February 26, 2010

damn, that's some sap - is it maple?

last night, i felt restless. after watching a wonderful and depressing canadian movie with lovely company, i went walking.

as i walked, time passed. i walked, i walked and walked. i thought about forgiveness, and the loss that love doesn't erase. i thought briefly about whatever end, and then about all the stuff i want to do in the meantime. about how, when i erase the false reasons for doing, i end up with the same idea of free will and some energy to burn. the candle is already lit - what will i shed some light on?

sitting, loving, being cheesy. dah duh DUH, these are some epic times. whoa, show that sappy canadian spirit (um, no, i don't mean the olympics) here and here (it was really hard to find a not-terrible video for that song. oh youtube, so sad) and, in a complete about-face, here (that's right, i'm unpredictable)!

February 25, 2010

linkland, via deeper understanding of life

do i EVER love this comic. introduced in the previous entry, it has pretty much taken up all my time since then. i did sleep and go to work, so the comic hasn't achieved life-wrecking, obsessional status. in fact, it's like gorging on fruit - the more i click the little 'next' icon (a monkey) the more i breath in life: the loving trials and wise tribulations of unfolding consciousness.

regarding the nature of relationships.

and the simplicity of self-care - how much do we really need? make sure to tend the needs...

what feeds our tendency toward destruction, ultimately self-destruction...

very sweet. along with an epic tea - algonquin's herbal immune booster, creamed with coconut milk and topped with ground ginger and a bit of crushed fennel.

but i would like to exist in other states as well, today. like having a shower, breakfast, a few exertions, some company. so i intend to move on with my day ("Come on, Day, let's go see what else there is!") after just a few more ... clicks.

February 22, 2010

great comic, great day

i love webcomics. especially ones created by artists who seem interested in the unfolding of the s/elf. today has brought the discovery of a webcomic, wapsi square, that has been around since 2001, thus reinforcing my feeling that everyone else knows everything online and i wander around in the dark, riding my wee apple like it's a child's pony.

two of my favourite strips thus far (a newly found comic tends to prompt me spending entire days reading from the beginning and drinking tea - laundry, plans and books forgotten, outside world a dream) are here and here. beautiful portrayals of the inner one we rarely let loose, the part of us we're afraid of, the same way we're afraid of people with underdeveloped social skills. we fear being left alone with these people, they scare us with their unknowing, their need. but there is value in these people, these selves.

in other news, the queen phoned me from thailand and it was exquisite to hear his voice. i can still hear it. not saying anything, just sounding in my ear.

February 21, 2010

and now, the bearded woman!

grace. more's the way.

where there's love, there's no question, says the yogi (tea label). where there is question, there is no love.

tools of courage can be quiet, they can be quaint, they can even be careful. the courage means they keep on coming.

vulnerability, fear, pain; all the dubious blessings of life. courage can change none of these. it doesn't even withstand them; a courageous person goes through all of those.

what's the point of courage, then? i mean, it doesn't fix, solve, change anything that comes my way. i suppose it does something wise like change the way i view things. sigh. great. bring it on. more of the same, then more courage, then more of the same.

February 19, 2010

tarting oneself up

accepting love.

this is what i fear. it's interesting to question why i might fear this, but i get bored of questioning, or even positing various theories. the fear sticks around anyway. i can logic away some fear, but not the fear of accepting love.

still, i am tempted to draw correlations between my own desire (and failure) to help others by loving them (i've picked really sad cases, people who don't love themselves, emotional black holes, if you will) and my fear to be on the receiving end of such an attempt. what if i am a failure at being loved, and the other person ends up feeling like i did?

but then i look, honestly look, at my own case (not scrutinize it for pimples with that terrible mirror that gigantisizes one's pores). i'm not a lost cause. i can touch the ground occasionally. and the people who love me, to how many of them am i a case, a cause, a damaged specimen? i am probably that to one person i know, but i notice that person misses half of what's going on anyway, poor thing. i am pretty sure most people just love me because they want to.

in which case, the saving part is back to me. ugh. i would really like to be done with saving. for a while, it seemed necessary, but now the only villain left in my life is me. have i really reached the tawdry point of needing to be saved from myself (by myself - cue heavy eye-rolling)?

i remember deciding one day that instead of saving myself from, i would save myself to. to what? who cares! to the gigantic program in the sky, to a better day, to make a cake with.

to love. saving myself to love. that has more of a preserving air to it. preserves and pastries, mmm. hopefully that becomes the dominant paradigm in my mind. maybe i'll change the blog name to "pastry-in-self".

with pastry, comes better relationship. who knew?

February 16, 2010

the lows


the life of it. will the ocean metaphors ever get tiring? only if those waves stop feeling so choppy. i know there are things i could be doing to help myself feel more even-keel. when i don't, i just end up feeling further victim to the choppy weather.

it's odd, how the fierceness of the depression has nothing to do with how happy i am otherwise. because i am happy. except for the bits where i don't do myself justice. and they're still in me, those impulses to choke myself away from light and love. and maybe we all have them, but. and i survive each time, but. and i know i love myself, but. and i am learning to blah blah blah.

is this because i don't accept some deep imperfect part of me? is it the way i was raised? is there some hidden desire to be loved that will just keep crying for help? is it a chemical unbalance? is it a predisposition, and i keep walking the ruts?

i notice that i feel better faster when i use my body as a key to health. yet... the mind is predictably reluctant. is this the result of generations of hating matter, earth, darkness? or is it just fear left over from a stupid gym class?

don't mind the dragon; she pulls the sun across the horizon. (no no, i'd rather sell my happiness to the guy who says he knows how to do it the easy way. the chump inside my mind who tells me what i can and cannot have.)

sigh. another day, another set of arguments. i need to go underneath the words, listen to what's hiding behind the message, what's holding my jaw. i want to sing this out. but my voice feels unheard.

February 13, 2010

i'm going to go read a math book now

amazing break up video: wow. ah, four tet. ah, caribou. the video well reflects the inadvertant grace we are so capable of.

the more i tap into joy, the more sadness rolls out. how could i ever be only one half of the emotional sphere anyway? half a sphere would just lie flat on the empty side.

February 12, 2010

guess how delicious i am?

i am so delicious that i have moved the laptop into the bathtub area of the master bedroom, set up the 'tender' playlist, lit candles, opened a nice bottle of red and started to run a bath with forest-scented bath oil in it. i am so delicious, i feel like writing myself a love letter.

dear self,

you are so ... dammit, oh woman, words cannot be used to bring your beauty to life. keep on keeping on, you slim tower of strength with your arm in the maw of the tiger; you delectable creature of earth with the grace of the highest mountain dancing in your neck and shoulders; you burning star paradoxically holding the darkest oceanic depths in your blood; you.

i light a candle for you, for all of us, and for you again.

your self

i would not have gotten to this place if it were not for other people loving me. yet, there are many people who are loved by other people who still cannot bring themselves to be-their-own-loved. so, though i could not have done this without you, i did it on my own.

thanks, everybody. thanks, me.

February 10, 2010

a soft waltz

amazing. living in emotional poverty meant i could not conceive of the feast of joy that everyone is invited to. doors are open. but i didn't believe it was real, didn't believe i could enter. thought i was greedy for even wanting to. but greed is different - greed and gluttony do not feel good. enjoyment, the quiet bubbling of lovely, mmm, feels so good. unpredictable and non-synthetic - can't make it, only find and nurture it in the tenuous bond between myself and a subtle experience. hello, heart.

got an amazing number of errands done yesterday. it felt really good. not just the crossing off on the mental list, but the actual going out and doing. i think it helped that the sun is shining and it's tuqueless weather out there. and that's the forecast for the rest of the week: tuqueless! wouldn't it be awesome if the weather network advised you on what to wear? "a light sweater: bring an umbrella" or "definite long john weather" or "looks like your fall jacket outside, but i wouldn't risk it unless accompanied by your thickest wool scarf" (that's for the nice november day with a cutting wind).

went for lunch with some of the dance organization folks - i'd forgotten how wonderful they are.
sometimes i focus on the work to the exclusion of the the reason i agreed to do the work - my care for the people involved and my joy for the larger happenings.

with the actualizing of free joy comes the release of pent up grief. my therapist even said, somewhat grimly, there's likely a lot of sadness i have covered over with layers of survival tales. and as i was walking along in the sun, practically whistling, tears suddenly bubbled up. so many reasons not to let them slide, but i did, briefly. until the layers covered them up again. ah, the onion metaphors.

February 5, 2010

meaning, past and present

when i was younger, i was drunk with meaning. purpose was epic, epiphanic, and it extended out of my heart and into everything i did. i closed my eyes and saw rainbows of colour. i opened them and saw beauty. even the sadness of loss was beautiful.

i grew older. i saw how commonplace and preventable a lot of tragedy seems. i saw how the ignorance grows back, even after the most amazing of events. i saw how humans backslide, how we would rather be comfortable than give up what we have so that others may have. i saw how easily we disconnect our savings at giganta-mart with the persecution of entire nation communities. i saw how greed and fear whisper in our ear and how we listen. how we get tired. i got tired.

even though i kept on practicing kindness, i learned to defend myself against people wrecking judgment on themselves, using me as a scapegoat. even though i shopped local and fairtrade, i forgot to feel the difference i was making. even though i recycle, i donate, i still feel like part of the problem. and i lost sight of the epic solution my young brain had proposed, found fault; how difficult it was to get off the grid completely, how easy it was to think i knew what i was doing, how many people had tried and failed before me. i realise i give up too easily, i don't want to keep fighting what's all around me - i cut a deal with myself to settle.

part of this settling was a greyer realisation that even the solutions are part of the problem. we solve the wrong problems - we teach nike how to give money back, we teach our children to be kind because they want something, we justify society's change as a result of how angry we are, how we 'aren't going to take it anymore'. and what else can we do, when we're still half-broken ourselves? when development agencies just pave the way for industrialization? how is this ever good for anyone other than those in power anyway? even when the actions are good, the results are the same. as michael franti says, "they handin' us the bible while they walkin' off with all the gold."

and i came to the conclusion that it was far better to doubt one's own beliefs than to try vehemently to solve or save anything. terrible things happen at the hands of people who've had epiphanies. the word means that a god has appeared to you. it's a dangerous word.

so i became a fan of science. because at least science doesn't tell you it's okay to kill someone else (and don't tell me that science is bad because it teaches you how - EVERYTHING teaches us how to kill). at least science can agree that light can be both wave and particle, that both sides can be right. at least science doesn't try and convince your ego that you're special.

except that again, this decision of mine, aside from inviting my life into a permanent grey area, didn't change my nature. it may harm more slowly, but it still harms, because second-guessing oneself is what the silent, complicit minds do, to pass the time. never picking a side, so i'm never wrong. i never make a mistake. oh wait, mistakes are made through inaction as well as action. fuck.

so. to summarize: living with fervent meaning is dangerous. living without meaning is dangerous.

reading kim stanley robinson's eco-sci-fi-thriller, forty signs of rain, allowed me the realization that i am suffering from an excess of reason. people who know me might giggle at this, because they know i use my intuition on a fairly regular basis, even when i have a host of data to support my decision.

i think many of us are suffering from the yearning to explain things and the reluctance to accept that we might never know, but that we need to keep on keeping on. how many suicides are brought on not because the person logically deduces they should die, but because they can't find another way that hurts less? we must continue to make decisions on inadequate knowledge, but bear 100% of the consequences.

sorry for all the italics, but it is, to me, a subject deserving of drama. we want to be all-knowing because our egos like the idea, but we also really want to know so that we can stop with all the pain. because we walk into the pain all the time. we flounder like a drowning person, making it worse. some of it may be inevitable, but this much?

and the brief epiphanies are not enough. brief flashes of lightning on the recurring, inevitable, generations-long dark and stormy night. but they're all we seem to get.

this was actually designed to be a really light and wonderful entry, but i needed to slog through ten years of pain i've held in my everyday actions first.

the years of doubt, of trying someone else's plans, the excitement of "this time, we'll make a difference!" and me thinking "and that's the point? okay, i'm in!" they sound so sure of themselves. and except when i am angrily denouncing a sexist bastard, i do not feel sure of myself (later, when i realize he was sexually abused as a child or some other equally horrendous thing, i wonder if there might have been a better way than just taking my turn at wielding the paddle).

and i am ready to not defend myself.

it feels the best when i can just sit in the light and be love. but always, i am pulled out into the dark world of action. and shamed when this is not where i want to be. because i should be grateful for my legs and use them for my country, for my religion, for the kind of change i want to see in the world. blah blah fucking blah.

i am meant to sit. and to love. sorry if that's not in your plans. suck it up. it's in my plans now.

February 2, 2010

there will be cocoa

i really do have trouble in the winter keeping my mood elevated enough to do more than just survive. but i also have these epic moments of wow, where i find a cue that taps me back into the wonder (or is it forward into the wonder?) of the moment, of the inherent awesome that lurks on the height of the waves and the flats of the plains.

special friend and i have been exchanging a few emails that reassure me as to our mutual recovery from the ending of our romance (still hurts to type that, but the hurt is now sandwiched in slices of comforting reality - why does it feel so much better when you've both hooked up with other people?). i also let him know something that i was keeping from the blog world, knowing he reads my blog - that i have 'developed feelings' (can we find a less disgusting term for that?) for someone. that someone is my wife's roommate, the queen, first mentioned here, i believe.

it was, in a way, totally fluke that i went against my loose religion of not hooking up with roommates (i know, he's not my roommate, but i still pretend i live there). the queen and i have been decent friends for a while, since i jam with him and another old gnome on an infrequent but recurring basis. i felt horribly guilty that i could, despite my reassurances that it was casual sex, connect so deeply with someone so soon after special friend and i had broken things off - i judged myself as shallow for being able to do so. interesting how i judge myself based on emotions i don't control. i mean, if i judged myself for having casual sex, that would be ignorant, but it would at least follow the logic of judging me on my actions - something i do control.

i'm still kind of judging myself, but slowly letting that go. judgment, go eat grass or something. i am busy being a more honest self over here. oh, well, judgment, you probably mean well, it's okay. i'll hug you, but i won't let you drive.

honestly, i feel different since special friend. i feel like i am not seeking out broken people to fix. i am not throwing myself at someone hoping they might help me solve the problem of my childhood. i am not interested in roles, but rather, people. not that people don't terrify me as well, but whatever. in a traditional celtic tarot spread, our hopes and fears are depicted by the same card.

i don't want to shortchange myself in the grieving process, however. so in an excellent twist of fate, the day after the night the queen and i shockingly discovered our hearts are opening to each other, he's off on a trip for six weeks. it's kind of perfect in that annoying way that denies desires and fulfills needs. there are states that work cannot bring. only time. letting go is a chaotic process.

i realize that although the majority of my change can be traced to my own work, both in therapy and out of it, special friend totally gets the assist. because of his excellent communication skills and steady tenderness, because of his honesty when we had those obnoxious couples conversations that predate the realization of different needs and different desires for a relationship. he didn't let it be all about me, my fault, my weirdness. he claimed his own weirdness, and the blame shovel got laid aside.

today's cue to bring me out of morose refusal to dress and wash the dishes? led zeppelin. ah yes. and none of this overplayed stairway bullshit. houses of the holy, thou are magickal.

February 1, 2010

surfing choppy waves

i am reading this book written by the weekend, overnight doctor bellevue's psychiatric ward. i feel at turns fascinated by her portrayal of mental illness and terrified by the conflict in julie holland's life. she recounts health and happiness, while detailing out picking fights with her boss and patients and avoiding her dying friend.

this shows me two interesting observations. one, the disparity in health that other people, too, have in their lives. we can be truly healthy in some ways, while in denial or in poorness facing another part of our lives. i have trouble admitting those are in fact different parts, subject to different environmental cues, being a fan of the 'everything relates, whole is bigger than sum of parts, look to whole to understand any part' theory. think the confusion stems from not seeing a big enough whole. i wonder if i can ever see a whole, being a part myself.

also, i think i mis-apply the relationship of and to everything, translating that everything is, in fact, the same: feels the same, has the same abilities. even the differences, i chalk up to being, in some way, temporary roles or masks that anyone could play (anyone could be a murderer, anyone a princess). i see this as connected to my empathy - i feel strongly that that person could easily be me, that i could be them.

the second thing i noticed from reading is less about life and more about me: the tales of conflict terrify me. i had to stop and get into child's pose. i had to make a cup of tea. i wanted to finish the book and take it back to work today, and find myself both ignoring it and being drawn to it. i read a chapter, then get up and pace restlessly around. i worry about julie; over-identification with main character. she feeds conflict, she claims survivor skills and ignores survivor guilt. she holds a false kind of strength based on toughness and shells, not flexibility and inner core. granted, she notes this and wonders how else one survives in such a chaotic environment, occasionally noting the skills and tactics of co-workers.

need to go read more.