Some Day

Some day I will actually accomplish the entire menu of the meal I wish to plan. I start out with the best of intentions, but seem to lack the follow through. In some cases it’s because lupus has fooled me into thinking I have more energy than I really do; or because lupus pulls the energy rug out from under me when I’m in the middle or cooking.

Some day I will sit down and read the entire newspaper, from front to back. I mean to do this now, but I always feel a strange need to rush and thus I skip sections.

Some day I will manage to walk the entire length of the trail. Currently I cannot even consider this because lupus is too active; because Beloved’s schedule, and even my own, is all over the place.

Some day I will serve a meal on e floor, the way I currently threaten to do. Sometimes lupus makes me clumsy, often times this happens when I’m cooking to share with friends. Without fail one of the dishes will end up on the floor when I’m attempting to transfer the food from the cooking vessel to the serving vessel. Now what I mean by serving the food on the floor is that I will set out comfortable cushions and a nice cloth and we will sit on the floor and feast there. It will be like an indoor picnic. It may become a bring-your-own life device though for those of us having issues getting back up! 😉

Some day I will take lead from the dog and spend a day pretty much resting and doing things in the moment. I will draw the line at sleeping on the floor , eating out of a dish on the floor and exploring the world with my mouth. (Evidently I have already explored the world with my mouth as a wee child.)

Some day I will master the art of being at peace with myself and lupus. Right now I see little glimpses of this in my life, but it’s fleeting and somewhat blurry.

Some day I will take care of Beloved entirely instead of him having to help out because I haven’t the strength, energy, or ability.

Some day I will be comfortable with where I am instead of rushing from one place to another new use the grass is greener or the sand looks whiter. One would think that by now I would be past this having to make sure I’m not missing out on something because I’m okay with where I am.

Some day I will master baking with yeast. I will conquer those tricky little beasties and make that braided bread. My failures with yeast are almost legendary at this point and this is not the type of legacy a person wants.

Some day I will embrace my off-key warbling because music is in the ear of the beholder. Currently I am far too embarrassed by my singing voice thanks to a girl in elementary school.

Some day I will master the grace of accepting compliments and people noticing my strengths. Right now I turn several shades of red and fade to a pink and mumble something rather inept.

Some day I will embrace my faults and weaknesses instead of cursing myself and beating myself up over every little mistake. I will remember that mistakes are just a means of learning and providing more interest for the journey of life.

Debating Decision

Some of the discussions we have in the house are rather humorous and others are serious. Because we both love to engage in exploring ideas, pushing boundaries and debating things can become rather excited even over mundane things.

I recall having rather lengthy debates about things such as how to hang the toilet paper, where to store the pots and pans, to sleep with open windows in the bedroom and so on. Some of these debates became too funny to carry on and others ran out.

The serious stuff hardly ever receives the same treatment. When I learned that a former coworker’s wife had ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and was looking at how to die with dignity I was taken aback. Not just because of the diagnoses, but because of how she wanted some control over an illness that removes all control from life.

When I mentioned the situation to Beloved he was surprised that this lady would want to know exactly when and how her life ended. Now this could easily have become a debate about dying with dignity, but Beloved didn’t go there. He simply said a small prayer for the couple and then one of thanksgiving that he didn’t have to face that.

He knows how I feel about this, he tries to understand what it’s like for someone like me whose body is destroying itself, to have some control and dignity. He doesn’t though, not really and I can’t blame him.

I’m not saying that I have plans to hop on a plane and zip over to Switzerland any time soon. I’m just saying there is something to be said, when you are robbed of everything including your basic dignity, to have some say in things.

I think, for a number of people who are facing a terminal illness, there is a sense of relief in knowing that they can have the final say in how they spend their last moments, and at what act in this play called life we make our exit stage left. How many people actually go through with it, versus the number that plan it is no doubt different.

But in our house, there is no debate over this because who is to say the decision another person makes is right or wrong? In the end, it is that person’s decision alone, and in our house, the partner is there as support. But I doubt that the partner would make the decision without considering the items left behind.

Spaced Sacredness

I pulled him along, gleefully running towards the crumbling walls. I just knew he’d love this place, the beauty of the works of art and such, like I did. How could he not?

He liked to pretend otherwise. He liked to pretend that it was an effort and a chore to follow along. His feet, he pretended. Weighed a thousand pounds and the walk was at least a thousand miles on top of a thousand miles he had already walked.

When we hit the walls, more or less just tumbled down stones, he told me that “you North Americans are so odd, coming to these old places, sacred places of rest just for an outing.” His deep blue eyes which normally held the sparkle of joy and something mischievous seemed solemn and a little sad.

“Come on now, you’ll see. The headstones are stunning and they don’t make them like that any more.” I tugged at his hand, suddenly realizing that his pretend reluctance had in fact become real reluctance.

I knew I wasn’t the only person who found these old headstones to be works of art. There were people who did tracing of these as if it save what was left before they weathered away to the point of not being able to read the words.

I didn’t do tracings, just the odd photograph here or there. This cemetery had always been a wonderful place to me. There was a sense of tranquility and being part of a bigger picture when I walked among the stones. I had always been respectful of where I walked, never sat on a headstone or anything such as that. It was here that I felt most connected to a much larger, cyclical thing called life. The ebbs and flows of humanity as areas populated and depopulated,as fashion and culture changed and thus what humans did to celebrate life based on those changes also morphed.

“I thought, for a man who had seen so many Troubles, this would be nothing for you,” I tossed over my shoulder, determined to enjoy my outing even if he refused to step on foot inside those crumbling walls.

He squared his shoulders, took a deep breath and said, “Lass, you don’t know the half of what I’ve seen and known. I’ve no need to visit upon death for soon enough death will visit upon me herself. I’ll wait for ye here so I will.” If he was a girl he probably would have tossed his head, but as it was, his accent, and not the “posh” side of it, had come out thick and strong.

So I ventured on my own, enjoying the sunlight as it was dappled through the trees and leaves. The breeze was warm and welcoming and I wondered if death was this peaceful place, this place we all went to on our own. Did we see those who walk among our names after we are gone? Does it matter if our names remain strongly etched when we cease to be remembered as loved ones find their memories going fuzzy and then gone?

I was gone for over an hour, taking time walking through the stones, trying to make out names and dates and wondering who those people were. What would they make of this world, or these changes?

When I came back around to where I had left him, he was talking to an elderly man. Rather the elderly man was giving him the history of the area. I was struck be the fact that there would always be someone to fill in parts of the gaps for us, but very few could explain the people from days gone by.

As we made our way silently back towards I couldn’t help but notice that there was a divide between us that couldn’t easily be crossed. He kept the idea of death at the barred door where as I accepted it was a fact of life and in some ways was freeing. When he got in the car he finally spoke, breaking the chain of my thoughts. “I’ve seen ones like those before. And to be sure they are pieces of art, masterfully carved out, but they are the representation of people who have gone on to rest. To break that rest is wrong.”

I’ve gone to cemeteries since then, not often with him. To me they are that blurred area where death and life overlap in a type of haze. There is something sacred and silent in these places, but there is also comfort and warmth. It depends on how you look at it and what you seek when you go through.

Crazy

Quick now, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in life? I’m not talking about putting your socks on the wrong feet. I. Talking craziest thing that you’ve ever done like bungee jumping or whatever.

Wait…can you put your socks on the wrong feet? Do they make socks for right and left feet? I suppose they do, if they are toe socks. Then maybe that might be crazy, if you did put them on the wrong feet.

Beloved phoned me talking in a rush as though time was some thing that was running out fast. “I just did the craziest thing ever, I mean ever, in my life. My life you know? Crazy stuff!” He stopped to grab a breath or so.

This pause gave me time to consider my options. Did I WANT to know what it was that had him all energized? I mean there are times when knowing is not always the best thing for one’s sanity. Should I wait for him to spill the beans? What exactly does crazy mean?

When he started to speak again, it was more slowly and carefully. He was editing himself it seemed and I got a glimpse into what he may have been like as a young, mischievous child.

“Bought a car, didn’t do a lot of research, just bought a new car. Reliable though, you will like it.”

We didn’t need a new car, but well sometimes you get caught up in things. Okay a car isn’t the end of the world, but price? Only see what I didn’t know then, because he was careful not to tell me, was that it was not the most practical car. A convertible sporty little thing.

Craziest thing I ever did in my life? Decide after a sort period of time that Beloved was the one for me, before I really knew him. Then again do we ever really know someone?

Beloved doesn’t see this as crazy, how quickly we found each other and settled in without really knowing each other. Beloved also doesn’t see a multi-country lifestyle to be crazy. It’s just us according to him. And maybe that’s true too, but looking back, at the time it was a bit crazy on both our parts!

Aging

A commercial came on for plastic surgery. What caught my attention with this commercial was the audience it was targeting–men.

Most of the commercials for anything cosmetic tends to be aimed at women. After all women do not age gracefully apparently. Perhaps it is in part because women are fighting this aging process all along the journey.

Men, traditional, end up distinguished as they age, at least that is the cliché. Women however never seem to fair are well when the clichés are mentioned. So it was refreshing to see men being made insecure about aging and their looks. Refreshing in a not good way.

I turned to Beloved and asked him if it ever crossed his mind to fight e terms of nature and try to look younger,more at least stay in a holding pattern for a period of time.

Frankly I love those little crinkles around his eyes that scrunch up when he laughs. I like the bits of grey sprinkled here and there in his hair. I adore the fact that his face isn’t all perfect and Hollywood, it has character with his nose slightly crooked.

I love that he isn’t insecure about how he looks and has no desire to look a certain way, almost like a cookie-cutter design for men.

I was hoping that the reverse would more the case, that rather than men being targeted as part of this movement, that women would be afforded the luxury of growing old gracefully and not in denial over the process. Why we feel such a need to control a natural process is lost on me. If we are doing it in an attempt to save off death, then we are living in a fool’s paradise because death doesn’t care about age.

Earth Quaking and Changing

A dear friend recently experienced his first earthquake. It was bound to happen since he moved to California, it was just a matter of when and how bad was it going to be.

He had seen earthquakes on the tv and had a good understanding of what would happen and still that first one took him by surprise.

It seems the earthquake happened most inconveniently when everyone was sleeping peacefully; the wee hours of the early morning.

Now I have friends who were born and raised in California and although the earthquake wasn’t super huge, it wasn’t anything to be viewed as something more than a minor annoyance. Those people just picked up and went on with their lives, straightening up anything that fell askew as they moved through the day.

My friend who recently moved there had a very different reaction. Once he got over the shock of what woke him up (a most unpleasant and unwelcome alarm as he put it) he found the next few days to be filled with an uneasy feeling, almost as though he was looking over his shoulder for something invisible. He said he couldn’t relax after that, he kept waiting for more to happen. He also couldn’t get passed the fact that the earth could shift like that and open up. He said he developed a new fear, one of being swallowed alive, just not by an animal as much as the earth itself.

He said that the earthquake also reminded him that earth itself is constantly changing and shifting because it is alive. Just as in our lives, change is not always easy and can have a huge impact when it is the earth itself that is changing. And just as I our every day lives, here is nothing you can do in an earthquake but hang on in a safe place and sway with the movements.

Laundering Money

I admit it, I’m a money launderer. I’m not proud of it, but desperate times call for desperate measures. It was all so innocent when I first started, too innocent to be honest.

You see I normally don’t have money in my pockets, usually it’s in my purse or wallet, not loose in a pocket. And thus it was as I did a load of laundry I started my career as a money launderer. I didn’t even know what I had until I went to iron my pants and there was clearly something in my pocket. Something that refused to iron smoothly. With a bit of hesitation I stick my hand in and pulled out a crumpled bill. Not a huge sum of money was found, but the way I was carrying on you would have thought I won the lottery.

That was the first time, since then I’ve committed this crime repeatedly. I’ve learned from this. For example if the bill has been horribly damaged the bank may not take it and then you have a harder time. I’ve also learned that despite the fact that your money may be neatly folded when you throw your pants in the wash, it will always end up a crumpled mess in your pocket.

I’ve also learned it doesn’t pay to launder coins, they don’t hold still in your pockets, they have no interest in just getting clean and then becoming a surprise when you put your pants on or decide to iron them. Nope coins will fall out and clang around in the washer and dryer. If the coins were dirty when you placed them in the wash, you may end up with a dirty, coin shaped splotch on your “clean” clothing requiring you to rewash the load.

So far the police haven’t come to arrest me and for this I’m grateful. I’m not sure how I’d manage doing hard time for laundering money simply because I forget to check my pockets before starting the wash. Where is the street cred in that?

🙂