Friday, March 11, 2011

Your Song

Got a link to this from Debbie today. Sweet ritual. Sweet thing to send. Thanks, Debbie.

Choice cut:
When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another. A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

So My Soul Can Sing

One of my all-time favorites, freshly relevant: 

Feeling Fucked Up,
Etheridge Knight

Lord she’s gone done left me done packed / up and split

and I with no way to make her
come back and everywhere the world is bare
bright bone white crystal sand glistens
dope death dead dying and jiving drove
her away made her take her laughter and her smiles
and her softness and her midnight sighs—

Fuck Coltrane and music and clouds drifting in the sky
fuck the sea and trees and the sky and birds
and alligators and all the animals that roam the earth
fuck marx and mao fuck fidel and nkrumah and
democracy and communism fuck smack and pot
and red ripe tomatoes fuck joseph fuck mary fuck
god jesus and all the disciples fuck fanon nixon
and malcolm fuck the revolution fuck freedom fuck
the whole muthafucking thing
all i want now is my woman back
so my soul can sing

Ironically, though I hadn't thought of this poem in years, it was only a week or so before our split that I read it to Debbie and Zena.

I'll Take A Pass

Can anything be more disappointing, infuriating, and maddening than being a human being?

We come into this existence thinking everything revolves around us. We have two people who spend years reinforcing that idea. Then we spend the rest of our years reconciling reality with our faulty formative experience.

Worse, we're these hairless apes who are presumptuous enough to think we're something beyond that: spiritual beings having a human experience. Pffft. Monkey, please. Physically designed and programmed to behave like bonobos, we twist ourselves in knots to believe and act contrary to that nature. We have these diametrically opposed, deep-seated needs: the biological imperative for propagation (variety, pleasure, promiscuity), and intimacy with a mate. Then on top of that, we invent and impose cultural templates which insist we deny or denigrate our physical selves, and cripple ourselves attempting to reconcile our needs and beliefs.

Could we be any more fucked up a species? Seriously, if we're the pinnacle of natural selection (and I'm not saying we are), then, fuck, the competition must have been weaker than a Tea Bagger's reasoning skills.

Now, I've fucked up recently and disappointed myself and wounded someone I loved. I destroyed something dear. So, some of this is the personal projecting out. But I'm not wrong.

We are an exceptionally delusional, self-important bunch of meat sacks, who, at our best, tell good stories and make pretty things.

Really, if this is the best evolution can do, I'll take a pass.

Old Testament Follies

Been thinking about Job tonight. The whole Old Testament, actually. It dawned on me that crazy as most of those stories were, they helped illustrate the capriciousness and madness of life on this planet. The conclusions drawn in those books are nuts IMHO, but the experiences... timeless.

I don't recall precisely what got me thinking of Job. Eric and I were mulling the meaning of existence and how to live a better, more authentic life and I started riffing on the OT. Regardless, the story is infuriating. I don't how anyone can read it and then go back to the well for more. Here you have a guy who thinks he's doing everything right. Good father, good husband, good community member. Hell, he is doing everything right, even by yhwh's impossible standards.

Then Satan comes along and, for shits and giggles, makes a dollar bet with good old, it-which-can't-be-named. And based on that taunting bet, the good lord goes and fucks Job's life up beyond measure. Merely to see if Job remains loyal! That is remarkably fucked up.

Now, my Jewish friends will tell me that there are several levels on which to read and interpret that story. Fair enough. Even now, I can read my own metaphorical take into it. But there are people on this planet—lots of 'em—who take that story literally. And still they want to worship that god.

I can't believe we've come this far as a species.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fire Away!

Finally, from Wired, some back story to the biggest-selling, most popular (and, frankly best) app in history.

Choice cut:

First they had to save a company in crisis: at the beginning of 2009, Rovio was close to bankruptcy. Then they had to create the perfect game, do every other little thing exactly right, and keep on doing it. The Heds had developed 51 titles before Angry Birds. Some of them had sold in the millions for third parties such as Namco and EA, so they decided to create their own, original intellectual property. "We thought we would need to do ten to 15 titles until we got the right one," says 30-year-old Niklas. One afternoon in late March, in their offices overlooking a courtyard in downtown Helsinki, Jaakko Iisalo, a games designer who had been at Rovio since 2006, showed them a screenshot. He had pitched hundreds in the two months before. This one showed a cartoon flock of round birds, trudging along the ground, moving towards a pile of colourful blocks. They looked cross. "People saw this picture and it was just magical," says Niklas. Eight months and thousands of changes later, after nearly abandoning the project, Niklas watched his mother burn a Christmas turkey, distracted by playing the finished game. "She doesn't play any games. I realised: this is it."
And frankly, I'm relieved and amused to learn that even Salman Rushdie succumbed to its charms, too. 


I just learned that more than the two or three people I assumed read The Itch are checking it out. To which, I say welcome...

And, yipes!

I'm going to try to carry on as before and write more or less unvarnished truth. But, honestly, knowing that I'm being observed is bound to change the writing, if only a little. I'll do what I can to keep it real anyway.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

So Tired...

Running on fumes. Was up until 5 a.m. or so last night and had to get up at 8:30 for a meeting. Followed by another meeting. I was remarkably functional, but am starting to fade fast. But I can't go back to sleep because I have so much to do.

Question: Can something be too good to be sustainable?

Shadow Lands

Back from an hour and a half walk. It was drizzling and a bit cold, but not too bad. I love walking the streets at night. It's so still. I can think straight. I can walk in the middle of the road without worrying about traffic. I can startle raccoons. Toward the end of the walk, I realized I was passing the post office and decided to go in and check my PO box. Then I remembered. 

The last time I was there was the night that Debbie read the incriminating e-mail. The night my life irrevocably changed. 

The funny thing about that night is that I took both Henry and Pia on the walk to the post office. I couldn't help but notice that, after 10 awkward months, they'd finally reached a rhythm, a way of being together that worked. Nobody snapped at or chased the other. Everybody seemed happy to be out walking together. 

I'd entered the house all excited to tell Debbie about their newfound equilibrium, all happy that our little fur family was finally getting along, when I turned the corner to see her balling. 

Everything from that moment on has been painfully surreal. 


I realized tonight that while she's wrong about my intentions with the e-mails, Debbie might be onto something with at least some of her harsh judgements about me. 

Maybe, for instance, I've been too coddled in my life. Maybe not feeling the sting of bitter judgement for past transgressions has kept me from being vigilant about my actions. I don't know.

And it occurs to me that she's right about living in shadow. I've spent years really believing that I'd found a good balance between the dark and the light in myself. Mostly, I pride myself on swimming in the nuances of a world of grays, but still leaning toward white. Mostly, I tell myself that I acknowledge my dark side and maybe indulge it a bit now and again, but that really I feed the more decent and caring aspects of myself. Mostly, I think of myself, on balance, as a pretty decent person who does his best to treat others well and live fully.

But maybe I've been kidding myself. Maybe I cut myself all kinds of slack that I shouldn't. Maybe I'm the monster Debbie's made me out to be. Maybe she sees me more clearly than I see myself. 

I know I've lived more of my life in shadow than most. You spend the fourth through eighth years of your childhood being sodomized by a hillbilly neighbor and you tend towards shame and hiding. After a while, it becomes second nature. 

Even, apparently, after years of therapy, workshops, men's groups, vision quests, hallucinogenic medicines, and loving relationships. 

In my hubris—in my little dream world—I'd banked enough self work to take a year or two off. I'd come to such a good place in my mental, emotional, and spiritual health that I figured I could just chill for awhile and just be a normal fucking person. 

I figured wrong.

And I just had a serious, nasty object lesson as to why. 

Poetry At My Fingertips

More of this please!

The Scars Will Remain

I was thinking recently that breaking up gets easier as you age.

You've been through it all before. You've felt the worst you can feel and got through it. You know that even if the pain kills now, you'll come through it stronger and better and find someone on the other side that matches who you are afterward.

And those things are true....but…

Maybe it doesn't get easier at all, just vaguely familiar. The older we get, the nearer we are to death. The body still absorbs these shocks, but just as our physical wounds take longer to heal, rather than being more capable of dealing with them, maybe we become less so.

Plus each time we fall in love, we have a unique experience. If we go as deep as we'd like and really tap in to the full feeling—really merge with the person we love—then the cessation of that merging will be all the more painful. Or at least uniquely painful, abrogating the sense of having gotten through it before.

And then, of course, with each new break up comes the possibility of becoming jaded or bitter or just plain emotionally spent.


The connection I had with Debbie was so deep, so rich, so nourishing, so full, so real. It was literally transformative. I'm not the man I was 10 months ago. And living without that connection is shocking. It's a waking nightmare (god help those who lose a loved one to murder or, worse, lose a child).

I never understood before why the proverbial old man or woman who lost their partner would die soon after just from sheer heart ache. I always figured, hell, mourn, grieve, rebuild your life and start anew. But I get it now. I mean, I'm too young to really have the fullness of that experience, but I have a taste of it. I get it now.

I don't know, I don't need to be melodramatic about this. We'll both still get through this and come out stronger on the other side. We'll move on and in all likelihood find someone who better suits the newer, older us. But the wounds will take longer and need more tending to heal.

And the scars...they'll remain.

Sometimes It Lasts… Sometimes It Hurts Instead

God, the chord changes and melody are just gorgeous. And the refrain…

New Living Space

As I suggested in the previous post, I'm considering finding a new place to live. Like FB, it just feels empty without Debbie there. Everywhere I look is just another reminder of our time together.

There's that, and there's the financial angle. I really need to spend less than I'm making right now. I can't get any traction to dig out of the debt I've gotten myself into, because every time I have a decent chunk of money in my account, the end of the month rolls around and I take a big hit. And I'm just not making enough to mitigate that. 

I hate to let the space go because it's so sweet. It's quirky, has great personality, is perfectly located, has a great landlady, a hot tub, and just feels like home. It was my perfect little bachelor pad....until now. Now, it's just an fucking reminder of the emptiness in my life and of the without-a-doubt stupidest, biggest mistake I've ever made. 

So, I'm going to put feelers out and see if there's anything remotely livable that I can afford. 

Monday, March 7, 2011


I just deactivated my Facebook account. This will be the first time since signing up in late 2007 that I won't be at least tangentially connected to that community.

It feels weird already. Just before starting this post, I hit the Facebook bookmark out of habit. I had to delete it so I won't keep repeating that over the next few days.

This is an exile of sorts. Self-imposed ostracization. I can't handle the exposure right now. Don't trust myself to be out and open. And all my interactions have been feeling vapid and superficial.

And it's empty space without Debbie.

Don't know how long it'll last. Maybe only a few days. But going there right now feels so...different. I can't stand it.

Now to find another living space....

Quite Possibly

my favorite comic strip ever.