Monthly Archives: February 2009

I love orange flavored craisins. They taste like fruit jammers. I wonder why I don’t just buy fruit jammers.

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I kept the wrapper to a piece of gum he gave me

The last time I was in this airport was a lot longer than just a year and a half ago, it was another lifetime. Not that it means anything to me, I mean, being in the airport again. I’m not sentimental about it.

The last time I was here I was much more of a sentimental person. The lady who sat by me on the plane even asked me if my lifestyle, living out of a suitcase, had made it easier to de-clutter. I admitted that it had. I have found freedom in simplicity and in emptiness. Freedom from sentimentality. If I weren’t so concerned with global warming I would throw EVERYTHING away.

I started getting this way maybe two years ago. I threw away a lot of things I wish I hadn’t, but I don’t hate myself for it because I have this deep un-met emotional need to have less belongings and to not be so emotionally exploited. I wish I’d held on to my favorite pair of jeans.

I watched a movie- “Everything is Illuminated” -the main character is a collector who keeps all these random things as a way of preserving the past. It’s a complex for him. I was that way once, maybe even obsessively too. I liked the theme of the movie, the presence only makes sense in light of the past. When we disconnect ourselves from the past we lose our sense of reality, identity, and meaning. Like the Maria Taylor song, “We’ll get no where if we’ve forgotten where we’ve been.”

What I didn’t like about the movie is that the grandfather commits suicide in the end and by the reaction of the grandson we are to understand that it was his way of making peace. He’d spent his life running from the past pretending it didn’t happen. If he had found his peace, he wouldn’t have had to kill himself. That isn’t the appropriate response to finding your peace. My mom and I discussed it, and decided it would have been true if the reaction of the grandson had been, disappointment that he didn’t find peace in this life but hope that he found it in the next or if the grandfather had made peace and been able to live out the rest of his life. As it is, wasn’t all true.

I made my peace with the past by throwing it away. But you can’t forget it, you can’t deny it, otherwise you end up in a bath tub with slit wrists…apparently. Maybe it’s the difference between remembering the past and worshiping it, or being haunted by it.

Still I’d give anything for that pair of jeans.

small talk

“The next time there is a mini apocalypse you don’t want to burn up all your toilet paper”

My eyes shot up and caught Clyda’s gaze sitting in front of me, a bite of tamale hovering in front of her mouth. What was my mother talking about on the other side of the room? I pretended to be surprised but my mother rarely makes sense taken out of context.

I drug myself unwillingly to the get together. Recently I don’t trust myself in situations where I have to interact with people, especially people who aren’t my immediate family. I’m not used to being myself anymore, not in English, not in my own clothes, not in my own home. I don’t know how I’m going to respond or react to people and circumstances; and lately, what comes out of me surprises even myself. In a way it’s exciting. In a way it’s nerve-racking. If you don’t know what to expect out of yourself, the unplanned can be embarrassing or awkward or even worse-phony.

Topics of conversation when you are with people you don’t know very well and probably won’t ever know very well:

The Ice Storm and two weeks without power.
What I ate in Russia
What we’re eating in the moment (“This guacamole dip is simply to die for!”)

Such a stark contrast from the conversation I had with my mom the day before. In the car, on the way to the doctors office…

When I was little, I’d lie awake at night thinking about what it would be like if someone close to me died, my mom or my brother or my dad. I’d just think about it till I was hysterically crying.

How did I manage to maintain my composure while we talked about it so candidly. It helped that she had to keep her eye on the road and I could look out my window. Tears are contagious.

Would my step dad get re-married? She’d admittedly thought a lot about it, but they hadn’t talked about it.
She’d got an answer that if she would fight off the cancer, she’d have more time…how much? Everyone is dying she said. She told me things I never knew, that she’d found the tumor years before and it had been misdiagnosed. That it’s in her blood and that’s why spots are showing up everywhere. That my step dad asked her the other day, “The cancer is gone isn’t it?”

I don’t ask the questions I don’t want her to worry about, Do I still come home to see my stepdad if she isn’t there? Is it still my home? What will I do when I see a movie I know she would have loved, or read a book and want her opinion on it? Am I doing it again? Am I just working myself up over what is, for now, a non-reality? Is it dangerous to think about these things or talk about them? Where do you draw the line between preparing yourself for the inevitable and dwelling on it?

She jokes that she’ll be with us in spirit every time we go to the bathroom, then Ron calls and wants to go to a Buddy Holly tribute concert, so  we grab a bite to eat, and drive over to the mall for our favorite bonding pass time…buying things we never knew we wanted until they were marked down to $1.97.

I was reading about the Taoistic theory of Passive Action or “we-wei” a call to non-action.

Simply put, by not doing anything you allow for the natural flow of things to run it’s course and problems correct themselves.

For instance if you have a muddy puddle and you get a shovel to get the mud out, you’ll just stir things up and make the puddle foggy and unclear…however if you just let it alone, the dust will settle, so to speak, and the puddle will clear up.

But the mud is still there at the bottom.

Not that there isn’t any validity to the theory. I’m sure sometimes the best thing to do is to not do anything. Or like my mom put’s it, if you don’t know what to do don’t do anything. Although, I don’t know how much stock to put into aphorisms these days.

Maybe I should start making up my own.
“A good book is worth reading twice, a bad book is not worth reading once.”

or

“Happiness is always just around the corner, so is starbucks.”

“Change is like a lot of worthless metal in your back pocket, but I like it.”

So, basically I find myself in a really great place these days, stripped of obligation, commitment, responsi…my brother just called…gtg.