Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Settling Down part II: Or, A Resolution of Sorts

I haven't been posting a lot, and for that I apologize. My brain, as I said yesterday, has been kinda full; and I've had issues sitting at the forefront of my mind that I couldn't talk about, but were big enough that nothing else could wiggle out past them.

Over the long, cold winter I realized that I simply cannot afford to live by myself. The business is growing, but not fast enough, and I need to share expenses somewhere.

I didn't have a whole lot of options, either. I couldn't move in with Tim -- Ray was adamant that he didn't want me living with them (and to be honest I wasn't thrilled with the idea either), and since Ray can't live on his own, that meant that he couldn't move out for me to move in unless he went back to Kentucky to live with his parents.

I didn't want to find a roommate -- I'm rather picky about who I share space with, and I was extremely doubtful that I could find someone who wouldn't immediately drive me nuts. I do have some friends in Tennessee who I could probably live with for a while -- really awesome folks, too -- but it's not a part of the world I'd want to live in, and I don't know the local SCA folks who are a large part of my income, and it's humid

Or, I could move back in with my mom. Positives: Familiar part of the world, and I have a lot of customers and potential customers there. Negatives: The East Coast. Humidity. My mom. I love her lots and lots, but she doesn't understand why I don't take the easy way out and just be like her and my sister. (I think it doesn't occur to either of them that I'm just like my dad -- he was a guy, after all, and I'm a girl so I have to be different, and I should probably stop that rant right there before I get annoying.) yeah. I gently explained to Tim what was going on, thus basically putting him into a position where he was gonna hafta pick between me and Ray. Which I hated, but what was I gonna do?

He didn't want to. Well, who would? I don't understand his attraction to Ray but it's definitely there. And so far as either one of us could see, he was going to lose one of us.

And I waited on tenterhooks for someone else to make a decision that would affect the entire course of the rest of my life Can I tell you how much I hated that?


As it turns out, Tim has talked to Ray, Ray has talked to me, and we're all moving in together. Probably even buying a place. It means I get more time with Tim, and it means that money isn't near the worry that it's been, and it means that I don't have to move back in with my Mom.

It also means that Tim's decision is still down the road somewhere. And that I have to live with Ray, and his not cleaning, and his emo days, and his not doing anything most of the time.

I've told Tim that I will not help him carry Ray. I've also told him that he should stop carrying Ray, that Ray will never grow up unless he's given reason to, and who would grow up if everything they need and want is simply provided them without effort? But there's nothing I can do there other than advise.

But I'm not doing his laundry or cleaning up his messes.

...I'm trying to look on this positively. Ray has improved somewhat. He's had some realizations that he really does have to take some responsibility for his life. He's started taking art and sculpture classes and found his passion -- and is slowly realizing that he doesn't suck at it. (By which I mean anyone else, even 'I'm no monkey but I know what I like' me, can see that he has amazing potential.) He is, in other words, finally using his talent, not just burying it in a field somewhere.

...we shall see. We're negotiating ways where I will not have to deal with Ray's messes. If his room and his workroom are a pit, I don't care, as long as they're not so bad that something might fall on the cats. I just want to live somewhere reasonably tidy, and not because I'm doing all the cleaning.

We've already worked out how to keep him from eating his way through all of my little treats and lunches and leftovers. We've decided that everyone will be responsible for their own laundry, so that I don't have to wash his underwear just to get a clean bra or two. We're working on ways for him to carry his own weight, which I, frankly, think will be about the best thing in the world for him -- along with the sculpture.

And I think in the end it'll turn out okay. I'm not sure how it'll turn out -- Ray might drift off elsewhere, leaving me happily with Tim; I might get tired of waiting, or the wanderlust might set in, and I might sell them my part of the house and set off in an old school bus or converted horse trailer or the like. Tim might actually choose one of us. Heck, we might all live happily ever after together -- who knows?

A house, a home; settling down.

This post does a good job of expressing something I've been thinking about for a while now.

Two thoughts collide and conflict in my mind. One is that I love travelling -- I love putting Loiosh's harness on, packing the last few things into the car, and going. The wind in my hair, singing along to the radio, waving for truck drivers to blow their big airhorns -- driving through Winslow, Albuquerque, Cheyenne, Nashville. New lands, new people, a new world to wake up to every morning.

The other is that I'm almost the hell forty, and it's time to settle down. Time to stop moving from one apartment to another, never quite unpacking, never quite sure what's going on next. Time for a house, a garden, a home, somewhere that's mine. Time to put down roots.

Collide and conflict they do, these thoughts, don't they? Unless. Unless.

Unless I work up the nerve, the courage, and (let's face it) the money to go on the road. To boondock, become a gypsy. To carry my home with me, like a snail with its shell.

(I'm all with the cliches today, aren't I? Well...and with reason. Everything I'm talking about reaches way down into the archetypes we all carry within us, that define us. Who hasn't, at least once in their childhood, wanted to run away to join the circus?)

Indeed, at times I've felt that this might be a part of my calling from God. I can see myself a priest -- but I can't see myself going to the same building every Sunday morning, greeting the same congregation, going through the same routine. For the folks who need that, it's available, but for those who need something else...not so much.

Call me the Epistle to the Weird. I see myself doing Mass in city parks, at rest stops, at craft shows before the masses show up. In RV parks and national parks, faire parking lots and SCA events. For the people who won't go into a church, the ones who are convinced they won't be welcome (and who are all too often right), and the ones who hadn't ever considered the idea.

I see being able to visit my mom more than once every couple of years -- in fact, being able to visit most of the people I know far more often than I do now. Being able to have my Chocolate-kitty with me all the time, not just when I'm home. Not having to shut down the online shop when I'm on the road, or ask people to keep an eye on it for me -- because I'll always be able to create new products, to pack and ship them from wherever I am. To be able to do shows all across the country.

At the same time...

I see that garden. I see a house in an old, well-established neighborhood where I can get to know the neighbors and live there for the rest of my life. I see birdhouses and trellises and maybe a couple of chickens. Hanging plants in the windows, a small craft room with a sewing machine and a stack of fabric bins, a well-stocked library.

A place where I can spend the rest of my life with Tim.

...and I just don't know.

More tomorrow, along with a resolution (of sorts) that I know Mother Laura at least has been waiting to hear about for like two weeks. Sorry! Brain's been kinda full.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Episcopal Priest Barbie

...I am NOT kidding.

The Rev. Barbie was created by the Rev. Julie Blake Fisher for a friend, the Rev. Dena Cleaver-Bartholomew, as a gift to celebrate Rev. Dena being called to her first parish.

I'm torn between OMG AWESOME and being a little grumpy about the unrealistic expectations Barbie always brings with her. I mean, not even priests usually manage to look like that, and they're quite as vulnerable to society's views on beauty as the rest of us.

But...minor quibble, cos I think in this case the Rev. Barbie (of St. Barbara’s-by-the-Sea in Malibu) is far more likely to inspire women to investigate a call to the priesthood than make us angst about our appearance. And anyway, she's right with me from a liturgical and ritual standpoint -- she even comes with a miniature thurible!

So I'm gonna come down on the side of Rev. Barbie being SERIOUSLY AWESOME, and now I kinda want one to play with too.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Another one...

The blog of a sister parish to the ECC church I go to. Specifically, in this case, allow me to link you to this lovely poem by Fr. David Kenney of the Church of St. Augustine. Allow me to excerpt...

While I plotted my revenge on
the latest offenders,
who had jolted me
or jilted me
or joked about me
or jammed me up
something terrible,
and while I devoted hours
of consciousness to
ruminating about
their ruin,
God noticed that my
conscience was tweaked,
and my heart was not
given over to this resentment,

and God smiled.

...I'm terribly fond of this guy already.