Friday, January 29, 2010

“Where cat is, there is civilization” : or Nice Pussy

It is an old saw that says women are a lot like cats. Pet them and they’ll purr for you, but rub them the wrong way and they’ll bite. Well, it’s true I do purr when rubbed the right way- (I’m an unacknowledged snuggle bunny-know anyone who wants a pet?)but I don’t bite- I’m still on my milk teeth and haven’t learned how yet. But in essence, the old saw is true : for everyone. Everyone likes to be petted, to be touched in appreciation, and nobody likes to be rubbed on the raw. The sad part is that we don’t learn from cats when to bite- we often do it inappropriately ( and usually not to the person who hurt us- accumulating bad karma)- some of us never learn how at all, and let the world walk all over us. Everyone knows that in ancient Egypt cats were worshipped as gods- especially cats. Because they’re smart they still expect to be treated like gods- it’s just we humans who haven’t gotten with the program. There is wisdom to be extracted here, if you pay attention to animal nature. Relationships are an excellent example of evolution in action. Observe. In packs there must be a leader, or else there is mob rule- (human packs that is. Animal packs have more sense.) The order of hierarchy is clear in the wild. The animal that acts like the pack leader, is. Now, a corollary is that you may have to fight to prove it. In which case, like cats, fight the dirtiest way you know how. This is often a problem for women (some women- not all)because we are raised to believe that fighting is wrong- despite the fact that every animal does it (and despite an obvious fact of nature- that women especially are good at it.)But in the fight for pack domination the object is not to be polite- the point is to win. Women often hold the short straw when it comes to physical fighting. Unless we train hard, we are in general, less likely to come out of a fight still looking pretty. So we use the weapons available to us..and pick our battles. A high heeled shoe used in just the right place can often stop a fight in its tracks- ( and sweep out your dirty mind. I don’t mean like that! While I encourage women to fight dirty when necessary- always make sure it’s necessary- then, be a gentleman- put him down fast, quick and in a hurry and make sure he stays down. Men are in general more fragile than women in many ways- if you must damage his “ego”- be kind and put him down afterward- or you’ve just guaranteed yourself trouble in the future. Back to our regularly scheduled program.) As I was saying, a high heeled shoe at the right time can stop a fight in its tracks- whether used seductively, as a weapon or a prod. Cat wisdom; a cat is treated like a god because it expects to be. As one of Robert Heinlein’s characters once said (Heinlein- one of the few men I believe really understood women..and appreciated all aspects)-“If a man fails to hold a door for me, I fail to see when my heel lands on his instep. A lady has doors held for her, because she expects it.” Win just that one battle, and you have won the war.

By the same token, a gentleman is a gentleman everywhere at everytime- whether someone is watching or not, or else he is no gent leman- follow me? A man who puts on airs is a liar. And while honest liars have their place, incompetent ones have only one. Down the chute. Either a man is a true gentleman…or he is a rogue. Now, rogues have their uses. Why, Washington couldn’t run without them. Nevertheless, when talking about relationships, women should beware rogues as much as possible. And when you simply have to deal with them walk in with eyes open- be polite, shake hands… and count your fingers afterwards. But a true gentleman will always act as if he sees every woman as a lady, even those who manifestly are not. And again, win that battle and you have won the war. No woman-(intelligent woman at any rate) will ever argue that she isn’t a lady, even if she is in fact a guttersnipe. If he does this simple thing-sees himself as a gentleman, through seeing the best in others, he will guarantee himself an easy life with no stress, and as much love as he can accept. Every woman adores a man who puts her on a pedestal (while occasionally taking her down for a spin.)

If every woman were a lady, and every man a gentleman, the sexes could live together easily, no huhu. Unfortunately, it is obvious that we suffer from a lack of both..when there is no need.

You see, it is easy to be a god if one sees oneself as such. Cats know it. Some humans know it, though sadly not enough. And when you are a god and know it, it is easy to be loving and to dispense that love- a truly loving person has a self respect that is obvious. And because of it, has the respect of others. A cat who rubs against you has no more need of you than it has a piece of wood. It loves because it can- and can go away just as easily with no love lost or loss of self respect. Cats are the embodiment of graciousness- a healthy sense of self bolstered by a certain knowledge of their place in the universe- top of the food chain. In every human you have ever admired, you will find that each had a certain sense of place- may admit to having a certain feeling of greatness- whether acquired through life or inborn in the womb, that let them feel they were in for great things. And so great things came to them. (This is not to discount hard work. But knowing that great things are coming is a great motivator for getting ready beforehand and preparation is a key to success. ) In summary, know thyself and know that you are a god ( a benign one) and you will be one-practice magnanimity, be gracious, gentlemanly (or ladily*) and most of all, loving. Pet others and let them pet you, but bite when you sense you’re being taken advantage of. A little nip teaches respect. Most of all, be able to love and walk away, with no loss of love or self respect. Do all this and life will be milk and catnip, foreverand ever amen.

Love, purr, and peace

Jim Davis:

Way down deep, we're all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Are You There God? It's Me....

And have I got a bone to pick with you.  Lately, it has seemed to me that talking may be one of the worst inventions ever created.  The chances for miscommunication multiplied by the billions the day Adam opened his mouth and spoke. Oh, there are some good instances of talking. Afterall, the world was created when God spoke the Word and it was good. (Don't choke if I misquoted there, folks- after all I'm not a preacher or the Devil- and word is they're the only folk who can quote Scripture perfectly.) But after that- things pretty much went to hell. I mean creating the universe through words and will is a pretty hard act to follow- so naturally man tried to follow it...and messed up. (Tower of Babel anyone?) The point is that talking creates more confusion than it solves- just ask any honest (is there such a thing?) politician. In love it creates deception, as you try to find just the right way to seduce a lover, or soothe his feathers when he realizes he isn't your only. (Shameless hussy!) And for a true love, it can never explain the depth of feeling you really have, and trying only cheapens the effort. In prayer, we endlessly muddle our thoughts, and wonder why we don't receive what we prayed for- (the answer of course is that we did, we just didn't ask for the right thing, in the right way).  With children, we tell lies to protect them, then wonder why they resent us when they learn the truth. Men accuse women of gossip. Women accuse men of never saying how they feel- (again, the truth is that they do, we just never believe them. When men tell you something bad about themselves, women, believe them-otherwise you are giving them a pass to continue that behavior on the grounds that 'I told you so'.")
I cannot think of the last time I spoke honestly to someone in my life and it was well received. White lies, (pink lies, multicolored lies) are the balm that allows our perverted society to work, sluggishly , but it does work.  But I would dearly love to not speak, and still be understood. It is my dearest wish- to be understood by those I love and to still be loved, when they have understood me completely- every selfish, judgemental thought, every unkind (to myself and others) expression. At times when I am in utter despair, and don't know who I am, I have (Bible Belt child that I am) a deep seated need to pray. And not the prayers I mentioned above. I pray with all of me, soundlessly, that  the yearning I feel and cannot express, will be felt somewhere...out there.  And usually, I am answered. Today I am yearning again- and so I am offering a prayer- not for an answer to my question. Those are my own to solve. But that I will be looked on with compassion as I struggle to find those answers.  I will not speak my prayer- to speak is powerful, to bring ideas into reality. And I am not ready to speak  my future, yet.  It still needs to be visualized, perfected, imagined in all its details. But when it is ready, when I am ready, I will pray- one brief Om to the Great I Am. And it will happen. No discussion-only actualization. The Bible says when you pray- go into your room, and shut the door. (Matthew 6:6)  No audience necessary- and no histrionics in front of a congregation, family or friends. There need be no witness to prayer. Only a need for prayer ..or meditation...or mantra. (And yes, i used all those words on purpose. Another problem with words- we get stuck on definitions instead of on truth, But that's a rant for another day.)
 A brief digression- there is an African story of a hunter who found a talking skull, and immediately told his king. When the king demanded proof, the hunter returned to the skull with the king's hunters following behind. He begged the skull to speak again, but when it did not, the guards killed him. Later, he asked the other skull, what had brought him to that place.  The first skull replied, "I was the king's brother, who told him when he was doing wrong. I guess I said to too much, too often. So just like you, talking brought me here." 
I won't say don't try to communicate- after all talking is one of the things we do most (note- not best) kinda like building. (Comes of having those opposable digits- and look what we've done with them.) But take a lesson from a talking skull- sometimes the best thing you can nothing.  Talking is just words- in the end only action (and a prayer or two) can make you who you want to be. And if you simply must speak- and we all feel we must- speak honestly, simply, and lovingly. (and if you need to tell that white lie- tell it. Kindness wins over honesty, every time.) And when words simply won't do...pray.  Whether you speak your truth or merely (merely!) live it, someone out there is watching. Live truthfully, pray honestly (and silently), love endlessly.  Ohm.

             “Prayer is not asking.
                       It is a longing of the soul.
                                             It is daily admission of one's weakness.
                                                               It is better in prayer to have a heart without words
                          than words without a heart.”

                                                                       Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall or DIY:Magic Power Makeup!

Living in a foreign country is like being a schizophrenic . At times you feel like you’re invisible, and at others, you feel like you can’t escape the paparrazi who swarm around you like insects. In truth, there are times when I appreciate being invisible, ( it allows me to observe others and makes me feel all sneaky and such- all I can say is don’t pick your nose in front of me. I won’t say a word- but I did see it.) But there are other times when I resent being overlooked- whatever the reason. Whether I have anything to say or not. (What can I say- I crave attention-“ I’m here, I’m American-Get used to it!”)

By the same token, sometimes I appreciate being the town celebrity ( especially when it gets me free food), but at others resent being the “token” American ( the one who speaks for all America- don’t blame me if someday you encounter a Japanese person with a Southern accent-I’m just doing my job) as opposed to being a “token” black- which seemed to happen wherever I went at home. ( I must not be hanging out in the right circles.) I didn’t realize how much I looked out at the world from inside myself, until I moved to a place where everyone was looking at me...constantly. Except when they were studiously ignoring me. There are days when I completely forget what I look like- until I catch sight of myself in a mirror- and realize that I have claws for nails, no makeup on and my clothes don’t match. Here, it just doesn’t seem to matter- no-one’s looking at me. They may see an American, a woman, a black woman- but they aren’t looking at me-because that’s not all I am. (And more to the point- there are no men here who are looking- and hence my vanity goes out the window. Every girl –whether she denies it or not, likes to have a mirror, e.g. men’s faces, that show her she’s attractive. Without it, well, what’s the point? We may dress for other women, but we only get points for man drool- ok, in the interest of equality, if some women drool too, that’s ok. Sorry, I digress. ) The things they see in me are not all that I am- but it’s easy to forget.
Perspective, not just beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I have a mental inability, for example, to see people’s faces. Yes, I know it sounds weird. But the truth is, rarely after a first meeting with someone do I remember their face- at least not well enough for a police artist’s sketch. But I do tend to remember certain elements- generally associated with emotions. I remember quirky smiles, and smiling eyes and voices, or sulky, pouty mouths. But the rest might as well be a blur-at least until I get to know you better. But I’ve always felt like this “talent” of mine was not a deficit. The sensing of other’s emotions is probably a better survival tactic- like airport security being able to read “facial ticks” which help them identify potential terrorists- (no random profiling here, brother! We use science. “ emphatic head nod.”)

But truthfully, being able to read emotions, rather than faces has lead me to an interesting conclusion. While the masks we wear as human beings can change, underneath the emotions we share are all the same- for good or bad. Envy looks pretty much the same on any color skin- and so does love. While looking out of my own mask, I have to remember that what I feel, others can see. And while I don’t promise never to lie with my face- (smiles are social lubrication after all- forgive the double entendre), I do want my face to be more honest than not. To show a loving soul- which I’m still working on developing, that bypasses all the physical traits of which I sometimes despair.  I’m working on being able to look into a mirror and see not flaws, but my own precious quirks, my own strengths.

I've always wished that I could be one of those magic girls renowned in Japanese anime- you know, the one's who are complete idiots- until they transform (half naked transformation scene mandatory for the otaku fans). And somehow the ditziest girl becomes a major power, capable of great feats with the magic of friendship and love. ( I live in the land of anime- what can I say? ) In my heart of hearts, I want to be a magical girl who transforms into something amazing. And I'm working on it. There are days when I don't feel magical- but the power of a kind word changes everything. When someone sees past my mask and reaches into my heart. Its the kind of kindess that transcends language... and can make a heart bloom. That's who I want to be when (if) I grow up.  Not a fairy tale princess, but a warrior with the power of love.*   Everyday I'm working on my transformation- from the inside out. I may never be the fairest in the land, but on a good day- internally- I can say, I clean up pretty well. And while I may not end up in a sailor suit, I can say -somedays,  I still turn out pretty fierce.  Somedays, I even go without my mask, and instead put on just a smile that says I'm open, I'm here- I know who I am... and I am beautiful. While some say you can’t judge a book by its cover, (which, actually, I’ve never believed- I always judge a book by its cover. I figure if the artist read it and liked it enough to do a good cover, it must be a good book. Then again, I also read the last page first. Go figure. Sorry, another digression), in my case I say, go ahead- take a good hard look. I hope you’ll end up liking what you see.

I've never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful. ~Author Unknown

Want to know what your face says about you? Try this quiz at Quibblo!

* Sailor Moon creators- please don't sue!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You Live by the Sword...You Die by the Sword : or Life's a B*** cont.

Life's a B****: a Corollary

"Live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse."
James Dean*****

Do you remember the scene in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith", where John and Jane Smith fight it out, guns blazing against a dizzying array of hired gun men who want to destroy them for the crime of being in love with the enemy? As they prepare to face their death, Jane and John finally find in that moment the courage to say what's been haunting their marriage- it is their fear-fear of losing love- (not their lives- note- these are paid assassins after all.) But in that moment, Jane says to John that "There's nowhere I'd rather be, than right here, right now, with you" (or something to that effect, it's been a long time since I've seen the movie.) Then they burst into the middle of a firefight, guns pounding, feeling more alive than they ever have, fully prepared to die...and they don't.(Spoiler alert!-oh, a little late, huh?) But even if they had, what a great ending, huh?
The wives of ancient Romans, (Greeks? Spartans? old guys) had a saying when their men went off to war.  Come back with your shield or on it. The Bible says if you live by the sword you will die by the sword, (or in this case, guns, uzis, rocket launchers- what have you). Me, seeing movies like that always kind of makes me want to run out and  buy a gun, a motorcycle and a pair of leather pants. (Someday, I tell you- someday!*)
They make me want to go to Rio, dance the tango, and sleep with an activist named Enrique. (or at least...I think that's his name...maybe Ricky..-maybe not an activist!? Oh God, what if I sleep with a busboy named Ricky! I don't speak Spanish- I wont't be able to tell!!)
Ok -change of plans-maybe not Rio, but Paris...or Amsterdam or ....wherever I am right now.  Maybe I (we- yes, we ,bucko, you're along for this ride too) should just live life to the fullest right where we are-be able to say to the people in our lives right now-that there's no place I'd rather be, than right here, right now...with you. (even without the leather pants.)  It's not that I want to die in a blaze of glory ( although...) It's just that, yeah I wrote- "Life's a b****... but I should have added, "and a real wild ride...if you're doing it right."  And for once, let's be specific-none of that "whatever is right for you" crap- I mean, really- honestly- does it make you joyful, excited, anxious, anticipatory and other adjectives like that there to be alive everyday? And if not, why?  Don't be afraid to study the matter up close and personal.  Study your issues, poke at them... and shoot them dead if they move. (Sorry, aggressive movies get me all riled up.)  But seriously, deal with your issues- go to war with them.... and come back with your shield or on it.  My issues with life bedevil me everyday, but only when I struggle with them do I find a few moments of clarity and peace. We will struggle until we die because "for us, the living" (sorry Heinlein!), life is the struggle. (The struggle is life? either way sounds correct to me. )  To love and live and "rage against the dying of [our] light." Be prepared in each moment to either live or die- never knowing which one it will be should make the next moment all the sweeter. It takes the proximity of death to make us feel most alive (perverted creatures that we are) and like an oncoming bus, we know it's coming and can't avoid it. But we can meet it head on (I know , the imagery there kind of sucks)- we can meet it head on and when it's our time, go into death gracefully, set for another adventure, if we've lived a lifetime of them in this one.  So life can be a b****and then you die- but in between you can have a helluva lot of fun..if you choose.  Be a warrior, go all out. Live life to the fullest-
live well, die well- but not before your time. 

"Live fast, die old (still pretty!),
and outlive as many whippersnappers as you can"

*not sure which one  I meant up there? "smirk"
I meant all of them, in no particular order
maybe pants first, then cycle, then gun

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Life's a B**** And Then...Well, You Know The Rest

Life is harder than a sack of wet cement. Harder than a swan dive into an empty swimming pool. Harder than….well, something really hard. It occurred to me today that the fact that I was contemplating suicide probably means something. But what exactly, I don’t know. Now, don’t flip your lid, Martha. I wasn’t seriously considering it. In fact, my consideration was really about the fact that suicide seems like such an easy thing. (I can already feel the paper cuts from the hate mail.) I don’t mean to demean anyone’s suffering. I’m just riffing on a thought that suicide is a means to an end to a known pain and suffering and easing int...something else. What exactly I don’t know, and the folk who do, I don’t want to mess with. But if you’ve ever heard the saying, better the devil you know..., you might understand where I’m going with this. Who is to say that there is something better out there than this? (Ok, you with the King James edition, we’re not talking to you. Or anyone else with “The Word”. We all know that the bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word. So shut it.) I guess my thinking is, if all roads lead to “Rome”, what’s the rush? But believe it or not, I do understand the kind of despair that could lead to thinking, “Boy, wouldn’t be nice to just end it all.” Don’t believe me? How about you and I have a talk sometime about the “right” way to kill yourself? I’ve done extensive research and have a few ideas you might try. (Yeah, you first. ) I have experienced despair (and don’t you disparage it or me), but in the end I decided one simple thing. I had to believe that everything I suffered had a purpose, and that it would all be ok in the end. (Cliché Alert!) To quote a wise old refrigerator magnet,
“Everything will be ok in the end,
if it’s not okay...
it’s not the end.”
Strangely enough,(or not, if you know me) I believe the refrigerator magnet, where I don't always give credence to the wise men of old. (Hey, were talking about first born son sacrificers here!) Despite years of wet pillows, and muffled sobs, years of sleeping on couches, too depressed to sleep in a bed, years of panic attacks, and years on Zoloft (that’s good sh**t, people! Like being smothered in cotton.), I still truly believed that if I just made it through one more night, things might get better. Didn’t say they would, but when you’re dead all possibility of change goes out the window. The day I decided I wanted to be happy, took place ten years after my first panic attack and seven years after I finally realized that I suffered from depression. I didn’t begin to heal until recently, and will spend the rest of my life in the process. But at least for now...I have the time. One day ten years ago, could have been my last, if I had decided to use what I know about sharp objects. (Never run with scissors, folks, and always cut with the grain.) But I didn’t, and I haven’t and...well, I still won’t say I won’t. That’s tempting fate. There is no cure for suicidal tendencies, other than living. There is no cure for life, bad or otherwise, other than to keep living...and make it better. Because the other option..well, let's just say there are some diseases where the cure is worse than the disease. If you want to be done with it, be done. But as for me, no matter how bad the prognosis is today, as long as there is a tomorrow, there is hope. It's a thin enough line to cling to, this I know, but if it's all the same to you (and even if it's not), I'll keep clinging till my grubby little fingers can't hold no more.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Because It Is Bitter And Because It Is My Heart

Who has not wanted sweetness
and being given "strange fruit",
devoured it,
regretted it,
yet wished for more?
A bitter tang that lingers on the tongue-
a copper bouquet swilling down the throat-
a strange brew, love.

It haunts,
a revenant,
a memory,
a shiver in your bowels-
we search it out,
it comes to us, reshaping our mouths-
and we cry like little birds,
peeping for strange fruit.

we can die for lack of love, or of surfeit.

I picked the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil
and found it too big for my mouth.

I pricked its skin, and
sliced it thin and
slid it in
and found it revolting in its sweetness

a pulp crushed in my hands,
seeds too big to swallow-
strange fruit indeed-
comfort me with apples,
for I am sick with/of love. I am sick of love.

I wish no other thing than this-
to be full filled/fulfilled

and finding my stomach empty,
no other food than despair,
no manna in the desert,
i cry out,
I cry,
I beat my breast, I pick the feathers of my breast, I pick until
the blood flows,
the blood flow of my heart-
I pull it out and rest it in my hand
and bite...and finally am satisfied.
It is all I have desired-
I eat it all, and I am fulfilled-
for sweetness cannot cure my lack,
but only bitter herbs.

It is a pyre's meal,
a prisoner's last request-
for this last meal in which I take my part,
because it is bitter
and because it is my heart.

Find the inspiration for this poem here -"In The Desert" -Stephen Crane

Sunday, January 10, 2010

There's Something About....Continuity or DIY: New Year's Resolutions

There's something to be said about continuity- the ties that bind, the family chains, the traditions that year after year remain the same. Looking around at my family this Christmas, I realized that I was lucky enough to be seeing four generations of women in my family- all of whom have my mother's smile. Talk about your genetic inheritance.  It made me happy to be part of something bigger than myself, something that has continued and will continue in my line-if I get the lead out. Hence the completion of another tradition- the New Year's Resolution, and with it the inevitable procrastination.
( So, yes, I know I am a few..days [ Ed.s note- weeks]..ahem,... days late.]

I hereby declare my New Years Resolutions-
 in keeping with that great tradition in which we strive to better ourselves- at least for a few months.

[ author's note: at least until the champagne wears off.] 
[Ed.s note- can you resolve to be a little less sarcastic?!]  
[ Author's note- No.]

1. No more procrastinating!
[Yeah, I know, but I have to start somewhere! Besides, tradition and all that? "raised eyebrows"

2. I will get into better shape this year!
[I will do five sit ups- instead of the one I do getting out of bed. How's that? Good start, huh?]

3. I will save money this year!
[Instead of spending it on books, I will spend it on food instead. Food is still cheaper than books, right? Oh wait, the recession thing-forgot, sorry.]

4. I will plan for my future!
 [At this time tomorrow, I plan to be eating fried chicken. 
Mmmm, chicken. "Homer Simpson slobber"]

5. I will have better relationships!
 [Read; I will not slap the bejeezus out of everyone I meet. This years quota- hmmm...two out of every five. ]

6. I will be more organized!
[As soon as I find my keys, purse, phone and oh, yeah, this New Years list-conveniently enough, lost, in the purse. Yeah, baby, we are Professional Grade!]

Hmm, maybe I'd better stop this list right there-I'm getting a little depressed. That normally doesn't set in until a month after I've failed at completing all my resolutions.  Maybe this year, I'll set some simpler, yet grander goals. Ok, let's start over.

My New New Year's Resolutions
1. I won't procrastinate on things that are important-like friends, family and relaxation. 
Everything else can wait.

2. I will get into better shape this year-mentally. Living in a culture that celebrates people who don't look like me is no excuse. My brain is the top model out there. This year I resolve to show off my curves a little more.

3. I will save money this year- for important things like books, travel, and fun. Instead of being stingy with myself and paying doctors to "fix" me when I end up stressed, I'm going to save on medical bills and enjoy my life. [And yeah, set aside some money for an IRA, geez.]

4. I will plan for my future-starting with a new vision board. [Don't know what a vision board is? You don't watch enough Oprah-look it up.] Dreaming is important and having a long view of what success is enables one to be flexible. My immediate goal- to start a business, and start a family. However that happens is fine with me- but the intention has to be there. Therefore I will immediately start sending out my intentions to the universe- no more small dreams. I want an empire! [And if you think dreaming isn't hard when everyone's favorite game is crushing them, you've got another thin{k} coming!]

5. I will have better relationships- starting with romance and going on to all the relationships in my life. The older I get, the more it becomes clear that relationships with other people can make your life fuller, richer, and more meaningful. I deserve to be loved no matter what, but like any gardener, you reap what you sow. This year I resolve to sow more seeds of friendship. [ and some spices know."wink"]

6. I will be more organized- now my clutter will be in distinct piles. Important-letters to family. Not important-bills. Hurray for direct deposit and ...well, no hurray for direct debit, but it's a good feature anyway. "grump". This year I will be more organized in my home, my thoughts, and my heart. They say "home is where the heart is" and a clean house reflects a clean and open heart. I want my door to be open for anyone who comes in so...let's get out the vacuum.

Ok- that sounds a lot better...and a lot more doable.  Maybe having resolutions isn't such a bad idea- a tradition of setting aside the bad, the failures and the disappointment, in favor of optimism and hope? Yeah, that's a tradition I can get with. And top it all of with a champagne toast- to the past, and to the future, to friends, family and accomplishments to come.

I would like to make a toast to lying, stealing, cheating and drinking. 
If you’re going to lie, lie for a friend.
 If you’re going to steal, steal a heart. 
If you're going to cheat, cheat death. 
And if you’re going to drink, drink with me.

I gotta feelin', that this is gonna be the best year yet. 

[Ed.s note- This year I resolve to help our "author" find more appropriate quotes.. To stop her from using exclamation marks excessively. And to not be too unduly offended by human nature. Happy New Year-"sigh"

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Party Like It's 1999.. Sort Of

Ever had one of those surreal moments when you just feel like you're in a dream-one where nothing feels quite right and you stand out from the crowd like the proverbial sore thumb? (Yeah, I said it. Proverbial, baby!) Ever felt that rising horror when you realize it's not a dream?  Happy New Year, everybody! Wooh! (ok, enough of that- it's back to my dark party corner for me.)Too many times in my life I have felt adrift in a crowd- where I just couldn't let myself be lulled into the group consciousness-no insult to the people around me, but "baaaaah" is not my favored refrain. My snarky objectiveness has often kept me from feeling the spirit of an event and be unable to submerge my tendency to ask questions first...and later.  My inability to flow with the crowd, to not only come up against the rocks in the river but sometimes to be one is not something that most would think of as a gift, but I do.  While standing out from the crowd marks some as prey, I think it makes me a better predator, poised to devour real life and not the pap so many would have me ingest. While I don't say that standing out somehow shows the "courage of my convictions" I do think it shows that I'm becoming more OK with exploring the great unknown.  Perhaps it's only pride, but I would rather stumble seeking knowledge on my own than wait like a baby bird for someone to drop knowledge down my throat. ( I mean have you seen how baby birds are fed ?! Ewww!) Perhaps it's only a sense of superiority or smugness that makes me look around a crowd and wonder "What's the point?" Perhaps it's really a deep seated insecurity, a longing to belong to the pack. (Naah.)  Perhaps it's an ephiphany that as much as those other people look like they know what's going on and look like they are having the time of their life, they have as little idea as I do, and aren't honest enough to admit it.  There is no shame in being able to be sociable. To be able to move through a crowd easily takes an emotional intelligence that I don't have but definitely respect.  On the other hand, an inability to be susceptible to the pull of the crowd isn't a talent to be sneezed at either.  To be able to stand back and view a situation objectively can often lead to a greater understanding of how well we all work together...or could. (I mean it's not like those drunk folks are gonna put themselves in taxis, now are they?) Do I sometimes wish I could  be the life of the party? No, ..and yes.  Do I sometimes wish I could fall under the crowd's spell?  Again, no...and yes.  Do I sometimes wish life really were more like an ad for Courvosier? (Um, maybe without the video hoochies). But not at the cost of  myself...of truly "losing" myself in a crowd.  Group dynamics is how society works, democracy and mob rule at both ends of the spectrum.  But individualism is how the world is transformed -from Leonardo Da Vinci to Einstein, individuals have led the charges that have changed the world.  And while I may not start a revolution, at least I can start with me changing my need to be accepted into a realization that I only need to  be accepted by myself- with changing from insecurity about my place in life to a willingness to be challenged by the unknown.  It's 2010 folks- get your party on, even if it's only a party of one.


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