dog days

August 27, 2009


i’m sure it will all pick up after these last days of summer.  the dog days of summer.  sadly, i have no dog.  i want a dog but am truely unwilling to do all the walking involved!  or have a dog dig up my beautiful garden.  turns out, i’m a natural fit for a cat.  good thing there’s a beautiful tiger-striped one sitting next to my computer keeping me company – and that’s a big improvement for our slightly unsocial kitty…she’s nice but standoffish at times.  but now she comes and sits right next to my computer.  progress at 7 years old.  with teenage daughter slated to start volunteering at a cat shelter this fall, i suspect we might find ourselves with another kitty onboard.  i’ve been aching for a tuxedo cat – two cats ago we lost our spectacular ‘glickman’ – she was the smartest cat i’d ever known and lived until 20 and passed away in our house and is in my flower garden.  we’ll get a little boy kitty (if we get one) because i hear that will sit better with my adult female (betty – named after the betty of betty and veronica fame because “veronica was a snob” – so said my then 7 year old).   woof.



i am awake

August 16, 2009


i rarely remember my dreams.  i have memories in childhood of dreams that repeated (this looks like camp but I don’t remember this road) and a few nightmares.  but, mostly, the night passes for me and i wake with no bits and pieces of whatever adventure i found myself romping through in my sleep.  this morning, however, i woke with distinct memories of a piece of a dream.  and not a pleasant one at that.  i don’t remember a lot of it but i do remember that i was talking to some people and somehow i noticed that huge patches of my scalp were showing through.  not thin hair (something I deal with now since post-chemo and enforced menopause combined to make anything resembling luxurious and thick on top of my head a bit of an uphill challenge) but i remember noticing that there was a patch with no hair on it – hey, i remember the curve of my head from the bald days – and then i noticed that there were 3 or 4 really big sections with no hair on them.  it looked pretty odd because there was long shoulder-length hair and then a section with the curve of my skull.  i didn’t freak out (in my dream) but started walking around saying to myself that i really should find my wig…where had i put it when i finally put it away at the end of my treatments (it actually took me about 8 months to pack it away and let it be put downstairs).  i had a love-hate thing going with that wig but that’s a big ‘secular-jewish feminist lives in orthodox jewish neighborhood’ blog post for another day.

i think this comes from a few worries.  the second because i know that when i finished radiation, i had squirreled away a bunch (easily 10) of some very expensive gel sheets used for burn victims.  they had truly saved my life during the last few weeks of radiation and i wanted to give some of them to a friend about to go through it also.  but we couldn’t find them in the basement.  looked and looked but not to be found.  even though i’m sure they were put in a box somewhere with other medication that pulled me through the worst of it.

the 1st is that i bought a stunning professional photograph a while back that i just had framed and hung.  i love all things asian – especially southeast asian – and one of the photographs is of a Cambodian nun…she’s pretty darned old and very wrinkled…the photograph of her face fills up the entire frame…and she’s bald.  she staring right into the lens and she (according to the writeup that came with it from the photographer) willingly shaved her head and eyebrows as part of her vows.  when i first saw the photograph in the gallery i thought that she and i should spend a lot of time looking at each other.  that i would learn something from her.  nothing religious but something about humanity.  

i have no conculsion here.  i just find myself looking into the mirror more often.  can we ever be reassured?   can we ever feel reassured?

throwing out my past

August 8, 2009


the joys of having teenage daughter at camp: the nice dinners in with husband; the nice dinners out with husband; the quiet cup of coffee first thing in the day – uncluttered and without the barely remembered backpacks and scattered homework. not so joyous: the pressure to clean up our massively-cluttered basement. sadly, with 2 large file cabinets containing a rain-forest’s worth of paper all from my past. a varied past.

today i finally decided it was time to tackle at least one of the cabinets because it was so dented and mangled that we were intending to have it hauled away together with an enormous equally-battered dresser. hence, the clean-out. part of it was easy. i basically reorganized a few drawers and shoved multiple alphabetically-labeled music-filled folders into the good cabinet. but then, oh then, there it was. i should say, there they were. folder after folder – an ode to the pre-computer, pre-laser-printer era – of all the letters i wrote. i wrote great crazy funny letters. enticing producers to give me an audition or a gig. i seemed to have written to anyone and everyone. and saved a copy of each!!!! they are irreverent and cutting and, very oddly, i swear i remember writing each and every one of them. an odd statement from a woman who can’t remember the name of the coworker sitting 2 seats away from her. i could see in these letters that i was so ready to take on the world, so brash, and dancing on the edge of my abilities with my talents.

in the end, i saved a lot of them. to throw them away was to erase such a big part of my past. and since i have always held that process is more important than product, this was the proof of that imaginative process. i was my own one-woman-band! i did throw out one wacky semi-dirty letter written by an ex who tells me that his wife is about to have a baby and has him on a tight tether at home (thankfully in switzerland) but that he misses me and wishes he could x, y, and z. i decided that when i’m gone, teenage daughter (hopefully my age-now daughter) doesn’t need that particular letter to read! he was a little feckless anyway.

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