Saturday, September 14, 2013

Good Enough

Yesterday would have been Fay's fifteenth birthday. I still can't believe she's gone. 

This time last year was really hard. I won't go into it, I didn't at the time. Things are a bit better now in that I've had time to get used to the changes that have occurred. And then, of course, there's all the new stuff that's happened since then.

Which isn't to say that I'm fine with it all. Things are what they are and there's oftentimes no point in having an opinion about them. It can be hard NOT to have an opinion though. 

I'm finding lately that it's pretty easy to see the utter impermanence of life, of human reality. We're Life's rag dolls. We think we have choices and some kind of control. We can keep telling ourselves that. 

I suppose I should feel grateful for the way summer seems to come through and take things and people from me. It always seems to happen in the late summer. Summer has to be so damned hot and uncomfortable and bossy and take-y. But I should be grateful because it shows me what's real, what's true and I can't get away from it.

Now I just have to figure out what, if anything, I can do about it. More accurately, the best ways to cope with it. Not denial and not closing down. I can try for acceptance but you can't even control that. It seems I can't accept anything till I'm good and ready. I can never tell when that's going to be. People tell you to "let go" but you just can't until all of a sudden you just do. It's such a mystery to me.

Is the only thing for it just to keep bumbling through, doing my best? Probably. I sure can't count on my brain to remind me of all the lessons I've learned over the years. That's for the best too though - a lot of what I've learned is wrong! You know, I just took the wrong message from the things I've experienced. We all do it, poor, sad fleshbags that we are.

Well, now I'll go glue some stuff to some sticks. Why not? It's as good a thing to do as anything else. Then I'll go have cocktails and Indian food with Pete and my friend, Michaela. Sounds good.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Favorite Memory

This may sound kind of crazy but I used to be a scuba diver. I forget if I've mentioned that before in this blog. It was so long ago.

One of my favorite-memories-for-life is of sitting on the bounding bow of a boat in the water over Roca Redonda in the Galapagos Islands, listening to "Train in Vain" by the Clash on my Walkman, eating M&Ms and watching porpoises leap out of the water. It seems incredible that anyone could have that for a memory but I do.

"Train in Vain" came on my iPod today while I was waiting for the T in Davis Square station and I was brought back to that moment in 1987. The amazing things I've had the good fortune to do.

Back then I was also feeling pretty satisfied with myself because I had chosen not to do the dive at Roca Redondo that day. Chris McFarling, our naturalist guide, had made a big hullabaloo about how challenging the dive would be. He predicted masses of huge hammerheads, overpowering currents and I don't remember what-all else. Wonder whatever happened to that guy?

Anyway, I wasn't intimidated by what he said, I just wanted a day off. Isn't that funny? 

We'd encountered hammerheads before and they were, well, comical. There were two of them. They spotted me and my brother and were so startled that they bumped into each other head-on then took off in opposite directions. Maybe that was a lucky one-off but that was my experience of them. They didn't faze me. Nor the bull sea lions or the overpowering currents. What the hell does faze a twenty-something? Dreams about being naked in class on surprise final exam day for a class you forgot you'd enrolled in is about it. 

I just decided I wanted a day off and I was damn proud of myself for taking it and not caving to pressure of any kind. I was having such a great time up there, on top of the boat and not under water, listening to my music, devouring my chocolate. 

I imagine I probably rewound "Train in Vain" at least a few times so I could enjoy it over and over. That thought reminded me of the old technology and how you had to rewind. You had to wait for the tape to spool back so you could play it again. Not anymore. 

I tell ya, back in my day...

Well the old lady's mind is going for sure. I bet I've told this whole memory here before. Maybe not the part about rewinding. 

But golly gee, you can still take a dive trip on the same boat, the Encantada, today! Amazing!

The folks who went on that dive reported a great dive when they got back but no one was eaten or lost at sea. I sound disappointed about that, don't I? I just feel that in retrospect, the dive didn't live up to Chris' hype. No doubt for the best.

Of course in the Galapagos there are no "safe" dives and no boring dives.

What a privilege. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I am in a really great mood today and it has been a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time since that's been the case. Long time.

I think it might be the weather. It was forty-five degrees in Cambridge yesterday morning and forty-five again this morning in Vermont. I, myself, am absolutely shocked by the improvement this makes in my mood.

I know I hate summer. I've never liked it, now I hate it. I know this. I just didn't realize how demoralizing it is to me. Joie de vivre completely eludes me in the summer. Without my being aware of it, day to day life becomes about endurance.

That sounds so dramatic. It doesn't feel dramatic when I live it, it just feels like ordinary life. Until it stops and I feel like a bird released from underneath a black plastic tarp. Glory! The sky! The air! I can soar again!

How often do you go through your day wondering "why am I like this?" I do it all the time. (Not just about summer.)

I am very excited about today. I'm going to do laundry and make stuff in my studio. Then I might garden and I might dye my hair. No doubt I will wash the kitchen sink. Maybe later I'll drink some blackberry moonshine and have a fire in the fire pit. These are not exciting things and yet I am so excited.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Monday, September 2, 2013


 I had a very helpful dream just before I woke up.

I was trying to catch a train. I was about to get on one of the cars when this dumbass dude tried to hijack the train with me as his number one hostage.

He came up with a gun and was giving me ultimatums. "You can either come with me now and blah blah blah or you can..."

I wasn't listening to him. I was looking at his posture and his gun and thinking, "I can take this guy."

I grabbed his gun and got it away from him. Everyone on the train platform was staring at us. I yelled, "hey, can somebody tackle this guy please?"

Nobody moved. I thought, "honest to God, what is wrong with you people?" I didn't say it though.

Meanwhile I felt the gun become warm in my hand. The dumbass dude said "the gun's getting hot now," as if to imply it was still a dangerous weapon that he could use against me.

I didn't believe him. I didn't care. It was only warm. I didn't know what it would do but I sure as hell wasn't giving it back to him.

Then I woke up.

Waking up exasperated is far better than waking up sad or disappointed or depressed. Exasperation is an active emotion. You do what you want when you're exasperated because you just don't care what the outcome will be anymore.