Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Love (and Cynicism)

I found a beautiful and heartwrenching quote on my journey through the interwebs today:

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully 'round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, inpenetrable, irredeemable." --C.S. Lewis

Too late for me - I've already given my heart to Lupita.

Thank goodness, though. Because the alternative doesn't sound very enticing.

Changing the Soundtrack

I had night terrors for the first time in a long time last night. Every so often, I have this dream where I wake up and feel like my breath is caught in my throat - like I need to scream but I can't. Last night, that "mute" dream was mixed with a drunk driving dream and a feeling that an ominous figure was in my bed. Freaky. And since I was at my folks' house, there was no Lupita to calm me down.

Every so often (okay, okay, every day), there is a song that perfectly sums up how I'm feeling. Maybe it's because I listen to too much music. Is that even possible? It reminds me of a line in John Irving's Hotel New Hampshire where Lilly Berry laments that she can never write an ending line as good as that of Fitzgerald in Gatsby, so why even bother? (And then she throws herself out a window, naturally.) I feel like I can never write a song that captures my emotions as well as the songs that get stuck in my head on a day-to-day basis. So here it is: the song of the day (click the title for the lyrics):

Wish I May (Ani Difranco)



That's kind of a depressing song. So in the spirit of this blog ("trying to grow, trying to let go"), I'm going to change the song. Could it be that simple? Well, I'm going to try.

Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel)

Take that, evil dream. And take that, depressing soundtrack. It's MY head, after all, and I get to decide what song plays on repeat.

Monday, February 23, 2009

So Now What?

Everything happens for a reason. I have to believe it - otherwise I get stuck in a spiral of "what if I hadn't done this/said that/gone there..." But sometimes it seems like the little, or not so little, choices that I make put me on an unavoidable path away from where I think I want to be. So what then? Do I give up, figuring that it must have happened for a reason and it's all part of the master plan? Or does it just mean I have to fight harder?

I'll let you know when I figure it out...if I figure it out. In the meantime, I'm going to step more carefully. Because some steps are a lot heavier than others, and push us a lot further off the path that seems right.

The metaphor that pops into my head is that of playing backgammon - once you take your hand off the piece, you're not allowed to move that piece back to its original spot. No takebacks. Which feels unfair when you're 7 years old and still learning how to play the game. Unfortunately, I'm not 7 years old anymore. No takebacks.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What Goes Up...

So maybe I spoke too soon. I guess at the core I'm still technically happy. But recent developments, procrastination, exhaustion, etc. have all made me realize that I still have a LOT to work on.

Let's tackle one - procrastination.

My father likes to use the phrase "procrastination is a thief." But to me, procrastination is the comfort of a warm bed and a cozy pillow. It's the belief that everything will get done...eventually. I need to change my perception. I need to stop looking at procrastination, and its accompanying comfort, as a friend. The garden isn't going to weed itself - the weeds are just going to keep growing. The laundry isn't going to magically get done, it's going to keep piling up. And the play that I'm (not) writing is going to languish on my laptop until I get some motivation.

So what to do? I've been putting things off for so long I don't even know how to force myself to motivate. And there's a trade-off - I could go to dance class tonight, or I could go home and do laundry. Maybe I need to treat myself like a 5-year-old and come up with some sort of reward system. Or maybe I need to realize that I'm a grownup now, and the reward is the mere fact of getting something done. Something's gotta give, and in this case it's gotta be me.