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Musings of a party worm

I write because I must. I create because I have to. I need this, I need to create something, I'm crawling inside myself.
3 days ago. June 12, 2024 at 12:18 AM

I was meditating in the morning after work, listening to the thrushes and cardinals, watching the woodpeckers chase off sparrows, and practicing my vocal control and pitch by imitating different bird calls and trying to match their rhythms. It is a surprisingly enthralling and incredibly difficult thing to practice. What comes to the birds so naturally and clearly, even the younglings that are only now seeing their first summers, seem to communicate loudly and proudly with such effortless skill that I cannot help but be envious.

 

There are two woodpeckers today. A redheaded female, and a larger male with a white patch of feathers on his forehead. They would alternate spots in a particular set of pines that those birds always seem to like for some reason; I often wonder if it's for the bugs drawn to the crevices of the bark, or that they enjoy the taste of the pinesap and all the health properties it can promote. The way that they go about their business has always seemed strange to me since I was a young boy. How do they choose where to go, which trees to tap, when to fly off and when to stay their ground? Not too much later in the day I saw an eagle of some kind (I'm no ornithologist) float to the top of a light pole where she endured a few thrushes mobbing her angrily. They would bash and peck and pester her, but she took the brunt of it without trying to flee or attack back. For some reason it reminded me of an exchange with a former submissive.

 

I had been disciplining my canine puppy for biting out in the yard while my sub was indoors working, and when I came inside she mentioned almost as an aside that she was jealous of the dog. I was a little taken aback by the abruptness of her observation and pressed her to explain, but she wouldn't, and I didn't press further. Knowing her history of abusive partners I interpreted her pining for discipline as flirtatious but lacking in self-awareness, and in that judgement I found myself surprised that I was totally unable to give her the trust to open that pandora's box without it somehow coming back to bite me. I suspect part of it was my ego getting the better of me, assuming that I knew her thoroughly enough to see the limits of her self-awareness, and I made the decision to wean her off of violence and dehumanizing treatment in play to give her time to reach a more calm and safe mental state. Did I make the right choice?

 

Should a man or woman, acting as a dominant, force their partner to communicate and face difficult conversations directly? Or is space and separation what is needed to heal deep wounds? Make no mistake, I have no regrets about actions and decisions that could have been mistakes. Not standing in defense of actions I didn't agree with, not being more forceful or disciplinarian.

Discussions about difficulties rarely ended amicably or with any kind of growth and I am left now wonder if things might have been different if I had stood my ground and made her stand with me, even if in opposition. If I had simply said I felt goaded into violence and stated that was not appropriate, would we have been able to have real conversations rather than storming off and accepting insults? Letting my distrustful nature get the better of me over the two years certainly fed other issues that culminated in our separation. I was unwilling to risk anything tangible for someone I felt incapable of trusting with my life.

 

All these musings as I watched these tiny birds mob an eagle desperately, furiously. Leave this place! they seemed to be saying. We don't want your kind here!

 

I made many mistakes during all of my relationships in trying to keep them alive, or resuscitate them. I believe that is unavoidable from what I have observed of human life over the years. To be human is to err, no? But I would never take them back; ever choice that does not pan out provides insight into the person I wish to be in the aftermath. My attempts to be vulnerable myself were not met kindly, and for some time I felt the need to shut everything out, but I can't regret making the attempt even as I come to deeper understanding about how my other choices fueled those failures.

 

The eagle finally took off after a while, and the thrushes looked like tiny specs of black and gray dotting the sky as they dispersed, chittering their victory cries as they left the premises. I sat and watched the skies and the treetops for awhile more until the mosquito became unbearable nuisances, and my ankles and knuckles were dotted with horrible little mounds filled with itching discomfort. As I get older and learn more about the world, about people, about myself and all my strengths and limitations, I realize more and more just how terrifying and difficult communication is. But I know I can impress myself with my ability to adapt and grow. I hope this year to no longer fear the risk of failure, or of injury. I don't regret not giving my trust easily. I look forward to giving my trust to someone who earns it with compassion and the openness for understanding and dialog.

 

I remember a fight between roommates that I sat out, opting to let it play out without intervention. My ego tells me that my silence should have been a lesson to them to act less childishly. In retrospect, I can now see how if I had taken a side, perhaps I could have potentially deepened my connection with one friend, maybe earning their higher regard. Regardless, the next time I find myself in a similar situation, I know that I will be more adult.

4 days ago. June 11, 2024 at 1:42 AM

Embracing the Unknown and simplicity 

***

 

In all my years on this beautiful planet of ours, I've never camped outside. I tried once when I was seven or eight, sleeping in a cousin's tent in the front of their wooded property with a few of their friends. I got about an hour into the sun setting before I got scared and went back inside to the safety and creature comforts that were familiar to me. I've never forgotten that day - How I let my fear get the best of me and my unwillingness to explore the unknown. 

 

I spent my first night outside in the woods yesterday. It was a gorgeous night And the moon was a sliver crescent that I could just barely see through the rolling clouds, Waves and waves of them speeding through the night sky and obscuring the stars and planets that I had hoped to be able to watch through my sunroof. The sound of birds occasionally breaking up the electric screaming of cicadas, with the random hooting of an owl interspersed in the night time orchestra. 

Somehow, as I lay there uncomfortably on my reclined passenger seat with a blanket underneath me as a mattress, spending these relatively quiet moments to give my mind a chance to process the last three years and all their difficulty, my mind turned back to my last partner and how my actions had failed us. How I had failed myself in standing up for the man I thought I wanted to be at the time. Making efforts not to place judgments anywhere. It's a difficult thing, that. Judging others can be an easy way to feel superior or righteous, even if it is just in your own mind, and I am a human who enjoys having these feelings of superiority. I've always been a person who enjoys being right. Sometimes, I'd allow people around me to act or react foolishly when I reached the end of my wits.

 

The thing that brought me out of despair over the holidays of last year was the important realization that in order to grow and improve my ability to connect and communicate during hard times I needed to improve my connection and communication with myself. Out in the woods, sweating in a hot car on an 80° night surrounded by darkness and the sounds of an unconcerned natural world, I made new introduction to myself. I made no new promises, nor did I swear to upkeep old ones. 

 

I spoke to myself, and I listened, and the trees listened too. They had no wisdom or judgment for me. Just listening. 

 

I learned a lot from the trees last night.