Secret Pop

Nov 24, 2003

"Forever long is the looking back."

I read through my posts from last November just now. And I realize that this month, more than any other, has a tendency to be a time of reflection for me. A time of taking stock of what I've gained and what I've lost. And all the Novembers that have gone before. Cool weather. Fireplace smells. Coats I haven't worn in ages. The search for knee socks. The measure of melancholy. I know this weather. This scent. The way the light fades. This is my starting and stopping place. Every calendar finds it so.

Wise Bryn gave me reason to think about the time I spend in useless recriminations over things I cannot change. He reminded me that there is not necessarily a great difference between the road that lies ahead and the one that lies behind except that the one ahead offers the possibility of a new outcome. What is behind you is set in stone. Not negotiable. And you can't change it or affect it or dissuade it. You cannot make it anything other than what it was. No matter how deep your analysis. No matter how fiery your desire. No matter how bitter your dislike for it. No matter how ardently you may wish it. But the road ahead -- while uncertain -- holds the promise of possibility. The chance that you can get it right this time. Or at least not quite so wrong.

I wanted to wake myself up out of the funk that has been on me for so long. Most of this year. Maybe most of the last one as well. I wanted to burst out of the carbonite (or whatever) and be free and alive. Regain my sight. Master myself anew. This is not the November of the year before or of the year before that or of the year before that. This is now, and I am here, and all that I have and all that I can do is powerless in the past. I have been imprisoned in it and I have no wish for that to be the whole of my legacy. I would like to write that myself, thank you. With all the unfairness in things that have been said of me or histories that have been rewritten by friends and lovers and family members, I joked with Bryn that I hope your spirit doesn't linger long enough after you die to hear your eulogy, because I know I'm going to get the supreme postmortem jack.

Bryn was kind enough to give me a new credo of my own. A two-word sword with which to lop off the heads of my assailants. I am trying to put it into practice every moment of every day. And to cultivate power in it. I am also trying to see my history for what it was. Rather than what it could have been.

I am vulnerable at times like this. Soft and pliable. Weak, maybe. But I like to think it is what makes me sweet and tender and kind. It is the hardening I fear. The calcification. The thickening of the shell. I like turtles just fine, but my very soft skin has become one of my most prized attributes, and I support the perpetuation of that.

Everything dies at this time of year. And then new things are born. And people put inedible Indian corn on their tables as decoration, but what's that about? I am thinking about going back to school. Thinking about taking on new tasks. Trying new things. I am planning to not be so bored all the time. I am stronger than the mountains underfoot. Greater than the looming sky. It's about time I had my might challenged. I had almost forgotten that I even had these secret powers.

For the record, I was very proud of what I wrote before I tried to post it the first time, but the post attempt timed out and the melody was lost. I have pieced the shards together, but the cracks are still visible, and the glue probably has debris stuck in it. And some of my hair. Know that you have been cheated and that Blogger is to blame.

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