Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Place, Not A State Of Being.

Owen is coming and soon and I have just gotten up. I planned on getting up earlier because I have a few things in my life that do need to get done before that boy lands in my arms, this blog tending being one of them.

But my sleep has been put off every night by pains and aches (and no, they do not come from Owen but more from my foot and my twitching hips) and anyway, blah, blah, blah, all us old people will tell you about our pains. I certainly do. But when those pains and twitches assault me, I have to get up and get out of the cozy, warm bed with my two comforters on it (the duck, I call the bigger one, the duckling, the smaller one) and go out to the kitchen to read and apparently, to eat.

This is getting out of hand. Last night I ate granola and hell's bells, you might as well be eating Chex Mix, it's no better for you. Not the commercial sort, anyway. I only bought it right before Thanksgiving for the kids to eat for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning but they didn't and there it is, in my kitchen, just waiting for midnight plundering.

Last night, in reaching for the box, I knocked it over and so there I was, one-thirty in the morning, without my glasses, dressed in a sort of coat/duster thing I got at Goodwill which had probably originally come with a dress, having to sweep up granola, although the dogs helped. After I cleaned it all up, they continued to sniff around the kitchen, finding bits and pieces of sugary grains to snorfle down, much as I had been doing.

Really. This must end.

And I try to stay in bed. I stretch as carefully and slowly as I can under the covers, trying not to disturb Mr. Moon and I turn, carefully, and I stretch some more, carefully, and I fall back asleep and then another twitch wakes me and I start all over again.

It's maddening.

And there was that full moon.

Anyway, this all led to me waking late and in a bit of a panic.
Quick, down the coffee! Quick, let Miss Betty out! Quick, feed the cats and feed the dogs and pour more coffee and forget the newspaper, get the computer and try to write about something.

So here I am and I have written about nothing.

I wanted to say that I believe I go through my life thinking that after this passes or that, life will return to normal. Normal. Ms. Bastard said yesterday that one of her semi-regular readers lives in Normal, Illinois and may I say that Ms. Bastard reads her stats more closely than I generally do? I will say that it is funny to me that my readers in the US come mostly from Florida, New York and California which seems odd to me, as I write about chickens and I can see the Florida connection but New York? California? You guys are sophisticated. You have artists and movie stars and CULTAH! and I have, well, chicken shit. And dog shit. And now baby poop.

BUT, don't you do that thing, too, where you think, after this project, this holiday, this crisis, this whatever, things will return to NORMAL?

And do they ever? Because what the fuck is normal? Normal may happen about once in a blue moon, and the rest of the time we are scurrying around trying to fit our little routines into whatever it is that has temporarily taken over our lives and thrown us around like astronauts in outer space, trying to find footing and figure out which is up and which is down under the difficult circumstances of weightlessness, of non-normalcy.

That's what I do anyway. After this little Opera House production is over, after Christmas, after Owen grows up? What? When? How?
Never. Never. Never.

It's never going to be normal and it's so funny that we humans think it will be and fight so hard not to adapt but to just put off and do later when things become more...normal. I have a difficult time with this. I do. And you'd think by now, after having spent a lifetime planning my days and very life around four children and a husband and the occasional jaunt into something which requires me to be at certain places at certain times, that I would know this and be more able to achieve it.

But I am not.

And I am not normal. Neither are you. Neither is anyone else. At least, as far as I can see. I think of all the people I know and love and not one of them is anywhere near normal. Thank God!

Let us remember that Normal is a town in Illinois. It is not a state of being we can achieve.

Time to cut up the grapes. Miss Betty waits for no man and she waits for no woman to get back to normal. Sam is crowing and in his voice I can hear him say, "I know you swept up granola last night. Bring it to me!" Granola is not his normal food but he will eat it with gusto.

And normally I would have a nice ending to tie things up with but lately my normal has not been normal but maybe after the play is over and Owen is grown up and it's oh, spring again, and my hips don't twitch and my foot doesn't hurt, I can give you that nice, normal tie-up.

Until then, remember this: No matter what your circumstances are, don't wait for normal to come to you. It won't. You will have to go visit it. It's in Illinois.
They talk funny there, did you know that?

Now, go forth and do not be normal.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Hey mama, just wanted to say I love you. Kiss that boy for me.

  2. Sorry you are aching. From the time I can remember, my mom would walk around the house saying "Oh my aching back!"

    Yep, normal is a lie perpetrated on us all as a clever attempt to get us all to conform... yech!

    Let us know if you want some to share the O love. We are here, at least for the morning.

    Oh, also, I mentioned in SB post about Normal, that there is a movie called "Leaving Normal"... I think you would love it. Christing Loddy is in it and Jennifer Tilly.

  3. Have I told you lately that I love you? That your posts just brighten my day and bring me some clarity wrapped in irony, and truth, and always funny? Today you made me laugh and cry a happy tear, and I needed a happy one. I just laid on the floor this morning crying very sad/mad tears after I missed the bottom steps in my fuzzy slippers, landed on my ass jarring all my broken bits and causing crazy muscle spasms. 12 year old daughter helps 50ish mom, sobbing, off floor, then runs for bus. Not how I planned it. I'm still in the throes of my swine flu pity party, and hot flashing myself into crazy insomnia. This fucking morning really pissed me off, and you helped me get over myself and cheered me up. So thanks for the dispatch from Lloyd, for making me feel more normal somehow, here in the middle of Illinois. Hope nothing hurts you today, Ms. Moon. Enjoy your boy time.

  4. God bless you. I needed to hear this today.

    Decidedly NOT Normal,


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  6. This post got a song stuck in my head. The song is Effington by Ben Folds. He mentions Normal, Illinois. Go have a listen, you may enjoy it today.

  7. My fabulous, Ms. Moon. You too have a reader from Normal, IL. Me. And just because I live here does not make me normal. Far from it, in fact.

    The town is named this because it is home of the oldest teaching university in the state. When in was founded universities that taught teachers were called normal schools.

    And there you have some very useless knowledge for the day!

  8. I do love me some useless knowledge!

    I keep thinking I'll get to have some normal when I retire, but then I look at my mom who's been retired for 5 and half years. Nope. No normal there yet.

  9. DTG- I love you too! And Owen has gotten about one million kisses today so maybe about a hundred thousand of them are yours.

    Ms. Fleur- Saw that movie a long time ago. It was good.

    Mel- I, too, had a twelve-year old when I was starting with the menopause. Bad, bad timing. But what can you do? Laugh with each other and help each other up when hormones or fuzzy slippers get in the way.

    Ms. Bastard- No. We are not normal. Which is why we all love each other so much.

    Hockeymandad- Okay!

    Ms. Dish- Awesome! And yes, I know what a normal school was. Thanks for being my reader from Normal!

    Steph- It's hopeless. We must embrace the dis-normal.

  10. Normal (the town)'s just a hop, skip, and a jump south of where I live.

    Normal people are boring.

  11. Right on.
    Love your granola image and Sam calling for it this morning.
    Wonderful recycler you are.
    Your writing rings so true. You kind of untie things that are tied much too tight and I love that.
    Hope your sleeping gets better.
    I tried wine last night and it helped but can't make that a habit.
    Happy Day.

  12. I'm sorry that your body is twitchy. I wish that they had a Chinese doctor in your town. I think it would help. As for normal, things have not been normal around here in oh, I'd say forever. Which lends credence to your thought that there is no such thing. I can't imagine what Normal, Iowa is like. Maybe the sister to Bacon, Georgia?

  13. gosh..that sounds maddening for real..those mean aches and twitches..:-/

    just the other day i was sitting my kitchen between dirty dishes and arms full of tulips which i bought on the market the other day...drinking a merlot i recently discovered and which i m totally in love with while i played me some dinah washington (stormy weather)...and thought about how i wish i could have a normal life...and the same time i felt that i have to move again...i m solong in germany now..i gotta go away again for a while...maybe the usa or france again...or uk..dont know...i just feel i got to go somewhere..pack my life in boxes again and go somewhere where i can finish that fucking book...

    ah..i m so silly to write all this crap and steal room in your guestbook which should be with more useful coments..anyway..thank you for another wonderful post of yours...

  14. The pains and the sleeplessness must be driving you cra-zy.

    I sometimes think I will go back to work/normal after the kids are in school. When obviously this is the center of my life. For now, at least. And it's gorgeous.

  15. Ginger- But really? Do we know any normal people?

    Bethany- The joy of chickens (well, one of them) is that they eat almost anything. And give me eggs. I'm trying martinis tonight. I hope they work!

    Elizabeth- Or Climax, Georgia?

    Danielle- You know darn well there is no end to the cyber-space. You can write an entire novel in these comments if you want. You do not write crap.
    Tulips and dirty dishes and merlot...
    Well, if you decide to move, come check out North Florida. It is mostly quiet and the trees are magnificent.

    Mwa- Trust me on this- it is the best time of all. Until you get a grandbaby.

  16. It is SO NOT NORMAL here in New York.

    But that's a good thing.

    And I gotta say, there's something about keeping chickens that is the epitome of normal. So there.

  17. You know I'm not dissin' the chickens, right?

    I always found my chickens so soothing and entertaining and picture postcard perfect that they made me feel NORMAL for a minute.

    You know what I mean...

  18. I keep learning that lesson. That this is my life , not the one that will sudden unfold like dreamy easy when all of this is figured out and neatly finished. It is what it is . And if I show up , it might be beautiful, or I can try to make it so.

    How do you right the profoundly perfect just on hurried whim?

  19. Michelle- I know exactly what you mean. Yesterday, watching the hens scratch under the loquat tree I felt as completely normal and satisfied as I could possibly feel.
    They lend me a rightness.

    Deb- Yes. This IS it. Right here. Right now.

  20. I'm still trying to establish a new kind of normal for my life after retirement. Thanks for this!

  21. Well I wanted more after your blog post up there and then I realized I hadn't read this one and it was like getting a present to open.

    I LOVE the scene with you in the kitchen and you are one of the 'witches' that Meg and Charles Wallace travel with through time and space AND I love the way you described that AND I would like to find a way to put you in one of my novels AND I willlll.

  22. Joy- Forget it. The normal needle registers whatever is happening NOW.
    And so it goes.

    Maggie May- So glad to be of service, dear.


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