Hard Hitting

(Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Taking a pause (Santa Claus) from Bette, Bobby, Davey, and Em today because of my reality.

Today we are safe
Today we are healthy
Today we know love 
Today we have access to clean water
Today we have access to good food
Today we have a comfortable home
Today we have access to health care
Today we have reliable transportation
Today our bills are paid
Today we have access to education
Today we have access to the internets
Today we have plans with friends

We are okay. Luck/Blessings are abundant. We are okay today.

Yesterday SonHerisme got punched in the face at school. No lingering physical effects – redness on his cheek without bruising because he was turning his head away towards something else, when the kid jumped up and punched him. He is hurt, angry and confused.

Attending a small Montessori school, and SonHerisme being who he is, this is unexpected. He says he hasn’t felt safe around this other kid for a while because he has seen him punch and knock people to the ground at school this year, and then the kid lies about it. The other kid has been suspended at least once already this year. The other kid’s older brother was a menace when he was at the school and the dad has massive creeper vibes. Pre-COVID, I saw the dad trying to take covert upskirt photos at the grocery store cafe until I pushed my cart over, stood in front of him, blocking the rest of the cafe. He left. Man, my heart hurts for whatever abusive machismo environment those boys have been raised in and for any of their future partners.

My heart hurts more for my SonHerisme.

He is constantly being asked to rise above it all, to be resilient, to be brave, to be better than… I want him to have more moments of not building resilience, bravery, maturity above and beyond crappy adults. He is worn out y’all. At 13 my baby is wearing out and building a skin so thick I’m not sure anyone will ever be able to break through and he will not be able to break out of it.

He has always been big for his age which brings the expectation that he behave more maturely than his peers with harsher consequences when he developmentally appropriately did not. “You’re bigger, you should’ve known you would hurt them when you pushed them out of the way or beat them every time in the race or jumped higher and got all of the monopoly money…” Guilty here as I probably have said those things too in context of, “I know it isn’t fair buddy, but you will be blamed when something goes wrong with the physical play because you are a boy and you are the biggest boy.”

I did tell him about MrexH being moved to a facility. MrexH is going to a place where he will not have access to electronics for some undetermined amount of time. This means that SonHerisme is not required to try and meet his father on RoBlox, or plan on any parenting coordinator psychologist facilitated phone calls, until further notice. I was told, but did not share with SonHerisme, that MrexH expressed concern that he will ever receive access to his electronics. My friend believes that MrexH will not be going home from this place, whatever it is. If I think about the situation MrexH is in, I am going to break down into a spiral I’m not sure I can get back out of. I’m hoping by popping it out here, I can get it out of me enough to avoid that.

I do not know what kind of “treatment facility,” MrexH is going to. I do know that the facility is closer to us than where he has been living and makes us accessible by bus/car where before he would have needed to board an airplane.

I suspect it is not voluntary, based on the electronic access issue.

It’s it all too much and I am having to type almost every single word 2-to-3 times because my brain-to-finger function is not operating correctly. Everything everywhere is hitting everyone so very hard.

My forehead is numb.

Throughout the day I will remind myself

Today we are safe 
Today we are healthy 
Today we know love  
Today we have access to clean water 
Today we have access to good food 
Today we have a comfortable home 
Today we have access to health care 
Today we have reliable transportation 
Today our bills are paid 
Today we have access to education 
Today we have access to the internets 
Today we have plans with friends

We are okay. Luck/Blessings are abundant. We are okay today. I hope that you are okay as well. {{{hug}}} your loved ones if you can as you can.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps I had the most vivid lucid dream last night with a person in it that I do not personally know and they were really struggling with themselves. I tried to change the dream, and was able to switch around some of the things so that I was less impacted by the person, but they continued to struggle. I hope that is not their case in real life, and I send them peace and comfort. It just occurs to me that maybe this was my dream life trying to make sense of my life… I don’t want to do this anymore.

bookswap at the park this afternoon and a day of laundry/helping MotherHerisme/all the things of being me

good luck us

i do this to show with as much honesty as I can, that as you struggle you are not alone in the hopes that I too am not alone with all of this

The Flo

(Photo by Marshall Jones on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

In September of 1846 after honeymooning in Paris and being disowned by Elizabeth’s father, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning moved to Florence, Italy.

late 1840's Florence, Italy saw:
itself being a part of the Hapsburg- Lorraine Dynasty
continued recovery from the 1844 floods
tourism as a significant industry 
premiere of Verde's opera MacBeth
Plato-Florence railway opens

As a late 20th century middle-schooler tourist girl, I fell in love with Florence. I loved walking the streets with the fanciest storefronts littered with tacky tourist dangling spots too. I loved being offered drinks because I looked much older than I was, and sneaking bits of wine. I loved the heavy humid smells of fragrant food, overheated people, and fishy water. I saw my own David (Michelangelo)! I learned about the Medici, Alighieri, Machiavelli, da Vinci, Dante*, Botticelli, the Ponte Vecchio, Fountain of Neptune, the Duomo, Raphael… and so much more. I used my own pocket money to purchase a gilded leather bookmark and snazzy baby blue ankle boots. The boots are long gone back to dust, but the bookmark is still in my keepsakes drawer, as pristine as ever. I was so proud of being able to buy beautiful things from Italy. I loved having this experience, and remember spots and images to this burgeoning old-lady-times day.

I did not know about the history of the Barrett-Brownings (or a shit ton of other stuff, which I still do not know anything much about anything much and the more I think I am about to know, the less I see that I actually know – you know?). If I had known, I would have been one even more day-dreamy love moony middle school girl meandering the streets of Florence with whispers in my (then) curly blonde head of:

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
(E.B.B. Sonnets From the Portuguese #43)

By then I had felt the full force of my first major crush. An older boy, natch, with thick wavy dark hair and happy eye smiles. He said I’d grown up a lot over the summer and looked fantastic. I think I melted to the floor because I was not aware he even knew my name. Which is a ridiculous thing for me to think since there were probably a total of 150 kids from middle through high school and we all shared the same classrooms and teachers. Then again, I probably only spoke to a handful of people because that’s how I roll(ed). I was (am) of the awkwards.

I miss the clear fond voices, which, being drawn and reconciled into the music of Heaven's undefiled, call me no longer. 
(E.B.B. Sonnets From the Portuguese #33)

The ebb and flow of all of the things.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps I believe I have found our Miss Emily Bond Anderson and Mr. David Stewart! To be continued…

*I KNOW that Dante and Alighieri are the same person… brain blip blamed on enthusiasm and lingering real work awaiting my attentzione

The EBB

(Photo by Ku00fcflu00fc u00c7u0131ku0131n on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

It is believed that sometime between 1845-1846 Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a collection of 44 sonnets. These sonnets eventually came to be published in 1850 under the title Sonnets From the Portuguese at the encouragement of her husband, the poet playwright Robert Browning. Elizabeth is known for wanting to keep these love sonnets private, since they were written only for her husband’s eyes. Robert claimed her sonnets comparable to Shakespeare and pushed Elizabeth into publishing them. Elizabeth agreed as long as they were published with the deceptive title Sonnets From the Portuguese, which were never written by a Portuguese person or translated from Portuguese. “My little Portuguese,” is a pet name Bobby used for Ba, or Bette (pronounced bet-TEA for reasons). Or so the story of the Barrett Browning couple goes…

A Taurus born 6 March 1806, Elizabeth's world saw:
 
Anglo-Spanish and Napoleonic Wars
transatlantic slave trade about to be outlawed from anywhere in the British Empire 
Lewis and Clark on their journey home after reaching the Pacific Ocean
Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire's death
the Holy Roman Empire collapse after almost a millennium 
Webster publish his first dictionary 
the birth of the man who was later to create the concord grape (Ephraim Wales Bull)
and George III (yes, THAT George III) as king
At age 39/40, Elizabeth's world saw:

her first meeting with Robert Browning
Edgar Allen Poe publishes The Raven
the United States annexes Texas
cholera pandemic
the Great famine in Ireland
Wagner's Tannhäuser opera debut
first Anglo-Sikh war
the saxophone is patented by Adolphe Sax
Victoria is queen
Elizabeth and Robert marry on September 12, 1846
At age 44, Elizabeth's world saw:

the Britannia Bridge open across the Menai Straights in Wales
a hippopotamus arrive to the London Zoo (not seen in England since Roman times)
Taiping Rebellion
Rudolf Clausius publishes the basic ideas of second law of thermodynamics
Great Famine in Ireland begins to subside
British Raj transfer monies to Persian Shia Islamic holy cities
historic Pacific Highway begins development in Washington State
Cesár Ritz born
William Wordsworth's death
her little boy, Pen, turn 1-year-old
Sonnets from the Portuguese published

82 years later, in 1932, Grosset & Dunlap (now part of Penguin Random House) of New York City published a Cameo Classics edition of Sonnets from the Portuguese. The Cameo Classics books, according to an unattributed faculty blog from Ohio Weslyan University, this series of books started out being sold for $.69 each (about $14 value today). The Cameo Classics edition measures 8.5×5.5inches, 110 pages with silhouette illustrations. The book is hard-bound in blue fabric with gold gilt lettering on the spine and a Guttenberg medal inset on the front cover. The black slipcase for the book has a blue printed graphic glued to the front showcasing an illustration from the book, with an alligator skin treatment to the back of the case.

Sometime between 1932 and 1936, David Stewart purchased this book and gifted it to Emily Bond Anderson with “Best Wishes for Valentine’s Day.”

On Wednesday, August 12, 1936 at 1:00am, “In the Country,” David penned a “Series to E.” titled: Meditations. This took David 5 pages to write in precise 30 paragraphed flowing handwriting, finishing with the word, “END.” David has used some red pen for emphasis on the words, “TO,” “FROM,” “WITH,” and underlining a few phrases on page 14 of the book.

85 years later, on a sweet Montessori Mafia at the park playground afternoon, I picked up the Cameo Classics 1932 edition of Sonnets from The Portuguese at our little community bookswap on the worn picnic table underneath the green topped timber-pitched shelter. I found this copy from David to Emily with David’s 5 page note tucked inside. Nobody at the park knows who David or Emily are.

What I know so far is that the book looks to have been moved about multiple times with wearing on the spine and book case as if it’s been pulled on and off of many shelves many, many times with a careless coffee/teacup stain on the case illustration. But the book inside appears to have hardly been opened or read at all. There are no creases. The gluing and spine are intact like a new book. The 5 page note from David to E. also appears to have never been opened or read.

It feels like… magic

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

to be continued…

Legality ≠ Morality

(or listen here)

Nothing pithy to say about that.

Legality does not define morality.
A reminder that at one time 
it was legal to enslave people, but it was never moral
it was legal to deny women the right to vote, but it was never moral
it was legal to rape your wife, but it was never moral
it was legal to torture people out of their love interests, but it was never moral
it was legal to rape children, but it was never moral

Denying people basic food/water/housing/clothing/comprehensive healthcare/humane dignity is amoral in any and every situation

imaho

In other news, I reinvigorated clean-out mode and dropped off more things to the peoples and the Goodwill. I know there are controversial feelings about the Goodwill, but that is where I went to bequeath the things to their new life elsewhere. As I waited my turn for drop off, I started the Instagram search scroll. Bad choices. I cried – not full-on, just the trickling kind. As I was scrolling, I thought about why I was doing that instead of just waiting the few minutes for my turn. And why is it that suddenly I was able to load things into the car and drop them off after they had been sitting around for probably a year? Then it hit me. I am back into we-might-be-murdered mode. Clean up and out so there isn’t too much of a mess for everyone else, just in case. Which is nonsense because who even knows what the situation really is? I certainly do not.

then the loneliness sinks in

then I have to get to school to wait in carline for SonHerisme. I have not told him about his father’s move. I cannot do it. Yet, I know this is a “yet.”

I gathered up my sweet tiny newborn giant baby bear teenager person. I completed the pumpkin carving and storm preparations for today. We had more vege chili and sushi (because we did the awkward combo dinner). We watched Glee. I explained “happy ending,” “celibacy,” “under-the-shirt-over-the-bra,” “premature ejaculation,” Salt ‘n Pepa’s “Push It,” and, as always, wrapping up with a generous dose of what “consent,” means… again. An evening of single mommy to teen boy conversations. I hope SonHerisme has a hefty therapy budget for his adult times and pre-apologies to his future partners for anything I may be or have been completely screwing up.

Tonight is Monopoly, pizza, movie (SonHerisme’s choice) night. One time a sweet friend asked me if I could choose any movie to watch just for myself, what that movie might be. I couldn’t answer. There are a million and none. None because I think if I had the wherewithal to choose my own thing to do for two plus hours, I am not sure that I would choose a movie. Or perhaps I would – I have no idea. How about you?

I send out comfort to all of you struggling parents and struggling humans. I also send some to non-strugglers to bank for as needed.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

some of my favorite movies are Philadelphia Story, Mindwalk, His Girl Friday, Holiday Inn, Bringing Up Baby, Best in Show, Princess Bride, Much Ado About Nothing, Sense & Sensibility, and a zillion others I cannot think of at the moment. For a long time I would only watch films in other languages so that I could just enjoy the cinematography and sounds without the verbal nuances of the storytelling. That’s how I roll tootsie roll.

(Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com)

Diffused Burdens

(Photo by Nicolette Leonie Villavicencio on Pexels.com)

(“While greasy Joan doth keel the pot” Love’s Labour’s Lost, ActV/ Scene2, Winter)

(or listen here)

The night before I was notified about MrexH’s impending move, I was sitting by the fire outside listening to the great horned owl hooting up a storm, and wake-dreaming about fires, smoke, fuel, and oxygen. I was wondering if it might be possible for me to stoke my own life spark into a flame. I still do not know and am afraid to have any hope of that since I am not sure I can survive another heartbreak chisel when my wishes billow into smoke as the flame dies again.

There comes a point in the leaves turning time, where I can stand outside of my back door in the evening, whistle across the side of the rocky woodsy hill I live on, and get an echo back. I love it so much – I think everyone loves a good echo moment like that – no? The silly whistle echo fills my heart with joy for a brief moment. That night I was able to whistle to my echo a little bit too.

If you ever have a chance to go on a mid-late October woodsy night hike in the Mid-Atlantic American States, I encourage you to do it! Owls are so magnificently super stealthy, you won’t even know they are flying overhead until you feel the top-down breeze from their gloriously expansive wings as they swoop past post inspection because while you smell tasty, you are too big for them.

It is the tiniest moments like sitting by a good fire with my little vegan marshmallows and unsweetened chocolately dipped gf cookies (s’mores shout-out y’all), hot lavender chamomile tea, listening to the last of the cricket season chirping and the hooting owl, whistling to my echo, seeing the waning moon plus sparkle stars, hearing SonHerisme giggling inside at some television nonsense, that I feel closest to okay. I begin to think that in this moment perhaps the universe is helping me hold the burdens. Just for a few stolen breaths.

I recently read the following in a Time article written by Abby Vesoulis, titled, “Why Literally Millions of Americans are Quitting Their Jobs.” Economists describing the situation of American workers as having a, “grab bag of diffused burdens,” to explain why they are quitting their jobs. As opposed to a compact bag…? What the actual f. Generationally speaking, I can say with certainty that it is not a grab bag – it is an overfilled bag of burdens forced upon us by a previous generation who refused to acknowledge their own personal responsibility to basic humanity plus their own mortality. And now we have to sit in the middle and watch our children have to resolve the burdens we have been too few and are too weary to deal with anymore because we’ve never been able to catch our footing from carrying all of what has been piled upon us. Unlike the meme of the burdens people born in 1900-1920 faced throughout their lifetimes, with information dissemination and consumption, it seems that we are globally hell-bent on self destruction.

I suppose a compact bag might be more convenient for everyone. We have tried our best to compact it all for the rest of humanity, pull up our big girl panties and bootstraps, carry on and all of that. Especially women. Especially minority women. We cannot be convenient anymore.

In return for carrying the burdens, we have a rapidly deteriorating climate, no paid family leave, ridiculous maternal mortality rates, diminishing rights to women’s healthcare/control of our bodies, highest medical bankruptcy rates in the world, fascism/nationalism/authoritarianism on the rise, fucked up arbitrary bureaucratic educational system, and basic infrastructure decline with rising global debt. Most of this stuff is just made up crap to keep lining pockets of people who are already so wealthy that none of these rules or consequences affect them or their families. Except for climate change, which of course affects every aspect of any life. In the zero sum game, the players cannot see their own complicit behaviors or certain mortality(accelerated by hubris).

A recent conversation with a woman I have known and worked with for over seven years revolved around her unwillingness to vaccinate herself or anyone in her family because in her view, the unproven vaccines are killing more people than they are saving. She asserts that if people were healthy and took better care of themselves, COVID would not be an issue. W T actualF. I just cannot engage with that other than to say to her, “it sounds like you are right to explore other options for connection for your family if COVID precaution requirements aren’t going to work for you.” Her family have had COVID twice and are, in her words, “just fine.”

If you are serving her family, playing sports with her family, going to worship with her family, unmasked at school during lunchtime or recess with her family… and, G-d forbid, you or someone in your family have cancer/heart issues/Lyme/Lupus/organ transplant recipient/MS or any other illness which either prevents you from being able to receive the vaccine or your body to build up enough COVID immunity, or you have a young child who has yet to be vaccinated – or a young child with any illness which prevents them from being vaccinated or able to build up enough COVID immunity even with the vaccine, then this family of four (among SO many others) are out there spreading this until it kills themselves or someone else. Perhaps they already have. Our current local infection rate is at 5% and rising again. Our little county hospital is bursting at the seams, last I looked, with 36 COVID patients, 12 in ICU. BTW, both this women (regardless of her ability to absorb and acknowledge information or to let go of her privileged attachment to drama) and myself know people and children with these conditions in our mutual community.

So, yes, we carry an overflowing bag of burdens in our working-aged generations in this country. We cannot carry them anymore. A diffusion is necessary to lay them all out on the table, acknowledge them, put accountability in place, THEN we can carry on. #carryonpeacewarriors

In the meantime, I will concentrate on giving myself permission for stolen moments. Where are you going for your moments? If you, like me, are without a support partner, I send you oodles of burden-easing wishes.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

ps please stop equating troubles and tragedy with measures of morality. thank you.

pps also, boundary setting with accountability is critical for recovery

CRITICAL (for the peeps in the back)

ppss I recognize and acknowledge my privilege in being able to carry and articulate burdens plus dream of solutions

pppss Laughing is helpful so I look forward to when I can watch more than clips of The Cleaner bc, y’all, that guy is hilAIRious. In the meantime, it’s a brief binge of What We Do in the Shadows (if I can force myself to watch something when I cannot sleep at night which is… another topic for another day)

Smoke Signals

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

This was meant to be a different post. Same title, different content.

I wanted to write about how if we don't fuel the spark of drive, curiosity, creativity, and fun then the fire never gets going and at best what we give out is just smoke from dying embers. 
I wanted to write about my musings on where I might find oxygen, heat and fuel for my flame. 
I wanted to wonder about where you might be finding yours as well. 
I wanted to see the stories we send out into the world like smoke signals out into the universe to be received wherever they may land in whatever form they land. 
I wanted to wonder about how, in the end, we are all the stories that we've lived and shared, with the hope that mine wouldn't end up being some choking smoke no one cares for.

Instead I received news that MrexH is moving closer to where we are.

This news is most unexpected and has knocked me off to be even more threadbare with my connection to living.

It feels as if everything inside of me has fractured just that much more and I can no longer grab any significant pieces back up together or reassemble correctly. It is as if I am one of those grosgrain heavy wefted ribbon people unraveling in a surrealism painting. But instead of seeing some beautiful sky or poignant landscape as I unravel, there is just a bunch of smoke billowing out from a very poorly fueled dying spark.

Before you say it, I already know that even though I am not responsible for all of the circumstances and stories in my life, I am responsible for figuring out how to oxygenate and properly heat/fuel my own fire. It is my job as a human lady person.

Perhaps I will get there. Perhaps I will be too unraveled and too late. Today is not the the day, I can assure you. Today I am reassembling the fractures as best as I can so that I am prepared for a conversation with SonHerisme to explain the changes with MrexH.

If you see some smoke signals coming from me, I hope they aren’t too difficult to breathe through. I hope they can get refueled to tell a different kind of smoke signaled story – one more hopeful and satisfying.

*fingers crossed* No falling in the river for me today – I would disintegrate at this point. The smoke is wispy at best.

I'll take deep breaths and keep moving through the day-to-day things. 
I'll deliver the clothes to an immigrant family. 
I'll make vegetable chili. 
I'll do the laundry. 
I'll carve the pumpkin. 
I'll tend to SonHerisme and MotherHerisme's needs. 
I'll give the doggies some puppy loves. 
I'll tread lightly until I can go to bed and read a little bit (nonfiction fuh sures). 

I hope that you are a-okay.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. today is a blustery day. My favorite kind of day. One of my favorite kinds of days. A Winnie-the-Pooh day. I hope that you are okay.

LYBL

(Photo by Brady Knight on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

That most certainly is not me in the pic fyi. Not that I wouldn’t be in a canoe doing the things, but still … anyway

Living Your Best Life kind of thing, I suppose. Which is what we are all doing regardless of intention or attention. Is anyone else constantly feeling as if they are LYBL all wrong? I do 100% I do. With the exception of SonHerisme, I have always felt as if I am life-ing in a place without understanding how to get traction. The job, the family, the overcoming challenges stuff… I truly do not know how everyone is doing it.

I feel as if I am constantly both falling into the waters and rowing about rescuing myself, and others, and I am exhausted.

Just after the incidents which led ultimately to my divorce, I remember FatherHerisme telling me to just hang in there because my life was going to change for the better over the next year, so much so that I wouldn’t even recognize how I had been so worried and low (thought I was about to be murdered, Daddy…).

Just after my relationship with HighSchoolBoyfriend/CollegeBoyfriend/AdultConnection ended, I was told multiple times how time heals every thing and that I would find my special someone one day.

Just after I left one racist toxic workplace environment, I was told I would find something even better that filled my passion to the point of overflow and would not even feel like work.

Give it time, they said. Focus on gratitude, they said. In the meantime, concentrate on living your best life, they said. It’s all fucking bullshit, I say. Calls it how I sees it- time of death: varies (mood/sieve brain dependent).

Sometimes things work out. Sometimes they do not. Life is mostly luck with some positioning, which you may or may not have control over, but are required to be able to take advantage of the luck. Mostly luck.

LYBL is just living. The added drama of trying to force something based on a pr scheme of what “best life” means, is self defeating and crazy making. We have set ourselves up to be swayed that anything less than the picture we have been sold of LYBL is high drama fueled moral failing. For many of us it is someone else’s moral failing we attach our inability to achieve LYBL drama tether onto. Shame and blame, baby!

Culturally we are damaging ourselves and our kids by clinging onto self-created perpetuated drama as the destroyer of morality and the destroyer of our ability to live our best lives. Culturally we do not accept that life IS our best life – the shit days and the great moments.

None of the toxic positivity crap I was fed ever came true. Maybe it is because I am a complete loser and horrible person – maybe. I find that a hard pill to swallow though because there are plenty of folks who are complete shit people who sit in those pictures of what we worship as living your best life. I think it is luck with positioning (ie privilege) tilting the scales a whole fucking lot. Or maybe I am stuck in complete life dysmorphia too…

This is the truth of what I am doing.

I am recycling. I am careful with my detergents. I only mow the lawn to keep down snakes etc from cozying into human/puppy spaces. I rescue the wayward snakes, turtles, bats, baby rabbits, birds etc when they breach our space anyway. I am hyper-vigilant 90% of the time with the food we consume. I cook and clean the things. I write the letters. I try to be present as I can with SonHerisme(which I am shit at – but somehow he is an amazing human despite me). And all of the things I am trying to do to be a good human mommy person, but I make zero headway on anything even closely resembling our cultural version of LYBL.

Honestly, I think LYBL kind of sucks. Which admittedly may only indicate I am not good at it. I am glad that some of you are, though. Or at least some of you have found your peace overall so that you can move through the day-to-day struggles. Or have you? I don’t know. You appear as if you have/are/do. So perhaps that is something. Maybe?

I’ll try and shine more light on my truth to possibly help with my own truth doing. This is my life and I suppose the best one because it is all I’ve got.

By request, I used school funds to purchase Chick-fil-A last week for a teacher appreciation dinner. I carry that heavily because I vehemently oppose how those franchise monies get used – but still I did it in order to not rock the boat. LMBL

I’ve allowed SonHerisme to binge-watch Schitt’s Creek over the past few months. He is 13. Is this okay? I don’t know how to know. LMBL

I accidentally took a selfie yesterday evening and it rocked my world in an entirely unpleasant way. My own body dysmorphia has me seeing things disproportionately, I know this but I do not know how to unsee what I see or how to process it appropriately. I used to stand up against my bedroom wall throughout my tween/teen/young adult life and trace my body with a pencil trying to get a grip on how or where I fit in comparison to the rest of the world. LMBL

Which is all to say that today I will be out and about my town doing the things which need doing – typical Saturday. If you notice a knotted witch haired lady person in a blue sport dress, sneakers, and black hoodie floating down the river, please be careful if you stop to pull her up – she is heavy with the things today. If you are in the river, I hope that someone ever so gently and carefully pulls you out. I suppose the one to row upriver to see why I keep falling in … is me. And I am too exhausted today.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps MotherHerisme is back on 2xday morphine

pps I cannot think of my own future without crying bc I suppose LYBL is ingrained, but I am full of hope for SonHerisme

ppss golly – I am gloooomy today. More clean out will help – maybe? Or head back to the celery juice (I stopped about a week ago bc I forgot to buy celery). Inflammation is a mighty fucking bitch y’all

One Plus One = Window

(Photo by Couleur on Pexels.com poem by Mehrnaz Sokhansanj
(or listen here)
SonHerisme circa First Grade:
He - Momma, do you know what one plus one equals?
Me - I think so baby bear. But just in case I've forgotten, will you please remind me?
He - Momma, one plus one equals window
Me - Tell me more about how you solved that one
He - Look at my picture, Momma 1+1 and then put the equals on the top and bottom to make a window 
Me - And what do you see through that magic window, baby puffin bear?
He - I see us having fun, Momma and I love you
Me - One plus one does equal window and I love you too

300 +1… 301

I have sent MrexH 301 weekly progress reports about SonHerisme (per court order).

The first weekly progress report was sent on January 28, 2016. This was the same week as our first meeting with our attorneys and a mediator.

At that point I had been working with my attorney since April 2014. SonHerisme’s court appointed attorney had been working on our case since July 2014. MrexH had been working with the attorney present since December 2015 after having burned through 4 or 5 previous attorneys.

We were not at all in a good place then.

MrexH was confined to a state facility. SonHerisme was still seriously struggling with adjusting to school. I planned everyday as if we were going to be murdered.

Today MrexH is living with his parents in a place not accessible by car. SonHerisme is thriving in school. I continue to feel that given an opportunity, if MrexH returns to this area, I will most likely be murdered. However, since he is not here, cannot easily get here, and is unlikely to be able to travel at all, I no longer live in complete fear every single day. I open my windows. I go places and tell people where I am going. I drive the same routes day after day. I grocery shop for more than 1-2 days at a time. You know, like people do.

GAH – enough about that

2016 was a long time ago. Now I am facing a different transition as sweet SonHerisme begins preparations for going into High School next fall. He has been my plus-one on life adventuring, life surviving, going to this place and that place, for all of his memory times. I have been mommy-ing it up fiercely, full of protection, comfort, and love for all of his memory time, and all on my own.

I’m not a complete helicopter lunatic – he has his own experiences and continues to stretch his now teenagering wings.

This next year will be something on a different scale as he eases further into becoming a man. He will be working at proper paid jobs. He will get a driver’s license. He will shift into places where my only presence and knowledge of them will be in his heart. He will find his own plus-one(s). I love him with the everything of the infinities. I want him to feel the fullness of being himself in all of this life, and to find satisfaction with that. I wish I could peek through some kind of magic window to see that he is okay.

For now, I will get into my car – the same car he came home from the hospital in – drive to his school, wait in carline for him to come bounding out, and hand him a lunchbox full of teenager boy fuel snacks as he animatedly tells me all about whatever has happened in his little Montessori world where he feels heard and seen. His final year as one of the top-banana Montessori Mafia kings.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

I continue to find it entirely jarring when someone pointedly looks through my window and sees me, other than SonHerisme and two friends. A friend’s spouse honked at me and waved through their car window at the stoplight. MotherHerisme’s cardiologist asked me if everything was okay because he hadn’t heard me speak during MotherHerisme’s appointment. Which, now that I am saying these things out loud, sounds like I am crazy for these things to be jarring me – but they do. I am used to being invisible. Despite the deep aching desire to be truly seen along with possibly how unhealthy it is to not be seen, when someone unexpectedly peeks through the window and see sees me, I am… I am perplexed and, I suppose, well, jarred. I wish I had a funny trauma tune to dance off with… stage right, fading single spotlight, acoustic tapping exit, aaaaaaaaand scene

The Dinosaurs are Fine

(or listen here)
Do not fret or worry, the dinosaurs are fine.
Fuck that meteor, the dinosaurs are fine.
Lumbering around the flat earth, the dinosaurs are fine.
Living rightfully subservient to humans, the dinosaurs are fine.
Cyclical climate adjustments, the dinosaurs are fine.
Nevermind billions of years (it's thousands), the dinosaurs are fine.
I know what I know and I know that the dinosaurs are fine.
So put on a happy face because, the dinosaurs are just fine.

A former colleague of mine frequently said, “That doesn’t sound like it’s worth burning more dead dinosaurs. They’re not coming back so that’s a finite resource we need to be more careful with.” She used this reasoning when announcing that she would not be attending this, picking up that, or in general would be declining driving (or asking anyone else to drive) for something not worth burning up dead dinosaurs. When I would be weighing the same kinds of decisions, she offered that barometer to me as well with a, “do you feel that’s really worth burning up dead dinosaurs?” I haven’t worked with her in over 13 years, and I still frequently use this check-in with myself.

I uttered this to myself the other day (yup, that’s the level I’m currently skating across – muttering to myself, achievement unlocked without passing “GO” or collecting $200 and I am afraid a bigger Bowser is waiting at the top of the ladder… also currently having my lady times read:period read:menstruating as the ladies do, YES even at my age bc that’s how awful funny joke ha ha the universe is).

Conclusion came two fold – one route was indeed worth burning some dead dinosaurs because it was a visit with friends (outside, mostly vaxxed *sigh* for another day). The other journey was not as compelling. Did I really need NEED to get the whatever from the wherever? Nopesies. Not worth it.

The other thing about dinosaurs that began spinning in my head was how pervasive the toxic positivity thought patterns are ingrained into our culture. We pretend that things are sustainable, because that worked for our parents, grandparents, and some of our great-grandparents. Rather, at the very least, the cultural thought pattern was ingrained as a moral compass of what one should be striving for and live “as if.” If you want the part, dress for the part. And all of your harassment and rapey talk (I mean, you dressed like you were asking for it) is too much of a downer, so be gone little truth teller. This is dripping with the sarcasms – I do not condone harassment, bullying, and rape, except for the most worthy circumstances (uh-oh, the sarcasms). We tell ourselves lies so much that we begin to believe they are truth.

We just do not like the truth. No matter how much it harms us or kills us to deny the truth. We do not like it because then we have to admit that not only are the dinosaurs not fine, but they’re horribly violently dead and we’re still trying to suck them dry.

I like wordy truth tellers. I think I do. However, I like truth doers more. Not infallible unrealistic saints (which are never what they appear to be), but rather a humane earnestness in truth doing.

Who has a re-fill store where we can bring our containers and refill them full of soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, beans, rice, diced fire-roasted tomatoes, tea, coffee, spinach and such, and pay for them by weight?

Who has the ability to transfer human energy into usable energy to charge our phones, heat our water, run our laundry machines, and such? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had energy capture receivers in our shoes, bicycles, trampolines, or even tippity typing keyboards?!!?

As I attempt to sort out my next life phase, all of these things are going through my brainiac. As the nationalisitc nutjobs all over the world spew their garbage zero-sum, lethal, dinosaur, rancid word salad lies, I want to do more humane truth.

Our entire economic structures and borders are make believe mythical stories we tell ourselves and collectively agree are truth. Some of us wield those stories like abusively brandished swords. If someone is hungry, we should give them some food. If someone is frightened, we should offer safe harbor. All with appropriate personal boundaries, of course because that too is part of being humane.

The dinosaurs are not fine and neither are we at the moment. How to stand in this knowledge, not get sucked into the tar pit, and humanely thrive, is a lot to think about. I should probably go outside and do the earthing.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

Occasionally. Strike that. Oftentimes when I say the things I feel awful and horrible and my brain drains. Today this pic caught my eye and cracked me the hell up. Unapologetic and pink! We’re all Captain America, Bitches! I *think* I can see we have the ability with some structure to recognize and do humane things, recognizing that we have fundamental culturally ingrained inhumane issues we must accept and address at the same time as truth doing. Like Captain America. He’s friends with your Gym Teacher. So you’re having a problem with societal and climate breakdown? Believe me, I’ve been there too… (see SpiderMan – Tom Holland, never ever ever ever ever or ever never never the other ones bc sheesh, except SpiderMan into the Spiderverse which is AMAZE).

(Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com)

Goodnight Irene

(Photo by Kris Mu00f8klebust on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

A 40-45 foot giant oak in my front side yard is in its final stages of being dismantled by professionals at this very moment. I have been crying on and off throughout the morning, peeking out on the so-called progress when I could. Goodnight Irene. You’ve served this bit of earth well and I salute you.

Gentle Irene. Irene was most likely 250-300 years old. Between 1721 and 1771 Irene sprouted up from the ground with hopes and dreams of housing a variety of animals, shading for creatures requiring it, soaking up glorious sunshine and delicious rain, spreading her roots deep into the rocky hillside in order to communicate efficiently with her neighbors, and growing into a source of comforting useful respite. Irene has done all of this very well, until the one day a sickness arrived.

Personality-Plus Irene. Irene identified as male, but enjoyed the play of the name, “Irene,” when introducing himself to others with a full face of bold colors and a mix of non-gender conforming adornments. It was a terrible time when Irene began losing his life’s glow. He has spent the last few years becoming more uncomfortable and despondent.

Poor Irene. It’s only taken about three years for Irene to deteriorate to the point of needing merciful intervention. Professionals were called, appointments were scheduled, and a decision was made. Instead of neglecting Irene to fall into a painfully destructive death path, clear and concise professional support arrived to allow Irene a kinder exit into a transformed place.

Goodnight Irene. I watched from a very safe distance high up on the hill as they began relieving you of your sick, painful, weary limbs. With every ground shaking reverberating thud to the ground of what had been a part of the dying you, I felt your immense relief of all of the burdens you no longer had to try to maintain a brave stance and hold onto. I stayed as witness to your transformation into wood chips, forest dust debris, and saw-ended chunks for more animal burrows and child’s play, until I no longer felt your presence. You have moved on from the form you held here. There’s just a bit of cleanup remaining for the much appreciated transition experts.

Thank you for being a part of our lives. Thank you for showing us how to grow to be the most we can be and to graciously let go when it is our time. Those walkers, flyers, climbers, slitherers, etc through these hills in all of the generations before our time have been honored to be in your presence. You were pretty damn cool. Goodnight Irene.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

that’s right – his name was Irene and I will be grieving for a hawt minute. So many feelings. Irene was also GrandmotherHerisme’s name, and I was privileged to be present for her transition too. It was something truly moving. When she moved on, she had moved on – there was no question about it. Goodnight to both Irenes.

Leadbelly is awesome...
Stephen Fry rules and that Harry Styles kid is great too!