…my brain on a Monday 

  
“This is your brain…this is your brain on drugs… Any questions? “. You may recall this powerful Public Service Announcement funded by the Partnership for Drug-free Kids. It ran in 1987. This ad has always stayed with me… I’ve created many versions of this PSA in regards to my own brain…some are quite funny and some…well not so much. 
Today’s brain PSA….
AND…this is my brain …on Monday! 

Did you see that shirt I just had? Where’d my pants go? I just had them are you kidding me? Is that my phone? Can someone shut the alarm off?  Anyone? Hello? Ok…found pants…where’d my shirt go?

Never mind I will shut the alarm off… Thanks though! 

Coffee water is heated…start making it…

Recycling has to go to curb…why is it cold out?

Shirt? Do we have zip lock bags?

“What day is it? A or B? ” she inquires…

Huh? I have no idea…brain frantically searches…am I supposed to know this? Did I lose that memo? 

I ask…what do you mean? (Even though I have quickly figured out that she means that she wants me to open the app on my phone and find out for her)

Ok… Where are my shoes? Where are your shoes? What the hell is my name? Oh yeah phone… Where’d I put it? 

Umm…”I don’t even know where my phone is” of course I find it…and I look up what day it is…I don’t know if it’s A or B … But you have English 

Did I make my coffee? Have to bring the compost buckets out.  Was that the microwave?  Wait a minute… Where’s my phone?  Is that the recycling truck I hear? 

Should I start the car? Zip locks? What am I going to pack lunches in? There’s my shirt! Is the water hot enough to make my coffee? Yay! A new box of zip locks! Excellent! Two lunches to pack… Coffee? Did I start the car yet? 

“I can’t find my fleece!” Hmmmm. My brain scans to visualize where I last saw that fleece… Maybe the stairs? Must pack those lunches… Oh the water is hot again…start the coffee… Fleece?  Did I forget to buy creamer? 

“I can’t find my iPad”…. Couch? Kitchen? Fleece? Near the backpack? Wait a minute! The fleece is right here…  The fleece was found and the search party wasn’t called off.  Not a surprise! 

Lunches!!!! Finish making coffee. iPad? Where did you use it last ? Searching….searching… Is it in Dad’s office with your bass? No! Ugh! Ok…lunches done…is this my coffee? Can someone see if the car is started? 

“The cat? Mom we don’t have a cat! ”  sigh… 

Why????

 (Insert expletive here) … What? “My iPad was underneath my backpack the whole time! Can we go? Mom I’m going to be late”

Really? REALLY?? REALLY???!!!!!

Sigh… This is 15 minutes of my Monday morning… Today’s coping strategy? 

  
This has been a public service announcement from my brain on a Monday…

blackout

blackout
WHY

must I feel

Everybody’s

E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G

as though

we are C_O_N_N_E_C_T_E_D

by circuitry

thousands of extension cords

jumbled chaos

intertwined

buzzing super highways with

only one exit

MY

BRAIN

I blink

I breathe

I gasp

I cry

and I wait

and I pray

for a

blackout
sudden darkness

still and

quiet

blown transformers from

overloaded circuits

halting the buzz

to a

whisper

I stretch and
try to catch my

breath

try to breathe

fully

in the shelter of

candlelight

craving oxygen to the

deepest

corners of my

lungs

resting in the
quiet

ears healing from the constancy

of the world that surrounds

me

gathering the
grace

and the

peace

and the

strength

I will need

until

the next

blackout

in the hush…

Somewhere between the fight to stay

and the courage to let go

Love burns furious…

Tearing away… in fear of it consuming you if

you stay

Hesitant of returning to inevitable loss

The waiting and the wonder…grief…on

hold

Knowing nothing for certain yet knowing it is

not

forever…

Claiming all that you can…in quiet

moments…

Gathering and holding this furious love

To sustain you…to comfort you in the time

after

After the departure from this

life

Time stands still …and yet time moves so

rapidly…

In a blink…

Silence…a pause…

pause that should be filled by the next

…breath

hold very still… and wait for another …

Is this…the

last…

No… just a practice… A practice for both of

us

We both need practice…practice for this

change

Longer they get…the silence readies us

for…something…something

new…

Never have we been so…

brave

And then…

In the hush…
In the hush

Exhale …

In the hush…see with the heart…not the

eyes

Immersed in grace

Tread gently…these times are

fragile

Gather up a new collection … Pieces…

memories

A different way to hold…

With the heart and not…

hands

Moving forward… Time is slow…

Deepening the heart…

to accommodate our new…

relationship…

Until…we meet up

again

Searching for you… In the

hush 

The Persistence of Memory

Please note my use of ‘an’ and not ‘the’. ‘The’ edge does not exist in my world. There are a plethora of edges …each with their own neatly organized list of criteria for going over. Sometimes it’s pretty… This time it was not. 
By nature, I am a fixer…and tonight, this is what led to my demise. And now, the backstory. I received a Starbucks gift card for Christmas from a treasured family that I do elder care with. Lately, my nine year old has become fond of the double chocolate chip frappaccino… A little too fond , so fond in fact that I searched up the copycat recipe on Pinterest. I scanned the recipe to be certain that all of the ingredients were within grasp. Sweet! Ready to roll! I was having a proud frugal mama moment.  
I gathered the ingredients, the nutri ninja base and cup,and the cover with the blade that makes all the magic happen. I even had the whipped cream and a recycled frappaccino cup. I followed the recipe very carefully making sure that all ingredients were measured to the ‘t’. I was happily tallying all the money I’d be saving by this fabulous idea as I placed the cover on the container. My heart was beating happily in anticipation.  
I placed the container in the base and pressed down to engage the motor. I could hardly contain myself! I was celebrating victory inside my head… What a party …champagne, chocolate fountain….

As I lifted the cup from the base, all of that frappaccino goodness poured from the bottom of the cup. The cover that holds the blade had loosened during all that magic. My brain immediately flashed a view of the masterpiece that is Salvador Dalis melting clocks…so aptly named the Persistence of Memory.

  
And so it was the persistence of the memory of all the bank I’d be rolling by making this beverage at home that fueled what became my undoing.
You see… The ninja comes with more than one blade cover. Aha! And guess what?! Each cover has a sweet little gray piece of rubber that is called the gasket. There it was! A loose gasket and a blade without one. Just as I began rejoicing the solution ….it happened. Why wasn’t this gasket fitting soon turned into ‘if it’s the last effing thing I do in my life …this gasket is going to fit!”  

  
I tried a knife, scissors, a chopstick… Nothing …a corkscrew…Nothing! I googled it… Watched YouTube video clips… Nothing! Two long hrs passed, peppered with colorful expletives… I had to get to bed… I stomped into my husbands office and chucked all the parts onto his desk with a gruff “Over an edge!” 

I went to bed… Still reeling and muttering to myself. The freshly washed Starbucks frappaccino cup remained empty among the disaster of the kitchen counter, the empty green straw leaning wearily against the side of the cup.

When I woke the next morning, I went to investigate the progress. Part of me prayed my husband was unsuccessful … Like that would make me feel less of a failure! At first glance it looked like that was the case… Gasket still laying next to the blade cover. Maybe I’m not as hopeless as I thought! Ha! He couldn’t do it either… Let the rejoicing commence! 
“You couldn’t do it either huh?” I was feeling better. Both of us had failed to get into the Mensa club of the nutri ninja! 

Then it came, like a wall of embarrassment … Red hot cheeks… “Um… There’s already a gasket in this cover”, he stated.

No need to share the rest of my reaction… After all, there were three blade covers… The gasket-less one in the sink. Sigh… Fast forward 25 minutes…..

  
…and as I handed the crisp dollars to the lovely barista I inched slightly towards the plateau… back up from ‘an’ edge that I had been sent over.

sponge!

…this morning as I hung out with my student, we were called upon to take a turn at contributing to the stunning mural that speaks of the history of our city. The task, to apply paint to a portion of the mural while being sure to leave a buffer zone around the perimeter. The purpose is to preserve the crisp black sharpie lines that help define the masterpiece. Here is where it gets good… The magic, in the form of a sweet little porous package…  

The director of the project explains this part… ” if you paint over the line, just say ‘sponge ‘! And I will come and fix it.”
I’ve decided that we could all benefit from such a delightful service! … That whenever our crisp definitive lines of self get blurred or covered we merely pause and call out “sponge!!!!” And voila… The magic happens, the fuzziness is wiped away and clarity emerges. Without question we see clearly who we are … It would be like having a personal assistant to keep us in check … 

I think I should pursue this idea! There are so many times in a day when I wish someone would unblur the fuzziness… Sharpen those lines a little… Make it all a little clearer…a masterpiece defined!

Sponge ! 

 

…now I’ve done it! I’ve wrecked my fingerprint!

Now I’ve done it! I’ve wrecked my fingerprint! Yes…yes I did. I had noble intentions as I dismantled the electric pencil sharpener… Hell bent on fixing it. My motivation was multi-faceted… First and foremost… THE NOISE! I sit right next to the beastly thing. It’s roar deafening as each fourth grader lined up with their handful of pencils. I was edging closer to acting on that burning impulse to grab one of those sharpened pencils to jab in my eye!!! (Total Ally McBeal moment ! Watched the whole thing flash through my mind.). I decided it would be a waste of a good Dixon Ticonderoga pencil.  
Secondly, I’m a fixer. It’s what I do. I’m driven internally for real. I tackle the photocopier when there’s a jam… Love to untangle the knots in tiny link necklaces… It’s just who I am… Fixer! 

So when the line settled and the students got started on their morning work… I moved in… Like Mcguyver . I emptied the compartment of the shavings and approached the sharpener that had been assaulting my ears for way too long now. If only I had known the horror I was about to inflict upon myself… Might that have stopped me? Well … No… No it wouldn’t have! Much like a skilled bomb technician I reached inside (yes I unplugged it first… A complete idiot I’m not… Well perhaps that’s debatable…). I turned the mechanism and successfully dislodged some of the jammed pieces of pencil lead… And here’s where it all went awry… I wasn’t satisfied of course so I reached in my hand one more time to be sure I’d done a thorough job…my ears were already poised to thank me for a job well done, and then it happened… As I was manually turning the sharpening cylinder I deeply sliced the tip of my pointer finger. I had to act fast yet calmly and with little noticeable reaction as here I was surrounded by the class of fourth grade students.  

The sink across the room looked miles away but I had no choice… Blood was beginning to pour out of my finger and would surely leave a gory trail should I wait any longer. It seemed so far in that moment and each hurried step felt like slow motion. I barely made it to the sink and turned on the cold water without blood dripping and revealing the horror show that once was my finger. I stood at the sink for sometime before wrapping my pointer in a swath of paper towels. A decision had to be made… Do I consult the nurse? Absolutely NOT! I went to the teachers lounge and prepared a small ice pack … And moved on with my day.  

I must say it took about a week for my finger to heal…which means it also took that long before I knew that my fingerprint was wrecked… You see, I programmed my iPhone to unlock by fingerprint recognition. Once the bandages were gone I gave it a whirl… And there it was… The infamous eh-eh (funny game show sound clip here) the ‘nope no way you got it wrong’ shake on the screen of my phone. Repeated attempts only confirmed it… I had altered my fingerprint. The rest of this story is… I reprogrammed my phone to read my thumb. This seemed logical … I cannot fit my thumb inside the electric pencil sharpener! I also started carrying this everywhere I go… 

 

…to be heard

20131024-173633.jpg

Promise it resonates that you are not what you did you are not defined by an action of the past but by choices for your future…I pray that you felt the powerful reception of your message to us…hear this… You are HOPE…
Continue to be real … It is a powerful vehicle… Sometimes REAL translates to uncomfortable but since when has comfort brought about true change? It is in really listening that we come to know… It is in the listening that the impetus for human connection is nurtured. It is in human connection that we come to learn we are one in the same… We are no different, all deserving of a moment to be heard …I’m so sorry you had to speak so loudly and so powerfully to be heard… Though in my heart I’m ever so thankful that you did.