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I’ve been away, elsewhere and not here since 2015. Or the last time I was here, the calendar year was 2015.
And now I must re-familiarize myself on how to even post an entry. Learn all of the new fancy bells & whistles of the blogging world. Who am I kidding? The most I will probably do is figure out how to add an entry. At least for now, unless I re-commit to daily (or almost) posts.
While being not here for the past two years I have been a busy bee & much living & multiple adventures have washed under the proverbial bridge or down the river & multiple new moons have transitioned to full ones. The most significant changes & life events have been moving out of state & then back again within a 12-month cycle. Beginning a new job, accepting a promotion & then immediately resigning from said promotion within a month & returning to the ‘home’ state. Within that 12-month period, I also lived in three different rentals, committed to the last rental & began putting down roots. Literally. Succulents were purchased, repotted & ultimately re-homed. Furniture & home furnishings bought & assembled as needed & within three months, released.
Yes. The Big Purge of Material Possessions took place, AGAIN.
Another very long Road Trip happened, AGAIN.
My daughter’s medical emergency. She needed her mama. My daughter needed me. And so…
And seven months later, I remain a virtual stranger in familiar surroundings & homeless to boot. Not in the literal sense of the word I suppose as I have had a roof over my head & even my own bathroom as I have been existing (aka living) in my ex-partner’s whom I am still legally married to, condo. I have not worked or earned any money for the past seven+ months. My biggest accomplishment has been surviving the last seven+ months.
Huge. This accomplishment. Very large. Being still alive. Humongous. Weathering grief, winter’s frigid darkness.
Today I can believe spring has arrived or at the very least is well on its way. I can believe that Old Man Winter cannot & most importantly, will not, last forever. Today the return from a long long hibernation continues, fueled by renewed energy & long daylight hours. Ahhhh, yes. The light has returned to the Far North Land. Finally.
And I begin the preparations for or at the very least the hope of leaving ‘home’ once again. Yep. Yup. Affirmative. Yes. This tumbling tumbleweed is hoping to move, to blow this pop stand, to relocate, to begin anew, to head down the old highway. AGAIN.
A second job interview, this one in person, is scheduled in three weeks in a faraway place. I am on the path to a new adventure. AGAIN.
The unmistakable trumpet of Canadian geese pierced through the early morning airwaves and were received by my welcoming ears. In the spring, these first honkings validate with assurance and confidence that winter is surely on the wane because there are new feathered sherrifs in town. We know when the geese head south, so do our hopes of continued late summer and autumn joys. Their departing audio conversations sound sad to those of us left behind. Left behind to face a cold and icy future.
But today, the Canadians are back and my heart jumped with joy for surely on their strong wings my prayers for winter’s end are answered.
It is true.
Prayers and wishes can, indeed, come true.
Where I work there is a department called the Transitional Services Unit (TSU) that helps incarcerated youth return to their communities. I understand that it was not that many years ago that this unit did not exist and that youth who had aged out of the juvenile justice system were simply released. Set out on the curb so to speak. Now each departing youth has a team who works with them and on their behalf to help them navigate the numerous changes and challenges.
This morning, I realized that I need one of these TSUs of my very own. Now whether or not I would make good use of their offered services, I do nots know for sure. But I cannot help but think that there might be some comfort in just knowing I had this team of humans who were looking out and ahead for me, even for a little while.
Because where I am today is a familiar place. Familiar but full of danger and darkness. This place where I end up after the ground opens underneath me and I experience the free fall into depression, a cavern of great depth. This time, I did what I used to do many years ago, I pretended I was not falling ~ for a while. That is until either the invisible tether securing me to the landscape of life, separated or the growing velocity of the plunge forced me to admit I was in this place, once again.
I must snap out of my funk. Create toe and finger holds to climb, pull and grunt my way to the surface. Pronto. Today is my middle grandson’s 14th birth day family celebration. I love this boy, dearly. I am to bring the cheese bread. Cheese bread ~ his Grammie’s cheese bread ~ is one of his most favorite foods. To not show up, cheese bread in tow, is not acceptable. I love this boy.
So I must figure my way out of this quagmire of self indulgent angst once again in order to leave my home, get in Buster Blue, drive to the grocery, purchase the ingredients, return home, make the cheese spread, drive to my daughter’s home, participate in the family birth day celebration and be part of my life ~ part of my middle grandson’s life.
Where are the TSU personnel? Hello? Can you hear me?
With or without other human help, I must assist mine own self. I have been in this place before, many times in fact. Surely I must know the way up and out. I will look for some markers and familiar signs pointing ahead.
One of the wonders of modern living holds sway over me still and most likely always will. The ability to turn on the tap and have potable water appear ~ instantly appear and then with a slight flick of the wrist make it hot or return it to an icy coldness. Now that is life in the fast lane, baby. And we haven’t even mentioned the luxury of the flush toilet. Oh my!
I grew up in rural areas. My childhood was a blend spent between the Pacific coast and the Atlantic Shoreboard. The constant being the oceans and country living. For most of those years we lived without plumbing or electricity. Sometimes we had electricity and no plumbing. My adoptive parents liked to say that they had running water, they’d just send me and my sister running to fetch it. Yep, that was a real knee slapper, their little joke. Explains though my life long awe of running water that does not require me walking for over a quarter of a mile or more and making like a pack mule hauling back 5-gallon bright red plastic jugs or multiple re-purposed white bleach bottles of the clear liquid.
Although I have yet to taste a sweeter more pure cup of water than what ran in one of the springs on a homestead in a faraway place, I have to say that the trade off has proved worth the exchange over time.
So earlier today while I was letting the hot water sluice through my hair I closed my eyes and said a little thank you to the Running Water Goddess and the Universe at large, for such a gift in my daily life. This blessing of running water. A blessing that millions of my species do not have access to, whose very lives revolve around the seeking and retrieving of this liquid manna.
Life is about perspective. At least my life today seems to be and just a little shift in my focus has helped me participate in my life in this moment. Helped me send up a prayer of gratitude to the Running Water Goddess and loosen my hold on what was feeling a lot like the running water blues.
Should I stay or should I go? This question has me off kilter, off balance, out of sync. Centered I am not.
It seems this question of where I will live or more specifically, where will I grow roots has been a long asked question. One that hovers over me sort of like a lazy man’s lasso ~ too loopity-looped to really ensnare anything. For all the years that I lived in California attending grad school, I was unsettled. This condition was due, in large part, in knowing that upon graduation, I would be called upon to make a decision ~ to choose between a warmer clime and those whom I call my family. The choice though is never that simple or at least it feels laden with much more.
I chose to return to the Land of Almost Always Winter to be close to my clan. And now here I am again at the crossroad of choice. Do I apply for a position in a much warmer climate near the ocean or do I take a pass and continue on here? If I take my familia out of the equation, I have to admit there would still be considerations. Things like a regular paycheck at a job that I will have held for a year next week, a rented living space that I like (even with the leaky roof) and a few local friends whom I enjoy their company. And then, of course, there is the little or actually big fact of not having to pack up and move, again.
Now, some might say that I am putting the cart before the horse. I mean really, why don’t I just go ahead and apply for the position and then consider all of this other stuff. Well because in order to apply, I must request letters of recommendation and only want to ask this favor of colleagues if I am truly interested in the job. Plus, I realized that it’s go time as in let’s get it together and figure out where I am going to commit to living for a while. If I am going to stay put then I could and should (beware of the should says a little voice) begin taking the steps to open a small private practice in addition to my 4-day work week.
Come on self. What’s the hold up? The hang up? What exactly is the sticky wicket? The answers are here within my heart and mind. Right? Allowing myself to know what I know is easier said than done in the moment.
Life in the moment is good. Very good. Too good. At least too good to wait until November to formally give our honor and thanks~giving for this abundant life.
So my family and I are gathering this evening for a spring Thanksgiving Feast. There will be the American dinner icons ~ turkey, mashed taters, gravy all served up with loads of yummy side dishes. My daughter sparked the idea last week and the rest of her clan quickly climbed onboard.
Life is good. And when it is this good, one must eat. Eat delicious homecooked food and sip a bubbly beverage, or two. And you know me, who am I to swim against the tide ~ at least when it comes to celebrations.
I do believe my region of the planet has taken its snowy place in the weather history books as the snowiest winter on record. Fantabulous for winter enthusiasts I suppose. But even those rosy cheeked ones must be getting just a teeny weeny tiny bit tired of the endless
dumps gifts of snow.
As for me, there’s the matter of roof leaks in my kitchen and limited vision from my windows as the snow deepens, rising up past the window casings. There’s the growing craving for natural greenery. There’s the daily shuffling and changing of outerwear to inside attire ~ the continual on-and-off of the boots, the hat, the scarf, the gloves and coat.
Fatiguing of mind, body, heart and spirit for this particular Earth dweller.
Ready for spring. Ready for summer.
Meanwhile, I suppose I’ll go help chisel the icy news of our snowy achievement into our frozen history books.
Napping is good. Whether the nap is taken sitting upright or lying down, either way, it’s all good. I opted for such goodness yesterday afternoon and was rewarded with rich and varied dreams. The extra interesting dreams may have been somewhat influenced by my lunch. The lunch that was slightly, meaning well off, my current low sodium plan. Can you say a foodie’s salty heaven? Not to worry, I do not intend to continue veering off the diet forever. Sometimes though, a triple decker turkey club sammie on lightly toasted whole wheat bread is worth this high risk behavior.
Yes. Either way. Horizontally or vertically. Napping is a good thing. All snuggled up in one’s down duvet with loads of fluffy and firm pillows for added comfort.
Did I mention yesterday was an overcast cold winter’s day? It was and I did. Nap.
All good. Way good.
It appears that a simple function termed threading of film onto a projector eludes me. Baffles me even after some time and effort spent cleaning the very old equipment and online searching for helpful how-to instructions. Not surprising I suppose ~ this road block of sorts. After all, this is no ordinary antique projector. This is my adoptive parent’s projector and the 8mm and super 8mm film reels housed in their bright yellow Kodak cardboard boxes hold family history family secrets family surprises. This film plays silently with only the loud thrum of the machinery accompanying the grainy color images.
At least that is how I remember the viewings as a child and young adult when after much pleading, my mother would finally acquiesce, giving my father permission to haul out the projector and the film. As adopted daughters, my sister and I, yearned even more than the average kid to see again and again the evidence of our belonging, of our history. A history that only went back to when we arrived in America, bought by these White American parents. I was a Korean adoptee and so was my sister, arriving from different backgrounds and first families to form our very own little tribe of two in a land where no one looked like us ~ to a land where for all of our childhoods we were known as The Adopted Korean Girls.
Fast forward many years and here you will find me. Finally pushing through my myriad of fears, resistance and ambivalence to allow myself to figure out another piece of my foundation. Sounds heavy for such a simple task of figuring out an old projector and watching a few canisters of film. Simple or not, these actions have been many years in the making.
It seems that the gathering of our lives lived through memories, yearnings, wishes and dreams is a life long journey. A journey which offers experiences of joy, sadness, grief, longing, laughter, anger, tears, breath taking ah-ha’s, rage and acceptance. I figure that I am somewhere a little past mid-way of this journey of this life time and it is looking more possible than naught that there will be future viewings of these little films. Where those particular pieces of the puzzle will fit is not quite clear, yet. Thankfully there is a focusing mechanism on this antiquated projector.
I seem to be thriving of late with last minute decisions to do things. Last minute as in spontaneous choice making. A little out of character one might say except for the times when looking at a calendar of planned events makes me feel weighed down and suffocated. Even when the spoken for time is meant for fun and recreation.
I blame this schedule phobia or heightened anxiety to the many years of single parenthood, raising my daughter, alone. All the while, working 2-3 jobs and attending college part-time and sometimes with a full credit load. Woah Nelly. Overload to the max. I don’t think I ever quite recovered from the stress strain and demands of my time and efforts. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that any of that whole scenario was unworthy of my attentions, particularly the raising of my daughter part. She was, and is and will always be, worth every single bit of care and consideration that I ever have or ever will proffer.
I am just saying that I got worn out and used up in a sort of whole person, mind, body, emotions, psyche and spirit kind of way. That even though I have re-charged and many years have passed since that totally uber time, there have been other demanding times (e.g., running businesses and grad school spring to mind) that have collared a lot of my focus.
So today I am going with the flow and have decided to run out and meet the day in a retail sort of way this morning. Wish me luck! I’ll be with friends and family, which has it’s very own share of the upside and the potential downside ~ if you receive my meaning.
Ahhh, life in the times of me. I’ve said it before but it bears saying again, simple folks living simple yet extraordinary lives. Yep. That’d be me included in with that bunch, for sure. Hope your day is a good one.