Behind the Curtain

I had a post decided for today – and it was dark.  It was to be about my current mood – still ensconced in heart ache.  It was to be about  feeling Hopeless.  No longer expecting anything with any measure of confidence for myself – no longer cherishing or desiring with anticipation.

But as a believer in contagious moods and in keeping with looking for good – I made the decision to apply that to myself.

I declared today Pajama Day! And as I lay on my bed watching a movie – a ray of light found its way onto my television screen.

I paused the movie,  fetched a beautiful piece of material to cover the sheer curtain on the offending window and stopped.  And noticed.  And was inspired.

I give you – Behind the Curtain.

 

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This is what I saw – and it caught my breath.  I had covered my Thai Buddha and plant while shutting out the light – and in the process,  brought some into myself.

I was fascinated and began to play.

 

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I looked around my room for other suitable silhouettes.

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I so love the elbow pushing against the cloth during this ‘embrace’

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And lastly – the ‘offending’ window – that brought unexpected light.

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To you today I say: May your mundane astound you, and may you stop and notice beauty even with a heavy heart. – Amanda

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Locusts, knots, desk hysteria and nursing manatees

When it rains, it pours. Seriously – the universe sometimes has a mean streak and when you’re down it puts its kicking shoes on.

Or, more likely, the depleted positivity of the person in an emotional fetal position is exuding ‘kick me’ vibes.

Regardless.

I’ll preface all of this by acknowledging that yes, a lot of people have it a lot worse.

 

You can’t say you’re having a bad day anymore without someone pointing out that someone, somewhere is on their death-bed and so ‘get over it.’

I know this – because I was one of those people. Until I read something that made me chuckle a little and change my point of view.

“Saying someone can’t feel sad because someone else has it worse, is like saying someone can’t feel happy because someone else has it better.”

 

So I don’t discount bad days anymore.

Oh, I’m also notorious for the whole ‘there are no bad days’ quote – yeah well, sometimes a day has enough suck in it to call for a write off.

The entire past week has been ‘one of those days’.

From the aforementioned heart-break – to car problems – to the timely ‘discovery’ or ‘landing’ of Freddy Kreuger in my uterus on Columbus Day.

I’ve been miserable. And no one likes a miserable person.

They skirt around you like you’re carrying a new strain of the plague and nothing beats alienation to cheer a miserable person up. (Sarcasm: I’m still capable of it.)

Then they make it worse by continuing to ask ‘How are you?’ to which, you’d better answer ‘fine’ or ‘good’ because that’s all they want to hear.

It takes time to get over something! So stop asking how I am unless you want the truth!!!

My son asked me the other day how I was feeling.

My answer was ‘Lonely’ – which is SO not me. But that’s exactly how I was feeling the moment he asked.

I was home alone with the dog at the time – who is currently nursing her plastic ‘babies’ again –so even she was busy. (Yes, yes I know! I have to get her spayed – but I had the whole jobless situation for a while and life got in the way)

butters nursing

Back to the phone call.

So I answer “Lonely” and he responds to that in a slightly irritated tone: “What are you going to do when I leave for college??”

Wow.

Thanks.

We ended that call.

I’ve faired quite well on my own – and while I’ll miss my favorite person on the planet – I won’t shrivel up and cease to be. Sorry son – you are my world and I would lay down and die for you, but I do have other resources to survive on the planet.

Like ice cream … and cake … and … Oh God, don’t GO!

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Yesterday.

Started out pretty good.

Late morning,  I saw a friends’ status that had me in tears literally laughing out loud.

I often laugh for no apparent reason at my desk – so much so, that one of the owners has named ‘uncontrollable-outbursts-of-desk-laughter-that-no-one-knows-the-source-of’ after me.

I know this because late in the day, she burst out laughing and followed it up with ‘I pulled an Amanda’.

(To be fair, and to avoid suspicion of insanity – I do not actually laugh for no apparent reason – I’m usually remembering something funny.)

 

The status that had me doubled over in hysterical laughter was this one:

 

“Just shared this with a friend to cheer her up and decided 

you lot should share in the joy.
I have just lectured a boardroom full of execs on something

and as I sat down with a satisfied 'That told them' feeling I farted. 

Not quietly. Not short.
I may move countries. My career is dead here.”

 

Of course everyone able to see her status loved it and wanted to know more, especially what she did afterwards – which turned out to be following it up with an embarrassed wink.

A wink.

So perfect. I can imagine that entire scene in a film.

I’m shaking with laughter just typing that out.

I love that she shared it – I love that we were all laughing WITH her. No doubt recollecting our most embarrassing moments and commiserating.

We’re all human – anyone that doesn’t find that funny has issues with their own bodily functions.

Okay – so far so good right? Good tummy aching laugh and productivity.

 

Next up, “Field Trip!” I needed to take my car to a mechanic for the big assessment and one of my bosses has a shop he trusts.

Plan was, he would take me home to fetch my car – then follow me to the shop to be sure I made it there, then we’d return to work.

Bonus was that there were work related errands on the way! (No sarcasm) It was nice to get out of the office and out in public on official business.

He introduced me to the office supply employee as his friend from work – and went on to add (after I could not stop touching things at the counter)  ‘special friend’ as in – helmet kind of special.

*Groan*

(Foreshadowing much?)

At the locksmith, I played with the various locks and devices while we waited for a key to be cut. “You don’t get out much do you?” It wasn’t a question. He was right. Couldn’t argue with that one.

So I just kept playing with safes, pretending I was cracking the combinations and said ‘Shhhh’.

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Got the car safely to the shop and back to work we went.

Shortly after was when my body said “Done!” The stress of the past week or so finally hitting me and physically exacerbating my heart condition.

I sat with my heart thudding and breathed through dizzy spells. I did all of this while sitting at my desk after it was time to go not trusting myself to be behind the wheel of a car.

I wanted to be home. But there are other people on the road that don’t want me to be home at their expense.

I do care about others.

Half an hour later I felt confident enough to navigate a car.

I arrived home and noticed the dogs bowl was almost empty of water.

Put my purse down, filled the bowl and stood up –

CRACK!

The sound of my head meeting a very hard edge of my hutch.

Bells rang – tears sprang to my eyes.

I staggered from the middle of the kitchen to the freezer, grabbed 3 ice cubes, and somehow through my blurred vision, managed to find an Easter treat bag to put them in. (Note to self: Buy sandwich/freezer bags.)

I stood in that kitchen and cried.

My head hurt – a lot. I was dizzier now than before and just … done.

I sobbed for a few minutes before shuffling to my son’s room.

There he sat with headphones on.

He looked up at me, holding an Easter Bunny compress on my head – my face streaked with tears as I said “You’re useless with those headphones on.”

I returned to the kitchen and he followed me there.

That’s when I did the ‘Can you look?? I don’t want to look!’ thing.

I get a little unsettled having a wound revealed – and was not going to be the discoverer.

He checked and said he saw nothing.

“I know the answer.” I said. “The answer to what will you do when I leave to college” .

We both said the answer at about the same time.

Which was ‘die’.

I’ll probably trip over something and go unnoticed for days.

I did end up with a cherry sized knot on my head – ok, maybe it was blueberry. But my head hurt. I was ready for bed and it was only 6pm.

Then the locust came.

I’m terrified of unpredictable nature. Not lions or tigers or sharks … not that kind of unpredictable. I mean, flying, leaping, rapid crawling or fluttering nature that gets up in your face. Moths, spiders, wasps, cockroaches, beetles, the entire Solifugae order… and locusts.

One had found its way into our home and was thudding loudly in my lamp shade.

They seriously THUD. Creeps me out.

They can’t weigh that much can they??

To make that much of a thud – seriously – how much energy is being put into that hop/fly motion? There’s an inertia formula that probably would come in handy here. Algebra – it DOES have a place in everyday life!

(IS inertia even the right word? Doesn’t matter – you all know what I mean. Velocity? It matters – I can’t move on until we have this right. I think it’s right. We’re moving on.)

I remember in India – there was a flying beetle that if thudded into you, could actually leave a bruise! One landed on your arm and it was like getting hit by a bug brick. Ginormous freaking winged beetles. No wonder I’m traumatized.

Anyway – I didn’t want it getting me.

I also didn’t want to get off of the couch – but could not settle with it jumping and flying and thudding. I fetched a cup and an envelope and caught it on the wall and put it outside.

I was done with the living room – wanted my bed.

Nature called first – and as I sat, vulnerable, mid tinkle – I noticed out of the corner of my eye – another freaking locust on the wall. Above me. To my left.

Great.

Trapped.

Literally caught with my pants down.

locust

 

 

I was thinking at that point, f&%* it.

Take me.

Land on me and just end my beating heart.

You know you’ve had a crappy month when you’ve ended your day stuck on a toilet, with a knot on your head, mascara stained cheeks and a locust threatening to attack.

I managed to finish unscathed – capture the flipping thing and release it back into the wild.

Face washed, teeth brushed, I hit my knees to pray to the God who’s probably still really pissed off about my blasphemous post and then hit my pillow.

Butters nested next to me with her babies.

Sleep found me quickly.

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Today.

No coffee.

Super.

I’m out of most everything – but get paid today. Although, depending on the diagnosis of my car’s transmission issue – there may not be any pay left for such frivolities like food and coffee.

Head still hurts.

Oh! And I managed to super glue my thumb to my shoe.

I’d shake my fist at the Universe – but I’d probably end up accidentally whacking my arm on something in the process.

… to be continued

Musings from the Laundromat: Broken Hope edition

I have decided that it is not the heart that breaks, but hope.

A broken heart would  be incapable of feeling- and so considering the pain mine is experiencing, it is obviously in cruel working order.

I find myself again balanced on a high, thin, internet wire – having to carefully step by the meat of a story out of respect for others involved.

The long and short of it is – I don’t want to be here today.  Here where just short days ago I was accompanied by someone very special.

The rainbow umbrella I have joked about in past posts seems duller.

The coffee I’m drinking tastes blander.

I’m in a robotic mode going through my days now, and have shed so many tears, if I were an actual robot, my lids would be seized closed from rust.

I lay in bed last night watching Lark Rise to Candleford and heard this dialogue:

 

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Human Frailty.

It trumps our best intentions – our better selves.

And seems to be the thing we humans have the hardest time forgiving.  Isn’t that odd?

I came across this beautiful picture by Zhang Jingna while contemplating writing my story in Fairy Tale format – I quickly dismissed the idea.  It was to have a Peasant, who had built up a wall in which she lived behind in a harsh environment – a Prince who would travel from a distant land and a small, angry blue gnome who meddled in matters of the heart.

The picture I will share though – it so encompasses how I am feeling.

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Hopeless.

Broken

I lay on my mothers chest yesterday – for the first time in years.  She stroked my hair the way she did when I was little.  I let the tears fall onto her pink top and while it was a little awkward at first, I think for both of us, I soon found myself gripping her tighter and not wanting to ever let go.

My son – oh … my son.  He sat and told me that he gets his compassion from me.  His creativity from me.  His love of things different from me.  He said he would always be my man – and he hugged me tight these past days.  This child I used to hold when ever he was hurting has become a young man whose eyes mirrored my pain and understood and reached out.

My friends – I have been given words from people who care from me that I will treasure always.  I did not know I mattered in ways that were expressed.  That meant so much to hear.

So my hope is not completely broken.

I still see such good.

I still see beauty.

I will not rush my healing, but let my heart and hope rebuild in time.

I will wish the Prince a peaceful heart and a happy life – because when we love someone, that’s what we want for them.

No matter if we are blessed to be a part of it or not.

I will continue to look for good in every corner of this beautiful life.

But for now – another Auden writing comes to mind.

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I shall end with another Thank You.

To the man who brought rain – I thank you for being the one who I dismantled my wall for.  The one who I opened my heart to – the one who gave me hope and had my jaded heart believe in happy ever afters once more.

And while I did not receive the glass slipper, or grow old on a porch with you – I was shown I was capable of wanting those things.

For now I rebuild my wall.

And I mourn until I am capable of letting go.

 

A Non-Practicing Agnostic’s 2 Cents Worth – OR “Now I’m going to hell for SURE”

I was going to name this post “God is a Terrorist”.

Pretty harsh – but fearing God is no small thing.

Terrorism: ‘The systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion’

I think burning in the fiery pits of hell for eternity if you don’t adhere to a set of rules qualifies.

I stopped short though – because even after all of what I’m sharing below, I’m STILL scared I’m going to hell.

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I do fear God.

Man’s God.

The God of the books.

Who, in my opinion, due to purposefully edited pages for period relevant agendas – is misrepresented in the conglomeration.

I wanted to believe for years simply because I did not want to go to hell.

I was afraid not to believe.

Today I have,  a ‘God’.

And it is love. And it is good. And it is hope.

 

I believe we are born believing in those things – it’s inherently in us.

We expect good before we even know what ‘good’ is.  A baby will cry when angry voices are raised and I doubt it’s processing anything more than the negative energy, inherently knowing that only in positive energy will it survive and thrive.

A small child when abused for the first time, registers shock with the pain – it knows the parental action is contrary to love without anyone having to explain that to them.

The young have no prejudice – are open-minded – filled with wonder, hope, faith and dreams.

Then something happens along the way, I suppose the jaded of us knock those things right out of them.

We fuck it all up and then need to be reminded to be good.

Not to kill.

Not to steal.

Not to do the most basic of sins that we were born not wanting to do in the first place!

(In the interest of fairness, here’s a great article based on experiments that somewhat disagrees with me HERE)

I have to concede that in order for ‘good’ to encounter ‘bad’ – it must exist, and therefore, some of us are not born entirely ‘good’.  Evil?  I choose to call it Mentally Unhealthy.  A gene … a predisposition that when coupled with a negative environment can only breed something dark.

I’ll once again share my favorite quote of all time:

evil

To my mind, there’s no disputing that the monsters under our bed are based on the monsters that sleep atop them.

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So let’s stick  with the premise that we’re fundamentally good.

Society functions better when we are ‘good’ together (Rand and Nietzsche may disagree, but stay with me)

Ironically, think of Christmas time.

For all intents and purposes, let’s take religion out of it.

Think only of the atmosphere – shops playing festive music, decorations adorning the mundane – from lamp posts to our own living rooms.  Strangers are nicer to one another (love) – anticipation is in the air (hope) and we’re thinking of others not ourselves (good).

Yes there’s a flip side to the holiday coin (pun intended), the stress of the material accumulation, preparing for guests, the huge expense of the ever exhausting increase of ‘gifting’ – but the FEELING of goodwill is undeniable.

Goodwill feels so much better naturally than hate.

I personally can’t be angry with someone without it tearing me up inside!  That horrible feeling in the gut I get when I’m in fear or in a bad mood is just awful.

And natural. It’s always been. It’s an internal physical response to adversity.

I couldn’t lie, steal, covet, be a glutton, murder, or any of those other no-no’s without such a feeling.

And I felt that long before I learned they were against ‘the rules’.

Because of our own mortality, we have the sensibility to know the severity of taking another’s life.

Because we feel pain, we’re aware it’s not a good thing and therefore do not inflict it on others – except as punishment.

So let’s just assume that we are hardwired for good – and come with the basic fundamentals of how to behave on this planet.

I tend to research … a LOT when I’m pulled in different directions with a topic. I watched documentary after documentary about religion – about Christianity – about Atheism.

Documentaries that I hoped would be packed with fact and educational material for me, the ignorant seeker.

baggy elephat

(I have a whole other post planned for ‘documentaries’.  I’ve almost completely lost faith in them after getting some firsthand insight into how they are made, and especially after watching someone present themselves in a fashion not practiced in ‘real life’)

But, that is for another day.

 

I watched “The Unbelievers” featuring Dawkins and Krauss. I was in complete agreement with most of all the film.  I wonder sometimes if my mind is too open.  I’m mailable – and I know it.

I fell for a lot of Brian Flemmings “The God Who Wasn’t There”, especially when introduced to the Christ Myth and Graves 16 Crucified Saviors.

16 saviors

I was intrigued.

Then he lost me when he personally attacked someone with a derogatory comment.

I hate that. If your points are valid – stick to them. Don’t resort to name calling to try to win a debate.

It only weakens your reputation in my eyes and takes your argument with it.

I’ve seen 100’s of documentaries – obsessed with truth-seeking.

I’ve been moved to tears, had lifelong opinions challenged and changed and been introduced to people, places and situations I may otherwise never have encountered.

I even found my love through a documentary.

But I don’t believe ALL I read/hear.

I found a great rebuttal to the Jesus/Horus comparisons here: http://www.jonsorensen.net/2012/10/25/horus-manure-debunking-the-jesushorus-connection/    You really have to read the comments to get the full effect.

I love the back and forth – the freedom to disagree.  “Permission to question”.

But there will always be people who pick and choose facts and leave out some details that don’t support their argument. (Another reason I’ve gone off documentaries)

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I got to thinking, if tomorrow God was proven to be nothing but a myth, would I murder? If I no longer feared hell, would I sin just because I could?

No.

No I wouldn’t.

Because there are other repercussions here on earth – it would affect my quality of life and of those around me.  Repercussions of the heart – of our mental health – of our souls.  Yes.  I believe in a soul.

I believe that unexplainable part of us that gives us goosebumps when an achingly beautiful piece of music is played, is our soul.  That part of us that fills with warmth when we watch our children sleeping – is our soul.  That small voice reminding us to choose ‘good’ – is our soul.

We’re wired to want to be a part of something, to commune with others.  We’re born with specific and individual talents and abilities so that when joined with others, we become an orchestra of humanity.

However you want to stay in touch with your humanity is fine by me – and I don’t take task with those who have unbridled Faith and use their powers for good.  It’s those who are almost brainwashed – killing in the name of their religion.  Those who look down on those who do not practice the same rituals, pray the same way or believe the same things that have me shuddering at organized religion.

And I won’t be a part of it.

I’ll stick to continual seeking – an open mind – and a unwavering belief in Love, Hope and Goodness.

 

Door Raptors and Bordel Baguettes

I don’t think there’s anything that could come out of my mouth that would shock people who know me anymore.

Even at work.

Ok, mostly at work.

It’s a think out loud, no holds barred environment with the top, seriously, the top professionals in the field.

When one of us isn’t in the building … Something feels ‘off’.

I was leaning in the copy room door way whilst eating a sandwich the other day – waiting for a fax confirmation.  (Told you I was a multi-tasker)

One of the men said “You look like a French girl at a bordel with a baguette’

I raised an eyebrow  while chomping on my huge bite of food and stuck my leg out a bit.  It’s a tad hard to imitate ‘seductive’ with hamster cheeks full of bread.

We play.

It’s amazing how much you can get done when you’re a real team – each bringing a different personality and skill to the mix – complimenting one another with a mutual goal.  Success.  And who knew it could be so much fun?!

I heard a noise outside our rear door today and my co-worker investigated.

He cracked me up when he did the horror movie “Hello??” as he slowly opened the door.

While I was laughing, he said ‘What if a raptor grabbed me?!?”

raptor

“I’d run and get my camera” was my response.

“You would” was his.

It’s only now I’m thinking … Raptor?  Really?  Of all the creatures in the world – of all the creatures in the desert – a raptor was the first thing that came to his mind?

Speaking of creatures,  I did get a lovely photo of his wife’s purse the other day – it had a face AND tongue.  Any inanimate object with a face is a camera grab moment for me.

If something resembles a raptor in the near future, I’ll be sure to get a picture and share it.

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