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The Whys and Wheres - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
The Whys and Wheres
I realized a few minutes ago that I haven't posted here since July 4th, which is strange, because I'd gotten back into an LJ groove in June and have also had numerous "I should compose an entry" thoughts. Life has been emotionally tumultuous in the interim, but I should be used to that by now. Maybe the Monsoon, our glorious semi-wet summer, is to blame. I love it -- see my last entry, in which I excitedly presented the radar evidence of its arrival, as I have for several years running -- but it makes me feel lethargic during the day and hesitant to sit at the computer at night.

Whatever the reasons for my absence, I'm back. Yes, like a lot of you I have taken a tentative dip in the waters of Google+ since I last posted. And I plan to incorporate it into my social media existence in a more robust way going forward. But I like the idea of keeping this journal going, if less frequently than I did a few years back, both because I like the continuity and because Google+, like Facebook, is better suited to short posts and the posting of links to longer ones.

I don't want to get too mired in discussing my domestic situation right now, since I'm in a relatively good space, but I can say that my current feelings about it, both present and future, can mostly be grouped under the rubric labeled "Reconciled." I'm not happy about it, obviously. But I can't do much to change things for the better, at least in the short term, so walking around projecting anger or depression is only going to make me and those I'm in closest contact with feel worse.

Part of being more at peace with the situation comes from the realization that it has to end. For the longest time, I was holding on to the belief that my patience would be rewarded in the end. Now, finally, I recognize both that all evidence points to the contrary and that I am growing impatient myself. Because of my professional crisis -- I need to figure out a new career and find work until I do -- and the fact that I'm caring for my mother and, indirectly, my father on a daily basis I don't have much room to maneuver. Eventually, though, I will make it through this time of trial and will have the liberty to plan for a future worth living.

It's very hard for me to think ahead in that way. My feelings are still so bound up with my failed marriage and the parental burdens that come with the territory to give free rein to my imagination. Still, I'm making the proverbial baby steps towards a goal. I know now that I'd be better off living in a state of detachment than to get caught up in another relationship with someone whose energy is directed primarily at self-preservation. I understand where that mentality comes from. I'm sympathetic. But coping with the neglect of my own emotional life that has been a byproduct of living that way has taken too much of a psychological toll for me to be able to repeat the pattern without destroying what's left of myself.

That I can articulate this realization without being overwhelmed with rancor or regret strikes me as a positive sign. I know that I'm still badly tangled in emotional ties that keep me from going where I need to go, both literally and metaphorically, but at least I'm looking at the mess with a little more detachment, the sort I will need to begin the process of freeing myself from it. Seeing as how I basically failed out of Cub Scouts for not being able to tie knots, maintaining my composure in this endeavor will be taxing. But at least I know that it has to happen and, moreover, what state of mind I need to be in for it to be possible.

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siyeh From: siyeh Date: July 20th, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Glad to hear from you.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 20th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Likewise. I miss seeing you here. I still read regularly, even I'm not posting much. There's always Google+, though. . .

;-)
judo100 From: judo100 Date: July 20th, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Sounds like you are in a tough place in many parts of your life. I hope new opportunities begin to open up for you.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 21st, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks. Yes, it has been a rough stretch and is pretty much certain to get rougher before things improve. I have to remember that the future is a lot richer with possibility than I can see right now.
art_thirst From: art_thirst Date: July 21st, 2011 02:52 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I as well have been more than a little busy. I've been trying to do some reading as well, but it's mostly urban planning and architecturally integrating artworks into the design process. It's also a bit more complicated than urban street art, which is SO trendy. I have a stack of some 12 books to go through. I won't read them all cover to cover, that's not practical. Of course, I haven't forgotten about the writing piece I asked you about. I keep getting sidetracked... *sigh* but it will get done, soon I'm hoping.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 21st, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It's important to admit that we "go through" books we need to know about without actually reading them in a traditional sense. It took me a long time to reach the point there I could do so.

I'm here to help, editorially, if you get stuck. Just let me know. You can send me fragments, whatever.
chefxh From: chefxh Date: July 21st, 2011 05:02 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Charlie, I'm not sure why, but you drove me immediately to look this up, so I guess I'll share it. From the chapter "S is for Sad" in M.F.K. Fisher's An Alphabet for Gourmets:

Going to a funeral is perhaps even more wearing than watching someone die, and I know of at least one candid admission of this ugly fact. An old French marshal, returning from the elaborate rites for his last contemporary, let servants and his family strip the heavy decorations from him and then said with great dignity, "You may serve me with two roasted pigeons. I have noticed that after eating a brace of them I arise from the table feeling much more resigned."
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 21st, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I like that. She's quite a writer. I suppose resignation is better than self-delusion, right?
chefxh From: chefxh Date: July 22nd, 2011 01:14 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Your word reconciled is what triggered it, though that sounds more... mutual, or something, than resigned. Hm. Self-delusion is decidedly worse.

Mary Frances has taught me much. She is indeed quite a writer. I knew just where to go in The Art of Eating to find that; I re and re and reread her.
xxxpunkxgrrlxxx From: xxxpunkxgrrlxxx Date: July 23rd, 2011 12:05 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
good luck...
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