Thursday, March 3

What's in a Phrase

 I'm no stranger to death and dying. During the height of the AIDS pandemic, I stopped counting the number of people I knew who had died of complications from AIDS at 800.

What registered with me this morning was the phrases people tend to use when making a comment about a person's death. It seems to vary, depending upon the age of the deceased. For example:

Birth to 40 years of age: "What a pity...they were just getting started in life."

40 to 50-ish: "What a pity...they won't get to see their children a) graduate, b) get married, c) have children of their own, etc...

50-ish to 75: "They were so young and won't get to enjoy retirement."

75 - 100+: "They'll be missed, but were so lucky to have had a full life." 

All these phrases hold clues to our perception or misperception of where we "should be" at a certain time of life. The ages I've assigned are to make a point but I acknowledge they are arbitrary. Though the age of the deceased may be different, the phraseology isn't. 

I'm clueless as to why my conscious mind has picked up on these soundbites of American culture but rather than dwell on it, I'm leaving it this vacuum...where it belongs. 

Monday, April 29

Hearse Etiquette

Do you have days when you crack yourself up? Can you take a good long look at yourself and find the humor? There's no shortage of laughter for me as I keep creating comedic fodder, if only for my own amusement.

As is usual on Monday mornings, I venture out to Penuel Ridge to work on site. This allows me to stay connected with the land and the mission while getting a good dose of outdoors! BTW, the firepinks are blooming.

As is also the case, my drive from East Nashville to the middle of Cheatham County includes a stop at doggy day care to drop off Miss Sophie.

I loaded all my gear for the day (and evening meeting) and a 50-ish pound Airedale Terrier into my SUV and off we went.

As I was driving, a shiny black hearse was entering the freeway and by my estimations was going to land in the same spot as me, who was traveling in the right-hand lane. I did a quick head-check on hearse etiquette and decided to slow down enough so that said hearse could enter the freeway smoothly. I certainly didn't want any contents to shift should the driver need to accelerate or brake suddenly. I was so polite, I let the car behind it enter before me as well...a little cushion between me and the hearse.

So we drive on and the hearse takes the same exit as me and the cushion car did not so now I'm immediately behind the hearse. My mind starts to wander/wonder if there is indeed driving etiquette published somewhere and before I know it...I'm following the hearse! Luckily, it was getting on the same freeway as me so I kept driving.

It wasn't until I was 3/4 of the way to my destination that I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw Ms. Sophie staring back at me. Yes, I was so caught up in hearse etiquette I forgot to drop off the dog at day care.

Laughter ensued!

Tuesday, April 23

Hide and Seek

I've been playing hide and seek with the Muse for a little while now. Luckily, I've been in the company of a group of women writers who are divine in their own write/right and supportive of the new kid at the table.

As a poet, it's daunting to be given a writing prompt and 20 minutes on a clock to produce something worthy enough to speak out loud. I've surprised myself. I'm writing more prose than poetry but the poetry is coming out, just like the green shoots of Spring.

So here's a poem which emerged from the following prompt:

"Today, portray violence in your writing."

After sitting with this prompt for a few minutes, an image popped into my head and the words flowed:

Town Square
a swinging rope
a holy oak
one-hundred years of shade
a swinging rope
a holy oak
faces devoid of shame
a swinging rope
a holy oak
a spectator sport
for the lame
of heart, of conscience,
of soul
save one child
her innocence flown
past her lips
in a perfect O

Wednesday, August 29

Leveling the Bubble

OK so if anyone is reading this you probably think either I:

1. died

2. am sitting in a dark room drooling on myself


3. have lost all dexterity in my fingers

Well...none of these things are true. What is true is that the doctors finally got the medications adjusted correctly and on the morning of Sunday, July 22nd, I woke up and my brain had turned back on. I gotta tell ya, it was pretty spooky and of course, I didn't trust that it was real or that it would last but wouldn't you know it, I'M BACK! And yes that deserves all CAPS and a few exclamation points!!!!!

All that was left was to get my stamina back and thanks to the Lovely Linda, that is happening.

Speaking of the Lovely Linda...she's here...for good...not going the same house...with her stuff...and her fur family...and I couldn't be happier!!!!! ( I know, my use of using exclamation points is getting out of with it.)

So...I'm making up for the 8 weeks I lost over the summer to this brain thing and reveling in the unpacking and the hanging of pictures and the being together and the fur family and wished-for-things coming to fruition.

That is all for now. Will post later to introduce you to Zoe, a Border Collie/Cocker Spaniel mix, Sophie, an Airedale Terrier and Persia, a Calico cat.

Thursday, June 21

Taking it in the Teeth

Dear Self,

It's me again, the neurological disease you pretend most times you don't have. I applaud your gift of denial, one you come by honestly from your mother, but I'm back and bigger and badder than I've ever been. You're going to feel like a bicycle tire pump has been inserted in your ear and a chimpanzee is jumping up and down on the handle to Calliope music. You're going to be dizzy, in pain, not able to see, fall asleep driving, throw up, not be able to turn your head or touch your chin to your chest, the pressure and pain will make it hard to sit or stand and just for fun, you'll be exhausted all the time.

Now that I have your attention, here's what's going to happen. You're going to slow down, sit still, lay down, take naps, take lots and lots of pills, drink gallons of water, constantly run to the bathroom and next week, they're going to take a picture of your brain, just to make sure I don't have a friend tap dancing in there with me. Won't that be fun? So what if the cost is the same as your monthly budget for food. Be grateful you can get this level of care, being uninsured and all.

You see I've been here all along, watching, waiting and planning my return. You were lulled into a false sense of security that the pill you took every day could keep me at bay. If you feel threatened, scared and alone, it's justified.


Pseudotumor Cerebri