Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Madonnathon: "Ray of Light"

After the catharsis of an address to my readers, how better to follow it than a Madonna video; and so, having just parted the clouds of the past hundred days, what should appear but a Ray of Light? This was the song - from the album of the same name - which saw me through a much darker time than this...

Ten years ago on April 1st my grandmother died; that she was more like my mother than my mother was needs to be said. Additionally, she was my best friend. She used to piss me off from time to time, but then that's what I look for in a friend, and what I wouldn't give to have her pissing me off still. She still haunts me dreams, though; in fact, I dreamt about her last night. She smiled at me and said, "You're driving yourself crazy again. I wish I knew why you did that." I wish I did too, grandma, I wish I did too.

It was a confusing time was 1998; although I was in one of my rare relationships, my then-boyfriend was a cold fish from an emotionally abusive Christian family, and so I got no support from him. I was mad at the way the doctors had failed to treat my grandmother - diagnosing a gall bladder attack when in fact it was a heart attack she was having - and my mother's blind faith in them and the toxic little pellets they're so fond of dispensing meant that I grieved mostly on my own.

I might have been alright if I hadn't still been hurting from the death of Princess Diana the previous August, but as it was, it felt like yet another of those times when the universe decided to pile on Michael. As it is, it would take me almost an entire decade to pull out of it, and in fact, I may not be all the way out yet. No one ever fought as hard for peace of mind as I have, though, so I may come to it still.

Fortunately there was a frenzy of activity to keep me busy then; the day my grandmother died we'd moved across the hall into a larger, brighter apartment. With her death the decision was made to move to Vancouver, which we did. Through all the packing and cleaning and moving this album was more or less the soundtrack, and hearing it still takes me back to that time. For a long time I couldn't listen to it, for the painful memories it brought up, but lately I've taken to playing it again. Now it reminds me of movement and progress and change - all of which I need more than anything right now.
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2008: The First Hundred Days

Well, for all the fanfare which greeted the year it's been a frustrating tussle, at least for me.

I've been sick since the end of January, the principal underlying cause being neurosis; there's so much to write, so much to read, and so much to do that I spent most of February asleep on the couch. In my zeal to write my way out of my crappy job and my boring life I may have inadvertantly burnt myself out. Lack of exercise and an electrolyte imbalance conspired to make my body unable to do any of the things my mind had been screaming at it to do; this was followed almost immediately by a fallen arch in my left foot, which replaced a month of numb apathy with a month of excruciating pain.

While in my mind I realize that I only have a year or two more of this before I can relax a bit, I also realize that I may not be able to take a year or two more of this, and so will have to force myself to relax now, in order to allow both a time to rest and the time to look after basic life skills before the ability to do so is lost forever. Already I can feel myself pulling away from people in person, preferring the company of people on the Internet (although that tendency has always been one of my strongest).

Also on the minus side, I lost my first columnist; check out his new enterprise here. The Pop Culture Institute's loss is his own gain, and I wish Mr. Gagne the best of luck grappling with the impenetrable irrationalities of Christianism.

On the plus side, I couldn't be happier with the way my writing has been; I've written fewer posts, but the ones I've made have been longer, which is all a part of my plan to train myself to start writing for magazines at some point down the road. Also, there's been some innovation; despite its failure I quite enjoyed the virtual vacation, and am quite looking forward to writing another one, knowing now what sort of a commitment it is to write one. I'm also looking forward to meeting your needs better with the Reader's Choice feature, which so far is being won by Mr. Davey.

The next few months ought to see some great innovations, including interviews, fiction (both serialized and one-off), a second series of Vancouver Views, and of course the long-promised debut of the Poppets. So stay tuned!

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