About Me

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Kymberlie Ingalls is native to the Bay Area in California. She is a pioneer in blogging, having self-published online since 1997. Her style is loose, experimental, and a journey in stream of consciousness. Works include personal essay, prose, short fictional stories, and a memoir in progress. Thank you for taking a moment of your time to visit. Beware of the occasional falling opinions. For editing services: http://www.rainfallpress.com/

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Steel Poinsettias

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I think … well, I think entirely too much – this, I believe, we’ve established.  But I think that yes, I am drawn to the dramatic, to the bittersweetness of life’s journeys.  There’s something about that taste of a raindrop upon your tongue that brings a memory to mind, the faces that hover like ghosts in the gray skies, and the highs of low emotions that call to me, and claim me as their own.

So many are often spouting their positive platitudes to me, extolling the benefits of “moving on,” or “getting over it.”  It holds absolutely no appeal to me, for if I were to do so, it means letting go, and I’m not good with letting go.  Change has never been a friend to me – a hello inevitably leads to a goodbye.  Goodbyes bring about sadness, and the irony here is my beauty, my soul, my heart is driven by my sadnesses. 

How do I … why? would I… turn that off, change that part of me?  The moments that strike me as meaningful are those of reflection, of remembrance.   May it be laughter, longing, lust or loneliness – it is all kept within the attic that is my mind.  A treasure trove of melancholy.

My husband says he doesn’t like it when I’m sad, therefore at times has difficulties reading the words I write.  I can understand that, I don’t like when he is sad either.  I don’t like to see anyone I love sad.  Don’t like to have my heart broken, either, but it does happen.  Right now I’m thinking of someone who has broken my heart.  Someone I believed in.  And right now I’m feeling like a little girl standing alone on the playground with a chilly wind blowing through me, having just been told that Santa Claus is a big fat fake.  I’ve discovered that the gift of friendship he’d given has turned into just another empty box with pretty wrapping, and I was drawn in by the ribbons and bows of it. 

The poinsettia has always been a favorite flower of mine.  The hearty richness of color and sturdiness of the plant in the winter, despite its need for warmth, is a reflection of this life that  I’ve survived. 

Many of my friends don’t understand my fascination with the world online.  They can’t surmise why I will while away hours of my lifetime talking to people I will never meet, why I want to look up friends that I haven’t seen or heard from in decades.  It is for reasons such as this:  when a name pops up on my screen that I haven’t yet deleted from my contact list, alerting me to their presence and bringing tears that have no place in my eyes, it can immediately be washed away by a joke on my Facebook wall, from an old friend whom I haven’t seen in twenty-five years. 

Thanks, Angie, your hugs reach from ten thousand miles away.  You are a reminder that goodbyes sometimes lead to a hello again. I miss you all most at Christmastime.  Empty boxes catch the eye beneath a quietly twinkling tree, but the stockings full of love are the first thing the child in us reach for.

“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”  - Truvy Jones

© Kymberlie Ingalls, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Who Let In The Rain..?

There’s an old saying: “We plan, God laughs.”  I heard this today: “Make plans, but understand that we live by Allah’s grace and by Allah’s plans!”  Sounds to me as if there’s a lot of similar thinking going on – and yet too many are still being judged by the name of their worship, rather than the common goal.

Someone asked me tonight “Why do you persist in letting things be rough?”  And the thing is, I think he expected me to answer him.  If I had those answers, I wouldn’t be sitting here now at typing to an internet full of strangers when I could be sleeping peacefully. 

Peace.  Just when I thought I had a hold on it, I turn around and find a big chunk missing out of my ass.  They say that pit bulls aren’t bad dogs, they have bad owners.  Seems to be that way for me with this peace thing.  Zen and light work great for some, but I appear to be just another bad owner of it.  

“Maybe you take things too seriously.”  Is he kidding with this?  Of course I take everything seriously.  It’s the nature of my beast.  My husband just let out an overwhelmingly loud snort in his sleep as I typed that – subconsciously he must agree.  My response:   “Nearly all things pass.. some just pass more than once.” 
But my friend isn’t aware of the many things that haunt me at .  He’s chased his own demons, and I’m still learning where it’s left him, but mine are my own and there’s no need to justify them.  Ghosts of songs that echo resoundingly in the attic that is my head.  Spectres of dastardly deeds that point their fingers at my madness every damn time it trips me up, chanting “told you so!” like a mob of Brady kids gone wrong. 

My delirious mind wants to fall asleep.  This isn’t something that eludes me every night, but when it does it’s as if there’s a crack in the universe that I can slip through for just a moment, and toss out my thoughts like stars to scatter the night sky.  I couldn’t possibly do this if I didn’t persist in what I know, if I wandered from my path because the little GPS on my shoulder said “Recalculating… turn left!”  Sometimes we have to go against the voices.

Sometimes we have to latch on to that common goal, no matter how we come to see it.  Whether God's will, Allah's grace, my friend's casual curiousity of my malleable mind, or karmic destiny - it all leads us to the same place; inner peace and understanding.  Tolerance.

What was that old song that Pebbles and Bamm Bamm would sing?  Open up your heart and let the sun shine in!”  Bunch of hippie songwriters. 

Once again I find myself looking for that ass-chunk that is the missing peace of me. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Tear Today, A Turkey Tomorrow

A Tear Today, A Turkey Tomorrow

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“When I have food, help me to remember the hungry.  When I have work, help me to remember the jobless.  When I have a home, help me to remember those who have no home at all.  When I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer.  And remembering, help me to destroy my complacency, to stir my compassion, and be concerned enough to help by word and deed those who cry out for what we take for granted.” – A Thanksgiving prayer.
What am I thankful for?  I thought I’d better sit down and figure this out so that I’m better prepared for the 238 people asking me on Facebook.  The pressure was getting to me to shape up my pessimistic attitude lest I rain on everyone else’s turkey parade.

I have a roof over my head.  This is a good thing.  I may not be able to afford to heat the place (seriously, we went all last winter without even cracking on the heater, thanks to the Smart Meter That Stole A Warm And Fuzzy Christmas, brought to you by Pacific Gas & Electric), but at least I have a loving husband, two furry funny felines, and a pile of blankets to keep me toasty.

While I worry about the long hours my husband spends trying to make a go of our business that we bought a few years ago, I am thankful that we have something to call our own.  We are strong, sometimes unwontedly so, and this carries us forward when the road ahead looks bleak and tiring. 

The family dinners – horrid as they have been in the past, perhaps my family is finally growing up.  Still moody, still bitchy, but at least not as destructive as the shattered family photos have shown.  Every year for at least a decade my dad gives the “I don’t even care if we have dinner!” rant, and it leaves me wondering why I do, year after year, but it’s because I know that deep inside it’s for my dad that I make the effort.  Despite his complaints to the contrary, he wants us there.  I do think, however, that I’m the only one who realizes that someday we won’t even have the bad holidays.  I see that they’ll disappear someday, much like Santa’s sleigh at . 

Mostly, I am thankful for the ever-changing carousel of friends.  While some have left me with sadness and hurt between the last Thanksgiving and this one, others have remained steady and true.  Today I am feeling a twinge, a slight crack in this old heart, but I’ll try to push it aside.  Learning comes from each whom have crossed my path, inspiration comes from the unlikeliest of faces.  There is no one I don’t share with, type to, wave at or hug that doesn’t leave an impression.  Maybe I haven’t met you yet, but a meaningful experience isn’t always visible to the naked eye.  These, I have found, to be the most valuable when later discovered. 

I am thankful for the moments throughout the year when these things come to me.  At in the middle of April, or on a hot July day, not just the fourth Thursday of every November.

If you are reading these words, I am thankful to you – no stranger is random.  Your time is what I cherish.  May peace find you, whether alone or lonely, with loved ones or missing them, at home or without one.  May you be thankful for any little thing that brings you a tomorrow. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How The Grinch Took Back Christmas

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It is apparent that I am going to have to stay out of retail stores and restaurants from Labor Day until the day after Thanksgiving.  And the thought of commercialism coming in and crashing my Christmas parade really pisses me off. 

You see, for as long as I can remember, my holiday season goes as follows:  suck it up and suffer through Turkey Day; be rewarded with a fun Friday of setting the house ablaze with an array of festive lights, bringing out the tree for decoration, and the playing of the first holiday song. 

I have taken great care in my selections over the years of that prized first song.  I have 834 on my iPod to choose from.  Tradition for me has morphed over the years into any little thing that distracts me from the drudgery of family squabbles and miserable memories.  Yes, retail began years ago to bastardize the Christmas season by trotting out the perfect Martha Stewart trees before the ghosts and goblins of Halloween are even laid to rest, but I'd always managed to keep it at arm's length by tuning out the sights and sounds until I was ready to embrace it all on my terms.  Perhaps it's my inner Grinch rising up inside my ever-shrinking heart, but it's not so easy anymore.  Now I'm scowling at the tinny speakers above me, and seeing the tree lots as just another cemetery full of uproot and decay. 

It irks me that my tradition is being encroached upon by a nameless, faceless jolly red giant who crashes through the season like the giant Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, with slashed price tags dangling from every limb, spouting a list of things you need but really just sounding like a grown-up in Charlie Brown’s world. “Whah whah?  Whah whah whah whah!”

Don’t get me wrong – I love a gift.  I could sit and open presents all day long and be content, but the gifts I prefer are those that have thought behind them, and are given with the spirit they should be, not out of obligation.  I love to give them as well, but tend to spread it throughout the year.  It’s fun to give something unexpectedly to someone in June or September, just because.  Or taking the time to spend with someone – no gift equals lunch with a friend, catching up sharing a laugh or two. 

I refuse to give up my holiday spirit altogether, but can see I’m just going to have to be more creative about how I get there.