Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Everything you do continues long after you’re gone

Filed under : Etc.
On December 27, 2011
At 2:30 pm
Comments : 18

I wrote a far better post meant to be published tomorrow, on the last day of Hannukah, but I’ve decided to shelve it. It was about…. feelings. I am not a person who talks a lot about feelings, and if my former therapist, from when my Mom died, is reading this, she’ll agree. I am more a “facts mixed with comic relief” type person. And if I am loathe to talk about feelings in “real life,” than I am even less inclined to do so on the Internet. In fact, every time I pictured someone reading what I wrote in my last post, I cringed. Imagine me going down a mental list of people in my life who read this blog, and every name I’d hit…. ack.

But I’m aware that I’ve left people hanging and that I have friends, good friends who care. I am lucky to have them. And you (twice, if you are in both categories, and of course you are). So I’ll state it plainly: my father has cancer. I’m really, really depressed. Those who have had ill parents (and I am one) know what this entails, especially when that parent is alone. But I feel better than I have the last few weeks in the sense that the normal idiocies of life, like a cab ride that was too expensive and a back-ordered cell phone, have begun to irritate me again. One small step for mankind! That is, I am losing that “who cares, my father has cancer” and occasional “fuck off, my father has cancer” sensibility. Everything becomes normal after a while, even when you’re depressed. You lose the compunction to punch the guy on the street from Amnesty International who asks “hey, how are you today!” or the person on Facebook who posts, “major disaster, burned the latkes, lol!!!” Or maybe not.

And I want to be kind, because people have been kind to me. But it’s hard. So I’ll give it a shot, and if I find that I am not kind, then I’ll take some more time off. Because I hate “don’t take it personally.” I always take it personally; why shouldn’t you?

There won’t be a holiday song post this year but the title of this post is from a Neil Finn song that I thought of when I heard my favorite Christmas song, The Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping, this year. It will tell you what frame of mind I was in when I heard it that I immediately remembered that the singer had died young, of cancer. But then I remembered the Neil Finn line.

Here’s the comic relief, and you’ll have to be a Waitresses fan (or at least know their two biggest songs) to get it: She did know what boys like – cranberries. Har. Happy holidays!

Neil Finn – Truth


You hear the clocks counting down

Filed under : Etc.
On December 14, 2011
At 10:00 pm
Comments :Comments Off on You hear the clocks counting down

There is something wrong with the clocks at my school. They sent out a note about it but I didn’t really pay attention. Something about the satellites which control the clocks having a communication problem and the clocks in turn not getting the proper signals. So the sweep hand, which is the red one that shows the seconds going by, has some issue. I don’t know, I usually look at the clocks on the computers over the kids’ shoulders as I’m looking at their work or reminding them how to save.

Things are not OK right now and I won’t go into it but it has consumed my life lately and will for a while. Not only has normality been shorn away but other people’s normality irritates me which in turn makes me feel like a tone-deaf jerk. So I’ve been staying away from places where people are normal and living normal lives. The one bit of normality in my life is work.

Today, just a couple of days before the start of what is supposed to be a vacation, I wandered into a main area just outside my door where the Kindergarteners were having a session with their 4th grade “mentors.” Each kid had a partner from the other grade and the 4th graders were explaining a project they had done, which was displayed on the walls, to their Kindergartener. Each K child looked completely absorbed and inquisitive and eager. Each 4th grader looked serious and engaged and you could feel their sense of importance and responsibility. It choked me up inside, I was so full of emotion at seeing all these children I teach in these roles, their connection and transformation. I went inside my lab to pull myself together when I saw the clock and this is what it looked like: the sweep hand would stop completely for a few seconds and then suddenly jerk forward to catch up. All the way around the dial. And I had this overwhelming sense that this clock was not broken but perfect in the way it illustrated my life and maybe life in general… not in a smooth, calm flow but in utter stillness and then sudden action. And then I let it take hold of me.

The blog will be on hiatus for a while. Thanks for not emailing because I would not write you back and then further feel like a jerk. I’ll rejoin you sometime.

Title is from the Editors’ Escape the Nest but this is the song from that record which I feel just now.