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Beltane, the last of the three pagan spring fertility festivals, and I'm alone. It is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, and delight, but its difficult to do that justice when you are a party of one. I try not to be bummed about it, but I am: I wanted to be the May Queen and bless the fields in the old way in a proper celebration, it would be the first time I actually fully celebrate a pagan holiday in the traditional manner. I make Beltane cookies instead, and drink goblets of May wine while watching the Kentucky Derby.
I don't think of myself as a gambler, but the truth is, I have several gambles in play right now. I take a conservative, waiting position; it has served me well in the past. It is almost Zen: when the time is right, there are no doubts, the action flows naturally. Thinking about other things, it would seem I always take up this waiting position; I did the same thing in paintball, preferring to hang back, guard the gate, waiting for others to approach rather than actively seeking out a target. Time to change that attitude a bit, I think.
He called this my secret diary. I don't consider it a diary, and it certainly isn't secret: everyone online can read it, even if very few people know who I am in the physical world. His comment highlights an interesting quandary that I've found myself in sometimes, more as of late than before: what if my meditations on the most remarkable thing that happens all day (which is what I want this to be) is so intensely personal I am not comfortable revealing it to even those few who know me? Obfuscation, vagueness and metaphor only can do so much.
It seems impossible that Helene has been in England for more than two years now. About a month from now she and John will be celebrating their second anniversary. Two years ago West and I bought out Helene's garage sale, we had our last dinner in Woodside...can it be? Two years? While part of me immediately (and somewhat desperately) denies the possibility, there has been so much that has come since then, what with my disc and nerve problem, the surgery and the very long recovery. Two years? It is time to find a way to visit her in England.
Sometimes I really have to question why I care so much, why I work so hard. Apparently, I have not yet learned the art of discerning which external deadlines are real and which are arbitrary, as once again I have burned some of the increasingly precious midnight oil for what now appears to be no reason. Do I care more about the final outcome? Do I take more pride in my work? Am I just more considerate of others? All three would seem to be true, but I am unwilling to accept that as the final verdict.
After a long, hard day, it was so pleasant, so relaxing to sit outside on the back porch and enjoy a steak dinner fresh from the grill. It was a perfect start of a long weekend, a mini-vacation for me. Within minutes of settling into the chair on the back deck, everything else was a million miles away, the world outside the Gatehouse walls and fences faded away into oblivion. So much of my time with him is like that, we somehow create a little cocoon for ourselves, even when we are out and about in the world at large.
A day of indulgences completely dissolved whatever tension I may have held. It would seem I have quite improved my abilities when it comes to relaxing. I've been following the lead of a master. I've also learned the knack of getting in and out of a hammock. Honestly. I was quite surprised that my back finds it quite comfortable, once I am settled. Now, to find insulated glasses with built-in straws. This could quite ruin me for the reality of a productive, working weekend, the likes of which I've lived the last few years. And amazingly, I don't really care.
Seacliff. Even after the quaint seaside villages of Sayville, Bellport, Cold Spring Harbor and Port Jefferson, I never would have imagined that something like this existed on the Island, let alone in Nassau County. I understand what draws Geoffrey here and I can easily see living in an area like this, the lovely painted ladies perched on the hills, like the San Francisco Victorian houses. The geographic position of it on the Island also means that there isn't a lot of through-traffic in the area, as there's nowhere to go beyond it. Perhaps Nassau can be quiet enough for me.
Traveling from the Island to Rye, the traffic gods continue to favor us on the last day of my mini vacation. I can't believe this is the kind of weekend that Geoffrey has every week. I think the entire balance of life is off with a five day work week and a measly two days for weekend, especially since things seem to have changed course in the last fifty years: we now work harder and longer during the week. I can't imagine trying to cope with raising a family with two parents who work the typical five day work week.
I am losing it, completely. That is the only way to explain that I forgot my car keys at the Gatehouse this morning. I have been duplicating much of what I need on a daily basis at his place; it is the only way to ensure that I don't leave it behind at the Crimson Tower. Although the long weekend was fantastic (it still amazes me how easy it is to be with him for long periods of time), the shuttling back and forth these long distances does have inherent problems, causing my attention and focus to be scattered, unfocused.
I learned the very hard way today that sugar substitutes can do very evil things. I am sick and miserable, not able to do anything, not even knit. I'm the kind of person who will move furniture when home sick with the flu. I'm not able to simply sleep through it either. No videos here, can't focus to read a book, there is nothing for it but to watch hour after hour of bad television. I hate days like this. If I have to be completely sick, can't I at least have a bit of decent entertainment out of it??
I feel like I'm taking crash course in these regulations, just like studying Ancient Chinese bronzes and architecture at the IFA all over again. I heed the advice that I've been too focused on protecting against loss, that I should instead focus on aggressively going after success and what I want. It seems a dangerous route, but if I don't risk anything, there will never be any major success, just more of the same medocrity. Joseph Chilton Pearce: "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." Won't himself just love that I'm referencing THAT quote?!
I am making some progress in letting go at the office. I do my work and spend the rest of my time and energy on alternative career opportunities instead of getting myself worked up about the office situation. Well, for the most part I do. Although I am doing a fair amount of research, I have not applied for many positions. I have a clear idea of what I want and it seems unwise to waste time and energy on other things. The real truth is that I'm holding out for the consulting partnership gig, which is almost fully ripe.
During a dinner at Trio, I contemplate my fractured existence. Aside from Geoffrey, I am still terribly isolated. There is no female friend who is part of my personal daily life, Helene is just too remote and Spilman has vacated the playing field. I'm not a terribly social creature, but I do need someone other than the cats to talk to on a regular basis. In some ways, the changing role at work is increasing the isolation factor as I no longer am fully part of any team. I don't see any way out of this situation any time soon.
Planting flowers is an excellent time to dream, to imagine, not just about the garden I am building, but all sorts of things about your life, the plans, the dreams, however unarticulated they may be. It is like knitting in that way, but harder on the knees. And other body parts. I seem to have more luck with finishing the knitting projects than the gardening. Perhaps because they are smaller and more portable, I can work on them more steadily, rather than so sporadically. The garden demands much larger chunks of time at once. And it gives proportionally more pain.
The Countess of Rad has another birthday; that means Spilman's birthday isn't far away. I don't know what to do about that situation. If I only knew for sure she was well, I wouldn't be happy but I'd accept her choice to move on and move past our friendship. In some ways it seems impossible that would really be her choice, but people do change. Or maybe I did something that upset her, I don't know. It has now been well over a year since she last contacted me. I will be there if she decides to reach out now.
The days in the office for which I will spend the evening in Rye seem to be less difficult than the days when I will go home alone. Perhaps the anticipation tempers my entire outlook and I am able to not care so much about the things that are going on at the office, so I don't get so bent out of shape. Or perhaps the happiness just completely blots out whatever nastiness arises during the day. In the end, it all just boils down to this essential fact: work is no longer the most important thing in my life.
I'm doing an absolutely rotten job at writing my daily dose of 100 words this month. My morning "writing on the train" routine has completely dissolved, as I no longer will work on the laptop during the commute because of the damage it does to my back. I cannot seem to find an alternate habit to replace it and the catch as catch can of stealing a few minutes here and there is completely insufficient. And so much for my resolve for capturing, recording or reflecting on the ‘significant inner moment' rather than the inane recitation of the day's events.
I laugh at the question if I can wait to receive my "vindication, recognition, and reward." That seems to be my native mode, my special talent. However, in light of my recent thoughts that I should be a bit more active, if not aggressive, in certain areas, I guess this is the universe talking to me again. I have used the analogy of opportunities ripening, and that is exactly what is coming through the channel right now: being patient a bit longer will get me a riper and more useful outcome. I will bide my time and watch the omens.
As iris begin to unfold in the back yard, I really begin to feel that spring has arrived, not that it's coming, but that it is HERE. The wickedly intense grape Nehi scent of the pale lavender iris is incredible, wafting out meters to greet you, wrap you in an olifactory embrace. Other iris have their own distinctive scents; the darker, more midnight-colored blooms have a musky tinge to them. The iris blossoms are the start of the countdown for my favorite flowers: I am on edge for the peony buds to erupt in their huge yet delicately ruffled blossoms.
Politics have become overwhelming, inescapable, and disheartening. Abu Ghraib and the prisoner abuse scandal are a sad disappointment in so many ways, including the absolute resultant feeding frenzy by the media, like so many piranha in a pool. Our Shrub doesn't seems to understand federal laws about labeling government-produced news segments. Did he believe no one would notice or comment on this "covert propaganda" in an election year? And then there are those who are denigrate Kerry for considering a creative option intended to maximize his ability to spend money to win the election. The goal is what matters, folks.
The butterflies were everywhere. You literally had to watch where you walked. They fluttered and swooped, dancing in the air. Any bad feelings dissolved immediately. I was not the only one filled with wonder at the sight; Geoffrey melted at the edges, especially when one butterfly attached itself to his shirt. I was not so lucky, no butterflies came to visit me, but they did not mind my getting very up close and personal with them as I took note of their antennae, the curving tube that is their mouth, the marvelous variation in color, shape and size of wings.
I am definitely getting better at relaxing. Of course, with himself, Blackadder III to watch, a hammock in which to lay in the dappled sun and shade, and an assortment of real estate brochures, it is easy to divert one's mind away from the thought of being productive. I'm also getting better at the guilt factor. Yes, a weekend spent having fun often generates in me a certain amount of guilt about things that aren't getting done. Most of the time now, it only bothers me when the ToDo list doesn't get any smaller over a period of several weeks.
Wasting time at lunch, using the ‘Net to fuel my daydreaming, I found the perfect house. Designed for a family, the spacious Victorian blends perfectly the best features of the Gatehouse and Crimson Tower. Situated on 1.5 acres near the Hudson, it has a carriage house and flagstone patio. Many excellent photos give me a virtual tour of key rooms, the hardwood floors, the many fireplaces and decks (including one off the master bedroom). I find myself coveting this house, desperately wanting to see it, walk through it. And it is closer to the city than where I live now.
Working out in the YMCA pool tonight, I dream of my own pool. Not too large, but large enough to actually swim, deep enough for the work with bells that so helps my back. And this dream pool must be inside so that I am not put off by inclement weather.
Dreams are wonderful things. Filling in the details of a dream is fun, and it gives you a better clarity on what the dream really is. It also can help define what you will need to do actually realize your dreams, which is even better than the dream itself.
Farewell Richard Biggs, aka Dr. Stephen Franklin from Babylon 5. I quite enjoyed meeting you at Dragon*Con 2001. You had so much energy, and were in real life rather the opposite of the serious Dr. Franklin.
I find myself missing the TV Dinner Hour, my daily dose of great science fiction episodes while I prepared and ate dinner. The Simpsons, while quite entertaining at times, does not feed my soul. Babylon 5 and Farscape fed my soul. And as the passing of Richard Biggs shows, life is just too damn short to not do what it is you really want.
Unrealized realities shimmer before me, tempting me to the next step and yet also giving me the sustenance to continue the current daily grind until such time as I am able to completely take the next step. I try not to get too excited about the possibilities, to take a cautiously optimistic stance, but I feel like the focal point of all this dreaming is becoming shorter and shorter, that something big, or several big things, are about to explode and that it will all be good. Waiting for the right moment to arrive is getting to be difficult indeed.
Somewhere during a pause in the heavy rain activity, I realize that it is Memorial Day weekend and summer starts this weekend, unofficially. Time is indeed passing faster each and every year – it was March the last time I looked up. How does this happen? Where did the time go? Is this some warped evidence offered by the gods as proof of Einstein's theory of relativity? Or is this the by-product of wishing your life away, as in, "I wish it was Friday" on a regular basis? Can I get it back somehow, perhaps by repeatedly wishing it was yesterday?
I don't view looking at real estate ads or scouring the web listings as torment. I view it as long-range education, learning what is out there, what the options are, what he finds acceptable. It is about getting to a level of awareness about the environment that starts to function outside the consciousness, it becomes native detail. I have always done this kind of long-range learning, especially at work: just because we don't have it or plan to install it doesn't mean there's no reason not to learn about it. This habit has helped me get where I am today.
Finally, out on the water in the boat, the boat, the BOAT! Doused with some spray after a particularly rough bounce, I am surprised by how salty the water from the Sound tastes. The Great South Bay wasn't like this. We stop for a while off the shore at Playland and as I watch the other boats move across the water, I am caught off guard by the realization that I cannot hear them. The sound of their motor vanishes, even though normally sound carries better across water. The only sound is of the water lapping at the boat's edge.
The green morning smell of spring is intoxicating today, the unofficial start of summer. Iris, gladioli, peony and who knows what else are in bloom and the combined scent is delightful. I sit outside on the porch for a while, enjoying the holiday at home, with coffee and breakfast in the early morning quiet, just the birds keeping me company, there is no traffic at all. The only thing missing is himself. I just left Rye two hours ago and I'm already missing him. Is it pathetic or endearing? I can't tell anymore, and it really doesn't make a difference.
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