Monday, February 20, 2012

Honeysuckle heaven

One of the things I miss most about the south is the flora.  I miss Mimosa's, Magnolias, Azaleas, wild blackberries, warm peaches, chinaberry blossoms, Orange blossoms, scuppernongs (mama called them scuppernucles) but especially honeysuckle.
Nothing was as much anticipated as the flowers of the honeysuckle vine.  That one trembling straw colored drop of heaven at the base of the stamen.  I remember being too young to know how to get it out.  I remember feeling so sad when the end of the stamen broke off and the drop of bliss was lost.  I remember rubbing the spent blossoms on my wrists so I would smell like a flower.  I enjoyed eating sourgrass, Indian grass, chewing on grass, and munching the occasional flower petal...but oh that honeysuckle, the aroma, the skill, the was just so exciting. 
I hate the heat, the humidity, palmetto bugs, fireants, cow killer ants, it's doubtful I'd ever willingly live there again.  I would like to visit again during honeysuckle time and I'd like to have some while hearing frogs and the whip-poor-will.     :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Carmex in the Silverado

The smell of Carmex on a chill day in a car slices away the years.  Once again it's night, there's a meteor shower, I'm in the middle and she's gone.  It's all gone.  Nothing matters and nothing is real. I smell the cool air, I smell the Carmex, I can almost hear the radio. 
I feel the time roll back like a tide.  It reveals hidden things, forgotten things, things just under the surface, or lost in buried layers like sand.  Things just waiting to be washed ashore and brought to life again. 
My life was behind me and before me at the same time.  The road like a tether connecting my past and my future.  All I had left was in my heart, mind and the bed of a Silverado.  But nothing was real and nothing mattered. 
The numbness and the hollowness were pervading.  I was a walking shell and a shadow of myself.  I was me less than a week before, then I was nothing and no one. When I smelled the Carmex, I realized I was new.  I had never heard of Carmex before.  It was the first new thing in my new life. 
I walk the beach of memories just to see what the tide brings in.  I find ugly things, regrettable things, things I want to throw back and beautiful things.
I was reborn in a truck on a cold December night, during a meteor shower, to the sound of country music and the smell of Carmex.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Complicated lives 33

I ain't never shot nobody...

I grew up in the South.  Everyone...EVERYONE of the guys seemed to have a shotgun rack in their pick up.  Teenage boys especially.  Almost all of us, (girls included) had a pocket knife.  We had knives and guns falling off our person's constantly.  We used to make knives out of ordinary objects, we drew guns, we had real metal cutlery at school.
Teachers made us angry, classmates picked on us.  We got in fights all through Elementary...even in to Junior High (middle school) by High School there were still some fights but not many. I remember in Elementary school up until about 5th grade..boys and girls alike came in muddy, bloody, dirty, skinned knees, bruised, but with an understanding there would always be someone larger, faster, more adept at hitting or dodging.  We learned that hitting hurt!! We learned that we needed to work things out on out own, with our words and shake on it.  We learned that if you hit your friend, chances are it was going to hurt both of you.  Their body,  your fist...or we learned  THEY HIT BACK!!! That hurt both of you at times equally if there was no winner.

It didn't take long for playground law to take effect and for us to realize we had to solve this on our own or we'd never get to the bottom of the slide, we had to do it with the least amount of blood possible, and with the least amount of pain possible.  When we got in trouble in school, we got in trouble at home.  We learned that our parents were bigger and stronger (paddles hurt!!) we learned teachers and principals were bigger and stronger (Paddles in public hurt our egos much worse but we cried less) We learned that we earned respect from our peers by being able to not show too much emotion in public, to be faster or stronger, to be a master negotiator, to avoid fights by being so darn personable no one REALLY hated us.  We also learned that teachers cared when they said.."break it up, now shake and move on"  We learned to take care of our friends who couldn't win in a fair fight because they had physical or mental disabilities.

When did this all change??  When did we cripple our society by not allowing or empowering our son's and daughters to learn these valuable life lessons?  When did we take away problem solving skills for tattling and not learning to protect those who needed it?  I never felt out right bullied, I did feel intimidation, I felt un-included, different, picked on, I knew I wasn't like everyone else.  I knew if it really, really was important to me I could stand up and they would back down.  I learned that at any point I had only myself to embrace, my differences to accept and that one or two good friends were all that mattered.  I learned to think about others as people not how popular they were or weren't.  I learned to see soul ugliness and bitter loneliness in the most popular of people.  I was at times depressed...all of us were, we were teenagers!

But not once, never once...did any of the boys I knew, or the girls I knew ever once go get their gun and use it.  We just weren't raised that way.  We were raised to know that men solved problems, women talked about each other and then made nice.  We knew that only REALLY bad kids ever pulled knives or did bad things.

I really wish that our schools would allow the boys more freedom when it came to learning to settle disputes.  I know people highly disagree with this stance and consider all fighting to be abnormal.  It isn't aberrant behaviour as many schools and parents will have you believe..if it were, it wouldn't occur in all aspects of nature. We have to learn to respect those who outrank us.  I've noticed more and more disobedience in the years since the zero tolerance policies went into effect. I have noticed only hostility and bullies grow, but not understanding or problem solving skills.  It seems boys can't breathe without being sent to the office, yet girls continue to damage the psyche's of everyone of their classmates but remain unpunished.  I am a girl and we were some of the most vicious things on the playground!  We tore up guys!  Guys now have an uncertain sense of self and it seems are more troubled and prone to act out.  I can't stand to see good boys rough housing, laughing and having suspended because they had the nerve to touch one another.  While having the misfortune to have a teacher run across it and report it rather than just say.."ok guys you've had everyone ok?  Move along"  That's really all rough housing requires.  Not behaviour to be vilified.

We all seemed to survive for centuries observing societal norms, learning the ways of the world, navigating our lives and learning respect.  Now it seems that society is sinking into a pit of teenage rebellion, mutual disrespect and is in many ways worse off than we were before in the halcyon days of fights on the playground, though by rights they were supposed to be more tumultuous and damaging.

Through all of our insanity and our run amok desires...we never acted on least none of  the kids I went to school with.

Maybe not a complicated life per say....but but it certainly makes for a complicated existence

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wasted days and Easter nights

Ok, I'm doing this on my phone do expect autocorrect errors.  I'll let you guess what the title was supposed to be.
This is kind of a wtf post.  Yes, I am posting in anger and frustration.  Feeling a bit like a discarded piece of refuse, who's sole purpose in life is to be there for others.  I've spent so much time and effort wasting my life on people and things who I don't really matter to.  I think Morrissey, song God that he is, sums it up best in his lyrics  "why do I give valuable time to people who don't care if I live or die?"  It's not that people don't matter, they matter very much to me.  Some people I invest so much in, but get nothing in return when I need it.  I'm kind of sick of 'being there' for people then when the shit hits the fan in my own life, they can't be bothered to help.  Or decide that I'm 'just being a drama queen' or 'making more out of it, than it is'.  I'm hurt and yes I am lashing out a bit.  Will I regret this post....probably not because I'm fairly certain this will never be seen and or comprehended by those who've hurt me most.
I'm not sure if I feel like continuing to be the 'pantry boy/girl' or the proverbial whipping boy.  I'm wondering when I'm going to set the example I want my son to follow.  I want him to be confident, to feel and be loved, to know his worth and feel entitled to respect, at least the respect he shows others.  I want him to not waste his time on people who won't be there for him when the shit hits the fan.  I will always have his back, but will give him the reality slap he needs.  If he feels at some point that he needs to pull away from me when he reaches adult hood and we adapt to our changing roles....I won't like it, it will taste like gall....but I will try to respect it. 
I have spent so many days and nights wasting tears, questions to empty rooms, re-thinking and dissecting my words.
I've learned that true friends don't require you to emasculate or efface yourself on the altar of their vanity...when I screw up because I'm having a horrible true friends just hug me virtually, verbally or physically and never expect me to devalue myself for them.
I'm hoping for far less wasted days and wasted nights in order to prevent a wasted life for me and a bad example for my son

Friday, February 3, 2012

5025600 miners

I was going to be philosophical and deep....but autocorrect had other ideas.  It filled in miners for the word minutes.   :)
That's just one of many insignificant things I've had to adapt to this year.  One little year, one long year.  This year has taught me that life is fleeting, grab on and hold on for the ride.  Run as fast as you can for the happiness in life.
Life is so full of bitterness, ugliness, strife, envy, hatred, the list goes on.  I think if we stop the world, our portion of it at least, and really take a good look at it.  That what we run on the endless hamster wheel to catch, is actually right in front of us.  We just need to stop the wheel and go to it.
My hamster wheel hasn't been that fast or functional this year.  I've had to find other ways to catch up....ways such as slowing down.  I'm roughly as energetic as a wet sock (I would have said noodles, but they move around, at least some, with the boiling water.  Another way has been to let go of some control.  I've tried to be more patient with myself.
There are many positives to slowing down.  More time to notice little things, more eye contact, more smiles, grass, flowers, leaves, birds.
Physically I'm still playing the back and forth game.  It will most likely always be this way.  I am working on things. It's a bit slow and awkward sometimes.  I'm working on learning to 'read' myself too. 
All I can say is....thank you to all of you who've stood by and or sat beside me through this.  Many of you don't know me. But still I thank you all.