Live

There are so many hammocks to catch you if you fall, so many laws to keep you from experience. All these cities I have been in the last few weeks make me fully understand the cozy, stifling state in which most people pass through life. I don’t want to pass through life like a smooth plane ride. All you do is get to breathe and copulate and finally die. I don’t want to go with the smooth skin and the calm brow. I hope I end up a blithering idiot cursing the sun – hallucinating, screaming, giving obscene and inane lectures on street corners and public parks. People will walk by and say, “Look at that drooling idiot. What a basket case.” I will turn and say to them “It is you who are the basket case. For every moment you hated your job, cursed your wife and sold yourself to a dream that you didn’t even conceive. For the times your soul screamed yes and you said no. For all of that. For your self-torture, I see the glowing eyes of the sun! The air talks to me! I am at all times!” And maybe, the passers by will drop a coin into my cup.

~ Henry Rollins

 

 

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The Upper Amazon

I was reading about the uncontacted tribes of Peru. One group in particular has been trying to make contact recently. Of course this gets me to thinking about my time in the Peruvian rainforest, and in the rainforest of other countries as well. It’s the most peaceful, beautiful place I’ve ever known. My two favorite trips were to Egypt and Peru. They were so completely different that there isn’t really a way for me to quantify which was better. They were both amazing. But the rainforest is where I wanted to live… I remember when I was in Peru, there was a woman running a clinic for the locals there. I begged her to let me stay on as an assistant, but I had no medical training. I started going to school with the hopes of becoming an ethnobotanist.. but that’s another story.

By day I helped the researchers collect bugs.. mostly katydids. It was entomologists from the Smithsonian, and the trip was through Earthwatch. In my free time, I wandered the rainforest. It was stunningly beautiful, and everywhere I looked life grew on life, various layers creating the ecosystem that so entranced me. At night I was filled with an exquisite happiness. I was content.. and rocking in a hammock outside, listening to all the sounds of the forest at night made me feel I belonged there. The local Indians I met were curious and friendly, and at one research station they made this music with primitive instruments that only added to my contentment. I loved everything about it. There are a million things in the rainforest that can hurt you, and I knew that, but I learned quickly what to avoid. The browns and greens of the rainforest are accented by brilliant reds, blues, yellows.. poison dart frogs, sap from the Dragon’s Blood tree, a caterpillar advertising that it was posionous to touch. I fell in love with it.

There was a shaman there.. he spoke no English, but had a botanical garden for his cures. He did a cleansing ceremony on us, and when he got to me, he drew a circle around my wrist with his plant ink. I asked if it meant anything, and he told the interpreter that it was to drag me back to Peru. I’ve thought about that often, and I think I left part of my heart there. I want to go back.

Oops.

I haven’t been sleeping and this morning I discovered it’s because I’ve been taking the wrong medication at night. Oops. Hopefully tonight I will be able to crash deeply and feel better tomorrow. For now I feel completely fuzzy headed and a bit muffled.

My new Doc is sort of strange. He’s not like any other Doc I’ve seen in the past, in that he wants me to come in and tell him what I want to talk about. I’m not used to guiding the conversation and I’m finding it difficult. Every therapist I’ve seen before has asked me questions, probing a bit, and we got to things like that. I don’t know if I can do what this one wants. For now though, I’m wiped out. More tomorrow, and hopefully it will make a bit more sense.

Thunder and Lightning

I haven’t played in the rain in a long time. I think that’s another symptom of my… hibernation. I feel I’m in a state of holding, with a chrysalis around me, solid and unmoving. When I was a teenager, I’d run to the river during storms.. the more violent, the better. It was always worse on the water, and sometimes I’d dare the floating docks out off the end of the pier. And I remember at least one time swimming naked in the storm, my clothes dropped in a heap on the rocky bit of beach we called ours. A friend swam with me, and we made love in the river while rain poured down on us and thunder and lightning crashed. It was an impulsive thing… he was a friend, and it shouldn’t have gotten mixed up. But there was so much energy around us and inside us…I’m wandering.

  As I grew older, I’d go to the state forest and to the river there for storms, if I had time. If not, I’d go to the graveyard. Anywhere I could be out in it alone, without people bothering me. I loved the feel of the rain stinging my skin, making me blind, and screaming with the thunder, laughing at the lightning, and being drowned out by it. It made me feel miniscule… I was nothing, if not part of the storm, and it could wash me away if it wished. Being out in a violent storm was like being reborn, being renewed, and afterwards it left me full of the energy of the storm. I would be drunk off it, and I felt I had to move carefully so that it did  not spill out and dissolve me.

It’s been years since I’ve been out in it. Nothing is stopping me, but there is nowhere private for me to go, or at least nowhere that I know. If I could drag Brian out in it with me, that would be great… I’d adore that. But it’s not his thing.

Missing you

My computer is dying. Something is wrong with the hard drive so I’ll have to take it in for repairs and hope it doesn’t cost too much. In the meantime, I’m behind on the blog, of course. I’ve been running backups and diagnostics and it takes forever and a day to load anything. Still a weak excuse.

  I don’t think this new doc is going to work out. I think I need someone who is not as detached as he is. I don’t really see myself being able to tell this man about my inner workings so I suppose I’ll ask him this week who else he might be able to recommend. I really hate starting with someone new.

  I’ve been thinking of Wendy a lot lately. I miss her desperately. I hope she knows that, wherever she is, in whatever comes after. I still feel guilty for not getting there sooner. I felt that if I saw you while you were in the coma that you’d know I was there supporting you, and could lend you my strength. But I was told not to come, and that I wouldn’t be able to see you anyway. I thought you were getting better right up until I got the call that you were dead. Wendy, I miss you, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there to get your message that day. I don’t know what you wanted to tell me before you went to the hospital. I’m just sorry I wasn’t there to talk to you one last time. I’ve been trying to find your blog. I found one blog, but not the one that we used to write in. It may be private. I’m hoping I still have it saved on my computer somewhere, along with our chats. Those were precious to me.

So I found your blog… I have it saved to my computer, and it is still online, just not listed. How I miss you. I wish I could have been your bridesmaid. You should have had your happily ever after.

Tomorrow I meet with the doc for the 2nd time. I’m not sure if this is going to work out but I’ll give it a shot. I’ve never seen a male Dr before, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to talk to him about the various issues.  I’m still in the getting to know you stage and probably will be for a while.  Last week I gave him the Brief History of Me… and he looked at me like a bug under a microscope.  Also, he expects me to come each week with a topic in mind. He said he has spent entire sessions just looking at his patient. I’m not sure how that’s going to work out either. I don’t think he thinks I have DID… because of the lack of any knowledge of personalities with names and separate egos. That was why I fought the diagnosis for so long, but I don’t know what else would explain my memory lapses. I guess I’ll ask.

There’s a repairman here today and I keep getting distracted with that, and by cats demanding my attention. I think tomorrow I should explain how I feel about animals, and the forest, and how much I miss my woods. Maybe that will help him understand the panic attack I had when Kit went to Ali’s.

The Perseid meteor shower is going on and I’d love to see it. I  think about when I slept in the Egyptian desert and the sky went on forever. The more I looked, the deeper it became until I felt I was falling into the sky. There was no light pollution, just infinite stars above the desert, and I watched falling stars streak across the sky until early morning. I want to do that again. I want to go back to Egypt, but it’s in such a turmoil I fear I’ll never get to. There are so many places I want to see, so much I want to experience, and sometimes I feel like I’m running out of time. I have this yearning inside me and sometimes it grows to such a crescendo I feel like I’ll drown in it.

Discipline in my writing has always been a problem for me.  I’m going to try, once again, to get in the habit of writing regularly. I’ve been out of it for so long that trying to write more than diary posts feels like clawing my way through. However, even diary posts are more than what I’ve been doing.

Do you think a gift goes away without use? Is it an infinite well that only needs to be tapped, or does it dry up? Sometimes I’ll have a thought, an idea, or just a phrase come to me and think that I need to remember it, but if I don’t write it down, I forget. How many good ones have I forgotten? I’m not old but I’m certainly not getting younger. I should have been where I wanted to be by now, if only I’d had discipline. Still, better late than never. I think I have  a fear of success, but I’m not sure why. The first time I sent my writing out, it all got accepted. Then I didn’t submit anything again for years. Next I started working on building a reputation. Again, all my writing was accepted, but I kept going with it for as long as I could, getting accepted at more prestigious publications. Two chapbook collections released, and I had a fan base. This went on for a few years I guess… and the last poem, and probably my best, got an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Horror. That’s a very well known anthology, with a lot of sales every year. And then – nothing.

I became disabled, and I was fighting to keep my house. I took on more and more stuff to make money on the side.. selling vintage items, photography, seeds and plants. It kept me busy. More than that, I think I lost hope a bit… because poetry just doesn’t pay well, and I was fighting so hard to survive that I didn’t have it in me to write. When I got married, I had planned to go back to my writing, with the hopes of finishing a book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to write anything. It was all crap.  At first I stuck to it, but day after day of crap discouraged me and I quit trying. Instead I concentrated more on my photography.

So this is me, giving it another try. I just started with a new therapist and one thing I have to do is have something to talk about every week. I can use this for that… and to help me get back into the habit. I need to succeed at something. I know that all my publications were successes, but I guess that’s not the same as a book. Something I could make appreciable money from. Money shouldn’t matter but it does. I don’t need to be Stephen King. I don’t think anyone else could possibly be that successful, except possibly his son. But to one day see a book I wrote on store shelves would be a huge achievement. I just wish I had someone who would share in my achievement and be proud of me. That should be Brian but I don’t know that he would, or if he was, that he would bother letting me know. And I kind of need to know. I need that encouragement to keep going. I miss the friends I had. Wendy… long dead. Tara… who may as well be. I keep hoping she’ll return but that hope fades every year. She is family, no matter how pissed off we might be with each other. I don’t know if she feels that way… I doubt it, but it’s true. I can hate what she’s done but not hate her.