Monday, September 24, 2007


I don’t know why, but it’s hard for me to ask for help. It used to drive my mom crazy to come to my house for a meal, and I would fetch and carry and my family would sit around like guests. After I quit working my Boyfriend did even less in the house area (which didn’t necessarily mean I did more), and I can’t say I blame him. If I had to go out and spend the better part of my life doing what other people told me to so we could pay the bills, I’m afraid the one at home could have all the domestic chores by default. Still, he loves movies, and he likes my company watching them, and he goes to work before God gets up, which means he’s early to bed, and if we are going to watch movies, we have to start them before the rest of the world even gets off the day shift, which means every evening I am rushing through chores so we can see a movie, to the point watching a movie sure as heck feels like work to me, to the point I often nod off before it’s over, waking up to finish the chores and get a little light reading in before bed.

Yesterday I wanted Indian…palak paneer and something with the cauliflower I had in the fridge before it turned black. And we had Shame (Bergman!=Narcolepsy! if I’m the least bit tired) and Blue (Reading movie!=etc.!). By the time I started cooking, walked the dogs, called the old ladies, I could see it would be late, late, late for us to movie watch. Rushed!=Martyrdom! and why did I ever want a boyfriend anyway? and why don’t I just fall down on the (dirty) floor and whine?

Week-ends my Boyfriend mostly sits around in a housecoat, if he’s not taking a nap. Once again, I don’t blame him. Still, I wanted palak paneer and to watch the movies without feeling like I’m a hostage. I geared up to ask for help and for it to be alright if I didn’t get it. I asked him to walk the dogs. He did. He had to get dressed, but he did.

After that, for some reason, two hours of cooking Indian was a delight…and I did it for—TA! DA!—me. And it was very, very good. As were Shame and Blue, for both of which I stayed awake.

Just hope I’ll also be awake next time life gets too busy to be fun, and that I’ll know what to ask for.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Reality 101

I had one of those put-upon dreams last night, where people who were supposed to like me didn’t. I woke up in the middle of the night with grievances, and it took some effort to go back to sleep.

This morning I woke up with all the nasty fog in my frontal lobes…the poor-poor-pitiful-me chemicals.

When I joined Kent downstairs, I decided not to check my email immediately; instead, I would drink my coffee and do a little spiritual fancy dancing.

He asked if I had checked my email before going to bed last night. Though it had taken some effort, I had not. “Good for you,” said the man who has bumped my free cell standing from under game 600 to game 2,205.

He’s making fun of my email addiction AGAIN, cried out Evil-Thought Camellia from the fog. “You use my computer more than I do,” I said. You could have called my voice tone peevish. So much for fancy dancing.

“Why are you being so sensitive?” he asked. “Why are you being so mean?”

Me? He’s always the one who has something to say about me and email and addiction. Isn’t he being the mean one?

“I just wanted to know if Susie had answered you.” He and I had been discussing Susie and some unpleasantness she was experiencing. We had sent her some spunky, center-yourself, chuck-up-your-chin advice. "When I tease you about your email, I'm only joking."

Some joke.

But wait. I do think I have an email addiction. I’m beat up on myself about it. So for my spunky, center-yourself, chuck-up-your-chin advice: You can only hear him being the mean voice if you’ve already thought it yourself.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

communication V

People want you to be happy.
Don’t keep serving them your pain.

If you could untie your wings
and free your soul of jealousy,
you and everyone around you
Would fly like doves

Jalal-el-Din Rumi

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

communication IV

People want you to be happy.
Don't keep serving them your pain.

Jalal-el-Din Rumi

Monday, September 03, 2007

Communication III

A friend was dying with uterine cancer. A couple of days before her death, I was sitting by her side. As I have done with other dying friends, I tried to match my breath to hers. She seemed to be floating in and out of sleep. Thoughts drifted in and out of my consciousness, and I began reviewing the time we spent together. She was a private person, not a hippy-dippy spiritualist like me. I often felt like we spoke a different language. When she was well, sometimes it seemed it was more important to her to see me than it was for me to see her. “I wonder if we were really friends,” drifted though my head. She flailed to a sitting position, her eyes wild, fierce and accusing. “We are,” I said aloud, “we really, really are friends.” The fire eased out of her eyes, and she sank back into her restless sleep.

And we really, really were. I know by how much I miss her.

© Donna Warner, August, 2007

Communication II

I was asked to stay with a friend in the hospital. She was dying of lung cancer and hooked to all kinds of lines and needles. Late in the day she drifted off into a fretful, moaning sleep. I cleared my mind, watched her face, and tried to match my breathing to hers. To sooth myself, I silently repeated words from A Course in Miracles, “There is no pain, the son of God is free. There is no pain, the son of God is free.”

Suddenly my friend spoke out, “If she knew how much I hurt, she’d quit saying that.”

© Donna Warner, August, 2007


My neighbor’s 93-year-old grandmother has had a stroke, and is doing her time in rehab. While her automatic speech—yes, no, fine—is clear, anything she tries to tell you comes out as meaningless garble. My neighbor says for the last ten times when her grandmother becomes agitated as she tries to speak, my neighbor prays, “Holy Spirit, please help me understand what she wants.” Then she waits in silence until some idea pops into her head. “Do you want the shades closed?” my neighbor asks. “Yes!” her grandmother will say. “Do you want ice-cream?” “Yes!”

© Donna Warner, August, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I often find an ant running up and down my computer, or feel one tickling across my arm. Of course it’s not the same ant, but all those lone ants have one name: Paladan. Remember the song from Have Gun, Will Travel-- "...a knight without armor in a savage land”? Admiring its courage, I’ll let it travel on, or I'll use as gentle a breath as possible to help it relocate. I’ve yet to hear one yelling "Auntie Em…Auntie Em.”

If there’s a little bunch of ants gaggling around my sink, I offer them a deal: leave before I wipe down the counters and live.

Today I crushed an ant hill with my lawn mower. When faced with a massive invasion of ants who want to colonize my yard or house, I swoop in like the Witch of the West. I wonder what Buddha would do, but I react like a Cylon-- you know, Cylons--the Battlestar Gallactica robot race bent on eliminating the hapless but resourceful humans.

Anybody got another way?

© Donna Warner, August, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

when all there is and the best there is--is not enough

Tell me why the pecans in PLANTERS Deluxe MIXED NUTS are better than the pecans in any of the PLANTERS PECAN LOVERS MIXes? And even though my boyfriend leaves me (it’s REAL Deluxe LOVE) every single pecan in the PLANTERS Deluxe MIXED NUTS, I just can’t get enough pecans among all those other nuts and will buy the PLANTERS PECAN LOVERS MIX, even though the PLANTERS PECAN LOVERS MIXes are way more expensive, and even though I eat every one of those pecans wishing they were the PLANTERS Deluxe MIXED NUTS pecans.

And is the difference all in my head, anyway?