...a way of seeing beyond inner and outer.
Showing posts with label truth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label truth. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All for all..part two.

For part 1: Go here
     No, not the rest of the story, because I don't know how it's going to end, but I'll tell you what I know thus far. There isn't a "rich mean girl" nor is there a "poor sweet victim" in the current iteration of this drama, but in truth,  I now know that neither of those characters existed in the adolescent version either. This is the deeper story of Dana the First, Abby, and myself.
     Dana the First lived in a lovely immaculate home that sat on a lovely immaculate lawn. The home was made so by her lovely immaculate and proper mother who gardened, decorated, dressed her children well and spent a great deal of time volunteering outside the home.  Her father was a leader in the community, hard working, a good provider, a kind man whom everyone loved, and who always had an ear for the problems of others. He also volunteered a great deal outside their home.  The home story was very different, but I didn't know that at the time.
   Her father was an alcoholic who physically brutalized the children and her mother didn't stop it from happening.  Dana's mother was unflinchingly "honest" with her children in her effort to "teach" them to be model citizens of the world. Kindnesses were largely reserved for people outside their home.  No wonder Dana the first hated the rest of us.  Her parents weren't evil, but they were older and had come from a time when there was a general belief that good didn't exist in human beings. They were "taught" by their own parents that one had to over come the baser natures in order to be good.  And for the record, that kind of "teaching" will turn you into an alcoholic.  Ask one.
     By local standards, Abby was poor. There's no other way to say it.  Seven people lived in a five room shotgun house with one bathroom and dirt in the yard, though since there was a car parked in it, I guess it wasn't really a yard. She shared a room and a bunkbed with her brother who was a year younger than she was. At fourteen, she had to go to work bagging groceries after school to pay for her own expenses as well as contribute to the cost of running a household. She paid rent.  Her younger brother began mowing lawns for money long before I met him at eleven. Their mother was plump, uneducated, slightly paranoid, did not keep a tidy home and as I remember, didn't contribute anything to the family financially. I also remember her always ready to be offended by some slight or another and can't recall ever hearing her say a single kind thing about anyone, including her own children.  All I remember of Abby's father was being very afraid of him.  He gave me the creeps so for the most part, I would talk Abby into spending the night at my house.   She had two older sisters who were considered "fast" and there was that music with a beat.  Let's put it this way, I first realized what hips could do by watching Abby's oldest sister dance to Brick House by the Commodores.  For some reason, Abby came out of that environment as a kind person, accepting.
    My own back story of the time is one of being uprooted, tossed on my head culturally, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, but the end result was being a foreigner in a place I didn't understand and did not like and I was about to become a teenager.  That alone could have made it a miserable time, but I don't think my parents were happy at that time either and what's more,  I think they were afraid.  Maybe I project, but they had four children, two of whom were entering adolescence and a not distant enough relative who'd shown them what a teenager could do without parental supervision.  Sparing the rod must have seemed to them to be the crueler recourse when it resulted in such horrible outcomes.   It wasn't a happy time for me, but as I said in the original post, I don't think adolescence is for most people, and my parents strictness spared me a great deal of the heartache I saw my peers experience.
  The additional perspective given to me by time, and the additional knowledge I got later, is why wanted to have asked Dana the first why Abby bothered her so much.   My suspicions is that her parents had put the fear of God into her about "that" family and she knew if I became friends with Abby, her parents would question my value as an appropriate associate for their very proper daughter.  She was spouting to me, what she had learned from somewhere else.   She was telling a story someone had told her.   "This" person would "hurt" her in some way.
     If the three of us had been able to sit in a room and tell the truth of our lives to each other, I think we had more in common than not and could have formed friendships that lasted a lifetime. Instead, we stayed in our respective corners, "safe" and I think we suffered for it. I won't allow that to happen in the adult version of this story.  I believe there's a truth beneath the story that is so easily seen on the surface and that there's room for everyone to be included in the circle.  

To be continued

Friday, April 29, 2011

All for all...

When I was twelve my family moved from a large city to a very small one, and in the process of making me make new friends, my mother decided I would have a slumber party.  If you've been that age, you know the politics of adolescence can make Congress look like a Disney Movie, happy ending included.  
Among the gaggle of girls who spent that night at my house were, among others Abby and Dana.  Abby was sweet, quiet, thirteen, and I want to use the word poor, but her family was always dressed well, had plenty of food and her family didn't seem much different from mine other than the fact that they all shared one bathroom and didn't have air conditioning. Dana's life was closer to mine in socioeconomic status but was she standoff-ish to the point of being cool and she already had a close friend, another girl named Dana.  They spent the weekend glued to each other.
I don't remember anything particularly interesting happening at the slumber party, other than the fact that Dana the First seemed to be in a bad mood the whole time, as if she'd been forced to come to this party, but I could hardly blame her for that since I'd been forced to have it.
Several months later, we were all at a large party, a church social really, together with our parents,  parents in one part of the building, the kids, as they do, drifting/running as far as way from their parents as they were allowed to be and I found myself having a very good time dancing with Abby to something with a beat.  Not long into this goofy gangling, Dana&Dana walked into the room, Dana the First with her sour face plastered perfectly in place and I remember her giving either Abby or me the head to toe scan, at which point she sneered.  The look was facial "buzz kill."
Abby and I stopped bouncing around like insane people and waited as they walked up to us and then Dana said something to me which would effect the rest of my teenage years.  She said,
"If you want to be my friend, you can't be her friend."
I laughed.    I don't remember exactly what I said, but the net effect was,
"Bite me."
Dana the First began a rather serious campaign of making both Abby's and my lives a living hell, when ever the opportunity afforded itself.  Since her parents became friends with my parents, the opportunity afforded itself often.  Not a big deal.  Those years would have been a pain in the ass even without her help.  I grew up. I married. I moved.  I got smarter. I got divorced. I moved. I got remarried. I got smarter.  I forgot Dana the First, and to tell you the truth, I forgot Abby.
Today, I'm looking back on that time because I'm in the middle of a situation that makes me feel like I'm standing there in that room looking at Dana the First telling me I can't be friends with Abby if I'm going to be friends with her and I asked myself this morning what I would have said had I been as smart/age wizened as I am now.
I would have asked her,
"Why not?"

To be continued...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday times

From the blog Pink Blossom List
If you have ever raised children, you have been bitten.  If you are a good parent, you have resisted the animal instinct to toss the little bundle of teething joy against the nearest wall.   Perhaps it's time we begin to at least try to view all life as equally vulnerable, equally ill-equipped to step outside overwhelming and immediate discomfort, and equally in need of our best efforts towards tolerance.  Yes, even when these monsters, large and small sink their sharp teeth into our soft places.
Throwing each other against the wall doesn't seem to be making matters any better...

Friday, April 22, 2011

War Love

I'm going to post a short story that is not a happy short story.   It's one of two short stories that I'm going to write this week for other bloggers, this one being for the ladies at In Good Company.  I'm not good at writing that way, but I've been repeatedly given the assignment to do so and I try very hard to be a good student of the Universe. I think It All loves me and if It All repeatedly asks me to do something by putting it in my way again and again, then I'm best served by following.
For some reason, in my normally and currently happy life, this is the story that wanted to be born:

War Love

Haley Black stood in the sunken valley of the endless tombstones, all uniform from a distance and only different in intimacy because of the names and the shapes of the god symbols that had been carved from the bleached white marble, the thousands of rock bones as evenly spaced as seconds on a clock.  
She walked through the rows and read each name that marked the way to the grave that brought her here to this marching stone testament to war. After a few hundred of them, she couldn’t look at the names without seeing their faces and she stopped reading names. The faces she saw weren’t of the boys buried in the earth, but the faces of boys she’d seen in the black and white photos she’d found in the box at the bottom of her mother’s closet.  Those boys were all laughing, smoking, lanky, and alive. These boys would lie perfectly still for the rest of ever and all that would live here was the green grass that lay on top of them. This was war.
This is what we do, she thought. 
This wasn’t where she wanted to be.
There was no way not to feel her soul splinter at the incredible and endless waste of all these boys, but she’d come here for a purpose that was larger than a roll call to death.   Her father lay here in this place.  She lived because he had once lived and the ritual of giving thanks to him compelled her as much as any instinctual act had ever driven a living thing.     She’d come here to say thank you to life among all this death, she’d come here to say thank you to life, to this life.  Haley set the heather she had brought with her down in front of the bone white cross and took a letter from the box in her backpack.  A young girl, Haley’s mother had sent it out in innocent love but it had been returned unopened.    In all the years her mother lived, she’d spoken very little of the man who’d been her high school sweetheart and never told Haley of the scores of letters in the lacquered box at the back of a deep closet.   In with the letters was a Kodak Brownie and fists full of black and white photos of a boy she’d never seen, of a boy who had loved her mother once, of other boys.  She opened the first of the love letters and began reading them out loud one at a time.  She read them all, out loud to her father and to the ten thousand, four hundred and eighty eight of his brothers in arms, his brothers in death.
This wasn’t where she wanted anyone to be.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Choosing what you feed...

This morning, about one mile into a three mile walk, I read an email and freaked out because I thought someone had left a comment on a draft post. Had that been the case, it would have meant I'd played fast and loose with the publish button. I hadn't, but for the sake of discussion/my lesson for the day, here is the draft unedited.

your obsession might be able to help you in other areas.

tell how you're trying to teach yourself this thing

I wish i had a shopping addiction (i doubt that's actually true but somehow other peoples monkeys don't seem to throw as much pooooooooooooo in their direction as mine does at me.)

mixing flavors is in mixing items in your closet
mixing textures works for alexander sauce and it will work with textiles in a sphincter-ugly room

style book bargain. vivian westwood quote

No big deal right?  So there are a few words I don't want my mother to read, and it's not a great post, but it's not a big deal either.  It wasn't supposed to be a great post because it wasn't finished, but, since I couldn't remember what I'd said in it with any certainty, I ran screaming towards "FlipFreakFailFlail" which triggered the desire to run screaming back to my laptop to un-publish it.  In other words, I wanted very much to stop doing something worthwhile (exercise) in order to do something very much insane ( be afraid of the dreaded and all-in-your-head "if").

Then I started laughing, because I had taken. my. camera. on my walk with me for the precise purpose of documenting that "it", all the good stuff, is all there waiting for you to see, to choose, to nurture, to feed.  I took that walk with that precise purpose because I felt myself returning to a foggy (scary can't see ) state and I'm not having it. I'm having Businessville, the name Flynn and I have assigned to the game of building a pretend company that may or may not become a real company, depending on how well its played but I have to see Businessville  in order to pull it from Potential to palpable.  You probably know it's hard to see in fog. You may not know I tend to overeat when it's foggy...in my head.   Not.Havin'.It.

My mind still spent some time in thought about what I might have said in the run-away post, or how stupid I might have sounded, but I made, and yes, the word is made, myself see what else was manifest. I made myself see that you guys are aware I'm human so it's not like that fact is going to sneak up on any of you and scare you, that nothing will ever be as horrible as you think it will be, ever and that the good stuff is always, ever, persistently present.  The other crap is out there too, but it's up to us to choose which beast we feed.
Here's some of the good stuff that showed up along the way.
Wild grapes, you know, the ones where Love is the viticulturist.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Newport Beach Gothic

My mail comes to a very beautiful zipcode, a blessing I never take for granted.    The man I wake up with everyday is profoundly smarter than me.  Organizations that test these things have said so.  Hell,  even I think so.  This isn't to say that my first husband wasn't smarter than me, but I didn't know it at the time and we both suffered for the oversight.
As the man I wake up with everyday, says, "It was a bad fit."

So here I sit with a man who sends me pacing in an effort not to kill him and knows the exact spot on my shoulder that has the same chemical effect as valium.     Sorry, ....the exact same.

He writes songs about my temper.
He does all the laundry.
He does the dinner dishes.
He takes me shoe shopping.
He repairs the starter on a car when the manual says don't do this at home.
He knows a defense against the Ruy Lopez opening that side steps most of the Morphy Defense
He has blue eyes
He has silver in his curly hair
He's lived on the street and with the son's of oil, wine and publishing.
He knows the art of "Yes dear"
He play classical guitar and the banjo.
He buys me champagne on Tuesdays.

I'm mean to him sometimes, particularly when I feel like I'm flying apart.      Today we leave for a trip to fix that...

Why do we work so hard to make relationships work and why do we have to?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I blog (& proofread with haphazard lightness.)

I started cookedheads to be accountable for the proof of a theory I am applying to my life.
     Theory: I make my own world and therefor have complete power over how I experience it.  
     Proof:  A work in progress that keeps me in peace and delight and results in the manifestation of the contents of an envelope I sealed over a year ago.

When I asked you guys about your "why"s, it was because I'd noticed a resistance on my part to blogging even though doing the snoopy dance in the word river is one of my delights .  I'd think about a post, or even go so far as to draft it in a moment of inspiration, then stop short of hitting the publish post button.  
This didn't really concern me much until I realized I was doing the same thing about learning French and then I began to look around at quite a number of things I enjoy doing, but resist..  Since I got so much good feedback from everyone about the "why" that motivates them to continue blogging, I figured I'd ask if you guys ever do that.
Then I started writing away from the familiar blue and orange of blogger circa 2011.  This is the post that came out, unedited, without being proofread, so bare with me
"new things are foreign because we haven't spent enough time with them.  thinking about them makes us comfortable enough to allow the universe to give us the next lesson, the thing we THINK we want... because the universe knows once we get 'it' whatever that goal is, we'll THINK we want something else, something we don't have,  always looking for the thing that makes us feel okay.
things are symbols the way words are."  

A beach house is....?  
A beautiful body is.....?
Wealth is......?
A collection of fascinating experiences is......?
Blonde highlights are.......?
A handsome wealthy partner with a stamped up passport and a beach house who pays for your blonde highlights is....?

Some of those things, I want.Some of them I don't want. Some of those things I have. Some of them I have, just not the way I want to have them, and this reminded me of a experience in my collection, but it didn't seem fascinating because it didn't happen in a size 4, or while doing the tango, or sipping champagne while in Champagne

It was in Las Vegas, a city which I cannot abide. Although I did in fact abide there which is why I no longer can.  "It ain't me babe", thank you Bob Dylan  Whilst I abideth in brown pastures, I met a little girl who was red headed, freckled, blue eyed and fearless as we are before we're given fear.    I asked her what she wanted for Christmas and  as she sat on the floor at my feet, petting her dog, she said she wanted a dog.  I pointed out the oversight slapping her with its tail.   She said,
"No no. I want Santa Claus to bring me a dog that does what I say."
Out of the mouths...etc.

Obviously, the dog isn't the problem.   Neither is our unremarkable house, our cellulite, our bank account, our empty passport, our brown hair, or or the mostly adorable, spendthrift homebody who loves you and is fine with brown hair but likes it long.

Make the dog behave. Hang a picture. Talk a walk. Put the "bargain" down. Loveperiod  Chase delicious in every way possible.
And that, my dear unmet friends, why I started Cookedheads.  To chase delicious and hope other people would come along for the romp.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Small me, the girlfriend and the smackdown.

Now that I've got you all ready for a cat fight I'm sorry to say, you're in for a disappoint.  If it makes you feel any better, it turns out I'm disappointed too.
Sunday, I sat in the yellow-white happy light of candles writing the original form of this post, when Pandora began to play Natalie Merchant's "Jealousy"and the weather Southern California isn't supposed to have began to beat dreary wet and on my living room windows. The poetic perfection made me smile.  It's an appropriate setting and soundtrack for the day after the conversation that started with his question
     "What are you doing?"
and my answer,
   "I'm blogging about your girlfriend."
Nothing has changed but the conversation hasn't truly ended yet, because, in my adult years, I've learned that dialog can and often should stop and start based on how productive it is in bringing me and another person together rather than whether or not I've gotten my point across, and in this case, by "I've gotten my point across", I'm really saying "he nods his head after I say,
    'You agree to buy me jewelry as a manifestation of how clearly you see how much you clearly messed this up. Are we clear?'"
     Of course that's my initial reaction.  I'm human and while I made the point to my husband that my larger self realizes there is no threat, my biologically programmed female self insists on totalitarian monogamy which, in fairness, is no more than was being asked of me by his very male self, when, for example, one of his buddies asks me to go to a movie.  That line-crossing he saw, but for the record, had it been a friend who respected his own wife, I might have wanted to go, which shows you that it wasn't really marital jealousy that was working my nerves. Nor was my husband's stereotypically male relationship myopia.
   What been bugging me about this is that even though I know she is worthy of my kindness, even though I am in love very deeply with my husband who I trust and respect only because I do know him so well,  and even though this friendship costs me absolutely nothing, and even though I know grace and love makes me happier, always, every time, with great consistency,  I think I still want my husband, of his own volition, to have called this woman to punish her for not wanting to be my friend too and I think I want him to have felt embarrassed, spanked and humbled as he called her because "he clearly messed this up."
     I was most bothered by the fact that I wanted someone other than me to feel bad and I wanted vengeance At least as far as the blogosphere,  I got it.  I was right and good. She was wrong and bad. "Oh hell no he didn't!"  "Girl, you ain't got to take that from no man." , things my sister and I say to each  in jest about men.
  So why did  that makes me feel a little bit small, then a lot small?
Finding grace is a work in progress that is a lot like double digging.  If you garden, you know what that is and what that means.  If you don't, it's removing the stuff you see to get to the stuff you don't, in the case of gardening, inferior soil.  In the case of myself as a human being, anything that doesn't serve me in the highest sense. While this friendship doesn't exactly serve me in apparent ways, jealousy, pettiness, vengeance don't either and those are things I am inclined to dig into and replace with something holy, with something that nurtures rather than punishes, that builds rather than tears down, that creates rather than humiliates.
 If you go down to the very root of your jealousies, your dislikes, your anger, there's always a seed of self loathing or even more insidious, self doubt What you are cannot be hurt.  That's what we forget.  To think that we as brilliant creatures are something that can be dinged and knicked in any meaningful way is absurd.   You may be disappointed that someone else forgot themselves and felt the need to attack you in some way, but you aren't really effected unless you take that story of "attack" and attach it to your own definition of yourself. Attack implies battle, which there cannot be with only one person participating.  Mine is a not quite tender enough head in need of a little more cooking but I'm done with smallness.  For now.

I have this budding bodhisattva to thank for the final form of this post. It was a hard post to write but it got ever so slightly easier after I read a comment he left on the "husband's girlfriend" post.

Friday, March 4, 2011

How to.

You do not have to be "good".
You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves
~~Mary Oliver.