Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Weird Weekend or ... More

Observations in a stranger that usual week ...

I am one of those children who, according to my mother, "judges" her parents. I don't think it's judgment, but I have always questioned their doings. In a way, I think they (the parents) got what they wanted: they taught us to challenge everything and not accept what is. They didn't specify they were exempt from this.

I say this now because I never understood, for instance, why on earth my mom would buy whatever fruit there was in season in industrial quantities to make canned goods with. She slaved for weeks in the kitchen, every single of the four seasons we have back home, to make hundreds of jars of preserves, marmalade, juices, spreads, and you name it. We had pepper spread, and eggplant spread, and cherry, and sour cherry, and walnut, and strawberry, and blueberry, and wild strawberry, and peach, and apple preserves, and tomato sauce, and tomato juice - hundreds of jars of them. Sometimes we ate for years from the same batch. Her fingers would turn various colors when she was canning, because she had to clean and pit and manually mince the fruit before cooking it - so her hands were red, or green, or black, or orange, or purple, depending on the fruits. How was she not embarrassed to go to work like that?! I never got it. We could afford the things in the store, why would she have to go through all that labor for food we ate once or twice a week??

I never got it, till this weekend, when my fingers turned orange, as I peeled, seeded (yes, they can have seeds, too) and cleaned my first batch of mandarin oranges and made my first jar of preserves. I look at my hands and I smile: I miss mom, and I wish she were closer so she can taste my preserves and tell me how much I suck at making it. I love it, though. It's like no preserves I have ever bought in any store, or country fair. It's so much more flavorful, and so much clearer than the stuff you buy in store. It also tastes sweeter because it's my mom's recipe. And you know what: I am not embarrassed that my hands are orange. If anything, I am proud!


I am reading a great book this week: "My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. What a life changing book for me! Stroke and I go a long and unhappy way back. Stroke and I, I feel, will revisit each other in the future, as well. Being close to stroke patients, and brain-diseased patients, I have always been fascinated with what exactly happens in our lives, in our body-lives, when the mind goes, fully or partially. I've always known what it feels like when your body goes, but your mind...?! To read about this kind of experience first hand, from a brain specialist is such a gift!

It's a great, loving, compassionate and easy read; one that, I think, anyone with any nerve for human empathy should read. It's a book that I have probably waited for all my life. It's my escape from the world of "crazy" as I am calling it lately. It's simply beautiful.


I am trying to convince dad that Obama is not a liar. So far, it's not working so good: I'm doing a lot of convincing, and he's doing a lot of not listening to me. It's the first time in my life when I actually give a darn about politics. It's odd! Not sure it'll last.


Ran into a former co-worker that I think the world of. She's great at what she does, and she does it with ease. On top of being a kick-a^^ professional, she's just a cool person, with a great heritage, awesome taste, talented, and unique in every way you can imagine. She now is looking to become a yoga teacher, and she's great at that too. I asked her, would she make yoga her full time job, she says: 'Oh, no! That's my hobby! I am waaayyy too non-committed for that. That's a huge commitment'. Hhmm... That was odd. I would have thought that going through the teacher certification program, and through the exams and all would have been huge in the first place. She went through all that, and now, she's shelving the degree?! Why? I was puzzled. True to herself, however, she never ceases to surprise.


Drove down Aycock Ave in Greensboro, NC this Sunday, and saw this tall young gentleman that looked like a poster guy for an ad for Scotland: kilt, socks, hat, ample-sleeved shirt, bag across shoulder, a lllooooong goatee, down to his belt almost, carrying a Starbucks paper cup and walking the street. Now, if this were New York City, this would have been just another passer-by. In Greensboro, NC, though, it made for an interesting sight to say the least ...


I "broke up" with a "friend" that I have known for over 7 years now, this week. A friend I trusted, and I opened up to, just like I do to any of my friends. There is a time, unfortunately, when we have to "clean up" the "friends" files, and really bring them up for a yearly review: are they still doing their job as friends, and if not, can we fire them?! It's a mixed feeling of sadness and freedom when this happens, but deep down, we ought to know that a friend we lose this way is not, really, a friend worth keeping, is it?! The sad part is still there, however, because those times we did think we were friends, those hours, and dinners, and chats, and Christmas present sharing are lost forever.


The unthinkable happened this week, too: I got excited about television! I typically don't care for tv much. I sometimes wonder if the tv still works, because it's not turned on for days. I remember a co-worker saying in the office, about computers: "Them electronics don't like it much when they're not turned on for a while. One day, they'll just quit!". But this week I switched from regular basic cable to the lowest package you can get on Direct TV, and I love it! I love the remote, even, the picture is clearer, and I am just in love with the new bill! Yay for savings! Now, don't get too excited: the tv craze won't last - I promise you!


The most beautiful and simple thing I have heard this weekend, a true "a-ha" moment, was during my yoga class on Sunday afternoon. My favorite instructor, Terry, always encourages us to know who we are and learn to love what we are, and never chase for what we think we should be. I know this sounds pretty common sense for some, but some people, especially in a yoga class, will look around and see if someone else is "screwing up" worse then them; they're there for a competition of bending or something, not for the pure pleasure of treating their body well. So, Terry said something so simple, and yet so deep, I thought. I am not sure it belongs to him, or he read it somewhere, but ... he went: "We didn't all come here, in physical form, to do what somebody else says. We came here for our own experience."

I have been telling people, not in those very well organized words, the same thing about living with a life threatening disease for years: just because my life is different than the "norm" doesn't mean I am living a lesser life. I am living it still to the fullest. I am living it to my fullest, that is. And that's all that matters.


The weirdest thing of all is that the moon got drunk, or high, or something on Sunday night. Or maybe the camera did: I tried to take a regular night shot picture of a gorgeous (and close) almost full moon that night, and this is what I got:

I have never done drugs, but they tell me this is what you see on some of them, if you were to follow a lit cigarette waved at you. I did nothing different in my settings, other than moved the camera too soon, I guess ... However, this will be forever filed under "The Moon Got Drunk One Night" in my pictures folder.


My parents' 35th anniversary was yesterday. Happy anniversary, mom and dad! And I always wonder - no, not judge, but wonder: how can two people that practically yell at each other 24/7 make it this long?! Now, I don't care what dad says - he will tell you there is no such thing as "love" that could last longer than 2 months; I don't care what he says, but I'll call it love. Because otherwise, us, single people, would be hopeless!

,My parents in 2007, doing what they do best: playing ...


This week's hardly started, really. It's been a strange one, in good, indifferent and not so good ways. With nervous eyes, I'll face tomorrow - curious as ever!


Charlie said...

Thanks for sharing. Just wanted to let you know that I'm keeping an eye on you and your doings. ;)

Dawn in NC said...

I just KNEW you would love "My Stroke of Insight". You know it's a great book if BOTH of us love it, because we usually never like the same books. ;-)