Carol’s Carousel

I don’t know what to think anymore. I barely know how to think. Anymore.

I have had to research bump stocks & look up Nikki Haley & John Bolton. I spend time poring over reports about McCabe & Comey to try to understand the current “political scene” when I want to scream at everyone in DC, “Will you just behave?

I am one of a generation which may die off before the changes so looked forward to may even occur (NOTE TO SELF: climb aboard the good ship Hope & stay afloat.) I don’t claim to understand transgender issues, being certain that I am a woman who has never wanted to be a man. Having a penis would really get in my way. I don’t want to leave my stem cells for implants into AI computers simply because someone knows how to do that & thinks it might be a good idea. Hooah!

I don’t get violence. Having been in & around the medical profession for most of my earth-years, I understand physical damage from savagery of any kind: mental, physical, spiritual, emotional. I predict for myself a gradual fade from life after accomplishing as much as I can towards healing on all levels. I’m weary of fighting for the money to buy food for my fridge. I could understand paying taxes if the pothole at the end of the driveway ever got filled; but knowing my money disappears into fitting a fin onto a bomb is distressing. But tax evasion isn’t an option I’ll readily pursue – I don’t look great in stripes. I’m feeling some nervousness about making the monthly payments needed to assure some quality of life, although I have the strength & power within me to work the odd jobs I encounter to earn my way into fresh veggies.

After years of plugging along, pinning slogans like “Be calm & don’t worry”, of framing thoughts like “following my bliss”, or “doing things for the joy of doing them”, I’m slowing down. I’m not sure I’m ready to meet ET’s with golden triangle heads or blue feathers. I have stopped listening to my formerly intensely-followed gurus. I’m cautious about signing up for Starfleet Academy or manning bridges of any kind. Once anticipated, I no longer eagerly await what may emerge from the future to surprise me. I’m really happy to sit in the sun right now, to stay out of the unreasonable desert wind, to watch my little green tomatoes turn into little red tomatoes. Someone once mocked me for “watching the clothes dry on the line” but at this point, that’s quite a satisfying pastime. It indicates the privilege to be clean in a world where so many are not given this option.

I’m happiest when teaching…helping someone figure out something: how to use their cellphone, for example. I live in a town where everyone’s grandkids have recommended they have the latest tech when the “grands” only want to be able to call the kids on Sunday night. “What’s an app?” they ask me, “Can I get the words to come up when I watch videos?” “How do I stop all these advertisements?”

I’m planning to teach a class called “About Email” on Mayday, & the more I research carriers, the more I figure I’ll sound like some paranoid nut when I tell them what I understand about the collection of biometrics by nefarious one-world-government scions, the retention of data by people who are totally not entitled to know that I wrote my friend about how I feel, whether political or pleasurable. How do I help learners to preserve their privacy or get them to understand there is even a need for this in a world where the providers are all-pervasive about control & have the morals of cats in heat when it comes to selling us out? The State does not need to monitor our computers. Seriously, nothing on them is that interesting. For myself, I don’t expect anybody at the State Department to grok my poetry or wordplay. I only have one way to expand into the universe & it is with expression of my personal experience as such. And it comes out through language. If “they” consider RIDING THE LIGHT subversive, my tax dollars are totally wasted.

I know old ladies are disposable as rain puddles. It doesn’t stop me from working towards what I call The Good. It doesn’t hinder me from offering time & effort toward helping others learn how to function at the basic levels of courtesy, kindness, care & understanding, of actively paying it forward. I know at any time some doofus with a God complex can take control of my car & send me over the side of a cliff where others will be endangered trying to retrieve the detritus left by that push-button destructo-mentality.

I guess I can’t explain where I am in the present moment. I had a reaction today at our quite wonderful book club discussion where a totally innocuous book sent me into a red-rimmed rage for no reason I can discern. Reading the book chapters aloud brought me to the boiling point wherein I rushed home & stared wildly about for an hour. It isn’t even a book I admire, but a reaction of this magnitude of anger is totally foreign to me and/or what it should have engendered. WTH? Is it the sugary snack before bedtime that has me so reactive?

At the same time, I am tired of being a spectator; I want to participate in life. I want to travel to see wonders of geography, I want to sit at the feet of a master & take notes on keeping my mind in discovery mode. I want to pay my debts off so the nervousness can re-settle into a joy of life so daily I take no notice of want of any kind. Bread & circuses haven’t interested me in years. It is time for me to expand my thinking to encompass God & the Youniverse to a mystical, uplifting, soul-thrilling vibration. I want to thread that needle spoken about in Scripture, so I can pass through it into either the grace of comprehension or Comprehensive Grace. Isn’t that my birthright?

I am so over Darwin & his purloined theorem about survival. I once read that the word “love” was mentioned 96 times in The Origin of Species, while the phrase “survival of the fittest” appeared thrice.

I once felt I could get closer to the answers of Life’s Questions as I aged. I foolishly thought the world would become more logical, the weather more habitable, my life more accommodating to happiness. I thought I would have friends, if not family, who looked at me with love shining from their hearts through their eyes. But now I rely on the comments of strangers to lift me through the nights. Now I have no ties to what is considered Reality. I opt for helping some with cleaning their houses, offering a class now & then to aid others in understanding the new tools available & coping with their use.

I often tell people I’m allergic to TV, but I still find myself drawn to videos on the computer which show the exotic Cirque du Soleil acts, dancers who can move their bodies as I no longer am able, political commentaries which contradict each other one after the next.

I am as confused as any teenager about my current identity. Who will I be tomorrow? What will my achievements count for…or against? This life made of chapters cleanly divided by time & (at times) geography, by the borders of marriages, the maps of spiritual pathways, the fulfillment of dreams. I’m acutely aware too many of the paragraphs in this blog start with my most personal pronoun. I need to be led into divinity somehow & overcome this tendency to consider myself only human. I used to be able to do that better. How come I’m losing the knack?

The last frontier is never that. Horizons rise & fall regularly. I’m alive so long as I keep moving – even if it is in a circle while the calliope plays corny music. Cuz I don’t know anything, anymore.

Nothing To Lose

For as we age

Our faces fold in upon themselves

The maps of all our days emerge

In laugh-lines, in worry-warts

In fingers grown like twigs on a forest floor

Beginnings mete out endings

Relations fall from edges of our earths

White-salted seas encroach once-growing green

But all in all, I would not have it any other way:

For from these stiff environs

Virility of the mind evokes

The thoughts speak themselves

I am beyond caring, evolved from a life of care

Having achieved my mantra:

I have nothing left to lose

Each day to gain

God himself has tasted my winter soul

And wrought the miracle of spring

Within.

 __________________________

Familiar as my teeth is age

Brought into balance by agelessness

For all that brings eternal into mind is mine

Too soon, too young retires into mist

As all turns white

The color of my bones

Emerging into earth

And when this is decay & eyes are dark

This life no more

A tiny spark will up, away

A laugh’s delight

Free of sinew-flesh, of lips & liver

Free of knees that kneel no more to men

With arms no more to carry, carry

Lifting life & bearing it.

My woman’s heart will finally know silence

As into the drumming beat of life I go

Into the seas beyond a mortal shore

I’ll swim, a silver skim of scales

Mouth wide to all the light of life

Eternal & intense

Reflecting in the mirror

Behind me all the toils of the world

I swim to fly,

Oh Mother! Father! I had the most wonderful dream!

_____________________________

The Muse returns, unequivocal, demanding

Surrounding me with her perfumed robes

Pushing the pen into my hand

Closing my eyes, I write once more

The words that will me to live for ever

For ages yet to be, for thoughts unheard

On paths unseen

She turns my head away from all of now

As I become the beyond of her desire

“Write!” she snarls, pearly teeth all shown

“Never be I said I failed you, my slave to words,

Silver-hearted, blood-borne light,

“Write, you fool of phrase, trap them each

In broken sigh. Pile them all upon your sleigh

Take up the traces, pull them forward

Wake them up for there is no such thing as sleeping

To be had today.

Dash your tears into the future

Follow them there

What lies beyond cannot forget itself, let alone forgive,

But must be said, be felt in dream again

I leave no stone unturned, no gift unopened

This is all yours, this blessing of the Scribe.

You need aught else, you have no more

Than these true words grinding into wheat

Between the millstones of your swollen heart

And this, your only life.

Yes, you hear me now; I’ve never died

tho you’ve given me last rites

I will ink your middles

Till you rise into the last Word

Like God Himself calling forth all heaven.

“Write!” she growls, “you think you’re harried now?

I will harrow you to dust unless you do!”

 

 

 

 

 

O Vanity (or, on Being Beautiful)

Every day I carefully sift through my closet to put together an outfit that’s coordinated, spiffy & “interesting.” I sigh about being on old lady, but I dress it up anyway. I fix my hair (wear it front or back?), I dress for the weather (long sleeves in New Mexico can be too much at any given time, even midwinter, given our 360 days of sunshine), I select footwear: shoes or can I still get away with sandals? I dig out makeup (a bit of eyeliner to paint under the epicanthic folds gravity is kindly manifesting for me), I bring in the magic 10x mirror & sit it in front of the light-filled window & pick at the salt n pepper facial hairs determinedly darkening my complexion (oh to be fair! But then, I never was in this lifetime.) I defuzz by degrees after the initial shudder at the ever-visible moustache line.

I tried whitening my teeth & that worked pretty well, tho expensive & sensitizing to gums. I try to walk each day after stretching out on the yoga mat through a warm-up routine tho I never quite get to full count on anything abdominal. I use three-pound hand weights when I walk – got biceps? I do! But who sees these? I can’t walk around all day flexing like some gym rat checking the bod in a hundred mirrors. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to, though. This is my first time in life with real biceps, after all.

From a distance, I look pretty good. It’s only up close & when I smile that you see the parentheses of wrinkles crinkling everywhere. My throat has a kind of sun-ray pattern to it which I find interesting, but which keeps me from wearing necklaces I once loved, as I don’t want to call attention there. And as I smile & the wrinkles appear & the collagen-depleted skin rearranges, guess what emerges from the little valleys between the crinkles, like some 3D kiddie pop-up book? More hairs.

I have read that hearing is the last sense to go in the body. But I have news for you – it’s Vanity. What’s the last thing done to the body? The undertaker puts make-up on you! Right? And as we age, our ears begin to once more grow (they also [OMG] clump bunches of hair). Our noses become visible from space. Our triceps assume the consistency of slackly drooping clotheslines. Our necks crepe up, our eyebrows figure it’s time to finally meet one another across the nose bridge…on & on. We should probably light candles to the great god Gravity, but Gravity, having brushed every appendages down in a bland assurance that nothing is where it started, has left the building & is out somewhere holding down trees & cars & waiting for apples to fall.

I see my mother’s hands when I look down at them typing. I see my Mom’s hair, the little waves all about. She used to put a touch of olive oil in hers for shine & control. I use a kind of sticky power-gel in a vain attempt at total control. We lived by the ocean & beach hair is a phenomenon of itself.  Before I left Delaware, I started seeing t-shirts saying “Beach Hair, Don’t Care!” so I know it’s not a private matter any longer. Now it’s advertising.

So, after all is said & done, all the zipping up & pulling down, all the blow drying & insertion of earrings, the careful selections & accoutrements of fashionable accessories, I make sure I stand far enough back from the mirror that the details blur out a bit. I tell myself, “Just look at how beautiful you are!” And I walk, loose-limbed, straight-backed, smiling my face into its road map & head out. Today I wore a mostly red tie-dye shirt, a red hoodie vest, a red & purple scarf, carried a flowered Laura Ashley bag & wore lipstick. It paid off!

In the Wal-Mart, as I headed for the SmartPop white cheddar mini-bags – my latest sugar avoidance go-to (tho to an Italian, cheddar roughly equals chocolate) – I heard a voice behind me say, “I love your clothes!” And I turned, beaming, to the four-year-old fella holding to granma’s shopping cart to say, “Thank you, dear!”