Friday, August 10, 2007

The Collective Wig-Out: Seven Days and Counting

Until I'm out of this damn apartment, and end my job.

I'm a little besiged. People offering to come and take stuff away, and then flaking. Then remembering, and calling a friend who never calls back. Other people calling, wanting to know when I'm available for Adult Beverages of Choice, when I'm Sorta Leaving and REALLY leaving. Then there is everyday crap, like changing the oil in the car and paying the bills and making sure the right statements are with me as I travel. Stuff that goes on the plane, stuff that goes in boxes, stuff that goes in the suitcase. Forward the mail, cut off the electricity.

Much of the stuff I've collected over the past 10 years has been free, or gifts. My mindset has been pretty much to accept and let wealth go, cheerfully, so that the people around me continue to enjoy the flow of good energy. At this point, I just want the stuff out of my house.

To complicate matters, I re-sprained my wrist this morning, dealing with a student in crisis. So now it's splinted and feels better, but still. It was just healing from the last go around 6 weeks ago, and I was hoping to make it to the end without more injuries. Not so.

Then of course, it's Friday. That means "Wolverine and Wolf in a Barrel" day for my room, for those of you who work with me. To be sure, there is a little bit of improvement. Since I was sick last weekend I quit smoking. Today, I went out and smoked the rest of the pack in about 4 hours, so maybe the improvement isn't so much and maybe I haven't quit smoking at all. I'm being optomistic?
Somewhere along the line of leaving my ex husband and therapy and surviving, I lost Romance. Maybe I never had it. "Other People's Drama" was drummed into me as something to stay clear of, as a step down the wrong path toward another abusive relationship. Keep everything on a calm and torpid sea, where you can see the coastline! Look at your mother! Look at your Grandmother! Be careful!

I think of that, and then I look at "Wuthering Heights". Where would that book be if even one character had stayed out of "Other People's Drama"?

Somewhere in this mess of my life, I got moving so fast I forgot with my heart that "Other People's Drama" is still a people, attached. That, no less than my students, the way they find their way through life deserves as much respect as any five year old just tottering out. Of course, in moderation. Like salt and lemon juice. My point being, I've done too much. Tried to distance myself from all of it.

And sitting tight, and respecting what they do and how they choose to do it in their own sweet time is strangely akin to that doctor brushing the very ends of my spinal cord on failed spinal tap #2. Did I mention I HATE, hate hate surprises?

I got a call to earth this afternoon by a gorgeous Trader Joe's checker. It was after 5 on a Friday, I'd just picked up a book I'd ordered, and I was powering through shopping to get home and eat and read. I got to the checkstand, and started ripping my ATM card through the machine. She looked me dead in the eye and said, "It's not going to do ANYTHING until I tell it to!" I stopped and I laughed. So she started thinking out loud- why are people always in such a hurry to get out? I tried to explain, complete with hand gestures. "You have to do the SHOPPING, and it's very intense. And then you take the intensity to traffic, and you might lose your traffic mojo if you aren't properly intense in the store." She laughed, said no one had been able to explain it to her before.

I walked out of the store feeling better than I had in ages.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Blessed Queen Jadwiga

The Little Hungarian Queen Who Could (And Did), don't let anyone tell you differently- this is who determined that I would go to Poland. Not M., not the beer, not just the sake of learning a new language. Shafted by the Duchy, she was generous and kind to the poor. In turn, they swamped the castle with ducks and geese when she was dying, praying for her outside. Her husband was kind of a d- well, not a nice person.

You know, you can sell out your religion and force convert your people to Christianity to score a classy Hungario/Polish King who speaks five languages, but it still makes you a guy who sold out his religion and force converted his people to Christianity to marry a, well you get it. I think he picked up on it- apparently Wladislaw Jagiello was kind of insecure and jealous.

There are all sorts of legends about her, from "Who will give the peasants back their tears?" to sending a discreet servant to bathe with her betrothed to check that "everything" was as it should be (he was a pagan at the time). Definitely worth a read- I always like to think she really did take an axe to the door. Attagirl.

We happen to share a birthday, which touches me quite deeply. There are very few times during my day when I don't think about her (or invoke her divine assistance).

Tears of absolute JOY

Yes, yes, there is a reason...

Way back when I was a average to middlin sized Josie (I bypassed "small" at 8), I decided that I wanted to be "Indiana Josie", and kick butt on the way to restoring antiquities to their rightful museums.

Ok, I wanted to be an archaeologist. Still do, but you know...

Along with Marcus Aurelius, my other hero is Alexander the Great. I don't really give a **** about the scholarly discussions (this is rare); any guy who could convince some thousands of soldiers to walk from the Mediterranean to India knew how to lay down the smack. So to speak.

I was actually offered a job in Pakistan. I really, really really wanted to take it. For no other reason than to see the final resting place of Bucephalus, his horse. Yes, I was willing to beat away roaches the size of ironing boards to see the final resting place of a general's horse who died some 2500 years ago. What did you miss in that post about me and the chair?

Anyway, a friend stepped in, and offered to break my legs before I even picked up the ticket. We had a good natured discussion about it, where he repeated his offer to break my legs several more times and then call come of his friends to help. I compromised on Kuwait. Periodically, I get, "Aren't you glad you ain't there?" emails from him with a news story attached.

But now! My problem is solved! Joy! Joy! I will have my Alexander the Great fix (and figure out how to get to Bucephalus).

Now, I will go back to daydreaming about the Library in Alexandria...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Another day

and now the sun is down.

I will crawl under the blankets, and make sure all my fingers and toes are accounted for, and start again tomorrow.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Being Sick

has taken on a whole, new, frightening dimension....

I mentioned in one of my first posts that I got sick in March. Sick wasn't the word- the best way I can describe it is in comparison. I've been in bed with a sinus infection since Friday evening. The very hollow boned, "I can't do anything but rest" feeling was enough to bring me to panic stricken tears and flashbacks of the hospital.

But why move halfway around the world, to people I don't know, to risk being sick again?

I have to move. I'd be drawn back to my work if I stayed any closer.

And forget jeeps and shotguns. I'm teaching 50 feet from the beach, in Kuwait City. They'll be expecting a professional woman in her thirties, and wedging myself into that niche is the only way I'm going to rest and study. Sure I'll travel, sure I'll have adventures. My body isn't going to be subjected to the stress and physical abuse it has been for the last two years, though.

Meantime, it's pack a box, then lay down for 20 minutes; spackle some holes, then lay down for 20 minutes. Heels and skirts will be heaven compared to this.