Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 is a whole new bag of tricks....

So after determining that I had neglected blogging long enough, and that I needed another or new outlet since I haven't posted here in so long... I decided to make 2018 the year that the blog resurrected itself...

And here we are.


I look at the coming year with many ideas.

However, I must be honest and state the first and most overwhelming emotion I have is GRATITUDE.

I have been learning a lot about gratitude these past few years.
What have I been doing that would lead to KNOWLEDGE about GRATITUDE, you might ask?

WELL.... that is a multi-layered answer coming right at ya.

First, I have been walking a Red Road,  the Native American path.  I have recognized and honored my Cherokee ancestors: two women who married my seventh and eighth great grandfathers.  And I have apprenticed myself to a Hopi elder.  Because she came into my life at a time that I needed her, and threw me a life raft I have been clinging to ever since.  For this, I am eternally grateful.

She has her own presence on the World Wide Web - a place governed by Grandmother Spider (one of my teachers as well) - so I won't go into any detail here, outing her or giving any of her details here.  My relationship with her is so important to me.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

I accept this as truth now.

I also walk with a being I knew at first as Grandmother Pipe Spirit, and now I know as the Grandmother Arrow, or Cherokee Arrow Woman, "Ani Yun Wiya," who has added much clarity and kindness in my life.

Because - if you have not gathered this by now - I am the type of person who is very hard on herself.  I criticize myself and hold myself at a much higher standard than I do you.... I love you, but it's myself I can't stand, have a hundred reasons to change and things I should/need to do... and nothing that I do will ever be enough to satisfy my crazy standards....

So part of my lessons is simply to approach myself with clarity and kindness.  This is not so easy for me.

And yet I feel gratitude because I feel I have been led to the place where I can finally work on these life lessons in a gentle and meaningful way.

So it is with gratitude that I stop at this moment, on the cusp on 2018, and beckon to you, reader.

Welcome to a new space.

Please come along.

And be gentle with yourself.

We are on this road called life together.

And none of us gets out alive.

Aho.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saved

Today's gratitude goes out first and foremost to a really awesome person who helped me through the Google product blog to recapture my blog.  I am forever grateful.
And then a second bit of love from Google: my email from Google calendar this morning saying "You have no events scheduled for today."  Ah, bliss.
This weekend shall be spent doing some writing, hopefully some reading, and working on the great unpacking of my house.  I am completely broke, so I am trying to make that work in my favor and stay at the house and get some work done.  Of course, how to get around 11 counties in the next week before payday (driving about 1000-1300 miles) is another quandary I am now in, but no doubt I will come up with a creative solution.  I usually do.
So I am off, ready to enjoy Saturday, a day where at least in theory I will not be forced to put other people's demands at the forefront, leaving nothing for myself but exhaustion and bitterness.  Let's see how this pans out....

Friday, April 24, 2015

google-site-verification: googlea008652adc9caf25.html

Can you see this?

Apparently my blog URL has been highjacked by some nondescript "art paintings.net" crap.  So if you can read this, please comment!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

69 years doesn't seem so long for a life. But that could not happen....

When I was younger, my mother always said she would die young.  Since all the people in my family always walked around talking about how sick they were and how they were going to die any minute - including my grandmother who lived to just 6 months short of her 98th birthday and a cousin who has been at death's door now for over 50 years and last I saw is still going strong - I didn't pay full attention to her words.

Today would have been my mother's 69th birthday.  I miss her something fierce and still cry on my long commute to my job at least three days out of five remembering something about those last 10 months of her life as the cancer ate away at her while I stood by helplessly, urging her and her doctors to take better care of her health, never being taken seriously.

I try to make myself remember the good things.  Like our silly game we played, going to a flea market or a Goodwill and having a little contest to see who could come up with the tackiest thing.  It was a game we loved, and we each won an equal number of times.  (The ability to spot tacky is a genetically passed-down trait for us Southern women, y'all.)  Like the love of books, which she also passed down to me.

Or like her statement that I was the great shame of her life.  Yes, that is a good thing.

I have evolved to feel sorry for my mother who was brought up in a culture of misogynistic shame. Because of this, she hid her pregnancy with me, and drove herself to the hospital on October 30, 1969, to labor and give birth to me alone.  No one in my family, save my mother, knew I existed for the first couple of days I was on this earth.  She had strongly considered giving me up for adoption.  And then my grandfather showed up at the hospital.  He had been looking for her to tell her that her own mother was in the hospital.  He convinced my mother that she was better than the shame, and so was I.  She called my dad and told him he was a father.  He showed up at the hospital and stepped up.  I have no idea how his mother took the news, but I know she spoiled me rotten my entire life.

It took me until after my mother died to see this as a fairy tale - I got to live.  I got to grow up with my family.

I wanted to talk to her about it.  Other than one phone call she made to me at work, screaming and crying, calling me "the great shame of [her] life,"  we never really got to talk about it.  Every time I brought it up, she made it clear it was not for discussion.  Then she got sick and I did not want to bring up anything else unpleasant for her to deal with.

So I feel like I am missing a piece of my history.  Maybe that's why I like digging in genealogy and am fascinated by the past.

Maybe that's why the person I feel most comfortable with at present is the narrator of my novel who is long dead and yet spilling his own confessions and history into my fingers as I type.

Maybe that's why I feel drawn to champion those who are not championed and empower them to champion themselves.

No one should live in shame.

No one should apologize for their existence.

No one should suffer at the hands of another and be made to feel "less than."

No one should be unwanted.

Happy birthday, Mommy.  I miss you.  I am still so proud of you I have no words.  You are still strong.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

poemy

my feelings for you are motile
the blush of love more like
a verdigris patina
on the afterthought of my soul.
bright, brassy hues turn sepia
when marinated in alcohol
and tears' brine.
the goddess in me feigns agape
while i evacuate, out the back door,
the dirty alley's a symphony
of cruelty and lack
- music to my ears, a familiar tune -
no,
i shall not sing for you again.

9/20/14

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fulfilling self-assignment

Rifling through this month's journal (I am using a ""Decomposition Book" each month, a la Natalie Goldberg), I found a assignment I had given myself as a result of my working through Julia Cameron's Walking in this World: to post one of my most obscure poems on my blog.  Since this is the last day of the month, I wanted to complete at least one more creative task for August and decided to post this evening's verse here.

But of course, there is an interesting story to this poem. I am a big fan of the Personal Universe deck. I think I have written about it here before, but feel free to Google away.  However, my room is a wreck and I am not really in the frame of mind to clean, so I thought I would let an app that I like to play with, Ghost Radar Legacy, generate the words for me.  Google that one too, if you are curious.  (I am getting a bit lazy with the linking, sorry.)

So anyway, for your obscure enjoyment - my verse about not wanting to be obscure, I guess:


"What I Want"

What I want
is to be more than useful,
meaningful
beyond this space
beyond this time
my words more than scattered consonants
dissonate
discovery subterranean
like Richard III unearthed,
in London for a parking structure
mundane, I want the conversation -
alone -
to last.

(c) tbj 8.31.14