Archives for category: War and News of War

I woke in a sweat, uncomfortable and shaking, tearing my consciousness from a nightmare that I had gotten pregnant – at 60, post-menopause – and unable to terminate my terribly risky and thoroughly unwanted pregnancy because the law had changed, and my bodily autonomy as a human being was utterly lost. My heart was pounding. I paced restlessly for a moment or two, feeling vaguely unsettled and with a persistent “uncomfortable” feeling in my guts.

I laid back down, fighting sensations very much at odds with each other; the sweats and discomfort, the fatigue and sleepiness. I felt peculiarly averse to going back to sleep. I wasn’t exactly nauseous… but I felt suspiciously as if I might feel better if I got sick and got past it.

Predictably enough, I was quite sick moments later. Something I ate apparently did not agree with me. The stressful nightmare was likely a byproduct of the combination of physical and emotional discomfort – one from whatever I ate that did not agree with me, the other from the recently leaked not-quite-official-yet Supreme Court document regarding the likely end of Roe v Wade. My physical discomfort was greatly eased by vomiting. My emotional discomfort… well, it’s no surprise that it persists.

…Tell me again why someone besides me, myself, has anything to say about whether or not I carry a pregnancy to term? I’ve chosen to be childless. Period. Seriously. I did not want to be a mother. Why would my choice be out of my hands? When I hear people spouting bullshit talking points about the sacredness of life from the moment of conception, I reliably find myself wondering how they are so easily able to overlook the sacredness of the life of the pregnant person, herself? How do they justify what is fundamentally a position that states women should be coercively required – forced – to bear a child? Forced to bring a pregnancy to term that they do not want. Forced to endure a potentially life-threatening pregnancy for months. Forced, potentially, to go through all that and the trauma of giving up a child for adoption in order to avoid motherhood? How is that acceptable?

I hear a lot of religious arguments against abortion. My thoughts on that are basically… by all means, if your faith restricts you from terminating a pregnancy, definitely do not do that, then. I get it. Your religious freedoms absolutely permit that choice for you. My religious beliefs do not in any way restrict me from choosing to end a pregnancy. My religious freedoms should ensure that I continue to have access to a full measure of reproductive medical services – including abortion. I know, it probably sounds like I am taking this damned personally for a woman on the other side of menopause… doesn’t even affect me, directly, right? I am taking this personally. Having abortion available to me ensured I was able to choose to be childless by intent. My choice. I was able to graduate high school. I was able to join the Army once I did. Both of those would have been beyond my reach, without having been able to terminate a pregnancy while I was in high school. I had birth control measures available. I used them. My birth control failed – which is not uncommon. I was fortunate to live at a time when abortion was available to me, when I needed it.

I needed to get that off my mind. Thank you. If I’ve upset you, I regret the distress I’ve caused you. Not enough to change (or withhold) my thoughts on this topic, but it isn’t my intention to cause you suffering if we disagree.

…But… can anyone tell me why it seems acceptable to tell someone that they must be forced to bear a child against their will, or potentially under life-threatening circumstances? Why is the not-yet-viable-outside-the-womb fetus “life” worthy of respect and value – but the living breathing human person with that fetus in their body is less so? I don’t get it. Like it or not, that’s really what is being proposed; forcing people who do not want to bear a child to go through that process because someone else is not okay with an abortion that they have nothing to do with at all. Yes, I’m unreasonably angry about this, and taking it personally. It feels personal.

It’s late. My guts are no longer churned up. I’m no longer sweating. My breathing is relaxed and even. It’s quiet in these wee hours, and I am alone with my thoughts in the night. I’m okay, though. No despair. Just quiet. There’s no stress to these sleepless hours; tomorrow I return home to the welcoming embrace of my Traveling Partner. I’m definitely homesick. I’m eager to be at home all through the month of June.

A yawn unexpectedly splits my face. I’m tired and sleepy. Time to try that sleep thing, again. Tomorrow is a new day, and plenty soon enough for new beginnings. 🙂

Awake. Okay with it.

I woke thirsty. Drank water. My neck felt twisted and my shoulder felt cramped. I did the exercises from my recent physical therapy work.

My tinnitus is loud in this quiet. I listen to it. I listen to my heartbeat. I listen to my even, relaxed breathing. For a long while, it seemed like. I realize I am drifting in and out of my dreams. I am dreaming that I am awake. Realizing this wakes me – the sound of a single startled out loud laugh breaks the stillness.

I sit up, check the time and write these few words. I sit quietly for some little while…

I guess I am for sure sleepy enough to sleep, at this point… I suppose I’ll do that next.

G’damn the world is a scary messed up place right now! Politicians legislate hate – instead of building a society founded on the noble principles they claim to espouse. Human beings killing each other – as though they have any right to take those lives. Sometimes it’s up close, personal, intentional – sometimes it’s as impersonal as a government taking what it cares to take. The lives lost? Human. Human lives. Wasted potential. Lost loved ones. Where is the “humanity” in that loss or that waste? We could do better. By “we”, I mean – you and I. I could do better. Couldn’t you?

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” We’ve heard that. Read it. Said it out loud. Maybe have it on a coffee mug, t-shirt, or bumper sticker. What are you doing about that? Are you making a point to treat your partner(s), family, and friends better? Are you making a point to pay into systems that do real good in the world? Are you voting to improve the laws that govern your community? Are you taking time to lift others up? I’m not telling you what to do, or how to do it, or when, or whether, or anything like that… I’m just wondering, myself, sitting here, where to turn my attention, my dollars, my effort, and my time. I already know there are verbs involved.

I’m sitting here sipping a glass of clean water, feeling grateful to have the access to clean safe drinking water. Even in America, that’s not guaranteed. I’m fortunate. Fortunate to have pretty good city water. Fortunate to have a partner who is skilled, handy, and cares enough to add additional water filtration so we have water that “feels fresh” and tastes good, reliably available any time.

There’s a small bright yellow bird hopping about in the pear tree beyond the window. I practice safe garden practices that don’t put the wildlife at risk. My neighbors maintain those pear trees with care. Pretty – but also a lovely habitat for that little yellow bird. Fruit later. Habitat now. Choices make changes.

…Choices make changes…

My garden is coming together. The unexpected flurry of snow today doesn’t seem to be holding anything back, so far. I’m making a garden. Making change in this small landscape that is ours. It reflects the “make change” attitude my partner and I seem to be taking, generally. He’s in the shop, working on projects. Useful. Beautiful. I’ll be in the garden, on and off, pulling weeds, planting seeds, making change. Feed the family – feed the soul.

Lately I’ve been pretty blown away by my Traveling Partner’s willingness – eagerness – to “make change”. Our life improves thereby. Our partnership improves, too. Life feels pretty good here within the confines of our little corner of suburbia, here on the edge of agriculture, on the outskirts of small town living, not quite “out in the country”. I love it here… and still see opportunities for positive change. I could do better. Do more. Do differently. Sometimes it isn’t about big changes. Small strategic, sustainable changes are cumulative over time. Plant one seed – grow one plant. Plant a bunch of seeds – grow more plants. Plant those seeds with an eye for placement, and willingness to nurture them, tend them, watch over them… grow a garden. Feed the family. Feed the soul. Make change.

…I think it’s that simple.

I’ll be in the garden. Beginning again. Thinking about change.

I woke abruptly, wide awake in the wee hours. Bad dreams, already unrecalled. I am okay with that. There is limited value in remembering nightmares.

I woke feeling parched and restless. I got up long enough to get a drink of water and attempted to return immediately to slumber. Yeaaaaaah… That’s not working out so far. lol

My head aches. My tinnitus is loud, chiming and ringing in my ears. I sit up to write for a few minutes, laptop dimmed, sipping on a glass of water. I am damp with sweat, whether left behind from my dreams or too many blankets I don’t know.

I would sleep if I could, but that won’t happen staring into the glow of a monitor. I will set this aside, meditate and focus on my breath, until sleep overtakes me once more. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

I am awake. I don’t mean to be. I woke suddenly, feeling very thirsty, and got up to get a drink of water. Easy enough. Feeling much refreshed and still sleepy, I went back to bed.

…I’ve been awake since then. That was about an hour ago. I meditated for a while. That was pleasant and quite relaxing. I am still awake.

I found myself sleepy again and started, finally, to drift off. I sat up abruptly, halting any potential for sleep for the moment, when my brain inconveniently solved a small challenging bit of a work problem (meaning actual math, in this case), unexpectedly. I sat with my thoughts for a few minutes, long enough to minimize the risk of forgetting all about it by morning. No reason to be wasteful with good cognitive work, however poorly timed!

I’m sleepy again. Ready to begin (sleep) again… I start unwinding (again).I let my thoughts drift, here and there… no pressure. Years of struggling with insomnia and nightmares don’t feel like the distant past, right now, but a yawn overcomes me soon, and then another… good enough. 🙂