Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

As this year draws to a close, may you feel gratitude for all that was in 2007--the good, the bad and even the sublimely shitty. It has all paved the way for 2008.

As the clock strikes twelve tonight, know that I join you in spirit wherever you may be. Cheers.

tall penguin

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Secret

Okay, I don’t think I’ve ranted about the book The Secret yet. If I have, well, it’s my blog and I’ll double-rant if I want to. So, The Secret. Oprah ordained this book shortly after the DVD of the same name was released. After that it lurched to the top of the bestseller’s list and, much to my chagrin, has been the most requested book at my workplace ever since. I swear if I hear one more person waxing philosophical about the law of attraction I will throttle them right there in the aisle between Self Help and Psychology. Thank Zeus for my colleague Leeman who regularly stops by my section and reads random passages of The Secret in the voice of Christopher Walken. If not for him, I would’ve torched our stock of 100+ copies long ago.

Now, if you want to believe that we attract every person, situation and experience into our lives as some sort of karmic learning vehicle, well, be my guest. Just be sure to let me know how sexual abuse, rape and genocide fit into that paradigm. I’ve not heard a decent explanation yet. And how does one choose to bring these things to themselves? And how does one quantify that such a process is taking place? How would you really know that it was your almighty intention that drew an experience to you and not the random confluence of events?

Sigh. Maybe I’m just bitter. Maybe I wish the law of attraction really were so. If it were true I would’ve been off this stupid planet a long time ago. But I’m here, writing this blog. So...fuck The Secret. Law of attraction my ass.

tall penguin

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Rewriting the Voices...

For me it has always been a challenge not to let other people into my head space, especially in love relationships. I’ve had the tendency to greatly overestimate the other person and value their opinion more than my own. That’s changing. I’m beginning to go over the messages I’ve adopted from people over the years and question them. And guess what? They’re bullshit.

Enough said.

tall penguin

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Reflections and Creation...

I sit before this computer, alone on Christmas night. I’ve just enjoyed a beautiful meal of Indian food and baked goodies from dear friends. And I feel a mix of melancholy and hope. Strange to be feeling both at the same time. Sometimes I wonder if there is indeed someone, something out there looking out for me. There is this soft whisper I hear on days like this that tells me to keep going, even though things look bleak, mundane and circular. It is that voice that gives me hope. Perhaps it is the opposite voice to the one I heard all summer that wanted me to end my life. Perhaps it is the same voice. Perhaps I needed to hear that then in order to hear this now. A sort of existential corollary.

My mind wanders over the past year. It seems appropriate as the last few calendar days tick by. It has been a year of great hurt, disappointment, loss, grief, anger and despair. It has been a year of death. Of illusions. Of dreams. Of what once was.

And it has been a year of rebirth. A year of new friends. A year of letting go. A year of finding a strength within myself I didn’t know was there. A year of supporting myself through times difficult and strained. A year of knowing that I’m not truly alone even in the quietest, darkest depths of all that lurks behind my eyes. A year of coming to terms with the past and choosing to move forward in spite of it. A year of choice. A year of sheer will.

Over the next week I will be taking time to sit with the year ahead and create a vision of what I want my life to look like in the coming 365 days. This idea of creation is still so foreign to me. I’m not sure I know how to create a life. Let alone create a life that I want. It involves knowing what I want and believing that I have the ability to create it. No easy feat. And yet, that is where the hope comes in. I have a strange sense of hope about my life. As if it is just beginning in many ways. Being a stranger to a strange land has been scary for me. Now it’s becoming intriguing. I wonder what my future holds. ‘More things than are dreamt of in my philosophy’ I do suppose. I hope so.

tall penguin

Can't Wait for this one...

I just finished seeing the film Sweeney Todd. Well, as much of it as I could bear to watch…excellent movie but incredibly gory. Yick.

Anyhow, the thrill for me was seeing the trailer for the new Michel Gondry film Be Kind Rewind. Gondry is the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep, both incredibly well done films, the former being one of my all-time favorite movies. Be Kind Rewind stars Jack Black and Mos Def. It looks frakkin' hilarious. Be sure to check out the trailer. See you at the movies January 25th!

tall penguin

Didn't get what you wanted?

Ask Santa for what you want this Christmas. See what he pulls out of his bag. I asked for Peter Gabriel, my favorite singer, and Santa said, "I think Mrs. Claus has the hots for him." Too funny.

tall penguin

Merry Christmas to all...

I have explored Christmas from a few different perspectives this year. From the view of my friends for whom Christmas means family and copious amounts of food and drink. From the view of a customer who has no family at all. And from the view of myself as a single woman, having her first Christmas ever on her own. I have learned a few things:

  1. It’s about the moments. Moments of laughter. Moments of surprise. Moments of simple beauty.
  2. The best gift is watching the sincere reaction of delight when someone is truly grateful for what you’ve given them.
  3. Family can be any one at any time.
  4. $20 can go a very long way when necessary.
  5. It’s only one day. Make giving and receiving a daily practice.

So, however you have chosen to spend this day, may peace be upon you and yours. Be well.

tall penguin

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Girl with an Ipod

She sits across from me. The subway train is heading north. I watch as she takes her Ipod from her jeans pocket. She glides her finger across its skin as if caressing a new lover. It is obvious she is searching for a song, something to mark this moment. A smile spreads across her face. Her hand drops back to her side as she returns the Ipod to her pocket. Her eyes close as she tilts her head back.

The train rocks her body back and forth like a mother lulling a child to sleep. Her smile gone now, tears begin to form in the corners of her eyes. She does not brush them away or even open her eyes. She is lost in this moment, painfully sublime as it is. As the train pulls into the station, the jolt drags the tears down her cheeks. Still, she does not flinch.

As the train departs, I catch my reflection in the window next to me. And I see her as well. She is smiling now; smiling in my direction. She knows what I know.

tall penguin

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Can I really go back?

In discussing life with my never-been-a-jw friends, I see “normal” stages of development. I see teenage years of rebellion, drug experimentation, drunkenness and casual sex. I see relationships and heartbreaks. I see catfights and drama, break-ups and make-ups. I see long nights of hitting the books followed by long nights of drunken splendor. I see the sorting out of jobs and career paths. I see the individuation of a life, a leaving of the nest. And I wonder…

Is it really possible for me to go back and have those experiences? I mean, yes, I can have those experiences, but the age at which I’m having them profoundly alters my experience. I am 33. I am not 15. Sure, I can go out and get drunk and fuck random people. Or can I? Can I really go out and pretend to be the carefree teen? I have the life experience of an 80 year old. It’s difficult to go back to the mind space and naiveté of a teen or twenty-something. There is a purity about the stumbling and bumbling of those younger years. There is a beauty in the exploration. For me, it feels strange somehow. Sometimes a bit contrived.

I go back and read my blogs here on occasion. All the navel-gazing seems a bit sophomoric at times. And I wonder if people really have any clue what it’s like for me, this thirty-something attempting to revisit the stages of life I’ve missed. I must seem self-absorbed. And I am. It’s the one part of being a teenager I’ve been able to revisit with some degree of consistency. This blog has allowed me the vehicle to share my locked diary with the world. Thanks for being here. Even if you don’t get me, it’s okay. I don’t get me either. Perhaps I'm more of a teen after all.

tall penguin

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Drunken Blog...

So I was out partying tonight with some girlfriends. We went to a bar/club and got very drunk and danced the night away. At my peak I had about four guys all vying for my attention on the dance floor. It was hilarious because I was probably the oldest woman there. All the other twenty-somethings were laughing at how much attention I was getting and how much fun I was having. It was great.

I must say, all this attention is going to my head. And damn, I’m loving every minute of it!!!

tall penguin

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Midnight Craving...

So I just woke up from the strangest dream. I was walking along the boardwalk hand in hand with a mysterious, handsome gentleman. We stopped at a beachside food stand and I ordered a hamburger. I got my order, sat down to enjoy it and the burger was all wet and soggy. I strolled up to the counter to state my displeasure and requested a new burger. And then I woke up.

So, now I'm pissed and hungry as all get-out. So I call up my friend at work (the bookstore is open late tonight) and say, "I MUST have a burger!" He laughs.

**knock, knock**

My burger has arrived! (tall penguin shuffles off to the door)

Oh my. A burger has never tasted so good. Yum. Sigh. Snort. (Insert other random food noises here.)

Well, a good night to all. I'm off to dream of French Fries and vanilla milkshakes.

tall penguin

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Haze

I'm sitting in a friend's living room mesmerized by her Christmas tree. And I wonder what my life would look like if my mother hadn't converted to the Jehovah's Witnesses when I was 5. I wonder what all those missed birthdays and Christmases would have been like.

I stare at my reflection in a mirrored ornament. I laugh giddily. I'm 33 going on 4.

For all the connections I feel with these new friends in my life there is something about this season that makes me feel so utterly disconnected. These people who I've come to love so dearly have no idea what it's taken me to reach this place in my life where I can attempt to enjoy Christmas with them. I am a stranger in a strange land and I know it.

tall penguin

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Worshippers Wanted

I'm reading Harold Bloom's, Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine. It looks at the characters of Jesus and Yahweh from a historical and allegorical standpoint. I’m only into it three chapters so far, but I’m finding it fascinating reading. And humbling.

Once again I find myself reflecting on my own history and my honest and sincere desire to believe that Jesus and Yahweh were real, divine persons. And now, the more I read, the more I realize how deluded my own thinking was. It’s still difficult for me to accept that I centered my whole life, for 31 years, around characters that have little, or dare I say, no, proof of even having existed, except in the collective consciousness of people who wanted to create something from nothing. I may as well have given up my life for Santa Claus or the tooth fairy or Zeus for that matter.

Whenever I read these books I can’t help but feel duped and incredibly small. It still boggles my mind how much I took for granted about life and the universe. How narrow-minded my view of things was. How much I overlooked about the Biblical characters and justified in my own mind as a testament to my “faith”. Now I look back on Yahweh and Jesus and so many other Biblical personages and see them for what they are. I do not sugar coat their behavior or try to fit it in with what I want to believe. I see them as characters in someone else’s fiction, characters not unlike Shakespeare’s finest. Interesting, but not real.

All logic aside though, I hear Poseidon’s looking for some new followers. I always thought tridents were pretty sexy. Maybe I could make an exception.

tall penguin

Friday, December 7, 2007

Does everyone feel this way sometimes?

Perhaps it is the dark days of winter. Perhaps it is the fact that I'm not sleeping well. Or maybe it's just me being me, but I'm having those old "What the fuck am I doing?" feelings again.

I feel perpetually stunted as a human being. I feel as if I lack the basic skills to live a balanced existence. I struggle to make sense of the world around me and every day I come up short. Nothing seems to make sense. Just when I think I know what’s going on, I see the black cat cross my path again and realize something in the Matrix has just changed. And I’m back to square one.

My psyche feels like a shattered Faberge egg. Jeweled, beautiful, enchanting. Once priceless, but now just bits and pieces of something that will never be whole again. I do my best not to live in the past, but I realize that I’m forever changed by it. Trauma, hurt, illness, grief—they’ve all played their role in chipping away at the girl I once was. And no matter how many beautiful moments I have, like the ones I blogged about yesterday, there is still this ache in the depths of my soul that longs for the end of this life. No matter how peaceful I can feel in the moment, there is still this deep yearning for my last breath. To have that wonderful sense that the struggle is over and that I can finally, finally rest.

tall penguin

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Discovery Through Another's Eyes

Tonight I got to watch as my good friend, and fellow blogger, Ganga discovered using pastels for the first time. She is a wonderful singer and songwriter, graphic artist and photographer. I have been blessed to awaken to her beautiful voice singing to me through my phone receiver. But tonight was her first time creating with pastels. I watched as she giggled with delight, drawing and blending. I smiled as she'd stop on occasion to look up from her creation and exclaim, "I love pastels!"

I too created but it wasn't about me. It was about watching another soul discover, and enjoying the act of creation anew. It was like watching a child take its first steps. I love moments like this. I live for moments like this. This is what life is about.

tall penguin

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Why get into a relationship?

A friend and I were discussing relationships. He has never been in a long-term relationship nor does he have a context for wanting one. In his words, “I’ve never seen one that works”. So, his question to me was “Why be in a relationship? What’s the point?”

Now, I thought it was an easy question to answer, but it really isn’t. I listed all the obvious reasons: companionship, someone to witness your life, someone to share the journey with. He remarked that you can get all those things from a close friendship. True, you can.

Then there are the very basic considerations of having a family or sharing financial obligations; a relationship can help lighten the load of one person in life who wants to achieve certain goals. If you’re headed in the same direction, it can be fun to have someone to share the journey along the way.

And then there’s the explanation I inevitably shared. It’s my idealistic view of what a relationship is all about. It’s from Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations With God Book 1. I’ve blogged about it more here. But in a nutshell, these are his comments, or rather god’s comments, on what a relationship is all about:

"...the purpose of your relationship is to create an opportunity, not an obligation---an opportunity for growth, for full Self expression, for lifting your lives to their highest potential, for healing every false thought or small idea you ever had about you, and for ultimate reunion with God through the communion of your two souls..."

So, I'm opening this up for discussion. Why get into a relationship? What's the point?

tall penguin