May 23, 2007

Existential Blues Review

I've learned a lot of useful things in my life, like never putting my finger in a strange ferret's cage, how to pull my leg out of barbed wire and still keep my flesh attached, and how to extinguish fires on my body.

Some of these lessons came with pretty heavy price tags and were pretty immediate in their arrival, like the time I learned that tossing a gallon of gasoline onto a pile of trash from an open container and then taking my time getting the flame to it will result in a massive, rapidly expanding circle of blue flames. And some of them have crept in slowly, thieves in the night who have taken months and years to slip under the cracks in my doors and through quietly broken window panes. Their passing has left less obvious results than burnt eyebrows or broken bones but their importance and their impact on my life has been much more far-reaching than a little road rash or a strange swelling that just won't go away.

One of those lessons I've had taught to me for a very long time is that I'm not that important in the grand scheme of things. And before everyone jumps up and tries to tell me how important I am to them, which would be thoughtful but misplaced right now let me say this: "In the big picture." I'm thinking on a scale bigger than the 15 or so Gentle Readers that I entertain here several times a week, bigger than the admittedly small circle of my real-life friends and family. What I'm saying is what I have learned--if you expand the focus of my impact on Life to even a city-wide range I am not even a blip on the radar. Expanded to country-wide or stars forbid a world-wide view and I blend into the background noise along with billions of other people.

I'm angry to some extent at the very common and very vague attitude that anyone can become president. What no one is going to tell you that the chances of you having a snowball's chance in a torch of becoming president is about one in a billion. The chance is there, but it's a chance even smaller that you'll win the Powerball lottery AND have an airplane fall on you. We're raised as Americans to believe that we're glorious, we're important, and that one day we'll be President, and it doesn't happen that way.

And that's as far as I got with that post, several days ago. I had a small breakdown during lunch after writing that, but hey, we all have our moments, right?

So. A little 'splainin' is in order, I guess.

Stucco, et al, I took down Cheetah Balls because it was like a lot of my projects in the past--put up a little too fast and with little if any forethought. It sounded good at the time but it wasn't what I envisioned, and since it's digital and all that it's also very, very temporary. I had fun while it lasted, and thank you and Scott and VW for playing along so regularly, but I've not got the time to support THIS blog properly, much less a second one.

My lack of posting. Depression I think is the main reason. Depression over a lot of things, but nothing new, honestly. There is, after all, nothing new under the sun. I won't even go into the list, but right now at the top is the fact that my ex-wife The Goat (no relation to Jay at Kill The Goat) is coming down in about two weeks to bring our daughter back to Oregon with her for the summer.

Long story short, I'm parent of record so I get to keep my Wee'relephant here in my home for the school year but The Goat gets her for the summers, and she lives about as far from me as is possible without physically leaving the country. And every year about the time, even if I don't realise it the black edges start creeping in around me, swaddling my life in suffocating burnt wool. I start reliving all the anger and the embarrassment and the blindness that lead me to that marriage, and it makes me feel more a fool than I usually do. And I'll mope and sulk and be angry in general at the mistakes I've made in my life (my daughter is not a mistake, but the route I arrived at her is counted very high as one) and at the general unfairness of Stuff, and usually about two weeks after she's been gone and it's sunk in that she's not here, she's not at Grandma's house or Uncle B.'s house, she's actually GONE until mid-August I'll finally tear off the last of that black edge and get on with my life again.

I've also let my exercising fall by the wayside, and the same with my meditation, and I know that's had at least a small hand in letting my moods swing back to the grim. Granted the surgery had a big hand (ass?) in keeping me from walking the treadmill or lying back on the bench under my Soloflex thingie, but I'm healed, so no more excuses.

Tomorrow I start back.




Scott from Oregon said...

I think what depresses you is that you know that people like ME live in Oregon and she is, after all, a girl...

(OK, I just had to poke the paternal hackles and see if they would rise. They did. Experiment successful.)

You're right, in the scheme of things, you're shit. But have you ever stepped in a pile barefoot? See... Quite an impact shit makes and ergo all of us who feel like shit....

Yeah. Do those soloflex thingies. You know the guy who originally modelled for that damned machine (the one all the girls plastered on their walls and made us dudes feel five beers short of a six-pack?

That dude was only 5-7.

Haha ha ha ha ha haaaaa...

I love that...

Stucco said...

You neutered da cheetah? Oh my... Sorry the Wee'relephant is off for a spell, but I mean really- who could say no to Oregon in the summer? I lived there once in my youth and loved it.

Irrelephant said...

Ah, my two favourite cronies. *lol*

Scott, she's 12, dude. Give her a few years, make a pass, THEN I'll cram you into a mayo jar nuts first and screw on the lid.

Stucco, I had to do it--it was spraying all over the furniture. The whole place smelled like a veldt in deep summer.

And who can say no to Oregon in summer? I can. Try letting one of your kids go away for three months, far enough away that all you have is a phone to connect you and see how you feel. It would be a whole different matter if I were there with her, or if this was a family thing, or if weren't her crazy-ass mother.

Nancy Dancehall said...

I know those black edges.


meno said...

I don't know how i would live for the whole fucking summer without my child. And mine is older than yours.

Of course you will miss her.

Oh, i hope this isn't too presumptuous of me, but get of yer ass and exercise.

Schmoopie said...

Count me as one who also knows about the black edges and how scary they can be. It has to be so difficult to see her go, even if just for the summer. It probably seems like an eternity. Meditation sounds really good. I need to work on doing that too. As well as the exercise!

Irrelephant said...

Thank you, Nancy. Hugs and friends are never refused. *S*

Meno, it's not. *lol* I more often than not need a swift kick in the back of my front to get going. That's why I've got my virtual peer group!

Schmoop, I didn't know you were here...thanks for chiming in! It's been this way for 9 years and I STILL can't get used to it, and yes, three months can take seven forevers to pass when it's your little one involved.

Jay said...

Depression, as you know, is not to be taken lightly, but at the same time, I think you have every right to be naturally upset at being separated from your kid. To be otherwise would make you less of a parent.

But I hope you find pockets of happiness even when she's not around, because life goes on, and you deserve it.

Stucco said...

No no- I meant it like "get your butt to Oregon too". Being away from chilluns is something I had recently been obliged to do, and I was broken down mess- and that was after 25 days. I don't think I'm going to allow mine to grow up or move out or any of that.

Amy said...

Hey, Irr. It's been a while, and I have no good excuse or anything, so I won't even try. I've just been thinking about you lately and wondering how you were doing. Now I know, I suppose, and I'm so sorry. I can't imagine how awful it is to be without your daughter for such a length of time.
*Big Hugs*
I've missed you.
-Amy (Once upon a time: Hannibal)

Vulgar Wizard said...

Oh, God, I thought you were going to break up with us there for a minute.

She'll be back before you know it, Papa.