Friday, June 18, 2010

(not) the final cut

It seems like a stupid thing, but this song has been bouncing around my head lately, while I've been thinking about how to do this post that's been sitting in my drafts for awhile now.  A friend of mine tried to end their life recently.  I thought I should take a moment to process that.  But the more time goes by, the less sure I am.  Pink Floyd reminds me of being fifteen, and hormonal, and emo - sitting in my room cranking the stereo through my earphones, doing shots of vodka and thinking how sorry the world would be if I could only get numb enough to not feel the pain of the blade on my skin.  But that was dumb teenage shit, and this was crazy mid-life shit.  There's no way I could entertain thoughts of suicide at this point in my life, I'm happy to say, but to learn that someone I spoke to almost everyday was in that much pain and didn't think they could tell me was eye-opening.  My friend called to tell me what happened from the 'retreat', or whatever, probably a psych center, where they were 'til recently, when a bed opened up at a rehab.  Now, I've been through this with my friends before, in various scenarios, so I was able to take the news in stride - "oh, hi, you almost died?  Wow, that kind of sucks to think I may never have spoken to you again, thanks for calling!"  Which brought up the issue of, if this person had succeeded, would their family have thought to call me?  It's such a selfish act, but I think it's one that people have a right to perform, if they so choose.  And selfish - it seems hardly fair to call it that.  Who else has the right to decided what to do with one's own life?  It's selfish, sure, but we are in this life to serve ourselves in some form or another, aren't we?  Can't we decide that we would be best served, or that our community would be best served by offering up our own sacrifice?  What about the cry for help thing?  That they don't really want to die, they just want help?  I dunno.  I'm sure it's different for everyone, but in the case of my friend, I honestly think success was not the intent.  Maybe they thought it was at the time, and I'm just talking out of turn, but I think people get so far down, they just give up.  Or maybe they don't know themselves well enough, or don't have a strong enough connection to the Absolute, or have undealt with pain in their past, or just get addicted to the wrong drug.  Get caught in the wrong cycle, and it will bring you down.  I look at my own wounds, which are light years away from suicide, but they are the evidence of my inattention to my own inner conflicts, and my choice to continue to make poor choices on my own behalf.  Maybe what my friend lacked was a healthier option to say to the community, "Look, I fucked up!  I'm down and dirty and undeserving, and feel like the best thing I can do is die - please help me!"  Would that have helped?  Shouldn't we be allowed to 'just give up' every now and again?  Throw our hands up in the air and say, "fuck it!  I give up!"  and then walk off into the sunset for a few?  Or should I be looking at the stresses that get us feeling that way in the first place?  I think feeling like we need to 'just give up', is an indication that we may need to start talking to someone about our problems.  There have been times in my life when I have decided I needed some support and I got it.  I found it very helpful.  I may need it again, you never know.  What about my lingering doubts, though?  What about the cynical, jaded part of my nature that squints my eyes at criminal behavior to see it better?  What's the angle, here?  It makes my head swim to even go down that rabbit hole...  Though I was trying to process my feelings about suicide, not psycho-analyze the wonderfully sick and twisted people I hang around with.  I think it's stupid and wrong.  I think it hurts people, and if you're in that much pain and can't find a way to manage it, then write us a nice note and go for it, but be neat about it, please.  Don't leave a mess.  I think ether or morphine are ways to go, just trip out on funky purple clouds of sensual hallucinations (well, that's what I imagine happens on ether or morphine, but I have no idea, really...) or whatever combo of pharmaceutical cocktail will take you there.  I think if you attempt suicide and fail, you probably shouldn't be surprised if people get angry with you.  I can't help but think of what was going through my own head when I was an angsty teen, getting drunk and playing razors across my wrists, and it was more about punishing other people than myself - "I'll show them, they just don't understand what it's like!  When I'm dead and they're lowering me into my grave, they'll know the pain I'm in, but it'll be too late, I'll be gone!  Nobody cares, no one understands, I'm all alone in this world of pain, this hell of the soul!".  Okay, I'm overdramatizing a bit, but that's what it was like!  And I don't even remember what was so awful!  I guess it's just the hormones, weeding out the weaker links?  There I am again, in my superiority place, so I will fall to my knees and genuflect to the Universe for it's blessings and shed a tear for the beauty and the miracle of it all, and make another attempt to be more authentically a part of Life, and all it has to offer.  Either way, I'm a really good listener, if you ever need me...not to mention that two of the people I spoke to the most often are now less than accessible to me, leaving me even less socially supported than I already was.  Feelin' the joy.  Remember the Joy?  I believe I mentioned the joy ~

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Stock 2

Just a quick post for Summer Stock.  I have a feeling this is going to be the Summer of pictures of kids playing on the slip & slide...  Hey, to be fair, I took 1000 pictures on this particular afternoon, but I'm only going to post two of them (for now).  I love the angle of the lighting in these, and there were a few more that were similarly lit, so some of those may pop up during the ensuing weeks as well.


mine and two others

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer Stock!

Welcome to our backyard water park, where my son and two of his cousins enjoyed a Friday afternoon of fun together!  I bought the sprinkler and the slip & slide last weekend, and saw the pool but didn't get it.  This weekend, I saw the pool on sale for $20, and couldn't resist!  Looks like a Summer of fun (and I can so see myself sitting in that pool with a frozen Margarita in my hand)!

The new pool

A cool surprise to come home to Friday after school!

Now if only I had some...


"Take a picture of me throwing water in the air!"

"Take another one!"

Ye olde slip & slide

"She's had WAY to much sugar & caffeine, we're gonna have snacks!"

"I love veggie booty!"

the 'water-pillar' sprinkler was a bit nuts!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Inspiration in Action! (with thanks to A.P.)

It's kind of depressing when I have to get my kid to help me with my homework...really, he's great for inspiration when it comes to creative projects.  I just lay out the supplies I plan on using, and watch him go to town.  He won't be home for another half hour or so, and we have to go to the store because we're out of food, but I've been staring off into space, or looking at portraits for too long, now, waiting for the bolt of lightening, and - nothing.  Well, not exactly nothing, but hardly enough.  I'm just not in the mood to play.  The weather is blech, so I'm kinda blech, and I really want to be in a much quieter place then my apartment, watching gossamer white curtains floating on the breeze blowing in through huge picture windows overlooking a blue sky dotted by white puffs of non-rainy clouds.  I'm not much for the beach, but I feel like there should maybe be a beach out those windows as well.  Why not?  It's my fantasy...  The integral part is the quiet, and the calm.  My apartment is too close to a busy road with truck traffic, and there's too much tension in the building itself.  I really wish I had taken steps to be able to move this Summer, and now I don't know if I can count on being able to stay here for another year.  Again, if it were just me, I'd have no worries about this, just pick up and go when and where I see fit - but the boy.  I don't want to keep moving him around.  And he's got a lot of stuff!  I guess I do too, at this point, doing the domestic thing, and the constant relocation isn't as much fun anymore since I need to get a big truck involved, and find people who are actually willing to help me carry heavy stuff.  Just the thought of it is exhausting.

All that is beside the point - it's just another thing that's weighing on my mind and distracting me from the task at hand.  I have a project to get done.  Instead of inventing an entire cosmology (like I even could), I thought I'd just follow the example of what a saint's book actually is - pictures and stories about the lives of saints.  I got the idea months ago when is a saw a 'book of parrots' done up like a saint's book, and it was so playful and fun it made me feel happy.  So, no, it's not an entirely original idea, but it's my take on a theme.

Maybe I need to be channeling Ralph Steadman...

What sort of deities should I conjure?  Perhaps a prayer to the goddess of kitchen scrubbies, a high priestess of elbow grease?  Patron Saint of Domestic Order, unclutterer of corners, scourge of the dust bunny, Knight of the Rosy Toilet - Citron leSurfectante.  He sounds French.  A demigoddess of folly (Giggles), a sprite of the forest whose laughter falls like joy upon the heart.  It is said her playful spirit comes to those wistful for freedom and adventure; she is known to bestow gifts on single parents.   She was born to the High Priest of Health and Wellness (Rawfoodius, or Veggicus?) and the Goddess of Wisdom (Betty, Madge or Gertrude).  Maybe Monsieur leSurfectante won Giggles' heart with his impeccably cozy, shabby chic interiors and noble deeds of stain removal while he was charmed by her eco-minimalist tree habitat.  And they gave to the world five children:  Spic and Span, The Conjoined Twins of Peace and Harmony; leFrog, The Pope of the Ludicrous; Psychotropic Sam; and Dementia, known for her discontent and self-loathing, requiring the employ of lavish gifts, ego-stroking, and undivided attention to successfully dispel her sour aura. 

Okay, now I'm having some fun!  Which is good, actually, because it freed me up move forward with the project, and on to the next blog post which will be faintly more somber in tone, due to the nature of the subject.  Ooo, heavy, man!