journal entry 1


Summertime rolls

Trying to figure it out, why it is so difficult

Just lost the fragments of the past :45:00, but that is okay, I feel relatively inspired to talk about such things as being alive, here and now, within the context of the time I have already lived, say about the past 43 soon to be 44 years of semi-consciousness, a state I replicate now, as a defense mechanism perhaps, since the outside world can squeeze the life right out of me, and, not to mention the whole technique of ‘re-entry’ when a human being comes back into one plane of consciousness, experience, time zone, emotional truth into another plane of familiarity, assumed fate, sanctioned behavior, a schedule, a firm time zone, always the same distance from Greenwich Mean Time, the Pacific Standard zone to be exact.

I have called this time zone my home base for roughly the past 20 years, leaving that nomadic year and a half up for grabs since I was all over the place in terms of latitude and longitudes. Now, relatively speaking [there’s that phrase again, on purpose, as it one I will overuse because it is in my vernacular, and that little style technique is one I choose to employ for the time being in any of my short fiction-autobiographical essays], I have been more or less linked to, anchored by, remote-control operated by a marionette king, to this great southland for the past 10 years, give or take a few reprieves.

In January of 1998, I came here to the City of Angels with such hope and promise in my heart. I thought I could storm this town, if only, and there’s that one big factor, the make-or-break-it-babe variable: if I meet the right people, or just the right person, who leads to the larger sphere of influence of people that will be the right people, the tribe of those who have come before and those who have yet to know that they are capable of great things.

In this light, the auroea borealis begins to hum, the lyrical poetry slides off my tongue, I can dance and play the saxophone—all just like a dream, where I can do everything I have a yearning for, with ease, and well. I have spoken French, and others, unknown but suggesting Arabic roots, maybe Sanskrit and some Lakota, or Native American, with Hawaiian and Portuguese thrown in along the fringe, the edges of the dream, but mostly, I remember standing on a platform, light shining down on me for my solo on the saxophone, I was brilliant, soulful and nailed it. Then I spoke French somewhere in that same night, so the dreams begin to merge together.

So I do what I have always done since I was a little girl in the tiny yellow bedroom, the smallest room in the house, for the tallest girl whose feet hung off the four poster bed because it was the antique bed of a past ancestor on the Villaume side, someone a lot shorter than I’ll ever be, having outgrown the lengthwise plane of the canopy bed well before sixth grade. Now, the mere mention of the sixth grade immediately conjures up a compilation of sadness, loneliness, confusion and just wanting to be alone with my animals, first reminds me of a haircut that was too short for my very tall and sprouting frame, hence making me even more self-conscious around boys, which was even weirder given the fact that one school year earlier, my best friends were all boys, I hung out with Sammy, Tim and Jonathan who was missing a leg, because the girls were, well, predominantly mean or too dorky for me. Thus, the perfecting of the art of being alone, learned early on at Goochland, kicking the soccer ball against the brick wall to the storage room where Dad would store rattle snakes in stackable, circular metal bins [later used to hold Christmas decorations], back and forth, me v. the wall.

Being alone when you live on 22 acres of grass, trees, a rolling river, ponds, animals inside and out, is a tricky thing. I had to hide a certain amount of the time to lick my wounds, process what had just happened and then find the will to suppress, which lead the mind straight into forgetting. That is a pattern, a trend, a fall back that plagues my reaction time, clouded perceptions and hesitations in matters where I have been damaged. That ‘defense mechanism’ is often the first to come up to the surface, then the impending confusion as to whether this is a good hunch or a something that will result in the finding of:  I should know better but not being able to stop yourself either, because you can’t be absolutely sure it’s not a good hunch and your reflexive patterns of emotional response to every word that is shrouded in a promise or a guarantee.

If you fall, you fall alone…if I knew the way, I would take you home. – “Ripple”

It was early on that I realized my deepest, darkest emotions, as felt by me after a particularly disturbing session of exploitation, had to be repressed for me to even walk back upstairs to my sanctuary where I could cry and listen to records for the rest of the day until I was called, acrimoniously, quite often by this time in my family’s internal-evolutionary status, to dinner, a chore upon chore, a denial so big, it took over every possible corner of every conceivable ‘bubble’ [chosen precisely for the fact that bubbles do not have corners; so the metaphor has more to do with the feeling conveyed—a bubble of protection, like in cartoons, and the corners of my mind, just like sweeping away the cobwebs; and partly for the ‘impossibility’ of the factual image which I would like to imagine into fantasy, elements changing form to help us out.

So, that shoving down of emotional pain from 4 years old until at least 11 years old, active offense and retreat, gave way eventually to the subconscious revelation somewhere that, indeed, the first thing I would be prone to do would be to SHUT DOWN. The nature and finer points of that are continually becoming revealed, and that is the most painful part of the whole experience to have to feel it, not wanting to feel it, but having to replay it in some version (excerpts, special feature behind-the-scenes, the cliff notes, series recap or the obligatory :15 promo)  in order to get to the other side of whatever it is you’re enduring in the first place [it effects your love life, intimacy, sexual pleasure and reputation – a real animal, a whore!, a bad girl, sexy beast, didn’t know you had It in ya kind of girl; good for the romp itself, not so great to live down] and in the ‘re-play’ mode getting interrupted by life, in the moment, or purely distracted by the demands of others around you – at work, it could be the cooled off burrito that makes you want to grab a .22 and open fire at the place that feels like a prison, but you stop yourself because it’s wrong, has no virtue attached, as if that even matters in our slick and quick world, where delivery time and moving on as fast as humanly possible are far more highly valued that the actual time spent understanding and knowing the world around us and our place in it.

We are a floating net of dredged up things we carry with us through the ocean for sentimental reasons or because we are attached to the specialized function that one object provides. It causes us to yearn for the accessories that will perfect the device or object in multiple ways, but there is no way, not yet anyway, to create an object or device that can live our lives simultaneously for us. Hence, we will always be forced to be somewhat ‘engaged’ in the physical realm just to understand what is going on and how to react without dissolving into a puddle of tears, wanting to break something or finally curling up in the fetal position because it’s unpredictable. For years, you could say I never once thought about being exposed to sexual perversity from the time I was four years old. So I simply forgot. Blocked out all experiences and relied on the most basic of all human/any-creature-you-may-know-of coping techniques: I had no physical experiences of the places I was taken, have forgotten the details of how I was told to imagine what was being done to me as something I would ever want, it was somehow ‘natural’ as if we were in Animal Farm. Over time, trauma is very adaptable, just as long as you do exactly as your told and block out details, except those that keep you alive and functioning, like knowing when you are summoned.

The tricky part for me was not always knowing if this would be a record playing session where I could sit there and listen to 45 minutes of something I didn’t have upstairs in my meager collection. Or, I suspect, more often than not, it would start off that way and generally segue into some form of perverted act of secrecy. I don’t know exactly how it worked only that there was a box under the bed filled with poses to be mimicked, the Polaroid and film so the image could be shared instantaneously with subject, and put away just as quickly should an unwanted visitor ‘drop by.’

It’s certainly painful to recount this but I have to in order to heal, I suppose. It’s the only way I can finally slide out of the vice grip of secrets never to be told.

Secrets not to be told, secrets you have to hold

The far and ever-reaching effects of such a ‘syndrome’ – syndrome of having your sexuality imposed upon you from such a young age that you aren’t equipped with any of the normal patterns of falling in love, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, even knowing if, like everyone else is want to say, you are or can ever be ‘in love’ – i mean, from one whose emotions got trampled, buried with a rock for a marker, dug up and checked on some years later, and for the past few decades has only be unearthed on occasion when intimacy demands it, but I still suspect that the perennially confused and conflicted one inside [or, often as not, floating outside looking in or looking away as the situation calls for]– which isn’t conducive to building and maintaining healthy relationships with regards. to intimacy, trust and allowing oneself to really feel, out of fear of being too vulnerable to recover this time.

You withdraw. you get accused of feelings you aren’t having because there is never enough quiet to get a read of what’s actually there, to gain a little perspective, re-gain your composure, come back into your body.

in the actual moment of the unspoken, it’s like a little nursling you want to nurture but have to hide away and stealth water just so the big bag one doesn’t discover something you loved and cared for a rip it right out by the root.

it’s easy to hope that time heals all wounds. avoidance to memorize, a cadence that cannot be equalized. Emotional equilibrium maintained at all costs, because that is what expected of you.

now if only there was a manual of how to behave, because I’m pretty sure I’m backsliding and rather than beat myself up and go back in to hiding [utilizing the denial-avoidance back to stage one of  dealing with yet another loss.]

My dead head distributer, best boy friend at the time when driving mountain roads was the date, always said I was a ‘good actress’ but it wasn’t really a compliment, just his way of saying he thought i was faking it. I was pretending to be someone who didn’t have problems or hang-ups or that all-consuming loneliness one feels with nowhere to go, and now I am just trying to maintain any semblance of sanity, calm, alignment, much less some kind of enlightened progress, at least in my own miserable existence, homage to my favorite philosophers, the drunk frenchmen. i honestly know it’s not miserable, just can be at times, and it’s getting through that misery and with another being you care for, that is the tricky part, and the most worthwhile of any time you have here on earth. not the short-term, short-lived connections that won’t be maintained outside a specific sanctioned zone; no it is the constants one must take care of, under the category of friends and family.

‘…coz everybody’s gone, no

..don’t get upset about it

nothin’s wrong that wasn’t wrong before…

not a second left alone

everybody’s gonna…pass…’

The point of this particular entry was to let myself go, on a subconscious wandering through my feelings in this tiny room, sometimes another energy is too much for me given the extreme need I have right now at this point DECOMPRESSED. And this isn’t the little pot head disabled young man with a speech impediment that cops took to jail  because {you decide} because they think he ‘sounds’ drunk even when he hasn’t had a drop to drink, each time. So now, he grows medicinal cannibas on his roof, posts photos on myspace of his Costa Rican hideaway and pops xanax before talking to a producer. Understandable, given the fact that I have joined the ranks of the cold-hearted, anything-to-get-the-story, oftentimes shamelessly exploitive {I’ve seen that, been flabbergasted and horrified for that poor unknowing soul about to be manipulated in the name of a reality tv show], and oblivious to the effect being had on someone’s life.

So I Iook up and find myself there, in some unlikely scenario, given the undeniably off-kilter design that has overtaken my woulda-coulda-shoulda dimension based on IQ, personality tests, aptitude and exactitude warnings not on any label, quirks, habits and can’t-be-explained  other than the catch-all phrase  of ‘must be genetic’ after all., and sometime goes by as I ponder what on earth I am doing in this profession where I make my money off of nothing particularly gratifying for a person of my ilk, a sensitive case, a poetic nature, an observer, accused of ‘mooning around’ to be in this realm of superficial understanding, surface accounting and hollowness as a virtue to be upheld.

now i come home to this

it’s not working because i am not what, once again, i am ‘supposed’ to do, in the eyes of others written down in invisible ink so i don’t know what rules to abide by since they are only, if ever, spoken after the fact.

is that normal? to not know how to react, given the factors of how you want to behave, calmly and with understanding all the time, but so many times, i feel pure frustration at the hypocrisy that abounds, the lazy thinking that allows me to automatically think for everyone when i have quite enough to think of just to keep my own shit together. that is depleting. i wish i could react perfectly 100% of the time; apparently, i’m hitting a low of 56 per cent i’d say for certain moments that seem to drag out, longer than necessary, more times than not. why is no one listening to what i am saying when i make an announcement

So now what? Phone calls I have to return, when I want to hide out, go subterranean, dreaming of worlds merging, the curious nature of a Morpheus journey to the mother load of conscious upheaval of the deeply buried and newly escavated, taking stock of what you have, had or lost, and how that feels, that magnetic imprint of being able to get into a car, a nice one at the end, and speed a little bit, because the engine wanted it, and go anywhere at any time, instead of the listless avoidance of any responsibility whatsoever, the very same items that once commanded a military-precision attention to detail, one that Robert E. Lee had instilled through osmosis all those drives along Monument Avenue, atop his bucking stead in full war mount saying, “Just try to take me on, I have the honor that has fed your hypocrisy; it is our shipping yards, our raw materials picked with the hands of slaves whose tribe may have even help slaves in the motherland, and processed a long ways away where the mercantile take home rose like yeast on a summer afternoon, the accoutrements and trappings that make a thing sale-able in foreign markets, the way to be woven into their very own nationalistic uniforms of costume and pride that would lead from a civil war over commerce and the way we do business – factories v. farms, industrial manifolds v. plantation manifests, all being held afloat by cheap labor that would eventually backfire, although at different times in history: the Civil War was basically an economic war with the North being the industrialized, cheap immigrant labor-fueled economy; the South relied on an enslaved race of people who lived on the land and if they got lucky, someday might acquire freedom, a plot of land to farm and eventually, if they play their cards right in one of the biggest landmines in geographical-anthropological landscapes, carve out a niche serving ‘their own.’ The South wanted the blacks to vote, they wanted more sway in the electoral college. It had nothing to with voting. Now, rights, access and perceived granting of privileges once reserved for certain blood lines, that would have caused tribal warfare for years to come; but, had they worked out the conflict over cheap labor, profit, changing marketplace [actually not even just changing but ground-breaking with after -hocks no one had the experience with or the understanding of what all that productivity, sudden wealth for a select few [would be interesting to research the various periods of major American families and ‘where they are now’ as a family or business or brand or national icon, etc. Ford [car co.], Wright Brothers, Abraham Lincoln. Ben Franklin, Robert E. Lee, Custer, The Alamo guys, Teddy Roosevelt, Hearst, Getty, Rockefeller. Chase? Old banking names. Who the hell are they as related to Pilgrims, John Smith, etc.

Really lay out the origins of the Family Tree as they relate to our society today

As in, take the top 5 family names that roll off people’s lips on the street and research backwards to front – say Thomas Jefferson and his slave lover, their kids, who encountered Edgar Allen Poe on the Lawn at the University; why Sherman spared Savannah, the ports and port families back then, how a stevedore could move up if he fell in love with a shipping captain’s daughter; cut to the Russians running Hell’s Kitchen, and any trips back home – what became of the once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Motherlands across Europe, pt. 2; Asia, pt. 2 and Africa, the now. South and Central America, via Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese sea faring ruthlessness and maritime genius. Cut to Vikings, Polynesians, Phoenicians, Pharisees and pharaohs. The alliteration of the ruling class, believe systems [the king as holy representative of the Great Spirit who made us all, not sure about the king, but let’s just say a little better than the rest of us, and then, the radical antithesis, I am every man, kind of, except anoint my head in precious oil whose cost could feed a village of hungry children, why? Because there must also be some value to what is given up to the Sacred, without being an offering of a cow made of gold, now all panned out, thousands of years later; instead, a mere man who could convert water into wide and sand into bread, whatever is plentiful to the mind’s eye may not be what the belly needs, and here was a holy man, a man of special powers who, unlike a mere sleight of hand magician, used those tricks of the trade not to impress or make show but to convince the flock of one thing – the keeper had nothing but love, held the utmost compassion, was the deepest well of comfort one could ever dream of or hope to find, in this world or of any imagination.

That is how a hesitant

Ecumenical potentate with the acumen of a saint cross-pollinated with a chief of arms, the manager of both words and deeds. That highly mythical magical state of being whereby no one is done wrong. Justice serves, eventually, although pain and suffering, being part of life, cannot be thwarted by simple will and adherence to good luck, the danger of course being that once a chance of ghostly fates goes well for a while, that generation of fools and their offspring is likely to take credit for their ‘reward’ not realizing the whole gift of a good harvest, a pleasant season, a chance to celebrate life with one’s tribe comes from some other aspect beyond our control or comprehension.

Energy, spirit, the unknown, The Great Spirit, Yahweh, Allah, the Father. These names all imply there is a greater force beyond our individual comprehension and collective adherence to a belief system [belief is hope, faith is knowing; being able to sell your bill of goods as evidence of some greater string puller than our own will and imagination, our desire to control what goes on around us, so as not to disrupt the most sought-after and hardest to find, much less sustain, attribute of calm. Peace and quiet. A chance to sink into yourself, day dream about the things you would like to reclaim, transmit, make yours again, with ease and rightful action, not crapping on anyone else to get your way, feel like you deserve a thing that happens to you, good or bad, as if there is some tally, some comparative chart up in the sky keeping track of who deserves a break because they have had a particularly hard time lately, compared to what? the woman next door, the families in slums of delhi and favellas of rio de janiero, to the poor rural americans who still cannot read and lack running water while getting tv commercials complaining about the stresses of having too much of everything, the need for anti-depressants to overcome the guilt for having everything she needs and still, it’s not enough. she complains about her local star buck’s clientele, apparently not hip enough, too uptight, hollywood cogs in the wheel of the deal-making west of la brea side of town, you can’t avoid it, that’s where the armani suits get distributed in alleys behind aging strip malls, still not as mercantile-ly intense as the back alley anywhere between los angeles, main to broadway, and then the one-way streets, some parts of 8th all the way to 3rd, at least. a nice grid for a cross-section of humanity from shop owners, to cart pushers, to guys holding out prescription bottles, to the 20 cent hard boiled eggs at the king edward bar, and the rot and stench caked on the concrete façade, once a shining star of loving architectural detail, held up by the stick-factor of smog, a few cobwebs and schmegma, all holding it together like some kind of ruin. but you can’t escape it just looking up over at the mexican grill pumping out more than its share of grease and smoke still hanging there.

so i say why not plants, why not rooftop gardens, why not the people who have a little disposable income for investing in a better community right around them  — to what end? so where they live can be a place they can also work, have a sense of building up a neighborhood like in the old days, not so separate. that is phase 1a. 1b involves nurturing the big high rises and the corporate conglomerate as the backbone of the system that keeps main street alive when a) the city folk decide to buy real estate in a dwindling market on the outskirts of any town and then b) the property values of that town and the intellectual stamina needed to compete in any global scenario – where ‘sister cities’ could be applied to finding similar backgrounds in trade, industry, resources already in tact between cities all over the world, and then cutting costs by working together on whatever gap needs filling. Make in x country, ship to us for final quality control, tweakage and customization, packaging, shipping and customer service, meaning fast repairs, so that same capability but on a smaller scale.

figure out why the whole wage-union – illegal immigration – paying no taxes

need to revise tax forms, should be a way to do it quarterly or by job a form for freelancers

need many more tax cuts, automatically

need way to prove you support someone for real without the gov’t trying to make you jump through hoops just because you fall out of some antiquated ‘norm’ of the nuclear [yeah, i’ll show you nuclear at this point, it is the family that almost blew us all up and we’re still cleaning up oppenheimer’s mess] family that makes a set income for 30+ years and gets a gold watch to symbolize the gold-rated pension plan that will carry them well into a relatively carefree old age.

Well, not anymore and it hasn’t been this way since I realized, at the ripe old age of somewhere between high school and college in my academic training [how to assimilate, regurgitate and accept the lies taught in mainstream educational ‘systems’ always procuring an ulterior motive that shows up nowhere in their bi-annual state of the union reports to alumnae] that it was all very relative, this ‘factual’ stuff and personal experience, with a little bias and preliminary expectations turned into reality.

There were signs of it when my dad, the disgruntled doctor, stuck between the 50s break-throughs and 70s realities-of-the situation: already, back then we couldn’t afford to go to the doctor, as a nation. The gap was widening, circa 1968 when the runaway culture said it all – get me away from my parents. What could be so bad to make another girl into Go Ask Alice to the distaste of a very distant, guru-bound disgruntled representative of a culture he didn’t ascribe to, after all, the hippie dippy land of spinning flower children with daisy chains in their hair didn’t impress the voice behind “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” much, in fact he was full of disdain for the Haight-Ashbury scene having only passed through.

Like saying the whole guru movement could be summed up with the point that Ringo Starr took his own canned baked beans with him on the second trip because he’d ‘starved’ the first time around depending on dahl and lentil for sustenance.

But back to what we need to do about health care, well, it’s not easy, it’s not clean, and it’s not simple. The principles are simple, the intent needs to be reduced to a palatably simplistic and focused ‘mission’ that embraces one, embraces all, carefully, cautiously [entertaining the caution of wisdom], and with respect.

Due diligence is a time-consuming and somewhat thankless task that we must employ any time someone’s well-being is at stake, including financial stability [a relative term for all of us, so we need to stop judging when our children fail to surpass us, the odds of that factotum have been decreasing since the Baby Boomers chewed up everything and spit it out, in the name of abundance, but just in their numbers, not so much the concept of keeping abundant for all, nurturing some kind of stewardship of the future, through what we do here to help the situation, through what we leave behind.

It’s an overall of massive proportions that must be undertaken gradually, not like a forceful revolutionary overthrow because it would be an overthrow of ideas which should never happen as a mattress is flipped, no, things just need to slip, laterally, and with agreement. Too much is at stake. That is where we are right now. We have the ability and the wherewithal to change the course that we are on, as a destructive pull, always there, don’t know why or if the only recourse is to be a hermit.

Of the Word, monarch, insight/shrewdness

There are times to do nothing, times to ponder where one has come from, and times to take action; we don’t always get to choose, that is the dilemma.

Sometimes the day just takes us.

Sometimes we just have to give in.

Sometimes we know that recovery won’t be easy but we do it anyway. Consequences come later, of that we are sure.

Is it a sign of geography? Solar flares? The chemicals in the atmosphere making us hallucinate past-present-future all in one big scramble, your brain fried from not enough dream time, too much drama, right into too many chemicals from the sky to the air we breathe to the escapist version of life at home with games, distractions, duties and reminders of everything that went wrong, but you have to look for what is going right and really get behind that because that is all you have in this moment and preserving a second of hope to feed into another seed to grow, that is faith, that is what is in need of restoring. Some repair time. And then all those unavoidable duties revolving around my physical existence, which involves the exterior me that other people see, always reconciling that with the poetry inside flowing around confusing me in regular conversation sometimes.

please note: this constitutes a raw and unedited journal entry, the ‘three pages a day’ technique adapted from the artist within may be the title, i forget now, but a valuable book about writing as therapy. so i put this out there not to be judged or critiqued but shared and if any of my story moves you in some way, please let me know. this is the journey i must go through to become the creative, contributing, loving person i aspire each day to be. and part of that is having a community based on trust, growth, healing and sharing experiences that strengthen one another. my sincere wish.

-from august 25-26, continually in spurts

1 Comment

  1. Bravo. Nice job. Congratulations for having the courage to put this out there. It’s not just stream-of-consciousness, but has quite a bit of social commentary mixed in. And the self-revelation is so important because we’re all dealing with variants of the same stuff. Acknowledging this is really one of the most important parts of what it means to be human. But then of course it’s also sadly human to walk around pretending we’re so cool, it’s all good, and we’re not struggling with anything at all.

    Like

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