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LOST; and in search of my inner Lesley Gore

12 Feb

Have you ever been lost?  Truly in a spot of unrecognized territory?  I have.  Once, while vacationing on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.  I took my husband and two children on an adventure we will never forget.  I am an avid hiker, at least the Rivka I am most familiar with, I can say, is an avid hiker.  So to an unfamiliar trail I took my family, the call of true adventure my thrill.  We began our trek to the hidden waterfall with somewhat of a visible trail to guide our way.  And though at many times we were unsure if our chosen steps were leading us in the direction we hoped to go, we were offered a smidgen of hope from a random passerby to assure us our desired destination did, in fact, exist.  So while we had a successful venture to the pool of water I had longed to see, our hike back to safety took a wrong turn.  The rain began to fall…and fall, and fall.  And with it, the trails were completely washed away.  Banana palm trees lay fallen in the mud.   Our once familiar markers were sailing down the, now flowing, creek leaving us truly lost and in a place of unrecognizable territory.  Gone were the one or two previous people who kept us on course.  Gone was solid ground, only slippery mud and a husband/father with a guitar (because every hiker totes a musical instrument, right?), a wife/mother with a bit of fear lurking inside her, an optimistic boy, and a little girl who promptly spilled the rationed trail mix as if paying homage to the ritualistic offerings from the island’s past.  In that moment, flip-flop bedecked, we the Bent family were considering how it might feel to sleep in jungle-like surroundings with no food or water left for sustenance.  Yet plenty of rain and who knows what else!  We obviously made it out, thanks to the guitar and the little boy.  No questions please.

Well, here I am again.  Lost.

Where is Rivka?  An honest to goodness question circling within my soul.  Hello…anybody home?

Oh the logistics of my whereabouts are accounted for, but the “me” I am so familiar with seems to be missing.  I am not depressed.  I know what that looks and feels like.  I am not oppressed, I have been there too.  I am simply too pooped to come out to play.  Every day for the past three weeks I have awoke in the morning and begun my search.  Or I lie awake through the night unable to properly sleep, thus getting a jump start on my quest.  I am looking for my Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows.  I am hoping for the feelings of “everything that’s wonderful is how I feel when we’re together” to return into my view again.  You know, my Lesley Gore!

Yes I have been lost before.  However, I have never before been in a predicament of unfamiliarity as result of too much pressure.  I have been blue, I have been burdened, I have been overwhelmed, and I have been tired.  But being in a place of enduring the weight of too many difficult circumstances culminating simultaneously equating to a pressurized intensity unbearable to my body, mind, and soul, is new terrain.

Unable to speak.  Unable to write.  Unable to muster up the energy for thought.  Pressurized, and thus, vaporized.

I began to formulate an ‘SOS’ type text to send out to my girlfriends who I figured could handle a cry for help.  But even that weight felt too heavy to lift; end result, delete.  Prayer.  Ah, the Heavenward thoughts which unite the human spirit with the spirit of One.  Key word in previous sentence being, “thoughts”…mine are bankrupt.  Fill in the blanks.

As I sit here in my living room writing, post a three week hiatus, my husband enters into the room to inform me our plumbing has backed up yet again.  We have a root ball blocking our sewage flow.  Tomorrow the dig will begin, at least I will know where to find me…on another path leading toward shit.  I think I’ve written about that in the past.  Sorry, the color brown seems to suit me.  And a statement like that does echo the voice of depression, I apologize.  I am merely utilizing my literary license to invoke the melodramatic.  Truly, sewage problems I can handle…I know how to squat over a bag covered bucket!

Sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows…the search continues.  “Lesley, are you out there?!”

P.s. It is a good sign that I was able to formulate a post.  Cheers to that!  Now may you please enjoy the song, and remember it’s that time of year again when the baby king hides out in a cake.  😉

The Normal Translation

22 May

I have spent the majority of this day and last night’s eve contemplating my feelings of exhaustion.  Especially as I have had the good fortune of receiving more than an adequate nights sleep, several nights in succession.  Mind you, I am continuing my ‘full function’ of the days activities, but all the while dealing with the feeling of needing a nap.  The ideas I wrestle with are as minimally invasive as ‘do I need to take vitamins?’, to the more intrusive, ‘perhaps I have cancer’, thoughts.  To which I answer in the following manner; ‘if I do need vitamins I’m out of luck because I never follow through with taking them–yuck!’ AND, ‘if I do have cancer eating away at some part of my body, then I guess I’ll be dead in about a year.’  I know, I know, not exactly the type of “proactive” mentality I normally purport having.  I assure you, however, I examine my answers utilizing the most lighthearted thought process even though what comes forth resembles a rather melancholic tone.

At any rate, tonight I have discovered the source of my sandbags, the dip in my dew, the dent in my hull…otherwise considered the cause of my fatigue.  My new “normal” lives cautiously afloat the fragility of the health of my son, Cole.  And in my constant attendance to his well being, whether that attendance is in thought or deed, I see that I shoulder an amount of emotional stress which translates to–or manifests as–the demise of my stamina.  For instance, the fixed appointments of the day had to be cancelled due to Cole having had a hard night, last night.  His hard night was a result of severe nausea and abdominal pain.  And today, he tells me he has back pain and his symptoms increase when he lies down–the upset stomach symptoms.

Now in families where there has not been the trauma of a brain tumor thrust into their “normal”, nausea and abdominal pain equates to the flu or food poisoning…or quite possibility, appendicitis.  But not in my normal.  In MY normal, severe nausea and abdominal pain with an increase of symptomatology upon prostration means….need I really point it out?!

Entonces aqui estoy sentado al lado de mi hijo tratando tener confianza, fe, y esperanza en lo que no debe ser mi ‘normal’.  Espero que el tiene el gripe y nada mas.  Pero aqui estoy sentado, mirando, esperando, finjo tranquilidad pero con la sabiduría que quizas mas tarde o mañana vamos tener que visitar un doctor.  Y con ese normal, es dificil sentirme tranquilizo.

Did you catch that?  If not, the base of the meaning (though you can cut and paste into an online translator if you so desire), is that my norm is in constant motion.  And though I sit here on my couch wearing the appearance of docility, I am actually a good example of Newton’s laws of motion…perpetual and constant.  Which can quite possibly have a draining effect.  And being I have this new realization or epiphany (choosing to use the word wrapped in religion vs. simply derived from the French language), I will stop my ignorant complaints, for knowledge has filled the void of ignorance and to go about my days in wonderment as before, would be to act the fool.  ‘Oi Vay’… a tired fool is the worst of its kind!  And we don’t need a translator for that–she looks the same in any language! 😉  No, that will not be me.  I will attempt to embrace the fatigue and contemplate it no more.

“the sweet surrender to Norm”

**for those of you receiving this update on iphone or through email, I do have a youtube song attachment included.  …Enjoy!


8 May

Through the generosity of an anonymous source, Brian and I (Cole, Esther, and friends that came to visit while we were there), had the privilege of spending a few days at Crystal Cove state park in Laguna Beach–a couple weeks back.  Crystal Cove is a place fond to all of my maiden and Bent family.  Essentially, “the Cove”, as we call it, took part in molding and shaping each of my siblings and I into who we were, are, and will be.  I was born in 1970, the true year my family began (my humble estimation of course), but I am told my parents and the elder siblings ventured to our private coastal get away in the years preceding me.  As a child of the Cove, we had freedom that sadly my own children have not had the opportunity to experience.  It was a private beach and to ensure the privacy of its residents, Alan (and his little mutt of a dog “Ocious”–short for ferocious), patrolled the beach, the road, and the homes on foot (and bike) with a shotgun under his arm or slung over his shoulder.  I don’t remember having boundaries of any sort while there.  I’m sure, in my infancy and toddler-hood, I was more closely watched.  But as a child I had the uninhibited ability to roam the coast and tide-pools at my leisure…as did us all.  As an adolescent, the roaming continued even though the beach had lost its “privacy status” as it was traded from the Irvine family and given over to the state of California in 1979.  Even so, our mindset was that it was ours.  And Alan continued his antics though now the state park rangers had something to say about his shotgun totting ways.

Throughout my 42 years I have experienced love at the Cove, loss at the Cove, joy, sadness, adventure, little green men, perverse men fondling themselves in the crevices of the cliff, starfish, abalone, shells, dolphins, whales, sea lions, seagulls, pelicans, lobster traps, skunks, movie stars, common folk, driftwood, sea life, tar, splinters, stickers from plants, etc.

I have had every kind of holiday, through out the years, at the Cove.  Had sibling fights, watched siblings break things, like a foot and glass, jammed my toes on the boardwalk more times than necessary, fell in love, fell out of love, fell in love again.  Attended one, two, three–(whose counting?)–weddings.  Had parties, played volleyball, rode horses, lit fireworks, learned about drugs and the city of Newport jail, learned about chorizo and eggs, and had my first fruit smoothie in the Benson house.  I would go on, but at this point I am truly only indulging myself with the memories, and if I continue,  I will get lost and unable to find my way back to the point of this post!

Nowadays the homes are called cottages, and they are for rent to the general public.  So to treat my weary soul, my anonymous donor sent me and my family off to the Cove and we basked in the serenity of the sea life and the slow pace required to do “nothing”.  I confess that one day, when Brian and I were alone, we both felt awkward.  Mostly because we were both accustomed to having friends (whom we considered like family) to interact with, either at their home or on the beach.  So we found ourselves a bit uneasy, until the evening when several of the former residents had come to the Cove to celebrate the birthday of a mutual friend.  Finally, the hustle and bustle of catching up with friends and having people in and out made us calm down and rest–as was the intent of our being there.  And when the patriarch of the “Yacht Club” rustled the feathers of the park ranger, as was his custom when living there, I knew I was home.  But then the party was over and the group packed up and left.  Thankfully Esther and two friends showed up for a sleepover, so when we all awoke in the morning the house was full of life and interaction…just as I remember.

Which brings me to a place where I need to wrap up this writing.  I honestly don’t remember the original intent of my starting it.  Did I want to impart something profound about rest?  Was I going to simply share the experience?  Did I have a comedic angle?  …questions that will linger unanswered;  for life has again resumed at a rate too great for me to keep hold of.  So instead of conveying drops of wisdom or truth, I will simply leave with a photo collage of our few days respite at Crystal Cove State Park.  The locale of my formative years, and the locale my ashes will receive upon my departure from this world.  …it has served me well.

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