TIME-SUCK: HOLIDAY RUSH
I’ll try to be brief.
I know you’re busy. I know this because my blog hits continue to decline. So, you must be busy, right? It couldn’t possibly be that I have become even less interesting or more irrelevant. No, that’s downright silly. You’re busy.
Take care of things and get back to me. Quickly. We’re all busy, darlings. I, myself, have made over one-hundred dozen cookies in the past two weeks. And that was accomplished with a bad back and multiple trips to the chiropractor and not one opiate. Even now, as I type this, I am house/pet watching in bucolic Aftermath (more later, see PANIC-SUCK below) and preparing a ten pound ham to take with me later today to the family holiday gathering (more later, I fear, see BODYCAST-SUCK, below) even though my bad back continues to nag and still — alas — not one opiate to assuage my ache, no, rather, I — gritted of teeth — ignore the agony while I try to save the lives and lift the spirits of others who suffer depression during this season of forced frivolity and frolic which is so difficult for so many (more later, see SPIRIT-SUCK, below), all the while reading an all-too-tempting (and all-too-often disappointing) stack of library books due back by the 28th in an effort to surpass 125 books read in 2015 on GoodReads (more later on that, too, see READING DOESN’T SUCK, below).
So, you think you’re busy? Too busy to read my blog, like it, and comment? All I have to say about that is: PRI-FUCKING-ORITIZE PEOPLE! (See ALL THE SUCKS, below.)
PANIC-SUCK: JUDAH MAKES A BREAK FOR IT
I arrived here at Aftermath, Friday. If you are a follower, you know that this bucolic setting is one of my favorite gigs, where I have spent the last few Christmas holidays, and Judah is my very favorite pal. Like me, Judah is getting on in years. Like me, Judah has lost a few very dear friends and companions along the way and transitioned to a more solitary life. Like me, Judah loves and adores Andrea. And, like me, Judah has very few fucks left to give, and wants to do what Judah wants to do when Judah wants to do it.
Yesterday morning we followed our traditional routine. He woke me too damn early, he had his pills, I had my coffee, and we began our dance: I sit, get comfy with coffee and laptop or reading material. Judah wants me to open the door for him so he may check the property. Out he goes. I sit, get comfy with my coffee and laptop or reading material, Judah wants me to open the door for him so he can see what I am up to, inside. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. I quietly plead and moan that I am not a morning person. Judah blithely ignores me. It’s our thing. While doing our thing yesterday, one of those rotations, I opened the door, out he went, and I sat down with my laptop, writing to a friend, and soon realized Judah had been gone ten minutes without knocking on the door for re-entry. Not that unusual, some mornings in the past he has spent long sessions back pasturing, but, this visit, he has some new medical issues, none of us are getting any younger, and so I pulled myself from sitting to standing — may sound easy to you, but right now, with my back, any transition from one to another position involves not a small amount of grunting and freezing in panic-pain, like I said, none of us are getting any younger — and I moved from one to another window to check on my companion in encroaching senility.
Nowhere. Long short, unbeknownst to me, the collar Judah has long worn which encourages him not to roam beyond the few acres of Aftermath into the redneck wonderland beyond, has stopped working. I panicked. Over top of the holey sweatpants and shirtless Daniel Radcliffe in horse mode, souvenir Equus sweatshirt, I threw a down vest, two scarves, and donned a knit-cap and l began my hike — limping, because, my back — caterwauling his name. In this neighborhood, a neighborhood where every home has multiple-car garages and, too, an extra detached garage for the additional vehicles, most of which are trucks, most of which have very large wheels and confederate flags and gun racks and exhaust systems which cost more than I make in a year and are driven by tea-party-republican-esque people who would gleefully shoot a crooked-gaited, magenta-sweat-panted, looks like he was denied entry to the homeless-shelter fellow wandering the area, shouting the name of his — whatever they thought Judah was to me.
Luckily, Andrea is well-loved around here. And a minister. And these people have seen me before. And are afraid of going to hell. So, while no one offered to help me, no one shot me with their automatic weapons. Judah came trotting at me about a quarter-mile down the road, off the porch of one of the Trump-voters, looking all proud of himself that he’d nearly terrified me to death for the holiday.
As I type this, this morning, he is accusing me with despair and longing in his eyes, not quite getting why I won’t let him out-of-doors on his own today. “Why,” he seems to be asking, “have things changed?”
I often ask that myself, Judah. I wish I had a better explanation, but, alas. I do not. Now, I need more coffee, a lot of coffee because I need to be fully awake today as it is Family Holiday Gathering Day.
BODYCAST-SUCK: THE ANNUAL FAMILY GATHERING
Speaking of why have things changed, and why haven’t they? Well, today, what is left of my family gathers at 4pm for our annual holiday gathering. That is where my 100 dozen cookies and the ham I am now baking will be brought as my offering. While I may fail to fit in culturally here in Aftermath, cuisine and nutrition-wise, I am all redneck, all the time because, as far as I am concerned, cookies and pork products are the two main food groups.
I love my family. I do. But it wasn’t that long ago I wasn’t included in holiday gatherings, and while the why and story differ depending on who is writing it, my heart was broken in ways that don’t mend. And I miss Sissie, who made Christmas special from my early childhood. And, the patterns which did not serve me well in life, those rigid bodycasts in which we sometimes get stuck, they are never more confining, never harder to resist, than when we are with family. And family during holidays, with all the expectations and the memories and the … well, dear ones, this is why I especially like to house/pet sit through this time of year, because the peace I have made with the sadnesses I have been given works best when I am in solitude. As my dear, the Duchess Goldblatt said to me recently, “When we count our losses, we turn the balance sheet over to see what’s been gained, you and I.” Which leads me to:
SPIRIT-SUCK: TURNING OVER THE BALANCE SHEET
That turning over of the balance sheet to which Her Grace, The Duchess, referred, so much of that is about accepting that we are, in many ways, alone. Being alone is not a judgment. Being alone is not a bad thing. Being alone — even if it’s not exactly, 100% one’s choice — is not the horrifyingly bad option our culture and arts and religions and such would have us believe. I live without a life-partner, without a god, without a real job, without a place of my own, without much of the accoutrement and trappings and attachments and obligations that much of the world considers in the ought and must and should and have to categories.
I’m not going to lie; this is not an easy life, not an easy choice.
But I am here, where I am going, for a reason. I may never fully understand the reason, but I work very hard to examine this life and accept my truth. More difficult, accepting my truth, my alone, without allowing myself to feel failed by the standards and beliefs of the societies in which I live. My family thinks I’m a failure. Many people I have known consider me failed or wrong. I don’t fit in with the gay sub-culture, either. And many of the people with whom I interact on Twitter, if they knew the actual conditions of my life, would have nothing to do with me in the real world.
But, you see, I can’t allow those assumptions by which those people live to affect me, my center, my Love and Light. My acceptance of who and where I am requires actually being alone, embracing alone, understanding alone, and being grateful for the unconventional gains (as the Duchess refers to them) I have — such as my Twitter-loves and these wide, wonderful swaths of solitude in which I’ve found the freedom to read, to reflect, to blog (though you are all too fucking busy to read it anymore), and to care for those who need caring for, including runaway scamp-doggies and some Twtter-friends who are in pain.
I have always heard people’s pain. Whatever spiritual frequency it is on which people broadcast when feeling less than loved, trapped in darknesses or sorrow, somehow, I am attuned to hear and feel that, and I reach out, if I can, how I can.
Sometimes, yes, it is exhausting, a spirit-suck. But usually, it is the opposite. Usually, embracing someone who needs an embrace returns to me many times the energy, love, and light the embrace costs. I recommend it, darlings. If you open yourselves to feeling the need of others, understand that you can’t fix it or save anyone, but CAN offer a simple and perfect, “I hear you and I am here in all the ways I can be”, your life will be infinitely richer, warmer, brighter, more full of love and light — even if you are alone and failed by any conventional, cultural measure.
Give. Give what you have.
READING DOESN’T SUCK: END OF YEAR BURSTINGS
And so, that’s my suck-list for today. I know, right? You were expecting me to go all ribald and scatological about sucking, weren’t you? Honestly, I was too when I started this entry. Truth: I was about to write something slightly filthy about my obsession with the Warwick Rowers here, but, I’ll let this speak for itself –
They’re so excited I’ve finished this entry, they are exploding cream all over one another. That’s as bawdy as I’ve got this morning, kids.
Anyway, darlings, so sorry, I meant to be quick but this is nearly two-thousand words. I’m off to finish the ham and indulge in the book pile I’ve brought with me — all 22 — and take a jaunt with Judah, out-of-doors, try to find a new normal for the two of us when it comes to trust — I don’t want him to run and wander, he doesn’t want me to hover and control. We are both used to our own ways and wary of disappointing one another — that’s love, right there. Right here, where I am, going.
Love and Light, kids. Love and Light.