Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Losing My Notion of Time and Space

There’s an attic storage room off of one of the bedrooms in our house. It’s really cool because it’s like a secret room. The wall that contains the door is covered with decorative worm wood on the bedroom side, and one of the holes forms a natural handle. The door isn’t so well done that you’d never know it was there, but I wouldn’t say it’s noticeable on first glance either.

I cleaned this space out last night in my continuing effort to purge and pack. Mark and I each have a side of the room – his side has a pile (literally) of abandoned music equipment, mic stands, furniture, and odds and ends. Organization is not his forte. My side was neatly stacked with two storage cabinets, a couple boxes, and several Rubbermaid containers that held Christmas decorations and gift wrapping sundries. Funny how even in the hidden spaces, our personalities are evident in stark contrast.

Once my side was empty, I stood there a moment looking around, listening to the steady precipitation outside (again). I remember standing in the same spot, doing the same thing when we first moved into the house five years ago. It was raining then too, and the gentle drumming on the shingles just inches above sounded so awesome I dragged Mark upstairs to hear it. It could've been a super romantic moment, but it went over his head. (Pun intended. Ironically, Mark is in San Diego on business this week. How did that happen?) I wish I had the right equipment to record the resonance because it would lull almost anyone into a trance. Must be something about the slant of the roof and the cotton candy acoustics exposed in the walls.

I stood there so long, just listening, that I finally sat down and closed my eyes. I rarely plan to meditate – in fact, I suck at it so bad I avoid the traditional practice to save myself the frustration – but once in awhile it just kind of happens.

As always, the Monkey Mind took over at first. I wished Mark would donate all the things he doesn’t use, especially the music equipment. I imagined someone being able to pursue their dreams with the “junk” in our attic, and I felt a sad energy from the neglected items. I was also annoyed that they were thrown into a pile with so little regard, some things broken from the abuse. How arrogant we humans can be - we take too much for granted.

I thought about the trip I took to St. John’s just before I moved to NJ, where I bought the bamboo wind chimes that now hung from the ceiling, silent for years. I missed the distinct clacking noise that brought a little of the Islands to my home on the mainland. (Those got put into a box to go with me, for sure.) I contemplated the roofing nails dangerously sticking through the wood above me, and wondered if the roofers used the wrong size and how it is that water never finds its way through the holes. I was thankful for that.

My head took a Left then and I chastised myself for sitting in a motionless muse listening to rain when I should've been out there sorting things, but my Right mind shushed me. Ego grumbled about how crazy I would look to anyone that walked in the room. I mean seriously, I’m sitting on a makeshift wood slat floor in the middle of a partially empty closet, surrounded by discarded clutter, doing nothing. Pad the walls, lock the door, and call it a day, right? But my soul was enjoying the peace too much to care.

Finally, I ran out of things to think and was left with only the awareness of my breathing. A line I read in a book floated past my conscious:

The breath breathes itself.

Inhale… exhale... In... out... the breath breathes itself... do without doing*. As within, so without. Effortless natural rhythm, inside and out. And there was nothing but silence on the backdrop of rain.

When I finally emerged from the attic still in that kinda between state, I found it was over an hour later. Time is such a fickle concept.

The other day in my rant I said "I'm moving, not dying" but maybe I should take that back. I suppose this is a death of sorts, just not a physical one. I tend to lose myself in relationships, but I have a hard time seeing just how far I've drifted off course until I can stand outside and gain some perspective. When I do, it can be a killing moment.

I've looked back on my past before and wondered who was living my life in certain periods because I can no longer relate to the person I used to be. Perhaps someday the same will be true here, who knows. Even so, I see the thread that stitches all those different incarnations together. It's organic and shimmery and made of magic things physics can't explain, and it's getting Lighter by the minute.

*Othila is the rune under which this advice appears in Ralph Blum's rune book. I know, it was bugging me too so I had to go look it up.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rant Alert

I have to go on a small rant here, so please excuse me while I scream. This will not be pretty. It is decidedly NOT the best side of my personality but it is part of Me Under Too Much Stress, and my words will be loaded with f-bombs so the Easily Offended should just click here for something less controversial to read.
I'm sure my friends and family are well-meaning, but I am so fucking sick and tired of hearing the following:
"Why are you moving to San Diego?"
"You've never even BEEN to San Diego? How do you know you'll like it?"
"You don't even have an address yet?"
"You'll end up back on the East coast in a year."
"Why don't you move to --insert home state of speaker here-- instead?"
"Why don't you put your things in storage and see if you like it first?"
"Katy is staying the summer? What if she never moves out to California?"
I am moving to San Diego because it's 70 and fucking SUNNY all year, and because I LIKE the West coast. I NEED sun. I get cranky JUST LIKE THIS without it. It's been raining in Bergen County for WEEKS, and the sun only seems to come out when I'm inside working. And as beautiful as the snow is, the winters suck and it seems like this one will NEVER END. I can't do this anymore.
No, I have NEVER been to San Diego, but I've also NEVER ONCE heard anyone say "EWW San Diego, don't move there." Why would they lie? Everyone LOVES San Diego. Why does it matter to you anyway? I'm the one going to live there. I'm told the people are generally laid back, organic-eating, health-conscious, environmentally conscious, HAPPY humans. I want to contribute to and be part of that. I will fit in there. I AM one of "those freaks." Who WOULDN'T be happy in 70 and sunny weather with a beach and ocean right there? If you are questioning me, you may want to look inside yourself to see what makes you resist the idea so vehemently.
No, I do not have an address yet. I don't have anywhere to tell the truck to deliver my stuff. I do not have a deposit on a residence. Yes, I will literally be homeless for a couple weeks. This does not scare me like it may scare you (ok, maybe a little, but I can live with it). I have hotels lined up and a plan of action when I get there. It's not like I'll be living on the streets, so chill. You will get my new address eventually.
Trust me, it will take A FUCKING ACT OF GOD to drag my ass back to the East coast once I leave. The East coast is great for many people, and I love the culture and history of the major cities (Philly, NYC, Boston, DC), but the pace here is too much for me to sustain forever, and the attitude... well, I don't want to be that and I see I've become that and I don't like it. I'm not dying, I'm only moving. Relax. I will still have a phone and email and all the avenues of communication we inhabit 90% of the time. I came back to this side of Turtle Island to repair my relationship with my father. I feel I have repaired everything I can, my boyfriend set the catalyst for a move by asking me to move out, so it's time for me to go back where I belong and that is out West.
I am NOT moving to any other state. Not Texas, not New Mexico, not Arizona, not Pennsylvania, or anywhere else (although I MIGHT consider Hawaii - and no, I've never been there either!). I've been thinking about moving somewhere in California for over a year, not that anyone paid attention, and I settled on San Diego in the last six months. That is where I'm going. Nowhere else. Your state is great for you, some of them I've lived in already and they were great for me at the time, but it doesn't mean I want to repeat it. I want a new experience in my life just as bad as I want a new experience in my government. I'm not moving or voting so I can continue living the same old shit.
I am NOT going to put my things in storage to give you some false hope of me coming back. The only reason I considered the idea at all is because I'm having trouble affording the truck to drag it all with me. At this point, I'd rather give it all away and just leave than put things in storage. I'm STILL not coming back. If there is an actual act of God that brings me back, then I'll figure that out when I get to it. Don't hold your breath.
Yes, Katy (my daughter, for the confused) is staying in NJ for the summer. With friends. Without me. She is 19 years old and technically an adult. I cannot MAKE her go with me, and I am not abandoning her. If she changes her mind AS I PULL OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY, I will still take her with me and she knows that. She can make her own decisions, and while I certainly have tried to influence her choices, they are still NOT mine to make so if she says she's staying, then she's staying. Talk to HER about it. I am setting her up with a plane ticket to come to California when she's ready. That could be end of summer, or in the fall, or next year, or never. I can't predict the future.
Katy will be FINE either way. Have some faith! When I was 19 no one believed I could make my own decisions even tho I had been living on my own for 2 years. That really chapped my ass. No, Katy has not been on her own yet like I was, but we all gotta start somewhere. Yes, I certainly made many mistakes, but those mistakes gave me a shit-ton of experience and this is probably one of the reasons I HAVE the balls to move cross country on my own. Huh, imagine that! I'm sure Katy will make mistakes too, and you know what? I have confidence that she'll live through them, and if she turns out even half as capable as me I'd say she's ahead of the game. Living on her own for awhile and discovering her independence, be it good or bad, is not going to kill her, and it will probably be great for her.
SO... to those of you who are mad, upset, sad, and/or negative about my move, I would greatly appreciate if you could keep your thoughts and questions to yourselves. You'll get used to me being a citizen in the Governator's state, you'll see. And you'll be thankful when you have a place to stay when you come visit the coolest vacation city in the continental US. I'm not denying you the right to your opinion, I would just appreciate if you would keep it to yourself.
To those of you whose response has been "How cool! Wow, I really admire your courage! You'll love San Diego! Go you!" even while you were actually thinking "This bitch is crazy," THANK YOU SO MUCH because you give me a thread of sanity to cling to in these last couple weeks before I take on this adventure. I am VERY grateful for your positive input. I mean that sincerely.
Blame my rant on the full moon. The moon loves me. It understands.