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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Midafternoon Musings 
12th-Apr-2010 03:29 pm
The song that captures my mental state best right now: "St. Christopher is Coming Home", by Frank Turner.

Monday morning comes a-crawling in
From another weekend choked with cigarettes and sin
I've been busy so much lately
That every time I get some time to spend
I end up drunk or sleeping in
And I miss you... you're busy too
We call each other up when we're messed up
And say we'll meet in the New Year
But it's perfectly clear we'll do no such thing
Come the spring

When the evening casts its shadows on the corners of my days
And I am old and I am settled in the place where I will stay
When my wandering meanderings have finally reached their end
Yeah whatever else may be I will not forget my friends

Friday evening barely even begins
Before my phone begins to ring with people asking where I am
And I can't suppress a smile; we talk a while
The chances are that I am far away and so I'm phased out of the plan
And that's how I miss out on another night
The kind of night where nothing really happens
Yeah but everything goes down
And at the end I'm just a promise to pick up the phone
When I'm in town

When the evening casts its shadows on the corners of my days
And I am old and I am settled in the place where I will stay
When my wandering meanderings have finally reached their end
Yeah whatever else may be may my friends remember me

I am having a hard time with thoughts of my mortality these days. Irana's death hit hard, and there's been a wave of cancer in the SF community these days - and it's either a seizure or cancer (predisposed due to the celiac disease) that's most likely to take me out.

So I throw myself into social change work, because if I've got to go early I am going to get shit done before I do. And I do some other stuff that's less good for me; I'm... keeping an eye on myself. Self-awareness doesn't mean never fucking up, it just means being more likely to pinpoint the root cause of your fuckups.

I've been busy... so much lately...

I made a conscious effort to get to parties Saturday, where conscious goes as far even as pinging swashbucklr and saying "You should drive down from Vermont tomorrow so we can go to parties. And walk for change. And have some, ahem, quality time." Because I knew that, with parties going late, I'd miss the last bus - and with the Walk coming up the next day, I couldn't afford to. And, especially with the level of busyness at work this month, I needed social time.

People were surprised to see me. Heh. Hi, people! Yes, when invited, I tend to always want to attend. It's just a matter of navigation and energy level. And shyness.

I don't know, guys. This is a hard post to write. I have no problems admitting that I am not at all perfect, as one can see by reading my LJ in general. But this is not just a "not perfect, deal with it" thing, this is me actively struggling with something that I don't really know how to handle. The celiac diagnosis was a relief at the time; still is, because hey, my energy level is way higher and my pain level is way lower! But this wave of people being diagnosed with the exact kind of cancer I now know I'm way susceptible to, coming right after the death of a friend who was my age, has me spinning a bit. A lot.

And I need to be writing, and Cicatrix just has me frozen, because it means having conversations I don't want to have with family members.

So I'm figuring out how best to treat myself right. Which includes, frankly, not doing some of the self-destructive things I've been doing this past month. And getting back on top of my tasks.

And making time for social time, because my instinct, catlike, is to hide when injured.

So there's that. Now coffee, getting some stuff done, and hopefully a bouncy glee post about the Walk, because it does make me bouncy and gleeful!
12th-Apr-2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
And making time for social time, because my instinct, catlike, is to hide when injured.

This. I have to force myself to talk about it when things aren't going well... and then, my friends will still often tell me that they had no idea, because I understate the case so often.

I got a similar jolt to yours recently, something very bad happened to a friend of mine and I thought, "What if I never get anything done?"

Panic sometimes helps creativity and sometimes hurts, but it's unpleasant regardless...
12th-Apr-2010 07:44 pm (UTC)

I am in this boat, too. I sometimes wonder if my recent conclusions about how low priority I am to people has more to do with them thinking I'm fine because I don't crow about my problems.
12th-Apr-2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
Best I can do for you is say you do shine in the night. You are a force for change. You make the world better. And everyone needs to live LOUD because a bus can run over any of us tomorrow. There's no time to waste. You have to savor it and taste the life in every moment.

LOVE you. xoxoxo
13th-Apr-2010 07:15 am (UTC)
My late grandmother with her pacemaker, double mastectomy (the metastasis got her later), and diabetes used to say, "Well, I could get hit by a bus." I like this.
12th-Apr-2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
I understand the mortality thing. I'm taking a class called "Death, Dying, and Bereavement" and having to face mortality twice a week for an hour and a half. And this is all still "theoretical" for me, other than I have older family members who have cancer currently, or heart issues, or whatever else is going to get them, and thus being related probably get me as well in the long run.

You have to take time for yourself to recharge and all that.

So, to "be morbid", do you have a Living Will filled out? ;)
12th-Apr-2010 08:45 pm (UTC)

I don't talk about it much, but this genetic defect I have means I could be fine one day, and crippled or worse the next. [depending on what fails where]. Or I might live forever...[well you know what I mean].

There's just so much to do in this world, and so little time enough as it is...[and never enough money/resources to do even a tenth of it all.]

Oh well, if not this lifetime, then maybe the next.

Edited at 2010-04-12 08:46 pm (UTC)
12th-Apr-2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
For some reason, I keep getting surprised by your lack of filters. :)

And I'm glad I came to visit. The parties were fun and the Walk was great and I enjoy having time to spend with you. Thanks for talking me into it. And for making me feel that I'm more than just an available transportation system. :P

On the other topic, the living will idea is a good one. I got all my affairs in order before leaving for the Peace Corps, and it's reassuring that they are.

Edited at 2010-04-12 09:50 pm (UTC)
13th-Apr-2010 01:49 am (UTC)
You are ever so much more. :)
13th-Apr-2010 02:00 am (UTC)
"Quality time," eh? :)

I will totally make innuendo online!
12th-Apr-2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
I'm currently in yoga teacher training. My current meditation theme has been death & impermanence.

I never really thought I'd make it out of the teen years alive. No reason for it, I wasn't wild by any means. Just being morbid I suppose. Now I'm realizing that one day I too shall die, and so shall all the people that I know & love.
Maybe I thought that death would leave me alone. That I had a pass or something. It's liberating & scary to peel this fantasy apart.
13th-Apr-2010 07:13 am (UTC)
Very scary; very liberating. Yes.
12th-Apr-2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
In the past 12 years I've been to 17 funerals. I'm 27. My social circle is not particularly disease prone, at least not the fatal diseases. So, one funeral per year is not supposed to happen to someone like me, never mind more than one per year.

I loved all of them.

Some people (therapist, friends, etc.) have expected me to be crippled by witnessing the mortality of so many loved ones. Or worse, they suspected I was inured to death. Neither is true, thank goodness. After all those funerals, the thing I walked away with is that death happens, often in very unexpected ways. No matter what people are susceptible to, no matter the precautions we take, our expectations are unlikely to be fulfilled. For instance, one of those funerals was for a friend who had cancer (brain tumor, very low survival rate), but she died after she slipped while hiking, hit her head, lost consciousness and drowned in a stream. Conversely, another of those funerals was for a friend who was forever doing stupid shit. He liked to sled over ice, dodging trees and sliding into the street. He also jumped off a bridge near my house twice, not to mention the time he stood up in the back of pickup truck while we were on a curvy, rocky dirt road. He died of the *flu.* Plain old regular flu.

Now, I don't mean to imply that life is dangerous and we should be scared of it. No - life is being alive and we should be alive during it. But life will throw us curveballs, good and bad, and defy our expectations - probably for its own amusement.

Which is all to say, I'm sorry that your head is spinning, and I understand why it is. That's why I wrote all this; I'm hoping that the fact that your mortality isn't really tied to seizures, or SUDEP, or that kind of cancer can of be some comfort to you.

Also, like those above me said, make a living will, if you haven't already.
13th-Apr-2010 07:12 am (UTC)
I like the cut of your jib, devoken.
14th-Apr-2010 03:27 am (UTC)
Thank you very much, minniethemoocha. Reading that cheered me quite a bit.
13th-Apr-2010 12:59 am (UTC)
You are awesome. You're an inspiration. I wish I had the words.
13th-Apr-2010 07:11 am (UTC)
I am so sorry about the loss of your friend. Losing friends is as bad as losing family, and sometimes way worse if the friend is young. Getting to a point of thinking about mortality is so hard until sometimes, at some point, I don't know how, it becomes easy. Not un-sad, not un-scary. But one day living with it ceases to be so much of a leaden effort.

Your spirit is made for weaving Stevie Nicks scarves out of the impossible, and I hope you are gentle with your well-deserved need for rest and rejuvenation. And with that -- You are living amazingly and dancing your way through doubt. You juggle the spoons and make them jingle in the air.
16th-Apr-2010 04:07 am (UTC)
Sometimes, for me, not knowing which of my zillion health conditions is going to do me in can be kind of liberating... almost 'someday going to die, whee'. Accepting the inevitability of it somewhere in the future makes it not my worry now, and that clears my mental path so that I can go get more stuff done. I don't know if that particular hack helps you or not, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.
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