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Moody ramblings - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Moody ramblings [Mar. 31st, 2004|03:22 pm]
[Current Mood |melancholymelancholy]
[Current Music |Joemy WIlson - Celtic Dreams]

From the opium of custom to the ledges of extremes,
Don't believe it 'til you've held it; life is seldom what it seems.
Lay your heart upon the table, and in the shuffling of dreams
Remember who on earth you are.

Fog makes me melancholy. Wistful. Cleveland is embanked in clouds today, and at lunchtime I took a break from the excessively tedious chore to which I have been assigned and went out for a walk. I thought at first to walk down to the courthouse and (not) look at the lake, but instead just wandered through the four park blocks that make up Public Square.

The fog and cool, damp breeze actually put me in the mood to spend a few hours staring out on the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean at Cannon Beach, Oregon. Alas, lunch hour really didn't give me that kind of flexibility.

I haven't seen the Oregon Coast since Erin was a babe in arms. I miss it, but it's not an option for me right now.

I am incapable of making that choice because of choices I made over 20 years ago, a whole series of choices, good and bad, that have resulted in my living in Cleveland. I chose to leave Oregon for Alaska, I chose to remain there, I chose to marry, and to divorce, and to have kids, and to pursue a chance at a new job, a real career, a different life. And here I am.

I don't regret the choices, but there are doors that I have closed that still haunt me, some days.

Perhaps it is just early spring, spring fever. I feel the restless call of wildness. The dailiness of life feels claustrophobic. I feel unremarkable, yet filled with the urge to be remarkable.

Intellectually, I understand that remarkable is not achieved day-by-day. Certainly my life before was not a whirlwind of adventures, but a steady building of experiences surrouding by weeks and months of day-to-day living. Yet, when I talk to people about my assorted experiences, they are frequently impressed. A good friend admired me for being eccentric. Going back to law school in my 40s is in its own way a remarkable accomplishment.

But on a day like today, when I am reading through 30 years of a corporation's Board of Trustee minutes in order to find and flag specific issues for purposes of a deposition, it's hard to keep any sense that there is something beyond the mundane anymore.

I made a lot of choices this winter, about my life. There was shuffling of dreams. I am still working out who I am, in light of all these changes. And having to make them in the pressure cooker of fulltime work and, really, fulltime school (12.5 credit hours has always been considered a fulltime load everywhere else I've been a student), has me feeling like parts of me are too dormant, in danger of withering. My faith, my fantasies, my "rich inner life." My love of reading and my encyclopedic ability to comment intelligently on damned near any topic. These things feel threatened.

I'm having trouble remembering who I am, or at least focusing on who I want to be. I'm reinventing parts of me that were very damaged, while trying to hang onto the parts that I like, and I am not feeling like daily life is giving me a very good map at the moment.

I sort of need to run away from home for about a month, but that is completely impossible. Finals are coming, and I have a job, and there are responsibilities.

And the reality is I can't get where I'm going on a detour like that, as marvelous as it sounds. I can't regrow myself in an incubator, away from the buffetting winds of daily life. I can't be two different people.

I need to integrate this life with who I am and hold onto my sense of self in the midst of the real world.

[User Picture]From: darthfox
2004-03-31 08:28 pm (UTC)
are you seriously not considered full time with 12.5 hours? i was full time with nine hours while i was working on my MA. (of course, as an undergrad, i'd have needed at least twelve. but we're conspicuously not talking about undergraduate work, now, are we?)

[beats up gini's law school]
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-03-31 08:35 pm (UTC)
It's the night program, ergo "part time." Because it isn't enough hours to graduate in three years, which is "full time."

And very little sympathy for the working full time part, as well. Pity me!!!! [g]
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From: williaej
2004-03-31 09:05 pm (UTC)
I need to integrate this life with who I am and hold onto my sense of self in the midst of the real world.

That is the most beautiful thing I've read in a long, long time. Much support from afar.

Now, back to those damn Toxicology notes.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-01 03:29 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you. And here I thought I was just whining [g].
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From: erisreg
2004-03-31 09:15 pm (UTC)

remarkable is not achieved day-by-day.

ah, but it is, the real judge of how remarkably we lived is made by those who come after us,..just as a wall is built one brick upon another our legacy's are one day at a time,..o.o
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-01 02:52 am (UTC)

Re: remarkable is not achieved day-by-day.

Yes, but it is remembering that the plain bricks are just as worthy and not despairing when they seem to come in unrelenting sequence. It's the remembering that something is being built. A matter of perspective that I have always struggled with in early spring.
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[User Picture]From: albumlady
2004-03-31 09:16 pm (UTC)
You know, part of what makes you REMARKABLE (and yes, I believe you are!) is that you make the tough choices. Someone un-remarkable would actually run away. They would take the quick run and self-destruct all they had worked so hard to achieve.

Today in Georgia, it is also cold and misty and moody. I'm always amazed at how much power the weather has on my moods and thoughts! Blessings to you and please do remember to take more moments for yourself when you can.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-01 02:54 am (UTC)
Thanks for making me feel braver.

It's true about the weather. A sunny day almost always means I'm more cheerful, and a real storm is exhilerating. But gloom = gloom.
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[User Picture]From: dubheach
2004-03-31 09:55 pm (UTC)

Jimmy Buffett

became my hero when he said "I'd rather die while I'm living, then live while I'm dead." To me that means choosing to change, but not being afraid, while rain whips the windows outside Northern Kentucky of a time spent riding up the West Coast of Oregon and playing with the haystacks. Beauty like that enhances the soul no matter where we go.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-01 02:55 am (UTC)

Re: Jimmy Buffett

That's the sort of thought that haunts me, actually, when I am slogging toward a long-term goal. [g]

Having the memories to hold to does help, though.
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[User Picture]From: justbeast
2004-03-31 10:33 pm (UTC)
What a thoughtful, beautiful entry.
Where is that opening poem from?

> I'm having trouble remembering who I am, or at least focusing on who I want to be.
I know this question is not worthy of a simple response to a comment, but... who do you want to be?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-01 02:05 am (UTC)
The opening lines are from a song by Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer called "Closer to Believing."

Who do I want to be? That's a tough one, not because I am desparately far from those goals but because I am close and yet not quite there. The things I want different have less to do with personality and more to do with experience. I want, in short, everything. I want to travel, and I want to write novels and I want to read, and I want to give to the community, and I want time with good friends and great memories.
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[User Picture]From: sarapada
2004-03-31 10:35 pm (UTC)
Next time I'm at the coast, I'll take a big, deep breath, and look extra hard at the ocean, and send as much of it back to you as I can (through my patented sending of mental "vibes" that I put so much stock in). Just so you'll know that Oregon is thinking of you, too. :-)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-01 02:56 am (UTC)
:-) Give it my love....
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[User Picture]From: hollyqueen
2004-03-31 11:52 pm (UTC)

Offer from a complete stranger

I live in Oregon if you ever need a place to run away and hide!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-01 03:00 am (UTC)

Re: Offer from a complete stranger


Actually, my stepmom is in Portland and my brother is in Vancouver, it's just that when I've gotten back there we simply haven't had time to go to the coast. [sigh]
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[User Picture]From: zero_design
2004-04-01 12:53 am (UTC)

I know the feeling. I look back on the path I have taken, and there are times that I weep for what I have lost because of the choices I have made. But I also look where I am... and rejoice that I have found someone that really does love me, and care for me, and want to be with me (enough so that the handfasting is in one month tomorrow, yeek!).

So, *hug*.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-01 03:02 am (UTC)
Hurrah for you! Life is a panoply of forks in the road, and it's hard not to wonder "what if" on occasion, but if you are happy then you have not chosen poorly.
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[User Picture]From: zero_design
2004-04-01 04:24 pm (UTC)
I am absolutely horrible with "what if". My greatest curse is that I'm really good at seeing those life turning points in retrospect...

But yeah, focusing on the happy is pretty much the only real choice that you can always know is right.
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[User Picture]From: mermaidnchains
2004-04-01 01:57 am (UTC)
I dont have much advice or even any hopeful words for you, Im sorry to say. What I DID want to say was that reading you has been a true joyful experience. Your thoughts are so well developed, deep, and touch me in places I didnt even realize were sore/happy/sad/funny until I read something you have to say.

Your insight into yourself is amazing. The way that insight makes me look into myself with new eyes is a gift I dont know that your even aware of giving.

So, thank you - I think you are unique and special and I value you.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-01 03:05 am (UTC)
Wow. Thank you. I am touched.
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[User Picture]From: correspondguy
2004-04-01 04:15 am (UTC)
I always think of the fog as exotic and mysterious - I wander about thinking of intrigue and smoking cigarettes out of the corner of my mouth.

I think you comment intelligently about almost any topic.

I think you're just wonderful and in no danger of anything dying - it's just that there are X hours in the day, and X+2 things to do.

Mandlebrot was fond of saying, of his various careers, that he should not exist - the interesection of mathematics, meterology, and whatever else he studied should surely be the null set.

The thing that makes you (and your pudgy husband, but don't tell him I said this) great is that introspection - that refusal to accept who you are as compleat and full - and the use of it to find other areas where you fall short of who you want to be. And I'm wit dat.

But who you are is pretty darn good.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-01 11:19 am (UTC)
Obsessive belly button meditation done as high art. ;-)

I like your view of fog. So to speak. Thanks, Bro.
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[User Picture]From: apostate_96
2004-04-01 05:11 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean about fog being beautiful. As I've never lived anywhere that it's a common sight, it always strikes me when it appears. It somehow makes even the most mundane parts of my world seem a little magical...

As for the experience of being in graduate school and working and trying to hold onto yourself, that sounds entirely too familiar. I spent a lot of time trying to balance those things, and I didn't have kids in the mix to make it even more complicated. Having finished a bit over a year ago, I'm now in a similar process of finding which parts of me I still want to hold on to and what I'm ready to let go of. For me, at least, it was a worthwhile process as I learned a great deal about who I am, who I think I am, and who I really want to be. But it is definitely no fun at the time.
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