Sunday, July 28, 2013

Always, I am

Sometimes my mind meets the fork in the road and wants to divide and conquer.
Sometimes my heart.
Always my soul.
Sometimes it's hard.
Sometimes it's easy.
Always it's life.
Sometimes I sit.
Sometimes I move.
Always I am.
There's really no way of getting around it, there's only getting through it.

The monsoon finally arrived, and with it came the blessed relief of clearing the air. The tension had been thick; we were all on edge. I was especially on edge. If you've ever played high-low around the dinner table, this summer has felt like a rapid-cycling bipolar version of that. Of course life is like that, but sometimes it is more pronounced than others. This summer everything has been incredibly pronounced. Every single last day has ricocheted me around the emotional spectrum like a pinball. While it has been intense, it has also been highly informative. I've learned a lot about myself. 

The Short List 

  1. First and foremost, I have learned that I know myself better than I realized. When it comes to what I want, what I need, and what I value, I am rock solid. 
  2. My bullshit tolerance, which has faded greatly over the last three years, seems to have left the building completely. Yes, for other people's bullshit, but especially for my own. I have stripped myself down to a bare boned and terrifyingly realistic look in the mirror. I deeply appreciate the very few people in my life who love me enough to risk being honest when they see me going down that road. It is painful sometimes; but far less painful than the alternative. P.S. It is vulnerable and scary.
  3. I love working. Even when I hate the work. But man, give me work I love and then I really, really love it.
  4. I always fantasized that working for myself, at home, would suit me perfectly. I was right. It does.
  5. I have extreme workaholic tendencies, and have to reign in on myself.
  6. Maslow's Hierarchy doesn't really work for me. I am out of order. Always have been.
     
  7.  I need a decent amount of time alone or in shared silence with people I love in order to be at my best.
  8. My aspirations are much higher than I ever allowed myself to believe or pursue. I think that on some perverse level it felt like a form of selling out. I'm realizing that it is actually the opposite.
  9. I am really, really sick of hearing about being gay not being a choice, no matter how true this might be for most people who are gay. I'm sick of it because it indirectly implies that it is a flaw that can't be helped, no one would choose it if they could be straight, and that if it were a choice it would be a bad one. It's a whole blog post in and of itself. Coming soonish.
  10. When you stop letting people treat you poorly, whether in work situations or in your personal life, they either start treating you better or one of you leaves and the problem is solved.
  11. I am beyond ready to get married.  
  12. I am profoundly grateful and in awe of the mutual love and respect I share with my fiancee, and this gratitude grows daily.
  13. I am really sick of Mary Oliver quotes.
  14. Five to fifteen minutes a day is really all that I care to spend on Facebook.
  15. I'm ready for a drastic haircut.
  16. I am very grateful that I have been able to witness the behaviors of college students of different class and privilege levels. There seem to be astounding differences that manifest around senses of entitlement, arrested development, and artificially extended adolescence. It has solidified my stance that regardless of how much money I do or do not have at any point in my life, my kids will need to work at least very part time while they are in school in order to get financial assistance from me.
  17. There is absolutely nothing in the world that comes anywhere near being as important to me as love and family.
  18. I hope and pray that I never become so calloused that I can  see someone suffering without feeling empathy and acting on it. If I have food and won't share it, change and won't spare it, or more of anything than I need and don't offer it up, I've pretty much failed at the human being gig.
  19. That being said, I have many, many selfish and superficial weak spots, and that really sucks. Ouch. My pride didn't like putting that down here one bit.
  20. My appreciation for plain and concise language grows and grows.
I can feel that the gestational space I've been occupying is growing confining. Because I still have the ridiculous and overwhelming urge to connect everything to reproductive cycles, birth, and death, right now feels like a really long early labor phase. But once it kicks in fully, I know it's gonna fly. I won't even need to actively push. It will just happen. Change is so imminent that it is palpable. I'm ripe and ready. Let's do it.



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Moment by Moment Becomes a Life

Sometimes the silence is the defining I've decided to leave undone. The days don't mind. They don't know the sound of their own names, so they never notice when I don't call.

I'm too busy with the moments to be bothered with the days. My days are a blur, but each moment is tight and concise. They hold themselves steady and unflinching as we meet. 

The days are all the same. I write for a living from the desk in my dining room from the moment I wake up until the moment I hit the pillow, seven days a week. The punctuation marks are a walk with one of my daughters to the convenience store, the occasional splurge on a latte from one of the real coffee joints, doctors appointments, craft projects, poetry read aloud to the kid who suddenly shares my love of the infamous dead. The days don't mind me and I don't mind them.

The clear cut moments are crystalline beacons of truth that set life to rights, as if it were ever anything but right. These are the moments that give my life a definition and rhythm which feels more like a dance than a blur.

A long phone call with my fiancee in which we cover everything from the abandoned house we dream of buying and renovating together to what we're planning to eat for dinner reminds me that I am alive and that I love well and I am loved well. We never cover anything with as much care as we cover one another. Her voice breaks through the oppressive humidity and heat of a desert sky that is begging to rain, but never quite does.

A writing project I love falls in my lap and I feel that I've been paid to play. In the zone with my word play and research, and I am reminded that work does not have to be drudgery, but even when it is paying the bills is as important as artistic autonomy when you have people you love depending on you.

An evening spent with a best friend post-surgery making sure she gets a shower and her meds, prepping food for her in the morning so she won't have to struggle. The moment is just love. It is just a reminder that these are the only things that truly matter. Our reasons for being.

My kids are pulling antics that have a 50/50 chance of ending in injury, asking me to read another page of Run with the Hunted, although I'm not sure they can hear me over their laughter. I am reminded that I was born to give birth to these three. I miss the two who are on the other side of the country with the woman I loved, who was born to birth them.

Moment by moment, the days have taken place without my fumbling or fussing at them to be anything at all. The blurred outlines took shape in the spaces in between, and they are enough. They are everything.