Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To Dharma: Rescue Me. From Dharma

I wish I knew how to fly, how to let my feelings fly around my head, appreciate their dips and soaring abilities; it would be amazing to just enjoy them regardless if there was bounding sadness looping around my head or the thrill of silence.

My pattern of wanting every one happy or at least not mad or sad, particularly at me is really I suspect my own discomfort with the anger and grief that resides in me; that if I can make others feel better than there is hope for me. It is the same magical thinking that I have about my mother, if she became truly sane and functional than I would be safe from the crazy. I don't want my presence in someone's life to make things harder for them, but I suspect it does, because, well I am crazy in my own way; because while I am a realist a lot of the time I feel like I spin tales, recast the better side of myself that leads people to think I am more than I am. When the truth comes out, they are disappointed and feel a bit trapped by the fantasy. Then they are mad. Then I am mad at me, at them; I want to save them from the sink hole I have dug for them but I can't. In truth I did not dig it, though perhaps I helped lead them to the sink hole that resides within, so I can't rescue them either. Everyone, especially me, needs to rescue themselves and yet I yearn to rescue, to help, to offer sixteen lights at the end of their tunnel.

Rescue me by Buckcherry seems the closest to how I feel right now, except it's all about me, no one else in my head and heart right now to do this for me. I have no idea who Buckcherry is, I just did a lyric search for "rescue me," just in case you are wondering about my music choices. I need to learn, deeply, make it my operating system, how to take care of me, how not to obsessively rescue others, not to lose me inside someone. It is scary, I know how to do the basics like housing, job, feeding; it is the deeper stuff - being alone, facing all my feelings without judgment, pampering me, taking care of my health on all levels. To honor my needs and wants without rationalizing why I shouldn't have them or meet them.

I feel a little like an addict, like everyday is going to be a struggle to make the best choice, to not bathe in the waters of someone else's needs, to not offer lifesavers before some one actually says they need one.

So today I claim as day one of recognizing my lack of control over or for other's people's feelings; that people will get mad at me, they have a right to their feelings, as do I; that I will continue to be as loving and supportive to everyone as I can while remembering to do the same for myself.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wishing for a shortcut

There are times when deeply sitting in your being is great, but inevitably there comes times when you wish you were done, or could ignore yourself. In this freeform time of being alone a lot, of wondering where to live for the next stretch of time, of seeing friends whom I have missed greatly, there comes these emotional bumps of sadness or that lovely sense impending doom. Today I feel like I am waiting for the shoe to drop. Grieving a relationship is hard work, going over details of joy and not so joyful times hurts. There is no pretty way to say it.

Sitting inside the well of yourself wondering if something is broken inside you is a less than glorious way to pass the time. It is harder to run away from myself here. For the second time ever I am living with no television - having that black hole available gave me a reprieve, a way to forget and now I do not have it. I don't rent movies, have only watched three shows online. My escapes are reading which works as long as my brain doesn't interfere; sleep is the other with the same caveat. Except even if I sleep my subconscious can get in my way. Yesterday while napping my brain worried over a stone, rubbing it until it shone. Ultimately the dreams were about relationships that it is too late to revive, about being told no, about how sometimes wanting something isn't enough.

In a way I feel like my life has been brought full circle, a way to begin again - which at my age is gracious of the universe, and cruel. It is a gift that is lovely but it's like the post office had lost it at least six times so it wrinkled, cracked and a good deal of shine has been rubbed off the pretty paper. That is a bit of what I see in the mirror half the time, the passage of time, aging settling in at my edges. It is scary as I don't often think of myself as older but I am. I do think I am a bit wiser than 20 years ago, and I hope to keep getting smarter about myself but the mistakes, the ways I have ignored my inner and outer self some days feel very, very loud.

For today I will try to remember that each day is new opportunity, a new chance dig deeper, to sleep away worry, to connect with people, to think of something new to do with the life I have right now.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Next time just slap me*

When I start bemoaning that my family will judge me in a negative light. That totally did not happen. One cousin said, "Oh, so you are footloose and fancy free then?", like it was a good thing. My sister said it was great that I was being open to what came next. Terrible, right? Yeah, so next time remind me that in all my years with them they have never to my face said anything negative, never put me down. What they say in private, well whatever. They have supported me and worried about me but that's really not so bad, you know.

Next time I complain about not having a seder to go to, remind how this year I went to three! Yes three! I am a lucky, well fed woman. They were all delightful, different, fun, challenging, and thoughtful - like all jewish get togethers in my experience. For a mostly veghead, let me assure you that there is nothing like a really excellent brisket on the holiday. Nothing.

* That is a metaphorical slap which needed to be clarified to a pain in the ass, in the best way, to my friend Greg who wanted to know if if was really okay to slap me. It's not! Well at least it's not okay for him, other people may have different privileges.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Catching up a bit

Due to sloth and distraction I never wrote about my travels to Greg and Janet's home at the end of March. Shameful I know. Arriving on a Friday night I was happy to see a scene I had not experienced in a long time - Greg sketching a model for a painting. Janet was bopping around her studio and greeted me with a big hug, leading me to the kitchen to help myself to dinner leftovers.

Saturday we prepped for the Open Studio scheduled for that afternoon which mean that Greg and I walked up the farmer's market up at Grand Army Plaza. Talking about life while taking in vistas of Brooklyn that I had not seen for quite some time; sunlight was lighting up the limestone, sparkling the sidewalks and glinting off the sculptures of the arch. The market was bustling, filled with people, children and dogs.

After coming back to their home I took over the food prep, which was largely making the plates of prepared food look pretty and chopping vegetables. It also offed me an escape during the open studio -something to do when I felt restless, too quiet for chatter, or like my heart was suffering from the sporadic pangs which manifested as a body ache that wanted me to propel into their bedroom in a feta
l position with the cat.

Slowly those moments of awkward emotions lifted, or perhaps I was able stow them away in order to be present in the moment. Wonderful flows in and out conversations, slowly the open studio time faded to a more intimate setting to celebrate Greg's birthday and gave us time to talk in slower manner. It was a lovely a day in the end when I reviewed it all before bed.

Monday I finally roused myself to do something on my own, thinking I would go to the yarn store a mere three blocks from their home. As I turned left out of the door I realized that for some odd reasons most yarn stores in the United States are closed on Mondays. It was possible that this being within the confines of New York City would have better sense than that but I was doubtful. As it turned out it was shuttered by the typical irons gates that pull down over many storefronts here. Being out was a good thing so I simply decided to walk and stroll through the neighborhood that on and off many years ago had been my home turf. It was amazing to see so many storefronts the same in the past 10 or even 20 something years and not surprising at all to see so many things that had sprouted new life. One of the few stores I went into has been there since at least the mid-80's; an odd, narrow crowded store with mostly shoes but also a rack of fairly eclectic clothing, some of which seemed like it had been there since my first visit over 20 years ago. I walked up Seventh Avenue until I hit 3rd Street where I turned west towards the corner of 3rd and Fifth Avenue, where I lived in the early eighties. The corner of my former block is now chic and the block has been rehabbed for a long time. A far cry from when I lived there where half the buildings were abandoned, including half the units in my abode. It is the first since I left New York in 1990 that I thought, "I could live here". My large nostalgic circling took over an hour and I felt enlivened, happy, and even a bit peaceful.

(A wall of Janet's studio)
It was a lovely visit and as I write this I am back that their place visiting yet again. This is my other home base for the moment which allows me quiet, companionship, and waves of creativity as their art hangs on the walls, colors hits various types of canvases with oil paints, water colors, and food-based dyes.

(A piece of Greg's work on his studio wall)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Rumblings in the brain

For many years, maybe three-fourths of my life, I have experienced these feelings of impending doom - something I should be doing, something I haven't done, something I did wrong will come tumbling forward and I will be a puddle of despair of entirely my own making. These feelings come over me at random times, often in bed when falling asleep, sometimes when out having a good time and a quiet moment crosses which allows that spidery web of distress envelop my gut and shake it, hard.

Last night I had it again. Greg and I had just gone to hear Jay Wiseman give a presentation on Immobilizing Bondage which largely was god awful. We were tearing it apart, having fun in our more polymorphous view of the world and thus more correct view versus his limited heterosexist and sexist style. A moment of satisfied silence was suddenly overtaken be this sense that I shouldn't be having fun, that my life should have more form, that I should be a good little societal mole and finally act like the grown up I imagined from time to time when I was young.

Many years ago when I first was on anti-depressants the impending doom sensation disappeared and the idea that I was not in fact being presentient was incredibly liberating. When I was not on my happy pills it was useful thing to remember that it was simply my brain misfiring and only appearing cruel or psychic. It is not surprising that I am having waves of this now giving I am not following any particular model, watching my donated pennies until I can form my own cash flow. Largely I am on my own schedule, I am not responsible in a day to day way for anyone for the first time in years and years. It feels so liberating. I am going simply by my rhythm and working not to judge myself for it. Tomorrow night I will see a number of my family for the first time in five years. What will I tell them? Am I afraid of their judgement? Could I view it instead that I am being brave, that they would find what I am doing scary and somewhere deep inside they could be in awe of me? I'm not sure. In truth their reaction will probably be a mix of worry that my life has no form and a little wistful that they are not, maybe have never, been in this place.

This morning Greg and I talked some more about the gut shaking I get. He offered that maybe I could try to find a way to turn it into something constructive, creative, or other wise work this sensation into a positive. From there we talked a bit about what my plans are, where my focus is in terms of the next short and intermediate steps in my path. Encouraging noises were made on his part, and I, in turn, realized I had some shape, solid ideas about where and how I wanted to go but that I was also keeping some things open ended since there are many unknowns that are only somewhat in my control. I will continue to take my life in my hands, chart my own waters, and know that I have many good friends to visit with, help guide me, and generally love me well through thes travels.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Clarity, my kingdom for clarity

Okay I have no kingdom to offer but you get the drift. Her Geekyness and I are trying to negotiate the waters of no longer being a couple but are still connected, still care deeply for each other. I feel like my words are failing me which frustrates me no end. Within myself I am trying to understand how I got where I am, what it means and am trying to dig into the work on myself in an honest, real, and loving way. Everything feels a bit shallow rather than deep, a touch of playing at the edges rather than placing myself in the middle of my metaphorical pile of shit and wallowing in the positives and negatives.

I hear of other couples splitting, of still other couples hashing it out and I wonder how each happens even while I am aware that I have no idea what their relationship actually feels like so I can have no realistic notion of whether I want to emulate them. This is something I ponder a lot about myself, about whether I am missing some component, whether I have less fortitude surrounding certain discomforts of life. It is quite possible that I am in complete model with an inborn defect. However I also know that I do not enter relationships planning for the end. I enter filled with hope that we can do what's necessary to make things work. Tempting though it might be to place blame on simply oneself or solely the other person the reality is that it takes two people create whatever becomes, whether it is a love of the moment, an era, or forever; it take two people to make it a healthy growthful thing or something inhibits the stretch.

It is a hard morning. I feel awkward, out of place and time. In reality I know this moment is necessary and fleeting though it will return, just like all emotions do, I only hope that I can keep digging in the mud, nurturing it, honoring it so that one day a lotus may take root.