Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dentist visit led to Periodontal Surgeon visit. Not good. Abscess in the bone. I'm on antibiotics and will be for ten days and then we'll see if it's worth trying to save the tooth.

I can't talk about it.

I tried to explain to the surgeon how anxious I become in doctors' offices. He tried to be sympathetic but I could tell he had no idea of the extent of what I was feeling. I felt strongly that he wanted me to just cowgirl up, cupcake. This ain't the end of the world.

I can't believe I'm back in this crazy place. And it has nothing to do with my tooth although that situation certainly doesn't make it any better.

Well, Happy New Year.

The boys are here and I have to, actually, in fact and seriously, cowgirl up, cupcake.
Boppy's here so all will be well.

Despite everything, I am not too crazy to know what a big part of my life you have all been this year, and some of you for many years.

Thank you.
And I desperately want everything to be well for us all.
Actually, in fact, and seriously.


I am so glad I've got that appointment with the dentist this morning. The swelling is increasing. Not so much pain for which I'm grateful. I have had so few dental problems in my life that I'm baffled, I'm worried, I'm ridiculous.

Yesterday was so bad that I spent part of it in bed. It was so bad that I considered the possibility of going back on medication. It was so bad that I wondered how and when and where I fell back into the abyss. One bad moment leading to one bad day leading to one bad week...

Fucking brain chemistry.

And here it is, New Year's Eve day. Are you going to put on your finery and sip champagne from a crystal flute? Are you going to dance and laugh and stay up until the New Year is firmly in place?

We're not. The very thought makes me shudder.

I think the boys are going to come and spend the night so that Lily and Jason can have a night alone. If all goes as planned. They've had a little bug or something and haven't been feeling that well but hopefully, they'll be better today. Maybe we'll build a fire and Boppy can cook hamburgers on the grill. I don't know.

I really don't know much. I do know that I wish I had words from a calm heart to give to you, to myself. I wish I could say something succinct and wise, something warm and loving about what a New Year means, this one in particular, about plans for opening the heart, the soul, the mind, improving the odds for joy. But I seem not to. The sky is slate gray again, it is chilly. I am holding myself in tightly against...it all?

We shall see, won't we? What this year brings.

Meanwhile, it is the last day of one of the strangest years of my life and we go on and the camellias are absurdly bright against the gray and I wish that I believed that a number on a calendar had the magic to make everything new with the tick of the hand on the clock.

Stay safe, y'all.


Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, December 30, 2013

Why The FUCK Didn't I Think Of This First?

Damn you, Thug! 

I can cook and god knows I can fucking swear. 

I'm going to be kicking myself for the rest of my life for not getting there first. It's an honest fact that I could never do what the Pioneer Woman does- she's way too wholesome (although her food surely isn't),  but I sure as hell could have done what this Thug person (or persons, more likely) have done. 

Shit. Cocksucker.

Aw well, it does look like a fine recipe, as may of his do. I'll be cooking black-eyed peas myself. But I won't be sauteing any goddamn kale. I'll be simmering my collards and mustards (and okay, maybe a few kale leaves too) in vegetable broth for a long time with onions and tomatoes. That's the way I do it. And I probably won't presoak my beans either. Black-eyed peas cook quick and the longer I can cook them with the spices, the better they'll taste. 
In my opinion, anyway. 

Oh well. 

I didn't think of it first and that's the way it goes. Day late and a dollar short. Story of my damn life. 

The sun is out again and it could hardly be more beautiful, lighting the golden and ruby leaves into jewels, the birds are calling and happy and fussing all at the same time and how poor my life would be without their voices, their flitting bodies as they come to the feeder every day.

I'm maxed out on anxiety this morning. There. That is as much truth as the sun, as the birds. For me, at least. I have got to go take a walk, see if I can shake some of it off because this is just too much.

I've called the dentist and will go in tomorrow morning. That was easy.

I need to go let the chickens out. The wilder ones from next door are already scratching around my yard, getting the tasty bugs that rightfully belong to my flock. I doubt there is a shortage. When the dogs die, I'll be able to let the chickens into the part of the back yard which is now fenced off and they will help keep my camellia bed weeded the way they now do the little area by the kitchen where roses and banana plants grow. The dogs do not weed, they merely poop and I sort of doubt they'd run away if I did leave the gates open but one never knows. Poor old blind things. As much as they make my life more difficult, I know I could hardly bear it if one wandered into the road and got hit.

Life is so strange.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sow Some Seeds Or...Something

The sun decided to quit with the coy act and it came out and shone all day and I, refusing to ignore such a blessing, spent most of the day outside.

I went out to water the porch plants and realized that about half a tree had fallen in the front yard or to be more specific and accurate, a good-sized branch, and so I picked all that mess up and took it to the burn pile and then I got in my poor old garden which is so sadly neglected and sparsely planted and it was a joy. As always, I am listening to a book as I work and the one I'm listening to now is a fine one and the narrator is perfect. I've never heard of the author (I think; I could easily have forgotten) but her name is Lauren Groff and the book I'm listening to is "The Monsters of Templeton."
Nicole Roberts is the reader.
I'm about a fourth of the way into it and I am charmed and completely engrossed.

I weeded my pathetic rows of collards and mustards and salad greens and arugula, the few kale plants, the nicely-growing cilantro. I am quite shocked at the success of the cilantro. I have never planted it before but saw the seed packet at the store a few months ago and thought "what the hell?" and it seems to like the dirt of Lloyd and if I ever make pico de gallo again, I'm all set. I do know that cilantro is either a love-it or hate-it sort of taste but I love it and so does Mr. Moon.

I planted another row of mixed salad greens and another row of collards and we shall see if either of them do a damn thing.

I cleaned out the poopy hay in the hen house and gave them fresh to lay their sweet, fuzzy butts in at night where they roost. 

And that's been my day. 

While I did what I did, my husband worked on a project which is quite a large one but which is going to be a wonderful thing. Our across-the-street neighbor built a little play set for his daughter when she was young and now she's a senior in high school so he offered it to us for our grandboys. Two little tower-forts to climb up into, a swing, a slide. Mr. Moon is digging up the whole thing and bringing it all over here in parts for Owen and Gibson. I can't wait for it to all be set up, for them to see it and play on it. I will be able to say, "Go outside and play in your fort!" and I will be able to watch them from the porch. Well, that's the theory.
I love our neighbors. They are so generous of spirit. Another blessing in my life. 

I have to call the dentist tomorrow. I have been feeling pain and pressure when I bite down around my crown, my golden mouth-jeweled crown, and I've been telling myself that I'm just grinding my teeth and that may be so but it feels weird and when I finally girded my loins and looked at it in the mirror, I saw that there is redness and swelling around it. Is 2014 going to start with me needing a root canal? 
Oh Lord. 
Well, it's not screamy pain. It's just...there. 

And this is life as a human being. Dig in the dirt, deal with teeth that were probably not meant to last longer than thirty years, do stuff to make your grandkids happy. Enjoy the way the sun feels on you as you kneel and weed. Listen to someone read a book into your ear. We are a species which loves stories, the telling of them and the listening to them. Part the earth with your fingers and sow tiny seeds into it, cover it up as you would a baby. 

Live until you don't. Or something. I really don't know. 
I do not know shit. 
But I've not given up on trying to learn.


Love...Ms. Moon


Dear god I can see blue sky and it rained all night and thunder and lightening woke me up and this weather is just so strange. Warm on top of everything. Bizarre winter but the birds are at the feeder in hoards and the camellias are budding and blooming and the Bradford Pears still haven't lost all of their leaves and I feel buzzy and strange this morning and I should go for a walk although it's been so long I'll most likely get lost in the woods, having forgotten my way, my path, my purpose.

Sundays can fuck off.

Although I do appreciate, more than I can say, seeing the sun.

And even as I write that, it slips behind a cloud again.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rambling Continued

My phone went out this morning. It was a neighborhood event. For some reason we still had internet so I was fine. But Lily and I had to carry on our morning communications via text. She was going stir-crazy in her house with the two boys and I said, "Y'all are welcome to come out here," and she said she would like that and could she take a bath?
"Of course!" I wrote her back.
But then Owen threw a wrench in the works. He did not want to leave all his new toys today. He cried and said he did NOT want to go to Mer's but we all compromised and I went into town and we went to a late lunch which was fun. On the way back to their house Owen said, "Now I really want to go to Mer's."
"Well, it's too late now, Buddy Boy," I said. "You should have figured that out earlier.
"What was I THINKING?" he wailed.
He cracks me up.
He also told a woman in the grocery store that he got "a hundred" presents for Christmas. She was impressed.
He just about did.

Anyway, it was a nice afternoon although I ate an entire "individual" pizza and I'm still so full that I'm fairly certain I'll never eat again. My neighbor brought over a pretty tin with a card and I said, "I sure hope there's some carbs in there because I really do need some more."
Which of course is a flat-out lie and though it's filled with homemade beautiful dark chocolate toffee cookies even the idea of one bite is enough to make me want to weep a little.

Well, the hunter is returned safely and I am glad of that. The washing machine is already going with camo clothes. There's a crockpot filled with venison chili in case I ever decide I can eat again and the sky is almost gone from gray to black. The chickens are already tucked up and the cat is fed and here we are. My anxiety has been better today although I skipped my late afternoon shot of espresso. I mean- come on- that's just asking for trouble. I can feel myself scootching a little too close to the edge of the crazy and I'm aware that caffeine might just toss me over the fence.

It's starting to rain a little, just a misty sort of falling from the sky, and the air is still. It is Saturday night in Lloyd which is not much different than Tuesday night in Lloyd unless the church next door is meeting and they are not. I haven't seen them much in the last two weeks and I'm a little concerned. Maybe the pastor went out of town. I do not know. The house is cozy and warm, I got to see my grands today, I picked fresh camellias and some sprigs of tea olive to put in vases.

My husband is home. We'll have a martini. Garrison Keillor will be on the radio. The telephone is working again.

All right.

All right.

Night-night, sweeties. Night-night.

Rambly Post

Almost every morning little Miss Honey who is not part of my flock and who officially lives next door comes running up as I go out to feed the cats and open the sliding panel for my chickens so they can move into their coop.
I usually give her some sort of treat. This morning it was the rest of the grits I cooked the other night. She is no longer laying in the garage but she gave us so many eggs over the summer that I do not begrudge giving her breakfast most mornings. She's independent, that one, aligning herself with no rooster at all, and she must be wary and wily to stay safe on her own.

It's so funny how I've come to love these feathered little creatures who live in my world. They have such distinct personalities.

Here's a first-world problem: my damn coffee maker, which is not that old, is not keeping my coffee hot. Am I going to have to start pouring it into a thermos when it's made? What a pain in the ass.

It's still gray. Gray as the old gray mare. Gray as Richard Gere's hair. Gray, gray, gray.

I think Mr. Moon is coming home today. He called me last night while I was eating my soup and watching "You've Got Mail!" Good Lord. I didn't even like that movie very much when it came out. Hey! What's happened to Meg Ryan? She started dating old what's-his-face, John Mellencamp, took to wearing leather jackets and I haven't seen her since. Anyway, poor Mr. Moon. He asked how I was doing and I just sobbed. Boo-hoo-hoo. I apologized about fifty times in five minutes for being such a nut case.
I feel better now.

I guess I'll take down the Nativity today, put Buddha back on the flat rock he lives on in the library. Baby Jesus needs to rest and recharge after his annual appearance in the manger. I'm just so glad I don't have a damn Christmas tree to take down. I mean, SERIOUSLY glad. With-all-my-heart glad. I just went to let the chickens out of the coop and saw this.

A Bradford Pear leaf has floated down to rest on the little Norfolk Island Pine I was going to use as my Christmas tree this year but never did. 
Festive, right? I think so.

Well, obviously, I don't have a thing to say today. So I'll shut up now. 

Peace, y'all.

Friday, December 27, 2013

I Thought It Would Be Lighthearted

I pulled myself up and got out of the house and went to see a movie. This, for me, was approximately the equivalent of  being the first person to crawl to the top of Mt. Everest. I checked out the movie schedules and decided to go see "Saving Mr. Banks" because who doesn't love Mary Poppins? Who doesn't love Emma Thompson? Who doesn't love Tom Hanks? Who doesn't love Walt Dis....
Okay. Well. He was a big old friendly TV uncle when I was a kid who came on every Sunday night on his show, "The Wonderful World Of Disney," plus there was the beloved Mickey Mouse Club and also THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH- DISNEY LAND! which I knew I'd never ever get to go visit because it was in California and I was in Florida but then oh my god! He bought up half of Central Florida and built DISNEY WORLD and oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! until I realized that maybe Disney World wasn't such a bonus for Florida, not with sucking up wetlands and paving over swamps and orange groves, etc.
But I did have some good times there, at old Disney World, which was probably the second happiest place on earth. If you didn't go there in summer and if you had a lot of money to buy space burgers and Mickey Mouse ears and so forth.
Anyway, I decided to go see that movie and I was running late and damn if I didn't get stopped at a train crossing and also got behind a very slow moving vehicle and by the time I got to the theater and parked, it was like twenty minutes after showtime and I still had to buy my ticket AND my popcorn and Diet Coke because what's a movie without popcorn and a Diet Coke and when I got into Theater #7, the movie was still a few seconds from starting so that was awesome.

And you know, it was fine. Until I realized that mostly this movie was not just about an extremely snotty and possessive-about-her-story British broad and a kindly old Uncle Walt who'd promised his daughters that he would make a movie about their beloved Mary Poppins. Nah, that was just the icing on the cake and the cake was all about P.L. Travers' father who...wait for it!...had been an alcoholic who got fired from one bank job after another and whose mother was so beat-down and depressed that she was actually suicidal.

Uh. Yeah.

I kept thinking, "Hmmmm...child seeing drunken father drink and cry. Check! Child seeing mother try to cope with drunken father. Check! Child watching her world spin out of control. Check! Child believing drunken father's promises. Check!"

At least there was no sexual abuse although there was one scene with the little girl and her father on a horse...No. No. I'm just projecting, right?

So that was fun.

As I told a friend, it was so stupid that I barely cried.

It had its moments. Emma Thompson was terrific, of course and I can't help but love Tom Hanks. If that's wrong, sue me. I'd heard one reviewer complain slightly about the flashback format but that worked fine for me. I mean, in technical theory.

And since it was, in fact, a Disney movie, all was well that ended well and it ended well enough. My favorite part, truthfully, was during the running of the credits when they used a few moments of actual tape recordings of the actual P.L. Travers talking to her co-writers as they worked on the screen play. How "Mary Poppins" ever got made is beyond me.
I also liked the prop-placement of a map of Florida in Walt's office.

So anyway, I did that and then I went to the grocery store and now I'm home and the sun did not show its face all day long. I washed two rugs. I walked to the post office. I went to a movie and the grocery store. Sure doesn't seem like much, does it?

Elizabeth is doing a gratefulness thing right now and I feel ashamed because if she can do it, why shouldn't I be able to?
I'm sitting here trying to dredge up some gratefulness.

I'm grateful I have a fine car that can take me places. I'm grateful I have enough money to buy what I want within reason at the grocery store. I'm grateful that I finally remembered to buy soy sauce. I'm grateful that I got to see my beautiful daughter Lily at the store and that she walked me out to the car with my groceries and so I got to spend a few extra seconds with her. I'm grateful that I get to live in a house that I love surrounded by matriarch oaks. I'm grateful that the dead rodent smell is gone. I'm grateful that I have the most comfortable bed in the world and that I get to sleep in it every night. I'm grateful that I have the most wonderful family anyone could ever want and that each and every one of my kids is unique and funny and that we all get along splendidly and care for each other in very real and tangible ways. I'm grateful for my grandsons- their health, their intelligence, their beautiful sturdy bodies, their expressive and shining faces. I'm grateful for my husband who had no idea when he married me that I was even crazier than he thought I was and who continued and continues to love me and support me in every way possible and that I love him too and that we are growing old together and that our grandson tells me, "He is your sweetheart."
I am grateful for coffee and for dirt to grow things in and for my sweet funny sister-wife hens and their handsome husband Elvis who has never once been aggressive towards a human.
I am grateful for this planet I live on with its dirt and its oceans and rivers and lakes and trees and beasts, both great and small, its view of the stars and our very own moon, our very own sun.
I am grateful for music which our human bodies can dance to and which our human souls can be sustained by.

I am grateful for friends. Ones that I know in the meat world, as Rebecca says, and ones whom I know through this ether-world. They, you, sustain me.

I am grateful for my need to write it all out and for this place in which to do it. And for my son Hank because he made me start this blog.

All of that and more.

And yet, it's still hard sometimes. I listened to an interview with Pat Conroy today who is sixty-eight years old and who is still unable to escape the effects of the abuse he suffered as a child but who, like P.L. Travers did, has managed to make art of it.

It ain't easy being a human being but no one ever said it was.

We make of it what we will and what we can and now I'm going to go make some soup.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon

Damn, Weather. Could You Work With Me?

This is the sky of the pewter belly of the Lead Fish.

Or something.

And according to the weather predictions, it's not going to get clear until next Tuesday.

Wake me up when the sun comes out, okay?

Happy Friday.
(Hysterical shriek-laughter)

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Uh-Huh. Oh Yeah. (That's Enough For My Mom)

Jessie dancing in the new wool-blend workout clothes I sent her.
Watch this and try not to smile.

That girl.

My kids. They make me happy.
I'm alive. I'm here. I didn't do one crazy thing all day. I stayed in and did some laundry, watched some mindless TV, tried not to feel guilty for wasting a day of my life. I comforted myself with the fact that the weather is drear and not fit to enjoy outside anyway. I told myself I was too agitato and unfocused to drive anywhere. That was not a lie. I don't drive drunk and I don't drive crazy.

I ate some fruitcake. Is it just me or is the Costco fruitcake not as good this year? Shit. I should be making my own. I heated up some of last night's supper. First, grouper which I ate with hot sauce, then some stone ground grits that I heated up in the same bowl as stewed tomatoes. Comfort food. When I was a child, one of my favorite things to eat was rice with stewed tomatoes and bacon. Or so my mother told me. I don't really remember it. I remember that eternal metal container by the stove that held bacon grease. The same position is now held beside my stove by my jug of olive oil. I wonder how in the world I'll manage to live longer than my grandparents who used their bacon grease, ate great fatty roasts and white rice and white bread and white potatoes and white lettuce and lived into their eighties and nineties. I remember how my mother, in the last decade of her life, eschewed unhealthy fats or even fats at all and ate frozen fat-free yogurt instead of ice cream, drank her little diet Cokes, clung to her skim milk, her fat free cottage cheese with tomatoes for lunch, rarely ate meat, certainly never took a drink, watched Dr. Oz religiously and worried obsessively about bed bugs.

I talked to my brother out in Washington today. He and I are working on repairing our relationship and that makes me happy. We don't discuss "repairing our relationship." We talk about childhood memories and people we remember from the past. He told me today that the father of a friend of mine whose brother was a friend of his used to take him fishing and what a sweet, peach of a man he'd been. I don't remember that at all although I remember the man, of course, and I always thought he was very nice, a peaceful smiling soul, and I'm glad he played a part in my brother's life. A good father and my brother says that he was something of a father-figure to him. My brother has always been good at seeking out father-figures and I think that comes from an internal wisdom and I like that about him.
I, of course, sought out people like John Lennon and B.B. King and most recently, Keith Richards, to be my pretend daddies, possibly because a real and present man might be too scary. Who knows? Not me. But at least this brother has never had to confuse sexual behavior and fathers.

I sigh and exhale deeply. There is so much I need to let go. I remember my friend Sue who, before she died was at a birth with me because the mother was a good friend of hers. She lay on the couch in the birth center after the baby had been born and she was crying.
"We carry so much fucking garbage around with us," she said. "And most of it isn't even ours to carry."
Before she died, Sue let all of her garbage go, I think, and she had a most incredibly beautiful and peaceful death. She taught me so much.

Ah, well. It's one of those days when I have been still and quiet and let the feelings come and go and come again as they will. I haven't fought anything, I haven't had the energy to fight. Or to flee, for that matter. Which leaves one with nothing to do but feel.

And I just talked to Jessie who got in from work and opened her box of Christmas presents from us while we were on the phone together and so that was a sweet and funny celebration.

I am hoping that tomorrow I'm going to wake up and feel some good energy. A spark, a quark, a tiny flicker in the dark, at least. Enough to go out into the world a little although the thought makes me quiver a bit. The laundry is done, the chickens are tucked up and Miss Ozzie gave me another egg today which, on a day like today, was a totem of true and real goodness that I could hold in my hand.

We all have days of pain. We get through them. Our brains take in what they must and if all works as it should, smooths things over enough for us to go on. And if we are lucky, we can throw off some of the garbage which is not ours to carry in the first place.
God. Sue was so smart. I miss her so much.

Let's all rest and restore.

Love...Ms. Moon


One year when I was married to my first husband, his mother (and I think this is how the story goes) got a picture of me as a child from my mother and had it and a picture of her son as a child blown up, framed them and gave them to us for Christmas. That was the picture of me. A cowgirl cradling her new baby doll and for the life of me, I can't remember that doll although it would appear that even at such a tender age I knew exactly how to hold a baby safely and close. 
I think the hat was red. 
Anyway, Hank has those two pictures and he fixed some scratches in the one of me and printed out a copy for me for my gift. The picture of his father is pretty awesome too. He was probably about nine or so, all decked out in nice clothes and hugging a microphone on a stage like he was born an Elvis. 
And here I am, still holding babies and there's my ex, still singing and playing music onstage. 
Guess there's no fighting fate is there?

Oh my god. Wait. I DO remember that doll. She was a bride doll- a very, very popular toy for little girls in the late fifties, early sixties, when it was a well-known fact that every female's dream from birth was to grow up and become a bride. Obviously. It's all coming back to me. She wasn't a baby doll at all. And I know I wanted a bride doll with all of my heart and soul and that was my Christmas present. I am certain that I also recall my mother sewing her other outfits. 
I have no idea what happened to that doll. I think I got it the Christmas that my mother had to flee our home in Chattanooga in the dead of night  on one of the last days of December because my father had gotten a gun and his drinking had accelerated to the point where she feared for our lives. That doll may have been left behind with all of the other Christmas presents. She did go back to my father a few months later but he'd destroyed the house in a drunken fit, slashing furniture and god knows what else. I don't remember a lot of it. I was five. 
But that picture- that's proof that my mother was trying to make things as normal and good for me and my brother as was possible under such horrible circumstances. 

The news I just got last night of my stepfather's death has stirred a lot up in me. As I wrote a friend this morning, it's as if it has ripped some of the scab/scar from the wound. I look at that picture and I could cry for that little girl whose life was about to be so torn up, cry for her brother, her mother too. And not just for all of the immediate trauma but for the years following. The resettling in a tiny village in Florida, my mother finding work as a school teacher (for which she was not at all well-suited), her continuing her education during the summers, meeting a man who looked completely perfect on paper, falling in love with him, marrying him and then...well, that's when the real tragedies began, in a way.


I feel itchy and weird and completely unsettled today. It's gray and cold and Mr. Moon is already on the road to Georgia to hunt, leaving me here in what should be perfect peace and yet my soul is far from peaceful. I looked up the online obituary for my stepfather (I hate even typing that word- "stepfather") and it was brief and not one person left a comment on the guest book. Not one. Only one of his sons, my half-brothers, was listed as a survivor. My other half-brother, the one I spoke to yesterday, has long-since actually legally changed his last name- one of the ways in which he has tried to break free from the connection with his father. I think he was brave to do so and I'm proud of him for doing it but I know that nothing can ever take away what happened to him as a child any more than the death of the perpetrator of evil can remove it. Not from him, not from my other brothers, not from me.
And the evil couldn't be taken away from my mother either, even though she was long divorced from the man. A few days before her death last January when she was doing that horrible sundowning thing she proclaimed that she wished she'd never met that man. She thought about that, what she'd just said, for a few seconds and then she said, "Well, if I hadn't, I would never have had Chuck and Russell."
A few more seconds passed and then she said, "That would have been alright." 
She was out of her mind but in insanity, just as in wine, there is often truth.

This is the thing that has me squirming like a maggoty hunk of rotting meat (sorry but that's how I feel at this moment)- his death has nothing to do with making me feel safer or better or more whole. The damage was done. It cannot ever be undone. Even after years of therapy and what amounts to most of a lifetime of so much goodness and love and just a damn incredible life, I know that at best there are parts of me which are far less than adequately stitched together and most of the time I feel as if it could all come undone completely. Most definitely right now. 

Well. I won't fall apart. I never have and I won't now. I will do laundry, I will sweep, I will make the bed, I might go to the store. I will carry on. This is just another step in the process of my life and I am not the first person to go through it nor will I be the last. 

I am almost tempted to try and get my hands on some psilocybin mushrooms and take them. Some studies are showing that low doses of psilocybin can be used quite successfully in the treatment of both depression and PTSD. I know that when I was in my late teens we "discovered" psilocybin mushrooms (they grew everywhere there were cows in Florida) and I did quite a few of them and I honestly and truly believe that whatever sanity I had in those days may have been aided by my ingestion of that drug. I never did do them recreationally, but always knew that in some way, there was a spiritual component involved and that I should treat the taking of them with respect. 
But I am so much older now and somehow, it would take so much more courage. 

I know I could get some. Probably within the hour if I really was serious. I know people...

But. But. But. 

Probably better to clean the toilets, right? 

I don't know. I'm feeling pulled in a million directions. And quite frankly, I do not feel in the least cheerful that Charles Stum is dead. That fact is almost of complete unimportance to me. The fact that he lived and that his life intersected mine is the crucial one. I do not celebrate his death. I mourn his life. 

All right. I need to stop talking about it for this moment. I almost feel as if I am tripping now but not in a good way.

Here's what it looks like here today. 

Sort of sums it all up in some bizarre, almost psychedelic way. 

I'll check back later, y'all. Meanwhile, I'll continue to cowgirl up, cupcake, and hold my babies close.

But man, it's been a strange fucking year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

You Can't Make This Shit Up

This has been a remarkable Christmas. I woke up this morning feeling for sure that the knife-cut, thoughts-of-death crazy had fled. I mean, this is subtle, y'all, but real and true. I have no more idea why and how it left than I have a clue as to why it came.
I guess that's why they call it crazy. There's regular crazy and there's I-can't-go-on-like-this crazy. The former is my home, the latter? Well, the name says it all.

Anyway, I haven't wept or had thoughts of suicide all day long. For me- this is a fucking Christmas Miracle.

We had a great time at Lily's this morning. Owen was crazed and Gibson was dazed. That's the difference between age four and age not-yet-two. Owen was like, "WHAT???? NO MORE PRESENTS?" and Gibson was like, "What? Another present? But I already have this one."

May and Hank were there, of course. Hank was wearing his Santa hat that May made for him. Personalized, you know.

May showed up wearing the same hair-do as me. We're like, uh, mother and daughter.

The family portrait:

Owen refusing to show his face. Man, he had a GREAT Christmas. Seriously, he did. 

And after the delicious egg and hashbrown casserole and presents, Mr. Moon and I came home and I talked to two of my three brothers and that was so sweet. And then we took off for a drive down country lanes. 

We drove down to Reeve's Fish Camp on Lake Miccosukee and walked the levee at the dam. The sky was gorgeous.

There was a lot going on at the fish camp. Yellin' and ducks taking off and dogs barking and cats meowing but there was a preternatural peace to it all too.

Spanish Moss.

And now we're home and I'm going to cook some grouper. 

Oh- here's another thing- I found out today that my stepfather died six weeks after Mother died. 

Rather incredibly profound. The Asshole Monster is dead and has been for almost eleven months. And I had no idea.

Well, it's been a year. And I feel certain that I'll be doing some processing over that fact. 

But it's been a damn fine Christmas. 

May it have been for you as well. 

Love...Ms. Moon

For Your Listening Pleasure

Have I posted this before? Oh well. Bears repeating. This'll get your blood sugar level readjusted nicely.

Merry Christmas from the family!

To My Baby

We'll be heading over to Lily and Jason's again here in a moment and I feel a huge burden of guilt. We dropped off a train table toy last night and it took Jason three hours to put it together after we left.
Well, that's why he's the daddy.
I remember those late Christmas Eve nights.

Everyone is posting beautiful pictures on blogs and Facebook, for one second at least, everyone looks so merry and bright. So happy and right.

I myself have mascara from last night rimming my lower eye lids and my hair is pulled back in a stringy ponytail and I'm wearing a hoody and quite frankly, you would not want to see what I look like right now but I'm thinking that the boys' eyes will be shining and that will be enough to make us all glow a little, at least, the tired parents, the aunt and the uncle, the grumpy old Boppy and MerMer.

I am thinking of Jessie and Vergil. I am missing them so much. Jessie called us last night. They had their Christmas at Vergil's sister's house and it sounded lovely but she misses us too. She is working today and maybe they'll get a few nice Christmas babies for her to help get started in this crazy world they're being born into and quite frankly, to have Jessie Moon as one of the people you first lay eyes on, first get to be held by (after Mama and Daddy, of course) is not a bad thing at all and in fact, a blessing and may all the babies born today be blessed with the purest light of being loved and wanted and welcomed with gentle hands and smiling eyes.

We miss you girl. And your precious husband too. 

To all of the people whom we love and cannot be with today- your light shines in our hearts and we are not so far apart, not really. 

Merry Christmas. 
Holding you in my heart. 

Eternally loving you. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The family of superheroes was getting ready to nestle all snug in their beds when we left.
Or at least they were getting ready to try and get the kids down so they can put together their presents and clean up from the party.

It was a good one.

Sleep warm, y'all.

Stay cozy.

Love...Ms. Moon

And it's not from being overwhelmed by a to-do list as long as my arm. The gatherings are not here this year but will be at Lily's both tonight and tomorrow morning. So I don't have to clean or make pretty. I don't have to remember the infinite number of details like ice and drinks and paper plates and clean-up that porch! I don't have to cut flowers and put them in vases or string lights or make sure there are enough places for people to sit and tonight I won't have to put together toys after a party or fill stockings either.
I have wrapped everything I need to wrap. I simply have to make chicken salad and bake a ham and get over to Lily's tonight with those and the presents and the fruitcake.
That's all.
And yet, I woke up this morning wondering how long I'll be living, what horrors await me in whatever time that may be, despairing of ever enjoying anything again in my life.
And this cannot be normal. I have no reason to think I'm dying, I have a beautiful family who will come together tonight and a grandson who is vibrating with the excitement of it all and another who can't get or give enough kisses just because he's alive and he loves and it should all be so sweet and so good and I'm on the verge of tears and there is no other explanation except that I hate Christmas and somewhere, somehow, it was ruined for me or I ruined it somehow and there you go.

Get through it. I have to get through it all and pay attention because there will be remarkably beautiful moments and it would be a sin to miss them, to not acknowledge them.

It rained all day yesterday and today is clear and it is cold and getting colder. It will be in the twenties tonight. We had the boys all day yesterday and Mr. Moon did the brunt of the childcare. Gibson won't let his grandfather get farther than arm's reach. He adores and worships him. There was painting, there was coloring, there was couch and bed-fishing. There was a movie and Sponge Bob. There was block-building and there was fancy dancing. There was supper and Owen set the table for me, spreading each napkin out at each place with the knife and fork set nicely upon. He carried water glasses and plates and salad bowls and pepper and hot sauce to the table. I read an article in the New Yorker by Michael Pollan which absolutely blew my mind entitled "The Intelligence of Plants."

See? I am paying attention. I am being grateful and I am capable of wonder. I am surrounded by trees so old and dignified that I have no doubt they have an intelligence of their own and one that surpasses mine in ways I cannot imagine. Entire eco-systems live within them and around them and I am just a small part of it all.
Sometimes that is all enough.

Sometimes it's just a fact.

It is Christmas Eve. Babies are being born everywhere in the world in hospitals and homes and maybe even in a stable. Each one of them is as Holy as any other and the stars shine cold above, even if we cannot see them.

That is my Christmas Eve statement.

And I would wish us all peace.

Monday, December 23, 2013

What A Florida Christmas Looks Like

Now. This.

If there is a more beautiful flower than the camellia, I have yet to meet it.

How can I not be cheerful with all of these riches in my hallway?

Two Christmas Traditions Right Here Just For You!

Because this is the one Christmas song that I do truly love.

And go HERE for one of my most favorite Christmas stories. Heartwarming, nostalgic, profane. A true holiday Must-Read. Perhaps you could listen to the music while you read the story.

Best wishes from Lloyd where it's rainy and damp, gray and warm.

May you be merry and bright. Or, you know- something appropriate.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Low-Brow Old Cow

That's what I feel like today and I'm enjoying the hell out of it. I'm listening to a book on CD that my husband got out of the library and it's one of those James Patterson books which James Patterson did not write and it's extremely tacky but I sort of love it and the narrator is very good. I think it's called "Guilty Wives" and it's about four women who were falsely accused of murdering the French president while having a hedonistic, orgiastic weekend in Monte Carlo.
I mean- how can you go wrong? PRISON SEX!
Okay, there's not really any prison sex but there almost was.

And while listening to that piece of audible bon-bon, I've wrapped all the presents and planted the pansies and watered the plants and just basically wandered around the house wearing an old comfortable dress except for when I went to the store where I wandered around wearing a not-quite-as-old comfortable dress. I went to get tape and cat food and milk and I got those things plus about a hundred other things and I forgot the chicken for the chicken salad until I was in line and had to go back and get it but I got it and three people called me "Mama" when I came into the store and only one of them was Lily and that always makes me happy- to be called Mama by folks I didn't actually give birth to. I don't know why but it does.

So it's been like that today, the persistent gloom not fazing me in the least, not feeling overwhelmed or panicky about Christmas, happy to have such nice strong wrapping paper and that brand new roll of tape and now, speaking of low-brow, Mr. Moon and I are watching "Meet The Fockers" and go ahead- give me shit. I don't care. I love that movie. Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand are so joyful and full of juice in it and the house they live in is beautiful and I want it for my own. So, sure, yeah, the plot gets a bit insane and some of it is simply inane but the scene where Barbra Streisand stimulates Blythe Danner's ears cracks me up every time and it's two days before Christmas and I am not freaking out, not one bit, and there you go.

Whatever it takes.

I'm just a low-brow old cow and happy to be.

Not That Bad

Dang. What am I going to do with the extra two seconds of light today? The options are endless!

Actually, it's hardly what you'd call light now. The sky is heavy and ponderous, uninspiring and dispiriting. All of that. The narcissus are blooming, though. That's nice.

Too bad they smell like cat piss.

The hog dogs two yards down will NOT shut up. What is wrong with those people? They probably have no idea that their dogs are so obnoxious. I think the animals only bark when they're gone. They're gone a lot. 

I started wrapping Christmas presents yesterday. I hate wrapping. I suck at it. I bought one giant roll of paper at the Costco last week and therefore all of my presents are going to be wrapped in that. Well, except for the boys' presents. I found some Woody Christmas paper and some Sponge Bob paper up in the closet and I'll be using those too. The great tragedy is that I am almost out of tape. 

I decided yesterday that there are two things which I enjoy about Christmas. These are: fruitcake and ham. 
That's sort of sad, isn't it? 
But it's something, goddammit! And I've got a fruitcake and I've got a ham and by god, I'm going to enjoy those motherfuckers!

Lord, Lord. I am a bitchy, whiny, profane woman today. And honestly, I'm not really in that bad a mood. 

I had to go through my photos on my phone yesterday and cull about a million because my phone flatly stated that unless I did, there would be no more storage of photos AT ALL. It's so weird, going through old pictures. Gibson has grown so much and Owen has too. 
Here's a picture of Gibson with my mother and Matt and May at last year's Christmas supper at the Assisted Living where Mother lived. This was about a month before she died. 
Ooh boy. Anyway, it's a sweet picture.

As I recall, Owen spent most of the evening underneath the table with a plastic wine glass which all of us kept filling for him with the "alcohol removed" champagne. Here's what he looked like on Christmas morning last year though.

In my completely objective opinion, that is a pretty child. I miss his long hair. 

Anyway, here we are. Two days until I can cut into that fruitcake. Two seconds extra on our daylight. We might get rain today and most assuredly will tomorrow. I need to water the porch plants and the plants which are stashed inside against the freezing cold weather we are currently SO not getting. It's like 75 degrees today. I suppose I better find some tape. I need to plant my pansies. The cardinals are decorating the bird feeder with scarlet. One of my hens actually laid me an egg this morning. 
Yeah. All of that. Which makes it a pretty darn adequate Sunday here at the Church Of The Batshit Crazy where we do not exactly celebrate Christmas but mostly try to survive it. 

Which, so far, we are doing with great style and grace. Again, speaking completely objectively.

Gotta go find some tape.

All Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Put On Your Scary Pants

Well, it's the solstice, right? Shortest day of the year? Longest night? Or was that last night? I get so confused. Aren't we supposed to run naked over fires tonight? Or is that another solstice? Obviously I am not a Druid. Or a Pagan. Because I know I have fact-checkers reading now, I have to be careful about these things. I don't want to mislead the world with my inaccurate factual reporting.


We have done nothing to celebrate the solstice today. Well, that's not entirely true. We had a little private ceremony, followed by a nap. Does that count?
God. We don't even have a tree to worship. Well, not a cut-down decorated one in the house. We have plenty worthy of worship outside. Which is fine with me.

I got a text from Lily.

So maybe we all just need to put on our scary pants to celebrate the solstice. I myself am wearing some fairly scary pants- what I presume are a dead short, fat man's Levi's that I got at the Goodwill. They look scary but they are soft and comfy.

I'm going to go make a spinach casserole. It's about seventy degrees here. It's the winter solstice and the wind continues to blow, perhaps blowing the change of season in before it and the leaves rustle and the wind chimes make their voices known in the early night's darkness. 
The days will be growing longer. The nights will be growing shorter. 
I acknowledge that and appreciate it. 
I like trees. A lot. 

Solstice blessings on us all. Celebrate as ye will. 

Love...Ms. Moon


So we were watching the Hyde Park concert movie last night and I had an epiphany. The best religious ceremonies often offer epiphanies, don't you think?

So what was my realization? I'll try to explain.
I was trying to figure out why it is that the Stones sill look amazingly cool onstage and ARE still amazingly cool onstage, even though their sell-by date would seemingly have long since passed. I mean, they were playing a venue which they had played forty-four years ago, which would have made them in their twenties then and yet, they still brought as much energy and juice and jam to the party at the advanced ages they are now as they did all those years ago.
Well, almost as much. Probably.
This is what Mick and Keith looked like then:

The Stones never looked like they were "supposed to." They wore make-up and their girlfriends' clothes and accessories.

They took the ever-clever "are y'all boys or are y'all girls?" remarks and turned them upside down and Mick, at least, went full-on drag at times, 

while the girls still screamed for him, never once doubting that he was, underneath it all, the sort of man they would not take home to mother but the sort that they would happily keep all to themselves. And not to share make-up tips with, either. 
There was a period in Keith's junky-hood when he obviously didn't bother going to the dentist. One of the richest men in rock and roll history and the man played guitar onstage in front of thousands with missing and rotted teeth. Okay, that was more of a drug-related thing than a fashion statement but it didn't seem to bother their audiences at all. 

So...where am I going with this? 

What occurred to me last night watching these seriously elder men playing rock and roll in front of I don't know how many screaming, dancing, joyful people of ALL ages, was that they look no more bizarre now in what could be their dodderhood than they've ever looked and that they have always pushed the envelope as to what a performer should look like and now they're pushing it even further in a very different and profound way. They look like what they are, which is men in their late sixties and early seventies and yet, they very much do not resemble in the least what we visualize when we think about men of that age. Not when they're onstage. And with the exception of some hair dye being used in the case of both Mick and Ron, they almost certainly are not availing themselves of artificial cosmetic or surgical enhancements. Mick and Ron are both so thin that they could easily model for med students tracing the musculoskeletal anatomy of the human male, Charlie Watts looks perfectly fit (and he has to be, as do they all) and dear, dear Keith has gotten himself a belly which says to me that he's not doing drugs and makes him somehow even more adorable. 

So yeah. That was my epiphany. That even now they are changing our perceptions of what Rock and Roll is and looks like and perhaps more importantly, what aging is and looks like. 

Or maybe this is all bullshit and I'm just old and there you go.

Anyway, I enjoyed watching the film tremendously and I did enough small-dancing in the living room to possibly give myself a chiropractic treatment and I am in almost no pain at all today. I am thinking that this should be a daily event. 

The weather is turning as I write this, huge gusts of wind coming through and turning the leaves inside out and slamming doors shut and scattering the newspaper in the kitchen. The party I was looking forward to going to this afternoon has been canceled due to illness. Mr. Moon's temporary crown has popped off once again. Why do these things happen on the Saturday before Christmas? I don't know but almost the exact same thing happened to me some years back and I recall my dentist meeting me in his office after hours, the night before Christmas Eve and putting my real crown on. That was enough of a Christmas miracle to last me for years. 
Now we shall see if Mr. Moon's dentist is as accommodating as mine was. I am not putting my money on that one but one never knows. 

I guess that's what I'm saying here overall- one never does know. I don't, anyway. 
I never would have guessed that so many of the Rolling Stones would still be alive, much less still playing fantastic music and still one of the most lucrative acts on the planet, that half the Beatles would be dead, that I'd still be alive, that I would have grandchildren, that the wind would be coming in like this today, that the party would be canceled, that I'd look in the mirror and see what I see when I look in the mirror, that SAME-SEX COUPLES IN UTAH ARE BEING LEGALLY WED, that I'd be twenty-nine years married to a former basketball player who sells cars for a living, that I'd be living back in Lloyd again after having left thirty-two years ago, that I would be a chicken-tender (haha!), and that I would still be dancing, occasionally, at least in the privacy of my own home under the influence of...The Rolling Stones. 

And so much more, some of it which I cannot even discuss here. But trust me- I never would have guessed and this is life. 
You just never know. 
It is best not to accept the preconceived notions of how anything is supposed to happen or look or feel or be. Instead perhaps, we should just take what we have and joyfully trudge on or dance on or shuffle on or stumble on or however we can manage to keep going on with whatever powers we may still possess under whatever circumstances we find ourselves. 
As the Stones have so famously said over and over again- you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need. 

Here's a clip from that film, beautifully shot, saying it better than I could, those old men doing it with love after all these years, redefining what they invented so many years ago. 

Happy Saturday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, December 20, 2013


I feel like with the exception of the light-up Woody boots I bought for Gibson, every freaking present I've gotten this year is going to be the wrong thing in some way.
Every one of them. Except for those boots and they're sweet.
And Mr. Moon's giant bag of pistachios. That'll be okay.
How do people on tight budgets DO Christmas? I don't think of us as fabulously wealthy but I think we're fairly comfortable and it makes me feel slightly woozy, all the money that we spend this time of year. It's to the point now in stores, and you can see this, where people are just throwing shit into carts, getting it done. It's a frantic attempt to fulfill...something.
I don't know.
I did have a good time at a nursery in Tallahassee today. I bought a present for some friends which is silly and ridiculous and I think they will like it and it made me happy. They're having a little get-together tomorrow and we're actually going and I'll be seeing some of my Monticello friends whom I haven't seen in awhile and that will be very fine. I also bought myself some pansies and violas which I will plant in the rusted red wagon beside the kitchen porch.
So that was good.

But that's not what I came here to talk about. No, what I came here to talk about is the fact that this is going to be on Showtime tonight.

Just in time to save me from my despair and the gloom of the last of the shortest days of the year.

I am not kidding, I am not joking, I am serious as Phil Robertson standing up there on the pulpit with a Bible. I am going to visit the Church of The Rolling Stones and I am just as happy as an old hippy grandma can be. Last year around this time we got the Pay Per View of a Stones concert and in my heart of hearts, I cherish that night as one of the best of my entire life.

Old Duck Dynasty Phil may have given up sex, drugs, and rock and roll but some of us still honor the theory of it all, even if we're not nearly as participatory and wild as we once were and long ago became far more discriminatory about all three of those elements, speaking on a personal level.

But hellfire, Martha. If Mick and Keith and Charlie and Ron can still get up there and do it, if Mick can still hit the high notes and wiggle his great-grandpa hips and jut his chin up in the air and if Keith can still play the chords to Satisfaction with his fingers, crooked and bent from all the years they've spent on fret and keyboard and if Charlie can still hit those drums and if Ron can still do those leads, well, I'm going to sit in the pews and I might even get up and dance.
Gotta have faith in something.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Love...Ms. Moon, Church of the Batshit Crazy Where Keith Richards Is A Constant And Abiding Miracle Of Our Times

Another Topical Post

So, Phil, the Patriarch of Duck Dynasty has shown his true belief about homosexuals (sinners, going to hell) and African Americans pre-Civil Rights (happy, happy, happy) and has been fired by the A&E Network and the world has exploded.
Jesus Christ. Oh shit. I'm a sinner. Taking the Lord's name in vain, etc.
Why is anyone surprised? The man is weird. The man self-proclaims as Godly. The man shows small children how to remove the guts of a duck for a school (Christian school, of course) demonstration. The man talks about sex way too much. The man is obsessed with sex and has used the Bible to underscore his belief that God wants man to have sex with his wife and that it's her duty to go along with this plan whenever it should suit the man.

The man is also richer than fucking Midas. Or at least I would assume so as you can't go to a damn gas station without seeing a display of fine Duck Dynasty shit to buy including Chia Pets and socks and when I was in the fabric store, I noticed a display of official Duck Dynasty camo fabric.
I mean- it's a perfect American success story. Phil invented a duck call that was obviously unlike any duck call ever made before in the history of the universe and the whole family got into the duck call business and then they made a TV show about them which led to the Duck Dynasty Chia Pet and there you go. And yes, I enjoyed the first few seasons of the show. There were definitely elements of it I could relate to being married to a hunter. But then it got sort of weird and over-scripted and Phil became more and more stern and judgmental about everything from Yuppies (anyone who doesn't live in the Louisiana woods and who doesn't know how to remove the guts from a duck, basically) to modern technology.
And the show is one of the highest rated shows on television today which, when you think about it, is odd because it's not about anything and it "stars" some extremely bearded men who live in Louisiana and who supposedly sit around and make duck calls by hand (haha!) and who love to hunt and who all live in mansions (except for Phil who still lives in what I would call a double-wide) with their beautiful wives to whom they've all been married since high school and their children. And one of the sons has an adopted child who is of mixed race and that's sort of cool, especially since they named that child the Junior of the family. Simple people doing simple things in their simple mansions, buying their simple wineries and ending each and every episode with everyone sitting around a table groaning with giant platters and bowls of rustic foods and Phil says the blessing which usually carries the message that God has made Man the boss of all of the animals and the woods and Everything and how cool is that? And then they all fork in to the giant platters of roasted game and other tasty treats, supposedly cooked by the ladies of the family while there's a voice-over by one of the sons proclaiming the eternal goodness of family and the Simple Life.

But here's the thing- fans of the show are up in arms (quite literally, probably) about the firing of Phil and the family is threatening to just stop the filming entirely because they can't go on without their patriarch. So good for them. They've already all got their mansions and Miss Kay, the long-suffering matriarch has already had her plastic surgery and the kids all have their own massive American pick-up trucks. They have every right to believe that homosexuality is akin to bestiality and that before Civil Rights, black Americans were godly and happy as can be, chopping cotton from dawn to dark and they even have every right to say that shit but the network has the right to fire them too. So there's that. But what freaks me out is that so many people are staunchly on the side of Phil who admits his life at one time was all about sex, drugs, and rock and roll but who now completely encapsulates God, Guns, and Guts, and it's like all of these people suddenly have a mouthpiece saying exactly what they believe which is some vile and evil stuff and they are crying Free Speech! Free Speech! Phil for President! etc.

Which makes me feel sort of sick.

Moving on.

Did you read about the Target credit card debacle?

Well, that's my debit card. I was affected. My bank called me at six-thirty last night.

Life goes on.
Life does go on until it doesn't and I can get a new debit card and the world will probably survive without Duck Dynasty if it comes to that. The family can get back to their Godly Simple Lives ways although I do admit that I will miss Jase who is cuter than a damn bug and also Crazy Uncle Si, the guy who was in Viet Nam and who, despite everything, seems to be relatively untouched by the madness of the success, his own madness being the stronger force and who seems to take a childlike delight in everything.
Of course I haven't read his book so I don't really know.

And if you want to get the bad taste out of your mouth about this whole stupid situation which I don't know why I even wrote about except that it's a distraction from my own madness, please go here and be reminded that although we have some extremely sad and weird stuff going on in our culture, light and love are indeed making progress throughout the world.

Happy Friday, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Promise

I'm cold and I can't even remember the last time I wrote anything worth reading and I can't remember the last time I felt like I had something to look forward to.

It's the season, it's the weather, it's the expectations I put on myself, it's my age, it's hormones, it's the moon, it's the tides, it's the depression, it's the anxiety.

Whatever. I'm tired of feeling this way. I KNOW it will pass, I know things will get better, I know I won't always have this crapfuzz going on in my head. I know I will enjoy things again. I know that there are people who are so much worse off than I am (and that only makes me sadder, more depressed, to contemplate the sorrows of humanity). I know this is a sort of brain-illness, I know the Buddha says that suffering is life, or is it vice versa? I know that the days will very soon start to become longer, I know that it will warm up, I know all of this and I know more even than all of this, and I have experienced it over and over in my life and I know that I wish I never had.

I had the boys again today and that was good because I can't fucking lose it when they are here. But Owen said I sounded "tired" and there is no doubt they can tell the difference in me when I am in this place and I hate it that depression affects not only me but my family, my friends. My grandchildren, for god's sake! I try so hard to be the grandmother they deserve- to play ball with Owen on the stairs, to take them outside to feed the goats and chickens and the mule, to explore in the bamboo jungle, to play games, to be cheerful and always mindful of the loving and right reaction and it's so hard when I feel this way. And I did all of those things today along with making sure they had food to eat and something to drink and jackets on and shoes kept up with and Gibson's diapers changed. But.

Everything is hard. And that exhausts me. It is better, I think though, to keep trying, or at least that's what I've always done, perhaps because I've had to, I don't know.
I do not know.

Here's what saved me today- Owen and Gibson. They wanted to put make-up on me and do my hair and I let them paint my entire face as dark blue as any woad-painted Celt. They touched me so gently, my face, and my hair that I felt as if angel wings were brushing me.

My friend Judy who came by. Judy is as prone to suffer visits from the black dog as I am and there is no need to try and pretend around her. She does not need me to be cheerful, she sits and we talk and she makes the boys laugh and that woman has been through hell and if she weren't a warrior, she would not be here and she does not make me feel like a fucking jerk for having the dark days and she can talk about her own without shame. We can talk about it but do not wallow, we laugh, we talk about other things, plenty of other things and when she left, my spirits had risen a bit. When she was getting ready to leave Owen said right out of the blue, "It's a big world out there. Be careful of monsters. If a monster gets you, you call me."

That little boy. My skinny little man who puts on the Rolling Stones and break dances for me. He twirls on his butt on the floor and holds on to the vanity in the hallway and kicks his legs and does 180 degree turns. He tells me that we are going to a party and that I look beautiful. Of course he also tells me I am old but I already knew that.

And then Mr. Moon came home and he played with those boys and there is nothing like watching that. Gibson has him so wrapped around his little finger that it's heartbreakingly beautiful. That tiny little man, leading his giant Boppy through the house to go play whatever Gibson wants to play. His grandfather changes his diaper and Gibson stands up on the bed and hugs him so hard, pats him on the back and says, "Game, Boppy?" And they walk to the Glen Den and play Wii swordfighting, the man and the little boys and it's all so damn precious and this is all so damn precious. Precious in the sense that it is priceless which was a better word before that stupid credit card advertising campaign.
And by god, I want to be able to laugh along with it. To not just witness it and cry because of this stupid fucked-up brain of mine.

I know all of the reasons not to be sad. I can list them until you nod off from boredom.
They help and they do not help. This is not a problem of circumstance, it is a problem of the brain and body. And I feel loathe to even write about it these days. I have written about it so many times and was chastised so recently and yet...this is my life. This is the way it is for me and by god, I am not going to pretend that all is well when it most decidedly is not.

It will pass. All things must pass.

All things must pass away. And I take heart in the fact that when that happens, when this particular bout of madness passes, I will write about how that feels too.

I promise.