Sunday, October 31, 2010

dear mother

What do I think of when I am driving home from work over early morning vistas of golden ochre, naples yellow, french vanilla, burnt caramel- humps of dry tuft, sticks of artemesia, burnt umber; samphire becoming at one with the universe.

I think of her, you, my mother I think of how it aches to miss you to miss you so badly and about how you drove me to ignition on so many occasions how it's all a convolusion the incongruous melange of both reticence and boldness that made so much of you that which is intricately incorporated to the inside mechanism of what makes me do the things that I do. I was a kid so as kids we make mistakes, so many mistakes, so fucked up I wish so much that you could have taken better care of me, made me feel like a girl was just a regular strong and powerful thing but you couldn't, your limitations too strong to fight, and fight I remember in my early teens when you went back to school and on the side lines learnt about Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem and all of that bra burning jazz. How you had no one to rebound with- just silence from your man, where's my dinner and beer woman, words shrouded in more sophisticated middle class talk. It was a liberation for you and you, after such years of female drudgery were so eager to imbibe- finally some real food and clean water. Our nuclear world was still consuming miracle whip though so your struggle was lost to to the ears of what people were chattering about: the weaker sex, the darker mind, the mysterious female- don't try and understand'em-don't trust'em with the pocket book, eh-hehe and on the continuum of cheap formula it goes, not withstanding; ladies first- yea right- how you always made sure everyone else came before you.

scene #3100- hospital take- my father in emergency recovering after morphine overdose that a doctor poorly requested, I am placing your foot in the stirrups of the wheel chair from your car in the parking lot to take you to see him and you wince with pain- I scoot up your skirt to find gigantic ulcerated holes in your calf that you haven't told anyone about- no no it's ok I'll go to the clinic tomorrow it's alright.

It's alright-sure- way back in those conservative suburban years of the late 70's you delicately and clandestinely and in increments, put your excitement of rebirth emancipation back on the shelf and really only took it down again during torrid fights with your husband. Philosophy never shines in battle.

You see, I have to grow up and forgive you-forgive you for teaching me the ways of the second class sex. I have to stop blaming you for my failings and my incongruous melange of both reticence and boldness that makes so much of me- that which directly stems from an intricate osmoses of the inside mechanism of what made you do the things that you did. I wish that I had been braver for you and braver for myself and braver for my daughters. For my daughters and I, I have the time. All the time in the world. I love you and miss you so much.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


It's a tough thing to look at yourself blatantly. My ego is an erupting mountain of me and my refuse; the sensitive child, the broken colt, the beaten animal. If only people could see, right. If only.

I have just started work-training with a paraplegic man. It's a sometimes scary sometimes acutely uncomfortable position. I have little experience and I am relearning the wheel. I overcompensate, I am clumsy, awkward, feel sorry for myself when I don't do well. My image is everything. this is not about me. I look like a loser. I want to impress. rack up those points, collect the golden stars. rockstar. I find it difficult, sometimes too much. This is not about me. I was driving in to town yesterday morning thinking about quitting. A few things stopped me. I am not embarrassed to say that duty and obligation were two of them. Everyone is afraid of the paraplegic man. The doctors and nurses, the taxi drivers, bank tellers, the caregivers. When the paraplegic man a comes around everyone runs, everyone quits. No one wants to be the one, in case something happens. Not on my watch. But it's not about me. It's about having the opportunity to learn humongous dangerous leaps of real life. I have no choice, if I want to be decent, to say ok. Ok then. I'll take the chance, the challenge to watch to listen, to be there to give, share, be aware, care, dare, struggle in the learning process of green neophyte clumsiness that is so full of humiliation because making mistakes is something we adults are twistedly not supposed to do. So rather, be still, be safe, settle. an entire planet of settlers

What's in paraplegia? What's in normal, abnormal? I thought that I had a pretty good grasp on notions of suicide, euthanasia. I was so openminded. Man, if somebody doesn't want any more of this honeyless jive live ass shit then jesus, go. Go on and end the agony. I also figured that if I was in a hypothetical accident that left me paralyzed from neck down and if it was too horrible for me to make the transition then hell yes, please let me end it now and jesus don't give me a hard time because it should be obvious that no one should live under these kinds of circumstances. Or so?

Interesting how we judge self sufficiency and physical freedom as the primordial defacto raison d'etre of human life. We believe this, we know that though we may be discontent, if we can wipe our own ass, and walk down a street, if we can function as a regular person in our system, no matter how empty we may feel, we are doing what we are opposed to be doing. When regular people talk about suicide, we want to get them help and if that help is refused we may find them rather selfish and irresponsible.

If a severely disabled person does not want to continue to live, we console and condone them and their way of thinking. If a severely disabled person does not want to live their life in an institution, does not want to lose their sense of individuality, their tastes, ideas, thoughts- if a severely disabled person says yes! to life and asks us to help them live it on their terms, we feel that they are unreasonable, selfish, a burden.

In fact, between us- don't we hear it all the time- how the retarded shouldn't procreate, how it would be a burden on the system and thus iresponsable. How, if we had the boldness to say, we abort fetuses because we find them to be a burden to ourselves and the system. That we aren't so much interested in their level of happiness or lack of, that we make such decisions. But that it's more of what an imposition it would be on us.

Even with the now so-so accepted feelings of openly gay- lesbian- trans-ness, we still wouldn't want to wish it upon our kids would we? We want perfection for our kids because struggle is evil, sticking out is a humiliation. Rather than addressing our uneasiness we would rather not have to deal at all. Me included. Fuck I wish I was perfect I wish that I didn't have the problems that I have and I wish that they would just go away. I wish sometimes for all the things that ultimately have nothing to do with happiness or contentedness or connectedness or understanding or awe or life or any of the real reasons that make me happy to be alive.

All these thoughts are in support of why I did not quit my training yesterday morning. I am not grateful. I am excited and this maelstrom is keeping me committed because what's in it for me is a whole new awareness and understanding that I never would have dreamed of.