Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
And sometimes your feet get heavy when the weight of the world is too much, and your heels drag and the swath gets worn. Eventually. Eventually your little allotment of time is worn through with holes, so that when you walk back over the spot, even a year later, your feet catch in the threads. You might fall. You might hurt yourself. But you pick yourself up and never recognize that the pain you dragged along when you were 10 did some significant damage to your little swath of time. You're going to trip over it forever.
You can learn, eventually. You can skip over that hole. You can patch it with things you can't hold in your hands. With love, with understanding, with compassion. You can patch it with things you do hold in your hands: things you buy, things you can consume.
But the hole is still there, and sometimes you still fall. And maybe this is the pessimistic view, but that's the point, isn't it? Because people aren't really meant to fly. So we keep walking, and we keep walking, and we find better ways to fall, and faster ways to pick ourselves up again.
I honestly don't have any strong feelings about Margaret Cho one way or the other, but this, from a post on her blog, made me want to cry. The post is her response to some body criticism she got after she posted a picture of her new tattoo on Twitter.
I did not choose this face or this body and I have learned to live with it and love it and celebrate it and adorn it with tremendous drawings from the greatest artists in the world and I feel good and powerful like a nation that has never been free and now after many hard won victories is finally fucking free. I am beautiful and I am finally fucking free.
I fly my flag of self-esteem for all those who have been told they were ugly and fat and hurt and shamed and violated and abused for the way they look and told time and time again that they were "different" and therefore unlovable. Come to me and I will tell you and show you how beautiful and loved you are and you will see it and feel it and know it and then look in the mirror and truly believe it. If you are offended by my anger and my might at defending my borders and my people you do not deserve entry into my beloved and magnificent country.If you were raised lovingly and told you were perfect and beautiful and loved and the best at all things, I am just jealous. You had it much better, and so you really should spread that love around as opposed to judging those like me who never had that, never knew what it was like and never could even imagine it. I could learn from you instead of feeling judged by you. Give the less loved and less cared for and less treasured a chance.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Anyway, Thursday is victorious (of course), and her son Friday (the possibility of him, anyway), a top-ranking member of the ChronoGuard who actually was key in stopping the mining of time so that the Long Now could be restored, says this to her:
"Keep people reading books, Mum; it helps to reinforce and strengthen the indefinable moment that anchors us in the here-and-now. Strive for the Long Now. It's the only thing that will save us."
Strive for the Long Now. It's the only thing that will save us. Yes. I adore these books.
This all boiled over into some amped up kids when they should have been winding down. They weren't listening, they were kicking their feet in the air. Giggling, inventing last minute games. After gentle admonitions, sterner ones, bordering-on-angry ones, I finally let my frustration out. "YOU GUYS ARE STRESSING ME OUT," I told them. Something like that, on and on.
There was a pause, and then Mad said, quietly, "Sometimes you really make me sad, Mama." And of course I felt that like a stab in my heart, and I felt defensive, and I said, "Well, that's just great, Mad." And for a second I felt like sobbing. "Mama, sometimes you make me feel...you make me feel....GLAD," Violet said quickly, to be on my good side. That girl, always so eager to please.
Mad said, "Mama, you aren't understanding my words. You aren't making me upset, you...you..." I waited while she looked for the words she wanted. "I don't like it when you are feeling upset like that," she says. "You make me WORRIED about you." She grabbed my hand and pulled it against her chest. "I just love you so bad," she said.
Fail. Such a massive parenting fail. You're never supposed to make your kids feel that way. UGH. I stroked Mad's hair, kissed her forehead. "That's so sweet," I told her. "But you never have to worry about me. I'm always going to be okay." She nodded and smiled, and I just reflected for a minute on her empathy, her sensitivity, and how well she found the words to describe her feelings.
I'm stupidly overwhelmed right now. I don't feel up to the daunting task of making sure my kids are steady on their feet. It's the hardest thing in the world sometimes. And I feel like if they aren't steady on their feet it's because I'm not steady on my feet. I'm too much in my head lately. I got in the car this morning, sat down in the cold and silence and felt a sharp feeling of dread when my brain started up, trying to puzzle things out. I didn't want to be alone with my thoughts this morning. I just didn't. "Shhh, be quiet," I tried to tell my overwrought self.
The funny thing is that I know things will be fine, with or without much doing on my part. Yet the world keeps spinning in its stupid patterns around me, and I've got my arms out, trying to change its course. Until my arms are tired from trying to do the impossible. Trying to change the force of gravity.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Work was weird yesterday, fine until it wasn't. At the end of the day there were some miscommunications that culminated in a cranky fellow letting me know how cranky he was and that's never fun. So I felt pretty yuck and disgruntled, particularly when there wasn't really anything I could do to fix things. That's the thing, right? When faced with conflict I feel this overwhelming need to fix it immediately. Because I don't want someone to be mad at me. Because I want things to feel better. I can never just let the thing breathe a little, let hackles settle. I just want to roll over like a puppy and show my belly. I need this to be okay, I would say if you could handle such things honestly. But you can't. You have to use careful corporate speak so that you appear professional all the time. Phooey.
I don't know if it's because my job is words that I am keenly aware of how the words I choose can affect others. I'm always baffled at the hastily jotted email, wondering why someone chose a period there instead of an exclamation mark, what the one word answer to an email means. Should I nix my friendly tone? Avoid little jokes? All signs point to yes.
Anyway, the point is not the conflict of yesterday, really, but it's in that even though the communication with this guy was wretched he led me to something lovely. Which is this performance of a piece of music that this other guy (not the cranky one) wrote for his infant daughter.
So thanks, cranky guy.
A few days after the start of the new year I felt like I was being inundated with the "you get out of it what you put into it" message. It came at me from various places, all independently, and I wondered if the universe had something to tell me. I'm like some dumb ghost drifting through my days lately. Where's the spark that makes me feel alive and engaged? It's in you, duh, I know. I've been thinking of resolutions and goals for the new year and now I think it just boils down to not what I want to get out of the year, but I want to put into it. Creative energy, inspiration. Serving others. Giving love to the people in my life. And learning to love myself a little better. It's a start, I guess.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
From "Bred to Break," which features a song called "You Never Wanted Me" by Jackson C. Frank:
When Edmund told his first wife that he loved her they were driving through a wooded highway, the trees like thin sentinels, still and stoic, on guard. Shoes were off, and the hood of her sweatshirt hid all but the most important parts of her face. She was squished into the corner between the seat and the door, and making up a story about what actually happened to Kurt Cobain, and then he said it.
When Edmund told his second wife that he loved her she'd been crying. It was her father's death that had brought them together, and it was on the third day that they knew each other. She smiled and said I thought so.
When Edmund told his third wife that he loved her it was dark and she gasped.And now Edmund looked down at his phone, that third marriage over and gone, at a text saying: "I'd really like to see you tonight," and he thought in rapid succession about his first car, the way an IV feels in your hand, and the kind of elevator nausea you get from anything important.