Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rough Weather Ahead..

I am home to take my wife to the airport. We received news just over an hour ago that her uncle passed away, and she will be trying to get the earliest possible flight to be with her family.

I will remain in the rear to attend to whatever must needs be done.

I am sad. I feel bad for my wife, her grandmother, and the rest of our family.

Just after she received news regarding her uncle, she also received more bad news about her father, who has been ill for some time now, and who's condition is apparently beginning to take a turn for the worst.

I don't know what will happen, but I suppose the most sensible thing to do would be to batten down the hatches and prepare for whatever may come. I somehow don't think it will be in the way of the best news possible.

If any of you who read her blog see this, perhaps you might pop over and cheer her up a little? You can find her here.

So. Thats what's going on... we are in it... no place to go but forward.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

"Jack" Born: ?? ~ Died: 15 December 2007

I just finished burying a friend - Jack was a cat who adopted us some many years ago, and has lived in our yard, seeing us off whenever we would leave, and happily greeting us upon our return. He was a happy little spirit, and I will always remember him as being a constant friend and a part of everything that has taken place here for as long as we have lived in this place... He was a much beloved member of our clan, and I already miss him dearly...

See you on the other side, Jack

O dark, dark, dark. They all go into the dark.
The vacant interstellar spaces......
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

T.S. Eliot

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Storm

For some reason my entire extended family is getting the living kicked out of us of late.

Every day brings more and more bad news piled on top of old bad news... I have no idea what the heck is going on!!

At first, we thought *we* were in bad shape (meaning my wife and I..), as once again we have hit a huge financial brick wall, and are working like hell to keep our heads above water, and, literally trying to keep a roof over our heads... its scary...

The tenants who lived in the downstairs apartment moved out, and just before that their cat, "Morris" who was Jack's buddy was nailed by a car and killed right in front of the house... which was very sad for all of us as Morris was a very cool cat, and was really well liked by all of us...

Jack the outside cat has taken a turn for the worse, won't eat a bite, and has started twitching and drooling... we have just about no money to pay for a vet visit, but, nevertheless, we are taking him tomorrow to be seen... part of me is in fear that he won't be coming home with us... part of me feels that whatever the price to me, it is important to do what's right for Jack. He has been my friend for some years... and he trusts me. I owe it to him to make whatever decisions are necessary to look out for his best interests. If he is suffering, and it can't be alleviated, then I guess we have to do what we have to do.. but it will break my heart to do it. He is a fixture here... and part of our family.

So many members of our family have been stricken with serious illness or have had illnesses suddenly get exponentially worse, that we don't even know who to worry about the most!!

We have been walking around getting bashed about and having the teeth rattled out of our collective heads mentally asking ourselves, "What the *fuck*?!?!"

We sat down and worked out a household budget last night... that was an adventure in adrenaline and gut-twisting, by the way... the only problem is that when we tried to find something that we could cut back on in order to save some money, we learned that we don't actually spend money on *anything* other than the bare necessities... we are some of the most frugal people we know!! Where do you go from there?? I fix my own shoes, make my own stuff... we eat for a week at a time on soups or other recipes that literally cost us pennies.. this batch of soup that we are feeding on for this week was literally made out of the scraps and leftovers that I found when I rooted around in the kitchen. It's good soup... but it was made primarily from all of the stuff that would have gone in the bin in another few days... We don't really go anywhere, we don't buy anything... we basically put all of our money towards trying to keep the bills paid. And the financial climate of late hasn't done a thing to make that any easier for us; the mortgage just increased by over a hundred dollars a month due to tax increases; and we already had some of the highest property taxes in the nation! There isn't anything to be done, we either have to find a way to pay it, or we are in major trouble - I don't even believe we would be able to scrape together enough cash to move if we had to!

We are circling the wagons and 'turtling up' to coin a phrase from my boxing days... trying to show the toughest parts of ourselves, and trying to hide the soft bits and keep them protected.

Marcheline had to have her window replaced in order for her vehicle to pass inspection... and the list of stuff just seems to go on and on and on...

Cancer, strokes, old age related stuff... so many people in our family suffering..

It is looking as though this holiday season is going to be a bit of a trying one for all of us.

I am trying to 'feel' the season.. but, honestly, I only really feel like going to bed, but, when I do; I lay there thinking of all this stuff or have freaky dreams about it all when I finally do drop off to sleep. I wake up more tired than when I laid down, and feeling as though someone has wailed the shit out of me with a baseball bat to boot!

It seems as though we turned a corner somewhere, and it suddenly became incredibly difficult to keep all of the bills paid. What on earth is going on?? The expenses just keep climbing, and the salaries go nowhere..

We have both been searching for part-time work, but nearly 95% of the job postings are bogus! The ones that *are* real are either so far away that it isn't worth even applying, or they pay crap, don't respond to the application, or they have one opening; from 10 to 2 on Tuesday, and from 3AM to 9:55AM on Thursday... what the fuck is *that*? How can you hold down a full time job and be expected to work part time in the middle of the work day?

The salaries for the jobs that *are* real, and *are* hiring would require about 90 hours per week to make a paycheck that was worth cashing... it just isn't doable.

I know that the universe doesn't conspire against us, and that things simply work out the way that they work out.. but when stuff like this happens, it is a huge reminder to me of just how small and insignificant I really am... and that everything that I know and everything that I have and am can be snuffed out in an instant - just like that! And; there is really little or nothing at all that I can do about it if it were to happen. I feel like a wee bit of flotsam in an ocean storm sometimes...

In a way thats really frightening, but in another way its really liberating. There isn't any point in worrying too much, I think, when all that I can really do is what I can do; I will either be successful, or I won't, and I will have to deal with whatever comes either way. If the worst happens, I will have to deal with it enough at that time - so no sense suffering about it now. I would be better put to use trying to respond to whatever situation is at hand, and doing the best that I can do. If I do my best, then its my best, and the outcome is the outcome. There simply isn't any other option... so, why worry about it? In Irish we have a saying that addresses this, "Marbh le Té, agus marbh gan é!" ("You are dead with your tea, or with out it!") ((the implication is that you may as well enjoy it!))

I am thankful that I have learned, through my practice, to be able to find the small enjoyable moments that are hidden, like little presents, within the maelstrom of all the other crap that is going on around me; and that I am able to enjoy those moments with the whole of my being whenever they make themselves available.

Today's sunset was one of the most beautiful, and one of the saddest, for some reason, that I can remember in a long time...

Good. Bad. Happy. Sad. Joy. Grief. Celebration. Mourning. It is all a part of my story... and I am determined not to turn away from any of it. Whatever comes, that is my life, and I am going to live it to the best of my ability.

It would be nice if we could find a way to solve the problems that are cropping up all around us... but, I suppose that is what life is about in a way. We just have to take whatever hand is dealt us, and do the best we can with what we've got.

In any case, I have to find a way to maintain my center while all of this stuff is going on.. its the only way that I can remain calm, and keep a clear mind so that I can both recognize, and react to, whatever opportunities may present themselves..

.. if and when they come, I will be waiting.

Happy Holidays, all...