Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Dad, this one is for you

Another day needing lemon cookie ice cream by Three Twins Organic Ice Cream. With an evil mad man in the White House and evil Republicans eager to keep corruption going, I need lemon cookie ice cream. With the world sliding into environmental, economic and dictatorship collapse, I'ma gonna eat what I want. My dad never tried to manage his diabetes, which is definitely why he has a massive, paralyzing stroke around age 56, then died at 62. His left side was paralyzed and he never regained the use of his left arm. He was able to limp, dragging his left leg a bit, but his left arm stayed dead. When I would see him eating sweets, which sometimes seemed like his only eating choice, he would say "Whadda I care? Life is short. Life is hard. And if eating cookies makes me feel better, whadda I care?" My dad would totally understand me eating lemon cookie ice cream two days in a row. I also did a TJ run this morning to stock up on their tasty chocoalte/coconut-covered almonds. This is what insulin is for! Dad, this pint of lemon cookie ice cream is for you. Cheers.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Icarus did not fail, his triumph came to an end

Failing and Flying by Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.

Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.

Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.

I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

we must risk delight in these dark times

A Brief For The Defense by Jack Gilbert.   Gilbert spent much of his life living abroad. From SF, he wrapped up his life in Berkeley.

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered caf├ęs and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hope, a dimension of the soul

"Either we have hope in us or we don't; it is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the Spirit, an orientation of the heart.

Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather, an ability to work for something because it's good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. . . It is also hope, above all, which gives us the strength to live and continually try new things, even in conditions that seem hopeless. . ."

- Vaclav Havel (1986)

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

you are pure magic, Katie Kreifels birthday woman

I got this from someone I don't actually know who did not share attribution of the author. You are pure magic, anyone reading. And I am pure magic. And it has been pure magic, although magic with both light and dark, to be Katie Kreifels mother since June 26, 1982.

You are Pure Magic
When all the stars glitter… in the Heavens…
it is not as magical a sight as you.
Your hair, your eyesight, your hearing, the ring of your laughter
the beauty of your stride as you walk…
you are a magical creation.

Your ability to Love, to share Love, is unique.
Your compassion for others
warms our hearts to Love and admire you all the more.
We sit/stand we gasp in awe, at your presence, at your gifts,
and we say the tallest mountain holds not your power,
and the tallest tree not your beauty,
and the brightest sun - -
not your radiance.
We behold, in the package of you, the greatest wonder of the Universe.
And it is time you opened your eyes, a little wider,
and saw this same person that we see.
Hug yourself more, smile at yourself more, laugh with yourself more,
feel the ground as you step on your sacred path.
Learn to view your life as one as special, as Divine,
as magical as a great master/leader/teacher for indeed,
you are as great, as Divine, as magical.
You are grown from the seed of God.
You are a part of God as much as
one grain of sand on a beach,
one drop of water in the oceans of the world,
and one sparkling-dazzling star in the sky.
Walk out into your night sky, hold your hands, palms up, to the Heavens,
and welcome yourself to yourself.
This moment is as sacred as the baptism of any babe.
This is your heart and soul reconnecting.
Reconnecting to you, to your source and to the entire Universe.

today is her birthday

I started the day, of June 26, 1982, already in the hospital. I had sprung a small leak the evening before while waddling back to our table. We had gone out to dinner and a movie, with a plan to go out every day until our due date of July 11th.  I felt a very sharp pain as I walked back to the table from the restroom. Later, health care folks opined that I had had a contraction. Or else the baby had kicked.

We had planned to see "E.T." which opened in our city that day but, as usual, her dad came home late and ET was sold out. So we went to see 'Poltergeist', the only Friday evening movie at our cineplex that sitll had tickets.  When hospital staff speculated that I had a contraction or a baby kick when my water leaked, I silently wondered if it was the movie and its loud noise that had unsettled my baby.

While I had gone to the restroom, my husband had paid our check. So we went to our cars and drove home. It was only when I started to get out of the car that I realized I had sprung a leak.

Pregnant women sometimes have a gusher when their water breaks. My water didn't quite 'break'. I really did simply spring a small leak. I knew, however, from reading and from the one La Maze class we had attended (and I had paid attention) that once that water seal was broken, the risk of infection was present. I knew the baby had to come.

My ex, however, did not trust my judgment. He insisted on going into our house, with me in the car sure I needed to go to a hospital for the baby's wellbeing, to call our labor and delivery nurse friend Denise. Denise was the instructor of our one delivery class but she was also the wife of one of my ex's childhood friends.

Denise agreed with me, telling my husband that I had to go to the hospital.

I did not go into labor that Friday night. The L&D staff decided we'd wait for me to go into labor. And my husband went home. The next morning, he went to his office. All the top staff worked on Saturdays and he was more worried about his appearances to his employers than his wife and baby over at the hospital. When he walked into work, he announced his wife was at the hospital and might have the baby that day. All the men he worked with dropped their jaws. They were all husbands and fathers and they couldn't believe he had gone to work instead of staying with me.

He had asked my labor and delivery nurse to give him a call when it looked like the baby was coming soon. Really he did. The men he worked with were so appalled that he had gone to his office that he came to the hospital.

Sometime that day, my L&D nurse actually said to me, in a hush, that I seemed better off without him. She took to sending him on errands all that day to keep him away from me as much as she could. He was upset that I did not go into labor on my own. Huh? He was upset that I had been given a drug to get me into labor.  He was upset that I called for pain relief, as if my doing so was an embarassment to him. This is not a moron. He has an MBA and a JD but he didn't seem to grasp basic things, such as I did not control when I went into labor, when I delivered.

A substitute ob-gyn, for my doc was out of town for his daughter's wedding, came around at 9 a.m. the morning of June 26 and gave me the 'pits', the pitocin to prod my body into labor. 

I spent much of June 26, 1982 waiting to feel labor pains. Once I felt some, I called for drugs. Even my L&D nurse saw that my husband was not a real support so she did not press us to try natural delivery. Induced labor with pitocin generally has more intense labor pains.

Blah blah blah. I got drugs. I got wheeled into delivery. My baby was born.

Later, Mr. Charm told me what he had seen watching our daughter be born, watching all the blood, tissue, etc. that had to be expelled from my body had been really disgusting. He said "Your body is really disgusting". He was referring to my placenta, her placenta, life process.  A screen was placed so I could not see what my ex referred to as the grossly disgusting bits.  For one moment, I was propped up and given a mirror so I could see beyond the screen to see my body half out of my body. I wanted to watch the whole thing.  I was not put off by the messy stuff. I think that propping me up for a seconds-long glimpse of my body half in and half out, before we saw her gender, was an odd touch.

He never patted my hand throughout my labor. He never paid any attention to me at all.  He was such an odd duck.

She was wonderful.  They took her away briefly to clean her up and then brought her back to me. He followed her. In the recovery room, they also took the baby away for a short while. The idea seemed to be that new parents would want to talk to one another alone for a bit. Not my guy. He left me alone in my recovery room and stayed with her.

He loved her. I am sure he still does. So do I.

Say, I am writing this story very differently than past tellings. And I am not keening in grief over losing her as I have. Progress? Or the end of caring?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

summer produce

blackberries, boysenberries, fresh figs, stone fruits (Arctic Star peaches! Arctic Snow nectarines!), avocados and my weekly load of spinach and kale, a red onion to flavor salads, a bag of salad greens and heirloom tomatoes.

I will likely braise some spinach, smoothie-pulverize some kale. Such prep is all the cooking I'll be doing this week.

A tiny basket of boysenberries will be a meal. A few figs are heaven.

As I trundled home after my farmers market foray this morning, I imagined human ancestors foraging for food, eating what they foraged, with no agriculture and no cultural rules about 3 meals a day, sit down dinners or whatever.

If I had to choose just one food to feed on this week, it would be fresh figs.

And I don't have to choose!

Friday, June 22, 2018

love dynamites the heart to grow

The pain of love is the dynamite that breaks up the heart, even if it be as hard as a rock.
Everybody can speak of love and claim to love, but to stand the test of love and to bear the pain in love is the achievement of some rare hero.
The mere sight of love's pain makes the coward run away from it.
No soul would have taken this poison if it had not the taste of nectar.
Those who have avoided love in life from fear of its pain have lost more than the lover, who by losing himself gains all.
The loveless first lose all, until at last their self is also snatched away from their hands.
The warmth of the lover's atmosphere, the piercing effect of his voice, the appeal of his words, all come from the pain of his heart.
The heart is not living until it has experienced pain.
Man has not lived if he has lived and worked with his body and mind without heart.
The soul is all light, but all darkness is caused by the death of the heart. Pain makes it alive.
The same heart that was once full of bitterness, when purified by love becomes the source of all goodness; all deeds of kindness spring from it. <3 span="">
~Hazrat Inayat Khan

pink salt tomatoes fresh mozarella

After my great swim work out today, I sliced a vine-ripened tomato, ground a bit of pink Himalayan salt on the tomatoes, then added some slices of fresh mozzarella. The salt was so delightful as I bit into my lunch feast.  Just that bit of salt was transformative?!  I think so.

Pink lemonade blueberries yesterday. Pink-salted tomatoes today.  I am loved by Creation and I love Creation.