Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mother Mary Come to Me.

Among my very small (two) collection of art books I have a book solely (soul-y) dedicated to art of the Virgin Mary.  She's a pretty popular subject.  I am drawn to (but don't draw) religious art, but I am not religious.  I don't even call myself spiritual.
When people say they are spiritual I think it's a cop-out.  It's like saying you're a vegetarian but you eat fish.
If you look at some of the best works depicting Mother Mary you notice a common bond:the artist aren't (what some would say)  'religious'.  Some don't even believe in God.  It's funny (not ha-ha funny).
Each artist depiction of Mary (and sometimes child) is determined by the place and time the art was made.  Mary in African art is black.
 Spanish and Mexican artist depict Mary as Latino.
Mary is even Chinese.
 And in Eastern Europe she has wide hips and bushy eye brows.
 She has a hole in her womb
and tears in her eyes.
  She is young.  And old.
And always beautiful.

Monday, August 27, 2012

life and the opposite

*Have you ever been less than satisfied.  Like a bad commercial, you turn into someone you are not.  You stand/button/zip up and start to walk away.  You pause wondering what to say and knowing no words are better than one.

*Long ago, in a galaxy far away I use to work in a nursing home.
 If you work with the elderly you are often faced with death.
  Death in it's purest form.  It's truest form.
You walk into the room and you just know.  There is no fear. 
If you walk into a room scared thinking the person is dead they are not.  Death in it's purest, truest sense is peace.
You have two people, as one closes the curtains and blinds the other closes the eyes and mouth. Closing off the world from this sacred duty.
 In a silent tandem you go about the job of washing the dead.
One person clips finger and toe nails as the other fills a bucket of water and collects the towels and washcloths.
You wash the eyes you just closed and around to the cheeks, forehead and lips to the chin.  The other person takes the gown off the arms and folds it down to cover the mid-section.
Quietly you wash and rinse and dry arms and chest and legs.  You work together to roll slowly and wash the back.  You put on a clean gown folding it up and wash the most intimate parts of that person who lays quietly, eyes closed.  A dignity you met in time.
You pad them twice to catch the last that comes out of them long after the body stops working.  A last condition.
You cover their body with a blanket and brush what is left of their hair,say a prayer and blanket the cover over their face.
You clean the buckets and rags and towels and leave the room.  Your work is done.
You go about your day, making believe your life has not changed.

*Last night he said it all and I sat in utter silents.  I could not match his voice, so strong with conviction, with the small boy I held.  I cried because he blamed himself for others' transgressions.  In in his weakest moment he demanded strength for himself.  'There is always worry in my support.'  I told him.  I didn't tell him it was because I still saw him as a little boy. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

expectation vs reality

Expectation: My children will wake up washed, combed, dressed in sailor suits,saying 'yes mom of course we brushed our teeth.'

Reality: Kids wake up crabby, hair in knots wearing yesterday's clothes and fight me when I ask them to brush their teeth.

It never quite works out the way you want it to.  
And when it does it never feels as gratifying as you thought it would. 
 So basically you can't win.
Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything.  
I know it has to do with the whole 'life is full of surprises' and 'enjoy the moment' thing.  You know when you are at your lowest and someone reminds you how awesome life is and you kind of want to punch them in the vagina.
I am a Certified Vagina Puncher.
It's a joke my sister and I have.  Someone pisses off a member of my family and I say 'do you want me to punch them in the vagina?'
Fact: Certified Vagina Punchers know no gender.  At one time when you are a babe in womb you had both genitalia; sometimes you have to try a little harder to get there.

Expectation: You will feel awesome today.

Reality: You feel like shit today. 

And you swear it has nothing to do with the two (four) glasses of wine last night.  I have a one bottle a week limit.  Once the bottle is gone it's gone.
Make it last.
 It usually last two (one) nights.  And that's okay.
 Sometimes I go to a friend's house and we have a glass or two (or five).  That's okay too.  
I live in great fear of becoming an alcoholic, mostly because my family is swimming in them.  We aren't talking a kiddie pool.  Like double Olympic size pool swimming. 
I figure if I were to become one it would have already happened.  But you can never be too careful, right?

Expectation: Your (birth) mother will call you on your birthday.

Reality: Your (birth) mother doesn't call you on your birthday.

And it doesn't matter what you've said.  Or that your father reminds you she has never been a real mother.  And that he blessed you with another mom who cares about you and loves you and calls you on your birthday. 
It still hurts.  And it will always hurt.  Because at the end of the day the woman who gave birth to you should love you regardless and let all the problems go for one day and say "Hey remember that day I gave birth to you?  No? Well I do and it was awesome and so are you!"  

And even though the children have tangles and some days I feel like shit and my (birth) mother didn't call I keep telling myself that life is full is surprises and life is awesome.  And most of the time I don't want to punch myself in the vagina.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

buried picture

I see a pattern with my emotions.  'Hello my name is Susan and I bury my feelings.  Deep.'
It's easier to pretend they are not there.  A major triumph for me is to make believe that everything is okay.  My life is on the up and up.  Tears in the bathroom, in the dark can be more satisfying then tears in public.  Or so I tell myself.  Delusions of grandeur.
What if I told everyone and everything my problems?  I am convinced it won't make me feel better, it will just make people know I am a little crazy.  It's so much easier to crack a joke then to crack the wall I build around myself.
This weekend I had a garage sale.  Garage sales have a way of opening yourself for judgement.  Things you bought and used.  Will people like this random inanimate object I am selling? Will they like me?  What does that shirt/book/picture/random household item say about me?  And when people see it what do they think of me?  Paranoia at it's finest.
I sold a picture that we never used.  It sat in a closet for years and years buried deep.  It never hung on a wall. Or saw the light of day.
 And someone bought it.  I never thought of that picture until I pulled it out of the closet and put a price tag on it and someone handed me $5 in exchange for it. And all I could think was 'Lucky picture.'  She will be on someone's wall.  Hanging for all to see. She doesn't have to hide anymore.
Maybe one day I will be so lucky. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

talking to hemingway's ghost

I tried to give Hemingway's words of wisdom a whirl last night and it didn't seem to work real well for me.  Either it takes a special breed of person or lots of practice.  I don't think I'm up to the task.
I should say I wasn't THAT drunk.  Well not Hemingway drunk, but Susan drunk.  Drunk enough to sit on your neighbor's patio and talk about important things like your children and politics and your favorite episode of Saved By the Bell.
The one were Jessie Spano takes caffeine pills.  Just in case you were wondering.
And I came home late and got ready for words to ooze out of my pores and it just did not happen.  I could hear his ghost say "Not good enough!"  And I told him "But I can't it's too much!  I have to wake up tomorrow and take care of two kids and do laundry and go back to school shopping!  I have to function like a normal human being!"
"I'm so disappointed in you." he whispered back.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Have you ever peeled the paper white trunk of a birch tree?  It seems to always be willing to reveal its secret. Beneath it's skin is a whole other world.  A softness.
Most branches depend on one trunk to support their fruits.  The birch comes from the ground  in twos.  Always knowing that it never hurts to have a little help. It knows sometimes you can't make it alone. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

it's what I dos

*I pulled into the grocery store the other day, the grocery store with a McDonald's right next to it and all of a sudden I craved a Big Mac.  It hits me every once in awhile, the craving for bread/pasta/cookies/cake/brownies.  I find myself shaking a bit- like a crack-whore who hasn't had a hit for 24 hours.
I do 'cheat' on occasion, mostly when I go to someone's house.  I was raised in a way that you ate what was given to you and you didn't complain or make a fuss.  So I never make a fuss.  Most people who know I am gluten-free make an effort, but I can't demand it.  It is not in my nature.  So I eat what is in front of me and pray to all who is holy to let my stomach make it through the night/day/week. I suffer and then after a few days I run downstairs all excited and tell everyone who will listen "YES! I just had my gluten poo and now my life can go back to normal!"
I don't normally talk about my poo but when you suffer from whatever it is I suffer from and you have a good poo it's worth mentioning.

*Reading: The House at Riverton It's a lovely book. I usally cheat and skip to the end of a book and try to find out what happens.  Or I go to Wikipedia and see if there is a plot summary.   I hate to be surprised. I hate to be disappointed.  I can't seem to do that with this book.  I have this deep feeling that it is all going to be worth it.

*Listening to: Corner Girl by Abigail Washburn.  Part of me feels like she wrote the song for me.  Because in my corner it is so much bigger than the sky.

*Watching: Bunheads.  God help I don't know why.  I was hosting a sleepover and was up late and it was the only thing on and I needed to stay up and now I am hooked.  It's like crack.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Two small shoes
giving penance at the door.

Blades of grass stick out like glass
not a drop of blood on her sole.

Asphalt hot black lava
not forgiven by cool rains.

Why would she walk on water
when the sand is between her toes?

Her little feet
take her where she needs to go.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Belly

This is one of those pictures that I wished I got a little closer, down to the ground.   Closer to eye level. The little toe-head the lion seems to be staring at?  That is my daughter.  And my reaction to this picture was a sort of nonchalant-ness.  Not because there is protective glass barrier,because of course that is comforting.  No, it's because I know my little girl can stare into the belly of a beast and live to tell the tale.  Artemis of modern times.  Her fierceness surrounds her like a suit of armor.
And as much as I hate the thought that one day she will leave me, which she assures me will NEVER happen, I know she will be okay.  It is a small comfort.

Dancer. Artist.  Lion Tamer.  Muse.

~Climb waterfalls and trees, commune with nature, snakes and bees. Let your children name themselves and claim themselves as the new day for today we are determined to be the channelers of these changing frequencies into songs, paintings, writings, dance, drama, photography, carpentry,crafts, love, and love.~ Saul Williams


Friday, August 3, 2012

In Where I Discuss 50 Shades

Sadly, for my husband, 50 Shades had the opposite of it's intended effect:
"Make your dinner?  Oh no I ain't making your dinner, what do I look like your slave?"
"You want to what in my what?  What do I look like a whore?"
"You better get away from me with that thing because I'm not some submissive bitch that's going to drop what she is doing to please you."
Thankfully my relationship is far from the one depicted in the novel, but I can't help to think now that all men are just a giant penis with hands.  Because essentially they are.  Giant penises with hands.
And thankfully I have said none of those things to my husband.  But I thought them.  And said them aloud in the closet where he couldn't hear me.  A self-affirmation if you will.
I do not like BD. SM
I do not like it Sam. I Am.
Is there actually a BDSM relationship that isn't rooted in some kind of emotional, sexual , psychological fuckedupedness?
I just made that word up.
Fuckedupedness.  Copyright 2012.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I took a breath and with the strong bass of my inhale I felt like I was taking in the whole world, that everything around me was going into me. Have you ever done that?  For one moment you take something into your body that you can't explain, that somehow the air you breathe holds some element of magic.  That each little molecule contains an unknown pain? A happiness? A feeling. And everyday you take it in, need it.  Must have it to survive.  And it holds more power than you can ever imagine.


I never knew much about my Grandfather's job.  I knew he was a police officer.  A Sergeant on the Chicago Police Force.  When he came ho...