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Archive for September, 2013

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Sunday, September 29, 2013.  I don’t expect this post to come out especially coherently.  Lack of coherence.  Remember?  That state is directly tied to adult insecure attachment disorders and the inability of severe early trauma survivors to NOT ONLY tell a coherent life story narrative but ALSO to the inability when under extreme stress/distress/duress in the present moment to even LIVE one’s life in what feels like a coherent fashion.

Trauma survivorship does not, in my opinion, lend itself in any way to leading a coherent (linear) life.

I also think about the brain (and nervous system) developmental changes that early trauma survivorship creates for us.  (Yet again, please read this article! +Dr. Teicher’s ARTICLE ON TRAUMA ALTERED DEVELOPMENT)

Our brain hemispheres do not develop to process information within themselves and between one another in anything like an ordinary way.  Coherence is often one hard-worked-for result of paying very close conscious attention to what information is coming into us, what it triggers, what associations are created, etc.

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I fortunately was able to talk on the telephone several times today with my friend Cindy (I mentioned in my previous post) who is coming down this coming Thursday to boss me around (lol!) to get this move literally ON THE ROAD!  She is perfectly coherent!  I will literally borrow her coherency and as the long-time, close and dear friend that she is she does/will not mind one bit!

I am very clear when something in a conversation right now triggers my Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) lack of coherency.  There are several ways to name this state (besides frantic panic as I referred to it in a recent post.)  Dysregulation, disorganization-disorientation, dissociation — all are signposts for we survivors when a state of extreme demands of current life overtax our nervous system/brain.

I simply tell the people who love me “I cannot discuss this right now.”  I CANNOT because my brain goes blank, words disappear, high anxiety takes over my reality — etc.!!

My terminology with my friend today included “That is ahead of the curve.  I cannot think about that or talk about it right now.  I can only put one foot, one thought, in front of another until this move is completed.”

I found in talking with my friend that this “NO ZONE” includes all that is POSITIVE as it MIGHT arrive in my future life chapter as well as anything scary or troubling.

This left me (right before I sat down to write this post) thinking about the insanity (and brutality) of my entire childhood.  I could not predict ANYTHING about myself in my life.  Therefore — and this is a new thought/awareness for me — I could not look forward to the future with any kind of pleasant assurances.  I HAD no future!

I have known for a long time that even by the time I reached my older teen years I had no capacity to think about my own future.  I see right now that was because in the way my nervous system/brain formed during my 18 years of insane, psychotic, brutalizing abuse I had never been able to form the brain connections that would have attached myself not only in my own immediate life — but also prevented me from thinking my way into my own future.

Because my Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) mother’s reality was psychotic, disorganized, disoriented and entirely reactive SHE kept me — as her captive in hell in place of herself — forever in exactly that same state from the moment I was born.

At this point in my life nearly everything coming at me from the future is entirely unknown.  Yes, I have been to Fargo before.  I am mostly familiar with the place and with the climate.  But where will I end up living?  Will I have transportation?  How will I manage in my so-scrambled state to take care of all the grownup details such as finding a program to pick up my medicare premium costs each month, apply for secondary insurance with the state, deal with the HUD rental assistance voucher transfer details, find an apartment — etc.?

MANGO.  My code word I am training my brain to use when overwhelming feelings tied to thoughts I do not have to think in the present moment so i can refocus immediately only on the tasks at hand that will get me and my stuff out of here!

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Speaking of MANGO.  I was on the phone with someone this morning who said something to me that triggered my reactivity.  I spoke up and faced the conflict immediately – which was good for me.  However, whatever that conflict was about vanished from my conscious thought sphere so quickly — even without a MANGO moment intervening so that I could DECIDE to let the concern go away.  That was dissociation.  An unsettling and always scary process for me.

That means that I cannot CHOOSE to consider that episode in my conscious mind.  It was taken care of so automatically that I — as a conscious self — completely lost my right to choose and decide how I wanted to handle the related feelings and thoughts.  Whatever that episode was about is NOT necessary gone forever.  It can reappear with a trigger anytime — to take me unprepared.

Well, this was not a big deal by itself.  However being left with the knowledge that yet again dissociation enabled me to get through and past a difficult moment so fast and so automatically and so unconsciously alerts me yet again to the very real understanding of how this moving/life change stress has me very near the limits of what I can cope with.  “Be ultimately careful of yourself, Linda!” are words I cannot afford to let get very far away from me right now!

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No matter how careful I tried to be as a child to make mother happy — which meant it made her not dangerous to me at the moment, although I didn’t know that as a child — I could NEVER prevent one of her frequent horrible attacks on me.  Even though I have only in this past year really come to understand (at age 62) that it was Mother’s PSYCHOTIC BREAKS that created this permeating and pervasive instability in my life (and hers) — I can look back at my entire childhood now and see those patterns for what they really were.

I will never be able to “let go” or “forgive” those episodes as someone suggested to me recently.  The problems for me are built into my nervous system, into my brain, my stress response system.  Given unusually high pressure such as this monster move is creating for me I have nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide, no escape — just as I did not all the way through my so-abusive, insane childhood.

That I made the CHOICE to make this life change does not ameliorate the difficulties living through the experience of it creates.  I can rely on the rock-solid stability of my friend to get me through the very hard steps that are approaching.  This is an appreciated miracle I do not take for granted!

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Saturday, September 28, 2013. I am in the process of going through a most unpleasant experience of trauma drama that is fortunately connected to someone I “only” tried to be a friend with, someone is was only peripherally a part of my life.  There is NOTHING enjoyable about being caught in ANYONE’S trauma drama, but if such a pattern shows up it can be a very good thing to learn something important and useful from the experience.

I know an adult who was hated and therefore never loved by his mother.  From my point of view this gay man does not appear to have any male “friends” but does have a collection of women in his life that I think he does consider “friends.” 

Looking at anyone’s life from the outside leaves of course an inaccurate perception of “what is going on” inside that person.  But when that “going on” forces itself into my life I believe I have the right to pay attention at any edges where the other’s experience overlaps my own, ESPECIALLY when that spill-over is negative.

This person wrote me an email several weeks ago in which I was told I was “too much work” to be in this man’s life.  So be it.  I know a line when I encounter one.

Once I or anyone else draws that kind of line involving mutual interactions I consider the breach final, permanent, irreversible and – well – ugly but evidently necessary.  I began to figure out once I received that email that I was “too real” of a person insisting on equality of personhood in that “friendship” relationship.  Being a real person for someone with very ancient, deep, and unhealed/unrecognized “mommy concerns” DOES NOT WORK.

I simply refused to be “good mommy” as I believe the other women in this man’s life are.  I also – and more importantly – refused to be the “bad mommy” because I was not playing the “good mommy” role.  Either extreme or any pattern involving a good/bad mommy split is only one thing:  TRAUMA DRAMA.  In this case – mommy drama!

Because I know and know of some of these other women I suspect that my being alone in this area particularly without family left me in a position none of these other women are in.  I had “attachment village” needs that I have worked to fill through friendships.  Legitimate friendships!

Having such needs is not criminal, sick or wrong!  Attempting to grow and sustain one’s attachment village is a very good thing — among equals.

Twice in three weeks this person has arrived at our local farmers’ market while I was busily engaged with customers and attempted to engage me in his momma trauma drama again.  The first time I tried to be diplomatic.  When this person appeared today and interrupted sales and conversations with a group of customers I made clear that the line that man drew is a line he cannot cross in MY life.

I am done.  I am so done and I consider this man’s actions today harassment.  It was an ugly intrusion into my most pleasant bag-selling day.  I was upset.  I am still upset.  My customers were shocked and upset.  This better not happen again!

I have one more weekend to sell my bags at market – next weekend.  My friend from near the Canadian border will arrive here this coming Thursday and the serious packing will take place as the U-Haul is loaded the following Tuesday, my old el Camino will be rolled up its trailer on Wednesday the 9th and off we go into the next chapter of my life.

(After showing my gardens and this rental house 10 times the PERFECT next tenants have appeared who will make their home here and not only keep this garden alive – but deeply appreciate it and make it thrive.  They will keep my hens and my cats, as well!  WHAT A RELIEF!)

My friend is sturdy.  If this man appears again I will sick her on him!  What kind of dog breed is it that bites and does not let go?  Oh.  Yeah.  A bulldog.  That’s one very certain talent of my friend!

Meanwhile I see that “bad mommy” projections are always part of a “mommy complex” that require serious good therapy to resolve.  I have gifts related to doing therapy – but I am NOT a therapist and I do NOT earn $120+ an hour to take transference crap from anyone!

I was BORN to a psychotic abusive Borderline Personality Disorder mother who tortured me for 18 years.  All that went wrong between her mother and my mother was forced upon me.  I WILL NOT be anyone’s bad mommy – and if not playing the role of someone’s good mommy turns me into a bad mommy in someone’s trauma drama — well, my walls are sealed.

Ain’t gonna happen! 

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013.  Moon of the pomegranate harvest.  In mid-June when I knew I was leaving here to move back up north — a return — after 20 years of cycles much farther south — I knew my leaving date would not take place until the pomegranates on my so-gorgous tree were ready to pick.

Their harvest began today, always heralded by the long-legged beetles that arrive to carefully scour each fruit in search of a luscious crack to feast within.  I chased those harvesters away before their cracks could be found and stole from them what I want as badly as they do.

Harvests.  Focal points around which life has always revolved.  This one — after the equinox — as nights lengthen and earth prepares to sleep — even here in this high Arizona desert.

Breezes change with the light’s longer shadows.  A different whispering.  In between the sighing comes a growing quietude.

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A phone call came today that is sending relief into my cells and between them.  The perfect tenants have let me know of their decision to make this home of mine their home once I leave here.  I saw the love in the fingertips of the woman who came to view this garden over a week ago as she touched these plants.  Its beauty made her cry.  When I hadn’t heard back with an affirmative YES I had given up hope.

They will keep my hens.  They will allow my cats to stay in their garden.  The cats left me what I needed this morning — a great dead packrat lying on a garden pathway — so I could overcome any hesitancy in the new tenants about the rightfulness of the cats’ stay here.

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My friend Cindy from up near the Canadian border will arrive at my home on the Mexican-American line a week from tomorrow.  Without her help I don’t believe I could get out of here.  It is right I should hear today on the pomegranate harvest that the gift of this garden will continue to live — and thrive — through love and tender caring.

I can find the peace now that I need to close all the doors on my 14-year life here.  Such a gift it has been to live in this circle of mountains where each day has felt so gracious to me.

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Monday, September 16, 2013.  My nervous system (including my brain) was formed by abusive trauma not with the state of peaceful calm at its center through safe and secure attachment but rather with the state of frantic panic at its center.  The older I get the more I know about what this means to me – and I suspect also to other severe early trauma survivors.

Given enough pressure over time – no matter how well we survivors put ourselves together so we could endure, survive and continue to function as we moved forward through our lives – if we had no safe and secure early attachment with anyone as infants/children our trauma altered physiology will appear eventually in such clear ways that we cannot avoid being forced to cope not only with the stresses of our adult life but also moment to moment in our conscious felt experience with what happened to us through an early life of trauma.

Whew!  That was one long sentence!  Our state of frantic terror that we knew as infants and young children has never left us!

Call it Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), anxiety, depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – whatever labels and “diagnosis” we use – we know what the disorientation, disorganization, and dysregulation of our entire being FEELS like – frantic panic.  Yes, when these states appear our experience of being alive is not one of well-being.  The worse our current distress/stress is in life the more our body and our entire nervous system will restore itself to this natural state for us.

Infants, young toddlers and very young children rely upon their adult caregivers to help not harm them.  I know that every time I was attacked (frequently) by my psychotically vicious mother when I was little (from birth) my entire reality shattered at that instant as I was forced into frantic panic.  I had no comprehension of what was happening to me and I had no options to prevent, escape or stop these attacks.  My entire physiology followed this trauma survival track.

Nobody protected or soothed me.  Nobody cared how I felt or about the harm being done to me and to my physiological development that has lasted my lifetime.

I did stay alive and I was able to fool everyone including myself for nearly 50 years that “It wasn’t really THAT bad.  I am strong.  I could take it.  Now those 18 years of horrendous abuse are over and I came through it OK.”

I am NOT OK!  I have never been OK!  At 62 I no longer have any inner resources in reserve to convince anyone, certainly not myself, that the lie of OK that formed with me at its center was/is true.  I live at that edge of frantic panic and I always have.  I was not born this way.  Early severe abusive trauma MADE me this way.

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Perhaps it is because of “my condition” that I might need more than most others can comprehend of helpful, soothing, calming, competent, patient, wise people who TRULY love me in a circle around me.  I can no longer pretend or fool anyone that I am OK.  People who love me are willing to listen to me and to learn right along with me how my experience of being alive is sometimes quite difficult to deal with.  People who love me — love me anyway.

These safe and secure attachment relationships are able to externally support, nurture and reinforce me, and even create substitutes for what my own body did not ever have a chance to create within itself as I grew up:  An alternative to my deepest, oldest, truest inner state of frantic frenetic panic.

I was left from birth and throughout my childhood in vast periods where that is all I felt.  This kind of chronic terror eroded me from the inside.  While my essential self was able to endure intact the body my self has to live this life within has nearly reached the end of its coping rope.

It’s really hard to create and sustain a beautiful life under these conditions but I refuse to think it is impossible yet I MUST have an attachment family/village to interact with.  I say “family” but I do not mean these people have to be our genetic relations though I am so fortunate to be able to include my own family as the core of my village.  I must, however, go through this major move to be physically close to at least some of them – my daughters and my little grandsons.

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Frantic panic, the horrible unending result of an over-stressed natural startle response while a young one’s nervous system is developing, is the antithesis of well-being.  These days it is often my overriding chore to hold it at bay – in some way – or I become paralyzed.  When frantic frenetic panic has my body in its grip I cannot think, choose, decide or act.  Being so frozen in hell will not get me where I want to go or be.

Courage, determination, patience, hope and willingness.  I must believe in GOOD possibilities in spite of what my body tells me.  But I cannot create the sense of safety and security I need — alone. 

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Sunday, September 15, 2013.  I believe that in many ways what has been written thus far about the “Indigo Children” has been of too narrow a focus.  I was born in 1951 and I know I was one of these children.  It is time we all begin to recognize that there are Indigo Adults on this earth living among the Indigo Children who are being born at increasing rates.

All three of my children, born 1971, 1976 and 1985 were Indigo Children and are now Indigo Adults.  Both of my two grandsons, ages one and three, are Indigo Children as well.  Knowing this is my prime motivator to move the 1,800 miles north to be a part of their lives.

Yesterday a friend of mine handed me an article I copy (below) into this post – for informational purposes only.  I believe most of the serious readers of this blog are Indigo Adults.  This is how we survived our terrorizing traumatic abusive childhoods in hell and have found our way to learning about what happened to us, how that changed us, and about the amazing special people we are today.

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This article appeared in the National Examiner – All the Best of the Sun, September 23, 2013 – page 45. 

MIRACLE ‘INDIGO KIDS’ PROVE MANKIND WILL BE A RACE OF SUPER-HUMANS by Gerald Barnes

One of modern society’s most puzzling public health challenges – the growing number of children diagnosed with ADHD – is actually pointing the way to a better future for all humankind!

So say experts who conclude the new generation of “different” children are the next step in human evolution.

Psychotherapists and counselors first began noticing strangely similar children being brought in for treatment as early as the 1970s.  Parapsychologist Nancy Ann Tappe dubbed them “Indigo Chiren” for their deep blue aura captured in experimental photography.

The name caught on as their numbers continued to grow through the 1990s and 2000s.

“It’s now rare to find a therapist who hasn’t treated one of these special kids,” explains youth counselor Margaret Charleton, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  “Their numbers have been steadily rising for years, but we haven’t come close to finding a cause until now.”

The Hallmarks of the Indigo Children include:

+ Higher than normal intelligence

+ Becoming easily bored

+Possessing a clear sense of purpose, as if they’re on a mission

[My note:  I believe it is adults’ job to recognize the gifts, personalities, aspiration AND weaknesses of children so that they can be guided toward their happiest, healthiest life.  Young children in today’s frenetic American society often do not have the time they need to recognize what they need or want within themselves, and certainly as children cannot be left without safe and secure attachment relationships with adults who will help them.]

+ Resistance to strict discipline or rigid rules

[My note:  This fact ABSOLUTELY does not mean that these children are not dependent upon adults to be, as Dr. Gordon Neufeld names it, ALPHA in these children’s lives.  Too-busy parents can lack the time to find the creative, appropriate ways to give these children the essential guidance they must have to grow into healthy Indigo Adults.]

+ Intense focus on a narrow field of interest

+ A strong sense of spirituality, but little patience for organized religion

+Precocious interest in asserting their rights as individuals.

[My note:  I have, at age 62, only now begun to recognize what an incredibly clear and powerful sense of equity, justice, fairness and injustice I have had since I was a tiny child.  I was BORN with this sense along with a highly refined craving for beauty.]

+ Keen, almost unnatural ability to detect lies or half-truths

[My note:  I have found another side to this over the past 35 years of my adulthood.  People can and do make all kinds of verbal claims about the kind of person they are, what they believe in and value – but it seems there is a particular aspect to me that creates, in the end, situations where the TRUTH about people manifests.  I used to feel betrayed and greatly injured and hurt when this happened.  I no longer do and realize that I was BORN into this pattern with others.]

+ Connection with unusual phenomena – recalling past lives, psychic ability, encountering UFOs or the like

[My note:  Personally I do not believe in past lives.  I believe we carry memory in our DNA (that DNA and its epigenetic mechanisms) ARE memory.  I believe that people CAN and DO relive the experiences of ancestors as stored in DNA.]

Now, DNA scientists believe they’ve found the source of these symptoms.

Taiwanese researcher Dr. Guangdi Xin of Taichung Third Medical Biotechnology Institute, led a team who determined that Indigo Children have activated a set of brain-stimulating genes that are dormant in the rest of us.

[My note:  I have not been successful in locating this research online.  Please post in a comment if you find it!]

The genes, part of a group known as “Otx,” control the development of higher brain functions.

“Early human ancestors had fewer active Otx-category genes, and apes have even fewer,” Xin explains.  “But these children have all the Otx genes we have and more.”

“It is as if they are the next step in evolution, at least as far as brain development goes.”

Xin’s team is now hoping to discover why these genes have suddenly become active.  “If this was an isolated population, then we could narrow possible causes down – a chemical pollutant, or perhaps a mutation from a common ancestor,” Xin says.  “However, the so-called Indigo Children are being born in rural villages and big cities alike, and over a long period of time.

“Our sample group included children born between 1982 and 2003 in Taiwan, the United States, Germany, India, the Philippines and Brazil.  The results were all identical.

“Whatever is happening, it is happening all over the world.”

Charleton believes the best answer comes from the Indigo Children themselves.  “When you get to know a few of them, you begin hearing the same things over and over again,” she explains.  “And one of those things is that they are here for a reason – to bring about a better world.””

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Until someone can provide a link even to the Winnipeg therapist, Margaret Charleton, and certainly to any research by Xin and his team, I can take this article as a fantasy.  EXCEPT it makes perfect intuitive sense to me!!

Dr. Gordon Neufeld has very important information that tells us what all children need, including these Indigo Children.  A safe “holding” environment is part of safe and secure attachment.  Being the ALPHA caregiver of Indigo Children can be the toughest challenge, but it essential to their attachment needs that the adult caregivers in their lives do so!

Does your child have an alpha complex?

Children in the lead with nowhere to go

Alpha Children:  Reclaiming Our Rightful Place in Their Lives

Sensational Children

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I’m the boss.  Understanding why a child wants to be in control

Anatomy of alpha children

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Friday, September 13, 2013.  I am in one world.  I am moving to the next one.  That is how I see death of the body and transition of the soul.  But I am not dying, at least not physically.  I am leaving one world of the glorious high desert on the American-Mexican border.  I am heading toward my daughters and my two very young grandsons who live in a city on land so flat a marble cannot roll. 

North.  I am moving very far north where predatory winters lie in wait.  But not for long.  POUNCE and HOLD.  I know those winters.  I left those winters.

I don’t write here currently because all I can do is repeat myself.  There is much about this place here that I deeply love, yet it is all material.  Mountains and plants.  Trees and flowers.  The colors of the soil.  The shape of the rocks.  My home.  My garden.  My physical freedom in the warmth so many months of each year.

What is love?

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I write.  I pause.  I sew.  I ponder.  Or, even while not pondering have thoughts appear and sometimes insights….

In a recent telephone conversation with my oldest brother he commented that of the four of us older siblings who were actively involved in the Alaskan mountain homesteading when we were young children (there are two younger brothers who were not), all four of us not only love to garden, landscape and spend all the time we can out-of-doors, we have a RELATIONSHIP with the earth itself.

Of the six children in our family it was solely me who was the focus of the psychotic, pathological, mentally ill terrible abuse by our mother.  Solitary confinement and forced isolation were a great part of the 18 years of my abusive childhood.  I have always been very clear that it was my relationship with the place of Alaska and our homestead in particular that saved me.  Any moment I could escape Mother’s hell and exist outside on the land I was in heaven.  But that attachment was nothing like ordinary.

This came to me in thoughts as I was just sewing bags to take to sell at Saturday’s local farmers’ market.  It is likely that the attachment I have to this glorious high desert place is not an ordinary one, either.  I and the land have grown together.  It is a surgical process that is separating me from it.

I grieve for Alaska, for our homestead and I will grieve for the incredible beauty of this place.  (I have lived in Fargo and in that area before and I could not find beauty there.  My soul has craved beauty for as long as I can remember.)

If I had the finances I would live a different life.  Certainly I could travel frequently to visit my family.  Destiny and poverty – coupled with my trauma-related disabilities – seem to be determining the direction of my life – yet again.

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These translate into spiritual concerns for me.  I KNOW it is the spirit of life that matters and not its material forms.  PLACE is, as is body itself, a mere practicality for the work of soul in this material life.

The real work for me right now is to let go of my attachment – my deep and abiding attachment – to this place.

Yes I believe humans are designed to have a reciprocal relationship with their environment – even to love it.  But we are a social species.  Given safe and secure early attachment relationships with our caregivers we bond – and forever after CAN bond – with humans FIRST.  When we lack these physiological abilities in our body due to severely traumatic earliest life we struggle all of our lives to find balanced attachment relationships.

My powerful bond with the earth cannot be limited to certain places.  I need to grow bigger than that.  I am still growing up!

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Simply put I have reached a point in my life at 62 where I know if I do not leave here to live near my family I will die of loneliness.  True, the earth here would dispassionately accept my remains.  I can, at this time of my life, have better than that premature sad ending. 

I am fortunate there are people in my life who love and cherish me and WANT me in their lives.  I leave this glorious yet dispassionate place to go offer my love to them and to accept theirs for me.

Yet on the level of my emotions life has never been clear or simple.  I have to FEEL what it FEELS like to be alive and living through all of these changes. 

One month from today I will be in Fargo and all of this leaving-transition process will be history.  A part of me is afraid that I won’t recognize myself when I get there.  In the most important ways – I will.  In the material ways I feel I will be starting my life all over again.  It’s too much to feel most of the time.  Too much to think about.  So – back to the sewing I go!

Yet I cannot help but grieve that I will not be here next spring to watch the tiny praying mantis –  being placed so carefully right now by their mothers in hard cocoons in safe places in the garden – chew their way out to help one another climb the gossamer threads to begin another season’s life here in this place I love.

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