I just got back from a nice long walk with my friends Arta and Atra. I love them so much. I love them so much that the world has suddenly come alive with all things Persian for me, and like a pregnant woman who suddenly notices that the world is alive with pregnant women, or everything is all about babies, now everything and everyone seem to be Persian. I'm kissing everyone on both cheeks and this just seems like the right thing to do and when people don't I feel kind of shorted, like something is missing. I've definitely learned to love tea, and long for the taste of honey, rosewater, and cardamon.
One thing that does suck though is how divergent our attitudes towards animal friends are. I think in their culture animals are on a whole different (read lower) level and my nutso behavior is just way, way, waaaaay out of their frame of reference for human animal interaction. I'm abnormal for most Americans but to someone from Iran my behavior must seem off the charts weird. One of their friends thought that because I scratched myself that it was because I'm somehow dirts or infected with animal bugs of some kind. I think they worry that I'll catch some disease from my pets, especially the rats. They're forever telling me to get rid of them and are always making jokes about it. I know they mean well but I so wish they could embrace my love of animals more.
They don't get that I see my love of animals, and my willingness to simply dive in and help wherever I'm needed, as something divine that I am just meant to do. Caring for animals is like a calling for me; I don't mean to sound like some holy rolling self important woo woo bee, but I really do see this as my job handed down from a much higher source, and I wish they could respect this rather than see me as being some kind of whacked out nut girl who needs to knock off this weird animal loving behavior, get with the plan, and focus on people instead.
I've run into this attitude before, this, "If you have to do something charity related why don't you at least do something good for people instead of animals. Why don't you donate your time and money to babies with AIDS or something important like that?" But life just doesn't work like that. There are plenty of people who are working to better the lives of children, people like my wonderful neighbor down the street who runs Starlight Children's Foundation. There is someone for everyone and every thing that has a need and we all have our calling.
To say that people are more important than animals and that I am wasting my time and need to restructure my priorities just doesn't mesh with my philosophy. I don't believe that humans are more important than animals, and I know that sounds weird and ridiculous to the majority of people I meet, but that's just how it is for me, I think all living beings are equal even lobsters. I've seen and felt animals suffer and experience joy and pretty much every other emotion with the same degree of intensity that we feel, so who are we to deem them as being less than us? Where do we draw that line, with the use of tools, with fire, with being able to use a toilet, (some cats can), with our civilization that is destroying the environment and consuming all of the precious resources of this planet?
I love my home, my car, the electricity that makes so many things possible, air conditioning for one, refrigeration, lights, the telephone, my computer and my television and all of the many important fruits of human imagination and ingenuity but I'd rather be a fish swimming in a stream that gets eaten by a bear, a dragonfly, a ladybug, a caterpillar, a pampered poodle, or a wild dog who scrounges for food in the garbage than a human responsible for some of the horrible things that we do.
Cats don't strip a man naked and throw him in a cell for three days like we just did to that soldier in Iraq. Birds don't work in labs mixing compounds that will eventually become napalm that will get dropped from the sky, stick to people's skin, and burn them alive. Squirrels don't spill crude oil into the oceans and Dogs didn't create AIDS and inject it into unsuspecting gay men in Africa. But most importantly, to me anyway, animals don't make war on each other, they may fight but they don't make land mines that blow people to pieces, they don't use pristine tropical islands for target practice, making them forever uninhabitable, and they don't commit genocide or contribute to the development of nuclear weapons. Heck, I'd rather be an animal than almost anything human if I didn't have to live in a world run by humans, and with that my cat Jake just puked on my leg.
Anyway, that whole tangent aside, I do love my friends, and after having to work all day at Mom's in this record breaking heat, taking a walk in the cool, jasmine perfumed night air was such a nice treat. We walked and talked and smelled and commented on all of the plants and flowers we saw along the way. We walked farther than I've walked in ages and it felt good. By the time we got home the power was back on.
We had our second power outage in just a week tonight. It's such a weird, disconcerting feeling when you're busy doing some mundane thing and all of a sudden the power just goes away and you're left standing there in the dark. The first thing I have to think of when this happens is naturally Beau because I know how phobic he is about the dark.
I had just come home from working at Mom's all day, which really wasn't that bad, not anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I so have to remember this about myself -- that nothing is ever anywhere near as scary or frightening, hard, or painful as I imagine it will be, (not even the dentist), and that it's never worth the anxiety I put myself through before hand. Anyway I'd just come home from Mom's, I was too tired to bring everything in from the car so I just grabbed a few basic things and came in.
Anna was in the kitchen kindly making my dinner for me. The cats were all gathering around, talking to and rubbing on us. I was just happy to be home, grateful to have Anna's help, and looking forward to checking in on Beau and having my dinner while I watched the second installment of the silly earthquake movie, 10.5, when everything shut down. I knew I had to get to Beau because he would be freaking out so I told Anna to wait for me, that I needed to find Beau and would be back with matches, candles and flashlights.
Right away I heard Beau calling for help from upstairs. Making my way up the stairs in the absolute blackness, with cats weaving in and out between my feet without falling is definitely a challenge. Poor Beau, he was so scared and said just that, "Mom, I'm so scared. Where are you? I can't see you. Are you coming? I'm here, I have my hand out in front of me." It felt good to grab his hand and know that just by doing this simple thing he would feel better. I helped him find his way into my room where we quickly found matches and started lighting candles. Luckily, his quick thinking Mother, remembering how much we had needed good working flashlights in the last power outage, had just bought two brand new ones at Best Buys yesterday, and I was so patting myself on the back for that, although we really needed three, one for each of us.
Poor Anna was groping around in the dark downstairs waiting for us. The one pack of matches she was able to find, by feeling around in the drawers, had gotten wet at some point and didn't work, so by the time we came back down I found her trying to finish making my dinner with this weird little green toy flashlight from Monster's Inc. It made me laugh that we were having this power outage and she was sweetly trying to continue the business of making my dinner, which clearly wasn't a priority for me any longer. I thanked her and told her to forget about it and that my main concern was for her comfort, to do what we could to make the rest of her night as easy as possible, considering we were probably looking at doing without power for at least four or five hours. But Anna is an Aries like me and once she decides on a course of action, that's it for her, she's not going to be dissuaded, so I left her to finish making this dinner I didn't know how or when I would eat, and started lighting candles and putting batteries in flashlights.
After I fed the baby possums in the dark, with my flashlight pinned beneath my chin, I went downstairs to collect Beau to go to Arta and Atra's. Beau had wanted to go over there to use the laptop to catch up with his Star Wars game, and I was hoping I'd still be able to catch a bit of the earthquake disaster movie, but when I came back downstairs Beau was being a little firebug and having too much fun playing with the candles and watching the river of wax that was pouring out of one of them and pooling up on the dining room table, to want to leave. So I left without him.
Our little power outages are so weird because when they happen they only knock out the power on our side of the block, all of my neighbors who live across the street from me are fine, so when I got to Arta and Atra's house it was like I'd come from this other planet that was dark and power free and stepped blinking into this artificial lighting heaven. The first thing I noticed though was that Atra had these big dark sunken circles under her eyes. She gets migraines like Ana and I wish there was something I could do for her. I've bought her this herbal supplement called Migraleaf and Excedrin Migraine but I just know there must be something more I could do for her. She doesn't have health insurance and going to a doctor is an ordeal for her so for the past month she's just been living with these terrible episodes of brain pain and vomiting. Any advice anyone?
Apart from the miserable heat, working at Mom's really wasn't that bad. Rosa behaved herself, although her son seems kind of slow and isn't exactly the best painter in all the world. We started in the basement going through all of my old books and I just forced myself to let go of most of them. I saved the best books for Beau and my library and the ones I didn't want, but that I thought were valuable, I packed up to sell on eBay. The rest of the books we gave away to a lady who gives them to charity.
I found some beautiful beaded and lace dresses of Mom's and Granny's that had been packed away in a trunk and I brought them and a lot of old photos home. We threw out tons of junk, old, gross, dirty, mildewed, dusty stuff, and I gave a few things away to Rosa and Anna and that made them happy. I found a lot of things that had been missing for a while, like my Grandparents funky old aluminum Christmas tree, Dad's fishing and duck hunting gear, (which I am going to sell), and his Le Creuset pots and pans. I hate to say this but I can't help but wonder how much stuff just walked out of Mom's basement and the storage room by the garage before I even got there. Oh well, duty done, I'm relieved. Next up is my yard, my garage, and my storage unit. I'll be so glad to get this all over with -- to be done with the constant moving back and forth of my stuff. I feel like all I do is take it from here and move it to there and then move it back again. I hate it, but I think I'll take a lesson from today and try to look forward to it.
Oh and I found a whole box of vintage postcards that I had bought years ago before people started selling them for so much on eBay -- take that gregspostcards.
Okay well, that's about it for tonight. It's so late, I'm hot and tired, and I can't wait to lie down and crash after what has been a long day.
Love you guys,