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20 October 2003

Very rainy. According to the radio, it has been a day with one of the highest amounts of rain ever -- and this in a rainy area. I was near E's work at 4:10, and since her new work leaving time is 4:15 (and her old one 4:30) I hung out to see if she'd show. Waited, but no E, so at 4:45 I split and just made it to the post office, where I bought stamps for her, too, since we didn't get them at Safeway. Safeway -- are they implying other grocery stores are unsafe? When I was a child I didn't like Greyhound buses because I thought their slogan, "Leave the driving to us," was something the drivers said peevishly to people who offered suggestions." Like -- "You're going too fast!" Driver (turning in seat), "Hey Lady -- Leave the driving to us, willya?"

As a child I spent hours imagining what it would be like if the house turned over and I had to walk on the ceiling. Apparently, though, that is common.

I've very consciously, for years, told my children exactly how I feel about them -- because it's the truth and they appreciate it. So I say, "I love you," or "I adore you," or "You are precious to me." I tell them I miss them when I don't see them, and they know I will do anything for them. Not that I'm capable of much, now, but I was not long ago. Last year a family changed schools and I mailed them a box full of books, art supplies, cool little things, museum-repro wrapping paper, etc. Their mother said the kids especially loved the paper. I knew they would, because I loved it, too. They are back, now, which is a bonus. I don't care if the kids say anything back to me -- it doesn't matter. I think knowing a stranger (not family) thinks a lot of you helps propel a person just a little further. That person has just a little more confidence, and a little more reason to hope. It's my job to be an advocate for my students, and telling them they are loved is part of it, laughing and working hard in every class is part of it, too. We spend a lot of time laughing -- in fact, the laughter is as important as the artwork. We experiment, try things, make things up, and, since we can be, we are joyous and relaxed. If it's possible to laugh, why wouln't you?

Jim: Don't Read This -- Don't Say I Didn't Warn You.
I sprained my ankle years ago -- the original injury was incurred while dislodging one of my goats from a semi-dwarf apple tree. It didn't make my ankle fall apart until later, when I was striding out of the house down onto a footpath, and my ankle just felt like it went in several directions. I had no choice but to crumple into agony. The doctor put me in a cast and on crutches, with orders not to put weight on that foot. The water froze up around that time, so I was carrying a bazillion buckets of water to the horses (how many? 5? 6?). Not on crutches. I have a complete and absolute physical determination that will make me get through, no matter how much pain or anything else I have to endure. I'm one of those people who escape from prison camp and by the time I get back to my home years later, no one can recognise me. I tried bee sting therapy on the off chance it might help me -- the most I had at ONE TIME was 68 stings. You could shoot me, but I'd still keep right on. I don't have great strength, or superior anything -- I am just relentless and determined. I'm just saying this because I drew a line years ago -- and beyond it NO ONE can make me go. It's been a great comfort to me, as it has created a horizon line in my landscape. I fear I'm on the razor's edge, however, and as much as I truly love life, I may have gone nearly as far as someone with hepatitis C and m.s. in her spine can go.

posted by - 7:39 PM


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