Monday, November 1, 2010

Folk Medicine

So I did what I needed to do.
I spent most of the day outside and when I came in, I made soup.

I walked my miles and then I came home and took Ibuprofen because after I walk I can barely walk. When I was in Roseland I noticed the old people wherever we went and mostly how they walk. They are stiff and they look funny and it's so easy to make fun of them, even if just in your mind, but honestly- they walk that way because they hurt.
I am learning that now and it is not an easy lesson to learn.
This knee, that foot, this hip, that ankle. Whatever. It all adds up to a lack of grace which one must accept with grace. I mean- what else can you do? Shoot yourself because you don't walk pretty?

I've thought about it but discarded the idea.

I don't dance in public anymore, though. I can tell you that.

Ah lah.

I spent hours taking out the giant lilies which are falling over, their tiny rooster-comb blossoms spent anyway. Also the elephant ears which are fading fast, turning brown and ugly. I pulled dozens of a plant which I do not know the name of and which has, in fact, a pretty pink blossom but which spreads with the virulence of a celebrity porn video on youtube. I picked up branches and I tried to move the giant branch which fell from one of the big oaks by the railroad track out back but it was too heavy for me to budge, not only being large but also covered in Resurrection fern which makes it all the weightier. It is a beautiful thing and I want to move it a bit to make a border. Mr. Moon will have to help me. The fern will continue to grow and thrive, even though the host-branch is dead, going brown during draught and then springing green and alive again after a rain.
It is well named, that fern. I do not have to take that resurrection on faith. It is a beautiful fact I can witness for myself.

I planted the violas, finally. Are they violas or Sweet Williams or merely tiny pansies? I just looked them up. They are Viola Tricolor. And now I know. I planted them in pots which meant that I had to rearrange other plants in pots and get rid of plants which had died in pots and so forth. It is not unlike when you add a small table or chair to a room and end up redoing your entire decor. I lugged heavy pots and I got my hands in dirt and the little flowers look a bit wilty but they will spring up with great vigor. Unless the chickens eat them. My porch stoop, is one of the chicken's daily stations of the cross. I am not sure why, but it is.

While I worked in the yard, my old dog Pearl followed me around and the chickens did too, to a degree. It is impossible for me to feel lonely working in my yard with the plants, the animals. They make such good company. They require nothing from me but my company, no chat, no bra. Of course the chickens are looking for grapes (I believe they think of me as nothing more than a large grape-dispensing machine) but they do not fuss if I don't give them any. They are polite.

I went out to the garden and the setting sun was spilling light on the marigolds, making them gleam as if they were lit within. They are all volunteers, these marigolds, and come back every year.

That same light was bringing out the color of the eggplants, hanging like giant purple globes on the bush.

One has to plant eggplant no matter how one feels about eating it. It is that beautiful and shiny.

I picked beans and a few collard leaves and brought them in and combined them with venison, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, corn, edamame beans and tomatoes. That is simmering right now. I had no celery, which is a disappointment, but I added a generous amount of celery seed and am hoping that will work.

And so, I have, if not healed myself, at least calmed myself. When I work outside in the dirt and the light with plants and water, or when I am inside, chopping greens and peeling garlic, I am less anxious. I am more at peace with the world. I am remembering what is important.

Tomorrow morning I will vote because goddammit, Rick Scott should be in jail, not our governor. Beyond that, I don't know that any of it makes a dime's worth of difference. I am jaded, I am worried, I am going to go to the Baptist church down the road to cast my ballot.

And then I'll go to Thomasville with Kathleen and Judy. Kathleen's insides are going to be inspected and detected and I will get to meet some of the doctors there. I'm looking forward to hanging with those girls again. Those women. Those women of my heart. I have missed them.
I need to go turn off the sprinklers on the garden. It is dark now. The chickens are already shut up and cozy.

I want to go to bed early and Mr. Moon is out of town so I know that I'll read longer than I should.

Vote tomorrow, y'all. Do it. The polls are saying that it's going to be mostly white male Republicans who go out to vote. How I would love to prove the polls wrong! We have such an imperfect system of governance but it's the only one we have. Let's try to restore some sanity. Does it make you as ridiculously happy as it makes me that John Stewart's and Stephen Colbert's rally garnered far more people than Glenn Beck's did?
And that their signs were spelled correctly?

Well. Another day in this life of mine. Another day in yours.
The sun came out. I worked outside. I came in and made soup.

What did you do? I hope it was soothing. I hope it leaves you tired and ready to sleep. I hope that we can all accept with grace that which comes our way, whether stiff joints or aching feet.

Let's keep walking. Even if we look funny. What else can we do?

What else can we do? The best we can. And we'll hope that's enough.
I think it is.
I do.


  1. I need to make soup this weekend. Can you help me think of something? What do you use as a "base" when you start soup? I used to use veggie soup or tomato soup for chili, and still do sometimes....but I dont know how to start any other kind of soup?

  2. Oh and you know what's a total bitch...I can't vote. Nice perk of being a DC resident. Your damn vote doesn't count. I couldn't anyway --DC doesn't have a House or Senate rep. Nice, huh?

    Ok, I have round steak I made tonight. I have carrots, potatos,zuchinni and squash. Garlic powder and dried onions. What do I DO with it? Help please....

    (Sorry to turn your comments section into a cookbook for um, myself)

  3. Well, Woman, digging and planting and hauling pots and making that yummy soup is about the best any of us can do to urge us onto the side of sanity. You done good.

  4. SJ- You could steam all of those vegetables. Have you ever tried cooking vegetables in the oven in foil? Yummy. A little olive oil, a little soy sauce over the top- good stuff.
    The potatoes and carrots would have to be cut significantly smaller than the squashes though.
    As to soup base. Well, tonight I just threw the venison chunks in some olive oil and cooked them with onions and garlic for awhile. I use different things in the soup to give it character. Dale's Seasoning, beef bouillon, etc. Also bay leaves and pepper. A packet of dried vegetable soup mix can work well. It's all just try and taste, you know?

    Lopo- At least I'll sleep well.

  5. I'm just here to say that I love your writing and emotions that you convey so effortlessly here. I think we may be miles apart, both in distance and age, but I somehow feel like I can relate to a lot of what you say...

    thanks for this :)

  6. Life As I Know It- Some things have no barriers. These are the things I strive for. Thank-you for coming by, for commenting. Please come back soon.

  7. Good to know. I steamed up asparagus and I sauteed (sp?) the squashes. I have some beans, diced tomatos and frozen veggies...I will think of something. I will email you if I run into a hangup, ok?

  8. SJ- Okay. But I'm going to bed pretty soon. Sounds like you have it under control, girl.

  9. No no, not tonight. Over the weekend at least. We'll see whats left over after this week and I'll thorw it in the soup after that.

  10. SJ- That'll work. I'm off to bed. Sweet dreams!

  11. I danced in public the other night and enjoyed every moment. Today, I am exhausted from too little sleep, too much work on the boat and a class on marine piloting. I am going to bed in just a few minutes and rest up. I will vote tomorrow. I am white and male but definitely not Republican.

  12. Dear Ms Moon,
    I loved this post. I love your violas and the way you descibed the potting and rearranging, exactly. I pulled up my elephant ear plant up yesterday. Up here we have to dry out the bulbs and bring inside for the winter. That soup sounds and looks so beautiful. I am in awe of your soups, the way you whip them up and creativly throw them together. I want to bake you crusty bread to go with it. Well except I don't really know how to do that either.

    You are so right about the walking. Work today was hell and my clothes and hair were filled with static. I was so uncomfortable and felt so yucky. I wanted to bust out of the library so bad. And at 5:15, I did, I got on my walking clothes and sneaks and met my friend at the track and we walked in the crisp sunny cold as the sky turned pink and the geese flew over. Divine. Then I went to the store about bought a big expensive jar of my favorite black olives and crumpled blue cheese and all was right for a while.

  13. Oh, and I almost forgot, your marigolds! Volunteers!!!!!
    Lovely. I used to be a flower snob and think marigolds were not for me, and now I realize they are just perfect for me.

    So true what you said about the eggplant. I have like 15 hanging on my dead plants!

  14. I worked like crazy too. Sometimes it's just what you've gotta do.

    I didn't make it to the Rally in DC...too many people.

    Instead, I camped with my boys. That was a reasonable, wonderful choice indeed.


  15. your last thought is very timely for me, wonderful Mary Moon


  16. I'm gonna dance more when I'm older than I do now. Once the pressure to be young and cool and sexy is over, all bets are off. I'm nearly there!

    I wish you'd go to the osteopath. THey put all the bits backin the right place, stop all the rubbing and misalignment that hurts and makes for stiff muscles. I'd go once a month if I could afford it. If your hips are out it puts everything else out - knees, ankles, shoulders, ribs etc etc.

    And you can stand straight and tall and feel clear and beautiful and right for the first time in ages. Such a good thing to do. Not chiropracters, osteopaths. They understand about the soft tissue too.

  17. Syd- And that's why I love you.

    Bethany- If I had to bring in the bulbs, I would not have elephant ears. You are a more dedicated gardener than I am. I am glad you took that walk, glad you got olives and blue cheese. Perfect! You are loved.

    Nancy C- I would never even consider going to a rally but I sure like it that other people do. I'm so glad you went camping with your boys!

    Maggie May- I believe it is true. Love you, dear.

    Jo- One of these days I'll actually look to see if Tallahassee has an osteopath.

  18. that venison stew looks amazingly healing

    i did not have a peaceful day. but reading about yours calmed me a bit.


  19. Ms. Moon...
    what to say... I'm so glad to have the privilege to read your thoughts always.
    thank you.

  20. I voted this morning and made sure to remind my kids to vote too. If Rick Scott wins, well I don't want to even think about it because it is just too scary.

  21. I look funny when I walk these days and I'm 33. I'm hoping that my hips will get a grip soon. But I do have a new-found understanding of the elderly as well.

    We went for a long walk in the park yesterday. Marie had to be carried for most of it, but it was glorious with all the Autumn colours.

  22. It all looks yummy and beautiful right where you are. Some days I walk just like an old lady. And my husband makes fun of me. He calls me his old lady. Not very romantic at all. He's a very literal sort of guy.

  23. "While I worked in the yard, my old dog Pearl followed me around and the chickens did too, to a degree. It is impossible for me to feel lonely working in my yard with the plants, the animals. They make such good company."

    This is just one of many thoughts in one of many posts I've been perusing here today, that made me think, "yep, me too." Thank you for that.

  24. It is well named, that fern. I do not have to take that resurrection on faith. It is a beautiful fact I can witness for myself.

    I love that. Thank you for writing it.

    You are dancing with me when i come to visit. We will dance with great fucking joy and perhaps DRUNKEN MARTINI ABANDON!

  25. Ms. Bastard-Beloved- Okay. But not in public. If we did, you would be embarrassed by my old lady shuffle. Which is so sad. I used to be one of the world's best dancers. Really. I was.


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