Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Stealing Time

May 27th 2006:
No one likes crying, but tears water our souls. - Xinran, author (1958 - )

These words seem so important to me that I feel like I need to write them down everywhere I go, like prayer stones on a Tibetan mountain side. I just finished reading "Sky Burial", which was one of those books my mother thrust at me and I reluctantly agreed to read, rolling my eyes until I got sucked in and found myself watering my soul.

It reads like a fairy tale. It shouldn't be real, but it did really happen. It's heartbreaking. Like Sofia Mendes says, "Love is a debt. When the bill comes, you pay in grief." That quote is from"Children of God" by Mary Doria Russell...another author my mother introduced me to. While I don't know if I fully believe that, there is a fragment of truth to it.

May 29th 2006:
I haven't had a good chunk of brain aware time to write here, but I have been writing - snatching moments of time to put down a few scattered thoughts on whatever tree pulp product is nearest. Thoughts like - why my fellow ASM (assistant stage manager) is almost always late. How the thought of losing my father is enough to make me physically ill.

I recently read on my mother's blog that they think it might be hepatitis. It might only be hepatitis. I laughed. It felt like the kind of laugh you laugh before swallowing a bottle of aspirin, a harsh grouse laugh. No mirth at all. Then I went to rehearsal feeling sick and bitter and relieved and angry. Such a wild mix, no wonder I wanted to throw up. There are too many feelings all rumbling together in my stomach.

That, and I'm tired and Vietnamese is not a food I will ever eat again. Last night I went to Calgary to see a movie and eat with about 18 friends. We ate the afore mentioned Vietnamese which hit my stomach badly (though the bubble tea was cool). The movie, X3, was good. I ended up sitting next to a stranger named Michael who used to do musical theatre in high school and was very interested in my current occupation as ASM of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He memorized the score for Jesus Christ Superstar, and listens to Andrew Lloyd Webber while he studies. He noticed the wasp land on Wolverine's leather jacket; he gave me a piece of gum which was nice until my jaw locked up on one side. It is still tight today. Chewing is an option I try not to exercise when my jaw does this - no chewing (well, limited chewing), lots of massage and pressure point stuff. The muscles will eventually release and I'll forget it ever happened.

Forgetting. Right now in order to simply function, I don't know if I need to forget everything or scream everything out to the world.

At least I'm struggling with a legitimate fear.

May 30th 2006:
These are the thoughts of the past few days.

Today was the first day in a while where I woke up rested. I woke up happy, and then I remembered that today I will find out the first step of my dad's health - probably a 'this ultrasound was inconclusive, we must run more tests' but still, the first step. That made me solemn in a hurry, which sucked because I was full-of-spring-happy before. At least I don't feel like bawling right now, which is how I felt for vast chunks of yesterday.

Please remember me and my family in your prayers. I for one feel the need for God pretty badly right now.

Monday, May 22, 2006

This is something new for me...

...by which I mean pasting technical jargon into this writing space and hoping it works. Many thanks to troll.

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

Friday, May 19, 2006

La la la la la, la la la...

Tonight as I write upstairs in the office I have a tune from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in my head. The lyrics are, as you may have guessed, "La la la la la, la la la..." ad infinitem. At least, it seems that way since they are stuck in my cranium with little hope of escaping or replacing themselves with something different.

I suppose that is my fault, for choosing to be involved in a musical where there are no spoken words at all. Every morning, every evening, and sometimes in my dreams, the music is present and ready to spill out in an inadvertant hum.

I have learned that I absorb music at a much faster rate than some of the people I live and work with. I had been told that, but now I have something to compare against. After hearing a piece of music three times it is almost perfectly in my head, and if I set out to learn it, I only have to hear it twice and it (almost always) will be settled in to stay. The lyrics are what takes the most effort to learn. If someone sings the wrong words, I can understand that. I do not understand how people who have heard a piece of music can sing the wrong notes.

Today I set off the alarm while entering the office. I walked in and the alarm didn't make that little beeping sound it makes when you trigger it, the sound it makes to let you know you have to disarm it, and so I kept on going. Suddenly there was noise, and I got rattled, and then couldn't turn it off, and in a panic I left the office to stand outside until the local fixer-of-all-things-broken arrived to turn it off. He thought it was very funny. I'm still a little jumpy. Someone just laughed outside and I flinched.

It is late, and I am suddenly tired. I have a full day of rehearsal tomorrow, but I feel better knowing that I have given a sign of life here.

If any of you pray, please pray for my dad. He is going for an ultrasound for potential pancreatic masses. There are people I work with who have recently lost people to pancreatic cancer, and this scares me more than I have admitted to anyone. I do not want to lose my dad. Not yet.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

As soft and sudden as a red rose

I just realized that it will be 8 months before I am back at my parent's house. That is 8 months of school and summer...and though it seems long right now, I just got the overwhelming understanding that it will be gone in the blink of an eye.

Time goes so fast. I'm sure tomorrow I'll look in the mirror and I'll be wrinkled, 80, and hopefully happily married with healthy children and grandchildren.

That's okay. As quickly as I was overwhelmed with all that will happen in the next year, I was filled with peace about my life. It will be well with me, I somehow trust that.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

My eyes, the window to my soul

I started writing about watching a movie last night with my youngest brother, and realized that I haven't made any mention whatsoever of his newest escapade. He is now introducing his girlfriend as his fiance. They came to see my last show and he just casually dropped the word 'fiance' in conversation. I had a very controlled fit so as not to hurt anyone's feelings. I was so glad for my friend L., who, when she found out, yelled "Fiance?" before regaining control and congratulating them.

By the fourth time of introducing them as a couple I managed to get the word fiance out without it sounding garbled, which I think is important. I don't know - I think they are far too young (18 and 15) and at the same time, a little part of me keeps saying that it is their choice, not mine, and all I can do is be supportive.

I don't like her family. I like her, for which I am thankful. I realized one day that it was entirely possible for the boys to choose mates whom I would despise. Thank God, that hasn't happened. I like the girls they have chosen. I just don't like Youngest's future in-laws. They are so chaotic, so rude, so oblivious, so stupid - so different. They are soooo different from us, I don't know how he can stand to live there. Her mother doesn't seem to realize how rude she is, and she seems to derive some sort of sadistic pleasure from tormenting her daughter. The older sister gets on my nerves. Their world view is miles away from my own. I don't feel like I have any common ground, both with future-sister and especially with her family. They aren't into the books I'm into, they don't watch the movies I watch...or if they do, it is in an infantile way and from an immature perspective. How am I supposed to bridge that gap? I really don't want to have anything to do with them, which I thought wouldn't be a problem to achieve, except that somehow every time I come home I end up spending some of my precious time with them.

Yesterday, when I was planning on watching a movie, Youngest Brother came over with his fiance. Okay, that's fine. I like them. But they brought her sister, without telling me in advance. I don't handle surprises very well. My thoughts read on my face and I can't hide my initial reaction quickly (which is great if it's a good surprise but not so wonderful when my reaction is "What the hell did you do that for?"). Oh well. Either she didn't notice or she graciously ignored it...which, despite the picture I have painted, probably isn't out of her grasp.

I suppose that I could be much more gracious towards them. I somehow end up feeling like the upper class person in a gathering of hoodlums. I hope I don't communicate condescension when what I'm feeling is confusion.

On top of all of this, I realized today that my brother has changed and I don't know him like I used to. That filled me with grief. I feel like I'm losing my brother and I don't know what comes next or how to stop it from unfolding in front of my eyes. He's becoming more like them, more like his fiance's family, and less like the brother I had a year ago.

That certainly doesn't endear them to me. He's started playing mind games and he doesn't see it, even when I point it out to him. He's thinking in an-eye-for-an-eye terms when what would work a lot better would be removing the body attatched to the eye altogether.

Pray for him, please. And for me.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Time to Breathe

I am sitting at my parents computer, wondering what to write. I arrived last night after a long day of sorting out last minute details and driving, lots of driving. I managed to get home in one piece, although I forgot pajamas and my toothbrush. I had a dentist appointment today, to get my beautiful, strong teeth cleaned and they gave me a toothbrush, and since I was in town I went shopping and bought pajamas among other things. Life would be simpler in a way if I just bought what I needed whenever I went somewhere. All I would have to bring with me would be money. It would be too expensive for me though, and that would get complicated quickly.

I learned that I am like my dad today. I already knew that we had things in common - our unnaturally long fingers and toes, our lips, our sense of humour - but now I know that we both get flustered in situations where we have to think quickly around strangers. At the dentist, I suddenly had to decide whether or not to pay right then or wait. Instead of taking a few moments to figure out what worked best, I frantically took the lady's suggestion to send the bill to my mother and I left. In retrospect, I think I am a little bit like the man who has a terrible banking experience in a Stephen Leacock monologue. I get so crazed that I just do whatever seems proper at the time, only to kick myself afterwards for being so phenomenally ridiculous. Although the dentist situation actually does work out pretty well for me. My mom might have a bit of a heart attack when she gets her mail in the next week or so.

I bought a really cute sundress today. I realized when I was in Toronto last February that I like sundresses, so am now bringing them into my life. Tomorrow I think I will start to sort through all of my possesions that my parents are storing for me. There is no way that I'll be able to bring them back to my cell of a room at school, but there are a few little things I need. And I have some cloth that I'm going to make into either skirts or dresses while I'm here.

This week is supposed to be a sabatical. In theory, I'm only doing what I want to do. That isn't the reality. I'm going to visit my grandparents. I always feel a little bit weird going over to their place by myself. In advance, I don't know what I'll talk about. While I'm there, the time flies by and before I know it I have to leave. Lo and behold, I end up having a great time.

The second person responsible for this blog's existence knows about it now. I told him before I left for my break. It kind of blurted out. So much for being afraid and 'mincing words' about it. I guess that is a good thing, but it does take some getting used to. At least I didn't proceded to send him a panic email like I did when I told my mom - 'don't tell anyone else, I want to tell the boys in my own sweet time, you can tell Dad but no-one else' - it makes me smile now but at the time I was petrified.

I'm a little aprehensive still about having people I know in real life read my thoughts here, but the fear is no longer so strong that it rules my life. This is going to be a week of letting go of the tensions that fear brings - breathing deeply and relaxing my muscles and letting my mind drift where it will. I have earned it.

One side effect is that I really don't have anything else to write at the moment, but I'm sure I'll write again before I leave for a crazy hectic 3.5 weeks of rehearsal. Once it begins, I might not even have the energy to brush my teeth.

Provided I remember to bring my toothbrush back to school with me.