Thursday, August 26, 2010

Let them flow

Maybe because it's such a small town, the grief
is so magnified. I feel sometimes like I am everyone's
mother. After I dropped my keys on the counter
and put my purse on the table this evening, I threw away
something sitting somewhere (I can't remember what).
The garbage closet is next to the refrigerator.

And there he was, on my refrigerator. In his Army
uniform. His mischievous brown eyes looking back
at me. And I could not stop looking at him, thinking
about his mom, about how much she must every single
day miss him, how often she must think This can't be.
But he just kept looking back at me. I could only keep
staring into his eyes, like I was expecting him to speak.
Two years almost. First Iraqi war casualty (and only that
I know of ) from this town. He was my daughter's friend.
He was my sister's best friend's son. He was here, at this
house, on more than one occasion. He was funny. Smart.
Full of spirit. Now he is this picture on my refrigerator.
And I cried.

And then there is Jake. My daughter's friend for so many
years. Her friend who was so many times almost boyfriend.
Who pissed her off, made her cry, made her laugh hysterically,
who came and went, who had just started calling her again
in those last weeks. Jake, the pillow snake. That's what I called
him. Jake with the deep voice. Jake with the badass attitude.
Jake with the jokes. Jake. Jake who is gone now. Jake
whose loss hurts my heart so deeply that I can't even begin to
imagine what his mother's heart feels.

So, I am crying tonight, thinking about these boys--these young
men who were taken before they got to live so many things.
Knowing that in their short years, they may have lived
in ways I'll only ever dream about. But who should be here!

Oh! I hurt.

May all the powers of healing and good and hope
and faith and truth and acceptance be with their mothers this night.
I think last night, you were driving circles around me

Monday, August 23, 2010

Full of Glory

Fist full of wildflowers,
stems staining
the lines,
once fine but now
etched deeply
in glory, she paces
the large backyard,
wonders where all
the elaborate
plans met a not
so inglorious truth.
An unknown
of bird startles
this moment;
the unnamed wildflowers
drop from her hand.
She is the starling,
scattering seed.
Next summer,
she will know
all of their names,
these birds filled with glory,
filling the air
with their flight,
an uprising
of wildflowers
left in their wake.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Sneaks up. Feels like someone's filled your shoes
with cement. Your head with a blank page waiting
to be filled on the day you have the worst case of writer's
block ever. The whole I don't give a flying f*** attitude sucks!
But I do, I suppose, give a f***, or I would not be here, typing away,
thinking about what I need to do.

Need and want are two very different things, but each
indicate some pull of the life force. Pull on, baby.


Another fox last night. They must love Hwy 120. I see
at least one every time I have to drive it (which is only
when I am on call and have to go to Crittenden Co.
Hosp., which is in the middle of the boonies!). Three
dear crossed within 20 ft of my car. Slowing down as
I was almost at the hospital, so thankfully no mishap.
Appeared to be two does and a fawn. Many lucky little
critters last night (ar at least when I met them!). Can see
their eyes in the oncoming lights. Like two small, red
glaring lights. Then off they shoot into the brush.
Lots of fog last night, too. And a bug-smeared windshield,
which the wipers and washer fluid only made worse, but
the fog kept coating the windshield in a fine mist.

I thank George Winston, Tom Waits, and Lucinda Williams
for keeping me company.


Struggling to complete The Man Who Loved Children. Why
I have stayed with it is beyond me. On pg 400 something
and been saying since pg 100 I am sure this is going to get
better. Keep reading. I am sure it's not, considering I only have
about 50 pages left.


Still wondering when it's going to happen. It has to for so many
reasons. The facade must crumble away. Not time yet, though.


Have a feeling I'm a gonna just stay in this nightie all day!

Finished the book. Reflection time. Weighing out why I stayed
with it, what it's really about (as if there is this accepted explanation
out there and the book can only be about that). Wore me out.

Need something really dark to pick me up.
If you did not know who this was, and the song came on the radio, you would be thinking Dylan.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


does not come easily. Can remember the day--
was probably 25 or so--when I thought That will
never be me--too fat to move around easily, too tired
to want to go somewhere I once would have gone
come hell or high water, too "set in my ways" to deviate
from the norm, too predictable, too comfortable
to go outside my own backyard and play a bit, too
indifferent, too willing to concede to limitations
set for me.


There is a word. Anhedonia. Keep saying, screaming
at times, That is not me, that is not me, that is not me!!!
I must keep screaming, or at least, believing it is not.


All day discussions of axons and neurons, chemical imbalances,
environment, genetics, neurotransmitters, the endocrine
system, cortisol, GAD, SPECT and fMRI scans, meds, appointments,
therapy, CBT, RET, etc. I believe and I don't.


Overcast this morning. I was excited, hoped for rain. A nice
steady rain all day long, but the sky cleared, the sun kept up
its steady pace, the woodferns laid upon themselves in great
resignation. But tonight, the moon is 70% and waxing, a lovely
light with no heat, the breeze blowing my hair all around my face,
the water from the hose blowing back on my bare arms and legs.
Many apologies I made to those who did not get watered--the coral
bells near the hydrangeas, the hostas, the Japanese maple.
Tomorrow, I promised.


Hesse sits next to me, waiting to be opened. TV on in the living
room. Dog lying down next to me. Kitty hiding. Another load
of laundry spinning. The endless spinning. The turning of world
life thought plan body belief. Spinning. Extended cycle.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh Yes

So, another gift tonight. Watering the plants
out front. The rhododendrons. Water also spraying
the azaleas, whose roots run deep, requiring little
care. Out she jumped! Thought it was a grasshopper.

It began swaying on the sidewalk. Stevie Wonder-like.
I was singing, in my mind, Still Waters Run Deep/Bridge
Over Troubled Water--Aretha song I heard on NPR
last Saturday. Perhaps why church came to mind.
Filled with the spirit sorta thing.

There she was. Swaying, then lifting her front legs
from the pavement and making a dash for the azalea
cover. Another praying mantis. Have not seen so many
in such a long time.

Makes me think of the year I went out to sit in the antique
wicker rocker on my screened-in porch and felt eyes on me.
Could see, out of the corner of my eye, movement.

Turned, and there they were. Hundreds of baby praying
mantisses. Amazing thing to see, right here in little podunk

Amazing. They thought I was their mommy. They wanted
to be all over me. Should have taken a picture.
Old people just grow lonesome

So says Mr. Prine. Love that song. Lonesome I've
known so long, but I am sure there are as many kinds
of lonesome as there are wildflowers.


To Lexington and back this weekend. Moved Wes back
for the fall semester. Summer flew by. Seems he just got
here for the summer and he's gone again. Don't think he'll
want to live here again in the summer, or ever. Not much
here except his dad and me. He learned many things this summer--
some very difficult things. All part of growing, becoming
more himself. Hard to watch some of it but necessary.

Had dinner with Christopher, Jess, and Isaac. Spent several
hours there Saturday. Isaac brings me great joy. I smile more,
laugh more, recognize my limitations in ways that challenge
me to make a difference (GiGi has a hard time getting up
and down, playing chase, roughhousing, etc. GiGi needs to lose
some weight and tone up her arms and strengthen her legs),
see the beauty of my life unfolding again in this new life.


Butterflies were slaughtering themselves in vast numbers
Saturday. So many different types, colors, sizes smashing
into my windshield. Saddens me. This hot summer has been
good for two things: fewer mosquitoes and so many lovely

Watering the flowers a few nights ago. Was spraying the wood
ferns next to the house when I felt someone or something
watching me. Bent down to see a young praying mantis. Hard
to detect him there, but I saw him. Just stood and kept spraying
the ferns to the right of him so I could just look at him.

Watched him bring his front legs to his face, cat-like, and clean
the water from his face. Drink the water. Just a few nights before,
saw another one about his size climbing up my basil plant. He kept
cocking his head to follow my movements. Interesting little
creatures. That day, I got stung by a wasp, saw two rabbits,
a praying mantis, several varieties of butterflies, a red-tailed
hawk, a baby robin who just stopped and watched me water,
and a few dragonflies. They've been hanging around my car.
Thinking about that and them.


Good food again. That wonderful orzo with roasted vegetables.
Has become one of my favorite meals. Serving pork chops
marinated in chili sauce, orange rind, soy, brown sugar.
Tender. Nice complement to the roasted veggies with orzo.


Finally, not so hot today. Less humid. Lower 90s. Breeze.
It's all good at the moment.
Hello in There

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flex--what a lovely word!!!!!

My day. Only 2 hours early, but it sure helps. The day
after I'm on call, I can leave work 2 hours early
(theoretically speaking--doesn't always work out
that way!). I don't get to flex because of the on call,
but because we have treatment team every morning
(except Wednesday) now at an earlier time.

Only one call last night. 60 mile round trip. A child.
I am not a children's crisis case manager, but all of the
case managers are responsible for assessing children
when they are on call. Wasn't there too long. Think
we have a good plan.

I am beginning to think I am never going to adjust
to the on call routine. I stay in alert mode and can't
go to sleep. I've always had trouble sleeping, but this
is particularly bad. I keep thinking that the minute I fall
into a sound sleep, the phone will ring. And it does, quite

2 weeks ago, I had worked all day, and then, just as I was
turning out the light that night (around 10), I got called
out. That particular call was local, but I had to transport
the client to the Crisis Stabilization Unit--a 70 mile round trip.
It turned out to be about a 3 1/2 hour on call. Got home, got
in bed, was turning out the light, and got called again (it
was about 2:30 AM). Had to go to the psychiatric hospital
(another 70 mile round trip). Did not get home until 5:30, then had
to go to my office to get some notes in so I could come home
and try to sleep a few hours before going back to work.
Wore me out!

The saving grace is how lovely the farms and lakes and ponds
look as the sun is coming up. Hear some interesting stuff on NPR
that time of the morning, too. Sadly, I am too tired today
to even think of even one of those broadcasts. I listen as I drive
and think, Now, that's interesting. I shall have to research, but then
I get caught up in the business of the day and the busyness
of my nights, and I just can't remember.

So, almost 2 years into my career, and I have learned so much.
And I have aged so much! Crisis can be draining, but I believe
in what I am doing.

Taking my very tired ass into the kitchen to start chopping peppers.
Pasta salad. B B Q chicken. Fresh corn.
This makes me think of Douglas Adams. I love the Planet Earth series!

Monday, August 02, 2010


I am just going to go sit on the porch.