absence

I’ve been absent recently. Haven’t we all? Absence is requisite these days. It’s essential to life.

But, absence of self is not the intention. The purposeful and social absence we are experiencing has shown us the importance of distancing from the pressures we have created for ourselves. For the first time since my mother inhabited this neighborhood where I now live, have I known that my neighbors have children, cars, animals…it’s eerily reminiscent of decades prior. Times when we played outside until the sun went down, and hung out in the driveway with family.

This is clearly a self intentioned moment in time. A time to reflect and be peaceful and to relinquish the “must dos” and the “I really shoulds”, and instead to allow oneself permission to simply be.

Absence. Yes, I am absent today. I am not ill. I am not skipping out. I am just absent.

And, it is really, really, really, ok…

don’t forget to remember…

I don’t think I will ever forget…so many, many things. Such every day things that express the most significant moments for me.  Cake. Cake makes me cry. She loved cake. And she loved cake every day. Grocery shopping is a very emotional experience these days.    There is so much cake in the store.  Sandwiches. Sandwiches too. I long to make sandwiches. No crusts of course, and never with mustard, and always with tomatoes, but sandwiches every day.  There is no more cake and no more sandwiches every day, and that leaves me with a great sense of emptiness.

I don’t ever want to forget all the little things. The unique expressions she had to describe things, hearing the same story time and again, and learning to appreciate it as if it was the first time that I heard it. If it wasn’t important to her then it probably wouldn’t have come up as often as it did…whatever it was that was worth repeating needed to be repeated.  again… and again…probably so that I would always remember. I know that now.

It is hard being left behind when I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, and even in the knowledge that it was near…I am not sure that I would ever be ready even if given the choice of when that was…I don’t want to forget to remember all the things about her. I also hope that someday I won’t cry as often, but that I will begin to feel more joy in the remembrances rather than sadness in the fresh and tender loss. I do understand that we all have a journey of our own and that when that journey is complete, it just is.

It just is…

 

 

 

In pieces…

It’s unfathomable for some to know, to relate, to discern the pain of others.

Pain is manifested in many different ways for each individual, and, the breaking point is not always evident until it is.  Those of us who appear to be the most confident, the strongest, the most together, if you will, are most often the first to be called out, and ostracized when that break happens.

Our fragility is hidden.  Our weaknesses carefully guarded and hiding down deep in our painful refuge of sadness.  Guilty for feeling helpless, and fearing that revelation of these darknesses will result in an avalanche of desertion by everyone around us.  It’s as if our imperfect actions, and behaviors are open to severe criticism as if somehow we capably strong people can take it. Because we are grossly aware of our flaws and self magnify those imperfections, to have them put on stage is like death. So,

You don’t know where that tipping point begins and where it ends…you don’t know.

If you only knew…

  • how your life would be different someday
  • that you might not appreciate the freedom you currently have until you don’t have it on a daily basis
  • that you will someday be “older”…your skin will change, your body will betray you, you may not sleep as well, you might not see or hear as well, and not remember as much
  • that you may be a caregiver for a family member
  • that you will learn to be alone well
  • that you will learn to deal with isolation
  • that self care is absolutely essential and primary to the care of your loved ones AND yourself
  • that you MUST continue as much of your ‘normal’ life while in your new role in life
  • that you MUST choose to be peaceful, happy and making choices that benefit your life…daily
  • that you matter and that others really do not know what you are dealing with in your life
  • that you do not always know what others are dealing with in their lives
  • that you are not the center of the universe…but…
  • that you DO matter
  • that your needs are important
  • be wise and choose wisely
  • that it’s okay to ask for help
  • that you can have a “you” day and you must…

And, it’s perfectly acceptable to say “no” to the excessive demands that prevail in the world around you because you simply cannot do everything all the time.

DO NOT allow others to predicate your existence, to usurp your joy, your energy, your self respect, your choices, to disrespect your choices, and not ask permission to invade your life.

Decades of life teaches you so many things, but you should not have to wait until you are almost dead to find these things out.

Own your livelihood, without possessing  and presenting entitlement.

Be humble and kind.

But, own yourself. And, if you’ve suffered the indecencies of others, stop it! now!

Be “mad as hell, and don’t take it any longer”

WORD

Best…

What’s best, you ask?  How the hell do I know? Does anyone know?

Probably not, but somehow we keep making choices based on “what’s best…” for ourselves, our children, our parents, our friends…everyone.

Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.  It REALLY is true. And to be too sensitive to what everyone else thinks that you “should” have done for yourself or them just keeps you in a state of doubt, discomfort, angst, and question interminably.

That is no way to live…and I want to be clear though.  Merriam Webster’s no. 2 definition of BEST is this:

most productive of good offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction.   What is the best thing to do?

When we give our “best” advice or opinion, especially to and for those we love, it is usually because we love them.

that’s all…

truth

Artists:

so many mediums, aspects, genres, styles, designs, plots, inspirations, ideas, creations, emotions, scripts, presentations, performances, showings…                                                 and on, and on…

like our sexuality, it is not a choice. we are artists.                                                                  and, no, we do not need your approval to be this, to do this, to live this.

WE. ARE. THIS.  unlike so many professions, we ARE our artistry.

it is life, breath, it is existence. period. and, it is, at times, many…many…many…times very painful.

the criticism, skepticism, and, well, disdain for the lack of financial security related to our artistry, by others, for our supposedly ‘chosen’ path, to create the very amazing, mind-stretching and brilliant works that entertain everyone else who can afford to enjoy our art, is sad, insulting, mind-boggling and shameful.                                                         even those who love us, like us, tell us we are “talented, wonderful, even geniuses” are not fully “in”. ‘gosh, you are so smart, you would be so good at…(fill in the blank)’.

thank god, we don’t give a shit if ANYONE likes what we create and have the fucking balls to expose to everyone on a regular basis. some see it as bravery, others say crazy.

we have no choice.

creation is innate and raw, and contrived, and self-imposing, and selfish, and lovely, and selfless, and necessary…it is necessary to those who create, and especially for those who are the recipients of the creation. you need us. you do. and, as such, should be compensated fairly for our necessity. but, guess what? when we are not, we keep on.       because…we must…and because it is a love so insistent. because.

just because…

love you long time…

Do you have a situation that requires great decisions and reflections? A situation that feels like it will never be resolved and, more importantly, a situation that feels like it is uniquely yours that no one else could possibly relate to….???

Of course, you do. You are human. And it sucks a whole f’ing lot of the time. And you wonder…”Am I the only one who…(fill in the blank)?”  No, you definitely are not.

But, that doesn’t make your situation unimportant. In fact, it makes it perfectly relevant.

Why? because, believe it or not, we all relate. Someway, somehow. We are all dealing with S#$t, and we all have to go to work, take care of children, take care of our parents, do a job we hate, do chores we dislike and work with people we might not necessarily choose to work with….Damn it, just take care of f’ing everything!

IT. IS. HARD. PERIOD.

And, you know what? we have to keep doing it. Just like our great-grandparents did. Like our grandparents did. And, maybe our parents. Keeping a stiff upper lip isn’t necessarily bad.  Wearing our crap on our sleeves all the damn time, is heavy. It is counterproductive. It is useless. How does it aid in solving our personal crimes, our maladies, our misgivings? It doesn’t. Because, as my daughter might say, most people only care about themselves.

Does that hurt? Too bad. Because it’s true. Most people only think about how almost everything relates to them. Their pain, their joy, their heartaches, their victories. YUP. True. All of it true. We like to think that others are concerned with our well being. Some are, but most are not. We are all self-consumed.  The truth is difficult.

Take some time to love YOU, and you will be amazed at your ability to reach beyond yourself to love others and genuinely care about them. And, maybe, just maybe, all of that S#$T might be bearable…My experience is that, yes, being selfless yields positive results…Just saying…