(I’m finding poetry to be my green fields.)
If anyone can come up with a nearly fat-free artificial spray margarine that does not use animals and yet does not taste like windshield washer fluid, my vegetarian life wouldn’t be such a damned sham.
I keep every meal’s fat gramage down to 3g and mostly under, lest I implode into my cantankerous gall bladder. EMT: “Um, what IS that, Bill??” Bill nods — he’s never seen this before, but he’s heard of it. “It’s just what it looks like, Jim. A gall bladder curled up in a fetal position. A shame. Judging by the wrapper, it must’ve been that last testing corner of a Russell Stover dark chocolate raspberry whip pumpkin(/Santa/bunny/heart). Look, it says right here, ‘3.5g fat’ — wow. She just had to push the envelope. People.”
Artificial(/ish) burgers, cheese, hot dogs, ribs, bread, “cream” cheese, pizza, “pasta”, turkey “bacon” and tiramisu lady finger “cookies”… here’s my advice: Do not spend much of your life skipping a meal so you can take in that luscious Skybar, or yet another 4-part sampling of the holiday box of Russell Stover Assorted Creams (beginning with that raspberry heart..). Your gall bladder doesn’t care one bit about caloric trade-offs and will remember every time you worked it half to death for low or no pay. It will turn you into a bovine one day. (Turns out that today’s restaurants humor everyone but the bovine).
Yes, I could part with my nemesis, I know. We’ll see, though. With chopped green chilies, dried minced onion, tomato sauce, lemon pepper, RS chocolate covered whipped whatevers and frozen yogurt — and what Spongebob so amazedly calls it, “saLADD” — one can get by alright, and sometimes even successfully snow that fat-lusting palate!
Like a granddaughter
who paints her origami cranes
to make them even more beautiful
(somehow) and unique,
I painted over every one
of your rapier-pointed edges
— me, sparrow-fat with excuses
for your every premeditated sharp..
I switched from superior cranes
to sparrows with whom I (and you) grew up
— they’re already truly here
and I don’t have to paint them.
I got drafted into volunteering first because I wanted to do it — OMG, to help local artists hang their works for an annual 3-day Seacoast-wide art auction?? Aye Aye Aye!! And a half! It would be tough to get a free sitter for two young kids — my only option was Mom, but this opportunity was my fresh homemade bread with real butter, and so I was prepared to wolverine myself successful in that, because by 25, I had already been starving a while. My local draft board (Mrs. Jim) knew I loved art and also that I couldn’t have even afforded to rent a used palette knife.
She once had me and her daughter make and paint wooden tree ornaments as well as to create and decorate felt decorations for our church bazaar. They all sold out the first night within moments, so she shuttled over another box of supplies and her daughter to my apartment so we could have more ready for the bazaar’s even bigger Saturday — the next day! We worked hard and fast — and happily.
The Lord was patient with the Boanerges’ mom’s strong request that her sons be seated on the left and right of Him, so I dared ask that this woman who stood me beside her society circle friends and her own children at an ART!! function would be hauled to Heaven even faster one day for her saving my marbles, which saved my kids’ mom for them. Yea, verily!!
As time went on and circumstances changed, my various volunteerings came about from shoulds. The shoulds of giving back, the shoulds of being proactively evangelical. The shoulds to set a good example for my kids.. both sets. Then, they simply happened through need (and proximity to needs and being known as one who raises her hand when others didn’t).
Volunteering became an obligation, and then a pressure, and then a problem — a choice between serving parish family and community and school.. OR my own family; there came a day when there was and is not time for all of it.
I would pass along at least this much: What the 12 most active (parish and soup kitchen and school and community, etc.)volunteers would have everyone know is that you’re needed. Yes, you! Nah, don’t think so-and-so has got it covered. They don’t. Always, always, your assistance is needed AND desired.
I promise that you can help in some way! Crucially! Instant acceptance and real camaraderie from it, too! Some of your talents will flower as well, or finally find expression. And if your very soul wanted to be a teacher but couldn’t, there are gaps everywhere, not just in religious ed (every year!).
I’m glad not to be volunteering much outside the home anymore, but every bit of it was worth doing. I now have the luxury of retiring from it because many someone elses came forward, God bless them!
We’re coming down to the wire. I’ll be brief. No matter what awful things she may have done or supports, Clinton is only 1/164th as dangerous as that loose cannon who isn’t posturing, who is dead serious when he says he could stand in Manhattan and shoot someone, and people would still vote for him. If this lecherous, bloviating excuse for a “presidential” candidate came near to kiss my girl baby, I’d knee him.
Worse, though, this thought came to me today, and sure enough — they are very similar. We elder ones will never forget Idi Amin (look him up). I’d like to think it couldn’t happen here, but apparently, it COULD.
Isn’t it odd?
As I said recently to DH (who is enamored of all these millions of people constantly living in with us because of course, he gets BBQ and Thanksgiving duty and not the daily griiiiiiiinnnnnnnd), “I could live in a library, you know?”
He nodded but he doesn’t know — not at all. This is a man who, as Den Leader, camped out with Webelo Scouts even more than once! 10-year old boys, people! Jane Goodall has got nothing on him for going into the wild and living with near-hominids. Daredevil hominids. Farty hominids, these.
The door revolves not only with different residents these millions of years, but daily. As in 24/7. No exaggeration. I know that the very moment one heads off to school, work, appointment, shopping, meeting, another will come in almost before the door has closed behind the one exiting.
OR, one will come and talk to me, “Now that it’s finally quiet…” Or, one will get up for his third shift just as I’m laying my charley-horsed underslept body down for 15 minutes before dashing out to collect someone before heading off to work.
I am beginning to look like Keith Richards.
Here’s the thing. The Lord knows why I do it — knows why I don’t move into the library’s glorious little elevator shaft — and sometimes sends an aroma whose presence is otherwise inexplicable.
Somehow, He must understand the Squidward-mumbles, even beyond His ever understanding the toughnesses of life, and He allows a tiny crack between our worlds, and thus, incense — clean, holy, calming, uplifting — wafts in and raises my heart and shuts my mouth, reminding me that life is far better and bigger than any and all grumble-ables. That every day, we hang out with fellow eternals. And they, with us.
When the going gets tough, the not-so-tough go underground.
Like me. When after decades (or even months) I tire of being someone’s mirror expected to reflect their mostly imagined selves, I go away rather than say, “For God’s sake, move over and let someone else — anyone! — be reflected in your world.”
I was raised to never offend (and never to rile a drunk) even if there’s something that needs saying, and what agonizings that has caused in my life not only as daughter, granddaughter and niece, and as student and even as employee, but it carried through to having been twice a wife and four times a mother (and now grandmother).
You’ll (hopefully) never know what it was for me to have that talk with my beloved grandson, about “Poppy” (the other *grandpa” who should not be visiting in a house with 3 small children) being sent to jail (7 years at the Big House — 2 counts of felonious s. assault and 1 count of aggravated f.s. assault) regarding two little neighbor girls . A bowel issue had arisen in grandson’s life suddenly, coincidentally shortly after his other side proved to be liars about Poppy’s proximity, and doctors were involved and his own abuse was ruled out. I hope they were right. I always will.
So, I had that talk with him, because no one else wanted to risk his little innocence (as didn’t I), but he needed to know he was NEVER to be alone with Poppy. Period. The talk was like strolling through hell — these things are one of the wounds on Christ’s back — but I brought him out back with me into the sunshine where in happier days, he and the goofy spaniel had shared a drink from Grandpa’s garden hose on a hot day, and I prefaced it with kid-words about (probable) mutual love, “but…”
So, I wasn’t allowed my undergroundness then, and I accepted the bulk of that wound, but otherwise, now, instead of being a friend’s or co-worker’s or cousin’s momentary savior (who will be discarded shortly, only until the next me-crisis) for the hundredth time, I snatch off my halo and snap it in half — or, I dismantle my ear after hearing the same tune dozens of times with no variation. The problem is, it very rarely shocks any of them; few ever even notice for months.
The underground is where I measure my humanity, though, and it often sucks. Some folks ended up with reliable old Relax because everyone else walked years or months before I did. I turn it into prayer for them, but I really think that’s not enough. I’m not willing to give enough, though, not anymore. I feel that I have to keep it for family, now. Hence, I add a prayer that someone else will give enough. Such a cop-out, when measured against agape.