my_window_seat: (Default)
It's been raining for hours. That steady thrumming on the roof and lisping slap of drops in pooled water, the infrequent sussuration of cars sloughing over streaming asphalt - I know these sounds, but they aren't familiar, here.

And the sky - at 4am it's dulled some now, but there's still that lavender glow, like a flashlight under a pillowcase. The refraction of city lights shot through water and trapped under a thick flannel of cloud cover.

A long time ago, I was in an alien city, far away from home and everyone I felt safe with. I didn't know how to feel, who to trust, least of all myself. The only thought that seemed clear in my mind is one that comes back to me from time to time, like right now. It was the middle of the day and the sky was clear and blue and nothing like right now, nothing at all like this moment and at the same time exactly like this moment -

The sky is empty, and it feels like an echo.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Being back in school - and more specifically, now finally being in a position to be in classes that have to do with what really interests me, namely art - well, it's reminding me of the contradictory feelings I've always have about the purpose of education in art, namely that it can be both instrumental and detrimental - it can be either or both necessary and dangerous.

For example: I've been assigned to read both Aristotle's and Castelvetro's theories on poetics - the term then used to refer to theatre, go fig - and both of them, though they differ on many points, agree that there are supposed to be very specific rules for how comedy and tragedy should be constructed.

The thing is this - part of me feels that, in order to most effectively create, it's beneficial to know what the 'rules' are in order to better break them. On the other hand, some of the most amazing leaps forward in the arts have come from 'outsiders', i.e., people who have no knowledge at all of the 'rules' - or even that there are any. While it's impossible to know for sure, some theorists say that Shakespeare can't possibly have known the theories of poetics - and yet other theorists use his work to illustrate their own points about the necessities put forward by those same constructions.

The short form - I wonder how much my education is going to help or hinder me. Is it the mind 'unshadowed by thought' that has the greatest chance of reaching the heights, or are we meant to 'stand on the shoulders of giants' - necessitating knowing enough about them to scale them?

Meh.

I think it's probably six of one, half dozen of the other.

About the only thing I know for sure is that I have a deep-seated streak of resentment towards anyone or anything that puts any kind of restrictions or limitations on me. Which makes me wonder what kind of a teacher I'm going to be - about the only thing I can think is that I'm going to want to encourage that same kind of rebelliousness to codified thought in my students.

Why do I think that this is going to make for a whole lot of challenges in my future career....?

Yeah - that's a purely rhetorical question. ;)
my_window_seat: (Moi)
We're finally getting it right now. The torrential downpour that the skies have been threatening us with intermittently for weeks and weeks.

If you're awake right now -

Listen -

The popping hiss of rain spattering on sidewalks. The sound of cars driving on wet streets - that hydroplaning swish as tires displace water and leave twinned wakes behind them -

Those are so my sounds.

They're so - Seattle. As much as the smells of wet asphalt and mud and mold. Not that the moisture will last here long enough for that, but -

If you're awake and listening right now, if you're under the same sky I am -

You're hearing the sound of home for me.
my_window_seat: (Yuskavage's Girl)
Unpacking. In a little more than the literal sense.

Probably best if y'all just drive on through. )
my_window_seat: (Yuskavage's Girl)
Musings ahead, but nothing particularly deep or insightful.

I have been thinking some lately though, about the differences between some stuff.

In the process of moving, one of the things I had to pack up was a couple of stacks of used journals. Of the analog kind, natch. While resting for a moment, I pulled one out of the stack and just paged through it for a minute.

At first, it was kind of neat. I ran across a few scraps of uncompleted poetry that were pretty cool, and that made me happy. I threw a couple of the smaller journals in my backpack to look at again later, thinking that it would be interesting to see if I could smooth off the rough edges of a few pieces and finish them up properly. And I thought, hey, maybe there's a few more buried gems in here I can -

And then I sat down later and started to read - well, the non-poetry-related bits.

I had been thinking for a while of starting to write again in a journal. Resume my old habit of always having a current one, something I carried around all the time. I used to do that. It used to be an accessory as important as my wallet or my house keys. Used to be I never, ever went anywhere without that little piece of my brain in text form.

Thing is, in re-reading that, I don't see that it really is something that I want to pick up again, as a habit. Considering all the things that I chose to put down, I'm not so sure I want to pick them back up again.

There's a strange difference between the writing that I did in those journals and the kind of writing that I do here.

I haven't completely figured it out yet, but the writing I do here, while there are some recurring themes of course, what I put down in here doesn't have the same feeling of - I don't know -

I guess it's what my friend Mannie and I used to refer to as 'swirling'. That headspace you get into where your brain feels like a whirlpool without an outlet. Things just keep going around and around but never actually travel anywhere.

The difference seems like it must have something to do with having an audience. Of sorts, anyway. Some of you on my friends list know me IRL and some of us use LJ as a way to kind of keep tabs on each other, seeing as how we don't really see each other that often. We check in here, let each other know that, for what it's worth, we're still hanging in there, doing the stuff we do. There are some crisis messages, some happy news breaks, yadda yadda.

And some of you, I know your f-lists are made up of acquaintances who are big on the entertaining and the funny and the informative. I'm on your list because we have some kind of tangential connection, either through friends of friends or acquaintances of acquaintances. We mutually amuse and and/or admire each other in a clever-is-as-clever-does kind of way. We are connected through the quirks in our sensibilities, mutual mental mind-mapping -

Oh, whatever.

I don't really know what I'm saying except that, in a weird way, I kinda feel like you all keep me from just saying the same things over and over - even when I sometimes say the same things over and over.

This really isn't coming out the way I want it to.

Like I said, I haven't figured out exactly what it is.

All I know is that I like being here, even though 'here' isn't in any real kind of place. I mean, I like putting pieces of my brain in here, because for some reason, I think I'm more selective about what I choose to deposit here, knowing that, even though most of these long and totally pointless ramblings will most often just be scrolled past, there are some of them that one or two of you will actually give a little more than a nod to in passing.

Because I know that you're there, I leave a different trail of breadcrumbs behind. And because you're there, being here makes me feel like I'm not so much in my own head. Instead of going around and around and around, I feel a little more like I'm just taking a walk with a friend. Noting the scenery, tossing a stone and watching the ripples.

Dunno.

It's weird.

S'all I have to say for now.

Cheers.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Cheating for Poetry class again.

We're supposed to turn in a poetry portfolio tomorrow, and include a 'Statement of Poetics' at the end for our final project.

Statement of Poetics.

Sounds kind of like dissecting a kitten to see what makes it cute.

Herm.

So I adapted this entry and tacked on the following conclusion as my Statement of Poetics -

==========================

(Insert stuff from entry tagged above, edited for more 'english class-like' format)

It may be that this is how a poet is born; by recognizing a singular attraction to and communion with words. I say ‘born’ rather than ‘created’ because it is only a beginning. A being that is newly formed has no skills other than to articulate need, and it may be that there are scores of poets ‘born’ every day, young men and women who recognize a kinship with and kindling of feeling for words, but who never develop this relationship beyond infatuation; a fondness for the uses that others have put words to. The glimpse of a handsome face in a bus window as it rushes past you can leave a mark on your memory, but unless you chase that bus down, startle the driver into stopping, board it and confront this stranger that calls you simply by having their features arranged just so—you can recognize beauty, but unless you are willing to confront it, engage it in conversation, you have only had half an experience. You are an audience and not a participant.

A poet takes the next step. To write a poem is to take a recognition of beauty or pain or a sensation triggered by an experience and fashion around it a tracery of words that can recreate that sensation in another person’s mind and gut. To be a poet is to build a bridge, and then to walk another across it into your world. A poet is a gardener, planting seeds of speech in careful rows, or a wanderer scattering potent handfuls of tight-packed thought across a fertile space—each providing, in his own way, the opportunity for their own blend of thoughts and imaginings and emotions to take root and spread.

A poet takes the dull-edged words and tumbles them together, allowing their surfaces to polish each other to richness and gleaming smoothness. A poet throws the caltrop shapes of words in front of your wheels, arresting your momentum, forcing you to exist in a stopped space where you must notice what you might otherwise have sped past, unheeding. A poet taps a fluid space, a common well, and brings this handful, dripping, to you for you to taste.

A poet was at your doorstep today, making note of your address. He took from his pocket a handful of his favorites; words strung together in a careful phrase that looped in on itself, an oroborus chain of syllables spelling out a recipe for a young girl’s hair that turned soft as dandelion seed when he touched it. He looped this gift around your doorknob, because this is what a poet does: leaves words infused with his experience in your path, where they wait patiently for your recognition.

==========================

So, yah. Them's is what a poet is, ayup.

Not expecting an "A" on this final, but at least it's done.
my_window_seat: (Default)
You know, today I answered the question of yesterday's maundering musings.

Today I was reminded of why I'm doing all this.

By 'all this' I mean going through all the headache of getting through school to one day be a teacher.

Today was another one of those small validations. One of those few and far between but essential moments that make me go - well yeah - this is what I'm supposed to be doing.

In my Communication for Teachers class we were all assigned the task of preparing a short teaching session. Each of us has to make up 'homework' for our 'class' and then orchestrate a discussion period based on the material that our 'students' have completed. We each had five classmates assigned to us as our students for this exercise, and we 'teach' them in a sort of performance mode in front of the rest of the communications class as they take notes on how we do. Our teaching session is supposed to be run as a discussion period with our 'students, and has to follow a lot of mumbo-jumbo communications matrices and and a bunch of other touchy-feely shit, and we have to script it out to include praise and certain modeling questions designed to promote different aspects of cognitive thought, blah blah blah -

So anyway, I put together a packet of homework based on the different types of stages used in theatre throughout history. I created an activity at the end designed to allow them to use what they'd learned to think up a simple idea for a show and choose what they felt would be the appropriate staging for it.

Bearing in mind that these are adults in a communications class, not theatre students, there were a few understandably weak smiles of polite compliance when I slapped down the 12-page packet for them to read and complete for my teaching session two days later (today).

See, the reason I think I'm doing the right thing -

These guys really got into this.


The future science teacher - designed a children's show of 'Little Red Riding Hood' with flexible staging so that his performers could interact with the audience.

One girl came up to me after class to show me her 'homework' because 'I had fun doing this. I was hoping you'd call on me so I could show it to you.' This from the young lady who hardly ever says a word in class unless called on to do so. She designed an Arena staging of Psyche and Cupid 'to illustrate the conflict of desire and hope' - and I wish I could remember how else she phrased it. It was fucking beautiful.

The guy who's going to be a history teacher - wrote a synposis of a fairy tale with a little boy who's best friends are a donkey and a turnip - yes, that would be another children's show. He designed it for a Proscenium stage so that he could incorporate an intricate set and pyrotechnics. When I asked him what Russian folk tale he'd gotten his story from, he said 'It's just something I made up. I want to make a few calls and get my facts straight on the technical stuff, but I think I need to really write it up now, you know, finish it. This was really neat.'

With just a few bits of historical reference and diagramed illustrations and an exercise in creativity, I got a handful of disinterested adults to really enjoy the idea of being their own producers.

And I didn't do anything magical. I just let them learn how to create their own magic.

This is it. This is why I want to do what I want to do.

Because goddamn it - I'm good at it.

...

There, I said it.

That's why I want to do the impossible, or so it seems most days.

Because it's the only thing really worth doing to me.

And so then.

Onward.
my_window_seat: (Default)
This semester was supposed to be something of a coast compared to the others.

This semester has defied my expectations by kicking my ass.

Not so much because of the content of the classes, but because of all the surrounding insanity that has ensued from completely upturning all my previous plans and rewriting all my goals to fit ideals that I'd put aside, yes, decades ago and have recently unearthed to try to squeeze back into - and all within the space of the last 5 weeks.

And I am cursed with alliteration and assonance tonight (what, just tonight?). But I think I can live with that.

Basically - if it weren't for everything else, school itself would be cake.

But you know, I'll bet I've already said that about a million different times.

But after three hours of tramping around UNM today from this meeting to that one, making appointments for yet more meetings and finding that the more I learn, the less I know about how I'm supposed to accomplish all this -

I just wonder - what am I trying to prove? Do I really think I can pull all this off? In the time remaining until I run out of financial aid qualification?

And assuming I do make it through all of this before the magical font of financial aid runs dry - why do I think that I'll actually be any good at what it is that I want to do?

Times like this, I'm reminded of what my foster mom once said to me when I was still in high school. A brief but scathing character assessment that has haunted me ever since. I can't even remember the specific context, except that I know it had to do with my frustration at trying to decide on which college to go to and what I would have to do to get into college. I'm guessing that I was at one of my hitting-the-wall points and feeling like chucking the whole idea of college at all.

She said, "You don't really try your hardest because then, if you fail, you can say 'oh well, it doesn't matter because I wasn't really trying.'"

Hum.

I wonder what she'd have to say about me now.

If anything, I try too hard now, but sometimes end up with the result that I just want to give up because I have tried my hardest and I'm still afraid that I will fail.

In the end, what's the difference?

Is it nobler to have done my best and fallen flat on my face than to have fucked off and ended up in the same state anyway?

What's the difference, aside from a larger student loan debt?

...

The only difference I can think of is that I can't think of any way to live anymore that doesn't involve reaching toward some kind of bigger goal. I did the 'let's just wander around and see what happens' thing until I ran out of interesting variations. Now I'm left with that whole Greater Purpose, Greater Good thing - and it scares the bejesus out of me.

I know there's no use in thinking what my life might have been like if I'd had appropriate models to look up to for any length of time. If I'd had, like, you know, parents and shit.

I just have to take the whole being-raised-by-badgers thing and try to work it to my advantage somehow. Stay in school and jump through the hoops and reach for the shiny brass loop and hope that somehow I can retain those fucked-up but still valuable insights and points of view that the badgering lifestyle has given me. Try to find my place in the system without becoming overwhelmed by it and ending up more adrift and out of place than I always have been and always will be.

My foster sister (from another foster family, ho-hum) once told me that she always thought of me whenever she heard Simon and Garfunkel's "I Am A Rock" - because she said it seemed like the complete opposite of me.

That used to be true, I think.

I used to be the clinger, the hanger-on to the things and people that I wanted so much to hold onto, even as they drifted past.

Here I am now, still drifting from this cliff-face to that, but stopping rarely anymore to try to find purchase.

And yet here I am, digging in my oars (and abusing metaphors) in an attempt to eventually find a place in which there is safe harbor.

Even though I don't really believe that there is such a thing as real 'safety'. Not in relationships. Not it a career. Not in goals or achievements.

I'm swimming upstream and treading water and trying to build a boat to take me to a place that I don't even really believe exists.

...

Midterm tomorrow. And teaching session. And somehow need to try to communicate with someone to get the homework assignment for the math class I missed this morning.

Meeerrrooowwww.
my_window_seat: (Yuskavage's Girl)
I've got a train of thought stuck in my head - the whole thing with words, and the relationship I have to them.

It's a different one than I think most of my friends have. My name here in the lala land of LJ, though chosen without a lot of forethought, is really very appropriate.

I really am a whore for words.

Words are my drug of choice.

I don't watch television. I have some minor artistic impulses from time to time that don't involve writing or reading, but when it really comes down to it, words have always been my release, my escape, the things that create the spaces I feel most comfortable in.

My mother, as useless as she is, gave me one thing I've always treasured: she gave me a memory. She said that when I was still in a high-sided crib, she used to put me to sleep, not with a stuffed animal or favorite blanket, but with a book. She told me that long before I could actually read, I'd turn the pages and babble out nonsense in the patterns and tonalities that I'd heard other people use when reading to me.

And I know that although I don't claim to have actually believed in magic past my early childhood, even as a young adult, I felt there was a special power in words. I think I used to believe that if I could just find the right ones, and arrange them in the perfect way, I'd - I don't know - be understood? That what I wanted would find me, recognize me the way I really am?

And now words -

Words.

I still love them. I still turn to them before anything else, and find myself most comfortable with them when nothing else satisfies.

But knowing more about them now, as the psychologists and sociologists will tell you, I know that there are no inherent meanings in words. Language - it's a tool that can serve so many useful functions, but one that leaves as many different marks on the conciousness as there are those who wield it and those who receive it.

I can say "chair" and a completely different picture will form in my head than in yours.

I can draw you a picture of what I see in my mind, and you may identify it as something other than the words I would have used to describe it to you without the illustration.

I still believe that there is a magic in words.


I still believe that they can take me to places I would never otherwise experience, and open my mind up in ways that change its shape forever.

I just don't place the same burden on them to fulfill my every want and wish the way I used to.

It's sort of like missing something that you still have, because it isn't exactly what you once thought it was. The magic carpet that you keep even after you realize it's nothing more than a well-worn rug. The comfort of familiarity with something that still has meaning, even when the shiny surface has gone dull around the edges.

Having piled so many of them in this space, I have no satisfactory way to end this. Not with words.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Who are we when we're at our keyboards?

And how different is that from who we are to those who know us, in that overused phrase, 'in real life'?

How many of us have separations between the two worlds?

And what is it we want from those who only know us from our carefully chosen words?

Where is the line between a reality that happens moment by moment, and one where we have the power of the backspace key - that wonder-twin superpower of revision?

Form of... Shape of...

...

What?

I'm only asking the vague and amorphous pop-psychology questions.

You want answers - get a Magic 8-Ball.

Meh.

Anyway - From the Archives:

Sister Icarus

Once I fell in love as easily
as kittens over countertops.

The ease of it

The sense of precipice in words
that urges, jump -
beyond this, there be dragons.

The fall -
and in that moment's imitation of flight
it is enough -
that promise of possibility.

This is a tinderbox for me,
this day and time where borders are as flexible as modems
and personalities are whittled to perfection.
We have the power of revision.
We can be supermodels, superheros,
superb extensions of our egos.
We can eclipse the sum of our experiences
with the glitter of our wit,
and artifice can make a man of mouseturds.

It should be so easy here,
to leap
and listen for the sound of dragon wings.

I'm not as brave as this new world.

My moments of freefall
are arrested in parantheses
where ends precede beginnings.
My fingers stretch toward faces sketched in words
and snarl in fences.

The view is spectacular.
Wish you were near.

(02.03.2002)
my_window_seat: (Default)
Okay, so me right now?

Drunk.

Drunk as a friggin' lord I am.

Due to folks that I won't name at the moment - or 'folk', rather, singular rather than plural - because I really can't be bothered with even the simple amount of coding that would take. It's enough that I'm making the effort to backspace enough times just to enter this without an egregious number of spelling errors.

Ha-HA. Try using 'egregious' in a sentence correctly when you are this drunk. I dare you.

I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself.

Yes, really.

Not because of anything than anyone observed me doing, other than being kind enough to give sympathy applause to some of the scarier ensembles that tried their hand at kareoke (or however the heck you spell that...) tonight.

No, the shameful part of it is the pure, unadulterated fucking JOY I took in just - ahhhh - I can't even tell you in anything other than silly. literally descriptive terms.

The highlight of my evening came in a retrospective clash of two worlds, if you will.

Because as terribly illegal and inadvisable and just completely STUPID as it was to have been driving around with a warm beer clenched between my thighs and the stereo throttled completely the fuck OUT and the window rolled down and the sunroof open - as damnably dumb as that was and as bad, bad, BAD of a person as it makes me to have been -

I. Care. Not. In. The. Least. right now.

To have had the past and the present laid over each other as seamlessly as they were for that one brief hour tonight - driving down deserted streets with the moonroof open and The Cult's "Sanctuary" pouring out of it like a flash flood - being exactly the kind of person that I hate when I'm sitting in my own home wanting nothing more than unbroken peace and instead having my windows rattled by some cholo rolling past with his mood music of choice coating the entire neighborhood in bass and backbeat -


The fire in your eyes
Keeps me alive
And the fire in your eyes
Keeps me alive
I'm sure in her you'll find
The sanctuary
I'm sure in her you'll find
The sanctuary
And the world
The world turns around
And the world and the world
The world drags me down
And the world and the world and the world
The world turns around
And the world and the world and the world and the world
The world drags me down...



Yes, I knew better. I knew how wrong and stupid it was to be tooling around the streets after last call, reveling in music and past-life rememberances. Driving past the christmas-colored spectacle of cop cars with other patrons pulled over by the side of the road as I drive past, unmolested.

And I still don't care.

I still wouldn't trade it for an extra 24 hours of my life.

Just that one hour. Driving around summer-heated streets devoid of any other drivers, spooling my past out through the windows in a fading wail of guitar and vocals.

If I closed my eyes, I could have seen myself the way I was yes - almost twenty years ago. My best friend driving; me jacknifed out her sunroof, drunk on tequila and wine coolers and singing the "Lost Boys" soundtrack as if it was "Aida".

And then the song stops - the tape rolls on and -

You keep stopping when you could be walking,
Looking at the pictures on the wall.
You keep quiet when you should be talking.
You just don't make any sense at all.
Remember when you were much younger,
And you were lying in your bed
Among the satin sheets and pillows,
Your mother there to ease your head.
Mama, Mama, I keep having nightmares...


Nothing I can remember listening to as a just-post-pre-pubescent riding around after curfew, but still in the same time period. The same feeling. I can't be anything other than rejuvinated at just this moment, disturbing the neighbors without a care or concern in the world - just being here in my own, specific, unduplicated now -

I drive around for a good hour after leaving the bar, sneaking sips of the last luke-warm beer and knowing that if I were in anything other than an alcoholic stupor that my cerebral cortex would process of 'responsibility' and 'maturity' over the last strains of Ministry's "Work for Love" as I pull, finally, into my driveway...

But I'm drunk.

And all the shoulda-woulda-coulda is tomorrow's dilemma, not right now's.

Right now, I have nothing more pressing on my mind than swallowing a few anti-inflammatory's with a swig of water and the hope that I'll wake up in time to make it to my math class. And finish that darned communications paper that I spent the better part of 6 hours working on before getting entirely obliterated.

A bunch of other fun stuff happened as well. I'll say proper thank you when I'm a little more up to the whole coding-of-LJ-names thing.

But at the moment -

I'm drunk.

Did I mention that I'm a little tipsy?

G'night, all.
my_window_seat: (Default)
My world is dust now,
And all I loved is dead.
Oh, let me trust now
In what my master said:
"There is a sweetness in every woe."
It must be so. It must be so.

The dawn will find me
Alone in some strange land.
But men are kindly;
They'll give a helping hand.
So said my master, and he must know.
It must be so. It must be so.


`Candide`

::sigh::

The one thing that's sometimes a little hard to take about my Musical Theatre class -

It constantly reminds me of Stewart.

I keep hearing lyrics in my head in a tenor voice that no one will ever hear again.

What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us are wrapped up in parentheses. - John Irving -

I have no original thoughts tonight. Just memories and quotations.

::sigh::
my_window_seat: (Moi)
Sometimes music is the only thing that can cure whatever is wrong with you.

It can be the Benadryl for those places you can't reach to scratch.

It's the warm water that loosens the muscles held in place so long that they shake with fatigue.

At the moment, mine is Love and Rockets, "Youth".

There's a particular song that you just thought of when you read this - now I want you to tell me what it is.

....

I also don't want to be at work right now, but you'll give me something to look forward to when I get home.
my_window_seat: (Moi)
Why is it that the older we get, the more we fight against the compunction to express the quickly felt emotions? When someone does something that's too - oh, adorable to ignore. Or so frustrating that you want to pinch their head off. Those things that for a few seconds send the stimulus running through your system, with good feelings or bad - for a few minutes, they give you that jolt.

But we don't seem to do anything about them anymore, or not as much. Not as often. We don't tell someone, "I love you when you're..." or "God, sometimes you can be such a cunt, you know?"

Experience.

Being held 'accountable' for our emotions one too many times in the past.

Not wanting someone else to take what we say as an indication of something permanent, for good or for ill. It's not like I really, you know, love you or anything. I'm pissed at you now, but it doesn't mean I really, like, hate you or anything.

We don't trust the other person to understand the transitory nature of our reactions to them.

Maybe we're no longer sure when it is that they are transitory.

Maybe now it feels like too much effort to tell the truth, especially by accident, or we're afraid of the repercussions, the repair work that will have to be done. Or just tired by the idea of it. Not so much fear as a weary resignation.

Maybe I just need to somehow get a little more sleep these days, eh?

Meh.

Off to class...
my_window_seat: (Moi)
So tired; off to sleepies very soon, but have had this thought floating around in my head all day, so thought I'd get it out there to bother someone else with. You're welcome.

Listening to "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" on tape at work. Would have sworn that I read it as a kid, but must have been mistaken - not getting flashbacks of "Oh yeah, I remember this," so for some unaccountable reason, I must have missed this one in my voracious swath through all the rest of Heinlein's stuff back in the day.

I must say, reading it in today's world, it's a bit unnerving.

It reads like a how-to book for revolutionaries. Granted, for revolutionaries who have an all-seeing, all-knowing, virtuably indestructible and can-do-damn-near-anything-but-wash-grandma computer on their side - but hey, details.

It's sad how much of it shows, though, that there's just as much dishonesty and double-dealing that the supposed good guys are willing to do in service of 'doing the right thing.'

::sighs::

The one really cool thing about it that keeps poking me in the brain, though - it's whenever Heinlein talks about the some of societal aspects of what his little colony of outcasts has morphed into. Most strikingly, when he describes the interaction between men and women, and specifically what he calls 'line marriages' - where you don't marry a particular person, you really marry into family of people. A man may have three wives - and two other husbands - or vice versa - or more. You become a part of a generations-long marriage that dates back several generations. A prospective candidate has to be voted into the family - and can only be voted back out by a complete majority. Selections are made with care and never undertaken with haste, and everyone has to agree.

One of the things that stuck out to me today was when he refers to the idea that a loss, a death, in this kind of family, while still tragic, doesn't cause the same kind of devastation that the loss of a parent in a strictly two-parent family has. There's more than just the two-branched root holding the whole structure together.

It's weird that I would find something like this so attractive, though. I mean, aside from the whole warm-fuzzy close-knit extended family part of it.

I used to joke about how, in relationships, because I'm an only child, I never learned how to 'share' because I never had to. I have tried the open relationship thing, more than once even. Wasn't very good at it. Although I think it had more to do with the fact that I'm just not so ace on the whole relationship thing to begin with; may not have had much to do with whether it was open or exclusive or whatever.

It does make me wonder, though.

Would it be easier to be in the kind of relationship that doesn't focus so much on the strengths and weaknesses of just two people? Am I just being idealistic, or would it actually be easier to share if there wasn't so much hanging in the balance - if the affection and the responsibility were distributed over a wider pool?

I don't mean the kind of 'open relationship' thing that people do now, which is basically just license to screw around at will. I mean the kind of thing where several people are committed, not just to each other, but to what they are endeavoring to create together.

I can't imagine it being boring, anyway.

I really don't know.

And it's not like I live in a society where I could point to any examples.

It kind of makes me sad, though.

It makes me think, anyway.

::sigh::
my_window_seat: (Moi)
Both part of a short conversation I had recently and book on tape I'm listening to started me thinking about who I would be and what I would be doing if I had no responsibilities other than to lead the kind of life I wanted to lead.

I guess that in a perfect world, I'd be teaching part time. Maybe high school. Some literature classes, some theatres classes, and maybe english.

I'd also own, part own, or at the very least work in a small used book shop. I'd like to own it really, because I'd like to be able to have a small espresso bar in it, some pastries, like that, and have poetry readings or author appearances or book clubs - what have you - a few times a month. Ideally, there'd also be one back room where I could have a specially-themed movie night a couple times a month - like a night of Bergman or Almodovar or Kubric films, a night of Chaplin or Keaton, a night of comedies about animals like "Babe" and stuff, different nights for French, Japanese, British films - the list could go on.

And I'd also be working part-time in local community theatre. Directing some shows, stage managing others - and in a perfect world, directing my own shows every once in a while. Because in a perfect world, I'd also be writing my own plays in all the spare time I'd have left.

And - because all this isn't enough, of course - once or twice a month I'd do a Story Hour at the local library, complete with hand puppets and silly voices for all the different characters, followed by an arts and crafts project to go along with the story.

If I had longer than a 15 minutes break right now, I'd be able to keep going with this list -

But I don't.

::sigh::
my_window_seat: (Default)
Christmas.

Don't have much to offer at the moment other than maybe a small ramble in the stream of consciousness vein.

I'm not sure exactly what Christmas is supposed to be about anymore.

For most, I suppose it's about being with family, both the loved and the barely tolerated. Exchanging gifts. An orgy of eating and piling up of presenty booty.

I had a good Christmas, with friends and adopted family.

It felt good to be around people without feeling completely out of place. Or more appropriately, to be around specific people that I can relax around, forget about that feeling of disjointedness for a while.

The best gifts I got were the unexpected gestures that aren't a part of my own store of memories from holidays past. The hug from behind without warning. The kiss on the forehead "just because, sweetie."

Those weren't the kind of gifts handed out in my family. You'll never know exactly how much those gifts, above any other, mean to me.

Gyfu is the runic symbol for giving. 'The act of giving, generosity. Generosity is a grace and an honor, a support and a glory, and a help and sustenance to any outcast who is deprived of it.' Giving is the key to prosperity. When you do not feel prosperous, begin by sharing. When you do not feel you have enough to share, begin by forgiving.

I don't know about forgiveness. I'm not at a place where I can see that.

I do know, however, that I am richer now than I was a year ago today.

Not because of a tidy mound of retail indulgences.

But because I'm surrounded by some of the most prosperous people anyone could ever hope to know.

Gyfu means being receptive to the gifts of others. As such it may also mean relationships, as it suggests give and take.

Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. To take the gift. Unwrap the thing held out to you in honest love and friendship.

The story of Christmas is of wanderers and weary people with burdens seeking shelter and rest. A tired man and his young bride, heavy with child, far from home and in need of safety.

The part of the story that's left out is the labor. The act of childbirth. The blood and the screams that signal new life entering the world. I've never seen a creche or nativity scene that included the afterbirth, the bloody straw, the pale and sweat-streaked face of a young woman who has just given birth. We only see the lit-from-behind aftermath, the haloed infant surrounded by benign animals and vaguely represented adults.

We've all of us been through so much this year. The journeys, the rounds of doors closed. The red and white hours of muscle and nerve stretched to tearing.

And today, we all still had enough to be able to give something to each other.

Any day that happens, that is Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone.
my_window_seat: (Default)
Since a day, for me, isn't over until I've slept, it is, for me, still Thanksgiving Day.

It was a good day. Cooking was involved. That always pleases me.

The company of friends and those people who, for me, are my chosen family, were all around.

Get used to having the rug snatched from under your feet enough times in rapid and prolonged succession, you get a bit gun-shy of being thankful for anything you may not have tomorrow.

I'm not one much for giving thanks these days. With some times in life, you take what you get and you call it enough.

But when you see it in front of you, something, someone to be thankful for, for as long as that thing is there, you breathe a sigh of relief for that one day that what you love and hold dear is there for you to acknowledge its value.

Beyond that, you just keep breathing.

I did a reading last night. I don't know why, what made me do it. As with so many other things, the cards aren't something I've trusted myself to turn to for council, or even the momentary illusion of comfort, for quite a while.

I don't know. Sometimes you just reach for something familiar when the time feels right.

...

Center Positions: Ace of Pentacles, reversed, covered by the Queen of Pentacles.

The promise of possibility, somewhat distant, hard to see. Somewhat blocked, but present. The promise of potential. Starting point of a quest for a worthwhile life.

Crossed by the Queen, in this position neither upright nor reversed, she wavers. She needs to be reminded that her srength is made of simple things. She needs to remember the story of herself; the landholder, secure in her possessions, forward leaning, inwardly focused. Presently, asleep in her own dream.

Distant Past Foundation: Seven of Cups, reversed. Sentimentality, being taken in by false emotional projections, inability to choose, ruled by wish-fulfillment and fantasy.

Recent Past: Six of Cups, reversed. The hands scrabbling behind the back for the feel of past connections, the pang of finding no purchase there - the possibility for regeneration. The chance to establish new connections. Emotional turbulence.

Immediate future: The World. The culmination of the journey of the Major Arcana. The Fool finds Wisdom. The work of the Magician and the High Priestess that required stillness and every ounce of reserve, the guardian of the World accomplishes with ease as the rest of Creation travels around it at its pace.

Present Intention: Nine of Swords, reversed. A disruption in the dreaming that brings no rest. A mind eating itself - recognizing that it hungers for something more. Suspicion of self. The desire to reach beyond the pain of self-inflicted injury.

Bringing In: Two of Cups, reversed. Ideals revealed as insubstantial. The tongue that finds the empty spot; probes the hollow space. A bitter taste.

Sending Out: The Magician. A well-crafted exterior. Capable, conrolled. The sleight of hand that can, upon occasion, produce real gold. The one who has all the tools - and the ability to use them.

Secret Wishes, Secret Fears: Eight of Pentacles, reversed. Focused on perfection and missing the flaws. Sweat tickles the brow, clouds the sight, and the mistroke of impatience can cause the forfeit of the prize.

Current Direction: The Hanged Man, reversed. Seen from this direction, he almost appears to be dancing. Poised on one foot. But everything you learned by having your head beneath your feet, your thoughts shaken loose until only those things you knew you trusted were left - do you remember what that was like, that feeling of weightlessness, the serenity, the anchor of unattachment? How much longer do you want to go on, missing that?

Aren't we all just a pack of cards?

What am I thankful for?

...

"Are you always this sentimental?"

"I had a good day."

"You had the Alliance on you. Criminals and savages. Half the people on this ship have been shot or wounded, including yourself, and you're harboring known fugitives."

"Well we're still flying."

"That's not much."

"It's enough."


...

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. G'night.

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