Friday, November 30, 2012

Appendicitis, or Death By Puppies

I am a self-proclaimed doctor-phobe.  So when I had a pain inside my GI tract that I could not figure out, accompanied by fever for 30 hours with no let-up I went to the ER.

Something strange is that during that whole entire time I was in pain I never drank Effective Micro-Organisms or Kombucha Vinegar, both of which I had plenty of.  Neither did I take colloidal silver.  My mind forgot that I ever knew what to do in such a situation.  I wonder if it was because of the puppies.

My mind had gone temporarily insane (again, I know, sigh) with a desire to find a little brother for our dog, Izzy.  I fantasized about a palm-sized pup, a rat terrier, that would be like a miniature version of Izzy, so that we could form like a russian nest of dolls when we cuddled.  Imagining myself with Micah and Ana in their footsie pajamas, and then Izzy with a miniature Izzy tucked in there, all warm and snuggly on the couch was a beautiful, and powerful image to me!

Erik said he only wanted a rat terrier.  So I scoured PetFinder.  But I also was looking at ALL of the dogs, especially the small ones, and the pit bull ones, and the puppies for a long time.  I felt pulled, called.  When I finally felt like I had honed in on the puppy that was "the one", I became like a bloodhound.  Each time I would think I found *the one.*  Erik could tell I was in a bit of a frenzy, and said, maybe he would consider a rat terrier.  So I finally searched late into the night and found the perfect puppy in San Diego.  But I had stayed up way way too late in the night to be able to fill out an application.

The next morning I woke up and after taking Noah to school, worked like a mad woman on the *perfect* application.  I studied the rescue organization's website, read all the profiles of the people who run it, looked at all the pictures of the animals available for adoption---which didn't include the one I was interested in!  I convinced myself that there were other dogs that they had that would work just as well.  Dogs that were young, small, good with cats and kids.  But Erik said only a rat terrier.  So that narrowed it down to the one that I really wanted (already adopted, but at the time I didn't know that) and one that I was less interested in.

All this web surfing and application filling out took time, and I was also feeding Ana and Micah in between time.  I was so focused, madly, on the puppy situation that I did not eat anything or drink anything until well after noon.  The first thing I drank was milk!!!!  I am shocked at myself!  Kefir would have been a much smarter choice.  I could already tell that a cramp was going to set in, just based on the knowledge that so much time had passed since I woke up at 7am without my ingesting anything.  I thought that if I put more food in my stomach that would help to avoid the cramp.

I ate a half an avocado and a boiled egg yolk.  I drank some water too.  The cramp started up almost right away.  I figured it was gas and it would pass as the food went down.  So I just waited for the food to go through me.  It made it out the next morning, but the cramping was so bad all night that I couldn't sleep.  Just fits of sleeping.  Usually sleeping made it go away.  Then I thought pooping would make it go away and it didn't.  THAT was when I should have realized, oh shit, you have an infection----massive probiotics and colloidal silver back and forth-----but ideally, I should have done that from the get-go!

I have a beautiful dark brown bottle of Effective Microorganisms that has been left languishing on the top shelf of my pantry.  I have kombucha vinegar, one of the most potent immune boosters on earth, the effect of ignoring my kombucha for a couple of months, and I did not take any of that while I was in pain.  Why not?

Why did I forget about any possible herbs that could have soothed my irritated GI: slippery elm, turmeric, neem, all of which I have.

I don't know.  Fear, I guess.  Fear paralyzed my brain.  I couldn't separate my pain from my experience.  Kombucha and nettles had been out of my daily regimen for so long.  Ironically, it was in neglecting the kombucha that the vinegar was produced, which is helpful for my healing now, and could have possibly prevented this whole occurrence.  I don't need any more of my GI tract removed to know that I have access to deep therapy through EM and kombucha.  I don't need to feel helpless in such a situation again.


Erik and I were musing on what if someone had appendicitis 100 years ago?  And we agreed that it likely meant death.  I found out that my paternal grandmother, Mary Jane's, father died from appendicitis in 1921, down in Mexico, where he was working for his church.  I hope he wasn't doing something as trivial as I was when his got set off.  I wonder if he felt stressed out that day.  Did people feel responsible for their health back then?  Did he ever tell himself not to work so hard, to slow down, to take care of himself?

Because I certainly felt that this was my body's way of demanding space.  Now no one can ask me to do anything.  But if I had mistreated myself that way, by eating poorly and ignoring my body's signals, less than a hundred years ago, i would be dead.  I bet the same is true for you for some illness you've had.  This is profound.

"You're *just* now realizing this?  Honey!  Get with the times!" I can hear my husband say to all this.

But truly, illness is a kind of little death.  The body breaks, but the mind says, no, we can fix this.  Death changes.  Being in the hospital, you know that it is a common death conduit.  You can see how we all keep going back there, like a mothership.  And how easy they make it for someone to feel comfortable dying with them.  If I never see them again, I will be happy.  I want to learn, to be wise.  They got me this time, but I can do it, I can stay away.  I can remember powerful medicines.

Death by puppies.  They got me with puppies.  Erik told Izzy that we can only handle one of her kind at a time.  Her kind is too powerful.  They made mom sick.  It is true.  One dog is too much power already.  And one cat works to balance that one dog.  two spinning around works just right for us.

for now.  ;)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Finding Peace with the 2012 Apocalypse

Through a CNBC show about the 2012 I finally understand a way to think about the 2012 apocalypse.  Breathe.


Yes, I feel affected by the shift in the Mayan calendar!  There, I said it.

But here's what I understand.  That having a deadline is good for human culture.  It gets people thinking and focusing on change and results.

That is what the role of these kind of events is.  To stir up people's sense of motivation.  To stir the coals under the fires of humanity.

We are inherently slow, which is generally a good thing.  We don't want to be changing at the whim of popular thought.  But sometimes change is needed at a deeper level.  At a moral and ethical level.  Where people choose to stand on the side of a kind of idealistic truth, in the face of potential political backfire.  Where people choose to stand on the side of people instead of money.

This shift will be very painful and very messy.  Families pulled apart, and new families created.  People making wrong decisions, but thinking they are making the right ones, and people making the right decisions, but thinking they have it wrong.  Then seeing the destruction that they have unknowingly sown in their wake.  But seeing people more clearly now as they start to separate themselves from people who shade them and link up with those who illuminate.  Apologizing to those they have hurt, but without the self-effacing martyrhood, just acknowledgment of behavior and moving on, into a supportive community.

Also, noticing the complete tragedy of human existence.  Each of us attempting to subdue the world by categorizing people into good and evil.  The hippies attempted to remove the evil, and say Love is All.  Evil sins are just human ways, we all do this stuff because we are all just wild and free apes, like Jane Goodall's clan of Flora and Frodo and Figg.  But if I am offended by evil, then I am equally offended by the good angels.  If the devils are humans then the angels are too.  If someone comes across as morally superior then I have to question that.  If someone comes across as ethically superior, then I have to question that.  Doesn't that go against human nature?  Then I have to see peaceful warriors, like lamas, as special humans, outside the realm of normal humans.  Normal humans act like grumpy jerks and snappy bitches to their spouses and children.  Monks and murderers are both outsiders.  And yet they are both humans.

Also, Buddha's teachings would be meaningless if he meant them to be for only special humans with special abilities.  Same thing for Jesus' teachings, but the Catholic saints are supposed to be extra special, outside of human nature.  But I digress.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Get a Job, Part II

I didn't apply for the job, because I realized, after reading the listing, that the hours are not evenings and weekends, but include evenings and weekends.  The job is leading nature walks around county parks for senior citizens and stay-at-home-folks who like to be talked to about nature-y stuff.  Mostly these walks take place during the daytime, but sometimes they take place on evenings and weekends.  Of course, that wouldn't work since I am the child watcher, which I prefer anyway.

So thinking back to my earlier thought conclusion that my life is ugly when viewed through the lens of an ambitious, career-oriented person.  First off, today i really don't care at all if it is viewed by someone else as ugly, it's my life and i don't have to apologize to anyone for anything.

I think, that I felt that my own husband viewed my life that way (he doesn't).

Yesterday I asked him, "How will you connect with all people?  This is the Shift, and if you don't expand yourself to be connected with all humans, you will miss out and you will continue the rest of your life shackled."

His face so beautiful when he receives the truth, radiates a sprite-ish smile, like a child who has been tickled, I laugh.  He is bent over, reaching into the fridge, looking up to his left side, so his face is even pinker than usual as the friendly creases appear, but without the laugh I expect in return.

"I can't.  It's not normal.  It's not natural.  It's not who I am.  Read Cormac McCarthy and you'll understand who I am."

Later that night we are clearing dinner and Old Nebercracker (think Eeyore) is watching 60 Minutes, during the commercial breaks of some football game of course, and the story is about the innate bias of baby humans.  The experiment was elegant.  Offer baby (age appeared to be around 6-months) cheerios or graham crackers.  Baby chooses cheerios, for example.  Then show two different colored cat puppets, each eating either cheerios or graham crackers, to baby.  Offer baby to play with one or the other cat.  Baby chooses the cat that eats cheerios.  Next show baby the cat that ate graham crackers trying to open a box.  Two toy dogs, each wearing different colored shirts, either help or hurt the cat.  Which toy dog would baby like to play with?  The one that hurt the cat that ate graham crackers!  The researchers concluded that it meant that the babies wanted to punish the cat who chose a food unlike their choice.  The way the blue-shirt-dog punished was by stomping on the cat, who flew through the air before landing on his head.  I wonder if babies thought that looked like fun, rather than punishment, but that is not the point.  Babies prefer people who like the same things as them.  This is a survival mechanism, no doubt, to be appearing at such a young age.

Erik did not miss the opportunity to link this baby study to what we were talking about earlier.  That people cannot connect with all of humanity.  I told him it was evidence that babies were corrupting our society.  Either way, I see his point.

And still I wonder, does this mean I won't make it through the Shift?  Pretty sure this means it's a no-go.  But I always imagined that I would be one of the ones left behind.  I start to look at my life and think that I see patterns that show a tendency toward darkness, like somehow I strove for authenticity and artistry and sublime tendencies and goodlove, but in the end I came up short.  "Nah, you just go on," I feel like I'm saying to all my enlightened soul brothers and sisters, "I'll be fine right here."  Because I always felt the most connected to the earth dwellers, the mud slitherers, the moles and weasels, the creeping sort.

And this is the point in my thought process where I feel deeply connected with my Catholic Spanish matriline.  My mom's mom is a lifelong Catholic and as she is dying she feels that she will never go to heaven because she is such a horrible sinner.  How different is *my* thought process from that? Pretty much the same thing.  Hmmm...  Now I see it, but can I step out of it?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Adventures of a Wandering Nun, Continued

When I said that I am a nun, I should clarify.  I am not a nun, like what you think of.  I don't belong to any church, nor am I a religious person.  I am a "nun", which means none.  I claim no one as a dependent.  I have no children, and I have no affiliation to any company.  Kind of like a journey-man.  Nuns can be men or women.  And there are many different classes of nuns.  Musical nuns.  Religious nuns.  Artist nuns.  I am classified as a Wandering Nun because I have no official home.  I technically "beg" for all my food and needs, but there are many organizations set up for people like me.  Ever since the population started declining there have been safe havens set up for people like me, who are registered peace-makers.

Nowadays, mostly the upper crust have children, the matrons and the wealthys.  It is a very difficult process to apply for children, even though the government needs them, because of all the litigation that was in place from back when there were problems with child-napping.  Fortunately, there has been much peace, but the government takes a while to change, as you know.

I was born to a very nice couple, the Gats'.  My mother was nurse, a Wandering Nurse actually.  And my father-mother was an engineer.  She worked on perfecting the symbiosphere during her working days, now retired.  Technically, she only worked on the biographical interface section, but nonetheless an important role.  In her retirement she mostly works on her hobby of broken-fixing, anything broken she fixes it!

I am writing this account to entreat you to take care of your sons, your boys, your men.  To care for them and to teach them peace.  You see, boys are no longer allowed in our world, they were outlawed in the Treaty of Wallace, back in 2448.  It said that no person who actively engages in war of any kind shall be deemed stable for the Peace Process and will be removed from the communal society.  Since the discovery of Optional Parthenogenesis we have all been subject to the laws of No Boys, which went into effect soon after the treaty.  Even though the population started going down, since boys were proven to be statistically more likely to undergo a psychological transformation that led to violence, they were made illegal in the communal society.  All living men were given Matron status, but no boys were allowed to be created any more, since all reproduction acts had to be registered anyway, the government had the ability to approve or deny any babies born.  At first the people were joyous at the thought of a peaceful society, even the men were joyous about the thought of letting go of war, but as time progressed there was some change in general thought.  There was a revolt and even a secession, which is why Southland is one of the places that is forbidden for even Wandering Nuns, too many Menn, too dangerous.

But I will talk about that more later, before I tell you about what I found, I have to go back to when I first graduated from school, and started out on my journey.

I was the typical age of 27 when I matriculated with my degree.  Now my card says, Hipolex Bangle, pod---which means philosopher of doctory.  I don't know why they still use those old suffixes, I'm a nun for goodness sake!  That means I am eligible for free travel and free healthcare---yea, even that is still something you still have to pay for!  As a nun, I enjoy the ability to ride any bus or train for free, with the expectation that I will teach peace wherever I go.  If there are children in a town, then I may be expected to teach some lessons before I can move on, but generally I move around with a great amount of freedom.  Which is why I chose this profession!

My mom and dad were a little sad that I wouldn't be continuing the lineage, but most people my age are not as interested in continuing the reproduction acts as much as our parents were.  I do believe strongly in peace, and I'll be the first to rail off the four agreements of peace----right mind, right body, right morals, right society----but after my existence is over, I am ready for it to end.  I see that human stain that my history teacher talked about and I am ready for the great sleep that Gran used to talk about in our evening parables.

One thing that I will avoid for sure is the human love cycle.  As a Nun I have taken an oath not to accept any acts that bind me to another human, for I promise (under threat of losing my status) to serve all humans equally.  Some people have a hard time with that.  My sister, Aloysia, married soon after her matriculation and they are in the process of applying for a reproduction act in this moment.  But I've decided to let go of the human cycle after this go-round.  All the ones who are here on earth are perfect in my mind.  All I hope to do is spread the cycle of peace and then take my piece when I'm done.

More later, I have to go study.


I suddenly realized how the experience of life consists of experience and memory, and the memory is what get bent, twisted, painted, and formed into art.  The shapes, the sequences, the sections all get transformed into something in an attempt to make reality bearable.  The memories.  Can they get purged, transformed?

Painting is a shortcut way.  Sculpting even shorter.  Words torment the mind, with their easy availability and their tantalizing waltz when spoken from others' lips.

What is it you want to say?  I don't want to say anything, I just want to purge, to evacuate, to exhaust all the memories of the past, to cleanse the unlikeable, the less smooth, the uncomfortable.

Just say it!  When I went to therapy I always found my words all tripped up.  How to explain what happened over the last week and how it relates to my entire life in one hour felt so immense, so many options, so many ways to go about the task that my mind froze up.  Everything that came out of my mouth sounding so pithy, somehow a shell of the original event, unable to accurately cast the proper shade to my emotions at that moment when such-and-such event with so-and-so person made me feel in such a way that revealed some key to unlocking my increasingly insuppressable anxiety.

Then, perhaps it was just in the moment that I could not find the right words.  Perhaps, just perhaps, if I were to write everything down I could select the perfect word from a whole basket of words, at my fingertips, but then the memories get chopped up into a salad of bits and pieces, failing to come together into a memorable, savory experience.

Just write it.  Even if it's the worst ever.  Okay, here goes....

That couch.  The material of that couch.  If I can start by describing the material of that couch, perhaps we could get somewhere.  A couch from childhood.  Still you have no inkling of what it looked like.  The material was scratchy plaid.  Plaid for sure, various shades of tan and brown manmade material threads, acrylic perhaps?  Tan and brown interwoven with white.  The material was scratchy for sure, but not so scratchy that it was uncomfortable to sit on, the way some wool blankets, like Pendleton blankets, scratch your bare skin.  This was scratchy material, but also rough, in the way that a couch salesman might indicate that the material was resistant to spills and stains because it was a rough material.  This couch, this rough brown couch, is what could have cradled me into existence.  This is my earliest memory.  My face pressed against the back of the couch so as to block out any other visual experience in my field.  And within this couch is my dad. He might as well BE this couch.  Scratchy brown plaid.

This memory of this couch was brought to my attention when I was a teenager and I went to the coffee shop with my high school friend to listen to jazz.  We smoked pot in the car, after it was parked in front of a little house in the old downtown suburbs.  Then we walked to the cafe to listen to the jazz.  I sat at the little table in the cafe, with my little purchased coffee drink, with my face propped up by my right arm resting on my right cheek bone, my jaw slacked with the effect of the cannabis, listening to the jazz and seeing that couch and other long-lost childhood memories washing over me.  In some ways, the memories were fleeting, they would barrel down on me and I would be immersed in feelings of joy and confusion, surrounded by old maid cards where I could see every pair, every dole occupation, the fisherman, the carpenter, the florist with her tabby cat, and then in other ways the memories would stamp themselves upon my mind in a way that couldn't have happened without the drug.  The very act of recalling them, made them more available to me for later dates.

I'm starting to see the same thing with dreams.  If I can remember them then they become so much more a part of my real life.  I can relate to them in the same way that I would to a long-lost memory, trying to turn it around in my mind to see the different angles.

But the thing about childhood memories is that they don't have very many sides to them.  They remain one-sided, from the side of the child, that imperfect human.

When I ran down that hill to see the neighbor's dog and it jumped on me and I fell under it's great hairy weight, I will always be the one who fell in that memory.  But my challenge, as an adult is to see it from another point of view, that of the benign, omniscient adult.

Get a Job!

I am letting my kids watch more than an hour of television, since the first time I implemented the law, about a month ago---the law of only one hour of television per day.  It is under the guise of "applying for a job online", specifically, a job leading nature walks for the county, sporadically and intermittently, on weekends and evenings, which would work perfectly for me.  Except that I am writing this instead, because I had a revelation.  And it wasn't pretty.

My life is not pretty, not just not pretty, but ugly, from the point of view of someone who is ambitious.  If I am spending each moment playing with my children, it appears to come across as lazy.  Being in the moment, in those moments of complete imagination, no beginning and no end, requires a rejection of all the voices begging to be listened to---the laundry voices, the food voices, the earning-money voices, the painting-writing-creating voices---in play there is no camera to record.  Have you noticed that whenever you try to capture your kids playing cute or peacefully or imaginatively on camera, the effect seems to be a complete dissolution of the height of the moment?  Only by staying in it can you experience, and then attempt to recreate it later, if possible, and even then it feels like shoring up a sand castle as the tide comes in.

There is no way to capture that spark of the moment, and yet there is the gold of life, there is the motivation, in that nugget of time where new words and loving emotions pour together in sync, creating a fountain of moments that you drink in readily, attempting to file as much of it away for the difficult moments when everything feels halting and rough.

The reason I felt that my life was not pretty was because my partner, my husband, my soul-mate, my one-and-only brought me a job listing which sounded perfect for me.

Lead nature walks.  On evenings and weekends.  Pays well.  I balked.

"What, are you never going to get a job?  Because someone has to stay home and walk the dog and make dinner?" he asked me.

I just stared from under my cocoon of bedcovers.  Too dumb, too un-witty, too struck to say anything.

"We had an unsaid agreement when we got married.  Both of us are going to work!"

I felt that my life was ugly.  That my lack of ambition was unsightly, unseemly, un-something.

"You have to think about your career!  You can't be away from work for too long!"

What's a job anyway?  Just another way to experience this old world.  Why do I feel so separate?  Perhaps it's time for me to jump back into that world.  I just don't feel ready.  Uncertain.  But that's kind of normal for me.