Keeping it in
It’s been so long since words have arisen,
febrile staccato of nerves keeps much from escaping;
clutching and clenching tight on the slip of emotion,
it underlies everything but hides well beneath it all.
Yet there are days when the levee all but breaks,
despair or sorrow flooding the well-kept banks,
allowing no protest in spite of cool, best efforts,
(unwitnessed) moods as variable as the weather.
It snowed yesterday; big thick flakes laid down a coat,
white-washing the world into insular silence and calm.
It felt safe in here, even if it’s short-lived folly,
a grasping at a security that never really comes.
Still, I wait; eternal hope, not quite ground away,
stubby yes, but stalwart when it counts (always).
Faith grows on even the unbelievers when prospects are grim,
Like moss on the undersides of trees facing north.
(c) Adriane Csicsmann Giberson
Each week I share Rob Brezsny’s weekly astrology report for our signs with a friend of mine. Mine for this coming week is:
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Here’s your assignment: Get more organized and purposeful about having fun. Think harder about what makes you feel good, and plan more aggressively to bring those feel-good experiences into your life. In offering these prescriptions, I’m not advocating irresponsible hedonism. Not at all. In my view, you will become a better servant of those you care about by boosting your commitment to pleasure. You will carry out your duties with more aplomb and effectiveness. Raising your joy quotient is actually a formula for becoming a better human being.
I’m not in a very good place, right now, although it varies greatly from moment to moment. My own vacillation is driving me a little nuts. Or a lot. I guess it depends mostly upon who’s looking… or when. ::smile::
Gabriel made home made pretzels yesterday. I love the smell of yeast, which in turn reminds me of the yeast-risen doughs my mom used to make some of her pastries with (one favourite was an apple pastry, called almàs pite in Hungarian).
The sunsets have been gloriously beautiful. I didn’t get an email last night requesting that I show up to any last-minute temporary assignment, so guess I won’t be working today.
Maybe I’ll actually stick my nose outdoors. On second thought, I’ll absolutely have to stick my nose outdoors because I must run some errands, deposit the cheque I received for my work from last week, most of which will be vaporized on last month’s cellphone bill and food. I’m not quite sure yet in which proportion that will be – there won’t be enough to pay the whole bill and have enough for food. The money will get portioned out so that each area is a little, but not entirely, satisfied. I can’t allow myself to dwell much on the other bills that are coming in and stacking up like planes on a runway.
I never thought I’d ever reach this level of financial instability. I mean… I’ve never been one of those financially savvy people – ever – but when there was enough I would manage decently well. I know how to tighten a belt with the best of them. I also know just how much I am missing, having been fortunate enough to indulge in many things that are so far out of my reach at the moment that I can’t even entertain thinking about them. They get pushed out just as quickly as they come. Anything in the “it would be nice to have, but…” category. Certainly anything in the “I can make this at home myself, but…” category. (I’m definitely making at home everything that is necessary and humanly possible to make at home.)
I’m blaming myself for this tactical error much of the time…
for waiting to act upon getting another job (as though a perfect one would present itself like some kind of manna offering from the heavens)…
for waiting to try to see about shifting into another industry area…
for wasting precious time that I wiled away because I was incapable of making any choices, especially of the good kind.
I can say the same about my handling of money. I could have tightened the belt another notch; put even a tiny bit aside to compensate for the not enough that I now have.
I needle myself with worry. It takes the joy out of things, even the good stuff. So, essentially, this week’s astrology pep talk presents me with yet another growth opportunity, a challenge I’m not entirely sure I can live up to.
Mostly, my imagination has taken me to some pretty grim places. Some days I imagine that I’ll be stricken down with an as yet to be identified ailment of the terminal kind. I mourn my impending passing and imagine (to some extent) the relief of no longer having to worry about anything… about leaving behind things undone but being at peace with all of that, and getting to the place of “good enough” when the final moment comes.
Some days I think that I’ll be dragging this painful process out until the bitter end… until something shifts (in a way I could never have imagined because otherwise it wouldn’t come as a complete and utter surprise at the very moment when I’ve run out of ideas).
Some days I just enjoy the moments, as they come… like the musical clanking of the pipes in the forced air heating ducts in the Sun Tower building, or its beautiful frosted windows initialed with a “W”… like the swish of wind that briskly gathers up and ushers dried leaves off of tree limbs, lifting them high into the air and then letting them land askew, in random but perfectly beautiful mayhem, on the back balcony.
It’s on the days when I am at my lowest – and I express my alarm about things to those around me – that I most rue hearing “you’ll find something”. I know the intention is to reassure; it feels anything but. Dismissive rather than what I’m sure is intended as hopeful and bolstering. On those days my optimism levels are anemic, amnesiac.
I don’t know why I keep writing here. I guess in this place of not feeling heard, I may as well voice myself in a familiar place. Sort of like yelling at the edge of a precipice to hear the echo of one’s voice speak back. At the very least it makes me feel just a little less silent, a little less alone with what feels like the weight of the world on my shoulders.
click on image for an eloquent recap at The Elephant Journal of Vonnegut’s words…
I wanted to write a whole big blog post on “the horrors of war”.
About how my dad (and a band of his friends), as twenty year old young men witnessing the Soviet tanks rolling into their city to “liberate” the people from their last oppressor, decided to throw molotov cocktails at them in protest.
About how he spent the next five years in a Siberian prisoner of war work camp, and what he looked like when they let him out.
I wanted to write about how it warped him inside, in ways that weren’t discernible to the eye.
I wanted to write about how my mother was born mere months before Armistice Day, and that the borders of the country she was born into shifted and thus she became (an unwitting) citizen of another.
I wanted to write about how around the time of the second world war, after the soviet occupation, she was held and interrogated for a week by the NKV because they thought that she was a spy (she wasn’t).
I wanted to write about how even in the safety of North America my father still couldn’t shake the habit of stockpiling things like flour and sugar and salt.
I wanted to write about how even though my parents had experienced and seen first hand the effects of the first and second world wars, they rarely ever spoke of them, though the effects were as tangible and persistent as poltergeists in an old house.
I wanted to write about how their experiences were not exceptions but rather the rule.
There are no clear victors in war.
Dan Mangan’s Nice, Nice, Very Nice album on Soundcloud, from which the song from the above video’s soundtrack comes from? Nice, Nice, Very Nice indeed.
seriously… the best food eye-candy in a long while, not to mention recipes and fantastic arrays of “things you didn’t know existed but now realize they are in the ‘best-thing-since-sliced-bread’ category”