focusing on the positive

Yesterday afternoon, "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" came up on one of my channels. Like "Hallelujah", that song was stuck in my head almost continuously during the few days after Dad died. Unlike Hallelujah, however, I haven't listened to it many times since. In fact I'd never heard the original version, only Dad playing it on the guitar. I did cry, but hid it. Either Luke genuinely didn't notice or was too polite to bug me about it. I suspect the former; after the restaurant I'm good at disguising tears as eyestrain for brief periods.

The meaning I take from the song in connection with Dad dying is different than Dylan's original meaning. But that's what a good song can do. For me there is an encouraging message in it--but I got discouraged anyway. Dad's stories were always interesting and cool, but as I unfortunately told Dad many times, they made me feel extremely inadequate. By the time Dad was my age he was into crazy stuff and had done oodles of impressive things. And of course, lived to regret some of them, and to wish he had not taken such a path. (Of course none of his stupid obits mentioned weapons at all. Dangit. Maybe we should inscribe his urn like he used to jokingly say, "I made it all up.") Nonetheless. Me being insecure combined with him being depressed. Ah, it all came back to me.

In consequence of the above I was in kind of a glum mood yesterday afternoon. Recriminatin' myself and suchlike. For awhile after I'd gotten home I chilled out and did normal stuff, but once the post-work routine started to peter out the bad mood resurfaced.

And then Dave used his magical powers of make-feel-better. We just sat and talked for hours, taking turns picking what mp3s would go on next. Just talking about the present and the past and the future. And he is so damn encouraging. I have been fishing for compliments since I was tiny, before I even knew the words "deeply-rooted, highly annoying insecurity complex". But he says what he thinks, about everything, all the time. He didn't just tell me I was awesome, which he does all the time anyway. He advised me that if I'm really bummed about not using my various gifts, I should go do stuff that allows me to use them. Seems freakin obvious I know. But left to my own devices I wonder if I ever would. I know me. I sit around and read books and play videogames and have inertia. I know what the right thing is to do, but without encouragement, I am generally too afraid.

He said that slowly, gradually, he's been trying to pry open the shell I have around myself all the time. Which he says is possible or easy for him because of how happy I have made him. And that so far all that's come out of my shell is shiny beams of light that create even more happiness. And music and ideas and potentially dollar signs.


I know there's things in here I still don't want to let out. (Speaking of a scene from this week's Heroes I haven't been able to get out of my head. I greatly enjoy Sylar; he's a model villain. But I love Angela. She makes me want to spout poetry and Also Spracht Zarathustra quotes.) And plenty of things I still don't want to let in. But this is the good news that happens that I always have trouble talking about. I'm more comfortable writing about things that make me worry, about the possibility of failure, than about things and people and words and actions that give me hope and even confidence.

Hope is still too precious a thing to be waved about or flaunted. (Or possessed. Shut up! That's a dirty lie!) It's ironic because I know the behavior and reflex patterns I have the most prevalt insecurity and guilt about are the very ones which would vanish with minimal effort were I to eliminate the insecurity and guilt. I know this because I've seen my own transformations over time and I've seen other people's transformations in analagous situations.

I am still using my inner beasties. The process is still almost entirely unconscious. Sometimes I wonder about the level of communication between self and the time, the shape of the time. What affects it, why some times are highly responsive and others stiff and sticky. The time's been responding to Dave's nudgies almost as much as mine lately. I think it's a September thing. The attenuation of the envelope as summer and all that free sunlight and heat drain out of the taig and into space and into the ground makes everything all wobbly.

Maybe that's why we had crappy Septembers before. Unconscious self-loathing spiking up to jerk the magical wheels in our brains towards the road's cold shoulder.

:D Not this time. Less than twelve hours to go.