Tag Archives: passion

a lesson on shyness, shambles and the pursuit of “Awww”

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a beat writer fan’s cliche…our smoke on the water riff, if you will…where we first alight, find delight and begin our imitations…

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'” – j.kerouac

but i’m not here today to imitate, or to ruminate on the futures and fantasies this quote inspired behind my shy, collegiate eyes. i’m not writing with the same “Awww” in my throat as when i scribbled it in paint, dead center, on the black sheet of quotes and trippy things that hung in my early ’90s dorm room of disaffection and flannel.

what interests me this morning is the beginning of that sentence…the part i’ve never seen included with these words out of their context…the part i didn’t paint on my black sheep’s black sheet…

“they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and i shambled after as i’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because…”

i’ve always chosen the mad ones. jack described their salience so elegantly, so perfectly analogous to fireworks, like the ones i imagined were for me each july 4th as the nation kicked off its trish birthday festivities in anticipation of the 6th. the mad ones. i’ve hung rapt on their burning words. i’ve wished that my presence would explode like sparkling spiders enough to fill a sky full of stars, or even just a room. i’ve always hoped my blue centerlight would pop one day and the world would say “Awww” at all the love, brilliance, hope and wonder i carry in my heart.

i’ve spent a life shambling. i’ve spent a life feeling the cool cast of a shadow…someone’s shadow, all my days. i’d bet that’s not what people might guess. i’ve learned a lot about how those around me perceived me, my shyness and my life over the years. i was always alarmed and amused when i would learn later about people who were intimidated…the ones who thought i was always outrageous, confident, cool and cold. they were as surprised as i was fascinated when they learned i was a shy, nerdy, soft-hearted dreamer. they don’t know i was the littlest of 7 loud kids. they didn’t guess that i was once the awkward girl at school who got picked on or ignored completely. i went through a lot protecting that dreamer. i kept my tender heart a secret from so many, sometimes on purpose. i’m proud to say she’s made it through with bigger dreams, eyes and sighs than ever.

i used to shamble, but i’m picking up speed.

i always chased those mad ones because i thought i couldn’t be one…one of the people who interests me. i wasn’t interesting enough to others to interest myself. i wasn’t wild enough, free-spirited enough. i danced on peripheries looking for places to jump into the fun, afraid i wasn’t welcome. i felt like a wallflower but played the role badly enough to confuse all but the most perceptive viewers. i became a great sidekick to the loud and living. together we developed complex worldviews in galaxies all our own with our desires and perceptions as lenses. i gave them all the credit for whatever i found interesting in my life. strange then, that i chose so much solitude, moving and working always in new places, seeking my inner dingledodie and another one to play with.

i chose the mad ones as my mates. each time, i believed i was a partner, a mad one, half of a perfect dingledodie pair. sometimes we exploded, but too close to the ground, setting wild fires and hearts ablaze with romantic and destructive abandon. but most times i became the practical one, the grounded girl, the shambler. in the end i’d find myself shambling after the important details left strewn behind my mad one. i’d spend my energy admiring and shambling into trouble, picking up the pieces of our lives, waiting for that blue centerlight that was the fruition of their dreams, mine somehow now a footnote.

these days i’m free. free from the need or desire for shambling. free from the shyness that kept me from lighting my yellow roman candle for a crowd. i’ve picked a mate who seems inspired by my madness and need to burn, burn, burn and never say a commonplace thing (though i know i do more often than not). he does much of my yawning for me, leads with his mind and heart, lives for passion, expresses himself eloquently and honestly and never shambles. he cools and calms me, even as he stokes the fires in my belly, under my ass and in my most desirous heart. he leaves me space and gives me safety as i tap into the heat and beautiful chaos of my centerlight. it’s frightening. i have so much time and energy to devote to fulfilling all of these promises i’ve made to my Self…my excuses for inaction are now thin at best.

jack was a mad one. he describes himself in this most famous of quotes. i wonder if he ever realized he was exactly what he sought, what he loved. i wonder if he had a day where he woke up and realized the shambling was all in his mind. i wonder if he saw that in his whole life he never yawned or said a commonplace thing. i wonder if he ever anticipated that his beautiful and tragic life and poetry would explode across my mind and heart every time i set feet where he set his, or read words he wrote that feel like mine. i wonder if he ever looked up and realized how many shambled after him.

this is a poignant post for me, lacking the wit i love to wield behind my words. but, it is my most outrageous revelation of this brand new year, one of several i’m sure i will stew on as my clock ticks toward 40…as i realize that i am what i’ve loved…as i become more outrageously me…and share it with outrageous you.

may we all live out loud and with passion, my fellow dingledodies…and the self-awareness to feel it.

consequently karmic

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i don’t hear people use the word “consequence” to describe the results of anything good. maybe i’m missing it in conversation, but it seems to be one of those words that appears only in the same context as “discipline” and “learning your lessons,” usually mentioned in my internal dialog by deep-voiced authority figures…ones like the fake voices i sometimes use when reading to my little girl. as for me, i’ve seen consequences fall like burning rocks of lava from my sky for quite a while now…a shitstorm of consequences that burned and hurt and scarred, resulting from the actions of myself and another…Consequences of Doom that were volcanic, cataclysmic and explosive. i’ve also seen how important it is for every person to experience the natural consequences of their actions, doomy, gloomy or glorious.

consequences are merely outcomes…the natural outcomes of actions taken or not taken sometime earlier. they can feel awful, okay or even great…but the consequences themselves just are. i lollygagged through my day yesterday, fearing the unknown, imminent, unfortunate consequences that surely were looming behind my next whine or moment of procrastination. as i furrowed my brow through an all day recrimination festival, it dawned on me that the goodness in my life is also a consequence, or an enchanting collection of consequences, from a few things i must be doing right. it’s important to realize that consequences are your teachers, not punishments, not rewards. they teach us how to navigate choices, read people and relationships and keep our momentum when we catch a nice wave.

when things are this good in my life, i find myself searching for the mistake(s) i’ve made in the past or am about to make that will bring down with a crash all of the happiness and strength that i’ve built and enjoyed recently…bring it crashing down around my soft head and wide, exposed eyes of wonder. that search for doubt and impending despair is a product of fear, a little emotional luggage i suppose, and a sense that no one can really stay this happy…that i might not deserve it, that no one does…that someone or something will come along to suck the wind and enthusiasm right out of my chest.

but as flawed and messy as my life and soul can be, i’ve done a lot of things right. i Love with all my passion and heart. i protect human dignity and living things with every advantage i’ve been given, employing all of my strength, compassion and wit. i forgive myself for my flaws and laugh heartily at them, while celebrating those of others as the imperfections that make this Universe an eternal, delightful, forgiving playground. that’s gotta be worth something, right? i do it all because it feels good…but i have to acknowledge that my active Love in this world also brings consequences.

i’ve heard that karma is a bitch. that sounds kind of judgmental to me. i’m thinking that those who say it often probably experience the bitchier side of karma more than some. me?  i like karma. we get along just fine, even if we are both feeling a little bitchy. (then again, i typically love and play well with “insufferables,” i’m a a little weird that way). it’s important to remember that karma (or whatever spiritual/cosmic equivalent fits better for you in this context)  is also responsible for the delivery of Love and joy and fulfillment…not to the perfect, but to those who put out the effort to live hard, be kind, stay open and have faith. karma has no judgement. karma is consequences. take a look at your consequences sometime…the way you see them is the way you see your life. what you learn from them will be your life.

my blackberry just buzzed and since i’m expecting the call, i have to assume that it’s karma, wondering why the hell i’m so late to work. so i gotta run (or meander)…the Consequences are all there waiting for me and i really don’t want to piss them off.