I should be disturbed that I don't even know if it's a bird or a frog but actually, I'm sort of happy not to. In my mind's eye I am free to imagine a beaky, feathered frog like something from a Mayan dream and it is beautiful.
It's been a good and very busy day. My house is still in disaster-mode, the boys having had their way with it for some hours. It's not really that bad and we had a good time together. When Owen had been here for about half an hour he said, "It's good to be back at Old Mer's house again."
He hadn't been here since Saturday, you know.
Gibson did something today that charmed my heart. I was sitting on the couch and he asked me for some milk and so I said, "Okay, I'll go get you some," and as I went to stand up, he held his little hand out and said, "Help?"
Such a tiny gentleman.
I've been thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr. all day. I've been thinking about these words he said all day too:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. . . . The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
- From Strength to Love, 1963
I have to believe these words. Their message is the very essence of what I believe to be true. And I remember when he was assassinated, this man who (as Yoko Ono said of her husband, John Lennon) changed the world with his mind, thinking that the world as I knew it was crumbling and that all hope must surely be lost with his death. I remember this feeling of despair quite clearly and yet, thankfully, all hope was not lost because the world remembers him, his words, his voice, and also because he lived a life based on those words. A very human life, but one always aspiring in true action to that incredibly high belief. He did not live in vain and his message was a clear one to all humans of all colors in all countries and his words have wrought change in this world of ours. We certainly have not abolished hate or darkness or war but I do believe that we, as a species, are still capable of learning, of change, of trudging towards light and love and acceptance and perhaps, even someday...peace.
Those days, those sixties and seventies days, were so filled with so much of the same message coming from so many different sources. We took that message in and we sang it, we danced to it, we tried, so many of us, to incorporate it into the very fiber of our being and of our lives as we lived them.
Hell, I don't know. Humans are so very flawed, all of us in one way or another. But we all need something to rest our heart on, to hang our hat on, to choose to believe is true. And even in that choosing, I think we make a difference.
I'm tired. But I'm good. When the dentist looked at my mouth today he said it all looked fine and everything was as it should be and that the stitches would be coming out next week. I was grateful. And then I said, "I want to tell you something that sounds crazy."
"Okay," he said.
And I proceeded to tell him that as he surely knew, when I first came to see him, I was a person in a very scary anxious place. That it really had nothing to do with the bad tooth, the bone abscess, although that whole situation did not make it easier.
"Well, everyone has anxiety," he said. And this is what people who have never experienced what Matt Haig calls not anxiety but Anxiety, says. I tried to explain to the doctor the difference but I am not sure he got it which is fine. If you've never experienced it, you can't know. And if you don't know, be fucking grateful as shit. BUT, what I wanted to tell him and what I tried to tell him, is something that I've been thinking about very seriously for about a week now which is that I truly believe that the very potent cocktail of anti-anxiety drugs they gave me before the procedure allowed me to somehow break free of the horrendous and hideous panic I had been experiencing for weeks. The complete relief of that panic, that Anxiety for the day and a half it took my system to clear itself of the drugs, somehow cut the misfiring of my brain and allowed it to rest, to heal, to cease its terrorizing message of insanity. To reboot and reset my mind.
Is this possible? The dentist listened to me and he didn't have any answers and he told me that he was glad it had worked that way for me and I appreciated his listening. And the sweet angel-child assistant listened too and we discussed it a little more after he left the room to go on to his next patient.
"Someone should do a study to see if such a protocol could work for other people," I told her. "Because I was fixing to have to go and get back on anti-depressants and beg, BEG for Xanax or Ativan and who knows how long I would have had to take those drugs? I couldn't keep on living that way."
She got it. She is very young but I can tell that she is also very empathetic. I touched her hand when I left. I have sort of fallen in love that child (whose name, by the way, is Jessie) who, when she prods the most tender parts of your mouth, does it so gently and so skillfully that you can't even feel it.
And so that's been my day. A day as full of doing and thinking as any day I am capable of having. Trying, as always, to figure shit out and failing miserably. Making and doing and holding and kissing and hugging and touching and washing and laughing and talking and feeding carrots to goats. Thinking about lightness and dark, love and hate.
In other words, a very good day.
It's still lovely quiet in Lloyd tonight. I hope there is peace where you are too. And light, until the time comes for you to close your eyes and let peaceful darkness come upon you, the sweet kind of darkness which does not destroy but which heals, renews, and sustains.
Time to go clean up the mess.