Thursday, July 29, 2010
~it's all adding up and deflating,
~~the delicate orb of my soul.
Prying, lying, sighing,
~I can't take anymore crying,
~~my sanity is not whole.
Bounder, flounders, rounder,
~as I scream and expounder,
~~the craziness of my day.
Seeping, creeping, weeping,
~oh-so gracefully leaping,
~~off the edge, and flying away.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
From the time that I was just a small child, the need bubbles up inside of me. It builds and grows until I feel like my whole body will burst. Then I start the project, whatever it may be.
It's like channeling lightening. I feel a shock o...f energy come out through my fingers. I lose track of time, and become oblivious to my surroundings. The whole experience is at once as delightful as orgasm, and as excruciating as childbearing.
I am a writer. I wake up and I write, I write all day long, I dream new stories to channel tomorrow.
An addendum: I actually find that lately I've been writing to inflict emotions on people.... I haven't decided yet if this is a form of violence.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
You told me the week before your death that if it came to it, you didn't want long term life support. When you stopped breathing, I gave permission for them to intubate and breathe for you, to give you a chance to recover. Your blood pressure began to fall. I gave them my permission to administer drugs to try and elevate it, all in hopes that your lungs would heal.
When the blood pressure meds stopped working, I asked them to do a brainwave scan to see if you were still in there. Your brain was no longer working by that point. I told them to remove the tube.
I can still feel your hand in mine, these years later. I stood there, saying to you that I loved you, that I forgave you for everything. I begged you to just let go of your pain, you had suffered enough. And I pitied myself.
I was orphaned then, it seemed. My father didn't want me, he still doesn't. You were not a good mother, but you became a good friend when I was grown. You were the only parent I had, and you died, while I held your hand and cried.
My children miss you, Mama. They reminisce about you, 'Remember when Grammy did...' or "When Grammy said...', I am glad of that. You were the grandmother that they deserved and needed, despite your inabilities as a mother. I love you for that, still.
Megan's had a baby, do you know that? A beautiful boy, named Tristan. I tell him stories of you, and how his Mommy has all of your best traits. She loves flowers and smellygood bath stuff. She is so beautiful, Mama, your first grandbaby, and as I hold her son to my heart, I wish that you could smell his hair.
I miss you terribly on holidays and especially the kid's birthdays, but nothing compares to the agony I feel as I await the birth of yet another grandson that you will never see. He's Danny's boy, his mother's name is Dakota and she's beautiful. I wish she could have known you, too.
I picture you on a riverbank, in a stupid folding chair with an aluminum frame. I see you with a pepsi in one hand, and a fishing pole in the other. Grandma and Grandpa sit beside you, in their chairs, with their poles and sodas. The sun shines on you all, beautifully.
You finally quit smoking, after you died. Wish you had done it sooner.
and a wonder shoot through me,
the tick of the clock:
the brown paper falls away.
I'm holding it now,
my mind sings soothingly,
I wonder how,
I lived to rejoice, on this day.
My new baby's arrived,
the postman hands to me,
I've somehow survived,
to study it carefully, now.
The proof copy of my first published book!!
I'm in heaven... I swear!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
"What's with the wings?"
"We thought that this form would be easy for you to understand, Angel."
"Great, even cosmically, my name is a joke."
"Sorry. I can lose them if you like."
"That would be nice, you're molting into my coffee."
"There, now I can even sit into a chair. You should start thinking about what you want."
"Oh, no. It's not my style."
"God sent you?"
"For lack of a better term, yeah."
"To pay me in advance, you say?"
"For karma that I haven't earned yet?"
"Well, you've begun to earn it."
"Can we go over that part again, please? It's all a bit fuzzy in my head."
"All right. Your novel, 'Manifesting Destiny' is going to change people's lives. It will make a positive impact on the energies of the universe that is so huge that its ripples will be felt for a milennia or more. Nothing that we could give you, after you get it published, would be an adequate payment for this. So, I've been sent here."
"So, you're an Angel, and God sent you here to grant me a wish?"
"...Again with the terminology. But fundamentally, that's a correct summation."
"Can you help me clear up the terminology a little, then? Because I AM a writer, you know, and words matter to me."
"Well... the beings that are the essence of the energy that unifies the Multiverse manifested me here, to give you a gift of your chosing."
"So, you're an Angel, and God sent you here to grant me a wish?"
"Pretty much, yeah."
"Alright. How long do I have to think about this?"
"As long as you need."
"And, there's no trick involved? No 'Be careful what you wish for' or 'genie-ish' tricks up your sleeve?"
"No. None. This is meant to be a gift, and is given in earnest."
"So, I can have anything I want?"
"More or less."
"Can I have both?"
"Both more AND less?"
"Well, probably. I am here to grant you what you desire, within reason."
"Does it have to be just one thing?"
"No. You can ask for as many things as you like."
"And do I have to phrase it in just one sentence?"
"No, this is not a fairy story. You can author a proposal. Paint me a picture with your words of what you want me to create for you, and if it's reasonable, and will not alter the future of 'Manifesting Destiny' and the good that it will do, then I will create your new reality for you."
"And, can I be allowed to remember now?"
"I don't understand."
"I mean, will I be able to remember this conversation, and what things are like now, before I change them?"
"Are there rules?"
"Well, like I said, your payment has to be 'within reason'. Basically the usual mantra about not affecting free will. No world peace, etc... You can alter your own personal situation and that of your family (within those boundaries), but nothing too far-reaching."
"I need to think this out."
"I would have expected nothing less."
"Can I have two days?"
"Sure. I'll be back then."
"Wow, you could try that without the bright flash of light."
"Sorry. Have you decided what you'd like?"
"Yep, and I'll be glad to tell you as soon as my vision clears up."
"What a wit, you should write books."
"Is that an official desire, because I could develop fangs..."
"Wow, who knew that the 'powers that be' had a sense of humor?"
"Can we get on with this? I have other karmic debts to repay."
"Alright, I've made a list."
"Did you save it to your hard drive so that you could post it to your we-book friends tomorrow?"
"Well, first, I'd like to say that I want these 'wishes' to apply not only to myself, but to my husband and our children as well."
"First, I wish for more good health. Physical, mental, emotional, and every other kind of health. More wellness, more fitness, more immunity, more stamina, more energy, more and longer life, more and better quality of healthy life, more balance, and more peace."
"Next, I wish for less bad health. Physical, mental, emotional, and every other kind of health. Less illness, less disability, less suceptibility, less fatigue, less ambiguity, less insomnia, less atropy and degeneration, less pain, and less distress."
"Done, as well."
"Next, I wish for more positive cash flow in my life. More available money. Less being peniless. More making ends meet, and less stress caused by a lack of funds."
"That one was easy."
"Specifically, I wish to wake up in the morning and find myself, and my life altered only as I've stated in my wishes."
"Of course, no tricks."
"One more thing. I'd like to change my body shape (in the interest of increasing physical and emotional health, of course)."
"Of course. Did you have a shape in mind?"
"Yes. It's detailed here, on this slip of paper. And I want all of my clothes that I have now to fit my new shape, please. I don't want to have to walk around naked until I can get new clothes."
"And, I want to remember what it was like before the changes, also. So that I can be more grateful for this great gift."
"Of course. Is there anything else?"
"One thing. I wish for more sucess. Success in reaching goals. For all of us. I want us all to be able to have easy access to the tools that we need to make things happen for ourselves, in our personal and professional lives."
"You and your family?"
"Yup. I'd extend that to all the world, if I could."
"I know. That's why I'm here."
"Well, that's it. What happens next?"
"You go in, and go to bed. In the morning, when you wake to get the kids off to school, all of the changes that you've requested will have taken effect."
"Wow, thank you."
"No, thank YOU. So much. For what you're about to do, for us all."
"Shucks. I can't believe 'Manifesting Destiny' will be that important. I've still not found anyone to publish it for me, even though I've copywritten it already."
"Well, the lesson to be learned here is that we all make differences with our lives. Some bigger than others."
"Thank you, again, Michael."
"You're welcome. Good night, Angel."
AT THE END OF THEIR DATE WHEN HE ASKED, 'WILL YOU LOVE ME?'
SHE NODDED AND SMILED AND SAID, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
JUST BEFORE HE FIRST KISSED HER HE ASKED, 'WILL YOU LOVE ME?'
SHE SMILED, LEANING CLOSER, SAYING, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
WHEN HE FELL TO ONE KNEE, PLEADING, 'PLEASE, WILL YOU LOVE ME?'
SHE CRIED AND SHE SWORE TO HIM, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
WHILE HE STOOD AT THE END OF THE AISLE WAITING, HE SAID 'WILL YOU LOVE ME?'
SHE LAUGHED AND REJOICED, SINGING, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
HE KISSED THEIR BABE'S FUZZY HEAD, WHISP'RING, 'WILL YOU LOVE ME?'
SHE HELD THEM BOTH TO HER HEART, VOWING, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
AS HE PHOTO'ED THEIR BOY GRADUATING, HE ASKED, 'WILL YOU LOVE ME?'
SHE NODDED, EYES GLISTENING, PROMISING, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
PUSHING THE PORCH SWING WITH HIS FOOT, HE INQUIRED, 'WILL YOU LOVE ME?'
SHE YAWNED AND MOVED CLOSER, SAYING, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
WHEN HE HELD THEIR FIRST GRANDCHILD HE SAID, 'WILL YOU LOVE ME?'
SHE LAUGHED AND SHE HUGGED HIM, ANSWERING, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
AS HE LAY IN THE HOSPITAL BED, HE BEGGED, 'WILL YOU LOVE ME?'
SHE PRAYED AND SHE SAT WITH HIM, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
WHILE HE LAY, COLD IN HIS CASKET, SHE HEARD, 'WILL YOU LOVE ME?'
SHE KISSED HIS ICED CHEEK, THINKING, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
MANY YEARS LATER, AS SHE LAY IN THEIR BED, SHE WOKE WITH A START AS A FAMILIAR VOICE SAID, 'WILL YOU LOVE ME?
IN A SHAFT OF LIGHT THEY EXITED, HOLDING HANDS AND LAUGHING, 'ONLY FOREVER.'
I lay in my bed, wondering why. I had a blinding headache. It felt as if my head were going to literally split, like a ripe melon. A melon that, left unattended, had rolled off of a counter and hit the tile floor with a thump. A thump that was accompanied by the splash of its sweet contents bursting forth from its thin skin, decorating the cabinetry in drippy sweet color. For a moment, I smelled fruit, and opened my eyes to see where it was coming from. I realized that I was smelling my own lotion, on the arm that was curled over my head.
Once again, my sight had 'dimmed'. Even tho the room was very dim, I knew this by the greyness that tinged the world around me. It was noon, after all, and my room should have been a riot of color. Instead it looked like a black and white movie with the contrast turned all the way down. Sort of like being inside of a black and white television, while wearing dark sunglasses, in the twilight of a late summer evening. I've been told that this 'dimness' of vision will eventually become permanent. God, I hope not.
Among other things, I have a condition called Hydrocephalus, which just very simply means that the mechanism that keeps intracranial fluid at a steady level is missing in my skull. I've been dealing with it for years. When one of these headaches lasts more than a day, I go to the emergency room. When I get to the ER, they give me a shot of a heavy narcotic (Dilaudid, or Morphine), and do a spinal tap. Usually, they drain off about eight ounces of extra fluid. This relieves my headaches, and returns my vision to normal for a month of so, then the headaches gradually begin to come back, increasing in severity until I'm back in my bed.
On this particular day, I lay there wondering what I did in a previous life to earn this pain (because I can't think of anything I've done this time around that deserves this kind of punishment). I've wondered this very often. I faded in and out of clarity, (the Percocet that I'd taken to help 'take the edge off' and let me rest was at least allowing me to distance myself from the headache somewhat for short periods of time). I felt a familiar warmth and rush of fluid.
'Oh, my God, really?', I groaned as I shot up out of bed and ran to the bathroom. At least it's only a few steps, four or five. I cleaned up the bloody, sticky mess. I wondered why on earth I was fated to cope with this. Normal periods are a pain in the ass, but this was not an average period. "Babe!" I shouted, calling my husband to come assist with clean clothes and a towel. I hopped into the little shower stall, without turning on the light.
While I stood running scalding hot water on my neck, I was hit with an all to frequent visitor. A pain, like a little gnome with flaming daggers hanging from my lower abdomen, hit me violently, doubling me over. The pain shot down the front of both of my legs, up to my chest, and through to my back. I gasped, struggling not to cry out. I was thankful for the percocet that I knew was the only thing between me and agonized screaming. Tears squeezed from my eyes, despite myself. I knew that crying would just make the headache worse. I curled up on the bottom of the shower stall, waiting for my body to adjust to the new level of pain so that I could stand up again.
Among other things, I have two feminine-nightmare conditions. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is the name of the condition that causes this pain. It is just what it sounds like. I currently have nine cysts on my right ovary, three on the left. Usually, it's just a constant pinch, and I can function in spite of it. But when it flares, it's a searing-hot, shooting misery. Then there's the fact that my broken ovaries dump a lot of hormones into my body. Enought that I test positive on a pregnancy test. I have food cravings, mood swings, the lot (and I can smell someone's feet at ten paces.)
The other feminine problem is Endometriosos. What this means for me is that for the past six months, I bleed for three to six days a week. The bleeding can be anything from a light spotting, to a flow like a heavy period. Don't start me on the clots. It has progressed to this point gradually, over the course of the past thirteen years, since my youngest child was born. My pregnancies are what limited the severity of this problem, until then.
As I lay there, the miasma of pain making the gray world around me seem a to be a puddle of blood, my husband came in. I heard him set my clean clothes on the counter, and pull a towel from the closet shelf. I felt his footsteps on the floor, the vibration like porcupine quills poking me on the overactive nerves that live in bunches in my 'pressure points'. His whisper felt like a megaphone-amplified shout, 'You alright?' 'No.' I gasped. He reached in, and shut off the shower. He gently helped me to my feet, toweling me off. Even his gentle touch sent ripples of pain through my muscles. I felt like a baby, helpless and vulnerable. He helped me get dressed, and led me back to the bed. There was a Percocet and a glass of water waiting for me. 'Thank you' I managed, as I gulped them down. Barely breathing, for fear of aggrivating the pain, I curled up on my side.
Among other things, I have a condition called Fibromyalgia. They don't know what causes it. I have sharp, random pains in my muscles. Most of the time, by itself, this is not something that I treat with more than Tylenol. Being an autoimmune disorder, Fibro leaves me vulnerable to high fevers. I catch every little germ that goes around, and my body over-reacts to it. On a bad day, I feel like this syndrome makes my hair hurt. The slightest breeze can cause me agony, like little hot needles stabbing me.
In short, on this day (and far too many others like it), I knew what hell must be like. I don't know what I did to deserve this. Sometimes I think that I must have agreed to live in this body before I was incarnated here. Maybe no-one else wanted it. Maybe I wanted to prove that I was strong enough not to let this physical nightmare break my spirit. Sometimes I think that I'm not going to be able to deal with this for much longer. Sometimes, I fully understand why a person would step in front of a moving train.
I can't hold a job. For five years now, I never know when I'll be forced to the bed, or for how long. For the first couple of years since it got bad, I tried to work. No employer I found was willing to deal with random absences of unknown duration. I don't qualify for disability, as all of the 'illnesses' I've described here (and those are not ALL of the ones that I deal with), are treatable, either by surgery or medication. I can't afford the surgeries. I can't afford the pills. I don't have medical insurance, being unemployed. I can't get covered on my husband's plan, as my conditions are 'pre-existing'. We don't qualify for medicaid, they don't cover adults here (unless they're recieving disability). The hospital will do a spinal tap, or if necessary, a D&C procedure for the bleeding. 'Slap a bandaid on it', and tell me that I need surgery. "Ya think?"
My God, I'm depressed. That's another issue, treatable but the treatment is out of my reach.
I had been laying there for I didn't know how long. It was dark. I was curled up on my side. I felt a little better, the pain was at a level that I could cope with, but still woozy from the medicine. I went to the bathroom, and climbed back in bed. I flipped on the tv, the sound almost completely off. It was six PM, and the cable informed me that it was still Saturday. Good, I had only lost twelve hours of my life this time. I watched my favorite TV show, I'd TiVo'd a rerun. I could see in color again. After the show, I realized that I was hungry. I could hear the kids upstairs, joking with each other. I heard my husband clear his throat, a warning for them to keep it down, so that I would not be disturbed.
Gingerly, I crept up the stairs. The smell of the grilled cheese sandwiches and mushroom soup that had been dinner made my tummy squeak. My hubby turned away from his computer to face me, and smiled. The kids all grinned. 'Hi guys', I said. 'Hi mom's' mixed with 'Feeling better?'s'. Hubby came to the stairs and hugged me gently. He walked with me to the recliner, and helped me sit down. My son brought me a mug of soup. He knew that my stomach may not tolerate even that much food, after a bad jag. I was sad that he knew that.
After an hour or so, I ate a sandwich. I felt strength returning. 'So', I asked the family, 'What did you all do today?' I was rewarded with five people talking at once. We talked for a few minutes, and they crept closer and closer to me. Within half an hour, I was snuggled on all sides. I took a deep breath, smelling the various shampoos and lotions. I grinned broadly.
'I love you guys', I said, my eyes filled with tears. 'I love you too' echoed back at me in surround sound. I felt a huge, warm feeling expand in me. I wondered what I had ever done to deserve these people, and the amazing way that they made me feel. And for a moment, I understood exactly what heaven must be like.
I feel your back stiffen, a frown creases your brow. A pang of sympathy tugs my heart.
Something inside of your dreams has made you unhappy. Don't worry, baby, mama's here.
I hum your favorite lullaby. I smell the sweet shampoo scent in your fuzzy hair. My eyes mist over with tears that express an emotion too deep for words.
I pull you close to me and share my breath with you, your head warm on my breast.
Our hearts beat together in a rhythm. I look down at your beautiful face, I feel your muscles relax.
You trust me. You need me. I never thought anyone so tiny could be such a huge part of my life.
Did any mother ever love their child more than I love you right now?
I love you with every mollecule of my essence. I wonder if you feel me pouring it out over you, like liquid sunlight. I kiss your brow, smoothing out the wrinkles on your forehead.
You open your eyes, and we look at each other deeply. I can't wait to get to know you, to know the person that you will become.
A faint smile creases your perfect mouth.
Is it a smile, or is it gas? The experts disagree, some say one, some the other.
I prefer to think of it as an expression of pure contentment.
The windows shake with the gale of your angst.
You flood the floor of the house with the downpour of your tears.
It's not fair, life is not fair. Everyone else gets to do it.
No matter what IT is you should be able to do it too. You rail in futility against the guidance that you feel is restricting your freedoms.
Did any mother ever love their child more than I love you right now?
I pull you into my arms, I hum your favorite lullaby.
I stroke your hair, I share my breath with you.
I tell you that you can do whatever you want when you get your own home, but I hope you keep the small voice of my reasoning and comfort in the back of your head always.
I let you know that just like when you were an infant, I want nothing more to keep you safe and happy. Don't worry baby, mama's here.
I pour my love out over you. I feel it reflected back at me by the love i see in your eyes.
You trust me. You love me. And now that I know you, now that I see who you are and who you are becoming, I love you even more. If my love for you grows any bigger, it may explode.
I can't tell you that, though. Not yet. you'll brush it off as embarrassing. But someday, when you hold your own baby to your heart and share your breath with them, I will give this to you.
We look at each other long and hard. each with a tiny smile in the corners of our mouths.
Is it gas?
Friday, July 9, 2010
~Swirling, whirling death
~~White feathers sliding down the
~~~Gap at my collar
Trees in spring:
~~Strolling down the avenue
~~~Parasols held high
Lake in summer:
~~With quicksilver fish darting
~~~Cool, come wade and splash
Air in autumn:
~Crisp, sharp, cool scent
~~Brushes soft fingers on cheeks
~~~Making them glow red
by ANGEL BROOKINS