Monday, 4 August 2014

Foot Therapy

Have you ever hear that lovely old sexist observation that one can tell how well a woman takes care of herself by her feet? I've heard it said in both polite and vulgar language, and although it is a patriarchal construct, so are we, hard as we may resist.

I've always loved my feet. They are pretty. Nicely formed with high arches- an accident of nature that I've always been inordinately proud of, as if I could take credit for it myself. Maybe because of that old sexist belief, maybe simply because I love my feet, I've always taken care of them. Don't get me wrong, they're not tiny, petite, so-called "aristocratic" feet. I wear a size 8-1/2 shoe, and if I have my druthers I wear no shoes at all. For all that I'm a nature kinda gal, a true earth mama type, I'm damn near prissy about my feet. I love pedicures, and have been in the past accustomed to treating myself to them on a fairly regular basis. The occasional pedicure however, cannot keep up with the abuse this earth mama puts her feet through, let alone meet her standards in footiquette.

So normally I spend no small amount of time in the bath with the pedi-wand, and pumice stone and after bath with the various implements of foot care.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Willie Thorne

Thorne became national under-16 champion at snooker in 1970. He never really converted this early promise into professional success, however, only ever winning one ranking snooker tournament (the Classic in 1985). The same year, he reached the UK Championship final against the then dominant Steve Davis, and seemed to have built himself an unassailable 13–8 lead. But a miss on a straightforward blue off its spot during the first frame of the final session allowed Davis to take the frame and eventually win the title. Thorne later said that he had hardly looked at the blue, considering it a certainty. He reached the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship in 1982 and 1986.

He peaked at no. 7 in the rankings in the mid-1980s, while also battling a serious gambling problem. In one famous incident, Thorne bet £38,000 on a match involving John Parrott, betting that Parrott would lose as Parrott had lost his personal cue and had to use one supplied by the venue. Much to Thorne's dismay (not least because he was actually commentating on the match), Parrott recovered from a slow start to win, only worsening Thorne's debts. Also, in an interview with The Guardian newspaper in 2004, Thorne admitted to placing bets worth up to £20,000 on a horse.

Thorne's bald head makes him instantly recognisable and he is often referred to as the "Homer Simpson of Snooker". He has become a popular senior character in the game, commentating on snooker for television on the BBC and Sky Sports. Alongside other Matchroom professionals, Thorne featured in the popular song "Snooker Loopy", written and performed by Chas & Dave. In the verse which begins "Willie Thorne, his hair's all gone", Willie's cameo line was "Perhaps I ought to chalk it", in reference to his gleaming head putting off his opponents. Willie also appeared in the "Romford Rap" video with the rest of the "Matchroom Mob".

Monday, 6 August 2012

The World Is a Thorn

The World Is a Thorn (also stylized The World Is Λ Thorn) is Demon Hunter's fifth studio album, which was released March 9, 2010. The album is described by the band as their "heaviest but most melodic" album yet. The first single, "Collapsing", which features Björn "Speed" Strid of Soilwork, and the title track were approved for sales on Rock Band's Rock Band Network. This is the only album to feature rhythm guitarist Ryan Helm.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

From the Depths (I Pray)

Jagged and torn remnants of horn
bleed at my fingertips
a welcome pain.

Something real?
present and now and physical.

Instead of erroneous, floating, dissociative
and thoughts of
dying (escape).

I have lain in this darkness too long.

I have been beyond caring- but not,
only powerless and defeated and full of

Lost in this darkness
darker than my soul's darkest night.
than the void itself.

I have known my heart to harden and then
to shatter
and crystalize into piercing shards.

Never before have I known it to wither
and shrivel and fade to mere
wisps of

To feel the hollow emptiness echo in me...
and to dream of diving headfirst into that void
where once a heart beat-
to surrender to the nothing.

That grace is not given me.

So I begin this dreadful climb
all unwilling
and welcome the pain and blood as hand by hand
I reach and claw and pull

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Thoughts on Personal Identity

When my husband, Jerry, my "soulmale" and love of my life (one of 2... I can't seem to choose between- and why should I? I have decided that when one dies, I am allowed 2 "LoML's), died in 1998 I grieved. Of course this loss is so different. Nonetheless the mind continues to seek familiarity. (An effort, perhaps to find some experiential hint on how to proceed).
Well, I could write a book on my grief, my "breakdown" 14 months later, my process and my eventual and ultimate healing, but that's not the point that is vexing me today. My thoughts keep circling back to what feels like an important part of my current struggle in grieving this loss, the loss of not only my beautiful grandson, Bishop; but the loss of my daughter's (and perhaps somehow my own??) innocence and heart.
What has occurred to me over and over of late is that there seems to be no place for these losses within my personal identity that fits.
This is so difficult to articulate.
Somehow, over time after my Jerry died, "widow" became not a title or mere description, but a part of my identity. I was a widow. It seemed somehow to state clearly who I was and there was some odd comfort and implied strength in that for me. It became part of my identity that I grew to accept and ultimately embrace. I don't know; perhaps it was all tied up with getting my business off the ground at the time, survival. Perhaps the designation between "single woman" was important. I don't know why it was so; it simply was.
And in some way I think that embracing that as part of who I was at the time, and for the next many ensuing years, was part of my healing process. Somehow it gave me a very clear context within which to place the huge event in my life that was the loss of that beautiful man who meant so much to me. And strange as it may seem, somehow it was a positive thing.
Oh, I'm fumbling and bumbling to express this.
The thing is, there is no context within which to place the loss of my grandbaby and the grief for my daughter.
I'm feeling/thinking (one or the other or both- these processes are inextricably enmeshed) that there is simply nothing in these losses to embrace in a positive and affirming way for my identity.
Oh, I'm sure people will say inanities like "you're so strong, you've been through so much, that's something to embrace", but that's not how it feels, and that's not enough.
Before our Bishop died, I had become pretty disillusioned with the world, politics, human beings in general after all my political activism and blogging and outrage. The stoning of that man and woman somehow seemed to be the final straw for me. It broke my heart and rather than inspire cynicism in me it invoked a sort of despair. I felt defeated. I took a hiatus from blogging to try to find a place in me from which to care, without despairing.
Bear with me.
Our Bishop's senseless and inexplicable death (SIDS is in no way an explanation) has evoked a hopelessness and despair in me that I can't seem to kick. It has brought home to me, on a personal level, the chaos and senselessness of a world and existence in which people are stoned to death, murdered for a few dollars, bombed at the whim of one government, starved and gassed at the whim of another, and where babies die for no apparent reason.
An existence in which it had already grown so difficult to see "God" (as a very generic term). Perhaps the better term here would simply be "meaning".
"Existentialist", "Athiest"- these are not terms that I'm willing to embrace as my identity. "Defeated", "despairing" are not either.
I can't seem to find a way to integrate this loss, this experience, these feelings, this grief into my personal identity.
I think that's a problem.
Chaos reigns and I despair, lost in the void. I need to find my heart, but it seems to be MIA.

*4:03 PM editorial comment:
Writing this and then reading it here in black and white I note that it both falls far short of articulating my feelings and expresses them perfectly. Yet one more paradox of my existence. I should also note that it's exceedingly difficult to face these feelings this way; outwardly, instead of continuing to be wantonly assaulted with them inwardly (privately). And although this; writing/blogging, is one of several courses of action I've decided upon in hope of some movement from this place, it feels pointless. Nonetheless I shall continue.