Posted by: Mary W. Farkas | July 15, 2010

Night passages

I am an insomniac. For medical reasons too numerous to list here I can’t take sleeping medicine. So, when I can’t sleep and don’t want to make noise to wake my spouse or bother the neighbors, I web surf. I look at online shopping, imagining an unlimited income and a larger space.
I don’t need anything. I need to find the things I have.
In February, 2008, Jim and I moved into this apartment. Long story short, the movers came a week earlier than I expected. They threw everything into boxes, taped them shut, and dumped them in the new apartment space. Anger, depression, inertia, and a whole slew of other physical and emotional states have kept me from doing much about it. Last Friday, a darling friend and her teen age sons came to spend the afternoon helping us clear the living room. They made endless trips to the dumpster (mostly junk mail) and were just wonderful. The boys want to come back and help again. These are special people.
Other friends have chimed in and want to help.
It’s taken me all of this time to even be able to admit to myself that there is this issue. My dear sister has talked to me about it, and I have listened, but I never really heard. Hindsight is 20/20, they say. They say a lot of things.
So, in my happy optimist world, we start from here.
Back to the theme of this post: how to pass the night when I don’t sleep.
I read. I am reading a biography of John Steinbeck. He is one of my favorite fiction authors. There is such a variety in his work. I can read a novel, story, play, or news article of his again after years and find whole new meaning, nuance, and joy. He wrote his words to be read aloud. His words still sing and make images.
I read all kinds of other authors, too. But John Steinbeck has always been my go-to guy when I need to get through the night and desire to read something that won’t require all of my brain. It isn’t there…not without any sleep.

Posted by: Mary W. Farkas | June 28, 2010

Oil Spill in the Gulf: Human Crisis?

Read More…

Posted by: Mary W. Farkas | June 21, 2010

Late Night

It is after 2AM and I am still awake. I had one cup of coffee today. Insomnia is the master of my life. I ate dinner earlier, partook of moderate exercise in the early evening, did the dishes, spent a little time on the computer, and went to bed before midnight.
No sleep. Toss and turn. Got up, made some ryebread toast, nibbled that. Still awake.

Posted by: Mary W. Farkas | November 18, 2010

In a new place

We moved to a new city, a larger apartment, and back home.

We left Alameda on November 1, 2010. A wonderful crew from Chipman Relocations came and loaded us up into the moving van. They unloaded our things at top speed without breaking a single item.

We’re moving in. We didn’t unpack at our last apartment; see prior blog entry “Night Passages” for details.


Posted by: Mary W. Farkas | October 8, 2010

Moved To Tears

Emotions swirl; words are said, feelings are hurt.

A high form of grace is the intimate knowledge that God is with you. A form of madness is when one thinks he or she knows the mind of God. A relationship exists between these states that is a like the symbol of the two sides of a coin; this is more like the mucilage and the image on a paper postage stamp, each a unique state, and yet without use if the other state does not exist.

Breaches of intimacy are damaging; the rejection of the other when bonds are broken bites through promises, dreams, and possibilities. Personalities change, sometimes abruptly, when, let’s say, a long marriage ends. There had been the two unique personalities of each of the spouses, and now a new “person” forms where the two cleave together. Now, in motion as swift as birth, to cleave assumes its other definition: to divide. The two stand alone and their former love relationship is a corpse fallen between them. From this death come new lives as strangers, friends or adversaries.

Posted by: Mary W. Farkas | August 20, 2010

Referred Pain

I have no children. I chose to not have children. My friends have children and their children are my friends.

My good friend’s oldest child left for college yesterday. His mother is deeply affected by his moving on; she’s reminded of when her older sweetheart drove off on his college adventure with the piercing sweet sadness of both young love and maternal yearning.

I knew her sweetheart before I met her. He was a fellow resident in the community where I lived. Probably the nicest man I will ever have the privilege to know. When he died earlier this year, the circle of friends from college drew closer. I assisted her in planning a memorial service for him, in his best male friend’s home. The faces of our darling friends from college showed extreme pain during the memorial; they recalled his humor and good will afterwards in a flutter of food, coffee, and lots of talk.

Loss is biting bad pain. With the wisdom born of only time’s passing, I can see how many losses have repaired themselves in findings. When I mourned the loss of my one true love, I moved on, hurting outwardly. I missed our friendship, our short-lived love affair. Then I found him again. We grew together and were married.

I seek comfort for my friend. Her son is away to college. The best times of his life await him. She’s hurting, and the best I could say was, “Take comfort that he has gone to college. He’s not going to war.” I wanted to slap the words out of the air, I apologized for my poor choice; I just wanted to acknowledge that he’s gone but not in danger.

The are a lucky many who will meet my friend’s son at college. They will have an excellent friend for life.

Posted by: Mary W. Farkas | August 4, 2010

Equal rights under law

My darling sister Kristin, and her wife, Robin are legally wed. Mazel Tov.

California state Prop. 8  is ruled unconstitutional by Judge Vaughn Walker.  Alleluia.

I am so pleased because this allows Robin and Kris an important, no crucial, civil right that fear and hate from people who do not know them took away. I felt pissing hot mad. Not so much, right now. It is my fervent hope that the fear mongers and haters will not appeal. It is their right, but I cannot put my brain around legalizing fear and hate.

Posted by: Mary W. Farkas | July 31, 2010

Screen for Content

There is a great deal of variety in political thought and writing in the USA today. This nation has its range of pundits from the near-socialist or traditional Marxist-Leninist communism, to the far, far right-wing who are barely indistinguishable from the far left.

This author is a liberal. I am liberal by birth, child of two survivors of the Great Depression and World War II and the fight to save civilization as we know it; they were survivors of McCarthyism, Vietnam, Watergate, and California governor Ronald Reagan. I am the product of the good outcomes of the New Deal, the GI bill and its companion law, of the traditional Democratic Party, union or guild member, left coast progressives.

However, events in my adult life have made me cautious and somewhat conservative financially. It was my good fortune to marry someone who was very, very careful with his money, and always thought of the long stretch: he saved most of his income, even when his income was small. We have been fortunate in that there was a long period where we saved and invested. When misfortune hit: a long illness, loss of employment, and disability, we have been able to depend on returns on investments and my spouse’s entitlement payments. It is true that in our 50’s we are renters, but homeownership eluded us.

There was also a mingling of political attitudes when we merged our lives. I met, and collided against Republican and Libertarian values and ethics. Yes, Republicans have ethics. This is the old-fashioned republicanism of Goldwater, Rockefeller, and small businessmen. This isn’t the Republican extreme we have met in this century, this is a mid-twentieth century fiscal conservative, small government Republican who some can recall from Middle America and the membership of Rotary, Optimists, and Elks. The Vietnam War acceleration by Democratic presidents made him a Republican: they said they had a secret plan to end the war. By the time we met in college, the Libertarians had caught his attention and his vote.

I have examined my attitude towards governmental largesse. It seemed a far-off and unforeseeable possible future that then  became reality in 2007 when my husband had the first of four strokes. I was aware of Social Security as a retirement and disability. I knew that most of us contributed toward this program and I knew recipients of same.

When the fourth stroke hit, and left my spouse without much use in his left arm, leg, and a reduced field of vision, I became aware of how rapidly financial stability can become insecure. He not only had to retire from his profession, but his company went out of business due to a long series of circumstances not relevant to this essay.

Posted by: Mary W. Farkas | July 22, 2010



The sounds: the well-known voices of the local broadcasters, the knock of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the yelps and shrieks of the neighbors listening-in when our team makes a play or scores.

The sight: the colors of the teams, the green, green turf, the colors of the crowds in the stands. My local television broadcasters like to point their cameras at the crowds to focus on very cute babies, a little kid in a cap with a glove at the ready, beautiful women. They always manage to show couples where one is wearing the home team colors and the other is wearing the opponents’. That is just wrong.

The taste. The foods are so evocative of the game: peanuts, Crackerjack ™, and hotdogs. Our local stadium includes many ethnic favorites in our region, including crab sandwiches; micro-brews, Chinese selections, and Japanese rice bowls.

The touch and feel: baseball is a summer game, and summer weather in our town is cool, often gray, and windy. So, sweatshirts and sometimes, down jackets are apropos. One must wear the team cap proudly. Mine is over twenty years old, looking tatty but still a lovely hue. (Giants black.)

Smell? Since I watch baseball on television, or listen to the radio, I guess the smell of baseball is my usual cup of coffee. Black as night, bright as silver, tastes of cocoa or vanilla mingled with the roast goodness.

Posted by: Mary W. Farkas | June 22, 2010

Feeding the soul

The soul is alive with the personality and the conscious mind. It exists in a place, within my being. It can expand and shrink with stumuli.
To keep a soul fit, it must have exercise and relaxation, just as the physical body needs a regimen of walks, work, and rest.
What is the diet of my soul?
Scripture feeds my soul. The familar words of the Gospel of St. John, and the Epistles, the less familar words of the Prophets and the Law feed my soul.
The delicate wording of the poetry of T. S. Eliot feeds my soul. The workmanship of Walt Whitman, the singing lines of Robert Frost fill the senses and feed my soul.
Does television, or American culture, feed the soul? It may. There are television or radio commercial ads that can bring me to tears. I feel that sentimental situations and messages can expand my soul, and lead my mind to understand empathy and togetherness.
Prayer is the blest gift. Prayer brings me closer to the stillness of creation, the struggle to understand, the loosening of intellectual thought and opening up to hear, feel, and receive a message. That message is love.

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