Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Crones Guide to Marriage - Part One

My first marriage was, to say the least a disaster.  I got married just shy of my twentieth birthday and it only lasted for five years.  I put up with physical, mental and emotional abuse because I was too ashamed to let my parents know what was going on.....but that's the past. I am now happily married to my dear husband "Himself".  We've been together for a number of years and have been married for nineteen.  This is the second marriage for both of us. 

I have had a number of my close friends ask me "Why are you two together?".  The first time I was asked this it sort of took me by surprise.  By the second time I was asked I had come to see what others did.  Himself and I on the surface seem to be a total mismatch.  No one can imagine how this relationship could even have a chance of working.

Himself is very serious and sort of anal compulsive in a lot of his behaviors,  He's fussy, not outgoing, quiet, not spontaneous at all!  He makes Pollyanna seem out of sorts.  On the surface he's quite dull, not quick witted in the least. 

I am not serious but I am cynical, sarcastic, quick witted and flippant.  I'm not really that quiet, I tend to be into spontaneous sort of things..I have a very off the wall sort of personality.  I work very hard to not see everything in a negative light.

We really should not be compatible, yet in all of our years together we've never had an argument or a  fight and we are ridiculously happy. How is this possible?

We have some very basic relationship rules:

We talk about the good stuff, what we love and like about each other.  We talk a lot about our relationship.  It's our number one job.  We've seen friends who only seem to talk to each other when discussing what they hate about each other, or what the other person did wrong.  This is a marriage killer....trust me.

We have realistic and honest expectations of each other. 

Being married doesn't mean you stop being on your best behavior.  We remember our manners.  We say "thank you", "please" and generally be polite to one another.

We enjoy activities that we both have in common and rejoice in and support those things that we don't.  We realize that we each need our own personal time.

We realize that there is really very few things worth fighting over.  We ask ourselves, is it important?  Is it worth damage to our relationship?  Is this a real issue or just confusion in communication?  In the end we either just let it go or have a calm discussion. 

We take the time to understand what the other person is really saying.  Because, lets be honest, men and women do communicate differently.

The most important rule however is that we laugh!  We find humor in almost every situation and make sure we run with it....and boy do we run....marathons of laughter!

I'm sure that a major reason our relationship works is our age.  We don't have the giddy unrealistic view of love and marriage that so many young people seem to have.  We realize that a great marriage just doesn't "happen" - you really have to work at it.  It takes time and effort from both of us...but it's worth it.

I'll write more about marriage and relationships from a Crone's perspective from time to time.  It's a subject close to my heart.

La Petite Crone Says - Love is worth the effort





   

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Messing With Tradition (With Bonus Ranting Thrown In)

To me tradition is something that usually shouldn't be messed with.  Leave it alone, keep your  hands off!  I think we as a species need tradition and ritual.  There is something quite comforting in knowing "this is the way things are" or "this is how this is done".  I'm not saying that tradition can't be changed if it's a bad tradition, such as slavery.

When I was younger I use to laugh at older folks and their strict adherance to tradition "No, we always have roast beef on Sunday!", "I always watch this program!".....They seemed incapable of doing anything different.  Now as I've aged I realize that it isn't that you can't change, it's that there is such comfort in doing things certain ways.  It's stability, continuity, it's nice...it makes you feel good.

I have more years behind me than I have in front of me.  When I ponder this fact I realize that my life has been one of constant change.  You change how you look, where you live, how you feel, even your name.  The world around you has changed so much, and the rate of change is increasing each and every year.  There is something quite comforting about tradition...it's something to hang on to, something that doesn't change. 

Perhaps tradition is a ritualized way of granting yourself some sort of immortality.  My parents always celebrated this holiday this way, I celebrate it the same way, my children will celebrate it this way, and their children.....  However it seldom works out.  There is always that little hurt you feel when your child goes out on their own, marries and creates their own family traditions.  There really is a small bit of grief, it's a loss, almost a death.

BONUS RANTING

Now to a pet peeve of mine.  Since I'm on the topic of tradition, death and immortality.  I think people who mess with the traditions of legends and myths should be sternly dealt with.  I HATE the way people are messing with the traditional vampire!  Vampires do NOT go out in the day, they do NOT eat food, they do NOT, for God's sake "SPARKLE" in the sunlight!  Aaaaagggghhhh!  You are ruining a great "tradition". 

Ok, I've got that off my chest....now back to being serious......take a deep breath, calm...calm... it's ok.......Whew.....

END OF BONUS RANTING

Where was I?...Oh yes....

As a crone I've learned to cherish my traditions, my rituals...the way I do things.  I'm not a slave to them but I appreciate them for what they are.  I take comfort in them. 

La Petite Crone says:  Think about your traditions, they are part of you (and leave the vampires alone!)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rain On The Window

It rains here on "The Peninsula", a lot.  Last year we had, according to our local weather station, a little over seven feet of rain.  We don't get much sun even when it's not raining; clouds, fog, gray sky and rain, rain, rain and more rain.  When the sun is out it doesn't get very high in the sky.  I like it though.  I love the green, the forest, the ferns and yes even the moss.  It's primordial in a non tropical way.

I was standing looking out the kitchen widow the other morning, enjoying a cup of coffee.  I watched the rain hit the window and run down the glass in sheets. It made the view of the forest that surrounds our cottage soft and unfocused.

As I watched the rain on the window my mind went blank then an unusual thing happened, I no longer saw the window.  In stead of seeing the forest obscured by rain it appeared as if the forest was moving.  The trees were undulating and swaying, the bushes were rippling like ocean waves.  You could almost feel the delight that the forest felt in the rain.  It was a magical moment and then I was back in the kitchen, looking through the window, drinking coffee.

Later that day as I was working on my computer I glanced out the window and was captivated by the sight of the rain on our flagstone patio.  There was a layer of water on the stones and you could see the drops hitting, splashing and sending out ripples.  As I watched it appeared as if the patio like the trees earlier was undulating and bouncing the water up and down.

Sometime I wonder about myself.  Is my neurological condition causing me to view things differently?  Am I a bit damaged?  Or is it just that I have, with age, opened myself up to new things, and ways of looking at things?  Do old eyes see differently than new eyes?  Do visions filtered through a mind filled with the cobwebs of age and experience differ than those filtered through an organized, clean, uncluttered young mind?

Reading this post to my dear husband "Himself" he made the comment that things seemed brighter when he was a child.  Talking about it I don't think this is because it actually was brighter.  Perhaps it's because when you are young you tend to see the "big picture" only.  Things are always new and exciting.  You have so little in your mind to compare things against.  As you age you lose this "newness" and you tend to see the nuances of things.  You have so much in your mind you get easily distracted.  We both have noticed this.  We tend to not hear each other (even though we have excellent hearing), there is just too much going on inside.  Too many cobwebs. 

However when we do focus we tend to see things that others don't...perhaps like the trees dancing in the rain.

La Petite Crone says: Sometimes cobwebs are a good thing!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Red Room

My eyes opened, something had roused me from my sleep.  A sudden sense of dread overcame me.  The entire room was glowing bright red.  Was the room on fire?  I had to warn the others in the house but I couldn't move!  As hard as I tried I couldn't even move my fingers.  I tried to yell but all that came from my mouth was a soft moan.."the room is red".  There was someone else in the room with me!  Someone evil, I could feel their presence.  Suddenly I felt as if the weight of the world was on me, pulling me back into sleep, I tried and tried to stay awake...it was as if I was drugged...I knew I'd never wake up again, the fire would consume me, everyone else in the house......terror....sleep...terror...sleep.

The next morning I woke with great relief!  The memory of "The Red Room" fresh in my mind.  It was real, it wasn't a dream.  It really happened.  Was I going mad?

Months later...

I opened my eyes and the room was bright glowing red.  I knew it wasn't fire this time.  Memories of my last visit to "The Red Room" came rushing back.  Again as hard as I tried I couldn't move.  I felt the same sense of panic and terror, someone was in the room with me, something looming, pressing, perhaps evil.  Again I knew that while this was real, not a dream, I WAS awake, that there really wasn't anyone (or anything) there...or was there?  The knowledge of my previous visit helped but the panic was still there, the terror was still there.  Once more I felt the press of something on me, pushing me, forcing me back into sleep.

Again....

Another visit to "The Red Room" (as I was beginning to think of it).  Same symptoms, I am awake, can't move, panic, terror, the room glowing bight red.  This time there is sound like the rushing of wind, it's very loud, very real.  The presence is there just out of the range of my vision.  Again I'm forced back to sleep.

Again...and again...and again.  Each visit to "The Red Room" is basically the same with occasional little new additions to keep it interesting. 

Now however I know what "The Red Room" is.  It's a condition called "sleep paralysis".  It happens when you wake up during REM sleep (the deepest time of sleep when you are dreaming).  Sleep paralysis can occur when you are just entering REM and you wake or when you are waking up prior to finishing REM sleep.  The paralysis is real, you honestly can't move.  You are awake which makes the hallucinations seem so real.

Doing research on sleep paralysis I've discovered that almost every country has folk tales that probably refer to sleep paralysis, ranging from the succubus to the old hag, to demons and possession.  It's something that we all share.  Scientists speculate that many people who claim they have been abducted by aliens coming into their bedrooms are in fact sleep paralysis episodes.  People who have migraine, who are under stress or who have some neurological conditions are prone to sleep paralysis.

I have a neurological condition and I suffered from migraine for years.  Now when I visit "The Red Room" even though I still feel the panic and terror I know that it's nothing to be afraid of.  I can look at it a bit more objectively and sometimes even enjoy the hallucinations.  It is amazing what goes on in our heads.  Your mind can create such real images.  We use such a small portion of our brains I can only imagine what would happen if we could at some point utilize our full potential.

La Petite Crone says:  Be kind to your mind!