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Feb. 12th, 2013 | 04:00 pm

A lot happened in last night's dream, but I remember three parts the most. The first and last parts are easily understood.

In the first part, I was on vacation with a bunch of other people - back in high school or college, it seemed. All I wanted to do was go in the damn pool. But things kept getting in the way - I woke up too late, we had field trip-related places to go, elevators were broken, I couldn't find my clothes. Again, it's a classic I WANT TO GET OUT OF HERE AND GO SWIMMING February feeling pinned down by my family and life and weather dream.

In the second part of the dream, some of us decided to get out of the hotel and explore. We found ourselves in a black, mired, open swamp on a cliff, overlooking a swampy black sand beach by a blackish ocean. Supposedly, it was in Maine, but really it was just bleak. I mentioned to others how I'd really longed to see this beach, how I'd heard about it before, and how happy I was to be there. It was not, however, like a black sand beach in Hawaii...it was grime and mire. I'm not sure how to interpret this section of the dream.

Lastly, I found myself in that black, swiftly moving water - which I couldn't quite distinguish between a river and an ocean inlet. All I know is I was on a log or canoe with several other people, moving along with the brackishness. Several other groups of people clinging to logs or canoes also moved ahead and behind of us. And...there was a monster in the water. It was a large animal with a fin sticking out of the water, similar to a shark, but larger and less visible. It stalked each group of people, all of whom paddled furiously to escape. But no one could escape. One by one, the monster swallowed whole and ate each group of terrified persons. At one point, I found the monster's fin heading vaguely in our direction, and I let go of the canoe and drifted away from the other people. The fin headed towards me, and holding my breath, I waited to be swallowed. 

But it didn't eat me. Instead, it brushed against me in the black water. I could feel its wet, somewhat slimy, supple flesh nudge mine as the monster lingered beside me, but then it sped away. The monster swam downstream and swallowed the nearest group of frightened folks. I made my way back to my log/canoe full of folks and they asked me how I survived. I pondered and realized...I wasn't enough of a meal for the monster. It sniffed and felt me and found me to be insufficient prey, puny and small and alone. Only groups of people, simulating larger prey, were worth the monster's time. At such point, none of us knew what to do. If we left our log/canoe and swam individually, we could survive the otherwise inevitable monster death. But without the log/canoe, we likely would not survive drifting into the ocean and could never paddle back to shore. (Why was I able to steer by myself? Because it was a dream.)

I woke from this dream with the terror of the monster still upon me. I lay in bed trying to figure out the meaning of the dream. What was that monster, that brackish black water, and why was it so fucking terrifying?

It took a half hour or so, but then it hit me. The monster was loss. The black, swift water was the unknown of time. And people...loss only attacked groups of people. When you're with others, you run the risk of the losing them, and of the pain of loss swallowing you whole. Alone, you have significantly less power, unable probably to survive ultimately, but the monster of loss will not devour you.

Lately, I've felt like I've been losing people. I have always detested loss and frequently suffered it. Almost every close friend I've ever made I have lost in one way or another, dreams have dissolved, and any hint of loss now feels like devastation. Stuttering, choking devastation. As time drags on, especially recently, I have tended to want to isolate, to cut myself off from any possible future losses. But alone...I can't do this alone, and I damn well know that.

I've dreamed I've been tortured (and felt it). I've dreamed of apocalypses, of being enslaved, and all manner of nightmares. But nothing terrifies me like loss. No dreams shake me up like losing what I hold dear.
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The Big Snow of 2013.

Feb. 9th, 2013 | 07:57 pm

Our driveway and walkways are shoveled, as well as a path to the garbage and propane tank for when we get it early next week. (The latter two were my contributions.) Our cars are uncovered and driveable. What is not plowed or driveable is the street on which our driveway is located - it is full of two feet or so of snow. It was shoulder-high on one of our neighbors' German Shepherds, so...yeah. We're stuck for now. As for the sidewalks, they're full of four feet snow without the street having been fully plowed...I have no idea what we'll do with them.

My house is on a corner, and the other street IS nicely plowed, as it is a main thoroughfare. So we can slog out to the street, just not drive anywhere.

I shoveled a 20 foot tunnel through 30" high snow in our yard, uncovering the long lost propane tank and garbage cans of the Jacobs family. Then I just fell backwards into the snow for awhile. Then I took some great pictures. Then I slogged through the unplowed street to reach my neighbors on the plowed street, taking pictures of their driveway being cleared with a tractor. By then, I was thoroughly exhausted, so I stayed over for dinner before slogging my way back home. Unfortunately, the foot path through the unplowed street was gone, so I sank one skirted leg into the snow after another, and my lungs were burning and my legs soaking wet once I finally got in the door. Plus, I left my damn camera at the neighbors, so I can not showcase the awesome pictures showing our yardstick in the snow and icicles of doom and snow plows a'plenty and the lovely tunnel I dug.

But my mom is awesome, for she made apple crisp, which was nice and warm and yummy and waiting for me when I arrived home. And my dad is awesome, because he dug my car out. (My parents' two minivans, small SUV, and my car were all just giant white mounds this morning, attached to four foot snow drifts. I helped a little, but I am in awe.)

I pushed myself with the shoveling so my parents couldn't say I was lazy. They declared themselves duly impressed, and I feel accomplished.

Tomorrow my neighbors and I participate in the Great Shovel-a-thon. They start shoveling from their house, I from our deck, and we meet in the middle to create a path between our houses. This will be a challenge, as the deck has three-four foot drifts and the door won't open, but I figure I'll just whack away with a yardstick until I can get out to properly shovel. It shouldn't be as much work as today, and then I can visit with relative ease.

This is definitely the most snow I've ever seen. Absolutely. Neighboring towns are reporting anywhere between 26" and 36" of snow, and I'd say we're comfortably in-between that. I'm...stunned. I couldn't go to bed last night as I watched landmark after landmark disappear in the yard, cars included. The snowfall rates at times were mind-boggling. I'm glad we didn't get the worst of the winds though. Shoveling may suck, but nowhere near as much as losing heat and electricity. As long as there are no emergencies before our street gets plowed, we'll be ok.

Pix to come when I get my damn camera back.
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SNOW!

Feb. 9th, 2013 | 02:10 am

Snow.

Lots and lots of snow.

Every time I go to the kitchen and peek outside, more of our numerous lawn paraphernalia have disappeared. The wind isn't too bad, but occasionally it whistles.

And I have a massive case of the munchies.

The snow is fine and the wind in such a direction that I actually felt snow coming in through the cracks of the window behind me. THAT is a new one.

I hope shoveling won't cause too much conflict tomorrow. I believe in shoveling as much as necessary to walk and drive, and doing it in a gradual fashion as needed, to ease the back pain. My mother likes to scrape the pavement clean and do it all in one go. I'll probably be sleeping when they shovel anyway, and they'll leave me things like shoveling to the garbage and neighbors and shed, which is just fine.

One of our many garden decorations is a metal cat on a stake. It's been slowly disappearing. Last I checked only the tip of its tail and arch of its back were visible. I'm gonna go check again. The tail is gone. The arch remains. 

There are dramatic icicles hanging off the streetlight. I wish I could get a good picture of it, but walking in this much snow in a skirt is...really cold and wet. I'll do my best with my zoom.

I took some pictures. Only a sliver of the cat back is left. The flower cart is almost gone. Our large wagon wheel is 4/5 covered. Our park benches are 3/4 covered. Snow is horizontal. Awesome.
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Hopefulnessicity

Jan. 5th, 2013 | 01:39 pm

Today I feel hopeful. *fingers crossed*

The fact that I passed emissions (FINALLY and just in the nick of time) AND got my Nintendo Wii yesterday probably has something to do with it. As does the fact that I've taken the first steps towards redoing my room.

I'm loving the Swordplay games on the Wii. It's good for my aggression :) Hack slice hack slice stab and no one suggests I need to see my psychiatrist ;)

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Xmas Eve

Dec. 25th, 2012 | 12:19 am

It's Xmas Eve. My bunnies are secure in their cages, along with their treats. Snow, beautiful snow, is falling peacefully outside, promising us a white Xmas. The neighbors' lights are still lit. I'm in bed with my computer, carols playing on my docked iPhone, a Mexican orange Fanta and a bag of Lindt white chocolate truffles. Santa Claus seems downright plausible.

Yep, it's all good. For right now, at least, it's all good. 

If you celebrate, may you have a wonderful holiday, or at least a tolerable one.
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Happy Fake Apocalypse!

Dec. 20th, 2012 | 11:53 pm

I used to have an obsession with the apocalypse. Not the fun kind of obsession, but the "I have OCD" kind of obsession, the kind that tortured me with repetitive thoughts and irrational fears. I used to be TERRIFIED of the date of December 21, 2012. I endeavored with all my might not to think about it, not to watch movies about it, nor all the silly documentaries about it.

Now, I sit with less than a half hour until the previously dreaded day, and I am not scared. Not one bit. If anything, I am enjoying the apocalyptic festivities, mixed in with a dollop of Xmas cheer. I am waiting until midnight to toast the end and beginning of the Mayan Long Count calendar, the end of the old and the beginning of the new, and looking forward to snickering at those who prepared so long for such an inevitable uncertainty.

Tomorrow is also the winter solstice (in the northern hemisphere, where I reside, as did the ancient Mayans), which dovetails nicely with the whole 'apocalypse' based on the end of the Long Count calendar. From a spiritual standpoint, I consider the the winter solstice the beginning of the new year, the birth of the sun, the beginning of increased sunlight which will eventually lead to the rebirth of spring. (Yes, I differ from most other neopagans on this point, who celebrate the new year at Samhain/Halloween.) The Mayans, likewise, seemed to consider tomorrow not only as an end, but also a beginning of an era, though what the Long Count eras symbolized I'm not sure.

Therefore, tomorrow, December 21, 2012, is the epitome of one of my favorite themes - death and rebirth. Death and rebirth are the motors of change, which also used to terrify me, but no longer does. Death and rebirth are promises of hope, and I embrace them both as the means of continuing existence.

My fears of the apocalypse and of change have transformed into the embrace of rebirth and new beginnings, and that is a Christmas miracle to me. After all, Jesus is yet another epitome of a deity of rebirth, which has allowed me to view the Nativity story in a more understandable and relevant light. My pagan and christian roots, and now another ancient culture's beliefs, collide into the brilliant symbolism of tomorrow -  letting the past die and embracing one's rebirth into the future. And so, let it be.

(Also...December 21, 2012 is TOTALLY the day for margaritas, dontcha think?)

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Newtown.

Dec. 16th, 2012 | 01:25 am

I'm sure I don't have to recall what happened yesterday (Friday) in Newtown. For those not familiar with my location, I live about 30-40 miles away. I have no immediate connection to the town, other than having driven through it numerous times.

I learned there was a shooting in Newtown while I was at group therapy, but I had no idea of the severity, so I chose not to think about it. I didn't learn that it was a mass shooting with several children killed until after therapy - as I was walking to my car, in fact.

Yesterday didn't start out well. It began with a dead rabbit in the middle of the road next to my house. It was a large wild rabbit...probably one I'd seen and known. As I drove to therapy, I was greeted with the sight of its exposed ribcage, with organs spilling out and one beautiful paw stuck straight into the air.

Yesterday was also PMS day, the one magical day of the month that I feel certain the entire world is doomed. Doooooooooooooooooomed. 

Needless to say, I spent most of the afternoon and evening crying after I heard the news. I mixed Spongebob in with CNN in order to relieve myself. I waited with little Kathryn's mother at the bus stop, and gave Kathryn a huge hug when she came off the bus. I also lit a candle and placed it on the front steps at night.

I thought I was probably overreacting, to cry as much as I was. Watching President Obama cry made me feel a bit better, frankly, as well as other people assuring me they had cried as well. I wondered why I was as affected as I was (other than PMS, which I didn't realize I had until this morning.)

First off - distance apparently does matter. Other school shootings have been upsetting, but when it's in your own little state, when it's in a town very much like yours, suddenly it's...no, really, here? Logically, there's no reason it shouldn't happen here if it can happen anywhere, but hearing Connecticut on everyone's lips...is weird. Those were Connecticut's people. Those were Connecticut's children.

Unlike most people, I didn't ask myself how or why anyone would do such a horrible thing as killing children en masse. I can think of several reasons a severely disturbed person would do such a thing. Maybe something horrible happened to Adam Lanza at that school. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to raze the schools I attended to the ground. Then again, he didn't attack the school - he attacked the children and teachers. Maybe he did it out of a twisted sense of compassion, making sure those children would not have to suffer the same thing he suffered, or endure the horrors of the world. Maybe he wanted attention drawn to his death and his pain, and this was the most convenient outlet to him.  

I'm not saying any of these are logical reasons to go kiill a bunch of kids...only that these could have been logical in his mind. I've thanked the universe many, many times that I have the sense of compassion and conscience that I do, because with all the violent imagery that obsesses my imagination, I am lucky and blessed to have not become a 'monster' myself. And I think that's another reason I cried. I cry for the shooter as well as the victims. I usually think of the shooters as victims themselves - of mental illness, of neglect, of abuse. I don't believe in people being inherently good or evil, only driven in one way or another by circumstance, nurture, brain chemistry. It's not them and us. This shooting is not unimaginable. And while we can never fully prevent violence, and there will always be psychopaths we just don't suspect, we gain nothing by writing off these kinds of shooters as people we will never understand. We MUST try to understand them, and not as aberrant monsters or demons, but as fellow humans.

I've always thought of schools as horrible places, obviously because of my experiences in them. To me, they were arenas into which I was routinely thrown to the lions and told this was somehow helpful. I remember well my negative experiences in middle and high school, but very ltitle of elementary school. That said, my subconscious lately has been strongly hinting that something traumatic happened to me in elementary school that I am suppressing, that I haven't dealt with. It could be a fully repressed memory, or more likely something of which I only have partial memories, the trauma of which I've suppressed. I've had images flood my brain while awake and the strongest, strangest dreams while asleep. This subconscious torrent came to a head about a week ago...and then stopped. In fact, my subconscious told me it was stopping for awhile, that it was 'done for now'. It was weird, supremely weird. But as a person who believes their life is somehow guided, I just accepted that while it was time for me to accept that something happened, it just wasn't time to remember that memory fully.

So, the notion of traumatic events in elementary school have been on my brain, producing some pretty raw nerves on which for the Newtown massacre news to land. Raw nerves, Lisa. Raw nerves. Horror happens, and children are not immune. They never have been. I remember the story of the Rwandan school during the genocide, when all the children were murdered by soldiers with machine guns. I remember the concentration camps under the Nazis, where young children were killed en masse as they were of no use. Hell, even the bible has that lovely story about Herod killing all newborns. We aren't special here.

But the fact that the massacre of children and teachers is so heart-wrenching and horrible to us reveals something wonderful - that we do not have to live with such massive violence on a daily basis. The beauty in our lives far outshines the tragedy, and that is something to treasure. And that beauty, coupled with logic and compassion, can hopefully help us heal, as well as act to prevent as many of these massacres as possible. Beauty begets beauty, and love begets love. I hope we can focus on that.
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a small poem.

Nov. 23rd, 2012 | 07:44 am

Yeah, there's a personal reason I'm posting this poem, and none of you will understand it (yet), but just in case anyone might enjoy it, I'm making the post public. I rediscovered this poem last night. I wrote it back in January, and it resonates strongly today.

A poem from 1/11/12

Stephen, I miss you.
I miss your fangs digging deep into my flesh,
burning like a razor slashing through my skin.

I miss my crimson blood against your teeth,
how it runs in currents down my body,
like water down a fountain's smooth curves.

I miss your hands, pushing against my veins,
feeling my pulse throb and race,
wiping aside my tears with strong comfort.

I miss the way you appear from nowhere,
from night air and moonlight and shadows,
like a ghost breathing into me.

Or a beast exploding inside me.

Mostly, though, I miss your mirrored eyes,
how they saw what I saw,
and absorbed the horror before me.

All the horror.
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Foster is doing well.

Nov. 16th, 2012 | 05:02 am

By way of good news, I wanted to mention that Foster the Rabbit is doing better. Today he finally started greeting me at the door again and begging for treats. He snuggled with me in bed, has been drinking more water and eating more normally. I'd say he's mostly back to his old self. :)

His eyes are still all leaky, but I'm not going to traumatize him with eye ointment for awhile. So far, he's been eating the bread I drip his liquid antibiotics on, thank goodness.

I've had offers of help for his vet bill, but I think I can swallow the cost. I want to save up the good will for bigger emergencies down the road ;)

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(no subject)

Oct. 1st, 2012 | 11:31 am

Win!

Since yesterday was all about fails, here are some wins.

Today I called to make appointments with my therapist, psychiatrist and primary care physician. 

I partially cleaned one of our closets to see what was in the 'secret' compartment in the back. Nothing terribly interesting was back there, but while I cleaning I DID find adapters to my old iPhone speaker dock. And one of the adapters works for my latest phone, so I can use that speaker dock again! And since my parents are out, I am blasting my music and very much enjoying it.

I cleaned both the bunny cages. (Bill the Bunny is probably going home to my sister today.) And I showered.

The closet looks a bit better than when I found it...you can see the floor at least. 

I've decided not to decorate the house for Halloween inside unless someone else clears all the present crap away first. I have trouble finding a place to put down my drink...jeezus it's ridiculous. I'll focus on outside. This house is haunted enough inside as it is. And no need for fake cobwebs! (I still hope my mother will clear some crap out of the kitchen so I can put up the lighted houses.)

I bought PSY's latest two albums. OMG, his music makes me ridiculously happy. The lure of Asian pop has finally snagged me. I love when my playlist goes from indie to KPOP to industrial to rock to world music. Eclectic for the win. And Muse released a new album. New music fuels me.

Ok, there, I listed some wins. Back to enjoying having the house to myself...

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