Monday, March 27, 2006

Mind sweepings

I've been sitting here listening to Fleetwood Mac, reading blogs and just thoroughly enjoying myself. I've read so many wonderful things, and if I didn't have such terrible luck making successful links, I'd have a slew to put here. Gannet Girl, Globetrotter, Paula, Theresa, Lisa, Paul, so many others -- you all got to me tonight.

My explosion the other day has been good for me, though I know that it's time for the self-indulgence to stop. After all, there are bills, taxes, and groceries to consider. Valuing myself cannot stop, and it may get boring how many times I'll repeat that, but if I need the reminders, I'm going to give them to myself. Going into work today and hearing "Don't you look gorgeous!" got my day off to a good start. I know that it's partially superficial vanity and culturization but looking good has a real impact on how I feel. Other than while I do my hair and makeup, I tend to avoid mirrors. Running into myself unexpectedly is usually depressing and provides an all too easy excuse to start running myself down. Today though, I saw myself reflected in the glass doors of an office I was visiting, and I thought that I really did look as good as any other attractive woman out there, as large as I expected, but not in the bad way that my size usually affects me. I just looked good. It sounds so silly to put it in writing, but damn, it feels good, and that's what matters.

It also feels good to feel organized again and have goals and plans to accomplish them. I think that I'm almost ready to start putting into writing the larger, longer term and more personal goals that have so far only been dreams. I love seeing my daily lists scratched out at the end of the day, and I've noticed that I really am freeing up more time for the part of me that needs to be away from the agenda and reconnect with myself. My lists are also getting more realistic. They're becoming what they're meant to be, a tool to help me rather than a weapon to beat myself up with because I didn't get everything done. That's something else to feel good about.

This afternoon, I pulled into a Sonic, a drive-in burger chain, if you're unfamiliar with the last bastion of carhops. Much to my delight, there was a man in the red, black and green tartan kilt of the Clan Crawford standing by the patio tables. He also had a silver-studded black sporran, beret with clan badge, argyle socks with a small dagger tucked into one. He had played the bagpipes at a Scottish Rite Masonic funeral that afternoon, stopped at a convenience store afterwards, and a lady asked him to follow her to the Sonic and play Amazing Grace for her on his pipes. I'd planned a hasty lunch just to keep me going and got a concert instead. While the chicken sandwich was typical fast food, the piper in his kilt was a delectable treat.

My job keeps me on the road a lot, and as I drive and visit each town, it's hard not to notice that every place has its own character and its own feel. There are some places, average, ordinary, run of the mill places that just creep me out. They aren't the traditional, spooky places. They're not rundown areas known for high crime. Some of them are very aesthetically pleasing. I know truly good people who live in these areas. They're just places where the energy feels wrong, as if the very earth in that area had soured. I've long thought that people do leave their energy in a place even when they're not there. Real estate agents have told me that the homes of happy people sell faster than those of angry or depressed people. I've been in buildings where, even though the people seemed calm and pleasant, the atmosphere was completely tense. Now I wonder if maybe there are places where it's not the people, but the very land and atmosphere itself, that generate those negative feelings. The Winkler murder happened in one of those places. It's a pretty little town in a gorgeous setting. I have dear friends who live there and love it, but it has a history of violence and wildness, and I can feel that imprint. It's the same area where Buford Pusser (if you're old enough to remember the original Walking Tall movies) served and died as sheriff. At one point in the seventies, its per capita murder rate was higher than New York city's. Not far from there (or here for that matter) is the Shiloh battleground from the Civil War. Though I enjoy history and appreciate my Southern heritage, I neither revere nor scorn Confederate battle sites. I've been to several others without feeling this, but when I go to Shiloh, I know in my very gut that I'm on sacred ground. It has a feeling of hard earned peace as if it's a connection to something greater, ineffable and wonderful. I may be weird, but I like this type of weirdness.

The blog decided to publish itself, and Princess, the black and white cat has decided that the keyboard has had enough of my attention. Both are good signs that it's time to wrap this up. My day has been sweet with unexpected pleasures, and I have the pleasant fatigue that signals a good night's sleep. I wish everyone the same.


Blogger Theresa Williams said...

Cynthia, I am always amazed by your ability to organize. I have very fewl organizational skills, mostly, I think, because like poor Bartleby the Scrivener, "I prefer not to." :-) Back in the day, I used to make lists, but I no longer do that. I don't try to plan more to do than I can hold in my mind in a single sitting. Now, I see you notice you do mention making more time for your writing. I wonder what your thoughts are these days about your fiction? Your novel? You know, you don't have to have big blocks of time to do a novella, composed of vignettes. Just look at HOUSE ON MANGO STREET and see what I mean. You know I'm always concerned about your creative life! This is a beautiful post, Cynthia. So glad to know you're getting back on track after the explosion!

March 28, 2006 12:45 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

So much to commet on here!
1.) Why do intelligent, capable women feel they have to downplay or ignore their physical beauty? I am not beautiful, but I DO love clothes, I make sure my hair is done and my make-up is on before I go anywhere in public. Not to adhere to any society-imposed sex object thing. Just because looking good makes me feel good.
2.) If bagpipe concerts come with fast food these days, I'm going to start going back to McDonald's...:)
3.) I know exactly what you mean about the way places "feel." I am the least spiritually connected person in the entire world, but I get those instantaneous feelings from some places. There are places where despair is just palpable.

March 28, 2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger V said...

Cynthia, I`m so pleased at how well you`re feeling [and, writing]!

March 28, 2006 2:13 PM  
Blogger alphawoman said...

What a terrific post. So full of thoughtfulness and vitality and self-reflection.

March 28, 2006 4:48 PM  
Blogger Celeste said...

I am glad that the scatteredness(ok so it is not proper English!) of your life is geting back to normal. Sometimes it takes something new to wake us up to the fact that, hey we do look good.I get that feeling sometimes also, not only of being creeped out in a normal place but a sence of peace, sometimes in a place that should be creeping me out. Strange isn't it?

March 30, 2006 4:58 AM  

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