Last week, shortly after I posted my glowy post-solstice happy post, my grandfather passed away.
On the one hand, this was not exactly out of the blue; he was in a car accident a year and a half ago that induced a stroke and left him needing twenty-four hour care. Sometimes he would be relatively lucid, but he was never the same, and I think even those family members who argued otherwise knew that it was only a matter of time. In some ways, his passing is a relief, freeing him from the purgatory of a nursing home.
My grandfather was...just this guy, you know? He worked at a factory until he retired, bowled in a league, drank beer, smoked until the doctors made him stop, played cribbage, hunted and fished. He and my grandma (technically my step-grandma) were kind of the "cool" grandparents - they had a hot tub in the sunroom, a motorcycle in the garage, and they travelled more than most of my relatives. He wasn't any great humanitarian, and I suspect he had a lot of regrets...but he was a good man, as these things go. He enjoyed his life.
His favorite insult, in jest or in seriousness, was "potlicker." Seriously. These are my people.
I didn't have to sing at the funeral (the church wanted, for some reason I don't understand, to pre-record the vocals and play them back with a live organist; needless to say, the singer was less than awesome and the song had zero punch....I could've made it a catharsis, but whatever, obvy the church dude knows best), which was okay with me, since doing so inevitably makes me ball like a baby after. Also, the preacher made sure to mention that the hymn was "a great song for Christians to sing," which had my sister whispering in my ear "yeah, no singing that one, pagan."
The preacher, as per usual in Christian funerals I have attended, attempted to use grief as a recruitment tool for the big team in the sky. I fucking hate having my loved one held hostage in heaven against my repentance. Why does so much of Christianity (as expressed by preachers in church, anyway) seem to hinge on fear and manipulation, when so much of what Christ espoused was based in love and tolerance and good works? I mean, do they cover that stuff when they're teaching the preachers, or is that touchy-feely crap only for the kiddies in Sunday school?
I am officially re-booting the SFSV plan, and going on a break. I am pushing back the recording process until the fall, I am going over my other upcoming obligations and considering which ones I'll maintain, and which ones I'll cancel or delay. If I could take a leave of absence from the office, I'd do that, too. Instead, I'm scaling back my expectations of myself, opening up space in my calendar to watch movies and wander along the lakeshore and get acupuncture and do nothing. I just can't handle trying to juggle much at the moment, and I'm tired of trying. Solstice weekend, with its surprise free time to enjoy the sunshine and indulge in fripperies, is more of what I need. As much as I want to get various projects done...right now the project I'm working on is not feeling like such shit.
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.