Saturday, November 21, 2009

Object of Procrastination


I finished reading Lonely Werewolf Girl this morning. It was pulpy, but I liked it. I wasn't ready for it to be done. I wish we didn't have to wait til August of next year for the sequel to come out.

This I Believe


Someone mentioned absurd beliefs tonight, which got me thinking about my own. So here they are:

My most absurd belief was, when I was a child, that the world is actually very, very small, maybe on the order of nothing being more than a 20 or 30 minute drive from anything else. But that all adults conspired to make children believe that it was much, much bigger than that, in the same way that they conspired to make children believe that there is a Santa Claus or a Tooth Fairy. Who knows why adults do anything they do? But certainly, if they take you on a "6 hour trip" to grandma's house, they are just driving in circles for all that time, to maintain the fiction. Which is why everything starts to look the same after a while, corn fields, brick store facades, houses after houses after houses, more corn fields, etc.

I'm not sure when I grew out of that belief, but I believed it for a while. And proselytized it to other kids.

My most absurd belief now?

These days... I don't know. My parents would probably point toward some of my "hippy inclinations":

I believe that western medicine is largely flawed, in that it largely works to treat symptoms without understanding underlying causes. And these days, with people in and out, without a long term relationship with a single physician, it often loses sight entirely of the whole person, or the complete medical history, which makes it even more into that treating symptoms without thought or understanding of underlying issues.

I believe that we over-medicate ourselves, and that we medicate for symptoms that we
mightn't have to if we were to understand and address some underlying causes.

I believe that American culture, right now, generally raises its children in exclusion to all other children, and very highly prizes material things and de-emphasizes community and interpersonal skills, and I don't believe that's a healthy way to raise a child. I believe that things like all our strollers facing out, away from the parent (versus European buggy-style strollers where the child lies down facing the parent) and our diapering and potty training systems are symptoms of this problem, and serve to exacerbate the problem.

I believe that if you have some amount of faith, you will find what you need. The universe, or god, perhaps, will provide. I've never worried that much about jobs, even when I haven't fond one for long periods of time, because one always seems to find me when I'm starting to need it. Whether I explicitly seek it out or not. All of my techie jobs found me; I never sought any of them out. My tango work has generally found me. My nannying work found me. I'm not living the high life, but I always have enough, I'm able to live my life on my terms (currently, I've been able to work entirely in a way that has allowed me to have my daughter at home with me for all of the first three years of her life), and when my resources start to seriously dwindle, something invariably comes along that allows me to address that and to start creating more resources.

"Absurd" is, of course, somewhat subjective.

What are your most absurd beliefs?

Where I've Been


I got out of the habit of blogging, I think, when I got really involved with Jaimes.

Partly he didn't like me spending time on computers, especially after I got pregnant.

Partly, one never knew what could come back to be an issue of contention later. Any time I committed myself to a belief or to some version of events or to some interpretation of the world around me, it was subject to later criticism.

Partly, whenever I did blog, so much of what I had to say was negative. I got tired of all my own whining. I don't want this journal to be merely an outlet for venting and self-pity; I want it to be an exploration of whatever comes to mind, good or bad, meaningful or trite. When that starts skewing to entirely complaints, it's not a good balance.

Partly, I think, after a time, there started to be a dynamic in my life where almost all my friends disapproved of my relationship with Jaimes, and were worried about me, and I was still in denial about it. It was almost like I was living a lie, that I was creating, that everything was fine. That the relationship was good. And I couldn't sit down and really reflect, and still be able to maintain that.

So I stopped reflecting, in some sense.

That was maybe the biggest factor.

Now I'm strongly out of the habit. And habits are hard to break or create.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Filling The Gap


I've made friends with a guy who lives in the basement apartment below me. He comes up late at night sometimes to hang out and chat, or to play a game of cribbage or such.

It's nice having an adult someone to interact with at those odd hours, when Ravenna is sleeping and I actually have time to myself to do things for me, but which are often kind of lonely. Stuck at home, can't go out and leave the sleeping child alone.

It has been especially nice since I have been spending many of my days, all day long, with toddlers and babies, and sometimes end up spending days on end without any adult interaction at all. You'd think you wouldn't get lonely, hanging out with children all day long. Small children are, after all, people! They are fun! There is a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment to be had in interactions with them! But... they are not peers. You can't really have a conversation with them. And somehow, some days, being entirely and only in their company is much, much lonelier than it would be just to be completely alone.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Princess Mom


Ravenna was chatting with Nuvo on the phone earlier. Following is a short excert from their conversation:

RAVENNA: I'm a princess!
NUVO: A princess, huh. Do you tell people what to do? Princesses do that a lot of the time. They tell people what to do.

<short pause>

RAVENNA: My mom's a princess.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dance, dance, dance

We hit Folk Life on Sunday. It was super-crowded, but the energy was really good. Ravenna especially liked VamoLá, a Brazilian drum and dance ensemeble - she could not stop dancing! Here she is dancing around with a friend of mine.

video

video

Mimicry is the Finest Form of Flattery

Ravenna and I have been watching Trace, a 6 month old baby, sometimes. I made her a little sling and she likes to dance around cooing and coaxing her own "babies" to sleep the same way I do with Trace.

video

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Note To My Anonymous Commenter

Today, someone commented on last night's post, "Take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Is it your own self-involved view of the world that is keeping you from connecting?"

Maybe my view of the world does keep me from connecting to those around me. It is quite feasible that it got in the way last night, at least toward the end of the evening, when my spirits started to drop. And you are right, that it is something good to keep in perspective.

I wonder though, why would you post something like that? What is your intent? Applying the label "self-involved", while it may or may not be valid, lends a negative tone to your comment. Not meant to help, meant more to diminish, judge, or invalidate my feelings.

To you, or to anyone else reading this journal - I don't claim that anything here is well written, that it is interesting, or that it is worth reading. I write mainly for myself. I write to sort through my feelings and achieve clarity. I am not posturing or trying to write for any particular audience, so my posts will sometimes - or often - be scattered, confused, colored with some level of angst or immaturity or any other emotion or block that I am trying at that moment to sort through and figure out.

If you have some interest in what I write, whether you are a stranger or an old friend, by all means, stay and read. But if you don't find value in what I write, you don't have to read it; perhaps instead move on to something else that you find to be of more worth.

A Next-Day Update

I woke up this morning feeling much better. Mornings are often good that way. Clear out the junk, hit the reset button, wake up feeling fresh and wondering what it is that got you so tied up and turned around the night before.

Anyway, I'm feeling good. I am not retracting the post, but I'd like to put some perspective to it: I'm generally really happy, I still do like many things about tango and many people within the tango community - but I just have trouble finding a way to fit back into the community entirely within the context of my current situation. It's not the end of the world. It's not awful. People change, tastes change, what fits changes. My life is still full, whether I stay with tango or not, and maybe I will stay, who knows. I wrote the post last night in a moment of angst and stress, and while it accurately reflects that moment, it does not accurately reflect the overall picture. It was just a snapshot.

Thank you to the friends who wrote to check in with me. I'm surprised sometimes that some of you still read, and especially that you catch what I write so soon after I write it. But in spite of that surprise, I am always so happy to hear from you. How lucky I am to have that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why I May Be Done With Tango

The tango community is a cold and cruel bunch.

I heard the other day that they still gossip about Jaimes and I now, years after we're done. What do they say after all this time? Apparently some people think I planned it all to be this way. Just like this.

What?

Raising a child basically on my own?

An over-controlling ex who started sleeping with a close friend of mine when my baby was months old and eventually left me for her, and who tries as hard as he can to dictate every detail of my life even now? Who is condescending and mean, who has no respect for me, who disappears for days or months at a time, leaving me to find a way to explain to Ravenna that I know she wants to see him, but he's not around, I have no way to get ahold of him, and I don't know when he will next have time for her?

Right.

I planned it to be exactly like this. Every last detail. Because this is awesome. I couldn't imagine a better situation.

...

If I had PLANNED anything, I would have planned to stay with Evan. I was so happy with Evan. He created joy in my life.

It's just as well that we did not stay together - he has thrived since we split, grown and matured and really settled in his life, in ways that maybe he never could have had he still been here with me. But for me, if I had planned anything back then, I would have planned to have stayed with him.

Instead, I let Jaimes sweep me back away. Look where that got me.

So there's that.

The gossips sure got that right.

Then there are logistics. I can't be around Jaimes. I can't be around Christa. There is too much baggage. And they both have too little care and too little respect for me as a person. It nearly always ends up badly for me, much better for me to just keep a distance and firm boundaries. I want to enable Ravenna to have a loving, functional relationship with her father, but for myself, I need distance and space.

This means that a number of tango events and opportunities that I might normally be drawn to are off limits. For my own sanity and well being I have to stay away.

And having a two year old child 24/7, 7 days a week, 12 months a year, makes it that much more difficult, logistically, to get out. Even if she is incredibly adaptable. Even if she is amazingly tolerant about going out to these things and keeping odd hours and allowing me some space when we are out to maintain and nurse my relationship to this dance. It's still hard to find the time. And to balance everything.

Then there are the dances themselves, when I am able to make it out.

Once in a while I go out, I connect really well with my partner, I lose myself in the music, I feel that I am expressing myself to all my potential, and I remember why it is that I love this music and this dance and everything that has kept me all these years.

But that is rare. Most times, nobody asks me to dance.

Then when I ask, if I ask, maybe they will dance with me. But often only for a few songs, and often projecting an attitude that they are certainly doing me a great favor.

I used to think that it was because I was so often there with Ravenna and people didn't know how to ask me in the context of me being with her. But it's so much of the time, and it's just as much when I find somebody to spend the evening with her and I go out on my own as it is when I am out with her in tow.

Yes, I am out of shape in the dance. I don't have the control over my body to execute technique and movement to the degree that I would like. It doesn't help that I don't have the opportunity to dance much, to get that feeling and control back into my body. Even when I go out to the practices and the dances this remains the case. I spend 3 hours at a practica, of which I get to dance maybe 10, 20 minutes. This is not enough to tone a body. So the situation perpetuates.

Body tone aside, I still have the knowledge. The want. The desire. The love of the music. The love of the aesthetic.

But it doesn't seem to matter.

I didn't spend six years of my life learning this dance so that I could go out and feel like everyone around thinks I am not worth dancing with!

So tonight, for instance:

Tonight was a good night. I was happy. Earlier on, I taught a lesson. It felt so good. I had a feeling of being grounded and in touch with my body.

So a bit later, Ravenna and I stopped in at the practica, and I was in high spirits.

The practica - I'm there, people there come up, say hello, they are friendly, but then they look at me with these shifty eyes that say, "Please don't put me in a position where I feel obligated to dance with you, I really don't want that...and oh! Over there, I have to go, there is somebody I'd be upset if I were to miss dancing with tonight."

Not one. Not a few. Most.

Most people. People I have known for years. People I have often quite enjoyed talking to, interacting with, and yes, dancing with.

...

I started in such high spirits, but I left the dance in tears.

This is typical of my tango experience these days.

Why do I keep going? I don't really know. But nights tonight I feel like it's my own damn fault if I end up feeling this way again, if I'm dumb enough to continue to go out. Like, really, it's maybe just time to sever my relationship with this dance.

Not because of the dance - I love the dance, I love the music - but because of the community. This cold community of people that make me feel so unwelcome. I'm some sort of idiot if I keep letting that into my life. I have good friends, other artistic outlets, great things in my life...tango just sullies it and brings me down.

So maybe I'm approaching the end.