I feel swell, I feel great!
Last night, well, Rachel took me out to dinner. So much for being a stud, but that wasn't what my intention was anyways. Well, she'd had a long day, but as she started eating she started to cheer and laugh. We got to talking about life and emotions, and that was good enough for me that I didn't get funny notions in my head.
Actually, funny notions I think I can safely avoid now see?
For one, I can see that any romantic move on my part would just be bad news for Rachel now. I have friends, particularly the ever-wise Annette, who have helped me through my own agonizing desires for self-realization who have helped me avoid what could have been a real ugly disaster.
What I ultimately concluded was that the idea that I wanted Rachel as a girlfriend was in fact a manifestation of a desire to simply be closer to her as a friend. Both involve intimacy, and the potential for both are enhanced as she's at a point in her life where she can use a friend, and is devoid of a boyfriend. Well, she needs the one a whole lot more than the other, but I guess I confused myself by interpreting a desire to be with Rachel as a romantic gesture over what I think is the more noble position of simply being a very good friend who she can talk to.
Anyway, this conclusion came to light when I was emailing her after the fact. See, I didn't go out and spill my guts at dinner or anything silly like that. We enjoyed things far to much, and it would have been stupid. However, I could realize that she had related concerns, about guys that have shown interest in her, and her relations with various friends. She's come out of a powerful relationship with one person, and is assembling things in her life now in to something new, being as that romance with Ed is over. Like anyone coming out of a meaningful relationship, Rachel is re-making herself.
So, I spilled my guts. Whole story just out in email. I told her that there were two ways in which I was attracted to her, the first as a friend and the second as an attractive woman. I had explained to her how I had gotten the two confused, the results of which could have been not-so-good-at-all. I explained to her that I had come to the conclusion that now that I understanded what was going on, that I could now keep the two separate, as would be wise.
I was so proud of myself.
When I woke up this morning, a thought passed through my mind wondering at what I'd done and part of me ripped on the other part thinking. "Imagine what you must have done to that poor girl.." The other part was still groggy and mumbled something about Gandhi and the fall of the Soviet Union.
Email sent to Rachel Woo,
Wed, 29 Oct 1997 09:30:55 -0600
Rachel took the whole spilling of guts thing well. She actually said she respected my audacity. (She used a different word.) She then went on to speak of more personal things, the likes of which are not to be shared in this forum.
In the ten minutes I have remaining here I think that I have something to say about keeping an online life is in order.
It has been difficult, this sharing myself, when I am confused about what I'm thinking. I had earlier tried to write an entry for yesterday, but it was turning out in such a shape as that if anyone read it, it could have caused problem. (Thanks Dave.) Well, maybe it could have.
Anyways, since I wish to be comfortable sharing my life publicly, I put a lot more stress nowadays I think, on knowing what I want to say when I say it. A good exercise to be sure. But when your emotional state is confused ... what can you say?
Notice, I had little to say after breaking up with Asao in July? I don't think an online journal is the place to be too confused about yourself. I can share my puzzlement with others, but given that I think so much faster than I type, if I really want to solve the puzzle, I will keep it in my head and in conversations with friends more likely than I'll share it here.
I like the implication though, that there is a great demand I'm placing on myself to get to know quite exactly what it is that's making me tick when I talk about how it ticks. Self-awareness is a beautiful thing. Given my limited ability to solve every problem, I worry though that I might cause problems with myself if I overzealously prosecute my emotional state and intellect for an understanding.
The danger with any cool thing, of course, is that one will take it too far.
Time for class.
He recalled that "she said she was an atheist" and that "the idea of combining religion and politics was bizarre to her." Yet he felt assured by the end of the discussion that she "certainly believes in civilized behavior" and that she had "respect for a moral code."
The Acquisition of Academic Literacy in a Second Language
Written Communication, January 1997
You, who are on the road
Must have a code,
That you can live by.
And so, become yourself,
Because the past,
Is just a good-bye.
Teach, your children well,
Their father's hell,
Did slowly go by.
And feed, them on your dreams
The one they picks,
The one you know by.
Dont you ever ask them "Why?"
If they told you you would cry,
Just look at them and sigh,
And know they Love you.
Teach Your Children
Crosby, Stills and Nash
Sometimes the lights are shining on me
Other times I can barely see!
Lately it occurs to me,
What a long, strange trip it's been!
We are always trying to establish our identity. It's a justification for being alive, for waking up in the morning. We anchor ourselves to something we find important, or perhaps several things we find important. Gods, lovers, passions, phobias, ego, work, servitude, or any number of things. When we lose these anchors, we lose direction and focus. We spin out of control while we grasp for a new set of reasons to be.
Christianity fills such a role so well because you can anchor yourself to a very reliable friend - an imaginary friend named "Jesus" who through the power of shared belief and historical hocus-pocus, is as real as you can make him. I can not fault such a system until people give their constructs too much power and credibility, and stop analyzing things for themselves, and find themselves too unbalanced towards a single anchor in life, to the detriment of other valid relationships.
The tragedy then becomes that they'll end up being mocked as they explode their misdirected lives at passing students on the Quad, as it is easier to jeer a fool than to figure out quite what's wrong and how it can be fixed.
I certainly don't know what would help brother Dan. So, instead I enjoy his Cucumber Story, and puzzle over the more threatening preachers who advocate public executions of non-conformists.
I think of that line in "Dances With Wolves" where the Native friend tells Costner's character that he is pleased to see him on a path that is seldom followed, the path of a true human being. That is a path I hope to someday follow. I hope even that I may be following it already, but that would be arrogantly presumptious. My anchor is myself, and a hope that I'm doing The Right Thing.
Like anyone else though, I could be foolishly wrong.
How reassuring. We must all be humble, even though it gets rather dull at times. That's why I have such a strong and distinct personality.
But enough about me, let's talk about you.
H O M E