Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Journal 1

I've been reading "Must you go?" by Antonia Fraser (Lady Antonia Fraser officially, Lady Antonia Fraser Pinter if you really want to be technical) and lolling in her diary-inspired world for the past couple of weeks.
Truth be told I tear through books, but I've been browsing this one slowly, looking at her timelines, her short, honest entries, and admiring the fact that she, as an honest-to-goodness published writer of many books, used this format to chronicle her chance tale of meeting the love of her life in her forties, in 1975, a decade where women were expected to have chosen the course of their lives by about, oh, say, 21. She boldy went.

Her writing is plain in contrast to the memoirs of today with their similes and adjectives, their decorative language. She denudes it all with the simplicity of her statements, her obvious joy with her soul-mate, and above all her gratitude at life, living it every moment, broke, flush with wealth, on holiday, with a cold, raising her children, selling her house.

I love it all.

January approaches and I want to commit to shorter, timelier posts, and I will be switching to more 'journal' type entries, to re-acquaint myself to not fall asleep through the days. One day they will dwindle to memory, and as I re-read my journals of the 90s and early 00s I marvel at who I was, who I was becoming. My entries were often labourious, scribbled late at night when I was at my most exhausted, but also my most honest, most lucid.

The new year, with all its shiny promise....beckons.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas List--The Year That Was

Love (for my family, for M, for my friends)

Family and
my niece and nephew (for making this year more than liveable even in the darkest corners)

Friends (for stepping in when I needed them most)

Freedom (to walk away and make a new start)

Health (to support others in their time of need)

Strength (everything that has happened this year and imprinted on
my soul gave me extra compassion, sharpened my senses, and allowed
me to get to know myself better)

Travel (so I could remember how to be happy)

Visitors (for making the journey to me and enriching my life)

Birthdays (and the people I love celebrating them)

Aging (may life be long)

Working (to lose myself in when I needed structure most)

Lying in bed listening to the rain (when M is beside me it's that much better)

Talking on the phone (to M, to my sister, to my mom, to my aunt, to A, L, T, and N....)

Prayer (for helping me keep faith)

Books (to let me escape and dream)

Words (so I could say exactly what I needed to--both aloud and here on this blog)

Conversation (to reflect and think)

Memories (if I could remember how to laugh, I could do it again)

Learning (more about myself)

Calm (to not act in the heat of the moment)

Coffee (I get tired too)

Facing reality (sometimes things just don't work out. and that's ok. in fact it's more than
ok. it's amazing. a new opportunity awaits..)

Security (and then the lack of)

Safety (preservation of self. not absence of risk)

Good advice (thank you thank you thank you)

New things (I will adapt)

Comfort (and joy...)

Honesty (trust life)

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Not Quite New Years

Monday is coming, this Monday morning, which is when I found out. Which honestly, was the begining of my world tilting a bit on its' axis, and that's when the slide started.

Was talking with my dear friend A last night, about how easy it can
be to 'give in', when the going gets tough, you stop going/living/meeting life halfway, and for me, it would have been very easy this year, to give it all up, stop trying/loving/getting out of bed.
To just get off the ride, as I so blithely begged in a recent post about work driving me to the edge.
But I chose Me. And to work on that relationship, with myself. And the motto about controlling my own behavoiur (becasue I can't control anyone else's) has been my personal mission statement throughout this life-altering, mind-bending year.

I will be in another country for New Years, something that seems oddly fitting.
A 'break from tradition', from spending it with the same group of people, as I have for appx. 6 or 7 odd years.
I will be toasting to alot of things.

One is the spirit world, which I am quite certain has carried me through some of the most painful moments of this year;
Another is my Aunt K (I found a copy of The Prophet in Chapters last night in the bargain book section....bought it for her. Can't believe I found it....another sign.)
Her wonderful wisdom and the phone call after the night of my next-to-last Keg shift, with me practically writhing in emotional pain on the floor of my apartment, glass of wine in hand, and her calming, sensible words, ones I will never forget.
To my very first trip to NYC and how special my friend L made it for me. She lives far away but daily finds time, no matter how busy she is, to email me, my sister, her sister, and our friend A the horoscopes, a little touchstone to make it through the day;
To my new-found-old-friend love M, and his presence in my life, for making me come outside of myself, for challenging me with his intellect, and for running with me in Central Park, where I truly had an out-of-body experience, the kind of happiness that stays with you inside, in a quiet place, for a long time;
To every true friend I have, and I know exactly who you all are, each of you gives me something very special--yourself, your inner thoughts, your stand-by-it-ness, and your fierce loyalty.
To my dad for going through his 'trial-by-fire' with stoicism and some quiet pride,
and for holding on to his dignity through the worst of it;
To my mom and sister--my mom for being the best care-taker you could ever want, and for never letting worry cripple her and to my sister for continuing to raise two of the most amazing little people I've ever known, pretty much on her own, all the while working through her own pain and grief, and complaining little. She's taught herself to cook, taken writing courses, and travelled to places to be with friends all while being a fully engaged parent to my niece and nephew.
To myself for being authentic and not letting fear keep me trapped in a wrong relationship;
to breaking out of my comfort zone and driving to Maine, and for every time I felt fear on the road or doubted my directions, seeing a crow fly by, out of the corner to my eye,
a kind of talisman, a reassurance;
to the rainbow I saw at the service station at the side of the road after a wash of rain in Massachusetts.

To life and its many lessons this watershed year. I hope I can remember that sometimes out of the darkest times comes enhanced appreciation and gratitude for the light.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Again

Normal day,
let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you,
love you,
bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by
in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may,
for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut,
or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world, your return.
~Mary Jean Iron