Yesterday afternoon I speeded through my blog reader while Lyra dangled off my breast, her face and body limp, her snores interspersed with the clicking sound that the mouse makes when I scroll down pages, and click on links. I think I am sort of up to speed. I made a couple of comments where I felt I could say something with an iota of meaning; some other times I still cannot find the right words, or felt too much time had passed to say anything significant. I am still subscribed to too many blogs (I don’t believe those of you who even subscribe to grammar blogs, and you know who you are!) because I still live under the illusion that I can create time and that if I read a creative blog I just may one day start knitting a kilt or something.
Another thing. I noticed many of you have slowed down writing too, especially those who do not stand too far from me on the time-line of grief. I hope this means we are spiraling out and some healing is going on. But maybe it just means we simply have to dust off the shit and get on, even if the wound is still gaping. I know in the past weeks I have experienced several times intense re-visiting of my grief, when I felt the clouds, dark and heavy, standing shoulder to shoulder, blocking out the light, and I did not feel I could breathe. I still sense deep pain in my heart, and disbelief that this is me, and this is my life. I lunge forward, my fists reaching with clenched determination to punch a hole through the dark cloud wall, and it felt soft.
In fact, this morning I thought: sheesh, I do not miss him less. I am missing him even more.
An uncle of mine, uncle A, died last Saturday. It was peaceful, he was at home, surrounded by family. It probably was a release for him, having suffered from severe dementia the last several years and being recently diagnosed with advanced colon cancer. He underwent a colon surgery and then developed a lung infection and suffered several days for that. Then he was discharged. And then I think he decided enough was enough and his body began to shut down.
He had always been quiet and reserved, a rather shy man. I was never really close to him as he seldom shared much, but he would never say no if approached for help. He had always been nice to me, and he will be greatly missed.
It was hard when he had dementia. He became impossible to reason with and often he seemed to be in a world of his own, or perhaps a resilient bubble that we simply could not break through. Sometimes it was hard to be patient with him. Sometimes we forgot to be kind because we felt tested.
What I’ve been thinking is: do we treat someone nicely only if they can treat us back nicely? For some time, uncle A did not treat anyone nicely, because of his dementia, his condition. But before that, he was just this gentle-mannered man who always had a smile lurking on his face. But sometimes it was hard to remember that somewhat elusive smile, and get frustrated by his unreasonable (and baffling) behavior and… not be nice to him.
His condition was dementia. I think we all have a condition: stress, grief, insufficient support, lack of appreciation, low self-esteem, self-loathe, etc.
And it is not always easy to see that someone is experiencing a condition, and still needs to be treated as nicely as possible. We somehow become our condition in other people’s eyes.
And so, in honor of uncle A, I vow to see past your condition, acknowledge it, and still see who you are, beneath that condition.
It is crass, I know, to put it here, but it ties in with the theme of this post.
This year I am trying to find ways to generate an income. I have thought about what I can do, if I still wish to stay home with my children, and especially if we continue to homeschool. I have been away from the work force for ten years. Prior to that, I taught in an art college, worked in an art gallery, free-lanced as (art) translator, and was also a teaching assistant (although at that time they gave me an overblown title of “Visiting Scholar”). I have basically stepped away from the art world the past years. Some things simply did not resonate with me anymore. I don’t think I will ever step back in again. My translation assignments had slowed down (to zilch), but the children are growing and it will be good to have a secondary income.
I have looked at books for small business ideas and none appealed to me, mostly because I do not like to sell things. I have been a salesgirl before in my life and I know it is not something I will excel at.
So, I am trying to maintain a food blog that will hopefully generate income. The good thing is, I will have all my favorite recipes in one place even if the blog does not rocket to star status. (And frankly, I’m a little intimidated by what is already out there.) The bad thing is, I almost feel like I need to sell my soul. I need traffic, period. The more the better. Will you please visit my food blog, and tell people about it? Hopefully people will like it and eventually become not just regulars, but friends. I will try to be civil, but I am not sure I can promise, because I have my conditions sometimes.
Maybe I’ll see you there?–