Saturday, May 12, 2012

Four Mary's

 I ride the bus to work these days,purely by choice and motivated by the savings in the bank.This time of year I tend to wear layers for my commute, my work clothes layer followed by my weather layer.I don't always look all that fashionable in a mainstream sort of way.I choose a sensible-girly- tomboy- eclectic mix,a direct reflection of myself and totally accepted by own personal community.

The other morning I left the house in a Chinese blouse,slim cut jeans, minimal-istic cloth shoes and a formally men's jacket partly covered in scooter rally patches from the rallies I had been to,a big part of who I am these days.Over my shoulder I carried my messenger bag,water proof, swallow-er of all things I need for my day and sensible for my life.

I always arrive at the bus stop early because you never quite know when the bus is coming.The time table is just a guideline not an exact charting of arrivals.I had settled in,sitting on the bench for my wait....Along came a women visibly dressed for a work place unlike my own laid back shop.Dress slacks,high end running shoes to save her nice work shoes I would assume, and an expensive looking windbreaker.She was petite and trim with a  non-dis-script hairstyle.

Here we were,two women,on our ways to work places,waiting for the bus but very far away from each other in our lives.No problems there,no hang ups,no attachments,no judgments,just two women  waiting for the bus.

After a few moments the woman speaks to me in a bit of a high tone-

Woman: Um.., When does the bus come? I don't normally do this kind of thing,my car is in the shop.

Now,I had to keep myself from laughing at her,it would have been rude.When she said the part about not "normally doing this kind of thing" it was said like she had just agreed to a hook up in a bar in Vegas.So unsure and like she was doing something dirty and naughty. I wondered if she was the kind of woman that carries hand sanitizer in her bag. But instead I checked my watch for the time and replied to the woman.

Me: It should be here within five minutes.

Woman simply gives me a look I could not get.The bus arrives,we step on,sit down and away we roll towards our days.Just two women beginning their days on the bus.

On the bus there are the other regular rider's.An assortment of people and races,most of whom I have yet to talk with beyond a semi-sleepy smile hello.Across the aisle from me is the tiny Latino lady,her bag in her lap,dressed in working class clothing and as always with a pleasant look on her face.Another woman,on the bus rolling along towards her day.

People come and go along the route,some of which I notice and some of which I don't.On the far side of my neighborhood the bus stops at a large apartment complex.Here a woman catches my eye as she steps aboard. She is a tall,willow-ly, elegant and regal Latina.Dressed in a pinstriped pencil skirt suit,charcoal hose and heart stopping heels.Heels that were oxblood red patten leather unlike anything I had ever seen for sale here in the States.Her hair curled into a 1940's inspired do of curls and waves.Her head held high with confidence that did not even hint at arrogance. A presence of old school Euro style and grace.

A whole world away from the tiny Latina across the aisle form me but they are two women on the bus rolling towards their days.

It quickly become apparent that the pinstripe suited Latina speaks no English and has never been on our bus system.The driver tries in English to explain where to put her fare with no luck.The tiny Latina speaks up in Spanish,her voice matches the pleasant look she carries on her face.The fare goes into the slots,a transfer slip is given and the regal Latina sits down while thanking the tiny Latina with the same grace she carries herself with.

Here we are four women,on the bus ,rolling towards our days.

Four Mary's as it were.Meaning the name Mary tends to be a non-dis-script plain name just like the word Woman is so generic at times.The word woman defines our gender, not who we are at our cores.The word woman does not tell us why one would equate riding the bus with a Vegas hook up.While the other just steps on the bus and rolls with it.

There have been many women with the name Mary who have become some amazing women. Artist,writer,singer,activist and saint have all been attached to a woman named Mary.Each one walking a different path and filling a different pair of shoes to become someone not as plain and simple as the name Mary or the word Woman.

You can apply the word woman to any woman but you have not walked in her shoes to know who she is.Would I be able to fill those oxblood heels and could she fill my shoes of cloth? Most likely not,I like my cloth shoes and the who,what ,where,how and why I wear them.And I like the woman who wears my shoes.I can also respect the woman in the oxblood heels and how she came to wear them because we should all be the woman we want to be.Secondhand shoes are never as satisfying as your very own shoes,worn by no one but you.

 Joan Baez sings a beautiful version of "Mary Hamilton", a song about a woman named Mary who made her choices in her life that end at the gallows.At the eleventh hour the offer comes to spare Mary Hamilton yet she refuses,she has chosen her shoes and the path she walked and accepts her end with her head held high,although it means tomorrow there will be only three Mary's.

I wonder what it would take for women to accept each other simply on the level that we are all women.Wither we wear slim cut jeans,dress slacks,working class clothes or a pinstriped pencil skirt.We have not worn each other's shoes.We do not know where they pinch or squeeze.Or are they filled with soft ease or stoic stiffness.

I wonder if we could come together simply as four women riding on the bus,rolling along towards our days.Could that be enough?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Menu for Today.

 The menu for today: Green Onions dipped in Mayonnaise,Swamp Water and Filberts lightly toasted.I am sorry to say Dear that we are all out of  Tator Tot casserole, I was not in the mood to dine upon it and probably never will again.I know it was the special of the House but never again will it be so.
 Shall we brew our Swamp Water before we dine? Fill our cups with something Orange,a bit of  Red Punch and something with Fizz to make it just right? There, there it is that divine memory filled Swampy Color,refreshing as we wash down our Green Onions dipped in Mayonnaise. Onions freshly pulled from the garden are always the best. Warmed from the Earth and cooled by the just from the fridge Mayo.
  Are there no Filberts? Let us go for a drive in your Big Truck, across the Fields of Golden Fall turning down the road lined with the Filbert Orchards. Stopping to search like the Squirrels for our sought treasure,filling pockets with our horde. Now let us return to Home and the warm stove to toast our little nuts in a pan black with age and time.
  Age and Time what do you know, here I am  looking back upon those two. Wondering , Wishing ,Wanting and Remembering. Most likely you would reply to that with "Well...I dunno about that." in your soft spoken way. I dunno about about that either and that is why today I invited you to dine with me upon a memory of Green Onions dipped in Mayonnaise, Swamp Water and Filberts.A meal suited to a Farmer and a Child.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't cry little one,the moon is watching

Cassini color image of Rhea taken Jan. 16, 200...Image via Wikipedia

Many years ago I saw a program about the Ring Of Fire region filled with some beautiful peoples and places.In one episode the local tribal people had a legend that has stayed with me ever since.And ever time the moon is full I think of it and feel secure.
The tale was of a man and his finding his wife much like Adam and Eve in their garden so long ago but more of a love story,this is how it went.
A man lived on the Earth all alone,he felt his loneliness and one night went for a walk to ease his heart. The man came to a lake and there at the lake was a sight to behold,the daughters of the Moon bathing by the light of their Mother. The daughters had removed their gowns and their wings and laid them by the shore of the lake while they floated in the water.
The man watched these lovely maids and quickly fell in love with the youngest daughter. The Moon called to her children to come home but the man did not want the youngest to go.Quickly before any had reached the shore he stole away her gown and wings and hid them. All of the daughters had dressed and flown away and the Moon called to the youngest to hurry but she could not find her stolen things.
The man came to the woman and asked her to stay and to be his wife.The Moon's daugther saw she had no choice but to stay and said yes she would stay but under one condition,the man was to hide away her wings where she would never find them for if she did she would return to her mother the Moon.The agreement was made and they journeyed to the man's home.
A few years passed by and the man and the woman were happy,the woman gave birth to a child which added to their joy.But one day when the man was away hunting the woman found a box hidden at the back of the rafters of their home. In the box were her wings and like she said on that first night the woman flew away to her Mother and Sisters on the Moon.
When the man returned he found the woman gone and his child crying for its mother,the man wept too. The man took his child out into the night and shushed the babe and said "Do not cry little one,there is your Mother, she will always be there watching over you." as he pointed to the full bright Moon in the sky.
The story ends but the tribe who told this story takes their crying babies out into the night when they cry to show them that their Mother is watching over them.
My boys call the Moon, Mama Moon and I have taught them to never fear because Mama Moon is always watching over them all through the night. And when I can not sleep I look to see if I can find Mama Moon looking down,always watching through the long night.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

3% chance they said to me.

When my eldest son was just a wee babe in my arms I knew deep within my mothers heart that something was a miss,there was no fooling me.Don't worry the doctors said there is only a 3% chance that IT will be carried on by your son,you are nursing him feel safe in that.
No one knew that I would have this amazing child that was every throw back gene in our family tree.So blond,blue eyes who stole their color form the sky,so tall and slender. A child who IS the meaning of his name.Issac means laughter because long ago Sarah, who waited so long for a child laughed as her Isaac was born.
Don't worry the doctors kept saying to me but how can one turn off the worry that comes from deep inside.That place in us all that KNOWS. That place that houses a mothers insight.The place that KNOWS the mothers child like no one else.A mother knows these things.
My son is that 3% chance,two years ago Issac was diagnosed with Crohn's disease a hereditary autoimmune disorder that has no cure.Ranked with Aids and Cancer. Painful,a thief and heart breaking.
When Issac was diagnosed I thought I would die,melt into a puddle upon the floor.My poor darling boy sobbed my heart,I did this to you. I have Crohn's too,I knew what he was in for.Is it not every mothers goal to spare her children any hurt or harm? It was my fault,the guilt of it was going to kill me.
But I said Issac is an amazing child that 3% kid, a rare child indeed. Issac saw me about to melt into a sobbing puddle upon the floor and what that child said gave me such courage and strength to carry on."It's ok Mama, You have it and have learned to live with it and so can I." How could I fall apart with such brave words in my ears?
Last year we spent many weeks at the hospital with Issac,Many hours waiting for surgery to be over,for him to open his blue blue eyes and waiting to come home again. His surgery was major but he brought with him to the hospital his laughter and shared it with everyone he met."It's going to be alright!" he would say to everyone.Laughter really is an inspiring medicine and works wonders.
A year ago Issac was home recooping waiting for the second part of his surgery. During that time Issac came up with a phrase he and I use together.A little moment of checking in and saying it's all going to be alright. Issac's phrase- "Crohnies " a bad pun in some ways but it is what we are Crohnies.
Now today my son lies on the sofa finally getting some much needed sleep.He's not well and we return to the doctors later this afternoon.Seeing him hurt, hurts my mothers heart.Today the guilt is eating away at me.But for my son I am brave as I quietly pack my book, water bottle,chrage my phone and call the neighbor for back up/stand by help with our younger son. Hopefully all of my preparedness will not be needed for another stay at the hospital.Hopefully me and my Crohnie will be home by supper time settling in to our everyday routine.
I love you little man,my baby in the blue bunny jammies,my Crohnie.
Love Mama.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mary Iguana

The summer I was 7 our house burned in a fire.Not the whole house just the upper floor.Luckily for me I was not home that night.The fire started in my brothers room right next to mine,by the time he discovered the fire my room was burning too.
My brother quickly awoke my mother and they got out safe and sound.My mother later pondered how she remembered to grab her purse.A sight she must have been standing at the neighbors curb in her summer nightgown,purse on her arm and her face lit by her burning house.All the while our cranky neighbor was nagging her about the mess this was causing and when would she clean up.It was the crazy ,drug dealing, biker neighbor who came to the rescue,called the fire department,brought blankets and called my aunt. Never over look a biker when you are in need, a family motto that works even when you have a flat tire.
Also some place in those chaotic moments the dog,cat and the schools iguana were all found and kept safe. Yup, I said Iguana and this is her tale or maybe it's mine about the summer she lived with us.
My mom could be easy going about animals and never said no to any of them.Not the baby opossum,the snake I lost in the house,mice or any other beast. So when my brother came to her pleading to keep the iguana for the summer,the iguana no other parent would say yes to of course our mother said yes. If she only knew the summer we were about to have I wonder would she have said yes? Hindsight it would be so much more useful if, it was really foresight.
Growing up my parents were hippies of their own kind.I grew up knowing what marijuana was and even offered our neighbor a joint at the tender age of 4.Little did I know that well, you offer neighbors coffee or tea not pot. I also had the habit of confusing words for each other.(maybe it was my parents pot that did it I don't know.)For example in our kitchen we had wall paper with chickens and cottages on it.Ok in my mind kitchen and chicken were switchable,we had both after all.And then there was cottage and cottage cheese.Silly grown ups it's cottage cheese house. So you get it right?
This all led to my naming the iguana Mary. As in Marijuana - Mary Iguana it made sense in my head and it got lots of chuckles so it must have been good.
Life with Mary was an adventure.My mother should have been a founder of an animal rights group,"cages are so unfair" she'd say,"would you like to live in your room and never come out?" Well no mom, not really.So Mary would be let out of her cage to roam the living room. She loved to lie on the back of the sofa slightly hidden by the pillows,basking in the sun like any lizard would do.Here's the tricky part to this,before you sat down you had to check for Mary.If you did not you'd get a whip of her sharp tail across your unsuspecting face. Ever see a photo of an iguana's tail? They have those little ridges on them like the cartoon dino's do and they hurt.
Mary also shredded the curtains.Hanging out on the rods was another, safer, spot she like to be.Mom had five million plants in front of the window perfect lizard hang out,up high,sun is shinning and vegetation galore.
Then our house burned 4 weeks into Mary's visit.Where did we go while the house was rebuilt? A motel,A single room,my mom,my brother,Mary and me. (the dog and cat stayed with my aunt.) Once the maids found out exactly what was in that cage in the corner only one of them would dare to come in to clean.Charming, visitors who scare the hell out of the staff. I think at this point my mother had snapped out of her animal rights fog because Mary stayed in her cage the whole time we lived at the motel. I don't think mom ever caught wind of the day she was out and I had to talk my brother out of taking Mary to the motel pool with us.
Summer did end and my brother and I returned to our schools. Later on I went to the middle school my brother went to and they still had the Living Lab ( Not a Lab for experiments more like a big pet shop.We lived in the inner city and someone got the idea inner city kids needed to know about all these creatures.) with all these animals that most sane parents say no to.The teacher remembered our family,who would not? Hey,it's the sucker family who took the iguana home for the summer ! Great way to be remembered. I never once stepped a foot in the door of that room.No way, no how was I going to bring home anything for any amount of time.Besides Mary was gone her replacement Julius Squeezer the 10 foot long Boa.Could you imagine my mother and her thoughts on animals in cages? I loved my cat and wanted to keep him not provide Julius a snack.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Like Max

Have you ever had one of those days when the world is a place you'd like to step away from? I am having one of those days and when those days hit I start dreaming.
I have been dreaming about the book "Where the Wild Things Are" I am sure you know the one.Where Max is sent to bed and he sails away in a boat to an island full of fun loving monsters.
For just a little while I'd like to be Max who sailed away for awhile and then returned to find all was fine at home.
Before I sail away across the sea I ponder this.Is being sent to your room such a bad thing?All of your "stuff" is there.I'd actually like to be sent to my room for you see that's where I keep the books I am reading.While reading I can sink into the world of my book and return when I hear the all clear bell.
I could sail across some sea like Max.I have a friend with a boat that looks like Max's boat. A small wooden affair with a sail of cloth,I am sure he lend it to me."I won't be gone long" I'd say to the friend as I drifted on the tides.
Today I would not like to land on an isle of monsters,I am running away from the monster who's name today is "Life" so no monsters.How about an island that looks like Max's with palm tree groves and sand? On that place of solitude there could be a hut waiting for me.I'd like it to be just a platform with a palm frond roof,no walls so I can catch the breeze. A hammock sways as it hangs from the rafters gently rocking my latest book to be read.
Laying in the hammock,book in hand I slip into a blissful, restful spot.The hands of a clock turn as I turn the pages of my book,the page numbers growing and the hour later.My mind is empty of cares and I think of Max.
Towards the end of the book Max starts to miss home and knowing me I would too. I will have to climb back into the little boat and sail for home; across the waves with the wind to keep me company. The boat could land me at the foot of my bed with a smile on my face I'll step from the boat and know I have returned to home and life with a lower case "L"
G o ahead and send me to my room today,I'll be just fine there with my books and dreams of sailing off to ditant shores to my island with no monsters.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Like Running Horses

That's me "Like Running Horses" you see that's what my name means.And like running horse this blog is a place for me to run words across the page like those said horses.Rambling along telling my tales.
You see my other blog is not the place to just write,it's where I share my homesteading life with the world.Like Running Horses will be my thoughts and a venue for my creative side.
Come along on my story,can't say it will always be good but a story none the less.
And with that I say... I'll tell you a story of Jack Anory and now my story's begun.I'll tell you another of Jack and his brother and (for now) my story is done.
Until next time