So much to say. So little time. Jamie is consistently not letting me leave him in bed which results in me just falling asleep at 8pm and never being allowed up again and never having any free time to decompress. I think it’s a new wave of separation anxiety or something…but it means I don’t have any time to do anything.

It’s ok, it all comes and goes in waves.

I had my first day at the Waldorf school…helping prepare the classroom. I went to the beach and little Jamie got knocked down in the waves and was very upset and I felt horrible. Got to read my poem yesterday at Grounds for Sculpture which was pretty awesome.Lots of people came up to me and told me they loved my poem as I was walking through Grounds for Sculpture for the rest of the day…so that was pretty special. Victoria’s birthday was on Saturday and Big Amy made TWO cakes. Jeff is still angry about every little thing that happens. I start work in a week and a half and I’m pretty excited for it. There is so much to learn and so much to absorb and I want to go at it from a purely positive state of mind and just soak it up like a sponge. I love the Waldorf world. And it is such a WORLD. I was reminded of this on Saturday when I was there for the first time in a long time and it just absorbs you with all of this Waldorf-yness that just infests everything around you. It’s a beautiful and very real and very fantastical world all at the same time. It is all at once much more real, intimate and accessible than the real world, and also infinitely more magical and elevated than the real world. It is hard to articulate and I think perhaps nearly impossible to do so. But just walking into a Waldorf school it is immediately understood on a sort of primal level. There is so much aesthetic and so much beauty to it all.

I am sad to see summer go…but I’m also sort of at peace with it. Ready for the coming Fall. We couldn’t spend a great deal of time outside because it was often too hot and sunny for little Jamie…so maybe we’ll get to go on more walks and such as it becomes cooler.

I’m getting more comfortable articulating what I want to others and being able to stand by my strengths, which is a good thing. It’s still a long road to travel…and some roads I think have closed for me now…but others have opened. So I don’t know where I’m going exactly, but I’m got a lot of me to toss out into the wind and maybe something will be picked up somewhere. Everything is possible though, I just have to keep reminding myself that. The universe is a MUCH better storyteller than I could ever be and every time I imagine that I can imagine how and where my life is going to go…the universe just flips my life on my head and I have to start all over. And THAT is the gift. And that is the thing much better at this whole thing than me. The world is much more full of surprise and wonder than I could ever foresee. Life is really much better at this whole thing than I am. So I’ll just keep trusting. And keep breathing. And keep giving my love out in a thousand directions. And keep watching the path continually unfold before my feet. A thousand steps more interesting and unknowable than I could plan for. And I’ll just keep stepping. One foot in front of the other. I’ll just keep walking for now. Maybe even dancing. I’ll just keep moving. Never stop moving. And I’ll stop thinking I would ever want to know what the next step is. What would be the fun in that?

I’ll just keep breathing.

Pressing and pressing and pressing into the light. That’s what I’m doing. All I’m ever doing. We are all melting. And the summer is holding on, but fall is beginning to whisper somewhere in the wind. And my sweet little boy holds tight on to me and doesn’t let go. And I will never drop him.

Love is a strange, caustic glue.

All things breathe in time.

Oh my, oh my. My life is absurd. What the fuck am I supposed to do?

Going to ER now, I guess.

The book is overwhelming me. Will always overwhelm me. Because it’s just a fuck ton of shit and I don’t know how to wade through it all and edit it. And I don’t have time. No time for anything. But I need to keep reminding myself of it and not let it get swept away and not just let myself get absorbed in nonsense things in my life just to make an excuse to not get anything done. So I’ll try to focus. I’ll try to promise myself that. And keep it on the forefront of my mind. And be proud. And honest.

And so if we follow this idea that pain is valid in itself and vital to life…Then therefore – what is there to fear? If we are fearing some negative outcome…this is simply another perfectly valid experience which is creating us in ways and moving us in ways that we are too ignorant to realize, often. Maybe it is opening us or providing us with new challenges, new growths, or new impulses for expression or art. It is always creating us, this path…and we are never wrong. And beyond even JUST finding a silver lining or looking at optimistically, there is actual, real value in a negative experience. And sometimes it is joyous or welcome to experience something different, something that keeps you awake and does not merely get you into a deluded swell of simplistic happiness. Sometimes I get exceedingly bored being just simply happy after a while. So yeah, I stand by this idea that everything is right. That the world is always unfolding as it should. And I think people sometimes find fault in this idea in that it can be construed as overly optimistic or vanilla thinking and I’m actually saying the opposite. I’m saying YES it is right that things got fucked up…not merely just that it’s alright because one day in the future it will be better…I’m saying no, accept it all. And that is the key. The yin AND the yang.

Just the idea that things could be “wrong” in some way doesn’t seem to make logical sense to me if we follow this trajectory. To imply that anything could be “wrong” or a “wrong choice” would imply that there IS some deterministic path to which we are all flowing along and that somehow you have acted against this. I mean THIS seems like more mystical thinking that anything else. I mean what are you even saying when you imply something like that? THAT to me sounds like “going against God”…which also by the way, I’VE NEVER UNDERSTOOD HOW YOU COULD DO THAT. I mean, do you understand what your Christian concept of God would even imply? If there is some omnipresent, omnipotent God that knows and controls everything HOW could you do something against him. It is SO vague with Christians WHAT is done by God and what is not. Something bad in your life God should HELP you with (as if some OTHER force bestowed it upon you) and something good in your life God GAVE to you. The picking and choosing is immense. No…in a coherent picture of this theory…God made you trip, God made you scrape up your hands, God made them sting, AND God healed them with complex biological processes over a period of time. THAT’S how the universe works. Unless you are simply using the word God as a placeholder for all things that are “good” in which case we need to have a conversation about how God is much more abstract than a Man and really we are describing a positive force of the universe for good and for love and for connection. And how when you talk about “Jesus lives in you” you really mean the benevolent forces that are innate within us all that you choose to foster rather than the negative forces which you symbolically call the devil or “against God”. But that is sacrilegious in some way…to have a more profound conversation about syntax and about WHAT is actually being said in the ALLEGORY and stories of the Bible. And to discuss the larger issues and the deeper symbolism we are talking about. And to follow a more intelligent interpretation which doesn’t SHUT all those who thinking logically about this off but allows for some larger, more interesting conversations to take place.

But now I’ve brought myself back to Unitarian Universalism. Stripping out all of the illogical inconsistencies and just focusing on questions, ideas and profound conversation and contemplation about these larger ideas, what they mean and what it means to try to chase love and light and hope and kindness within a human life and within this strange world. Talking about that “Great love of no ending and no beginning” which is much more meaningful to me than the word “Jesus” which I’ve never really been able to connect to. I’ve always wanted people to really articulate what it was they were even saying. I mean, what do you even MEAN that Jesus is with you. I mean…in that statement…WHAT DO YOU MEAN? Are you contemplating what you mean or is just rhetoric that invokes some particular sense within you? If we could have a conversation about the symbolism and the underlying messages of Christianity…I could be on board with that…but I don’t even know if you really know what it is you mean when you say that you are eating the body of Christ. I think it DOES appeal to some poetic sensibility but at the same time that is not something you’re allowed to admit. That Jesus is symbolism. For some deeper effort towards universal love. Well then, can we cut out the confusing jargon that convolutes people and gets people riled up and just talk about universal love? And ACTUALLY mean it? And ACTUALLY love thy neighbor? That would be a good place to start.

————-Sorry I’ve gone off on a tangent———–

But then to say that everything is happening as it should also implies determinism and some sense that the world is just playing out in a reel and we are just watching. Maybe we are. But I like to retain some sense of free will, some sense of interaction and reaction with this universe, some sense of flux. Some sense of response. And that has been made clear in quantum physics. So I can’t say exactly how it’s all happening, nor should I ever claim to…but I do still stand by the fact that nothing could be WRONG. Everything is right, everything is unfolding as it should, on some fundamental level. So what is there to fear?

To say that everything has a reason does not imply that the REASON is some part of “God’s larger plan for your life”…here is another example of where something is innately tied to a certain connotation and thus gets thrown out when it actually could have value in a secular way to a lot of people. It doesn’t need to imply “karma” and it doesn’t need to invoke a particularly Christian idea of what God’s plan for your life might be. It can actually invoke science and logic in a very real way. The laws of physics. Cause and effect, correlation, that every action has an equal but opposite reaction, the swell of nature as I said…that forests must be burned to allow for more healthy growth, that there is this consistent sense of cycles and death and rebirth…that the death of one plant breaks down and provides fertilizer for more healthy plants…that this is just stitched into the very fabric of the natural world in SO many ways. And if we looked at things through that lens…maybe we would have less anxiety, less fear. To really feel that everything is unfolding as it should, that everything is happening for a reason. Clearing, opening, preparing, giving, enriching, complicating, fertilizing the soil for stronger growth. I trust the wisdom of the Native Americans. I’m sure they were far more wise than we ever could be. We may have gadgets, but they had magic. And I wish we could meet somewhere in the middle. Acknowledge the benefits of what we have discovered and also dig up those ancient and timeless principles that humans subsisted on for eons. Those primal connections to the world around us that we have forgotten…and that seem to have left us stilted and deranged in so many ways.

I’ve also rejected this idea that you can’t pick and choose theories. Take a little bit of this one and reject that…allow two conflicting things to sit on each other and allow hypocrisies to inform one another. Well why the fuck not? I think we are not coming to any real substance in what we all talk about because we’re focusing too much on linear thinking and not allowing for that why the fuck not into the conversation. And we keep getting stuck on rational materialism and I think it is valid but it only casts light on one tiny piece of the great darkness we are standing in front of. And while I think it is dangerous to cast rationalism out completely, I think we have to begin to incorporate what lies just beyond logic into our conversations or we will run ourselves into the ground being robots popping prozac and praising only the ends of our noses in front of us.

Oh goodness. It was so good having Bryan back this weekend. Thank god. It had been so, so, so long since we were able to talk and it was such a good release.

In other news, Jamie has made just huge connections in his head recently and it has been amazing and so fulfilling to watch. Things like actually being able to communicate, seemingly nodding his head when I ask him something, using the sign language hand gesture to say I want food, climbing up on things and figuring out how to safely climb off of them himself, and really making the last final step towards walking that isn’t walking (sort of jumping from piece of furniture to piece of furniture and walking while holding my hands). It finally clicked in his mind where he’s going with the walking gestures and he is so excited. He just cackles as I hold his hands and walk with him. He has been extremely happy the past few days…just giddy with all the things he’s now able to do. He was getting a little frustrated for the past few months on a consistent basis just not being able to do the things that his body wanted to do. But now he just laughs all the time and it is incredible to watch him making this progress and to be able to engage with him in these new and exciting ways.

So many thoughts…so many things to chew on, to muddle through, to wade in. But ultimately I have come to peace about everything. I have come to the mindset that whatever is best is going to happen and even if that isn’t OBJECTIVELY true, it has really actively helped me come to find some peace with the anxiety of things that are unfolding right now. If I can just get myself to believe it, even if it isn’t the truth, it is making me clear. And for now, that is the most I can hope for.

Appreciation and gratitude. That is the essence of everything which can begin to flip the world upside down. If I engage in actively living inside of gratitude I can actually feel my mind clicking in to gear…settling down and my mood changing immediately. And not remembering, too, that is always something I find tragic. I loved Emlyn so desperately as a child that I used to literally count the days until I could see her again. We usually only saw each other once a year and I would literally be dizzy with excitement. Once when I got very annoyed with her or was tired of being with her at some week long stay…my mother sat me down and reminded me that if Emlyn were to just show up on some random weeknight during the school year I would be so thrilled and I would cherish every moment I had. And that appreciation was this really fundamental piece of my mind which clicked in and formed the basis for a lot of how I continued to interact with the world. When the class of ’07 was leaving or when I was about to graduate high school or really during any time that I didn’t want to end I would imagine if years in the future I got to go back and have one day again and how I would treasure it and cherish it and so I tried to live every day under that guise. And that really radically changed my experience, my patience level and my willingness to commit to the moment. And now I have to keep remembering that feeling of appreciation and remembering all of the time. I always thought it was the most heart breakingly sad thing that Max and I had spent years missing each other and wanting to be with each other and then after a while, once we were living together…after a certain amount of time…we forgot. And I wish we could have remembered and gone back to maybe just a year previously and remember the ache we had to be with one another and then be grateful for just having one day together. But we forgot. And we let the world get menial and stagnant and we let every day life walk all over us. And that seems like an unbearable tragedy to me. But it’s what we all do. All of the time. If I was ever with Conor I would want to remember all of this. Keep it awake and keep it alive. The feelings we have without. Because there is too much beauty in it to forget it, to cast it aside, and to let life run away with you.

When I was pregnant the only concern I had was just that he would be born. That I wouldn’t miscarry, or do something that would result in him dying or having a still birth or having him born with some deformity or disease or disability etc. etc. the list goes on. It plagues a pregnant mother, just naturally. And I just kept asking for just a healthy baby. A whole baby. And that if I could be honored enough to just actually give birth naturally to a whole, healthy baby…that would be all I could ever ask for. I don’t feel like I have ever taken Jamie for granted, I actually am very proud with the amount of devotion I have shown to him…but I do feel like I have allowed myself to get swallowed up in the struggles and obstacles of this summer and the difficulties of my current relationship with Jeff and I have allowed that stress to sometimes drag me down. That is not to say that I should just have NO feelings about impending divorce. It is just to say that it is a sweet and comforting thought that what I asked the universe for 9 months straight came true beyond my wildest imaginations. That I gave birth (naturally) to a healthy, beautiful, smart, incredible baby and that I love being a mother. And that in so many ways, I am so disgustingly blessed that I really can’t ask for anything more. I have so much more than so many people do. I am fulfilled in so many ways. I have creative outlets that so many do not get. I have horrible members of my family but I also have incredible ones. I have this difficulty but I also have opportunity for rebirth.

The whole time I was looking and looking and looking for some place to stay I was so desperate to find some place that I was just saying please god dammit, find me any place and I promise I will be so grateful for it. And the idea of actually getting to stay next to the farm was so exhilarating that I thought I could never deserve such a thing. And it’s amazing how easy to forget all of that is and to be disgruntled with this tiny aspect of your living situation or that and to just very quickly lose sight of that initial gratitude and get expectant. And keep raising your expectations and raising your expectations until they can never be satisfied. We do this in relationships too. But the key is to actively, consciously, jolt yourself out by actively bringing to mind all the things you have to be grateful for and appreciating them. Maybe this is what some people do with prayer or a blessing on a meal. Maybe these rituals can be secularized and made valuable to all in a different light. Or maybe we can just practice gratitude. It might be enough to transform about half of the world’s stupid problems. It’s difficult, and I don’t always succeed…but I have to keep reminding myself. I have to keep keeping myself awake and aware and appreciative for every tiny, slight breath. For the concept of breath and the in take of breath and magnifying out from there. In circles and circles and circles of endless things that I could be grateful for in my life. And then suddenly I am in a state of ecstasy when 10 minutes ago I was depressed.

Sometimes it’s good to wallow, definitely. But sometimes it’s important to drag yourself out to gratitude.

It’s a fine line, I suppose, between making excuses for shittiness and not allowing yourself to see the beauty in things. We shouldn’t dismiss everything and we should feel our way THROUGH things to the other side, certainly not avoid bad things or run away from them or just paint them as if they’re not happening by focusing on other things…but once we ARE through and can find peace, we should recognize the silver linings and hold on to hope and be grateful. There is a flow and oftentimes it seems a rhythm and reason for all of these things. I think people might be much more settled with some concept of things happening for a reason if we include this idea that sometimes the reason IS to fuck things up. But that all things ARE connected, are part of some larger gesture. That doesn’t mean that the larger gesture is all rainbows and puppies. What I have always pointed to is nature. That it is fundamental in nature to knock shit down, to burn, to destroy. That this force is as elemental as creation. That it is just as natural of a force to grow food as it is have a devastating hurricane. That within this beautiful world there are a myriad of forces and none of them are wrong or better. They all simply serve THEIR purpose. There are earthquakes and tidal waves and volcanoes in the same breathing organism that sustains birth and creation and growth of forests and plants and animals. The same earth that creates the forest will knock it down. And THAT is a fundamental feature of reality that I think a lot of people like to ignore. The inherent masochism of the universe which is NOT BAD. And is not wrong. And the inherent healing in the universe which is not wrong either. Clearly pain is a valid and vital part of this whole thing. Not even because it is justified by some larger karmic action that moves towards making it “right” or balancing it out. On some fundamental level there is ACTUAL value in pain itself. I mean, any artist knows this, on at least some fundamental level. It’s the place out of which creation comes. There is always some elemental force that is pushing and pulling and dragging light and darkness into specific hues to create a specific image. And you cannot discount that. There is value in all things. In all things natural and innate. How can you say they are wrong? And yeah, the whole thing makes life…the drama of human experience….EXIST. Without pain there would be no happiness and vice versa. Without any contrast it would not be happiness but merely the unarticulated state of all beings. The duality creates the existence of an emotional life. Creates the existence of meaning. And yeah, sometimes I think life knocks you down and heals you just so you can go through the whole fucking mind blowing, soul clearing experience. The amazing experience of being knocked on your ass, and the equally amazing experience of healing. And then after a while of equilibrium, we take another tidal wave. And this is how life retains any sense of intrigue. And this happens in nature as well. This is HOW a natural system retains its innately sustainable flow and balance. Through cycles, rhythms and waves. A lot of simplistic thinking discounts the dips as only springboards to the highs…and while that is valid and sometimes helpful thinking…I think we as humanity miss so much by not accepting the WHOLE cycle and seeing immense beauty in the whole thing. I mean we do, clearly, innately we do…why else would be continue to watch drama and movies and listen to emotional music and all other cathartic experiences we engage in. But I wish we could take that innate feeling we chase and actually acknowledge: pain is valid. The world is round and I love to feel it all.

And I think this is part of a larger conversation about mental health. The way we approach all of this gets very sticky to me. I don’t feel qualified to have a full, really well articulated opinion…because I know that a lot of people respond well to diagnosis, labels, therapy and medications. But I do believe that the human mind is a sacred and mysterious and organic thing that needs to be treated with much more respect than simply filling it with a variety of chemicals and implying some stigma of weakness in conjunction with some sort of “fault” of the way the brain is SUPPOSED to work. This seems faulty to me. Even to so quickly diagnose people I have a problem with. So many things can be healing and so much pain can be PART of a more profound journey inwards towards knowing yourself and your own mind. Recently I’ve been reading about how schizophrenia or people with psychosis or visions…in indigenous cultures this was the first indication of a shaman. Of a larger spiritual and mental journey that you were being jolted into that, with a mentor and a proper framing of within an accepting culture…you would make it through the other side stronger and with a grasp on your mental faculties and be able to channel these visions into shamanism and healing for the community. That is something really, really beautiful. And there are so many ways to heal, so many ways, so many real, embracing, invoking and enlivening ways to heal. Like dancing and art and music and a thousand alternative measures and yeah weed and breath and watching the sunset and engaging in nature and walking in the woods and chasing the land and strange and incoherent journeys that lead you to deeper places of understanding than you could ever know. If you go through it. If you allow yourself to go through it. And this sense that we are not giving each other the tools to make these innate journeys that people have been making since the dawn of time, these natural aspects of human development…and in a world without walkabout or initiation rites or rituals that speak to these parts of the human psyche…without these things…I think we are leaving a lot of people feeling pretty helpless and pretty numb to the world on antidepressants that maybe fight a symptom but don’t address more fundamental issues that are a part of this complex experience that is the human condition.

And that natural tendency towards dissipation. That concept has been depressing me lately. But tonight Bryan finally gave me hope. The new relationship energy. Finally he framed it in a way that was not simply that: inevitably, the butterflies wear off and after a couple of years you forget everything and you’re stuck in a relationship of gears and motions like SO much of popular media describes. That endless rhetoric that makes you feel sort of hopeless about relationships. Like this is the way they’re supposed to be. You’re just supposed to get to this place without passion or you’re some incredibly romantic person that still says they’re “in love” after all these years. It doesn’t have to be all these ways we describe it at all. We should change the conversation and we should change the way we frame these things and the way we look at these things. New relationship energy carries its own momentum to bring you up to a certain level of compromise, change and challenge that can get you to a place where you can have a SUSTAINABLE relationship and a comfortable relationship with different assets and more maturity than one carried solely by new relationship energy. You can ride the same waves I was discussing above. And feel the rhythms and rhymes of your life. And the pains. And there is no reason why you shouldn’t still be in love. IN LOVE. And cultivate that. The appreciation of one another. The gratitude for one another. And the stability of something deep. Something profound. Something intimate. Something that grows roots deeper in the ground and branches higher into the sky at the same time. And still allows you to run, and to fly, and to dance in the magical bliss of being in love. Yeah, that’s worth fighting for.

Sometimes just naming the things around me, listing them in my head in some poetic fashion, labeling their attributes and spinning beauties brings me into a more complete awareness. My head just squares itself into where I am and I can feel it all. And I can feel the full existence of the moment, what it means to be the thing that I am standing and taking up space in this place, in this presence. And then everything starts to feel. All at once. Just looking at the brown of that chair tastes like chocolate and just looking at it feels like this luxuriously beautiful fabric is already touching me, and more than touching me, I am it. I just start to blend in to the world around me and feel what it is to be a book, to be a wall, to be a winding staircase.

That’s my superpower. And I call it synesthesia but that’s not really what it is at all. It’s a full on blending of the senses and more. It’s deep imagination. But I have to believe that I am not a crazy person. That we are all capable of deeper, more full, more intimate, more creative awareness of the world. That alternate states of consciousness are a beautiful, magical thing. I mean, that’s why people do drugs and get drunk isn’t it? Well, what I experience is better than tripping, sometimes. And I am in control of it.

Perhaps we are all actually aching towards this union. This universal, deeper awareness of all things.

Where is that great pool of creativity we are all pulling from?

Maybe I should just link to the book. The big shambling, mess that it is. I’m afraid to even look at it and I don’t know how to edit it because it just goes on and on and on and I’m horrible at cutting and very good at repeating myself. But I need to fix it and I need to work on it. If only I had more time.

I hate missing you. And not being able to talk to you ever. We’ve gotten ourselves in a weird, weird place.

Just sitting watching the world get jumbled, eat itself for breakfast and flip itself inside out.

Life is really quite a lot. But quite a lot of beauty and quite a lot of effort being pushed in the right direction. Transformation happening again. So many aspects of my life flipping. Bryan, my rock, my best friend…evaporating into thin air. Dan, all of the sudden, moving to Princeton? WHAT is this? MR. Philadelphia who hates the suburbs and would never leave the city. And he’s being so open and kind and willing to experience whatever this new chapter of his life is bringing. So that’s exciting. The wild and ridiculous journey the four of us have been on in our relating to each other has been pretty incredible. Dan missed most of my life from 14 on after basically being kicked out of the family…and then he’s been in Philly so long…but trying so wonderfully and so hard to make up for all the damage he did. And now to be back here. After abandoning our family here 11 years ago. The whole journey is pretty incredible. Forgiveness is so powerful. And Richard. I don’t think things will ever get better. I really don’t. So now he’s abandoned the family. My father figure, the person I looked up to most as a child. Refusing to speak to any of us. For 2 years now. For no reason. Doesn’t even respond when I send him a wedding invitation. I don’t know what would ever make him respond to any of us except a death in our immediate family. It’s pretty painful. It’s pretty difficult. It’s pretty horrible for mom. I don’t understand how people can disappear themselves. I never expected this strange journey for all of us. We were so close as children. It’s all difficult, but wonderful and transformative at the same time. I am excited for Dan to move here. I’m excited for what it brings and what it means and what could be.

Went to NYC again yesterday with mom for the NY gift show. That shit is insane. Absolutely insane. I’ve gone almost every year with her but still is always knocks me on my ass the sheer amount of STUFF that we make in this world. It’s so absurd. Let’s stop making useless shit, please.

But I do find that I’m much more open and receptive to the world again. Any part of the world. NYC. What have you. Everything has its own place in this world.

Anytime I get frustrated with people being cocky or self-centered I have to recognize that I have the same traits within myself. We all do. And yes we should allow those feelings and experiences to breathe, and we should try to swim out towards that greater self of larger awareness, of more giving, of more love and more recognition of the universality of us all. Of the great ‘we’ we are. But both things can exist and should exist and are beautiful within themselves.

Jamie is having a really, really tough time. I just discovered he has a dairy allergy a couple of weeks ago and now I think that even me having dairy and then breastfeeding him is really causing him trouble. So I guess I’m going to go dairy free. It’s difficult…but it’s worth a try. Poor baby.

I’m still pretty overwhelmed with everything. I still don’t really know how to sort through it all. But Jeff is changing, rapidly and quickly and scarily. He is offensive and angry and mean and controlling. He is flipping everything I say and I literally catch him do it mid-sentence. I don’t even know how he’s not aware of what he’s doing right now. He’s just spiraling. And now he says we need to get land as fast as possible and wherever we get land we will never move and stay there for the rest of our lives and die there. And we will have a farm there (wtf??) and goats and grow all of our own food and we won’t have time for anything because we’ll have so many tasks to attend to on the farm. WHAT. And I say…um…this was never our dream. And he gets irrationally irate SCREAMING about how it absolutely was and I don’t listen. Um. This was never our dream. I never wanted a farm myself. WHAT? And I really feel like he wants these things in particular because it will keep me from all my other interests. I won’t have time to be interested in anything other than being alone in the yurt with him and tending to our homestead. And it’s fucked up and it’s not what I want at all. So. I don’t know what I’m doing. He’s even clamping down so hard and being so possessive. He says we will never get divorced, never, never. I just want to dissolve. And go back. And I’m trying really hard to stay at peace with my life decisions…but it’s so hard when they have gotten me so twisted around.

And he was screaming and pounding the table about how we need to go to therapy because he was convinced that they were going to agree with him. And so we go and they say that he’s being irrational and projecting things on me and I’m being reasonable and he says they have no idea what they’re talking about let’s never go back and “the only reason you wanted to go is so that they would tell you you’re right”. It makes me feel CRAZY. I can’t even talk sense to this person. All the flipping is literally making me insane.

So what do I want? I don’t know. Some autonomy over my life. Some sense of respect. Some recognition that I have dreams too. I want to travel and not to have to buy land within the next few years and live there for the rest of my life. How am I supposed to know now where I want to spend the rest of my life? I need some room for flexibility. I don’t want a farm or any of those responsibilities as much as I like the romantisized idea and the ideals behind having a homestead. I want my time to be spent doing other things. I am looking forward to when Jamie grown so that I can get back on the track of my life. Act, be in shows, write, try to get things published, paint, try to sell paintings, take photographs, have a darkroom, travel, be a part of a community, volunteer, be an activist for causes I believe in. Try to make the world a better place, a more beautiful place. A full on homestead is too confining, too insular. And that’s not why we wanted a yurt. We wanted it because it is move-able and mobile and once we had it we could put it anywhere and it wouldn’t be too much work to take care of and because it wouldn’t be too expensive since we’re always going to be poor. And he wants me out in the middle of nowhere and consumed with homestead tasks because he doesn’t want me to do those other things. He doesn’t want me to have other interests, other friends, other accomplishments. He hates everything about my life that isn’t him. I hate ego.

Yes, some differences are ok. Necessary. Challenging in the right ways. And some differences are too much. We’re growing into two totally different people. There was a time I think we wanted the same things…but not anymore.

Man. I just played hardball. And it was so nerve-wracking…but I did it. And I got my pay for my photography up at Terhune’s more than doubled. I can’t believe what I did. But I stood up for myself and I told them they were taking advantage of me because I’m nice and I’ve never said anything like that before…but I said it. Straight to my boss and my neighbor. And hopefully she respects me for it. Man what a crazy feeling. And how long have I walked through my life letting people take advantage of me.

It’s strange how everything moves you in directions. Prepares you. And you can’t see the threads until the very end…but maybe all of this bullshit this summer dealing with people walking all over me finally brought me to the point where I could stand up for myself in a situation where it actually mattered. Where it was actually productive.

And I created this photography job for myself out of thin air. And I’m proud of myself. And I should be.

So I went to NYC yesterday. And it always gives me perspective. Shakes and rattles me up a bit. And it was very difficult. It was really one of those moments as a mother where you just feel like you have no patience left. Jamie was just screaming his head off in everywhere. Riding in a packed subway with one hand holding the bar and one hand holding this one-year-old and him just screaming in your face and trying to bite you. But I don’t chalk that up to “oh he’s crazy”. No, I feel bad because he is THAT tired. He is THAT overwhelmed. He is THAT overstimulated. We need to have compassion and recognize the difficult situations we put our children in rather than the other way around.

And I guess it’s like that with everyone. I need to keep always realizing where the other person is coming from. What they are experiencing. And stop calling each other crazy. Or labeling behavior as simply “bad.” There are so many things that go into “behavior.” Behavior is just this tiny way that humans try to throw their souls out of their body. But sometimes there are so many barriers they hit along the way that it all comes out jumbled. We have to stop labeling people’s behaviors immediately and start having more patience and compassion for each other. And the difficult thing it is to be a person.

People like to talk about how “wrong” something is…we all like to talk about right and wrong in behavior as if there is some quantifiable way to articulate that. But somethings certain people excel at while other things they might not. We need to look to each others intentions. And acknowledge everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and work with them in a sensitive way. OK. Having issues is not a problem. Having issues is a given. Let’s have compassion for each other’s issues. And look at people’s behavior in a more complex and intelligent way rather than just deeming it “right” or “wrong” based on societal constructs (and often without context). I have abandonment issues. Ok, simple. My dad left the house one day when I was 14 years old and never came back. But ok. We can work with it. Like we work with everything. We can break and we can heal but maybe we would all find more peace and more complex, understanding relationships if we didn’t just hate each other for not always, immediately responding in the “right” way. Let’s give each other patience and recognize what is happening.

Maybe we should just be patient with each other’s baggage rather than always deem it as a red flag. Kara used to sort of alarm me with how little patience she had for any “bad” behavior from guys. Feminists seem to do this a lot, it seems. Get very self-righteous about women’s struggles without realizing that this society is really brutal towards both genders. In a lot of ways I feel it sometimes more difficult to be a man in this society than a woman. At least there is a conversation being had about women. You’re not even allowed to raise a voice about repression of men and a narrow picture of what a man is without it being somehow innately offensive to women. And this is a catch 22 which I find to be really unproductive. Men are not given the tools that women are. To equip them emotionally. To learn about any sort of emotional intelligence. I honestly would say the box of what a “man” is supposed to be is significantly smaller than what society views the box of what a “woman” is supposed to be these days.

It has taken me a long time…but I really think I have finally understood that male need for space. To actually just back away. And it difficult for me because my baggage comes flaring into view and I feel like I’m being abandoned or rejected but if I had only given certain men some space at points in my life…I think a lot of things would be very different. Maybe I would still be with certain people…and ultimately that wouldn’t have been right for my life…but still I wish I could have learned this lesson sooner. You talk to your girlfriends and they say fuck that, that asshole, blah blah blah, tell him x y or z…but sometimes we just have to respect the delicate ecology of a man’s needs. That does NOT mean you have to put up with shit and get walked all over…but I do think that a lot of the rhetoric we engage in about relationships is largely bullshit and sometimes not very well fleshed out. I think it’s because there’s a lot of confusion…there’s this meshing of all sorts of ideas and nothing is extremely coherent.