Archive | December, 2018

Danger Girl’s Sanctum of Solitude

26 Dec

For the past 6 months I have been spending most of my time alone. I am not sure why exactly, but I seem to crave it. And I should qualify this and say that I do have feline companionship, but cats are very mellow and as long as you are cool with them, they are cool with you.

Of course solitude is always enjoyable when it’s a choice, and often a living hell when it isn’t. And it helps to be a lover of cerebral pursuits and not someone prone to team sports. I suppose “avid about”, would have made my reference to team sports sound less like a chronic illness, but I since that reveals something about myself that I may want to explore later in a short story or as part of a character profile, I’m going to let it stand.

It’ not that I have anything against athletic peeps, I actually admire their discipline, but I think I have spent far too much time detached from my body, to build that type of relationship with it now.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my body, it’s more like just the place I sleep.

And I do have friends that I love hanging out and having adventures with. Plus my current job is very social, kind of like being a bartender only with food instead.

But there is something incredibly free about having expanses of time that are all mine.

Time that I can do anything I want in, without having to explain, or compromise with anyone. I love to do things that drive most people crazy, like spend an entire day watching movies, or reading. I love to go on youtube and explore it for new and unique music.

My tastes are eclectic, so I love everything from Mongolian Metal (The Hu Band) to Lebanese violin virtuosos (Ara Malikian), Viktoria Modesta, the first pop star with a prosthetic leg, actually many, who uses them, the way Gaga uses costumes.

I recently lost my cat Mick, (I still have his brother Sid) I thought maybe my need to be home was a psychic thing, that I knew somehow that something was going to change, and I was hanging on to what was for as long as I could.

I have no idea if that was true. But because of it, I spent hours snuggled up with Mick on the couch, watching films and old black and white tv shows like Perry Mason, listening to him snore.

I love that we had so much time together. And no, I don’t think I am getting another cat, Sid seems to enjoy being the only cat and I don’t have the heart for it, at least not now. Besides, I still see Mick in fleeting glimpses whenever I spark up a spliff.

I think there are some people who find their soul mates with people, and others, for whatever reasons, with animals. I don’t think it matters which, as long as you are happy.

I had an incredibly, satisfying relationship with smoking for over 36 years, until we parted amicably 15 years ago. It was nobody’s fault, the passion just wasn’t there anymore.

There’s a song from a FredAstaire movie called The Bandwagon, that kind of sums up how I have felt most of my life, even though just like his character in the film, I have lots of amazing people and support.

I don’t know if it’s age, or a benefit of solitude but I have noticed lately that I am more at peace with what is. I am able to let go of things that I have no control over, things that make me unhappy. I still react but I don’t hoard it. And it is no longer necessary for me to be hip to what’s “really” going on and share that hipness, so everyone knows how insightful I am. I’m not perfect, I still go there occasionally, but I no longer live there.

I no longer need a specific community, just the company of individuals who share similar cultural interests. My identity is no longer defined by sexual orientation, nationality, gender, religious beliefs or politics. My art can play anywhere or nowhere.

I am in the last quarter of my life. And although I am 63, I am also 15 and 30 and ageless. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see no changes and other times I am startled that I no longer look like an adolescent. I am not afraid of aging. I am only afraid of being unable to make a living so that I can’t live alone.

For me the only tragedy of age is being forced to live out your remaining years with no privacy. That, and the realization that many things I held to be absolute, are in fact no longer true.

Things change radically when you are no longer aware of them. Kind of like when you haven’t bought Scotch for years and you go to a liquor store to pick up a bottle only to discover the price has quadrupled.

It’s especially disconcerting when those things change in ways that seem to make them less effective or completely inhumane. This is one of the negative things about solitude, it is easy to become out of touch with the present. I call it the Rip Van Winkle effect.

This pretty well wraps up 2018 for me. It has been a pretty introspective year but a good one. I have laid some pretty solid groundwork for a really creative 2019. No spoilers.

See you all in the New Year XO

#blackcats #writing #selfcare






My Community Is Huge

2 Dec

Community is a word that evokes warm feelings of camaraderie and belonging. To be part of a community is like having family, only without having to eat the tomato aspic at Xmas. It is comforting knowing that you all share something important to each and every one of you, whether it’s sexual preference, gender, local, spirituality, ethnic background, skin tone, a proficiency for making bombs out of empty whisky bottles, music… the list is endless.

I have been a part of many communities and at times none, depending on what facet of my being, was being discovered or explored.

Initially I found the experience of being a part of something shared with many, to be everything I was looking for. And then I would develop an interest in something that was outside the community values or I would start to feel suffocated by the rules, politics and outlook and I would drift away, looking for something closer to who I had become.

For a while I thought maybe I was just a loner.

As I get older I find myself craving solitude and only share my spare time with people I connect to, creatively, intellectually and who want to keep growing in all areas of their lives. And I am ruthless in eliminating people who drain my energy or I have to be someone else with. While this may seem cruel, I don’t have 40 or 50 years to play around with anymore, so yes I am being selfish with my last 20.

I think when I was younger, my identity was forged by being specific and now it is defined by removing all restrictions. So instead of being a part of any community, I find community in moments and experiences. Like being in a room filled with strangers all sharing the beauty of a Sufi love song, or talking to a person on the street, who is wearing the same kicks as you, about shoes and life and… Or sharing a look of sheer joy on the Great Wall of China with a little girl and her family.

I don’t know if it’s the times we are living through, the despair, the fear, but for me the communities have become armies complete with labels and slurs for everyone who veers even slightly from their manifestos.

I have empathy for their pain but no desire to enlist. I believe there are many ways to create positive change, just like there are many ways to define community. And one thing that is vitally important for us all to carry with us “no matter what don’t lose your sense of humour, because then the revolution is truly meaningless”.