Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night

I'm home for Christmas and just like last year it isn't what I had hoped for.  I've had to cut my trip short and neither parent is pleased with the abbreviated visits.  There is no tree at my Dad's, no empathy at Mom's.  It seems more probable that this is the going rate now, the status quo, expected.  I had wanted so much more from the holidays this year -- a roaring fire and the twinkle of tiny lights descending from a tree's peak in woven spirals and that intangible, indescribable feeling of comfort and rightness.  I hate that my muscles now clench as the oddities of others become irritants that mark the Christmas season, for example, the 62 inch projection of an exclusive musak channel.  

My father reminded me on the way home from the big family dinner that I do have much for which to be thankful.  And I do, though it really is difficult to clear away the fog of Murphy's Law long enough to give appropriate praise for physical health and economic security.  I have the pleasure of loving an amazing man who treats me like a princess.  I take a lot of things for granted, nevertheless I'm tired of fighting battles.  Maybe I ask for too much or expect too much.  Maybe I outgrew Christmas with age.  Maybe I actually am lost in a sea of raging idiots.  I'm leaning toward the latter and it chips away daily at my usual disposition and temperament.  I want one day to pass without a major trial, and to forget for one day the notions of deployment and war and divorce and wrong-doers.  I want a simple task to be effortlessly executed.

Perhaps tomorrow will be the day, a Christmas miracle, if you will.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Uhh...err.  It seems that I'm just stopping in for one of my usual, now sporadic visits.  And in a way, perhaps it's fitting that not even this place feels like home anymore.  The one thing I want most out of life, the one driving force that keeps me clinging to the steadiness of earth when everything else in the world spins wildly -- Home, and I may have never felt more Home-less.  My apartment has grown stale and I don't really stay there much, his place feels most familiar but I'm acutely aware that it isn't mine, there aren't my things in the closets and cabinets, and of course, there's the house, still under construction, the bane of my existence, holding a car load of crap I hauled around for a while and an address I hesitate to actually use.  I'm hesitant to have anything of import attached to that place since it seems that my landlord's promises are understatement.  

Tonight it's just me and any one of those three choices - a bed so mine that the crest of my body is pressed deep into the mattress, the empty, dishonest walls of an old bungalow where I could curl up in a corner of one of the many vacant rooms, or here: burrowed into pure, warm comfort, a pool where our tributary veins run partially together, picking the peanut butter cups out of his Moose Tracks, dressed in an oversized PT shirt, my favorite.  He isn't here but he is, he is everywhere in this room and the next and in the shower.  In a few hours I'll climb a flight and a half of stairs and melt into sleep and it will feel like he's the big spoon because his essence lingers like a decadent flavor.  

This is the last preview. 

[all we can do is keep breathing.]

Friday, December 12, 2008

lost and insecure [you found me]

I don't know what I'm hoping to get out of life, much less this blog.  Like others, I'm torn between living and recording the motions.  There's a time and place for sharing and sometimes life's momentum just gets to whirring and buzzing and humming all at once and you're swept along in the swiftness of it.  This has mostly been attributed to the end of the semester.  In a few words, grad school is a hell of a lot more than I ever expected.  It not only engulfed me in its currents, but it held me under turbulent waves for much of the latter half of 16 weeks.  There are a dozen other trials that have kept my stress levels at maximum capacity, but it's probably better not to air it all right now for reasons of op-sec and patience.  

Though the blog halted, life goes on.  I'm waiting on my grades and anticipating A's.  I surprised myself and a handful of professors.  I made a new family of fellow english grad students and made a homey little nest out of our one, lone conference room.  I know Louise Erdrich better than she may know herself.  I know the Cult of True Womanhood to degrees of nauseam.  I fell in love with the ideals of the Expressivist movement led by Elbow and Murray.  I wrote my first short story and again surprised myself.  I did a number of seemingly unconquerable tasks and crushed them beneath my tiny feet.  

I keep thinking about that Eleanor Roosevelt quote: "You must do the thing you think you cannot do."  I believe that idea alone sums up the year.  I finally graduated college.  I survived months and months of army induced separation and survived.  I somehow defied all notions of feasibility by getting into this masters program on such short notice, and beyond that, I have excelled.  Those are the hills that I've climbed, leaving the horizon speckled with far-off flags bearing my crest -- pink and flowery, for sure.  The mountains, however, await, standing rugged, impossibly tall and taunting. 

 Next year is coming all too strong and quickly, like a train whose force makes the earth tremble long before arriving.  This is my life now.  There is no turning back.  It's ironic how badly I want it and also how fiercely I dread it.  I have to keep looking back on the achievements, on the things I never thought I could actually pull off until I landed on the other side of Trying and the ride was over and I was still intact.  Love and wanting are tangled in some powerful magic, and perhaps I am a little stronger than I thought.  But I won't admit it often, for it isn't often that I feel it might be true.