Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012: End of Days... I Don't Write

I've been thinking for a week or so about what I'd like to write in this space about Christmas. I never did  come up with a golden idea, because Christmas means so many things to different people, and even though this is my blog, I didn't know what I wanted to say. I will say this about Christmas though- whatever you believe, however you celebrate, whether you did or didn't get what you hoped for, the Christmas season- those 5 weeks between the fourth Thursday in November and the first day of January- is a time of love, and though it may not feel like it in these modern times of political correctness and war, a time of peace. I hope the spirit of love and peace blessed and touched everyone this season, and I hope you got what you wanted for Christmas.

Now, tis the season to make resolutions. I very often don't actually end up making resolutions, and as often as I do make them, I don't end up keeping any of them. I got to thinking about my resolutions for 2011, and when I realized I hadn't accomplished any of them I also realized I didn't make any last year. I was decidedly too busy being in Newport Beach "living the life", sharing a condo with my niece and nephews and going to the Rose Bowl to be bothered with resolutions. Apparently. At least I have somewhat of an excuse for not growing or progressing as a person. Right? Right?!?!

Anyway, this year I am actually going to make a resolution or two, and I'm writing them here so that I can actually A) remember what it is and B) have a constant reminder that I am either accomplishing it or am a complete slug for not doing anything.

Mu first resolution is to work on my book. That doesn't mean I need to work on it everyday. Baby steps, baby steps. It means that I need to do some serious work on it over the next year. Preferably to have it done by this time next year. That would be ideal. My last semester of college was an immense amount of writing and I was burned out, but I think that's wearing off and I might be ready to work on this project. I hope I am anyway, because I feel like a lazy, ungrateful teenage (2 of which I am NOT) for not working on it during all my loads of free time.

I've been thinking really hard about a second resolution and I can't really come up with one. I suppose I'd like to work on maybe not hating the general population so much, perhaps not letting people's idiocy irritate me so much, possiblly attempt to have a brighter outlook on life. I'm not sure these are things I can change though. I do wish that I liked people, that I could be a little more like my brother-in-law Andrew and get along with everyone, whether I like them or not. But I'm not going to be that way and I know it. I think that's why I want to be a writer, so I can sit in my house and be a recluse because that's what writers do. 

I always admire the people who have overcome adversity and have had generally really hard lives and still believe the best about people and the world. I do wish I could be like that, but I've become jaded, for no particular reason other than it's the easier thing to do, and believing the best in people seems cliched to me now. Perhaps if I can change my way of thinking, I can start believing the best in people. Rather than being a judgey-pants, I should make up stories about people in my head, decide that maybe the creeper on the bus isn't just a gangly oaf who stares at me, but a guy who trains seeing eye dogs on the weekends, and during the week, on the bus, pretends to be blind so he can understand the impact his work with seeing eye dogs has on people. Right? Right??!?!

So I guess that means my second resolution is to change my way of thinking. Easier said than done, but a resolution isn't a resolution unless it's challenging. If I actually do get my book written and am successful in starting to believe that people are inherently good and not irritating, 2012 might actually be the end of days. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Somewhere, Beyond the Sea

This is for Nikki.

Somewhere high above the city, through the cumulonimbus and the thinning atmosphere, past the spot where stars twinkle and the moon smiles, beyond earth and beyond space, is a world without doors, sadness, or heartbreak. It's a place of light and love, where love really never dies and white is always in season. The gloriousness of this place can hardly be conveyed by a mere mortal. Having never been there, only symbolically I suppose, I can only imagine what it's truly like. But I do know that there is no disease, pain, or sorrow. Suffering is left behind and joy fills every crevice because the journey is over, and all were triumphant.

The worst part of this world is the ones left behind, the ones still suffering through grief and sorrow here on earth. It's hard to see sometimes that the ones you've lost are better because you feel so much worse. Slowly specs of time start to fill the emptiness inside, and confirmation will come through in the tiniest of ways to let you know everything will indeed be alright. An Everclear song on the radio, a sunflower on the side of the highway, two peas in a pod from the garden... It's the evolution of the soul in so many different contexts, all meaningful and all pertinent to the progression of the human spirit.

Loss is never easy. If it were, it wouldn't be called "loss", or the word wouldn't have such a negative connotation. The most sacred part of loss is knowing that eternity exists, the afterlife is there, and for the rest of your journey in this life can be propelled by knowing the ones you loved and lost will be there waiting for you when your sojourn is through. And that living without them, though never easy, does get more bearable, and even a little less lonely, even if it's the most minuscule amount humanly possible.

Somewhere, through the gray of the clouds and the inversion over this valley, past the light pollution from the skyscrapers downtown, above the space station and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn's rings, waits paradise for all of us.

Monday, December 5, 2011

All I Want for Christmas is...

World peace. No, I'm not a beauty pageant contestant, but world peace would make things a lot easier, and a lot less interesting. I know world peace is an impossible dream, and honestly I'm not one who dreams it very often. If there was world peace, and everyone got along, there was no more fighting or disease, what would Jon Stewart have to talk about? So for the sake of "The Daily Show", world peace isn't what I want for Christmas. What I really did ask for is as follows: The Biography of Steve Jobs, Cool, Calm, and  Contentious by Merrill Markoe, and a fluffy kitten. Other than that, I don't really need or want anything. Well, there are things that I need/want, but they are a little out of reach of the normal person.

In no particular order...
  • Enough money to pay off student loans
  • The heartbreak of missing my brothers at the holidays would disappear
  • A kidney (naturally)
  • No more Medicare premiums (especially the one due on Christmas Day)
  • For my young friend Nikki and her husband Spencer to have strength, peace, and comfort during this difficult time in their lives.
  • No more hungry people
  • No more Rachel Ray or Twilight
  • Peace for the brokenhearted
  • Love for the lonely
  • Robert  Downey Jr. 
  • "Community" to be back on NBC this January
I feel like some of those things have a distinctive "Grown Up Christmas List" feel which was not my aim at all. But I really do want for there to be no more hungry people, especially kids, in the world. And if Robert Downey Jr. showed up at my house, I would not turn him away. Anyway, the point of this really, is that... oh I don't know. I guess I just hope that everyone will remember that love is the most important part of this season, even though it's fun to go to Christmas parties, find that perfect gift, convince your nephews you're getting them coal from the new "coal store" at the mall... I think John Lennon had it right. "All we need is love" this Christmas season, and all the year round. All we need is love, love, love, love, love.

I think that really is all I want for Christmas.