The Price of Love

“Grief never ends, but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.”  ~Unknown

A surprise crying session in the car this morning left me with this feeling that the sadness will never really go away. I think that’s okay though. Lately, there are more and more days where it lies dormant, allowing fuller engagement with life.
Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the death of my Uncle Mike. Two weeks ago I had a dream in which I was upset over something and I went to him and he kissed my head and hugged me. However frequently or infrequently I saw him throughout my life, I felt loved every time.

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Neocolonialism

Excerpted from an interview with Noam Chomsky conducted by David Barsamian for The Sun – Issue #462, June 2014

Barsamian: So if Israeli policies continue on the current trajectory, what do you see in that country’s future?

Chomsky: Almost uniformly, Israeli, Palestinian, and American commentators pose the issue as if there were only two possible outcomes: either the two-state option that the entire world has been supporting for thirty-five years and that the U.S. has been blocking, or else Israel takes over the whole region — all of the West Bank, all of the former Palestine. If that happens, Israel will have a demographic problem: too many Palestinians within a Jewish state. Then there will be a civil-rights struggle, an anti-apartheid struggle. It’s not even an option.
More important, the U.S. and Israel would never accept a one-state solution because they are currently pursuing a third option: Israel takes over everything within what’s called the “separation wall.” It’s actually an annexation wall that breaks up the West Bank into pieces. Israel is slowly seizing about a third of the West Bank And imprisoning whatever is left between the regions it’s effectively taking over. The Israelis are not taking over the areas where the Palestinian population is concentrated, however, because they don’t want the Palestinians. In fact, one striking difference between Israel and South Africa is that in South Africa the whites needed the black population to serve as their workforce. Israel just wants the Palestinians out, the way the U.S. did the Native Americans. Only these days you can’t just exterminate a whole group, as was done here. So Israel will drive them out. It will annex the territory it wants in the West Bank — the arable land, the water supplies, anything valuable — and leave the Palestinian population to rot outside those areas.
In the 1990s Israeli industrialists advised their government to move from a colonial policy to a “neocolonial policy,” which is what you now see all over the world in port-imperial states. A neocolonial policy maintains the basic structures of imperial domination while giving native elites a gift of some sort to keep them quiet. If you go to the poorest Central African country, there’s at least one place in it where people live in luxury. Or take India, where in the midst of horrible poverty a few live in huge skyscrapers with swimming pools on the fiftieth floor. That’s what Israel is creating in the remnants of Palestine. Ramallah is a modern city: restaurants, stores, theaters. You can go there and think you’re in London. But the rest of the West Bank is disintegrating. Israel is hoping that the Palestinians will just leave. Some peasants might stay on their land and survive somehow, but most will go. The process will continue as long as the U.S. supports it. Once the U.S. doesn’t support it any longer, it will change.

Posted in Peace, Politickery, PSA, Quotes, Social Politics, Some People are FUCKED UP, War | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

SAHMing

The president made some comments this week. I probably wouldn’t have even heard about them except that I have a number of conservative friends on Facebook and they were alllll wigged out. These were the comments:

“Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”

I would not have thought twice about this because it seems obvious that he is saying that this is not a choice we want Americans to have to make. It’s not awesome that there are women who stay home only because it’s cheaper than going to a job because daycare is so expensive and women make less money than men. It’s not okay that mom choosing to stay  home with her children for a while results in lower wages when she returns to work.
But of course conservative twitterverse is all in uproar. Well, this SAHM is not. You know what he meant and claiming otherwise is dishonest.

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People Have Told Us

At home my mother and brother and I move in quiet orbits around one another in the heavy silence that filled the house after the flowers and family were gone. People have told us we need to move on. To get back to work. To go back to school. I’m told I should go to the next soccer game. Behind these words is the well-meaning but useless idea that routine breeds normalcy, that recovery is just around the corner. But this encouragement strikes me as being born of selfishness: these people cannot bear to see how grief has cleaved our lives.

~Rose Whitmore
from The Odds of Injury
published in The Sun (February 2014)

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You and Me and Hootie and the Blowfish

How can anyone know? Every major belief system, including so-called nonbelief systems such as atheism and nihilism, is built upon a fantastic premise: All matter exploded and congealed somehow into you and me and Hootie and the Blowfish. God inseminated a virgin whose child saved the world. A frog hiccuped and the prairies blossomed. I can’t come up with a better story than those, so I remain an astounded witness to a vast mystery arranged in remarkable order.

Through experience and skepticism I’ve arrived pretty much at what the conventional religions teach: A central moral code. A belief not only in forces creative and destructive but also regenerative. An embrace of sacrifice. Little in the way of wisdom and enlightenment came for Jonah until he was swallowed by that fish, and it was the same for me until I was swallowed by reality. Getting smashed to bits gave me humility, gratitude, and the ability to love and appreciate my fellow humans. Everyone gets smashed to bits; it’s your best opportunity to grow.

~Poe Ballantine
in an interview with Caleb Powell
published in The Sun (February 2014)

 

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Spewing into the Universe

I’ve stopped using Facebook for a while. My sister passed away and everything just got so *noisy*. I can’t even talk about her death here the way I did with my uncle’s in the last post because it’s too close. I wouldn’t even know what to say. Eventually, I’m sure I’ll be able to write something about it. For now I’ll say that grief is weird and not what I expected.

For the first couple of weeks away from FB I felt nothing but relief. Then I started feeling, in addition to relief, like I still wanted to toss some words out into the ether. But I remain averse to the noise. So I’m coming here for now.

I recently finished this season of The Walking Dead and I have to say, if you gave up after season 2 and 3 got weird, I feel sorry for you. This was some of the best character development I’ve ever seen in tv. All of it was great, Rick and Carl especially stand out, and then Carol and Tyrese and the girls, but the storyline that takes place around Daryl and Beth is the kind that stays with you. Like a book you have to read again because you still feel close to the characters and the next book isn’t out yet. I’ve gone back again and again to watch certain interactions with Daryl and Beth. As a result of that, I’ve also found some great new music.

**the two scenes from The Walking Dead have to be watched at YouTube, just follow the links**

The first song is called Up the Wolves by The Mountain Goats and is the background to a very moving scene (that you admittedly would need the backstory for but there are no gory zombies):

I downloaded the song but I did not get the whole album because I think his voice would get annoying.

This following scene is my favorite. I have never looked up a scene to rewatch on youtube before but I’ve watched this a number of times already.  This is Beth singing Be Good by Waxahatchee (also no gore):

I loved the sound of the other Waxahatchee stuff (and that EVERY SINGLE SONG has an explicit warning) so I downloaded this song and then their entire second album, Cerulean Salt.

I was sharing these music finds with Jt when he asked me to look up Cage the Elephant. Turns out this is one of those bands you may have never heard of but whose music you already know.
I downloaded the self-titled album Cage the Elephant with this song you’ve probably heard:

I also got the newest album, Melophobia, which includes this song I also thought I’d heard somewhere before:

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Crying

*Trigger warning: Suicide*

I don’t remember crying a lot when I was younger. I mean, I know I made a ruckus at times but I also remember being grateful that I didn’t cry when angry like my sister did. I always felt terrible for her because my dad thought tears were used for manipulation but I knew she couldn’t help it.
In college I had to give away a dog. I had her for a few months but she just was not cut out for apartment life. I didn’t feel like the family that took her was the best for her and so my boyfriend and I came back to his apartment after dropping her off and I cried for HOURS. I just wailed and he let me. He held me and let me cry and eventually he told me it was time to stop.
But I don’t remember it happening much after that. There were breakups and assaults, arrests and deaths, Columbine and 9/11. I know I cried sometimes, I remember especially my cousin’s funeral and Kenai’s time in the hospital. But I was also belligerent. I was angry. I had been hurt and was too proud to show it. I remember how proud I felt when I told my good friend, my “second mama,” about my arrest and short time in jail and how she said she would have just been crying her eyes out and how brave I must have been. And I was proud. I was proud that I had stood at that tiny window in the jail cell and looked over the backside of the city and held back my tears. I was proud that I had been held at knifepoint and didn’t cry about it. I was proud that the person I loved could hurt me and I wouldn’t let him see me cry.

I’ve recently been experiencing a pain like no other. Shock, so much shock, and just exquisite pain, like nothing else I’ve known. My uncle killed himself. I honestly can’t even believe I just wrote that. I just never. I never could have imagined this. I saw him just over a year ago and he seemed fine. He had flown his plane out to Ohio for my sister’s wedding. He was his usual, happy self.  His struggles were relatively recent and those closest to him respected his wishes for privacy. I feel so much shock and so much pain and so much confusion.

Still.

I want to just rip it out and let it loose but I CAN’T. I want to lay in Jt’s arms and sob and wail and scream for hours but I CAN’T. I want to accept his comfort and let it all just go but I CAN’T. I want to hide in my room for a few days. Curl up under the covers and just cry. But I CAN’T.

I cry when I am driving so no one can see me. I cried at his funeral but even then, no ugly crying. Plenty of controlled crying (and about 8,000 tissues). I thought I could do this. I thought I could cry in small doses. I thought I could ride it out. But then I realized that I couldn’t even let this out in front of my husband. He’s the one I should be able to cry with and I know that he wants me to feel like I can do this. But I just CAN’T.

I’m not entirely sure where these walls came from, though I have some ideas. I would like to work on it because it doesn’t feel healthy. I’m doing EMDR now and I’m planning to try Reiki soon. If you struggle with this as well, I will be glad to let you know how it goes.

Uncle Mike at Emmy's Wedding

Uncle Mike at Emmy’s Wedding

Posted in 9/11, EMDR, Haiti, My Family-I Love Them Anyway, My Friends - They Love Me Anyway, Navel Gazing, Night Owling, Pictures of things, PSA, PTSD is a bitch, Survival | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments