Heart

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Today I had an EKG and gave a vial of blood away for testing. My heart beat is slower than average, but that’s not cause for worry…instead I’m obsessing over what’s in my blood and what could be causing this tension. I hear I should maybe try stretching my heart chakra. My insurance is crap and I had to pay for everything. No wonder so many people avoid doctor visits. The holding rooms were full of people complaining about the wait. A man proclaimed that he could draw our blood for free, to speed things up. I planned my defense and avoided eye contact. A silver-haired woman walked in with a bloody rag pressed against her temple. Very calm. The nurses spoke of chicken and waffle chips. Two women in the second, smaller waiting room laughed over news of their friend “falling off da poach wit her legs up in da air lika chicken” and wondered how long until they could leave for lunch at Ihop. I sanitized my hands and worried about why none of the lab techs wore gloves. On the way home NPR was sharing a story about the red socks’ pitcher’s bloody sock and I nearly fainted.

I remain,

Patiently waiting patient

Body

Been avoiding the doctor, but I’m going Thursday. My chest has been hurting for weeks. A dull ache. I think I’m finally ready to know what my cholesterol levels are and whether or not my genes are bothering my heart. I hope it’s all in my head and I hope I’m just letting this “heart health month” stuff get to me. My morbid vision keeps running out of control. I drop dead at zumba and some young nurse tries to help. I’m seeing the other side and feeling this incredible scrambling urge to soak in every minute with people and work towards completing projects and plan a birthday party and be a present parent so I won’t be remembered as a complete flaking failure. I hope its just the moon messing with my fluids.

Let go

JFK: Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. Mythology distracts us everywhere. For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie: deliberate, contrived, and dishonest. But the myth: persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. (Quotation from a speech at Yale University, June 11, 1962)

Imaginary troubles

Trouble communicating, again. Is it the weather? Need more houseplants. Creative block. Was there ever anything creative in here? Fear of failure hindering momentum. Social anxiety lurking, again. Hindering projects. Is calling art a project making it become leas of an art? Possibly. Lost in technical writing. Technical writing about creative possibilities may be hindering my creativity. Anxiety. Want to believe in good. Could be thyroid trouble. Need to visit doctor. Worried about the they. Stumbling into old journals. So many boxes of rambling. Should i burn or save? Silverfish everywhere. Silverfish and spider in car. Remembering life before social media and smart phone. More connected and more alone?

I wish I knew

What happened today? It isn’t anything new, really. I  know innocent people are lost all the time. Those children in those far off places I’ll probably never visit. I know about drones. Those kids in the part of town I avoid. All those kids locked in the New Orleans drug wars, reported on by the New Orleans news, every single night. I know there are unchecked problems in our world. I  know life is random and often cruel.

Why did this one hit me so hard?

Knowing that the children were so close in age to my own child. The setting. School, that “safe” place we send our children to experience the world beyond our home. My child has only been in a school for a total of six months. Of course I’ve thought terrible things about the terrible things that could happen there, but I made myself dismiss those and trust that there is more good than bad in our world. I didn’t immediately rush to get him this morning when I saw the news on CNN. I didn’t rush to get him when I read the AP alerts. I didn’t rush to get him when the barrage of facebook posts began. I made myself wait until it was close to our usual pick up time. I cried the whole way there. I sat in the parking lot, regained composure, and watched another Mother carefully buckle her child into his seat. Made sure to smile at her. Got out the car and slowly walked to the school building. Slowly. Started to cry again when I opened the building door. Hoping no one would be right there in the lobby, yet ready (and wanting) to talk about why I was crying and even say something about how happy and thankful I was to be here picking up my son, on this day especially. The school was eerily quiet. I was unsettled. The walk back to his room was the longest ever. I watched him for a minute before opening the door. He was with another small boy, playing quietly with a fire-truck and ambulance, of all things. I started to tear up again, but immediately snapped-to as soon as he saw me. There he was. His teachers looked as if they had heard the news and were visibly shaken, but I didn’t have the strength to say anything about it to them then. I didn’t want to bring out waves of emotion that would, more than anything, be confusing and upsetting to a group of 18-36mo children. I smiled, thanked them and wished them a restful weekend. I held my son all the way to the car and told him how happy I was to see him. At least that was no different than what happens every day.

Why did this one hit me so hard?

I hate guns. Two people in my life ended theirs, with a gun. I hate the gun rights arguments. This isn’t the colonial era. I have a very hard time visualizing the solution. My childhood idol, John Lennon, killed by a gun. My husband’s childhood idol and surrogate father-figure, John F Kennedy, killed with guns.  I hate the mixed-up mess that is background checks, mental health issues and vigilante behavior. I don’t know if I really believe there is a solution. I fear a gun ban would lead to riots led by crazed armies of extreme right-wingers. I don’t know. Give peace a chance? I don’t know. Ban guns, stop cutting mental health services, increase funding to mental health services and public education about mental illnesses and post more research about correlations? I don’t know. I wish I knew.

Why did this one hit me so hard?

My friends are teachers. I worked in schools for six years. Schools are not fortresses. Children and their teachers are in school for education, not warfare. The last year I worked in the classroom I was pregnant. In once of my teaching jobs I was a teaching artist for a New Orleans non-profit called “Silence is Violence”.  The organization referred to us as “peace club facilitators” and the idea was to bring artists into classrooms with at-risk youth and their teachers and a social worker to (attempt to) give the kids an opportunity to express their thoughts on violence in New Orleans by using the arts. They still do this program, and they employ wonderful, brave, giving and inspiring people. I worked at an alternative high school (at the time located on the corner of Freret and Napoleon). When I was 6 months pregnant I was caught up in a fight between two 15/16 year old girls. I was standing between them and one said something awful about the other’s friend who had just been killed, by a gun. Something along the lines of he got what he deserved. The girl on the receiving end of the insult picked up her computer keyboard and threw it hard at the other, and then the insult-giver proceeded to push me out the way to get to her. Thankfully (?) their insults had been yelled loud enough for the school’s police officer to hear and he was already near the room and quickly stepped in to break up the fight. I was physically fine. I was (and still am) saddened by the whole experience, but at the same time thankful to have experienced time with these kids.  I never felt anger towards those girls. Only sadness. I offered them both my ear, but they seemed to know that since I hadn’t lived the lives they live I didn’t really understand their pain. I tried. I hope they know I cared. In the end, I know I walked away from them without throwing them a true lifeline or really offering a sustainable support system. Truth is, I was scared of failing them, so I just disappeared when my job was up. I dove into the world of my own child. It was (and is) the best I could do. I hope one day to find the courage to go back into that world, somehow. I don’t have gangster’s paradise delusions, but I dream that I can find some sort of way to work from the inside to help those kids get out. Their world is so full of guns. So empty of hope. I hate guns for what they’ve done to their world.

 

This isn’t very coherent. I don’t care.

leaving the void

I still enjoy this video and song. I made it in 2006 for my friends in “cosmic reward”.

dwell not on the twilight,
for daybreak is near.
hanging your mask on the wall,
leaving your shroud by the door
leaving the void.
leaving the void.
As a bird watches from the tree,
I’ll watch from my window.
Fearing the void.
Free of the world.
           -Chance Cenac 2006

updates for public notice

Facebook age is only as useful and enjoyable  as we make it

distraction-free writing mode in wordpress. all I had to do was click a button

“doesn’t matter, we’re not a swing state” (don’t tell anyone)

I updated my online resumé on a Saturday night and enjoyed doing it.

I’m feeling more inclined to be social, and attempting to converse and participate more with a local arts group.

After this post I will immerse myself in editing video images that don’t have to “make sense” as a linear sequence of information. Maybe some Facebook. Maybe some adventures in sound.

Nonc Nu & Da Wild Matous

Nonc Nu & Da Wild Matous

Nonc Nu & Da Wild Matous will host a “Storytelling in Music” workshop, as part of the Houma Regional Arts Council’s Houmapalooza events, Wednesday October 24th from 6PM-8PM in the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum in downtown Houma.

The cajun-revival/New-aged-Zydeco band will perform some of their original music influenced by their childhoods in South Louisiana and lecture about their influences and inspirations in their music.