Sudden downtime

I have my children every other Saturday, and I usually work on the one they are with their mother. 

Today, however, is the first off-Saturday in several months where I don't have anything to do. I don't have a catering gig and the plans I had made to go away were canceled. I don't have anything to do or anywhere I have to be until sometime on Monday. 

But here I sit, paralyzed, not quite knowing what I'm allowed to do. I doubt I'll leave the house. 

The blinds are closed. There's a world out there, but I'm not feeling very good about venturing out into it today. I'm a bit hurt remembering all of the bad decisions I've made in my life. If I stay here, I won't have to make any choices. 


The censored version of what I want to say

I don't like division. I don't like cleavages in society. I want everyone I come into contact with to have the same chance of happiness and success as I do. 

I'm scared to say any of this publicly. I don't like to have defend what I think is a central tenet of humanism, so I don't put myself out there. 

I am tired of that, but it's how I have to be. I have so many things I want to say, and want to communicate in new ways.

But for now, I realize I have strengths that require me to stay silent. 


Commentary on recent events

I'm sitting at Court Square Tavern waiting for a story to come back so I can post it to Charlottesville Tomorrow. I'm not especially happy with the story as I had to write it on deadline and I didn't have time to squeeze more details and context into an article that I suspect many people won't understand or read. 

I hope they read it. And I hope they'll ask me questions. Life is complex, life is multi-faceted, life is much more than anything I think it to be. 

I'm sitting here and there's a cable person on talking about national news. I pay attention to national news, but I don't write about them, and I don't comment. I pay attention to state news, but I don't write state news. 

My realm is local government in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. And, I'm hoping that people will have questions for me. 

I'm sitting here waiting, and then I'll go home to an empty house except for the cats. I am the only customer here, and I'd rather be in a place with people in it, a place with life. I love this place, but time is passing it by, and I'm worried that I'm going to pass along with it.

And that would be a shame. I think I have something to say about the world, about the nation, about the state, about the community I live in. I think I have something to say about division, about humanity, about resisting fear, about encouraging hope. 

I don't know about you, but I live my life trying to overcome my fears. I try to investigate and analyze every thought I have to make sure that it is consistent with my values. I try to make sure I am not ever reacting from any of my negative emotions, and I try to be the best person I can be.

My job is to explain things about how human society organizes itself. I would relish the chance to get paid to write about other areas, but I am determined to do the best job I can in helping people understand how things work. I know that people tend to get upset when they don't understand things, and I know that people who are upset can be manipulated.

One of my core values is to not manipulate people. I believe, deep down, that we're all capable of dynamic thought. This is bedrock for me, because I know my own opinion on things has changed radically over the years. 

I'm sitting here at Court Square Tavern, a place I love, but a place where not many people are going to come in to enjoy the experience the way I experience it. This place is one where I can go home and not be alone. I've been a single man for almost six years now with only a few short-lived relationships that all ended for various reasons.

They likely did because my job comes second, only after my children, in terms of priorities. I can't seem to fit anyone into my life because I have a job that doesn't have a clear start and stop time. I'm waiting for my story to be posted so I can finally be done so I can get on with a bit of relaxation before bed-time.

Of course, that doesn't translate fully to totally being away from work. The other night I had a very vivid dream in which I had a new job and I was going to say goodbye to the role I play in my community. I was sad to be moving on. 

What do you get from your dreams? What are your dreams? Do you think they're important? What do they do for you?

My life stems from my dreams. I made this life happen for me, aided by my parents. And my life is about being connected to others' lives, and trying to do this. Dreams end, as my life ends, but I know now more than ever is about just trying to make things better. I may not solve a major crime or cure a major disease, but I do know that I want to live my life to leave the world a better place.
I may not have what I want. I may not be in a relationship. I may be very lonely at times, but life is very good anyway. So what? I got my kids, have my career, have a sense I'm part of a community.

So, yes, this is a commentary on recent events. I don't put them all out in the public realm. But, I needed to write this, and publish it, and here it is. 

Re-reading Red Mars

I'm re-reading Red Mars, which tells the story of the colonization of the red planet. Kim Stanley Robinson is one of my favorite authors because he can put you in the shoes of a person standing on another world.

That's useful to me because I live in a part of the world with four seasons, and we're currently sliding into one of the four that affects my moods. The way I can fix that, though, is to realize how magical it is to be alive on a planet that is powered by a gigantic furnace 93 million miles away.

No matter how sad I get, no matter how disappointed I am, no matter how much negativity my species is capable of, I am always able to put that to the side when I can take a parallax view and set my mind to right.

I really recommend the book, too.


The penning in of the new season

What started as a dull ache in my the upper left corner of my torso is slowly changing into a pain that is likely going to last for the next two weeks. All of the stresses I have have a physical outlet now, pulsing. This is the second time this has happened in as many months.

I've been relaxed lately. It's the best way to be happy. It's not always possible, of course, because there are always obstacles that must be navigated. Some days the going is easy, and other days are more challenging. 

And now here is this pain to remind me not to let my guard down, not to allow myself to get lulled into a hazy sense of justified sloth. 

This is a new season. Gloomier. There's a need to be more awake, more attentive, and this is harder because of the new pain cycle I'm going to go through over the next few days. I'm sick to my stomach, I'm shaking with nervousness. and I'm convinced that waking dreams have haunted me.