read.  Fast, well, with intensity, and with great pleasure.  To have that back, even if only a bit at a time, means so much.  I have been working on moving past the weirdness feeling of eye contact and that, too, is improving for me.  It makes me so glad. 

 

I am working on it.  I am improving.  I am finding my way home to myself.  A couple weeks ago a Blind Faith song lodged itself in my head and forced me to find an audible version to listen to.  Once I did I wept for the first time in months and months.  It was as if the Music and my soul were looking at me and saying ‘It’s time to get up and get back on the road, girlie.  Where have you been?’ 

 

Sometimes we get detoured.  Shit happens.  All we can do is what we can do.  If you’re feeling lost take a smoke break*, listen for the Music, and get moving again. 

 

 

 

 

Unknowingly, someone else has played a part in the stirring of my words and I want to say thanks to Rue.  I read her post today and it was like a bell rang inside me.  It felt like the sediment and murk at the bottom of me where all my words had fallen in a heap to decay were given a sound shake, and some new tiny shoot came forth from that compost.  So thank you Rue.

 

 

*even if you don’t smoke- it’s that moment you get to go outside and look around at the moment and all you have to do is stand there for 10 minutes.  Smoke breaks are really all about changing perspective….


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Pensieve

     Well, it’s June, which means my month of vacation is over.  It’s time to return to regular daily stuff.  Monkey is getting back to homeschool work, and I will be returning to ‘work’ on massage stuffs.  This means a website, pamphlets, real grown-up business cards (no more of this small-time “student” nonsense), marketing.  I feel like I’m in limbo at the moment.  Until the board licenses me, I can’t get paid.  I’m tired of working out of my home and hauling my table all over creation, so I need business space.  I have no idea how best to go about finding the perfect (read: inexpensive) digs for my office.  Also, I might be having a small crisis of confidence.  Or slightly larger, but really, who’s measuring? 

 

One of my classmates had an office paid for and decorated before we graduated. He’s already done the whole LLC thing, pretty much has a full roster of clients, and he’s also still waiting on his license to come thru.  It’s really no wonder I feel inadequate.  Of course, I reckon I could have done all that if I operated the same way he did- but I feel like he’s a bit more together on this than I am (and maybe a bit more type A). 

 

I feel like this most recent internal struggle for me is about duality.  On the one hand, I want to be my own boss and in charge of my own everything.  On the other hand, responsibility- urgh.  This is probably why I am at impasse with everything else related to this.  I’ve tied m’self into 2 different directions and nothing can move forward until I decide which way *is* forward. So, I have to decide- am I going to be in charge?  Am I willing to take full responsibility for the entire circus?  If not, I’d better seek out a spa or someplace to be my packmule.  Of course that also means I will have fewer options as to things like scheduling and location, and my pay may be significantly lower.  I think owning the circus and working it looks like a better option.  So the next thing to deal with is the fear. 

 

What if I flop?  What if the business falls flat on my face?  What if I get out there and can’t perform? 

 

Well, I reckon I’d be out a chunk of change and I’d need to take another run at it from a different angle.  The performance….  I don’t really think that’ll be a problem.  Things I have questions on, I can always look to my references- human, book, and net.  The underlying fear of doing accidental harm- I’m fairly certain my tendency to err on the side of caution will be my ally there.  It may mean seeing slightly slower results at times, but often slower, more gentle work ‘takes’ better and lasts longer. 

 

With all that out of the way, I can consider digs.  Optimal things:

*within walking distance

*inexpensive (does not cause stress to make rent/utilities)

*includes a bathroom

*waiting area (including chairs/table/bookshelf)

*space for must-needs storage (linens/oils/etc)

*light (windows & decent overhead light)

 

I feel like I’ve missed a thing or 2, but that’s a start.  The walking distance one is a good starting point, gives me a definite area to look at.  Everything else will follow.  It’s time to take a deep breath, go for a walk, and get started. 

 


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It’s all just an experiment, isn’t it?

All my life is circular, I think.  I look at situations and think ‘I’ve been here before, almost’.  My massage instructor suggested that time is circular as well as linear- sort of a spiral stretched out on a line.  That makes absolute sense to me.  Like I have to check the lessons I’ve learned, then go back and check what else can be gleaned from the situation (or a similar one).  Maybe check back once or twice over the course of 10 or so years, in case I’ve missed anything.  I was looking at old pictures a bit today.  They’re from when my brother was 4 or 5 and I had just got a camera so I was taking pictures of everything (remember that?  The magick of point and shoot and capture that fuzzy moment forever?)  He was playing in our little pool on the concrete driveway, grinning.  In others he’s looking furious- these are group shots of all of us at Graceland, my graduation, other family group shots.  Always standing apart, or glowering, or both.  My little brother.

 

He’s in jail at this moment.  Clean and sober, not by choice but by circumstance.  He writes to me:  ‘Sissy, I can think so clearly now without the drugs in my body.’  ‘Sis, I can’t believe I got so bad.  I’m scared to get out.  How will I live?’

 

My brother is a heroin addict.  So is my sister.

 

I tell people this regularly.  Not to gain sympathy or notoriety or anything else, but because this needs discussion.  It needs to be heard and spoken and acknowledged.  People need to understand that even if you have all your shit together it doesn’t mean you can’t be affected by heroin.  Or cocaine (that was my birth mother).  Or prescription drugs (my aunt).  Or alcoholism (the list is too long).  The thing is, I’m the only sibling who learned anything from having an addict raise us.  I’m apparently the only one who got lucky enough to break the traditions.  And it was luck, make no mistake.  I was well on my way to pickling myself while I went tripping every weekend when one night I just…. didn’t want it.

 

Luck.  Or maybe the Universe tapping my soul?  Maybe it was my soul’s plan to be the sober support person this time around?  I’d like to offer you all the suggestion that being the clean, clear-sighted one is plenty frustrating.  I get to watch my family go down in flames, offering helpful suggestions the whole time.  I love my family, and I can’t fix them.

 

I’ve come to terms with all this (most days).  What I still struggle with is this:  the birth mother?  That we all share?  Saw it all coming down.  Allowed them to shoot up in her home.  And did nothing.  Nothing.  NOTHING.  I don’t even have words for how this makes me feel.  Fury.  Heartbreak.  Tired.  Disappointed.  Sad.  Is there a single word to convey all that and everything else I have trouble naming?  I haven’t spoken with her in something like 7 years, since she told me to get out of her life (I was ever the obedient one).  Funny though, we only live 3 blocks apart.  She could have sent a message by carrier pigeon or neighbour or in the everloving POST for chrissakes letting me know what was going on.  How does a mother just sit back and watch her youngest children destroy themselves and their lives?

 

Nevermind.  It’s a rhetorical question.  I know the answer (in this case).  It’s because she has her own demons.  Because she’s lost too.  And I can’t help her either.  So I stay away.  Protect my tiny family.  Try to model healthy behaviour for Monkey (who will be driving soon).  Try to teach him to be strong and safe and sensible before he heads out into the world on his own.  Try to offer good advice to my brother in our weekly letters.  I tell him I love him in each one.  I try to remind him that he is more than his addiction and mistakes.  That he can plan to do better and follow through.  That he can be a better father to his kids.  That he has to take care of himself.

 

All these things I’ve told myself in the past, at other moments.  All this ground that I’ve almost already covered.

 

Life is a spiral, stretching forward and back.  Allowing us to touch multiple moments in time with one hand.  Sometimes it’s just so damn hard.


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“Heard you comin’ up the gravel road…

…I could tell it was you by the weight of the load.*”

 

Wow, I reckon it’s been a bit since I wrote here last…. Everything’s all fancy and redone.  Alrighty then. 

 

Things have been… strenuous lately.  Not in the lifting heavy things and shifting them around the place way, but more in the sloggingthroughwhatever-that-is-ohitdoesn’tsmellverypleasantdoesit? kind of way.  Let’s be honest.  February sucked so hard it’s inside out.  Not just for me either- that would be comparatively easy.  It’s watching everyone else slog that poses more trouble for me.  For instance:

~A family member revealed that he’s a long time heroin user and wants to stop.  (As I type this, this song started playing- the universe DOES, in fact, have a crafty sense of humour.  Or something.)

~Several friends having money issues in such a way as to jeapordise current operations.

~Another friend’s husband shipped out for Afghanistan

~Another friend’s mother has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease– which is fucking awful.  “painless, non-contagious and cruel — the motor function of the central nervous system is destroyed but the mind remains fully aware to the end.”  To be filed under “I’d rather drink Hemlock- same effect, more glamour.”  Fuckall.)

~misc other similar issues happening to EVERYONE AT ONCE

And to ice the cake::

~Bear had to go to hospital for appendicitis (which we didn’t know he was having because the pain went away- which apparently means IT RUPTURED, but because his body is FUCKING AMAZING he did NOT get peritonitis because there was an abscess with all the toxins neatly collected within.)

 

Deep breath. 

 

So, yeah.  Fuck February.  Like, all the way. 

 

March is better so far, and I fully intend for things to continue in a better direction.  Dealing with my addicted family member- henceforth referred to as Flash- has been trying at times.  I have to keep reminding myself I can’t fix him.  I can’t solve his (multitude of self inflicted) problems.  This is his fire to walk through.  All I can do is remind him he can do it.  I gave him the old saying ‘I can eat an elephant if I take small bites’.  I remind him to take one thing at a time.  I remind him I love him, and that he can do this.  He has such a long, potholed road before him. 

 

Classes have been good.  They are a touchstone for me- my classmates have such a positive, kind, supportive attitude overall.  How lucky I am to be learning healing arts with such a marvellous group.  The material is getting more difficult, which means I have to take my study time more seriously.  Which is a good thing.  I’m still trying to figure out what my post licensing plan is.  I’m loving the healer-bodyworker concept, but I live in the land of conservative which makes marketing a rubic’s cube to figure out.  Good thing I have a marketing madman to ask about these things. 

I gave the first massage I’m not pleased with over the weekend, though.  A learning experience, and the client didn’t seem to know the difference, but I did and it’s definitely something for me to process and improve on.  I have a pretty good idea of where and what my problem was- just need to be sure I don’t allow it to happen again.  I wasn’t focused, and so I went through the motions but there was no energy flow of note.  Not that I have to be in charge of every little thing, but my goal is to facilitate movement and improved flow of energy.  I’m a conduit.  If I’m distracted, I’m disconnected and therefore Not a conduit, but rather, a cut wire.  That is not what I’m going for.  A lesson, and one I don’t plan to repeat. 

 

Bear’s tattoo enterprise is coming along.  Had him work on me for the first time last night.  He was nervous as hell, but still did well.  Just a small one, an easy one.  Something to ease him into working on me.  I have more planned and I look forward to him gaining the skills to complete my plans (mwahahahaha).  He’s recovering well from surgery, although he lost almost 20 pounds over the week he wasn’t feeling well- mostly muscle mass- which has caused him a bit of difficulty.  He literally has to get his strength back.  Having him in hospital was so very scary.  I coped really well when the shit was in the fan.  A couple weeks after is when I had my meltdown.  There’s nothing like seeing the person you love most in the universe lying helpless in a hospital bed to reality check you on what you would do if you had to do it alone.  Not something I ever want to experience again.  Told Bear he better stay healthy from here on out, and that I would do the same. 

 

Sometimes it’s a wonder to me that we are here at all, let alone that we find others to love and be happy with.  How lucky we are to have such magick in our lives.  The joy and fear and sorrow and everything of love and being connected to those we love.  Astounding, really, that some can get by for so long without it.  It’s worth it to remember that everyone is fighting valiantly some battle or other, and be kinder for that remembrance.  Even on days when the weight of air on your skin tries your patience.  

Be good to you.  Be good to one another. 

Cheers. 

 

 

*Dust and Bones by Cary Ann Hearst


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Resetting

A little perspective check.

 

I’ve been bitching almost nonstop about my leg the last few weeks.  Even for me it’s getting old, so you know it’s definitely old for Bear and Monkey and everyone else I’ve spoken to recently.  But.  Perspective. 

A week ago tonight a friend’s son lost his fight with brain cancer. 

 

Here I sit, healthy, with my glass of wine, writing this blog, having eaten a spectacular dinner of szechuan green beans.  Yeah, my leg hurts.  Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass.  Bonus?  My family are all healthy and here with me.  My son is not ill, not so much as a sniffle.  I am not in agony knowing his days will be fewer than mine. 

They got carry out from the Chinese tonight, and I told them it was on me.  What else could I do?  I can’t fix their pain or soften the sharp edges of the hole in their hearts and lives, so, like so many others, I gave them food and hugs and told them I’m here if they need me.  I gave them all that I could in that moment.  And it didn’t matter a bit that I had to hobble to bring them the bag.  What might they and their son have given for him to just have a pulled calf? 

 

My life is not that difficult and it’s time for me to remember that.  I don’t have to walk miles for clean water.  I have hot and cold indoor plumbing AND electricity.  I have access to just about anything I want materialistically (assuming I have the cash for it at that moment).  I have my health, even if it includes a sore leg.  My leg is healing.  Most of all, I have Bear and Monkey and Pup.  I have friends and family I love and who love me.  It’s time for me to count my blessings and know that it could all go away any time. 

 

Music to suit my thoughts