Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Imperfect Circles: A Letter to a Passing Year

    Hello, 2014.
    Seems you're in your last week, ready to pass.
    I'd mourn but your memories are as close to immortal as we'll ever be.
    And we can't abandon your memories -
    - or the fact that we've lived through you -
    even as we cheer your end. You happened, so I might as well acknowledge your existence.
    Okay, stop. Wait a sec.
    Can I admit - can I just say - that you were kinda mean?
    I think of plane crashes and ISIS and World Vision and Ferguson and Peshawar - a waterfall of misery unleashed its fury inside you. I'm sure no year was much better, but certain individuals were alive in other years that aren't now because of the world being screwy and it's kinda cruel, you know? I wish you could have felt the pain, but you're a year, a chunk of an inanimate dimension I'm personifying, so I guess you can't.
     On a personal level, you're the year I lost my Mimi to a little bitch called vascular dementia. And I ... I really miss her.


    You're also the year I survived graduated college and started a PhD program in the ever intoxicating and intimidating organic chemistry.
    You're the year I experienced abandon and joy and people and dare-I-hope God in the Middle East. The year I started this blog and met some pretty cool people online.

    You're the year I embraced people.

    You're also the year I was blessed with Sushi and Myshkin, saint and sinner kittens, so that counts for more. Ahem.

    I started you so depressed I wanted to die. I'm ending you so depressed I feel as if scorpions are eating me from the inside out. #improvement.
    No, really, it is an improvement. At least I felt the light for eight months before the depression sucked me back.
     Because I experienced the light your year, I can't circle back to where I was. Your ending closes an imperfect circle and I'm thankful.

    You're ending and I think I'm supposed to feel super-hopeful and psyched and I don't.
    I do, however, feel like hanging out on ze Adelaster for a little while longer, however long and however infrequent that while may be.
    Who knows, I might be entering this new year curled up on the floor of a tiny bathroom, but at least I'm entering it.     
    Nothing may feel much different. But I remember the light and there are two kittens by my side.

Happy New Year and I love you all.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Don't We See 145 Faces?

    Yesterday happened, guys.
    Yesterday happened, and 132 children died.
    Do you understand that 132 children, and at least 13 adults, are dead? For what - going to a school funded by the military?
     And I'm heartbroken. Pissed, that too (sorry for the language, but "ticked" doesn't work here).
     I'm about to be harsh here. But I am furious and heartbroken, and You said "I am near to the broken hearted," so I will take you up on that offer. I will throw all my words and anguish out because they can never be enough.
     I want to rage and scream and claw at the sky and demand,
     Do you see this, God? Or have You blinded Yourself already?
     Did you hear their prayers, or did the name 'Allah' render You unable to care just like, oh, I don't know, ninety percent of Christians I know.
     I hope and believe You're strong enough to take my doubts and fury, God, so why don't I just lay it on right now:
     Everyone lamented Sandy Hook, but few give a damn when it's Pakistani Muslim children.        
    The media conversation has already turned to 9/11 comparisons, and a review of Pakistani military offensives against the Taliban. No time to grieve.
    They were kids. Whether American or Pakistani or any nationality - which, really, what is a nationality but a name and a border - they were innocent and had their precious, beloved lives stolen from them.
    Are You grieving with their parents and friends? Are You holding the hands of the ones who are left, scared and injured and in pain I cannot imagine?
     Why the bloody freaking hell didn't You stop them?
    And why don't more "progressive" American Christians, so fond of denouncing nationalism and Islamophobia, speak out? Or at least mention grieving with these people? Don't they see 145 faces? 
    Or do they just see Christmas lights and the virgin birth debate that hardly matters when 145 people are slaughtered in a school?
    Look, I get that prayers are quiet and you don't have to shout your grief from the rooftops to be sincere (maybe you often shouldn't). But maybe, just maybe, a show of solidarity and empathy should happen.
    See their faces. Lament, light a candle, say a prayer, cry out - do something, please. In solidarity, in grief, in love and pain for our brothers and sisters of Peshawar who lost 145 lives too many.

*Much of this is taken from a previous conversation with the lovely Kate Evelyn Danahy.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I Am the Destructivist

    Hey y'all, hey. I only lost part of my soul to finals, meaning I'm able to write again. So let's start with something fun - like The Face of Evil.
    The Face of Evil? How is that fun?
    It's fun when evil is a cat, that's how.
    Given my position as a perpetually insane organic chemistry grad student, if you remember last August I got my little Sushi a brother: Myshkin.
    Secret Identity # 1: The Destructivist.
    Whether it's climbing the wall, swinging from the curtains, ruining each and every decoration I've put out, burrowing under the covers to attack my feet at 3 am, or eating my homework three times, Myshkin loves destruction. In fact, you might say he is in love with destruction. 

    Secret Identity # 2: The Face of Evil.
    Evil has never looked this cute. When I first met him, he was a tiny four month old huddled in a corner of a cage in a rescue home. Shy and sweet. 
    A timid personality, I was told.
    "Purrfect!" said I, naive and innocent.
    Inwardly, I'm sure that's when he started smirking.
    He hasn't stopped since.
"I may be little but Imma clog up your sink, Mommy."
    Secret Identity # 3: Ultron.
    I've never seen a cat scream for food louder than this kitten. Every morning when my alarm goes off, he squeals with delight - and pounces on my chest.
    (He's a good masseuse).
     We then proceed to cuddle until he decides to run into the kitchen, and then and only then may I feed the hungry barbarian.
     As he yowls and Sushi jumps up and down, as I scoop kibbles into their bowls, I tease him that he's a classic villain.
     With furs.
What flavor is this, debit or credit? Nomnom.
     But all in all, he's a sweet, attention-craving love. And life would be super boring without him.
I love my brofur, Sushi.

    There are...no strings...on him...