Rainy Day Writing

Writing, Reading, Inspirations and Aspirations

Mantras for Old Age

This mantra has a deep, dark black aura, the color of a black hole in space whose gravitational pull is all powerful, completely unavoidable, and ultimately fatal. Just like old age.

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My Bling Fling with Body Holes

I didn’t really miss the earrings because my hair was so big you couldn’t see them anyways, and if I wore dangly earrings they were in danger of bumping into my shoulder pads

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Toilet Paper is Hard to Write On (and other helpful advice)

This is a revelation to me. Or maybe I already knew it but forgot. That happens a lot lately.

I guess it might be because I don’t often have the need to write on toilet paper.

Maybe because unlike most every poor woman in those cheesy Made for TV movies, I’ve never been abducted by a bad man and dragged across the country in a strange car and had to talk my captor into letting me use the restroom at an out of the way gas station in the desert where I had to try to write a “HELP ME! I’m being kidnapped and the license plate number is …” note on toilet paper with an eyebrow pencil and then throw it out the window in hopes that the station attendant will find it and call the police before it gets blown into a sage brush and mistaken for a used wad of paper someone left there in the middle of the night because the restroom door was locked and all this because there was no mirror in the bathroom and I don’t carry lipstick in my purse so that wasn’t even an option.

But today I was stuck in my own bathroom for way longer than I expected, and of course I didn’t bring my phone in with me because I like to fancy myself superior to all those people who can’t leave their phone out of sight for even a quick duck into the loo. But then when the quick duck turned into a more prolonged visit I was sorry I hadn’t brought my phone with me because now I couldn’t browse real estate ads for homes I’ll never be able to afford. Or scroll through Pinterest ideas on how to make stunning bathroom organizers out of card board boxes, recycled bits of wrapping paper and washi tape. And I didn’t even have a notebook in there next to that pen on the counter top because I was being fastidious last week and put it back beside the computer. Dumb ass.

So when I decided I should be more productive and write a poem or a blog post instead of wishing I was at least browsing through that Lands End Fall 2018 catalog I found on the floor next to the toilet and then threw into the recycling bin last week…dumb ass, I decided that I could use toilet paper to write on, because it is, after all, paper.

Except that it really isn’t or at least isn’t paper that is useful for purposes of writing anything on, unless it’s an emergency “HELP ME” note. And if you are writing it with eyebrow pencil I hope it has a built in sharpener and you aren’t long winded like me and can keep it short and to the point or you’re pretty much already a rotting corpse in the desert darling I am so sorry to inform you.

So I tried to write on toilet paper. Which is a pain in the a$$ because it’s soft and flexible, which is great if you are using it for it’s intended purposes, but it sucks to write on. You have to smooth it out on a flat surface and use your thumb and forefinger to keep it taught so that the pen can glide over the surface without skipping and it buckles and tears and is pretty useless as a vehicle for recording your thoughts on.

But by all means keep a little wad in your purse at all times, ladies, because you never know when you might need it.

And carry lipstick even if you never wear it. In case there is a mirror in that desert gas station restroom.

I may have just saved your life.

My work for today is done!

You’re welcome.

Teach The Children

We should teach the children the truth. Otherwise, we risk raising up a bunch of snowflakes with an elevated view of ourselves, one that minimizes our mistakes and makes them infinitely easier to repeat.

Teach them about the Indian Schools, the real cancel culture of our history, and the Trail of Tears.

Teach them about slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, fire hoses and red lining.

Teach them about the murders of black church goers in South Carolina and the beatings on the bridge in Selma, Alabama and the Rodney King beating.

Teach them about the murders of Ahmaud Arbury, George Floyd and Brianna Taylor.

History should not be taught exclusively to make us feel good but to make us confront reality with the hopes of understanding the past and how it haunts our present.

Without it, how can we exorcise the demons that diminish us?

Teach the children truth and let them decide what they think of this country and what they want to do about it and how they want the world they are living in to change and grow and what they want it to become.

If they don’t know the struggle, how can they judge our progress and recognize our heroes?

How can they assess the challenge and approach it with integrity and resolve?

How can they even begin to understand and appreciate the value of equality and justice, if they don’t know about the weight of inequality and injustice?

Teach the children the truth, and watch them run with it.

Red Wine Fueled Musings of an Embarrassingly Average Senior Lady

I feel so grown up. You see, I’m drinking a glass of wine!

All by myself! In front of my laptop!

I feel downright Sylvia Plath-ish.

I can’t remember the last time I did this. Mainly because I’m two sips in and already feeling it in my head. What a lightweight!

Furthermore, this wine is red. 14 Hands Hot to Trot Smooth Red Blend. I like it, actually. Which is a little surprising.

You see, I am not a huge red wine fan. I prefer something light, a little fruity but dry, not sweet but not overly acidic. Like Pinot Grigio, some Chardonnays, or even a bubbly Prosecco. None of which go to my head after two sips.

Speaking of going to my head, I need a feckin haircut so bad my mirror won’t even look at me anymore.

I am relieved that winter is coming so I can hide my shame beneath a fun knitted hat.

You see, I love my hairdresser like a sister, but I also detect that she is an anti-vaxxer. Last time I was there she shared that she would not be getting the vaccine because she has an immune system issue. Then went on to tell me that she believed her husband had gotten the virus early in the pandemic so she possibly had covid anti-bodies. Then finished by telling me she thinks she has a good immune system and would likely be okay if she got sick.

It all seemed vaguely contradictory to me, but I hope to God she is right. Because I do love her a lot.

So for the time being, I am trimming my own hair while waiting, with mounting frustration and disappointment, for the virus to stop killing us.

And yes, I look like shit.

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh, Red Wine!

The reason I’m sipping red wine in spite of it’s curiously inebriating effects on me is that my doctor gave me the “You have six months to get it together or you will need to go on medication for your pre-diabetes, high cholesterol issues” lecture.

Ugh! So the reality of my situation is that I am not a special 63 year old highly fit and probably gonna live to 95 years old American woman, despite my past life as an aerobics instructor. I’m so ordinary and average it disgusts me.

You mean all that kicking and scratching (as the old man loved to refer to it back in the day) did not provide me with residual immunity to these diseases of lifestyle so exasperatingly common to the typical aging American? WTH?

Of course the old man and I discussed this because we basically take all our meals together. And sleep together. And tag around with one another, (and Cosmo), pretty much 24/7. Which takes a toll sometimes.

But that is a different post of a more delicate nature and we won’t get into that here.

So after a little discussion about how we need to change our diets to keep me from dying, he suggested I should start drinking a glass of red wine a day. Which was crafty, because he doesn’t drink. But he does eat a lot. So this one dietary change he suggested I should try to get my lipid levels down will have zero effect on his culinary life. See. Crafty.

But what the hell. I’m game. Far be it from me to change the status quo around here just because I might die at any moment from embarrassingly run of the mill causes if I don’t get my shit together soon.

So here I am, drinking my glass of wine, wobbly in the head, losing my train of thought, battling a red wine headache.

And this is just day one.

Something tells me it’s going to be a long six months.

I hope you are faring well peeps.

An Antidote for Environmental Despair — Hakai Magazine

Reposted from Hakai Magazine.

As the environmental problems facing our world compound, despair may feel like a rational response. In her new book, Hope Matters: Why Changing the Way We Think Is Critical to Solving the Environmental Crisis, environmental scholar Elin Kelsey makes an evidence-based argument for choosing hope over despair. Kelsey holds up examples of how ecosystems—including along…

An Antidote for Environmental Despair — Hakai Magazine

Ponderous Questions to Ponder

I didn’t write much in 2020. I never felt like I had enough wisdom to write insightfully about anything important and I lacked the proper frame of mind to write light and witty.

I wish I had the gift of someone like Dave Chappelle who can cut to the quick and make you laugh simultaneously. I don’t.

I’m not sure I feel any wiser or funnier at the moment, but it’s a new year so it can’t hurt to make a new effort.

Last year was hard. Devastating, actually.

This year felt more hopeful, but the hope was fragile, at best, and was swiftly and seriously damaged by the events that took place in D.C. on Wednesday.

As always, I find myself responding to tragic events by questioning everything in hopes of gaining some understanding. This is the bane of my psyche. The need to understand things.

Looking for answers starts with questions, so I want to share some that have been on my mind, not in an attempt to explain them or provide answers, but just to get them out of my head and onto the page. Give them some light.

These are some of the questions that the events of the past year have brought to mind:

  • When did condemning violence become a political exercise instead of a moral obligation?
  • At what point did we choose to not just edit truth but to abandon it to fit our purposes? Or has it always been so?
  • Why do we fear paying higher taxes for universal healthcare more than we fear losing everything in the event of a debilitating accident or serious illness?
  • What do we gain by perpetuating national myths about American exceptionalism in the face of massive fails that threaten to rend the fabric of our society and threaten our democracy?
  • Why did the folks who thought they were going to save American democracy this week dress and act like characters from:
  • A. The Beverly Hillbillies
  • B. Call of Duty
  • C. A Midsomer Night’s Dream
  • When was Dumb and Dumber elevated from adolescent dumbass comedy into inspirational historical fiction?
  • Is South Park inspired by Satan or is it legitimate social commentary?
  • Can you serve God and Money or is it God or Money? Ditto the NRA.
  • What is more authoritarian, condemnation and punishment of the press, political opponents and dissenters, or collecting taxes to fund a more fair and equitable system of government for everyone?
  • What isn’t Fascist about politicians, voters and media personalities requiring police protection due to threats of violence and even death at the hands of militant militia members?
  • Can we even discuss or debate politics anymore without devolving into demonizing one another, or is it just too much fun the way it is?
  • Are you tired of all the drama and chaos yet?
  • Are you ready for a change?

Yeah, me too.

Happy New year. Here’s to new efforts to serve, protect and humor each other.

Copyright: 2021 by Ilona Elliott

Enfold Yourself in Small Comforts — Live & Learn

A NY Times editorial by Margaret Renkyl.

Reblogged from the always inspiring Live & Learn blog by David Kanigan.

The scent of sun-dried sheets fresh off the clothesline can completely change my state of mind. Like the sense of well-being that comes over me when a song from my youth is playing on the radio, the smell of line-dried sheets takes me home to Alabama, back to a time when all my beloved elders […]

Enfold Yourself in Small Comforts — Live & Learn

A World Without Men, Amen

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Photo: Ilona Elliott

The trees and the clouds are just as beautiful as ever.

The mountains just as substantial.

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Tatoosh view by Ilona Elliott

The oceans as steady.

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Photo by Ilona Elliott

The stars are as bright

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Photo by Jeff Nissen on Pexels.com

…as ever.

 

The birds, bunnies and bees carry on in the garden with blissful disregard for upheavals in the world of men.

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Photo by Ilona Elliott

 

This sense of self that man seems to possess with such abundance feels like it will be our undoing.

I love God’s world with unwavering passion but the moral constructs of the world of men are a frustration and a misery.

©2020 by Ilona Elliott

 

 

Pandemics, Proselytizers, Politics and Pollsters

Maybe, as he’s getting closer to death, he is hedging his bets…

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