As of Sunday—43 Years

So. Since I had solo selfie time this morning, I’m getting this out of the way. I’ve tried to take a selfie around my birthday since I turned forty. I’ve switched phones & lost pictures along the way, but this is my year of selfies in review, which suddenly popped up as an option to make and so I did. It’s kinda cheesy & I can’t seem to edit it properly. I’m technically challenged it seems.

So now I have slightly chopped hair and I actually don’t miss my long hair. I have started to work out for the first time ever, which feels great. I am noticing more wrinkles these days but still no grey that I’ve seen. And frankly, if I can get my body to a strong & healthy place, I couldn’t care less about wrinkles or grey.

I can’t believe I’ve been on this planet 43 years. Sometimes it feels like it should be more, sometimes I forget I’m that old now. Aging will always be a strange thing. Suddenly time has become a mystery of sorts. When I was young, ‘thirty years ago,’ seemed forever ago. Like say, in 1975 when I was born, the Second World War had ended, ‘thirty years ago.’ That was before my parents had even been born! Now, thirty years ago seems like the recent past in moments of nostalgia. 1988, well heck, I remember song lyrics somewhat easily from then. Twenty five years ago is very close feeling in my memory. And yet, forever ago. Time has become a very peculiar thing indeed, where at moments I can’t believe my oldest will be TWENTY this year! TWENTY!

Oh my. My youngest will be seven! This fills me with a rather soupy combination of anxiety & relief. Anxious that life has been stripped out of my bones as I formed these other beings and they too are aging. Relief, that they need me less and less, just as I begin to know, I will need them more and more—back to anxiousness. Life is full of quizzical ironies & fascinating conundrums.

Aging is more than the physical being.

I was assigned a talk last night, the Bible Study part, an invite to the meeting was to be included, and I was working on use visual aids. It went fine, but the school instructor, after commending me, proceeded to say, “as a kid you didn’t colour in the lines did you,” more as statement than question.

Nope. I didn’t. Actually. I did try to colour in the lines. But I don’t care too much for coloring books at all. I prefer blank paper. But, this reference to me as a child self—hahahaha. I forget most days I ever was one. I don’t think much on childhood anymore. I don’t miss it anymore. I don’t crave youth anymore. I am completely fine with middle age. Not the aching body part of it, but certainly the other parts are reasonably good.

I’m tired of being forced to feel I must be what I am not. I’m tired of failure. I’m happy to learn anything and everything I can. I fixate almost never on things said to me, about me, or what I’ve said to others. I mean, I try to be nice. I try to apologize when I should. But man, I’m tired of the gritty stuff. The stuff that I can’t fix or change or make better—nope, don’t care anymore. I love people. I give them the benefit of the doubt whenever possible, but I also am razor sharp at cutting them out of my life when & where I must for my own preservation. I’m becoming a swifter judge of character. I trust less. I have learned to trust my gut above anyone’s opinion. That’s hard. But, I’ve discovered, I’m so rarely wrong that it’s best I listen to my instincts & apologize later if I’m wrong.

I’ve stopped drinking morning coffee in favour of green tea. I’ve learned, I will never be good enough at guitar to worry about it, but to just play when I feel I want to. I’ve learned I can learn most anything reasonably well enough if I had all the time in the world, but, I don’t, so I need to focus on a few favourites and thoroughly enjoy them.

I like being a little ‘out there.’ I do not fit in and I’m so happy for this. I like just being that quirky woman that only a few know well. I like singing & dancing & exercise. I like painting & writing & I don’t read nearly as much as I should and I don’t care. I like cats better than dogs but in certain moments I love my dogs more than I ever loved a cat. I love my kids. Holy moly I love my kids. I don’t just love them, I like them. They are my favourite people to spend time with even tho I often need a break from them too. I love my husband, not unselfishly, he puts up with me & takes care of me & he makes me feel needed and secure, and I need him. We are reciprocal in each our own way. I love my mom & my stepdad like crazy, and they are crazy. I don’t need my dad. I never did. He was a biological truth. That, is not my fault. My brothers and their wives and kids are literally my own. I love them unconditionally. My in-laws on my husband’s side are mine too. They are coo-coo crazy coco puffs & this is what makes life full of fun & love & amazing. You get to explore a completely different way of everything via other people’s minds and moods. I actually miss all these people when we’ve been out of touch for a while, but make no mistake, distance will always make the heart fonder.

I have learned, I love the snow, but the cold I love a little less, and the dark, is not my friend. I love the sun, and summer—but heat, a little less. I love the ocean & the mountains & lakes & trees, sunset, but sunrise I love a little less. Everything is gradient & spirals & spherical in the most beautiful of ways. Pain is always pain. Love is always love. These things don’t fade they just age. Time is so strange to me these days. It truly is.

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Forgotten

and so that intense quiet of snow upon snow has consumed

both light & sound, already, the world in all its greenery

has become some fictitious memory boasted about by strange bullies & beasts

I am washed down, with this tin taste of blood in my lungs, the cold only biting with small teeth

how often have I run, lungs bursting, drowning, here in the cold

what wild consumptions of ice & black & how peculiar this sky, singing strange horrors in the night

all things are whimpering at the door, humming, or howling…or screaming

slowly light attempted its feeble rise, only to fall, in breaths of blood & flicker

Ask me what I know? How does the North keep me alive inside it’s deathly embrace?

How much blood has it frozen, blued, crusted in the veins of my fingers & toes & most definitely my heart?

How lovely is the frozen face & the water eyes of winter as they realize…

I once heard, rumours of soft sand & high held sun & ocean waves & leaves that never fall; of trees that do not stand, thin stark & white, glimmering rig immortally in the night

But here, this sway of stiff limbs & creaking bows & strange songs slithering along the snow, this, this is all I know. It is hum-drumming through these frozen wastelands—where my body barely breathes, only puffs, clouds of haze & glow.

Folkloric Tunic  

I said I’d finish it today, & tho I can’t always complete things when I think I can, I took the two hours it needed and sewed up the last seam and stitched the back support into the neckline. I still need to block it so it relaxes a bit, but all in all, this baby is finally done. My second ever sweater just in time for a gorgeous autumn weekend. Yay! 

Super proud of myself. It is lovely tho ever so slightly peculiar. Just like last year’s Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton knit. 


Folkloric Tunic 

…not to be forgotten, Benedicta below


Old Photos

Was looking for a new profile pic for social media (Charlotte has been my profile picture a couple months now) & came across this gem from last winter—it reminds me of where I am headed—back into the black & white world of Winter. 

I have always believed we have to accept what we do & do not have. I’ve been going through a new phase of mid-life body, it is not my favourite. The mid-section jelly rolls are getting quite annoying, & I think for the first time in my life I might actually need to do something active to keep that under control besides control top pantyhose. Lol. 

I’ve never had pretty legs in my opinion. I don’t care for my nose. My lips are not as plump as I would have liked. I’m getting wrinkle in my neck. My neck people! 

But, I have a few features I’m thankful for—my eyes. My dark lashes. My little fingers. I’ve never fought much to have definition in my arms. But ya, mid life is kicking my butt. Everything is aging now. Most especially my eyes. They don’t see like they used to. I hate it. But hey. Glasses have come a ways in style. 

So, seeing this shot of myself, while walking one cold winter day last year, my eyes. Man am I thankful I’ve had these eyes and I hope they last me another forty years should this system go on that long. But boy will I love getting them restored to youth one day. 

Despite This Long Despair…

I fear I am full of so many redundancies—a corpse spewing scent of death & rot. 

How can I become something changing & sweet & new & becoming, yet be the same. Always the same. 

I spill forth like life, not death. 

That washing light of sunrise; the closing scene of dusk; the cleansing tide, wave upon wave. Flowers that have bloomed fresh, fifty springs, yet it’s never one too many. The awe of yet another moment, never paling the last—awe & a breath & a gasp. 

How lovely & how rare.
Redundancy of hope,
despite this long despair. 

Cesspool Poetry

…having been awake, having said a prayer, now what am I to do?

Poetry has its way of pouring from the cesspool of drained sores…

The quiet smoke in the dawn

The rustle of the birds in the tree

The silence of the sky

Turbulent as the sea

So you gape open, as do I

This is what it is to be a part,

Oozing as it is, of humanity

I Cannot Raise the Gun…

I cannot raise the gun with you. I cannot shoot down the wicked. There, they stamp, tall busts bellowing, a holler against some imagined injustice. Yet, I cannot raise the gun with you. I cannot shoot them down. Like splintered roots, the weeds, they rise, they rise. For every fallen, five rise. 

Have you seen the blood upon me? 

My face is torn open. I’ve the skull inside, the flesh giving way to its hardness. Inside, I’m alive & dying. My eyes have seen the lamp shade skins of the dead. I’ve seen that the hatchet can dive in & yet Death, that fickle friend, may leave you crawling to the grave. I’ve seen such spitting hate, spewing as the bath bares the soul to Sheol. 

My skin, every so slightly raised to golden from the sun, warm & beckoning, but never dark enough, it glows. Ghostly. Or ghastly. All in stunned aching silence but for this: let them scream. 

Let them raise their anger. Let them spit. Let them holler. 

…and this, the forest of me, does not hear. 

Inside, peace came washing over me. Inside, the young girl, brown & curled hair, & lips whispering in prayer, I heard none of it. My ears have refused to hear. Inside, the young girl, pale & blonde, grabbed the other’s hand, and we walked, souls as they are, complex & intwined, we are one little girl, & neither of us will listen. 

…and when you raise the gun I will ask why—fortitude is a passive courage, despite the possibility of rage. Rage leads to rage. I must resist the hunger & the pain, the cold. Against that, what is there to oppose? 

You raise the gun. The shot, I did not hear, but felt. It lays, lodged in my chest & I’m asking, what of my silence has offended you? Was my refusal to feed this fire your fuel? Fight your evil! Fight it then! Watch, as it consumes your heart & soul. Watch as it creeps from the justice within you to become the administer of what you hate. Watch as you shoot down, bleed out, fall, & rot all the heathens as the emerge, one by one, millions upon millions. How heavy the toil, the toll, the tumult. Fight it and become it. 

I sank…my lips still so silent, but for the gasp of surprise. My eyes, they will stay locked, and they will haunt you. I promise. You will see them when you die. 

Lost In Translation

here i am, lost in
the murmuring translations upon these prairies—
the hard english glazed in sharp french, a drizzled bitter of
distain & broken tongues & backs
there, fresh off history’s bloom
raw with rape-red & bruise-blue
a meandering river of tears
that tinkle with light that scorches unending

there, the tangy berries of despair unleash themselves against hearts
that wander the rolling—what was it you’ve been looking for?

all the shadows crawl free across the scarred landscape, downs & meadows, rigor mortis trees with sharp nails stretching high against my prairie sky, drawing the blood from the sunrise, in long, flowing ribbons

…and then the storm, heavy & booming, drumroll upon drumroll, that can never wash
everything clean

i sit there, smoke of muskets & the sharp sound of both the arrow & the plunging thud of axes, digging deep, swift to the grey
drawing forth vast oceans of blood & misery & turmoil, i feel the women, pushing forth spawn after spawn on the land—
these aching children full of rage

there, the ground, hungry again after the digestion of so much gluttonous misery, it’s howling,
tongue lolling out, dry but salivating
you, your perfect face, shining in the rise of the sun, small lines, fresh sun-scorch, a small streak of dirt where all tragedy lies, just under the temple, deep inside the brain, heart pounding—there,
in the hardened earth, you feel deep below, the mantle crack, the core, swell to tide, all the fires burning, all of history repeating
there, i, small & silent, so trembling in imperfections i glow white & crimson, i sit so quiet, watching the quaking prairie storm

the low growl inside me rises, gutteral, small flecks of timid
falling way to force until it is strong, sure, loudening against time’s awkward push upon me
i’ve a small scar, one deep but small on the outside, tingling with a dulled memory of this excrutiating pain, & now its aching, both to be left & to be touched, these bruises & their oxymoronic pleadings
the silver line tingles in the last rays before the clouds & there it is, glowering in sad silence

the starlings, rise & fall, sacred tribal dances upon the sky—warm, mixing with the cool

i hear the grass shiver, scratching upon the bare of my leg as if a child, begging, UP!

but all must face the wind & become either tame, or so very very wild

Inspiration? 

What it once was—the black root worming, a snug grub

Skinned from the inner lump of my heart, coal black & whining with sorrow & regret, a childhood agony

I dropped free~freedom came rushing at me

Soul & mind & blood, slick & smooth & flowing river-fast & aching cold, refreshing

How long I wallowed, in the warmth of my own mud, it’s stench restful in its uneasiness 

Then, the freed sparrow of my throat, a small warble, rising in the wind, clean in the sunrise—how sweet, how sweet

Despite all the woes, to rise, finally free.