Sunday, March 25, 2012

JUST MAYBE BUT

Whew. Today did not go as planned. I had thought I would have lots of time to work on a variety of  important things, but all I have done, all day, is mess around with my laptop. I had to clear off 26 gigs of music in order to back up my iPhone which needs the new IOs ... oh this is fascinating.

I'm tired. I'm cranky. And I have a few miles to go before I sleep.

But! Maybe just but! Just maybe but! I will feel accomplished! And I will sleep better than I did last night. And I will wake up full of optimism and enthusiasm, well slept and ready to face the week.

Cooder and Emmy are sitting nearby, both of them gently switching their tails as if they are idling their motors. What do they think they are getting up to?

I did finally find my missing winter shoe (not that I need it so much now) in a place I thought I had looked. I mean, it was an obvious place for it to be, so I cannot imagine I did not look there, although I suppose I could imagine that I did.

I'm losing what little clarity I might have had. I need to sleep.

Yesterday was not so good. Very down. Very blue. I read most of the day, which I suppose is better than engineering self-destruction. Today might have been a little better. I even got one of the B's to take a walk with me late this afternoon as I had not been out of the house in more than 24 hours.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

LIFE OBLIGES THEM

One of my closest friends is a struggler also. Depression, finances, etc. More than once we have had the discussion, the "is-this-the-bottom-and-am-I-on-my-way-up-now" talk. We have looked for perspective and hope, a nascsent expectation that things have gotten bad enough, that we've been in enough pain, and that we've done enough earnest work to turn around our situations or fortunes. That the momentum will now go in the other direction.

Thing is, you can never tell when you are there. Or at least neither of us has been able to.


He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.

Friday, March 23, 2012

HOW LITTLE YOU GAIN

Stumbled across this little poem. I have some issues with being on time except for movies.   I've worked on this issue and am MUCH MUCH better. However, Louise and I were chatting about this and what it means to be extra fluid (And what is extra fluidity anyway? Seems as if you are fluid or not.) about social engagements (Something else that I/we see differently than others. )

It ought to be plain
how little you gain
by getting excited
and vexed.
You'll always be late
for the previous train,
and always in time
for the next. -

Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)

And then, I got this blog email which I am including in its entirety. (Entirety is a good work. Very rhythmic, no?)

Extending the narrative

Did you wake up fresh today, a new start, a blank slate with resources and opportunities... or is today yet another day of living out the narrative you've been engaged in for years?
For all of us, it's the latter. We maintain our worldview, our biases, our grudges and our affections. We nurse our grudges and see the very same person (and situation) in the mirror today that we did yesterday. We may have a tiny break, a bit of freshness, but no, there's no complete fresh start available to us.
Marketers have been using this persistence to their advantage forever. They sell us a car or a trip or a service that fits the story we tell ourselves. I don't buy it because it's the right thing for everyone, I buy it because it's right for me, the us I invented, the I that's part of the story I've been telling myself for a long time.
The socialite walks into the ski shop and buys a $3000 ski jacket she'll wear once. Why? Not because she'll stay warmer in it more than a different jacket, but because that's what someone like her does. It's part of her story. In fact, it's easier for her to buy the jacket than it is to change her story.
If you went to bed as a loyal company man or an impatient entrepreneur or as the put-upon retiree or the lady who lunches, chances are you woke up that way as well. Which is certainly safe and easy and consistent and non-confusing. But is it helping?
We dismiss the mid-life crisis as an aberration to be avoided or ridiculed, as a dangerous blip in a consistent narrative. But what if we had them all the time? What if we took the resources and trust and momentum that helps us but decided to let the other stuff go?
It's painful to even consider giving up the narrative we use to navigate our life. We vividly remember the last time we made an investment that didn't match our self-story, or the last time we went to the 'wrong' restaurant or acted the 'wrong' way in a sales call. No, that's too risky, especially now, in this economy.
So we play it safe and go back to our story.
The truth though, is that doing what you've been doing is going to get you what you've been getting. If the narrative is getting in the way, if the archetypes you've been modeling and the worldview you've been nursing no longer match the culture, the economy or your goals, something's got to give.
When decisions roll around--from what to have for breakfast, to whether or not to make that investment to what TV show (or none) to watch on TV tonight, the question to ask is: Is this a reflex that's part of my long-told story, or is this actually a good decision? When patterns in engagments with the people around you become well-worn and ineffective, are they persistent because they have to be, or because the story demands it?

Now, if that ain't something for me to start my day ... (Well, it really started with Emmy butting up against every bit of skin she could find in the hopes of getting some petting.)




Old and new?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DOING WHAT IN THE WIND

Until today I had not really considered a job as a consumable, a commodity, something that some have and some don't. Something to be acquired. I had a whole other mental direction, a different take,  on work, on jobs. I thought it was something everyone, the general everyone, had or did. Of course not EVERYBODY had one, some didn't like theirs, etc. But looking for work on the internet is so impersonal. Talk about pissing into the wind. Yikes.

I don't know where this "consumer" mentality came from. Guess I will have to continue to brood over it.

This is from the Poem of the Week (274!) I sent this week.


The woman washed up on shore. No one could identify her. As
her body lolled back and forth in the tide, no one could tell if she was
arriving or departing.   


from Pears - Morton Marcus

I feel a bit like this.

At least it was sunny today. I was out, but so depressed or emotional than I can scarcely remember it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

BLOOMIN'

Foghorn day again. And no lightness of "leghorn" ... I was chatting with one of the B's about the weather. She said she did not mind the grey. I just find it extra oppressive when I am already down and struggling.


I just cannot get awake today. I did an early bedtime and was out of bed sometime near 7, although I did turn off the alarm a couple of times. I didn't want to do anything from the moment I hit consciousness.

But I did anyway. I drove to the post office to mail out the last two eBay items. (I didn't have the energy to post anything this week.) And then I went to the happiest place on Earth, Trader Joe's, for some groceries. It was so easy to park at 9:15 I thought something was wrong.

I had to drive around a lot to find a place to park in this hood. 10:30 in the morning is not a time a lot of people are coming and going. I had to settle for a Friday spot when I was hoping for a Tuesday. Then I wouldn't have had to worry about driving any more this week. Oh well, there are larger tragedies in life.

The trees are blooming. It's almost as if they explode. One day nekkid, the next sashaying above with blossoms galore. I didn't even see these trees go through the budding stage. With all that burstingness, it is hard to stay glum. But I manage.


And then I came home and kind of floated through the rest of the day. Starting your day early means you can fool around or space out more and still have time to actually get things done. I took a nap, but some part of me is still asleep.


So, here at 7:10, I am still trying to be productive. I stole Cooder's chair though and I can hear her on the desk, probably waiting for me to get out of the seat she wants.

This is what Cooder looks like when she sits on me during nap time. She wants lots of petting. Then she usually leaves.

I did do some work today. And I did finally vacuum the carpet in the front room and the office area. That had been a long time coming. I found a dessicated palmetto bug or something. I could have photographed it, but I cleaned it up instead. Dishes done. Ironing started. I even found the car insurance renewel so that I am driving around with the right papers.

Then again, I'll be driving around with an expired driver's license soon. It cost $80 to renew and it seems as if there are no options. At least that's what I think the form said. Best I get around to checking it out again.

Getting to be past my virtuous bed time. I wanted to take a bath and read, but that will be very late. Another night, soon. I have to be careful not to bathe, take baths, that is, during the day as I go into slower mode. For now, just washed face and brushed teeth, and maybe a little bit of reading or another episode of Portlandia.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS

A New York Department of Transportation truck idled noisily, very noisily, outside my window at 6:30. I know about carpe diem and all, but that certainly felt inappropriately early. Cooder was cuddly, and goodness knows that is rare enough, but the racket, and then a surprise attack by Emmylou, disturbed her. Given that I am trying to retrain myself for earlier hours, I got up. The sky is foggy, showing no hint of yesterday's spring.

The coffee tastes good, though: it has depth, no bitterness, and a slight aftertaste of chocolate.

Somewhat later ...

A well-dressed father walking up to the park with a newborn-ish (in a cuddlyslingything), a post-toddler on a scooter, and a bull terrier: "We have to get ahead of the bird chasing initiative ..." Was he teaching his son about business? Some version of the early bird gets the worm? They were quite serious.

Yes, I'm shocked myself, but I did get a load of laundry started. I was the only one at the 'mat besides the owners who don't like me as I argued with them about a pair of pants they utterly ruined by bleaching.

Later that morning, still ...

Would it freak you out to be locked out of your apartment building in sweats and no shoes with no wallet or cell phone? I ran out to toss two packages in the mailbox. I grabbed the wrong keys. And found myself on my doorstep and no one home. I mean, what do you do? In my case, the realtor who found this place for me is around the block, so I thought I would head over and see if he could call my landlady who might be able to get the super to let me in.

Besides being on a schedule and having things I was trying to get done, I panicked because I didn't have a SHRED of anything to READ. Nada. What was I going to do if I had to wait until 6:00 for someone to come to the building? Color me freaked out.

And then I saw a postal truck. I asked the driver if he had the key to get into the front ... AND HE DID. He let me in. I couldn't believe it. He was so incredibly nice. I suppose I looked innocent, given that I was underdressed and barefoot. I am still so relieved I hardly know what to do with myself.

I wondered how all those postman got into all those buildings. Turns out there is a key box on all the apartment buildings. In the key box, voila! there is a front door key. K said that they aren't supposed to do that. Perhaps I looked extra-freaked out as the postman agreed to rescue me almost immediately.





When in doubt, prone out. I took a short nap. I woke up to a cat on each pillow.

They sure look a lot alike, don't they. the

Monday, March 19, 2012

WHERE IS MY SPRING?

Buds overhead.
My head hit the pillows at about 9 pm last night. While this level of exhaustion does appear from time to time, I rarely succumb to actually going to bed. More usually, I would waste time playing solitaire or watching something, but, as I could barely formulate a sentence, just going to bed seemed like the best option.

I didn't sleep all through the night, of course. The heater is still on, so at least one of my windows is wide open. At about 5 am, I heard, or thought I did, someone, in a nearly conversational tone, asking for 911 to be called. As I was deeply asleep, I waited for subsequent yelling, crying, or some other sign of distress to ascertain whether or not the request was real or my psyche in a panic.

Bench detail.
Much later ...

Well now isn't that interesting? I just saw an ad for a Filippina dating service on my site. One wonders how that might have ended up here. Oh well.

Bucking my usual tradition today, I took a shower and walked to the library before noon. My mood might have improved but my productivity is not particularly awe-inspiring.

I do think getting to bed early is a good thing and now that I look at the time, I realize it is 7:45 pm and I have not yet had dinner. I am sitting in my favorite trashed club chair watching the sunset through the branches of my still-naked tree and listening to Brad Meldhau. Trying trying trying to be of different cheer, to see possibility, to have hope, to find a job. Beating down the walls of what I know and how I do things to see how I might change and find an escape or a transition that puts me in a better place with forward motion and a new perspective.

Where is the sign of my spring?
But for now, food.

Sigh. Yes, I am trying to be good, to be different than I have been in ways that will lead me to be more secure and successful.

Yes. I try to make even a little bit of progress when I just want to disappear or freak out or space out.

I walked.
I returned library books.
I did the dishes.
I watched what I ate.
I did the hand washing.
And yet.
And yet.

There were many signs of spring in the park today. I tried to photograph the beauty of the budding magnolias and the patches of daffodils. I tried to enjoy the light and the air.

But the fear and the dread and the panic are near. And the confusion.

There was a time when I was not so bad. When my self-esteem and self-assurance were a bit higher. When I had confidence and felt I could do anything. I am at a loss as to where I went. And, of course, I feel as if it will never return or even be replaced.

I'm just putting it out there: Hey, Universe? It's time for me. Now.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

THE THINGS WE DO

Up before daylight again. I had vaguely intended to move my internal clock to waking up earlier, but I don't think I had 5:15 a.m. in mind. And while drowsing and trying to get back to sleep before I actually got up, I had interesting trains of thought to follow for this morning's missal, I can't think of them now.

Now, at 7:12, after a slice of pizza and a cup of coffee, I am more ready to go back to sleep but I've got another day at the American Crossword Tournament. Will I look back on this and chuckle at the things I had to do to survive? I was on my feet a lot yesterday, picking up puzzles when they were finished. I am going to try to be a judge today instead. Plus, some of the other referees are weird in the way that subculturists can be: a bit Aspergerian and oblivious, a bit too emphatic and full of arcana ... kind of competitive and authoritarian about getting to the puzzler before anyone else.

And cheap hotels ... bad lighting, bad "art," uncomfortable furniture, ugh ... I don't enjoy being in those environments at all. I find them extremely depressing. Desperate.

Cooder has not gotten out of the rocking chair this morning; maybe it is too early for her. I have taken over her Victorian rocker, here in the dining room. Emmylou is perched in a semi-meatloaf on the edge of the dining room table (where she is not supposed to be) watching the typing. Perhaps I will be filled with more insights when I return later. This is supposed to be a half-day, so maybe I will get some sunshine and rest later. Now to shower, extra caffeinate, and get dressed ...




Saturday, March 17, 2012

MORNING CROSS

I know the signal is preternaturally quiet from this place. Often that is a sign of despair. Given that despair is readily reasonable and available, I am working to avoid it by largely being out of the house. It was very grey and rainy yesterday and that worked hard against the chipper-rooney. I saw a show of Renaissance Portraits at the Met with Louise.

Today and tomorrow, I am working with one of the Bs at Will Shortz' Crossword Puzzle Competition as a monitor. Make a small amount of money, but that's how she rolls these days.

Later.

Friday, March 16, 2012

CASH AND COOKE

Wednesday, March 14

Okay, back at the Red Horse Cafe. Today, maybe because it is earlier in the afternoon, not so emo. I don't think Bob Mould is very "emo" and I am pretty sure that is what is playing. I don't find it very good thinking music, either, so I guess I am going to have to dig out my earlphones — earphones, but earlphones is good, right? — and try to think. I just remarked to someone, well, wrote-remarked, that I have worse self-esteem when I try to write cover letters and fill out applications from home.

I wonder why this is? I think it is the pervasive feeling of fear that is like a fog in the apartment. Fear of losing the apartment because as of this date, I have no idea how to pay next month's rent, fear of the unbelievable hassle and pain of packing up, fear of the reality of failure at life, the list could go on, but I am not here to focus on how bad I feel there.

Johnny Cash and Sam Cooke are probably better for me to listen to, even if Johnny was singing about Jesus.

Just got this in from a pal who disputes my earlier post about the BQE:


Hi Sally,
    OK, if you think that's bad, you should see the traffic and utter chaos where I am this week - Bangalore, India - where lane markers and traffic lights are at best a suggestion andnobody stops for pedestrians. Scary as hell. I do like the spider webs on LSD analogy and it really fits Indian cities too. (Just check out Google Maps for Bangalore or any city here and you'll see ... there is not one right-angle intersection to be found.)
    No matter how bad things might seem, there's always someplace worse!

Well, he's right about the someplace worse thing. 

And for the record, we've moved on to Paul Robeson singing Old Man River. Not sure why, but it is making me cry.

I kid you not: with the sun streaming in the door here at the Red Horse, I looked up from my laptop. There stood a beautiful redheaded girl child, solemnly waiting for me to  see her. She looked right into my eyes and then without changing expression, stuck out her tongue at me and then calmly walked away.



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DRIVING ON HELL'S HIGHWAY

Uh-oh. Red wine depression alert. Good thing it is sunny today. Perhaps a walk later will take the down off.

I had a meeting yesterday with Iris to talk about a possible pitch for an educational publisher. I thought I would drive as it is really not very far, about 10 east coast miles, and then I wouldn't have to worry about moving the car for alternate side parking (also known as street cleaning).  Although Queens is actually physically close, there is just no direct way to get there. Well, what many of you don't know that is Hell is a road called the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway ... not a thing "express" about it).

Everyone knows about traffic, so no news there. Just that there was so much at 11:00 in the morning. And there are not very many on or off ramps, so you are really really stuck. As a California girl who grew up with, is deeply and instinctively accustomed to good, well-planned freeways, this is insanely frustrating. What! No options! If you were to take surface streets, be advised that streets are crazy crowded and streets don't necessarily run in any consistent direction. As far as I can tell, Brooklyn-Queens is not as arbitrary nor were they designed by spiders on LSD as were most of the roads in New Jersey. The BQE is almost always under construction, and the Kosciusko Bridge had a lane out that held up traffic for 10 or 15 miles. Next time I drive it, I'll try to photography how ugly it is from that highway, notwithstanding a view of the East River and Manhattan.

Why the diatribe? Oh why not? I suppose I can move back into tales of woe rather than anecdotes of frustration.

I think I will just get on with my day. I'm not sure that writing right now, inasmuch as I look forward to our time together, will lead to either peace of mind or productive job hunting.

And hey, I am almost to the point of getting paid for the adverts on this page, so if any of you click on anything, I might well be getting a check for $10!





Tuesday, March 13, 2012

GONE AND CHANGING?

I wasn't going to write this morning. There are days when I do get out of bed and right down to it, and days when, well, even caffeine doesn't quite cut the fog. I'm not sure, but maybe it is lifting. This apartment building is old enough so that I can hear the sounds of the upstairs neighbors, my friends, getting ready to get out: water running, footsteps, chairs moving, doors opening. In my own little corner of the world, Cooder and Emmylou have already sparred and spatted, and are now sleeping peacefully nearby, Cooder in her favorite rocking chair, Emmylou here on the dining room table (where she is not supposed to be) in the pool of light from a desk lamp.

It's rainy and grey on a morning I was expecting and planning on sun so that I could photograph some items for eBay posting tonight. Thanks to some of you, I had a leettle more cash, and could take a week off of the eBay rat race. Oh well, I will figure out something I guess.

On the good side, even though I can hear the wolves in the forest, I am sleeping fairly well. If the wake-up-drums had not gone off, I would probably still be cozily ignoring the alarms of my reality. I suppose research studies are not necessary to understand the human compulsion to curl up in non-sunny weather.

One of my usual suspects is on a Neil Young tear. When this friend gets focussed on something, just watch out, as there will be a barrage of youtube videos and related references to whatever is the current obsession. Mind you, I am nearly always interested and welcome the discoveries. On my recent trip to Rhinebeck, I grabbed After the Gold Rush to listen to in the car. I listened to it two or three times straight through (remember when we had turn over the record?). And this morning, I woke up with I Believe In You echoing around:

Now that you found yourself
losing your mind
Are you here again?
Find what you once 
thought was real
is gone, and changing?

Somehow that must resonate both with my current state of stress and confusion relating to how to get a job in this world which seems to me to have changed in indecipherable ways. 


Sunday, March 11, 2012

NOT A MARX BROTHERS' COUNTRY

I would that I could get a handle, a solid persepective, on how to better wrangle and motivate this meat suit, this mortal coil, I currently inhabit. And there are times when fear and despair and exhaustion, mental and spiritual, are difficult to distinguish. Which is it? A veritable barrage of negative-thought critters constantly sniping and tripping me along the way. The view from this dumpy lighthouse is not optimistic; the light generating mechanisms are clogged.

And even today, when I at least have the benefit of another location, (being in Rhinebeck), I still feel despondent. Le désespoir. For those of you who do not, have not suffered from genuine depression, there is a place here, and it just might be a defining characteristic, where all positive possibilities are dimmed out of sight and far out of reach. There are other territories of depression, the not-caring, the self-destruction, places of anger and hatred. But the darkness and nothingness parts are tough as they do not even spur one to any sort of activity.

I keep returning to the fear part of this. As I analyze myself, as best as I can, is it fear that stops me from acting or even figuring out how to act in one's best interest? Fear of rejection, more failure, of imagination, not having any damn gumption? I really cannot get that view. All I know is down. All I feel is sad and frightened resignation. And the fear of more hassle if/as my situation deteriorates.

When you are this far "in country," anhedonia runs in the blood. Anhedonia sounds kind of fun, like a made up Marx Brothers country. Not so, my friends, not so. Nothing does, nothing pleases, nothing interests. One wonders, one marvels at others soldiering on. Even more so, at those being happy, energerized, comfortable.

I have never been one to prioritize stability and comfort, and even now, as I yearn for more of it, I know that those things, too, are illusory and often not as stable or comfortable as my current projections would have them. But still, right now, nothing seems as sweet as the knowledge that I had enough money and reasonable things to do to continue to generate it. And that, too, is another country, the country of more comfort, more stability, more ease.



K and I, as well, as other friends, speak often of fairy tales. What are the deep stories and myths that shaped your life? I think we internalize stories whether or not we realize it. I am stuck somewhere in Sleeping Beauty, playing the parts of the princess and the fairy godmothers. And the part I should be embodying, psychologically, is the prince, no?

Did Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty suffer existential, psychological incarceration? Was there dreaming or yearning or any sensation during the inactivity? Or was it all the physical limitation while their spirits and minds continued to soar and sing? Where are the fairy tales, the flights of imagination and archetype, that crystalize some of these states and these feelings, the down countries of which I have been speaking?

This might be somewhat incoherent. However, incoherence, an inability to understand and therefore perhaps change, is one of the frustrating, maddening, frightening aspects of deep depression. No foothold for a future. No light on the path.

Monday, March 13 ...

Now back in Brookly. And while I am not singing around the house, nor are any birds or fairy godmothers helping me with my chores, I can see some light if not the path.

Apropos of nothing.

OUT THERE, UP THERE

Department of Cognitive Dissonance:

Here I am kind of cold in my apartment, putting a sweater on and off. I think it's cold. Must find cell phone to check weather. And then, I hear the ice cream truck trundling the street, pealing out some bell melody. Ice cream truck? Ice cream, that I get. Ice cream truck? Now that seems a bit early.

Saturday, almost Sunday, almost daylight savings time.

Did I write that yesterday? Things are a bit of a blur. Maybe that's okay. (Even if it isn't okay, it is as it is.) Just floating at this minute.

As the car was not required by my auto sharing partners, I decided to take a quick run up to Rhinebeck, not for work, but just to be somewhere else. I find that my internal scripts stay the same, and, as they are not all that good at the moment, perhaps a change of venue might allow for some new dialog or stage direction.

Erik, Louise, and I are quite companionable. We mostly sat working and watching movies. Louise had a screener of The Descendants, which we all ended up liking. Then we, mostly me, watched In the Loop, which is pretty much guaranteed to make me laugh hysterically. (I have no control when I see it or Shakes the Clown.) But Erik and Louise laughed, too.

Jupiter and Venus were bright in the sky tonight. We could see parts of the Milky Way and Orion's belt. And that's something you don't see every day, although, as I understand it, those stars, those planets are out there, up there.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

A MORNING SHORT.1

Write first, clean later, right? Well, Cooder and Emmy are pretty sure it is cat attention first, whatever later. Cooder feels that perhaps if the sun is going to come out, she'll bask on the table for a spell.

And not to dwell nor over-analyze my situation, but the sharp contrast between terror and relief is exhausting. Wait. Isn't that a basic tenet of torture? Mind you, I am not suggesting that I am being tortured or that on a relative world scale, I am among the utterly unfortunate, just that a bit of sustained respite is eluding me at the moment.

A morning short, that's all this is.

I'll leave you with this quip from a poem by James Richardson which I will likely reveal in full:

"What is more yours than what always holds you back?"


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

LET'S GO EMO!



Wow. I did not know that "emo" could be such a shock to the system. Thinking that maybe I should get out of the house, I wandered down to the Red Horse Cafe, to drink some coffee and use their internet. Wow, again. I guess I don't get out much. Maybe they have a stereotype quotient here. I wish I could take photographs because the ambiance, the vibe was so strong. Readers. Writers. Actors! Directors! Bloggers. Quainter than the places I have been in Manhattan. I guess I have not ventured into internet cafe land in Brooklyn before.

I like working out of my house, but in these days of extra personal stress, I can be too prone to states of being overwhelmed.

Good coffee, here, though, and a tasty croissant.

The photo is from when I actually found a good place to sit. Where I am now sitting, sat two dour, intense, apparently humorless writers, clearly a couple, yet engrossed in their individual work. I realize that folks are not sitting around waiting for my judgment, and I certainly don't like to be judged, but they were so ... of a set piece. These two were dressed alike. Their facial expressions were the same. I'm sure I just observed them in a particular moment, but it was very nearly funny.

Everyone had their device, everyone was working away, very quietly. There was not a feeling of chatter and camraderie, which is also okay. But it was rather like walking on to a set with all the extras very focussed, just before the director yelled, action, or the heroine burst through the door.


And, as I said, I don't frequent The Red Horse  nor any WiFi cafe in Brooklyn. The vibes I get in the Manhattan places I do frequent, Joe's in the Village and Pecan in Tribeca, have a very different, and, at least superficially, less self-absorbed "emo" ambiance. Those in the city feel much more energetic and all about "bidness". Iris and I watched two excellent examples of "les soigneueses" looking fabulous and crunching numbers as they sipped their lattes.

And listen, all you sweet lovelies. The immediate cash crunch is in abeyance. I called Con Ed to make sure that I understood where I stood, only to have someone be as sweet as sugar and inform me that I had a credit! Thanks to all of your amazing donations, I am close to ... well, absolutely not solvent, but I even had money to restock the kitty litter and the lime popscicles.

Now, to just find some self-confidence and a job.

I hope you realize how astonishing and wonderful you all have been. I've said it before but it bears repeating that I hope I never forget how hard and in how many different ways it is to struggle with career, finances, and psychic/psychological survival. I am now grateful and graced by YOUR kindness, mercy, and compassion. And I hope you all feel yourselves blessed by me but mostly by your own acts of community and selflessness.

Now print that out and put it over your desks!



One more cup of coffee 'til I go ...







This woke me up this morning.



P.S. As I published thispost, I realized I sounded awfully calm and chipper, which might be striking from my last few missals. I assure you I am only having a momentary reprieve. There was something so lightening about calling my three financial nemeses and not having to wrangle or argue or finagle or anything. That lessening of stress, even for a few minutes, changed my world for the moment. 

So, I am "emo" myself. 







Monday, March 5, 2012

DON'T KNOW WHAT

I can start, I can try, with small blessings. The sun is shining brightly this morning. Cooder is purring loudly, something rare for her, here on the dining room table. I can stop and clean yesterday's tear-stains off of my glasses (be right back). Okay, I washed my face and moisturized too, only to return to the sunzone to find this:

Sun colonizing cats!

Well, there are worse things than having contented critters creating positive energy around you as you attempt to carpe diem.

By the way, I don't approve of cats on tables. Other than for sun purposes, I discourage it. But there isn't all that much direct sunlight in this apartment, and their lives are too short to deny them this pleasure. It's unnatural. And I can change the tablecloths (I mean, I have about 40 of them).

Keeping a perspective on the trials of life is just another arduous task. Like the momentary scare of despair I just had as I went to grind coffee for my second cup: the grinder (a nicer one) stopped working! Sigh. Panic. What to do if grinder death has occurred? Short spiral of discouragement. Another sigh.

Having dated a chef, I learned some things about kitchen stuff, so instead of throwing up my hands (well, after that first moment) in a Prissy "Lawdy, Miss Scarlett, I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no baby" moment (not racist, just my favorite description of helplessness in the face of a mechanical problem), I started to track down the problem. And lo! I was able to. The spout where the coffee comes out had gotten jammed with finely ground coffee.

Would that I could trace back and resolve my other problems so easily.

It's incredibly daunting, you know, to figure out what to do now. And I am afraid my head and heart are closed and bruised circuits at the moment, so the information coming from that direction do not seem of the highest, act-on-it-now, quality. This is a time when once wishes they had a personal board of directors to sit down and puzzle out the problem(s). (I think it would help quite a bit if I had Sergey and Larry or Sheryl Sandburg on that board. Cash infusion!)

I feel like some terrible combination of Sisyphus and Prometheus: rolling that damn stone up near to the top of a decision reached, another day of trying, only to be at the same or nearly the next morning. And at the same time being nakedly exposed, having my liver plucked out by endless birds of fear, self-doubt, failure, and blindness. I do often feel spiritually beaten-up, beaten-down.

The blindness. I can't see what to do. As I quoted to a friend, there is the refrain, in a wholly different context, of Cream: Don't know what to do. Don't know what to do. Don't. Know. What. To. Do.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

IS THAT ALL THERE IS?

Well, at least there was some sun today. I walked to the library with one of the B's. I even sat in the library and read a book that I had on hold, Charles Murray's Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. I left it the library. It wasn't that it wasn't interesting, but I am so down, so distracted that it just didn't seem worth checking out.

You see, I am thinking about leaving Brooklyn. Now that's a fairly shocking thought for me, and I very well might change my mind. Yet, I am giving it serious consideration. Something broke in me last week. I still can't say what it was with any certainty. What it felt like, feels like, is that I just can't do this entertainment business thing anymore. I might be done with making media. I might be done with the caring and carrying, the cooking up ideas, the enthusiasm, the attention, the all of it.

So, if I am a little off of my granola, that's why. Sure, the financial situation and issues around finding work is part of it. But it feels like more. I cannot remember a time since I got my first production job in 1985 that I wanted to be done with it. Maybe I am just grieving a life.

It's not as if I think life will be without stresses and strains and all, but I might be tired of trying this path.

I used to think that I needed to live in a metropolitan area for the culture, but now I am not so sure. Books and movies and DVDs and coffee and reasonable food are available in lots of places now. And it might be nice to live in a less expensive, less pressured place.

So if there is nothing here for a bit, if you don't hear from me, well, I'm likely wrestling with my angels again, looking for some comfort or a blessing or an internal voice that might make me feel right again.

I don't believe in happiness, or, at least, not as a constant state. But I don't believe that in this country and even in this time, that it has to be quite so painful. Maybe I'm wrong.

Friday, March 2, 2012

FALLING MAYBE FLIGHT

One of the downsides of wearing glasses is that they are easily tear-stained. I mean, if you are crying. I just need more of those good wiping cloths, I guess. So many times this week, I have noticed, after a time, that I am looking through cloudy, salty liquid stains.

I just came across this poem at poets.org:

IN THE DECISION OF A BEGINNING [3]
by Rusty Morrison

No sensation of falling, which suggests that this condition may be flight.
My eyes might be open or not. My coffee poured into a cup or
onto the countertop. This, a ball of saved rubberband or the thick clot of tremors
I usually keep deep in the drawer that I can trust will stick
when I absent-mindedly forget, and try to open it.
What would it mean for a body to yield?
A use.
That is to say, dew moistens the grass and is gone.
The body moves out of its past with each glimpse of its own
disappearancce, cumulatively. With each drop of rain the earth's atmosphere pelts
its grove of tall cedars and saplings
with equal force. A body
negating itself as an object possessable. To hold one's breath would be to drown
in order to avoid drowning.

Still rainy outside. I did get out for a walk, ya know, nothing quite like cryin' in the rain and all. Night not grey. Flight or falling, at this point it is hard for me to tell which. There is gravity and then there is the gravity of a situation. Not the heaviness exactly, but which way does one get pulled?

And for you language experts out there, have you noticed how paltry are the words in English for gratitude and thanks?





Thursday, March 1, 2012

WATER FLOWING UNDERGROUND

This morning I have that William Stafford poem, A Ritual to Read to Each Other circling the brain of my drain ... or is that vice versa? Mostly the last line,  the darkness around us is deep. Deep, vast, boundless, bottomless, abyssal, abysmal.

Intercut with that is the Talking Heads song, Once in A Lifetime,


You may ask yourself, "Am I right? Am I wrong?"
You may say to yourself, "God, what have I done?"
Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down.
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground.
Into the blue again, after the money's gone.


(David is so young!) Oh and then there is the incessant back-up signal of the steamroller on the street. And what is that to my internal emotional cacophony, pre-coffee? 

A few minutes later ...

Cosmo, not in Paris, but cosmpolitan nonetheless.
Now with that steaming cup and some whole grain hot cereal, I feel a skoesh better. Is it all about nourishment? Comfort? Now, aren't those the questions.

A great thing about dreams is that you can hang out in other places. I was living in Paris last night, being all glad that I had moved there, thinking back on the days when I didn't live there. Well, that was before the back-up beeper started going off. 

A very dear friend is having an emergency colonoscopy today because of bleeding. Deep sigh. 

Water dissolving, and water removing ...

Hard to know what to make of it. Do the rest of you wake up and wonder why and then how you are going to get through and then why again?

Yesterday was dark and cruel in any number of ways. Somehow it seemed that all spirit everywhere was being crushed. We are all old cars scrunched and pounded in an auto yard. A heavy, flattened package of humanity being swung around by a crazy magnet and about to be dropped, unceremoniously, to rust in a heap.

Much later.

But none of us are Andrew Breitbart. How unnerving was that?

So, more on this topic, but I wanted to let you know that I don't believe my electricity will be turned off. I came to some difficult but do-able terms with ConEd.

I can't thank you enough. But, I am going to try some more. Just not tonight. I am grateful to those who perceived an appeal or were moved to reach out to help me. I am humbled, grateful, and profoundly overwhelmed.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark



Not fooling. You're not fooling me, either.