pink shard

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: shard.

I photographed our local mosaic sculptures and I can’t find the pictures. I just went through 3 years of photographs and it’s making me too sad. Yesterday a patient said, “How are you?” I replied, “Mostly happy with occasional grumpiness.” Sorrow too. So here is a mostly blue photograph with a little pink. Maybe the happiness is the pink in which case I said it backwards.

Next

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: segue.

My daughter and I hiked at Deception Pass yesterday. We went up Goose Rock. Neither of us had hiked it before and the views were fabulous. I only had my cell phone.

My van is dead, cracked head block, so now I want to move the tow to my scion. Then I can tow the little Panda Minimum trailer. It is becoming clear that we all need to reduce airplane travel as part of our carbon footprint, so I will explore my Washington State Parks.

Have a very happy New Year’s Eve: and be careful out there.

Mnemosyne

I am reading The Female Trickster: The mask that reveals, by Ricki Stefamie Tannen.

Regarding Mnemosyne, she writes: “The power of memory was recognized in Ancient Greece by the goddess Mnemosyne who ruled over the Elysian Fields. The nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus are the muses, with Thalia, the muse of comedy imaged with a Trickster’s mask as she playfully composed comedy and ironic poetry. The muses were women unto themselves. According to the myth, upon death a person makes a choice to either drink from the river Lethe or the spring of memory. If you drink from Lethe you forget your pain and all the lessons of your life and are reborn again on earth. Those who choose to drink from the spring of memory go to the Elysian Fields, where there is no strife or pain. The myth tells us that the path to psychological integration comes from a willingness to value and interact with memory. Those that repress memory are doomed to repeat it, over and over again.” (pp72-73)

This seems apropos both to my personal and professional life and also to US culture. Our President speaks like my stage IV substance abuse patients. He says things that are obviously lies, obviously not true, obviously refutable and yet to all appearances he believes his own lies entirely, even when he contradicts himself. He manufactures his own reality and just laughs when someone else disagrees. But my substance abuse patients crash: they eventually find that they are isolated with their own lies when they become so fantastic and bizarre that no one believes them any more. We are watching that play out.

Re my personal life, I think of my maternal aunt’s memorial. I wrote two memories for the memory book. One was about my father saying that she had perfect pitch. I did not know what perfect pitch was when I was little, but I knew from my father’s voice, the respect, that it was special and important. That he was envious. That he admired it. The second was about my aunt and uncle’s divorce, that I had seen them as a unit and liked both of them better when they turned into individuals.

My cousins wanted to use the first memory but not the second. They said that family wouldn’t like it. I thought about their request and finally said no. Use both or neither. They chose neither. And this pretty much illustrates why I have very little contact from a large part of my family. I want to remember the whole person, light and dark, love them all. And that is not what that part of my family wants. An old family friend has not spoken to me about my sister since my sister died 6 years ago. I asked her directly about it a few months ago. She wants to talk to me “only about happy memories of your mother, father and sister.” I respond, “Why don’t you ask me what sort of relationship I want?”

She was and is silent. So I am too.

It’s not a lack of love but it’s a difference in philosophy. I think it is crazy to whitewash the dead: how will our children understand their own dark feelings and impulses and mistakes if they think that their ancestors, grandparents, parents are angels? Why aren’t we honest as a culture? How can we expect our children to be honest with us when we lie to them? The curated lives on Facebook are an abomination, false, lies and look what we have in the White House.

I like the dark as well as the light. If we truly love everything in the universe, how can we not love the dark as well as the light? If each of us owned our dark sides, our dark impulses, the myth says that we will not enact them over and over each generation. Owning the dark, acknowledging our own dark does not mean that we have to act it out in the world and then lie to ourselves and others.

And now I want coal for my stocking: just a small piece, to remind me that I have not always, or will I ever, only be good.

closed doors

For Norm2.0’s Thursday doors. However, I missed it last week, so the linking is already closed. He looked back at the doors through the year. I did not have time last week and I would rather wait this week. Doors can open and close and we are not quite at the end of the year.

Blessings on everyone.

more blue

For Wordless Wednesday: I am not wordless today, but the herons are so stealthy!

Hiking with my daughter and friend B on the C and O canal, ah! Here is an east coast great blue heron. Standing very still across the canal, just the colors of the rocks and winter trees and leaves. I look for birds or I could have walked right by without seeing this one.

Great blue heron standing on one leg, with surrounding rocks of the same color.

I love the one legged stance. I will need to do a lot more Tai Chi before I can stand on one leg that comfortably. The heron only moved enough to keep an eye on me.

Great blue heron, standing on the shore of the C & O Canal on one leg, observing the photographer.

brown water

For Wordless Wednesday. (But sort of wordy!)

We hiked part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal yesterday. It has rained tons in the last week, so the Potomac River is really really high and fast. The Billy Goat Trail is blocked off by the park service, partly flooded and not safe. My daughter pointed out how different the color of the fast river is than our Salish Sound.

It was a gorgeous day, sun, not very warm, birds, tow path and wild rushing river.

Kinetic Koterie

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: coterie.

I love the Great Port Townsend Bay Kinetic Sculpture Race.

There certainly is an in crowd, a coterie, but everyone is welcome! Hapless tourists wondering what the heck is happening are protected by the virtuous and kostumed Kinetic Kops. The sculptures have to go by land, by sea and through mud. Some of them are heavy and with the silly costumes people forget to stay out of the way! The sculptures have a water test and a brake test, down a steep hill. There is a parade, competitive bribery of judges and fierce competition to win the Most Mediocre!