Sunday, September 24, 2017

we can't laugh anymore

i am genuinely worried about the state of the world. not only is it filled with the spray-tanned satan's distractions (see the weekend's nfl bullshit), it's also filled with his name-calling threats at north korea, which has another madman at the helm and possesses nuclear weapons. at least the russian noose seems seems to be tightening, which is probably why he's pandering to his racist, white supremacist base so loudly on twitter. do not pay attention to the man behind the curtain...the great and powerful oz has spoken...

but i fear that all of the noise he has put in the air has rendered us all unable to talk or listen or have a dialogue and worst of all, unable to laugh or joke. about anything and everything. we have become strident and righteous and holier-than-thou where our own beliefs (opinions?) are concerned. and even amongst friends, we can no longer laugh or express an opinion that's might not be in alignment with what that friend currently believes.

not that long ago, at a party, i exploded at someone who trotted out that tired line about what a terrible candidate hillary clinton was, so i am as guilty as anyone else. and seriously, has there ever been a person more genuinely prepared to be president? (don't get me started). but genuinely, it's a trend that worries me.

here's an example:

forgetting these righteous times that we are in, i accidentally got involved in a strident exchange on a friend's facebook page about the words idiot, moron and imbecile. she posted that we shouldn't be using these words anymore, we should do better. and she feels this acutely since her beautiful daughter has the extra chromosome of down's syndrome.

in the early part of the last century and probably on through the 1950s, these words were psychological diagnoses for people of an IQ below 50 (and in some cases below 25), and people with down's syndrome fell into this category. i appreciate that. however, they are no longer used in this way in psychology and have entered mainstream speech, on par with stupid and dumb (dumb surely also had a diagnosis attached at one point).

thinking that if we don't laugh about the spray-tanned satan, we must curl up in fetal position and cry uncontrollably (an option i've also tried), i attempted to joke on my friend's post against the use of such words, asking if we couldn't still apply them to him since it was a kind of diagnosis. this is a friend who i have known for nearly a decade and who i know to have a wonderful sense of humor and who knows, in her heart of hearts, that i would never purposefully be mean to her or her child. but it seems that her humor is gone in these days of righteous indignation and so she and her possé of like-minded folks, jumped all over me for my insensitivity and accused me of insulting her child. i was sincerely not insulting her child, i was insulting trump. you see, those words are no longer used as terms of diagnosis, and haven't been during my lifetime, and they have taken on (or perhaps returned to) meanings that pretty accurately apply to the current president. 

the fact is, words often change meaning over time...

Idiot Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English < Latin idiōta< Greek idiṓtēs private person, layman, person lacking skill or expertise, equivalent to idiō-(lengthened variant of idio- idio-, perhaps by analogy with stratiōtēs professional soldier, derivative of stratiá army) + -tēs agent noun suffix

even mark twain used idiot in the sense i meant it: "Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - [Mark Twain, c.1882] so perhaps the psychological designation assigned to the word was the aberration.

maybe we need to return to a place where we can talk to one another, joke about things that are serious, not look for offense where none is meant, and thereby cope with these times in a way that helps us all. is that too much to ask?

* * *

these architectural depictions of mental illnesses are poetic and beautiful.

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when in macedonia...
aka, there's an app for that.

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have you listened to alone: a love story?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

the view from sunday night

i doodled this with a feather and payne's grey ink while watching goldfinger with my family. we're making our way through all of the james bond films, from the very beginning. i'm struck by that sean connery wasn't actually that cute when he was younger and he's kind of a terrible actor. the fight scenes are the worst and there are hilarious low budget moments in the film. it doesn't hold up well and yet it's still somehow iconic. i was happy that i was drawing during it tho', i think it might have been wasted time if i hadn't been.

* * *

it was a good weekend - spent mostly in the company of kittens, who are at peak playful. i opened a photo exhibition (more about that below). the afternoon was sunny on saturday, so i mowed the lawn, which makes me surprisingly happy. i only stopped when it started to rain and would have liked to have kept mowing. we have a big lawn and to do all of it takes over an hour, but i'm always a little bit sad when it's done. i made homemade sweet & sour chicken for saturday dinner, which is easier than i thought it would be, even making the sauce from scratch. we had homemade black currant ice cream with hot fudge sauce for dessert. i saw not one, but two tiny baby hedgehogs in the garden. i picked blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and pears in the garden and made them into a beautiful crostata (just another name for a rustic, lazy person's pie). i did all of the laundry, which gives me satisfaction as well, less than the lawn mowing, but satisfying nonetheless. i picked elderberries and made juice. they're small and tho' i picked a kettleful, it only made one bottle, so i'll have to go in search of more, because just one bottle won't do. there's nothing better than a warm elderberry beverage on a winter day.

* * *

i hung some of my photos as an exhibition in our gallery space at our local library. i was a bit disappointed in the quality of the prints i ordered online (photobox, i'm looking at you), but now i know not to order there. it is still nice to see them printed, framed and hung all together - in this digital world, we don't do this enough. i thought i was choosing photos on the theme of "in the wild," with a focus on nature, but they all seem to be rather still and quiet and not wild at all. it's interesting, actually. it must be something i instinctively sought - moments of peaceful stillness.

* * *

i'm really sick of the punditry dissing hillary for writing a book about her experience as the first woman presidential candidate of a major party. of course she should write a book and of course she should analyze what happened and what went wrong. she has every right to do so. she may not have sufficient distance to come to the ultimate conclusion (i don't know yet, as my copy hasn't arrived), but she has every right to write it. she lived it and it must have hurt like a motherfucker to lose to that buffoon. so shut the fuck up already and let her have her say. i can't help but think that if she were a man, there wouldn't be the same snide comments about the book.

* * *

the venerated TLS published a cover story by a nicholas gibbs, who claimed to have deciphered the voinych manuscript. the atlantic (and others) say, not so much. and this guy claims, on twitter, that nicholas gibbs doesn't even exist, and the whole thing is a pale fire-style stunt. whatever it is, that infernal manuscript continues to fascinate.

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they say that postmodernism is dead. but aren't we still living it? what were we thinking, questioning reality and whether anything could be real? what a mess that's gotten us into now, with a post-truth spray-tanned president spewing his daily lies on twitter. could it get any more postmodern than that?

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what happened to leftovers?

Friday, September 15, 2017

sorrow and bile

i just looked at a list of my facebook friends who have liked the spray-tanned satan's facebook page and i am feeling an odd mixture of sorrow and bile. several names were not a surprise, but a number of them were. one feels like a direct provocation towards me, but i have to remember that not everything is about me. however, it may be yet another sign that i need to do a purge on that particular account. there are a couple more on that list that can definitely go as well. some of those that were expected, i fear i have to keep (tho' they were long-ago unfollowed) because they

i had a very interesting session today at work with an mbti consultant. and i think that my reaction this evening to that list of cheeto-loving friends, is part of the processing of my session today. it was part therapy and part coaching and it was very good, energizing and positive. i think it came at the right moment for me - at a moment when i am feeling strong enough to take it, but fragile enough to need it. good timing. and undoubtedly good for me.

i gained insight into my own feelings since the election of that clown - because they have been unexpected, surprising and even bewildering in their intensity - even as i live inside them. i haven't solved it for myself, not by any means, but i learned something about them and how to go about understanding and working through them. and that's a start.

but first, a bit of unfriending...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

energy leech

i spent the day in the company of an energy leech. you know the type. hyper, never stops talking, never stops offering unsolicited and unwanted opinions, never stops awkward attempts at what's supposed to be flattery, but widely misses the mark. your heart sinks from the moment you realize she's there, wondering why? why? why? and once again being utterly convinced that god must not exist, because if s/he did, s/he would never let this happen. like a black hole, sucking all of the good vibes, energy and positivity out of the room. perhaps that's not fair, because she is weirdly positive, aside from the snide remarks about how you're not taking the right norwegian fish oil and you probably should be (since it's apparently what's making her withstand chemo without feeling a thing (never mind that it probably gave her the cancer in the first place (but i digress. (oops, was that out loud?)))). and in the end, you can no longer see whether that grading is giving things a yellow or green or blue or purple tinge, because she has stolen every last bit of your energy. and did i mention that she never stops talking? and you miss yoga class because the edit runs two hours and fifteen minutes past the scheduled time (did i mention the incessant talking?) and so you stumble onto the street and rush to h&m to get new tights and pony tail holders and stop by sephora to check out rihanna's fenty line of highlighters to console yourself. and you get a golden milk (almond milk + turmeric) to fortify (in lieu of that carcinogenic fish oil), which turns out to be your dinner (by choice). and you wonder if you're too old for such things and if you can bill someone for time you'll never have back.

Monday, September 11, 2017

of hurricane fatigue and the spray-tanned satan

i've battled for months (how long has that spray-tanned satan been president?) with jaw problems from clenching my teeth in my sleep. i find it difficult to let go of the stress the man causes me with his one outrageous, unpresidential, moronic tweet after another. but recently, i've noticed a kind of numbness coming over me. i still can't stand to hear his voice, but i fear i'm becoming immune to the ignoramus, and along with him, my sense of outrage or even empathy is fading. i've noticed it most in connection with these hurricanes. even tho' i know a couple of people who were in the path of both - one who was close to her due date with her first child (he came and they are both totally ok), i have had a hard time mustering caring about it. i've exuded more than few sighs as i open my nytimes app or listen to the daily, and it's all harvey and irma all the time. isn't there any other news? and i fear that it's because the cheeto has rendered me immune. because what can possibly be worse than him? but it's so dangerous to let him render us numb and uncaring. because then we are truly lost. i've got to do something to get back my empathy and caring. but what if it takes a hurricane of our own?

Monday, September 04, 2017

back to the mat

i returned to the yoga mat this evening after too long an absence. one thing or another got in the way all summer long and i am reluctant to admit that i hadn’t been at all in over two months. i have been noticing the twinges of the nerve damage brought on by my back problems returning to my left leg of late, so i knew i had to get back into the studio. i chose a restorative class to ease my out-of-shape muscles back into it. the instructor was a lovely little wisp of a thing in a black leotard and big cozy hand-knitted sweater. in her soothing voice, she told us that we would need at least four blankets and two bolsters. i always feel a bit greedy taking three blankets for these for the mat, one as a pillow and one to cover up with at the end during savasana…so four felt a bit decadent. by the end, we had actually all used six, which felt like the height of luxury. they are heavy, cream-colored cotton blankets that can be folded into all sorts of supports and which provide the perfect weight to ground you during savasana.

under the guidance of the instructor’s melodic, calm voice, for an hour and a half, i reconnected with my body, mentally investigating all of the tensions and twinges and sore spots. i melted into the mat, synesthetic colors – rich, mahogany brown with flecks of light blue and then pink and magenta swirled before my closed eyes. i felt a kind of hum of alignment with the earth’s energy, radiating into me from the solid floor beneath my mat. it felt rich and energizing and right. the nerves in my left leg protested at times, but they were also grateful for the attention and the time i gave them after so many weeks of neglect.

i live in my head so much of the time and so often take my body for granted. and i suppose that i will again, but it felt good to choose to be in my body and with my body for a concentrated hour and a half. i think i’ll go do it again tomorrow night.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

eyes wide open :: you can't fix someone else

my throwback impulse is passive aggressive. someone who i thought was a friend, a very good friend, in fact, recently proved not to be so. for reasons apparently beyond my comprehension. when she began ghosting me, i went through all of the stages - worry - was she ok? did something happen to her? was she ill? taken by pirates? kidnapped by drug lords? i even texted another of her friends to ask if they had heard from her. then there was guilt - i spent quite a lot of time feeling vaguely guilty that i had done something that i wasn't aware of, but i sincerely couldn't think of what it might be. we parted on a good note - with a very fun, laughter-filled photoshoot. that couldn't be it. but eventually i realized, it really truly wasn't about me. it was her. i finally received a cryptic and disingenuous email that only bewildered me more. and then it dawned on me, that akin to a breakup, i just needed to get the few things i'd left at her place, and get the hell out. and when i stopped by, she was super weird, claiming to be on her deathbed ill, offering a lame excuse that sounded like a tired lie and then posting instagram pictures of a dinner with another mutual friend the next day. (damn you social media.) and while i still don't understand it, i have arrived at the place where i no longer want to. whatever her flaky, vague, dishonest motivations are, they actually have nothing to do with me. they are hers alone. and i hereby release both her and myself. and it's like a weight has lifted from my shoulders. you can't fix other people. and you can never be inside of who they are. and frankly, you probably don't even want to be.