Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Your heart is a colostomy bag and your brain is the Peanut of Abomination"

Unemployment is getting a little weird.  I haven't worked in two months.  I need some sort of backbone to my external life, I think.  Or maybe I'm incapable of being content.

One thing I've gotten much better at in the last two years is my ability to feel bad.  I'm much better at not fighting it anymore, and I realize that my obsession with comfort and feeling good is much worse for me than feeling sad, angry, lonely, or stupid.  But all of this time alone makes me feel all of these things fairly regularly.  Teaching is a great way to avoid feelings.  You're never alone when you teach.  The feeling I have now reminds me of what Pema Chodron says about meditation: once you clear away all of the boring clutter of your thoughts, what is revealed isn't necessarily sunshine and poppy fields.  Instead there are a lot of rotting corpses and old gross junk that comes to the surface.  All of this silence has brought some of this junk forward.  It also makes me think of that demon that comes to the bath house in Spirited Away, the one who comes in all giant and dirty and disgusting, and then gets years and years worth of junk pulled out of him--trash and bicycles and crap--and then turns into a wispy spirit that flies away.  I'm not really at the wispy spirit stage yet.  I do find that meditating makes it easier for me to feel bad.  But it doesn't make me feel better.

I think the poem is turning into a junk-clearing exercise.  I've been writing it for almost two years, though I didn't really write much for about a year.  It's entered a new phase, not really based on anything external at all.  Maybe it's about trying to balance my internal and external worlds.  I'm living in a time where so many things I encounter feel like huge metaphors for existence.  Everything feels like a freaking metaphor.  With so many metaphors surrounding me, I'm not really sure why I even write.  The universe is one big poem.  I do acknowledge that I don't really need to write.  I do feel driven to create though.  And I don't want to have kids.  In feng shui, creativity is synonymous with children and childbirth.  When did I become so New-Agey?  Lord have mercy.

I might want to start writing here on a regular basis again.  This is boring and disorganized; hopefully I won't be such a loser in future posts.  I feel like I don't really know how to communicate with people anymore; I spend most of my hours alone, not even really talking to myself.  This should make for interesting teaching, should I teach again.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Depression Before Spring

Stevens wrote it:

The cock crows
But no queen rises.

The hair of my blonde 
Is dazzling,
As the spittle of cows
Threading the wind.

Ho!  Ho!

But ki-ri-ki
Brings no rou-cou,
No rou-cou-cou.

But no queen comes
In slipper green.

What a freaking weirdo!  I love him.  He's pretty much the only thing getting me through right now.  

I hate stupid money and how it controls me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I need serious weed

I also need, in no particular order:

Stevens (I have him, he's sitting right here)
my first book manuscript to get published
for someone else to grade these Raisin in the Sun tests
for someone else to grade these vocab quizzes
8 hours of sleep
green foods that are not high school cafeteria jello
skin that is not both acned and wrinkled
long, dense, apocalyptic novels (I don't know either)
Plath (I have her too)
for Alex to please please turn in his Jane Eyre paper it's over three weeks late and I don't want to call your mom again she's psycho
did I mention sleep
for my sister's baby to be born after this job ends
a bathing suit
for my hips to not be rotated tomorrow at my PT appointment 
martinis (can i have a gift certificate for this somehow?)
to fast forward the next two weeks
health insurance
an eye doctor appointment
someone to do my taxes
a dog walker
a permanent job
bodhichitta (I have it I just need to unbury it)

The healer is paid off as of today.  In two weeks I will no longer have income.  A job is hurtling it's way toward me right now.  It should be here any minute.

I'm tired.  And just the tiniest bit drunk.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Odysseus the Player

My new job entertains me in a thousand ways.  Though all day I've dreaded grading this small stack of Odyssey essays, I starting laughing almost immediately: the title of the first one I read was Gods Are Better Than Humans.  Another essay argues that the men in The Odyssey are "players," while the women are expected to be chaste and loyal.  I love it when 14-year-old girls write papers with feminist themes.  And use the word "player."

There was a puppet show about Scylla and Charybdis, and a song about Odysseus and the cyclops. At the end of one hour spent in the computer lab, one of my favorite students ran up to me and said this about her Jane Eyre paper:  "Ms. Shrew, I think I'm finished!  And I kept in the stuff about Mr. Rochester's blindness!"  She looked so happy--I remember being that happy when I finished my Scarlet Letter paper when I was her age.  My thesis was about the symbol of light...I don't remember anything else about it really, except sitting at my desk scanning the novel for perfect quotes and circling them in an obsessive way.  

I just wrote a quiz about pronouns.  This is what I do for a living now.  I had no idea how much I would love it or how exhausted it would make me.  I can see myself doing this for a long time, though this job is going to end in a month.  So many things are going to change in a month--I'm going to become an aunt, I'm going to be unemployed again, my dude is actually going to live in my country. 

 Today I told my mom that my boyfriend is getting a vasectomy.  I'm not really sure how or why that came out.  Sometimes I get weirdly confessional with my mom.  The thing I felt weirdest about is not that it's now out in the open that we won't ever have kids together, or that I'm not very interested in having babies, but that now she must know that we're having sex.  Or that we will being doing it in an unmarried way in the future.  I still feel like I'm fourteen when it comes to crap like this--even though I've been married and have lived with people, I still assume that my parents think I'm a virgin.  Oh well.  Mom's response was her sort of fake nothing-you-say-can-surprise-me laugh, the one she reserves for every statement I make on the subject of marriage, childbirth, and all of the other practices from which I seem to be sliding further and further away.  I usually don't talk to her about these things.  It did seem like a nice balancing comment for our discussion of my sister's baby shower.

This is all of the time I've alloted to myself for non-grading. 

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dear Diary, Love makes me boring

A pretty standard Friday night.  The highlight was going to get my bangs trimmed.  There were two teen goth girls outside the entrance to the subway with a poster board.  They were offering free hugs.  "Free hug?" one of them asked me.  "No thanks," I said, tears stupidly rising in my throat.  Anything will make me cry these days.  Ask me if I want a tall or a grande and you have no idea what you're getting into.  Next to these girls were the usual people selling things on ratty blankets and a cop politely pushed me out of the way in his pursuit of something bad. After I got my hair done I went to the tea shop and a cute boy smiled at me.  By boy I mean like 20. Someday I'll be attracted to adults.  All in all it wasn't too bad. Now I'm going to try to write.  In case you were wondering, this doesn't count.  

My new year's resolutions:  write poetry everyday, even if it's just a line, even if it's just an image. Even if it's just a word.  Come on, you don't have 30 seconds to write a word down, shrew?  That's what I thought.  The other things: meditate 5 minutes a day to start.  Do the clearing exercise my healer taught me.  That's 7 minutes.  Somehow I've convinced myself that I don't have time to do these things, things that will take a total of about 15 minutes a day.  So I'm going to give myself 15 minutes a day in the hope that it will turn into more.

I spent most of the day obsessing.  On the train, in the car on the way to see my neurologist. Something is shifting in my relationship.  It feels bad but I don't know if it is.  What is happening is that we're getting closer and it feels bad.  It feels bad because it's terrifying.  It is very terrifying and I can see all of the subtle ways I'm trying to sabotage it.  Now I'm going to get all Lifetime on your ass: I am afraid of intimacy.  Hence my past choice of men to whom I have no desire to be close.  It sure is a lot easier when you don't really like them or respect them.  But not as interesting.  I am so scared about him moving back here.  That I have not told him.  I'm really scared about opening myself up to someone, or what I will do in order to avoid it. I'm trying to be a detached observer.  It's pretty freaky, the things I've come up with to avoid intimacy with this person.  I'm too embarrassed to even write about them.  

I am on the mend.  This phrase popped into my head today.  Mending.  My back is a little better thanks to Sunshine and to the steroids that were injected directly into my nerve.  I'm starting to recover from my hellish job.  I'm starting a brand new shiny job in a few days.  I have a shot at trying to find out what a real relationship could be like, a relationship where you actually learn from each other and grown together.  I have this now, but it's a lot different when the relationship is long and sometimes sleepy conversations in different time zones and piecemeal Skype sex. But if I decide I can't do it or I don't want to do it when he comes back, it's ok. It doesn't mean I'm a failure at relationships.  It just means...something else. Tomorrow I'm going to look at properties that he might buy.  It's making me panicky.  Can I live with him? Can I live with anyone?  I don't think I can live with anyone.

Sorry, this is one of the most boring things I've ever written.  I was a lot more interesting when I was pissed off all the time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


What a relief relief relief to be alone again.  When I left my parents several hours ago in the shabby smelly haunted house they rented for Christmas, I was all "Ok bye see you" and practically ran to my car.  The poor exhausted dog immediately fell asleep in her travel crate and I nearly cried tears of relief as we approached the grayish city, my home.  Mine.

When I'm alone or with my likeminded buddies, I feel normal and content, even with the cranky back and lack of job and all of the other things a person could list to show how my life is bad.  But when I'm with my family I feel like Roseanne, Rosie O'Donnell, and Ellen all rolled into one.  I feel like a celebrity lesbian.  A cantankerous one.  But I'm not a lesbian, though my best friend is more of a boyfriend to me than my actual boyfriend is.  And I'm not really always cantankerous, but around my family I have to bite my tongue around every thirty seconds to prevent myself from making cracks about Jesus, James Dobson, marriage, and about thirty other no-no topics.  After awhile, I retreated to my bedroom in the shabby house to read Antigone, which I have to teach in a few weeks.  At least I got my own room in the house--those married chumps had to share.

See, this is the problem.  I don't really like being around married people yet.  I may never like it.  The idea of marriage is so completely repellent to me that I can't hear about how so and so's marriage is different and really great.  Marriage to me is about ownership.  Period.  It's too rooted in yucky history and unavoidable archetypes to be about anything else. It is hard for me to spend 4 days with three married couples that I'm related to.  I feel like either a freakshow, a loser, or a skank--sometimes all three at once.  I don't blame any of my family for making me feel this way--I take full responsibility for my spleen.  But man, it is harsh sometimes.  Usually at restaurants where my mom always has to make sure that the couples are sitting next to each other is the worst.  I stand there while she arranges everyone and then take the sad lonely single loser seat.  The thing is, this isn't going to change.  I'm never going to get freaking married.  I did it and it's not for me.  R. will never accompany me to any of these holiday nightmares if I can help it.  Why would I subject him to that if I can barely stand it?  And even if he did come, it would still be weird.  He's old and foreign and will probably want to sleep in the same bed with me despite our lack of binding contract.  They would have no idea what to do with him.  My family is going to have to deal with my singleness forever.  And, even more difficult, I'm going to have to deal with it forever too.  I like being on my own, but it's hard in this world of nesting dolls.  

This is the last year I do Christmas.  I just decided.  I'll visit family members individually because I actually like them all quite a lot as people, at least sometimes.  Next Christmas I'm going on a yoga retreat or to England.  Or maybe I'll just stay here with a bunch of whiskey and a pile of fifties melodramas.  I already told them that I'm not going to the family reunion this summer.  I'll be too busy with my own family reunion:  my dog and I plan to hug a lot this summer after each of our separations.  It's going to take up a lot of time.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's kind of like acid, only much more expensive (but with a payment plan)

I can't imagine what I could still possibly get out of Buffy, but once again I'm watching the series in its entirety. Right now I'm at the end of season 4, where they go to college. In the penultimate episode of the season, Buffy and her pals use a spell and a magic gourd to unite their powers so that Buffy can kill an uberdemon-man-machine named Adam. As always, I cried. Everytime the theme of the show runs to the friends' love for each other, I cry. Actually I cry at the end of nearly every episode. After a week of new doctors, teaching, yet another strange experience with the healer, and hurting, I was barely mobile on the couch this afternoon watching this, tears streaming down my face. Then I turned off the TV, got back into bed, fell asleep and had a weird sex dream about Spike.

So the healer--I'm going to talk about him. Basically what he does for me is clean my aura over the phone. I understand if you need to stop reading now--I'm fine if you need to go read a blog written by a sane person who takes pills when she gets sick or does exercises or whatever. Ok, see you later.

For those of you who are ok with this, or just want to rubberneck at the crazy lady, read on. My first session with him was exhausting and odd and I didn't quite believe it, even though my pain did go away briefly. The second was similar, only more satisfying, as it went slightly deeper. Last night was very intense and was the first session that caused me to disappear into a sort of trance for a while. My pain went away. Or not away, exactly...my relationship to it changed. It's hard to explain. It's like the core of the pain is gone. The pain is still there but it doesn't have to bother me. It can't really disappear because my sciatic nerve is pinched between my hip joints, which sounds horrible and feels about twice as bad as it sounds. But my relationship to this idea is changing.

The process is called clearing. I do most of it on my own, but the doctor is able to help remove some of the "dirt" for me as well. The general principle is that all humans are filled with a divine light, but this light can be buried under layers and layers of emotional pain. When the emotional pain is too great, it manifests as physical pain. In my case, I have a severe physical problem (several in fact) that must be treated physically, but I am learning that the physical problem was caused or at least aided by this emotional crap. If you believe in chakras, the 2nd chakra (lower back and pelvic region) is where many people hold emotional pain related to sex and finances. It's a weird combo, I know. I won't go into my problems, but they are legion, as you may have guessed. What I'm starting to believe is that I can probably fix my physical problem with chiropractors and physical therapy, but if I don't treat the emotional stuff, it's going to probably attack me again and again, and most likely in the same place as it's been doing for the last 10 years or so.

So the clearing process consists of journaling out loud--dumping everything out that is causing me fear, pain, anger, etc. The doctor, after doing a reading on me (which he does by doing this weird breathing thing which at first I was scared was him masturbating--I know, I know, but I'm starting to be ok with it) will give me a prompt based on what he can sense is going on with me. They have been pretty basic (I'm afraid because...). I keep repeating the phrase and whatever comes to mind until it empties out. Then I asssess my pain with him. He always knows exactly where my pain is--if I say it's at 4 on a 0-10 scale, he might say, Well, I think it's a little closer to 3.5. And I usually agree. He's also been able, over the phone, to tell if I'm moving, sitting, or standing; my weight; that my body doesn't process alcohol well; and that I come from a fundalmentalist background.

So this can go on for two hours or so. Last night we got into this very difficult stuff, and I felt like I had tapped into a well that I've been ignoring for years and years and years. All of this stuff spilled out, trancelike. I talked in a weird monotone that didn't feel like me for almost a half an hour. But it was me. It also may have been, in part, a part of me from a former life (we get into past lives stuff with this therapy, a concept I've always been ok with). At the end of the session, he told me that he saw my back bathed in light. I also felt like something old and hard and painful had been chipped away. This kind of surgery I can deal with.

It's so weird to me that I can't believe in Jesus--can't believe that he was a real guy who died and came back to life--the thing my family clings to the way I cling to my dog when I'm crying at Buffy. But I believe in this. I believe in it because it feels real to me--traveling through the spirals of my soul with this amazing guide is true to me. Everytime I've worked with him, I'm suddenly aware of how vast the universe, time, and space are--how our daily experiences on earth are just a crumb of what we could actually experience in the universe. I feel more like a poet doing this work than I ever could by writing words down. Just this notion alone is enough to heal me some. It also exhausts me. Coming back to this world is very hard for me. I've spent most of my life since childhood trying to hide in one way or another. I've done a lot of that hiding in pain. Light is difficult because you can't really hide in it. And the lighter I get, the harder it will be to hide.

I know it's the archetypal imagery in Buffy that keeps me engaged with it. It's so comforting and familiar. It was so strange to see some of this same imagery inside myself--there are temples and castles and weird winged creatures in there. This imagery isn't just mine--it's ours, the collective unconcious. I felt really strongly during my second session my connection with all beings in the universe. It sucks that I can't walk around feeling this way all of the time--it is a totally powerful feeling. I guess people experience this same kind of imagery when they meditate. Of course, I'll do anything to not meditate--I've got a whole system of distractions. I can see now that addictions are really complicated (disguised as simple) ways of avoiding the truth. I will do just about anything to avoid looking at the truth, especially, for some reason, if that truth is something I actually desire. Having what I want is terrifying. I don't really know what this means, but it's where I'm going to start.

Oh, and PS--Sunshine (my new physical therapist) is amazing. We compared New Englanders to Midwesterns while she did traction on me. Traction is a wonderful, wonderful thing.