It wasn’t my fault…..line; oh yeah, it was!

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2018-01-27_12.54.32In which Captain Merphlepoof sleeps through an earthquake, Lorelei spends half this blog naked, there is some unnecessary meanness, but Nurse Practitioner’s Rule and so do Social Workers!

Sometimes insomnia is a blessing. On January fourth, 2018, while early-to-bedders were startled awake in the dark by the earth shaking their beds, I had all my lights on and was wide awake for the roll. My cat slept through it though. She is getting old after all. She used to be a very efficient early warning system. It wasn’t a huge quake, though it felt further up the scale than it actually was since this time it was close. It was also long and loud, I watched my furniture sway while my bed, my solid redwood bed, shook for about 20 seconds. If it hadn’t been deep, I suspect there would have been damage. The worst part for someone with C.P.T.S.D. is the sound. It was loud. It roared and grumbled. Inside the apartment, it sounded like things were breaking, but nothing was damaged. If it had been less of a roller and more of a throwing things up and down, that might have been different!

Because I was awake and had my lights on, I was impressed, but fairly unconcerned. I had exited the shower only about ten minutes earlier, another lucky break, and was sprawled on my bed naked. When the walls started to groan, I should have jumped up and thrown something on, but as the earth’s crust rolled to a stop, I sat still waiting to see if it was going to start up again. It felt like a pre-shock. I’ve been there before. And as I sat there in all my vulnerable glory, my Kindle started to ping as the flood of Facebook posts came in: Earthquake? Did you feel that? EARTHQUAKE!! That had to have been at least a 5! And soon the magnitude and location started being posted, and then the adjusted magnitude of 4.4.

26172839_10209870398387818_3866016165342914805_oTwenty minutes later, I was still au natural, one eye on Facebook, the other on my tall shelves, in case they started to sway again, ears perked for stony growls. It crossed my mind that perhaps a good aftershock was needed, at least to motivate me to put pajamas on. It would have served me right if I had had to run out in the hallway, but lucky for the neighbors, I didn’t. Merph was still sleeping soundly. Finally, she awoke and stretched with a chirp.

People were posting about their dogs freaking out. Merph yawns and says, “Meeeer Ma Meh” which translates to, “Pfft. Dogs. Such cowards! I do not bother to wake up for less than a 5.5. Pet me.” 

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I was still getting notifications about the earthquake an hour later. I’m still awake, because I would be anyway, but I now had an extra layer of anxiety.

The feed is homogeneous, except for one stray housing listing.

My feed looked like this:

“earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake earthquake” LOOK! This is very EXCITING! It’s a HOUSING POST at a rate I CAN AFFORD!

The earthquake was in Berkeley. Someone in Berkeley is NOT posting about the earthquake. WTF?  Oh, BUT WAIT! The WTF’s don’t stop there!
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Another Mothers Day Blog

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I don’t have the spoons to write a big Mother’s Day blog this year.

Mother’s Day is one of the rough ones for me. Honestly, ALL of the, “in your face commercialized holidays” are rough when you have painful family issues. It’s probably just as well, I’m still recovering and slept through the whole day. I missed most of the cheery, teary sugar and schmaltz and that’s just fine with me.

Some people I know and care about lost moms recently. Some have mothers who had health scares or were in the hospital this year. I want to send extra love to those who are missing their mothers and to those for whom Mother’s Day has extra meaning because they weren’t sure there mother’s would be here this year.

 
As always, I want to acknowledge those for whom Mother’s Day hurts because their relationship with their mother is/was difficult, terrible or absent. I want to acknowledge those mother’s who pulled out all the stops to love and protect their child but lost them anyway through death, drugs, mental illness or just emotional distance. I want to shout out to all the heroic parents who have had to be both Mom and Dad to their kids. And I want to give a big hug to all those Moms whose kids happen to be furry, feathered or scaled. You aren’t less than because you chose to nurture a pet rather than pop out a hooman. You have your reasons. It’s cool. Maternal love doesn’t discriminate.

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Beasts of No Nation

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“Sun, why are you shining on this world? I am wanting to catch you in my hands, to squeeze you until you cannot shine no more. That way, everything is always dark and nobody is ever having to see all the terrible things that are happening here”

-Agu (Beasts of No Nation)

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I made it a good way through the film as a witness, without shedding a tear until this haunting monologue, exquisitely executed by young marvel, Abraham Attah. I hope we are going to get to see more of this brilliant young actor who holds his own with Idris Elba!

I’m not going to go into the plot of this film much as it’s pretty straight forward. Like the novel, it describes the loss of innocence and experiences of a child soldier in Africa, like those of the, “Lost Boys.”  What I will say is this. You MUST, must see this film!

Beasts of No Nation is showing in the smaller arthouse theaters and you can also see it on Netflix! Netflix produced this film. It is breathtakingly beautiful, hopeful and heart crushing. The acting is superb. It’s not easy to watch, but it’s well worth your time and you won’t feel emotionally manipulated or as if you’ve been shown violence or gore for the sake of it. The violence is not gratuitously graphic. Neither is it glossed over.

As someone whose childhood horrors forged my PTSD, I have so much empathy for these child soldiers who are ripped from their families and molded into monsters. You do what you have to do to survive and if you are tenacious, lucky and can hold on to some of the better pieces of you humanity you come out the other side with the ability to be happy.

Thank you Netflix for adapting this novel by Uzodinma Iweala. Even though the country and conflict are fictional the turmoil and circumstances are very real in some parts of Africa. I hope the film makes more people have compassion, awareness and to desire an understanding of situations in other countries that we like to pretend aren’t our problem or don’t affect us. And bravo to Netflix, not only for tackling a subject that is not pretty but is also not about white people. How marvelous to see a film, and an important one at that, about people of color where white people haven’t been injected into it! Huzzah!

Here is the trailer for Beasts of No Nation

Really, go see this film or watch it at home! That is all!

Thought Soup

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THOUGHT SOUP

Pensive to the point of inertia
Still
Slowly air moves in and out
Lips remain silent
Thoughts bound up in themselves
Words
Movement
Being
Seem impossible
Until some resolution
Finds its way through the muck
Surfaces
Acts
Puts in motion
Thoughts
That started as seeds
Then tangled in their own roots
For a while
Before bursting forth
That is a moment
A place in mind
I frequent these days
Deep, thick, tangled thoughts
Fermenting in
An emotional broth
Nutrient rich
Slowly stirred
Simmered
Usually just until it’s ready
But sometimes
Boiling over

LM 2015

The Deep

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THE DEEP

Do you feel my heart beneath your feet?
Do you feel the wave of turbulence about to spring up from the deep?
Do you sense that hand upon your back?
Do you know with every waking thought that a moment’s going to crack?

There’s a storm a brewing in the deep;
An awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep.
I know you hear it knocking despite the fire at your door.
Don’t be afraid to answer. It’s too loud to be ignored.

Do you hear the simple rhythm of the night?
When you look up, do you have a crown of stars or see merely scattered light?
Do you care what all this fight is for?
Do you know how many years of blood have left their mark upon this floor?

There’s a song forming in the deep;
An awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep.
I know you hear it calling through the forest, over the hills
Don’t be afraid to sing along, or listen standing still.

Have you felt time pass you, taking toll?
Do you hear the sounds of cracks and fissures, breakage in your soul?
Do you fear it’s certainly too late,
Now that you finally can articulate the change you want to make?

There’s a pearl forming in the deep,
An awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep;
Carried through an open window on the siren song of chance,
Inviting you to drop your burden and join into the dance.

Do you feel your heart beneath my wing?
Have you seen such strength mistaken for a brief and fragile thing?
Do you feel my hand inside your hand?
Does it matter any more to you where this flight is going to land?

Don’t be afraid of rumbling in the deep;
The awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep.
Greet that unfamiliar part of you like a dear and treasured friend.
Take a good look, hold it close, to love the dark is not an end.

Have you caught the scent of winter’s death?
Do you sense the rush of spring’s return in each and every breath?
You can taste the jasmine in your mouth.
Wounded hearts have steeped in every cup, yet flowers do pour out.

There’s a calm found after every storm,
A confidence, a knowing that you now are safe from harm.
There’s no sense treading water when your feet have found dry land.
Let the deep slip from your shoulders lost in endless sand.

-LM 2015

Perspective

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Remember those writing exercises where your teacher would give you an image and ask you to tell a story about it? I am playing with a new project where I  pull a random photo from my archives and write something, whatever comes off the top of my head. My rule, spend no more than 5-10 minutes max on the whole thing, then send it to a friend as their morning, “Hello!”

It gives me a writing exercise and lets them know I am thinking about them. Maybe it gives them a bit of motivation for their day. Anyway, fun project so far.

This photo is of Bella, a cat I care for when her humans are away. Bella loves this box!

The Night Opens

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The night opens

The Night opens wide
And will sit on your tongue
Bitter or sweet
Your experience
Your Choice
Your Time
Your Lips
Your eyes
Let it in
Shut it out
It matters not to me
What you do with the night
Thick and sticky in your mouth
Clear as crystal in the palm of your hand
Worrying the worms of your brain
A thousand scarves waving in the breeze
Black scarves
And moth wings of grey
Charcoal smudges
Silvery waves
Red hot embers
On the soles of your feet
Sleep to dream
or sleep to die
Or sleep not at all
The night is free
But can make you a prisoner
Your experience
Your choice
Your time
Your eyes
Your lips

LM September 2015