Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Be careful what you wish for...

"October 11, 2009
Wanderlust. Escapism. Noticing the bars on the cage. Hard to see the benefits of stability, every reminder of it becoming an unreasonable irritant. "I love yous" don't sound the same anymore that they have the ring of metal clanging shut. Irrational, foolish, spendthrift & wasteful. Baseless discontent...I don't want your care or concern, while you give your adventure away. I want space to breathe, and rage, and weep. I want my own adventures that have nothing to do with you."

"November 10, 2009
...once again disappointed at being acquiesced to, disappointed that my words are automatically assumed to be correct, when I am forming my ideas after the words have taken shape in my mouth. How can I be the smartest person in this situation, when I know so little?
I don't know what he knows, or feels, or falsifies; I am not permitted access. My effusiveness traps me, the only words and ideas I get are my own. Where is the other voice to challenge me, to help me define my thoughts? It gave up on me, it takes my words as ultimate truth - me, who was always the first to point out how ephemeral, how mercurial, how chameleon my words are. I don't know what I think if all I hear is me. I need counterpoint. I crave comparisons, connections, dispute. I do not want to be right, if it means I hear nothing new."

"December 21, 2009
...the siren call of my own solitude, the adventure I cannot quite peer from my place on your breast. What else am I missing, besides my time at sea? What does not wait for me out there, what wisdom, what truth, what new perspective, what experience I cannot fathom? I can only hear rustlings; your breath is too loud. Even a few steps away, I catch merely a faint hum, full of delicious promise."

"April 11, 2010
Recognizing my own need for solitude, to write, to think, to use words, reflecting and composing and synthesizing. And finding another who will interact with me in emotional language, hear me, and offer me new thoughts to consider."

When I am agreed with and believed, I want to be challenged. When I have a committed companion, I want to be free. Stability stifles me.

So, I think, I need more freedom. I will reconstruct my world to allow for discovery. And yet, when I have an adventure, I want to found a city on that adventure and put in plumbing. I love my vacation so much, I want to move there - not realizing the very quality of a vacation is that all of your pots and pans are someplace else.

"September 7, 2009
And I wonder, am I really strong enough to be vulnerable for both of us...?  Am I really so good at this and so powerful that I can throw myself under his feet again and again and be ignored, that which I hate more than anything?  It is intoxicating to think so, to think that I can make a difference.  And it is also true that I love without reason, because I can, because it is who I am, because once he was vulnerable and perhaps will be so again. He will come, or not come.  He will be leaving the whole time, if he comes.  And the child soul inside of me will cringe and cry to see him packing and leaving, and will think that there is a thing I can do to stop it, or delay him.  But he will pack and leave over and over everytime, using his power to hold off the world...[H]is power is to say no, and if his power is to say no, how will he ever say yes?"

"November 25, 2009
There is gratitude also for the outside force, the other entity, pausing me, providing me with the chance to gather my wits and consider my actions. As much as I want to control, and as little as I enjoy being denied, I can appreciate that without [his] flight I was ready to do mad things..."

"November 28, 2009
Do you think of them, those moments? When I have thought I knew your mind, I have always been wrong, reading emotion & analysis into you, because I want it to be there.
I think you do not consider those moments, of me. I have been packed away like a copper pan you never use, impractical, easy to jettison, a charming illustration when the bar chatter calls
for something shiny, if you recall it at all.

But perhaps the copper pan is more useful, perhaps it gets more time in your synapses. After all, the pan was a thing you selected, and have packed and unpacked, carried and stored. I am just a person, so much more disposable to you, and not someone you chose at all.
I wonder about objects I put into your world: the scotch, the case, the letter...But I don't want to hear the answer, that the scotch has been drunk by strangers & enemies, the letter discarded the moment it was opened, the case storing ten thousand other things that occupy your brain that never thinks of me, not even once for all the times I have longed for news of you."

I want growth, which always means wanting something I don't have. Is it better, then, to want something that is out of your control, than to want something you can have at the price of another's pain? Is it better to want in, than to want out? 

"Our doom, then: the inelegant dance of intimacy, closer, farther, turning around. Tightening our grasp till we meet resistance, flinging apart to recover."

Are there any other choices besides wanting in or wanting out? Choices that don't require violence to my own soul, remaking it into a grotesque caricature? I can accept that there is not growth without pain, no living apart from change. But what I do not know is how to enjoy the wanting in, or the wanting out. And if the only enjoyment comes from the slivers of time in between them, or from refusing for a time to think about the stage I am in...Horrible. I refuse to accept it. There must be a better way. 

I have always been a terrible Buddhist. I do not know how to want less. The wanting itself is beautiful to me - more of an Aphrodite-ist, I suppose. And maybe that is it, maybe I have to shift my gaze, just a bit, from what I want, to the desire itself. Maybe my most lasting joy and satisfaction is not from getting what I want -- a moving, impossible target -- but from the dance of wanting, itself. Feeling alive. Throwing my heart into the ring and seeing what happens. Isn't it wonderful to want, and to strive, and to enjoy the results of that desire? Sometimes it is caught, and it is joyful. Sometimes it falls, and it is awful. But it isn't awful in an ugly way, at least. Like Helga said, if you are going to be miserable, at least do it with style.

Maybe if I can take a step back, re-read my painful wanting-journal entries from the past and see how beautiful they are, maybe that is how I can find beauty in the moment of not getting what I want. 

Jason said something last year about the dance men do, to pursue women. He told me that my honest remarks to men I've just met about how I am never going to sleep with them are soul-crushing, like sweeping all the pieces off the chess board. The outcome of the game is not the point. The point is to play. 

"Let us pursue," he said. "Even if you know, we know, everyone in the room knows we aren't going to take you home. There is still a chance -- maybe the same chance we have of winning the lottery -- but we will still enjoy dancing and buying drinks and chatting and playing the game. We still watch recorded football games. Don't give us honesty, even if we asked for it; not that kind of honesty. Honor the spirit, not the letter. Let us be men."

Let us be men. Let Bartlet be Bartlet. Let growth happen. I don't read my journal enough. I always say this, and then I never read it when I need to. When I am happy, I want to stay that way, and don't want anything to snag at my silky happiness out of the murky depths of past insecurity. When I am sad, I think I might want to stay that way too - out of a fear of being inauthentic, or stuffing it down too soon, or being brushed off by my own past self who felt the same and yet did not waste away. 

But my journal is full of my own wisdom, and strength. It is my record of growth, the height marks on the wall. It is, more than anything, a tool to get out of my own head - and the most effective one, because it is still inside my own head. Nothing else available to me can give me the distance and perspective that my own journal can. 

The goal of a relationship is not to be stapled to someone. The goal of being happy is not to be frozen there. The goal of being sad is not to alchemize your pain into a time machine. The goal of everything, everything, is to grow. 

Happiness without growth becomes a bore. Sadness without growth becomes a tapeworm on your soul. When I am sad, I don't want to grow - I just want to go back to the way I was before I was sad. But my journal can prove to me, actually prove in a way even I can't argue - that I can make it through. That even when I don't get what I want, maybe because I'm not getting what I want, because I have to just step back from the want and look at it, take pleasure in the fact of being alive and having wants...I am rich. Desire is beautiful in itself, the way a summer storm is beautiful. All you need is a tiny bit of distance to shelter you, and you can enjoy its power.

"Sunday, March 7, 2010
You are my wealth. You, men whose bodies I watch, whose smells I encode in my brain, whose stories I record, who I will my body to charm, changing my DNA pattern if need be. You are my wealth, because you give stories, touch, sensory data, charm, patterns. You give texture. You make the day brighter for me than it is for others. My step sways for you.  
You are my wealth, my treasure, my secret. How do I smile so bright, how do I feel so much joy, how do I bounce? I bounce, for reasons that relate to you, and relate beyond you. I bounce, because I draw from this land, like an octopus, like a tree with tentacles into the ground, drawing from the water, drawing from the swamp land underneath our civilization sheen, the bog eternal, the unending richness of decaying vegetation, I draw from this depth, I find richness in the land, connected to this air, this temperature, these trees, this water, this location in the universe. I also draw from you, you men with stories of pleasure and adventure, high seas and victory, I draw from you. I can reflect this all back to you, with prisms and mirrors, I can amplify. I can give you Spring, I can give you your own joy tenfold. But you are my wealth, richer than children, richer than hearth, richer than family crests and lineage.  
Your wealth is glissance, glimmers of the unreachable. Charm is the word we use for the connection between people that touches on something vast and amazing. We are charmed not by the person, but by the connection, the possibility of something larger and unknowable becoming known. You men, whom I love, for yourselves and for that which is beyond yourself, to which you are only the gateway.  You are my wealth, for whom I will do anything, for you are precious and beautiful. Give me a story, give me a glimmer, I will give you the earth."

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