Gloria Gaynor….you made it all so simple! Being let down by people you don’t care about is Water off a Duck’s Back isn’t it? Being let down by People You Thought Were on Your Side….is a bit tougher. But…here we all are…. And there are so many Other People Out There…..who Step Up…..so here we all are ……Doing Much Better than Merely Surviving……
To get respect, you have to show respect don’t you? I think I’m respectful of others. I think that it’s often at the cost of respecting myself. The way this plays out in my life is that I ‘let people off the hook’ too easily, too often. When people make me promises, in my head I’ve already realised they probably won’t come through with them. I make excuses for them even before they let me down. Of course they have to ‘do their own stuff’….of course they have ‘their problems’….My childhood taught me that my needs were never going to be anyone’s priority. I find it very hard to put myself first. Mostly because….I don’t want to…..
I realised life is sad…decades ago. I don’t get over things. I get on with things. I like people who fuck up and still get on with it. This living thing. I don’t blame anyone who can’t. I try to like people who appear to be doing all right and feel the need to tell everyone about it. Because part of me realises that they are doing it to escape knowing…. that life is sad. I don’t believe ambition is real. Ambition would only be real if we knew what this was all about. Which we don’t. So I like people who get on with things without winning. Without trying to win ‘things.’ I like people who are kind inside but maybe aren’t able to show it. Why would anyone who has been kicked in the teeth over and over again show their vulnerability?
Having completed (if anything can be said to be ‘completed’….) another cycle of work, I’ve fallen into the inevitable depression (inevitable for me, I can’t speak for anyone else.) It doesn’t feel pointless. What it does is remind me that no one is invested in me, no one is sticking their neck out for me. And this I think is why I always feel free (or floundering maybe) I know that some people care, I know that some people think I am talented. But the freedom/floundering comes from knowing that I’m a mass/mess of dots that can be joined in any number of ways if people choose to. But no one really needs to make that effort, because no one is invested in me. Ergo, I am free/floundering.
I’ve been thinking how discovering one tiny thing, one obvious to anyone who has done it all before, can make a huge difference. Yesterday I had several files of poems (the physical kind, in poly-pockets. I like things physical) lurking, filed by date, 2012 to the present. I submit poems quite frequently, so the published ones are all highlighted so I don’t send them elsewhere; I note down where and when published, because that’s useful. But, now I’m getting a collection together, (it already has a home, so it’s a matter of deciding the order, chucking out or grabbing back others if I realise they don’t work together.)
So, the small but mind blowing discovery? Collate the poems like a book. Have them face each other, find where they are happy to partner up with another poem. So damn obvious, but what a difference it’s made 🙂
Sitting on her doorstep, the neighbour is forming traps out of rusty wire and baiting them with something that appears to be potato peelings, but could be a more tempting lure. I see the twisting, the pliars busily snapping. I imagine the blood reddening her fingers, the tetanus jab she didn’t have; her shying away from contact with anyone ‘in authority’ makes that inevitable. Her dog, a Golden Labrador, bred to respond, is quietened by a slap of her hands. My dogs are noisy and neurotic, silenced by the promise of treats. I keep coercion close at hand, in a jar.
For days at a time they’re the only living creatures I talk to; they’re easy to understand, uncomplicated, ready to forgive without bearing grudges. The neighbour isn’t so transparent. Whatever it was that turned her against me after the first couple of months, she isn’t letting on.