Suicide Blonde

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Disbelief in Magic

So many years of pain
accustomed to silent tears
unable to believe in magic
and yet unwilling to let go of hope

The leaden monotony of years passing
broken only by the horror of growing old
by the realization of things unchanged
confirmation of the sad status of things

And those happy memories
those golden years of sun and laughter
of love, moonlight and playgrounds
drive a dagger deeper into my heart.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Praying and Other Deep Thoughts

Ok, let's see if I understand this correctly:
Some of us of the "homo sapiens" species believe in a higher power, a creator, an omnipotent, omniscient being. Within this group of believers, some feel very strongly about this force that originated the universe. Some even believe that She or He (even though it is almost universally understood that a Supreme Being does not have a gender per se, as we know it) is personally involved with our every thought, deed, feeling.
I, for one, personally know many human beings who have a very personal relationship with our Creator. And I'm not talking about people of the cloth here, just regular, everyday people. Some of these are PhD's, some are not formally educated, there are all types from all walks of life.
My mother, for example, is an extremely religious person who firmly and without question, unwaveringly , believes in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. She believes in the Blessed Mother and all the saints and martyrs of the Roman Catholic Church. She is devout and has never, EVER, questioned anything. At least not in front of me. I kind of envy that kind of belief and faith.
We have a friend, a pastor of a church, an upright, wonderful person who is also utterly convinced of the constant existence and benevolent attention of God upon all of us. We have had our conversations and peaceful discussions on faith, belief, etc. and I can vouch for the fact that he is one hundred and ten percent sure that the Omnipotent One exists and loves each and every one of us. In a personal way, as a parent loves His or Her child.
On the other hand, I am problematic. How did I turn out this way? It's not that I don't believe in a Supreme Being. I kind of do. But I have to be honest, I view anyone's idea of Him/Her with a bit of suspicion. You may ask "Why?" And I would reply: "Because everyone views God differently." Three people are looking at the same beautiful sunset and each one is thinking/feeling/remembering/being affected differently. The sunset is there, and it is the same for the three, but does not mean the same to each one. The first person may be just admiring the combination of colors in the sky. The second may be recalling a romantic event with a loved one. The third may be just looking but thinking "I need to get gas for the car and pick up a gallon of milk after this..." Nobody views anything the same way.
And I have to confess that when I meet someone that doesn't seem to have any doubts, it freaks me out. Maybe because I have so many? Maybe because I have not been able to establish a personal relationship with my Maker? Could it be that I am not a person of "faith"? Even though I would like to be? It is possible that I am way too conscious and even familiar with the many tricks used by all kinds of denominations to get people to believe in them? Does that even make sense?
We are all searching for meaning (shamelessly quoting Viktor Frankl, one of my most beloved philosophers), and meaning will never take the same form for you as it will for me.
Now that we have that preamble about the Supreme Being, let's go a bit further. Ok, let's say that I believe in a all-powerful, all-knowing, loving God who is personally involved with each individual on Earth (and in other parts of the Universe, if they exist). We (humans) are His/Her sons and daughters and he loves us and watches over us. I am not even going to touch the probleme of the existence of evil. My question is this:
How does prayer fit in? If we believe in a benevolent, loving God who views us as Her/His children, then whatever good or bad happens to us is for a reason, right? What purpose does prayer serve? If, let's say, my car starts making a noise and seems to be on the brink of breaking down (which it probably is), and God (who is all-knowing) sees this, well...if I say a prayer to Him/Her to please not let my car break down today of all days when I have to get to work super-early because I have a meeting at.... you get the drift.... What is the good of that? If just the fact that I appeal to Him/Her for my car not to break down, if that does the trick, then wouldn't that make this Creator kind of a shallow, conceited being? What about people who REALLY need help? People who are seriously sick, or in pain, or who have lost someone they love or....SERIOUS stuff. Is our Creator waiting for them to pray in order to help them out? What is the value system She/He uses?
I am not being flippant here, folks. I know that my faithful followers (I believe they are down to two, maybe three now) know that I like to write funny posts. Or they may just seem funny to me. But this is totally serious here.
I once told a friend who was leaving on a long drive home very late at night, "Be careful." And she replied, "I don't have to be careful. I know the Lord is watching out for me." I was flabbergasted. Why would He (in this case there was no gender doubt) watch over her exclusively while letting other people get mugged, raped, held up, arrested by cops, exposed to Bigfoot? (Ok that last reference to Bigfoot was a bit of comic relief) And while all these people are suffering, He is going to individually save YOU from any kind of problem? Why would He do that? What is so special about you that He would save you but not me? Or him? Or her? Ya know? And if the Lord was like that, that He would arbitrarily watch over someone tenderly while completely blanking out on watching/helping/saving anyone else, well... I just would not like Her/Him. So I can't think She/He is like that.
And furthermore, if He/She was to come to someone's aid bending the rules of Nature or whatever, just because a prayer was said or because someone beseeched Him/Her. The same applies. It would be that S/He pays attention to whiney, loud, selfish, self-promoters and ignores those of us who either are not sure what to do or what works, or are still in debate about a Supreme Being in the first place.
There are many, many people who believe in "The Power of Prayer." For me, it is a beautiful concept but one that does not seem logical. If I REALLY concentrate on praying that something works out the way I want it to work, then if I have made sufficient effort, The Creator will reward me and grant me what I wish. Really? If you were the Supreme Being, would you like it if the same people were always praying so that you would grant them stuff? No matter how hard they concentrated and prayed, wouldn't it seem just a tad bit selfish that they only prayed for themselves or for a select group of friends? The way I see God is that S/He would be offended by prayer unless it was offered up for everyone and anyone on this Earth who needed help, who was hurting, suffering, crying. Anyone and everyone.... or no one.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another Friday

As you can see below, I wrote this post on Friday, but Blogger. in its infinite wisdom, decided that what I really wanted was to start a second blog. Thank you, Blogger but I can't even keep up with the first.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Another Friday

Once again, blogging time has escaped me like sand through fingers, like water through a sieve, like...well, you know. It's been a while since I posted. There is the question of "Why write if no one (or few people) will read?" There is also: "Maybe I should just share something on FB instead of suffering through (or subjecting people to) several paragraphs to make sure they understand my thoughts/feelings/mood/ indignation/point (if there is one)..." Then there is the inevitable "WTF?"

But in reality, there is nothing more cleansing, more therapeutic, more cathartic (if I'm using the word correctly) than a good post. Yes, I am very busy. Our once small office has ballooned and I am now supervising (if that is what it is called) a bunch of people and interviewing/hiring a bunch more. Sigh. I am no longer involved with the little day-to-day things at work and that has brought about a certain freedom from drudgery but then I wake up in a cold sweat at night thinking that I forgot this or I didn't take care of that... My point is: The stress factor is always there. The only thing that changes is that the person that kicks your behind for goofing off is higher up. Otherwise, it's business as usual.

So, yeah, I'm pretty busy, but no busier than at my peak blogging period when I was not only a peon at my full-time position in an institution of higher learning but I was also working part-time at a department store of Thanksgiving parade fame. So back then my days were extremely long and I had a lot more loose ends to tie, more people to appease (which y'all know, is not easy), plus a second part-time job that was cutthroat. I would get home after 11 pm and think nothing of it. AND I had blogged.

I think, deep inside, some times I don't want to blog because:

1) I wouldn't know where to start.
2) I would have to write entire encyclopedias to bring everyone up to date.
3) Not to mention that writing always made things clearer to me so I would have to face a lot of painful realizations
4) The repetitiveness of my themes may be a bit boring to my readership (all three of you, if you are still there). Just like every time my sister and I have two or three Zinfandel Blancs we have the same conversation. It goes something like this (Disclaimer: it doesn't matter who says what, because we actually take turns, depending on who has had more Zinf Blancs):

Sister 1 - How the heck did we ever survive childhood?
Sister 2 - Well, you know it was really difficult moving every eight or nine months but we had each other...
Sister 1 - That's all well and good but it was really tough. As soon as we made friends or figured out what was cool, we moved to another state...
Sister 2 - Okay, you're right, but what could our parents do? They needed to work and to follow the contracts and so they had no alternative...
Sister 1 - True, but it turned us into monsters because we don't feel a part of any group, we are aliens even if we were to go back to Cuba, where we clearly do NOT belong... Couldn't they have just settled somewhere, would that have been so hard?
Sister 2 - Yes, it was difficult, but at least we had each other...

The arguments get a bit circular, but this is reassuring to us.

So, sparing you the other two hours of the conversation, this is what we talk about. Amazingly enough, we laugh about it the next day because there is no explanation for anything in this world. Not only this subject between my sister and me, but any other subject. You may think you have an explanation or that you have a "handle" (God, I love quotation marks) on things, but you need to keep in mind that you may not necessarily have a handle, though you think you do. Nobody does. Especially those who think they do.

So why blog? Why try to squeeze out something that (at least to the writer) makes sense, is attempting to be logical, trying to make a point (or to point out that there is no point?)? Especially when you can just blurt out some stupid reference on FB to the fact that you are having an 80 oz. frozen half-decaf/half caff coolatta (or whatever Starbux calls it) with half n half and two packets of Sweet n Cancerous. It's just as silly and it will make just as much difference.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Season of the Tropical Almond

Disclaimer: Tear-jerker content. If you are easily tear-jerked (v.), please back off slowly. Now.

If any of you have ever seen a Tropical Almond tree in South Florida (they are found in most tropical areas) during the so-called "cold" months (November, December, January) you know what I am talking about. This is a very tall, pagoda-shaped tree with big, deeply veined leaves that turn many shades of magenta/red/red violet/plum/fuschia during our short, but still heavily griped-about, cold season. In the Summer months (the rest of the year not NOV/DEC/JAN) it is a sight to behold because the leaves are glossy and a light green in those months. But for me, catching a glimpse of a fiery mass of magenta/burgundy colored leaves through the deep green, jungle-like chaos of SoFla vegetation during this time of the year makes my heart flutter, my neck crane and my front bumper to get awfully close to the rear bumper of the car right in front of me. I've been very lucky that I have avoided automobile accidents and fender-benders so far. The contrast, the glossy leaves in a million shades of aforementioned colors (otherwise I will never finish this post), the sheer height of the tree towering over the parasitic, the recumbent, the climbing, the-short-of-stature, and boringly GREEN rest of local flora is truly, and of itself, an eye-dessert.

It is one of my favorite SoFla and all-time, all-places tree. To this day my sons groan when we are headed somewhere in MY car and I perform a legal U-turn to check out a carmine-colored almond tree. Tangentially, it always amazes me that my own father loved many different plants and trees and when I was young I thought HE was crazy to go way out of his way home or to the grocery store just to look at a specimen he enjoyed. Then, I turned into him. And weirdly enough, my youngest son has recently taken to bringing home seeds and planting them in little, unmatched pots. He has admitted to a love of orchids and has brought some home and they are thriving. What made me laugh is that he has a young Royal Poinciana tree that he pirated from somewhere, it was a tiny shoot and he just pulled it out of the ground and brought it home. He planted it in a pot and every morning before he leaves the house he takes this pot and places it where he thinks there will be the most sunlight. Then when he gets home in the evening, he will put it back on the porch "for protection against the wind." Ok, I need to explain that I am CRAZY for plants but my hectic lifestyle and back problems have given me a "What-the-hell-it-died" philosophy when dealing with caring for plants. So, I find my son's preoccupation with this plant to be a bit creepy. Every day, that plant is in a different location on the front lawn. I have almost tripped on it several times, walking back from the mailbox out in front because one never knows where the plant will be...and he has even gone so far to ask me if I thought it was doing well...That kind of weirded me out. I said "it hasn't died yet so it's ok." Which he thought was an overly simplistic (or possibly cynical) statement, probably originating from laziness or tiredness or just plain being 56 years old, which for him must seem like 96. Yes, I still remember how I felt about older people at his age. They all seemed like characters from Tales of the Crypt. Kind of like the effect Adrienne what's-her-face-that-sells-makeup&face-creams still has on me.

Digression is over. Then there is another reason why I so deeply connect with this tree. When I was little in Cuba, my dad and I would often sit together on the beach while he pounded on tropical almond seeds. They are very hard to open, the covering is really tough. But the treat was a sliver of tasty, bitter almond. He would eat one and I would eat the other, taking turns. This memory is one of the happy places I go to when I am stressed, disgusted, overworked, angry, sad, or just confused, which is quite often. And the smell or taste of almonds never fails to take me there. It is difficult for me to describe the warmth, happiness, just all-over peace and safety I feel when I go to this happy place.

Friday, April 09, 2010

I Hurt...Therefore I Blog

Hurtful things:

1. My Zwinky (at left) is much cuter than me.
2. Learning in my fifties that hard work hardly ever translates into success or anything like it.
3. Whatever I think I should do, THAT will be the one thing I should NOT have done.
4. Needing a couple of Zinfandel Blancs back-to-back but it is 2:25 pm and I'm at the office (bummer).
5. Despite my tiptoeing around people's feelings/egos/self-righteousness, those same people go out of their way to step on mine.
6. And they feel they have every right to and how dare I get perturbed?
7. Or the fact that I'm a tiptoer bothers the hell out of them.
8. Or because I try hard not to lose my cool or be abusive or mean, I'm accused of being on my "high horse," whatever that is.
9. Seeing shameless self-promoters getting credit for things they did not do or for ideas they did not come up with...etc.
10. Hearing others mentioning how sweet/adorable/wonderful someone is whom you know is a verified, bona-fide bitch.
11. Not being sure when to use "who" and when to use "whom." Crap.
12. Where the heck is First Nations (aka "Paul")?
13. Having my IRS refund last all of two weeks.
14. After paying approximately $800 last year to get rid of the famous noise my car was making, it decided to develop the same noise again this week (and the IRS money is long gone).
15. People question my every decision, opinion, lifestyle, sense of humor, etc. but if I ever dare to question anyone's anything it is a huge drama.

Anyway, I really need those two White Zinfandels. I wish my blog friends a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Another Monday

Seen on FB:

I got ice in my veins
Blood in my eyes
Hate in my heart
Love in my mind.
I seen nights full of pain,
Days of the same
You keep the sunshine
Save me the rain
I search but never find
Hurt but never cry
I work and forever try
But I’m cursed, so never mind. -

I know exactly how that feels. Bummer of a weekend. Came in like a lamb, went out like a lion. Sigh.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Me, years ago...More stream of consciousness stuff

Warning: Please read this disclaimer carefully before you read the rest of this post. I use my blog, among other things, as therapy. If the material contained herein appears to be and/or is sappy, dramatic, stupid, disorganized, not worth reading, please do not say that you were not warned, because you were.

I was looking for something in my "hers" closet. I have "his" and "hers" closets and of course both of them are filled with my stuff because I don't have a live-in boyfriend or husband or anything of the sort. I first typed "I live alone" and realized that I don't, my mom and my sons are there (my sons at least some of the time) so I don't really live alone.

Return from digression: Anyhoo, looking for (insert object here), I came across my albums. For most of my married years I kept photo albums. Every trip, birthday, baptism, communion, holiday, school event, etc. was commemorated. I have something like 12 family albums and I hardly ever look through them because of a lot of reasons. After my father passed away unexpectedly and at a relatively young age, it hurt me to look at my albums and find his face there, smiling, with his beautiful almond eyes watching the photographer, always happy, always a part of everything in my life. Seeing his face reminded me very painfully of how much I missed him and still needed him. It still happens when I see his picture somewhere but the sharpness of the pain has subsided even though I never thought it would. Another reason for not looking at my albums is that after my divorce, it was depressing to see the nice pictures of our family life, which now did not exist, and so it became a bummer.

My wedding album: I had a lovely wedding back in the mid 80s. My then-fiance and I planned everything, paid for most of it (we were both 30), had every cousin and friend paticipate as bridesmaids or ushers, and it came out to be a nice and very enjoyable wedding. We even had a beautiful ice carving of two swans at the reception before the dinner (ok, you can laugh if you want, but ice carvings were way cool back then) and an open bar for the entire duration. But the main thing was that we were very much in love. I've been to weddings where the bride or the groom was crying the night before or that same day or looking for ways that they could have the wedding cancelled ("What if I disappear?"). I have also been to weddings where either the bride or groom (or both) shed tears at the ceremony, not tears of happiness, mind you, just tears because they were getting hitched and they really didn't want to. Still other weddings I have attended, either the bride or the groom had been out with the "other" love interest the night before... I'm sure you are getting my drift by now.

We were not like that, my groom and I. Not that I think we were any better than anyone else. We had huge fights before (and God knows, after) the wedding. We had our problems, our challenges, but we did love each other and were so happy to be getting married.

Everything I have written so far here is one digression after another, but that is how stream of consciousness works, baby! To get to the point quickly, which is really, really difficult for me, I had to pick up my wedding album to get to something else in the closet. The page opened up of a picture of me in my bridal finery standing with my dad in front of my mother's huge, beautiful gilded mirror in the living room of our house just before leaving for the ceremony. My father was holding my hand and we were both shyly smiling into the camera. I paused to look at my dad's beloved face and it was a sweet moment for me. As I said before, it took me a long time to be able to see his photo and not cry. This time, it made me feel good, thankful, appreciative, and content, for some reason.

Then I looked at the other person in the picture. I said previously that the other person was me, dressed in my bridal gown and veil, but I took a closer look. That was not me. I looked at that face and truly I could not recognize myself. This is a recurring theme with me. The person in this picture had a face that is not mine now. I'm not talking about the signs of aging, the wrinkles, the turkey neck, the saggy jowls, the liver spots. Ok, I'm exaggerating (a little) about how much I've aged, but my point is that what makes me not be that person anymore is the soul. The person in that picture believed in a future, was actively involved with her future was optimistic and believed in herself and in people, among them her family, her father, her fiance.

The "me" in the picture believed in loyalty, in the institution of marriage, in love and its infinite power. It was a part of my life where things were beginning, paths were being taken, directions being followed, futures were being determined. And yet, there was not a twinge of fear or dread in that person's face in the picture that used to be me. It was a time of fearlessness, of belief in prayers and hard work. Of sleeping the whole night through, the sleep of the innocent and the young. In that picture I had no qualms about promising my life "until death" to my fiance, I was so totally in love and convinced that our love would conquer everything, would make anything possible, would be eternal. It was as if my groom and I were on our flimsy little covered wagon of bliss, heading out into the uncharted and dangerous territory of mortages, pregnancies, babies, responsibilities, endless meals and bottles and bills, long nights spent changing sheets and wiping the chins of croupy kids, bitter arguments with mean grade school teachers, an infinite number of T-ball and soccer practices and karate lessons, countless boo-boos and real emergencies. But also, the sweet weight of a sleeping baby on my breast, the wonderful reconciliations with hubby after a particularly horrendous fight, the knowledge that that someone always had your back even though you couldn't have a civil conversation with him... Off we went into our frontier of adulthood, happily clueless and stupidly optimistic.

I am no longer that person. It's like that song "When I Was Young" in the sense that I feel more immature and less sure of myself nowadays.

On a lighter note: I was recalling the time about three years before I got divorced when we were packing up and moving to a larger house. My then-hubby and I were going through some boxes trying to throw stuff out. I pulled out one of those strip photographs you used to be able to get in malls where you went into a booth and had four poses and then you waited outside and the machine would spit out your pictures. It was my face on those pictures but I had pigtails and I NEVER wore pigtails. I turned to my then-hubby and asked him, "This is me, with pigtails? I don't remember when I had these pictures taken?" He got red in the face (it happened a lot in the last years of our marriage) and mumbled, "That's not you." I found out that it was his girlfriend who dumped him just before he met me. We had THE SAME FACE. So much so that I was convinced it was me in the picture. This set us off into a couple years of "Would you have married me if I didn't look exactly like your ex-girlfriend?"-type conversations. It was one of the last nails on the coffin. Took me a long time to be able to laugh about this.