"And if it looks like we were scared to death/like a couple of kids just trying to save each other/you should've seen it in color."--Jamey Johnson, "In Color."
Pandas usually distract me from things that make me sad, especially the National Zoo's exceptionally adorable family. This week they brought back something sad. Mei Xiang, the beautiful mama bear, had acted as if she was expecting a cub for the past *month*. There will not be a cub. She might have miscarried. The past couple of weeks, she cuddled hard plastic toys as if they were babies, when she wasn't twitching or sleeping. It was really painful to watch. I miscarried three "cubs" of my own a few years back. I don't want to anthropomorphize too much, but I was relieved today to see her finally leave her birthing den and step out into the bright sunshine.
L'Ailee thinks I'm a genius right now. On Tuesday, she cut her finger opening a can of cat food with a pull-tab. They're easier than the traditional can, but also vicious, with that thin, sharp metal lid sproinging up. For some reason, even with Neosporin, the skin around the cut looked really angry and inflamed on Wednesday morning, and her finger had swollen up a little. She didn't want to take antibiotics or see the doctor if she didn't have to. She explained all this to me while I was washing my face using the Acnefree system (the drugstore Proactiv ripoff), and it occurred to me, what is a pimple but an angry red infection? So I had her wash the cut using the face wash and toner. She did it a couple of times on Wednesday, and now the cut has pretty much completely healed.
I am happy at any amount of power I have right now, especially in the service of healing my loved ones. The conflict between Georgia and Russia has hurt L'Ailee's heart over the past week. She thought she'd be laser-focused on the Olympics this week. Of course, so did many in Georgia and Russia, I'm sure. She doesn't have people there, TTG. However, it upsets her tremendously that once again, Russia's government is focused on military might at the expense of *everything* else. The Georgian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, said this afternoon (our time) that Russians are barbarians who get sickened by anything nice, new, or modern. She resented that, but finds it hard to argue with that as a description for the Medvedev/Putin government. The ceasefire won't last. At least one of her many cousins is fighting over there, though her relatives there live very far away. It makes her sick that she can't do a thing to help them. It makes me sick that I can't do a thing to help her.
And then there is my brother. He is *not* out of the woods. By the end of this month, he will have had three laser surgeries in one eye and four in the other. His retinas are extremely damaged by years of, well, basically living like he doesn't have diabetes. I didn't know this, though it explains why he didn't seem to enjoy certain things I did when I saw him over the past few years--he has hardly any night vision anymore. By the time this is over, he'll be much better (should he heed the very serious warnings about his diet and checking his blood sugar this time), but he won't be able to drive at night again. I want to hug him. I want to throttle him. He turns 27 next month. It's too young, and it's pretty much all his fault. If someone else were hurting him like this, I'd go after them. That option isn't available to me now.
Because Tony Stewart still hasn't won this season, and because most of my NASCAR-loving friends are not Witches, I'm getting this one "joke" over and over. People ask me when I'm going to put a spell on him for better luck. (Not L'Ailee, because she knows better than that.) I do have several small #20 Home Depot cars, as well as a Christmas ornament featuring a dark-haired, orange-suited male figure that's supposed to be Smoke. Don't think I haven't been tempted. But I don't think the Gods actually care who wins the Sprint Cup championship, and I wouldn't waste Their time on that request. You see in the above paragraphs that I have bigger fish to fry.
I have felt, over the past few days, like my magick won't help, like nothing I do will help, like it doesn't matter what I do. I guess it's just good ol' fashioned despair, what I was feeling. I like to think I can do better for my family than this. But I can't stop Russian tanks, and I can't fight my brother's will, not with any mundane means and not with magick. I know I'm not Hermione Granger, at least intellectually. But it's hard to accept that. L'Ailee and the Dorkfish are the people I love most in this world, and when one of them hurts, I hurt, and I always want--no, *need*--to "help". My apatheist brother actually said it all, really, when I asked him what I could do. "Love me, believe it'll get better, and keep talking to me," he said. "Not just about eye problems or diabetes, either." With L'Ailee, it's been expressing affection in every way I can think of, from not bitching when she wants to watch the Olympics for hours to just plain listening to cooking everything she enjoys to, well, physical means. Maybe that's enough. It's all I seem to have, anyway.
So I keep hoping that with every application of that laser, my brother will get better and smarter. And I smile and ask L'Ailee whether she saw her sister Russian-American gymnast Nastia Liukin take the gold medal. ("Of course I did! She was terrific!") And I try to remember that I don't need to do the emotional heavy lifting all by myself. As for Tony Stewart, as much as I'd love to see him climb that fence, he's on his own.
It's not like L'Ailee has had lots to be happy about, but one thing she really likes is that America's womens' gymnastics team actually consisted of...women. Very young women, but grown women nonetheless. She has said that "the name 'womens' gymnastics' is such a bad joke" and commented that "once you develop something that someone might like to see in a leotard, it's over for you." But Alicia Sacramone actually has a woman's body under her leotard, nevermind those slips off the balance beam! I said all that to say that this article about the little girls being passed off as the Chinese "womens'" team interested her, and may interest you, too.
She is also thrilled that Thakoon is doing a Target collection. It will be easier than getting discount Thakoon from her sewing machine in the attic. :-)
There is a theory that "hyper-heterosexual" mothers make bisexual sons. Hell, I'm happy to see bisexual manhood acknowledged by one of these studies!
Is it harder to write a great sonnet than a great hip-hop verse?
Poor Barack Obama. First that whole book about how he's everything but a child of God comes out and hits the NYT best-seller list, and now his hillbilly half-brother Cooter Obama is ruining things for him. Still think I'm voting for "Ol' Jelly Legs." :-D
Finally, Jamey Johnson's debut CD has *really* been helping me out. It is really lovely, old-school country. Johnson wrote Trace Adkins' "Honky-Tonk Badoonkadonk" and George Strait's "Give It Away," and he's got an agreeably ragged voice that brings the old outlaws to mind...you don't need more recommendation than that, do you?!?!