It's been *so* long since I've posted that I thought I should do it now, before it got to be so long that to write would have required too much explanation.
My dear friend's disclosure last week left me feeling detached from the world. When you live in New York and someone is breaking your heart from Alaska, I get the feeling your insides dump out somewhere in northern Montana, a cold and mountainous place, from what I understand. It's jarring, but then again, what are you going to do? After you cry about it for a while, you've got to find your heart thumping somewhere and swallow it back in to where it belongs so you can smile when some good-hearted soul buys you three shots of tequila for looking so down. Organs in glaciers are good finds for the explorers of the future, but they don't do as much good right now.
Speaking of right now, I read a book this week called The Power of Now, which I want to tell you all about. Seems I was ripe for an injection of spirituality, because when my mother offered it to me over the break, I jumped at it like she was offering me a pack of Winston Lights. And yes, yes, YES!--this book was on Oprah Winfrey's Book Club.
When I told my little brother about it, he asked me what "the take-away message" was. I love him. Basically, there are two themes of the book: Forget time, and forget yourself.
Forgetting time is hard. I, for one, am always brooding over the past: how it fucked me up, how it's still fucking me up. I am also one to pin all my hopes on the future: things will be better once I get through this, once I figure this out, once I meet and marry Joey Comeau. (He writes! He plays chess! He's cynical and edgy but maintains that idiotic faith in life that I adore!) But, simply put, how can we be happy in the future? We never live in the future. We live in the present.
Forgetting yourself is even harder. Eckhart Tolle writes that one of the most damaging spikes to inner peace was Descartes' proclamation "I think, therefore I am." The notion that we are our thoughts seems obvious, but we really are not our minds. There is a challenging dualism that we so frequently face, evidenced in cliches like "My heart says yes, but my mind says no," or the author's wake-up call one day: I can't live with myself anymore.
There's so much in this book that I found really resonated with me, and it's written in a question-and-answer style way, for all us non-believers who are quite skeptical and, perversely attached to our pain and our thoughts, as tortuous as they may sometimes be. But I really have to believe that kicking my Self to the curb is the way to go, because so far all my mind does is fuck with me, urge me to compulsive and self-destructive behavior, in addition to keeping me awake at night.
In trying to settle my mind, ease my utterly worthless anxiety, and in general lead a healthier life, I have more or less retreated into as much solitude as is socially acceptable. A random kid I met the last time I went out...uh...two weeks ago...found me on MySpace. I was self-medicating that night, so it took more than a few moments to remember who he was, and his message (Subject: You Are Fun. Message: Let's Hang Out!) didn't do much to jog my memory. What kind of sorry sap thinks that a depressed drunk girl is fun? Turns out he's a comedian. We live in a fucked up world. He invited me to his show Monday night AND gave me his number, which I thought was funny (I tend to laugh *at* comedians rather than with them). I didn't go to his show.
November has always been an interesting month for me. But, as I'm forgetting time, right now is quite pleasant. My internet, after a week of vacation, has returned, and the heat in my apartment is on.