Deafeningly Loud Silence (Microblog Monday)

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Its been like this for a while.  I have been developing theories as to why it is.   I have been thinking that perhaps it is so quiet because everyone in Boise is trying not to breathe.   2012/2013/2014/ and again this year will be the year that Drs will be diagnosing us with Boise Black Lung, I am sure of it.    I have healthy lungs and I am hurting all the way through to my back.   Moving around too much causes a cough that sounds as if I am going to  keel over.   I can’t imagine how people with compromised lungs are coping.   The smell is in my nose, my clothes and everywhere you go.     But I digress,  I thought it might be the collective not breathing but then I started reading other people’s blogs and posts and they too are feeling a very odd silence.  They aren’t in Boise so it zapped my theory out of the water.   Someone suggested that the world was just taking a moment to pause before it turns its page into Fall.   I love that idea and it appeals to my sense poetry.    The blue chair has suggested the reason it seems to be resting so heavily on me is because of the how long the time has been for me since I realized I had gifts and possibilities.   It has been a long while,  it takes time to get all your ducks in a row,  and your arrow pointed in the correct direction.  So I have been “hurry upping (its a word cuz i said it is)” and then waiting.   I need school to start.  Routine to start.  I need new faces and conversations.  New ideas to bat around in my head.   I am ready and have nothing but time.   I have settled my arrow on its rest, lifted the bow and begun to pull back…  the tension getting stronger,  containing more and more energy until my bow is bent to its maximum.   With one finger above and three fingers below, I am cradling that arrow.   That arrow has every thing it needs except release.

I am just sitting with this moment,  there is a lesson in it for me or I wouldn’t be uncomfortable.   I am finding this to be the rule rather than the exception.  If I am uncomfortable its because there is something I haven’t learned yet that needs to be learned before I move on.   The tension in my bow is both painful and delicious.   And I keep running the moment that I remove my fingers from the string over and over again imagining what that release of power will feel like to me and to all the world around me.

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Open Letter to Josh Duggar…

Open letter to Josh Duggar: My prayers are with Anna and the children you brought into this world who will have to, one day see, the legacy you have left for them. Before you think I am hating on you, please take a breath. I am praying that you get REAL therapy and experience the REAL consequences of your actions. You should have been arrested once the original revelation of your molestation of your sisters and whoever else you have molested. If you have broken the law with your affiliation with this company and the women you chose to be a sexual partner, instead of your beloved Anna, you need to step up and let it happen. You seem to have already skirted around your molestation charges. You have no idea how “lucky” you are that YOU are not being institutionalized or arrested. God loves you. God also expects you to make worldly amends to those you have lied to and took advantage of. Its time to stop pitching new TLC programs and find real ways to care for that beautiful, amazing, and repressed siblings that are finding living the life your parents have expected from you all your lives. I am sorry if this ruins your family income but its time for all of you to take a class in “real life and how to deal with it”. Your parents have chosen to put every single one of you into the public eye. I hope you all mentally and physically get real with the human side of life. We can strive to be perfect according to the dogma we have been born into, but life takes over. I pray for you, for Anna and your children, for your parents who now really need to stop with the promotion of their “lifestyle” and get help with all of their children’s mental and emotional struggles that cannot be over written by snippets of the Bible and prayer. God works in mysterious ways. Perhaps He is using you to free the rest of your siblings from the expectation of perfection. I guarantee that some of your brothers and sisters are dealing with their own demons and are pretending to live a life that doesn’t fit who they have been told they are. Blessings to all.

What Are You Teaching the World? (microblog monday)

It is back to school soon!   Not just for my daughter but for me as well.  She is thriving!  I am becoming anxious.  She knows she has the momentum of “must do” and the magical “energy of youth and the world is unlimited to what you can do/be”.  She learned that from me. I am her biggest fan, I am her sounding board,  I am honest with her about the importance of showing up and presenting your best. It sort of makes me laugh, in this instance, she took the mantra and ran with it but I am struggling with learning disabilities and have no idea if I will ever walk for my A.A. in Sociology which then makes it impossible for me to graduate in the Social Work program at BSU or any where for that matter.  Numbers are going to push my head under water, while the sound of their notes (think… a really BAD 3rd grade orchestra and a brilliant light show from their colors which penetrate the water and bounce off the river bottom) and wait until my lungs betray me and make me take the last gasp before I sink into educational oblivion. (Think of a $8.00 per hour job and poverty for the last 3rd of my life.)  What is weird is that every counselor I speak to who are seasoned in their field, use computers to do the “math” stuff or hires someone to do it, because they don’t freakin’ remember the math and they don’t use it.  But the big difference is they passed, obviously, or they wouldn’t be where they are and where they have been.  That makes me want to drop to my knees and beg for Synesthesia to just leave.  I would deal with the lack of colors in the alphabet and numbers becoming silent.  I would give up  months that were different colors.  I would be sad but it would make learning so much easier in one area of my life.  The one area, with the strong hand around the back of my neck, just waiting to push me under.

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Thomas Cooper ~ August 10th 2004

the following was written on 8/10/04. Because today is the anniversary of his birth/death and because I know my friend is feeling the loss and is certain her grief is invisible to the world, I wanted to let her know that I remember. I will always remember…
How do I even begin to tell this story? So much changed in so many people’s lives in a period of 9 months. All because of a tiny life too fragile to survive outside the safety of his mother’s womb.
C was just a mother of my son’s friend. One day I over heard a conversation between them that she was pregnant, again. This would make #8. Now the natural reaction for most will be to gasp but where I come from it is not at all uncommon for a devout LDS woman to do this. If you want to be shocked then I will tell you that C is 43, thin with the skin of a 20 year old and long gorgeous hair. *That* is truly worth a gasp. She seemingly appears physically unaffected by child bearing… (*bitch*)
When I asked her son how she was doing he told me she was really sick and was bed ridden by fatigue and nausea. The latent Mormon in me immediately wanted to make a casserole… so I did. It took the form of 7 lasagnas, homemade and frozen to yummy perfection. Little did I know the night I took them to her I would be meeting my best friend. She was ecstatic and thanked me. She spoke a bit about how I had just raised the bar on active community service (big deal with us Mormons). I smiled and told her I would really rather lower it a bit and play limbo. We both laughed at each other and at the obvious chasm between our life experiences. I left her with well wishes and an offer of “call me anytime”.
Fast forward a few months. She called looking for her son. I casually asked how she was doing. I wasn’t prepared for the answer. She began to tell me the story of Trisomy 18. About her decision to carry the baby to term. Her brave voice, still full of a mother’s hope and religious faith shook me. I was moved to share my story of 1987, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and another tiny life who would never survive it’s inherent fragility. The cultural chasm was suddenly filled with the common ground of an ache from carrying a child you will never take home. Our fate was sealed that day. I knew where she was going. I didn’t want her to go alone.
As our friendship grew so did her faith in me. She began to tell me who she really was. Her inner struggles, her intense dissatisfaction of her role she had been playing in the her 41 years of living. It didn’t take long before I realized I was watching a cataclysmic change happening inside this woman. That she had chosen me to be her witness. I was humbled by the priviledge and haunted by it’s responsibility.
It was too daunting for her to consider “what comes next” with regard to the baby, so I researched cemeteries for her. She was paralyzed with fear so I compiled a list of mortuaries with financial facts. I put them in a sealed envelope and labeled it “Take to the hospital, don’t open until needed”. I delivered it to her one beautiful June afternoon. We didn’t talk about the envelope. We never have.
I remember looking at her that day and being moved by how incredibly beautiful she was. She looked perfect. I asked her if she would like any pregnacy pictures taken of her. She never had any with her other 7. I was worried the question might have been inappropriate but much to my delight she was excited by my offer. We spent an afternoon in the Botanical Gardens. It was an experience I will not soon forget. I think we both were consumed by the thick irony of how beautiful the world can look while harboring such tragedy.
Not long after that she called and asked me to take pictures at the hospital “when the time came”. I suddenly felt as if someone had knocked me to the floor. Up until that moment our babies, their deaths, our grief were all emotional in context. Suddenly, the death of the baby was tangible, it was physical. Suddenly I was back in 1987 and scared out of my mind. I just wasn’t prepared. I don’t “do” dead bodies well. I was so frightened of what my baby would look like that I refused to see him, hold him. That fear rose up inside me as I heard myself agree to do it and her gratitude on the other end.
I was the only non family member at the hospital. I waited for the news with everyone else trying to quell my personal fears. Someone came and told us that she had delivered the baby. He had never taken a breath. The family exploded in grief, I however was overtaken with self absorbed panic. I walked away to give the family privacy and found my eyes darting back and forth like a trapped animal looking for the nearest exit. When the nurse came to get me and lead me back I was clutching my camera so tight it looked as if I was about to be flung off into space if I had let go of it.
I remember this screaming crazy lady inside my head, “no no no, dead baby, dead baby!” but my feet kept walking. I entered into the room and the crazy lady was silenced. I looked into Thomas’s beautiful still face and across to my friend’s and I was again reminded and humbled. I was her witness… I set my camera and began my work. I floated around the room unnoticed and free.
I am home now. Forever changed, forever better. I went upstairs and found a old envelope of mine labeled by a forgotten nurse, “open when needed”. Inside a picture of a baby, my baby. I cried tears of grief and relief and I forgave myself for my fears so long ago.
Thomas Cooper died today. He was a harbinger of new friendships and personal growth. He exposed our failings, laid to rest our ghosts, made us weep and made us eager to seek joy. He never took a breath. This tiny person will always remain one of the most important people to have come into my life.