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Posts Tagged ‘women’

I know I’ve been absent for a while. I expect I’ll write here again, get my mojo workin’. I’m not going to try to do it though, at least that’s not a plan for now. When I think of things to write, or more rarely, when I draft something, it seems inconsequential to me.

This is a happy occasion. I submitted some poems in 2013 and heard from the editor of Literary Mama in August 2014. Usually, one gets a response much sooner, so I had forgotten I’d even submitted to the journal. I am thrilled that they accepted my poem.

It’s good to have an excuse to post. I’m here. I’m still here.

http://www.literarymama.com/poetry/archives/2014/10/miscarriage.html

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Happy 79th Birthday to my mom!

As her memory goes, I wonder what I am responsible for. Am I the holder and keeper of her memories and secrets? When can I tell them? What does my brother know? What does she remember? Is what I know true?

I do wish my mother happiness, but it seems an elusive wish. She says she has always been lucky, lucky to have come to the United States and to have found the life she did. But her childhood tells a story, not of luck, but of trauma. I wonder how this fits into her definition of luck; but I will never ask her.

I titled this selfish because I am not using my post today only for a birthday wish for my mother. I don’t really think I’m selfish, because it’s my blog and I want to use it just for that—for myself. But I do feel guilty a tiny bit. I think being a mother, a daughter, a wife, means I always have a tiny lingering guilt. I am sure not all women are like this. I wish I could shake it, but apparently I am not yet evolved to that point. Perhaps this could be my Christmas wish for myself or my New Year’s resolution.

I have snippets of writing lately, nothing coming out whole cloth like I used to have. I know, honestly, most of that needed heavy editing anyway.

What do I wish for? Better poems, more poems, dream poems, publishable poems, poems that will make you swoon, will make you weep, make you laugh, make you buy my books (what books, twinkly? oh, right), fruit poems, frozen bud poems, bloody blue poems, pink poems, feather poems, leaf-and-snow poems, mom poems, wife poems, marriage poems, sex poems, fuck poems, love poems, fucking poems, magical poems, clear poems, anatomical parts poems, important poems, a-political poems, no-more-guns poems, deep poems, no-murky-bits poems. Enough! This kind of thinking is so anti-Alexander Technique that I can hardly continue to allow myself its luxurious indulgence.

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Here are 2 recent poem snippets:

(SNIPPET ONE)

When Shall I Be Delivered

I begged for more from the world

It started inside
a pinprick
where I was once attached

You have not delivered me

With each bout
of bleeding
my density increases
alongside my insatiable hunger

My marrow
pumping erythrocytes
for every drop
that falls

Not much
they always say
a few tablespoons

If men bled
they would find
a more poetic measure
than cups and spoons
(a woman’s place is in the kitchen)

But I know the feeling
of the soldier
draining into the muddy earth
the sand with its greed
taking more than its share
pints and quarts and gallons for drenching

I am ready for the firing squad
or operating theater

I am ready for my uterus
to be yanked out by
its mooring ligaments

No scars
only
a virginal torso
left

I didn’t need you any more
anyway

But thanks
for the ride

(SNIPPET 2)

December 17

My mother is a husk
a Christmas walnut
cracked open

The meat of her
gone

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A recent photo of me on our trip to San Diego. As adorable, sexy, beautiful, and fascinating as I am, I hope you can still tell I’m saying don’t fuck with me.

I will tell you the sordid detail now, why I am bleeding and won’t stop, why I bled last year for 67 days out of 90, why why why and why I didn’t know the full story of my own blood loss.

2 days after my ER visit in January, I had an in-office vaginal ultrasound (hey, buck up readers, did you think I wasn’t gonna mention my vagina?) by none other than the OB/GYN who had me in the stirrups in the ER.

Fast-forward to about 6 weeks ago when I went to the OB/GYN’s office, yet again, due to menstrual flooding (refusing to see the Offending Doctor, of course). When I was in the office talking to yet another doctor, thankfully not in stirrups, what did I find out? That back in January, on that very ultrasound, a 3+ cm fibroid tumor was found at the back of my uterus, embedded in the lining in such a way that I WILL ALWAYS END UP FLOODING WITHOUT CESSATION until I am on the other side of menopause and it goes away or until some hormonal or surgical intervention takes place.

Why my body was able to not bleed for almost 6 months (completely off of progesterone but under the loving care of my acupuncturist), I do not know. But once I started, I haven’t stopped. I’ve been able to cut back the progesterone to a more reasonable and less interfering dose, but I can’t go off of it until I undergo one of 4 options, each of which is fairly traumatic in scope to me.

It took me a while of reeling from the information (appx 3 weeks) that the OB/GYN, the office staff, the nursing staff, the radiology department (does that about cover it?) NEVER told me I have a tumor (fibroids are benign btw) before I could conceive of a plan. I have been under my acupuncturist’s care, but I was not in a place where I trusted the gynecologic practice I was with. The impending week away to California also meant that I had to wait until our return to deal with the fibroid.

I spoke with an MD in the same practice at 5:30 am a few Sundays ago and was very pleased with his attention, information, ability to listen and answer questions, and apparent intelligence. I will be seeing this MD on Monday and I will be discussing a few different options so I can make a decision and get off the progesterone and see what my body does in response to whatever choice I make.

I am scared and tired and sad and I got really sad news about my mother yesterday as well. Her health problems are myriad and long-standing, but she has been in a dramatic memory decline for several months. So, I am dealing with that as well, her only daughter and her primary caretaker.

It’s hard. Harder than I could ever have imagined. And I thought having babies was tough stuff. I don’t remember this part being explained to me. The sandwich years of my generation. Can I get a witness?

someone would like you to believe this is what women look like when they need to use the toilet

this is not what I look like

ever

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I was going to post something light and airy today, something fun and gratitude-filled. But I found this on Facebook this morning.

Every time one of you fuckers asks what’s under attack, read it. And don’t get all namby-pamby and innocent and ask incredulously are women really under attack? and say things like it’s not so bad and nothing’s being taken away and any more of your condescending, male-entitled bullshit. If you are walking around with a dick between your legs and think that you have any clue whatsoever, you don’t. Just shut up when needed and when it’s time to speak use it well to support your wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, and grandmothers. CAPICHE?

If you came here from somewhere else and you think I’m in the She-Woman Man Hater’s Club, you don’t know me well. But I can kinda see where you might get that idea. On the contrary, I love you guys, but like Erin O’Brien says: get out of our vaginas unless you are invited in.

Okay, so Madonna doesn’t have anything to do with this post and I don’t even care much for her. But she really knows how to give the finger and her name is Madonna and this post is about women. So there.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all women, even those of you who aren’t mothers. It is the way it is. For all of us.

How did my Mother’s Day begin?

At 3 am, I was waked to the sound of retching, cat retching. The cat had puked on the down quilt under which I slumbered. The dear.

This was a perfect reminder of what mothers do most of the other 364 days (and nights) of our lives.

So I did what mothers have always done, cleaned up puke. Did laundry. Felt my hungry, grumbling stomach. Yes, this is the reason motherhood makes you fat. When you wake in the middle of the night to the delightful sounds and smells of poop or puke or pee or crying (all of these belonging to someone else), you find after your arduous tasks that you are hungry. So you eat breakfast. In four hours, when you wake again, you will be hungry for your real breakfast and you will eat again. You will be tired. You will drink coffee, you will crave energy in the form of sugar and fat because you are sleep-deprived; you will eat some more. Love the fat. As Susun Weed says pack your bags for the long journey.

Yesterday, I had the honor of going on a nice bike ride with 2 of my gal pals. What did I learn anew? That every ride is a good ride. Yes, it goes hand-in-hand with there are no perfect conditions (though yesterday’s weather and lack of traffic means it came pretty close).

I was finally able to prevent my mid-traps from becoming excessively painful; they were only tight. I also had more of what I needed all around, cheer, stamina, upright torso, free neck, widening chest, freeing away to the knees, knees forward, tight in on my climbs, lots of good breath. But I was slightly dehydrated and still lacking protein because I got a headache and my legs shook once. Must eat eggs more often. Eggs=mothers. See how this all fits together?

I also had my first exposure to obtaining a biker’s tan. I have mixed feelings about it. Still, I am sure we all got a buttload of Vitamin D under the perfectly clear skies.

I realized yesterday that I am becoming much less of a biking bitch; I am slowly evolving into a BIKING CITIZEN. It’s hard to give up these well-earned parts of myself (it’s been about a month). I’m not convinced that I won’t need my bitchy in the near future, so I’m not swearing off of it yet.

Next tasks include harder faster longer and more hills. But I’m not attached. I’m easy, zen, cool, a unified whole, a non-end-gaining, non-doing-when-possible, bike chick; open to possibilities.

Here is what I posted last year for the Music Monday after Mother’s Day. It is the best lyric for women that I know.

Now I am going to paint my slutty toenails with a slutty color for Mother’s Day because I can. Fuck the debates and the cover of Time magazine. Own it, whatever it is, ladies. It’s our day, all 365 of them, year in and year out.

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And am I born to die? To lay this body down!

Easter is not a holiday I feel much of an attachment to. However, I was reminded this week of a specific time in my life, a new friend I once had, her life and death.

8 years ago, I began singing Sacred Harp every Tuesday night at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel on the Smith College campus in Northampton, Massachusetts.

I got to know Mirjana Lausovic at the Tuesday night sing a few years later after she moved back to the area from Minnesota with her husband and 2 young children.

Minja, as she was known, was one of the strongest women I have ever met—happy, practical, full of joy and life, big in presence and physicality; loved her kids, huge heart. Everything about her was open and present—she was buxom, full-lipped, had big eyes and a big smile, and of course, a powerful voice. Formidable was the word that came to mind the first time I saw her. She was easily approachable and had a humility I draw from to this day.

Minja had beautiful silver hair and it was cut short. I, too, kept my hair short and we joked together about haircuts, how it didn’t really matter who cut it or how: no muss, no fuss. I never knew why her hair was short and gray; she was, after all, a couple of years younger then me.

When I began to sing in the Sacred Harp group, in 2004, I had a difficult time socially. If it hadn’t been for my fierce love of the sound, my determination to add a creative endeavor for myself after years at home raising my daughters; if it hadn’t been for my training as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, I would have bagged out. I found the group strange and clique-y; I didn’t understand the social dynamics. I heard a lot of talk of “welcoming the newcomer,” but my presence seemed less than welcome. I was baffled and spent many a Tuesday night filled with the joy and satisfaction of learning a new, powerful way of singing, but with an undercurrent of my own sadness and anger at feeling on the periphery of a group [supposedly] dedicated to a communal tradition of song.

Minja was a remedy for all of that, a breath of holy spirit.

She died less than 2 years after I met her. It was a shock to me because I didn’t know her history—she had had breast cancer and pulled through several years earlier and this was apparently a recurrence. They left town one day in July of 2007 and she died 2 weeks later, on my birthday, something I recognize as a great gift.

I remember the evening before Tim and Minja and the kids were leaving town. I had prepared a little card and a bundle of ribboned lavender from my garden. When I handed the card to her, my instinct was to walk away so she could open it at her leisure, no pressure to say she liked it in case she didn’t, nor to respond to the words therein. But she said, emphatically, “Can I open it now? I want to open it NOW.” It was so much her, living for the moment, taking a bite out of whatever life presented.

♦ ♦ ♦

Today, I watched as my daughter’s Agricultural Arts teacher introduced 5 new colonies of bees to the existing hives on the school’s campus. Nicki told us that the worker bees, all of whom are female, do not lay their own eggs, in deference to the queen’s laying.

I saw the first tulips open in my side garden bed.

I am preparing a dish for dinner with eggs from my neighbor’s chickens, a salad with greens from a local farm.

Sometimes I receive emails from a fellow parent at my daughter’s school and they close with the statement “Walk in the light, wherever you may be.” Some days I begin to know what this means.

Today is Passover; tomorrow is Easter. I know I have been delivered, here and now, to the center of a swirl of abundance that I call home, the earth.

♦ ♦ ♦

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