Loving the Fates
I think personally that all beings are most probably designed in God’s image, with a sense of spiritually, creativity and humor. Most of us use our imagination because it feels good and it brings us joy.
We need humor and laughter to bumper the pain in our hearts. I know when I can laugh, I am less afraid. How else than by laughing could we so enjoyably exercise our heart, relieve tensions and boost our mood at a moment’s notice? What else but laughing can serve our mood? What else but laughter can send us a social signal that all is well? Laughing is a great conversational lubricant bonding parents to children and siblings to one another. Women laugh when attracted to men. Children laugh at adults and we laugh at them. We laugh at our pets and they laugh back at us; some even laugh on cue like birds and monkeys.
I have seen dogs smile but I would love to see and hear them laugh out loud. I think dogs were designed to be our companions, protectors and this is why they love us unconditionally and never get tired of watching us. They are our connection to the angelic realm. Oddly enough, statistics say speakers laugh more than listeners do. Writers need to chew on words like puppies need to chew on anything around them. Painters need to paint. Cooks need to cook. We are happier people when we do what we feel we need to do. Those of us who do not yield to our intuitive desires will always be looking for something or someone to complete us and keep us from laughing. “Laughing is mysterious and unpredictable”…says Dave Chappelle, the comedian, many times the humor does not come from pain exactly, it comes from things that make you anxious or afraid. It just helps you put them in perspective if you laugh at them.”
Even the manic and impoverished Van Gogh obsessively continued painting pictures he never sold. He painted his own mental illness on canvas in striking color, coarse brushwork, and contoured forms way ahead of his time. Each of us may perceive his paintings differently. Even Beethoven needed to continue writing music he could not hear because of his latent deafness. He saw his deafness as a challenge he needed to overcome, and once said, “…with only half this affliction I would be a complete mature man. You must think of me as being as happy as it is possible to be on this earth. Not unhappy. No! I cannot endure it. I will seize Fate by the throat. It will not wholly conquer me. Oh, how beautiful it is to live and live a thousand times over!”
It took more than twenty years of failing, counseling, drug therapy and electrical therapy for me to realize I was chasing the wrong dreams; I did not want to type somebody else’s words, I wanted to type my own. Now I want to write books that are more like art, fun to look at, easy to digest and hard to forget. I’m like many other who jest; I never know what my head believes until I first write it. I think accomplishment is good for our self-esteem as long as we remember; the higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of its behind. That is true of us who dare climb unfamiliar territories. Most of us want to feel good about ourselves but that depends on the choices we make. Following our heart’s desires is always a good choice. We can miss-see and miss-judge everything around us when we think too much and do too little.
Our world can be fresh with wonder and meaning when we bring something new into existence, something never seen before. Most of us want to sculpt, write or make something damaged, not recalled, like found in Robert Lowell’s Epilogue. Truthfully speaking, to get to my soul’s palette, I had to go within to a deep place of surrender. I had to take myself less seriously and turn to humor to get through the hard times. Most of us need to express ourselves and it is our lack of fail that prevents us from the happiness and joy we want and need. So much so, those of us more spiritually and creatively attuned regret to sleep while the unfulfilled regret to wake. It is natural to want to fix what is wrong,” says Joyce Meyers, evangelist. There are two kinds of pain in the world that hold us back from having all the happiness and love we want: the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. The first kind of pain she mentions comes from the discipline of working with callused hands trying to make our dreams come true. Our calluses eventually heal, as does our pain.
The second kind of pain is of regret from failing to make our dreams come true. This kind of pain can be so pervasive it intrudes in our work, relationships, and keeps us from practicing creative living. By practicing creative living, I do not mean drilling ourselves with discipline and repetition. I simply mean keeping our hands busy doing what interests us; stretching and exercising our mind; seeking wisdom and embracing challenge; remembering that the lasting bond between us is that of shared satisfactions and pleasures. When living the life we were meant to live, giving is better than receiving – being happily engaged in creativity is better than not – and living without depression is better than living with it. There is no plastic surgery that can put our smiles back. Recovery involves as much unlearning as learning.
For many of us recovery takes many years. Many of us do not even know wear sick. I spent most of my prime looking for Mr. Right by roaming empty, unlighted streets in the dead of night; slipping in and out of dark, sleazy bars; past whispering souls with luminescent faces and unkempt hair. I danced under disco lights and made secret rendezvous with anonymous souls. I even marched into places and predicaments even angels feared to treat. The writer, McLaren says, God sends us many love tokens, and among them are the great and little annoyances and pains that beset our lives, and on each of them, if we would look, we should see written in His own hand, this inscription: is for your own good.”
It is though we are the same today that we will be five years from now except for the people we meet and the books we read. My book is for those who need to look at pretty pictures and daydream in between the important stuff. Most of us authors want to entertain and inform. I also hope others will appreciate what I have to say the way I say it. I’d like to think this book helped others to begin living their own divine purpose. We are hopeless humans when our hands are hanging down empty, bent and useless. You can be sure that our artistry originates much like love from the heart, from Mine to Yours from Yours to Mine. It was Paramahansa Yoganda who says, “Love is the silent conversation between two hearts and art is the silent conversation between the heart and soul.”
LOVE AT LAST
My life changed for the better when I met Joaquin in my early forties. Although I did not know it at the time were perfect for one another. We became a couple out of need and convenience much like I believe my mom and pops did after the war. There was no romance just a lot of laughing and leaning. Laughter was healing for both of us. This just may be another case of how history in certain families keeps repeating itself. If the truth were told, Joaquin was a textbook alcoholic with no place to live; and, I was a codependent enabler with a home and no one to enable. My four children were grown and gone off to chase their own dreams. I had just gotten out of the hospital from another period of manic depression. Our story goes like this: Joaquin and I met at a bar one night. Big surprise! Where else would I meet someone as sick as I?
It was the first time I went out in ages with a lady friend. I was bed-bound for so long from the pain that comes with emotional disability. I also had physical pain from a fallen bladder and needed a hysterectomy. My body was as on fire as my heart. It was a cold October night just before Halloween. It was dark in the club and Joaquin had gotten separated from his friends. They left him there alone, maybe, because he was drunk. He asked me to dance. I said, yes. On the floor while dancing he passed out, just leaned on me in a fog of confusion. I just laughed at him and later bought him a cup of coffee and tomato juice thinking that would help him sober up. I brought him home that night like I would any stray. Sex was no minds. We both had what the other needed. If you will excuse the expression, I was most probably his last shot at living and he was mine.
He was moody, depressed, and manipulative and I was the same. Sometimes we did not even like each other yet we made our bed together lying between sheets of codependency and anger for our lot in life. That was what we both knew best. He kept his bag packed behind my couch that first year. Sounds like a country and western song does it not? We clung to each other while mending our hearts. A funny thing happened in our darkest times; we discovered the healing that comes from pouring ourselves into creative expression. We had the love of creating in common. Creating revived our imagination, our will to live, and recaptured for us some joy in our sore lives. We walked around in denial that we were in love. We both swallowed an inordinate amount of crap from each other! We were like two pieces of a puzzle that should go together but did not! Also, we both needed someone to lean on. There were good times when he was sober and affectionate, not so defensive. He was kind, loving and thoughtful. He seemed enjoy taking care of me as much as I did him:
The Alcoholic – Rotted gutting, pickled lips and blood shot eyes, violent limbs in the middle of sleep, Protruding wormholes where the liver and heart should be, Fading in and out, a stranger, a lover, a stranger, again, and coal black days for his enabler, who nourished him? It was I. His breathing labored after kissing me, Him licking his lips loving the way they tasted of beer; I was his woman, He drifted in and out, a boy, a monster, a boy, again, joining hordes of others dying, One day at a time in crowded sanguine rooms of hell, nothing Left but the faintness of their best memories, their dreams strangling in dishevelment Who nourished him? Who fell in love with him? It was I. His enabler.
After twenty years, I and my alcoholic moved into a better vantage point as far as couples go. His bag behind my couch long ago disappeared. We are totally committed to one another. He gambles and I’m a hypochondriac with many health problems real or unreal. Right from the start, we began working on our self-esteem issues by discovering value in each other first as creators than as friends. I loved it when he took the time to read my writing. He told me he first fell in love with my writing and then me! He has secretly saved yards and yards of drafts when I first began writing. I never had that kind of love before. He never laughed at me when I told him I wanted to be a writer. We opened and closed those mad, sad, scared and lonely doors before falling in love in between pages of depression, illness and survival. We learned to live well we had to love much. All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother and my significant other.
We kind of melded into each other without us consciously deciding to do so. Love brought the best in us after our pain and anger brought out the worst in us. Joaquin finally quit drinking and went back to work to support my need to write and make art. We are still together, as happy or as unhappy as any couple can be. I tend to agree with Goethe who says, “Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.” Otto Rank, philosopher, says, “Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life. We are all functioning at a small fraction of our capacity when it comes to loving, caring, creating and adventuring. Also, the actualizing of our potential can become the most exciting adventure of our life time when we stop being victims to what other people want from us.”