Saturday, July 6, 2013

Persephone Rising

It's Spring. New life. Warmer temperatures. Bees. Butterflies. Bugs. Easter. Ostara. Anniversaries.

I have written a lot about my miscarriage. I even wrote about each little anniversary associated with it - dates that hold painful memories and prick my heart when my eyes pass them on a calendar. When Spring comes, it brings all of it's wonderful new scents and sounds. The smell of new buds on a tree, hyacinths blooming in my garden and grass poking up through the dirt accompany the sounds of birds flirting with one another and horny foxes calling out to their lovers (a sound which mimics a woman being stabbed, fyi). The sun feels just a little warmer on my skin and stays out later in the evening, giving us all more time to play outside. Spring brings resurrection in many forms as the Earth wakes up and new life is created. Easter reminds us of the Resurrection of Christ and the triumph over death. Ostara celebrates the awakening of the Goddess, some celebrations focusing on the Rise of Persephone from the dark underworld and the awakening of the Earth as her mother, Demeter, celebrates the return of her daughter. New life is the hallmark of Spring. I feel it each year - it's a marvelous energy that revitalizes me and slaps me out of my Winter laziness. However, for three years all of the sounds, sights, smells, and celebrations in Spring have reminded me of death as well. My baby, River died on March 15, 2010. I chose to wait until my body naturally miscarried her, which happened on April 18th, 2010.

When I see my pink hyacinths poking up from the ground and I smell their sweet scent, I am reminded of her. When I smudge my house on Ostara, cleansing each corner with smoke from my sage and lavender bundles, I am reminded of her. When I hear the constant chattering of robins having just returned from their Winter vacations, I am reminded of her. Holy Week, a big deal in my Catholic religion, brings memories of my heartache, my physical pain, my failure and all the blood that came with it. Holy Thursday, the observance of the Last Supper, is when the midwife called and told me she was gone per the ultrasound. I took my son to a farm that day - for a hayride to the Easter bunny's house, trying my best to play if there wasn't a dead baby riding along in my womb. Good Friday, the solemn observance of Christ's death. I took my son to a bouncy playland, where I bounced in an inflatable cube with him and felt a jolt to my heart as one second my mind told me to be careful with all of the bouncing because I was pregnant and the next second my mind remembered it didn't matter anymore. I wasn't risking anything other than the tears that wouldn't stop falling as my son yelled, "look at how high I can jump, mama!" I was numb to the idea of going to Mass. I didn't want to listen to the audience participation (like Rocky Horror, only it's the Crucifixion) of the Scriptural recount of Christ's torture and death. I numbly painted eggs with my son, not giving a shit at that point if the dyes were natural or from a chemical tab made by PAAS. On Easter, a Mass celebrating the Resurrection was the last thing I wanted to do, but I went. I bitterly listened to the happy hymns and the proclamations that death was overcome and asked God, "why wasn't her death overcome? Why am I sitting in a pew celebrating life, when my womb carries death? Where were you?" Each year since, the familiar spiritual rhythms have reminded me of her.

I didn't handle the first anniversary of her death well in 2011. I tried to be strong. I was pregnant at the time and I didn't want to get swallowed in that grief and transfer that negative energy to my baby. I was afraid that my sadness would hurt her. Still, I wept and I got angry. Anger has been my go-to emotion with my miscarriage. Because it fucking pisses me off that my baby died. I made it through that first anniversary with plenty of tears and sad Facebook posts. I thought the next year would be easier. Time heals, they say.

March-April 2012 - anniversary number two. I went into it with good intentions. My grief wasn't going to hold me down, no sir. In the midst of all of those dates, I found out that some stupid chick, who was very mad at me for not taking her side in an argument she had with another girl (they have a major junior high mentality), had a private little Facebook group where she created a thread about how much I suck. She talked about how ugly I am, how stupid I am and insulted me about everything she could think of. She called me a bad mother, a bad vet tech and a bad wife. She didn't call me a bad friend, though, which I thought was funny. Any other time, I would be able to let something like that roll right off my back, especially since most of the comments back to her were telling her what an asshole she was for posting that crap. Sadly, I was too fragile to be strong. I didn't tell anyone else about it - only a few other people who were part of that group knew and I pretended to laugh it off and move on. It ate at me, though. None of it was true and I knew she was acting out of her own misplaced anger, but I was raw and open because I was thinking of River and I allowed myself to feel more pain than necessary. I thought, "really? Is this going to really happen at this time of year? Any other time of year would be find for finding out that people are assholes behind my back, but I can't take it at this time." This led to a cascade of events. First, I just fucking cried my heart out. I couldn't take it. I wanted to be in a protective bubble where I couldn't see bad things or feel pain. Second, I took it out on my husband. I yelled at him, screamed because he wasn't mad enough or sad enough for me. I bitched him out for everything that could possibly annoy me about him. Third, I did the most obvious thing in this day and age and I took to Facebook with my anger. I posted random status updates about being so done, so empty and so sad. I posted angry things, too. People were obviously concerned because I obviously went a little crazy. I took it further. I read some snark on some friend's page, assumed she meant me (due to my postings) and left a not-so-bitchy-but-slightly-maybe-bitchy comment or three on her page. Then I texted her a heartfelt, "fuck you." These few little things erupted into a shitstorm among me a couple of "very close" friends over the following few days. I 100% fully admit that I had been out of line, but I no longer regret it. It turns out, that my outburst led these very close friends to come down on me hard. Emails were exchanged with vile hatred. Friends I thought loved me were able to very quickly tell me how much I supposedly suck. I was initially devastated. I was mad at myself for saying hurtful things. I tried to explain myself. I made phone calls in hysterics, begging for a chance to explain what was going on and why I was acting this way (they knew it was a bad time of year for me as they had always supported me through it), but I was met with more resistance and hateful words. I deserved some of them, sure, I guess. I couldn't handle the thought of another loss. I was beside myself with sadness and then *poof* it went away as quickly as it came. An angel in eyeliner and messy lipstick came my way because a little quote popped up on Pinterest - it was a picture of the beautiful Marilyn Manson and his words, "If you want to find out who your real friends are, sink the ship. The first ones to jump aren't your friends." That was followed by another random graphic on Facebook (it's amazing how big a part social media can play sometimes) that said, "Fake friends are like shadows - always near you in your brightest moments, but nowhere to be seen at your darkest hour." As if I needed Pinterest and Facebook to show me what I had always known deep, deep down inside but never could admit - they were never true friends. I know true friends. I have them. I am one. I have held some of my friends through shit that would make anyone's head spin. I have been spit at, literally and figuratively, by friends in pain, but I stuck with them despite their misplaced aggression because that is what a real friend does. The negative thoughts, anger, hurt and hatred just left my soul. I wished them peace and moved on mentally. I just didn't care. I reflected on those days a lot in the following months. I had a good talk with my friend, Lauren, who is never afraid to tell me how it is and will freely tell me when I overreact or overthink things.She assured me that, while I was probably a little too angry initially, everything that happened was not my fault and that I learned who was and wasn't a true friend. She reminded me that I am a rather insecure person, but that I own those insecurities and do not allow people to use them against me. This frustrates people. I am strong, I speak up for myself and I do not pretend to be anything other than the real me, pretty or ugly. I hit nerves. Some people can take this. Some cannot. I do not need those who cannot accept me for who I am. I need to hold and value those who stand by me and understand that I'm not always this awesome.  As I said, I wished peace and moved on.

This year, I was a bundle of nerves as the anniversaries came closer. I was worried about how I would act. I mean, last year I said I would be cool and then I went nuts. I couldn't make any promises to myself or other people this year. I was feeling okay, but well aware that I could blow at any moment. I was stuck on the edge of that little knife of pain, waiting for the wrong move to knock me down and slice me up. It never came. I cried and I grieved. I remembered. The rage didn't appear. I climbed off the edge of that knife, saw myself reflected in it and acknowledged all my feelings. There was no fallout this year. No alienation of friends. No screaming at the husband or the children for no reason. No desire to hurt other people in order to make my pain more palpable to the rest of the world. I remembered River, planted things for her, talked to her, talked about her, prayed for her. I did it all in peace and calm. Where it came from, I'll never know. This year was entirely different - more peaceful, more accepting. At first, I was worried that maybe I didn't care enough. Why wasn't I sadder? Why wasn't I angry? It's what I'm used to. I'm used to be loud with all of my emotions, so where was it this year. I wasn't inviting the blind evil rage back, but I did wonder why I didn't feel everything so hard this year. Did I love her less? Did I miss her less? I'm I "over it?" The answer is NO to all of those questions. I love her more and miss her everyday. She's literally tattooed on my body and she'll always be a part of me and my family. This year, somehow, my soul was able to allow some peace. I was allowed to simply remember and honor her without the blackness of my usual negative emotions. So, I stopped asking myself "Why" and just let it be.

Who knows if this is how it will be in the years to come. Perhaps I will have very hard years followed by easy ones followed by years that fall in between. Maybe I'll always have peace on those anniversaries. Maybe I am like Persephone, rising out of my own personal hell, greeted by the Sun and letting myself see the new life and resurrections around me. Unlike Persephone, I hope I am not taken back.


***Note: This was written in May of 2013 and sat unpublished for two months for no reason other than my own laziness.***

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Photos in Five Minutes - Boobies Included

Requested tree hug
Last year, I would occasionally ask folks on my Facebook page to give me ideas for pictures to post on the blog. I give them five minutes to chime in and then photograph the things that were suggested. I haven't done it in a while and I completely forget that blogger can be a bit of a dick about uploading lots of photos. In any case, here are today's requested photos. This is excited stuff folks, there's pussy, booby and even refrigerator photos. That gets people hot. Yes, I know everything in my kitchen needs to be cleaned. It's been so humid that I melt when I move, so cleaning has been on the back burner lately.

My super smart and loverly friend, Crazy Dumbsaint of the Mind, requested a photo of me hugging a tree. I'm not sure if this qualifies as a tree or a bush, but it still needed a big ol' hug.

Stacey asked me to photograph my kitchen window. Alas, I do not have a kitchen window. I would really like one. I have this weird fantasy where I have a kitchen window, right by my sink. Perhaps, it's not a weird fantasy. I personally feel that having a window by the sink would make me much more likely to do dishes in a timely manner. Since I don't have a real window, I decided to add one in using my mad ass Paint skillz. It's hard to see here, but there is an apple tree, some happy little clouds, the sun, a bushy-tailed dog, poppies and som turkey vultures. That shit is copyrighted, yo. Don't even try to steal my artwork.

Liberty Ann requested "boobies." She did not specify which type of boobies. I brought up these images on the Google. This is a delightful little bird known as the Blue-Footed Booby. 

Lindsay wanted to see my toaster and Amanda requested my microwave. I don't use either very much. They sit side by side on my crowded counter. Yes, they need to be wiped down.
Yes, those are produce stickers on the door of the microwave. My son loves to stick those in random places in the house.

Next up is a request by Thomas. He wanted a tree and a flower. He didn't specify if they needed to be real, so he gets the tree-shaped toothbrush holder and the flower in my hair. 
The monkey tree toothbrush holder is from Target. I balance out my betrayal of the planet for buying China-made goods by using Preserve toothbrushes, which are made out of recycled yogurt cups. Of course, I gag whenever I remember they are made from yogurt cups since I think yogurt tastes funny. 

I personally think everyone should wear flowers in their hair now and then. I do. Someone from my belly dance studio made awesome flower hair picks. I love them - it brightens my day and attracts the occasional bee.

Pussy shot! This is my cat, Gawain. Chandi wanted to see a kitty pic. Gawain is 9 years old and I have had him since he was about 12 weeks old. He found me at my old job when I was working with one of the horses in the barn. Apparently, one of our clients tried to give him to the clinic. When the receptionist told him they were unable to take any animals in for adoption at the time, the person left with the kitten and threw him out into the parking lot. He wandered around, found me, and began rubbing up against my leg and purring his poor little heart out. I had just taken in a baby kitty, Duncan, 12 weeks earlier and sore up and down that we were going to be a one cat household. Ha! Gawain here is one of 5 (6 total if you count my little Abigael in Heaven). I put him in a cage in the kennel and labelled it, "Gawain," after one of the Knights of the Round Table. I couldn't take another cat and the clinic decided that they would keep him an find him a home. The next day, I found that the kennel attendants didn't like the name I chose and changed it to "Poopy." Yes, Poopy. At that moment, I decided he was mine. No one was naming him Poopy. I'm a sucker.

April wanted to see my favorite blanket. Donni Lee wanted to see my favorite books and DVDs. It's hard to choose those. Also, my kids were watching, so I couldn't go near the DVDs because then they would start screaming to watch something and the toddler would insist on pulling out every single DVD and stepping on them. I managed to steal one, mainly because I found it hiding under the couch. I swiped it when the kids weren't looking. Labyrinth is the movie. It's my favorite. I saw it in the theater back in 1986 when I was 7 years old. That was my introduction to David Bowie, one of the biggest influences in my life over the last 27 years. Love him. Love him. Love him. The books are; Earth Prayers, The Birth House, and The Red Tent. I really can't choose favorite books and, to be honest, I chose these because they were my favorite books on the top shelf of my bookshelf. Frankenstein is one of my all time favorites, but I don't actually have a copy at the moment.
The blanket was made for my son by my mom. It's a bunch of really bright robots. We all know I love bright colors. 

Speaking of bookshelves, Lady and Hoots wanted to see mine.
This is a cheap ass number from Wal-Mart. I had to build it myself. Surprisingly, it was USA made. It's actually held up well for 5 years. It houses my books. Not my kids books...mine! There are novels, veterinary texts, pregnancy books, poetry anthologies (belonging to my husband), various human medicine texts, mythology books, an art history textbook, journals, earth-friendly books, religion stuff, biographies, home how-tos, breastfeeding texts and books and more. There's even a book about Storm Chasing (Into the Storm by Reed Timmer). I read a lot of both fiction and non-fiction.

Sarah wanted to see my dishwasher detergent or the ingredients that I use to make it. I don't make my own. I haven't tried that or making my own laundry detergent yet. I see so many mixed reviews on both and I just haven't made the leap. I normally use Ecover. I used to use Planet until it became hard to find in local stores. I also like Sun and Earth, a local company, but it's hard for me to find close by and the cost isn't always okay with me. I usually get Ecover on sale. I have also used Seventh Generation and would get it via Amazon Subscribe and Save, but they have super raised the price lately and the company isn't my favorite. They're big on greenwashing.

I do dishes by hand, not the dishwasher. Ours is old and gross.

Brave is the person who ventures inside my fridge, which is what Chelsea and Humble Spoon wanted to do. It's not that bad, really, just rather empty. We've got lots of eggs, yogurt (not mine!), cottage cheese, plenty of local milk, not-so-local cheddar, a bit of fruit (unseen - it was on the counter), water, maple syrup, juices (yes, even *gasp* non-organic orange juice. Yes, I know about the flavor packs they use and how it will cause me to grow breasts inside my mouth), and some lonely little celery stalks destined for the stock pot. I don't know why I'm listing everything - just saving you from squinting.

Even more brave is the person who wants to see my kitchen sink, as requested by Jennifer. Someone call my husband and tell him to do the dishes.

Michelle wanted to see a random dog, but I couldn't find one, so here is a picture of my dog, McKenna. She passed away almost exactly 5 years ago after a 19 month battle with bone cancer and an amputation of her leg. She kicked that cancer's ass for quite a while.

Thomas wanted to see a random animal. This little dude is an alpaca made of alpaca wool. You can also see a goofy little turtle along with the Goddess doll lovingly made for me by Joni Rae of Tales of A Kitchen Witch fame.

Trista wanted to see my favorite plant, which I absolutely cannot choose. This is yellow loosestrife. It's considered an invasive weed in some locations, but it never spreads in my garden and doesn't bother anyone here. The bees love it. I love it. It stays.

Ashley asked for a picture of something yummy that I grew myself that most people don't. Well, I can't grow food here because the apartment complex sprays pesticide like it's water. This is all I have in my house that I grew myself - my dehydrated and ground up placenta. I only make a few capsules at a time. Because I'm lazy.

Last, but not least, Dixie wants to see my favorite spot to sit and take a breath of fresh air. Since I was stuck at home today, I chose to photograph that location here. I normally like to go to a park or the beach for some nice air. This is just my crappy little Ikea chair on my front "porch."This is where I sit and read or yell at my children while they play.

Holy crap. We made it through all eleventy billion pictures. I am sorry for those who are still using dial up. All photos are copyright ME, so don't steal them or I will do something drastic, like call you and sing or leave buttcrack sweat on your favorite chair. I know they're awesome, but their mine. All mine. They were taken with my Droid because I couldn't find my camera. It was where I left it, which is the last place I thought to look - in my camera bag.

Hope you enjoyed my dirty kitchen, my flowers, my placenta, and the pussy.
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