Wednesday, December 4, 2019

National Indigenous People's Day of Mourning vs. American Thanksgiving vs. Something Else Entirely

what an eye-opening visit I had with an old 'friend' recently - probably someone I'll be crossing off my list of people to visit when I have free time to play with in town!  as we've had more than enough Universal signs pointing to this being an important year for all of us to sever ties that don't serve us as we journey ever more fully into ourselves, it also comes as a staunch reminder of how the community I live near is decidedly toxic for me, and how I need to really and truly let go of any remaining connections I had to a small circle of people I used to know who also migrated to this area from other locales.  here's the set-up:  I tend to stop in uninvited to this particular person's house every few months, and just this week, I ended up having about 2.5 hours unaccounted for in my schedule as my commitments took less time than I thought, so I took the opportunity to do a little visiting.  was that my first mistake?  leaving unaccounted time in my schedule?  or stopping by someone's house uninvited?  here's what I puzzled out about it when considering how I would feel if that person (or any person I considered a friend or closer acquaintance) showed up at my door uninvited at 5:30pm; it might be a bit weird, initially, as it's dark this time of year, and everyone is so up into their electronic devices (and who even goes visiting anymore other than me), but I would invite them in, and into whatever activity I was involved in at the time.  the people I had dropped in on appeared to be watching a program or video that they shut off when I showed up, and when I asked what they were watching, they said it was something about whether or not the national November holiday - which many people still refer to as "Thanksgiving", and I call "National Indigenous People's Day of Mourning" - is racist.  "Ah!"  I said, "that's a hot issue, now, isn't it?"  and asked them what they do during the 'holiday', and why.

"you guys mind if I chill here for a few hours?"

for them, like for many people, it's a day of the year when families have traditionally gotten together for generations, to eat particular foods, and enjoy each other's company - an innocuous harvest festival, for the most part, celebrated by many people for both secular and religious reasons, across a range of dates.  so how and when did it become so politicized?  turns out, the American holiday is rooted in English Christian tradition, dating back to religious rifts in the church during the 16th century, mostly as a way to replace the ever-increasing number of 'holy days' on their calendar (and probably limit the amount of time servants had to be allowed to attend services).  these early 'feasts of thanksgiving' were usually celebratory responses to a victory in battle, or some other event where folks just felt like being thankful to whatever god/s they worshiped, and the colonizers of the United States brought this tradition along with them in their bag of tricks when they violently took over the Native Americans' land.  there is still much debate over where and when the first thanksgiving feast was held in America, with claims of a Spanish religious service being held in what is now Florida as early as 1565, and the ones in Virginia (1619) and Massachusetts (1621) being the famous misrepresentations for our current narrative, which had their respective histories whitewashed for generations, leaving out the parts that showed the settlers to be brutal murderers, and promoting the nonsense that has been taught in American schools ever since (that the Pilgrims and Natives shared a lovely meal, and everyone lived happily ever after - except not).  there was a feast of thanksgiving held after the Continental Congress enacted the Constitution in 1787, and the 'first national thanksgiving' was proclaimed by George Washington in November of 1789.  it makes me wonder about that supposed separation between church & state that was written into our Constitution just two years earlier, and even though it was considered a secular event, the name of 'god' was invoked in order to further push the agenda that all success was due to 'outside forces', which must surely indicate the spiritual superiority of the 'victors', and so must be acknowledged by showing gratitude to said 'higher power'.  apparently, some politicians from back in the day agreed with me about that particular hypocrisy, and some even saw it as an unwelcome declaration from 'the North', indicative of the long history of regional tensions between those above and below the Mason-Dixon line (the demarcation line between Maryland and Pennsylvania, showing the boundary between states that allowed slavery, and states that didn't, in 1767) .

depiction of the Pequot Massacre, 1637

all that said, "Thanksgiving" in its current iteration was midwifed by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 (in the midst of the Civil War), after decades of Ms. Sarah Josepha Buell Hale hounding everyone in government to do so via letters, and publishing poems, stories, and recipes that supported her vision for a national holiday in the popular 'ladies magazine' she edited.  it was only in 1941 when FDR - in a bid to extend the holiday shopping season - signed the resolution to establish the current date (the fourth Thursday in November) as a federal holiday across the entire US that we eventually arrived at the modern 'celebration' we know and love/loathe today, depending on your perspective.  for the above-mentioned 'friend' I dropped in on, it has been a day for them, as a parent to several children with different partners, to have all their kids (and sometimes one or more of the partners) together in one place, for a hearty meal.  and there's nothing wrong with that, is there?  for me, being 'cut off' from my family of origin the way I am, there are NO holidays that I celebrate with any blood relatives other than my own child, so I don't really care about That particular aspect of the traditional feast...also, being Jewish, I have no connection to any English or Christian feast or fast days, and the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot happened back in mid-October, and is celebrated with foods and rituals indigenous to the Middle-East (though living in America, we do include indigenous American foods in our practices).  my people emigrated to the US from Europe in order to escape religious persecution in the same way the early settlers and colonists claimed to, the difference being that we didn't rape and murder millions of indigenous people, or force our religion onto them, in order to do it.  we were running from our own genocide, to be sure, yet I am well aware of how assimilated Jews have contributed to the racist and oppressive systems that continue to pervade our institutions, systems, and relationships - it's hard to be well-educated, and not accept that reality, however hard it may be to recognize our complicity.  in any case, this "American Thanksgiving" wasn't something my Romanian/Romani/Israeli father was overly familiar with, and I think that's why it hardly registers to me as anything other than a break in the school year, or a day off of work (if you're lucky enough to work at a job that doesn't require your presence for the gross display of mass consumption everything in America has become).

maybe give a little bit of yourself - take time to play a game with your family at home during the 'gift-giving' season.  bake cookies, make art together, sing songs, make memories by engaging in enriching activities together...

as a young adult living on my own, I never bothered with the national Thanksgiving holiday - I hardly had an oven to cook a meal in, let alone all that 'traditional' nonsense.  I usually had to work, or was happy to have a day off to catch up on some sleep!  during the years that I had a 'home' to go to, it became the horrible emotional roller-coaster for me that it is for many who are less than welcome at family gatherings for myriad reasons.  in my case, one of those reasons was my growing moral imperative to address the feast as the impetus for the genocide it became for the people whose stolen land I feel duty-bound to acknowledge we live on, even though my mother's people came here to avoid similar fates in their own lands (my dad's people went to Israel, and later to Canada - another nation with much the same issues as the US in regards to the indigenous people who live there).  social media can also make it harder, serving up a stream of pictures of people gathering together with loved ones, while I'm home alone with my kid, trying not to internalize the feeling of there being something inherently 'wrong' with us because no one wants us at their table - not that I'd feel good about going anywhere other than a memorial service for the murdered...  once I became aware of the true story of the colonial-settler-genocide this day commemorates, I couldn't in good conscience 'celebrate' anything about it, and in lieu of any local non-colonial-settler-genocide commemorations to attend (that I am aware of), my tradition with my son has become to light a yahrtzeit candle (Jewish memorial candle) in honor of National Indigenous People's Day of Mourning, wherein we eat whatever we feel like eating, and watch Native American centered movies.  when the rest of the national consciousness catches up with my understanding of how horribly the marginalized original people of this land feel about the 'celebrations' of their attempted murder, maybe I'll celebrate that.  I know change takes time, and I look forward to when it comes for this holiday (and many others like it).  it has nothing to do with me, and I don't need it.

this is where I got the name 'National Indigenous People's Day of Mourning'.  they've been trying to get us to notice these issues since the beginning of my life - I think it's time more of us listened to them.

so what does any of that have to do with my dropping in on someone who has to ask whether or not the day of feasting is racist?  well, I have a little bit of a problem with people who can't see past their own desires to continue to whitewash history, especially when they're the kind of people I expect to know better, because of their self-proclaimed 'advanced spiritual mindset' (remember that point from earlier in this essay?  how the colonizers saw themselves as being favored by their 'god' because they mostly succeeded in their murderous endeavors?).  I mean, how can you claim to be more 'spiritually-advanced' than the next guy, when the next guy is a Native American telling you how they feel on the third Thursday of every year while watching white people continue to eat the traditional foods they themselves have been disconnected from, while inventing narratives about what good friends we all were back in the day, before the colonizers tried to kill them all?  sure thing, man - take some more ayahuasca, and appropriate some more cultural ceremonies that aren't yours to claim (hint:  if the cops and paramedics get called out to your 'ceremony', perhaps you're doing it wrong).  for sure - I get having a day when you get to have all your kids together at once, but think about why you get that, why you need that, and what information you're passing on, given the opportunity to have a family discussion around sensitive, yet ultimately important, issues.  look into where your own family traditions come from, and decide whether or not they're worth carrying on.  look into your own ancestral history, and see if there isn't a celebration that makes more sense for you to connect with.  make up your own holiday, and share that with your family!  or take a moment to honor the people who died so you could have a place to spread your whiteness around.  yeah, I know...I'm white too, but I do my part to call out my fellow Jews and Roma on these points as well.  and there's plenty of stuff I get wrong and need to correct for - this just doesn't happen to be one of them.  aside:  also, I'm pretty sure people who are ever so spiritually enlightened ought, in my opinion, be more actively involved in promoting inclusivity through building community, rather than practicing exclusivity based on jealousy and petty rivalries, or socioeconomic status.

quote from a great article I read in Bitch media's Travel issue last summer - read the full piece here.

as to me turning up unannounced, etiquette begs several questions, and the mixed signals I got from the person in question wouldn't help me answer them, though I'm smart enough to figure it out on my own.  first off, I have known this person for 30 odd years, through two of their relationships (one with another former friend), and all through most of their children's lives.  I am often received with a hug, and a "come on in", though this last time I got the feeling I wasn't welcome.  if that was the case, I would have expected this person to know me well enough and/or feel comfortable enough to tell me it wasn't a good time, that they simply weren't in the mood to receive guests, or that they would prefer if I called before dropping in (or even that they would prefer I didn't drop in at all).  none of those responses would have hurt my feelings, and I would have found some other way to amuse myself for the 2 hours I had left to wait to pick up my son from his rehearsal.  the bottom line is that the mood in the room began to feel awkward at the first conversational lull, and their body language made it obvious that they wanted to be doing other things.  I asked if it was ok for me to just stay while they 'did their thing', as it was cold out, and I didn't have anywhere else to go, to which they responded in the affirmative, but again, I felt weirdly unwelcome, so I chose to leave after a bit anyway.  there are plenty of reasons for me to recognize that this is a relationship better left in the past, and virtually none to support continuing it, hence it is ended.  again, moving forward, I'm only going where I'm celebrated, not where I'm barely tolerated.  of my labeling the town as toxic to me, I'm referencing the few people I know who live there, and make overtures of friendship, yet act in ways that are the opposite of what I consider friendly behavior, regularly.  not only that, one of them recently got angry when I mentioned that I had stopped trying with them, because they always find a last-minute excuse not to meet up, then don't make an attempt to reschedule...if that doesn't say "I don't want to hang out with you", I don't know what does!  so the onus is on me to do a better job of scheduling my time there fully, or making sure I have somewhere to be if I happen to have an hour here or there between scheduled plans because something didn't take as long as I thought it might.  I'd take it personally, but since the advent of cell phones and laptops, people just don't seem as interested in spending time with each other as they used to, which I think is a shame, because I like to visit with my friends, and take inspiration from the conversations we have, and appreciate the ways in which live interaction deepens our connections.  guess I'm just weird like that ~


Friday, November 29, 2019

Dreams: 11.26ish.19

did I run into 'ex-boyfriend #3' at some fancy hotel place?  or did my friends orchestrate it?  but there he was, and it was freaking me out.  it made me so insecure, but also curious.  he tailed us for awhile, made sure I saw him, but didn't approach.  I went back to my room or wherever, and got a call to come down, or went to meet my friends...I don't know, but he was interested.  too interested.  why?  what did he want?  he was cool and calm about my apprehension, pursued me across what felt like days.  it was his place...I couldn't get away, because he kept offering more and more for free.  some jewels, a hair stick, whatever I wanted.  I agreed to meet him.  we talked, I asked after his mom (he/they were obviously on my mind because of that last post).  was there a reason he was called away?  did I get a chance to see him acting in some fashion that made me see him for who he was?  it wasn't Me he was after, just some unfinished creeper business (last night's conversation with a friend about past relationships).  I ran up a staircase hung with metal items that caught at me, up to a big window that showed the dark night outside, and the gentle rain.  I ran.  I ran to edge of wherever I was, to a grassy field, with some fancy green writer's retreat type cabins (stopping in at our 'old place' yesterday) next to it, and I realized he owned it all - that something about that field made me realize his plan, and my place in it.  that I was going to go into one of them, and write a book.
someone or something in my current life is bringing up feelings similar to the ones I felt in that relationship - a freer and less encumbered time where the responsibilities of adulthood did not interfere with the spontaneity of romance - but I've moved on, and it's time to have new relationships.  there are neglected aspects of my personality that need attention in order to resolve myself towards moving on.  instead of putting up a facade/hiding my true self/trying to divert attention to unimportant things, there is a new state of mind or shift in personal identity - a transition, a moving away from old habits, and old ways of thinking.  aspects of my personality that I have rejected are ready to incorporate and acknowledge some positive news.  also shows unhappiness with the amount of friends that I have right now, as I want to feel accepted by others, though I'm not necessarily comfortable with that situation because I need to get to know people before I trust them.  in refusing to acknowledge a certain viewpoint or idea, or someone trying to make me conform to their ideals (a particular aspect of me, or a relationship), I'm feeling somewhere between satisfied and repressed.  bringing myself closer to the feminine, or opportunities I may have.  messages from my subconscious, or telepathy about confronting issues I've been avoiding, indicates the difficulty I'm having with communication, and relationships with others.  I'm also rewarding and recognizing my giving and generous nature, which I hold in high esteem.  I know my value, and I'm proud of myself, and in knowing my self-worth and good traits (in terms of status, personal value, knowledge, identity, and qualities I hold precious), I need to acknowledge the importance of spiritual and psychological riches, and incorporate those corresponding qualities.  in bringing awareness to hierarchy, authority, and charm in my life, as well as clues to relationships and status, I also bring a refusal to be tied by the neck, or have a self-inflated ego.  I am open to new ideas, and always ready to show a new me - I am loyal, vital, devoted, and manage to overcome negative feelings.  I treasure my attributes and values, as I have high expectations.  the way I find resolution to a conflict or problem shows my subconscious working in accordance with my consciousness, which is suggesting that I should redirect myself towards more productive endeavors, and that I need to further accept and incorporate various aspects of Self.  my fear of abandonment, added to the feeling of not measuring up to expectations, are factors in my long-term trust and/or self-esteem issues.

I'm leaving behind what is hindering my growth - unresolved childhood issues, feelings of neglect/being overlooked, and a need for more support and security.  there is more inner-child work to be done.  there are issues I'm trying to avoid, or actions I'm not taking or accepting responsibility for - such as facing or confronting my fears.  I could also be showing determination in going after what I want.  there is evidence to suggest I am emerging from a negative or depressed situation (a higher level of understanding, rational thinking and objectivity, holding myself in high regard).  there is change and transformation.  I am achieving the higher levels; making spiritual, emotional, and material progress.  my strength and character lead me through the inhumane sides of society, which also suggest a healthy libido and sexual desire.  I feel let out of a stuck situation, and though I am still somewhat blocked or trapped in my perception or vitality, I remain open to new experiences.  my point of view/outlook on life/consciousness (my intuition and awareness) find me reflecting on a decision about something that frightens me (the unknown), or that I'm not ready to face, as I appear unclear on how to move forward.  while I may suffer major setbacks and obstacles, death begets rebirth, reflection, and new beginnings.  the mysterious and dark unconscious...a yearly crisis that requires deep and painful sacrifice before enlightenment.  more calling out for integration.  renewal, devotion, love, and rebirth balanced by depression, sadness, built up emotion.  forgiveness and grace is what's needed - tears crying sadness/vs./fertility and renewal.  spiritual ideas and insights are being brought to my awareness (fortune and love).  there is a need to 'hurry up and act', even though I'm anxious about the situation at hand - time is running out.  it's possible an achievement or goal has been reached; that bad times are ending, and something new is beginning (great abundance, freedom and happiness, a period of personal growth).  though there's a part of myself I can always rely on for natural protection, I tend to look at what others have (grass in greener) through the lens of envy and lust.  on the one hand, I'm reading symbols of positive change, such as good health, growth, vitality, healing, hope, fertility, vigor, peace, serenity, a big "go" sign, environmental consciousness, money, wealth, and a striving to gain recognition and establish my independence.  on the other hand, I am also inexperienced  and can similarly read less positive symbols such as jealousy, materialism, deceit, difficulty sharing, and a need to balance my male/female energies. there is a desire for a simple home/life/situation.  in terms of my own soul/self, I seem concerned with outward appearances, though in entering a new phase with more emotional maturity, I'm also dealing with feelings of rejection/insecurity/being left behind.  I am driven by a need to express thoughts, free association, bringing the unconscious to the surface (communicating with others or my own conscious mind), or refers to an error in judgement or mistake that that I've made.  I may need to learn something new (what I need to examine), which may represent my calling to a specific field of work, or an area that I need to devote more study to.


and more of the same last night - not an ex-boyfriend, but some nebulous man-character.  perhaps a hook-up, perhaps the boy, even?  dismissing me, after having a night or so of fun.  college environment, so it was in front of others where I was being dismissed and embarrassed, belittled and hurt.  packing a backpack for a camping trip, while dude made it abundantly clear we were done (recent loss of people I had thought of as friends).


these dreams are about moving on, and about meeting the kinds of people who are already aligned with the consciousness I have developed over the years through a deep knowing of Who I Am, and What I Am Worth - which comes from my connection to a deep spirituality, and commitment to doing the serious and important (and sometimes painful) work of growing into higher and higher consciousness.  I have always been inspired by those around me, and at the moment, I don't have enough (or the right) people in my life to inspire me towards my goals.  I'm picky about who I allow near, because of deep childhood wounds, but I keep moving forward all the same, learning and growing.  some aspects of being a parent have brought up old wounds, and in being able to look at them, and speak (or write) about them, helps me heal from them, and move more gracefully into the life I want.  there is more work to be done (always), as I'm out here doing it on my own, unsupported...especially during this time of the year.  this constant renewal, and a recognition that my son will be looking to move away from me soon, makes me anxious for the decisions we will both need to be making in the near future, but I can and should be confident in my ability to make them for myself, and help him with his, even though I feel I've failed myself in the same situations in the past.  I often feel as if I had just played by society's rules and found a partner to hitch my wagon to, I'd have the security of the homes and relationships that I constantly witness from the outside, that look as if they would have given me a solid platform from which to succeed.  I'm also smart enough to know that I can reach a modest level of success without compromising my values and ideals, and that I can, and will, always continue to learn what it is I need in order to achieve what I desire.

Monday, November 25, 2019

I'm not as good a parent as people think I am, but I'm probably better at it than I think. (content warning for frank discussion of abortion, and swear words)

since many of my friends seem to think I'm 'god's gift to parenting' (joking, but lots of people tell me what a good mom I am pretty often), let me tell you how I came to it.

the first time I got pregnant, I was 22, living in Florida, with a bunch of us irresponsible young adults sharing a house together that was a filthy mess, and I had 50 pot plants growing in my closet.  my boyfriend was a self-possessed asshole who wanted to have sex with just about every woman he laid eyes on, so I thought long and hard about whether having a baby at that time, in that place, with him, was the right thing - while my idiot boyfriend spent a lot of time screaming at me that I COULDN'T have it, that he wasn't ready to 'ruin his life', and I had no right to ruin it for him.  he tore my favorite tapestry into shreds and kicked the door off the house to illustrate his sincerity, at which point, one of our roommates came into our room, yelled at the boyfriend to leave me alone, and took me off to Key West for the weekend, where we slept on a beach, and woke to discover that we had laid our blankets out on a massive field of goose shit.  after spending the morning in the laundromat washing our blankets and clothes before wandering around town not able to go in anywhere because we were barefoot, we headed back to the house where I devised a ritual involving two apples - one with an 'x' carved into it, and another with an 'o' - that I placed in a paper bag, and took with me to the ocean beach on a full moon. after communing with the waves and the night, and calling on the Goddess to help me choose, I reached into the bag, drew out an apple at random, and saw that it was the one with the 'x'.  I would have an abortion.  I ate that apple, tossed the other one into the ocean waves, and informed my crappy boyfriend that he needed to come up with half the money for the procedure.  he called his mommy, and she sent us the whole amount because, as she explained to me when I questioned her choice, "your instinct as a mother to save your children is very strong".  I told her he'd have been better 'saved' by having to get a job and come up with the money to take care of his responsibilities himself.  the roommate who took me to Key West drove me to the clinic where I was given a shot of demerol and valium, then had my uterus scraped out with an iced-tea spoon, and vacuumed.  after the drugs wore off enough, I was sent home to recover in my own bed.  I have a vague memory of the shmuck boyfriend sending his underage girl-crushes to keep me company, because I'm sure I didn't want to see him, but I sent them away, because eww.

the second time I got pregnant was not long after that (less than a year), after we three roommates had moved to New York, and I was so stupid, I was still 'dating' that asshole, even though he treated me like garbage, and cheated on me constantly.  he refused to believe it was even his (because if he was sleeping around, it meant I was, too, right?  wrong.).  I made an appointment with the abortion clinic straight away, and loser boyfriend made a big stink about having to take the day off of work from from his shitty, minimum wage job at the deli making sandwiches, to ride his bike to where I was living, to drive me - in my car - and pay his half for this second procedure (no calling mommy this time).  we had fun terrorizing the Jesus-freak protesters that were terrorizing the women trying to get into the clinic, but after having the same injection, and the same scraping and vacuuming, and he had driven me home (in my car), when he left to get to his all-important job, he did do a decent thing and called my best friend to tell him I had just had an abortion, and could probably use some company. my bestie did come over with his girlfriend, and they spent the afternoon with me, which was nice of them, and almost made forgive the boyfriend for being such an asshole.  I hope I broke up with him, then, but I probably didn't...I mean, I did eventually (obviously), but not that day.

I managed to not get pregnant for awhile after that - not until I started dating my most serious boyfriend to date, when I was 28 or so, who I got pregnant with in the first few months of our relationship. I was furious at him, and remember showing up at his house in the middle of the night to yell at him about it, and throw one of my wooden clogs at his head.  but he paid his half, and took me to Planned Parenthood to have my third abortion - I had just met this guy and started going out with him - I wasn't going to have his baby!  he sat anxiously in the waiting room because I told him I was going to make him come in and watch the process, but the clinicians who performed the procedure talked me out of it quickly by telling me that most men passed out during the process, and then they would have to deal with him and his nonsense, rather than tending to me and my needs, so why bother.  this procedure took place in Vermont, where they Don't knock you out, and I was a bit apprehensive, but the pain wasn't bad, and I made it through ok.  when I came back out afterwards and told this boyfriend that I was ready to go home, he had the deer in the headlights look to him, saying he'd been sitting there sweating it out, waiting for them to call him in, and I thought 'good, that's fine with me'. we broke up for awhile after that, but then moved back in together, and I got pregnant Again - I may have tried to convince my guy that we should have the baby and get married, but he was Not into that idea, so there was a fourth abortion, and another eventual break-up.

several years later, when I was 34, there was a murder-suicide involving two friends of ours in the small town we lived in, and I went to visit my now ex to tell him about it (he had moved a few towns away for work), and we coped with the stress by having sex.  guess what?  yeah...the orgasm went through me like a lightening bolt (like the lightening path through the Kabbalist Tree of Life) and I knew instantly that I was pregnant again.  I said as much to ex-boyfriend, but he didn't believe I could know that.  I continued to 'know that' for the next two weeks as I drove past Planned Parenthood every day, twice a day, on my ways to and from work, and I didn't want to go and get the pregnancy test until I knew for sure what I wanted to do about it (because I knew I was pregnant, you see).

I thought that on the one hand, I was pregnant with an ex-boyfriend who I cared about deeply, even though we had moved on from each other, and not some loser I picked up in bar for a one night stand.  I thought about what a good and decent person this guy is - his work ethic, his heath, his heart and soul, his music. I thought about how I used to tell myself that I would never have kids period, because I loved my freedom to move through life as I chose, and how a baby would ruin that for me - that I was selfish person and didn't much like kids on the whole.  I used to think that if I ever did choose to have a baby, I would only do so if I were married to the love of my life, and lived in a nice house with a picket fence, and the whole 1950's bullshit American dream story, and I also knew that my life was never going to look like that.  I didn't want another abortion, for fear of turning my womb into Swiss cheese, and I had had enough of death, and wanted to embrace life, so I chose to have my son.  he knows this story.  he knows that I was in no way prepared to have him, but that I CHOSE to. he was wanted.  I finally went to Planned Parenthood, got the pregnancy test, told them I was going for it on my own, and had them set me on the right path with a prescription for pre-natal vitamins, and lots of literature to read up on what was about to go down in my new life, as a 35 year old impoverished single mom.

my ex didn't ask to become a father.  my son didn't ask to be born.  it was chance, or circumstance, or coincidence, or synchronicity, or whatever you call it, but ultimately it was a choice I made that involved the lives of three people, two of which weren't me.  so I made another choice - I chose to let my son live his life the way he chooses.  I thought, 'if I'm going to bring a perfect, innocent being into this world for no reason other than not wanting to have another abortion because I was irresponsible about having sex without using proven birth control methods, than I was going to do my best to let that being lead me in knowing how to parent him'.  I saw/see my role as a sort of body guard - prevent the child from doing himself severe harm (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually), but past furnishing the basic necessities of life (food clothing shelter), mostly just asking open-ended questions to help him chose how to raise himself.  even on my best days, I manage to screw it up somehow, but the child is growing, learning, achieving, and making me so proud in general because he's such a great person.  not the smartest, the fastest, or the strongest, but smart enough to know what it means to be a decent person, fast enough to know slow and steady wins the race, and strong enough to shoulder his own burdens (of which, I hope there are very few). I've been lucky, in the sense that I was prone to saying that since 'the Universe is said to only give you what you can handle, than it gave me the world's easiest child to raise because it knew I wasn't up to the challenge of anything else'!

so, to all those folks who tell me what a great mom I am - I'm not.  I'm just a person who has a fair amount of resentment about some of the ways in which I was parented, and made some adjustment to what I think my parents did that worked, and what didn't.  like I said, I mostly let the growth process happen on it's own, and steered my kid away from things that might cause him bodily harm.  when he was a baby, I'd say "ah ah ah!" instead of "no", saving 'no' for truly life-ending dangers.  if he did something I liked, I would praise him in a high pitched voice - for something I didn't like, I'd use low tones.  I would pay attention to behaviors I wanted to see repeated, and ignore those I didn't.  it's kind of like training a dog, really...I am naturally creative, and would rather play inside my imagination that do most other things, so I was great at stimulating a growing baby's natural curiosity and wonder, but completely useless at teaching anything about how to shave, or, say, 7th grade math and science (I chose to leave that to professionals, with more or less success, given the individual educators).  in any case, if you're one of the folks who thinks my kid is great, then feel free to use these techniques yourself.  the BEST possible advice I can give to potential parents is this - DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN UNTIL YOU FEEL READY TO DO SO.  by that, I mean think about how ready you are to come so close to the edge of wanting to kill yourself and everyone else, including your children, and then somehow mange to Keep Your Cool and Not Do It, then maybe you can handle it.  now, I only had one kid, without a partner, so take that into account, too.  I didn't have another relationship I was trying to navigate while raising my child, and I can't imagine that's easy, let alone doing that with Multiple kids!  parenting is no joke (though it IS supremely important to laugh, a lot), if you plan to do it right, and never at any point do I think I'm doing it right.

and when I screw up, I APOLOGIZE.  that's really big too, because my mom, to this day, has Never apologized for any of the many things I could (and in some cases, have) legitimately ask her to apologize for.  just do your best to love them for all your worth.  treat kids like people because they are.  I have been asked, "why do you ask for your son's input on things?"  and I respond, "because he's a person, and has opinions, and I like to take that into account when making decisions that affect him".  I did this as soon as he was old enough to talk, and know his own mind...4?  maybe 5?  I mean, I didn't consult him about major life decisions, but I'd ask him what he wanted to eat, or wear, or how he wanted to wear his hair...or who he wanted to play with, or let touch him.  and by most accounts, he's a pretty great kid - a little goofy, always ready with a joke, but if that's the worst anyone can say of him, than that's not too shabby in my book, all credit to him.  also, Don't Have Unprotected Sex Unless You Are Ready And Willing To Live With The Possible Consequences.  that is all.  just keep it in your pants, and don't rush into anything you can't handle.  and just assume you can't handle parenting.  it's crazy out here ~

Friday, November 15, 2019

Dreams: 9.6.19

dreamed I was at an event, not sure what, but we were dressed nicely.  met an old friend there, who insisted I pop into the event They were attending where my first serious boyfriend was, with the rest of their crew (S, D, B, M).  was D who found me, was happy to see B & S.  M barely registered.  I snuck around the edges, looking at S, while D told him he had found me, and brought me.  I decided I was too nervous/ugly/fat, and tried to sneak back out - I recognized several members of S and D's families, and didn't want to be seen by them (like they'd even remember me).  but the guys saw me trying to sneak away, and cajoled me into coming over to where S was trying to play it cool, because he was horrified by being put on the spot, too.  looking down he asked why I tried to sneak away, didn't I want to see him?  well, he was married with kids and all that, so I shouldn't really be here at all, and it had been so very long...  no, the kids were grown, he was divorced...that's why he was ashamed?  well, I'm single, have a teen, here he is, I think I should go.  no wait...  we're standing so close together, almost whispering in each other's ears.  our lips are so near, if we just turn our heads...  our lips touch.  it's too much already and I pull away, say I have to go.  he asks me to wait, to come with him after the event, to a more casual venue where we can be easy with each other, just wait for him for about an hour, will I?  I guess...I fill my pockets with incense/matches/chocolates/what-have-you from his event - hurry though, I'm going to say my goodbyes to my crew, and be outside with the kid.  I won't wait too long, but I will wait for a bit.  people begin their slow strolls towards their cars from both events, and I find myself wandering around the parking area, watching the goodbyes.  D's kid punches mine in the stomach, then sits in the back of a car pouring boiling water over his bare feet.  I walk down a grassy bank and ford a stream to get to...some other part of the grass, maybe hug someone, maybe just keep wandering alone.  the feelings behind that one kiss keeping me there, wondering why, but waiting nonetheless.


SO much to dig into, dream of being at a fancy party with old friends suggests I need to get out more and enjoy myself!  or that I'm putting up a facade and hiding parts of my true self, diverting attention to unimportant things.  in a place of togetherness, a celebratory venue, thus a positive experience of reconnecting with a part of myself that I have lost touch with.  it's time to pick up that old hobby, or put a long hidden talent to use.  that the invitation comes from a friend of an ex-boyfriend indicates an aspect of my own self that I'm still getting to know.  it invites me to incorporate certain characteristics into myself, like feeling comfortable with people, a desire to feel accepted, and possibly even attractive.

so the was my first ex-boyfriend.  I want to have that kind of love affair, again.  to recapture the excitement of a freer, less-encumbered time when nothing interferes with the spontaneity of romance or freedom in the vitality of youth.  also about missing being in a relationship and wanting to feel wanted.  the desire for a learning relationship, some of that next level kind of stuff I've been talking about, yet not feeling great about connecting with it in a larger circle.  there is an overall air of self-doubt and insecurity.

he was also old and fat, and full of uncertainty, but we were/I was looking back on the good old days of first love, most likely triggered by the major shift in my life re:  forced relocation due to eminent domain.  dreams like that always leave me wanting more - sex with a side of love, deeply fulfilling connections that haunt me for days.  but I'm asked to wait - which means I have a secret I should tell, but I do wait, patiently, because I know things will happen at their own pace, and amid the anticipatory uneasiness, I'm letting him take the lead.

taking all the treats on the way out - incense/matches/chocolate - speaks to rekindling a high level of awareness, though an overindulgence in excesses suggests it's time to practice some restraint.  feeling undeserving of what I have, and am afraid of losing it...overstepping boundaries.  feeling deprived and needy, with unrealized and unfulfilled goals.  in saying my goodbyes I'm letting go of my worries, and moving on to a new phase in my life.

outside, I am free, and feel open to opportunities.  I can spread out, enjoy being more expressive, and stop closing myself off.  know things are worth the wait, and slow down!  the parking lot suggests taking a break on my path, and not moving for the moment...that I should take some time away from daily activities.  my sense of morality and character are in a bit of a conflict, so it's time to turn efforts and energies elsewhere.  stop and enjoy life.

watching my kid get punched could indicate a longing for the past, or an attempt to satisfy repressed desires and unfulfilled hopes - that my inner child is lacking a voice, is repressed, or that a part of my own childhood is lost.  there is something I need to see grow, and nurtured, and there is a desire to feel needed and significant.  there could also be some latent talent or hidden knowledge that I have failed to recognize.  *the pouring boiling water over the feet is something I 'kind-of' do - not boiling, but a bit hotter than I can actually stand it, because it sometimes relieves the pain of my eczema/psoriasis/whatever the hell the itchy patches I sometime get are...but does it relieve the pain?  or simply make a different kind of pain to distract from the original pain?  I see it as a form of self-harm, personally, and in the dream, it seems to indicate a need to punish myself for doing things I know are wrong, whatever they may be (punching another kid when I was a kid?  purposely injuring my own inner child?  purposely hurting my adult self?)*.  the car being parked points to stagnancy, and that the kid is in the back seat means a lost drive, and that others are making the decisions - I'm not even in the car!  it could mean that I'm wasting my time with a fruitless endeavor, and need to find some of the aforementioned joy.

walking down a grassy hill to cross a stream speaks to my easy path through life, and my slow yet steady progress towards my goals.  while I may have made a wrong decision or gone in the wrong direction and faced setbacks that resulted in repressed thoughts, even though things haven't 'gone my way', there's a part of me I can always rely on to protect myself because I know the grass is the same color green on all sides.  I still manage to patiently find my way to the Universal Unconscious where a fresh flow of ideas and emotions indicate a positive bridging of the different aspects my emotions.  even though the loving parts of my nature may need some TLC in order to heal emotionally, I still lack the motivation to point myself in that direction due to the lack of understanding that usually leaves me feeling rejected.  so I suffer with self-doubt and uncertainty, but it leads me to higher knowledge and a certain spiritual enlightenment.  in knowing that what I'm seeking is worth the time it takes to find, and that hassling over the anxiety and unease surrounding decisions of power and control in relationships won't help me along, I need to remain calm, and centered.

Friday, November 8, 2019

the words dance gaily
             away from me
finding their ways
   to the mouths of
         younger women
           forming and reforming
       for which I don't know
            the meanings
       inflating with pride
inventing new definitions

  - sweeping roots across the floor -

   weaving me back into being
emptying my closet
   dis-collecting personae
      naming them as I
                      let them go

now I am
as I was
meant to be

 - scent of myrrh -

Tisha B'Av, through perimenopause, to Rosh Hashana

there aren't a whole lot of major Jewish holidays I celebrate at home during the summer months, and I had a pretty busy summer moving out of our house...but once we were settled in to the new place, I took a look at the Jewish calendar to see where I was in the cycle of things I celebrate, and discovered that it was Tisha B'Av (on the eve of August 10th).

"Tisha B'Av" means the ninth day of the month of "Av", and it is commemorated as the day of the destruction of both the first and second temples in Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. and 70 C.E. respectively, as well as other horrors, including (but not limited to) the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290, France in 1306, and Spain in 1492 - it also marked the beginning of the Holocaust.  it is a day of fasting and mourning, and is considered the saddest day on the Jewish calendar.  observant Jews abstain from joyous activity on that day.  it is also one of the last 'holidays' of the Jewish year (the last one I acknowledge).

so, I also got my increasingly spotty period that day, and being extra emotional, I made a connection between mourning the loss of one's temples and spiritual practices to violence as an apt metaphor for perimenopause, and croning.  that for three and more decades of celebrating my own sacred sensuality/sexuality and the universal life-sustaining energies as holy, my body is running out of eggs, and the ability to grow life.  and that's a mournable loss, on a personal level.  it's sad and deserves acknowledgement.  and while I'm mourning the loss of my fertility, I'm seriously over it at this point, too.  I'm glad it's ending, but I am taking the time to notice it (like I could ignore it), and honor my cycle.  it is a significant part of our womanhood, and connects us to a sisterhood.

so I'm transitioning to elder.  it's time to exercise next level wisdom.  after the deep sink into parenthood for one human's entire dependency, I'm coming into realignment with my own creative spirit.  and that's where Rosh Hashana figures in.  the rebirth into the new year.  September 29th, right near the Equinox (I love how Jewish holidays sometimes coincide with solstices and equinoxes).  and I also transitioned into a new living situation during the year I turned 50.  there is so much in motion, universally, that I'm beginning to think that we might be living in exciting times.  I've been toying with the idea of having a 'Jewish Year' to go along with my 'year of Shabbats' that I seem to have had (minus 4 or 5 for gig or team sport reasons) this year.  wasn't there a book about that..?

sort of - Miriam's Kitchen by Elizabeth Ehrlich

if I want to do it this year, I'd better get on it - we're already through a bunch of the big ones right up front with Rosh Hashana (for which we said prayers and observed household traditions), Yom Kippur (which we acknowledged and ignored), Sukkot (which we acknowledged and ignored), and Simchat Torah (which we ignored).  at least I knew which ones I missed, and in what order?  but I can still get a jump on Hannukah!  maybe I'll take a tip from the Christmas crazies and start now - make the federally sanctioned 'November break' our Indigenous Peoples' Resistance Day decorating party, and just keep on going from there.  I'll have to do little write-ups to chronicle the journey, of course, and possibly even come up with a new post label.  lightening splits the sky...

✓ Rosh Hashana - September 30
✓ Yom Kippur - October 8
✓ Sukkot - October 13
✓ Simchat Torah - October 22
✓ Hannukah - December 23
✓ Tu BiShvat - February 10
? *Adar - February 25
✓ Purim - March 10
Passover - April 9
Yom HaShoah - April 20
Yom HaZikaron - April 27
Yom Ha'atzmaut - April 28
Lag Ba'omer - May 12
Shavuot - May 29
Tisha B'Av - July 30

Trip Tick (content warning: body fluids, sexual content, 'coarse language', possible sarcasm...what the fuck, we're all adults, right? make your choices.)

full moon blood ritual by the river...

nighttime.  the house asleep.  heart thumping, the sealed jar taken down and out beneath the swollen spring moon.  to the river, swiftly, through the forest.  down the rocks and across the sand, to the water's edge.  so beautiful...but there's little time.  draw, with the big stick, a circle in the sand.  mark the directions, and say hello.  open the jar, hold it up, think about what's in it, how old it is, where it came from.  why.  place it on its side in the river.  let its blood run out.  set it free.  is this what it was meant for?  didn't it seem like it had more of a story to tell?  why?  what has been set loose?  where did it go?  too long, too long..!  rinse it out and seal it up; time to go.  thank those who watch over, in the opposite direction.  grateful for the big stick, up over the rocks, across the grassy strip, into the trees.  heart back to thumping because it's bear season, but the sounds of footsteps and a big stick meaning to be respectfully heard should be enough, and the scent they would be after is back in the river, now, anyway.  the house lights comfortably close, steps slow, breathing expands out.  now what?

equinox sap, rutting season.

the drums bring her back.

where the hell..?  where am I now?

she wonders.

oh yeah, the River.  awesome!  I love these people!

her head bobs deeply with the beat as she smiles, digs the rhythm.  duende.  she changes her direction and does a little spin, changes it up, and one of the drums comes with her.  she lets him go because she needs to steady herself after such a bold move, and find the swing again.

I was lost just a minute ago, need to balance!

so she catches the net the drum throws out, and hangs in.

right.  it's time.

moving gently in waves towards the altar, she takes a deep breath and begins to gather in the energy of the drummers and the dancers, pulling it into her.  she throws another spin in, but wilder, and more focused.  feet stamping.  arms stretching, reaching, encompassing...she throws her head back and bends her knees, then lifts the bowl, slowly, carefully, overhead.  gazing up at it, and out into the heavens.  she pours a smooth stream of blood over the rocks of the altar where it pools around the bases of dozens of candles, offering plates, flowers and herbs, crystals, fruits bones grains mixed with honey and wine seeping into the stones  dripping into the earth  where they danced
                                                                                                                                   where they danced

hear us.  amen.

the drums were signaling, so she came back again.  swaying with the bowl in her hands, dripping its last onto the flowers before her feet, she bowed to the altar and replaced the bowl.  dancing back, she turned to face the drummers, and they all met her eyes.  yes.  they beat the ritual out.  a collective whoop from all those dancing set a seal on the night's work, and some fell to the ground, some shook out last ya-yas, and a few were left spinning...spinning...and laughing.  there were sighs, and lots of breathing.  then came the hugs.  everyone embraced in what became an all-group mosh, with many sighs, deep with feeling and the closeness of days of journeying.  the drummers joined in and all hands reached to massage arms

of those who were hungry, they went to food.
of those who were thirsty, they went to drink.
of those who were tired, they went to sleep.
of those who were aroused, they made love.

many made love.  many made it with others.

many did it roughly, like animals - out in the open, biting clawing growling, with teeth blood and bruises.  like a good fight, fierce and tight.  a coupling.  a mating ritual.  death.

three did it hidden in a grove like fairies, all soft and fluttery, breath letting out in peals and tiny gasps, exquisite.  a wonder, a discovery.  life.

one did it alone.  and with everyone, everywhere.  rebirth.
(and they had pie)

his father's tools in his hands conquer the world.

this tragic hero, this...John of Arc.  John of Philly, California.  John of My Heart.

this motherfucker.

this work of art.

what can be said would be right?  shine on you crazy diamond?  I don't even know how that hurts.  I can't walk the walk, and I can't talk the talk, but I do my best, so fuck off.

sing for your supper.

in this world...

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Sugar Magnolia

I had never been close with a magnolia tree before, or interacted with one daily, through several years of seasons, before I lived at my last place of residence.  the one pictured below was right outside my front door for the past five years, and I'm truly going to miss it, and hope to preserve its presence in my life by propagating a new one from cuttings and berries I took (and hope to take more) from it before it gets destroyed, which I pray it doesn't.  the berries are so gorgeous I collected slews of them and tried planting them just as they were, but that's not how it works for this lady.  when the pods burst apart with lots of what look like seeds, but are really berries, those berries need to be soaked overnight before you can pop them open to get to the seeds.  then, after cleaning the seeds off, they're ready to be sown in soil and refrigerated for 3 or 4 months before being planted.

in getting to know this beautiful queen, I learned a few things that I thought I'd share.  for starters, magnolias are an ancient genus of over 200 flowering plant species, with fossilized specimens dating from 20 to 90 million years old!  as they evolved before bees, they are pollinated by beetles, and by self-pollination.  the flowers of certain species are considered edible, with the flowers, buds, and leaves all being used in different ways (please Do Not eat anything without having properly identified it, and confirming with several sources on methods of preparation and usage).  the bark and flower buds of certain species are also used medicinally (again, Do Not attempt to treat yourself with anything without proper research and supervision).  they are used as food plants for the larvae of several butterfly and moth species.  the Yulan magnolia is the official flower of Shanghai; the M. grandiflora is the official state flower of both Mississippi (where it is also the state tree) and Louisiana; and the magnolia sieboldii is the official national flower of North Korea, and the official flower of Gangnam, South Korea.

on the more esoteric side, the bark of the magnolia is used for both physical and spiritual healing, and is said to soothe anxiety and depression.  in fact, it seems that the bioactive compounds honokiol and magnolol are good for a slew of medical issues - everything from weight loss, to several forms of cancer, asthma, allergies, and skin issues, to name just a few.  also said to increase feelings of love and loyalty; reduce the power of addictions and obsessions, especially smoking; promotes psychic development; aids meditation and spiritual opening; promotes harmony, peace, and tranquility; helps learning from past experiences; clarifies true identity; eases restlessness and confusion; maintains balance during difficult changes, and promotes a sense of freedom and relaxation.  magnolia is also one of the main ingredients in true Nag Champa incense (michelia champaca is golden or red magnolia).  whew - she's sure got a lot on her plate!

astrologically, they're associated with the sign of Cancer, the Moon, the 4th house (which represents 'home'), pearls, and the crown chakra.  the magnolia is also a symbol of nobility, femininity, youth, and fidelity; family, longevity, legacy, faithfulness, and is good for use in prosperity, stability, and fertility spells.  the seed pods are incredibly phallic, the berries a menstrual red, and they have these white filament tails that makes them look like sperm.  they are 'bisexual' in that they pollinate themselves - as such, there are sexual, creative, and vital associations, as well.  magnolias are associated with the Goddess/planet Venus, and the trees are excellent for both shade, and climbing.  they can have some darker aspects, given their history of popularity in the American South, around plantations, which is unfortunate, but that's not the tree's fault.  there's so much information out there on magnolias and their meanings and uses, I could go on for a rather long time, but I think I've done enough, here.  I've made my point that this is an amazing and glorious tree, to which, we should all bow down in awe and revere!  all hail the mighty and magnificent magnolia!  amen ~


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Astrological Writing Prompt

sometime in September, I copied this link and writing prompt from a post by luna luna magazine, shared by a friend on facebook:

Aquarius writing prompt:
"Can you operate deep underground?  Can you burrow into the murky waters of fear and love and want?  What happens when you get naked and sit in the garden of your dark?  When you don’t have a bird’s-eye view, when you comeinrealcloselikethis?  Can you feel the granules?  What do they feel like?"



under the ground

where I live

     there is no sound

slithering deep

     through the

          murky and dark

I search for my loves,

     my fears

and my wants.

alone in my garden

naked in shadow

planting my bones

up to the marrow

     feeling each grain,

each bit of soil

     eat at my skin

from this mortal coil

it feels like an ending,

     but we've only begun

to die into rebirth

     and slowly become

gristle and chaw,

     pulp and quagmire

          morass and sludge

ooze muck and perspire

thoughts and ideas

     become seeds

bursting fertile

growing in fullness

     to thrive

          and beguile

it all stinks of life

     and of death, and

of birth

and sometimes I can't

     figure out what it's worth

all the tiresome




while heaven is waiting

     for this ride to


there.  how's that?  check your horoscope prompt, and see what You come up with!

Dreams: sometime back in June or July, before our latest move.

seeing the bestie's brother in my dream could signify that I desire his popularity and success for myself, and also that this current life situation is making me feel awkward and embarrassed about myself/my situation.  that he (as someone I'm not really friendly with) needed my help could be indicative of My need to compromise for the greater good - to come to an understanding/middle ground so I can move forward.  the same with mom being there...while she could represent my need for warmth, love, security, and a possible secret longing to be a 'wealthy housewife', it also speaks to my bitterness over our rivalry.  she wasn't 'being herself' and was more just an extra body for me to care for, suggesting my desire for distance from her, and my anger at being dismissed as insignificant.  it also indicates my need to reconnect with ME - to adopt & mother myself.  the bestie recently said to me, "I can't be all bad if my people still want me after all the f-ed up shite I've done"...and my dreaming of his family members shows how I wish my family felt the same, revealing my tendency to idealize/romanticize how I think a 'real' family should function, and how I want that for myself.

as for the presence, of the bestie himself, what aspects of his character do I need to foster and acknowledge in my own self?  being ready and willing to 'party' at all times?  not being willing to see his aging self the way the world does (or to see it and laugh at it)?  being more fun loving?  independent?  uncompromising?  to work hard, and muddle through life mostly alone?  the fact that we've managed to maintain our friendship through 30 years of ups and downs is what keeps us close...that, and my willingness to 'hold on loosely, but not let go'.  he also - in dream land - indicates good news.

the boy and the cat are tough ones...the boy mostly shows up in my dreams because he's pretty much everything I live for, and the cat may have been there as an extension of him, and a general indication that I needed my whole family with me in order to navigate this dream-scape.  the cat as a symbol represents independence, feminine sexuality, creativity, and power, and a pet usually represents civilized instincts, and holding one's temper.  also, more of that need for love and acceptance due to feeling neglected.  all of these qualities are important to helping me navigate the situations at hand.

all that water...the clear, calm, gentle waves that we were floating on symbolizes my subconscious, and my emotional state of mind.  Water is the living essence of the psyche, and the flow of life energy - it is also symbolic of spirituality, knowledge, healing, and refreshment, and that I am in tune with that spirituality, imbuing me with serenity, peace of mind, rejuvenation, renewal, and clarity.  it indicates that in reflecting on an important life decision that needs to be made, that I have a handle on my emotions.

while we weren't riding 'in' a vehicle, but were sitting on top of one speaks to the level and type of control I have over my own life, or that someone is exerting their power over me, and I'm doing my best to stay on top of it.  that it was a large vehicle, perhaps a van of some sort, asks that I consider how much of a load I can feasibly carry, and to not stress myself out by carrying too much.  that the vehicle is under water implies this is an emotional journey.  that I saw the life raft at such a distance from us suggests my feeling distanced from any help with coping, that I've failed to build a firm foundation for myself, and that much work is still needed in order to succeed.  also, that I want to be rescued from the current situation that is beyond my control!  the rope they threw me represents my connection and attachment to others, and how those relationships are what's holding me together.  there's a lot here about my feelings of being ignored and neglected, and that I'm trying to find ways to cry out for help that will make me feel accomplished and loved (luckily, I'm not too proud to ask for it).

that the cat got loose once we got to safety speaks to my need to express myself in the most primal of ways, and indicates how well some sexual release would serve me right now!  that we needed to go find her highlights more of that independence I crave - the need to be free of the things that hold me back.  forgetting her name/what she looks like are an expression of an overwhelming amount of stress in my life due to the need for me to tend to everything and everyone in my current situation.  that the boy and I made it to shore together (to find the cat) suggests that my emotional needs will be satisfied, and that my inner turmoil has been resolved.  It refers to the point where the conscious mind meets the subconscious, and that I will have come to a place of solace and comfort, though there is still much to be considered.

all the animals running towards their humans on that shore are sex and more sex, and that out of all those beings I was specifically aware of the horses speaks to more strength and power, endurance, and virility.  I have a distinct need to 'tame the wild forces within', yet also need to 'reign myself in' a bit.  in finding the cat, it shows I am coming into contact with some aspect of my psyche or subconscious that was previously repressed, and represents change.

that I managed to finally get my little band to a shelter represents the difficulties and sense of helplessness that I'm experiencing, and managing to find some of the security and stability I've been looking for.  that I passed out once we got there says that I may yet not be able to confront some of the subconscious issues or feelings I've been experiencing, and need to be more aware of, and acknowledge them.  waking up, then, indicates that something is missing or lacking in my life- that there are aspects of myself, and abilities I possess that I am not utilizing to their fullest potential.  my dream is literally telling me to open my eyes and wake up - or could be the entry point to lucidity.

"lucidity gives you the ability to control your own dreams and steer them toward the direction you want.  in the lucid state, you are more willing to confront threats and as a result, become more self confident.  when you achieve lucidity, you can use it as a tool to...solve a problem in your waking life.  you can use lucid dreams to...overcome phobias,  get over writer's block, etc.  lucid dreams can help you visualize and rehearse an event in your mind before it actually occurs.  it helps to overcome fears and anxieties."  they can help you become self-confident in confronting threats, problem-solve, overcome fear & anxiety, help you train & prepare in setting the stage for what's to come.

for reference:

Monday, November 4, 2019

Dream - 9/23/19

my father's people all came to me in a dream last night.

they showed up at my house with my brother and his wife.

I fought with my brother, and he threatened me with violence.

I woke myself yelling for him to stop.


dreams about my ancestors suggest that I'm acknowledging my inherited traits and traditions - that I may be trying to hold on to the past and preserve it.  it was a positive experience with them in which I felt safe and cared for.  that I had an argument with my brother, though, means that I am trying to suppress some quality I have in common with him, or could symbolize bitterness, jealousy, or rivalry.  it could be that I am overly dependent on my family, especially since they've been showing up a lot, lately...though the veils are real thin, as it's 'that time of year'.  considering also the significance of it being my father's people, and the relationships I have to them.  

having to do with my dad's people, and a fight with my brother, it would represent that wild nature, that inner Self, and where I draw my support from in getting to know their stories better piecing the little know with the history I learn).  with my brother, shouting at me about how wrong I am as a person, his wife standing by.  it would speak to some repressed anger, but I've made it pretty clear how angry I am about many aspects of my relationships with my brother (and his wife as an extension), and why we're estranged, so I wouldn't say it was about any anger that I've repressed - I'm openly vocal about it.

it's like the Hulk - it's always simmering down there, under the surface, bubbling to come out and Smash, but I need to keep it in check, or I will burn it all to the ground.  and that's my dad's influence in my life.  so his people were there to support and witness my bro and I Hulking out on each other - in dreams, where it represents the fury and frustration of not being able to release that energy - like something unresolved or unacknowledged fighting for its right to be heard. it also parallels our real fight in our waking life, and that I need to assert and stand up for myself there, too

that I am being threatened indicates that I have internalized the fear of being inadequate or oppressed. the violence indicates unexpressed anger or rage...I need more discipline in my life.  it may also reflect repressed memories of child abuse - in particular, to dream that the violence is directed towards me represents self punishment and guilt, and feelings of helplessness or vulnerability. violence toward others in your dream (me yelling myself awake) suggests that I may be fighting or struggling against aspects of your own Self.  violence can be a common theme when you have unconscious pent up feelings of anger and frustration.

my creative nature is attempting to rise back to the surface, amid the scars of my psyche threatening it with the debilitating fears of growing up under the threat of physical violence for stepping out of place, and with my ancestors in attendance to support and encourage me, I am fighting back.  shouting myself out of the dream to protect my most precious resource, and calm my rage by diffusing that bomb through my highest expressive self.

Tying Up Loose Threads

I realize why I'm so lonely lately - the teen is pulling away.  he'll be 15 this winter, and that's the age when everything changed for me in my life, and shit went south for me and my mom.  it's different with moms and daughters than it is with moms and sons, but still...he's got some attitude lately, and it's not even because he's a mean-spirited person, he's just a teen.  it's hard not to take personally sometimes, and we do our best to address it with humor, but it makes me realize - or continue to realize, because it's been on my mind A LOT lately - that he's not going to be living with me forever, and I have to get ready to learn to be EVEN MORE alone that I usually am!  WOW.  that's big.  I need to make a real effort towards getting out in the community, engaging with hobbies, and figuring out how to be social enough to meet the people I need to have in my life to help keep it meaningful.


I must have written the above paragraph over six months ago, because the blog dashboard shows that the last time I visited this piece was a month before the boy's 15th birthday (he'll be 16 in a little over 3 months).  but I have all these unfinished drafts hanging around, and I've been working with them, so here we are - and this is relevant, because I was just talking with my nutritionist about how I eat because I'm lonely, and she asked me to address it with my therapist (check me out, with a nutritionist and a therapist) to work out some coping skills, and here I run across a post that talks about dealing with my further upcoming isolation...

it's been ok, lately, with the fair number of extraneous humans cluttering up my energy fields due to our recent move, the teen's gigs, and the first public parental school obligation of the year - I've enjoyed my alone time because I've needed to just take care of me for a minute, and since I do spend energy encouraging the boy to get up, get out and be social, it's nice to see him taking advantage of the fact that we moved within walking distance of his school.  so now it's time for me to get back to figuring out how to be more socially active in a way that's fun, too.  I even thought it might be time to try the dating game again, since my last flight into that fancy - just before the move, this past spring - worked out so very poorly, and I seem to be a glutton for punishment...or just overbearingly lonely.

in terms of the teen's pulling away, it's inevitable, and I have no problem taking the inevitable in stride, but I do need to deal with it in practice, and so far, to that end, I'm hoping to attend a concert Saturday night.  the only thing I can really see getting in the way of that is my own overwhelming desire to stay home in comfy pajamas where I feel safe outweighing my interest in seeing live, culturally significant music played by talented artists in a sacred setting.  maybe I'll get crazy and invite someone to come along (I posted it on facebook).  let's see what happens!

Sunday 9/22 - ...


Monday 11/4 - well, that didn't happen!  no one wanted to come with me, and I guess I didn't really feel like going, myself.  at least, not enough to go alone.  and now there are even More unfinished drafts on my blog dashboard, and I Still haven't put forth the effort to finish them up.  I did go see some people I know play live music a few weeks back, though, and that was fun.  I'm hoping to do it again soon.  I almost got back into the dating game, too, but got discouraged right off the bat, so that may take a bit more time.  sadly, all the kid wants to do is play video games, and he hasn't done anything social since that one game he went to in the beginning of the school year - well, he played in a local Magic the Gathering draft tournament, but that's not very social past the required grunts and clicks the teen players use to communicate across the table at their opponents.'s getting to be the time of year when people hibernate, too, so I don't know how much that will be changing in the near future.  maybe the one friend who agreed to meet with me for lunch that one time will do it again, even though I talked their ear off, kept them for hours past lunch, and sabotaged both our afternoon plans.  hmm, needy much?  yes I am.

Dona Nobis Pacem - Blog Blast for Peace

hosted by Mimi Lennox - visit other peace bloggers here, and on Facebook

'Dona Nobis Pacem' is Latin for 'Grant Us Peace'.  it's apparently from the part of the Christian religious service where the 'sacramental bread' is broken into pieces to distribute to those who choose to take part in that ritual, begging Jesus to take away the sins of the world, have mercy upon them, and grant them this favor of peace.  as long as I've known that phrase (not all that long, in the grand scheme) I didn't know that was where it came from.  I've blogged it, and I've played and sung it with an orchestra I was briefly involved with, and while I can appreciate the stand-alone sentiment of calling out a wish to be granted peace, I'm not one to ask Jesus to just give me something that requires effort on my part to achieve.  I'm also Jewish, so I'm not in the habit of addressing my prayers to Jesus in general, though I've got no qualms with him as an historical figure, given that he was 'one of us', and simply caught a bad rap for his revolutionary ideologies while those rotten Romans were running things, and crucifying everyone in sight who questioned their authority.

Eric Cartman from the cartoon South Park fills in as a deputy, and quickly becomes drunk with power while exercising brutality.

ironically, that sounds familiar in the context of the circus we have going on right now in American politics.  so what are people of good conscience to do?  pray to Jesus?  while it won't hurt to do so, it won't solve anything, either.  the folks over at International Alert have developed some strategies for helping people find peaceful solutions to conflict for over 30 years, through what they call 'peacebuilding' - a long-term, collaborative process that begins by doing the research to discover and understand the reasons why people fight in the first place.  while their important work is admirable and necessary, they don't do it in the US at this time, though here's a list of over 100 organizations that DO work in the US:  Peace Organizations Based in the United States.  some of the entries are out of date, or have merged, dissolved, or changed their names over the years, but that still leaves a great deal of people working towards a similar goal.

logo for Another Mother for Peace, founded by Barbara Avedon.  Poster created (and donated) by Lorraine Schneider.

I was 6 years old when the war in Vietnam ended, and one thing I will always remember my mother kindly for was taking me to welcome the vets home.  she explained that these poor young men had been sent to fight in a brutal conflict that few people were in favor of, and that they didn't deserve the hatred to which they returned, as it wasn't their choice to have gone in the first place.  while we as a family (and as Jews, a People) were and are vehemently anti-war, we also don't believe in abandoning those who serve our country once they return home, in many cases broken, and in need of a great deal of understanding and support.  so it made sense to me at a very young age that we should probably do our best as a nation to avoid war altogether.  but how to foster peace between nations?  I believe a good first step is for us as a country to stop making and shipping so many weapons all over the world, to all sides of many conflicts, for a sickening amount of profit that only benefits a small percentage of our global population.  while I will concede that a standing military is important for the defense of a country's national borders (my opinion of national borders is a discussion for another day), war profiteering - and the human fallout it creates - is one of the worst faces of evil, which the US has been wearing for far too long, as well as being one of the biggest problems we are facing with our current political crises.

"I want to tell the children not to be afraid because we are not alone.  There are still many people who have their hearts filled with love." - Sophie Cruz

with so many of our citizens going without basic human needs, which I (and many others) see as basic human rights, and more being taken away from us everyday, why would anyone of good conscience choose to support profits over people?  or child 'detention centers' for immigrant children illegally and brutally separated from their parents - while running to escape situation perpetrated by the US to begin with?  or raising the prices of life-giving medications out of range for the people who rely on them?  why are we continuing to suffer under institutional/cultural/structural racism?  why are there still Black and Brown bodies locked up in for-profit prisons on marijuana charges while white people are enjoying 'cannabis tourism'?  WHY on this big beautiful planet bursting with abundance is there even one child who can't access clean water?  why is anyone still starving?  we have Long since had the knowledge and resources for Every Single Person on this planet to not only survive but thrive, and the only thing keeping us from collectively evolving into a civilization that can achieve great things by working together is that we are still mired down in the mud due to the shockingly monstrous greed of a few ludicrously perverted individuals.

as usual, the kids are leading the way.  any and all parents (All adults!) who love and respect the lives we've been given to care for does themselves proud when they not only hear what their children are saying, but listen to them, and help amplify their voices.  we have a responsibility to give them the tools they need to move us down the road towards a better and brighter future for all people, no exceptions.  that means those of us who have had it easy and feel comfortable in our everyday lives are going to have to learn to be uncomfortable for as long as it takes for us to get there.  'peace' is not a nebulous magical archetype for us to dream about from the comfort of our cozy couches, clicking away at our laptops - it is a concept that goes beyond the absence of war.  it is the ability to constructively manage conflict, and opportunity for change through understanding, a commitment to learning from differences and nurturing all individuals.  it requires tolerance, kindness, respect, consideration, morality, and justice.  it requires us to 'do the work'.  I haven't done nearly enough in my personal life to promote peace other than doing this bloggy thing, attending a few protest marches here and there, and learning through my kid how to be a better me.  and through doing this bloggy thing, I take the time to look up and read articles and definitions, learn about the leaders in the field who are doing the heavy lifting, and connect with others who do the same.  it gives me hope.  and sometimes, in the day to day world of dishes and laundry, and struggling to earn enough as a single mom to keep a roof over our heads, that's the best I can hope for.  I can do more, though, and this is my yearly reminder to make that part of my daily practice.  I hope someone out there might read this, and feel the same.  ☮