America, Day 10

America, Day 10

Woke up to a beautiful morning and…more problems with the Internet. Sigh. Perhaps Wi-Fi really IS the bottom rung of Maslow’s pyramid. It seems we can get little done without it.
More reflection, of the good kind this time. Much deep pain is being cleansed on this trip and I can feel it both spirit and body. I did not know that the shadows cast were this long, but I have faith – as I have had since forever – that no matter how great the darkness, the light is greater.

Resisted the urge to go back too much into reverie and past memory. My sense is now that it is the future that will illumine what came before. We need to go forwards to go back, and back to go forwards.

Balance, balance, always balance. 静あり,動あり。(stillness in motion、motion in stillness)

( 闇あるところ光あり、悪あるところ正義あり。)

Where there is darkness, there is light, and where there is evil, there is justice. Whoever would have thought that Rom Stol’s words would be such succor to me, a full 15 years after I first heard them. Well, I’ve lived a life full of anime and games, and I do believe it shows.

More poetry.

I have come to another river, it seems
and this time I ford it in joy and gratitude
rather than tarry overlong in waters of
anguish past.

My sword which has served me so long and so well
is beaten into not into any plowshare
but instead turned to reflect that eternal light that shines
a golden beam strikes the edge and splits into
a cascade of rainbows that shines on all Creation.

What pain still remains
I offer up in supplication
It has taught me all it can
may the Universe make better use of it
than I ever could.

This no editing thing is real. I think I’ll keep with it.

Another attack of the past in the morning. This has happened so many times I am well aware of what it is now…古傷の残像 (the afterimages of old wounds)

Let it ride, let it go. Resist to urge to tell everyone and everything about it. You know you can handle it on your own. The difference between the true sharing between friends, and the pathological desire to be rid of whatever is troubling you NOW.

Had a good talk with D about psychotherapy in general. We touched on a lot of issues, but most specifically psychology’s past focus on pathology. Though that is changing – especially with Martin P Seligman’s positive psychology and other practitioners’ differing perspectives. What we focus on becomes us. There has been too much been said about the bad, and not enough about the good.

Though that being said, I still remember more than 10 years of my life in which pathology was the mainstay and the centerpiece of everything. As Shakespeare might say, how it doth raven up and consume your soul. It had to be dealt with because if not it would have destroyed me. Now is the time in which attention can be given to the positive and not just the negative.
Therapy isn’t life…therapy is what we go through in order to GET to life. Therapy has been part of my daily life for as long as I can remember, but it shouldn’t be the main focus. I’m happy that I’ve reached a point where it isn’t! Yes, you can have too much of a good thing.

Also the issue of diagnosis. I was quite surprised to learn that in the UK the DSM is NOT treated as the Holy Bible. For the less psychological of my readers :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSM-5

I wiki, so you don’t have to!

I guess it stands to reason because they have the National Health Service and as such don’t need the diagnostic criteria as much for insurance reasons. The world is made up of so many things, don’t you think?

Diagnosis only goes so far, it doesn’t present the full picture. What the world calls depression or anxiety has so many factors and permutations. I’d like to talk more about it here but actually, most of what I want to say about that is in other upcoming blog posts, in my book and my poetry. So I’ll at least attempt to keep this travel-centred for now.
Went on a tour of old Sacramento and the Crocker Art Museum. And many good pictures were taken.

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The Universe, and everything in it.

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Looks like some kind of boss monster doesn’t it?

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Ah, time. Since I’m dealing with it, I thought I’d take a picture of it.

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The plaque on the wall spoke about children caught in war. I know all about that, in a different way than most perhaps. It’s a good picture.

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D remarked that it reminded her of The Scream. Obviously someone didn’t like rush-hour traffic.

Many references in this picture. Gotta catch’em all!

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Biohazard switch as art. Ultra post-modern.

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These are made out of clay. Amazing ain’t it?

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Very Nighthawks. I like it.

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Mexican plate used for the Day of the Dead.

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More Mexican art. What do you expect, it’s California!

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Inspired by children’s books. I like it.

I like this sign.

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I particularly like this piece. It looks different from every angle. Here’s a video which I hope captures it.

All this museum going reminds me of my last travelogue to Japan, in which I spent plenty of time in museums. I’m going to have to drag that out and reblog it sometime.

Ai Wei Wei’s bronze heads were the highlight of the moment, and so we went there to see them. They’re quite a spectacle.

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My sign, the Dog.

Though I must say that a rather unkind thought popped into my head – well, I could totally make these bronze heads if my father was one of China’s most celebrated poets!

We can’t pick our parents. I’m reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, in which he makes the point quite clear that behind seeming success is actually often a LOT of advantages. Parents, money, connections, being in the right place at the right time…and sometimes just being plain lucky (or unlucky)

So I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. None of us should be. We just play the hand we’re dealt the best we can, and I’m determined to turn jokers into aces at any given opportunity.

More pics of old Sacramento, which my hosts were gracious enough to take me around.

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An architectural marvel know as…Big Pink. A rather apt name.

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The store known only as Bagel. What a name.

It was time to go back and prepare dinner. 2 and a half hours of cooking madness.

The knife I used was a real beauty. I spent like a full minute simply slicing something, marvelling at the sharpness of the edge, slicing it again and sighing in pleasure. If I had knives like these I’d cook everyday! They also cost a few hundred bucks, so I’ll stick with the one at home which is like…9?

I’ve prepared everything before so it was pretty easy to do. Pics of the food because, well, isn’t that what everyone does these days?

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Everyone liked the beef, including me. One of my oldest recipes which has gone through a few revisions.

Then it was time for dessert, which I don’t have a picture of.

I’m going to relate with some embarrassment that I got a bit tipsy at my own dessert. They are oranges soaked in cointreau with sugar, and they really pack a punch, even if they are soaked for only half a day as opposed to a full day.

It was just when D was commenting that the fruit masks the impact of the liquor, which can really sneak up on you, that it hit…speak of the devil, as they say. I had to go lie down.

I may just relate a bit of what it felt like.

I feel fear. I’m scared that I will have a panic attack, but I know that isn’t me. Thoughts arise – so many thoughts. Should I hang on? Should I focus on something and block everything else out? What if I get sick? Will I cause trouble to others? I want to talk, to participate, but I don’t exactly feel that good…

I know where this is coming from – the past, and my mind. It doesn’t wish to feel and so it shunts off everything into. I’m scared that I will throw up, or that I will pass out…but frankly I won’t, and if those things happen it’s not the end of the world. So I simply let myself ride it through…slowly does it.

I really REALLY don’t enjoy feeling this disoriented. And people do this for fun? Though I guess most people don’t have my traumatic past to contend with when they get drunk. My mother got terribly drunk more than once and I had to deal with it, which put me off drinking.

So I went to sit on the couch. D was pretty conscientious and knew exactly what to do – which was to leave my alone, refuse my request to hold my hand (probably a good idea) and give me water to drink. She’s probably seen tipsy people before.

As new experiences go this was pretty interesting though. I also got a better gauge of my post-dissociative, post-medication, post-rebirth tolerance for alcohol…which is kind of low. Something to remember. I guess I’ll just go back to drinking water for now.

My hosts had 2 guests over and they talked a bit about their son, who is incredibly talented and successful. Amazingly enough did not get super envy attack. I guess my healing is pretty on track.

The end of another long day. See you all tomorrow.

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