Checking in. Veteran’s day.

It wasn’t a bad day. It wasn’t really a bad weekend. I wish I could say that it’s a great day to be alive, but I’m not feeling it. Justin and I went cart racing… and I had two big impacts. But I did get one good race in, got a few fast laps in and came in ahead of justin. We had burgers at Fudruckers, amazing 1000 calorie meal. He got his jeep back and the shop was able to tighten up the bearing on the jamboree rack and fix his heater/air controls. So that was good. And here am I feeling stuck. And this was a good day?

Yesterday, we met Taylor… a luthier from London and Brian, the rawkstar, a raw food gourmet chef. Amazing people with an amazing take on life… Brian had this beautiful girlfriend that  had a part in Weeds and in Django. So that was interesting. 

I stayed home on Saturday and painted another shower curtain… another sunset on pines. Other than that i didn’t do much. It was a quiet, restful weekend. If only we had a fire, we could make smores. 

I was home alone today after Justin left, before Marquita came home from work. Cooking dinner… and the blues hit me hard. Even when I’m having a good day, it is a day without Ethan in this world. A day to honor the vets… and I think of the 22 families that will join me as survivors of a suicide. I looked at the leading causes of death… for male veterans, it is #2- eight times the rate of the general population. For females #1… one in four  deaths are from suicide. All those families… the friends… trying to move forward and stuck in the “why”.  Sometimes the truth is stark and leaves you feeling empty. And sometimes there is no answer. Why becomes like a broken clutch.

I have a pile of papers that needs to go into my gradebook. And this big sheet of cloth that needs a few more trees and a little more blending in the sky. And all I want to do is sit. All I want to do is stay home. Grade papers? Lesson plans? Really?

I know something is wrong. One friend got under my skin on facebook by criticizing a word choice… that “single payer health care” was some soft euphemism for “socialized medicine.” Another tried to tell me that the internment of japanese americans was some kind of paternalistic protection, and that they got “goodies” before the guards. Anger. It’s right there. And another friend got on my case for trying to say something to honor vets. Fuck it. Really. I am pissed off. That stuff never bothered me before… but I guess now it does. I bark back. I don’t want to be messed with. I’ve had enough. I don’t like disrespect or to be underestimated. But on the other hand I don’t think any of them expected me to respond the way I did. I don’t know if I am strong enough… to turn my back on anger, to turn the other cheek, to walk the extra mile and to consider the other person more than myself… to look after their interests. That isn’t me, but I don’t know who me is anymore. And yet it wasn’t a bad day.

The question at Sunday’s Lifequest was to think of a time when God protected you. There is probably a thousand. But he didn’t protect me from the death of my son. He didn’t protect my son. So all those other times… really- maybe they don’t matter. The other question had to do with what I wanted to do if I can do anything… I spoke to someone about teaching… that it is what I want to do. I couldn’t say nothing. I want to curl up in a  ball.  Protection and direction. I wish I knew. I wish I knew. In a lot of ways I am stuck.

It isn’t really possible or practical for me to just check out. To take time out from life to find someone… to find me. I don’t have the resources to go on some vision quest… to go on a walk about… to travel outside so I can find something inside. And it just seems a bit ludicrous that I’m supposed to just go back to my life like nothing has changed. But as much as I need everything familiar… everything of comfort… I want change. Distraction. Introspection. Time. Connect with these emotions. Grieve. To sit and watch the tide roll in and out. To read a book. To listen to a song. To see the view. To find truth. Is it running away? Or is it just that doing everything I used to do like nothing has changed just doesn’t feel right. 

Sometimes you want to swing for the fence. Base hits win games, but home runs… they feel good. And on one of my last at bats this season I swung and caught all of it… and it went. Landing far behind the left fielder and rolling back to the weeds… And even though I had some long hits this year, I only ran them out to second or third base…

I could call in sick again. Sick at heart. Sick of being stuck in the why. Sick of the routine that gives my life form and structure. And I could just rest up from a good weekend. 


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