Dear Lily June,
Being nominated for the same award twice in one week (sorry, A Speck in Nature, for being so late to respond to your incredibly kind nom), reminds me of being a kid and having déjà vu. A lot. Like, a lot a lot. Though the term is French for “already seen,” really, the experience is like having “already felt” or “already lived through” something.
I remember thinking, probably from ages ten through sixteen, that I must have been having premonitions in my dreams, because I constantly had the sense that I’d “been there before.” Throughout junior high, my friend Kirsten and I referred to them as “coincidii,” and we kept an entire notebook full of these experiences. And far from creating a kind of malaise for me–as if I were watching my own reruns–it actually made life tingle with a strange and interesting static, like hearing ocean waves echoing out of a conch shell or looking at a picture of yourself looking at yourself in the mirror.
Anyway, I digress. All of that is to say, genuinely, thanks so much for the nomination. It’s a strange poem to give in gratitude, but as this is my second nomination, which makes me think of déjà vu, I offer you, A Speck in Nature, and you, Lily, this bizarre and yet moving poem about what it is to have survived–and not survived–from the experiences of war (as PTSD has a way of making you live your life in double-vision, seeing both what is and what has been before). It’s by Leroy V. Quintana, a native New Mexican who served in the Vietnam War in 1967-68:
Poem for Our Dog Afraid of Thunder on a Rainy Day
I know what it is like to be so afraid
on a rain-soaked day such as this.
On a rain-soaked day such as this
in Vietnam I prayed fervently.
In Vietnam I prayed fervently
shivering uncontrollably in the mud.
Shivering uncontrollably in the mud
as men whose duty it was to kill me filed by.
As men whose duty it was to kill me filed by
only a little more than a yard away.
Only a little more than a yard away
on a rain soaked day such as this.
The type of day that dogs don’t understand.
The Rules (Again) for the Liebster Award:
- Make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated me and include the Liebster Award sticker in the post. [Check! See above!]
- Nominate 5-10 other bloggers and notify them of this in one of their posts. [See below!]
- All nominated bloggers are to have less than 200 followers. [Oops! I have no clue. Oh ye, gods of the Liebster, forgive me and be merciful.]
- Answer the 11 questions posed by your nominator, and create 11 different questions for your nominees to answer. Or, you can repeat the same questions. [I’ve got my own, thanks.]
- Copy these rules into your post. [Done and done.]
My New Q&A:
1) What song comforts you the most when you’re down?
The song, “Loco Girl” by Chris Whitley, reminds me of your Grandpa Edward because Whitley was one his favorite musicians (before Whitley died). It has a way of both getting me down and picking me up. Thank you, the blues.
2) What one word best describes you?
3) If you could choose one topic that everyone in the world would agree on, what would it be, if anything? (for example, we’d all agree to give whirled peas a chance) 😉
When I was a little kid, I loved the wit and sarcasm of the cartoon cat Garfield (and found a kindred spirit in that lasagna lover who loathed both Mondays and Februaries). There was this episode of Garfield and Friends, the animated cartoon based on the comic strip, with the “Buddy Bears,” three bears who espoused conformist propaganda about never voicing a dissenting opinion. (The exact lyric in one of their songs was “If you ever disagree, it means that you are wrong.”)
I hated those bears with a passion (as the audience was meant to), and was glad when Garfield took them down with the one thing that, he claimed, no one quite agrees on–the perfect toppings for a pizza. So, selfishly, if I could get the whole world to agree on something, it would be that my toppings are the right toppings: extra cheese and mushrooms. Every time.
4) Would you want to be your own friend if you were not you? If so, for what reasons?
I don’t know. I’m actually a lot like the Jon Arbuckle character from Garfield Minus Garfield, a comic strip that removes the cat from the comic to show what an existential, lonely character Jon is. Without the people in my life like you, Lily, or your dad, I’m a lot like a cat lady sans cat. Strange. Disheveled hair. Mutters to herself just to make chin music.
Oh yeah. I think I’d have to befriend me. Because now I’m worried about me not having anyone else to turn to.
5) What’s your idea of a perfect meal?
6) Is there a website that’s really cool that you can recommend to others? If so, what?
Nah. I only like really uptight, nerdy websites that no one but me would care about. All the cool websites hang out on the other end of the internet from where I’m at.
Of course, it’s this kind of thing that haunts me in my dreams.
7) What is your favorite smell and why?
Fresh Laundry & Old Lilacs. No idea why.
Least favorite smell? The Scratch & Sniff approximation of pepperoni pizza.
8) Do you have a “most embarrassing moment” you’d be willing to share?
When I was in grade school, I went to the school nurse. I don’t even think I was really sick, but I was under the impression that the harder you held the thermometer in your mouth, the higher it would register your temperature. I held an old-fashioned thermometer between my teeth so hard, I bit through it, releasing glass and mercury into my mouth. Then, sick or not, the school nurse was pretty sure I was going to die. She was also pretty sure I was the kind of freak who bit through glass. She made me wash my mouth out with water, and I got to go home from school alright. Mission accomplished, much to my terrified little kid chagrin.
9) What seemingly simple thing in life brings you the most joy?
I never thought I’d take so much joy–or relief–in another human’s bowel movements. Lily, every time I know you’ve passed gas easily or filled a diaper without a struggle, a tiny celebration goes off in my mind and all the motherhood neurons crack open figurative wine coolers, partying until they end up with lampshades over their tiny heads within my bigger head. So to speak.
10) Do you care how the toothpaste tube is squeezed?
From the bottom up. If you ever disagree, it means that you are wrong.
11) What brings you to WordPress?
Talk about déjà vu. I think I answered that one way back with the Encouraging Thunder award.
- Blondewritemore–In August of 2015, she won a Funniest Blogger Award. She deserved every pixel of it.
- Hummingbird Redemption–I am positive this lady has at least 2,000 followers. But her heart is so open and kind, she deserves 200,000. Give or take a few.
- Myndrover’s Musings–This blogger is new. And has been having a pretty hard time recently. She could use more support. (Couldn’t we all?)
- Nuggets of Gold–This blogger’s blog–with interesting quotes, ideas, and regular segments–always inspires me to want to write. What more could you ask for?
- Bumbling Optimist–One of my two favorite blogs with Sh*t in the title, the other of which I nominated last time. She writes some funny (and completely relatable) sh*t.
Their New Questions
- Have you ever experienced deja vu before? If so, when? If so, when?
- Do you believe deja vu comes from premonitions into the future or recollections of a false past?
- What’s one day or moment in your past you wish you could relive over and over again (in the style of the film Groundhog Day)?
- What’s one day or moment in your past you’re glad you only had to live through once?
- What’s one thing you do every day?
- What’s one thing you never get to do, but wish you could?
- If you were to have one thought every year on your birthday, what would it be?
- If there were a day every decade you could indulge in any vice, habit or hobby with no consequence, what would you choose? (Caveat: You can only indulge in it one day every decade, but as much as you want that whole day.)
- What’s the best part of growing up/getting older?
- What’s the worst part of growing up/getting older?
- If you were forced to stay one age forever (a la Kirsten Dunst in Interview with a Vampire), what age would you choose?
In the meantime, Lily, I hope each hug we share feels like deja vu. Because I promise you, that’s one memory I never get tired of living in!
- “Garfield comic strip November 11, 2010” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Garfield_comic_strip_November_11,_2010.png#/media/File:Garfield_comic_strip_November_11,_2010.png
- “Lasagne – stonesoup” by jules / stonesoup – mum’s lasagne. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lasagne_-_stonesoup.jpg#/media/File:Lasagne_-_stonesoup.jpg
- “Clinical thermometer 38.7” by Menchi – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clinical_thermometer_38.7.JPG#/media/File:Clinical_thermometer_38.7.JPG
- “Groundhog Day (movie poster)” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Groundhog_Day_(movie_poster).jpg#/media/File:Groundhog_Day_(movie_poster).jpg