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Huh! Still looks like January out there. The ice box is still frozen and the trees look brittle and scared to move inside their casing of ice. The sky is still white. The ground is white. No chirping of birds. A squirrel fluffs out it's fur and runs across the icy wires that electrify our wooden cave. Brrr. I don't want to go out. I want to stay in my warm bed with my warm dog, but it's no good. Nature calls. My Doxie-pit shivers at the back door. He hops out onto the icy deck, and hurries back.
Buddy went to the groomer today. He weighs about nine pounds under his hair, which makes him look like a miniature sheepdog. But he's a Bishon Frise, a breed that's almost had the dog bred out of it. He's more like a muppet, more toy than dog, and his fine hair ought to be combed out daily. When it isn't it mats. So he has to have a buzz cut rather than a trim. Poor little guy came home naked, pink skin showing through what little coat they left him. The other dogs smelling him to see who he is.
I have been chastened many times in my life, and so very many times learned that what I was sure I knew for certain was mistaken. I hang my head humbly once again. I have done wrong to people for whom I was responsible, over whom I had authority and toward whom I exercised lawfully the power entrusted to me by the Courts. And I was a fool, a pawn in an evil system, so that when I believed I was doing good I was really doing harm. Wrong when I was sure I was right. My head is bowed.
My Grampa was born in February. Gramma too. They were the last arranged marriage in my family. My Gramma was the oldest sister, a spinster at 21. Her younger sister wanted to marry, but tradition dictated the elder Rose must marry first. Meanwhile, my Grampa was a parent less young man, raised by his older sisters, and he was the youngest. He was raring to go, and his sisters, now with families of their own, were ready for him to go. A match made in heaven. They were never alone until they were married. And sadly it didn't start well.
February is not my favorite month. Not only is it fickle as to its length in days, but in the northwest it's a dreary time, marked by the "early thaw" that turns unpaved ground into a muddy mess. So for me, with four dogs, it is the month of muddy floors, not to mention muddy paw prints everywhere, on pillows, bedding and of course on our clothes. February also offers the first break in the deep freeze of winter, never failing to bring a few relatively warm sunny days, producing am irresistible and ridiculous bout of early, "sucker" spring fever.
When a cat dies, he takes off his shirt and wraps them in it. Then he digs a hole out back of the Aspens, a deep enough hole so the other animals, especially the dogs won't find it and dig up his precious friend. And he lays the cat wrapped in his shirt in the bottom of the hole and buries it. And then he says some words of love and thanks, and pours out his broken heart to keep it warm in the cold cold ground. And we all come out and say a prayer, when a cat dies.
I know how to get rid of a ghost. The little girl looked really scared. Don't worry, I said, they're just the same as they always were ... the same, but without their bodies. Nothing to fear. Her eyes watched when my pendulum swung, and she grabbed hold of Mommy.
"Why don't you go? Why stay here?" The ghost said she doesn't want to go to Hell. She knows she'll get sent there if she goes to the light.
I tell her not to fear. There is no Hell. There is only the light, and then my pendulum stops swinging.
I won't bore you with the details. In all this time (a year is it?), I hardly gave this business a thought. Isn't that so typical of life? It matters little, if it matters at all, which is doubtful, whether we think or what. Time simply passes, relentlessly, oblivious to all our assessments, oblivious to our failure to assess. Does that distress you?
It doesn't matter. You may wish it did, but wishing won't change it. Time just rolls along. Or marches on, I'm not sure which. No idea why. Perhaps a cup of tea will warm your insides?
Where have you been? She demanded to know. I said nothing. To be honest, my silence was not an attempt to withhold or conceal. Quite the contrary. I simply had no answer. I had no idea where I'd been or why I was back. As I seem to recall, I was feeling some frustration when I discontinued my efforts here, frustrated, yes, and I suppose I have to say "burnt out."
Oh yes, indeed it does get wearisome after a whole. A person simply needs a break. This has been quite a substantial break. Well, so be it then.
Nights on end, the wolf-dog with the long, white hair, whined at my bedside. Whined like a puppy. I'd pretend not to hear with my eyes tight shut, and then she'd howl. Not like she howls at the moon or when a siren goes by. A howl like a fussy child calls her Mom. "Mom! don't you hear me? Mom, wake up! I'm scared."
Until finally I got up, and scratched behind her velvet ears, the way she likes, and rubbed her belly, but most of all, left on the light cause she's afraid of the dark.
23,211 days I've dwelt in this body. Now in my 64th year, what strikes me is the cumulative impact of the bumps and bangs and bruises on this body, so much so that I can hardly remember what it felt like not to hurt here or there, more or less continually, awake or sleeping, rested or weary. Yet still subject to the sudden euphoria sparked by the first sunny day of Spring, the budding primrose that must have been waiting under the snow. Waiting to startle me coming out from the doorway, still wearing the too-warm winter coat.
The STATE OF THE UNION speech was inspiring, so positive and progressive, I blurted out, "It's the NEW New Deal!" I took pictures of the POTUS with my cell phone and posted them on Facebook, to the accolades of my friends online, who were as thrilled as I was. A memorable moment, a high point and a cause for celebrating. The future is looking bright, and then came the rebuttal. The cold water, the rain on our parade, the doom and gloom of the opposition. We couldn't take it. It was just too negative. We switched to the Comedy Channel.
How can you be virtuous in a world like this? Even the river's corrupt. It shines and cascades and tumbles and occasionally crashes hellbent against the basalt that makes its bed, then careens through Spokane, as if it is a wild thing, pretending to be a free thing, acting young and full of promise. But don't eat the fish. Beautiful river full of poisoned fish. An insult; a mockery; a river where only immigrants are uninformed enough to fish. The river puts on a happy face to fool the uninitiate.
The first day of Lent? I refuse to repent.
Valentine's Day, yet another corporate wreckage of it's former self. What's left for the 21st century is red hearts, boxes of chocolate, and mushy cards, with a big push on jewelry, dinner out and sex. The original St. Valentinus was imprisoned when Christianity was a crime. He nonetheless performed marriages for his captors, soldiers who were prohibited from marrying. He survived a symbol of the triumph of romantic love. He was martyred in 269 AD in Rome. However, here was an earlier St. Valentino in Terni about 197 AD, who was also martyred. Yet another Valentine was martyred in Africa.
It amazes me with what ease I can lose days. I came here thinking I was up to date, but I'm a day behind. Is it because I'm am old lady? Or is it because I'm retired and retired people just float from day to day, hardly noticing, our only deadlines the ones we set for ourselves, and they are deliberately kept few. Very few. Like the alarm. It is never set on repeat! Today I got up at six without an alarm, made coffee, read about the meteor in Russia, went back to bed and slept til 10:30.
Talk about being blind-sided. There we were having a nice dinner with our dear friend Kathy when Richard's cell phone rang and the fabric of our life together tore itself to shreds. Words like you're kidding! You can't be serious! Why the hell would I do that?! He got angry when he caught on. They most certainly were not kidding. And they were here for nothing less than the destruction of our marriage, which they incorrectly perceived to be not only vulnerable but in disarray. I thought Richard was going to have another stroke. Stupid mean know-nothing kids!
At first I just laughed at the absurdity of it. We thought we had hung up the phone but in reality they were quietly eavesdropping. We were pulling off at the Rest Area, and Richard was driving real badly. He was all over the gravel shoulder, and in the pitch blackness, and with his terrible vision I got scared, not for the first time on this trip. I thought he would skid off the road entirely, "Richard what the f} are you doing?! You're on the gravel! Get back on the effing road or give me the effing keys!" Well.
They heard me railing at him. To them it sounded abusive. I have no doubt. It was what you call the precipitating incident and all the rest followed like water running downhill, needing no encouragement. In no time at all they had piled up a pebble mountain, 25 years of small events and little complaints that piled together fooled them into believing they had uncovered a mountain. Yes, the pebble mountain called "What's Wrong About Rose." They were so sold on this edifice they just assumed Richard would appreciate being rescued, and here they came. The whole mob to Spokane!
It must have seemed strange when Richard said he couldn't make any sense of what they were saying. You want me to come see you at a hotel? Without my bride? Why on Earth would I want to do a thing like that?
Because she abuses you.
We heard her yelling at you and then it all made sense.
What?! You can't be serious! She's my wife and I love her dearly.
But they were serious, and damned if he didn't go to the hotel and listen to their grievances for hours.
By the time Richard got home from his meeting with the children, I had been alone long enough for the demons to rise and consume my self-confidence. He said he'd be back in a few minutes. The hours ticked by. Betrayal slipped in to the dark corners of my mind. He's validating them. He's forgotten all about me. He cares more about them. Oh no! He's turned against me. I do yell at him. I'm such a bitch, after all, he must really be helpless up against their accusations. All is lost. What goes around had come around again.
I know why elder parents move to warmer climes. It isn't the weather they're after. No, they're escaping from their children. Those ungrateful brats with all their drama and blame. They're too old for it. In fact, it's life-threatening. Don't they realize they run the risk of triggering a heart attack or a stroke? Don't they have a lick of sense? Well clearly not. They think we're indestructible. The idiots! They'll stop at nothing until we wind up in the ground.
It's elder abuse, plain and simple. Yes, abuse. The senseless brats. But how do you shut them up?
It turns out I don't need a reason to cheer up. Emotional resilience has been a feature of my make-up all through my life. A consolation for all the trauma. When I was in my early twenties, I was often told, not only by counselors but from all quarters, that I had already lived enough major shit for three normal lifetimes. Indeed I have contended this time my primary assignment was to learn empathy and compassion, having been insensitive and spoiled in my most recent prior incarnation. It hasn't been easy going. But the resilience has never failed me.
The Robins got back yesterday. It's impossible now to resist the pull of Spring, the enthusiasm is infectious. I will succumb. You will too. It can't be avoided, ignored or resisted. It will wake you up, improve your circulation, put some pep in your step and make you feel younger than you are. It's a lot like falling in love, which is of course a temporary delusion as well. But ain't it great? Great to feel that all is well, to believe in fresh starts and new beginnings, to hope there is still hope for this weary world? Oh yeah!
A daily struggle inside me. How to resist the drag of emotions, wounded ness of ego, to hang on to my peace! I have the skills, I have the will, it's the ease I lack. Daily I ask myself, who did I offend today? Mostly I have not noticed. People hide it while you're there. Then later comes the furious judgment, the rejection. They'd burn me alive if they could get away with it. Just now in line a lady walked by. She didn't try to hide the scowl, she disapproved of me. I have no idea what or why.
Three Tarot regarding my screenplay. I've never seen a spread of ten cards with six court cards before. This tells me that not only do I have a story to tell and want to tell it, but the story itself and for itself, wants to be told. In other words, the entire project is bigger than me. The story is a big story. It will speak to a lot of people, and the world is hungry to hear it. So I'd better do a good job. After all, I am just the scribe, but I'd best be a good one.
My Tarot reading begins with The Sun, the card of supreme good fortune. This card says bask in the radiant warmth of the Sun, aka success and happiness. Not a bad start.
Next comes The Wheel, the card of good fortune, the lucky card. Not sure what luck has to do with it, but I'm glad it's on my side. It may indicate I have chosen the most auspicious way to do it: the screenplay. I am learning how to do it. This is a good choice. There are many lucky spins needed in a project of this scope.
Next comes The Lovers, the card of choices. Again a choice is made. I have chosen to focus not on the prurient aspects of the mind of the sex offender, but rather on the boys, the priest and the school counselor, in other words the good guys. I choose to write a screenplay rather than a novel or a stage play.
Then comes The Moon, the inspiration of intuition, the inner guidance, my own deeply held truth. Nothing less will do. I need only look within. I have the answers. I only need to open myself to them.
In the fifth place, I turn The Hermit, going alone into the unknown. Shining a light into a dark place. That is the aim. I will have to go first, if I am to show others the secrets.
Now comes the Seven of Wands. I see I will have help when I need it. The editing will be difficult but worthy.
In the seventh place is the Seven of Swords, where I find myself confused and self-deceived, believing I am alone yet I come to find that I have actually come home.
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