what did you say?

Anesthesia has been around for a long time, thank god. It has made modern medicine possible. Surgery was not readily accomplished before the patient could be knocked, and REALLY knocked out. This podcast brought to my attention a new discovery regarding the old practice of anesthesia.

It seems that the drugs used to knock people out sends a wave through the brain. The very slow wave resets the brain, not to kill all conscious activity, but to slow it down to the time of the wave. The parts of the brain that are sending activity messages go dormant when the other parts wake up. It’s not that messages aren’t being sent, it’s that the messages aren’t being received.

Ever hear of the three-way handshake? This is an important concept to me. It is the concept that the Internet is pretty much based on. It goes like this:

One computer says to another “Hey, I want to talk to you.”

The other computer says, “I acknowledge that you want to talk to me, and I want to synchronize with you.”

The first computer responds with “I acknowledge your synchronization.”

And after that three-way handshake they are talking and you can watch that cat video.

The handshake does not always complete. There are a lot of reasons they can’t always get through that synchronization.  Mostly, because one or the other side isn’t listening.

Like our brain on anesthesia.

Or like every argument ever.

In my life, I have often had something I wanted to say SO BAD that I couldn’t hear what anyone was saying to be. I have been to tightly wound that my message was the only one I could hear. The other party may have had something super important to tell me and I had no channel open to hear them.

For all intents and purposes, I would have been better off talking to a photograph of the person to whom I so desperately needed to speak.  Most of the time, the person I was talking to didn’t understand the importance of what I was trying to say at all.

Then again, how would I know? I wasn’t listening to them as I had my torrent of words to say.

It seems awkward and overly complicated for computers to go through the whole three steps. Why not just start talking?

I have some friends who are like that. We can leap in wherever whenever and understand one another right away.


Those friends are rare and precious. Not everybody is like that. Which is why  I need to slow down and keep my listening channels clean.



5 years of motherhood

She had her birthday yesterday. THat was her birthday.
Today, it is my day to think about the last 5 years

These last five years were the hardest of my life.
I would like to thank all my friends who supported me, bless you.

It’s not just the one thing (motherhood) that made these last five years what they have been. but, life isn’t just one thing. Life is always one thing after another, and often not even separated.

It’s been indescribable.

thinking of this song

Corporate Fool

You have to keep a close eye on it, and I haven’t been.

If you don’t have your health, people say, you don’ t have anything.  Even more I would say, you have to keep your sense of humor.

Shakespeare had the Fool in so many of his plays. They were comic relief sometimes. Comic relief is no joke. When I am all caught up in all the seriousness of goals and roles and responsibilities, comic relief is exactly what I need.

He didn’t make it up. Kings kept fools. The fools could speak where others dare not tread.

Roses are Red

Violets are Blue

What is ridiculous?


and with laughter could come wisdom. Yes, we are ridiculous. I don’t need to be mad about that perceived insult. Or that one.

What’s really important?

I have felt for a long time that we need to bring back the office of official Fool.

We need Fools in the White House and at Capitol Hill.

Fools in the corporate board rooms.

Official Fools. Professional Fools.

Life is awfully serious. And it doesn’ t have to be.

Try to juggle sometime, and you’ll know that it is inevitable that balls will be dropped.

Imagine the thinning gray scalps around an important table. After an endless meeting of grim realities, the hat is passed. All partners take a slip of paper, and one has an x.

The caterer enters, presents the tray. He drapes a sheet over the shoulders of the designated x.


Pie in the face.

That would change the tone of the meeting.


I should remember some things about Veronica

This is the last day that Veronica is four.

She’s grown up so much.

When I have blogged about her, I mostly talk about what I am feeling and what I think of what she’s up to.

There are dear things though, that it would be good to remember. I can see, as she is on the cusp of literacy and the huge influx of communication that will mean, she is about to explode in new activities.

The days will fill and burst with new memories.

Everyone says “They grow up so fast.”

No, she has not. These last 5 years have not gone fast. I have felt every day. Each ran through my hands not like sand, but like sticky molasses.

Is it wrong? It is what it is.

And I think that’s about to stop.

I may not recall how, for the longest time she called Pizza “Pizzum”

Or how, when she was very very little, instead of reaching for something herself, she would reach for my hand and guide it to the thing she wanted so I would get it for her.

Will I remember how clingy she was for the first few months at church, and made me sit up in the front during “time with the Children” while kids younger than her had no problem?

Will I remember how she loves her fuzzy rocking horse, that she sat on before her 2nd christmas in the store, and persuaded me to purchase it then and there?

I don’t do that. I always delay purchases.

Will I rembmer how she loves that horse past the time it fit, and how she drags it around behind her? How she now calls it Bossie?

And then..the kitties. They are gone. Will she remember the kitties?

Will I remember how she likes to make soup? That I have to give her a bowl she can fill with water, and ingredients. Flour is popular, and never-used spices and salt. She loves salt.

Will we remember how long she took to sleep alone? It was hell while it was happening.

Will we remember her younger days of cavorting in her crib?

I dont want to forget her call of “Who wants to wash your feet for sale?”

We must come in and present our feet to her in the bath tub as she poured water and washed them.

Kitty Corner

I know the name of the woman of the house. I don’t remember the names of the man or the children. They were all very nice neighbors..down-the-block neighbors.

The real friends were the kitties. Estella, a tiny calico  who fearlessly killed birds out of trees. Pip, whom we called Orange cat because he was. Merlin, a gray kitty who succumbed to coyotes. RIP Merlin. And the replacement for Merlin–Biscuit. We saw the muted orange shorthair Biscuit go from gangly youth to mature adult. They grow up so fast!

This set of three cats lived outside, and they were very friendly. They came up to be admired and petted, even to a limited extent with the dog.

They have been part of Veronica’s life, and have often been used to manipulate her to take a walk. There are many good reasons to take a walk. The dog requires it, we will all sleep better because of it, etc. She might refuse, but we would remind her that there were kitties to see, and she would soften. So many pictures of the baby and now kid Veronica petting these friendly cats.

Our neighbors moved.

No more cats.

I am broken hearted.

Cats don’t write letters. And even if they could, it wouldn’t be the same.

Thank you, kitties, for enriching my life with your soft fur and friendliness.

for so long

I’ve wanted acceptance and therefore peace

I have attained peace without the acceptance.

some acceptance came. And more peace came than acceptance.

I don’t quite know how to function in peace.

It’s  been a while

I approve this message

I’d really like everyone to love me all of the time. Is that too much to ask?


It’s not working out that way. Last week I had a whole bunch of criticism–even repeated gossip–thrust at me. It threw me into a storm of upset.


I called all my friends to find someone to tell me I was still okay. One friend said, “You are really identifying with this.”


Bingo. My identity was at stake. I had taken this criticism–It wasn’t even fair, by the way! –and internalized it as the truth.


I know that mistakes get made. I even know I make them sometimes.


Mistakes are learning opportunities. I know that. I know that. Maybe if I say it a third time I can believe it.


Why do I have to go through this hurricane of emotions when I find out someone disapproves of something I did?


Mistakes, made in the company of friends, are no big deal.


Not everyone is my friend. Some people are kind of mean.


I’m not good with mean. I turn into an armadillo, curling up into a protective ball of armor. I shrink and fester around the injury. My instinct is to run away from the person who hurt me and only be around friends.


You ever hear of fight or flight? I do not like to fight. Fly, armadillo, fly!


There’s another kind of instinct, one felt by females. Tend and befriend. We’ve developed a way of coping that helps with our biological childbearing. We go around and make sure everyone is okay and everyone is our friend so that we will have a group of people to help. The little ones as well as us are going to need a posse.


It is instinct; it is biology to want everyone to like me. It is natural.


And it is not going to happen all of the time. Especially not in the kind of life I want to lead.


I want to lead a life of creativity and discovery. I want to change the status quo. More than that, it is part of who I am to change the status quo.


And here we have it. I want to change what many people work hard to protect. Those people are not going to like what I am doing, or who I am for that matter.


This badly conflicts with my desire to have everyone love me all the time.


What on earth can I do about that?


I wish I could not let it bother me. I wish I could find a way to approve of myself and let that be enough.


Somehow, someway, I will find out how to lower the value of other people’s opinions and inflate my own assessment of myself. I know what I do, and I know when I’ve done it wrong and been shameful. I also know when I have done it right.


I really need my approval, and my approval of myself has been dependent on others. I’ll have to stop that.






hopeful expectations

When I was younger I had a friend confess to me that he had taken the old song “Kisses sweeter than wine” literally, and thought people had flavors to them. That when people kissed there was a taste that was sweet, and that people were all different varieties.


He was quite disappointed to discover it was not at all like that.


Life does that a lot. We think that some desired thing…a trip, a promotion a life-long love…will be this one way. And we don’t know at all what we are thinking of.


Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s spends her life wanting a certain thing. It’s captured perfectly when she lets her cat go. She’d always told herself that she and the cat meant nothing to each other, they just happened to be together. Then she kicks the cat out because she has to get out of town, and realizes that she really DID have a connection. Only after she lost it was it clear to her.


The reverse is true all the time. I spend time protecting and caring for things that really are not at all what I imagine them to be.  All these things that I attributed value to? Not. In fact, the opposite of value sometimes.


Did they fill a need once, and then that need got filled from a different direction, but I still have the first vestigial thing?


Did I think this thing had potential, and envision something? Over time, that potential was not realized and still is this thing.


Things, habits, goals, relationships and beliefs can outlive their usefulness.


The New Year, clean slate and I want to reassess. I think shedding feels right.


The thing is I wouldn’t want to spend a bunch of time thinking about the nature of the outgrown stuff. I want to look at new things, think of an ideal and a possibility that will delight.


Some things are light, to begin each day convinced of its promise.


Other things are harder, like learning a new habit of accepting that annoying co-worker instead of being (JUSTIFIABLY!) irritated. Nope, that takes persistence and determination.


Then there are heavy things, beliefs and truths that are waiting to be understood and require big life course changes.


Those heavy things are often what keep me from starting at all. Fear of the heavy thing, to be more precise. I CAN’T examine what might need changing because it could be EVERYTHING!

When it comes to what I don’t know, I have learned to take this advice. I was talking to a computer engineer, back when I was still learning what I do, and all the things I don’t know terrified me. He seemed to know everything, and I figured I better know everything as soon as possible. I asked him question after question.


He told me this, “Start with the low hanging fruit. Do the first thing that you know how to do. Start with that, and that might fix it. Then do the next thing that you can see needs to be done, and keep going until it’s fixed or done. ”


So as I look over all the things I’d like this year to have, and things I’d like this year not to have, I have to start with the stuff that’s within reach. Then I have to keep reaching.

Because you are my friend

That song that has become the New Year’s song:

Auld Lang Syne–Should old acquaintance be forgot

Happy New Year!

I’m still stuck on Christmas. Last week I talked about Mary, gifts, and the singing of the Magnificat.

Do you know the Magnificat? That is fancy Latin for the song of what Mary said.

Here is the short story. Angel tells Mary she is going to have a baby, no need for any help, God will make it happen. Mary has just this to say:

 Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

It is not until Mary goes to see her cousin Elizabeth that she has more to say and speaks out the words we know as the Magnificat:

 My soul doth magnify the Lord,

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

This is sweet, and then read it again, and it is powerful. Scattering the proud and putting down the mighty? and what about exalting the lowly and feeding the hungry? Remembering Mercy.

This is Mary talking. She’s a celebrity now, but she wasn’t then.

You know what she was then? A young girl visiting her cousin and friend. A friend, who knew her, loved her and recognized her for what she was. Elizabeth’s greeting to her unlocked her throat and that was when she spoke those words, her dream for herself and the world.

The Guatemalan Mothers of the disappeared marched holding those words until Mary’s dream words were banned. The British Empire forbade singing them in India. These words rang so strong through the centuries.

Do you see? The angel did not inspire them. Her friend inspired them.

That is what we can do for each other. That is how friends and family can be.

So go! Be with your loved ones! Greet each 0ther with joy and appreciation. We can create the safe place to speak our dreams and start making them come true.

It is a new year. For God’s sake, let us not let old acquaintance be forgot.