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After having the tiger by the tail for a few weeks, the situation is reversed. I feel the control slipping away at work. Moving toward new moon, chaos will increase for the next two weeks, I'm sure. Chaos not just at work, but around the world, if today's headlines are any indication. I may worry about work but real emotion is engaged elsewhere. I run the gamut from absolute faith and devotion to darkest depths of fear and back again. Like the sudden stop and start of a taxi in New York City traffic, the process is making me carsick.
I wake bolt upright, knowing there will be a barrage of bytes accumulated overnight. I check in before work -abnormal- and find nearly a dozen. I know at work when it is time to check in for the latest update, to the minute. This should make me at least a bit uneasy; how, why, do I know these things? It is remarkably consistent over days. Yet I feel as though for every few steps forward, there is at least one step back. I want to run forward, skip the first phase - this has been building for nearly twenty years.
The wheel of fate turns and at times I am ground beneath it. Times like today I know better than to tempt fate yet the day kept getting worse and worse. What did I do?
The great plan is revealed as the day ends. An attempt to jettison the day's debris turns into something else altogether, my reward for enduring. It is simple communication, I tell myself. Hour upon hour, all through the night. Not chat or IM, which would make more sense, but email, maintaining and creating threads, juggling topics, timestamps and tunes. And it becomes a virtual conflagration.
I see his city today. It recalls my city, the one I used to live in, used to love. Kindred cities, removed from each other only by a few years. Watching the news on the couch together, how incredibly simple is that? The Yankees, the tourists from the heartland taking pictures, riding the subways, a dinner of falafel in the village, the midtown skyline from across the East River. Simple. That is what seems to keep echoing. So simple to be with him. I'm more who I used to be, more the me I always dreamed I'd get to be.
Events finally catch up with me and I am only marking time at work today, so tired I can barely function. A long day is made longer by an after-hours installation. Not surprisingly I am all but unable to think of anything but the last 36 hours. To divine the true meaning of certain questions, to replay certain moments in an endless loop, trying to find a logical answer to the question of our familiarity. I have my own answer, but it is mystical in the extreme. I don't think it will suit him, then remember his hippy, mystical tendencies.
No sleep and an excess of tension from work and my own internal questions that have come to light over the last few days. The truth in its unvarnished, undisguised and sometimes in its unrecognized reality, comes readily when normal protective walls have been battered by sleep deprivation. I need to examine these new truths, surprising as they are, and the ease with which they were shared with another, even him; especially him. Certain truths, acknowledged internally for some time, remained undiscovered, although if he were to honestly examine the conversational threads and my reactions, he would know it all.
I finally yielded to his exhortations and dug out the flute. Many years has it sat in the blue velvet darkness, waiting for me. I simply stared at it for a while. Then put it together with extra care, ran my fingers through a simple scale pattern and listened to the clack and damping of keys and pads. Then I played. An hour was all I could manage, my mouth aching and wrists sore, but my fingers in decent shape. It was an interesting reunion - there were moments I almost could believe I might again enjoy performing.
Where would you like to be, he asked, speaking of things other than geography and work. A question JMS never conceived of in his universe. I can't answer that in words. I've seen brilliant flashes of what it looks like in this "where" I want to be. It doesn't seem a choice between obvious opposite extremes (city vs. country, family vs. career), but that somehow I have both, there's a balance ever in motion, but ever present. The man in the image was never defined yet I instinctively know certain truths about him that must be for this to happen.
I continue to ponder his question. It isn't a question of belonging where, to what group, or to what clique, but of not not-belonging everywhere. Like one of those diagrams of overlapping circles, in the center section, where they all meet, inevitably the most intense color. That is where I want to be: at the core of it all, but not entirely of it all. Not to be limited or defined by a single aspect, but to share in them all.
Robert said I'd reinvent marriage if I ever found a man wise enough and foolish enough to marry me.
Fear and guilt - generally useless words, but words I've been cautioned to heed right now. As that goes against every thought at the moment, it does give me pause. Fear and guilt about what exactly?
I continue to surround myself with his question, where do I want to belong? I find myself caught between what I want and what I believe possible or likely and selecting the latter. Why can I easily accept the challenge of realizing the seemingly impossible desires for my career, but not for me, for my personal life? Why do I limit myself at every opportunity?
On the eve of a new moon everything seems blackest, in chaos, in smoldering ruins. But that is rarely how things actually are, however. To act as if the blackness and chaos is real will certainly bring it about. To carry on as though all is right, exactly how it should be, the way you last really saw it in daylight, is an act of faith. I remembered that only late in the evening. Well on my way to being twisted and tormented by the illusion of those smoldering ruins. Seeing the beauty then was an indication of my belief.
The subway car was dark and empty, lit only by ambient light from the station. Several of us entered anyway and sat in extraordinary peace and quiet. As the train began to move into the East River tunnel we were encased in blackness relieved only by the light spilling in at either end from the adjacent cars. Then the regularly spaced lights on the tunnel walls began to flicker by, creating an interplay of moving shadow and light on the faces of the other passengers as if we were all gathered around a campfire. A magical ride on the MTA.
I wander through the nursery and stare at the plants, unable to determine what I want, except for the Dragon Lady Holly. Small at the moment, it will grow tall but not wide, perfect for dividing outdoor spaces. Its razor sharp leaves will keep the neighbors away and the name just sounds like me right now. That's when I realize I don't want to be around people today. On a sunny weekend afternoon, I want to retreat to the privacy and peace of my house, to be alone. I don't understand the why of it, but yield to the need.
I gave the lawnmower a tuneup today without having to read the directions. It is a simple thing, yes, but for those of us who are not mechanically inclined (be it from lack of skill or opportunity ) it represents a not insignificant victory.
I work in the garden, removing the winter's dead debris, revealing a host of new shoots, so pale green, I reconnect literally with the earth. It is time to plant. My plans run wild with dreams of a hedge of roses, lots of lavender, clematis and wisteria, moonflowers and morning glories. What a contrast to yesterday.
Heat, approaching unbearable. Modern city skyscrapers require functional air conditioning for them to be at all tolerable in warm weather, let alone a record heat wave in April. If a building has functional opening windows, they are in no way sufficient, given the volume of floorspace to cool. Heat, melting your brain. Difficulty thinking staring blankly at the computer screen. Another trip to the water cooler to clear your mind and cool your mouth. Reduced to taking care of trivial tasks, I plow through several phone calls, a meeting with a vendor and hope that tomorrow will somehow be better.
Open windows in the bedroom tonight create a diversion that I don't need when trying to finally fall asleep: sound. Noise, more appropriately. One forgets during winter how loud the outside world is, even at night. Tired as I am after an extremely long and hot day at work, I am unable to adjust to the sounds. The clock shows the steady march of time and I know that recovery for tomorrow becomes ever more unlikely.
I push the day from my mind and listen to another rhythm. Slowly, I finally find the place that will help me fall asleep.
There are leaves on the trees - not buds, leaves. The flowering ornamental trees are already dropping their large silky pastel petals, carpeting the green lawns. Spring has been trumped by summer for a few days and everything green has rushed headlong toward the end goal. Tulips that were not even buds with discernable color on the weekend have now caught up with the daffodils, riotous in full bloom. Daylilies and iris push skyward while peonies begin to form buds. Roses are covered with tender new leaves, flushed with red tips and annual shoots of larkspur and poppy begin to appear.
Gazing at the tulips in full bloom in my garden, the office begins to receed. Palest yellow, delicate pink, ruffled soft candy pink and shades of purple. For the most part colors that look gently, peacefully beautiful against the spring green growth. I look at the tiny woodland violets, the only other flower blooming and I finally feel a moment's peace. The twilight sky shows the five planets clustered in the same slice of sky, lit by the crescent moon. I keep saying things will slow down, after we get past the current project. It hasn't happened. Four years now.
Patience is something few people have anymore. Between the instant gratification possibilities that various technological advances have made possible and the constantly increasing pace of life, everyone expects everything to happen NOW, on demand, in an instant, the facts of the physical universe, rules of physics, thermals and other sciences be damned! I go into the weekend with a bad feeling about the state of things at the office, but all I can do now is monitor and see what develops. It has been a long week; playing with the geeks at I-CON will be an entertaining change of pace.
I had my face painted by a very talented artist from the City after trying to describe the mask I bought at Dragon*Con: a dragonfly and a woodland fairy meet the Mardi Gras in Venice. So there I was, tendrils of purple and green paint wreathing my eyes, curling down my cheeks while dots of peacock blue, copper and pale green glitter added sparkle to the design. I'm used to people looking at my coloring, but at least this time, they actually had a reason to stop and look. And hey, what's a Con without exotic people to gawk at??
Saw my favorite clip of "Picnic" today, the crowning of the new Queen of Neewollah, gliding down river after twilight in her swan boat. People line riverbanks lit by gaily colored Chinese lanterns, tossing large squares of confetti as the Queen passes under the bridge. A magical moment, a ritual now forgotten in modern America. And the dance between Kim Novak and William Holden! Even now, after J.Lo and Madonna, the cool, smoky instrumental music, the swishy silk dress completely covering yet revealing Kim as she moves with Holden, but not even touching except for their fingertips - its electrifying.
If you truly know what you want, certain attributes are requirements and some attributes are on the wish list. If you truly know what you want, it is often harder to find something that satisfies you, because those requirements are more specific, less generic. Finding an appropriate selection, something that meets the basic needs and still pleases you, can be very difficult, even if you take steps to ensure a wide choice. But I was raised to wait for the truly right item of quality at a higher price, rather than squander smaller amounts on something that is merely acceptable.
She paused for a moment, startled at the least out of her 'meet the public' smooth manners. "You're all grown up," she said with wonder. She meets alumni all the time, all around the country, seeing the adult version of the college student must be a frequent experience, why did I startle her? Recent graduates are still fresh in one's memory, and often are just better dressed. Older graduates are often materially altered, and the original memory more deeply buried. After nearly 20 years, I do appear much the same and my coloring probably makes the memory easier to locate.
"Beyond these things" How apt. I spent the day listening to Procol Harum. Conquistador still packs a powerful wallop, the orchestration almost beyond brilliant, and the precision punctuation of drummer Barrie Wilson superb. I still yearn for the version of Salty Dog with the Edmonton Symphony so I will have to find a copy of that recording. Hadn't previously realized that Robin Trower got started with Procol Harum. Playful and cerebral, intense and internal, says the commentary on the liner notes, talking about the band. Suitable words for the Wizard as well ... his favorite song is the band's classic tune.
For me, tired at a certain point often resembles being under the influence. The truth spills out, cannot be contained. Normal restraint and caution are abandoned. Inhibitions fall away and I ask directly, however teasingly, something I've not managed to ask anyone else. I've not been able to formulate the question, however indirectly, but have remained quiet, frozen in fear. Why am I only able to ask him ? eighteen years ago and today? Of course, I do expect his answer will be different this time around. I want to ask in real time, but that opportunity seems to elude me.
Working in the garden with the color and scents of iris and lilac, I felt I belonged. Not to the neighborhood or community but to the house. Sat on the porch steps tonight at dusk and watched the five planets wink into sight, six if you count Aldebaran. For a moment, looking at the Victorian houses across the street, the sky getting darker behind them, it seemed I was part of another time. Then a car would barrel down the street and the was illusion lost. The longer I sat there the harder I considered the question the Wizard represents.
Goodbye was rather easy this time. Perhaps because it wasn't my entire life that is changing with this parting. This time I'm staying put and someone else is moving on. Actually, that's been the pattern the last ten years; I stay, they leave. My vagabond days are over it seems. I should share that thought with the Wizard who was right when he said I'm not an eternal vagabond. I do like to travel, but I like coming back to home, not an apartment, but a real home. It would be even better to have someone to come home to.
Listened to the rain fall on the roof as I settled into bed while ambient space music from Hears of Space played on the radio. The occasional white flash of lightning punctuated the darkness of shades and curtains. Such a peaceful possibility, drifting off to sleep with nature?s lullaby of rain. Why is the sound of rain so soothing? Is there some deep memory, buried in the collective unconscious? From a time when there was no point in hunting when it rained, so everyone stayed snug in the shelter and caught up on sleep? Seems too obvious to me.
After spending all day telling myself I cannot push things, that I need patience and forbearance, I blew it all away tonight. Got caught in the web of words already written and wound up replaying the entire History, searching for clues, meanings. I confirm that it is all there for him to see if he would choose to look at it, and that I have not misremembered his statements. I cannot stop myself from sending another invitation, this one not at all veiled or softened by teasing this time, even if not revealing all my intent.
Ex adyto cordis
Pulled the plug on the outside world as I settled in to celebrate Beltane, midpoint between spring equinox and summer solstice. The modern, solitary celebration is of a necessity a far cry from the traditions of the ancient community rituals. The rain outside would defeat a bonfire even if I attempted one, but candlelight suffices. Flowers, a fine dinner, enjoying may wine and great tunes, these are the things one can do alone. I contemplated the events of the past month, the changes that have been set in motion, the questions that have been posed. I have no ready answers.
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