Wednesday, July 22, 2020

I'd like to be, Under the Sea

G'day to all. As you can see, I've been taking a break from the blog. I wish I could slumber until this whole bloody mess is over and done with. I'm longing for simpler days, like when I was 17 and 18 playing my guitar with friends. These days, however, the input of information is overwhelming. I don't know if my stroke altered my brain in this way, but I've noticed that since I had it at the end of June, I just can't take in very much information at all. It literally hurts my head.

This has been a gut punch of a year for me in so many ways. I need a break and so I'm taking one. I'll look for you all when I come back to center. Take care. Stay strong.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Plenty of Insanity to Go Around

Last week my ex-husband died after a long disease. He was the father of my one and only child. She was an absolute champ throughout his illness, taking him to all appointments and researching all possible cures. He was going to tough it out alone because he didn't want to worry her, but she put her foot down, and he was glad she did. When he was in the ICU for many days before he went home to die, she sat by his beside and took such good care of him. And when I had my stroke, I was in the same hospital. I can't imagine her terror. I may have gone stark raving mad given similar circumstances. All this with a pandemic going on, and yes, there was a patient with COVID in the ICU while he was there.

The day after he died the family got together at my daughter's house to cook up one of his favorite meals: pork roll and tomato sandwiches and corn on the cob. Two family members flew in, two drove from California. I had not intended to go inside, but socialize and eat outside. No one followed my desire to do this, and one person kept putting her face five inches from mine even though I explained I was high risk and didn't want to get too close to anyone. She did it repeatedly and I didn't want to make a scene, so I would turn my head, or tilt my head away. Then I was invited inside to eat, where I sat shoulder to shoulder with this person. I did not advocate for myself. I'm still mad at myself for that. I ate, talked, and then hit the road. I had a terrible dream that night that I had caught the virus. In the dream I woke up with a throat on fire and a raging headache. When I did wake in the morning, I wondered if the sore throat had been real. Talk about messing with my mind!

Have I ever told you how much I now hate the 4th of July? For many years I have: the noisy fireworks that scare animals and people with PTSD, and the sheer hypocrisy of it all. Land of the free, my arse. "We" rid ourselves of our oppressors while simultaneously oppressing people we enslaved. Anyway, back to the wacko celebrations: seems like this year everyone was going nuts with their own personal fireworks. Most public venues canceled it weeks ago. So crazy and pent up people let it rip this year. I was on Facebook with friends across the country and it seemed to be the same insane situation everywhere. The great writer, journalist and intellectual Frederick Douglass gave one of his most famous speeches on July 5, 1852. ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY EIGHT YEARS AGO. Youtube has a stirring video of his g-g-g-g grandchildren reading excerpts of this speech. You can watch it here.

Meanwhile, back at the family gathering, the same person who was drinking too much, talking too loud, and getting much too close, began the favorite argument of uninformed white people by saying she was sick of all the protesting and didn't we know that, yes, ALL LIVES MATTER. She got plenty of gentle push back from others at the table. People were civil, but questioning her words. One way she seemed to come around was when I talked about women's oppression and how much marching and shouting had to be done to make any gains at all. She kind of backed down, saying, "I guess you have to walk in somebody's shoes to know what they are going through." Yes, dear, it's called empathy. I'm thinking of posting this video on FB for her. Kinda says it all. So many white Americans would just like the problem to go away, not understanding that it won't go away until we stop making it a problem. It's always been us, white top dogs, who've kept this ugly system going, after all.

Hoping for a more upbeat post next time around. Bear with me. I'm still recovering! Be safe. Wear your mask. And don't roll over like I did.

Yellow Cottage, Part 2

I have a dear friend who I met in my Creative Writing class my freshman year in college.  I sent the poem to her for her comments and edits ...