I prayed for detachment from the internet, and I got it. I go through phases where I think there are just too many voices out there. I get online, I flip through a few, I lose my bearings, I wonder what I'm doing here. There are so many teachers, so many gurus positing inspiring new ways to see the world, and yet usually I leave the internet feeling purged rather than nourished, and purged not in the good way--but like any ideas I had about my own writing, or my own purpose are spirited away--to where?
There are so many hairs to split and straw men to battle. People have very clear ideas about what is a sin, and what isn't--and none of them agree. The pink blogs tell me how to put my life together, and there's always some turd somewhere else maligning my sense of order.
So I wonder sometimes about the goodness of adding my own voice to whatever it is the internet is. I'm not asking for affirmation or encouragement. But I don't feel "on message" at the moment. I'm happy with my life, and I don't know what to make of yours.
I picked up Wendell Berry's "What Are People For?" this evening, and felt a palpable relief at reading truly nourishing words, words that accrue meaning the more I think about them. I want to do more of that kind of reading. So maybe it helps that I feel dumbstruck. I can't read well when I'm formulating my own message.
My sister was in town last week from Guam. She came to spend time with my granny (we call her Mimi), who has cancer, the aggressive kind, and she's already 89 years-old. It was one of those calls--if you're going to make a 24 hour flight to commemorate someone's life, is it better to do so while the person is still alive, or to come for a funeral? Unable to afford doing both, my sister decided to come while Mimi was still alive.
Almost immediately after my sister's arrival, Mimi was hospitalized with pneumonia. All of last week was caught up in soaking in every minute of my sister's trip home, and also visiting the hospital, and getting Mimi back to my parents' house for rest and recovery. She's there now, and doing well.
But my sister has returned to Guam, and I'm sad.
My daughter is preparing for her school play The Cheese Stands Alone, in which she will play "Blue Cheese." Her costume: a blue sweat suit.
Blue cheese is my absolute favorite.
The more you spend on a thing, the more you expect from it; maybe not a rule of life, but certainly true of a mattress. If your mattress is the culmination of twelve years of speculation, two years of saving, four weeks of research, and three days of shopping, damn the thing if it doesn't perform.
We sent our mattress back to the store. All ye who said "Don't fall for the pillow top," were correct. The very first night I rolled into my husband's wake, and spent a fretful night dreaming I'd fallen into a financial abyss with a twenty-year guarantee.
The mattress issue, then, became a question: Do we order the bed of roses, the bed of lettuce, or the bed of nails?
I've heard proponents of the bed of roses camp speak out from every financial bracket, saying, "It's your bed. It's your marriage. It's your good night's sleep. It's an investment in many good things, and it's worth every penny you spend on it." My husband speaks from this point of view.
I tend naturally towards the bed of lettuce camp, thinking to get a practical, firm, multi-coil mattress, with no frills for a couple hundred. But my dissatisfaction with everything I tried made me feel bad about myself, like maybe I need to sleep on the wood floor for the rest of my life (the bed of nails) to do penance.
Our mattress question led me to the confessional, where I was told for the first time, ever, in my entire life, that I'm too high strung. That I need to relax, that buying a mattress is not buying Heaven or Hell. Can you afford the mattress? Will it make your husband happy if you quit fault-finding and stressing out? Close your eyes, pass the checkbook, and thank God for the blessing of comfort and a good night's sleep.
So we sleep on a bed of roses, and it's heavenly.
My cousin Rachel is ENGAGED! I'm her grouchy matron of honor ("You haven't been a maid for a long time," she says). My husband and I really like weddings. We like dancing and drinking and making fun of people while we eat.
And it's a cowboy boot wedding. I like boots.
But best is that she found a good, good man. I'm so happy for her I could cry.