Saturday, December 24, 2005

#492 I Believe

"Life isn't measured by the breaths you take; but by the moments that take your breath away." -Unknown


Hercules told me a joke at dinner Friday night about a couple discussing sending out Christmas cards. They were concerned that the cards wished "Peace on Earth". Maybe they shouldn't send them. After all, they didn't want to look unpatriotic....

I believe.

I do believe in some form of reincarnation. I have powerful and personal reasons for my belief.

I believe that we come back over and over to learn lessons. That each pass through, there's some important lesson or lessons we are to learn, and by paying attention and learning these lessons, we grow in some way. Call it spiritual strength if you like. Those whom people say have "old souls" aren't really older, they've just learned more of the lessons.

I believe that the pain and hardship some people suffer in the life they are born into has a purpose. It's how they are started on the path to knowledge. It's the necessary first step of their lesson.

I believe that at some point you learn enough to reach completion and "graduate". I suspect that "God" is a committee of completed souls.

I believe that most of those lessons have to do with interpersonal relations and care of the earth and all that has been given us for our use, although it's really much bigger than that, it's beyond mere planet, it's beyond universal concepts. It has to do with the source of energy, the spinning. I have the feeling but I don't have the words to describe it.

I believe that the important people who come into and leave our lives with great effect are there for a purpose, as are we. Either we are to teach them something, or they are to teach us, or both. Sometimes it's easy to identify these people, sometimes not, but it's important to pay attention. To share what you have to offer. To learn what they have to teach. I call these people intersectors. It's important not to push away an intersector. It's important not to turn away from being one, no matter how difficult it becomes.

I believe that the earthly world is a great temptation. To become too engrossed in getting power, in telling your neighbors how to live, in fussing over physical constructs that in the greater scheme don't really matter, takes away from the real purpose of life.

I believe that most organized religion keeps people from the introspection required to learn their own lessons. I believe this is on purpose.

Perhaps I should be a Buddhist nun. (Although I have looked into Buddhism, and that ain't quite it.... Close, but not quite. Or maybe that's lessons 956 and 957 for me, next life.)


I was born into a family where there was no love. Our father beat us and berated us all physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our mother pretty much left us to suffer or survive as best we could. My siblings played one against another to gain favor or redirect beatings. We tried to love each other because we thought that was the way it was supposed to be, but anger and hate and avoidance and past betrayals and a lack of faith and trust made it near impossible. Besides, we didn't know how.

When my father died, my mother was finally able to look up and see the damage that had been done, and she tried to repair or make up for what she could, but she didn't know how either, and it was too late anyway.

I grew up with no concept of what it was to love without fear, and to be loved for myself.

We can't really know what our own lessons are, but I suspect I know what one of mine is.


#491 Fireplace Macabre

Fireplace With Stuffed Animals
I had mentioned, 'long 'bout Thanksgiving, that Hercules' sweet grandmother had a log basket full of stuffed animals in her fireplace, but that the (cell phone) photo had come out too dark. Well, I edited it. It's not good, but you get the idea. The real colors were brighter, and the effect of those cheerful little animals and toys in the fireplace was ... macabre. Cheerfully chilling?

Hercules just called from South Jersey, where he and Daughter had driven this morning to visit Daughter's paternal Grandmother. Daughter is very sick, throwing up and all. She had mentioned to me yesterday that a child in her Montessori school was sick with a virus earlier in the week, and she'd had to care for her. So, I guess we know where it came from. I hope I don't find out where it goes next. And I hope her Grandmother doesn't have to contend with a Christmas like the year when everybody had the flu all at once, and one of the (idiot teenaged male) relatives ate almost two pounds of peanut butter cups, and then stood at the top of a flight of stairs, and threw it all up. Down the stairs. As the only ones in the house still on our feet, she and I got to clean it up.

Oh, well. At least Daughter brings gifts when she visits.


#490 Home Again

I'm home, with real peanut butter cookies with the fork Xs on top and the first two seasons of Red Dwarf on DVD and some other goodies. I'll freeze the cookies in lots of two so they don't destroy my diet.

While visiting Daughter, I asked her, with her knowledge of anatomy, to check out my left foot and see if she can find anything out of kilter. She said there does seem to be a firm spot in the muscle right where I say the pain originates. She massaged both feet very gently for a while last night. I remarked on how gentle she was, and she said that she has learned that people with "my problem" tend to react badly, to experience pain, after anything deeper.

Well, gentle or no, this morning I had piercing pain down the arch and into the big toe joint of the RIGHT foot, in addition to increased pain in the heel and rear arch of the left. It hurt to walk. I couldn't bend either foot. (Thank goodness for the van's cruise control.) But, as usual, the Daughter is magic. Tonight I have very little pain in either foot, even the usual twisty ache is muted.

She says I should use my fancy schmancy foot massaging machine more often. It squeezes the heels and the sides just like she does, and it has knuckles that run up the bottom of the foot, so maybe I will go back to it. I forget why I stopped using it..... Possibly because I noticed that it hurt more after, and failed to notice that after the initial hurt went away, it felt better than before?

I picked up on something subliminal there. I said "initial hurt", not "initial pain".

After the initial hurt goes away, it feels better than before. I wish that were always true. Everywhere. Elsewhere. Anyway. But it isn't. I'll never get back to the pain-free days of innocence.


Friday, December 23, 2005

#489 In NJ

I'm in New Jersey, at Daughter's home. Man, I gotta get me a cable connection! I hadn't realized how excrutiatingly slow my home dial-up connection is. I'll never be happy again - I'm already spoiled!

While I was so depressed after Jay died, I hadn't sent holiday cards at all, not for the past few years. I was undecided this year, because, frankly, I wasn't into sending sloppily sentimental religious cards (although I do try to send cards appropriate to the recipient, this year I am rebelling completely). But last week, going through some boxes in the basement, I found some leftover cards belonging to my daughter, and I loved them. One for example, says on the front: "There's only one person who could come up with the idea of chopping down living trees for holiday decorations", and inside "A woodsy PMS victim with an ax."

So today I addressed and mailed a bunch of cards, some because they are expected, and some because I wanted to. They'll all be late, but - that makes them more memorable (ha!)

One of the benefits of cleaning out the house and sorting papers is that I have found some addresses I thought were long lost, so several of the cards I mailed today were to people I haven't contacted in umpteen years - one of which has to have been 40 years at least - one of my two best friends from high school. I got her address from her sister on one of my trips to the mountain a few years ago, and then promptly misplaced it.

I'm so excited. I hope the addresses are still good. I can't wait to see who gets back to me.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

#488 Lines and Lists

I took some things to the post office today, about 3:30, mailing some packages to Virginia. The place was mobbed. The line went from the counters in the inner lobby, where the envelopes, boxes, and forms are, through the usually-closed door and out to the outer lobby. I was maybe tenth in line. There were only two clerks on the counter.

While I waited, there were at least six people, maybe more, who pushed past the person in line in the doorway into the inner lobby, saying "I just have to get a form/box/envelope." Invariably, the person picked up the box/envelope/form from the rack, looked at it confusedly, and when the clerk said "Next", they stepped in front of the next person in line saying "I just have to ask a question".

Like, do they really think asking a question takes no time? Most of them took as much time at the counter as the people who stood in line took to mail a package they had ready to go. Am I strange? I've been in their situation before, where the PO was crowded and I needed to get a form, and I have passed the line to go in and get it, BUT, if I then had a question, I went back out and got in line to ask it. I figure it's the line for access to the clerks, not the line for holding heavy packages in your arms.

Speaking of lines, I just heard a really cool line on "King of the Hill": "Money is like the wind. You only feel it when it's moving."

I am leaving for New Jersey tomorrow morning, to visit Daughter, returning in a day or two or three, depending on whatever. I had a list of things to do before I could leave, and about 6 this evening I "took a break" - laid on the bed to work on a puzzle - and fell asleep. Awoke when Daughter called about 11:30 pm, wanting to wish me a happy Yule before she went to sleep.

The good news is that the NYC strike doesn't affect Hercules because he takes New Jersey transit to Port Authority, and then walks to his office, so the strike has only caused the walk to be more crowded. The not-so-good news, other people in his department haven't been showing up, so he's been overloaded.

The slightly bad news, I still have that list of things to do.


#487 Fulfillment

Today is Wednesday (how 'bout that - I figured it out!)

I don't know how I missed an entry for Tuesday, but at least I did call Daughter early last evening just before class (no answer - left a message) to find out how the NYC transit strike was affecting Hercules and his (usually) 3 hour roundtrip commute into Manhattan, so part of the purpose was served. She knows I'm ok.

It has occurred to me that today, Yule, is actually the natural, the real, New Year's Day. It is the return of the sun, the beginning of a new cycle. The wheel within the wheel. I awoke this morning in the arms, literally, of someone who cares. I think now I can give up the artificial calendar New Year's Eve. It has no meaning.

I am content.


Monday, December 19, 2005

#486 Can't Think of a Title....

Well, the alarm didn't go off again today at 9 am, or I didn't hear it. I was supposed to meet some people at a lawyer's office to sign some papers at 11 am. I rolled over in bed this morning and looked at the clock, and it said 11:05. The bells ring for two hours, so I suspect it was the bells STOPPING that woke me.

I immediately called the lawyer's office and left a frantic message, and then - really and truly - brushed my teeth, dressed, and got out of the house in THREE MINUTES FLAT! I was at the lawyer's office by 11:18.

I've had dealings with this lawyer before, and I have no respect for him. He lived up to it today. He didn't get off the phone until after 11:40. The other guy, his client, had his wife and 14-month-old daughter with him, and things got pretty hyper. Sheesh. We were there just to sign the easement contracts and get them notarized. The whole thing shouldn't have taken more than 10 minutes max. But!!! I showed him the changes my lawyer had made, and instead of just making copies of the changed contract, he insisted on the secretary retyping the whole thing. Thereby injecting more errors. Four retypings and 40 minutes later, we finally got out of there.

Then I went to the gas station, and ran into Piper. Totally unexpected - I thought he'd left for Florida already. I asked about my business taxes, so we stopped in his office across the street to check on that, and then we had lunch down the street. He's a cute and sweet and presentable guy. I like him. I wish there was some chemistry, but there isn't. I think he's maybe too straightforward, too easygoing for me. I tend to respond more to mental and emotional intensity, to the tortured souls.

I got the Christmas check from Jay's father, so I played Santa Claus a little bit this afternoon. Usually I donate a large chunk of it, but this year I decided to give several people I know totally unexpected gifts, things that they want and need, but might not get. I think part of the impetus was May's setting up an investment account for her handyman and his wife, whom she had discovered had no retirement fund. Playing Santa is fun, and I'm in a position to do it. Figuring out who needs or wants what is the hard part. A certain 8-year-old wanted lots of bubble wrap. Whoop! Win-win situation! I've got a basement full of it! On the other hand, Piper "needs" a BMW. I told him - tough luck!


An addendum to the previous entry - "loving" someone and "wanting" someone are two different things. I have loved many men I didn't want, loved several I did want, and wanted a few I didn't love (like the Doms of Navarone, pant pant!!!). True love remains forever, as the qualities that you love, if they are deep enough, don't change. Want waxes and wanes.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

#485 Controlling a Relationship

I've already had a question on entry #483 My Sexual Zodiac, where the result says "you like to control your relationship in general". A friend asks, "what does that mean, and could that be a problem? Do you?"

I don't know what the quiz author had in mind, but Scorpios in general are said to want to control their own space. Not necessarily to control others, but never to be under the control of others. Fierce independence. And that does describe me.

Controlling a relationship means (IMHO) that you decide how it's going to be, and then force, threaten, or mislead the other into following that path.

Ex#2 was a good example of forcing. He simply wouldn't talk with me, wouldn't admit when there were difficulties, refused to work on obvious problems. He would shut down and walk away. He controlled the relationship by standing on a spot and refusing to budge, leaving me to perform all kinds of acrobatics to attempt to please him. I battered my desire to save the marriage against his brick wall. He decided how it was going to be, and I could like it or lump it. Eventually I lumped it.

Threatening is pretty upfront, although it can be subtle. Threatening includes loss of love. That tactic doesn't work for long after the other recognizes it unless the other wants to be controlled, and, well, then that's ok. That's what their relationship is. Sadly. Threatening a loss of love means to me that the love wasn't there to begin with.

Misleading is the most devious. That's when the controlling party plays a role quite different from the reality, when he or she allows the other to believe things that aren't true, doesn't tell the other things important to the relationship because those things will cause the other to react differently, thereby changing the relationship. The controller wants to define the relationship, and will not allow facts, true feelings, openness, or honesty to change it. It's all a play, and the controller is the author. And yeah, I've been played. Royally.

So, back to the question. Do I want to control the relationship? I don't think so, except that I want to know everything, I want everything to be real and out in the open. I want both of us to work together on whatever needs work. Some might say I'm too open, in that I want a lover to know how my mind works, and I want to know how his works, so I tell him everything and I expect the same, and I will poke and prod until I get it. I don't think that's controlling. I think it's the antithesis. It's also an attempt not to be controlled. Knowledge is freedom, for both parties.

I have never withheld sex or my attentions in an attempt to coerce, and once I know enough about a man to decide I have love for him, I never lose that. No matter what happens to the "us"ness of the relationship, assuming that I knew the real him when I loved him and there are no horrible secrets, the love remains forever. Although I still have anger toward Ex#2 (and he pissed me again off just last week*), there are deep parts of him that I still love, and if he ever needs me, I'll be there.

But don't tell him that.


*How Ex#2 pissed me off again, after 22 years since the divorce (yeah, I'm still steamed!):
When we split, he signed over to me some stock that we had held jointly, but since Daughter was small, I never sent the papers in to convey them, figuring that if anything happened to me, they'd go to him directly, avoid probate, keep for Daughter, yada yada. Anyway, those shares have since split twice, in the early 90s, and I noticed that I have received no notice of a book entry deposit of the new shares. It's possible that they went into an account under HIS name as primary, and he is getting the statements. So I emailed him, describing the problem in detail. What did I get back? A very short note: "I sold all my shares in 1996." Period. End of sentence. I'm sure he understood the question. But I know that's all I'm going to get out of him. Just like our marriage. Piss me off!

#484 A Merry, Happy and Blessed Chrismukkahzaayule?!

I stole the above title from RossoRaven at RossoRaven's Nest of Rants. She wrote a rant on the topic of "Happy Holidays" with which I mostly agree. Not necessarily in the details ("Yule" is not Wiccan, although Wiccans celebrate Yule), but I second the indignation. The whole furor is ridiculous. As a non-Christian child of the earth, I am annoyed by people who want to force their holiday on me.

How dare you. I reject your foolish corruption.

The winter solstice has been a time of human celebration in the nothern hemisphere ever since there have been humans aware enough to notice it. Since then, the time of the solstice has been co-opted by men with political agendas, bolstered by misunderstood teachings and myths and laws and warfare, simply to gain control of the masses.

By celebrating Yule, I am returning to the roots. To nature. To immutable laws. To a proof of power and caring undefined and uncorrupted by man. Yule is a step closer to God, no matter how you define the term, than Christmas ever could be.


#483 My Sexual Zodiac

Another sexy quiz, from the same place as the previous. Take that!!!, all you who would give me up!!!


You are very dominant in bed, and you like to control your relationship in general.

You are so intense in the sack that none of your partners will ever forget you. You are an amazing lover, because you like to have an equal amount of give and take.

Sex matches: Cancer, Capricorn, Pisces

Take this quiz at

Jay was a Pisces. Someone else is a Cancer. Interesting. Anybody know of an available Capricorn?