Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I almost forgot that...

... today is Wednesday. Those of us who remmember we looked at the calendar, might not have been so unfortunate as to forget what day of the week it was, but I assure this was not intentional.

On Wednesday, it is my habit to try to be funny. I usually fail miserably, but I've decided to discountinue any writings from the Sinister Porpoise for a while. For one thing, they detract from the overall tone of the site, which while not wholly serious, is still attempting to try to deal with a serious issue, although some humor does seep in.

Of course, it could be that I just don't need things to be too fanciful right now, so I'm not going to bring this little creation of mine out. (I'm told I have medication for that now, although I was not hearing that particular voice.) I'll bring the Sinister Porpoise back for some other occasions, but right now he's taken a well-earned vaction either that or continuing to plot world-take over. Either way, it doesn't really matter.

Missed something folks

Sometimes I miss important days that might have something to do with this site. I assure you it was not apathy that caused it, but rather dealing with all the other things going on in my life. November 20th was National Remembrance Day for victims of violence due to being who they were. Today's post is just a short note of apology for the most part.

I would not even be aware of it if I had not read a web comic that dedicated one panel to it. I cannot have the impact such an artist would, but that's okay. I chose my art form and the artist chose hers and each has distinct strengths and weaknesses.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Accepting things

I didn't know what to expect when I started this blog exactly, I just thought I'd be writing to myself and working some things out for the most part. I've found much to my surprise that it has readers, not to my surprise, I found it's taken on a life of its own.

I have commented once or twice on the strange dichotomy of how I feel. Knowing one thing but emotionally feeling another. And the reading of Lao Tzu's classic has given me a better insight on it, although I promise this is the last article that will mention it!

Anybody who has read the Tao Te Ching knows about the opposites it plays on and expect you to work them out for yourself what it means, yet despite being ancient and translated, I found it remarkably easy to understand. (Which I've also said.)

But this also seems to be the state to accept how many of us feel, the interplay of our rational minds and our emotions always at conflict with each other. Can peace be found in accepting the conflict as it is and then proceeding with it despite their contradictory nature? It seems to be the only way for me right now as I work this out and of course, I'm more worried about other things right now.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Way of Things

I spent the last few days in the library reading the Tao Te Ching. It's one of the few religious books that I strangely understood without a lot of explanation. The same can not be said for the Bible, and the Book of Mormon is at times a great soporific. (I know Mark Twain felt the same way and a lot of people who aren't Mormons and some Mormons themselves have this particular problem with the book.) Of course, I'm sure the author would be glad had he heard this, although he might not take the news so well that I needed it translated into English, a language that did not exist when he first wrote the book.

The book itself is full of things that seem to be contradictions on the surface, and I'll take the time to examine one of them. One of the principles throughout the book is to "do without doing." The one footnote I saw said this did not translate exactly into English and therefore could not be an exact concept. However, not being a scholar of any ancient language (four years of Latin just doesn't count, I'm afraid), I still believe this should be translated as "do without trying." This itself seems to be another contradiction, but it is a similar process to what many writers use. I know if I try too hard to write an article for this blog, the overall quality suffers as a result. If I merely write and let the words flow from my pen, little effort is required on my part and things just come out in the end. Of course, there's the editing process which I've been lax on of late, but that is something different. Ray Bradbury in his book Zen and the Art of Writing advocates a similar process of work, relax and don't think.

And believe it or not, the scene with Yoda and Luke Skywalker in The empire Strikes Back can be accepted on a different level in addition to the more literal English meaning that is also correct that when it comes down to it, you either fail or succeed regardless of how hard you try. I think instead that Yoda was trying to tell him that he tried too hard to do something, rather than just taking a little effort and making it happen. By the too great effort, too many variables entered Luke's mind including the weight of the starfighter. In fact, he almost succeeds with his eyes closed and all he is thinking about is lifting it out of the water.

So give it a try sometime. Do something without really trying. For creative efforts, you might be really surprised at the results.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A little bit more in detail

I think many readers may want to know more in detail of what happened to me. It's not a pleasant story and I wish most of it hadn't happened, but unfortunately it has and now I must deal with it. I'm glad to be able to get back to my blog if even for a little bit. Sure, accessing it from the pulbic library is not ideal, even though I try to keep this effort of mine PG-13 or above, it's still not considered apropriate by some people's standards. So, here it is in slightly more detail than I've dealt with it so far.

Anyone who has been reading this blog knows about the problems I was having on the housing front so I will not repeat those details, but what happened from there may be a little unclear to my readers.

After being removed from my house, I had no place else to go and I found myself unable to think clearly at all. I walked seventeen miles to a small city called Sunbury, thinking I could hit the homeless shelter there. Had I been able to think more clearly that night, I might have called family members first. I cried throughout half of this journey, too. My world seemed to be crubmling down behind me and I'd had to leave most of my possesions and my two cats, including the one who had been forced on me behind. I worried about what would happen to the animals and was myself uncleara bout what to do.

It took several hours to make the trip that Halloween night. I'm sure that's exactly how most people would have wanted to spend any holiday, walking along the highway with nothing but your clothes and three journals in your hand. The journals were later thrown out due to a misunderstanding, and their loss is keenly felt by me, although I'm sure historians will not share my grief over this misfortune.

I didn't find the place that night. Instead, I made it to a bench outside the county's human services offices, hoping to wait there to find my caseworker that morning. Fortunately, I did not have to wait all night. The police found me and I relayed my story, making it to the shelter. Those two officers that night restored my waning faith in that profession. (And Frederick Dyroff, you were reported to the OIG in Pennsylvania that June night you decided to foolishly flash your badge.)

Confused, saddened, and distracted, I made my way to the caseworker that morning. I was low enough to make the attempt to end my life, but still able to realize that was not the best option. I spent two weeks in the hospital, trying to set my mind in order. (Actually about a week was spent on that, the other week was them trying to find some placement options.)

While the two weeks were quite restful, you know I came out with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disoder which I was unable to accept. I still have my doubts, but now I can see how it might fit, simply because I would interpret somethings differently due to religious background. (Mormonism is full of mysticism, although some members deny it.) Who wants to admit to hearing voices in any case? I believed it was normal for people to get answers to prayers although it was always personal advice. (And who's to say the prayer's weren't really being answered that way?) Of course, as I understand it my tangential thinking pattern, which I've gotten used to over the years is part of it as well.

I tell you this because this website is about honesty in many ways and the hardest part sometimes is being honest to yourself about yourself.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Okay, found a way

I have a way to connect to the Internet now for a little bit and continue to update this blog. I don't know if I'll be able to do daily updates but at least I'll be able to update it more frequently than I have been.

It's been a rough few weeks and I'm doing whatever I can to recover after this, but it will be a long slow process that I could have done without, truthfully. In the meantime I must look for a new house, fill out paperwork, and find some way to support myself through all of this.

I believe that many times good things come out of bad experiences, although I have not seen it yet, I should not give up hope. At least I managed to forgive the dishonest used car dealer who set me up for all of this.

It's not like I wanted to. I wanted horrible vengeance to be wreaked upon him because the unfairness of it all did grate me. Why should I be the one who has to suffer because he couldn't be truthful in his dealings?

What changed my mind was coming across a Christian magazine sitting in my therapist's waiting room. It's not surprising. It is a Lutheran run place and while I miss the back issues of Smithsonian they used to keep, it does give me something to read.

The story of Jonah is in many ways horrible and is not one of my favorite books in the Bible (yes, I do read it. I don't necessarily think the same things about it others do but it is a valuable book that's worth perusing from time to time, although far from infallible. I needed to show those people mercy and forget what they had done. Thank heavens I finally did, the whole thing was making me better.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sorry about the lag folks

Well, I did get evicted. Things aren't going that well for me. I spent about two weeks in the hospital for a depressive episode and came out with the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. As tempted as I would be not to reveal this, I've tried to be honest about so many things on this site.

For now I don't know how often I'll be able to make regular updates. I'm busy searching for another place to live and once that has been settled, I should know what sort of schedule I'll be able to keep when it comes to posting.

I need to sort things out right now so bear with me and I'll be back to the daily schedule I had before the recent episode.

-Melanie Landis