Metal Rings

(Photo by Tatiana on Pexels.com)

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

(prologue added post recording)
(or listen here)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

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

Hale No

(or listen here)

Sir Matthew Hale is where are in this country.

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

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

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

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

It is the angers people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

maybe

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

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

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

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

Récit Receipt

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(or listen here)

It is as such a time of movement in narratives about what has happened/is happening/will happen that I find myself unable to linger over much at all.

My eyebrows are numb.

There have been hospital visits, cardinal pairings, airplane travel, pop-up blooms, critical medical decisions, fire dancers, piano plunking, architects, kids in mental health crisis, zip-front bras, zydeco, powers-of-attorney, a wandering kitty-cat, grotesque wound care, super spy new neighbor, pot, drum beats, rock skipping, and rose water infused mango lassi… plus the news of goings on and friends with COVID.

Y’all

I found “Random Acts of Kindness” cards I promised to use on 3.6.2020 and R. Buckminster Fuller 37cent stamps whilst cleaning up.

What even is happening everywhere? Is anyone else feeling the cognitive dissonance with horrors of humanity being marketed, virtue signal rated, with collective decision making based on the resulting populism rather than facts?

I’m just – we are all just – I mean, please be gentle and give yourself grace and space. I will attempt the same here (with my mask on in shared enclosed public spaces, thank you and you’re welcome).

Also, my front door is broken (have I mentioned?) and a new one will be here at the end of NEXT MONTH and it is costing $$$$ wth. It will be Forsythia colored with black surround though, so, yay me, while other’s homes are being obliterated.

During lunch today, I sat directly in the enveloping warm sunshine, ate my sweet kelly green spinach (natch), closed my eyes and listened to the sounds. I heard at least five different bird sounds accompanied by the woodpecker banging on about the benefits of bugs-in-tree bark. My first thought was how many of these sounds are universally peeking through all of the human horrors being inflicted around the world.

I sometimes wonder if forcibly crashing up against the prickled rebar surrounded concrete multitudes of grief and loneliness provides us insights into the infinitely joyously peaceful depths of love and presence that we would have otherwise never even noticed. Does it? I would like to be so present that I feel worthy of being present at all, in order to help SonHerisme feel worthy and loved for the always and forever to pass on to his circle of life people. How does this happen? Intention? Prayer Prostration? Ingestion? Magic?

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Update on the Goat King’s domain: The pigs and turkeys have joined forces with the sheep, while the goats have been separated, I assume for breeding (?). The chickens have abandoned the entire goat-dom (I assume for greener pastures where they roam freely in large open spaces with all of the food/water and friendship they could ever want – grant me this moment of peace until I am able to acknowledge that they are either in someone’s soup or pet food product).

yeah – best be getting my gratitude meditations on and handing out my kindness cards with a piece of candy or $ to bring positive balance back to my day and maybe roll over to yours as well 🙂 Keep on rolling little tootsie rolls

Hatch and Release

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(or listen here)

Think back to when you were pregnant (and chose to carry) – or your partner was pregnant – or anyone you loved was pregnant – or when you saw a pregnant person. What did you imagine about that teensy tinesy growing bit of life inside there? Did you wonder about what they would look like? Did you worry about the birthing process? Did you plan on breastfeeding, bottle feeding, cloth diapering, disposable diapering, elimination training, or some combinations? Did you mentally calculate how old you might be when that baby might begin walking, talking, going to (or graduating from) school? Did you imagine how much love and connection was about to be unleashed into the world, as it has perpetually been since the beginning of humaning? If you were not the pregnant person, did you feel deep slices of pain at not being pregnant and having the moments of questions and wonders for yourself? I have been able to carry one successful pregnancy which took me years of loss, work, money, and dumb luck. My soul feels the raw grief of no pregnancy too. I still find it difficult to be around pregnant people, unless I already know them very well (which is a limited circle).

Truth be told, being pregnant is surreal. You know that a human is forming inside of and being completely sustained and nourished by your body and the unique placenta organ you are growing. You can feel the changes as your body temporarily morphs into more than itself while sustaining the growth of another body. You feel swishy pushy movements – sometimes in fluttery awe, sometimes kick squiggle uncomfortably. Your other organs get squeezed out of the way making breathing and digesting a challenge. It’s an amazing wonder what fully functioning biologically human female reproductive systems accomplish with a little dose of male generated support. This is the entire experience of the entirety of humans since and until the foreverness of humaning humans. Without those successful pregnancies, we lose everything – no economy, no future, no innovation, no humans. It is counterintuitive that the encompassing entire processes aren’t venerated, protected, supported, and valued more as a community, culture, society, species. I’m not talking about wacky pro-lifer style or mega-watt baby-momma industries. I am really talking about developmentally, mental and physical health, appropriately valued.

Little tiny nuggets of DNA mush grow into bigger squishy mush. Then transition into kidney bean shaped lumps where they begin to grow some stuff of future humans, then become a fetus and eventually *fingers crossed* a successful live birthed baby. Of course this all depends on an extreme amount of luck and biology.

There is a squeezy cheeked little baby transitioned earthside! The baby learns how to process basic necessities – breathing outside the womb, more freedom of movement, how to obtain nutrition, what feels safe and comfortable, muscle control, walking, talking, navigating relationships, and other things of the humans.

Then we release our tiny puffin headed muffin babies out into the world. Some at birth, some at 4-6 weeks, some at 4-6 years, some at High School, University, or adult times, or somewhere in between there. At some point, if all goes well, and they are not shot dead at school, dying trying to flee fascist/abusive assholes, or impaired/killed by a rampant virus which could have been prevented by prudent ethical adult actions, they are released for their unique experiences with others.

What are we doing to cultivate healthy contributing humans? The food/health care/housing/safety/education/resource scarce people are on my mind – and I’m sure yours as well.

Why do we hold such cultural disdain for the humans involved in gestation/birth/child rearing but hold them up on a crazy pedestal when we want to push some patriarchal fascist bending agenda? Protect the sweet babies from being separated from their parents, unless they aren’t the white kind of worthy. Protect the women and children from all of the scary things, unless they too aren’t the white kind of worthy, then whatevs.

Nevermind that we enable/wage/witness war with direct mental and physical health effects on displaced families. Nevermind that we deny access to healthcare based on a person’s access to wealth. Nevermind that we deny quality education environments (including food/outdoor time) to developing humans. Nevermind that we fail to recognize domestic violence and child abuse as the cultural-normative things they are, and address them as such with practical, appropriate, and honest approaches. Nevermind that we expect/support/respect little to no parental/newborn bonding and birth recovery when we absolutely KNOW how this affects both the person doing the act of growing and birthing the new human, as well as the new human – both physically and mentally.

Bringing human life into the world and providing developmentally appropriate physical and mental support to grow that human into a functioning member of society is THE most important role for those adults who chose to do this. And it should ALWAYS be a choice an adult person has full agency over making for their life, their body. How else are you going to exist if no functioning humans are birthed and raised up, at the very minimum, satisfactorily? All of us have a stake in supporting healthy and safe human growth and development. Life is a fucking miracle – literally and figuratively.

Somewhere right now a sweet soul is being birthed Earthside through a mother who is healthy and supported by her partner and professionals in the manner she has chosen to bring forth her birthing experience with access to high quality healthcare. Somewhere right now a sweet soul is being birthed Earthside through a mother who is frightened about her own health and safety, without partner support, in a manner she did not choose and no access to healthcare due to circumstances far beyond her control. Why aren’t we more reverent and careful with life?

ANYWHO – my point is that SonHerisme is registered for High School, which is a huge step towards release. He is outgrowing his little Montessorian nest, on his way to outgrowing the cozy sweet momma nest I’ve made for him. Friends’ sons are registering for Selective Service (get your shit together, humans). I am most likely going to pack away the remaining children’s books on my shelves and remove the “Princess Room” sign from my office door (former bedroom for back-in-the-day visiting NiecesHerime who placed the sign but are much too cool for that now). My other observation is that I will be masking forever since not only is SonHerisme ill aFREAKINgain, but the woman at the pharmacy checked my ID and had me remove my mask to verify that I am old enough to purchase cold and flu medicine. WHAT WHAT (ignores the reality of my tiny newborn boy-teen-man hawkey bat superhero wild turkey puffin muffin head bear is approaching the final trial flight years before adulting times).

I am pained for humans in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Russia, Syria, Palestine, Eritrea, and all of the places where our collective humanity is failing basic humane consideration (including the U.S.). Which I suppose is the human experience but sweatergot y’all it is A LOT and I believe we can tone it the fuck down. Today this pain translates into these…

...notes to my own self:
See and humanely speak truths for what they are
Donate to a local school (time, money, supplies)
Write a "thank you" note to a school staff person - they are the backbone of your entire community and they are wiped out from vitriol, overextension, and misplaced expectations
Pay more attention to your BOE vote (in this country) as well as your Representatives
Do more to encourage cold turkey-ing our dependence on burning dead dinosaurs

If I could intertwine our beautiful mismatched fingers, hold your soft hand and gently walk with you, I would do it forever and always. As a compromise to this, my most and best and specialist favoritist person from the beginning of time to the end of time, I have made sure that you always get to carry a comforting centering piece of me in your sweet, gentle, kind, hilarious, creative, intelligent, and loving heart. This is a wish carried by parents from forever until forever. When I look at the humans from all over, I wonder how their hatch and release people are being loved by them as well. We surely do not intend for these miracles of life to do irrevocable harm unto others.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

I’m all over the place with the everythings of the happenings. We all are.

Is there a time coming when we can stop pretending there should be public sphere room for, or pretend that they aren’t who they present as, and openly honestly acknowledge that there will always be, groups of extreme people who are incapable of sustaining humanity (abusers, murderers, fascists, misogynists, racists etc), and attempt to cease allowing them to dominate the direction of humanity, or maybe at least our communities? That would be great. koyc (kiss on your cheek, COVID neg natch) thanks

I’ll be on the back deck, with my cup of tea, watching the cardinals and mourning doves chitter chatter in their Winter goodbyes and Spring Preparations. You’re welcome to join me as I ground myself into reality as much as possible. Fair warning – it is muddy out there, so boots are recommended. So is popcorn. Very very extremely dark chocolate plus amusing anecdotes are also most welcome. And sparklers. Well, now it sounds like a little party. An intimate deck party to bring a moment of joy into the swirl of humaning chaos. Okay – sys

Horse Pistols

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(or listen here)

Maternal GrandparentsHerisme said their silly things when they were on this physical body side of existence such as:

All the way 'round the corner for a nickle!
When you assume something, you're just making an ass out of you and me.
Look at the fancy fence around that cemetery - that's because everyone's dying to get in there!
You know what they call the Hospital? Horse Pistol, because once you go in, the best you can hope for is that they take pity on you and put you down like a horse.
Spit in one hand, and wish in the other. See which gets filled faster and that's the one you can count on.
The sun is shining while the rain is coming down, which means that the devil is beating his wife - go on little devil and make a pretty rainbow.
Never write anything down that you don't want to see printed on the front page of a newspaper.

Y’all

Sheesh

y’all fuh realsies sheeshio magnifico splendcrapico wtfio I cannot believe I have not abandoned my postio toastio (and now I need tea-io yo-de-lay-hee-hoo-io)

obvs I am exhausted – as we all are WELCOME to life. Please keep your hands and feet inside at all times. Please check that your harness is secure. There is no emergency exit with re-entry options. Enjoy the ride because ain’t none of us gettin’ out of this one alive. Carry on life warriors.

Before FatherHerisme began his hospital ordeal, MotherHerisme was in the emergency department at our local hospital just before Christmas. The first time, I drove her there where she was discharged 12 hours later. The second time, 12 hours after her discharge, I phoned 911 because I physically could not get her into my car to drive her and she wasn’t able to remain conscious long enough to get into my car on her own. Not COVID. MotherHerisme remained in the hospital for 13 days.

As she began to feel a bit better while in the hospital, she refused to allow doctors or nurses to change her bandage on her leg (recurring ulcers of unknown origin), insisting that I come in to the hospital to change it for her. The first time I went in, you guys… I do not know how I did it (the bandage change, I mean). The room and charge nurses came in and out, and the hospitalist doctor came in just as I finished, all commenting that they too didn’t know how I managed to make it through. I was a bit concerned that I would vomit or pass out at points. When I felt it coming on, I stepped away from MotherHerisme’s bed, paced around a bit, got my disassociation on and went back in.

For those of you into grossnesses, a more detailed description of my experience is at the end of the post, with warning. I get that not all of our systems handle sensory input in the same way. SonHerisme is extremely squeamish.

Protologisms are the way. I have the spokened.

While staying with me over the holidays, FatherHerisme spent 4 hours at the hospital Urgent Care with a dramatically broken toe. They x-rayed, stabilizing booted him up, and sent him on his way with instructions to see his orthopedist when he returned to his home (8 hours over mountains away). He did so and found there were three broken toes with instructions to continue with stabilizing boot.

It could be that his stumbling and not remembering was an indication of the cacophony to come with the UTI, kidney infection, subsequent dialysis treatments, near death, COVID negative yet COVID affected by collapsing health care, which continues to this day. FatherHerisme is currently back in the hospital after less than 48 hours in a rehabilitation facility which left him dehydrated, unfed, unwashed, sat in urine, frightened, and exhausted. When I spoke with the person “in charge,” at the rehab facility, they responded that this was all due to my inability to communicate clearly with them that I had trust issues and required a higher level of communication than was reasonable. Hard fucking pass.

Back in the far away newly adulting times, I managed preschool/daycare/before and after school/summer camps for a national company. While not during pandemic times, I am well aware of expectations, trust and communication needs of people leaving loved ones in your care. Also, fuck them. If you do not have enough staff, STOP TAKING PATIENTS. STOP IT. Just fucking stop it. Also, the gaslighting bullshit dominating certain areas of our country (read: OHIO, for example, just out of the blue mentioning OHIO as an area having a HUGE poop-of-the-bull issue) is entirely intolerable, and I will have none of it. No thank you.

Poop-of-the-bull is courtesy of my dear friend’s youngest daughter who refuses to use ugly words but also needs to express her utter frustration at times. She’ll appropriately get to bullshit later, in her own time, as needed and entirely appropriate 🙂 I’m calling it now – our healthcare is BULLSHIT poop-of-the-bull and we continue to ignore the crumbling.

I also call bullshit on the purely politically motivated playing to the basest temper trantruming covidiots craptastic decision of removing masks in schools and on school buses.

I also call bullshit on our (entirely needed and appropriate) outpouring of support for Ukraine as we watch other areas like Afghanistan, Yemen, and Palestine crumble. They are all unique of course, but our hypocrisy is loud. UNICEF, Red Cross, local Ukrainian collections… My soul is pained for all of the suffering people. Damn, I hope Ukraine maintains full independence and sovereignty over themselves. Amplified better humaning needed all around. Do we even like our neighbors in this country? I don’t know how to tell.

I also call bullshit on Universal Healthcare not being a thing in the US yet. This is the poop of the bull all up and down the beltway and beyond. POOP OF THE BULL

Thank you for coming to my Herisme rant. I’m walking through the things that I do everyday. As I am tipping into olden times, I recognize that I continue to walk through the awful not because I think that things will get better in the way I envision, or that I will rise above it all to no longer be affected to the point of falling asleep out of sheer exhaustion every time I stop physically moving. I continue to walk through as a practice for the next hard thing that comes along. I continue to walk through to provide SonHerisme concrete examples of how to navigate the hard things which will inevitably come his way throughout his life (as a natural part of living). I continue to walk through so that I can see the reminders to appreciate and enjoy the unique and special moments of love, beauty, and joy that pop out no matter the horrible tornado hurricane swirls of crazy hard things that come along. I know that I am not brave, I am privileged. I know that I am not strong, I am privileged. I am doing the things of the doing as they arise (my WORDLE start everyday), as we all do.

This probably sounds crazy, and is most likely crazy yet you’re still here so… Sometimes I wish I had the strength to have an actual escape – addictions like alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, the whatnots of so-called vices. I just do not have the energy, resources, or confidence that I could pull any of that off. I wear cozy scarves and long sleeves to keep my head up and feel protected. I do the same 5 minute calisthenic routine as I brush my teeth and apply deodorant in the mornings, like a talisman or blessing on my day (truths out, the blessing occasionally only sticks for the duration of the teeth brushing). I wear my hair the same almost everyday. I eat the same food almost everyday (spinach shout-out!). My outfits are a version of the same thing everyday (add heavier sweaters in colder months natch). This is my way of controlling what I can to feel some normative center in the swirl.

A shared thought with a sweet friend the other day was that perhaps the universe keeps throwing heavy my way so that I don’t fully collapse post any of the crazy because I do not have time and SonHerisme still needs his momma. Perhaps I am on the universal step-down-from-trauma plan! *fingers crossed* there is a generous in-ground heated saltwater swimming pool in the shade with a cabana, composting toilet, sauna room, with invites for all of ya’ll on the final step down. I’m calling poop of the bull if there isn’t.

None of this is like Scrubs at all. I can’t do this all on my own. Thank you for being here and holding space for all of this.

Love, Ms, Herisme xoxo

***WARNING**** vivid description of bandage change ahead

Prior to becoming hospitalized, MotherHerisme was refusing to shower more than once each week, sometimes waiting up to 10 days. I changed her bandage at home about 6 days before being admitted to the hospital. At that time, her two leg wounds had opened from the size of pencil erasers, or smaller, and only on the surface, to larger than quarters and much deeper, especially the lower wound (closer to her ankle). Her leg was swollen and red, obviously irritated. This happens occasionally and I typically apply a topical steroid mixed with A&D ointment for dermatitis as recommended by the wound care and rheumatologist doctors. I also apply topical gentamicin to the wound bed(s).

Once MotherHerisme was admitted to a hospital room, the charge nurse phoned me because MotherHerisme refused to allow any doctor or nurse remove her bandage and check her wound both in the emergency department and on the critical care floor. The wound smell was nauseating the medical staff. MotherHerisme had a terrible prior experience in that hospital when her wounds were about 8inches high and completely circumferential. At that time, the hospital staff repeatedly debrided her wounds with only topical lidocaine at the most (and a few times without any pain relief other than tylenol). At the time she was also on a fentanyl patch, which did not work for her pain, but did give her hallucinations. She has had multiple debridements since then using either versed or full anesthesia in the OR during other grafting prep/grafting procedures.

Thank goodness masks were required because her wounds were extremely horrific smelling – which got worse as I removed bandages. I could smell the wound as I was walking down the hallway towards her room. The overpowering rotting disgusting stench felt as if it was washing over me and sticking to me like vaporous slime molecules of gooey brownish yellow death. Speaking of which, that is what her wounds looked like as I removed the bandage. Compression stocking, ace bandage, cotton wrap, abd pads, keramax, drawtex, and final inside layer next to the skin, mepitel. The consistency of what I tried to wash off and came off with some of the bandaging, was thick yellow brown gooey foul pudding raw egg slime. Her wounds were deteriorating. One had a thick dime-sized area of black, which the hospitalist Doctor thought might be necrotic. Somehow I (not even remotely educated in health care) thought I should correct him (an actual doctor), and pointed out that it was most likely a build-up of blood which would need cleaned out. I added that I would not be doing that kind of cleaning at this time because I was about to pass out from the visual and olfactory overload. The doctor nodded at me, and I continued to move the process along as best as I could. A nurse came and quickly changed out the chuck pad underneath the wounds. I applied medications, lotions, and re-wrapped MotherHerisme’s leg. I removed my gloves into the special trash bin and thoroughly washed my hands. In the bathroom, I made eye contact with myself to make sure I wasn’t passed out and to ground myself into reality so that my feet would move. Somehow I kissed my mother on her cheek and left.

I do not know how to do these things and I never ever know if I can do these things. I just do the things y’all – just like you – then I wonder WTF and how and why and how and WTF and also I am so sorry for all of the suffering in the world. All of the people in all of the healthcare worlds have my empathy for reals. I hope I am doing the right thing in my tiny corner of the world to ease some suffering somewhere for someone. #carryonhealthwarriors

Plowing the Dust of Stars

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

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

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

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

Insurance man: Are you sure?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ihab Hassan

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

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps writing feels better

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

Mother of Roots

(Photo by Gary Spears on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)
Mother of roots, you have not seeded
The tall ashes of loneliness
For me. Therefore,
Now I go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life, it is a happenin’

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WAS aka Winter Ambedo Silence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

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

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

*whispers* gently, gently with yourself, sweetmomma

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

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)

PowerSoft

(Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

It is that kind of gentle but firm softness in the power of comfort, compromise, caregiving, with a determined focus on nourishing, sustainability, developmental appropriateness, holding space and grace to meet people where they are and provide humane supports.

It is difficult to bear witness to the reality of not valuing, of not cherishing PowerSoftnesses.

imhyauo
(in my humble yet arrogant unsolicited opinion)

We have tapped out our educators at all levels having been dismissive at best pre-COVID, now devolved to vitriol.

We have tapped out our healthcare workers at all levels.

We have tapped out our grocery, gas station, restaurant etc workers.

We have tapped out our librarians, first responders, and other public servants.

We have tapped out parents, grandparents, caregivers.

Our cultural values don’t allow for appreciating these critical roles in our society, other than occasional lip service or *clap, clap, clap* or perhaps a pizza luncheon. All of which, frankly, resonate like praising a dad for “babysitting” his own children or “helping” to clean the dishes *insert generous eye roll,* whilst internally judging the mom who came up so lacking that she needed “babysitting” or “help.”

*sigh* that’s how we do

as a culture – not as individuals, of course (natch)

As individuals we:
Advocate for our educators and staff through letter writing, encouragement, and voting power
Listen to healthcare experts, science, are respectful, get ourselves vaccinated, and vote.
Make humane eye contact with all interactions to the helpers/servers/healers/teachers/encouragers etc, tip generously (as we are able), volunteer for the organization, clean-up after ourselves, recognize innate humanity and right to dignity, use grace and courtesy, and vote.
Recognize and publicly acknowledge that in order to keep our current economy working we are relying on unpaid or severely underpaid caregivers by counting on their compassion to override our responsibility to them, and vote. 
Use grace and courtesy with these recognitions, and then we vote.

We are the lucky ones who get a choice, not only by our thoughts and actions, but also by engaging with our opportunity and choice to vote.

On the Rashida Jones “Ask Big Questions” podcast (the episodes are about a year old), one of their science expert guests commented that the number one way we all impact climate change is by voting. This kind of power awestruck me in a pivotal thinking way. I am a voter. I have voted in every election I could since I turned 18. I love voting and celebrate every time I get to vote from which fundraisers to approve on our local school council to national presidential elections. But have I payed attention and voted what truly has matched my conscience? Or, have I voted by public relations rhetoric? I suspect a mixture until midterm elections during President Obama’s first term when I recognized my essential need for my own deep pivot. I do not worship any leader or politician. They are human people doing human things on varying levels of the human scale of emotion, action, and thought. While I do not worship any ideology, I do make every effort to use my votes in support of those things where humane choices are at the forefront and Powersoft things are acknowledged and valued.

(insert rant on how we approach parenting, educating, healing, nourishing – too much for my squishy brainiac at the moment)

The essence of my soul knows that without the soft powers, we do not exist (whether acknowledged or not). I would Iike to be part of the nudge to humanity that the soft powers are worth culturally recognized value.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about as well as how to not abandon my post. Not my blog post – I mean my post as in carrying on with whatever I am responsible for doing (from my bolt-hole apparently and YES this noun is funny to me also I seem to be more of the female Mr Fox in that scenario). Although I do abandon blog posts regularly. Blogger fail CHECK. I know, posting posts are not the point – it is an outlet for my being. Thank you for bearing witness and space for that. I am restless with grief and I suppose this is how it blooms.

I appreciate you. How are you?

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps I stopped at Chipotle as a crutch last night to grab dinner for SonHerisme and myself (MotherHerisme was Panera-ed up, don’t worry!), having app ordered for pickup. The place was packed. I could not move through the store to the pickup shelves without bumping through people. Less than half of us were masked in this packed place. Only 1 table had anyone eating inside – the rest of us were waiting to order food or picking up app orders. The orders seemed to be running about 30 minutes behind the app time. The staff were nonstop efficient superfast motion, and looked very exhausted and stressed as people began complaining about their wait time. It hurt my heart for everyone. I sent an extra $$$ tip along with prayers for peace, comfort, empathy, patience and compassion. WHAT are we doing? I’m so sorry Chipotle people. I’m so sorry frustrated customers. I’m so sorry children watching. What are we? The collapse still hasn’t hit, I suppose. *sigh* Everyone is trying so very hard and carrying so much. Too much. Or? Maybe it was an off night and I am annoyingly sensitive. Anyway – I send out more compassion, Chipotle. SonHerisme adores you and I wish you all of the positive things with the resilience and beauty of the flowers to all (grumpy customers as well).