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I truly appreciate that you've decided to share part of your day in my world. I hope your time has been well spent and I've made you smile, laugh or think.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Trying to Write in a World that Knots my Stomach

I haven't been blogging much.

Well, I have.  I just haven't published them.

I'm angry at the no do nothing Congress.

I'm angry that my country is so divided when the world clearly needs us to be united.

I'm angry that we had meth heads in our bath tub.

I'm angry that there are meth heads.

I'm angry that the meth heads are in such a bad place that to be honest, I don't know how they get out of it.

I'm angry that large corporations treat their employees like shit.

I'm angry that our local school system appears to be completely insane.

I'm angry that people fight over which religion is the best religion.

I'm angry that people mistake religion for morality.

I'm angry that we had a crap appraisal on our house.

I'm angry that because other people didn't pay their mortgages, now I am being treated like a lying thief in applying for a mortgage.

I'm angry that when people try to do something amazing like the Ice Bucket Challenge which raised over $50 MILLION, people bitch about it.

I'm angry that 99% of the things people write in comment sections are pure vitriol.

I'm angry that every time I try to watch the news, I want to yell.

I'm angry that the news doesn't seem to care about sources or journalistic integrity and I don't even know if what I watch or read is even remotely true.

I remember watching the global celebration as the year 2000 rolled in.  The fireworks.  The festivals.  The amazing unity that we all felt.  We were all on the same sphere spinning through the universe as one.

And then 9/11 happened. 

And then the financial markets collapsed.  Twice.

And people became bitter and angry.

And I tried to make the world a little lighter by writing funny things.

But honestly, I give.  At least in the US people seem committed to their misery.  God forbid that you point out that life really isn't as bad as it seems.

People won't budge in their misery and hatred.

Rather than me bringing people up, it just brought me down.

When I watched the global video of the song "Happy" I smiled.  Because we all are far more alike than different.  Because we are human. 

Yet people bitched about how annoying the song is.  A sweet song written for a cartoon about love and joy with a catchy beat.

People bitch about their kids.

People bitch about their husbands.

People bitch about their jobs.

And slowly but surely, I have been getting pulled into the quagmire of negativity.

The more I wrote, the nastier I sounded.  I was adding to the drone of hate.

So I stopped.  I tried to be funny.  And when I wasn't, I just stopped.

I was out.



You've heard the saying "Not my monkeys. Not my circus."

Well, I felt like getting a sign that says "I'm not the monkey in your circus."

Because there were actually people who were mad at me for not being my normally perky self.  In a "What's up her ass?" way. 

It. Was. Exhausting.

With Robin Williams passing, I rewatched a number of his movies- "Dead Poets Society" being one. I originally watched it when I was 19 and heading off to college, after I had gotten back from a year in Ecuador.  It stuck with me.

I also love poetry.  It started with Dr. Seuss grew to Shel Silverstein and then many others.

We read a little Walt Whitman in high school- I didn't understand him.

But during my junior year I did an internship in Atlantic City.  I took a humanities class at the community college and we read "Leaves of Grass."  At 22, I was the youngest person in the class.  To hear welfare recipients who were on grants to get degrees, retirees who were auditing the class for free, recovering addicts trying to change their lives-- to hear them discuss Whitman... well, that was better than any Ivy League poetry class every could have been.  Truly.

It was phenomenal.

It was perfect.

I sat and I listened.  To people who had lived life and sucked the marrow from its bones.

Whitman suddenly sounded very different.

So when I rewatched "Dead Poets Society" and he gave the speech about how poetry is about the essence of being human and quoted Whitman-- it hit me that I wasn't appreciating the beauty in my life. I was letting life suck the marrow out of me (For those unfamiliar with the movie or the poem, it's used in the Apple commercial)

But with the anger and stress I've been feeling lately- the out of controlness of life- it helped me to refocus a bit.

I control my life.  It is a privilege. 

Most of the items on my list were and are completely out of my control.

There will always be angry people out there. 

I am choosing to not be one of them.

I know this is all over the place- but it's because so is my mind. 

I'm tired of all the hate.  I'm tired of worrying about things that I can't control. 

I shared with a friend recently that I really try NOT to worry about things because I want to make sure my bucket is full when the shit really hits the fan and I do need to worry.

I need to refill the bucket with hope.  With optimism.  With appreciation for the amazing, beautiful life and the funny, wonderful friends and family that fill it.

And no one explains that better than Walt Whitman.

O Me! O Life!

By Walt Whitman
Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Finally, a voice for those of us caught in this quagmire of "life sucks" and "Wtf"