Saturday, January 30, 2010

Call Him George

(Pre-Script: This post is meant to be read as the song, "She Will Be Loved, " #11 on the playlist, plays in the background. Also, check your judgements at the door. TYVM.* I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

If I say, "I love you" so that you will say it back to me, then I'm not really saying I love you, am I, I am not really loving you at all. I am sucking you dry, squeezing you for my own self. It's as if you are an orange, and I am saying "I love your juice" as I squeeze it out of you. You probably feel a little tight. You probably need to catch a breath from that. Catch your breath? You okay now?

"And I will love him and squeeze him and call him George."**

Sooner or later, I'm going to have to tame my own inner Abominable Snow Rabbit. By "Inner Abominable Snow Rabbit," I mean not so inner, but more outer and obvious than I would like to admit to myself most of the time.

"hug him and squeeze him and pet him and pat him and..."

I love you.

I just said I LOVE you, you had better say it back to me.

(I don't say I love you for me, I say it because I'm insecure and need a pat on my own back, so I pat yours so you will pat mine. I feel ugly today, so I tell you how fantastic you look so that you will tell me how fantastic I look, too. Then I won't feel so down on myself today, if I can just squeeze the right compliment out of you.)

"And I will love him and squeeze him and call him George."
"Hug him and squeeze him and pet him and pat him...and call him George."

*I need to be able to give a compliment without expecting any sort of reciprocation. I need to be able to give without needing something in return, without expectation of the reaction from the other end. My only expectation to be that the one hearing it will be receiving, and fully receiving, and filled, filled more fully than ever before. And peace. Expectations make me needy, so I am learning not to say the thing if I really, really want to hear it in return. I just don't say it then.
I have found that people surprise me pleasantly, when I let them be, and when I don't hang over them my laundry list of hopes and dreams and expectations for this and that. Let people be, and cry my own tears in my own places and ways, and people are free to come and go as they need, and want, and more will want will want will want to come back again, even if they had to go away for a little while.*


*Thank You Very Much

**The Abominable Snow Rabbit, to Daffy Duck

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Problem (and I do have one)

(Pre-Script: There's a 64% chance that this post will solve all of your problems, or at least one or two of them, if you read it as the song, "Black or White," #48 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

The problem with math problems is that they are a hard. This is why they are called math PROBLEMS. The problem with math word problems is that word problems, of the math variety, are an oxymoron. They have been written by gifted mathematicians, as opposed to being written by gifted writers. Therefore the written math problem is often written in such a way as to not make any sense. I'm sure it would be a great problem to solve, with a logical black and white answer, had it been written by one who knew how to write.
Now, I know what you are thinking: "Michelle, you are far from elementary school math. Why concern yourself with math problems?" because now that I'm a mother, and have to steer my own children through the murky waters of elementary level math, (which, by the way, is no longer taught at an elementary level, no sirree, because if it was, how would my little darlings get ahead in life, and go to Harvard, and Yale, and go on to pursue every unmet dream of MINE, then go on to rule the world, *not that I am pressuring them at all,* nosirree, do you hear what I'm telling you, but that is a topic for another day, so we'll just couch that one for now) if I can't even help them complete the problem on the page in front of us?? And they hold their newly sharpened pencils between trusting fingers as they look up at me with those puppy dog eyes, those big huge, blinking, "Our mother will surely help us in our time of mathematical word problem need, won't she, won't she, won't she," blink, blink, blink, blink...
The point I am getting to is this: Those math word problems are as difficult now as they always were; they are just as difficult now as they were when I was the ages of my children. As a child, I was smarter than I realized, I only thought I was not intelligent because of the craziness that was thrust in front of me in the name of mathematics. I am just now old enough to realize that math and words together is the problem, not me. I have concluded that math should be done by men who have completed their word quota for the day*, and have nothing left to do for the next 23 and half hours but sit in a room and grunt at each other while solving math problems. Because math problems are still problems, world without end, amen.


*I'm not hating on the men; I just thought it would be funny to say "men," instead of "people" here, because, well, it's just funny, that's why.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Heritage is Hereditary

(Pre-Script: This post will leave you weeping for the Motherland if you read it as the song, "Superman," #9 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

I have always liked the idea of having a cultural heritage, probably because I have never had one.
I have no sense of an "Old World," or "The Old Country" about me, the Place from which my Impoverished ancestors got on a boat, or the last helicopter out, and and landed here, on these United States of America.
Where did I come from? Who knows. I am as generic American as generic American can get, world without end, amen.
During my growing up years, it was hot to be Italian. All of those with Italian bloodlines seemed to have some sort of extra specialness, just to be able to say, "I'm Italian." It didn't matter if they'd ever been to Italy or not; having a bloodline was cool, and seemed to give them an edge; an attitude; a golden glow on their rich olive toned skin. In the '80's, it was important to be able to get a tan, so this was a distinct genetic advantage.
I've never really known what I was; as far as I know, I'm a muddy mix of everything so that none particularly sticks out; a gray and murky and mysterious American mutt, in which unknown tendencies for disease and disorders mutate and reproduce. There are no particular cultural holidays that I have celebrated with extra vim and vigor, with pride that I am, YES! An Irish girl on St Patricks Day! For example. I do like to add "Canadian" to my lineage, since I have Grandparents who came down to this country from up above, in that country, but people just laugh at me when I tell them this. "That doesn't count," people say, or "That's just like saying you're American," they say.
Um, I say that, too.
I have this one friend who is totally Irish, on both sides. (The front AND the back.) hee hee, Ahem. But seriously...the first time he asked me about my cultural heritage, I bumbled out an answer..."Um, I think I've got some English, Scottish, Germ-"
"English? That's it, then we can't be friends. The English and the Irish do not get along. The English were horrible to the Irish."
"Um, I'm never even been to England, and I think Ireland and Irishness is completely cool."
"Yeah, but didn't you see 'Braveheart?'"
Easy, William Wallace. I am not the British Empire, or any empire, of this century, or any century. I did not start or end your war with this or that country, cause your droughts and famines, your slavery and predjudice. I am not that influential. Trust me. Like I have time to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, dress up like a man wearing a kilt with nothing underneath, and commandeer a 4 legged animal across a grassy field while wielding a sword at-whatever or whoever is on the other side of the field. I am not that coordinated. I am not that revolutionary. Please.
I'm just a girl who gets up and washes my non distinct pinkish skin every day. My natural hair color has always been the most universal brown naturally occurring on every continent. Never mind that over the years I have colored and highlighted it every naturally occurring color a person's head can produce, so as to fit the any or none culture class to which I apparently belong.
But I am not a huge lady brought over to this country as a gift from France who stands on a pedestal holding up a lantern with a sign that says "Come to me, bring your poor, your tired, your downtrodden," to which many boats flock for encouragement and assurance. Like I have the patience for that. Like I have long enough arms. I am not William Wallace, circa 1490 or whenever, I am not the Statue of Liberty, I am not Jesus, who, besides being the Son Of God in the flesh, was Jewish.* So do not come to me for any of these things, I will sorely disappoint you. I am just an American girl with a questionable past.
Although recently, one of my brothers mentioned that our family has at least some traces of Irish. Say What? Irish? That country that doesn't get along with the English we also apparently contain? Well then, look at me, a walking history and geography text; a walking contradiction in so many ways. Who knew. Looks like I'm going to have to call my Irish friend and say, "Cousin Irishman, how the heck does one cook corned beef and cabbage? Looks like I'm going to be celebrating with you on March 15th as an insider this year." and he's going to have to start calling me "O'Michelle," or "McMichelle," whichever flows more naturally off of his Irish tongue.


*If I have any Jewishness in me, I have yet to learn of it, although I would not be surprised if I did.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Burning Boats

(Pre-Script: This poem pairs well with the song, "Shadowfeet," #56 on the playlist. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

Boats are burning and I'm
just learning how to swim
and tread, swim and tread,
and breathe and hold a breath
and move forward with the force
of my body and all of this water.
There is unrealized power
in these lungs, these arms,
these legs-
I will not drown;
there is a different shore ahead
past the last point on the horizon I
can see.


Indulging an Extravagent Tragedy

(Pre-Script: This poem should be read as the song,"Blackbird," #14 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

If I die of this Bubonic Plague or
latest epidemic,
(please remember that I always did like lavender roses
and gardenias)
if they unearth my tomb in 500 years,
nothing will remain
of the good smelling girl I always was.
The flowers I was buried with lying across my chest
clutched in lifeless hands
will be the first to rot and decay;
the form of finger bones curved over nothingness is all
that will be visible,
if anything is visible,
when they unearth my remains in several hundred years.


Takes one to know one, Sweetie...

(Pre-Script: To make the most of this post, please read it as the song, "Live Like We're Dying," #54 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
...As in,
"I am the exact same thing that I am calling you"
How many things are you self conscious about, and what is the first thing you notice about another person?
Someone wants to answer,
"His or her smile!"
"If He or She seem genuine or not!"
But I'm going to stop you right there, Sweetie.
You see, I have long held the belief that the first thing we notice in another person is the first thing we are insecure about in ourselves.
In other words, we're all just thinking about our own selves, most of the time, and looking to other people as a sort of mirror, to validate what we already believe to be true about ourselves. This makes sense because we spend all day, every day with ourselves; not just with ourselves, but IN ourselves. Our own bodies, minds, and hearts. So in a way this is only natural.
When a person points out to me a supposed flaw of his or hers, I am caught off guard; I have usually never noticed this particular "flaw," or even thought of it as a flaw if I did notice it, before that person pointed it out to me.
I have experience the opposite of this as well. I have felt brave enough to reach out and touch someone with an insecurity of my own, something that I am sure the person has already noticed, and in so doing, has judged me as lacking and inadequate. I see this moment as, "You and I already know that this particular thing is wrong with me, and it has always been the elephant in the room that we talk around; now I am finally mentioning it by name, out loud.
"Here, Big blue elephant, I see you; no use trying to hide you any longer."
But the reactions I have most often witnessed from sharing my deep dark insecurities are usually something like a look of bored surprise or incomprehension, with a statement like,
"That's all? I would have never known you were insecure about that."
-wait for it-
...and cue topic change.
The other person changes the topic because the issue I have brought up that was Monumentally Shameful In My Own Eyes (or, MSIMOE) doesn't even touch the person's own Radar Of Important Things To Talk About (or, ROITTTA). It doesn't even warrant attention, other than the "I am sorry that you feel insecure about something I never even noticed before" variety.
Insecurity is the flip side of the same coin as pride. It's choosing to believe what you believe about yourself instead of what is actually true.
It's self focus, all self, all the time, even if what you are focusing on is the things you wish to change about yourself.
(Aw, fo-gettaboutit)
I might have done a much better job of typing this, if I wasn't so distracted by all of the giant logs in my green peepers, peeps; they keep floating past in the mirror; sometimes instead of pulling them out, I like to float on them for a bit, or paint them up, so as to make them look like boats on which I sail, or life rafts; something to cutesify and hide behind, not giant logs that blind me from ever seeing anything beyond myself...possibly including, but not limited to, whatever my real purpose in life is supposed to be.
You'll have to forgive me, they can be quite distracting sometimes.
Happy paranoia, and getting over it, already, Sweetie.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tongues of Steel

(Pre-Script: This post will cause you to chew and swallow slowly when read as the song, "32 Flavors," #21 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

If you can't stand a controversy, it will behoove you to stop reading now, and have a nice day. Go read a Charlie Brown comic instead.
("Behoove" is one of those words I learned from reading a Charlie Brown comic. By "one of those," I actually mean "The only one I can think of.")
When I was small wee child living under the care of my parents direction and leanings, I had to eat the food that was on my plate. At dinnertime, this often meant broccoli or Brussels sprouts. And there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. The broccoli went down with much gagging and facial deformations. I never got over the feeling that my mouth had been brutally assaulted, both taste and texture wise.
There are people who say that if you encourage a child to try every kind of food, he or she will grow to like it, and eat everything, naturally. Folks, don't believe it. In fact, run, don't walk, away from the teaching of anyone who's logic is that this type of theory applies to every child on the planet, naturally. Some people are more or less sensitive to different foods.
Now, my illustrious medical career may have stopped at high school Anatomy and Physiology, but that doesn't mean that I didn't learn a few things about, well, Human Anatomy and Physiology. And one thing I learned is that we only taste 4 different things, namely, Sweet, Salty, Sour, and Bitter, on different places of the tongue. Bitter is in the back. This is why certain foods have a bitter AFTER taste; you literally don't taste the bitterness until it's hit the back of your tongue. And some of us may just maybe might have a more sensitive bitter spot than others. Or maybe not, but the point is, I never ever ever learned to like foods like broccoli or Brussels sprouts. I never ever ever got to the age where I will just eat anything, and like it. Certain textures (hello, Large Chunks of Onion!! aka, LCoO!! Hello, Skin of the Potato! aka, SotP!) still make me gag and wiggle if I am ever going to swallow them. In fact, if anything, I think my throat constricts MORE now if I try to swallow these certain foods.
SO here is the life lesson I learned: How can any food which everything in my natural body is trying to reject, from my psyche to my physical gag reflex and throat tightening, be good for me? How?
THINK about it, people. Don't just take my word for it, or anyone else's.
And isn't it a mystery of great proportions that all people have the same 4 basic taste sensations, yet our own personal experiences with the foods we taste can be completely different from one person to the next? Isn't it?
For example, I am a great lover of the fruit commonly known as "banana." Now friends, this is a very controversial topic, I know. I have known many people who can't even stand the thought of a banana, or the sight. Yet I love the banana. I love banana bread, banana cake, AS LONG AS no one tries to sneak a nut in there. Nuts do not belong in breads or cookies or muffins or cakes; this is my steadfast belief. Chocolate chips do, though. Semi sweet, preferably. So you see, we have our textures and our tastes all contending together to make a harmonious and glorious masterpiece when they hit our mouths, or a disaster of equal proportions. To each his own.
And now it's time for a little thing I like to call, "True confession #537," are you ready for it??
(...And behold, when she imagined she had heard a small crowd cry out "YES!" She proceeded to share her secret thusly:)
I do not make my own children eat broccoli or Brussels sprouts, ever, ever, ever. Someone is giving me the stink eye right now. Someone else is mentally cursing me, calling out "unfit! unfit!" and you know, think what you want about it, but it won't change my own personal conviction that forcing a kid to eat a certain food does not necessarily create a non picky eater; a kid either likes or doesn't like a food, period. But the main reason I don't make them eat it is because I don't want to be a hypocrite. This, my friends, is what it boils down to, and I have mentally gone back and forth with this decision; but we aren't born perfect parents, we are all learning as we go, and making the best decisions we know, based on how we were raised, what we took away from it, and the people we became. So you can give me the stink eye, or whisper about me, or call me names, but it's not going to change me, since these tactics rarely do cause a person to change.
"But Michelle,"
Oh, do you hear that? It's my Dear Imaginary Reader, once again interrupting my written thoughts! Yes, Dear Imaginary Reader, I am glad to hear from you again; what do want to say?
"Michelle, thank you, I just wanted to point out that the other reason parents tell kids to eat their broccoli and Brussels sprouts, or whatever, is to teach them to eat whatever is served to them."
Well, Dear Imaginary Reader, I appreciate you bringing up that point. But there are certain things I'd rather go hungry than try to force past a closed throat and gag reflex. But thanks again for stopping by.
"You're welcome."


Sunday, January 17, 2010

End of the rainbow

(Pre-Script: This post will make you think about your priorities when paired with the song, "Little Wonders," #52 on the playlist. Please go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

Natalie likes to carry around a plastic box which contains colorful plastic jewelry. She calls it her Pot of Gold. If I forget, and call it her treasure, she corrects me thusly: "It's not called 'treasure,' it's my Pot of Gold." I tell her that she is my treasure. I tell her that she is my pot of gold. She usually reacts to this information by singing a song she's just made up.
Do you know what Natalie would do if she had an actual pot of gold? She wouldn't be able to lift it, and it's monetary value would mean nothing to her. She would not care for it at all. At the age of 3 years, 3 months, real money in the real world means nothing yet. To her, this plastic play thing that contains more plastic play things IS a pot of gold, worth more than all the gold in the world.
(For her world is very small; it does not yet contain the Entire World.)


Saturday, January 16, 2010

E=MC squared, I'm just sure of it.

(Pre-Script: This post will confuse you, and only confuse you more, if you read it as the song, "Mysterious Ways," # 23 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
It's common knowledge that people try to control what they cannot understand, or else throw the whole thing out. Even if there might be some baby in that very confusing bathwater. We are not comfortable sitting in a little mystery, unless it is a mystery we think we can solve and get our brains to make sense of. It's hard to get our brains around, "I don't get it, and don't think I ever will." It's even harder when you don't even care.
Take me and calculus, for instance. I have no problem letting that bathwater just go right down to the last slurp slurp slurp and suck of that bath drain. And then I have no problem scrubbing the dirt ring off of the drain, as if that particular bathtub had never even been used. In my case, it might as well never have been. The thing is, I might never be able to explain Einstein's Theory of Relativity to you, or explain all of the elements on a Periodic Chart, but I don't care. Because I know that I can always make up my own. In fact, I am very good at making up my own theories and charts, for any and everything you can imagine, and my own are so much better sounding, to my own ears, at least. And this is a problem, because too many people feel the same way I do about way too many things. So relativity speaking, we are all speaking of relatively different things, all with the same name. And everything is Greek to me. But I never learned Greek. So we're no longer even talking to each other, we are talking to our imaginations. Now, there may be a place for this. But looking you in the eye and mistaking you for my imaginary friend is not the place for this.
Am I making sense people? No? Then it's a mystery. Learn to sit in the mystery and let it be what it is. Truth is true, regardless of if you understand it, or believe it, or like it, or not.
Amen, let's eat.


Who Let The Dogs Out

(Pre-Script: This post may keep you from super secret handshakes and things if you read it while the song, "Good Intentions," #19 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

There must be a Super Secret Pact that certain psychologists make new dog owners agree to when they get a dog. I am convinced that there must be a briefing that goes on, behind closed doors, whereby new dog owners are plied with instructions that they were not aware of before they got the dog, since these instructions are not in any of the dog books you will find, or any of the websites about dog care and maintenance. The secretly agreed to pact instructs that if you, the Proud Owner Of A Dog, (or POOAD) go to the park with your dog, forget about the leash laws and just let your dog run wild. Particularly near children. Particularly near playgrounds. When the children run to the highest playground equipment or to the arms of their mothers, screaming in fear, or too terrified to utter a sound at the sight of an unfamiliar dog running towards them, say in a loud voice over all that screaming panic,

"He's really friendly and wouldn't hurt a fly."

No one hurts flies, flies are impossible to catch, let alone hurt, particularly by a dog who is not built in such as a way as would allow him to even handle a fly swatter, or the coordination to swing in a timely manner if he could handle it. I think many a dog would hurt many flies, if only they could. But even with the fly swatter, you don't ever hurt the fly. you either flail the fly swatter around and miss over and over, becoming frustrated and red faced as the fly buzzes all around your head, or you hit the fly, and kill it instantly. But no one hurts flies. They are impossible to hurt.
A child is most definitely not a fly. A child has a much larger body, and brain, and a heart, with feelings, not to mention a psyche, and the ability to feel emotions such as fear and panic. So, while it is true that your dog would not hurt a fly, your Very Friendly Dog, (Or, VFD) in all of his friendliness, in all of his child lovingness, has already psychologically hurt the child in question. Maybe not physically, although that is possible, considering that your Free To Roam The Playground Dog (or FTRTPD) has a tail, and a child has a foot, which could accidentally land on top of the tail, which is invading territory (the playground) which was not created for the dog, but was created for the child. And then, what have you? A dog, albeit a Potentially Very Friendly Child Loving Dog, (or PVFCLD) who has now been hurt, and might just maybe react with a nip or a bite to the physical body of the child. Not out of malice or meanness in the heart of the dog; no one is accusing your dog of having a haughty heart, but he is, by nature, a dog, with a dog brain, and limited reasoning skills. A dog, with dog reactions, even if he has a Very Loving Heart, (or VLH) and trust me, if you tell me he does, I believe you.
But let's not kid ourselves any longer. You see, I had a dog, have had dogs. As much as I adored them, they never stopped being dogs. Not even the smartest of my dogs ever once stood up on two feet and had an intelligent conversation with me. Not a one of them ever even once looked at me and said "How do YOU feel about such and such, and what are YOU thinking about, Michelle?" And I never, never got the briefing on the Super Secret Dog Owner Pact (or SSDOP). So I know such a pact does not exist. Some dog owners, -and by "some," I mean way too many -are just rude.
Don't let your unleashed dog run up to my kid on the playground. I, in turn, promise that I will not send my kid to run up to you and scream in your face.* That should work out fine for both of us


*But if my child runs up and screams in your face, anyway? Never mind it-the kid is friendly and would never hurt a fly.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Perfect Child

(Pre-Script: This post should be read as the song," Walk Down This Mountain," #24 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
How many people talk about their own babies and children as if they have given birth to the next Messiah?
"My baby is perfect."
"My baby knows the alphabet-IN CANTONESE, no less! I can tell because he blinks it to me in a series of blinks that he just made up out of his natural genuineness."
We roll our eyes at this. But who in their right mind would actually want to be the mother of Jesus?? And I don't mean what you are thinking, because He was GOD in human form, although there is that, too. It would require a special calling and grace to actually give birth to, and raise the son of God. I mean, who would want to handle the level of Spiritual attack surrounding your entire life? Not to mention basic public humiliation and rejection?
Imagine Mary sharing her news with the neighborhood:
"Guess what, everyone in the tiny town where I grew up who might stone me if I am every found to be pregnant and unwed, I am pregnant! And unwed! But have no fear, don't get angry and all up in a tizzy, an angel told me it's the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit is the father!"
How many people actually believed that?
Then there was Joseph:
"Well, at first I didn't believe her, but trust me, she's telling the truth; I saw an angel who confirmed the story, so...we are just going to continue on with the marriage."
I wonder who actually came to the wedding. I wonder what they said behind the backs of Mary and Joseph...this very scandalous couple who claimed they saw angels. Angels! Weird! And some scurvy hippie Shepherds claimed they saw angels too! Well, that's no surprise, what do those Shepherds do to pass the time on that hill while watching the sheep by night? What sort of *extra curricular activities* are they smoking?
And then, many months later there was the arrival of the Wise Men, who traveled far to follow the star that lead them to inquire of a jealous, rageful, evil King Herod, who had all boys under the age of two killed. Who can imagine such horror.?? Who would wish such unimaginable grief into the world?
I don't think the players in the actual story of the birth of Jesus were having much fun, yet this is what it took to bring the possibility of eternal peace into the lives of all people.
Think twice before calling your kid "perfect."
*Mary, the mother of the only perfect child ever born, was told from the start the a sword would pierce her own heart.*
Before the possibility of reconciliation could be realized, This one birth ripped the entire world apart.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Even when I'm broken

(Pre-Script: This poem's atmosphere is best felt as the song, " Loving a Person," #1 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and read the poem. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

I don't want to be treated like some fragile thing you have to tread lightly around
even when I'm broken
even when I'm a heap on the floor and can't see up from down
and I'm not sure if I want to understand anything ever again
not sure if I can stand to ever look in a mirror again,
or stand to ever
hear a voice of reason again
or stand to ever
stand up again
even when everything seems bleak and hopeless but I know
that the world is still spinning around me,
and not just the world in my mind.
I don't want to be treated like a thing you whisper behind
or in front of when you don't think I realise that you are whispering in front of me
even when I look like a "before" picture,
or like I have just seen a ghost,
even when I am sure that this time my sanity is gone for good-
Treat me kind, but treat me
how you always have;
I am no more fragile than I have always been,
even if we are both just
aware of it now.
It may be that admitting it, for once, and showing it to you, for once,
has made me that much stronger, that much more aware,
that much more ready to be put back together stronger than before
so please don't treat me like some fragile thing,
even when I am broken.
(A broken thing, ready to be put back together again)


Sick in the head

(Pre-Script: There is a 42% chance that this post will make you well when read as the song, " Bring Me To Life," #33 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
The last time I got sick, I had a cold. I had to have a discussion with my body that went something like this: "Immune system, what went wrong here?? Haven't I been eating enough super foods to eradicate all free radicals roaming around inside, so that they cannot have the upper hand, and land, and multiply, like aliens or hippies camping out in my chest? You are supposed to grab those antioxidants when they pass by, and use them to fight said free radicals. You cannot turn your back on the free radical boys, they have their own agenda for world takeover, starting with my body." This is no good. (read: I am still recovering from said sickness; mostly well, but not quite. Colds are brutal.)
Now, usually, when you are sick or have just given birth, the advice you hear from the non sick, non just given birth community at large is to "rest." Well, I like rest as much as the next guy, don't get me wrong, it's just that I find that my children still actually need me to take care of them. You see, when they are sick, I like to take a large ostrich feather, (here, ostrich, ostrich, get your head out of the sand.) and I fan the sick child while singing secret ancient songs and chants that can only be found written on the stones of the Mayan ruins. When I am sick, my children are not as adept at ostrich wrangling as I, so they leave me to my own "get well quick" devices, none of which involves any knowledge of the concept, "rest."
So this time around, instead of trying to rest, my plan was to exercise vigorously. I figured that if I exercise vigorously, the blood will flow that much faster throughout my body, therefore pushing out the nasty virus bacteria toxin whatever that much faster. And if that didn't work, at least I'd have an endorphin high, making me believe I was well for at least a little while. I think that this method could work for a cold. I think that if you have a flu and try this method, the blood pumping would probably just push the flu virus straight to your brain, and you would fall over dead. It is possible that the whole thing is a horrible idea; that your immune system simply cannot pump out the white fighter blood cells as quickly as your heart rate can increase in a workout, and that the harder your body has to fight for oxygen, the less likely it is to be able to focus on the work of actually healing you. SO you see, my method is probably controversial, and could go one of two ways, both very extreme. This is just a theory, and as far as I can tell, has never been tested by actual medical personnel, and myself of little to no medical training, just full of vast thinking processes, is not going to be responsible if you take my idea and apply it to your own illnesses or those of your loved ones.
All I can tell you is that it's been a week since I began employing this method on my own body, and I am feeling a lot better. Someone wants to stop me here and point out that this is also how long it would have probably taken me to feel better if I had followed the "get some rest" advice. Which means choose to believe what you want to believe; I will do the same.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pass The Drowsy Pills

(Pre-Script: This post will speak to you, or it won't. However, there is a 37% higher chance it WILL speak to you if you read it as the song, " Everybody's Changing," #54 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)
So there I was, and I said to myself, "Self," because that is what I call myself, I said, "Self, there is something wrong here."
If I have learned anything so far in life it's that excellence is often passed over for mediocre and status quo. You could be excellent at something, really excellent, and you could do it well, and you could put your whole heart into it. But often you will find that the guy who only does what you do well on a mediocre level is the guy who makes money at it or gains popularity from it. It is almost like he or she is rewarded for letting society at large keep their intellect asleep. Wouldn't want to awaken the senses, now; Excellence hurts people's brains. It makes them think, examine, and a lot of people are not ready to think or examine, and will punish you if you so much as show them a mirror. A lot of people would rather say "I don't get it" and go buy the latest pop artist's album with unoriginal and often non grammatical lyrics about the same fluff things over and over, no layers, and unoriginal musicality, then listen to Mozart or Beethoven and exercise their brains. Exercise hurts. It's the only way to get to the endorphin rush at the end, though, and only if you push hard enough. But in the moment, it hurts, and we are a very in the moment culture. Make no mistake here, people; I am a fan of fluff, good fluff, but there is a way of creating fluff brilliantly, so that even the blandest fluff has layers and originality, and I love pop, but there is a way of creating pop that is original and does not just "pop" like a bubble when it lands on any solid surface. To do it well is tricky, though it can be done, it has been done. This, too, is a form of genius.
In the movie "Good Will Hunting," there is a scene where the Professor says to Matt Damon's character, Will, something to the affect of, "There is a huge difference between what you can do mathematically and what I can do, but most people can't even tell the difference."
So we all have to decide: Do you do what you love, and what you do well, to the deepest fullest level that you know, without compromise, knowing full well that you may never make a name for yourself in your lifetime? That it may not be until you die, and someone unearths your personal effects, that they sigh and go, "Oh, I get it now. " IF EVER?! Or do you sell out, and maybe gain a world of financial wealth and/or popularity now, while no one will remember your name in 25 years, except for maybe on a "Where are they now?" television special?
The third choice is to ride on the coattails of someone else's brilliance. This is common. An original idea is recognized and applauded, so others simply copy it, may even have a modicum of success from it, albeit cheated success.
Now, an exception to this is if you can recognize someone else's brilliance, and put your own spin on it, and use it as a spring board to create your own brilliant thing. This is tricky, but can work, if done correctly.
"But Michelle,"
interrupts my Dear Imaginary Reader,"
"Michelle, how do we know if we are doing the thing correctly? Whatever 'the thing' is?"
Dear Imaginary Reader, I have exhausted my words on the subject. How far you want to take your brilliance is up to you now.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Shallow near the shore

(Pre-Script: This post goes best if you drink little bit of "the benefit of the doubt" juice before reading it, and also, if you click on the song, "Mysterious Ways," #23 on the playlist at the bottom of the blog. Before reading any further, go down to the playlist and click on that song. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
I am like the ocean, very deep. Saying that totally discredits me, but so what, it's still true. I am deep beyond measure out far, but I have my shallow places, too, because some people don't like to go deep, they just like to wade in your shallows, and laugh over the same stories over and over again. Some just like to stand on the shore and observe and relax there. And I like to let them. But then sometimes, a renegade rip tide comes out of nowhere and swipes the sweet non suspecting waders out to my depths, much farther than they ever wanted to go, but then I also place them back on shore, often shaken and unsure of if they want to ever come to this beach again. And then there are the surfers, who like to go out far, but not deep, who ride the top of my vast waves like, "Woah, this is cool; I don't understand it, but I'm here for the ride. Far out!" But then there are my scuba diving buddies, who actually like diving the depths out far, exploring, sharing, not afraid, even when an emotional shark is nearby. These few are crazy, that's what.
I used to be afraid of my own ocean. I have dreamt about for years. These used to be scary dreams, and in them I was always afraid of getting caught up in a wave and being pulled in to the deep dark depths of myself, where I could not see what might be swimming underneath. Over time, these dreams have mellowed out, to the point that the water seems not so dark and brooding, but mostly turquoise and inviting. I can just sit on the sand and watch the waves roll in and out; sometimes they deposit treasures from it's depths on the shore for me to find; seashells and sea glass that has been softened by the tossing it took in all that salt before landing on the beach where I pick it up and put it in my pocket. if I dare a venture into the water, it is warm.