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Infinite possibilities = where does one start? And when you've exhausted everything in one direction, how do you turn yourself around and start in a new direction? Or do you just lean off strongly in one direction, changing the center of balance and hope that over time your course will change enough to bring entirely different possibilities?
I am not sure if I've truly managed to change my course yet, but I have a better understanding of what direction I want to go, what possibilities I want. When the possibilities that present themselves are changed, I'll know I've changed course.
You can pay now or you can pay later, but you always pay. I am paying today for staying up past my bedtime last night. So I do what it seems by now an established pattern on weekends when I have no energy: I while away the afternoon in the ultra-quaint neighboring village. It takes no strength to drift aimlessly in the small shops, rest a while and drink chai, read a novel. No plans, no thought. Yet I can't escape the fact that I am alone for the day again. It seems that alone is finally turning into lonely.
The kitchen is my favorite room of a house, conceptually at least. Anyone who loves to cook, who believes as I do that cooking is a ritualistic offering to those you're cooking for, probably agrees with that first statement. My next career will likely be running a B & B or something along those lines. The transient guests, house and grounds to decorate, crisp linens, afternoon tea, warm breakfast. It is all just an idea, the seed of a dream. For now I content myself with toting small bags of baked goods to the office and making dinner for friends.
The smallest things can change one's perspective on an entire day. A new fact revealed, hearing a writer's actual speaking voice for the first time, a long-awaited package finally arrived after a rotten day, a casual compliment received or given.
I may be swept away by the stronger currents of work, but with winter all around me it is rarely the most memorable thing about a given day. It lends itself to deeper thoughts. Instead, to change metaphors, work could be seen as the grain of sand that irritates the oyster, eventually creating a pearl. What will my pearl be?
The Wizard has elected to vanish. I don't know if I'll let him; with our modern conveniences, a Quest becomes a simple undertaking, even for a lone Seeker although our modern lifestyle makes it more difficult to dedicate time to the journey, be it across hill and dale of Middle Earth or node to node of cyberspace.
There will be no ring in this Quest - perhaps an elf (seen in a certain Gotham light) and many rivers and bridges and surreal landscapes, and Witches (both good and bad), but no boon companions, not even a pair of ruby slippers.
I dreamt it was a dark night, except for the full moon and its reflection in the sky. It was not a double moon planet, it was Earth, it was the Island, but somehow the moon carried with it across the sea of night its own reflection, for companionship or protection, I cannot say.
An odd, metallic sound that made no sense woke me, then I remembered in wonder the double moons. Perhaps I fell asleep thinking about them, as I dreamed of them again - one warm and luminous, the other just as full but a bit faded and worn.
Half a lifetime ago it was Fifth Week, Winter Quarter: Monte Carlo Night. The 1920's black velvet dress and rakish feathered hat from Souk Sampler, captured in the photo on the adult me, seen for the first time on celluloid. It was the beginning of the most intense five months of my life. Hanging with Sailor, Andy, Hasselwander saying I was strange, no good end would come of me; Jim Cameron, Eric Martin, Jim Pfeiffer, Fourth floor Trowbridge; listening to Bowie in the alcove while working on theater designs; late nights of rum and vodka; poetry class with Lord Byron …
...guitar riffs from Yes; the shoe box single, setting precedent; my nightly jaunt around the Quad, moving quickly, no coat even in snow; grandfather's crisp white cotton shirts, oversize on me but considered scandalous by some; the house on Douglas; and the party to which I never quite understood why the three of you dragged me along. Three maladjusted but musical senior guys, with a maladjusted but musical freshman female. I always wondered who first suggested it out loud. I doubt it was you; it was probably Sailor. Four of a perfect pair.
And most of all I remember you.
You spoke to me of Germany. I could almost see it, could hear it reflected in your voice. I didn't understand you were saying goodbye, perhaps you didn't even know it yourself.
I cannot remember your face, it has been nine years since I last saw you. I do remember the small details, the blue of your eyes, the strong line of your jaw contradicted by your dimples.
I am right back where I started, in the middle of winter, desperate to know more about you, unable to carry on a conversation as we each retreat into our uncertain confusion.
Midwinter madness has been a constant factor in my life, as long as I can remember. Growing up, it was called cabin fever, but beginning in high school, that was not the most accurate terminology. February was filled with more fevered activity, with musical competitions and school play rehearsals. In college the insomnia began. I would sing and dance about the Quad with the Walkman, in my shirtsleeves, heedless of the cold.
I never really understood what it was all about until this year: Imbolc, midwinter, the return of the sun. The days are finally recognizably getting longer.
There are small indications that the city is in danger, backsliding in small increments, returning to where it was when I arrived 15 years ago. I don't walk through the city every weekend anymore, but I have noticed the harbingers of this change in the subway, on the trains and in the passageways. The homeless have returned. I don't remember the last time I saw - or smelled - a homeless person on the train. Panhandlers were never completely banished, though less visible in the last few years. I fear Mayor Mike will have no idea how to treat the situation.
I feel like a hamster caught in the wheel - spinning my wheel but going nowhere. I want to move past these obsessions even if all I do is trade them in for new obsessions. I can't seem to stop torturing myself with thoughts of what is and what will never be. Reread my review of Crimson show, thought of sending it to the Wizard, but if I've not managed to provoke a response yet, it would be pointless. And it would make it obvious I'm trying to provoke him, which leaves me no dignity with which to exit the stage.
The Wizard resumed contact today. The contents of his communiqué are well beyond my wildest expectations and I find that I have no idea how to proceed now. Logic and emotion are engaged in a battle royale that is rapidly turning into stalemate. Nine years ago the same thing happened, leaving me frozen in place at every turn, apparently unresponsive.
I can't help but think about how that turned out and believe it was a huge mistake. Any action would be better than inaction. Chaos as served me well this last year, perhaps I should just let it roll forward.
I now know why Ersin seemed so familiar - the first guy I was involved with in college could have been his brother. I don't think of him often, and then it's to wonder about the exact nature of his death, more than ten years ago now.
Inspired by the Wizard, I looked at my freshman college yearbook tonight. With photos of all the major players, people who shaped that year for me, it was Valentine enough. In truth, they shaped much more than that year, they helped to set me free on a path that has distanced me from Society.
Another week over, and a long weekend which will probably not be long enough. It was an easy day, relatively speaking, yet I am exhausted when I finally get in the house. A soak in the tub, scented with lavender, a few pages of a historical romance (my secret vice revealed for all the world) and then into bed. It has become a predictable routine. In the absence of any social whirl to distract me from the stress at work, it is the only way I know to ensure I'll be in working order the next day, to pamper myself.
What to do, what to do? I would like to run away for a long weekend, go somewhere, be somewhere else but where? To do what? To be alone? To sleep eleven hours every night? To be pampered by someone else, to have someone else cook and clean and deal with laundry for a few days, that sounds quite nice right now. To sit in the garden with a book of no significance but great interest, or lively conversation with interesting people while having tea and crumpets in the afternoon, to be followed by something stronger as the sun sets.
Thought a social outing would be good for me, after realizing a deeper truth about my isolation. But of course, the original plan is altered, and the social group becomes strictly limited. It is still a celebration, however, and I know how much I have at times wanted to have someone with which to share the evening.
It unexpectedly becomes an evening of truths. I am always surprised when others are surprised by my realities. Have they never seen
? Have I really learned to mask myself that well in trying to fit into the non-academic world I now occupy?
Unreasonable. That is what my eager anticipation is, and I know it. Yet I cannot help but check my email again and again and again through the day.
You know that sending a letter will take days to get a return response. With fat pipes almost commonplace, email can approach real time communication, creating an illusion that an immediate response is the norm. I linger in the process of writing personal email of substance - it is a ritual and therefore has a certain unhurried pace. The words must flow of their own will. Why should it be different for him?
State of grace. What a wonderful phrase, though I don't take the Christian interpretation. There are random moments, some that may stretch for hours or days, that are filled with light, laughter, an incredible buoyancy. I was expecting to find an evening of that last month, but it was not to be. I had hopes that it would help me get through the transition of the transformation - allow me to drift in between the worlds for a short while in a state of grace. I likewise had hopes that Sunday evening's soiree would provide moments of being filled with grace.
A lost day. Off balance, out of kilter, out of sorts, just plain sick. Overwhelmed by the independent decision of my body, I retreated to the bed. Animals know when you're hurting and both cats stayed right next to me, even curling up under the covers. No prodding me, no cat wars on the bed, just the freely offered comfort of soft fur and quiet, throaty purring.
Unable to contemplate doing anything, I ignored the world, including the computer and TV, briefly turning to a book for diversion and solace during the short period I was able to stay awake.
Music has always been the most efficacious balm for me. Listening to King Crimson on the train home, even while working, has pulled me out of the fire more than once. Some days, hearing Deception of the Thrush was the single finest moment. I stream PRI's Echoes via the net at home and on particularly dire days, at the office as well. Being keeper of the keys to the kingdom does occasionally have its advantages.
Music is more than a drug; sometimes addicted to certain albums or artists, I simply need music as much as I need air to breathe.
Spoke to a former boyfriend today, the only one with whom I've remained friends. I'd forgotten how much I love his voice. Hearing it for the first time in over a year, it brought a rush of memories to the front of my brain, things forgotten, buried by newer stratum of the recent past. What is it about hearing a certain sound, a voice, or the smell of something from childhood, that can trigger such an intense memory reaction? Trying to remember by running through the chain-link fence of related memories, the same recollections seem pale and faded, imprecise recordings.
Listened to the Crim while I painted today. The Double Trio formation, live. Those must have been incredible shows. As always, Crimson music is striking in its agelessness. It is probably heresy, but I've decided Thrak is the Beatle's period album from Crimson. One or two songs are very John Lennon, and there's one that strikes me as pure Harrison, while many of the vocals sound to me like it's Paul, not Adrian (no sign of Ringo). And yet, it remains Pure Crimson: "no matter how I take it apart, no matter how I break it down, it remains consistent."
My hands suddenly stopped on the keyboard. The sentence had left my fingers before my mind had a chance to comprehend it, yet it was true. Not just something left unsaid, but something I'd never spared a thought about before. How can that be? The thought not fully articulated is transmitted to my fingers which in turn tap out the letters that appear on the screen, forming the completed idea? Perhaps it is the same rapport some musicians have with their instrument: a melody plays in their head and with no conscious thought the sound is echoed by the instrument.
It is light enough now in the morning that I awake suddenly, convinced I've significantly overslept. Adjusting to this changed reality seems doubtful, but I've done just that for the past three years.
Fifteen years ago it was somehow exciting got leave work when it was dark outside. The glitter of the city was enticing. Now I feel cheated if it isn't light out when I leave the building. Is it a natural part of getting older, or because the city has lost its exotic appeal or a result of the long commute which so clearly divides night and day?
Heavy mists swirl up from the ground this morning in those areas close to bodies of water. Why is it called a land mass, but it is body of water? (Why ask these questions when James Burke isn't here to provide me a Connection?) There is an almost full moon hidden by the greyness of the damp air. In the evening, as it rises above the elevated horizon line of buildings and trees so low in the sky, the moon seems so warm and near, an approachable deity, yet as it reaches its zenith, it turns cold and distant.
Blankness is what strikes me as I sit to remember today. Nothing of interest of or note. Except for the full moon which is always of personal interest and note. It does seem particularly close this month, at the apogee of its circuit. Even in the middle of the night my bedroom was flooded with the incandescent white of moonlight, separate and distinct from the muted orange glow from the nearby streetlights. And in the morning low in the western sky is a bleached and faded moon, a ghost, yet still luminous against the brilliant blue of the cloudless sky
Discovering how to take something apart, to study all the individual pieces and be able to put it together again. I like to do that with everything: from cooking to computers, music and films, and always, with people I find interesting. What do they think, how do they think? What are their beliefs and dreams? And the contradictions and the flaws, often the most interesting bits.
At work I try to find ways to put whatever it is back together better, by making it work better, faster, cheaper, or at least with fewer moving parts, sometimes figuratively speaking, sometimes literally.
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