If you’re going to be passionate about something, be passionate about learning. If you’re going to fight something, fight for those in need. If you’re going to question something, question authority. If you’re going to lose something, lose your inhibitions. If you’re going to gain something, gain respect and confidence. And if you’re going to hate something, hate the false idea that you are not capable of your dreams.
- Daniel Golston
Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything. -Pedro Arrupe, S.J.
THIS night has been so strange that it seemed As if the hair stood up on my head. From going-down of the sun I have dreamed That women laughing, or timid or wild, In rustle of lace or silken stuff, Climbed up my creaking stair. They had read All I had rhymed of that monstrous thing Returned and yet unrequited love. They stood in the door and stood between My great wood lectern and the fire Till I could hear their hearts beating: One is a harlot, and one a child That never looked upon man with desire. And one, it may be, a queen. W.B. Yeats*
*the subject of my current poetic exploration/fascination/obsession fueled by a desire to trace the quote below to its source… more to come on this front and many others.
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
THAT crazed girl improvising her music. Her poetry, dancing upon the shore, Her soul in division from itself Climbing, falling she knew not where, Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship, Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing Heroically lost, heroically found. No matter what disaster occurred She stood in desperate music wound, Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph Where the bales and the baskets lay No common intelligible sound But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.' W.B. Yeats
…and it was in the mindless pursuit of paranoid wordplay that I found myself drawn into the present moment as the word
m o o n s t r u c k
grabbed my attention and swelled to enveloped the whole of my awareness.
Moon. Struck. Me.
I’m in love with the with the composition of the word, and its myriad of wickedly appropriate synonyms inspired twinkles of light and good humor.
It’s my new word. For now. I don’t need a catchphrase. Just one badass word.
The first hit on google for “synonym paranoid” was thesaurus.com (see link for complete results). The main entry defines paranoid (adj) ever so effectively as “affected by paranoia” and synonymously as “overly suspicious, unreasonably.”
Such a disappointment. That is, until I scrolled down to find:
main entry: moonstruck
part of speech: adjective
synonyms: around the bend, batty, bizarre, brainsick, cracked, crazed, crazy as a loon, crazy*, cuckoo, daft, demented, derailed, deranged, disordered, distraught, dotty, fatuous, frenzied, idiotic, impractical, irrational, irresponsible, loony, lunatic, mad, mad as a hatter, maniac, maniacal, mental, mentally ill, not all there, nuts, nutty as a fruitcake, nutty, of unsound mind, off, off one’s rocker, out of one’s mind, paranoid , preposterous, psychopathic, psychotic, rabid, raging, raving, schizophrenic, screwy, senseless, sick in the head, stark raving mad, touched*, unbalanced, unhinged, unsettled, unsound, wild, wrong
What a splendid word, moonstruck! It has a lovely composition and sound as it rolls off the tongue. Plus, it’s accompanied by a whole cast and crew of ne’r-do-wells swirling around its spotlight and flavoring so many thoughts. Familiar territory.
Moonstruck, a memoir. Working title. Not even sure I want to write a book, let alone a memoir. Plus, there’s that 80′s movie starring Cher called Moonstruck…
Wordplay. Creativity. Inspiration.
Maybe it’s true, maybe we don’t know what we have until we’ve lost it. But, maybe it’s also true that we don’t know what we’re missing until we find it.
- A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
I miss my friend Emily. She’s been on my mind quite a lot since she passed away in December — only the degree to which she encompasses my thoughts wanes. Ebbs and flows of grief, happy memories, regrets, relief, and sadness, oh woeful sadness.
Dealing with emotions, particularly the death of a young, close friend, is not one of my gifts in this life. Truth be told, I’m horrible at it. I used alcohol, drugs, sex, whatever form of distraction available to escape any emotion. When the big emotions came, I went harder into partying. The bigger the emotion, the harder the substance. Now that I am sober, I’m having to relearn how to live. Not just emotionally, either. I’m learning - properly this time - how to be an adult. I have a therapist to help me with the emotional stuff, plus the support of my sober network. I now have a nutritionist helping me to learn how to eat right and take care of my body. I see a doctor regularly for medication and checkups on my physical well-being. I go to near-daily AA meetings to help in my sobriety. I need to figure out who/what I need to put in place in order to make some sense out of my household. Perhaps that will come with time. It’s just so interesting to me that I could be so book smart and seemingly street smart, yet have no real, domestic life skills. Part of what I’m learning is that if you can’t take care of yourself, you can hire people to help you learn how to do so. That’s been a refreshing realization.
I’ve broadened my social circle and let more people in to the depths of my inner world than I ever fathomed possible. I’m learning how to be honest – truly, transparently honest (as much as is possible). I’m learning to listen to my intuition. To trust in my higher power. To believe that other people really do care about my well-being. I’m learning how to live.
So many of these lessons have been fostered by the people I’ve bonded with as a result of Emily’s passing. I wish that I could have forged these friendships and Emily was still alive, but that’s not part of the plan. Things couldn’t have worked out this way without Emily’s death. That’s a hard pill for me to swallow, but I know with great depth of conviction that it is true. I’m eternally grateful for Emily. She’ll always be a part of my life and not just because of the tribute tattoo I got for her with her twin sister. She’s woven throughout my social circle now.
I have a long road ahead of me, but I feel like the blinders are finally off. There’s a great forward momentum. I am growing, changing, and evolving. I don’t have to run away from emotions anymore. I will eventually be able to function in a loving romantic relationship, should the right partner present him or herself. I will be stronger. I will be able to achieve anything that I want. I have hope. To summarize, as Carl Sanburg said, “I don’t know where I am going, but I’m on my way.”