Etymology is an amazing educational tool, an enlightening tool. Last Thursday's edition of Ze Frank's vlog was mostly about revenge and forgiveness and forgetting, and it reminded me that I've been wanting to blog also about forgiveness, for awhile now. Ze says, "it's a pity the word forget was tied to forgive, it's just not that practical." Forget is fairly easy to understand, but what is forgiveness, exactly? The dictionary says it's "to grant pardon to" a person, or "to cease to feel resentment against," but these seem like 2 separate acts to me.
There's a wrongful act that someone did to me that I will never forget, ever, I predict, though I conciously think about it less and less, lately maybe only once a week or less, where it used to be, 4 months ago, about once every hour, at least. Self-help websites and books on the subject of the offense always say "you must forgive for your own sake" and I used to blindly accept that, but lately I've realized that those 2 definitions divide into one kind of forgiveness that I must enact, indeed, for my own sake - yes, I will cease to feel resentment (maybe I already mostly have... the resentment lessens all the time) - and another kind of forgiveness that I may never enact, for I don't know if I will ever "grant pardon."
Or perhaps I will, because "pardon" simply means to stop seeking punishment or penalty for an offense. Are these, these 2 things, all that forgiveness is? Well then, fine, maybe it's easier than I thought. Hmm. All of my life I thought forgiveness also meant something like "deciding that something someone did wasn't wrong after all." And I will never ever do that in this case. Perhaps the word I'm looking for is "excuse", one meaning of which is "To serve as justification for." Because it might be debatable, and the wrongdoer and other people might argue with me till the end of time, but I will never admit that this thing that was done to me was not wrong, was unavoidable, was neccesary, or was justifiable, or even was done with an appropriate regard for me and my feelings.
No. Never. Nunca. So, the transgression, it's forgivable, but it's not forgettable, and it's not excusable, and it will never not be wrong, ever. And I feel okay saying that, that is healthy enough, for me. My heart and my karma will continue to flower and grow when I forgive, but I don't feel like it will hurt me to not excuse.
So, I say to this person - and if you still read this blog you know who you are and what I'm talking about - you've done me wrong, but I no longer seek to punish you for it, and I no longer am angry, or very soon will not be; nevertheless it will always, forever, have been wrong, what you did to me.
Whew. well, shit. There's something else to talk to my therapist about tommorrow. heh.
I think I'm mostly just blogging because I haven't for quite a few days, and I'm tired of the last entry, that geek-gripe entry, sitting there festering, and I just want to go on record as saying, things are good. Really good. I'm pretty damn happy lately. Although I have been saddened by other people's sadnesses in the last little while. It seems to be hitting me harder than usual, or maybe they are of a different degree than ever before, to hear about the misfortunes and past ordeals endured by friends, especially those caused by people close to them. It just sucks that people mistreat each other so much. Especially men mistreating women. It really really sucks.
I'm sitting in a meeting of no border activists, about 40 of us, sitting, filling the main room of Dry River Infoshop and doing a roundrobin go-round of "visioning" for the No Border Camp that we're trying to organize for in November. This weekend of this Anti-Border Encuentro has been just as crazy as I expected, though of course the specific challenges and features of interpersonal dynamics have been impossible to predict or fully prepare for.
It has pretty much felt, for me, just like I do being the host of a party, a very big, 3-day long party. Whenever I host a party I get stressed and frustrated because I can't really relax and enjoy the party, I'm too busy running around making sure everyone is happy, comfortable, and entertained. Add to that being the default A/V tech nerd as usual, and you have my situation now.
(Someone just said "I don't want this to be Seattle in the Desert." )
Anyway. It's been hard also because I am someone who often needs some downtime to reflect and process and decompress. But there's so many people here, many of them very cool, very interesting people I want to spend time with, good time with. It's fascinating, just fascinating, seeing all these different people and learning about their concerns and personalities and how that relates to their activism, their involvement with this project, and the reasons for same. As I become more aware and mindful of my self and my mind in more and more of its light and dark recesses, in its fucked-up glory, I start to notice the little flickering shadows at the edges of other people's egos, behind their words and behavior. I'm not saying I'm now this hyper-enlightened wise being who's looking down at all the fucked-up damaged activists... just the opposite, I'm saying with great tenderness that I am excited and filled with awe that we are all fasincating, beautiful people with tender, broken bits, some assembly required.
"Do you think cell phones allow people to get laid more often?" I asked a friend late Friday night as we tried to contact a group of other friends who were out drinking somewhere. We were crouched on the sidewalk outside of The Buffet, one of Tucson's grottiest bars.
"Absolutely," she replied, "definitely makes booty calls easier. But it doesn't look like I'm getting laid tonite," she added as she closed her phone one last time.
None of the group were answering our (non-booty) calls. We'd been looking for them at a couple bars we thought they'd be at, but no luck. It turned out they had all turned in early when the birthday boy got too drunk to be served anywhere else, and we'd been ringing the mobiles of half a dozen already-sleeping pals. 15 years ago we would have given up an hour ago or more, and gone to our homes where our old-fashioned wired phones were, but once home we probably would have called it a night, too tired to make more plans and then venture back out again.
Computers and other modern communication technology make all sorts of new and impromptu interactions and ambitions possible. I'm overwhelmed and it's only 8am, doing 8 things at once as evidenced by the tabs open in my browser:
So, here I am with all these doorways into all these interests and ambitions feeling exhausted already. What the hell am I doing? Why can't I just focus and concentrate on one thing at a time? No wonder I can't meditate.
Oh and here's something funny in the sort-of-a-nonsequitur-but-not-really department. I fell asleep last night with my powerbook in bed; sometime during the night I must have woken up, closed it, set it back on my desk, and went back to bed, and this morning I opened it and saw that when I fell asleep I'd been just about to hit the submit button on a web translation service, to translate into English the Spanish word "chantaje" ("blackmail").
you with the tight ride with the shiny grill.
how wack is that. that you spend so much on, go into debt for,
something to get you around
something to compensate
when i already am where you want to be.
it took me 7 minutes to get home from where you drove an hour to get to
from your fancy splitlevel in the foothills or the eastside.
and i dont pay a cent to any gym, like you go to, to get my legs ripped
(to the point where women compliment me on them)
more than yours will ever be sitting in a cube 9 to 5
that you also have to drive that ride an hour to every single fucking day.
and they told you that is all there is
in this world
and they got you to believe it, somehow
that somehow out in the foothills
with your shiny grill
you'd be happy
but every friday you drive an hour down
to the cool part of town
where i and mine live 24-7
and you buy a slice of hip
like you buy everything else
(cuz they told you everything has to be bought)
after you sell your time all day all week
the only commodity you can never buy back.
ever. ever. ever.
It is cold and overcast here in the desert today. That's my random public remark for this midmorning blog post.
A friend recently started a blog of which I'm the only reader, at least so far. She hasn't told anyone else about it, as far as I know. I envy her, in a way. To have a semiprivate space like that. To post blog entries of open mystery, entries with the word "you" in them a lot. To think about how people possibly could (a thrill of risk!), but almost certainly won't (whew), see and read. But many many people read this here and I've burned and been burned at this URL too many times to assume that sort of space here.
How to make this somehow interesting to those readers not interested, or perhaps even repelled, by thoughts of more episodes of "As The Steev Turns"? Well, think of this: isn't it just freaking bizarre to think about this sort of thing in the context of 20 years ago - imagine someone in 1987 reading this. It wouldn't make any sense at all. Diaries that might also be amateur journalism, research, rants, instruction manuals, available to strangers all over the globe with a 'click' of a... what? you call that a 'link'? WTF? oh and what does WTF stand for in your crazy future world? AFAIK, it doesn't mean "'Ware The Future", but it might as well.
I will say that I just sat for an hour at Cafe Passé eating a bowl of yogurt, granola, and fruit and writing a LOT in my journal. Life is extremely interesting and really quite good. What an amazing January it was.
(Crazy For You But) Not That Crazy The Magnetic Fields Crazy Patsy Cline Crazy (Britney Spears) Richard Cheese Crazy Baldhead Bob Marley & The Wailers Crazy Horse Stereo Total Crazy Train Richard Cheese So Fucking Crazy [Metallica & Britney Spears] Wild And Crazy Dr. Octagon
This weird fluffy white stuff started falling from the sky last night during a screening of films by Bill Daniel at Dry River that I had set up. I guess this substance is called snow and is very rare in this part of the world. I and other people looked out the window in amazement and some even rushed outside to feel its cold mushyness. I think it's been many years since it last snowed in Tucson. There was even enough to start accumulating and cover up the surface of our Dry River "open" sandwhichboard sign on the sidewalk.
In other news, it was another extremely interesting weekend, but I'm not at liberty to write why here. (If you want to sneak in my house and read my journal you can learn all about it.) Meanwhile, I'm sick, fighting the early stages of a cold. Hopefully I can stop it before it gets any worse. I think i've been staying up too late and riding around in the cold too much.
Snow is sort of exciting, or rather, seeing the excitement over snow of more longtime residents is exciting, but this cold weather is not what i came to Tucson for. I'm going to have to ramp up plans to move further south or something if this keeps up or becomes normal. Last winter was much milder than this one.
Is there somewhere I can ask for my money back? hah...
Wow. A lot of social time. The centerpiece of the weekend was this huge Capricorn party at my building. There were tons of people there, an it was one of those great parties where lots of different people from different social ciricles were there, mixing together. lots of friends i knew, and new cool people i met. I floated around splitting up my time between everyone like i always end up doing when i'm a host at a party, but it was great fun. reconnected with people i havent seen in a while, and deepened other connections. And no one was hurt or horribly burned by any of the 5 bonfires! heh.
The next day I woke amazingly not very hungover and had a great little bike ride with a friend over to Frank's, my favorite Tucson greasy spoon diner, for breakfast. Then we went to the Family Art Fest and wandered around and saw lots of cheesy art and cute kids and old people doing things like tap-dancing or singing.
In the afternoon I went on a hike in the desert with some other friends and we found a secret cave with some petroglyphs in it. It was so cool, tho the walk was longer than i expected. oh well. Then there was the weekly sunday night community dinner that several of us started doing about a month ago (starting with one at my place!) There were about 30-40 people instead of 16, and many of them were strangers to most of us. So it felt not as good, like it was more of a party than a community dinner. it was less cozy and friendly. so i hope it quiets down a little now. but the food was awesome. greek theme. including homemade baklava, which was to die for.
Anyway, i started falling asleep shortly after dessert and decided to head home, then went to sleep at about 9:30. it was that kind of weekend.
So, I had a really great and exciting and interesting weekend. Well, I guess the last item I'm going to mention is not technically great, but it makes for good conversation, at least.
Saturday I went hiking with some friends. We went to Mount Lemmon, in search of snow, and boy did we find some! We trekked up and down ridges and valleys in 6 inches of the cold white stuff, at first thrilled at the novelty of this in southern Arizona, and then some of the party started getting cold feet, literally, since they didn't bring the right footwear. I had my gortex hiking boots so i was fine. We must have hiked about 6 miles, and for about 4 hours. When we got off the trail the whole mountain was crawling with families and tourists looking for snow too. we were glad we had gotten there early. Afterward we descended back into town and bought dry socks and vietnamese food for lunch. There's nothing better than working up a big appetite hiking and then eating a whole bunch.
That night I went to Calexico again, at the Rialto once again, this time playing with 2 Mariachi bands (one from a local high school) and a bunch of other guest musicians. They were SO GREAT. It made me smile a lot. I have a newfound respect and love of mariachi music now, and it was cool, as the friend I went with said afterward, how Calexico basically tricked a bunch of hipsters [and, I might add, jaded ex-hipsters like myself] to watch mariachi music. right on, that's fine with me. Anyway, these groups were literally huge and at the end both mariachi bands and all the other musicans all were on stage at once doing the last few songs. There must have been about 40 people up there.... A cool thing is that I recorded the whole show with the r9. i'll have some excerpts up here soon.
Simultaneous with that was Jessica's going away party that night, which I couldn't bear to attend, so I was glad there was such a fun other activity to go to instead, and many friends who also were there with me. But the next day, sunday, we saw each other briefly, probably for the last time ever in our lives (part of me hopes so), or at least for a long time, but it was a good, positive closure with apologies and kind words exchanged. what a crazy 8 months it has been. But I'm doing better every single day, I am not kidding you.
That night was another awesome community dinner; i helped Maryada and Walt cook stuffed peppers and it was a lot of fun. then I went over to the Pan Left studio to do some digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital dubbing, and in the process I somehow hit my head on the wall and started bleeding and it hurt a lot and was scary. The gash on my head still looks really bad, worse than it feels or is. I thought about maybe that I would pass out and die there and the other panlefties would find my body there monday night when they came to the next meeting. But no, I'm fine. I think I'm going to tell people i got in a fight and someone broke a beer bottle on my head. pssst, don't tell anyone the truth....
Now it's definitely a monday and I have that frantic agitated monday mood, to-do lists exploding on me like IEDs on a Baghdad roadside. sigh....