Wednesday, December 06, 2006

diary of a control freak

OK, so I got my way, I made my blog private, at least temporarily, as an experiment.

I was becoming anxious and feeling out of control which is a typical way for a control freak to feel; this sort of feeling is what makes the freak a freak.

Another reason I'm a freak today is that it's not a good day: Tasso ran away again, and though he came back the last time, I just have a bad feeling, but maybe that's because I'm in a bad mood anyway.

I've got a killer headache. I didn't want to stay until the end of Tai Chi.

I'm feeling grouchy because Baba, the teacher, seems to go out of his way to ignore me. He spoke to me once when I first met him, admired my turtle necklace, then from that point on avoided eye contact.

Is there something wrong with me?

No comment from the peanut gallery.

I've had Tasso more than a quarter of my life. Maybe that's not all that long, but it feels like a while. I think it's pretty obvious why he took off; 2 new kittens have been tested for kitty leukemia and kitty aids and vaccinated for everything under the sun, but we didn't take Tasso in for his annual stuff even though he's due. OK, so he's a cat, and he doesn't know all that stuff. But could the actual meowing playful presence of the kittens have given him a clue??? Funny, though, he could have gotten jealous when we had a friend staying here with two cats--he didn't take off then. Why do I think my cat is smart???

Have any of you ever thought cats could be or contain spirits of the departed? OK, did I ask the question earlier: is something wrong with me??? Well, I have had this thought. To take out a mental inquest warrant, all you have to do is go down to the courthouse...

So Tasso has reminded me of my grandfather. That's one reason I haven't worried about him too much. I think if he's got the spunk to come back into my life as my skinny gray tom, he can pretty much take care of himself. If he wants to come back, he will; if it's time to move on, I should get over all the sad sentimental stuff.

I wonder if I can post another photo of the boy. OK, it published to the top of the blog, I guess that's alright.

Yeah, I worry anyway. It is cold, rumors of snow tomorrow.

I should go look in on the kittens. I have felt less enthusiastic about them since it feels like they have chased my guy away. Little Bit, i.e. Mehitabel,
is trying to get through the door from upstairs. Blank (our houseguest) had two cats here for months who were never clever enough to get through that door.

My friend S. says Tasso will be back. He may be. I don't know, I'm sorry.

I need to get back to my spiritual roots, being OK with not knowing things. Knowing I don't know and not needing to know. That's a much less anxious way to be, and being less anxious is a whole lot more comfortable.

Whom does anxiety benefit???

I think I better put a couple more pictures of Tasso on the blog.
I think his attitude shows in the photos. Tasso is definitely a cat with attitude.
I feel so much better not talking about politics. A friend told me I should not erase my blog because it's in some way good to be a "blue" presence on the Internet. I don't think of myself as "blue" necessarily. I don't like the whole red and blue thing, actually. I never have really liked Us and Them. When Tom Robbins talks about Angels and Cowboys, that makes a little more sense to me. I don't know if he talks about that in any of his books but the one about Invalids in Hot Climates.
I mean, when I became enlightened (I'm not going to put that in quotes as if I didn't really mean it) I then saw the world as being comprised of the enlightened and the goats. But then later I heard that when you're enlightened everyone is a goat. Or is it a sheep???
All this just goes to show there's a lot of value in dividing the world into
two groups.
The well and the ill??? Buzzer.
I don't know who I'm fooling if I'm thinking more people will read my blog now that I'm opening it to fewer people. I don't know what my problem is; I started out wanting to be published, appearing in print for the first time at age five, then involving myself in as much journalism as possible through high school, trying to publish first stories then poems.
All along I had a secret ambition to be a newspaper columnist. I never lifted a finger in that direction, though.
Blogging was a little along those lines. But I have discovered there's a dizzy feeling about blogging that I don't like. I'm much less interested in being famous than I used to be, less interested in being notorious. Though there's of course a difference between the two, I think there's a lot of overlap. Here's my poem about fame and notoriety:
The Icon Who Doesn’t Watch Herself

One day out of life, celebrate like mad.
Cross the borderline and cherish love.
Will I ever get past all the hairstyles
and the colors, and one appearance on Letterman
with fishnet stockings and combat boots,
another all obsessed with riding horses?
I’ve had a typical love/hate with Madonna,
though perhaps less typically, I’ve had dreams
that she and I were sisters, which in waking
seemed repugnant or attractive, depending.
No, let’s not call me sane: my last warrant read
“She said she and Madonna could only be
separated by death.” Yeah, I heard her voice
coming from my fingernail, as if it dwelt there.
Once while on a flight of fancy I grabbed
a grunge band’s microphone and sang
“I Shall Be Released,” saying Madonna wrote it,
and I said I was Madonna, in my white
wing tip shoes, with a new haircut.
Another time I was Madonna in a locked
isolation room at the State Hospital.
Then Madonna, wanting me to change
my hair, was my blonde silly roommate.
I got out on a pass and saw Madonna
at the bar at the Mexican place down the
street from me. I went down to the
kitchen, and I was Madonna, tasting
bits of cheddar cheese from fresh-made
enchiladas. But people didn’t seem
to understand. I could dance like mad
when I was mad, and now that I am not,
I really do not give a damn about
Madonna. I don’t like the curled wings
she had in her hair on Ellen, or the smug
look on her face. Now don’t get me wrong
I wish her all the best, but I’ll take
anonymity, and she can have her notoriety.

What will I do with a blog that is only for my friends? Why is it any better than communicating with each of you privately by e-mail? What is better about it than keeping a private journal or diary? In what way is it better to write here than to write new poems?
If none of you comment, will I become discouraged and mopey? Yes, I can guarantee that. But all of you have busy lives, and to read this blog you will have to sign in, an extra thirty seconds or so, which is the new hour.
Yes, thirty seconds is the new hour.
It's probably more correct to say thirty seconds is the new week.
Like they say that in the development of girl children, 10 is the new 15. But that's something else.
I do think that knowing the whole world does not have access to this blog will eventually give me more courage, but then again I'm a contradictory person because I do outlandishly courageous things and then I second-guess myself. I guarantee I've published blog entries that would sizzle Satan's socks... or something like that, but then I've erased them the next morning. Speaking of sizzling socks, I'm going to publish the poem I wrote for the exercise in ekphrasis at the Spalding residency:
The Farmer’s Curst Wife
after a painting by Daniel Dutton
21 C, Louisville KY

Is the tunnel of internal screams
merely an eternal surgery—
hopeless, painful try at exorcising
life’s burning thread?
Hell, the theme park, hurls fire
down its own black throat, the moods
the coaster knows available
to all who have abandoned hope.

I watch from what I hope is
a safe distance, as,
approaching an auxiliary entrance,
a demon hoists
the farmer’s gray and gruesome wife
on his hot shoulders;
she’s waving a baseball bat
at no one in particular
or maybe at the farmer
who finally shot her.

Another scarlet sprite
sits at the ticket window.
Who would pay to enter here?
Apparently the ghost crowd
all dressed in see-through
knows not what
awaits on the

So now I’ve paid my way inside
for the small admission price:
my life.
How about hell’s midway?
Can I win a sizzling prize?
I hurl softballs made of
red hot coals
into a choice of
fiery eye-holes.

All I am is on the line:
if I cause enough explosion
I will win the devil as a
plush toy,
wearing flannel, striped pajamas;
if I miss the mark, I’ll get
his sulfur breath,
and lava bed to share—
devil may care.
I'm sure my choice of artwork to write about says something about me,
even if the poem itself is pretty much a joke (I entered it in the Literary Leo "bad poetry" category).
Jokes about hell have been part of my vocabulary since I was ten and my babysitter got me drunk. If you came to my graduation reading you heard me read the following poem which is about this experience:
i. alison

Babysitter, sponsor of my fantasy and shame,
you, who taught me the compelling game
of pouring poison on my ten-year-old brain,
you’re a trace, a scratch, I go obsessively back
to the scar, to learn, to try to change it, but
it’s too late. Abstinence, medicine --- nothing helps.
The sober path will always be the road not taken.
You with your long hair tucked into your Mexican poncho
always looked British and sick, but I tried to be
like you, copied your handwriting, lowered my voice.
Soon enough I smoked. I was cynical, caught
in a Princeton drop-out’s vivid dreams of hell.
You taught me it was thrilling to be bad;
for years, being bad was all I had.
So this is turning out to be kind of like a form letter mailed out to all my friends at Christmas, something I have always vividly disliked. Is it simply pathetic not to have the "guts" to publish my blog for the whole world???
I have really been seriously stressing out about the blog lately. I mean it has given me headaches, for real. So if I'm a coward, at least my headache is gone for the time being.
While in reality every day is concerned with life/death questions, it is fortunate for most of us that we don't think that way all the time. But my blog had become entwined with ultimate concerns.
I'm going to stop writing this now. Please say a prayer that Tasso will come home. Thank you for reading this--I mean it, I know that the minutes it has taken to slog through it are the new hours.
Peace and love to all,