Monday, 23 July 2012

And That Is All She Wrote

At least here. This blog has come to the end of its road. Mainly because I can not write what I feel like writing here any more. Mainly because of the fact that due to the newspaper article in which this blog was mentioned, I have absolutely no way of knowing who reads what I write here. Or if, in fact anyone does. Well, I know for a fact that someone does due to the threats I have received after writing what I have been writing for the couple of previous posts. And that, also, factors in, big time. I do not wish for such readers, and I right now I can not handle the threats. 

This does not mean that I am going to stop blogging, I am just going to move to a new location and start, well, I guess there is no other way of saying it - brand new. From the beginning. 

I will let you, my online friends, know, by visiting your blogs and leaving comments and you, my ''real-life'' people, I will let you know by other means where it is I am going. If I feel it necessary. I will not make my blog a closed one, because I hope someone stumbling on it might continue onwards with something gained , but I will also not publicize it to the extent I allowed to be done with this one. 

So. If I no longer see you here in the blogosphere, I wish you all the best and remember... is all life. And until you draw your last breath, there is always ''around the corner''. 



Saturday, 21 July 2012

Hippy Dippy

If. If you would eat only raw food. If you would be 'protein only'. If you would believe in the power of chrystals. If you would... if you would... if you would.... Then you would be healthy. Then you would be happy. ''See, I am.'' They say. So. If you would only...then I am sure you too would have none if these problems. 


Well-meaning? Yes? No? Maybe? Self-centered? You bet. How come it is the people who are most vocal about their having found the higher, better, happier state of being who are usually also the most blind as to what is actually happening in the lives of other people and who actually seem to care the least about those same other people. Who tout their embracing of the universe and yet the only person they are really embracing is themselves. And that's one reason why I have been slightly reluctant to speak about the changes around our household that have been taking place. Because I am not preaching to anyone. I am most definitely not saying if-only-you-too-would. I am certainly not in any holier than thou attitude about this. This is just something that we have had to do.

Recently, I have become hyper sensitive to pretty much anything. I can not tolerate tight clothing as it leaves red rashes or welts on my skin. So, I only wear loose skirts and dresses. Of course the sun is still my nemesis, but also chemicals in toiletries, cleaning fluids etc. My dermatologist says I am not in actual fact allergic, but indeed, hyper-sensitive in that my body, because of the SLE, thinks I am allergic to these things and brings on the allergic reaction without the actual allergy. Fantastic, I say. Even though I am not allergic I get the allergic reaction because the signals in my body have are gone haywire. I mean, the major problem with SLE is that it attacks your own cells instead of the outer threats such as viruses etc. because it thinks that it is the body's own cells that are the threat. This can lead to major organ impairment, but also lesser problems like I'm having now. The body just no longer knows what is right and what is wrong. Like I said. An immune system gone seriously lunatic. Well. Some twenty years ago I got interested in using plants as medication and for various cosmetic needs. I wildcrafted plants, dried them, and used them for many, many years. Then, for some reason, probably due to moving to bigger and bigger cities until I was finally living in a city of millions of inhabitants and the toxicity that comes with that. Then I left. Moved across thousands of kilometres onto the other end of Europe to become a teacher in a tiny, tiny village in the middle of nowhere near the Russian border. There, my interest in medical plants started to grow again, but only to a very mild degree. 

Fast forward today.

Preparations for making
plantana salve for bug bites.

We no longer use any store bought chemical cleaning supplies in our household. I have made our own stuff for washing clothes, dishwashing liquid and powder to use in the dishwashing machine. For general cleaning, it is baking soda and vinegar with the addition of essential oils. For a while we tried the baking soda hair washing method, and while it worked fine for my husband, for me it was a nightmare. Because of my medications I sweat like a pig. Sorry for being so blunt but there is simply no better way of putting it, so my hair was already dirty a couple of hours from washing. So I made us some shampoo. Which we put into an old shampoo container and now use just like regular shampoo. Works fine, only I know exactly what went into it. I have made my own face cleanser, liquid soaps, toothpaste and mouth wash, face and body creams and different kinds of salves. I love carbonated water, and we got a soda stream machine as a christmas present, but the syrups are not only horribly expensive but also full of all sorts of weird things, so I've started experimenting making my own syrups. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, rhubarb, peppermint, lime, and even ginger ale. 

Making rhubarb syrup.

I have gone collecting yarrow, wild raspberry leaves and red clovers. The plantain leaf population in our yard has found its way to drying on my windowsill. The kitchen garden is not only growing carrots and potatos but also lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, thyme and coriander that will be both dried and frozen to use in the winter. More wildcrafting is still to come. I need more yarrow, and need to find a good place to collect meadowsweet and angelica archangelica. I mean. Don't you just love even the name of that one. 

Yarrow ready to 
be hung to dry.

Roses collected from our
garden to make rose water.

We don't eat much pre-made food, now that I've been too tired to bake bread, we have bought it from a bakery factory shop, but as we recently purchased a crockpot I now plan on trying breadmaking in that. As well as making the liquid castille soap in it. 

If you feel like trying your hand
at making your own,
click HERE.

As for make up. Please. I who used to make a perfect no-make-up make up every morning now go totally without, my bright red lupus mask cheeks glowing and with practically no lashes. I was recommended to use mineral brands, to no avail. Horrible scratching and rashes as a result. Trust me. This has not been easy for me. Nooo freaking way. 

But as I have been forced to ''greenify'' these aspects in our life, I have also started contemplating others. We use no paper in the kitchen any more. I am making these instead.

And HERE is how.

I buy no cleaning wipes or anything of the like. Instead I stick squares cut from old t-shirts into a jar with some oil and lemon peels and use them. But alas. I have had this feeling that as I've told people about these changes around our household, I've gotten these yeah, yeah looks more than enough. I know people call us hippies. By all means. I find that funny. What does that even mean? We own three cars ( one of which though is a summer-only 1969 Buick) so that can hardly be called very ecological. Though when I entertained the idea of getting myself a child carrier for the bicycle that idea got a fast funeral as I realised I could barely bike anywhere on my own, let alone pulling along a cart. My husband drives a Harley motorcycle. Again, not very ecological, but to him, that is who he is so that is how it is. I use airplanes even though trains would be better for the environment. I know this. And still I use the planes. We hardly buy any clothes new for ourselves, but use flea markets and second hand shops, but many of the daughters clothes have come from both the cheaper and the more expensive end of the children's clothing chains. 

I was either contemplating one of these 
so called christiania versions 
or something like this which is more 
common around here...

But like I said,
either one is a no-go for now.

Recently we had a lovely, dear friend of both my husband and me visit overnight with her daughter, and looking around the kitchen she smiled and said to me that ''you really are a real deal hippie''. Like I said, I don't find that bad at all. I guess I am. Even though I am really not sure what that means. But it makes me smile. Ok. I guess we're slightly out of the ordinary then. On my more darker moments my husband keeps telling me that yes, I might be slightly weird. But its a good kind of weird. Yes, I might be slightly crazy. But a good kind of crazy. And that yes, I am unlike any woman he has ever met. And that, certainly, in a good kind of way. 

So now I have come to the conclusion that I am a grateful hippie. Ahemmm. Sounds a bit weird. Put like that. And besides, I am still not sure what a hippie actually is. But I am doing what my ''meds team'' is telling me to do. Figuring it all out. So ok. A grateful hippie. Lets see what I can come up with tomorrow. Now the kids need putting to bed, they are driving the poor kitty mad running after it around the house. And then I want to do some crocheting.  I am making this one for myself as I found out that even my cranky fingers can deal with a hook that large and thread that thick, and I am already halfway through. The pattern can be found on the Ravelry site for free.

It is going to be forest green, and I want some scandinavian flower embroidery on it. But now. This is all she wrote. Good night to you all. 

It might still be bad. But its never all bad. Remember that.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

The More Things Change...

...the more they remain the same? I had a dear friend visit from Ireland some time ago and we went to see another long time friend of ours together. We've all known each others since we were teenagers and even though there were points in our lives when a year might pass without us seeing each others, it never really mattered. Some people are for life. But even though it was such a joy to see my friend and be all together again, it did make me sad as well. Because it got me thinking about change. And if it really is possible and if it really ever actually happens. We find a groove, a rut, a way of behavior, a pattern of thinking and even though it might be the very thing that is keeping us from being happy, from being at peace, still, still we insist on repeating it. What are we? Self-destructive by nature? Or is it just something really as simple as us being blind. Blind to ourselves. And it made me despair. All these people. All these people I've recently seen, spoken to, met, heard about, whom I know, or thought I did.  All this inability to change. All this unwillingness. It gave me one huge, one humongous question that I feel hanging above my head right now, right here as I write.

Amidst all this stagnancy, what makes me think I am any different, somehow better, somehow able to do this thing that all these people can not or will not do.
Who do I think I am?

And the answer is. I don't know. And I am terrified by this whole idea. What indeed makes me think I have what it takes. 

In the last post I wrote about the rehabilitation. I just want to make clear here that we are not talking about any sort of substance abuse rehab here. What my medics are talking about is all sorts of physical therapy with a physical therapist and some heavy duty trauma therapy with a psychologist specialising in that area. And all the rest of the things that go with my regular treatments. I mean, who would have thought I can not even go to a regular dentist but have to go have my teeth worked on in the hospital because of the possible complications.This life. I don't think I have words to explain what it is like to live my life right now. Most of the time, I haven't even tried, so people have ended up thinking I am rude, lazy or just plain weird. But how does the saying go...walk a mile in my shoes... 

And when I talk about having what it takes, I don't necessarily mean that I have to somehow change my way of life. There is nothing wrong about my way of life as it is now. But I do have to learn to deal with the fact that there was indeed a lot wrong with my life as it used to be, and that all that is affecting my life in a seriously negative way right now. Denial no longer works. Spooks have a way of creeping out of the deepest recesses of your brain and jumping on you just when you thought you were all happy and fine. 

Also, because during the past decade my self as I thought I knew it was slowly eroded away, I have great difficulties right now even knowing who I am. Not literally, of course, but as in what kind of person am I really. And please, don't get me wrong here, this is not some mid-life crisis either that I am going to deal with by buying myself an expensive car or a face-lift or what-have-you. This is about never having been able to just be. Because there was always someone else whose needs were more important. Whose bare being was more important than mine. And even before, there were very few people with whom I could be something I though was me, but I was still so young then, just trying to find out. A kid. And I never got to the point that I could as I was pulled into relationships with egos so big that like sun they burnt everything that got too close to them to the ground. 

One of my blog comrades here online said once that I am one of the most grateful people that she knows. Though we really only know each other through words written here. And even though I might not be sure about many other things, I do believe that I am indeed grateful. I was taught to be. If there is no money in the wallet but the bills are paid, I will be grateful that there was money to pay the bills. If my foot is in pain but otherwise my body is not complaining too much, I will be thankful that it is just the foot. When I get angry at my Mother for something entirely trivial, I try to remind myself of the lovely young woman who only recently lost her own mother way, way too early to a sudden illness. If I speak hasty words to my Daughter, shout, simply because I myself am tired or dealing with issues,  I will stop and apologize, because if for anything in this life, it is her I am thankful for. If the house is a bit rickety here and there, I will still be grateful that we have a house. We have warmth. We have food on our table. We have clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet. I have enough money to buy the medications I need, which still, even after the government subsidity that we have here on most medications, still amounts to not an insignificant sum. I am thankful that I have some reliable, trustworthy friends. I am thankful for my family - which, by the way, grew by one only about a week ago as my sister had a baby girl. And I am thankful that though the baby was two months premature and my sister suffered from severe pre-eclampsia, both the baby and its momma are now at home and doing fine. I am thankful now of the sounds coming from three little beds around this big attic room as the kids are preparing to sleep ( my husband's children are here for the summer) because it reminds me that they are alive little souls, even if their bickering and temper tantrums might drive me nuts during the day. And I am thankful for my husband behind the wall in our bedroom, reading, because I know that whatever it is, whatever will come, he will be there for me. 

I have had people tell me that I should also be thankful for the bad things that have happened to me in my lifetime, because they must have given me something positive. Some have even gone so far as to say these things were meant for me as lessons. That I should figure out what it is that I am supposed to learn from them. 

And man that makes me angry.

You say childhood and teenage sexual abuse is a lesson to be learned from?
You say other types of physical violence towards you as a child or a teenager are meant for you as lessons?
You say rape is meant for some people and not for others? That it is something some people need to learn from?
You think a woman is stupid not to walk away from domestic violence, that somehow she must deserve it, even though she might not be leaving because most cases of domestic murder and manslaughter happen exactly when the wife tries to leave in a situation like this? 
You think cancer is a lesson? A brain tumor is a lesson? That any severe illness must be something you are supposed to learn from?

As opposed to what?

As opposed to people who are good enough already. Who do not need these lessons.

I know. I sound harsh here. Angry. And I am.  Since I have, for real, had these things said to my face. And ever since I decided to stop being ashamed of things that were never my fault in the first place, I have seen the look more times than I care to think about in the eyes of so many people. I have seen behaviors change. The small, almost imperceptible things. And the nasty thing is that if you've been repeatedly, severely traumatised for most of your life you develop a sort of sixth sense about these things. As you walk into a room you immediately ''take the emotional temperature'' of the people in it. Without realising, you scan out the possible threats. Your brain registers the smallest of facial movements, changes in tone of voice, eyes that quickly shift, tiniest gestures. Not because you want to but because that's what your brain has learned to do in order for you to survive. No matter that there might be no threat present, still, this never ending vigilance goes on. You can not make it stop. So I do notice, even if you think I won't. 

But I do not blame you for it. We all have our burdens to bear and I do not know yours so why should I presume you would be willing or able to share mine. But please. Just a few months ago a woman was brutally raped practically a stones throw from where we live, on a footpath in the forest. Later, as I was sitting at a coffee table with my husband and a friend of his, this friend said something that has stuck to me 'till today. He said, there is one life completely and forever ruined. Of course, he did not know. And I did not react. But I tell you now. Rape does not ruin you. It does not destroy you. It is a horrible, horrible thing but it is what happens afterwards though, that has every possibility of destroying you. It is the other people who have the ability to either help you up and on in your life, or to keep you on the ground, literally and figuratively. 

Or what say you about the police officer who, after I filed one specific case not so many years ago, said to me with a smirk right after the hello-how-are-yous: ''So, are we supposed to take this seriously?'' Granted. As I stood there speechless, staring at him. He must have seen the question in my eyes. WHAT? As he sobered up and started the proceedings. But even after that, there were many, many times I wish I would've gotten angry at him for his severely prejudiced and misogynist comments that still kept coming as I sat there dumbstruck, tears falling down my face. I have half a mind to go to that police station now. To look up that officer and to tell him that what he did was yet another humiliation and an act of violation on top of everything else. But it is not just the officials, but you, yes, you, out there that have the capability to do exactly what this policeman did, make an already bad situation worse. 

Today, a second white rose opened in a small rose bush me, my husband and my mother managed to salvage last autumn from the yard of my grandma and grandpa's house before it was bulldozed down to make way for a yet another apartment building. If it were up to us, we would've never let that happen, but unfortunately it was no longer our decision so we decided that if nothing else, we would keep grandmas' Midsummer rose bush alive. Part of it is now living in the south in my sister's back yard and another part right smack bang in the middle of ours. For a while it seemed touch and go if it would root and get back to life, but it did, and now there are, like I said, two beautiful white roses and many more still in the bud. 

So even if we could not keep the house, we did keep her rose bush. Another thing to be thankful of. For now, I have been given two years off work to recuperate and rehabilitate. It took that rose a year to bloom, and it still does look kinda straggly. So, for the first time EVER in my life I am going to give myself the time to be straggly, a year, more if that's what it takes, so that one day I could maybe come up with a wee bit of flower or two of my own.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Title - Life

Ok. So now I am trying again. Apparently there are things that I am still not allowed to say, ways in which my mouth is still tied up. There is very little I can do about it. For various reasons. Right now. There is a time and there is a season. 

But I am really, really tired of all this hiding of things. This is where bad things happen. In the secrecy. Behind the facades. But I've had enough. Bring out the skeletons. Let them rattle and roll. And fall on the floor and crumble to dust. 

The last couple of years have indeed been very tough on me. But then again, that is hardly anything new to me, having had to deal with seriously bad stuff on various occasions in my life long before now. Yesterday I found out I am headed for a really long-term sick leave, some heavy duty rehabilitation programs and still, nobody knows the end result. Even the people close to me are now having some difficulty in handling the situation, after words like ''disability'' have started to be thrown about. But. Let us begin from the beginning.

You know about the SLE by know, I presume. And the things pertaining to that. The rheumatologist. The neurologist. The dermatologist. The opthalmologist. The ''god-only-knows-what-ist''. Yeah. An optician told me I needed glasses. Costing about 300 euros. I went to see the opthalmologist who said glasses would not help me, my eye sight was affected by the extreme dryness of my eyes. Hello, Sjögren's Syndrome. Eye drops in both eyes every hour if I am reading or doing something of that sorts. Not. Nice. Now add to the ever expanding group of profoundly befuddled professionals around me a neuro-psychiatrist and a regular one, a psychiatrist, I mean, and you might be starting to get an idea about what we're talking about here.

There is a lot of polemic around about the connection between immunological diseases and stress. Well. I now have a paper saying I have chronic, complicated PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that is. And one of the severest forms of depression. And a dissociative disorder. Man. I mean, every time I go see yet another specialist I seem to come out holding a paper stating yet another diagnosis. But if one looks a little closer into this web of weird and scary sounding words, it actually forms a not so strange a pattern after all.  

The PTSD was caused by some severely traumatizing events and periods in my both long-time and near past. Some of which could be considered debilitating all by themselves. Let alone all combined. And this is not some asking for pity deal here either. One of my ''caretaking personnel'' only recently told me that it seems the worst thing for me is to be seen ''asking for pity'' or any kind of leeway because of my ''issues'', and she was right. You have no idea how hard it is for me to write these things out here. Even if I can not write all that I would wish to. Not because I wish to censor my words, but because others are doing so. All I want is for things to be known as they are. 

And so the PTSD goes on to cause the Dissociation and then the Depression. And, in the opinion of many medicals and researchers, the Systemic Lupus and the complications around that. A circle. Like I said. A neat little circle with some cute little tentacles hanging off it. One that could be contested, of course, as far as the connection between the PTSD and SLE go but I for one do not doubt it for a second. 

But what causes the PTSD? Isn't it something soldiers get? Or people who've been in natural disasters? Yes and no. Traumatic stress is normal after any traumatic event. When it stops being normal is when it continues long after the trauma and starts to complicate and disturb your everyday life. And its not only soldiers who get it. People who've been abused in one way or another, either as children, in their youth or as adults, can get it. The longer the abuse lasted obviously contributes to the seriousness of the stage of your disorder. Mine is at the top end. People who've been robbed, mugged, raped or who have witnessed any of these, or someone being killed, are at risk. Natural disasters, car crashes, the list is endless. Some people are better equipped to deal with traumatic events, some less. Apparently due to my being exposed to both sexual and physical abuse as a child made me less able to deal with what happened during my adolescence and even now, as an adult. And here, let me make something clear lest there be no mistaking, my immediate family was never the cause of the abuse and are not to blame for it. If they could not help me it was because I hid everything from everyone. Already perfect at keeping up facades as a kid. A trait that I later perfected as an adult. You need to do what you need to do to survive.

And I understand. Some people find all this frightening. So many people have enough trouble dealing with people who have chronic, debilitating, even possibly fatal illnesses. They just do not want to see. It is so much easier to turn your head than have to deal with what is facing you, which, in fact, is nothing less than your own fragility and mortality. So add to that what is still one of the ultimate taboos of our society, mental disorders. Anything of that sort and people get freaked out. And yet, one in four people in my country is now or has at some point in their lives been on anti-depressants. What it all boils down to is ignorance. And that stems from the fact that people are too ashamed to come out and talk about these things. I know. I was. Not anymore. I know many people are now going to look at me and think, ''there goes the crazy lady''. But to hell with that. If you pardon my french.

So, I am going to pose a question to you now? Do you think a woman is weak if she ''allows'' herself to be abused in her relationship? Do you think domestic violence only happens to the under-educated, un-sophisticated, poor families. Think again. One in three women have been or are in one way or another abused in their past or current relationship. Happens to the ''best'' of the families. The educated as well as the illiterate. The rich and the poor. It can happen to anyone. It is so easy to close your eyes and think ''not-in-my-backyard'' or ''things like that do not happen to people like us''. They do. Abuse. Violence. Rape. They did.

No More Silence.

Disabled, they say. Applying for a disability benefit. And I absolutely hate any kind of benefit and having to apply for them, but applying for a disability is a whole new can of worms for me. So, now I am disabled. Does that mean like, forever? Will I ever get my life back, and if I do, what is my life? Right now, everything is stripped to the bare bones, the skeletons making their show and dance for their audience, but somehow, even though I know the statistics are against me, I think that one day I will have my life back from all of these diagnoses. What it will be like, I do not know, but I am on my way to find out.

Sometimes, when I think about life I get this strange feeling that I do not really know what life without all these problems would be like, I am so used to just surviving. And yet, I also hate being called a survivor. Because that would be just another way of my issues defining me for the future. I am the survivor of all that nasty stuff. No. I am many more things. And not all my life has been filled with pain and anguish. There has been beauty and joy for which I am grateful. And I keep believing there will be in the future. I have to. 

There it is. My skeletons for all the world to see. How you see me from now on I do not know, how I see myself from now on I do not know. It's a long journey ahead so I'll get going now, see you all soon but please, if I do not return your calls, it is not because I am being rude, as my memory and concentration are impaired, sometimes I simply do not remember. If I am unable to attend your social function, please, again, I am not being rude, I am just simply not able to, no matter how much I might want to. If I socialize for an hour I might have to sleep for two to let my body and mind recuperate. Trust me, I do not like it any more than you do. But this is my life, such as it is, for now. I have already had people do the disappearing act on me, and so be it, that just means that they will also not be in my life when things start clearing out. And I can also no longer keep around me people who do me harm, willingly or unwittingly. Some people have stuck it out, and I thank them for it. This is not easy, and according to my ''personnel'' it will get worse before it gets better but eventually,  it will get better.

One day. 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

No Words and Yet Too Many

I have been forced to remove the blog post that was here because some people still think the truth will never come out.

But it will. I will make sure of it. 

I am not where I am today for nothing. 

Faith not Fear.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Fighting A Bloody Good Fight

It's been a long time. I've been on a sick leave for a long time. Still am. For a long time. Somewhere in the world the spring has already arrived. With the earth laughing with flowers. Here were are still suspended in ice. There's more snow than I can remember there having been for many winters. Maybe it will be gone by June. Maybe. The sun is out and as it thaws the ice on the birch branches it forms into millions of little diamonds. And then the diamonds melt and drop to the ground. Is that the spring coming? The spring trying to show me in millions little sparklies that this too will pass? 

I don't know. I got a statement from a doctor saying that my memory and concentration are seriously impaired. Whether it is for now only, I do not know. I don't think they know either. So for now I just live life taking care of, well, life. As in everyday life. And all that it pertains. I am slowly easing back to cooking and baking after a long time of not being able to. It is such an essential part of me that I really, really want it back. I try to read but my memory trips me up. I have started to write. For real. There is a long story there itching to come out. I am trying to learn again to find and see all the little joys in my life. 

The doctors also say that I am depressed. No shit. Like as in severely depressed. Like the worst king of depressed there is. And then they say it's-really-no-wonder-considering-the-things-you've-been-through. And you know what? I am not at all ashamed of writing it here. Heck. Stick your little feet in my shoes and you go jump around in joy with not a care in the world. And when I go about in the outside world, I still get the but you don't look sick thrown at me all the time. Just because you can't see it does not mean it's not there. Sometimes I feel like wearing a tee with all my various diagnoses written on it. But I won't. Because regardless of the fact that sometimes, well, like now, all those pesky little diagnoses take over my life, they are not who I am. Just need to keep reminding myself of that.

And in the middle of all this, what happens. As the year changed, I got engaged. The house we're moving into is being renovated right now by my father. I have actually gotten the kitchen of my dreams. My lovely Hairy Harley Person drew me up a corner pantry in the style of old farmhouse ones, built the foundations and my father finished it. Its door was brought from the outbuilding of a house my Grandma used to live in and where I spent most of my childhood. The kitchen has white wooden floors. Open shelves on the walls, no cupboards at all.  A porcelain farmhouse sink and a wooden stove. Yes. Don't worry. There's an electric one as well. We are slowly moving in but as the house is old it will never be finished as some people think of ''finishing a house''. Everything's been done on the budget, no loans or such. But a lot of love has been put in that kitchen. 

So it would seem that there're a lot of good and lovely things happening around me as well. There are. I am thankful every single day for the people who have given their time and love. Their caring. That for every rude, judging person, for every selfish and insulting message from my ex-husband, there is a person who sees beyond the facade, a message from so many people that says ''we know what you've been through, you are not alone, don't turn out the light, don't give in, don't let yourself be caught in that web again'' that I keep on going. 

This was not a lighthearted post. Because my heart is not light right now. But life goes on, still.   All I'm saying is be thankful of the things that are good, pure and of love in your life because there is too much in this world that is none of those. Surround yourself only with that which gives you joy. Life is too short for anything else. Be not bitter. Even if you have to grind your teeth to do that and shout curses to the heavens, be not bitter.

Now that I look out of the window, the little diamonds have melted and dropped to the ground as water that in its turn melts the snow on the ground. And when that's done, the earth will laugh again. With flowers. Here's to hoping I will too, by then.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Mercies and Muffins

If I were to say the word mercy to you, what would you think I was talking about? A little while ago I posted Eliza Gilkyson's song ' Tender Mercies' at the end of one of my posts, and again today, after listening to that song I found myself contemplating the concept while sipping a lunchtime cup of coffee in my so-in-need-of-a-thorough-cleanup kitchen. And by the way, I am hoping that the oncoming polar night, when the sun doesn't rise at all all only barely peeks above the horizon, will take care of that. Well, that and candlelight. But back to mercy. I actually took a peek at my dictionary, and it said the word means compassion, benevolence, kindness and yes, forgiveness. Wow. A pretty big word that one.

Obviously, in a religious context, the word is used a lot. God is merciful. At least to some. To others, he is judgmental and terrifying. Well, I hope that whomever or whatever your god is, that s/he is a merciful one. Because we humans are weak and fragile creatures, and mercy is what we most need, every single day. 

But not just mercy as seen from a religious viewpoint, but as shown towards each others every single day. Compassion. Kindness. Benevolence. Forgiveness. I'm thinking I might embroider those words on a piece of fabric and hang them on a wall in a place where I could be certain of seeing them often. Because that is how I would like to live my life. Let the others keep the tough. I'll take the inner strength. Let them keep the selfishness, the my-right-to-gain, the insensitivity, the distrust. I'll take the trusting, crying-over-cruelty-in-headlines sensitivity over that any day. Call me stupid if you want. For I know it has nothing to do with my IQ. Tell me that the world is cruel, that for sure one day I will loose my silly compassionate heart and learn to live by the ''true standards'' of our world, and I will tell you that I have seen the kind of cruelty most people never will. I know exactly what lies in wait when people stop showing mercy. And no, I will not go there again. Ever. Call me silly all you want.

Right on.

And it's not half bad an idea to show some, no, make that a lot, mercy towards ourselves as well. Don't know about you but I certainly beat myself up the head all the time about things I should do, things I forgot, things I didn't do fast enough, well enough. About things in myself that I would like to be different. Damn this is a hard road! Why don't I just curl up on the sofa and watch Big Brother 24/7 or something?? Why do I torment myself, like my darling Harley Hairy Person says, by thinking way too much and way too complicated?

Because that's how I am. I am a fruit loop. There. I admit it. And mercy is what I shall try to show towards myself for being, indeed, this strangely wired, probably maddeningly loopy creature. And because mercy is also those little mercies of life, here is a couple I decided to give myself the other day...

Just click on the header
for the recipe.
They're very, very easy to make
and perfect for brightening
up a dreary
November day.
And you can use those
about-to-go-black bananas
lurking at the bottom
of the fruit bowl...

And as the day is now turning towards the afternoon and I can already see the sun setting, I shall light those candles and tuck the vacuum cleaner even further away in the cleaning cupboard. Got some lovely ribbons and fabrics from a charity shop, some of which I used to decorate a brown velvet skirt also bought at the shop...

...and some of which I am planning on using on an angel doll I am making for the Daughter for Christmas and which I shall continue on now. The dust is not going anywhere. 

So have a lovely evening and show yourself some little tender mercies, won't you.