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Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

Everything that gets written on this blog is stream-of-consciousness. I sit down, I start typing, and at some point I stop typing. That’s it. Which is why there are typos, which is why it is sometimes way beyond dull, and which is why these little posts are, at their best, unpolished and kinda rambly and, at their worst, incoherent babble. But so be it.

It’s interesting though, how little thoughts turn into one another, the process of weird association in the brain that leaves us thinking what we are thinking. Today, then, an example of how such strangeness happens, this being the true story of my own brain’s journey along a few meandering pathways. (more…)

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It is International Women’s Day today. Originally called International Working Women’s Day, it was an explicitly working class day of honour when first celebrated 100 years ago. And IWD remains of particular importance for the Left, one of those days to remember past struggles, to pay due homage to those women – strugglers and diehards – who continue to resist and continue to hope big. But something more, too – a day to simply recognize the unpaid and so often invisible labour performed by women around the world to sustain their communities.

Today, personally, a moment to remember some of the outstanding women I have known. By no means all of them, nor even those I have known the best. But a few who cross my mind this morning as I take a moment to reflect. (more…)

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Been on a bit of Jesus thing lately. Thinking about religion, considering the role it plays in our understandings of the world, its function as an ethical code, a yearning for something more, a mark of community boundaries and so on. And generally considering the importance that religious symbols and religious communities have had at various time in my life. (more…)

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I am a communist, and an anarchist, and – despite the fact that I have not the slightest hint of belief in God – a Catholic. There are some, I’m sure, who find the last particularly worthy of ridicule or contempt, but so be it. And many who will wonder at how I identify as both communist and anarchist at once, some simply puzzled and some presuming this must be indicative of a failure to understand what either term really means. Again, so be it.

This post is not ultimately not about me. But as I think about political engagement, resistance, the incredible risings across the Middle East and North Africa, the re-igniting of labour’s spark in Wisconsin, and recent conversations fireside with friends from a wide range of communities and associated great breadth of political struggles, I can’t help but reflect upon my own identity as a radical, where it comes from and where it finds me now. But for now, I am thinking about the human relationships of struggle, and how hard it sometimes is, for those of us whose lives are largely defined by our political struggles, to distinguish bonds of love and respect among our friends from bonds of alliance and support in our politics. Or, to frame it from the other end, how common it is for what we believed were friendships and loves to go up in smoke because in a particular moment a particular political or strategic disagreement seems insurmountable, seems a symbol of profound betrayal. (more…)

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Lots of babies being born these days. Over the past six weeks or so, no less than seven people I know have had or are due to have brand-new gorgeous babies to welcome to the world. And that’s exciting to me, cause I love babies and I love to see new parents celebrate and find this whole new joy and love. Welcome, to all of you, to the very best of the world.

My own baby ain’t so little any more. A teenager now, and well on the way from the last of childhood to the meat of adolescence. It’s a time of pride in who she has become, a time of remembering that little girl who is, in a very real sense, gone, and a time of reflection on my relationship with her, my role as a parent. There is much to be thankful for. But also much regret and a whole lot of struggle with inadequacy. (more…)

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Well, since for the longest time I have either written nothing here or only come on to rant about what’s pissing me off, it is so so good to be finally back and writing something joyous. (more…)

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I am writing now, for the first time, with a pair of reading glasses across the bridge of my nose – not the result of the slowly-diminishing eyesight one expects at this age, but surgery on some crazy early cataracts I developed. My eyes generally had worked fine, but as the cataracts grew over , it became increasingly hard to see anything but a white haze. That, thankfully, is gone now, but I am left with an artificial lens which cannot see clearly at close range. Takes some getting used to. But I am certainly glad to have the sight back generally.

Much new in the little world of my own head these days. Have been working like hell to get our basement suite finished so we can have full use of our own home – something that in recent weeks has been weighing ever heavier on my mind as well as Meg’s. But we see an end in sight, and are expecting – or, more to the point, will be insisting on – having that space occupied next week so we can finally get everything organized and make a place that is just ours.

My own anxiety has broken, which is awesome, and I am once again in bliss-land on the home front. So so nice. Woke this morning from a dream I did not remember, but overwhelmingly feeling thankful for Meg. Y’know, all of us find challenges in our relationships – often, if not mostly, not because of the relationships themselves but because of the shit we bring with us – the lingering insecurities and doubts that seem to pop up periodically. And it is easy, when those are active, to become fixated on them and overlook what is real. I certainly feel like I fell into that space for a week or so there. And so today was so glad to wake particularly thankful, and particularly aware of all the adjustments Meg has made in order to be with me.

In particular, I’ve been thinking about child-rearing, because it is the time of year that we need to shuffle agendas, manage schedules, and generally sort out how daily life will look for the next few months. That involves a good deal of negotiation with my ex, and means that for a time I am pretty much entirely consumed by Mica’s schedule, Mica’s plans. And Meg? She is awesome through it all.

I was thinking, as I woke this morning, what a huge adjustment it is to go from single life to not only partnership but to life with a child, and that being with me has meant that Megan be willing to re-make life expectations and life realities to accommodate step-parenthood. So easy for those of us who are parents to forget that what has become simply the norm for us is something profoundly new for our partners. And how important it is to remind ourselves now and then what our past choices mean for those we love, and how much those people must take on. Tension with exes. Regular periods in which we become entirely consumed by something in our kids’ lives, and zone out of relationship-land. Constant feelings of in-between-ness, as parenting-life and partnership-life sit not always-comfortably together, and regularly compete. Tasks and outings disrupted by lessons, homework, birthday parties etc. As parents, we just get used to this, and eventually it comes to simply be what we expect. But for those who take this on in order to be with us, it’s not second-nature but change, and that’s hard. And th fact that someone makes that change for us is pretty fucking incredible, and deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated.

Anyway, Meg is awesome, and she and Mica have both gone above and beyond in their efforts to adjust to a new family and a new living arrangement. And today, for some reason, I am simply very very aware of that, and super thankful for both of them. Today, I am not taking for granted all that they both do to make this work. Today, I am focusing on appreciation.

In other news, it’s back to work, and not as bad as I anticipated. A wedding this weekend for two of the loveliest people I know, which I am super-looking forward to, and a tinge of dread as the event is also likely to involve some requirement to engage with bits of history I don’t especially want to engage with – as is always the case with gatherings such as this. I am song-writing, and reviewing old stories and poems as I consider submitting to the judgement of publishers, inspired by Meg’s recent move in this direction. And getting excited about the year to come, and all that is in store for us – John Prine with my great love, a Motorhead weekend with some of our favourite people, an unexpected but very welcome visit from the much-loved and much-missed Red Chris – and  garden and outdoor space and travel and more.

A rough August, but a pretty damn good September on the horizon, it seems to me. A time of hope and appreciation, with a home that’s all ours, a kid entering her last year of elementary school, and a feeling that the world is full of possibility and potential. Not bad. Not bad at all.

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