Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Moving from Why to What

A while back I wrote a bad poem on shifting questions from "why" to "what" and I've been trying to put this into practice lately.

So today I spent a lot of time saying, "Why am I so angry?!" I came up with some answers, but basically did not have enough patience to listen to any of them.

I switched the question before I got home--"What is all this anger good for?!" And then I had the chance to vent to Bill and he had a moment where he understood my main issue (hearing something from someone that I already know. And I was like, "No shit, Bill. I knew that about myself already."). From this one angle, it looks like my anger today helped Bill understand me, which just goes to reinforce how precious it is to have someone understand not just your emotions or experience, but to see how you work and what your process is like. It's just really nice.

I'm still hanging out with Anger, but it's nice to see how it's not all bad. Maybe that's what I'm learning, too. Anger, you ain't bad; you just is. (That kind of takes the wind out of you, doesn't it, Anger?! Are you always looking for a challenge? You keep wanting to hear something you don't already know. I don't have to play with you! We can hang out in the same, though, if we have to. But I'm going to write now, and in the meantime you are welcome to get even more comfortable in my digestive track and/or continue manifesting in kitty fights between LZ and Queenie. As long as you're comfy! I'll be with you later.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wrestling with God

Yesterday I read Your Voice in My Head, by Emma Forrest and evoked a lot of emotions--it spans a lot of emotions--so in this sense it is heavy, thick reading. She has a passage, perhaps part of her conclusion, that has stuck with me today and that is when she types out her rabbi's sermon on Joseph arguing with angel. The rabbi and Forrest come to the conclusion that no matter who we are set-up and programmed to be, that we can change ourselves.

This is something that I agree with and have been thinking about how to express. There's something about putting work into ourselves and our outlook and going through something difficult and coming out on the other side of it as a changed person. I think it is like wrestling with God because it is a taking on of all the whys the world presents; it's a fight against the way things are and coming up with genuine answers. It's like finding a truth while feeling comfortable with truthlessness, too. I just share this because of the struggle. Probably I have romanticized struggle way too frequently in my life. It's just that struggles can end, and it's this type of existential and spiritual experience that I identify with in my life and thought Forrest articulated in her book.

I have been thinking about God a lot and just figuring out what my spirituality means in my own life; owning it, I suppose, is one way to put it--not letting it be commandeered by influential people or books in my life.

Sexton's line of "Many women are singing together of this," floats in my head and that makes me smile.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Just realized . . .

You can't have "catharsis" without cat!

In other news, I've picked up the latest issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, and loved reading this interview with writer Cheryl Strayed, who discusses her book Wild, which recounts her experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail after her mother passes away and her subsequent descent. I really like what she says,
I did go out there on a spiritual quest. But what I got was a physical test. I didn't understand how connected the two are. . . The physical realm kept delivering the spiritual.

I walked all those miles, and I learned all those lessons. It's as if my new life was the gift I got at the end of a long struggle.

I relate to that.

Monday, June 18, 2012


From "The Random House Dictionary," definition number five of "resolution":
"the act or process of resolving or separating into constituent or elementary parts."

Definition ten: "reduction to a simpler form; conversion."

I always thought of resolution as a way to make sense of all the parts--a way that explains every piece and, thereby, is bigger because it encompasses.

That is, I always thought of resolution in terms of definition eight: "a solution or explanation, as of a problem, controversy, etc."

But resolution seems to mean the very opposite, too. Even the optics definition of resolution: "the act, process, or capability of distinguishing between two separate but adjacent objects or sources of light or between two nearly equal wavelengths."

Here I have been saying that I want resolution when really, instead, I am finding resolution!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Postscript: Hunger

After I wrote that last post, I ate an apple. I think I was probably just more hungry than angry. That's probably the title of my memoir: More Hungry than Angry.


I am in an angry and combative mood. Basically I'm fed up with a) the wealth distribution in this country and b) work-related people yelling at me when I am i) just the messenger and ii) actually very fucking helpful and competent.

I have a sour premonition. And feel like there is a piece of the past that is dislodging from inside my body; it's infecting everything on its way out. I'd rather just have it gone than have to pay attention to the expulsion.

My eyes narrow and I'm thinking, "Who's going to challenge me next? What type of stupidity will be thrown my way next?"

I don't think I can reconcile the other parts of myself with this angry and combative part! I don't know how to let it all be. I don't know if I should shut down the angry part or indulge the angry part or do anything.

I worry about my attention span. Something that sounds good one minute will no longer sound good the next. Anything I might want to do can be replaced by something else very quickly. This does not sound like "flow" to me. This sounds like ADD. What I really want is someone to listen to me. Does this mean I am not listening to myself? I'd like to share something meaningful. I want things to change. I want stupidity to go away. I'm having problems understanding any sense of the natural order of things; everything seems unnatural and artificial. That's a sense of things I have right now.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nothing to Report

Nothing to report except a peaceful weekend. Some sleeping in and napping. Walking (again, finally). Eating with Bill. Making breakfast Bill. Getting by with a quick run to the grocery store.

We saw Prometheus this weekend then ate Indian food afterwards. Both were satisfying. I had bad dreams last night, but nothing talking about couldn't help. I did some homework and some reading. I tried loosening up! I still haven't tweeted any response to a Sunday political talk show. Yet I did have a response to hunting wild game in Texas; contrary to my roots, I think hunting does promote conservation. It's just a response I have. Earlier I found peace while driving . . . and I knocked on all wood in the hope that God wouldn't see this as a challenge. "If you want to make God laugh, then tell Him your plans." God's been laughing a lot lately.

I have been laughing too, and no one is telling me any plans. I just get the laughter for free!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gardening Saves

I've been able to start a little garden this year and last night I spread out some of the plants that had been growing too closely together. Today some of the transplants look pretty pitiful and I wonder if they will survive. As I was watering everyone last night, I knew they were in shock and I was trying to tell them that I was doing what was best for them right now. How long is cucumber memory? And are they mad? I pictured myself as a plant with someone telling me that they knew what was best for me, even if I couldn't see it in the moment. I will try to remember how seasons work and how life is created. It is neat to have the garden as this type of experiential space.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Wherever you go . . ."

". . . there you are."

I have been stewing about this for about 48 hours straight (plus 32 years of stewing that I have been unconscious of. Plus however many previous lifetimes.)

I am trying everything I can to avoid myself. I'd rather just cut to the chase and figure things out, but I see the impossibility of that. I'm so frustrated! I used to spend so much time thinking that everyone else either a) had things figured out for themselves or b) was too dumb or easily contended to worry about themselves. And now I wonder, how many people must be deeply discontent with life? I just wonder.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

By Way of the Venus Transit . . .

"All things must pass," like dear Ray Bradbury.

From "Somewhere a Band is Playing . . ."

There was a desert prairie filled with wind and sun and sagebrush and a silence that grew sweetly up in wildflowers. There was a rail track laid across this silence and now the rail track shuddered.

Soon a dark train charged out of the east with fire and steam and thundered through the station. On its way it slowed at a platform littered with confetti, the tatters of ancient tickets punched by transient conductors.

The locomotive slowed just enough for one piece of luggage to catapult out, and a young man in a summer dishrag suit to leap after and land running as the train, with a roar, charged on as if the station did not exist, nor the luggage, nor its owner who now stopped his jolting run to stare around as the dust settled around him and, in the distance, the dim outlines of small houses were revealed.

"Damn," he whispered. "There is something here, after all."

More dust blew away, revealing more roofs, spires, and trees.

"Why?" he whispered. "Why did I come here?"

He answered himself even more quietly, "Because."

Monday, June 4, 2012

Anne Lamott Quote

From her book Joe Jones, Lamott writes:

Left to its own devices, her mind is a fat hummingbird flitting through leafy trees of anxiety, apology, sorrow, excuses, and dreams of grandeur, dreams of humiliation. Sometimes she watches it run off, and it makes her laugh and shake her head. It's like a video game. Bright fast blips of worry and anger come at her, and, after feding them off, she's attacked by the huge lumbering Czechoslovakian blobs of tiredness and broken-spiritedness which break into small, faster missiles of regret when she fires at them. What a half-baked species we are, she thinks, and does what she can to make her insides more habitable. (5)

Quote About Life

"If you say you're going to do something and you start to do it, and people enjoy it or respect it or are entertained by it, people will step up and help you."
--Kyle MacDonald

This quote spoke to me the other day, as I reading about the little boy who is giving away trips to Disneyland. An author had written a reference to Kyle MacDonald, who traded up from a red paper clip to a house.