Monday, December 30, 2013

WHEN THEY GO 'ROUND THE BEND

Ariel, Mom's other cat.

Soooo, back here out in Long Island watching a Hallmark Channel adaptation of Treasure Island starring Eddie Izzard. It got crummy reviews, but it is a nice production and I do heart Eddie.

Sigh sigh sigh. The kittehs are luxuriating in space and quiet. Cooder had a difficult night what with noise and emotional discord in the air. I was a tad concerned for her as her heart condition does not bode well for extra-stress. That said, I think being with me was enough comfort and once we got out here she re-acclimated to a house somewhat familiar. She is happily curled up on the bed. Emmylou was in one of her splayed-on-her-back sleep abandon positions. I think she is back downstairs at the moment. 


Cooder, happy to be out of jail.

While at John and Mel's last night, I came across a card John had sent to me in 1996. John is a more than pretty fair poet and he wrote this little ditty on the occasion of the holiday then:

Here's to the holidays,
Here's to the season,
Here's to the many ways
We drink without reason.

Here's our to families,
Here's to our friends,
Here's to little choo-choos
When they go 'round the bend.

Here's to the New Year
Here's to the new start
Here's to the new fears
That will lie in our hearts.

So rejoice in the yuletide and time
And forget about my odd little rhyme.

Most witty, right?

Taking an afternoon nap with not a bunch of immediate responsibility was delightful. Until Thursday morning, I can be somewhat at my leisure for the first time in many weeks. Safe, warm, quiet. John and I were both remarking last night on how we had been too much in anxiety to quite concentrate on reading. I hope to re-enter a thinking and musing state. I even moved my beading supplies into our room and might get back to a creative pursuit or two before I jump into the New Year.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

HERE AND THERE AND HERE AGAIN

The view from Mom's porch in the morning.
12/22

Greetings from Los Angeles or rather "the Springs" as we are wont to call it … or were wont to call it.

I am still finding my way, mentally and emotionally, through the last two weeks of upheaval. I don't know how I feel or what I think. I suppose I am in a kind of shock, really. 

Mom is in the kitchen making her breakfast and talking to her very demanding cat, Max. We are heading out early to get some errands done before we come home to do some housework. There are "infrastructure" things to do here such as getting Mom a new computer and smart phone, going through some closets to get rid of more clothes …

I cooked for two days. On Christmas Eve alone, I made a pumpkin pie, a cheesecake, a quiche, and four pizzas. My sister=in-law, Stella, was my ever beautiful and gracious kitchen helper. 

The next day, the turkey was delicious. We did have a nice dinner with just my brothers, Michael and David, and their lovely spouses, Alicia and the aforementioned Stella, Mom, and our family friend, Peter. Plus, Michael feeding Max turkey. I could barely move on Thursday, I was so tired from two days of cooking.


Christmas Eve quiche.
Christmas Eve pizza.
The infamous Max interested in bacon.


Mom's porch.




12/29

Well, safely back in Brooklyn. Cooder is curled up on the back of the Volny-Marki couch very happy to be out of "stir". She is in reasonable shape, but has lost a little weight and smells of cat piss a bit, which has never been her style. Tomorrow, we head back to Long Island.

Emmylou was so happy to see me when I stumbled into the apartment at 6:05. She stood on the table meowing at me. I immediately decamped to the couch to see if I could get some real rest after the red-eye. Emmy came to visit me several times through the four hours I got some sleep, but I barely woke. 

And now, I am binge watching Homeland.


Traditional box of Sees.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

THEY KNOW THEY CAN SURVIVE.

Someone sleeping in and enjoying a sunny window and a soft bed.

I was cheerier earlier in the day. I didn't sleep very well, although it wasn't the tossing-and-turning-cursing-myself insomnia. I did fall asleep for awhile and then woke up for a couple of hours. I finally took some meds, but I didn't sleep all way through to rest as I wanted to be up in case I needed to work.

I think what really put me off was sitting down to write a timeline of the events surrounding my Brooklyn sublet and all that happened to make me leave in the midst of a snowstorm. I am still reeling on some levels from all those startling events. Not the least of which is the significant financial, energetic, and emotional toll this has taken on me.

Wikipedia quotes this about antisocial personality disorder: 

ICD-10[edit]

The WHO's International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth edition (ICD-10), defines dissocial personality disorder (F60.2) as:[10][11]
It is characterized by at least 3 of the following:
  1. Callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
  2. Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations;
  3. Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;
  4. Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;
  5. Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment;
  6. Marked readiness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society.
The diagnosis includes what may be referred to as amoral, antisocial, asocial, psychopathic, or sociopathic personality (disorder). Although the disorder is not synonymous with conduct disorder, presence of conduct disorder during childhood or adolescence may further support the diagnosis of dissocial personality disorder. There may also be persistent irritability as an associated feature.[11][12]

The highlights are what I experienced in my close dealings with B2. Although I had known her for several years and we had not always had the smoothest of relationships, I was fond of her. And you know me, I'll try to work things out until the bitter end. Duh. I am too forgiving, I suppose, too willing to look to see what my complicity in interactions might be.

This put me in mind of a quote from a potboiler book and movie, Damage.

Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.

B2 had spoken to me of some of her life experience so I was not entirely unaware that there were some special challenges there. She hadn't lived with anyone in 23 years, so I knew there would be some adjustments on both sides. But I've had lots and lots of experience living with folks and am, in general, quite accommodating and flexible. I thought we could just work through it. I was entirely and thoroughly wrong. 

I think B2 was the worst person, the biggest bully, the most abusive, that I have ever met. She had all the flexibility and self-righteousness of Dick Cheney. A truly frightening inability to negotiate or see another point of view, to forgive or understand. Sometimes, I am not even entirely aware that I am being abused, I am so astonished and unprepared. I always think that with my sweet temper and rationality and tolerant, humorous personality, I can cajole kindness and love out of the crazy. 

She snores. It's so cute.

I doubt I will make that mistake again.

I did get some work done, some things unpacked or repacked, made a nice dinner, listened to the latest audiobook, Cutting for Stone

So, I will try to put this day behind me and more hours between me and that experience. Fortunately, I had people to jump up to help me, support me, get my sorry ass out of that sling. Grateful and thankful, that's what I am.





Tuesday, December 17, 2013

GET BACK ON THE HUMAN TRACK

Remember me? I used to write a blog and send it to you? I think I am here again.

For any of you who might have been concerned that things were not good and that that "not goodness" was the reason I was not posting, well, you were right. I had been guarded and apprehensive about my sublet in Brooklyn and it turned out that my caution was well-founded. B2 was not tenable as a roommate, landlady, possibly as a human being. 

I am still reeling from the abuse, bullying, recriminations, and overall intensity. And still not sure what I want to say about it. But the cats and I had to get out of Dodge ASAP. We moved last Saturday in the midst of a significant snowstorm. 
Emmylou enjoying the pleasure of a couch.

Currently, we are comfortably hanging out with the ghost and memory of MV in the family home that is up for sale. We are very much enjoying all the space and the solitude, particularly after being in such a small space. I think Emmylou would just as soon have Albert around for playing purposes but we might well be back in Brewster at the end of January. 

The stress has been to find places for the kittehs to stay during the time that I will be in California. That all seems to have fallen into place. Once I recover a bit more, I can go back to job hunting and life planning.

The house is lovely and welcoming, as was the ghost of MV. We felt better as soon as we opened the door and stepped into the kitchen. The kittehs made themselves at home very quickly. They are not the sort to hide behind the stove or under the furniture, or, at least, not for very long.

Cooder on the bed.


I am so thankful to be sitting in a warm room, one cat on a chair, the other on the bed, listening to music and the sound of my own "voice" as I learn to write again. Tomorrow, I have plenty of work to do, or plenty of tasks to attend to. Friday I leave for California for eight days to see me mam for the first time in two years. 

More to come.

Sing it, Leon.
The woods at Sans Souci Park.







Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A RUBY FIELD OF FEELING

Yes, many many days since I have written. Yeah, I more than survived Thanksgiving. Actually, I had a very nice dinner with Mel, John, his niece, Elena, her boyfriend, Peter, Mel's workmate and soul-sister/mentee Marlowe, and a special guest appearance from the "Loki" of 12th Street Bar and Grill, JH.

Department of Good-to-Know.


Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
 -Flannery O'Connor

The hard part about truth is not the "stomaching" but the understanding, the realization of what is. Better to swallow once you have been able to chew through some of it, get a taste of what needs to be digested.

I subscribe to this nice daily poem from the American Academy of Poets. I must admit I do not always take the few minutes to read and savor these because, you know, gotta keep movin' on more important things ("Now, WHO is Tom Cruise dating?") … but this one this morning stuck with me. And besides, I am getting a head start on my next year's mantra of "slow down, move forward."

My Teacup
by Alli Warren


trees are steaming 
ever more vital pliant DINK 
I can't see a thing in the sky 
I choose George 
Stanley over Fear 
and Trembling 
Tell why you chose 
to do this or that 
on each occasion 
Nothing with hooves 
or heels was it? 
Excuse me for not thumbing 
the abyss, "the goading urgency 
of contingent happenings" 
how stretchy the membrane 
how drunk the ship 
breaching the freight 
we port with 
however it is 
I am and come to know 
the ruby field of feeling 
and isn't a life suddenly 
laid in all its excess 
of doubt & dualism 
gag in the mouth I forget 
to give sense to 
relations that animate 
to be carried among them 
you are not an engineer 
yet forms persist 
so topple the column 
any place there's a rope there's 
the earth is not enough 
I stick my head in it 
I lose my coat 

There are so many great phrases here, and a multiplicity of ways to read the cadence. Here's what the poet says about this poem: 

This poem struggles with decision making and its aftermath, at the level of the individual, the nation-state, and the species, if it may be so bold. It sits on a loveseat, a barstool, a concrete slab, and an office chair. It wants to live, love and learn but can't see the field for the steaming trees."

--Alli Warren


Yeah, can't see the field.