Stopping by Woods on a Rainy Fucking Evening

You may recall how I ballsed up Christmas.

Audra and I decided to have a new year’s do-over.

I made breakfast in bed, we gave each other gifts, and had pretty much the greatest time that two people can have.

This is the singing bowl she gave me (like her, it is amazing):

2011 is going to be a great year.

During the solstice, a handful of us tried to watch the eclipse, but were thwarted by cloud cover. I’m not big on arbitrary holidays, but I love the solstice, and I love eclipses. Astronomical events bring me a kind of clockwork peace; a reminder that no matter how hard we might fuck things up, everything’s going to keep going. The solstice is when I think about what I’ve done in the last six months, and what I’m going to do in the next. A starting point and a finish line.

Eclipses are incredible, regardless of what kind they are. We are very lucky, on this island earth. Do you know how rare total solar eclipses must be, out there across the stars? They’re not a perfectly normal, common effect of planetary motion, like a sunrise, or the waxing of a moon. It just so happens that our sun is 400 times bigger than the moon, and 400 times further away. That’s why the disk of the moon covers the body of the sun almost perfectly, letting us see the corona. And in a few hundred million years, the moon will have moved far enough away from the earth that there will never be another eclipse.

Before then, remember to look up.

probably if i had some cat antlers i’d be fine

I don’t know how to deal with Christmas. Aside from some great hangouts with great people, the entire thing is just a disaster, and it’s still a better-than-average year. Every time it comes around, I think “well, maybe it’ll be alright this time”, and then it’s just catastrophe after catastrophe.

Usually it’s at least someone else’s fault. Family crisis, funeral, hospitals, cops, whatever. This year it was all me. I spent yesterday evening and today with Audra, and I’m so stressed out about the possibility of having a terrible fucked-up holiday that I have managed to:

  • Fuck things up with regards to receiving presents
  • Fuck things up with regards to giving presents
  • Fuck up her boxing day breakfast making
  • Fuck up our boxing day post-breakfast pre-hangout plans
  • Fuck up her boxing day post-hangout evening plans

Fuck.

A head full of noise and muscles singing like high-voltage wires; all I want for Christmas is to sleep until spring.

Shake the Disease

(I’ve stalled on my 30 days meme, but only because the next entry is “your music in great detail” and I have no idea where to start. I’m also behind on posting the final tour diary, but who’s counting?)

I’ve had something hanging over me all week. I can shake it for a meal and a movie, but it comes back when I look the other way. I can’t tell where it’s from. Grey autumn skies seeping under my skin, the bends after coming up too fast for air when the tour ended, person after person cancelling plans while I’m shaking off envy of other people’s friendships, or something else, outside my vision.

Sleep retreats like summer nights, and I can’t make it more than an hour without waking. It’s 4:30 in the morning (it’s always 4:30 in the morning) and all I want is for the night to be over because I’d rather be working than thinking and it’s gotta be warmer at work than it is in my apartment anyway.

(It’s not.)

The days are long, the nights are erratic, and my schedule seems more like a threat than a commitment. The leaves outside my window have started to change (red maples bringing mono no aware to Canadians with neither sakura nor sensitivity), and the chill in the air is a promise of winter.

One week until equinox.

Restraint

I can’t sleep. My body, stubbornly refusing to accept that it must be at work by 7AM, is staging a rebellion.

That’s fine. It’ll pay for it tomorrow.

I’ve been looking over my old design directory, at all of the sites I’ve built and abandoned over the years, and they all feel like they were built by strangers much more dedicated and talented than I am.

Years ago, I asked my closest friends for advice: Given a choice between music, design, and writing, which should I focus on? In what medium did I do the best work? Universally, my friends replied: Writing first, design second, and music last.

I chose music, as it turns out, and I’ve been very happy with the results. In retrospect, I’m sure part of my motivation for choosing it was that everyone ranked it last. Looking back over these old sites, however, I’m not sure I made the right choice.

Did I really design all these things? One after the other after the other? How the hell did I do that?

And what the hell am I doing now?

how is it that you can survive here?

She’s beautiful, the most beautiful person I’ve ever known, and she has no idea.

I look at her and I can’t imagine ever wanting anything more.

Every year at this time, I have to catch myself.

The days get shorter, the wind grows teeth and draws a grey coat around the world.

I can see it happen. I can watch insomnia and illness bleed me dry. I don’t think I have what it takes. I don’t think I can do what I need to.

Even with her beside me, I don’t know how I’m going to make it through, this time.

gang stories part one

Sometimes I think that I must be miserable in order to be happy — or that this once was true, and the remaining vestigial parts of who I once was seek to sabotage the now, if not by action then by emotion.

How do you war against your shadow?

I’ve never known if insomnia is the condition, or the symptom.

Noted for future reference: There have been helicopters and fighter jets in my area, these past weeks. Driving back from Toronto a month ago, I saw an unmarked bomber refueled in midair, both planes grey. Two weeks later, I saw them there again.

I can hear them now, circling overhead.