Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sweet Surrender

I think that to love is to open.  To love is to become vulnerable to all that is painful.  To love is to accept that we will inevitably lose, to accept that what we love may one day spread wide its wings and fly away, leaving us bereft, but in the meantime?  In the meantime we have this glorious thing perched upon our hearts.

I think that to love we must understand grief, and hatred, and fear, and accept that loving can be these things and more.  I think that to love we must understand laughter, and compassion, and loyalty and accept that loving can be these things and more.  I think we must accept that we will be marked, scarred, painted, made weak, made strong.

I think that love is not blind, it is eyes wide open and seeing the depths and the truths and loving them as part of the whole.

I think that loving is letting go of ego and our perception of how we and all other beings should be, accepting that what is may not be what we want, or think we want, but it is enough and we are enough and love isn't a thing of definitions or boundaries.

I think that love is not earned, it is given and received freely.  It is not predicated upon a paycheck or bank account or possessions or window dressing.  It is far deeper.

I think that love can be terrifying and mysterious and a burden and a marvel.

I think that questioning the how or the why of love is a fool's pastime.

I think that accepting love is a Herculean task.

I believe that we are all equal to that task, if we allow ourselves to be.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Sprout turns four on Sunday.

Holy wow.


Four years of perpetual motion and noise, curiosity, fearlessness, determination, spunk, sass, mess, laughter, cuddles, kisses, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, fevers, tears, laundry, teaching, wonder, delight, crayons, paint, clay, mud, puddles, bubble baths, stories,  songs, and tucking in.

This time four years ago I was extremely uncomfortable, hoping she would come out on her own, packing a bag for the hospital, and playing Wii Resort (the flying part) with Someone and Bird.  I was ready, as ready as one ever is for a baby-shaped force of nature.


Happy birthday, kid.  I wonder what the next year will bring...

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Dream

Like Dr. king, I have a dream.. And like Dr. King, that dream centers on freedom for all, equality for all, justice for all.

I have a dream that one day, one's skin color truly won't matter, in any way, to anyone, ever; one day it will not matter WHO one loves, but HOW one loves; that there will be no need to hide one's sex, gender, or religion; that one day women AND men will walk freely on any sidewalk in any city or town and fear no other person; that no one will be judged by the clothing they wear, the ink they sport, the color of their hair, their jewelry, where they're pierced, or how much money they earn or have to spend; that no one will suffer privation or punishment because of unjust laws; that if we MUST judge, we will judge not by these shallow things but rather by a person's actions; that all beings will be treated with compassion; that no one will be deprived of clean water, clean air, healthy, fresh foods, medicine, or basic human rights.

I wonder if, like Dr. King, I will not live to see my dreams come to fruition.  Pessimistic, me, I think we are going backwards.  Would Dr. King call for us to rise up, take to the streets, and peacefully protest?  Would he shake his head in sorrow, bemusement, at what our world is today?  If he could see what those he left behind do in his name, do with his dreams, would he approve...or would he let fly his melodic voice, his powerful rhetoric, in protest?

Dr.  King got the ball rolling...it's up to the rest of us to push it into the goal.

Full text and video available here.

"...And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!..."

Thursday, January 15, 2015


One thing about depression is, it's always there.  Every minute, every day, even on the very best of days.  It colors everything, flavors it.  It may be quieter on some days, less noticeable, but it's there in the background.

On bad days...well...it's a screaming mess of dark neon lights flashing strobe-like in your eyes, screaming insults and epithets in your brain, rasping at you like a newly sharpened file wearing you down into dust.

Part of the trouble with good days is that people think you're fine, you must be, you're having a good day.  Maybe a string of them.  And no one wants to hear that the good day is, in part, an illusion.

And the bad days?  You know, after a while, no one wants to hear about the bad days.  It's always the same old thing, and it gets boring fast...and that's if you're experiencing it.  From the outside?  It must be about as much fun as watching paint dry.  Over and over again.

So we learn to shut up and smile and do our best to fake our way through it.


I'm hurting.  It's bad.  Lots of reasons why.  Lots of things feeding it.  I spend hours struggling to breathe.  I don't cry in front of the kids and I try hard to make sure this monster that's trying to eat me alive isn't turning on them, too. I am cold, I am tired, and I am lonely...and there's no end in sight.

Yup, it's January, rolling on towards February, and I'm fighting my brain and its chemistry knowing that this?  This is not the worst of it.  That'll hit in a few weeks, right on schedule.  Hold on tight, self, it's going to be one hellaciously bumpy ride.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wherein I Whine A Bit Despite Knowing There Are Worse Things Happening In the World

Encore, je suis Charlie.

But I am also me, and "me" is dangling from the end of her rope and wondering why the hell she keeps hanging on or trying to climb back up it.  I think somebody has greased it about halfway up so I'll keep slipping down again.

My throat hurts.  It feels like there are rocks in it when I swallow, and even when I am simply sitting still, breathing, it burns.  I swear, I feel like I could breathe flames.  I have a cough.  It's not productive, unless you consider causing an achy back, sore muscles, sore ribs (I don't care if they say bones can't hurt, my ribs HURT!), a seriously displeased neck, inability to sleep, and occasionally making me pee a little when I don't want to (Ain't motherhood grand?)(Yes.  Yes it is.) productive...except in the morning when my sinuses have had all night to quietly, sneakily, drip, drip, drip their drippy drippings into my lungs, so as soon as I get up there is a sort of glacier-like sheet of I-don't-want-to-know-what-it-is coating them that brings on a spate of hacking that may or may not loosen up all that gunk and exacerbates the whole throat situation.

My spirit is dented, dinged, dingy, and dark.  Depression has me in its teeth and is shaking me, a dog with a rat, and I don't have time to deal with it - I am, for all intents and purposes, a single mother with two active, bright, annoyingly healthy (No, I don't wish them ill, not at all, not one little bit!) children, no income, chores to do, animals to care for, and responsibilities that I cannot hand off to anyone else.  I'm not getting much sleep at night, I am constantly feeling chilled or downright cold, and lately I am as stiff and a board when I move.  I am feeling The Beiges keenly right now, which means I am acutely aware of just how little I am worth to the world at large (despite assurances that I am wrong, I can't help what I feel, I can only help what I do about those feelings).  I am also feeling heightened anxiety when going out into the world, and am struggling to keep myself up and moving rather than huddled under my blankets and telling everyone and everything to piss off.  Mental illness is not a picnic, and right now it's kicking my ass a little.

I was supposed to pay my phone bills this week but the money disappeared.  Not "disappeared" as in I spent it on frivolous or even necessary things, but "disappeared" as in it was there last night and this morning it is not.  Seriously.  It was in my pants pocket when I took 'em off one night, and two days later when I put the pants back on (don't panic, I was getting dressed, just wearing different pants those days) so I could go pay my bills, it was gone.  Not in the pants.  Not on the floor.  Not under the furniture.  Not in any room or closet or cupboard or cubby or bag or box or shelf or sink or toilet or bedroom.  Not in the kitchen.  Not in the garage.  Not in the van, or the van, or the truck.  Not in one of my kids' room.  Not in any of the pockets of any of my other pants, nor in Someone's pants.  Somehow, $240 managed to disappear into thin air.  All I can figure it is fell out of my pocket when I was at the grocery store, but if it dd and someone found it, they kept it, because I called and asked and no one has turned anything in.  So...I am piggybacking on a neighbor's Internet until they figure out they should password protect it, and hoping I can sweet talk the phone company into not turning off my cell phone...too late for the house and Internet...and I'm supposed to feel like I'm not useless how, exactly?

The world has gone mad.  People are killing other people over gods and prophets because apparently those gods and prophets are so weak and useless that satire and disbelief damage them and must therefor be punished.  People are killing other people because of who the other people love, because apparent;y love is dangerous and could spread and then people might be happy, gods forbid.  People are killing other people because the other people think or look or act differently.  People are killing other people...

A long, long, long, loooooooong time ago I tied a knot in the end of my rope.  I won't let go and I won't fall off...but my figurative arms and my figurative hands are awfully tired of hanging on.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy Birthday, Evil Genius

I posted this last year, and I mean it just as much this year.  I love you, little guy!
If I could give one gift to you
What would that gift be?
Shall I make the world anew
Create it sickness free?
Shall I banish hunger,
Banish hatred, banish pain?
Shall I mend the broken,
Let them dance in the rain?
What if I could take cancer,
AIDS, Alzheimer's too
And send them gone forever
As my gift to you?
Could I soften heartache
Anger and fear
Give vision to the blind
Help the deaf ones hear?
Help the lost to find their way
Along the winding path
Show the weak and weary mind
The beauty that life hath?

I cannot snap my fingers
And make everything right
But I can tuck you safely in
Each and every night
And while the world is faulty
And filled with many woes
I can help you learn to avoid
The very worst of those
And I can help you to be strong
When you most want to be weak
And I can teach you to raise your voice
When most you fear to speak
I can help you find your light
To shine for all to see
And I can help you learn to know
Why the spirit must be free

In time you'll grow beyond my words
And stand up all alone
In time I'll be a whisper
Where the winds of fate have blown
But if you see injustice, hunger, or need
And work to make it right somehow
Then we both succeed
Be strong, my child, and wise
Compassionate and smart
And don't forget to listen to
Both your good head and good heart
Wherever else I be,
Whatever else I do
I will always be that soft whisper
Saying "I love you"