The Lil Somethin-Somethin Daily Practice

Today is day 2 of my Lil Somethin Somethin Practice. I call it that and spell it that way because, after wanting to have and do  a daily practice for forever, I have finally found out what is gonna work for  me. The Practice is “thin” because it is not very long.  It is “Lil”, an abbreviation of  LITTLE because it is NOT BIG, as in weighty, too hard to do, a hassle, a problem, etc, etc and etc!   My mind needs to regard this daily event to be about as weighty as confetti thrown up into the air, or it will load the proverbial camel up with shit until the poor thing collapses and dies  in the sand.

The way that I am making it possible for me to do this is to get up out of bed and say to myself:  “DON’T SIT DOWN until  you do your practice.”  This way, the computer and it’s huge yawning  mouth of information, just waiting to swallow me up, can’t get me.

“Somethin-Somethin” also is about it not having to have really complicated and perfect content. My mobility/yoga teacher Courtney has told me her pre-asana stuff that she teaches weekly can be done in 12 minutes. And my other yoga teacher Meg says do the sun salutes, a sitting posture, twist, inversion and short shivasana, and boom! you are done.

I’ve finally realized doing ANYTHING at all daily, is a win. I have the focus of a mashed potato in this madly tech-y, way too many choices daily circus. And I would probably live most happily without a computer if the ding danged thing didn’t have Facebook and a lot of stuff I got to use it for to get along.  Youtube is far too useful for the study of music as well.

Part of my practice is now to look in the mirror and be with what is there.  And I’ve been amused by how the universe has tested my resolve right off the bat. There was an important phone call which my tape machine took while I was in shivasana yesterday. Today it was my beautiful cat Daisy coming round twice for mashing.  She’s the sweetest thing and irresistibly mashable unless you are a mouse.

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That Cut to the Quick Timeless Moment

Last Thursday I was sitting in a drum class trying not to let my yet-to-be diagnosed and treated thyroid condition take me out of consciousness. I started to slide into fatigue, my eyes were closing, and when I realized it was happening, I sat up and took some breaths. I really like  that  drum class, and the teacher is one of the best I’ve ever had.  My energy wasn’t the best, but I managed to wake up and stay waked up.

When the break came, the teacher drifted around to hob nob with some clusters of other students. He’s been nothing but good and real human being  to me, but because of my lack of energy, I kept to myself,  fooled with my drum and notebook.  I have gained weight, and have been dragging ass  even before the symptoms got stronger in the last 2 months.  He came over to some people near me to share something, and though I had chosen not to engage, I had a sudden flash of feeling left out, even though I knew perfectly well it wasn’t actually true, either with the other people of this class or the teacher.

The flash became a tidal wave of hurt, deep shame and sorrow, swept over me and suddenly I was back sitting on that  bed  in a hot hotel room post grope,  clutching a top sheet to my chest,  in my little twenty something  braids, watching my father lying on his bed in his underwear, drunkenly apologizing and crying himself to sleep.  As the break ended and the teacher stepped up to resume teaching, I could feel my face crumpling and tears  welling up. I tried not to shut down completely or bolt.

It was like being swept out into a vast, stormy sea of grief, barely able to tread water. For breathless  seconds which seemed like an eternity, I felt the incomprehensibly horrific  feeling of being contaminated, somehow to blame for what had happened, exposed as an evil, disgusting , sexually out of control , monstrous piece of shit. The bone deep shame a person, once experiencing it, never wants to feel ever again, and will do anything to avoid, bury and hide forever from self, others and the world at large.

I also felt the immense abyss of internal isolation this has created, all the affection, touch, love, passion and joy it has prevented me from experiencing, because I am this  contaminated being,  a huge life toll for that ONE incident.  I know how lucky I am there was only one, but I also know it was never about  just that one “incident”. It was never just about what he did that day. It is about how our society is  blind to the fact  emotional and sexual violation  is  deeply woven into the fabric of acceptable parenting, allows  it to go on and on and on.  I love that clinical word  “incident,”  because it reduces a whole body of ignorant and cruel collective beliefs  into a  THING.  When you can reduce something into a THING, it implies you can find a way to control it. But this is another lie, because a THING that requires you feel it to be aware of it, which you never want to feel is not a THING you can deal with but a THING controlling you without your consent or awareness.

That THING that makes me believe  I can never trust myself or my body, never be safely  sexual, never actually feel love or get it from anyone else.  I turned my face to my music stand and notes, wiped my tears away three times, and let the waves of grief subside into an ache over the life of meaning and love I have lost and may never be able to have. The final thought that there must be something I can do about it for me and others trickled in.   And then I  resumed  drumming.

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The N’er Do Well Speaks

Well Mom, I think I am finally understanding you a whole lot better. After suffering for one month and 20 days from an elevated heart rate, MORE weight gain, MORE constipation, probable high blood pressure, abnormal heat in my extremities, fatigue that makes me crash for hours at a time during the day even if I sleep at night and knowing it is related to my thyroid, I now have experienced what you were dealing with for a major portion of your life.   DAMN! IT REALLY SUCKS and IT’S’  SCARY as all get out.

And now I know what you were facing with the doctors, why you got a hysterectomy and took all the prescription drug  crap that made your bones thin, kept you from sleeping, eroded your short term memory, and finally led to you not being able to swallow or breathe.  The synthroid and the Premarin helped you, extended your well being and life for some time, but they also began to fail at a certain point. I’m so sad you could not talk to me about it, especially when your energy started to get less and less. I remember when I noticed you getting tireder and tireder. When you stopped getting outside and working on the horsefarm, which was the love of your life.  Now I know why you had so much trouble keeping the horses fed, finishing anything, why you lied about it, leaned on me and anyone you could get away with using,  covered up for yourself, neglected your dog and starved our cat, then got rid of her after Dad died.  Why you kept on drinking Coke and eating M&M peanuts, microwaved hotdogs and banannas with mayo on them. Why you couldn’t go shake down that arrogant heart surgeon who did Dad’s bypass. You didn’t have the energy, couldn’t trust yourself to confront anyone. And that was why you went with that bastard contractor when you shouldn’t have.

The Doctors didn’t care about your slowly worsening conditions. You had fought that battle before, time and time again, hadn’t you. You had been told to go to a therapist or change your diet. You had been prescribed some other drugs that didn’t help or made things worse, and there was no where to go except to swallow the goddamned pills every day and slowly fade.  I remember so well the few times you told me that your mother had been blessed with vitality and health throughout her life until the end, when  she got uterine cancer and died, that she would fiercely smother anyone who wasn’t well with so much  caring that you couldn’t stand being sick or weak around her. I have no doubt you watched her emotionally strangle Dolly, and it was something that led you to emulate your stoic and always gone Father, whom you identified with unimpeachable power and worth.

Maybe that is why you didn’t much like or respect me. I was full of physical health but lost, and you thought I was weak because of that. I knew deep down I wasn’t  safe emotionally, which was proven again and again in worse ways the older I got, and though you and Dad fought so hard to provide me with the education, recreation and opportunity that was immense, I was unable to mature emotionally and utilize it. God how differently I see you now that I am suffering from what you were suffering from. And how differently I feel now about your abandonment of me through your blindness as to how your facade of having it together affected me. The thing that hurt me the most was  that I couldn’t figure out what was wrong between us. I  could only conclude that you were heartless, hated me, and wouldn’t admit it. Your not admitting it kept everything so confusing I continued to flounder in my life.   I tried to defy that by getting out into the world and proving you wrong and completely failed on all fronts to leave you and the nest for good.  So I became what you wanted me to be: The worthless slave/whore, the “N’er Do Well” who would take care of you unto death. God, how I have hated you.

Today, I have more options than you did for treating thyroid and getting the poisonous mercury out of my teeth. Ironically, the money you , Dad and my Aunts  created through work and investment  is going to pay for it.  There are literally thousands of people who are suffering the way you did. I’m sorry you were so  alone with it. And when I go to ACA meetings now I cry. I cry for you and I cry for me.

 

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It’s Time to Wake Up Again

Today I went to a health care clinic, got quizzed on my drug/alcohol/std/domestic abuse life, talked to a doctor, got an EKG, and had blood drawn.  Yesterday it took everything I had inside to look up when I’d last had a physical and make the call to the Medi Cal clinic to make an appointment.  I got a physical two years ago, when I needed to prove I wasn’t messed up for a clubbell certification workshop I was going to.  Getting my blood drawn is always a big problem, because I have thin, rolling veins and often they can’t get the blood they need for the blood panel. Today they did, and this was a huge win because I hate feeling faint and weak while they poke around to find a vein and I’m fasting, which I was this morning.

Never mind that I’ve been having minor, vague  symptoms for years that I have refused to pay attention to that are now really in my face: I now have have  constant  heart palpitations, hot  throbbing in my face, throat, shoulders, hands, legs and sometimes my feet. I’ve gained weight where I can’t afford to gain any more, and I’m chronically fatigued to the point that I have to crash as in pass out twice a day minimum. I’m not in pain, but I don’t feel well, and that is a huge alarm bell ringing. I have never in my life weighed 211 lbs before. I am officially obese, have been for too long.

It’s been shocking for me to realize how long and hard I’ve  been  doing the family pattern of avoiding dealing with my health, lying to my self, being secretive with others, and being afraid, being afraid, being afraid.  And I’ve been forced to face the fact getting online to compulsively chase information without actually doing anything about anything is NOT taking care of myself.  My parents did a lot of things right, but they had health issues they didn’t face well over time, and I watched them suffer for it. I suffered because I had to watch them suffer and caregive my mother through it all.

I had a good thing happen before I went to the doctor: I found a download of an e-book I’d purchased some time ago that is a comprehensive guide to women’s endocrine biochemistry. Reading it gave me courage because I admire it’s author and want to be and look like her. Pauline Norden’s Fighter’s Diet’s Black Book is going to help me. I had that flash of relief and inspiration. Now I want good to super health with a vengence. I finally have both the desire and the commitment to do whatever it takes, well fueled by the real threat of not being able to feel good. I’m ready to eliminate the pattern of self abandonment and neglect for good.

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I Am Furious Yellow

Today when I was in a food store I frequent locally, one that I visit almost daily due their wide selection of things I like eat and buy, I happened by chance to see a woman I don’t know well that I am acquainted with through attendance to 12 step meetings.  This woman, a striking, tall,  blue eyed blonde, greeted me with seeming affection. She said my name, asked me how I was and we exchanged a sort of shallow hug.

In my happy, little love-to-meet&greet extrovert fashion, I made a comment about the fact I liked to count the colors of jackets she wears, because the one she was wearing was black, and I’ve seen her on separate occasions with the very same jacket in green and in turquoise.

Not long after, when I was I was in a different aisle shopping, she appeared in front of me suddenly and asked me if I was being passive-aggressive in making the comments I had, or was it her.  While I told her no, I have no aggressive agendas except that I like her, she repeated the question, following it the second time with a muddled request that, if I was being passive-aggressive to please stop.  I repeated my answer  while she repeated her disclaimer that it might be what she does with stuff in her head.

It was minutes after that encounter that I realized that what she was doing with all that was completely passive-agressive, very effective in getting into my guts and making me feel like some kind of piece of shit for doing what is natural and perfectly ok for me. It hurt, and then came the fury, flooding through me like fire.  Very un-passive scripts of aggressive things I could say to her emerged, like Godzilla in my imagination.

Now I’m grateful it happened, because it is only signaling that I’ve grown into having new capacity to actually feel my feelings, be connected with them, and have courage enough to begin learning how to safely  express them. And I am not shocked this happened. Women are full of shit from centuries of oppression from within and without.  Until we embrace and cultivate the ability to stand up in our  power  with intention in our world, we will continue to fuck with and hurt each other in this way. It’s an unwritten law that women do not respect each other and feel completely justified in taking out their shit on whoever they think they can get away with doing it to, because most often they do get away with it. Women don’t have the covertly condoned right to violence with each other that men do, so we take it because we can’t afford to be cast out socially.

The guy got bombed tonight and belligerent, so I went to a meeting to get away from his bullshit, and there was Mz Thang. I’ve got her number, and am prepared for dealing with her poison. I’m out of the OFF WITH HER HEAD phase, and into the cold war. She’s toast in my personal world, either way.

 

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Cat Pre-Requiem and Confession

This morning I came out of a Honey BBQ flavored twisted Frito induced stupor and saw my cat sitting in the hallway. She looked generally Ok, but I know she is not. OK, that is, in going to be all right and live forever, so I don’t have to deal with the loss of her. She seems to be watching something, something I can’t see, and nothing in particular of this plane.

I picked her up and put her on my chest, feeling the freezing  cold  of her paws, ears and tail, which I know is from my administration of a thyroid transdermal  medication goo I smeared on her ear last night.  She purrs, her sweet body and  fur is silky in my hands, and I weep at the joy of still being able to hold and touch her, but feeling and knowing without a doubt she is going, moving towards death.  She is deaf, has been for some time, but still gives out a little”mrrh” when I touch her. She has the look of a cat already partly in the spirit world. Hanging out in the hall is yet another new senior behavior.

Just a minute ago I missed her, frantically searched for her, found her   crashed out on the back cat station. The cat station is a low bureau with a folded bath towel, water and dry kibble. All the cats in  our house know this is the center of catdom, and all visit or hang out there to establish periodically that they own us and belong, which they do.

I took her to a new  vet two days ago, and it was confirmed her blood pressure and heart rate are sky high.  I’ve known for weeks at least her metabolism has been racing, and the two pumps of goo twice a day aren’t enough.  Because I know that chemical, medicine though it may be, affects digestion and I hear her gut do a soft Urrrp everytime I pick her up, I stupidly, selfishly had given her less and become erratic about making sure she got her supposed to be twice a day application. In my defense, she did urp up stomach fluid and barf up some food here and there.  I have mightily lied to myself that my guy is the one who is impulsive and inconsistent in taking care of our cat, and now I know so clearly he is not. I’ve been terribly neglectful and full of shit about it.

I put off taking her to vet again even when I knew her breath and heart have been far to fast for days, wallowing in some delusional idea there’s nothing more to be done except have the vet suspect I’ve fallen down on my job, which I have, and possibly being told I should put her down.  I’ve now found out the prices for euthanasia, cremation and burial. The new vet called me last night and has given my orders: 4 pumps of goo once a day, blood pressure medication to follow, two pumps of it for a week also.

I know I will write this now, dress, eat,  do the house chores, then go to the DMV to take my driving test, come home and then go somewhere else. Time will pass. She may die at any moment, and, unlike any other thing I have ever experienced in my life, I feel my grief and love for her so completely that I am alive like never before.  I need to write this now.

My dear One,  I love you and I need to tell your spirit just how much you have filled my life.  When you came into our life, you were a kitten and the answer to a desperate prayer of mine.  My guy  had broken his leg, had a cast from his toe to his hip, and was living in a van in a boat storage yard with people illegally living there. I was stuck in a limbo of never being able to get my life together enough to leave my mother’s life and houses. I had prayed for a sign, even asking to be shown if me and my guy were supposed to die because we were worthless, nowhere losers who our families did not respect or care about.

You showed up, a  soft gray and orange little  kitten with dainty little white feet at the yard.  Though you were fed kibble by the people of the yard, you were this sassy little stealth thing and my guy couldn’t catch you.  You weren’t spayed or particularly safe at that yard. There was  a mean old tom who’d beat you up and try to rape you periodically. There were other cats and a dog competing for food and affection. There wasn’t always clean water for you to drink.  One time you got drenched with transmission fluid from the many vehicles you lived under, and if we had not have gotten a vet tech friend to bathe you and remove it’s toxic effect on you, you might have not made it.

You started taking refuge in the van because it was a safe place and my guy started to feed you things like tuna. You were the light of his daily life. You were swift and clever and used to sit on the foot of his cast, out of reach. The day came when he had healed enough to have his cast cut off down to his knee. This sudden change in his mobility  was beyond your comprehension, you didn’t know things were different, and he caught you with his hands.  Then the love  began.

To me,  at first, you were just another cat my guy was obsessed with.  As the months went on, I saw how special you were to him and you began to be special to me also, though I didn’t dare hope we could have you having witnessed  the sticky and unpredictable nature of relations in the yard. We got you spayed, and free of transmission fluid. Months went by, and I knew the living in the yard had to come to an end sooner or later.  My guy had drug and alcohol related anger outbursts. He broke some things that were ours. We had been paying a sort of rent. The woman of the  host couple devised a way to expel us, never imagining she could have simply told us they needed us to leave.  She smashed up some things in the yard and told her partner my guy had done it, baiting him to plan on beating my guy up and driving him from the yard.  The man of the couple bragged to others he was planning on it.  It happened when I was not around.

My guy, still in a partial cast, was yelled at, and literally shoved and pushed out of the yard into a dirt ditch.  The host guy doing this dared my guy to hit him, which would be grounds for calling the police.  My guy walked to a mutual friend’s house and called me. Temporary arrangements were made.  You were still in the yard. We knew we had to find a place to live and get you out of the yard. I couldn’t do it for me or my guy, but I could do it for you. It was touch and go for agonizing days and weeks. We had to come in stealth, take you out of the yard, and place you with a friend we paid to house you while we got an actual home.

You were the brightest light in our lives. When I finally bought the home, and we brought you here, you disappeared and we had to find you several doors down. There was the time you got trapped under the foundation of Scott the fisherman’s house next door when he was making repairs and I could hear you meowing somehow and we got you out. What you’ve endured for 20 years with us is unbelievable.  I’m so sorry for the craziness which has been a mainstay of your life with us.   We have so taken you for granted.

I remember the joy of playing with you almost daily in our home which was a shambles and needed work for years. I remember taking to you to mom’s land and housing you in the upper studio of the tractor barn. You adapted so perfectly there on water and kibble.  And you adapted when mom died and we brought  you back here. I remember the terror I had for years that I couldn’t afford  to feed and vet you properly.  It took a long time for me to learn how to take care of you, and your older age has not been easy.  I know you’ve had to deal with overfeeding, renal failure, fleas, other cats, being over handled, a lot of neglect, our temper tantrums and fights,  untrimmed claws catching in things, falling, hurting, being bored out of your skull, wounds and being handled too much.

You are the most beautiful soul and being. I love you and I can’t imagine living my life without you. When I have been lost and hating my life, there was one thing I was sure of: that I did not want to leave  you.  This does not mean you can’t be  really annoying. You know somehow you are the queen of us, and, in particular the guy. You are the key to our hearts.  Thank you beautiful being, for sharing your life on this earth with us.

 

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Now O’Clock High

Yesterday I spent 3 hours painting a piece of cardboard with acrylics.  This was my first stab at creating some sort of representation of a “Now Clock”. I’ve seen clocks online which have the word “NOW” in place of the numerals usually seen on a clockface. I may in fact look them up again.

I borrowed an image from the Osho deck card called “Healing” and made a white and green flower of life heart chakra-y thing in the center with bright yellow around it, white glow radiating out. I put glowing pale blue hands, one danging a pendulum over the center, another at the bottom, then blissful violet and orange around the larger radius of the center.  Then I filled out the edges of the square cardboard with splotches of black and mucky brown. I added copper open mouths and dots for eyes and nose to represent hungry ghosts and draining energies around the pretty spirit colors.  Then I wrote “Now O’Clock” on the right side and added motion marks to show the pendulem swinging.

I just bought a small pendulum which is made out of labradorite. It has a cloudy, dull olive and black appearing  plumbob. Twice now, I’ve managed to tie a knot in the fine chain it’s attached which is hard to undo. I’ve decided I don’t like the tiny cluster of stones at the end of the chain either.  This morning I drove into my home driveway in full jealousy/feeling left out mode because I  had just seen two people I have formerly associated with but now can’t be around walking down the street together.  As I turned off my engine, the sun hit my new pendulum, and I saw areas of vivid azure, gold, orange  and glowing rose in streaks on the top of it.  I bought that particular one because I caught a glimpse of the vivid luminous blue without knowing how much beauty was in it.  The very tip of the plumbob has that glowing blue and one of the facets has other colors. This cheers me.

I’m now grateful for all my endless attempts to lose weight and detoxify my body which did not succeed. What it did do was keep me from being incapacitated and sicker than I am now. My teeth throb and I wake up with a dry metallic mouth multiple times during the night. I am often  hot because it’s low level mercury poisoning, not just the overactive kidneys, thyroid  and hormone imbalances, disfiguring, sagging pounds of fat which place pressure on my bladder and inguinal areas.

I suspect I am closer to Now O’Clock land because I’ve been making and eating my own grilled cheese sandwhiches and really enjoying them, eating less. This after starting to embrace piano playing and practice.  Right now  I’ve stopped  worrying  about GMOs, and  how the cheese and evil pesticide laced wheat bread is poisoning me. I’m tired of obsessing about all the poisons in our world and life. If the facts of science fully ruled our reality, we’d all be dead.

 

 

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When the Undead Kick Ass

I just had an “IT” moment watching a gross but cute fantasy Netflix tv show about a young woman zombie. It’s plot setup is styled like a comic book and it employs as light a touch possible considering it’s heroine works in a morgue so she can eat the  brains of murdered people and have visions from those she eats on who murdered them so that she can solve  cases.  Never mind that it’s completely unbelievable that she has shock white hair, a disheveled looking haircut,  corpse white  skin and goth makeup around her eyes that somehow her family and fiance’ don’t recognize as signs of her being one of the undead.

Anyway, our heroine is home when an asian gang bad guy shows up to her house to kill her because she knows too much.  She’s eaten the brain of an executed undercover cop posing as a  gang member who is also asian, so she temporarily knows kung fu. She bests her would be killer with great moves, probably wing chun, and saves her younger brother, who has come home with a large pizza. Brother dearest is yet another family member who does not know she’s a zombie, so she covers up her martial arts ass kicking of the bad guy  to him and the cop detective she works with, saying she got in a “lucky punch.”  This character knows she can’t openly be too powerful in front of her male allies, so she has to minimize and hide it.  Women who can effectively fight are starting to pop up in cinema more and more, though it’s usually portrayed in an incidental way.

We women live our lives in a deep collective hypnosis around being able to protect ourselves. We have to, because this has been the foundation of control over the literal and figurative feminine for centuries. To stop being in the cloud of absolute denial we will have to first feel the pain around how brain washed and completely hung out to dry we are.  We have been doing it to ourselves for centuries. It’s so easy to program mental slavery and self imprisonment in a human being. Just convince them they have no choice, that this is the only way things can be or they will be alone, reviled , shunned, punished, cast out.

I am finally no longer asking myself what will happen if I go and learn what I need to in order to protect myself in  fear.  Fear of what others will think, fear of how threatened and hostile and dangerous it will be to  stand out, to do what is tacitly forbidden. God forbid any woman be able to do what is necessary to take out any and all attackers coming to beat, rape or murder her. That we women do not learn what has been known for centuries and teach it to every girl and woman  on this planet is completely our fault and our responsibility. That we are not doing this now is a crime against ourselves, our future, all women and the fate of this planet. And this is not meant to be some quirky, only a few freaky or special individuals kind of thing. Even Ip man, the now famous Wing Chun master trained women and said Wing Chun was for everyone. It was supposed to be invented by a woman, though there are sources that say that is just a myth to cover where it actually came from.

In chinese acupuncture and accupressure, there are a bunch of “forbidden” points. They are forbidden because if women know how to use them, they can abort a pregnancy in it’s early stages. This would be Chinese patriarchal oppression with a big O, considering that the earliest records of Chinese medicine are said to have come from women.   I have been absolutely stunned to see the current movie on how some working class women in England fought for voting rights. No wonder they were called “Suffragettes”. Suffer they did, and before now, I had not known a single thing about how bad it was for them until last year. They were beaten, jailed, force fed, mocked, ignored, and pilloried for decades. Just another major thing that they failed to acknowledge about our actual herstory.

 

 

 

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Mr. Paul Newman Gets Snipped

Today I came home to evidence the guy had been home since he left for a job interview this morning. Beer bottle caps and an empty tuna can were on the counter. I noticed our cat carrier was gone. I correctly deduced that my guy, who out of the blue has mysterious cat powers, had somehow caught our newest teenage feral cat, Mr. Paul Newman, and hauled him off to the vet for spaying.

Now the guy has called and I have learned he did indeed lure  the young and inexperienced, golden cat into the cat carrier with tuna. It’s going to cost us $300 total. Guy went ahead and paid half, a miracle though he is now worrying someone else who won’t spay Mr. Paul owns him, unlikely since Mr. Paul has shown up for months dirty and hungry, not just for food but love.  He is sweet but can’t keep from spraying and has his  bite and claw trigger window  if  you pet  him for more than a few seconds. A local vet is going to do a blood panel on him to make sure he’s healthy and snip off the “nads”.

The guy has ideas  of making him one of our house cats, which I think is a mistake. Snipped or not, I don’t believe  Mr. Paul  going to hang around inside our house and get over his early traumatic abuse kitten PTSD.  Our elderly cat and our In and Out Daisykins need not have to share with him.  I am managing to not yell at guy everytime he complains about the feral cats we feed that he’s the one who started it in every case.  I dream of designing some sort of unique cat feeders/condos on the outside of our house that are fight/raccoon proof and weather resistant.

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Moving Right Along

Today I read emails being exchanged between people I used to drum with in a long standing weekly drumming and dancing class. They are organizing a monthly class with our congolese drumming and dancing master.  It’s been almost two years since the weekly class came to an end.  They put together  an initial reunion/drumming & dancing class/potluck last month at a local hall, which I went to.  I drummed, ate food, paid and hobnobbed with the old crew.   A  lot of people showed up who I haven’t seen for some time.

I only had one problem: afterwards I realized how hard it had been for me to drum because the acoustics at this place, roomy and nice as it is, are quite bad for drumming. I know this after drumming in many different rental places in the course of 6 years.  I could hardly hear what the master was saying when he was trying to teach and was trying to have us  sing as well as drum correctly. I could barely hear myself drum when I was drumming for the dancers, and it was impossible to be on the beat or hear any of the other drummers. I did not, as I would have in the past, get extremely frustrated , or bitch about this to anyone. Most of the sound we produced when drumming was a DIN.

I haven’t drummed congolese for some time, but I have an established level of skill and a memory of being able to hear it and enjoy playing, that was not happening at this place. I let the organizer know my opinion by email, and I left phone messages with a couple of people I trust to know what I think. This does not mean I expect the group to heed it at all. They will do what they want to do, believe what they want to believe, and I’m all for it. I no longer have the need to be there with them.  If they want to drum at a  place I don’t want to drum at,  it’s OK.   They also can do all the work I used to do to  make it happen. Several of the people now  involved weren’t willing to attend consistently in order to sustain the master and weekly class. Now, if they want it badly enough, they will do what they must. They certainly do not need me.

Those six years of effort were an education way beyond just drumming itself.  I spent four of those six years busting my ass to manage the class, make sure it survived and doing all sorts of things fighting to keep it going. That class was all I had in a life devoid of stability or sane direction. I needed it, and that desperation was disastrous.

People just don’t respect others that are  needy, and they will do what is convenient for them, including exploiting it, then blowing it all off whenever they feel like it. I had to learn to how to  stop being available for exploitation.   I had to decide that  what I was really after  was becoming a solid and skilled drummer. I had to create the  dicipline to attain that goal while giving up on having other needs met which  were never going to be by that group. When I did that,  I began to finally make progress.  And I got good at not getting involved in or caught up in other people’s stuff- no matter what it was.  I had to learn the difference between drumming class acquaintance, temporary alliances,   and actual. sustained personal relationship.

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