Date: Feb 27th, 2008 7:13:31 pm - Subscribe
He never really knew her.
He never met her friends. He never saw her room. He never went to her school or met her teachers or had dinner with her family. He never smelled the jasmine and honeysuckle waiting with her at the bus stop on an early May morning. He never asked about her life or her cat or her yard or how long her bus ride was.
He had no idea who she was outside the borders of his time with her. He knew her in the context of a single room apartment, on weekends and summers and christmases. He limited her in the same ways he limited himself, compartmentalizing her until she fit on his terms ... he never saw her bloom, and spread, and grow. He never saw the ways in which she touched people, and how her touch changed them for the better. He remained purposefully, consciously ignorant of everything about her that wasn't about him.
Perhaps if he had known her, really seen her as she was, not as who she had to be when she was with him - if he had known her as I know her, if he had been able to see past his own interests and look for once at hers ... Maybe, just maybe, if he had been able to see himself through his daughter's eyes instead of his own...
Maybe she would still have a father, instead of a memory of the day she found out he had taken his own life.
Date: Feb 8th, 2008 6:08:50 am - Subscribe
i would like a do-over, please.
when a computer locks up, or slows down, or has to absorb new ideas or habits (programming), it requires a restart before the changes take effect. i want that luxury.
i want to start over with a clean slate, all of my acquired knowledge in hand, all of my bad habits and stubborn resistance forgotten.
i want to start fresh in a brand new home, knowing what i do now about simplicity and maintenance, and what i can get by with and what is just useless stuff. i want the opportunity to begin again in a home and purchase only those items that bring me joy and are comfortable and beautiful, rather than deal with the hand-me-downs left and donated by countless previous owners.
i want to start fresh in my closet, empty everything and begin with purchasing only those things that fit and make me feel good, leaving behind the pants that used to fit and the skirt i am not brave enough to wear and the shirts that function only to cover my chest.
i want to feel like caring about my appearance is not an exercise in futility.
i want to start fresh in my relationships, past issues and mistakes wiped clean, never to be brought up again.
i want the entire world to forget who i used to be, so that my self-reinvention will work.
Date: Dec 28th, 2007 7:01:28 am - Subscribe
It is winter in the world I used to live in. People there are hiding, hibernating, resting, and conserving their energies. They are looking at snow and dreaming of summer.
It is barely autumn-temperature outside my window, and I find myself overflowing with initiative to move, to change, to purge and clean and renew. I do it every year, but the timing has changed along with the geography.
There comes a time when it's all too much, when all the accumulated stuff of a life becomes like a persistent ringing in the ears or a physical weight around the neck. And when that feeling builds and increases and grows, the first extended time off from work is like an explosion.
I am cleaning. I have cleaned. I am donating and tossing and shredding and paring myself down to the bare essentials of possessions, vowing once again that in simplicity there is peace, and I will have peace.
But ... I am painfully aware that I do not live in a vacuum, nor do I live unencumbered by other bodies in motion - each with their own accumulated stuff that I have no right to purge.
And I am brought once again to the idea that only when I live alone, in the tiny apartment with the hardwood floors and the white sheer curtains and the cat-I'm-not-allergic-to, above the coffeeshop and across the street from the bookstore in that little seaside tourist town of my imagination - only then will I find the Peace I constantly quest for.
But the destination is not the most crucial part of the journey, and so I try to relax and remember the wisdom I have tattooed on my ankle ... "Because how you get there is the worthier part."
Date: Oct 23rd, 2007 8:29:05 pm - Subscribe
what would you do if i wasn't a gift?
would i be worth your effort?
how can something so simple be so difficult?
don't say you don't deserve me -
don't say i'm too good for you -
be good for me.
if i wasn't already here, would you pursue me?
would you try?
Date: Oct 10th, 2007 10:31:42 am - Subscribe
iMood: slate blue
I don't discuss politics. I avoid discussing religion. I refrain from mentioning when people are staggeringly stupid or terrible parents or simply trying to make themselves feel better by belittling others. I am the world's resident expert on NOT mentioning the giant rabid elephant in the living room, I am the absolute queen of keeping the peace.
But at what cost?
Date: Sep 20th, 2007 6:42:59 am - Subscribe
iMood: indigo, the color of twilight and in-between times
deserve |dəˈzərv| verb [ trans. ] do something or have or show qualities worthy of (reward or punishment) ... merit, earn, warrant, rate, justify, be worthy of, be entitled to, have a right to, be qualified for.
worthy |ˈwərðē| adjective ( -thier , -thiest )deserving effort, attention, or respect • having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way • good enough; suitable
As I find myself in cycle after cycle of self-sabotage and doubt, these words continually emerge. And here with my coffee and my iTunes and my workday on the horizon, they surface again.
And I wonder, "who?" Who gets to determine whether or not I deserve good things or bad things, whether or not I am worthy of what I have or what I feel? Is it some distant deity - be it a voluptuous goddess with leaves in her hair or an elderly white guy - some benevolent higher power with a grand master plan? Or closer to earth - is it my children, my parents, my partner, my boss?
Some would say it is the individual alone who determines their worth, but isn't that just a matter of confidence? Some of the most extraordinary people I know have next to no self-confidence, does this make them less deserving of good things?
If we decide that external forces determine our value, then we have surrendered whatever power we hold over our lives - and in doing, absolve ourselves of any responsibility for our actions. If we determine that we alone get to judge our own merit, then we have removed ourselves from a sense of community, and alienated ourselves.
Perception is nine tenths of reality. I believe the other tenth is made up of equal parts Action and Reaction. Or, as put so succinctly by a man I find to be brilliant and well spoken and worthy of endless praise ... "If nothing we do means anything, then the only thing that means anything is what we do."
Date: Sep 17th, 2007 7:51:19 am - Subscribe
iMood: white, the shade of white that is the underfur of a well-fed siamese cat
Once upon a time, the rumbling warmth of a cat pressed up beside me was the very best part of an autumn night that was too cool really to leave the window open but the day had been too hot to leave it shut and it was easy to forget until it was too late and I was burrowed down under the comforter my grandmother made me and the tip of my nose was feeling the whisper of distant snow but the cat was warm enough that I fell asleep anyway, dreaming of apples and books and bathing suits - memories of a summer not quite over.
Once upon a time, the weight of a cat on my belly could cure a heartache so heavy it seemed that just breathing was impossible.
Once there was a cat who sat under the dining room table and ate the lima beans of three children who wouldn't, and once there was a cat who was a fierce hunter and a nurturing mother hen at the same time, and once there was a cat who played with ping pong balls and slept under the covers and once there was a cat who found her tail on the stairs when she was a kitten and from that point on would go to the stairs to look for it and when she found it she would spin around and around until she tumbled all the way to the bottom.
This is for the cats who slept on top of doors and television sets, cats who chewed braids and chased hair ribbons, cats who shared tomato soup and stalked the cereal spoon just waiting for the milk at the end, cats who posed under the christmas tree and cats who climbed the christmas tree, cats who comforted and cats who protected and cats who laid in wait for the unattended glass of kahlua and milk, cats who stood in the bottom of the shower and wondered afterwards how on earth they had gotten wet.
I hate that I am now allergic to the creatures that have given me such joy through the years.
Date: Sep 14th, 2007 5:45:29 am - Subscribe
iMood: yellow, the bleached out yellow of a tablecloth that's been too long in the sunlight.
"If knowledge is power, then to be unknown is to be unconquerable." (Klingon philosophy, I believe.)
I am divided on the issue of silence.
There is power in silence, you see. We've known about it since before time was a matter of record. An idea is a crystalline thing, pure and perfect - but in the process of description and with the addition of outside opinions, the idea becomes muted, muddied.
Metaphysical studies lead us to a square made up of "to know, to will, to dare, to keep silent." The silence is the powerful part - and the most difficult for many.
In silence can be ignorance - secrets can be more damaging than any tell-all expose. Many things hide in silence - shame and fear and hatred and love, all of which can be distorted without the objectivity of a support network.
Perhaps the trick, then, is exactly what Kenny Rogers said all those years ago: "you've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run."
Mayhap the power lies less in the silence itself and more in the knowledge of when it is best applied.
Date: Sep 9th, 2007 3:53:17 pm - Subscribe
iMood: that shade of gray-green the clouds turn right before the hurricane hits
There is an awkward sort of paralysis that grips me when I engage in any sort of dialogue - however innocuous or well-intentioned - about writing. More specifically, my writing.
When I am asked if I write because I have something to say, regardless of my outward answer to the question, I immediately become unable to write anything without the snide voice of my inner critic accusing me of being highbrow and elitist.
When I am asked if I write for the imagined money it could bring, to which I always respond no, I begin to feel overwhelmed and a bit breathless at the thought of being a starving artist for the rest of my short, pain-filled life - or worse, becoming hugely successful off a novel I will never follow up, and feeling the whole time as if I never deserved it.
When I sit down at my keys, peruse my current list of ideas and try to leave the lines open for my Muse to drift by and point me in the direction I need to go ... the channel is inevitably filled up with static, white noise that tricks me into hearing tiny voices whispering about how pointless it all is, how if I don't have anything to say and I don't expect to make any money, then why am I wasting precious time even pretending to be a writer?
If there were a royal court of some kind, I believe I would be the Queen of Self-Sabotage. I would be shadowed always by my advisors, Doubt and Inferiority, and I would wander restlessly through the halls of my ivory tower, staring forever at the portraits of everyone who was braver or smarter or more determined or more persistant than me.
And still, I go on. In the face of all reason, all practicality, all evidence in support of the futility of my actions, I keep writing, or trying to. Ideas keep flitting through my dreams, chemistry and relationships and characters still creep to the forefront of my thoughts, just waiting for their chance to be shaped and solidified and made real.
But I cannot define why.
I cannot defend agasint the subtle acid rain whisperings of Doubt and Inferiority, which slowly erode and reshape the tentative manifestations of thought even as I struggle to bring them into being. But still I try to write.
And I cannot define why.
Date: Sep 5th, 2007 12:08:29 pm - Subscribe
Pain is a color. And I look back at the mural of my life so far and I'm stunned at how much of it is there. It's everywhere, it tints families and friendships and moves and births and deaths and the further back I look I realize there is not a single point in my life where that color is absent. Physical or emotional, sometimes both - it's as though the very canvas itself was washed in the pain and my life was laid over it, sketched in and colored with watercolors that never seem to obscure the basecoat.
It's not a complaint, however it sounds. Just an admission. Humanity is a tapestry, everyone is a thread, and it takes more than just the bright colors to create dimension and depth. My colors are muted, changed by the pain that runs like a vein of salt under the surface and is never truly gone.
I am more than my pain.
It's so easy to believe we can't do a thing simply because it is outside of our 'comfort zone' or beyond the scope of what we can imagine. It's so tempting to think that circumstances are out of our control, so seductive - the idea of just letting go, surrendering and being swept off by the tides of a life we aren't fully present in.
I don't want to be a spectator. I don't. I may not know how to start or what it will take, but I want to be an active participant in my own reality. Even when it is less than perfect, when it cracks and chips and peels, I want to be there.
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