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|Tuesday, October 21st, 2014|
|Paul Simon's life
What I admire about Paul Simon's music and life is that he kept becoming. He kept developing and trying new things. I have held that respect for him inside of me for years.
|A good life
This morning I was up at 5 a.m. and then I was off to see Mom shortly before I went to Galena. I dropped Mom off lunch then drove back to Madison----the drive is beautiful. Galena is beautiful and I have been going there since I can remember. I love it there.
Mom fell the other night after I left. I said, "That's why you were sick yesterday."
I know her. It shook her up. I plan to make a quick trip there tomorrow night, spend the night, put the garbage out and leave at 4 a.m.
I love my time with her.
Mostly I love life.
Tonight, I played a little girl's version of chutes and ladders in the leaves. She developed 3 games and we played for 45 minutes.
I have a wonderful life as a writer. I know it.
I am living my life the way that I want to do so.
That's what matters.
I am free.
|Monday, October 20th, 2014|
|The Logic of The Fall
For my Dad's Maple Leaves
By chance, like a comet missing the
planet? my toes touched your leaves
for the first time, my bare feet
followed my command to get something
from outside to suddenly wake me up
to the new sensation of October leaves
on my soles. The first time I walked
on leaves, a message of how many more
new experiences there are to my path.
Stilled, I stood on the smooth red
orange blazoned leaves: cool touch,
not what I expected a statue pose
came from me to take in the experience
of dying leaves feeling right on the
soul of my being, lifting me with new
awareness that could not come if I walked
on water or were perfect in any way. To
leave our being to the ways of chance?
Everything happens for a reasoned season.
|Major Breakthrough on my Christmas Novel
I have been working on my Xmas novel for 4 years. I didn't know that I had A.D.D. so I would long for a focus and I would wonder if I could do it.
Now, as I map out and work on 3 novels I know I can do it and I have a focus thanks to a great doctor who didn't just go with the flow but who asked questions and got me on the right med.
So Saturday I went to Galena to get some things for Mom and in a parking lot I heard a woman tell a man that he was always angry, hating and wanting to find and that she was not going to live like that.
I instantly thought, "Oh my god, that is why Slaughter hates M.J. she helped a woman get away from him who said the same things as the woman in Galena."
I had been searching for a reason that Slaughter wants to do M.J. in. I shook my head at the idea that he wanted her for his woman because M.J. would never be with someone like Slaughter. I just wouldn't let my writing go there.
So not only does Slaughter want to destroy Christmas in SHullsburg he wants to destroy Weedy Oak because M.J. and Weedy become friends.
Saturday night I took a few moments and wrote out the scene where the woman says to Slaughter. It all feels right and congruent now.
My nephew, Andy, is going to illustrate the covers of my books. He's Tom's son.
|My dad's gift to my mom
Yesterday morning I drove back to Mom's. I had to be in Madison Saturday night but I returned to finish up things for her.
She had a card for me with a gift saying, "thank you for the many trips you make to see the grouch."
I said, You aren't the grouch I am the grouch.
I didn't want to take the gift she insisted.
We had a lovely day. I finished laundry for her and made her bed upstairs and one on the couch.
I introduced her to the most important man in my life, Harold. He is a vacuum. Mom said, 'He has a big mouth."
I said, "Yes, and he likes to get the dirt on people."
I also packed her 5 lunch bags full of 2 fruits and 3 veggies, sliced little and peeled so she can easily eat them. The bag had some nuts, yogurt tubes and chocolate. It's to go along with what else she eats for the day.
She said to me, "I don't have to take a ride to see the leaves; I can look outside the back yard."
She has a beautiful backyard. My dad planted the trees she sees as well as my 2nd oldest brother.
|Saturday, October 18th, 2014|
|Notre Dame's Biggest Fan
A letter to our Dad
Your dying Maple bleeds red
leaves, a palm reader read
their veins, a deep link to
the earth's heart on their
main artery to the twig that
let them go for compost for
the future's life. Their death
smells intoxicating an irony of
nature that the drying up earth
evokes smells of warmth. Your
leaves fall to go under winter's
bed of snow, the poor man's
fertilizer you used to say of
the white cover above your
maples. The leaving of your
trees bleed memories of your
joy. We smile and repeat your
Autumn rituals to be with you.
Tonight the Irish fight their
game, scattered here and there
we all will pay attention to
be together with you rolling
your hands like a boxer, smiling
with joy of life, "Aint it fun!"
|Friday, October 17th, 2014|
The other day it was the first gray day after the sunny weekend and I texted my Clarke friend, "Sun" and she texted back, "day" and we kept going for the past 2 or 3 days until I told her I was going to be in Shullsburg and don't have phone service.
So I would find myself laughing at things she wrote. IT was just wonderful.
I also texted my younger brother wondering if a Clarke friend who he rememebers and likes from my freshman year could stay with me at his home. He said to consult his wife for possible days.
So I texted my friend who has a son at Clarke now saying, you can spend as much time as you want with your son and we can meet at my brothers in the in between times.
I love my nephews and I have another Clarke friend in Dubuque.
Dubuque was beautiful today. I go there and see memories of my French Aunts, my Irish Aunts and my family.
I am content and grateful for the legacy my parents have given me.
I love Shullsburg I always have. It's home to me.
And this weekend I begin reading Callen Harty's book.
|The Holy Dark and Irish Spirituality
I am happy. A joy sounds itself inside of me. I lean on her; she must be a woman. She is strong and full of laughs. She is happy for others happiness. I visit her every day and we have become great companions. I love my joy. I love others joy.
I know there are terrible things happening in the world. I pray for people's suffering all of the time. I am not blind to the cruelty to others.
But to make their suffering about me, and not live out a life of joy in spite of it all, is simply using someone's suffering to get attention when you reach my age.
Today I took Mom to get her hair done in Dubuque. A lovely student who used to be a CNA tends to her. It took 4 hours. And I gave the student $7.00 for a tip. I would have given her ten but I didn't bring one in as I thought I had done.
This student freed me up so I could go get groceries and toiletries for mom.
Yesterday, I received a call from my younger brother. I stopped what I was doing to see what he wanted when I realized he had called. I thought maybe something happened to Mom.
He said that he and his boys are going to come to get Mom to take her on a drive to see the leaves in Stage Coach Trail and the tri state area.
Dad and Mom used to take us to see the leaves.
Maripat volunteered last night, that Dad was like a little kid when the leaves turned.
I said to a little girl yesterday whose family has a beautiful old Maple tree, "I bet people come from all over to see your tree."
She asked, "Why would they do that?"
And I realized I was from an Irish Culture where trees are like Gods and offer hope and rebirth and she is not from that culture.
My father drove me to Milwaukee in 1988 and he broke the lull in our conversation on I94 East to say, "Now there is no hurry, just take a course at a time, but get your education so that you look at the trees differently."
I do. My family does. My hometown does.
My oldest brother picked up a leaf on the ground to bring back to me from JFK's grave this past summer. It's waiting for me in Milwaukee in a jar.
My brother, Tom, told me in 1988 when I said, 'I am poor." he said, "You're not poor, Terri."
I am wealthy. I love my life. I love my joy and other people's joy. I am sad for people who suffer and hope to help them but right now I am to support my mother's care so she can live out her own spirit in her own home.
But my family and I see the trees differently because of our dad.
Once Ted Tyson was visiting my Dad with Patrick and a farmer handed Ted who played the piano a piece of petrified wood and the farmer said with pride that the wood had turned as hard as a rock and could not be destroyed.
And Ted challenged the wood with his fingers and it crumbled in his hands and he reportedly looked shocked and horrified (sad for the farmer) and my dad started laughing. He would tell that story of Ted.
No wonder I love the Holy Dark it is time with my Dad's spirit and my family's Irish Spirituality that even Tom practices and my little brother will practice it tomorrow taking mom on a trip to look at the leaves.
|The Last Leaf
I had to change the poem below by taking out O'Henry. I went home from the Middleton Library the night I wrote it and I thought, I think the poem I am talking about is by Oliver Wendal Holmes "The Last Leaf".
My mother taught me of the poem. We have had many discussions on it and now she is the Last Leaf of her friends.
|Wednesday, October 15th, 2014|
|The Apparition of A Ghostly Leaf
For the Oak Tree Outside my window that has been my teacher in this Holy Dark
Beneath the dried blood leaf that
burned red in the limbs of bronze
appeared a ghostly leaf, an image
of backbone. A larvae ate the
foliage of the steadfast Oak's.
Just one leaf of leaves, I looked
up at the skeleton of your strength
in that natural torn, your spine spoked
strength in your tender palms of
sun catching and transpiring water
from your rooted wood. A teacher,
in the midst of leaves not eatened,
showed me how survival spines from
the back bone of our believing. No
longer shall I wow myself with
wonder on how "The Last Leaf" poem
compared oak to hold, you showed me now
in the spine of your tones, you spirit
your blades with survival spokes
you know how to leave with backbone.
I love poetry and the word, Spoke, is meant as a homonym to our speaking/voice and to also Full Definition of SPOKE
a : any of the small radiating bars inserted in the hub of a wheel to support the rim
b : something resembling the spoke of a wheel
|A mutual friend !
Last night I was harassed where I live. I opened my car door and calmly said, "I prefer you stop harassing me."
I then searched for his name just to know with whom I am dealing.
So I found a name and I looked on facebook for it. Then, I saw that someone extended a friendship link to me and the only person we had in contact was that name.
My life is full of ideas and focus. They are not going to stop harassing me. But right now there game is to harass me so that I protest so they can say that I harass my harassers.
If women went through this in a work situation we would be appalled.
I don't care anymore.
I just pretend they are figments of my imagination. I had clients who saw people who weren't there. Now, I pretend they are just hallucinations.
They try to use my sense of justice against me.
I watched Lisa Ling's expose on the "Secret World of Criminal Informants" In the end nothing is enough for the authorities. The people didn't' get their charges dropped but they got killed or imprisoned.https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=lang_en&q=lisa+ling+informants&btnG=Search&lr=&gws_rd=ssl
I don't seek revenge. "Vengence shall be mine says the Lord." And they actually have it worse than I do because they will be lied to and used and re used and get nothing out of it but exposure to the East Side of Milwaukee.
They hear me pray, "Jesus forgive people."
I don't have to forgive. I tell them in my bugged condo, "I understand that the divine seeks you out so I don't seek revenge."
This will not be ending any time soon.
I use it as an opportunity to focus on what matters.
I can't sit in my car to take in the beauty where I live because they harass me so today I parked by Tenney Park for a bit. That way they can't twist my actions into something against them.
I seek no revenge.
Monica used to say to me at Clarke, "Terri, you have vision."
I came to Madison, they followed me, I knew I had to let people think I was crazy because no matter where I went they went and the best thing they did was go to the places I loved and that loved me. Thank you for biting that bait.
And so here we are and I am happy. The Lisa Ling expose tells me that indeed in the end you will meet your demise.
|Tuesday, October 14th, 2014|
|And my oldest brother, Tom, said
So I said to him when he and his son arrived at Mom's a week and half ago.
"The latest on me is that I have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit. And Now I am on medication that makes me focused."
Tom said, "Oh, no."
That was his humor.
|My sister wrote wonderful words to me
I see a change in you since you started your ADD med. You've always been perceptive, and that can be a really difficult thing when there is so much to perceive that it's hard to tease out what is most important or relevant. With the med you are better able to do that now and it just gives me joy to see you enjoying life so much more!
I love you so much!! I can't wait to see you again! I am so blessed to have you for my sister and my friend!
|Sunday, October 12th, 2014|
I dream of vinyl flooring.
Oh, did you think it was the beginning of a poem?
I am going vinyl.
I spoke with my sister, Maripat, when I visited her in August about vinyl. I have learned since then that vinyl has gone high tech and can be made to look like wood.
I want ease of care in my place. I will get an area rug. and if Mom visits roll it back so she doesn't trip on it.
Yesterday I got her to agree to get a wheel chair. I said, "It doesn't have to be all or nothing." I can push it while you walk and then when you want to sit you can sit in it and I'll push you and then when you want to get up you can."
She is spending too much time alone. She is not high maintenance. I want to bring her up with me. I said, "You would have all of your news shows."
Anyway I dream of vinyl.
I used to say, "I don't do plants. I don't do animals. I write."
That's the kind of place I want. Low maintenance where I can go in and write and not fuss around.
I quickly stopped by to drop off a little something for my two Dubuque nephews yesterday.
They are in 8th and 6th grade. The 8th grader has been sick. I said, "I am not going to hug you because I don't want to take it to Grandma."
8th grader said, "Air hugs."
I said, "oh" and I hugged myself as if I were hugging them.
I love my nieces and nephews.
My heart bursts with love for each of them.
The youngest one who is the baby of the nieces and nephews was excited that he was going to a paintball place to be shot by paint balls.
He loves me with joy. And he lost his beloved Grandmother on his mother's side so it's important that I show up with tokens of love for him. This is my own judgment.
Then, on facebook Dylan thanked me for going to 3 shows which he doesn't have to do. and he thanked his cousin Andy for "ripping it with us." Us being the band.
I then wrote Scott on that thread that I wanted to bring Andy to meet him. Scott's in the music industry and has a wall of fame (experiences) with other rock bands. Scott played and sang at Andy's parents wedding.
We are all so happy that my oldest nephew and his wife had successful surgery for the baby in San Francisco.
My other nephew has rented an apartment for them in Minneapolis where she can stay close to the specialist. We just have to get her through December.
My Clarke friend is going to adopt a child with needs. She told me, "People just drop off their kids with special needs at the door of the social services."
She said, "I know because I am in the field."
She is still licensed as an adoptive parent.
All of this pro life babble.
Do you know that women who feel bad about having an abortion would feel bad about anything?
They have that type of personality.
People like to talk about how hard it can be on women. Sure it wouldn't be an easy decision but that type of woman is the type that has to regret every damn decision she has ever made and usually it is an attempt to keep the focus on her.
I am not moved by the argument that it is hard on women.
But I am moved that there is a loving force in the universe who receives the aborted souls with love. It's not as bad as white men make it seem.
God is love.
|Saturday, October 11th, 2014|
Two women hurt by the clergy of the Catholic Church sat in Perkins in Dubuque.
Years ago when we sat there (my friend and I) it was late night and we had dark chocolate cake.
Today We laughed at life. We talked of art. I invited her to hear Dylan and the band in Maquoketa next time they play. I said, "I am sure you remember Scott when you see him, he was Patrick's roommate at Clarke."
I told her that I saw the Tyson's in Madison when Dylan played that Ted told me that Clarke had to bring back Carol Blitgen out of retirement because the hired professor was not connecting with the students.
Carol Blitgen changed the world one student at time.
I hated school; I didn't know until this year that I had attention deficit. I told my mom, "They just made you sit there for hours."
Cath told me today, "Imagine if you were born in China they would have tied you to the chair."
I said, "They would have beheaded me."
I then told her about the beheadings that happened first to the Marquette Alum and then others. I said, "It changed my life; it made me realize deeply that nothing I am going through is like what others are going through." Children being sold into sex slavery kills me.
I know that kids are safe with me. I don't do mental games with them. I don't try to control them. And there is no abuse from me. They are safe.
I am a successful aunt. I love my nieces and nephews and they love me.
I didn't want kids though I love them.
So about Carol Blitgen being pulled out of retirement when she just went into it last year. I said to Cath, "Ted told me, 'they had the retirement party for her.'"
It was a big deal; students from the past came. People who were always against her work suddenly loved her. It was vogue to do so.
Cath said, "Oh, that's right, I wanted to go to that."
I said about Ted saying they had the retirement "Mr. Holland's Opus" party for her (my words not his) I said to him, "Well, it's like having your funeral before you die."
Like him, Cath laughed.
She changed my life. The first day of the Philosophy of Art, she walked in wearing corduroy pants and a collared shirt and she asked, "What is art?"
She said every one ball up a piece of paper and bomb the person if you disagree with the answer but you must be willing to stand up and be bombed."
It was the most exciting day of class I ever attended.
Bombs flew at Tim Tyson who was the brave one to stand up and say it first.
By the time I spoke they were out of bombs and I said, "Art is a catalyst in that you are never the same once you experience it."
And yet you go on.
I love art. I love my friends who like to talk art and not the mundane of the group. I love my friends who can be and not have to talk. I love my friends who listen to me when I speak and not just use me for a therapist.
She had us read MRS STEVENS HEARS THE MERMAIDS SINGING Mrs. Stevens was a writer who told a young want to be writer who was hurt by a male professor in a sexual experience by being dumped and forsakened as if it didn't happen. She told him, You must try to understand the other if you want to be a writer......
I said to my friend, "I still feel Catholic inside."
She said, "So do I. It took me along time to get there."
Tears welled in my eyes at the beauty of her truth as she spoke of forgiving those who violated her.
I said that I am not moved by the religious and the clergy who lament as if they are chosen and above it all "How can one be a religious and be of this world?" Oh gag me with a spoon of self absorbtion.
God so loved the world, the secular world, that he offered some energy to it in the form of a male and many others to follow and that world was the secular world not some special chosen island where these perpetrators torment and hurt people.
By the end we were speaking of art. And what we planned to do creatively next.
She is a great friend.
I bought a vacuum. Life goes on. IT's all about dust.
Oh the sun ! It is beautiful off to Dubuque to be with an old Clarke friend. Oh, Dubuque by the river is gorgeous in Fall
Dylan performed on the main stage of the King Biscuit Blue's festival yesterday.
My 2nd youngest nephew is sick in Dubuque with the flu. I am taking him tea ! and other things !
Loving life !