Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the showing up

this wonderful TED talk by elizabeth gilbert reminded me of so many people i know.

there is a embryonic thought in my mind that this is exactly why we should seek the "authentic", the "small"... there's something running through this idea that what might be divine or transcendent is revealed when we are at our most human, not trying to tell of G-D, but tell of ourselves. and in doing so, that which could or might see beyond how we understand the world, that which is outside of us, speaks in, through or around us... is revealed.

in other words, we can err as humans, and if we are willing to let that constant state of error be out in the world, others might see even in our stumbling, the alternative, get a glimpse of what i'm calling at the moment, the G-D's eye view. i've been thinking about tich naht hanh's phrase that conflict happens because we do not understand one another. perhaps then i am wondering, if i best understand what i call G-D as the unknowable eye or ear or heart which is above or beneath or in the middle of all situations and experiences, outside time and space is that which sees into the heart of all the players and thus understands what causes things and what we all really feel.

if only you could see you through my eyes, with my heart, with my mind, and soul, and i, yours. but we can't. that's not the deal we got given as humans.

so our job is maybe, yes, to just keep turning up and tell how we experience life as honestly as we can, and attempt to understand one another. to see in all our erring what it is we have in common. and listen to the other voice that weaves around our ongoing conversation. that which brings both mystery and clarity.

it's all about best guesses when you don't have an all seeing eye. to claim otherwise is to claim to be G-D.


Monday, March 30, 2009

somethings from the weekend

all of which are being thrown together here... placing cheektojowl things which seem disconnected so often reveals just how much they're all about the same thing underneath.
(and that's a sign for me that the mojo is returning - juggling multiple thoughts and joining the dots... it's been too long since my synapses felt this agile and sparky)

lovely time spent with Pádg included him showing me this...

from Moyra, a prayer for the new season

....Dear God...
we celebrate spring's returning and the rejuvenation of the natural world.
Let us be moved by this vast and gentle insistence that goodness shall return,
that warmth and life shall succeed. Help us to understand our place within this miracle.
Let us see that as a bird now builds its nest, bravely, with bits and pieces, so we must
build human faith. It is our simple duty; it is the highest art; it is our natural and
vital role within the miracle of spring; the creation of faith.


- from cartoonist, Michael Leunig


this image provoked me to meditate on the prejudices that come with our concept of "normal" almost as much as this audio piece. Pádg played me the moving Act 2, Tom Girls, from this February edition of this american life.

so much exclusion and oppression is based on the poverty-through-limitation of how we define and understand gender. what we expect people to be like, or not like - our discomfort when they don't fit our expectations or boxes. every human being is different from every other. it is not difference that makes thomasina and lily set apart. it is that society does not (yet) include them as whole human beings. in other words, it's not these girls that need fixing.


a google search for this american life threw up this gem. ignore the youtube description "chris ware talks about his work". it's a story from TAM with a chris ware animation to accompany it. i've loved ware's work for several years. i even considered one of his recurring images as a tattoo design for a while.
i'm filing this story under the ongoing theme, "how broadcasting the events of our lives changes the experience of living".


dark humour...

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will make me go in a corner and cry by myself for hours.
- eric idle. whose birthday was celebrated by the writer's almanac.


an ongoing conversation that i am really enjoying, reflected beautifully here and here by feminine feminist


some interesting, and frankly disturbing stuff (Quiverfull? crikes!) at the emerging women blog, which i'm only just starting to peruse. nice to see some familiar names there.


gran torino


back to nest building... goodness returning. grateful.


Friday, March 27, 2009

what seems like our weakness is our strength

It’s very possible I’ve mentioned this track before but I’d happily recommend it every day.

This could so easily be the anthem of the Inner Path therapeutic retreats I was on in the fall. It sums up their philosophy so well. It always brings the faces of the folks I shared those weeks with to my mind... their stories, their pain and their desire to change their lives for the better and the struggle we all experienced to get over the top. Like running in concrete shoes… you either keep pushing forward, or you stop and you take off those damn things… the chains that bound them to the past, the brutality experienced, the confusion of not being able to stop the events that brought them to their knees…

I’m ending a three year relationship this week. A terrifying and liberating experience. The only relationshup I’ve ever had that had built in the permission to walk away with no guilt or regret. Sad but also a very necessary part of the relationship. That one day I’d leave to safety of the sacred room we share.

This is for friends who are struggling to get what they need… with it’s nothingshortofexquisite chord changes that make me choke up every time, I hear these words and feel deep sense of love for those I wish I could communicate with better, or indeed at all. because it reminds me of what it means to forgive myself and everyone else for not always getting it right...

Welcome to the ocean
And welcome to the sand
And say hello to water and
goodbye to your dry land
‘Cause I know that you’re thirsty
But don’t know how to drink
And I know that you want to swim
but you know that you’ll sink

but Break the chains
And break the chains
that hold you here
and Face the change
and Face the change
You’ve come to fear
And you’ll will see
How to be free
From the gravity
That holds you down
And keeps your feet firmly planted underground

Welcome to this mountain
Of things you don’t perceive
And soon you’ll find your peace of mind
as you soon as you can leave
‘Cause change may take persistence
But it can be done
‘Cause Itsy Bitsy had it right
depending on the sun

Break the chains
Break the chains
that hold you here
and Face the change
face the change
you’ve come to fear
And you will see
How to be free
From the gravity
That holds you down
And keeps your feet firmly planted underground

The Ocean and The Mountain – from already, not yet CD by aaron roche– available for purchase on aaron's myspace.


paradoxical logic

picked up on andrew sullivan's daily dish, which is my staple morning fare with my first coffee. i'm not always in agreement with sullivan's views, but he never wastes one's time.

Mass media reaches its natural end-state when we broadcast our lives rather than live them.

which sits well inside the 144 character tweet requirement...
twitter exemplifies Baudrillard's philosophy

i'm currently drafting an article for Queermergent blog, which will have something to do with labels, identity and the diversity of theological identities in the emerging church (if i ever get the damn thing finished). sullivan posted this dvd trailer, which is not unrelated...
Lord, take this away

right, back to living. which today consists of completing a college application and viewing a flat to rent. <---- mass media reaching end state. couldn't resist.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

like bitter chocolate

i'm really enjoying the Q&As neil gaiman does over on his journal - see sidebar.

this quote came up in the latest. bloody hell, it's just delicious.

When we hold each other, in the darkness, it doesn't make the darkness go away. The bad things are still out there. The nightmares still walking. When we hold each other we feel not safe, but better. "It's all right" we whisper, "I'm here, I love you." and we lie: "I'll never leave you." For just a moment or two the darkness doesn't seem so bad.

from Hellraiser #27, "Hold Me". DC Comics' Neil Gaiman's Midnight Days collection.


this dose of pure silliness was sent my way by my own gay boyfriend, with the instruction, "save this for a moment when you think, i need a laugh", 'cause it's been making him chuckle. a *lot*.

some of the comments in response on youtube are hilarious as they are absurd.
quite a few folks have given this waaaay too much thought and thus seem to have missed the joke entirely.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

all or nothing

i found resonance with the words of Prince William this week, when he said,

Never being able to say the word "Mummy" again in your life sounds like a small thing. However, for many, including me, it's now really just a word – hollow and evoking only memories... I too have felt – and still feel – the emptiness on such a day as Mother's Day.
whenever one loses one's mother, and regardless of the kind of relationship one had, the death is the loss of our first home, our birthplace. someone with whom the connection is the deepest humans can ever know. i know how complicated the grieving process has been in the 10 years since her death, and i have witnessed the scar the death of a mother when one is a child creates in the lives of friends. i have witnessed the pain of mothers not dead, but somehow lost all the same...

i'm fairly certain i've not written about my relationship with my own mother on these pages except perhaps in the most brief of mentions. it's been an intentional omission...

my mother was a troubled person. our relationship, in life, and death, complicated... her anniversary this past October came at a time when i was working my way towards reconciling the maelstrom of emotions her memory evokes in me... processing stuff i wish i had the opportunity to deal with when she was alive and much much sooner after her death.

it is no coincidence that i was in voluntary therapeutic retreat in the week leading up to October 2nd 2008. that day was significant to me in ways i can't express. for events, like anniversaries, themselves are not as significant as the one you share it with. i can say it marked a decade (more than) of wrestling with how to relate, to have the courage to speak well and ill of the dead...to find something like peace with her memory, with the parts of her i now know i lost long before the punchline of her death, and, with the many parts of her i carry in me still. for all roads lead back to her. and they somehow always will... my first home and thus the tether that pulled (and still can pull) more strongly than any other...

i know my mother was also a beautiful person. unique. deserving of love... but knowing
how to love another is rarely a simple thing... it was no less true on that night last October than it was when she was alive. so much lost to silence. of having to conceal one's feelings... my mother silenced much of what was inside her. at great cost. if she has left a legacy, it's that i don't want to give myself up to silence. when i do, my world implodes. life is too short to spend it not saying how you feel. i learnt that this winter. found myself exploding in reverse after attempting to silence my feelings for the benefit of someone i love. it was too much like being her that not being me. silencing one's love and desire can be just as damaging in the end as silencing pain.

it's Mothers' Day. or, as was the old way, Mothering Sunday. for mothering is done by many, not just mothers. and sometimes it has to been done only by ourselves for ourselves.

i am my mother's daughter. for the layers of memory... and love. that which i can voice. and that which had to be silenced.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

object of affection

so very worth seeing... a delightful exploration of what might happen if mental illness is embraced as necessary for a person to heal - a creative solution to deep human need, needing to be heard rather than a problem needing cured...
touching, funny, moving.

Lars and the Real Girl.


Friday, March 20, 2009

a master of the Uncanny

as i try and distract myself, i've been listening to this...

neil gaiman reading his own 'children's novel', The Graveyard Book. unabridged and all for free on a video book tour.

i have his journal on rss feed and it's beautifully human. it makes for a door into a box of quirky and spooky delights. his world makes me feel like i'm suspended between child and adulthood.
typically dark but never without hope, gaiman writes for young people without writing down to them. well worth the time, whatever your age.



weird day... largely unproductive thanks to feeling unsettled at the place of no place i'm in. i can't move until i have a place to move to and until i move i don't have room to empty my shelves and cupboards and pack. so i'm in perpetual waiting until i get a flat.

in this limbo place of here and not here i've been thinking about the dark, difficult things people i love are carrying with them, trying to live beyond and without... and any anger i feel gets dissolved in something like understanding and care as i think about survival...of how much i admire and love... and i find myself missing...

missing days. voice. face.
so much.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

i hear you

colour me humbled. I could say, "I’m not sure how to follow that…" but I do. sometimes you just have to trust that nothing needs to be said and that one’s heart is understood.

colour you, loved.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

in absence of a better plan

happy st patrick's day.

i have hugely mixed feelings today. good memories colliding with regret and shame.

so i'm off for a Irish lunch. i.e. a liquid one and hopefully make new memories that (hopefully) in the future will only ever make me smile.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

thrown together

i went to ikon for the first time in months. it left me thinking,

we are thrown into this life. we don't get a choice to start. it just happens.
and the being thrown doesn't stop. the future comes toward us with constancy.
and any semblance of control over what it brings with it, as we move forward into it,
is but illusion. our hands are never truly at the wheel. if they were, we would be G-d.

we are thrown, each of us on our trajectory. we are thrown separately. on our own...
but we are all thrown - none of us excluded. and so in one sense, we are thrown together.

sometimes we collide as the courses of our lives weave ever forward in the thrustpushthrow
that is this life. however much control we try to exert on the line we are tracing, to embrace in the colliding or to pull away onto another path, we can never know the intricate changes effected on this universe by the throwing we are undergoing, each and together.

we waste more time in this short precious life pretending we are in control than over most things... making plans, avoiding, weighing, devising. we do it all assuming that we will have a complete tomorrow, and a day after that.
i guess none of us ever realises how lucky we are until we lose what's precious. and the rest of the time we're thinking we know better. we're throwing it away.


the thumpa thumpa continues

so we went and got some...

As our lady of Disco, the divine Ms Gloria Gaynor has sung to us : We will survive.
good people. good time.

the Lord invented the shot known as the Baby Guinness. and in divine wisdom invented the all day breakfast known as the fry.

it all balances out in the end.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

damage limitation

someone said to me today that it's really hard to ever explain what it feels like to suffer depression to someone who hasn't experienced it. what words will suffice, will capture the darkness...

having spent a good many years of my youth living with someone in a sustained phase of depression, i can still remember the frustration. to have gone through the experience myself, i feel empathy now like i never did. a kindred sense of, i get it now. i get why you couldn't find the will, the vitality, the more-than-just-functionally-exist essence in you...

people mean well. they love you and they desperately want you to "be positive". how? if i could just, be positive i wouldn't be depressed in the first place. and i appreciate the sentiment of those who phrase encouragement in terms that reflect an understanding, i hope you are surprised by hope, knowing when there are better days, when it comes from somewhere if only briefly, for a glimpse, it's not something one has just magicked up from the inside. that's why i pray. that hope will come find me. not once but many times over. and eventually stick around for a while.

in truth, it's not a sustained same feeling, this darkness. it has nuances... it's morphs and moves...

some days it's numbness. i came across an email today, a note of love. short but romantic. and i realised i couldn't remember what it felt like to receive that email... i know i would have felt suffused with thrill and desire and longing and wishing they were nearer and not far away but also sparked by joy and grinning that someone had stepped out of their busyness to tell me they loved me and wanting to share a moment of their life far away. but i couldn't conjure up that feeling. i know it as a thought memory. but i didn't have the bodily memory to match. it was as if it had been written to someone else and not me. i don't say that with self pity. just as a matter of fact. an is: i can't remember. i guess my body doesn't want to...

for as much as it destroys, it also protects...

there are the foggy unvital moments, hours, when one has to actively work at being present in a room, to actually have mind and body let alone heart all in sync together, concentrating on conversation, afraid to come into the present for fear of the rush of pain that comes when one feels oneself return. for depression is conflict and anger turned inward. kept on the inside so as not to disrupt the outside.

it kills joy. and sometimes just unfathomable. or abstract.

there are moments when one feels at least comfort, safety, connectedness. and in their wake comes that rush of hurt. one starts feeling. and it can take days to swallow it back down. hours spent on train journies or walking down streets fighting back tears that come unbidden.

for to reach joy one can only bear going first through sorrow. giving voice to all that is silenced, unsaid...

i am moving to seek safety. a space where the world can't get to me unless i let it in. because as much as i can't remember those feelings, i know it is the vital me that is hurt. so i want to be someplace else. where i can step out of the depression and refind whatever that vitality was, but elsewhere. where i have a mimicry of control.

people are kind, supportive. they say, you have so much to offer, so much spark. can't you re-find it? but yes, i reply, that was the me that has been hurt more times than i care to count. if that me comes back to life i want it to be someplace else...
i choose to go to be alone and no doubt lonely, than stay and find vitality returns, hope returns, knowing just how much i can be hurt. i don't want that risk anymore. not here.
not where there are constant reminders of why i keep the conflict on the inside.

in this space, i'm not excited about moving. i just want to be away. and on my own. no longer part of something. and in peace. where those that have hurt me can't find me, where i don't have to keep pretending there's no conflict. a simple existence. no fanfare, no ambitions. completely ordinary and pedestrian...

with only a fragile empty prayer that it'll all get easier. that things will work themselves out. and i'll busy my days and in the daily routine i'll forget it all. the good and the bad. the joy and the sorrow.

the desire to be someplace else where i don't need depression to contain the painful feeling of being part of something called community that's always going to be broken and failing.

let's call it damage limitation. and i don't need anyone to tell me it's futile. but i don't have the energy to come up with an excuse for walking away.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

homespun love

check out the SoF Observed blog for a gorgeous piece of poetry read by Argentinian poet, Alicia Parnoy

every so often
when the moment is right
our love recalls
that it is,
like we are,
a survivor


just came across this gem while looking for something else entirely.
neil gaiman's journal and website. a feast of stuff. i'll be exploring this for days. as procrastination from packing up boxes of belongings, no doubt.


counting down

fuck. it's all getting very real.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

handing it over...

it was a prodigal day. and i dragged my way through it.

i received a note, from someone who gets this dislodged place,
i hope you are surprised by hope

hoping for hope was as much as i could manage. old tapes ran over and over, carving me out as they went round.


i went to a bible study and found the word i needed...

parable (the gospel according to Luke 18:18-30)

A certain ruler asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’
Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honour your father and mother.” ’

He replied, ‘I have kept all these since my youth.’
When Jesus heard this, he said to him,
‘There is still one thing lacking. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’

But when he heard this, he became sad; for he was very rich. Jesus looked at him and said,
‘How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’

Those who heard it said, ‘Then who can be saved?’
He replied, ‘What is impossible for man is possible for God.

during the conversation i was reminded of the first of the 3 twelve steps...

one. We admitted we were powerless over our addictiontoalcoholgamblingsexdestructiverelationshipsdrugslovefood
powermoneyyounameit — that our lives had become unmanageable

two. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
three. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of G-D as we understood G-D.

i didn't tell them for fear that i'd be misunderstood. while some of them spent a while convincing themselves a camel really can enter through the eye of a needle, i stared at the page and heard Jesus saying to the rich and now sad young man,
what do you lack? you lack NOTHING.
when you have nothing,
when you are powerless, when you are poor, when
you cannot rely on You to get you through,
you will understand

blessed are you who are at the end of your rope,
because you know just how much you need


when i got back i was met by a gift from a beautiful, talented friend, who had recorded for me an incredible cover of a song we have both been inspired by

"Who Is It?" - Bjork

His embrace, a fortress
It fuels me
And places
A skeleton of trust
Right beneath us
Bone by bone
Stone by stone
If you ask yourself patiently and carefully:
Who is it ?
Who is it ?
Who is it that never lets you down ?
Who is it that gave you back your crown ?
And the ornaments are going around
Now they're handing it over
Handing it over

He demands a closeness
We all have earned a lightness
Carry my joy on the left
Carry my pain on the right

If you ask yourself patiently and carefully:
Who is it ?
Who is it that never lets you down ?
Who is it that gave you back your crown ?
And the ornaments are going around
Now they're handing it over
Handing it over


nothing is a gift.


at the end of the rope
i open my hands


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

on the brink...

i was going to use the above title when i posted yesterday morning, and resisted, if only because i didn't want to give in to the agenda of the dissident republican terrorists to inspire fear that we've taken a step towards the edge. but breaking news tonight has now brought the words to the fore.

we're just back from a great night at the re-opened Ulster Hall. it was just what i needed. if i was angry at G-d today then i made a bit of peace tonight. several attempts to give my ticket to the sold out show were turned down, leading Jayne to believe i was going to change my mind at the last moment and that she wasn't meant to give it away as i'd asked. and not knowing if my ticket had found a new owner, i decided to go at the last minute.
and i'm glad that i did. it reminded me just how much gigs for me used to be church. the place where i'd connect and believe like no place else. i felt such gratitude for that reminder tonight. so glad i went. it was a shot my soul needed. so much energy.

and we come home to this news...

i travelled last night through Craigavon on a bus laid on to ferry rail passengers between Dundalk and Portadown as the train line was closed due to security threats. we were stopped in Craigavon at a checkpoint by heavily armed police. it was chilling when one of them boarded the bus. not because he was a threat, (he was actually pretty friendly and apologetic for the disruption) but because of what their presence represented... the past catching up and threatening to take over. i could feel everyone exhale when the policeman disembarked. the bus was pretty much silent for the last few miles of the journey.

i wondered how many were praying...

don't let this happen
this is Your job
we pray
you listen
and you're meant to help us transform
so listen
and don't let this happen
this place and its people
have been through enough
so pull us back
please G-d
pull. us. back.
help us pull us together.
help us wage peace...

for the second night in a row i find myself praying the same prayer...

pull us back


Monday, March 09, 2009

running to stand still

a difficult weekend of hard conversation and decisions has passed and proved not to be fatal. just tiring.

as i took a disrupted journey back to Belfast last night against the backdrop of horror created by the murders in Antrim of Saturday night, i talked with a woman who feared the loss of the peace and freedom she has felt these past few years. her words echoed those that seem to be on everyone's lips, let's hope this is not a return to the old days.
against the political outside i felt the contrasting feeling i wrestle with everyday on the emotional inside, that i don't want things to stay the same. i too want to leave the past behind, but i don't want the way things have been to stay the same. i have felt so little peace or freedom.

i've always imagined liminal spaces as kind of empty but in this transition how can lost feel this full of feeling? and i am reminded of words as i prepared to leave the safety of therapeutic retreat last fall, that the place between the old life and the new might be the very place where we find G-D.

taking some small steps this week to start building the new life, which is going to be different and probably hard for some time to come in its own way. but i guess there's only one direction you can go from this place of bottoming out. all i hope for now is an uneasy peace someplace else that might grow into a real lasting inner peace in the future.

or perhaps i hope that one day i will look back and find i had courage that i do not feel right now, in changing what i can. acceptance, where i now i only feel resignation and disappointment

this season has been full of acts i'm told are strength but all too often feel like failure. moments when i have to forego narcissism for the acceptance of only being human and not responsible for anyone but me. learning that what feels like a desire for reconciliation is sometimes one's weakness in disguise. just one of several ways of being i am trying to relearn. to reframe what one's idea of trust is, what makes for compassion. one of the struggles of this liminal space is finding that what i think G-D would want of me and what i must do for my own wellbeing are not necessarily the same thing... but maybe i have misunderstood the divine intention... just as i have misunderstood love.

i feel angry at G-D on days like these. because i wish these lessons weren't so damn hard to swallow. but maybe their pain means they're important. i just wish He'd found other vessels to teach me with. but then i guess one can't be hurt by people you don't care about. which is probably as true as saying we most hurt those we care about. and without the hurt i'd not be learning the lessons i need...


Saturday, March 07, 2009

in search of play

paul reminded me of the importance of play

something i so need to be reminded of. i know i am far from alone in having to work at having fun. of letting myself enjoy moments with unabashed exuberance.
these things are a balance - to avoid avoiding life and pain by gluttony or hedonism and only going after moments where one can pretend there are no wounds needing healing is no better. i know i've been hurt by that as much as by the asceticism of another, those who refuse to let their hair down at all. neither extreme is fun.

somewhere in the middle, there's healthy delight in the world. i remember one of the last times i felt that unabashed wonder, where i had no self consciousness and let enthusiasm and wonder roll from my lips without censor. i felt light and carefree. i count it as one of the most beautiful moments i have ever known. for i felt like the me i had always wanted to be. relaxed in myself. unashamed to let another see me at my most unselfconscious.

the fear that one will not get back to that place, ever feel that sense of delight and play, that art is to be embraced like a child, with wonder is palpable. a fear of not finding oneself again. that healing has limits and i won't be found whole. but with an essential capacity for delight missing.

but i hope not. today i'm going on a search for some art. a gift to myself. to let my mind switch off for a while from making decisions i am struggling with. let the child within me take over.

:: a lift :: for the soul...

thanks paul.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

fixing a hole

team fury started into walter brueggemann's book on great jewish prayers from the OT.
we sat in prayer for a while after conversation. i wrote mine to keep my mind from wandering...

YHWH, who hears...

what would i demand of you,
beg of you?
what would i cry and groan if i believed that you were listening...
if i believed you might respond?

would i ask for anything if i believed in your presence?
or would i be awestruck
or babbling with praise?

we know the answer to that
i'm neither awestruck or praising
i pray at the bottom of things
whether you're there or not
not knowing if you're listening or ignoring...

doubt keeps me mute
my intellect resisting
on the days when i'm not pushed to the edge

for then i believe
at the end of my tether i have no choice but to

no words, except,

help me

don't judge me, like i do, for that.




i can't find words to sum up this afternoon's mess. but found resonance in these lines for the better from paul

there's a door standing open for me. one i pushed. but now that it's opening i doubt that i am ready for what lies beyond it.
which is harder, to throw oneself headlong through, or to admit that i'm not in a place for bold leaps and ask for help? i've been all too reckless with my feelings in the past. and no way to explain with adequacy what i need or want.

i think i want another door. and i can't see one.


Monday, March 02, 2009

Ghosts of the 7th Cavalry

for those with access to the bbc iplayer, i highly recommend this moving and quietly provocative documentary.

it shows the sobering truth that, in war, no one wins. it charts the journey of US Major Robert 'Snuffy' Gray of the 7th Cavalry Regiment - a veteran of ww2, korea and vietnam.

(the 7th cavalry regiment is perhaps the most contraversial in US military history - from Custer's infamous defeat at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876 during the Great Sioux war, their lead role in the "reconaissance" of the Black Hills, the atrocity of the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890 to the massacre at No Gun Ri in the early part of the Korean war.)

some years back Snuffy sought to reconcile himself to the Lakota people. he befriended some Lakota warriors who were veterans of Vietnam, one of whom fought for the 7th Cavalry itself. he eventually moved to a house beside the Rosebud Reservation, SD and was recognised as an honourary warrior.
the film travels with Snuffy, as, at the age of 83, he continues his journey in search of personal redemption - to be reconciled with himself and his past, allthewhile helping his friends and the men he led as they each struggle with their own pasts.
much of the testimony is disturbing and upsetting - depicting the all too palpable trauma caused by oppression and war, but significantly, the inner conflict of honour and pride colliding with horror and feelings of guilt.

a powerful documentary, beautifully filmed in places. it's available for a month to download. highly recommended.


change is gonna come

the struggle that was yesterday has passed and the day ended with resolve to go ahead with major change.

apparently there's no such thing as a good or bad choice. so last night i moved beyond two weeks of second guessing myself and dumped my doubts. i've no idea where i'll end up and i don't know if wanting to get away from the past and creating a radically alternative present is good reason for change... or at least, what the true underlying motivation is - am i running away from the known or running towards the unknown?

i need to decide if i'm gonna sell pretty much everything i own or leave it in storage. for i'm pursuing a path that i may not turn back down. i might be gone for a year, or the rest of my life. and only time will tell that.