To Whom It May Concern:
There are apples growing somewhere in the darkness. It is cold and damp and photosynthesis is an unnecessary extravagance of the mind. What is now and what could never be sometimes sleep together. Not fuck, just sleep together, in the same bed, where things become sensitive while wrapped in the sheets of sleep. They are paper dolls left out in the rain. Absorption. The incorporation of ideals and the containment of a fear.
For what is fear besides the waking of a dream? The iceboxed limitation of the wonderment that knew no horizons as a child? We aspire to escape from the drear of our black and white rooms; the toy box we grew up in, and sometimes remain. We aspire, for the alternatives are horrendous, and our eyes ache from the stench of it. There are directions, so many other directions, angels perched on a needle’s tip, limitless, endless, and all of which hold the possibility of an angle none of them have ever considered before. There is a chance.
And so, we embrace an insurgence. We staple our ideals to the tenderness of our own flesh; reminders of direction we have chosen, but have yet to veer. I have tattooed myself to feel the separation. A countdown to the destruction of the softness my parents strived so rigidly to build. To watch the walls fall down. To feel the colors as the seep into my paper doll, so vivid in the downpour. The juice is a necessary secretion, a simple lubricant in the otherwise overwhelming dryness of the core. And the seeds… the seeds give shelter to the cyanide which makes these decisions mandatory.
I have watched myself, as quietly as I watch the others, and seen the change as they grow. Calm and silenced in the darkness. They have only to remember that each step may take a new direction. That we are never housed unless we build the walls ourselves. That sometimes, it takes a prison to truly remember where you want to be.
The poison is in the doubting. Without a preference, everything is gray.
I hurt in the mornings.
This pain, more a manifestation of the inside coming out, ironically, derives from my surroundings; the outsides, burning in. At this point in my life, my environment breaches contract with my soul. And this hurts. The hurt is most noticeable upon waking.
Once upon a time, there were Eight Deadly Sins. In order of rising severity, they were: gluttony, lust, avarice, sadness, anger, apathy, vainglory, and pride. Along the roads of history, however, alterations were made, as Man saw fit. Gregory the Great decided that vainglory and pride were too much alike to be counted separately and combined them. He also decided to add envy. Further down the road, apathy was dropped. (Guess they didn’t care enough about it. :::cough::: ) Later still, the Roman Catholic Church determined that sadness wasn't a sin, and swapped it for sloth.
The variations of names ebbed and flowed, but the meanings, from this point on, remained fairly constant. It was down to seven. One should, through interpretation by deductive reasoning, be faithful, hopeful, benevolent, courageous, just, temperate, and prudent. Sounds like quite a life.
It is difficult for me to make friends. Acquaintances are a dime a dozen, but “friends,” true friends, don’t really come around too often. I could blame it on my outlook – my perception that some people “fit” and others, well, they just don’t. But, more than likely, that fact that I can count my real friends without even taking off a sock is most likely due to the fact that I am a picky son of a bitch. Daughter, actually… but don’t tell her I said that. She’ll kick my ass.
So, when wayward awareness causes a chasm to shoot across the tolerance I have for things that I shouldn’t, it’s hard to sit still. It’s hard to smile at the Man, and grin at the discordantly inconsequential banter. And it’s harder still to pretend that their actions were at all (AT ALL) justified. Termination is distressing as is, but groundless termination is just fucking insulting. And it is with a clear perception of the ruthlessness, fraudulence, and arrogance that IS the corporate world that I walk, heavily, back into the gray building that is my prison. Only ten months ago, I thought this place was a blessing. The grass is greener? Not anymore.
I will miss our walks together. From here on out, I guess the path is made for One.
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how
the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done
better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives
valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again because
there is no effort without error and shortcomings, who knows the
great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best
knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who, at worst,
if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never
be with those timid and cold souls who knew
neither victory nor defeat."
~ Theodore Roosevelt
To vent. To give air to. From. Find expression for. Isn't it odd that so many of us have different wants, needs, desires and fundamental prerequisites for this bulky chasm we call “life”? If we are, indeed, all connected here, points on a sphere, not individual sapiens in a contorted and abstract world but instead parts of a whole, like when someone places their fingertips on a foggy window and all we can see on the other side is five little oval blotches but on the other side of the window the blotches are connected to fingers, connected to one hand… if we are, indeed, like that, why are we so different? Why is it some of us can breathe at times others cannot? Why do the waves shake some of us harder and faster while others are floating down the Lazy River? Do we float too far?
I have dived in again. There are connections (spider-web-thin and all but invisible) that are forming even as those I love move away. Directions are misleading. My heart tells me to eschew the distance in favor of the openings like windows on the horizon. We get to see a little bit more. It is not a best friend thousands of miles away, but instead, an extension of myself experiencing different flavors of life; following different dreams that have spawned from the same pool.
Now, there is a part of Me in Chicago, New Haven, Fairfax, and in a week, Los Angeles. I am seeing her today to say “goodbye.” Really, though, I cannot wait to see the brilliance which she embraces with her future. It’s scary, and absolutely necessary at the same time. Changing the world from one’s basement is a fairly monumental task. Despite the little-fish-in-a-big-pond syndrome, I think her chances will be dramatically increased as she builds her acquaintances and connections within the field she is sure to ROCK in the near future.
It’s time for me to stop playing. Yes, I know, playing is healthy, and too much work… dull girl… yadda yadda. But I know now where I am going. I have laid the red circles, and the red dot in the center is finally coming into focus. My stint by the window has given me just enough free-thought-time to sort out the details of the plan. Now, it’s time to go back to work, and with a vengeance. Collections. Compilations. Anthologies. I get the theme. But the fire at last has an outlet. Others I don’t care about. (Yes, I know, we’re all connected. So ultimately, I’m screaming at myself, right? Fuck off.) If it means I come home at the end of the day full of cool, clear water with which to nurture the love that is waiting there for me, it is well worth it. Tools come in many forms.
Wagon-ride: day 7!
p.s…. Ms. Smith, if you are out there reading this, please call me. I have been thinking about you, and would love to chat soon.
Mon, Aug. 21st, 2006, 10:25 am
Poison: an addiction. A craving to the venom that soothes the demons, formed by hours of taking it in, taking it in. Perhaps there are fragments of my Self which keep true to the Light. But, right now, the majority of me is Dark. And deep.
Last night. Yesterday. An old friend. Unclassifiable. Eleven years. All that could have been. All that never was. And I can still look at him, and smile. Always.
I need to find a Light.
I need to find faith in myself.
Failure and Rejection. The same breed of fear. Not mutually exclusive. But self applied, nonetheless.
How does one long for something which one cannot yet know?
The force is strong with this one.
Here’s the skinny: there have been a number of groundbreaking movements, shifting, a correspondence within the atmosphere which makes the earth shiver with anticipation… the air is alive. Somewhere in the dawn, answers arose, culled and seasoned, sweet with the nectar of simplicity, and I tasted the light. I was lifted, and set gently down again, no visible changes but for the glow in my eyes. I am ready. Things have been set in motion.
Steps and skips and strides have been taken already. Studying. The How. The When. It’s all coming. Perhaps another minute or so in the virtual timeline… it won’t be long. And what changes! It’s as if there were never a minute to spare, and yet, had I not waited (stalled, hesitated) until now, perhaps the fever would not be as strong. A posse ad esse. The effect is everything. And the effect it has on me, now, is breathtaking.
Tess is in town! I have an old car named Stanley to thank for that. He is passing into the next world, and she had to come get another ride. It lent a chance for the Other to meet the last of my close (close) friends which he had not yet met. But, due to my persistence (and perpetual badgering), we made it out to Golden last night to create a space for assembly. Random choice: The Table Mountain Inn, and had it not been perfect enough, his lack of ID was completely forgiven by the fact that the bartendress happened to be an old acquaintance from high school. Odd, and good, catching up. It’s certainly been a while, and it’s sometimes astounding (though not surprising) the things Time can do, the splits it can create, and the dapples and plaits it draws with the paths that are chosen. I wonder who the chooser is sometimes. She has a five year old little girl. Divorced. Still wearing black. We have that in common, at least. Tess, on the other hand, went another route. The Yale route. And in another SIX YEARS of hard-earned (and harder-paid) education, she will become a professor at some well-established university. Or be fit to be the curator of some highly recognized museum. Time will tell. Other paths were lighted upon by the 24-year-old divorcee: others from high school. Boy A: loser, no job, still in college, bad grades. Boy B: military, drinks like a fish. Boy C: shaved his long hair, engaged, working at an Information booth at the mall, sharp as a butter knife. Boy D: still smoking weed, married, two children.
I remember why I left that world. Tess and I exchanged glances that seemed to say “how the hell did we come from that?” Divorcee takes the opportunity when the Other excuses himself to use the privies: “Dude, your fiancé is HOT!” “Yes,” I reply, “I think quite highly of him as well.” Time will tell.
I am afraid that I am getting too old. Too old to chase after my dreams. But my best friends, the ones who will be around tomorrow, they slap me and scold me for congering up such silly notions. Dreams, they say, do not get old, they only grown thicker, like wild brambles, maturing into the peaks of their ferocity. Demanding attention. Dreams can die, but not of old age. Dreams only die from suffocation; the result of a host who has forgotten to let them breathe.
One cannot cling to their fears in hopes of scaring off their audaciousness. What a new and brave level of patheticism that will have been achieved the day the masses force all the children to give up their whimsical notions before they have a chance to grow! Nature and nurture will share the role of the oppressor in this brave new world. Blindness will be a convention, and the poisoning of untamed thoughts will be the law. I shudder to think.
Actually, I shudder *not* to think.
This is my cliff. And I’ll jump when I want to.
Wed, Jun. 21st, 2006, 11:55 pm
Sometime in the darkened quiet of the day, silent and content, the Endless left us. He was five years old.
Endless began his triangular journey as my companion sometime in the fall of 2001. I did not choose him, but rather, he chose me. He called me out, stared me down, and demanded that I take him home. I did. And he was with me throughout the toughest of times. He floated with me all through college, and through the first years of my "careers" after college. At times when everyone else abandoned me, only he remained, and he was always there for me, whenever I needed anyone to listen.
Now, he rests next to a beautiful lake, with stones to keep hidden if he wants, and an arrow to point the way to the water, in case he gets lost. I shed more than a couple of tears at his passing, and I think that his memory will stay alive with me for many years to come. I will miss him.
Fri, Jun. 16th, 2006, 12:53 pm
It's raining. Thanks the gods.
Softened in the tide of falling sky, the aftermath of a reckless morning, tipped bamboo, cats scurrying, little black rocks, jagged and scattered across an otherwise spotless kitchen floor. Such agony, for such little, little rocks. Everything was so heavy. Everything can be made so heavy so easily. The simplicity of forgetting, and of becoming a rock.
You step away. You let the clouds come down. And I feel lighter now.
Sliding back 16 days - boxes like a fence. Solid, smelling like dust and elbow grease. Two shots couldn't fix the strain, but the glass of red wine the next night, after the 13 hours of moving, after the 5 hours of sleep, after the fire -- it was enough.
And choosing the drawer for the silverware. Who would have thought 'nesting' could be so endearingly fulfilling? I have the mail key on a Guiness keychain. We set up the DVD player, watch old movies while unpacking. There is a place for the cotton balls in both bathrooms. My closet is large enough to do cartwheels. Lighter. Just letting it all fall into place.
We are entering the Season of Promises, where people set themselves in stone. They are unmovable in their commitments. Or at least, this is their wish, at one point. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, the water cleans out all foundations that have been laid, and people start over. Build again. Nothing is ever broken for long. There is always a way out, if you want it.
I am dark again. I am effervescent and uncompromising in my ambiguity. I am loved, and comfortable in my placing. I am happy, despite myself.
Outside, it smells wonderful.
Tue, May. 30th, 2006, 09:45 am
"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power."
The whirlwind of the past couple of weeks is finally coming to a head; we will be entering the eye of the storm tomorrow, as our big move commences, and with the help of a few good friends, hopefully the dings, dents and heartaches will be minimized, allowing things to progress exactly as planned, just like they always do. Uh huh.
The packing (cramming, stuffing, shoving, grunting, sloughing, wheezing) was pretty much wrapped up on Friday, just before we hoisted anchor and set sail for a Memorial weekend camping extravaganza, forevermore dubbed Camp Pumpernickel Pancake. (Sure, the cats puke-shitted all across my living room, but I wasn't going to let a tiny, soluable thing like *that* stop me.) The journey was brief (only a few hours, plus site-seeing stops), but the results were spectacular. We found an ideal site nestled in between some sheltering pines in the Bowen Gulch Protection Area, very close to the Never Summer Wilderness. The weather the first day was sunny, and we became corporeal walking buffets for the local mosquitoe population for about an hour before the sun went down. After a dozen or so bites (each), we built a fire ring and set ablaze a campfire Pele could be proud of. We befriended Bacchus in the traditional manner, and ended up falling asleep by midnight. Which was good, since, as always, when in nature, I wake just after sunrise. In this case, around 6:30. And up I stayed! The pooch. She needs to poop. Often, as it were. I took her for a long walk, went off and found some more firewood, chopped it all down with our handy little hachet, and finally woke up the Better Half. Sunday was dazzling, albeit slightly overcast, and we focused our day's energy on hiking and exploring. By 6pm, it was snowing. We took shelter in the tent for the evening, reading, eating chili, simmering our souls, and after a long nap, emerged well after dark to light the firewood (which we had cleverly covered with a tarp) for the midnight spirits to enjoy. No bugs out that night! The 10 degree weather ensured it.
Little sleep, lots of cold, and we woke on Monday ready to leave. But first, we ate a wonderful, hot and spicy breakfast, drank some good French Press, and broke down camp. And during the last late-morning swing in the hammock, he gave it to me. He was even all down on his knee and everything. It was perfect, and I couldn't have hoped for anything more. But this is where I stop, because cheese just really isn't my style. ;)
Saw my karisma yesterday. She's doing well, and prepared for her own big move off to the East once again. She'll be taking on the realm of professionalism and cut-throat law schooling. No more four-inch-stilettos for her! Oh no, from now on, nothing higher than 3.5 inches will do. I will miss her, but I know we will see each other again soon.
Sold some furniture. Managed the kitties. Tonight is the NIN concert at the Rocks, and I'm dressed in obligatory black, ready to rock and roll with the best of 'em. After I find myself a nice patch of shade, that is: I do believe I've passed my sun-quota for the month. Or four.
The next time I wake up, I'll be running full-speed, I'll be with my best friend, moving boxes and driving around trailors. It's been a surreal month, and I'm so (SO) ready to be in our new abode. It's the beginning of a new life, new doors are opening as others close, and for this, I am thankful.
Another thing I am thankful for: this morning, I called my mother to make sure our family was alright in Indonesia (they just suffered another huge quake, this time claiming at least 5,400 lives, with the impending threat of a volcanic eruption overhead), and while talking, got a call from a number I didn't recognize. I answered it. It was my brother. I haven't spoken to him in years, and it was so good to hear his voice.
I'm ready to open the door.
Spiritual canister running low. Ladle broken. Needs mending. Needs polish and a bit of spit, thinks I. Always the moments seem hurried. It's a busy-ness phase that has lasted twenty-some odd years. At least, in Spain, they have learned the value of sleep.
After three weeks of looking and only one rejected hopeful, we have found our new house.
Good bye, Boulder.
Sun, Apr. 23rd, 2006, 06:22 pm
early in the evening, walking briskly from room to room along the white and gray marble floors, my mother swept in like a tropical storm, turning on all the lights of the house. my childhood is pock-marked with memories of lights coming on, small flickers of doubt before brightness erupted from the bulbs, which always seemed so much smaller in the darkness. illuminated there, left alone as she moved forward to continue her quest, I sat pondering the change of ambiance. as the sun had departed, leaving the sky a dulled and quickly darkening cobalt blue, the room had grown quieter. softly, the crickets had started to call out, rubbing their legs in defiance of the emptiness that seemed almost omnipotent in the desert. the humidity had been gone for months, and still, in the little patches of shrubby grass (Indigofera spinosa) that had persevered despite the withering flowers, the crickets had kept themselves alive. it had gotten harder to stay inside the lines with my crayons, but... crayons were impossible to color well with, anyhow. and creativity should never be bottled within the confines of lines, no matter what the cost.
the light destroyed everything.
there was a fleeting moment just after the click of the lamp switch where I instinctively wanted to run for the disturbance and smack it, drenching the room in a swath of gray once again, returning my personal sky to its natural state. but, for whatever reason had been impressed upon by society and the education of the British private school system, I remained still.
"You're going to go blind if you keep straining your eyes like that." my mother's voice was critical, but tender. the cricket outside the living room window stopped chirping. I nodded, and she walked on, high heels echoing down the hallway as she found the switch in the kitch pantry, and clicked it on.
Wednesday. Woden's day. In French, Wednesday is called Mercredi. In Spanish, Miércoles. A modern and tangible referce to the Roman god Mercury, a fleet-footed messenger whose swiftness would become his trademark. Last Wednesday, however, the night dragged on.
The incidents which befell half a week ago sit fresh in my mind, like a ribbon around my finger, reminding me to be strong. Odd that it is in the face of weakness and utter desperation that I find my greatest clarity and strength of mind. A close friend of the Better Half burst into the darkened room, and unloaded the burdens of his day like a freight train. It was blinding. I listened from the upstairs balcony as he spoke of the discovery of his birth mother, having located her and finding a phone number, finally building the courage to call, and crumbling beneath the words she spoke through the phone to him. Broken cadence and retched sobs conveyed a scenario of denial, the admittance of an attempted abortion, failure, birth, desertion in a trailor in Las Vegas. An infant with no food or water for five days. A young man torn sobbing on a sofa. The tortured past of two lives coming together to form one soul who dared to question his history. And the devastation which ensued once the truth was known.
"Wednesday's Child is full of woe". His heart was screaming. I laid on my belly and sighed through the vengeful conclusions he chanted over and over, like some sort of doorway that might take him by the hand and lead him from this place. Two bottles of wine had failed to make him forget, and the hurt had kept him from sleep. It was callous perhaps, but my thouhts drifted to times where the sounds of my sobs conveyed the same sort of helpless desperation. And I was repulsed. I stayed upstairs, and let the situation settle on its own. But the damage had been done, and my mind stayed in the darkened living room for the next few days. Whether or not I go through with my previously formed plans to make him the proud owner of a creature which would look up to him is teetering nervously on the brink of desertion. Not as abandoned, though, as trailor in heat of Las Vegas.
The Bible tells us that on Wednesday, the Sun and the Moon were created. Perhaps the birth of a child on the brink of the New Year can be thought of as a dawning. When the Sun and Moon come together, after all, the day is either at dawn or dusk. Let us hope, for all our sakes, that the darkest part of the night has already passed.
These days, I am the one who turns on the lights.