Don’t be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen. George Saunders
Yeah I realize some of my posts are more serious than others.
I'm a complicated human like the rest of you. Each day has its blend of smiles and dread and snacks and headache and success and worry. I saw a really cool show this week, Warren G (preceded by Slum Village), a chill hip hop kind of night, cold and drizzly, Nectar's garage doors half open to let in cooler air and clouds and clouds of smoooke. What a pleasure to see such professionals, old school artists and confident performers. The entertaining DJ Indica Jones kept us laughing and grooving in between sets.
Then yesterday, the Parisian horror, people mowed down by a death cult and why? Because they were out for a drink and music and dancing, the exact thing we'd done the night before.
To continue the thread from last week, there's this post. The yin and yang of abuse. It's thin-ice territory for me.
you beat me
you wouldn't let me cry
you sat beside me with your arm around me and told me that you loved me
. . .
Chaos right now.
I have love, I have people, I have I have I have.
But no one can reach me.
No one can save me but me.
I've been told that I'm resourceful.
The word makes me suspicious. Is it code for something? A back-handed compliment, the way my father would tell me I was "attractive" and we both knew he meant "not as pretty as your sister?"
But then I think, well I am resourceful.
Once, when I was younger, my parents went out and left me in charge.
There was a fight and my littlest sister slammed my hand in the bathroom
door. I knew if our parents found out about the fight, we'd all be in
trouble, so I concealed my injured, rapidly blackening index fingernail. Over the
following weeks, as fluids built up under the dead nail, I meticulously drilled a hole in the nail bed with a safety pin, relieving the pressure. The nail eventually curled
up and flaked off, replaced by a tender, snail-like new nail and I was still called on to be in charge, sometimes.
There was the job I got when I was an exchange student in Germany. My Spanish boyfriend had accidentally crushed the bumper of our group's rental van, after a weekend in Berlin. Everyone else's parents sent them money to pay for the repairs. Not me. My parents were broke as a joke, so, I studied the Marburg classifieds and found a job helping a doctor's wife in Elnhausen with housework. I still remember my German mother Ilse's incredulity when I announced my new position over dinner.
During college, I lived on $10 a week for groceries. (Thank you, Food Giant.)
Anyway, the thing is, I come from a long line of hard-headed Kansan women. One great-grandmother emigrated to western Kansas on a wagon train from Oklahoma. The other taught in a one-room schoolhouse and raised my grandmother as a single parent. My beloved Gram has had three careers so far--mother, schoolteacher, and real estate mogul. So I guess when someone says hey you're resourceful, it doesn't resonate too much.
Being resourceful what's expected. It's how we do.
It's who we are.
I did an audit of my Facebook friends. Occasionally I'll see a post by someone and I can't even remember who they are or how I know them. I'd like to say it's a product of my charm and wit, that I'm connected to so many strangers, but more likely it's a result of one of those late-nights at the bar when it seems like you and your drunken comrades will be friends forever and then the next day you accidentally mop up spilled coffee with the napkin they wrote their numbers on.
Anyway, here's what it looks like for me. At 15%, work is a bigger chunk than I'd anticipated, but there are people from the King Street McD's which for me is almost ancient history. Acquaintances are people I've met on my own and for some reason wanted to connect with, but never really have. Friends, friend of friends, family, you get it.
The intriguing one is Not sure. I may spend some time researching that one. Why do I hang on? Why do I care to see "Bro Tino's" status updates if I have no idea who the hell this person is?
More to come.
Traveling alone is such a fertile time for me, for reflection and decision-making.
On this last trip I came up with some directions or goals or what-have-you:
--Stay positive (think of the nola guy who lost everything to Katrina, think of the woman who lived in a cabin in NC for 2 years with her husband and 2 kids waiting to return, both of them radiating enthusiasm for life)
--Hang with good people (no more wasting time with those who have agendas or aren't nice)
--Be of service (keep volunteering, keep listening and noticing)
--Do more things that contribute to happiness (no backing away from the h-word, no getting complacent or smug or judgey, be honest and say what you mean)
Well anyway all this said, I came home and nearly immediately got my feelings hurt, picked a fight with a friend over text no less, snapped at my fella. They wouldn't be goals if I was already there but the road looks long and I will have to keep this all front of mind, tattooed on my forearm or something.
I saw at least a half-dozen establishments last week with a sign that says "Be nice or leave."
Lots of people say "asterik" instead of "asterisk," I'm sure there's a linguistic reason.
Kind of like "mute point."