On the weekend I cleaned up. I moved my desk, I made space. Moved out old things.
I did not smile, when I felt sad, did not try to please; and then my husband smiled more, and was more pleased, or so it seemed. Isn’t that always the way. A subconscious push or pull of energy.
WordPress seems to have suddenly and without warning switched me to the new “Block Editor” which I have avoided for so long. I can’t stand using it. I don’t want to see the paragraphs enclosed in boxes. I want the words to flow.
I hit “Enter” and then the last paragraph is boxed with an outline. The word “Paragraph” hovers above it. As if we didn’t know.
There were so many anxieties on my mind this morning. Worries about the world, about the place of boys and men in it. War. Movies about war. Popular books about war, fictional books that glorify the hero’s journey through tales of war. Intermittent and titillating sex scenes, unrealistic. The woman a willing virgin opening herself on demand. I could not stand. “Lies told for profit.”
I wrote my fears this morning but the words seemed useless and stilted. What was the point? How could I possibly bother?
“Start writing or type / to choose a block.”
I am already writing. Thanks anyway, BLOCK editor. All you do is aid writer’s block.
This might actually force me off WordPress. “You must assimilate. Resistance is futile.” Is it though?
I’m learning it might not be.
You might put up this block, I might work within it. I might allow my words to flow as on an endless river. I may choose to never make a new block ever again. I grab your constraint and work within it and through it to work against it. The only way to truly win a war is not to fight, not to give in but to morph. Morph and morph and see within the moment what one can do.
Or sometimes, I go along with you. Because I’m tired or bored, or used to old ways. What else can I do.
I was sad, and I wrote about it, and then I accidentally lost my shitty writing with the click of the wrong button. I was okay with that, for it was so bad and sad. I went down to make a coffee. I ranted to my husband. I told my fears. He said, yes but reading anything is better than reading nothing.
I’m not so sure that is always true.
He, though no one would think it if they saw us in person perhaps, is the true optimist. He sees the bright side of things.
Me: “So-and-so is devouring the lies turned out by the ministries of profit. End upon book-end.”
Him: “I wouldn’t worry about it. Most boys his age don’t even read. They only play video games or watch shows.”
Me: “But if only he would read the classics.”
Him: “He will read the classics if he likes to read.”
Me: “I’m not so sure.”
Him: “I read the classics, even though I devoured fiction.”
Me: “I just think we should filter input more.”
Him: “The librarians I worked for were like that.”
Me: “Yes, I am like a librarian, the town prude! It’s true, but —”l
Him: “But this is how the world works.” [Explanation of how the world works.]
Me: [Interrupting.] I don’t want you to tell me how the world works. [I know as much or as little about that as you do.] I am expressing my fear. I understand about censorship and that that is not the answer. But children need guidance. Sure, sometimes they can watch the movie, or read the book, but they need some kind of interpreter with them. To explain that in real life, women don’t fight monsters with their bare hands while never getting their dresses [or bust-revealing lycra bodysuits] dirty. Explain that women who fight monsters usually don’t wear fake eyelashes, have hair extensions and wake up in full makeup. Women who fight monsters are more the Brené Browns and less the Mera’s of the world.
(We watched “Aquaman” last night.)
Him: Okay. Well. It’s time for breakfast. [He is the one that puts the food on the table.]
Bottom line I know it’s up to me to filter their input. But every time I offer this or that good thing, it is met with resistance. A mother’s work is never done — and often thankless.
But part of me also knew I had to give up control and start focussing on the good things, like he does.
Before school, I did the usual walk around the lake with the younger kids.
“How are conjoined twins made?”
“Do you think the world is a person?”
“I think the world is my brother. Hello brother! Heeheeheeheehee”
Then a distraught elderly woman on the path, asking in French if we had seen her lost cat. We looked as best as we could with her, but then it was time to go to school.
After dropping the kids off I saw the next door church was open. Sometimes the door is locked and closed when I want to go in. But this morning it was opened wide. As usual, there was no one inside. The church is old and beautiful. I don’t know how old. Maybe only five hundred years.
I went to the place near the front, in the right shoulder of the church. There is a statue of Mary there. She is made of stone, pure natural white, with a long dress, sash under the bust, long rosary with the cross dangling from it. Symbol of sacrifice. Sunlight is falling through the stained-glass window to her right. It creates a prism of colours around her. Behind her, the wall is painted in blue and gold, with flowers. Her feet are bare beneath the hem of her robe. A stone rose on each foot.
Live orchids, white, are blooming below her feet, beside her pedestal. Stargazer lilies as well, perfuming the space with their golden nectar. The light is shimmering over her face, her face is soft, her face is round like a moon. Like my own face, the face I feel critical about when I look in the mirror (“too round”). Her body is cosy, not skeletal. Like my own body, the one I feel critical about when I look in the mirror (“not thin enough”). Her body looks warm and soft, chaste yet a challis. I look at her face and follow her gaze which is lifted to the stained glass window to her right. There is a nativity scene “L’Adoration des Bergers.” There in the glass panes, she is seated; blue robes, serene and with a wise smile, like the Mona Lisa. Sharing in the great secret of light and love. That love is endless and forever, with no being, no nonbeing, no birth, no death. No purity, no defilement. She holds her baby boy on her lap. Three men stand before her with offerings, gazing with love and adoration upon the mother and her son.
To the right of that window is another scene, filled with stained glass colour. Mary again, alone, long robes, the rosary over her arm, the cross at the bottom, pointing toward earth. Sacrifice is grounding. Death nourishes; creates new life. She stands within a pod, she is the golden seed inside the pod; there is a swelling at her belly; seed within a seed.
“L’Immaculée Conception.” The roses are everywhere blooming around her. I understand it in that instant. It was Mary who showed me, or rather, the artist who chiselled her from stone, brought her to life. “And I will take this heart of stone and make it flesh.” He made her eyes point to the symbols shown in the portals of light to her right, in the east, where the sun was now rising ever higher in the morning sky. The immaculate conception is the blooming of god-energy within her. It has nothing to do with sex or no sex, nothing to do with birth or with death. Within her is born and flowered a faith, a portal of true and immaculate love and constant access to the one true Knowledge. Endless light and power that is never owned and only can be experienced as a conduit.
Mary, the statue of stone, is a living rainbow of gold and blue and crimson light before me, as I sit on the wooden bench in the old high church. Nothing is as it seems. The stone does not exist as a hard thing… the lines of her face are soft. She holds the symbol of sacrifice. The sacrifice is giving up control, the desire to control. When the desire to control or to be controlled is lifted, the love and hope flows in and brings serenity in the face of all disaster, in the face of the worst possible suffering. How can this mother stand so serene, after what the world did to her son? She can do this because of her deep understanding of the great secret of life. Only compassion. No judgement. Not of her son, not of the father, not of the world.
I thanked her in my heart; I put my hands together in front of it: “A lotus for you.” This is what the buddhist sisters do; what they told us at the monastery. Their hands form the shape of an immaculate bud.
I said a prayer of thanks and gratitude. Then asked, “Mother, what must I do?”
And Mary said:
“Go and help that woman find her cat.”
(Sometimes the answers seem strangely practical.)
Then I asked, “But what if her cat is not findable? What if something terrible befell it?”
“What matters is that she has someone to be with her, to know that someone cares.”
And so I went to do that. But I did not find her, nor her cat.
Thanks for being here, now. ❤︎ sobrietytree.home.blog/sobrietytree.com
Notes: The “heart of stone” quote (Ezekiel 36:26) I once saw a version of on Elizabeth‘s blog. The references to being and non-being, and other seeming opposites, are part of Buddhist philosophy as recounted in the Heart Sutra.
p.s. To switch back to Classic Editor, click the “Help” question mark at the bottom of the editing screen. Then click “Switch to Classic Editor” at the bottom of the pop-up option list. (I guess I had switched it myself somehow, by mistake.) Nts: the sky is not always falling.