Lessons

May. 29th, 2011 07:46 pm
tuzemi: (Default)
Ten things I've learned the hard way:

1. That I only learn things the hard way.
2. That I am fully capable of the hardest academic pursuits.
3. I have to work at being still.
4. My body gets older, my mind gains memories, but my heart has not changed in twenty years.
5. It is easier to sound optimistic than be optimistic.
6. I judge people more than they judge me.
7. I have not dedicated enough time for stories.
8. I have done very well at work but paid a big price at home.
9. Even conservatives have a point (sometimes).
10. I am closer to the moth than the rock.
tuzemi: (Default)
The cat died six months after my last post ("Silenced..."). Not "the" cat, actually one of two cats, but really "the" cat because we had her before we ever got married, and we chose our duplex for her, and even our house partly for her. She hated most people, but dearly loved us and her routine of napping on the bed and chasing grasshoppers in the yard when the weather was nice (which wasn't nearly as often as we had hoped because it was so damn hot). After she died we gave the other one to another home that would be less depressing for her since she was still very young and was so needing/loving to other people.

With the heart forcibly cut out of our cat-family, I finally dusted off the resume and put myself "out there" in search of a new job and a new life. It took some time to get the pipeline of applications rolling, but after a couple months a recruiter called for a company I had never heard of and two months later we're now in a hotel looking for a new home a thousand miles away from the old one.

Along the way I learned that I am an INFJ -- the rarest temperament of all -- and was meant to be a teacher or counselor or priest or poet rather than an engineer. Go figure. But it explains my personal history and my career and gives me a very powerful tool in controlling my future. My life is filled with W's: "word magic", "wanderlust", "writing", "walking", and "wife".

I'm not going back. Ever. No more Red States, no more Slave States, no more holding myself inside a box while trying to help fucking ingrates. We've got enough to do up here trying to save the world.

Tonight we sleep, and tomorrow morning I (we?) hit the hotel gym in a new beginning to things.
tuzemi: (Default)
I read this book about eight years ago and absolutely loved it. Besides the Arthurian stuff of course, I liked the way Bradley had turned the legends over and wrapped an interesting fantasy around it, focusing simultaneously on the emotional flaws of the main characters and the encroachment of Christianity into the region. (And I laugh at the 1-star reviews over at Amazon.com that trash the book because it's ahistorical, as though there exist ANY Arthurian legends that aren't already intertwined with fantasy. Who cares that the depiction of the pagan religion isn't historical? _Mists_ is already shelved in the fantasy section!)

What really struck me though was when Morgaine goes to Wales and slowly begins the process of re-finding herself as a Priestess. I vaguely remember being on the floor reading those pages and them having such profound effect.
There was no sleep for me that night. Alone, I walked in the garden till dawn, and I knew already, shaking with terror, what must be done. I did not know how, or whether, alone, I could do what I had begun, but as I had been made priestess so many years ago and renounced it, so must I retrace my steps alone. This night I had been given a great grace; but I knew there would be no more signs for me and no help given until I had made myself, alone, unaided, again the priestess I had been trained to be.

(Ah...I remember now. I was on the floor at Somerset, and I had gotten this book near the beginning of my search to find my center again after a long-term relationship had imploded. I had spent years trying to be someone else, anyone else, than who I had been growing up, but after the relationship I realized that I would need to struggle to be a better person but also let go of my own self-loathing. In _Mists_ I found the same struggle in Morgaine.)

This is still one of my favorite stories of someone who threw away their chosen path only to fight their way back. Yet Morgaine is still human, and we already know how her story ends, and it is a train wreck that you can't avoid. She's going to become one of the most hated villains in legend, but from her perspective she is trying to save her world.

The other thing I really liked is the calm Zen-like practices of Avalon. A day spent in meditation and quiet living has always been appealing to me. I really can't wait for the day my wife and I can have our own place.

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