Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Recently, I've been reflecting on some social dynamics that I've come across and have been working to articulate my thoughts on them upon having made some solid decisions. After being repeatedly called a 'Nazi' for explaining a point of view or personal history and for, later, trying to make people feel better; hearing or reading, yet again, how much Person X or Y or Z hates happy people today; or people who get angry because I won't adhere to their personal agenda of who should get what kind of attention from me (seriously, wtf?), I find myself entirely put off. It's less a feeling of alienation than a clear indication that I've got better places to expend energy.
Because I'll be damned if I'm going to defend or relinquish my hold on happy. A hold, which, granted, may come more naturally to me, but in no ways means that I don't work my ass off for it. Sometimes with a conscious effort for damned near every minute for days that seem endless. I make sacrifices, painful choices, take risks, gamble and lose, get bruised, shake my fist at the sky and sometimes go to bed too exhausted to figure out why the fuck I keep getting up and doing it all over again. All in the name of happiness. On having one hopeful shot at getting it right or getting the least amount of it wrong. And that's the thing: I'm going to get a hell of a lot of it wrong. Of this, there is no doubt. Sometimes with spectacular results. It's a universal truth: YOU WILL FUCK SHIT UP. In light of that, the last thing I'm going to do is sit around with a bunch of chumps who would rather pull those around them down than stand up and forge on. Life, on its own does a good enough job of that, even on the most personal level: cancer; blowing your knee out; the loved one who, inexplicably, doesn't wake up one day. That doesn't even touch on the full range of experience from paper cuts to centuries of bloody warfare, torture and famine. Are we so arrogant as to think we can improve on this model? Better yet, why would we want to?
In a sense as much as people want to call me a PollyAnna and dismiss me for that, what I think they don't see is the practicality of being positive, to say nothing of the work it takes. It doesn't mean that you love everything all of the time, and God knows, I can barely stand the sound of my own voice by the end of Saturday night, but it does mean that you know that there's a space that's created amongst friends and loved ones where you get to leave the ills of life and the world on the doorstep - even when those ills may involve one another. Where the gloves don't come off at the first sign of vulnerability and where no one is in danger of being kicked in the teeth. And where truths are shared without an agenda of one-upmanship or sycophantic ego massage in rote expectation for the same bland, kid glove treatment.
I'm also not saying that there is no place for exploring and embracing one's grief, sense of loss, despair, frustration, anger, pain or sadness. However, what I'm drawn to are solutions. 'Lancing the boil' and working through the painful and ugly and disheartening, not to mention wailing and railing atthe horror and injustice of it all is a part of working toward a solution. Then there's growth and forward momentum. Change and learning and process and improvement.
I will gladly hold you, physically or figuratively, when you cry. I will sit in silence with you when need someone who can be a source of calm and comfort. Please understand, however, all of these are active states. I will offer my hand, but I need you to reach forward and take it. I will walk beside you every step of the way, but you've got to stand up and start the journey. I will not coddle and I will not carry. When crying and resting becomes wallowing; when getting up means running back to retrace the same steps, ad nauseum, that caused you the hardship or heartache in the first place; to do these things and ask that I show my support by standing by either watching silently or cheering you down the same dark road is to make me complicit in something that makes me profoundly uncomfortable. It is then that I begin to wonder if I'm not merely a captive audience of sorts for today's/this week's/month's installment of drama-porn and discomfort becomes sadness and not a little sickness at heart.
Here is where distance usually begins, because the above combinations where I am asked to show my love and support by unconditionally advocating another's actions or must be less of who I am in order to validate another's sense of discontent or risk some kind of punishment or ostracization is the kind of slippery slope that offers absolutely nothing to anyone. Least of all safety, trust or security; three things of which there is already far too little of in this world and these are the things that I need more than anything. These are things that shine in my heart, come dizzy giddiness or deep despair. These are the things that I'll fight for because these are the things that bring me the kind of happiness that I just can't do on my own and that kind of happiness is truly a wonderful thing.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Tellingly, the blog owner has come upon something of significant magnitude and needs to take a step away in order to deal with it.
We're trouble. Nothing but trouble. Drinking team wreckers, even. Oh! The horror!
Saturday, January 21, 2006
-on nights like this
-when the world's a bit amiss
-the lights go down across the trailer park
-on the verge of going mad
I do the following:
-punch the clock
-put on some make-up
-(play) some LaVern Baker
-turn up the tape deck
-pull the wig down from the shelf
-pull the wig down on my head
-Miss Midwest Midnight Checkout Queen
-this punk rock star of stage and screen
-Miss Beehive 1963
-Miss Farrah Fawcett from TV
As I look up from my Vermouth on the rocks at a gift-wrapped wig still in the box of towering velveteen, I reflect:
-back on where I'm from
-at the woman I've become
-the strangest things seem suddenly routine
It all ends when:
-I head home and put myself to bed
-I wake up and turn back to myself
I envy girls who:
-have natural ease
-wear it any way they please
This is the best way that I've found to be the best you've ever seen:
-Dorothy Hammil do
Why? It's all because of you and your:
-Toni home wave
My favorite one, however, was bmarkey's:
You are currently:
*Looking at your watch a third time
*Waiting in the station for a bus
*Going to a place that's far, so far away
*Going where nobody says hello (They don't talk to anybody they don't know)
Possible consequences of your actions:
*You'll wind up in some factory that's full time filth and nowhere left to go
*Walk home to an empty house
*Sit around all by yourself
*You'll be coming back before too long
My current agenda:
*At night I drink myself to sleep
*Pretend I don't care if you're not here with me
*Something better happen soon or it's gonna be too late to bring you back
Weak selling points:
*It's not as though I really need you
*If you were here I'd only bleed you
*But everybody else in town only wants to bring you down
*That's not how it ought to be
Things you shouldn’t do:
*Go back to Rockville
*Waste another year
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Sunday, January 15, 2006
In no particular order…
Professionally - freelanced successfully as a primary source of income. Scary. Exciting. Incredibly empowering.
Health - Got mono. Thought it was the flu. Then thought it was allergies. Ignored it. Turned into CFS. Personally understood the term 'deathless slumber' and somehow suspect that my body may have finally reversed a three decade long sleep deficit in three short months.
Personally - Cooked a turkey. Hosted two orphan's holidays. Learned some socially dynamic rules of engagement, less as an MO than as a utility for specific situations.
Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I don't really do resolutions as much as set increments on long term goals. In 2006, I want to get a dog.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Did anyone close to you die?
What countries did you visit?
Napa, Marin, the Marina. Yes, they qualify as such.
What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
I'm still patiently awaiting the arrival of my faithful sidekick who lives to rub my back, remind me to laugh and deliver breakfast in bed. Comprehensive and generous benefit package, commensurate with peformance and experience. Room for advancement to long term position of partner in crime and fellow merry maker. Interested candidates, please submit detailed resume/cv and compensation requirements.
What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Probably Thanksgiving. Because it marked a shift.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting back up. Making it happen. Finding my voice.
What was your biggest failure?
Too many things, too little time. No mistletoe or birthday kisses.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Mono and CFS.
What was the best thing you bought?
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Where did most of your money go?
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Finally chopping all of my hair off.
What song will always remind you of 2005?
One song could never cover that.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? Happier.
thinner or fatter? Thinner.
richer or poorer? Richer in income flow. Broker in stocks/mutual funds. Wealthier in experience.
What do you wish you’d done more of?
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stressing. But it was a necessary evil.
How will you be spending Christmas?
I hosted an orphan's dinner. Relaxed.
Did you fall in love in 2005?
Yes, in more than one sense.
What was your favorite TV program?
I don't watch TV.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
What was the best book you read?
The only book I read was Shop Girl by Steve Martin. It was on the bookshelf in the living room and I picked it up while on hold. A couple hours later, I was done. It was much better than I'd imagined but I'm still a bit squicked at the thought of a love scene between Steve Martin and Claire Danes.
What was your greatest musical discovery of 2005?
MeCha. Andy. mosch.
What did you want and get?
A great, permanent, non-freelance job (even if does cause me to question my own sanity several times a night.)
What did you want and not get?
A bedroom that doesn't look like a construction area. Baby steps, though.
What was your favorite film of this year?
Tie: The American Astronaut is such a brilliant exercise in absurdity and artistic vision that it lives in a class all its own. Capote was impeccable.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 36. The day itself dawned well but turned sour in the early afternoon. I went to work shellshocked, auto-piloted through night. Went out for a rare post work drink with co-workers (three of us were born within 36 hours of one another.) A missed afternoon nap, little dinner, low tolerance and emotional blow resulted in an expedited trip to drunksville. Unable to stop that train, I executed a brilliant maneuver of strategical tactics by getting my birthday compatriots far drunker than I was. Final assessment: they remember me goose stepping to the bathroom, but I remember them crazy talking and what might best be described as interpretive dance on their part, 20 minutes later.
Frisbee Girl: 1
Birthday boys: 0
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Fixing and organizing my desktop/hard drives.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
What kept you sane?
Sane? I keed. Headphones and naps.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I prefer to keep my fancies to individuals I know.
What political issue stirred you the most?
I can't pick just one.
Who did you miss?
Hard to say, almost everyone at one point or another. In a weird way, though, this makes me happy because it means I must be choosing to get to know good people.
Who was the best new person you met?
mudpuppie. Andy. mosch. The MeCha gang.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005:
This year I think I really learned the meaning of the phrase "This too shall pass" and that luck coupled with a metric ton of hard work goes a long, long way.
Suddenly Everything Has Changed - The Flaming Lips
Putting all the vegetables away
That you bought at the grocery store today
And it goes fast
You think of the past
Suddenly everything has changed
Driving home, the sky accelerates
And the clouds all form a geometric shape
And it goes fast
You think of the past
Suddenly everything has changed
Putting all the clothes you've washed away
And as you're folding up the shirts you hesitate
Then it goes fast
You think of the past
And suddenly everything has changed
Thursday, January 12, 2006
-Ruth Gendler, The Book of Qualities
I'm not sure exactly what it is, but something's coming together and I don't know if it's fits the strictest sense of creativity. I do, however, believe that our lives are the single greatest act of creativity we produce, should we choose to approach and regard it as such.
That said, fruition is afoot.