November 29, 2009

transient wow of now

spent some time on the internet before i got here, now feeling a bit drained from the unusual screen glow. still, it was lovely to update the self on favourite comics and blogs. blogging intermittently leaves me trying to place activities in time, wondering when i started or finished that last book. what was i reading last time? have i raved or ranted about this one yet?

tried to make plans with several of my favourite people today; all plans were lost to the sea of indecision and other distracting states. eventually i walked A and B and made it over to the gnomic center to visit my kitty and pay for previous bills and cat visitation rights. of course, while i was there, other people dropped by. witty conversation and wine wound their ways around the room.

old habit; regarding the phone balefully whenever it buzzes, preferably from far away; down the hall. some days it just interrupts! life is more than what's playing on reality channels. working on the state of being where nothing ever happens again; every bus ride is unique, every work day unpredictable. remember when - no, don't bother. let's try this instead:

November 24, 2009

brief interlude

the place i am house-sitting doesn't have internet. also; i have felt rushed. thus, the longest lapse in time from one entry to the next since i started the blog.

as is usually the case in long absences, i am not sure what to say. so much has passed and already become insignificant that i am left with no news. living outside the city core is strange. 78% peaceful, 22% creepy. such a strange action has freed me from many expectations i had about myself. if she does this, who knows what she might do next?

i still work at a used bookstore, so my days involve smelly old books (those are the ones we turn down, not the ones we put on the shelves), endearingly eclectic customers, late hours and spoiled, perfect cats.

i am making a visitation to the gnomes, and hilarity ensues. there is more life in the world than on the page; surprising! but here is an amazing book i have recently chewed through. since i have no internet and no instant neighbours, i spend a lot of time reading and cooking. the cooking is helpful in saving money i don't have. "when there is money, buy books. if there is any money left, buy food." i don't remember who said it or if i've quoted it correctly. but i've remembered it for years.

November 6, 2009

occasional smiting is healthy

i'm finding in myself right now a readiness to be angry.

there are so many reasons i do not let myself show anger. i think it is a weakness to allow rage to be displayed. it rarely gets me what i want from someone. i do not appreciate other people's anger, so why would i let mine spew everywhere? control is a virtue, i tell myself. it is a sign of my intelligence and discipline that i can control my anger. i remember a zen book by charlotte joko beck which discussed anger. in my poor paraphrasing, a student asked "what about that kind of anger that is like a clean sheet, sweeping over everything, burning away the old and broken?" and charlotte responded something to the effect of "how often do you see that anger? i see only the kind that burns carefully built connections, that wrecks days and relationships."

all in all, the votes cast anger out into the realm of 'bad emotions', or maybe just 'good to know you have 'em, bad to share'. but in the delirium of being ill, my temper was shorter, and i let anger, no, that is not how it went, i do not feel like i 'let' anything... and anger slipped through the cracks of my veneer of control. and it felt wonderful. now i know some kinds of 'good' feelings are dangerous; addictive, seductive, implying more power-over. but i have been reconsidering my ruthless abolition of anger.

for one, anger is generally regarded as a step up from depression. not an ideal state to stay in, but a wonderfully effective stepping stone. stepping to where? if you follow david hawkins (i don't, but i like his chart), on to pride and then courage. if you follow elise lebeau (whom i quite like, despite or perhaps because her ways are so simple), on to boredom, doubt, frustration and impatience. i'm more annoyed at lebeau's path, which suggests something there for me to learn. frustration is not my favourite emotion. i would rather strike it with lightning and move on.

both hawkins and lebeau stress that the emotion you are feeling is less important to your mental health than the direction you are heading in. so i am choosing to see the anger as a healthier step in my development. also, i am trying (and it is quite easy) to let off short bursts of anger rather than smiting someone in a fiery pit of foreverness. and for two, if you value our social interactions as learning, it's important to show people when they have overstepped their bounds. i don't have to scream about their mother, but letting my annoyance show is valuable feedback, and feedback most people will remember.

on a lovely side note, the people closest to me are the least annoying. SF is incredibly warm and loving with increasing notes of attractive vulnerability, and the wife i am moving out on is impeccable in her support. i do not wish to smite these lovelies. rather, i wish to strike with divine lightning people who drive too fast and kill the cats on my street, people who assume i wish to see them when they show up unannounced, people who sneer at the homeless or flaunt their newfound knowledge of beat poetry (okay, maybe the poetry thing i can swallow).

my internal grandma insists that i respect the power of anger: what is done cannot be undone, and apologies certainly mean less to me the more i am hurt. a new toy is fun, says grandma, but what if you hurt people? how will you feel then? however, there is another part of me which suggests that to deny my anger when it is a reasonable reaction is to disrespect myself and my intuitive response. so when is it reasonable? grandma raises a valuable point when she wonders whether i will use anger when i shouldn't: when i am having a 'bad day', when i do not wish to accept that i am wrong, when expressing that i am hurt would be more of an honest reponse. damn, grandma is wise. i absorb this wisdom, hopefully.

watch me flex the sword of anger with care. watch me grow.

November 1, 2009

show your cards

sometimes events are larger than they seem. thus i sum up my experience with swine flu. i'm usually not one to jump on the paranoia train: i find downtrodden neighbourhoods feel safe to me; i meet the eye of the scary person and they seem as trustworthy as anyone; i hear the news and roll my eyes. so when i caught the swine flu, i thought "oh well, at least i don't have to defend not getting the vaccine." i did not leap weakly into the air and write my last will and testament.

it was an interesting experience. still is, actually. that is one potent beast: one doth not leave the swine behind overnight. its severity ended up affecting me significantly enough to effect some changes. (there is a word nerd cheering inside me right now, do you know why?) it took off another layer of "do do do", encouraging me to lay my tools down and rest awhile. there are groups of people who know me as calm and measured, but i have a frantic train going, and it's taking me a long time to bring its speed down. this provocative illness has helped.

also, as every significant illness can do, it has strengthened my mind-body connection. i find the experience of monitoring my body from a resting place while it undergoes severe stress to be educational and awe-inspiring. i felt my heart racing and then slowing down again. i felt the significance of blockages. i learned where to put coolness and where to bring warmth. most importantly, i am learning to call a truce between my mind and body. what kind of fucker set a war between these two? don't they know it will last forever? the mind and body are yin and yang. any war would be perpetual and unforgiving. and that would be sad, considering the asses they can easily kick by working together. yay team me!

so not that i wish the swine of the apocalypse on anyone, i won't miss it. but i like what it's leaving me: a unified system and a cleaner slate of priorities. i do what i want, regardless of how unimportant it may seem. that's my unified mind-body, thanks, i won it back from the devil/teacher.