Thursday, February 19, 2009

Friday Flux

NieNie has been back blogging for a little bit. If you don't know here, the summary is that she is a married Mormon woman with four beauties under the age of six; her name is Stephanie Nielson and she, along with her handsome husband Christian, was in a plane crash where she was burnt over 80% of her beautiful self. Now she is back in a new home, recovering, and has just returned home again from yet another surgery, this time on her armpit and hand. Her courage in the face of overwhelming pain, loss (of a life she expressed love and devotion for daily, of a face she recognizes) and grief is absolutely inspiring. She cries regularly, she says. (of course she does...) But damn her spirit is so fierce. She has taught me a few things about living. No matter what her pain or problems, she is damn determined to also be grateful, and to love, and express love, and yes, the tears must be cried, the pain felt and expressed, but then move, move toward love. I am in love with Stephanie Nielson, in the same way I fell in love with other women I've read of over my lifetime, women who are so amazing that it is thrilling, magical even, to read about their lives. Nie has a purity of heart that I cannot convey in this small space. Of course she is not perfect- I don't know what her flaws are, but I'm sure they exist :) but even if she had a BIG SERIOUS GROWN UP flaw, the things about her that I know are so overwhelmingly touching and amazing, it would only make her maybe a wee more accessible. As it is, someone sullied by life like I have been can only bask in the happy knowledge that people, and families like hers, do indeed exist. You see, it's not about what life has GIVEN her, it's about what she's DONE with it.
I love you like a fat kid loves cake, NieNie.

This one's for you, Nie:

during the afternoon
the pain relents- i notice our cat
hunting a fly, a beetle, a one legged bird.

she crouches patiently,
as if she will live forever.
she doesn't know she won't

so for her
pain is not a reminder
that death is the mission of the body.

my skin crawls eerily
these sharp toothed nerves gouging
into muscle, it feels like bone.

into the joints, sacks of cells
i am joined like an arthritic precurser.
inside the eddy of blood all things

clamor about, the membrane swells.
i spy the cat again, she limps distractedly
a fie in her paw, a hawking in her eye

she doesn't think of pain
as a signal for anything but patience.
taking care to clean around the wound,

rest burden on her other three.
she is more concerned with being a mother
and catching things to eat, than her foot.

i jump up and throw my arms out,
yell, hoot, start a dance from my aching feet.
fuck you,

i sing to this pain,
fuck you.

-maggie may ethridge

A Japanese chef has craftily made these Obama sushi. Of course he did.

TheMinx said...

what an inspiring/terrifying story, she will completely be in my thoughts today.

And that Obama sushi is a masterpiece!

Miss Grace said...

I've been following Ms. NieNie's story very carefully. She's such a positive inspiration.

Maggie May said...

i just added a poem i wrote because i saw it and thought it fit perfectly for Nie. i wrote it about my endometriosis pain.

Annabelle said...

That was so beautifully written, I've heard of nienie through the blogs and can see from what she says that she is everything you mentioned.
I especially love the last sentence that you wrote, "You see, it's not about what life has GIVEN her, it's about what she's DONE with it."
Absolutely true, and something for us all to live by.

Sharon said...

Thank you for sharing NieNie's story with us. I am actually speechless, can't think of what to say about thoughts will be with her as she continues to heal.

Anonymous said...

I stopped by to thank you for following my journal & for your kind words, but how could I not go over to Nie's blog after that build up :-)?
Oh Haaaaaaaaa on the Obama sushi.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes go on ebay and look at paintings people try to sell. You could always tell the good ones. They are so rare that I have perhaps seen- - one.

The same goes for poetry. I think you have written a very good poem here. I find it even more poignant than the 9 inch nails version made famous by Johnny Cash.

Good on you girl.

Sunday's Pearl said...

What a stunning post you have for us today. A story of courage, a beautiful poem and sushi humor. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Clementine said...

NieNie's courage is amazing. Such an inspiration! I was stunned to see her back at blogging, and with such bare truthfulness.

Jeanne said...

You see, you're my inspiration.

Lola said...

Wow! I just spent a very long time over at NieNie's blog. Thanks for letting me/us know about such a wonderful woman.

I wish I liked sushi, because I would so eat that.

Maggie May said...

oh gosh. i tear up easily these days. i love my bloggie friends.

Jeanne you got me with that! What a sweetheart. Thank you.

Eveningson what an amazing compliment. I love that you said 'good on you girl'!! :) Maegan said...

just beautiful. .. .and Obama sushi? Really? hilarious!

a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! said...

i love her too...i read her posts and almost always cry...she is a warrior too.

and you are one of "those women" that affect the rest of us, that give us something and cause us to pause and remember what is important....i just wanted you to know that.

Annie King said...

I love your poem. Words to live by!

this wheel's on fire said...

i LOVE monty python (below)!! they're the best :D
this is such a great post! thanks for your comments :)
p.s. completely agree about your hair cut comment! i was thinking about one just like it, but i'm too chicken right now...

Jeanne said...

Went back and watched "Marry Me." You're right -- mullets can be adorable!

Maggie Madison said...

Love the Obama sushi, the inspiring story and the poem. Not necessarily in that order.

Kyla Bea said...

I'm sorry, I got distracted by the Obama sushi. I would die to see the rest of that bento box, I swear I would!

And that's a terrifying story. I'm definitely going to check out her blog.

Hila said...

Maggie May, I just love it when I read a woman talking about another woman in this manner - usually it's the opposite and all I hear is bitchiness. Thanks for this post.

agnes said...

how beautiful those words are,, i'm moved by them, deeply.

and ohhhh.. the obama's sushi!!! it makes me laugh.

Anonymous said...

Lovely Maggie. You always put me at a loss for words. *chuckle* My boyfriend would like you to move in. *laugh*

Holly said...

i can't get enough of nienie, my bf thinks im crazy probably how sometimes i refere to things about her/the accident when i've never met her!! she is unstoppable.

Bobbie Leigh said...

What an amazing story about Nie Nie. I am definitely a new follower, of both hers and your blogs!

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