And a lot of stuff has gone down this April that was not In the Plan, and the Plan was really full already. See also: Jack.
Having discovered just the prior night that my Take Back the Night was actually a Take Back the Afternoon, I basically reformatted my day from 1pm onward.
Work, as it's been all week, was largely huge project stuff. Our volunteer training has a whole bunch of moving parts, and I'm scheduling my ass off. Segments vary in length from 30 minutes to 3 hours, some thing *have* to be on Monday or Friday, some things *can't* happen on the same day, some things *have* to happen on the same day, and then we get into people's personal schedules. It's a lot, is what I am saying. I'm also setting up for the information and interview sessions, which is a thing in itself. Add to that the OMGApril stuff. The Chase Community Giving thing was pretty last-minute, and the person who'd usually handle it is on vacation, so that became mine. The rally and hearing we're planning for Tuesday isn't exactly last minute, but it's less lead time than we'd've wanted, so we are busting ass on it. Also, staff meeting.
So head-down work work work til 1, then two and a half hours until I had to be at my engagement.
I walked from Central to Davis.
It was windy as hell - a great day not to wear a skirt! - but perfect temperaturewise, just a beautiful spring day. I did not wear my iPod. I just walked my city listening to the wind, the birds, snatches of music from passing cars, and it was exactly what I needed. Then lunch at Namaskar while I read The Mesh, which excited me with its possibilities for sindrian's business (and I texted him to say so and to get and give warm fuzzies). From there, a Vietnamese coffee and a bit of knitting at Diesel, then back on the T.
The engagement was supposed to be 4:00-5:00, with my part being 4:00-4:30.
It occurs to me that new readers don't know what my part is. It is this: I give a five-to-ten-minute speech about my personal experience with rape. For this speech, I use the rape that happened when I was 20, just because it's more discrete; my childhood/adolescence is more diffuse. I do want to see if I can work up a speech version of that, though. After my speech, there's a Q&A period, where the attendees get to ask me anything they want, and I do mean anything, and yes, I get all *kinds* of questions.
So the Q&A lasted past 5. Which was fine, because there were so many great questions. I try to not walk away as long as there are still questions - to me, the value of the speech is the chance you give the attendees to ask these questions that they may have been living with for years in a safe and supportive context, questions that they may not have a chance to ask for another year, til the next Take Back the Night, if you're not there to answer them. It's impossible to state how much I think this helps. At one point we diverged into a great conversation about how to handle disclosures and support survivors, and I'm so glad that person asked, because as we talked, I saw light bulbs going on over people's heads. If they need that information, now they have it.
We stayed (we = my and a fellow CAPS volunteer; survivor speakers are never sent out unaccompanied, just because it can be an emotionally arduous experience... both yesterday's and last week's accompaniment were great about checking in with me, making sure I had everything I needed, making sure I was cleared for re-entry into everyday life) until 6, when, eek! I got a text from thewronghands that she was at the restaurant I was to meet her at (we hadn't picked an exact time, but I told her my gig was til 5, so 6 *is* when I'd've arrived had that gone on schedule). Eek eek. My accompaniment gave me a ride to the restaurant, which also gave us a chance to unpack the engagement and brainstorm about community mobilization tactics and ideas for our volunteer group.
Then I got dinner with thewronghands, which was marvelous as always. The thing about having the sort of social network that I have is that you just don't get to see everyone all the time, because sometimes they're in Seattle or Maryland or the wilderness. But thewronghands had just seen mutual friends in Maryland and in New York, and that does make me feel oddly connected, even though I've not gotten to see them lately myself. We are this web spreading everywhere, and even when we're not touching, somehow we are.
The day sort of fell apart after that in ways that were clearly still crankifying me this morning... it's hard when your family has different standards of clean from you, and you walk in after a really long day and things are in chaos and dirty dishes are everywhere and the husband left out the cat's drugs and everyone is AAAGH. Because even though yesterday was a good day, it was a really long day (one side effect of all anti-seizure meds is fatigue, incidentally), and I did have a few hours of emotional intensity there, and really I just wanted to watch Glee. Which I finally got to do two hours later, after cleaning up as Adam went for Moar Cat Drugs and we medicated the cat and everything.
My workday today was much like my workday yesterday, but with bonus Clothesline Project. Parts of the Project are going to three different places on Monday, everyone needs a different number of shirts, City Hall (hey, kids, go see the Clothesline Project at City Hall all next week!) needed single-sided shirts only - that last was the toughest order to fill, because most of our shirts are double-sided, so it was an opportunity to go through some bins I hadn't gone through since the Walk and get things re-folded and better organized. Our executive director pointed out that it shows how much I love the Clothesline Project. She also said that she was just thinking today about the art by jnanacandra she bought during last year's Blogathon, so we talked Blogathon, and oh guys I still owe you info on Shayara for Blogathon, I know, it has been a week; it has been an April.
I finished at noon and was promptly hit with the Bitchslap of Severe Exhaustion, leading me to contemplate curling up under my desk for the remaining hour. SURELY NO ONE WILL NOTICE. But no, I got through it, and met hammercock for lunch at 1, which was awesome, as I knew it would be because it always is. Lunch with friends is a great idea that I should put into practice more often, if only because I have to be On at work and I don't have to be On at lunch with hammercock, hell no. :) My frazzle showed, but was understood.
I walked from Central to Harvard, and got completely ambushed by a song on my iPod.
Always reminds me of Vegas, and of my complete lack of closure over Vegas. And I was just talking about Vegas yesterday, and I will probably have occasion to talk to all y'all about Vegas on Monday (you'll see).
And I thought about Hal in particular, because I often end up thinking about Hal, because he was really the last of my big brothers. I thought about Hal and his sly grins and his laughter and his shaggy hair, and the contrast of his white tank tops (I hate the term wife-beater) against his dark skin, and the warmth of him; everyone is warm in Vegas, but Hal was extra exothermic. And I thought, as I often do when I think about Hal, of sitting with him on a typically over-watered strip of out-of-place greenery one Vegas dawn, when we'd been up all night, both of us in our tank tops and ragged jeans and Docs, me in Layne's leather jacket and Hal in his own, and Hal pulling up blades of grass and shredding them and saying, listen, I am in so deep here that I can't handle it - I can't stay human and do the things I have to do, so I'm asking, and you can say no, but I'm asking, can you hold on to my humanity for me? until this is over?
And later, days and weeks later, when he wanted to have sex with me, I never could tell him why that was such a no for me. And I think I know now, and it's that that morning I ceased to be just a friend, and I became the place where he hid his heart. And that felt too sacred. And I wish I'd known that then and could have told him.
So I'm at the bus stop, and I am filled with longing, and I think you know, this is actually beautiful, this life that has these moments in it, this life where the love doesn't go away. And I had to transition from hurting about lost friends to that - to knowing again that just having these moments is gorgeous.
Home then, and a video I'd been waiting all day to watch!
My friend Rebecca! Is awesome! And! She's going to be on the new NBC show The Voice on Tuesday! Starting on Tuesday, I suspect; I quite strongly suspect that she made it through the auditions and onto the show proper, but of course she can't say. But there have been Hints! So set your DVR!
And watch this video! I love this song; I have loved this song since I first heard it, when she sang it in my living room a year and change ago at a house concert (note: have more house concerts), and I was so excited when I could finally buy it on CD, and now there is a video, WATCH IT.
And then A NAP.
And coming downstairs to my at-home resting husband, and no dishes tonight yet. And I read a poem by dear csecooney, and my daughter is listening to music upstairs and our dear s00j came on, and I had some moments of wow, how amazing is it that my life has these people and these small gifts? That everywhere I go, I can see and hear and touch these things by these people I adore.
And so I sat down to write a post. Because my April has been so full and I've had so little time to do anything but flail on here, and even when days have been packed, they have not been nothing *but* flail. There has been sun and wind and food and coffee and silky yarn like a pollution sunset and music and poetry and hugs from my daughter and the cat is costing us $1K after all but he's okay. And I don't have anything to do tonight or tomorrow, so tonight I'll curl up and knit and watch TV with Adam, and tomorrow I'll finally get to write. And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
And my everything is a moving target, but this is where I am right now, this day, this hour and minute.