Tuesday, 25 October 2016

[ omnia mutantur ]


Psychology has always been fascinating to me. The way the mind works, how it creates and molds different events or ideas, the way memory works. Especially the way memory works.

Unfortunately - or maybe fortunately for y'all, depending on how you look at it - I don't think I ever had the discipline to study it seriously. I did take a few classes, and during my many, many years of performance, certainly learned various techniques that based themselves around psychology, behavior, and other elements.

With that in mind, let's call this an educated theory then, and come with me on that basis.

***

It's always been interesting to see how people move past particular experiences, whether they be good, bad or indifferent. Because even when something is really good, it's still a little painful when it's over, and you have to turn to the next concern, whatever that may be.

I have a theory, built over numerous years, that's simple in summary and grows in complexity once it gains momentum and time. 

It goes thus; when faced with an experience we would best rather move past, we need new experiences to cover the old. 

Further, the longer the old event has gone on - for example, a relationship - the more experiences we need to get past it. Or, as I like to call it, we need new memories. We need enough of them to superimpose over the old, so that they seem faded, the heat gone out of them, the feelings soft and gentle, unable to scrape us raw as they used to. 

We need these memories to contain certain elements to cover the past; they need not be exactly the same, but the new must be strong enough that our corporeal involvement with them imprints on our psyche over the old.

***

Between the longest relationships of my life so far, there was very little time before one was over and the next began. They are both long gone now, but I still recall how it felt trying to move forward, feelings for someone no longer there still present while someone new held my hand.

My theory solidified in that time. That space in between. I learned that while my heart wanted, my head could not forget, and some things need more than just their edges blunted.

When the second one was over, all I thought I felt was relief. The days and weeks afterwards were strange in their lack of sharpness; almost peaceful.

When we parted I told him I was going to pretend he had died. Though he felt it was, I hadn't meant it as cruel; it just was what it was to me. He had been gone for so long and I didn't know who this person was. He was nothing like the person I had known.

I realised as time went on that the new memories to cover the old had begun long before we broke up. The man I loved was gone, replaced by a shell that couldn't replace him, but somehow, inscrutably, had helped me through the last of our days.

New memories had started to form - long before I knew I would need them.

***

Nearly two years after I had the major operation that changed my life, I find it hard to remember what it was like to be physically weak so often. I can't recall the level of pain I used to go through, I barely remember crying as much as I did. 

My body, more so than my mind even, has created new memories (muscle memory, bone memory, strength, endurance, and flexibility memory), memories that have all but obliterated the old. 

It seems such a wonder that my mind and body have worked this minor miracle to create a new being. But a being who still looks like me, talks like me, walks like me, even acts like me. 

It might just even be me. Who can tell? 

***


They say time heals all wounds. It's not entirely true, but it's not utter bullshit either. Like most things, it's more complicated than that. But everyone loves a good mantra, something to put on a motivational poster, and some days you just need some well-phrased, pleasant words to do the job.

I like making new memories. Not just to cover the old, but to learn new things, see new sights, to evolve my little self as far as she will go.

More than that; I love the magic of memories. You can never be sure exactly what will happen or how things will turn out, but you can always trust that whatever memories you have will keep you, as long as you need them to.

And then, when you don't, they will be replaced by ones you do...


~*LTM*~




 















































Saturday, 22 October 2016

[ the princess and the sceptic ]


Once upon a time, what seems like long ago, I had a very boring lover. He seemed genuinely interesting at first; he built soldiers and waged battles, he told funny stories, and he made me laugh. But this sort of thing never lasts, and sometimes it can be just one thing that starts to show you the forest through the trees.

Strangely enough, or perhaps not, it was a simple thing, a little thing really. I plucked an eyelash from his cheek one day, and held it delicately up to his lips saying, make a wish. He looked at me oddly and said,

I don't believe in that.

I blinked slowly at him and frowned. Doesn't matter, make a wish anyway, I said. Again, he refused. Again, he told me he didn't believe in that sort of thing, so he wasn't doing it. 

He was the first person that I can remember (in a rather long and consistently growing line), who shocked me with their pragmatism about such a simple thing.

That moment, right there, very quietly and calmly, with no fanfare whatsoever, I decided that no one was taking my magic, everyday or otherwise, away from me. Not then. Not ever.

***

There are lots of people in my life who don't believe in a higher power. They have no sense of a greater purpose in this life, no reason for us being here. They do not look for messages in hidden places, they seek no greater truth. 

I love these people very dearly, especially because they know what I believe, and we never discuss it. They know what I have faith in and what they have faith in may be very different things, but our hearts speak the same language, and that is enough. 

I believe in everything. 

Really. Everything. 

And I believe all of it with a healthy dose of scepticism. 

Confusing? Maybe a little bit, but let me explain. Most people spend their lives wanting to believe in things, but needing proof of their existence before they commit. Which, to be fair, seems pretty reasonable. This life is full of dark and dangerous things, disappointments and uncertainty. It's not like you want to get your hopes up on the thin possibility of something wondrous, when the corporeal is so solid, right? 

And so they choose to be chiefly rationalistic, going through every day on the things they can see and feel, the tangible world making up the majority of their lives. Which is no bad thing, let me assure you.

Except that, for me, I can't. Not at all. I've seen and felt things that make me believe, and met people who've seen and felt other things, their stories so compelling, that not believing seems beyond far-fetched.

But moreover, and more importantly, I want to believe. I need to believe, because that's the way I'm wired. I can be no other way, and much like you can sense the essential wrongness of being upside down, so it is with me and the belief of things.


***

What is it exactly that I believe, and what makes it different to anyone else? 

Well, foremostly; there are certainly others like me. I've not met many more than a handful, but we are not entirely uncommon. That being said, I'm usually the quirk in the fabric of the room, as it were.

I believe in vampires and werewolves and faeries. I believe in aliens and deep sea monsters, ghosts and spirits, and the ability to read possible futures with different tools. 

I believe we can know what another person wants in any conversation, as long as we pay enough attention. I believe we all know more than we let on, and we forget extraordinary pieces of knowledge more than we care to admit. I believe in my ability to make anything at all happen, as long as I want it enough (that being the kicker). 

And all of it - each and every element, each story and each action - I experience with a thread of caution, a grain of salt.

To make things clearer, let's take that metaphor a little further. When people say they take something with a grain of salt, it means that they don't take it literally or too seriously.

But they do. Most people come out of unimaginable situations only tasting the edge of what they have faced, and shutting down what they do not comprehend with bags and bags of salt. Because this is the way of things, the way the world has always worked, and anything that disturbs that is dangerous, and forces us to rethink our whole reality.

Again, this is a fair and reasonable way to be. If we all went around believing in ghosts, no one would ever leave the house. If we all spent our time searching for aliens, we might never focus on furthering our own evolution in other areas (besides space navigation, obviously). 




And so choosing to be a sceptic with the willingness to believe is an incomparable thing. Equally so my choice to cultivate the fundamental feeling, deep and not-so-deep inside, that certain things are real - and I'm assuredly willing to be proven wrong.

***

Neither of us is right and neither of us is wrong, and using such black and white ways of looking at things shuts down the the imagination faster than you can blink. I'm certainly not asking anyone to believe what I believe in, and I'm definitely not telling you what to think. 

What I am saying is this; we each have our own view of the world. That, I'm sure we can all agree on. And it harm none, do as you will; which basically means, as long as you don't harm others - as well as actively trying to be a good person - you are welcome to seek your own path. 

This is something I cannot be moved on. I can have my mind changed and my heart swayed, but nothing will move me from being someone who believes. Just. Believes. 

So, don't feel you have to listen to my babblings about faeries and pirates, and stop me if you like when I ask what your star sign is. But hold off on telling me that this or that doesn't exist. I won't hear you anyway.

Lastly, one more thing we can all agree on; the future is unwritten. If we treat every day like anything can happen - whatever your idea of anything might be - maybe, just maybe, anything can.


~*LTM*~




 




























 






































Tuesday, 11 October 2016

[ Dear John ]


This is an open email to John (Humanity) from Jane (Mother Nature). I started writing this two days after the Orlando shooting, and finished it recently. Life is full of shitty things and while I want to rant and rave and cry, I also want us to laugh. Because laughter fights hate. Every time.

***

Dear John,

There's no easy way to say this, so I'm just going to come out with it; you've been a bit of a shit and I'm pretty bloody disappointed in you.

I'd like to say that things are equally both our faults, but we both know that's not true. It's not me, it's you. Honestly, it's always all about you.

Back in January, after Broomie, Bowie and then Rickman in the same week, I was pretty fucked off and feeling sad about losing some of your better jobs. It was good that you kept quiet for a while after that week. I was considering some serious tornado action but calmed down when you did that thing on social media with the doves and the faces and stuff. That was lovely. Shame you cocked it up with all that crap about overdoses.

I'm still trying to figure out what your weird obsession with so-called 'revolutionaries' is. Didn't you learn your lesson after Hussein? And what about Gaddafi? Not to mention that fuckwit, Bin Laden? I'm trying so hard not to be judgemental, but this Trump freakshow makes me feel really uncomfortable, and I don't know how you can't see that he is going to go the same way as the others. He's going to treat you badly, break your heart, suck the livelihood out of you, and leave you penniless. It's all getting just a little awkward now, to be honest.

I'm trying to steer away from that Noah movie they had on the other night, but it's giving me some ideas, and we both know that for you that isn't good. I'm not sure you can even find two of everything these days, let alone herd them onto a boat. And in a truly distressing turn of events, you've taken to sending boats back to disaster zones, which makes me really concerned for your mental well-being. Are you trying to kill yourself? Clearly so.

Which leads me to my next point; your inability to consistently take care of yourself is getting out of control. In maturity, you are like a 5 year old; conceptually you get the idea of life, but realistically you cannot comprehend its miracle. You are basically self-sabotaging any hope you have of survival past the next few centuries. Which, if I wasn't somewhat invested in your future, I'd say could only be for the best.

Take gun control. You invented this positively astounding piece of technology...which you use to kill yourself with, and then don't regulate it. Hmmm.

You have invented chemical substances to numb pain, used topically for eye and nasal surgery, and then proceeded to recreationally obliterate yourself with it. In larger and larger doses. And then you've spent years refining this substance, therefore refining the ways to kill yourself. Right.

Let's not even mention the natural herbal substances I've tried to introduce you to; in moderation, they can be used for physical and mental ailments, and you have proven to yourself that they are way less addictive than the rubbish you've been toying with. But hey, don't listen to me. It's not like I know what I'm talking about or anything! (Please don't be deliberately obtuse and miss the sarcasm there).

In what was an otherwise depressing week, we remembered that lovely Mohammed Ali bloke. He was rather a shining star. One of the most celebrated sports stars of all time, it was truly lovely to remember all the other glorious things he did; political activist and poet, he polarised opinions the world over.

To be honest though, the Orlando thing was the final fucking straw. There was so many warnings of your failing health; the Syrians, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine before that (and after). Honestly, it's never-fucking-ending.

So. This is it. I'm done. I'd like to say we can fix things between us, but I can't really see how we move on from all that's happened. Do you even want to?  ...



Tell you what. Let's give it one more chance, for old times' sake, hey?

You can keep Elon Musk as long as you keep the Kardashians under control, what do you say?

Dubiously yours,

Jane x

***

~*LTM*~


















Thursday, 6 October 2016

[ PMS decisions you will instantly regret* ]


Women get periods. We all know this. No one likes to talk about it, we all pretend it's this normal, natural occurrence that women just carry on with, and mostly people expect us to be all demure and stoic about it.

Bugger off to that. I'm bleeding like a stuck pig here, sweating like a wet dog, and my hormones are making me alternately batshit crazy and serene as a rockpool. Keeping my shit together enough so I don't look like I want a cheeseburger and a good cry every half hour is taking up most of my willpower right now.

When not floating on the crimson tide, I can maintain my agreeable feminist side, an even tone of voice, and make decisions without asking myself random existential questions. I can even do this during my monthlys.  Sort of.

Sadly, however, there is that 1-3 day stretch where I turn into a complete trainwreck, and all reason seems to fly out in the window in the face of pure, emotional freefall, and anything more important than when to have coffee becomes fraught with danger. I question reality, career choices, dress sense and general good taste.

In an effort to contribute to the sisterhood, and give the rest of you a heads up - including period unicorns, i.e. you wenches who sail peacefully through the month like an Olympic figure skater - I've compiled a list of things that are really best done when the rush passes.

These are some things that you absolutely want a clear head for. So, if you just spent 25 minutes in the bathroom aisle at Coles trying to decide what brand of electric toothbrush to buy (totally did that a few months back), do not attempt any of these during your periods. Only disaster awaits.

1. Get a haircut

This is quite high on the list because getting a new do is an emotional event anyway - hello, new hotness! - but can also be fraught with anxiety. This is mainly due to the long, overly complicated way you just tried to explain what a cross between Rihanna and Morena Baccarin looks like.
You know what adding periods does to this situation? It puts you in a room full of strangers with a head full of tacky foils, crying your mascara off and paying $250 for the privilege.

2. Break up with your partner

Ok, so you hate the way he always patronises you about, well, everything. Or, it really irks you how she keeps making veiled insults about everything you wear. And, FFS, will they stop saying how pretty you look in that tone already?!
Does it really? Has it always? Have you always wanted to hit them repeatedly with a frypan when they do this, or is it just today?
Telling your significant other to go jump may make you feel better and liberated and wonderful when you are high as a kite on the hormone buzz.
It will also make you feel shitty approximately 2 hours later. Then comes the sinking roundabout of dread on whether you have made the right decision or not.
Then there's the endless text messaging about you not meaning it / very sorry / very VERY sorry / can we get back together, and the self loathing about being such a doormat.

Skip it. Eat a donut, have a good sleep, reconsider tomorrow. At the very least, you can store up a litany of these incidences for a proper rage fest next month.

3. Operate electrical appliances

Period brain is much like pregnancy brain; complex concepts seem to be a breeze, but a simple cheese toastie seems to be the equivalent of brain surgery.
Anything more complicated than opening the fridge door suddenly becomes like that scene from Indiana Jones, where knives are waiting to chop off fingers, ovens want to burn any exposed flesh to a shiny crisp, and the kettle is in attack mode.
If you can even make it from the bedroom to the kitchen without falling over, stubbing your toes, walking into walls, and generally with all limbs attached, call it a win and just treat yourself to hummos and dip. That's still considered a meal.

4. Talk to the anyone in your office who usually irritates you, even on your best days

There's a guy in my office who I avoid like he's radioactive. He's sexist, rude, invades personal space, and generally makes me want to staple things to his head. This can all be on a normal day, when I've had oodles of sleep, a good cup of coffee, and am feeling all sunshiney.
The last time I spoke to him in full flush, as it were, I nearly slapped him, told him to get the fuck away from me, and raised my voice to several decibels above the Krakatoa explosion.

Email. Text. Yammer. Send a carrier pigeon. Either way, make a point of avoiding them like actual radiation. No one wants to sit in a disciplinary meeting explaining why you duct tape a colleague to the noticeboard and threw cream cheese at them for an hour.

5. Buy anything more expensive than groceries or that has a greater selection than red or white

Last month I bought a new dress, went on a mini holiday, got my car fixed, and bought some DVD's.
Unsurprisingly, I am now the dubious owner of something in a shade of brown quite like baby sick, have mild-to-severe sunburn, am $1,400 poorer, and have watched a movie so lacking in plot, I at first suspected it was some sort of weird porn, but without any nudity.

It's 3 days. Tops. Buy some leafy greens, some soup, two tubs of Haagen Dazs, a bottle of wine, and call it a long weekend. Netflix was invented for a reason.

6. Call your ex's. Any of them.

Please tell me I don't have to explain this?

In the depressing case that I do, think about it this way; in your twenties calling your ex had the highest risk that they were sleeping with or dating someone else. Ego blow, but not the end of the world.
In your thirties, said ex may now be married to, have children and French bulldogs with said someone else. Dire, heartbreaking. Cue hysterical, unattractive sobbing, much eating of crap and drinking of vino.

Worse, they may be delighted to hear from you, over the moon you want to catch up, and more than happy to foot the bill for dinner. Don't be fooled; this is how you end up in bed again with someone who thinks McDonald's is a food group and can't remember your mums' name.

7. Drink unsupervised

Make no mistake, I advocate a wee tipple at the best of times, even during the moon cycle. Good for blood flow etc.
But recall that episode six months' ago, where you decided to have one cheeky drink alone after work; suddenly it's Sunday morning, you've lost 2 days, $200, your favourite pair of knickers, and someone ambiguously named 'River' keeps calling.

Buddies are but a speed-dial away. Just a thought.

***

So that's my shortlist. Or the best list of stupid things I have done while the bloodflow has been directed downwards, thereby depriving my brain of clearly much needed oxygen. It's not all wrapping yourself in cotton wool though. The shortlist of things I do recommend is pretty fabulous as well.

Listen to Queen and Bon Jovi. Sing along. Nobody loves a good sing more than when you are feeling emotional.

Drink beer and watch action films. Your tummy is already bloated so you're not going to notice the difference, and nothing sorts a good hormone rage like watching muscly badasses of both sexes blow shit up.

Have sex. Or get a massage. Or both. How those cramps feelin' now huh? Trust me. 

Ask your mum's advice. Decades of doing stupid shit, then not doing the same stupid shit, makes them a goldmine of information and funny stories. Take them a bottle of something fizzy, some flowers, and make a day of it. Guaranteed there is nothing you have done that they haven't.

 
~*LTM*~


*Or, Things that I have done on a hormone rush you might want to avoid











































Wednesday, 5 October 2016

[ TMI. Or things I wish you hadn't told me ]




The irony of a post about over-sharing is not lost on me at all. As someone whose passion is writing about their observations, opinions and ideas, I'm clearly aware that I share a lot of things you may or may not want to hear.

The difference between this and standing on a milk crate in Martin Place, yelling out what I had for breakfast, is that you can choose to read and/or listen to me, but also choose not to.

Which makes it that little bit more important for me to draw a line in the sand here.


I'm not sure exactly when this started, but it seems the rise of social media gave us all a false sense of entitlement when it comes to what people want to hear and what they don't.

In having this discussion (read = near argument) recently, someone was telling me that when you 'friend' someone on social media, it's basically a blanket consent that states they will tolerate everything you come out with, or at least accept that they have to see it. If you find you don't want to listen to someones opinions, you can unfollow or put them on the Acquaintance friend list, or in the extreme that you just can't stand it anymore, 'unfriend' them entirely.

There appears to be a quagmire of consequences on your actual friendship resulting from the above, and I tend to dodge them like a champion because it all seems a little too much like bullshit. If I honestly don't want to hear what someone has to say, I have two options; tell them straight up - we are close enough friends, and if I can't say that I'm not comfortable with something, then we aren't really friends.

Two - just unfollow or delete. Don't make a drama of it, we're not bosom buddies, just do it. This is not Days of Our Lives, and I am not a Kardashian. Not every little interaction needs its own reality tv show.

What I want to talk more about is how we now think people want to hear every little interaction. Every little detail. And why we think everything needs to be over-explained in excruciating detail.

In hindsight, I will preface the next bit with this; perhaps it's just me. Perhaps only certain people are doing this to me, in certain situations. Perhaps I have unwittingly encouraged it, nay, even nurtured it, mistakenly thinking we were talking about something else (the latter here being a very real possibility).

That being said, let me now set the record straight and make things clear on this; there are oodles of things I want to hear. Generally, this is about 95% of what is told to me. Solidly. The accessory items to any story might seem extraneous, but they are what make a story a story. And I certainly want to hear them.

What I don't want to hear is how I should feel about something. I don't want you to explain the same thing four times in three different ways. I don't want to be patronised to, and I certainly don't want you to start a conversation with, 'obviously you know nothing about this, but...'. Nothing good ever comes from that sentence, ok?

(Except if it involves food. That changes things entirely...)

Moving on. I guess this all comes out of a few recent experiences where I asked a specific question, made clarifications, and still got TMI*. Considering myself a reasonably eloquent person, this came as rather a surprise. I started to question my initial presentation; was I not clear? Did I not make things explicit? Was I too literal? And so forth, ad nauseum.

Usually, people (including myself) find they have the opposite problem; not enough information is shared, so everyone gets the wrong idea and no one feels comfortable, and suddenly it's awkward-central because no one wants to be the twit that asks the obvious question.

But there is the very real situation of the opposite problem, which results in the same issue. I call it over-saturation. A lovely turn of phrase that works in many settings; you reach the point of critical mass and can no longer take on any more.

In some of my worst moments, when I can't separate the emotions from the events, it makes me think of Leonard Shelby in Memento. Except occasionally, when I can't recall something, it's because I've faded it from my memory so much that the details are unclear. That's on the extreme side though...


I don't know when it became custom that I needed to be spoken to like a child, or as unenlightened, inexperienced, or generally as anything less than others. It feels strange to even have to clarify that, as our society - myself included - work so hard to treat every member as equal.

But there it is. And the sadder fact of the case is that more and more people have been doing it. Few and far between, admittedly, but definitely more than usual.

I had a discussion with la mama about this the other day, attempting to figure out whether I was overreacting (I know right; me, overreact?!), or whether people really were over-sharing. I made a face, she made a face, I felt vindicated.

Back to the over-sharing. Here's the thing; as a sharer, I've learned to continuously gauge conversations. Part of being a good listener and all that, but also, I actually love hearing other peoples' life stories. I love hearing who you are, what you do, what makes you tick and what you dream of. And when I gauge that I'm holding most of the conversation, I'll try to turn it back because I genuinely want to hear all about *you*.

And this is where it gets weird.

If I listen to you long enough, and you repeat the same things, that's ok, but I will ask about them. Isn't that why you keep saying them?

If we have a discussion on something and, being friends, you invite me to give an honest opinion, I will. Telling me the same thing in a different way, and then asking me what I think - again - isn't going to change my opinion suddenly.  Neither will getting shitty with me and telling me I don't understand. 

And lastly, if you tell me something, especially in confidence, a struggle you are trying to battle, and we consensually agree on an action plan - one you asked me for - then proceed to do the exact opposite two days later, please understand when I feel confused, mildly fucked off, and wash my hands of the whole thing.

It's not all as dramatic as it sounds, but it is something I've been thinking about. In the last four years, let alone the last eight,  I've had to learn some hard lessons. Lessons about life, love, spirituality, promises, and trying to be who you want to be. And it comes down the basic fact that I don't have all that much time to get what I want done, let alone what you want too, so I've had to choose my moments as best as I can.

Here are my most recent lessons, just so you know where I'm coming from.

1. No one is going to give you exactly what you want. You need to get that for yourself. People can help you only so far, and you could certainly take all the help offered. Just remember to thank those people, and recall that the things you want are not necessarily for everyone.

2. No one likes a know-it-all. Being clever, well-read, and able to expound on any topic is wonderful. Making someone feel inadequate is not. There's a balance and I know it's hard, but if we all just remind ourselves not to be assholes, I'm sure we'll be fine.

3. Your elders do know better. Very rarely they don't, but their opinion initially still holds more weight than yours. Take a moment to hear it before you dismiss everything they are trying to tell you, simply because you don't like it.

4. If you feel it, share it. If you like it, do it. If you know it, say it. If you don't, shut the fuck up. Eventually you'll figure it out. But not yet. And no one wants to hear you pretend you do.

5.
 
I'm not sure this has all made sense, but I hope so. It's not here to vent anyone's secrets and I certainly haven't held onto recent confrontations so I can rehash them later.

This was just a way to say what I feel right now, right at this moment. As well as a humble heads up; if, in future, I say ever so gently and respectfully hopefully, I don't want to hear anymore, please understand.

It's not you, it's me. I've reached saturation point and today, with all the things I have to get through as well, I only have the ability to deal with my bullshit. Not yours as well.



~*LTM*~



*Too Much Information, in case you've been living under a log.















































Sunday, 2 October 2016

[ the lone fox howl to her warrior tribe ]


To my warrior family, my crew, my tribe,

There's not usually occasion for me to speak to all of you at once. So many of you are not just from different backgrounds, but varying ages and stages in life, doing different jobs or following different callings. Some of you I see every day, every week, converse with all the time. Some of you are far away from me, and I only see you in the flesh perhaps a few times a year.  Sometimes less.

Some of us are related by blood. Quite a few are not. A little more by marriages, alliances or partnerships. And many more by nothing so tangible as our bond, that displays itself best when we are in proximity.

You all know who you are; my kindred spirits, my spiritual peers, my scattered tribe. Know that you are all part of my clan. And I wanted to tell you something, a few things in fact, some things that have been on my mind, and have been stirring again on the wind, as they do.

We are all connected for a reason. I need not go all metaphysical on you and explain any divine plan, or special twist of fate. We all had a variety of paths to choose, and I am so thankful that you chose the one that ran through mine.

Recently I see the struggles you go through and I wish there was something more I could do, apart from playing the supportive pillar. I feel you do so much for me when I need it, I wish there was a corporeal way to show my gratitude.

Sometimes I wish we could fight like our ancestors did; physical duels of strength and endurance that proved one way or the other whom was the greatest warrior. I do know that this is not how things are, that some enemies cannot be fought on the physical plain, and I do know that even if this were possible, it wouldn't really prove anything today.

Because today our greatest battles are not made of physical challenges, but tests of our mind, tests of our patience, tests of our tolerance. And tests of our faith.

I see you fight horrible bosses to stay in jobs that are merely gateways to better things - so you can get to that better thing. I see you fight partners who let you down, time and again, who tell you what you want to hear so that they can get what they want, if even for one more day. I see you fight depression, anxiety, disillusionment and fear. I see you fight eating disorders and weight loss or gain, I see you fight age, disability, and heartbreak.

I See You.

And I hear your call. I hear it in in the mornings, on the still air. I hear it through traffic, tourists, and children screaming to each other. I hear it at twilight, when the white noise levels change from the day setting to night.

I hear it in my sleep, like a heartbeat. Or drums.

And I tell you this, my tribe. We are independent for a reason. We are strong for a reason. We are warriors for a reason.

Sometimes that reason is obvious and straight forward. There may be tasks that only someone like us are suited to. There are ways of thinking, paths to solutions, things only we can see.

And sometimes, frequently when the storm is coming in to thrash us, we are the way we are to be leaders. We are the ones showing the way, we are the shining light that never dims, we are the blade that cuts through the bonds that bind.

We are tenacious like no one else, we are unyielding like nothing else, we are the ballast that keeps everything steady.

We make the decisions that need to be made, the hard ones, the breaking ones. The ones that shake the ground beneath our feet. This isn't generally a companionable path, in the extreme moments. And no one wants to stand next to a powder keg when it goes off, as it were. 

However, we know that there is always someone else making the same decision. There's always another warrior stepping up to fight the good fight. Someone else in the intangible clan with us.

And that's what makes you my tribe, my heroines and heroes.

Not one of you asked for the hand you got dealt, but by gods, you play it for all its' worth. Good, bad, or indifferent, none of you have stepped off or given up. None of you have chosen the easy route when times got tough. And no one would shame you if you had.

Still, this is why you are the champions, my inspiration. This is why I am filled with fire every day.

And this is why, when I find myself in dark and alone with thoughts, be they merry or cheerless, I howl.

Heavens help those who stand in our way, for if they cannot help us, they will be left by the wayside. If they cannot work with us, they will be considered working against us, and left to their own devices.

And if they cannot love us, by the gods, they will fear us. Because we will succeed in this life, we will make dreams come true. Ours and theirs, if they are lucky.

I howl for you, my tribe. I howl for you.

~*LTM*~