Friday, January 30, 2015

I hate this blog

Not really...

I actually love this place. I am just not happy here right now.

I have written in it for over 10 years.

It chronicled my pregnancy and the birth of Squink. It watched the early years of his growth and my trying to figure out how to move it out of being a mommy blog into something more.

There was the year I tried to love poetry, still don't.

There was a feeble attempt at food blogging.

At the forefront, though, has always been something that I would call my story.

The funny thing is that it took my cancer diagnoses to change that.

At one point this blog became about other people. 

It took a triple lecture from my mother in text, email and phone call form to change the way I look at this place.

The lecture was about how I had offended my aunt because I hadn't thanked her enough in these pages.

I was told that it had been explained and that she understood, but three messages/lectures about one incident about how I had failed here are hard for me to recover from, at least at this point,  Especially since I know they still read this.

I try to write something but each time I ask myself who is going to get offended this time.  I can't do it, I have 68 drafts sitting in my folder waiting to be published or worked on. This place was not about making other people happy, it was supposed to be a place to write. Making other people happy is not what I wanted this place to be about. I can't do it that way. Since I can't seem to get past that and the sense that somehow what I write is or can be rude or offensive or even (at best) insensitive... 

Oh, I was just trying to work out my gratitude for how many people helped me... nothing more... The thing is..., I am not mad... I feel like I am just not good enough to do this anymore.

This situation (above) happened right on the tail of a post in which I chose not to include my husband, mainly to protect him and to make it about my son and I (yes, that was selfish)... he was hurt and having to manage his hurt feelings was hard, but I deserved it. In the case of my husband, I was wrong... I should have asked if I could include him and didn't... . but in the other I was not.

This was supposed to be my journal, my thoughts, my stories, my ideas... and now they are terrified of hurting someone else's feelings, having to deal with more emotional upheaval, being at the end to more lectures holding my behavior to a certain standard, more hurt feelings (my own included). 

But what can I do?

I hated the year I only wrote about poems, it was so anonymous and sterile. but it seems that is the only thing I can try to do anymore. I love my family too much to risk it.

I met some really wonderful people through this blog. 

I miss that part of this... 

However, in the interest that no one gets hurt by reading this blog, I am keeping this proverbial mouth (blog) shut. At least for now.



“You should try not to talk so much, friend. You'll sound far less stupid that way.  ~ Breeze”
~ Brandon Sanderson, Mistborn: The Final Empire

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

For the children's sake

Today I went to a luncheon that was started by a family that lost their son/brother to the ravages of addiction.

As I listened to the mother and sisters make impassioned pleas for support, I thought about how I would feel if I lost my son... not just to addiction, but to anything. Considering that I was close enough to that when he was a new born, I felt the mothers anguish. Then as I thought about how the young man was only in his mid twenties, I wondered how that must feel if it happened now or ten years from now, or even twenty years from now... painful is what I could answer.

Following that, I began to consider what my parents must have felt when I called to give them my news.

I started to feel a little sick to my stomach. Just in anguish.

I thought about my mothers gasp when I called her, and my fathers silence when I called him.  I noticed them, but only slightly... I was so wrapped up in my own extremely feeble attempts to try and manage the news.

To call them and share the news that "I have cancer" was hard. And to now be able to put myself on their imaginary end of the phone line was pretty horrifying...

What would I do if Squink called me with such news... not a question... the mere thought brings me stomach pain, a heavy heart, my breath stuck in my throat.

Our children are not supposed to die, they are not supposed to get seriously ill, to suffer.

Life is pretty ridiculous, and I say that because in spite of everything,  it all results in death, and we humans become so attached to each other, that the death part becomes un-natural to us in a way.



And I am not trying to be-little it, I am more trying to wrap my head around it.

People we love get sick (be it cancer, addiction, heart disease, depression, leprosy...) and they die... and we have to deal with the mortality of the ones we love... and the pressure of things when it is your children who are going through the process, well it must be intense and I don't think it ever gets any easier.

When we were asked if we wanted Squink to be given last rights, that was a tough moment. We understood that he was not a healthy baby, that he could die.... THAT was intense. Schatzy and I went home and prayed, we felt helpless and when that happens you turn those feelings over, they become outside of self.

So that is all I can say, getting that kind of news must be devastating, as devastating as it is to get and be aware of the news about yourself, but somehow I just know that no matter what his age, I would take the news from him far harder than I think I might if the news were about myself... and neither would be easy.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

poetry of deliberate awkwardness

One of the things with the notion of love is that there is a form of reciprocity that is involved  -  and yes, this is a generality… I can already think of instances where love is not expected to be reciprocated.

I love heart shaped rocks

I love road runners

I love Ecuador

I can say that I am pretty darn sure none of those love me back, (though I have an internal argument that countries/cities/regions can love someone but that is not really relevant to today's thoughts) but that is not the kind of love of relationships.

I love my son, I am sure he loves me back.

I love my family, I am sure they love me back.

I love my friends, I am sure they love me back.

However...

Lyric Poetry, painted by Henry Oliver Walker (Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington D.C.).
Many of us do not take the time to notice and acknowledge how beautiful we are as humans.~ unknown

So, here is where I can say that in general I am really hard on myself. I don't know that I am a beautiful human... I would like to think I am, but I can't verify that I am with any certainty (you could ask my mom, and she would say yes, but she is my mom and of course she has to believe that...). 

If we have beautiful on one end of a spectrum I really can't say that I think I would be on that end. If we have a  complete spectrum of beauty I can't say that I would be on an end or even in the middle.. since there is something in the way we approach beauty that runs from good to bad that in some sense one part is better than another.

It is pretty sick, isn't it. 

I mean, I look at my family, all my family and I am just wowed by how beautiful they are. I just can’t manage to apply to to myself.

I saw this Ted talk  and it struck a chord, though I think he may too easily dismiss duty in terms of love... but, I do think he has something in his ideas about loving the deliberate awkwardness of being human.

I am most definitely on a scale that measures that.


Monday, January 12, 2015

The Language of Silence

I am almost always the first to wake up in the house.

Usually, I manage to open my eyes before the first of the two alarms I have.
I listen to my house. I listen to the street outside my window. I listen to the ping of my automatic coffee maker. I listen to my husband sleep beside me, and I listen to see if my son is waking up in the other room.
On rainy days, I listen to the drops of rain against the window.
I look for the signs of morning. Rays of sunshine streaming through the windows, the light on the carpet in the hall next to our room.
I sit up and reach to grab my robe from the foot of the bed and wrap it around me. I swing my legs to step onto our cold floor. I putter towards the kitchen, grab a mug and set it on the counter. I putter to the fridge and open it to get the half and half. I open the carton, as I swing around back to the mug and pour enough in to just cover the bottom of the mug. I put the creamer back and swing back to my mug, pick it up and carry it to the coffee maker, which has already started and is seconds away from giving me the refuge I seek. Once my mug is full, I cradle it between my hands, feeling the warmth. I hold it up to my face and inhale deeply. I love the smell of coffee and cream. I think about the farmers who raised my beans, who milked my cows and give them gratitude.
I putter back to my bed, stopping along the way to peek in on my son, and smile at how gentle his ten year old face looks in the early morning light, the light dusting of freckles on his nose and cheeks. I watch his chest rise and fall for a bit and continue my way back to bed. I set my mug on my bedside table and push my pillows up against my headboard and slip back under the covers sitting up. Once I am comfortable, I pick up my mug and take another breath to inhale its aroma. I take a sip.
I enjoy the silence, the brief respite from life in that moment.
I pick up my phone and check emails, both work and personal. I check the news and open up Facebook and Instagram to see what the previous day brought…. I wait until I hear the alarm in my sons room go off, when I will get up and help him with breakfast.

And as I do these the speed of life picks up and moves along at an ever increasing pace… and won’t slow down until the next morning when I wake up.
Originally published at https://medium.com/@blair_necessity/the-language-of-silence-531433a88d93 on January 12, 2015.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Love, American style

Do you remember that TV Show?

 I mean what is not to love about a show that depicts comedic American love stories using a flugelhorn to highlight it? It made silly out to be the root of romantic love.



I actually was only privy to summer re-runs when we would visit the US, but growing up overseas lent itself to think of America as some sort of different place, where EVERYTHING happened differently. That would include love.

 Aside from my childishly absurd notions that Americans had a different kind of love from elsewhere in the world… I have always been fascinated by this “emotion”, love.

 Of course, I am not the first. Those dead old white dudes (the Greek philosophers) did a pretty good job at trying to define it. But in all my years pondering the whole notion, I felt like they had missed something. Of course, this depends on who you listen to… but in general there are four Greek words for love… though some claim that there are six words.

Source


But the notion of love has always been interesting. There was a post in the New York Times that struck a chord. The idea that love can be induced in a clinical setting with a clinical method seemed intriguing.

 As I pondered the idea of being able to make two people fall in love, I wondered if this “test” was more about being vulnerable and honest rather than that there was a method to allow a couple to fall in love… I mean, that I was curious about what these questions would do outside of a “couple” type setting — what would happen if a parent and child followed the regimen, for example. Surely love was dependent on certain pre-sets. A willingness to fall in love, an attraction to the other individual at its root (which begs another question on attraction identity could this method allow gay people of opposite sexes to fall in love, for example), and even the mood at the time of the “experiement”.

 So, in a fit of my orneriness and willingness to buck systems and not follow “protocols” I decided to ask my husband and son the first set of questions.

 It was interesting. I learned things about each of them I never would have imagined, though nothing so significant that it induced a stronger feeling of love or something of that nature. However, it was a nice conversation and no one seemed bothered by the questions. 
I stopped after the first set of the questions in part because I had asked them in the car as we were on a family errand and the errand had come to a close, but also to think about how that portion had gone… plus, the second set includes a question about how you feel about your mother and that is an interesting question to ask a ten year old son (I would need to adapt the question in terms of intent, but how to capture that same essence… I mean, mothers have a pretty profound role in our lives for the bad or the good).

 So, it seems (at least on the surface) as if those studies tend to focus on fostering the eros end of a love spectrum, but since I seem to see that it is about being willing to be vulnerable that there should be more cross-love application… meaning it could create something in maternal our wifely love as well. 
I have yet to try the 4 minute staring part of the experiment, but I will. 
Though it reminds me of a boyfriend I had in college that asked me to do that with him, stare into each-others eyes for a few minutes, and it seemed too intense to try at that time… especially since I hated being looked at in those years (think bangs over the face) and would not have that kind of protection. I would have felt too vulnerable.

 However, and perhaps this is the thing I have sensed was missing — its that for all these words describing different kinds of love, and for all these questions to help one fall in love… isn’t there one word, one thing, at the root of each of them that crosses all these definitions and actions and if so, what is that? What causes all of these things to be classified under the word love.

 What does that mean for love?