Dreams

Jan. 13th, 2017 09:59 am
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I had a very intense schoolweek, I guess it's been the second week of school. My classes are frontloaded into the week, there's mandatory home school stuff to get done in that period, and my intricate monthly schedule trying to see Josh and Tucker both in ways that are most convenient for them came apart, and I was exhausted (and still switching courses, since I didn't get my schedule till the first day of class due to "UBC is just like that").

Last night I made it to yoga. And then... I have every second Friday off. I woke at the normal time, then had breakfast and apparently caught up on some dreaming.

I dreamed I had a young/barely adolescent dingo I'd brought home, and I was trying to keep him in the room with the rabbits but he kept getting into the rabbits' enclosure, though he didn't hurt them, and also I was rooting around in the massive deep freeze trying to find meat scraps for him. I dreamed mom was making massive quantities of green and of purple grape jam from on-sale supermarket grapes (mom wouldn't do this). I dreamed dad (!) brought home a pair of rabbits (!) and put them in with my rabbits, and wouldn't tell me how old they were or whether they were neutered but they were mine now. I dreamed there was a family in the house that was going to an expensive student theatre production their kids were putting on, and they had so much money they just stank of it.

I know where a lot of these come from, and some have left me puzzled (hi dad?! Er).

In more outside-world news, the term-long capstone school project I was looking forward to because it had to do with the real world is... not the real world. They ganked data from a place (close to Josh's house) but our client is, unlike other years, entirely fictional. We will not be doing a field trip to the land, nor working with actual controllers of the land to give them a plan they could use. It is deflating, and changes the task considerably: our land is "private" and run by someone considerably like us who happened to inherit it; I've gotta learn about the rules for forestry on private land pretty quick, but we won't need to negotiate with a First Nation that's got actual human contradictions and needs.

One of the people on my five-person team is a gardener type, lives near Lumby with his fiancee, and they want to do market gardening in greenhouses. That's excellent. My chance of surviving this term with an sort of sense of self intact is suddenly so much higher. A tool I will use when I am about to spiral into awfulness is, "Nick, tell me X about your greenhouses/property" (they are currently rehabilitating a seabuckthorn orchard for the landowner).

I got some dog-snuggling time yesterday at school, and realise it would be really nice to have a dog. Still logistical difficulties, of course, but...

And now that I'm circling around to it: the relationship with Tucker is starting to mature, or rather, the NRE is slowly lapping out like a tide and is leaving... us. So we are starting to want to set our boundaries and enclosures with each other, starting to feel the work it takes to make it go, and basically develop sustainability in the thing. I haven't written about him much; you never got an intro post to him. Someday you will. But, he's very special to me and he's here in town and he's also otherwise partnered and so there are things to be figured out.

Probably the relationship is in the place it is because this will be a very demanding term. It requires a lot of physical presence, a lot of writing, and a lot of getting along with people. It is clearly my priority, unlike last term where I didn't much care. I want to get things done, so I will. But, that leaves limited time and energy for everything else, thus learning to set boundaries rather suddenly in the eddies of NRE and also the complications of a distance relationship.

In great news, I've moved into a connected-but-seperate suite in a house shared by my ?girlfriend and her partner. It's been a great decision, though it puts me half an hour further away from UBC: I sleep better here, I can wander around naked (so, so vital to my wellbeing apparently), I can have loud sex, and there are often snuggles and food upstairs in the livingroom if I'm feeling social. I feel more rested, more at peace with myself, and moe comfortable here.

I guess that's the most of it for now. Time for schoolwork. Be well.
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I started running last week; it became apparent that yoga was going to take some working to make happen (I may have to drive to school for one of my classes on yoga days, to make yoga without completely sacrificing the whole evening, just with the placement of schedules and the general awfulness of buses) and my shoulders were sore and I'd just been generally neglecting my body. Starting to drink soylent in the mornings for breakfast got me past worrying about not having enough calories in the day (eating can be a challenge for me, let alone eating within my time and money budget) and so the next good body step was exercise.

So it has been a week. I'm starting the same couch-to-half-marathon schedule that injured me a couple years ago, but spacing it out a little but more to avoid that same outcome. It was pretty magical, last time, the way following a relatively scientific schedule got my body doing so much so fast, and I'd like to experience that again. I'd also very much like to be in good shape when I start work in May.

I still need to find a way to get yoga in, but in the meantime I'm not doing nothing.

And of course, my sleep is better now, my energy level is up, the swings in mood I was starting to experience have settled a little bit, at least so far. And... I'm feeling things better, as in, my emotional apparatus is working in a more nuanced way, and is more integrated with my thinking bits. Also, food tastes better, etc, all that normal exercise stuff. So I guess school wasn't as far from hitting my depression triggers this year as I thought, I was just maintaining a high mood while losing a bit of functionality.

Good save, self. Keep running now.

Incidentally, my mom completely self-medicates her depression with running. My mom's life is always both an inspiration and a warning to me, in this as in so many other things.

This whole thing is helping a great deal with sorting through my complicated poly/partner/identity/desire situation. My identity seems to be stabilizing somewhere between relationship anarchist and solo poly. I'm finding a middle ground between trusting my misgivings and just plain trusting. It helps to remind myself that I can place my trust in the future, in my ability to navigate the future, rather than in particular outcomes. It still leaves me in a shaky place sometimes, wanting things from people who in turn care about me and therefore don't want to hurt me (but maybe can't give me what I want) but wrestling with the issue is no longer taking up all my spare thoughts.

Without interpersonal demanding all my attention, I'm free to get back in touch with myself, and also with my career. The issue of stewardship is arising. Stewardship is forestry code for thinking in the long term, thinking in the bigger picture, thinking outside the axe and pile of logs that comes to mind with the word forestry (okay, fellerbuncher and processor, but those didn't start attaching to the idea of forestry till I started doing it). Stewardship over the forest is something that arose this summer: I was working with a 'stewardship-focused' person when I found a happy place this summer. Principles of stewardship also apply to friends and community. There's an underlying responsibility, I think, that if I can gently steer the future towards a place I consider to be better, I should do so. With forestry that might mean not cutting certain areas, replanting with a wider species mix than necessary, working in partnership with people who have other interests than I do. With community and relationship that has meant, lately, making safe space for emotions and human tenderness and just generally those things that make us feel a little vulnerable and also connected.

Well. Time's up, so have a lovely day. There will most assuredly be more later. And: this is also more, from later. For instance, my life will once again be mine soon: http://greenstorm.livejournal.com/757766.html

Well.

Feb. 16th, 2012 03:43 pm
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Here I am in the computer lab at school a little before a round of midterms. My feet are wet, they got wet this morning at work, which means 12 hours or so in wet socks. A schoolmate is bringing me dry socks, totally voluntary, and I'm worried that when he gives them to me I'm going to break down in tears.

Sometimes I feel, not only unworthy of bring done things for, but also of having nice things done to me, or having friends, of being paid for work, of taking up any space in the world. That's how it is. On the bad days I tell myself that it's okay because I don't really exist (those are few now) and on the good days I feel a million feet tall and like each step shakes the world (there are few of those nowadays too).

I am beyond burnt out right now, with no end in sight. There is an end on the calendar, though: June, 4.5 months away. That's not so bad, right?
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Another Poem About The Heart

When the floor drops out, as it has now,
you cannot hear the squirrel on the wire
outside your window, the wheels spinning
on the road below. You want only pity
and are presented with the unbelievable
effrontery of a world that moves on.
But wait: this is not the person you are.
You're the kind of person who
sits in dark theaters crying at the collarbones
that curve across the dancers' chests,
at the proof of a perfection they represent;
a person who goes out walking in a four-day drizzle,
sees a pot of geraniums and is seized, overcome
by how they can bring so much (what else
can you call it?) joy. You love the world,
are sure, at least, that you have. But be truthful:
you only love freely things that have nothing
to do with you. You're like a matchstick house:
intricately constructed but flimsy and hollow inside.
You're a house in love with the trees beside you -
able to look at them all day, aware of how faithful they are -
but unable to forgive that they'd lie down
leaving you exposed and alone in a large enough storm.

Jenn Habel

Hello again.

I'm in a life. It's my life, more-or-less, and almost completely different than any you've been aware of.

This is the life I lived when I was sixteen, seventeen, eighteen: a life where I'm a world unto myself, where I speak to almost no-one, where I do a series of things required of me. School and work require the most, people almost nothing.

Once again when I write here the worlds echo inside my own quiet mind with no thought of an audience; I've forgotten what an audience might be like.

I spend a lot of time with Blake, all the shared eating-sleeping-reading time in which time slides by with few major features to mark its passing.

Sometimes I miss people. It happens less often now; generally only for the few days right after some sort of social contact with my old friends, but that happens so seldom these days.

I don't talk to my classmates much. I ordered african violet leaves instead of buying pants without holes for the winter because I wanted to nurture something green and alive.

Some days I forget how to love, or forget to know whether I know how.

It's going to be a dark winter. I'm in the womb again, still: I'll live here awhile. Whatever I'm to be born into this time around, it's far on the horizon yet.

Even typing just these words stirs up a little bit of dust. The love is in there somewhere.

I am, by the way, just finished bleeding and the winter still looks dark. That means something.
greenstorm: (Default)

Blood started sparsely last month on the 15th, got serious a couple days later. Now ovulation is hitting hard.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Blood and feeling loved maybe go together? Bleeding since the 11th. Party went well. May know where I'm moving.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Sludged

Jun. 16th, 2011 09:57 pm
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Tireder than I've ever been. Fitfully contemplating the nexus of demand, request, obligation, and self-responsibility.

People love me. I guess in exchange I owe them a lot? Question is what.

I can't even really stand upright, shouldn't be typing. Er, writing.

This time in a week and a day I'll... well, be having more of the same but at lesser intensity, I guess. Work will eat whatever time I give it.

But I'll have time to knock things off the list and clean up some interpersonal that needs cleaning.

Too tired to even ovulate properly. Off to eat a cantaloupe cuz I don't need to cook it.

Gauntlet

Jun. 13th, 2011 12:56 pm
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First:

Desires

Like beautiful bodies of the dead who had not grown old
and they shut them, with tears, in a magnificent mausoleum,
with roses at the head and jasmine at the feet --
this is what desires resemble that have passed
without fulfillment; with none of them having achieved
a night of sensual delight, or a bright morning.

C.P. Cavafy

Okay, that's out of the way. Now I need to say something that comes up every once in awhile.

A lot of my angstier or more introspective stuff shows up in here. A lot of my happier stuff shows up in twitter or just doesn't get recorded in writing; instead it's reflected off the faces of my friends and bounced back from the mountains and the raindrops on leaves in my garden. Some of this is that happiness is a more immediate feeling for me now that I'm learning to finally experience it without guilt or pain; some of it is that a lot of my happiness revolves around people, many of whom are lovers, and I worry that those people tally up name-drops in these posts and judge themselves by that number.

That worry isn't unfounded; at some time or another most of the people who care about me have made comments to that effect.

As a fantastic example of how that changes what I write, I want you to know that I sat down totally buoyant just now and the above is what came out. If I hadn't been so concerned about padding the edges, if I ignored all readers as I always intended to in this journal, this is how the post would read:

It's raining. It takes ~0.5mm of rain to wet a tree's leaves; thereafter the water will begin hitting the ground, or trickling down the main trunk, or trickling out to fall at the dripline depending on whether the tree is deciduous or not and thus on its branching structure.

Underneath the cherry trees the ground isn't wet yet; the tilia also have dry spots beneath. This rain is a fake-out, something you realise if you go walking without an umbrella because it steadfastly refuses to get you even really damp. The air is warm, not hot, and its freight of moisture carries pools of vivid scent. June is rose month, and walking in my neighborhood I can recognise roses I've owned by their scents.

I was made to love things and that's what I do; whatever free will I may have doesn't extend to ceasing at care, wonder, or desire and it never has.

Right now, further, I'm a hormone soup of spring, heavy crush, and exercise taper with my bike in the shop. I feel like a cloud of fireflies; something big enough might be able to get all their attention, but most of the time I'm scattered and glowing. I'm incoherent (see!) and I sing as I walk down the street.

And, finally, I'm old enough to differentiate these two things. I remember feeling like this when I was, what, nineteen and [livejournal.com profile] khamura came to visit me for the first time from Germany; he got to my and Kynnin's place and I promptly dumped half a can of iced-tea powder down my pants because I was so unable to concentrate. We had stayed up late crafting roleplay scenes so many nights before that and then suddenly there he was, embodied. I remember the first time I kissed him. I remember when I was fourteen and Kynnin and I compared glasses in the hallway at school, when we talked for the first time, and I asked for his number. I think that first phone call was eight hours long and I had to avoid mom pretty substantially to make that happen. I don't remember the first time I kissed Kynnin, but I do remember lying with my head in his lap while Ennio Morricone's The Mission Soundtrack played, and crying because it's the first time I had felt emotionally connected to another human being and it was like the heavens opening and taking me up into them. I remember turning the light on so I could look at Juggler's body the first time I saw him naked, I remember him lying on the bed and drinking him in with my eyes. I remember CrazyChris lying on wreck beach next to me, and holding Bob's hand on the bus, and that Angus' dimples one night on a 20 bus that we both happened to be on, and Michael's hand on my tattoo, and it seems sometimes like all I am is a snowglobe of memories of such precious beginning moments that the storm of them could shatter me.

Beginnings are precious. Stand-alone events, too, are precious: people that you see once or for a time and then that float away. I have my share of those, though as I learn to cling less I find that more and more people come back, circulating in their own rhythms in and out of my world.

I'm making something right now; a beginning or a stand-alone event, there's no knowing without moving forward into the future. And, like any lightning strike or glance directly into the sun, it's too bright yet to know which or what it is. But to hold the metaphor, it illuminates everything around it and my life is bathed in ambient glow and warm edges right now.

I'm not using the intensity of that brightness to try to gauge a meaning from it.

I'm going to stop on that front right now; looking into that light is too much for my eyes sometimes. My life is full of highlights that even in an abbreviated list are pretty damn shiny:

-Citizenship looks like it's actually going through this month. I'll be able to vote for Gregor Robertson!
-My friends are amazing and wonderful; both in person and in the responses to that last post
-My garden is fucking awesome
-Michael met my family (2/3 of the brothers; the crazy ones) and he still likes me
-My babiest brother is doing kind of rough, but I've given him a key to my house so if he needs somewhere to go he can; it's about time for my family to inconvenience me if it can at all help them
-I'm enjoying work much more because all the pleasant bits are coming back
-Bike commuting needs no explanation
-School is fun and ALMOST OVER for the year
-All the hours I'm putting in means I'm not constantly feeling like the budget police will come sell me into slavery
-Rats
-I really can cook well
-My home is awesome and I might try (ridiculously) to keep it
-Queen's Wembley '86 album deserves its own point because it's really rocking my world

....etc, etc.

But more than all that I still feel like a real person, like an individual making my way through the world and shaping it to suit me as it shapes me to suit it, and I fit myself uniquely well. I like this feeling. I want to continue it, whatever particulars that leads to.

Thus ends a totally incoherent post.
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Failure is rarely an option for me nowadays. I've lived a bunch of my life gently, allowing myself weakness when I have it, sometimes perhaps over-indulging in things like calling in sick to have sex or backing out of interpersonal confrontations.

I still try to live the relationship side of my life gently now that I've learned how, spending time with people who are good for my soul.

At the same time I have a rigorous schedule that leaves no leeway for my humanity.

For instance, I've been working and going to school both near full-time and keeping the rats and two boyfriends and something of a social life on the go. That translates to between 20 and 30 classroom hours per week, 12-15 hours of commuting per week, 30-ish to 35 hours of work per week, plus one day per week rat cage cleaning and whatever the people stuff adds up to, plus of course all the cleaning stuff.

I keep myself going in a number of ways. Some are gentle: I put something shiny in the next week or so, and I work hard to get through the week to it; I support myself and encourage myself and tell myself that I'm awesome and accomplish a lot; I pay attention to beautiful things around me and let them inform me of my right and fitting place in the struggles of this world. Often this is all it takes.

Some ways I get through are less gentle: I tell myself how badly people will be let down if I don't do something; I give myself a little time to break down and then remind myself that no one's interested in interacting with me if I cry and whine all the time; mostly I just keep working, through the dark part, through irritation to mental fury, through my brain spitting bile and insults at every contact, through fantasies of great pain or bodily harm to myself or people around me, through everything my mind can send at me I just go from task to task to task. I get things done and let my mind gibber.

There's sometimes a price for being harsh on myself. I begin to lose faith in the givingness of the world. I begin to forget what happiness tastes like and why I would desire any sort of human connection. Finally, pushed too far, my mind short-circuits and leaves me suspended and hanging in an abyss of static, snarling at any intrusion of consciousness.

Things fix this. Time to myself abates it; time with people I love, touching and being touched, talking and being talked to, draws me back into the wonderful parts of the world and gives me reasons for continuing on this path. I can recover quickly, especially if I haven't pushed too far, but I do need time to recover.

This month it feels like I don't have time to recover. I think I have a total of three or maybe 4 days that don't contain work, school, or most often a combination of both. Many of these are 14-hour days. There just isn't enough space.

I'm coming to my computer as a blank screen, to livejournal as a space that doesn't talk back. My own voice will heal me, I hope, that first increment so I can reach out to people for a little more contact. It seems to be working; allowing these feelings and these words to be of value, even if only to myself, is pushing me erratically from blankness through furious anger and towards tears.

It's a funny balance there, actually, seesawing between anger and compassion at myself for this barren painful feeling. It wobbles back and forth from one second to the next. I let it happen, no sense wishing it was some other thing.

That's enough writing for now, I suppose.
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Well, here's something that I've been dancing around all my life, and that's hit me with a two-by-four in the last ten minutes.

Everyone has triggers of some kind; let's define triggers as something external (events, images, phrases, people) to which someone reacts in a hugely disproportionate way. Some of these triggers can raise positive emotions, some negative.

I have a bunch of them. Many of the negative ones I'm aware of kick in once I'm in a big-R relationship with someone in my mind; as long as someone is a friend, a friend-with-benefits, a playmate, a classmate, an acquaintance, or whatever they can engage in the behaviours which trigger me and nothing will happen. If I feel someone is important to me, if they have strong influence over people I love, if I need to engage them for something: then they can trigger me. Obviously this occurs in situations other than relationships, but it's been numbed out of me by my family, more-or-less, and I often have very low expectations from 'just people' so don't engage.

I'm not really here to explore my specific triggers right now so much as how I decide to deal with them. I've tried a number of different strategies in my life. Many have failed; some are serving me pretty well right now; some I feel like I should try but never have the mental fortitude to follow up on.

First I want to put out there very clearly some of the feelings I get when something triggers me. I experience some pretty fucking intense emotional fallout. I'll dissociate, sometimes I'll 'lose' the feeling of my body, sometimes I'll feel very panicky, sometimes I'll go near-catatonic and lose verbal ability. Often, if I follow my gut, I either shut down into wooden-face static-mind or I get defensive and angry. I often do end up following my gut in the first several seconds because the response to these triggers is so strong and so immediate it sidesteps any consideration of my actions. You can think of it as that pulse-pounding sensation when something jumps out of the bushes at night; there are similar physical and mental reactions attached.

So first, of course, there's a total lack of self-awareness. When I was first triggered I'd just act out panicked reactions as if I was reasonably responding to my environment. Say Juggler cancelled a date, and my brain acted like that was him saying he wouldn't see me ever again: I'd be stupendously hurt, cry, argue, etc. I'd say things like "you never see me anymore" where I was extrapolating past behaviour from the feeling I had rather than from, you know, his past behaviour.

After awhile acting like this was sucking for everyone, and with enough stubborn external input I got so far as to do some fact-checking sometimes after the panicked feelings had settled down. When this happened I'd be sorry, feel bad, not know what my big explosion was about... but I'd still have the big explosion, and then catch myself afterwards and usually only when someone talked with me when I'd calmed down. It was also easy for the talking to re-trigger whatever I felt in the first place. It was, however, a perilous beginning. To be honest, I don't always feel like I've got far from this stage.

I used to think I could just 'tell myself' not to feel so extreme in the next instance and it would work, but it honestly never has. My brain explodes and through a lot of careful stuff I've learned to deal with it in various ways, but commanding myself to not have an extreme reaction next time has never been helpful. It just doesn't work.

For awhile I tried to argue through it, with the idea that if I talked about it long enough and encouraged the people around me to steer me towards a more moderate viewpoint, I'd be convinced and settle down. The problem is, when I'm in that place I'm super unreasonable and arguing with me makes me more upset and so more unreasonable. Things get polarized and the world sucks for everyone involved.

So, I couldn't make it go away through sheer force of will, and external convincing didn't work. What works now?

If I sat with it, not blaming myself and not surrounding myself with anyone who would get upset at me for being upset, I learned it would eventually subside. Realise my name, Greenstorm, is taken from these mental storms. To a certain extent letting them go was letting some of my self-righteousness and identity go. I had to give up the idea that I needed to react, and also that my reactions were necessarily right.

Lately I've been surrounding myself with people who have the strength, patience, and self-confidence to wait a little bit, until the fight-or-flight feelings go away. Angus looks hurt but agrees with me, which brings me around really fast-- because in his mouth it sounds ridiculous. Michael is silent, and waits, which lets whatever I'm saying echo in my head until it sounds equally ridiculous.

Either way, when what I'm saying echoes back to me in a non-judgemental way (oh, so very important no not feel despised or judged and so not to go deeper into the fear response) and I feel like I'm being stupidly hurtful to these people whose well-being and respect I care about, I stop. It might take me a couple minutes, maybe twenty, and I can rein myself in. It takes longer if I haven't slept enough, haven't exercised enough, haven't eaten lately: relationship discussions are so laden with triggers for me that I simply will not have them if I'm not in a good physical place because nothing will go anywhere good.

With external acceptance of my 'I need a time-out, I'm feeling crazy' behaviour, or more realistically 'pet my hair and hug me, I can't talk right now' moments, I started to relax around my mental storms. They just weren't a big deal to anyone who cared about me (mostly because I wasn't acting like a delusional idiot around them, which in turn was because I wasn't provoking extreme reactions...) and so when I feel the panic clamp down I can be a little quieter, I can get an extra hug, sometimes I can even reason myself through it.

Does this mean I'm fixed? Not at all. I still have those triggers. When I'm around the kind of people who are very reactionary, my triggers go off and can still easily spiral. The difference now is that if interacting with someone triggers me, and it makes me feel awful, I have these wonderful people in my life as contrast. I can think, often quite angrily and defensively, "why am I wasting my time with this person making me feel so afraid/angry/defensive/whatever when I have so many sweet understanding people to spend my time with". Any desire to engage evaporates then, and with that all the loaded feelings disappear and I'm just talking to someone who's being very angry/defensive/upset.

And quite often any desire to engage ever again evaporates, never to return.

Drama always results when I act on my triggers, or when I make choices (even most behavioural choices) when triggered. If I just wait it out then drama almost never results. I've been living very low-drama lately, at the cost of associating in depth with a limited set of people. I'm pretty happy with that decision. The more I live like this, stably and well-loved, the more my triggers are defused, the more quickly I can catch myself, the less I want to engage on that ugly hurtful level with anyone.

It could turn around and spiral up as quickly as it's spiralled down, I keep an eye on it, but I'm pretty happy.

If you go and look at my old posts you'll see many, even more, I probably wrote when triggered. And if you look at my recent ones there are fewer of those and they're less certain of outside reality and more an exploration of internal thoughts.

Anyhow, just realised that whole thing's been going on and wanted to get it down. Be well.
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Oedipus on Mother's Day by Donald Illich

Hallmark sells no cards for our situation.
I scan the aisle looking for a bittersweet

spot between those for wife, those for
mother. Wife seems too affectionate,

while son feels kind of reserved. I should
kiss you on the cheek when I've seen you

naked, lots of times? Or sit on your lap?
But I'm a big boy now, as you know,

probably too much so. I did find one
for Dad, actually, an apology to you.

A baby on the front accidentally spills
his pudding. A rainbow word balloon

yells, “Oops!” Inside, a puppy licks up
the drops. The text: “Accidents happen.

I hope you can forgive me.” We'll try
to pretend they're not blood. Let's admit,

though, you're glad I'm back this day.
Once you winced at brunch specials

and mimosas, visited places mothers
wouldn't be: sci-fi conventions, cock

fights, rugby matches. We can go out
together on a date, act as if we have

a child at home, baby sat by shepherds,
never left alone, exposed to elements.

Indifference will never be a problem
for us. The only curse we have is love.


That was the poem this morning. I liked it; it suits me: the only curse I have is love.

I've been living on my own for three days. Tonight will be the first night I sleep alone. You might think those previous nights don't count, but already I've learned that if there's no one to protect from my grief by living with me I cry aloud and talk to myself.

The secret to surviving the world is not really ever quite believing in it. Believe around corners, believe at the edges, but never confront the full unflinching weight of it. Douglas Adams said "the one thing you can never afford to have in this world is a sense of proportion". How do we think of his books as comedy?

When I'm alone and crying in the interstice between work and school (I always watch the clock: it's 2:52 and I should be leaving, but can stretch it till 4:30 if I need to) I listen to the things I say: first, into my palms with my face in my hands, I say: okay. Okay. This is how I try to surrender resistance. If there's no resistance there's no pain, is there?

But this isn't about ego. That was crushed out of my quite some time ago.

Next I say, over and over: fuck. I try it louder: FUCK. More quietly, testing: oh fuck. I always wanted to learn to swear well and never did. I thought that colourful language might open me up, vent this pressure inside and release it. I never did learn, but right now suspect it wouldn't help.

I'm too old to pull the darkness all the way over my head and disappear into it. I'm too old to dissolve. All I can do is sit here, in pain, and tell myself that's the way life is. There's no one who would argue with me. We've all been here; we almost all will be here again.

I live in the future, in expectation and in dreams and desire. This hauls me forward along with whatever weights I choose to drag with me along whatever paths I choose to beat through the unknowns of my life. This is why my fingers seek the keyboard so urgently now, why words explode and then falter in a counterpoint to the sobs I have no reason to stifle.

You aren't in my future. I'm not in yours. We've agreed on that time and time again. And I've tried to be open to you despite that, to not fear severance and the pain that will come with it.

Here it is, a moment of pain in a long life. In a month or a year it'll be just that, a moment, and return with less urgency each time I see it. I know that. I've been here before.

And I know too that maybe the point where your life diverges is not this week but later, weeks or months or even years down the road. Who knew this would go on so long, after all, haphazard and circumstantial as it is? And so in this writing I come out of the future where we have already had our last kiss and into the present where neither of us know. I suppose that's always the present: assumptions, but no knowledge of what comes next.

The pain is fading in my ribcage, leaving bruises where it forced itself huge against the bone, and leaving an afterimage.

If I look at the clock (3:14) I don't even have to see it.

I'll sit here looking at the clock for a few more minutes before I leave for school.
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So I'm leaving for Spring Mysteries in a few minutes. I'm proud of the fact that I'm happy and still alive in the incredibly intense lead-up to this. I've taken one day off in the last dozen, otherwise it's all school and work. I slept 3 1/2 hours last night (about 5 each the two nights before that) and woke up next to my lover to work on my take-home exam (in bed! on my iphone!) before rocketing off to put things in order so my brother can ratsit here. I'm packed. I have homework to take with me. My right eye has stopped the ceaseless twitching it had taken up yesterday.

I'll have time to catch up on not doing anything this weekend, out of cell reception and on a beautiful coast full of mostly strangers who believe in touch, the earth and shared ritual (well, maybe someday I'll write more about that, it's not strictly true).

When I get back I've only a week before my home is back in my custody and I can make it nice.

My brother is more-or-less moving into the neighborhood and we had a good talk like we haven't in years last night. I'm looking forward to more of that, more biking on the seawall and talking like friends with nothing to hide from Paul, Burn Notice with Andrew, gymming with Mcbain, maybe even the conversational black holes Kynnin and I fall into... friends, who I'll lean on heavily so's not to crash like a needy sledgehammer on Michael's head when I'm alone nights, and so I can find the strength to stand mostly unbowed in the storm of this change with Angus. I'd like to not desert him to heal, but instead to shift gently to wherever we're going.

Plus, school friends jumping the school/life barrier, gardens lifting, new home visioning and the move that will inevitably come--

life has promise. I've been really swingy lately, this is an upswing, but in general things are solid. They're especially solid when I'm too tired for angst, to be honest, but that's a reminder to keep my energy invested in the upward climb to... wherever it is I'm going.

See you on the flipside.

Grown-Up

Apr. 13th, 2011 10:40 pm
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Going to bed alone.

It's less luxurious when you'll be woken at some random time after 1am by someone coming in in an indeterminate frame of mind, smelling like a stranger, and you need to get back to sleep again because you have a 9am meeting.

It's more luxurious when it's your own goddamn bed and you lock the door and you're the only one with the key, but hey.

There are tons of great places for rent. I'm... torn. I could start viewing in my copious free time (did I mention I don't have days off anymore?) but then if I liked something I'd likely have a month overlap and that's $$$, plus I'd be moving soon, which is a hassle I may not have time for.

Gah. What to do.

In other news, reaffirmed the you-don't-love-me-but-I-love-you status I have with Michael the other night. Just a warning, if you've dated me you should stop reading at this point, but:

why can I not meet someone who can make their own life so interesting that they give a fuck about it, can support themselves like a grown-up, and actually cares about me? I mean, seriously.

On the other hand I'm playing in a garden full of friends right now. Paul is in town, Michael is neat and soothing, Andrew is reliable (rarest of traits!), other people who I like and who are sweet to me stick their noses into my life to offer nice things from time to time. Kynnin didn't even wait six months before seeing if we could find time to connect this time! I may hang out with people from school outside of school!

Physical things are receding. My sex drive has almost completely shut down; my ability to playfully have sex certainly has. I don't have the money/time matrix to eat particularly well and tastily, and I hardly notice how my food tastes most of the time. I'm biking again, to and from school (it's about 20k per day, that's just about an hour of riding all told) which is lovely but probably the least physical exercise I can do. I am touched seldom enough that the instinct is burying itself and touching people feels a little foreign. I am never naked except in bed, mostly because I am never home except in bed.

This is an impoverished existence in many ways. So many of the things I value are absent. Independence burgeons, though, self-reliance and pleasure in my own companionship rise up. My shell is forming, smooth and seamless against the world. I think some people are entombed halfway through it, half in and half out, and I can go to the edge and visit them there, but no one is within it.

I am grown-up, single in the sense of one entity complete in itself. Don't think this means I'm not sometimes lonely, or tired, or needy: there's just no face in that void.

I don't know what else to tell you tonight. I want to write a lot more than I do, but I'm never in front of a keyboard with enough privacy, energy, and lack of school deadlines.

Pretty much every word in here is lonely in some way, said when I don't have a person to speak to, when there's no one who can just listen and understand. This is no different, typed at night in an empty house to avoid bed.

Oh, enough of this. Goodnight.
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Last night was rough. The day was good, but bleakness hit me aroundabout 11:30pm; it was a clear indication that I should sleep and, after a little flailing, I did.

In the morning I woke up and everything was fine. Good, in fact.

Yesterday I went foraging with a friend. We picked up chickweed, dandelions, nettles, and cress. Those are now soaking on my counter, ready for salad and for processing into soup and greens to freeze for future soups. I got some lovely new crop haigamai rice, which is milled to have the germ but not the hull layer to the seed. It's in the rice cooker right now, and I can't wait to try it just like I can't wait for my dandelion/chickweed/basalmic/olive oil/salt/tomato salad that I'll have with the onigiri I make from it. It is absolutely possible to eat well on very little money.

Crappy rice should be outlawed anyhow. Few people have any idea just how good this stuff can be through simple lack of exposure.

Anyhow. Today will be more foraging, doing some garden prep, some Latin (finally) and a few things like that. It'll be my last mostly-unstructured day in awhile. I may actually go in to work, depending on what the weather and my time does. I can sure use the money.

Yesterday they forecast rain and it was another marvellous stolen day of sunshine. Now it's the kind of high bright gloom that only happens in spring and summer: still light but the light is grey. My home feels like a bowl, the air within full of music and the smell of cooking rice.

I may worry more another time, but not right now. Not right now.
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This is a note I write to myself, to remember when nights are dark. Sometimes there's spring, and biking with wings of wind lifting me through the first scattered raindrops. Sometimes the city is like flying and every person is love to look at and touch. Sometimes life switches between my arms around everything warm and alive and my head on a shoulder that is nothing less than an anchor. Sometimes there is food to share and sometimes I can even get things done: if not everything, than enough.

Maybe my life is a process of shedding loves, of refining my focus down to fewer and fewer people. Maybe that helps.

When I got to Michael's this morning after an hour's bike ride to collect bacon, I announced "I've been biking!" and he said "I know, you're smiling."

Remember, Greenie, things can always be fixed. Some things you can fix yourself, some others can help with. Hang in there, do your best, cherish your needs, and you will come again to this abiding sense of peace and bliss.

Freedom

Mar. 21st, 2011 08:04 am
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Yesterday I had class outdoors; we didn't start in the classroom, we met outside, we stayed outside. I biked to class with a friend of mine, biked home with her, and then biked across the city with another friend, had dinner, biked back, had another dinner with another friend, and then basically went to sleep.

That's over 2 hrs on my bike, nice easy riding (the way to school is disappointingly flat, if briefly terrifying where there's construction on an overpass) and I really had no desire to stop. That's just over 12 hours outdoors, most in a big long chunk, and it was the cold that drove me in. It was a good day, and a glorious way to start on the official spring.

I also harvested stinging nettles while at school, just a few small first ones, and tonight will be nettle soup.

I'm happy; I'm well. I feel cared-for.

I found two poems this morning. Here they are. Then I'll wrap myself in warm textiles and waterproof things and go to work with headphones on, surrounded in comfort in every way the opposite of yesterday and good because of it.

Enjoy.

Answer

If you were made of stone,
your kiss a fossil sealed up in your lips,
your eyes a sightless marble to my touch,
your grey hands pooling raindrops for the birds,
your long legs cold as rivers locked in ice,
if you were stone, if you were made of stone, yes, yes.

If you were made of fire,
your head a wild Medusa hissing flame,
your tongue a red-hot poker in your throat,
your heart a small coal glowing in your chest,
your fingers burning pungent brands on flesh,
if you were fire, if you were made of fire, yes, yes.

If you were made of water,
your voice a roaring, foaming waterfall,
your arms a whirlpool spinning me around,
your breast a deep, dark lake nursing the drowned,
your mouth an ocean, waves torn from your breath,
if you were water, if you were made of water, yes, yes.

If you were made of air,
your face empty and infinite as sky,
your words a wind with litter for its nouns,
your movements sudden gusts among the clouds,
your body only breeze against my dress,
if you were air, if you were made of air, yes, yes.

If you were made of air, if you were air,
if you were made of water, if you were water,
if you were made of fire, if you were fire,
if you were made of stone, if you were stone,
or if you were none of these, but really death,
the answer is yes, yes.

Carol Ann Duffy

Adulterated

Bella fica! (beautiful fig, fine sex) the whore said
in the back streets of Livorno, proudly slapping
her groin when the man tried to get the price down.
Braddock, the heavyweight champion of the world,
when Joe Louis was destroying him, blood spraying
and his manager between the rounds wanting to stop
the fight, said, I won the title in the ring,
I'm going to lose it in the ring. And, after more
damage, did. Therefore does the wind keep blowing
that holds this great Earth in the air.
For this the birds sing sometimes without purpose.
We value the soiled old theaters because of what
sometimes happens there. Berlin in the Thirties.
There were flowers all around Jesus in his agony
at Gethsemane. The Lord sees everything, and sees
that it is good despite everything. The manger
was filthy. The women at Dachau knew they were about
to be gassed when they pushed back the Nazi guard
who wanted to die with them, saying he must live.
And sang for a little while after the doors closed.

Jack Gilbert

Okay, one more...

Ghost Diary

Yesterday I saw the yellow skeleton of a leaf stuck to the sidewalk.

Where are you going, I ask. You say with irritation, To the store. For some bread. Already I’m seeing the tendency of things. Yes, there’s rebirth, but who cares? The new leaves have their own lives, and the old, known ones are gone.

I haven’t stopped expecting you. I hope to find you lying in stale sheets, reading a book on a weekend morning. Buying too many cheeses, watching Playtime, and complaining that your clothes don’t fit.

There was always more time. A superabundance, the warm hand of the world held out. In spring the leaves are only ideas, clenched tight as fists in the twigs of every tree.

Almost at once I began to expect you. You were the paper-slip leaves of the trees, emerging. I believed in you the way I believe in trees, in time, in what I didn’t know but was born prepared to lose.

Karen Munro
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Today I was tired-- maybe 5 hrs sleep last night, I think 3 the night before that I climbed the Eiffel tower on the climbing machine and I've been keeping up with my workouts. When I'm that tired I get surrounded in a silvery static of exhaustion; I'm isolated within my own head and it can go two ways. I can get stuck, claustophobic and knotted in my own dark and defeatist thoughts, or I can dive inwards like diving into a deep feather comforter and feel around in my head for awhile. I did the latter and so, while I felt fragile all day, I never slipped right over into feeling bad. It helps that I stole some time at the gym, did some cardio and climbed the Eiffel Tower again (working up to Mt Olympus, you betcha! Eiffel Tower's just shorthand for 300m) so when I got to the incredibly slow boring class at the end of the night I stayed awake. It helped that I prepped by bringing food and ate it during class, even if it wasn't great food for me. Calories count for a lot.

It helped that I've been well-loved by the triumverate of support in my life

Amd mpw I come home to a real dinner, more love, and some poems like the one by ee cummings that got me mostly through today, I think it's a new favourite:

as freedom is a breakfastfood
or truth can live with right and wrong
or molehills are from mountains made
-long enough and just so long
will being pay the rent of seem
and genius please the talentgang
and water most encourage flame

as hatracks into peachtrees grow
or hopes dance best on bald men's hair
and every finger is a toe
and any courage is a fear
-long enough and just so long
will the impure think all things pure
and hornets wail by children stung

or as the seeing are the blind
and robins never welcome spring
nor flatfolk prove their world is round
nor dingsters die at break of dong
and common's rare and millstones float
-long enough and just so long
tomorrow will not be too late

worms are the words but joy's the voice
down shall go which and up come who
breasts will be breasts and thighs will be thighs
deeds cannot dream what dreams can do
-time is a tree (this life one leaf)
but love is the sky and i am for you
just so long and long enough

ee cummings

And this one makes me think of Kynnin. The time in my life where this would have been about him is gone, but sometimes there are echoes, and I do remember:

You Know, I Think More and More Often

You know, I think more and more often
that I should go back.
Maybe I'll meet you. And happiness?
Happiness is being sad together.

So I look through the moonlit window
and listen.
Nothing. A breeze stirs somewhere.
Alone among the leaves - the moon.

Like a golden wheel it rolls
above the windblown leaves.
Such moons, only paler,
shone over the Wisla.

Even the Big Dipper on its course
stops in a tree at midnight,
just like at home. But why here?
Truly, I don't know.

What's here? Longing and sleepless nights,
unknown streets and somebody's verse.
I live here as a nobody:
a Displaced Person.

I think of you. I know I must leave.
Perhaps we can return to our past,
but I know neither what youth will be like
nor where you are.

But I'm yours or no one's
forever. Listen,
listen, read this poem
if somewhere you are alive.

Tadeusz Borowski

Three-Way

Mar. 1st, 2011 07:39 am
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I am splitting my time between being in love, not being in love, and schoolwork.

My routine's altered a titch, and will continue to be a little different for the next little while what with the six-day schoolweeks.

Right now everything is humming along with my chosen people. I seem to be at the point where the people who I make an effort to include in my life are making efforts back, there's stuff to say and do between us, and everything is flourishing. It helps that depression seems to be taking its ugly fingers off my friends this month.

I've been skipping the occasional big social event in favour of downtime: either sleep or time to myself or homework. This has been a fantastic choice on my part. I've been ramping up the exercise, which, when combined with my incipient period, means I'm tired all the time but this will pass. My body feels good. My weight is up and muscles are starting to show up. I have a fitness goal for firefighting and a physical ability goal for yoga: 5-minute balances, yo.

Sewing's gone underground in favour of sleep and homework, for now. I have some pants I really should get done, though: I want the products of that sewing, I really do.

My baby rats are stupid-crazy adorable, and my BEWs are still white-- this is a breeding goal I've been pursuing since the beginning, and only just achieved-- and one of the boys is an excellent shoulder rat already. I want to be able to take my rats to school in the evenings, I mean one or two on my shoulder, but nuts to me. I don't think it'd go over well.

My freezer is super well-stocked, which means that the money shortage at the end of the month doesn't stress me out as much as it might.

I need to do something about my branding, about my taxes (which involves sending off a written, signed document), and study for my citizenship test.
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It was an interesting week.

Once again, finally, my options are opening out before me. I spoke to my ecology professor about my practicum, and am thinking about what direction to point next year's school. I've been exploring some possible sex/fooling-around type options. Work is getting interesting-- it's spring, and also we're working with a new client and a new installation.

I'm in the position to refine or undefine some of the web of relation/friendships I'm in right now.

I can make a lot of decisions. A lot of how my life looks in the next little while will hinge on this time, so I can leave things open as long as I can and see what direction they drift in, or I can steer with a heavier or a lighter hand depending on how I feel. I'm generally in favour of allowing situations to develop rather than forcing them-- it takes less energy and they end up more stable-- but I do also enjoy a good challenge.

I make decisions a lot like I walk through a room in the dark. There's a lot of edge-of-senses intuition involved, usually; that's how I add the element of what I *want* rather than just paying attention to what might be most functional, most reasonable, most socially acceptable, etc. This sort of thinking keeps the back of my brain really busy, so I need to keep my conscious areas distracted but not too overloaded while the processes work back there.

Work is perfect for this. Movie night tonight will also be good.

Now, some sewing and a nap.

Two For Now

Jan. 4th, 2011 12:32 am
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The first one stopped me in my tracks in a crowded room; the second gave me shivers. I don't know if I'm getting more sensitive or if they're getting better. Either way:

Why They Went

that men might learn what the world is like at the spot where the sun does not decline in the heavens.
—Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Frost bitten. Snow blind. Hungry. Craving
fresh pie and hot toddies, a whole roasted
unflippered thing to carve. Craving a bed
that had, an hour before entering,
been warmed with a stone from the hearth.

Always back to Eden—to the time when we knew
with certainty that something watched and loved us.
That the very air was miraculous and ours.
That all we had to do was show up.

The sun rolled along the horizon. The light never left them.
The air from their warm mouths became diamonds.
And they longed for everything they did not have.
And they came home and longed again.

Elizabeth Bradfield



This Poetry

It is where she has gone. A spoon clicks
in her mouth while her eyes fall back,

& the one holding her hand is not me
or you. It is a boy, her brother, & he is afraid,

though he remembers something about pressing
a spoon to her tongue so that metal catches

the flesh, so that the tongue does not follow
the eyes into leaving a part of this world.

Years later, this boy will read he was wrong
for using a spoon. He will spend the summer

lifeguarding at a pool, & more than once, he will
hold a body while it seizes in waist-high water.

Each one returns the same way, a pause & then
their life, all they have ever known, rushing back

into the mind. Forget the boy in the beginning.
He has grown into someone who spends too much

time remembering. For this, he has already lost a part
of himself, & from those people he saved, holding

them in the sun as they came to, the color in their eyes
sharp as glass, there was a time when he thought

this could be her, a body becoming weightless.
Then a stranger cried in his arms. She didn’t

know anyone around her, especially him.
It did not matter. This is not about remembering.

Forget there was ever a spoon. Forget the sound
metal makes against the teeth & the tongue.

Forget it all & come back to your life.

John Pineda

Today was really rough, at least most of it. I hauled myself out of bed and went to a yoga class with [livejournal.com profile] estrellada's companionship and to fooding afterwards, and it helped. I haven't been to yoga in a number of years and this was not my favourite teaching method ever, but it served its purpose.

Almost ducked out of movie night due to feeling awful (perhaps the return to school/work weighing on me) but ended up going and getting lots of snuggles and good touching and remembering just how much I liked that movie, and getting fantastic pics of the babies. Glad to have gone. Now, bed.

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