I know a lot!
I can make a list.
I can list billions of subjects,
I know nothing of.
I DO know a few words.
The first few words of the first sentence,
Of page one,
In one of,
Millions of books,
And most things aren’t written down yet.
Sometimes we chick with someone but this time there were no clicks at all. My art teacher would have preferred I dry up and blow away, and I reacted in a predictable way. The other students would whisper, “If you like my picture PLEASE don’t say it out loud. I always get a C or D if you do!”
I learned to act not react. I bit my tongue and made no comments during class, but I was still stuck living with my anger.
Then I got a wild idea. I woke up at dawn and made bread and as class began I handed it to my art teacher steaming hot and oozing with aroma. The rest of the students were petrified with curiosity. The teacher stiffly took the bread and retired to his attached office, and there he stayed for quit a while.
I was in complete control of ME. I didn’t care what the teacher thought. He had became some what civil because I refrained from making comments. I delivered warm bread every time I got frustrated or angry. My method of self control was never commented on or discussed, that I heard of, by the other students, myself, or the teacher.
“Love your enemy,” didn’t so much apply as, “as you do yourself” did. I did it for me not him. I learned to live without anger during most of that course. I faced fear- it was an adventure- It took guts every time I delivered bread. I don’t know if the teacher hated my new guts more than those I started the class with but I have font memories of that adventure.
Sunshine is like marriage. Today my house was in order and was CLEAN until the sun peeked out. The state of my house hadn’t changed but my sight had. I saw smudges and dust everywhere.
I’m a widow now, but bouncing off John had been as good an illuminating sun.
My cat, Formica Dinette Patrice Foxford Mauerman, taps me on the leg then leads me to OUR refrigerator. Formica already has dry cat food within reach, so I open the door and pull out her yummy, wet cat food, and with great fanfare I sever it. She eats neither the wet or dry but continues to ponder the closed refrigerator door as if she’s hoping to open it with her mind. I open the door and give her a sizable piece of my chicken, but still Formica doesn’t eat. She continues to stare at the closed refrigerator door.
My husband had a habit of waiting for the mail to come with a similar concentration. Finally he got on line and found a list if companies that sent catalogs. To everyone else in this world the catalogues were free, but John PAID to have them sent to him. He ordered regularly then all but held his breath waiting for PRESENTS to come. Sometimes he’d wait on the sidewalk in the afternoons waiting for the mailperson. Waiting for treasure became contagious although I was always disappointed when the boxes were opened! I’d peek in over John’s shoulder and see GUY STUFF.
When John died my anticipation for treasure did not. I feel a let down, I’m always completely without hope on no- mail holidays, and always disappointed when the mailperson leaves an occasional box of…cat treats. I realized, ‘What am I hoping for anyway?’ I decided I was dreaming of something girly- something- I don’t know what- I don’t know-perhaps a tiara! Finally a friend gave me a beautiful pink box on my birthday and inside was a…plastic tiara, so all I can conclude is that Formica stares at the refrigerator door hoping for the same!
Unless I open a box and in surprise find a tiara (which has only happened once in my life so far), my mind reacts badly to surprises.
John would say, “Want to go to Goodwill?” I think,”I’m writing well today, but I guess I can tear myself away for an hour, but then I want to get right back to work.” We get in the car and stop at the grocery, battery store, get gas, and then stop at a friend’s house ON THE WAY!
My fight or flight reactions kick in immediately upon pulling into the grocery store parking lot! Mostly it’s the FIGHT reaction which is filling my head with things like, “WRONG!” “BAD!” “YOU’RE KILLING ME!”
This is when my ‘precious’ gift of DEPRESSION kicks in. My reaction is in kill mode but the part of my mind that forms words is EXTREMELY delayed because I’m depressed. In two weeks time I will tell John how distressed I had been initially before I found out we’d stopped at the store to buy my favorite mints, met a lovely dog at the battery store, heard a great joke at the filling station, and felt cherished and loved at the friend’s house.
I suppose I panic when surprised because in survival mode I need to control the universe, but as a Buddhist Mormon I’m slowly learning to let go.
When I fell off my bike I told my mother, “You might as well call me, ‘Old One Eyed Clairie!’ She was mixing the toilet. I said louder, “I fell off my bike and that thing out there landed on me. How would you like it if I had to put one of my eyes in a purse and hang it from my left ear?” She laughed and kept mixing. She didn’t even look up.
This is from my book, IF MRS GREEBY ASKS. When young I was often falling off my bike, and I often watched my mom PLAY IN WATER! I, myself, loved to play in water. Sometimes Mom played in the sink with dishes. Sometimes she played in the toilet and I’d ask, “Are you having fun?” because I knew she must be, but her face didn’t look like she was having fun.
When my children were young we used the words ‘play’ and ‘work’ interchangeably. In the mornings we ‘played’ the piano to practice for our piano lessons; not fun. After school we’d ‘work’ on a puzzle, work at making baskets with our basketball, or work at making mud pies then decorated them with tooth paste.
I’d drive my children home from school with one of their friends coming along for an afternoon visit and I’d say, “Now, you played this morning, so when we get home I want all of you to work!” My children laughed and explained the work/play concept to their friends. I used to love playing in water, I still do!
It was several years ago as my husband and I stood in front of our house saying good- bye to a friend who was getting in his car. I called a, ‘hello,’ across the street to a homeless man and gave him a short wave. Immediately the man veered our way! He made a diagonal detour, crossed the street, and pointed his path straight at me! When he got close he reached forward and took my hand! As he held it he asked, “Why did you say that?”
“Well,” I answered, “…because you’re a person and I’m a person.”
He smiled and replied, “You’re a child of God and I’m a child of God.” and he leaned forward and kissed my cheek. My husband jumped to attention and stepped forward
to provide protection if needed, but the man returned to the other side of the street and resumed his journey.
When my husband returned from the war’s jungles he stayed in a small windowless room for two years before he could gradually reenter the outside life. Luckily that room was within his parents home.
I too had an isolated two year period. Luckily my best friend took me in.
I doubt if this man remembers that afternoon kiss, but I do. I will never forget all he taught me.
What do you like the most: strawberry ice cream or filling out a tax form?
I had always thought my answer would be ice cream, but I slurp it down fast. A person would think I’d been ordered to consume my ice cream at gun point!
I eat ice cream fast, but an unpleasant job I put off over and over. I spin that terrible job over and over through my head with dread! It’s as if I’m not allowed away from the table until I consume my double childhood nemesis; slimy cooked spinach swimming in cold vinegar or tough stringy fried parsnips!
There’s something wrong when I spent a great deal of extra time SAVORING the unpleasant!
I love Dame Zaha Hadid. Yes I don’t know every aspect of her life and personality but I admire her buildings, interiors, and shoes, sculpture, her jewelry. I’d love to build a statue of her, honoring her skills and vision.
No I don’t want a statue of Zaha Hadid to worship her! I love that we are all different!The statue would say her building skills and imagination are better than mine! I am rich because of Dame Zaha.
Someone told me, “I learn less from my successes; more when I fail.” Failures are an opportunity to stand back, evaluate, and LEARN.
Another friend habitually asked me, “What went well today? What would you improve?”
Now: rather than blow on my fingernails, polish them on my shoulder, and declare, “I’m wonderful”, or throw both hands up, plop down, and pout and say “I failed”, I can learn from both sides of life. There is opposition in all things.