Lourdes Mint's Mid-Life Miracle

Real-time memoir of the coming year (5/20/14 – 15) and the achievement of a life-long dream

Archive for the month “November, 2014”

It just so happens that I WAS caught in an avalanche (Daily Post/Daily Prompt)

Under the Snow

You were caught in an avalanche. To be rescued, you need to make it through the night. What thought(s) would give you the strength to go through such a scary, dangerous situation?

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Francesca Woodman. ‘House #3, Providence, Rhode Island’ 1976

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/under-the-snow/

It just so happens that I WAS caught in an avalanche, and I’m still here, under all the snow. I have only just begun thawing my way out, using a technique for channeling perimenopausal hot flashes into such a fine point that I have set dry leaves on fire just by thinking about WHO the F_CK’S GONNA RAKE ALL OF THOSE F_CKERS. Problem is I can only burn a few at a time. I guess it’s kind of dangerous, too. AND someone still has to get out there and rake. But the heat’s been good for thawing this surprise snow … from the avalanche, I mean, which I really wasn’t expecting here at the end of a suburban cul de sac in November, but thinking back now, I admit that on some level, I knew. I felt it coming.

One might have guessed upon reading my “List of One,” back in June, about our adopted daughter, Sarah, finally coming home — one might have guessed that I’d have trouble with this blog, particularly with meeting its one goal within a year (as stated in “About”). And that “one” would have been right. It has not been the best time ever for writing, definitely not for the deep-dive, total-immersion type of writing experience I was mentally preparing for (read: fantasizing about), just as I was mentally preparing for my husband and I to NOT renew our adoption paperwork again this past August. We were about to call it quits… but then! 🙂

Anyway, I’ve written quite a bit but finished little (the pattern I hoped to break, somehow, by blogging), and not made any real progress on the one (fiction) piece I was drooling over this time last year. I could say, well, that’s life and, look, I have this wonderful family and so much to be grateful for and so why complain or feel bad, etc., etc., … I could say those things. I HAVE said those things. And those things are true. It’s true: Sarah is one more miracle in a life that is already more than I ever could have hoped for, in so many ways. All is so far from how things could’ve very easily turned out for me — given my wild side, my laziness (or ADHD-like stuff), my SELF, my high tolerance for __________ (not sure). Still, even good things and positive developments (there have been more than a few, really) can bring fresh new challenges into your life, resurrect old demons, up the stress factor exponentially.  Things have gotten complicated. For sure.

And ALSO, now, there’s this snow on top of me. I’m really not sure how far the hormones are going to get me or how fast … but I do think my loved ones have noticed I’m missing. So that’s a relief. But then, I begin making progress, start hearing voices out/up there, seeing a bit of light, thinking: I’m doing it! I’m excavating myself from under who knows how many feet of snow JUST BY BEING SUPER ANNOYED!! And then I get even more annoyed BECAUSE I CAN’T BELIEVE I ACTUALLY HAVE THE NERVE TO FEEL ANNOYED, which really burns me up, and that pushes me even further toward freedom. IT SEEMS. But then nightfall hits and the temperature drops and everyone’s sleeping, except me — BURNING in my frozen den, fingers too cold to type … or dig. And I get tired of feeling annoyed and then I just get tired, and I think, “oh, maybe all I need is a li’l nap, you know…. just a short one, just long enough for a mini-dream … and to recharge my BURNER.” But that’s a bad idea — no, THE WORST idea — when you’re stuck under any amount of snow.

So the wisest me in me says, “No, no naps, not now.” She thinks of my family and my writing, pretty much together, and starts digging again. “You can write [and even nap?] when you get out from under this and warm up,” she tells me.

So for now, I’m just digging. And I’m fine with that — I’m a digger, but this is different from my usual digging (a whole other post, there). Now, I say, I’m digging by going to sleep at a normal time (missed that one tonight), digging by eating right, digging by not being a jerk to myself (or Roberto, my dear, and the occasional customer service person who just should not be in customer service), digging by hanging out with my kids and my husband — even if we’re not doing anything even remotely “special” — WITHOUT OBSESSING CONSTANTLY about catching up, getting organized (which is never going to happen…), etc. I dig by “learning to say ‘no'” (ugh, I know, but it’s true) and by not adding things I don’t want or need to do to my already-mammoth-size TO DO list. Dig by letting the past go: the old house, some (many?) of the old friends (many of whom have let me go already, I’m sure), the pet projects that are perpetually “in progress,” and a good many of my fun — even fine — ideas about things I might do. Letting go of the past is a big one, could easily cut that mammoth-size to do list down to a person-size list. I see this so clearly now, underneath all this snow, when before I never really thought of myself as hung up on the past.

The best digging I do, though, has to do with getting to know and accept (dig!) this ONE BODY, this one woman with her one life (maybe, right?) and limited time, energy, and talent. I dig by learning to look her in the eye — and them too, while I’m at it: my most dearest, most LOVED ones — without trying to DIVERT her/their attention from ___________ (not sure, really) — with a ridiculous/hilarious/outrageous re-enactment of a true life event, starring ridiculous/hilarious/outrageous me, or by bitching up  a storm, drumming up a crazy plan, or engaging in any analogous activity/effort,  ALL OF WHICH AID ME IN forking my life over, bit by bit, chunk by chunk, heap by heap to some misbegotten or outdated idea or who I MUST BE (or what I must do) in order to be “OK.”

So I’m digging like that, for the most part. I can write (more) when I get out from under ALL THIS SNOW and warm up. My family needs me, I know, just as I need them. AND (but?) we also need for me to write, which I can’t do unless I keep digging and make it back home again … w/out forgetting the time I spent HERE.

 

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By Heart, for Viola (Daily Prompt): “Angela and I don’t want the two dollars back …”

You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind? (Participating in NaBloPoMo? Head to BlogHer’s NaBloMoPo Central for more!)

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/by-heart/

 

I met a boy called Frank Mills,

On September 12th right here, in front of The Waverly, but

Unfortunately, I lost his address.

Adapted from: Testing American Football Helmets in 1912

He was last seen with his friend, a drummer, who

Resembles George Harrison of The Beatles, but

He wears his hair tied in a small bow at the back!

I love him, but it embarrasses me, to

Walk down the street with him.

He lives in Brooklyn, somewhere, and wears

His white crash helmet.

He has golden chains on his leather jacket, and

On the back are written the words [names?]:

Marrrrry, and Mom, and Hell’s An-gels.

I would gratefully appreciate it if you see him, tell him, I’m in the park with my girlfriend aaaand please:

Tell him Angela and I don’t want the two dollars back, jussssssssst him.

 

I’m pretty sure the song’s from Hair (promised myself not to look it up till AFTER I wrote out the lyrics, which I felt the need to do JUST TO SEE if I really still knew them by heart). Viola, my best friend from 12 to 18 years of age or so, and I learned it together. She was a complete “bad ass” and I was class clown (not that you’d ever guess that from this blog), but not always intentionally. She brought so much excitement and sophistication into my life, knew and would do all sorts of things I never dreamed of  — before her. Quick, clever, ball-sy, sometimes OUTRAGEOUS Viola! But she had a challenging, almost frightening, side too. Looking back, I understand now how much anger and sadness she was dealing with. Anyway (story for another day), our lives took us in very different directions after high school and we are no longer in touch. She began fading away little by little at first, but then, all at once, she was gone. Other friends of hers and I have kept up with the basic facts of her life through members of her family who’ve remained in the area, but she has broken off all real contact with me, with all of us, since the move — a decision that has continued to baffle us.

But we saw her recently after lots of coaxing, through her ma, to get her to show at a reunion. Lots of laughter but also so many tears, not nearly enough words to explain them. It was good, though. As much as I loved seeing her, I also respect her decision to cut things off with her old friends. Sometimes the past has got to go.

ANYWAY, this song: I think Viola and I learned it firstly just for fun (we adored the “white crash helmet” and the bit about the two dollars) but also as a way — I felt then — of sort of sealing the deal between us, a pledge, like the way some friends become blood brothers/sisters (which we may also have done). The song reminded us too of some of the boys we went out with … and of our foolishness in going out with them, the extent of which we probably shared only with each other.

To me, singing the song together was like squeezing the other’s hand and having the other squeeze back — or better, like saying to each other in unison, but not outright, “I know your whole story, the whole stinkin’ thing, and I love you anyway.”

 

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