two hundred & eighty nine: imagination

i don’t know what we’d do without our imaginations.

this whole blog is based on a cottage by the sea that pocketbrit and i have entirely co-imagined: the fire pit. a swing on the porch. a tall stone fireplace with our worn grey sofa. our new addition, a rocking chair, wide enough to fit small ones and the grown ups who love them.

when we are lonely, and scared, and sad, we have to imagine each other there, together. currently, we don’t live near enough to do anything but that…imagining hugging and being close. imagining snuggling. drinking hot cocoa and walks in the rain and hunting for puppies. weathering storms internal and in the skies both.

but the love here? the closeness, the care, the tenderness? is anything but imagined. our friendship, the respect, the desire to be present for each other? is beyond real.

and means so much more to me than i could have ever imagined.

💜

two hundred & seventy one: brick

a couple years ago pocketbrit and i were playing a game of 20 questions while i was waiting to be seen in the ER. and she used an expression that i hadn’t heard before (this happens regularly), which was bricking it. it made me laugh out loud, i recall, because i knew what it meant, coz it’s kind of similar to us saying shitting bricks. but when i recently went to an amusement park with my kiddo and rode a really crazy rollercoaster i thought of her, and of this expression.

(and then also thought, ouch, thank goodness we don’t shit bricks, those fuckers have sharp edges, eep.)

backdated, written june 23/19

two hundred & sixty nine: serenity

when i was in my teens, the sitcom seinfeld was hugely popular. and its popularity persisted into my early 20s, when reruns were on. i’d seen it once or twice, but i didn’t love it like everyone else seemed to. i can admit that a large part of it was because people were always telling me to watch it (i hate being told what to do, so i didn’t, on principle); i also enjoyed the haughty, eye-rolling response i got when i told people i was refraining from watching the show because they were telling me to watch it. i’m smiling thinking of it, actually.

(as an aside, i’ve done this with other popular series/movies/books, too, throughout my life. most recently with game of thrones. yeah. that’s right. get over it.)

i know it’s ridiculous and kind of childish, but, well, there you go. i’m a fairly ridiculous and childish person, if you haven’t gleaned that yet.

but one of the episodes that i actually did find amusing was the one where george read a self-help book or listened to a self-help meditation sort of thing, where the prompt was ‘serenity now.’ except when he used it, he’d shout it at the top of his lungs, SERENITY NOW!!!!

maybe i should watch the friggin’ show. no one’s telling me to watch it anymore, i think i’m safe. and frankly, i could use a bit more funny in my life. it’s a bit lacking in that department lately.

written june 22/19

 

 

two hundred & sixty four: activate

ugh this is such a fucking therapy word.

worse, i use it fairly often.

i usually say it when i don’t want to say triggered, because that has become so incredibly overused in general parlance for things that are not remotely related to trauma or abuse. i use it interchangeably, i guess, because it makes sense to me, as a concept, and as a visceral response in the wake of trauma.

for me, being triggered feels activating: when a bunch of things in my body and my brain light up, while a bunch of other things shut down. and folks, lately, i am mega activated. my cat is dying. my work is draining me. it was just father’s day. my parents keep texting me. my kid is hating me, and, on the daily, accuses me of all kinds of mean horrific things because she is struggling and somehow i am her favourite target. my wife just had surgery that for some reason scared the shit out of me. i have no therapist at the moment. i am missing pocketbrit something fierce and cursing the idiotic number of miles and bodies of water between us.

so yeah, i am activated, all right. i am not sleeping, i am young, i am jumpy, i am easily terrified, i am weepy. i hate all of it.

two hundred & sixty three: light

pocketbrit is so right, we do love us some good rays. i know i have some better ones than these but i can’t seem to find them, so they’ll have to do.

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*

nearly eight years ago, when i was therapist shopping, part of what drew me to my current t was her bio online (it is not online any longer). in it, she spoke about light and also capital L Light, and i liked that. she also quoted beautiful lyrics from a prolific canadian singer, so that was the start of my loving her.

i’m trying to make my way back to her but it’s just been really difficult. it’s felt dark and dismal and scary. not easy. not light.

backdated, written june 17/19

two hundred & sixty two: trapped

sometimes i feel trapped in my brain.

it’s where i’ve always lived, because i hate my body and i like to pretend i don’t have one.

my brain is rarely still. it is usually analyzing and shaming and interpreting. listing things and reminding and tallying. if it made a noise it would be incessant, like a creaky rusty box fan or the drone of an airplane that never quite approaches or leaves.

backposted, written June 17/19

two hundred & sixty one: fight

i don’t know why i didn’t think of this word in terms of arguing…i mean, there was a lot (a LOT) of fighting that went on in my childhood, between my parents, between us kids, between parents and kids. and goodness knows i’ve had some awful fights with pocketbrit.

but what this word made me think of was the the sense of fight we have in us. as in fight or flight. as in, that instinct that kicks in, that lights a fire in us. that sense of fight that sometimes ebbs away, when we become very old or very sick or very hurt.

*

the first association i had was to a song i really love, and i don’t really know why i love it like i do, why it speaks to me like it does. it was maybe when i heard it? what i was going through at the time? i don’t know. but the chorus of the song says “take me to the bar/where a sweet voice in the back of my skull, says/take me to the bar/and see if i can fight…take me to the bar/where a sweet voice in the back of my skull, says/take me to the bar/and straight to bed all night.”

and i guess i just pictured someone who had just been through a really, really hard time. who has not been up to their usual tricks, who had been on their own, who had not been themselves. and they are asking to be taken out for the night, as a test almost, to see if they can do it. if they still have that spark, that fight. and then, knowing how difficult it might be, that they’ll go home, exhausted, to fall straight to sleep.

i could relate to that, i guess. that sort of testing of oneself. in the early days, i felt like that a lot, about nearly everything. how will it be to go to the grocery store, driving a car, taking a shower, getting my hair done, getting a pap test, knowing what i know? how will it feel to work? how will i mother? what will it be like to see my old friends, the ones who knew my parents? will i still take on ignorance, like the person at the bar in the song? can i still fight?

everything felt different after remembering, every single thing, although i looked exactly the same in the mirror, and i couldn’t guess how i might be with it all. i’m still figuring it all out.

*

last summer or maybe fall, pocketbrit and i wrote a scenario (and then recorded it) about our first meeting at the sea; i wrote the first day, and she wrote the second day. in them, i came to her, and we rented a little cottage from a little old lady who left us her two dogs. we slept in two twin beds in a loft at the top of the cottage, and went for walks with the woofers, read, drank gin and tonics, took turns cooking meals, went and retrieved my lost luggage at the airport, and just got to know each other.

in her scenario, while we watched the sun set from the porch swing, i fall asleep against her shoulder. when she shifts, i wake up in that utter jet lagged confusion that comes when you don’t expect to fall asleep, and she puts a cushion on her lap, and pats it, and without any fight, i lay my head on it, and go straight back to sleep.

i don’t know why it’s my favourite part of that recording, when she says that. but i love it. just the thought that i could (and would) do that, the trust in it? her gentleness? i don’t know. but it brings a lump to my throat, tonight.

*

our old tabby cat’s life force has been wavering for months, but now, it is close to his time. the sass and the fight has left him, in his wake only a bony, confused body, cloudy green eyes, matted fur. he doesn’t clean himself anymore. he seems to forget where his litter box is, and is starving all the time (or has forgotten that he has just eaten?) he can’t jump or chase anymore. we used to delight in teasing him (and having him tease us back) but not now. he spends his days following us around, meowing plaintively. napping in odd places. still wants us close but not always sure how close.

but he still purrs, so so loud. and he still lets us hold him like a baby, and blinks his eyes slowly when we talk to him. we’re giving him all the bacon and yogurt he wants. we just mop up after him. we don’t want to argue. our fighting days are long over.

 

backposted, written june 16/19