Archives for the month of: January, 2011

My dreams are polluting my days. Dreams of family and friends and home. Keeping hold over my heart and mind as I sit here, attempting disentanglement from those very things – from people, places and past actions. I need to look at my life calmly, clearly and without the obstructions of guilt or sentimentality. But my thoughts WON’T LET GO! The more I try to quietly slip away, the louder they yell – now using shock tactics to maintain control. “But what about this?” they shriek, forcing me to agree with, yes, yet another reason to feel like a failure, to feel like I’ve run away from my life and problems.

HEY. Hold on. I’ve come here to salvage my life. And my sanity. I know this, I KNOW THIS! I shake a feeble fist at the bullies of my brain’s playground. They take my lunch money anyway.

So today my world has been reduced to a smoldering, stinking pile of rubble. I have royally fucked up. My husband and I are hanging by a thread. I have wasted my life. It is a foregone conclusion that my selfishness has ruined everything. I feel abandoned in my misery. I will now die alone and vultures will pick at my cold carcass. 

Hog-tied and held hostage by these thoughts. Self-pity is so unattractive.

I give in and call home, but it’s awkward and weird. My husband’s voice sounds far away, distracted. There’s a tinny echo and a pre-recorded Indian lady occasionally announces “YOOU HAF UUUSED NINETY ROOPEEEESE”. I hang up, feeling worse after our stunted conversation.

My friend Tom is good to talk to. He’s 65 but you don’t notice. I don’t think he notices either. He’s great. Tom gets me sugar for my coffee and picks up my shawl when I forget it. He’s looking out for me. He calls me kiddo, which I respond to like a dopey 41-year-old puppy. He tells me I need to have patience, for my own particular brand of bullshit, for my life, for as long as I can. Patience, strength and courage for whatever happens. He isn’t impressed with how badly I’ve fucked up. “We’ve ALL fucked up,” he says. “Why do you think you are here? We’re all here looking for help. Looking for a way through life. Everyone fucks up, kiddo, in one way or another. ”

It’s true. And there’s a strange camaraderie growing here, with the other fuck-ups. I begin to feel less like the odd one out – and more like we’re all in this together. There’s strength in numbers! We’ve all decided that we can’t do it by ourselves, whatever it is, in our lives back home. We are all here to pause, take a breath, and try again. We are all here because we know we NEED to be. Struggles are shared, accepted, even embraced – and that seems to take the sting out. It doesn’t make my mistakes okay, or go away – but how long do I shake my finger, scolding BAD DOGGIE!, cowering from my own actions? Let’s learn and grow, people. I want to solve my problems, not wallow in them. A wave of understanding and compassion washes over me – for myself, for everyone, for mistakes and struggles in general – and I feel better.

To be human, by default, is to be lost in the woods. We’re not given a map when we arrive – yet we’re all so bewildered when we don’t know the way! We just need to admit this. And if we do, our collective question of Marco? should be answered with a unanimous Polo! This is alright. It’s OK to be lost, because we all are. Our general cry for help can unite us. That’s what I think.

Frank the Cosmic Bear tells me, “If we all knew how much we REALLY had in common, we wouldn’t ever be able to leave each other.” Well said, C Bear, well said.

And wouldn’t that be nice, to remember that we are all so similar? Wouldn’t that save us a lot of trouble – make us less harsh and more accepting of ourselves and others? Wow. Since when did I start tearing pages out of the Northern California Hippie Burn-Out Basics Handbook? It’s TRUE though.

With all this universal love I’m feeling, it might be time to start that commune I’ve been joking about for so many years.

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Just a few random notes from my journal.

Today’s food craving: I would happily give my left hand for a ripe California avocado, please.
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I’m making friends despite myself. Can’t be helped I guess. We are all such social monkeys aren’t we? Always picking through each other’s fur. And I’m tired of spending time only in my own stupid company, deep in my own dumb head. I grow so weary of my mind’s insipid chatter! Self-exhaustion drives me from my room out into conversations with strangers, who become friends and allies. So maybe it’s good to emerge from the cave and be vulnerable.
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Gentle Germie wore a lovely blue and white sari today! Where has the lumpy sweater gone? “You look beautiful!” I tell her, because she does – the blue matches her eyes – and she holds my hand, touches my face, and gestures to my eyes, nodding and speaking in German. I think she is returning the compliment.
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My body is emanating curry. My sweat smells like curry. My skin smells like curry. My pee smells like curry. It’s really crazy.
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Today’s food craving: oh help me. PIZZA.
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Bought a jar of pure coconut oil for Rs31: under a buck. Now I have me some fiiiiiiiine moisturizer! The word slather applies… as does the word apply. Happy skin! Now if only I could make my dull hair smile in this climate.
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SHAAA has hurt his knee. I watch him dodder to the canteen, beads around his neck swinging in time with his theatrical hitch, zen-master headband askew. He makes a big deal of it (and about everything). He wants people to feel for him, to run and help, to rally round in his time of need, to simply give him the attention he so craves; but his schmaltzy, hard-done-by attitude only widens the gap between himself and others. Everyone else is just quietly getting on with things, without the self-serving, vociferous news feed. His egoistic motives, behind a thin veneer of spirituality, are awkward and uncomfortable. People can pick up on true intent and delivery, I guess. SHAAA’s forced weirdness, damp pretentions and desperate need to be liked isolates him, and that makes me sad – though not sad enough to be his buddy. He’s not an unlikeable person, but… too much baggage there. Too many neuroses to navigate, and that is sad. Sorry, that’s not very nice to say. I’ve simply had my share of neurotic navigations with others.
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This is hard! This is HARD TO DO gaddammit. This is hard this is hard.
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I dreamt that my dog and I were walking thru flooded plains – flooded as far as the eye could see, wading up to our knees in water. Looking for somewhere to take shelter. A red red sky reflected on the water. Empty red above and below, with dog and I between. Quiet except for our small splashing. Really lonesome. But I was happy to have my dog with me.
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Today’s food craving: Extra. Sharp. Cheddar. Cheese. With a crispy cracker or two. ANYTHING crispy! ANYTHING crunchy! It’s all so mushy here! Delicious mush on metal plates.
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Tonight I listened to the jackals in the smoky dark, calling and calling.