Posts Tagged ‘festive

16
Sep
19

A Party Year and I Don’t Feel Festive

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Chinese astrology (and, maybe, predictions from astrology in general) is a bit like a certain brand of computer games that seems to have a mind of its own, telling me how and when to play. And, I guess, as I recently experienced a major “glitch” (troubling error), perhaps that too resembles my experiences with Chinese astrology.

I refer you back to 2015…a Wood Sheep year I thought was a sign of finding the love I have sought most of my life. I thought good things were in the near future; I just had to get out and find them. But, not long into that fateful year, I wound up in a hospital and was subject to a number of tests and treatments like a lab rat just to get me back in semi-normal functioning order. The expression “it cost me an arm and a leg” became a grim, somewhat sinister reality that year and continues to haunt me. I saw pretty faces but lost all or never had any chance of achieving a greater connection with them. So much for finding love. If there was any love that year, it was more like pity and it came with suffering.

Now, to be fair, there was no book or placemat telling me that was the year to find love. I took it upon myself to believe that from what I had grasped of/from Chinese astrology. I didn’t have a master/medium/guru to consult. I simply “divined” the possibility from what I had learned. Which, like many of my mistakes in this life, resulted in a slap-in-the-face disappointment.

In 2004, I took a costly trip overseas to fill a big hole in my life’s “experience folder.” I followed the ways of Bruce Almighty and said (to anyone who wrinkled their nose at me when I told them what I had planned), “If you don’t like what I’m doing, you can ‘megabyte’ me.” I didn’t know much about Chinese astrology at the time but had an inkling of good feeling and built my hopes up by carefully planning everything I could. Sadly, while I was ensured a measure of safety from certain harm, plans fell apart, social experiments failed under a cloak of deceptive friendship and I returned home with a case of souvenirs which left me feeling nearly as empty as I did when I left home.

I cried for days if not weeks, nearly as long as it took me to shake the jet lag. I felt as if the monkey (year) had made a fool out of me, once again. I remember watching so many others enjoying themselves while I struggled to insert myself into the fun, somehow. It was a bit like watching a celebration on a big TV and thinking I could step through the screen; there was no logical way to fit into the picture. The party crowd was just an illusion on the other side of a glass wall; I was not welcome (unless I changed who or whatever I was/am, maybe). I took what small positives I could from that experience…it was an experience which taught me a few things I’d hopefully be able to use on future trips to avoid repeat disappointment.

Now, what does all of this have to do with the price of tea in China? Perhaps nothing.

But, this year, 2019, is said to be a year to party and enjoy the fruits of past labors. Yet, as I think of the past eleven years, I cannot fathom how or what to celebrate. I used to dismiss the disagreements with family, who seemed unable to understand my interest in, my passion for celebrations of other cultures, and find my own small way to enjoy something like the Asian moon/harvest festival.

2011 was probably the last year I can recall feeling remotely good about that. I made an effort to grow pumpkins and redeem what was lost in my youth to very strange foul weather, a freak hail storm which destroyed a precious pumpkin plant in my family’s garden in the middle of summer, as if some god threw down a lightning bolt and said, “No! You can’t have any! No pumpkins for you!” I sought out my own kind of moon cake and bought paper lanterns. I had a party for one outside while the rest of my family isolated themselves with TV and computer screens. It was both mildly amusing and deeply tragic.

This year, I feel very un-festive. I feel like…what’s the point? And, somewhat accepting my lack of company on the same wave length, I feel like leaving the lights off and the decorations packed away. The Asian moon/harvest festival just came and went, and I didn’t even check out the moon until the night my most recent upset unfolded, the cliche Friday the 13th. I didn’t find my special moon cake. And, as family talked about caramel apples, I didn’t feel as strongly as I have in the past to get a special one of my own (which usually costs more than I’ve been told makes any sense to pay).

I couldn’t care less about dressing up for Halloween, if family can get together for Thanksgiving or if there are any decorations or presents out for Christmas. I’m slowly starting to agree with all those who “bah humbug” the holidays as commercial trickery. And, that really makes me want to cry. But, perhaps, all my “dammed” tears (tears I cannot seem to shed alone and which continue to amass behind a mental dam) are merely the sound of paper tearing, paper torn by the grim reality of practical value, telling me what is merely an illusion of happiness and what is the biological function of inevitable decomposition.

It’s really difficult to stand firm on any feeling because there always seems to be that other side of the fence making some kind of noise. If you’re the festive sort, there’s someone who’s a “humbug” nearby, trying to lower your lights and silence the music. If you’re the “humbug,” there’s someone turning up their music, launching firecrackers and/or turning their home into a spectacle. It’s like, no matter where you go, there’s no peace of mind. And, if the peace people carol about cannot be found, well, that’s just tragic and tears me to the core. It makes me question everything. And, questioning everything just stops the world dead. Everything becomes a rusting amusement park strung with cobwebs.

I “hear” some factor of Virgo (and/or Pisces?) might be responsible for this recent bout with self-doubt. But, who knows for sure. Though, I do see others, even here, having similar doubts. At least, it appears the doubts are similar. But, knowing my luck, this is just another misconception, another assumed grasp of reality ready to be shaken by disagreement.

It just makes me feel lousy to think this year could be the biggest party in twelve years and I, once more, don’t feel like being part of the crowd. Imagine going the next eleven years, listening to people rave about that party back in 2019 before they bemoan the toils of the present “labor” year.

To be fair, I’m not much of a crowd person, as far as I know my core spirit (though my thoughts of such have been swayed by research of astrology). I’ve never been comfortable at loud parties with countless people…or even a family of fifteen. When I was a kid, grown-ups did all of the partying; and us kids just had to sit quietly with a present, if we were lucky to get one. We didn’t get to play much together nor with the adults. I would latch onto brief smiles from pretty older aunts and cousins and think I was at the door to some magical world…and then be forced to let it all slip away as I returned to a restricted life at home like Cinderella and try to reset my mind for school work and all the education I was being told was important. I rarely knew the true warmth of friendship; friends would appear and disappear or change into something I could no longer accept.

And, I still occasionally mourn the loss of what I consider the best friend I’ve ever had, partially blaming myself (and partially blaming her). She was the only friend who stood beside me and came to my aid when I was suffering; she checked in on me like a good nurse. Male friends were only looking for fun I could rarely supply because I didn’t share the same sort of imagination or have the latest toys. But, *she* wasn’t like that; she would have been my friend, no matter what I had or didn’t have. And, though I didn’t share all of her interests (which made me worry I wasn’t the best of friends), I was fairly content just being with her, seeing her smile and hearing her infectious laughter. Yet, we drifted apart after she denied me the growing feelings I had and went to a different school where she became involved with some guy using drugs; and, back then, that was like a cardinal sin to those of us who had been raised on anti-drug campaigns. Had I known then what I know now, I might not have shuddered at all at the realization and fought to keep her at my side (instead of letting her go and drifting into my own solitary misery). [Granted, to be fair, I was in no position to fight for someone else at the time. I was grateful to have any friend visit me and give me some sign of comfort and/or strength to fight with my own internal monsters. I couldn’t be someone’s hero when I needed my own hero…or heroine (a female hero, not the drug).]

If I had an inkling of that same good, enduring feeling (that I had with her) with another person in the past thirty years, I’d be less inclined to mope. But, sadly, I cannot say anyone could compete with her. A rare phone call or email just isn’t the same as someone who could pay me a visit and shake the tears from my branches until I could smile, again. A pen pal is a nice dessert but far from the main course I still do not have in/with me. And, I think of all the things we had yet to do together, things so many young lovers claim they’ve done (or so I hear). While many turned their focus to the pursuit of sex, I was thinking about so many other possibilities that would bring far better, enduring joy. It just never came to pass. And, at my age, it seems like a foolish notion to consider anything outside of a world of broken marriages and single parenthood, of “sloppy seconds” and “second chances,” if that, of people making desperate moves out of desperate positions only to fall back into fruitless ruts after attempting to satisfy their “sweet tooths” (or sweet teeth?). I don’t want to think any window has closed for good………..

….So, we’ve reached that point in my train of thought when I know I need to hit the breaks (Tsssh!) and regroup so I can get on with my life before I am completely and permanently derailed.

I know I shouldn’t let any of this get to me. But, I feel an inclination to mentally stab myself (not using an actual knife) for missing out on some festivities, for not making the proper moves to share in the fun, every time word of some party going on reaches my ear. I don’t buy into all the “best ever” and “bigger than ever” crap people keep pitching. But, I know there’s a party…and, even though I’m not the best party joiner…suffering from some variety of social discomfort/anxiety…I’m missing…something. I suspect what I am really missing is the joy of good companionship, of friendship and revitalizing love. But, many if not all of us feel that pull when people are enjoying themselves; don’t we? You feel like you’re on a dark street looking in on some lively, colorful crowd laughing, dancing, eating and drinking. You feel just a little like that infamous Scrooge traveling the pathways of time and space with those three eerie spirits.

But, down the road, I doubt these feelings will matter much…or they will just become “wash” in the layers of sand gathered during aging. I just…don’t want to be an old humbug. But, I also don’t see a way around it. And, that makes me quite nauseous and tense.

And, how does one go on living when the past seems so empty, when your story cannot feel as good as that of another you encounter (and it makes no sense to say it’s better than the case of some other poor chap)? When that fateful day arrives to write an obituary about yours truly, what will it say and who will write it? I currently don’t have someone I know will do myself justice in print. Nor, even if I did, can I feel good about filling this life to its fullest. Maybe I never should let such notions get into my head. Maybe everyone can only live life as full as they can or the Fates allow. Maybe I only get half a life while someone else gets twice their expected share. Maybe that’s just the way of the cosmos and beyond human understanding…and not something we humans should dare pass around as fact or expectation.

So, what if I write my own obituary? Would that matter? A little. And, still, it would feel empty. Because, aside from my good intentions and fewer deeds of service than some I’ve come to know, I see plenty of missed opportunities either thrust upon me by controlling and/or mentally abusive adults or spawned from within myself by genetic “doubts” and “fears.” And, it pains me to think of when I did take chances only to fall flat on my back and injure myself. It’s as if even trying to do something was in error. So, why try anything? It’s a question that continues to peck at me and leaves me feeling restless.

If only I could tune out the rest of the world and focus only on what is in front of me. Even if I could or would do that, could I be content or find contentment in that? Or, is it already too late?…because I’ve bitten the apple that flooded my eyes with illusions of wonder?…with ideas of what could be and pretty faces I wish I could call my friends and lovers?

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23
Oct
15

Halloween aka Costume Day Gallery, Back in Chat Cafe

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I dug out the old spooks, pumpkins and costumed minxes for the upcoming holiday and put a few “bumper stickers” on display in the Chat Cafe.  Have a look if you are in the mood or in need of some holiday inspiration.

If you find any great festive art you’d like to share, leave word, link or attach it here.  Or, if inspired to make your own, leave word of it being posted in your blog.

Boo.

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