Friday, December 31, 2010

Drive by Communication

Drive by communication

It seemed that as our rotations fell further out of sync, the planet spent less and less time rotating on me, or me on the Planet. When less time is spent together, communicating either on the baser or higher levels, just how does one relate to the other. When the flows that make up a marriage stop, and given the difficulties of cross gender communication in general the home ecology can stagnate and poison itself. Worse yet what seemed to be a tactic akin to throwing a hand grenade into a room and running for cover became the Planets favorite mode of relating "important issues". For whatever reason the timing of broaching subjects always happened right before I had to get to the city for work on that South Shore Line, or she had some place to be (still gives me the shivers to imagine what that might have been) when a topic deserving of a lengthy discussion would be broached. I often had the feeling that as far as the Planet was concerned, the pin had been pulled, the safety had been released, and the grenade was now in my court. Unable to be completely explored at that moment, and an expedition unable to be resumed later in the day due to the Planets daily sunset. When the days light set on the Planets rotation, there was rarely any planet left. Tired, worn out and unresponsive. As I was worn out, in pain, and deadened by my daily endeavours. There was no exchange of any kind of energy. Only the need to recharge to continue on our separate orbits. So it went.

So the initial intentions of my daily trip into the darkness that is Indiana was the conservation of resources. Since the laws make all resources common, they had become the Planets as well. The two satellites had been launched, and the Planet had the luxury of being a stay at home mother. I came to notice however, in that rather rustic and isolated enclave on the banks of Big Lake Michigan, that there were two kinds of family organizations. The ones were the mothers stayed at home, with all the inherent horrors that implied to the Planet, and those that were two career families, and could afford or had the family near by to afford them the piece of mind, and freedom that child care can bring to the situation. The stay at home moms would look down on the working moms as shirking their maternal responsibilities, while the career women would smirk and disdain the stay at home for being drones and hopelessly oppressed by their domestic situations. By being good wifeys and mummsies they were viewed as leading less of an enriched life than these driven career birds of prey. The planets polarity was torn. The solution was in how the realities were viewed in the larger context.

Polarities within the family, polarities within individuals. What do you get when you have no dreams and the other has many dreams. What if the influences of feeling you have to keep up with the Jones's's next door is not realistic with the present cash flow. While the Planet was thoroughly ensconced in the day to day surroundings at one end of the South Shore line, I was in a struggle with pain, fatigue and the trying to maintain a career that, like so many things in my life up until then just seemed to happen.What I had set out to do, on the surface I had invariably done. I had much help, but then I started to feel and reject those who had helped. I was now throughly in the Planets gravitational pull. She was my reality. But what reality had the planet embraced. I knew what I thought I knew, but I realize now I did not know, and the Planet wasn't talking. I was talking but not apparently getting through. My presentation was ineffective and harmful to the Planets sensibilities I really didn't understand. What bothered me I vocalized, but apparently not in a language or a style that was being received by the Planet.

We all have different needs. Since I really didn't know or didn't admit to myself mine invariably made me unable to understand and supply the Planets. Planetary needs where plenty, and the drive of the Planet were never ending, and to me unfathomable. The Planets spinning was ceaseless, and apparently unable to gain the traction necessary to produce the desired result. I suspect now that result was an income for the Planet. For the Planet is always in motion. A decision that would not be revealed to me until years later, and much hemorrhagin of finances and resources. Financial prosperity was spewing into the universe at amazing speed, and I was unable, or unwilling to plug the holes. I never knew where they where or where they would materialize next. Life was a never ending fire drill. I could fool myself that at least on paper, because of a booming stock, economy, and real estate markets we were actually staying ahead of the game. I was wrong, as I started to be consistently wrong about almost everything. You have to put everything in place as if you are already successful or you will not be able to achieve what you want, sayeth the Planet, out of the pages of her many self help books. Worse yet I started to read them. When your major influence in life is your relationship with the Planet, you start thinking with in the same spheres. But I knew not what the grand planetary design was at the time. I would just get brief exposure at times, and only when there was no time for discussion. From now on I make my own time, because it is to costly not to.


Also Sprach The Planet

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Planet Is.

The planet is:


many stories
always changing
always tired
losing things
forgetting things
reading
buying things
gone on Saturdays
joining groups
sick
taking on more outside responsibilities
leaving more things undone
setting goals
wanting her way
caring
not caring
searching for peace
feeling unappreciated
repeating things
finishing sentences
trying to belong
never satisfied
expecting different results
hiding things
not speaking
cooking
warm chattering
going to therapy
spinning out of control
spinning into inaction
residing resplendent in squalor
not knowing where to start


What is the planet doing?

If I thought I knew I know I was wrong.


Which of course begs the question. What the hell was I doing. Which is probably the only question any of us can answer with any authority at all. The truly sad thing is that I would probably get the answer wrong. Sadder still is most of us would.

But I can tell you what I thought I was doing even if it was no where near good enough for the Planet.

earning a living
helping with the satellites
keeping the household books
doing the laundry
doing yard work
paying the bills
trying to make income faster than the planets outflow
thanking genuinely for ever kindness showed
being grateful
being a loving husband
being a responsible father

Gosh, I am so special. At least these were the things I thought I was doing. Was I succeeding. The answer to that becomes apparent as the journey on the South Shore Line continues. All answers become self evident upon closer examination. The real trick is to stop looking with our heads and start to see with our hearts. Now that the panic attacks have ceased it is much easier to do.

Caring for the Planet was indeed a full time job. Where as I come from a long line of stoics, there never seemed a time when the Planet wasn't tired, in pain , just plain tuckered out. I tried to understand incapacitating maladies that have nightly occurrences, but the stoic in me is ever skeptical. Being a couple that had dutifully read "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" while in marriage counselling, I tried very hard to go against my nature and try not to fix things. So what's the natural response. I guess I chose to listen when verbalization of issues out of my control were offered and then do nothing. Maybe that wasn't the right response.

Oopsy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Little Lords of Doom

Is it inevitable that they visit every Planet? I don't know. What are the first signs? Is it the increasing signs of neglect. Showing up not only on the physical side of the household, but on the satellites as well. Is it the first time you get home early and discover that the drapes have not been opened all day and the house is still dark. Even though the hasty claim of “closed for nap time” is made. There was a lot of napping going on in those days, and not by the two little lads. They obviously had vast amounts of time, especially Addison, to create huge crayon based murals on walls all over the house. While I have always been an advocate of the arts it never dawned on me to question that toddlers would have the swath of unsupervised time to create such masterpieces on walls as opposed to supplied paper. But I trusted.

Was it the vast number of self help books and novels of all sorts that piled up in the two places the Planet orbited most that should have heralded the stealth arrival of the Little Lords of Doom. Or was it just the piles of everything that gathered on counters, stuffed into closets, piled on desks, thrown into the garage. The vast amount of fast food wrappers that seemed ubiquitous on the floor and in the back of the mini van. Or should I have been concerned about the mail that was picked up at the mail box on the corner, but never made it into the house. After all, the Planet had the care and feeding of the beloved Clark and Addison to contend with. Who could not understand the leaving of a few bills that have fallen behind the seats of a mini van inhabited by the two celestial terrors that are young boys in the throws of the terrible twos and beyond. Even if the bills contained large charges that where not mentioned either in passing or in family finance discussions. Was this screening of mail a tactic learned in one of those ever present self help books.

However meals were always prepared, The Planet was a born earth mother southern girl in the kitchen. I never thought twice about my arrival in the door and her saying take care of the boys I have to get out of here. That, from what I hear, is very common amongst mothers in the last decade of the Twentieth Century. It was quite enjoyable to care for my young sons. Quite refreshing after having to deal with advertising people all day, and strangely similar in more ways than I care to mention. Battle though it was with the apparent lack of routine things like brushing teeth and picking up toy's was hard to enforce when it was unknown to the lads on a daily basis. You pick your battles after all. But Planetary battles pick you in reality.

And thus the Little Lords of Doom continued their insurgency.