I’ve been thinking today about tethers, how we’re linked with people for so long, and then they just disappear from our lives. We just moved in different directions, and we hold on to that tether for a little bit, knowing that we will likely let go someday. And that’s fine. Friends pass in and out of our lives. Family too. Life is long, and tethers are short.
And I miss a lot of my friends. And I still talk to them now and then. But there were times when we were so close, tied tight together. But the knots loosen under the strain of life and we drift away. One day the mockingbird doesn’t return to the beach. Out of the cradle, endlessly rocking.
I can’t believe just how long it’s been since I blogged. What happened? I’m not really sure. I suppose that it’s because I’ve been busy with my life. My job eats up a lot of time, and I’ve jumped in headfirst into the SCA stuff, especially writing or reshaping folk tales for the College of Performers (Bardic performance). But I’ve been neglecting the therapeutic, er, therapeuticness of journaling.
I really love the SCA. I wish that I joined as intended 20 years. Not only is everyone super awesome, but it allows me to not only delve into medieval history, but also to write in a completely different way. The spoken word is not like the written one, and public performance is still pretty scary. But I’m doing it. I’m out of my comfort zone, but I’ve been doing okay.
Saturday was the Yule feast in Bhakail (the Philly area) and I’ve never experienced anything like it. Feasts are unique. There were servants (I’m assuming members that volunteered) and court was very interesting. I participated in a “court of love” based on the Elenor of Aquitaine style, and got to show off not only my eloquence, but my ability, poor as it is, to speak in rhyming couplets. And I won myself a basket of Hershey’s Kisses.
And yet, there’s still so much I want to get into. I’m deep in the SCA hole. I just need to balance it with my novels.
And Life. I hate being tired all of the time. I hate waking up at 4am and nodding off by 9. I’m old before my time. I want to be young again, or at least not so old.
I’ve been away from here for a while. Things have been happening, and they’ve been too heavy to write about here. I’ll give a brief summary
- Last month, my gramma died just short of her 101st birthday. She was in agony and had dementia for many years, so it was more of a release than a tragedy. She was free from her pain. After all, who can complain about 101 years of life, except that maybe it’s too long? Arranging the funeral and Shiva (like a Jewish wake, with deli meat and Entenmann’s Cakes) with my combustive family was hell. I worried for weeks over how I was going to keep fights from breaking out or drama royalty making it about themselves. In the end, I must’ve done a good job. Only minor drama.
- The nightmares are back, they are constant, and they are worse than ever. I can’t sleep. i wake up 3 or 4 times a night in a clammy sweat. During the day, the nightmares are always on my mind. The doctor can’t give me meds for them because they are contraindicated for people with asthma. I am in a fugue state.
- The sequel to The Watchmage of Old New York is behind schedule. I thought it would be out by now, but it likely won’t until August. This really messes up my presentation schedule. I was ready to sell some heckin books, but I have been too messed up to work to my fullest (see above).
- I’m giving the commencement speech at my old high school. I’m pretty excited about that. But I have to pretend that I’m a success and not the hot mess we know I am 😛 Then again, I think we’re all hot messes in one way or another.
- The contract for Song of Simon with Caliburn Press ran out, and they won’t even get back to me to tell me if they took the 3-year option. I’m ready to call my lawyer.
- I may have a severe, possibly life-threatening illness. We will find out in the next few weeks when the tests come back. Dammit, I’m not ready to face life-threatening shit again. I can only dodge so many bullets. I’m not Neo.
And I have too many books in me to die just yet. Then again, so did Val, and the Reaper didn’t give a fuck.
Yesterday I did something that I never expected to have to do. I cut loose someone very important to me. I won’t go into details, but it’s been an act that I’ve been musing on for some time.
That time doesn’t make it easier.
We make decisions everyday that change our lives. We constantly face crossroads, deals with the devil and appeals to our better nature. The worst part is that you rarely know that you’re there at the time. It’s not until later where you realize “hey, turning left instead of right sent me far from where I meant to go. This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. How did I get here?” Or “turning left was one of the best decisions that I ever made.”
And some decisions are harder than others. Some of them you know will change your life. Some of them are failures. Sometimes the decision is not turning at all, but letting fear and indecisiveness freeze you in place. Every action has a consequence, and not choosing is still a choice. I avoided choosing for a long time, but I finally did it.
We’ll see if I chose the right path. Right now I just feel hollow. Not good or bad. More like an emptiness. I feel spent. The choice took all of my spoons.
But I’d probably do it again. Part of being an adult is doing what has to be done.
Being an adult is hard.
In honor of the 5th anniversary of my fiance’s death, her collected works is now available for FREE for 5 days. Val was an extraordinary writer, the best that I’ve ever known. Please share in her work and my love by picking up her story collection.
Everyone you know is in the fight of their life.
Everyone will lose.
All the more reason to fight.
Fight. Rage against the dying of the light. But most of all, fight with virtue. Fight to make the world better. Fight so that other peoples’ fights aren’t quite so hard. Let your struggle give another strength.
Making art is supposed to hurt. If it doesn’t hurt, dig deeper.
Memories are an anchor. Possibilities are a wild wind, taking you to new and fantastic places.
But if you let the wind alone guide you, you’re bound to run aground.
Use the damn rudder.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. –Samuel Beckett
We do not all begin at the same starting line, and we do not all have the same amount or height of hurdles. We will all fail many times in our life no matter what we do, and we will not catch the people in front of us, those that due to some cosmic lottery, were born on a short track to success.
No matter. Failing does not make you a failure. Losing does not make you a loser. Giving up and blaming others because you didn’t get a short track, that’s where the moral failings fall.
Don’t stop in your stride to blame “The Other Guys,” the ones not like you. Don’t spit your hate and fear at the ones that you’ve never met because that absence makes it easier to see them as not human, not moral, etc. Take hold of your life, own up to your failings, and keep running. Finishing the race when you have the harder track is nobler than winning with an easy one. Pity those on the short track. It makes for a flabby spirit.
If you’ve made it this far, you probably like my writing. Check out my two fantasy novels Song of Simon, and The Watchmage of Old New York, or recommend them to friends. You can also check out this super secret “romance” project, “Welcome to Elmwood Park.” Writers don’t live by the “Like” button alone
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