Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
When I landed at the Melbourne airport, my grandma and grandpa picked me up in their little white car, with red vinyl seats. I could not even tell you the make and model of that car, because that’s exactly what it was..... A Car. Four tires, two seats in the front and a row for three in the back. it had a gearbox with faded numbers and letters on it, 1, 2, 3, 4, R and N on it. Not the way they make them these days, all fancy, literally, just a stick, with a knob on it. My grandfather taught me how to drive in that car…….. I must have been 13 years old when he first let me in the driver’s seat. My grandparents lived at the top of a huge hill and my grandfather said to me, “Trisha, when you can get this baby in gear and get her to the top of that hill, you have graduated and can drive me anywhere.” I will always be fond of that memory because he made me feel so responsible and I was determined to impress him. I must have tried and failed that hill many times, but the day I made it to the top was victorious. My tongue was probably sticking out of my mouth, in deep concentration and determination. I would not fail or let him down. I was in control of this machine, this white “no name car” with red seats and a stick. I got it into 1st gear, let out the clutch without stalling, then, with a steady heart, slipped it into 2nd gear and prayed I wouldn’t roll backwards. This time I made it…pure exhilaration and a sense of accomplishment and trust in my own ability. I love my grandfather for giving me that gift – the gift that I can do anything if I put my mind to it.
My grandmother was 4 foot 2 inches tall, grey short hair, cute as a button and a heart of pure gold…...no joke…..her heart was made of gold….She did not have an indecent bone in her entire body. She was made of sugar and spice, and all things nice. My grandfather, a handsome man in his younger years, now, bald on top, with a few grey stands popping up here and there, was always smiling, telling jokes or war stories. When I arrived in Melbourne, they were waiting for me. For some reason I remember wearing red Levis and a red and white stripy shirt. I had a perm….oh my….the perm….a topic that should be avoided at all costs….I thought I was so cool then, but now when I look back at photographs, I want to gasp and gag myself with a spoon……… Anyway, I remember how happy they were to see me and welcomed me warmly. Their love for me was pure and unconditional, it’s hard to comprehend this kind of love sometimes, but they had it, for me.
After living with them for a little while, I became restless and lacking independence I had become accustom to from a young age, I decided to enroll in Art School. So, I moved out and into a halfway house for reckless teenagers. I loved it there, for a while, I loved the freedom, until the drug art scene quickly consumed me. Not something, I am proud of today, but I have learned to accept that this experience has somehow shaped me into the person I am today, a person I am proud of. My grandparents would show up from time to time - to this house, in The Car, and bring me health food and homemade baked breads. I never invited them inside, because I was ashamed, but that never stopped them from showing up.
Knowing that this environment was going to eat me up and spit me out, I came back to LA, to try finding a better path. LA was not a place that was going to embrace and love me, but the only other place in the world I could think, where I had friends. I am omitting many aspects of this story, because frankly it was traumatic and unpleasant and not want I am trying to write here, what I want to say is this; This painting ‘The Storm’ is a representation of my grandmother holding my hand through my storms and never wanting to let go, because she loved me, unconditionally. Her name was Catherine. She passed away two weeks before my daughter was born, in November 1999. I wish I could have flown to Australia to hold her hand and weather her storm, but my doctor would not let me go in my condition. I regret that decision and wish I had been my reckless 15-year old self and gone anyway…I miss her and the safety of her love…….She was always my shelter from the storm. I hope that one day, someone will remember me in this light….the shelter from their storm, the one person that would never let go of their hand, no matter hard the wind was blowing……..that’s the kind of love that is pure, simple and unconditional….
Cowlick: noun: Projecting lock of hair. Oxford dictionary
This morning, as with most mornings – I wake up, brew a pot of coffee, make breakfast for Madison, get in the shower, wash my hair and most days, I blow dry my hair, some days I can’t be bothered and end up looking like a beached hippie, or a lead singer from an 80’s heavy metal band. But, this morning I busted out my hairdryer and as I was blow drying my hair, I thought about my cowlick. Some of us only have one, some of us more, and some of us have none. Mine is on the right side of my fringe, or bangs as they are called here – weird…..how does that word define the short front part of your hair? Anyway…….my cowlick, that imperfection in my hair, that kink that looks like a cow licked you. It’s always there – no matter hard my big round brush and blow dryer dance together, it never goes away, it’s just always there.
I think I write about the same old crap in my Blog, over-and-over again, just in different ways, trying to somehow explain myself, sort it out, like I am stuck in the middle of a big puzzle and one piece is missing. Just one ruddy missing piece, that piece that’s going to make everything whole, complete the entire picture, the whole kit and caboodle. You know that feeling when you can’t find something and all day it eats away at you, because you need it…you need to know….know where it is. Once you find it, it stops eating you, but sometimes you never know where it is and it’s a big mystery sandwich, but eventually, you let it go. You accept that you can’t find it and stop looking. One of my many talents is my ability to find things. Madison calls me “The Finder of All Things”. It’s true, 99.9% of the time, I can. I could find a needle in a haystack, or the toy that went missing a year ago and all of a sudden there is an immediate emergency to play with it……..the one that went to toy heaven for a while; or the nail clippers that didn’t arrive back in the draw, that have been secretly living under the rug for months – I will find it. It’s a gift! An unusual one, but nonetheless, a gift.
Anyway, my cowlick….while I was trying to sort it out this morning, trying to negotiate with it, trying to make it disappear; I had an epiphany. I realized; I need to stop trying to get rid of it and let it go – stop trying so hard to fix it. I think my big round brush and hairdryer both agreed with me. So, today my cowlick and I embraced each other. As I looked in the mirror one last time, I smiled and let it go. I have let go trying to find that missing piece to my puzzle. It’s just not meant to be found – not today anyway…..
Monday, May 19, 2008
This painting was created by a 3 year old little girl named Marla Olmstead. I recently watched the documentary about her, called My Kid Could Paint That. What an incredible story. What a beautiful talent and passion this gorgeous little girl has for art. My heart was so torn up after seeing this film. My daughter, who is also a talented little morsel of an artist, saw the film and her heart was also torn. I won't share our thoughts, however, I will say this, my faith in human behavior, for the sake of a story and money has been shaken to the core. I am pissed off and disappointed that 60 minutes would bother to criticize a 3 year old. I hope they feel shame for putting Marla and her family through such a horrible experience. If people want to pay $100,000 for a painting because they like it and it makes them feel good, what right do the media have to try to discredit her work?
The beauty about Marla is, she doesn't care what other people think. She paints because she loves it. If only we could all be more like her, innocent, passionate and enjoy the artist inside us without worrying what other people think. I hope Marla continues to paint her little heart out.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Really........how does this work? I read that a Greek philosopher, named Heracleitus said, "Character is destiny." Who you are - complete with all of your goals, tendencies, habits, virtues, and vices - will determine how you act and react, thereby creating your life's destiny.
This is what my astrology said about me today.... "Things are looking up, yet there's a stress that won't magically disappear. But even with too much happening, you can make time to enjoy yourself without going into denial about something important. You have an innate skill: you can stay focused in the present moment when you are passionate. Use your concentration wisely by preparing for what's coming instead of scattering your attention all over the place".
I guess my destiny is already created for me and my path has already been paved. So, today I will enjoy myself and stay focused in the present moment and be passionate. Maybe that includes being spontaneous and going to the beach, sitting under my umbrella with a good book and some great tunes! That sounds innate and focussed to me...
Well, I think my star sign accurately defines my character and I wouldn't disagree with what it says. I like my character, flaws and all. I am who I am.....and I can't change that.
I read a proverb yesterday that I really love, "Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and be that perfectly." -Zen Proverb
Friday, May 16, 2008
The man behind the counter handed me my sandwich and I began to walk through the aisles a little aimlessly trying not to bump into anyone. I stopped and looked at the jars of capers, jams, pasta sauces, special cooking tools, smelling cheeses, looking at wine bottles; I must have walked around for 20 minutes in a slight state of utopia. I could not bring myself to purchase anything just yet, I was feeling rather intimidated. So tomorrow, I think I will return and buy out the place and maybe even cook up a storm.
Sometimes it’s the little things….the little things in life that can give us a surge of happiness.
Note to Self: Do not forget about the little things….
Oh…….the sandwich was perfection! So was the Toblerone I ate for desert......
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
Monday I went to the emergency room because I had a "gut" feeling that something was not quite right. I was completely prepared to be told to go home as a silly girl, who was worried about nothing and just wasting important doctors time for nothing, however, I was immediately admitted into the hospital and told that I could have dropped dead at any moment. This is not a joke.
Last week I noticed swelling under my right arm. It became quite painful, very quickly. I thought I must have strained it somehow, but as the days wore on, it was so painful, that six Advil could not relieve the pain. I was also experiencing a fever and waking up in the middle of the night drenched in perspiration. I also had a cough for several weeks, which was not getting any better, and recently noticed that climbing stairs made me short of breath. The following day I went to the doctor and she put me on anti-biotic. She told me it seemed as though I had an infection and it was trying to come out of my arm, instead of my nose or mouth, which may have been caused by my deodorant clogging my glands. She told me that if my arm tuned black and blue, I should immediately go to the emergency room. I thought this comment was strange, being that I had just been diagnosed with an infection, nonetheless, I was prepared to go home and feel better within a couple of days.
When I got home that night, my veins started to appear like a road map across my chest and down my arm. My arm was also swollen. I did not recognize that as a sign of ‘black and blue’, so I went to bed. That night, I woke up, drenched in sweat and this time was having trouble breathing. I assumed I was just breaking my fever. The following morning I felt a little better and went about my day. I assumed that in a couple of days, the anti-biotic would kick in and I would start to feel like my old self again. A few days later, I was getting my daughter ready for school and I felt faint. I almost passed out, right there in the kitchen while making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but somehow I gained my balance, drove her to school and actually volunteered there until after lunchtime. As I was driving home, I felt that something wasn’t quite right. I was not feeling my strong healthy self, my arm was still in pain and very swollen, in fact it was almost twice the size of my other arm. I decided to stop by the emergency room on the way home, with the hope they would tell me I was just getting rid of an infection.
After receiving an ultrasound on my arm, followed by a terrible CT scan of my chest - now let me tell you…this procedure is not pleasant - they inject a horrible dye into your veins, so they can get a good picture of what’s happening inside your body, it feels like poison, it tastes like metal, it feels hot, it feels like you wet your pants, and although it’s over with quickly, it isn’t something I would like to do again. The doctor immediately diagnosed me with a blood clot in my arm. It had traveled through my heart and into my lungs. It is still in my arm and lungs and by pure chance or luck, missed the main artery of my heart, thus not killing me. The cause they say….birth control….I could not believe it. After three days in hospital with nurses and doctors coming in every few hours to draw my blood like vampires, check my blood pressure, monitor my heart, inject me with medication and so on, I lay there bewildered and emotional that this has happened to me. I simply cannot believe I am laying here a sick person, in a hospital with sick people, because of birth control.
I am home now, I have to inject myself each morning with blood thinners, which is horrible, and I have to take a pill version of blood thinners for, at least the next 6-months. This means that if I cut myself, I could bleed to death, if I hit my head, I could bleed to death, if I bump myself I am going to bruise easily, and thus may cause more blood clots. In essence, I have to treat my physical body like a delicate flower for the next six months while it repairs itself. I cannot even eat green leafy vegetables, as vitamin KI, found in green leafy vegetables, combats that blood thinning medications, which by the way is a form of Rat poison. Could it get any worse? Probably, but at this point I am questioning if sex is even worth it. Well… ok, sex is definitely worth it, but this experience has my eyes wide open on the subject of birth control.
Almost all my girlfriends are on some form of birth control, which most of them get from the free clinic. Are they educated about the risks? Are you educated on the pros and cons of birth control? If you knew all the side effects it can cause, having a baby might be a hell of a lot easier and a lot more rewarding. I know I am being a little cynical, but I certainly know what it is like to have a baby, and I know what it is like not to want a baby.
Choices…...we have many choices. However, we should be very well informed about our choices. My doctor never told me I would be at risk for blood clots, or any risks for that matter. He knows my entire health history, my age, my shoe size. Not only that, he gave me free samples and sent me on my way. There was no brochure inside the package with any form of warning labels on them. I did my own research on the Internet on this particular form of birth control (NuvaRing) and must have overlooked that blood clots were a side effect, or maybe I just ignored them thinking that none of the side effects would ever happen to me; after all, I am a healthy, strong 35 year old woman, who is immune to any kind of dangerous, life threatening side effects and my doctor prescribed it to me…….right? Wrong…. In fact, I just researched NuvaRing and there are several lawsuits pending as it has caused many blood clots in woman, some have even died.
This has been a terribly emotional, stressful and horrific experience for me that I am still trying to digest and make sense of what has happened.
Please, lovely ladies…..I beg you to ask questions. I urge you to get educated. Do your research. I advise you to know exactly what you are putting into your body. Men too…….ask your ladies if they have questioned everything, everything………. Woman are the too beautiful, wonderful, caring, lovely and precious to be lost to something as sheepishly simple as birth control.