Disorientation

Oooo, I put orientation up as the Ragtag Daily Prompt today. Then I wondered if disorientation is a word and it is! A mouthful!

This is a series of poems or meditations or arguments I had with myself last week. I was thinking about love and how to handle people that I love that have stopped behaving in a loving way or have actually been cruel or cut me off. Do I stop loving them and hate them? Do I love them anyhow? What would that love open me to? Abuse? It is disorienting to think about. Here is the series.

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The Fall

I am small. The adults love me and give me away. I grieve each time. It doesn’t matter if I behave well or not: they leave me. I decide that the adults are confused. They do not know how to love. Why don’t they know? I want to understand! Babies should be loved! We are innocent!

All babies should be loved and protected. I do, with my sister. The adults continue their mysterious crazy doings. I recognize that alcohol does not help, nor other choices.

All babies should be loved and protected. All adults were babies once. Sometimes they were not loved and protected and they are damaged. I train and then I doctor them. Healing is slow.

All babies should be loved and protected. All adults were babies once. All adults hold a baby that should be loved and protected: themselves. I try for a long time.

All babies should be loved and protected. All adults were babies once. Each adult makes their own choices, to heal or not. To grow or not. To love themselves and the Beloved or not.

All babies should be loved and protected. All adults make choices. The Beloved loves them all.

I am not the Beloved. Nor an angel. I dream of falling.

I am not the Beloved. I let go. I fall.

I do not love them all.

Rise

Yesterday I fell. I let myself dislike four people that I loved.

But no, I choose not. Angels fall and rise again. I choose love. If that means distance, then I choose distance. For now I will love the cruel ones from a distance. No contact.

The Buddhas laugh at the needy ones, the angry ones, the ones who press. Some will be enlightened, some wait for the next life. The Buddhas laugh because they do not control it. It may be the quiet one who says nothing who rises, while one who wants and wants and wants may have to want for longer. Why, Beloved? Isn’t wanting you enough? Isn’t longing enough? How much must one want? How deeply must one long?

I choose love.

Prayer to Kwan Yin

Kwan Yin, I am sorry. I cannot be a Bodhisattva. I am tired. I grieve. I want to love everyone. They hate it. If I love the small child within they are reminded of the hidden hurts and they lash out. I am tired. I don’t want to be the target of that. Kwan Yin, how to do you return and return again, loving these? I am not strong enough. I give up. I throw myself on your mercy, I bow to your infinite love and strength, I abase myself. Forgive me, I am not strong enough. I give up. I do not have enough love in my heart and I am so tired.

Beloved, I am sorry. I tried.

Every Being (Sonnet 9)

Keep the cruel ones at a distance far.
Hold your enemies close in love’s embrace.
None to hate, yet cruelty glints like stars.
I hide quiet with cats in this home space.
My heart opens like the universe.
Projections batter me from head to toe.
Why tear at me with their deep hurts?
They project their pain: inside they know.
They know, don’t know, choose not to learn.
Dark rooms and texts and staring at the screen.
My skin scalded, heart black with new burns.
I think they’d like me too to turn out mean.
I will hide here with Beloved’s dove.
Each tear I cry sends every being love.

In spite of want

Sol set in my heart and rises again. I can love whoever I want. There are no boundaries to love. But I will not be abused or used, I will love quietly and silently and without letting my love know. And I will love who I want. No, I will love in spite of want, though I do not want to, though it is not deserved. But I honor my stubborn heart that does not let go of love.

Blessings, Beloved.

Hopes rise

Our Christmas plans are busily crashing and burning. I felt ill and tested covid positive two days before my daughter was due from her city. ALERT, ALERT, DIVERT! I called friends who agreed to pick her up at the airport and let her stay for the five days of isolation. I stay out of the car so the germs will die. I call her after her work on Friday. She takes it calmly and calls a friend to pick her up. I miss her, darn it, but well, I am not on a ventilator or dead. Doing well, right?

She stays with her friend. She plans to join me yesterday but then snow. School is canceled. She and her friend sensibly leave my car at the entrance to the ridge road the friend lives on. She has to use the chains anyhow because someone has slithered off the road right in front of my car. Still grateful, because they did not hit my car.

She makes it to my house, chains on. She heads downtown to Christmas shop but the store she wants is closed. I ordered her a present that needs to be picked up, but the pick up is Tuesday to Saturday. They don’t list a phone. I ordered it on Sunday and they had emailed “Pick up now” even though it’s not “open” on Sunday. I email back, “Can’t, covid!” Now I email again and say would they contact my daughter or me so she can pick up. They do, but well after she is home. Still grateful, because they are open today. Maybe we’ll get it!

My daughter has been looking forward to time with friends but the snow has screwed this up. Maybe to time with mom, too, but mom has Covid. I am eating upstairs, she is eating in the basement, and same with sleeping. We are both masking and everyone is sick of that. It’s cold outside and the band she wants to dance to cancels. She misses meeting a friend downtown because of chains and needing gasoline. I am still grateful. Not dead yet, right?

Now I have email from our flight saying, well, maybe we’ll go. We are supposed to fly later this week. It looks like the big storm will hit Chicago and Buffalo and Boston. Cross fingers as we head for Dulles. Might make it. We discuss going to Sea-Tac a day early but that would mean sleeping in the same hotel room and no, we aren’t going to do that. Friends say they CAN get us to the airport. Super grateful for those friends!

When things are going all awry and life seems like rather a mess, we do Happy Things. That is a check in at the end of the day where we list three Happy Things each. My son was having a miserable half way through the year first grade move when we started this. The thing is, they do not have to be VERY happy. They can be more along the lines of “No one has poured boiling oil over me today.” or “Not dead yet.” It’s complaining reframed and it can be very very funny. In first grade one of his Happy Things was “We did not have the pizza that tastes like cardboard for school lunch today.”

So my Happy Things yesterday were: “I am not on a ventilator! I am not dead! We have super nice friends who will take us two hours to the airport!” If you start low enough on the Happy Things scale, there is no where to go but up.

And a Happy Thing for today: “I think the sun will rise!”

Happy Solstice.

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The photograph is Emerald, one of the Anna’s Hummingbirds, all fluffed up in the cold and guarding her feeder. There is a bird photobombing the background. I think it is a song sparrow but it was very early and the light is not great.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: rise.

Thaw

This is Tiktok. In 2019 he overwintered at my house. We had snow and it got very cold at night and I worried. But every morning, he’d appear near the feeder when it got light. Then he would throw a mild conniption at me when I went outside with a hot towel to try to thaw the feeder. “Hurry up, hurry up, I am hungry!” He certainly figured out that I was the person who dealt with the feeder. He would buzz me if the feeder was empty, too. He makes a ticking sound, so that’s where the name is from. One of those old things called clocks, with hands, that ticked.

Right now I have two feeders up. I am seeing a female Anna’s hummingbird in the front, chasing others away, and a male at the kitchen feeder. It may be Tiktok still! I have named the female Emerald. I have seen them together in the top of the plum tree, but this is after Emerald chased Tiktok away from her feeder. It’s a bit unclear if they are friends or not.

Meanwhile, Elwha has the opposite of a conniption.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: conniption.

Feed the birds

I fill the bird feeder, a day late, because I had to go buy more birdseed. I also buy suet and fill that feeder. I walk both cats, harness and leash, one at a time. I put both of them in the outdoor screened animal container and they crouch, riveted watching the birdfeeder. I put four peanuts along the top of the fence.

I hold a fifth peanut in my hand over my head and wait. It starts snowing, just a little.

The flock of goldfinches, in their winter more subtle coloring, shows up. I count nine. The feeder can hold 6 at a time. They ignore my hand. A stellar jay comes by, but stays high in the tree. Chickadees pop in between the goldfinches. They are rounder and a little bigger and talk to me. No one comes to my hand. Juncos come to the ground beneath the feeder. The cats would REALLY like to catch them.

And then a bird does come. A hummingbird comes to my hand and hovers right by it! It does not land. It doesn’t like the peanut. It then goes and buzzes the glass, where I used to have a hummingbird feeder up, until the ants find it.

I laugh and get the other hummingbird feeder. I make food and wait for it to cool. I fill both feeders. The Anna’s hummingbird finds it within 15 minutes and eats a lot. The other feeder is on a different window, right outside my desk window. It is soon occupied by a second hummingbird.

I hope to have more photographs soon.

I took this out my desk window yesterday.

There is avian influenza around. I have two feeders and wash one very thoroughly in hot water and soap each time. I change the feeder out every time, to try to reduce the chance of the feeder passing on infection. And wash my hands very well too.

Though it’s rather more than tuppence a bag!

Frosted

Ok, it’s not frost, is it? It’s snow.

I went out each morning to get the frozen feeder and wrap a hot towel around it until TicTok could drink. TicTok would yell at me if I didn’t fix it as soon as it was light.

The Anna’s hummingbirds can overwinter here. It got well below freezing. They can slow their metabolism and do an overnight mini-hibernation. They are hungry as bears when they wake up!

Taken in 2019.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: frost.

Who snew?

Who snew the snow was falling deep
with votes to vote before we sleep
we’ll march for miles with votes to keep
breach of promise makes us weep

I go pogo Hellno no no
who snew the snow won’t make school no go
cold students trudge to bus oh so slow
school on a snow day sorrow blow woe

who snew the temperature would snow melt?
icy drips and drops from trees pelt
my cat on leash slips grumpy fur felt
my vote is cast against gilt hair hell bent

Who snew that science snews would soon die?
fentenyl kills like a drive by
kills more than heroin or meth, oh my my
science silenced while liars cry die

Who hopes for sanity not war?
who casts a vote to help the poor?
who snows the prophets words once more
are used to profit from human gore

how to protect codgers

A friend calls me yesterday, complaining that the new Covid-19 vaccine doesn’t prevent infection nearly enough for him to want to get it. He is in his 70s and says darn it, he’d still have a 60% chance of getting infected.

I thought about it and wrote back this morning:

Re the new vaccine the POINT is NOT to prevent infection, though it lessens it in codgers like me and you.

The point is that the vaccinated younger people shed a s–tload less virus if they get it, because their immune system kills it fast. This reduces the amount of circulating virus so that the codgers stop dying like flies. Also the codgers get less sick if their immune system recognizes B4 and B5.

Got it? Get the vaccine.

I am waiting for the top ten causes of death for 2021 to come out. Over one million US people have died of Covid-19. In 2020, there were between 300-400,000 deaths from Covid. That means that we lost 600-700,000 in 2021. If we lost close to 700,000 people, then Covid-19 would beat out heart disease as the number one cause of death in the US. When did that last happen? During the 1918-1920 influenza, the “Spanish” flu that has been traced to a chicken farm in the US midwest.

Here is a provisional and not final list: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/health_policy/provisional-leading-causes-of-death-for-2021.pdf. Hmmm. The numbers are not adding up unless a lot of US people died of Covid-19 in early 2022. And cancer is higher than it’s ever been and creeping up on heart disease. But these are not the final numbers, sigh.

Here is a fascinating chart: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/lead1900_98.pdf. If you scroll to the end, the top two causes of death in 1900 were pneumonia first and tuberculosis. Heart was fourth. Heart rises to first in 1910 but then pneumonia is back at the top in 1918-1920. I think that the heart has been number one ever since, in the US. World top ten is not the same.

This is not the first pandemic and it won’t be the last. It is horrible. I think that everyone is doing the best they can, though some responses seem saner than others. Remember the old doctor joke about what to do in a code (when someone’s heart has stopped). First: check your own pulse. It’s a corollary that if the patient is dead, you can try to bring them back, but you can’t make them more dead. Also, my latest Advanced Cardiac Life Support class, on line, told me that sometimes I do not have to do cardiac life support. Their example was a decapitated patient. Really? Ouch, doctor humor. But truly, if you are freaking out or want to scream at someone or feel like the world is nuts and you have to do something, first check your own pulse. Slow it down. Breath in four and out four. I can drop my pulse from 101 to 71 in 20 seconds, just by slowing my breathing. You can learn to too.

My recommendation is that if you are due for the booster, get it. And thank you for protecting me and my friend and the other codgers.

No, it is not snowing here yet. But codger seems to be a word for an old GUY. Humph. Would a grumpy hummingbird be a grummer? What is a female codger? I am using codger for any gender, to heck with it.

Game ball

Warning: this post contains some time out words.

How do I process the game you played?

I am the subject of the game.

Or the victim.

Or no, I refuse. It is your game. I was not playing. I am the honey badger, metabolism so fast that I have to run from one meal to the next or else I will starve. I eat whatever I can find: cobras, bees, anything. I eat or I die.

You have tethered a honey badger to oxygen by playing a game.

I am the football and you have been kicking me, throwing me, catching me, slamming me to the ground as hard as you can in the end zone.

And now that I am worn and damaged and torn, you’ll toss me away, not even notice me, and find a new ball.

You will need a new football. To play with.

I don’t envy that person.

The truth is, it will be one of you. The group will rest on their laurels, oh, we nearly killed her, wasn’t it great? We showed her. She is so stupid, took her what, 21 years to fucking figure it out? And she thinks she’s so smart.

I was looking for food because I am always hungry. The food insecurity goes back to infancy. Maybe to the womb: my mother says she was not to gain weight and spent the entire pregnancy longing for a gigantic ice cream Sunday. Think of being in a womb, attacked by antibodies to tuberculosis, and starving all the time. Might be a little bit worried when birth happens. Fuck, I am going through a tunnel, what horrors await me here? But maybe there will be more food.

Maybe someone will love me. Maybe there will be someone for me to love. And feed. We can give each other food.

My advice to you is don’t be the ball. I was the ball for 21 years. I was so hungry the whole time, for food and for love, that I kind of noticed but dismissed it as unimportant. Food and love were more important. Work and my patients were more important. You don’t matter and your games are trivial.

It will be the weakest one who will be the ball. You worry that you are the one. You should worry. You had better look strong right away. Post some horror. Write something really tough. Don’t show anyone any niggling doubts. Um, the ball is wearing oxygen. I am feeling a little bad about this. Are you feeling bad about this? The ball isn’t just crazy, it’s hurt. Actually crazy is an illness too: I know that you discriminate and think that cancer is a legitimate illness and that mania isn’t, but you are assholes. No, you’re too small and pathetic to be an asshole. You are a one celled animal that is clinging to a hair on an asshole and you get shat on daily. And you know, deep deep in your tiny shrunken heart, that you deserve it.

I am so glad I am not you.

I am tethered to oxygen. But I am healing. I don’t think you can. You are locked in your small sick pathetic triangulation competition and pretending that it’s a game that it’s ok that you are just playing.

Ick.

Meanwhile, the oxygen is portable.

I have food and I have love and I have work to do that lifts me on wings. I will go too near the sun and light on fire and fall burning, but that’s ok. I’ve done it before. The ocean heals me, always. It is so much fun to fly!

This is in memory of my mother, my father and my sister. I miss all three and I love them and they love me. Today is the day my mother died. The longer we live, the more days are days when someone that we love died. But they are still here. They are in the rocks and the sky and the trees and the coffee cup. They are not in sugary donuts or foods that cause heart attacks. But they are all around us, cradle us, still love us. Joy to you and the memories of your loved ones who have gone on. Blessings.