Don’t look back…

 

Don’t look back…

When the clock not only

winds down but runs backwards

is where I meet you again

for the first time.

Getting off the bus

seeking a hazelnut coffee

the instant recognition of our thousand lives

together.

All for the price of a silver figurine on a chain.

My friend made me listen to the song you wrote.

“It’s all about you,” she said, but I chose not to listen.

I should have believed.

In fate.

In our midnight time at the cottage.

In dreams that were real.

Yet, old age grants me a second chance.

My memories come back,

bigger and brighter.

This time, I take your hand,

walk down the beach with you,

and never look back.

–A Chaos Fairy

 

(Just a little background music from my favourite band to set the mood 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyCqW_r-McI )

 

 

 

Lonely ghosts and an almost-full moon…

 

A very sensory, yet very surreal, week. Or mindset.

Things are both ambiguous and very clear. In mental limbo and yet absolutely certain about…well, see the secrets part below.

A inevitability from which there is no escape, and yet, a promise of a new beginning.

It’s a little maddening and frightening, but also soothing and comforting.

I’m frustrated and resigned at the same time. I’m believing in my instincts and dreams and signs but also practical about their impossibility in this dimension.

The moon is blue-bright and has been keeping me awake, but it’s not even full yet.

There’s lots of secrets, which are also revelations.

Some songs from the 90s are (uncharacteristically!?!?) the current soundtrack to my inner world. Out of nowhere I had this urge to listen to them.

I’m both running away and towards something, simultaneously. Distance, and closeness, all at once.

Nothing much seems to have a point right now, including this blog, yet I’m compelled to put words out there, even if they are trivial, unrelated, or don’t make any sense.

Watched a movie tonight titled “I Don’t Feel at Home in this World Anymore”.

Been wanting to give “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” a re-watch, and re-read Griffin and Sabine, but hesitated to take that literary/cinematic journey.

“Foolish man. You cannot turn me into a phantom because you are frightened. You do not dismiss a muse at whim.” – Sabine Strohem
Nick Bantock, Griffin and Sabine

 

 

Survival of the Fittest…

I’m going to preface this blog post (just to put it in context, though, yes, I can be quite misanthropic at times, and I’m okay with that) by saying that I’ve been living quite comfortably in my introvert bubble for the past year or so: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/16/understanding-introverts-_n_5989656.html. With the exception of work, and a few laid-back meet-ups, I’ve had the luxury of just hanging out with me and my sweet senior kitty.

Paradoxically, I’m subscribed to several Meetup groups that I look at, even add to my calendar sometimes, but never attend. I make my day job the scapegoat–it’s so tiring for this introvert to deal with oodles of kids of varying ages, and so when I come home I just want to chill out. And I have this weird geographic homesickness plaguing me. I miss the siren lure of the ocean and the mystic magic of the green swamps that are usually strong enough to lure me out of the house.

So, after the allergy doctor said I was probably lactose intolerant, I decided to go to a vegetarian Meet-Up about ways to cook without dairy. I’ve never been to a cooking demo, but I imagined that it was just a visual demonstration of cooking, and maybe some recipe handouts. I didn’t think it would take more than half an hour or so. Holy crap, was I wrong. They had about four (?) vegan chefs there, if not more. Between them, they prepared an astounding ten recipes in all. But the thing that really amazed me was the attendees. I have no past experience, so maybe this is normal and accepted behavior for one of these events–I don’t know? Maybe they’re used to it, being more social and extroverted? (This blog entry will probably put me on some vegan/locals blacklist! LOL) I won’t fall back on cliche metaphors that are actually an insult to some of my favourite non-human lifeforms (vultures, wolves, sharks) but the civilized, gracious air that was present when I first walked in quickly disintegrated into a crazed feeding frenzy. It was just like being at one of these socialite events my folks used to drag me to when I was a kid. They would have free food out, and we would always eat before we went (or after) to avoid being trampled by the horde decked out in outfits and jewelry that cost thousands of dollars. Once, I was so hungry that I braved the crowd at one of these events, and this elderly lady stared me down, then deliberately kicked me in the shins, and almost knocked me over on the way to the buffet table. Put a buffet table at an Ultimate Fighting Championship and I tell ya, she would have been a contender.

Anyway, back to the horde of ravening vegetarian zombies. Here I am, only taking a small helping just for taste, so I know how to prepare it, because I’m more of an intuitive cook, and I’m dumbfounded watching these people take three, four, or even five helpings, once, and shoving them in their mouths so fast that they seem like victims of a famine, instead of so-called “first world” citizens. I mean, I don’t even like taking free food–as a previous worker in the food industry, I’m suspicious of food that’s just left out all day–with good reason. People are so barbaric when it comes to the free-sample phenomenon. Once, I was in a grocery store, and I literally saw a women reach into a sneeze-guard-covered plastic serving container of chips that had been left out to try, flatten her hand and press it all over the surface layer of the chips, before taking a handful. I have no idea what the heck she was doing, but I reiterated my vow to never even be tempted to take any free food samples unless they were hermetically sealed.

Still, even worse was the disrespectful behavior of the attendees. It was like they thought they were just hanging out at an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant with their friends, and they were just chatting away and not even paying attention to the chefs’ demonstration. They were so frickin’ rude. And then they would interrupt their own discussions to yell at the poor chefs “I can’t hear you” in a really snotty, demanding tone, after they’d just been sitting there yakking away and stuffing their tenth helping in their faces instead of quietly paying attention to the chefs’ presentation. At one point I gave in to my teacher instinct and even shushed the obnoxious attendees, because they were yakking so much I couldn’t hear the chefs, and I had a front-and-center position.

The best-behaved attendees were two little kids, about elementary-school age. And that reminded me of the code of behavior and the expectations that are present at the schools I sub at. There, the kids have to use indoor voices, be quiet and focused and attentive and not talk when the teacher is talking and make sure they raise their hand and put their listening ears on and don’t interrupt the teacher. I tell ya, in comparison, every single one of those adults would have gotten a red card and probably even been sent to the principal’s office, on my watch. It made me so sad and angry to come to the realization of the double standard we impose on kids. We are so hard on them, and then they go out in public and have to witness grown-ups who have the freedom to act like complete jerks and then have to go back to class and toe the line even at the elementary school level. I’d be so pissed off, if I were a little kid and had to see the hypocritical examples grown-ups set for the little tykes. Kudos to those kids and their amazing parental figures!

And then, after I braced myself to take a free sample, then, at least, some of the attendees got up to help the chefs pass out samples. The attendees seemed to be a pretty close-knit bunch, as previously demonstrated by all the yakking going on. But then it seemed like they united together and worked to ostracize me, the irregular attendee to their meet-ups. At risk of sounding paranoid, the same thing happened at the last event I went to by this same group, and I finally left because they were shutting me out every time I had a question about a product on the supermarket tour. I mean, the woman passing out the samples would look me straight in the eye, then walk right past me, turn her back to me, and handed out multiple helpings to her friends. I really wanted to try the vegan cheese sauce for pasta, so I had to go chase down the bowl that people were having a free-for-all with (I tried not to think about the double-dipping going on) and nearly lost some fingers in trying to get a little taste. To be fair, I think this was one of the chef’s helpers, so they had every right to eat the leftovers after all their hard work, but one attendee literally grabbed the serving bowl and, with the huge serving spoon, was shoveling spoonfuls of the remaining cheesy pasta into their mouth as fast as she could. I tried not to think about the cross-contamination, but lost what little appetite I had at this point. I was hard-pressed not to throw up, actually.

Finally, we got to the Alfredo pasta sauce. This is my ultimate favourite, so I couldn’t wait to sample it. But, again, I got the shut-out. The same woman that had passed out the samples before was making sure all her buddies had at least one sample (I didn’t notice whether she was hooking them up with multiple servings like she did before, but I suspect she did), and there wasn’t any left that I could try. It was at that point that I decided to leave. I just couldn’t take any more, and figured I was going to do something I regretted because I was so pissed off. Not because I didn’t get a sample, but because of how rude and disrespectful people were being to the chefs. Or puke all over an attendee, because I was, seriously, feeling nauseous at their unchecked greed. I was so embarrassed to even be a part of such a crowd of people, and I hated to even take a small sample, because it classed me with the rest of the crowd. I mean, it was like these people hadn’t eaten in a year.

Since this was my first time at a cooking demo, I wasn’t even sure if this was typical behavior. Have any of you people been to a cooking demo? Is this a typical situation? Have I just offended 99.9% of my blog readers? If so, so be it. Because, in my opinion, I still don’t think that a cooking demo should be treated like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Respectfully take a sample–it’s a taster, not a substitute for a restaurant-prepared meal–and keep in mind that you are not there to hang out with your friends. Keep quiet when the chefs are talking. If you want to go eat and socialize with your friends, get off your cheap a**es and go to a nearby restaurant with your friends. Don’t ruin it for the rest of us who are sincerely there because they need to educate themselves about dairy alternatives. I was so mad that the people there were not even taking it seriously, and being so disrespectful to the chefs and to those attendees who were actually being quiet and listening to the presentations. I’ll spare you the gruesome TMI details, but it sucks to be lactose intolerant. Like one of the chefs there said, she was really bummed when she found out that she was allergic to dairy and had to give up cheese. I was right there with her, and I was so frustrated with the rest of the rude attendees continually disrupting the demo that I felt like crying by the time I decided to leave. (I did cry, in the privacy of my car, in the parking lot, because you know, I’m an adult, and I didn’t want to be immature in public.) It was easy to make the transition to being vegetarian back in 1991, but, I admit, I’m finding it hard to make the transition to being completely vegan, especially at my age.

So, to wrap this (introvert-fueled?) diatribe up, I vowed never to attend another Meetup by this local group (famous last words, right?). My first experience was only mildly unpleasant/stressful (again, from an introvert’s perspective)–this second experience was a complete nightmare. As soon as I got home, I went to the group’s Meet-Up page, and immediately withdrew from the group. Any feelings I had of being rash, impulsive, and petty were negated by one of the comments on the event listing–one individual/zombie was asking if there was going to be another huge plate of food there. If I’d seen that comment before the event, I probably would have known better than to waste my limited introvert social credits on such an outing. Ugh. I’ve never been happier to be a misanthropic introvert, I tell ya. Frickin’ humans.

Not that any local people will stumble across this, but a big, fat, greedy THANK YOU to the chefs and to BODY in Santa Fe for hosting this event–you have a beautiful space, and thank you for being my client all those years ago. I really appreciate it, even though I was rude enough to leave the presentation early. Please accept my apologies. I really appreciate the time you took out of your day, chefs, to host this event, and the valuable knowledge and recipes you shared. They will help make this transition a lot less intimidating. And, what samples I got were very tasty, especially the Macho Nacho Cheeze and the Cheezy [Pasta] sauce. I would have volunteered to help clean up after the event, but I, as quietly and unobtrusively as possible, stormed out. I just got introvert-overwhelmed. Forgive me! *laugh*

If you’ve made it to the end of this, any thoughts you’d like to share? Post up in the comments.

For Love of Animals and Trees…

 

Professor X: [voiceover] Either way, it is a historical fact: Sharing the world has never been humanity’s defining attribute. (X-Men 2)

As I get older (officially middle-aged, though it feels a lot older), I am plagued with this odd sort of remembrance. I am remembering a lot of things about my girl self that got shoved aside in hopes of becoming somebody loved, worthwhile, hire-able, successful, popular, pretty, rich–all of which, of course, never happened (yet, anyway). So I put away a lot of stuff that made me, me, because society taught me to be ashamed of who I was (and I believed them). Though it was always still sorta there, and it would escape from time to time, as I got involved in environmental causes and animal rights causes and human rights causes. I even majored in environmental science, once upon a time, even though I really wanted to be a marine biologist, but the school I ended up at didn’t offer it. But, math didn’t really come naturally to me, so I let that dissuade me from a career in science.

I was that girl who hated to see animals hurt, even in movies, where they (purportedly) said that the animals weren’t really hurt–it was all for show. I didn’t even like to kill bugs, and tried to fight against the use of pesticides even in my small world of the family home. Even though it was “Nature’s way”, I still had a hard time seeing animals hurt or eaten by other animals. I still feel guilty over the high school dissections I performed in the 80s. I try not to even kill bugs, and feel terrible if I accidentally kill bugs, or fall back into a certain callousness to insects just because I’m tired and it’s been a long day of struggling with too-vivid dreams and depression and anxiety and worry and stress and allergies and workplace hell and I just want to make dinner and go to bed.

The point is; I am realizing what’s really important to me, after all these years. I don’t want to live in a world without animals and trees and wildness in nature. It kills me that the price of having a comfortable life as a human is yet another species going extinct or getting on the endangered list. Animals losing their homes. Trees being murdered. Rampant, unchecked, local-politician-supported-against-all-protective-laws destroying my beloved swamps and ecosystems in my home state of Florida (for example). That the trafficking of endangered species is more widespread than I could even imagine. Just to end up on a dinner plate, for vanity (decoration) or to spend life in captivity as someone’s trophy pet.

https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/illegal-wildlife-trade

https://www.fws.gov/international/wildlife-trafficking/

So, maybe it’s partial selfishness as I enter into this transition #437–trying to figure out who I am and what kind of life I want to lead going forward. Sometimes it feels frustratingly slow, especially for someone as proactive as I am, coupled with seeing the clock run down for so many non-human lifeforms that we share (or not share) this planet with. It kills me that I’m just sitting here while non-human lifeforms are suffering and dying all around the world, because of us humans.

The takeaway? Who wants to live on a world stripped of trees and plants and birds and snakes and bugs and all the other wonderful diversity of life? Do we really want that on our conscience that we were part of an entire world destruction just because we want our Starbucks coffee and our designer clothes and diamonds and furs so that we know we are loved. What about loving other lifeforms, instead? What about appreciating and protecting the beauty that we already have? Who cares how beautiful we look in the mirror if we live in an ugly, desolate, plastic-bubble, sterile world?

 

So, take steps today. Make choices for the planet and not just for ourselves. Give up meat, even dairy. Buy organic and non-GMO foods. Start an urban garden. Adopt animals from a shelter instead of buying (inbred/puppy mill) breed animals. have your pets spayed/and neutered and keep cats indoor-only. Have yourself (the human equivalent) of spay/neuter–the world has plenty of adoptable children who need homes, too, right here on U.S. soil. Don’t wear fur or leather. Volunteer for animal rights causes. Stop using harmful pesticides and Round-up–learn about xeriscaping instead. Downsize your possessions. Reduce your carbon footprint. Don’t buy new–shop at thrift stores and purchase/remodel an older home rather than a brand-new (cheaply built) home/residence (do you really need six bedrooms and five bathrooms?).

I know I don’t want an entire planetary destruction on my conscience. So, my life going forward will be finding more ways to save the planet, outside of my usual armchair activist activities. Because I don’t want to be alone with just other humans for company. Even though I’m just one person, I want to change. And make change happen.

 

 

 

Reprising a Nocturne

 

Reprising a Nocturne

How would I play it this time?

As you hint at a second chance

At least, in my imagination,

or composed in last night’s dream.

Again, the wolf howls for the raven

to return.

Again, we dream each other close,

sleeping safe in amber.

Again, I awake with your echo in my heart

and on my skin.

Again, I promise you something real.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, Ordinary Sunday…

Sunday is my least favourite day. It just seems worse than Mondays, because Mondays, at least, are a fresh start. A do-over. Poor Sunday. It just seems to epitomize that droning-meeting-white-noise bored feeling.

But the real issue is that I’m sick. Allergy sick. I got allergy tested (Thank you, Medicaid), and discovered that not only am I allergic to the grasses that make up those dumb turf lawns that are so popular back in my home state, but also a fair bit of trees, certain  kinds of mold, hay, dust, and feathers, of all things. Guess I won’t be going out and hugging any more trees anytime soon. *laugh*

So, when I was cleaning out the art supply closet at work, I got sick. Like almost instantly sick. Within in a few hours, I started to get a sore throat. It wasn’t until a few days later that I found out there was mold growing on some stuff in the closet. By then I was really sick. Lost my voice and everything, but at least it supported the results of the allergy test. But, do you know how BLOODY hard it is to supervise a whole passel of overly excited little munchkins when you can’t even talk? Luckily, the kids are some of the most amazingly sweet kids I’ve ever met, so I was spared a Lord of the Flies reenactment. *laugh*

This morning, I even dreamed I was cleaning out and organizing an artist’s studio. Which would have been really annoying in that I was dreaming about something I’d been doing all week. Except that the studio was an open air one, surrounded by a low stone wall, and real green grass growing everywhere. And it was warm,  but not too hot, the sky was a soft blue with clouds, and there was that wonderful kind of breeze that comes off the ocean–playful and mysterious and reminding you that nature is a conscious, vibrant entity.

And then I got a sense of my muse being present. Not really in person, just a feeling they were watching me (from afar) enjoy the wind blowing all my bad feelings away and tangling my hair. It was too poignant, and too simple to even exploit for a poem, but I just wanted to acknowledge them in some way, in case they are out there reading this blog from an alternate dimension. Even though I know perfectly well they are just my creative mind speaking to me, I haven’t been able to make that connection to the part of my brain/soul that’s epitomized by said muse. But, still, I’ve been missing you, my Muse/figment of my imagination.

And now I have to go clean my own house on this prosaic, ordinary Sunday. While dreaming of an ideal day that was shared over at a blog called “Scotland with the Wee White Dug”. Rain, a quirky museum, and scotch? Honestly, what could be more fabulous?

https://theweewhitedug.com/2017/02/18/hooray-for-rainy-days-in-edinburgh/

The Skeptic’s Horoscope

The Skeptic’s Horoscope

Like Mulder,

I want to believe.

But my brain reads like Scully’s.

And so I ignore the red roses

pierced with Cupid’s arrows

or the cheap bottle of wine

(that I’d rather was a bottle of scotch).

Ironic that all these February horoscopes

promise you the Valentine’s love beat down.

Yet, I still dreamt of you

as the snow moon got weekend drunk.

For fuck’s sake, I cursed in my sleep,

feeling candy-heart cliché.

But you surprised me, as you always do,

looking all too real with your

goofy grin and childish hope in your eyes.

Love, I thought, from across the room.

I love you, you idiot.

I knew your hand would be sweaty when I held it.

I knew you would smell of warm dirt and apples.

I knew you would be still there when I woke up.

I knew that everything would be rainbows and daisies and

breakfasts in bed.

I knew we would always be strangers.

I knew I would sit next to you in painful silence.

I knew I would know regret.

I knew I would wake up alone.

.