Lucille

I found myself pissed at her today.  There is the hint of a possible reason to be hopeful about a job prospect that would mean a lot by way of stability in my life.  It is the kind of thing I would have called to share with her.  And she would have half listened, more thinking through what she was going to talk about when I paused than really hearing what was going on with me.  She would have taken the first opportunity to interject and then run away with whatever compliment shed last received from a colleague or authority figure, more to remind herself that she was essential where she was than to meet any particular need of mine.

My sisters and I rolled our eyes at her, long distance.  But it was what we did, her and I, finding a sliver common ground in career decisions.  Meeting on the telephone line in an unspoken agreement whereby I called with news and she took over the conversation.

What it lacked in depth, it made up in longevity.

And she wasn’t there for the ritual, damn her.  My sister suggested I start from scratch with one of the lovely women who have offered their maternal urges as a substitute for the mother I was born to.  But the explanations required.  The idea of having to explain why the one sentence relates to stuff that happened 10 years ago, what it means under the surface, and how it fits in to everything else.

I was the weirdo on the subway with my sunglasses on after dark, crying.  Quietly.  They warned me that I would find myself crying at the oddest times, entirely unexpectedly.

All I hear is Anthony Hamilton singing “you picked a fine time to leave me Lucille…”

Lucille

The S-Word

Strangers reading the book – well, any of the books – makes me happy.  People I know reading the book makes me nervous.  In part because of this pervasive rumor that authors write themselves into books.  Unfortunately, some of us do.  I’ve seen several author interviews where they talk about how the main character is just like them – same occupation, same racial composition.  This lends itself to a confluence, or an assumed confluence, between the author and the story.  It is a legitimate conclusion to draw in some cases.  However, it just isn’t the way it works for me.

This question gets to a question of legitimacy:  can we legitimately write from the perspective of people who aren’t us?  Or is the only legitimately-tacked character one that is you with a thin veneer of obfuscating details?  Can I write a convincing man?  Am I allowed to have a character with a different racial composition?  Am I presuming too much?  How much imagination am I allowed to have here?

Because the whole book is the product of my imagination and a bunch of critical insights and suggestions made by my editor and my story consultant.  As mentioned elsewhere, the book does betray of my aspirations: I’d love to be an old lady like Morrigan, or to drop everything and wander across the country like Willow, or carry around half of Ianthe’s bravery.  I admire Miles and his clinical logic.  I have grudging respect for the compromises Warren makes.  There are few characters in the book that don’t have something that I like or would like to have myself.

But I’m not them and they’re not me.  Where this becomes most uncomfortable is what happens when we get to the sex part.  Because people in the book have sex.  And yes, I imagined up the sex, and then I wrote it down.  But that doesn’t mean that what happens in the book reflects what I have done, what I want to do, or what I could be talked into doing given a nice enough bottle of wine.  Human sexuality is critical for creating well-rounded characters.  For people to live and breathe on the page, they’ve got to have all the same dimensions of someone that you’d meet in the real world.  That includes sex.  And not everyone experiences human sexuality in the same way.

I’m writing The Camellia Reckoning.  I’m writing sex scenes for Miles.  If you met me, you’d know I’m not Miles at all, but here I am writing about what Miles sexual history might look like.  What would it take to get someone that analytic to lose control?  I don’t know, I’m not that logical.  But I have to figure it out because I wrote him and now he’s got a life of his own.  His fantasies are not my fantasies.  What it takes to push him over the edge isn’t what it takes to get me there.

When you write, when you’re in the state of flow, your ego kind of fades away.  All those boundaries and memories and opinions that make up an identity get lost as imagination and empathy settle in and let you cross the dividing line between yourself and someone with a history that is not your own.  Coming back to yourself can be disorienting.  Then you look at what you’ve written and wonder what the hell just happened and what went wrong in your life that you can come up with this twisted little scene – sexual or otherwise.

Honestly, I don’t know where this shit comes from.  But if you know me in my real life and you’ve read the book…  assume nothing.  If I ever get around to book signings and interacting with book clubs …  still assume nothing.   No single character is a self-portrait and there is no scene anywhere in the book that is autobiographical or has a direct correlation to things that I have done, will do, want to do, consider doing, refuse to do, or think about doing.  This isn’t 50 Shades of Grey where I have turned an extended sexual fantasy based on some other book entirely into a trilogy.  Honestly, there’s not that much sex in the book, even with the reviewer that said it is Hunger Games, X-Men, and 50 Shades rolled into one.

I mean, I should be so lucky.  All of those franchises were incredibly successful.

Still, don’t get any big ideas.  I’m not Willow, and you aren’t Ven.

The S-Word

Vestigial Social Impulses

So 200,000 years ago, give or take 5k years, the first traits associated with “modern” man appeared.  The first homo sapiens were fragile creatures in a hostile world.  Well, any creature save the crocodile probably counts as fragile.  We’re made of pretty soft stuff.  To survive, we had to band together.  Out of that necessity, those of us who were most in tune and compliant with the norms social group were the ones best able to survive. Basically, 190,000 years of society and evolution have wired us to seek approval and consensus.  Social exclusion still feels tragic because it once was tragic.  We’re wired for the need to be accepted because that’s how our ancestors survived long enough to birth the next generation.

Which is all well and good, except that society has evolved dramatically over the past 5,000 years or so.  While we are as fragile and fleshy as we always were – crying over paper-cuts and the like – we’ve overcome our physical limitations in unprecedented ways.  Computers and guns and oil wells and houses and steel and Wikipedia and music that fits in our pocket and goes everywhere with us.  The life-or-death consequences of someone else’s disapproval simply don’t exist.

Still, we feel like they are real.  Or at least the reasonably well-adjusted among us still tend to want approval.  Someone to say “yes, that’s the right thing to do.”

But who can say anymore?  When the choices we make aren’t over which berry to eat or which woolly mammoth to chase after, how do you know?  How does anyone know?  This job or that, one course of action over another…  there are no right answers.  So few measures that can be relied upon, and the only available direction to any of us is forward.  Forward, blind to the results that branch off from each choice on the decision tree, and desperately wanting some external confirmation that the choice you made was the right one.  There are only the choices and the consequences and every choice has a consequence.  You can’t get away from the uncertainty.

It is uncertainty that isn’t going to kill you.  Unlike the uncertainty our ancestors lived with.  So what do you do with that?  If you’re me, you struggle with the sense that someone, somewhere knows what’s going on and what will happen next and how to make choices that have consequences that are 98% sweetness and light.  I want to find that person and sit down and ask questions.  The trouble is I’m unlikely to believe it if it doesn’t feel right to me.  I can’t talk myself into being a sheep headed in whatever direction I’m pointed at.  Yet the wolf’s life feels awfully scary.  My evolutionary wiring craves approval.  The time and place of my birth has given me permission to find my own answers in my own way.  The only thing I don’t have freedom to do is to escape the consequences.  None of us get to escape the consequences.

I’m always rattling on about acceptance.  What you accept no longer has the ability to run your life.  Surrender to the inescapable.  Your rate of survival goes way up if you relax and float instead of fighting.  The next thing I’ve got to submit to is the reality that, as much as I crave an external direction with a guaranteed outcome, I’m never going to take it.  The answer isn’t finding the right person or source of knowledge.  What’s right for me is going to come from me, from a place of knowing that sits somewhere indecorous and dark, nestled up next to my appendix.  If I’m feeling foofy, I’ll call it a point of connection to the divine everything, the holy always, the thing that is indivisible from me and me from it.  The path that comes from that looks like foolishness and folly.  Save one or two, everyone I love thinks I’m crazy.  I can’t help that.  There are consequences, but there are always consequences.  You’re going to have to live with them anyway, shouldn’t they be your own?

Now to convince the evolutionary adaptation that made my ancestors good enough at maintaining their place in society to survive that all of this is okay.

Vestigial Social Impulses

This Isn’t Something I Have to Worry About

At least not yet…

The Catastrophe of Success

by Tennessee Williams

This winter marked the third anniversary of the Chicago opening of “The Glass Menagerie,” an event that terminated one part of my life and began another about as different in all external circumstances as could well be imagined. I was snatched out of virtual oblivion and thrust into sudden prominence, and from the precarious tenancy of furnished rooms about the country I was removed to a suite in a first-class Manhattan hotel. My experience was not unique. Success has often come that abruptly into the lives of Americans. The Cinderella story is our favorite national myth, the cornerstone of the film industry if not of the Democracy itself. I have seen it enacted on the screen so often that I was now inclined to yawn at it, not with disbelief but with an attitude of Who Cares! Anyone with such beautiful teeth and hair as the screen protagonist of such a story was bound to have a good time one way or another, and you could bet your bottom dollar and all the tea in China that one would be caught dead or alive at any meeting involving a social conscience.

No, my experience was not exceptional, but neither was it quite ordinary, and if you are willing to accept the somewhat eclectic proposition that I had not been writing with such an experience in mind and many people are not willing to believe that a playwright is interested in anything but popular success—there may be some point in comparing the two estates.

The sort of life that I had had previous to this popular success was one that required endurance, a life of clawing and scratching along a sheer surface and holding on tight with raw fingers to every inch of rock higher than the one caught hold of before, but it was a good life because it was the sort of life for which the human organism is created.

I was not aware of how much vital energy had gone into this struggle until the struggle was removed. I was out on a level plateau with my arms still thrashing and my lungs still grabbing at air that no longer resisted. This was security at last.

I sat down and looked about me and was suddenly very depressed. I thought to myself, this is just a period of adjustment. Tomorrow morning, I will wake up in this first-class hotel suite above the discreet hum of an East Side boulevard and I will appreciate its elegance and luxuriate in its comforts and know that I have arrived at our American plan of Olympus. Tomorrow morning when I look at the green satin sofa I will fall in love with it. It is only temporarily that the green satin looks like slime on stagnant water.

But in the morning the inoffensive little sofa looked more revolting than the night before and I was already getting too fat for the $125 suit which a fashionable acquaintance had selected for me. In the suite things began to break accidentally. An arm came off the sofa. Cigarette burns appeared on the polished surface of the furniture. Windows were left open and a rain storm flooded the suite But the maid always put it straight and the patience of the management was inexhaustible. Late parties could not offend them seriously. Nothing short of demolition bomb seemed to bother my neighbors.

I lived on room service. But in this, too, there was a disenchantment. Some time between the moment when I ordered dinner over the phone and when it was rolled into my living room like a corpse on a rubber-wheeled table, I lost all interest in it. Once I ordered a sirloin steak and a chocolate sundae, but everything was so cunningly disguised on the table that I mistook the chocolate sauce for gravy and poured it over the sirloin steak.

Of course all this was the more trivial aspect of a spiritual dislocation that began to manifest itself in far more disturbing ways. I soon found myself becoming indifferent to people. A well cynicism rose in me. Conversations all sounded as if they had been recorded years ago and were being played back on a turntable. Sincerity and kindliness seemed to have gone out of my friends’ voices. I suspected them of hypocrisy. I stopped calling them, stopped seeing them. I was impatient of what I took to be inane flattery.

I got so sick of hearing people say, “I loved your play!” that I could not say thank you any more. I choked on the words and turned rudely away from the usually sincere person. I no longer felt any pride in the play itself but began to dislike it, probably because I felt too lifeless inside ever to create another. I was walking around dead in my shoes and I knew it but there were no friends I knew or trusted sufficiently, at that time, to take them aside and tell them what was the matter.

This curious condition persisted about three months, till late spring, when I decided to have another eye operation mainly because of the excuses it gave me to withdraw from the world behind a gauze mask. It was my fourth eye operation, and perhaps I should explain that I had been afflicted for about five years with a cataract on my left eye which required a series of needling operations and finally an operation on the muscle of the eye. (The eye is still in my head. So much for that.)

Well, the gauze mask served a purpose. While I was resting in the hospital the friends whom I had neglected or affronted in one way or another began to call on me and now that I was in pain and darkness, unpleasant mutation which I had suspected earlier in the season had now disappeared and they sounded now as they had used to sound in the lamented days of my obscurity. Once more they were sincere and kindly voices with the ring of truth in them and that quality of understanding for which I had originally sought them out.

As far as my physical vision was concerned, this last operation was only relatively successful (although it left me with an apparently clear black pupil in the right position, or nearly so) but in another, figurative way, it had served a much deeper purpose.

When the gauze mask was removed I found myself in a readjusted world. I checked out of the handsome suite at the first-class hotel, packed my papers and a few incidental belongings and left for Mexico, an elemental country where you can quickly forget the false dignities and conceits imposed by success, a country where vagrants innocent as children curl up to sleep on the pavements and human voices, especially when their language is not familiar to the ear, are soft as birds’. My public self, that artifice of mirrors, did not exist here and so my natural being was resumed.

Then, as a final act of restoration, I settled for a while at Chapala to work on a play called “The Poker Night,” which later became “A Streetcar Named Desire.” It is only in his work that an artist can find reality and satisfaction, for the actual world is less intense than the world of his invention and consequently his life, without recourse to violent disorder, does not seem very substantial. The right condition for him is that in which his work is not only convenient but unavoidable.

For me a convenient place to work is a remote place among strangers where there is good swimming. But life should require a certain minimal effort. You should not have too many people waiting on you, you should have to do most things for yourself. Hotel service is embarrassing. Maids, waiters, bellhops, porters and so forth are the most embarrassing people in the world for they continually remind you of inequities which we accept as the proper thing. The sight of an ancient woman, gasping and wheezing as she drags a heavy pail of water down a hotel corridor to mop up the mess of some drunken overprivileged guest, is one that sickens and weighs upon the heart and withers it with shame for this world in which it is not only tolerated but regarded as proof positive that the wheels of Democracy are functioning as they should without interference from above or below. Nobody should have to clean up anybody else’s mess in this world. It is terribly bad for both parties, but probably worse for the one receiving the service.

I have been corrupted as much as anyone else by the vast number of menial services which our society has grown to expect and depend on. We should do for ourselves or let the machines do for us, the glorious technology that is supposed to be the new light of the world. We are like a man who has bought up a great amount of equipment for a camping trip, who has the canoe and the tent and the fishing lines and the axe and the guns, the mackinaw and the blankets, but who now, when all the preparations and the provisions are piled expertly together, is suddenly too timid to set out on the journey but remains where he was yesterday and the day before and the day before that, looking suspiciously through white lace curtains at the clear sky he distrusts. Our great technology is a God-given chance for adventure and for progress which we are afraid to attempt. Our ideas and our ideals remain exactly what they were and where they were three centuries ago. No. I beg your pardon. It is no longer safe for man to even declare them!

This is a long excursion from a small theme into a large one which I did not intend to make, so let me go back to what I was saying before.

This is an oversimplification. One does not escape that easily from the seduction of an effete way of life. You cannot arbitrarily say to yourself, I will not continue my life as it was before this thing, Success, happened to me. But once you fully apprehend the vacuity of a life without struggle you are equipped with the basic means of salvation. Once you know this is true, that the heart of man, his body and his brain, are forged in a white-hot furnace for the purpose of conflict (the struggle of creation) and that with the conflict removed, the man is a sword cutting daisies, that not privation but luxury is the wolf at the door and that the fangs of this wolf are all the little vanities and conceits and laxities that Success is heir to—-why, then with this knowledge you are at least in a position of knowing where danger lies.

You know, then, that the public Somebody you are when you “have a name” is a fiction created with mirrors and that the only somebody worth being is the solitary and unseen you that existed from your first breath and which is the sum of your actions and so is constantly in a state of becoming under your own violation— and knowing these things, you can even survive the catastrophe of Success!

It is never altogether too late, unless you embrace the Bitch Goddess, as William James called her, with both arms and find in her smothering caresses exactly what the homesick little boy in you always wanted, absolute protection and utter effortlessness. Security is a kind of death, I think, and it can come to you in a storm of royalty checks beside a kidney-shaped pool in Beverly Hills or anywhere at all that is removed from the conditions that made you an artist, if that’s what you are or were intended to be. Ask, anyone who has experienced the kind of success I am talking about— What good is it? Perhaps to get an honest answer you will have to give him a shot of truth serum but the word he will finally groan is unprintable in genteel publications.

Then what is good? The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that’s dynamic and expressive—that’s what’s good for you if you’re at all serious in your aims. William Saroyan wrote a great play on this theme, that purity of heart is the one success worth having. “In the time of your life—live!” That time is short and it doesn’t return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, and the monosyllable of the clock is Losslossloss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.

I found this re-tweeted by Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) and posted here.

This Isn’t Something I Have to Worry About

On Writing: Purpose & Ego

Would-be writers tend to be a gullible lot.  I think the problem is in the ego.

There’s no way around it, really.  Writing itself isn’t an egotistical act, but the belief that someone else should read it just because you went to the trouble of writing it?  Straight up ego, no chaser.

So there is this industry all wrapped up in salving the would-be writer’s ego and promising them the holy grail of the aspiring literary genius: publication.  The trouble is that you can get to publication fairly easily (amazon has seen to that), it’s the recognition that’s hard.  Sometimes the recognition is non-existent.  No one reads the book.  That’s where most of us land.  Sometimes the recognition is negative.   If you’re lucky enough to have readers, the bulk of the herd is still going to get stuck here.  Rarely, you get positive recognition.  And even if you get that, you need enough of it to reach critical mass, which is an even steeper hill to climb.   All of these cottage industries – people offering to edit your book, typeset it for acceptance into the amazon kindle program, cover design for cheap, website design – they all count on your writer’s ego to do the selling for them.  You have an amazing story here, the world needs to hear it.  We’ll help you get an agent.  We’ll help you polish your book.  We’ll get you a hundred positive reviews on amazon or goodreads or wherever.

And because we tend to believe that we’re special, and that we’ve got a special gift, we spend the money.

Let me tell you a dreadful secret: the people offering all of these services are probably authors themselves.  They may have even gotten to the elusive state of having positive recognition, but not enough of it to let them sell books and write full time instead of offering to edit your book.  They probably can’t get you to the level of recognition that you think you deserve – they can’t do it for themselves.  How do I know?  Because if they could, they wouldn’t be offering to review your book for $300.  In my real life, I am an editor.  I edit everything.  Newsletters, articles, research papers, policy…  The amount of time it takes to get your average first draft polished to publication quality…  $300 isn’t going to get you a book that’s ready for publication.  I’d get paid something like that for a 10 page research paper.  The real cost for an entire book … trust me when I say you can’t afford it.   I know I can’t.

So let’s talk about writing.  I can’t promise you that what follows is going to get you into the coveted position of receiving positive recognition.  I am pretty sure that ignoring these considerations isn’t going to help your cause.

First, what are you trying to do?  If you’re trying to tell yourself a story because it gives you pleasure, carry on.  Write to your hearts content.  Just recognize that you’re writing for yourself and therefore the only measure of success is whether or not you’re enjoying yourself.  I’m not being pejorative here.  This is a perfectly legitimate reason to write.  It’s immensely valuable.  I do it all the time.  This blog started out as an internal conversation.  It only evolved when other people started paying attention.  Writing for yourself is an amazing tool for managing stress, figuring things out, keeping track of yourself…  I highly recommend it.   If you’re writing for yourself, you can stop here.  Go forth with my sincere blessing and respect.

If you are writing for someone else, you’re going to have to manage a whole new set of standards.  It isn’t anyone’s right to demand the time and attention of a stranger.  Maybe you can make a loved one listen to you, maybe the bonds of friendship or family give you that right.  But a perfect stranger?  If you’re writing for an audience of people that don’t owe you through bonds of affection, then you need to make your peace with the reality of having to earn their investment with every word, every sentence, and every page.  If you’re writing for someone else, keep reading.

The foundation of all good writing isn’t the words themselves, its in what you want to do with those words.  Do you want to give something to your audience or do you want your audience to give something (money, recognition, accolades) to you?  If you are the former, carry on.  If you’re the latter, I can’t help you.

If you are writing because you have something to give, if you have a service-oriented perspective, the entire attitude about the process shifts dramatically.  Critical feedback is something that you seek because it helps you get closer to the audience.  Edits to your work are no longer about you, they’re about pushing the story further to make it more accessible.  Before you put pen to paper or finger to keyboard, figure out what your purpose is in writing.  Write it down.

My purpose is to provide entertainment and distraction for an audience that needs a break.

My purpose is to give my reader a sense of hope that a happy ending is possible.

My purpose is to give my audience a way to escape from whatever difficult thing they’re going through.

My purpose is to shift my audience’s thinking in the direction of compassion by talking about every day things in a fictional framework.

Writing is a sacred act.  I’ve been kept company by strangers and thereby gotten through some difficult days.   Books are magic.  They’re a gift, and a kindness, because there is NOTHING easy about writing a book and there is no kind of compensation in the world, except, perhaps, that enjoyed by Ms. Rowling, to cover what is involved in writing a book.

There is a reason why there is only one Michael Jordan, only one J.K. Rowling…  achieving that level of recognition and success is incredibly rare.  In all likelihood, it isn’t going to be you.  I’m not trying to be mean, there’s no reason to believe it is going to be me either.  The greats are singular because of an extraordinary combination of drive, work, luck, and timing.  It’s so rare to have all of the elements fall into place at the same time.  You’d be better off looking for the grand unified theory of everything, if that’s what you’re after.  Personally, if I were writing with surpassing J.K. Rowling as my motivator (not my goal, but my motivation) I’d be immeasurably depressed by the progress I’ve made in that general direction.

Instead, I have a purpose.  My purpose is to use the written word to make someone’s terrible day a little better and, if I’m lucky, to present ideas about fear and compassion in a way that increases the compassion and decreases the fear, if only by a little bit.  That isn’t enough to make me a good writer, but my purpose matters more than my ego.  (I’m not trying to disown the fact that I have one, and I can’t deny that it hurts to have something criticized when you’ve worked so very hard on it.)  The purpose drives me to question whether I want what I want (to make someone’s terrible day a little better) or do I want how I feel about the constructive criticism I’ve just received.  My purpose (hopefully) stops me from saying something entitled like “just get through the boring parts in chapters one and two, it really picks up in chapter three.”

A purpose won’t make you a better writer.  It will just get your ego out of the way so you have a chance in hell at getting better.

On Writing: Purpose & Ego

Kachoozies

I am sick.  Not in the usual, slightly twisted and prone to making inappropriate jokes variety of sick, but in the mainlining lemon and honey in hot water kind of way.  This awful feeling in my throat hinted at its coming to stay as I crawled into bed.  By the time I woke up at 1:00 because I’d had so much water the day before, it had moved in like Aunt Marge and her brandy-drinking dog at Privet Drive.  (For you non-Harry Potter fans out there, the gist here is that my inflammatory guest refuses to be ignored.)  My glands are swollen, it hurts to swallow, and my head is throbbing.  Sneezing is agony.   It occurred to me that, were I gainfully employed in a full time, show up at the office kind of way, I would call in sick.  But the dogs still needed walking, and my office is in the next room…

With this auspicious beginning to a Monday, and spurred on by a friend who sent me this TechCrunch Article, I’m thinking about reinvention.  That thread is all tangled up with the recent Russell Brand brouhaha over global revolution and our good-for-enabling-billionaire-arseholes-but-not-much-else political class.  Mix in the snotty cloud that is interfering with my thinking and you come up with … not much.  An acute (if vague) sense that things can’t go on like this.  It isn’t exactly a utopia that I’m after, but that we’ve tried this grand experiment made up of:

  • Increasingly large distances between us and anything real
  • Rampant individualism which is just a nice way of saying profound isolation
  • Fear-mongering in the media because the fastest way to get someone to spend money is to introduce anxiety into the picture
  • Too much asking “how” instead of asking “why” or “is it sustainable”
  • Turning everything into a commodity and marginalizing anything that successfully resists
  • Divorcing work from meaning
  • Paying the people that add the least to society the most money and driving the people without whom our world would fall apart into near-poverty
  • Putting money ahead of just about every other value
  • Disposable everything
  • The systematic destruction of critical thinking skills because people who think are not so easily led
  • An education system built around compliance and memorizing instead of problem-solving and building capacity
  • The sale of our government to the highest bidder
  • Abdication of our duty to think through the second and third order effects

(I could go on) and the experiment has failed.  It’s failed miserably.  So maybe we need to come up with a new way of looking at things – something outside of the “isms” that insist there is one good answer and only one, which happens to be the one I’m espousing at any given minute.

Now I’m going to go sneeze some more.

 

Kachoozies

Decisions

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Somewhere around October of 2011, I decided I was done doing temporary.  Almost, maybe, works for now, will do in a pinch, I’ve got nothing better to do, why not, it’s better than nothing, at least I’ll have something to write about…  I decided all of those were no longer options for me.

And the universe has been laughing at me ever since.  I’ve moved twice since that declaration, the second move being less settled than I could have ever imagined at the time that I made this brash assertion to the ether.  The permanent love that dropped into my lap has proven theoretical by any practical or experiential measure.

One of my 3 go-to books for navigating my emotional state with some semblance of balance* says to listen to the songs that arrive unbidden in your head as they are a means through which your intuition speaks.  In my head, I hear misinterpreted lyrics from Jonatha Brooke.

In my dream it’s all a test that I take to find myself.  

I still believe in it, the power that accompanies a decision, even though the past two years haven’t exactly conformed the supposition.  In fact, the past two years have provided more evidence towards a laughing, capricious universe that looks at any decisions made by me and says “ha!  really?  that’s how you think it’s going to be?  well, watch this…”

Which leaves me exactly nowhere.  I like to have some sort of a conclusion when I sit down to write a post, but today I’ve got nothing of the sort.  Just that, in spite of all evidence being to the contrary, I believe in the power of a decision.

And I’m still officially unavailable for temporary.

*The balance book list is:

 

 

Decisions