Saturday, September 7, 2013

Who AM I?

I am in a solitary, not so happy with myself mood tonight. My feelings of adequacy and fair contentment have passed for the moment and I am currently beating myself about the back and shoulders with a lead-weighted cat'o'nine tails. Metaphorically, of course.
But I am actually wearing clothes which, when compared to sackcloth and ashes would not hold up favorably, but hell, you know.

I got a good bit of the garden weeded today but honest to god, weeding is one of those things that when you're on your death bed, you will not be thinking about with any great pride. I pull plants out of the ground and throw them into a Rubber Maid cart and listen to books on CD so basically, all I'm doing is cooking my skin, getting filthy, and doing something meaningless while I listen to a crappy book read by a narrator who for some reason thinks the main female character should sound just like Bill Clinton on one of his raspier days. I mean, exactly.

Here's a real goddam complaint I have: When you're writing a fucking book, don't pretend you know what camellias smell like because CAMELLIAS DON'T HAVE A SCENT, OKAY? SHUT THE FUCK UP. WRITE ABOUT GARDENIAS IF YOU WANT A FLOWER WITH SCENT!

You know what really pisses me off? The fact that I am NOT writing. I am not writing, I am not mopping, I am not sewing, I am not cleaning mildew off of surfaces, I am not tidying, I am not throwing shit away, I am not taking care of friends who probably need taking care of, I am not engaged in society to any degree whatsoever, and I am not writing.
Also, truthfully, at this moment I am not enjoying the dogs who are constantly barking a few houses down and I am not enjoying the sound of the drums from the Revival Center next door.
Okay? That's the honest to god truth.
Here's some more stuff I'm not doing: making an appointment to get my eyes examined and new glasses so that I can actually see without closing an eye, and one to get my hair, which has now grown to an absurd length, trimmed. We won't even breathe a hint of my inability to make an appointment for all of the medical crap I know I need to do such as colonoscopies, mammograms, and other decidedly female and/or just generally human being stuff.

No, no, no.

I am not doing yoga, I am not reading poetry. I am not IMPROVING MY MIND in any way unless you count watching videos of Twerking Going Horribly Wrong and I don't think that counts. I am not being especially kind in my thoughts and in fact, am having thoughts which are downright mean. And nasty. And not just about dentists but about people who don't deserve my mean and nasty thoughts but are perhaps just a little too earnest. I am also not eating especially well. In fact, I have eaten things in the past two days which I will not even disclose.
Whipped cream and blue cheese may have been involved although not at the same time.
I do have some goddammed scruples and taste.
Not many or much though.

You know what I have always thought? That I have both of my grandfathers inside of me. One of my grandfathers was incredibly brilliant and although he was an attorney by vocation, his true love was music and the writing of it. The man clerked for Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes after he graduated from HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, and collaborated with Cole Porter WHILE AT YALE in the composition of songs for college shows.
But mostly, in his later life, he drank because he was horribly unhappy. Probably because he was a lawyer specializing in "corporate, banking, insurance and business law" according to his obituary, when he really wanted to be a bon vivant, writing show tunes and musicals. My main memory of him is  of a roly-poly merry man, sitting at his grand piano, smelling delightfully of bourbon and cashews, playing and singing songs I thought he wrote for me, his little granddaughter whom he called "Gibby" because my middle name is Gibson which is what his mama's maiden name was. Mary Lua (Lua?) Gibson.

My other grandfather was the most disciplined, unemotional, absolutely decent, sober, precise individual I have ever known. He bought wood for the Cavalier Cabinet Corporation, supported his family through the depression, believed in the religion of A Place For Every Thing And Every Thing In Its Place in all ways, retired to Roseland, Florida where he had an amazing compost pile, planted trees, grew tomatoes, belonged to the Power Squadron, trimmed palms and chopped wood in the blazing heat, read me chapter books out loud and played checkers with me.
He lived to be in his nineties while my other grandfather died in his early seventies and there is no mystery there although the longer-lived grandfather frequently told me not to get old. He hated old age. Hated it with a passion, the loss of physical strength and control and autonomy.

So throw those two together and let them dance together in my DNA and let's not even talk about what my grandmothers were like- one whom I knew, one whom I have only the wispiest memory of- and there you have me. Plus all the others whom I do not even know the slightest thing about, of course.
And my own experiences and lessons learned in childhood and what I've figured out and mostly what I haven't figured out and some days- well, it's just a big old stew of confusion and self-doubt and stern-talking-to-myself and doing a lot of weeding.

I'm going to go make a martini. And listen to the end of Prairie Home Companion. And make some chicken and rice out of my leftovers from two nights ago with celery and onions and peppers. And try to forgive myself for being who I am and for what I am not.

We'll see how that works out.

Much love...Ms. Moon, The Highly Confused At Times


  1. Mary Moon, I just love you.

    We're in the same boat today. And it's filling up rapidly. Off to find a beer in the fridge, clean the bathrooms, hold the cat and do what I can to stave off the sadness/crazies/what am I doing with my life's.

    Text or email if you want to vent.

  2. Well, I hope you're down to the olive by now-- Looking into that glass and thinking, hmmm, it would be lovely to fill it up again.
    I do not understand moods. Mine or anyone else's. Why oh why.
    Hey, I swear I recently read the same damn thing about the camellia. New Yorker short story?! I've been to a certain writer's conference a couple of times where there's a sort of ethic about a writer knowing her/his shit about the natural world. There was even a naturalist who led hikes, pointing out this is this, that is that. I love books with a kick ass sense of place.

  3. Yeah, moods. What the hell?

    I hope that martini was a good one!

  4. That is funny and sad at the same time, about the camellias having a scent. I hope you enjoy your martini.

  5. Damn it these down days suck.

    You mean a lot to me. (not to mention to your family and the gazillion other readers of your blog). But I wanted to make a point of saying that to you. Your blog for the last four years has been a part of my day - a part of my life.

    I'm glad you're having that martini :)

  6. I understand completely as I am in the same boat, it seems, and getting further irritated by the minute...has to do with poor spatial abiliyedertrt and trying to design something my builder can so even though he is supposed to be helping me and isn't...

    Frustrated and tired...not the best combination...

    I hope you feel better tomorrow.

  7. Jesus, what is it about the guilt about not writing? I had the whole effing day free today, woke up at 5 because NO REASON, and wanted to clean the fridge, fix the hole in the kitchen wall, do some touchup painting on the TERRIBLE PAINT JOB I did in the hallway,a nd write. And I watched the twerking video and played the same Bach piece on the piano (that I learned when I was 11 or something) a million times and pretended to nap and drove around aimlessly and went to Target because I hate myself.

    And I didn't write and I didn't read a book and I didn't even weed my garden. I got one load of laundry on the line, and another in the washer.

    And I raise my nth glass of wine to you tonight. Let's watch more bad internet videos. You've got company here.

  8. I just wonder why you beat yourself up so much....I kinda sorta have the same kind of life but I am always just so grateful to have the luxury of doing exactly what I want to with my day.

  9. All those things you're not doing? I'm not doing them either. But today we were in Mt. Dora and when we drove home we drove through Ocala National Forest and crossed the Oklawaha River! The famed Oklawaha of Gamble Rogers' fame. So I do feel as though I've accomplished something today...all those years of hearing about the Oklawaha River and now I've seen it! That's something, right?

  10. Oh those grandfathers! I loved all that. There are just so many voices inside of us raising hell about one thing or another, but whichever one is telling you that you are not writing while, in fact, you are writing something many of us can relate to is a voice that I hope got drowned in that martini and good riddance.

  11. Yep, I'm feeling unworthy of ancestors and oppressed by all I'm not doing and my excessive and unstoppable earnestness, which extends to earnest cynicism and doubt in addition to earnest everything else. It's likely fortunate I can't earnestly drink.

  12. Chicken and rice is a very comforting, nourishing combination. And you're being way too hard on yourself. It's Saturday night. Hell, have 2 martinis.

  13. There are a lot of days where I just hate EVERYTHING, not everyone but almost. Alcohol does help.

  14. How can you say you're not writing? What did I just read?! Not just anyone can conjure up a blog post the way you do, you know.

    Your camellias comment made me laugh, but also made me realize that I'm not sure I ever would have caught that mistake, even though I KNOW that camellias don't really have much scent. You have a great eye and ear for detail.

    Loved hearing about your grandfathers. Keep writing, even if it's about not writing. :)

  15. If you really ponder what you are doing, I bet you will be surprised. Sweet Jo

  16. Ms Moon, you are so deliciously, wildly and wonderfully human. with maybe a little hint of danger, because that spices things up as does whipped cream and blue cheese.

  17. SJ- I felt it best to keep my angst to myself. I hope you had a good evening, honey. Thanks for the offer. Same goes here, right?

    Denise- I feel like if you don't know what you're talking about, don't talk about it. Unless you decide to actually learn something about the subject and then yes, please.
    I got to the bottom of the martini. Trust me.

    Elizabeth- It was very fine.

    Gail- I sure did.

    Jill- I can't even comprehend being part of someone's life for four years but it makes me happy to try. Thank you so much.

    e- And I would wish the same for you.

    Sara- Well at least I didn't go to Target! Ha! That's one of the joys of living in Lloyd. Going anywhere is a pain in the ass. Wait. Is that a GOOD thing?

    aintforcitygals- Uh. Gee. Not sure. I guess I'm just an ungrateful bitch.

    Lulumarie- What I want to know is- what were you doing in Mt. Dora? Yes, of course seeing a river is something. Rivers are one of my favorite things. Was it beautiful?

    Andrea- Well, I tried to drown that fucker.

    A- Haha! Quit being so earnest, woman! My mean thoughts do not extend to you. Trust me.

    Mary- I did indeed! And the chicken and rice was fine.

    Birdie- It can stop the stupid tape. Which is good.

    Steve Reed- You are very kind and I appreciate that very much.

    Sweet Jo- Well, some days. Not all.

    Ms. Yo- Yep. I am human as human can be. Thank you.

  18. We beat ourselves up sometimes don't we? Okay, go gentle now. Go call the fun loving grandfather and enjoy that martini. Lovelovelove.

  19. well, except you ARE writing, gloriously, daily.


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