Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Don't Look Down

Lately I've been thinking about bridges.

And mistakes.

And hearts.

These lines of thought will come together, I swear.  Okay, they might not on paper or in this post, but they will at some point completely come together.

I frequently refer to myself as an idiot, as idiotic.  I have a litany of quotes about idiots- what it means to be one, how to act as one.  But I always circle back to the notion that an idiot repeats his or her mistakes- egregiously.  (Einstein's is more on insanity but works as well: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.)  Like an Escher drawing constantly looping back on itself, the idiot goes up and down and winds around and around the same mistake over and over and over, thinking that that mistake will lead to different outcomes.

Escher may have well been drawing my idiotic mug.

Lately I've been thinking about the mistakes that I make with my heart.  There are one or two mistakes that I try valiantly to avoid- but seem to waltz myself right into each and every time I put my heart out there.  Maybe the first mistake is putting my heart out there?  Exposing the beating base of my existence to begin with?  But that is a different post for a different time.

This is about bridges.  And mistakes… and hearts and stuff.

It seems like I've been standing on one side of a very deep chasm for a while now.  Let's call my side… Hope.  Then there's the chasm (very deep).  Then, on the other side, there's… well… The Other Side.  It's not hopelessness per say- The Other Side is not the opposite of this side, it's just the other side.  The side over there.  I have stayed on this side.  Not because I'm fearful of The Other Side, but because I'm caught up in a web of mistakes on this side.  And because I'm afraid of the chasm- the free fall to the bottom of bad.  And because I am an idiot, because I keep hoping that this side, Hope, is going to work out.  (It's another one of the mistakes I keep making.)

But lately a new addition has appeared between this side and that side- a bridge.  A bridge called Resignation.  And this bridge is a bitch.

Because it simultaneously strengthens and weakens with each and every mistake that I make.  When I make a mistake- poof, it gets a little weaker, a little less, err, supported.  When I realize that mistake- imagine that! it's suddenly stronger, suddenly wider and seems so much closer.  There are times that I want to bolt across it, one foot in front of the other just to get across.  (Why did the Kate cross the bridge?  To get to The Other Side.)  Then there are times, times when I am still tethered to Hope, when I can barely set one foot on that damned bridge before vertigo sets in.  I shake and shiver and think to myself, this side is so safe, solid ground is so much safer.  And then I think, HOLD ON, you can do this, just don't look down.

Don't look down.

Down just gets you to the bottom of the bloody chasm.  Look ahead, look straight ahead.  One foot in front of the other, and maybe this bridge wasn't built by Escher.  One foot in front of the other, look so straight ahead.  Leave the same old mistakes with Hope, on this side.  One foot in front of the other, each step across Resignation is a step closer to realization.  One foot in front of the other and then you are on The Other Side.

And who knows what the Hell kind of mistakes exist on that side?

Until then,

With Hope and Love always and Idiocy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I hate flying.  (Says the girl with the travel blog).

For all the miles I have logged airborne, for all the miles I have yet to log, I hate flying.  There is something essentially discomforting about surrendering your will, body, and freedom to another- someone else who will only take that will, body, and freedom and attempt to keep them all intact- at 35,000 feet in the air, going somewhere between 400 and 500 miles per hour.

Essentially.  Discomforting.

No thank you.  I will happily give you the turbulence, air pockets, steep banking, and hours on end of nerve wracking wondering 'is that noise normal?'  'WAIT. IS IT?!?!'

No thank you, I will take wings.

I thought about this last night after the frustration and out and out heartache of lost opportunity, lost chance, loss set in.  Wave after wave of 'what ifs' hit me like sledge-hammers or tsunamis to the solar plexus.  And in the middle of all that, I thought about wings (I must confess that I was listening to Birdy's 'Wings'- which was fitting for that moment).  I thought about big, wrapping, beating wings.  Ancient wings.  Wings like Renaissance Angels, dripping with feathers and strength and magician-like power.

I thought, I will take those wings.

There is a question asked amongst a group of friends I have- what major or minor superpower would you have.  Major for me has always been easy- telekinesis.  Moving things with your mind?  Making things happen because you will them to?  Duh.  Easy.

But minor superpower- that always trips me up.  Because what is minor?  I'd like to be able to speak and understand every spoken language, read and understand every written language.  But that's kind of big; all encompassing.  I'd like put my hand in my pocket and pull out anything I need (usually keys I have locked somewhere); pretty minor.

Lately, though, what I wouldn't give for a set of wings.  Pay days, play dates, lines, lists, moneytimeplace- none of it would matter because I could fly.  My minor superpower?  I will take wings.  It is not the same as having the power of flight, but I would certainly use them to fly.  Then distance would not matter, space would not matter.  I could get wherever I wanted to be, needed to be, when I wanted or needed to be there.

I could see the people I love.  Whenever the hell I wanted to see them.  Or love them.  Or be near them at all.

I will take wings that I want.

But until then I'll take the wings I can get.

And Until Next Time…

But seriously… is that noise normal?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Freedom of Speech

There is a blog post that has been kicking around my (sub)conscious for a long time, now.  And despite the fact that I habitually embrace the no-holds-barred style of confessional writing and openness, the post remains unwritten.

I have hesitated.

Every time I go to begin the post, every single time the black keys illuminate the white-slight blue letters which indicate MacBook awakeness, my fingers still.  Forefingers in place on the J and F, thumbs at the ready on the space bar, nothing happening.  Nothing at all.  The silence of the keyboard slowly becomes deafening.  My fingers still, I hesitate, largely because the post I want to write, the confession I want to make, will hurt someone else.

Not directly- there would be no names named or called.  Not obviously- there would be only vague descriptions of circumstances.  Not specifically- and never intentionally.  But it would hurt one person immensely- provided that person had the inkling to read it and the wherewithal to put two and two together.  It would hurt someone significant to me.

And that is beyond even me.  It is too much to ask of myself despite my desire for visceral, brutal, sometimes hateful honesty.

Which, lately, made me stop to think.

Where do I draw the line?

I believe, above every other fundamental freedom, in my freedom of speech.  I live and die by the freedom to speak my mind.  To write my mind.  To whit: I want to write that (unwritten) post.  I believe in what I am saying and in my right (write?) to say it.  I want the moment from that post.  But I cannot have it, nor will I take it.

I have written a lot, I write a lot.  I write things that terrify me to reveal.  I write things that terrify others to read.  I have judged myself in what I write; I have allowed other to judge me in my writing.  My chopping block, my personal guillotine is called qwerty.

I write and I write and I write- I have diaries, journals, blogs, Theses, articles, papers, promises, notes, comments, cards, messages, texts, emails- millions and millions of words have spilled out of me.  So where do I draw the line?  I have used my freedom to put out that I have an eating disorder, a disease.  I have made very clear, with free will and my freedom, that my brain is a bruised, fragile, skittish creature.  I have torn apart my own life, with words, innumerable times, under the guise and protection of freedom.  I have confessed to love.  I have confessed to loss.  I have confessed to every damned thing that has driven me to this keyboard.  Knowing that I could write, knowing that I would write.

I have upset so many people with my words, with what I write; I have angered them.  People have hurt, have been hurt by the things I write.

Where do I draw the line of what should or should not be written?

The simple answer is that I usually don't.  I don't toe a line or tow a line.  I don't draw one.  I have no use for lines.  I don't play along or color in them.  But here- in this moment, in this post- I draw the line at hurt, intentional hurt.

There will be no hurt, not on purpose.  Not from me.  Not by my words.  Not by the things I freely and wantonly write.

Until next time, and hopefully never after-

I will do no harm.  

And I sure as Hell won't publish that post.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October Obsessions

I skipped September.  And I skipped for a very specific reason-

I wanted to lead with this.

Mom came to visit in mid-September and brought me a goodie bag of deliciousness.  Yes- as a matter of fact I do occasionally exhibit the spectacularly advanced palate of a 5 year old.  I love these.  Pure sugar, in fun little Happy Fall! shapes.  (An aside?  When Brachs added the pumpkins, and then later the little flying witches, I very nearly died and went to Happy Cavity! Heaven).  But there is a part of me (probably the same juvenile one with the obscene sweet tooth) that cannot bring myself to even look longingly at them before October.

Remember, mom gave them to me in September- helloooooo loophole.

Apparently my obsessive side, at least musically, has decided to revisit my college years.  The early 2000s are making an epic comeback on my iPod.  Even though I own all of their work and like it all well enough, these two albums played a huge role in my undergraduate career.

I used to nap (back when I actually could) to Rush of Blood.  It became Pavlovian, and still sort of is.  I cannot listen to it if I want to be at all cogent, aware, engaged (read awake).  I can listen to it on long plane trips- it will be one of the 'Soundtrack to Flights to Norway' albums.  Not to mention the fact that Rush of Blood to the Head (the song) functions as one of those weird, dark definitions of love for me.  If you are going to start a war for me, game on.

X&Y is a different story altogether.  I was a senior in college- or maybe getting ready to enter my senior year- when the album was released.   Three songs in particular endlessly stand out: Swallowed in the Sea (oh what good is it to live with nothing left to give?…. are the streets you're walking on/a thousand houses long/well that's where I belong/and you belong with me), Till Kingdom Come (for you I've waited all these years… just say you'll come/and set me free/just say you'll wait- you'll wait for me), and Fix You.

Fix you in particular… one night I sat and cried my eyes out to that song.  I put it on repeat and let it fly.  A friend of mine once told me that there were days when all she wanted to was fix me.  I told her I was better broken.  You can see how this song might be poignant.  You can maybe see how, on a dark night, when all I wanted was a magic carpet ride home and a hug, this song might make let me cry and release all of this pent-up blueness.

The Blacklist.  Judge me- I don't care.  James Spader has never been finer than as bald, post-middle aged badass Red Reddington.  And he delivers lines which could define one-liners.  I just rewatched the first season in an epic Netflix binge (Bless You, The Bob, for giving me that password).  The new season is on and rolling.  Yum.

My friend Liz.  Yes, I putting my friend on my obsession list this month- no you don't get a photo or a link.  The thing about Liz is that she has wisdom beyond wisdom- she has intuition and strength.  And every single time I don't expect it, she blows me out of the water with it.   Her quote from today?  "It's a grand mystery, the whole goddamned thing."

The wind, in New England, in the fall.  If there is an embodiment of the fall for me, it's not the leaves, which are admittedly beautiful.  It is the wind.  The howling, tearing, wrenching wind.  The uncontrolled, untamed, wild wild wind.  It is cold and brutal and unforgiving.  It speaks when it sails through the mountains, trees and barely opened windows.  It fractures my soul into a thousand pieces that then go sailing with it.  I want to be this wind.

That's all for now.

(In two weeks this wind will have frozen me to near-death and I will be singing a different tune… But until then, dear ones..)