I am not…wait, yes I am

Yeah, well, I’m going to go to my un-church for the first time since the recent unpleasantness began. They are still distancing and requiring masks for indoor functions, which is just grand. I believe there will be children running about, so maybe we’ll need two masks. At this point, who knows. As one of my doctors said recently, when asked about reasonable precautions as people begin to gather in-person, you do the best you can and don’t take unreasonable risks. So, I’m doing the best I can.

I have a meeting scheduled there, and one of the invitees has already copped out because she has a runny nose. I’ve been knowing this person for years, and she frequently has a runny nose. I smell a bit of why the hell do I want to leave my comfy house and go down there for a couple of hours of possibly contentious deliberation about social action strategy? Left to my own devices, I wouldn’t mind staying home either, but duty calls.

I am still half-assedly looking for a job. In many ways, my horizons have broadened since I realized that I don’t have to eliminate technical opportunities from my search. I came by the skill set honestly, mostly teaching myself what I needed to do, so I can pick up that stuff again with practice. And YouTube. You can learn anything you need to learn on YouTube, including bad stuff like bomb making and where to get a ghost gun. I even learned how to hack my Keurig machine a few years ago when Keurig made the insane decision to require their branding on K-cups. Non-branded K-cups simply did not work in their new version that year, which I believe backfired on them, but…there’s always a hack.

My doctor wants to do another sleep study on me, to see if I have sleep apnea. I had one done in 2012, and the results were borderline for apnea. I stopped breathing a mere eight times per hour, so that wasn’t drastic. They noted that I never descended into alpha-wave sleep, which was entirely understandable – I was sleeping in a strange bed with a huge camera on the wall and my head wired up like a sci-fi movie heroine. Who the hell can sleep with all that going on? Then, incredibly, they woke me up at some ungodly hour when I might have fallen into a deeper sleep. Whatever.

I’m still watching the eaglet in Alaska, which is getting closer and closer to fledge. The bird is jumping around and flapping its wings, sometimes pulling off a bit of a hover while off its feet. A lot of “wingersizing”, as it stretches out those huge wings and flaps them to build up the muscles it will take for flight. It will be a little sad to see it fly off the nest and eventually abandon it. I’ve been watching this eaglet since before it could even stand, when it looked like a worn stuffed animal with the nubby sprouts of what became feathers. It’s been a fascinating thing to observe.

Eagles, and other members of the animal kingdom, just do what they do. They are driven more by instinct than intellect. There was a period of about 90 minutes yesterday when the mother eagle and the eaglet sat, facing each other, in almost total stillness. It looked almost like a painting. I could almost feel some kind of communication going on between them, however, and I want to imagine there was some transfer of instinctual knowledge. But then I have a vivid imagination, so who knows. But it seemed intentional, because mama eagle hasn’t been on the nest for that long in several days, and the eaglet has been bounding around and either preening or trying out its wings. It seemed significant to me.

I’m still looking for that spark, the spark that is counterintuitive and gives me energy that I don’t need to express. The energy that is fundamental and promises more but allows me to be content in the moment. Allows me to know that each moment is enough, that it is sufficient just the way it is. That’s not seeking perfection, but … serenity. Knowing that all is well, for this minute, and that it will change but that is not a threat but a promise.

I broke a tooth earlier this week. It’s a front tooth, so I look as though I came straight out of a holler somewhere in the hills, off the grid. What broke off is actually a crown that was bonded to the fragment of a tooth many years ago, so the jagged remnant of the tooth is still there tearing up the inside of my upper lip. Yay, me. I can’t see the dentist until Wednesday, so when I go to this meeting at the Fellowship in a bit I’ll be keeping a mask on. When I called the dentist, they said he couldn’t see me on Monday for sure because he is taking his daughter to college. My immediate thoughts were a) what does that have to do with me? and b) many of my dollars are tied up in that endeavor. Timing is everything.

The trials of the governor of New York have been on my mind for a bit. Everybody wants him to resign. Everybody except him. He says he’s got no intention of resigning, and there is more to the story. He’s been accused of sexual harassment, by at least a couple of former staff people, but he says don’t jump to conclusions. I definitely see a variety of perspectives in the whole thing, only because it’s politics. It is not lost on me that his serious problems began in the aftermath of him taking on the former President, and everybody knows that guy is all about revenge.

This governor has a few problems – one, the sexual harassment mess and two, whether or not he purposely manipulated COVID infection data from nursing homes to make his numbers look better. That part preceded the sexual harassment allegations, but regardless of the order, he’s in a world of hurt.

The women – almost a dozen of them – who have come forward to make claims that he touched them inappropriately and/or made them uncomfortable with things he said have interesting stories. One actually seemed to have run into problems on the job and had left under some pressure, then wanted her job back and tried to petition him to rehire her. He chose not to get into it, so there’s every possibility that she has a sour taste left from that.

Another allegation involves a State trooper who says he touched her in a way that made her uncomfortable, in public. His defense for this, and the rest of the allegations, are that he is “familiar” like that, he slips and calls people “sweetheart” and “darling” and this is just how he rolls. He claims to do it with men as well as women, and that’s more cultural than anything else (he’s Italian). There’s a part of that I find rings true, and I’ve know a few people who totally failed to respect my personal space, were overly touchy, and made me uncomfortable. My discomfort, however, wasn’t based on anything sexual or even physical, and I knew without doubt these people were just goobers and had no respect for the personal space for another. To me, it was the equivalent of chewing with your mouth open, and didn’t your mama teach you any better.

I do not want to discount another woman’s negative experience with a man – if a woman feels uncomfortable, that’s her truth and that’s unacceptable. Men treat women abominably in the workplace on the regular, and I do not condone nor ignore that. But again, this is politics, and I have seen facts be contorted for situations like this before. I can only hope the truth emerges and dictates the outcome of this whole saga.

Today, I want to do something that is not mundane. I will go to this meeting and get a few things done. I will socialize a bit and probably see people I have not seen in over a year. Then I will be left to my own devices, and then what? If I were a smart person, I would come back home and clean up a bit then get on with some job searching. But I’m not a smart person because I want to sit in a coffee shop or a bookstore and escape from reality. Oy vey.

I am wondering what it is that I want. This is always a difficult question because I don’t believe that I dream big enough. Someone told me that once – you don’t dream big, and you need to open up and shoot for the moon. Hmmm. I never know exactly what that means.

If I could have any job that I want, I wouldn’t have a job. I would do what I wanted to do, like engage in strategy for social change. Writing would be a big part of that, but I would not be dependent on any of that for economic survival. I guess that’s really what I want – to be independently wealthy and not have to do things I don’t want to do just for survival. Actually, I don’t care about identifying as wealthy but only have the means to survive at a reasonable level of existence. I don’t really care about the trappings of wealth, but want to not have to worry about necessities like food, shelter, health care, clothing, transportation. And the dog. (I’m also thinking about getting birds, but that’s another episode.)

If I could have anything that I want, it would be not having to worry about providing. Not having to worry about acquiring necessary things, not having the pressure of not having enough of something. Being able to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, like travel or experiencing something new. Right now, I don’t have the luxury of travel to places that interest me, like Iceland and the volcanos or Alaska and the eagles. Or Israel and all its history. I suppose that is freedom to me – being able to do what I would like to do without harming or jeopardizing myself or anyone else.

The planet is here for the survival of all, not the taking of a few. The concept of claiming land and resources because you are who you are is truly phenomenal. Colonialism is a brutal and selfish model of unsocial development. It always has been. Our most frequent source of competition has been over resources, but we have really lost that excuse. We can access just about everything we need from the planet, and if we had a better social consciousness we’d pursue synthesizing what has been exhausted. But there’s a dollar underneath all of those decisions, and that’s what is going to kill us all.

I want…to know that I can change my mind. I want to know that if I make a poor choice, I can survive it. I want to know that my feelings are not going to kill me, that what other people think of me is not reality, that I am a good person. These are all things I am frequently not quite sure of. I want to be sure. I want to be sure of myself, not the future. The future is dynamic, and varies with every breath I take today.

Sometimes I wonder about today’s reality, and which decisions or actions I took in the past have manufactured it. I cannot revise the past, but maybe I can learn from it. Or maybe I am trying to live in the past. I have been accused of that before, and perhaps it has been true, particularly when I want to escape the present. It’s a very tangled web, and sometimes I’m trapped in it like prey. That’s when I struggle, and make it worse.

No more struggling. I am tired of struggling, tired of trying to think my way into better living. I want to just live, I suppose. There are some things I want to modify, like the condition of this apartment right now, but that is just a circumstance. I don’t really want to transform myself spontaneously into a neatnik. I am who I am, and who I yam. So, cleaning up is an option, but changing my character is really not. I can be complete with my character and my Self just as it is. At least that’s what I believe.

I am sitting here, not wanting to get up just yet, but needing to. I have to take the dog out, get cleaned up to leave, and go to have this meeting. It will be fine, and worst case it will show me different wallpaper. It’s important to change my perspective, I think. Otherwise things are entirely mundane, and boring. I hate to be bored. Even though I do OK in relative isolation, owing to growing up as an only child, I am basically an extrovert. I get boundless energy from being around other people, especially if I think they maybe halfway like me, and sometimes get overexcited. That has its challenges, but it’s kind of how I roll.

So, off we go, into the wild blue yonder. Or something like that. Today, it may be the mild grey yonder or the blah hazy here and now, but off we go. That’s the royal we, and proud of it. I sometimes wonder if I was royalty in some other lifetime, in some other world. Unfortunately, this is the world I’m in so…reality sucks but it’s reality. I was taught about the importance of accepting life on life’s terms in recovery, and that’s a valid consideration. Today, life’s terms in my corner of reality are capitalistic and soul-numbing pursuit of things not our own, but those are the rules of engagement right now. No amount of kvetching about that is going to change it, so…bless my heart, and bless my soul….you got to hold on. (Thanks, Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes, for that anthem of my spirit.)

Life. What a beautiful choice, even is stuff seems to be in the wrong place.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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