Rumination 12

WHY. Why do I have so much stuff? I used to be able to fit my life into 2 pink totes and a suitcase. Now I have a whole house worth of things without a whole house to put them in.

I have TWO cupcake makers. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND NEEDS TWO CUPCAKE MAKERS? Like 10 different candy molds, a cake pop maker, (have I ever even used it? WHAT?) FIVE CUSTOM CAKE MOLDS. The one that is shaped like a book fits into a tote and it will be mine forever. I will be buried with it.

I have 3 sets of GOBLETS? THREE? Buffet patters (I HAVE LITERALLY NEVER THROWN A PARTY. EVER.) AN EIGHT PERSON CUTLERY SET. WHAT? (Edit: I just looked at the box, it’s from Macy’s; it was $80) When am I going to use these? A SPICE RACK?!?!

The note cards and journals. I love them, I really do, but they only add to the clutter around me. Journals, I intend on slowly giving away to people I find fascinating. I’m going to miss them, but I know I would much rather they find use and not storage. There are journals that are nearly 15 years old.

The note cards will always find use. I have so many people to thank, and there will only be so many more.

I just can’t find it in me to throw anything out. Even when it’s obvious I don’t need it. I’m holding on to things better left in the past. Sure, I might get my own place again one day. But today isn’t that day. I can sit here letting the toxicity of this place ruin me, or I can venture out and find that forever I’ve always dreamt of.

I won’t let depression keep me. I won’t let my mistakes define me. There are symbols in this hoard of the person I was expected to be. Someone I never was, no matter how hard I tried.

I can’t sit still. I need the quiet comfort of lonely wandering. It’s maddening to think I can’t just be a wander. I can’t just pack up and hop a plane to nowhere. I don’t want the things everyone around me wants. I don’t want to get married, I’ve been on this Earth a while now and I’ve yet to find someone I could even fantasize a family with. I don’t want a place to which I am bound.

It’s lonely I know. But I crave the silence of a long drive. I yearn for the books read on wordless flights. I ache for places I’ve never seen.

I’m not naive enough to think two lives can run parallel eternal, but for the times some will run next to mine, I will offer the one eternity I can give; a space in my heart.

I am selfish, there is no defending that. I will wear it proudly. I am selfish. I think of my own happiness before progeny. I am selfish, because I want that which is most difficult to give. I want a space in your memories. I don’t want any more to be a passing glance on a sidewalk or a subway. Sad eye contact until the next bus stop.


I want to arrive at my death with open arms. Welcome embrace from a friend foiled twice. There will never be enough time; I just want to do enough in my time.

Influence

I don’t talk enough about my influences, so I’m going to start at the top with the writer that changed my life.
Ursula K. LeGuin was the first science fiction writer I ever read, but it wasn’t her science fiction I read first. It was EarthSea, where a red skinned boy named Ged (Sparrowhawk) found his way to a school of magic. Where he learned the word and true names. Red skinned Ged who spoke to dragons and traveled the archipelago after the shadow he had cast upon it. Ged who looked like me. I was nine; it was before I found Harry and Hogwarts.






The Lathe of Heaven was pure raw science fiction that set my mind on fire. Every rereading of George Orr’s plight with his powerful dreams, the doctor who chose to right the world, and the power of our individuality; leaves me more enlightened than the last. It remains the one book I will consistently recommend.





The Left Hand of Darkness found its way into my hands when I was sixteen. In a suffocatingly narrow minded small town library. A story that defied gender and our obsession with it. Showed me a grand planet where we were the strangers. The human protagonist was the dark skinned stranger on a world where biological fathers could be biological mothers, and spent their days as an undefined third gender neither feminine nor male. The Lathe of Heaven is my favorite work, but The Left Hand of Darkness changed me. While I am happy to identify as female, it opened my eyes to people who didn’t conform to any of the roles cast upon them. It is fittingly upon every list that would have you read the great works of humanity.

The last four are from LeGuin’s Hainish Cycle, of which The Left Hand of Darkness is a part. Beginning with Rocannon’s World it paints the cosmos as humanity’s playground. Pure and simple science fiction written with an anthropologist’s eye; turning fictional futures into text book realities.
If you ever get the chance, read her work. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.




Rumination 11

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that one of the reasons you aren’t a part of something anymore isn’t because you didn’t like the thing itself, but because you didn’t like the people involved.
Not just because it clashed with your science or your personal research, but because people who are fanatical stop listening the moment you tell them you disagree. They are convinced you aren’t there to teach them, that you’re there to yell at them for being wrong.
I will admit I learned my extreme patience from these arguments, however, butting heads without any support is the most difficult experience of my life. And honestly, going through depression without ANY help from my “faith,” caused me to lose it. To be told over and over again that I just needed to SNAP out of it. Now, the faith itself isn’t to blame, and I need to be very clear about that.
My depression became a catalyst for the change I needed to make in my life. I was going to end up in this place anyway. Studying Astrophysics was already leading me in that direction. My faith was too small. It couldn’t stand up to the questions I had. It fell before me like all of the others when I had questioned them. For some people, faith is necessary. It is good, it keeps them good. To call it a crutch is a false equivalent and cruel. I don’t care if the fear of an afterlife is what causes you to be decent. As long as you are decent.
I was lucky enough to be raised in a religion that promoted equality of caste, gender, race, and denomination. One that was adamant “God” was the center and we were all on paths home. If anyone says otherwise they’ve made a habit of misreading the texts.
My mother explained the analogy best to me when I was 14. We were driving back home, and she decided to take the opportunity to teach us something; by taking a different road. It took a little bit longer, but we got to see another part of the landscape around our house. While driving she explained the roads were different, but if used properly, they all lead to the places we wanted to go.
That is what the faith I grew up in taught her, so she taught us. But people corrupt it and spin it into shadows of what it could be.
I don’t care to argue this. I’m not here to inform you about things I no longer practice, I just need to get the words out. Because I’m sitting alone a room, unable to do anything. This is the last I will speak of faith, or lack of, unless it is to answer a question that delves into why I am the way I am. I’m not here to tell you to believe or not believe. I write because I want you to think for yourself. Don’t let “traditionalists” get in the way of reading and learning things on your own. If you’re going to argue with people like that, you have to know more than they do.


One day you might find after you’ve learned as much as you think you can, that you don’t know anything at all. That the arguments are petty and small. That there is beauty in our insignificance. We tiny people, who may fade without a whisper, should spend the limited time we have learning and doing as much good in this world as we can. Because there will never be enough time.