Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Invisible Gorrilla

I like having a baby in my life because babies grow. Babies become new people over and over. Maybe there are some hard wired characteristics but even they expand and contract. In the three months while I've been gone my not quite two year old neighbor has gone from just being able to walk without holding on to something to being able to go down the steps and dancing. Her language skills have developed. She's always been dexterous but even that skill has sharpened. Her personality has filled out. Deepened somehow.
In my twenties I used to take some kind of psychedelic once a year to reboot my thinking. I'm not sure if it really worked but it was interesting. And I moved around a lot. Being somewhere new made it possible to be someone new.
I have changed in the past few years but I'm not sure the changes have been useful. I've always processed emotionally by talking. I feel like I used to be someone who got calls. People called. To talk. That's just not true anymore. People are busy. I guess. And I find myself reticent to reach out. I'm not even sure why except I hate that feeling of needing to talk and hearing the busy-ness in someone's voice. I still love talking. I just don't seek it out or rely on it. I've been hurt and resentful about that but it was a habit that got broken. I think that part might be good.
I fully intended to come home and sink into a Sims coma. I was going to live on delivery and anything that did not need to be cooked. I have played a bit but I have little projects in the apartment that pull me out of the game. Reclamation projects. I don't mind being pulled out. I haven't cooked anything more than scrambled eggs.
Something feels looser.
I've been drawn to images of Buddha. I like the presence. The being-ness. The stillness.
Mom lives in a retirement community and someone, either there or one of her friends is always sick. There were several deaths while I was there. On her refrigeration door, in the middle of the frog magnets, is a Do Not Resuscitate order. It's a perfectly smart thing for an older woman who lives alone to have but it's unnerving. In my darker moments I have thought about having DNR as a tattoo. Being there, where the phone calls came in about who was in the hospital or the grave, made something real. In a way. Something about change being inevitable. Even when it feels impossible.
I used to think it was good that she was there with people in her age cohort. People with shared interests. Now I'm not sure. It seems imbalanced. It seems like there needs to be babies around.
I heard Jill Bolte Taylor on the radio the other day. She was describing an experiment in which people were told to watch kids passing a ball back and forth. At some point a gorilla walks across the screen and most, maybe all, of the people didn't see it. That's my big fear. Being so stuck in a habit that I don't see the gorilla.
When my goddaughter was growing up I noticed the changing. It continued all through her years in college. Every time she came home for a break she was someone new. Now in her twenties she is still changing.
And by change I mean growing. Developing. Casting off habit. Becoming.
There's something.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Flying While Fat/ Home

Right before I left for my trip Barbara told me that she and her daughter were talking about flying and comfort. Barbara said that I might have to purchase two tickets and her daughter said that it was discrimination. I was comforted to hear that someone so young got it.
Two friend's were over for dinner and I mentioned it to them. They didn't believe me until I showed them the Delta policy. Delta does not "require" that a person purchase two seats but you may be asked to move to another seat if you are making a fellow passenger uncomfortable (humiliated) and if the flight is full you may be asked to take a later flight. They were drop jawed.
I am fortunate to have a mother who can afford two seats. My flights both going and coming were full so I might have been asked to take a later flight if I hadn't had them. In both flights the person in the third seat felt free to use my second seat for their belongings. I didn't actually need the room. Put me in a weird position. Should I have said get your stuff off of my seat? Eh. What. Ever. Also on both flights there were children and I couldn't help but thinking that one more person could have flown that day with some creative thinking.
So with the two seats I was no more or less comfortable than any other passenger. I can never sleep on a plane but I read my book. It was OK. And people were friendly and kind.
See now.
After these extended visits with Mom I feel as if I've been wearing clothes that are too tight. It's partly because of the bad psychology in our relationship but it's also about personalities and what a friend describes as a profound generation gap. I just become so focused on her and so repressed that I barely exist. After a few days being home I can feel the blood flowing back into my brain. And then there's a lot of processing and recovery. What ever the mechanic of having an adult relationship between adult child and parent may be, it is not one we seem to understand.
It's not terrible. I read a lot. She doesn't always make reading easy. If I read she talks.. But since I was at her house she'd get a paper and read that while I read a book.We worked on puzzles and watched all five seasons of Doc Martin, which she loved. Kristina sent us the first season of Dowton Abbey and I got the next two from Netflix. Yes. That's right. I've seen the entire third season. Wanna know what happens?
I cooked. I'm going to try and write about that on the food blog. Later.
When I have returned from a long trip in the past I always notice that my apartment smells like me. But this time  a friend of a friend stayed here for a few months. She left the windows cracked. It's not like I smell good and she smelled bad. But my apartment didn't smell like me. It was disorienting. Travel is disorienting. Being gone that long is disorienting. And something about the kinetic experience of my apartment not smelling like me was disorienting.
Disorientation can be useful. I don't even remember the old habits of living. I don't even remember the channels on the TV. Slowly some things are coming back. But I'm enjoying coming up with new ways of being in the day. I am doing lots of reclaiming.
It's Fat Tuesday.
I am home.