I wish that I were more functional. I wish that I were whatever it is I'd have to be.... I need to work and make more money than I am making right now, but these little 4 hours shifts are still involving enough anxiety that I hole up in the bathroom (or want to, really badly) and turn the lights off, try to press myself into a corner until I feel calm again. It doesn't work very well. If the library will hire me, I could work full time without freaking, and there are no sharp bladed items here (current site of internet). I have to ask them how that volunteer app is going.....
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Then there were lovers. Sometimes there was a little window, sometimes the glass was thicker than ever. It isn't much fun to try to make love to someone through a pane of glass, even with a window. And they said the glass wasn't there either...at first. Later on, they would see it was there and then they'd be angry with me, as if it were my doing. I was used to feeling isolated. I spent a lot of time thinking about the man who had found the largest window before my parents slammed it shut. I always wondered if that window would have been large enough for one of us to climb through.
One day I turned to talk to you, and the glass looked very thin. I was surprised; I could hear you easily and everything you said made perfect sense instead of sounding all mumbly. I had already come up with a different theory, with an idea for heading off in the direction opposite the glass, but this was too arresting to walk away from. I didn't have to shout. I didn't have to strain to hear. You were interesting and funny. And...the glass wasn't there. It was just gone. It was like you were right on this side of the world. Maybe I imagined it wasn't there. Maybe it was too thin to see. Who knows? They said I wasn't safe and they put up a big wall of concrete there, said you wanted it. I caught a glimpse of you behind a section of thick, cloudy glass and you said yes, concrete, please quit trying to break the concrete wall down... I miss you so much. I hate the concrete.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Still: why you? I backtrack through my mind, through the path of time. I was always mentally aware that you were attractive to me, but I had put up a barrier, a wall of defense, right away. Occasionally, very occasionally, I watched you, covertly, only for a second or two, and pretended to myself that I hadn't. It was like watching a butterfly flit through one's field of vision, ever so briefly and then forgotten. Then one day, you called and I talked to you. I hate phone calls. I had hardly spoken to you before. I was surprised to find that I had enjoyed talking to you, that there had been some sort of a connection, of finding oneself on the same page, that I'd ended up talking much longer than I would have expected to. Something flickered briefly on the horizon of my mind. I brushed it away. My partner was jealous I'd talked to you for half an hour. I said he was being silly....and I believed that.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Went partway up the hiking trail today; had children along so kept it easy and truncated. We saw the Lomatium dissectums again, now mostly in seed, penstemons, larkspurs, the small yellow lomatiums, and a lot of ferns that appear to either be in a state of flowering or to have the haploid and diploid generations both present simultaneously. Ferns are sort of confusing that way. There were a lot of others...oh yeah- there was a plant I haven't seen before. If I make it up that far tomorrow, I'll key it out.
And...I found out that I was unexpectedly scheduled to work today, after I was late to the work I didn't know I had. I just had a talk with her a week and a half ago about not being able to work on Mondays because of trauma therapy, and she said OK, and that this would result in my working fewer days and hours. Perhaps I am a wuss, but I do not want to come directly to work right after going over that kind of stuff. For one thing, I need time to process and integrate what we went over in therapy in order to make the most of that time and really benefit from it. If I wait until later, I will have forgotten a lot of it by then. Secondly and more importantly, I don't want to rush to work without a minute to spare, still feeling vulnerable, freshly reminded of painful things, with my soul feeling raw, tender and sometimes aching. I've already been having anxiety at work, having days when it is all I can do to fight the tears back and to get through the day...but I haven't left early because of it. Coming to work right after therapy is where I draw the line. Were it a few hours afterwards, I would be OK with it, but that is not the case. Frankly, this job is beginning to cost more in gas and stress than it is worth to me, particularly at 8 hours per week. It is a dishwashing job and I cannot cope. What does that say about me? What can I do instead that would be more compatible with my schedule, abilities, children, etc?
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Anyway, nothing deep to write about tonight...need to hit the sack.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Anyway...I have to move in a month, so have been trying to pare down stuff to what we truly enjoy. It is so hard to shake off the subsistence "this is still usable!" mentality. If I am not using it, it is not usable to me, so it is only taking up space. I should reduce the number of books we have....alas, this is painful despite the sheer mass and weight they comprise. It is much easier to eliminate excess clothing since I only wear a few favorite items repeatedly anyway! If it is not something that I am happy to see in the drawer, something that gets reached for regularly, it goes. The children's books are one category that should be gone through though, with the children. Also there is a lot of sci-fi that is not going to get read... All the extra stuff just makes more cleaning and detracts from stuff that I would like to see and time with which to do more enjoyable things (like bitching and griping online, lol).
What else...oh yes: I get to go to the Pacific Northwest Quaker Women's Theology Conference. There are a few details (what to do with my son, dogs, and goldfish while I am gone) to wrap up, otherwise it looks like a go.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
"For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me, and that which I was afraid of has come unto me" (Job 3:25)
Honestly, that seems to be the story of my life. I think then of the philosophy espoused by some of my friends who are into New Age stuff, about how you visualize the stuff you want, believe in it, act as if it's going to happen, and it comes true. Sounded as if it were spoken by a scam artist ready to deliver a pitch to buy his book or attend his educational seminar to change! your! life!, so I pretty much discounted it. I've always thought that to get what you want, you have to visualize it, map out your goals into a step by step format, and then start working on it, trying not to get discouraged by setbacks. Notice how the people who say this sort of thing are always wanting to sell you on the things most desired and most difficult to get. The perfect (fill in the blank multiple times). Televangelists are another place where you see those wild promises without a guarantee.
However...I think that in this case, there made be some validity to this idea. Maybe when we get all wrapped up in and paranoid over what we're afraid of, it comes upon us not because of some sort of inscrutable unseen mystical law, but because we are unwittingly doing things to cause it to happen. Why would we do that? Why? Maybe because by focusing on what we are afraid of rather than what we would like to happen instead, our behavior is such that we act as if it is about to happen or already has. Until...it does. When small tremors of the dreaded thing or event start up, we hone right in on those. It gets worse. Then it happens and we're horrified and we say to ourselves, "I knew it! I knew this would happen! This is just what I was afraid of!" (At least, that's what I say to myself, while beating myself over the head for my stupidity in letting whatever it was happen to me).
Another example: I am phobic of snakes. I don't hate them, but they frighten me badly. I will freak over a dirty rope in the grass, or a black hose, or a curvy stick on a hiking trail. It is embarrassing. A rustle in the grass? Snake! So when we go hiking, or if I'm in a garden or anywhere where there is any chance of seeing a snake and I am accompanied by several boys who would love to play with a snake or at least see one, who do you think sees the most snakes, and sees them first? Yeah, me. I see more snakes than any person I know. This is because unlike the others, I am hyper-vigilant about snakes and they are never far from my mind. Rocks and boulders on a sunny day when the ground is still warm? Might be snakes out sunning themselves. My eyes and senses are highly attuned to exactly the sorts of places that a snake might be at any given time. Meanwhile, I don't get to see nearly as many spiders or bees or wasps as folks who are afraid of them, and that makes me kind of sad.
So my job is to quit hyper-focusing on stuff I am afraid of, on things that hurt, on looking for tiny, miniscule signs of impending pain, rejection, etc. I need to stop thinking that way.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Friday, May 18, 2012
- Trail mix with beef or buffalo jerky, nuts, maybe sunflower or pumpkin seeds and small amounts of dried fruit or berries. NO peanuts or raisins!!
- Kale chips, made at home.
- Vegetable chips or chunks, dried. For example, slices of seasoned and cooked, then dried winter squash or sweet potato. There are veggie chips available commercially but usually they are deep fried like potato chips.
- Dried smoked salmon
- A mix of toasted and seasoned (with nutritional yeast?) nuts and seeds. Again, no peanuts!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Also it would allow me time in the day to go hiking with the dogs before work...as I did today. I saw three garter snakes on the trail in the space of an hour! I don't wish them any harm but seeing them always scares me. Maybe I'm afraid of inadvertently stepping on one and having it try to bite me. :-/ If I get an earlier start, before the rocks are warm, there won't be so many of them sunning themselves.
But even when things are very dark, when I feel broken, I think of some of the funny things you've said and can't help laughing or at least smiling.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Have been thinking....perhaps the reason that guy doesn't like me is that for all practical purposes, I am not interested in men. You are the exception; I have no idea whether I would find them attractive if I didn't feel the way I do. In any case the end result is the same- I am a single woman who doesn't treat men with deference and as potential mates. If I find them decent and worthy of respect, then I treat them with respect and am friendly. I do occasionally check out women...fleetingly. Maybe these things show and he dislikes me for them.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
I don't know...I did well enough when I worked at the library at the college. I was fast, loved my work, was meticulous about it, and being perfectionist about it was normal among my co-workers. In fact, several of them were worse than I was about that. And I loved the categorizing aspect of it.
I guess that right now I feel that I am not good for anything or anyone and that really hurts.
Found the paleo blog I had mentioned previously: here
No legumes. Huh. That, I did not know. And I should probably eat more meat. Thinking...what did I eat yesterday? A handful of toasted hazelnuts, a latte, a roasted eggplant, half a dark chocolate bar, an orange, 2 slices of munster cheese, a ginger ale (bad girl! But I was stressed/upset and felt a bit queasy, so it was sort of a pre-emptive ginger ale), guacamole with blue corn chips. I roasted some yams and sweet potatoes but then was too full to eat them after the eggplant...meant to have one for breakfast today but forgot, alas. Yes, that is right- I will eat cold roasted sweet potatoes for breakfast. In fact, truth be told I will eat them in hand right from the skin, sort of like a banana...not when people might be looking though!! If only rutabagas were tasty cold and could be eaten from the skin like that.... And..no green veggies yesterday? Need to find a way to take green veggies with me to town; maybe some salad in a container. The thing is that I don't like lettuce much, so it would have to be spinach, kale and other things...
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
More than that, there is a male co-worker who seems to be of the women-are-chattel mentality. He treats me as if I'm his own personal bitch, to order around, criticize, and demean. I haven't survived a lifetime of that sort of thing to put with it from him and I'm not taking it. He walks around like a Neanderthal, hulking and glowering at me. He never asks anything nicely, doesn't say thank you, he's just so rude! If it weren't for that single patch of blue, in a sky full of dark clouds, shimmering in my mind like a mirage...he is so awful that he triggers all the old stuff and almost makes me forget that not all men are knuckle dragging bullies.
I don't think he realizes, don't know if anyone there sees, that I'm like a stick of dynamite, pent up with pain, outrage, hurt and anger...and this guy is flinging matches at me constantly. It takes all the self control I have and the MP3 player, not to blow up on him. It is so hard to remember that he didn't inflict all that stuff on me, because he feels like exactly the sort of man who would. I wish he would leave me alone and just attempt to be civil. Oh, wait: they don't teach men that in northern Idaho. Ugh!
I feel like such a poor representative of what a Quaker is supposed to be, non-Theist or not.
How, how am I supposed to live without the thought of you in my mind?
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
I don't profess to be a botany expert. I know a fair amount about edible plants, plants I have grown and would like to grow and some about the native plants here...not nearly enough about any of these. So without meaning to sound like a snob...several people I have met who are either into this sort of thing or are uber-health foody (which is to say, even more extreme than I am, which is saying something), don't seem to know beans about botany and basic plant family trees. This would be OK if they weren't striking a lot of foods off their lists of acceptable items based on mistaken relation status. For example, despite the names, coffee beans and cocoa beans are in no way legumes, despite being called beans. Buckwheat is a dicot, while wheat and all true grains are monocots. So yes, buckwheat is gluten free and not a grain, neither are amaranth or quinoa. Not sure about teff- I'll have to find out. These are all seeds which are used as grains. To explain further, all plants which grow from seeds (i.e. not ferns, mosses, liverworts, etc) can be classified as either monocot or dicot. Monocots have one seed leaf, dicots have two. This is the most basic differentiation before you proceed any farther on keying a plant out. Monocots and dicots have a lot of differences, but basically, all grains are monocots, as are all plants of the lily family, Liliaceae, including for example onions and garlic and daffodils. Pine trees are monocots as well. When in doubt, look at the leaves: monocots always have parallel leaf veins (example, tulips) whereas dicots have more of a webbed or branching pattern on the leaves, (maple leaves). Buckwheat is from the family Polygonaceae and is closely related to sorrel and rhubarb- all dicots. So when people say that buckwheat has gluten because it's related to wheat....well, it just makes my brain want to cry.
That rant aside (sorry!)....not very long ago, many of the same plants we eat hadn't been bred for the kind of size that we are accustomed to today. Fruits in particular were smaller, probably many of the root crops were as well. What this means is that if one were to eat a pound of apple today and a pound of apple 400 years ago, the pound of apple in the past would have quite a lot more skin and fiber in proportion to pulp. The same is likely true of anything else we would eat the peels or fiber of. When you must eat 5 apples to equal one the size found in stores today, there is going to be a lot more peel but also far more of whatever nutrients are in or just under the peel. By breeding for maximum size in vegetables, we've been depriving ourselves of both fiber and vitamins and god only knows what else. We could eat exactly the same amounts of roughly the same food as someone ate a thousand years ago and we are not going to be getting the same things from it, even if it's been grown very conscientiously. Our plant foods have changed dramatically in the last 200 years alone. I don't know that it's possible to replicate what was eaten a very, very long time ago. The plants are simply not the same unless we go back to the ancient, primitive forms. This concerns me. By overbreeding our food so that it can be high graded, are we making colon cancer (and god knows what else) more likely? Is there any practical way to determine what was actually eaten in ancient times and whether our modern equivalent is at all comparable to it?
- I was surprised at how shy/embarrassed I felt about drawing the model. When I was modeling, I felt so exposed at first, so vulnerable...it was really a struggle...but I reminded myself that this was art, that many artists had modeled in their student years. I thought of Georgia O'Keeffe. It didn't really occur to me that it might be almost as awkward for the artists who were drawing me!
- The person I was drawing wasn't someone I would ever consider attractive. I love the form of the male body and actually find it most interesting than the female form, but for whatever reason, looking at and drawing some random guy would not have been my choice of subject matter. Maybe it's that I have a generalized rejection/stay away/and don't even think about sex! thing going for nearly all men right now. In any case, I confess that I did not at first respect and appreciate our model.
- However, as I worked that began to change. I know that it's hard to be there under the spotlight with all your flaws exposed. Also, I began to notice that feet and hands really are attractive body parts, but very difficult to do justice to. I can't seem to keep fingers from looking like shapeless sausages. :-/Luckily I can draw my own feet, or my children's feet or hands for practice.
- And...the human body is so vulnerable looking! Even on a man, the angles and muscles are offset by the softness of the belly...it's like this amazing juxtaposition of strength and vulnerability blending into one another seamlessly. I have come to the conclusion that the human body, any human body, is beautiful, sacred and to be honored and respected. Prior to tonight I would probably have said that everyone has beautiful bones, that our organs and physiology and cells and inner workings are beautiful, but the outer form, not so much for the majority of us. Certainly some forms are probably more appealing than others...but there is something precious about the human body that is common to us all.
- ...including mine. I should take better care of it. More to the point though, all too often it hasn't been treated with the sort of respect and kindness it deserved by people who claimed to love me. I don't know if I'll have a partner at some future point in time but if I do, that person will have to honor and respect me, not treat me like a living object. I am not ever tolerating that again. Because what I saw today is that we don't have to be drop dead gorgeous to possess a beauty in our own right, to have worth. One doesn't have to have that elusive perfection in order to be worthy of appreciation, to be lovable.
- After all, haven't I said before, so many times already, that what makes us unique and irreplaceable are our weaknesses, our little flaws, quirks and variances? Otherwise everyone would have to be generic in order to have value and that's just silly (and so boring).
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Also it occurs to me that this might be a natural and healthy part of bonding or hmmm...what would be the word to use here when this phenomenon is applied to non-living things such as an activity which has just been started in. I think that this period of what I would call intense interest is necessary in order to overcome setbacks, particularly early on when they would be the most discouraging and likely to result in a cessation of the activity or association with the person, animal or plant etc.
What brings this to mind is a documentary I watched today on mammals and mothering. A variety of animals and various mothering strategies and styles were shown. Some animals involve only mother-offspring bonding, others have mother-father-offspring bonding, while others have various forms of community bonding which may or may not include close (first degree) relatives of the offspring. The commonality for all these is that whoever bonds with that offspring, whether we are looking at a group of elephant matriarchs, a species of mice in which the father mothers the offspring in almost every way he can short of nursing them, a group of vicunas, or various simple mother-child pairs, the ones who bond undergo this period of enthrallment. They are fascinated by the newborn. They caress, stare, smell, lick, reach out to it. Almost all of their attention is devoted to this new arrival and in animal societies with group bonding, the group clusters around the new mother and her baby.
This is as it must be. Think of what a pain a newborn is, what a toll it exacts and for animals, how much of their own safety the mother and caregivers is endangered by having something so small and defenseless and not nearly fast enough to keep up. Human parents undergo serious sleep deprivation for the first year or two and then have to invest at least a decade and a half of their life until that child is anywhere close to being able to support itself even partway. Would they do that if they hadn't looked at that red, crying, squirming, helpless creature and decided it was the most perfect thing they'd ever laid eyes on? Probably not.
So for the summer, Western Art History...failed that one in 2010 when I couldn't get to college anymore. God, this is depressing to think about...but replacing the F's with A's and B's should not only remedy the situation, albeit gradually, but then I won't have those failing grades haunting me, mocking me, anymore. Depending on what classes I'd need for the 4 year degree, I could Developmental Psychology this summer. That wouldn't replace any bad grades (have never taken it before) but except for Western Art and the math class, there aren't any classes I can take over the summer that would.
I think about my son, some of the accusations he made. I can see now clearly that he was just manipulating, making drama, making stuff up with no thought to what the costs to innocent parties might be. At the time I simply didn't care what he said, it didn't alter my opinion of you. But looking at it from other angles...had his claims been taken seriously, the consequences could have been bad. And then I wonder what on earth he said or will say about me, what he might try next, how he might try to exploit a situation that's already unpleasant enough.
Saturday, May 05, 2012
Realistically I don't think I can make a living doing art, at least not right away, definitely cannot support myself with my current job, can't farm without at least being able to lease land and significant input before a profit would be realized. I loved this kind of work before and was pretty upset when it didn't work out due to scheduling conflicts and other issues....and not liking the way the agency I worked for was treating the clients...or me. I don't typically have a lot of problems with one on one social interactions, particularly with people I can relate to in some way. So it bears at least some looking into, because medical stuff typically requires chemistry and advanced math. I still miss some of the people I used to work with...other than farm work, it was the most personally satisfying job I've had. On the other hand, I cannot afford to invest two more years of school into this and have it not pan out...I need to be really sure about this before jumping into it.
Friday, May 04, 2012
Have just started reading this book. It is fascinating stuff so far, exploring the drive for immortality, Neo-Darwinism and other neat stuff. There's a scientist...oh, her name eludes me now...OK, found her: Lynn Margulis. Oh man, she's dead! Reading this sort of stuff always makes me wish I was still a science major. :-/
Anyway, one of the thought brought up in the book is that the reason humanity is so fucked up is that unlike other species, we're aware that death is inevitable, and this creates all sorts of conflict within us as we try to escape this fact, to deny it, to achieve immortality in some way. Childbearing, art, accruing wealth, "making a mark" on the world, the idea of cloning, building structures that last, monuments, it's all about trying to elude death in some fashion. Most of what humans do is about denial.
And....I am missing modeling, not because of the money (it paid well) or for exhibitionist reasons (people have told me that blogging is a form of exhibitionism- does that make my readers voyeurs?) or even because I got my feet wet in art again (although that meant a lot to me, too), but because there was something about it that made me feel very aware of and in my body. I began to feel integrated, mind and body together, rather than the usual disconnect, to feel truly comfortable in the form that encloses me. It was well worth any embarrassment or sense of vulnerability. There must be some other way to continue fusing, tying together, mind and body until I'm that way all the time.