Sunday, July 29, 2012

Avoiding the Aftermath

At this point everyone and their brother has said something about the horrendous shootings in Colorado.  Part of me wants to have something to say too.  Another part of me doesn’t want to be a tag-along to such an unspeakable tragedy.  I also don’t want to bitch and moan about being ill or the things that aren’t going right in my life because – hey- at least I’m alive, my family is well, and I have a job.

I could talk about my cats.  They are as beautiful and loving as ever.  Ginger, my gold striped little huntress, is regal, demanding, and a bit haughty.  Beggar, my demure ten year old who came to my doorstep by chance, is a bit skittish but has lately been requesting love from everyone in the house.  Lucky, my black cat who rules my yard (she knows it’s hers to rule), still follows me around when I’m in the garden or watering my flowers.  I love them all.  They are my fur babies and each one gives me delight in her own way.  They are a comfort to me.

I could talk about my garden and how it is currently over-producing.  I spend most weekends lately canning or freezing the fruits of our labors. My family will not go hungry come winter.  There are few things more beautiful than a canning jar full of ruby tomatoes.

Basically I just want to focus on the positives.  There are so many things in this life to be thankful for.  There are so many reasons to not focus on the negatives - or the continuous wall to wall coverage of the savageness in Aurora.  The stories of both the brutality and of the heroism break my heart.  So I simply turn to the everyday simple things around me in my life.  My cats love me unconditionally.  My garden grows and produces calmness as well as fruits from our labors.  Life goes on in the heat of this summer.  Soon the news coverage will cool as will the weather.  And then the colors of autumn will be a new reason to smile.

P/S:  I was not trying to be cold or frivolous when I wrote this.  I had a friend who was killed in a church shoot in Knoxville, TN.  I have see the aftermath and know what family and friends go through.  I pray for them.  I just can't watch the continuous newscoverabe any more.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cuddling up with FUR

Over the weekend I watched the movie FUR starring Nichole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr.  This movie was made in 2006 and I didn’t remember it being advertised at that time but saw it on the shelf of the video store (my mate dragged me in there) and decided to take a chance. 

The movie is an “imaginary biography” of Diane Arbus, a groundbreaking avant-garde photographer known for taking black and white photos of people on the fringe of society - dwarfs, trans-gender people, nudists, circus performers.  However ,she didn’t start out that way. 

 As the movie opens, she is a buttoned-up frustrated housewife in the last 1950’s.  She feels confined to her life even though she sees her world differently than others.  Then a new upstairs neighbor ,Lionel Sweeney, moves in and their eyes meet through a window.  Lionel is a most non-traditional neighbor and his own differentness shows her a different way that life could be lived.  His openness during their late night travels allows her to let go of the buttoned-up “normality” that stifled her creativity and her life.

FUR is a slow motion seduction.  It gets under your skin.  It makes you a little uncomfortable but you cannot turn away.  Robert Downey, Jr. played the part well while in heavy costume and make-up.  His character was strong and moving through use of mostly his satiny voice and soulful looks .  As Lionel’s door is closing he wants desperately to open a door for Diane and this he did well.  In the end she is transformed by his love into the photographer of the freaks and more fully opened to who she really is on the inside.  She embraces herself.

The freak in me was deeply drawn into this movie.  The differentness that I just can’t seem to completely hide, opened itself up and embraced the love that poured from the movie.  As Diane Arbus was seduced by Lionel so was I.  FUR is an odd little turn on that leaves you wanting passion, wanting to make some difference in your life or touch the lives of others.  It was breathtakingly, achingly beautiful without regret. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Life in Slow Motion

Written June17, 2012

It is close to sundown, that perfect part of the day when sitting out on the patio, drink in hand, as the temperature concedes to a break and all can seem right in the world for at least a little bit.

It's been a long day.  Not because we are approaching the summer solstice but because of the depth of complication that's been felt.  I have worked off and on all day to complete the laundry, a simple task that should be taxing, but for me it is.  Each year the simple tasks of life become less easy for me. I did a bit of shopping yesterday at three different stores, which for the average person would have been no trouble at all.  However, because of those two hours of walking, standing, and carrying, my body is alive with pain.  This is what comes with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  Couple that with my other health issues - migraines, allergies, interstitial cystitis, IBS, PTSD, and depression - and there are days when simply functioning is near impossible.

There are days when I am beyond frustrated.  I feel so much pain that I move at a pace even a senior citizen would consider slow.  On really bad days, I am slowed not only physically but mentally as well.  Those are the days when the depression and/or the PTSD have reared their ugly heads.  (I am thankful to the Bloggess for her "Depression Lies" campaign - there are times when it's hard to remember that simple truth.)  The fibromyalgia can make bad days worse as well with its "fibro fog".  Those are days when one can't be certain that 2+2 is such an easy equation.

Somehow, though, I muddle through.  I have survived much longer than I ever thought I would.  I feel I have finally breached that plane of existence where I can look past all the obstacles and see my life's goals clearly.  It's just taking me much longer than anticipated to reach them.  It's like trying to run in water or thick mud (depending on the physical and/or mental pain level of the day).  The prize is coming into view.  Even if the day is foggy now, I have focus.  I know I will reach my dream with patience and time.