Saturday, December 21, 2002

Dru, in my comments, says I’m more self referential these days. And she doesn't even think that's a bad thing. I’ve been feeling like I’m in one long self referential whine. I didn’t really realize how hard it was going to be.
Hard is a relative thing.
I’m sitting in an office with a view of a creek. Squirrels dance around the yard and birds land on the feeder hanging right out side of the window. My belly is full of honey dew and oatmeal. Mom is doing the wersh (AKA the laundry) and Ken seems to be staying out of trouble. A fracas or two flares up between them now and then. I even have CSPAN on the TV and I’m reading blogs.
How hard is all this?
It worries me that I am so self referential. I think when I’m at home my self is expressed in ways in which I am not completely aware. At home it is all me. My timing. My choices. Here I feel like my self is on the back burner. Simmering.
And I come to my little blogger page and try to remember who I am.
You know. This is part of who I am. This family. Being here. Looking at the lamp that used to be on the table at my Grandmom’s house. The one with all the gold filigree and images of the Orient. I can almost feel my four year old fingers tracing the patterns on that lamp.
I pushed away from my family with a great force. I went to the other side of the continent and worked on my ….self.

Friday, December 20, 2002

My archives for this blog are missing. I don’t know why I’m worried. I haven’t been doing any mind bending writing here. But I am sentimental. Once you start this on line journal thing it becomes addictive. And I like having a record. But if Dorothea doesn’t know how to fix it … then I don’t think it can be fixed. I followed some blogger help directions. They didn’t work. Ray’s archives are another matter. I don’t want to think that one of his poems is lost. They are all too beautiful.
I found out about the archive problem last night after dinner when I grabbed a second chance for some computer time and I read Dorothea’s post about delinking in which she says some very kind words about me. I have to say that it was a great thing to read right now. I thought, ”Oh yeah… I used to think about stuff and write my thoughts down. I remember that. That was fun.”
I think this may be how mothers feel after a day of trying to care for their children. I’m not sure how Dru does it.
I’ve been reading about the delinking hooha on a few blogs. I haven’t got much to say since I have never been a big reader of the blogger who did the delinking and I don’t care enough to write about why. Not right now. Right now Mom is swimming and I am listening to every little noise that comes from the bed room trying to make sure Ken is OK.
But I have been thinking about it. Because it seems like there are some really hurt feelings in bloggerville. On the one hand I think that says something about how amazing people are. People write their lives on a web site and friendships develop between people who may never meet. There is something truly wonderful about that. But I have hurt feeling about things that I’ve read on other people’s blogs. Or not read. I wrote something once that was taken in a way that I did not intend it.
On the other hand I think it’s like any relationship. You meet someone and feel a connection and you begin a relationship. After a while you see the places where you don’t feel the love, or a hurt happens. For me this is a pivotal point in my relationships. How someone responds to my hurt has everything to do with how much I feel I can involve myself with another person.
This stuff is particularly acute for me right now since I am living with people who I have some deep unresolved hurts with. And I have an equally deep sense that resolution is impossible with them. And that has everything to do with a way of being in the world. A way of assigning value. It’s not that I am not valued here. I certainly am. Parts of me are not valued here. My thoughts are not valued here.
My cooking is valued. And, really, my presence is valued. I know it means a lot that I am here. That’s all I need to be.
I’m thinking a lot about relationships these days. How they work and don’t work.
Many of the people who read me are people who I have met. I am always grateful for their generosity. I am always grateful that anyone spends the time reading me. Because, it feels like they place value on a part of me that I work very hard to develop -- the way I think about things and the way I express those thoughts. That’s the part of me where my hearts pounds.
Well. OK. There are other parts of me that cause my heart to pound. Heh.
It’s almost time for Mom to come home. I’ll be making a fruit bowl for Ken. She’ll be getting him bathed and dressed.
And maybe later my archives will be back as mysteriously as they disappeared.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Um. Where do you think my archives are?
Mom & Ken are at a luncheon. The house is so quiet.
It really is beautiful here. The view from the office window is misty with rain. I think if I lived here I’d get very into bird watching. M & K seem to know the names of many.
I finished The Intuitionist. I liked it a lot. Now I’m onto Don’t Let’s Go To the Dogs Tonight.
I got to read a bunch of blogs today. I feel out of the loop. In some cases I don’t mind.
Ken is better every day. And that means he wants to do more every day. I’m trying to pull back and not run every time he tries to stand up. He’s a willful guy.
I’ve always had a lot of faith in talking. I work on how to say things. But it doesn’t always mean much.
There’s an old joke. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
Well, first the light bulb has to want to change.
I’ve always wanted to change. But I have my own hippy lefty new age way of measuring self improvement. Mostly internal. The first thing I did that garnered praise from M & K was finish college. Nothing I had done before that seemed worthy. They have a way of measuring that comes from a different time.
It’s hard for me to relax when I can’t connect mentally and emotionally.
So I just do what I can do to be helpful and try to find time to read. I wish I could write more e-mails and blog more.
I feel so sad most of the time. Sad and tense.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

We went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was pretty funny. The we had dinner at a restaurant in Hendersonville.
I’m just trying to get through the day.
Mark sent me this.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

I did not get any writing done. Ken decided he wanted to fix a chair. So I spent the morning getting him things like screwdrivers and drills. He really wants to do what he wants to do.

When people come by or call Mom goes on and on about how great it is that I’m here and how she couldn’t do it with out me. Yesterday I heard her on the phone saying, “She’s a big girl. Really big. But she’s got such a great personality. “

Uh huh.

I wasn’t upset. It was just too classic. She’s fat but…she has such a pretty face.

When we were in the check out line the other day Mom said something to the check out girl about how much she was spending on food since her daughter came to visit. What she meant was that they usually eat in the dining room connected to the retirement place where they live and I’m cooking. But the check out girl just gave me a look and said, “She’s a hungry girl.”

I just smiled and nodded.

And again, I wasn’t upset. It was just too funny.

Monday, December 16, 2002

It’s early.
Mom went swimming this morning. Ken is still asleep. I woke up at 6:30 to get a shower and be dressed. I took the trash out to the end of the drive way and got the paper. I should probably go for a walk every morning before they get up. It’s very beautiful here. It’s still dark and the ground is covered with frost. Just those few moments alone in the front of the house, with the beauty of the sky and the stars brought me back to myself in a way.
But. I decided to take advantage of the quiet to go on line.
Mom had Omaha steaks in the freezer and some corn on the cob that they had purchased last summer when it was fresh and then frozen. And she made apple sauce. So, we had all that and I made a salad and some biscuits. It was pretty cute because Mom had a booklet that told her how long to cook the steaks on this little grill. She set a timer for each side.
Maybe we all needed to have a melt down because things were almost calm yesterday.
They have a humidifier and Mom wanted it on since it is pretty dry here in the winter. I can feel it in my skin. But it needed to be cleaned out first. Ken has always done those things. I took the thing out to the back porch and set it up for him on a card table. He pulled it apart and I took the filter to the sink. The thing about Ken is that he always does everything fastidiously. He’ll spend hours scrubbing something. And he wanted to do it. So I got him set up at the sink. He was able to stand and scrub this filter. I knew it felt good for him to do something but I was worried about him standing that long. We got the humidifier back together and turned on. Last night he seemed pretty worn out.
I thought I’d do some writing while I was here but my mind has been dim. Last night I got a surge of ideas about the book. Maybe I’ll get some writing done today. It isn’t really possible to be separate. If I go into another room to do something Mom thinks I’m mad. But maybe if I can sit on the back porch and write….

Sunday, December 15, 2002

We had a melt down yesterday. We were all yelling at each other. I hate it. But at the end of the day I got to talk to Mom about the need to accept Ken’s limitations. And the need to get support so she can do what she wants to do. I think she’s a little calmer today. I’m feeling a little raw, but I don’t recover as fast from yelling as they do. I become taciturn and fall into a deep inner dark place.
Does this mean I could never be in a relationship?
M & K have a 100 year old sour dough starter. Today I made sourdough waffles and they have soy sausage and bowls of pineapple and kiwi. The sun is shining. There is Christmas music on the radio.
I am grabbing a few minutes to read and write on line.