25 December 2014

The 12 months of 2014: A sort of Christmas letter?

WITH NO RESPECT TO MAKING IT SCAN CORRECTLY or making the numbers really match, here is my year in review.  If I write more about a topic, I'll link to that post from below, and I'll keep changing the date of this post, so this will be at the top.  Probably.  Keep checking back or wait until December 31st.  The choice is yours!  (And thanks for stopping by. : )  Purple bolded text indicates there was something added to that entry most recently.
  1. twisted ribcage: There were a lot of snowstorms last winter . . . 
  2. oratorio performances (pub sings, music-y funtimes):  Less than a month and a half after #1, I was singing two performances of an oratorio . . .
  3. houses outbid on (or why the elderly are my tribe but won't accept me): It was such a seller's market.
  4. plasma donations
  5. uneven subfloors
  6. months house hunting and not enough reading books
  7. writing drafting readings
  8. small group departures
  9. doctors appointments: (Short catch-up story - got hurt working for TSA after I graduated from college and have been dealing with chronic pain and poor health since then.)  I've given up on getting anything like justice from my former employers, and now it's all about trying to figure out how to live with the pain and be as healthy as I can with the resources I have.  Pain.
  10. terrible green sludgies
  11. pilot lights out
  12. months unpacking: Found house.  Packed in a month.  Will unpack over the following 12 months.

21 December 2014

A Very Good Day

It was around this time last year that I was
sitting in the Homeowner's class before going
back to my roasting hot apartment where I
got to hear the shouting and fighting of
all my neighbors. 

                                             Now, I am sitting
in my quiet home watching snow fall on
the evergreens outside my study window.  
I have turned on my Christmas lights,
and I am writing.   Later, I will be at a pub
singing Christmas carols and seasonal songs. 

For these blessings, I
am truly grateful. 

16 December 2014

About that Christmas letter

I should be writing my Christmas letter, but it's cold, and I'm tired because I overdid it at PT today because the pool will be closed for a week and a half, and I already missed the restorative stretch and strengthening class earlier this week because I was supposed to have a big presentation, which I remembered to dress up for (which apparently crowded out the memory of the need to bring gym clothes and then the presentation got rescheduled anyway.  The pain has been flaring up lately, so that was unwise, and I could beat myself up over it and many other failings, but the Christmas lights are on in my new home, around  the window and my crooked, fake, tiny tree, and the humidifier and furnace are combining to make white noise music, and I am tired, but there are no neighbors shouting at each other or their kids, and  I am in my chair with a blanket, and I am writing until my hands tell me it's time to stop for real.

16 November 2014

what is worse

Do you know what is worse
than considering giving plasma
in order to pay
for Christmas presents? 

The fact that I might
not be healthy enough
to give plasma
in order to pay
for Christmas presents.

07 November 2014

If all I cared about was the pain

then I should not have held
the baby, but I refuse
to reduce my life to
the reduction
of pain
if it means
I can never hold
the babies.

30 October 2014

Uneasiness (October 30)

In the dark,
windy, cold,
skitter unsettled
                       unsettling as they
                   the headlight beams
across the road giddy and
                  unpredictable like
           on Halloween

21 October 2014

a position without pain

The restorative yoga teacher says
to move to a position where nothing
in your body is calling attention to 
pain, and I snort and think that there
is no such position for me, and I wonder
if there is such a position for anyone, 
and then I think, surely there must 
have been such a position at SOME
point in my past, and I realize that,
if there ever was, I can't remember 
it right now, and the grief is another
dull pain I add to the list of pains to
ignore right now while I try to focus
on just breathing in and out and in.

01 July 2014

When packing is like prayer

Each book and each box
a hope for something better
or at least something new

29 May 2014

the sky today

the sky today 
is a summer sky
heavy darker blue
that tells me it's already 
above 80 and only
getting warmer

Today's list of things to look up

Today's list of things to look up
includes the difference between
  • hydrangeas and lilacs
  • herons and cranes

Wow, this house hunting thing is a full-time job

I've been drafting a lot, whenever I can spare a moment, but there hasn't been time to polish (even the normal little bit that I usually do) and post.  Sorry!  I am still alive!

08 April 2014

Seller's Market

The day after I lost
the first house I let
myself really love,
the email says,

"Please let me know
if you would like to see
any of these homes."
And I want to say something

impolite to the email because
right now I don't want to see
any homes I might love and will
lose because I just don't have

what it takes to win this game
and my hope is bruised and
broken and may never recover,
but thank you for asking, email.

07 April 2014

hope when it forgets

hope springs eternal when
it forgets how low the
ceilings are and it has
memory problems anyway
because it can't sleep
long enough to remember

06 April 2014

Possibly a red-bellied woodpecker drunk on spring

It stopped me cold
an unexpected bird
smack dab in the middle
of the sidewalk. Orange
hat classy black and
white checked feathers
breathing hard and fast
in gasps neck twisted
to the left long sharp
beak unmoving.  It is
spring and I imagine
this giddy fellow just
learned that this area
may look like air but
the glass around the
parking garage is bad
to discover head first.

05 April 2014

only offered 95

sometimes it's hard
to tell the difference
between subconscious wisdom
and subtle acts of self sabotage

04 April 2014

For your shopping amusement

I love the way it looks when the birds of prey
perch on the light poles over the highway
dangerous and ready.                        
The seagulls 
perched on the light poles in the grocery store 
parking lot like ugly hats just look ridiculous.

03 April 2014

the problem with excellence

Once you have seen
excellence, it's hard
to go back to
good enough.

02 April 2014

To Don't

I want
to lie
like a cat
in the
and the
as 24 hours
pass by
in them
I need
to do.

01 April 2014

Chant of the overcommitted and chronically pained

              I will wash you
               I will fold you
              I will read you
              I will match you
              I will dust you
              I will sweep you
              I will scrub you
              I will bask in you
              I will rest on you

if I make it through
this week

26 March 2014

the Lord gives, the Lord takes away

God knows exactly
how much you can
handle.  It's just that
this grand sweep of
human history and
His plan for it are
not all about you, so
sometimes you get
more than you can
take, but He takes
that all into account
in the end.

23 March 2014

Time to go to bed - searching for a place

All the old houses I looked at today had floors
that sloped in places and threw people off
balance.  It was a familiar sensation to me, that

half-falling, the disorientation, the catching.  I
wonder if that familiarity would make it safer
for me to live in a house with crooked floors because I

am used to the dizziness and know the tricks not to fall
over.  Maybe I would get used to the crooked
houses faster.  At least  I would have something

to blame when I half-fell and caught myself for
no reason anyone else could see.  Unless the crooked
houses multiplied the half-falls into whole falls.  Then

again, I'll never know unless I live in one, and it seems
I can't currently afford anything in really livable
condition now.  The work injury and the debt it

generated have crippled me more financially
than physically, more than 110+ years have sloped
these floors, more than I care to dwell on while I am

searching for a place to live that isn't here.

12 March 2014

I trust the Chiropractor

Why does it hurt more
to be straightened than crooked
like the winter trees?

21 February 2014

Against all odds

After a day
of blizzard winds 
and bright sunshine

beauty still clings
to the trees
stubborn and


20 February 2014

Tomorrow, remind me about the beauty

remind me
about the beauty of today
if I seem to forget it
remind me
if I am limping and wincing and taking my limit of ibuprofen and if I seem puzzled by this
remind me
that I didn't leave work early even though I should have and had permission to do so and that was stupid because I might have been able to tell if I was even on the road had I left earlier and the snow would not have been so deep in the parking lot
remind me
that at least it wasn't really cold and it wasn't raining or sleeting or blowing yet
remind me
that the snow in the trees was that wet snow that weighs down the branches and sometimes glistens when the trees are warm and melt the snow just enough to make it liquid
remind me
that my car got stuck in the parking lot 12 inches away from my garage, and I had to shovel my car clear and it took 4 attempts at clearing before I cleared my car enough to get the car moving again
remind me
that I preemptively shoveled the area in front of my garage clear for 10 feet to maybe help tomorrow not be so bad when there are six more inches and several layers of ice and I have to get up and leave early in the morning for PT
remind me
that I was planning to exercise as soon as I got home anyway, and it's good to vary your exercise routine so that it doesn't get boring
remind me
that the snow was so very beautiful as it coated the trees like extra gravity, bending, burdening, turning them down, bowing into graceful lines that belie the strain that is so obviously there if you look, threatening each joint with more potential brokenness
remind me
that I twisted my knee and wrenched my hip but that it wasn't the bad one and that I pushed my arms too hard and my obliques were sort of screeching at me by the end but that I only (over)did it because there was no one else to do it for me because I couldn't just leave my car there all night or it would get towed because tow-trucks are about the only things not getting mired in this foot-deep icy slush and it would be way harder to pick up the car at the tow lot because even buses were going off the road and if it took that much effort to make it to work on top of the pain, I'm not sure I'm willing to go even though there are three meetings I have to attend
remind me
that I stood and watched the snow in the parking lot lights and the flakes were so thick I could see both them and their shadows falling for minutes
remind me
that I fell but it wasn't fast and hard and sharp and that I took too long to figure out how to get back up because thank God there was so much snow that was so wet and slushy that it cushioned the fall
remind me
that I iced things down immediately in a manner of speaking by falling into all that ice and slush and then took some ibuprofen to keep the inflammation down and then took a hot bath to preemptively ease the stiffness already creeping up and that I chose not to exercise on my little stair climber and showed restraint (after the fact still counts a little) and rested as I could and put the ibuprofen and some water by my bed, so when I wake up, if things are bad, I don't even have to get up
remind me
that the snow and the branches were so beautiful that the pain didn't matter enough to pull me away
remind me
that I got home safe where it was warm (too warm because everyone is panicking and turning their heat up, but maybe that's better for the stiffness)
remind me
that I had to stay up late to do the music tonight because all the warning signs indicate I will not be able to even use my fingers to plink out my usual pitifully poor attempt at a tune tomorrow, and I have a second audition in three days and I've never seen the music
remind me
that I had to stay up even later to write because tomorrow will not look the same and I might be in too much pain to write about the beauty and I choose to write about the beauty now 
remind me
that I stood watching the trees gleam, white frosted and heavy-laden like elder statesmen, until my hair dripped with melting snow and I could feel it trickling down my neck
remind me
that I could not help the other people foundering in the parking lot later that night as I sat in my apartment with the blinds open so I could watch the snow fall
do not
remind me
that I am 34 and that there are plenty of people my age AND YOUNGER who have it way worse physically because it will not really help me as I am likely pathetically allowing myself to wallow in self-pity and I promise it will be a brief wallow
remind me
that the snow was 
so very beautiful 
if I forget
because I want the beauty to matter more
than the pain I am in
remind me
because tomorrow, 
when the blizzard winds have passed through 
and scoured clean away the lovely snow tracing the lines 
of the trees and branches and twigs
and what I have left
is the pain
remind me 
that the pain is not all I have. 

20 January 2014

41 cent Yoda stamps

Postage is going up soon, and today is a vacation day. I did the cleaning Saturday and the resting Sunday, so today, I think, is a good day to write letters, so I can someday be through the remaining 41 cent Yoda stamps and on to 42 (and eventually the 44 and 46 and the forever stamps for which I don't have to pay supplemental postage). I wonder if it's a good plan not to start until after the impossible snow stops falling.  You never quite know with impossible snow how long it is going to last.

other impossibilities

the weather guessers say:
0% chance of precipitation

today as I sit and watch

the impossible snow falling
praying for other impossibilities

14 January 2014

to the three

To the three kind folks
who saved me when
I was wracked
upon a tricksy
ninja curb
as snow:


07 January 2014

today the winter dancers

the trees are extra dramatic
leaning lunging lounging
all horizontal surfaces
coated in white

04 January 2014

"Mitochondrial Fatigue"

This diagnosis makes me
want to read not Google
or WebMD but A Wind
in the Door by L'Engle
because the mitochondrial
problems there were solved
by singing if I remember
true and I want this all to
be healed by singing too.