Monday, February 28, 2005

Now I Know

I need a server, or something. And now I know I can't fix the thing back like it was. Yikes! I'll keep playing with it, I should have left well enough alone, don't you think?

I Feel Naked...

as the emporer with his new clothes. This picture is supposed to up in my blog header. It is there, on my monitor. But this afternoon at another computer, I opened my blog and there was no picture, only an empty box with the red x that indicates a link is missing.

Tell me, dear readers, am I naked, up the title box? Anybody know what I did wrong? I thought I was so smart.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Warning: It's a Personal and Pitiful Post

I’ve been looking for a part-time job. Unfortunately, my school schedule is such that my hours available to work are not very attractive to potential employees. That, and maybe the fact that I have only worked one place my entire adult life (which is now closed, or I’d be working there still) do not seem to be helping my search for gainful employment. It seems I can’t even hire on with the local dog-catcher.

But last Monday, I went on an interview for a full time position and the interview seemed to have gone really well. The job was with our local council on aging and involved going around to five different parishes (counties to everyone but the state of Louisiana) and working with senior citizens to help them obtain free or reduced cost prescription drugs.

The two women who interviewed me said I’d be good working with senior citizens and the woman who actually does the hiring told me the other woman would be calling me on Friday. All week, I could see myself doing this job, and doing it well. The parishes involved were less populated parishes and most of the senior citizens would have been rural people, my favorite kind of senior citizen. It would have been a job where I would have been doing something that made a difference in the world. I would have been so patient and kind and respectful with those people. I would have listened to their stories while getting the job done at the same time. I would have loved the job.

By 1:30 on Friday, no phone call had come, and I could not stand it any longer. I called them, telling the woman I was following up, and after a little pause, she says, “Oh, we hired someone else for that position”. That took the wind right out of my sails. I thanked her and hung up. I cried a minute. I called my husband. I took a deep breath and I stepped outside my comfort zone to call the woman back and ask if there had been a problem with me in the way I handled the interview because everything had sounded so positive when I left. I told her I was excited about the job and thought I would have done it well. She said there was no problem with me, I was a delight to meet, that I would have been good at the job, and that I would have fit in well at the office. She added that they were keeping my application on file in case something else came up, or if this person they hired did not work out.

All I want to know is, if I was such a damned delight to meet, and would have been so good at the job, and would have been a good fit in the office, why didn’t I get the job?

And here is the kicker: I have missed a lot of school due to dealing with my son’s issues, my mother was in the hospital, and I was sick with a coughing, hacking cold. I had gotten behind and did not think I’d be able to catch up. I had considered taking a break this semester because of all the extra problems and stresses, but I only had two semesters left and figured I could force my way through. And somewhere in there, my focus and my motivation and my confidence just disappeared on me. It was like I woke up, and saw that I was a big fat loser surrounded by young and talented kids, and I needed to get outta there fast. I also did not think I could handle school, a job, and the stresses of dealing with my son (and taking care of the rest of my family). There were too many things. Something had to give. I panicked. I choked. So, on Friday, I went and withdrew from all my classes. It was a small consolation that the teacher helping me with the paperwork commented on the heavy class load I was carrying. The teachers certainly would have been understanding and have been for the last year as the problems with my son have become more stressful. In retrospect, maybe I should have cut myself some slack.

As usual, when I make a bone-headed decision like this, I did not confer with anyone. I did not ask for help or advice, I just went out and took care of things myself. In my defense, I thought I had that job aced and in the hole. The pay would have been a little more than I could have expected to get around here in the commercial art field, had I graduated. The job would have been more in line with what I would want to do with my life. Now I have neither school, nor a job.

But tomorrow is another day, and I have a few leads on full time jobs. Just the same, I may be brassy and call those people at the council on aging in a few weeks and ask them how that new person is working out, just in case she is not being nice to those senior citizens. I can’t believe I did not get that job.

I can be kind of harsh with myself. I am trying to avoid that right now, trying to trust that there is a reason for all of this, trying not to bash myself on the head too much for being tired and stressed. It is hard. I would treat the man who called me an asshole for not letting him into the line of traffic (when I had already let two other cars do so, and there were several cars behind me, waiting their turn to go), I would treat that man better than I treat myself. That’s not right. I am going to be kind to my (stupid) self about this whole turn of events.

Anyway, it is no big deal, everyone has their problems. It's just life. See la vie. But I really wanted that job.

I was going through some of my poems and I found this one. The form is called Tanka, the syllable count is 5-7-5-7-7-5. The form encourages more emotion that the more common form of Haiku. Things do look a little dark at the moment, but I think I will hang on and still pray.

They told her to pray,
faith would release God’s blessings.
She could not conceive
her belief would move God’s hand
and so in her darkest night,
she stopped her praying.

And this one, which is rather harsh, but it is what I felt at the time. I no longer feel so melodramatically rotten. That too, is a blessing.

For My Tombstone
The better part of me
must have trickled like tears
down my father’s legs
onto white cotton sheets
to be washed away.

Only dross remains, rolling
into the refiner’s fire, railing
against the flame, wasted
and never purified while the I
I am burns away the I
I might have been.

Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust.
I never was.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Good News, Uncle Robert, I Got The Plane

"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
if I should die before I wake,
throw my journals in the lake."
(courtesy of

I don't know if my grandfather's bachelor brother kept journals. I do know he kept stuff, and as a young girl, I was fascinated with his stuff. I wondered what kind of things an old man might keep. The plane in the photos was one of the items he kept. It was always poked into the "plate" of the house, in plain view, but inaccessible to me. (The roof of the porch had open rafters and so there was space on the cross beam, a ledge, of sorts, to stick things. That is the best I can do to explain the "plate" of the house.)

Anyway, I would often ask my uncle if I could see the plane and he would take it down from its perch and hold it for me to look at it. I never got to hold it. My uncle was a school bus driver and one of the kids had made the plane and given it to him.

My uncle was a private person, and about the only one who knew any of his business was his old maid sister, who lived with him in the home they grew up in. There was a family story that he had visited the local fortune teller because he had lost something. The other grown-ups surmised that he had buried some money and had forgotten where he had buried it.

He had an old trunk in his bedroom that captured my eye. His bedroom was off limits and so I always stretched my eyeballs to see what I could see through the open door. I saw the trunk in his bedroom and I knew there had to be all sorts of treasures be hidden away in there.

But you see, Bobbie's little prayer brings up that third group of people I mentioned when I wrote about what people do with their journals. People like me want to donate ours to science, others want their family members to have them. People like my uncle want their journals, their stuff, to be "thrown in the lake", or planted with them when they go, or burned.

My rascally uncle fell into that category, and his sister burned the contents of his trunk when he was gone. She enlisted the help of my grandmother and they unceremoniously burned a lifetime of memories. I know they did not dig too deeply but my grandmother said there were letters (from women who were in love with him!) and receipts and post cards in the trunk. Believe me, my grandmother, the sister-in-law, would have thoroughly studied every scrap of paper, but the sister was fiercely protective of her brother's privacy. I probably would have too. It is not that I would have been digging for dirt. It is that I would have longed to see the things that were important enough to him to hang onto for so many years, and maybe to have had something to hold up to future generations and say "this was your Uncle Robert", here are the things he treasured. It would have been a way of keeping his memory alive.

I fussed at my grandmother about burning the trunk, about not putting my aunt off till my mother could have gotten there and maybe reasoned with her about the whole thing. Thinking back, I don't think he ever actually asked her to burn the trunk, I think she just got the idea that that would be what he wanted done. I think she acted hastily in her grief and may have regretted burning everything after all was said and done.

And yes, I know, if that was his wish, it was right that it be honored. After all, I know I'd probably come back and haunt somebody if they kept my journals and did not do with them what I asked!

But I got the plane, and I have pleasant memories of him. I think my uncle would be pleased that I have the airplane. Thanks, Uncle Robert, but pleased or displeased, if I would have been there, I would have at least taken a peek into your papers. And I bet I could have charmed my aunt and my grandmother into letting me take care of your stuff. And who knows, I might have taken the liberty of plastering some of it all over the internet.

By the way, Uncle Robert has been gone for 30 years. And the nearest we can figure is the plane must be at least 70 years old. Don't tell Uncle Robert, but I see one of the propellers is missing. Dang, I hope he does not decide I am too irresponsible to take care of his treasure.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Weirdly-crafted Pieces

I don't know why I get such a thrill out of cutting things to pieces and then putting them back together in a different way. Part of it must be genetic, my grandmother was a quilter. I learned that art from her, back in the seventies, while I was still in high school. Like me, Granny sometimes had an oddly skewed perspective, particularly when it came to her propensity to pair purple plaids with brown and white striped fabrics.

The first quilt I made was to be a Christmas gift for a boyfriend I'd picked up over the sumer while working away at a camp. There were squares of fabric from clothes my mother had made for me. I remember there was one fabric with Winnie the Pooh on it and trees all around. True to my nature, I carefully cut a square out of that fabric where I had a nice tree trunk and I embroidered our initials on the tree trunk. As fate would have it, the BF broke up with me shortly after we exchanged Christmas gifts, and he returned the quilt to a broken-hearted me.

The quilt was a sore reminder of my loss in love, and I ended up giving it away to a friend who, I noticed on a visit to her home a few years later, used it as extra padding in her child's playpen. It was also sometime around the time that I found out it was my father who had sat and picked out all the offending embroidery threads that contained the intials on the tree and my declaration of life-long affections. There is something touching about knowing my father carefully removed the threads that gave evidence of a daughter's unrequited love. I am sure he did not know what else to do to make it better. He was also the one who burned the letters I had received after coming home from that ill-fated summer romance after it was clear I could not bear having them around, either.

I made a few more quilts after that, and still have quilt tops that need to be quilted. Come to think of it, I have one in my closet that sits, half-quilted, that I started for my husband back in 1983, when I was pregnant with our first child and preparing to quit work and thought I'd have all the time in the world to quilt. I guess I thought the baby would sit in a corner and be still and quiet while I worked and smiled at the little stinker, but alas, that was not the way it was! I doubt I will ever finish that quilt, for varied reasons, and I know the little stinker who was not still or quiet will never finish it after my demise. There may be hope that my youngest would discover it and take on the work of completing the thing. I certainly won't care, I'll be dead and gone.

Now, my journals, they are a different story. I will care about what happens with them. My journals are my room without mirrors where I escape the daily grind and yes, in them, it is possible to see myself. There has been some discussion on various blogs and groups I frequent as to what we as journal-keepers want done with our journals when we die.

Regarding this question, I believe there are two distinct camps (maybe three, but I am going to save discussion on the third group till a later time), and there are fundamental personality differences between the two camps. This realization dawned on me last week at school, during a general discussion about classes we are required to take that we would rather not take. Speech was the disdainful class they were bemoaning. One young man said he would rather be in the class with all Commercial Art people, because he already knew most of them. Another girl said she would rather "make a fool of herself in front of a room full of strangers" than people she knew and had most of her other classes with. I agree with her.

That is why I would rather donate my journals to a university (the equivalent of a room full of strangers) with a strong women's studies program or to a school with someone interested in doing pyschological research on personal writing, or to an English department rather than leaving them to the whims of my family (the equivalent of my fellow students). Don't misunderstand, it is not ego that leads me to that decision. I see donating my journals as no different than someone leaving their body to science. I am leaving my thoughts, my mind, my essence, my spirit--something-- for someone to study. Besides, my loved ones will probably not appreciate the journals anymore than they will appreciate the quilts. They will just see it as another of my quirky traits, not worth a second glance. And there may be one other small reason I'd leave my journals to someone who might actually look at them and glean them for some small value. It has to do with the saying that if you can't be a good example, then you will just have to be content to serve as a terrible warning. And yes, I know, that last remark actually was a little disrespectful, but I did say it, sort of, tongue in cheek. You know, self-depracating humor, my favorite kind.

But still, the researchers will probably find, once they wade through all my verbosity, that is, they will find the issue of self-respect to be one of the major themes of my life.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Let Go? Did You Say "Let Go"? To Me?

Yesterday, in my real journal, the paper one, the more personal one, I came to see that I have been spending a lot of time lately trying to figure out what to do about several issues in my life, that I am trying to grab at too many things, trying to factor in too many variables. Somehow, I need to relax, to let go (and let God).

And when I hear “let go and let God”, the sassie one in me says “yeah sure, screw it all up, tear it all to pieces and then let go and say to God, here God, You fix it” which does not seem right to me at all.

That is where my confusion comes in. I think I have to at least “sort of” put things back together in order before I let go and let God have it, kind of like picking up a house before the cleaning lady comes, to keep from looking like such slobs. It seems I do not have a grasp of living by grace at all. I think God already knows what a slob I am.

Someone at school was quoting an old Saturday Night routine where the guy says “I’d rather look right than be right”. You know, the old Southern churchy tradition where the family gets all mad and screams and hollers on Sunday morning getting ready to get to church, and when they get there, everybody slaps smiles on their faces and they practically stick to the pews, they are so full of sweetness. She was not referring to me, of course, but if the shoe fits…

There is the fear that I will never actually “be” right, that I will always be a cardboard cutout girl, desperately longing, like the Velveteen rabbit and Pinocchio, to be real, to be right, rather than to just look right.

My habits are so ingrained and I have spent so much time pretending, working on “looking right” and I am so good at it that most people don’t know the difference. I say the right things and I act the right way. My mind knows exactly how to keep the charade going. But my heart knows it is all wrong. It is the recurring theme of my life, my “thorn in the flesh”. I don’t think I will ever get the hang of it, being real, or being right. I’ll just work myself to death on the fake outer layer while ignoring the jewel just below the surface. I’ll have ugly plastic flowers when I could have had fresh ones, pink, sweet-smelling hyacinths.

I am disappointed by a lack of healthy intimacy in marriage, disappointed because my son is struggling and tends to ignore my feelings and my advice. I want those healthy mutually satisfying relationships the therapists imply are available. On the other hand, isn’t that looking outside myself for self-worth? Should my disappointment in my relationships affect the way I feel about myself?

Is it so abnormal to feel, as my sister has said, that really, all we have is ourselves and God and if we stumble into, craft, create or carve any satisfying human relationships at all, they are lagniappe, just a little something extra? In the end, should I let go of my desire for connection, intimacy, for mutual satisfaction in relation with others and be content with just God and I? That is how I made it through many years, by hanging onto the myth that that was really how it was meant to be.

It was not until I started in counseling that I realized there were people who considered my view to be unhealthy, or motivated by fear. And some days, I still don’t quite get what the big deal is about living life as a (guarded) lone wolf. Isn’t that part of being “in the world, but not of the world”? Or is that one of those perversions of truth that I need to work on correcting? I don’t know. All I know is that I have pretty much always been somewhat reserved and guarded. And maybe it is a hilarious paradox for me to say that I do not see that as harmful because, in many ways, I am miserable, feeling disconnected, and caught in some sort of out of body experience where my head spouts all this out like it is perfectly logical to have ten foot walls around one’s heart, while my heart sees the small pockets of sunshine that leak through the cracks and wants so desperately to seek out and savor the warmth. The head cries out “danger, sunburn, skin cancer, heat stroke, you will meeeellllltttttt” and the heart believes the head and withdraws. It is an endless, vicious cycle. Sometimes I wish someone could fix that for me.

I do have responsibilities to do my metaphoric housekeeping, but I do not have the responsibility to hold myself onto the edge of this cliff that I find myself hanging from at this moment. I can allow myself to be held for a moment, and then to be placed back on solid ground. I can trust enough to let go. I do not have the responsibility to sustain myself. I do not have the responsibility to build protective walls around my heart either. When I am trying to hold everything together, to keep my world from falling apart, to protect my heart, I am taking on God’s part of the responsibility.

And the weird thing is, today God reminded me, once again, of my part and His part by way of this
blog that led to another blog, and you can read it for yourself here under the post entitled “Letting Go”, dated January 25. While you are there, read the post called “Pretend”. It is another good one that I needed to hear.

Wonderfully strange, huh? That’s the way God sometimes is. And me too, come to think of it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Ice Carving, Louisiana Style

The chef always gives us a talk on safety and tells us cutting the ice, when it is properly tempered, is like cutting butter. He lies. If that ice were butter, my biscuits would never be buttered. It is just too hard to cut.

We had high school visitors today and he is getting them started by carving out a basic shape. All they will have to do is chisel a little bit and smooth the ice and they will have a nice looking vase.

I don't know where the chef is from. I know he ain't from around here because he is the only person I have ever heard say (in real life) "yous guys", as in "some of yous guys may have brought your own chisel". I am not even sure how to spell "yous".

These guys are working on a Coronna bottle, I believe. It could have been Diet Coke, I suppose.

Even the students from Instrumentation got in on the act. I think their tool was my favorite, although at first, I thought they were going to be carving a crawfish. That would have been nice too.

These girls from Culinary Arts worked hard on a tool of their own. Here they are polishing it with a towel to smooth off the rough edges. They really enjoyed the process. So much so that I worried they would polish it all away.

Chef got in on the act too, helping the girls to get the shape just right. We Commerial Art students were busy getting it all on a tape for our video production class. I don't know if the chef just got carried away or started thinking too much about the ramifications of this particular sculpture, but by the time he finished helping the girls out,

the carving was only another innocuous phallic symbol, now known as the Eiffel Tower or a rocket ship, depending on who you were talking to. We all knew something was up when he carved that square out at the bottom of the base. Guess we will never know whether it was an ill-timed slip of the knife, or a planned cut designed to keep the chef out of hot water.

These poor folks have just learned the hard way that you have to be careful when you try to carve a hole out for a handle. If you hit an unstable spot in the ice, the whole top of your block of ice will crack and fall to the ground.

All in all, it was a great day for ice carving. The temperature was in the upper seventies. Unfortunately, that left some of us exposed to more cracks than we might have liked.

What else can I say? I mean, other than


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ash Wednesday, What Does it Mean?

In case you can’t read the quote in the collage, it says “God…is never thwarted or caught napping by the circumstances of our lives…We know that God will take our difficulties and weave them with purposes we cannot see as yet…No matter what life lands in our laps, if we will only trust God and wait – and never lose heart – the song we sing one day will be of victory. – The time will come when faith becomes sight.” Rebecca Manley Pippert

Reassuring words for sure, but words that have, at times lately, almost become unbelievable, and that has been unsettling because I have been a woman of faith for a long time. Now, this Lenten season, I am choosing to believe the faith will become sight, eventually, and I am just going to trust.

It is a turning point for me, a maturing of my faith, I hope. The past year or so has been one of looking outside my own narrow picture of faith and seeing how others define faith, of being open-minded, of identifying with the words of David Brown when he said, “I was taught that there was only one right way to believe in God, but I always knew there was something wrong about believing I was the only one who was right." That has been part of my problem, being taught that “our way” is the only right way, that “we” have all the right answers.

The thing is, I have spent time being opened up and my beliefs are all laid out on the table along with the new ideas, and right now, everything is all jumbled up. I need to get things put back together in a way that suits me, in the way that God meant it to be for me. I have been stumbling around in the dark with a flashlight that barely works, while, over there, on the table, there is a brighter bulb and a stronger battery waiting to be put in my feeble little light.

Oswald Chambers has said, “
Always keep your life measured by the standards of Jesus. Bow your neck to His yoke alone, and to no other yoke whatever; and be careful to see that you never bind a yoke on others that is not placed by Jesus Christ. It takes God a long time to get us out of the way of thinking that unless everyone sees as we do, they must be wrong. That is never God’s view. There is only one liberty, the liberty of Jesus at work in our conscience enabling us to do what is right.

Don’t get impatient, remember how God dealt with you with patience and with gentleness; but never water down the truth of God. Let it have its way and never apologize for it.

Jesus said, “Go and make disciples,” not “make converts to your opinions

I have had a few yokes placed on me that were never intended to be placed upon me. I have had my faith judged as coming up short because my faith did not look like the faith of the one judging me. It’s part of growing up to identify those false yokes and to cast them aside. It is not always easily done, tossing those old yokes to the dung heap. It almost feels sacrilegious.

One thing I have realized is that I have a chip on my shoulder the size of Dallas concerning some of the trials that I have been facing and I know that I need to rid myself of that big fat chip, but I am not sure exactly how to do that. Some of the chip is related to resentment that I have failed at living the idealized Christian life I was taught to pursue. There is also the self-judgment that tends to swallow me up, which isolates me from others as well as God.

But today, I am going to lay down all my self-righteous sanctimony that says “we” don’t need to make a big deal of the Lenten season because “we” are devoted all year long. I am going to figure out something, a ritual -- something added to my life -- something given up, something that will symbolize, to me, my coming back to God with a searching, open and willing heart. I am seeing it as a season of renewal.

I don’t know for sure what it means, or how it will look. I don’t know whether I will write again about it in here. All I know is that I am going to lay aside my spiritual uppityness and see if I can find God again, or if I can at least catch His attention so that He can find me. I’ve been feeling a little lonesome lately.

(And if you are wondering about my use of the words “we” and “our way” when talking about the way my faith was taught to me, instead of just saying “I” and “me”, part of the reason is to highlight how exclusive those words are, how that kind of thinking puts others off. When I use words like “we” and “our way”, I automatically create a group that includes some people while leaving others out. When I speak only of my own individual feelings and beliefs, I leave room for others to feel and believe differently. I leave room for acceptance, in my own individual opinion, that is.)

Fat Tuesday

The businesses along our main drag have no hopes of doing any serious business today, except the two drive through daiquiri shacks. The banks are closed for the day, and all sorts of characters are walking the streets. There will be a parade at 5:30 with costumed revelers throwing beads to the crowds who have gathered to celebrate my birthday Mardi Gras.

I thought I’d go take pictures of the party, but I think I’ll stay home and avoid the rowdy crowd. Besides, I am tired. It is exhausting work, coming out of the “age” closet. I guess I have to accept the fact that I am basically an old fuddy-duddy.

I wonder, would it be an oxymoron to say that I am a fun fuddy-duddy?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Ramblin' Around

I have these two friends who volunteered last summer to do crafts at a camp where I also volunteer. Friend B has a loud booming drill-sergeant voice. She works in law enforcement and carries a gun. I was not sure how well she would do with the girls, but it turns out she is a natural. The girls loved her. Friend C has a quieter soft-spoken voice. She is a teacher who works with elementary age children for a living.

Friend C, who is well adjusted and for the most part, unflappable, and fully capable of exerting her authority (would not want you worrying about “poor little C”) recently had the experience of running into some of the little girls she worked with last summer when she started attending their church. There was not a glimmer of recognition from the girls as to the fact that Friend C had taught them crafts last summer. She knew some of them had attended the camp, but there were 400 girls at camp and she did not really recognize the girls either.

One Sunday Friend B visited Friend C and went to church with her. Lo and behold, the little girls started buzzing, “look, Mrs. B from camp!” and they ran over to speak to her and to ask if she’d be there again this summer. Not only did they recognize her, they remembered her name as well. Meanwhile, Friend C, having been incognito in the midst of these girls for three months, watches the scene unfold without the least bit of surprise. Friend C says she is used to being invisible. She says it happens all the time, and not just when she has been the forgotten partner of Friend B either.

I know what Friend C means. I often feel invisible myself. It’s not a bad feeling, really. Sometimes it is downright amusing. Sometimes it is downright amazing. Last year around this time, I was rear-ended by a man who had been to the Mardi Gras parade and had been doing a little too much of the “let the good times roll” (laise les bon timps roule, or something like that, it is a Mardi Gras slogan) routine. He was drunk. My car was totaled and I had to ride to the hospital in an ambulance strapped to a gurney with a neck roll on my neck (where else would one put a neck roll?).

I was more scared than injured. It was the THIRD time I had been rear-ended in that car. And when I got over being scared, I was angry. The first time I was hit, the guy was digging in his Burger King bag for a French fry. That one was a light bump, but enough to require body work. He jumped out of the car apologizing (as did the drunk guy) and when he went to use the phone at the nearby store, leaving me to watch his kid (always the care-giver, aren’t I?), the kid starts wailing plaintively “don’t let them take my daddy to jail”, which made me suspicious, but I reassured the kid his daddy was not going to jail. Still, when the kid said he was going to meet his daddy, I told him he was going to stay right there with me. In my care-giving mind, I was worried about the kid crossing the street, but the more pragmatic side of my mind knew the kid was collateral. Surely daddy would not run and leave his kid.

The second time, I was at a red light and a guy was talking to his buddy in the vehicle beside him. The buddy was in a turn lane and when he got the arrow to turn, the guy behind me assumed he had a green light and gassed his big-ass truck into my little-assed car while I sat there, waiting for the light to turn green.

So, yes, I have some history with being rear-ended. But the nice part of me knows that accidents happen, and we all have been guilty of being careless while behind the wheel. It is not like I myself have not pulled some boners. I have just been fortunate that (knock on wood) there have been no collisions.

Just last week, I was tooling through the WalMart parking lot and instead of going all the way to the end of the row of parking spaces, I cut across an empty spot. I did not notice the big green truck coming through. I must have startled him because he honked and gave me this look that said “you dummy”, like he personally had never done anything stupid while driving (I bet he was thinking derogatory thoughts about crazy women drivers). It just hit me wrong, and I honked back at him. He was leaving, and I went on my merry way up the row, looking for a parking space. However, when I looked in my rear-view mirror, I noticed this plain car with a red light flashing on the dash. I pulled into my parking place and, guilty soul that I am I jumped out of my car and started confessing and apologizing profusely (while my pragmatic mind was telling me to calm down, there was no way he was could give me a ticket on a parking lot). The (good-looking) young man looked confused for a moment. I realized he did not want to give me a ticket at all, he thought I was in some sort of danger (did I say I had held the horn down for more than a few seconds, like some sort of lunatic….or damsel in distress?) and he was all set to rescue me. I should have kept my big fat guilty mouth shut and played it cool. In the end, he told me to just slow down and be careful. I did.

At this point in the story, I find I have digressed, and I have forgotten what my point was. Oh yeah, the subject of being invisible…and now it occurs to me that maybe people just turn me off because I ramble on and on, they get tired of waiting for me to get to my point. Hmmm, for anyone who is still with me, here is where I meant to go before I got off on the tirade of telling about being rear-ended so many times.

I got subpoenaed to go to court over the Mardi Gras rear-ending. I was going to call the court and ask why I needed to be there, but I never did (procrastinated, again), so I had to go. I missed class. I showed up in court. I went into the court and heard the judge tell three guys (in the interest of time, the judge was killing three birds with one stone), all accused of DWI, that they were fortunate not to have killed or injured anyone. I am sitting in the court, hearing all this, wondering why the state of Louisiana wasted my time and their money to subpoena me, only to ignore me, and when they started arguing about the exact date upon which my guy’s “incident” occurred, I could no longer contain myself. I said in a perfectly clear and authoritative voice the exact date the incident occurred. The judge, the attorneys, the DWI guys all looked straight at me, but no one acknowledged that I had said one single word.

I wish I had been bold enough to get up and deliver a scathing speech telling them in no uncertain terms that I had indeed been injured. My car was totaled. I could not get an accident report because of the timing of the accident (Mardi Gras always brings a lot of police stuff to deal with). I could not get a rental car to drive because I could not get an accident report. Unfortunately, I have never been very bold. So I kept my mouth shut, court adjourned, and I went home, feeling invisible, my presence having been invited, no demanded, but my voice not welcomed. How stupid was that?

I know how Friend C feels. Like her, I find it laughable, most of the time. Sometimes it comes in handy, being invisible. What I also find is that when one is invisible, one can make all sorts of observations. Sometimes, I speak, or write, of the observations, sometimes I keep my mouth shut.

Sometimes I’d like to rewrite my own character and be brilliant rather than invisible but I am just not that brilliant, though come to think of it, for a short time in my life many years ago, I was known as Sparkle Farkle. Anybody remember her, from Laugh-in? But heck, even then I did not sparkle.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Responsible Party Speaks, Whoever She Is

Pollyanna used to be the responsible one, but rumor has it that she passed on a while back, may she rest in peace.

I think annie oddflower is probably taking her place, and will do a capable job. Anyway, someone has to come through here and explain that I would have liked this post, and Frued's personality model, and annie's personality model to have been posted all together in one happy spot. However, everytime I tried to edit the posts, my pictures disappeared. So I have given up on that idea. Consequently, I can't make the link to Real Live Preacher active, so you will just have to link to his blog from my list of daily blogs off to the side.

Sassie Annie says to quit scratching your head and looking at the screen with such a puzzled look on your face. It is all quite simple, really, we all have them, you know (alter egos). Some of us are just uptight about acknowledging them.

And who knows, this is our blog, and we just may bring anal old Pollyanna back to life. New Life Rising, our very own soap opera. It just occured to me that Pollyanna is the one who named the blog. Sassie Annie would have picked an edgier name, but annie oddflower sided with Pollyanna, as she always does when the results of the decision are public.

Read on, dear reader. . .

Frued says the personality is like an iceburg, with large portions below the surface of our unconscious minds. Here is a basic map of how Frued says it is, and how the ego, the superego, and the id function, whether we are aware of their existence or not. I learned about this in a Pyschology class and I was fascinated by the whole idea.

The reason it has come back to my mind is because of recent goings on over at RealLivePreacher . There has been some confusion because he has written an essay and pulled it from cyber space, then he talked about the pain of being misunderstood and judged, then the Real Live Preacher guy came back and said Gordon would be okay, but for everyone not to mention to Gordon that RLP had made that post. Then Gordon came back and wrote that he could not read the previous post (written by RLP), it was all gobbledy goop. . . are you confused yet?

Anyway, it was all perfectly clear to me. I don't claim to be half the writer that RLP or Gordon are, but I know all about those alter ego peoples. They can wreak havoc on a sane person's life.
I have posted my own personality model that I mapped out when I learned about Frued's model. I would suggest that Gordon and the Real Live Preacher guy get together and figure out who is who, and maybe they need to put a permanent map on the site so that their more literal readers will not panic on the occasions when it seems there is a personality split.
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Here are the three basic facets of my personality, organized according to Frued's model of personality. It's weird, I know. But in many ways, this little analogy has brought me understanding and acceptance of my self.
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