Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Freefall Writing: I fell. Hard.

"It’s not the number of times you’ve fallen, it’s the number of times you get back up that matters."

"Look ma! No hands!"

"It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop."

"Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!"

We’ve all heard them. Many of us have experienced one or more of those famous lines at one point or another. The one that had me thinking, though, was the last one: “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” And, even before getting deeper into that, just now, it reminded me of a rather apt song covered in a spectacular way by Tina (the head) Turner: “Help” 

Yeeaah. I’ve fallen. In love. But not in love with anyone. Nope. Technically, in order to be in love with someone, you have to be in it together, no? Yeeaah. So, no.

Fallen in love by myself. And, that sucks, and blows – at the same time.

Ok. Seriously. You can perhaps tell I’m about to have a Pity Party. I'm allowed one day. You coming? If not; if you think this is gonna make you feel kinda cute and intrusive, now would be a good time to stop reading.

January has been a crappy start to the New Year. Crap-py. I can hardly wait for February to begin. I am chomping at the bits! I wanna be able to refer to all this – if at all – as happening "last month." Then, later, "a few months ago." Until, of course, we get to the "last year" reference. Usually – well for the past umpteen years – I adore a New Year! I love it. After a really bad break-up years ago, I experienced a most glorious shedding of the old and welcoming the new when January 1 hit the following year. I felt light! Like scales of negativity and sadness and the bad and the ugly, between December 31 and 12:01a.m. January 1, had miraculously disappeared. It was an awesome feeling! So, no matter how crappy stuff gets during the year, I know, come December 31 into January 1, if I'm still around, I’m gonna come out feeling light, new and fresh!

I felt that way on January 1 this year, too. Had a bit of an inkling about something, truth be told. But, for the most part, I was looking forward to wonderful – until a few days later. Apparently, I had fallen. And, on that fateful afternoon, I realized (a) He did not want to catch me – for reasons that he shared (b) He did not catch me – I fell on my butt. Wanna kiss it? (c) I had had a hard fall – harder than I'd cared to admit, actually, and (d) it was time to give up – on ever being loved. Ever.

Note the distinction: giving up on ever being loved. I did not, and will never, give up on Love Love. I believe in true love (as tautological as that sounds). I have beheld true love in action. I believe it is amazing and has power and can bring on a sense of belonging like you’ve never experienced before. I believe it is a beautiful thing and it makes the world livable and gentle and soft. I believe true love between two people makes them feel like they're home. It makes them overlook each other’s faults because they realize neither is perfect and they are happier together than apart. I believe in that love with all my heart, and I will continue to believe in it, and write about the virtue and blessing of it, until the pen has to be pried from my cold dead hand.

But, I don’t think I will ever experience it.

My heart is now more band-aid than heart. This time around, my eyelids were constantly puffy. Crying every night is wont to do that, I s'pose. I put on a brave and smiling face as I honoured a commitment to attend an event sometime after. The guest of honour greeted me with a hug, and a kiss on the cheek. We took a picture together. When I looked at the pic, in the words of Shaggy, It wasn’t me! I was smiling, but my eyes were not. I was just thankful that, if anyone had in fact noticed, they'd been too polite to say stteo, “Your eyes look different..."

I can write this here because, y’know, it's, as we'd say at work, approved content – approved by me. Plus, no identifiers. If he happens to visit this my home in cyberspace, well, then, he'd know. He'd also know I haven't got it twisted. He made my heart glad. He was kind and thoughtful – a gentleman, indeed – and I responded to his kindness and thoughtfulness. I think that's what knocked me over and caused me to fall. I believe he has a good heart. And, someday, he will make someone a loving and wonderful husband, and their children a loving and caring dad. He's a smart, take-charge man and I believe he will be an exemplary, God-honouring head-of-household.

Besides, this is not even the tip of the ice-berg that makes it to my prayer journal. No siree. This is a drop compared to the whole ocean; a snowflake, compared to the whole avalanche… You catch my drift. So it was. Days were for working; nights were for crying and writing. Anyone reading, and can relate, well, just know you’re not alone. Some fall in love with their person and it’s requited and just great. It is. No cynicism. Falling hard in love by yourself happens to the rest of us. Not so great. Sounds like you? Take heart. Your time is coming. When your ship comes in, you will be not be at the airport. You will be exactly where you need to be at the harbour. You go, you!

I used to live in the hope that true love would come my way and sweep me off my feet and it would be effortless and beautiful. As Monk replied, when he was temporarily blinded in that episode and Natalie was trying to console him that the Dr. had said he’d soon regain sight so there was hope: “I hate hope’s guts!”

Sounds about right, right about now.

Writing it right out of my system. #writeorsuffocate Remember?

Of course I am a person of faith and trust that God knows what He’s about. How do I reconcile this? Easily. The fact that my desire is in His hands and He is holding my heart and He orders my steps, yet He has not granted me this desire, must mean He has other plans. Or, He's fulfilling the desire in a rather winding and crooked way. We always say He grants our desires – as it says in Ephesians – exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think. He does. And, it sure seems like He’s taking the desire and doing something else with it. And, that’s fine. Not like I’m giving Him permission and saying, “Oh, it’s okay, God. That’s okay with me.” No, what I’m saying is, “God, You know. I do not. And that’s okay." I believe in my band-aid covered heart that He can and will take me through this process and on into the upcoming stages and phases and seasons of my life and will not for a moment forsake me. 

I guess if I think with my head for a second, if indeed it's meant to be that one person, it really can't work out with anyone else. *shrugs* I enjoy time together. And, as Gibran said, "Let there be spaces in your togetherness." I like time apart doing things I love. I like taking a genuine interest in and supporting what he's about; being his confidante; focusing on what matters; putting myself out there and knowing I can trust him with my vulnerability.

Ha! I see how far that has got me.

A girlfriend of mine had told me once that maybe I am too nice; that perhaps that's scary. She did add, however, that for the right person, it won't be. :-) My resolve is to treat him like a king; pray for him; make him laugh; show him I am a trustworthy, supportive, and caring friend and lover and partner and queen. He may or may not be six-packing like King Leonidas, but, king. Like, God’s-man-for-me and God's-gift-to-me king. I imagine he'd get me; would read my writing – there's a quote for that. It says something like, as a writer, you shouldn't be with someone who doesn't support your writing. I imagine he'd love me self-sacrificially; treat me with honour and respect, and be the leader in our home – even if I bring home more bacon. And, yes, I'm worth every bit of that. I also imagine we would, with wild abandon, know each other; explore each other's temple and honour the divinity in each other. A lot. There must be chemistry.

But, alas!

Hm. The first thing that gets impacted when I sense the inevitable are my wit and words. I simply can't keep sharing them as before. And, you know how some women appeal, and ask him to reconsider? To use that line from Dorothy in Jerry Maguire: That's not how I'm...built. During that conversation, my heart was saying, "Ask him, ask him, ask him...please!" My head was like, "Whatchya talkin' 'bout Willis?! What's the point?" I see no point in asking someone to stay when he has already made up his mind that he doesn't want to. If there's someone or something else more...'ow you say, (French accent), "stimulating"; catering to his sapiosexuality – or whatever else is being catered to – I am not wired to fight that.

So, what do I do? I do what any self-respecting, band-aid-hearted, gracious, kind and beautiful woman would do: Throw in the towel – I'm done! Share what I can for relatability – slicing my heart open does not hurt as much as having it broken. And, having fallen by myself, get back up and move on.

It’s what I do. 

It’s like my job. And, like my job, I’m good at it.




Okay. Maybe one more time. Not right now. Clearly. But, I mean, if Mr. Right-for-me is on his way – he might be stuck in traffic, or a tree (It's a jungle out there!) – for his sake, and ours, I'd want to love like I'd never been hurt. The last thing we'd need is baggage that can't fit in the overhead compartment.

After all, hope has a way of floating, and seasons have a way of changing. #SitStillMyDaughter (Ruth 3)


Okay, folks! Okay. Party's over! No, there are no to-go containers. Thanks for stopping by, but, you have to go now. You don't have to go home, you just have to go. :-)

Me? I'm gonna go load the dishwasher, then get comfy in the chaise sofa and watch a movie.

Which one? Love, actually. ;-)

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Freefall Writing: The Pressure. The Promise.

Ohhh! The pressure! The pressure! I feel like a thousand eyes - or pairs of eyes, which would make it two thousand eyes - are on me! Oh, my gosh! Two thousand eyes! Breathe.

I imagine the ideal thing is to try to write a story. Actually, that doesn't make sense. There can be no "ideal thing" in freefall writing, can there? Unless, I suppose, one is working on a story and is writing freefall with that in mind. Clearly, I am not so restrained. My mind just went to the ravine that sits as a lovely backdrop to my living room and kitchen. It has since returned.

I smile when I think of the sights I see from my window. Right now, the ground is covered with snow. It has been this way for the past few weeks. But, we got fresh snow last night and it's easy to tell. No footprints. No disturbance of the soft layer of cotton-y blanket. Another lovely sight is that of squirrels chasing each other up and down the trees that stand bare in the ravine beyond the fence. This morning, there were three of them spiralling up one of the largest trunks. You can spiral up, can't you? Well, not you you. The squirrels, I mean. Anyway, there were those three. Then, another two playing what seemed to be hide-and-seek a few metres away. I even saw a fox over there once. That was last winter. He (or she) hasn't been back. Or, perhaps it's that I haven't seen him or her...it, this time around. I also get quite an array of birds in my neck o' the woods. From owls to blue jays to hawks and...ok, permission to check Google. I need to. It's such a pretty bird and I'd hate to mess up the name.  *hears voice* "Permission granted." Thank you, whoever you are!  It's the Northern Cardinals. Yes. They do come by and they are so pretty to look at. And, of course, numerous sparrows.

Know what else that ravine says? Seasons change. Yeah. My ravine talks. Yours doesn't? Hm. Look at that! I'm sure I've written a post dedicated to that fact before. Not the talking ravine. The 'seasons change' fact. But, to get into it a bit where the forestry outside my window is concerned, it's a joy to behold. The trees underscore that fact of nature, and are a tangible and compelling reminder that seasons do change. Of course, the first thing I grab a hold of is the metaphorical or philosophical angle. To see the buds coming back in spring; full leaves resuming their place on the trees by summer; the change into glorious colours, come fall - coupled with "nature's pruning" somewhere in there - then, bare branches and twigs come winter, in time for that snow-laden, artsy post-cardy look.

I've learned to appreciate that, actually. Seasons change. So much so that when situations get me feeling really awful, I need only remind myself that it's only for a while. Anita Baker had a lovely song out by that title years ago: "Only For a While". I've looked for it on YouTube... "Permission granted." Whoo hoo! It's there now! \o/ I checked a few years ago and it wasn't yet there. And, tonight, as I sorta cheated on this freefall thing - which is not to say that I'm saying that cheating pays. Perish the thought! It's just that I have to 'fess up, is all - I found it! I can go back and link to it now. Heh heh. It's good to know though, isn't it. Bad or awful times don't last. And, if it's one thing I've been reminded of since the start of this year, it's this: Life. Goes. On.

Life does go on. Just keep going. Even if for a little while you're just going through the motions; using up your mechanical memory; existing and not really really living. Keep going. I've found allowing an awful feeling to run its course is a good thing. Just let it. Be upset. Cry 'til there are no more tears but you're crying anyway. Be forlorn. Then, be done with it. In a little while, life will start regaining...life, again. And, don't underestimate the power of love. Love has this...this way about it, whether you're giving it or getting it. Even just the memory of love and lovely moments shared will add a smile to your heart.

I promise.

Note: Had more "fall" in the freefall this time around. I'm gettn there.


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Freefall Writing: What Will This Unearth?

Undeniably, this was one way to go. I decided on doing freefall writing for January’s posts, to see what would be unearthed from my subconscious at the beginning of the year. How did I decide how to start this post? I closed my eyes and, when I opened them, the first letter on the keyboard I saw was the ‘U’. Oh. That palindrome was not planned. Just so you  know. Neither was that rhyme. It just happens... Let's move on.

Happy New Year!

They say one is not supposed to edit while doing this kind of writing. “Writing without a parachute”, they call it. I’ve cheated three times already. Shoot. Four. Sigh. Now, Five. I have to live with myself! And spelling errors and typos ought not to count. Speaking of counting, we’re almost 10 days into the New Year. Yes, there are those of us who are wont to keep track of this sort of thing; we just don’t (six!) do it noticeably. My question was gonna be, how’s it going for you so far?

For some, it’s too early to tell. For others – not the we-are-here-to-do-good-to-others-what-the-others-are-here-for-I-don’t-know, others – it’s already clear. Or so they think. You’ve probably heard it before, or seen it written – most likely as a meme on Twitter, because, it appears, almost everything is written on Twitter – that one should not misinterpret a bad day to mean a bad life. So, there’s that. Know what else there is? Yeah. One of my fav quotes: “It’s funny, isn’t it, how one moment can change a million after it.” – Raya (Movie: How She Move

That moment might be what we refer to as a God-awful moment or it might be a cherished moment or, it might even be a moment that we don’t notice was “a moment”, until we look back and go, “A-ha!” (Sigh. Seven was in there, somewhere. Sorry.) This freefall writing thing is not for the faint of heart. What was in my head in that alliteration just now was “not for the faint of fart…” I should grow up. Maybe next year. I’m not even into those kinds of jokes. I dunno where that one came from. It must’ve been from the fright of freefalling… That’s some scary stuff. See what I didn't do there? Yes. Stuff.

Whether freefalling in writing or doing that trust fall thing or falling in love, that’s some scary… stuff… right there. (Eleventeenth!) My inner editor? The man frowns on falling. I'm thinking duct tape. Though he might out me when I remove it, telling all and sundry how the skeletons in my closet have skeletons in their closets. Meh! Look at the brighter side. I'm not one of them. Pretty sure in all those cases it wasn't the fall; it was the sudden stop - as that saying goes.

So, yeah, falling/freefalling, is not for the faint of heart. But, let that not stop you! No fear! Need a shot in the arm? How I love Edna’s wake-up call to – okay, I’m gonna have to check IMDB for The Incredibles. One sec –

Helen: [sobbing] Now I'm losing him! What'll I do? What'll I do?
Edna: What are you talking about?
Helen: [stops crying] Huh?
Edna: [shouts] You are Elastigirl! My God...
[swatting Helen with a newspaper
Edna: Pull-yourself-together! "What will you do?" Is this a question? You will show him you remember that he is Mr. Incredible, and you will remind him who you are. Well, you know where he is. Go, confront the problem. Fight! Win!
[normal voice]
Edna: And call me when you get back, dahling. I enjoy our visits.

O Em Gee! That is sooo not freefalling! Lol! That is, let-me-jump-from-the-aircraft-with-a-parachute-while-being-seated-in-another-smaller-aircraft-while-watching-a-movie landing! Lol! Ok. For the next post on the 18th (all being well), I’ll duct tape my inner editor’s mouth; try not to use nouns as verbs (like...that, smh) and really make an effort not to control the freefall.

Except for the typos.

I have to live with myself!