The clocks were striking thirteen

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

George Orwell
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For some reason today has had a surreal feel to it. One where I have talked to so many people in the digital sphere that I don’t know if I am slipping into an unreal life. I’ve noticed that if I am on the computer so long, I begin to see the world’s veil thin around me.

It was never too thick in my humble opinion. When I was in my twenties, a friend said that if she looked into a mirror surface, she could see a man stand behind me. The man followed me every where. At the time I was creeped out. Today, I would ask for a description of the man and then I would talk to him while I am cleaning my house. I don’t have the mind to hold such a conversation when I am writing. I’m pretty one-track when it comes to getting the black marks onto the page.

When I learned a little physics and realized that everything including sound, color, and physicality were just frequencies, I began to slip into the hidden slits and hollows of my life. It is why I can write fiction, I think.

If my eyes weren’t closed, I could believe that I was dreaming. The clock in my head strikes thirteen. There were so many times that I should have slipped from this skin and gone to the next world. I think and possibly feel, that I haven’t because I still have debts and obligations here.

The biggest debt is to my dog companion.

The next debt is to my late-husband. He wanted me to live. He wanted me to write. Sadly I have not written as much as I could or lived as much as I should.

At the last strike, I sip the wine and believe that one day my words will help someone else.

Conversations with my father

1989 Cyn Bagley and Dean Bagley at her Grandfather’s house in SLC, UT

It’s been almost three years since my father died. He had dementia, possibly Alzheimers, and when he walked outside during the night, he fell and broke his hip.

This was the beginning of the end for him. He was 86 years old.

I was his first child. He used to hold me on his forearm, my head cupped in his hand, with my butt against the fold in his elbow. I was long and skinny. He used to say that he knew I would be tall for a girl. He would tell me his philosophies and stories on the long ride to work, we lived 45 minutes away. I didn’t agree with many of his ideas like for instance that babies were blank slates with no personalities and that it was the father’s job to impress a personality on the child as part of child rearing. I always contended that each child had a different personality and needed to be raised differently.

As his oldest child, I did help raise his children. In our home though, my mother ruled with an iron fist and my father ruled the outside. My father thought that his daughters would stay with him until he found suitable husbands. This 19th century attitude smashed into the the time we were where living in– the 70s and 80s. None of his girls, and there were four of them, ever married a “suitable” man in his eyes. My late-hubby, Otto, was the closest to suitability except for his religion as in he wasn’t the same type of Christian as my father.

My father was not a bad man– he was a man that was in the middle of a changing world and many times he was not happy with the world around him. He tried to keep it stable. When he couldn’t keep it stable, he did become very angry. I have seen him punch a wall. Better a wall than us.

He was a musician. He played the violion from the age of ten. The sad part for him was when he began to get arthritis into his joints. He had to put it down.

He had this need to move. We moved about every three to four years to a new area or a new house. If we couldn’t move to someplace new, he would disappear for weeks at a time. He used to be a vacuum cleaner salesman, kirby. He was not good at selling, but he was very good at travel. It was so ingrained in his wants that he couldn’t settle down. When it came time that he couldn’t travel, he would take the boys into the mountains and they would hike in for miles. They would spend a week or two in the high mountains, eating from their fishing. I heard about the bears from my brothers.

When I hit puberty, my father began to see me turn into a woman. I don’t know why it made a difference. But we did not do things together anymore. The things we used to do– hike, fish, cars– became the things he did with my brothers. I was told to become more womanly–watch the kids, make food, and clean the house.

I hated that he pushed me back under the auspices of my mother. It wasn’t until I started working and we would go back and forth from work together that we began to discover each other again.

Yes, I was a daddy’s girl. No, I was not there when he died. His mind was so gone that he thought he was back in the Navy with his buddies. He wanted to talk to them. My brothers sat with him and talked of those times. He had been the king of the world then.

Sadly I saw him slowly shrink from the tall man I knew into an old frail man. When we talked on the phone about San Francisco of the 1950s and 60s, he would talk about his favorite places and told me of the people who lived there. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the people were either gone or dead. I had seen San Francisco– they had turned that beautiful city of my father’s memories into a shit hole.

We had our hurt times as well. When I decided to go into the Navy my father told me that I would become a slut. We did not talk for years after that. It hurt too much and I held that tight against my chest for too long. When I did talk to him again, he was losing his mind– one piece at a time.

There are a lot of memories both good and bad that come up when I think of him. I dreamed of him recently. I think he wanted to tell me that even though we had our rough times– he loved me.

I love him too.

…Is have some fun

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Sheryl Crow’s song “All I wanna do” woke me up this morning as I stumbled through my routine of disconnecting from the kidney dialysis machine. I do my dialysis at home, which means I don’t have to travel three times a week to a facility. It also means I have to do it nightly.

“I’m feeling I’m not the only one.”

I get itchy feet around this time of year. I want to drive to someplace new and feel the sun on my skin. Since I have that very fair skin, I have to watch my sun exposure. Still I need to feel it– that slight burning sensation- that means summer will follow spring.

It’s not one of those days where I can sit in my apartment and just look out the window. It’s not one of those days when I can be an observer and not a participant.

My reading today told me to not make any sudden moves or plans until I got the “green light.” Then I should take it easy. Maybe later today, when I have to pick up some medication, I’ll take the dog to the park. If I am tired I can sit on the bench and watch the runners and speed walkers.

There is a moment, when I am writing this that I realize, that fun at sixty is different than fun at thirty or younger. I used to go to the dance clubs (or halls) and just dance as hard as I could. It was very aerobic the way I danced. Makes me smile how much I enjoyed my body moving to the music.

My body remembers those times and pouts that I don’t have the physical capabilities to do that again.

So today will be my “fun day. I don’t have to run day.” (Bangles Manic Monday)

And Foxy will enjoy it too.

Forgiveness Work

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Recently, I’ve been finding a lot of muscle stress in my neck, shoulders, and stomach area. I have been going to a chiropractor, who relieved much of this stress. When I came in each week the stress would be there as strong as ever.

I haven’t been back for almost a month because during that time I had flu symptoms and did not want to spread it to others.

A few days ago one of the people I watch on Youtube talked about forgiveness. It was a different viewpoint than what I had learn from my early childhood religious education. What she said which came from a book called “A Course in Miracles” is that in forgiveness we need to learn to forgive our reactions to others. It is when we use that grace to forgive ourselves, then we can let past hurts go.

If you had brought this lesson to me about thirty years ago, I would have told you that people should not be forgiven and that they should be punished. I hadn’t come to realization that when I judged others, I actually judged myself. One of the reasons I had rejected forgiveness because my father, who I considered a weak man, would preach “turn the other cheek” even when it was detrimental to himself and to his family.

Nowadays I have come to the conclusion that I do have ways of protecting myself from the hurts and slings of others. However, forgiveness is a practice that heals me from my ego-driven judgy nature.

How have I used this practice in my meditation?

Recently, after I went through my relaxation and came to that quiet place in myself, I began to forgive myself for my childhood. I owned that my part in the hurt was how I held those memories as a shield against others. As I forgave myself, I felt the pain that I carried in my stomach release. It was wonderful to feel painfree in that area.

Just this little meditation helped me so that I didn’t react extremely negatively when my dialysis supplies were over three hours late. I was able to forgive my reaction to this and to accept that even though the supplies were late, I didn’t need to rage about it.

I have to admit that one meditation will not unpick the habits of a lifetime. But I do believe that if I add this to my meditation practice, I am sure my health will improve.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” Matthew 7:1

Baking adventures

Sourdough bread

My creativity has been turned away from writing fiction and to baking. This last adventure– sourdough bread- was the first time I had used a starter. Next time I’ll go look at a recipe.

It tastes good though with butter and dipped in soup.

This last month I decided that I needed to start baking my own bread. I found a bread recipe–Amish honey white bread– which worked well and made delicious bread. I use it for toast.

I had come to the conclusion after having some real digestive problems that I was allergic to persevatives and corn fiber (syrup and other corn additives). I feel much better eating my own baking.

At the same time, I had tried some Atkins protein cookies. It was not a good idea. Once again they used corn fiber and pea protein. Apparently pea protein is so bad for me that I have the shivers and shakes after eating it. It’s awful when you realize your food is killing you– or at least making you sick

I baked some chocolate chip cookies and added rice protein. The cookies were delicious in the mornings and I didn’t hug my stomach for hours afterwards.

I used to be able to eat normal food. I think that the food on the shelves nowadays are not the normal food that I ate as a child.

So I’m still experimenting with things I can eat and hopefully it will keep me healthy for many more years.