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Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

Illustration by Michael Hacker

Life doesn’t stop occurring because one person has died. You can’t expect for a giant hand to pick up a giant remote control and hit pause. Things don’t go back to normal because normal changes, it becomes something different, a new variation on normal. When an integral part of you is taken away, life becomes like traveling in a foreign land in which you don’t speak the language or recognize the shapes of the signs.

On Saturday evening, Type Geek’s brother was pulled from the machines, and he passed away Sunday evening, surrounded by family. They are now gathered at the family compound, silent and processing and mourning. I wish I could do more, do something, relieve the pain somehow, but this is my job, to wait and be available when he comes home. To not say anything and just listen. To hold him. Or, to give him space and allow him time to mourn the loss of his only big brother.

On Monday, life continued on, without any dramatic pause. All of the messy complications of living, the wrong drink at Starbucks, the long line of traffic, the irritation of not being able to hear your friend at lunch because the parties on either side don’t understand the concept of inside voices, and of course, hysterical mishaps that result in comedic injuries. The comedy of life doesn’t stop because death has happened. After an early lunch on Monday I stepped on wet concrete with a pair of Tom’s Shoes and one leg hydroplaned while one remained on a dry patch and resulted in my successful execution of an almost full split, without the flexibility required to do such a thing. My friend Poppy was with me as my right knee slammed to the ground in a quiet thud and my left leg extended out in an angle better left for Mary Lou Retten or Jenna Jameson. Left with a severe hobble I spent the rest of the day with an elevated leg wrapped in gauze and a stomach full of ibuprofen.

The comedy of errors doesn’t stop there. After Poppy left, I decided to finish this post and send it over to my syndicators, only my computer wouldn’t hold a charge and the thing wasn’t reading the ac power supply hook up. So, I frantically tried to finish it before the system shut down, only I didn’t make it. I tried writing my post via my not so smart phone but that didn’t work, and so I sighed and threw in the towel. I found an available Zipcar at 1 pm today and drove over to MicroCenter and bought a new power cord. The staff there is less than gentlemanly, seeing me hobble and obviously in discomfort, the fat older sales guy made me hobble down the aisles so he could sit his lazy ass down while we plugged in the adapter to see if it worked. Of course there was a plug exactly where we were, but having me walk the entire distance of the store, one hop at a time, seemed to be his particular style of customer service.

Now I am back home, and this post is late, but it is finished. At the end of my day, it’s just a post, a power cord, a comedic slip and fall resulting in a humbling bruise and dedication to becoming a bit more flexible so I am not so prone to overextension in the future (and yes, avoiding wet spots on concrete floors) because this is all just the filler for the space between the moments. Life isn’t about what we achieve, what we possess, what we are… it is about who we are and who we love and how we do that. Life is about the connections we make. Today, Type Geek is with his family and they are saying goodbye to his big brother and planning his services. Today, I am remembering that nothing else but that simple act of love and respect is what truly matters.

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I recently was called vapid and self involved on the Facebook page for the queer site that syndicates me once a week.  They had posted a link to my most recent post and she made her statement in the comments below. I wanted to hold my breath and move on, however I decided to respond. I apologized that I wasn’t talking about the state of the economy, the never-ending war, the housing crisis, politics or the gmo foods we consume without concern. My blog is merely a trail map of my own personal journey.

Re-coming out was, in many ways, more difficult for me psychologically than coming out as Bi as a teen or realizing, in my early 20’s, that I was only attracted to women, subsequently then coming out as a lesbian. I don’t feel like I went back in. I never had issues being a lesbian. Perhaps because I am blessed to be a slim attractive feminine woman in a society that smiles upon that, I never suffered the injustices that some other lesbians have. I didn’t choose to love heels, makeup, long hair, and dresses… it would just be incredibly disingenuous for me to be anyone other than this. One winter I was going through a hard time and opted to go off the grid a bit so I delivered and stacked firewood for the owner of a small composting company. It was all cash under the table and incredibly hard work. A cord of wood is a LOT more than you think, when you have to carry it to a pile and stack it. Some days there were 4 or 5 jobs like this. My point is, my “work boots” had huge thick 2.5″ heels. I wore my hair in pigtail braids and put on mascara and lip gloss at the beginning of my day. It is who I am. I wasn’t a girly girl as a child, nor as a teen, but somewhere in my early 20’s things shifted and I began to find myself. 

My journey into self hasn’t been smooth. I have dealt with a lifetime of anxiety issues from growing up in a family of insanity. I had anger management issues in my teens and 20’s. I suffer from a mild case of body dysmorphia from childhood obesity. Fleeting depression, chronic disorganization resulting in my often sabotaging projects, jobs or relationships, and the myriad of insecurities that just come with being an emotional human being. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? It isn’t though. I’m thankful for being the glorious mess I have been, because it has allowed me to better know myself, to be stronger, to try harder, to find determination in unforseen circumstances, and to run blindly into experience, reminding myself to breathe often, to stop long enough to feel what it is I am experiencing, to remember that I am blessed for having experienced it. The good and the bad. The bad sucks, indeed, but that bad makes the good so glorious. The bad makes me appreciate the 3 hours spent on Type Geeks lap watching South Park and Mad Men, drinking port. The bad makes me appreciate the smell of my dogs paws (it really is a mix of all the grossness that they step in that makes them smell like popcorn, isn’t it?! eww). The bad makes me appreciate the sensation of a piece of smoked sea salt dissolving on my tongue, the aroma of roasted brussel sprouts with truffle oil, a long hot shower and friends that make you laugh til it pains you and then you laugh more, because you just can’t stop.

So, into all of our lives things bad things happen. Some of us are in foreclosure, some are facing homelessness, or are homeless, some are sick, and some will get better, some feel all alone even when surrounded by a room full of “friends and family”. This is life.  However, remember that life is also the wag of a dog’s tail, the glint in a 2 year old’s eye from across a bus or subway train, the way the chocolate feels as it melts in your mouth, the sound of autumn leaves under foot and .. one of my personal favorites, when the temperatures drop so drastically during a snow shower that the top layer is frozen crisp, as if the world is a giant creme brulee. I block out the world and I crunch crunch crunch down the street, through the grass, while cracking the higher crust with my fingers. I love it. I do.

Find the small things you love and be thankful for them. They make the big things, which you don’t love, diminish in size. Happy Thanksgiving.

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