Tuesday, January 29, 2008

As you sow . . .

The Namesake flew off to NOLA today. I wish her godspeed, and will hold my breath until she’s settled. I so yearn for her to find a community and a place of her own. People look at me with wonder when I try to explain that I never knew, growing up, that I had mental illness in my family; I thought my mom and aunts were merely colorful. Very, very colorful. But now, trying to mentally revisit my childhood --and my daughter’s childhood -- with these more educated eyes, I can clearly see the signs I never saw before. I guess, growing up in my ‘colorful’ family, I thought that a lot of manic behaviors were normal, or nearly normal, or only unpleasant . . . I was hurt and still resist the diagnoses of my mother and questions about her Namesake, physicians’ notes sum up their lives in one pejorative word. The Namesake is charming and bright, most of the time, and exceptionally talented; and I suspect that, except toward me, her scapegoat, my mother was, too. People of value, I promise. And I want to see the Namesake succeed at creating her own unique and independent life.

But enough of that. I started this journal to push myself into living a greener life, and it’s time to get back on track. Environmental-wise, I am doing such a good job at using my cloth bags for all shopping, and I kick myself when I forget them because I genuinely prefer them to the cheap and nasty plastic bags (or even the flimsy paper bags) that merchants use. I am trying not to buy plastic toys, trying not to replace still usable or fixable appliances. I finished a cloth doll for my granddaughter this week, and look forward to making her more doll clothes. I am planning to preserve more local foods when they are in season this summer. Just wait until I learn to make cheese! And I have planted a beautiful fantasy garden in my head, filled with kale and potatoes . . . now we’ll just have to wait and see if it ever hits the ground!

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