Thursday, November 27, 2008

To be thankful...

It seems to me that people always choose this time of year to be overtly and expressly thankful about the things that they are given in this life. It occurs to me, usually always around this time of year, that we should be constantly thankful for these sorts of things. They do not crop up on the morning of Thanksgiving just so we will have something to say at the dinner-table when the inevitable question "what are you thankful for" crops up. We have these things every day of our life, and should appreciate them everyday. All the same, I sit here in a bed that used to be my own, and I think, maybe I should put this into words. So, here I do just that, to the best of my own ability.

I am thankful for so many things. Especially this year. This year has afforded me the opportunity to reflect on life, people, and myself in ways that I have never before been able to do. That opportunity is a rare one, and something I take for granted everyday. I have the absolute luxury to appreciate the beauty of a sunset with a cup of coffee in my hand. Not only do I have the opportunity, but I take it too. There are so many beautiful things in this world that we never see because we choose not to. I made a point of choosing to do so this year, and it has given me perspective on things that I will never again see the same way.

The simple action of taking someone's hand into your own and feeling them curl their fingers back upon yours is one of the simplest of things. I have done so with and for so many people this year. It is absolutely amazing, because the way in which I have done this recently is not something I have chosen to do for a long time. I associate it very clearly with a person I will forever love and miss. Because when I held her hand for the last time I remember looking into her eyes and seeing absolute love in them. I thought, in that moment that it might be forever gone from my life after that point. I was wrong. I held a friend's hand much the same way early this year when I looked them in the eyes and spoke the truth. They too left my life. I did so for another whom I love deeply and truly in a moment where they needed me the most. And when I took their hand between mine I realized how wrong everything was. So, I went about fixing it in the only way I knew how, by fixing myself. Just recently I took yet another person's hand in my own before placing my second hand on top of theirs and in a flash of brilliance and revelation I realized that I have not been forsaken in this world, and that I am both worthy of giving and receiving love. That must be the most beautiful of things.

I am thankful for those people in my life. Both the ones that have seen me through the years that have come before this one, and those that have only recently come into it. I am now very aware of who the truest of those people are, and I know who and what will stick by me when when I need that support the most. There is nothing more warming than the knowledge that there are people who will be by my side if everything crumbles. For them, I would be there as well. Love, trust, and friendship like that is not something that can be found everyday. I cherish it. It goes both ways because it would never mean as much if it did not. Of this I am aware, and for this I am thankful.

I am thankful for the fact that I have smiled and laughed in a way that I have not done since I was a young girl. The world is a funny play because it takes you up a road and back again to show you what you have lost and what you have forgotten. Those things that you have forgotten, like the fascination of a night sky, can again be appreciated in a whole new way. There is no kind of appreciation like the appreciation of something that has left your mind and come back to you. The world is a beautiful place so that we can forget it and come to love it all over again. People come in and out of our lives so that we can appreciate their place in it to the fullest extent.

I am also thankful for the simplest of things. I am alive. I am healthy. I am given the opportunity to live and learn in a world where many people will never get the chance. These things I take for granted every day, like breathing and eating, are only so wonderful because I know that I am lucky for them.

But, most of all, I am thankful for being needed, wanted, and loved. This is new. Very new. And it took some adjusting to get used to it. Not only am I all three of these things, but I have surrounded myself with people who believe as much. I need, want, and love them too. All of these people believe that I am worthy of these three things, and I believe that I am worthy of this too.

So, thank you, to everyone. Thank you for giving me a chance. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for being patient so that I could take the time to learn the things about myself that I had forgotten. Thank you for taking the time everyday to show me things about myself that I never knew. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for seeing more than simply the facade I tried to put up to block you all out. Thank you for listening. Thank you for talking. Thank you for caring.

Thank you for everything.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ten things that annoy this Gemini...

I am a reasonable person. No, really. I am. I think rationally, I use logic constantly, and I give every person a chance to prove themselves to me. I do not make judgements about people (or a group of people) before they themselves have had the chance to make their own case to me. I will neither hate nor love a person before I meet them, because hat's pointless. I will give people second and third chances to prove themselves to me, because not all first impressions are perfect, I know this.

With this said however, there are certain deal-breakers. Some people are idiots, and while I am not a racist, homophobe, or sexist...I WILL NOT SUFFER FOOLS. So, here I will lay out for you ten of the best ways that you can prove yourself an idiot to this Gemini. They are listed in no particular order, and I do not hold myself limited to this list.

  1. I am a woman, not an infantile dumbass who falls prey to ridiculous ploys to get me to spend more money. Case in point: I go into the Apple store today to buy a new power adaptor for my 15-inch Powerbook G4. I need a 65 watt adaptor. It is that simple. I bought this computer a little under three years ago with the extended AppleCare warranty. That warranty covers EVERYTHING, including the adaptor. The only thing not covered is damage done by the owner (ME) to the equipment. My old charger had a wire connection that had come loose, and was beginning to overheat, smoke, and spark. I walk in, tell them what I need, show them the old charger, and give them my information. I was clear, I was specific, and I knew what I needed. The man helping me then tries to tell me that "wear and tear is not covered by the warranty", and so I ask him to show me where in the contract it says that. He pulls it out, and I point him to the line that says "AppleCare covers the laptop and all of its peripherals, (charger, battery, etc...). It covers wear and tear and malfunctions. It does not cover damage done to equipment by the owner." Point for Siobhán. Next, he then tries to sell me a BRAND NEW $2000 laptop. Thank you very much, I like the MacBook Pro, I might want one, but I DO NOT NEED IT. Dumbass, give me my goddam 65 watt power adaptor for my 15-inch Powerbook G4.
  2. Okay people, I understand you're busy, I know there are only 24 hours in the day, and I realize you're pressed for time...but know your limits! I know what it is like to be very busy, and I know how stress can wear on a person. I realize that you want your Venti Faux-Latte to go and you want it now, but is it the best time to drink when you are driving with your knee, holding the drink in your hand, texting with the other, AND trying to change the radio station? Fucking hell people. Know what you can do and what will impede your ability to prioritize. The radio can wait. Think the latte can wait one minute so you can finish the text and THEN drink?
  3. I am being polite. I do not want to go out with you, I do not care about your problems, and I certainly do not want to date you. I understand that common courtesy is becoming a rare commodity in this world, really...I do know this. I understand that having someone say 'thank you' when you give them their cup of coffee is something that does not happen everyday, but there is no hidden message. I smile because I am nice, I say 'thank you' because I am polite. There is no ulterior motive. A proper response would be 'you're welcome' or 'have a nice day'. You could even hold out your hand and introduce yourself. None of these things that I do are invitations to begin a long and angry rant about your day, nor are they an open invitation to invite me to dinner, ask for my number, or...dare I say it, make some lewd comment referring to some sexual act you might be interested in. I don't care. If you want to get to know a person, introduce yourself, ask them about their day, etc... Give a person time to warm up to you. Girls are not impressed with jackass displays of macho-puffery. So quit it.
  4. Children are not adults. Be patient. Correct them if they do something wrong, but don't scold them for each and every little thing. I will be the first to admit that, yes, children do need to be told when they have done wrong. They do need to be guided, corrected, and on occasion scolded. But it is not realistic to hold a child to the standards of an adult. They simply do not have the experience and training to live up those standards. Guide them, and help them. I am not advocating letting them get away with everything and anything, but it must be done gently and kindly. Also, being a sore loser to a 5-year-old child over a game of cards is stupid. You are forty years old, get over yourself!
  5. Nobody is always right. Enough said.
  6. Your bad day is not everyone's bad day. Don't take it out on every stranger you meet. It is completely uneccessary to take out your frustrations on every person who crosses your path, whether you know them or not. If your have a disagreement with your mother, do not take it out on your best friend or your significant other. It is cruel and pointless. It will make your own day (and others' days) worse. It will make your enemies, not friends.
  7. Pointing out another's shortcoming does not make you look better by contrast, it makes you look like an asshole. Maybe you're better at something than your best friend, but it is not a reason to lord it over them as a point of ego. While I agree that pride in your own abilities and knowledge is good, arrogance is not. Teasing and joking is fine, but cruelty is not. They are (surely) better than you at something else. Everyone has a speciality and talent of their own. Do not act in a way that you would not want them to act in regards to you.
  8. A car does NOT make you invincible. Especially when the person outside of your car stands to be hurt by your dumbass driving.
  9. A moment of kindness does not hurt. It can take but a moment to help someone out most of the time. Sometimes it takes longer. But even so, helping another person is a good thing to do. If they are hurt, help them. Hold open the door for a couple extra seconds for the man on crutches behind you. Someday you may hope that another will do so for you. The woman in front of you in line who is 50 cents short of her total will appreciate the change you found in your laundry. Think about it.
  10. We are all looking for a place in this world to feel at home, for someone to understand patient and people will surprise and impress you.
I'm an artist in this world
More profound with the words I don't say than I could ever be with the ones I speak aloud
I'm trying to make a mark on this world with the words and actions that they will see as pointless

Explain to me why all the things I'm not define me
Whereas all the things I am are left by the wayside
Superfluous facts that do nothing to define who I am as a person
Does that mean everything I do tells you nothing about me?

Is the emptiness inside of me everything I am?
I try to hide that darkness from the world
Is there nothing I can do to make you understand?

How should I introduce myself to the world?
If I cannot introduce the parts of me
That mean everything within
But nothing to the world out there?
Should I introduce myself as you will see me
Or as I see myself
Help me to write a definition that will do well to even begin to explain everything I am not

It's the things that are left unsaid that leave the biggest impression
The words I will make you think when this is over
If I can make you see
Make you think
Make you wonder
About this world just a little bit differently
Than I am happy
For I have done what I can

Between the lines
In the brief silence and the white space on the page
That’s the point
Therein lies the message

If that's how I communicate
Why is it so strange for me to think that might be how you understand?

For everything there is an opposite
For light, there exists darkness
For love, hate
And for good, there is evil

Given that, it is so strange to me that my silences carry more loudly than my speech
Explain that to me

So when you look at me
Understand that what I don't give you
Is equally as important as what I do

For every gift, there lay the possibility for the opposite
And now, when I extend my hand in friendship
Know I could have struck you down in ignorance and hate
But chose not to
And it is the choice that marks me
And extends to you as reflection of me

I see myself in the mirror
And it is opposite what you see now
Flipped around
So that I must know you
And understand how you know me
To know myself

So take my hand
Let us be friends
For friendship is far better than hate and lonliness
Let us know each other
That we might, one day, know ourselves

Speak to me in silence
And ignore me loudly
For it is between those actions that we will be at peace
We try so hard
Look so long
For a place
A person
To feel at home

But is it possible
That home has existed within us
Before us
Beyond us

It is
And it does
It's intangible
Not to be found in the world of men
But barely out of our reach
Only achievable once we understand
That we can never know ourselves until we don't know ourselves at all

The nature of humanity
Is in our imperfections
And I'm not so sure I get it any more than the next person
But that's what makes it beautiful

If you and I can disagree
But still know that we have that in common
We are one and the same

What I'm not you are
And what I am
Is defined by what I'm not
So, by that logic, you are what defines me

So look at me
Through your eyes I might see who I am
And understand what I'm not

Don't quantify or try to define me
For you cannot bring borders to the intangible
I am all that I'm not
And that's the beauty of existence

So listen close
For the silence I give you now
Is more telling than any actions or words ever could be

I see you, and you see me
Without an "US"
There is no we

And so my hand remains outstretched
In the hopes that my offer of friendship will one day be returned
And through knowing you
I can know me
And in knowing me
I can know you

For the space in between us
Is just as important as the space we occupy

I'm not pushing you away
Even now
I'm reaching out to you

For only in questions
Do we find answers

So ask those questions burning the tips of your tongues
For every one I have an answer
And I will give it to you
And even then, I will do one better
I will give you the honest one

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vanity Blog #5: If Only I Knew German

My words fall on deaf ears but I continue talking all the same, for I have something to say. What I am trying to communicate might not be new or even revolutionary but someone, someday, will listen and it will be good. These words are old ones and I pair them together in an attempt to make people listen. I hope that they will hear what I have to say and will take that message and understand that it is an individual who is talking. My goal is not in the words. It is in me. The same message could be seen if someone took the time to look into my face long enough. The message is me.

We, as people, exist not to bear witness to the events around us. We exist, rather, to be the perceived. the problem is that the perceived does not exist without the perceiver. There must be a person to bear witness to our actions and words to turn them into something of value. My continuing search for an audience is for this and this alone. We exist in a infinite loop of both tasks. We have to be such. The infinite needs us to see it and be it. It is all so much easier with help, and I take no ones hand to help me toward my end. That leaves me with leverage, and my leverage is that I do not look until I see what I want. I talk until someone will listen. The present is as such as well. It is an infinite loop of that which will one day become "history". We are now at a point in this 'present' where we can say that truth is only that which you can make another person believe. The strength and validity of our truth is measured against how many people believe it to be true. And the methodology of creating that truth and honesty is repetition. Say something enough times to enough people and it becomes, for those people, the truth. This is why I keep talking, because for those people, it becomes grander than actuality. It is truth.

We misinterpret the naming of a thing with knowing it. For instance, how do I know a chair? Well, what is a chair? Is it the word? The sound, "chair?" The image in your mind of four legs, a seat and a back? Or is it wood from a tree that sprouted into being from a seed that traveled from tree to tree for millions of years, each tree's survival dependent upon a fragile ecological balance, a perfect combination of minerals, sunlight, weather, and, ultimately, sub-atomic particles that have been zipping around since the Big Bang? Add to that the billions of years and infinite forces needed to create the conditions needed for human beings to exist, chop down the tree, haul it to a mill, carve it into smaller pieces, send it to a factory, shape it into a chair, ship it to a store, purchase it, stick it in an car and drive it home so that an equally complex ass can sit on it, and you may begin to know a chair. In other words, when we truly look deeply into the one thing, we see it is, in fact, the all, and, of course, contained within the all, is the one thing. So, that nothing becomes everything. That nothing can be anything. I'm sitting on a chair now. What is that chair? What am I? And how should I refer to it if I don't know it? For though I know its name, I do not know its substance or being.

Even with this profound lack of knowledge of both truth and the existence of anything there is a place in this world for us. When we truly believe that nothing is anything without us, it occurs to me that the world might just be better without me. For without me NOTHING become ANYTHING. So, all those SOMETHINGS that I put value and merit in pale in comparison to the vast omniscience of the capability of NOTHING and ANYTHING. And that, my friends, means EVERYTHING.

I believe that voices of fear, both from without and within, can only be banished by putting trust the voice that comes from one's own heart. Be still. Listen to it. If it speaks of love and compassion for others, for the world itself, it just might be the voice of God--or a reasonable facsimile. If, however, it snarls with fear of the unknown, fear of losing what you have or of not getting what you want, then it just might be the voice of Adolph Hitler--or a reasonable facsimile. But, be still all the same, and listen. It has something to say, and if you believe it, it is truth.

So, when that voice comes to you in all its glory and form, give it is due. Then, and only then you may toss it away in a moment of derision and laughter. You probably have better things to do than listen to that nagging voice in your head anyway. Or instead, you may choose to be sane and make an appointment with your friendly-neighborhood-head-shrink. He will not tell you anything you do not know, and the most you hope to gain from any of those encounters is from giving this poor man a story to tell his wife when he goes home that night. Or a punchline to a joke that you will hear five years later in a bar. Something that would start with, "What do you do if you hear Adolf Hitler's voice in your head?" The punchline is almost unnecessary at that point, because the opening line of the joke sets it up to failure. It would be traded around bars and clubs for years until someone inevitably answers the question and says, "you listen". I would listen. I wouldn't follow the advice, and I might not believe it to really be Adolf Hitler, but on the off chance that it was indeed kosher, I wouldn't want to miss out. Would you?

Every voice, no matter how derisive or despicable the source, has something to say. And naming the voice or object does not define it. So, even some carbon-copy Hitler voice in your head might have something to say. Though, in the end of it, I think I'd rather have FDR. I don't know German.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Image of a Woman

Imagine a woman who believes is it right and good that she is a woman
A woman who honors her experience and tells her own stories
Who refuses to carry the sins and burdens of others within her body and life

Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself
A woman who listens to her needs and desires
Who meets them with tenderness and grace

Imagine a woman who has acknowledged the past's influence on the present
A woman who has walked through her past
Who has healed in her present

Imagine a woman who authors her own life

A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf
Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice

Imagine a woman who names her own god
A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness
Who designs personal spirituality to inform her daily life

Imagine a woman in love with her own body
A woman who believes that her body is enough, just as it is
Who celebrates her body's rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource

Imagine a woman who honors the body of the goddess in her changing body
A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom
Who refuses to use her precious life energy disguising the changes in her body and her life

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life
A woman who sits in circles of women
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets
Imagine ME as this woman

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vanity Blog #4: I Hope For A New Dawn

For my own part: I have never had a thought which I could not set down in words, with even more distinctness than that which I conceived it. There is however a class of fancies of exquisite delicacy which are not thoughts and to which is yet, I have found, aboslutely impossible to adapt to language.

These fancies arise in the soul--alas, how rarely--only at epics of most intense tranquility, when body and mental health are in perfection. And at those near points of time, where the confines ofwakingworld land with the world of dreams. And so I captured this fancy, where all that we see or seen is but a dream within a dream....

Edgar Allen Poe

A shot of caffeine starts my every day and breath rushes to my lungs in a fervent desire to poison my every waking gulp of life giving air. The assumption that I want to live is an age old one, and people wonder why I favor to gulp down smoke instead of the clean air of this quarantine. This is a place I know far too well and have never visited for reasons of my own. I am here for another's pain and another's tribulations. Why must I feel it all?

The shot goes straight to my heart and jump starts it from the peaceful tranquility of sleep. Another day, another coffee, for that is what has replaced blood in my veins. My fingers shake as I've had no food and only espresso, a gift from a face behind the counter that knows my name, but not that the drug he hands me will keep me going for another hour.

I had a shot this morning when I awoke. It was enough to wake my brain enough to think. Not many do that anymore. I voted too. I had to think before I could do that. So much hangs on this choice that voting without a mind is unthinkable (pun intended). And because I voted, I get another free shot. The shot that reminds me how much is riding on this. A reward for something that should be done anyway. I think about how much this choice means and what it can do for this world.

Another shot and I see you face and I fall in love all over again. The simple beauty of a smile reminds me how little I need to think about you, and how okay that is. The words to describe those thoughts do not come because they are not thoughts at all, they are feelings. I may not be good enough, but if i can make you happy I am all that I want to be. Remember that when the world ends.

An IV straight to my blood adds some more energy to the mix and I cannot see for the world moves too slow. Speak quickly so that I might be slow enough to understand. If I have one more shot the world will end and it will all be over. I have made my voice heard, a thing all people should do. I have stood for those things I believe and know to be right, and I hope that will be enough. I have loved beauty, and I can call that good. This world will not end with a bang, for it started that way. Things should never end the way they began, it is not the way. Eliot has told me so, "This is the way the world ends: not with a bang but a whimper." And so with a whimper I cast my voice out into the world. All of our whimpers together might join to make a torrent of noise louder than the bang this world began with. Let us hope a new day shall dawn.