Saturday, September 01, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Feedback Writing within a group gives you the opportunity to air your work and gain feedback. Join a creative writing class or set up a writing group with friends, taking turns to suggest exercises. Seek out feedback that helps you to develop your creativity and find your own voice.When the vertigo first hit, I couldn't watch television or read. Eventually I got to where I could do both but then I worked my way to reading. It can still make me dizzy over time but I could read. Then I began to write. Finally. I even wrote a short story. Only my mother and my step-sister have read it. Even Rob didn't take or make the time to read it. Whatever. The thing is, I want something in my life. I know specifically what it is. And in order to have this I need to get rid of dead weight, people who say they care but their actions say something else. I am making room for these new people . . . getting rid of the pseudo-friendships . . . enough. I deserve better than this and I am tired of settling for less just because I am not my independent self. Hell! All the more reason I shouldn't settle for less!!!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Rob came back from his overnight trip to Ozzfest. He had a great time. I’ll share his amusing stories below, mostly because they are his stories more than my own, more punk the quirk, and this blog is all about me. Me! ME!
Except, me didn’t do much yesterday. I was having a not great vertigo day. Not bad enough to stay in bed but bad enough to make the day difficult. By the end of it I was stuck in bed but that is par for the course except on a remarkably good day. Or one where I took a nap, which is what I do when I know I am going to be seeing someone for dinner or something equally late in my day.
And today Marc has work and school and I have the house to myself. Ummm . . . yeah. This could get pretty boring pretty fast so let’s move on to my horoscope and Rob’s stories before I fall asleep typing this.
Aries Horoscope for week of August 30, 2007
"Here's how you can tell if you have a bad psychotherapist or counselor," says my friend Laura. "She or he buys into all your BS, never questions your delusions, and builds your self-esteem even if that makes you into an a**hole." I agree with Laura's assessment, which is why I'm going to spend our short time together today calling you on your BS, prodding you to get introspective about your delusions, and not pumping up the parts of your ego that really should be melted down. Next week maybe we'll get back to gazing adoringly into each other's eyes, but right now you'll benefit from some tough love.
Apparently, while they were at the show, the guy standing next to Rob turned to him and said, “Punch me in the eye!” “Ummm . . . no thanks,” Rob replied. See how polite he is when he is asked to abuse someone? Rob isn’t as hard core as he looks, obviously.
At another point, Rob and Shay were in the bathroom using the urinals. Some guy standing next to Shay, after having used the urinal, reaches up and slides his hand across Shay’s Mohawk without washing his hands first! Ewwww. “Nice hawk, man,” this stranger said. Shay turned, without stopping his flow, and, moving his penis up and down to pee on the guy’s pants said, “Nice pants.” The other guys in the bathroom laughed.
So those are Rob’s amusing stories. Rob was asked to hit a stranger in the eye and Shay peed on some stranger’s pants. The lesson in this, boys and girls, is do not touch a man’s Mohawk without permission and/or without first washing your hands.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
In connection with John’s Writing and Wellness Connections Conference (WWCC), I have been asked to keep a blog about my health, about my experience with writing as a means of healing, etc. The blog will be directly related to the WWCC website and John has already asked me to participate more actively in next year’s conference. (I couldn’t this year for obvious health reasons.)
I am sure that I will change things as I go along but for now I have a tentative game plan. I will be using this blog on several levels.
One: I will write about my health. This is not limited to my vertigo. This will include my emotional health both past and present. I will cull from previous journal entries as well as write about my present experience, revealing myself as a wounded healer, a scarred survivor, a worldly warrior. This will be the most candid and intimate layer of the blog, the type of writing I have elected not to do online for a long time now.
Two: I will post creative writing. This will include poetry, short stories, unsent letters and other journal prompt exercises. The creative writing will be slightly less intimate but still reveal a great deal of what I am feeling and experiencing. I will pull from my writing from the past while also writing new pieces.
Three: I will share interactive writings. Although this will be the least intimate layer of the blog, it will still be more intimate than much of what I have been posting online. It will include responses I have to things I am reading both on and off the internet as it relates to the overall theme of Writing and Wellness Connections.
I have set up a tentative schedule for myself for updating this blog so that I don’t get too focused on any one type of post. It would be easy for me to just blabber on about how I am feeling from one day to the next without really digging down into why I am writing about it. Almost as easy as it would be to just write about what other people have said and not dig down into why I am writing.
On a superficial level, I am doing this because it is good exposure. Being connected with the conference in such a manner can only help me as a writer to be taken more seriously.
On a less superficial level, I am doing this because John asked me to do so and because he is a friend, mentor, and has always encouraged me to keep writing.
On an honest level, I am doing this because I can. I have done this in the past and I can do it again.
Now is the time. I hope that those of you who are reading this will bookmark the newest blog in my ever increasing network of blogs. If you read something there, please link over to the blog. The more traffic, the better for me and the conference. And now it is time for me to return to the real world and try to get something productive done. Rob has been out of town since yesterday (Ozzfest in NC) and Marc was out all day yesterday. I’ve been alone almost the entire time and even though I am alone now as I write this, I am aware that it is time for me to return to the real world of engaging with other people in my life.
PS: As with the 101 Things blog, I won’t be writing about the other blog here except on rare occasions. Or maybe I’ll do so once a month, summarizing what has been posted to both. We’ll see. As with my life, my blogs are definitely a work in progress.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
When I first read Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice, I was alone in thinking that the story was pedophiliac and incestuous. My friends felt I was being overly critical and needed to just enjoy the story for what it was. I decided, when the movie was released, to reread the novel to see if my assessment had changed. It hadn’t. I still enjoyed the story but found the implications distressing.
Which is why I chose to re-watch two movies that I had found disturbing to see if I still felt as sensitive about them. The first is Endless Love, a coming-of-age movie that was hugely popular with my friends. I did not see it until it was on cable, when I was older. I remembered little about the movie beyond the song and that Brooke Shields starred in it. I knew that I found it highly disturbing but I couldn’t say why. So watching it again gave me an opportunity to assess what it was about the movie that bothered me and see if it still did so.
The answer is YES! The tender love story between two teens . . . that didn’t bother me. The Freudian moment in which the girl leaves her father’s side to join her beloved on the staircase . . . well, Brooke Shields looks so perfectly like a young bride that the layers of allusion could not possibly be lost. And the relationship spiraling out of control . . . I remembered much of these details.
I even remembered the mother watching her daughter having sex for the first time from the staircase but I did not remember how the mother sat and watched rather than politely leaving the two alone. I did not remember how the mother, later, actually tries to seduce the younger man. (That this happens after the mother is divorced and the daughter and boy are no longer together I suppose makes it less horrifying for some but not for me.)
Forget some of the silliness of the plot, those ridiculous coincidences that make the storyline sink into melodramatic soap opera foolishness . . . what I found most offensive and disturbing is the scene in which the boy and the girl are finally reunited after years of being apart. She is going to college and has moved on with her life and she has come to him to tell him he needs to do the same. Let go of the past. Move on. Be happy. Like me. And when he refuses to hear her, she tries to leave. What does he do? He grabs her because he loves her so much. He throws her onto the bed. He forces her to listen, kissing her, as she first struggles, screams, fights and then . . . of course kisses him back and starts to cry.
Because when a woman is being assaulted, practically raped, this is what a woman does. She melts with love for the man, especially if they have a past together, and gives into the romance of the moment.
As for the other film . . . I saw this one with my children, Rob and my mother. My mother and I are the only ones who found V for Vendetta disturbing. She for the violence and me . . . for something else. The violence was surprising and I did find it distressing but there was something more, much more, going on inside. Something to which I could not put a finger.
Rob bought the dvd and we eventually watched it although I avoided watching it for a while. Politically the story should have appealed to me—oppressive regime, citizens rising in protest, an inspiring hero. I admired the daring of telling a story about a terrorist and trying to make him sympathetic. Such a challenge to only be brooched by a facile artist. I already have a liking for the Wachowski Brothers, in spite of their heavy handed use of metaphors, and I like graphic novels. So far so good.
Then came my favorite part of the film . . . the love story. Not the story between the main characters but the other love story, the story within the story, the one shared with Evey as she is being tortured. The lesbian love story of a fellow victim. And when the story within a story is told we learn that V is the one torturing Evey, to break her and rebuild her. Yes, I understand that she needed to be strengthened so that she could face her fear and do what needed to be done. After all, isn’t this what most women empowering movies and stories are about? Beat the shit of out a woman or rape her and watch what happens. She comes back with a vengeance. Now she is a real Woman of Power, far superior to her weaker self before this horrible nightmare happened. I mean, it isn’t possible for a woman to be strong and empowered without first being tormented right?
Let me interject that this particular part of the movie follows Evey nearly being raped and then dressing up as a child, pretending to be a prostitute, and I had to wonder at what point is this not exploitative . . .
But in the end we must remember that there is love between these two victims—Evey and V—as evidenced by her giving V a kiss before saying goodbye. Ahhh . . . so that’s the way to win a girl’s heart? Rescue her from being raped and then kidnap her, use the Stockholm Syndrome to manipulate her and the situation before you pimp her out in hopes that she will commit murder for you . . . if she doesn’t get raped in the process, that is . . . then, when she has managed to escape, kidnap her again, torture her, lie to her, torture her some more, and more . . . and more . . . and know that in the end she will give you love’s true kiss, surround you with roses, and live the fulfillment of your dire dreams after you have died.
Ahhhhh . . . love . . .
I am tempted to read the graphic novel, to see if the plot is less alarming for me. I don’t anticipate that I will have a change of heart. If anything, I would be surprised if I didn’t experience a sense of reinforcement, of even greater disgust at what happens in the story.
Mind you, both movies are good (but not great) and if you are into these things then by all means . . . watch them. You will find a young James Spader and Tom Cruise in the first movie. And Natalie Portman is so lovely that watching her is always a pleasure. I will probably end up watching it again simply because we own it on dvd. But I also expect that I will return to this theme of movies I find disturbing but don’t seem to disturb others.
In fact, I can practically guarantee it since we are talking about Hollywood and all. I can probably find more fodder for this theme on my dvd shelf even now!