The Summer Mom went Crazy

Multimedia Collage and charcoal drawing by Candace Vianna
Paladin of Lost causes Multimedia Collage and charcoal drawing by Candace Vianna

 Paladin of Lost Causes

This is my requiem
To tradition, the Old Guard
Blamed, belittled, castigated,
Bombastically harangued in bellicose derision
Casualties of iconoclastic mendacity
I am the paladin of lost causes

This is my lamentation
To tolerance
Obsequious, timorous, reticent
Chary of a ubiquitous double standard
Dogmatic chauvinism practiced with malevolent hubris
I am the paladin of lost causes

This is my dirge
To innocence
Adulterated, vitiated, desecrated
Precocious children provocatively displayed,
Meretricious caricatures, tawdry and sordid
Salacious egocentric hedonists, sating puerile appetites
I am the paladin of lost causes

This is my eulogium
To civility, decorum, and grace
Deposed, forgotten, forsaken
Conquered by aggrandized ignorance
Narcissistic arrogance and callous indifference
I am the paladin of lost causespaladin crop figure

This is my elegy
To Integrity,
Equivocated, prevaricated, palliated
Pusillanimous deeds, impenitently executed
Ignored, exonerated in criminal banality
Deafening silence conveying tacit approval
I am the paladin of lost causes

This is my howl
Against isolation
Persecuted, condemned, shunned
A heretical apostle drowning in ennui
An anachronism, upsetting the equilibrium
Challenging the status quo
I am the paladin of extraordinary causes

This is my hosanna
To eloquence
Poignant, voluble, articulate,
A plangent, discordant celebration of loquacious expression
Elocution’s paramour, consumed in a blazing
Addiction of impassioned rhetoric
I am the paladin of extraordinary causes

This is my encomium
To knowledge
Quenching, intoxicating, liberating,
An erudite crusader in a sea of dilettantes
Grail questing with alcoholic thirst
Overcome by copious sagacious pleasures
I am the paladin of extraordinary causes

This is my paean
To honor
Quixotic, valorous, incorruptible
An obdurate master,
polishing the penitent pilgrim to an adamantine sheen
I glow, I shine

I am the paladin of extraordinary causes

Candace Vianna 14 Apr. 2007

I wrote the above poem back in 2007.  I was working as an onsite service technician for a scientific instrument company, my twins were in high school and my son was in middle school. I ended up having to get hand surgery (I severed a tendon in a kitchen mishap — knives and frozen peaches… don’t ask.) Unbeknownst to us, I have a severe drug intolerance to general anesthesia. It caused some pretty intense cognitive issues at the time whose effects still linger today.

This is the time we all refer to as the summer  Mom went crazy.   I was having speech problems, noisy environments overwhelmed me and huge chunks of memory were just gone. I had trouble following conversations. Hell, by the afternoon, I couldn’t recall most of what had occurred  that morning. Every time I called my healthcare provider saying something was wrong, they said not to worry this was normal. I had to go in five manic days post-surgery for a follow-up. I still hadn’t slept… like at all.  My skin was clammy, my heart was racing,  and I was always out of breath (and not in a good way.) Everything was fine according to the physical therapist. On the way out I  started seeing spots,  and decided  a second opinion was in order.  I took my ass  across the hall to urgent care and was vindicated. A  dose of Benadryl and Ativan got the worse of my symptoms cleared up but after five days, the damage had been done.

And no one listened.

I was  a wreck, and my Mom had already planned to spend quality time taking both mine and my brother’s families on a Washington DC vaction that summer.  You know what the most frustrating thing about insanity is ? It’s that no one takes you seriously. Behaving irrationally doesn’t mean you’re  wrong…..

Because I had a special needs children, I already had a fair lay-understanding of cognition. So I decided to exercise my cognitive muscles by going back to community college. Now I my first college attempt straight out of high school had been an utter failure. Things were different back then, this was before the internet, before people carried computers around in their back pocket. Papers had to written out by hand, and I was dysgraphic (still am,) but didn’t know it.. I failed so spectacularly, I was convinced I couldn’t write–Not write well or adequately, but write at all–although I was doing it all the time for work.

So there I was 45-years-old, back in school taking freshman English, expecting to crash and burn (And in an effort to set a good example, I tortured my children by going over my homework with them.) We’d read a poem in class (I can’t remember by whom) and were assigned to write our own in the same style.

Knowing the kids were going to be taking the SATs soon, I  pulled out a GRE vocabulary list and crammed in as many highfalutin words as I could, then forced the them to analyze the poem above (yes, I’m that mom.)

Talk to me, dammit!

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