And I broke my heart in two, one for me and one for you

My mom was a very crafty person and loved to crochet. When she first was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she crocheted all the time, a way to help keep her brain active. As time progressed and the disease began to take hold, it became more difficult to complete the more intricate designs of the squares she created in the months and weeks before. Soon enough, she moved on to making tightly constructed circles. Eventually, she just held the empty needles in her hand, roughly simulating the act of creating.

alzheimers

I’m on the pursuit of happiness

It’s funny to think that life events aren’t totally official until they’ve been mentioned online in some capacity. Although I’d argue I live a lot of legit, undocumented life offline, there’s something to be said about the things we want recorded as part of our Official Personal History.

I went back and forth on the need for a “public announcement” about this, namely because it feels a little silly and self-important. But here we are, May 1st, and I’m sitting here at 5 a.m. trying to figure out how to craft the proper public statement to commemorate this day that I have been waiting for for the past 18 months.

So here goes–making it official: I’m leaving today to go to Iceland to attend a creative residency program about an hour’s drive outside of the capital city. I’ll be there for a month. Continue reading

I Ain’t Down Yet.

The stages of Alzheimer’s are so difficult and complex to try to explain to someone. I know hearing someone say “you just wouldn’t understand” almost sounds aloof, but it’s not even like that. It’s more just like–where do you begin? It would be like trying to explain something like city trash pick up to someone–it’s shit that’s so commonplace background noise that you don’t even know how to dissect it from what the rest of “normal” life is supposed to look like.

I never really know what to say when people ask about my mom. I don’t know how much detail is fair to give, or really necessary. It’s a kind gesture on their behalf to acknowledge that they care and recognize this thing happening in your life, but it also makes you feel like you’re always exposed and vulnerable to this fact, especially on the days you’re feeling particularly exposed and vulnerable about it.

It’s funny because I always think that I’ve gotten over it to a certain point–that this shit has been reality so long that there’s no reverting to complete sadness about it anymore because how can you legit cry over something that you’ve been carrying around that long? But then something happens–I smell her perfume while I’m out running errands, or for a brief second, some brain glitch makes me think that she’s just at work or reminds me of what it felt like to sit in the passenger seat while she drove to the mall. Suddenly I actually remember that these things were once real and happened. I used to have a mother. She used to know who I was.

These moments are easily the hardest to deal with because for a second there is so much happiness and hope and then suddenly everything snaps back into place, like some shitty reality rubber band, and it’s back to remembering that point and time is Over. Continue reading

It’s the Climb.

The world feels so much smaller during the wintertime–days shorter, sun weaker. The range in which I travel and move is different, too. I find it harder and harder to divert from my usual pathways, to expand my radius beyond work and home and the grocery store. In some ways I don’t mind–although the holidays were lovely in their way, I was glad for them to be over and for quiet normalcy to return. I’m enjoying making dinner again, heating up leftovers for lunch, having my set schedule of weekly events with weekend variation. Granted, the routine never seems to last long for me, but maybe that’s what makes me appreciate the periods where it actually comes together even more. Continue reading

Challenge Accepted.

So, my lovely writer/Internet friend, Kate, recently tagged me in a writer/blogger challenge to answer questions regarding my writing process. And true to my writing process, I’ve been writing this in bits and have been dragging out actually posting it. But it’s Saturday morning, I’ve got nothing to do for the next few hours, and it’s time to finally get to writing! It’s hard to believe how many years have passed since Kate and I first had the pleasure of working together on Lucy Magazine (RIP), and in that time, I’ve had the pleasure to watch her pursue her writing dreams full force. No smoke blowing when I say that it’s been an inspiration, and I’m super stoked to see all the ways she’s continuing to kill it. So, please, go check out her latest endeavor, and follow the project on everyone’s favorite NSA tool.

And so, without further ado, my responses to the challenge (followed by the people I’m tagging to complete it next!) Continue reading

Good Grief…

Alright, another shameless plug/plea…

I posted about Grief: A Life in 5 Stages last year when the first volume came out, and now we’re at it again…

grief

Peace, by Heather Shaw

Because I paid for that one out-of-pocket, and can’t really afford to do so again this year, I launched a Kickstarter in the hopes of raising the funds needed to come out with vol 2.

So, if you liked what you saw last year, please consider donating to the cause this year. And if you’d like to be a part of the project, send your submissions my way! Looking for original art, photography, and writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essay)! You can send submissions (jpeg files for art or Word docs for writing) to sara @ iamnotajedi.com

 

 

Silver Linings.

I’ve been posting a lot recently about my recent frustrations and navigations through life lessons learned, but I feel it fair to report that the past couple of weeks have also had their strange silver linings.  Continue reading

Oh, deer.

Happy Halloween, deer friends! (Like what I did there?)

Apparently this last-minute costume idea was a winner. Many people, including my own brother, did not recognize me when I posted pics! And considering this was a last-minute idea that came together using about $5 worth of supplies, I’d say it was a success! Special thanks to Moose for use of the headband and Kristine for the white and black face crayons!Halloween

A little shameless cross-promotion…

Hi, friends!
So, I’ve spent the past couple of months working on another little project and it’s finally LIVE to the public! Grief: A Life in 5 Stages is a lit mag focused on the 5 stages of grief–denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance–both in terms of death and other life situations. Contributions include works of fiction and non-fiction, poetry, photography, and original art.
Check out the content that made it to our first printed edition, and if you have something you’d like to add–there’s still time! We will be posting new content to the website on a rolling basis! (You can contribute directly through the site or via the5stages@gmail.com).

If you’d like to purchase a hard copy of the magazine, you can do so by making a donation on our site and including order info (your name/how many copies you’d like, address) in the Special Notes section. Suggested donation per copy is $3. Print run is limited, so order now before they’re gone!

Our feelings were caught and stopped that ring; dulls the fire, works ’til they stop singing

Being sick the past few days meant that I’ve pretty much been homebound, which then bled into my normal work-from-home days, which means I’ve spent more time at home the past few days than I probably have in months. It’s been weird, but oddly welcomed, although I could have done without the feverish hell that was Friday through Monday. I’m feeling more or less better now. I think a lot of times illness coincides with life things, and it just seemed that perhaps my body was telling me it was time to rid my body/my life of a lot of different toxins. It was good to be forced to completely stop everything, and just recharge and heal.

Continue reading