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




Thursday, January 26, 2017

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER?


January 19, BT (before Trump, known to me as Donald Dick)

Like Louis Armstrong, I see blue skies. Or rather one patch of blue, if I look out one window. If I look out the other window, I see storm clouds. However, having seen the blue and some actual sunshine to boot, I donned my swimsuit for a foray to the pool. Whether I will chicken out, or whether it will be too cold or even raining by the time I get there after dropping off Janet at the senior center, well, that remains to be seen. Am I working up to it, to getting back to swimming, at least?


Later that same day ...

Well huzzah for me. I did manage to swim a half-mile. Only one intrepid (female) swimmer joined me. The lifeguard played some great music, I don't even know the genre, some kind of soft r&b rap that was quite good. Now, however, I am feeling something in the bone tired universe and would love to take a nap. Maybe after my next errand. I did allow myself the luxury of a warm bath after, only to be interrupted after 10 minutes by Janet who came home early from her senior group and had a need. I did get to read the first essay in Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things To Me. Snuggling up in bed this evening will have to do for my reading time.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WHAT'S IT ALL MEAN, LIZZIE?




12 January 2017

The world can be a strange place. At this point, I refer not to the reality freefall we find ourselves in, but that Mambo Italiano was in my head this morning. If you aren’t familiar, (and even if you are!), you should check it out. In the world of absurd, it fits and it might cheer you up. Rosemary Clooney is excellent, and some rockin' harpsichord. And that's not something you hear all that often ... 

On a positive note, in the wee small hours, I surfaced from sleep to have a purring cat tucked under my chin with a nice background of steady, heavy rain. Oona is not Cooder, but she does like to curl up and purr. She is not as dependable as Cooder, or even Maria Tallchief or Miep, about getting into bed and cuddling.

Hopefully, I will return to this later today with something actual to say, besides "I am trying."

18 January 2017

So much for my getting back in the writing groove. Yet, we persevere, I suppose.

The doldrums surround me.  (In maritime usage, the low pressure characteristics of the doldrums are caused by the expanding atmosphere due to heating at the equator, which makes the air rise and travel north and south high in the atmosphere, until it subsides again in the horse latitudes. Some of that air returns to the doldrums through the trade winds. This process can lead to light or variable winds and more severe weather, in the form of squalls, thunderstorms, and hurricanes. The doldrums are also noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats for periods of days or weeks.) Not being maritime, there is this: Colloquially, the "doldrums" are a state of inactivity, mild depression, listlessness, or stagnation.[1] The word is derived from dold, an archaic term meaning "stupid", and -rum(s), a noun suffix found in such words as "tantrum". In the future, when I say I feel dold, you will know of which I speak.

I must confess that I have not been swimming, although the pool has been open for a week. The weather has been blessedly rainy and surprisingly cool. I lost my momentum or mojo there, for swimming. Eventually, my guilt will drive me. That, and that I feel better when I swim.

Today, I feel as if I want to hit the three B's (bathing, bourbon, books) and perhaps add on a fourth (bed). I just started listening to the Toobin book about Patty Hearst and I just want to lie in bed and listen to it. However, I will likely move along to another task before I make a quiche for dinner.

Too much info. As I have said before, I have misplaced my writing "voice" and even the will to do it.

Like a lot of people, I am cringing from and in some superficial denial about ... Trump. I generally eschew writing that name or referring to that person, but I suppose that does not help the matter. While I am disappointed that I won't be able to attend the Washington March, I will be in downtown LA on Saturday. And perhaps that will renew my will to fight. One foot in front of the other. One daily action.

A friend just called to suggest a scheme wherein we obliterate or otherwise lose January and probably February. Tough months in this hemisphere, and even more difficult this time around. We didn't figure out a specific plan of action, but I'll let you know if you can be of help.

Here's my current reading. Actually, I finished Homegoing. If anyone wants this copy, let me know, as I will be releasing it into the reading wild after my book group next week.






HEARTLAND

And she saying, I cannot quite
hear what she says, but he, standing
in clothes washed too often still
to be warm, looks out at the land.

And she saying, I cannot hear
what follows his name, and he, "What's
it all mean, Lizzie? We've made
a living and no one doubts our name.

And he remembering the years
before the green combines and long,
open barns for machinery
and their hands on each other young.

And she saying, I cannot tell
whether or not it's comforting,
until he turns to a door that
is not a new house, and goes on.

And she saying, I can hear now,
"If the words are old, let them be.
It's hard enough with a dream;
here, what can you see of a plan?"

And he nodding, I can no longer
hear what she says, the house shadowed
by combines and long open bars,
the fields planted and bare for rain.

Trent Busch, originally appearing in The Nation, 2001