Monday, September 21, 2009

A new look...

Yes, you will think you have arrived on someone else's page, but you really are in the right place. I was tired of my old look and wanted something radically different and chose this, because I liked the font and the plainness of the page. Right now I like having no picture and just the title and the simple dots. Sometimes I want change, because I get tired of what I always look at and I need something new to invigorate me. Blogger doesn't have many templates to choose from and this is the best one I could come up with. I think it will do nicely.

I have been up most of the night. I woke up very early and had no sleep left in me. There was no sense in staying in bed, because all I would do is lay there and think about stuff that would bother me, such as my past sins and other evils. No, I'm joking, but only partly so. I don't know what would happen if I laid awake in bed at night, because I never do. I avoid that at all costs. In the past I used to think about very sad things, but I haven't given myself the opportunity to do that in a long time, because I get up the minute I wake up and I don't go back to bed until I'm literally keeling over from sleep.

Past sins are the thoughts that come and haunt you in the middle of the night when your defenses are down and when you are at your most helpless and not able to fight a good fight and resist the harshness of your most cruel memories. And everything you think is tainted by the deepest color black and honed to the sharpest cut to make the deepest wounds. It's an onslaught of negative memories that make you cower under the covers and want to hide your whole being in shame.

The worst thing you can do is lay there like a helpless victim and let it wash all over you. My tactic is to get up and escape the darkness and the thoughts and to find the light and some distraction for my mind. Now I've gotten to the point where the negative thoughts don't even have a chance to enter my head, but I open my eyes and am beside my bed and the next second I am in the living room with the lights on and then in the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee and to light a cigarette. Immediately my thoughts turn to the upcoming day and the things I will do in it and how exciting those will be, no matter how small and simple, and I don't spend a moment pondering over my past and the "evil" deeds I've committed in it.

You can either forgive yourself or put your deeds in the context of the time and place and circumstances in which they happened and learn to live with them and I think I have done the latter. It was not so much a question of forgiveness as of understanding. The understanding it takes to only take your share of the responsibility and not a portion more than that. To leave the rest for the other people involved, whether they accept it or not. You can't make people accept their responsibility, you can only take on that bit of it that is your own and learn to live with that.

It can be infuriating to see how people avoid taking the blame in a drama in which they played a major role and in which they had many of the most important scenes, even after you left and they continued to star in their version of the story. In the end, you can only feel pity for them, because as you grow and gain understanding and insight and wisdom, they stagnate and flounder in their repetitive motions and scripts and scenarios, bound to make the same mistakes over and over again. Not that you are suddenly faultless, but at least you try to improve and discover somebody else than who you were when it wasn't working.

Life seems to be a long journey leading up to graduate school. I am now studying for my master's degree in living well. Which is the best revenge, isn't it? Living well is the best revenge.

Now, I'm not claiming that I'm living the optimal life, far from it. I have a way to go yet. There are many things I'm not doing yet, adventures I'm not having, chances I'm not taking, places I'm not visiting. journeys I'm not making. But it will all come in its own sweet time. I'm playing it safe right now. Exploring minimal ground, just base camp and its immediate surroundings. I'm not going anywhere where I can't retreat quickly inside the walls of my apartment. Even more so now that I'm single and this place is so dear to me.

I should add, for all clarity, that what I talked about here is not my second marriage, but my life in the States that lasted 22 years and that was a very important time during which I had two children, a house, 2 cars, a dog, a cat, many friends, a husband, and a heartache. I have divorced that husband, remarried, left the States, lost my son, and gotten divorced again. Now I am single like I ought to be. Finally, I'm on my own. A single, solitary human being. Autonomous and independent and not yet lonely.



Patricia said...

what a shock for me to see your new page...I had you all intermingled with the flavor of your other theme and now I am reacquainting myself all over again...somehow I had you living next door to Gail on The I see you're really off in the Netherlands...
I hope you're saving...maybe in hard copy, all your should write a're a very good writer.

pinklea said...

I like the new look, Nora - green dots for the Green Stone Woman! It fits you well - till you decide you need another change, I guess.

I also like the way you deal so constructively with your sleeplessness. I know you're supposed to just get up and do something useful when you can't sleep, but lately I've been waking up at 3 or 3:30 in the morning, and I'm just tired enough that I can't be bothered get up, but I worry that I won't get back to sleep and I also know I have to get up in three hours anyway which makes me more anxious to get back to sleep and then about all kinds of other things - AUGHH!

I really should just get up and write like you do. It would certainly be better for me, even if I was a little tired at work later!

The Green Stone Woman said...

Patricia, I can imagine your shock, but I do things like this occasionally. Sometimes I need change in my life and something better and different.

Thank you for the compliment. I am a writer of small things. Blog posts and Six Sentences. Nothing big like a book. I have no such ambitions.

Frances said...

Your technique is very sensible and I should use it myself on those manic sleepless nights where thoughts buzz round and round out of control and out of all proportion, becoming more and more unmanageable. I used to read in years past, but nowadays, spending too much time online, I find my eyes are tired in the middle of the night. I shall try your suggestion and just get up and do things. Like you, I don't have routine work to get up for in the morning, so it doesn't matter when I sleep.
Thanks for the insight.

Maggie May said...

I don't think I am shocked by your new blog as you have had so many since I first started reading yours.
Very nice
You seem to have excellent coping strategies.
The soldiers are fine if they suit your mood!
have a good day. Could our lovely weather be on the change? Looks that way. X

John said...

A great post and a great "real" look - like the design...more of you and less of he photos others have taken...I swtil like the illustrative header photos you add to each post...

The Good Cook said...

What an honest post. I loved it. I too wake in the middle of the night and old thoughts and deeds and evil doings come into my head. Thank you for a useful exercise to get past them. I never thought to take only my part of the responsibility. I never thought to understand ...

What a great post. thank you.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Your new page is very nice indeed. I've been thinking about doing a new page for my blog too but can't make my mind up on the template, as you say, Blogger are limited.

Lying awake in the night often brings the negative thoughts to the surface, the thoughts your mind prefers to put to one side during the hours of light. Darkness triggers psychologies of the darker places to your soul. Best to get up and do something, rather than dwell.

Love CJ xx

Friend of the Bear said...

Hi Nora. Your new look will take some getting used to. I hate change! I'm just no good at it. And I loved the picture of the woman with the twig and leaf head- dress. Never mind. The writing is still just as brilliant.

I'm glad that you find change a positive thing.

Luckily I don't have bad thoughts about the past when I'm in bed. Bed is where I go to forget about everything. Sometimes I worry about things I have to do the next day though.

My upsetting thoughts occur during the day when I am up. I don't spend much time blaming myself over things but just being upset that my life is the way it is. Not very productive.

I'd do better to spend time trying to see how I can expand my life and make it more interesting, which may be what you are doing.

Best wishes,
Bearfriend xx

Jo Beaufoix said...

I loved this post. So full of hope even if it is tinged with sadness. You're right, living well is the best revenge. I love that quote lovely. And I do believe I owe you an apology for not picking up an ward. Forgive me, and thank you so much for thinking of me. Hugs.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh, and I realised I haven't updated you on my blogroll. Mad. I will do it now.

Wisewebwoman said...

To be aware of one's journey and to learn from the pain of the past is a true sign of healing.
Billy for you, dear friend!

Gail said...

New look!

Good thoughts, well written.

The past is past and we cannot change it so this moment is the best place to be.

VioletSky said...

Another side of you in a new design.

Lying awake at night is one reason I took a nighttime job - saves on those annoying thoughts swirling around my head. Doesn't work for everyone, and not alway for me.

MDJB said...

On the new look.
On coming to grips with past sins.
On continuing to dole out what others can take as advice if they want to, or just be entertained by.
On moving forward to completion of yourself as whoever you see yourself being.
And thanks for, knowingly or otherwise, shining a light on things I hadn't realized were all around me.