harold_maude's journal

It's about 5:45 am and I know I should go back to bed. I have a long work day a head of me in about 5 hours, but I had a strange and disturbing dream that made me wake up and then sleep was gone.
So here I am. Having this vivid dream still racing through my mind and having all the questions that it raised running through the inside of me.

It was about choices, and the ablity to make different ones at piviotal moments in time.
I was with some people and we were doing these strange things, only in my dream the things we were doing were normal. The scenery was surreal, like a movie that is filmed in yellow and black and parts are seen as negative photographs.

We were eating at an off road diner and talking about things. I couldn't hear the conversations around me only mumblings and wisperings even though everyone was talking in normal tones.
The sky was angry looking, like we were in a break in a series of storms, it was differnt shades of grays and purples.

Why this point in time was so important, I don't know, but as I sat there among these people who I had been traveling with I remember thinking that my life was not so good. That all I was doing was wandering aimlessly with no point to any of it.
I remember wishing that I could do something else, anything and that would some how make it all better.

All of the sudden, at that moment there was this huge series of bolts of lightening that were everywhere. And when they stopped my life was back somewhere else. I was experiencing dajavu like crazy. Everything was familar. I couldn't understand at first, then it started making sense. I was being given a chance to make different choices about the road I was going to take. And for what ever reason, this was the moment that would effect the out come for many years.

I made different choices, ones that I thought were better. But then as I did, I saw and felt the end result and it was horrible, worse than what I was living. People got ugly and nasty and committed murder all because of the choices I made, people I knew and cared about. It was horrible.

Then all of a sudden I was back in the diner, like nothing had happened. The people around me were still talking in low whispers and smiling and laughing, like people do, and my life suddenly seemed ok somehow.

I woke up. I couldn't go back to sleep. It made me think about choices I've made in my life, and how I've wanted for a long time to go back to places in my past and do something different. I've thought about if I'd never gotten married the first time. If I'd gone to the school I had wanted to and never married the father of my children.
I've tried hard to immagine my life, alone, as alone as I felt in so many things, like a family memeber that shows up at reunions and funreals that no one wants there but they tolorate their presence there anyway, simply because they are blood.

I've thought about what it would have been like if I had realized years ago that my father was full of cruel intentions that I was never going to hear him tell me that he loved me until about 15 minuets after he died, and how if I had realized it sooner than I would never have stayed in the city where I spent most of my life. I would have left and never returned, even for his death, or the death of my brother, or any other realitive that has happened over the last ten years.

I would have gone out into the world and gone to art school and would have taken or tired to take different roads. But where I was at the time I probably would have made some stupid choices that would have ended up disasterously.
I was bent on self distruction and I was living in fear deep inside years ago.
I lived in fear inside for years even after I got married the first time. I was nerotic and definately not ready for parenthood. I was unable to love my children as I should, and the only redeeming grace they had was their father.
A very stable man who was so ready to be a parent. But not so ready for a life with me.
His views of marriage and mine were different. He believed from the beginning that first you have children and then after they leave then you work on getting to know the person your married to.

All that does is make strangers who have had children together.
That's what we were when we got divoriced. I had become this cold empty woman who was living in a house with these other people who were fine individuals, but I was an observer to their lives.
My daughter was disgusted by me, I could see it in her eyes, and was planning after college to move to another city, but when we told the kids that we were getting a divorice she changed her mind.

I remember what she said the day I left. It was the first time I ever saw any kind of tears in her eyes in reference to another human being.
They were brief tears. She said to me, I would love you to stay, but I think it will be good for you to go out there and take care of yourself.

My son hugged me and just said something to have a good life mom. That was all. Nothing more, nothing less. It took me being gone a few years for him to actually begin to miss me being there. I don't think other than having them, my life made any impact on them, except maybe them not wanting me there most of the time.

We talk now, long distance. And it's always good. My son, who is still this very laid back individual who watches life drift past him, still has not decited what he wants to do with his life.

After I left their father began to make his life more comfortable and actually go on vacations and do things that he would never have considered while I was there. I'm glad he's finally gotten to the point where he actually is going on vacation. I don't think he'll ever marry again. I think the kids have always been his life and always will be.

I live with guilt much of the time, because I didn't stay, because I left. I didn't ask him for anything in the divorice. I felt that the house was his, that was his home, and even though I had every right to ask for half of everything, I asked for nothing.
I felt that I owed him room and board for all thoes years. That's what a stranger feels about someone who has taken them in when they are down on their luck and have no prospects.

I still feel like I owe him room and board and some day, when I can I will send him money until my debt is paid off. I don't know how much I owe him, but maybe until the guilt goes away.

I know this sounds probably really screwed up, but then my thoughts and ideas are often not normal.
That's why I'm in the middle of the country, married to my best friend and working in a job that may prove to cost me more than I'm making.

This life I have now, and am a part of is costing me in so many ways. I won't know the full cost for a long time. But if I had made different choices I might not be here today.
I had a plan b. If after comming half way across the country to meet my best friend, and if he chose not to come with me, I was going to head for the coast and abandon my car, leave a note for who would ever find it, find a sea cave and wait for death to come.

It was another time of calm decision. It was something I was completely prepared to do. But there were other plans for my life in the works and my best friend left his home town to come with me.

This dream I had made me think about all thoes things. And made me wonder how different my life would have been if I had known and understood a few things way back when.
There was no one I could talk to, no one who I could go to who cared about what I was doing with my life.
I've met a few people since I've left the town where I was born who fit into that catagory, but they have been in my life very briefly.
After Kevin dies, and I know I will out live him, I don't know what I will do. There is nothing that I can see ahead of me.
I've wondered if what happened at the beginning of August was showing me what my life is when this part of my life is done, when he's gone, and there is no one left who will be in need of a flag stone, or someone who will just be there and listen.

With very few exceptions, the things in my possession right now mean very little to me. I could abandon it all and it wouldn't affect me.
It's all in the process of decay anyway.

I hope when the time comes, that I make good choices. The best choices I can. The only problem is that hindsight only comes after you've done something, and usually not before.

At the end of the day

91% | 2

# 27004

To bed, to bed, little sparrow, to dream as you will.
Tomorrow will come soon enough and will take care of it's self and you.

So many nights when I sit down here to write the things that go on in my head, I try to stay focused. That doesn't always work. Sometimes it's a crazy battle for the mear act of concentration that can be so elusive. It's maddening sometimes.

But tonight as I ponder over a journal entry I just read I find that the act of concentration is easy. Reading from the pages of someone's life as though it's just you and them sitting in a room and talking about the things of life have a way of pushing everything else out.

There is a good chance that many of the people here I will never have the oportuntiy to ever meet face to face.
It would be nice to think that maybe someday that might change, but for now at least, I find that reading these pages at the end of the day is a good time to think about thoes who have written them, and now their a part of my life.

If any one has seen the movie phenomon you understand the scene where John Travolta is talking to the two children about sharing the apple. How it becomes part of us and lives on forever.

That's how I feel. Like the pages I read and the lives I have enteracted with have become part of me...
and if the road takes us in two different directions I will always carry you in my heart, for you have shaped places there that are your own.

Have you ever had one of those nights where you keep waking up because you think you've over slept?
The last two nights have been like that for me. I've been having these crazy dreams and I keep waking up looking at the clock to see the time.

The dreams have been disjointed pictures and sound which haven't made alot of sense. Kind of like a movie that was going along fine and all of the sudden the everything goes haywire.

Out of sinc, out of time, like a circus where everything is backwards, even the music. Kind of like life right now. Everyday is still a struggle. I'm making slow progression from the two weeks where everything was black and there was nothing.
At least now I'm having dreams, how ever crazy they are.

Everything seems distorted lately. How fast the days go, or how hard I work and how slow time goes, how time seems to be doing this strange dance and can't make up her or his mind.
It's like watching a woman with too little money or too much money go shopping. They pick up everything, and then as they figure out what they want or don't want, things are disgarded along the way.

It's comical actually, and when their done, and I'm standing right behind them at the check out, they can be heard muttering about having to get to here or there, and being late. And there is always a sense of impatients when this kind of shopper is done going through and making a mess of racks of clothes and shoes and what ever else.

I used to work for an invantory service. It was facinating to watch the shopping habbits of these women. Both young and old alike. Men are different when they go shopping. They, for the most part spent time wandering, looking rather lost and some of them, if they came with their wives or girl friends would get this look in their eyes, a mixture of fear and impatients, and you knew that what they were wanting was out of there.

Everthing we do as humans seems to make time change from our perspective. If we love what we're doing than there never is enough time. If we hate it or find it distasteful, time drags on and on. No matter how busy we are in what we're doing.

But time is time. As a person ages time goes faster. It's kind of difficult to deal with because as you get older there are realizations that make you wish you could turn back the hands of time and regain time again so you could have more time, more focused time, so that you could have the strength of youth and the stamenia while having the wisdom from the life lessons you have in the present, or the increased expertise of something learned so you could finally accomplish something worth while. Or create the perfect master peice. Without your hands or eyes getting tired from concentrating so hard.

it seems just a few short years ago I would spend sixteen to eighteen hours painting, taking a break only after being lost for hours in color and motion. The passage of time was marked by the night sky growing light and how tired my body and mind were getting. I would do this for months. I had between seven and ten paintings going at the same time all the time.
As a result I have a huge portfolio, even with all the paintings that are now in different places in the world.

Last year when we spent four months house sitting in a small town where there was no work, time changed again, there were no clocks in this house, as there was no electricty for three and a half of thoes four months, so time was almost non existant for me. The only changes I was aware of was the movement of the sun and the moon. As far as the days of the week, it got to the point where I couldn't tell because of being clock deprived.

Over the last few months I've found myself wishing that I could go back to when I was nineteen again. Know everything I know now, and spend another strong twenty some years more learning about art. There is never enough time, and now I can feel the effects of age on my bones. I feel like I'm racing against time and what it's doing and taking from me. It's kind of a crazy mad dash to accomplish something, don't quite know what yet, but the need to do is strong, or was until about two months ago when everything went black.

Now I'm finding that as I'm struggling day to day to hang on to life, making that choice everyday, that time is not my enemy, but rather like an alarm clock, that I can't shut off.

I've been working on a new painting. Well it's more of an act of discipline right now, the point is to keep painting, exercising the skill so that it doesn't get rusty. Thinking back to when I was nineteen I didn't understand that when things get hard you have to do things simply as a matter of choice. I was more driven by mood and insperation.

Inspiration is very rare, most of it's disiplined action that makes a talent good. Writers are that way too, the ones who are really accomplished and can write cold, write everyday, even if what their writing is not so good in the middle of writers block. Artists get artists block, and musicians get musicians block as well. Nothing is comming out of what was only a few short days ago, so it seems, a flood of ideas and this wonderous stuff. Now the thing is damn near dry and terror sets in that you've lost it.

Learning to work through things is part of age too, I think, maybe even a gift of time. Through all of this I've opted not to drink to try and make things go away. I know that it would be easy to drink and get so shitt faced that I would become a bithering idot and wake up with a raging hang over.
Then guilt would set in and I would spend time beating myself up for my stupidity.

So I've come to the conclusion to just ride it all out, and to keep doing things. To work inspite of how much I would love to just stay in bed and sleep the days away. It's painful most of the time. But this pain will subside, at least that's what I'm hopeing for. Even if it doesn't I know for now anyway that I won't be guilty of wasting time.

And that maybe is the point of going through all of this.
Not to waste what is so fleeting, to make the most of it, even when you don't want to and don't care about much of anything.
Maybe that's the life lesson I've been being taught...could be.
Maybe. I hope that's it.

In the rainy season

92% | 2

# 26890

As I sit here, in the deep quite that accompanies most mornings here, the rain is making music in the back ground. A soft steady rythem that is sweet.

Fall is on it's way and with it the rains have become more frequent than the ones of summer. These are cooler and the sky has almost a deep sadness to it.
Sometimes like how my soul gets when I feel so lost and aimless that nothing makes alot of sense.

Maybe that's what this change is suppose to bring. Other years have had the same feel at this time, but I always managed to pull out of what ever weather realted depression had come, but this year is different. For some reason, I haven't been able to pull out of the mix of depression and aimlessness that I wake up to every morning. It started at the beginning of August one weekend and I spent the next two weeks fighting a rather slippery and seductive invation to commit sucide that was like an annoying picture of a woman spread out on a bed who was grinning ear to ear, mocking everyone and everything who wasn't her.

Everything in my field of vision went black. No dreams, no direction, no anything. It was terrifying, and for someone who has for the most of their life, seen things, both comming and deeper things about people, and everything thing else that makes my life part of what it is, my normal, was gone.

Just like that. Gone. One day you feel alive, can see direction in your life, or at least possible choices, you can feel the emotions of thoes who your around, sometimes too loudly, and that's the normal of your life.
Then it's gone. It was like I died, and was still alive at the same time.
I was out of sinc with where I was suppose to be.

If death comes, it usually comes to the whole person, and then the next step is for the the still living parts to de-part because the body is dead and going to start stinking in a little while.
The housing issue of things falling down due to gravity is settled and there is no more paying for stupid things like getting drunk and waking up with a raging hangover, or worring about whether or not the rent will be there next month. It's done.

This was a kind of reverse to that process. I felt like I died inside, and my body was still very functional. I couldn't very well take me to a funreal home and say, "Um could you help me? My soul died today and now I need to burry my body?"

I spent the following two weeks fighting the need to die. It was a need too, I was living in the middle of what felt like death. Complete blackness. So black that it was soficating every breath I took, and at that point there was no going on.
I needed to complete the process.

It came to a head one night, while in the throws of the growing intensity of this blackness that I had made the decision to complete the process. I was completely calm, and had begun to make plans as to what needed to be completed before I followed through. I suddenly realized how close I was to actually commiting sucide that night. It scared me.

It wasn't like the other times when I was younger and tried out of anger or feeling completely abandoned or completely unsafe from the things my brother would do. This was a completely calm and rational decision on my part.
As far as I was concerned I was dead and I was just a walking corpse. No point in going on, or waiting for nature to take it's course.

The need that night was broken somehow. And things have slowly started to get better. It's still black, but somewhere inside of me, inside that black, there is a thought that has been moving, that tomorrow all of this may change, all of this may end, like comming out through a tunnel. That maybe for most people this kind of death comes at different times in their lives, and I'm just really late in experiencing it.
Maybe this is just part of life. Where the feel of death inside is just the herald of change.

I don't know what the answers are. I only know that today the rains are here, and when I'm done writing about these things, I'm going to spend the next few hours painting. It's my day off today, and I don't want to lose the day. I don't want to give that slippery seductive death woman a chance to try to convince me that getting into bed with her and letting what she wants become what I want.
Yeah, I said death woman, I think death is a woman....when she comes, people are taken by surprise, or long for her touch when they are in more pain than they can stand from a disease that is ravaging them, and unless it comes violently, death is usually a very quiet gentle thing for the person dying, just like the touch of a woman's hand, or her voice, as it sooths the soul of someone in pain....yeah I think death is a woman, the most seductive woman you or I will ever meet.

Today, even if it's just for today, I'm turning the volume down on her...we'll see how it goes tomorrow...

The last petals of summer

96% | 4

# 26814

Well summer is slowly drifting away into the threads and winds of autumn. And as the changes in the trees respond to the call of nature the color pallet is about to explode.

Even the sent in the air is changing. From the warm liquid ambrosia of starlit nights and brillian explosions of flowers that frame summer green to the crisp cooling sweet and tangy perfume that invites long walks in a magical world of color that seems to invite story telling.

The gatherings that take place follow the same pattern. The next three months will be filled with the excitement of celebration that weaves in and out of every day.
We remember much durring this time, and it grows and grows with it's cresting happening at the same time the start of the new year according to the gregorian calandar takes place.

We watch our summer love begin to die, the roses get sleeply and as the blooms grow less and less frequent before all that remains are the naked eyes that cover the bodies in the gardens of summer.

I love this time of year, simply because the change that takes place. How summer gently gives way to autums exotic dance, while all the time, I'm very sure that inside the hollows of the sundrenched land there is a cry that goes up in the hearts of thoes who worship at her feet, "We wish this never to end!"

But it does, and the seasons change, and before we are even aware the fist snows of winter will begin to fall. The magical white kisses melting on the warm cheeks of children everywhere, no matter their age.

So we bid thee fair well and adu sweet songbird of summer, with carefree laughter and bright days. We'll miss your rages of storms that you lash upon our doorsteps and love the light shows that make your wings turn purple and black.
We'll miss your song so warm and sweet, fair summer tis now your time to fall gracefully to sleep.

Let autum come, with dazzling display of sunset drenching our every day, for only a short while your color sings, then to greys and deeps of matted brown leaves lay with memories at our feet.

We will miss you sweet lady of summer and while there is still green upon the hills, and the last rose with dying breath, kisses our sleep one more time, we'll remember through the long winter snows and early spring that your return is shortly in comming, and does so quicker with each passing year.
We love you while you are here, and yet with the knowing of your soon return, we will miss you not so much as if you were gone forever, ner to return.

Good night sweet lady of summer, goodnight...until we greet each other again, I say goodnight with a smile upon my lips...goodnight.

Expectations and other lies otherwise known as we can't find some idot

60% | 4

# 26749

Have you ever applied for a certian job, got the job and than the job you ended up doing wasn't the job you applied for and got hiered for?

I know it sounds like a toung twister, yeah say that ten times and then we'll see how clear headed you are.

Well, that's my job. I was hired for one thing and have done more to be trained for several other things while the thing I applied for is not the main thing I'm doing.
I feel at times like I was sold a bill of goods because no one wants this job.

The job itself is a job in its self, being one that if that's all I did could be a full time job. But the job I was actually hired for is about 4 or 5 jobs rolled into one and it's expected that I do the job I was hiered for and all the other stuff too in a part time frame work.

If I had known what they wanted I would have never applied for the job. From the discription they put out there it sounded like many similar jobs I have done in the past.
I was more than qualified for the job.

I know this all sound really vague, and if you are now confused and scratching your head, you are feeling exactly how I feel at the end of every day that I work.

The information I get from the people above me is bits and peices and fragmented and not clear at all. I've had to talk to people who have done this job for this company and they all have been kind enough to tell what this job truely entails, and when I get enough energy to do so, I'm going to bake them cookies as a thank you, but until I straighten out this mess the cookies will have to be a distant goal.

I wish people would tell the truth when they look for aplicants for any job, be honest and it could end up in some amazing results, like a person showing up who can do it all and more.

I can mulitask, but if its alot of confusion comming at me, I tend to be like a deer who is caught in head lights.

So now class that we are all clear on that, take tab "A" put it in slot "D" while cutting line "F" into a shape of a thingy that looks something like an upside down monkey, but if you don't stop at the dotted line, which arn't on the page at all you just have to know where they are and no one is going to tell you because your suppose to know that simply because of the upside down monkey thingy shape, your not stupid, we know your intelligant and have seen this shape before.
We don't care how much you deny it.

So after comming to the dotted line take a sharp left turn and when your finished cleaning the dark hole at the end of the closet, put tab "r" directly into the monkey's eye.
I know we forgot to include the monkey's eye and it's vital to the sucess of the completion of your work day, but the person who had this job before you didn't tell us where they put the monkey's eye so you'll just have to find it, because we couldn't be bothered with finding it before we hiered you.
Is that clear class? Good. I'm glad no one raised their hand on that, lets me know you all know what I'm talking about.
Now your an expert.
We have unrealistic expectations as we know you do as well, so good luck and remember everything we've taught you, now go do your job.

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