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Everybody I work with is in a tizzy because Rick Hansen is coming to speak at the hospital where I work. It is supposed to be a talk about how Physiotherapy "keeps man in motion"--translate that as another chance for Rick Hansen to tell his courageous story. Note all of the audience are able-bodied people who love nothing more than to hear an inspiring story about how a disabled person (a Ken doll in a wheelchair) fought against all odds to become as "normal", or as much like them as he could."He's so inspiring",they all parroted.
So why did I refuse to go to Rick Hansen's inspiring talk? I found it very difficult to verbalize at first. When other members of the Physiotherapy Department asked me incredulously why I didn't go, I just ended up saying that I had heard him talk before.
It has something to do with his focus on finding some miracle cure in the distant future that will hopefully allow people to walk and be "normal" again. Future,as opposed to using his considerable power to lobby government to work on making the lives of people with disabilities better here and now.
I am now in a non-inspired phase. I just went through a stage where so many good things were happening, I almost couldn't keep up: I felt very sure of who I was and what I was doing. What happened in the time in between? Is it the phases of the moon, the way the light shines into my bedroom when I wake up in the morning, or the fact that a crazy woman walking her dog down the street called me a "fat bitch" because my very well-trained dog was walking down the street without a leash?
I am so glad to be back on 100 words. I took a month off in December 2008, which ended up lasting a year and a half. I was terrified at the time to take it off because I was worried that I would not start again in January. Obviously my worries were justified. But I am back again. It really feels good to commit to the discipline of it again. It's only 100 words, but at least if I do no other writing in the day, at least I can still say that I write 100 words each day.
I can't believe that for a few days I was thinking that June 4th was my Dad's birthday. I'm glad I didn't say anything to anybody in my family, as this would confirm to them that I am as loopy as they always thought I was. My Dad passed away 7 years ago (can it really be so?), and his birthday is April 4th. How can a person forget that? I am actually really worrying about myself. Perhaps I am showing the signs of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Or maybe, like my mother, I will find myself succumbing to Parkinson's.
It was my mother's birthday yesterday, and of course I was unable to talk to her. She lives a long way away, and the whole telephone conversation thing is not really feasible. Whereas six months or so ago, there was still the possibility of hanging onto threads of the conversation, now it is just too hard for her to try and piece together the meanings of so many words and concepts. She also can't understand why she is talking to you, but she can't see where you are. She keeps looking around her room to see where I am hiding.
I keep on saying it, hoping that somehow I will break out of this funk through sheer boredom of repetition. I am so uninspired. Things that used to make me want to write are just not doing it for me at present. I feel that I am just not good enough right now, and I can't stand just writing and just being mediocre or worse. So instead I sit here mute, not even wanting to try to string a few words together to see what comes of them. Afraid to start for fear of what mess may be the outcome.
I am not good at receiving gifts. I never have been. It used to be I could hardly even bring myself to say "Thank You". The words felt so awkward coming out of my mouth. We were not a very "huggy" family, and expressions of love were uncomfortable, so we would usually just make a joke about them. I am trying to learn not to do that with other people, and to genuinely express gratitude.
A person I work with gave me the most thoughtful gift today. I said "Thank you", but all I could think was "why?".
I hate those times when you get stressed and you start to lose yourself, and behave in ways that you don't like.
I have been changing so much lately, learning to stand up for myself and not take anymore crap from anyone. Not being obnoxious, just being more mindful, more aware and objective about what is going on around me. But when I get stressed, I lose all that perspective that I spent years working to gain, and I start acting like a child again. I run around trying to get others to help me figure out what's going on.
I am trying to forget all the craziness that has been going on, so that I can focus on what I am writing. It's hard because my mind gets pulled in so many different directions, I lose touch with that spark in me that wants to write. Then I lose the drive, because the spark is gone, and once the drive is gone, that is it! I'm disconnected from that which feels like the best thing in the world to me. And things become colourless and mundane again, and I have a hard time being interested in anything at all.
I read my horoscope in one of the free papers before I started work, and it changed the tone of my entire day. How silly, I thought. It's only 2 lines long, and to think that every Taurus in the world could be experiencing the same thing on the same day is ludicrous. However,it was not one of those kinds of horoscopes, it was more like an inspirational message. The idea was to approach any difficult situation that day with optimism, and this could lead to a positive outcome. At the end of the day, I realized it had.
Just finished watching "Marty": what a great film. It is indeed a classic. I never would have imagined Ernst Borgnine in that sort of role, but he was incredible. I guess everybody thought he was because he won an Academy Award against the likes of Spencer Tracey, James Dean and James Cagney. Wow. I just remember him from a few bad TV movies, and from McHale's Navy. It's funny, apparently he never really wanted to be an actor, but his mother suggested it might be a good profession for someone with such a "forceful" personality.Looks like she was right.
I have become utterly boring. I was writing in my journal this morning, mourning the departure of my imagination. When I first started writing I was about 11, I think. My imagination was so ripe and so close at hand. I had no fear of it, nor condemnation. Now I struggle so hard to even connect to it at all. My thoughts seem so mundane, yet I feel stirrings somewhere deep inside me that lead me to believe that there is still hope. But how to access that place? I wish there were some sort of magic spell or mantra.
I am listening to an audiobook of Carlos Castenada's "A Separate Reality". It is more interesting than I thought it would be.
I realized that I am familiar with this man's work, but didn't know anything about him, so I decided to look him up on Wikipedia. Wow. A totally different story than I expected. I knew nothing about the whole business about people proving that he made up all this stuff about Don Juan. And that he had a cult following of woman who all lived with him and cut their hair short and dyed it blonde.
I am trying a new tactic to hopefully blast some new life into my writing. I'm trying out a writing soundtrack so to speak. It is something I've heard that many other writers do when they are writing: in fact many have stated they can't write without music playing in the background. I've started with "The Animals" tonight. "Club a go go" is playing right now. Normally, I can't stand any distraction when I write. No talking, no T.V., nothing. I want silence. But recently certain music seems to open a door to a previously unknown and unexamined world.
I don't know if this experiment with a musical accompaniment is working. For me, music has never been a "background" thing. When I listen to music, I am completely absorbed. I cannot just hum along to it like many people who listen to the radio for hours on end. I need to know the lyrics, so I will listen very closely for the "story". But I also have to focus on the music otherwise it becomes just an irritating noise. It holds great emotional power and I don't think most music is written to be a backdrop for something else.
So "The Animals" didn't work out too well. I'm not sure why. A little too "in your face" I think. A little too demanding. I tried to listen to "Green Day", a few different songs: the ones that get my heart racing like "Minority", "Basket Case" and "Warning". But again, I like to LISTEN to them and they demand my attention. I think I need to be a little bit more like Haruki Murakami and listen to jazz or a good dose of classical. But jazz just annoys me, and classical either holds my breath hostage or leaves me heartbroken.
I am getting behind again. Time seems to be slipping by so quickly right now. I am confused about it being June, that half the year has passed and I don't know where it went.
I met with my writing group yesterday. I was feeling very bad as I have not written anything that I deemed worth showing them, and was also thinking of canceling, but I'm glad I did go. It just feels so good to get together and talk to other writers and to hear first hand that they have the same struggles as I do.
I have never had writer friends, not since I first started writing when I was 12 or so. My brother is a writer, but I could never talk to him because I would never have been taken seriously. It was always understood that he was the writer in the family,and I was just playing around. I would never have been considered intellectual enough for us to discuss anything to do with writing. Even when we were old enough that we should have been able to converse like adults about it, I still was plagued by inferiority and misplaced admiration.
I can't believe I was the instigator that brought my writing group together. It happened at a Geist magazine workshop on self-editing. Actually, the three of us had been at two workshops in one week-end, and we ended up sitting together at the Sunday workshop. We just got along immediately. We all had a similar sense of humour and sensibility, I think. The fellow, who is a very talented visual artist, has a laugh that is free and unabashed, and the other woman tells great stories with a sardonic twist and a deadpan delivery. We work well together.
I think I'm cracking up. I just spent 25 valuable minutes of my life looking at pictures and mindless chatting on the Facebook page of one of my "friends". How meaningless that term has become! Webster definition of "friend"- one attached to another by affection or esteem. I barely even know this person. As a matter of fact, everything I know about this person, I know from Facebook. Where she is at any given time, the nickname she has given her boyfriend, how much she loves her boyfriend. It's all a bit creepy. And yet I still need to look.
Considering Webster's meaning of the word friend, is it really humanly possible for someone to have 707 friends? This is one of my many problems with Facebook. Is this a competition? Should we not maybe call them something else? Like perhaps aquaintances? The Websters's definition of aquaintance being "to make familiar" seems a little closer to the truth of the relationship that a person would have with 707 people. I have a friend who has that many Facebook "friends". Granted he is a very friendly guy, but he is adding a new friend almost everyday. Who makes friends that fast?
Perhaps I am just jealous because I only have 27 friends. To tell you the truth, that is way more than I thought I would have. And, of course, most of them are not actually people I would call friends. My 'real' friends wouldn't be caught dead on Facebook.
So what is it all about? I can't really figure it out. All this obsession with "connecting" with people, as many as you can, never mind who they are.So that you can share pictures from your trip to the Grand Canyon. I guess I am just anti-social.
I was so tired when I wrote my 100 words last night that I was actually falling asleep between sentences. One sentence I wrote started out O.K., and then I must have drifted off in the middle, woke up, and the rest of the sentence read like I had been writing from some alternate world. I don't know why I am so tired lately. I get home from work these last few weeks and I just feel like I want to fall into bed. I don't even care that it is beautiful outside. All day I think of sleeping.
I just read the obituary of Tobias Wong in the New York Times. I was so sad to hear of his death. Sad and then shocked to hear that they are judging it a suicide. All morning I have been thinking about it, as I am always interested in what makes people really go through with suicide. Then I read a related article about his life, and apparently he has something called para-insomnia where he can appear awake and even perform complex tasks, but he is sleepwalking. So this is what they think happened: he died in his sleep.
But this is where it gets complicated. Apparently Tobias Wong had been observed behaving very strangely a number of times in the past few months. People were really starting to wonder about him. But his friends and family insisted that he had no drug or alcohol problems, and that he was not depressed. After many tests he was found to have this rare sleeping disorder. His family, friends and partner had worried for a long time that he might hurt himself or someone else while in this state. He had also worried himself. His death was ruled suicide by hanging.
I am intrigued by sleep and have been blessed with the ability to sleep wherever and whenever I want to. Working in a hospital I have discovered how many people do not sleep, or are so anxious about sleeping, or not, that they must use a varied collection of drugs in order to first sleep properly, and then be able to wake up enough to function. And then there are those like Tobias Wong who must live in fear of sleep because it brings on, not regular nightmares, but waking nightmares where you are lost somewhere between waking and sleeping.
Sliggity bop bop boo
There are no words from me to you
Hellfindings and cadmiums
Premium trajectory flawlines
Frauleins, small woman with big mouths
Trying to find the sliggity sloo
Over to you, and under the dread
Remorseful only by the dead side
Upside, upside down
I think I read abut this as an exercise in one of my books about "How to write". Using gibberish and making up new words in order to get out of my boring head: my inflexible bony head. Weird, my ‘c’ is sticking which accounts for all sorts of strange conundrums, and crease farts.
I used to come up with all sorts of shit. Now I am so predictable. I can see the words on the page before I write them. Where’s the genius? Where’s the surprise? Where’s the screet pan? Where’s the flour man? Where’s the blibbidy blam, sram scam, Notre Dame, holy sham?
I thought this was a stupid exercise, but it is so freeing. I am sick of fighting the inflexible parts of me to be set free. Now I see how much freedom and meaning there is in gibberish and Jabberwocky-such a great word.
The nonsense words just started as an alternative.
So much bloody banging I think my “c" has
become unstuck allowing a flood of next stops
to rise up my totang, flooding the bistoffs
with carnalage. This is something new and bruisy,
swang as a tinkeroff in a baljang.
No words, no meaning,
but any meaning that has the euphony
that makes you sing
I never want to stop this wallygig,
because I feel like I will never run out,
I will be understood
underneath the floorboards,
in the other room,
on the other side of the rainbow.
The Tip Jar