a slice of my heart

Friday, March 23, 2018

The best of ordinary days

                            'Woman Waiting for the Moon to Rise' by Shoen Uemura (1944)

Actually, there are no ordinary days. Every day is extraordinary. I am glad for each one that I encounter when I wake, whether gray or sunny it really doesn't matter to me. I get another chance and that is all that matters.


My roommate brought home a begonia with the palest peach blossoms.

My daughter sent me a sweet letter heavy with her golden heart.

I listened to the downstairs tenant tell me all about the new exercise pants that he got on line and he was smiling and happy because I listened with genuine interest.

My sister called with some sad news and we shared a moment of tenderness that we don't always get to experience.

I brought home Paul Newman's pizza and shared it with my roommate and she actually liked it. It was so good to see her enjoy something American.

I was sick last night, but it's gone today.

Yesterday I built a planter for the strawberries that I will plant on the deck and admired it's perfect imperfection  each time I walked past the window.

An ordinary life, in an ordinary, extraordinary day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

I'm in Thailand

Ha! There is a a lot I don't need to know! Perhaps I should stay away from Bangkok.

Obviously I am not there. If I was, I would be sitting on warm sand at the edge of the ocean and not writing this. I would be sending you gorgeous pictures of beaches and lusty food.

My roommate is Thai. A culture that I've never known anything about. Lovely people, lovely land.
We get along pretty well. She is nice and and I am learning to eat and cook Thai foods. I like most of the food, but dessert's, no no no! (crisco and sugar !) And I've learned to say: Sa wad dee ka, hello and goodbye. Sa bai dee mai ka, how are you and Kab koon ka, thank you. Ka is how you end a sentence if you are female.... Men don't have an ending.

It is difficult living with strangers all the time, especially when you know they are transient. She is young and as a lot of young people are, she must be right all the time. I mean all the time. I think that might just be a personality thing. She and her uncle own several restaurants here so there is a lot of security about money and she is a world wide traveler. No exag. I think she said she has been to 30 countries and is going to Hawaii in the next two weeks (she's been there twice) and will go to Argentina this summer. It is a little tough for me because essentially she also thinks there is nothing good about America, except for, shopping, traffic (Thailand doesn't have the infrastructure that we do), the fact that people let you go in front of them in the grocery store if you only have a couple of things, and the pastries. Seriously, that's about all. She thinks American food is bland and disgusting, although she loves McDonalds and eats there at least twice a week. Go figure! I wanted to say that perhaps she could also like the fact that we let her in and she earns more money here than she probably could in any other part of the world. But I didn't. I let her be right and I don't challenge her negative views. Because I need her to stay here !  Even though I have given her the master suite, and for $200 less than I pay for my 10 x 10 foot room, it is still $$ and it helps to pay the rent, good enough. And in spite of everything, I do like her and enjoy her company and we laugh a lot, she has a very sweet side - when she isn't criticising, it's just a winding road to keep things smooth.

There have been some sad goings on with a sort of distant member of the family. Alcoholic families are very complicated. It's hard to extract yourself from that, especially when you love the other person who is suffering. This is a particularly sweet and good hearted young man, so kind, so endearing and he just cannot make healthy decisions, for a lot of sad reasons. My heart is breaking for him and there is pretty much nothing I can do, except tell him I am here, if and when he can ever accept love and help. He really is the jewel of the family. And no matter what, he remains so.

It's made me think about the concept of opportunities and how we see them in regards to those who have them and those who don't. Everyone has opportunities, "New Age" cheering tells me that. I see  it, but I do not always believe it. I also see something else that I do believe. People who have opportunities and have seized them, often times do not understand those who have very little, or none. It doesn't happen so much in America, we are the "Land of Opportunities". But the world is full of those without a chance, or very little. It makes me very upset when people say that those suffering during the Holocaust had choices. Some did, of course, but there were others........

 I'm thinking of war zones, in particular, Syria comes to mind. Where are all the choices there? I can think of a few examples to illustrate what I mean but it's all so heartbreaking.
I hope this darling young man see's the opportunities that are being extended toward him. But he is very broken. It is possible that he is so far down that he can not see them. And it is possible that he may never. I just love him, that's all I really know.

 In regards to my thinking about choices and opp's, it's complicated, I am complicated, so is America.  Like Marco  say's, I'm just talking to the trees.

Other than that, I am doing just fine. We've had a ton of sun here.
Lord what would we do without sun?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Cheap canvas. I love cheap canvas


r.h.sin is a feminist poet and writer. You can find his work on Instagram.

“The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence. I knew perfectly well the cars were making a noise, and the people in them and behind the lit windows of the buildings were making a noise, and the river was making a noise, but I couldn’t hear a thing. The city hung in my window, flat as a poster, glittering and blinking, but it might just as well not have been there at all, for the good it did me.”
The Bell Jar

I thought I would post two of them to, well, because I just did.

I haven't posted for awhile because I am just "tired", the nomenclature for depressed.  I'm actually not usually this way. My medication keeps that in bay a bit. But lately I've been just as Plath puts it. There is a silence. Life is in slow motion. Neither blogger nor facebook seem like appropriate places to reveal. Every one seems to be coping and more. And it's nice to look through the window and watch. I feel kind of proud that I have such as you - that I've chosen you. It must mean that in a lot of ways I am just like you, coping and sometimes more. So why do I get so tired?

I have things to talk about so I'm pissed that it's getting in my way.  Get the fuck out! You're in my way!

I'm eating way too much. A healthy meal, a shit meal. I'm actually not a drinker at all. But I've been having a glass of wine about every 2/3 days. God, why do people drink wine? Unless you can buy the best, it's just shit sour pop. I mock it.  - Good God, you're worthless. You're a pretty color but you do not bring the advertised freedom that you subtlety suggest in your ad, you're a tease. -  So it sits in the cupboard until it is vinegar. If I am eating pasta, or maybe pizza, or, ahh...eggplant, I think, well aren't you supposed to drink wine with this? But the plate is empty, the glass is half full and what was on the plate seems to have done what the crimson liquid was supposed to do. See, you're useless and you cost me $6.

I'm am painting and enjoying it. But that's all I want to do. Just stand at the table and play with color and water on cheap canvas. It's practice though, so cheap canvas is a brilliant invention, those little cardboard things with the canvas glued on. I love them.

I think my roommate may be adding to the depression. She is a type A. And pretty much wears it like a badge. But she is only a part, I can't seem to nail the others. I have a wonderful new therapist. Got lucky on that one. She asked me a question the other day and I said, "Come on, that is a woowoo question and we are both better than that." We both had a lovely belly laugh and I am proud of her that she got it right away. She's almost as smart as me - I have had more than my fair share, of - consultants..haha - so it is great that she can keep up and give me one better, a lot.

I wish I could write more poetically about this state of being. Like Plath. But then if I could, I might be in big trouble. I wish someone could have saved her.

If there is anyone still out there and you feel like commenting, please do. But don't give me any woowoo. You know I am laughing. Depressed people do laugh, a lot in fact.
I could NOT resist this!!!!!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Never a dull moment

I'm taking a break from painting, I stand to draw and paint and my back gets really tired after a while.   Actually I've only done the under drawing. For me, it takes about 2 hrs to get an under drawing balanced.  (I've still not moved on to abstract yet) But it's turned out good and now I'm contemplating colors.

So I'm taking a break and sitting down and low and behold, here is the keyboard. I've picked the radiation story to tell. God, I am slow at posting.

After the lumpectomy and the ensuing lymph node surgery, which is actually much worse, they put a draining tube in your arm for fluid that might accumulate - it's really gross - but the worst part is that that tube has to stay in for about 5 days and it actually grows scar tissue around it in that short amount of time. They don't give you an anesthetic when they take rip it out of your arm. It hurts like Hell! I actually screamed. It was the worst part of the whole ordeal.
After all of that is over, then you get radiation, 6 weeks, 5 days a week. I don't really know why it takes so long, because my tumor was very small, but that's the way it was. I have never experienced much in the way of side effects.Actually, for me, radiation is not so bad. Well, except for the part where it kills a whole bunch of cells you don't really want to get rid of.  You get to park in a lot reserved for oncology patients. The lot has a machine at the entrance and you have to put your special code in so that all the podiatry patients don't park there. 3 to 4 out of 5 days, I couldn't get my code in. I just could not hit the right buttons, so I'd have to call the nurse on the little speaker thing and ask for help. They can do it from inside, but every time there is a big sigh on the other end of the line. My brain just doesn't work when I am under a lot of stress. I get really disoriented.

You go in and change and have to sit in the waiting room .... with no bra under your gown, and a lot of women bring their husbands, just a wee bit uncomfortable.  When your name is called, you go into a large room that has an enormous machine.
It feels a bit Star Treky.  You get tattooed so that they know exactly were the beam is going to hit. The lights go out except for the one that is in the machine. It swivels around so that the big round thing is on top of you and as it does it makes this quiet sound, very Star Treky again. But it's actually kind of soothing. At my hospital there is a big picture of the galaxy on the ceiling and a soft light that illuminates it. It's very warm in the room and the whole things feels rather like a cocoon. I felt very safe and relaxed in there.

Here is the interesting part. As soon as the light went out and the soft noise of the machine began, I would close my eyes and see a very clear vision of a couch floating over my head. At one end sat a little bare footed girl and at the other, a woman. She looked very calm and centered, for lack of a better word, and they both were wearing lovely dresses.  Each day I would completely forget that this was going to happen. I swear, every single day I would be surprised when the vision came up.You wouldn't think that was possible because it happened every day, but as I said, things become very disorienting as you weave your way through this process. Each day the woman would turn and smile at the little girl who was not having any of that. She wasn't mad or shy, she just didn't trust even the kind faced woman at the other end of the couch.  Day by day the woman would gently beckon the little girl to scoot over towards her. She would smile and nod her head that it was ok and sometimes she would reach across and tickle the girls feet. We had six weeks to go, so this was a long, drawn out process, but slowly, slowly the gap would get shorter. The little girl began to relax a bit at about the midway point, but she never let that guard go all the way down and she never gave up. Again, incredibly, I forgot every, every day that this was going to happen. But when it did there would be a fraction of a second of surprise and enjoyment as it popped up. I don't think the beam lasted more than 4 minutes, if even that, so the whole of this little play carried out in that short amount of time. But it didn't feel short.

I'm sure you can guess the outcome of this story, but here's the twist. On the very last day, predictably, the little girl made it to within a couple of inchs of the woman who was smiling with a smile that said "yes, we got it!". She reached down for her, the child didn't resist, but just as she got her in midair over her lap....bing. The whole thing was over. The machine was done for the last time and the lights came on. The image of her hovering just above the woman's lap is not troubling. Everything was so calm and the experience was like those hours when you are painting and you loose all awareness of your surroundings. What happened at the end, was just the way it happened.

I don't want to put too much into it and the whole "inner child" thing doesn't seem quite right to me. Been there, done that. It feels cliched. What I took away was that it's never over. Nothing is ever over. And nothing is easy. We are always a little thing working towards benevolence never quite knowing if we're safe or not, never really knowing if it's ok to surrender to the process. We get pretty close, we can even get damn close, but it is perfectly ok if we are near. Near is good and I am quite happy with that and very, very happy that benevolence never gives up on us.