Tag Archives: memorial day

The terms in which I think of reality….

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The terms in which I think of reality….

by Allen Ginsburg has to be one of my favorite poems. It comes back to me at different stages in my life as I ponder what is real and what is perception, what is emotion and what is chemical and whether they are all the same anyway…

This week has been a roller coaster and I am left contemplating such deep things that it makes my chest heave and my breath seize.

I have many things to be grateful for, so many in fact I cannot even fathom a guess to how long that list would be. Yet I still find myself worrying about things that I cannot control or affect anymore than I am so I must just let go.

Is there a 12 step program for control?

I have a friend who just found out their partner has a pretty progressed brain cancer that may or may not be treatable at this point; they have no insurance. All they can do is hope and wait and cope in ways less than healthy. Some social worker I am, all I can do is say I am sorry and that sucks. Try to offer band-aid solutions. I know they appreciate it, but I feel so helpless and then I feel bad that I feel anything. This is about them, not me. Their reality and mine in this situation are so different. I can’t join theirs but I can be there as a shoulder. That’s all. I have to let go of thinking I can do anything else at this point.

And that isn’t me seeking to feel apathetic.

I have friends that are only now starting the process of long term relationships and maybe marriage and careers and buying houses and thinking about children and I kind of resent that they are there now, with all this preparation and education and money to make it work. But I KNOW that all of those things don’t make it easier, just different so why am I jealous?

Been there done that and it never suits for me long…I have wanderlust. I never want anything for long. I’ve come to the conclusion that traditional life trajectories never will work for me because it isn’t what I want, it’s what I have been conditioned to think I want…Perhaps that is a rationalization…I don’t know.

Sour grapes.

Then I think about it being Memorial Day weekend and all the people who won’t be bbq’ing and all the people who are away from their families because they chose to serve and it makes me feel pretty fucking selfish for feeling sorry for myself being away from my family because I chose to move away for a man and all the other ridiculous reasons I told myself it was for.

Then I think about my baby brother going to Afghanistan. And my other friends going to Korea and Cambodia. And my uncle is probably going to end up somewhere because that is just what the 116th does, they go somewhere always. And then I think about my son wanting to enlist in a year and just

WHOA

Shit gets heavy.

My life is good. I have fat white American first world problems.

Those are the comparative terms in which I think of my reality.

Hug your peoples.

Ye’ olde family traditions

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Ye’ olde family traditions

When I was growing up, one town that I lived in frequently seemed to have an alley behind every street within its old city limits. We usually didn’t have much money and so when holidays came around like Memorial Day, Mother’s Day and Easter, instead of buying my family flowers (for them or their gravestones), my mother would drive down alleys letting me spot and cut beautiful escapee flowers.

It was really one of my favorite things to do. Lilacs are my grandma J’s favorite and so when those were still in season (depending on when Easter landed) we would scout those out first. I remember the joy and the feeling of responsibility I would get from riding with the door slightly ajar, no seat belt, while my mom would drive slowly down the alleys letting me jump out with scissors to run and steal flowers.

As a parent myself, I cringe at the memory…But as my inner child, I still remember the sneaky happiness. I am quite certain no one would have complained had they seen us cutting their alley irises or tulips, but it sure felt naughty which was part of the fun. There a few times they may have complained upon seeing me squeezing through gaps to reach beautiful flowers IN their yards but…..

I digress.

As an adult, and I use the term relatively, my bestest friend Pippi and I did the same thing. I even continued the tradition with my own children when I lived in that same town again. However I usually parked and walked or would follow the kids down the alley. (Traditions evolve you know.)

We haven’t found any alleys where we are now. Not for lack of trying either. Every year I see the flowers growing in spring and I mourn for my alley escapades.

I’ve seen some pretty gorgeous daffodils on a couple of shoulders and exits near my house though….they might just be fair game.

Happy whatever you do today!