Has it ever happened to you? You are walking along the street in the busy part of town and from around the corner someone enters your view and as they approach you, you feel a zap of electricity just by the sight of them? They turn a corner in their life that day and its as if they enter your life. It feels just like that. My first class of the semester and of the day. 9:10 a.m. and I am sitting in the chair waiting. From the left side of my peripheral view as if walking around a corner, this tiny woman enters the room and enters my world in that first glimpse and i am captivated. At first sight. I understand that the mind can play tricks on us but i have no explanation for the illuminated aura i saw around her. By looking at her, Even with a gloriously wild pile of black curls atop her head and nearly an inch of heel on her boots, she couldn’t possibly be five feet tall. I must admit i was completely attracted to her perfect face and skin and everything…but it really was something beyond aesthetics that enchanted me. Like the gears in me and my life were moving around as usual, then i encounter the mere presence of some woman I have never seen or met before and this unlocking inside of me occurs. The click clack clicking of an activation of a “something” perhaps dormant inside me …. nearly audible. I wondered if the same thing happened inside her? A crazy thought but at the same time how could such an impressive force act upon me and NOT be noticeable by her..by anyone nearby for that matter? Surely someone else felt that? I was sitting near the door and from where she taught the class i was some distance in the back of the class. It was distracting really because the rest of my classes were ahead of me and I could not stop thinking of her. Why? How could such an uneventful first day back at school suddenly take such a profound turn? There is no obvious explanation for it. I do not remember really anything she said that first day. I could not help but plant myself in the first and closest seat to her two days later when the class met again. Mostly i pick the closest seat in all my classes because i cannot handle the distraction of whispering classmates. Also, my vision is not the best so i prefer sitting up nearest the projector screen for the clearest view of Power Point presentations and such. This has become my set seat. After class had met three or four times It dawned on me that she would be on social media. Turns out we have several friends in common. Being my Art History professor in college i didn’t think she would add me but she did. I feel like I must exercise serious self control to not be myself around her as if i have known her for half my life. Another week or so passes and so I sent her the message ” We must be friends. It is meant to be. But i realize that you are the teacher and i am the grasshopper and so for now i shall remain your biggest fan(did i tell you what a big fan i am?)huge fan.” I did not expect a response and of course i did not get one. But it was as if she was suddenly in my everyday. This image of her remained inside my head from the moment i saw her and was replaced only when I was in her presence. I love history. It is amazing how much more interesting learning about something can be when you find yourself captivated by one teaching the material. I knew i had to not only pace myself but maintain some self control over my impulses to send her messages or emails or anything. At least until after the semester was over. It felt like i had known her and so my mind wanted to interact with her as if i had known her forever. She was interesting to listen to and usually added a little about herself each time she gave lecture. She had a great sense of humor. I so looked forward to this class every Tuesday and Thursday. I waited another week or so and sent her another message just so that she might allow my name to stand out in her mind more so than others. It was meant to be funny. How strange it was on another level that suddenly this educator -student dynamic had turned around in my mind, what might be otherwise an awesome meeting of new friends, now making me feel like some weird stalker. I have never been taken by someone like her. I had no reason to make myself feel like a stalker so i know it was not my doing. If i wasn’t trying to maintain this professional relationship, I would have already asked her to dinner, or a hike or to come see her.Anything. This was dangerously close to fucking with my mind if i spent too much time thinking about it so i just decided that this barrier between us til December was meant to be and enjoy the path i was on none the less.
The powers of observation are vastly underestimated in today’s world. Most people are so glued to their phones they have given up the act of taking notice of the rest of the world around them. Millenial’s are already losing the ability to read typical social cues. Being able to truly pay attention can allow for anyone to gain an upper hand in any given situation. I am a part of the “old school” generation before the days of smartphones and internet. It comes more naturally to me and so I have gained much by simply allowing my mind to recognize more detail around me in the world. It doesn’t take much effort for me to notice her though. I notice everything about her. Since first meeting her I have learned that she has several jobs and doesn’t seem to sleep. We have both things in common. She likes to wear mismatch earrings at times. Her middle initial is J and what it stands for I sure wish i knew. Janelle? Jane? Jean? The first woman i fell in love with had a middle name of Jean. Lisa Jean. The mind tries to create something when nothing is there to feed off. For the past two months I have spent two mornings a week with this exquisite woman and by not interacting with her beyond my student role, my thoughts have taken on a life of their own. Goddess help me. (to be continued)
Against my personal convictions, I recently enrolled my two youngest daughters in public school. They had been homeschooled by me the previous school year. I think i need to start back a little before this to better paint the picture. I used to live in a county an hour east of where i live now. But a new marriage brought my new home here to the city. My girls had been attending a school system since elementary school in this county. I was their momma and felt that they should come live with me fulltime (though we had equal custody..a whole other story)and go to school near my home. I had all girls and it had been a battle dealing with my ex in regards to the needs of three girls. Especially needs he saw of no importance. He is a highly critical and pessimistic individual. This made it hard for my girls to talk to him and get things they needed. Deodorant is a need in this culture we live in but it is heavily laden with chemicals(the big culprit of alzheimers disease is Alum, aluminum) and he and i both had strong opinions against that stuff for the girls. The all natural aluminum free kind is much more expensive and with three daughters and myself using (Bobo wasn’t old enough yet but soon would be)the product its outrageous to keep in stock let alone sanitary napkins and such. He wouldn’t get them any for a long time so i was left to buy extra to send with them. Stocking two homes takes nearly an extra income to just keep up with girly needs if you can only imagine. We go the all natural route as much as possible but the cost is enormous. I digress. With constant little battles about this stuff continuously going on its understandable why Bobo and Lala wanted to live with me. His intense efforts to avoid any child support costs kept him fervently antagonistic about them moving schools. Our eldest daughter was already graduated high school and working towards college. Where she lived was her choice. Lala was in high school and it was understood that a court would recognize her as old enough to decide where she wanted to live. She felt in the middle. I didn’t want her to feel like that so i tried my best to let her make the choice on her own feeling no anxiety about me regarding her decision. But being an hour away , i would not be able to see her very often. She hated that school and begged me to take her out but she felt like she was choosing between parents who she had spent equal time with most her life. She has a big heart and though she hated being around him most of the time also, she loved him and didn’t want him to be alone. Amelia being much younger was the final factor. Ultimately, we settled out of court in order to keep the courts from seperating me from my children (judge was giving ex favor for keeping kids in same county school system as they had been there for so long regardless of what my girls wanted)and i agreed that Bella could stay there fulltime and go to school there and Amelia would come with me and we would get them time to spend together when we could. The ex would not allow me to put them in public schools if i wanted to settle because he had his mind set that the school system was much more violent and badly managed because we lived in the city. Well the school system we were moving from made more teen moms and alcoholics than they made college students and its still booming epidemic. He knew the school had let us down where our daughter had been but he would stop at nothing to set up a lifestyle of total convenience for himself rather than hear the heart of our middle child and how unhappy she was in this school. So Lala stayed in the high school she started in and little bit was put in an overpriced Montessori school halfway between both our homes. I was far more emotional about it than anyone and i felt more unheard and misunderstood than i had in a long time. But i put my best foot forward and tried to approach it with strength and optimism. As time went by Lala realized she should have chosen to come with us. Daily her father would make rude inappropriate remarks about her substandard fitness level(in his eyes) or he would hurl harsh criticism at her when she tried to vent about her tough day. He lived much closer and had a better chance to go to the school and speak on Lala’s behalf but he continuously told her to take it like a man and buckup. The Montessori school was a good school but it was not without its faults as well. Very very expensives with constant fees for fieldtrips out of state and camping with the whole school etc etc. as well as a breeding ground for wealthier spoiled rotten kids who couldn’t be made to mind because their parents were paying customers. Bobo was hitting puberty full on and suddenly encountered acne and needed deodorant now also. Using the natural variety can require you reapply it once more in the middle of your day. Being little and new to this puberty thing Bobo didn’t always remember to reapply at lunch. One of the kids starting taunting her about it and making fun of her acne. Other kids had their issues also but again it seemed that the school would go to great lengths to massage everyone so as not to lose business. Ultimately, Bobo was made to just put up with it. I found out later their was this huge rumor by all the students that two of the teachers were having an affair together and using school fieldtrips to have their rendezvous time together. They were even caught by students alone together late at night in a hotel pool on one particular weeklong travel adventure. The female teacher was supposed to be the adult guardian in my daughters room and when she disappeared my daughter and her friends went looking for her. blah blah blah. The total bill for one years tuition minus fieldtrips and camp and stuff came to $13,000.00 and between both schools who were by law given the right to keep my children for 8 hours everyday yet doing a crappy job at truly educating them(other than the cruel and unjust side of things or people) I knew i could do at least a job good as or better than these schools and it wouldn’t cost me 13 grand to accomplish it. I had to think of something that would work so that i could advocate for Lala’s behalf regarding the issues with that rotten school as well as make it feasable for my ex to be open to it. He was easy to anger and once furled up i knew he wouldn’t be eager to work at a change at all. Bobo was up til midnight doing homework every single night and grew quickly disenchanted with such a heavy workload all year and wanted a change. She liked some aspects about the school and loved the unique things this private school offered but she wanted out. My new husband and I had been footing the entire bill on this school and with two daughters entering college the next fall , even with his decent income we didn’t know where the money would come from. Still sharing custody(lawyers fees became the deciding factor in our settling out of court though i wish i had been able to get primary with child support straight from the beginning) the best option i saw was homeschooling them(many new programs for online school and now TN has an online public school program) where we could split the time , the commute, everything right down the middle. Lala would be happy and Bobo could have a less aggressive approach to the homework load. I cannot remember how I managed to get this accomplished but somehow my ex felt it was a good idea too and agreed that we pull the girls and homeschool. Often, depending on his mood that day, he spoke of his disdain for much of the crazy priorities of this society as well as the poor morale and the poor examples of professionalism in the school my daughter did go to. HOWEVER, soon after we began teaching the girls at home he changed his mind and began tormenting them about how they will not amount to anything and will learn anything…..He was especially hard on Lala. She is built thick and voluptuous unlike my other two girls and myself who are petite and thin. She is absolutely beautiful. Her face, her eyes, her incredible spirit and sense of humor…even her name. She is highly artisistic and driven. Being a music man his whole life ,one would expect her Father to appreciate all her artistic qualities.she was in band and had a fantastic ability to draw, create nearly anything. She had a perfect 4.0 and perfect 100 percent track record until her last school (her art teacher bullied her and gave her a grade to ruin her perfect grades though we felt it was completely undeserved.) Nothing she could do would please her daddy because appearance were everything in his family and they also had issues with her regarding her solid physique and if they wouldnt completely accept her than he surely could not. He was still trying to gain their approval himself. she was more of a reason why he felt he couldn’t get the approval he desired from them. That is my guess anyway. I would try to talk to her as often as i could over the phone. What seemed to bother her most is missing her momma and being in our positive fun atmosphere. It was hard for her to hear that we would get snowed in and go tromping off on long hikes through our woods in the snow with boda bags filled with hot chocolate and returning half frozen to a toasty fire in the woodstove and homemade food and movies…or we would go out to dinner every now and then. Her little sister Bobo would get to go out with my friends for pizza and such or the friends of ours that Lala adored would visit regularly and she was never here to enjoy their company. His house had no life in it. He kept it cold and it was quiet and empty most of the time and he rarely had friends over. She LOVED homeschool and was excited about possibly getting snowed in and all the fun things we would do that fall. Even though he began a long school year of scathing remarks and negative comments , Lala was happy. Bobo was as well. The truth is noone supported us except a few of my friends who didnt come around the house real often. My new husband nor my exhusband could be bothered to help with homework . They both had math skills that soared above mine but never offered any assistance once. My husband would come home and ask me how much homeschool we did. My inlaws would visit and question me as if they were also concerned if my girls were getting a proper education. My life was so busy and i was burning the candle at both ends and tired of all the hurt feelings Lala had to work through (i was the only one that would listen to her) and just completely exhausted with the rest of the demands of my life so i relented. I devised a plan with Lala that if noone would help us or support us and everyone wanted to be this way then we would talk of public school only if Lala was given an awesome graduation party by her Daddy. She knew i would give her one. What she wanted more than anything was to travel the world. She wanted out. She was sick of her Daddy always saying how he may never get to see any of his children walk down the graduation aisle. He laid it on thick of his disappointment( our eldest got pregnant as a teen and graduated a semester early so they would let her walk the graduation ceremony) as if it didn’t hold as much value if she were to go through the exact same ceremony only through her homeschool based out of Chattanooga. He was there and saw the elaborate event our eldest daughter experienced when she graduated kindergarten through homeschool. The ceremony was held at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. I have never seen a high school graduation ceremony that glamorous. Anyway, the only way to quiet his mouth was to talk Lala into trying public school for her final year and graduation. Bobo had an increasingly hard time getting up during the day when homeschooled from staying up too late at night. Her studies were suffering and she made the choice to return to school as well because she felt if she were made to sit in a desk all day she would have no choice but to focus on her studies. She had deduced on her own that self motivation and a more lax school atmsophere were beyond her at that time. I told Lala that though she was going to a new school system in a new city that there was still good things waiting inside every challenge. With a positive attitude she could be anywhere and still be joyful. It was up to her. I let her know if she decided she could not take it any longer and wanted out that we would let her leave school. If everyone wanted to give us a hard time for this we would make them pay by throwing her a big party and by playing their game , Lala would be able to take her graduation money and go to Latvia or Sweden or where she wanted . Even if for a few weeks or the summer she could get out of the country . Enter: Lala /Senior Year/ public high school. omfg. What a headache. This is the part of my story where the adventure really begins. (in the next post though cause i have a client in an hour :)) (I swear though the way Lala tells her tales of each day would win contests if she were to blog about it. Hilarious.) til next time
It seems strange as it always has writing letters to you because there has been an ongoing connection so strong since we first me that this letter seems far more for me and my simple understandings than a missive for you. 🙂 I last spoke with you via text message when Osa died. I still miss him. Strange things jog my memory of him. I was driving past a waffle house(we like to dub it the awful house)we visited the morning after he got hurt. We had to drive to Maryville to get him from the Emergency Care because they closed at 6a.m. and Osa was in too rough of shape and they didnt allow patients to stay. We had to take him from there to our vet in Seymour. I had not slept so this was quite an exhausting journey. We didnt know what to do after we left him and G and i were so emotional and in shock that we didnt want to go home just yet. So we went to the awful house. I am spoiled on organic range free eggs from our friends D and K (though i am vegan and rarely eat them anymore)that the eggs at the awful house taste truly awful. I drove past this new branch the other day and it made me miss him so bad as it reminded me of that morning. G took me home after we ate at the awful house then he left for work. I made a fire in the North all day for Osa( i guess for me too)I prayed hard that he would go so that i didnt have to make the choice to end his suffering. I guess that was his gift to me. To help me let go. The interesting turn of things had it set forth to bring upon a new dog soldier to our home. Neo. He is an Australian Shepard /huskey mix. Black with tan and white stockings on all four legs and tan and white cheeks. He has blue eyes with his lower right eye splashed with dark brown over half of it. I will have to tell you how he came to us another time. He is quite afraid of men. He is of strangers but he doesnt panic around females or kids like he does men. Isabella moved her toe on the footrest the other day and his whole body flinched. I keep coming up with these different stories in my mind as to who he was as a pup and where he may have come from. Everything about Neo is a mystery to me except that i know in less than one months time we have grown to love each other. G takes it personally at times that Neo is frightened of him but he’s patient with him. Neo teaches patience. Noone would dare lose their patience with him because you can tell it would make your own heart hurt worse than any mini panic Neo might experience. G and i had a fight recently after Neo had only been with us a few days. he ran and hid under our bed and when we yelled at each other he even growled for a second. I felt like a total failure of a human for feeding and ugly argumentative vibe and risking very fragile trust with my new dog soldier. There was a break in the rain this morning and so i decided to take Neo out on a walk as it was late and i usually walk him before eight in the morning. I let him off the leash last nite to enjoy being on our property. I had created a routine with Neo right away of taking him on a walk three times a day. We built up the distance so we could meander through the valley and wooded edge before heading back up the drive and around the small loop here on top of the hill where our house is. You could tell he was excited that i let him off his leash last nite. I was nervous to let him stay outside because in my selfishness i didnt want him to run off. I wanted him for my dog soldier/my friend…my pet. In the middle of the night the rainstorm welled up so loud that it woke me from a hard sleep. I yelled for Neo as if i was thinking of him even as i slept. I jumped out of bed and ran outside to call for him. In a few seconds he came bouncing out of the darkness towards the light i had just flipped on the porch. It took a few minutes of coaxing and a piece of turkey meat but i got him inside. He immediately ran under the kitchen table for safety but i was relieved to have him inside from the wild rain outside. That was somewhere around 4a.m. Pushing towards ten the next morning I was eager to get my body in that walk mode and to get Neo outside and one more day closer to being more comfortable around me and his new home. He loves to dart towards my bedroom and hide under the bed for twelve hours at a time …so though i felt like a bully keeping him from his hidingspot I thought it would help him avoid getting a big comfort zone noone could penetrate. I had the collar in my hand and of course he ran under the table again. Something inside of me spoke so audibly clear and knowingly that it was almost as if a message had been sent from my brain to my body and it obeyed even before i realized my idea. I put the leash on the table and propped open the door , stepped back to the edge of the porch and called for Neo. As i backed away he poked his head out to look for me as i called him. I decided that we had taken enough walks in this first month together that he has a good idea of where he is. Just as i had hoped he followed out of the house and off the porch. Our first walk side by side with NO LEASH! I was so happy that i bounced on our walk together and i even giggled out loud halfway through our route. he he . On our way back up from walking the front portion of our property we stopped in my garden and he hung out with me while i spent nearly an hour weeding the crops! We are building this connection and i think he trusts me better because i have learned to look straight into his eyes. This is hard to do with huskeys having two different color eyes. G has blue eyes and i have brown so i thought this to be especially sweet. I talk to him when we walk together. It helps me get out of my own head. I had to board him at our vets just two weeks after getting him and it was quite a challenge. I couldnt expect much support regarding my crazy feelings about it from G because he felt we should wait to get a new dog soldier until after a few of our festivals. I couldnt bear to have him put back in that disgusting cage(though a fabulous facility and program the animal shelter had) so i brought him home almost as if i had been hypnotized to do so. thats my story and im sticking to it. Seriously, he chose us just as much as we chose him. I am so excited to have him hang with me though. Of course he is at the moment back UNDER our bed fast asleep. 🙂 I have been thinking alot about you. When i feel overwhelmed as if the world is gonna swallow me whole i think how you may handle such a feeling. I wish i were near you because you make everything feel as if its gonna be ok when i am around you. Some things never change. I feel as if i am climbing an uphill battle of mindfulness in a world where mosts people are clueless to mindful awareness. I spend more time fending off the reactions and attitudes and behavior of others who do not reach beyond the banalities of this typical world we roam around in on a daily basis. its exhausting. I am not saying that i think i am better. We are all the same. Most do not realize this though. I am tired. If i were closer in proximity to you then perhaps i could bear this world a bit better with your sense of humor to keep me going.
I know i may seem self centered at times by not asking the typical questions most people ask in such correspondences like” how is the husband and grandchildren yada yada” , but my heart is stuck to what we have connected on. I do care how your life is going. I care that you are at peace and that you are joyful. I care mostly about what you have to teach me and how i can be better as a result of my exposure to you. I miss you. How perfectly suitable that the song” Waiting on a world to change ” just came on the satellite radio. Of all the mysteries in this world i am most baffled that i managed to survive to this ripe old age of 40 without totally losing track of all my basic senses and awareness. Thank you for all them prayers …haha. they are working so far. (many may dispute this statement but i prefer to selectively overlook such narrow minded individuals. 😉 Do you hear me? Can you feel the strong vibes i am sending you? I love you by the way . Beyond this galaxy.