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I watched a rainbow shimmer over a tiny wisp of a cloud this morning. Watched as the train tracks turned slightly and the blues and green became more intense. As the train turned back the other way, that end of the spectrum faded as the red lit up like a stoplight. Five minutes later the train rounded a sharp bend, moving the cloud out of my line of vision, taking the rainbow with it. The sky was a deep blue this morning and I contemplated it for a few more minutes before settling into the business of another work day.
No company work this weekend. That is my official decree after again sleeping 12 hours on a Friday night with no partying involved! I don't feel refreshed after sleeping so long, merely groggy, limp and somewhat aggravated that I've lost more time. To then spend more time this week working for the company is unthinkable. I've realized that I require some reasonable down time every weekend in order to actually think, to find the creative solution, to connect the dots during the week. Thinking about other things (and maybe actually doing other things?!) is not a luxury but a necessity.
Where is all the traffic? I asked myself as I drove into the city unimpeded by the usual stalled traffic or accidents. I don't think we ever slowed below 40 mph, and that only to navigate the transition onto northbound GCP. As the return trip was similarly void of any disruptions, I made truly excellent time. And in my remote neck of the woods, there was a light, misty fog that enveloped everything, not just up at the treetops, but from sky to ground, a cloud wall. It increased the illusion that I was the only one on the road.
Chaos reigned as a subway line in the city was severed early during the morning rush and remained out all day. Rerouted through Penn that morning, I thought of the tens of thousands who go that route on a regular basis. I couldn't do it, simply could not; someone would certainly die. I can handle fast-moving aggravation once I'm at work but not on the way to work. Changing at Jamaica for the third time in as many days' commutes proved that a solid 90 minute ride is faster than a divided commute can ever be.
Another day overwhelmed by sickness all around, not just me. On days like this I wonder idly what malevolent force is at work. It seems too organized to be chance or mere happenstance; there must be a reason. Human nature, even educated and enlightened in the 21st Century, wants an author to which to ascribe ill intent, be it god, demon, witch or madman. If it is someone else's doing, we are absolved of all responsibility. Some people choose to play victim in this scenario; some choose to search for the source in the hope they can change the tide.
I don't believe I'm jaded. Cynical at times, definitely yes, but not jaded. I finally succumbed to the entreaties, "oh, you must see it!" and I watched Moulin Rouge. I happily hit the STOP button several times when the phone rang. I kept thinking it had to get better. It didn't. It was little more than one really long music video, and there didn't happen to be a single coherent song in the whole production, just quoted snippets here and there. I guess its de rigeur in the age of things like diagnoses of attention span deficit disorders and Pop-Up Videos.
Some people watch the news when they get home. That's too disheartening for me, especially after a long day. Watching a show that had no resemblance to daily life has worked best for me; Babylon 5 was my staple escape for years. But Sci-Fi took Bab5 off the lineup in December and I had to find a new option. I confess to watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer weekday evenings. And to my surprise and slight mortification, I've become engrossed - some of the episodes are surprisingly good, exploring things like the definition of human, what is the nature of love.
It is home away from home. The staff hasn't changed in three years. They know my preferences well enough to order for me on most days. I can work through dinner or take refuge in a book or simply enjoy dinner theater by people watching and some discreet eavesdropping. They fuss over me when I'm sick, have no compunction telling me I look tired, ask about my parents and sometimes just give me dessert,
. They treat my occasional dinner companion with the same warmth. I love this place, even if the new digs aren't as cozy as the original.
I?ve been to countless places like it ? a wee bit of the ould sod catering to exiles, émigrés, and upwardly mobile generations born here. Nice enough but packed for late Saturday afternoon, mostly small groups with the occasional couple. Places at the bar staked out like turf claimed in the land rush. After several pints, most of the patrons would get home on one of the nearby suburban commuter lines. The older gents all favored me with a grand smile, my celtic coloring giving me instant acceptance in the crowd. I hate to admit it, but I'll likely be back.
Bread, the staff of life, the stuff of life. Finally, my attempts produce a worthy result. I almost feel ready to start to experiment, to see if I could get an artisan loaf going. I managed two loaves with a golden, crispy crust with a tender inside, free form hearth bread, no pan required. That first moment when the bread is sliced, the delicate fragrance that wafts upwards on the steam that is released, it seems to be a moment one everyone appreciates more than just as a moment of good food. It is a universal truth of some sort.
Allowed myself a complete indulgence turned necessity, a massage. Didn't realize when I scheduled it that today is the six month memorial of WTC. That's how I think of it, not 9/11. I saw the Pentagon with my own eyes just weeks after the events, but it was the events here that have stuck with me the most, an attack on a civilian target, the leveling of the NYC skyline, the unbearable human toll. It was everywhere in the media again today, on everyone's lips. By noon, I was holding so much tension I was a stiff block of pain.
A conversation of sorts with the Wizard is in progress. It seems we've finally moved past the formalities, the initial awkwardness, on to something of substance. Or perhaps those stumbling blocks were all in my head. Bit by bit, the passionate, driven man is reappearing; the man who once proclaimed, "Bach Beethoven und Kant" has a new focus, but is still there. I've missed him, as illogical as that would seem as we never spent all that much time together. But whatever time I spent with him was always intense, the moments burned into my memory like acid into metal.
A lap full of kitties is very good therapy after a hard day. As they curl up into each other, they become a living blanket to keep you warm. They also keep you still, allowing you to rejuvenate, mentally and physically for a couple dozen minutes. Soft fur within arm's reach provides a gentle distraction if you simply must do something. My furballs seem to know when I need this kind of therapy. They don't often settle in together on my lap although they readily share an empty chair or basket, even one that's really too small for the both.
I'd almost forgotten what it feels like to make it through the day and not be crispy, burned toast. To be able to walk in the house and not collapse. To be able to make some progress on a project of my own, however small. The temptation to run with it, to engage in a flurry activity is strong. The fact that tomorrow is yet another day at work suggests caution is wiser. And so the evening passes in a series of small things, tidying loose ends, seeing what has fallen through the cracks in the last month or two.
Small victories ? if you can get enough of them, it can be better than one large victory. Today had several small victories, and added to those accumulated over the last month, they almost constitute real, significant progress at work, noticeably better than anything achieved by my predecessors. Is it small of me to feel so proud of this achievement? Or is it justified, having seen five different supposedly qualified people fail in this job over the last four years? Especially when for all of them, the job was significantly narrower in scope, a smaller theater of operations and less responsibility.
I walked into the small greenhouse attached to the main showroom of my favorite flower house and was immediately assaulted by the colors and sweet smell of spring: daffies, tulips, dutch hyacinth, muscari, primroses, in all stages of blossom and bud, from white, scarlet, deep violet and blue, yellow, peach, candy-striped pink, pale lavender. Circuiting the room I drank it in on this warm but still grey, winter day. Only a few weeks ahead of mother nature, this small display was more powerful than the large masses of showier blooms in the main room. It smelled of spring, of hope.
Fionnbhar is a tulip fiend! He has shred the petals and decapitated the stems of the pale peach buds I brought home yesterday, yet he has completely ignored the purple tulips five feet away. Perhaps as penance for his crimes against flowers, he was incredibly snuggly today, in my lap more often than not, and, of course, always asked to be invited first, either by a fly-by run or by rubbing his head against the chair arm, chirping sweetly.
Sent another missive to the Wizard this evening. What am I doing here?! I'm but a moth drawn to the flame.
Grey, grey, grey day. Sleet in the morning and rain all day, and distinctly chilly. I hope it wasn?t cold enough to kill the daffodils that are on the verge of blooming, nor the tulips or poppies that are growing upward. Having a variety of blooming plants indoors through the winter, I don't feel quite so desperate for the outside flowers. Or perhaps it was the lack of snow - it hardly seemed a proper winter, only one day of snowflakes.
It was a difficult winter for entirely different reasons. I am waiting for the thaw to begin, spring and otherwise.
The more time I spend around the senior executives the more I determine that they are really all little boys. Having spent more time around boys than girls until I was ten, I am more familiar with little boy behavior than that of a little girl. I wonder if the very few female executives at this company (that would be two senior, with only three others total) revert to little girls when the men aren't around? I'm never with them, only with the men. And does it signify that the male execs don't seem put off by my (female) presence?
Another grey, very rainy day. Walking to where the East River meets the harbour in the rain, without an umbrella, the big, fat drops quickly leave me a sodden mess. Perfect to rub shoulders with the big boys of NYC InfoSec.
It is the first time I've been downtown since WTC. There are the usual metal barricades to keep people away and several roads are closed ? they are so narrow here that a police truck parked in the road is sufficient. Major buildings have a police officer standing in the shelter of the loggia.
It is a very grey day.
Met an old boyfriend for dinner, our annual reunion. He is much the same (10 minutes late) as he always was. We spoke of our jobs in technology, my house and cats, his artistic career, the usual gamut. I realized that here is someone 13 years my senior whom I would not identify as too old for me. I have made that assessment several times regarding others recently. I knew it wasn't the age, but the mind-set that is the issue. Someone who believes his career is in the sunset years is not for me. Whatever that career may be.
Synergy ? or the Universe talking to me. The first time the Universe says something, it is often extremely cryptic, can be impossible to discern just what is being meant, as it often is more of a sign or portent, open to interpretation. But the second time the Universe talks to me, the message is generally much clearer, especially if I am able to reference it back to the first attempt. The Universe whispered a name in my ear a few weeks ago, but I missed it. The Universe spoke to me again today and this time I recognized the name.
A day of acquisitions, of functional beauty. Things don't bring meaning to life and there is no status to be gained by the acquisition. I do, however, take some simple pleasure in objects that marry beauty and function. William Morris had it right: have nothing in your house which you do not find to be either beautiful or functional. Function and beauty combined in an object make it True, my echo of Plato's Ideal. When someone is really True, true to themselves, they are beautiful. And the Truest person I know...he is beautiful in every sense and I desire him.
Strange brew...listening to JC Superstar scream in Garrison, the sun shining brightly as we fly along the empty roads in and out of the city, but there are odd moments. Odd as in very peculiar, hair standing on end, strange kind of odd. Hours later, still unsettled, I sit at the computer for hours this evening, trying to anchor myself with the Sunday evening rituals, the habits and routines that seemingly circumscribe my life. I exorcise the accumulated demons of the day in a long rant to the only person I think might truly understand and hope for the best.
Managed to catch the 4:30 train home with a chai latte in my hand when I got on board. Somehow getting home 15 minutes earlier makes a difference, especially now that it is still light out. A real dose of caffeine in the late afternoon means I'm not dragging myself up the front steps, either. But is it a real difference, or something in my head? The earlier train is an express, which always make the trip seem faster. Even in darkest winter, to be home at 6 meant there were several whole hours of the evening left for myself.
A few words can change your entire life, change entire contexts, plans, paths and histories. They can give hope or take it away entirely.
Three brief emails, sent in quick succession. That is his pattern, a disruptive one, yes, but not in an unacceptable sense of the word. He brings chaos to me, he always has, in ways well beyond the small stuff of sweaty palms or shallow breathing. This is chaos on a grand scale, night turned into day, the upheaval of one's well-ordered life.
His words are a simple truth, laid bare between us for the first time.
Still reeling from last evening's jousting tournament with the truth. It was eerie when one fell into the other when our truths met head on, a perfect match, perfect mesh. I will not let him regret it nor take it back, not one glorious word of it. It would undoubtedly be easier to sweep it under the table, but it is out there now, it will suit neither of us to simply ignore it. I don't know what can come of it, but I am beyond grateful just for the proof that I was not imagining things all these years.
Another story from a friend in the inner circle meant to encourage, about another pair such as we two. I don't know whether to fall on my knees and give thanks, or weep. But it is the third couple offered to me as an example. I am fortunate, having friends who care this much.
The full moon cannot take away these doubts. I go to sleep bathed in her cold white light, an uneasy mix of hope and despair. It is Ostara, with all its associations of spring time and fertility. My guide tells me I must give completely, unconditionally.
He rushes headlong. I try to force the perspective, keep things slightly rational, it isn't even noon, but he insists on tempting the tiger until it breaks loose of all restraint. Whereupon the day becomes an unreal dream, one that as I'm dreaming, I hope I never wake from. He sets aside for an evening that which separates us. Unbelievable similarities are revealed, more in number and deeper in significance than ever hinted at before. We create our own little world wherever we go, waiting to hear Frank. He is everything I remember, and more. Please, let this never end.
I walk through Greenpoint and am delighted at the Polish shops, the church scrubbed and freshly painted for the holiday weekend, the warm sunlight on my face is as glorious and unexpected as yesterday was. I arrive at Penn just in time to catch a train home, nothing wasted there. I should be exhausted but am only replete. It is a slow day, completely slow, yet it passes too quickly to suit me.
Later, he appears to be trying to retreat, gain some distance, perhaps to fathom it. Yet I won't let him walk away from it. Not this time.
I search the net for his favorite song, A Whiter Shade of Pale. One of my favorites as well, truth be told, although the live version of Conquistador with the Edmunton Symphony perhaps edged it out for many years. I don't have a copy of the song, so I had to make do with my internal playback. Ran across a most interesting explication of the lyrics online. I feel compelled to hear the real recording now, convinced that the song is a key to some unknown lock. Or perhaps I'm just looking for another abstract connection, not that it's needed.
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