Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stop. Just Stop.

In the past few weeks I've written enough in the  to replace all the pages in an entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica books... to no one.  The words are swirling, floating like a balloon, slipped from a child's hand, and disappearing into the atmosphere... It becomes so very small, then disappears.  How long before it pops?
I'm also sure that most of what I write is hyperbolic, hypocritical nonsense.

See, if you can't even tell the difference between nonsensical, offensive garbage, and meaningful words that truly reach someone, that means it's a good time to stop writing... Stop writing to an invisible audience.  Just stop. 

I think I need a break from myself and my own thoughts?  I think too much.  I can't even just write a blog post about stopping writing without writing a whole lot of words.  I could keep going here...  I just keep typing.  But, I mean it.  I'll shut up. (Do you believe me?)

Oh, I really hate anything that reminds me of that horrible scene from Crime and Punishment... But, you get the point.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grandmas Everywhere!

I have had some great ideas about grandmothers lately. I don't know why it's grandmother and and not all grandparent specific, so I can't spend any time explaining that.   I was thinking that we should get as many grandmothers as possible, the kind of grandmothers who can look at youth and make them feel really guilty about every bad thing they've ever done.... The kind of grandmothers that no one wants to disappoint. The kind of grandmothers who cook treats for kids, and calls them pet names, and loves being around them. And then all these grandmothers need to work in our schools. Tons of them. At the high school, when you eat lunch in the cafeteria, there will be a grandma at every table.

‎... Oh, there's more...

I think what the kids in our district need, most of the kids, is respect for their elders, respect for human history, someone to love them, someone to be proud of them, and someone to make them think about what they're doing, before they do IT... Those were my grandparents.

I lied to my grandmother ONCE, and I will never forget it. I still feel guilty about it. She found out like nobody's business immediately. She knew I was lying. I was a teenager. Oh, it still gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Kids need that sometimes.  There is that healthy fear that's good for kids to have and too few have it. I mean just guilty because they disappointed grandma, not that the grandmas would ever say anything negative to the kids. Only positive grandmas are allowed, who have lots of life lessons, and say things like, "You can't squeeze blood out of turnips," and, "A penny for your thoughts," and, "Don't take any wooden nickels."

Grandmas used to volunteer at the elementary schools, in the library and classroom.  Grandmas on the bus.  Grandmas everywhere.

My husband and I have twins, Michael and Stella, who will be entering Kindergarten this fall.  I know the district's schools have been under scrutiny lately, but I believe we have some great teachers at Elm Hill.  I was thinking about my own elementary school education, and how many volunteers were in our classrooms and in the lunch room.  Most parents were working, but grandparents would come in and read with kids, or sit with us at lunch and help us with our juice boxes.  We would take nature walks, and there were always lots of hands to hold onto.  I remember a very nurturing and loving environment at Central Elementary back in the 1980's, when I was young.

When I visit my own grandmother, Topsy Barry of Bellows Falls, (who lost her husband, and my beloved Grampy John, last spring), she says her greatest joy is spending time with her great-grandkids. She said, "I want to see them as much as possible."  Her advice and thoughts on parenting are still the most helpful to me, above all else.  She is 85.  Hugs from the twins light her up.

A year ago, in a very sad series of events, Sam's parents and grandmother completely cut my children out of their lives.  They don't inquire about them, or wish to see them.  I understand the enormous role my great-grandmother, Stella O'Connor, and my Nanny and Grampy had in my life.  They influenced who I became as an adult.  I am a teacher because of my Grandfather, John Barry. I understand the loss my children are experiencing, without caring grandparents, even though they will never understand or know any different.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tinsnips and Love Coupons.

10 years is a real long time.  It's a decade.  It's, well... 10 whole years.  It's interesting that the gift associated with a 10 year wedding anniversary is tin.  I mean... Tin?  I guess we could have bought a lot of cans of beer and drank them.  (Yeah, baby...)  But, we didn't.  We planned on going on a romantic date, just the two of us.  But, we didn't.  We planned on renewing our vows on the beach.  But, sigh... we didn't.

A romantic place for an anniversary

We spent the day and evening with our twins.  We went to the Dairy Joy, in Bellows Falls, Vermont, for dinner.  Michael and Stella came with us.  That's just the way things go.  We visited my grandmother, our favorite woman in the entire world, on our anniversary and then went to the Dairy Joy.  I ate a cheeseburger and fried dough. I got a stomach ache. It was good.  Whatever.

We left for a week-long trip to Maine two days later.   I had this amazing cream colored, pleated Silk chiffon dress to wear on the beach.  It was the perfect dress to wear to run into waves, and get all wet...  Full of joy.  It sat in the closet of our rental cottage, and now It's in my closet at home.  I'll never wear it.  It's really beautiful.  The perfect beach wedding dress.

You know, 10 years seemed like a good time to renew the vows of wedlock.  We've been through a lot, and it would have been good for us.  But, we didn't.  My dress traveled to Maine with us, for our vacation, then came back home, unworn.

And so, on our 10th wedding anniversary, we drank champagne in our yard.  I was wearing lime green sweat shorts from Old Navy.  That's okay.

Does it really matter?

Sam worked all day and I spent the day with the kids.  That was okay too.

But, what I really mean is, it wasn't completely okay.  I needed something special.  At the time, I desperately needed to say, "And we did."

And I realized that a moment passed that we can  never get back.  And maybe this symbolizes my life and who I am now.  No moments will be especially significant, all moments will blend together?  We won't have anyone to celebrate with us, or let us celebrate as a couple... Alone?  Does it really matter, how we celebrate?  Is it just important that we are a team, this little family, and we do things together?  Maybe that's all we have;  all we really, really have:  Each other.  That's all.  And that has to be okay.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What doesn't kill you...

So, when a person has a blog, and doesn't write for a while, a reader should assume that something ridiculous is happening.  From my own limited experience, a person who decides to create a blog likes to write, and likes to have an audience for that writing.  I write to sort of work through things going on in my head.  I stopped writing.  That didn't mean my life didn't get particularly more ridiculous, but it seemed like the ridiculousness slowed me down a little bit, and I couldn't think for a while.

Fixing up that darn "cottage" was exhausting.  The last two days of work were grueling and the completion of the project seemed impossible.  The plumbing kept leaking.  We did not hire a professional plumber because we were out of money.  The tenant had a friend who knew how to solder, and Sam had a book on plumbing...  It was like, "Why is this joint leaking? Why is this nozzle leaking?  Look, it's not leaking!  OH wait, where is that water coming from?"  I had to leave because it seemed hopeless.  But it was not hopeless and Sam learned a lot about plumbing.  Now he says he's ready to install a second bathroom in our own house.  Hmmmm...  Yeah, we survived the "cottage" renovation.

Secondly, my house (or really, my children) are in a never ending battle with me.  Clean dishes/dirty dishes, clean laundry/dirty laundry, clean floors/dirty floors.  Household chores only lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction.  No matter how wonderful it looks when you get a job "done," with 5 year old twins, the job is undone within 24 hours.  That's an overestimation...  The job is undone within one hour.  The feeling of victory is short-lived and just doesn't lead to much excitement. That means I kind of stopped doing the laundry.  Well, I keep cleaning it, but the clean laundry sits on the laundry table in a huge mountain, sometimes moved to our bed, the floor, the bed, the floor. It's a whole lot of mess, but we'll survive all that too....

And, personally, with my job, I'm having a ridiculous battle with people who hold contempt for me for things I can not change.   Let's just say, having people work against you is a lot less pleasant than having them work with you.  It's exhausting.  It's ridiculous.  I'll survive.

If you can't beat it, join it.  Our eternal clean laundry pile is, in fact, good for something.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I have a problem.  I know there are so many people suffering in the world; so many people live in the middle of tragedy, violence, suffering.  And I'm a whiner.  I have a "perfect life."  Anyone can see it.  But, I'm still complaining.  I'm sad.  I look at my grandmother, who lost her husband, her whole life, yet she is there to love and support all of us, the family.  They were the pillars of our family, and she has taken all the weight, with her frail body, and is holding us up.  Why can't I be like her?

A storm over our favorite place, York Harbor.
I have a wonderful husband.  He loves me unconditionally, as no other could love me.  I have twins, a boy and girl, who are lovely and sweet.  They are good children.  We only are struggling financially, because I'm not working, but otherwise, we do very well.  We have what we want.  We have no fear of losing our jobs.  We own a nice house.  We have nice cars.

I love my job.  I love teaching.  I love my students.  When I am in the classroom, I look out at them, looking back and me, and I see each one of those kids is somebody's Michael or Stella.  Each teenager is someone's baby.  And for God's sake, if they don't have parents who show them that love, than teachers do end up filling that rule.  We are not pals.  We are not buddies, or peers.  We are replacement parents, in many ways, for the children who need us.  I don't care what anyone says about student/teacher relationships.  When you work in a low income, high needs town, the students need something more from us.  It's exhausting, but we give ourselves, because that's why we became teachers in the first place.

Beauty after the storm.  York Harbor, Maine.
I'm not physically perfect, but I'm at least physically healthy, and not particularly ugly.  Let's admit it, people deemed unattractive by others have a tougher time in life, in many respects.

I was raised in a very loving environment.  My grandparents lived right around the corner, and I spent my summers there, swimming in their pool, with my cousins.  I have lots of cousins.  We are all like brothers and sisters because of our childhoods.  We all lived within walking distance of each others' houses.

I believe in God, and Heaven.  Faith brings depth to our lives, when we know there is something bigger.

But our little worlds can become so stifling.  Everything can close in, so you can lay your palms flat on each wall, standing in one place.  And there is no strength to push.  I don't want to try.

There are so many days where I feel like I am just barely hanging onto the edge and someone is trying to pry my fingers loose one-by-one.  As I make decisions about life, I sometimes feel like I should just let go and make it easier.  I will fall where they want me to fall.

And I wonder if  it's possible to become emotionally and spiritually damaged enough to turn into a sociopath?  When you do things, that are so far from what you ever would want for your life, you break. When you knowingly walk into the fire, the burns are your fault.  And it's bad; bad burns, that fester and smell, and crack.  Is it even skin anymore?  It's ugly.  It's disgusting.  No one else can see them, but I can feel them.  Sometimes I try to scratch them, rip them away.  I want to cut off this damaged layer.  A bloody mess would be better.  At least everyone could see it, they can stop telling me, "You'll be okay."

I think too much.  I feel too much.   A sociopath is apathetic.  She has no feelings.  That sounds nice, sometimes.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.

 Dear Grampy, 

        When I was a little girl, I used to worry a lot.  I worried about the day that my nanny and grampy would die, so every night I prayed that that would never happen, and that didn't seem unreasonable.  Even then, I knew our family would reel and spin out of control without you.  And up until you got really sick, I still thought you would be here forever.  Forever.  I didn't come to the hospital to see you when you were sick.  I didn't come down a lot.  I didn't want to see proof, that my world--that you-- were frail.  The Earth should have stopped spinning when you left.
       Beautiful nanny, is so strong.  Grampy, she misses you, but she keeps us all together.  She still smiles, even though I know it must be difficult.  She comforts all of us when we miss you.  She knows you are still here.
       Grampy John, I miss you so much. Everything going on in my life that seems unbearable, makes me want to talk to you. You always knew the best solution for everything, and you always said the right things. Family, school, personal stuff... You just got it.
      Your house was my haven. It was where I could feel grounded again, and remember everything would be alright with the world because you and nanny were there. I love you.  Love, Joanna

BELLOWS FALLS — John P. Barry, 86, one of Vermont’s longtime leading educators died at his home on Thursday, May 19th, surrounded by his loving family.
            He was born July 26, 1924 to William and Maude (Boyle) Barry of Bellows Falls, Vermont. He was predeceased by his sister Mary Barry Parrot. He is survived by his soul-mate and the love of his life, his wife of 63 years, Estelle “Topsy” (O’Connor) Barry, and five children: Christopher (Julie Smith) Barry of Westminster, Mary Kay (Timothy) Pfadenhauer of Bellows Falls, Julie (Raymond) Chamberland of Bellows Falls, Barbara (Michael) Janiszyn of Springfield, and Stephen (Valerie) Barry of Westminster. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Robert (Betty) O’Connor of Littleton, NH, several nieces and nephews and fifteen grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.   
Grampy with Michael.
Grampy with Stella.
            Mr. Barry graduated from Bellows Falls High School in 1943 and served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. In his educational career, he earned a B.S. from the University of Vermont, an M.Ed from Boston University, a C.A.G.S. from the University of Connecticut and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from the College of St. Joseph. During a distinguished and storied career as an educator, Mr. Barry taught in public elementary and secondary classrooms, instructed in college, was a principal in elementary and junior high school, served as Director of Guidance, Curriculum Coordinator, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Special Education Coordinator, and Federal Funds Coordinator.  Mr. Barry was also Director of the Education Department at Windham College in Putney, Vermont.                                   
            Four Vermont governors selected Mr. Barry to serve on education committees during his career as an educator.  In tribute to his open-mindedness and respect for his educational colleagues, John Barry served two terms on the Board of Directors of the National Education Association and represented all Vermont teachers in Washington DC.
            He left his distinguished career in public school teaching and administration in 1979 to spend the last 15 years of his professional life teaching young children at Kurn Hattin Homes.
            What most people would describe as burdens – caring for ill and aging friends and relatives, helping disadvantaged children, and giving aid and love to his extended family– Mr. Barry considered a privilege.
            In this respect, the value of John Barry’s existence may be found in the spirit of Mr. Barry’s teaching and leadership that he communicated with love and kindness to family, friends, students, and peers during a memorable and legendary lifetime of compassionate service. 
            Calling hours for Mr. Barry will be held on Tuesday, May 24th, from 4:00-7:00 pm at the Fenton & Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls, VT. A Mass honoring Mr. Barry’s life will be co-celebrated by Father Joseph O’Keeffe and Father Lance Harlow at Saint Charles Church in Bellows Falls, VT, at 11:00 am on Wednesday, May 25th. An open reception after Mr. Barry’s funeral service will be held at the Kurn Hattin Dining Hall in Westminster, VT.
            In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kurn Hattin Homes, Westminster, VT, to endow the John P. Barry Children's Fund.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

- John F. Kennedy

Your dearly missed Deet Deet, you and your family are in my prays everyday. I have carried the rosary you gave me everywhere I have been deployed and it will continue to go with me. I truely think of you as a grandfather and a great mentor, I just hope that one day I can be half the man you were. From one servicemen to another fair winds and following seas in your new adventure, and thank you for your service.

Love you forever
Robbie Shaughnessy

 Happy Birthday to one of the best human beings I had the pleasure of knowing!!!I know for sure that Steve and I had a lot to do with the gray hair you had in your earlier years! I miss you, love you and thanks for everything you did for more thing, please give my mom a kiss from me! - Steve Keefe.

 You will be deeply missed! Mr barry! You were a big part of my life @ kurn hattin homes! Along with your daughter who taught me in 3rd grade! And for everything you family has done 4 me! Thanx! And i will always luv you guys! For making me a better person. So R.I.P - mr. Barry! And may god bless your whole family! In this time of need! And thanx again!  - Heather Breed.

Johnny B will be missed by all that knew him-his compassion and caring for all. I certainly feel grateful to have known him- very important part of my life. - Doris Eddy

Mr. Barry taught me at Kurn Hattin in the Fourth grade. Because of the way this man taught me I have always been obsessed with numbers. The way he taught us all math. You will be so dearly missed by all Mr. Barry. Love to your family. R.I.P. -Doris Hutchinson.

When I was 8 years old, I met Mr. Barry. My mom died and I was sent to Kurn Hattin in 1985. I believe God had a lot to do with me going there because that is where I met Mr. Barry and my life changed forever. He took me under his wing and helped me through this very sad and trying time in my life. I loved Mr. Barry very much. He was my fourth grade teacher, and lifelong friend. He meant very very much to me from the time I was 8 years old and even now. I did not have much reason to live after my mom passed away (or so I thought) but then I met my 4th grade teacher who gave me a reason to live. I never wanted to let my teacher down even as I grew older and so my thoughts became about how to improve my life so I could help someone else. This was what Mr. Barry taught me. He taught me that life was important and that we never know when someone will be in need of our help and love like I had been when I first met him. There are many lessons that Mr. Barry taught me about life that I will never forget and will always be sure to teach the youth under my leadership. I miss him a very very much but my memories of him I will cherish always.
To my teacher, my lifelong friend and the person who cared about me and showed me love when no one else did, Mr. John P. Barry - I love you and you will be with me forever in my heart. Thank you, Mr. Barry just for being who you always were and for making a difference in my life that I cannot explain accurately only live. Thank you for giving me my life back and helping me to become the young woman that I am today. I truly do miss you and I think I always will.  -Michele Hutchinson.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Depression Cake (That's one F'ed up Cake).

If I had posted on Sunday, as I had planned, this would have been a very upbeat and joyful piece of writing about Mother's Day and family.  I might have even given you that fun little recipe of the eggless chocolate cake we often attribute to the 1930's.  Yet, less than 24 hours later, my mood has shifted dramatically.  I have spend a marked amount of days being very positive about a lot of things.  For example:

My children started playing T-Ball.  If you want to see something joyful, watch small children, who have no idea what they are doing, try to play an organized sport.   It was lovely.  I was laughing at points, with tears running down my cheeks.  Michael had a difficult first day, and Sam and I did realize we had failed them in some way, by not teaching them how to throw, catch, hit, etc.  He cried at one point saying, "I feel like a failure."  Poor little guy.  However, the next day we bought them their own little gloves, Stella a pink bat, and they were practicing in the yard.  They picked it up fast, and most importantly, they were having fun.  They already had one game and it was delightful and silly.

We spent Mother's Day at my aunt's house with a large number of extended family, including my grandmother. My grandmother is so beautiful and inspiring.  She is all that I want to be as a mother.  My family is filled with wonderful mothers and wonderful women.

However, my mood crashed so quickly, by Monday I was feeling bitch cakes.  I mean the biggest, quadruple-layer bitch--wedding style--cake.  I believe hormones are involved.  I think a woman can just tell when hormones are involved.  I kind of hope they are, otherwise I'm just freaking crazy for no reason.

I am considering the idea that I could be suffering from PMDD.  I often think of Sylvia Plath, and the speculation that this was what plagued her life and led to her death.  Being a woman can suck sometimes...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


perpetuity noun
in perpetuity, for ever, for good, permanently, for keeps (informal), for all time, for eternity, for always

At this point, I am in a perpetual cycle of self reflection.  As my blog name suggests, I am "checking myself, before I wreck myself."  However, can too much thinking, be too much?  I have been told many times, that I "think too much."  That always seemed silly to me.  Shouldn't we all be thoughtful?  Yet, laying in bed ruminating at 2:00 in the morning, also becomes silly.   A symptom of depression are, "unwanted thoughts."  Is it even possible to just focus on what we want to think about?
progress  noun
Movement, as toward a goal; advance, development or growth.

Does thinking promote growth, or can it hold us back?  I'm a teacher.  The goal of a teacher is to get students to think critically about the world around them.  Thinking moves us forward, even if it drives us crazy.

move verb
To change in position from one point to another, to progress in sequence; go forward, to follow a specified course, to progress toward a particular state or condition, to start off; depart, to exhibit great activity or energy, to initiate an action; act, to stir the emotions.

We are always moving in one direction or another.  I move in circles.  Most days I feel like someone spun me around until my legs were twisty and then let me go.  I'm dizzy, unfocused, and trying to find balance. Sam and I are trying to move in a different direction...  Just a little.  We are realizing that we aren't "stuck" anywhere; we can do anything we want to do.

When I was talking to Dr. A, I had said how we wanted to move, get out of this town, appended by the statement, "We will never do it."
"Why not?" he asked.

Now, that's a silly question.  Who actually moves?  I don't just mean depart from one location to another, but makes huge, disruptive changes in their lives?  Children, lack of money, stress, uncertainty;  all these things stop us from progressing, from changing positions, from initiating action.  They don't have to, but they do.  

The wedding aftermath:  Drunk and tired and happy.
I remember laying in bed with Sam on our honeymoon, and starting to have a panic attack.  This is it, this is it, this is it...  It wasn't that I didn't think Sam was "the one," it was that I had done the most permanent thing in my life so far.  And I was so scared.
I had chosen a college, and I was able to transfer when I wasn't happy. I had a weirdo roommate who slept in the nude, so I changed rooms.   I chose my classes, and dropped the ones I didn't find stimulating.  I had boyfriends and broke up with them.  I was offered a job at UVM, but made the decision to come home and work in this area.  Those decisions led me to Sam.  And there I was laying next to the man I married and I was panicking.  It subsided of course, as we both shared our fears, and our awe in the realization we were "grown ups." 

Even though we bought a house, the next really permanent decision was to have a baby.  It was surprising to both of us that it took us four years to feel "ready."  We both wanted to be parents.  We both wanted children.  But we were scared.  We wanted to make sure we were ready to handle anything.  ANYTHING.  And thank God in Heaven we did, because having twins was a shocker! 

So, having children makes everything we do more permanent, because it affects them too.  What a huge, freaking responsibility...

responsibility noun
1.  : the quality or state of being responsible: as
a : moral, legal, or mental accountability
b : reliability, trustworthiness

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


"She was seeking herself and finding herself in just such sweet, half-darkness which met her moods. But the voices were not soothing that came to her from the darkness and the sky above and the stars. They jeered and sounded mournful notes without promise, devoid even of hope."  -Kate Chopin

There are entire conversations that play through my head that are never meant to happen or heard.  I realize if someone could read my thoughts, I mean someone who loved me, the darkness that follows me would consume them too.  I should say the darkness that sometimes follows me, because I understand my thought process is flawed and twisted at times, but not all the time...

I told Sam last night that I was walking down the driveway, past these construction buckets full of cold water, (water collected from the leaky hose that we run from our house down to fill the horses' trough), and just for a moment, I thought of myself drowned in one of them.  My head was immersed and I breathed the water into my lungs until I was dead.  I told him that that idea just popped into my head, and then I just kept walking down the driveway and went about my day as usual.  He said, "That's awful," and today I noticed the buckets were tipped over and emptied of water.

Do all depressed people come to a moment in life when they realize they are living for everyone around them?  Depression might just be a heightened sense of the reality of life.  We are truly here to serve others.  We play roles in other peoples' lives, make sure they are happy, or get what they want, and that is life.  Understanding that doesn't mean we don't love those people or want to make them happy, it just means we understand that we don't have to be "happy."  When alone, it's okay that we know we are already gone.  We can know the heart and soul already took flight, and it's just a shell left for everyone else.

We can still make other people very happy that way.  I know my roles and what I need to do:  Mom - Love your children and make them feel loved.  Wife - Love your husband and make him feel loved.  Teacher - Care for your students and move them forward in their lives.  Daughter - Make the parents feel like they succeeded in loving you.  What else do we really need to do?  It doesn't matter what else we do.

I was walking today and this sadness and emptiness came over me and I could feel something drain from my body and slink away.  I realized I had blown my brains out a long time ago.  I broke who I am, and I am not Joanna anymore.  Joanna, was just a person unaware of reality anyway.  Walking along, as understanding of my situation was clear, Joanna left me completely, flowing with the last bit of color and sparkle into the drainage ditch and sinking and dispersing into the soil that was laden with bits of trash, dead leaves, and dirty gloom that winter left behind and summer hadn't had time to lift away.  I kept moving forward, with no thoughts anymore, except, "This is what you do, you keep moving.  Do what you need to do."  I just thought about that over and over again.  

Before depression creeps in, people can live lives oblivious to any of these things.  I tried to tell my doctor that I know I am broken, and I will never be happy.  When you break your soul it's irrevocable.   

Silly girl, glue can't hold it back together.  
The crack is still there!  
I can see it so clearly, and so can you!  

And I can...  I can feel it.  I can trace it with my mind's finger, and the edges are sharp.  I suck the blood from the wound.  

If people look deeply enough, and carefully enough, into your eyes, they can see the crack too.  Children can't see it. We don't want them to ever see it.   If someone doesn't want to see it, they don't have to see it.  Most people don't want to see it.  It's too sad to know.  If you know, then everything becomes harder.  It hurts too much. The jagged chasm, behind the green and blue of my eyes, makes them look away and say with some concern, "Are you okay?  What's wrong?"

"Nothing," is enough to smooth the furrowed brow.  

"Ah, thank goodness she's okay."

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Osho:  Sickness is unnatural, sadness is unnatural, misery is unnatural -- there must be a cause to it, but just rejoicing in life, in the small things of life is a natural thing. There is no question of finding any cause.

When I am in the deepest depressive moments, I consistently push people away with all my feeble might.  "Go!  Be happy! Stay away from me."  And, during these times, I am consistently negative about myself; about my relationships, and mostly about myself.  I know that...

But I don't want to inflict anything like what my mother's illness has done to our family, on anyone else.  When I am in these severe depressed dips I am terrified I will pull the people who love me, (the people I love!), down with this sinking ship, and I want to cut everyone loose.  Everyone.  Even Michael and Stella. They deserve better.

These are the only two situations possible, and you are in the sad situation. Everybody may know about you -- who you are -- but you yourself are completely oblivious of your transcendence, of your real nature, of your authentic being. This is the only sadness in life. You can find many excuses, but the real sadness is this: you don't know who you are. How can a person be happy not knowing who he is, not knowing from where he comes, not knowing where he is going? A thousand and one problems arise because of this basic self-ignorance.

I'm tired.  I'm really sad and tired.  One day after Easter, I became so exhausted I felt like someone tranquilized me.  I might as well be in a coma. I would prefer to be in a coma and do no harm--Not to the people I love... Not to myself.  See,  yesterday I thought of calling John and telling him that Teresa and Sam would make a great couple. He said he felt like he wanted to die, often. I wanted to say, "Let's go."  

I feel like I'm trying to swim with cinder blocks chained to my body. Why do I keep swimming? Why do my limbs keep struggling to keep me afloat?

God, because part of me knows I'm not crazy... I know I'm not crazy all the time!  I always keep swimming, and I always feel better.

But I feel like I'm a real bitch in the meantime.
And I am sure people are seeing what I saw happen to my mother, in me... She was my beautiful- angel-hero.  Little kids often see perfection in their mothers.  Moms can do anything.  They wrap their angel wings around us.  My mother was infallible, and strong, and my lifeline when I couldn't handle things life was throwing at me...  And she left.  And that image of her disappeared.  The person I love died.  Maybe she's in there somewhere...  But I haven't seen her in a really long time.  I miss her.  I miss her. I wonder if people are starting to miss me, too.

Sadness has come. It has happened to you; it is not you. The moment you remember this, suddenly you will see a distance arising between you and the sadness. It does not affect you anymore. When you lose awareness, it affects you; when you gain awareness, there is a distance. The more awareness rises to a higher peak, the more the distance becomes greater and greater. A moment comes when you are so far away from your sadness that it is as if it is no longer there. The same has to be done with happiness also. It will be difficult, because one wants to cling to happiness. But if you want to cling to happiness, you are sowing the seeds of unhappiness.

I was so deeply attached to my mom, from my earliest memories, that I don't always know how to keep on living without her. In my darkest hours, I feel like I need her.  I need my mommy.

And, if you have ever admired someone, and put them on a pedestal,  I am sure your remember that exact moment when you saw all their imperfections, and saw the smooth, lovely, marble of their beautiful pedestal, flake, and crack, and fall apart.  My awakening was a long time coming.

Maybe the only people we should ever idolize can never be too close to us.  We need heroes that aren't broken.  If we get too close, we see we were wrong...  They aren't magical, or beautiful at all... And it's tough to swallow.

I would love to sit on a pedestal, set in stone, in my most perfect state; that I would be untouchable by depression, or emotional pain, rejection, or criticism of others.  I'd love to sit above my own self-degradation.  Why can't we sit on pedestals of our own making and feel happy and perfect and amazing?  Why do we let others change who we are, and how we feel about ourselves?  

Everyone tells us to take the bad things in life and make them lessons, but aren't some things just... bad?  Can't some things break us?  We must all have a breaking point.  And we crumble... Or the pedestal crumbles from under us...  And then we're just sitting there in the cloud of marble dust, wondering what the Hell just happened and why.

When you are like a rock, sitting dead with your sadness, nursing your sadness, nobody is with you. Nobody     can be with you. There simply comes a gap between you and the life. Then whatsoever you are doing, you have to depend on your energy source. It will be dissipated, you are wasting your energy, you are being drained by your own nonsense. But one thing is there, that when you are sad and negative you will feel more ego. When you are happy, blissful, ecstatic, you will not feel the ego. When you are happy and ecstatic there is no I, and the other disappears. You are bridged with existence, not broken apart -- you are together.