I’ve been traveling for work which has kept me from the computer but mostly I’ve been lost for words the past few days. Partly I’m so angry and I can’t write at all about it, physically can’t do it, apparently. When I look over what I’ve written here it’s so fucking characteristic of my always-already-solved approach to everything. I had a problem but it’s JUST FINE now thank you very much. I’ve got it ALL UNDER CONTROL. And god knows I do, like a fist around my heart. When I write, here or in my personal notebook, it feels like I’m peeling back these iron fingers, the dead hand of all those lessons of control and not showing your feelings and not showing weakness above all.
Of course it’s not all fine. I’ve spent the last six years of my life sleepwalking. Now I’m stumbling around like a newborn kitten trying to figure out what the hell happened. I’m just screamingly angry at it all, the lost time, the deep lessons that told me to shut the hell up and tough it out and if I wasn’t happy, that was life, that was my own damn fault.
We went out last night, at my suggestion, to a sorta-gay-bar place close by. So nice to be able to sit there with my arm around her and to look at the girls. Sexy girls with little shoes and carefully presented cleavage (my personal weakness), or even better, the college girls out in a group, one wearing a tie, who came and stood near us like maybe we knew what the heck we were doing? Not quite but whatever. I want to write something about all that, finding a context at long last and trying to understand where I fit into it, and why I failed at that so spectacularly in college, but I think that’ll have to wait a day or to. Anyway it was lovely and like everything these days awash in a sea of complicated feeling.
This morning we went to church and it was all about Passover. The minister is quite brilliant and she tied together Judaism, early Christianity, Buddhism, and the Rastafarians, roaming throughout time and space but always gently repeating the main messages. A time in bondage and the force of mind-forged manacles. Exodus and the sojourn in the desert. Faith in redemption and the promised land. She ended with a meditation from a modern Jewish writer—I didn’t get the name but I’d like to find it. It was in the form of words of advice to those about to enter the desert. Some of you will be changed beyond all recognition; the people who have known you since birth will not recognize you. Some will feel abandoned by you. But you will find new friends in unexpected faces. That was just part of it—I had to fight not to cry, it was so damn relevant.
But I’m not going to end this on a note of resolution and redemption, not now. I’m so sick of doing that. I’m still in the desert, this is not the promised land, and I don’t have a neat narrative to off that would paper over the raw bleeding heart still struggling out of that deadly grasp.
Instead I’m going to try to embed this video of Michael Stipe singing One (by U2). To me this song has always been about answering back to a world that asks us to enter and then makes us crawl. Watching him sing it, when he was still essentially in the closet, I finally cried and cried and cried. And I recognized this feeling in my stomach. It’s grief.