Whilst tapping the proverbial foot, I await this thing I have avoided for over a decade. Queued, with no particular place to go, I await this call that will determine the date of removal of what remains of my shoddy munchers, as I dream of the day my teeth no longer make me look like a homeless crack whore. Then go out and get the job. THEN move in whatever directions I’m going to go.
But, for now… I wait.
“I see at intervals the glance of a curious sort of bird through the close set bars of a cage: a vivid, restless, resolute captive is there; were it but free, it would soar cloud-high.”Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Too much time to think, to run through thoughts obsessively, but, I don’t know, maybe that’s not all bad. Solitude, here in this cozy nest I’ve created, em, kind of I guess incubating, till the birth of… who knows.
Not a good look… for me… patience being a virtue I find challenging. Finally, go and DO the thing I have feared, only to be waved off into the proverbial waiting room.
So, the teeth thang is now on hold, waiting for the hospital to phone to tell me when. As things have transpired to date, I would imagine it will be 1 day after my benefits run out.
I have never had so much at my disposal to actually DO this… the biggest being the time to take off… just haven’t had the money to miss that much work… and now… tick tock, tick tock.
Ugh. Dark thoughts, hard not to wallow in that fear of the unknown. Get up the nerve to DO the thing… only to have it move farther and farther away… it was a mirage.
You know mom, one of the many thoughts I’ve had of late, is about how different I am from who you knew, I have changed.
Around the time you died, a couple of years before and after, all these earth-shattering, ground shifting changes happened. You, my marriage, the very path I thought I was on, all of it was pulled away, ripped from my grasp.
“I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into it’s expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.”IBID
I mean, sure, it was hard when my marriage ended, and I was on my own when I had to deal with your dying, afterwards when you were gone. Not knowing exactly what I wanted. So, guess I just set out and learned along the way that I would always at the very least get what I needed.
It seemed for you, growing older was this increasing challenge to maintain the pretty facade as long as possible, and hide from something I didn’t really understand.
For me it just is not that way, like, I made sure it was not that way.
And now here I am writing to my dead mother who died a year from the age I am now, well, I guess at some point I just simply turned away from all that garbage that didn’t serve me
I mean, especially when there are so many other things to do, to be.
And not with self-pity, but I guess more with a higher sense of purpose, and it is very liberating. There are just more significant things to enjoy, new paths, new experiences that can only come with age, and time.
I guess what sort of sparked this was this twitter thread, and this feeling that many women my age have, that our voices are not heard, thought to be irrelevant. That women are either too young, too old, too this, too that, and there are a lot of women it seems who feel that way… and for good reason.
Many women my age feel that that nefarious group that decide what is important, who can lead, who can do what, say what, who is the target of their capitalist dreams, that they are deaf, dumb and blind to a giant swath of women, and men too for that matter of a certain age. I’m like… and you care, um, why?
It is nice to slip from the sights of the marketing and propaganda machine. Release from their grip offers an entirely different perspective, outside the bubble. No expectations, no focused agenda to target our demographic, free to decide for ourselves without some outside force manipulating our desires, our thoughts, our needs.
I suppose my question is, why do they care what they think? I mean, if they aren’t marketing to you, if magazines are not interested, then fine, just go buy what YOU want, what YOU need, and just be thankful they aren’t bombarding you with all their narcissistic nihilism.
And its not so much that I disagree, I understand, female voices of a certain age are muffled, and that the male hierarchy are very threatened.
You know, mom…the old privileged white dude and their superiority complex… they are a dying breed… and they don’t like it one little bit. It really scares them, that for the first time in hundreds and hundreds of years, women are taking back their power.
Now, lets get this clear first off, I’m talking about equality, what they call an egalitarian society, where both men AND women share in the power and all that keeps society going tickity-boo.
These old white farts, their fascination with youth, their fear of change, they are dinosaurs.
Capitalist marketing strategies are obsessed with youth, maybe magazines uphold youthful vigour as the be all and end all, pandering to the old men who obsess over youth, but that does not mean women have to buy it.
You know mom, there is this trending saying… something the 20 & 30 plusers like to say… as a sort of insult of a sort…OK BOOMER.
Like your generation has these antiquated notions, and that young people know the REAL score, tsk tsk, that your wisdom is just simply irrelevant.
And certainly, some ideas your generation has… em…like about who should be in charge and why… on losing this sense of security and access to wealth you guys thought was your due… the fabulous days of yore… when women were merely supposed to want to be pretty and men were the boss, and in many places black people and other minorities and anyone whose not white and male had no say.
YAH, let’s go back there. NOT.
For one, many of ya’ll have a misogynist xenophobia problem that seems to have sprung to life again in the death-throes of these old white male nationalist farts in the wind.
And, contrary to the old boys club, women are more than just pretty little petunias to pop out babies and feed men milk and honey. And, it would seem quite a few women of your generation kinda need to give their collective heads a shake… and to quit falling for their BS.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”IBID
I guess there is this idea that to be softer, smaller, whatever, is to be weak. Therefore, women who are soft and small must be weak. Yet, a Tiger’s fur may be soft, but I wouldn’t just reach out and pet it. Virus’ are small, but I don’t want one.
Push against the walls they put up?
Nope, just jump the turnstiles, tunnel under, truth is that bunch of old white farts who wallow in yesterday are due to kick the can soon, mostly cause they refuse to move on past meat and potatoes and pounds of salt.
So, how did I learn to give zero fock-a-roonies? Well mom, your death at 54 certainly gave it a kick start.
Yeah, yeah, potty mouth, but stay with me.
So, here’s the thing, I set my course in an entirely different direction, and now as I approach the last chapters of this life, I look back and realize just how much that time changed me. I would not be here if everything had remained as it was, if I had not lost my garden, if the marriage had survived, the house, the dog, the man, if all of that had remained as it was? No, I would most definitely would not be here.
Even if HERE isn’t every ones cup-o-tea, for me it is sanctuary. I am free of those bonds of BS that ensnare so many.
I think the most important thing was, I just always adjusted, I was ok with change, I felt secure in my foundation, that no matter how far I fell, there would be people who loved me and would catch me, help me up.
None of that stiff upper lip thing, but I think about that story you told me at Grandpas funeral, how grandma and her sisters stood there by his coffin at the wake, telling stories and laughing, and how some people seemed a bit shocked. You know?
Death is hard, you cry, you miss them, but life does march on, with you or without, and that telling these stories really eases the pain, makes you smile, helps you heal.
It taught me to go with the flow, that strength was about courage, and to know how to remain hopeful when it looks like hope is lost.
“Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive.”IBID
Which, I guess kind of leads to the next thing – this blog.
Writing about my pain after Tim died, putting into words your death, stories about grandma, about dad’s family in the south, all of it, laughing, crying, these words I’ve written to you, helped in ways even I don’t think I appreciate.
And, I would have had no tales to tell if you and grandma hadn’t made sure we knew a thing or two about who we were and where we came from, about the ancestors who came before.
A bit of straighten that crown never hurt anyone, eh?
I think some must think that when I say I give no f*@ks that it means I don’t care, maybe sounds harsh, too tough.
The fact is I care very much… I just don’t let it rule my world.
You know, being strong is quite different from having strength. A mighty Oak can be toppled in a strong wind, whereas a Willow goes with the flow.
To care about someone, about something, that doesn’t mean you should shatter yourself when they are gone, lose yourself to that someone, or something.
You know, like teeth.
So, one more Brontë quote from Jane Eyre and I must say adieu, for now. I remember you had me read that when I was a teenager, you handed it to me, and simply said… “read this”. And I did. And I understood.
“A beauty neither of fine colour nor long eyelash, nor pencilled brow, but of meaning, of movement, of radiance.”