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October 2009



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Mar. 29th, 2009


Growth & Change

     A rather baffling insight has come to me in this, my fiftieth year in this particular life.  It is this:  I seem to do a lot better when I don't try so hard.
     This concept seems completely counter-intuitive, and goes against everything I was raised to believe, and is even somewhat contrary to my nature.  I am a sufferer and a striver.  I care deeply about everything, empathize with everyone, try to meet everybody's expectations, and cut myself very little slack.  I've never felt good enough, or that I was living up to my potential.  I take every criticism deeply to heart, my self-esteem is a fragile house of cards, and when people I love hurt me, I often feel guilty and embarrassed, as if I deserved it or brought it on myself.
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Mar. 4th, 2009


Birthday Gift

      I had a birthday a few days ago, and my amazing adorable husband gave me a leather-bound, gold-embossed set of the first four Oz books by L.Frank Baum.  Everybody knows the movie; some people have read the book, but relatively few realize that the original author of the Oz adventures wrote no fewer than 14 books about the original fictional alternate reality.  Baum was a creative genius and apparently quite a character--he peopled his universe with the most astonishing assortment of creatures, and came up with plotlines that would put Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs to shame.  Yet Baum was writing for children, and he wrote with humor and affection and tolerance, even toward such villains as the Gnome King and those freakish Wheelers.  Nevertheless, some of his creations (like the Wheelers) were quite scary to imagine, and even more so as illustrated by the brilliant and slightly deranged  John R. Neill.
     It's hard not to wonder what these guys were on, and to wish I had some. . .
     I've loved these books since I was a child.  The set I had then (all 14 books, thanks to my mom, an ardent bibliophile) did not have color illustrations, like the ones Jay gave me.  I'm thrilled to have these beautiful books, but more than that, I feel so blessed to have a husband who would come up with such a thoughtful gift.  He pays attention, my Jay.  I love that about him.

Feb. 23rd, 2009



     The name Lily Bardeen comes from a grave marker I used to sit on in a cemetery in Kalamazoo.
     I know, it sounds like a place in a Dr. Suess book, but Kalamazoo is a real place in Michigan.  I went to college there.  The cemetery was very old with big maples that turned golden yellow in the fall.  It was a beautiful, peaceful place to walk.  A tornado tore through it the spring of my junior year; after that the cemetery was much sunnier.
     I remember walking through those gravestones, feeling sad and confused about some boy I was in love with in college.  And it was soothing, comforting--the timelessness of it, the stillness, trees & grass & birdsong, with the occasional squirrel running around with no sense of the gravity of the location.  It was not a sad place.  I've never been to a cemetery I found particularly sad, except possibly the horrifically defaced and vandalized necropolis in Glasgow.  What is up with that?
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Feb. 21st, 2009


Dead Stepfather

     I just spoke to my mother on the phone.  She got back Thursday  from a month in Mexico.  She is adjusting to the loss of her husband, who died in December from liver failure, though he never had a drink in his life.
     I am currently somewhat estranged from my birth family; my mother's husband was a very intelligent, controlling person.  He dominated everyone and everything he touched; he was a devout Christian Scientist and Bible scholar; and unfortunately, he was not very nice.  I mean, he was a holy righteous Christian and everything, but he was completely lacking in empathy or any concept of how human beings feel.  I believe Read more...Collapse )

Feb. 20th, 2009


My First Entry

     I'm slowly becoming familiar with this world.  Moving about rather awkwardly in it, but finding it full of wonders and opportunities.  It is true what has been said about one's heart's desire and one's own back yard, but there is also value in the journey, the search.  I don't know exactly what I'm looking for, but I feel this could be one place to find it.  And if not, I may find something else in the quest, something I've not even imagined yet.
     I feel like I'm always looking for a pen pal.  I've written in journals since I was a child, and used to carry on lengthy correspondence with friends in other states.  No one does that anymore.  I find myself writing long, rambling, inappropriately detailed e-mails to people, just to try to satisfy that urge to record, comment, journalize.  I seem to crave a response, too.  I always feel a bit let down if I write to someone and they don't write back.  It's the most fundamental rejection slip.
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