The Doors - Ghost Song
during the 15 years I lived in Vermont, I grew to truly enjoy reading Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology column that ran in the independent newspaper, Seven Days. so much so, I had to look it up online when I moved out of state, not so much because I'm a full-on believer in horoscopes, but because I missed Mr. Brezsny's irreverent, hopeful, mystic, weird, and wonderful pseudo-mythic poem/predictions as a way to 'divine' my week - and by 'divine', I mean it the same way Jim Morrison and The Doors taught me to mean it back when I was a young teen, falling in love with Jim's poetry. I'm going to share Mr. Brezsny's blurb for my sign this week because he speaks of this same concept in relationship to a former Beatle:
"One day, Beatles' guitarist George Harrison decided to compose his next song's lyrics "based on the first thing I saw upon opening any book." He viewed this as a divinatory experiment, as a quest to incorporate the flow of coincidence into his creative process. The words he found in the first book were "gently weeps." They became the seed for his tune "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Rolling Stone magazine ultimately named it one of "The Greatest Songs of All Time" and the tenth best Beatle song. In accordance with the astrological omens, I recommend you try some divinatory experiments of your own in the coming weeks. Use life's fun little synchronicities to generate playful clues and unexpected guidance."this is particularly relevant to me as "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is one of the songs I have been assigned to play in my upcoming 'adult rock' show, and while I don't live my life according to horoscopes, I Do pay Very close attention to synchronicities. do you know the difference between a coincidence and a synchronicity? a coincidence can be described as "a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection", while a synchronicity can be defined as "the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection". like, for instance, this past week I had the flu, and my mom, who lives too far away to casually drop by and bring me homemade chicken soup was feeling the way a Jewish mother might about that, and said something along the lines of 'why can't your chef-friend who lives up the road bring you some soup?' I groaned back something about how my chef-friend was probably at work, and has his own large family to take care of, so I would never be so selfish as to request such a thing of him. I don't remember if it was later that day, or sometime the next day, that my dear friend who is the lovely wife of my chef-friend showed up at my door to deliver a tub of soup her husband had made. fantastic.
my mom sent a need out to the Universe on my behalf, and it responded. that was some damn good soup, too! I felt it working magic in my body as I hungrily slurped down the garlic, potatoes, chicken, carrots, broth, and whatever else was floating around in there. not only did it feed and nourish me, it did the same for my son, who hadn't been getting fed properly because I was down for the count for several days. double magic. so following Mr. Brezsny's advice, I'm using this experience 'to generate playful clues and unexpected guidance'. I have another friend who happened to recently be eating at the establishment where the chef-friend works, right up the road from my house. that friend sent a message suggesting they (her and the kids) might stop by after their meal for a visit. I let her know I was fine with the kids all hanging out, but that I was flu-ish, and not great company. she bowed out. now, while her response is completely fair, the part that I'm sticking on is she never once asked if I needed anything, like, say...some soup. now, to be fair, this is also a friend that has been rubbing me wrong for quite some time, and I'm more than done with some of the differences of opinion we've been having - case in point, I recently asked her why we're even friends. she had a list of reasons (all good), so I let my frustration go at the time, only to have it rear it's ugly head again in a few days time.
this is a clue. a Big one. in our online world, where so many interactions take place on social media where you can say whatever you want almost without consequence, and be whoever you want by presenting a certain image of yourself, I am confronted with the dilemma of knowing a person, and who they are, as opposed to who they like to present themselves as being. now, while it's not my intention to run this person down in my blog, I am using their behavior as an example to segue into a statement about my young adulthood as opposed to that of my sons - the fact that my parents were Not friends with the parents of Any of my friends' parents. I find this bit of information fascinating, and wonder at its significance. I don't remember how the planning conversations went, it was a rather long time ago, after all, but I do recall getting dropped off and picked up at friends' houses, without my mom sitting politely in the kitchen sipping tea or coffee with any of the other moms while we kids played. I do remember one weird night when we were invited to dinner by one friend's parents, but it turned out that they were a missionary family, and my parents never wanted to repeat what must have been a very unpleasant experience for them to maintain their decorum through.
from elementary school, through junior high, and high school, my parents never had anything but a passing acquaintance with any of the parents of my - or my brother's for that matter - friends. so why have I felt compelled to be? I will admit that since my son has been a part of my life, I have made it a habit of spending time with the moms of the kids whose company he has enjoyed - from the playgroup we attended from the time he was 4 months old, to some of the moms of the public school kids he befriended, to the moms (and dads) of the homeschool kids he grew close to. at this point, my son has had the same two 'best friends' for several years running, and any free time he has for socializing is (hopefully) spent in the company of one or both of them. now, I'm a hard person to get along with, and I have my share of ups and downs with every person I attempt to befriend, but I have to say that one of the 'besties' moms is so incredibly easy-going, it's awfully hard Not to get along with her, and I'm happy to sit and sip tea with her whenever we get the chance. the other one...mostly makes me want to punch her.
I haven't always felt that way - in fact, some of the best memories shared on this blog through our family tradition of keeping a yearly Memory Jar involve things we've done, or experiences we've shared, with that mom and her family. so what gives? frankly, there's something in me that wants to blame facebook, but I know it goes deeper than that. facebook is merely the vehicle that delivers the hatred to me via my perception of her as a person 'in real life' as opposed to who she pretends to be online. awhile back, when my son transitioned from homeschooling back to public school, I was going to write a post comparing and contrasting our experiences between the two, but it got passed over for something else more relevant to my life at the time, and there was a bit of the old 'I don't want to hurt certain people' thought process that went into the decision to scrap it. in retrospect, the people who may have been hurt by anything I have to say don't read my blog, and wouldn't think twice about posting something that might hurt me, so why should I care? one of the main points of that post would have been the way homeschooling people seem to belittle and mock public schoolers, and how incredibly rude and unnecessary that seems to be, let alone what a terribly poor model for behavior it is to show one's children.
so guess what 'clue' I recently received from the Universe through some seemingly random facebook comments? yeah...the 'unexpected guidance' that one of my friends in particular isn't really all that good of a friend. and couple that with the recalled information that my own mom barely knew the first names of my friends' moms, and I think it's time to see just how strong my kid's bond with her kid is, because I'm pretty done with overlooking all this online posturing, and dealing with what's real, because I don't think that mom and I need to see eye to eye in order for our teens to have a long-term, fulfilling relationship with each other. the trick is, how hard will it be to pull back without unnecessarily hurting her feelings - again, not that she's ever seemed to give much of a damn about hurting mine? maybe it won't be hard at all, because maybe we're not as close as I seem to think. that's a possibility. I maintain an amount of friendships that can be counted on one hand - I mean, sure, I know more people than that, but the number of folks I consider myself close to are Very few in number, so it's completely possible that I'm overestimating my importance to this person. maybe she'll actually be relieved to no longer have to be forced into chatting with me when she'd rather not, or have her opinions be called out by someone whose opinion she doesn't care for, herself!
I know I'm not alone in this feeling, as a quick internet search for "I hate my kid's friend's parents" returned 61 million results in under a second, even though only the first 5 results, give or take a few, seem relevant. just like anything else, if I've thought it, 5,000 other people have, too. in fact, the kids all had plans to hang out today, and while they're all here, now, the one's mom popped in to say 'hey', and let me know what her plans were, and the other...dropped off and ran without even so much as a how-do-you-do. which is fine with me, really - I know she's mad because I unfriended her on facebook, but like I said earlier, our interactions there had yielded nothing but bad blood between us, and let her know weeks ago that if she kept pissing me off online, I was going to hit that 'unfriend' button. so - between pretending to be who I know she isn't, to differences in political opinion, to mocking my schooling choices, to telling me 'one dissenting voice needs to silence itself and go along with the status quo', to missteps with my ethnic identity, to claiming ethnic identity she doesn't have, etc., etc., and so forth, I had finally had enough. and yet her teen is at my house, dropped off without incident. let's see how pick-up goes, and I'll have a real sense of how this going to work out.
my teen is supposed to go chill at her place in a few days, too, but...one thing at a time. sometimes I wish friendships weren't so hard for me, but at other times, I'm sure I could have 100 shallow friendships if I wanted them. but I generally don't. I want deep understanding and love, and trust, or it's not worth it to me. I'm too old for posturing, and I never had any patience for childish games in the context of relationships. life is too short, too magical, too precious, and too full of amazing daily miracles to get bogged down in the 'mama-drama' some people seem to thrive on. I'm not innocent of having gotten caught up in it myself, from time to time, but I invite you to take a wild guess at who was involved, and then nod your head in understanding when my reasons for stepping back click into place. I'm going to take one last stab at synchronistic divination to end this post by opening the book next to me to a random page:
...and it spoke to me of Iambe/Baubo, of obscenity and belly laughs, seeing through the nipples, and speaking from the vulva. a certain kind of sacred sexuality that reminds me that I forgot to tell you how my Dream Lover helped me get over the flu. next time, my loves, next time...