Saturday, February 18, 2006

" all accounts, you really should've died..."

- from "A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left" by Andrew Bird (album: the Mysterious Production of Eggs).

It's late. I know. It's not too late, though. I tried hard. I held out as long as I could, hoping my feelings would change. And they did. Or my understanding of them did. Present. *The* Present. Meaning, every present moment, and its changes. I really should have died you know. Not being dramatic. True. The car in the ditch, the wrong side of the road, 10 years ago. My father, my mother, who knows who else has gone. Death is there, every moment, like a Nervous Tic. But instead, tonight, I was in the arms of a very, very good friend, watching Andrew Bird, whistling and tipping around each other and his music every moment. I am so open to every moment now. The gross ones disgust me, predictably. Then I realize their potential and move on. I feel like most of my old video tapes are --- nervous tics. Not worthy of much more than observation. Mostly good for the familiarity, then time to turn them off. Time to turn my real self back on.

I don't know where my family is in this. bell hooks, in all about love (her first installment in the series I've been reading, which ends in men and women's treatments of love, individually) says that our families contain mixed messages about love. Mixed in that we believe abuse and love can go together. They cannot, she insists, go together. When I find someone who is prone, who is a natural, at giving me straight up love, I have such a hard time believing it. It makes me cry, but laugh, too. I know I will see this through.

For a second post in a row, thanks J.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

"You have to eat all the little dots to move onto the next level"

That's a newer, close friend, coaching me by reminding me of the core principles of...Ms Pac Man last night! I hadn't played that since Atari, and as I am not a technology retro whore, it's been the appropriate number of years since Atari has been in my life. Like, 20. He regaled me and my lack of skills (you should have seen me in the driving games!) by pointing out that I've spent the last 20 doing excellent things with my life and he's spent them mastering Ms Pac Man. Doesn't have to be an either/or of course, but it helped.

It's been an intense week. My backpack was stolen out of the back of Dan and Sus' car, on Devon in Chicago last week. It was horrible. My diary, datebook, camera (and five rolls I had shot that weekend) address book (I have duplicates of info, but it's sick to think of those I love out there in nowheresville) were the big losses. The absolute best capilene long underwear I bought for a long trek in Europe 10 years ago. My favorite pair of underwear. You know, the stuff I need on a weekend trip. The essentials. The ipod and wallet were on me, luckily (especially the wallet, ugh). Dan and Sus' car window got smashed in of course, and that was distressing too. There were many beautiful and ironic moments: I noticed the street salt glistening in the lights just before noticing the glass on the seat doing the same, I have taken my camera everywhere I've travelled for years all to no damage or loss, to have it stolen in my "second home" (and I had spent the afternoon talking with them about such adventures).

I spent the next few hours on the bus home after documenting the people in my life I love best, the folks who really support me unconditionally. I've been thinking about, and researching, love a lot lately. I didn't realize until today, in a Living and Working from the Inside Out workshop a friend is running and I am participating in, that they are inexorable. Completely inseparable. How I love and how I work. What I need and what I do. I don't know why loss spurred me to recount, but I am grateful for the list now.

I spent the last two days at a teacher training workshop, run by William and Mary College and WCATY (Wisconsin Academy for Academically Talented Yuth - Yuth is a mydadism). Followed quickly by this mornings' first workshop on Living and Working, I am feeling the next phase of my life pretty heartily. It's like I'm in the middle of a stew, and I'm both the stew and I also need to eat myself. Or lick myself. Anyway, I think you get the idea. It's intense. Hot and warm, tasty and also overwhelming. Today all I did after the workshop was take a bath and nap. Even those were kind of hard.

There's so much to say about this that I can't possibly say it all now. Suffice it to say that I figured out over dinner with another newer friend tonight that I have so much love in my life I have yet to reap. When asked today in the workshop if I could think of someone, anyone, I know for sure loves me in my life, I went blank. I froze up. OF COURSE I CAN THINK OF THEM. That's right, them. More than one. I just made a list last week.

But to Feel that Love? That's something else. Without pressure, I recognize that in order to keep moving forward, in romance as well as in life, and especially in my friendships and personal life, I need to start eating the dots.

Thanks, J.