What is it I need?

If you are my Facebook friend, you’re probably at least aware that I’ve been doing little “creekside chat” videos every morning, whether you watch them or not. I started making the little videos for a few reasons:

See what I mean? This is the view from my kitchen window. WOW.
  • My new home is so very beautiful and most of the time I’m here alone and really just want to share it! I sit on my little bench and look around, wishing I could say to someone, “Look at that! Isn’t that amazing!”
  • My friend in NZ, Kirsten Duncan, said something to me that hit me right in the most vulnerable spot I might have — and I mean that she hit me with love, and started the process of changing something for me. My whole life I’ve been so ashamed of my mouth and teeth and she said, in passing, that she loved to watch my mouth move, and friends in Oz and NZ always say they love my accent — so that’s a twosome that wrapped love around the things I feel most vulnerable about. I first just made a tiny video sitting in the car waiting for Marc one Saturday, and their comments were so loving and encouraging that I got the idea to do more of them. They began as an exercise in courage and vulnerability and forcing myself out of that little shame prison.
  • Starting my day saying hi to the people I have in mind when I’m talking has just been the best gift. Whether they watch (happen to watch a specific day, or watch at all) isn’t even really the point. The point for me is that I’m seeing their faces when I talk to my phone, even though the literal face on the screen is my own, and so I get to speak directly to people I love, and share my place with them.
my humble little bench, where I sit by Hatchery Hollow Creek and record the chats

I generally keep the videos at five minutes or less, because it feels silly and self-indulgent to just ramble on and on and on – and since I’m just talking extemporaneously, talking for longer than that doesn’t even really feel possible! Most days I don’t have the first clue what I’ll say, when I’m approaching my bench — I know I’ll start with good morning, but then the rest is a mystery to me.

SO what has surprised me so much is how deeply those brief chats have satisfied my need to talk. I think this is why I haven’t been writing here — I already said what I had to say, and after that I’m content to be here in silence, happily alone with my thoughts. Who’d have thought? Who’d have thought that talking to myself out loud — with an assumed Other — for such a short time is really all I need?

My first husband, Jerry, was/is an almost completely silent man, and not emotionally expressive (at all) and also not very affectionate or connecting. I know I’ve told this story before but it’s so heart-breaking; I told him once that I knew he could be affectionate, I’d seen him do that with the dog. He told me that the dog didn’t demand it, and then later that he could be that way with the kids because they did demand it. It was so lonely living with him. Another time he said there was no point in trying to be that way with me because I was just a bottomless pit, and however much he might give would never be enough anyway. I still wince at the cruelty of that comment. But it turned out that my needs really aren’t that big — maybe I learned to thrive on just a little — and this talking thing is another one like that.

I have the most loving, generous, encouraging people in my life. Dear Mudd has suggested that I create a YouTube channel for the chats, and that’s on my list — in that case I could add them here. At the moment I have plenty of work, and as a starving freelancer, work takes precedence over everything else when it’s available. If you follow this blog and are on FB, but aren’t yet my FB friend, click this link and then send me a friend request! At this point, my feed is generally photography, poetry, stuff about books, stuff about my grandkids, and these little daily chats. I had to stop posting about politics (though I slip once in a while, increasingly rare though) because it was keeping me too angry. So I hope my feed is mostly about beauty, and my little daily visits with my friends.

I’m not saying I’m abandoning this blog — perhaps I’m just in a fallow period, as happens to all of us who blog. This is just a little note of explanation, and a waving to you. <3

12 thoughts on “What is it I need?”

  1. Your mouth is one of your most beautiful features! How could you ever see it as something else? I haven’t been on FB for the longest time, and I have to say, your creek side chats are one of three things I miss most (the others being a much-loved private group, and birthdays!) I must go back there amand watch them. Your voice is melodic and soothing, I miss it so.

    Show me everything about where you live. It makes me happy.

    I don’t understand people who withhold love. Like, why? What other purpose do we have, other than loving each other? All my love to you, my dearest friend. Xxxx

    1. I’ve reshaped FB so I just hit the bits that matter, and that includes birthdays, the group(s), and a feed of people who share beauty. Our political world is just too devastating and traumatic, every single day, and it was killing me. I miss seeing you around there, but in another way it doesn’t even matter because you’re in my heart all the time already.

      I don’t understand the withholders, either — but maybe that’s because it doesn’t scare me? Maybe the withholders are just so very scared, and scared I do understand. STILL. If you can’t show love to your very own immediate family, that’s just awful and wrong and ‘scared’ isn’t a good enough excuse. I agree with you: loving each other is our very purpose for being here. That, and appreciating the world. All my love to you my beautiful and dear friend. xoxoxoxo

    2. Also, thank you for your kind words about my mouth. I still feel so ashamed of it (though I’m better!) I kind of blew right past your kind words. The oldest shame is the hardest to root out. I have such bad teeth, and a gummy smile, and my tongue kind of sticks on my teeth sometimes and I fumble words (my dad used to do that and it was because he was drunk, so it has a bad feeling for me), and just on and on and on. But having to face the shame has been so good. I realized that’s probably why I rip my lips to shreds until they bleed — that old shame. And to my huge surprise, after I talked about it in a chat, so many people got in touch with me to say they had the same thing. It made me cry. So thank you for all those kind words, I know you meant them. <3

  2. You are simply gorgeous and I think that Jerry didn’t know what to do with someone who shone inside and out. The cruel words make me crazy – there is never an excuse for that. Shame on him. And, to hell with anyone who acts like that.
    As much as I love reading what you write, the sound of your voice and your beautiful face make it seem as if I am there with you – what a gift to us all. You are a wonder and I love you so very dearly. xoxoxo

    1. He didn’t know what to do with me, and I wore him out — he took on so much, with me….not just me and all my hurts, but my hellish family. He saved me, but he has his own smallness and it was a starvation for me. Still, he is one of the very few people in this world who has ever apologized to me so I give him that, too.

      It’s so funny how much more I enjoy doing those little videos — me, the one who always hurled down gallons of words! But yes, they feel more personal, more connected, more present, and I feel you there in such a different way. It’s mysterious. But I do love imagining that I’m just talking to you each morning. So much. <3 oxoxoxo

  3. What a thrill to be mentioned — once more, it reminds me of the Romper Room lady. But the Creekside Chat lady is even MORE special! 🙂 When you finally decide to have your own show on YouTube, I want to be President of your Fan Club, okay?

    It hurts so much to read about your longing to be loved because O how I understand! What a blessing you’ve been and continue to be for me, sweet darling friend. And your whole face is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, including the mouth part — that’s where all your Love-Words gather before they can finally be released for all of us to enjoy.

    Big Happy Love and a Warm Cuddly Hug
    Grateful Mudd
    xox

    1. Isn’t that longing to be loved so familiar? I wonder if it’s simply universal, and it’s just a matter of degree, or if there are magical beings who got all the love they ever wanted as they grew, and then just knew how to get it the rest of their lives. I don’t know. But I know you get that, my sister.

      I will gladly hire you as President of my Fan Club (wait while I roll around laughing!!!!!) — the pay ain’t great, but the boss is real nice. 🙂 Love you so dearly, my Mudd. xoxoxox

  4. Now that you’ve got me thinking, I realize I didn’t even know I had a longing to be loved. I just felt alone and empty, unprotected and very very strange. I guess when you don’t feel loved when you’re a child, you don’t know what’s missing.

    As for being paid… hey… I was ready to pay YOU for the honour, so I guess we’re even. 😉

    Bonne soirée, ma belle amie <3
    xox

    1. Yeah — when you’ve never had it I guess you don’t exactly know what’s missing, but I think you do know that something’s missing….and I guess when you’re little, you assume it’s you, it’s about you, it’s that you’re wrong, strange, adrift. One thing I adore, more than anything else in this world, is seeing my grandkids because they’ll never wonder, they will always know they’re loved. They have the best mamas and daddies, and once in a while I find myself even feeling jealous of them. I’m consumed by gratitude that they get that. It’s the long game, when you come from such a hard place; you want to set a new trajectory, and you do the best for the next generation and hope that they can then do even better for the one after. <3 <3 <3

  5. I have seen the videos, but haven’t been able to watch them (I usually see them when I’m checking FB in some public place while waiting for a kid or something…) – I want to, though! Meanwhile, it’s nice to hear about what you’re doing and what the experience of making those videos has been like for you. Even if I don’t get to watch them, it always makes me happy to see your smile pop up on my FB feed.

    1. Frankly, I’m always surprised when anyone watches them! Lots of people pop into FB when they’re at work, and who can watch a video then? Or in a public place, as you say. It’s been such a transformative thing for me, I really shake my head in wonder. Take care, dear Jocelyn!

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