Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ramblings from an aging madwoman

For many years on my birthday I'd rework a poem to add in the perspective that another year of living sometimes brings. I say "sometimes" because I've learned many times over there are those who go through their entire lives without learning anything new.

My poetry would be a waste for them. They'd look at it, say hey it has this many words, this many lines, this many pieces of punctuated mysteries, but they'd never be able to add a damn thing to it.

It is those people I want to wean completely from my life. That's my birthday resolution, to finish the pruning of the suck monsters, the me-me-me birdies that eat from my hand and take a finger along as a souvenir.

I want to keep all my fingers this year. I want to go back and rework poetry and plans and dreams. I want my dreams to support me, to join up with my fantasies and give me one hell of a ride for the money.

Of course, I've always wanted. It's what motivates me and most of the people I know. We want. It's literally the tie that binds because wants are like that kite string. It holds you to the ground and makes you believe you really are flying.

There are days when I want to run with scissors and cut every one of those strings. I want to make the smug, the selfish, the prim and proper, the perpetually indulged fall flat on their ass, get up and ask what the fuck was that? And the ones who then say cool, let's  do that again!...well, those would be people I'd be interested in keeping around and getting to know better.

But this year my wants are mostly undefined, which is something different for me. I usually know what I want as not knowing has always seemed inefficient to me. How can you manifest without knowing what you want to pop out of that hat? What kind of magician doesn't know what's in there and when and how it's coming out? Surely, I'm at least as proficient at manifesting as a trickmaster.

But yeah, I do have a short list of things I want for my birthday year and I've made the list based on events and other unexpected visitors to my life. I don't exactly have an open door to my life, but like termites, carpenter ants, roof rats, and flies, there are those who find a way in.

The first on my list is to start that poetry thing again. I've spent the last few years writing everything but poetry. Through the weird wonders of Facebook, I've friended and been friended by all these crazed writers I knew back in some misbegotten time of my life. I remember how much I liked their poetry, how much I liked my own poetry, how I enjoyed being around people who wrote and lived in short profound and meaningful phrases. I miss that now that I'm older and writing is mostly something I associate with work and not fun.

I know I'd be a much better poet now because I have more to write about. Back then I speculated about life a lot. In spite of some of the bad things that happened to me growing up, I led a fairly sheltered life. There was a lot I simply did not know about people. There was a lot I had to learn. And I'm still learning. That's the good thing. That's what always proves I'm still alive. I can learn.

So that takes care of one thing. The second is to clear out some stuff in my head and heart. I've had a couple things come into my life this year that belong to the past and need to go whimpering back there.

There's a reason I left Las Vegas and I have to remind myself of that when I get this half-assed longing for people who are actually related to me in some way and who knew my family and so understand me in a way no one else ever will.

You can't explain to someone who wasn't there what it was like. Sometimes I'll show them a scar or two, or I'll get vehement about domestic violence and war and what it does to people who started out life somewhat sane, and they'll understand a little of it. But they'll never understand like the ones who had to bandage me up, who hid me in their houses, who helped me get through the worst of the bad stuff. I want all that to go to the little safe in the soul that says "do not open until xmas...or ever again."

Thirdly, I want a better world and that means better people. We've gone through an incredibly selfish phase of human existence. There are people who've known nothing but self-indulgence, who have no examples of what it means to step outside your own skin. The last couple decades have created an entire set of deficient human beings who have lived in the most opulent and fakely prosperous of times. They truly do not know what it means to suffer, to not have, to scrimp on desires and deny wants. No, I do not weep for the Trustafarians. I say to them welcome to the grown-up world and may you survive it without too much whining.

For the fourth thing, I want to get rid of everything I own and live out of an eco-friendly rv or motorhome or 5th wheel that has things like solar panels and can disappear into the desert or forest or beach for weeks. I've started the research and the first thing I made sure I can have is high speed internet access because that's how I make my living. Everything else gets in line behind that. But that seems like the easy part. There's always free wi-fi somewhere, but I want to be able to disappear and still work so those are the kinds of details I'll be working out in the next year. Jeff is easy. He retired early and gets a small social security check. The cat doesn't really care as long as she's with us. She's well traveled as would be any creature that makes its life with us.

The fifth thing is the most important. I want only people in my life who can give as easily as they receive. I'm really good at giving but I suck at receiving. Far too many people I know excel at taking. I'm tired of "special" people. It's time they grew up and realized that category has long ago quit being something special and is now quite ordinary and pathetic.

I've been incredibily fortunate in love and in friendship, but in both of those it took a lot of finding out what I didn't want before it became clear what I did want. I pruned a lot of people from my life in the last two years. It was a deliberate process and I chose carefully and with full awareness. I feel that most of the selfish users either moved on or got some encouragement from me to do so. I'm sure some of them are bewildered and just can't figure out why I don't want to be around them anymore. To them I say it's a lot like broccoli. There are times in your life when it tastes good and you need it to grow strong and there are other times when it makes you gag and puke up your life in small doses to keep them from being hungry. A lot of people I used to know are feeding themselves these days and all I can say to that is it's about damn time.

But that does leave the little flecks of gold at the bottom of the pan. Since I've started being careful in my selection process, I've noticed the occasional hunger to go back to "family" has decreased. In many ways I wanted to run back to them the same way I ran to them when I was in High School and they cleaned up my bruises, wiped away the blood, and told me it wasn't my fault and the pain would eventually go away.

Getting older means being able to do that for yourself and that's what this new year will bring for me--a life built on healing the pain of trusting the wrong people, mistakingly befriending the users and abusers, and stupidly loving the selfish assholes.

Not that I'd trade any of those lessons for something else. Hell no. I am who I am because of the bad things done to me, not the good things. Once I figured that out, the rest was easy.

Shirt can be purchased from The Crazy Old Lady of Peace store.

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