Optimistic – Sunday Check-in

I keep missing the Wednesday check-in, so I think I’m going to just make a point to ignore it for a while. Once a week is going to have to do.

I wonder too if has anything to do with not getting a whole lot of writing done? I’m still fighting with the crud and finding the fucks to give takes more energy than I can spare.

I did get a couple of things written this week, so it’s not a total bust. Nothing for P-Mag yet — my struggle there is a constant hectoring voice that I just don’t have anything relevant to say to the readers. I can’t pretend to be a journalist, so what am I doing there?

See? I’m doing it again, letting doubt creep in and stain up my thoughts. Not good.

Anyway, word count is up to 5409, which still has me almost a full week ahead of schedule. Yay.

Now if I can just get everything else in line I’ll be golden.

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True Faith

It’s easier for me to talk about my sex life than it is the state of my faith. I’m pretty sure that says something about me, but I couldn’t tell you what, exactly.

I need to talk  write about faith the same way I once needed to write about sex. I just have no idea how to go about it.  I’ve written — and tossed — reams of words trying to explain it. None of it works.

So I’m here with a chainsaw, hoping to get to the meat of the matter. I’m willing to shave some extra skin just to get the subject on the table.

I didn’t want to be a person of faith, so I tried my best not to be. That didn’t work. No matter how I tried to ignore matters of the metaphysic I would always work my way back to it. It was a long process, mainly because I spent so much time looking at other people’s opinion’s on what  The Great Answer is. After many years of saying “well that doesn’t make much sense to me” I finally started asking myself what made sense.

I stopped asking the universe what I should (could? would, even?) believe and started asking myself.

To be honest I haven’t gotten far. To be very honest (and as much as I hate to do it, snag a metaphor from the Bible) I’ve actually been somewhat of a Jonah.

I started with a very basic idea of things that made sense and started working with that. And it did work. I discovered what true faith means — what it means to me, this is my UPG, doesn’t have to be yours too — and I was in a very happy place spiritually.

See, here’s the part I always choke on, the thing that’s always hardest to really talk about.

I was in a good place spiritually with my homemade heathen faith and then on two separate  occasions some … fuck, I don’t know, some energy, some thing, spoke to me.

The first time it spoke into the room and told me exactly what I needed to hear to make a very big, very serious decision.

The second time it spoke into my ear and is directly responsible for my last (in every sense of the work *knock wood*) pregnancy. Of course we never really know what would have happened had we chosen a different path in the forest, but I’d be willing to bet everything except my children that without a voice speaking into my ear to suggest what a wonderful Christmas present it would be to forget the second part of coitus interruptus, I wouldn’t be sitting here looking across the room at my Ferocious Beastie.

So yeah, not only did I have faith, I had proof. And I’ve spent the last five years or so running away from that proof, trying to tell myself it was all in my head.

There have been some mitigating factors, most notably a horrible case of postpartum psychosis and the subsequent two-year cruise on The Good Ship Zoloft. When your chemicals go haywire and your brain tries to convince you your newborn is possessed by demons, being comfortable with the idea of spirits speaking to and guiding you isn’t easy. Add to that the numbness of being I experienced while medicated, and you have a good recipe for swinging between abject fear and no fucks to give.

I’ve tried everything I know to talk myself out of the surety of those voices speaking to me. I simply can’t, the same way I could never find a way to completely embrace atheism (or even agnosticism).

I’ve come this far so I might as well keep going.  A few months ago I decided to pick up the remains of my faith and try again, see if I could plug back in after all this time.

Not only was I able to plug in, as soon as I did the voice spoke to me again.

“Welcome back. We’ve been waiting.”

Wired

I wanted to get in some writing while waiting for my game to load, but the idea of having to transcribe is such a Debby Downer I was just going to say fuck it. But then I remembered it is the wired age and I can type on my phone.

Is it this wondrous for the people who grew up with the internet, the ability to plug in any time, anywhere?

I love writing longhand. I always have, even when it meant having to transcribe. But sometimes I just don’t want to fuck with all that. If it needs to be online I want to start from there.

What makes it so incredibly cool is that I’m using my phone. Not just able to plug into the world, but doing so on something small enough to hold in my hand.

Considering when I was a kid having a typewriter was a big deal, this is really awesome.

Technology has even made a huge difference in parenting. The amount of teaching material I have access to this time around is incredible — but the true worth is the ease in which I can connect to that material. Computer games, television networks designed as preschool teaching tools, DVRs that make having constant access to the shows not only feasible but easy as pushing a button. If I want to expose him to music from different areas or cultures I don’t have to hope the library has something or that the local NPR station will play it (and I can get it recorded). All I have to do is look online and I can find any music I want, any time I want.

If there’s a drawback it’s that I’m pretty much addicted. Last night my computer decided it couldn’t connect to the internet. The computer itself was fine, as was the router and every other internet connection in the house,  mine just wasn’t having none of that. It was a very short lived issue, but at first it seemed it could be my network card giving up the ghost. That an easily fixable problem, and relatively cheap, but the next couple of weeks we are living on beans and hope and any computer issue would have to wait.

Just the idea that I might not be able to get online was enough to make me want to panic. That’s never a good sign, and I have to recognize this could be a problem for me at some point.

But in true personal fashion, I’ll worry about that when the time comes. For now I can still plug in, and the world is waiting.

Louie, Louie

Not too long ago I came across a writing post on Tumblr — the author suggested it might help your writing to find an “anti-author,” someone you’d rather cut your fingers off than write like. For her it was Anne Rice – she mentioned how she saw Interview with the Vampire before she read it, and when she tried reading it, it bored her to death.

That just blew me away. I forget … not so much that I’m older than people I follow, but that I have totally different references because of my age.

I read IwtV when I was 12. It had just come out in paperback; my mom bought it for me for a road trip we were fixing to take. I read it between Florida and Mississippi, sprawled out on the backseat, absolutely lost in the story. It’s one of the few books that I can say changed the way I looked at the world. Nothing was the same after I read it.

The idea that so many people didn’t get to experience it as something unlike what had come before, something that stood all on its own, was a jolt. How many people never lived in a world where Lestat was not the one you rooted for?

But I have to say, not too long ago I picked it up and tried to reread it, for the first time in, well I don’t even know how long, years and years and years.

Friends, I couldn’t do it. Not for the reasons my tumblr person couldn’t read it, but because this time around it was Louis I couldn’t stand. Louis de Pointe du Lac on his own is fucking boring, an angsty, emo boy who can’t get a grip.

But I didn’t know that at 12. On it’s own, with no other references, with nothing to go by but what was in my hands, the book — and Louis — was the perfect dream for the dark quirkiness that was just starting to show itself in me.

Music

I have a tendency to title everything I write or create with a song title – and by tendency I mean every single thing. There have been times I’ve spent longer trying to find the right song title than I have writing the piece I want to attach it to.

Music is everything. I don’t remember much at all from childhood, but I remember the music that was always there. My father listened to country, my mother listened to show tunes and light classical. I can’t remember my birthdays, but I can remember the album covers . I remember the songs.

The Nutcracker SuiteThe Monkees Mantovani - Today - Frontgreatest hits front(us)

By the mid-70’s I was adding my own tastes to the mix. I was big into AM radio, r&b, cheesy pop. At one point I owned every single Barry Manilow album – and amazingly enough I don’t feel horribly embarrassed to admit that. I also listened to Bay City Rollers and Captain and Tennille and a lot of other crappy music that would make me want to claw my ears today.

It’s part of the process, the shitty music we’re reluctant to cop to. We have to listen to crap to get to the good stuff. Although I’ll be honest, these days I don’t have the time or patience to wade through crappy music to find something good. Which, unfortunately, means I’m missing out on a lot of good stuff.

That’s almost inexcusable in the internet age. It’s easily accessible  yet I can’t always access. Or, I don’t take the time to access, I just sit back with what I know and love. Maybe that should be a goal for the year: find at least one new artist/band/whatever to groove on.

(wc 278)