I’m Not There Anymore

There was a band in the early 90’s called Mary’s Danish.  None of their albums are available on Spotify – which is probably an okay thing – but that means in order to listen to a few songs that I really like, I have to go get my archaic CD collection out and find a place to play it.  Which also,  holy shit what even are those anyway.  My car actually has a CD player, so I found myself busting out their CD “Circa” not too long ago.  Not every song is a gem.  Nay, most are not.  But the last song on the album has always made me feel stuff and probably cry depending on the day.  The lyrics go like this:

“…You fail in every way

Ask the ones you love – the words they can’t pronounce

You fail in every way 

Ask the ones you trust – you know they stole everything.

Cover your face girl, now shoot some pool 

So what, ya had it comin’.”

 So this doesn’t really sum up how I feel about where I’m at in my life today, but I think the reason I get emotional when I listen to it is because I remember all too well feeling like that ALL THE TIME.  I can identify all too easily with the person in that song – or at least, my past self can identify with her.  It’s sometimes a quick mental hop back into a life that really isn’t mine anymore.

My past actions – they’re just that.  Past.  Nothing like a song to put you right back in that same frame of mind, remembering all the shit you’ve done wrong or poorly in your life.  But for all the songs you can find or remember that make you feel a certain way you don’t really feel any longer, there are just as many that can fit who you are right now, in this very moment.  I think it’s okay – even cathartic – to use music to examine how you once felt, or how you feel now.  It’s all part of figuring out your inner life which is kind of what I’m doing all the time now.  Or try to do.  Sometimes it is painful; sometimes I don’t want to look at it or reach my hand down into any one particular feeling-bog of muck and ooze.  But it’s kind of what gets me through to the other side and helps me appreciate my life as it is right now.

All I am saying is, music helps to move through in order to move forward.  I’m not sure where I’d be without it.  Thanks Gretchen and Julie.

 

circa

 

 

 

Down With My Demons – Or Getting There

Did you see that woman?

Rolling down your street, full gear on, helmet and everything, Bambi legs, sweating, and possibly looking a little (alright, A LOT) out of place?  Wow.  What the fuck does she thing she’s doing?  Look at her.

That’s right, take a gander.  That was me.  6:48 yesterday evening.  Technically 6:57, because the first 9 minutes were spent standing casually on my sidewalk, trying to look like I was waiting on someone.  In my skate gear.  Like you do in the suburbs.  That was after 3-5 minutes of sitting on my porch, putting my skates on, only to immediately fall on my ass the minute I tried to stand up.  Oh, and the extra 60 seconds it took to roll timidly back in the house to get mouth guard and helmet.  Because holy shit, if I was going to fall down IMMEDIATELY, who knows what’s in store, riiiiight?  Oh, and the few more minutes I took to roll around in my front room to make sure I was not going to just completely forget what my legs do.

Was I scared?  Yup.  Terrified.  I have not put skates on in over a year.  We recently moved to a neighborhood where there is an amazing 9-mile trail, very tame and paved with concrete sidewalks, around a little pond.  I had built up “skating the trail” to such monumental heights that I actually began convincing myself that there was no way I could do this.  But I badly wanted to do this.  None of these thoughts, of course, are rational.  I am a decent skater.  Not a great roller derby player, because there is a very distinct difference, as many of you reading this can attest.  But I more than mastered the art of, you know, circling.  I have skated many a trail.  Some difficult.  Some that other skaters never would even try.  So it’s not like it’s a foreign concept.

Bur you retire, you get comfortable in not really knowing pain on a daily basis any longer, and for some of us, those skates aren’t that easy to just don with any kind of confidence any more.  Then you start wondering if you ever even had confidence in the first place.  And if you did, was it warranted.  Go thee forth into this downward spiral of Self-Esteem Rabbit Holes.  You get the picture.

This particular rabbit hole left me staring at my skates longingly, but making 1001 excuses as to why I couldn’t put them on.  A great deal of the excuses were rooted in the psychological damage I inflicted on myself while playing roller derby.  Sometimes the skates were too hard emotionally to even look at, much less wear.  But you know what, nothing feels the same way forever.  No feeling lasts.  Things change.  And for me, that has been beautiful.  Even if painful.  The beauty is in the reality that I get to write this story.  No one else does.  No one else defines me.  No one else gets to tell me I’m ok, or not ok, or not enough, or just right.  People can, and do.  And yet:

That is my job.  My singular job.  For whatever time I get on this amazing, fucked-up, ironic and devastatingly gorgeous planet.

And the old moves, the feeling of being a little unsure or awkward but getting better with every step, came back.  Did I cross over the Dreaded Wooden Bridge?  Not last night.  Will I?  Maybe.  All I know is that with the wind blurring my vision just a little along with weird, hesitantly watery eyes for some unknown reason, I felt like my soul let go.  Like it doesn’t matter that people saw me.  That you saw me.

What the fuck do I think I’m doing?  I don’t have a clue.  But right at that moment, in all of the intense vulnerability and joy that bubbled up inside of me, it was the most perfect skate of my life.

20160828_141015
The scariest bag in the world.