While we waited, with bated breath, for a return to our ‘normal,’ she breathed a heavy sigh, of relief. While we stepped in, she stepped out, and we saw our impact on her, more clearly. While she regenerated from, our relentless destruction, we planned for, next. We will either learn, to respect her, or we will continue, to destroy her. Have we not learned, yet, that to destroy her, is to destroy, ourselves? So step in with me, for just a while longer, and think about how, you do, next. ~Marcela: letting her breathe, so that you and I can continue to do so. May 03, 2020
As I stood amid the broken, jagged shards of life as we had known it
Individually, as matched sets, collectively,
As I watched in horror the blood drip from my shattered heart
when the fragments splintered into indiscernible shapes,
As I cut my fingers to the bone demanding
with frantic, frenzied determination,
that they, the pieces, allow me to re-arrange them
into something acceptable, to me,
something at least resembling what had been between us
I was struck anew, by that weightiest of acceptances,
that you have come to visit again, loss
but that you will as ever,
leave something new
And I may hold it tighter,
with more ardor,
than I did its previous to your intrusion,
And it will be,
it is now,
Marcela: licking wounds, picking up pieces, making plans, waiting for bitch-slappy’s next, making plans anyway.
April 25, 2020
This is not the simple little bit of writing it started out to be, I had intended it to be at 8:30 this morning, because it is too important to me for quick and dirty, and because I am having a very ‘bad brain day.’ The ramifications of Lyme & Co. and the hard-hitting anti-biotic I was taking and have now aborted, my latest effort to keep the bugs at bay, factor largely to above noted ‘bad brain day.’ So unless you have the capacity to finish what I/you have started, I respectfully request, that you refrain from exercising the hubris, the temerity, to comment, chastise or congratulate.
As I sat enjoying my space and a really great cuppa Joe this morning, I was texting with the Sailor about all manner of personal and global bitch-slappy and interesting, when he quipped about my life being more 🙃 read as: upside down ‘interesting’ since we have known one another, than most people’s… I responded with: “it has been that way for 58.9 years Sailor, not just since we have known one another, for I was born into all manner of 🙃 and ‘interesting,’ and have also created and stumbled into, a great deal of my own 🙃 and ‘interesting,” and that, is truer than true my friends! And then, in the middle of that communication I remembered the date today: April 25, 2020!
What that means is: I have lived my life, made my choices from the ones available to me, had some made for me, because I do NOT have control over everything that happens, impacts me, only what I do with it, but I digress, how odd… What April 25, 2020 means, is that I have lived my life for 22 years, or 8036 days in-a-row, without the protective plexi-glass wall of alcohol, other drugs, and many auxiliary self- and by direct extension, other-harming strategies, that I learned to use at some point. I know exactly what ‘that point’ was by the way, down to the second, the words uttered at me, the actions that precipitated ‘that point,’ to get through life and her bitch-slappy, for without the plexi-glass wall, my only other option felt like that thing Parker’n Me have thought about, written about, joked about, were never really kidding about.
What that means is:
22 years of bitch-slappy unfiltered,
22 years of learning how to own what is mine, without suffering through, without taking responsibility for that which is NOT; this piece in particular has been a ‘capital C’ Challenge.
22 years of attempts at navigating the rocky road NOT leading to ‘blame,’
22 years of attempts at avoiding the donning of the grossly unfashionable ‘victim coat,*’
22 years of trying on and pulling off identities, pursing, completing, abandoning, personas, goals, dreams, achievements considered desirable, assigned to me by individuals and systems/groups I both ‘landed’ with, and chose,
and 22 years encumbered by, trapped in, often held hostage by, the exorbitant number of boxes in the world we occupy, the ones I now take infinite pleasure in blowing up, for the buggers multiply at a rate quicker than bunnies,
22 years, to find myself located rather firmly, for better and for worse, here:
I have done better at it on some of those 8036 days than on others, better and worse at navigating calm and rough seas alike, better and worse traversing goat trails, maneuvering hair-pin turns on precarious mountain roads, and better and worse travelling with grace, on the few and far between straight-aways, the stretches with gloriously beautiful views, literally and figuratively speaking.
Recently, I have ‘enjoyed’ a most eclectic rain-storm, a rainbow coloured nuclear fall-out if you will, of several years in-a-row of WTF have I allowed, done to myself and my life(?), how the fuck did I land here?!? Me, who busted her ass so hard for exactly, NOT this!?!
But: I have done much of that, the bulk of it, on my terms, her (bitch-slappy’s) terms, and for the last several months, unapologetic, truly for the first time in my life, unapologetic for any of it. For I was acting on the often intentionally obscured-by-others information available to me, and in no small part, on what I believed at the time was the right thing for me, along with that all important thing called the context of where/how these things occurred, and the events/people/places I am powerless to exert any manner of control or influence over, regardless of any choice I may have made, to ‘be there,’ whatever that means in any given context, mine, theirs, yours, ours.
That is not to say I am unapologetic or regretful, and more importantly willing to ‘amend,’ in cases where others have suffered as a result of my actions, or even misunderstandings about my actions, not at all. I am unapologetic for who I am, and for being a flawed but most-willing-to-evolve, adjust, revise self and only self, human-woman. And as I believe is true for many women ‘just like me,’ contrary to popular belief and the often misguided conventional wisdom which has some folks believing to know who I am, what I am about: I have not had the she-cojones, big enough, strong enough ovaries if you will, not to care about what others think, how they respond to me, not to be gutted by how they treat me, who they think I am, who they think I think I am, the truth, my truth, of the inner workings which actually drive the outward me; not other’s perceptions not their assumptions about it, but the invisible layers of my machinery, the nuances of each tiny bolt, the contribution of the older, some rusty, some broken bits, to the entirety of this human ‘mašina,’ and her original ‘culture and tribe,**’ The culture and tribe I identify and find myself planted in more firmly, rooted deeper in, attached more firmly to, as time does that thing it does, marches on, with or without me, with or without my permission, it doesn’t give a shit, so I have to.
What that means is: I was not born tough, or even resilient. I was born wild, creative, funny, fun-loving, smart, painfully sensitive, and with an imagination and heart bigger than big, with a seemingly bottomless capacity for understanding, compassion toward even those of us humans who have committed unspeakable acts of heinousness, the most damaging of wrongs, toward others, including me. I was born to and with, and have honed, a significant capacity for knowing that context is everything, for taking the time to look for it, for it is rarely to never obvious, and almost never pretty. I was born with a view to the contexts which often drive human behaviour, born with and to, a clear and painful understanding of the fact that we do not live in a benign world, one in which all is fair and just. Those are words. Like love. And they are demonstrated, like hate, ignorance, fear and anger, through actions, not utterances. I was not born many things, I came to them, battled for and against them, most often out of necessity.
And I am a realist, and like Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, I know that:
“Life is beautiful in spite of everything! [and that] There are many thorns, but the roses are there too.”
What that means is: shit happens! People do good shit and people do bad shit, and bitch-slappy has played a very strong game in my world. And while outwardly it has appeared as though I have kept up with her, the inner working parts, my inner working parts, are often battle-weary. For I have willfully or willingly, at times not-so-much but stoically, waged too many wars, engaged in too many wars, on my own and others’ behalf over the years, and on a handful of dubious occasions, I have waged war against and upon myself. Most often, however, I have picked up arms in the name of those ubiquitous but rare-in-real-life philosophies; fairness, justice, human rights, human dignity, love; I have gone into battle against and with individuals and/or systems, that I had not the slightest chance of emerging as anything other than slaughtered from, barely limping away with my wits and life, a handful of times, literally so.
And while parts of that ‘wild child’ have never been vanquished, the child who was always heard singing aloud, the one who loved nothing better than to try different tastes in her mouth, the sound and impact of different words on her tongue, the one who still lives to find new and exciting ways of putting conventional words and other life and real food ‘ingredients’ together in unconventional word- and real food recipes, loves nothing more than feeding them to others, people I know and love, and people I have never met and love, and even people I have never met but love to hate and hate to love.
And like so many of us who care to, are awake enough to know, are not so beaten by it all that a flicker of that human child remains to find back to, I have had to battle relentlessly, repeatedly, to find my way back to her. And in this context, 8036-days-in-a-row, have been a key component of that war. For as much as I want to be a pacifist, I was born into a war-torn rebel’s world, and contradiction is as irrevocable a piece of me, as are intensity and softness, just some of the many cogs’n gizmos in my inner workings, along with the night visions, which often call upon me to see, to examine more than simply one, flipside.
And so today, March 25, 2020, at 8036 of 21,466 total days to date, I make the decision, out loud that is, for it has been resolute within me for a very long time, a decision I have been avoiding for the better part of a decade, and since a particular set of momentously important to me flashes of introspection, flashes so hot that they took my breath away. The fire started burning 10 years ago, along with one in 2006 which served as the original kindling. These moments, this blaze, burning over the past 14 years, are about a deepening understanding, awakening to that thing I have mentioned here, and in other articulations: context.
It is, has been about, using the cognitive abilities I was gifted with, to think beyond the obvious, the easy, the overly simplified. For complication and complexity are not one and the same thing, and while simple may suffice in some instances, complex problems and issues are rarely-to-never solvable, with simple, surface-level, easy, band-aid if you will, solutions and fixes and with punitive, self-deprecating, other-worshipping practices and beliefs.
So I made a decision in 2006 NOT to make a decision about continuing involvement in a movement I have incredible gratitude for, but the core tenets of which I have ‘bought into’ less and less, the more I grow into me, and my ever evolving world view. I know that I made that decision not based on my own needs, wishes and desires, but because I was afraid. Afraid of what others told me would happen if I didn’t go, afraid that I was too bad a human do deserve anything better, because those messages, had been beaten into me repeatedly, literally and with words. Afraid to rock the boat, because while one half of my original people spent his life doing just that, and it is in my blood, the other half spent a good piece of hers running, having to hide, from her and her mother’s violence-inflicting tormentor, and rocking the boat was a life-threatening endeavor for them, also in my blood. So for years, I continued to make a decision I was not happy with, but kept convincing myself I could ‘live with,’ because other people’s tapes, other people’s history, other people’s choices and thoughts about what I should do, who I should be.
And in all fairness, over the years since 2006, I was able to at least in part, ‘take what I need and leave the rest,’ but the truth is, my truth is, that I cannot buy into most parts of it at this point, and believe strongly that some of the ‘instructions,’ and for lack of a better word dogma, are so damaging, that it is not possible for me to continue on as even a part-time participant, and live comfortably in my own skin. My own skin happens to be the only one I have to be, need to be, comfortable in. And so I wish most fervently that you are picking up what I am putting down, though I already steel myself against potential backlash from lack of exactly that.
Because people will read and interpret the articulation of this decision as all manner of things I am NOT saying, and because people will inject all manner of things I do NOT believe, and will NOT do, and people will discount the fact that I will continue to ‘count,’ because I have no desire to be anything but Marcela unfiltered, Marcela undiluted by anything but life-pure, with internal and external vision clouded only by age and the bacterial war inside me known as Lyme & Co., NOT by the survival tools I put away for good, 22 years ago today. Because please, know that there is more than one way to skin a cat, sober up a horse thief, more than one way to find and keep, self.
And while the one person who has been with me in that movement since before April 25, 1998, including through several years of physical and other separations, the one who would have remembered the date before I did today, but is not in a position to think about anything but her own battle in this moment, the one other really important one, the human I started counting for in the first place, did remember, and called to let me know.
And because of his context, and something beyond my control, our relationship has taken a most unexpected turn, but after the initial shock and pain, in an odd way, I am beginning to see the parts that are for the better, though I haven’t quite worked out the exact bits around much of it, yet.. but my point, and I do have one, is this: that human my son Thomas, understands, deeply, far beyond the surface, why I stayed, and why I cannot at this juncture; why my world views, my belief systems, my inner ‘mašina,’ no longer allow me to consider myself (and others) in the terms and labels ascribed us by our culture, in regard to so much of life, but specific to 8036 days, in regard to human responses to trauma and general bitch-slappy, and that not everyone comes with the same set of ‘resources,’ or choices, or birthright, to deal with said traumas and H.R.H., bitch-slappy.
And that, his ‘getting it,’ his remembering, is gold that no medallion will ever give me, though along with counting, I may still collect them too, because we can buy all kinds of fun’n fancy ones online, just not all the work and battle, that is not available on Amazon, in case you were about to google that shit.
And please, make no mistake: the difference between now and the years I speak of, is not that I am going to do anything differently in maintaining a back-to-back count, it is that I am telling you I won’t be coming by anymore, to eat cake, for counting back to back, and to be told how great I am, or to have my dignity affronted with assumptions/conclusions and uninformed opinions by people who have met me less than a handful of times, some for less than 5 minutes. Really, it comes down to where/with whom I want to expend the precious time, exert the precious little energy and other resources I have available to me, and it does not mean I am not grateful, or that I will not always cherish the ‘beautiful souvenirs,***’ please do not make that mistake, or do if you must, but do, please spare my oh-so vulnerable heart.
I picked up my plexi-wall on April 24th, 1998 for the last time, and I have as little desire to raise that battle shield again as I did in my most fervently ‘in’ days of service and ‘movement’ involvement, but pretending to be part of it, knowing I have not bought in for more than10 years, is not something I can, not something I want, choose, to live with anymore.
Thanks for reading, it has been a laid back, eat too much, and do whatever-the-hell-I-want-kinda-day, and the neighbours’ fence panel, is the only bit that turned 🙃 ‘interesting,’ during a big-ass gust of wind this afternoon. I, have been unwell, but calm as the proverbial cucumber. I think I’ll make a Czech, Okurkový salát outta that!
~Marcela: Stepping out, gracefully, with gratitude, and bereft of a single dram, of maleficence or even resentment.
*A very different phenomenon from true victimization, something I am also familiar with.
**This is a vast topic for me, to be investigated and noted in a different context than the one in this piece of me, and it includes my original home and native land, its food, customs, belief systems, ways of living and being, my original tribe, their history, and their influence on my deepest self.
***“I can’t spend time with people I don’t enjoy. I can’t do it anymore as theater. I make choices, and that’s a beautiful thing about growing up, learning to say no, in a nice way, just say no. I have this friend…we just went different ways in life. Once he came to me and said, “Francis, you don’t like me anymore.” and I said “No, it’s not that I don’t like you, we’ve chosen different styles of life. I still have beautiful souvenirs of all the things we did together and how close we were, but the truth is it’s not that you bore me, but I don’t enjoy talking to you anymore and I don’t want to fight with you but there’s nothing in common between your life and mine nowadays.” I would have never said that but he asked me. So what could I say? I said the truth. Growing up has a bit to do with that, to be able to tell the truth, to show who you are, even if it hurts.”
― Francis Mallman
In the midst of serious world and personal strife and struggle, big, ugly, lifey-life bitch-slapping, because she and her minions do not stop for Covid, we can only put salve on the wounds of those closest to us, by treating them according to that most old-fashioned of rules, the one made of gold… by doing what we can to help, with what we have available to us, even if that help comes only in the form of doing no (further) harm.
I awoke to twittering birdsong, and a fresh spring breeze danced through the open window, and I was puzzled, so I queried the disquieting encumbrance, which sat so heavily in my heart. And as every morning, since Monday last, I remembered where you are. I hold you close my dearest friend, like a child her well-loved flannel; And Parker visits yet again to whisper in our ears: “Constant use ha[s] not worn ragged the fabric of [our] friendship."* I love you ; with the entirety ; of our valiant, purple hearts. ~Marcela; with nothing but love and hope for your recovery, MySue. April 11, 2020 Writing and photo: All Rights Reserved - Marcela: Unfiltered *https://dorothyparker.com/books-by-dorothy-parker
You may or may not know that my body has been invaded by the Triple B threat of Borrelia (1) Babesia (2) and Bartonella (3). You may or may not care. You may or may not understand how insidious they are, the myriad myths (4) attached to them, the damages they cause, the havocs they wreak on every.single.living cell in the human body, every.single.life-sustaining.system and organ (5), or the dignity-affronting disdain, with which people like me, are (mis)treated.
People like me who were either mis- or un-diagnosed, or simply dis-regarded by so-called professionals in the sick-care system, and Joe and Jane ‘normal,’ alike. People like me for whom current mainstream and/or first lines of treatment are not only ineffective, but more often than not, make things worse, because the bugs are skilled adapters, persisters, and have the capacity to morph into different forms, to hide, in their ‘host,’ in this case, me. People like me who have concrete proof to present (e.g. MRI, ECG and other test results), but are repeatedly told that things like the lesions in our brains, the heart issues and so on and so on, are unrelated random, symptoms. People like me whose bodies are under siege by ever-growing armies of bacteria and/or malaria-like blood parasites. People like me who are categorically dismissed, left to our own devices, our own financial and other resources, with waning physical energies and often severely challenged cognitive capacities (because don’t forget, there is a bacterial and/or parasitic battle for territory, going on in our bodies/brains). People like me, are left to figure things out, or sadly, to just go away because even trying to talk about it anymore, with anyone, anyone at all, is a real and present trauma, and it becomes increasingly difficult ‘to deal,’ in all aspects of human functioning.
I should have pursued a PhD in tick-borne illnesses instead of Social Work and Counselling Psych., oh wait, I have! I just don’t get the piece of paper or letters behind my name for my time, money and troubles, but I digress, how odd… I may or may not care anymore about what anyone in the above noted groups think/believe/judge, about any of it. Stop, revise: I aspire, to get to the point when I am no longer vulnerable, susceptible to the derision noted previously, and the despondence it creates inside me, every.single.day.
What I do care about, is staying on my feet well enough to facilitate the continuing, perhaps lifelong battle, that this is; while maintaining some semblance of balance between sickness, and a desire for so much more out of the rest of my life, than that which is currently my reality.
The most recent manifestation and issue directly related to this scourge for me, is one not unknown in the Lyme & Co. trenches, and targets many whose bodies are developing (secondary to treatment), potentially life threatening filtration organ and detox (e.g. lymph drainage) system failures.
Reader’s Digest: We need to keep killing the bugs to stay alive because the havocs they wreak when left unchecked = extreme suffering and eventually a long and painful death, but; killing them creates endotoxin die-off which the body increasingly struggles to process, detox, eliminate. The kidneys, liver, lymph drainage and other filtration systems, already taxed to the max by the bugs, begin to malfunction and eventually fail.
This then, has been my predicament since November, when I had to stop all pharmaceutical, and most herbals that successfully kill the bugs, because all of my above noted drainage and filtration systems began to fail.
Being the proactive human I am, despite, stop; revise: because of my current and now prolonged battle, I have consulted with those in the know, done my research, and practice all manner of time-consuming, money-munching practices, protocols and procedures, in an effort to support my body eliminate the bad stuff; and all of that, with insultingly insufficient results. So in all my spare time, please read the intended sarcasm into that comment, I went back to my research drawing-board, consulted with previously mentioned ‘in the knows,’ and learned that many folks on this end of my precariously tilting ship, have had good success supporting the failing filtration and detox systems, with the use of Infrared Saunas.
Thus began a process of meticulous research, in all that spare time, into the finer points and distinguishing features of this wooden hot-box technology, which are better and why, and what to avoid at all costs, received the final seal of approval from my ‘in the know’ docs and proceeded with a methodical hunt for my very own box, used of course. Because that’s how I prefer to roll, even if I had all the money in the world, because there’s more than enough perfectly good pre-loved ‘stuff,’ in the world and the consumption of anything, is an ethical imperative. But again, I digress…
It was a with a heavy heart that I quickly gleaned that the reality of what I need, far superseded anything attainable, given what it costs me in pharma and naturopathics alike, to barely stay on my feet, because none of it is covered. So much for working in the sick-care system… but really, am I surprised, or naïve? Maybe…
And so with an equally heavy heart, I reached out to two online sellers of a hot-boxes that met all of the requirements for my needs, gave them a bit of background, and inquired as to whether or not they would be willing to support a payment plan. One responded with a resounding and owie-producing fuck you, and the other stated that she has many folks ahead of me in queue. My heart grew yet heavier as I reached out to you(s), my eclectically eccentric, further and nearer flung village and tribe, and you made it happen for me.
The woman with many in a queue reached back, took her price down by $100, and she and her husband delivered the hot-box to my patio. The Sailor helped me put it together, and as I write this, I weep tears of gratitude for all of you. I have been sweating regularly for a while now and my liver and kidney counts went back to almost normal just prior to the other big C-bug we are all dealing with, and my lymph nodes are less inflamed and painful, but I hope to brave a lab this week for more conclusive testing.
Testing which will determine whether or not I can re-start a heavy-hitter bug-killer. I cannot restart the NUKER until the C-word bug is done with all of us, because the levels of alcohol and other chemicals in everything we use to stay safe at work and that I need to use while out in the community could literally kill me in conjunction with said NUKER, it is a complex protocol and requires a vigilance in terms of food and topical products that is absolutely undoable in the current state of life and affairs. But, I consulted with one of my brilliant docs, and we are looking at a lesser-used anti-biotic that crosses the blood/brain barrier, in conjunction with a couple of other anti-microbials which target different bugs in different systems, in an effort to get a handle of theses beasts again. This particular anti-biotic (Minocycline), is known to cause massive die-off (good) toxicity (very bad), so it is risky relative to my very susceptible liver and kidneys, but I am going to give it a shot.
FFW to today:
I could not be in this position without your help, the sauna, and a number of other add-ons/protocols have made a difference, and coincidentally, the sauna is not a bad thing to have around to help my body with the big C-bug, should I become infected.
Blood sweat and tears has taken on new meaning, and I thank you, from the bottom of my tired and literally broken (by bugs) heart. You are the same handful of people who always suited and showed up when I fund-raised for others in the past, the people who have worked hardest/longest/trudged the most, to have what they have, which in some cases, is very little, I know this to be true. Nothing, but nothing, has ever come easily to any of you. I know this to be true. The same, staunch in their support of me handful of people, that have been there, for a very long time, some, my entire life.
It did indeed, take this village*, to raise (up) from the trenches, this hurting and battle-weary child, and the child is grateful to you, so very, deeply, grateful. You personify the best of humanity and I am privileged, so much richer, for your respective parts in my life. I will not let you down. I will continue to wage this war. How can I not believe in myself, when you so fervently continue to do so? With more love than the word will ever do justice to,
April 05, 2020
*M.P., S.G., C.W., C.M-S., K & K, J.R., J.M., R.W., P.C.Y.
A book of Mormon or a lion’s head bowl your dirty old sneakers and a used camisole A camping potty and a broken TV world’s ugliest chair contest-winner and its mate, the settee A tall concrete tiki set or a big rusty clock and bald vroom-vroom tires for the wannabe jock A Loong Foong vintage cookie tin and a scuzzy old toilet or a decrepit old rocker but don’t sit lest you spoil it A pair of leather-like boots or a real-plastic dresser and some moldy old books from a dusty professor An inflatable hot tub and fake-rattan patio chairs or some lightly used razors includes gross chinny-chin-chin hairs Some creepy old doll parts or a bagful of ‘hemp’ seeds all ready to sow and 2 dozen duck eggs though not in a row A box of A & W Mugs and ‘a fake owl to scare birds’ or a disgusting old hamster cage opportunely pre-soiled, comes with used turds An ‘Old-antique’ horse lamp and a ‘dead’ cow rug or some grossly stained mattresses replete with bed bugs A giant Yahtzze set and miniature chairs made of wicker or a pre-cracked ‘antique’ mirror prices are firm, please do not dicker Cement garden pigeons and barbicide for dog groomers or 4 and 6 inch flex hoses for all the DIY boomers These are but some of the ‘treasures’ You want me to buy Steals of a Deal And (crap)Pies in the Sky Thank you but no deal, at the best of times I would pass, but now during COVID I’d like to kick your sad ass. So Fuck-the-Fuck-Off, which means stay-the-fuck-home re-use and re-cycle up-cycle that thing please stop being a chump or WHEN COVID is done with us take your shit to the dump! With all the love I have, ~Marcela: Asking, begging FB Marketplace and local buy/sell/trade groups everywhere, to take the example of Ladysmith BC, and PLEASE shut.it.down, for the duration! These are NOT essential services, but they ARE actively contributing to the problem! No amount of legal-ass-covering-guidelines are going to change the thoughtless actions of STUPID; the OTHER pandemic. April 04, 2020
As I rummage and ruminate, categorize and discard, too many items, and thoughts, long of little utility, to you or I, though stubbornly occupying space, in my physical and internal environments, I am thunderstruck! …with that which we pay lip-service to; as a matter of course, in our excessive, daily rabblings and babblings; but rarely to never, truly abide by… . And of a sudden, nothing matters! Nothing; …with the exception, of how we choose to utilize, This Moment. And of a sudden, in this temporarily, to the outside world obligation-less life, I find freedom. ________________________________________________________ With boundless love, ~Marcela: choosing to live well, in the midst of my own, and our collective, uncertainty. March 24, 2020.
Dearest Young’en (it’s a new one, aren’t you excited?):
But I digress, how odd…
Dear Thomas George Raphael Turjančík (see, I remember your real name!): this day, at 13:29 Central European Standard Time, in the year 1991 (I did not have to look at the tattoo on my left forearm to remember), I met you.
You were as calm about it as you often are today, outwardly anyway, though we both know it’s different on the inside, I and your father on the other hand, wore our stuff, loudly on our sleeves.
We were happy, so very very happy, and excited beyond measure, and not a bit frightened, a great many bits frightened, each for our own reasons. The inner demons we had yet to quell, respectively and as a couple, had not yet been fully outed, never mind sorted.
But this event, your homecoming, changed us, at least for a short while, for the better, so much better. For you took us out of ourselves and into a frontier that your father had traveled to previously with your brothers, but one that I, had not yet ventured into; a world in which someone else is 100% reliant upon my reliability; a universe in which by default, I became the center of your universe. I was not ready for that, and I had so much to learn.
We know that there was a time I failed you, failed us, and we have jumped and tripped over many hurdles, vaulted over seemingly unreachable bars, and spent time in a deep, dark, abyss, individually and together; but we have both made it here. And you, the perfectly-imperfect child you have been, continue to be for me, have found to yourself, in a way that inspires awe in everyone you meet, and inspires awe in me, every.single.day.
And while I like to believe that my particular brand of parenting, what I stand for, has had a positive influence on who you are, how beautifully you function in the astonishingly complex world we occupy, that is; with a critically thinking intelligence, with grace, insight, with compassion, and kindness, all of this and more, is yours, yours alone, to own and take credit for.
It is the fruit of your labour, Thomas, of the hard, often painful personal work I have watched you wrestle with these past few years, supported when asked, but viewed from a distance that was often excruciating for me to keep. Know, as I believe you do, that I was (am) always ready and waiting with a life-ring when needed.
I cannot ask for a better gift on this day, the day I met you 29 years ago, than knowing, trusting, that when life offers up her lifey-life bitch-slaps, or we walk willingly, stupidly into them with eyes wide shut, for to believe that we do not, is to lie to self first and foremost, you will eventually find your way back out, and with a newly forged, temporarily, until next time, sense of self.
It is a gift for me to believe that you understand the importance of introspection, and personal revision, the critical role of, and need for personal evaluation and re-evaluation, the imperative of personal evolution as a constant, not as an event, and I thank my F.U.Gs that I can believe you are aware of this, central tidbit: every response or reaction you choose, to anything or anyone else, that while fueled by those outward influences, is a thing generated internally, by self, and self-alone, it is a choice.
This is important, for to believe otherwise cloaks us in a coat of personal powerlessness, a coat I could not bear to watch you wear, the coat of blame and perpetual victim-hood. I have worn it; it is an outdated, heavy, ugly garment, best recycled into something more useful, like a pair of really great shoes, or better yet, an I-love-me/you-jacket.
And so this, my child, the child I would have chosen had I been given a choice of who I want you to be, is my Advanced Directive: do not wait for lifey-life to get back to ‘normal,’ ever. Live it as best you can, in the moment, right-the-fuck-now, under the current circumstance, and/or restriction. Live it with purpose, and accomplish, take a single step toward something you yearn, burn to do, every.single.day.
Take my advice, for I was not using it. I have wasted too many of my days on irrelevant (to me) endeavors, in the name of others, their beliefs, their needs, their power, their ill or well intentions toward me… bla bla fucking bla…. Do NOT, I beseech you, under any circumstances, follow my ill-fated lead in this regard.
I love you more than any word will ever do justice to, and I thank my F.U.Gs for you, every.single.day, for 10,593 days, and counting.
All my love,
There have been others since I came to live here, but you commanded and kept my attention, from the first time ever, that I saw your extraordinarily bright, red paint.
And since that moment, when you dwarfed everything around you and obligated me to see you, I have wanted to get closer, wanted to get a better view, and always wanted, always yearned, to see you again.
I needed to experience your power, relentlessly, and with great fervor. And for weeks now, I have been captivated by you, visually, psychologically, emotionally, and with irrevocable commitment.
And I have compulsively sought you out, with the diligence and precision of a skilled stalker, from every vantage point, in this hilly town.
For weeks now, each and every morning, I have clambered groggily up to the step-stool view in my sleeping chamber, because knowing you were there allowed me to face another day, and I have been awed by the turmoil you create, deep, so deep inside me.
For weeks now, each and every evening, no matter how fatigued, I bid you good night, because you give me some measure of consolation, succour, in my solace-less world.
You have represented all that is true about me, the contradictions, and I am as contentiously conflicted about you, as I am about most things.
Your intensity screamed to my own; and like the others in the bay, like me, you are a political and personal hot-potato, and I love you-I hate you, come here-go away, fuck-off, no! fuck-on!
And you present me with a familiar quandary: what is right for the world around me versus what I get, what I need, from you, from the world around me.
And so by direct extension, you have been a secret, conflicted indulgence, analogous for me, to beautiful footwear, but made in China by slaves and their enslaved children.
And I have viewed you with my naked eyes, and through binoculars, and I have captured you with my camera over and over again, from my step-stool view, from the highway coming home, from my excursions on the hilly trails, and from my perambulations about the town.
And this morning, when I opened the curtain to greet you, you knocked the breath right out of me, for the light had you glowing in shades of gold and pewter, and I was mesmerized, shaken to the core, by the beauty of you, and the light, the indescribable, iridescent light, and the way you played together, with, and in the sea.
And I remembered Barrett-Browning, and knew I will do well to concern myself with, fly toward the light, despite additional bruising of my oh-so broken wings.
And my despair collided head-on inside me with the memory of who I am, the shine and vibrancy used to describe me for decades by others, now hoarded away far too long, by me, recently, because: pain.
And I wonder; if like me, despite meticulous maintenance of mechanical parts and attention to aesthetic details, you may meet an undignified, rusted out, abandoned, demise?
But your light rouses me from the melancholy of this early morning reverie and while you are neither Sunflower nor Water Lily on a A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, van Gogh, Monet, Seurat alike, would have been as awestruck by that light show, by your radiance, as I.
So it is little wonder that this evening, upon reaching the place on the highway, the place where I always spy you first, returning from my hated-reality, hot tears burned my cheeks with a vengeance that took me by surprise, but at the same time, not at all.
For I realized that you had left me, as I knew you would; suspected this very morning, that today might be that day, the day I find you gone.
And all that, in a painful morning stupor, while bedazzled, so very smitten, by your glow, your nod to me, to heed Browning’s wise words, to keep fluttering my wings, toward the light, toward my light.
And I am so very grateful, to me, for all the times I hunted you down, from yet another place and angle. I am richer for having enjoyed you, and you fueled, no, you ignited, new fantasies of leaving, to live my art, whenever my eyes, my heart, the core of me, met your steel girth, your vibrant and vivacious red coat.
And I never coveted you more than this morning, never appreciated you more, than in those parting moments, when you willfully, boastfully even, occupied that space, your space in the vast vast sea, wearing the gold,
of the Queen you are.
~Marcela: one skin, 58.7 years, life/version 19.9, and counting.
March 04, 2020