It’s Not a Perfect System

 

Actual Quote From George W. Bush

 

So many people have reached out, asking about my goings-on, my well-being, that I feel a response is due on my part. And that’s not easy for me. On the one hand, absolutely nothing is going on. On the other hand…

 

Mikki and an Art Show

 

While trying to create new art, I was also recently one of the featured artists in a local show. It was good for me to participate in the event, to interact with friends and strangers alike. It’s also good for me to tackle new works. I’m elbow-deep in a painting now that is so Mikki. It requires hours of taping, layers of planning and is a logistical quagmire. For some reason, that appeals to me and brings me contentment.

 

Art Show

 

I’ve also figured out how to build floating frames for my work and that has been incredibly fulfilling. I learned quite a bit at a framing class, but the logistics of floating frames wasn’t covered, so I had to rely on my own ingenuity and mechanical mind to suss the sitch. I don’t mind telling you – I nailed it.

 

Physical Therapy

 

While trying to wrap my head around my body’s aging, I’m also undergoing physical therapy for an injury. I’d love to tell you I hurt myself playing footie (World Cup fever abounds in our home), or while throwing down in a late-night dance battle on the streets of Los Angeles, but the truth is much more boring: I hurt my shoulder while shoveling rocks. It’s true. Rocks. The repetition and the weight were more than my body could bear. And so now I’m dealing with a humerus that doesn’t seat itself correctly in its joint, which is anything but humorous. The pain is sometimes enough to make me cry. And for now, I just have to ride it out. I’m not on pain meds, but I am on ice packs. And booze. Those things help a bit. I’ll take what help I can get.

 

Vonnegut

 

When not wringing my hands over how terrifying “The Handmaid’s Tale” is in relation to our fucked-up world, I’m re-reading an old Kurt Vonnegut book, Cat’s Cradle. I saw it on the shelf and was drawn to it. I don’t often re-read books, but I think following my gut on this one is a good choice.

 

Mikki and a Blurry Tony Bourdain

 

Depression is heavily at play for me these days. The injury, the sorry state of my country… Some days are almost too much to handle. When the world adds another log to the desperate fire of my soul, I struggle more than I can say. The recent suicide of Anthony Bourdain was one such weight. I didn’t know the man or anything, but I did appreciate the hell out of him. Watching the final two episodes of “Parts Unknown” was heartbreaking. I don’t know why, but I believe I’ve not yet shed my last tear for Mr. Bourdain. I can’t explain why his death has hit me so hard. It just has.

 

Panda Cake

 

Sometimes I’m able to avoid the news. Sometimes. I was able to distract myself with a young cousin’s first birthday party. And that was a gift. Watching the little guy eat his panda cake was a reminder that not everything is bad. Remembering that simple fact can lead to noticing other good things in the world.

 

Mikki in Pretty Shoes

 

Like wearing pretty shoes.

 

Mikki At JPL

 

Or spending an afternoon with science-loving geeks at JPL.

 

Strawberry Moon

 

Or gazing up at a Strawberry moon, with Saturn’s glow nearby.

 

Families Belong Together Rally

 

And yesterday I attended a local “Families Belong Together” rally. The crowd had full hearts and positive energy. Even though I was quietly crying through most of it, I was reminded of hope.

 

Families Belong Together Rally - Migration is Beautiful

 

There is good in the world. The hate-filled, ignorant, fearful masses can’t do a damn thing to change that. They can’t eliminate beauty. Or hope. Or love. On good days, I simply feel sorry for them, the haters. (They really are a pitiful group of pathetic souls.) On other days…

 

I struggle. I’m trying, but I don’t always prevail in my attempts. Truth is, I’m upside down right now. The shadows and weight can be downright awful. If I had no inkling of how sublime life can be, I might not know how far down I’ve gotten. But I have walked in the light. I do know the pleasure of joy. And this ain’t it.

 

These are some of the reasons I’m out of touch. Why I’m in mostly silent mode. Trying to practice self-care is taking more from me than I can sometimes spare. And so I pull back from the world. I try to preserve precious energy. To protect my fragile heart. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the best I can do right now. And for the record, I am doing. I know me. I’ll keep doing, keep going. Not for you or for anyone else, but for me. Yes.

 

Highgate Cemetery - Fallen Angel copy

Too Soon

 

 

I will always think of him and his big, curious eyes. He was a good kid. I didn’t see him very often, granted, but when I did it was obvious he was a pretty easy-going child. His face was charming and though he was a boy, it was also lovely.

 

Mister and I saw him and his parents through their cousin, who happens to be our friend. All the way around, they’re an immensely likable family. After crossing paths with them, we often commented about how nice they are and how good it was to have talked with them.

 

Time inches along (or runs at breakneck speed) and sometimes we lose touch with folks. It happens. A month or so ago, when I read about young Christopher’s recent diagnosis of a rare cancer, I was shocked not only to learn of his illness, but also to see he was already 12 years old. Reading about his struggles was heartbreaking. Knowing that sweet kid added a layer of ache. I mean, no one wants to think of sick children. But they’re out there, in numbers far too great to ever make sense. And I suppose all of us have at least known a child struggling with illness. Many of you have been responsible for tucking them in at night.

 

I tell you all this because young Christopher lost his battle with cancer late last week. That beautiful boy is gone too soon. And there is nothing I nor anyone else who knew him can do about it. I’ve prayed, along with many, many others. I know fundraisers have taken place and I know meals have been prepared and delivered. Honestly, those are the only things we can do. And that sucks. Christopher’s family is surely appreciative, but they are also surely digging through levels of hell I cannot  imagine. They’re good people. How they’ll deal with this is beyond me.

 

One day at a time, I suppose. Maybe hour by hour. Remembering to breathe. Caring for their younger son, Christopher’s brother. Hopefully caring for themselves. Eventually. For right now, in the newness of this strange, unbearable loss, I imagine their bodies are simply trying to function. Hearts trying to beat and not crumble. Blood trying to flow and not harden. Souls trying to maintain and not shrink. Co-existence. That may be the goal, to co-exist with the pain of loss. Again, I don’t know. I’m only imagining.

 

There’s no real guide for navigating loss of this magnitude. Sure, books have been written. And maybe they help. I hope so anyway. For now, I continue to pray for Christopher’s dear family. That is, after all, the only thing I can do. And it will never be enough.

Fireplace Face – Knee Injury

 

 

Because so many folks are reaching out to me, concerned about my Fireplace Face accident, I wanted you to see the damage for yourself. The above photo doesn’t show the true color. Mister thinks I should photograph the bruise from a distance – showing the entire leg – so that a color contrast can be seen. As I ain’t too keen on showing my whole leg, that simply won’t be happening. You’ll just have to take my word on the darkness of the bruise.

 

It isn’t dire, friends. It’s just a bruise. Now, it’s a bruise that continues to blacken by the hour, but I think that’s par for the course. And I’m not in constant pain or anything. It only hurts when pressure is applied. Like when I turn over in my sleep and land on my knee. Or when I’m wearing jeans and I sit, causing the knee to feel bound by the denim. So you know, it only hurts during odd times like that.

 

In the meantime, I’m babying my poor wittle knee. Not really, but I could. But honestly – I’m okay! I’ll be fine! No need to worry!

 

And by the way, I so appreciate that you have worried. Thank you for your concern. It means a lot to me.