Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The State of My Flucuating Frame of Mind

To all my "dear readers, as the great Ann Landers referred to her "followers," this is for those of you who also function as my mental-health caregivers. Since most of you've been with me from my blogging beginnings, you're aware that this is a critical phase in what professionals call my "grieving process."

So, let's start out by taking a look at a "glamour shot" of me from several years ago, when it was still considered (by whomever owned the photography outfit, at least) sexy for a woman to wear a ridiculous mass of annoyingly ticklish ostrich feathers dyed in phony bright colors, which was known as a "feather boa."

Anything wrapped around my neck described as a "boa" immediately strikes me as repulsive, but I allowed myself to be talked into it, along with, ugh, red lipstick.

You should be aware by now of my dim view of such stupid notions when it comes to popular feminine fashions in my mother's day. When I look at the offensively flashy absurdity adorning my unevenly tanned shoulders, then focus on my lame attempt at a "come hither" expression as I'd been instructed to do, I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Maybe throwing up is a more accurate way to describe the impulse I most often feel when I look back at what it was like to be an attractive young woman from my now-enlightened but hopefully not jaded retrospective view.

Ever watched AMC's "Mad Men?" I was in on the tail end of that blatantly sexist era, and maybe sometime I'll tell you about being literally chased around his bedroom by a horrible boss I once had.

OK, then, let's move on to my next item:

Here's an illustration of how I imagine myself navigating the stormy high seas of emotions in my life this month. I'm hanging onto Him for dear life as I struggle to keep my head above water in a flood of sad memories that threatens to engulf me at times. This is my attempt to endure what I know is a difficult period for all survivors on every anniversary date of a great tragedy in their lives. 

Add to the turbulent swirl of days this May yet-another unavoidable and uncelebrated date: Yesterday was my 59th birthday. The combination of "celebration" with "birthday" is an oxymoron for a woman my age, whose bathroom is so over-stocked with anti-aging lotions and potions that one would think I own stock in the company that makes Oil of Olay -- or Oil of Old Lady, as my husband called it. 

My ambivalent feelings about my 59th birthday are similar to my tainted, feminist leanings toward the societal influences that shaped my mother's life and my own early days. Actually, I'm proud of making it this far and in such fairly good shape, considering how little effort I've put into living anything close to a "healthy lifestyle."

If I allowed myself to fall back into my former negative way of thinking, I'd be horrified now to be just one year away from the unbelievably ancient and dreaded six-oh, as in, "OMG, 60?" But, due to the power of positive thinking and a weird freak of nature I'm really getting into these days, my head's been rearranged and now I think of "unbelievably ancient" as 80, at least, or maybe more like 90!

Alright, let's wrap this up, so here's my final item for today:

This is a cropped portion of a very cool action shot of a big bird of prey trained by a handler in Mongolia published by (who else?) National Geographic. This bird's coming in for a landing rather than taking flight, but it's the best picture I've seen lately showing the incredible power these carnivorous hunters' huge wings. I share it now with you in reference to the bird story I posted last month about the bald eagle I saw on the evening of my husband's death.

I will always believe I wasn't just watching a startled big bird burst out of a nearby tree and take off in an impressively loud flapping of his powerful wings. I was blessed to also have been witnessing my husband's soul leave this earthly world as, in an awesome display of spiritual grace and strength, he rose up and flew out of sight on his journey to the Other Side.

And to any of you who may think that God has no sense of humor, I will now tell you that as I write this, there are so many mourning doves hooting and hollering outside my office window that I want to just furiously fling it open and yell, "ALL RIGHT, ALREADY!! I GOT IT! SO SHUT UP, WILL YA? I CAN'T EVEN THINK, YOU"RE MAKING SO MUCH NOISE!"