It makes me glad that you are having nothing at all to do with me.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
The owner of the store where I used to work looked surprised and slightly sad when he found out I'd been fired. The owners of the place are really nice people. They just happen to have hired someone as a manager who really is not qualified to manage anything, let alone a deli. She's not a bad person. Not my kind of person (she is passive aggressive and I can't deal with that) but she's not evil or anything....she simply does not have what it takes to manage the deli. No brains, no real knowledge of natural foods and no business sense (such as planning the weekly menus to use produce that is going to be cheap that week, since organic produce is very expensive) and also, no math skills. She said that I am good at math.....that really frightened me. Knowing how to calculate a simple 33% markup using a calculator is not "good at math". It is fundamental math that any deli worker, even a dishwasher, should know.
At any rate...I will never again have to curl up in the corner of that bathroom, trying to feel calm again, trying to feel ok. I will never have to walk on eggshells and wonder when the axe is going to drop. Instead, am going to see if the library ever looked at my application. The one sure thing about working at the library (volunteer or otherwise) is that I will never see the deli manager there. Yeah, that's snide. It's also 100% true.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
I am fighting with all my might, the yawning void of not fitting anywhere, of not being good enough, of being the cast off. I want to belong somewhere, to belong to someone, to really belong, not just be a tolerated presence. I am so tired of being the thing that isn't wanted.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
- One cannot really have any assurance that they will still be there later on unless you own or have some sort of long term claim to, the soil in which they are planted.
- On the other hand, one is not limited to plants which one can own since they are all over the place and can be appreciated without actually claiming them.
- They change all the time. I was drawing the blooms of my cyclamens once and by the end of the drawing, the petals had twisted and changed very noticeably from their position when I first started drawing them. This seemed to be in response to the change in the position of the sun. I then drew them at night with a lamp as a constant light source... People think that plants are static, unmoving things, but this really is not the case at all. They are very dynamic. Very often, the plant that you see today is not the same plant you will see tomorrow.
- They're so vulnerable but in many cases, so resilient. People think of orchids as frail...but orchids frequently live on tree branches without soil. I have seen very badly neglected orchids that looked mostly dead, revive. If you forget to water a cyclamen and come by and see its blossoms drooping onto the table or countertop, and then water it (from the bottom, always, so as not to rot the corm), you can sit and watch its flowers slowly rise back to their usual position as the plant takes the water in.
- They don't complain, ever. Goats and children will holler and remind you if you forget to do something for them. Plants don't. They just suffer. There is something heartbreaking and reproachful about finding a plant of the verge of death (or past it) simply because I didn't take the time to check on it.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Edited to add: the trying to sing lady just started snorting and snuffling snot. That is too much.....(fleeing the scene)!
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
I have to hurry and plant the herbs since they were dug up rather precipitously thanks to losing my temper....Best solution I can think of is to move a pile of logs, revealing a patch of soil without grass or other vegetation, so it would be easy to plant. I would have to carry water farther to them....but this will be OK. Then there will be the vegetable plants I have...some are in buckets so location is not critical for those. It is still early enough to plant greens, peas and root vegetables for a late summer early fall harvest, if I plant them within the next month or so.
Then there's the Yearly Quaker meeting, which I am already looking forward to. Friends will be there who were not present at the Women's Conference and I'll be taking two of the children for this. And...my employer is treating each employee to tickets for the Festival at Sandpoint. We each had to pick one concert (of a week, different group or artist each week). Allison Krauss has a lovely voice, but she's country and her songs are sad....Counting Crows is OK but that's a dance concert and the thought of being alone in the midst of a large crowd of people in random motion is daunting, so I picked the Spokane Symphony. This will probably be more sedate and I haven't been to a classical concert since I lived in Chicago. Nobody else at work had picked this one when I wrote the selection down on the list. At any rate, it is very generous of our bosses to do this for us. It's too bad Allison Krauss isn't bringing Robert Plant with her- that I would love to go to.
Moved stuff to the new place today, packed the creepy stuff that was in the house, away. There was, for example, most of a dead bird, dried, hanging from a wire affixed to the wall. That's just morbid...and honestly, had it been a mounted skeleton, or an animal skull, I could have found that interesting. But a dried head+wings+tail (feet? not sure), all feathered, bound together and dangling from the wall was too much even for me.
And...I lost my temper in a major way this evening. My son grew a pansy from seed, grew it to the blooming stage to give me a Mother's Day present. My neighbor came over and dumped that pansy out onto the compost pile, leaving it to wilt, so that she could use the nice clay pot for the lavender plant she was stealing from my herd garden! Then she uprooted a lot of other herbs...some were just stems with no roots even...just wanton destruction and plant cruelty....and took those as well, just laid them on her picnic table, roots in the air, drying out, wilting. I am not usually brave about confrontations. But if someone hurts a person or life form that I love, get out of my way. I was just furious, not because she stole from me, but because she hurt those plants and for no other reason than greed and selfishness. They weren't even planted...just getting ready to die. The thyme and pansy might not make it. I wanted to leave that herb garden for other people to enjoy...but clearly that isn't an option. She would just strip it bare anyway. So I dug up every single plant I cared about and moved them all. I don't care that they're "only plants", that people say plants can't perceive pain or damage, etc. They're alive, they suffer, they die, I love them. Hurting them is not acceptable!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Here is a cool link about some green building techniques: Artesano
I know about these things, because I've worked with animals for a good part of my life. There are people who spend years with flighty animals who never do learn to behave in a a totally non-threatening, non-alarming manner around their goats, horses, etc. I've tried to explain how to act in order to win the trust of a goat who hasn't been tamed, have spent hours trying to explain it. A lot of them claim it can't be done. They end up selling the animal, maybe for meat...others take the heavy handed route, deciding that they can simply impose their will by force.
What they miss is that the goat doesn't want to be afraid. It doesn't try to be anxious and reactive. All one really has to do is to make it easy and comfortable for the animal to come closer, to see if it's safe, to show it that things really aren't so bad. But this requires patience, restraint, a willingness to make the taming process a joint venture of cooperation, the ability not to rush the animal past its threshold of tolerance, to build trust slowly.
But I digress. Another thing is that your words tended not to be extraneous. I liked that. And, it was clear that you thought about things before distilling them into a few sentences. That's so rare in this shallow, babbling world.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Anyway, I am exhausted. Been packing, stressing, working, chasing children, throwing stuff out, telling them what goes where and to prioritize in case there is not room for it all....I have too much stuff, but about half of my own things are books, and over a fourth of it is wool, fabric, art supplies, etc. Luckily, wool is lightweight even though voluminous. The remaining fourth would be seashells, clothing, pottery, etc. Books, being both very heavy and bulky (somehow I managed to get them in here and seem to have lost muscle since then) are a sensible place to cut back, and I've really tried...but...books... I don't wear all those clothes, or need all of that fabric, either. Can't bear to dispose of many more books.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Several of the women here are scientists; I talked to one of them this evening. She thinks I should give chemistry another try...her husband is a psychologist and she says that the two of them debate the subjectivity of the psych field (my main gripe with it) quite a lot. The thing is, I don't know what on earth I could do with a 4 year degree in botany or even biology. I love science almost as much as I love art....but as far as jobs? Nevertheless, it does bear some thought.
One of the things I really like in botany (and elsewhere)...taxonomy. It's sort of like sorting a shelving library books, only with organisms and plants. :-) But....as one of the other scientists here pointed out...botany is an area where you can work on your own and develop a good reputation even without a botany degree, especially if we're talking field botany. She told me about a guy who's been doing a lot of successful work in ethnobotany and as far as she knows, he doesn't have a botany or biology degree.
I am filled with a deep sense of peace, contentment, purpose. Not sure if this is due to having a break from the stresses of everyday life, to the many caring Friends who are holding me in the light, or both. This is our last full day and I will miss them... but will see at least some of them again at Yearly Meeting, and keep in touch with the rest via the internet.
Friday, June 15, 2012
So I knew that we were diverse, but what I am finding is that we're even more so than I had thought. And yet, we can all get along, discuss our differences, explore the richness of viewpoints and experiences, agree to disagree, and get along.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
So, we've been spending time talking about how to allow other people the space to be vulnerable, how to make the space safe, comfortable and welcoming enough for that to happen.
OK, wait....I say that I've never felt truly safe before...that isn't entirely true, is it? After all, there's that guy that I call when I'm at the end of the rope, the one who always manages to talk me back from the edge, or rather, to listen me back from the edge. I haven't fallen in love with him, nor with any of the many very kind, very safe and thoughtful Quakers, of either gender. Clearly there is more to this than having felt safe, although I'll concede that this was definitely a prerequisite.
Does it really matter why? Unless I'm trying to defend the way I feel, which I'm tired of, why is kind of irrelevant.
Maybe it's just that you're inherently lovable, that your blend of characteristics combined with having earned my trust and respect, with feeling understood, was the mix that
was is just right.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
And....I am feeling awkward about my gender presentation, etc. The way I dressed last time I was here was authentic to the way I felt then. The way I'm dressed today is close to authentic to the way I feel now. But those two pictures are different. Not different to the point of being unrecognizable maybe but.... And I can't help it. The way I feel about you calls out the feminine parts of me, makes them feel natural.
I've thought about this for a long time. I've always been an outdoorsy tomboy. Dresses and gobs of makeup and such weren't in my interest range. But I wasn't afraid to be female when I was a kid. I resented it sometimes because it meant I couldn't romp and climb and get dirty, the boys often wouldn't play with me because I was a girl, and the girls were insufferably boring (who wants to play house when there are insects to find?)...but it wasn't until puberty bloomed under the eyes of my leering stepfather that my body and I really began to conflict. It wasn't safe to be a girl. Those big grapefruit sized things on my chest just got in the way when I was working in the woods with the men, and made my stepdad grab at me. I had a very nice figure (except for being quite strong and muscular), and it was nothing but a liability and a danger. Even under layers of flannel work shirts and dirty old jeans, it was a problem.
In the years ahead, I would learn that being female meant being weak, being subjected to things I don't want to talk about. Being female meant being less...and not being safe, always feeling like prey, like chattel. Overcoming the homophobia I'd been raised with, coming to terms with being attracted to women instead of living in denial, realizing that I didn't have to try to fit into a cramped little mold just because of the parts I was born with, was incredibly freeing. It was such a relief.
Then there was you. If I have ever felt so safe before, I don't remember it. I can't say why or how you made me feel safe, but you did. For the first time I can remember, it was safe to be a woman. For the first time, I could be female without having it mean that I was going to be patronized, brushed aside, or hurt. It was like pouring water on a seed that had been waiting to grow. But seedlings are fragile...and so am I.
On the way here, we stopped at a place called Maryville; apparently this place was built by a very rich Quaker. He used to live in this huge house, and now it has art, including a collection of chess sets (fascinating!) and the best: sculptures by Rodin. Yes, Rodin. I couldn't believe it! I never thought I'd see his art in person, or possibly one work in Chicago perhaps...if I were to make it back to the Art Institute there. Seeing the work in person....I just can't convey...it was awesome.
And....this is a challenge. I really struggled to make going to this conference work. I was committed to being here. I'm so happy to see all the Friends, many of whom are not seen anywhere else, so I won't see them for two more years. But there are still a lot of folks I don't know and...I feel out of place at times. For example: I am not sure what the tactful course of action is when you are talking with someone and another person walks up and the person you were talking to turns to talk to them. Do you leave? Just walk away? Insert yourself into their conversation to say goodbye and then go? Stand by and try to figure out what to do? I've done all of these things and they all feel awkward. Usually I just sort of fade away quietly. There are a lot of people here....they are all women, whose social skills are generally more advanced, and my social cluelessness is staring me in the face at every turn.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
But even more than that...ashamed to say it...I am dreading work today. I forgot the MP3 player at home and was barely getting through my shifts with that. I feel like a baby for not being able to cope with this stupid simple job....but it's not the work itself, it's the atmosphere and the person I have to work with. I have to find something else to do...have an application and need to get right on that...
Monday, June 11, 2012
I didn't feel lonely around you. Even when nothing was being said, I felt understood and the silence was not empty, to the contrary...no, the silence was full and beautiful, like a ripe moon.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
The abortion debate is making me realize how profoundly the topic has affected my childhood and the way I relate to people. A child should not grow up being told that they were an accident, that they were almost aborted, that they should be grateful.... The message I got was that they were ambivalent about having me in their life and weren't sure I'd been worth the trouble, that I wasn't really wanted, that I was disposable. And wouldn't you know it, these are the exact same feelings I struggle with today. Why would someone tell a little kid that? Why? I mean, with graphic pictures and descriptions of what would have happened and everything?
I can see clearly where this stuff came from. I can see clearly that no child, including myself, should be subjected to that. What I cannot seem to do is to stop it from hurting, to stop it from repeating itself over and over and over again until every single human interaction I have is fraught with the anxiety of being rejected. It's turned into a never ending nightmare, and I don't know what to do to make it stop.
Thinking...a few people have used the word "understated" to describe me. Understatement is something I am fond of, so it felt almost like a compliment. But....is that just a kind way of seeing that people perceive me as being less than I am? Worse, am I less than I think myself to be? Maybe the people who perceive me as trashy are right? Maybe the reason things don't work out for me is that I am not worth it. I don't want to think that's true.
Saturday, June 09, 2012
Going to purge some of the quilting fabric. It's hard to feel excited about quilting when three of the most beautiful, completely hand pieced quilts I ever made have just vanished unaccountably. Will keep favorite fabrics and donate the rest to a worthy Quaker cause (stem cell patients) when I go to the Women's Conference. Tomorrow, I have to pack pottery and other breakables, get rid of any I don't want, clean out the closets in the kid's rooms (dreading that already).
Finishing up a debate on gender selection in abortion, at Homesteading Today and just as that started winding down, a new thread about circumcision started up. Neither one of these will be available for viewing by the general public, because after joining, one has to post on the forums that are visible before the livelier forums become accessible. It annoys me that the opposing sides on these debates are unable to back up their position without resorting to religion, i.e. "God said so!". Invoking divine assistance is not fair play, particularly when the topic is not directly related to religion. It seems that God has an opinion on everything though, and who would have guessed- He always agrees with them! (yawn)
Friday, June 08, 2012
And...have been thinking of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and how I routinely, habitually violate it. People are often on my case about this, saying that my priorities are not in order. I suppose that they're correct, but on the other hand, it is soul-crushingly difficult to slog through life without something higher or more inspiring to think of. There has to be a reason to keep battling my way upstream or otherwise the whole thing is just sort of pointless.
Thursday, June 07, 2012
lol.... That is sick but it cracked me up!
Why? I am not really sure. It just sort of came up and hit me. Nothing happened to precipitate it. It was like my mind went to the most depressing, unpleasant memory banks, dragged painful stuff out, and then spent an hour building off of that and making it even worse. And then I went to work and was reasonably functional as long as the music was going, but things just got progressively more frustrating and difficult. It is my Friday. I don't have to work tomorrow. That is such a relief.
Part of the problem might be that I need to take a break from Brandi Carlile. Yes, it is cathartic. Yes, her voice is lovely. Yes, it's even better when played loud. And yes, these songs are almost as sad as I am and do nothing at all towards redirecting depressing thoughts. Yo-Yo Ma? Peter Paul and Mary? I have to find something else to listen to for a while.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
No summer school. State tax refund arrival did not coincide with tuition deadline. I've decided to study the college algebra book on my own time over the summer, memorize the point/slope formulas, that sort of thing. If the book doesn't make sense, maybe the library has other books that will explain it more visually. When fall comes, I'll take the two classes I need in order to boost my GPA, and the ceramics class, if I can afford them. If things are going well in the spring and I have my head together, I could possibly try Statistics and the Psych Research class, and that would fulfill pretty much everything I can take at NIC that would transfer usefully to the University of Idaho. Or, I can just take the fall classes, get my AS degree and then decide what to do from there, but an Associates degree means very little.
Haven't been doing much work with fiber....cleaning, getting rid of stuff, washing laundry, wasting time being sad, hiking, working, paperwork ad nauseum. I go to the Women's Conference next week though and want to bring handwork. In order to do that, I need to have sufficient yarn. So....towards that end, if there is time, I'll try to spin up the remaining Shetland wool into laceweight yarn.
And...I have to find a way to be happy and contented despite whatever is going on with this situation. I have concluded that a change in the situation, which is what I have screaming for over the past year and a half, might not necessarily console me. I am not certain that there's anything that any person can do to make me feel better. Whatever it is that has to be done, is probably intrinsic and I will have to battle it alone. What a daunting, isolating thought.... In the end, we're all alone, aren't we?
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Monday, June 04, 2012
And I'm really glad for that, because I was up until 2 AM (at least) last night cleaning the house, up at the normal time for more cleaning and getting my sons ready to go and am now doing laundry before turning in to try to recover some of yesterday's lost sleep. But- the house looks pretty nice! Now I have to go through half a closet full of boxes of books (not tonight!). If they've sat in a closet for two years without being very missed and if when I open the boxes, it isn't like opening a care package from Grandma, then they will be subject to serious consideration for exiting the household. Also, a lot of craft supplies for crafts that I do not do anymore or particularly even enjoy the thought of doing anymore. It's one thing to find something and say, "Oh! I used to do that! I miss doing that!" and another to feel somewhat chagrined by not having any interest at all in finishing whatever project the stuff was bought for. Let someone else enjoy it the way I used to. The more stuff I get rid of, the easier it will be to move....and the more space we'll have to enjoy the stuff we really like and use.
And....sketched on Mickinnick today. Those bloody mosquitoes! (literally) I don't know that the drawing I made is at all worthwhile but it was fun, the process was much more engaging and conducive to creativity and frankly, my work isn't selling well anyway so I had might as well enjoy making it! All in all, not a bad day.
But....it could be worse. I could be more like my mother. Between the two of them, I suppose Dad is the better role model.
So, how do I want to act? Authentically? Haven't I been told I can't do that? Besides, showing that one is still quite vulnerable is scary. I don't know for sure how I want to present myself, not only in one area or situation, but in general, that would be both authentic and enable me to feel secure. Don't all people put on an act? Observe, please, how differently the same person can act in different situations. Most people do this and I find it confusing.
Sunday, June 03, 2012
I still find myself wishing that I were able to major in the hard sciences...although Dr. Barney says that botany is a "soft science" which sort of hurt my feelings, lol...particularly since it is still too hard, apparently, for my soft brain. I was reading this book: Writer, M.D.. There is a chapter by Atul Gawande about tenacity and about how skill in surgery is achieved by dogged persistence rather than supreme innate talent. Tenacity and dogged persistence are, obviously, things that I do well. Why have I been so ready to give up on chemistry? On the other hand, I've taken the college algebra class 6 times. Also, even if I pass all the necessary classes to get my Associate's degree in biology, I would still need to move to Moscow or commute to Spokane in order to get the Bachelor's, and an Associate's in biology is more or less worthless. Frankly, a Bachelor's in biology isn't all that useful by itself either.
But that isn't any reason I can't learn in my spare time and experiment, etc. My distant relatives, John and William Bartram, both naturalists and botanists, received no formal schooling in botany. John never even went past 8th grade, and he was the royal botanist to the king of England! That kind of stuff never happens now, but still...I can still work with plants without having a very expensive degree which, let it be noted, would not guarantee a job. There are hardly any openings in this field even if I had a Master's.
For some perverse reason, I am very interested in the idea of growing out potato seed. Not seed potatoes, potato seed, produced in small potato fruits that look like hard, unappealing little green tomatoes. Also, cross pollinating potato flowers and then growing out the seed. Some varieties no longer produce fruit, but they could still be pollen parents. Blue potatoes tend to produce fruit, probably because they are closer to their origin, less bred. That could be the seed parent. This is where plasmids come in- I don't know a whole lot about them yet, but plasmids are transmitted only by the female parent and contribute certain traits. For example, in hosta lilies, variegated foliage comes from the plasmids (which have their own genetic material aside from the plants regular DNA, as I understand it) of the female parent. It is nearly impossible to get a variegated offspring from a plain leaved seed parent crossed with a variegated pollen parent. I need to find out about the role of plasmids in potato traits...and other plants.
Friday, June 01, 2012
There is something...I don't even know how to put it and am not sure it would make sense if I did because in my mind, it is mostly in visual form, but I will try. Yes, I hurt, but I hurt because I am vulnerable, and I am vulnerable because I felt close to you..and in some irrational way, I'm not sure I'd trade the pain away if the cost was to forget about you, to have my heart turn cold and remote and untouchable.