A Thriving Imagination

I recently rediscovered Instagram and, in doing so, the world of “micro videos”. It’s keeping me creatively occupied during this particularly trying time, offering bursts of talent, like shops giving out tiny samples of perfume or food.

It’s the creative flavour of the month, a needful outlet; a challenge, to encapsulate, in a mere 15 seconds, the essence of a song and/or performance.  A calling card, of sorts. Maybe these bite-sized music videos will catch the right ear, or maybe they’ll collect virtual dust like so much of what I do…but, for now, they’re a fun way for me to express.

I say challenge up there, like it’s a good thing. In artistic and (specifically) musical endeavours, this is so. In general, however, I don’t like a challenge. Life overwhelms me at the best of times; I’m just not good at it…this living thing. I struggle. But, art…

I may not be able to handle the struggle, but what I can do is make things of beauty and value in answer to the struggle…not an answer for, but in answer to.

Life is cruel. I hurt. I cry. And then, I create.

Maybe, just maybe, I win after all.

For Better or Worse

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Anniversary presents are nice, but it’s the every day giving that makes a marriage.

When you make those vows, you’re so hopeful that there will be more health than sickness and more richer than poorer. Life often has other, crueler, plans.

Often growing up means growing apart, too. Or, worse, you refuse to grow at all. Problems arise when one or both can’t accept the person as they really are and keep trying to make them into whatever fairytale vision they had for the other on that vow-day.

Marriage ain’t for everyone. For it to really work at all, through all the shit life throws, requires the one thing this world lacks so greatly: love. But, people’s idea of what that is is so far from what it really is that it’s no wonder problems abound as they do.

Convention sometimes must be thrown out the window. Accepting the reality of your partner and supporting them in whatever self-discoveries they make. Allowing exploration instead of fearing it.

Today is my 11th wedding anniversary. I’m ill and we have no money to celebrate. Yeah, that sucks, but if I had to choose between the big, yearly, token gifts and the every day gifts I receive from a man who I know loves me, I’d go with the latter every time.

He brings me coffee in bed every morning because he wants to soften the blow of another morning coming.

He makes me laugh and laughs at my jokes.

He still makes love to me. Not out of some obligation. But because he still really wants me.

He ignores people who say he’d be better off without me (including me when I’m the one who says it).

He supports and celebrates my music.

He takes care of me, even though it’s not easy being a caregiver to one so ill,  and does it without making me feel like the mistake/waste of space I so often feel I am.

Expensive gifts are nice…but they can’t replace these priceless ones.

The Importance of ‘Getting It’

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When faced with the very real possibility of becoming homeless, the threat of losing my piano was an overwhelming and thoroughly devastating thought. And, was it not for a friend who told me that, if we have to go into emergency accommodation, she would keep my piano for me, I am sure I would not have been able to prevent my breakdown.

See, this friend gets that my piano is not an optional possession. She said to me, “Not having your piano would be like losing an arm, like not having part of yourself.”

Exactly.

Some people could not understand my distress at being faced with this loss…of, what to them, is just a thing. They said things like, “Well, it will be different, but you will deal.”

No. No, I would not “deal”. My piano isn’t a want; it is a need. And, life being the bastard that it is, sometimes we don’t get what we absolutely require. Sometimes we lose the necessary, the very necessary. And, when this happens, it is not possible to simply deal.

This friend of mine was the first person, other than my husband, to acknowledge the gravity of the matter. Her offer and comfort mean so much to me. More than that, it’s her understanding that is so very precious to me.

Could I live without my piano? Could I survive? Well, fucking hell, of course, I could. But, survival is very overrated. A loss like that would mean being forced to go on in a grief-ridden, crippled state. A fate very much worse than death. That I will not be forced to do that at this time is a relief beyond my ability to describe.

Well meaning people don’t help when they say, “you’ll survive”. The only thing that helps is understanding and a willingness to, well, help. That is compassion. That is friendship.

Watch “Is It Me You’re Looking For? (The answer-phone message for those of us whom phone calls make ill)” on YouTube

I’m not really sure if my inability to cope with phone calls is more to do with the avoidant personality disorder or with the social anxiety. Whichever or both, I don’t do phone calls. And so…this is my new answerphone/voicemail message.