Monday, January 25, 2016

10 Minute Sitting Meditation

I meditated for the first time today since, oh, about spring of 2008. I had been involved in a study about meditation and depression at a university. You know those movies where the government gathers up a special task force of misfits, but especially talented misfits, each having a specialty? The sharpshooter, the computer expert, the taciturn leader, all eccentric and elite. I'm thinking about Armageddon, Ocean's 11, the upcoming Suicide Squad. That what this study group felt like, except the antithesis. Only the saddest were chosen, those with indelible sorrow, recurrences, residents and not visitors. A stay at home mom (loud, firery), a very reserved young woman recently married, a prostitute close to my age, a middle age man with the saddest way of sitting cross-legged (he was the only one I felt was the same as me). A myriad of mired souls. About half were bipolar. Young adult to middle age. I might have been one of the youngest at 23. We meditated for six weeks everyday and met once a week to talk about it. They wanted us to continue to meditate, and follow up with us a year later. I didn't continue the practice, and I never returned the follow up call when it came. I think because I wasn't quite as sad, distracted by something and its funny I can't remember exactly what. I think I still felt like a kid that didn't do her homework. I still felt like a kid, so very defensive, pretending like I let cynicism through the gates a bit before I actually had. Anyway, I meditated and I was anxious. My heart raced the whole 10 minutes (I'm starting modest). I wonder how that is, fear, obviously, of what? Of healing or of failing? And I had nostalgia for how I felt almost ten years ago, weary, fucking beat up, and fighting like hell for myself. Hopefully I still got it in me. That's there's a mind under this swirling muck. That I might one day soon cast my thoughts out instead of in.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

5 minute flash

Between time makes me feel empty. I've finished one job and am waiting to depart for the next, and I am bare. What is it about the unplanned for time that erases my mind, motivation, and really any possibility or opportunity. These times I have a lizard brain. Food might be the only thought, can a get a nap in. Perhaps this is a failure to live in the moment? Perhaps I'm not building anything, and have nothing to work on if I'm not working. Oh, wait, let me rephrase: The only opportunity is to be pissed at myself for being unproductive. *a sentence of severe sarcasm and cruel intent directed at myself was deleted. I'm trying.*

Friday, January 8, 2016

Not so much prose as exposition today

Upon returning, I of course went back to read older posts. I believed, truly, that there was a curse on me. Now I know that as I was writing those words, I was six weeks away from meeting my husband. I know that story isn't over, not a Disney movie, but it's an interesting plot point. And then I stopped writing. I stopped riding too. A lot of the things I clung to in my lonely life, I gave up pretty quickly, and unconsciously. And, as the words unfold here, I'm making a return. And in the spirit of compassion (and not excuses) it's inaccurate to say I gave up. Like a plant, I gave all my energy to the seed. I had to, or we would not be in this beautiful place we are now. It's been tough to burst out of the sand, to need more than I did when we were just in the pod together. And because I'm me, it came with a lot of self criticism. Some things didn't endure the change. One friend wouldn't.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Home Remedy

I’m afraid I will ruin you
with accidental piles of guilt
like mucus made
without my knowledge
or permission
that suddenly needs out.

And so,
I want to make you into tea.
And you might have
some holistic effect,
on my smallest parts,
that make protons look
like planets, heal me

in an utterly unprovable way.

My Wedding Vows, read for the first time aloud on 8/22/15


Please prepare yourself, for what is about to follow, because it might sound a little far reaching and heady.. And I think, if I were to read this to you in private, you might look at me gently, and comment that, perhaps, I’m overthinking things a bit. BUT, that is good, and important, and I’ll get to that in a bit.

So of course, true to my post-modern self, I will begin my vows by talking about my experience trying to write them. When I first sat down, I decided to start with a poem, to get the ink flowing, you know, before I decided what life-long binding promises I was willing to make to you. I wrote about four poems, if you count the one that was one and a half lines long. And they were all bad, a special mix of boring, gag-inducing, and confusing. Part of this is my writing skills, and self consciousness, but most of the time I can get a poem out that’s at least half decent, especially if I care about the content. BUT, when I was trying to write about you, and what it’s like to love you, what it’s like to be loved by you, and how I know, without a doubt, that you and I will be together as long as these human bodies permit, I was drawing a complete blank. No image was coming to me. I couldn’t think of one metaphor. Our love is like… ?

It’s not sweet or savory, it’s not like the sun or like being suspended in water. It’s not a peaceful walk in the woods or is it like being born or like coming home or like falling or flying or anything like that. I was getting really frustrated. And it worried me. I couldn't see the face of our relationship. I couldn’t tell you exactly why we work so well. The same thing happened when Casey first sat us down to talk about our ceremony and figure out the content and the details. Both of us were at a loss. I think the only concrete thing we came up with was “We are always nice to each other.” I began to worry that we are dull, or inauthentic, or even that there was nothing there, if I couldn’t describe it or give it a name.

This is not true of course, and I know it somehow. The day after I met you, Jesse texted me, are you and Jeremy gonna get married? And I responded, Yes, and swear to God part of me already knew, and when I said yes, I meant it. But all that I know about the shape, taste, temperature and tensile strength of our bond, lies outside of my conscious mind. The curtain is drawn. And through my struggle to see it, and repeat it to you today, I realized what a gift it is that my judgmental mind is blind to what you and I created between us. Because self-consciousness wrecks that which it is focused on. The moment I begin to watch myself living, is a moment spoiled. But, magically, our love is protected from this glare that wants to evaluate and wants to draw conclusions. I can just have it, like a child has an open field to play. Happy without knowing what happy even is.

So I guess I'm still working on the poem, and I might be for some time. But I have some ideas now (some are mine, some are borrowed, I won't tell you which): Our love is like a sound amplified by silence, a flash of someone familiar around a corner, the boundary between a streetlight starburst and the night, and that feeling of knowing that you dreamed and you dreamed vivid but forgetting what about. It's like a long, gorgeous and overgrown path. I'll read you the poem some day when I'm done. We've got time.

On a more earthly level, I do love you, so many things about you all of which I cannot name now. But most of all that you are good and loyal and talented and are teaching me to let go and not get so lost in my own, inconsistently reliable, thoughts. You defy categorization. You're complex. You're not fearful or blaming. You're responsible for yourself. You are content. You are a chameleon, and somehow outspoken and steadfast at the same time. I just love you. How could I not?

And now finally, I've come to the part where I promise you things. My vows. Although, I'm not quite sure what to promise you. I suppose this is the appropriate time to speak about the work of a marriage, the right values, the importance of being vigilant and fastidious, how much attention a successful marriage requires. I should take a side in the debate about whether marriage is a compromise or not. And I suppose it is also the time I should acknowledge that there will be low points, such is life. Very well. Acknowledged. But, I can't just nod my head and hold my tongue... not without saying that being with you has never been work, despite what everyone says. I keep waiting for it. But it hasn't come. Loving and being with you is so damn easy. Again, it just is, and I don't know how. But if it ever does becomes work, I promise to show up on time and well rested.  

At the end of the day, I don't know what a successful marriage takes. I've never been married. And I don't even want a successful marriage, because to me that sounds evaluative and dependent on standards and perceptions. Those are things I strive to shed. I just want to be around you lot of the time. I want you to be happy. I want to be happy.  And so, Jeremy, I promise to make myself happy; I'm good at that. And I promise to chose you again and again, every year, every day.

That's it. I know the rest will take care of itself.

I love you.

The Force Awakens

I'm returning to this blog without informing anyone, the very few who had visited before, more than two years ago. I suppose I have a compulsion to share publicly and exaggerate the value of my own thoughts. And then I quickly swing to regret. I take back everything I said aloud and worry about what a fool I am. So maybe this is a solution, something public in an obscure way, that no one will ever find, or return to, and therefore private.

Right now I'm walking the line of realizing my downfalls as friend, and wife, without launching into utter despair and self-loathing. It seems as though my mother's insecurities are genetic and beyond reprogramming sometimes. Her hostility toward other women, her near constant fear of being left out, the constant struggle to fake acceptance and kindness when in actuality she is miserable and pissed for all the injuries inflicted upon her. I inherited them all, with my own special flavor. These days, I have hostility toward women who behave irrationally. I damn women who let their emotions take over. Its even too obvious to say, but I will. I struggled so hard to gain stability, which I'm proud of, yes, but seem to have lost compassion for how I used to be (and sometimes still am!). It is intolerable to me... the thought that I might ruin my relationships with my own insecurity, and it's intolerable in other woman, and I hate them and it and irks me beyond reason.
And my other pattern of too close relationships with women that end in total (acrid) abandonment. Either she or I get to the point of no return. How? Each situation had their own details, but what is this pattern?
I'm in one of those exasperated moments, where I want to throw down my ... what? books, sword, plate? whatever I'm holding and just scream "Fuck it" I AM SO GODDAMN TIRED of being oversensitive, misunderstanding, ruining things from the inside out, flailing myself over and over again for all of it.
And I'm married now, and it all has so much more weight. Try not to fuck it up Gwen. I don't have a choice but to try and murder my mother's legacy one imaginary insult at a time. And I hate that the answer is so fucking trite.