Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Object Permanence

My great-grandmother, Mimi, unlike either set of my grandparents, was a saint, the kind of woman you could imagine as someone's great grandmother -- wise and kind, full of stories and sympathy. I shared a bed with her in my parents' house for many years due to the lack of space and the worst thing she ever did was harbor a deep hatred of our poodle, Peppi, because she feared that he "had bacteria all over him." Mimi spoke in a mix of French and broken English so I learned a lot of curse words when Peppi would ferret his way underneath our bed. She'd take a broom and yell at him, trying to prod him out. Of course, Peppi loved a challenge. There were many places he could have hung out; he chose the one that upset someone. The only time Mimi and Peppi achieved a truce was in the evenings after her pain medication had kicked in and she'd take his paws and dance him around to "Ring of Fire." Peppi loved to dance, especially when a good song with a rocking horn section was playing. His fondness extended to Herb Alpert, but Mimi wasn't so big on "The Lonely Bull." They got on for a few brief minutes before Peppi became her nemesis again.

For her part, she spent a lot of time thinking about where the bacteria-ridden Peppi might be. "He's not here, but he is," she'd say. "The spirit of Peppi is about." Object permanence is the psychological term used to describe the awareness that objects continue to exist even when they are no longer visible. She had this down to an art. Sometimes she'd confer with her two dead sons. I didn't understand then how people could be both dead and present. One day she explained it to me, saying that you are where you happen to be and also where you wish to be. Seldom are those the same place. Our troubled hearts don't allow them to be so we do the best we can with what we know is there even when it isn't.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"I wanted to write a story about love one morning. I liked love and could hardly do without it." Larry Brown

Cocktail Hour

Drinking novel suggestion: Disgrace J.M. Coetze

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Tuesday!


bitchlet said...

i feel that all the time

rush said...

i feel her pain. well, i used to. we must have the same docs.

Junior Soprano said...

I have second thoughts about staying in the nut-house I'm incarcerated in. Things were going smoothly at first. I had my card game, selling cokes and candy bars, and telling the dirty jokes--they were quite a hit. I was so involved in a homo joke that I wet myself. But then the kid I was mentoring in the nut-house turned on me and I was the victim of a savage beating. I had the opportunity to go on the lam, but instead I became a sort of object of permanence, in the real sense. Sometimes I just can't figure things out, even on pet day. Thanks for your support, Michelle. As you know, there are only about six episodes of the Sopranos remaining. I hope I can get out of here by then, and I hope I don't have to die to do it. Even Mr. Cheney gave me the run around.
Respectfully yours,
Corrado "Junior" Soprano

longly said...

Here is an author's promotional Web site you might find interesting:


Cheri said...

It actually opens THIS week, but I'll be in NYC Thursday through Sunday, so we'll have to figure it out for some other time. =D

JR's Thumbprints said...

When I'm at work, I'm constantly thinking about other places I'd rather be; yet, I don't want to go there if it involves pain. My wife says if I die from the hands of an inmate, there's a nice life insurance policy she can cash in.

the walking man said...

JR that statement alone would have me changing the beneficiary on the policy...just for shits and grins when your dead...then your wife could spend a lot of time in the state of object permanence bitching you out lol.

Very interesting thoughts today Michelle, especially from one wearing a tiara. I can understand why your great granny would not Peppi, nasty little loud dogs poodles are.

I barely remember my great grand mother and the only thing that sticks out in my mind about her were the clunky black shoes with two inc wide heels on them that all farm women of the day wore.

But my grandmother lived to be a hundred and five and she was sound of mind until about a hundred three then for some reason she thought I was Simon, one of her dead brothers, and I played with her memory and got a lot of her stories from her and a bunch of "do you remember when we..." It was fascinating and a learning experience of how much of her childhood among eleven kids came back to her.

On the other part about the troubled heart being in two places because we want to be somewhere other than we are. Why must the heart be troubled? If your soul is at work or wherever that doesn't mean the entirety of your spirit has to be there as well.

There is an entire spiritual side to creation to be explored, you may not be able to see it with your eyes but your spirit has an eye of it's own, especially open among writers, and thinkers. I think the more peace you have in your heart, the further your spirit may roam throughout the cosmos. But a word of caution, it is better to stay away from the place where the once human dead sleep 'cept you have a specific reason for being in that dimly lit space.

There are far more wonderful places to go to.


and i do need to know bout the final run off, because i have to make some plans about appointments and mundane shit.

Lost Sheep said...

Strong post--what a great story idea, the last few lines. They would be one heck of a diving board into one of your bigger stories, whether it remained at the top or not.

Elloquent, potent inspriration tonight, m. Gold Star.

Object permanence has got to be in my new religion.

Susan Miller said...

Sweet Mimi. I love wise women, who seemed to have been placed in our lives as some type of salvation from the chaos. They say things in such a matter of fact way and then we realize throughout our lives how vital their words were.

Thank you for sharing her words, Michelle.

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