Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I'm beginning to realize that my interpersonal relation skills are sorely lacking. The fact is that 99% of the time, I simply don't care what other people think, including what they think of me, so long as they leave me alone and don't interfere with me. (Yes, yes..horrid, isn't it?) But there's that 1% (or less), and because it's so small, because it's the exception, it really matters to me. I don't like pretense, can't stand social games and niceties, and two facedness. The standard way that people operate seems false to me. Unfortunately, the way I operate is either tactless, completely honest (if I really care about someone) or oblique and dysfunctional, depending on the circumstances of course.
If I have a problem with someone, I'll:

  • Avoid them
  • Ignore them
  • Sulk
  • Hide
  • Withdraw
  • Argue
  • Spend endless hours analyzing why I'm irritated and formulate ways to deal with it, either by discussing the issue or resolving it internally
  • Or- Resolve never, ever to let that person close to me again.

If I'm reeeeallly, reeeallly, invested in the person, I'll try to reconcile and eat dirt to do so..(feeling miserable all the while until the thing is resolved)...but this is problematic since it involves the possibility of rejection, and I'd rather handle a live snake than to face being rejected.

I hate being human. I hate having a heart. And I hate the cold and icy fear that blows through and settles in my chest.

Monday, November 24, 2003

I suppose I should listen to or read the news more often. From time to time, someone will call me up an say, Oh, did you see in the news where--- and I always shrug. I never listen t the news. Not only is it boring, it's depressing, hyped up, and melodramatic. Bleah. 90% of the time, it isn't good news, and there's nothing at all that I can do about that. So why bother? It isn't as though I've a lack of things to get depressed over if I want to find them. Information? If it's information I want to know, chances are I'll find out about it sooner or later. Besides, I hate the matter of fact way the newspeople spit out their news blurbs, as though it's simply The One and Only TRUTH, no two ways about it, when you know that they're presenting a one sided viewpoint and or bold faced lies. Try to argue against it, and people sputter and say 'But...didn't you see it? It was on the news!'. The news has become to people today what the priests and religious leaders used to be in times past- the final unquestioned authority. It's disgusting.

It makes me wonder...what would they do if there were an alternate TV news channel that consistently presented the leading stories in a different light? Would they *think*? Would they try to reason things through? I sort of suspect that once they heard something they disagreed with, they'd discard everything else the channel had to say.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

What's up here? Not much. It snowed like mad and now I'm stuck here. Discovered my car is a piece of crap when it comes to snow. Went to take it to town, and turned around and came back as soon as I found a place to turn around where it wouldn't get stuck. I liked it fine when the roads were dry...except it was an embarrassment, but at this point I'm ready to sell the thing. The bottom line is that I now have zero mobility unless I'd like to walk or ride a bicycle through the snow, and am therefore once more dependent upon the good graces of my partner for bringing home groceries and performing various basic and necessary errands. In other words, I can kiss checking the mail, selecting what I'd like to eat, wear, and listen to, and the things I'd like to go to or participate in, goodbye. Shit. My life sucks. As though it weren't impossible enough already....::sigh:: I have got to do something, but damned if I can figure out what.

An old friend of my partner's stopped by a few days ago. He irritated the hell out of me, mainly becuase he was so goddamned patronizing and condescending, as though my head was full of fluff and air. >:-( But that's beside the point. The man spoke of his place, what he was doing, of firewood, greenhouses, stoves, hunting, of venison and moose, conspiracy theories....all things that used to be a major part of my life and identity. Now it's like ho-hum, been there, done that, tired of it... Don't get me wrong, I love the country life, but the last fifteen years of my life have been consumed with hardship and wondering where the next meal is going to come from, and how, finding ways to be more comfortable and warm, and so on. There has just got to be more than life than taking care of the most basic, rudimentary needs. Once I reveled in this sort of stuff. I loved splitting the wood, picking herbs and plants for the winter's tea, finding new uses for lentils, mapping out ways to supply all our food from the garden, living a subsistence lifestyle, showing that I was tough, that I could handle it, and sneering on those who couldn't. I think I'd still like to live in the country, someday...but not like this. And then, this place is so provincial. People here are so small minded- not all of them, but as a whole, you could hardly call them progressive. We've gone from logging and timber to lumber mills, realty, and tourist oriented industries. I think that there is some potential here; we have a lot of artists and artisans, and there are handfuls of interesting minds, but there is still such an...exploitative...mentality among the locals. The woods have been logged to death, and now we turn to the tourists. It's like they're pimping the place. After the tourists, after everything has been taken that can be, after the woods and mountains have been clearcut, subdivided and developed, after there's a tacky fast food joint or walmart or dollar store wherever one can be supported, will anything worthwhile remain?

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I don't have anything profound to offer tonight (do I ever?). Lots of thoughts rolling around in my head but they're still incubating.

I've been going through my too copious stuff and weeding it severely. Yesterday I took a lot of clothes to the thrift store. I've pretty much limited the wardrobe to three colors: blue, black, and white. Most of the time I feel like black- simple, matches everything, no stains, restrained and reserved. There are a few things in other colors, a little cranberry, a little green, a little tan/brown (falls into the neutral category). The beautiful thing about this is that I never have to worry about things matching anymore. You can throw black, white and blue together in any combination and it looks fine. It also makes the culling process so much simpler (buying, too). In another day or two the clothes should be down to a managable amount.
Then I can start in on something else. Oddly, throwing things away has become pleasant, sort of a purgative process- there is a sense of relief when it's gone. Perhaps it's appropriate that Ursula Le Guin's character Shevek referred to excessive material posessions as excrement.

Purging- stuff, inboxes, old worn out dogmas, perhaps the goats, and to some extent myself. Don't have any idea how much I weigh now but the clothes keep getting too big. Another nice thing about minimizing- the stuff I do want stands out in sharper relief and seems more special when the other stuff is gone. Quality, not quantity.

The wind blew hard and strong last night, all night.
I loved it- so soothing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Damn. I just realized that I posted an almost identical list back in September. Embarrassing. In a way, perhaps it's instructive- I want what I want to write it down twice...and essentially the same things, too.
Last night I dreamt (among other things) that a lady walked up to me and gave me money, over $1,000, and I was so happy that I was just about in tears....because it would be enough for a first, last, and deposit on a place. How's that for an immature and childish solution- a stranger just walking up and saying, I know you need this, here it is. I'm not very happy with the lack of initiative revealed by that dream. On the other hand, the main impediment appears to be $. Sometimes I think I'd sell my soul if I could. There are the goats. If I could get a decent price, there might be enough of them, if I could bring myself to do it. Maybe it'd be worth it? :-( Not a pleasant choice. Not an easy one. OK, what if I kept just a very small core of the animals who were absolutely essential to the breeding program, like 4-8 of them, no more. That would still leave about 12 to sell. Assuming they go for between $75 and $200 each (depressingly low in a few cases), that *might* do it. This is not something I enjoy considering. But if I keep them, they'll be an expense. ::sigh:: Well, it's a thought to roll around for the day.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Thinking some more now...while I'm upbeat enough to consider the subject without becoming profoundly depressed. I have a strong general idea that I want to change the direction of my life. What I can't figure out is how to get from where I am now, to where I'd like to be. Every time I see a ray of hope or something that looks workable, I doubt myself or encounter a serious setback and then it all looks hopeless again. So let's start with what I do know, what I want:

I'd like: (no particular order)
  • For my children to be happy- all of them. And there's no way in heck I'm packing any of them off to live with relatives.
  • I want to go to school and to be independent, hopefully as an artist or in an art related field of some kind. I don't ever want to be dependent (financially or otherwise) on anyone ever again, I think it's death to a healthy relationship.
  • To have a lifelong companion and friend, the sort of friendship where I could trust the other party with all my secrets, a bond with depth and respect for one another as equals. There are other criteria, but I don't want to get sidetracked here. If I can't have this, then I don't want anything. I'd far rather be alone than to play out a role, going through the motions.
  • The goats...I'd like to keep them if I can....but perhaps this would change if I gained proficiency and identity through other areas.
  • I'd like to have a long term place to live, probably rural, eventually. In the meantime, a place to live, preferably within easy commuting distance to school.
  • Very short term: think I'd like to go to Chicago and perhaps New York this winter or spring (or possibly summer), to see the museums and family and other things. I haven't been to Chicago's Art Institute for a very long time and was too young to appreciate it when I did. There are other places I'd like to go to and see but this would do for now...

So yes, I suppose I have my ideals, as much as anyone else. The list is shorter than I thought it'd be. And, it isn't as though I'm asking to be an astronaut or a billionaire or even a doctor. I think these things *are* attainable...the question is how??
Well, I'm in a considerably better mood tonight. Something funny: Seen any grays lately?

Friday, November 14, 2003

I've come to the conclusion that love is not a feeling.
Feelings change like the weather. But love is like a boulder embedded deep in the ground. Whether it rains on the rock, the wind blows, or the sun shines with warmth, or lightning strikes it, the stone remains essentially the same although the atmosphere around it may change.
See, if it were just a feeling, the solution would be ever so simple: just wait for it to pass, because feelings are by nature inconstant and transitory.
Love on the other hand, takes time and effort and pain to root out, and then you're left with a raw and gaping gash in your soil.

Hmmm. This analogy is no good. Earth sign though I am, stones are impassive. OK, how about this: a tree. If you catch it young and don't want it, you can sometimes root out a tree seedling or hope the weeds will crowd it out. Neglect it, ignore it, sometimes it dies. Water it, even a little...and the tap root goes down, squirms its way into your heart and wraps it's tendrils through and around it. Again, the tree is relatively steadfast. It goes through the seasons, but the framework and body of it is the same. Spring may find it covered in blooms, or smitten by an early frost, and in winter it goes quiet and still; its the same tree while time, weather, and the seasons change. Again, it can be rooted up, leaving wreckage and a hole where it used to be...or it can die...slowly...or suddenly, as in being cut down. Sometimes the stump sends forth new shoots, and nurtured by the extensive root system, they grow and replace the old trunk and its branches. Trees change, they grow and I think they're more suited to the analogy than boulders (much as I love stones).

OK, something totally unrelated now. This. I had to laugh, because I just went and broke the link to here that I'd had posted on my personal website. Decided it was just a little too risky-mainly because my dad had just asked for the URL to my site (not the blog). I don't think he'll run a search on me. #1, he doesn't care enough to do so. #2, it won't occur to him to do so- I know my dad. #3, even if he does, I don't think he'll find it. I ran a search on myself once and it didn't come up within the first 4-5 pages as far as I could tell. Still, if he did....well, it'd be a fucking mess, that's what. ::shudder:: Actually, I don't think anyone at all reads this stuff. It's too boring. *attempts to lull self into a state of complacency*

Thursday, November 13, 2003

This week has been hell. Seems everyone I talk to tells me I must give up something near to my heart; if I listened to them all, I'd be like a picked over turkey carcass, just bones and gristle without any flesh. WTF do they think I'm supposed to live for? I miss Sprite keenly, her gentle depth and understanding...when I was really down it used to be I could cry on her small, hairy shoulder and she was there for me. Somehow, she knew when things were bad. There isn't anyone like that now, (caprine or otherwise) and I wish there were. Instead, the blackness gathers and swirls in my stomach, gnawing at me more every day. And it occurs to me that maybe the sex drive has something with wanting to be vulnerable, that maybe, for many people and especially men it's the only outlet they have to express vulnerability.

I've never been comfortable with weakness. Personally, I mean. For other people, it's fine. For myself it's always been that I had to hold it back, hide the pain, endure whatever came along or leave if it became really intolerable. Strength and stoicism: don't flinch or yelp if you get burned, don't cry out loud, pretend the insults didn't hurt, take the punishment without giving the aggressor the satisfaction of breaking you. Other little girls cried routinely and on cue when the need arose, public or not. I think I'd rather walk down the street naked than to be seen shedding is that embarrassing. Which isn't to say it's never happened, but I remember each instance with a sort of stinging shame....the way you would public incontinence. I don't know why- I suppose I felt (and still do) that if someone saw that they could hurt me, they'd lunge for the jugular. Men have accused me of being cold, aloof, and uncaring...oh, it isn't true....but never mind...they're always the ones who hurt me.

And the irony of this all is that I wear a different public face...but never mind that, too.

Art- I went to the local artist's guild again. I was being kind when I reckoned them in the 50-70 year range, some of them are at least 90 I think. There were a few nearer to me age this time and the entire group was friendlier. The guest artist was really cool and affable. She's got her paintings on everything from greeting cards to jigsaw puzzles and collector plates, and she told us how to get to that point (as well as demonstrating her technique in gouache). The library said they wanted to exhibit my paintings, so I took all my oils there- will see if they actually hang them. I've an idea the little old ladies may object- heh. Latest works in progress are an oil of a quince and chestnut leaf, need to make the quince a little more abstract or else more realistic- as it is it simply looks lame- the other work is pen and ink of a pair of zebras, very enjoyable subject. I've got a bunch of work finished that I should scan and upload soon.

Monday, November 10, 2003


sublimation - (chemistry) a change directly from the solid to the gaseous state without becoming liquid
chemical science, chemistry - the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions
transformation, transmutation, shift - a qualitative change
sublimation - (psychology) modifying the natural expression of an impulse or instinct (especially a sexual one) to one that is socially acceptable
psychological science, psychology - the science of mental life
alteration, change, modification - an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another; "the change was intended to increase sales"; "this storm is certainly a change for the worse"; "the neighborhood had undergone few modifications since his last visit years ago"
SUBLIMATION: The redirection of sexual desire to "higher" aims. Freud saw sublimation as a protection against illness, since it allowed the subject to respond to sexual frustration (lack of gratification of the sexual impulse) by taking a new aim that, though still "genetically" related to the sexual impulse, is no longer properly sexual but social. In this way, civilization has been able to estimate "social aims above sexual (ultimately selfish) aims" . This is not to say that the "free mobility of the libido" is ever fully contained: "sublimation is never able to deal with more than a certain fraction of libido".
Perhaps I'm missing something here. What exactly is the problem with gratifying one's libido? Could it not be that sublimation is in fact unhealthy in and of itself, rather than a protection against illness? Let's see...what if one were hungry but sublimated the appetite into music? Would that be a healthy response? And what is selfish about sex? Personally, my sentiment was that there's no greater closeness (provided the parties involved are close in other ways as well) and that sex is (well, should be) a gift from one person to the other. I suppose if one held that it were shameful then yes, a substitute would be preferable...but this presupposes that sex is wrong and shameful. which it isn't. And if it deals with only a 'fraction', what use is it?! *sigh*...and here I was extolling sublimation just a few weeks ago...well, I've changed my mind, so there.

Friday, November 07, 2003

That was pretty bleak and grim. Sounded as though I was about to walk the plank or something of that nature...heh. The modem went out on the computer and so I've been offline for several days. Even now it's hard to maintain a connection for more than ten minutes (or less). The inability to anesthesize my mind by surfing the net has made me think things through more than usual. The general pattern was to try not to think about something, my mind would keep returning to it, obsess about it until I began to feel overwhelmed with anxiety, depression, pain, hopelessness, etc, and then think to myself, "well, I think there's something I wanted to look at on the forum....", at which point I'd surf around aimlessly for an hour or two. Not a very productive way to operate.

Some monsters diminish once you confront them. For a week or more I had dreams/nightmares in which I was feeling pressured into intimacies when my heart wasn't in it. The aftertaste of the dreams haunted me during the days. Every night I'd hope to dream of something better or more fulfilling, and it'd be the same theme (along with two others: something bad happening to the goats, and taunting luxuries such as taking a hot shower or opening a fridge or cupboard full of food). Then it happened that I found myself in such a situation, was able to deal with it and voila, the nightmares ended.

It isn't so much that I want to be alone, in spite of the value I have for solitude. Have you ever seen something beautiful and turned to say 'look!', only to find an empty space at your a good book and wished you could savor it with someone else who could appreciate it...eaten a meal or a treat and finding that it lacked an essential ingredient- a companion to eat it with...taken a blow and been unable to share the pain of it with anyone...doubted yourself and not have someone you trust to refute or confirm it...had a question and grown tired of your own answers...met a challenge or acheived something, without someone to smile and say- well, I knew you could do that...wanted a hug and found only your own hollow, aching chest.....

Believe it or not, one can feel that way in the presence of other people, surrounded by people day and night. I find it unbearable. Better by far to actally *be* alone than surrounded by reminders of what should/could be and isn't. There are some who seem to be able to fill the gap with virtually any other person, and for whom my nightmares probably wouldn't have been that unsettling. I can't do that. For them, people are like bricks; all about the same, pretty much interchangable, and there are heaps of them. For me, it's more like a jigsaw puzzle- each piece is unique; the absence of a piece can't be compensated for by another. No...there are too many pieces in a puzzle. More like trying to paint a picture without any blue paint- no blue, no green, no can still paint the picture but it's distinctly less satisfying.