Archives for posts with tag: friends and lovers

My ears are still ringing. An evening to remember, for sure. Wow. GRiZ. Opiou. The company of my Traveling Partner and a couple of friends down for a night of fun. My ears are ringing, sure… and I am awake far far too early. I’m still smiling. 🙂

Live.

I got home “at a decent hour” a bit past midnight. Made a point of doing basic self-care stuff in spite of the late hour, and got to sleep soon enough to manage a couple hours of deep sleep, waking groggy and unconvinced it is worth it to drag myself around adulting on so little rest. I reset the alarm for an hour later and slept for 3 more minutes. lol

No, seriously – live life. Do things. Go places. Have experiences. 🙂

I’ve no idea what today holds, besides this smile. And coffee. There will be rather a lot of coffee. Maybe I’ll see my Traveling Partner again tonight. Maybe not. The day will unfold, crafted from choices and circumstances, enhanced by observation, perspective, and emotion, and interpreted through this wily squishy bit sloshing around in my cranium. The journey is the destination.

Yesterday was an intense roller-coaster ride of emotions.Shortly before midday I hit a low point. Not an everyday lull in my enthusiasm, or a mildly blue moment – I was overtaken by darkness, and feeling an almost suicidal level of despair. This is not an exaggeration; I know what that feels like, and what those words really mean. It took me my surprise. It took me over. While I struggled in the sticky mess, tangled in despair, and unable to find any fucks to give, a soft defeated inner voice tried her hardest to pull me back. “This is emotion; it lacks substance unless you give it substance.” “Begin again.” “This will pass.” I not only didn’t give a fuck, I couldn’t remember at all why I should. Bleak.

As I arrived home from what, in the moment, seemed like a fairly pointless waste of time (my annual physical), I let my Traveling Partner know I would be going offline to take care of myself and to avoid spreading my vile mood like plague. He offered understanding, compassion, and support. He cracked a tender understanding joke. He’s having his own experience, and as much as I am able, I return that loving support, and endeavor not to “weaponize” my emotional experience. I approach the apartment, already prepared for the person with the pressure washer cleaning the building exterior and sidewalks; the landlady alerts me of these things, these days, in advance so that I am not taken by surprise. I find room for gratitude and appreciation, but it does nothing to lift my mood.

I sat down with a cup of coffee, a notepad, and an attentive eye and begin making a list of the housekeeping details I would like to handle. The list grows. I begin weeping intermittently. I don’t make any effort to stop it. I just don’t care. I pause, aware for a moment with more than usual clarity that I am indeed in A Very Bad Place and that steps are in order. I remind myself to let my friends next door that I’m in that bad place, and to check on me later “if things sound too quiet” or… just because. I don’t get the chance; my phone nags at me briefly to attend to a message from them. We end up hanging out and talking about… house work. Room mate drama over housekeeping is such a mundane real-life challenge of adulthood that it’s no surprise to hear that there are such challenges next door… and… I’m preparing for my own afternoon of housekeeping, facing some loose similarities in dealing with the woman in the mirror, who I hadn’t noticed had been slacking off a bit. I also hadn’t noticed I’d dropped my highly effective habit of making a to do list each day. What the hell? When did that happen?

As we converse, I mention I figured I’d been a little overly casual about the housekeeping, myself, for… “about two weeks, maybe”. I flipped back in the notepad on which I was making a new list. Nope. A month. A month ago I’d stop making lists. Just… stopped. Damn it. I laugh. My friends laugh with me. We drink coffee together. We talk about chores. We talk about the way our inner narrative and our assumptions change our perspective. We talk about “theory of mind” and how we tend to assume people generally think as we do, know what we know, and make decisions in the same way. We walk about compassion. We talk about explicit communication. We talk about boundary setting. We talk about life – and we talk about The School of Life (great videos!) We lift each other up through affection community and conversation. When they leave, I feel… able to go on.

“Go on” is exactly what I do; I get on with the housework. I tidy. I organize. I clean. I really clean. My mood begins to lift. Details that were dragging me down, in the background, begin to lift me up as the apartment takes on that well-cared for, detailed, tidy, orderly appearance that I love. Small tasks, large tasks, general tidying, deep cleaning – all of it matters if I am “feeling disordered”. Each task lovingly handled from start to finish, satisfying once completed, builds the foundation for the task that follows.

An hour or so of connected social interaction, and another hour or so of household chores, my mood completely turned around. I felt connected, present, and capable. The bleakness and despair of the morning were behind me. By the end of the day the apartment feels great. It is tidy and clean and orderly. I like order. It gives me a rest from the chaos still lurking within.

Today? Today I begin again. 🙂

This morning I sit down with my coffee, a headache, and no clear direction to take my writing. It’s a quiet morning. I woke ‘too early’, but well-rested. The routines of the morning have felt… routine. It’s no lack of inspiration; I am eager to get back to painting, but the early hour finds me unprepared to do so on other levels (I am very clumsy for some time after waking, for one thing). I feel content and well, save for this headache plaguing me. My coffee is good. The day is loosely structured and without noteworthy stress. Still… these words here, so far? Observational stuff suited only for getting going, really. Mildly disappointing when I consider how frequently in recent days I am taken with an insight or understanding that I find helpful or illuminating in some way… fail to jot it down in the moment then discover that however enlightening or powerful that insight had seemed to me to be then… it’s gone by morning. Yep. Entirely forgotten…or… summarized into some very succinct handful of words that I find myself unable to build on, or no longer interested in.

A good day to begin again.

A good day to begin again.

I put my writing on pause for a few minutes to chat with my traveling partner, also up early. A friend reaches out through Facebook. We exchange a few minutes of conversation. I see another friend online and realize we haven’t caught up in a while, and I reach out for another few minutes of conversation with someone dear to me. Life is telling me something… I am reminded that what matters most are these beautiful connections we make with each other. Profound or ordinary, enlightening or humorous, tender or firm, the very most critically important thing I find about living life is, again and again, these connections we share. I am filled with joy to have so many good friends who care, who miss me when I am away, who notice when I am hurting (whether I say so or not), and who similarly find that I matter to them. I am also saddened that the whole of us – the world – suffer so much and so often from nothing more or less than that we don’t extend our courtesy, our hospitality, our graciousness, kindness and good-nature to just every human being we interact with, near or far. It’s morning, and a great time to begin again. I find myself committing to being decent and good-natured with each person I interact with today… sure, I probably won’t change the world, but I may improve some small bit of it for a stranger. 🙂

Love matters most.

Love matters most.

It’s a gentle quiet morning, somewhat lacking in clear structure or firm plans. I may see my traveling partner today. I may not. Perhaps today I’ll get the phone call for the ideal job in some exciting previously unconsidered field of endeavor – or figure out how to sustainably enjoy life without that, long-term. Today may be the day that ‘everything makes sense’, or the day that I realize it doesn’t have to. It is, at least, a day – wholly new and ready for me to do… something. That’s enough. 🙂

Another new day begins, and as so many do, it begins well. My coffee is hot, tasty, and warming my hands between moments that require other purpose of them. Today I start the day without expectations, without clear needs to act upon, without urgency, a good beginning. I could say more… This morning I am not sure where the value in that lies, and I find myself filled with childlike eagerness, ready to eschew habit and practice in favor of scampering up to the glow of twinkly lights in the loft. The Holiday Loft. Home.

It was a very good weekend for love. My traveling partner and I connected closely and well, and enjoyed many hours of conversation and time together. It’s been lovely; I never get too much time in his very good company, and it is a rare moment that I wouldn’t prefer to be with him than apart. It’s not a clingy thing… We just like each other. 🙂 He is as much my friend as anything, and that is an exceptional foundation for love, as it turns out.  He is also someone who comes pretty close to ‘getting it’ with regard to my fondness for the winter holidays, and each year he finds some way to show that quality, unplanned, unscripted, and unexpected. He is the only partner I’ve had who ever embraced an opportunity to create that holiday magic for me, in a year it was doubtful we’d have the resources for any such thing. He knows things about love that most people only guess at.

I spent pleasant time in the company of another, too. Friends now, maybe at some point more… I like and value qualities he has, and so far he seems a worthy friend. I enjoy the way he enjoys me.  He delights in words – and I use a lot of them, it’s very promising.

My anxiety has been along for the ride all weekend; it comes and goes, and I endeavor to observe it without judgement and let it pass, content to be aware, and to recognize it is a feeling with many potential causes – including no obvious cause at all. I seemed to have reached a workable agreement with it; it will not linger and pester me, and I will not get involved with it more closely. lol  It’s enough, for now.

A pleasant enough start to the day, and to the week, and although I face the world with some reluctance this morning, it’s not because the world is so bad as much as because it is so nice right here.

Where will the day take me? Where does my path lead?

Where will the day take me? Where does my path lead?

Today is a good day to enjoy a quiet morning. Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day to savor the pleasures we hold dear, and to invest great will, and effort, in what matters most. Today is a good day to change the world.

 

It’s hard to know with any certainty in advance if a decision is a good one, tending to meet longer term needs over time, or a poor one, tending more to gratify only short-term or immediate needs, if it succeeds in meeting any needs at all. The poorest decisions cause damage. I’m taking this journey one step at a time, one choice, one decision, one moment, each an attempt to make the best of things, to have the broadest perspective, the most honorable motives, the most goodness of heart and benevolent intention. Each day new, and untested. Each dawn another threshold to becoming the woman I most want to be. Each moment a singular precious experience all its own along the entirety of the timeline that is my life.

Last night was lovely. I spent it hanging out with a friend, having conversation, and walking the twilight sidewalks of the Pear District at night. I got us lost – twice – I didn’t care at all; I was having a great time, and all indications suggest he was as well. We talked  – about most everything. I practiced listening well; he clearly didn’t need practice and the conversation was engaging. We walked – miles maybe, distance wasn’t at all relevant, and the evening had the potential to be one of those timeless experiences that lasts to the dawn…only…I had set limits before I even went out that night. The bus only runs so late. New friendship budding, and as eager as I am to explore that and nurture it, I have also learned the value of taking care of me, being patience with known limitations, and issues, being willing to recognize where my weaknesses of character lie. I’ve learned some things about relationships of a variety of sorts, and building intimacy – perhaps the most important of those things is to treat my own heart well, myself. So, caution, patience, and the delight of anticipation and the joy of getting to know someone. How will this unfold?

One hallmark of the lively conversation of the evening was my companion’s occasional enthused outburst that I should “write that down!” I, too, dig the insights and novel perspectives offered by new friendships. Each having our own experience, each adding to the song of the world; like Skittles, every combination is a little bit different.  His words hang in my recollection, more than my own. I made some effort to actually remember specific bon mots, observations, insights, deep moments of dialogue… yeah. Well. I remember something about eye contact being a very direct route to connecting with someone open to it; by daylight that seems rather trite and obvious, although I remember enjoying a lot of eye contact, and the subtleties of nonverbal communication. lol We spoke of connections, and people who connect easily, the value of openness for attracting like-minded friends and associates, the delights of anticipation and of touch…the conversation ranged far and wide, and was lively, fast-paced, and for anyone else – memorable. Then there’s me. lol. I’ll remember pieces of it in incredible detail one moment, but not the next…and thought-provoking observations, and quips are harder to nail down in my memory – I lack the context of the moment. I think I can easily summarize as ‘it was a great night, you had to be there’. 🙂

I got home later than planned, which didn’t really ‘matter’. The night was quiet, still, and clear, and mild enough that the mile walk from the light-rail station home was quite pleasant. My traveling partner phoned me as I neared home and pointed out, in a welcoming voice, “I didn’t know how late it already was…”. We chatted happily, warmly, as I walked; a powerful testimonial to the value of the technology available now, and the value of love. The espresso with my friend, late in the evening, resulted in a serendipitous opportunity to hang out and catch up with my traveling partner, when he arrived home a few minutes after I did; I sure wasn’t sleepy yet. In the wake of the excitement of the evening, on top of the excitement of hanging out with my love, I totally and rather rudely overlooked letting my companion of the evening know I had arrived home safely. O_0

I woke earlier than I really wanted to be up; someone up ahead of me, and getting laundry started, and doing this and that in the kitchen was enough to wake me. Very few people make the moment to moment effort needed to truly handle cupboards, doors, and drawers quietly, and it does take a very specific effort. (I learned it living with domestic violence – when the only safe opportunity to get out still requires one to access a cupboard or open a door that may creak or squeak, it doesn’t take long to learn to do it quietly, very quietly.) My noise sensitivity regularly collides with the general lack of attention most people place on how much noise a cupboard door actually makes if it is just allowed to bang closed. I used the opportunity to meditate, and started my morning content, balanced, and filled with the joy of a new day…much of which I spent wracking my brain trying to recall just what it was I had said during the evening that resulted in that eager demand to “write that down!”. The way I see it, if he wants to hear more we’ll have to hang out again sometime. 🙂

It’s already evening again. A quiet Saturday night, and I’ll probably be watching cartoons and writing poetry, sorting unsorted images, updating the meta data on the archive photos of my art work… but mostly watching cartoons and practicing new skills. It’s a lovely night to take care of me, to be gentle with my own heart, to enjoy the qualities I bring to life and the world. It’s a lovely evening to enjoy each moment with contentment, and satisfaction, and a smile – because there’s still so much more.

So many potential experiences to enjoy, so many choices to make; in a moment of stillness we see things in a new light.

So many potential experiences to enjoy, so many choices to make; in a moment of stillness we see things in a new light.