Luck is just weird. The only thing certain about luck is that it will eventually change.
The last time I posted to this blog was on Friday, March 7.
On that day, I bared my soul and pondered a string of bad luck that seemed to
be following me around over the past year.
I posted that blog at 2:46 pm.
Four hours later, I arrived at a friend’s 30th
birthday party to take photos for the event. I got out of my truck, pulled my
camera out of its case, walked around the back of my vehicle, and snapped this
photo of some party guests on the balcony…
This image captures the exact moment that my luck changed.
See the guy in the suit? I didn’t know it when I took this
picture, but within days, he would be my lucky charm and I would be his.
Today is his birthday, and I want him to know that “lucky”
doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel over the fact that he was born - and that
the universe saw fit to have the two of us collide.
Happy birthday, Fisherman. Thank you for reminding me that most of the time, you make your own luck.
As someone who tends to see the sunny side of life,
sometimes it’s hard for me to admit when the workings of the universe confuse
and frustrate me to the point of getting the blues. The thing is, I’ve had a
great, wonderful life, filled with more love and good fortune than any lowly
human being deserves. That said, it’s been a rough year for me, which is part
of the reason this blog has been on hiatus. Real life sometimes compels us to
ignore the thing that might help us the most. Go figure.
I am reluctant to list here the reasons why the last twelve
months have pretty much completely kicked my ass because a big part of me
doesn’t see the point in complaining. Life gives you what it gives you, and you
have no choice but to figure out a way to cope with it, survive, and carry on.
Still, I feel like I want to address this bad turn of luck that I’ve been
having, partly because I want to learn to embrace the dualities that come along
with being human.
When I blog here, or post something on facebook, I tend to emphasize
the positive things that are going on in my life while kind of brushing aside
any discussion of life’s challenges. I do this for a variety of reasons - I see
no point in complaining, I don’t like to whine or be negative, I want to be
careful with what I share publicly, etc. The problem is, by only presenting
the sunnier side of my life, I feel as if I might have created a lie of
omission. I wonder if my fellow humans might think nothing bad ever happens to
me, or that I don’t have periods of time where my life really goes off the
Which is just silly. We all have periods of time when life
goes off the rails, and when we don’t address that fact, we do a disservice to
ourselves and each other. We are all imperfect, every one of us, and every one
of us faces life’s challenges the best we can. We skip through the flowers when
it’s sunny and wade through the horseshit when it rains. Sometimes it’s pretty,
and sometimes it’s ugly, but whichever way it happens to be, BOTH parts are
part of being human, BOTH parts have value, and NEITHER part should be ignored.
So here I reveal to you my most imperfect of years:
In the last twelve months, my decades-long marriage fell
apart, and I find myself at middle-age having to learn how to be single and on
my own for the first time in my life. Because my ex and I got together when we
were teenagers, things that most people learn about being single when they are
in their twenties, I am clueless about in my forties. For example, I have never
had my own car, my own apartment, a credit card in my name only, or my own bank
account. Also, until this year, I have never spent the holidays or my birthday
on my own. THAT was an eye-opener.
Also eye-opening is the learning curve I find myself on when
it comes to navigating relationships with men. On a related topic, I’ve had to
learn to cope with having my heart broken. A couple times.
However, while the past year has been challenging as a
whole, the past couple of months have hit me particularly hard, mostly due to
two deaths. First, one of my dear old friends from a very happy time in my life
died of cancer. Then, a couple months later, one of my dear new friends - from
an equally-happy time in my life - died in a random car accident.
Finally, two weeks ago, I got laid off from my job.
Oh, and as a final little dig, on the same day I got canned,
I got the “It’s not you; it’s me” message from the guy I kinda liked.
NOTE: I don’t know
who is writing the song of my life right now, but I’d like to interrupt this
blog post in order to give the lyricist a critique: Don’t you think you should
quit relying on stereotypical events lifted from tired old blues songs and
cheesy country-western numbers? Seriously, it’s a good thing I don’t have a
horse right now, because if I did, it would surely have died.
In case you haven’t guessed, as I write this, I am laughing.
I don’t know why. Maybe my emotions have been so badly battered that my wires
are all crossed up and they’re missing appropriate cues. But I think it’s all kind
of funny in a horrible, absurd way. Plus, as I read these lines over, I’m
reminded of the fact that all of these events, stressful as they may be, come
with benefits. Yes, I’ve been incredibly stressed out about money and love and
the seemingly random machinations of the universe - but I am also writing more,
drawing more, painting more…
I’m learning a first-hand lesson on how emotional chaos
contributes to art - a lesson that allows me to mold mayhem into beauty, and
find the beauty in the mayhem I cannot mold. I’m being reminded that our time
here as humans is not limitless, and if you have the opportunity to be the
owner of your own time, that you should do something valuable with it. I want
to work just as hard for myself as I did for my paycheck because with any luck,
I’ll be having to work for a paycheck again sometime soon. Fingers crossed.
Until then, art. And that’s nothing to cry about. Until it is. Then cry all you want.
Butterfly image taken today at Big River. I'm not normally a pink and purple butterfly kind of person, but what can I say? This image kind of captures the Fragility of Things that I've been noticing a lot lately.
I’m sorry to have neglected you lo this past (almost) year.
To make it up to you, here is a picture of a Great Blue
Heron eating a gopher she has hunted down and killed in a cemetery.
I have seen Great Blue Herons hunting in wetlands many times,
spearing with their dagger-like beaks unsuspecting fishes or frogs as they swim
by. But a heron hunting gophers on dry land in a historic Mendocino cemetery? Well,
this was a first for me.
When today started, I had a simple goal. I was going to
photograph the first compelling thing I saw on my way to work, and I was going
to post it on my blog with a commentary. But my walk this morning was
relatively peaceful and uneventful, and as I passed one of the oldest
cemeteries in town on the way to my job, I was losing all hope of anything materializing
that was noteworthy enough to re-start this whole blogging business.
But then, less than fifty feet from my office, there she was,
a creature completely out of her element. A thing unexpected. A thing figuring
out how to survive in a strange environment. A thing adapting, learning,
growing... A thing killing rodents instead of frogs and fishes - rodents that
have sharp teeth. And stabby claws.
She was a thing killing things and eating things in a place filled
with killed things who themselves were being eaten by the things being killed
and eaten by her.