Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Book Recommendation

Heard about this book on Oprah, of course.  I haven't bought yet, but read some excerpt available on Amazon.com.  From the little bit I read I was moved and could tell this would be valuable for all of us.  Do yourself a favor and and read the excerpts yourself and then go and buy this.  I'm going to.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I had gone to Dallas to look at a law school.  I had no hopes of actually getting admitted, but I was reinventing myself into something and was still deluded enough to think I could change my life dramatically.  My mentor in college had gone to Southern Methodist University and got her law degree there.  I was her star student in college.  But she didn't know my history, my litany of things tried and unfinished.  I became in my imagination the thing I presented to her -- focused, driven, oozing potential, the top of the class.  And I flew to Dallas as an imposter with a plan, an impressive school, prestigious degree, a fancy office, an elegant brick house full of china and children.  

And what happened was.......

I spent an afternoon shut in my aunt's Dallas bedroom.  She asked me for privacy while whe was on the phone.  Someone on the other end of the line was making arrangements for her to be admitted to another treatment center.  I sat on the bed.  Where else was there to sit?  I waited for her to come and get me.  I was afraid to open the door, afraid she would want to confide something to me, afraid the weight of it would collapse me.  And what is there to do in someone else's bed when you're not tired?  There was no t.v.  No books.  Just a bed and someone else's things.  I started opening drawers.  I found needles.  Syringes.  A mirror to see myself in.  

Utter quiet is no consolation to an imagined life that exists only in plastic masks of fake memories.

I've got rampant alcoholism and drug abuse in my family.  I'm forty-three and three-fourths now.  For a long time I was outrunning addiction.  I think it caught up with me.  When that happened, who can say?  I think I got drunk for the first time when I was 13.  I slept over at a friend's house and we got into her parents liquor cabinet.  We mixed an ugly sweet concoction of apricot brandy, bourbon, gin, vodka and various liqueurs.  I wet my pants that night and passed out on the lawn.  I woke up with weird clothes unknown to me soaked in throw-up, in a strange place with a strange permanent imprint on my brain.  Eventually I sobered up and made it home undiscovered.  There was drinking afterward.  But I had learned my lesson.  The lesson was:  don't mix your drinks.  The lesson wasn't:  don't drink.  I come from a drinking family.  We're not authentic.  We're not Irish.  We're not wine swigging Italians.  We're not gin-drinking aristrocrats.  We're drinkers.  I come from drinkers.  I come from bragging football watching beer drinkers from Minnesota.  I come from secret drinkers stuffing their bottles under couch coushins .  I come from people who pee in pots who are too drunk to make it down the stairs.  I come from embarassment and regret.  I come from ruined holidays and suicide attempts.  I come from death from neglect and squandered dreams.  I come from repressed emotions and stiff hugs.  I come from mistakes.  I think I was the only child actually planned and hoped for.  I have no children.  That is probably a blessing.  What godforsaken genes would I pass long to a child?  I have dogs instead.  I have dogs that I love like children.  I have not brought them into this world with corrupted, doomed genes.  I try to lift them up every day to fly.  I want them to fly like I never have.  And then I want to ride on their wings, their muscular flanks, their spit flying in the wind.  I want to live on that pure joy they have from the moment they wake.  I can't find that joy by myself, within my body without them.  I don't have the joy imprint.  But my dogs do.  

When I wake up in the morning I feel doomed.  But when I put my running shoes on, tether up the dog, unlatch the gate and start running, I feel protected and blessed.  I feel the sun, the drizzle, the breath of my dog's life, the absence of stagnation and addiction, the possibility of the future, the imaginable, the everything, and I feel something like joy.  And then hope glimmers in.  And that's the best part.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I am blog happy today, I guess because of the weather.  Who doesn't love to hole up when the weather is dastardly?  And who better to share the cozy day with than The Clash.  Most awesomeness!

Holga Stop-Motion

Friday, November 12, 2010

Creamsicle-y Fall Day

I have admired this vehicle for the couple of years I've seen it parked on the the street I walk by so frequently with the dogs.  It's beautiful and vintage and creamsicle-y good.  As the leaves began to change, everything seemed immersed in yellow-orange and the truck began to shine as if brand new.  The complimentary leaves formed a perfect podium to show off this truck I've coveted for so long.

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