No Common Name

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(or listen here)

She wanted the worm to live. She=Me. I wanted the worm to live. The poor thick long brownish pinkish squirmy thing was accidentally caught up in the edge of one of the metal fence pieces I was sending to recycling. The young man helping me haul it all was holding the fence piece as I said, “Save the worm! I want the worm to live!” Followed by appropriate wide-eyed-that-lady-be-krazee look from him. I pointed to the worm and explained that I couldn’t get the worm out myself because I was afraid that the regular salt and roughness from my hands would hurt the worm more. The helper guy had on gloves so could he please save the worm. His partner called over the truck to find out what was happening. Helper guy yelled back, “she wants the worm to live!” I did want the worm to live! I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me because then I had tears over this beautifully reddish brown thick earthworm being precariously caught between the edges of metal fencing. I believe that I scared the guys with my saddnesses. Helper guy then very delicately pulled the metal apart, gathered the worm into his gloved hands, and gently placed the worm back onto the cool damp forest floor so it could live out its wormy days until a bird comes along, or a motivated fisherman, and then it’s bye-bye-wormy (have you heard about Hugo and Kim?!!!?) Also, phoned for more help from those helper guys and they haven’t returned my inquiry. hmmmm

My limited brain has decided that this worm is a Lumbricus friendi earthworm who has no common name (per scientific journal linked through the DNR). A common earthworm with no common name. Friendi no name. Sweet little worm friend. If it is so common, why no common name? Why are some words so weird when you repeat them multiple times in a row? Try it. Common, common, common, common common. Weirdo wordo righto? Fair warning, do NOT do this exercise in the middle of the night to your reflection in your bathroom mirror, or you might summon reflection Common and that will be extremely awkward because of reasons dating back to some 1990’s sleepover voo-doo juju.

Once in the long ago days when I did work stuff outside of my home, I saw Common speak on a panel with Hillary Clinton in Washington, DC. It was a very small, maybe 200 people, study release on screens/multimedia content impacts on different developmental stages of children. I KNOW – Why the heck was I there? Luck of the draw I suppose. I was sent by my work and trained into the city on the silent car. Everything about that day was amazing because I was also able to sneak in a visit to the USPS Postal Museum (woot woot nerd alert!). Pre-baby days of wearing the clothes with important shoes and the doing of the things. It was the day I completely flipped in my regard for Hillary Clinton. A dear bestie sweetness friend had worked with Mrs. Clinton earlier that year at an event in Chicago and had a similar experience. Both of us were flummoxed at Mrs. Clinton’s poise, presence and in-person charisma versus the translation of that onto a wider audience – which polarized and distanced people. She was/is an uncommon earnest articulate soul. Common was pretty awesome too – extremely articulate and intelligent(read: handsome and smooth). But the impact of Hillary Clinton on me that day was profound in how I saw all public figures moving forward.

These current transition times for me, for all of us I am guessing, are so filled with the somethings which have no common names. I feel in a place like my perceptions of Hillary. My deep soul self sees the things which are impactful, meaningful, understandable and all of the things which just make sense until they reach into the outer world where the contrast is so cacophonous, nothing seems to translate well and ends up making no sense. There is no touchstone or prescriptive healthy path. Other than coming from a place of love and returning to that as much as possible as I can when I can.

There is no way that we do not know: 
*murdering people and bombing is not the answer to any disagreement
*we have no human rights or moral high ground as a nation to lord over others
*reproductive bodies, like all non-reproductive bodies, have a right to proper health care
*people are being raped in our communities
*people are going unhoused and without food in our communities
*we have enough global resources for everyone to have healthy water, food, shelter, health care, education - without denying anyone resources
*placing thousands of kids into an inadequate building has NOTHING to do with education
*wearing a good mask indoors or in large crowds, helps prevent the spread of airborne viruses which is helpful to everyone's health 
*we do not take care of ourselves
*worms are important

Here in my little hamlet, recently unexpectedly thrust into a world of dedicated High School Marching Band parents, I found myself sitting in this parental group at a football game on a portable stadium seat – which has now earned it’s own spot in my trunk organizer, natch. Most of these parents are new to each other. The high school hasn’t had a home game on their field for 4 years due to field conditions and COVID. In our getting to know each other moments over the past few weeks, one common thread has been recognized between 5 out of 7 of us. Domestic violence and divorce. One woman is currently in the thick of walking the path through dv divorce. It is… normal. It is common. We are the mommies showing up, looking the parts, doing the things of, “yay, teams!” We are the everywheres – which is shocking and not so shocking. Slapped, punched, kicked, raped, threatened with murder of ourselves/our children/our spouse as revenge, financially abused, emotionally abused – and also pulling the wagon buggy with extra water/supplies/emergency snacks for the kids and staff along with the stadium bleacher mats we roll out for the kids to sit on. I will be extra clear about how I see this – domestic violence is not an anomaly. It is very common with what we pretend is uncommon by using an uncommon name. Who hasn’t been involved in a domestic violence or abusive situation? I do not think this belittles the significance or trauma of it by calling it out as a societal norm in our culture. It is very gaslighty pretending it isn’t when we know it is – we KNOW it.

What is up with us pretending like we give a flipping flapdoodle about women in Iran being murdered by their country’s religious police because women are being oppressed – and THEN shaming/creating laws to control humans who choose to wear a hijab, not use their bodies for birthing children, want to extricate themselves and their children from abusive situations, or present in a non/other gendered manner?

Also in my tiny community, a 14-year-old male teen/child posted multiple videos to socials while smoking various things, threatening to commit targeted racist violence, and TAGGED some of the people he would initially target, including the school principal’s daughter. One parent response I heard was, “well that kid has just ruined his life and is banned from any school.” What is happening? At 14? Consequences, for sure. Community service, mental health programs, specialized schooling environment, parental support … I mean – how is more isolation and shame going to help anyone in this situation? Consequences and preparedness actions. Violence and especially targeted racist violence cannot be tolerated. That kid is going to grow and be alive for another 80 years. All of it is heartbreaking and I hope for all of our sakes that his consequences are more than being banned from attending public high school, and include some plan for optimizing his ability to atone for his actions as well as prepare him for the next 80 or so years on how to conduct himself as a positive contributing member of society with healthy regard for humanity. If we keep pretending things like this are uncommon, or the feelings/actions leading up to situations like this, are uncommon, then we will continue with societal structures gaslighting ourselves that it is okay to write off a 14-year-old as othered for their next 80 years, without consequences which might serve them and in turn our community.

What am I doing? I do not know. Trying to help facilitate SonHerisme’s transition into a young adult who can transition into a helpful, satisfied, connected, participating member of society who recognizes the humane value of all humans regardless of gender/race/lgtbq-ness etc. I am doing the things of managing two elderly and ill parents and all of the works around those situations. I am trying to figure out how to position myself for my olden times. I have lost about 14 inches of hair (on purpose). I kept knotting the hair onto itself on top of my head like a deranged witch. Over it. Although I continue with the deranged bit by nature. I send money and deliver food locally as I can. I am not enjoying watching my parents’ declines – for different reasons. FatherHerisme is so far away and not in an ideal facility (people are generally kind, but… dudes, have you been in a long term care facility?!!?). MotherHerisme has mentally vanished into a noise-cancelling headphoned world of Asian soap operas, in the middle of my living room. And I… I continue to be juggling all of the things while lost. Lost isn’t quite right – I continue to be something which is an uncommon name, yet entirely common.

Common as in normal. When does something become so common that is it normal? Is there a normal? Should we accept that common as normal? G A H We seem to have with many things. Domestic violence is very common. Is it normal? And if we accept that it is common or normal, would that change how we handle those supremely dangerous and damaging situations? Would it save time, energy, and emotions currently being spent on “OMG can you EVEN” in order to move into actually supporting health? idk peoples

I am thinking that the entire idea of “normal” might be the problem. Is it normal to be molested or emotionally abused as a child in this country? Yes. Is it normal to have bright shiny stretch marks after having a baby or growing quickly? Yes. But we pretend that neither of those things (and many others) are common or normal by shaming, blaming, hiding hush hushing. Because our normal trope is the happy organically fed lovely mannered child dancing in the sunshiney manicured perfectly outfitted public park with beautiful healthy mom, dad, granny, grandad, auntie, uncle etc. Also, no one has stretch marks. If they do, they are lotioned potioned shamed until they are faded or covered up. It is supremely uncomfortable to accept things as they are. Acceptance goes against our very bootstrappynesses. Which we need some of, of course, to challenge ourselves and each other in healthy ways – but have naturally bastardized into the gaslighting denial of shame and blame.

Geezus – debbie downer much? SHAME shame shame shame shame.

Back to the uncommon name. I do not know if that worm moved on to doing the wormy things of a worm life. I do not know how we would be experiencing this country/world with Hillary as president. I do not know if I am a help or hindrance to SonHerisme’s development. I do not know if I am doing the right things for ParentsHerisme. I do not know if, or how to tell if, I am doing the right things for myself. I have turned some corner, however, where most of the time I just accept how the thing is. If I am doing something right by some standard, then okay, I am. If I am doing something wrong by another standard, then I am. If that makes me a terrible bitch person, then I am. If it makes me seem like an awesome person, then, okay too. What I tend to know most of the time is that whatever centers on, and ultimately comes from, a place of love with healthy boundaries is what I attempt to keep focused on. Even in moments of heavy emotions.

I do know that I love the idea of worms making wormy ways through my garden. I love the idea of reality truths being recognized. I am honored and love being SonHerisme’s guide to launching his own life. I am honored to be tasked with helping my parents, whom I love. I love very dark coffee in my old timey pewter colored Starbucks travel mug with black “leather” attached koozie-ish grasp belt. That mug has seen some things people – many many things, and moves, and vehicles, and airplanes, and places, and whatnots…

Current reads: The First Astronomers, Lady Justice, Caste, and A Thousand Ships

Current podcasts: Films to be Buried With, The School of Greatness, Telling Everybody Everything, We Can Do Hard Things, Feel Better Live More, Poetry Plain and Simple

I listen to podcasts while working, walking or driving and waiting on SonHerisme. I have books stashed in different places to read – nightstand, cozy chair side table, in the car, and next to the hanging pod chair in the kitchen/mudroom. That’s how I do – how about you? Is this common?

I don’t have a grasp on anything anymore – if I ever did. *concentrates on love and sends some to you* Thank you for sticking with my ramblings. I hope that it brings you comfort in knowing that if you are feeling any of this, you are not alone. Or if you are not feeling any of this, then you can feel some relief in knowing there is someone out here a bit madder than you are so you’re probably okay.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps do any of you remember the writing I was doing a zillion hawt minute years ago on normal? I wonder if I can find it all again. Was it Being Normal? Becoming Normal? Oh wait – Observing Normal? Adding this to my running task list

pps – for shits and giggles, I have no connection with them so this is just for common bougie fun! UnCommon Goods

Tightrope Waffle

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(or listen here)

Hello out there.

There is the picture of life, and then there is the life of life. It seems increasingly difficult to distinguish the two.

SonHerisme wants me to sit with him while he is youtubing it up with all of these 20-somethings having “made it” with their muti-million dollar homes/cars/lifestyle etc on the shirttails of Kardashian kookiness. My child sees attainable goals – play games/do kooky dangerous stuff/make science/host crazy games and give away money, record yourself, and violá multimillionaire home on Rich Bitch Avenue! Humans hitting a micro-minutia chance at an unpredictable jackpot where they can maximize their day-to-day humaning commodity into cash(unless it is sex work, then all bets are off, but he cannot access that…yet). Cash is the goal. Strike that, the MOST cash is the goal. SonHerisme talks about how big of a home he is going to purchase one day, what artist he will commission pieces from, how he will balance his work and home life, etc based on these clips, snippets, pics, tik-toking their way into his brainiac. He is at that pivotal age of 14: newly minted freshman in high school, possibilities are endless, mommy is suddenly becoming less everything yet somehow more annoying… oiy

And there I sit, putting cottage cheese and cinnamon or fruit preserves or salmon/capers on my toasted waffles, while drinking very strong deep black espresso in an adorably small white cup. The espresso aroma is inhaled slowly and exhaled along with gratitude for this elixir of the G-ds. The French provincial style faded green cotton tablecloth with its delicate tiny yellow/white/light grey paisly pattern, tops an inherited burled maple octagonal table with a thick oversized scrolled wrought iron base. The tablecloth is faded to the point where it suggests having once been new but now loved and worn instead of trash tattered. My place at the table has a heftier weighted quilted cotton round scalloped-edged placemat on top of the tablecloth. The placemat is a more quiet yellow/green/red floral pattern. The oversized crisply ironed cotton napkin is off-white (from many uses/washings) with an equally off-green hexagonal lattice pattern. Waffle holding plate is restaurant level heaviness, restaurant level white. No utensils required because these waffles are sturdy, toppings are proportioned for waffle-in-handing, and I am awake early at home, eating on my own. All the while pretending that I am eating fancy food in a quaint other place not full of the smell of dead carcasses and urine. Maybe I exaggerate… alas my house reeks of unpleasant odors due to MotherHerisme (open wounds, lack of self care), two dogs, and teen-boy shoes (and sweats and stuffs of teen boys). Grace and space. Grace and space. Grace and space, lovely and not-so-lovely people of the world.

When I mentioned my cottage cheese and cherry preserves on waffles as make-believe fancy pastries to ShewhoisEight, she looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. We were enjoying a cold beverage and treat moment, waiting for a parade to come through the main street of town. The cafe’s air conditioner was also a lure on this sweaty glow humid hawt day. This new cafe had full picture windows to the street for maximum comfort viewing of the parade. SonHerisme was marching, as was ShewhoisEight’s older brother, and other community members we know. ShewhoisEight was sharing two tasty treats with her mother and I enjoyed my glorious cold brew espresso with a dash of oatmilk (bougie bougie time). One of the treats they ordered came with two dollops of whipped cream topped with little pinky sprinkles across the white peaks. ShewhoisEight’s mother asked if SonHerisme ever ate fancy oatmeal anymore. Fancy oatmeal has raisins, whipped cream, a selection of sprinkles to choose and self serve, occasionally chocolate chips, all in a large bottomed crisp white bowl. Does he eat it anymore? Yes, if, “anymore,” refers to 9pm last night because he is a teenager with the massive teenager hungerings all over the place… This is where I shared my version of fancy pastry substitute by waffle/cottage cheese/preserves which received the, “you must have lost your mind because why don’t you just eat the real treat like I am?!!?” look from ShewhoisEight. Yes, it seems that might be easier IF I wasn’t celiac with soy, certain fats, egg, and dairy issues. But that’s too much for a before the parade treat convo. I replied to the look with, “it is really very tasty and I’ll let you try mine sometime if you’d like,” cheeriness – most likely overboard cheery. YES, I KNOW cottage cheese is dairy. I get the high protein lactose free one which seems to work for my system-of-dynamic-mysteries. For now.

Once we stepped out of the cool cafe, into the drippy humid heat, the parade parts with SonHerisme and ShewhoisEight’s brother, marched passed as we cheered, jumped, and waved to them. Then I left ShewhoisEight with her parents (her father arrived just in time to see both boys!), and followed the parade to the end at a park at the edge of town. The parade participants had a picnic with lots and lots of cool water as they cooled down, goofed around like teenagers do, and gathered up their parade accessories to return to their schools. They ended at the little park behind the little city pool. The pool is hidden in an ally across the creek from the back of the courthouse. There is a larger, more prominent city pool in the middle of the multi-blocked large park on the edge of the city center. This smaller hidden away pool where the parade ended, is a remnant of segregation times. This was the colored pool. While I wait for SonHerisme to wrap up his teenagering at the park, I walked across the creek bridge towards the courthouse thinking about how culturally tilted things can turn on a dime, feeling like precarious balancing on a tightrope – or falling off for so many of us. Why is the pool still so very small here? Rhetorical since we all know why while pretending we don’t know why and go about using the pool without regard for what it stands for because we love swimming and shade, and this pool has both.

Behind where I sit on the bench, is the courthouse. I have been inside there too many times and for too sad and frightening reasons. We are okay. It is the memories that are difficult to sit with and digest as reality. Turning around to look at the back of the courthouse, I can see the lower level back doors I would enter through in order to avoid MrexH and go through less of a crowd at the security check. I did not know what would happen if I ran into MrexH, but I was sure it should be avoided (advised by my attorney and the sheriff’s dept). I do not know know if I did the right things through those processes. But we are all alive, so there’s that.

On that note, SonHerisme received a card from MrexH this week, along with a card from MrexH’s parents. MrexH’s handwriting is scratchy and very heartbreaking to see (he is not well). The cards were vetted by our court appointed parenting coordinator and included cash for SonHerisme. SonHerisme is planning on using the cash towards building materials for a music room in the back of the garage. This is the tightrope of keeping connection open while not sugar coating the past to make things smooth and okay. I think that is what it is.

I feel word salady.

While I have been alone for a very long time, and deeply lonely, this transition into High School mode has me suddenly recognizing how alone I really am. I knew I was alone before, but I feel it so much more now. The lonely feeling is about the same, but the knowing of being alone has blossomed exponentially these past few weeks. SonHerisme attended a little Montessori school for his entire school career prior to high school. Almost every day after school, we were at a community park close to the school, or some other activity with different circles of friends from either the school or around the community. While I was alone the entire time, I never realized I was alone because there was always some activity or school thing needing attention. High school is another formative transition to adulthood, which requires more autonomy and much less parent involvement. Yes, yes, yes, Montessori is all about personal responsibility, sacred learning time and space for the child (which in our school meant parents stayed out of child spaces/experiences unless absolutely no other option available – like field trips where parents had to drive themselves, no riding with children on buses…etc otherwise known as militant montessorian, aka a topic for another day). It is appropriate and right that this high school transition happen. I am not questioning that. I am mourning, or grieving the loss of childhood times with SonHerisme and constantly questioning my parenting as he pushes and stretches his boundaries (as he should) to learn about eventual complete autonomy from me. And this grief brings home the reality, my reality, of being entirely alone.

I am keenly aware of the aloneness of me in all aspects of how that translates into this life. Even though I continue to care for my parents’ two little miniature schnauzers (Sugar and Spice, litter sisters), I am looking for a larger dog for SonHerisme and myself. A dog companion for walks and car drives to and from wherever SonHerisme needs to be. The doggy will probably help with feeling safe on my own, and maybe the lonlinesses as well. Sugar and Spice do not travel into other environments very well. They attempted to corner and harrass a giant german shepherd recently at the vet. I also recognized this past week that they have been living with me since Christmas 2016. I am their human at this point and have ordered them travel seats for the car to see how well that goes until we find our big dog. I have been their human for 6 years and I have failed them as well buy not socializing them more or including them more in my routines. They are gifts thrown at me that I have, once again, not taken advantage of.

BTW – being alone is weird. I am going to help with some parent support at the high school to find a new groove as I prepare for what’s coming in 2 years when SonHerisme begins driving, and then in 4 years when takes flight to find the footing for his own life.

I want to see things as they are and not how I imagine or want them to be. Often my brain fails at this task. I am alone. Sometimes I eat waffles with cottage cheese and preserves. It is okay. I am okay. I am starting to think the attentive pursuit of acknowledging and ruminating on inner feelings is mostly unhealthy for me and I would not like to do it as much anymore. Actioning instead may help (?). How does this work? Life-ing life instead of picture-ing life? Cleaning out the things and walking the tightrope of life (wearing pink knee socks natch)? I hope that you are okay.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps waffles with swiss cheese, capers, and smoked salmon = delish, I kid you not. Try it and report back. If you’re vegan, try egg free waffles topped with spinach and tofu paneer. Waffles are amazing conduits of the yum.

Also, in response to my, “thank you for coming with me to pick up SonHerisme’s dinner, otherwise I’d have to do this alone and it’s more fun with a buddy,” ShewhoisEight tells me not to worry because I should never feel alone or lonely since she (and her lovely family) are always here too. 😉

This unaccompanied cello piece is what I want to feellook like on my prelude-to-the-next-thing tightrope

Doing of the Things

(or listen here)

How are we doing all of the things? Are we doing all of the things?

I am not. I wish I could be cool, awesome, and put together in a lovely tidy riband package and be a part of the ones getting the things done.

On Pinterest board “Coveted Clothing Items,” I find I have pinned ribbon ruffle pleated smocked things everywhere. I seem to have the packaging eye for myself (which rarely translates outside of the pin), but the getting things done part is a struggle.

The banker man person for FatherHerisme and MotherHerisme would like to visit FatherHerisme in his skilled nursing long-term facility. FatherHerisme is there after snowball medical debacles earlier this year because he needs dialysis 3x week now. He is unable to be reliably transported in a vehicle because his body is so weak, and must be in a facility with onsite dialysis. Do not EVEN ask what the cost for this is because it is INSANELY expensive here. Yet the facility presents as an outdated 1980’s era building… great people but the facility condition is sus. For example, only 1 item may be plugged in at a time in FatherHerisme’s room. He can either use his CPAP or have his iPad plugged in to Facetime us. 1st world problems, but for the amount of $$$$$, it seems like a basic expectation to use multiple outlets in a long term care facility. Maybe I’m Karening (?). Maybe it’s Maybelline. Did any of you use that bright pink/green packaged mascara back in the day? woot woot I haven’t worn mascara for years and years and years. I look like I do not have any eyelashes without it because mine are blondish whiteish. Meh – whatevs – letting it go

The banker man call regarding visiting FatherHerisme reminded me that not only have I not followed up with the tasks he set me, I have not followed up with the attorney about updated POA’s/wills/trusts etc. I have not followed up with MotherHerisme’s appointments or SonHerisme’s orthodontist (He is braces-free but needs a retainer check). I have not cleaned out the Princess Room (home office moniker left over from the days of my little nieces using this room as their own magical sleepover/play area). I have not cleaned out the basement/garage to prepare for remodeling for MotherHerisme. I did not get the play structure removed from the backyard. I have not put a hitch on the back of my car to accommodate a bike rack so that SonHerisme and I could go bike riding. The three things he wanted to do this summer: take a bike ride, go to the beach, paint his room. We never did any of that. Parenting/Daughtering/Humaning fails everywhere I turn. *sigh*

Trudging along then.

Doing the things.

I am determined to accomplish things before I add more to my plate. Is it a recognition of how I am searching for the something, dreaming of the something, imagining the something instead of doing the things? I mean, I’m not a blob doing the nothings of course, because I am a single mom caretaking for an ill parent and trying to manage both ill parents’ affairs… But the inattention to some of the things is truly weighing down on being able to do the things which are important to myself (such as a bike ride with SonHerisme which time is running out on him being interested in it at all).

Dear Doing of the Things,  
   I wish you oodles of luck with my brain attempting to prioritize in ways which better serve all of us in the ends, middles and beginnings of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years.
Love, me

How do you do the doing of the things beyond what you are doing? Discipline and consistency? Tiny bites? Celebrations? Maybe I need to make a ruffled shirt for inspiration. Fabric and threads are at the ready…

GAH! But the things which need doing are staring at me from my lists. And the weather is so lovely today which makes me think another walk around the park to finish my current listenread (Map of Salt and Stars) might pull rank over all. There are ducks, people! Adorable ducks AND a bell tower AND a fountain! How am I supposed to resist all of that delicious atmosphere just to sit and fill out paperwork, or clean, or ….

Compromise then?

I’ll make three appointment calls, shower/feed MotherHerisme and set her up for the day, send paperwork followup to one waiting agency, iron four napkins (don’t judge me), defrost dinner prep, take some donations to the car to drop off, and then walk in the park. Knee socks and all.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps There was a bomb threat at one of our local high schools about an hour ago – seems to be fine now, and not SonHerisme’s school. Anywho, good luck brain stuck on hoping none of our kids die at school in the USA today. FFFFFfffff U C K y’all Homeschool is looking really good right now. I do not know how staff are showing up for this bullshit or our kids, frankly. G-d freaking damn. I swear to whatever – we have GOT to get our SHIT together with accountability for violence. JayZeus frickin hells

Transient

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(or listen here)

Etymology is fascinating. Clarification: Etymology is fascinating to me. Way back in the university attending days, I would spend hours reading from a volume of the Oxford English Dictionary. Pulling volumes off of the low thick dark solid wood shelves, I’d carry them over to the giant reading tables to browse. The history of how our language, any language, came to be, is amazing. We pinched the prefix, “trans,” from Latin (Roman Conquerors left more than rape and pillage DNA!) and added onto words (sometimes also from Latin, sometimes not) to indicate “the other side of,” “across,” or “beyond.” Transatlantic. Transgender. Transmute. Transfer. Transsexual. Translate. Transition. Transcendental. You know, words words words.

This summer has been quickslow (etymology none, neologism hopeful). Transitioning things expected having now left our Montessori school home for grades 1 through 8, moving towards a large high school experience. With the additions of continuing COVID, legislative discrimination of all potentially pregnant human people, plus a substantial dose of lack of accountability for openly criminal acts against non-white humans as well as our entire governing structure.

SonHerisme: Momma, you have been very very angry for weeks now. Are you going to be okay?
Me: Really? I am so sorry buddy. I'll try to be more mindful of my moods.

Then I begin to wonder
    am I starting menopause?
    am I in menopause?
    do I have a disease running rampant through my body?
   am I losing my mind?
   
OR
   am I really truly feeling the angers about something?

Turns out – I AM ANGRY I am fucking pissed with all of the angers. And also sad. And ashamed that I have not been feeling this angry before it was blatantly directed at me.

It happens as predicted. Until they come for you, you feel all of the self congratulatory feelings of being a part-time activist ally who can take off that hat at any time, and rest your head so gently until you feel called again. When they come for you, there is no one left to help you because you stood by as others were persecuted.

This has been a summer of transition.

SonHerisme is now 14 and has so much more control over contact with MrexH. Words cannot express the deep transcendental soul relief I felt on his birthday this year. SonHerisme is 6’2″ and full of all of the teenagernesses which make him appear to be 17/18 years old. Inside, he is my sweet little hawkie-bat superhero wild turkey puffin bear. Outside, he is relishing the powerful body he has been given by sportsing it up all over the place. He still feels supported by the helpers around him (thank goodness). He held his “Bans off our Bodies,” “Abortion is Health Care,” signs as high as he could, chanting as loudly as he could, outside of our courthouse. He has his “Black Lives Matter,” “LGBTQ,” and, “People of Quality Do Not Fear Equality,” posters, shirts, and he displays them, wears them etc. He is very aware that his buddies are treated differently – and sometimes he is as well. He identifies with his Hispanic heritage from MrexH (which I found out this summer through one of our deep conversations). He has been able to maintain friendships with girls, boys – a few non-binary, and one transitioning.

These kids know that all humans deserve humane consideration. When a black boy is murdered by police, these kids know it is one of them, and they might be next. When a mass shooting happens, these kids know it has affected someone like them, and they might be next. When a kid is targeted or mocked by an adult for being gay, black, Hispanic, a girl in shorts, they know it is one of them being targeted or mocked, and they group together to protect their peers.

Many times I have sat down to complete my thoughts over this summer and failed. I feel myself transitioning. No – transitioning is too much pressure. I am much more able to feel realities of transience through time.

Today is SonHerisme’s first day of High School. It will be interesting to see his take on how transformative this experience will be for his curiosity, life goal planning, and adventures. He’s already been thrown a loop by not making it onto the soccer team. He worked so hard for it, but the coach painfully cut him in the final 2 spots. He is considering playing for a club outside of school that he played for before. He is considering continuing with tennis outside of school. He is considering filling a vacant position with the High School Marching Band. He is considering trying rugby with a club outside of school. Maybe we should become transient-scholars. Traveling the world, online school… on whose dime though? *sigh* Be still little imaginations and let the checklists rule for just a bit longer please and thank you.

The world is open to SonHerisme’s transformation pivots while he practices more and more on becoming the adult he wishes to be. I am the groupie guide teenagering/adulting translation support navigation system he will require less on some days and more on others. I have failed him in many areas, and come through for him in many areas. This is a heavy transition for both if us – gently gently with our bittersweet bruised-into-determination souls.

It is time to embrace the quickslow. The quickslow will happen embraced or not, natch.

I need to move forward into the habits/person/parent/momma that my teenagering High School newborn baby giant puffin muffin baby bear needs. As well as the habits and attention I need for my own self once he truly launches out into the world.

I am… always myself, which rarely translates into anything that I predict. So there’s that. Here’s hoping for the best then! For all of us to allow the space for transformation in this transitiony time of year 🙂

Be kind to school staff, walkers, bikers, school bussers, and fellow car-line peoples (as well as the oddly knee-socked lady wandering the downtown park… she is me and I am fully aware of how ridiculous I look but needs must).

AAAAAAaaaaaand, we’re off! Transients through existence if nothing else.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps I also observe that while we have culturally decided that COVID is not a thing anymore, people continue to be infected, re-infected, become very ill, and suffer long-term issues. It looks like we are a-okay with that overall. Science and statistics say, “WARNING DANGER!” CDC and we say, “meh, whatevs.” Good luck with that as well. Transridiculousious…

High School side note: I went to the open house evening at the High School. It was free-form glee for these kiddos. The doors opened and everyone moved into the cafeteria, located their counselor (by last name) to receive their schedules and disperse on the adventure of walking their schedule or visiting club stations in the cafeteria. Staff were in the hallways to help kids find their classrooms, answer questions, and give navigation advice. Teachers were waiting at their classroom doors or inside their rooms to greet students/parents, answer questions, and provide supply expectations. I wanted to hug and thank every staff member there. It was all very sweet, vulnerable, and open. My goodness how times have changed from my long ago days of being a High School student. Good luck, staff! Good luck, students! Good luck, sweet tiny giant SonHerisme! Happy back-to-schooling y’all! Bittersweet brokenhealing quickslow transient times.

Take-Backs

(Photo by CDC on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

As predicted by the path of past experiences, it is the ol’ familiar take-backs time for my brain in a no take-backs reality.

After 9-11 I remember sitting on the commuter bus going to work downtown and looking at the bright blue sky dotted with puffy fluffs of white clouds. In a big city there are always airplanes making their way here and there across the big sky. On this day, there weren’t any airplanes. The sky was so empty of airplanes that is was starkly noticeable by everyone that something on this day was dramatically different. It was in that moment that the shock ripped through my body of how everyone on that commuter bus knew the tragedy and death of 9-11. Everyone knew it. That knowledge of pain and horror was just sitting there like a solid lead apron on all of us. All of us knowing people burned, people were crushed, people knew they were going to die, some had to hold little children while they died, some had to fall hundreds of feet in terror, some people had to choke to death, some people did not know they were going to die. All of us on this bus had this knowing of horror. I wanted to grab all of the knowledge and take the pain away from everyone. I wanted to scream with that knowledge and run it far away from anyone so that they would not feel this unbearable pain. There weren’t any take-backs.

In April 2014 I sat hunched over, clutching my sweater as close to my body as I could just in case it could swallow me up out of the freezing nightmare, in an oversized winged-backed chair, in a fancy office, across a large desk from a seriously hard-core put together not a hair out of place attorney. I could see her looking at me very intensely. I could hear she was talking to me, but I could not unscramble the words she was saying so that I could understand them. Then I heard something. She said, “You are here to hire me to get you divorced. Correct? You want a divorce. Correct?” My response, “Is that what I am supposed to do now?” In that moment I knew that she knew what was going on. Which meant that other people I had spoken to knew as well. The police knew. My family knew. A few friends knew. This knowing of others knowing cut through me like the hottest coldest quickest jaggedy edge blade. There weren’t any take-backs.

Similar experiences with my first malignant cancer diagnosis (I’m a-okay!), Frump as a ballot candidate, onset of COVID, and every single freaking damned school shooting. And each time the worst part is that there are NO TAKE-BACKS.

Those kids, those children, those teachers, those lives are gone. The lives of their families, friends, communities are forever marked by these events. There are no take-backs. There are no amends to be made. No mea culpa. As a nation we have venerated and voted for radicalized fascism under the guise of pseudo-christianesqueness for at least the past 40 years.

COVID has forced us to somewhat face what and who we are as a nation. I am so relieved, honestly, to see many of us rising to speak openly and take actions from a place of love for humanity rather than sinking into the fear and zero-sum-game tropes. The information is out about us and cannot be pushed back into irrelevancy because there are also no take-backs for verified accurate information dissemination. There are also no take-backs for the march of time. Rising generations of activists and voters are now outnumbering the groups of culturally indoctrinated zero-summers. Those interested in promoting inhumane policies, laws, and governance, will always exist, of course. But they will become more and more outnumbered by the rest of us who know that unregulated civilian access to rapid fire automatic or whatever weapons of those ilk, are not humane. They will become more outnumbered by the rest of us who know that equitable access to healthcare (including mental, dental too!), education/training, food sources, affordable housing, and community are critical for a productive functioning healthy nation.

Those children that we are all okay with exposing to COVID will be voting in 13-18 years. 

In 13-18 years, almost 22% of our population will be between 71-95 years old. 

I wonder how those full of teen angsty- idealism voters are going to feel about a large portion of those 71-95 year olds, plus pockets of following generations, having decided their health and lives were worth risking over their abject refusal to wear a small covering over their noses and mouths while inside, and take free vaccines. 

I wonder how they're going to feel knowing that those 71-95 year olds consistently voted against taking care of our planet while voting for more destruction of our planet. 

I wonder how they're going to feel about those 71-95 year olds denying their country equitable access to health care, despite having proven data through their entire adult lives that it was cheaper and more beneficial for everyone to have equitable access to health care. 

I wonder how they are going to feel about how it was more important to us that they may be murdered at school than we demand better gun safety regulations and school staff/community support. AND that we specifically voted for elected officials who would accept monies from those profiting off of children being murdered in schools and develop legislation in favor of more guns being more available to more people without any oversight or acknowledgement of responsibility to the communities (much less humanity) they were elected to represent and serve (communities include ALL humans - even birth-five year olds). 

I wonder how they are going to feel about continued veneration of systemic racism and inhumane discriminatory policies. 

There are no take-backs for many of these things. Only moving forward by addressing them head-on with humane, thoughtful, truth-centered, meaningful conversations followed by humane, thoughtful, truth-centered, meaningful actions. I mean in the best ways we can as individuals. I am not the door-to-door knocking, yelling demonstrator, or logo-ed t-shirt person. I am quite bad at all of those things. Writing a letter, speaking to groups, putting things in bags to send out – those things I can do.

I wish there were take-backs. I want to take all of the most horrific of the horrors away and wipe the deepest awful pains clean. We are flawed. Lives are hard. We can only control our reactions.

In my house last night SonHerisme shared with MotherHerisme that one of his favorite teachers was leaving for a long vacation with his family. They are going to stay near where SonHerisme’s father, MrexH, lives. MotherHerisme responded to SonHerisme, “Is he going to see your father while he’s there?” SonHerisme responded, “Why would he do that? You don’t make any sense, Granny.” Afterward, SonHerisme’s demeanor changed rapidly, as it does when his trauma surrounding his father is triggered. It is almost as if mentally and physically his insides are on fire. We left the house for evening tennis and SonHerisme was very quiet for the entire car ride. On the return home, I opened up the conversation to help SonHerisme work through his anger and to have a plan of how to further move with and understand his emotions. At one point SonHerisme looked over at me, saying, “You know what momma? Next time Granny goes to the hospital, I’m going to tell her that I really hope she sees her dad there!” Because he is dead – but you already have guessed that, I imagine.

Entering the angers. Acknowledging the angers. Sitting with the angers. Moving with the angers. Holding space for the angers.

I spoke to MotherHerisme today while SonHerisme was at school. Her response, predictably, was to break down into a puddle of toddler-worthy dramatic tears. “I didn’t mean anything. I didn’t mean to hurt his feelings!” She does not know what she does not want to know. She only knows what has been drilled into her which is that if you are doing well as judged by the judging people, and a white lady, then you are morality personified and should always demonstrate that by being happy, insisting those around you must be happy, and it is your duty to shame and punish those who are not happy or doing well, as those are indicators that they are morally inept or unworthy. When flaws are pointed out = epic meltdowns. She thrives on the idea of her divine right to take-backs no matter what. This is her cornerstone of her trauma-response sanity.

I will continue to walk this path in different supportive ways with SonHerisme as he changes and grows through his life path. He is my most and best and favorite. No take backs ever.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Metal Rings

(Photo by Tatiana on Pexels.com)

This was written and recorded prior to hearing the news about Robb Elementary school. My heart is in deep pain and I am choosing actions of activism in regards to gun safety. I’m not sure that I have the right to feel this pain. The following is sent out into the world with the deep soul knowing of my own privilege at having my sweet SonHerisme with me, as well as both of my parents, siblings, and friends as I tumble through this messy messy life.

(prologue added post recording)
(or listen here)

SonHerisme recently joined a rock band as their drummer. He is very enthusiastic about the entire experience. After playing violin for six years, he took a break and tinkered on the piano for a bit, bought himself an acoustic guitar, and finally got his mother to sign him up for drum lessons. He has been playing some kind of rhythm instrument since he could crawl and bang. It has been his calling but I have tempered it (mean mommy) with pushing him learning to read music and unlocking the most difficult instrument family to understand – the strings – first. He asked his father, MrexH, for a drum set last Christmas. SonHerisme now has his eyes set on enclosing a part of the garage to accommodate a sound proof area for his drumming and other instrumental explorations. Later this week he has an interview to be accepted into our local Fine Arts Academy for High School *fingers crossed.* So, yes, he is hooked.

This well intentioned momma is handing over the reigns to follow the bold screaming adolescent calls of the soul interests of the boy-teen-man. I can do this. Right? I mean, we can do these hard things, right? Is Glennon right? Can we?

He wants to try High School football too. All I see are brain damage and permanent paralysis looming along with peer pressure for sex, hazing, alcohol and drugs. I hope that the summer tennis coach can charm him into focusing on tennis. Maybe I can do the soccering consent? His cousin (boy crazed Rugby fan) is pressuring him to do rugby – hard pass on that too, please and thank you. SonHerisme says/yells in a giant man voice, “Momma, look at my body! Look at it! I am MADE for contact sports! *flexes* No one can hurt me! Look at how big and strong I am!” Ohmyholywildturkeynesses How have mommas been doing this?!!? Why won’t he do swimming? Golf? Horse Riding? I mean, c’mon universe. Can we, can I, really do this final sprint to my tiny newborn giant tiny baby bear’s adulthood? You guys. I have my doubts, but also cannot comprehend an alternative. More tea STAT STAT STAT

SonHerisme’s band is practicing to participate in a Rock v Grunge outdoor weekend lineup. SonHerisme says he and the band are working on mental health. How cool is that? His band is practicing mental health exercises to prepare for performing in front of a large audience! Blogisphere friends – it took me a few days to figure out he meant that his band is playing a cover of Quiet Riot’s METAL HEALTH. When I pointed this out to SonHerisme, he said the song is by Quiet Riot but it is mental health. Oh my sweet baby tiny puffin boy, yes, yes, yes, alliteration, yes. He did not believe me until I showed him a YouTube. Then I felt super sad and old that as a part of popular culture, I am old enough to know of Metal Health despite my calling leaning towards Hootie and the Blowfish, The Sundays and such. Then I felt super love and protection for my precious baby bear who is not quite grown, but so full of all of the teen hubris earnestnesses. Squeezy delicious babes working on their Me(n)tal Health indeed.

Side Note: Charlotte (shar-LOT, a former co-worker insisted I read boy centric interest books and not just 398’s and 811’s, to become a great children’s librarian – she was *sigh* correct) is, “I told you so,” -ing from the great beyond.

I suspect FatherHerisme’s parents are doing the same from the great beyond. I never met FatherHerisme’s parents. They passed when FatherHerisme was 4 (his father died) and 12 (his mother died). When FatherHerisme’s dad passed away, his mother remarried an extremely abusive criminal, and had two more girls. She had a total of five children: 2 girls and a boy (FatherHerisme) with her first husband, and 2 girls with her second husband. ZoeLorriane and Bertie – what a pair they must have been. Perhaps they crossed paths at some point with David Lee and Emily B.

When FatherHerisme’s mother died, the two older girls married their boyfriends right away so they would not have to live with their abusive stepfather. FatherHerisme was sent to live with a childless, very religious, aunt and uncle. Within a year, the abusive stepfather, known as, “Whitey,” *charming* was in federal prison, and FatherHersime returned to Indiana to live with his oldest sister while he finished High School and went to college. The two younger sisters split their time between family members’ homes, including with FatherHerisme at the oldest sister’s home. Her husband was also abusive. He passed away many years ago, but she is alive and well, in her 90’s and thriving in the same house where she raised her son. The second oldest sister married an abusive man who moved her to the hills of Kentucky. She rapidly mentally deteriorated in severe poverty and isolation from everything, and eventually died. The two younger sisters married challenging people, had children, and are alive and well surrounded by grandchildren and great grandchildren. Some are doing well. Most have struggled with mental health, addiction and abuse. Generational trauma for reals y’all.

FatherHerisme continues to struggle making very slow progress at a skilled nursing home rehabilitation facility. 2 steps forward, 1 step back, 2 steps forward, 3 steps back, 2 steps forward, 2 steps back etc. He receives dialysis three times each week and physical therapy five times each week. When his blood pressure drops too low(frequently), they stop physical therapy, or dialysis, and he rests for the remainder of the day. SisterHerisme sees FatherHerisme everyday and brings him something tasty to keep his calories up and continue to help his kidneys work. I never know if I am making the best decisions for his health care – but I am trying my best to do what he has expressed to me in the past that he expects or wants.

At our most recent conversation, where he was very lucid, he clearly communicated that staying where he is in order to seamlessly get his next surgeries, is what he would like to do. His other option is to be transported via interstate ambulatory stretcher service to a hospital local to me (about 450 miles or 725 km from where he currently is) and begin the process of diagnosis/procedures with new physicians. While he would be closer for my brother, my mother, and me to be more supportive of his recovery and progress, he does not want to delay any procedures further than they have already been delayed at this time. BrotherHerisme is very frustrated that I am not forcing FatherHerisme to relocate (I’m POA). I am trying to be respectful. This is another exercise in letting go.

FatherHerisme has cycled in and out of lucidity these past few months. He was at a point where he “forgot” how to swallow, he could not feed himself because he could not control his arm well enough to find his head or his mouth, and he could not control or reliably track anyone with his eyes. Today he can hold a conversation, transfer from chair to chair (with assistance), and, with special utensils, feed himself and drink from a straw or cup. Miracles!

FatherHerisme FaceTimed me yesterday while BILHerisme was visiting with him. FatherHerisme was concerned he had mixed up his Dr appointments (he had not), and wanted to tell me that something was wrong with his fingers and his eye. He was feeling small metal rings getting caught underneath his skin in his fingers. The metal rings were like small washers or the backs to snaps on clothing.

FatherHerisme was worried that the metal rings were coming off of his hospital gown and getting stuck underneath his skin in his fingers. 
He was able to push on some and get them worked out to the tops of his fingers, carefully push them through his skin and flick them onto the floor.
He was worried that he was making a mess on the floor and that someone would get hurt on the metal rings he was leaving there.
He was worried that if I didn't tell the janitors, they would not be able to see the metal rings and get them all swept up, or they would be upset with him that he flicked them onto the floor.
He was worried that one metal ring accidentally got caught in his eye and he hadn't been able to get it out on his own.
He was worried about how many more metal rings would get caught underneath his skin and how he could get them out more efficiently.
He already phoned SisterHerisme asking her to bring precision tweezers and a magnifying glass for him to use to pull out the metal rings.
I listened to all of his words as he stumbled through trying to say everything he needed to say about the metal rings so that I would understand how concerned he was. 
I listened with what I hope was respect and honorable space holding for his worries and problem solving processes. 
I asked him if he shared his concerns with one of the health aids or nurses. He had not.
I asked him to hold his fingers up to the camera so that I could take a look.
I asked him to put the camera close to the eye he is worried about so that I could take a look.

Bloggees, I had to then gently walk my father through how all evidence points to his brain playing tricks on him. His fingers and eye do not show signs of trauma, which would be expected if metal rings were being poked through them. I had to walk my father through possible explanations for these sensations – nerve pinch, nerve damage, neuropathy, medication side effects, or growing toxicity in his body from kidney failure/blockage or another developing UTI. FatherHerisme then asked for tweezers just in case. I had to walk my father through on why tweezers are not the best first intervention for these metal rings. My suggestion was that BILHerisme go find a small bag for FatherHerisme so that he could catch the metal rings in there and not on the floor, alleviating his worries about safety and cleanliness. Secondly, I sent a large magnifying glass to FatherHerisme so that he could get a better look at his fingers as he is feeling the metal rings push through them. Lastly, I told FatherHerisme I would let the nurse know what was going on so that they can help him determine what is happening with his fingers too, since he might need support in retraining his brain signals if there are not metal rings getting caught beneath his skin and needing extraction. I explained to FatherHerisme that if tweezers are needed, the nurse will bring them for him, or we can discuss that after he has some rings in his bag to confirm what his brain is telling him.

FatherHerisme asked me how he will know if there are other incidents where his brain might be playing tricks on him but he truly believes what is happening is real. I requested that he pick two people he trusts who are physically with him, ask them for confirmation, and then no matter what he sees or feels, he will need to trust them until he cannot. Once he cannot trust his two trusted people physically with him, he needs to call me and I will fly there to help him.

My brilliant, funny, difficult father is struggling and it is painful to witness. My heart hurts and it is so painful that my already giant eyes feel like they are going to pop out of my head from the pressure of not being able to cry. I can hear my heartbeat all of the time now.

When I was a little girl, FatherHerisme wanted me to write a book when I got older and title it, “My Pop was Carbonated.” He was trying to connect with me in his own ways, but I too was hiding in my protective bubble from the time I was born. We have the same eyes, but his are more blue than green now. While I have the odd old lady hairs popping up hither and thither, he can still grow one impressive Santa competitive beard!

FatherHerisme told me this year that his mother died on March 24th 1952. He has never spoken of her, other than she died when he was young. ZoeLorraine and her sweet baby puffin bear boy (and girls). I hope I am doing the right things. Or at least in these instances, leaning right things.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. apologies for all of the things I am not measuring up on atm irl people and friends and family. I am pushing love out to you in absence of my follow-up on whatever I have missed. Or maybe I am too distracted by showing SonHerisme Between Two Ferns clips lol

Guns Out

(Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Grief – Anger – Activism

This is the way.

The following letter is long, I know. It is what it is with my angers/emotions. I have sent it to my representatives. Feel free to copy, paste, modify and send your letters as well. MomsDemandAction.org and any government representatives who are fiercely advocating for equitable humane federal responses to gun violence, are great places to start to donate your time or a few dollars of support. And please, for the preservation of humanity and democracy, VOTE. Always use your privilege to vote.

Ms. Herisme
Average Humane Citizen
Everytown, USA
May 25, 2022

Dear (Public Representative),

This is my appeal to you as my elected representative to put yourself at the forefront of publicly condemning gun violence and spearheading basic federal legislation to protect us from gun violence.

I am angry and frustrated with how hard we have all worked to vote in representatives to turn the tide of our fall from democracy into autocratic fascism, only to end up with inadequate action based on the pretense of trying to bring two viewpoints into some compromise. While I agree that we can have opposing viewpoints working towards compromise, that is clearly NOT the case we are facing when one entire political party has clearly aligned itself with gaslighting abusive misogynistic authoritarian fascism. I implore you and your colleagues to cease behaving as if there is any way to compromise with abusive inhumane legislators and behaviors. 

The issue I am concerned with today which we need immediate humane action on to maintain our democracy, is gun control.

We need YOUR IMMEDIATE LEADERSHIP ON:
•	Banning high-capacity ammunitions magazines and automatic rapid fire assault weapons for any non-military environment.
•	Requiring criminal background checks, including domestic violence, for every gun publicly or privately sold, traded, or transported in/out of the country.
•	Requiring all firearms and ammunitions sold, bought, traded, etc to have a unique registered tracing stamp, like a car VIN.
•	Banning any ability for gun ownership, ability to trade/sell/transport guns or ammunition for violators of these regulations.
•	Funding the ATF to oversee and enforce these laws.
•	Funding mental health and social services with equitable access for all, and acknowledgement of racial/socioeconomic disparity, at the community level to prevent and respond to crisis.

The very well-funded gun lobby has spent years gaslighting us by insisting that the only way to prevent gun assaults in schools, churches, supermarkets, etc is for more of us to have more guns. This is a disgusting lie we have been sold in order for the NRA to boost dangerous military-style cosplay by frightened, entitled, disenfranchised, abuse-prone, sometimes mentally unstable men. The NRA backed businesses make more money to rally more and sell more military style equipment, and the cycle continues.

Men are going into spaces and killing people because they all have one thing in common – access to guns, especially those which will do the most damage, along with perpetuated cultural delusion of military style guns=power and control grandeur. These men have been sold to want that more than anything else, including any respect or reverence for their own lives, much less anyone else’s, including our children in schools.

The very well-funded gun lobby has spent years gaslighting us by insisting that any gun control laws violate our “right of the people to keep and bear arms,” which is blatantly false. We can continue to own guns with some regulations on protection and prevention of further public crisis. I am a responsible gun owner. My son, 13, is currently taking gun safety classes with the intention of becoming a responsible gun owner when he is an adult. I agree and support our right to bear arms. I do NOT agree with the NRA bastardizing our rights as unfettered access and entitlement to military grade automatic, rapid fire weapons. 

As a nation we hold not just accountability for our ability to maintain our rights as we collectively define and redefine them while we develop, change and grow, but also an obligation to ourselves, our nation, our global neighbors, and our future, to be held accountable for how we are maintaining these rights. It is impossible to argue for unfettered access to any fire arms without adequate equitable support or regulations with this access, and maintain that as a nation we feel any obligation to public health, keeping children alive in schools, or humanity at all.

The following are a few of your coworkers who cannot be considered or reasoned with because they have received money from the NRA and are fighting to develop and maintain anti-humane legislation regarding weapons in this country:

Senator Romney $13,647,676 received from the NRA 
Senator Burr $6,987,380 received from the NRA
Senator Blunt $4,555,722 received from the NRA
Senator Tillis $4,421,333 received from the NRA
Senator Gardner $3,939,199 received from the NRA
Senator Rubio $3,303,355 received from the NRA

For comparison, the average Social Worker earns $58K a year. Senator Romney could fund 235 full time Social Workers to support public health crisis with his NRA money - he does not.

Before any of them address anything to do with discussions on adequate and appropriate gun control, or any public official (Cruz, Abbott and their disgusting sycophants) who is not vocally, publicly, well-intentioned, actively disengaged from the NRA in all ways, they should be made to listen to the following list of schools as they are, through their NRA and lack of gun/healthcare support, actively advocating for students, my child, your child, to die by gunshots in schools, courtesy of their inability to see beyond their own greed. The following schools have been targeted with gun violence just since Columbine. I challenge you to READ THESE ALOUD to the person closest to you right now. I promise it will make a painful truth come alive to honor them this way by refusing to look away from this horrific public health crisis we are allowing in our schools (and communities) by having elected officials who are not addressing gun control. These schools, students, teachers, staff, children have been sacrificed by us in the name of our warped interpretation of our right to bear arms. We are abysmally shamefully inhumane.

Columbine High School
Heritage High School
Deming Middle School
Fort Gibson Middle School
Buell Elementary School
Lake Worth Middle School
University of Arkansas
Junipero Serra High School
Santana High School
Bishop Neumann High School
Pacific Lutheran University
Granite Hills High School
Lew Wallace High School
Martin Luther King, Jr. High School
Appalachian School of Law
Washington High School
Conception Abbey
Benjamin Tasker Middle School
University of Arizona
Lincoln High School
John McDonogh High School
Red Lion Area Junior High School
Case Western Reserve University
Rocori High School. 
Ballou High School. 
Randallstown High School. 
Bowen High School. 
Red Lake Senior High School. 
Harlan Community Academy High School. 
Campbell County High School. 
Milwee Middle School. 
Roseburg High School. 
Pine Middle School. 
Essex Elementary School. 
Duquesne University. 
Platte Canyon High School. 
Weston High School. 
West Nickel Mines School. 
Joplin Memorial Middle School. 
Henry Foss High School. 
Compton Centennial High School. 
Virginia Tech. 
Success Tech Academy. 
Miami Carol City Senior High School. 
Hamilton High School. 
Louisiana Technical College. 
Mitchell High School. 
E.O. Green Junior High School. 
Northern Illinois University. 
Lakota Middle School. 
Knoxville Central High School. 
Willoughby South High School. 
Henry Ford High School. 
University of Central Arkansas. 
Dillard High School. 
Dunbar High School. 
Hampton University. 
Harvard College. 
Larose-Cut Off Middle School. 
International Studies Academy. 
Skyline College. 
Discovery Middle School. 
University of Alabama. 
DeKalb School. 
Deer Creek Middle School. 
Ohio State University. 
Mumford High School. 
University of Texas. 
Kelly Elementary School. 
Marinette High School. 
Aurora Central High School. 
Millard South High School. 
Martinsville West Middle School. 
Worthing High School. 
Millard South High School.
Highlands Intermediate School. 
Cape Fear High School. 
Chardon High School. 
Episcopal School of Jacksonville. 
Oikos University. 
Hamilton High School. 
Perry Hall School. 
Normal Community High School. 
University of South Alabama. 
Banner Academy South. 
University of Southern California. 
Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
Apostolic Revival Center Christian School. 
Taft Union High School. 
Osborn High School. 
Stevens Institute of Business and Arts. 
Hazard Community and Technical College. 
Chicago State University. 
Lone Star College-North. 
Cesar Chavez High School. 
Price Middle School. 
University of Central Florida. 
New River Community College. 
Grambling State University. 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School. 
Ronald E. McNair Discovery Academy. 
North Panola High School. 
Carver High School. 
Agape Christian Academy. 
Sparks Middle School. 
North Carolina A&T State University. 
Stephenson High School. 
Brashear High School. 
West Orange High School. 
Arapahoe High School. 
Edison High School. 
Liberty Technology Magnet High School. 
Hillhouse High School. 
Berrendo Middle School. 
Purdue University. 
South Carolina State University. 
Los Angeles Valley College. 
Charles F. Brush High School. 
University of Southern California. 
Georgia Regents University. 
Academy of Knowledge Preschool. 
Benjamin Banneker High School. 
D. H. Conley High School. 
East English Village Preparatory Academy. 
Paine College. 
Georgia Gwinnett College. 
John F. Kennedy High School. 
Seattle Pacific University. 
Reynolds High School. 
Indiana State University. 
Albemarle High School. 
Fern Creek Traditional High School. 
Langston Hughes High School. 
Marysville Pilchuck High School. 
Florida State University. 
Miami Carol City High School. 
Rogers State University. 
Rosemary Anderson High School. 
Wisconsin Lutheran High School. 
Frederick High School. 
Tenaya Middle School. 
Bethune-Cookman University. 
Pershing Elementary School. 
Wayne Community College. 
J.B. Martin Middle School. 
Southwestern Classical Academy. 
Savannah State University. 
Harrisburg High School. 
Umpqua Community College. 
Northern Arizona University. 
Texas Southern University. 
Tennessee State University. 
Winston-Salem State University. 
Mojave High School. 
Lawrence Central High School. 
Franklin High School. 
Muskegon Heights High School. 
Independence High School. 
Madison High School. 
Antigo High School. 
University of California-Los Angeles. 
Jeremiah Burke High School. 
Alpine High School. 
Townville Elementary School. 
Vigor High School. 
Linden McKinley STEM Academy. 
June Jordan High School for Equity. 
Union Middle School. 
Mueller Park Junior High School. 
West Liberty-Salem High School. 
University of Washington. 
King City High School. 
North Park Elementary School. 
North Lake College. 
Freeman High School. 
Mattoon High School. 
Rancho Tehama Elementary School. 
Aztec High School. 
Wake Forest University. 
Italy High School. 
NET Charter High School. 
Marshall County High School. 
Sal Castro Middle School. 
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Great Mills High School
Central Michigan University
Huffman High School
Frederick Douglass High School
Forest High School
Highland High School
Dixon High School
Santa Fe High School
Noblesville West Middle School
University of North Carolina Charlotte
STEM School Highlands Ranch
Edgewood High School
Palm Beach Central High School
Providence Career & Technical Academy
Fairley High School (school bus)
Canyon Springs High School
Dennis Intermediate School
Florida International University 
Central Elementary School
Cascade Middle School
Davidson High School
Prairie View A & M University 
Altascocita High School
Central Academy of Excellence
Cleveland High School
Robert E. Lee High School
Cheyenne South High School
Grambling State University
Blountsville Elementary School
Holmes County, Mississippi (school bus)
Prescott High School
College of the Mainland
Wynbrooke Elementary School
UNC Charlotte
Riverview Florida (school bus)
Second Chance High School
Carman-Ainsworth High School
Williwaw Elementary School
Monroe Clark Middle School
Central Catholic High School
Jeanette High School
Eastern Hills High School
DeAnza High School
Ridgway High School
Reginald F. Lewis High School
Saugus High School
Pleasantville High School
Waukesha South High School
Oshkosh High School
Catholic Academy of New Haven
Bellaire High School
North Crowley High School
McAuliffe Elementary School 
South Oak Cliff High School
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Sonora High School
Western Illinois University
Oxford High School
Robb Elementary School

These are just the schools. 

SHAME on all of us for allowing this to happen. SHAME on all of us for electing officials who fail us time and time again by pushing either personal interests in grabbing money from the NRA and affiliates, or pushing authoritarian fascism, believing their piece of greedy power and control will leave them in a protected sweet spot where laws and rules won’t apply to them at all.

I am angry. My community is angry. This country is fed up with the lack of boldly humane leadership, specifically in regards to gun control, mental health, racial/socioeconomic disparity, and safety for all. 

Please step up and do the job we the people want and need you to do. 

This is my appeal to you as my elected representative to put yourself at the forefront of publicly condemning gun violence and spearheading federal legislation to protect all of us from gun violence. 

If this is something you are unable to do, rest assured I will do everything I can to see someone else elected to represent us and get this done. These past few years have made me a single issue voter – either you are working to support equitable humane policies, or you are not.

If this is something you will do, I will write letters and contact anyone you need me to in order to support your efforts for necessary humane gun safety on our behalf.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Ms. Herisme 

What more can we do? After activism, maybe more thoughts and prayers… G-D Damn y’all g-d freaking damn. Keep safe and check on your neighbors.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Post Phalone

(Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Run Away, but we’re running in circles. Run Away, Run Away

Last Thursday I was alone in my house all morning and spoke OUT LOUD on the phone for an hour… what the weirdnesses. Alone. On speakerphone while sorting puzzle pieces (it is a problem, much like the spinach, but I’m on it, bluebonnet) and tidying around my house on my very completely own. Saying whatever I wanted to say whenever I wanted to say it! MotherHerisme was having a bit of surgery and SonHerisme was at school… and I, I left doors open, walking around and around in complete silence cirlces (post phalone). It was odd.

Do any of us not know someone who has COVID right now? Do any of us not know someone who has lost a loved one, or lost a loved one ourselves to COVID? Anyone? Anywhere?

The messaging being what it is here, in the myopic selfish-to-the-point-of-self-destruction USA, hardly anyone is wearing a mask anywhere at anytime for any reason whatsoever. This is INSANE. SonHerisme’e tiny 350 student preK3-8th grade school, has multiple teachers and students out with COVID. Most staff and kids are not wearing masks and are unable to distance. PreK3-Kindergarten, almost 20% of the students, are not eligible for vaccines at all. Nevermind all of the tiniest siblings, pregnant mommies, grandparents and other compromised people at their homes. We went to a High School musical production last weekend where maybe 1-2% of attendees had a mask on in the packed and crowded standing-room-only auditorium with lots of deep air passing around singing and dancing.

This morning SonHerisme was afraid to go to school because his classroom is next to the primary classrooms of PreK3-Kindergarten who cannot be vaccinated, and he has been directly exposed to COVID through classmates and teachers. He desperately wanted to stay home. Unfortunately he has missed over 20 days of school this year, due to illness (not COVID, but with COVID symptoms and therefore unable to go to school), and is at risk of not being able to move up to the next grade if he misses more school. I showed him the school system’s COVID protocols where even if he has been exposed directly to someone with COVID, because he is vaccinated, he is still required to be in school as long as he is symptom free.

SonHerisme, 13, knows this is bullshit and he could possibly be spreading COVID to vulnerable unvaccinated children. SonHerisme knows that choosing to not wear a mask indoors is bullshit superspreading nonsense. Yet, he is required to go if he wants to complete these last weeks of school and complete this school year to move up to the next class. In 5 years SonHerisme will be eligible to vote with retrospective views on how we have treated each other, treated children, treated the most vulnerable, treated the most essential workers, in this culture. At 13 years old he knows how to wear a mask in order to minimize the spread of airborne diseases. He plays sports, plays instruments, hangs out with buddies and wears a damn mask inside because he knows it is a small inconvenience to prevent spread of viruses whose long term effects we do not know about, small children are not protected against, and has killed millions of people in two short years. *sigh*

I know that our hospitalizations are not as alarming as they were in January. However, the burn-out and repercussions from COVID in our health care professionals and our health care systems, continues to be alarming. Folks are tired. Folks have quit. Folks are not able to receive the health care they need because health care employees, health care equipment support employees, manufacturing employees have dwindled away. In this country, it is too financially expensive for people to go to school and be trained to take their place. Maybe it is too mentally expensive to be treated as poorly as we have treated our health care professionals over these past two years (and continue to do so). As a former public librarian, I can attest that over the years, our treatment of people in public service has generally declined pre-COVID anyway. We stopped feeling anything other than righteously emanating our silos of entitlement with these workers, as our nationalism and distrust grew. There is some reasonable distrust of course (remember when we thought smoking wasn’t a problem even though it clearly was/is or that filling our basic food sources with known carcinogens was okay because authorities told us so? Seatbelts were optional until sometime in the 70’s!), but lawdy loo, we are entitled little bitches and mean as snakes to people in public service.

Despite that, if I could, I would go to medical school and work for the next 20 years as a physician. I would get a converted medical RV and drive around neighborhoods to give annual physicals and check-ups. Like the bookmobile, but on-the-spot basic healthcare. I’d check on the ill visits in the morning, and well visits in the afternoon/evening. After SonHerisme graduates from High School in five years, what the heck else am I going to do? Plus everyday I’d wear an awesome lab coat with my name stitched into it!

*dreams a magical unreality*

Anywho, to recenter please listen to my friend’s original composition written for her father on her new beautiful harp with carved dragonflies! This will temporarily unburden and soothe your soul. She is as beautiful and enchanting in real life as her music and presence are shown on YouTube 🙂

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

#carryonhealthwarrior #carryonpeacewarrior

ps I tried phone (FaceTime) therapy and it was not…it was just not for me. When the conversation ended with, “I encourage you to *** because you deserve it,” my mind post phaloned away.

Hale No

(or listen here)

Sir Matthew Hale is where are in this country.

If we’re doing that, I should have remained married to my abusive MrexH, who would have then murdered us blah blah blah. Huzzah for 17th century misogynistic witch hunters! Totes relevant for current debates and laws, bruh.

Congratulations and good news! You were never raped because it was your husband, and husbands cannot rape wives who have obviously consented to a life of husband organ access to wife orifice access at anytime no matter the circumstances! Congratulations on no longer having to worry about if you should or shouldn’t be pregnant- the eminent white men will now decide that for you! Congratulations on letting go of body autonomy for anyone other than eminent white men!

Your worries on how to self identify, raise your children with autonomy to self identify, receive adequate health care, be protected from gender/race/religious discrimination, or of any autonomy for your own body and life as it will now be under the control of eminent white men in your community. Congratulations. You now have NO WORRIES because the eminent white men and their mouthpiece hairsprayed femme-glam-wannabe ladies, will be taking control of all of it. Including the laws to condemn those who fall out of line.

Congratulations on your face, btw, if you’re white, young, lacquered, and attach yourself as said mouthpiece, you MIGHT MAYBE have a chance of gaming the system so that you are not feeling any of the icky yuck yuck boo hoo-neeses of witnessing or being affected by the 99.9% of the rest of the world suffering the vanity of snowflaked eminent white man egos.

It is the angers people.

At SonHerisme’s middle school, the talk of the town is the Depp/Heard situation. Mostly because friends are all old enough to be delving into the Pirates of the Caribbean series and know of Johnny Depp. Both actors, paid to sell characters and manipulate audiences in order to maximize those sales. Given how popular their court appearance TikToks are, I say “brava!” as they are indeed skilled at enticing us to buy whatever it is that they’re selling (in this country at least where G-D fucking forbid we tune into actual life altering issues – but, but, but, Jack Sparrow! Pretty white lady Model! But, but, but, Kim K wore a tight dress but, but, but… *vomits*).

Side Note: if you’re close to my age or even a bit older, do not even pretend to not know the origin of Machine Gun Kelly

I walked SonHerisme through what actual courtroom procedures consist of – lawyers interpreting and using the laws in their area of the country as best as they can to present their clients’ interests to a certain judge who will then ultimately interpret the law in a judge way in order to make a ruling on how those laws impact the lawyers’ clients. No lawyer is doing the “right” thing morally or ethically necessarily. This is not their motivation. If it is, you will find them broke in a public defender’s office. This is not to suggest that lawyers do not have morals or ethics. They do, of course they are human too. However, their job is to represent their client’s interests. Most lawyers are doing as much of the “right” thing their client wants them to do, based on laws to which they are subject, which may or may not be morally or ethically sound. There is no Hollywood glamour gotcha moment for the rightness of it all. It is a game of chess and whichever attorney plays their super law knowledge best with the right client and the right judge on the right day at the right time, wins! Yup, I am THAT mom, especially with hyped up dumb triggers (note to self: please get thee into the therapies asapsies).

It is the best system we have at the moment. But it is not a fair or equal system – especially when you see the humans behind many of the laws. The laws did not make themselves. Someone, a human person judge, with support from another human person approaching the judge, decided, for example, that when any human with female reproductive organs misses one period and discovers they are 6 weeks pregnant, they must carry that developing group of cells until they develop into a fetus to be birthed, no matter what the circumstances. If the human with female reproductive organs is unable or somehow otherwise does not allow those cells to develop, they face criminal charges from anyone and everyone who discovers those cells did not develop, regardless of the circumstances. No exceptions ever for any reason. These are humans legalizing dehumanization and bodily control of at least one half of the population.

Never any talk about any responsibility of the male reproductive organs causing the pregnancy… ever. Curious (no, I am not at all)

As long as we venerate patriarchal control, we are screwed.

I do not know very much of anything about Amber Heard or Johnny Depp as people other than the occasional substance abuse rumors that have followed Depp around for decades (as with countless other folks in his peer circles), and that Heard was maybe a model-turned-actress or something. Here is what I do know about what is happening court-wise: Mr. Depp is a massive ass. You cannot legislate assholery. As I understand it, he has brought a defamation lawsuit against Heard because of his sadnesses at having lost work as a result of their previous public and court involved disagreements where she painted him as the bad guy.

Dude – COME the frick ON. This lawsuit is textbook indicative that you are indeed a bad guy in this situation. You could have chosen to establish absolute boundaries with Heard. You are established and wealthy. You made an unfortunate partner choice (been there, done that). You will not win anything other than hurting an already struggling human you once claimed to love, and making lawyers rich. It is a zero sum game which cannot be won by anyone. That is what a narcissistic bully does. Do not be that. Be a human. Mea culpa the shit out of forcing this toxic relationship to continue and harness some grace. Bow out of any connection to Heard. Heal yourself and find other work that resonates with your soul. Right now you are only doing harm – to yourself, to Heard, your career, and to every DV victims’ abusers you are emboldening to continue constantly looking for any reason to drag their former spouse’s into court to reach their ultimate goal of utterly destroying them. Btw, your lawyers most likely believe you to be an idiot and are laughing all of the way to the bank as they siphon away your money.

Anywho, SonHerisme does not want to talk about Johnny Depp or Amber Heard anymore. Win-win for me!

Prickly feelings and emotions are everywhere. I feel we are seeing a number of systems hitting around our societal collective of refusing to face reality. I do not mean that we have not walked through hardship before. I mean that as a culture, we have venerated wealth, and the pursuit of it, as the only measures of success and happiness, culturally denying reality and the cost of how we were pursuing and achieving it. Gaslighting helped numb those of us unable (were never able) to achieve wealth/happiness. Gaslighting also helped us to culturally demonize those who could see the realities and question the pursuits. Our way of controlling to maintain our cultural comfort of the gaslit view? Fascism.

Control the bodies(deny women/children health care access), control the thought expression and dissemination(outlaw basic education and personal expression not based in specific narrow-viewed white patriarchal controlled ideology), separate and destroy all things, institutions, and peoples who oppose those controls(stack courts with ideologues, install local ideological militia, make control over people profitable for the few elite oligarchs through housing restrictions, eminent domain, and for profit jails/schools/water/wars supplies etc).

Under the boomer thumb we have culturally groomed generations of white men who are left without purpose, guidance, self respect, worthiness, empathy, compassion, or hope. The only path they see is to take absolute violent control when they can. We make it easy for them. One example: Open access to guns and bullets. Leniency by culturally emblazoned prejudices excluding angry white men from responsibility, or at least free from consequences we liberally bestow on non-white men. Another example: institutionalized re-victimization through the court system of anyone daring to establish boundaries with these white men (see just about every combative custody case between parents).

I am working every day to expose SonHerisme to healthy male perspectives, relationships, disagreements (as regular humans will always experience and need skill to compromise and resolve), self care and community care. Thank you to all of you male presences who are out there doing the things of role modeling this healthy male approach to life and humanity. In my heart and soul, I know there are more male humans who identify with a humane approach to life. I see you, I am eternally grateful for you, and I support your roles in our communities!

A thought: perhaps and MAYBE if we listened to research on how children develop healthy attachments and relationships, which lead to overall physical, emotional, mental, and intellectual health, we could support those things better for the future humans so that they can do better than we have done with how and what we venerate – align more with a humane approach to living.

maybe

*deep breaths* *refocuses on sending out love* *refocuses on SonHerisme and today’s priorities* *refocuses on the humanness of all of the humans plus forgiveness for the humanness of all of the humans doing the humaning*

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps these days have been a shitstorm with healthcare conundrums which I may explore once my brainiac calms the flip down enough to settle on resolution (even if it is a resolution to let it be and ride it out). Spoiler: real time societal collapse is not fun and also WTF with the federal deregulation pivot EXCEPT for more regulations on women?!!? gotfrickindamnitalltohells *breathe* * breathe* *breathe* buh bye ParentsHerisme’s investments… SHITSHOW alert

also – holy moses y’all there is a show called, “Discovery of Witches” (see top image) which now I recall seeing a billion ads for but cannot watch because of the reasons too much to speak about. Maybe I can handle the book? Doubt it. *sigh* trauma brain. I often describe myself as having witchy hair – but it is nothing like the woman in the show pics!

Hoop Loop

(or listen here)

Maybe cycle of insanity – I do not know

When you were little, did you practice screaming just to see if you could do it? Just in case you needed to scream, you would know how so that people could hear you? I would go into the woods behind my house and try it out sometimes. When we moved away from the woods and into the outskirts of a European city in my 6th grade year, I tried to find a screaming practice place, but I couldn’t, so I stopped practicing.

My screaming practice resumed when I went to university.

The main road between my house and my university (about 30 minutes away but felt like a million) is route 27, aka the highway to heaven. It is a dinky little twisty farmlandish 2 lane road leading up to an isolated liberal arts university. Its “highway to heaven” moniker was a result of so many fatal/near fatal accidents along the route due to a bunch of crazy privileged university students zooming up and down with various levels of illegal substance brain effects. I drove a very very old baby blue VW beetle bug car at the time. I loved that car so very much. When it broke down (often), I could usually temporarily fix the problem with a bit of this and that (metal twist-ties) to get me on my way. On very hot days, I used my 2/55 air conditioning – roll two windows down and drive 55mph. With the engine heat blasting across the floorboard, I would hang my left foot out the window for a bit of extra cooling. Sometimes I had a companion in the passenger seat. If my companion was a girlfriend, we would sing Judd harmonies on the 30 minute drive. Most of the time, I was on my own, free spiriting down 27, dreaming of the life I would be creating or some current boy-man infatuation.

While Highway to Heaven driving, I often wondered about seeing things without looking and would close my eyes and count seconds (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi…) as I pushed the gas pedal down hard, driving as fast as I dared. Sometimes I would play a passing game of how many cars I could pass in one go – forcing my little baby blue buggy’s speedometer to hit its highest marking point. Other times I would scream as loudly as I could, over and over until the painful terror decibels scratched my throat raw, just to be sure that I could still do it. I would practice with the windows rolled up, windows rolled down, with passengers, or alone. Don’t worry, I always gave my passengers warning and gave them the option of participating too. Some of them did and they were great screamers!

I stopped screaming when I left that university and that cozy little blue buggy was replaced with a sleek 4-door dark green (tan leather interior, natch) respectable Toyota. I thought this was how life goes. You grow, mature, get the things under control, put on your grown-up panties, and the things of life-ing life themselves right up.

f^cking bullshit as it turns out

A critical piece missing in that narrative is knowing that control is an illusion outside of how your mind processes life. Also, that there isn’t a prescriptive path that works out for most people. Many things (emotions, experiences) sometimes are in a loop. You age, of course, as you move along the outside, or stumble into feeling stuck on the inside, or float untethered on the outside. I see it is a seasonal loop like a circular calendar hoop. I teeter and totter here and there and everywhere – but there’s always the forward movement of something cycling in this life.

And cycle I must – we must. On my cycle, if I do not do routine things in an exact order, I cannot remember if I have done them or not. Regular things disappear very quickly from my brain. I cannot remember if/when I took a shower unless there is a little towel on my pillow from sleeping with wet hair. I cannot remember if I ate food unless I leave the dishes in the sink until I do final cleanup in the evening. I cannot remember if my teeth are brushed unless my toothbrush topper has been moved as a reminder that I already did that. My patterns and rituals of each day. And as far as my lady cycle, I have never been great at tracking it other than if I couldn’t remember the last time I had it, and I was thinking about menstruation, then it was time in the next few days. Of course, as I am slipping into olden lady times, this will no longer work. This is one reason why it took me so long to recognize what was happening in my marriage – I truly could not remember things well enough to see the deception. Oiy my broken braniac.

There is an abundance of information about an overwhelming amount of things combined with regular life happenings (at least regular for my life). Climate, Health rights, War, Treason, Resource Allocation, Data Brokerage, etc. Along with MrexH wanting to send SonHerisme a birthday gift, knowing I am months behind on the court ordered weekly updates (YUP still doing these), MotherHerisme’s ailments and care, FatherHerisme’s ailments and care, SonHerisme preparing to move up to a new school, sweet puppers need more teeth extracted, my house/deck/garden need attention, and me… well I am… eh, who knows? I am not walking with a steady gait around the loop, that’s for sure.

In honor of chaos overload, I decided to try a scream in my 14 year old car. I was driving past a farm on my street (not the goat king farm, a corn/soy rotation farm field before the little bridge – I live on a long road) and decided to see if I was brave enough to scream, or even if I could remember how to scream.

I took a few very deep cleansing breaths before grabbing the steering wheel firmly at 10 and 2 with both hands, finally pushing out a monstrously high pitched horrific scream from the darkest pit of my stomach. Then I burst into a crazy fit of giggles – at myself, alone in my car, on a country road rainy day.

I’m sure I’m fine.

My throat hurt for days. But I am glad that I did it.

A little girl in the back of my car last week told me how lucky SonHerisme is that he gets kisses when he gets in and out of my car. She wishes someone would kiss her too. She says her momma (single mom with past addiction issues, parent of two awesome kids) gives her kisses about five times a year because her momma is just too sad on the other days. I want to hold that momma and give her all of the comforting soup and tea in the universe. We are breaking our babies, y’all. Check on your neighbors. I’m the neighbor driving next to you screaming in my car to get the things out of me so that I can drive the babies home, be there to receive their worries and lessen the burdens placed on them, and to give ten million kisses to SonHerisme. And by screaming in my car, I mean internally horror film over-paid under-skilled actor screaming whilst exuding a bizarre sense of calm. Until I can no longer hold it in.

Hope is still here somewhere. I see evidence of it every time I plant something, or take my leftover lettuce, leeks, celery and such, attempting a new growth from the leftover stems.

I see evidence of hope when another crazy busy momma takes a moment out of her day to acknowledge the realness of us. I see evidence of hope in a 6’2″ 13-year-old creative learner’s hazel golden caramel windows to his soul. I see it in all of our babies walking around experiencing the things of life.

Yours in constant off-balance of hope and chaos,

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps I secretly cried y’all. For a hawt minute I welled up when my teensy tinsy giant newborn baby-boy-teen-man told me he would empty the dishwasher and fill it up for me, at the same time a thoughtful husband of a very sweet friend, sent an old video to me of him singing(he’s a professional singer/songwriter) a Happy Mother’s Day song with their then tiny toddler baby girl… We need our village people. Even if it is one or two people, we need them so very much. If I think on this right now, I will break until I river myself out. I wish a squeezy village for you too.

COVID is insanity y’all – please take good care of you and your community. Health/Humane rights are insane to debate y’all – please take good care of you and your community.