Spring makes me restless. I want to plant, I want to travel, I want to leave winter behind. The weather is not cooperating–it’s cold here. My finances are tethering me. I need to get creative. I feel like the dust devils the wind is stirring up, tiny little ineffectual tornado wannabes that can’t travel far and don’t do much damage before pfft!–they are gone! I will not dissipate. I will simply use my energy where it finds the greatest need. Day by day.
Today I hope to write myself into a better place. I’m mostly okay, but there is a shadow of something, I’m not sure what, that I need to shake off. Not quite like a fog, more like a veil of pain…physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual. I’ve been having headaches on the right side of my head, and the pollens have been wreaking havoc with my sinuses. Yes, it’s been a tough week. But I am strong and getting stronger, and I will leave this behind too. I’m on the road to a better place, and doing my best to enjoy the beauty of each new day.
I suppose that I feel this way, stormy, because I am in a transition state. There is so much change going on about me and in my life. It seems everyone I know is making changes. This one is getting divorced, the other one is moving. The political scene world-wide is in upheaval. There’s so much energy bubbling and pushing and twisting and turning. Have I been disconnected from that energy? Is it always there and I have been stagnant? Oh, I know I have been stagnant. But it seemed to me everyone else was too. Perhaps I was too out of touch, focused inward on my recovery, to really feel what everyone the change in others’ lives. Change is the only constant. I’m excited and frightened at the same time. Impatient and resistant. Advancing and retreating. But whatever it is, there is nothing to do but go forward. And that is where I want to be. It is my time. my time to stand in the sun, it is my time to make great strides, it is my time to shake off the chains of the last many years. I couldn’t and wouldn’t stop this momentum.
You know, it’s really very odd. This morning I was talking with an old college friend on the phone. I found him on Facebook. He’s living in Cairo, Egypt these days. He got to be in Cairo during their overthrow of a repressive government! How exciting is that? And I had this moment of near panic. I am social. I love easily and love to be close to people. But sometimes, I feel overwhelmed. I guess it’s because I’m so intense–to add another person to my radar often overwhelms me. I know that’s just plain weird and I know it probably has to do with my OCD. When I meet someone and becomes friends with that person, I am then somehow responsible for them. Or at least, keeping track of them. I generally fail miserably at the keeping in touch, probably because I don’t know how to do casual friendships like most people do. I don’t know how to fix that. I recall my friend Roxanne had this box with dividers in it and was in the process of writing to just about everyone she knew, and she knew a lot of people. I do have my friends in orbit poster where I banish people I’m upset with the fiery sun or cold Pluto. Maybe I need a friend file box. I already said I know it’s weird. OCD. Boxes. files. Everyone I know. Hmm. I like it.
I love Facebook. I really really do. I just found another friend who worked with me at the Press. He went to the American University of Cairo and now he’s doing who knows what in Morocco. Maybe I’ll soon find out. You see, I never really lose people from my radar. I may misplace them for a while, but once they find their way to my heart, they remain there always. My Christmas/holiday card since I have joined Facebook has gone from 250 to 350! Yikes! That’s a big responsibility. Or it would be if I could ever get Christmas cards out! But I love it. I’ll just have to find a way to deal with the overwhelming part of it.
Speaking of Christmas cards, my son asked me recently why I celebrate Christmas if I’m not religious. I told him that it’s part of my familial, cultural, and societal makeup. It’s a tradition handed down to me by my family. I enjoy it. Just because I’m not religious doesn’t mean I don’t believe in Christ. I simply don’t see him as the son of God. I believe he was a great man, a great philosopher, and a revolutionary. He changed our society and his influence is still extraordinarily strong. Thankfully his is a positive influence.
I ran across this poem, Storm, and am posting it here. It’s by Tim Minchkin (I bet he changed that from Munchkin) and it’s fascinating. There’s an animated version of it at the bottom of this post, but as I couldn’t catch all the words and meaning the first time I heard it, I find the text helpful to understand its meaning. I’ll warn you there’s profanity and you may not like it, but if you can keep an open mind, it might make you think. Enjoy!
Inner North London, top floor flat
All white walls, white carpet, white cat,
Rice Paper partitions
Modern art and ambition
The host’s a physician,
Lovely bloke, has his own practice
His girlfriend’s an actress
An old mate from home
And they’re always great fun.
So to dinner we’ve come.
The 5th guest is an unknown,
The hosts have just thrown
Us together for a favour
because this girl’s just arrived from Australia
And has moved to North London
And she’s the sister of someone
Or has some connection.
As we make introductions
I’m struck by her beauty
She’s irrefutably fair
With dark eyes and dark hair
But as she sits
I admit I’m a little bit wary
because I notice the tip of the wing of a fairy
Tattooed on that popular area
Just above the derrière
And when she says “I’m Sagittarien”
I confess a pigeonhole starts to form
And is immediately filled with pigeon
When she says her name is Storm.
Chatter is initially bright and light hearted
But it’s not long before Storm gets started:
“You can’t know anything,
Knowledge is merely opinion”
She opines, over her Cabernet Sauvignon
Vis a vis
Empirical comment by me
“Not a good start” I think
We’re only on pre-dinner drinks
And across the room, my wife
Widens her eyes
Silently begs me, Be Nice
A matrimonial warning
Not worth ignoring
So I resist the urge to ask Storm
Whether knowledge is so loose-weave
Of a morning
When deciding whether to leave
Her apartment by the front door
Or a window on the second floor.
The food is delicious and Storm,
Whilst avoiding all meat
Happily sits and eats
While the good doctor, slightly pissedly
Holds court on some anachronistic aspect of medical history
When Storm suddenly she insists
“But the human body is a mystery!
Science just falls in a hole
When it tries to explain the the nature of the soul.”
My hostess throws me a glance
She, like my wife, knows there’s a chance
That I’ll be off on one of my rants
But my lips are sealed.
I just want to enjoy my meal
And although Storm is starting to get my goat
I have no intention of rocking the boat,
Although it’s becoming a bit of a wrestle
Because — like her meteorological namesake –
Storm has no such concerns for our vessel:
“Pharmaceutical companies are the enemy
They promote drug dependency
At the cost of the natural remedies
That are all our bodies need
They are immoral and driven by greed.
Why take drugs
When herbs can solve it?
Why use chemicals
When homeopathic solvents
Can resolve it?
It’s time we all return-to-live
With natural medical alternatives.”
And try as hard as I like,
A small crack appears
In my diplomacy-dike.
“By definition”, I begin
“Alternative Medicine”, I continue
“Has either not been proved to work,
Or been proved not to work.
You know what they call “alternative medicine”
That’s been proved to work?
“So you don’t believe
In ANY Natural remedies?”
“On the contrary actually:
Before we came to tea,
I took a natural remedy
Derived from the bark of a willow tree
A painkiller that’s virtually side-effect free
It’s got a weird name,
Darling, what was it again?
Which I paid about a buck for
Down at my local drugstore.
The debate briefly abates
As our hosts collects plates
but as they return with desserts
Storm pertly asserts,
“Shakespeare said it first:
There are more things in heaven and earth
Than exist in your philosophy…
Science is just how we’re trained to look at reality,
It can’t explain love or spirituality.
How does science explain psychics?
Auras; the afterlife; the power of prayer?”
I’m becoming aware
That I’m staring,
I’m like a rabbit suddenly trapped
In the blinding headlights of vacuous crap.
Maybe it’s the Hamlet she just misquothed
Or the eighth glass of wine I just quaffed
But my diplomacy dike groans
And the arsehole held back by its stones
Can be held back no more:
“Look , Storm, I don’t mean to bore you
But there’s no such thing as an aura!
Reading Auras is like reading minds
Or star-signs or tea-leaves or meridian lines
These people aren’t plying a skill,
They are either lying or mentally ill.
Same goes for those who claim to hear God’s demands
And Spiritual healers who think they have magic hands.
By the way,
Why is it OK
For people to pretend they can talk to the dead?
Is it not totally fucked in the head
Lying to some crying woman whose child has died
And telling her you’re in touch with the other side?
That’s just fundamentally sick
Do we need to clarify that there’s no such thing as a psychic?
What, are we fucking 2?
Do we actually think that Horton Heard a Who?
Do we still think that Santa brings us gifts?
That Michael Jackson hasn’t had facelifts?
Are we still so stunned by circus tricks
That we think that the dead would
Wanna talk to pricks
Like John Edwards?
Storm to her credit despite my derision
Keeps firing off clichés with startling precision
Like a sniper using bollocks for ammunition
“You’re so sure of your position
But you’re just closed-minded
I think you’ll find
Your faith in Science and Tests
Is just as blind
As the faith of any fundamentalist”
“Hm that’s a good point, let me think for a bit
Oh wait, my mistake, it’s absolute bullshit.
Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved.
If you show me
That, say, homeopathy works,
Then I will change my mind
I’ll spin on a fucking dime
I’ll be embarrassed as hell,
But I will run through the streets yelling
It’s a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And while it’s memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is Infinite
It somehow forgets all the poo it’s had in it!
You show me that it works and how it works
And when I’ve recovered from the shock
I will take a compass and carve Fancy That on the side of my cock.”
Everyones just staring at me now,
But I’m pretty pissed and I’ve dug this far down,
So I figure, in for penny, in for a pound:
“Life is full of mysteries, yeah
But there are answers out there
And they won’t be found
By people sitting around
And saying isn’t life mysterious?
Let’s sit here and hope
Let’s call up the fucking Pope
Let’s go watch Oprah
Interview Deepak Chopra
If you’re going to watch tele, you should watch Scooby Doo.
That show was so cool
because every time there’s a church with a ghoul
Or a ghost in a school
They looked beneath the mask and what was inside?
The fucking janitor or the dude who runs the waterslide.
EVER solved has turned out to be
Does the idea that there might be truth
Does the idea that one afternoon
On Wiki-fucking-pedia might enlighten you
Does the notion that there may not be a supernatural
So blow your hippy noodle
That you would rather just stand in the fog
Of your inability to Google?
Isn’t this enough?
Just this world?
Just this beautiful, complex
Wonderfully unfathomable world?
How does it so fail to hold our attention
That we have to diminish it with the invention
Of cheap, man-made Myths and Monsters?
If you’re so into Shakespeare
Lend me your ear:
“To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw perfume on the violet… is just fucking silly”
Or something like that.
Or what about Satchmo?!
I see trees of Green,
Red roses too,
And fine, if you wish to
Glorify Krishna and Vishnu
In a post-colonial, condescending
Bottled-up and labeled kind of way
But here’s what gives me a hard-on:
I am a tiny, insignificant, ignorant lump of carbon.
I have one life, and it is short
But thanks to recent scientific advances
I get to live twice as long as my great great great great uncles and auntses.
Twice as long to live this life of mine
Twice as long to love this wife of mine
Twice as many years of friends and wine
Of sharing curries and getting shitty
With good-looking hippies
With fairies on their spines
And butterflies on their titties.
And if perchance I have offended
Think but this and all is mended:
We’d as well be 10 minutes back in time,
For all the chance you’ll change your mind.
That’s my contribution for the day. I know it’s a little disjointed, and travels all over the spectrum, thanks for hanging in there with me. A couple of days back and I couldn’t even have written anything cohesive so I didn’t try.
I am so excited for tomorrow because I have a workout planned. I found this great website that has all kinds of exercises and stretches. I know there are a lot of them, but this one’s approach is from a sports injury standpoint. So I’m going off to jump on the trampoline and use the small weights. Woot!
1.) My children, always. You’re amazing!
2.) People who have shared bits and pieces of life with me. I never, ever forget you, and I continue to love you. Yes, that means just about everyone, there are very few exceptions.
3.) To possibilities and opportunities.
4.) To cooking, my passion.
5.) Pennie and Lady, though I still haven’t found my fucking flip-flop, I still love you.
”And now I have to confess the unpardonable and the scandalous. I am a happy man. And I am going to tell you the secret of my happiness. It is quite simple. I love mankind. I love love. I hate hate. I try to understand and accept.” ~ Jean Cocteau, mad poet, filmmaker, artist, and boxing manager