Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wishing I Could Freeze Time…

Calder: "Mommy, which is healthier, fruits or vegetables?"

Me: "Well, which do you think?"

Calder: " I think vegetables, because they have Muscles Sprouts."

Friday, May 25, 2007


Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language. — Henry James

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More, Now, Again.

There are some big ol' monkeys on my back these days, and I'm thinking of letting them hang out for a while.

Happiness. Anticipation of the next Good Thing. Cheerful Bonhomie. Motivation. I'm completely addicted to them. They're all milling about, pushing aside my old friends Depression, Loneliness, and Anger. I've had some assistance in the matter from friends, both literary and corporeal, but I'm starting to believe that the principal architect of this increasingly great life I'm living is me.

(jesus. just reading that makes me wonder who the hell is talking here.)

I'm a little nervous, though. Like all addictions, the fear of withdrawal from my drugs of choice is agonizing. What if Happiness gets on a bus? What if Motivation walks out the back, jack? What if Loneliness shows up at the table in my kitchen and demands to be fed?

Can I get swift kick in the ass, please? Life is GOOD.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Round for the House

I just won $30 on the first scratch ticket I've bought in two years.

Can enlightenment be far behind?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

In Which I Practice Being Positive

Spaciousness continues. I sat on the front porch with coffee and e.e. cummings this morning.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I Think I Can

My new reader Laurie has bestowed upon me two things: the first is the auspicious (cough) Thinking Blogger award. Yay for me!

The second is the challenge of naming 5 other blog writers who make me think. Choosing from among the dozens or so that I read every day isn't easy, but these are the ones with recent posts that had me thinking.

1. Gwen at Woman on the Verge. Let's hope she stays around.

2. She already has a million awards, for good reason...Slouching Mom

3. Julie, Julie, Julie. She helped me immeasurably during my own hellish conception follies. Now she just cracks me up.

4. The smartest music blog of all the music blogs.

5. I just discovered Renee. She's great.

Thanks again to Laurie, I'm glad you stopped by!

Oh yeah? Well, which would you choose?

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Closing the Loophole

Go check out what Julie has to say about HR 735. As always, she's rocked the details.

It's about time.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


I was speaking last week with an excellent friend about stages of grief. Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross gave us a handy chart of all the stages we can expect to go through when confronted with life-changing events (she specifically addressed the grief that accompanies death and dying, but I’ve been assured it’s perfectly appropriate to apply this to my pathetic little situation); I’ve been making a mental inventory of my progress.

Denial: Yep. Even after Matt physically left the premises, underwear and socks in hand, I refused to believe it meant anything significant. Duh. This stage is hideous yet necessary, and hopefully receding. I have, after all, changed the outgoing message on the answering machine, reclaimed closet and drawer space, and moved ever-so-slightly towards the middle of the bed. Still, when I discuss the events and emotions of the past year, I don’t always believe that I’m talking about myself. About my life. I think I was blinded by the certainty of who I was, of what my journey was. When another version presented itself, I refused to accept that I was being edited so severely. My denial took its power from the fact that the person I trusted the most had found the worst way to hurt me. How do I avoid denying that? It’s humiliating. It exposed me as weak, unworthy, unlovable. Which leads us to…

Anger: Hell yes. Possibly the most defining stage of this whole process. I had never been this kind of angry before. I actually saw red — in great, amoebic splotches that projected onto every surface. Darkness boiled, necessitating absolute vengeance. “Beshrew the heart that makes my heart to groan.” I wanted everyone involved in my misery to suffer as I had. My fists were in a perpetual clench; I constantly fantasized about punching someone, perhaps that midwestern chippy and her accomplice. I took it out on my friends, family, and worst of all, my son, who asked me once if I was “ever going to stop yelling.” Anger is ugly. It’s the worst of all toxins, and the stage most likely to come back and bite you in the ass. All that whining about “why me?” is a waste of energy and emotional resource. I understand that I was, that I am, entitled to a bit of anger about what happened, but when life became a constant stream of vitriol, when I constantly sought to invalidate Matt’s resentments by establishing prior resentments of my own, creating a cycle by which all grievances in the marriage could be traced to whomever fucked up first, I mostly just made a nuisance of myself.

Next comes Bargaining, closely followed by Depression. For me, these two stages were one and the same. I reached what I hope was the zenith of the crisis after the New Year; after waking up and realizing that I was going to have to continue to wake up, I started making deals with myself about how I was going to get through all of it. A friend who went through something similar told me that she would look at the expiration date on a carton of milk in the refrigerator; if she could just make it to that date, she’d be okay. That’s what it was like. I’d approach each measure of time with the determination to just get through this one day, this one hour, this one minute. If I could just cook this fucking chicken pot pie for Calder, I could sit down and cry. If I could finish folding the laundry, I’d be able to climb into bed and stare at the ceiling for as long as I wanted. Later, I started believing that if I did these things, if I went through the motions of normalcy, I would be happy again, I would get my family back, it would all be okay. Marriage is elastic! Our troubles will fortify us! Depression is soporific enough without all the deal-making and -breaking that goes on, when you start bargaining for every little pinprick of false hope, it becomes downright exhausting.

The last step, and the only one that seems even remotely positive, is Acceptance. Crawling out of the black hole. Somnambulistic as I was, I did finally manage to start putting distance between old and new. My habitual impulses lost their target. I found other outlets for energy. I escaped the vacuum of spiritual malaise. I found validation in the most unlikely (or perhaps completely likely) of places. I am, however, reluctant to accept that I have achieved Acceptance. My fear is about what comes next. It’s been a little over a year since all of this started, and I worry that I’ve rushed things. Feeling good, feeling happy — it seems a little selfish, considering. I still get white hot bouts of anger from time to time, but they remain personal and silent. I am still overcome with sadness at the loss of an extraordinarily significant person in my life, but the sadness is dull and distant, not debilitating. I still wonder sometimes if I had only done this or that differently, things might not have fallen apart, but then I recognize the awesome opportunity to start over. Exogenous factors notwithstanding, the road seems fairly open.