In search of story


Connections: February 14.17

2015-06-33-bouginvilla-15-july“Say it with flowers”

has sold many a rose

but other flowers speak

in poetry and prose.

How can I say more

to express my true feeling

than with this corsage

of bougainvillea on the ceiling?

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear reader!

And more thanks to the S.W.Berg Photo Archives

and to D.J. Berg’s green thumbs.



The plea

I am trying to tell you I am exhausted, scared, confused. I don’t sleep much, I am on constant guard, I don’t know what to do. You immediately change the subject to yourself, stuffing me back down my own throat. Your stories about you are a hand over my mouth. They keep you safe from empathy.

I am trying to tell you how I feel even when I’m not sure I feel anything. You ask fact-finding questions, conjuring up a problem which you, as magician inventor, handily solve. You tell me what’s wrong and then what I should do about it. I’m not asking you what’s wrong, let alone what I should do about it. But you must hide behind that wall of probing and pronouncing; it shields you from feelings.

I’m trying to tell you I am being crushed. You don’t believe me, do you? You can’t see it so you don’t believe it; you just brush me off. I’m not dandruff on your shoulder! I’m a caregiver. I am trying to take care of someone whose disintegration you do not — or will not — perceive. How convenient for you. It relieves you of the burdens of conscience.

I do not need “Ten Steps to a Better Caregiver’s Life.” Spare me the “How to be Happy While Keeping Your Parent from Falling Out of the Car.” Don’t tell me this too shall pass and don’t tell me that God never sends us more than we can handle, or the sun will come out tomorrow. What drivel. It excuses you from real thought.

Stories about you. Contrived advice. Shabby drivel. They meet your need, not mine. I need the opportunity to talk.

Please. Just listen.