Friday, February 19, 2016

The end of One Journey... the Beginning of the Next

Softly, she slips away, knowing it is time to leave the traveling companions of the last 6-8 years. For that road leads back on itself in a never ending cycle. (Isn't that a form of hell? or Purgatory?)

 I suppose it doesn't matter for I am not the same woman who stepped foot on that road so long ago.  I made friends, found and lost love, lifted, was lifted, made mistakes, learned more about kindness, love and loving support  than I expected from a 'social media'. I watched science programs, Ted Talks about psychology, music, and amazing innovations.  I watched as Randy Pausch gave his last speech, prayed for his family, reached for the stars, dove deep into my heart - releasing baggage, laughed and cried. 

I learned to interpret moods of other people from the placement of a few letters in a short sentence.  Screwed it up pretty often too.  I learned to pause before jumping to conclusions, decided to learn how to tie a bow tie, and discovered the value of a virtual hug (provided I stopped what I was doing and actually imagined it happening).  I figured out how to take photographs of flowers to send to friends for birthdays, funerals, holidays, when they were sad, and sometimes just because I wanted to send real flowers, but darn it FTD costs so much. 

And yes, I learned how to make friends, though I admit it is easier in virtual life than real life on odd days that end in Y.  OK probably all days.  Because we don't really expect anything of our virtual friends. But I learned in a virtual world what behavior I found unacceptable and was able to bring that back to the real world, stand my ground, and release my need to tolerate bad behavior just because I wasn't perfect.   I learned to tell people who tried to control my life that it IS MY life.  I allowed myself use that self-knowledge in every-day life..   I have come to accept that sometimes I'm not going to live up to your expectations.

Or you to mine. 

I fell in love with piano & violin music, Andrea Bocelli's music, Ted Talks, a couple of physics lecturers, Nova re-runs, you-tube, and Pandora Radio. I still don't care for Eckert Tolle (I'm ok with that).  I've expanded from only liking country and western music to include Celtic music, 70's and 80's, musicals, church music and whatever I can sing... (Plus a little rock - please keep it a secret.  I don't tolerate loud noises well and most rock & rollers turn the volume to frequencies that hurt.)  I've listened to Bach, Beethoven (zzzz),

Chopin (ho hum), Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Zimmer, Horner, Brickman, Robin Spielberg, Brian Crain, a whole host of fabulous musicians, lyracists and people who write music and a variety of some truly beautiful renditions of Canon in D (soft sigh).   I have the good start to a well-rounded musical 'education.' And I just discovered Rachmaninoff.

I learned to pray for those who needed hope.  My loving words often gave them something to hang on to.  And watched people (who thought they were broken) weave these virtual hugs, kind words, and support into hope as they learned to overcome some pretty horrible things.  I've held the virtual hands of those melting down, those ending their marriages, losing their parents, those fighting to save their children, and those struggling to have just One Good Day.

Twitter is a funny thing-often ridiculed. I joined because I wanted to connect to writers.  Only to discover that my writing was better than most of those I connected with. Even though I thought it was bad. (So did the 1/6 of the people who bought my book who complained about the proofreading. Though all who commented did like the story line. Sold 18 copies. Sigh) 

My book for children is fabulous - whether you're looking at the paper version or what's on Itunes. And always will be. But I don't own the rights to it anymore. Chalk it up to one more of my twitter related mistakes.  My novels are better now, though I don't know anything more about marketing books, and I have less time to work at marketing now than I did 6 years ago. 

 But along the way - across almost seven years and two twitter accounts and 130,000 tweets - I met some awesome writers  - among them one who sets fire to my imagination, and I just ache to write, and then cry because I can't write and be a medical student at the same time.  The two passions belong to different universes and one screws up the data regurgitation of the other. I met a great woman whose writing sets fire to the status quo.  We became friends only to have to let go of her when she moved on.  I got comfortable with an adult male for the first time as I chatted with a third who writes like he talks - feet on a virtual coffee table.  I know there are a many others that are just my 'friends', but I'm unobservant enough that I don't notice that they're writers.

I've met firemen, police, the uber rich, the just-scraping-by-poor, musicians, homeless artists.  I've probably met a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker.  

I met a few snakes, many really good people and others who were so defensive they were hard to talk to.  Sometimes I was the defensive one, sad, angry, preachy, joyful, sickeningly sweet, loving, kind, hard and soft.  

Through it all I laughed and cried as though each 'person' I met was real and sitting here in my living room.  No I'm not crazy.  I have an imagination that rivals Lewis Carroll's.  

I have disappointed many, myself included. Because sometimes I wasn't as attentive as I thought I should be, as kind, or forgiving.  I went to the trouble to meet a number of these incredible people face to face.  One became my best friend for ... a while... till he moved on and I returned to school.

In an odd sort of way, twitter became rather like a roommate.  Except it was one who doesn't make messes in the kitchen, but didn't vacuum either.  I would wake up and say good morning.  I'd drop in for a quick chat over lunch.  Share the news of the day as I made dinner. And chat with friends till we were falling all asleep at the keyboards.  I finally figured these 'people' weren't the ones who left socks in the couch - you know the ones that work their way under the cushions. 

#NoteToSelf - do laundry.

None of these are bad things. And many of them have been healing. Creating vivid memories of conversations, pictures, wisdom read, kindnesses shown, and support given when I'm down. These virtual friends have been willing to allow me to be/do those things in return.  I have loved many of these characters.  And I am grateful for their companionship along the way.  There were times when they caught me as I fell.  Reaching down into a dark place (that only I could see) to lift me up.  I think I have done the same. Only time will tell.

Well meaning- controlling friends tried to force me to get off twitter sooner. Not understanding that this was part of MY journey.  That there was healing to be done and I couldn't manage it with live people.  I knew it was time to leave when I left a noisy party early to go home to my quiet space to chat with people impossibly far away. 

And now I leave it behind.  For I need flesh and blood.  I need to hold hands. Dance slowly in the living room.  Peer over someone's shoulder as he makes dinner. Or I do.

Along the way, my writing skills improved.  Without struggle, because I spent time trying to write just what I wanted to say. Though brevity was not my long suit.  I learned to write my thoughts fast when I was just writing... Spiritual writing on the fly - that's fast.  I never expected it to come quickly. But I've learned to Listen and write what I hear.  Story telling takes a little longer.  

I can read hundreds of tweets in a short period of time - because they are surrounded by lots of white space - but read a whole paragraph? The words twist and turn, the lines run together and I end up using my finger to make the words stay in a line so I can follow along.  I'm a graduate for god's sake - how could this happen? My mom could read a book in an hour.  But a paragraph longer than 8 lines - and something in me cries. I loathe academic reading for that reason. (If they would insert more white space. sigh... )

I can skim a magazine article - picking out the meat of the article - because it is a pleasure to allow my mind to wander till something catches its attention.  No pressure to remember what I read, where I read it, what it said, when it was written, and what historical data was mentioned (which takes all the pressure off - making this kind of reading a pleasure - and amazingly I remember more of it than the academic must-know-stuff). I make notes when it feels important - which seems to make it stick. I remember that I have read the information - maybe not where. But if you give me time to check - the info comes back enough to use it. And there is always Google. 

But I've digressed.
When I first joined Twitter, I had a hard time facing the "real" world.  I used twitter as a way to grow - to heal things I didn't know were broken.  And I have outgrown that crutch. Though I admit that at the moment I write this I am going through what must be a grieving period.  Letting go of the old habits, if you will.
There are people who were part of my timeline that I miss fiercely. Though as a metaphysician I know that if they're supposed to be part of the life I'm building, we will find each other somewhere along the way.  This I KNOW.  Now.
Since this blog post is about my old stream, I must include what I have come to think of as gentle wisdom.   Maybe not the best of the best - but it is nonetheless - worth

  • Dream - dream well - for it is from those dreams that we create the life we want.
  • What we put out into the world - comes back to us.  Whether it is good or not.        
  • Decide whether love is more important than looking cool, your pride or being right. (Love is way more important.)

  • Breathe. 
  •  Let your smile reach your eyes.
  • Listen with your heart.
  • Live vividly.
  • Laugh from your belly.
  • Learn Voraciously.
  • Love without holding back.

Know this... YOU ARE ENOUGH !

They say that it takes seven days to go through all the astral layers when one has died.  I wonder, if this letting-go-melancholy is a 'death' of sorts. hmmmmm.

RIP -- @gaylemccain and @crystalbutterfl
Go with God... it lightens the burden.
And through it all - I kept returning to -- I BELIEVE !! 

***Hugs***  ~ Gayle McCain~

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