Friday, November 30, 2012
Wow! This month was intense. I worked more hours than I care to. I tended my grand-daughters on my off time, and I wrote, and wrote and wrote. I cried as much as I typed. It was an incredible experience in that issues came up that I honestly have never faced before. Years of therapy didn't open these doors, but sitting at my desk pounding through the lives of my characters brought me to the realization that I don't have all the answers and it doesn't matter. This is not apathy, but rather, non-attachment. Things happened. People did what they did. Why? Because it worked for them, or looked like it would. Do your own thing and move on.
I researched life in Post-WWII, queer life in the south, winter hunting. I have three paper thesauruses, a notebook full of suggestions, and two tarot decks. Besides inventing a story, I opened their lives and hearts to the world and mine along the way. We struggled. We cried. We survived. Life is good!
Big ole by the way...San Francisco here I come!
Saturday, November 17, 2012
I have always know the main character would have to face her past, but dragging her back home has pushed up more unresolved feelings in me. The other two characters are sloshing through a miasma of emotional slush - one with joy, the other, angst. Maybe this has something to do with my own exhausting.
Taking a break, I decided to sign up for an online dating service. I've not been impressed in the past, though in all honesty, I did connect with a writer I talk to every now and then, who has read a section of my work and offered helpful suggestions. I learned how intense editing can be.
The dating site has a zillion questions to answer and then matches me up. Sometimes I click a picture of the person who looks interesting. There is a tab across the top reading, "You Two Have Issues." There the matchbots explain all the ways it looks like we are incompatible. Sometimes I agree. Since we know I have that LONG list of must haves, there is no point in pursuing relationships in contradiction to my desires.
On the other hand, I do not answer specific types of questions, ever. So the matchbots have some opinions of me that are not necessarily true. I come off very extreme and one-sided. While intense, I have a few gray areas. I'm just not willing to discuss them in public.
The biggest issue for me is that my matches don't drink. They indicated "Never" as their drinking frequency. Me, I'm "Very Often." I only drink on special occasions, and days that end in "y". That's an issue for me. I've dated lots of non-drinkers. They were all in recovery. I've dated one drinker. It was great fun, until we moved in together. It did not end well. Alcohol adds fuel to the fire.
The site fills my piddling time. I've messaged a couple to people. They respond. That's nice. It breaks isolation from my distress and that of my characters. I understand a bit more about my relationships and why I am single.
Maintaining relationship requires that we be willing to give up something we really want. In fact, we are conscious of that letting go as it happens. In that moment we decide if our relationship is worth it. This is true for all relationships - family, friends, co-workers, lovers, and community.
I have been in relationship with people who were unwilling to make sacrifices for our relationship. It was clear and hard. I learned to face the truth of my needs and accept that they were not available to meet them. (Nor could I show up as they required.) We were kind to each other, because we were clear - we had issues.
Wouldn't it be nice if you knew that up front, before emotional investment? However, I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world. They taught me to be myself.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Reality is a bitch. It just is. It doesn’t have to be, but in those first moments, before we come to full acceptance of what is, things can suck. We think we are upset, angry, distressed about the truth we have discovered. The reality is that our angst arises from dispelling the illusion. Whatever ideas, notions, hopes, or dreams we have held dissolve before our eyes and we are left with what feels like nothing.
There it is – you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad. I heard that from a friend during our discussion on the virtue of honesty. We live cloaked, hidden, clandestine lives to avoid going mad. Even those who claim to desire transparency have some spot reserved for privacy. Yes, there are those few who spout out every detail of their lives relaying excessive information, but their secret is the underlying cause of the behavior.
We are in the season of reflection and review. The last leaves are clinging to the branches, but the limbs are bare. The camouflage is fading and we can see through. This is what we claim we want – to see what is, to know the truth of it all, to find the meaning. To what end?
Last year, this time, I was in the final days before leaving my job. A beautifully crafted plan filled with hopes, dreams, and desires, funded by hard work and sacrifice, implemented with skill and determination, and finally artfully executed. I am still impressed (in case you can’t tell) and a little disappointed.
Life shifted and I followed along. Plans changed and I adjusted. Shit happened and I cleaned it up. I remained positive and cheerful in the face of challenge and adversity. I cried and laughed, and prayed. I asked others to pray in the places that I felt stuck. I thought the end would be different. It is not.
Here we have disappointment – denied and unrealized expectation. Here also is the reality of what is. I am still crying. These tears release the fantasy I have carried for much of my life. Sometimes, what you see is all there is, for you. No amount of reworking and adjusting will change the situation. What I can change is my perspective and therefore, my perception. I can practice being with what is.