Okay, I’m going to try to write something here. What week is this? Last week was killer, actually the last two weeks have been killer. Add too many work hours, too much reading for class, too many demands outside of work, staying up late to read or call my dad on the phone before he goes in for surgery, all together with a mix of procrastination and a healthy dose of inability to get focused… and voila… a rough two weeks.
I love this part in this song… 2:14 seconds into “The Star Shines” when she says “what is it that stars do?’ and she looks to the witch and says “they shine”. Whenever I hear this song and this part of the song in particular, I get chills, I get goosebumps, I hold my breath, I feel quakes move throughout my body, and I want to hold onto this delicious moment. It is as though I feel that I, too, shine to the music.
Rumors abound about possible deployment for the Oregon guard. Who knows. I’ve heard yay and nay. I’ll say this. I am disheartened by changes that I’ve seen outside of my company level that creates within me a fierce loyalty to stay with my men and to be the buffer between idiocy and incompetency and those soldiers around me. It is a shame I cannot say more than this. But this is the military and if it is seen that I wrote such and such about some so and sos, I’ll be asked to stand before the man. Not that I care about that… but I care in how that would impact my ability to do my job as an NCO to protect my troops and to get the mission done. No, were it not for my wanting to “keep my nose clean” as it were, so that I could maintain my leadership position and impact some sort of positive change, I’d detail just how idiotic and incompetent and lacking in leadership and thoughtless of the welfare of the men and lacking fortitude or vision and compelled by a sense of personal grandeur and exaggerated achievement and worth and so on and so on a particular person is. But I wont. I will also say that it is NOT within the company. I have great respect and admiration for my 1st Sgt and my Commanding Officer and I’ll go into any combat zone with them armed with a spoon. And as these two men are likely to be sent, they need the best of me that I can give in a future deployment as well.
Okay, that was no fun. I hate not writing completely how I feel. But prudence…
I was to have a wild thursday night of meeting lots of friends last week. Unfortunately, two of them, Megan and Kip, could not make it over the pass in the Cascades as snow was falling heavily. When they turned around and got back home they found a card from me in the mail waiting. At least I got a smile to them via the mail. I did meet with another long time friend on Thursday. wrightbooks is one of the nicest and genuinely loving people you will ever meet. Our lives are made richer for our relationships and it stands to reason that one should not only cultivate relationships, but to cultivate it with those rare and beautiful souls we are graced in meeting. She (as is Megan and Kip) is just such a sort. Funny thing is, so is several others on this LJ thing that I’ve managed to keep in contact with over the years. I don’t write often, yet I do hold love and admiration for several on this. So too, it seems, are some of those I am beginning to meet in real, day to day life. My therapist is certainly one of them and I’ve added her picture onto a unique folder on my iPhone (yes, I bought one and I LOVE it) called iHeroes. It is a couple of photos of people I greatly admire. The list is as follows… Ani DiFranco, Julia Butterfly Hill, Deborah Lee-Thornton, Majorra Carter, and my father. I am finding that I am using my phone more as I am calling people more. I am calling more and more for little things… but things that are meaningful. I’ve called and have counseled, I’ve called and shared, I’ve called and asked. My reaching out to others is growing and as I do so it doesn’t seem so hard… and it seems less and less invasive and more and more rewarding.
Tuesday and Thursdays I have class and I am not scheduled to work those nights. As such I generally take the train to town and will take my time getting back. Tuesday I made it a point to go see a movie, called “Into the Wild” and I loved it. I cried several times during the movie and I felt old longings within me stir. How many times in the past have I contemplated grabbing rifle and supplies and going to some place in Alaska, to suck the marrow from the bones of life! When I finished the movie, it was near sunset and I started walking from downtown Portland west… west up the hills and into the park and around the hills and to the rose garden. On the way I called my therapist and left a message of how I loved the movie and wanted to share the experience. At the rose garden, in the twilight hours, I walked by as if in a stupor and smelled the roses and felt my heart ache with joy and sadness. I felt pulled in two directions and balled up into a singularity all at once. I felt kin to the world and alone at once. I touched the cold metal of a hand rail and delighted in it… I grazed the rough stone of the stairs and laughed. I drank in the rich perfume of the roses. I revelled in the sight of Mt Hood to the east with the nearly full moon hanging above it. It was dark now and I walked toward the arboretum, another mile or two or so zig-zagged up the hills in the dark.
I moved in near darkness and pulled out a redlight I had in my book bag from drill weekend (good for reading maps in the dark and keeping night vision) and used it to signal the occaisonal car that came through the empty road. The moon casts a pale shadow in the thick forest. I used the map feature on my iPhone to find a route (loving this phone all the time) and stopped at an archery range on the edge of the arboretum that I’ve walked past several times before (the Wildwood trail goes by it) and I stopped and sat on a log in the open meadow. The light of the moon was bright and with the aid of my red light I pulled out one of two books I had bought earlier and added to my book bag for school. One book was Poetry for the Earth, and the one I pulled out now was A Spinoza Reader. Consequentially, while I’m here… I’ve got an Amazon Book List of books I like. I own all of them, save one or two that I’ve loaned out to who knows where. So I sat there and began to read some and found myself revisiting the notion of determinism and free will within Spinoza’s writing (he wrote the free will, as we are prone to think we possess, does not exist) and if one takes into account ecological theory (meaning relationships and impacts with and upon each other, an interdependence) and views from social psychology, behaviorism, and community psychology… it seems that I am warming up to this notion. Then my phone rang and it was another loved friend, Eliza, and I curtailed my reading activities and sallied forth down the dark forest road once again, talking with my friend on the cell phone. Many people compain about cell phones and their invasiveness in our lives. I love them. If I do not want to be bothered… I turn it off. Simple as that. I also find that I many times out of range of a cell phone. Yet if one keeps perspective about a cell phone, and keeps balance in one’s life, how can being able to connect to others be a bad thing?
There were some things I was going to write about, but that was an hour ago and I am still rambling. I was so exhausted on Friday night, after class and work and work and drill and then their wanting me to come into work between drill mornings… I didn’t make it. I passed out after being up for forty hours or so with only one hour of sleep. The boss at work was a bit perterbed… but if he saw how tired I was, he’d not feel as angry. Besides, I’ve given blood for that company and I’m owed some leniency for not being superman from time to time.
Oh yes… I called my therapist while I was walking in the forest, before I stopped to read Spinoza, to share my paradoxical feeling at the time. I left a message and hope to touch on this in therapy next week. My heart wanted to break and to sing with joy at the same time. As I mused over this again today, I realize that I did not call her to ask for help in getting out of that state, but rather to share in that state with someone else and to understand it better. It feels as if my heart has… expanded. Odd… but that is how it feels. Sort of like the Grinch in the cartoon when his heart grows bigger than it was.
From the movie…
Happines is only real when it is shared.