Tag Archives: confusion

The post that WordPress ate

piano

I haven’t exactly been ignoring my blog. Really, I haven’t. I had written a very nice post right after Christmas that started to explain why I’m in the state I’m in now — utter confusion.

Then WordPress ate my post. Bless its heart.

It went something like this:

Mudderella: I came, I fell (hard) on my already irritated knee, I walked 1 mile through 1 mud and tapped out. Alecto and Cletus took Kate in hand and the three of them finished. They were awesome.

Post-Mudderella: remember that knee that bitched BEFORE I fell on it? Well, it became very testy after Mudderella so I took it back to the MD. Turns out it was unhappy because it had a torn meniscus and a ganglion cyst AND a benign tumor gumming up the works. So on October 30 it had major surgery, 6 inch incision, and a recovery that was worse than that of a knee replacement because I couldn’t bend it for 6 weeks unless I was flat on my back. All walking had to be done with a walker and in a knee immobilizer. MD threw in some more microfracturing (had that done in 2007) in hopes that we could put off knee replacement for another 10 years or so. It’s getting better, but it’s going to take about a year for full recovery. In this case, full recovery means BETTER than it was before, so I’m OK with that.

The beginning of the crisis in which my lizard brain ran away:

We did the gypsy Christmas thing and went up the mountain to visit Hubby’s family. On the way home I was surfing XM looking for anything besides Christmas and found this:

It’s called Vocalise because Rachmaninoff wrote it to be sung just like that. I used to play a transcribed version of it on the piano, back when I could still play. After it was over, I plugged up the old smart phone and hunted down more Rachmaninoff to listen to, landed on the 2nd Piano Concerto, which I absolutely adore. Yeah, I know the critics don’t like it as well as the 3rd, but hey, it’s my life.

So we’re headed back down the mountain and I’m listening and thinking and Kate is snoozing in the back seat. Wubby and girlfriend had also accompanied us, first time he’d seen the family in at least 5 years. My thought process was something like this:

I will never play the 2nd at Carnegie Hall. I could have chased that dream but probably wouldn’t have caught it, and in the chasing I would have lost the life that gave me Hubby and Kate and Wubby. So it’s all good.

Only it’s not. Because before there was a Hubby and a Wubby and a Kate, there was a piano. Because there was always a piano. Because MY lizard brain needs music like a Southerner’s lizard brain needs 4 loaves of bread and 2 gallons of milk when the weatherman predicts 1/4″ of possible snow. And I have ignored that fact, about my lizard, for way too long and life is getting way short on time.

In case you’re not familiar with Rachmaninoff’s 2nd, part of it turned into this. It’s the long version because the radio jocks in the 70’s cut out the part that starts at 2:57. That’s the good part. It’s not verbatim concerto, but it captures the essence.

There it is. And there goes my lizard.

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an experiment

I bugged out of a writer’s workshop yesterday. Just had a feeling about it, and I overslept…and there were more important things to do and more important people to hang out with.

For a while now, hubby and I have been joking around about writing “The WORST Country Music Lyrics, Ever.” Years ago hubby’s dad wrote a country song entitled “Blood Under My Fingernails.” It should have been published and recorded. He tried, without success. It’s a shame too, because Hank Williams could have done something marvelous with it.

So, this evening we started writing the WORST country music lyrics, ever. We have two verses and a chorus.

The Worst Country Song Lyrics Ever

 

2:00 AM in Texas

3:15 in Alabam’

He was drivin’ on the freeway

lookin’ for some country ham

Saw her on the shoulder

as she watched the flames arise

From the engine of her pickup

and his heart woke up his eyes.

 

Her hair was long and curly

Miss Clairol, number eight

Her legs were long and luscious

Oh, he could hardly wait

He pulled over, grabbed his Amerex

Model fourteen, color: black

Then he raced up to her engine

And he pulled that trigger back.

 

(chorus)

flames of loooooooooooooooooooooove

watch ‘em buuuuuuuuuuuuuurn

Bob and Brenda

When will they ever learn

flames of loooooooooooooooooooooove

well it hurts so baaaaaaaaaaaaad

when the fire’s extinguished

it was the best they’d ever had.

 

Now it’s someone else’s turn. Next verse please.

 

the absence of words

Everyone I’ve talked to recently who has been to the Grand Canyon says the same thing: “I can’t find the words to describe it.” Well, neither can I, so for now I’m not going to try. With the exception of business travel to Philadelphia, Charlotte and New York, my travel experience is limited to mission trips to the Dominican Republic and to the Gulf coast following hurricane Katrina. Vacation has always meant “beach” or “mountains”, both of which are abundant here in North Carolina. The first time I went to Santo Domingo I knew, immediately, that I would be coming back. I’d like to say that I know I’ll be going back to Arizona. I can say that my brain is already busy thinking about different ways to accomplish a return trip.

But, my brain is busier thinking about something else. Before we left I was journaling one morning and I noticed that it was becoming increasingly difficult to put words together. I think it started in earnest during the spring when I was involved in the Walking in this World class. Call it whatever: writer’s block, pressure, performance anxiety…or probably something more like just plain old apathy. Doesn’t matter; the end result is that I can’t find words.

I lied just now. I can find them just fine. What I can’t do is express them. A very strange thing happened when I was a working girl in the early 90’s. March was the traditional month for performance reviews and merit increases based on job performance for the previous year. I happened to go out on maternity leave in early January one year and returned in early March, just in time for my performance review for the previous year, which had been a doozy. We were redesigning an entire system and during that previous year I had learned new system, new programming languages, new techniques, you name it. One of those new languages was learned on the fly when the author of a big chunck of code went out on, you guessed it, maternity leave, earlier than anticipated. We were in system test. I walked into work on a Monday morning to find a hard copy of her program (all 200,000 lines of it) and a pile of system test error reports, and a note that said something like “Have fun!” And I did. Learned Algol on the fly, corrected the errors, made changes, kept my own programs up to date, yak yak yak, survived the holidays and then had a baby.

Then March came, I went back to work and immediately had a performance review that went something like this: “You did a great job last year, but your salary raise will be delayed for 8 weeks.” Funny thing, I was just out on maternity for 8 weeks. The review continued: “I know it looks like we’re delaying your raise because you were out on maternity the first two months of this year, but we aren’t.” I had to ask. “So, why are you delaying it?” The answer was: “Well, it’s NOT because you were out on maternity. And it’s NOT because of any problem with your performance during the past year, because you did a great job.” Huh? “So what you’re saying is that my raise is being delayed because I did a great job and the delay has nothing to do w/ my maternity leave which just happens to have been the same duration as the delay in my raise, right?” Right.

Kinda hard to argue with that logic. There aren’t words. Here’s another, much less complicated example. Suppose someone hits your thumb with a hammer. Hard. And then that someone says to you, “I know you think that your thumb hurts because I hit it with a hammer, but it doesn’t. Not only does it not hurt because I hit it, in reality it actually doesn’t hurt you at all. You just think it does.” Could have fooled me. Oh, and that bruise looks pretty darned real to me too, but that’s just an optical illusion created by sunlight reflecting on the swamp gas hovering above my hand.

Did I even have a point to this?

Emotions. Feelings. They are what they are. Sometimes they hurt and sometimes they feel pretty darned good. Sometimes the logic behind them doesn’t make any sense. But to say that someone isn’t feeling a particular emotion when it’s obvious that they are is a lie. Don’t tell me that I’m not feeling what I’m feeling, even if what I’m feeling makes no logical sense to you or to me. I may understand in my head that what I’m feeling doesn’t make any sense. And I can take steps to adjust my emotional reactions to whatever so that they are more in tune with the logic of the situation.

But for the moment, if something hurts, please don’t tell me that it really doesn’t. I know it probably won’t hurt as much tomorrow, or next week. But it hurts today.

There’s a list of things going on right now. Some are good, some are not so good. Some are scary, some are exciting. I’ve used writing, journaling, in the past to work through a lot of stuff and I need to do it now. But I can’t find the words. I think I have them and then when I read them back to myself I hear other voices saying things like “you can’t feel that way” or “you shouldn’t feel that way” or “you know your whole reaction to that is wrong” or my personal favorite: “Nobody would ever feel that way about what you’re experiencing so there must be something wrong with you.” I love that one.

I’m still not sure I had a point. Or maybe I did. There’s so much that needs to be said, about the trip, about getting the kids ready for college and high school and the added responsibilites that both of them are facing, about facing mid-life and mapping out the next path in life, about my personal successes or (probably more noteworthy) failures in dealing with any of this stuff. I think I have a handle on something, have some words wrapped around it that make sense. But then I hear myself thinking that my words might be misunderstood or might make someone angry or confused or whatever and it becomes so much more about making sure I don’t cross anyone else’s boundaries, real or perceived.

The end result is that I file the words away and say nothing.

No, it really doesn’t hurt.

Remember Yosemite Sam, when he inherited a million dollars and Bugs Bunny came to see if he was worty of receiving it? All Sam had to do was hold his temper in check because, if he lost his temper, he lost some of his inheritance. It took Bugs doing varous painful things to Sam through the entire cartoon, but finally Sam got his temper under control and, no matter what crappy thing happened to him, he just laughed and said “I like it!” Unfortunately it cost him the entire inheritance to get to that point. The things Bugs did to Sam were painful, but Sam wasn’t allowed to say “ouch!” or fight back. So he clammed up, smiled and said “hurt me again, it’s ok.”

Kind of like that.