Monday, January 30, 2012

My dearest, how are you? Was that you hitting on that Rothko Black & Gray overnight? That's a powerful image, and it made me feel that - if it was from you - that you were signaling that you aren't happy. But there it is. We're stuck, reaching out as best we can. I think of you too, darling, very much. I hope you are well & happy, or if you're not so much, or as much as you could be, that thoughts of me help, as thoughts of you are a great comfort to me.

I had an okay day, not great, mostly because of a feeling that my head was going to explode with all these different strands of thought competing, concatenating, and conflicting with one another. I felt in a state of palpable anxiety, disquiet, and discomfort much of the day. I did get in a walk, though, and a workout, and a mindblowing session -- wow, maybe I should take a couple of days off more often. I am often capable of what I think of as "monsters," so big that at the moment they arrive they overtake me. It was even more powerful than usual - after all that volunteering - the end involuntary.

I have all these strong, conflicting feelings, that collide with situations I find myself in. At church yesterday I sat in a back pew. I heartily sang alto to the hymns (most of the women in the congregation assume a thin warbly soprano). I listened to the readings, and read along. On one level I completely accept the message, and on another I don't so much resist, as find it in utter conflict and of not terribly much use in life as I experience it. I was thinking very much, for example, about an article I'd read that very morning, about someone who is very familiar to me by sight (as I must be to him), and yet with whom I'm not acquainted... anyway, he's just gone through a very major personal journey & transformation, that involved discovering & coming to terms with deeply buried aspects of himself -- but their uncovering had, to put it more clinically than I really intend, "collateral consequences," leading to the dissolution of his very long, committed marriage. I think it's a tragic story in many respects, but also I relate to it (as I very inarticulately flailed around saying yesterday) - in the sense of -- once you discover powerful, essential, integral, aspects of yourself -- that you sense to be you, that haven't been given play or expression for decades previous -- it is so boundlessly exciting and rewarding and satisfying to Become Yourself, in that respect. Something of that sort happened to me, was triggered when out of the blue 1.0 contacted me, three-and-a-half years ago. I am truly a changed person all this time later - aware of aspects of myself that I had long buried, that I no longer wish to. I'm trimmer, and physically much more attractive -- because I've discovered and reconnected with that aspect of myself. There is no way I could ever go back -- why would I want to? Of course I don't. This is a gift -- I feel as though I'm finally on the road to who I was meant to be -- and that includes -- not incidentally -- writing as well, as in this blog.

But none of that seems to get acknowledged in a service whose denoted words have so much to do with - as I'm hearing them - pretty much ignoring this temporal life as a waystation to the next one. And even if on some level I can believe that this temporal life is but a phase, and that there may be another -- in no way can I discount this life's import, and how I (or any individual) has to grapple with it, engage with it, in all its difficulties & complexities. For some it will be easy to hew to lines and stick to them. But for other temperaments -- I'm thinking especially artistic/poetic ones, or those of thinkers generally (now here I'm probably getting out of my depths) -- there is just going to be a whole lot more complexity I think. I simply am not a simple person. And on some level, I can even believe that I wasn't intended to experience things so easily -

I'm going on and on -- but I felt this conflict between the perhaps necessarily simplified message of a service -- and the enormous pain & difficulty that I think of so much, that we go through, you, me, this guy who lived across the street from me at one time, and others.

I will be delighted to accompany the congregation when the time comes. The rector introduced me at the service yesterday, and I sense from her that she understands that I'm not quite "of" the congregation... she told the story of how I had simply stopped by the church in passing. I didn't take communion yesterday, and don't plan to anytime soon (if ever) -- though I'm "invited" to, if I choose, since I am a baptized Christian. But it's just a bit too much for me, on this very unexpected encounter with formal religion, that I wasn't looking for. I feel a strong need, at least for the time being, to hold myself a bit apart, a bit in reserve. Even if at the same time I am delighted that I might be of genuine service with my musical "talent" (in the Biblical sense). I take great comfort these days thinking of E.D. I believe that she was a profoundly spiritual person, fundamentally Christian -- but not, in any way, fundamentalist -- no, she had to experience and countenance spirituality very much on her own terms. And What Music!! And that's fine --- and I am absolutely sure, convinced, that that is what God intended -- if I were more inclined, generally, to think of things in that way.

There were other strands today too, that pained me acutely, one in particular, a letter in Salon today (link here), that just hit me to the quick. I'm not in the letter-writer's situation, but I recognized very much the type of person she's currently involved with -- and I don't even know why it causes me so much pain. Her paramour - as an uncannily specific type - is all too familiar to me, I still grapple. It's bad enough that I'm on some level 'emotionally involved' with someone like that. But to actually be involved --- well, I've been through it, once, a very long time ago. But I can't imagine it, in actual terms, now. I don't know. And what the letter-writer is experiencing, and what I'm experiencing (or would be if I were in her situation) are two different things. It just makes me think that he may be somewhat blithe about how he's organized things, but other people are wired differently. There may be more than one woman in his past who could have written a letter like that.

And Cary Tennis has a great deal of sensitivity towards his type, and I do see it, myself. It's just that his type is -- I'm not exaggerating -- like a dagger in my heart. I am not "light" that way.

In thinking about the column, and its upsetting effect on my mood, all it stirred up, I had reason to remember perhaps a main reason why I had married D.... that he would not ever ever drive me crazy - not in that particular way.

But that decision - while it made for a lot of stability in some respects - seems connected with a shutting-down of other aspects of myself, in others.

And that was my day - as I "explain myself to myself."

No big ending - actually trying to figure out how to wind up, when I remember. I was feeling so bad, so knotted up inside, tumultuous -- I was driving to the supermarket -- and John Lennon came on ... I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round & round.

It's not the first time it's happened to me, in that very same parking lot. But his song, those words, that sentiment -- I took such great comfort from his song, I could hardly believe it. For a moment all my anxiety & disquiet washed away -- he had it all in perspective, a perspective that I in large measure share.

And then I went shopping, and there were avocados to be had -- a half-dozen for $1.25, and so I bought some cilantro too, and a lime--

and made the most awesome bowl of guacamole, spiked too with red onion & tomato, that will go great with those awesome organic corn tortilla chips

love you darling

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