Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

And I don't Even Have A Pilot's License!

Listen up, people!

I don't drive so much as fly low.

I like to go fast.

As fast as conditions allow.  Maybe just a little faster.

I am no Maria Andretti, but I do enjoy feeling my Astro hunker down, take the bit in her teeth, grip the road, and go.  It is probably for the best that I love my Astro and have no desire for a sporty car.  You're welcome.

65 is tolerable.  70 is nice.  75 is even better, and 80 is just lovely.  I am quite comfortable at 90, and I have learned to my sorrow that my Astro maxes out at 100...my sorrow because I was on a beautiful, long, straight stretch of unoccupied road that just begged to be zoomed.

I try to keep it safe and keep the cuss words down to a minimum.  I sometimes wish the other motorists sharing the road were a little more cognizant of their surroundings.  Sometimes that wish for awareness expresses itself in a stream of invective that makes my kids laugh and horrifies or amuses any fellow adults in the van.

If you're one of the right lane hugging people who have the misfortune to wander into the left lane when I am steaming towards my destination, some tips:

     -When you must enter the left lane, take a moment to assess the traffic in said lane.  Those handy makeup mirrors on the side of your vehicle, and the hair styling one in the center of your windscreen?  They are perfect for seeing what's going on behind you!  Note the speed at which the left-laners travel and try to time your entry into Speedsville with a nice gap that won't force anyone else to disengage their beloved cruise control, mash the brake pedal, and engage their profanity release mechanism.

     -There is a special Hell for people who drift into the left lane and then float along beside the vehicle they were thinking about passing until they noticed their speedometer indicating a two-mile-over-the-limit increase in velocity.  Don't ensure a place in that Hell by crawling along the left lane like you have nowhere better to be and all the time in the world to get there.  That steam in your rear view?  Isn't an engine going bad.  It's coming out of someone's ears.  Probably mine.

     -I am not afraid to pass on the right.  If you force me to, please don't be surprised when I stare at you as I go by, maybe even shake my head and look at you like a dog with a grape (if you don't know that look, give a dog a grape and watch him try to sort it out...is it food?   toy?  some other category of thing that is neither/both food or toy?  What should he do with it?  Confusion abounds!).  Please don't pretend to be surprised or offended when I move back into the left lane a safe distance ahead of you, and please don't slam on your brakes as if I have suddenly cut you off when I am a half mile ahead of you before I make the switch.

     -Turn indicators (also known as blinkers) have a purpose.  If you don't know what that purpose is park and take a bus until you have educated yourself.  Buses, by the way, stay in the right lane because they know that's where they belong.  There are people on the road who could take their cue from a bus.

We share the road, not always by choice.  I know there are people in the lanes who can't see well, are distracted, or are driving impaired or scared.  I know there are people who make it their business to slow everyone else down because they don't think anyone needs to drive that fast, should have left earlier if they're late, should slow down because speed kills.

I know there are people who think I am slow and who impatiently try to crawl up my tail pipe without so much as a by-your-leave.  They wish I would move out of the way and drive over there in the right lane where 80mph cruisers belong.

We all have to compromise a little.  I like to think that, despite my need for speed, I am conscientious, courteous, and really quite safe in my driving.  I don't ride anyone's backside like we're on some kind of kinky, automotive themed date.  I don't try to force anyone aside or wedge myself into a half-sized space when a lane is ending.  If construction signs are visible, I mind them, and if a lane is closed I make sure I move from it as soon and as safely as I can.  I don't cut people off.  I'm not dangerous...I simply like to move along at a low cruising altitude.  Do me a favor and let me, won't you?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Illusion of Normalcy

Today I must finish a quilt I've been working on for a benefit auction and then ship it.

I must take the injured kitten I've been caring for over the last few weeks to the vet to have her splint re-wrapped or removed, depending on how her bone is healing.

I must bake banana bread for a friend who just underwent cancer treatment.

There are dishes to do, and laundry.

There are floors that so desperately need cleaning, we stick to them.  I wish I was kidding.

I must prepare food for my children, hopefully things that will nourish them rather than convenience me.

What I must not do is give any sign that the ground beneath me (figuratively) is crumbling.  I must not let show the cracks in the facade, the hurt, the fear, the sorrow.  I will not cry where anyone can see me, there will be no evidence of tears if anyone takes the time to look.  I will have a pleasant demeanor, as always.

It is for myself that I perpetuate the illusion.  For myself because I just don't want or need to hear opinions about my feelings and what I should be doing about them.  I don't want to trot out my damaged soul one more time and show how tattered and worn it is, how it flutters in streamers smirched by shadow and history.  I don't want to talk about it.  Isn't it enough that I am experiencing it?  It's exhausting.

This slow disintegration is tortuous.  It's not a nice, quick cut of the psyche it's a long, horrible slide down the rusty edge of a cast off blade, itchy and painful and dull.

I am thinking things that are...unpleasant...things like why don't I just drive away and leave everyone behind and just disappear, because they'd all be better off without me.  Things like I could drink those two bottles of whiskey all at once and be catatonic in short order.  Things like why is my honor so bloody important that I let it get in the way of what I so desperately need.

And don't need.

Because not wanting to live and wanting to die are two very different things.  Worlds apart.  Huge distinctions.  I can not want to live without wanting to be dead.  I can look at the mess I have made around me and want to live differently without exactly wanting to walk through the other side to get to cleaner, less damaged ground.

This churned up muck that is sliding away from me while dragging me through itself is, at least, my muck.  It's my experience, and there's no escaping that.  Try and run away, it just follows, flows through lifetimes until the lesson is well and truly learned.  May as well endure and learn now.

So none of the turmoil will show.  I will look just like a fully functioning member of society with never a hint of the internal train wreck that's going on.  Perhaps you'd be surprised to know how many like me there are in the world.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Once Upon A Time?

There must have been a time, a place, some circumstance, when I was confident and felt like I had value to myself and the world at large.

There must have been.

I see my children, how they go so boldly about their lives as if they are the center of it all, and I know I must have been the same way, mustn't I?

No one's born into this life thinking they are without worth, are they?

So what happened?  Why can't I remember a single time or place when I felt like I was doing it right?  Why am I always so very aware of how I'm fucking things up, but if I am doing something good it's like I'm not there and can't remember it ten minutes later, like it never happened?  How is it that the positive, if it exists, is so quickly and easily drowned out by the horrid?

Why is it so easy to believe the ugly things people say, to believe the ugly things are deserved, even in the face of love and compassion?

My love and compassion feel battered, bruised, and trampled right now.  They feel...useless...pointless...unwanted...much as I feel I am.

Depression is a hard row to hoe.  It's no easier when one is volubly judged as a fuck up.  It is no easier when people think one should just get over it, or that it isn't real like cancer or the flu.  It isn't easy when it grinds and grinds and drags and darkens, sucks one into the mire.  It is certainly not any better when the best one can do is met with scorn, derision, indifference or apathy.

Days and days I wonder why I fucking bother.

Days and days I wonder why I don't matter.

Days and days I struggle with the idea that everything and everyone would be so much better off if I wasn't here to fuck it all up.

I can't remember a time when the idea of love, the words "I love you", didn't mean "I want something from you" or "Whatever I say or do you have to accept" or "I own you and you have to be who I want you to be"...when they haven't meant the speaker believes to their core that I have some obligation to them.  If that was all I knew of love, maybe I'd be fine, but I see others NOT living in that reality so I know there's another way and I'm just not allowed to join those reindeer games.

Yes, I am in a very bad place right now, and my head is full of shades and ugliness...but how is that any different, I wonder, than when I am NOT in a bad place?

I wonder if I will ever be able to touch a memory of feeling right, or create one in some distant future.  I wonder if I will ever be free of this doubt, the self-defeating, self-hating internal dialog that tells me to shut the fuck up and go away because really, how could I possibly think anyone is interested in my nonsense?

I don't think I ever had whatever it is that lets people go through their lives with grace, confidence, compassion, and love.  Deficient, me.