March 14th, 2003


Women Of the Old West; Their True Stories

This is from a book about women in the Old West by Joan Swalow Reiter. I think it's fascinating. It makes me realize how damned easy I have it and what a pampered whiner I can sometimes be. I stumbled across this today while I was feeling sorry for myself because Beau was rude and bratty, and my checking account is super low. I'm trying to taper off of my antidepressants so it won't be so hard to take them when I'm in the hospital, and in the weeks afterwards when I won't be able to eat anything solid, but I didn't realize it would be this hard to do. I kind of need their space-me-out fuzzy support now that I'm facing something so challenging.

I'm going to copy a moving paragraph here, and then I'll put the whole chapter with this piece in context behind the LJ cut feature, in case anyone is interested.

Perhaps even more painful than unwanted pregnancies, hazardous childbirth and the burdens of raising a large family under ikcaj primitive conditions was the terrible desolation following the death of a child, particularly an only child. The bereavement of Narcissa Whitman drove her to the brink of madness. Her two-year-old daughter, Alice�the first white child born in the Northwest�was the focus and solace of her isolated life. Narcissa had carried Alice in her womb on the long journey to the West and given birth to her in the Oregon country in 1837. �0, how many melancholy hours she has saved me, while living here alone so long, especially when her father is gone for many days to gether,� Narcissa confessed in a letter to her sister.

On the 23rd of June, 1839, little Alice fell into the Walla Walla River and drowned. Narcissa clung to the dead child for four days before allowing her to be buried. �She did not begin to change in her appearance much for the first three days.� she wrote to her parents. �This proved to be a great comfort to me, for so long as she looked natural and was so sweet and I could caress her, I could not bear to have her out of my sight.

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Dreams; My Haunted Secret Rooms, Being a Rock Star with My Brother

Oh funny, I just remembered my dreams from last night. They were fun and interesting, well, interesting to me of course.

I am in my home but it is this weird stripped down future version of my home. I am impaired in some way, tired and physically weak. I keep laying down on my bed and am dependant on my housekeepers for help. (This isn't too far from reality) People are coming and going and I am making decorating decisions for my bedroom.

There is an alcove to the left of my bed. I hadn't really noticed it before and I am thinking that there is plenty of room for some more bookcases and maybe I could even bring in two Adirondack chairs that I like from my garden, and put a table in the middle of them. But then I notice that there is a window in the wall -- a window that looks into a kitchen. A kitchen upstairs?

I go over to the window and it opens up into a doorway and I discover three rooms that I had never noticed before. The past residents of my dream home had left these rooms untouched, they left everything behind. They are dark and a bit dusty. There is a dining room and a pantry and a little office/den. There are books and trinkets and things lying about and there is an old refrigerator that even has old food in it.

I am fascinated by this secret passageway/area in my home. It seems as if some ghosts or people from another time might still be living here. There are cats and some children who blink in and out. It is frightening and intriguing at the same time. I want to befriend all of this quirky old fashioned ghost animals and people, but I am a little afraid of them. I also feel this sense of greed that I own these rooms filled with strange things that aren't mine really.

In another part of the dream I am younger, a super cute and sweet woman who is a successful singer songwriter in a brother sister act with my brother. We both have our own acts but we like to tour together. I am petite and brunette and my brother is tall and slender and brunette as well. I adore him in a hero worshipping sort of way. The closeness I feel with my brother is so incredibly symbiotic and comforting. He is everything to me.

We are on tour and I am holding my guitar. We are sitting in the audience waiting to go on. We are seated with some of the other band members from some of the other acts. They are kind of teasing us but they know we are getting a lot of airplay, record sales, and attention, so it doesn't really matter to me. I am just happy in my skin as this woman, as an artist, as this sister woman. I know how good I am, I know I am really good when I perform. I am also a little shy and afraid to perform but looking forward to it.

We travel by bus with some other bands to a gig that has been set up for everyone. But when we get there, the stage isn't set up and there are a lot of people milling around. It is somewhere in France and I am one of the only people who can speak French so I begin speaking French in my dream. II am so happy that I am remembering so much French and conversing so easily. am explaining to the people in charge of this venue that we are here to play and that there are several bands and we need to know where our accommodations will be and we need them to clear the stage.

We get back in the bus and head over to our hotel in this little village like place. The hoteliers want to separate everyone by sex but I don't want to leave my brother. And that's all I remember.
God, I wish I did have a brother. I loved him so much.

Okay, well, I have to go over to Mom's to take some of these magazines over for her bridge luncheon friends tomorrow. I'm also taking over some of the dresses I collect because she stores them for me, and say a prayer or twenty that I can get paid back for some of my receipts. Bleee.

Love you monkey bees,