Monday, July 27, 2009

a soundtrack to one story

The soundtrack to this story is throw silver by mecca normal (the song is used without permission and produced by K records). For, many years now, this song has brought up so many feelings in my gut. It makes me long for something and at the same time it makes me feel buried in the beauty of the present that is made by all of the pieces of the past.

The soundtrack reverberates with the theme of generations—coming and then passing subtly and ever-so-real from this world into the place of dust and stone. There are practical things in my life that are making these thoughts so present and persistent, but also there is this propensity within me to care about that which has happened before I lived and to think and care deeply about that which is to come after I pass from the living.

Two months ago, K’s 96 year old grandmother was moved from her apartment to a nursing home. We have been going through her things and hauling old pictures, and letters, and keepsakes, and pottery, and the belongings of a woman who held onto objects as if they were oxygen to our house, so we too can hold onto these things as our own oxygen.

All of these brittle belongings are lifted and looked at and cared for by us and then I move to my gardens and weed and mulch and fork the soil. I am so much more at peace with my hands in the earth, but I also love to hold onto the remnants of human laughter caught in a photograph or an old note.

And maybe in this time—this very specific time of dying, cause, yes K’s 96 year old grandmother is beginning to pass (she is starving herself)—I am drawn even more to the land and the birds and blueberries.

These words from Bill McKibben’s essay entitled Enoughness (he wrote a whole book entitled Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age) fit in nicely to the throw silver soundtrack busting through my head and this post, "Nature schools us in sufficiency—its aesthetic and its economy demonstrate ‘enoughness’ at every turn. Time moves circularly through the natural world—next spring there will be wild flowers again…The testimony of the rest of creation is that there’s something to be said for fitting in. And because of that, the natural world offers us a way think about dying, the chief craziness for the only species that can anticipate its own demise. If one is a small part of something large, if that something goes on forever, and if it is full of beauty and meaning, then dying seems less shocking.”

In the gardens and the woods I see that all will continue. In the eyes of a granddaughter looking at her grandmother’s past in objects, I see that generations will go on. It is a story; an okay story—set to the sparse guitar and creaky voice of a two person band I have loved for too many years to count (this particular song is slower than much of their other rather loud and irritating-but in a good way-music).

Below is a little quicktime slideshow with photos of the community garden, K’s grandma and some of her old pictures, pics of food and backyardness and my art, and flowers, and lake Michigan, and some of k’s grandma’s furniture from the 1930s all with Mecca Normal’s Throw Silver in the background.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

lethargy amidst the crap--and how i cannot get the keeper up inside me

Right around now I would have been 8 months pregnant. When I think about it, I freak out a little bit. Mostly, the idea of me being pregnant or visibly pregnant--all plump with a busting bigger than a bowling ball protrusion extending from my abdomen--makes me cringe and cry.

Actually, i have not mustered up any tears for that which is not: not being pregnant;not having kids; not really wanting kids anymore, but I have thought a lot about it all lately.

I've thought about where we've been--me and my k and where we are going. I've thought about how maybe the miscarriage was really my fortune. Because this morning I was trying to use the keeper (I'm really striving to transition to no waste during my period; k's been using her cup for years, but when I've tried before well) and I kept fiddling around down in the wetness and coming up empty handed with blood all on my fingers and in my nails. I squeezed the damn thing and pushed, but I am tight. My hole is all bound up with muscle and years of being a mostly non-entrance top.

And I thought to myself, as I pushed and shoved and couldn't get it in, how in the hell would an infant human ever come out of this hole? How would I have been able to give birth when I cannot even get a silicone, smooshy, bendable, small cup up inside me?

And then I started thinking about how it would have been 8 months and then I got not sad but lethargic about it all.

Now as k's grandma s is fading from this earth minute by minute and I think about family and growing old and reproduction and hetero-normative bullshit and us(me and my k and our love and tenacity in the face of adversity after adversity), I really feel kind of numb. Like how can I think about this all anymore. How can I make decisions or even desire anything much more than what is just now here before me.

Without sounding all Buddhist, cause I am so far from being a Buddhist, I can only take the minutes as they unfold before me right now. Not that life will always be like this, sometimes anticipation is my greatest friend, and dreaming is my lifeblood, but lately just being able to make it through the day and take whatever news about all of the shit with work, or the march toward death unfolding before us, or the family conflict that comes with that march, or the conversation about children and the future, or the fact that I am taking a drug that makes me shit my brains out on a mostly daily basis,or the fact that k's dad wants some ill-equipped people to care for her other grandmother (the one not quite dying at least not yet, but almost died last year). I'm trying with all of my might to steady myself for the three months I have have off from work (this starts after 5:00 on Friday) and just let the shit roll and me slide side car through it all--with a grin on my face when capable of it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

life is so full

life is so full.

goodness, green, stress, sweat, muscle pain, fatigue, happiness, heartache, sore hands, hard dreams, escape dreams, chewing and swallowing, speaking to one another, crying, smiles forming everlasting creases on the surfaces of human skin, not knowing, knowing too much, wishing for more, yearning for less, wondering, being mean, being kind, patterns, persistence, the calm before the wind comes blowing hard and fast, the calm after the rain leaves dents in the soil, burning in the gut, watching the birds, learning to love always, listening to the sadness, vegetables, animals, bees flying dances of fertility all around the yard, berries, drying the clothes that keep us sheltered from the elements of wind, rain, and fire, calf muscles pulsing as pedals push, enjoying friendship and family, food and drink, dancing on the porch, laughter.

knowing our ever empty wombs are right and that in spite of no children our lives are full and good and sad and lovely and all of it.

below are pictures from the last many weeks.
life is so full.

blackberries--many bushes live and give in our yard

my new beehive in the back of our perennial garden

pie made by A from the blackberries and mulberries in our yard

K hanging clothes on the new clothesline that A and me (and my pops did help with drilling the eye screws) built and put in while k was in scandanavia

a beautiful turnip from one of my vegetable gardens

the turnips cooked in butter in salad with feta and walnuts

garden flowers

trey and me after the ypsilanti fourth of july parade that we rode our bikes in