Monday, August 19, 2013


For me today is a bad day!  Can't explain it but it started with a horrendous nightmare that couldn't be explained or awakened from.  It has stuck with me all day long.  A horror of unknown origins. 

My day was set aside to begin my new book at the computer.  Well I could not/can not focus.  It will have to wait.  It just isn't in me.  A day for me is often, too often, defined by what I accomplish.  Which I know is exactly the opposite of what I preach.  But today I have accomplished zero. I have tried to remember what a friend from long ago would tell me, "It is okay to not do anything."  So today is one of those days.

 I have talked to friends who know me well and can usually bring me 'about face'. But a phone call from a warrior turned my life around.

The circumstances and reason for the phone call don't matter.  She has PTSD and wants a service dog.  She will only speak with me and I completely understand and cherish her trust. I had her laughing and crying and she was doing the same for me.  We were simply, in that time and place, comrades in arms. 

I understood her pain and told her I would be her 'San Antonio mom.'  It was that easy.  She shared her deepest pain and as usual I willingly absorbed it.  She is an amazing young woman and one I could easily call 'sweetie,' and I did so on the phone.  I again told her I would be her 'San Antonio mom' and she cried some more, telling me she needed a mother more than anything.  And I told her that I needed a daughter more than anything.  So the bond was built. The cards were dealt and now we have a very special relationship....a relationship built on trust, compassion and a deep understanding each for the other. It was a phone call with a gift attached.  One I cherish and a 'daughter' who needs a mother and visa versa.

Sometimes I like to say "I feel like I am rearranging chairs on a ship that is going down."  That nothing I do is ever good enough for some, and the harder I try to maintain a calm attitude and to break away from the agony of it all and maintain professionalism, it is thrust back at me with a defensive posture that will not retreat. And it always, always levels me to a place I dread more than anything.  A place where I feel the deepest necessity to defend my actions!! Which in reality don't need defending.

So I decided to read some of the many emails that have on occasion taken a back seat.  One was photographs (which I adore) sent by a friend I see far too seldom.  The photos always make me smile and take me on rides to far away places that I will never be able to visit.  But this time one of the photos made me smile.  And believe me in the middle of a PANIC ATTACK that isn't easy.  I looked at it and smiled some more, and then suddenly felt a rush of tears that wouldn't stop.  The more I looked at this walrus the more I felt like wanting to hide my face and cover my eyes and disappear from the pain with no name that I was having. Just as the walrus was covering his face and hiding.

I posted the photo on facebook and received the following from a friend. Who answered my question as to why at first glance it was joyful and upon closer observation most sad.

"Because we can see the love there and know deep inside that the "animal" deserves the same chances to live and be loved as humans. Just like any animal.
Other's sadly, see money that could be made and "just" an animal."

She continued.

"That's the same reaction I had to this photo Patsy. Exactly the same.

I only put what I actually believe and feel in my heart and soul.. I am very blessed if it has helped at all. Hell.. I am like that a lot of the time Patsy. You are stronger than you know. If my words helped you to understand that joy followed by sadness, please share them. Perhaps others will then understand a little bit more."

Joy followed by sadness!  Ouch!  It doesn't feel so good does it?  It makes my head spin and my knees wobble.  I understand because it is real and it happened to me, but the thing going on inside of me I am not quite so sure.  Now sadness followed by joy makes more least to me. But what happens when you see your self, your deepest emotions, your pain, your frustration, your agony, your battle, and futility in a walrus hiding his face?

So sounds a little nutty to some of you I feel certain.  But for me, for today, for now it feels like I have once again been opened up and my deeply buried feelings are escaping ~ allowed out.  Perhaps all of us need to be like a walrus hiding his face once in a while!  Perhaps we all need to be opened up and let all of the bad stuff out, the sadness out, the pain out and the feelings of futility out. 

So to my friend Denise who sent the photos, I feel certain you had no idea this would come from it and to my fb friend M. thank you for affirming that it is okay to feel this way and that there truly are those times when joy is followed by sadness.  I just wish it weren't so difficult to swallow.   But then as they said 'gotta take the bitter with the sweet 'and today that is what I was meant to do. Another awakening, an opening up, an understanding, that photographs can make us smile, life can make us smile and they can also, in their wisdom and clarity and creative spirit, awaken us to places where we need to go, not necessarily where we want to go.  So for that precious walrus on his birthday, I will be eternally grateful for his handsome message only a few may understand.  Oh his birthday he gave me a beautiful gift.  A gift of renewed understanding that some days there are lessons to be learned.  There may not always be answers, but those too will come.


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