Monday, June 28, 2010

Making Sense of it All

I feel pressure. What I imagine my body would feel like if I were, say, 50 feet underwater. A little panicky because I can't breathe as easily as I can above water. My analogy is probably some weird kind of mixed metaphor, but that is as good as I can come up with to help you, dear reader (and myself), excuse why I have not posted in a while.

Every time I have had a couple of moments to jot down a few thoughts, there comes a squeezing around my diaphragm. I wonder if it some kind of mental python I have conjured up to keep my fingers off the keyboard because I lack confidence? I tend not to do things that hinder my ability to deliver oxygen to the cells. Maybe it is simple avoidance behavior. Some might call it smart, but could it also be an excuse for laziness?

Every writer is told to write for an audience. I don't know who my audience is. Who reads blogs? I know I write because I need to keep track of what the hell I am doing. My memory is going to shit, and I would like to have some chronicle of life after menopause.

No, I feel pressure to live up to imagined expectations. I am such a putz. NO, I don't mean putz as in the second definition of the online dictionary either. Last I checked, I did NOT have any kind of vulgar penis.

I believe I started this blog in order to chronicle my summer adventures, primarily as a Crazy Grandma. Now, I am up against a wall trying to figure out what is acceptable for me to write about. Does this blog have a personality? Can I only write about humorous activities, how about just plain life?

I have no easy answer.

In the absence of an easy answer, a clear directive from an editor, or anyone standing over my shoulder with a whip yelling, "WRITE, DAMN YOU, WRITE!!!" I have decided to channel Virginia Woolf.

It has been suggested that perhaps I could be a Grannie Evanovich, but I think I lack the discipline to stay with one style. Don't get me wrong, I love Stephanie Plum. I think though, I might be some kind of a weird hybrid between Stephanie, her grannie, and her hooker sidekick. No, that is much too disturbing of an idea to admit even to myself.

Lately, I have been reading a lot of James Patterson, but I definitely know my brain can't plot out a story with as many twists and turns and still manage to make sense in the end. I am no James Patterson.

No, I believe I will stick with Virginia. I remember some lovely days spent reading her stream of consciousness stories. I still have a favorite one I think about intermittently. I have tried numerous times to find a copy of it, and I can remember most of the details of the story. I think it is called "Lady in the Looking Glass." It isn't particularly pithy, but somehow the style of writing perfectly captures the moment. The story is about a woman sitting in a room and looking at a mirror that is reflecting a path outdoors. A mailman comes and delivers the mail then leaves. That's it. Well I thought that was all it was about until I did some more research. Turns out it is indeed a narrative about examining oneself. I guess that is what I am up to. Virginia had her style, I shall evolve mine.

That IS it. Life is a string of moments. Some worthy of the labor needed to bring them to life on a blank piece of paper. Others, not.

I worry that I run the risk of capturing the wrong moments, but really, how could that be? I need to talk myself down off that ledge.

I can be writing about a particular moment, and simultaneously follow connections to other similar moments even before I get the slippery sucker of a moment corralled onto the paper. Who says writing isn't a physical sport?

Or perhaps what I describe is the essence of the menopausal mind? Ya think?

I really don't have a clue.

All I know is along with the pressure I feel to create something worthy of reading, I also have the pressure to get these moments documented. I want my grandbabies to know how much fun I am having being a part of their lives two days a week.

I do feel though that my life is about more than being a grandma. A person doesn't make it to be 56 years old only to live for the moment they can be called grandma. Or in my case, Crazy Grandma.

BTW I will talk about that moniker at a later date, remind me will ya?

No, I guess I need to write to hear myself think. The act of writing actually forces my brain to go in somewhat of a straight line. Something I desperately need right now.

School is out. I have only two days per week where my days are ordered for me. The rest of the week I tend to float about flitting from one activity to another. Kinda like a balloon on a lazy windless day. Those days are easy. Sweet.

Other days I fight mightily because I am a kite in a 100 mph wind storm.

Like yesterday.

I spray painted the backgrounds to three boards for yard art, eight patio chairs, a love seat, and finally two tables. All this activity took place on the hottest day of the year so far. I tried to combat the heat by wearing a bathing suit. Good thing I have a high fence. No, I am not sunburnt, but I almost suffered heat stroke despite periodically dousing myself with water from the hose.

My right forefinger is still numb from holding down the spray nozzle on the cans for such a prolonged period of time. I don't give it any credence because I know it will eventually gain feeling again, either in this life or the next. It obeys my commands, and it is only slightly irritating that I cannot actually feel what it is touching.

I learned a long time ago not to sweat the small stuff.

Oh, and I also incurred a small gash in my left hand. I had locked myself out of the garage because a gust of wind came through slamming shut the self locking door.


I could not gain the attention of my dearly beloved because she was ensconced in her latest Stig Larson book, deep in the bowels of the house. I had no other option but to scale the fence.

It wasn't a big deal until my flip flop got caught on the way over, and I lost my balance. Thankfully, my hands still had some grip left in them because I got a hold of the top of the big wooden fence. This action kept me from doing a face plant in the decorative jagged rocks.

I am happy to report the ragged top of the fence only ripped a tiny chunk of skin as I catapulted myself over the attached, and very wobbly, wire dog barrier.

I put up said enclosure up to keep the poods from eating my tomato plants. Last year, Lula Mae waited until the peak of ripeness before plucking my long awaited tasties. I was determined to have my tomatoes this year for my Giada recipes. So far, the tomatoes are unmolested. I just have to remember to water them daily.

Back to the story.

Once I stumbled over the fence(s) and made it into the house, I scarcely missed a beat. Staggering into the bathroom, I put some triple antibiotic ointment on the slash, slapped a bandaid on, and headed back to my project armed with my precious paint cans.

Phyllie made some mention of the redness of my face, but apparently it wasn't bad enough to drag her away from Stig.

Or derail me from my painting mission.

All I could think about was how it really sucks to have your cans of paint on the OTHER side of the dog fence. I felt rather Pavlovian as I looked at the cans just out of my reach. I think I was particularly worried about being spotted in my bathing suit, jello thighs and all. Between wanting to get on with my project, and the realization of what I actually looked like in pursuit of my painting pleasures, I would have climbed razor wire to get out of my predicament.

Thankfully that wasn't necessary.

After approximately four hours spent in the blazing sun, and some partial shade, I had a tremendous feeling of accomplishment when I completed my projects. The daughter has always said, "If it doesn't move, Mom will paint it." She is wrong there, I have painted a few moving targets in my lifetime. Ha!!!

No, I still can't figure out what I am doing with this blog, but I do know I feel much better when I get these experiences vomited onto a piece of virtual paper. It is forever frozen. I can count on it. That thought alone is very comforting to me.

For now, I will continue to write about whatever is on my mind, that is what I have left of it.

For now, it is about THE moments. The moments who allow themselves to get lassoed, wrangled and put down on paper. I will try not to let the python squeeze me too hard.

Maybe, it is that feeling of pressure which brings my lazy butt to the laptop.

Maybe, there IS no definitive reason to write except as a way for me to make sense of my life adventure.

Yes, I think I will just write, and see what makes its way out.

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