I wish I could remember things
I wish I could remember things nowadays. Well, certain things: the little things I loved to recall even if that day itself forgot it’s own history.
I say so because I used to remember everything. Well, everything aside from tasks and appointments.
But birthdays and colors and people and quotes and shirts and pants and moments and seconds and years and before’s and after’s and laughter and tears and happiness and sadness and broken and open and family and friends and foes and familiar and similar and far and wide and close and intimate.
I wish I could remember things nowadays and it’s not actually because I need to know them for everyday life but because I need to know them for everyday me.
I have always taken pride in remembering the obscure things. The little things that I always thought to be big. The feelings and memories and feelings of memories and memories of feelings.
The reason this bothers me so is not because of the people or things that are the subject of what I remember—most don’t realize they’re remembered and even many times they don’t remember what I seem to—the reason it bothers me so is because who I am is inside those things.
Who I am is outside them but still gazing in. Inside them but still arms wrapped around tight. Brushing their hair and saying goodnight. Waving good morning and seeing them later. Loving them wholly and loving them holy. Acknowledging their importance and reminding Time of their history.
Stuck inside that time is the me I was when I could remember them. I don’t remember how to navigate them anymore, I don’t look at the date and think of it’s recorded life or happy birthday to or remember when this or that and that too. This sometimes silly skill but strength I held was always one I took pride. A skill many didn’t care for but didn’t need to in order for me to celebrate them. But now we’ve lost touch or rather, they have been unfairly alienated from their only advocate, their own voice: me.
Illness and medications half mental and half physical: they’ve altered my life, my mind, my memory, my body. They have altered the altar I didn’t realize I prayed at.
Memory has always been my religion and, despite how much I fucking try to get back to it, no matter how many prayers I say on my knees, how many questions I ask and even think I answer: what’s become of me isn’t actually me at all.
The only true thing I remember is what I wish I could and it’s the fact that I am no longer. I am in that past. That’s the one memory that I do recall: that who I’m trying to be is a me I lost.
Who I wish to be, it’s a me that’s not me at all, not anymore. It’s a me I keep forgetting to forget. A me I can’t be.
So, with the same wish to remember how to remember all those little things: I wish, and fail, to grasp that I cannot grasp that girl: the one remembering the world.
I wish I could remember things nowadays. But we can’t always get what we wish for: I keep forgetting that, too.
The magic words
many years ago, in a far away land , lived in the forest a small family of wizard bears; the parent wizard bears were bringing up three young bears of different ages: their eldest was big brother bear, he was followed by sister bear, and finally, the young brother bear.
one day, mommy bear decided that it was high time for her progeny to learn the casting spell. "which maketh thy father's and mine's fortune and earns us the great esteem among the greater community of wizard bears" she said "so hark ye well, my lovelies, and learn the words that i shall tell!" so said she , and with an admonishing swat of her paw , proceeded to recite to her younglings the great lore of the wizard-bear family, out of the great book which was bound in the checkered vellum of the woodland ostrich. a great tome of magic was this book, which was unto-now forbidden for the youngling to read.
and so it went, that in confidence and a slow rythm, as the dripping and slathering of thick ketchup, she began to chant the spell to their ears, that late frosty night, after supper was concluded and the bears were washed, clothed in nighttime attire and most in attention to spells and chants, as maic bears are known to be.
it is not an easy thing to learn a magic spell; it is not merely a matter of hearing words as they are uttered as a splash; a talent is required to listen to these arcane words, whose meaning is lost to day in the smoking ruins of ancient circles and rites. truly, to
both listen to the words, and to retain them in exact detail until the chant is complete, and commited to mind beyond fault and to never forget, once the chant is uttered, is a feat of rare acheivment . for not a word of it must ever be neglected or miscarried among its sisters in the verse.
the big brother bear, who was 7 years of age, listened carefully. however by the time his mother was chanting through the fourth page, he was deep in slumber. it was not a fault of is own, nor his mother, but the strain of the task and the length of the day which preceeded it.
the middle cub , sister bear, fared better than her elder brother. though she was six years of age, she retained more than five and a half pages of magic. it was then, upon the verge of a new casting incantation, that her weary eyes fluttered and closed. it was as if the chant itself had brought her peace and dulled her awares until the dreams that come into the minds of only wizard bears came. she was asleep after that.
the youngest bear , who was shy of four that night, listened intently as his mother read the enchantment spell, until the eighth page was taught. the magic though was long and arduous and his eyes began to flutter , hovering in that peculiar moment between being open and shut. he struggled on, to keep his shiny eyes open but the chant his mother told was such that he finally succumbed to the words as they were told, until he, too, fell asleep.
and what of daddy bear? he too made an effort to contain in his mind the long magic spell, as mother bear spoke, but her soothing voice, and the toils of the day soon got the better of him and his eyes closed and he was soon snoring in surrender.
with the family of wizard-bears fast asleep, mother bear closed the ancient magic book quietly. she looked upon her family and grinned in satisfaction. the hour was not even eight. she put the volume of enchntment in its usual place, and dressed up in her sizzling leather jacket. she stepped out into the early evening air, hopped on the chopper and rode on down the highway.
and where did she go? that is a story for another night.
When I think about love
This is a repost of mine from a year or so ago. I turned it into a monologue. The link is attached to listen to it. It would mean the absolute world to me if someone would listen to it and give me their feedback.
When I think about love...
I think about the people in my life. I think about the good, the bad. The love that comes as easy as breathing, and the love that comes with an indefinable struggle. It’s never been hard for me to love. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever experienced an emotion that came easier for me. Loving those who are built firmly into my heart in unbreakable bonds that define so much of me and my life. Loving those whom have once held me unimaginably close and seemed so real, and right at that time. And loving those who made me feel safe, and made me feel as though I wasn’t, had never been, and never would be alone.
When I think about love...
I often wonder what it would be like. To be me. To be the person I am, and to not hold so many scars inside myself where I have loved and lost. I think of the things, the people, the places that are now behind me. Stuck somewhere inside a past that seems blurred by the unsought gift of self preservation. For the most part, I can count my blessings within each person that I once trusted enough to hold the weight of me and my own heart. I can see the good where there is so incredibly much bad to be accounted for. I can find it within myself to smile and be grateful for everything that was said, that was done, that was felt, and that was endured. For the most part, I am better because of the people I have loved, and the people I have lost.
Because when I think about love...
It makes sense to me to feel so deeply all the places inside where there are gaps and holes. Those empty spaces that were once filled with a blindingly infinate amount of a person. One that I gave myself entirely to. It makes sense to me to look at the future, and the possibilities of another person and feel afraid for what may or may not happen. It makes sense to me to be unavoidably fearful and cautious in the terms and the laws of love. The way that it feels so much easier to fear it then to it does to trust it anymore.
But I believe in it...
I believe in love. Unbounded, unruly, unbelivable love. I do because I always have. Because in some way, and to some degree, I always will. Sometimes I wonder if it would be easier to have given up and lost faith in life, in people, and in humanity... but to live a life without love is to live a life without possabilities. Without compassion, or connection, or any of those things that make human beings so real, and so special.
I believe in love, and in every single last place that it has taken me, in every single thing that it has shown me, and in every last person that it has brought to me, and then taken from me. Those parts of me, and my life.. They were so real. They still are in so many ways the realest parts of me. They keep me constantly aware of what lives inside of me. Of what it is that drives me, and keeps me going in this life. Of that thing that keeps me alive, and of all the good in me that I have to offer.
Yes... when I think of love
I think of the capacity and capability of my heart. I think of the immeasurable, and incalcuable depths that it holds, despite all the suffering and loss that it has endured. And with it, I can let go. I can learn to live without so much.
Because with it, I already have everything I need.
Everything I have ever needed.
Because with it, it doesn’t matter what I am without. It doesn’t overrule what I have gained. What I have conquered. What I have discovered within myself.
So when I think of love... I think of the joy, the bliss, the experiences of my life. And with that in my heart,
I am whole.
SweatyGardener’s Top Five Tips to Beat Summer Heat
The disappointing thing about this challenge is that it's in the Comedy portal. I'm not just SweatyGardener the lame new writer on The Prose but I'm an actual sweaty gardener who spends his days working the land—securing flora and fauna for his family of humans and dogs—and his evenings in the SweatyGardener Innovation Lab in his basement. Over time, through experience and experimentation, I've developed the very serious SweatyGardener Method of Temperature Regulation. Here I present my top five tips for becoming and staying cool during summer's worst days.
1. Pant. Open your mouth, stick your tongue out and breathe in and out as quickly as you can. In short, pant like a fucking dog. It will cool you instantly. It will also make you look really happy and hipster cool no matter the situation. I do it anytime and anywhere I need a quick cooling. And I am ALWAYS surprised how many friendly smiles I get when I pant in public.
2. Drink as much clear alcohol as you can muster. Sweating is a fact of life and you need to replace the lost fluids with an equal amount. I recommend vodka and gin. You can drink Everclear too but reserve it for extremely hot weather when vodka and gin may not be as effective. WARNING: If you've stopped sweating, go directly to the Everclear.
3. Chew ice. Not for the fluids but for the mouth cooling effects. Note that you'll be swallowing water from the melted ice, so if you're using tip 2 then increase the amount of alcohol because the water will dilute it. Chewing ice has the added benefit that it will clean your teeth. It can be done safely with natural teeth, dentures, implants, and any other installed dental devices.
4. Apply ice directly to your skin for long periods of time. In the past, some astute students have said, "Professor SweatyGardener, what about ice burn?" I always give a hearty laugh and a pat on the back before explaining the physics of applying ice to skin. Yes, I say, ice burn is a problem. When you hold ice against your skin, the cold travels from the ice into your skin and the ice melts, or burns. So you do need to replace the ice but this is easily done.
5. Prop open your refrigerator and/or freezer doors. People don't realize that refrigerators and freezers are instant ACs. If you don't have an actual AC, or you do but it's down or going down, then start by propping open the refrigerator. It will immediately begin cooling the kitchen and even adjoining rooms. There's no need to remove meat or other foods because they'll stay cold. I don't want to get too technical but here's a summary of how refrigerators work:
Based on the refrigerator's temperature setting, which you can change, the motor cools the inside of the refrigerator to that temperature. If you prop open the door, the cold air will move out and cool the kitchen. It's the same as how the cold from the ice travels into your skin. But refrigerator motors automatically replace the cold. The motor kicks up a notch and cools the refrigerator to the set temperature. Every time the cold moves out, the motor keeps kicking it up a notch. You'll be amazed at how well it cools the room.
Freezers work the same way but like Everclear should be used in extreme conditions only. That's because propping open your freezer can actually turn your kitchen into a walk-in freezer. I've had occasion to use this technique when the harvest of rodents from my trap garden has been too much to fit in the freezer. Not that the harvest is ever so big that I can go all Rocky beating his meat for those of you old enough, but I can cover the family's protein needs. In any event, with my DIY method I've never had to buy a deep freezer.
So that's all for now. If you're interested in a full course of the SweatyGardener Method of Temperature Regulation, drop me a line. In the meantime, stay cool!
Psalms 35:8-9 - Praying Openly, And What Is Enough (Bible Journal)
"So let sudden ruin come upon them! Let them be caught in the trap they set for me! Let them be destroyed in the pit they dug for me. Then I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be glad because he rescues me (Psalms 35:8-9 NLT)."
David laments the troubles his enemies put him through, relies on God to help him get through it, and offers praises and credit if the Lord gets him out of the mess he is in. With these prayers of David's being part of the Bible, and David himself being a beloved disciple of God's, the notion that brutally honest prayers of lament, requests, and praise for rescue are encouraged. From lessons I have learned over the years through various teachers and media God has exposed me to (including the message at my Vineyard Church last week), there is an additional element I want to incorporate into my prayers. I will ask God for rescue and help, especially when things seem unfair, but I also want to acknowledge that God saving me from my sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus is enough of a rescue. So while I hope for the things I pray for to be done, at the end of the day I am going to surrender to the plan God has for my life, and acknowledge that what He has given me and done for me is enough.
Lord, thank You for the no holds barred examples of prayer from Your servant David. Thank You for not smiting us if we come to You with brutal honesty and broken hearts. Please help me to be this open with You as well, and please also help me to accept that what You have already done for me, and the story You have planned out for me are both enough. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
If you like Piña Colada
So your sizzling hot sack is coated with a heavy sheen of sticky sweat running down between your thighs. Your lazy, good-for-nothing spouse left the freezer door open when she grabbed that last pint of sherbet, and all of your ice has now melted into a sad little puddle on the linoleum.
Egregiously, as she is at the beach with her besties enjoying the cool breeze and frothy ocean water, the AC has decided to take its final breath. The handyman can’t be over till tomorrow morning, and you are left at the end of a flaming rope in that iceless hellscape.
There’s a .44 Special revolver in the shoe box up in the bedroom closet. You lay the gun and a bullet on the dining table next to a glass of bourbon, and contemplate the stuntman’s exit. Chalking it up as good time as any to leave this mortal coil. There’s a knock on the door, and it’s your next door neighbor Josh. He’s shirtless in basketball shorts, and in his hand a cooler filled with ice cold beers, and a pamphlet.
You guys sit on the porch and consume the carbonated beverages. The conversation meanders from the game last night, to the second law of Thermodynamics, to how the busty waitress at the bar next to work keeps hanging out by their table every time they eat there. You turn your attention to that little the laminated sheet in your hands:
FIVE WAYS TO BEAT THE HEAT THIS SUMMER:
1. Read Jack London ‘To Build a Fire’ but make sure your dog is not around.
2. Master the art of Anapanasati Meditation. In sweltering heat Tibetan monks would turn their gaze unto the one of many eternal ice caps on the Tibet Plateau, and through breathing techniques and visualizations, they can feel the cold from a hundred miles away. Regulating their body temperature.
3. Bathe in a pool of cold blood drained from lizards, porpoises, crocodiles and arachnids.
4. Flay off large swaths of your skin, and amputate your arms and legs so you can sit fully exposed and comfortable in the igloo heaven that is a fridge.
5. Just go cold turkey on the heat!
‘Hey, you read this?’ You say to Josh. ‘Ever tried Anapanasati Meditation?’
‘It's working!’ Replies Josh, eyes closed as he sighed with a pleasurable shiver ’Right now the waitress is feeding me gelato off her tits.'
What's hotter than the sun?... Nothing!! So when you're in it, you gotta wear protection, er, um, I mean, use protec..., um, not that either... you gotta try not to overheat or get sunburned, yeah. With these summer fun tips, you can be sure you are not falling victim to the suns harsh rays!
Rule #1-Fruits and Veggies-while this may seem like a no-brainer to always EAT your fruits and veggies, there is more to do with this little vitamin packs. Gather watermelon and cucumber, slice them really thin, then lay down, naked of course, and grab a friend or trusted (or in the very least, super hot and sexy) individual and have them cover your entire body in a single layer. Nature can be very refreshing. Be sure to avoid lemons, oranges, limes or anything super acidic- those can be hard on the skin
Tip#2-Sweatsuit (the workout kind that is plastic that you wear to make you sweat).
Sure, this doesn't seem to make much sense but keep reading. Okay, so put on the sweat suit, duck tape the bottoms of the legs and arms near the hands and feet. Zip it almost all the way up, leaving a small gap around your neck. Go into your kitchen, fill a pitcher with ice, then water. Pour the contents into the sweat suit until it goes up to your shoulders. Then zip all the way up. (Duck tape neck if it starts to leak,
Option3: Backpack Recharger- Have you seen those backpacks that have a usb recharger built in them? Well buy one of those. Then go buy one of those mini USB fans. Put on the back pack, plug in the fan, and WALLAH! ***Make sure if you have long hair, you wear it up when using this idea- can you imagine the mess you would have if your hair made its way into the fan. Oh, no.
Four--Air Conditioner- DUH! buy an AC. if you can't afford one, steal one off your neighbor's roof- just don't fall off. And you have to do it at night because they would notice it during the day if it suddenly turned off, in that case you better be pretty fast or have Superman come help you
Fifth; Move. That's right, they say if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. So if you are too lame to handle the heat, get your ass to Alaska or something. The last thing we need is to hear you complaining that its "too hot". Whining little baby.
The Unforgettable Man
He was a cheapskate. That I know. He bought things on discount and in bulk. His family turned badly printed napkins inside out; they split one can of orange juice between 9 kids. They wore hand-me-downs clothes and cheap shoes.
He was a plant-person. He saw a plant, and he bought it. He stuck it randomly in the yard. He planted hundreds of pine trees and other evergreens.
He was intrigued by new inventions. He bought a portable telephone and kept in his car. But, to make sure nothing would happen to it, and because it cost money to make or receive a call, it was never ever used.
He loved words, but couldn't say them right. He used a hard 'g' in the word "gee" rather than a soft 'g'. And only stopped when his wife pointed out that "gee whiz" wasn't said with hard 'g'.
He loved to argue. He could drag out an argument for hours...and hours...and hours.
He loved to read aloud. His kids heard many, many stories from him, and then read them to their own children.
And then, he died of cancer. Leaving 9 kids between the ages of 19 and 2, and his wife behind him.
Yes, I know many, many things odd things about him, but much about his everyday life. I've imprinted everything I know about him in my memory, so that someday when we meet in heaven, I'll recognize him. I'll fling my arms around him, and tell him who I am.
Who was he?
And I never met him.
5 clever hacks to beat the summer heat
tired of the AC? ice cream doesnt do it for you? well, here are some suggestions that can take the edge of any heatwave..
1) live underground-
mole people have been breezing through the worst of summers, by just living their lives underground. conversly, you can go the other way and spend your time in the stratosphere, where the ambiant temperature is always below freezing. how can this be accomplished, may be debatable, but it is sure worth it.
2) install radiator vaines on your skin.
that's right folks, a simple oparation is all it takes, you'll be feeling the refreshing coolness as heat is tranferred out. speaking of refreshing yourself, if you are really in need of a good colling, the best thing is a well-chilled IV drip. oh you will savor the moments as coolness courses through your blood.
3) overturn a major foundation of human civilization.
it's not for naught that most wars break out in the summer. the moment of knowing you ruined the lives of millions sends a wonderful coolness down your spine.
4) dedicate yourself to the study and performance of elevator music.
nothing feels better than soft, derivative music. you hear its slow tempo, and enjoy its predictable harmony and melody. it all goes back to Home.. you'll struggling to restrain yourself from responding to the ringing voice in your head, saying "waiter, i'm sorry, but could you please bring me more bread sticks? my lady friend hadn't come yet.." expect no tips, just lije then. but the place was air conditioned to perfection.
5) watch certain movies bwckward and in slow motion.
films like 'Frozen' , 'Moana' , 'Lethal weapon II', and Ken Burns' 'Baseball' contain a cunning, little known bonus. sure, some of the films were downright upsetting, badly written, annoying, or could have covered more, but they may have this redeeming aspect. all you need to do is back, put on one of these filns in. just let it slowly play out from end to beginning. the chill comes as the rewinding starts unintelligably. it is not unknown why only these films produce such a reaction, but it has not been observed in any other film..
Amelia and James 1
Our tents were set up in the designated campsite in the meadow. We each had our own tent. The whole idea was for the twelve of us to have a “get back to nature” weekend together. We would share meals and talk about our experiences in the natural surroundings.
I only tagged along because my brother practically begged me to come plus he would make all my meals. I reluctantly came as he is an excellent chef. He was trying to impress Mary Alice Paisley. He met her at my apartment and thought we were the best of friends.
Mary Alice had come up to ask me to join her and her friends on an enlightening find your inner peace soul weekend out near the Picasso Meadows. I had heard about that place being full of nature, woodland animals all peacefully regenerating your mind.
All this crapola I did not care about but snapping pictures of new virgin plants, fungi and perhaps a few birds, animals and insects was the main thing on my mind. I like quiet, undisturbed and virgin looking scenery.
I could just imagine eleven other humans yapping, carrying their loud phones and talking or laughing out in the forest! This included my loud brother. He would be looking for morels. I do know he at least remembered what they looked like. We picked many as children following our parents in the woods. I decided as soon as my tent was up right next to my brothers I would get a head start to the woods. Telling him I was off I think he heard me. He nodded something to me as he and Mary Alice were setting up his cooking table. I know she heard me because she waved goodbye.
Traipsing off into the woods, camera in hand, I was awed at the quietness of my surroundings. Once my tromping feet stopped breaking branches and I stopped listening to the junk clattering in my pockets. I shifted things around wrapping the noise into my paper napkins. I actually slowed down my pace. There was no hurry. The sky above was bright. Many hours left in the day.
It feels very peculiar now that my ears have adjusted to any new sound. Eerie at first I actually thought I could hear my own heart beating. Thumping loudly: but it was a Woodpecker and his loud rat-a-tat-tat against a far tree echoing into the forest. I heard him and did not see him. I’m sure he knew I was there. Being no threat he continued pecking rat-a-tat-tat. I felt a slight breeze on my cheeks. I saw the gray green weeping willow leaves stir slightly. I heard my own shoes crack twigs under my feet again. I had tried to walk as quietly as It was possible so no creature could detect I was on their turf. They would alert the others that a human was invading their home surroundings.
No chance that would happen as I heard the rustle of a critter quickly scrambling up the tree. My eye caught a large bushy tail quickly fading into the canopy of leaves. A nut or dry berry dropped. I saw it and left it lay where it had fallen. “Bushie-Tail” would be back to pick it up when I was out of range.
I was in deep woods now with little sky overhead. A person with a colorful imagination might have become confused and disoriented with the feeling of isolation. Not me as I was used to being alone wandering in unfamiliar territory. My siblings and I would follow our parents for days in the deep woods like gypsies. We hunted for mushrooms then.
Further on still walking quietly as possible I continued snapping photos: leaves, wildflowers, down trees from years ago. These logs were now homes to the small woodland creatures. Seeing a small movement towards the end of a moss covered log I finally saw a rabbit then another hopping bunny. Snap. Snap. Went my camera.
Rabbits scattered for cover. They knew I was there and their sharp ears heard my camera. The older animals knew the camera was not a weapon to take a life. They were still on caution alert. Squirrels ran up the trees and birds all flew upwards towards the canopy. I heard other woodland critters scurry here and there. I did not realize there was such a large audience watching me. I felt peaceful in my new surroundings. I stopped walking , pulled out my little notebook, read a prayer and thanked God for creating this beautiful serene place.
Mother Earth, hear your child,
Be a bond between the Worlds of Earth and Spirit.
Let the Winds echo the Knowledge
of the Grandfathers. Who await, unseen,
yet visible if I only turn my eyes to their World.
Let me hear their Voices,
in the Winds that Blow to the East
©Julia A Knaake