Tuesday, April 6, 2010

desperate acts of magic

So I kind of stole this post title from the name of a low-budget film that's auditioning actors right now. I saw it in my email alerts that notify me which projects are "right" for me on a casting website and then saw that the girl they wanted to cast needs to be in her 40's (um, not me) and be able to juggle chainsaws on fire and other cool stuff like that. Also not me.

But I liked the phrase, and I opened up my blog today and couldn't think of anything to write about, as things are kind of quiet in my head today, so I figured a good title might help. How many of you guys do that? Do you ever think, if I could just have a really great title, or opening line, I could muscle through everything else? If things start out perfect, it'll do all the work itself from here on out...

Of course, life doesn't really work that way. Life is never hitting the top of a mountain and then putting it on cruise control as you sail down, windows lowered, music blasting as your hair whips around your face and you grin into the sunshine. Life is a steady, uphill climb with a sometimes crappy view, not to mention the fact that you spend about half of it studying various rocks and leaves and wondering if you haven't been in This.Exact.Place before. Many, many times before.

My life continues on with its challenges, just as it does in everyone else's. I'm very happy with my tattoo, although it's now in the itchy phase and that's driving me nuts; I'm going to be in a Steampunk-themed wedding on Saturday where I get to fulfill my lifelong dream of wearing combat boots with a dress to a wedding; and my Easter celebration with my family on Sunday was, in a word, perfect. It started off as a sort of wish-list that we all made of how we have always wanted the holiday to be: my middle older brother wanted to dye Easter eggs, my cousin wanted to have an Easter Egg hunt, I wanted to give everyone Easter baskets. So here we are, this pack of weird grown ups with messy childhoods, creating perfect memories when we are in our twenties and thirties and fifties. Life may be uphill but it doesn't mean that at any moment you can't branch off to the side and create something beautiful that you may have missed the first time around.

The problems I spoke of way back when I took a blogging break are still very present; it's just that my attitude toward them has shifted. I'm never going to have a life without problems; that's absurd and honestly, more than a little boring. So instead of whining about them I just adjusted and made room for them in my life and pushed a little more love their way. Because there isn't much that can be done to fix these kinds of problems, and lord knows I'm a fixer. I'm a first degree fixer that takes my hammer and nails to my own and everyone else's problems and hammers away until I'm exhausted and there is nothing left for me to do. And when I'm told that I can't fix it...that I can't fix someone's finances, or get someone a job, or bring someone's pet back...

or (::deep breath::) find a cure for someone's cancer...

Well. Anyways. Desperate acts of magic are in order, I suppose. And while I remain an optimist, while I believe in a universal intelligence that my particular belief system calls God, who is loving and good and kind... I'm long past thinking that the universe owes anybody anything. So the desperate acts of magic don't include me bargaining with any higher power or asking for favors. My acts of magic come from sitting down in the middle of the chaos and continuing to laugh and smile and breathe and eat cheeseburgers. It's our unbreakable, unflinching human spirit with the capacity to find joy in the smallest of things in life, even amidst the darkness, that is the real magic. And if I have a choice, which I do...

I'm gonna choose to do that one.

Someone who knows all too well what I'm going through gave me a poem last week by one of my favorite poets, Rumi. It's been folded up carefully and sitting in my back pocket for a week, giving me grace and strength when I had none left to give:

Rumi - Guest House

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all.
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

"Meet them at the door laughing" - this is what I am doing. Magic indeed.


Gwen said...

Girl I think it's wonderful that you all had a unique fun Easter as grown ups. It's never too late to have childlike fun!!!

I can't wait to see photos from the wedding so please take 100s of them!!!

Love ya girl!!! XOXO

Miss Anne said...

this post reasonated in me more than i thought it would.

thank you for sharing your thoughts. my favorite line was about accepting problems and then making room for them.

i think too many times we are too busy fighting with ourselves, or living unhappily.

thank you for reminding me to keep pushing forward, smiling and accepting life for what it is..... magical.


drollgirl said...

this is such a wonderful post.

lately it seems i have had more downs than ups, but things are not that bad. they really aren't. and even when things are shitty i can usually find something to laugh at or about. THANK GAWD FOR THAT! :)

Indigo said...

Absolutely loved the tattoo in your last post. I'm still a virgin in that respect. Although I do want a raven tattoo. Someday...maybe when I get my first book published.

This post...is a breathe of fresh air. No we can't fix everything, we can make the most of what we do have and enjoy the little moments that come our way. (Hugs)Indigo

Marion said...

First, you are a true bodhisattva (enlightened being) and have a great attitude about life for one so young. Truly, you are an old soul, Phoenix. Yes, attitude IS everything. I'm currently changing mine daily. And you know what? It's working.

Second, I cannot WAIT to see the combat-booted wedding photos. I missed the era of combat boots and have always regretted it, so I'll live vicariously though you. Be sure to get at least one good photo. Ha!

Third, I am so in love with your title that I'm saving it to write a poem about at some point in time. Magic is one of my favorite words. It's so full of meaning and well, magic.

And lastly, that Rumi poem is one of my very favorites of his. It just radiates with truth. Thanks for this great, uplifting post. Love & Blessings!!

Bathwater said...

You have a serene flow to your words that emulates your thoughts. Its calming and in jagged contrast to my writing voice right now which is full of angst and confusion.

Reading your words shows me what is missing from mine. The title is usually the last thing to get slapped on a post for me.

James Oh said...

Thanks for sharing you thoughts with us.

Jenn said...

you're a tough girl, huh? i hope things get better. sitting & feeling hopeless is the worst. although i absolutely love the phrase "desperate acts of magic." it almost seems like it should go along with "random acts of kindness" but then again...i guess they go hand in hand. :)

Dave said...

A great title. A great poem. A great post. (I left my wedding on an ATV pulling my wife on a trailer. That's gotta be right up there with combat boots.)

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

It's nice to know some of my favorite science fiction has a name. Hoocoodanode? Will there be Victorian dresses and time machines at the wedding, too? Your Easter sounds like a blast. I've always wanted to recreate the great picnics we had as kids at Easter.

Problems do suck and sometimes it does seem like it takes desperate acts of magic to get through them. Cancer is hovering over a dear friend of mine but "magic" is keeping it at bay.

I think you should hide little hammers and saws and levels (especially levels) in your blog or maybe take a picture of yourself in a Black and Decker hard hat...the image of you as a fixer upper was wonderful. I used to be the fixer upper, now I'm a crack open a beer and stand arounder.

Joker_SATX said...

I blog out of sheer randomness. Usually I find a funny picture and then try to tie it all in.

Good poem. I am going to have to keep it in mind. Its a philosophy I agree with.

Great to hear that your Easter Rocked!

Robin said...

I love what you said about accepting things as they are and pushing more love towards them. I did one of those mental stop in your track deals. There are things that I accept, but not always with grace. Perhaps those pills would be less bitter if I started pushing more love towards them.

I also related to what you said about being a fixer. One of the hardest lessons to learn is that you can't fix it. Sometimes all you can do is just show up. Sometimes, if your life is chaos, you can't even do that. You're making phone calls after the fact and apologizing for not being there.

Lastly, that was a great poem. Thanks for sharing. I am going to have to do a copy/paste and save it. I figure that eventually I will run down my poetry book. It is the sister to my quote books. That poem definitely is a keeper!

Oh, and it was a great title and your post did just get better as you went. So, your theory worked!

Annje said...

I think of titles after muscling through what I want to write. I love the poem, it struck a chord...

Lira said...

You can't think of anything to write and then you write all THAT?! Bastarda!

I LOVE the adults creating Easter memories they never had while children. That gives me much joy.

tenure.track.mommy said...

One of my favorite poems ever!

Ashley Yazzie said...



Anonymous said...

You know, this quote from Greys' Anatomy says that even when you're climbing uphill, and it's exhausting and boring, once you get to the top it's worth it. Even if you've been to the top before, once you reach it again, it's so satisfactory.
Keep going.

Juliana said...

I really do not know what to say. I wish I had something equally as eloquent to come back with...but I simply do not. Why even comment then? Because maybe you can hear what I am not saying. Your blog is by far one of my favorites and I am just touched beyond works so many times that I visit.

We all need a little magic.

Ida Nielsen said...

Fantastic poem. Thanks for sharing!

Heather Taylor said...

I love your mindset and attitude, it is so uplifting. I too like to find joy in the small things and can't imagine having a life free of problems. What would we do all day? Drink tea and talk about the weather? Pleasant for a day, but no longer than that!

Your tat is really cool, by the way. Loving it.

Wine and Words said...

I do it with photos. If my mind is quiet, I will scan the internet for photographs that demand an explaination, or which stop me in my tracks as if speaking themselves. Usually my mind starts shouting from there :)

g. fox said...

Funny, I've been holding the Ani DiFranco lyric in my head all week: because the world owes me nothing / and we owe each other the world..."

Good on ya, lady.

Anonymous said...

Another well-written and honest post.

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