ROCK knows Lm needs attention yet he forces her to grow, not dwell on her past. She is indeed sprawling, like ivy across an old doorway leading to solid stone paths. Above the sky is blue and she knows that real people suffer and others are indifferent. She sees the careless, haplessly self-absorbed humans as beige. How can anyone not care about the whole damn picture? Who are those that see blood dripping from the heavens and go about their lives with normalcy? People are screaming for help in our neighborhood; Ukrainian families embrace fear and the beige people are shopping for more, more, more. The neighborhood is all inclusive, a package deal. What happens in the Ukraine is happening to all of us. Part of Lm is always thinking, worrying, sorrowful and broken, yet when she sees the same in others she stands up on the top step and pushes her way to the front lines. She will not tolerate the deficiencies in other’s consciousness, she will use a loud speaker, bang on drums and pipes until she is heard. She cares very little about beige people and their circles of chatter. Blue skies are hanging over the whole world right this minute, not at all like the blue in Thailand’s resorts, or on Miami’s most popular beaches that have beige people with pink cocktails. Blue skies are singing deep and low old spiritual songs from the warriors, slaves and feminine fighters before us. The air is thick with fumes spewing the cries of innocence, the children deeply weary from moving place to place for their own good. Who is running to help them up or out; is this real at all? This war is not a test, it’s real life, real stuff and how can anyone, anything matter more than this now? No broken porcelain doll, no dreary childhood, no stack of dirty dishes, no movie star, no religion, not NOW! Prayer has brought Lm to her skinned boney knees repeatedly for 59 years and nothing changed. Beige people walking like zombies pushing strollers full of new life in a world of blue skies that are truly full of broken hearts. The moon, the sun, the unnamed stars are all watching the game below. We ARE in the real world reality show and we aren’t winning. ROCK knows that as long as Lm is focused on sending out SOS signals to save others she forgets her self. She is selfishly entwined in her own pain otherwise. ROCK knows she is soon ready to push through the door that he guards. He also knows, even if she defies her own needs she will return to him on lonely nights, when the memories keep her awake, when she remembers her BaDDaD and can’t get passed a memory. She will come back to ROCK and as always he will calm her grief, even if it’s a repetitive move he will know how to protect her tender soul.
I never saw me, much less Littleme, or myself even now as a valuable existence. My presence has been a seemingly huge burden to both of my parents for 58 years. I had the career woman breaking boundaries in a man’s world for my mother and a father who simply lied and recreated himself from one persona to another. Sad, a bit, yet he had a choice. He could have been honest and humbled but he responded to his poverty and his past with denial. My mother remains proud and honest and her success is all real, her own and no one can steal her accomplishments. Now I lay in some comfortable surroundings in a beautiful city and the war has brought us to our knees. In Sweden we see and welcome more blue and yellow, refugees who are without a choice. They are proud and strong and simultaneously fearful. Who the hell am I to care about my shitty father, my semi siblings who never call or inquire about my family’s reality? Here I am, a refugee of another kind. A foreign land with my true love, my only child and not one person back home calls to see how I am. Who am I? A woman, a girl, a mother, sister and wife and all I want is to help others feel love, hope and security. The Russians are not bad. Their dictator stole their souls and forced this invasion. Ukrainian women and children flock together and stream into our world but I feel only guilt. Why? Because I never can save enough people from life’s dangerous blows. I barely saved me. God give us a break please. Help. Lead me to solace and peace in my heart so I can stand tall for others.
She only remembers Vietnam, she was young and the television old so she had little understanding of what Vietnam was. In sixth grade there was a list of P.O.W.’s beside the chalkboard. Her teacher was expecting a baby and her husband was in Vietnam. She didn’t wonder how they found time to make a baby or worry about her friends and family there. It was for as long as she had television a daily report and her mother turned off the sound when the newscast was on. She began to see men in different places who’d been in the war and they looked gray in their skin, old and some broken. Broken soldiers home from a land she knew nothing about nor had they. One afternoon she sat swirling round on a red diner stool and waited for her grilled cheese and strawberry milkshake with her mother. She looked down as she spun and saw for the first time a man with only one leg. Without thought she said loudly, “Momma look, he has only one leg!” Her mother shushed her but the man soothed her scolding and said he had left it in Vietnam. He smiled at Little me and she smiled back. She saw her Mother’s dark eyes staring at her with the “shut up” look and sat very still eating her sandwich, glancing carefully with her eyes slanted to the left at the area where the man’s missing limb should be. He seemed okay about it and winked at her. She thought about her legs and how it would be with one missing. She thought about arms missing and lots of things that war makes a child roll over and over ideas in their heads. She knew she could hop on one leg, as in hop scotch and could write and eat with one hand and arm. Surely it must be painful though. She watched the waitress in her green apron pour more coffee and the man with one leg lit a cigarette. In the late 60’s and 70’s one could smoke where they wanted more or less. She hated cigarettes and knew her mother snuck them sometimes. She spun around more on the silver metal stool with the red leather seat and tried not to stare at the man with one leg. Finally, her mother stopped her from swirling and she sat straight forward with out showing any curiosity. Now, Littleme knows all about war and bad things. She stays in hiding in her stairwell of safety and avoids the chaos. Part of her is afraid regarding the Ukrainian crisis that is now and yet another part wants to be in the middle, to see for herself how many people are fighting and how many legs and lives are left behind.
You were not born to see this; your eyes opened to see the beauty of life. Warm hands held you, cradled you and soft voices sang you to sleep. We did not want you to see how ugly our world can be. For as long as possible we stretched out your innocence to protect you. Now it's part of us all, war pandemics,the climate crisis, endangered species, prejudiced minds,greedy thinkers and more. Yet, despite the truth which can be scandalous and wrought with anxiety there is and always will be love. No one can take that from us or from you. Love is one free piece of us that can't be stolen. Keep your eyes open, your mind reflective and never allow hate to strangle you.
Where are you? Woman2woman, war2war ; are we joined in witness to our crisis now? Is your wild and ancient spirit stirring up old hearts and graves of lost lovers? Will you whisper sister2sister and save our children tossed in the air by the same God that damned you, not once but over and over again? Shall our wisdom remain sacred or are we just comforting our egos with mythos and buying time against a world turning inside out. Did our feminine power ever reroute greed and spare room for the meek? I am ready to sacrifice my vanity, security and comforts for all of the suffering arrogant men who have bestowed division upon us. I will howl at the moon, drink from the battlefield’s trenches full of blood to save one true Varalisa. Our seeds are sown, yet our fields remain barren until peace and solace is restored. We were one in another time. Can we become together now and face the new world with keen eye to eye contact, hold the reigns of our villains and prevail. Oh, Vasalisa guide us to stability and give us back the stars to show us where we went wrong. Can we restore Unity? May our bravest of spiritual warriors tackle the beasts that rapes our own.