Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"So this is the new year...and I don't feel any different..." --Death Cab for Cutie, don't you know.

This past year was a bitch. What else can be said? Me personally: anorexia that has fucked up my heart, though hopefully not permanently, and almost got me kicked out of school not once but twice. Father may have early-onset Alzheimer's (which I want to be flip about...y'know, to hide the pain and all...but really it feels like there's a stiletto in my gut that someone is twisting very slowly and deliberately. Last night we fought, bitterly and with yelling and accusations, and though I'm trying to let go of a need to be right all the time, I know deep down that he was the aggressor, that he started it--yes, I know how childish that sounds--and when I tried to use my assertiveness skills (thank you, Roni) he said he didn't have time or energy for psychobabble bullshit. I want to make up with him, forgive him for all the times he belittled me or hit me...I want to make up with him before he forgets who I am. Last week he was driving my mom's car instead of his own and had a panic attack in the parking lot because he couldn't find his car. He finally remembered he was driving hers, but not before he completely freaked out and thought his car had been stolen). My parents' priest died, one of the kindest, holiest men I've ever known. My uncle, who had been sick much of my life died. Almost all my memories of him involve the hospital...he was on respirators, in and out of comas, had three different kinds of cancer, lost a leg due to poor circulation, had lung disease and was on oxygen but still smoked a half-pack a day...but he always lived, always rose from the comas or torpors like Lazarus. I guess I sort of thought he'd live forever, sick but still kicking.
And the world at large: The earthquakes in Pakistan, the tsunami in Asia, the mudslides in California, the hurricanes in the Gulf, the civil war in the Congo, the genocide and rape in Darfur, the ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine, the war in Iraq, the continued atrocities perpetrated by their side and no less by ours (though I hesitate to claim the soldiers as "ours," they still are). The death of Rehnquist, the abdication of Sandra Day O'Connor (So much for my dreams of a Supreme Sleepover with Sandy and Ruth), and the appointment of men bound and determined to kick the shit out of Roe v. Wade and gay rights. These things that play on all my "big" worries, the peculiar things I've worried about since I learned about them in elementary and middle school. Overpopulation. Global Warming. Antibiotic-resistant pathogens (avian flu). Switching over from an oil-based economy. Nuclear holocaust.
Thank God for God, a place to put those worries, Somewhere and Someone to strive for. As the fortune cookie slip on the front of my God Box says, "Pray for what you want, but work for what you need." With a nod to Anne Lamott, the God Box is a box into which one puts prayers and petitions and's like God's In-Box. I'd like to change the "but" to an "and," but we do what we can.
Blessings for everyone's New Year.