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November 4, 1998
a year ago

Hard Beauty and Boxes

It was hard.

Even harder than I'd feared. That was nasty and tough and painful. There was pain leaking everywhere in the church.

But, in the end, I talked with a long-time friend, bewildered by the lines that had been drawn by others, by thoughtless classifications into boxes that had no meaning. As bewildered as I was. We just talked, for a few hours, and I got to talk with the spouse as well when home from working the polls.

And in the end, they were relieved, and I was relieved, and it was worth it. More than worth it, I finally realized why I needed to get out of my shell, needed to touch more people. Because, when I do listen, when I do really listen and speak with compassion, it's helping to heal the pain.

Didn't get to sleep until 4 a.m. Spilled my brains, my thoughts onto paper. Felt the isolation soul deep, and realized that it couldn't hurt me anymore. I am alone. And, you know, that's okay? There's strength there, for me. A watchful otherness that sees because of the distance, but I also know that I can, now, get close and personal and touch and be in touch when I make the effort.

And even when I pulled that around me, I know I'm not really alone. There are so many people locked out of various boxes marked 'Us' it's silly to think of it as something unique in any way. Everyone is locked out, in some way. Just getting them to pull down their own boxes, walls, when they're scared and defending their righteousness... now *that* is the trick.

I was up, after the talk, walking Fezzik, talking with John, reading Bujold again. Reading helps get my brain off dizzying circles. But I dove a bit too deeply and found out it was 3 a.m. when I came out, then the brain started up again, so I had to dump it, and by then it was four. So I tried to get to sleep, and it took a little while, but I did and the alarm shattered my brain around 8:30.

Work is dead again today. No one's really back until tonight. And I'm drained past my dregs. My brain needed caffeine so badly, I went to Victor's this morning, and got a mocha on some of the Apricot syrup and it was very, very good.

What was better was to get in with friends again, on the MUSH's, and just talk about things, and get sympathy and support and the like. That was nice. Comforting in its own way.

Heh. A quote from Abraham Lincoln: "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

I'll get through all this. Already made a dinner date with Regis to go and bother her and her cats and mess with her DVD player. Toys are good for the soul. As are Jackie Chan movies.

It'll be good to be occupied. John arrives sometime tonight, late. I don't know when and I don't know exactly where. I can probably get him somehow. I'm just looking forward to being with someone completely unaffected by the church stuff. I doubt I'll be going to church for the rest of this month, if I can help it.

Yeah. I learned young that it's better, when lines are drawn, to simply walk away from the battle field. That when you yell, too loudly, that the lines are bogus, that the battle need not be fought, that the first arrows, on both sides, head right your way. I'm not sure if I'll have the courage to do the heads up, all in all. We'll see, but when I remember that I can help, I hesitate. Wonder. Maybe getting shot at will help. All I can do is say what I'd have to say. I can't make up their minds for them, and I know that some of 'em are going to be already closed to what I might say, because their minds are made up, without even hearing the evidence.

But, maybe, I have to try.

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