1 year & 7 months – Jul. 2012

Facebook gave me a gift this morning

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This little sentimentality-creating feature helped me see the wound I’ve put into the story about my son and how I have loved him.  The post was made during the ten weeks in which I attempted to build a home from nothing for myself, my young boy, and my not-yet-born girl; away from their father, but near enough to give him access to their lives regularly.  Olympia, Washington was where we landed.  It was clean, charming, and all around me I could see the potential of this lovely city but I could not access hope within myself.


I have gone through the gamut of negative feelings upon numerous reflections over the experience of losing the family and life I tried to build.

I’ve made myself miserable, as though I alone was responsible for the grief I was experiencing.

When people have remarked on the strength it took to uproot my son, myself, and my damn-nearly-born child I have felt estranged.

I didn’t feel at the time that I had a choice.

I love life.
The choice seemed like one between life and a slow, terrible, death.

I have given my son, my daughter, and myself the experience and lessons of the strength we must have sometimes to remain in the light of loving to live.  And today, the often soft, social media realm has given me a remarkably helpful glimpse at myself while I was on that line – between living fully and surviving.  I loved my son.  I have loved him so fiercely since the moment I knew he was growing inside of me that I have made a bit of a chore of it.  My overly zealous desire for perfection-in-creation has taken far too much energy from my ability to fully express in this life.

In this time of a New Moon in Cancer, and the peak of summer’s liveliest expression on the Northern Hemisphere, I set an intention to cultivate the pleasures of home and the rich satisfaction to be found in slowing down my movements elsewhere.  The infinite blessings of the universe helped me today and reminded me: Love this child!  Love this child! Love myself! Love my family! Love life!

Love life, even when it doesn’t meet the expectations you set out for it!
Love life, even when your imaginations of it are grander than your abilities!
Love life, because there is no other reason for us to be here.

East of Eden

After 3 years, 6 months, and 30 minutes of effort, yesterday I lost ~180 lbs. I got divorced at last. I was sky-high in freedom yesterday.


I’m reviewing the dog-eared pages of East of Eden after finally having read the Steinbeck novel I bought at least ten years ago. I marked this in chapter 21, part 3,

Some people think it’s an insult to the glory of their sickness to get well. But the time poultice is no respecter of glories. Everyone gets well if he waits around.

About three and a half years ago I wrote this, Life’s Best Poultice.


After court, paying homage to my lesser demons (alcohol, cheeseburger, custard, nicotine), and taking a gluttony-induced walk through a local labyrinth I landed a few yards behind a well-looking couple with their child.  They were good-humored, fit, and groomed and a while after following behind them I realized that I had not felt the pain of longing for that family style.

My monkey-mind was instead sizing up her fit body and adding lines to the endless dramatic book of body-image and self-shaming to which I’ve historically been accustomed.


…There is a time for every thing.  I will wait around and continue to be healed.

13 months – Jan. 2012

The ol’ Tumblr account reveals a brave mask in January.  I don’t remember what it felt like to mother in my son’s 13th month.  Primarily I remember feeling desperately sad, heart-broken, and in denial that our marriage was over.  The grief of loving and bearing children with an unavailable man lasts.

Here’s something somewhat taboo, I went back for several complicated reasons but the reason I recall feeling the strongest was I have to go get Salamander’s sibling.  I knew in my bones that he was not meant to be an only-child.  There is very little rational thought in that knowing.  I did not intend to dupe, or “milk” the man I wished would be with me.  I did not think it would fix our relationship.  It was a direct, clear line.  Salamander is not an only child.  On top of that knowing and faith were the complex mess of my own emotions.  But that one, it was practically like a commandment.  Madrigal had to be made.  She was coming for us.

Salamander walked a few days before he turned one.  He walked into his grandpa’s arms.  I imagine the bitterness of missing your son’s first steps…   Salamander ate his first cake at his first party and had his first Christmas.

I have realized, and accepted, that raising my kids in this particular family situation will always be hard in its ways.  It’s easy for me to indulge in the dramatic suffering aspect. But for my family.  They supported us, made a Christmas for us, gathered baby materials for us, threw us a party.  They loved us, unconditionally, and I will never outgrow that blessing. Fortunately neither will these children.

11 Months – Nov. 2011

I agreed to marry Salamander’s father and we made it happen.  11/11/11.  He later, though not much later, wanted an annulment.  I would not grant it.  At first, it was because I wasn’t ready to admit defeat.  Later, it was because I wasn’t going to pretend I didn’t make that mistake.  And finally, it was because I needed the legal protection the title granted me as we were already in divorce court.

Nevertheless, in early November, Salamander came with me as I plucked beauty from our luscious surroundings and fashioned a bouquet. marriage bouquet

Two weeks later, I blogged this:

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This is the place in our lives, Salamander’s and mine, where things got very challenging as the norm, rather than the exception.  But for one or two nights, right then, I put intuitive knowing into a lock-box and enjoyed “my family.”  Salamander napped the afternoon after our marriage was legally made.  We had taken a walk in the cold, wet air.  I gave out cookies I’d baked.  We went home to flowers and chocolate covered strawberries from my loving family in the Midwest and went to bed.

10 Months Old – Oct. 2011

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Is that not the most ridiculously cute little chub?  Why so sad looking Mr. Chub-a-lub?  Salamander was is VERY busy and as a scooting, traveling boy, he got into all of the things.  Some fun we enjoyed together was, splashing in water, pouring dried lentils into and out of things, patting the dogs’ haunches, and of course our daily walks.  You can’t tell here, but he has the biggest, face consuming smile which he employed often and also strategically, like in situations when he’d got caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to (ie. splashing the dogs’ water bowl).  His favorite things to eat were sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and apples.

The miracle is not that I finished;

8 Months Old – Aug. 2011

In Salamander’s first year we went camping four times.  There were many trade-offs made when I left feh, some harder than others.  Being at a disadvantage to outdoor life is one really big one for me.  The good thing that grew from that fertilizer is that I am very motivated still to continue building the life I want on terms I will accept.  I can buy my own tent and take my kids camping.  Self-reliance is so sexy. Continue reading

It Is and Is Not a Big Deal

wisdomforblogThe count down to the boy having his tonsils removed is down to one day.  It both is and is not a big deal.  It’s a big deal.  My baby having surgery is a big deal.  Any where from 4 days to 10 days of recovery is a big deal.  Liquid Vicodin for 4 year olds is a big deal.  All of that.  And it isn’t a big deal because it’s the hand shake of surgeries.  It’s a good deal because his health will improve with better sleep, more oxygen, possibly even improved appetite.  And all that is stressful.  I have brief fantasies that I will be a productive wench while he recuperates, but I should probably allow for the possibility that I’ll be really busy being a nurse those three days I get to be home with him afterward.

We haven’t heard from his father since we learned that he was in Colorado.  Ostensibly he was visiting his parents.  My mom is nervous he’s laying in wait to spring a surprise visit on us.  She makes sure the doors are locked at all times.  Her nerves are a bit contagious.  So that’s happening.

My car became ill with consumption.  Incapacitated.  Dead until I miracle hundreds of dollars into my life.  Can I make a compelling kickstarter for this?  Seems ridiculous and even shameful to think of such things.  So yeah, there’s that too.

The car and not having savings enough to do the things that would maintain my health and the health of my car and home was a real kick in the teeth, especially as: the holidays.  I’ve really grown to love the holidays in my adult life.  Especially with kids, I relish creating as much magic and merriment as I can.  But it’s a boat load of cranberries to pretend it isn’t adding to my stress.  I am doing my best to minimize that, but really what is most likely happening is I’m watching the finish line approach, knowing things are not done and thinking, Oh Well.  The heat will be on, I’ll stress myself to bits the night or two before trying to do something, anything for those friends and co-workers “I should” give “something” to.   Because, as Garrison Keillor put it on PHC today, “what if I don’t?”  They may just get cards reading “Friendship” and I will remind them that it’s a gift I give 24/7.  That’ll humble ’em! Bah. Humbug.

Anyway.

All that was actually the preface to what I was going to do tonight, because I wanted to do something (there’s that sentiment again!).  I have written and saved three posts this weekend.  They’re raw.  They’re uncut.  Here are passages from each that mean something universal, I think.  From me to you: LIFE and all its baubles….

How does she lead in to a long-winded kvetch with so many feelings choking the narrow passage out? Her complaints feel ordinary and Continue reading