Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Answers and questions (and answers)

The weather, today, was simply brutal. Now, compared to what I lived through in Connecticut when I was going to school there in the 80's, back when we'd be grateful when it had warmed up enough to snow, it's nothing. But back then, I didn't have MS-provided cold sensitivity. Something about the wet, and the cold, and the cold, and the wet, was just excruciating. I told one of my students who was working with me after school on some project, that if I fall on the ground and look like I'm convulsing, I'm not--I'm just shivering. (Came a little too close to doing that, a time or two this afternoon.)

Before I received The Diagnosis, I came within a whisker's distance of being offered a job in Connecticut. I didn't get it, and at the time I knew it was the right thing to have happen; but OH boy, given what I went through today with rain and temperatures just in the forties, not getting that job was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.

One of the things my doctor told me yesterday was that the Fire doesn't "just go out." Something puts it out. So, part of my job this week is to pay attention to what is extinguishing my Fire. Taking a brief TV break, I wandered from Good Eats (one of my favorite non-animated shows) to the Daily Show, which has in the past been very much a favorite... but now, I think it actually makes me unhappy, because I hear in great detail about the political nonsense that's going on. And I thought I felt a little something... going out, for lack of a better word.

In the past, I've tried to do "news fasts" before, and I've always backslid, but I think now more than ever it's really, really important not to look at anything political. At all. Not even "sort of. Not at all. That's not going to be the whole thing that's wrong, but it's definitely a component... and I have more than enough of my own problems (and my own idiocy) without borrowing other people's problems, or watching and taking affect from other people's idiocy.

And the question that keeps arising... what makes my heart joyful? What makes me happy? One of my fellow MS bloggers was fortunate in finding her answer, but I definitely haven't found mine yet.

For those of you who remember Babylon 5, it was the Shadows' question: What do you want?

Seems like such a simple question... Now, I know I said I haven't found it yet, and I was just about to say, "I don't have an answer;" but as I was typing that very sentence, I realized... I do.

I want to laugh. I want to laugh like I laughed in college. I was surrounded by very smart and very funny people. And we laughed. And we worked our asses off. And we did some pretty amazing things, things that forced our minds to expand in the process of doing them. Creative things. Very creative things. But most of all... we laughed.

That's what I want. I want to be around really smart people, pushing ourselves intellectually and creatively, engaging in work to create really wonderful, high quality things (whatever those things might be)... and I want to laugh.

I've been alone much too long. I've been a missionary in my own way, and done good works, and changed people's lives and wonderful things have come of it. I'm glad I did it, every minute of it. And there's still a lot of my work that needs to be done solitarily; in some ways, I'm at my best when I'm left alone to create. But I think I need to be around my own people, for a change... and also for a change, to work with people not below my level, but at my level. And above my level. People that are wicked smart, generous, kind, and really funny.

Because what do I want? I want to create. To transform myself in the creative process, and to create transformative things. To be around smart, capable, people whose energy is, for lack of a better word, lofty; and with whom I can really communicate, and in so doing catalyze changes in my own thinking. And, most of all... I want to laugh.

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