labelleizzy: (Default)
I'm supposed to have a list of goals for the therapeutic process. I did write some of them down, and I'll add them either here or in my bullet journal once I have my head in order.

I was thinking earlier today about jobs I've held, and my favorite job. And why it was my favorite job, and I wanted to break it down a little, in hopes of reproducing the conditions someday. In part or in whole.

this is the job I held for eight years and a bit.
it's the reason why every smartphone I've ever owned had "librarianing" added to the spellchecker.
=)

I used to be a junior high school librarian.
I just wanna list the things that I loved about that job, because there's a lot of things I loved about it.
  • It had a regular daily schedule with rhythmic breaks in it.
  • ...but I got to choose my daily tasks, and when to do them.
  • High responsibility, low supervision, I got to determine when something was done.
  • some built in regular deadlines occurred weekly (overdue notices compiled and sent out)
  • some deadlines quarterly (grades for Library TA's), or at other calendar dates (budget deadlines, book ordering, etc)
  • Lots of time with people, specific agenda of helping people (students and staff both)
  • lots of time alone to do one on one tasks (repair, budget work, tidying)
  • Teaching. computers, dewey decimal, how to process books for circulation, some basic book repair, how to circulate books, how to pull records for books that were overdue, how to research, how to use the card catalog, how to find books you wanted... so many teaching opportunities, all in small groups, and NO GRADING.
  • I could take pee breaks as needed. That's a fucking luxurious situation to consider after teaching full time in a public school. I swear to god you can't get five minutes to pee, because it takes you 3-5 minutes to just walk to the other end of the school where the faculty bathroom is, and god help you if you're on your period or have to poop. it's *exhale* inhumane. actually.
  • Professional development funding.
  • Networking with the other librarians in the school district on a monthly basis.
  • Training to be a union site rep and shop steward, learning the history of unions in the USA
  • generally speaking, high interest high novelty work, high number of positive social contacts with students and staff. Decent respect from peers and students. Increasing responsibility the longer I was in the position.


  • There's more of course. Some damn wonderful people really made the difference for me in that job. They got me through the first six months after my dad died, with challenging, interesting work, taking care of tweenagers, teaching and helping and finding and fixing, sorting and throwing out and organizing and tidying. Always something that needed doing. Always something that MATTERED that needed doing.

    It's still MY library. In my heart it's still mine.
    I miss it. Actually.

    so I mean I want another job with some more of what that job had, without the soul deadening paperwork and jumping through hoops that teaching in the public school required.

    And really I want more of that in my life. I've been trying to find that, build that myself, but it's just been so crazy challenging on my own. I miss the community, the sense of rightness and purpose, the ability to HELP SO MUCH AND SO OFTEN SO MANY PEOPLE. I was proud of my work there. It was crazy and sometimes boring and wonderful and the kids were always so amazing and my co workers were always weird, wonderful, dedicated, amazing.

    Okay.
    Okay.

    I have more on this but this is a good starting place.
    I'll go make myself some dinner and dig into my homework reading pretty hard once I've eaten, take some notes to be ready for tomorrow.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Smoky candle wick
Relit by match through the smoke
Magical science!
Silver sooty snuffer burns;
Pain and blisters as I learn.

Around the campfire
Dreaming, mesmerized by flames:
Red, gold, blue, orange.
Flash! Roar! Swoosh! Whiskey on coals!
“You guys actually DRINK that?”

Many fires go out.
Dad dies. Grief drags us all down.
Under the rain and fog
Slog through the mud seeking joy
In Library, Students, Books.

Candleflame, cauldron.
Friends in darkness, points of light
Sometimes belonging
Ritual, dance, myself, words...
The sun comes out, the rain stops.

A phoenix, reborn:
Passion flames as strength returns.
Tattoo needles burn,
Fighter’s heart burns fear for fuel
Crucible of warriors.


This is my Week 15 entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. This week's prompt was "A terrible beauty has been born."
The link to the poll is HERE if you would be willing to vote for me, thank you.
Please follow the elegant and finely-crafted link HERE to read the excellent work of my colleagues in this endeavor.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Pavel stamps his feet into the too-large snow boots and wraps the warm muffler tightly around his neck. Even at seven, and small for his age, he knows better than to forget anything that will help conserve body heat out in the deep taiga forest.

Papa is waiting.

Pavel buttons up his coat (also too large) and checks for his mittens and hat in the coat pocket, taking a last deep breath of the warm air in the cabin as he fumbles for the door latch, hands eager and his heart in his throat.

Papa is taking him hunting.

The snow is crisp, crunching beneath his boots, the air sharp in his nose and throat, the light reddish and dim through the thick branches. Pavel is proud to finally be big enough for Papa to bring him here, to the family cabin, to learn what Chekovs for generations have come to the forest to learn.

Papa is huge and dark in the dim light of dawn, the old fashioned projectile rifle held loosely at his elbow, barrel pointed down.

"Always pointed down, my Pavel, always down and away from other people, until it is time to take aim at your target," rumbles Papa's deep voice in Pavel's memories.

Papa this morning is silent, but his white teeth flash bright in the dark bushy beard. Papa always grows his beard out strong and thick to be ready for the long Siberian winters. There is no ice in his beard yet, but it is only October, after all.

Papa tips his head, a glint in his eyes, and Pavel grins. Though Papa cannot see his mouth behind the warm thick muffler, eyes smile as brightly as mouths do.

Ivan and Stepan have hinted that today, words will not be necessary. Today, all day, he and Papa will watch, will walk, will eat in silence.

If the right moment comes, Papa will pass the rifle to Pavel, will help steady his aim, will brace his shoulder against the recoil of the antique weapon.

This is his most important birthday ever. Pavel is eager to do well, to make his Papa proud.

He and his Papa turn and walk toward the sun, into the deep forest. Chekovs together, silent, focused, and determined.





This is my entry for Week 15 of [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. The week's prompt was "Chekov's Gun" and yes, I went there. Sue me. =)
Link to the poll for voting will be IS HERE, please feel free to explore other entries for the week at the elegant and finely-crafted link HERE.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
My dad died at the end of April, twenty years ago in about two weeks.

Recently I've been reflecting on life with him, and life without him.

After he died, Mom sold the house we'd grown up in. The yard sale paid for the moving van, and got rid of lots of extra stuff; furniture, record player, vinyl records, duplicate china. But Mom and I were still packrats.

She and I moved from that 5 bedroom house to a three bedroom house, where we dedicated one of the three bedrooms and most of the garage to storage. We were mostly storing crap, as I can freely admit at this distance.

We come by our packrattitude honestly in my family. Both Mom's parents were raised during the Great Depression and slogans included "we'll fix it later!" and "don't you dare throw that away, you're going to want it!" Every house had multiple junk drawers, and piles of stuff in closets and garage.

The "guest room" of this rental house was crammed full of boxes, bags and piles of my "craft crap". There was some stuff in there which might have been useful, if I could ever have located the treasure among the trash. Do you ever think, "man, I know I have this tool/supply/fabric/colored marker in my stash, but I just can't FIND it," so you buy another whatever it is?

Can't count the number of times I bought duplicates of things I already owned. Embarrassing to think of now.

Anyway, the house itself was decent, if dated (1970's ceramic tile floor in living room and kitchen, yo) and a little chilly in autumn and winter. It had an in-ground fish pond and some space to garden and hang out in the back yard. Sometimes we had visits from local wildlife. Once I was walking to the kitchen to start the coffee and saw a white crane as it took flight out of the fish pond, and once a skunk tried to come into the house seeking dog kibble.

But the most mysterious visitor was inside the house. It took us a few weeks to realize what was happening, in spite of finding gnawed electrical cords more than once and little dark pellets scattered at the corners and edges of rooms.

The epiphany hit us one evening when I went into the craft crap storage room and found tufts of ... dog hair? but dog hair of the wrong color. Our dog was Captain, a tiny black Pomeranian. Our first dog had been a tan and brown Pomeranian named Montana, and my little brother had saved up a bag of her hair before she died ...

Wait. There's the bag, how did it get...

chewed open

Dammit. *shudder*
We had a rodent in the house.

Immediately started sorting through my entire stash, grieving damaged goods I had always "meant to do something with" or "couldn't bear to give away", and tossed them in the trash. Sent bags of unwanted but undamaged fabric to the communal sewing stash for my Renfair friends, and took several boxes to Goodwill, including the hideous latch-hook rug project in white yellow orange and olive that I started when I was eleven and never finished.

Mom called an exterminator, and they brought something I didn't know existed, sticky traps. We had at least one sticky trap in each public room. A few days later I discovered a rat, deceased, under the living room table. It was stuck to the sticky pad, partially atop the electrical cord to the lamp, which was also stuck to the pad. Mom was a trouper, and sorted the mess out. This involved breaking the leg of the rodent to detach the sticky pad from the cord.

I didn't have the cojones to do this; she did.

She threw the rat and sticky mess into the trash bag and the trash bag into the trash bin, while I made disgusted noises and felt faintly guilty at making my widowed mother do it.

Mom always sorted our messes out.
Mom has always been awesome.

This has been my week 5 entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol and the prompt was "A Better Mousetrap".

Please go read and enjoy my colleagues' entries here. To vote for my entry, link will be *here*

Thank you for reading!
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
As kids, we all knew about the pothole down the road that you had to avoid on your bicycle, or which neighbor's yard you'd never trespass in, for fear of a dog perhaps, or some grown-up's anger.

These are workarounds. This is knowing your environment, and keeping yourself from harm.

As kids, some of us knew grown-ups in our lives who had to be managed. Or avoided. Or placated. Or hidden from.

* I remember my fourth grade teacher, who used to hug all the pretty girls. I was maybe nine, and I envied Charlene (*not her real name), tiny and blonde, shy as a mouse, with Mr. M's arm around her. At the time, I didn't understand why she looked quietly miserable, when his hug looked so warm and affectionate.

* I remember my tenth grade English teacher (the third one we'd had that year) who struggled ineffectually to "manage" our class of high spirited and mischievous honors students.
His face is clear in my memory, though his name has faded. I had asked him to please control the class because I, at least, wanted to learn. He shrugged his shoulders and said helplessly, "But, Liz, what can I DO?"

* And I remember my dad. He started working from home when I was around 13, firmly planted in his comfy chair with his cigarettes, newspaper, and yellow legal pads. I remember him commanding me to fetch him yet another beer from the fridge's endless supply.

I was shocked and pleased in equal amounts to discover, some time last year, that someone had coined a phrase for these kinds of dysfunction. "The missing stair". Because some ideas are nearly impossible to understand until you have a name for them.

To deal with a Missing Stair in your life or environment means that some necessary thing is broken and everyone has just gotten used to, adapted around the brokenness. Used to it, enough that nobody talks about it anymore, and the collective assumption is "well, that's just how it always has been, we all just deal with it." Or maybe you've heard it phrased as "It's just part of the culture here," or as "boys will be boys."

*explosive sigh*

I call bullshit on that nonsense.

* My tenth grade teacher needed a mentor, or at minimum, direct instruction in how to manage teenagers in a classroom.
That skill is something that actually can be taught, something that can be learned and practiced. He should have been taught those skills, and he should have been provided with good examples to follow. His teacher training, and our school administration, should have seen to that, and failed to. (I am particularly incensed about this because it was something my own teacher training lacked as well, twenty years later: one of many things that convinces me this brokenness is systemic.)

* My fourth grade teacher, it turns out, was (eventually) reported to authorities and removed from teaching at my elementary school. I did not understand at the time, when the kids were gossiping on the playground, what it meant that Mr. M was no longer teaching at our school. Or why when I asked my parents about it, they made faces and changed the subject.
The silence around this subject is a kind of brokenness that could perhaps have mended by using the story, the true story, as an age-appropriate teachable moment on how to trust your gut instinct, how to be safer around adults, on appropriate or inappropriate touching, or on how to stand up for other people.

* And of course, there was my dad. The lessons I could learn from his life are manifold. But whatever it was that he needed, well. I don't know.
What I've learned from his example, I've had to unravel, unlearn, and relearn over years of ACoA meetings, journal writing, talk therapy; and my own year of total abstinence from alcohol.

Shame and silence NEVER solve these kinds of broken. The Missing Stair effect occurs in large communities and inside our own heads.

Problems like these fester and persist in the darkness and the silence.

Acknowledge the broken stairs. Point them out.
Please.
Talk about them. Research. Offer assistance, if you have it to give.

Because if one of us has a hammer, and another has nails, and someone else has some solid boards, and someone else actually knows how to fix a stair?

We will never know that the stair could actually be fixed, until someone says, "Hey, I have this thing that might help fix that missing stair..."

and I am so fucking tired of jumping over the broken places.





Hey y'all? I have this thing that might help fix that missing stair.
(listens for responses)



This has been my Week Two entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, and the prompt was "The Missing Stair".

Beta-readings done by [livejournal.com profile] chippychatty, [livejournal.com profile] wrenb, and [livejournal.com profile] violaconspiracy! Thanks, guys, you definitely made this better.

Please go read and enjoy my colleagues' entries here. To vote for my entry, find me at the bottom of the second poll, link is *here*.

Thank you for reading!
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Eighteen years ago yesterday, my dad breathed his last at around 3 am in a room in Kaiser's Morse Avenue branch in Sacramento. Mom and I got a phone call somewhere around 5. I figure now, that was when the shift change happened, and that's when a nurse discovered he'd passed. possible trigger warning for description of death circumstances )

I find myself using words and phrases he commonly used. It's a surprise almost every time. I'm mostly going grey like he did... very silver at the temples, though in the last couple of years I'm getting more salt-and-pepper scatters like my mom had.

Mom called me yesterday and told me again how much she loved me and appreciated the way we had each other's backs during his final illness, and how supportive I was as she transitioned from mother and wife to widow... "the start of her independence" she called it. And it was, no kidding, I mean after years of nursing him as he got weaker and crankier, she recovered a lot of her personal power. She really blossomed after we both did a bit of recovering from the shock. She got her master's degree, she researched real estate and bought a house on her own with the proceeds from the house we grew up in...

I did pretty well myself. Had a job for eight years as a junior high librarian. It was good work, worthy work, with a visible end-result and an obvious positive impact. Worked there from when I was 24 till I was 32. My brother was on track to graduate college in '94, I got a good job, mom had a good job, Jenny had a good job... and it's always felt like Dad sort of waited till all of us were kind of "settled" before he let go. I'm glad of that. Bit weird taking bereavement leave after only being two months in a job.

Still struggling with some of the secrets he kept and the ways he functionally lied to us about who he was and what he felt and what he had experienced as a child. Formative stuff, you know? Stuff that influenced the fact that he barely touched us growing up, for good or for ill. I didn't know I was a huggy person for 18 years basically... having a boyfriend made it okay to ask for touch, and I didn't know I'd been touch starved ... my whole life, I think.

I don't even think I can scratch the surface of explaining the depth and quality of the hole he left in my life... not only from his dying but his inability to connect to us at a heart level. He was always distant and funny and sarcastic, and you wanted his approval SO BADLY but never could figure out how to get it. THAT messed me up until only three or four years ago... He was so smart and so many people liked, even loved him. But he was adversarial with us kids, not cooperative. And Scotty, the Only Son, was the favored child. And now Scotty's dead too. (six years and two weeks ago.)

I have all these ideas of what a father "should be", you know, like ideally? And, at 42 I'm still shocked when I see dads being affectionate in public with their kids, carrying their kids or horsing around, and dads being actually tender with their child invariably makes me cry. Dammit. *wipes face* Because we really didn't get that. At least not that I can remember. I hope someday I can sit with my sister and try to get her take on how that all went down, I just remember being unbearably lonely all the time and basically hiding in my books, on the front porch or up a tree, because dad "liked to tease"...

At this point in my processing and life, at this distance, I can say that it's certain dad was hurting for most of his life. I'm pretty sure his dad hit him, it's sort of "what was done back then" but also, my grandma divorced my grandpa, in the early 50's when You Didn't Do That... She's gone too, gone since I was eleven, I can't ask her why. I'm not very close to my aunts but I would like to ask them if they knew what was going on and why Grandma left.

At this point that's all such old news it's moldering. And I do really have to do The Work based on the Here And Now. What I have is What I have. That's it. That's depressing, but that's it.

Usually What I Have is enough. I don't have quite enough resources to do anything further with Dad at this moment, so I'm just going to lay this here and leave it. My heart feels a bit flat and stony at the moment, I know that will pass though, particularly if I let myself have a good cry and go Do Other Things Instead of Brooding. Heh.

I think it might be a night for crochet and candlelight meditation. After the yoga and the groceries.
labelleizzy: (Default)
Had another odd thought tonight:

My dad would've LOVED smartphones. All the maps you could ever need?
All the possible strategy games? Probably download a bunch of chess apps...
And of course, he would have learned as much as he could about how things worked so he could be like all "expert" and teach other people about them...

huh.
haven't thought about him in that way ... probably since he died.
labelleizzy: (Default)
as seen on [livejournal.com profile] apocalypticbob's Livejournal.

15 years ago I was 25. That was the "existential birthday" because after 25, I hadn't imagined at all what my life would be like. I had detailed expectations for every year up till 25, then 26? No clue what I should be doing with myself. Interesting, I haven't thought of that in a long time.

At 25, 15 years ago, I was back living at home with my mom. My dad had just died, about 6 months earlier. We were living in a house we rented, very near to the school that she worked at (also my old junior high). Our house had a little cement and stones waterfall-pond in the backyard, and mom spent hours dredging out that pond, shortly after we moved in. We wanted to put some goldfish in it. We discovered, once it started raining, why it needed mud dredged out of it: the rest of the yard was on a slight upslope, and the dirt from the lawn and garden flowed down hill when the waterlogged dirt... yeah. =) I loved that yard: spending time watching the fish, practicing kata on the back porch. I had just started the librarian job in the Grant district, was doing taekwondo at the community college, and feeling physically strong for the first time in my life. Emotionally, not so strong, though.

Advice for the Me of Fifteen Years Ago: (Granted if I had taken it I wouldn't be where I am today:)

* Gods, DITCH Francis already. He's not emotionally available, he's sarcastic and unsupportive, his parents are clutterholics, and so is he. He wants to keep everything the same. This is not a relationship that will help you to grow.

* Keep up with the Taekwondo. But: find a mentor who you feel comfortable going to for help in breaking down complicated moves, find someone who you can ask stupid questions of, regularly (and get used to asking uncomfortable, stupid questions). Practice jumping kicks at home, and ask for specific drills involving falling and getting over the fear of falling. And if this Do-jang doesn't do that, find another class to take, because it was the fear of asking for help/looking foolish and the fear of falling and hurting yourself that caused the knee-sprain. Twice.

* When you realize after about a year that you are still PISSED at dad for dying and everything else, give a call to that 800 number for employee mental health, and find someone to talk to about this, keep calling till you find someone. It's not natural nor good for you to be angry for six years and to be unable to remember any of the good things about your father. Also, that headspace puts you as a good match for another emotionally unavailable, sarcastic first husband. =( Talking to people is a Good Thing, and asking for help, well, you won't get help unless you do, and you won't know if you'll get help UNTIL you do ask, so talk to people.

* In that same vein, say yes more often to social events with people you like and who like you. It's good for you and builds your self-esteem and the friendships with those people as well. (The number of social events I flaked on, to have a date with a boy who didn't really make me happy...!)

* Make more stuff. Actually USE your craft supplies, you'll be sorry you didn't. Make gifts for friends and family, even if you "don't think it's good enough". The pillow that Scotty saved the dog's hair to stuff? Make that first. =(

* Do more professional development in the librarian gig, and find more ways to interact with the kids. Follow up on the mobile mini-library idea for classroom projects. Pick the brains of the English and history teachers more. Go do social stuff with Sandy and Cathy and ask Regina and Sharon out to tea. Knowing smart, experienced, older ladies is Good. Also, look into academic counseling at Sac State, you won't finish the teaching credential your first time through, but they'll understand, what with dad dying. They might be able to help you stay on track or find support services, bereavement counseling, stuff like that.

* Call your brother more. Find out more about his life, his girlfriend Sarah, have him tell you more tacky fraternity stories and explain why his fraternity was so important to him. Ask him about the trip to Hawaii, and about coaching his baseball team. Find a way to get down there and go out to dinner with him and Sarah.

* Call your sister more. Even awkward conversation is better than no conversation. Get to know Matt, and you and Jen can learn ways to support each other, and to support mom (and Scott) as well, through the grieving period. (I don't have any memories of spending time with my sister during the first year after dad died. I may be misremembering but yeah.)

* Try casual dating, and dates-with-friends. Also, dates-with-self. Strengthen the muscles of independence and self-sufficiency.

* I'd say "purge the clutter" or "get rid of the crap" but I know the crap is a security blanket that isn't going anywhere till you feel better about yourself. In addition to working on your social skills and other crafty things, try going to Al-anon, and hell, learn more about being an Adult Child of Alcoholics. Fran gave you that book because she recognized where you were, even if you didn't. Believe her. Try a meeting.

* Learn to give yourself manicures and pedicures. Seriously, you ARE worth the effort to learn to do such small things that make you happy, make you feel pretty.

* Hug your mom more. Take her along when you go out to walk the dog. Talk to her more, ask for stories of your dad from college and when they were early dating.

* Take your mom out on social events as often as she will let you. She was very very lonely for a very long time, even married to your dad and with you kids and the social life she did have... and she was primary caretaker of your dad during his final illness, even if you helped. She deserves some good times with loving, friendly people, and she won't meet them on her own for over 10 years. Help her out, it'll help you out as well.

* Enjoy the pagan community you're on the verge of joining. Talk with those folks more often, they'll be good for you. Read the books they recommend, seriously, READ them. All the way through. And read some more original sources, too, and as much other mythology as you can lay your hands on. This will be more fun and more useful than getting lost in crappy romance novels. They're good people. If you have to be shy, be shy, but ask them about themselves, learn more about who they are, how they problem solve, and the obstacles they've had in their own lives. This will help you problems-solve, and overcome your own obstacles, and again, give you confidence in your friendship-building skills, coincidentally more friends as well. =)

* Just so you know, you are sexy, and there are often people who think you are cute and want to see more of you. Don't grip so hard onto a relationship because you are worried no more are going to come around. There is enough, you have enough, you are enough. Feed yourself before you feed EVERYBODY else around you. You know about being alone, it hurts but it's not the worst pain ever.

* BTW, the worst pain ever? It's yet to come. You will handle it, and you will learn what you're made of, and it will open your eyes to who and what you are, where you are, and what your path is. It's a kind of birth. Remember that, and treat it as such.

* Be honorable, and be honest. Live by those two rules as much as you can, and treat yourself with kindness and respect.


... If you like, write a letter to the Yourself of Fifteen Years Ago, (assuming you're old enough to have figured out some life-lessons to share with that Yourself), and share with me.
labelleizzy: (sad)
Parking lot meetings are sometimes quite productive. One at work for about half an hour with Karen, I think I helped her sort her thoughts out...

and tonight at the Safeway, the fella who helped me take the groceries out to the car has a son whose cancer is rare and getting worse. I realized for like, a split second, that I was tempted to one-up the guy (I definitely thought 'Scotty's was worse, was rarer, was...' - then I shut that inner voice up). That wasn't my role, that wasn't my job. For whatever reason, this guy confides in me, and he's moved here from Texas with his Pipefitters' pension, to try and take care of his 44 year old son who promised that "hey, dad? would you come out and stay with me, I promise if you do, I'll get better"... and he's like, 60 exactly, (he was 16 when his son was born) and I don't think he tells people what's going on with him, very often.

I shut up. I listened and made listening noise and eye contact. I told him I was going to pray for him, and I did.

and I called my mom tonight because I have been thinking of my dad and brother a lot the last week or so and I needed to talk to her. It was a good thing.

Pensive...

Jul. 8th, 2003 08:18 pm
labelleizzy: (sad)
Just got notified about the sudden death of a dear friend's father.
I don't know what to do, aside from letting him know I'm here for him, as I know (from his other blog) at least a dozen people have already said.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.


And yet, and yet...

Brings me back to the death of my own father. We knew it was coming, it was not sudden, and yet it was still a shock.

Missing him grew less fierce eventually, the anger and frustration has moderated and matured into something mellower, yet still with a tang to it.

I've been there, it's been 9 years and 2 months since I passed through this door, and I still don't have any idea what to say to my friend.

Isn't the consolation about getting older the conceit that with experience comes wisdom? Shouldn't there be some point at which common experience allows me to comfort and perhaps even help such an old and close friend with his pain?

Words fail me. Words fail most of us at this time in someone else's life. Which was exactly what I found most frustrating, at the time of my own rite of passage. Nobody would talk about my father to me, nobody was willing to share happier memories.

It was like there was a conspiracy of avoidance, of silence. What I desperately needed to know was WHY all these people were at the memorial, why my father was important. In detail. Did he make them laugh, do a favor for them, was he just a great guy, did he ever make them mad?

We define ourselves in part through our parents. We discover too late the parts which are influenced or imprinted by "dad", by "mom", by "grandma" or the "favorite uncle". We define ourselves by our denial or rejection of parts of our parents which we find objectionable, only to discover later that those very traits are often hard-wired, and that we can't deactivate them.

Sometimes this hardwiring is like that of some kind of clock - helpful in maintaining a working, livable rhythm.
Sometimes, it's more like that of a landmine or pipe bomb.

I hope to the gods that K. has found his programming agreeable and that it helps him through this difficult time.

So, I suppose I'm feeling a touch cynical, referring to parenting as programming... Parents out there, please forgive me.

I love my parents, I just find it hard to forgive their mistakes sometimes.

Work in progress...
*sigh*
labelleizzy: (Default)
I wrote the following for the Writer's Circle Mario started up this year. I had some trouble moving out of autobiographical writing style (too many years journalling, I guess) and into fiction.
Technically, it's untitled, but it's saved as,
"His ashes are still in a box..."

Read more... )
more anon. Still waiting to hear about when the SN&R is publishing that poem o' mine.

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