De-Nihilism

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I have been thinking about something different than nothing matters nihilism.

If there is such a thing as optimistic nihilism or relief nihilism or some other wording which represents that everything that is happening everywhere is made up bullshit which only momentarily means something when there is a collective who agrees it has some meaning. It could be a positive, negative, neutral, humane, inhumane, destructive, constructive meaning, but it is relative to whatever narrative we are telling ourselves about it. What the nihilistic path, where nothing really means anything, can show us is that clearly the only thing left is the warmth, the love, the soul, the light is what is left from the stripping away.

Love

With all of the happenings of all of things over these past few months, love is all I have left. Which I think is most likely all I have ever had. The struggle comes when the distractions drag us into other beliefs. Inevitably whatever we have been dragged into or to, leaves us wanting because ultimately none of it matters.

All that matters is love.

I am not saying it is easy. I struggle every single day either accepting or refusing to accept what is swirling around inside and outside of me. I find my center when I can strip everything down to love.

Nihilism helps as a reminder of how to get back to that core.

It is all a crapshoot. Lucky, unlucky, beautiful, unable to recognize self beauty, recognized worthiness, the “right” school, the “right” grades, the “right” whatever – is just whatever. You may be privileged or lucky to stumble into one of the “right,” things. Or you may work your ass off and never achieve any of the “right,” things. If you can drop into whatever love you have stored inside and move from that place (with almost constant redirection, at least in my case), I think that is all we can do. Nothing matters except for love.

Anyway… I have an 11 page summary of FatherHerisme’s high medical drama since January 2022 which, out of love, I will spare you from being subjected. As of today he has been moved into a long term rehabilitation skilled nursing care facility and, at last report, is eating a grilled cheese sandwich ON HIS OWN (a HUGE FREAKING DEAL).

Last night I had a toasted gf bagel thin with dill pickles, swiss cheese, and spicey wine mustard (exactly zero spinach involved!).

If you decide to eat a grilled/toasted cheese sandwich today, I hope you can embrace that act of love for yourself. So very many craptasticacity happening globally and personally, I hope we can keep our focus on love and on the doing of the things which reinforce healthy love.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

This all sounds corny, I am aware. I am older – reaching that point where nothing else matters but love, recognition of love, acts of love and struggling to maintain in that arena. Otherwise, I am fairly certain that my soul will implode. Currently I am writing to my Governor from a place of love, imploring him to do the humane thing… again. That’s how I do. Hoppy Easter/Passover/Ramadan bock bock.

Récit Receipt

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It is as such a time of movement in narratives about what has happened/is happening/will happen that I find myself unable to linger over much at all.

My eyebrows are numb.

There have been hospital visits, cardinal pairings, airplane travel, pop-up blooms, critical medical decisions, fire dancers, piano plunking, architects, kids in mental health crisis, zip-front bras, zydeco, powers-of-attorney, a wandering kitty-cat, grotesque wound care, super spy new neighbor, pot, drum beats, rock skipping, and rose water infused mango lassi… plus the news of goings on and friends with COVID.

Y’all

I found “Random Acts of Kindness” cards I promised to use on 3.6.2020 and R. Buckminster Fuller 37cent stamps whilst cleaning up.

What even is happening everywhere? Is anyone else feeling the cognitive dissonance with horrors of humanity being marketed, virtue signal rated, with collective decision making based on the resulting populism rather than facts?

I’m just – we are all just – I mean, please be gentle and give yourself grace and space. I will attempt the same here (with my mask on in shared enclosed public spaces, thank you and you’re welcome).

Also, my front door is broken (have I mentioned?) and a new one will be here at the end of NEXT MONTH and it is costing $$$$ wth. It will be Forsythia colored with black surround though, so, yay me, while other’s homes are being obliterated.

During lunch today, I sat directly in the enveloping warm sunshine, ate my sweet kelly green spinach (natch), closed my eyes and listened to the sounds. I heard at least five different bird sounds accompanied by the woodpecker banging on about the benefits of bugs-in-tree bark. My first thought was how many of these sounds are universally peeking through all of the human horrors being inflicted around the world.

I sometimes wonder if forcibly crashing up against the prickled rebar surrounded concrete multitudes of grief and loneliness provides us insights into the infinitely joyously peaceful depths of love and presence that we would have otherwise never even noticed. Does it? I would like to be so present that I feel worthy of being present at all, in order to help SonHerisme feel worthy and loved for the always and forever to pass on to his circle of life people. How does this happen? Intention? Prayer Prostration? Ingestion? Magic?

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Update on the Goat King’s domain: The pigs and turkeys have joined forces with the sheep, while the goats have been separated, I assume for breeding (?). The chickens have abandoned the entire goat-dom (I assume for greener pastures where they roam freely in large open spaces with all of the food/water and friendship they could ever want – grant me this moment of peace until I am able to acknowledge that they are either in someone’s soup or pet food product).

yeah – best be getting my gratitude meditations on and handing out my kindness cards with a piece of candy or $ to bring positive balance back to my day and maybe roll over to yours as well 🙂 Keep on rolling little tootsie rolls

Hatch and Release

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Think back to when you were pregnant (and chose to carry) – or your partner was pregnant – or anyone you loved was pregnant – or when you saw a pregnant person. What did you imagine about that teensy tinesy growing bit of life inside there? Did you wonder about what they would look like? Did you worry about the birthing process? Did you plan on breastfeeding, bottle feeding, cloth diapering, disposable diapering, elimination training, or some combinations? Did you mentally calculate how old you might be when that baby might begin walking, talking, going to (or graduating from) school? Did you imagine how much love and connection was about to be unleashed into the world, as it has perpetually been since the beginning of humaning? If you were not the pregnant person, did you feel deep slices of pain at not being pregnant and having the moments of questions and wonders for yourself? I have been able to carry one successful pregnancy which took me years of loss, work, money, and dumb luck. My soul feels the raw grief of no pregnancy too. I still find it difficult to be around pregnant people, unless I already know them very well (which is a limited circle).

Truth be told, being pregnant is surreal. You know that a human is forming inside of and being completely sustained and nourished by your body and the unique placenta organ you are growing. You can feel the changes as your body temporarily morphs into more than itself while sustaining the growth of another body. You feel swishy pushy movements – sometimes in fluttery awe, sometimes kick squiggle uncomfortably. Your other organs get squeezed out of the way making breathing and digesting a challenge. It’s an amazing wonder what fully functioning biologically human female reproductive systems accomplish with a little dose of male generated support. This is the entire experience of the entirety of humans since and until the foreverness of humaning humans. Without those successful pregnancies, we lose everything – no economy, no future, no innovation, no humans. It is counterintuitive that the encompassing entire processes aren’t venerated, protected, supported, and valued more as a community, culture, society, species. I’m not talking about wacky pro-lifer style or mega-watt baby-momma industries. I am really talking about developmentally, mental and physical health, appropriately valued.

Little tiny nuggets of DNA mush grow into bigger squishy mush. Then transition into kidney bean shaped lumps where they begin to grow some stuff of future humans, then become a fetus and eventually *fingers crossed* a successful live birthed baby. Of course this all depends on an extreme amount of luck and biology.

There is a squeezy cheeked little baby transitioned earthside! The baby learns how to process basic necessities – breathing outside the womb, more freedom of movement, how to obtain nutrition, what feels safe and comfortable, muscle control, walking, talking, navigating relationships, and other things of the humans.

Then we release our tiny puffin headed muffin babies out into the world. Some at birth, some at 4-6 weeks, some at 4-6 years, some at High School, University, or adult times, or somewhere in between there. At some point, if all goes well, and they are not shot dead at school, dying trying to flee fascist/abusive assholes, or impaired/killed by a rampant virus which could have been prevented by prudent ethical adult actions, they are released for their unique experiences with others.

What are we doing to cultivate healthy contributing humans? The food/health care/housing/safety/education/resource scarce people are on my mind – and I’m sure yours as well.

Why do we hold such cultural disdain for the humans involved in gestation/birth/child rearing but hold them up on a crazy pedestal when we want to push some patriarchal fascist bending agenda? Protect the sweet babies from being separated from their parents, unless they aren’t the white kind of worthy. Protect the women and children from all of the scary things, unless they too aren’t the white kind of worthy, then whatevs.

Nevermind that we enable/wage/witness war with direct mental and physical health effects on displaced families. Nevermind that we deny access to healthcare based on a person’s access to wealth. Nevermind that we deny quality education environments (including food/outdoor time) to developing humans. Nevermind that we fail to recognize domestic violence and child abuse as the cultural-normative things they are, and address them as such with practical, appropriate, and honest approaches. Nevermind that we expect/support/respect little to no parental/newborn bonding and birth recovery when we absolutely KNOW how this affects both the person doing the act of growing and birthing the new human, as well as the new human – both physically and mentally.

Bringing human life into the world and providing developmentally appropriate physical and mental support to grow that human into a functioning member of society is THE most important role for those adults who chose to do this. And it should ALWAYS be a choice an adult person has full agency over making for their life, their body. How else are you going to exist if no functioning humans are birthed and raised up, at the very minimum, satisfactorily? All of us have a stake in supporting healthy and safe human growth and development. Life is a fucking miracle – literally and figuratively.

Somewhere right now a sweet soul is being birthed Earthside through a mother who is healthy and supported by her partner and professionals in the manner she has chosen to bring forth her birthing experience with access to high quality healthcare. Somewhere right now a sweet soul is being birthed Earthside through a mother who is frightened about her own health and safety, without partner support, in a manner she did not choose and no access to healthcare due to circumstances far beyond her control. Why aren’t we more reverent and careful with life?

ANYWHO – my point is that SonHerisme is registered for High School, which is a huge step towards release. He is outgrowing his little Montessorian nest, on his way to outgrowing the cozy sweet momma nest I’ve made for him. Friends’ sons are registering for Selective Service (get your shit together, humans). I am most likely going to pack away the remaining children’s books on my shelves and remove the “Princess Room” sign from my office door (former bedroom for back-in-the-day visiting NiecesHerime who placed the sign but are much too cool for that now). My other observation is that I will be masking forever since not only is SonHerisme ill aFREAKINgain, but the woman at the pharmacy checked my ID and had me remove my mask to verify that I am old enough to purchase cold and flu medicine. WHAT WHAT (ignores the reality of my tiny newborn boy-teen-man hawkey bat superhero wild turkey puffin muffin head bear is approaching the final trial flight years before adulting times).

I am pained for humans in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Russia, Syria, Palestine, Eritrea, and all of the places where our collective humanity is failing basic humane consideration (including the U.S.). Which I suppose is the human experience but sweatergot y’all it is A LOT and I believe we can tone it the fuck down. Today this pain translates into these…

...notes to my own self:
See and humanely speak truths for what they are
Donate to a local school (time, money, supplies)
Write a "thank you" note to a school staff person - they are the backbone of your entire community and they are wiped out from vitriol, overextension, and misplaced expectations
Pay more attention to your BOE vote (in this country) as well as your Representatives
Do more to encourage cold turkey-ing our dependence on burning dead dinosaurs

If I could intertwine our beautiful mismatched fingers, hold your soft hand and gently walk with you, I would do it forever and always. As a compromise to this, my most and best and specialist favoritist person from the beginning of time to the end of time, I have made sure that you always get to carry a comforting centering piece of me in your sweet, gentle, kind, hilarious, creative, intelligent, and loving heart. This is a wish carried by parents from forever until forever. When I look at the humans from all over, I wonder how their hatch and release people are being loved by them as well. We surely do not intend for these miracles of life to do irrevocable harm unto others.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

I’m all over the place with the everythings of the happenings. We all are.

Is there a time coming when we can stop pretending there should be public sphere room for, or pretend that they aren’t who they present as, and openly honestly acknowledge that there will always be, groups of extreme people who are incapable of sustaining humanity (abusers, murderers, fascists, misogynists, racists etc), and attempt to cease allowing them to dominate the direction of humanity, or maybe at least our communities? That would be great. koyc (kiss on your cheek, COVID neg natch) thanks

I’ll be on the back deck, with my cup of tea, watching the cardinals and mourning doves chitter chatter in their Winter goodbyes and Spring Preparations. You’re welcome to join me as I ground myself into reality as much as possible. Fair warning – it is muddy out there, so boots are recommended. So is popcorn. Very very extremely dark chocolate plus amusing anecdotes are also most welcome. And sparklers. Well, now it sounds like a little party. An intimate deck party to bring a moment of joy into the swirl of humaning chaos. Okay – sys

Horse Pistols

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Maternal GrandparentsHerisme said their silly things when they were on this physical body side of existence such as:

All the way 'round the corner for a nickle!
When you assume something, you're just making an ass out of you and me.
Look at the fancy fence around that cemetery - that's because everyone's dying to get in there!
You know what they call the Hospital? Horse Pistol, because once you go in, the best you can hope for is that they take pity on you and put you down like a horse.
Spit in one hand, and wish in the other. See which gets filled faster and that's the one you can count on.
The sun is shining while the rain is coming down, which means that the devil is beating his wife - go on little devil and make a pretty rainbow.
Never write anything down that you don't want to see printed on the front page of a newspaper.

Y’all

Sheesh

y’all fuh realsies sheeshio magnifico splendcrapico wtfio I cannot believe I have not abandoned my postio toastio (and now I need tea-io yo-de-lay-hee-hoo-io)

obvs I am exhausted – as we all are WELCOME to life. Please keep your hands and feet inside at all times. Please check that your harness is secure. There is no emergency exit with re-entry options. Enjoy the ride because ain’t none of us gettin’ out of this one alive. Carry on life warriors.

Before FatherHerisme began his hospital ordeal, MotherHerisme was in the emergency department at our local hospital just before Christmas. The first time, I drove her there where she was discharged 12 hours later. The second time, 12 hours after her discharge, I phoned 911 because I physically could not get her into my car to drive her and she wasn’t able to remain conscious long enough to get into my car on her own. Not COVID. MotherHerisme remained in the hospital for 13 days.

As she began to feel a bit better while in the hospital, she refused to allow doctors or nurses to change her bandage on her leg (recurring ulcers of unknown origin), insisting that I come in to the hospital to change it for her. The first time I went in, you guys… I do not know how I did it (the bandage change, I mean). The room and charge nurses came in and out, and the hospitalist doctor came in just as I finished, all commenting that they too didn’t know how I managed to make it through. I was a bit concerned that I would vomit or pass out at points. When I felt it coming on, I stepped away from MotherHerisme’s bed, paced around a bit, got my disassociation on and went back in.

For those of you into grossnesses, a more detailed description of my experience is at the end of the post, with warning. I get that not all of our systems handle sensory input in the same way. SonHerisme is extremely squeamish.

Protologisms are the way. I have the spokened.

While staying with me over the holidays, FatherHerisme spent 4 hours at the hospital Urgent Care with a dramatically broken toe. They x-rayed, stabilizing booted him up, and sent him on his way with instructions to see his orthopedist when he returned to his home (8 hours over mountains away). He did so and found there were three broken toes with instructions to continue with stabilizing boot.

It could be that his stumbling and not remembering was an indication of the cacophony to come with the UTI, kidney infection, subsequent dialysis treatments, near death, COVID negative yet COVID affected by collapsing health care, which continues to this day. FatherHerisme is currently back in the hospital after less than 48 hours in a rehabilitation facility which left him dehydrated, unfed, unwashed, sat in urine, frightened, and exhausted. When I spoke with the person “in charge,” at the rehab facility, they responded that this was all due to my inability to communicate clearly with them that I had trust issues and required a higher level of communication than was reasonable. Hard fucking pass.

Back in the far away newly adulting times, I managed preschool/daycare/before and after school/summer camps for a national company. While not during pandemic times, I am well aware of expectations, trust and communication needs of people leaving loved ones in your care. Also, fuck them. If you do not have enough staff, STOP TAKING PATIENTS. STOP IT. Just fucking stop it. Also, the gaslighting bullshit dominating certain areas of our country (read: OHIO, for example, just out of the blue mentioning OHIO as an area having a HUGE poop-of-the-bull issue) is entirely intolerable, and I will have none of it. No thank you.

Poop-of-the-bull is courtesy of my dear friend’s youngest daughter who refuses to use ugly words but also needs to express her utter frustration at times. She’ll appropriately get to bullshit later, in her own time, as needed and entirely appropriate 🙂 I’m calling it now – our healthcare is BULLSHIT poop-of-the-bull and we continue to ignore the crumbling.

I also call bullshit on the purely politically motivated playing to the basest temper trantruming covidiots craptastic decision of removing masks in schools and on school buses.

I also call bullshit on our (entirely needed and appropriate) outpouring of support for Ukraine as we watch other areas like Afghanistan, Yemen, and Palestine crumble. They are all unique of course, but our hypocrisy is loud. UNICEF, Red Cross, local Ukrainian collections… My soul is pained for all of the suffering people. Damn, I hope Ukraine maintains full independence and sovereignty over themselves. Amplified better humaning needed all around. Do we even like our neighbors in this country? I don’t know how to tell.

I also call bullshit on Universal Healthcare not being a thing in the US yet. This is the poop of the bull all up and down the beltway and beyond. POOP OF THE BULL

Thank you for coming to my Herisme rant. I’m walking through the things that I do everyday. As I am tipping into olden times, I recognize that I continue to walk through the awful not because I think that things will get better in the way I envision, or that I will rise above it all to no longer be affected to the point of falling asleep out of sheer exhaustion every time I stop physically moving. I continue to walk through as a practice for the next hard thing that comes along. I continue to walk through to provide SonHerisme concrete examples of how to navigate the hard things which will inevitably come his way throughout his life (as a natural part of living). I continue to walk through so that I can see the reminders to appreciate and enjoy the unique and special moments of love, beauty, and joy that pop out no matter the horrible tornado hurricane swirls of crazy hard things that come along. I know that I am not brave, I am privileged. I know that I am not strong, I am privileged. I am doing the things of the doing as they arise (my WORDLE start everyday), as we all do.

This probably sounds crazy, and is most likely crazy yet you’re still here so… Sometimes I wish I had the strength to have an actual escape – addictions like alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, the whatnots of so-called vices. I just do not have the energy, resources, or confidence that I could pull any of that off. I wear cozy scarves and long sleeves to keep my head up and feel protected. I do the same 5 minute calisthenic routine as I brush my teeth and apply deodorant in the mornings, like a talisman or blessing on my day (truths out, the blessing occasionally only sticks for the duration of the teeth brushing). I wear my hair the same almost everyday. I eat the same food almost everyday (spinach shout-out!). My outfits are a version of the same thing everyday (add heavier sweaters in colder months natch). This is my way of controlling what I can to feel some normative center in the swirl.

A shared thought with a sweet friend the other day was that perhaps the universe keeps throwing heavy my way so that I don’t fully collapse post any of the crazy because I do not have time and SonHerisme still needs his momma. Perhaps I am on the universal step-down-from-trauma plan! *fingers crossed* there is a generous in-ground heated saltwater swimming pool in the shade with a cabana, composting toilet, sauna room, with invites for all of ya’ll on the final step down. I’m calling poop of the bull if there isn’t.

None of this is like Scrubs at all. I can’t do this all on my own. Thank you for being here and holding space for all of this.

Love, Ms, Herisme xoxo

***WARNING**** vivid description of bandage change ahead

Prior to becoming hospitalized, MotherHerisme was refusing to shower more than once each week, sometimes waiting up to 10 days. I changed her bandage at home about 6 days before being admitted to the hospital. At that time, her two leg wounds had opened from the size of pencil erasers, or smaller, and only on the surface, to larger than quarters and much deeper, especially the lower wound (closer to her ankle). Her leg was swollen and red, obviously irritated. This happens occasionally and I typically apply a topical steroid mixed with A&D ointment for dermatitis as recommended by the wound care and rheumatologist doctors. I also apply topical gentamicin to the wound bed(s).

Once MotherHerisme was admitted to a hospital room, the charge nurse phoned me because MotherHerisme refused to allow any doctor or nurse remove her bandage and check her wound both in the emergency department and on the critical care floor. The wound smell was nauseating the medical staff. MotherHerisme had a terrible prior experience in that hospital when her wounds were about 8inches high and completely circumferential. At that time, the hospital staff repeatedly debrided her wounds with only topical lidocaine at the most (and a few times without any pain relief other than tylenol). At the time she was also on a fentanyl patch, which did not work for her pain, but did give her hallucinations. She has had multiple debridements since then using either versed or full anesthesia in the OR during other grafting prep/grafting procedures.

Thank goodness masks were required because her wounds were extremely horrific smelling – which got worse as I removed bandages. I could smell the wound as I was walking down the hallway towards her room. The overpowering rotting disgusting stench felt as if it was washing over me and sticking to me like vaporous slime molecules of gooey brownish yellow death. Speaking of which, that is what her wounds looked like as I removed the bandage. Compression stocking, ace bandage, cotton wrap, abd pads, keramax, drawtex, and final inside layer next to the skin, mepitel. The consistency of what I tried to wash off and came off with some of the bandaging, was thick yellow brown gooey foul pudding raw egg slime. Her wounds were deteriorating. One had a thick dime-sized area of black, which the hospitalist Doctor thought might be necrotic. Somehow I (not even remotely educated in health care) thought I should correct him (an actual doctor), and pointed out that it was most likely a build-up of blood which would need cleaned out. I added that I would not be doing that kind of cleaning at this time because I was about to pass out from the visual and olfactory overload. The doctor nodded at me, and I continued to move the process along as best as I could. A nurse came and quickly changed out the chuck pad underneath the wounds. I applied medications, lotions, and re-wrapped MotherHerisme’s leg. I removed my gloves into the special trash bin and thoroughly washed my hands. In the bathroom, I made eye contact with myself to make sure I wasn’t passed out and to ground myself into reality so that my feet would move. Somehow I kissed my mother on her cheek and left.

I do not know how to do these things and I never ever know if I can do these things. I just do the things y’all – just like you – then I wonder WTF and how and why and how and WTF and also I am so sorry for all of the suffering in the world. All of the people in all of the healthcare worlds have my empathy for reals. I hope I am doing the right thing in my tiny corner of the world to ease some suffering somewhere for someone. #carryonhealthwarriors

The Wars We Weave

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(or listen here)

When first we practice to deceive and misbelieve and dominance achieve

Never give in. Never give in. 
Never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - 
never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. 
Never yield to force. 
Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

-Sir Winston Churchill October 29, 1941

In my tiny protected isolated privileged hillside corner speck of the world, this is how I respond to today:

  • I examine the things I am using everyday looking for how I am contributing to inhumane actions
  • I am writing to the companies which I have invested in as a consumer to make them aware of my knowledge of their investments into profiting off of groups/countries who are contributing to inhumane actions
  • I am asking myself to take action to no longer participate with those companies (beyond the “grab-your-wallet” crew)

Starbucks heard from me first, since I popped in there earlier today as a treat for SonHerisme.

Dear Starbucks, 
As a frequent Starbucks patron for years (including two trips to see your original Seattle store!), 
I will no longer be using any Starbucks products due to your connection with China 
who supports the brutal Russian invasion of the Ukraine. I have stood by this company 
for years, but will no longer do so until you publicly break any ties you have with 
business or products from or with China or Russia.

Other than pray, meditate, pour love into SonHerisme, take care of myself, ParentsHerisme and their puppies, the rest of the family and friends… I do not know what else to do. My soul hurts. Afghanistan. Yemen. Palestine. Ukraine. All of the places with all of the unnecessary malevolent carnival of contemptible heinous devastating hurts.

What are we doing to each other?

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Masks will no longer be required in our schools as of tomorrow. We have 3 & 4 year-olds in most of our schools, who are not eligible for vaccines. Our High Schools have preschools. Our Elementary Schools have preschools. I do not understand what in the actual fuck we are doing.

Harari’s article is how I see the things.

Tonight I will write more letters, make the dinner, do the laundry, hug my tiny newborn giant boy-teen-man-bear, cover my head with my extra fuzzy cozy pile of blankets, and pray for all of us. Please dear humans, let us make better choices. We can be a different kind of carnival of animals. Please and Thank You. Sincerely, everyone who cares about anyone and all of the sweet children and non-whitemale parents in Texas

Box Topsin It

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(or listen here)

Looking for ways to help as you walk through the stresses of the everyday? I do as well.

The Insight Timer (John Siddique, Pablo Arellano…), Audible (Stephen Fry, massive amounts of biographies etc all the things up), Asana Rebel,

YouTubes (Yo-Yo Ma, Vinnay Thomas, Middleagedminx, Kylie Brakeman, John Butler etc),

and the Podcasts (Poetry Plain and Simple, Glennon Doyle, You’re Dead to Me, Sarah Silverman, Oprah, The Froth, NPR various shows, and more… btw podcast world- please get Sue Perkins back, thank you).

Nothing matches here, I’m well aware. My brain brainiacing all over the place.

I listen in the car, chore time, wishful treadmilling, boxing up items to give away/donate/sell/recycle, walking about the park around the hilltop encircling the fields and playspaces below where SonHerisme and his Merry Montessori Mafia Crew do their childhood freedom-in-the-great-outdoors things.

This week, I felt compelled to write a letter to podcaster Katherine Ryan:

Dear Lovely Entertaining Katherine Ryan,
    Thank you oodles for being willing to be the "Out Loud" for many topics we collectively somehow decided are hush hush, despite them being quite human-normative.

I have felt the KimK/Kanye flashback vibes for years due to my own domestic violence marriage with an abusive mentally ill spouse. Of course, not all mentally ill people are abusive - however in my case this was true, as seems to be the case for KimK.

I am not, we were not, will not ever be, bajillionaire K/K people, yet the patterns are eerily similar. Recognizing the signs, I found myself wanting to reach out to Kim over the years and give her reassuring {{{hugs}}}. Those of us in the unfortunate know, know that she is trying her very best to maintain in the swirl of crazy controlling narcissistic abuse.

It is frighteningly shocking how quickly things can spin out of control. Locally we have tragically lost community members to domestic violence with the same patterns.

My sweet son and I are part of the lucky group who were able to find and receive the right help at just the right time, and we are alive by sheer luck plus fortunate circumstances. I wish the same for KimK, the children, her MrexH, and all of us who find ourselves in these vortexes.

Thank you for listening and bringing a voice to the everyday things we pretend are not everyday things (to our own detriment). I appreciate you. (Hello to Violet, BobbyK and Baby Fred too!)

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
herisme.org

ps. If you want to know more about the effects of domestic violence in my story, a brief picture is here:  When you Run My 5K (along with general life ramblings, natch)

I do truly appreciate people speaking out loud about the regular human things which we all somehow have agreed not to speak about despite those silences or whispers being extraordinarily harmful to ourselves. Katherine Ryan is a gorgeous brave weirdo.

I hope that we all find places to embrace our gorgeous brave weirdo-nesses as well! Thank you for holding this space for me (an acquired gorgeous-on-the-deep-inside, massive weirdo-on-the-outside)

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

When You Run My 5K

The Box Tops video is midweek mirror inspiration for you

also, MrexH just reached out after 4-5 months requesting to re-establish contact with SonHerisme AGAIN. Back to the weekly updates for this person. Way to pop my happy bubble moment – on brand with the swirl of crazy that is my life. Still, there’s a spinach lunch waiting for me… so there’s that!

Something of the (un)Marvelous

Artwork by Katie Daisy (I lurve her)
(or listen here)

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” So says Plato’s polymath pupil, classical Greek philosopher, and Lyceum founder, Aristotle. I’m guessing he never met a plague or COVID-19 plus variants. This cannot be true though, because there was a severe outbreak of something which wiped out Athenian culture by killing 1/4 – 1/3 of the population in 420 BC. Maybe for Aristotle “marvelous” is not a correct interpretation of his Greek. I wonder if the word used meant more “impactful with wonderment,” rather than truly marvelous.

Wasn’t it Aristotle who wrote about three different kinds of souls? Plants having a growth and reproductive soul only, while animals have that as well as being able to feel and express basic sensations along with mobility. The most evolved souls being humans with all of the above plus thought, stories, and moral reflections, natch.

None of my brainiaking things are flushing out at the moment. Yet, I’ll continue… The Aristotle quote is on my wall calendar in the kitchen. It’s surrounded by gentle, sweet, lovely artwork by Katie Daisy. January 2022. Still heavily into COVID times – driven deeper into infections, lingering physical and mental effects, plus an enormity of deaths (25 here just in the past week). Instead of true mitigation, we were initially sucked into a vortex of gaslighting for the first year, from which we have yet to recover. While the vaccines are widely available (in this country), we defy our own humane self interests and continue to allow our human selves to be sidelined by splashy crazy-town shock headlines and cuckoo influencers. It is as if we clown down to the lowest common denominator despite knowing this path is self destructive. All we can focus on is that our ability to grow and reproduce wealth/widgets/whatever is being impeded. Our response is a collective temper tantrum to get OUR way. FREEDOM to smile at school. FREEDOM to breathe. FREEDOM over what goes into my body. etc

We KNOW that mask wearing and vaccines save lives from this insidious airborne disease. If we had taken a hawt fucking minute out of our own bubble of fairy dust make believe at any time since the flu epidemic of 1918ish, we would have culturally normalized wearing masks when inside highly populated areas and when we are ill in order to save lives and preserve health as humans. It is not this damn difficult to comprehend. Cultures have been publicly communicating with their faces partially covered since the time of forever.

The narrative that some how kids are missing out on developing cues because of mask wearing is just plain shortsighted temper tantruming because we are inconvenienced by a piece of cloth meant to prevent us from becoming chronically ill/dying or passing on a chronic illness/death. We KNOW that kids thrive in outdoor environments and we have had two years to figure out how to put best practices into place in order to maximize outdoor learning for schools. Yet here we are still complaining about masks equating to personal freedoms despite no masks equaling disaster level human illness/death. You want your kids to have your school experiences? Never going to happen and shouldn’t happen because PROGRESS and generations and we were not doing education very well then either. You want your kids in school learning? LISTEN to educators who have been SCREAMING for support in order to educate our future since the time of mandated public education. Because right now what we are sending our kids into are broken buildings full of broken supplies and broken people we continue to villanize despite them showing up everyday to try and impart reading/mathing/sciencing/arting/humaning skills to our collective human future. We are expecting our schools to teach academics, interpersonal skills, adulting preparation, feed our children, keep them safe at all costs, be emotionally available to our children and to us, indulge and entertain them no matter what for the majority of their awake hours 5 days each week. And yet, we cannot fathom wearing masks in order to protect the health of the staff or other vulnerable community members while they juggle all of the everythings? We are the assholes here – seriously. A plant soul who’s only focus is growth and reproduction. Unlike the plant, we stubbornly stay on course growing other people’s wealth through our acceptance of reproductive tasks, to our own collective detriment.

But, but, but, I cannot breathe! And I want full control over what goes into my body! A. You CAN breathe with a mask on (see all of human history where masks are culturally worn plus people with entire careers in environments where masks are required). And 2: If you feel you cannot breathe, this is a FEELING which can be retrained through professional support. The sensation of feeling as if you cannot breathe has evolved you into the animal soul realm!

*****break in thought and days later****

You guys. People. Humans. FatherHerisme is in the ICU dying because of COVID even though he does not have COVID. He did everything – we did everything that we were supposed to do. Yet our healthcare system is in collapse because of this damned pandemic and gaslighting pieces of shit leadership who have all encouraged selfish dipshits to baby tantrum over reality because it is too inconvenient for them until they die or their loved one suffers and dies. FatherHerisme was left for three days with increasing toxicity in his body due to kidney failure, without treatment. This means that as his body became more toxic, his skin was waxy, salty, and an odd color. This means that his entire body was involuntarily shaking and jerking about constantly. This means that he could not swallow, eat or drink on his own (yet the hospital staff did not have time to help him). This means that he soiled himself multiple times and when he was eventually cleaned up by staff, he was tossed about without regard to his screams of pain or basic dignity. This means that he received little to no pain medication or his regular medications because he could not push the button or request help because he lost some of his cognitive ability. This means that he was crying out in terror and extreme pain for THREE fucking days before they got him into dialysis.

FatherHerisme did what humans do. He gave up and withdrew into the smallest part of his being to protect himself. He shut down. He refused to take any modified medications because he no longer trusted that he wasn’t going to be hurt. He was suffering in ways I hope that none of us can imagine.

THIS is what COVIDIOTS have done.

After 10 days, FatherHerisme was moved to a rehab facility due to SisterHerisme spending 6 hours making phone calls to arrange transportation, dialysis appointments, room accommodations at a rehab facility and Doctor support. SisterHerisme did this all while sitting with FatherHerisme who was entirely unresponsive in the hospital – not even able to swallow to drink water.

On the 11th day, FatherHerisme had something to drink (a very small amount), infrequently uttered random words, but still unable to swallow he is labeled as “refusing food and most attempts to help him drink or take medications.” His body wants to live. Mentally, he wants to die.

I am feeling angry.

I agree that nature is marvelous. I suggest that due to flagrant assholery, the verdict on COVID being impactful with wonderment is still out.

I hope that you never have to watch your loved one suffer neglect on any scale. I know the staff are supremely overworked and underpaid. I also know what is inhumane. Reducing someone to an inconvenient organism when you are charged with care of their precious being is truly disgusting. Especially when you have every resource at your fingertips to make different choices.

I am angry.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. this post was written over a period of time and I do not have the energy to communicate any of this information in a different manner. Please send comfort and love to FatherHerisme. He needs to feel safe and loved no matter what choice he makes about recovery. He has had some seriously crappy things happen in his life that I feel are manifesting great depression and despondency in his brain as he works through the general body detox of dialysis plus neglect/abuse at the hospital. I love my daddy and I still need him. SonHerisme and NiecesHerisme still need him. He has tried so hard to do the right thing his entire life, even though he has missed the mark sometimes – and by miles. Sadly, he has always been aware that he has missed the mark but could never consistently figure out what he could do differently, other than by retreating to himself. I wish he had been able to reach out for support – he just has been unable to do so for reasons only he could define (or perhaps not).

I am angry and weary and completely sad.

Update going on 5 weeks now: After only being kept alive due to having a pacemaker, my father is in a better hospital and out of the ICU! He stood up three times out of bed yesterday and his bloods/vitals are looking very good WHEW W H E W WHEW. SonHerisme and I flew out to visit FatherHerisme this past weekend. Although SonHerisme is not old enough to visit FatherHerisme, and they have the COVID-times rule of one visitor for one visit within 24 hours, I was able to SEE him, hold his hand, rub his forehead and sneak a cheek kiss. COVID rules are strictly enforced there since 2 weeks ago some anti-maskers came into the hospital and attacked nurses and doctors. Humans – on brand for assholery. I know something will happen to FatherHerisme someday – but in the meantime, I would very much like FatherHerisme to be alive a bit longer, please and thank you.

And now to wrap this up and post. Y’all – 2.22.22 and all of that to you

FYI the “father of logic,” also preached genocide in his determination to influence Alexander the Great to treat Persians as barbarians and to deal with them as if they were, “beasts or plants.” Maybe he was the asshole.

Please keep each other in shelter – if you cannot, then I keep shelter for you until you are able to do so.

Gathering

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(or listen here)

(I have no idea how I reposted this from last year or whenever it was! YIKES I was on the mobile app and clicked something. Sweet heavens to murgatory… apologies and/or you’re welcome!)

It has been a long time, my friends. A long time since a regular gathering. We used to host a lot at our home because of the generous garden lawn yard wood area we were lucky to become caretakers for. It’s the empirical “we” now of course. Back in the sweet baby times, we had people over regularly – potlucks and such plus hosting a little in-house concert here and there.

Then everything changed (you know).

Friends still popped in to check on us. The brave ones who understood we might need to leave in a moment’s notice. I don’t know how they stomached it, but they did and I am eternally grateful to my real life guardian angels!

Then everything changed again (MotherHerisme).

Friends were less able to visit as things were very uncomfortable with MotherHerisme’s decline and addition of her two unsocialized dogs.

Then everything changed again again (COVID).

At my back gate, friends gathered things like the masks or food I made for them, and left things like treats, cards, and helpful groceries, all waving through windows. Friends stopped in to visit out on the deck a handful of times.

And now things are changing again (GET THE VACCINES, y’all, and come over red rover!).

Years ago I wrote a requested piece about gathering. It was intended for a project which never come to fruition, so I will share it with you now (if you’d like). Some of this may sound familiar to you and especially to you 😉

Coven Summons/ Gathering of the Coven/Love Notes to the Gathering Coven

Why do we gather?  We gather for a need to connect.  Spiritual, informative, accidental, intentional, mutually beneficial, one-sided lead or received, humans gather by instinct.  The need to connect is as important to our survival as the other Maslow defined basic needs (food, shelter, clothing).  The specific gathering of women with purpose has its own unique historical moniker – a coven.  

Oftentimes it is not clear if you have summoned a coven, or if they have summoned you.  But it always clear when a coven has been summoned.  And once summoned, they will arrive.

There is the Inveterate Optimist, with her classical profile and porcelain skin.  She flows headily and steadily, never overly rushed or too slowly, full of deep bold richness, intelligence, and wisdom with definite undertones (pouring into overtones, never monotones) of giggling wit.  She is the finest of eternal smooth wines which never spoil even with limitless uncorkings. 

The Gleeful Striking Red-Haired Beauty, tumbling over with energetic fun.  Her eyes swim, flooded in spirit-filled sparkles and lively joy, which then crescendos and spills through her soul landing sweet soothing music onto all around her.  She magically soothes even the roughest of moments into smooth soul-shines.

The Earth Mother-in-Training, -in-Learning, -in-Exploring, -in-Experiencing.  In all her abundant curiosity, wrapped in fringed laced compassion and flower adorned boots.  She is tolerantly pleased fullness sprinkled with liberal acceptance on many fronts.  She turnips the beet.

The Commanding Brunette, orchestrating lives, rivaling the most famous conductors and composers.  She feels the essence vibrations of those who exist in her presence, which call out and project an all-encompassing vigor from her soul.  She shows up at the most difficult moments with her own popcorn pot and supplies at the ready.  She instinctively protects without inhibition.  

The Centering Pivot, a powerful healer of communities and individuals through physical and spiritual connectedness.  Her soft glowing curls and gentle inclusiveness spread validating joy like a million gentle rainbow-filled dewdrops on bountiful lavish lilac blooms, every day. She sees everything with and beyond the eye, then reflects truth whether difficult or elevating.

The Artist, mixing quantities of chaos into beauty and societal commentary.  Her prolific layering reveals unique constantly changing depths.  She has an eye for revealing the beauty and secrets of contemplative sadnesses.  She allows freedom through creative acceptance.  

The Dedicated Spiritual Vegan, organizes, researches, schedules, plans, lists, cleans, and is constantly vigilant about being organized, true to self, precise and neat.  Her disciplined, tirelessly researched approach, out logics all others.  She encourages truth exploration.

The Muse (ician) a heavenly vision, by ear and by eye.  She is able to pull soul soothing magic out of her instrument and have you feel as if its dulcet wave vibrations were brought forth just for you in that moment of stopped time.  Her belief in the divineness of souls dictates her movements.  She is an inspirer of mindful musical dreams.

The un-Manic Pixie spreads thoughtful dedicated glittery fun wherever she goes.  She is small in stature, but larger than any mountain in purpose.  Her multilingual multicultural multitasking manner instantly charms.  She is a shimmery bubbly example of life-enjoyment. 

The Pianist Preacher uses her artful words and lifestyle to gently, but firmly, coax everyone’s butterfly out of their chrysalis/cocoon/caterpillar/sticky-egg forms.  Her hearth is warmed with enough generous spirit, that she is able to nurture cocoons into existence for you.  She is a mighty leader of growth paths.

The Realist Sage Grandmother has a sturdy presence and a rocking chair surrounded by her gatherings of wisdom, love, support, and toys based on her consideration of the unique soul presenting itself to her.  Her attic room is full of inviting mysteries and fun.  She is accepting, forgiving, guiding and present.

The Receivers open their eyes, ears, minds, hearts, and souls to the most awful of revelations, without harsh judgement or problem-solving instruction.  One might open you to aromatics, another to black garlic and walking, and a third to somatic experiences for healing.  They are comfort experts at witnessing soul pains, at holding space for grief, at making space for acceptance and recovery, over and over and over again.

The Mercenary Athena with perfect posture, stands proudly, head above the crowd.  She is always calculating every possible front, vulnerability, and potential moves on the massive chessboard of life.  She knows the game and strategies better than anyone else because she works hard at her practice.  She has the wisdom of experience and the strength of intelligence.

The Columbian, the Russian and the Nurse are steadfast in their natures.  They know exactly who they are, what they bring to the coven and their own sense of how and when to share their gifts and insights.  They are passionate truth live-ers.  They are passionate truth tellers.  They are a team of mutually uplifting dependable reciprocal support.

The Teacher is also steadfast in her nature, knows herself well, and is a passionate truth live-er and truth tell-er.  She differs from the previous group in that she leans more toward self-reliance in being uplifted and supported.  She depends on her own strengths and knowledge, energizing others to do the same.

The Live-Out-Louders with their effervescent souls bubbling out of their eyes. They laugh louder, curse bolder, uninhibitedly consume in their Bacchus-ness. They emit energy forces wherever they go, casually dropping bits of zesty sparks for others to gather and use.  They have enthusiasm and ideas to spare.

The Scientist drifts in and out depending on the intensity and interest of current study.  She anticipates, hypothesizes, and acts accordingly, primarily without expectation (except for expectations of self), driven by curiosity of results.  She is able to see things from angles others are blind to.  

The Militant Montessorian uncompromisingly shows up every single day to certify that her vision for development, growth, and knowledge are implemented without restraint.  She is reliably constant in her approach, rendering resistance occasionally satisfyingly futile. 

The Inspirer instigates and does things that others only dream about doing.  She is open and generous with her ideas and deep interest encouragement of others.  She has a free spirit which is always open and up for adventure.

The Serendipitous Tasker arrives only in those rare moments when planets, stars and entire galaxies align in singular perfect order.  She is by far, the most hard-working, efficient, independent, self-initiating and focused.  Laundry will be absolutely done to perfection, meals will be cooked, dishes cleaned, tires rotated, papers shredded, complicated puzzled completed, gardens weeded, sled runs sledded.  She works stealthily until every known and unknown task is truly utterly complete.

The Real Mothers are complicated.  They exude myopic power, are fiercely protective, yet limited by their own self-absorbed encouragement.  They have infinite love for their own which sometimes leaves no compassion or love for others.  They are the keepers of our histories and our futures, with a warm meal waiting.

The Mirrors spend their time reflecting the least attractive and most disappointing qualities in ourselves. Sometimes a mirror reflects so much more than we want to see.  We don’t always like being around them and they don’t always like being around us.  They are necessary parts of the coven for their reflective role.  Just as we are necessary mirrors in other covens as we, in all our humanness, inevitably reflect the same onto others.

The Men.  Some men are important in the coven, not as members, but as supporters of the gatherings.  These men are working hard to put things in order for the coven.  They are the fitters of partA into partB with toolXYZ.  They are the forager supporters of undiscovered paths.  They are the one solution to one problem and done-ers.  They are the holders of things, the vulnerable strength behind the determined strength.  They are the models of inherent unquestionable self-worth and unwavering self-determined boundaries. They fortify the coven to experimentally mold, artfully shape, and to use their covenly transformative powers to whatever end their summons asks of them.

Mr. SonHerisme, sweetly innocently sleeping next to me will one day weave through, around, deeply entrenched and wholeheartedly critically supportive of different coven gatherings, all on his own.  It is his burden and his supreme privilege.  

These women, these people, and so many more in the larger outlying concentric rings of my coven, keep me alive, have kept me alive in my most trying traumatic times.  My own coven called itself forth and rose into action long before I understood what tsunamis had spun into my world. Many lifetimes of “thank you,” would still be lacking in expression of my gratitude.  I soulfully reach out to and embrace each of you with a universe of love and support on your life paths xoxo

Thank you for reading/listening and all of that. I appreciate you.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Pickme Girl

(Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Howdy do. Sprinkles of nuttiness swirling about here, per usual.

Toss the nuts because…

Something absolutely splendid and wonderful and AMAZING happened at 1:54pm on January 13th and I have waited entirely and very much too long to tell you!

No, not that.

THIS: Sweet Nellie wrote a note to me! She WROTE TO ME y’all. I am still DYING with excitement about this. Such a wonderful unexpected shiny bright spot amidst the absolute shitstorm of serious cRaZy in the world.

YOU GUYS, can you EVEN? omgawd

This is what she said:

Hello Ms. Herisme,

I received your incredible gift of the Sonnets From the Portuguese 
with my father’s handwritten Meditations enclosed in the book. 
I was completely overcome with chills down my spine to see this 
and hold it in my hands. Thank you so much for sending it to me. 
I must say that I am shocked at how much research you were able 
to do on my parent’s history, along with your beautiful ruminations 
of what their history was in those days, and your touching 
description of what their romance may have been.

I would love to be able to talk with you, if possible about some of the things. 
I must say I never heard of a Nellie Hunter. I was told that my namesake 
was a Mrs. Nellie M. Powell, who was a school teacher in Winston-Salem, 
whom my father had met at the Baptist in Winston-Salem, whom 
he had met when he helped her going up (or down) the front steps 
of the church, since she had difficulty with walking. Ironically, I was also 
a teacher for many years.

Another curiosity: you mentioned a Ms. Edmondson who is at the 
Edgecombe Public Library. I wonder if that could be a relative of my 
maternal aunt’s husband, George Edmondson, who lived in Scotland Neck, NC, 
near Tarboro.

Again, thank you so much for sending this to me. 
I look forward to talking and/or corresponding with you.

Sincerely,
Nellie (Nell) S.

I am so thrilled that she was able to receive the book and sonnets. I am so relieved that they brought happy memories (one never knows). I am humbly overjoyed that she appreciated my make believe about who David and Emily may have been in their worlds. I am insanely over-the-moon that she reached out to tell me these things.

I love all of the love that happens out there. It is a deep leaden grief reinforcement for me, of course, but also a comfort knowing that it does, and did, exist out there somewhere and is being passed on through generations.

Having that book choose to interact with my world has been quite the magic of this wintering. Thank you, Nellie xoxo

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

ps YOU GUYS… I am… I am… this has been lovely. Thank you

pps I pitched in to do a morning pick-up for two siblings the other day. Their mother is an early morning postal worker, their regular ride fell through, and our school does not have transportation. They are sweet kids – boy, 13, 7th grade and girl, 10, 5th grade. They sat in the backseat while SonHerisme sat in the front seat with me. The 10-year-old girl has a full personality and talked nonstop on the way to school while eating SonHerisme’s leftover after-school potato chips from the prior day. She emphatically explained that unlike another girl at the playground in her neighborhood, she was most certainly not a pickme girl, and never would become one. I asked, “What’s a pickme girl?” Her explanation: “A pickme girl is the girl who says she isn’t like other girls, but she totally is. She is the girl who thinks she’s cooler and better than everyone else when she wears her boots, but her boots are like all the other girls who can afford them. She is the girl that pretends that she likes a sport the boys are talking about but she doesn’t know very much about it really and never ever wants to play it with anyone. She also has her hair the way everyone else wears it but says she’s the only one with it like that. She is rude and only pretend friendly just trying to get the boys to notice her and pick her to talk to. She is the pickme girl playing games and I do not like her.” And now you know too. Don’t be a pickme girl because little Miss 10 is not standing for any of that nonsense. I did not tell her I felt like a different kind of pickme girl because a book of sonnets picked me. I did not want to ruin her fantastically epic sassy rant (she might be a covert pickme girl too and I love it!).

ppss In cleaning up, I stumbled upon a love note SonHerisme has written to a crush. I did not tell him because it is none of my business and I do not want to break his trust. I tucked it into the nearest book it had fallen out from and let it rest there. His love-emotion muscles are flexing! Teenagering it up all over the place lol

Legintimacy

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(or listen here)

Hello out there somewhere

I have started a few failed posts over the past few weeks. Things here have been busy – lovely, difficult, brutal truthing, 99/Cuckoo-ing, gingerbreadish, dog vomity, hot cocoa-ing, Christmas Carol trivia-ing, freezing rain woodsy walking, plus a shit ton of pizza and laundry with sprinkles of hospital runs.

Summary: FatherHerisme, SisterHerisme, BrotherHerisme, and families all arrived here (one day early with 12 hours notice – I’m fine!) for Christmas while MotherHerisme was in the hospital. FatherHerisme also broke three toes while here, requiring a 4 hour Urgent Care visit. Community is full of the ‘vid.

Yet, here we are in 2022! It’s a weird thing to think about because time is basically a jumble at this point. The American Medical Association is breaking step with the Center for Disease Control, saying that the CDC guidance is confusing, causing more dangerous spread of COVID, and adding to the overwhelm in health care. DUH duh duh duh. No shit. Collapse imminent. DUH. Kids are stressed. DUH. Adults are numbed out stressed. DUH. But, wooo howdy, the stock market is up! Whatevs. I had some tasty spinach for lunch and other people shit in gold toilets. It all means the same thing, which is to say, nothing except for stress and an unbelievable amount of illness and death. Yay Humans!

SonHerisme on returning to school after winter break, “I want to just go back to school with my friends, momma. I’ll wear my mask and keep it on the entire day. I’ll lift up the bottom just to eat a little bit of lunch and drink some water. It doesn’t matter anyway because we are all going to be sick and no one cares. I just want to hang out with my friends.”

*sigh*

I asked him who he thought the helpers are. When you’re feeling hopeless, always look for the helpers (hat tip and curtsy to Mr Rogers). “I guess you and some of my teachers and the school counselors and Mrs. (Principal) and maybe doctors and nurses and maybe the people working at the grocery store and gas station. Maybe also the people who keep the Internet on. I guess.” That’s right, buddy. There are always helpers. Lean on the helpers and look to them for guidance and support during difficult times. “Okay, momma. I’m going to school and I’ll try not to get COVID.”

GOT FREAKIN DAMN y’all – after this he said he was also going to make a mental note to speak to the principal because they hadn’t had a lockdown drill (code for active shooter) yet this year, and a lot of the kids would’ve forgotten how to do one over COVID.

I mean… what the actual freaking fuck are we doing, people?!!?

I am weary y’all. Seriously shitticiously weary, as I suspect we all are.

Yesterday I finally spoke with an old friend from High School. I previously stopped contact with him because my own brain soul being could no longer cope with reconciling the feigned intimacy with the reality of my own life. He has reached out multiple times. I was aware of some, because the messages came through FatherHerisme (which I think I have spoken about before and will link if I can locate the posts, otherwise feel free to insert an interesting tale about how this came to be – be sure to include an old timey small town barbershop!). Other times I was unaware he was attempting to contact me because I had blocked him to give my brain soul being some space. I have known him since I was 15. This has been a very long connection. ANYWHO, blah blah blah, I forgot to block him somewhere and we set a time to talk earlier last autumn. He never phoned. He reached out in the New Year to talk. We set a time. He did not phone. About 2 hours after the set time, he texted asking if I was going to phone, and to see if I was still awake. He also phoned and left a message. It’s all so very dumb. We texted back and forth blah, blah, blah and I ended with a set time that I would be phoning him. I wanted to get this out of the way. I did not/do not want to be lingering texting etc.

I phoned. He answered. We caught up on families. We exchanged “omg COVID is heavy and hard,” convo. We said, “goodbye.” He said he didn’t want to wait another two years before we speak again and how much he loved me. I responded, “goodbye,” because y’all, I just cannot with this.

After the call, I cried for a while in my car. I am not quite sure why I cried – but I suspect it has to do with intimacy. I don’t mean sex, although that is a significant grief as well. I mean intimacy as a companion partner, as a knowing of another person or a feeling of being known by another person and providing comfort and space for that person and them doing the same for you. Someone physically present to take your hand when heavy, light, or mundane news is shared together. Someone’s arm available for leaning against or looking for yours to lean into. Someone to laugh, cry, or numb with because you have been or are going through the somethings. A safety for you as well as a receiver of your safety.

I think this is why I cannot be connected with him anymore and why I’ve tried to put a break in there. He reaches out in a manner which implies a level of intimacy we do not have. We have never had. And I grieve lack of real intimacy all of the time. Not a grief of intimacy with him (which is also a surreal recognition for me), rather a grief of intimacy for myself at all. I cannot tolerate the pretense of pseudo-intimacy with him. My brain soul being cannot absorb any more lies or pretend from myself or others about the reality of the things. I have spent a good deal of my life spinning weft and warp reality into wishes I thought were real. This almost got SonHerisme and me killed – the most dramatic depth of my self deception. I just cannot do it anymore. My a-game go-to has always been pretend and disassociation, but I have reached the end of the internets on this pretending thing. My High School pal is a reminder of pretend intimacy and my own shortcomings in self-protection/self-worth and I just cannot continue. I could guess why he wants to continue – but, that will once again be another narrative I will have spun on my own.

In some ways I am sorry for it because there is a sort of hopeful optimism in feigning intimacy. In my case, I feel it is just simply unhealthy. Any optimism it stirs is like a sugar high or drunkeness with a huge inevitable crash or reality hangover on the flip side.

Perhaps this explains my distress over a recent dream I had involving someone I do not know at all in real life, who was very persistent in wanting to have sex(which is HILarious if you know me irl). I kept saying, “no, this cannot be right. I do not even know you.” Eventually I forced myself awake (lucid dreamer in the house -woop woop!) to stop the whole thing. I guess even in my deep subconscious I am trying to establish boundaries.

Obviously I need intense therapy – I can’t even find pretend fun in pretend dreams with people I pretend know! JAYSUS

Intimacy is a generational issue in my family. My parents are terrible at it (both growing up in abusive homes with non-functioning parents – alcoholism, death, physical/emotional abuse). The grandparents I knew were terrible at it (also both growing up in abusive homes with non-functioning parents – alcoholism, untreated mental illness, abandonment, physical/emotional abuse). And so on for a few more outter circles of my nuclear family and past generations that I know about.

I do not want to pass anymore on to SonHerisme than I already have. I am also not sure that I have the strength to figure this out. I suspect that therapy is the way to go. I also know that therapy is the place where I will have to speak out the things and I do not want to do that. I am supremely sick of myself in that regard. Yet – here I am writing about it… blah blah blah

Maybe I can ask a therapist to read all of this bloggy nonsense and get back to me with a task list.

Maybe you guys can send collective healing protective comfort vibes to SonHerisme and me to magic it all away and make all of the things right.

Maybe

Perhaps

ugh

Damnit

Janet

Legit – what the hell am I doing? Carrying on. Ice-melting the bottom of the driveway for safety. Never ending laundry. Drinking of the tea. Burning of the candles. Handing over board responsibilities to the next group. Slopping over to carline for the picking up of SonHerisme. Narrowly, fruitlessly, dodging COVID …so far. Neglecting some things. Doing other things. Life. As one does #carryonhealthwarriors

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. NieceHerisme has COVID – she suspects from schoolmates without masks etc because her state does not allow schools to require them and her entire friend group is COVID+. Pfizer announced yesterday that its vaccine does not protect against Omicron variant unless boosted with third dose. NieceHerisme was scheduled for her booster next week. Fuck it all to hell. What a legacy to leave. Stupid damn leadership acting like fools with idiotic foolishness motivated by greed. Stupid damn lemmings motivated by misplaced evangelical Christian tropes to follow greedy inhumane asshats. Y’all I am having many angers.

The oak fought the wind
and was broken.
The willow bent
when it must,
and survived.

-Robert Jordan

I’ll leave you with this – the lady willow standing alone in my front yard died a painful death over three years with multiple ice storms, and never came back. The oak trees in my forest yard are standing strong surrounded by their forest support. Fuck you Robert Jordan.

Willow or Oak or Ash or Elm or tiny little bush with berries – let’s all stand together and support each other humanely, with love.