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Posts Tagged ‘my own personal jesus’

|| May 31, 2012 || 1:14 am || Comments (27) ||

Sometimes I wake up and I think, “I don’t know who the fuck I am.”

That is what age and wisdom does to you. The more you discover yourself, the less you know who you are. The trick is to get comfortable with being off-kilter most of the fucking time, standing ready in the rocking shift of consciousness. You get to pick from “I am enlightened and tickled about it,” or “I am a nervous fucking wreck.” Some days you’ll swing from one to the other like a big ole meat pendulum, you with your smirking mouth and your weak ankles. But you have a strong back and your bowels work, so there’s that to make up for the other.

Back to this waking up business: You wake up every morning and there is a certain amount of magic and science you expect to be on your side. Most of us are lucky enough that it is a fair deal of the time.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

Apparently I have gotten far too comfortable in my life, is what the universe is trying to tell me today, All You Folk.

I don’t know a lot of things. Wait, scratch that. Yes the fuck I do. I know a metric ton of stuff.  One of the things I know is that I’m very self-aware (metaMetaMETA!), and I have a good grip on my strengths and weaknesses. Mostimes I am just as liable to tell you the ways in which I’m a sore fuckup as the ways in which I am strong and capable. I try not to make excuses for myself, especially if I’ve engaged in poor behavior. If I can be proud of the good things in my life, I can own the shabby ones, too. I try not to luxuriate in the one or self-flagellate with the other. These are all just things. There are happies and there are sads and graces and contemptuousnesses and all of the other point-counterpoint that life weaves through you. You enjoy the one, you motor through the other. You take a knee where it’s called for and you  jump around like a fool where it’s appropriate (and, if you’re like me, sometimes where it’s not).

I like to be in the moment, to wring everything I can out of it. It’s simple, really.

Another thing I know is that your secrets are the very things that will kneecap you and make you worthless. The tighter you hug them to yourself, your burdens, the colder and heavier and more unrelenting they become. They will drag you down without compromise. Some people will tell you to keep your game face on, to always telegraph surety and success.  They want you to believe right alongside them that you should never leave your neck exposed, even if it means sacrificing the act of turning your head, craning it for all it’s worth, to look at something amazing like a baby’s laughing mouth or a pretty, unselfconscious woman. You know, things worth exposing your soft meat for.

I can do stoic like nobody’s business. I learned from some of the best. I’m not convinced it’s the best way to live, though.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

I have been sitting here all day fretting. I’m not supposed to tell you that. I was raised by a mother who took on as our family motto the phrase, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” I see where she was going with that, and it was a well-intentioned route, one that encouraged us –my sister and me– to be proactive and not wallow and not have a sense of entitlement. She wanted it to be clear that we were to do our part in our destinies, whatever those may in fact be.

But you know, over the last couple of years I’ve been thinking, and those thinks tell me that “If it is to be, it is up to me” is just a titch arrogant, and inadvertently prideful. It implies that I can do it all on my lonesome….or worse, it implies that I should do it all on my lonesome. So my father actively drilled superiority into our heads while my mom passively did so, even as she touted the good virtue of humility in our hearts. That’s startling. (It also makes me think: “How many didn’t-mean-tos am I responsible for where my own bairns are concerned?” We are all so well-meaning, aren’t we?) If there’s one thing I know about myself it’s that I need a tribe. I’m not especially co-dependent, but I am hugely loving and tribesmen bring the lulz and sometimes buy the beer and they let you hug them. Most of them hug back. My tribe doesn’t need to be huge. It just needs to be mine.

I am a tough motherfucker. I can take a shot to the head, no sweat. Depending on who you are, I may taunt you for another (I’m off-kilter but I ain’t dumb) . I can take a verbal bludgeoning and laugh and shake it off later via elaborate voodoo rituals on your person
by knifing your tires

with a rowdy game of darts and your picture
leaving it be. This is not to say that I don’t believe in being vulnerable, however. I do. I just need to correct myself in the error of thinking that I should have absolute control over where and when I’m vulnerable. I mean, I don’t advocate walking around being a slobbering mess, but what’s the harm of showing armor chinks? I’m sure as shit not afraid of someone seeing me beat my spear on my shield. Truth be told, I don’t even need a spear OR a shield: I have a fearsome haka, just ask anyone who’s seen it.

Hell, ask my husband. I love him the most fiercely of all, and he has seen my most brutal parts and all the weapons that I brandish outwardly, only to turn them inward on myself.

Now then, there is something that the guys with the no-vulnerability mindset and I agree on: Faking it until you make it; I believe in a certain degree of that for sure. I don’t believe in lying. I do believe in saying, “Fuck yeah I can do that,” partly for the other guy in the room, but partly for yourself, too. You gotta hear yourself say that you can do something. You gotta hear those words. Then something in you is beholden to step into them and make them fit, see? Something in you is challenged, awakened, teased out. I believe in challenges, because I’m big on adventure. If you’re not an adventurer, then that’s fine. You can, for instance, believe in challenges because you are a glutton for punishment. Hahaha. (no really)


(I love you. We will get to the end. You can take a pee break or whatever and come back.)

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

A friend tells me that the air conditioning in his house has broken again, almost as an aside in another conversation we are having. I know that when the air goes out he gets sick. I also know that his clients have been slow to pay. I pray for his air to work, both so that he can be well and so he doesn’t have to lay out any more money on that damn unit. He doesn’t know that I am praying. I pray for his wife, who must surely worry and fret over him when he is sick, even though she may not actively show him her worry so as not to cause him any strain. I know this dance; I am a wife.

I pray for life to be less mean for you.
I pray for the doctors to find out what’s going on in your physiological self so that it will stop being an albatross on your spiritual self.
I pray for you to find a job.
I pray that you don’t have to make the shitty choice between medication and shelter, between living and L!I!V!I!N!G!
I pray for those little shitbirds at school to stop bullying your sweet kid.
I pray for you even though you mock people like me, people who pray and believe that it works.
I pray for peace and understanding between you and your family, for them to accept and love, for you to forgive hurts, for unification and joy and laughter around a laden table.
I pray for you to stop being scared of the world, and for it in turn to reward and be good to you.
I pray for your beautiful son, locked in a different self, and for you, because the way you parent him is so big and so lovely and so perfect that you could never, ever fail.
I pray for you to stop believing that lying thing inside you that says you are not enough.
I pray for your trust, your openness, and your ability to receive those things from others in return.
I pray for understanding between us.
….and so on.

I’m pretty bad at asking God for things for myself. I used to be pretty bad at asking a few select people to pray for me, over me,  but I’ve gotten better at that. There have been a handful of people praying for me and my family about a specific thing for about a week now.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

Today I sat with myself, dragging myself from task to task until I just finally quit trying to focus on other things and sat frozen, petrified, unable to do anything but cry, even though I hate to cry and I believe that worry is unnecessary things like a) taxing and b) a flavor of abomination. Up and out, right? Crying is the emesis of the soul or some shit and today I just couldn’t quell the spiritual nausea and so I bawled like a tit on and off, using a corner of an old towel I’d torn up for rags as a kleenex.

That! Is how thrifty! And repurposeful! I have become! Behold my prowess! I will never ‘make my own toilet paper’, though. There are leaves and catalogs and corncobs left in the world, my Lord.

Then I reached out tentatively to some more people, willing myself to place in them the trust I know that they are worthy of, because they’ve never shown themselves to be full of anything other than integrity and goodwill. (some of them are full of beer, too: tribesmen)

I told them: There is a very strong chance that we may lose our house. I told them: I need every bit of Spirit you can muster my way. I told them: This is humiliating. This is infuriating. I am on the cusp, on the cusp, but there are still bricks to be shoved into place, and I’ve set enough of them that it makes no kind of sense to turn back. I told them: Maxim’s income has steadily declined. Worse, his morale has steadily declined as he’s had to slash away at the jobs of others. His nerves are taut and he has this stress tic where his jaw clenches and unclenches and I am furious at the state of this country for what it has done to the state of my husband, the state of many of its families. The pigs that stole away with all the lifeboats cannot so much as throw out the stray pair of arm floaties to the drowning masses they’ve helped to shipwreck.

Banks, you see, would rather a corpse be fished out of the drink than aid the able-bodied to survive and swim. They don’t hear you when you tell them, “Um. Ahem. I see rocks ahead,” and ask about preventative measures. They aren’t concerned with the fact that you have dwindled your modest but promising nest egg (YOU HAD NEVER BEEN ABLE TO SAVE BEFORE! IT WAS EXCITING TO SEE THOSE NUMBERS TICK GENTLY UPWARD!). They don’t give a shit that I love that studio up there, the one it took me so long to get. It doesn’t matter to the suits that my dining room is the heart of this house, and that so many amazing things have happened in there. They would just blink at me if I told them how this big ole ambly thing was a literal garbage dump when we found it and although it’s not the Taj Mahal yet, we do a little at a time as we can and everyone but everyone without fail remarks on the easy sense of peace  they pick up on when they come into this place. I’m not the only one, you see, with a story like this. They probably don’t even hear the words anymore.

It’s only been a few days since I’ve known the full gravity of our situation and something in me is insistent that I cannot allow it to mow me under. If I keep it a secret, it will.

….and so now I’ve told you, too. I need rooting-for. I need LOUD, SPIRIT-FILLED, YODELING-TRIBE HOLLERING AND STOMPING ON MY BEHAAAAAALLLLF!

Freedom. I am speaking freedom over myself, whatever it turns out to look like. It may have different square footage or even be in a different town, another state altogether. It may be right here where I will bounce fat-cheeked grandbabes on my lap (“this is the way the farmer rides, hobbledy-hoy, hobbledy-hoy”) someday. Whatever. However. I’m asking for you to speak freedom over me, as well. I trust you. I trust you over there with your integrity and your goodwill and your hoping heart inside your rowdy chest.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

In the last few weeks I have been communicating with someone in a deep and meaningful way. We’ve been pondering on the nature of our respective beliefs and how it’s hard sometimes to be what we are in a world that either misunderstands us or perceives us to be something that we are not; they do so based on a mess of ignorant zealots who act like they don’t know anydamnbetter. We have been awkward and vulnerable and funny with one another. We have been mortifyingly honest, broken, excited to be in the company of someone of the same ilk: “Hi. I’m the fuckup who is here to love you.”

I have never written a truer or more naked assessment of myself: “Hi. I am the fuckup who is here to love you.” See what happens?

Anyway, I shakingly asked for prayers. I got a message back saying, “well. it isn’t a coincidence that I was listening to this when I got your message:”

And no. No it wasn’t. Because that freedom paragraph up there? I’d written it a couple hours before I reached for a hand.

‘Only chain a man can stand / Is that chain of hand in hand /Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on’

|| November 14, 2011 || 10:02 am || Comments (9) ||

There are lots of things I haven’t talked about in this space lately. LOTS. There have been so many changes to my life and my internal workings in a very short amount of time. I’ll get to those things in due time, I reckon. Right now I want to talk about something that happened yesterday.

Yesterday found me traveling around Facebook a little bit. I don’t do this very often. Truth be told, I hate Facebook a really, really lot, and that’s why those of you that have friended me on there don’t see me there much. (GO TEAM TWITTER!)

Despite my hatred of it, though, I have two accounts and one is devoted to friends and family. Some of you know this, because you have me friended on both accounts, which I hope at the end of the day isn’t weird for you…..or boring, as there is duplication and overlap. A funny aside is this: My friends Rod and Megan, who just so happen to be married, each follow one of those accounts and not the other. This makes me laugh.

So I was on the more private of the two accounts and about to drop a message on the wall of a childhood friend when I noticed a name at the top of my screen: It was Mike Ess. Of course my eyes did that big cartoony AOOOOGAH thing and I was immediately presented with an opportunity for unnecessary indecision and angst.

Which meant, of course, that I was presented with the opportunity to crowd-source Twitter in a completely inappropriate and overly emotional way. Hahaaaa, what a dick, right?

That’s the thing, though: I own my dickishness. I’ve always been big on accountability, as long as I can remember. “I did that, and I am proud/not proud (circle one) of it.” I’m bold as the day is long in that department. One thing that has never come easy to me, though, is apology.

I have been working the shit out of my apology muscles the last five or six years. It’s not always enough just to tell people that you were wrong. Sometimes they need to hear the amends. Sometimes, whether we know it or like it or not, we need to hear them, too. It settles something in our souls, it fills in a divot that we yanked out in our wrongdoing.

It fundamentally fixes shit in a way that I can’t properly articulate, you dig?

So I was all, “AhMahGah, panic-panic, I have this opportunity I wished for, AhMahGah, do I jump on it?” That has, dear Muffinasses, been a recurring theme as of late. You think I’d get it without having to sit and navelgaze after the fact, like now.

A couple friends were all like, “Stupid. I love you so much, but you already know the answer.” And so I sent a message to Mike Ess.

Hi there Mike….

I don’t know if you remember me, but we went to school together at Greene as kids. I’ve wondered about you on and off over the years, and I happened to stumble across your profile because we are mutual friends with K on here.

Sometimes I think about the fact that I wasn’t always very nice to you, and I want to take this opportunity to apologize for that. I’m sorry for any way that I treated you unkindly. I really did like you; I thought you were interesting and unique.

I hope this finds you well.

I logged in this morning to find this:

Hi Jett,
I do remember you. I hold no ill feelings toward you at all. I was not one of the popular kids in school……a little geeky actually. You were always nicer to me than most, I thought you were cute actually….maybe had a crush on you at one time.
I have since school been in the Army as a Recon Scout for the 1st Cav division, got my medical assisting degree and raised a couple of awesome kids…….never had luck in relationships so I stay single most the time. LOL……just like school I guess. : )
You owe me no apology for anything done as a kid, but thank you.It shows you are a wonderful person……I always thought you were.

For all the ways that I try to be cognizant –I mean really awake– and self-aware, sometimes I wonder if I know anything at all about myself, you know? Am I as lacking as I think I am? Do I give myself enough credit? More importantly: Do I give myself too much?

Thank you, Michael, and all the people like you, who are far more gracious than many of us would be were the situations reversed.

Thank. You.

|| July 27, 2011 || 2:08 am || Comments (22) ||

There’s always something to outrun and there’s always something to quit and there’s always something to forget and don’t you tire of this place, this place where your brow knits and your whole face asks a question of nobody that you can particularly identify? The puzzle-look is just there waiting for the person that recognizes it to call out to you, to know it because someone else called it out to them.

My feet and brain are always moving. My heart is always waiting and I don’t remember how to exhale. Back when I used to be a scrapper the exhale came with the thud, the contact, the punch letting it all out and unleashing the glee and, hey: Look who is a functioning human being! Now that we’ve swung on one another and gotten that out of the way, we can get down to brass tacks: Do we pursue this, or do we walk away?

I’m real good at walking away, but I think even if I weren’t it would still be startling to me overall how many people are unwilling to agree to disagree and just let it alone. You get basically two choices, see? There is the whole Love You In Spite Of (with some Because Of in there for balance and also good measure) option and there is that hey we learned something here but we don’t ever have to sit down and have pie together and errbody will be just fine option.

You don’t have to like that you get basically two choices, and you can daydream all damn day long that there is a loophole fashioned all special-like for eedle ole you, but that doesn’t alter the very basic fabric of the universe wherein there is that silly fucking chaotic balance principle thingy to be accounted for. Without some negative energy and some positive energy bothering to go toe-to-toe there wouldn’t be any dang see-sawing going on, it’d just be someone constantly on their butt in the dirt or someone always dangling legs up there in the air.

Static scenery is bullshit. But so is staticky scenery. Both are an interruption in flow. “Movement is life,” one of my mentors was always saying to me, so I’m ever-mindful of my flow.

How do you define spirituality? Do you equate it with religion? Do you recognize it as the vehicle by which someone examines and attempts to better themselves? Do you view it as an excuse? A fool’s escape? A place to heap scorn and small behavior toward another human being who dares to state what they believe,  no matter how calmly (notice I did not say ‘placidly’) they try to do so?

Do you expect respect for your opinions and thoughts and for those things that move your heart? Oh, and: Is the volume at which you mete it out, this respect-thing, commensurate to the meticulously-adjusted level at which your expectations for it are set? I mean, I figure you’re –at minimum– clever enough for the working-out of your own soul; it would be really fucking special if you gave me and others the same sort of credit.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the wedding of one of my best friends. I planned to (and did!) wear an orangey-red dress and unbelievably red lipstick and smartass black pumps with corset lacing up the three inches of heel (and the other two inches behind the curve of my foot). I tell you this because such a duded-up ladysuit requires some for real savage hair. Also, it was going to be roughly hotter than four hells and I suddenly find myself with a sheet of blonde mess down my back after more than a year of no-haircut tomfoolery*. So updo, right? Nobody wants to be the sweaty bitch in the awesome red dress.

(please remind me at some point to do a post explaining how, when people who love you want to gather and celebrate –with great goodwill and furious amounts of drinking– your marital union, baking said people attired in formalwear out-of-doors is decidedly impolite. rent a fucking hall, for shitsakes. there have been three –THREE!– outdoor weddings this summer and none of them were around a swimming pool and a trash can full of hunch punch.)

So I went to see my cousin’s husband’s sister-in-law, Layla, and showed her two pictures and handed her two black flowers replete with crystally things and sproingy feathers and said, “GO NUTS AND I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING. If this hair is in any way boring you and me can’t drink beer together no more, Layla.” Layla laughs like a hyena when we spend time together and wants to keep me around, so I was confident in my threat. Never make a threat you don’t intend to follow through on, Muffinassedly Ones; that’s just stupid. Lots of that going around these days. But shallow words are another hunk of writing entirely.

Layla looked at the pictures, looked at my head, said, “Hm,” then set her mouth, shoved some bobby pins in it and laid siege upon my locks. Every now and again she’d say, “Hold this piece of hair right here, Jay-utt,” but for the most part we talked about important shit since we are near-family and all. She’s a craftsman, this Layla, and she is of the mind that showing you an unfinished work is doing you a disservice, so when she spun me around at the end for a look-see I was just completely in love with what had been done.

I paid her the fair updo fee (wince) and tipped her five bucks (no wince here, I may hate to pay but I do like to tip) and the rain started. I had no umbrella.

But this is no tragedy-story, no, because my hair held up; it held up like a boss and I drove a couple hours away and got my gussy on and had one large fine time at that party. I was so happy and buzzed when we got back to the hotel that the only things I could find it in me to remove were my fluttery fake lashes and my stellar ‘potentially-a-loose-girl, it’s-hard-to-tell’ pumps.

The next morning, my beautiful hair was still (!) beautiful. “Aces!” says I, “I’m going to get my money’s-worth out of this wedding hair. I’m not unweaving or unpinning a single thing until Monday night!”


The next day after that my beautiful hair still appeared beautiful, but it was beginning to look a little fuzzy around the edges. This got me to thinking about it, this hair. I thought about how it might look serviceable on first inspection, but there were little aggravating curls that had sprung to life, and I was sure that there was a layer of guck beginning to form on my scalp. I thought and thought and thought some more about that hair, and finally I just took it on down and washed it that evening because this hair obviously would not be low-maintenance if it caused me to excessively regard the condition of the terrain underneath it.

And this brings me back to spirituality and the reckoning of our own souls: It’s not enough to just rest in something beautiful. If the substance of the thing is questionable, it will eventually begin to disturb us. We will stir uncomfortably, not able to sit with ourselves and our outdated truths. I don’t know why that can’t be enough; why we can’t let our actions say everything that needs to be known about our hearts. I don’t know why we have to be at odds with disparate beliefs, why we can’t just slap five and sing soul and smile and give the other guy the same room to be.

We’re just so wasteful with one another, and it really fucks me up when I think about it for too long.

*though not on purpose. fifteen months sans haircut. fifteen! months! this shit is killing me.

|| August 7, 2009 || 12:27 am || Comments (0) ||

He was asked every time…every time that he could recall, anyway.

“Is this really the hill you want to die on, son?” This was his father, head so impossibly distant that to peg its details against the sky the boy had to squint.

“Yes,” the boy said each of those times, once he was sure he was looking his father in the eye, once he had squared his shoulders in a stance that he approximated as brave.

The boy was given this passive out in a myriad of situations and outright fuckups and still he said with his ‘yes’, I am not a quitter, I am not a coward, I would rather find myself foolish than forgotten. And he would continue to push headlong into mistakes that became lessons that became Knowing.

Wasn’t Knowing, after all, a mount worthy of shedding ones tears and guts upon?

One day, when the boy was of an age that he no longer had to cock back his head and squint to find his father’s eyes, an old woman approached him. He had been mindlessly tending the inventory of his hurts while seated on a bench beside a fountain. It was autumn, and the bare fingertips emerging from the wool tubes that fit snugly against the fingers’ knuckles worked at a corner of the boy’s jacket.

She shuffled across the wide brick walk, this stranger, until she stood facing him; the messy fluff of her hair busied itself defying the sobriety of the look on her face.

“God wants me to tell you,” the old woman said, “that you can stop fighting. Put those hands of yours down and let Him do your fighting for you. That heart of yours is for something else altogether.”

Later that night a brutal pain ripped across his chest as he sobbed into the phone’s receiver.

“Then she just walked away, leaving me with all this frustration! Leaving me right there where she found me, but taking my equilibrium with her! And I only had one question, just one, I just want to know how? How do I do that? How do I just stop fighting when I’ve had my dukes up the whole of my life and it’s all I fucking know?

“Why won’t He tell me how to do what it takes to achieve His desires instead of just telling me what His will for me is??”

|| December 8, 2000 || 4:59 pm || Comments (0) ||

It appears that I am just a hokey freak. I actually like Christmas. Granted, all the frenzy that surrounds it surpassed moronic and deviant long ago, but I still relish the holiday.

Just like everyone else, I am taxed by the forced festivity and comraderie it sometimes entails. It peeves me to no end that those heretics at Wal-Mart put up the Christmas aisles just shortly after the Halloween crap got set out (I could be wrong here, but I believe last year they DID wait until the first part of November). But I still get all blissed out at the very thought of this time of year.

Maybe it’s just the way that I approach it. Or maybe it’s the way that it was handled at my house as a child. It could be any number of things.

In this age of “everything, everywhere, rightfuckingNOW” I feel like it’s important, ESPECIALLY at Christmastime, to strip things down a bit. Take a breath. Simple ‘em up. It IS supposed to be about peace and goodwill and love and light, after all. How can you foster any of those if you start out the season with those day-after-Thanksgiving readysetgoscramble sales where everyone is out for blood and will mortgage the rights on their comfort and happiness just to find the perfect decoupage pin for Aunt Trudy? I mean really, come on now….

Ther were times when I was a kid that we had one another, a tree, some family-baked goods (done together, I might add) and a stocking filled with meager geegaws and trinkets for Christmas. These were some of the best of my LIFE. Are you with me, people?

Today’s kids seem so greedy and unhappy because we make them that way collectively with our run-around-like-wild-baboons mentality and overkill in the whole gift arena. My little family is not immune. My children have no less than six sets of grandparents, not including greats, and I have been gnashing my teeth and trying to rein in the older set from minute one the first of my brood popped out. “Today’s kids have TOO MUCH”, I tell them, “I want my kids to have something to look forward to every once in a while. I want to instill in them responsibility and drive.” This has been my battle cry for 8 years now and will continue to be. It’s not perfect yet, but they have all gotten better. They look around and see all the little shiteaters that the world is producing and they get my message, especially in light of the fact that a couple of those aforementioned shiteaters belong to my siblings.

In our home, we approach the holidays with equal mixtures of science and sentiment. We always go as a family to select a tree from the Christmas tree farm. ALWAYS. My husband gets it in the stand, I string the lights, we all decorate it together. We bake. We decorate what we bake. We do it TOGETHER. It’s not easy, we all have intense schedules that require shuffling around, but we do it. It’s simply important to us.

Each year, no matter how fat or meager our own pickings are, we stuff a box for someone not as fortunate as ourselves. Food, toys, clothes. Some years the box is more extravagant than others. I want my kids to be givers. I want them to know the satisfaction of sharing what they have. It’s funny, even as young as they are, they have the innate wisdom to select things for others that they themselves would like to receive.

On Christmas Eve, we exchange ornaments. There is only one rule…the ornament has to be a reflection of the person you give it to…regarding something they like, something they are or something that reminds you of them. When my children are ready to go out and make a place of their own in the world, they will have a full set of ornaments to hang on their Christmas tree if they desire to have one. More importantly, though, they will have symbols of family unity and affection and a tangible reminder of memorable times.

Also on Christmas Eve, we like to drive around looking at the lights that various people have put up. It’s quite interesting to see the way that a person is reflected in how they choose to display. On a baser level, there are yards and yards of pretty sparkly things suspended in the night air that aren’t there any other time of the year. It’s got a magical feel, and kids simply dig magic. Our bedtime story the night before Christmas comes from the new testament. My grandfather read of the birth of Christ to us each Christmas Eve when I was small. I do the same for my children; they need to know that hope exists and faith is important. It comforts and sustains when your ass is chewed and your belly is growling and your heart is heavy and your head is panicking. How you come by or practice or profess your faith is only the minor end of the spectrum–the process is not so important as the result. What better story for Christmas could there be? There was a gift given to the WHOLE WIDE WORLD, and it wasn’t wrapped all fancy or extravagant. It was quietly and hopefully given in the face of personal adversity on the players’ parts. Mock me as simplistic and foolish if you will, but that shit bowls me the fuck over. Thus, on Christmas Eve, we bake Jesus a birthday cake. So they don’t forget. So they know that this is a party that everyone-but-EVERYONE is invited to and allowed to share in. Yeah, my kids are kids and come Christmas Day they groove on the presents, but they also know what the whole gig is about.

On Christmas Day, they get three presents apiece from us. Brainwashing through symbolism. But it works…they know. Hell, if I could afford to rent three camels and three guys dressed in kingly finery to ride up in the front yard, don’t think I wouldn’t do it.

It may be a tad early, but I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy holiday, no matter how you choose to observe it. My wish for you is that the magic is not lost upon you and the sappiness washes you away, for this year and all to come.

Merry Christmas.

|| September 17, 2000 || 9:54 am || Comments (0) ||

I woke up and all was well. I got into the shower and all was well. I got out of the shower and somewhere in the process of toweling off and brushing my teeth, the day just took a slide. Happens every so often. I eschewed the family outing to go shopping Huntsville, something that I never do. I don’t really know why this day turned ass-up; I am usually on such an even keel emotionally. The only thing I can figure is that it is about time for my muse (Delores?) to visit and I am gearing up for the creative whirlwind that is about to sweep in by downshifting.

I went to mass. I’m not even Catholic and I went to mass. I pulled on some Levi’s and a Mets cap and a loud orange t-shirt with long sleeves. I ate Doritos and listened to Ned’s Atomic Dustbin on the way there. I think God likes Doritos and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin; how do you think that he feels about the Mets?