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Well, I was sawing logs last night when the calendar flipped to 2003 with no help from me. Even the firecrackers didn't get my attention last night. 2003 and Hal hasn't even shown! I thought we'd be tooling around in space two years ago.
Most memorable New Years? Back of a taxi. Traffic stalled at the Boston Common as I tried desparately to reach commune and lover with a rapidly warming bottle of bubbly picked up at Logan in my suitcase. Countdown time came. The cabbie, other passenger, and I popped the cork, and guzzled in the new one together.
I should explain that I got hit with a boner of an illness back in 1990 and a whole section of my life since then has been spent living in ga ga land with a brain at half tilt and a body that didn't call me its own. Been getting better these last two years. Can do more now...drive short distances, listen to music, have a website, think.
Today was a big day for me. First real movie in over ten years. All I remember is sitting there in the theatre and thinking, 'I'm re-entering life' and I'm smiling.
Cool breezes hit South Florida today and when I go outside I feel lucky I can do this again. Ran three errands. I remember gratitude and the lessons life teaches. In the eighties I had bad back problems. As they resolved, I was out vaccuming my car. A neighbor walked over and commented. I stopped and said , 'yeah, isn't it great?'. She told me later it was her day to vacuum the house, a task she loathed. She thought about how happy I was to do that and sang as she vacuumed that day. Hooray for the little things
Right now in South Florida you can always tell the Snowbirds--Northerners down for winter-- from the locals. I walked over at the ocean today. The locals were bundled up in long pants and lightweight jackets and a cool breeze flew over the ocean, raising whitecaps and scattering the sea gulls all over the beach. Down on the beach were the folk from up north, soaking up the sun in bikinis and swimming in the surf.
One day, South Florida will sink from the weight of all those displaced bodies packed into condos until the snow melts again up north.
I checked out my first novel yesterday from the library. I've been a nonstop reader since I was three, so these last ten years of not being able to snuggle up with a book nightly has been..well, I'll be blunt..hell. I'm reading it in spurts, but am doing it, and I'm so grateful again today. Grateful I can listen to music, walk, think, drive short distances, have my voice back again, run errands, and now see a movie and read again.
And hey, my dear'adopted lil bro', Kev, called to say Happy New Year yesterday. Life is good.
Tripping off my sidewalk hard onto my bum knee yesterday earned me no credits in tendon heaven. Had to bind it today to shuffle into the library and try for my second book in my climb back into reading again. A Tom Robbins..Skinny Legs and All. One of my favorites authors from back in the 80's. Maybe because he's a little crazy and I like that kind of writing. It keeps my interest.
Chatted with my friend, Lloyd, on IM. Male/female friendships. Harder than same gender to maintain. Well worth it when they work. Sometimes I worry too much.
I read once that the biggest animals live longer because their heartrate is slower--like you have a certain quota, then boom, you're gone, if the guntoters or slaughter houses don't get to you first.
Wondering today if kisses work the same way. I had more than my share over my earlier years. Now I can't count how long it's been since I've had more than a dry peck or quick hug. My husband isn't much of a toucher. Never has been. Even before me. If kisses work like heartbeats, he'll live longer than George Burns. Me? I'd rather have kisses.
Restless today. One of those days when I can do a little more, but not yet enough to satisfy the craving I have for what, I don't know. The chocolate of life, I suppose. Where is it?? Smokey Robinson is singing through my headset as I write and I want to dance. I want it all.
I don't have a hundred words today. I have a thousand and I want to spend them sitting under a black sky talking until dawn about things that seem important now, but will be trivial/lost by morning. Isn't that the way it goes?
I'm inching my way through Tom Robbins and remembering why I like his writing so much. Robbins on mockingbirds...'the true artists of the bird kingdom...not content to merely play the hand dealt them...they rearrange reality...a virtuoso display serving no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art'.
How can you not admire a man who thinks like that?
We poets, along with artists of all types, rearrange reality routinely. Isn't this what physics teaches us? Matter is only what we see in it. So, let's be mockingbirds and trill today--for no pratical purpose whatsover!
When the end of the world arrives, it will surely be ushered in by a chemically saturated world. We pay to NOT have chemicals added to our food. We saturate our pores with them, use them on our sinks, floors, and toilets, our yards, our pets, homes and the air. Fourteen chemicals are added to clothes to give them a 'new clothes' smell and look.
You may be able to tell a friend took me to buy a few clothes yesterday. It nearly dropped me to the floor. Next time I'm wearing a gas mask. Will it all eventually come to that?
Today's mail brought a note and photos from a friend from Hawaii/Vietman days. For the five months the ship docked at Pearl Harbor before returning to Nam, six of us were like bread and butter. Of the three couples, Nancy and BJ were the only ones to make the long haul.I found myself seeing their old faces in the new ones and also wondering, how did they do it, and not the rest of us. As I watch, fresh flowers rustle around my neck, Janis wails and we dance past midnight. Carpe diem! Seize the Day. Tomorrow may never come.
Dateline 1968. For weeks before the ship was due from first duty in Nam, I joined the Officer's wives weekends to form crepe paper flowers to string onto a sturdy line for a giant lei. It filled two rooms
The day the USS Genessee steamed down the channel into Pearl, a tug carried the lei to greet it. As we watched her maneuver into dock, lei dangling from bow, military band playing, the moment was electric. It had been fourteen months since I'd been with the man somewhere on that ship. We married a month later, overlooking that same harbor.
Day three on Vietman. Not so much the place as the turbulent times. The anger. No, the rage. Potbolling and churning in everybody's belly. Rage towards the politicians. Rage that our men were dying. Displaced rage towards the returning Vets.
My husband was transferred to Newport after two tours to Nam. I worked in Providence where I got a one percent taste of what the vets experienced. Driving onto the base with my car sticker earned a salute from fresh-faced officer candidates.. Driving onto Brown campus earned the three finger salute and words I don't want to repeat, even now.
When I visited Haight Ashburh enroute to Hawaii, it was still in its Ken Kesey Yellow Tangerine mode. Communes, drugs, sex and rock and roll. Coming back through the following year, drugged runaways milled the streets begging for quarters with dazed eyes, cursing if you said no. The Filmore West , home to Jefferson Airship still thrived, however, while Hair set audiences on seat's edge. Hair was a thrilling testiment to those turbulent times. I saw Hair again almost 20 years later in West Palm Beach. Wigs, instead of hair. A show, not a statement. The times, they had a'changed.
We leave the sixties and seague back to today. An unusually chilly day in South Florida that begins with the third predawn awakening in a row with night terrors for me, the first they've appeared since I worked through some real crap that happened with my grandfather in my childhood and early adolscence. No, I don't want to talk about it, but getting up and sitting in the light is the only way to feel safe. It'll pass. I ended the day sitting by my beloved ocean, deserted save for a few runners in jackets and seagulls reclaiming the beach.
This is one of those days I hate this illness . As I've gotten better, I catch more glimpses of the person I used to be . During my sickest years, I tried to forget—forget so that it wasn't so painful. Now I walk a tightrope. Reach too far and I topple over the edge. Don't reach far enough and be defeated. I've overdone again and have toppled. My hands are so limp I can barely type. The dizziness is worse. So, I force myself to rest and remember that patience is a lesson learned best in the hard times.
A sample of what today's email has brought...
usual email from friends.
Allergy report for my area
Two sites wanting me to send their funny/goo page to all my friends within five minutes or I will have bad luck for the rest of my life.
a link to a spanking site
four responses from the Windows Forum
another offer to increase my penis size (what list am I on to get these, for god's sake??)
four offers to make money, one from Africa (surprise!)
one virus attempt
six forwards—no notes
...and the day is young.
I stand ready to kiss,
to be kissed, lathered, smothered,
fondled, fingertouched, drooled over.
Did I omit anything?
If so, forgive me.
I find myself distracted
by the feelings swelling
beneath my belly.
Is debauchery a verb?
I must look it up.
This drought has ended.
No more ringed finger imprisonment
or zippered lips, not interested
in a good healthy
but I digress into chiche.
I'm ready to re-enter
break free from cold shouldered delay
My declaration writ in lipstick
across an unfurled bed.
So, would-be lovers,
faststake your claim.
I used to send my just finished poems to my father in law. Inevitably, he would email me back , often with great concern about the contents of the poem. He's not alone in believing that everything written in a poem has or is happening to me. He's not alone in not understanding poetic license. Poems grow out of real feelings, yes, and in that sense, every poem I write is true. What may or may not be true is the particular form those feelings take in the poem. Sometimes I wonder where the greater reality lies...within us or without?
A good friend with CFIDS, the illness I have, came to spend the day and night. Both of us are so tired of this in and out existence that comes with this illness, we pushed. We wanted to have a normal visit, a normal day, despite our dizziness and fatigue. We made a cam video, a music stream, drove over and sat at the beach, then watched her Woodstock video until eleven o'clock, reliving the sixties, days when we had our health and ran free. We were back there again for a short bit and didn't want to let go.
Payback time. Hoped it wouldn't happen, but it did. Up at three a.m., wired, dizzy, overstimulated and with my throat on fire. All of the symptoms that flare when..well, I've already discussed all that already. Okay, so I knew it could happen. We both did, but each time we hope this will be the time that it doesn't. We spent day two of our viist until Deb left, prone in our respective beds or stumbling into the kitchen to drink soup or eat whatever opened easiest from a can. Well, nobody said life was fair and..... tomorrow is another day??
I think my one hundred words today could be compressed into a mantra of ohhh ohhh ohhh's.Works for me. Maybe that and a cup of chicken soup.This cold has me by the neck and has arm wrestled me to the floor. My thoughts are gibberish. Maybe a poem??
Nose backflushing into throat
she moans, groans,
affirms she is well, arises
but the mound of tissues
in this delusion
and so she
Not such a good idea either. Okay, let's face it. It's a lost day. Goodnight walls. Goodnight ceiling. Goodnight all!
Had stomach cramps all night last night and the toilet and I made very good friends. Down three pounds this morning. Deb was complaining of a stomach ache when she visited Monday so we both may have the same stomach bug. My brain is mush and my body is crying out for somebody just to curl around me today. Of course, the candidate would have to wear a protective mask . Ironically, I've also in these two days had my internet server go down and now my FTP won't work. Is the universe duplicating itself in my small corner?
Today...a couple of bits of poems and random thoughts...
Arms outstretched in the backyard rain
shirt soaked, jeans sucking
against hungry thighs, I hear
you move in the den,
and the stereo rising high
over a flash of lightning
to the east
but of course
you would put love songs on
to taunt me
I hang onto the edge of a star,
earth twirling madly beneath me.
How could such a lazy looking eyeball
have gone so completely insane?
Does the sky watch us ? Does Carl Sagan ride the stars?
I can't remember when i"ve been this disoriented since I started improving and am scared. I woke up out of a bad dream at three crying and shaking..awake until almost six, then asleep for an hour. Got up and had balance problems. Looked in mirror..old unreal feelings like I used to have, bad. Can barely type this. Arms are limp. Chills. Sneezing.Couldn't even imagine driving today or doing the things I was able to do just a few weeks ago.I don't know what to do. Just hang in. Hope it's the flu. I hope I'm not regressing with the cfids
I've never had a child, never experienced the pain of childbirth, but women who have, tell me they forget the pain when it's over. I 've had other kind of pain,.but realize that the pain memories are gone for me, too, but not the emotional ones.
What circuits in our bodies, I wonder, allow us to easily forget physical pain, but remember emotional pain? I received a photo in the mail yesterday of my cousin who died on cancer two years ago. She smiles up at me from age eleven and the tears come. It's as if she died again yesterday.
My head was clearer yesterday and now , today, it's as if Maine fog has been bottled up and sent to engulf it again. Of all days to have a niggly, look like its simple to fix, can do this with brainfog type of computer problem. A dozen emails back and forth with the Windows Forum and the problem still remains. I'm left exhausted, mentally and physically, with ideas of throwing the computer out the window. Lloyd is moving this week or I could ask him. My brain screams 'go lie down and drink chicken soup'. Instead, I write this.
What can I say about a day when I've alternated between sleeping and dizzily trying to keep my legs from buckling when I stand to wash only a few dishes? What can I sy about taking my first four days off from the poetry board since I started it? What can I say about fearing this is a relapse with the CFIDS and more than just flu? What can I say about the flashbacks to the nine years when I was like this all of the time, or worse? How do I deal with this period of time with grace?
While our politicians talk war, I lie here limply thinking of when I protested their actions in Vietnam. The actions of Lyndon Johnson and his team of war mongers, , not the Vets.Only the characters have changed and our government again turns stone ears to the anti-war movements here and all over the world. My limpness seems to ape my impotence in making any difference in what our government does. What the terrorist did was horrible, but I'm beginning to wonder about the definition of terrorism? Is it defined by the size of your weapons? Where does it all end?
I kept my six month GYN appointment today, despite the flu. He's the first GYN who treats me more than the sum of my gynycelogical parts. An electric guitar and amplfier sit in his office.He asks how you are and wants to know the answer.
In the elevator I ran into a former fellow Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors member. He said, 'you're the one that got that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome thing, aren't you?'. I told him I was a lot better, as I clung to the elevator wall. It was the truth overall, but not the truth today.
A good friend from way back left a message last night to call her. In the nineties, she went to the Blessed Mother sighting soccuring in Georgia. I had cfids by then so we had mostly lost touch, but whenever I saw her, the only thing she talked about was the Virgin, sin, and hell.
I spoke to her again a while back. She said the Virgin had appeared to tell her she was to suffer, like Jesus, for mankind. My friend quit her job, and took to her bed to 'save the world'. She's still there. It's a crying shame.
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