Filed under: doubt, emotions, Gardening, love, poetry, Uncategorized, writing
A sestina, written early in the relationship with the king of vacillant winds and discarded dreams.
It was my birthday when we met,
and I was first enveloped in your smoke.
We wandered, my skin burning, in the garden.
your friend trailed behind, embodying my doubts.
Compared to the maelstrom of my thoughts,
I barely said a word.
Perhaps I have way with words,
but only in subversive meetings
with myself where my thoughts
are suffocated in smoke
What do you care to grow in your garden?
Are you even a proper gardener?
Carefully choose your words
and silences. My doubts
are hungry and eager to meet
the man behind the smoke
usurping my productive thoughts.
Should I share the thoughts
I’ve etched into my garden
sand? Will they dissipate like the smoke
from your cigarettes and the words
from your mouth when our lips meet?
Can you cripple my doubt
or am I right in doubting
your capacity to calm my thoughts?
When you and my id have finally met,
will you still want our infested garden?
Will you cull it with your words
or gas it in a pesticide smoke?
I can tolerate the smoke.
I can breath in poisons and exhale the doubts
and come up with clever wording
for my thoughts,
but I let noxious weeds flourish in the garden.
They grow so tall our eyes cannot meet.
Words unspoken each meeting
planted this doubt in the garden…
and smoke does not slow the infestation of thoughts.
Filed under: emotions, love, poetry, writing | Tags: air, poetry, science, water
Oh king of vacillant winds and discarded dreams,
why did you come into mine?
I wanted to lose you in the vastness of my oceans,
but you are air…
my tidal words will never wash you out.
I drew your oxygen inside me
and your warmth excited me to vapor.
I saturated your willing currents
until their heat dissipated and I condensed into clouds
before my gravity forced me from you.
Now the sky is empty and I am scattered.
I can see the stars as fragments of myself
are swallowed into the blackness of the ground.
Constricted in darkness and dirt, I gather
while the earth absorbs my salt and poisons.
I carve streams as I sink into my rocky bed and
I rest, guarded from the influence of the surface.
Filed under: autobiography, Binge Eating, body image, cognitive theraphy, doubt, Emotional Eating, emotions, fear, love, self-help, Weight Gain, Weight Issues, Weight Loss, writing | Tags: College, life, Stress, Weight Gain, wieght loss
In my previous installments: “The Younger Years” and “Losing Weight the Wrong Way,” I shared how I had become a plus sized child and teenager before abruptly losing ~120lbs. within the span of 4 months via eating an extremely restrictive diet while over-exercising. Over the next couple years, I would attempt to get a handle on my disordered eating before ultimately failing.
After my friend had pointed out that I was showing signs of anorexia and non-purging bulimia, I tried to rectify my habits. After a few weeks of continuing my food journal, I still had a reluctance to eat more than 1,000 calories a day. Even if I didn’t write calorie amounts down, I was still doing estimations in my head. I concluded that I needed to stop keeping it. Instead, I focused on reasonable portion sizes, while still working out at least 6 hours a week. This strategy worked very well, and I managed to maintain a weight of roughly 145lbs. for roughly one year.
I have to admit, that year was pretty great. Even though I still wasn’t totally happy with my appearance, I felt empowered. I did a lot of things I had previously been scared to do. I joined my high school’s Speech and One Act teams as well as participating in Quiz Bowl. I wore attention-getting clothes that my old self would have never worn.
I was still getting used to all the appreciative attention for my looks from the opposite sex, and often reacted to it badly. Example: While exiting a music store, some guy whistled at me. As it was unexpected, I laughed loudly and closed the door after me. Only after I left did I realize how mean that must have seemed.
Since that guy was obviously not quite a charmer, let me give another example: In my junior year, I was approached by the little sister of one of the few boys who had been nice to me all through grade school despite my weight. He had sent her to ask if I would go to a dance with him. Dumbstruck, I just kind of stood there blinking. She made a knowing face and said, “Ok.” Then she left, and I slowly parsed together what had happened. Although I certainly would have gone, I was too shy to say anything to either them after that.
Then, half way through my Senior year, I started dating a goth boy who fancied himself a romantic. He regularly took me to dinner, bought me little gifts, made me photo collages, and (this is the cincher) talked to my mom even though she’s so brain damaged she mostly only said no. (Unfortunatelymy mom’s condition hasn’t improved since then.) While I had dated previously, I think half of my motivation was just to be able to tell people I had a boyfriend. I never did really let my guard down around the guys I was seeing. However, the goth boy’s patient devotion and acceptance allowed me to let him into the tangled web of emotion I usually kept between myself and word document. He was the first to get my crazy. I still feel sorry for him.
One thing he did for me was help me embrace my body despite it’s imperfections. For the first time ever, I felt comfortable in a swimming suit.
While we dated, I gained 15lbs. We spent all of our spare time with each other, and although we went on long walks and got –ahem- other forms of exercise, all of the dining out went to my waist line. I went up a size, but I wasn’t too worried about it. My ideas of small portions steadily grew.
After graduation, I moved an hour andhalf away for college. Goth boy and I had made plans to get an apartment near campus, but those plans fell through after he failed to save enough money. As a result, I was poorly matched with my roommates. There were two girls from a private, Catholic high school, and a cheery former cheerleader. They all kept everything super-tidy in a specific way, loved reality tv, and country and pop music. I was in hell.
Aside from a few bright spots and a wicked wardrobe, my first year in college wasn’t much fun. I was an outsider in my own home, I didn’t really have any friends going to the same school, and I got to see my boyfriend 3 times a month if I was lucky.Although I did get out occasionally with the help of a few area friends or my twin aunts who lived in the same city, it wasn’t frequently. I coped by immersing myself in class, books, cartoons and junk food. Some days I would forgo meals entirely in favor of junk food. Other days, I would I sit down with a half gallon of ice cream and a spoon, eat it all, and then purge. The change in eating habits didn’tshow, probably more due to the fact that walking was my primary mode of transportation (I had elected to leave my car at home to cut costs and the bus frightened me)than my burgeoning bulimia.
In my second year in college (I was 19), things had evened out a bit emotionally. I lost the boyfriend, brought my car from Dad’s place, got a work-study job in the library archives, had friends on campus, and had cool roommates whom I got along with reasonably well. Although I began smoking cigarettes and drinking occasionally around this time, I was generally more well-balanced, and as a result I mostly didn’t binge-eat. Between my work, school, social life, and romance, I didn’t have time to. Once again, dating led to poor food choices like fast food or sit down restaurants with enormous portions, but I managed to stay around 160 lbs.with an intermediate amount of exercise.
Things didn’t really start to go downhill until I was living alone for the first time in my third year of college, but the decline didn’t take long. I shared a story about my childhood clepto-mania with a party cohort I had idealized as a buddy flick-like friend. Long story short: After activating the bad influence, I carried on by myself, landed myself in legal hot water, lost my job, was sentenced to jail time, and moved (while still going to school) rather than deal with it. The resultant stress led me to binge everything: food, alcohol, cigarettes, basically anything enjoyable I could get my hands on.
I am not sure exactly how long I was “on the lamb,” but it was only a few months. By the time I weighed in when I went to jail, I was something near 180lbs. (I was pretty stressed out, so I don’t remember an exact number.)
Contrary to popular opinion, I found it quite easy to lose weight in jail. The food was disgusting. I didn’t care how hungry I was, I found most of it inedible. I lost 15 pounds during my 28 day stay, but that weight came right back when I moved back to Dad’s house for the summer. Dad was understandably frustrated with me, as I had hidden the entire ordeal from him until I was physically in jail. I internalized ever little thing he said in anger. I felt worthless.
With the help of my generous Aunt Corrine, I returned to college in the Fall and proceeded to make a huge mess of everything about six months later.
Next Installment: Coming Soon
Filed under: beliefs, emotions, love, poetry, writing | Tags: emotions, Love, poetry, relationships, writing
Love is neither desperate nor disinterested;
there are no pedestals involved.
It does not beg for change and cry
when it does not come.
It (mostly) does not dwell on angry words
or spit them back.
It strives to be patient, attentive, and kind.
It focuses on passions and talents
and watches them grow.
Love is a dynamic work of art,
ending only when both put down the brush.
Filed under: beauty, emotions, essays, love, Weight Issues, writing | Tags: beauty, journaling, style, weight
Last night while getting groceries, the checker paid me a random compliment. She was a cute, short, thin young lady with what appeared to be natural light-red hair: the sort of girl who effortlessly looks good in unforgiving uniforms of form fitting white button-ups tucked into khaki pants, the sort of girl whose waist I stare at enviously.
“I love your look,” she told me, scanning my diet soda. “It’s probably a weird thing to say, but I think it every time I see you come in.”
“Thank you,” I said awkwardly, “I like compliments.” I was wearing form-fitting ripped jeans, (which have these wrinkles where my belly ends that I absolutely hate) a black camisole under a pink accented zipper hoody, lots of random bits of cat hair, and no make-up. I let my barely-brushed naturally curly hair frizz out under my skull and cross-bones bandanna.
She smiled, and related an instance in which she noted that her sister had gained some weight, and she said something about it, meaning it as a compliment. “It’s just that I’m so small,” she concluded, briefly glancing at my cleavage.
We continued talking while she finished scanning my items, and we smiled warmly at each other before I left.
Filed under: autobiography, emotions, love, self-help, writing | Tags: auto-biograhy, books, cerebral vasculitis, parents, self help, writing
The following is an excerpt from an auto-biography I’ve been working on. I find writing it to be painful, but therapeutic:
I keep a mental snap shot of all the people who are important to me. The one of my mother is just outside of the craft shed where she worked, cutting wood into the shapes of flowers or buildings or angels. She is a large woman with wild, curly brown hair hanging just past her shoulders. She is wearing a red t-shirt and black stretch pants with stirrups and dirty white sneakers. Her glasses cover and magnify the apples of her cheeks, her lips are spread in a smile, and her open arms welcome me for a hug.
I am 9, and most of my mother is dying. We are at Methodist Hospital in Omaha, I came with my Grandma.
Dad and mom’s twin sisters are here too. They all think I won’t understand, so they do not explain. Mostly, they look at me in pitied glances. When I ask what’s happening, they tell me that she’s in intensive care, and I can’t see her because I’m not 13. They also say, “You’re so brave.”
I sit alone in the waiting room, there is a lot of light, but all the colors are dark. The chair I sit in is stiff and dark blue, just like the sofa across from me. I’m trying to read.
A moment just a couple weeks previous refuses to leave my mind: My dad and I were walking toward her hospital room, and a nurse was helping her shuffle through the hall. When my dad said, “Look who’s up!” She turned to look at us. Her features were frozen and doll-like. She wasn’t my mom.
Presently, I push the thought aside and bury myself in my book.
The book is not a comforting one, it is a young adult horror novel about a boy’s father transforming into a plant-monster. It is told in the first person, so I feel like I am the “I” that is trapped on the pages.
Right now, there is nothing else.
Lucky keeps proving worthy of her name. Yesterday, she got spayed and was slated to become an outside cat once again. She’s a good lap cat and has a great temper, but it’s really hard to sustain having 3 inside cats when one of them wants to be pals with the other two who hate all other cats. However, last night, a nice kitty-loving lady contacted me via a Facebook ad for free cats and picked Lucky to come live with her and her kitty-loving kitty, Bella.
I couldn’t be happier for Lucky, and her new home sounds ideal, but Chris, Damien and I will sorely miss her. It’s really hard to believe that just last year at this time she was a feral one-month-old kitten. Before she earned her name, here’s how every encounter with her would go: She’d spot you, her eyes would bulge with fear, and then she’d run and hide.
Then last year on a late summer’s day, I heard desperate meows while taking out the garbage. After doing some searching, I found her laying in a puddle under the dumpster, too cold to move. (I’m still not sure how she wound up there, but we suspect the kittens from that year just didn’t know how to handle rain as there was a drought.) Being a bleeding heart, I immediately took her inside and got a towel and hair dryer. After ten minutes or so, she started regaining her ability to move, and was treated to lunch meat. After a few hours, she was walking around, seemed fine, and had decided that she really liked people. We named her Lucky.
Lucky went back outside, as we already had our hands full at the time making a momma cat nurse an abandoned kitten, Mr. Bitey, but I would frequently bring her in for special treats. If I let him, Bitey would try to play with her, but mostly he just beat on her while she sat there and took it. That’s when she litter trained herself. I’m not sure if it just seemed like the place to poop, or if she learned from watching Bitey, but I was very pleased and encouraged her with praise.
As time went on, Bitey was weaned, and it became apparent that Lucky just wasn’t growing. I made it a habit to bring her in everyday and feed her separately from the other cats. Around Halloween Mr. Bitey got into some chocolate, and we didn’t figure out what was wrong with him until it was too late to save him. We were crushed. As it got colder, and with a kitty shaped void in my heart, I worried about Lucky. She hadn’t gotten any bigger despite the special treatment.
One night last winter when it was well below freezing and cold even for kitties under heating lamps in the shed, I brought her inside. I told Chris I didn’t want her to die. Since she was already litter trained, we decided to keep her in the house for the winter. She was almost four months old, and still looked much the same as she did at one month. She was a sweetheart who just wanted to sleep in my lap. However, she was obviously sick. After she developed terrible liquid poo, which required my giving her nearly daily baths, we took her to a vet. She weighed in at 2.10lbs. He wormed her and gave her antibiotics, and sent me home with more antibiotics which I was to feed her with a syringe. He recommended pink bismuth in the mean time to control her symptoms.
She grew. By the time she finished the round of antibiotics, she seemed nearly twice the size she had been. Thankfully, she was very tolerant of being medicated (anything to be in your lap, mom!) even though she clearly hated the taste of the pink bismuth. She became more active, much to Pixie’s distress, and began engaging in play. Although Lucky has claws, and Pixie does not, Lucky merely taunts Pixie, who growls loudly. Pixie has never showed up scratched in the six months they’ve been living together.
After a follow up visit, she weighed in at 3.10lbs, and I was sent home with more antibiotics. She grew into an actual cat! This summer her constant caterwauling while in heat drove us crazy, but we kept her inside and decided to spay her before putting her back out to prevent our already sizable kitten population from growing. Yesterday, she weighed in at 6.10lbs. I’m guessing that it would be more if she hadn’t been forbidden from eating before her spaying.
She seemed fairly subdued at the vet’s office this morning. On the trip home, her occasional meows on the road were silenced after I stuck a finger in the cage for her to rub against. Her tail was up the second I let her out of the cat carrier, and the first thing she did was go get food and water. She then begged for pets, and was extra enthusiastic about receiving them. Currently, she is sleeping. She will stay with us until she has her stitches out and is fully recovered.
Her soon-to-be friend, Bella, is a black, brown, and orange calico about her age who lives in an apartment in Omaha. Bella’s mom (and soon-to-be Lucky’s new mom) was nice enough to not only agree to let me see where Lucky will be living when I drop her off, but also to accepted my friend request. Hopefully I and everyone here at the farm house will be treated to the occasional photo of Lucky enjoying her new home.