so. still awake. now, instead of blaming the quart of coffee I had today, I'm staying up to keep an ear out on the kid. (he is breathing much more regularly and quietly now. regular is good but quiet is not, since it makes it harder to know if it's regular, for fuck's sake.)
the mania i was whining about a week or so ago - thinking I was signing up for too many things, setting myself up to fail, stretching myself thin, the cliches are endless and all boring - well, it looks different to me now. Calling it mania seemed histrionic, even at the time.
there was a whiff of inauthenticity about it. even in my own head. i'm not really scared that i'm going to sign up for too many things and not be able to do them. that's possible. fine. that's even happened before. cool. i'm scared that I will say out loud in a crowd of some sort - I can do this thing! and screrch the music stops and everyone looks and waits for me to do the thing. well.
this is true of any role I have ever taken on or currently hold. mother, student, queer person, writer, smart person, sarcastic bitch, teenager, spiritual woman, aware to the immensity of the horror and the beauty of the world. i sense that there's a right way to do that, to be that, and the fear and the judgment starts immediately that i'm not doing it well.
and the moment that the music stops is the moment that i lose the connection with the present moment. you know, like literally, i'm bopping along to the music, really feeling it, and rip - gone. bereft. The Void.
So, I think that I was calling the lack of presence, the lack of attention, being in the costume but not in the moment, going along acting like my heart isn't broken open, trying to say that I can't do but so much, trying to call out of work in advance of even being scheduled the shift - calling that mania. because it feels all fast and scary, like i've done a thing that is too much, said a thing that can't be unsaid, actually articulated a desire or some shit like that.
and my last web-based expedition this evening led me to inga's site. and this excerpt from her book, which really synthesizes a lot of what i've been reading, thinking, hearing , singing and seeing lately:
The whole excerpt is worth the read. seriously. This is deeper, bigger and wider to me than 'we're all desensitized to the horror and destruction around us and it's perfectly normal to feel hopeless' idea that i have held for many years. I have thought many times that the reason I was all of a sudden feeling so overwhelmed, tired, full of despair, was that I was taking on too much that wasn't mine. that i would go insane if I tried. that it was good self-care not to take stuff in. (and i do believe deep in my heart that is good self-care not to take in the medical emergencies on Discovery Health and the random tragedies that the folks at work want to wring their hands about for entertainment. that's self-serving melodrama.)
An acquaintance and I were talking about this just the other day. He was telling me that he hunkers down into his daily life scheme of things because he cannot deal with all the horror in this world. I told him that I cannot live like that. He thought I was full of shit. “You can’t take in,” he insisted. “It will drive you insane.”
But I disagreed. I hear this sentiment often, in a variety of forms.
Your average pissed-off citizen in the U.S. is willing to fight for three or four “causes,” maybe, but the line’s gotta be drawn somewhere.
When you’re present in the world you don’t just see one or the other. The horror and beauty go hand in hand. Even as this environment breaks your heart, the world fuels, protects, instructs, inspires, guides, and gently humors you.
So things balance out.
this is a way to re-think the idea that i can't work on all the causes I want to because i'm so busy paying the bills or going to class or raising the kid. that feels like a cop-out and it is. If I'm truly present in paying the bills, going to class and raising the kid, I may not be able to show up at a committee meeting for some non-profit. But being fully present (in the world, not the environment, is the HUGE distinction that inga is making here) IS working on the causes/issues that are important to me.
it's true that I'm interested in more things than I'm passionate about, and sometimes i latch onto the interest, and subsequent lack of follow-thru, as a nice-n-sneaky way to say i'm not good enough. Add it to the list of things I haven't done adequately or haven't done at all. oh, me. i can take in that star that was twinkling directly at me last night. the world, not the environment.
i swear, next week, i won't have a single deep thought. i'll watch wallace and grommit all weekend and expunge all of the cathartic self-examination* from my communication, web-based or verbal. no no. i can't mean that. i can't start talking about how this is all because of my impending period, or whathaveyou. it IS true for me that I'm full of this stuff lately, and it IS true that that's embarrassing to say out loud, and it IS true that I'm honored when others are willing to say shit like this. perhaps it should be a little more internal dialog and a little less internet rambling in the wee hours of the morning. shrug. if this was livejournal, i'd throw it behind the cut so noone had to scroll thru it. and this is all very rough draft, stream of consciousness. (what isn't at 2am?)
it's important to talk about love and imagination and what it feels like when your heart breaks open. look away if you're embarrassed by it; that's what I always did when my mom embarrassed me.
* from rob brezny's free will astrology
You're strong medicine these days, Leo. You're 100-proof mojo. You might want to consider pinning a warning label to your shirt or jacket. It could say something like "Caution: Contents are hot, slippery, and under pressure. Use at your own risk." It's not that you're evil or neurotic. It's just that as you revisit and revision your deepest psychosexual questions, you have so much cathartic potency that you're likely to transform everything you touch into a more authentic version of itself. People with weak egos will be afraid of that, while those with strong constitutions will love it.