Saturday, March 29, 2008

Remembering mother

When one endeavors to write about personal topics in a public format, it bears keeping in mind that others may know of the ones involved.
I wonder, then, does anyone who stumbles across this remember my mother?
If so, I wonder what their recollections were.
The nature of my maternal family was to ostracize and "reward" those of blood relation with unusual cruelty. I have no idea why, but my theory remains that it was the ultimate in self-loathing manifesting itself.
In other words, these individuals disliked themselves to the point of hating their own offspring because they WERE flesh and blood. I could be wrong.
If, however, you were lucky enough not to have been born with a genetic link to them, the Piersons were apparently good as gold. I wouldn't know, though my grandmother Connie was very kind and generous to me, it still hurt that the others were shunned for one reason or another.
I think it's interesting how the other blood relations from that side of the family all but amputated any contact with myself, my brother and half-sister, at least as far as I am aware, for my relationship with my siblings is very sporadic in the former, and completely over in the latter. I guess again the fact that we were related made us repugnant. Family = the people who know all the right reasons to hate you.
This is probably greek to most of you.
I realize also that many of my mother's friends are either passed on or moved away. Several of her contemporaries (how can you call such creatures friends?) have probably died of the same vices that took her life. The good ones, like Heidi, I miss. She died last Summer.
I wonder where Frank has gotten off to, and wonder many things about many people I met there.
Most of them had no idea what kind of monster she had the potential to be. Why do I feel guilty in saying that? I can't completely forgive her, even though she is dead and cannot redeem herself.
If I were to do that, it would feel like acceptance (of what she was), and I will not do so. I know what she is/was, and that is enough. I don't have to like it or be comfortable with it.

So if you were a friend or acquaintance of Julia Cargill (née Parsons, Branigan, Seely and Douglass, maiden name Pierson), hello to you!

The number of my blood relation family is quite small, but I count myself fortunate to have many good friends. Some better than others for sure, but friends nonetheless. I hope that I am as good a friend as you are to me.


yes, it is there, always looming, or bouncing slowly around the spaces of my brain.
As much as I tend to spend time at home, I love the open road.
I love to stop in a new space, and sample the sensual variety. Sights, sounds, scents and the ensuing change in feeling.
Short trips tend to mollify this beast within, but nothing more so than the "someday" imaginings of fruition.
Luckily, I live in a vast and expansive region. For as long as I have lived here, there are still new, and where once was something old, is quickly changed by the elements.
Craving desert, I can drive for less than four hours and find it. Verdant gaps between craggy mountains, streams and waterfalls. Snowy meadows, all of these exist near enough to soothe my need for different.
I suppose that I may need to bicycle there in order to afford all of these things, when and if that someday comes.
Right now, there is no better place than here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


It's Spring Break, though you'd not know it to look and stand outside.
This is nothing surprising, for next week the sun will shine warmly, and the breeze will caress the empty playgrounds, parks and beaches in a heartbreaking display of irony.
It's too bad, that.
Another thing that is depressing is the vacancy in the downtown business areas. I don't pretend to know every contributing factor in this sad eventuality, nor do I profess to have the remedy.
That, as well, is too bad.
Since I don't own anything there, the most I can think to do is frequent the shops that are open, and pick up trash here and there. For no other reason than that I live here, and wish things were different.
Why do people let their dogs crap on the sidewalks? Why do they feel the need to dump their trash everywhere? Feeding pigeons is right up there...As is waiting with baited breath for the Home Depot, the Staples, the Big 5 to show up and further the destruction of small businesses.
Competition is all fine and well, but what about monopoly? Soon there will be no choices. It's a good thing we all love the exact same things, in great quantity, because it's being provided in convenient formats.
Buy, buy, buy, and throw, throw, throw. (as in trash)
Something vicious about the circles we seem to walk around in.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Is it really coming?

The S-word. Spring.
There have been a few times when it felt close. Times when the sun felt warm, and glimpses of daffodil-strewn banks. Pussy willows, skunk cabbage...and mud.
I had hope that the grass, even the weeds would absorb most of the mud created when hurricane Cooper showed up on the heels of our major storm last December.
No such chance.
I'm ready for an eternity of Spring, of Summer...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


(Originally posted October 10, 2007)
We took a walk, today, along the riverwalk and to the West End Mooring Basin with a stop at the Fishermen's Memorial along the way. For the first time ever, both boys were riding their bikes without training wheels. They rode on along ahead of us until we called them back to keep them in sight.

Martin remarked that they must feel so free, and told me the first time that I must have felt free was when I got my first bike. I thought about it a few seconds, and could not find that memory associated with my bicycle. A sense of power, maybe. Of course there were the obligatory accidents associated with it, too. Skinned knees and the inevitable "bar incident" that even hurts for girls!

I tried then to find that sense of freedom's arrival and I could not locate it til well later in my life. I realized why, too:

I think that in order to have, or truly feel freedom, one must first know security. It must be deeper than acquaintance; it must be unmistakeable, intimately familiar. That did not exist for me until I was grown.

As we walked later along the docks between the boats all buttoned up in their covers and tied securely to their moorages, I thought of how the shelter of the harbor always calls to mind the contrast of open water, the limitless freedom of flying over the river. Perhaps it is more a yearning.
I never imagined, when I was young and had no choice but to go along with my mother and her husband on our 48' Salmon troller, that I would love the experience so much. Not all of it, but there is something indescribable about being on the ocean, or even a lake or river. The boat felt both powerful, invincible and miniscule at the same time, heading West out over the bar and into the open ocean. Not so much fun idling along at troll speed waiting for the fish to bite. There is a certain thrill to watching a 70+ lb. King Salmon breach the water on the other end of the line, and the paydays made the adults happy. My favorite, though, was when we were up on plane, soaring along at 28 knots. I would either lie on my stomach on the top of the lower house, or stand on the deck and jump in the air or let it fall out from under my feet for that giddy weightless feeling. Either way, it was glorious to me, even now remembering it.

(gads, she was ugly colored, but I was proud of her even though she did not belong to us, the "Freeloader" in all her glory, in her slip at Ilwaco, WA., probably about 1976, bless her diesel heart)
I'm glad for those times, which were also some of the most uncertain times in my life. A taste of freedom in the midst of uncertainty.
They're part of who I am.

I understand freedom, now, though happily, I also understand security.