zoethe: (Me)
I fielded a phone call from a nervous father today. His daughter is flying to Cleveland to spend the last few days of Spring Break with my daughter (and not get into any trouble at all—really), and he wanted to make certain that she would be met at the airport, transported safely, and generally just not stranded someplace.

As I was reassuring him of all of the above, I was thinking, oh geez, I have to impose on [livejournal.com profile] theferrett’s morning to get him to do all this and I know he hates to go to the airport and he will probably be cranky about it.

Instead, the response I got was, “No worries. I’ll take care of it.”

No huffing and puffing. No rolling of eyes. No, “but you’re gonna owe me for this.” None of the crap I would have had to endure a couple years ago. He knows my stress level is through the roof, so even though it’s a pain in the ass (I know, I hate going to airports), he’s being careful not to inflict anymore on me.

That deserves kudos, especially since they were so obviously unsolicited. Thank you, sweetie. The effort doesn’t go unnoticed.
zoethe: (Star Wars)
Aragorn is the first fictional character I ever fell in love with.

Oh, sure, I had teeny-bopper crushes on TV stars and singers. And this was [gasp] at the time when Harrison Ford had not burst upon the American scene. I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy and lost my heart to someone who existed only on paper. There wasn't even a picture to relate him to, no visual. I loved him for what he represented and for his nobility.

I fell in love with the ideal of honor and holding true to a task, no matter how painful, no matter the cost.

It is not an ideal that holds up well to real life in the modern world.

This first love was tucked away as I grew older and more cynical. As the practicalities of life pushed back idealism. But now Viggo Mortenson has stepped forward and filled the shoes of that youthful dream with impressive realism. And it reminds me of who I meant to be.

I have marched into death, holding the hand of a dying friend. I have flung myself into danger, preventing fatal mistakes by car wreck victims. I have held true in the face of despair. I have clung to my convictions when others told me to give up.

I have failed many times as well.

There are places I find myself wanting. Striving I must still do. But that is the lesson of Aragorn, isn't it? You continue to strive toward your goals. He hid from his fate as a Ranger for years and accepted the mantle with great reluctance.

And yet he did what he needed to do.

May I always strive to do the same.
zoethe: (witch)
Today is the day of remembrance, when we look to those who have gone before us.

My friend, Annie, died of cancer a few years ago, leaving 4 small children and a husband who loved her more than I've ever seen anyone else love a wife. I remember a late winter peroid when we thought we would lose her. Her liver had stopped functioning, she had slipped into a coma, she was jaundiced and not expected to last more than a day or two. Her mother and father had both come to town to say their goodbyes, and it was very chaotic, since her parents had not seen each other for over a decade, after a bitter divorce. Annie's husband, Mike, was trying to keep the peace, deal with four frightened children (ages 2-12), and deal with the hospital. I went to the hospital early in the evening and told him to go home, put his kids to bed, and get some sleep, that I would stay with Annie while he was gone. He was grateful for the break, and I sat with Annie for the entire evening, listening to the Jewel album she loved over and over and over (the song "Hands" to me is a remembrance of Annie). The nurses came in and administered morphine. And then came in later with more. And I got uneasy. They were drugging her to death, gently. And even though she couldn't speak, I got a sense that she wasn't ready to go, that this was wrong. Eventually the midnight shift came and went, and I dozed on the foldout couch where Mike lived these days.

At 2am even a hospital gets really quiet. When Mike came back in I got up and told him what I had sensed. His eyes went wide with amazement, He had picked up the same thing, too, but the doctors had convinced him that it was only wishful thinking on his part. When the nurse came in to give her the 2am shot, he told her no. She was shocked and amazed and wanted to know what made him think he knew best, and I don't think that without my backup he would have been able to go through with it, but he demanded that they arrange for him to take her home in the morning. She might die, but it wouldn't be in the hospital.

When the nurse finally left, having grudgingly promised to talk to the doctor in the morning, Mike wrapped his arms around me in gratitude. He clung to me, and I felt that slight but unmistakable shift from gratitude to vulnerability. We made eye contact and in that quiet moment, in the dark stillness on the threshold of death, I made the choice not to let him kiss me. There was nothing of attraction in it. This was a man whose life had been about nothing but death and dying for months. Is there anything that confirms that life goes on more than the touch of flesh, the act that creates life itself? In my mind and memory, the moment is sacred, holy, frozen in silent reverence of the woman who was dying and the fact that life must go on without her.

I did not let it happen. I broke away from the moment. Because I did not believe that Mike could go forward from such an encounter with the understanding of why it had happened. I felt that he would beat himself up for his "disloyalty" to his dying wife. I did not believe that he could separate what the act meant to him symbolically from the act itself. And the moment of renewal would instead become a cancer to his soul. It was a bond better broken than begun. But a confirmation of the connection between living and dying that I will cherish forever.


(Despite the dire predictions of the doctors that she wouldn't even survive the ambulance ride home, Annie recovered consciousness and mobility, and was able to make a final trip to Colorado to see family and friends there before she died, but that tale is best saved for another time...)
zoethe: (Default)
It's all spiralling away, and I don't know how to stop it. Did I throw the fuel together, break emotion into kindling, pile everything in the open? I put the match to it without meaning to, and now I fear there is no chance to undo the damage, prevent the conflagration from overtaking all.

Will there even be a foundation left when the heat dies down? When I can look again, will there be anything recognizable, or only a smoking hole of regret?

Where will I go when it's cold? Did I rely too much on this sanctuary? Was I foolish or just careless, believing it would always be there?

My life is a history of good-byes. No peace. No place. Ashes.
zoethe: (Default)
Been thinking a lot about sexuality and relationships. It's sort of in my face regularly because I am my buddy's support system as he goes through this divorce. He is hurting, and it's tough to see. He's had one real relationship in his life, been with her since he was 19,now it's gone, and despite having one hell of a career his identity is just way built around that.

Then during a brief conversation with Shel this evening about "Chasing Amy" and what a schlub Ben Affleck's character is in it there was a comment made about sex not solving problems. It led to this thought from me, which Shel though I should preserve here:

Assuming the only problem isn't frustration, for MOST relationships sex is, in descending order of preference (and this is within relationships, not casual sex):1) The icing on the cake; 2) The oil that keeps things moving; 3) The glue that holds you together; 4)The interlude of forgetting between fights; 5) An act of desparation between two frightened people.

Enough profound thinking for the night. I am trying to work my way through taxes and discovering that my anticipated refund is likely to be a big bill instead--damn that self-employed income!
zoethe: (Default)
This weekend will be spent moving Jeff into his own place. Break-ups are a bitch, but this one was in such need of happening. I remember teetering at that edge a long time before I finally made the jump with John, and I've never looked back, no regrets.

A week of rewriting people's life stories. I get letters in "Chinglish" that try to articulate the work these people do, and it's my job to not only dress up the grammar, but to determine what they are trying to say, and what their extremely complex research actually involves and turn all that into a persuasive support letter for submission to the INS. My brains are oozing out of my ears....
zoethe: (Default)
I look out onto the flat, gray lake beneath a winter sky. There are no palm trees here, no warm breeze to curl around my ankles and urge me down to the water's edge. The wind cuts through my jacket, flailing me with grit that stings my cheek.

There were other days. Days when our tangled ankles were all the touch that we could bear without the tropical heat pushing our desire back to the rumpled sheets. Lying in the shade as the air caressed our skin, seducing us into frenzy. I cuckolded you with a tradewind and you betrayed me with a zephyr. The sweaty panting on the cool tile floor was only the culmination of our adultery. You slipped into me aroused by the scent of the jungle. I was slick and ready with the call of wild birds. We used each other and groaned out satisfaction from primal depths. Our skin cooled under the breeze of the ceiling fan--and the jungle crept up our thighs and began the game again.

I look out at the winter lake and remember. I yearn for the tradewinds, but you I've left far behind.

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zoethe

September 2012

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