Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Way Overdue

I feel quite scattered these days. My lists of "should-dos" gets longer and longer and my attention span gets shorter and shorter.
But yesterday, in the midst of it all, I had this boy over. We did it all. We played hide'n'seek, we took a walk, he let me hold him close and give him a bottle, he took a little nap, we ate lunch, he hugged me so hard he knocked me over, we fed the chickens, we gathered the eggs, we changed many pee-pee diapers.
And that about covers it for Owen-Grandmother activities in Lloyd.
And it was GOOD.

There is nothing in this world so satisfying to me as holding that sturdy little body close, nothing so heart-tugging as having him throw himself into my arms with all of the force he possesses. There is nothing complicated about it. No feelings hurt, no worry or guilt or wondering if I should be doing it differently or better or anything like that at all.
Just pure joy.

My pure-joy boy. My Owen.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lloyd and Jessie Moon On Film. Coming Soon To a Theater Near You

To view the Intro trailer, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/fcrabbath?blend=2&ob=1

Very dramatic, FC!

Through Sickness And In Health

It seems to me that so many of the most life-changing events we ever experience come directly from the most haphazard of circumstances. As I have said, it was me wearing a blue angora sweater which would not stay on both shoulders at the same time which caught Mr. Moon's eye in a bar and he asked me to dance and I looked up, up, up, and did the math of the difference in our heights and thought, "What the hell?" and said yes.

Next thing you know, I'm standing in front of a notary and saying, "I do," and having no idea what I was promising.

I mean, there you are, in perfect and ruddy health, young and beautiful and sturdy and strong and you promise to stay together through sickness and health 'til death do you part and all you can think about is how fucking gorgeous this man is and how beautiful a day it is, clear October and cool and crisp and yes, it's serious but really? Sickness? Death?


Whatever. Bring on the honeymoon!

You do promise and you think maybe you know what you're promising but you don't. Which is as it should be because if you did, you'd absolutely have to say, "Hold on. I need to think about this," and go off to ponder the whole situation for so long that the guests would leave and the leaves would all fall from the trees and your groom would go home and drink all the champagne and eat all the smoked turkey and still, you'd be there in your white dress considering all options.
Sometimes you just have to let it fly.
I DO! You say and you kiss and you dance and you cry and you eat cake and you mean it.
As far as you can consider the meaning of what it is you mean.

Same with having children. Sometimes you do consciously call the papa and say, "Now's the time," and you have your way with each other and you lie back and a Mona Lisa smile forms on your lips and you know that in two weeks, a pregnancy test is going to show that you've created life together. But mostly, it doesn't happen that way. Let's face it. You do it in the backseat of a car because you're overcome with desire or in the early morning and you don't take the time to take precautions and next thing you know, there's a baby on the way and your life is irrevocably changed because of one moment of abandon and that's good. Mother Nature makes it that way because again, if you took the time to really think about what it takes to go through a pregnancy and a delivery and then raise a child to adulthood, you'd be so intimidated you'd never take off your panties.
Sorry to be so crude, but honestly- isn't that the truth?

So not to change the subject but this IS the subject, one day Kathleen and I were sitting in the pulmonary doctor's office and she was filling out a twenty-nine page form with every bit of medical history on it she may have accrued during her lifetime with questions like, "Do you ever wake up with heartburn in the middle of the night?" and then suddenly one of the questions was, "Do you have a health care surrogate? What is his/her name? Address? Phone number?"
And Kathleen said, "Would you be my health care surrogate?" And I said, "Sure," and that was that and we had no idea we were on a journey together, her filling out those forms and me sitting there bitching about the TV programming in the office.

And so here I am. Her health care surrogate.
Which seemed as ridiculous at that moment as worrying about birth control this one time or as far-away as considering 'til death do us part.

And she, of course, can change that at any time. It's easy. They give you a form every time you go to the doctor or step into the hospital. But for right now, this moment, I am hers. Not Vickie, who Kathleen doesn't want to put that sort of pressure on, or her family because some of them are, uh, very Christian in their beliefs (can you say Terry Shiavo?), but me. And she wants me to share the responsibility with our friend Rich because she knows that his moral compass is firmly set in place and that he is intelligent and as good a man as ever walked the earth and because she loves him and trusts him. And also, she knows that Mr. Moon would be involved if push came to shove and she knows how much my husband loves and cherishes her and how Zen he is. She knows.

But I have come to realize, as the reality of this cancer journey continues, that being a health care surrogate means far more than saying, "Do not resuscitate," and "No, she does not want to live on a respirator."

We were just sitting in a waiting room waiting to see the doctor because she had pleurisy, dammit. And so sure, I said, "Of course! I'll be your health care surrogate."

And here she is, with cancer. On treatments which makes it hard for her to eat and drink and which make it hard for her think clearly and I am taking this responsibility very seriously. I want to do the very best for her and her well-being and her health that I can do and believe me- I do not want to piss her off.
She may look like a 90-pound weakling but she's a force to be reckoned with like a hurricane, like a tornado, like a tsunami which presents itself as a small, innocent wave in the ocean, five hundred miles out to sea. That woman, that sweet little woman wearing the sky-blue hat will come at you like a mama lion and I love her for that with every cell in my body.

But she's the one who signed the form and I am going to use all of my knowledge and intuition and strength and compassion and LOVE for her that I have and I am going to tell her what I think, whether what I think is, "No, you can't go to work," or "You have to call the doctor," or "You're going to come to my house and let me take care of you now."
And that's just the way it is.

No. We had no idea in that waiting room what we were signing or talking about. Of course we didn't. But like wedding vows or spontaneous sexual activity, one thing can lead to another and even if we don't understand what we are saying or doing at the moment, we can be the best we can be and stand up to the results. We can even, despite our ignorance, come to understand that a million years of internal debate couldn't have led to a better outcome.
Your babies.
Your grand-babies.
A marriage that brings you comfort and joy and laughter after lo! these many years.
A person who loves you so much that she wants the very best thing for you even if you don't quite know what that might be.

I love you, Kathleen. And as long as you want me to be your health-care surrogate, I will do the best I can with all of the support of those who love you, helping me along the way. We will respect your wishes as best we can and we will do for you the best we can.

I promise you.

I do.


When You Need A Friend

Oh shit. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.
What have I done?

For some reason (and good morning, y'all! happy Monday!) I decided to get back on Facebook.
What a fucking mistake.

I wasn't drunk, I wasn't stoned, I just caved to the damn Social Networking Frenzy which has overtaken this world of ours and I forgot why I got OFF of Facebook to begin with which is that every person in this world wants to be your "friend" on Facebook and really, I don't have time for that shit.

I don't have time, do you hear me?!

What have I done?

It seemed like every five minutes someone was asking me if I was on Facebook. And every time I very primly and yes, condescendingly said that no, I was not. I had been but I hated it and I got off. Done. Felt good about it, too.

And then Lily started talking about all the pictures of Owen on her site and her friends' sites and Jessie told me I could go see pictures of her new sweetie and Freddie was putting up pictures of the filming and I wanted to see them and our old friend, Daddy X said that he had tons of pictures up of his darling girl and of course I want to see THEM and all of that is good. All of that is valid.

But then come the friend requests. And okay, no problem. I like friends.
I like REAL friends. People that I may have known briefly in not-real-friend contexts thirty years ago are not actually friends, are they? Do I need to know what they had for dinner? No. Do they need to know what I had for dinner? No.
Do I love my blog with all my heart and the community we have here?


So why, why, WHY did I feel the need to unleash the beast known as Facebook upon myself? Not once but TWICE! I can't even figure that shit out. My wall? My wall? Who writes on a wall? Hell. I don't know. It's Monday morning and I'll feeling all out-of-sorts and I need to take a walk and go get my grandson and go to the library where I will get books on tape.
Yes. Actual cassette tapes.
I might as well go find some stone tablets with stories chiseled into them.
And my telephone isn't working. Oh, it works. You can call out on it but it doesn't ring when someone calls here. Which is sort of peaceful. BUT WHAT IF ONE OF MY KIDS NEEDS ME?

And since I've been writing this, I think I've confirmed four new friends.
Ah lah.
It's here for the good, it's here for the bad.
And I just went over to Jessie's sweetie's page and listened to a recording they did a few months ago with Ben Sollee and really- that's not bad. That, in fact, is rather awesome.

Well, I'm a hypocrite and I'm a stupid doody-head and I can't text on my phone and I don't Tweet and I listen to books on tape and it's cooler today and I want to go get in the garden and pull out weeds and plant cabbages and greens and onions and I want to go get my grandson and bring him here and play with him and take him out for a walk in Lloyd and I want to live a peaceful, well-intentioned life and be all mindful and shit and yet, I've joined Facebook (again!) and I can feel parts of my brain matter spread out and splatter on a wall.
The Wall.
We don't need no education.
We have Facebook.

I have submitted, I have surrendered. I have gone and given my soul to the devil and hey!

Wanna be my friend?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Holy Icons, Part Whatever

When we first looked at this house there an awful lot about it that I loved. The curving staircase, the wide pine floor boards, the rambling floor plan, each room a new surprise as you traveled from west to east, the fireplaces, the porches, the lovely, lovely bathroom with its claw-foot tub and antique wooden hall table which the sink rests in.
But when we saw this statue

on top of the refrigerator, I said, "Sold!"

Well, not quite. But sort of.

I think it had belonged to the across-the-street-neighbor's parents and somehow found its way here and the former owners had, for whatever reason, put it on the refrigerator. That's where it was when I saw it first, anyway.

Now I just do love religious statuary. I have no idea why. But to me, the very best thing about being Catholic would be those great plaster statues of the saints. Presbyterians do not have those statues nor do Methodists nor do Unitarians. I wonder why.

Well, for whatever reason, I think it's a sorrowful thing that modern churches have replaced these great statues with those modern-artsy crosses and home-made banners. Those do nothing for me, but show me a gaudy, velvet-dressed statue of the Virgin and honey, I'm all, Pass the Communion Wine!

I suppose that's one of the things I love most about Mexico. They don't even bother to constrain their statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the church. They have them EVERY WHERE! Here's one I found in the mercado in Cozumel:

Be still my heart. Right there in middle of where you buy fish and chickens and dish towels and toys and colorful woven shopping bags stands this lady.
Oh Mexico. How I miss you!
But I digress.

So I asked the guy selling this house if the statue went with the house.
"Sure," he said. "If you want it."
And the way he said it sounded like, "What sort of idiot are you?"

The sort of idiot who just can't say no to a tacky plaster religious statue and after we bought the house, I took it off the refrigerator and placed it on the mantel piece in the dining room and strung up Christmas lights to frame it and there it sits to this day. And I still love it but honestly, I hardly ever really look at it. You get used to things. They escape your notice after awhile.

A few months ago we had a party here, probably one of our wild and crazy birthday parties and when Lily and Jason and Owen left, Lily took off Owen's diaper which was fastened with my beloved duckie diaper pins and handed them to me so I could keep them and put a disposable diaper on him for the journey home. And I, in my spaciness, put those pins somewhere and I could not remember where for the life of me. They were GONE!
Until I did a dusting yesterday (and please- don't judge me on the infrequency of my dusting) and found them, nestled into the Baby Jesus' lap.

Makes perfect sense when you think about it, right?
So there they were and I was so happy and then I started really looking at this statue.
First I looked at the angel. My god, if there was ever a more weary and depressed-looking angel, I haven't seen it.

Is that the face of someone who's really excited about the birth of the savior?
To me it looks like he/she is thinking, "Again?"
Maybe he/she just knows the rest of the story and is already sad about it. Which does sort of sum it all up.

Now Mary looks serene enough.

I don't think I'd be looking that serene if I'd just given birth to an obvious two-year-old but whatever.

I'm not sure what Joseph is thinking here. Hard to say. Well, he's a man. He's keeping his thoughts to himself as is expected, but perhaps he is considering how he's going to raise this child whose father is God and who might be God himself. How do you discipline God?

"Jesus, I told you to quit turning that wine into water. Now I mean it! And get off the damn river! Quit showing off! Go help your mother clean out the privy."

Baby Jesus himself doesn't look too thrilled with the whole prospect of the life before him.

He just looks really sad and resigned. And tired.

Staring off into space, worrying about the crucifixion already.

So the entire damn statue is hardly one which celebrates the joy of the birth of the Savior Of Mankind but it's the one I have and I like it. It could use some paint touch-ups and if I were an artist, I'd probably take on the job but I'm not. I'd have no idea where to begin or how. I did go through a period of time where I was taking white Madonna night lights from the Dollar Store and painting them with fingernail polish and decorating them with glitter and beads and tiny fabric roses.
And gave them away as gifts.
Good times.

Maybe I should do another one for old times' sake and do a give-away. Now that would be a different and unique blog give-away, wouldn't it?
Ah well. Probably won't do it.

I'll just hang here with my sad religious statue and dream of having enough money to buy the one I saw in a beautiful shop in Cozumel when I was there last year:

Now I would call her "art" and thus, I'll never actually own her but I sure would like to.
Or at least go back and visit her if she's still there.
And her sister-statue, which I KNOW is art:

Is that gorgeous or what?

And you know, I do have my own very favorite Virgin and she did come from Mexico and every time I dust her, I kiss her sweet, cheerful little face. She makes me so happy. She is a Beloved Thing and somehow imbued with the spirit of the person who carved her and I think I would like to meet that person. No. I'm sure I would. I would like to thank that person for bringing this tiny happiness of art from the wood and I would tell that person I feel so lucky to have found her and be able to bring her home with me.

She sits on an old vanity in my hallway with shells and flowers and pictures and I walk by her at least two dozen times a day and although I don't always take note of her, I know she's there and I am glad.

And now I've found my duckie diaper pins and I am glad about that, too. I think Baby Jesus will give them up but I'm wondering this morning what Mary used to fasten whatever sort of diaper she used on her precious baby's bottom. Because I think that even Baby Jesus peed and pooped his pants. And maybe that would explain the expression on his face in that statue in my dining room. And the angel's too.

"Damn baby peed in his diaper again. Was he raised in a BARN?"

Well yes. Yes he was. Or at least born in one.

Which reminds me that the chicken coop needs cleaning too.
You see- it's all related. Holy is holy, sacred is where you find it. Art is what you want it to be. Babies need their diapers changed and that is a sweet and sacred task, even when the poop is really stinky.

Love...Ms. Moon From The Church Of The Batshit Crazy

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Party In Lloyd

I love to take a posed picture and then snap what happens right afterward.

You get the real stuff there. And so it is here.
Ah lah. It was a good party.
Not everyone was in those pictures but they'll do. They'll do.
In the one at the top of the page you have Kathleen and Ron (the preacher and actor) and Jan and Jack (the lovers) and Brittany (our newest Opera House actor) and Marcy (actor and friend) and Fred (her funny and darling husband).
There was food, there was drink. I don't think anyone cared how much dust was still abounding. I made everyone go outside with me and let those who wanted pat the chickens on their roost.
Have you ever been to a party where the hostess took you out to pat the chickens? Probably not.
Freddie came out and showed us the intro to the film he's been working on. He came out earlier this afternoon to shoot a little more film with me. I had to take clothes off the line and get all emotional about having no phone service and I sat in the middle of the road in front of the house and went into complete despair. Oh! It was so much fun! He even got Mr. Moon to be in the film, walking past a window.
Anyway, we had a bit of a film festival and we watched the intro and also the two shorts that I was in and when Natasha came onscreen, everyone roared with laughter. Oh. It was fun.
He gave me a CD of "my" movies when he left and he said the same thing that Ron, the Preacher said when he left, which was, "God bless you."
And you know what?
That was fine and I took those words into my heart knowing that both men were saying something which, although I am not on the same page as they are about god or God, meant something very dear.
And when Kathleen left, I kissed her on the lips and I didn't need to say "God bless you," because, well, she is Kathleen and she is blessed. And she has blessed me in so many ways. She brought me my chickens, she called Freddie and set up auditions and she introduced me to Vickie and Judy and Denise and she has taught me to make soap and she made me feel less crazy when I was crazy.
And all of the people here tonight are part of this joyous life of mine which has changed so very much in the last year.

It's late. I'm going to bed.
It's been another good, busy day.
Tomorrow will be too.
I wish I could take all of you out to pat my chickens on their roost. They are so soft and they fuss so sweetly.
Somewhere in this country there are people desecrating the civil rights movement and talking about Jesus and honor and restoring this country.
But right here, tonight in Lloyd, Florida, there has been sweetness and love and that, to me, is what life is all about, whatever country we are in.

Good night, y'all. Good night.

A Friday Night In Tallahassee

Last night Mr. Moon and I put on our going-out clothes and met Lily and Jason and Owen and Hank at a Mexican restaurant in Tallahassee. It was fun, as far as I remember. Owen has become such a wild child that it took all of us adults to keep him from running amok and shrieking. Here's an illustration:

He went from Mama to Daddy to Uncle Hank to Pop-Pop to Grandmother and back again. He wanted to run. He wanted to talk to other people in the restaurant. He wanted to feed himself. Give me the fork! I am a big boy!
Oh Lord.
Finally, Uncle Hank took him off for a walk and the rest of us finished our dinners.
And you know what? I love that Wild Boy so much that I can't even tell you.

And then Mr. Moon and I went over to the Legion Hall where they were having Bob Night. What is Bob Night, you ask? Well, a local musician named Grant Peeples is putting these nights together where he asks different performers to do a few Bob Dylan songs and it was freaking awesome.
Can I just tell you that Bob Dylan is an amazing song writer?
Understatement of the century. I know.
I'm so glad we went and we wouldn't have, to tell you the truth, if Jessie hadn't been playing with the Cicada Ladies which is the name of the group she's in with her friends Melissa and Stephanie, who are sort of like my babies, too, we've known them for so long. I videoed one song and then my batteries DIED. Well, good timing because it's a great song.

I'm still working on figuring out how best to get movies from the camera to here with any sort of quality. Freddie came down to the Legion Hall and I was SO surprised and happy to see him and he showed me where the card is in the camera. Supposedly, the card is the best way to transfer videos.
"I don't think my computer has a place to put the card in." I told him.
"You need a card reader," he said.
Excuse me?
I can't keep up with this shit. But I've tried a different way to do it and let's see if it works.
I hope so.
And now I'm off to town to buy food for a party we're having tonight.
Another party?
Yes. For the Beloved Opera House Friends because Vickie is in town and well, Kathleen just wanted a party. So we're having one and I'm looking forward to it.

So. Off I go. It's a busy life these days what with Wild Boys and Performing Girls and friends and chickens and it seems to be cooling off some and isn't that a relief?
Happy Saturday, y'all.
Love....Ms. Moon

Friday, August 27, 2010

And Jon Stewart Did A Pretty Good Job, Too

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Have a Scheme
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He Said It Far Better Than I Could Have

Yesterday on my walk I had no book to listen to on tape and so I was listening to NPR but they were doing a local show on reading and it was boring the living crap out of me so I decided to go down the dial on the radio and came across the Glenn Beck show where they were talking about this huge gathering they're about to do to reclaim the honor of America.
Of course, they have advertisements every fifteen seconds on that show (have you bought YOUR gold yet?) so I didn't really get a whole lot of the gist of it but it involved Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and honor so it made me want to spit my teeth out and I was going to do some research and learn about this gathering and then write about it but this morning I found in the newspaper that Leonard Pitts, Jr., one of my favorite columnists, had already said everything I would want to.
Go read it here.

I'm glad that Mr. Pitts said it for me because if I started writing about it, I'm almost certain my head would explode.

Sometimes I am in complete and utter despair over the times we live in.

Haiku My Heart, Mine! Mine! Mine!

Seagulls like to meet
To discuss best ways to snatch
Food from children's hands.

This was inspired by Sara over at Suburban Lesbian Housewife who posted today about a seagull stealing a hot dog from one of her sons at the beach.
Seagulls are funny birds and I love they way they gather together on rooftops or on the beach, looking for all the world as if they were having a meeting to discuss some pertinent matter. I took that picture when we were at St. George on Tuesday.
Seagulls, seagulls, seagulls. Whether they are at the beach in Maine or Florida or hovering over the dumpster at your local Walmart, their cries, according to Kathleen, translate to Mine! Mine! Mine!

For more (and far better) haikus, go on over to Rebecca's place at Recuerda Mi Corazon.
And if you'd like, write one of your own to accompany a picture. It can be poignant or profound, cosmic or comic. Doesn't matter. They will be your seventeen syllables.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yes. It Was A Very Good Day

Oh Lord. I am so embarrassed to know that Freddie maybe watches this stuff. But it is what it is- me with my camera taking short videos of my world.
This one is of Owen and the chickens. We are feeding them crackers. You could hardly get more prosaic. You could hardly see a more accurate representation of the goodnesses of my life.
If you hang in until the end, you will see what a genius my grandson is.

Lady Madonna

For awhile, I was tempted to go around the house and get rid of all my goddam madonnas. All of them. Take them off the walls and from around my neck and leave big empty spaces and replace my Virgin of Guadalupe calender with one that has puppy dogs on it or something.

I was having problems with the madonna. First off, she's always so damn submissive. Head bowed, hands in prayer, taking what they're givin' 'cause she's dying for a livin'.

Also, every person who comes in this house thinks I'm a closeted Catholic because the myriad of Virginal Images would seem to indicate that.

And frankly, I don't need that shit.

I don't need to be thought of as a closeted Catholic and I would sort of like to see an image of the Virgin where she's kicking some ass. Hiking up that skirt and kicking mean-person ass with that dainty foot of hers.

"Crucify MY son? I don't THINK so!"
Well, that is not the Madonna Way.
Although it certainly would be the Mother Way.

I had come to believe that the image of Submissive Madonna was another male-oriented way to control people by giving them this view of holiness as submission. Promise people that if they don't question and just let go and let god that everything will eventually be okay and even if it's not, by the time you die, you'll be rewarded in heaven.

That's some fucked-up shit if you ask me.
But then with the most recent spate of life-happening I am experiencing, I have come to profoundly realize that sometimes all you CAN do is submit. And there is great grace and perhaps even holiness in that. There are forces to which submission is the only answer. Childbirth, for instance. You fight the contractions and it's going to take three times as long. Hurricanes- can't fight those. Hunker down and let it pass. Don't stand out in the yard under a tree and yell at the wind and rain. Unless you like the idea of impalement by oak branch.

So yes, there are times when acceptance and surrender are the way to go. And maybe that's exactly what appeals to me in all of those madonnas. Shit happens. You get knocked up by god, give birth in a stable, raise your child and then see him crucified.

Or something like that.

There are times to fight and there are times to just look around, see what is and if it can't be changed and you can't get out of the path of whatever particularly buggery crap is happening, surrender.

Now of course, the hardest part is deciding what can and what cannot be changed. That's the part of the Serenity Prayer that I always get tripped up on. But once it's been determined that we are, in fact, powerless in a situation, I suppose it's a good thing to have those madonnas around to remind us of the grace of submission. Perhaps even the beauty personified in her sweet face, her bowed head.

And so I have decided to keep my madonnas and go ahead and light candles too. Why not?
But I will tell you this- I will also keep my images of Frida Kahlo because there is something so real and so necessary in remembering that sometimes submission and surrender are NOT the way to go. You can bow your head and close your eyes but it's simply because you're plotting your next ass-kicking move and then you open those eyes and you stare out and you refuse to submit or surrender no matter what the odds are, no matter how strong the wind or hard the rain.

That's what I think.
And I am not, no matter which image of the Woman I choose to worship on which particular day and in which particular circumstances, ever going to believe that I will be rewarded or punished when I die. No golden slippers, no fires of hell.
And even if there were, I wouldn't have time to worry about it now.
I'm too busy trying to decide whether to light a candle to the virgin or get up off my crippled legs and go striding down some particular path of determination to give life-after-this-life a second thought.

I give fire to the Virgin, I keep my Frida in a cool, dim room.

I am trying to figure it out; I am learning that submission and defiance are the two sides of the same coin. I am giving myself the permission to try and determine with wisdom and logic and intuition and knowledge which side of the coin I need to spend in each situation.
I have been given this mind to use for myself and I will not give up my ability to do so in the service of any god or goddess. I have been given this heart to use as well, and it too, is mine to give out as I wish and to keep when I do not want to give it out.

And I am finding that it is as hard to submit as it is to defy and sometimes, it is much harder.
But there is no grace in submission when defiance would serve us better and there is no honor to defiance when submission is the path to take.
And my madonnas and my Fridas remind me of that.

Now the pictures of Bill Murray I have in my bathroom right next to all those Fridas and Virgins?

Well, he's just for me. He's just for joy. He's just there to remind me that even though we're all going to die, in the grand scheme of things, we might as well crack each other up while we're still here.
And to me, that's as important as anything. Whether we're surrendering or defying, whether we're submitting or fighting, we can't be afraid to be goofy and glad and to not take everything so fucking seriously.

Holy mothers, holy artists, holy funny men, holy hopes and dreams and holy lives and holy births and holy deaths and holy days.
All holy. All filled with grace.
Holy motherfucking shit. Everywhere you step, everywhere you look.

Bow your head, stare into the eyes of life and death, laugh at the universe. You better believe it's laughing back at us. And if you ever come visit me and see all my madonnas, keep all of this in mind. That I think Bill Murray and Frida Kahlo are as important as the Virgin. It's not about religion, it's about living here-and-now and finding the grace in whatever path we're on at this particular moment in this particular life on this particular planet in this particular universe.

And my madonnas are staying right where they are.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


No. It was not a pulmonary embolism.
Why am I not surprised?

Another Wednesday In The Hospital

What a day. A day to make me distrust hospitals and doctors more than ever and boy, that's saying something.

I got a call right after Lily came with Owen that they were going to do a heart catheterization on my mother. You gotta be there for that. Major invasive procedure. So I took Owen back to his daddy who is on crutches, ripping my heart out as I handed him over. Jason's brother was there to help and I drove on up to the hospital, found a parking spot on the upper-most level, got there and met my brother who lives in town who was accompanying Mom down to where the procedure was to take place, which was where I was.

The mother looked fine. She sounded fine. Her color was good. Neither the EKG nor the blood work had shown anything at all which was suspicious of heart problems but...
The doctor, and I think he was a new resident, had been in her room when she'd started having one of her attacks.

Now. If my mother had been in her right mind (the one she was in about ten years ago, anyway), she would have remembered that this happened before. She presented with signs and symptoms of heart problems but after they did the EKG and the blood work that time, they'd given her a GI cocktail which is stuff like Maalox, Pepcid, etc., all in one little cup. If the person drinks that and the pain subsides, it's probably not heart and it's probably reflux. They can mimic each other. But Mother didn't remember this and the doctor was young and inexperienced and so they did the heart cath.

Which showed that her eighty-three year old heart is JUST FINE!

Which got me and my brother thinking. Gas. Reflux.
He went down to the gift shop and bought Alka Seltzer and after her procedure, when she was recovering, she started having the pain again. We popped two of those tabs in a glass of water and she drank it and guess what?
Yeah. The pain went away.

We told the doctor about the Alka Seltzer and the history. He sat there, probably completely exhausted, and insisted that yes, it was probably reflux but that they should do a scan of her lungs to rule out a pulmonary embolism.
She's had no shortness of breath at all. None of the symptoms of a clot in her lung. BUT- what do I know?
Not much.

So while they were waiting for someone to take her up for that scan, Chuck and I walked over to the drugstore and bought her Alka Seltzer, Zantac and Tums. Then Mean Aunt Jessie came up for a visit which delighted Mother so much that she was probably happy to have gone through heart catheterization and all the attendant danger just for that visit.

And Chuck and I left and when she's done and they clear her to leave, he's going to go pick her up and take her home.

Now if she DOES have a pulmonary embolism, I'm going to have to eat my hat, but I don't think she does. I think she has acid reflux. She's had it for years but it just got really severe in the last few weeks.
And if someone had just given the woman some antacids instead of morphine they could have figured that out.
But of course, I could be wrong. That would not surprise me either.

And so I spent another day in the hospital and it was nice to hang out with Chuck. It was odd being with Mother for that long because it made me realize how the gears are slipping in that brain of hers. Whenever we'd discuss the previous time she'd come to the hospital thinking she was having a heart attack she'd say, "Wasn't that at the beach?"
And I'd say, "No. You had pneumonia at the beach."
And then it would happen again.
And again.
This is not a good sign for The Moms as Ms. Bastard would call her.
But she's eighty-three years old and we can't all be Jimmy Carter when we grow up. Her life is filled with routine and every day events and she manages fine, so far, at home. So who cares (usually?) if her short term memory is shot? Or her long term memory for that matter?
Eventually that's what we'll have to deal with.

And now I'm going to go finish the laundry and make supper.

I hear that the play is in dire trouble because Colin has hurt his back and can't build the set. The play opens in two weeks. Okay.
I need to get my ass back there and see what the hell I can do to help. I have to.
And, and, and...
Just keep stepping.
I'm sorry this is such a blah-blah-blah post. I apologize. It is certainly not filled with wisdom or any sort of creativity. There is no message of hope here or of any Great Spiritual Meaning.
I did not find enlightenment in the waiting room and I did not turn into a loving daughter. I did, however, make a pot of coffee.

Step, step, step.
Don't stop. The path gets rocky, the path gets steep but you can't stop.
If you do, they put you in the hospital and let me just say- not a good place to get well.

All right. Thank-you all for your kind and caring words. I cherish them. I am holding them in my heart and I am hoping that tomorrow is a better day for us all.


I woke in a panic this morning after having panicky dreams all night.
I should run into the hospital and see my mother but I have Owen today and don't really have time to get to town, find a parking place, find her room, visit, leave, get Owen.
Oh, I don't know.
I am the world's worst daughter.
I am sitting here blogging when I should be driving.
Why is it so easy for me to be a grandmother and so hard to be a daughter?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Getting My Sea Legs Back, Or At Least Trying Very Hard

When I got up this morning, this is what the sun looked like. It was bursting through the clouds and lighting everything with glory and if it hadn't been happening in the east, I would have thought I'd slept through a day and gotten up in time for sunset.
It was beautiful and by the time we left, our little deck looked like this, empty chairs, the seagulls coming in to eat up the Sun Chips the ants had gotten to and that we'd thrown for them.

Our little coven-meeting spot with the sky clearing and another beautiful day born on the beach.

Before I packed up the computer, we posed for a picture, Vickie and Kathleen and I.

Gods bless the MacBook and Photobooth.

So then we drove to Apalachicola and let me tell you something about Kathleen on drugs: she is a shopping machine. Yesterday she bought a beautiful short sundress on the island. Kathleen NEVER wears short dresses. And yet, she should. Look at those pretty legs:

There she is, standing in front of River Lily, our favorite shop. She bought the blue hat there. I think. Isn't it pretty?
I bought her a little bluebird ornament for happiness and gave it to her at lunch. She immediately put it the hat.

We shopped elsewhere. The handmade chocolate shop where Kathleen bought us chocolates. And at Tamara's coffee shop where they sell gifts and shoes and jewelry. And lots of other stores. And Kathleen bought another hat which will do nicely when she loses her hair.
So okay, at THAT shop, she tells the woman (and she hardly had a voice today at all so she was whispering) "I'm about to lose all my hair and I need a hat."
The woman had no idea what to say. Vickie and I rolled our eyes.
We shopped for furniture too. Kathleen has decided that she needs real big-girl furniture for the first time in her life. A comfy couch, a comfy chair. We found those in East Point at a store where they sell furniture from foreclosed houses. It was like the Warehouse for Broken Beach House Dreams. And she found a couch and two beautiful chairs and she has to figure out how to get them from Eastpoint back to Monticello and she will.
We had lunch in Apalach and when we got to Sopchoppy we had to stop at the antique store there where Kathleen found a gorgeous little lamp with an egret on the base. She bought it. And then we went to the coffee shop THERE and she bought us cookies.
I told her that by the time her cancer is cured, I am going to weigh four hundred pounds and that's the damn truth. She looks like a movie star and I look like Mama Cass. Bless her heart.
Pass me a ham sandwich.

We drove home in the on-and-off rain and we're home now. All my chickens are here and I went out and found six lovely eggs and I've unpacked the food and started laundry and Mr. Moon will be home from auction soon. It's rained here and the light is cutting through the trees which, since I have no ocean in my back yard, will have to do.
They do nicely, actually.
The firespike has started blooming. Yet another sign that fall is on the way.

Yes. I'm home. And tomorrow Owen will be here all day long. I talked to Lily today and she said that he's being naughty lately. I can't wait to get my hands on that naughty wild-boy. If he is naughty here I think I will put him in time-out in the chicken coop with Elvis. May the best man win.
No. Of course I won't do that. But it's a thought.

What an amazing three days it's been. It's so hard to believe that such a short distance away the sun is setting over the bay and the dolphins are easing their way west, rolling and blowing and the water is lapping the shore and those chairs are there, sitting empty.

My mother just called me and is in the hospital. She's been having chest pains and although they can't find anything wrong with her, she's spending the night and will have tests tomorrow. I asked her if she wanted me to come in and she said no, that she's fine and not in any pain now.

Really? I suddenly feel deeply and vastly empty. Barely able to finish this and unpack the rest of my things. Suddenly I am not quite sure where exactly I am or who exactly I am but fairly certain that for the past few days, I have been exactly where and who I was supposed to be.

It's a whirling world we live in, isn't it? I am dizzy with the motion.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What More Can You Say?

Our Judy has gone home. Lovey, aka Denise, came and got her and so we are three.
Vicki, Kathleen and I.
I don't feel like talking very much. And we haven't talked much, we women.

Do you want some scrambled eggs? Should we go and get lunch? Do you like this dress?

The other stuff, the deep, profound stuff?
We don't seem to need it.
We just go down to the water and float in the waves and let the tiny fish nibble on us and try not to step on the blue crabs. We come in and take a nap. We make guacamole and we open a beer and we pour a tiny shot of rum and we cook scallops with an onion and garlic and olive oil and eat them with tortellinis.
We walk on the beach and find sea shells and watch the sky change from this to that, watch the pink turn to dark blue,

watch the lightening turn the dark blue back to pink, watch the moon rise up as round and full as a Buffalo nickel and light a pathway across the water to some magical place we could walk to if we were holy enough, good enough, sure enough of ourselves.

Kathleen has eaten so well today and she stayed up until nine o'clock before saying, "I need to go lay down." She got in the water as we all have and we and she are coated with salt and happy to go to bed that way, knowing that it's good for us somehow, that essential mineral which seasons the amniotically-warm Gulf where we floated as the pelicans flew above us.

And here we are, the three of us, and we're going to have to leave tomorrow. We'll check out here and drive over the bridge to Apalachicola and shop at River Lily which is one of the very best shops in the world, and have lunch and then drive back to our real lives in the woods.

As Denise and Judy were leaving tonight, Denise said, "Come on, Judy, let's go back to civilization," and Judy said, "What are you talking about? We're going back to the woods. We're leaving civilization."

All of us, each and every one of us has said in the last twenty-four hours, "Why did we stop coming here?" and we do not know. Everything about this place: the sun, the sky, the moon, the water, the air, the sea oats, the birds- all of it is something we grew up suckling and thrived on and which we obviously need.
We'll be back.

We will.

You can count on that.

No Boys Allowed (Well, None Of Them Have Asked To Join Us Anyway)

Beach pictures are as predictable as beach activities. That's just the way it is. And that's okay. We don't go to the beach to take pictures of circus clowns or giant redwoods and we don't go to the beach to run marathons or solve the problem of world hunger now do we?
No. We go to sit and look at the sky and the water and the birds and to swim or float in the water, to watch for crabs and dolphins, to drink and eat and laugh and walk.
And occasionally someone lifts a camera with a lazy hand and snaps a shot and there you go.

And so it is for me today.

Here we are, enjoying the No-Man, No-Bra, Full-Moon, St. George Island Get-Away. Four women and I can tell you this- there's a reason men have traditionally worried about what happens when women go off alone to talk and chat and laugh and take off their restricting undergarments. It looks like we might be plotting. It looks like we might be too happy. It looks like we are just having way too much fun.
Which means, we could be witches.

Well, we are.

But we are using our powers for good, Kathleen, Vicki, Judy, and I.
Or at least not using them for evil if we are, in fact, using them at all.

And that's all I have to say at this moment. It's a beautiful day on this beautiful island and there are hardly any people here and the blue crabs are out and the pelicans and sea gulls and tiny peeps and dragonflies and we've had walks and Judy has had a swim and we've all had breakfast and we are happy.

And that's the report from the beach on this Monday, August 23, 2010 where four women are plotting to...maybe take a nap later.

Much love....Ms. Moon

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pictures From The Beach

Our beloved pelicans, flying overhead.

Kathleen and Vicki, celebrating Denise's birthday.

Sea oats.

Our view.

Our girl.


It's Sunday morning and the Sunday blues have whopped me hard and I need to get ready to go to the beach.
I am.
Laundry is doing and I have two sweet little free-range chicken breasts simmering in organic free-range chicken broth for a soup to take. In my world, there is nothing more I can do than make soup and if I love you, I have made soup for you, or will.

Yesterday was so full and then last night...
Well. I had to get up and leave the table at one point because the tears shook me and I couldn't look at the faces of Lon and Lis anymore because all of our hearts are connected so deeply and there I was, right in front of them, my husband on one side of me and my daughter on the other and another daughter nearby and people I know everywhere in the room and I felt my heart rise up, swell up as Lon and Lis sang and it was too much, too much.

And then I made my baby cry. Oh, that's a song, isn't it? But I did it by joking with her, me and another woman and we were telling Jessie that she has to be HERE, here, when she has her babies and poor Jessie, fresh-falling, free-falling in love with a boy who is as attached to his family and as loved by them as she is to hers, by hers, couldn't bear to joke about such things and dissolved into the very same tears I'd just been overfilled with.

One of those nights.

I had to come home and write her, tell her that I'd been a stupid Old Testament Mother God, Thou Shalt Have No Other Mothers Before Me and that I had been wrong and that her life is her own and her loves are her own and she must do what she must and all will be well and all will be fine and we'll all work it out and that's the way it will be.

And you know, those tears have found their way back to me this morning. I sit and write and leak from my eyes, my heart still overfilled from last night, from yesterday, from fifty years ago and thirty-four years ago and thirty-two years ago and twenty-four years ago and twenty-one years ago and last year and tomorrow too, most likely.
It is the blues song of yes, there is so much trouble but underneath it all there is this impossible joy and love that tangles my heart like roots of a tree tangle a stone or a buried treasure, keeping it safe in the ground, surrounding it and guarding it, touching it in its dark place, bringing it life over and over again as the pulse of them, filled with earth's sweet water and minerals born of other stones, other treasures, feed life which in turn, feeds more.

The chicken simmers and I need to go cut up celery and carrots and a sweet onion. This must be a mild soup, no crazy heat of pepper, just the easy tastes of chicken and simple vegetables, rice perhaps, wild and brown so that Kathleen can eat it easily. If I could impart all of what is in my heart, this soup would cure all ails of those I love and sooth all hearts of those I love.
If it were only that simple.

Well, sometimes it is.
Music, ocean, soup, trees, cicadas, hands, tears, words, wordlessness, dirt, water, light.

Eyes. Tearfilled and not. Hearts. Overfilled and not.

Happy Sunday, babies. Thank-you for being part of it all.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Life's A Beach

I was just at the grocery store and the guy who calls me "grandma" asked me how my day had been.
"I can't even begin to tell you," I said.
And I didn't even try.
Let's just say this- it involved shooting a movie all day at my house and a person suffering the effects of chemo in the guestroom. And four dogs who make a lot of noise and get in the way. And trying to get ready for the beach.
To begin with.
Poor Kathleen. The chemo is kicking in but she's handling it beautifully, she has Vicki here to take care of her and she's determined we're going to the beach tomorrow NO MATTER WHAT!
And so it goes and so we will.
And Mr. Moon is taking me down to the Mockingbird Cafe, just me and me alone, to hear Lon and Lis so off I go to put on a dress and some glittery eye-shadow and we're rolling with the waves, we're floating over them and we're enjoying the sweet, salty flow of this life. Every damn movie-making, grocery shopping, taking care of someone I love bit.
Well, okay. Not the dogs. But the rest of it? Oh hell yeah. Do I wish Kathleen didn't have cancer? Of course. But she does and as Mr. Moon said last night, we are on the path with her and what an honor that is.

Here we go. Let the waves hold you up. They surely will.

Just Because He Liked The Damn Quote

My friend K sent me this via e-mail a few moments ago:

It appears that certain people think that poetry should be a certain way. For these, there will be nothing but troubled years. More and more people will come along to break their concepts. It’s hard I know, like having somebody fuck your wife while you are at work, but life, as they say, goes on.Charles Bukowski

I wrote him back and told him that I was going to use it. I was writing something but it was no good. Why write shit when Bukowski wrote good? If you are not familiar with Charles Bukowski and his poetry, I suggest you go to youtube and do a search. He was something, that man. I saw him once do a reading in a bar on Tennessee Street in Tallahassee. As I said to K in my e-mail back to him, he was ugly to the point of beauty and during the break he went outside and peed in the parking lot and tried to convince a pretty young woman to hold his penis while he did so. She giggled. It was dark and I do not know if she complied.

P.S. The title of this post is of course a homage to our beloved Ms. Bastard.
K's email subject title was, "Just because I like the damn quote." I need to give credit where credit is due.

Friday, August 20, 2010

There's Already Enough Shit To Go Around

My daughter, Lily, is an excellent gift-giver. She has the talent to find and give the perfect gift.
Last night she gave me my late-birthday present and you can see it above. That tiny charm with the teensiest picture of me and Owen back when he was a babe-in-arms. I am wearing it on a chain with another beautiful little charm that my daughter May gave me which is the smallest rosebud and pansy (I think it's a pansy) in the world, encased in polymer and silver.

I am well-gifted.
And content with the smallest of the small things today.
No. Not just content, overwhelmingly happy with them.
I'm tired today. My legs and hips have been keeping me awake at night, making it impossible to go to sleep. I suppose they go into spasms. I fall asleep and then jerk back awake with the pain and it gets so frustrating. I finally get up and go read and usually fall asleep in the guest room. And my every step, every day, hurts a lot.
I wonder if this is normal. It's normal for me.

I waited today until it was sufficiently warmed up and humid to make my walk an absolute misery and it was. I would have puked but I didn't want to stop. I wanted to get home.
I just can't stop walking. I can't. I have to stay strong for this life of mine. I refuse to be one of those old people who is crippled from a life of inactivity and bad eating. I have to keep going.
But what I am discovering is that I also have to rest. I've always been a napper. I've always said that sleep is my favorite activity and I'm not joking about that. And now I think I need to remember that it's a luxury I can't afford not to indulge in. I'm not saying I want to sleep my life away but I am saying that taking the time to sleep and to nap when I can might be the best thing I can do for myself. It's not laziness, it's a necessity.

There's so much I am learning I have to do and not do these days. I am trying to figure out the balance in it all and of course, that's an almost impossible task. It's all about priorities, as I said yesterday I think, and learning to let go of some things to make sure that the things which are most important get done and get done well.

My entire goal today is to mop the kitchen and one bathroom and to clean out the chicken coop. I have done neither of those things yet. I would love to get to town to go to the library for books on tape and to get to the grocery store. I am out of bananas and milk and tomatoes and apples and peaches and cucumbers. Mr. Moon can shop for those things on the way home but I know he hates it, shopping for groceries. And I can live without books on tape but honestly, I'm sick of listening to news, even on NPR. I think one of the things I am letting go of is worrying about the world. That mosque/community center thing? I just want to tell people to shut up and let it go. Could we quit acting like a bunch of street punks walking around saying, "You disrespectin' me? Huh?" and try to remember that we are adults here and are trying to live a noble experiment which involves religious freedom? Can we?
There's a local election here next Tuesday and I'm going to be out of town and thank god. I get all those flyers in the mail and there are signs up everywhere, trashing the roadways. Every fucking candidate is so sure that he or she is the one we need to "get things done." They all hate big government, they all KNOW how "we" feel. They are all sincere and trustworthy and god-fearing members of the community. One candidate (a woman) even sent her family's recipe for blueberry cobbler.
What the fuck was that all about?
And you know what? I don't care. I hate the political system and the way it's evolved. It's a bunch of shit and I don't think you can be part of it without getting some on you.

Yeah, that's a pretty broad and cynical brush I'm painting things with but honestly- it's how I feel right now. Who in their right mind would WANT to run for anything? And the populace is no better. If a politician gets elected and doesn't create world peace, end global poverty and prevent all natural disasters, they're a failure and a hue and cry arise to vote the fucker out. Or to claim he's a Muslim which leads us back to religion.

Hell. I don't have the politics gene or the patriotism gene or the religion gene and I know that.
I also don't have the gift-giving gene and I know that too.
And there's part of me who wants to just let all of that shit go. Say what you want, do what you want, just keep the damn power working and the roads fixed and give us decent schools and shut up about all that other crap. Oh yeah, health care would be super nice. Take care of the vulnerable and the women and the babies and let people lead their own lives and keep your damn moral views out of it.

Well, that's me today.
I guess I'll go get into some actual shit and deal with that chicken coop. And mop my floors. And maybe go to town. I don't know. If I can find the energy to take a shower and put on a bra, I will. Otherwise, I'll just take a nap.

And that's okay. For me, Ms. Mary Moon at the age of fifty-six, that is just fucking fine.

Happy Friday, y'all.
Love...Ms. Moon

Haiku My Heart, Good Enough To Eat, Even When He's Bad

Boy in cabinet
Kneeling in casserole dish
I shall eat him now.

Owen led me a merry chase last night. He has learned to fight sleep with all his heart and mind and strong little body and he is, like I say, a drunk on too much coffee when he's like this.

I gave him a bath, which he always loves, and then sat him up on his changing table and shot a few seconds of him doing his imitation of a laser beam fight in outer space. He was not giving up any of his cuteness. He was too determined to keep the party going and when I say "party" I mean proving that Grandmother will do anything for him that he wants. Anything.
Yogurt? Pineapple? Read a book? Play ball? Chase him around the house?
Sure. Whatever.
Luckily for me, Jason's surgery did not last very long. He and Lily came home with a very small bottle of about six bone chips the doctor had removed from Jason's foot. Jason settled on the couch with his foot up and Lily went to get him a pain pill.
"You want juice, milk, or water?" she asked him.
"Beer," he said.
"You can't do that," she said.
"Oh, give the boy a beer," I told her. Yes. I am a nurse.
She sighed in resignation and got a beer out of the refrigerator and a pill out of the bottle.
"Your daddy's going to get effed-up," she told Owen.

I giggled and kissed them all and came home.

And now I have made a haiku out of the evening and if you want to read more haikus or if you want to make one of your own, join this little party (and when I say "party" I mean scraping all the cake away from the frosting and savoring the sweetness in your mouth) at Recuerda mi Corazon with our dear Rebecca.