As a writer, my goal is to create wisdom and new ideas and stuff that makes a reader feel happy, or sad, or angry, or even slightly insane. But thinking is hard when your head hurts and your body aches and your sixtieth birthday is just around the corner. (Yes, this Mickey is nearly 60, but can you believe that that Mickey is going to be 88 on the day after I turn 60?) Sometimes you just want to say, “Never mind that I wanted to post every single day for the past two years. Just curl up in a ball and go to sleep.” But there are ways to get something done even if your mind is full of the Sandman’s leavings and old, rotted dreams.
You can always get by with posting somebody else’s wisdom… somebody else’s thinking. You don’t have to work too hard to paste things together. After all, why else did you have to look at so many cut-and-paste essays over the years in middle school and high school?
And you can rely on the work you have already done collecting computer files full of colorful crap and stuff you like enough to steal to complete your cut-and-paste scrapbook post. You don’t have to feel like you erred and are about to have your head cut off by an angry Groo.
And you know you can get a lot of cheap likes on Facebook with some of the stuff you have available to put in this post. You have been working at the “Be funny!” thing for a long time, and have gotten almost good enough at it to be funny on the fly. And when you’ve gotten more than halfway to the goal, you can rest a bit. Take a nap. Regenerate the crazy things in your head so you can do this all again another day.
And if you can have a laugh before you are finished, even if no one else in the world gets the joke… well, at least you will feel a little bit better yourself.
I am still battling headaches, bone pain, and illness. But I am getting by with bed rest. And a bit of playing with dolls.
The hoarding disorder that drives my doll collecting took a hit from Walmart, whose clearance sale shelf offered a slew of Monster High dolls for five dollars or less.
I bought the dragon girl, the mouse girl, the gray cat girl, and the robot girl.
Of course if you play with them, that means taking their clothes off and switching their dresses. Just like a little girl.
Hopefully, I will recover soon, and won’t be a ten year old girl when I do.
The flowers have begun to bloom in Texas. The leaves are budding on all the trees who aren’t live oaks. The live oaks are shedding their winter coats, and there-in lies my divided feelings about the end of winter. I am allergic to tree pollen, mold spores, and the grungy green gungus that goes with re-awakening life. This weekend I raked live oak leaves and cut the grass in the yard. So today, I am paying the price. I have an arthritic back-ache. I have an allergic-reaction headache. I hurt a lot and I can’t breathe. But I got to see the fresh blooms of another growing season. A little pain… and then renewal.
I have to admit, I have changed a lot from my high school graduation portrait. The extra facial fur hides some of the wrinkles and all the little pink itches and bleeds gifted to me by the miracle of diabetic psoriasis. My hair has totally changed color without dye or bleach. And you can’t see it, but the brain is full of a lot more wrinkles.
This picture of my wife and I is from more than five years ago… what I looked like then reflected more who and what I was when I was still teaching and able to live life without so much arthritis pain and inability to breathe. Not so many parts of me had fallen off or stopped working back then. I sometimes think being younger than I am now is something to be wished for. But I really don’t suppose that if I were to find a magic lamp that had a genii in it, I would want to be younger again if it cost me everything I have learned since I was that age. I am an older man now… a sicker man… a less happy man.
But there is wisdom to be found in growing older. And there is a certain magic in that which is really quite priceless.
Ah, my poor little Ford Fiesta has been declared dead by the insurance company. Soon I will have to give up the chibi clown car I have been driving and buy something new. Can I get a used car for the money they will give me for the accident? I was counting on not having a car payment every month after June of this year. Ah, but it means a new member of the family to replace the loved one I have lost.
The ghost dog continues to haunt me in the night. Last night, outside my bedroom door, I heard a whining and whimpering again. I checked (had to make a nocturnal potty-stop anyway) and it was not our family dog. The downstairs family room door was closed to her and she sleeps in the other end of the house in my son’s room. So, either it was the ghost dog whom I totally don’t believe in, or I was dreaming that part (do I really have dreams as weird as that?), or maybe I am going insane… the most probable explanation.
I am still working in dedicated fashion on my hometown novels. I have added to the rewrite of When the Captain Came Calling and I have started a new novel project I am calling Recipes for Gingerbread Children. It is a novel about the old German lady who inhabited our little town in the 1960’s and 70’s. She was a Holocaust survivor with a tattoo on her forearm. Mother still can’t talk about her without mentioning what a terrible life she must’ve had, yet she was one of the most sunshiny people I have ever known. It is a new idea that excites me, like the one that became Magical Miss Morgan.
I am also still desperately trying to overcome illness without doctor’s visits or medication. A lot can be done with careful monitoring of diet and blood-sugar levels. I owe my life to over-the-counter Mucinex and Vicks Vaporub. My son is also suffering at present, and I have to talk to professionals about it today, because I will not risk his health to protect my empty pocketbook.
So challenges remain challenging and I keep moving forward and upward. What more can be done? I have in the past couple of months not only faced several different difficulties, but I have reached new levels of success with this blog, much of it by writing a lot in ways that are full of self-medicating thoughts with healing words and ideas. People seem to like that. My average daily views is up above thirty. I am nearing 800 followers. I may not have writing income, but I do seem to have a personal brand that others respond to. So, if you have read all the way through this recycled oatmeal post with nothing but old pictures in it, please be reassured… oatmeal is good for you… and for me.
I admit to being a closet nudist. By that I mean that I only walk around naked inside my closet. I flirted with the idea of becoming a nudist once… or as they call it, a naturist. But I have never overcome the urge not to be naked where anybody can ever see me. I am a chicken. Literally. I look like a plucked chicken when I have no clothes on, especially now that I have all the little pink bleedy spots all over the lower parts of my body. Bread me and fry me, I am done with this particular metaphor.
I come from Iowa where kids were repeatedly told never to run around like a naked Indian. I think older people tell you that because they know from experience naked in Iowa in the winter time is tantamount to making parts of yourself into popsicles where you really really really don’t want to get all icy-frozen. (I mean fingers and toes, of course! What did you think I meant?)
But I have learned from long experience of health problems that a little bit of running around like a naked Indian can actually be a beneficial thing to do. Now, I know that you probably don’t believe I am being completely candid here, and that I may have some kind of pervert’s agenda going on the background… but I have been told it is so not only by naturists, but also by medical professionals.
This link is to an article on Today, Health & Wellness written by