Sunday, December 11, 2005

New Parson Story


Now the Parson always do
what he says he do, (often not as 'spected)
and promisin' a story told be no dif'rent,
though when and where sittin'
be open fer guessin'.

So nobody say nuthin',
when right t'middle Ferkis complainin'
'bout the price of vittles down t'hallow,
ol' Parson set off 'bout predictin' the weather.
In hind spect it makes sense, I recon,
as in trade and hagglin' you often
get what ya deserve
rather than expect or be wantin'. (ma told me that)

Seems' this farmin' feller down ta flatlands
got a reputation 'bout tellin' 'bout the weather.
Now I cain't say 'tis true 'cause Parson
also be tellin' how this young man
grows more corn in a longish field
that this whole mountain do in patches.

But, it bein' the Parson doin' the tellin',
I knows the truth be in there shore,
like he be remindin' us 'bout Bible thumpin',
and tryin' to squeeze grape juice from
gravel or wise thoughts from a politician.

Any hoo, this farmin' feller named Ruffus
started growin' better and more righteous
vegetables and grain that his neighbors,
just like his pa always did afore --
which folks thereabouts 'llowed 'cause
the ol' man had been a God fearin' man
and bit-time tent preacher.

But this Ruffus di'n't hold fer that
and never 'tended church er nuthin',
and even nosy extention university 'ficals
couldn't rightly say how he done it.
Came ta be though, from watchin' close,
neighbors came to know that Ruffus always
made the right decisions when it came to weather --
and when ta plant and furrow and cut or run.

So other folk began to copy what he do,
and soon enough the whole county be 'tractin'
attention from reporters and big city TV doin's.
They comes down fer to interview Ruffus
and discover the secrets of his 'powers'
of predictin' so good and practical.

Seems Ruffus to be kinda shy
and don't hanker much to sharin' stuff,
and folks be saying' he gotta tell by right --
and he be saying should be enough
that folks be gettin' better crops
and easier times and more time fer readin'
and proper child raisin'. (he didn't have none yet)

The folks come to be insistin',
and claimin' he cain't be no Christian
ifin he don't do right by folks --
else he must be talkin' with the devil,
or else be sinnin' fer refusin'
charity to needful people there.

So Ruffus tell he what he learn't from his pa --
how he had a piece a rope a hangin'
offin ta'side the south porch-back
that he could reach from the window crack
behind the kindlin' stove afore sunrise
each morning barefoot cold and all.

Now if that rope be wet he knows it been rainin',
and ifin it be swayin there's a wind about --
and if it be stiff then a freeze be near,
and 'stead it be limp and dry then ya
better be a watchin' fer drought.

Well, them folks laugh at first --
then decide Ruffus be funnin' with them
and hiding some secret, magical ways,
fer they ain't stupid a'tall --
and that Ruffus was 'simple like'
and not to be trusted.

So they went back to there old ways,
with faith in almanacs and radio prediction,
and Sunday meetin' prayin',
rather than riskin' their souls
to un-natural suspicious stuff.

Now that's a pretty strange story (even fer the Parson)
and we be talkin' 'bout it some
after Parson done amble way after eatin'.
Chester thought he might be tryin' that rope thing
his-self, but his old lady calls out laughin'
from the boilin' pot how then Chester
would have ta git up early afore
the dogs and start plowin' right off,
working and fetch breakfast later on --
and we knew that was one bit of predictin'
that was truer that sunrise magic.

And I be thinkin' how my corn
might be a bit taller ifin I spent more time
plowin' than story listenin'.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Cold is not cold for me as it is for you. I don't register "cold", oh, no, my stupid (actually damaged) brain registers the feeling on my skin as pain.

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I don't develop goose bumps, I don't ever shiver though to touch me I might be a block of ice. To me it feels as if an army of small creatures armed with cheese graters are scouring away at my flesh.

I stopped registering "cold" quite suddenly about three years ago, before that the body was slow to react, but eventually my teeth would chatter and I would shiver. One snowy night walking my dog I came to the strange realization that it did not feel cold to me, but reasoning how cold it was and how long I had been outside this was not right, not in any sense. I couldn't sense heat either, but heat, other than scalding water, was unlikely to do much harm. It doesn't fritz out my nerve ends like cold does, if anything ambient heat makes my nerves pleasantly numb. I use a candy thermometer in the bath and shower to avoid scalding. I suppose that doesn't come under the heading of "normal" either. Short of living in the amazon exhibit at the aquarium there is nothing I can do except cope as best I can. Medication to bring the pain levels to bearable (where the cheese grating gnomes will sit far away from me for a while), clothing and heat sources, like steaming coffee and tea, clothing (lots of it). When it rains, or I'm in the shower the top of my head feels nothing, very odd. Contact burns which normally would blister, don't, just leaves a scorched mark, but no blister. Nothing, but nothing is normal. As each passing month more and more is abnormal I am uneasily reminded that this is a progressive deterioration, and for each change millions of brain cells have gone, poof, and you can't reanimate dead tissue, hell, they can't even pinpoint the damage.

The cold also makes my muscles rigid, blood vessels constrict to protect the inner organs, lack of bloodflow makes muscles crampy. The damaged brain often sends signals to contract and forgets to tell those same muscles to relax. My face which hasn't any insulation left (looking kind of gaunt) and hands are the first victims of the cold, I wear a grimace and my hands unless kept moving shape themselves into something that looks like a chicken claw. At least my grimace looks like a smile, but can be inappropriate when I cannot wipe it off my face.

The cold makes my nose run a and my eyes tear (well, just one eye), but lacking the muscle coordination to prevent a shower of nasal drip can become quite the embarrassment (in desperation when going out I pop a decongestant to dry things up a bit and walk with hanky to my face).

I do pull it together for an hour or so a day to walk the dog, run and errand and the rest of time drag myself about between lie downs. Friends who see me remark how well I look, yeah, that one hour a day. When the remark is made it devalues just how totally rotten I really feel. No appreciation for the work and sacrifice to put myself out there for and hour of kinda "normal".

Unless you've been there you cannot know how it feels to know your body is rapidly losing anything of "normal". I remember shivering, teeth chattering, goose bumps, swallowing without having to make it happen. I remember having the energy to spend a few hours with friends after a full day at work, and still my house sparkled. I remember planning meals according to what we'd like, not what I can manage to swallow enough of before becoming stone cold and unpleasant to eat. I use memories of taste to taste with, if I don't put out the effort to remember everything is uniformly flavourless. Digestion provides body heat, well that's out for the most part. See how nothing is normal?

I valued my complete complement of senses, smell, taste, touch, hunger, thirst, sleep, oh, sleep, honest to goodness real human sleep. sleep complete with dreams after some cosy warm time drifting, warm. The feeling of being full and warm after a meal. Feeling energised by exercise, not feeling near dead after a few minutes of rushing around my tiny apartment.

I've given up driving (slow reflexes, faulty depth vision), walking in high heels (balance and feeling the ground), a drink now and again (some unexpected reactions, not a bit pleasant), movies (just cannot sit still that long without getting rigid and cold), and forget about having sex (no details, but let's just say too scary, won't be doing that again). Sigh -- but I look well?

Is that really what it comes down to? Pity the wretched because of how they look, don't pity the attractive, because it is really only important to look good?

I know that everyone with ideas on how to keep warm has the best of intentions but I haven't a clue how to convey, succinctly, that my body just does not work as you'd expect.

As bad as dealing with the cold is, even worse is the level of functioning with limited mobility and cramped hands. Not because it is painful, the worst is that I cannot do what I'd like to. Millions of worth while ideas every day and I cannot execute but a couple of them at best. There is a heap of bright shiny ideas and inspired artwork clogging up my brain, stories, paintings, poems, correspondence, and if I'm lucky I can manage and email and a bit of knitting or crochet work.. If, that is, I've managed to get the necessary everyday hygiene, keeping the body warm and housework out of the way and have an ounce of energy left. Ghastly, I finally haven't got to work at a soul sucking job, but now have even less left to work with. I'm looking for a silver lining and am coming up with burlap. I feel apologetic to the cosmos for falling short of my potential. Honest I tried very hard. Not quite good enough, sorry.

Forgive the whine, forgive me if I am over explaining, but you see, there has been no indication that anyone outside the orphans with the same brand of dysautonomia, actually "gets it". I'm living in this body, it still feels entirely unlike my body to me, rather like having been taken out of my perfectly tuned former body and given this total jalopy which only looks the same. some things in like you just cannot get used to, rather like losing a breast or a limb. I suppose I have only phantom senses.


I stayed five days ,
not a week, but five days
five days and four nights

It seemed much longer
The elements made it seem
like living in another time and place

Heat and more heat
No winds to cool me at night
Then days when all the rain
held in the clouds for ages and ages
let forth
Causing rivers to flood
gardens to be washed away
animals to hide under beds

Then intermittent ,hail stones,dark clouds
but incessant heat..then
freezing cold ,a fire needed at night
Changing clothing seemed the norm
t.shirts and shorts then tracksuit pants
and warm woolies

I walked outside in all these weathers
waiting for another change to blow through.

So when I set out for home
it said...." 40o today ,hot north winds
a day of "Bushfire danger"
So I stayed another day

Friday said......
Windy,wet, but mild.....
So I set off from Gippsland town
The rain so heavy and the wind so strong
That it moved the car from the middle of the road.
I held the wheel tightly
The car moved as semi-trailers rushed past me
They left a spray that darkend my windscreen

I took shelter under a veranda
at the local football oval
had my cuppa and sandwich,
fed Jessie dog
the sound on the tin roof
deafend all around

We persevered on ,passing many motorists
broken down as they went through the floodwaters
I took my time ..I was ok
Arriving home, the sea caps on the waves caught my eye
the wind blowing them onto the beach and beyond
The Tasmanian ferry bounced at its moorings
It would be a rough trip tonight as it crossed Bass Strait.

It was not cold,more like a tropical storm
I arrived safely ,to a garden not needing watering
Leaves littered the lawns
Hydrangers looked frizzled
The bird bath full of debris
No matter..........

I was home complete with prized plants and vegetables
from my friends garden
I unpacked jars of jam,pickles,olives,sun dried tomatoes,etc etc
It had been a grand four days
In a part of Victoria different to my home town
Street lights not seen from the farmhouse balcony
But....The sunset on the Tambo river was magnificent
and I could see.....the stars so bright...this denied me
in my place as the lights of tall skyscrapers
dim the stars to pale resemblences

I feel refreshed ,
It is good to visit friends
It is wonderful to laugh and drink wine in good company
To share the produce of their labours
not all purchased from supermarkets
I had forgotten how sweet it tasted

...Lois (Muse of the Sea) 4th Dec 2005.

Friday, December 02, 2005

More than mind, Aletta


By the poorest of analogy in search of simplicity, I am a moth drawn toward the Light, ever being bright, Source of creation, Mother of rebirth, womb of Life. Ah, to plunge within, return to the bosom of Everwhen, to embrace pulse creation at the Origin of Song and Life. Yet I veer away on a tangential course -- as close as the trembling of my soul -- as far as the call of humanity's need. Out -- out -- but not away; somehow through and caressed with Godsped acclaim of Being. As I spin away in prancing joy, a simple note in Life's Song of Now, I learn of the Choice -- the reason for my entrancement.

Within the Agreement that enthralls my participation in this World manifestation are the vibrations of Covenant that limit my view of GodLight and therebe powers to nurture, heal, and create new life. This World exists so that I can make a Choice -- actually is a process of Choosing -- made 'real' by the combined interactive Love of others who also will make a Choice -- each in close approach to the cycle of rebirth. Within the limit of human Word that is, this is a Choice between 'death of self' and 'birth of being'; yet no more true than claiming a draw toward coming 'humanly divine' opposing 'divinely human'. Both are wrong, of course, for in either case, the vessel of cherished physical form rightful protected will cease to have meaning or relevance when Choice is made, or in losing it, Choice is found.

There is no purpose of 'Life' as engaged in this World, other than Being and Choosing how my spirit 'I' will engender Creation. Simplicity's view would call again to Song -- to position the Choice as between 'being in the orchestra' or 'applauding in the audience'; each as vital as Love itself. The essential distinction here is that within Love's symphony, personal identity of creative note is submerged within the score and guiding conductor's hand. This certainly is Creation profound, and stardust chimes and firmament resound in resonance. To bechoice within the expanse of 'audience' is Creation too, for 'applause' nurtures those emerging from rebirth, and carries forth the Song on Currents of LoveJoy that others may hear -- and feel -- and know -- and Choose. Which to be -- the Song or the Singer?

More divinely calling is -- do I wait for Judgment upon Passing, or by Choosing to be Aware -- embrace the singing Now? If I wallow in uncertainty then I must surely wait, encouraged that 'Arbitration' will consider how well my spirit suffered to become a child again, to find innocence -- a view only reflected in the eyes of strangers I encountered here. I can only seek balance between my spirit's memory of Creation and the Covenant's command to extend hand and heart to my brothers caught in this 'Choice Journey'. Is this a case of 'try it and see'? Or is it that by contemplation of leap from 'believing' to 'knowing' I have already made the Choice?

What will it be? To 'remember' or to 'forget'? Neither mind nor heart trembles here -- it is my very soul. Either way, I am part of the music of Love.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


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Spirits in the ether
mix, though never have they met,
perhaps never will.

Of importance is the moment,
this moment, and every
contact in either or blood, alters.

Spirits in ether, seeming nothingness
touch, move by, and through,
intentful and thoughtful.

The spirit moves about
on particles created through the energy of one soul,
moved to react by having touched the other.

Demonstrations of affections,
endearment, are every bit as real
as those our primitive senses would witness.

All is not made of flesh,
all does not need flesh,
spirit is eternal, sentient.

Spirit makes us players,
in the eternal theatre of this universe
delicately balanced, the good, the bad.

Nothing we do, or intend,
no thoughts, emotions are
ever inert.

In this universe, each spirit
holds the same power, and responsibility
as the hand of the divine.