The Wars We Weave

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(or listen here)

When first we practice to deceive and misbelieve and dominance achieve

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

-Sir Winston Churchill October 29, 1941

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

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

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

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

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

What are we doing to each other?

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

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

Harari’s article is how I see the things.

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

Box Topsin It

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(or listen here)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
herisme.org

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

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

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

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

When You Run My 5K

The Box Tops video is midweek mirror inspiration for you

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

Something of the (un)Marvelous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIS is what COVIDIOTS have done.

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

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

I am feeling angry.

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

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

I am angry.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

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

I am angry and weary and completely sad.

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

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

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

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

Gathering

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(or listen here)

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

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

Then everything changed (you know).

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

Then everything changed again (MotherHerisme).

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

Then everything changed again again (COVID).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Pickme Girl

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(or listen here)

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

Toss the nuts because…

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

No, not that.

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

YOU GUYS, can you EVEN? omgawd

This is what she said:

Hello Ms. Herisme,

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
Nellie (Nell) S.

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

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

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

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

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

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

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

Legintimacy

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(or listen here)

Hello out there somewhere

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

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

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

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

*sigh*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe

Perhaps

ugh

Damnit

Janet

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

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

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

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

-Robert Jordan

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

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

Plowing the Dust of Stars

(Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Friends, I am…spent today. I received a call from my insurance company a few weeks ago – a reminder about seeing my primary care physician. It turns out that since I missed going in 2019, and then the entirety of COVID, I have to register as new patient. I have been seeing this physician since 2006. Protocols, baby! The insurance company attempted a 3-way call to “help” me schedule my appointment. This was a disaster because the insurance company can only facilitate scheduling annual physicals NOT new patient appointments.

Insurance man: Ma'am, perhaps you've been seeing a different physician for the past 3 years?

Me: No - life happened in 2019 and then COVID life. I haven't been anywhere.

Insurance man: Are you sure?

Primary Care office: She has to schedule a new patient appointment and I cannot do that through a third unauthorized party.

Insurance man: Well, I need to schedule an annual physical for her.

Primary Care office: Look sir, I spoke to you the other day with another one of your clients, and the rules are still the same today....

Me Interrupting: Hi there. I am not going to participate in or listen to this argument. I am hanging up now and will phone the office to make my own appointment. You do not need to follow up, Insurance man. Goodbye. Have a lovely day.

Sweet beegeezus y’all. I made my “new patient” appointment, which turns out to have been today. It was great to see my Doctor – she is awesome, empathetic, encouraging and has guided me through some yucky stuff (cancer, domestic violence, MotherHerisme’s ongoing illnesses, etc). I feel lucky to know her and to have her as my doctor. We dutifully completed the “new patient” appointment, and caught up a bit on our families. I have seen her over the past three years, but only as the accompanying person for MotherHerisme (also her patient).

Then comes what always comes, since I was about 25-years-old and my body hard core quit me. It is always the same messages, no matter the change in physicians. Here’s my take on the whole shebang: I do not drink (maybe once a year, although I’d like to drink more, alcohol hates my body and my body hates it – mutual deep disturbing hatred I will never understand and do grieve over), I do not smoke (although I WISH I could – my body revolts vomitously), I do not take drugs, I very rarely eat out (even pre-COVID) and when I do it is typically brothy veg soup or dressing free salad, I am highly conscious, controlled and particular about food/chemicals etc., I have celiacs so my carb consumption is low, I am vegetarian so my veg consumption is high… and yet… the Doctor has advice on how to better control my bloods numbers etc.

Y’all, I am spent on this. I have been plowing away doing this for a loooonnnnnngggg time and added things here, minused things there, and all of this’s and none of the that’s.

Gut says: control your stress lady and find something ANYTHING that brings you enough joy to control your stress

I wonder what it will be. Perhaps I should’ve had that nervous breakdown, shaved my head, donned false eyelashes and done the things. I forgot to be FOMO motivated or LYBL or whatever. At this point, it seems that my body is on the tip of revolting entirely, and I need it to last at the very least another 15 years for SonHerisme to get into his adult times with some of his own footing.

Anyway, I have got to change something. The tweaks aren’t doing it. Upon brief reflection, I believe they never have. Back to the NewPath thoughts, I suppose. But, dang it, I’ve tried that as well. MOTHER OF ROOTS, I need a gentle Joy Doula (?). I mean other than what I know, which is to bundle up, head outside, stare at stars, and nature things up.

"Unknowingly, we plow the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind, and drink the universe in a glass of rain" 

"As a symbolic option in the contemporary world, quests recover something essential to human life, sometimes in encounters with animals (lions, grizzly, leopard), often in encounters between cultures, almost always in encounters with nature. However ravaging or equivocal, quests somehow pluck the nerve of existence; they dispel the amnesia and anesthesia, the complacent nihilism, of our cosseted lives. And they do so nowhere more vividly than in contemporary American and British letters. More probably, they simply yield an indefectible perception of an individual alone, edging cultures, hedging histories, acting riskily on a vision of himself, or herself, and the world, a perception that, from our best selves, speaks to all."

Ihab Hassan

What quest are you on? Is it really that individualistic anymore? That seems outdated to me. Or perhaps too gargantuan. Is there a baby steps version of a quest? I suppose not because then it wouldn’t be a quest at all. The quest is grand but the path is a mixture of baby steps and giant gravity-defying leaps, perhaps? Sweatergot y’all, I just do not know anything. And now Socrates is banging about again in my brain… tea me out, please and thank you. Happy week-ending

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps writing feels better

pps SisterHerisme has been in and out of the hospital for the past two years with similar blood results which have yet to be regulated properly so… m u s t d o t h e s o m e t h i n g s

Mother of Roots

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(or listen here)
Mother of roots, you have not seeded
The tall ashes of loneliness
For me. Therefore,
Now I go.

The beginning of the poem, “Goodbye to the Poetry of Calcium,” by James Wright. I’ll post the entire poem at the end of the post, if you’d like to read it as intended. In the meantime, I am using the phrase, “Mother of Roots!” as my new swear. You are most welcome to join me.

Holiday times – getting all of the things done all of the time for all of the people to feel all of the seasonal happy merry joy joy. I’m in full on donkey kong mode.

  • Tree up – check
  • Ornaments on – check
  • Nutcrackers on window patrol – check
  • Fairy lights up – check
  • Wreaths out – check
  • Gingerbread house finished – check
  • Stocking stuffers lined up – check
  • Gifts for the people – check
  • Gifts for SonHerisme – check
  • Seasonal shows watched (except the mistake) – partial check
  • Cookies – looming (ingredients on hand)
  • Teacher gifts – looming (supplies on hand)
  • Note to Family about fancy Christmas Eve dinner plans – looming (lowering expectations)
  • Outfits at the ready – gah! not even close

Since before SonHerisme I have tended to Christmas up the place, European Christmas Market style. Perhaps trying to capture my magical moments of childhood having spent 4 Christmases in Germany – THE most magical place to be at Christmas for a kid. Chocolates, gingerbread, hot spicy beverages, sloshity snow, and best of all, freedom of movement in and out of the places. I lived in Germany from ages 11-15 years old. I had my own transport pass and lived in the suburbs of a small town near a large city – all connected by public transportation. For a girl from the suburbs of a US midwestern city, this change in freedom of movement was truly life altering. In the US the only places I could reasonably travel to on my own were down the street to a friend’s house, the neighborhood school two blocks away, and the neighborhood swimming pool. Even the library was too far away on major roads for me to bike on my own. At that time, the area was considered desirable for it’s distance away from the things of living life. Anything outside of neighbor-school-pool, required a car (public transportation was an absolute abomination to even be thought about). Just as I hit middle school, when my independence was screaming to be let out, we moved to Germany. It was glorious for my adventuring spirit!

Our house in Germany was about one mile from a large river’s local ferry port. For a tiny bit of pocket change, I could ride my bike down to the river, ferry across, bike/walk up the hill on the other side, get an ice cream cone, and make the return trip in about an hour. This adventure usually had my little brother in tow – but he was a lot of fun so I did not mind at all. We could only afford the ferry and ice cream (or warm pastry in the winter!) if we hadn’t already spent all of our money at the candy shop in our town. As soon as my mother gave us money each week, my brother and I would plan out what sweets to spend it on. Our older sister, not so much as she was very responsible and a grown-up teenager type person who could not be bothered with the sillinesses of the childrens.

The candy shop in our town had walls of candy you could select and put into a paper bag. We always chose the chocolates with liqueur or toys inside. The only restrictions set by the shop were by our wallet limits. Occasionally the candy shop person would throw in an extra “children’s chocolate” for us because it was “healthy.”

During the Christmas Season, we ran rampant through the local markets, pockets burning with our money itching to be spent on some glorious treat. Inevitably an oversized warm ginger fragrant almond dressed baked good, a few crusty shelled hot chestnuts, and sugared nuts, would make it into our possession (and happy tummies). Small doses of spiced wine would make it in there as well. A zillion wooden toy things, straw ornaments with red ribbons, fairy lights, and street musicians were dazzling everywhere. I caught the Christmas ambience bug there and have yet to let it go.

As I was trimming the tree, MotherHerisme and I had the following exchange:

MotherHerisme: You really enjoy putting on the ornaments and all of the Christmas stuff, don't you?
Me: I suppose I do. I really enjoy packing it all up and putting it all away at the end most of all.
MotherHerisme: That is very sad and Christmas is supposed to be happy.
Me: Okay.
MotherHerisme: So, you're saying that if SonHerisme and I weren't here, you just wouldn't take out any of this stuff and decorate?
Me: No, I would not.
MotherHerisme: If it was just me here, would you decorate?
Me: I am not sure.
MotherHerisme: So you're saying that you do all of this just for SonHerisme?
Me: Of course.
MotherHerisme: Well, I guess you better really enjoy the next four years then.
Me: Is something happening to SonHerisme in four years?
MotherHerisme: I'm just saying you better enjoy it now because it's over in four years.
Me: Do you think that SonHerisme will be dead in four years? What are you talking about?
MotherHerisme: You have four years left for Christmas, that's all I'm saying.
Me: Okay.

Pretty, pretty Christmas on the outside. Inside is a different story.

SonHerisme loves all of the things and the doing of the things. I am trying, and have always been trying, to give him unconditional love, connection, warmth, comfort and delicious memories to carry on for himself or switch up if he has his own partner and children.

On today’s docket: SonHerisme is home with a fever and stuffy nose (not COVID), so cornstarch ornaments and gluten free gingerbread are listed (along with laundry, cooking regular nourishment, and cleaning bc of the stuffy nose tummy troubles).

Life, it is a happenin’

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps Our local Board of Education voted to remove COVID vaccine proof or testing requirements for student participation in athletics. Locally, our hospitals are full and our infection spread is above 9%. While I understand some logic behind removing the discrepancy of who should be tested, I disagree with removing the procedures entirely.

EVERYONE should be submitting proof of vaccination to participate in collective or group activities. EVERYONE should be tested regularly to participate in collective or group activities. EVERYONE (except the tiniest humans) should be masking in collective, group or indoor settings. It is the only way to determine where and how the virus is mutating, spreading, and impacting our communities. We have plentiful resources on this Earth. We are continuing to choose the path of unpredictable long-term illness repercussions/mutations and global impact – again.

The quickest way to identify community issues is to look in the schools. Testing everyone every week. It is not a perfect solution, but it is a better step in identifying trends and hotspots, not to mention avoiding singling out and potentially shaming kids who have zero say in the decision to vaccinate. Mondays: Staff, K and younger. Tuesdays: Grades 1,2,3. Wednesdays: Grades 4,5,6. Thursdays: Grades 7,8,9. Fridays: Grades 10,11, 12. Task Universities with a similar schedule for their populations. We know that asymptomatic spread is an issue. We know that vaccinated spread is an issue. We know that the health repercussions for the unvaccinated are significantly worse than vaccinated. We also know that we have a certain percentage of people who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons. Aren’t we worth it? Aren’t our kids worth it? Aren’t our communities worth it? What in the sam hill mother of roots are we doing to our kids?

It just makes sense. To me. To this truly sideliner non-medical, non-public health professional. Test everyone on the regular. Secure healthcare(which includes food/water/clothing). Secure housing. Secure equitable education. I have spoken. This is the way. Also, yes, I have written to the BOE.

Do you know why I chose a Cicero quote for the post image? Known as calm, intelligent, wise, and a great orator, Cicero also held multiple government positions steadfastly holding on to the idea that level heads would prevail, as the republic fell around him. *sigh* MOTHER OF ROOTS or perhaps the swear should be, “Dark Cypresses!”

Goodbye to The Poetry of Calcium (by James Wright)
      Dark cypresses -
      The world is uneasily happy:
      It will all be forgotten. - Theodor Storm

Mother of roots, you have not seeded
The tall ashes of lonliness
For me. Therefore,
Now I go.
If I knew the name,
Your name, all trellises of vineyard and old fire
Would quicken to shake terribly my
Earth, mother of spiraling searches, terrible
Fable of calcium, girl. I crept this afternoon
In weeds once more,
Casual, daydreaming you might not strike
Me down. Mother of window sills and journeys,
Hallower of scratching hands,
The sight of my blind man makes me want to weep.
Tiller of waves or whatever, woman or man,
Mother of roots or father of diamonds,
Look: I am nothing.
I do not even have ashes to rub into my eyes.

WAS aka Winter Ambedo Silence

(Photo by Street Donkey on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Weather event Wednesday is expected this week. While we have seen sweet little snowflakes (not a dig on sensitive struggling people) already this season, we have not seen stickage. Being an adult with the things needing to be done, and living on the side of a rocky Appalachian range foothill, I have mixed feelings about these gloriously magical, twinkling-sparkle, frozen knife sharp, red-cheeked and chilly weather events. I love it because of ambedo, muted frosty boot crunches that feel like warm silence, hot cocoa, sleds, and whispers of wildlife poking about. I dread it because of the hill and our inevitable ice-on-the-roads danger thing (bc Danger is NOT my middle name, nor do I work at USPIS – also, what’s up, Danger?). Shovels are at the ready, and pet safe ice melt is being picked up today.

Sweet SonHerisme is on day 5 of some virus – test at the pediatrician confirmed he does not have COVID. WHEW. Mixed messaging and fatigue has kids removing masks at school until they are caught by a teacher. Our school positive infections jumped from about 100-150 new positive cases per week to over 250 new positive cases this past week. Locally our hospitals are struggling with ability to handle basic emergency care and finding beds. Not just for COVID, of course, but regular everyday humans gotta human emergencies.

SonHerisme’s teacher, our golden ticket teacher we waited patiently to have the privilege of working with, has had enough and is leaving the school as of winter break.

I feel and hear the soulbreak from health care professionals to grocery employees to parents to young friends. Then I look around and see so many unmasked people, so many refusing to vaccinate, so much indignation at courtesy/respect/acknowledgement of humanity. It seems to be manifesting in this surreal realm of extreme focus on personal indulgences and revelry at all costs. I’m all for any excuse to indulge and celebrate. However, with the nature of this global pandemic, I’m not feeling the throw caution to the wind vibe. More, drop treats off for neighbor and chat on Facetime or bundled up outside with a distanced shared bottle of something vibe.

With feeling all of the feelings and following all of the valid information followings, I made an entertainment faux pas which has had me off kilter for days. I blame the seductive lure of wintery environs, an aga stove, suspenders, and a fluttery snowflake blouse. Oh, and actors who are too adorable not to look at. Stupid dumb people hiring the stupid dumb entertainers doing what they do best and sucking us in to tuning in to the things and feeling the feelings. I thought I could handle a little levity and beauty with apocalyptic overtones. I cannot. There is no amount of handsome husbanding, potato roasting, sweet awkward tweening, goofy stress adulting in a gorgeous idyllic country home at Christmastime, to ease the trauma of a human hubris induced culling of humanity(sound familiar?!? EERILY too familiar!).

DO NOT get trapped into that Silent Night without preparing for deep pain feelings. I made it to the point where the suspendered dad lost his control and then could not continue. It is too … real. Even with the distanced unreal beauty of the actors and environment, the situation is too real. I am not generally made for watching traumatic things, unless they are Marvel/Star Wars kind of fantasy trauma (?). I allowed myself a moment of judgement lapse for my own visceral boundaries because of a stupid snowflake blouse and imaginings of a different kind of holiday with complete disregard for the actual story they were trying to tell. I was dazzled by a picture and my soul gut got seriously punched. My bff bravely watched it through to process with me. She describes the movie as having blergh-iness. It is a trust trigger for sure – which is an acknowledged difficult place for me. BFFHerisme did tell me about the pivotal ending, which is decidedly not for this mommy during an actual global pandemic. Hard pass. Deleted it from my “resume watching” list. Good gravy and grief. Snowflakes, suspenders, and beautiful people. Amen.

I have spent a few days cleansing my brainiac with some ambedo plus Christmas movies, Christmas shows, Christmas decorating, Christmas gift preparing, extra tea, holiday mugs, and taking care of SonHerisme. Oh, and also MotherHerisme… which isn’t cleansing, but is time consuming, and that too, can be helpful.

Please take good care of yourself. As backup, despite close to zero ways I resemble Keira Knightly or her character, I am sourcing a snowflake blouse and extra potatoes because of preparedness. That’s my take-away and I’m sticking to it.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. also going through the Shadow and Bone series with SonHerisme (I’m on Six of Crows). My kind of readable trauma! SonHerisme is caught up in Fahrenheit 451 at the moment as well. My side-hustle reads are: What I Learned from the Trees, Hermann Hesse, and a soul sweetener- The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. How about you?

pps also mom failed my baby as he took about an hour to get into the shower and then came out demanding if I had any food prepared for him while I was in the middle of a work email… so I snapped at him. I snapped at my sweet ill SonHerisme :,( Onwards to apologies, snuggles, and eggy comfort sandwiches. MotherHerisme has been a hawt mess as well. Life has been served.

*whispers* gently, gently with yourself, sweetmomma

“We often wait for kindness… but being kind to yourself can start now.” said the mole. From The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy.

Roasting

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(or listen here)

Chestnuts were roasted on an open fire at an outdoor gathering we attended for charity just before Thanksgiving. Sans Bing, a piano, belted fluffy robe, fire-hazard Christmas tree, or racist trope Mamie – sincere apologies to Louise Beavers and the young actors who portrayed her children. “I knows Miss Linda likes I knows my own children.” Her character roasts up old Jonesie the turkey for Mr. Jim who cannot eat Mr. Jones because, “a slicker stole his gal.” Man, we are oftentimes a shitty race. Back to chestnuts, which is a hilarious compound word. Who came up with that? Etymology says it’s derived from the old English via Latin via Greek words for the tree – some form of chesten, plus “nut” for the fruit. It is thought that the Greeks cultivated and popularized the tree and fruit after bringing seeds from Asia a few millennia or so ago.

Which reminds me of the time I invented a similar compound word. It was a lifetime ago when I first noticed I was over-gifted in the upper area of my body plus sweat patterns therein and began referring to that area as my chesticles. I thought I was SO funny until BrotherHerisme reminded me that testicles aren’t just sweaty orbs, but also hairy and was that how I wanted to refer to my chest. Hard pass – at least until I age enough out of estrogen to where this becomes an apt description. But by then, I think, the moniker won’t be as funny. I’ll just be a saggy old lady with actual chesticles, if I roast and sweat… which I will… once I pop into my sauna post midwinter inground heated salt water swimming pool dip. I asked a contractor about putting in a pool once. He offered to grab a shovel out of his truck and dig a big hole for me that I could throw money into from time-to-time and save us both a lot of trouble. C’mon man, if I’m biologically doomed to have actual chesticles, at least indulge me with this dream. *Sigh*

Try again – back to chestnuts. I’d forgotten how fun and tasty roasted chestnuts are! Yummmm We ate them out of an insulated little pot a young woman with an awesome wrap-around thick braid, was carrying around. SonHerisme ran off to the adjoining field for an impromptu pick-up football game with buddies (known and unknown). The money raised from the event, sponsored by a group of female family law attorneys, was for a local organization helping domestic violence victims. We have domestic violence victims in every community – please find your local dv support organization and help them too. Being a dv victim is unsettling to say the least. I am so very extremely lucky in my circumstances, where many/most are not. It is odd that we do not have a better collective plan for preventing and supporting domestic violence victims since it’s such a ubiquitous human issue. It’s always somehow “shocking!” Everyone knows someone who was molested, raped, financially/emotionally/physically abused. Its what the humans do. I wish we did not, but we do.

And yet, we can also find beauty, comfort, warmth and satisfaction in a little brown, hard crusted, hairy lined, potato consistency, smokey flavored, hot, fragrant chestnut in a pot shared with friends.

Love Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. We watched Holiday Inn again this weekend. SonHerisme wants to know why I want to watch it every year when it is so racist. For the music, the shoes, and the reminders of how racism was a culturally acceptable popular way of life, despite lives sacrificed for equity, not that long ago.