Gathering

(Photo by Anna Guerrero on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

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

Blah Blah Hands

(my pic, classical quote- also yes, my thumb is oddly long, and yes my nails are not well attended to bc I am a mommy, also yes, my office area is full of the things – no judgementors here!)
(or listen here)

A dear FriendHerisme has two lovely children. Her son is SonHerisme’s best friend, the other is a first-grade daughter. FriendHerisme and her husband are professional musicians – they are a super fun family and good friends to us.

Let’s call first grade daughter FriendEHerisme! FriendEHerisme sat with me at the boys’ soccer game, asking if she could draw Blah Blah’s on my hands.

The Blah Blah’s come alive when you make your hand into a fist with a straight thumb, wiggling your thumb up and down to make the Blah Blahs talk. We like to draw side knuckle eyes, nose, and a great gloppy tongue hanging out of their mouth. Occasionally the tongue gets so big that all they can say is, “blah, blah, blah.” Hence the name, the Blah Blahs. FriendEHerisme has been talking to, playing with, and feeding the Blah Blah’s (they eat the pens that drew them! How nervy!) since she was a teeny tiny human (as has SonHerisme, NiecesHerisme… and others).

At the soccer game, FriendEHerisme wanted both of my hands to bring the Blah Blahs alive and she wanted to draw them, so I allowed it. This is the way. FriendEHerisme has spoken.

My right hand was the boy Blah Blah, the left hand the girl Blah Blah (you could tell the differences because of the hairbow, says FriendEHerisme). Naturally, as soon as they were alive, they greeted each other, blah blahed at each other, and then they spent a lot of time kissing. Her parents are happily married as you can infer from the role play.

FriendEHerisme then decided the Blah Blahs needed something else (aka she was bored with the usual blah blahnesses). She drew a sunshine on the back of each of my hands, coloring them in with squashed up dandelions. Followed up with polka-dotted moons on my palms.

“Now what happens?” FriendEHerisme asked. I shined girl Blah’s sun down onto boy Blah and sang, “Mr Sun, sun, Mr golden sun, please shine down on me…” She opened up boy Blah’s hand and asked the moon to sing to girl Blah. So I sang, “The man in the moon is smiling ’cause he’s in love…” Then both suns staring at each other, “I’m burnin’ I’m burnin’ I’m burnin’ for you…” Then both moons staring at each other, “Moon, moon, moon shining bright…” And that was enough for FriendEHerisme to declare that the Blah Blah’s were done. She had them kiss once more, and that was that.

The Blah Blahs have seen SonHerisme through lengthy travels, emergency room broken bones, surgeries, general doctor visits, waiting for adult things everywhere to be over so that children things can rule activity levels again. Thank you sweet Blah Blahs.

Everyone is growing up.

The Blah Blahs are almost all gone.

*sigh* Bittersweet times.

I’m scheduled for my COVID vaccine. The world seems to be turning again. Today is SisterHerisme’s birthday (celebrated virtually, again).

Still feeling as though I am suspended in time over here, floating in some clear gel filled bottle- stopped, but not stopped, in time, watching everything out there moving onward and wondering how to be. Like time saved in a bottle. That’s an old timey Jim Croce song! If I could save time in a bottle the first thing that I’d like to do is to save every day ’til eternity passes away just to spend them with you (or something like that). Which I think is a love song (? bwahahahaha yeah blah blah blah). For me, I’d grab it for the sweet Blah Blah moments with SonHerisme, FriendEHerisme, NiecesHerisme and all of the sweet babes.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. I know Time in a Bottle is a love song and I know it isn’t for me, but also the phrase on its own seems like suspended time in loneliness or grief, which IS what I mean

Currently lost the bandwidth to find a therapist/counselor. It seems very daunting and expensive. Carrying on with the things…

blah blah ciao

extreme side note: I really really REALLY wanted to title this, “blah blah hand job,” but just could not do it because of the childrens. If you find it as HILFREAKINGlarious as I do, feel free to mentally adjust the title to suit your humors. (ridiculous plurals on purposes) loves to yous

Excuses/Abuses – Tale of a Gut Hater

IMG_3310

(My heart is, our hearts are, in deep pain for our world today.  Please pay attention to, and take good care of, each other. Please and Thank You)

Before my Situation (so, ‘BS,’ for short), I never understood why why why anyone would put up with being abused by another person.

Why would you be with someone who hurts you? 

What kind of person puts up with that?  Prostitutes?  Drug addicts? Uneducated people?  People bound by misogynistic cultural norms? 

Who were these adult people choosing to live these lives? 

I could not comprehend abusive relationships at all.

 

Now, After my Sorry Situation (so, ‘ASS,’ for short), I cannot understand how to develop a relationship that isn’t abusive. I just do not trust myself anymore.

I know so many people, people in my BS and ASS communities, who are in or have been in, abusive relationships (and also, healthy functioning relationships, but they are foiling my post and will be disregarded at the moment).  It is hard for me to imagine how to be in any relationship.

I do not know how you functioning couples do it.  I am not saying that in a trite way.  I truly do not know how you do it.  I admire you, as one might admire a first class trip around the world, or a George Clooney Italian Villa – it’s so lovely to imagine, but so out of my reach or reality, that it appears like a magical fantasy.

How did I go from BS to ASS?

Honestly, while I knew that something was not right with my marriage, I had no idea that I was being abused.  I did not know that my husband was abusive.

 

The Police explained it to me.

The Sheriff’s department explained it to me.

Detectives explained it to me.

Domestic Violence Shelter Counselors explained it to me.

Multiple Private Therapists explained it to me.

My Physician explained it to me.

 

My Family and Friends explained it to me.

Church Officials explained it to me.

My Attorney explained it to me (and referred me back to my Therapist, many, many times)

 

I still did not know that I was in an abusive marriage.

 

I thought that I was the problem.  If only I could do this, he would be happy and not threaten our son.  If only I would do that, he would show us respect and kindness.  If only I could do this, he would stop hurting me.

There are days now, still, where I am consumed by guilt and remorse, that I was unable to do more, to help him better, to find the right Dr for him, to provide the right life for him to sooth his worries so that he would like us.

 

On these days, I have to force myself to read some of my notes for/from my attorney, in order to remember the facts of what has transpired, rather than my own feelings.

 

This is a painful, but necessary, process. 

 

Mostly, because in my case, if I lapse and allow my feelings to guide my actions, I would be placing both my son and myself, into lethal danger.  As I type this, I know that sounds like a crazy person.  After all that has happened, WHAT kind of person would subject themselves to that kind of peril?

 

Unfortunately, it is me.

 

And many other well-educated, loved, supported, life-engaged women (and men).

 

We are not stupid.  We are fiercely compassionate.  We are intelligent.  We have a hard work ethic.  We are devoted, dedicated, and honorable.

 

So much so, that our determination to be all of those things, blinds us to our own reality.

 

If something is not working, we set our minds, hearts, and souls to problem solve and correct whatever issue is set before us.

 

We believe we can help and resolve, through love, hard work, and devotion, any obstacle which is presented to us.  Our compassion for our abuser knows very few, if any, limits or boundaries.  We see someone worthy in there and we work our hardest to comfort and support and lift that worthiness out.

 

What we do not know, is that we are worthy enough of recognizing our abuser for who they are.

We are worthy enough to expect the same fierce compassion we exhibit, from our partner.

We are worthy enough to decide when to walk away from a situation that is not healthy or working for us.

We are worthy enough to deserve to feel safe in our home, in our bedroom, in our garage.

We are worthy enough to be treated the way we would want our sons and daughters to be treated in their adult relationships.

We are worthy.

 

It took my entire community over a year to convince me that Mr exH was abusive.  I was afraid of him.  I was confused by him.  I was incredibly painfully sad for him.

 

I was shocked when it was suggested that he was an abusive person.

 

I fought for him to get help, to get support, to get medical care, to have his pillow, to have his special toiletries, comfort items and clothing…

 

He continued to abuse me, and I still fought for him, like some caricature of the definition of an abused spouse.

 

What saved me from all of my excuses for his abuses? 

 

At one point, I was so deep into trying to do “the right thing” for my husband, my attorney called me in to her office (btw, this is never good news) and asked me if I trusted her to represent me in court.

I was having a difficult time understanding exactly what the process was that we were involved in, and what I was supposed to be doing.  My attorney spelled out for me that she was there to advise me, to guide me, and to advocate for me in court.

Even if I could not understand what she was doing, she needed to know if I trusted her as a professional.  I responded that I absolutely trusted her.

It was at that moment I realized

my thinking was based on false assumptions. 

While I was still unable to pinpoint exactly what my false assumptions were, I understood clearly at that moment that my thinking process and beliefs must be flawed.

My attorney has 20+ years of experience and a stellar reputation.

Family and friends had interacted with her multiple times by this point, and all were impressed by her.

Something clicked in me and allowed me to see that even if I did not agree with my attorney, even if I could not see what she was seeing, if I trusted her, I had to believe that she could interpret the situation correctly and knew what to do.

I was in crisis, after years of spiraling toward crisis.  I had no experience.  I reasoned with myself all of the way to, “how could I know what I don’t know?”

I had to trust that my attorney knew.

 

At the same time, my therapist was also gently introducing me to the idea that I was abused.  I did not believe her, but, again, I trusted her to know what she was seeing and hearing.

 

It is hard to follow your gut and not your heart,

when your mind is screaming at you.

 

Mind says, “You are an idiot/slacker/lazy/incompetent/evil/selfish/awful person for setting this situation up”

 

Heart says, “He is in so much pain and distress.  How can I take care of helping him, so that we can all be well?”

 

Gut says, “Listen to respected resources. Get a Safety Plan. Tell trusted people.  Trust your trusted people”

 

My gut saved us.

 

My gut that hates me, because I have treated it so poorly, saved us.

 

For everyone going through similar situations, I want to encourage you to listen to your gut – not the core of your heart, mind, and soul – your gut.

 

Because you are worthy of not accepting or making excuses

 

Because you are worthy of not accepting abuses

 

Your heart, mind, and soul will be revived, comforted, and nourished to where they need to be, through counseling and other support networks.

 

Right now, you need your gut

 

I am praying for you on your journey too.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo