Welcome to Weird-Old-Ladyhood (OR Why didn’t I quit Facebook sooner?)

This morning, I deactivated my Facebook account. I’m still on social media elsewhere, but Facebook in particular really feeds my anxiety and negative feelings, so it had to go. I’m in the process of learning to do what I want and not just what will get me the most approval from people on the internet. It’s not that I don’t care what my friends and family think or that I don’t want to share my life with them, but I think the sharing I’ve been doing via Facebook has been tainted with approval-seeking and conflict-avoiding, and as a result, it’s been less than genuine. I’ve been writing more lately but keeping most of it close, and I’m starting to feel ready to share in a more real and honest way.

If you wanna see what I’ve been working on, I’m hoping to get braver about sharing things here, whether completed works or short snippets of ideas. When I have a poem or a couple lines that I like, I’ve been posting it on Instagram. Sometimes I post clips of songs I’m learning on the ukulele. I’m not a rock star or anything. I’m barely even a poet. (I mean, I am a poet in that cursed way that people with depression and an affinity for grammar tend to be.) But that’s ok. Right now, I am pretty much content with surviving.

Part of what’s going on here is that I’ve been rather deeply depressed this winter, and the past couple years have gotten harder, but this year has been the worst. I am sure the political climate has a lot to do with it, plus the seemingly constant stream of violence and conflict in every other public arena. I was staying on Facebook because it was supposed to help me stay connected with my friends and family, but it was also serving as a surrogate news source, especially when I was “too busy” to seek other sources. But instead of being a good way to keep abreast of the issues that my community finds important, Facebook provides me a firehose of bad news supplemented with the reactions of all my acquaintances. As I read my timeline (not just daily, but compulsively throughout the day, even when I really don’t feel like it) I feel the same heartbreak and rage over and over again, then temporarily soothe it with cute cat videos or tear-jerking videos of the good side of humanity. I’ve been emotionally overdosing, using news and memes alternately the way people mixed uppers and downers in the 80s. This is not mentally or emotionally sustainable. If you’ve ever bleached and dyed your hair till it felt like Easter basket straw, I’d say that’s my approximate emotional condition at this time, and Facebook is a direct contributor to that.

With all that said, I’m gonna wrap this shit up by resigning myself to being that weird old lady with the blog no one reads because why the hell not? Better to be that than the sad, semi-suicidal old lady pretending everything’s ok to get more likes on Facebook.

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Introductory Metaphor

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The Living Room

a pair of hand made socks
knit with cheap, colorful yarn
the mittens not quite the same size
a vase about to topple on my table
as the cats race-chase through the house
chirping and trilling at each other
their joy for grey days and wet food.
a couch full of hangars and clothes I need to put away
lit dramatically by the window
pillows that have been laid upon so lovingly they're flat.
a painting by my sister
and At-at in a hat with Mickey Mouse ears
and a skull whose brain has been replaced
with a number of dice.

Carrie is taking a creative writing class in school this semester, and I’m blatantly stealing her assignment prompts for my own use. In this case, the assignment was to write a poem introducing oneself to the class via a metaphor. I am a mess. A total disaster area of love and happiness, but a mess nonetheless. I particularly relate to the ceramic skull in which we keep our gaming dice.

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A poetry assignment and some other stuff

It has rained all night.
 It always rains all night
 Here is a place where night means rain
 Where darkness is always accompanied
 By the clatter of raindrops and wondering
 When it will all wash away.

It always rains at night, and I
 lie in bed and feel 
 the ground shift
 the house lift
 the river form beneath me.

The rain forms a river that
 rushes down the sidewalk and
 sweeps us through the trees
 and carries us to the sea.

Every night I find myself in a new ocean.

Every day, I awaken in a foreign land.

Carrie and I have been writing morning poems together some days lately. It’s nice. I forgot what it’s like to sit down with intention and write a poem.

I’ve been busy lately, but a good kind of busy. I don’t have very much time for being stressed out. I try to stay calm from one moment to the next and manage my life in some kind of reasonable way. Did I tell you I got to be part of an art show? Here are some pictures of my poems on display at an art thing:

A post shared by Mary Hendrie (@msdirt) on

Oh, and also, I turned 35. Then I got hit on by this guy who wanted to know how old I was, so I said 87. They never believe me.

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Music for a Hope Hangover

These are my playlists from 2017. I was going to try to write a clever post about how challenging and beautiful the year was and how the music tells that story but … I don’t feel like it.  However, I did come up with the very clever opening line, “Twenty-seventeen entered like a hope hangover.”  So, how about I give you the music and the opening line and let you take it from here? Enjoy!

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

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Women are Cool and Interesting – Episode 7

In this episode, Tashima Ricks shares some of her life’s journey. Tashima is cool for more reasons than I can count. What I first loved about her was how she stepped right out of her comfort zone and on to the skating rink after nearly 30 years off skates, but as I got to hear more of her story I got a glimpse of what a deeply compassionate person Tashima really is. She told me about her career as a nurse, providing health care for inmates in the correctional system, her family, her crazy adorable dog, her volunteer work … Lets just say I’m just super thankful to have met her and to have the chance to share some of her light with you. Enjoy!

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