Helluva Friday

If the lawnmower had just started I wouldn’t be having this Paula Cole moment.

The locust tree took over my yard and threw up shoots.  I broke one mower trying to bludgeon them to death. Friend Richard came and ground the stump into submission so now I can mow. This is great timing because the grass is about eight inches long and it’s spring. It’s also alternating hot and jungle rain, so it’s growing about three addition inches per day.

Another dear friend dropped off a mower, but I’m a girl goddammit and I can’t start the fucker. My sons held the handle together while I tried to pull it. After about three minutes and some of the most effective profanity heard in parenting, Matt finally laughed at me and said, “You really do need a guy.” (Turns out you have to push a little button to get it started.)

The kitchen sink leaks to the point that I have three buckets dispersed beneath it, scattered amidst the forest of mushrooms. I turn on the cold water only when I need it which means we get drinking water from the bathtub spout. The hot water scalds anyone who pushes it past the middle of the sink – or all the time now since the cold water is turned off generally. If I don’t empty the bucket daily, it oozes over onto the cupboard. Pretty sure I could push the pointy end of a toothbrush through the bottom of the cupboard – it’s so squishy.

To be accurate, it’s not three buckets. My plumbing solution is one small bucket, one small plastic bowl, and a towel because just yesterday when I was doing dishes I realized the water was leaking out of the cupboard door. “Well, that’s not good,” I said to myself. “I wonder what new excitement is happening underneath there?” I asked myself. “Oh, how interesting,” I said as I opened the door to see that not only are both lines dripping but the connector between the right and left sides of the sink just plain old detached. And water was basically just overflowing straight into the bucket. If I wash dishes quickly and hold the pipe up with my right foot, then it works pretty well.

My life is like camping but with a comfortable bed, flush toilets, wifi, and some really high crab grass.

Ants in the bathroom. And I’m pretty sure that the kids’ friends at school take off their smelly socks after recess and give them to my children who wake up in the middle of the night and litter them about the house. Because NO ONE can possibly have THIS MANY smelly socks in their house with three children who are only here every other week. It’s simple math.

On the plus side the rats seem to be finished shitting all over my garage and eating my TVP. I feel fairly confident about the TVP part because there is none left to eat. Bastards.

Drove the boys to school today. We were a little early but I was still stressed out because of 1) dirty socks and 2) Matt asked me to get him milk. “You are going to get eaten in the wild,” I told him by way of encouragement. “Get your own damn milk.” As I drove, I was considering what a stellar mother I am in all ways. A bus ahead of us decided it wanted to change lanes at a really shitty spot, slowing down traffic for a block and a half behind it, so even though I had time, it made me cranky.

Once the bus moved over, I saw why it was changing lanes. Just in front of it on the street was a woman stuffing a bunch of dirty clothes into a laundry basket. She’d been crossing the street – a really busy street just off of I-5 – with an overflowing green plastic laundry basket of clothes. Maybe her clothes were clean, maybe dirty. Maybe it was all she had – maybe she was going to the Laundromat. Maybe going home from one. But I felt like that lady. And it scared me and I wanted to cry.

I resented that I had to take my kids to school and couldn’t turn around to pick her up and drive her somewhere. Maybe we could both inhabit one body and share resources. At least I have a car and a washer.

When you are poor, there just isn’t enough.

I need to finish school and get a job. I don’t like it here right now. Someone come mow my damn lawn.

Tail End of the Fire Swamp and Pending Integration

I get caught between the energy healing, Law of Attraction way of thinking and my own emotions. I feel vague guilt about not being able to feel my way into prosperity or happiness. I get it – it makes sense. I’ve watched “What the Bleep Do We Know?” I’ve even lent it out.

Where the rubber meets the road, though, I just cry a lot. About dolphins in captivity and pictures of butterfly eggs.

 

The world is too big and beautiful and loud and it feels like this because I have been shut down for so long that the stimulation overwhelms me. The challenge to participate in it alternately creates a siren call toward my power and a compulsion to binge watch Netflix. I am afraid of my power. Still. I am afraid that am being asked to be bigger than I can stretch to accommodate. I am afraid I might miss ‘the thing’ that I feel like all of this wrenching reidentificaiton is preparing me to integrate with.

My Paid for Friend says this is a sign that my emotional reserves are growing. I have the capacity to feel and it is safe to do so.

If our intuitive intake machine is supposed to look like a bowling ball with a couple of holes on the top to filter information through, my hard exterior is non-existent and I am left with the string ball inside and nothing to protect it from overwhelming overload of sensory input. I retreat to sleep to provide the buffer I need between the world and my overactive brain.

Whether I’ve turned into a blazing introvert or whether I’ve just come to terms with the idea that I’ve always been one, the idea of people exhausts me. Telling me I think too much and am too much in my head is 1) true and 2) dismissive. Come be in my head with me and help me make sense of the landscape.

It is miraculous. My intuitive soul knows the rational string ball of my mind is preoccupied with the room of mirrors and it continually leads me into the version of me I am careening toward. And someday they will integrate, says My Paid For Friend – the powerful intuition and the blazing intellect.

She says I am perfectly at the wrenching part of the journey where I utterly destroy the container that got me here and reconstruct an identity out of meaning and symbol, feelings and compassion. If the journey to mental health and integrated living is a bell curve, I am on the tail end of the fire swamp and getting ready to start living through the Intuition and not quite so much sabotage. The Mind that has held the reigns doesn’t yet trust the Intuition and so the battle in all the areas one expects: love, creativity, life management.

It’s fucking messy. And I cry a lot.

Aside

Leanne Simpson is an Anishinaabe Indian living in Canada. She created this book with her friends to capture the experience of living as a contemporary Native in a colonized world.

You can listen to readings from the book by clicking on the link below.

Islands of Decolonial Love

Video

Austin Kleon: Taking A Peek Inside “The Invention Machine”

Austin Kleon’s ‘Steal Like an Artist is one of my favorite ever books about creativity. Here is Kleon talking about his process – take the pressure off and create when you can.

steal like an artist

Brought to my attention by Fabeku Futanmise. Title taken from Austin’s site.

Life Channel: Karin Lisa Atkinson

Karin Lisa Atkinson has a channel of Vimeo that I am enjoying. She’s curating some powerful, artistic, and culturally challenging content.

Here’s an example: Link to her channel is below the video.

Etching Sand Castles On A Single Grain Of Sand from The Creators Project on Vimeo.

Change The Life Channel ~ Book of Peace: Intention and Desire by Karin Lisa Atkinson on Vimeo

Video

How About a Little Dance Walking: What’s the Buzz?

Saw this on Facebook. Like so much about it!

Check out Ben Aaron LXTV NBC

Aside

Cool Video on How to Separate Eggs

How about a little off topic coolness on this, the 28th of February, 2014?

Great Satirical Video on How Capitalism Has Been Buggering the Masses

Stumbled upon this site that works to help first nations and indigenous people fight the “progress” foisted upon them by “well-meaning, profit-driven, capitalistic multinationals.

P.S. Watch Rabbit Proof Fence.

Daft Toes and No One Should Have Sex, Including Rats

It was really only three minutes until the alarm was going to go off anyway, and I had to pee. They weren’t going to be good for sleeping with my bladder that full, so I figured I may as well get out of bed. Due to a perpendicular kid’s feet poking into my very gizzard, I was precariously perched on the edge. I swung my leg over to roll onto my feet.  Just didn’t realize how close I was to the edge as the synergy of my voluminous butt meeting gravity pulled my carcass off the bed in a most unseemly manner. I threw out my right to the bed stand to catch myself. I threw my right leg out to brace against the wall.

picture of broken toe

This is my newly abused toe, inflicted by a morning of angst. Ignore the ratty nails. I’ll take care of that in a couple of months when I have income. (Photo by Kaley Perkins of her own foot, Feb. 2014)

That would have been a TREMENDOUS plan if the portable heater with the metal screen hadn’t been in the way, snagging my Morton’s toe in a death grip.

I limp-stumbled into the bathroom in the dark because only sissies need light to pee, and I was preoccupied with muttering profanity. From the unsuccessful sound of the flush, I could tell that something was wrong with the toilet. I flipped on the light and looked to see that whoever had diarrhea in the middle of the night had used a lot of toilet paper and had also not flushed. “Oh please, shit water, don’t breach the perimeter. Oh, gawd, please have a plunger in the garage, please have a plunger in the garage.”

(Nevermind one of my kids has diarrhea.)

The garage is not my favorite place since the rats have taken up residence and begun a comprehensive and systematic campaign against my pulses and staples. Their inherent stealth scares me, their turds remind me of existential failure to control the wilderness of life, and there is only so much sweeping of dried rodent feces one can do before the constraints of denial begin to crumble. But the threatening foam of shit-water and three-full-bladders about the awaken required the tactical flashlight and me to do recon. No damn plunger.

Sons just peed in the shower. Again. We got daughter to school early so she could go potty before classes.

I sat on the edge of my bed nursing my daft toe and sucking up to the wall heater when the girl child came in looking forlorn from a bad dream. She is in sixth grade and starting to wake up to stuff we’d both rather she didn’t have to.  The weekend before, she’d been at her dad’s and called me crying. She wanted me to pick her up, but I wasn’t in town. My sister and niece picked her up and got her away from all of the “boy juice” that was bugging her. Further debriefing revealed that she is starting to feel the ickiness of being a second class citizen because of her girlness in a house-full of boys with a … well, we’ll leave the ex-bashing for another day. He has some great strengths as a dad, but navigating the emotional needs of women and pending women is not one of them.

She is realizing this, and it breaks my mommy heart. If I had chosen differently, I wouldn’t have a broken family, a mistrust of men that makes me guard with tines and vitriol, girl children looking for worth, and boy children I am trying to squelch paternalistic privilege out of. But man, these are cool kids, and they wouldn’t be who they are without him as their dad. Dose of mom guilt, check.

That I told her I was gripping about having to get my IUD taken out because I’ve been bleeding since months ago, probably didn’t help.

“Why do you tell me that stuff?” she asked.

“Because I am nervous,  and I feel alone,” said the best mom ever.  “Being a woman is glorious.”

Morning routine pretty normal, near vomiting from anxiety on her way to middle school. She hates using the school’s bathrooms because “They’re disgusting!”  Bought a plunger with the boys before dropping them off, and immediately burst into tears on the way to the doctor’s office to get the bloodiest IUD ever seen removed from my baby basket. [The only reason I didn't take a picture is because I didn't think of it. You are welcome. (If you want some gross pictures - more gross than the featured toe above - click here.)]

“This seems like an awkward social moment,” I said to the doctor as he stuck his torso into my vagina to do a pelvic exam. He and the nurse laughed, presumably at my ice breaker, so at least the audience was friendly.

“I’m used to it,” he responded.

Bully for your team!

I didn’t cry quite so much on the way home. And why would I? I left there with Rx’s for valium and vicodin and a four-step plan to circumvent a bazillion year old evolutionary plot to reproduce – nature’s way of taming the divine feminine energy using sleep deprivation and interminable laundry. So imagine my surprise when, while bent over the toilet sucking the now largely encrusted  ick back up so that it would flush, I discerned the rapid and smooth scamper of a lush dark brown pelt somewhere to my left.

ONLY because of Ratatouille did I not have heart attack. I transported to the door by the garage to see if it was open (none of the doors in my house open or close with particular ease.) It was just a bit open, like enough for a smallish brown and well-fed rodent to scootch in. We danced a bit, the luxuriant rat, nourished by red lentils and TVP, and I – through the bathroom, the laundry room, around the perimeter of my kitchen, until he threw himself at the door which (he thinks) should have been opened and, in a feat that ordinarily requires opposable thumbs, probably had been by him. He ran behind the stove. I opened the door. Out he ran. Bastard. Fucker.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. I dragged my tired-ass, emotional self out of the house to watch my niece’s high school orchestra concert. It was a good move as my daughter is in band and has been squawking about wanting to quit. It was an evangelistic event for her for which I am grateful. Did you know that kids who learn instrumental music for the four years of high school are 75% more likely than their non-instrumental peers to get bachelor’s degrees; 58% more likely to get master’s; and 32% more likely to get doctorate’s?

Here’s the takeaway.

I have toes, a bed, a garage, money for a plunger, food to feed rodents, a car to drive to the doctor, medical care (for now), kids, healthy kids, healthy kids who are processing life and doing a pretty good job of it, a plan to make it so I can have sex without having more kids, sisters, a niece, a niece to be able to show support for, a niece who loves music and rescues my daughter when she is sad and who is a good example, older daughters who are also processing through stuff and able to help the younger kids which in turn helps them, gas to drive to a concert, and a great bed to come home to.

I want to live a life of abundance. This requires re-writing stories and remaining present, neither of which are sissy-friendly or one-time activities. If we lived in vacuums or at yoga retreats, progress might be faster, but sometimes it’s just one broken toe at a time.