On the occasion of a broken heart

My sister chose to end an important relationship this week.  The reasons why are hers alone to claim, although I have my suspicions about what they may be.  My feelings on the subject are less than unimportant right now, though.  She’s bereft, in deep emotional and spiritual pain, and I can’t do anything at all to make it better for her.  She’s not alone in this, but I know she feels as though she is right now.

It seems as though everyone who is anyone is rushing to express to her their support (at least a couple are there for curiosity’s sake and nothing more, substantially).  That’s how it is, when these things happen.  People give you their words, their condolences, their support, their love, their understanding that comes from having been there and their knowing that it will get better, because, ‘Time heals all wounds’.  I can only offer the same, and hope that she is able to someday find meaning in that.  But, for the one bleeding from the hemorrhaging wound of a suddenly-severed affiànce, none of it means anything when the truth is to be spoken.  This I know. All too well.

It’s all well and good to have those sentiments, but they are just that … sentiments.  Shapeless, formless, amorphous … thought things.  And those things are like dry-rotted bandages on the lacerated, suffering, broken heart.  We have been socialized to give them out almost as a requirement in order to be viewed as decent human beings, regardless of the probability that they may not help at all, and may in fact exacerbate the situation instead.  Sometimes, silence and presence are more precious, and a held hand says more than the most well-intentioned words.  Because, after all, those … things … are more for ourselves than the wounded one.

Not that having those sentiments is a bad thing.  Not at all.  When enough time has passed, enough processing of the event has taken place, and the cascading noise of an anguished, heart-killing voyage through the emotional theatre of war that is love vs. life has begun, at last, to fade to a dull roar, the sentiment is there as a reminder that someone, somewhere, was willing to absorb some of that desolation on one’s behalf to try and make it easier to cope, knowing all the while that they were helpless to do anything at all.

I want my sister to know that I’m here for her.  I want her to know that I love her, I value her, and I understand what she is feeling.  I also want her to know, that I understand my words are worthless right now.  We are the length of a large state apart, and my hugs and offers of hands held will have to wait until the next holiday or family gathering.  Nonetheless, the meaning inherent in those words is now, and shall forever be, real.

For now, I will sit in silence and transmit my loving presence to her as best as my big-sister radar can do.  And I hope she can receive it sometime soon.

Ms. Audrey

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On the subject of profundity.

Someone told me recently that they “can’t wait to read” my posts because I am a “person who, even when they are obviously being silly, is always teaching, always profound in her speech”.

While I appreciate being labeled a ‘Fount of Profundity’, what he said made me feel as though I was being eulogized.

Which made me think back to a time when I and a group I was in was asked, “If you died today, and if God exists, what is the one thing you would want most to hear from the Creator?”. I really didn’t have to think long to come up with my answer, “Well done.”. If I were to die today, this is what I would want printed on my headstone or, since I would prefer to be cremated than buried, on my urn.

ON THAT NOTE: Truth be told, I would prefer to be buried unembalmed, without a casket, in pieces spread across the earth, with a native seed or sapling tree planted in the dirt above my respective remains, and those words carved into the sign hanging from the branches in such a way that, as the tree grows, the sign becomes embedded in the trunk. That is my wish.

Much Love
Ms. Audrey

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Civil Rights, DoMA, and Barack Obama

When Barack Obama was first elected, I supported him without reservation.

I was ready with facts and figures for the inevitable naysayers who gave every reason, most of them erroneous, as to why he should never have been elected, let alone sworn in. I was also ready, and still am ready, to fight alongside this country’s first Mixed-Race leader in the ensuing struggle to make his agenda real. A man who was not White, not a member of the establishment and who had, in fact, worked against the powers-that-be for his community and for others early in his career.

I said early on in the 2012 election that Mr. Obama would win a second term. I said that, barring an unforseen reversal of fortune by the Republican Party and based on my observations of the candidates in line for that party’s nomination, there was no way in hell that Mr. Obama could possibly lose. I was correct, on both predictions.

I am not now tooting my own horn, here. In the nearly five years since the 2008 election, I have been upset, disappointed, and saddened by many of the mistakes President Obama has made, and many of the stances he has/has not taken. His seeming inability or unwillingness to just tell his opponents to shut the hell up and get to working with instead of against him left me shaking my head on more than one occasion.

My support for this man has, nevertheless, never wavered. His is not the easiest job to do daily, and is a 24/7 job in which his every move is scrutinized and negatively reviewed. I wouldn’t want to do it, and I know personally of no-one else who could do it, let alone do it better. I didn’t expect perfection, and didn’t get it. My disappointments are my own, and based on expectations that were, perhaps, unreasonable. I would say the same for anyone and everyone else who has suffered the same disappointments.

When President Obama finally ‘came out’ in support of LGBT civil rights and in favor of same-sex marriage I cheered, as did many of my friends in that community. Still, few thought, based upon his challenges up to that point, that there would be much more movement for the movement. I didn’t think much more would happen either. It’s been nearly two years since he made that pronouncement and, today, President Obama had the honor of being able to publicly acknowledge (albeit unintentionally) not just one, but two giant leaps forward for LGBT Americans who had been horribly mis-represented by the government they pay taxes to, as their Civil Rights were codified by that government. The government he now heads.

It is the positives that keep my support alive. I still, regardless of his all-too-human failings, support the man without reservation. I believe that history will again prove me correct in my current prediction; that the 44th is one of the greatest U. S. Presidents, ever.

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I am 48 years o…

I am 48 years old.  Just turned.

I am terrified of just about everything.  I don’t know how I get out of bed some days.  People terrify me, things terrify me, being outside terrifies me, as does the idea that I might become a hermit because I’m afraid of being outside.  I can’t bring myself to go to new places and meet new people because I’m terrified something bad will happen.

I learned young that the person I was inside was not acceptable to anyone, especially my family.  I began separating myself from them emotionally as circumstances conspired to prove my suspicions correct.  I was completely unlovable, and the one mistake God was allowed to make was wasted creating me.  These are the lessons I was taught, intentionally or not, as I developed.  I got used to my thoughts being invalidated, my every idea shot down by the people around me, my family.  If something was not right, it was my fault, always, regardless of if I had anything to do with anything or was even there.  The overarching lesson I learned: the person inhabiting this skin wasted it.  I”m told that this notion of how I was raised is inaccurate, a figment of my imagination.  That I took the wrong lesson from my childhood.  I’ve always countered with, “Children only know what they are taught.”

I learned early to conform, to not be different from everybody else.  No matter how unproductive someone else’s behaviour was, I was wrong for not emulating it, and, “Who do you think you are?  You’re not better than everybody else!” I heard frequently.  Something else I learned early on: if I wanted something, I had to work for it, no matter how deserving I might have otherwise been.

Ok, so now it’s several months later, well into the next year in fact, and I’ve just re-read that.  I must have been having a very bad day that day.  It was the first anniversary of Eric’s death, so I must have been on a downward spiral.  That I never managed to finish the post pretty much confirms my frame of mind that day.

So, where am I today, months after I started this post?  Having finally let permanently go of a toxic relationship, facilitated by a move back to my hometown, I am certainly much lighter in spirit, as well as in pocket.  I’ve begun a few new business ventures, none of which is yet profitable, but everyone has to start somewhere.  It’s much the same, other than that I am finally in a better position to move forward.  The problem is, I’m not sure I am moving forward.  I feel as though I am in a holding pattern, waiting for air traffic control to give me the okay to either take off or land.  In the meantime, I’m not sure if I’m circling or taxiing.

I know what I have to do (get off my ass) I’m just not doing it.  I can’t even bring myself to call all those people back that are wanting to be on the show, although I am dying to get it started again.  I only realized I’ve been on hiatus for two months two days ago, and that the choice to go on hiatus was not a conscious one.  I just stopped working on the show.  Just stopped, and I can’t remember why.  I’m not afraid of failure and really, how could I fail?  Everything I do is mine to do as I wish and with as I please.  The results, consequences and credit for what I do are all mine, no one can take any of it away, and I have no intention of giving it away.  I’m just not doing it.

Perhaps I need to up my meds.  More likely, I need to get up off my butt and get moving.

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Alicia Banks

Woke up to bad news this morning. My cousin, Alicia Banks, passed away early this morning after a short bout with cancer. She has two children, and several grandchildren.

It’s important for me, because I grew up with Lisa and her siblings. Two of my aunts, including Lisa’s mom lived less than 500 yards from my front door for years. I watched Lisa become a crack addict, doing anything to get her next fix, and it went on for years. She used to tease me horribly when we were kids, because I was the one who never got in trouble because I always had my head in a book.

Lisa tried several times to get clean over the years. Nothing worked until she began a program that really reached into her heart and soul, and taught Lisa her own value. She has lead a mostly happy life since then, rejoining our family church and entering into a new relationship that seemed to be stronger than any other before. Unfortunately, the toll the drugs had taken on her body was already paid. She was sick a lot, mostly cardiac problems if I understand correctly, and she ignored the pain in her throat and chest until it was too late.

Oddly, I’m not sad. Not at all. All I can think of is that she beat the odds, and did not become a drug statistic, although I know that can be argued. She died clean, sober, and whole. I can’t help but rejoice in that.

Rest in Peace, cousin. See you on the other side.

Much Love
Audrey

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Ms. Audrey’s House, with Iona Morris

Ms. Audrey's House, with Iona Morris

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THE END IS NIGH

I wonder how many people there are out there who were, like I was, raised in an “End Times” sort of church.

I have always wondered what was wrong with those folks.

Given the nationwide earthquakes yesterday, I know that church folk like those I knew as a child are highly agitated, even more so than usual given that such uncommon events are precursors of the coming Apocalypse they and their ilk preach about. I’m certain they are out there right now, trying to convert “heathens” such as myself to blindly (blithely?) follow some God; forcing them to “repent” of every sin imaginable, whether their intended convert committed any or not; brainwashing folks who were otherwise just minding their own business to believe that everything they do is punishable by death, eternal pain, and flames. Every Sunday, and any other day one goes to such a church, one hears the same sermon; We are living in the “end times”, “time is running out”, “sinners will suffer” “only the righteous prevail”. Every Sunday, the same message: If you’re not a “Christian”, you’re going to Hell.

The flaw in their thinking, for me, is this: If the “end is nigh”, and one has to make oneself right with whatever God there is so that one does not go to whatever Hell there is, shouldn’t that God know that one only went through the motions because one’s time was up? That the only reason for the effort was so that one could reap the rewards of righteous living that didn’t happen? Wouldn’t this God know that the effort was insincere? Wouldn’t an omnipotent God know better? And, given that this all-powerful God punishes liars, as these folks consistently say, wouldn’t the end result be that the convert would go to Hell anyway because they are liars? Since they only took God seriously at the last-minute, when it was too late to live a “saintly” lifestyle and fix their flaws?

More importantly if, as I seem to be arguing, this line of thought is wrong, doesn’t that mean that the Christians are wrong? What does it mean if this God can’t see through the lie? Doesn’t that also mean that there is something wrong with their god?

Therefore, I have to ask, why bother? Does it pay to fit into the box? What is this “righteousness” they speak of? If one is righteous, and righteousness is what is required to attain Paradise; if time really has run out, isn’t the saint gambling with their own opportunity to reach Paradise by encouraging the uninitiated to lie to God? Don’t they also risk exclusion from Heaven by being, in the end, the very person they excluded for so long?

This is the crux of the issues I have always had with Christians and Christianity. How can one live with a God who is so completely, totally imperfect, not to mention capricious? If the point of Christianity is to reach some sort of Heaven or Paradise, and if the only way to get there is by fitting into some sort of tightly limiting parameters that the righteous themselves cannot easily fit into if at all, what is the point of going through the motions? Nobody, not even the most Christian of Christians can get there. And isn’t that place pretty empty? It would seem that the God everyone is being pushed to worship can’t even get in.

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