|(Inside - from Midjourney AI)|
You are meat and bone and sinew, tenuous
tenacious glued parts and pieces
from god knows where
|Lacey Decorations (CAI)|
is this world's ordinary not extraordinary enough
how would one miracle more be a cure for your incessant longing?
but in that sneery way he has of always being right
so right away I turn away
unwilling to quite accept his flayed refrain
its insult contained in the idea that I could
- like taking some kind of potion -
that I should
twist my heart and mind and notions
refine myself until I feel
- actually feel -
complete and joyously ecstatic,
to only ordinary magic.
|All is light (CAI 2019)|
|The view from the cheap seats|My awe is rarely inspired, and here I am, standing on my front lawn, with awe all over my face. No, I wouldn't ever say that out loud. My kids would just CRINGE! Kevin McDonald is actually my second-favourite. No, I can't say that, it begs too many questions with no easy answers. But he is my only celebrity sighting in real life. Jennifer Whalen, where is more Baroness Von Sketch? Where is more of you? No, that's not about you guys. But seriously!
Guys - let Jennifer moderate!
Dave Foley, you totally missed us in the crowd. We were the only family who were all wearing Kids in the Hall T-Shirts. Parent fans AND teen fans. The holy grail. I had your face on my chest, even! You came two rows behind, then, gone. Instead, we the audience got two-part questions and weird vendettas, plus people who put their hands up that they've dreamed about you guys when it's not a dream, exactly, but... WE would have said nice things about the new season and asked something fun. Your loss, my friend. But my gain, because if I'd tried to talk my kids would have died of mortification. Anyway, you should have let Jennifer do that part and maybe screen the questions... No, strike all of that, it sounds so whiny and lame. Notice me! Notice me! You didn't notice me! My 15yo and I watched the new season together and it was amazing for them to see your bodies as comedic instruments. Plus, the more full-frontal they see, the less mystique there is. It's an education. Eesh, I can't say that! I was really anxious when I heard you were doing another season. I was afraid you'd fall into the traps. Now, that sounds like I didn't have faith in you! I had high hopes but tried to keep my expectations low. I didn't need to. You blew them away. Who am I to have expectations? Sitting here in my cheap seats beneath anyone's notice? This new work is a progression, a deepening, an achievement. As if my opinion matters at all to these big stars, all tanned and content and aging well! Like, oooh, this random middle-aged woman with frizzy hair thinks our work is a progression! What a relief!
Hey, guys. Big fan since day one. Huge impact on my life. Love your work. Thanks.
Okay, that stands. But is it really worth saying?
Better not raise my hand.
Addendum Sept 18
Since you guys have been so much on my mind, after years of not having any space there at all, it's not surprising that I did, in fact, have a dream. In my dream I had just woken up from a dream and I went into the kitchen area of a B&B, where I guess I was staying with my in-laws, who were having breakfast, and I came in and said, I just had the weirdest dream...and before I could finish, Mark walked in, in a bathrobe, to get breakfast. This made sense to me. I exclaimed, hey, it's so weird you're here, I was just about to tell them that I had a dream about you! I was about to say, I had a dream about Mark McKinney and he said I wasn't funny!
Mind you, I don't remember actually having that dream, that's just the dream the dream me remembered having. I dreamed that I dreamed that Mark McKinney told me I wasn't funny, and then I told Mark McKinney about that dream. It wouldn't have made for a very coherent story, in any case. :)
|As above so below (CAI a long time ago)|
But I may be wrong, based on how I live my life. Because when it comes to my creative birth, all I have are a series of miscarriages - projects began with love, holding such promise and my heart, but unable to make it past the first trimester because of money (mostly), time (also mostly) and energy (see time and money). I had a stillbirth project, nurtured and loved over a dozen years, taken to the brink of birth, only to die off due to lack of oxygen. Or, money, time, and energy. Or, Covid. I grieve.
Now I have a new project struggling in the first trimester, and I can't help but notice, I'm exactly where I've been for 15 years. I changed every single thing about my life, but somehow all the fundamentals are exactly the same, and I am in precisely the same place even though it looks completely different. No closer. Further off, because I don't have the joy or hope of a new project, just the drudge-dread feeling that I've been here too many times and I know how this story peters off and lets me down. My hope starts sounding hollow to myself. I can't even bring myself to talk with people about my project with excitement; in fact, I sound a little dejected, as though I'm embarrassed to be seen with it, as though it's already failed. Like what I'm trying to do is too big and also, no one will even get it, and anyway, I will probably never finish it or even get it past prototype. So.
And the weird thing is, I am still fucking writing it.
|Community (CAI 2021)|
When difficulties and irritation arise, there are two groups of responses - to address, or to ignore.
If we choose to address, we risk conflict, so we often choose to ignore.
If we ignore, we are responsible to LET IT GO. If we ignore and do not let it go, but instead add it to the Pile of Resentments, the pile will grow until it is too big to ignore. It is an important step of maturity to learn to Let It Go. For real. Truly. Not pretending to, not being the bigger person but secretly holding the resentment, not telling yourself you've let it go when really, you're still holding on. It involves self reflection. It involves employing empathy and compassion. It involves curiosity about the other person and caring about them. It's work. Work we do when we are in relationship with someone.
When we are stuck entwined with people we aren't well matched to, where it's hard to get along, we can assume a silent agreement between us, to use the years we will be entwined to better know each other so we can find more parts to respect and like; to use a thought-filter that gives the person affection and compassion; to actively look to build empathy for that person's experience; to give that person space to be themselves even when it's uncomfortable; to recognize where we're imposing expectations on that person and creating our own disappointment; and on, and on. Relationship happens over a long period of time. We will have many opportunities to practice these things, stumbling together with the trust that we are building relationship. Many chances of difficulty or irritation are bound to arise. We are bound to each other, so we must face them together.
If our silent agreement is in place, the decision to address or ignore is made in that context. I may ignore a lot of things, and let them go as best I can, over time, and try to keep my resentment pile from growing. I may address important things, so that we can talk about what I'm feeling and what might help, risking offense, risking conflict, because the relationship is important enough to be worth working through conflict, with the silently agreed-to goal of mutual understanding and the silently-agreed rules. I can actively try not to blame them, to look more fairly at my own part, be willing to deal with that.
But what I can't do, what a relationship can't withstand, is Ignoring AND Holding On. Because that is a breach of the silent agreement. That is a failure to apply the rules of mutual understanding to the situation. It's a failure to keep the resentment pile from growing, and it will lead to Big C Conflict instead of the small conflict that could have prevented it, because the Conflict will contain all our resentment, everything we failed to Let Go because we failed to do our own work in the relationship by working on our own thinking.
I think the silence of the agreement is the first part of the issue.
When I was growing up I didn’t have the words for how I was bullied - gaslighting! Now I have a word that captures the sinking feeling of being shown how wrong your very instincts must be, again, to feel that you’re being harmed in any way when the person you admire, even love, is telling you that it’s all in your head, that what you remember didn’t happen, that what you know isn’t true. Gaslighting. That’s a thing, it’s not my imagination, there’s a word for that! What a relief, to have a way to name it quickly, that nebulous, slippery set of symptoms that don’t quite add up to something you can prove and put a stop to. Thank you. Now I can see it, name it, recognize it, consider it and not dismiss my inner knowing.
Think about all the insults - Snowflake! Liberal! Woke!
Like considering yourself unique and special is laughable. Like being open minded to new ideas is despicable. Like paying attention to the experiences of other people means you’re not authentic.
We had those words, finally, a way to shorthand very important, key learnings on a journey of personal growth, and they have turned them to insults, actions to be avoided. While we, ever the victims, put our heads down and tried to avoid their fists.
The bullies are doing to our language what they do to everything we love about ourselves. They belittle and sneer. They turn our words into weapons of shame, just like they do our differences, because they are bullies. They use whatever weakness they see to get an upper hand, feel strong, and sway the stupid, following sidekicks to do the same. Whatever reasons, whatever work they’ve done in their lives to grow up so this manifests in more socially acceptable ways (such as controlling a conversation, talking over someone, belittling their experience, teasing them about their stutter or appearance, laughing when they make a mistake, telling people not to be so sensitive and it’s just a joke), at the end of they day they have a bullying personality. So they will bully. They will look for weakness and poke at it, and they will look for strength and try to take it, turn it to weakness, weaponize it against us. To feel in control. For whatever fucked up reasons have fucked up their minds, hearts, and spirits that has NOTHING TO DO WITH US. For these reasons they don’t even know, they have successfully been stealing the words we use to describe how their behaviour affects us. Ooooh, whiny snowflake, did someone step on your BOUNDARIES and then try to GASLIGHT YOU? Boo hooooo hoooooo. They are silencing our voices, or worse, getting us to pre-emptively silence ourselves. They are undermining our ability to describe our experience.
Anyone who sneers at another person who is trying to describe their experience is an asshole. Even if we love them. So don’t mind if I don’t let them decide what words I use to describe my experience.
|CAI & CDG, sometime ago|
I already have. You never left.
Far enough to let me breathe becomes too far to keep me whole. Oscillation drags us down.
What is left? Left to do, now, what can be done, what will doing do, now? Left is right. Can we right what's left now?
When will you lift the heavy you use to hold me down? You say, that is death. You may be right. I may be left here yet. I've waited for the time and the time passed without coming. I've waited for the means but that means I'm always waiting.
What do I want, anyway? A quite life, to waste away the days breathing life and playing? Yes. Yes. Yes. And loving and making. Not doing. Not doing and taking and doing some more. But don't we all? Want that? Doesn't everyone want peace?
Why should I have heaven while others live here in hell? How can I make my peace while the world burns?
Listen to Happy Rhodes. https://youtu.be/kCu5rPSQdDE