Sunday, January 25, 2009

Had a rough week- and wasn't up to writing much.

Still like that- trying to follow the golden rule about nothing nice to say=keep your trap shut.

But it's hard. Nothing and no one rises to the occasion, and there are so many cracks in the firmament. All I want to do is point them out and fix them. But it's not my job. It's not within my capacity. And in some instances, it is none of my business.

So I keep it to myself, and let it roll. Figuring that I'll either get over it, or accept it, and move the hell on.

But it takes time.

And layoffs suck. Even when you get to stay. Mainly because there's not any guarantee that it'll last. Now both of us have experienced it, and neither of us is going to be much beyond hunker down mode for a while.

So, yeah. That's where it's at. January appears to be the culmination of a ton of crappy shit. Hope February goes a little further in the positive direction. Feh.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I was thinking about writer's block. And, yes, it's personal. And I have it. But the reason makes sense to me, and will be summarily dealt with.

Years ago, I was in art school. I loved it. I was committed. And then I hit the wall. I came to understand that in order to continue, and be an artist I had to deal with two very difficult issues. The first was that the art world is chock full o' assholes, and I would have to kiss many of their asses to get ahead, and thus bury my self respect in a deep hole. The other was that I would have to fully embrace where my art came from. To be honest, it is not a very pleasant place. Or wasn't at that point in my life. I would have to let the dark side really out of the mason jar in the upper shelf of the closet and use it to create those pieces that needed to be created. In the meantime, I knew that I was becoming more and more difficult to live with. Both inside and outside. And I made a choice. I chose to take a sane road and leave the art thing behind. It was not easy, by any estimation. But I don't regret it for a minute. Not being batshit crazy, living alone and dealing with art world assholes is just fine with me.

So the writing. The problem comes from a similar place. Not the mason jar of goodies, exactly- that has been opened in a safe place and dealt with accordingly. But more of a place of fear. I am at the place where I need to get the hell out of the way of the story and the characters and let them live and breathe. And the process scares the hell out of me. Being (oh surprise!) somewhat of a control freak, letting those voices just flow is really unsettling. Funny thing though, that was the part of creating art that I loved the most. The flow when it hit. I remember those times the most. But I am having a little trouble allowing it back. And need to just step aside, and trust that the infrastructure that I have built as my life in general will be just fine. Ah, there is that tricky word- trust. Never a strong suite in my deck. But I suppose it is better than faith. Because that suite is not represented at all. Trust. Feh.

So there you have it. Time to face the demons that remain and let the dice roll (since I am misusing gambling metaphors all over the place- I'll just throw them around like pixie dust). Because the story is a good one, and the characters have a great story to tell. They depend on me, and I have to man up and do this. Or I guarantee that I will have regrets over this one.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I've been thinking more and more about how very interesting the whole choices as destiny thing is. I can't help but fixate a bit on how one choice, that might seem inconsequential, can have the momentum and ability to shift a life forever. Not just the "driving down that road on that day" like in "Adaptation". But more like the decision that a person can make that basically dooms them through the resultant choices. The one tipping point that creates a downward spiral. The one that just can't be undone. I think that prisons are full of those kinds of realities. And in a less dramatic sense, lots of unhappy lives are part of that decision process.

Just been thinking about it a lot.

And as a postscript to my poor aunt's tale, seems that they found undiagnosed and untreated MS when they conducted the autopsy. Fuckers. Fuckers. Fuckers. Oh, and she died of pneumonia. Ah, the rage is building...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I always thought of my aunt as the glamorous one. First off, she was not my mom. That adds a certain luster. And she was fabulous. She and her husband were dynamic and fun. They played all the time. It was only much later that I was able to apply the Aesop's fable about the ant and the grasshopper to the situation, and be quite thankful that I am the product of ants. Versus the sad son of the grasshoppers. Not sure what he does with his time, but from what I hear it is generally kinda underachieving.

So she died yesterday. The first of that generation in over 20 years (the other death was shocking and an aberration of sorts). This one was natural causes, but my mother maintains that Canada killed her. She has good reasons for her bitterness. About 15 or so years ago, a mounty ran over my aunt and broke both of her legs and threw her through the windshield of the parked truck next to her. She never fully recovered from those injuries, and subsequently lacked both PT care, and developed arthritis in both legs. She also developed osteoporosis, and was in great pain for the last several years. I guess her death was hastened by a flu virus that was under-treated by the 3 different doctors that my uncle took her to in the last week. She was too weak to withstand it, and died in his arms yesterday. After 38 years together. He is just crushed. We are all sad. And my mom is angry as hell. Her direct quote, "she would've had another 10 years down here with proper care." No one can understand why the hell she wasn't in the hospital in that condition. It makes no sense.

But there you have it. The woman made fabulously poor choices with dramatic consistency, but lived a truly genuine life both despite and because of those choices. She was kind. She was pretty. She was funny and fun. And I wish that I had been in touch with her more in the last few years. Always with the regrets, no?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

She ran around all the time. Outdoors and indoors.
She was barefoot all summer in the grass.
She killed bugs and spiders with delight and satisfaction. She thought it was heroic.
She tried to catch butterflies, but only to look, not to hurt.
She got into everything.
She liked raspberries the best.
She liked the smell of the dog.
She was slow to learn how to ride her purple bike.
She wanted everyone to like her.
She was full of ill-contained passion.
She picked everything up, but rarely broke anything.
She thought that everything was fun.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Got some words of wisdom from my mentor at work. She is really good. Comes from a different place professionally and personally, and I really value her insights. She told me to calm the hell down. I was in a dither about not having clearly defined goals, and slipping on some of the ones that are already established. She told me to stop it. Be good. Give it a month or so and reevaluate what is important.

Perspective, I think it's called. Been lacking around here in my head, lately. Just because I have slipped into the element of immediate. Everything appears important. Everything appears to be imperative. And it's good to have someone call me on that and tell me to knock it off.

I think that part of the problem is where I work, and with whom. It is merely a huge chunk of the culture there, and with them. That's not going to change any time soon, and sure as hell isn't going to be prompted to change by me. I am a small cog in a very large sprocket. And I don't think that I can totally pull out of the collective madness- it's just the way the place works.

But the personal stuff can be evaluated differently. As is appropriate. I push Kman to evaluate and make choices and pursue goals and develop dreams. I push myself too. But I am thinking that it might not hurt to relax. Just relax. And carry on. Wayward son.

Monday, January 05, 2009

It's not what I expected. I just realized this after all of these years. I'm not complaining, mind you. But it's not what I thought it would be, once upon a time.

I thought that the first ever would be the last. I thought that those feelings of immolation and annihilation would endure forever. I thought that it would be perfect. I thought that every day would sustain a level of intimacy and exquisite agony. I thought that it would consume me, and that I didn't matter as an individual in the equation.

Then I grew up. I had at least one that fit the bill. And then I saw the side effects. And I saw myself disintegrating into something lesser than myself. I knew the frustration of always being wrong. I knew the frustration of giving more than should justifiably be asked. And I grew up.

Part of me still yearns for that feeling though. Even though I know that it is very, very wrong. I want to be consumed. I want to be overwhelmed.

And then I remember. I remember and I forget. And then it is all different. And it is just fine.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

So while it snows again, I was looking outside and remembering.

The best snow day ever. Was at my Great Grandmother's house in East Helena. I was dropped off early in the day, not sure why- don't remember. I was under the age of 5, and it was a very snowy day. My cousins were around. We played in the yard in the snow. I remember not wanting to come inside. I remember building a snow fort, and throwing snow balls. I remember it getting dark and wanting to stay outside in my little red snow suit. And continuing to build the snow fort. It was the most important thing in the world. My mittens were soaked. I couldn't feel my fingers. But that didn't matter. I needed to build that fort.

When my parents arrived, I had to go inside. I remember the blast of warmth when I entered the living room. It was a pretty small room, packed with adults. The heat register in the floor was blowing hot air upwards. There were many voices speaking at once in a tumult of noise. It was all so different from the silence punctuated by the laughter outside.

I remember the ache of my fingers. It was the first time I remember thawing out from the cold. I remember my Uncle Jack playing the player piano. I thought he was wonderful. I don't know, in retrospect if this all occurred on the same day. Childhood memories are like that for me. Vivid as hell, but kind of dicey on the details.

I miss those days more than I can ever describe. Mainly because they were the time of my life that I felt safest and warmest. And to this day I am so thoroughly grateful to have had them. I will love that feeling forever.

Friday, January 02, 2009

In reference to the aforementioned DRAMA, it wasn't really anything personal. Just more situational than anything else. Someone else's really.

It seems that I have a habit of enraging a certain kind of man. The kind of man who typically likes to maintain some sense of personal gravitas, and doesn't cotton to the kind of outspoken nature that I tend to exhibit naturally. And since we were among family, I pretty much had my guard down and didn't feel the need to be overly political for a change.

So then I pissed the old lion off. And he attacked. But it was more of an invitation for me to debate than anything else in my mind. But the person in the room with the full-blown daddy issues decided that I needed a champion. Needlessly, it turns out, but I think that it made her feel much better.

The funniest thing is that I didn't care. Not really. The whole bloody thing really left me just kind of bored and longing for my own bed and the kitties. Like I said, someone else's drama, not my own. I just didn't have the energy to devote to getting fully engaged. Nor did it seem necessary. I am perfectly content to let someone else make an ass of themselves in public- it happens. So there you have it. DRAMA. And silly as hell.