Sunday, April 30, 2006

Cause & Effect

For the past 17 weeks I have been documenting experiences and stories of my past here in this memoirs blog. The mission of this journal was to help remember before I forgot. However, over the months this blog has become something more ... I have opened mental files that haven't been touched in decades, and thus - I've been able to see myself a bit better.

Recently, after reading the My Story post - easily the pinnacle post (so far) of this blog - a reader emailed me the following:
questions for when you reach the mountain top

it is difficult to recast one's self after growing so accustomed to the dark and empty. it is difficult to radiate light and joy with the memory of so many people lost to the destruction we all indulged in so casually (particularly when reflecting on our own culpability). how do we be our truer, free-er selves? how do we find energies to draw from that do not promote more suffering? how do we believe that we are deserving or fated for the light? how do we harm no one while working with our limitations to give? how do we allow expression of goodwill while responsibly constructing respectful boundaries of self?

when you find the answers post them in your blog. i look forward to the answers.
Talk about an interesting email. The fact is, the reader hits the issues I deal with straight on. Since January, I have been experiencing some fairly wacky mood swings. Additionally, a thin film of depression has enveloped me and I've been left to figure it all out.

Last night I hosted a screening of Downtown 81 -- which is a so-so flick, but is a wonderful snapshot of NYC (especially below 14th Street and Times Square), circa 1980. As I watched it, I saw a different film in my mind ... memories of walking those same streets, seeing the same faces and feeling the same energy.

I realize that this blog has done more than allow me to remember. It has allowed me to feel. I feel the loss of my past. Not just the obvious 'things aren't the same now as they were then' that anyone of a certain age feels ... but the additional loss of hundreds of friends and fellow night crawlers from AIDS, suicide and simply burning out.

This blog has allowed me to begin the road to healing, by publically addressing my pain - letting those who read it [who could be just about anyone] understand me a bit better than before.

The fact is, I have created my own jail cell. I kept myself busy with projects and events - things that didn't require emotional connections - so I could avoid dealing with myself. And, because I was not emotionally wired, I was able to create without emotional distraction ... which led to more events and more successes. I kept myself busy and always moving. In turn, I painted the public picture that I was inaccessible - which led to me being alone with myself on those moments when I wasn't creating or producing.

Which means that the whole process was out of whack. One cannot avoid the issue - when the issue is them.

So, how DO we be our truer selves? I suppose by just being open and honest with everyone and let the chips fall where they may. As to finding energies to draw from - I am powered by my past. A moment does not go by that I don't have the memory of at least one of my fallen friends circulating in my mind - somehow their spirit inside me translates itself into energy, allowing me to continue and move forward.

As for believing that we are deserving or fated for the light - I don't know quite how to explain this one. I believe that everyone has a purpose of some form in this world ... whether or not you discover and embrace it, is another question. Most don't, since I think to do so, one needs to have crossed a certain line in life. It's an inner vision. I first felt it when I was a teenager, but ignored it until I was around 30. Then I spent a number of years using the inner vision improperly.

When I hit 40 a few years ago, I felt everything fall into place and I knew why I was here. I understood my purpose and my fate.

There are moments when I become frustrated and disillusioned - but I shake it off and the focus quickly returns. The key, which I am still learning, is balance.

Without balance, the rest is useless.


Liz said...

"I kept myself busy with projects and events - things that didn't require emotional connections - so I could avoid dealing with myself."

I just walked away from a long time friendship for this very reason.

Babs said...

You're absolutely right. The key is balance. I'm not so into astrology, but I have to say one thing about my gemini nature -- I've learned that without a balance, I absolutely break. I become my worst self, without fail.

I think that's true for most people, and they may not even realize it.

Chris Krakora said...

A great reflective and lucid post indeed. Made me realize that I have to get my shit together myself.

BTW wanted to go to that Downtown 81 screening Saturday night but I wasn't feeling well, with my allergies acting up.

Valorie Zimmerman said...

I think this blog is a mirror for you. Thank you for letting us look into it, too. Your life has been SO different from mine -- I feel so grateful to you for writing so well, describing so precisely. It isn't just a mirror, it's a window to your world, too. Thank you.