Friday, April 15, 2011

A Very Short Autobiography

It occurs to me that there are people who have been coming here for almost as long as I've been writing this blog, which next month will be four years, and these people are like my family now. They know as much about me as a lot of people I've known for forty years and oh, wait.
They probably know a lot more.
They know my kids and my pets and my husband. They were here when Lily got married, got pregnant, and was in labor for days with my grandson. They were here when I went truly insane and they were here when I slowly got better.

But. A lot of people don't really have the slightest clue who I am and I was thinking that maybe it would be okay to do a little "this-is-me" post. Is that okay with you? I hope so.

All right. Here I am. I am a fifty-six-year-old woman.
I have four children. Hank is almost thirty-five. May, who is almost thirty-three. Lily, who is twenty-five and Jessie who is almost twenty-two.
Lily is married to Jason and is the mother of my grandson, Owen, who is eighteen months old.

My children have been my greatest teachers, and I am not just saying that. They are also my best friends. They are miracles and blessings in this life. They are each unique and amazing and they love each other.

I was married and had children young. Then I got divorced and remarried and had children old. My first husband was a guitar player. He and I are still friends. He has a wicked sense of humor.
My now husband is a saint. Mostly. He has saved my life over and over again. We have been married for twenty-six years. I still can't believe he loves me. He is the best man I have ever known with the possible exception of his father who died way too early.

Here are things that are important to know about me:
I had all but one of my babies at home. I believe in home birth. And home death. Whenever possible. I believe that the womb is holy. I believe that a lot of things are holy. I believe in miracles but they are the sort of miracles which I can see and observe such as birth, death, and the fact that Keith Richards is still alive.
(I am slightly obsessed with Keith Richards after reading his autobiography this year.)

I was a hippie. I am still a hippie. Hippies are not to be taken lightly. Being a hippie has nothing to do with love beads or be-ins. I don't even know what those are. Hippies are people who can rebuild an engine and deliver a baby and grow a garden and cook from scratch and make music and dance.
Well. Sometimes.
When I was a young hippie, I took drugs like LSD and ate psilocybin mushrooms that grew from cow shit. I am glad I did. My mind was opened to a much larger universe than it ever would have been otherwise. I did these drugs with respect and attitude of wonder, not for recreational purposes. I am not against doing drugs for recreational purposes because sometimes you learn things anyway. Some drugs, however, are really stupid and should be avoided. That's another subject.

I was sexually abused as a child. I have had therapy and I have attended groups for survivors of sexual abuse and I have done a great deal of healing but I will never, ever be the person I would have been if I had not been sexually abused.
That's just the truth.

I have no religion. In fact, religion is an anathema to me. I think you either have a gene for religion or you do not and I do not. To believe that anyone could be born and would die for all the sins of those who believe in them strikes me as patently absurd. Plus, people are always going to war for their religion and each and every religion seems to think that their way is the right way and blah, blah, blah.
Now. I am not saying there is no god. Or God. How would I know? I don't even understand electricity. I'm just saying that the evidence for a god you can pray to and receive whatever from seems ridiculous to me. Faith is something I don't understand either. If there is no proof of something but you are told to believe in it anyway because you must have faith, I shake my head in wonder.
Every time I post something about religion and say something like the fact that I believe chickens have done far more for the human race than Jesus, I lose followers. But then I gain a few more.
Oh well.

I live in Florida. Not the Florida of Disney World or South Beach. I live in the Panhandle in a very, very small village near the state capital, which is Tallahassee. The name of my village is Lloyd. I love Florida. If you get off the beaten path, it is a land of great beauty and mystery and fierce flora and fauna. You can't even make the shit up that goes on in Florida.
Right now we have a governor who is hellbent on destroying my state. I hate him.

I am a bleeding heart liberal. I do not have the patriotism gene any more than I have the religion gene. I do not necessarily believe that the USA is the best country in the world just because country music tells me it is. I think that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are Big Fat Idiots. I listen to NPR. I listen to books on tape. I love to read and have been in love with the printed word since I figured out that printed words told stories.

I live in my dream house. It was built in 1859 and has floors of wide, pine boards. It satisfies me in every way. It is set on 2.2 acres of land which have some of the biggest live oak trees I've ever seen. I do not think of myself of the owner of this place, even though we bought it. I think of myself as the caretaker of it for whatever time I spend here.

I love to grow things. Children, grandchildren, gardens, ferns, begonias, camellias, magnolias, things I dig up from the woods and bring home. I DO have the old southern lady yard-working gene. I have many pairs of overalls. I wear them.

I hate bras.

I love to act in plays and in the short films of FC Rabbath. The older I get, the more I love to do this. I am shedding vanity as the inevitable time-related changes happen to my face and body and I find that that helps a great deal in using my face and body to act with. This does not mean that I don't curse some of these changes. I do.

I had no idea how beautiful I was when I was young.

I am a registered, licensed nurse with a BSN. I do not practice. I did work for years at a birth center. I have been so very honored to be at many births. And a few deaths, too, of friends of mine. Birth and death have more in common than you would believe.

I have a huge range of friends. I think of myself as someone who doesn't have a lot of friends but that's not true. I don't bother with relationships where hearts cannot be shared. I don't bother with co-dependent relationships. I used to, believe me, but I got over that. I have friends who are musicians and friends who are attorneys. I have gay friends and straight friends. I have transgendered friends. I have old friends and I have young friends. My friends teach me things. Sometimes practical things, like how to raise chickens. Sometimes, intangible things like how to love even more.

I can't even begin to understand racism.

I believe in love. I believe that it's a travesty that gay and transgendered people cannot marry each other legally in most states in this country. What bullshit!

I love profanity and I use it often.

I am a mother-fucking good cook and have learned in my later-years how to cook venison because my husband is a hunter and if you're going to eat meat, there's a hell of a lot to say for eating the meat that comes from the woods which you, yourself (or someone you know) has killed.
Same with fish. Except you have to go to the water to catch it.

My husband can not only go out and bring home meat, he works like a demon to make money to support us. He is the best father and husband I can imagine. He never, ever ceases to amaze me.

I may be agoraphobic or I may just really like my house and yard. Not sure about that.

I refuse to belong to any organization which has the word "club" in it. I am not a joiner.

I love the water. Not so much being in a boat on it, but being beside it. I love living on a planet which is mostly made up of water. I believe in water.

My most favorite place in the world beside my home is Cozumel, Mexico. It has everything I need and I feel a spiritual connection to the place. Cozumel was home to the Mayan goddess Ixchel. She was the main goddess, the goddess of the moon and fertility and childbirth and so on and so forth. Perhaps the happiest moments of my life which did not involve my children or their births have occurred in Cozumel with my husband. When I think of those times, I cry.

I have images of madonnas all over my house. Also...breasts, which I also consider to be sacred. And holy.

I like vodka martinis. And beer. And rum. I'm allergic to wine and I don't like bourbon. Or Scotch.

I have four dogs. They are a pain in my butt and all I do is bitch about them and say that I wish they'd die and yet, I seem to have a preternatural ability to keep them alive longer than is normal. This may be because I never take them to the vet. I sleep with my smallest dog. My husband allows this but the dog is not allowed to touch Mr. Moon in bed. The dog knows this and sleeps on me. Since I no longer have babies to sleep with, this will have to do.

I loved sleeping with my babies.

I had no idea how much I loved chickens until my friend Kathleen brought me some two years ago. Chickens have completed my life. I am not kidding. I have five hens. Mabel, Shalayla, Daffodil, Dolly, and Miss Bob. I also have a dog named Dolly but really, it's not confusing. My rooster's name is Elvis. He is kind and gentle except when he is fucking and then he's sort of mean but what can you do? This is the chicken-way. Chickens are polygamous and the husband has many duties and Elvis is a terrific husband to the sister-wife-hens. Except for the fucking part.

I could go on and on. I do go on and on every day. Here.

This blog has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I have a Mac computer and one of the sweetest things my husband does is to make sure I always have a functioning Mac. I call it my "magic box." I call it that because I sit down to it every day and I write here and I send the words and pictures out into this crazy thing we call the blogosphere and a community has formed and right now I am crying because Bethany sent me a box that first of all, was so beautiful on the outside that I could hardly bear to open it and when I did, I did so very carefully so as not to disturb the work of art which it is. And when I did open it, I found so many perfect, PERFECT treasures that it's like Christmas-Birthday-Christening-Wedding Shower-Baby Shower-Easter Basket all in one. Crying. Because how can such sweetness come from me sitting here writing these words and sending them out? Where I chronicle my life, this small, small life and I can talk about everything from my family to my greatest fears to my greatest joys to my nit-picking anxieties to my chicken tending to my weeding to my hot flashes.
And you people comment back and write your own blogs of your own lives and tell me what you think and you comfort me, you give me hope, you inspire me, you make me laugh, you make me think, you share your worlds with me.

Oh for god's sake.

Let me just sum this whole thing up by saying that here I am, the luckiest woman in the world. I have everything I need and my cup runneth over.

And later on today, my friends Lon and Lis are coming to stay for the weekend. They are the dearest people you can imagine and they make music and they write music and they record music and that's only a tiny bit of the huge iceberg of the great-goodness they are.
They're playing in Tallahassee tonight and in Monticello tomorrow.
They, like you, like my trees, like my children and grandson, my husband, my chickens, my garden, my words, your words, are part of the very incredible, undreamed-of richness and riches of my life.

I've written myself into a place where I can't seem to stop crying.
That's okay.
Tears are, as I say, an overflowing heart.
Tears are saltwater and we are too, basically. And so is our planet. Saltwater and sweetwater, light and life.

I believe in those things. No faith required, merely observation. Also, music, which is another thing which has saved my life on more than one occasion.
My babies.
My husband.
My friends.

These have saved my life and they do it over and over and over again. And I try to always remember that, always recognize the miracle of that. And of it all.

That's me.
Which involves you.
Another miracle.

Look- when I was a child, my life was so fucked up that I had no dream at all. Not even of getting older. And yet, here I am. With a family which loves each other. For real. With more love than I knew was possible because I didn't have a clue as to what love was when I was a kid.

But now I do.



  1. Yeah, I could have written that for you... =) Happy four years. I have been here for all four and what a ride its been.

  2. Even though I certainly know all that, it was still a pleasure to read.

    Have so much fun with my beautiful fairy godparents.

  3. Pleased to meet you.

    ha! Anyway, I'm listening to Lis on, which is kind of awesome.

  4. I am so happy you have love, you experience it every moment, you appreciate it and you spread it around so heartfully.

    And I believe you STILL don't know how beautiful you are!

    Have a great weekend with Lis and Lon and the music!

  5. I'm one of those new readers who has been slowly piecing all that together. Thank you! And that last paragraph? That's been my life, in a way. I hope I have an autobiography as lovely as yours when I'm 56 :)

  6. Yep, that's you! And I love you for it!

  7. They, like you, like my trees, like my children and grandson, my husband, my chickens, my garden, my words, your words, are part of the very incredible, undreamed-of richness and riches of my life.

    Love that line especially.
    I can hear you saying it aloud.
    So happy you liked the goodies, they are just a small thank you for the joy you bring me by sharing your heart and your life so truthfully and magically.
    Great bio!

  8. I'm trying to remember how I found this spot. I think I was googling bottle trees out of lonesome homesickness for the South. I had just read Keef's biography over Thanksgiving (which I spent in Atlanta and Goucher SC, and a little bit of Asheville and Athens) and I was pleased to find a blog wherein one could find both a bottle tree and love for Keith Richards.

    And from there--I've Had Dreams Like That! Oh it's just heaven. Y'all are a delight and an inspiration.

  9. the Indextronaute! I'm glad you found us.

  10. Thank you so much for filling me in. I've been a lurker here having found you through Joy's babble-0n. I have an occasional blog too. I find it helps me feel not quite so isolated and lonely here transplanted to the North. Your blog does that too. It's my reminder that not every place is cold and lonely.

  11. What a wonderful post. And yes to that definition of a hippie.

  12. you have taught me how to be a graceful survivor. thank you for this.


  13. This is one of my fave posts ever. Do you just sit down and all these words flow out in one sitting?
    I found you and was hooked when Lily was close to having Owen. I believe in homebirth and home death too. (or hospice death).
    P.S. My 10 yr old just walked by and wanted to know if you are the one who had that chicken (rooster) in the bucket with its "feet" sticking out of it. That was a huge hit at our house.

  14. i love you, mary moon. i love this.

  15. Well I sure as hell picked the perfect day to read your blog for the first time! I've been noticing your comments on Elizabeth and Michele R's blogs, and thought I'd check you out. Nothing I love more than a good hippie (grew up in Austin, which remains a last bastion of hippiedom, despite the worrisome influx of high-techies). Thanks for all the truth.

  16. Hi Ms Moon, what a wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL post. And so brave. Love it.

    On keeping chooks: I think I'm about to start on that adventure. A friend told me that keeping chickens is like 'having an open fire'. How good is that.

    I think you're an open fire in the blogosphere.

  17. Dearest Mary, I LOVE this post. I only wish I'd been following you for all the four years. I get my daily fix every day now.

    "I believe in miracles but they are the sort of miracles which I can see and observe such as birth, death, and the fact that Keith Richards is still alive." Brilliant.

    Although our lives are world's apart, we have so much in common it's uncanny. Apart from the babies bit. I agree entirely with everything you've said here.

    You are amazing. I love you, I love your writing. I hope someone does something with it. I'm so happy to have met you.

    I will do a post about you when I can find the words.

    Much love, C xxx

  18. SJ- And how in hell did we find each other? You're family now. Definitely.

    honeyluna- It was a joy to see you tonight and it will be a joy to see you tomorrow. Love...Your Mama.

    DTG- So glad to meet you! Haha! I've known you for, oh, forever. Isn't it cool to listen to Lis on real radio?
    She's an angel.
    I love you...Your Mama.

    Lulumarie- I thought about what you said about me not knowing how beautiful I am now tonight. Thank-you for saying it. And so far- a great weekend with Lon and Lis and it's only Friday!

    Ruth- Anything is possible. I swear to you.

    Lora- And I love you and your family. I feel like an honorary grandma somehow.

    Bethany- You have no idea how you've made my day, week, month. I have already shown Lis and Lon and Kathleen your magical presents. Thank-you so much, you precious, precious girl.

    x-ray Iris- It's so cool to know you. I'm so glad that you found us in whatever way it happened.

    Jackie- Oh, the sorrow of a southerner transplanted to the cold north. Please consider this a home you can visit any time.
    And thanks for de-lurking.

    A- People have no idea, do they?

    Mrs. A- Ha! You already were a graceful survivor. But if I can be here to prove that such grace can grow with the years, then let that be my mission.

    Michele R- Ha! Poor Mean Old Sam. He made good chicken and dumplings. I'm so glad you're part of the family.

    Angela- And I love you and yours now.

    gretchen- Hello! Welcome! Come back often. We have a good time here.

    Nigel- "keeping chickens is like 'having an open fire." I wish I'd said that myself. It's perfect! You'll never regret it.

    Christina- And I feel so lucky to have met YOU! Souls do find each other, don't they?

  19. Oh dear Ms. Moon. I just love you! You are so honest and real and beautiful.

  20. I love you. I think all your kids' friends kinda wish they had you as a mom. Probably more than kinda.

  21. Well, I'm sure glad I stopped in here last week I think it was.

    My childhood was fucked up too and I'm just learning what love is all about now.

    All the very best to you and yours Ms. Moon.

  22. Angie- I am mostly honest and I am completely real.
    I promise.

    RiotGrrl- Maybe I like being a sort-of mom to as many people as possible. Especially such interesting and wonderful people like you. Thank-you for saying that. Doesn't get any sweeter.

    Andrew- It's never to late to learn what love is. Never. I'm glad you came by here too.

  23. This is a beautiful moon manifesto. I felt like an alien when I first read here because I feel like an alien almost all the time. The more I read however the more likenesses between us I perceived and was amazed how alike Lloyd is to Seattle considering how far away the places are and that you were always digging something out of or into the dirt which I do too (I was just outside yelling at my tulips to open) and well hellsbells I envy your life which seems almost perfect from here although with not enough rain maybe.

  24. You have brought tears to my eyes with this post! I always look forward to reading your blog, even if I don't always comment. Have a wonderful weekend!

  25. Good Lord. Ms. Moon, I loved this post so much that I reread it. And then reread it one more time. That's three times. "Moon manifesto." Radish King, wish I'd thought of that.

    This post. Sigh. Here is why I love it: Because it shows me how we can all be so beautifully different and special and even over the blogosphere (hate that word, looking for a replacement) we can make each other better.

    Okay, I did get the spirituality gene. In fact, I am a believer in many of the things you specifically find absurd. But that's okay. I'm TOTALLY still a follower,and this post will make me follow more. So there. :) Even though we are different there, like you, I have all kinds of friends who embody all kinds of lifestyles, too. And unlike a lot of folks who got the religion gene, I happen to believe that the judging should be left to God. So I don't judge. I just celebrate people for who they are and focus on the "love" part.

    So, yeah. Speaking of that, I loved reading about who you are. And also loved that writing about the things and people you love made you cry. And love the parts about birth and death. So agree.

    You rock. Amen, for real. :)

  26. Absolutely, an honorary grandma!!

  27. Madame King- As I may have said before, we share a spark of the same hot fire. I know we do. I'm so glad you're here. And there. You know what I mean.

    Lois- And I always check yours out, too, every day. I hope you're having a great weekend, too.

    gradydoctor- Can I just tell you how glad I am to have found you? And hey- many of my best friends have the religion gene! (Haha) You have it or you don't. But you know what? I'll bet that we share many, many of the same beliefs. You may call it this, I may call it that. But when I read your words, I know that we're more alike than different.

  28. Man oh man: Ms. Moon, you kick ass. My beer came through my nose as I read about your terrible governor: here in Michigan, we've got one of those fuckers too. Lets put them on a boat together, and send them off. I'll bedazzle those assholes so the pirates get 'em.

    And all that about not seeing, in your own terrible past, the possibility of a beautiful future? Yeah, I get that too. This is a lovely post, and I too wish I had been following you all these years.

  29. I am glad that I found you through dear Mrs. Bastard Beloved. I look forward daily to your posts. They are real and true. Thank you.

  30. This was perfect and beautiful, like the woman who wrote it. I SO enjoyed reading it.

  31. Sara- Thank-you, sugar! I love your profile. We have a lot in common! Come back often.

    Syd- As I keep saying, very real, mostly true.
    I'm so glad we found each other. Ms. Bastard-Beloved is a bringer-together of disparate souls, isn't she? She's a gift.

    Ms. Bastard-Beloved- You're precious.

  32. I realize I'm so super late to comment here, but I LOVED reading this and learning all (more) about you!


  33. Well, I guess I will never meet you, but if I did I think I would really like you :)

  34. i'm a newbie... and i am so glad that you wrote this post and shared the link in your profile!

    you are one fabulous woman! truly!

    glad i found this blog o yours and look forward to reading your words....


  35. This is the best "about me" section I've ever read. Loved EVERY word.

    I happened upon you while looking for something else and I do believe I'll be back!

    It's great to have people like you in the world!

  36. Ms. Rant- Welcome. Please just drive your truck on by anytime you please. I'm right off the interstate. The lights are on.

  37. You couldn't have written a better biography. I think you didn't leave anything out, and that is amazing. You have had one hell of a life and it just keeps getting better.

  38. Well Ms Moon, that was a biography even Kitty Kelly (isn't that the lady who supposedly wrote about Ronald Reagan) could compete with. I hope you children have printed it out and will read it someday to their children's children, if you are not around to read it yourself.

    I've read a few of your most recent posts and found a couple lines that spoke to my heart. Of course, I'll have to go back and reread as my short term memory is extremely short.

    I also live in N. Florida but on the other side of the state. A different world, I suspect.

    Glad to have found you. I shall return.

  39. Merry Me- Hello and I am so glad you have come by to visit and taken the time to comment. Also glad that some of my lines resonate with you.
    Do you live near St. Augustine? I have friends who live there. It's so beautiful there and I have lived on the East Coast too and really, that always feels like home to me.
    Come visit any time and please, join our community of women-who-write-and-think if you want.
    Truly...Ms. Moon

  40. This is beautiful. I got a little choked up, in a good way.

  41. Hello Sweet Ms. Moon. Betsy sent me over. and thank the goddess she did. my word, i am just so in love with you! sounds like we both experienced csa as kids and that totally fuckin sucks but look where we are now!! i too have a love-filled life and i home birthed, and i'm an herbalist, i have honeybees, i surf because of the water, i have a small brick and mortar vintage shop and music has saved my life. we have a lot in common and i am grateful for having been led to you ms. Moon. thank you for being here and never stop cussing! xo

  42. Jennette- Too many of us suffered through sexual abuse as children. And yet, here we are, you are right! I am so glad you came over to visit! Please come back any time. It sounds like you'd be a fabulous addition to our community here.


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