Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fighting The Good Fight?

I'm struggling a little bit again. I decided today to really sort of take the day off. I mean, I did dishes and laundry and I went to town to hear my grandbaby's heartbeat and I had a rehearsal but beyond that, I didn't do much.

I laid down for a nap this afternoon- something I haven't had much of a chance to do for a long time and before I went to sleep I read a few articles in this month's Esquire, including an interview with Bill Clinton and one with Woody Harrelson, very different men, but I think both are men who consider things, who think about the consequences of actions, and who are both (well, in my book) sort of precious.

And that was nice and I had a short, deep nap but before I fell asleep, I felt flooded with guilt. Guilt about not spending this time doing something I SHOULD have been doing. Like studying lines or taking a walk. Or taking a walk while studying lines. I thought about how I need to come up with costumes and how I should have gone to Goodwill while I was in town- it's Tuesday! We seniors get a discount today! I thought about my mother and how I haven't even called her in two weeks. Or more. About friendships I have not tended. I fretted a bit with it all and tried to remember how fucking HEALTHY I'd felt in Mexico when I had had nothing to do at all but relax and enjoy and well, you know- just be. I tried to remember that water, to recapture that feeling of being perfectly and completely in the moment.
I did not succeed very well. But I slept.

I got up and did a few chores around here and then studied lines some more. I went to rehearsal.

It was, for me, the best rehearsal yet. I felt my character slipping out of me, taking over. The lines came somewhat easier. I had, can I say it? Fun.


I think about Kathleen and how she refuses to say that she is "battling" cancer. I love that. I have always hated that phrase. I remember when my friend Lynn died from a devastating neurological illness and I begged them not to say in her obituary that she had died after battling a disease.
They did anyway.
But I know the truth. There is no battling such a horrible illness. But if you read the obits, you'll end up thinking that everyone in America dies after battling something. Unless they die suddenly. It's like if Martians came to earth and observed all the convenience stores, they would think that all humans lived on ICE! BEER! and COFFEE! And gas, of course.

We have a warrior mindset. We fight our diseases, our demons and tooth-decay. We try to believe that we can actually make war on drugs and on terrorists. We stay busy all of the time battling fatigue and cholesterol and depression and pain.
And you know what?
We're going to fucking die anyway.

And what will have been the point of all this battling, fighting and all of these wars?
Some of us may be warriors and okay, go on, fight all you want. But some of us- well, we're not. We are not warriors, we are pacifists and dammit, maybe we just want to make peace with ourselves and our world and okay, change what we can but surrender to that which we cannot.

And I think that when I was in Mexico where the culture is very different, I felt at home in a way I never will here. We Americans have this history of fighting for every damn thing. We fought for freedom, we fought the Indians for their land, we fought for every square inch of this huge country and we are still fighting.

Jesus! I give up! I don't want to fight. I want to make love, not war.
I want to love myself, my family, my life. I want to work WITH circumstances, not against them. I want to enjoy the damn process and if I have to fight, then hell no, I will not be enjoying a damn thing.

And in the end none of it will have mattered.

It's like labor-until you surrender to the forces and let yourself sink into the pain and difficulty, the body will stay tight. But once you do surrender, once you let go and let the process take over and stay out of the fucking way, the body will do what it must do to let the baby be born.

I know this. I know these things to be true. So why, WHY do I constantly arm-wrestle myself into trying to believe that it is only through struggle that I can be a worthwhile human being?

I don't know. Acceptance and surrender seem to me to be not the lazy way out, but the intelligent and sensible solution to most things. If we quit expending the energy to fight, we may actually have the energy to DO.

All right. I'm going to think about these things. And if you have any thoughts to offer, I would be grateful for them.

I'm going to bed.

Yours truly...Ms. Moon


  1. Or maybe to just be. We'll have the energy to BE.

    I am exhausted with trying, with struggling. With shaming myself for not doing enough, knowing enough, having enough. I do all that because my struggle is not between me and my god, but between me and everything else. If it was just between me and my god, there would be no struggle. There would be acceptance, joyful surrender and ...dare I say it....peace.

    Must I become my own god? Perhaps that's what BEING is?

    It was a hard day for a lot of us it seems.

    Good night and Peace Be With YOU !

  2. I hope that letting the words spill out helps -- it helps to hear them, you know?

    Peace and love to you!

  3. I don't have any answers. Recently a fellow 60-something friend and I were talking about how much of the time we feel we're not doing the Right Thing. The clock is ticking, and here we are doing the Wrong Thing. Oh the mind. It's a swamp. But yours is a friendly swamp and I like mucking around in it with you.

  4. Yep - I'm a warrior. A good fight gets me to my Zen place. That's a reason I like Latin America - they know how to fight a good ole revolution or two.

    I fought to keep my uterus when all the doctors wanted to take it out. Fought, battled. And if I get a disease, I will fight and battle it.

    But that's just me. I would definitely never push those metaphors onto another. Good on y'all for noting other ways of being in the world.

    Our diversity is our strength!

  5. Ain't no Caster Oil in the world that will make this thing we call life just slip out of our bodies effortlessly.

  6. I'm not a fighter. And it's interesting to see how worked up other people can get when they think you SHOULD be fighting or arguing about something, but you won't do it.

  7. Yes this is all true. Abuse and conditioning will make you think you have to do do do... that and the media.

    It may take some doing, but you can reprogram your mind to accept what YOU want it to.

    Keep at it!

  8. You did nothing wrong taking a nap. It's what you needed.

    You're a precious human too, just like Woody Harrelson and Bill Clinton.

  9. Whenever I get feeling like this I pick up my copy of Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao, read the first verse I see and immediately let it all flow away. It's my secret magic "weapon" for the good "fight".

  10. Had to find this poem because it came to mind. It's Hafiz.

    Buttering the Sky


    On my shoes,

    Boiling water,

    Toasting bread,

    Buttering the sky:

    That should be enough contact

    With God in one day

    To make anyone


  11. Denise- Thank-you, baby. I'm fine. Nothing big. Just, you know- not all okay the way I was for a few glorious weeks. At least I had that!

    Liv- Oh, honey. I sure hope you had a better day today. I really do.

    Elizabeth- I am constantly amazed that people- the amazing people like YOU- come here and read these things I write. And then, you care. I am so damn lucky. Thank-you.

    Andrea- It's a comfort to know I am certainly not the only one. I guess the struggle never really ends, does it?

    NOLA- And we need warriors. It's just hard to NOT be one in our culture and feel like you're worth a shit. I swear.

    Omgrrrl- Amen, baby. Amen.

    Blue Gal- It's true!

    Ms. Fleur- I believe that monthly trips to Cozumel might do the trick. Hahaha!

    Nicol- And you. And you.

    Kathleen Botsford- Ah. Lovely. Glad you have found your answer to strife.

    Blue Gal Again- Wow. That may be my favorite poem EVER! Thank-you. So much.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.