Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Laughing And Crying, You Know It's The Same Relief

The boys are gone and it was a very good day with them, despite the disassociation the anxiety brings with it, the tiredness. It is as physical as it is mental, this wave of a malady.
I am calling it a wave because I am visualizing it passing on, leaving me a bit sand-scraped but intact.

We did puzzles in the hallway and I put the Rolling Stones on because we haven't listened to those fellas for awhile and we all lit up and Gibson ran back and forth, laughing in the hallway, wearing his hat, still, and Owen figured out the puzzles and he was so very proud of himself.
We played Monopoly, which for us means rolling the dice and moving our car or shoe or hat or dog or train around the game board. We don't bother with money or hotels or houses. We just count the dots on the dice and then count as we move. As good a way to learn to count as any, I think. When Owen landed on "Go To Jail!" he said, "I don't want to go to jail."
"Okay," I said.
Then when I landed on the same spot, he said, "You need to go to jail."
"You didn't," I pointed out.
He had to agree that fair was fair. I did not go to jail.

They wanted chocolate milk. Here's a little video of that.

We played with the chickens and fed them grapes. Owen is trying to teach Nicey to fly. He picks her up and puts her up on a roosting branch and demonstrates wing-flapping.

Eventually, she flutters down and he is happy.
"See?" he says. "She can fly!"
"Oh Owen," I say. "I'm not sure she really likes it." But since she continues to come running to him, I guess she's mostly okay with the whole process.
The boys found three eggs in the nest and brought them in safely and whole.

We fed carrots to the mule who lives next door.

She's just as sweet as she looks. She lets us scratch her nose and behind her ears. She leans up against the fence and the boys adore her.

But while we there, over by the goat pen, Gibson got into some stinging nettle and I feel awful about that. It's a particularly noxious weed that stings and burns and itches and he's so allergically inclined and it immediately raised up into welts but he didn't cry, merely rubbed the places and whimpered a bit as if, "Why did the grass hurt me?"
We ran inside and I applied both Benadryl AND the "natural" comfrey cream, trying to cover all my bases and he sat on my lap and fell asleep, holding the carrot he was eating, against my old bosom.
I hate it when I let one of my grandchildren hurt themselves.

I've mostly survived this day. Mr. Moon is going to go to a basketball game in town and so I can watch crap TV without feeling guilty. Go to bed early, read. I've talked to Jessie on the phone and to Billy too. I've gotten e-mail and texts so sweet they made me cry.

So many things have made me cry today. It's okay. It's letting go of the anxiety, the pain, the fear. It's also the springing forth of all of that which nestles in my heart so sweetly, always there, no matter what else tries to displace it.

I hear the baby chickens peeping in the coop. Soon, maybe even tonight, I will hear the Chuck-Widow's-Will crying off in the distance for love. The owls will began to hoot and pant for the same. I think of the desperate need all creatures have for this connection. I think of the way my baby grandson felt as he fell asleep on my chest today. I think that life, even with its incredible difficulties and sadness and confusions is worth all of our attention and I am not ashamed as I struggle.
I am a creature and I am alive.

So are you.


  1. I think it is so right that your grandsons are able to live a life with chickens and a donkey and even stinging nettles. Kids today have so little time outside and it is a true gift for them to be able to experience it.

  2. Birdie is right!
    Glad you're working through the waves.

  3. Those boys are so tender. Some days it's like we have no skin. Wrap yourself in soft garments against the wind. Love.

  4. A wave feels like the perfect metaphor for anxiety. And hopefully it'll recede and you'll be a little sandy and out of breath but intact just the same. You know it wasn't until I started getting some relief from my anxiety that I could really see it for what it was, and even now I know that when it settles (at least, in those times that it's not overwhelming and chest-crushing), it isn't real and it isn't forever and there is life outside of it and I belong to that life. So do you.

    Spring is weird; all this new life (all this sex! my old creative writing teacher used to exclaim. "Spring is the most pornographic of the seasons!") but I also find it unsettling.

    Oh hell, i guess I find all the seasons unsettling.

    Hope you continue to feel better. Jealous of the crap tv.


  5. Birdie- We are in and we are out and in this weather, we are mostly out. The bugs have not arrived, the heat is not yet upon us.

    heartinhand- I do my best and it's not always pretty. is what it is.

    Angella- Back in my cashmere, as we speak.

    Sara- My god- are we twins, separated at birth? Am I your mother? What? Because yes. Exactly.
    I wish I was able to hear what's on in your life. I think of you so often.

  6. The wind just rattled the fireplace, down the wind tunnel chimney in my old, old house where I live in the basement. Wind is rattling in my soul, too. It was an awful day.

  7. Eat the stinging nettles...that will teach them! Actually,they make a tasty cream of green soup and lose all the sting when cooked, use like spinach.. Just sayin'..if it's growing there already, that's your dark green leafies all sorted! Yeah, the wave metaphor works for me too.

  8. I think you've covered all bases here for living -- there's something about even the nettle-stinging and the comfort afterward that seems profound.

  9. Ah Joni.

    I love you Mz Moon. I really do.

    XX B

  10. All I could think to say after I read this post was that I love you too :) xo

    May tomorrow be better. And stinging nettle sucks!

  11. I left a message the other day and it seemed to go thru but did not show up. Anyway, as usual I am glad the boys can balance the anxiety and get you involved in things you wouldn't otherwise. I love how those chickens are getting to know your boys too. So sweet. Sweet Jo

  12. Oh, Ms. Moon. I needed this. Thank you.

  13. That is one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs, from one of her best albums. (I'm on the fence about whether it's better than Blue, but I tend to side with Blue, I must confess.)

    Reading this, I think I've answered my question on your next post -- that this is a more generalized anxiety, perhaps not arising from any conscious thought process at all. I'm sorry it's back. Ugh.

  14. V impressed by Owen's napkin usage! Both my children have napkin blindness - there could be a giant pile right beside them and they'd still wipe their mess on their sleeve.

  15. SJ- I am so sorry, dearheart. I hope today was better.

    Bigmamabird- I'd rather just eat the mustard greens and collards growing in the garden. They're a lot less dangerous to pick.

    Elizabeth- Every day seems fairly profound to me. I do tend to overthink things but god, sometimes my heart just grows so tender when I think about the life I get to lead.

    Beth Coyote- You know, I adore you so. I want to get glasses like yours. Would you mind?

    Mel- And I love you! Today was not bad.

    Sweet Jo- I should have named Nicey Sweet Jo. I'm sorry your comment didn't come through. That makes me sad.

    Stephanie- You are welcome, dear!

    Steve Reed- I am exactly with you on the Joni Mitchell albums. I love Court And Spark but Blue can never be replaced in my heart.

    Jo- Not sure why the boy is aware of napkins but I'm glad he is. Gibson is still completely oblivious.

  16. I especially like the mule photo. So good that Owen and Gibson are learning to love and appreciate animals.
    Hate those nettles. Got into a patch hiking years ago. They make an impression.


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