Daily Archives: April 9, 2015

Worry Wart

I’m terrified that I passed Bipolar on to my daughter. It is a thought that consumed me during the pregnancy....

The post Worry Wart appeared first on Pretending to be What We Are.

Oh Good, More Learning

So, as stated last post, I’m down to one session of therapy a week and it’s been a rough transition. I wanna say it’s been a surprisingly rough transition, but that’s not true because I knew it’d be hard and I just decided to ignore that reality. It’s hard. I hate it.

I had a little meltdown the night before last. I’d cut my hair that day. Which is to say that, deviating from my typical habit, I let a professional cut my hair. Like someone with many years of training and experience and very likely some kind of degree or certification in this shit. It’s short. Like just past my chin. I like it because I have to. I also like it because it’s cute. There was a dive bar on the first floor of the building where I got my hair cut. I asked the receptionist if it was a decent place to grab a drink and she said it was nothing fancy, but it was fine. I don’t know why I felt like having a drink. I mean I probably do know. It was probably because I lopped off like 5 inches of my hair after ~3 years of telling myself I was gonna let it grow out to an unreasonable, mermaid-like length. So I got a drink. I forgot that it was only 4:30ish so the bar was pretty empty except for the sweetest bartender ever and 2 middle-aged regulars. So I started talking to these guys about the mayoral election we’d all voted in earlier that day (my candidate lost). We talked about past mayors, political dynasties, school closings, citywide ethnic segregation, the mismanagement of public funds, the political machine of the good old days, the political machine of today. The word “reluctant” got used a lot. So did “the lesser of two evils”. This is the vocabulary of my hometown. We only get truly pissed off here when so many people get thrown under the bus that the bus can no longer run.

I get a little defensive of my intellect and my opinion when I have to deal with men who are older than I am. These dudes were actually really cool about not treating me like I’m 9. They asked me what I thought about the leadership of a mayor who left office before I was even born. At some point Nazis came up (like they do). One of these dudes was born in Argentina, so that took an interesting turn. I was having a really good time. I kept ordering beers. At one point, the bartender stopped charging me. Or I stopped paying. It’s not really clear. Since I can’t even remember the last time I got legitimately drunk before this, my tolerance, as you can imagine, was/is pretty fucking low. It got dark out, and I remembered I had to run an errand on the way home that required me to carry approx. 15lbs of stuff on the bus…a ream of printer paper, half a gallon of soy milk, baby food, contact solution, stuff that drunk people shouldn’t heft on public trans. So I cheerily left the bar and the nice people I’d met (which were in a neighborhood I almost never visit) and got on a bus headed somewhere and hopped off when I spotted a drug store. I had a list with me. I could only find 3 of the things on my list before I gave up because I was walking into shit. I put on my best “sober” face and, in my best “sober” voice, paid for my purchases and went looking for a bus line I actually knew how to navigate, which I found without much difficulty because it was right the fuck there the whole time and I can get myself lost walking around the damned block, so, as one might conclude, it’s even funnier and probably more hazardous when I’m three sheets.

So, I’m certain I’ve mentioned this before, but being drunk while bipolar is often a little different than being drunk without a mental illness. To begin with, when that first wave of booziness hits me, I start to talk loud and fast. I get tons of energy and I want to chat with everyone. I like meeting strangers anyway, so meeting strangers when I’m drunk is even easier. So I get temporarily a little hypomanic. That overly spirited sense of wellbeing and invincibility, though, almost always takes a freaky turn like 4 or 5 hours in to my drunkenness. While one the right bus, I started to feel very intensely about EVERYTHING. I texted my sister saying:

Right now I simultaneously feel like the most brilliant thing that ever lived and like I wanna die right this sec.

Which is the kind of thing that sparks alarm in most rational people. It’s also one of the reasons I don’t drive. Me behind the wheel is fine until it’s not. And it can turn into not on a dime, even though I feel very strongly about not driving drunk (don’t drive drunk. I was hit by a drunk driver when I was 5 and it FUCKING SUCKED. Don’t drive drunk). Anyway, my sister, several states away, was pretty concerned for my safety. I don’t know why I wanted to die. I felt high as a kite. I was pretty euphoric. Maybe too euphoric. There was so much going on inside my head that I think I thought, at the time, the only logical culmination to all this out of control effervescence was a big, glorious death. This is the kind of shit that makes total sense to me when I’m not in my right mind. Everything becomes gigantic.

The second part of this nonsense is probably the least flattering. I got my sister on the phone when I got into the house. I started crying and screaming and I absolutely cannot remember what I was upset about. I asked her, later, not to tell me because I think I’d rather not know, and, anyway, if I thought about it hard enough, I could probably just guess. She calmed me down, convinced me to take some Klonopin (see LBD: benzodiazepines) which I’d neglected to do at my scheduled time because I was busy knocking back Dogfish and discussing Nazi war criminals’ flight to South America with strange men. And by now, my pretty haircut was a masterful shitshow because I kept twisting and ruffling it frantically and I cried all of my makeup down to the wrong parts of my face and I was probably waxing wistful about everything I never did or won’t do or never knew I wanted to do until right that second and OH MY GOD my sister is a hero. But eventually I stopped crying and took my meds and got off the phone with my sister and texted my husband to come home.

My husband arrived just in time for part three which is, primarily, me despairing repetitively in barely audible monotone. I can’t remember if I was still drunk, which means I probably kind of was, but my thoughts followed a very logical if utterly unsound sequence. I used a lot of $10 words which is a thing I do when I feel like I have nothing else. And also because words make me feel better. I did that thing I always do where I took stock of my life and denigrated all of it as folly after mishap after plummet. The how-did-I-get-here-I-hate-my-life shit I do is pretty unfair to my husband seeing as he’s one of the biggest parts of my life. I punished myself, as usual (hi, Catholic upbringing!) for not taking pristine care of myself and for having the nerve to share a few drinks and good conversation with some new people (or, as I framed it: being reckless, getting drunk, putting myself in danger and then crying about it when, SURPRISE! I didn’t feel fantastic for having done those things). The point I kept harping on was that I know better (than what? was never clearly defined but it was probably that I know better than to get that drunk, though there was a strong implication that I should know better than to have such loud feelings, shame on me). I do know better, though. I can’t believe I actually got home that night. I can’t believe I didn’t puke. I considered the migraine I developed as I slowly sobered up over the course of the next few hours my just deserts. And then down and then more down and then downer and then at some point Laura passes out.

I was really sick, both in my head and my guts the next morning. I hadn’t slept very well that night and I was tossing so much much between 3:30 and 5:30 that I went to the guest room so I’d stop bothering my husband and I watched a nature documentary, drifting in and out of shallow sleep until the stupid sun came up and once the sun is up, I have a really hard time staying asleep, even if I’m really tired. Which I was. I was tired and headachey and sick to my stomach most of the morning, which was really a drop in the bucket because I was super fucking preoccupied with shame and self-loathing. Quite frankly, I’m not sure what happened or what I did wrong. I know I drank more than I should have, but beyond that, there was nothing that triggered my weird mood shift or my crying or my self-pitying. I know for sure that my self-flagellation was extremely disproportionate to my actions (oh hey, Catholic childhood, you’re still here…). I know that Silver Linings Laura would try to appreciate this shit as a learning experience rather than waste an entire day in my jammies watching cartoons and trying to rehydrate while questioning whether or not I even deserved water.

One of the things I find really frustrating about this situation is that, as far as these things go, I have pretty successfully treated bipolar. I haven’t had a serious episode in at least a year. I’m comfortable (for the most part) with my meds, I was starting to make some really good headway in therapy about non-bipolar shit that anyone would need therapy to deal with (dream-destroying mom, years and years of child abuse, dad dying way too early). Over the past year, I’ve been able to congratulate myself more than a few times for finally seeing the actions I’ve taken to make myself better come to fruition. But I won’t allow myself a single slip up. I’m too rigid for that. It’s definitely worth noting that, had this course of events taken place 2 or 3 years ago, I would’ve done more than just cry and pity myself. I would probably have had a full-blown panic attack and I very likely would have self-harmed. But I don’t think about progress that way. I don’t know why. After all the work I’ve done, I sure as hell should.

So, today, I feel fine. Good, even. I had a nice conversation with my sister about what to name her new kitten. I managed to erase my sleep deficit. I’m going grocery shopping later (not a huge deal, but at least it’s productive). And I have every intention of doing many pushups later to make up for not having MMA class last Sunday. Oh yeah, and I finally got my copy of the new Mountain Goats album in the mail (which I stupidly ordered in disc form for some fucking reason, but who the fuck cares because I am STOKED). So, I know it’s almost 2:30, but I’m at least going to try to make this a good day. Wish me luck.

-LB

Tagged: alcohol, bipolar disorder, Catholicism, Chicago, depression, doing stuff alone, guilt, hair, hypomania, learning experiences, migraines, Mountain Goats, politics, psychotherapy, self-pity, shame, sister, suicide, therapy

A Shape For Spring

Yes I know it's a bit trite, / but I love the spring. All of / the expected things: the hotgreen buds...

I Love Having My Writing Rejected…

Trigger Warning: Potty talk and scary photo Not! ;) I don’t like having my writing rejected! My skin is getting a little bit thicker; it is, I swear. The encouragement I received after publishing my last rejection-themed post really helped give me an … Continue reading

Serially Lost #4

Please feel free to check the post below. There are many great blogs on there enrolled in this class. Show the love by visiting a few and leaving a comment! They’ll appreciate it. A couple of these have bad or no links. Help me out if you can. Let me know if you want to be added.

Day Four: Serially Lost

Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

This doesn’t need to be a depressing exercise; you can write about that time you lost the three-legged race at a picnic. What’s important is reflecting on this experience and what it meant for you — how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it.

Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

teacher stuff

The loss I experienced was the loss of my teaching career.

Part One:….how it felt…..

Losing my teaching career was one of the most devastating things that ever happened to me. A true bombshell. I felt utterly lost. It was as though a giant bumblebee had come down and was buzzing around my head and I could hear and react to nothing. I certainly felt numb.

It was heartbreaking to leave my beautiful classroom. I had worked so very hard to create a wonderful space for these kids who had so little. Lots of weekends spent bargaining at garage sales for furniture and supplies and books paid off in a well stocked colorful room. There were hours and hours of blood, sweat, and tears in that room and the effort it took to keep it up with thirty kids in there. It was hard to say good-bye.

I knew I would miss the camaraderie of the staff. I was the kind of person that always greeted everyone every day and tried to say something nice. I found this paid off in people who were pretty friendly. However, I didn’t feel like I’d be losing many close friends. I’d only been at the school three years and although I had “social” friends there, I only had two good friends. I knew these people would continue to be part of my life. There were even one or two, like the creepy assistant principal, that I wouldn’t miss at all.

Guilt was another feeling I had. I was leaving a cute, enthusiastic, young student teacher behind. I scrambled and found her another placement, but it wouldn’t have been as good as mine. (not trying to brag here, just the facts! 🙂

The kids were the major cause of guilt, of course. They were so poor but the school offered a lot of services to them: clothes, the dentist, a clinic, supplemental food, charity toys and parties at the holidays, you name it. I was the gatekeeper for all of this. I noticed when they needed new shoes. I arranged for the big company to get the right toys at Christmas. I made sure some of them got food bags over the weekend. I worried about the next teacher knowing how to do this all the right way. It took some finesse.

Oh gosh, the teaching. I had trained endlessly to teach English as a Second Language. I knew it backward and forward. All of that wasted learning! And there was such a shortage of teachers in our area with those certificates. I worked so hard on the reading, writing, grammar, and math. I always bemoaned the fact that we had so little time for science and social studies.

Those were the negative emotions I had. I had a few positive ones. A part of me felt very free. No more dragging it out of bed to be there so early. No more coming home and collapsing on the couch. Terribly boring staff meetings were a thing of the past, as were office politics. No more standardized tests! That all felt very good.

It was a mixed rush of emotions, brought on fiercely by happening in such a very short time.

TO BE CONTINUED

Part Two: why it happened

Part Three: what changed because of it

Every Day Is Mental Health Stigma Day

I was just sitting here, thinking how we are encouraged to get a physical every year. Keep yourself in good health, head off problems before they get out of control. The body is treated like the temple that must be coddled and yet…Our minds are treated like so much flotsam and jetsam.
For me, mind and body go hand in hand. If my mental health is bad but my physical health is good, I still consider myself ill. Perhaps I am wrong in feeling that way. I just honestly don’t understand why mental health is so stigmatized while society embraces physical health obsessively.

Examples of stigma I face on a daily basis:
My mother: “You don’t get to be depressed now, you have a daughter to take care of.”
My father “You don’t know depressed is, grow up.”
My sister: “I don’t get time to be depressed.”
My so called closest friend: “Why aren’t you smiling? Why are you so jumpy? What’s got you down? ME ME ME ME ME ME ME.”
Then, “Do you ever think of anything but your mental disorders?”

Hmmm.I was probably not thinking of them until reminded by everyone around me that I can’t escape them.
This is not supportive. This is like fat shaming, only for the unwell mind.

There’s such a distinctive set of rules for physical illness over mental illness.
You break your leg, no one expects you to run a marathon until you are healed.
You have surgery and are feeling bad, people bring you flowers or get well cards.
You find out you have a chronic disease, the hugs and hand holding are automatic.

BUT if your pain is in your mind…
You’re pretty much on your own.
I don’t know how many times it’d have been so helpful just to have someone pat my shoulder or give me a hug. Instead, I get nagged at for not smiling, for not being “normal’, for not trying hard enough, for being lazy.
All of which is counterproductive because these feelings are bundled with the mental illness, they don’t need amplified.
It’s like rubbing bacteria in an open wound and going, “Why did the infection spread?”

At this juncture in time, I am dealing with R and his three day streak of nothing going right. He’s depressed. He’s pissed off. So he can throw things, yell, curse, be rude to customers…And it’s ok, he’s frustrated.
But if I am these things because my mind is not working properly…I’m just bitchy and crazy and not even legitimately tin foil hat wearing crazy. The “irrational hormonal whiny bitch” crazy.
How is that even logical?
This is the mentality I am surrounded by.
I do not like kids who don’t play fair on the playground.
And no matter how old I get, I realize none of us ever really stop being children. From a petulant pout to blaming something on someone else to avoid our own culpability…We are children in adult bodies.
Because no amount of social conditioning and no age will erase our fundamental genetic code. We start out as helpless little ferals and it’s not until year upon year of social conditioning any of us truly “morph” into some semblance of adulthood.
That’s depressing because it means most of those around me will never have the intellectual capacity nor humanity to grasp that mental illness is as legitimate as physical illness.
Sad statement about the human race.
I am always hoping one of them will prove me wrong. I have never wanted to be wrong about something more in my life. I want to think people can evolve, grow, change, become more empathetic. Learn.

Society on a whole just does not seem capable of this as far as mental health is concerned.
Have things improved since the days of lobotomies and squalid asylums? Yes, absolutely.
Depression has had a spotlight on it since the invasion of Prozac. Kind of like the Beatles invasion. (Ugh, take that one back.)
But with that came a plethora of people who are sad for a few weeks, get a script, and boom they’re better after a few months.
That’s a disservice to those of us who struggle for years.
It’s a catch 22 though. With the advent of Prozac nation, more people stepped forward to get help for their mental issues.
Unfortunately, so did a lot of people who likely weren’t clinically depressed and thus society thinks of psych meds as “happy pills” that cure mental illness. So if you’re not cured, it’s your own fault.
I used to sarcastically call my meds my happy pills. Until I had a rough day and someone snarked, “Did we forget to take our happy pills today?”
Offensive.
Did we forget to take our anti douchebag pills today?

I know I have a lot of complaints.
Do I have any answers?
I wish I did.
But one thing the blogosphere has taught me is that…More and more of us with mental health issues are stepping up and talking about it, rather than hiding in the dark like we have something to be ashamed of.
It’s a start.
And that’s a good thing.


Querying

Asking to do stories for freelance outlets is called “QUERYING”.  It’s where you tell an editor about the story you want to do and convince him or her to let you write it instead of taking your idea and assigning it to someone else.

My process with a new publication was usually to call first and ask if they took freelance work.  It often gave me a chance to talk directly with an editor and convince him or her of my education and experience before I ever had to pitch my story to him or her.  If you don’t get an editor directly when calling, be sure to get their email information from whoever you are speaking to so you can contact them directly with your idea.

Query letters for news stories aren’t overly complicated; you pitch the story in the first paragraph, elaborate on it and on yourself in the second, and close with a request that the editor reply back so you can get started on the story.  Depending on how complex your story is a to how complex the email is.  Be sure to follow grammar and conventional letter writing features–everyone talks about email being more casual, but that casualness is reserved for when you already have a relationship established.  In your first few queries, you want to keep everything very professional so the editor will take you seriously.  No text abbreviations, no LOLs, nothing that would indicate that you aren’t the best writer for the particular story you are pitching.

If you have previous writing that’s on the web, include those URL’s in your initial query letter.  That gives the editor a chance to look and see what kind of writer you are.  If all you have is a blog, provide links to it.  It’s probably best to provide links to specific posts that relate to the story you are pitching to show your expertise in the area you are asking to write about  Don’t feel bad if you are offered to write unpaid at first.   This practice has become standard, sadly.  Use those first few articles to land a better paying outlet somewhere else.  Some publications welcome citizen bloggers and give them space on their website to blog.  That’s a good opportunity too to increase your reach as a blogger.

IT’s best to start small.  Don’t write your first query to HuffPo or some equivalent national publication.  Start with your local outlets and branch out from there.  I would up writing for about ten different publications with local, statewide, and regional reach.  Always tailor your story to the outlet.  Think of different ways to spin the story so maybe you can sell variations of the information to  different outlets at the same time.  NEVER sell the same exact story to multiple outlets at the same time.  And don’t start writing the story until you’ve sold it through a query–save yourself the time and effort beforehand.

Next time I’ll talk about conducting interviews and gathering information for the story.  Keep reading!


a-z challenge: h

H is for …

H is for heroes

I always liked the Joseph Campbell quote, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself,” and it took me years to think hang on … by that definition, a hero is somebody who works for a soulless corporation, gets the gold watch and then beetles off to have a heart attack on a golf course. And even though one of his works inspired Star Wars, I really can’t get behind someone who’s best known legacy is, “follow your bliss.”

image

To the batmobile dictionary!

hero {‘ hɪərəʊ}
noun: hero; plural noun: heroes; noun: hero sandwich; plural noun: hero sandwiches
1. a person, typically a man, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. “a war hero”
synonyms: brave man, champion, man of courage, great man, man of the hour, conquering hero, victor, winner, conqueror, lionheart, warrior, paladin, knight, white hat;
antonyms: coward, loser
the chief male character in a book, play, or film, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.
“the hero of Kipling’s story”
synonyms: male protagonist, principal male character;
antonyms: villain
(in mythology and folklore) a person of superhuman qualities and often semi-divine origin, in particular one whose exploits were the subject of ancient Greek myths.
2. NORTH AMERICAN – another term for hoagie.
Origin – Middle English (with mythological reference): via Latin from Greek hērōs .

Okaaay don’t let’s get all hung up on all the man male maleness of the definition. I’m sure I could find you a Birkenstock Dictionary of Lentil Correctness or something, but instead let us simply remember that some people still say hero and heroine, tattoo and tattooine, coca and cocaine and so forth.* Let’s get cerebrally advanced here and just think mankind or human. Instead, let’s get hung up on the fact that heroes are defined as white hat as opposed to black hat, without mentioning who the arbitrator of good and evil is.

(Too many italics spoil the paragraph. Too much digression is just another day on the blahpolar blog.)

So my post today is all about sandwiches. I keeed, I keeed. Heroes. I’m going to introduce you to whichever of mine my swisscheesebrain can remember. And I am not freaking well having it audited for sexual gender ethnic abled fat thin microbe equality. They don’t fit neatly on the good-evil axis and they’re often far from exemplary characters. What they are to me, are memorable characters, who taught me something and/or mean/t something to me and/or made me laugh deeply anytime during the past four decades. I cba to research and factcheck, so this one comes directly off the top of my head. There are plenty more, I’m a born follower.

*WALL OF TEXT KLAXON!*

Lord of the Rings rep-re-sent!
Éomer: I said more than enough in the E post of this meme.
Èowyn: Sister of the above. Slashed through the coolest loophole ever, to kill the Witch King of Angmar.
Aragorn: I had LOTR read to me from the age of three and read it myself at some point towards eleven. Strider was my hero, above all others. He made me feel safe when I really wasn’t safe at all.
Gandalf: The most reassuring character ever and the only wizard I shall ever truly love (lol). When I’m lonely and need a hug, I read Gandalf dialogue.
Gwaihir: Gandalf, imprisoned in the Orthanc Tower by Saruman the Knobhead, catches a white moth, whispers to it and releases it. The moth flaps off, has a quick word with the Lord of the Eagles and in two shakes of a dead lamb’s tail, Gandalf is free and the job’s a good ‘un. The answer to the eagle controversy meme is right there in the top right hand box:

image

Now shut the fuck up about eagles, noob. The problems on the surface of Middle Earth didn’t interest them one iota.

Tank Girl: Punk haired Mad Maxine with a tank, a kangaroo boyfriend and an in yer face fuck you attitude.
Alexander the Great: The toughest faggot to ever pwn the world.
Genghiz Khan: From a prophetic blood spot on his hand to leader of one of the biggest empires ever. A right royal bastard of a warlord.
Marco Polo: Off he toddled up and down the Silk Road, only to wind up in gaol when he returned to Italy, because nobody believed a word he said. Wrote a book that’s still in print. ?…years later.
Boudicca: Ancient Briton who took on the Romans after seeing them rape her daughters. Spent too long being portrayed as a Victorian marble twat called Boadiccea. Pffft.
Alison Bechdel: Delicious dyke comic artist, graphic novelist and originator of the Bechdel scale. Quietly four megatonnes more interesting than Ellen.
Leonard Peltier: American Indian imprisoned since the year dot, despite a dedicated liberation movement.
Jan Palach: The USSR rolled into Prague with tanks and Jan Palach became yet another victim of self immolation in the face of completely overwhelming odds. Considering that Buddhist monks still do it, I wouldn’t call it a successful form of protest, but these days, what is?
Desmond Tutu: Ageing gracefully and giggling; one of the rare South African dignitaries prepared to leap laughing upon his soapbox and stand up for humanity in all its forms. One seriously cool dude. The only person with any clout at all to call bs on both times the ANC here refused the Dalai Lama a visa.

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The Dalai Lama: Far more pragmatic and realistic than any of the fuckenhippies who are allegedly inspired by him to drift wistfully around India irritating the locals. All of a sudden half of Ealing has Tibetan names and claims to be a reincarnated lama. TDL says Westerners would be better off doing good in their own countries. Ha.
Odin: One eye, two ravens and a horse with eight legs. Badass of the Norse pantheon.
Rān: Norse goddess of the sea, who runs the female version of Valhalla. Rawr.
Susan Travers: The only woman to join the French Foreign Legion. And a socialite to boot. Oh yeh. English.

image

Amelia Earhardt: Lost and pretty in a leather flying helmet and goggles, and something about flying and so forth. Did I mention pretty?
Georgia O’Keeffe: My favourite artist and yet another badass. Steiglitz made her (especially her hands) iconic, she buggered off to New Mexico, painted the fuck out of it and was still awesomely beautiful at age 90.

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Leonard Cohen: Poet, songsmith, gentleman. Singer Laureate of my family of three-minus-one. I can’t even…
Kurt Cobain: The tragic hero of Generation X grunge slackers (holla). Sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, more drugs, evil wife, suicide … ripped jeans, obscure tshirts, flannel shirts, blue converse … a primal scream and broken guitars that echo through the years. Heartbreak. Byron 3.0
Osip Mandelstam and all of the other poets that Stalin threw into Siberian gulags.
Butch Cassidy: Brave, sweet, funny, disreputable romantic and beautiful. Ultimately tragic. Also one of my favourite films ever.

*it’s possible that I was talking bollocks for two thirds of those examples.

“Fine”

When I say I'm fine, what I mean, of course, is I'm NOT. It's a hollow word, like "whatever" or "call any time".

Still Standing

t 6 t 1 t 2 t3t 4 t 5

This tree, this beautiful, strong, stalwart, faithful tree, was struck by a powerful flash of lightning. We were in the back of our condo and the sound was so loud, so loud that I swear I’ve never heard such a loud sound before. The tree is about 20 ft. away from our building. Its bark was shattered, splintered and thrown all over the street as well as into our front yard! Yet it stands! This amazing tree still stands. I am in awe of it. I gather strength from it. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting too much lately… well… I haven’t been feeling good. But since seeing this tree withstand I don’t know how many joules of electricity with which the lightning struck it, I feel inspired and strengthened. If the tree could do it, and it is a living being, then so can I! If the tree can take a hit and still keep standing, so can I! I love trees. You may even see me giving a tree a hug if you are walking in Cherokee Park. I am so glad that this tree is still here and I hope the wood wide web is giving it the nutrients it needs to heal. Yes there really is a wood wide web and yes the trees in it really do send nutrients to weak trees, here is a link if you’re interested in the wood wide web: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141111-plants-have-a-hidden-internet

Ain’t the world grand!

Well then, here’s a poem I wrote for this heroic tree:

The Tree

It was a flash, it was a powerful flash

You were struck, and it could have undone you

But you are strong. stronger than what life throws at you

You absorbed it, stood strong and grounded

I look at at you and marvel, how did you do it

But there is no “how”, there is only standing tall and proud

My best wishes for this amazing tree and may it live a long and healthy life.