Friday, October 31, 2008
Forget the polls. This election will be determined by one thing, the number of actual votes that are cast for one candidate over the other. If you vote, you are participating in the process. If you don't vote, you are letting someone else decide your future. Vote, baby, vote.
If you're really feeling it, why not give just a couple hours and help your candidate get out the vote?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This song has been playing in an endless loop in my mind. Wonder if it's presaging something or just wishful thinking? I haven't made any grand decisions, or garnered any insights since my last post. There is still a lingering sadness that is hanging about, but there is an equal force that is pushing me to continue moving forward, to not give up, to try again.
Over the weekend, a friend sent a profound email about the search for happiness. I'm still digesting the contents and reassessing how I measure that chimera. Factoring into the equation will be how I provide companionship for Mom at the same time that I work towards those life dreams I've held onto for so long. It's going to be a delicate balance. I've got some thinking to do, some books to read, some decisions to make. I hope that I will be able to write about that process here.
I guess a haircut is as good a place to start as any...up next, how about another chapter in The Glass Mystery?
P.S. Thank you for your very kind comments on the last post. They were greatly appreciated...really truly!
Friday, October 17, 2008
You can tell two things from this picture: 1) the sojourn in Colorado has ended and I'm back in Florida, 2) it's time to pay a visit to my hairdresser...which is actually what I will be doing this weekend as I drive up to Winter Park, to visit Michael, stylist and colorist extraordinaire.
As you may have noticed, I've been AWOL for the past two weeks and have managed few new posts: a new chapter in the novel, a couple of political zingers. A strange thing happened when I returned to Florida from my five weeks in Colorado, I was struck with a stunning bout of malaise, aka acedia (Acedia is a Latin word, from Greek akedia, literally meaning "absence of caring". it's also the subject of a new book by Kathleen Norris.). I believe this was brought on by the high hopes and great expectations that I brought to my five week journey to the mountains. I had hoped that I would find the house of my dreams, an agent who loved my first book, a job that would pay the bills, and a new beginning.
I made tentative steps in each of those directions: an agent requested my manuscript, I realized that I love Evergreen, but also that my mother cannot at this point in her life live alone, so rather than relocate to Evergreen, I must remain in Florida and have a mountain getaway. So nothing was completely resolved, everything remains in a state of flux, and thus me in acedia.
When I returned to Florida, each day I went to work and when I returned home in the evening I got into bed, turned on my favorite news channel made a pile of books I intended to read, and stayed beneath the covers until the next morning. I had 'taken to bed'. What this meant was that in order to sort through my disappointment I needed to find a place to embrace it and at the same time to decide how to deal with it. Reading these words now, I sound like a petulant child, but I promise you that was not my intent.
One interesting manifestation of this time has been the robust, strange, and vivid dreams that have invaded my sleep. I can't remember them, but I know that my mind is very busy at night. I take this as a sign that my subconscious is working through things. I'm actually not very interested in the content of the dreams, but comforted by the fact that my mind will eventually come up with a new plan of action.
There is a Bible verse that says in part: "I will give you a future and a hope". and that verse was the touchstone of my stay in Colorado, each morning I started the day sitting on the deck, reading my morning devotionals and following that with prayer. I asked God to give me progress in my writing, to let my novel be found in favor with the right agent, to help me find a job that I am passionate about, to find a home of my own...I reminded God that I had been praying this same prayer for years without an answer, I asked Him if this time He would make His presence known in my life, if He would actually answer one of my prayers...when I arrived at the last day of my trip, I went out to the deck for my final morning of devotions and I asked God why He had been silent? Why had He chosen not to answer me yet again, even when my prayers had been accompanied by beseeching tears? I have to admit that my faith has been shaken and I am unable to understand a God who tells us that He hears our prayers, who loves us and delights in us yet who remains silent or who's every answer seems to be 'no.'
What has bothered me the most is that I was not able to successfully complete what I began, what I had intended, that I am not stronger and wiser and more decisive, that I have been stuck in this perpetual state of beginning for what feels like the past fourteen years and I don't know how to break the curse. It leaves me with a sense of frustration that someone how I am lacking forcefulness to build what I want or the good luck or fortune to have it magically appear in my life (am I sending out the wrong vibes according to the Law of Attraction?). This feeling of impotence is crux of my malaise, it is what sends me to bed when I am not out doing my job. I want to be more forceful, more lucky. Instead my efforts seem to be met with closed doors, my hopes dashed by envelopes like the one I received today from that agent who said, 'Thank you for letting me read your manuscript, but I'll have to pass'. I want completion and success to follow creation, a door that opens, a next step that is permitted. I am tired of waiting and hoping, I want an agent to say 'yes', a house to be found, and the sense of moving forward. I want to see that I have a 'future and a hope.'
So this is what's on my mind today and why I have been absent for the past two weeks. I'm heading out for the weekend and when I return on Monday, I hope to have a fresh new look and a beautiful new plan....or at least the impetus to get back to writing and back to moving forward.
Wishing you all a lovely weekend,
Saturday, October 11, 2008
All roads lead to
Perhaps that was a bit dramatic. Yet, having spent the night thinking about Tom, his wife, Maria, her husband, all roads seemed to lead to
I poured a helping of healthy twigs and granola into a bowl and topped it with milk, then carried the bowl and a spoon into the living room to eat my breakfast in front of the perpetually running news channel. While my crunching mastication drowned out the voice speaking to me from the screen, my thoughts mulled over the ties between a university in
It should not seem to be a complete coincidence that one university association would provide an important link to the people in this unfolding drama. The world of the Foreign Service, while open to all participants drew heavily among the best and brightest of the
I was not of this group, had not attended an East-coast Ivy League school, nor had family ties to
Certainly George would understand this. He’d hinted that he’d traveled extensively overseas for business. He must have developed contacts in the Embassies of each country as a necessary part of easing his business dealings in each country. He would understand the need for cultivating relationships, for building a network based on who knew who from one place to the next. Is that what had brought him to
I had hoped to make a long-term career in the Service, not out of political aspirations, but out of a desire to see the world and not to return to the States. I had no ties in
When I first landed in
About half-way through my three year assignment, the glamour wore off and I simply became tired of the long bitter winters that seemed to have a mirroring effect on the personalities of the local people. The country was rapidly shedding its former Communist ideologies and just as quickly embracing the excesses of a market economy with all the enthusiasm and recklessness of a first time visitor to Vegas. At first I fed on the energy I found in this northern play land. What better way to spend frigid winter evenings or the eternal white nights of summer than dressing up and making the rounds of parties and night clubs and restaurants each catering to the latest whims of both expats and newly minted locals eager to ape their Western visitors. Upon reflection, my naïveté is laughable. It was I, not them, who was ultimately out of my league. Unfortunately, I found this out much too late.
Love comes unexpectedly and sometimes most unwelcomed. And I found out that outside the safe confines of my work, where I knew all the rules and stayed safely within the confines of my expertise, I was ill-equipped to function. Remember those old Warner Brothers cartoons of the thirties, where the leering big bad wolf stretched his neck around the corner and his head suddenly exploded in size as he leered at his female prey? Well, it wasn’t that dramatic. But close, and more devastating because of the silence and subtley, the mixed signals when language and custom are different. What fools we become.
Would I include that chapter of the
After Katerina was murdered and everything that occurred as a result of my involvement, sealed my fate. By the end, I knew it was not only time to leave
The clatter of my spoon against the bowl of cereal brought me back from my reverie. I looked at the time display on the bottom right hand corner of the television and decided it was time to get ready for work and for my conversation with George.
“Good morning!” I offered when I walked in the front door of the store. George was sitting in his customary spot behind the register. A quick visual sweep of the shop told me that we had not yet received our first customer of the day. “I brought you a couple bagels and cream cheese.”
“A peace offering?” George smirked as he took the proffered bag from my hand.
I smiled and shrugged. “Yea, I am sorry about the past couple days.”
“You want to talk about it now, or later?”
“You don’t pull any punches, so I guess the sooner we get it out of the way the better.” I looked behind me as the bell on the front door tinkled, “or we could wait until later,” I laughed and walked toward the store room to hang up my coat and put on my apron.
Friday, October 10, 2008
This afternoon Senator McCain took time to tamp down some of the outlandish rumors that have gained traction in the past week and which by their gathering strength have threatened to spill over into something more sinister. We can only hope that he will convey the same message to Gov. Palin, that she might dial back her remarks so that audience members will no longer be inspired to yell threats involving bodily harm to the Democrat's candidate.
For the record, Senator Obama is NOT:
- an Arab
- a Muslim
- a terrorist
- a Socialist
- the Anti-Christ
Thursday, October 9, 2008
At a time when the global economy is in free fall, when we are fighting wars on two fronts, we don't need a president who is erratic, volatile, and mocking. We don't need a president who campaigns using fear and prejudice in lieu of a cogent economic plan.
We deserve better.