My Very Own Existential Riddle

A writer friend of mine told me a few days ago that I’m a storyteller and because of it, I must live in the eye of drama. While that thought gives scant comfort during all the crazy times clinging and oozing to my quest for serenity, it does make me smile. I use that “eye” when I write.

And what is writing anyways?

Like taking out your slide ruler when you spy a tornado or like working on convoluted calculus problem with the random factor being the human equation? Character A reacts to Situation B because of 2 parts (my own) personal experience, 1 part imagination, and a half part research.

Or is like pulling out your markers of the human condition and drawing a picture of swirling colors with the “eye” as your model?

I think it’s a little of both and more. If you have nothing to harvest, nothing to model, nothing to compare what do you have? You have imagination. And where does that come from? Okay, there’s research. And again, that comes from?

So, do I live in the eye of drama because I’m a storyteller or am I a storyteller because I live in the eye of drama? My friend’s entire line make existentialism whorl inside my brain. A healthier pasttime, I admit, than my “adversity builds character” quip and its counterquip “I’m character enough – much more and I’ll have to either charge admission or commit myself.”

Yes, I now have my own personal “which comes first the chicken or the egg” riddle. Do I write because I love stories or do I love stories because I write.

Did I mention writers are crazy?

Utterly unrelated, Rule Number 256: when leading a funeral as the clergy in charge don’t tell the mourners that the deceased MAY be in purgatory.  Besides being rude, it’ll make the mourners want to have some words with you.

What more can…

Across, over, under, through
Directionally challenged
What to do?
Right from left and back again
Is it the same?  Is it the end?

Racing, drifting, breathing, hey
What else is in store today
Under, Over, Through, Across
Here I’m found, tomorrow lost?

Challenge, steady, standing tall
Leaping lizards. Can it fall?
Over, under, across, and through
What more can a person do?

What more can a person do…
I believe it’s up to you.

***So…at this Candlemas or Groundhog’s Day…with its furry Phil, the New World agent for Brigit in Ireland, I plan to write consistently, learn, grow, and become the best me I can be.  I dedicate myself to further development and pledge to be as kind as I can be while maintaining fair but reasonable boundaries.  SMIB – I think; therefore, I am.

Dearly Almost Departed

Dearly Almost Departed

 Time spills out like paint across a canvas in rich and muddied colors but we never know how much canvas we are given, do we?  Live life to the fullest, live life to the richest, die well with no regrets.  Cavalier words in a cavalier world.  But a grain of truth still resonates within these almost insensitive words. 

I don’t live life to the fullest.  Do you?  Do any of us?  Perhaps a small percentage, maybe.  Perhaps my life is not lived to its fullest but it still feels pretty busy.  My husband recently said so many people fill up their time with thin things but I know it isn’t thin things my life is full of – it’s full of responsibilities that aren’t totally my own. 

I wonder what life I would have if I had the selfish life where all I had to do was go bungee jump into all my hopes and desires, all my aspirations, but I am no island.  I am a candlestick maker.  And I remain connected to many souls.  They both buoy me and weigh me down like I’m sure that I both buoy and weigh. 

So what is living life to its fullest?  What is its definition?  Is it the people we touch?  Is it the goals we achieve?  Is it how people remember us when we die? 

I sit here on a deathwatch and ponder a life that could have been close to mine, perhaps should have been close to mine, but never was.  A life I heard about in snippets and secrets and I don’t know what I feel except a gentle sadness for what will never be known. 

Written on Tuesday, January 26, 2010.  I had just been told that my grandmother, my mother’s biological mother, has gone downhill quickly.  Instead of the miraculous recovery after 10 days in a coma, respirators and feeding tubes, coming to, consciousness and no brain damage, she has a matter of days at most. 

I discovered on Wednesday morning that she didn’t even live out the night.  It was 12:30 am Tuesday night/Wednesday morning when she left the world.  The funeral was Saturday, January 30, 2010, the coldest day so far this winter.  Standing at the gravesite when its 2 degrees is strangely appropriate.  I wonder now was it possible for tears to freeze?   At the time, I only wondered if my feet would.

I did get to meet family for the first time and reconnect with others I hadn’t seen in some time.  Its been a long weekend.  Between this and other stress which is my life, I’m out of sorts today.  I wrote this (below) earlier today.

There’s a fang laden beast dwelling about three inches deep on the left side of my chest and no good intentions seem to have any affect of purging him.  I want to pull my Pollyanna mask back on but it seems to be missing and my fingers aren’t cooperating because they are balled up into fists.  I don’t know if I want to don on hard skin and go charging out into battle.  The hit, either giving or receiving, would almost be a relief.  Or do I want to hibernate into the furthest reaches.  So, like a lumbering bear I vacillate at the entrance of the cave, neither coming or going, attacking or retreating.  Only one thing is certain.  I cannot escape. 

Ah, the Pollyanna mask…a little torn, a little worn.  Tomorrow is another day.