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Friday Morning

You have to know your magic as it is now, not how you wish it will be.

Tim went out just before three for a structure fire; it's a very quiet morning here. The girls are asleep. I've swept the living room and weeded the asparagus; the rhubarb has gotten tall enough that it's time to make a pie. Yesterday included a disastrous work meeting that triggered all of my control freak issues; later, we went to the fire department to get ready for the parade and while many people were busy, I was not; I spent a lot of time just watching the guys wash down the front of the bays and the driveway. One of the ladies had her three year old son with her and that was fun, watching him run and laugh and just be happy. It was the most restful time I've had in a while, and I am very happy it happened.

Also we got our fire department t-shirts; I'll have Harmony take a picture later & post it so you guys can see.

Thursday Morning

There's a type of habitual numbness that can develop when you learn that feeling is dangerous. There's also a state of baseline calm, where life is going along as life goes along but nothing exceptionally dramatic is happening - it's all good, as it were - no triumphs, no tragedies, just Thursday. There's the deliberate sort of meditative zoning out where you remove yourself at least mentally from the hubub around you; there's the quick version of that too - pick your poison, they all work. These can be hard to tell one from another - the last one maybe not so much, the empty bottles are kind of a clue.

Thinking about the intersection of hormones and emotion, experience and expectation. We're coming up on a big transition for our family, with Harmony graduating. And all I can do - or all I can find myself doing, which is almost the same thing - is stop, frozen in time, and try to understand what comes next. What it means to let her go. What it means for children to grow up and move away and start thier own adventures. And no matter how fine a spin I put on it, I hate it. This is what is supposed to happen; this is how life actually goes for normal people, and I hate every fucking thing about it.

The opposite of numb is crying; or panicing a little bit, or talking to myself that it will all be fine. And ultimately, it probably will all be fine; life has a funny way of working out one way or another. But I don't know, I can't see, the future is as uncertain as its ever been. And I know that certainty actually probably wouldn't help much; the things I do know for sure aren't exactly making me feel better.

This is almoost exactly how I felt a long time ago when the midwife poked her fingers around a bit and said, "Yup! You're having this baby today!" There are moments when you have no say in what is going to happen; you just have to go for it and hope for the best. And apparently no one will hook you up for an epidural for this part of the game.

Wednesday Morning

Your childrens' expectations of life are not shaped by what your own experience of childhood was like. Instead, they form their expectations based on their own experiences and that of their peers, as well as what they see in the media. This means that they can take for granted things that would have been beyond your wildest imaginings when you were their age; not just technology and stuff, but things like how they'll be treated by others and the nature of support they can rely upon through life's transitions.

That's one of those paragraphs that takes 5 minutes of writing and 20 years of living to put together.

Tuesday Morning

Where is the line between bitter and realistic? Last night I sat in a meeting and was told how important it was for everyone to work together to support the town & foster a sense of community. After ten plus years and multiple members of the town leadership body telling me I'm going to hell and people like me shouldn't exist, I find the amount of work I'm willing to do is...limited.

I heard myself saying something to that effect, and thought, Wow, crazy curmudgeon achievement unlocked. The moment you discover you're perfectly capable of sounding like Alan Moore is not necessarily a good one. But it is what it is; perhaps next I shall work on growing a magnificently shaggy beard and start training the chickadees to make themselves at home on my battered hat.

Monday Morning

I put on a shirt yesterday and discovered it has become a dress. Not a marginal dress, the butt-cheek brushing type the girls occassionally try to convince me isn't too short - an actual dress that came to mid-thigh. I've been trying to do healthier things for myself and knew a few pounds had come off - jeans that used to be snug now don't actually fit me - but this was a shock to the system.

I'm not sure it was/is a good shock. I've been struggling a bit with - well, I wouldn't say body dysmorphia, as much as I'd say self-dysmorphia and a little bit of everyone else dysmorphia too. When I look in the mirror, that's not what *I* am supposed to look like. It's not bad. Sometimes it's even good. But it's not me. And other people - they look different. Frailer a lot, and I guess that is a thing that happens, but I'm seeing more too people in a way I never saw them previously. It's not that everyone's gotten new haircuts or changed their wardrobe or whatever; maybe I haven't been paying attention for forty some odd years and this is what everyone's always looked like.

I don't know. Reality's gotten very bright and jagged edged and there are days when I want none of it. The distance between who I was a long time ago and who I am now seems tremendous to me, but others can not see it; perhaps I have been living a secret life for decades, out here in plain view where everyone can see but so easy to overlook. And I vacillate between being so angry about this and this eerily comfortable Zen mood where it seems clear I just need to let go of even more; things I'd clung to as foundation facts turn out to be just another story I spun up, largely while I was drunk.

There is work to do, and for so long that has defined me, and now I am wondering why. More than loving what I do, I love that I am the person who does it, and the bloom has gone of that rose. The surprise is gone. Of course I do these things; of course people bring me these kind of gigs; this is who I am. But this is not a terminal identity, apparently. There's something more coming, and I'm not sure what it is. I feel like it is sneaking up on me; that it's going to get me when I least suspect it. And that's not a good feeling, but it's not bad I can't manage it. It's just passing strange, my friends. Passing strange indeed.

Wednesday Morning

My bones are a barometer for deceit; they ache when I'm lying to myself. I feel it in my shoulders, my neck, my hips, my spine; my fingers are fire. I've learned by now there's only one cure. I have to hunt down what's not true, what's not right, what's useful instead of authentic, and get that sorted. Every I'm fine, every it's okay, lately every I can do this takes its toll. Fixing it isn't necessarily easy, but I know I'm on the right track because the pain goes away and I can move without wincing.

Monday Morning

It might be one of those days. I'm going to be writing a few pieces for the Mercury transit; here is the first one:

Begin one day with your back to the dawn. Be as naked as you can be; the goal here is to feel the sun's warm touch as it rises. Close your eyes and feel the heat soaking into you; know the slow burn climb from ankles to hips, up the column of your spine, to the shoulders you carry the world upon. Let there be nothing but this - feel and listen and be, just for a moment, with the light behind, and eternity, unglimpsed, ever ahead.

Friday Morning

Not everything is a gender based slight designed to reinforce the patriarchy. Was with a woman, we were looking at some horses - animals with which she is not overly familiar - and the owner of said horses cautioned us against going near one particular stallion if it was 'our time' because 'that brings out the worst in him'. Which is a thing that happens, but the woman I was with was absolutely incensed at this sexist discrimination and let the farmer know. He said he'd take the horse in for sensitivity training but until then it was best to stay away if we didn't want to get bitten or kicked. She was so mad, but I laughed - I was informed later that this is proof positive that I'm full of internalized misogyny.

Stallions, man. Thinking they're not actually people up on the latest nuances of proper  human interaction and shit. I don't even know who they think they are.

Thursday Morning

No matter what, there's a tendency for people to self-segregate into groups that don't communicate with each other. At work, we call this siloing - marketing doesn't talk to customer service, in store people don't know what's happening online; it's a mess that inhibits sales and slows brand growth. I see it elsewhere too; in academic disciplines, people cluster around their chosen school of thought and ignore, if not actively repudiate, all others. Kahneman, in his Thinking Fast & Slow (which I am reading slowly), points out that creativity/intelligence is based in the ability to recognize and use information that originates in a silo other than the one you normally occupy. You have to pay attention to what other people are doing.

Wednesday Morning

We are rather bad at baby proofing. I am watching a friend's little one today while she goes to a funeral; he is almost 3. After the girls 'got things ready' I still had to pick up the stovewood  hatchet, a surge protector full of plugs, and assorted sharp pointy things. Clearly we are not around wee ones enough...although according to his Mom, all he needs is cartoons and chicken nuggets and he'll be adequately entertained. So the more things change, the more they remain the same.