Well, I try to live my life - I lived it so well
When it's all over, is it heaven or is it hell?
Better be happy now that no one can tell -
See nobody knows.
I'm gonna be happy with the way that I am.
I'm gonna be happy now with all that I stand for.
- Jason Mraz, "The Boy's Gone"
I'm carrying around this weird blend of sadness and joy these days. I am perpetually bemused and confounded by the paradox of a world so filled with horrors, and yet so filled with beauty and blessings, too. I went home to visit my family over the weekend, riding the train through smallish coastal Michigan tourist towns filled with people basking in summer heat and revelry. I was reading magazine articles about terrorists and bombings and religious intolerance; my dad picked me up, and we discussed political corruption and mismanagement of resources and how open-mindedness is a rare and cherished quality. We talked about our fear of the direction our government is heading, and tried to take comfort in the fact that the pendulum inevitably swings the other way. We did this while driving to my dad's beautiful home nestled in a snug apple orchard way off the beaten path, top-down Jeep open to the night wind and the stars.
Sometimes I'm not sure my spirit can stretch far enough to encompass all of what I see in the world. Even the joy seems too painful sometimes - the curve of a father's hand around his infant son's head - the unconscious smile of an old woman closing her eyes to feel a warm summer breeze on her eyelids...these little things are so big to me right now, so important and critical to hold onto when there is such pain and suffering blaring so much louder in the world.
And I'm wrestling with my own woes, and keeping them in perspective in the context of the world. My biggest problems are convincing myself to not be a lazy jerk and leave a week's worth of dishes in the sink. Making my peace with the fact that I'm single and live alone. Talking my cats into not clawing my toes in my sleep. These things are trivial, frivolous when compared to the millions upon millions whose health, homes, and families are in physical danger every single day. Children in Iraq will probably never know a day in their entire lives when they don't have to worry about a suicide bomber threatening them or someone they know. Children in Africa are lucky to make it to my age without dying of AIDS or malaria or hunger or genocide. Around the world, women my age are living as chattel to their husbands or fathers, without access to education or birth control or any means of providing for themselves. Entire cultures around the world are disappearing as the environments that produced them disappear before the monster of Development.
All of that is true. But my problems are still my problems, and no closer to being solved.
"There's water in my eyes and fire in my heart - would you like a drink or spark?" That quote sums it up for me right now.
What good is it if I can't even sing it to you?
What good is it if i can't even come on and sing it to you right now?
'Cause talking won't do it and walking won't rush it along.
'Cause talking won't do it and walking won't rush it along.
- The Guess Who, "Do You Miss Me Darlin'"
You'd think that the onset of one of those restless, unhappy phases in my life would mean I was creating out the ass....but sadly, no. I'm working on some tunes, but nothing like I ought to be with the angst I'm feeling right now. I'm almost finished turning my second bedroom into a Rock 'n Roll Room, with the purpose of helping me focus on recording and writing and playing and singing...since I've been so distracted with other stuff these days. I figured if I gave my home a special space dedicated to all my musical stuff, it might nudge me into putting more time into it. But I've been pretty wrapped up in other stuff - community, family, travel, being sick and trying (!) to get well...it all takes time. Which doesn't leave me with much to put towards music.
I do, however, now have the ability to record something straight to mp3, which makes me ecstatic. I've tested it out, and it works. All that now remains is the obsessiveness required to get the Perfect Take laid down, so I don't have to wince at every little misstep or not-quite-right note.
I wanna stand out in a crowd for you
A man among men
I wanna make your world better than it's ever been
And I'm gonna love you
Like nobody loves you
- Keith Urban, "Making Memories of Us"
I had a dream the other night. It was one of those dreams that leaves you confused and disoriented when you wake up, it's so intense and real. I have pretty vivid dreams pretty often, but I'm so used to it, that I'm rarely confused on waking...but this one hit me like a ton of bricks, and left my head spinning when I woke up and realized it was only a dream.
Now, before your dirty mind gets all excited...it wasn't an X-rated dream. Hell, probably wouldn't even be a PG. There wasn't even tongue kissing!
However, for all that the only kiss in the entire dream involved a hand, the dream carried the most intense feeling of connection I've ever experienced, dreaming or waking. It was one of those movie-like scenes - one of those boy-overlooks-dream-girl-for-some-ridiculous-reason, then-suddenly-comes-to-his-senses-and-makes-cheesy-declaration-of-love things. It was at once more overdone and less melodramatic than any movie I've ever seen. I remember the expression on his face - the sincerity in his eyes, the set of his jaw, the way his lips pressed together before he spoke, the way he had trouble putting the words together. I remember that it didn't matter - that I knew what he was going to say, or what he meant, without him having to speak. I remember I didn't say anything at all.
I'm sure part of this was that I'd recently been thinking about the guy in question, not in a romantic sense - but that's part of our history, so it could show up in my subconscious attempts to process. I'm sure an even bigger part was the fact that I am coming to terms with the fact that I really would rather not be single. Despite my attempts to insist that I'm happy alone....well, I'm not. I'm not desperate or miserable....I'm just not as content as I'd like to be. And as much as it goads me, I think I'm going to have to grit my teeth and try to do something about it.
You've been saying for the longest time
That the time has come
You've been talking like you're of a mind
To get some changing done........
You might still be searching every face
For one you can't forget
Love is out there in a stranger's clothes
You just haven't met him yet
And no one knows where they belong
The search just goes on and on and on
For every day that ends up wrong
Another one's right
Call it chance or call it fate
Either one is cause to celebrate
The question begs, why would you wait
And be late for your life?
-Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Late For Your Life"
So that's where I am. Still present. Still breathing. Still whiny as a mother. C'est la vie.
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.