Friday, February 10, 2017

STEVE BANNON AND THE DANDELIONS

These tomatoes made think of eggs in a bird's nest.

It really is getting me down. I suppose I should be ?grateful? that I only had anxiety dreams about dandelions and Steve Bannon last night. No Donald Dick or poor Kellyanne Conway haunting me.






Yesterday did not start out well. Several things might be causing my emotionality ... lability ... no ... it's more vulnerability. I didn't get hit with severe menopausal symptoms, but you never know. Allergies? A serious yoga practice after many years? Learning of the DeVos confirmation crushed me. 


It was a swim day, but I didn't think I could stand being stuck in my own head in the water. I dropped off Janet at the Senior Center and had a plan to make inroads on the chaos of the house, post-party. As soon as I got back to the house, I instead set myself to gardening. From 11:30 until 4, I stopped only for water and a handful of pretzels. I redeemed my front yard patch, staked the tomatoes that had braved the winter. My hands were cut and bleeding from pulling up grass roots. But I had thyme, sage, nasturtiums, and sunflowers in place of the grass.



It is true that I left most of the clean-up to the regular gardener, but he doesn't do much besides mow the lawn and kill things. Good-bye, calla lilies! I hardly knew ye! 


From there, I continued to the backyard which is a scary jungle of dandelions worthy of county fair competition. Much to my surprise, I found California poppies, several tomato plants, a lot of parsley, some sage, thyme, struggling rosemary and my rau-rau plant gamely competing for space. I was happy to see some dirt!

When I re-entered the house, my despair was in the background. I looked forward to an epsom salt bath and then dinner with KMH. That's when I saw that Sessions had been approved.

Today was worse, upon reading that Georgia Representative Jack Kingston thinks that children receiving free school lunches should be forced to clean the cafeteria and perform other janitorial services so that they learn there is "no free lunch." Because children should be good capitalists from day one.

I cried.

So, my hands hurt from gardening. Even typing hurts, so I will stop. 

I got nothing, no poems, no words of encouragement, even to myself. Save for a pile of poetry volumes and a Siamese cat on the bed.





Wednesday, February 8, 2017

MY SMALL ADVENTURES




Sometimes, I find, one’s ideas of how something can and should be accomplished are not how said things are actually achieved. In the middle there, there is process. I used to be good at process, at figuring out the steps for how things are done. I did it for a living. On the one hand, she is now dismayed that she has so lost this skill. On the other hand, there is the possibility that skill can be remembered and re-applied to life.

Many years ago, when I started this blog, I had just done a great yoga retreat at the now defunct Lulu Bandha’s Crib in Ojai. I was so fired up about the process that I thought maybe I would use those principles and precepts to write. And, for a time, it worked. I did more writing than yoga, but I wanted to write.

Years have gone by and the writing has quite dwindled from nearly every day to very occasionally.  Part of the diminishment of writing has been the diminishment of my life, which I rather don’t have any more, having been relegated to indigence, poverty, terminal unemployment, and the vast kindness of strangers (well, really friends and family).

All I am really getting at here is that seeing my mother’s dexterity at 90, and feeling the pangs and stiffness of older age, I have decided to try yoga again. There’s a free class at the local senior center. It’s pretty darned easy to get go being only five minutes away.


And what I found, pretty rapidly, what challenge I came up against was that little old winedrinker, me. Oh hell. I am telling me that I am still here, doing the same non-productive, stuck-in-a-rut stuff? That would be a resounding yes.

Later that same awake cycle. (I did take a cat nap.)

I am so upset and dumbfounded by the Donald Dick administration that I am nearly at a loss for words. I can't make any sense of anything. I am so nervous and depressed that I am eating anything that isn't nailed down and it is only with great effort that I am curbing my red wine consumption. Even now, as I try to wind down to sleep, I am almost in tears of frustration, the likes of which I don't think I have felt since I was a three-year old banging my head against the floor. I am anxious and short-tempered. I do things in fits and starts. I just want to cry and melt into nothingness, like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Okay, but I am going to try again tomorrow. The rain, the welcomed rain, is supposed to stop. The temperature will be 72 degrees and I should be able to swim. I will continue to wade back into doing yoga. I raided Janet's yoga library for some inspiration.

The rain falls softly. Butterscotch is on the bed with me, coming down from a catnip high. Emmy has taken over my desk chair. It is quiet.

I THINK OVER AGAIN MY SMALL ADVENTURES

I think over again my small adventures,
My fears,
Those small ones that seemed so big,
For all the vital things
I had to get and to reach;
And yet there is only one great thing,
The only thing,
To live to see the great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world.

— Anonymous 19th Century Native American, World Poetry, Washburn and Major, Editors

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

WHEREVER THERE IS WATER


31 janvier 2017

Not sure why, but today I am really hurting. Is it just the Trump administration, the coup d’etat we have all somewhat propagated just by our own personal inertia and self-interest? The constant negative energy floating throughout my house when my mother is home listening to repeats of CNN and MSNBC, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews pounding their indignation into viewers as if this were a prize-fight that might be won. That ain’t gonna do it, kids.

I get the indignation, don’t get me wrong on that. I am just tired of every one barking at me, from the fucking pitbull next door that my mother deigned to deal with (the dog attacked her on this property, bit her on the face, and sent her to the emergency room but Mom didn’t think that was any reason to have the dog put down) to Donald Dick’s Uncle Scrooge screamings and incoherence, all the while sporting that ridiculous hair piece.

I will stop for now. Today is the first day of the free yoga class at the senior center and I am going to try to relax.


Later.

The yoga class was good, kind of the perfect kick start for me. Not too hard, but not too easy, either. Kind of weird to be in a class with your 90-year old mother, but I should see that as a good thing, right?

An igloo sounds good about now, refreshing and isolated. I want less coming at me.

There is also the added stress of the upcoming 90th birthday fete for Janet.

The all of it is pressing down hard. My consciousness is being extruded. I feel flat and affectless. Oh! Remember anhedonic? That too (although the focaccia I just ate was pretty good).

So, here's a more positive polish: I picked up my feet to take care of myself today. I went into that yoga class barely able to touch the floor and left having stretched enough to get my hands on the floor in a standing forward bend. I did back bends. I relaxed my shoulders and neck. I focussed on my breathing. And I did leave the class with more energy, but that got sapped.

Janet says she feels the yoga from today. I had to cajole and bully her into going, and then, of course, she was glad she went. The instructor, Christina, was very excited to have a 90-year old former yoga instructor among her students.

So, having spoken to you all, had a moment of community with you, whether you knew it or not, I think I will to bed on the early side tonight. Perhaps what I need is another 10 hour sleep to pull up my pants, little or big girl, and get on with it.

THE FRENCH GENERALS

Whenever Jesus appears at the murky well,
I am there with my five hundred husbands.
It takes Jesus all day to mention their names.

The growing soul longs for mastery, but
The small men inside pull it into misery.
It is the nature of shame to have so many children.

Earth's name is "Abundance of Desires." The serpent
Sends out his split tongue and waves it
In the air scented with so many dark Napoleons.

A general ends his life in a small cottage
With damp sheets and useless French franc notes;
He keeps his plans of attack under his mattress.

I have said to the serpent: "This is your house."
I bring in the newspapers to make his nest cozy.
It is the nature of wanting to have many wives.

Sturdy rafters in lifejackets are pulled down
Till their toes touch the bottom of the Rogue River.
Wherever there is water there is someone drowning.

— Robert Bly, Stealing Sugar from the Castle: Selected and New Poems, 1950-2013