Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas From A Toddler's Eye View

   This Christmas in our household was quite the whirlwind... as per usual. But not for the usual reasons. We were all on again off again sick and none of us was much in the holiday spirit until we came right up to Christmas Eve itself (That's when things started to become fun). I wasn't even all that enthusiastic about listening to Christmas music this year, and that is saying a lot. But something else was different in a good way... the trappings seemed less appealing than normal this year, but the message felt much more front and center despite my melancholy. I may not have put decorations out until the last minute, but this December I can say I prayed more than I have in the past. When I did skip over a carol on my holiday playlist it wasn't because it wasn't jolly enough... it was to jump ahead to the songs that really captured the purpose of our celebrations.

   Then, as they always do, the actual days of celebration came. We were in the midst of it. And this time around I felt present almost the entire time... I got to step out of the "Mom seeing Christmas through her child's eyes" roll this time and settle back into my own personal point of view.... but, frankly I don't have much of a desire to write out my experience from that perspective. It's mine and I don't feel it needs a recap... but in looking through my pictures I realized that my (new to me) camera lens had it's own agenda separate from mine. It seems to have wanted to make sure that I didn't miss out on Christmas from a toddler's eye view... and if I do say so myself the story it tells is quite compelling. Have a look for yourself:

When you're a toddler, and the first grandkid in the family, you get the distinct pleasure of helping to blow out birthday candles no matter who they are intended for... in this case Umpa. Yes, my Dad was born on Christmas day!

Flashlights, suspenders and ties make Awesome gifts...

And books filled with dinosaurs read by Grandpas bring great joy!

Big boy underwear belongs on the doorknob of our front door... DUH!

Candy canes can be found in every corner of the house...

...and "Batman Car"s can bring hours of entertainment!

Dinos eat gummy snacks

...and every little thing makes you laugh.

There is one thing I got a picture of from my perspective that is worth sharing though... and that would be this:

Yes. That is a red velvet cheese ball. You're welcome.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Real Time Writing: My Reaction To Senseless Violence

   This has traditionally not been a place for content aggregation. I have lines and dividers in my head as to what I have designated each of my social media outlets for and have been mostly very strict with my blog. Other places I have allowed my own lines to blur quite a bit to suite specific situations and circumstances, but I have tried to remain very ridged in keeping this blog a place for personal creation. My own content. But, while some of the content I will be aggregating in this post is my own, some is not, because I feel it is important enough to warrant a "more serious" platform than a retweet or facebook share.  And frankly, I don't have many more words left on the subject than those I bled out yesterday in the events immediate wake. I still to this moment feel very drained of my biggest natural resource, words. Cohesive thoughts even.

    So here to start are the words I could form, that in haste made their way to Facebook before I could fully fathom the thought of piecing together a full post over here... but now, in hindsight I realize that they were more than enough, if only for the reason that they are, still, all that I have:

   I don't have much to add to that, from my own well of thoughts, feelings, wisdom, etc. But I do have a link or two I would like to share with you from other people and sources that I find to be of value in this overwhelming wake.

   The first is from Kim over at Momma by the Bay in regards to media, children and the dangers of how media coverage efforts negatively effect survivors, specifically children survivors. Her account of her own personal experience with school violence and prodding reporters is absolutely chilling and blood boiling at the same time. To The Media, Regarding Newtown

   The second is this heart wrenching article written by Liza Long over at Gawker with the telling title I Am Adam Lanza's Mother. This particular message hit so incredibly close to home as I spent a decent amount of time myself in and out of mental health facilities as a teenager, observing first hand a wide spectrum of the effect that mental illness can have on a person as well as the endless miles of red tape and paperwork and hoops set ablaze for frightened and bewildered family members to navigate. It's a scary place. Our culture is quick to diagnose and prescribe, but still so incredibly unwilling to acknowledge the extremes of mental illness. The reality of it.... just, read the article, it's so, so very important.

  I thought there was more.... but I seem to have lost track of the "good" stuff I read since yesterday... and I just don't have the heart to be searching for more information on this tragedy. A friend did share this link that, while not directly related, is so very, very related in an indescribable way. For when there is tragedy, somewhere else, in that moment, someone is doing an incredible good on behalf of another human being. Kindness still exists. Let's amplify it: 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith in Humanity.

   I apologize for the lack of editing. On this and other recent posts, while I'm at it. I'm finally beginning to realize that this is what blogging is really about. Real time writing. Not perfection.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hands That Feel Like Home

This is a love letter.

But not to a person... only a part of a person. A part of this person. The part of this person that physically embodies all of the qualities that the owner loves as a whole. Her hands.

My hands.

These hands.

Only now am I realizing how much more they mean to mean than even my eyes which I guard fervently as if made of precious gemstones. These hands instead are scarred and yet still sacred. Neglected and yet the most loved body part of all. The only really, for which I have not at one point or another given myself grief. They have never felt inadequate. I have never looked at them and thought that they were too big, too small, too fleshy or round or otherwise wrong.

These hands have never betrayed me. They've always done what's asked of them even when that very thing was self-destructive in nature. Even when I used them to hurt myself... they were still, in those moments, tentative, apologetic... even unexpectedly gentle. I have used them to do bad things that is sure but though they obeyed they always had in them a bit of beautiful defiance.

They have also been responsible, to a point, for everything I've done of which I am proud. They are the vessel that transfers these words from my my mind into readable text... on paper, on a screen. With a keyboard or with a pen. They at times make music... and at others they caress. They paint detailed intricate designs on faces of women who long to feel beautiful... including the one to which they are by association attached. They change diapers, stroke toddler curls and sometimes with a tinge of reluctance and love they spank. These hands they love the dirt... almost as much as they love running water. One on of these hands is a finger and on that finger resides the most important piece of jewelery I will ever own. The other is connected directly through bone and skin and blood to a stretch of embedded ink that reminds me who I am and to whom I belong. Sometimes these hands are well nourished and aptly decorated... but mostly they are slightly dry and sporting cracked nail polish.

But in spite of what the world may see. In spite of the things they are and are not capable of. I have never seen them as anything less than perfect. And anything less than mine. I may chew my hangnails and I may rip torn fingernails away with my teeth... but there is no part of my body that has ever felt more me.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Forest of Fog

   I should be writing about all of the events that I haven't gotten around to posting about yet... Thanksgiving, Christmas Kickoff, my birthday... our first official masquerade event... but, really, right now I am so beyond emotionally drained I wouldn't even know where to begin. So many good things have happened since I last updated the blog, and I am SO grateful for them... but some other really important stuff has fallen apart, and I just can't focus. Have you ever been in one of those weird hazy, this-can't-be-real type dazes? Like you're caught in a fog trying to read road signs in an unfamiliar place? Because that is where I am right now. I feel like I am constantly on the verge of crying but I never quite know whether out of happiness or sadness... because it's as if they are both physical entities literally sitting on my shoulders threatening to duel it out, and I'm simply overwhelmed by their constant bickering. And just when I think to myself "silence would really be better than this", silence comes and I feel so completely bewildered and alone. Silence of course being symbolic of a break from (what feels like) external emotional stimulus... every once in a while a feeling of strange calmness settles in and that sensation scares me most of all. It scares me because my addictive history with the numb sensation. It scares me because "Something big just went down, how can you not care... even if just for a moment?".

   But one can only care so much before something inside them shuts down in need of refueling. And I haven't refueled in quite a while. Someday I will learn to fill up before my tank runs dry, but for now it would seem my gas gauge is either broken or routinely ignored. And although I feel the later is more likely true, and under normal circumstances I would apologize for that (because of how my negligence in taking care of myself adversely affects other people)... I. Just. Can't. Not this time. Because I don't have even that much to give in this moment. I can't think through another apology. I've been doing nothing but, for what feels like a month now. And I don't take any of it back. I have done wrongs and I have made attempts to rectify them, some successful and others not, but either way my regret and guilt is there, and I do want very badly to repair all broken bonds... but right now, at this moment there isn't much of me to bond onto to. If that makes any sense at all.

   Then, just when I get a bit of a grip emotionally some physical ailment pops up and sweeps the rug out from under me. I don't want to dig too deep here on this point because I logically know that fear has a very strong grip on me in this moment... but suffice it to say that a repeat offender is making itself hard to ignore in that physical wellness category of my life and while I have been trying to ignore it, because of what it could mean for me, I am going to have to seek out an answer soon. So, if you are reading this and you happen to have a spare moments worth of emotional energy to say a prayer on my behalf or send some positive vibes this way I would really greatly appreciate it.

This post isn't going to have an eloquent, or even logical end... because this is all I have got. And now you have it to, if you want it. Or whatever.

Merry Christmas.

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