Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Illumination

I'm reposting this because I find that I need to hear it. And because lately I'm exulting in being able to feel hope again.

Leaving work one stormy day, I find myself driving out of a rainstorm. A tiny sliver of blue in the distant sky catches my attention. Rays of sunlight falling out of it graze the freshly verdant hills of the Diablo Range, illuminating them against the lowering sky like rich green velvet in a jeweler's case.


Heading north, an ominous thunderhead in my rearview mirror masses against the mountains. To my left, the clouds split to reveal a bright clear-washed sky in bird's-egg-blue. The edge of a ball of blazing yellow peeks out of the billowy cloudbanks. On my right the same scene, reflected brilliantly in the mirrored skyscrapers on the opposite side of the highway, plays like a real-time movie of the sunset on a 500 foot screen. As I look behind me at the oppressive stormclouds and forward to the light-drenched late afternoon sky I am reminded of flying.

Taking off on an airplane on a cloudy day for the first time; as we climbed above the thick gray clouds of a dreary day and into a gloriously clear sunlit sky I realized for the first time, in a seeing-is-believing sort-of way, that the sun was still there when I couldn't see it.

Everyone knows on an intellectual level that clouds only block our source of light, right? That they can't extinguish it. But it doesn't seem that way from an earthbound perspective. "The rain has stopped. The sun is coming out," we say. But the sun hasn't moved. When I saw for myself that the clouds were only a flimsy barrier over my little part of the sky, my perspective suddenly widened. How vast is the cosmos, and how infinitesimal the part of it that I bear witness to.

No matter how much science teaches me about the universe, it seems difficult not to see myself as the center of it most of the time.

Life is like this: Sometimes all we can see is the storm. Gray clouds hide the sun and make us huddle against the rain, heads down, surviving rather than basking. Sometimes, no matter how well we are taught that the storm is only covering our little bit of the sky, that the sun is stronger and just waiting for the clouds to blow past; it seems impossible to believe that we'll ever see blue skies again.

This is for all those who are still in the storm but can see blue skies ahead. Keep moving, dear ones, the sun is waiting for you with outstretched arms, one day soon the storm will be behind you, and you'll glory in the radiance of the sun as you were meant to.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bailey in a bucket

My niece, Bailey, took me to task when I was visiting for being "Naughny" I like to call this the naughty video. Like, "Hey everybody, have I showed you my naughty video yet?" But that's just because I'm immature.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lather, rinse, repeat

So I've started to recognize a pattern (it always takes me a while). I start taking antidepressants> I feel better> I feel awesome> I crash> I up the dosage a little> I feel better> I feel awesome> I crash. You get the idea. 

I'm afraid to just jump into the dosage (the highest that's recommended) I was on originally because I tend to get little side servings of anxiety while my brain is adjusting to a new dosage and I'm afraid if I dump too much on it the poor thing will just implode. And then all my blog posts would look like this: djhksjgbdfwfbadglabeTWE. Nobody wants that. I think... (if I'm mistaken and you'd been dying to see what kind of writing I could produce sans brain, let me know and I'll throw something at you see what I can do).

Yesterday was a bad day. Today is also not so good. I should feel better by tomorrow or the next day. But today it feels like an angry horde of bees is trapped in my skull. And also my gut. Do bees run in hordes? I guess they don't really run at all. 

I'm scared about not finding a job. I keep going around in circles and coming back to what I do now as the only sure way I can pay the bills. I've already told my employer to start looking for a replacement because I don't want to put her in a bind if I find something else. It's a bad time of year for her to be without childcare, and I don't want her to have to transition later when things are even busier. But that means I might be out of work soon, except for a few hours a week. And everyone here is looking for a job. The market is flooded with people who are overqualified for the jobs I'm under qualified for. Bah. I'm going to live in a cave in the tropics and eat coconuts and carve sage and witty sayings into the cave wall that people will toss coins at me to view. Here's the first one:

Dear Pat Robertson,
WTF, man? You have just confirmed what I've thought of you for years and then some. I know Don Williams says I should go easy on you because you are a sad frightened little man on the inside, but I feel like shipping you to Haiti and feeding you to starving survivors. Thank you for confirming the prevailing and unfortunately frequently true opinion that Christians are assholes.

Yours truly,
HermitJ

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Guess what?!?

It's National Delurking day! That means if you read this you have to leave a comment or your nose will turn green and fall off. Or something like that. Talk to me, Peeps!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dear Anthem Blue Cross...

Thank you for the lovely flyer. It's so kind of you to ask if baby could be "in my future," and I'm thrilled to tiny little pieces that you have a program that offers free advice to moms and a magnetic erasable board you can put on your refrigerator to leave important information for your babysitter in plain view.

The flyer says that you send this information to all female plan members in my age group so I was wondering if it was my recent 35th birthday that triggered this mailing. If so I would like to tell you how much I appreciate the reminder (have a baby, before it's too late!) and how sincerely I hope that you get run over by a garbage truck full of poo.*

*This wish is not aimed at any specific individual employed by Anthem Blue Cross, just the organization as a whole.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Because I know you're dying to know what my opinion is on the latest blockbusters...

I think I've seen more movies this holiday season than I did the rest of the year put together. My sister Katie McAwesomePants has a job working at the local movie theater and the rest of my family now regards paying for a movie ticket as a thing of the past.

Example:

Me: How about Avatar?

All: Seen it.

Me: Well, I want to see Invictus.

Daniel: But it's not playing at Katie's theater so she can't get us in for free.

Me: Oh, does that mean we can't see it?

Huw: Well Katie wouldn't be able to put us on the list, so...

Me: We could... I dunno... go to the other theater and... pay for it?

Julie: ...[words fail her and the look of absolute horror on her face makes them unnecessary anyway]

Me: Or... I guess we could see Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Everyone: [collective sigh of relief]*

*Because my family members will probably complain that they didn't actually say any of those things I should add the disclaimer that I make crap up all the time. The preceding conversation was a re-creation based on actual events, or something like that.

So that's how I ended up seeing Hugh "I play one character, and also myself"** Grant and Sarah "only cool people share my middle name" Parker in the worst movie of the year. Nothing more needs to be said on that subject.

**I used to think maybe Hugh Grant couldn't act and the daffy-but-lovable stammering Brit he always played was just his real personality, but then he got caught with that hooker and played Daniel Cleaver and it turns out he's actually a complete asshole who plays one character and then occasionally gets a role in which which does not require acting (see: Cleaver in Bridget Jones, also, About A Boy).

The night before I left I didn't want to sleep because I had to leave for the airport at 2 to catch a 5:30 flight out of Boston since I had no idea what to expect at security.*** So Julie and Libby and I went to see Avatar (Ju was nice enough to see it again) at 10 pm. Good times. It was purty. I recommend the 3d version. Even if you actually have to buy a ticket.

This weekend I saw Leap Year (silly but fun), Invictus (just, wow. Go see it, really), and New Moon (Oh Em Gee, it was like, rilly rilly funny? But, like, I don't think it was supposed to be? You can cut the teen angst with a knife. But it'll dull your knife.)

***Thank you, Mr "I'm not just happy to see you that's a bomb in my pants" Christmas Terrorist, for the extra wait times and the pat-down at security. It was special.






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