S. O. S.

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(or listen here)

Summer of Strength

Not that we are building actual 6-pack 20-inch python muscles (no judgement if that is your actual jam), but rather more of overall mental/emotional/maybe a little physical strength. Time to flex and shape our post-COVID or COVID-normative muscles in general. Setting intention to do so by:

S  Setting smile goals
T  Tell ourselves we can do this
R  Rest and relax
E  Eat/Exercise well
N  Notice Priorities
G  Giggle
T  Track progress
H  Hold accountability

Summer of Strength

SonHerisme’s school year officially ended on Thursday, June 17th. I gave us the weekend to flex and stretch our commitment muscle before diving full in on Monday.

Is this an overly optimistic set-up so that I can get sucked into the muddy squish muck mire of depression when we inevitably fail to meet our goals? Possibly. But for today, I am all about it. Both SonHerisme and I have used the phrase, “Summer of Strength,” for the past few days to encourage each other to accomplish some little things like: getting onto the treadmill, finishing laundry, driving to the park for a bit of soccering, putting away the last few Christmas and Easter things (judgementors, I patronous thee), and putting more donation boxes into the car.

Summer of STRENGTH!

I am determined to continue to lower my inflammation, and to read more. SonHerisme wants to fine tune some soccering things (SV2 style!), and up his maths game. I would like to make a lovely something out of some sheets we will never be using as bed sheets. SonHerisme wants to build raised garden boxes with tops to add for winter for year-round greens. SonHerisme also wants to clear out his room and paint it black and white (he’s turning teenagery this summer as well!).

Summer of Strength

SonHerisme wants to grill steak all on his own, and make fried chicken all on his own(blech – do you boo). I would like to finish cleaning out the garage and paint it (on the inside).

Summer of Strength

Both of us want to go to a few minor league baseball games, spend some time up at the local State Park lake, NGADC it up, and drive out to the beach for at least a day.

We are very fortunate people to be able to even think about doing these things. *fingers crossed* We are able to do some of the things.

Of course, COVID times have sucked many patterned discipline limits away… but, I’ll take that over any horrific alternative any day. SonHerisme also has a phone call with MrexH in a few hours *sigh* which he does not want to do so the anxiety energy is high up in these here parts of the universe world.

Ready? Set? Go!

Send us strength to make it through the Summer of Strength… and to be strong enough to let the sadnesses and unworthinesses and griefs and all of that to just be. Sort of strong enough to be soft enough to be enough.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

(still wearing a mask on occasion, as needs must)

ps also, I have been… difficult to define this past week or so which is why I haven’t been here. koyc and ciao and I hope that you are well and near something beautiful like the ocean, a lake, river, canal, swimming pool, filled up tub, or maybe a clear glass of water. I hope it so very much for you!

Currently at 284 sent Weekly Progress Reports to MrexH regarding SonHerisme

We are safe, we are healthy, basic Maslow’s have been met (repeat on a drum beat until bedtime with extra cozy duvets for both of us please and thank you)

Black Sarongs and Rabbit Manure

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(or listen here)

A friend of mine recently entered into a committed relationship with a farmer.

A widowed Hungarian mother of 4 sons, a friend of mine for about 8 years or so, recently entered into a committed relationship with a local hero, community feeding, farmer.

I knew her husband. His sudden death rocked our community, and of course devastated his family. I had a related pre-death experience for him, which is for another day(or not- it’s very hard). SonHerisme was given a pair of his shoes to wear to help work through his own grief, which had burbled up many other griefs. We know how to carry that grief better now.

We’ve been included in a group planting/caring/harvesting plot on one of the Hungarian’s Farmer Friend’s fields, which begins this week. In the organizing-of-us thread, someone asked what we should wear to our first gathering. Paraphrased thread:

The Hungarian: clothes for gardening and dirt 
The Farmer cheekily: oh, I was thinking I'd wear my black silk sarong 
The Hungarian: save that for the luau
Me: efficiency - let's all wear black sarongs
The Farmer: yes!
The Hungarian: who's bringing rabbit manure?
Person I don't know: that's me - I'm bringing it
The Farmer: in a black sarong
The Hungarian: just rabbit manure please

And so goes life. A day where black silk sarongs and rabbit manure get to be in the same brief text thread about planting veg and flowers. Wacky makes the world go ’round.

I have had a very emotionally rough few days or possibly week or so. My sweet friend asked me to explain what was happening with my grief cycle and I run-on spewed it at her about a day later when I felt I could get it out without completely succumbing to it. It was not pretty or enlightening. I did this via text and ending with something like, “I’ll be okay. I’ve been doing this my whole life. I can rally for another 15 or 20 years.” To be clear, I don’t wish to be dead but I also don’t wish to live without whatever it is that might fill up, or at least drip drop, satisfaction in my cup of life. Feeling stuck without any hope of not being stuck, and mired in grief and shame, is an awful dark place to be.

It was my choice to just let those feelings be whatever they were going to be. I didn’t try to add anything to take them away. I chose to keep moving through my day and do the Instagram scroll, ironing, reading, listening to SonHerisme, prep for a board meeting(although my agenda notes were woefully late), coordinate and schedule the summer camps, doctor appts, bandage changes, laundry, cry here and there, and make the things like chicken salad/quesadillas/hummus sammies/white chili/hamburgers and such for the people to eat.

The food is for the people, not for me. I can eat some hummus and white chili – but no meat for this lady’s digestions. For the past 5 months I have been taking celery juice in the morning and diligent about no meat in anything, along with serious dairy limits. The biggest change has been in improved movement by about a zillion. Also, I no longer want to fight that battle anymore either. If my body can’t handle it, f it, I’m not eating it or doing it. It may be boring and uncomfortable for others, but I am done.

Yesterday afternoon I started wondering what is it that I would find satisfying about myself. What feels good, right, or whatever and does not hurt? I really have no idea, honestly. I have theories, but nothing very concrete – except some movements and some limited foods. It’s okay to celebrate bouncing up the stairs, isn’t it? Actually, I don’t care really because for me it is a celebration! I could not do this even 3 months ago. It is a scary but necessary step, I think, to admit these things to myself and then to follow up with all of it.

If someone handed me notes with a briefing, I would be completely fine with standing in front of any group of people and saying whatever (an appropriate “whatever,” of course) and answering any questions I could. If you and I sat down together at a friend’s house, I doubt I would even speak other than maybe asking you questions so that you would talk the entire time. I am the opposite of my live-out-loud friends – by circumstance or nature, who knows?

Awkwardly doing the things and trying to be okay with it – that’s all of us, yes? Or? Doesn’t matter because it turns out, I cannot be anyone other than me anyway. I have tried and done it well (?at least outwardly – high functioning inward failure?) for a long time, but it hurts too much- even more than being myself, if that’s possible. I could wear a black sarong. I could also facilitate the spread of rabbit manure. And I would do it for SonHerisme if it was necessary or asked of in-the-past me on a triple dog dare with cherry on top. But, it isn’t me. It was just a joke – a pretend joke belonging just where it is – in a thread. I cannot do all of things and I most certainly cannot do very many of the things very well.

Thank you for being patient with me irl and for reading/listening/following here.

I hope you find something helpful and satisfying of and for you today.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

PS. Wondering about the brood x cicada emergence in the Eastern US? (Peter?)

Here is what they look like:

Here is what they sound like as I enjoy my spinach lunch, drowning out every single bird and squirrel by a zillion:

(cicada symphony)

Also, I KNOW everyone possibly listen/reading this in the UK is not named, “Peter.” I do an “oh, there you are, Peter!” (my favorite line from Hook after the boy smooshes around on Peter’s face trying to find the Pan inside), whenever I am brave enough to peek and there is a UK ping on the stats. Be the Pan.

Whytest

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(or listen here)

Do you ever hear something that enters the depths of your ears like the smoothest yellowist not-too-sweet gently warmed custard? Murmur of poems. yummmmy

I would like to be pentagoning or decahedroning back, but I can only ever figure out the circle back to poets.

"To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals."  -David Whyte (poet writer human)

I got sucked into the massive mind muck again last night. I climbed out enough to play with SonHerisme a bit and then drowned myself in list making. It’s the opposite of rest, but it is distracting enough to at least get my breath and carry on with the things that need doing before collapsing into bed. Missed my shower though. I hate this grief process. I know its necessary and I am meant to feel it and embrace it to move forward to the blessings that are just around the corner waiting for me (blah blah platitudes blah). For today, I cannot stand myself and I am letting that be.

PIVOT

Our tiny town had a unity march again yesterday. Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, unity is a good thing. Promoting unity in a culture built on and institutionally conditioned to be racist, is a good thing. Acknowledging that a marginalized disproportionately targeted group of people are worthy of humane consideration and treatment is a GOOD THING. It’s a good thing for all of us. Despite my understanding of herd mentality, I truly struggle to accept the reality of inhumane frenzy thoughts, words, and actions with the increase in access to information and community that we have had for many decades. This struggle of mine is an indication of my whiteness. I recognize that I am privileged to be able to step back to even ask the, “why,” rather than fighting against being trampled on.

We all know that the welfare momma is a false trope - yes?  
We all know that the storming of the US borders by criminal Central/South Americans is a false trope - yes?  
We all know that humans, regardless of any biases, deserve to be treated humanely - yes?  
We all know that access to food, water, shelter, healthcare (including basic necessities health care), education, and purpose for all humans benefits all of our survival - yes? 
We all know that marginalizing people is destructive for all of us - yes?
We all know that we live on an over abundant planet with an over abundance of creative humans - yes?
We all know that by sharing our resources increases all of our wealth - yes? 
It isn't a pie.  It isn't a zero sum game.
Unless we make it a pie and zero sum game, and then we ALL LOSE no matter where you stand.

During a conversation about the unity march and SonHerisme’s latest read and school discussions on being anti-racist, MotherHerisme insisted she has never been a racist. She doesn’t see people’s color (ummmmm….). As long as people are nice and work hard, that’s what matters to her (ummmmm…). She even ate dinner with a black family when she was in school (ummmmm…). She just doesn’t want to have to give her money away to people who don’t deserve it because she and my father worked hard for their money (ummbrainglitchmmmm…).

My mouth popped opened and this is what came out: MotherHerisme, we all want to see ourselves as good, kind people, and as individuals, most of the time, all of us are.

The reality is that you were raised in an openly racist home and that you are a racist by your words, actions, participation in and endorsement of racist institutions (examples like STILL BEING associated with the Republican Party and others).  
You absolutely can see that my skin is lighter and that XXXX's skin is darker - you can see the color of people's skin and it influences your opinion of people (examples like assuming the darker skinned people taking up a parking spot you want are just going to be clogging up the aisles in COSTCO because they bring in all of their extended family so maybe COSTCO should have a time for people without extended family, while you are getting ready to bring two carloads of family in to shop with you). 
EVERYONE WORKS HARD - EVERYONE. Who is not working hard?!!?  Who has met someone who is not working hard?  I bet if you have it is a white privileged teen - everyone else is working hard.  Actually, even that privileged teen is working hard, even if it's internally, they are working hard. WTfreakingH does "working hard," even mean? You and daddy worked harder than the single mom with three crappy minimum-wage jobs who has no retirement or savings because she has been constantly struggling to raise her child and survive? Who isn't working hard?  Who doesn't deserve to eat, have clean water, go to the Dr? Who exactly are you talking about?
The mid 1950's in Montgomery, Alabama - what do you think would happen to that black family if they refused to be kind to you, to bring you into their home or to feed you?
Again with the divide between worthy and unworthy humans - who isn't working hard?  Is it me that you're talking about?  Because we do have family members who describe me this way. Is it me, and then SonHerisme, that do not deserve humane treatment? Who is it exactly that is deserving of being treated inhumanely?  

Context – my parents have always worked hard and are also products of the cultural normative thoughts and behaviors of their time in history.

FatherHerisme was raised in extreme poverty, losing both parents at a very young age. He was raised by his older sister who quit school and got married so that she could take care of my father and he wouldn’t be sent away. She tried to also keep their three sisters, but the two youngest were taken by their father (different father than the older children) and the sister closest in age to her, ran off and got married when she was in 8th grade. Welcome to Kentucky in the 1950’s. A local librarian gave my father a job as a shelver when he was in High School because that’s where he was always hanging out. This librarian also paid for my father to apply for college and to take his entrance exams. My father attended a prestigious private engineering school with scholarships and Army funding (he served for some years after college), and spent his entire successful career as a chemical engineer with the same company.

MotherHerisme was raised in a military family (Army then Airforce) where her ambitious father became a Colonel and head of the ROTC program at a large southern university. Growing up she lived in California, Virginia, Japan, Alabama, France, and very briefly in Ohio. She met, got pregnant and married my father when she was working as a secretary in the Pentagon. FatherHerisme was temporarily at Fort Belvoir for specialized training while stationed in Germany. She was 19, he was 24. A rushed January wedding in Germany followed by the April arrival of my sister. ParentsHerisme raised three children, lived in Ohio (USA), Germany, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are both always themselves and insanely photogenic. I am lucky to still have them and to know them.

Also, I am not woke. I am just me and am a product of the cultural normative thoughts and behaviors of my time in history. Free to be you and me, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers – all of the people showing us the ways of unity, consideration, healthy boundaries and acceptance. In my smaller than a grain of teensy crushed glorious stardust glass particle sand moment of this particular lifetime, I am trying to guide the humans in my wee circle towards recognizing the infinite circle as they can. Anti-racist, pro-unity, pro-acceptance and healthy boundaries. Many days I am failing. I’ll just keep going until I cannot.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Have you found yourself Yankovic-ing songs?

It’s not the pale you that incites me, that scares and so frights me. Oh no, it’s just the whiteness of you. (sing to the tune of the soulful Norah Jones, Nearness of You – jippity jolly good funnesses).

Straight Buggin’

(Imperfect Colorful Life)
(or listen here)

There are a zillion little life reminders around right now as the seasons push for the final changeover from quiet sloshity cold Winter to zippy buzzy growy mowy movin’ grovin’ Spring!

Carpenter bees buzz around my al fresco lunch to say, “howdeedo,” and prepare me for their upcoming territorial arguments.

Giant ants tippy tapped across the floor emboldened by the weather and smell of puppy food to explore new areas of abundance for their colony.

Carpet beetle made it’s shiny patent presence known by traipsing across my eyelid while I rested(ugh).

Wolf spider creepy crawled around the bathtub thoroughly confused by it’s slippery trapped predicament (I rescued it bc spiders are helpers).

Wasps, determined to build waspy dwellings in places that do not work for this human, become bewildered and enraged when their hard work is once again displaced (by me).

Chipmunk family is reorganizing itself for better protection from black snake family by moving up the hill a bit underneath a different clump of rocks and thorn bushes.

Salamander, displaced by deck furniture rearrangement, is wriggling around the edge of the moist mossy rocky path.

Bumble bee is very extroverted and wants to follow us around like a little happy puppy when we walk outside.

Barred owl hoot boot hoots the Bat signal that it is time to twitter flitter out and about.

Honey bee is more interested in finding the tasty bits and remaining unencumbered by any socialization expectation while questing (or they will sting – yikes!)

Hawk is laughing with buddies while circling and practicing hunting swoops.

Mourning Doves are hooting their gentle sounds of soul love tinged with sadness knowing its depth but also brevity.

Blue Jay is blue jaying up the place screaming and being very yelly loud.

Butterfly is fluttering this way and that way to avoid the wasps but also enjoy the lilac bush too (the extra large creepy wasps nest there).

Squirrel is relaxed, waiting for things to ripen, knowing that they do not need to worry about food for another season.

Bobcat is staying hidden, only leaving bits of evidence that a meal has been somewhat enjoyed, interrupted, then returned for clean up. Because they are very precise with how they kill and eat, you know they’ve visited.

Deer is birthing the fawns and I expect we will see some deposited in the front woods for safety while mommy eats all day. Occasionally there are twins!

Turkey is gobbling, running and short-burst flying up and down the rocky hillside, protecting babies and avoiding the foxes.

Crow is hanging with the murder doing the caw-caw things.

Black bear has wandered farther up the mountains because 6 new homes in the area have displaced their family.

Rabbit is hippity hopping from one protected area to another, hiding babies in soft deep grasses.

Skunk is bumbling about, drunk on skunk life things and absorbed in its own skunk thinking world.

Fantastic Mr. Fox is prowling about by the fields, avoiding Boggis, Bunce and Beans for sure, yet always finding tasty morsels of a little something here and there, plus libation to wash it all down nicely while waiting for Mr. Jeremy Fisher (in his waistcoat).

I hope that you are finding some interesting observations in your springtime.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

When SonHerisme was a smaller human riding in the back seat in his sweet blue booster carseat, I would point out into one of the large fields we passed on our way home from some adventurous excursion and say:

"Look out there!  Do you see a giraffe(or lion, elephant, whatever animal we surely would not see out there)?!?"  
SonHerisme would look this way and that way, "No, I don't see it, Momma."  
"Me either, baby puffin bear.  I guess we'll keep looking for other things." 

"Look over there!  Do you see the goats?!?"
So excited, SonHerisme would say, "I do! I do, Momma!  I do see the goats!!!"
"Me too, sweet bear, me too."

ps. I would also ask him crazy questions on the way home from school:

Did the elephants come to school that day so that they could learn about how to care for elephants and keep an elephant healthy and safe?
Was he able to help the lost group of magicians find their way back to magician school?
Did the parade people come and ask their help to get the floats ready for the big parade?
What did he get to do to help with the zebra train that was taking the zebras back to their homes? 
How did he help save the school from all those pirates running around?
And if none of this happened at school that day, wasn't he bored and what was the point of going to school?

Holy shitballs y’all, that kid is going to need therapy. Straight Buggin’

Also – what a fucking relief to leisurely review what our president said to congress last night. In honor of that and International Dance Day, enjoy this!

2142, 306, 70, 5 (hut, hut, HIKE)

IMG_1968

My teeny tiny sweet little puffin bear turned 12 y’all.

Stats:  5’8″ and 1/2 (growing every single day), 145 lbs, braces on the upper teeth (green), shaggy light brown COVID19 hair, sparkly light brown golden eyes, and super adorbs handsome

He is healthy.  He is safe.  He is a good person.  We are both blessed (and freaking lucky!).

This upcoming week is going to be another tough one in building resilience for my little man-boy.

We are expected at SonHerisme’s therapist’s office on Thursday afternoon for him to accept a phone call from MrexH.  (backstory link)

This has been looming for some time.  At this point, SonHerisme just wants it over.  I am in agreement.

5 years, 10 months, 1 week, 5 days

or

70 months, 1 week, 5 days

or

306 weeks

or

2142 days

… have passed since SonHerisme and MrexH have had direct contact, other than a few birthday cards.

I try to absolve myself of any responsibility for the lack of contact.  While it is true that I advocated for what I thought was best for SonHerisme’s safety and well-being, ultimately I have followed every advice and guidance from lawyers, the court and therapists, regardless of my own instincts (self preservation, y’all).  It is difficult for me to parse out truth sometimes (thanks abuse and ptsd), so I do heavily rely upon trusted experts to figure out what I should be doing.  I am slow even with clear instructions, but I get there eventually (insert anxiety, insomnia, crying, vomiting, paralyzing disassociation) (also, don’t be jealous).

Then guilt sets in.

Maybe I didn’t do enough.

Maybe I did too much.

Maybe I should have more forgiveness and grace in my heart.

Maybe I am the ill one.  Maybe I am a narcissist.

Maybe I misread situations.

Maybe, maybe, maybe

Then I have to cycle myself through the copious paperwork outlining the actual events which lead to the separation and my fierce protection of SonHerisme.

This process is a painful redundant meticulous fact recall to fill my conscious brain with reality instead of my perfected projection spin.  (note:  I also anthropomorphize everything, so this is alas, a known super ingrained powerful pattern of mine. Imagination and creativity = YAY! Except when it isn’t).  This is in addition to current facts which include that MrexH’s entire family shut SonHerisme out of their lives as well when he was 6 years old.  They have the same amount of hours in their day to reach out, and they all choose not to.

Thus runs my cycle (again, don’t be jealous).

Maybe this cycling stops at some point and I will be free.  There is not any evidence of that just yet.  Although I suspect the cycle runs through a bit quicker now that I have been doing this as a practice for years plus months plus days plus hours plus minutes plus seconds, now.

This will be a hard week.  SonHerimse has been asking when he can say, “no,” for himself about contact with MrexH because it is all a painful wound reopening every time we visit the topic.

Please send some peace to SonHerisme.  Please send bubbles of protection and courage for his sweet sensitive heart.

Thanks y’all

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

ps.  I’ve sent MrexH 235 court ordered weekly progress reports on SonHerisme to date

 

 

F’ing Wineberries

IMG_1970

7 years ago today, Facebook (who cares so very much about me natch), allowed me to post this picture of wineberries growing wild (albeit invasive, apt) on the rocky hillside of the land which I currently occupy.

7 years ago today, the day after celebrating sweet puffin bear SonHerisme’s 5th birthday, I struggled to make sense of and piece together my quickly unraveling life having no idea how truly awful, terrifying and excruciating things were about to become.  None of the puzzle pieces would fit – it was as if I was desperately carefully jamming together paper, wood, plastic, cardboard and invisible cut pieces from multiple puzzle kits with zero instructions, support or guidance.

I planned SonHerisme’s party to be at a large local park with fields and play equipment aplenty.  Potluck so that everyone could be invited and gather together on a hot summer afternoon to socialize while children could happily run free and wild, full of birthday party sugar.  MrexH (then still MrH) was alarmingly overtly not interested in the birthday party (he left about halfway through) and actively aggressively angry about  discussion or preparation of the birthday party, taking his anger out in frightening tantrum outbursts primarily directed at SonHerisme.  It was heartbreaking madness.

MrexH justified his behavior because I was not a good mother, I was not a good wife, I was a bad friend, I served rice and potatoes at the same meal which was not hot enough to justify being a proper meal (throwing the full plate tantrum on more than one occasion), I wasn’t controlling SonHerisme well enough, I was overly controlling of SonHerisme, I bought too much fruit, I didn’t buy enough fruit, I didn’t empty the trash often enough, I emptied the trash too often and was wasting trash bags, SonHerisme didn’t eat quickly enough at meals, SonHerisme ate too quickly at meals, SonHerisme cried too often, SonHerisme needed too much of my attention, I woke up too late, I got up too early and awakened MrexH up, I read to SonHerisme too much, I needed to do more academic work with SonHerisme, I didn’t exercise enough, my taking time to exercise was selfish (while he hired a personal trainer and went for weekly massages), I didn’t make my hair attractive, I spent too much money on haircuts, I didn’t buy attractive enough clothes, my clothes were too revealing and on and on and on, day after day after day.

This pattern increased in frequency.  It did not matter what I did to change myself or help SonHerisme, MrexH found something multiple times each day to justify his anger towards us.  He threatened to leave us, to take away my access to finances, to move us to another state where we wouldn’t constantly be trying to leave the house to spend time with friends and family.  These are usual abusive patterns which I did not recognize, even though I knew that something did not feel right (then the murder threats – well, you know the story).

Also for sure in our physical relationship, things were not right at all – but, that’s for another discussion.  Or not.  It’s a difficult and uncomfortable topic for sure.  I understand what marital rape is now, and I did not know before.  Enough said.

 

You think you are clever and on top of things, until the universe pops in with a great big HUGE – FU, YOU KNOW NOTHING – then the universe might show you how much you are not paying attention, until you do.

 

So, thank you Facebook algorithm, for reminding me how the universe can work.

 

It occurs to me that we are all getting a HUGE – FU, YOU KNOW NOTHING from the universe at the moment.  Not dissimilar from my own personal experience (this is true, the opposite is true, the other thing is really true, but that is really really true, you’re the one with the problem, no you are, I know you are but what am I, I’m in charge, it’s their/your fault, etc).

This is why those of us who have experienced and survived abusive relationships are super sensitive at the moment, recognizing once again the familiar patterns of bullshittery shitstorm shit being flung about.

We are desperate to communicate to you how much we all need to be paying attention.  Even in isolation while thousands are dying, many of us are still not listening.  Instead we passively disassociate trying to mentally jam mismatched mixed media puzzle pieces until we can cobble together some skewed version of how all of this will make sense as reflected by the memory of our comfort alleged safety zone of January 2020.  All the while, in real life, being fucked over, again but worse.

 

We need help.  Vetted professional help.  STAT ASAP and all of that.

 

Why aren’t we listening to the helpers?

 

The teachers, principals, school staff who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy education for our children.

 

The nurses, doctors, mental health, healthcare workers who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy people.

 

The scientists, virologists, public health experts, epidemiologists who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy community behaviors.

 

THEN, after we hear from these learned experienced folks, who already have massive amounts of experiential real life and professionally validated data from years of collecting it – THEN turn to the economists, big business, multibajillionaires to fund what the experts tell us need to be done to keep us healthy and functional as family, neighborhood, community, county, state, country, global citizens.

 

In the meantime, we are playing a dangerous game of roulette with human lives which cannot ever be replaced. Through the virus, through racism, through bigotry, through discrimination, through misogyny, through accessibility, through general basic inhumane behaviors we are emboldening the dangerous mindset pushing roulette to egregious heights of engagement.

 

We can no longer afford to pretend otherwise.

 

We could never afford it.

 

We were pretending we could because the largest block of voting and economic power in this country has remained stagnantly in charge for at least 55 years, and told us that pretending we could afford it was the only way to gain and maintain a position of privilege and power, which is the ultimate measure of our morality and justification for our behaviors (no matter how inhumane).

 

I suggest they were and are wrong.

I suggest we can do better.

We must pay attention and act in decisive, humane, trickle-up ways, or we will continue to be unwillingly painfully fucked.

 

The good news is that every single community in our country, in the world, has helpers!  Look for the helpers.  Once you find them, listen to and support them so that they can listen to and support us as well.

It took me some time to recognize I needed help – I almost got us killed – and then to listen to the help (feeling the actual present threat of death helps to open your listening ears, but I do not recommend it).  Somehow I listened to the helpers.  I believe that you can do it too.

 

Go Humans!

Courage Humans!

I believe in you!!!

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

#carryonhealthwarriors #carryonpeacewarriors #ilikeyou

HASHTAGing it (BOITT)

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I have everything and nothing to say at the moment.

Please check on your family and neighbors.

Please be kind.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps.  If you need a break from the heaviness, since you cannot snuggle and hang out with my sweet little SonHerisme, google “Greg Davies.” I know I’m woefully over-late to that party (BIOTT), but holy heck he is full-on funny! Sweet baby BeeGeeZus, I hope he isn’t a misogynist/racist/bigoted douche.  If so, apologies!!!  If not, you’re welcome! And if by some totally bizarre COVID induced Thanos-esque universe twist, you ARE Greg Davies: apologies and thank you for making me laugh and take good care of yourself – healthy wishes to you and yours!

pps.  Be kind and spread your love – we are all hurting and our family, neighbors and friends of color, extra systemically so. {{{Hugs}}} and courage humans #listentothem #startwithIjeomaOluo #thenreadStamped #thenreadandlistenmore

ppss.  BIOTT = Blame It On The Trauma  Admittedly a victimy copout, but there it is nonetheless.  I can take your judgement, don’t worry.  I happen to be an expert on that bc BIOTT!

I like you xoxo

Levity (w/a side of soaking, please)

You may listen here:

TOO. MANY. EMOTIONS.

It is too much y’all.

COVID19, Dam Breaks, Hurricanes, Cyclones…  Also, FatherHerisme’s kidney function is a stitch away from dialysis, SisterHerisme is going in for non-cancerous (as far as we know today) colon surgery, MotherHerisme’s wounds are not healing and she will need surgery and hospitalization in the next month, SonHerisme has a jump-out-of-his-second-story-window-and-onto-a-tree-branch and other daredevil plans brewing.  Past traumas resurfacing.

Dudes

I wish I could wash it all away for all of us in a lovely outdoor shower space (with spa bench, natch) in my woods.  Alas, it is only 55F today.  Even if my outdoor shower dream were real, it wouldn’t be happening today anyway.  A friend has been encouraging me to get a home sauna – which I would very much like to do. The potential financial fallout from COVID19 has me quite hesitant, however.  So, a shower in my own plain builder grade shower might help (?).  Please don’t suggest a bath.  I know my ridiculously gargantuan tub appears lovely and inviting, and it was tons of fun to sit in and splash about with my tiny baby boy and my tiny baby nieces – but, germinating in a tepid pool of my own filth to relax?  I don’t understand that at all. Hard pass, and also, no.

Note:  I am grateful to even have a shower and hot water considering what many of us are experiencing atm around our tender world.

Thinking about washing, soaking things off for healing, reminded me of a sort-of recent experience I had at my local co-op.  My community, my tribe, is comprised of many bougie crunchy adjacent (some full on crunchy) mommas.  Not GOOP bougie, more like advanced degree educated, world traveling, new wave community collective supportive bougie.  We sew our own masks, but also already had N95’s in our garages…  we shop at the co-op, but also order recurring grocery items from Amazon.

Anywho…  for a while some of us were gathering about once each month at a coffee shop (locally owned and roasts their own bean blends – see what I mean?  Bougie but still grounded) to talk out and support each other with work/home/kids/relationships.

At one of our gatherings, our facilitator mommy shared her affinity for drinking celery juice in the mornings (again bougie, I KNOW IT).  I too drink celery juice in the morning, but I have not been able to convince myself to use any special, or especially expensive, appliance (this might be a pattern – see internal struggle over sauna purchase).  At the time, I was blending my celery stalks with about 4 ounces of water in a regular old blender.  Then I would strain it through an old tight mesh utensil someone gifted to me years ago, which I believe is originally intended to remove items from a wok when frying.

As we were swapping stories of best celery juice practice, facilitator mommy suggested I try using a nut milk bag.  In case you are unfamiliar, a nut milk bag is a reusable cotton bag used to filter out almond/hazelnut/soy bits from soaked/cooked nuts in order to extract a milky substance to use as a cow milk substitute for consumption. Crunchy – right? Some of us wear full on make-up, hairspray, and actual tucked-in belted knee boot outfits, so-crunchy adjacent.  But we drink celery juice that we are blending at home.  Gah!  Whatevs – we are the mommy people doing the things.

That mommy person sent this mommy person to our co-op to get a nut milk bag to alleviate my messy celery juice burden.

Because I am highly suggestible to personal indulgences falling under the $10 mark, I did indeed go to the co-op to purchase a nut milk bag for straining my celery juice.

You guys…  I went and asked the co-op worker man where he keeps the nut sacks.

Because my brain does not work, and my mouth does not either, I guess.

He did not respond, as you can imagine.  It did not immediately click-in to my brain that I had misplaced my words, so I REPEATED MYSELF.

It was then that I had the terrible awful watching-the-train-wreck moment of realization as the final “nut sack” escaped my mouth, and I scrambled like a babbling idiot for correction as if I am a non-native English speaker making an innocent mistake because clearly English is not my first language or I would have never ever ever said “nut sack” even though you know me because I am in this store multiple times (pre-COVID19) every week for at least a decade interacting with you all and WTF is wrong with me – Could you please show me where you keep your reusable bags for making nut milk.

That happened.

Apparently I am an 11-year-old-boy because I still giggle about this.

The first one to suggest that I now use the famous disguise of jean pants and a toothpick in my mouth when I shop, will indeed be my bestie for the day. (WWDITS is the best worst show ever and perfect escapism, better than any soak – most any soak – so go there now. Season2 Episode6 Jackie Daytona rules)

Of course we are all wearing masks so for the time being I am granted a temporary reprieve from crippling embarrassment at the co-op.

For now.

Funny things still happen in grave times.  I hope you find a giggle or two in your day.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

Once Upon A Time

Listen Here:

(to the boy/man I never knew/will never know)

IMG_1692

Once upon a time you were the magical silent whisper of a universal dream.

Once upon a time you were found in a moment of intense released wishes.

Once upon a time you embodied a story of blissful optimism and hope for the future.

Once upon a time you blamelessly symbolized a fear for which you were entirely unequivocally innocent.

Once upon a time those fears swirled into a nasty germinating unforgiving bitter cocktail of deceit.

Once upon a time you were forced into a tight web of rejection woven beyond your control and without your participation or agreement.

Once upon a time you remained strong, pure and good despite these intolerable unacceptable trials.

Once upon a time you courageously reached out from that thick painful heavy web which bound you, to lightly recognize and touch my soul.

Once upon a time I was ignorant and guarded in my reception of your bravery.

Once upon a time I was subsequently remorseful and repentant.

Once upon a time I was very much too late in recognizing my unintended painful strike.

Once upon a time you disappeared, regaining your strength, courage and control, into the secret woven web of your beautiful life to heal your heart and soul with your own happily ever after’s.

Once upon a time you never ever again felt any need to reach through the original unbearably painful web built of someone else’s shockingly misplaced unpalatable fear.

 

Far too little and much much too late, I deeply apologize for the part I played in your pain.  I wish you a million zillion happily every afters from my soul to yours.

Life unfolds in strange and mysterious ways.  Please keep yourselves safe and healthy – remind those you love that you do love them them.

 

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

 

Fiction Confession

WildHeartofMine

Hey y’all

COVID19 check-in and fiction confession.

How are you holding yourself up?

What are you currently reading?

I have been having the worst time reading fiction. Anyone else?

Around the time when it was a real and present threat that MrexH might murder/suicide us(he didn’t obvs), reading fiction became unbearable for me.  I continue to struggle with fiction on occasion.  Children and Teen fiction do not seem to be a problem.  Not all adult fiction is either.  I am trying to figure out the triggers. In the meantime, I am finding it difficult to choose to read fiction at all because I dread the consequences.

When I hit that point in reading where some switch goes haywire in me, the story truly overwhelms and feels as if it is taking control of me.  I have a difficult time putting the book aside.  I read and re-read the entire book successive multiple times.  This is possibly to desensitize whatever I have reacted to (a habit I have honed over the years for other overwhelms -I do not absolutely know this to be true). I suspect this because at some point, after a few days or weeks (ugh, those are the worst!), as I am re-reading the book for the bazillionth time, I will physically feel an intense wash of relief come over me.  Not orgasmic or anything like that.  It truly feels like a washed relief from the top of my head to my toes.  I can feel the story normalize itself and leave me free.  Until then, I will read the book at the cost of sleeping, eating, drinking.  Regular chores and things surrounding me suffer from lack of attention (minimal required functioning – single parent also caretaking for elderly parent – non-functioning is not an option).  I am irritable when distracted away from the book.  However, reading the book leaves me with heavy feelings of self-loathing and despair.  The book becomes a compulsion.  It feels awful.  It is awful. I deeply wish that I could make this stop.

Sometimes I can force myself to let the book go when I recognize the familiar pattern of falling into the overwhelming-ness rabbit hole.  When I worked in the library world, I could take the book to work, drop it into the bookdrop and walk away.  Neat, tidy, convenient and accountability because I was at work.  At home, with downloadable books, this isn’t so easy to walk away from.

I wish I could identify that I have a problem with mysteries, historical fiction, realistic fiction, dystopian fiction, sci-fi, fantasy etc.  Then I could just avoid that genre. Or if I could identify protagonist/antagonist or situational triggers, that might help as well. Unfortunately it does not seem to be that obvious, at least to me.  I could probably use some fiction therapy.  Or regular therapy. Oiy, my broken brainiac.

Anywho…  I have a problem.  Which is why I have tended towards non-fiction reading for the past 5-7 years.  Currently appropriately enjoying Harari’s works, re-reading some Shakespeare with SonHerisme, mixed poetry, a Washington biography, and constellation myths.  I really want to read Circe by Madeline Miller, but I am, as you may have guessed, concerned and a little gun-shy, so to speak.

I am just coming out of a book spiral.  No title to share with you because I am not prepared for feedback.  I am trying to gently embrace my me-ness and let it be.

Does anyone else have this experience with books, art, movies?

It has also been on my mind that this might be a good time for me to re-open the book I began writing in 2013, just before the imminent dangerous situation in my own life reared its ugly head.

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime.  How are you?  The entire world is shifting as we all struggle with our center and balance to stay upright.  I hope that you are safe and well.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo