Sunday, February 28, 2010

She Lived Here, Too

My daughter May had a friend in high school who lived in this house where I now live. She wrote a beautiful and heart-rending post on her blog about this place and if you are interested in another person's perspective on the place I call home, read it here.

Worship

Here it is:
If you do not believe that Jesus Christ is the way to eternal life and salvation, you just shouldn't go to a Christian church.

Period and The End.

That's all there is to it. You can talk to me all day long about how okay, Jesus was a really wise and holy guy who had lots of good ideas and how I shouldn't judge all religions on one church but it's not going to make a difference.

I just do not believe in religion and I do not want to go to church.

The god thing- I have no idea. But if there is GOD, to my mind, he or she or IT is not to be found in church on a Sunday morning.
That's it. I'm sorry.

No I'm not. I am not sorry at all.

But I went. I did it. I cried when Owen got dressed in his gown. NOT A DRESS! A gown. He was gorgeous. I cried because he was gorgeous and I love him so much.



Owen is gorgeous whether he is in a diaper, naked, or in a his pajamas, his overalls or a gown. He's a baby. Babies are gorgeous.
Lily was beautiful. Jason was proud and handsome.



Mr. Moon and I dressed up in our ceremonial garb which was entirely unnecessary because it was a casual service and there was a Christian rock band. But hell's bells: if my grandson and daughter were going to be baptized, I was going to wear my black dress with the red lining and a camellia in my hair.

The sermon's message today was Truth Decay. Adultery, sex outside of marriage, the lies about global warming and also athletes' use of performance enhancing drugs were mentioned. Praise songs were sung. Lyrics were beamed to the wall to follow along with. No hymnals necessary. God, the son and the holy spirit were mentioned. Owen and Lily were blessed with water.
My favorite part was when Jessie danced up to the altar and received holy communion. Jessie wants to experience it ALL. She came back to the pew and said, "Jesus doesn't taste very good." I said, "Girl, you're not supposed to chew Jesus. You're supposed to let him melt on your tongue."
"Oh!" she said. "No one told me."

My bad.

Anyway, we did it. We got Owen baptized and Lily too. They were both well-behaved. Then we went to lunch. And that was fun.

When we got home I felt overwhelmed with the joy of being here. I wanted to clean out the chicken coop and plant Swiss Chard.


I wanted to do laundry and make bread. I wanted to dream about what my garden is going to look like when Mr. Moon fences it all in and I can paint the gate in beautiful colors and what it will look like when the peas and beans and cucumbers are growing on the fence. My husband is doing such a good job with the fencing and he is setting in new lines for the irrigation. He does things straight and true. Not because he is afraid that if he doesn't do right he will not go to heaven, but because that is the way he is.


I wanted to go out with the camera and take pictures of the sun going down and setting fire to the trees where I live.

I wanted to catch the robin on the fallen log which encloses the area where the ferns grow.


I wanted to see what the camera could do with a cardinal on a branch.


And on the feeder.


I wanted to go see my chickens.


I wanted to LOOK UP and let my soul praise the magnolia.

I wanted to shout that I do not need to fear holy hell to live a full life. I wanted to say that the glories of this earth have nothing to do with rules and fear at all, but instead with the opening of the bud, the face of the baby, the holding of the hand, the ear on the chest to hear the heartbeat of the one you love, the full moon resting on the night sky like a diamond on a jeweler's black-velvet case, the seed in the dirt, the egg in the nest, the bird whose throat opens to the song it sings into the air for joy, for lust, for love.

I wanted to say that instead of going to a place with beige walls and a sound system to worship, it would be better for me to get on my knees to plant or weed something. I wanted to say that Jesus may have been a good man but so is my husband and so is Owen's father. I wanted to say that the holy ghost is a mystery to me but so are the tides and the seasons.

And I did all of those things. I did them just now. I have shouted, I have said. I have planted, I have baked. I have washed, I have listened, I have seen, I have heard. I have collected five perfect eggs and I have anointed my newly planted Swiss chard with holy water.

It was a good day. I learned a lot. Mostly that I am ecstatic with the knowledge that I do not ever need to go back into a church again, but can spend my Sundays in a completely different kind of worship which is as deep and powerful and as high and as glorious as anything I can imagine. Right here at home. Or wherever I am if there is sky, if there is dirt, if there is water, if there is light, if there is life.

Need I even say it?

Amen.

Like Honey

There is a bird who sings a song here which has lyrics. They are this:
You're sweet, you're sweet, you're sweet.
He is singing this song this morning and I think he must be singing it to the day because it is a most beautiful one, this day, filled with sunlight and crisp air and everything which appears dead and brown, if inspected carefully, shows signs of impending bursting.
And of course there are the camellias, already burst, and they are sweet, they are sweet, they are sweet.

We finished up the play last night and that was sweet too. Bitter-sweet but sweet. It went well, it went fine. Our audience was large and they laughed. I think we all pushed it to our extremes and we had fun. There was an FSU film class there, filming. Not us, not the play. No. They were looking for ghosts in the supposedly haunted old Opera House. They wanted us to talk about ghostly sightings we may have had there while we, the cast, wanted to talk about what we'd just done- what all these months of work and play had resulted in, the little jokes, the way we have all felt bonded together. I think the camera crew missed the point- if there are ghosts at the Opera House, they are there because they like what's happening all around them, they loved the stage too much to give it up for eternity.
Well. That's what I think. Plus, they were annoying the very living shit out of me. They finally left, leaving us to talk and laugh and eat our cold manicotti, leftover from the dinner.
It was sweet.

And today we will go to church to watch my grandson and his mama get baptized and that will be sweet too. The sprinkling of water, the charging of the congregation to help with the raising of that boy. It's all symbolic, of course. That congregation is not going to be the ones to help with Owen's raising. But it's nice to think that they may be there should they be needed. Most of our family will be there and there is no reason on this earth not to celebrate Owen and what he has meant for our family. None. Sweetness there, too.

He'll be dressed in a long white dress which his other grandmother made for him before he was born, just for this one purpose. And that is sweet.
Everything having to do with Owen is sweet. Everything having to do with my family has sweetness to it.

And now it's time for me to dress, put on another sort of costume to go visit another church, one which does not have the words "Batshit Crazy" in its name. And I'll get to see my children, my grandson, hold my husband's hand.

Sweetness.

And you're sweet, you're sweet, you're sweet to come by here today, to read this.

Thank-you.

Now go on. It's Sunday. Be sweet.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Paper Bag Saturday


Some people do Friday Fragments and I guess there's even some sort of guidelines or something for that and I enjoy reading those fragments but you know me- I can't be walking down the road someone else has already shined a light on. Nah. I have to get out my tiny blue flashlight and head through the woods, tripping on fallen logs and getting caught up in the thorn vines.
So I don't do Friday Fragments but every now and then I do a post which is just a bunch of little found items and I throw them in a paper bag and fold over the top and give it to you and that's the deal here today.
Even the picture really doesn't have anything to do with anything except it's about everything if you look at it the right way. I had no daddy growing up and dammit, if there's one thing I've done right it was to find a man to be the daddy of my children. Jessie spent the night last night after serving tables at the Opera House and there she is with her daddy. They both complained about how they would look- Jessie in what she slept in, Mr. Moon in his work clothes.
But they let me take their picture. They know how cute they look.

So. Can we just briefly discuss the fact that a killer whale killed a trainer at Sea World? I feel terrible for the person who was killed and the family of that person and also all the people who had to witness such an event but dammit! What in the name of God do we humans think we are doing when we take a creature like a killer whale and try to make a trained toy out of it in a tank in an amusement park? I have been to Sea World once and maybe twice, back in the old, old days when the kids were little and it made me vastly unhappy to be there. I was struck with the feeling that we had captured aliens who were as sentient and as intelligent as us and removed them from their planet for our amusement. They can prattle on all they want about education but the bottom line is- whales and dolphins do not belong in tanks and although they are really good at learning tricks, we have no right using them for that purpose and when we do, tragedy often results. Sometimes the tragedy is the death of an animal and sometimes the tragedy is the death of a human animal but it just ain't right.
Not in my book.
We should be in their world which is the deep blue ocean, humbly asking the creatures there for their permission for us to observe them and learn from THEM. Maybe they could teach us a trick or two. Throw us a fish if we do it right. Clap their fins and laugh giant bubbles of laughter at our poor attempts to function in their world by their rules.
So that's what I think about THAT. I'm sure you wanted to know.

On to animals in this house. Pearl, my fourteen-year old boxer dog is losing her shit. Not in the sense that she is incontinent but in the sense that she's demented. All of the dogs demand to be let in and let out hundreds of times a day. I am not exaggerating, either. But suddenly, Pearl's entire day is spent standing on one side of the door and then the other, scratching to be let in or let out. She walks through the door which I have opened, wanders around on whichever side of it she's on, looks completely baffled, and then goes back to the door and scratches on it in order to be let back to the side of it she was just on. This goes on all day. Sometimes when I open the door, she just stands there, not even looking at me. I think she's forgotten where she is. I love this old dog but I have to be honest with you- if she dropped dead right this second it would save her a lot of inevitable pain and save me at least a tiny portion of sanity which I may still have. Since I started this paragraph, we have gone through the routine twice. TWICE! One paragraph!
Correction: Three times. And Buster has wanted in once. That's five times I've gotten up in the last three minutes.

I complain to Mr. Moon and he says, "What do you want me to do? Take her out and hit her over the head?" I contemplate the idea and then say, "You wouldn't do it if I asked you to."
And he agrees.
Dammit.

So speaking of Mr. Moon, the car biz has been tough the last few weeks. Real tough. He's been gently depressed. The other night though, he perked up and said, "Well. Really. I have the best life on earth. I have you as a beautiful wife and I'm not wanted by the F.B.I."
Seriously. That was a direct quote. I wrote it down.

Pearl wants in again. Zeke just came out.

Our last performance is tonight and get this- we have reservations for ONE HUNDRED dinners and a waiting list for more. This is an Opera House record. We had a great time last night and cranked our performances up another notch, but the audience...well...let's just say that for the average-aged woman in that crowd, menopause is but a distant memory. Kathleen swore they were laughing but the laughter barely made it up to our ears. Oh, I could hear Jessie giggling. Thank God. And we got some laughs but basically- yikes! We refused to blame ourselves and rightly so, I think. We gave it our all and we cracked ourselves up and we are looking forward to tonight. And dreading it because it IS our last night. Sigh. And sigh again. It's just so much FUN! Last night, after the performance, we were all downstairs eating leftover manicotti and squash and cake and drinking our post-performance beverages and there I was at a table with my daughter and my husband and my next-door neighbor and all the actors and Kathleen, and we were all silly and happy and Colin kept saying, "How did I get so lucky? HOW?!" We all felt that way. And we are going to be depressed as hell for the next few weeks. I can tell you that.

Pearl just came back out. Oh. Now she wants back in. Zeke went in too.

Well, it's a gray day. The finches and cardinals are fluttering and eating and chirping and oh my! There's a redheaded woodpecker at the feeder too! That's rare. And Mr. Moon is working on the garden fence and Jessie is studying her maternal nursing with Buster on her lap. She was fawned over and admired last night so sweetly. They love Jessie at the Opera House. She was told she looked like Uma Therman, only prettier. I know she hates that. She hates the egg sandwich I made her this morning too. And she really hates washing the bowls the dogs have licked clean. She told me.
I haven't given the chickens their scratch or told them how pretty they are today yet. I need to do that. We only got two eggs yesterday but in the two days before that we got fourteen so I suppose they needed a rest. My lovely hens. My handsome rooster.

And I suppose that's that. Pearl just came back out. Are you keeping count?

Oh- one more thing- Lily and Owen are going to be baptized in the Lutheran church Jason's mother and grandmother belong to tomorrow. (Pearl just went back in.) I am having a bit of a hard time with this because I consider baptism something that should be done by parents either in the bathtub or in the rain or the ocean or a river or a puddle in the yard. Whatever. Water represents life and so it is right and good that a baby should be exposed to it. I give Owen sips of water from my glass when he is here. I have bathed him AND taken him out into the rain. Bringing God or god into the whole situation baffles me. Why? It's not like Lily and Jason are going to be going to church. And Lily is doing this in order to keep peace in the family and I commend her for that and I'll be there because she's my daughter and Owen is my grandson and if they want me there, then I'm there. (Buster just came out. Then he went back in.)
It'll be fine. It's not like Lily has become a Republican. That I truly could not handle. A bit of sprinkled water isn't going to hurt anyone at all and besides- I'll get to see Owen and that is worth a trip to church on a Sunday morning. And then we'll all go out to lunch and as I recall from my childhood church-going days, the post church lunch is what it's all about anyway.

I better get to those chickens now.

Thanks for visiting.

Please recycle the paper bag when you're through with it.

And Pearl wants out again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Addendum

My old friend L7 sent me this in an e-mail and I loved it and so am giving it to you, too:


Your blog post this morning reminded me of the old koan"

Ungan: "What does the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion [i.e. Avalokitesvara, Kannon, Kanzeon, Regarder of the Sounds of the World] do by using her limitlessly abundant hands and eyes?"
Dogo: "She is like a person in the night reaching back with a hand to grope for a pillow."

A whole new way of thinking about the hot flash.

The Agony And The Ecstasy


I believe I may have had the most entirely ecstatic sensorial experience of my entire life this morning at six a.m.

And yes, it happened while I was in bed.

I woke up with a hot flash and I reached for one of the pillows under the window which was cracked open to the below-freezing temperatures of the outside air and I pulled one of those freezing pillows to my body and it was better than anything I have ever experienced. And I say this as a woman who has given un-medicated birth four times. I say this as a woman who has swung from a few chandeliers in her life if you get my drift. I KNOW what good feels like.

So okay, maybe the experience wasn't as spiritual as the ones I've had when my babies were finally, after hours and days of labor, born and given unto my breast BUT, for a few short seconds this early morning, before the heat of my body overcame the cold of the pillow, it was the most pleasurable thing I can imagine or remember happening.

I know. I shouldn't admit to this. But it's the truth. And one day when YOU have hot flashes (if you are doomed to that and I hope you are not and if you are a man, you can just kiss my hot ass but no, really, I'm sorry, I love men, I do) you will remember reading this and you will know exactly what I meant and how very truthful these words are.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love....Ms. Moon

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just When I Really Start Kicking Ass And Taking Names


The party's almost over. Our performance for the Altrusia Club (A civic-minded club for ladies who do good work and drink wine) went just way too well tonight. Finally and at last I think everyone (and when I say everyone, I mean me, of course) has finally settled into their characters, knows all their lines and is just having a big ol' party onstage.
We had at least as much fun as the audience and they did not stop laughing. I could tell we had a few repeaters because every time one of our big-laugh scenes came up, I could hear the twittering from the seats.
Oh. It was just a joy.
My character, Victoria Ambrose, has finally broken out of her shell. Either I have found her or she has found me. I am not sure how this process works. It's a little like magic, I think. And because I don't really know one damn thing about acting beyond what I've learned from watching The Actor's Studio, which isn't much, it is magic for me.
I do project well. I do. I admit that. I think I learned how to do that when I was a cheerleader in the 9th grade. Seriously. I can get that voice out of my chest and out there. I watched a little bit of some of the video that was made tonight and I was, quite frankly, amazed at how well my voice projects.
Which only boils down to the fact that I'm loud.

You know, a little over a year ago, I almost lost my voice. It was when I was going crazy and I couldn't talk loud enough to be heard. I KNEW it was psychosomatic. I'd done it once before. There was nothing at all wrong with me, physically, but I could not, could not speak out.
I. Lost. My. Voice.

But it came back. I remember auditioning for that play we did last year. The one I played five different characters in. I'd told Jack that I'd lost my voice but that it was coming back and they wanted me to play these roles but Jack had to ask me- "How's your voice?"
And I said, "It's getting better every day."
And it did. And by the time we performed the play, I was fine.
The Opera House and the people in it who believed in me, gave it back to me- that voice of mine.

Jack and Jan directed that play and it was a joy to be in. It was hard work, but it was joyful work. And this in this play, I get to act with Jan and Jack and that, too, has been a joy.

I hate to see it end. And I'm not auditioning for the next one. I need to spend time at home. I have this baby boy with the cutie patootie butt to take care of sometimes. And I have his grandfather who has been so generous of spirit to let me go off to rehearsals and performances and who has done that so graciously and lovingly but I need to spend more time with him. And spring is coming and there's the garden and the chickens are being so prolific in their laying and well, I just need to concentrate for awhile on things here at home.

But Lord, I am going to miss this playing stuff. I am not going to put it down and walk away from it entirely because it's so good for me. I know it is.

I am not a club joiner. I am not a do-gooder, although I do pick up trash on my walks.

I am at heart a solitary woman. But when I walk into that Opera House, I am happy. I see the people I am creating this...thing...with and I am happy. I owe them so much.

Well, it's getting late. I am going to go wash the make-up off my face and get in the bed and read a bit more of Terms Of Endearment. And then I get to put my make-up on again for two more nights, go out there and be another woman. Get to hear the laughter from the audience, get to do something I love so much that I watch the show through the tiny peep-hole I have backstage. Get to walk onstage and open my mouth and project my voice which is loud and which is strong.

My lack-of-a-voice was a indicator of my insanity. My regaining of it was an indicator of being returned to some sort of health. I am so glad to have that voice back. I use it to tell my husband how much I love him. I use it to laugh with my children. I use it to sing to Owen. Every time he comes over I come up with a new song to sing to him. Some days it's a little blues riff. Some days it sounds like something a kindergarten class would sing. Some days it's a bit like opera. And he listens to me with those huge, barely-blinking eyes and he smiles.

Listen- you younger mamas and remember- whatever it is that makes you happy, that gives you voice, is good for your babies, for your family. If I have anything to pass on, it would be that. To remember yourself. To remember that YOUR voice is absolutely and undeniably important.

Use your voice. Don't let it be dampened or darkened or silenced. Sing whatever song that floats into your heart and demands your voice to make it heard. Go onstage and become another character. Whisper your dreams to the full moon and into your lover's neck as you hold your lover to you. Call to your chickens, your children, your dogs. Yell out your frustrations, scream out your pain, croon out your love.

Your voice. My voice. Let's use 'em while we have 'em.

The play will be over soon enough.

It Had To Be Done

Owen. I'm sorry. Forgive me. But Lord, look at that teeny cute butt.

Okay. Here is, decent on the sunny back porch.

He's getting excited...

And then he explodes with joy!

I have no idea over what. It just happens sometimes.
And ain't that just like life?

My Cute Boys

From Tuesday's lunch with Uncle Hank, go here.

He's Here

Owen Is Coming, Soon, Soon

My grandson will be here in less than an hour and I am so glad. He hasn't been to see his crazy chicken Grandma since Saturday.
So there will be pictures.
Which is good because I know y'all are tired of camellias and chickens.
Hell. I'm becoming the Pioneer Woman only instead of her four beautiful kids, horses, cows, and her studly husband, I post pictures of flowers, chickens and one grandson. And my studly husband.
Plus, she goes on trips all over the country, doing readings at bookstores and being on shows like Good Morning, America.
Well- dig this, Pioneer Woman! I was on the front page of the MONTICELLO NEWS!
Hell yeah!

See you in a little while. With pictures. Of Owen. Maybe I'll throw in a recipe for Finger Mashed And Served Bananas.

Be still your heart, right?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

All Right, Y'all


This is a shameless plea: If you live in the Tallahassee area, come see this show this weekend. Not for me. Oh hell no. I'd much rather you not because believe it or not, I am bashful. As bashful as a stage-whore can be.

But come because Jan got treated like shit for being with her true love and she's in the play. And because she and Jack have been practicing their kiss for weeks now. And because my mortal enemy would love to see this play fail. And because a certain Republican segment of the county is boycotting us. And because it's getting buzz in what we here in the tiny corner of the world call home. "Be sure to go pee before you go upstairs to see it," is one of the comments I've heard. Because it's funny. And because we're old and will probably not get to act sexy onstage again. And because Colin and Jack are hysterical. And because no one in the entire world will ever see another man's face in my crotch again. And because Kathleen has done a marvelous job of directing. And because we all need to laugh. And because the Opera House is such a beautiful place to see a play. David, who saw it last weekend and who has played all over the world as a professional musician said that he'd never heard acoustics like the ones in the Opera House. And because, well, because.

And remember- there is a bar. The drinks are generous, the road from Tallahassee is straight and true. And the moon will be bright.

And it is going to be so cold backstage but if we know that there are people out there who have paid their money to be entertained, our hearts will be warm and we will do our best to deliver.

"You know, the last time I saw you I was promised roses, champagne and caviar," I tell Bud in the play. "Are you all promises or do you ever deliver?"

And he says, "Do I ever deliver? Does champagne have bubbles?"

And there you go. We have roses, we have champagne, we have caviar. AND WE WANT TO DELIVER!

I'd love to see you there. That would just be the bubbles in my champagne. I promise you.

Comfort


Lately it seems as if all I do is look for comfort. When I shop at Goodwill, I am drawn to the section where they sell sheets and blankets and bedspreads and I keep buying soft and cozy things to lay under as if all I did was lounge around my house, seeking soft and cozy perches. One that I bought was the amazing velvet and satin throw, the other, the one I bought yesterday was not nearly as nice and is made of a fabric which may in fact be nylon and which is filled with 100% virgin polyester which goes against all my grains but it reminds me of the comforter my friend Mary Lane had on her bed when we were children.
Comfort.

The other night I had a sudden urge, no, a need, to read some Larry McMurtry. I needed his plain language, his understanding of women and men and their ways and of the extraordinary wrapped in the plain and I wanted to revisit one of his books to find comfort there. I couldn't find Moving On, which is what I really wanted. I have lent it away, I suppose. I picked up Terms Of Endearment instead, from my bookshelves and I opened the old paperback and began to read and it was comfort and I was not disappointed.

I am sure many more people have seen the movie and it's a good one. Shirley Maclain, Jack Nicholson, and Debra Winger soar through that story on the screen but the book makes me happier.

"Anything you want, just keep it away from me,"Aurora said. She slipped off her shoes and stockings before she got out. The bright green grass of her lawn was nice and wet and she took her time walking across it. Somehow being barefoot always made her feel more the way she liked to feel. It was so much easier being enthusiastic when her feet were touching something besides shoes. Time and time again she had to fight down an urge to throw all her shoes in the garbage and begin a retreat from life- it was one of her strongest if most unladylike urges.

Yes.

Comfort. The comfort of bare feet touching anything but shoes. The comfort of words I've read before but delight in again upon rereading. The comfort of soft covers, of soup simmering for hours and bread rising in a glass bowl in a warm kitchen. The comfort of this place I am so loathe to leave. The comfort of at least the small beginnings of the retreat from what we call life with all its traffic and rudeness and sharp edges.

Here is my world today. We are supposed to get temperatures down in the twenties again tonight and tomorrow and so I will cover up the porch plants which are still alive and put away the thoughts of the garden for a few more days. But today, this morning, it is chilly but not freezing and the camellias (I hope you are not tired of them- I can never be any more than I can be tired of Aurora or Emma or Patsy or Gus or naps or finding eggs just-laid) are so glorious,


the azaleas are promising sudden bursting,


the morning light falls so beautifully through the oaks with their Spanish moss,


the Japanese Magnolia buds stick out their purple tongues at me,


the palms I have planted bring me joy as I watch them grow in a yard that needed them.


And the road in front of my house leads off to everywhere- everywhere in the world and sometimes I do yearn to get on it, that road, to see where it takes me, sometimes in a car or sometimes by foot, but mostly I am only glad it's there in case I should need it and knowing how happy I am to be here behind the white fence in this tiny world where no camera can catch the smallest things properly or the biggest ones either. But my eyes can and my heart is comforted by them all.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Things I Hate Doing To The Point of Neurosis


I am not talking about things I hate doing like cleaning that part of the toilet down by the floor with all the swirls and whirls (and what asshole man invented such a design?). I am talking about things that make me crazy to even contemplate. That I have to FORCE myself to do. Sometimes daily.
Here goes:

1. Checking my bank balance.
2. Taking my antidepressant and my supplements.
3. Making phone calls. This used to only extend to business-type calls or calls to make appointments but it is becoming more directed towards ALL calls I make.
4. Buying anything that costs more than a hundred dollars.
5. Opening mail from doctors' offices.
6. Returning calls to doctors' offices.
7. Giving the dogs their flea medication.
8. Paying bills.
9. Buying any cosmetics from those women in the white lab coats at the mall. This extends to buying perfume, as well.
10. Filling my gas tank.
11. Making airline reservations.
12. Breaking down in a car. On the highway. Far away from Mr. Moon. Fortunately, this almost never happens.
13. Driving in a rainstorm. I cannot do this. Especially on the interstate.
14. Driving at night. I'm night-blind. I swear. I shouldn't even be ALLOWED to drive at night.
15. Going to most parties.
16. Shopping at certain stores where I know I will run into someone I do not want to see.
17. Invariably running into those people and having to TALK to them.
18. Staying in Bed and Breakfast places where I am expected to talk to strangers in the morning and be gracious.
19. Eating that "free" breakfast food in motels. Something about those giant plastic dispensers of generic fruit loops makes me nauseous. Let's not even talk about the weak coffee or how you have to drink it out of styrofoam cups or how you have to wait to toast your freaking bagel behind some guy who is making toast for a family of eight. I want to go to the WAFFLE HOUSE. At least. Where there's bacon.
20. Going to any sort of medical appointment, including getting my teeth cleaned. (This one may be the worst.)

These are a few of my neurotic fear/hatreds.
You have any?

And What Will I Do Without This Sort Of Silliness?


Got the ragged edges in my soul today. No idea why.
But I'm going to try and wear them down with a walk and then a trip to town to pick up Lily and Owen and go meet Hank for lunch. That should do it.
And tonight we have a run-through rehearsal and then tomorrow night we have off and then we perform Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then we're done. Done with Sex Please.
There's going to be some fierce withdrawal from this one because we've all become so close and had so much fun. I forgot to tell you but we had a wardrobe malfunction on Saturday night. I couldn't see it because I was backstage, but I knew the audience would NOT quit laughing and I knew that Marcy (who caused the malfunction) was lying on the floor backstage. Turns out that when she'd pulled down Jack's pants which was supposed to reveal his funny boxer shorts, she'd pulled them down too. I hear only his butt was revealed but still...
Marcy was mortified, Jack took it in stride, and we have another funny memory.

Well. Life will go on, even if the show does not.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fuck That Shit


I always knew I did not like Jay Leno.
I'm sorry. But what a whore.

Men And Romance


Mr. Moon came home early today and we may or may not have fooled around a bit. You know how it goes. This is not Danielle's place, y'all! This is a family-friendly enterprise, a place where old people and chickens are discussed.
But hey. You know.

So anyway, I was drowsing and thinking how nice it would be if he offered to take me out to supper, maybe a nice drive up to Thomasville or even just a lovely sunset outing to the lake but no, he had something else in mind. Something more important, something that will give us pleasure for a long time to come. Something like this:


He put on his overalls and went out to set those fence posts. People a hundred years from now will know where our garden was. I guarantee it. And that's why I love him so much.

So while he worked, I walked around with the camera, which is becoming one of my very favorite things to do. It's strange- I have never been a visual person but lately, I am seeing in a way I have neglected to see my entire life. It's yet another old-age revelation and this blog is the reason for it.
So here is what I saw:

When chickens go to bed, they look like this:


I tell you what- that Elvis is turning out to be a good rooster. I took them some weeds today and dumped them in a pile in the coop and he jumped right up there and scratched them out for his hens to rake through. I seriously think that Mormons got their ideas about marriage from chickens and for that, at least, I'll give them credit although women are not hens, but men are kinda, sorta like roosters.

The fig tree buds are almost cruel, aren't they? It's okay. They will open up to form lovely leaves, appropriate in shape, if not size, to cover a human male's nudity. If a human male needs his nudity covered and there are fig leaves at hand, at least.


And the moon. She is half-a-round right now. She reminds me of a very pregnant belly. Just a few nights ago, she was an amazing crescent-smile, but she has grown and turned over in her sky-bed, stretched and shaped out.

(Oh please- click on this one- you can see the craters.)
If there is anything on this earth that science cannot ruin, it is the moon and her phases. Knowing why she looks and changes the way she does cannot change our appreciation of her beauty nor make her less mysterious. It's like a baby's face. We know that the shape and proportions of face to eyes and so forth make us want to protect and kiss that face, and yet, the knowledge does not decrease our need and desire to do so.

I have put the camera away and am now going to go stir-fry some vegetables and tofu and then Mr. Moon and I will eat them. And that is romance because I am going to keep that man alive forever. Trust me, babies. I know what romance is. And no bras need to be put on to enjoy it.

Monday and It's Raining Again

The rain curtains, then sheets, and it drums down hard on the tin roof and is especially loud in my bathroom which was made from a porch and I wish I could record the sound and give it to you.

The dogs refuse to go out, the cardinals and finches refuse to give up breakfast. The tiny wild things are hardier and braver than the bigger domestic things and that's a fact. And the chickens are somewhere inbetween, at least Miss Feral Carol who I caught in the flower bed outside the kitchen, pecking and scratching in the rain.


She looks miserable, but I doubt she is. She could go into the garage if she wanted. She has taken to laying her eggs on Mr. Moon's work bench and cannot be dissuaded. He finally gave up and made her a nest which sits there now. Carol is a strong-minded bird.

I try to get the dogs to go out and they look at me as if I were insane and then go pee in a hidden corner of my recently mopped floors, the curs, the beasts, the banes of my life while the birds eat, unconcerned and the papa cardinal is a spot of scarlet in the gray of the day of my tiny world.

I slept almost eleven hours last night and it was good. I was so tired yesterday. I hung the laundry on the line and I sat on my ass or haunches in the garden, pulling weeds, one by one, as Mr. Moon, in his overalls and no shirt, set fence posts and hauled huge timbers and worked his ass off and looked damn fine doing it.

Karen and David dropped by on their way back to Nashville and it was so good to see them. So good. I have known them since high school and David is the one who talked me into moving to Tallahassee in 1974. History. They baby-sat for Hank and May when my first husband I went to see Bruce Springsteen in 1979 and David has played since on some of Springsteen's albums. They have four daughters and five grandchildren and I was at one of Karen's births and she at one of mine. We have (ahem) been old, old tripping buddies. They and my first husband and I shared a tiny house back in 1975 in a small black community that sat on the edge of acres and miles of cow fields. Ah lah. We used to eat black-eyed peas and rice and cornbread together and wait for the mushrooms to come on. The days. Karen and David have known each other since they were tiny children and have been married for thirty-something years. These are the kinds of friends that you pick up with where you left off, no matter how long it's been, and there is such comfort in that sort of friendship. I know that Karen will want a beer and that David will want coffee. I can set out Triscuits and leftover tuna salad from lunch and everyone is happy. I went to mix up my meatloaf while they were here and apologized for doing so but Karen said, "Don't treat us like company!" and she meant it and I didn't. I begged them to stay the night in the Panther Room, to share our meat loaf and arugula, but they had to get back to Nashville. I was sad to see them go.


And so it goes. Life patters along like a river, does it not? And the frogs croak and the distant thunder rumbles and I am feeling peaceful today except that I am yearning with all my heart to see my children. I have not seen my oldest two in weeks except for seeing May at the play, briefly. I miss them. I am not the sort of mother who can go for long periods of time not seeing her children without suddenly waking up and saying, "I have to get my hands on them!" I have called May but got her voice mail and I know that Hank has company but I am going to call him at work as soon as I am done here. And I know I must go to the grocery store. I am waiting for the rain to calm down. But I am doing that patiently. The garden needs the water, and I think I'll wash my sheets, even if I can't dry them on the line.

It's the little things, it's the big things, it's all the things. It's the cardinal at the feeder, it's the potatoes in the ground, it's the friends you've had forever, it's the rain coming down.

And there's not much more for me to say beyond all of that.
Perhaps I'll finish up Owen's cashmere chicken today. Perhaps. Dreams CAN come true. I know this for a fact.

Stay cozy, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Another Sunday At The Church Of The Batshit Crazy (Or, Let's Talk About Sex, Babee)

Last night's performance went well, although it lacked the sparkle and pop of opening night. This is how you know we are not professionals. I think about those actors who go to the theater every night and twice on Sundays to do their work and how each and every performance must be the best they can do. How do they do this? I have no idea but I am certain I could not do it.
I am carried along by the nerves, by the joy of the Oh My God! we are really doing this! and if I were expected to make it my work, I would fail at it miserably.

But it was fun and the audience enjoyed it and some of my oldest friends who were visiting relatives in nearby Lamont came to see the play and I was astounded! I only see these people perhaps once a year and yet, there they were! I had told them about the play when they called to tell me they were in the area and I couldn't believe they actually came. And my dog groomer came! "Thank-you for coming out at night," I told her, because she's the same age I am and I know how hard it is to drag your tired ass out of the house on a Saturday night to drive the miles to do something when you could be at home, cozy and in bed by ten.

I think of myself as having very few friends. I do. And yet, when something like this play occurs and I am surrounded by my friends at the Opera House and then other friends come to see me, I am shocked. Completely shocked.

Well. It's a good kind of shock. And now we have two days off and I am so grateful for that. Two days to catch up on ever-growing mounds of chicken shit and maybe some yard work and yes, this blog. It has been catch-as-catch can here at Blessourhearts and I apologize for that. I am vaguely aware of the greater world around me, catching a bit of NPR as I put on my make-up, as I drive to the theater. I hear that Tiger Woods pleaded for forgiveness and that his wife did not attend the press conference. Well, good for her! is what I say. But what I really say is- it's none of my fucking business. I don't buy those sports products or luxury watches and cars Tiger gets paid to endorse. And here's what I know- men are led by their dicks in more cases than you can imagine. That's the way of it. I believe I understand the evolutionary need of this far more than I understand any man actually standing up in front of a group of people with one woman and saying, "Yes, I will stay true to you." I think it's amazing when that actually unfolds to be the truth.
Amazing.
I have said it before and I will say it again- I do not understand sex. And I'll tell you this- I certainly don't understand why every religion in the world tries to control it. What an exercise in futility THAT is. Sex is what makes this world go around because at the very bottom of it is the need to reproduce, to create more of what we are. We humans are funny about sex and try to act like we're all above the animals when it comes to our love and courtship but take a look at the great apes, take a gander at the Blue Bower Bird, just look at the squirrels or the chickens and you will realize we are hardly the only species which plans for, works for, enjoys and lives for sex.

Okay. I can barely handle a sexual relationship with one person and that's the way I am and besides that, I am old, and I am so very grateful that Mr. Moon stood up and said he'd be faithful to me and has continued to live with and cherish me and be my lover and friend and man for all these years. I know that's a miracle. I know what what a miracle he is in my life.

Funny. I didn't start out to write about sex this morning. I swear to god, I did not. Or God. Whatever. I never know whether to capitalize that "g". I go back and forth, depending on my mood, I suppose.

But it's coming on spring and I went out with the camera and took pictures of things that mostly do not have sex but are certainly examples of the way things reproduce and grow and bloom and what now looks merely like a swelling (!) bud will soon be a gaudy thing of beauty which will attract bees and thus, lead to pollination and yes, more life.

Ah! It's all gorgeous in a way, but there is that underbelly, is there not? I mean- look at Tiger. Look at Sam. Poor Sam, dead and gone and his meat part of my very bones now. And his hens do not grieve him and their tail feathers are growing back because he is not there to torment them with his constant need to wiggle his bean, as Gus in Lonesome Dove would say.

So here are my pictures from the yard and the house this morning, Sunday, February 21st as Mr. Moon works to put up a fence around the garden, and the chicken poop is piling up and I will not be going to the Opera House today but have the time to think and write this little bit, to go out and record with the camera some of the earth's silent and intimate attempts at making more of itself in this season of love for us all.

Mr. Moon's tomatoes, getting ready to go into the earth of the garden.


The open throat of an opening camellia.


The tangled wisteria, which, if you look closely, shows beginning swellings at the tips. (!)


A fern's perfect fiddlehead.


The Buckeye's sprouting before it bursts into red flame flower.


The violet, again, because I can't resist its sturdy, innocent promise.


Chickens, fanned out, and who, if left to their own devices, would give us babies in a few months, whose eggs are the symbol of Easter, which I choose not to celebrate for the rising of a dead man, but for the rebirth of life.


And finally, the little altar in the hallway where there is always something green or blooming to remind me dozens of times a day of the beauty which is outside that I can bring in and where the Virgin of Guadalupe stands always, the Mother-Symbol which seems to have chosen me. And where a little walker is parked, waiting to be used again by Owen, the very fruit of my own need and ability to reproduce more of me and my love, and that of his own parents'. Owen. My perfect little fruit, my perfect little monkey, my love squared and quadrupled.