Friday, August 22, 2014

You're a Human Thing

"I am, thank god, a writer and editor, not a father confessor. But I do believe that our culture is set up to maximize individual guilt, and that one needs to resist it. Whatever happened may or may not have been wise (you have to make that decision), but it is not unusual, or damnable, or changeable. Whenever we mess up--if that in fact is what you've done (I'm not so sure)--the only thing one can do is vow to change; nothing else is useful or doable. I've been married to the same person now for approx. 125 years. We don't think marriage is something ordained by god; it's something that two people decide on because they're happy with one another (despite of course ups and downs).

I've been writing a poem...and in it I quote David Ignatow, who says to himself after a stretch of self-loathing: 'so finally I wave myself back in.' Good advice."

One day I will die. Right? And hopefully my shortcomings are overshadowed by the good things - I'm not sure they will be, but I have no control over that. I just know that until I can come to peace with my fuck ups and failures, I will try and try and try to surround myself with people who still see me as a human, and a deserving one at that.

The two paragraphs opening this post are two paragraphs from my current professor/mentor. I've read them a million times.  If there was a way to steep my body in these words, I'd do it. And I have a list forever scrolling in my heart of the handful of people who surrounded their wagons around me when I was shivering in the darkness -- one day, when this thing isn't defining me, I'm going to write each of you a love letter. (I've started composing them already)

And here's what I want to say and I mean it: Right now I don't have enough bones in my body to carry what's on my back, but little by little (some days not) I'm learning to.

I'm learning a girl can keep it together.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Wish I Could Be Alone but Not Lonely

My cat, Greg, caught and ate a moth yesterday. He's heroic. He knows how much their erratic flying causes me panic, so he marches downstairs from his swanky spare room, bats them around and then, inevitably, eats them.

I'm usually grateful. I was yesterday, too, don't think I wasn't, but I felt pity for the moth. There was a point when the dusty creature was still alive, barely, and Greg dropped it on the floor to investigate it before chomping it apart. Broke my heart.

When Greg relinquished it, it hobbled towards his foot. Greg moved his paw away. Then, the tattered moth did it again - ran towards his attacker. I had to put my head down; the poignancy of the moment was worth regarding.

I'm still seized by the entirety of that minute. It was a micro-world, life changing bit of the universe. I'm stuck there, swirling in pain for the living.

I am living, but slowly dying.