the Beginning of the Big Change
Last May was, like most other Mays that I can recall, a swaggering, staggering drunk of a month. We look toward the change that summer brings, positive and negative. Our landlord gave us a letter that said we had to move at the end of June, and when we protested moved that back to the end of July, barely enough time for Mary to pass her nursing test. So we looked forward to being out of the mouse house, but dreaded our prospects of trying to splice together enough money to finance the move, that and finding a place to live while Mary was in job search mode. We were hopeful about my job as a pending real estate deal seemed to be the answer to all the problems facing the school, and my summer income would actually be more than my regular pay.
Still I remember a lot mental tossing and turning in the night, but the strange, or maybe not so strange, thing is that the things I was worried about would mostly resolve without too much pain only to be replaced by other worries and pains. I should just refuse to worry about things that might happen 2 months from wherever I am. They always change like clouds in the wind as they come toward me from black fearsome future storms into manageable rain or just momentary shadows that drift away into the past. Maybe I just need to watch the metamorphosis without fearing.
Mary finished her preceptorship and moved into major studying mode to pass her final exam. All three of my children were doing well in their studies. My work was light and pleasant. The whole parade was moving along into summer, a little shaky, like a marching band that had been marching for too many miles wondering when this particular parade was ending.
A Roller Coaster Of Feelings and Attitude
I could see the hangman’s plan in my mind. he didn’t have to tell me about it. I could just put the noose around the man’s neck and tie it off to a post so that as they rode away toward the gallows the noose tightened and strangled him, a simple plan indeed.
I was cutting meat, covered in barbecue sauce, in a thrift store. My mother told me that she had not washed the cutting board beforehand. That worried me a little.
My day is skewered by a screw in the night
road to pick up Dustin pulling to the middle
faster harder pulling
“Can you order those in any size?”
Turned around and back up the gravel drive
and to bed
no writing in me
errands and business
no life, just business
I don’t want business
I want life
thought, exchange, BREATH
I don’t want a beautiful car, or comfort
I can sit for hours in a cold house
occupied in thoughts that fall away
with the sound of a voice
where do they retreat to?
Only Part of This Always Makes Sense
coming into the chaotic finale
dissonance creeping in
The broad sweeps of angularity
creating competing waves
crashing against the lip of the world
rolling back to the middle
as other waves spread from center
moving energetically outward.
My thoughts went through a train from Kerouac and Cassidy to my cousin Jon and how they were all con men not really producing anything but paying attention to themselves and their id desires.
“What are you thinking about?” Mary asked.
I couldn’t think of how to explain it to her at the time. I knew she didn’t have the time for me to explain it all and give context to the thoughts so she could understand them.
“Random stuff,” I said.
I am trying hard not to be phony, but maybe that is avoiding real commitment.
I am feeling like I am no good at the world. I can’t focus or be courageous. I am hanging on paychecks like tiny branches off of a mile of cliff. I can’t breathe, sleep or understand my dreams. I can’t say I have direction or goals, I am adrift from paycheck to paycheck.
What would a person do to change?
Margot (my landlady) handed me two hand written notes telling us we had to move out by June 30. I tried to explain that we would not be able to rent another place by then.
I am going to be grown up and be happy with my life, no matter what, and work on the things that matter to me and make Mary happy. I am not desiring. I am flame and reason and love. Watch me burn!
I am deadly tired, and I lose all my thoughts when I am like this. I am dragged down by a sense of impending doom. But, there is still music, The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street. What a wild, exuberant, mad time that must have been. Why can’t I find that spark that shines beyond all this grubbing for dollars. I want to reach into the throat of darkness and pull my dream out, wrench it, tear it from its embryonic chamber, chew it and spit it into the world.
I feel myself developing in slow motion or time lapse or a combination. I come awake in the weirdest moments after moving as if through a gelatinous dream.
I’ve got no words today. I drew pictures with Ellery this morning.
Sitting and working with Ellery was important yesterday, not over-thinking the process. Maybe that is the key, just letting life unfold without all these desires. I find it difficult to separate from mindless entertainment (video games). Why do I need to be kept busy? Why not busy myself with real world things? Show as much attention to life problems as I show to working with children?
What do I get joy out of?
When I am really into music either listening or playing, when it is just a part of me.
When I am involved in a good conversation with a thoughtful person I trust.
When I show someone something, or explain something in a way that helps them make sense of a piece of the world.
When a piece of the world becomes enlightened in me in a way that moves understanding of my life to new level.
When I am truly in myself in a place with no feelings of need to be anywhere else.
When I look at these journal entries, I feel that I have again fallen asleep and need to wake up. I was in turmoil but I was grappling with big ideas. I need be awake more to my life. That is what the struggle is all about.