Finn is home tomorrow!!!
After 64 long. ass. days. she is returning.
Finn is home tomorrow!!!
After 64 long. ass. days. she is returning.
There are so many things to be thankful for this year.
I spent today at my great aunt’s house, as usual, surrounded by laughing family and friends. I took 1000 pictures and drank a lot of champagne and ate more food than any one person should eat. And I just kept looking around at everyone, happy and healthy and so thrilled to be together, and thinking:
I am so lucky. I am just so, so fucking lucky.
I don’t think that often enough, but it’s true. Thanksgiving always makes me reflect on my first-world privilege and the thousand ways that I’ve been handed gifts that I never had to earn. (Which is a long post in and of itself, but it’s late and I’m exhausted, so I’ll spare you the entirety of my reflections. Suffice to say, I am humbled and grateful.)
(And this time next week, I will be snuggling up to Finn for the second night in a row – something I haven’t gotten to say for 10 weeks. So not only am I lucky, but well-loved. Again: humbled. Grateful.)
Also on the List of Things for Which I am Thankful: memories of a relaxing and in all ways wonderful weekend with Rev in DC, where I got to take over her guest room and play with her puppy and hang with her lady and her sister (both of whom I adore) and spend some sorely missed QT with Rala. I also got to spend most of a day with Grant, living it up at the Spy Museum and the Holocaust Museum – where yes, I cried – and just having fun hanging out with him somewhere other than our usual city. And, best of all, I got to be there for Rev’s actual BIRTHDAY, a feat which I don’t think I managed to accomplish in the entire 8 years we’ve known one another. For the record, it was all it was cracked up to be.
So, like I said. A lot to be thankful for.
Happy thanksgiving, friends.
**[By the by, I took the name of this post from one of my favorite childhood Thanksgiving hymns, We Gather Together. This line always rocked my little-kid-face off, and I used to sing it at the top of my lungs. I guess I really liked the idea of being on the right side of a fight. Still do, actually. Lyrics here, if you’re interested.]
4 days ago I went to the doctor and had blood drawn. It didn’t hurt when the guy actually put the needle in and drew the blood, but about a minute after he was done my arm seized up and started REALLY hurting. I’m kind of a wimp, so this made me lightheaded and stressed that I wouldn’t be able to drive home, but after sitting outside my car with my head between my knees for about 20 minutes, I was okay – just couldn’t use my right arm. My muscles were weak and it hurt to even move it. I’m not sure why I didn’t go back in and talk to the doctor about it, but it seemed like something that would pass.
Four days later and it’s still aching, like, wake me up in the middle of the night aching. Grr. Finn says, based on my bruise and the pain, that the guy must have both blown my vein and hit a nerve or a tendon in the process. This, I have discovered, does not make for a very happy pom. In fact, it makes for kind of a grumpy, wince-y pom.
So that’s this weekend’s news. Also, I saw A Serious Man last night with Cali and some folks. No one I was there with liked it much, but I thought it was pretty good. Dark, kinda depressing, but in a funny way. (I mean, it is the Coen brothers.) The very last image of the movie was really striking, hit on a very kind of primal fear, so I think that at least is going to stick with me for a while.
Before the movie we had dinner, where I managed not only to learn what curling is (i.e. one of the funniest sports I’ve ever seen… the brooms, are you kidding me?) but to impress people with my extensive knowledge of both Twilight and Miley Cyrus. It’s amazing the things that seep into your consciousness while you aren’t looking. (Though, to be fair, I did make the choice to read all of the Twilight books, but I stand by that decision as it has afforded me the ability to critique the shit out of it using ACTUAL examples instead of the more common I-hate-what-teenyboppers-love critique heard elsewhere. Also, they’re incredibly easy to read.)
Today was gorgeous. I had brunch with QS and I’m kind of regretting that we didn’t sit outside on one of the very last nice days before our long New England winter hits. I had this vague idea that we might go for a walk, but instead we went to my place and watched several episodes of Buffy. We finished season 5, in fact. Crazy. (It was pointed out to me, yesterday, by Cali, that I am kind of dating Buffy in Finn’s absence. I figure if a fictional vampire slayer is all she has to worry about, we’re doing okay.) :)
Anyway. Wish I’d been outside more, but we did have the windows open, so…
Oh! The weekend’s other news is that after purchasing many (many) plane and train tickets, I am officially going to DC for Rev’s birthday, then to Philly for Thanksgiving, and down south for Christmas. Grant – who’s in DC doing an internship at the moment, coincidentally enough – and I already have plans to take a ton of ridiculous pictures. This has renewed my lust for a particular camera I have my eye on but probably wouldn’t use enough to warrant buying it, sigh. (Something you may or may not know about me: I have a tendency to lust after strange things sometimes – these are another current fascination – and if the lustiness lasts long enough, I end up caving and buying. Hence, these, which are, I must say, awesome.)
Okay, I’m babbling. I should go figure out dinner. Which, by the by, I have been successfully cooking! I’m no chef, but I’ve got some staples down and my kitchen confidence is up. So far so good.
Off I go!
I’ve not written here lately. I’ve been hyper-aware of this; I think about it often. I’m ignoring my sweet pomegranate space, I say to myself. She’s going to be pissed when I get back. (Because apparently she has a temper when she’s been neglected, not that I blame her.)
And it’s funny, because I’ve been writing – elsewhere – more than I ever have before. I dove headfirst into the book, and I haven’t looked back. It’s been a godsend – something keeping me anchored in this vast chaotic hopeless place of unemployment, where the temptation to sit on the couch and watch Law and Order marathons all day is sometimes overwhelming. I quickly discovered, post-layoff, that not only am I happier when I’m contributing and being productive, but in fact the idea of having nothing of importance to do cracks open a door leading to a gaping black hole of fear that’s always been lurking just beneath the surface of my consciousness.
Certainly it’s a uniquely human trait, this belief that we are all special snowflakes who were put on this earth to do Things of Importance. And I admit, I buy into it – depending on one’s definition of importance (and mine is admittedly wide) I do, actually, believe that everyone is here for some purpose, no matter how seemingly trivial. In my view, everyone has the opportunity to contribute something significant, and I am particularly touched by small moments of meaning that indicate a significance beyond the surface. The whole random acts of kindness, senseless acts of beauty mantra has become a bumper sticker cliche by now, but when it does happen I tend to get a little weepy. (Yea yea, welcome to being a Cancer. I’m sensitive and I own it.)
I wouldn’t have expected sudden joblessness to make me feel cut off from this cycle of meaning, but it really did noticeably amplify my fear of my own insignificance. Suddenly that thing to which I had chosen to contribute – my work, which was so important to me – was gone, and… well, now what?
So I’m writing now, as often as I can, because it gives me a sense of purpose. And sure, I realize that it’s not like my writing is going to save the world. All writing – maybe all art – is somewhat self-indulgent. I’ll never forget Orson Scott Card telling a lecture-hall full of high school writers that we’d better be responsible writers, hardworking writers, we’d better take our craft seriously because, and I remember how incredulous he sounded, we’re asking people to pay us money to tell them stories. He’s made his living that way, and he still seemed somewhat mystified by the whole idea. And I’m right there with him. (On that issue. On his politics, well, not so much.)
But right now, I don’t write because I want to save the world. I write because I want to save myself. The feeling of not having anything to contribute has shaken me far more deeply than any of the other collateral costs of being laid off – the rejection letters, the financial woes. It’s not so much that I want a job; I just want to have something that gives my actions meaning. So I write because I love it, yes, and I write because I love the goal, and I write because there’s meaning in it.
Because I am a special snowflake, dammit, and I have things to say.