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Saturday, April 30, 2011

She believed in the song in her heart, Even when she forgot the words...

I came of age in the eighties... I graduated highschool in 1986, our theme song was "up where we belong" though I personally was rooting for something more along the lines of Depeche Mode's "Blasphemous Rumours" or Bob Geldof's "I don't like Mondays." I wasn't a popular kid... I was chubby, shy, out of the box smart, and weird... and I do mean weird... I'm dyslexic so the world you live in is not the same one I do... I memorise things that you can actually learn, I learn things by taking them apart, rolling them around in my hands, my mouth, my heart.  I become things.  I have the ability to put myself in your shoes, feel your heart, and then walk away.  I am that way.  So I know when you're hurting, when you're keeping a secret, when you want to be anywhere else but here... and I know how to say nothing about it.  Because I also know that it is a little scary when I do.  My clearest first memory of telling it like it is on planet Kaere (and I wasn't Kaere then, but that's a WHOLE other story) was when my Dad's father passed away.  I'd only just met him, and I was about 7... maybe 9... we got a phone call... and I went outside and just started to cry.  My mother asked me why I was crying and I told her "For Papa, because he can't."  I didn't know my grandfather, except as the stories I'd been told.  I did know that my father was incapable of grieving the loss.  Man... the world just kinda slapped into focus and I got what I call the "Golden Retriever" (head cocked to one side, kinda dopey confused look) from my mother.  And so... there it was, planet Kaere, before I knew Kaere, or what living with her was going to be like.  And then it grew.  I know when the phone is going to ring.  I can hear you think.  (my best friend and I can have a four hour conversation with about three words and still say more than most people do in five years of marriage). 
Back in the eighties, there was this dopey coming of age flick "St. Elmo's Fire" ... Remember it?  Yeah, me either, really... but I always remember this:
"Love is an illusion."
"Yeah, but it's the only one that matters."
"To Who?"
"Anyone who's ever been in love."

Yeah... Illusions... not so much the love part I want to talk about it, but Illusions, and how they matter.  Because you see the world isn't just what it is, it is what we believe it to be.  Back in the eighties, I was this really smart, semi-talented, angry girl who knew a little too much.  I wanted the next best thing and I wanted to get out.  I fell in love with tragic heroes (James Dean still holds a really special place in my heart) and I began to really separate myself from the world everyone else was in.  I didn't know that Planet Kaere was something you could only see if I let you.  I thought Planet Kaere was something just like Planet You; I didn't know that Planet You was something I could see because of Planet Kaere.

I believe that everything is going to fall into place, come together, work out, be fixed.  That is my illusion.  I work really hard to maintain it.  I fix things and people.  I am not a cheerleader but I play one in real life.  My mother once got very angry with me because I couldn't get excited about something that my family had worked very hard to achieve for me (I used to ride horseback, was good enough to compete but we couldn't afford the competetion fees, uniforms et al.  I mucked stables for half my lesson fees, my parents paid the other half. There was a year when it looked like I wasn't going to be able to continue to ride at all and somehow, they found the money to let me continue.) The thing was, I loved riding but it wasn't going to get me anywhere other than up on another horse. I knew it was going to be hard for my folks, and that really continuing with where I was wasn't going to be possible.  So I didn't see the point in going on.  I told my mom that I appreciated it, but I wasn't a cheerleader, and if she needed more from me, she needed a different daughter... yeah... I told you I was angry, right? and I told you I was smart, right?  That's where things break apart for me.  Because even though I doubt that we DO actually KNOW how things are going to work out, I am usually proved right.  And there's something really sad about not being surprised by the amazing things that people can do.  It has taken me years to learn that on Planet You, amazing things are a surprise, while here on planet Kaere, amazing things are already what I know of you, of myself, of the world.

I was accepted to Wellesley College towards the end of my senior year.  It was a big deal.  When I got my letter, I called my mom at work to tell her the letter had come.  Before I could tell her what it said, she said "I'm sorry."  I bet you're thinking "how awful" but the thing is, I'm not that cheerleader, so she didn't hear anything that would have made her think I was excited.  I fell in love at a graduation party.  He was a gifted musician (still is) and he kinda looked right into me.  So "my world became this one boy, it's the way that I'm made, do you think I enjoy it?" (thank you Aimee Mann, for that lyric).  The night he wouldn't take me home until he took what he wanted was in late August.  The illusion that I was safe was broken.  I knew that even people who care about me could, and would hurt me.  I learned that sometimes the amazing thing in you is not always a "good" thing.  And in time, and with help, I found planet Kaere again, but I had a different perspective, because even if it's an illusion, it's the only one that matters:  tools can be used to create or destroy.  If I give you the tools, I am responsible for teaching you how to use them.  I am not responsible for what you do with them.

So... flash forward to the girl who no longer dresses like Boy George, who's not terribly likely to pack up and vanish (again), who believes that the illusion is as important as the actuality.  I've been having bad couple of days... and I know why.  It's because I've failed to apply my standards to Planet You.  I'm facing some big challenges and changes at work and it's been handed down to us as this "great opportunity" with all the ensuing hype.  I know the difference between a dove and a pigeon is nothing other than colour.  And I believe that a pigeon is pretty much a rat with wings... So please don't hand me a little dove and expect me to be impressed with what is basically just a whitewashed rat with wings.  And there's where I'm wrong.  Because If I expect Planet You to respect the illusions of Planet Kaere, If I expect of myself to live as if the illusion is true, then I must respect the illusions of Planet You.  If I fail to see that "acting as if" will one day no longer be an act, then I am not being true to Planet Kaere.  I am feeling under appreciated, overwhelmed, and put upon... you know why?  Because I failed to give the illusions of Planet You the respect that they deserve.  

We all have a song in our hearts.  Some of us have a few.  Most of us can sing at least one other person's song... that just depends on Planet You.  Here on Planet Kaere, I sometimes hear your song so loudly that I cannot hear my own anymore.  Here on Planet Kaere, I sometimes get confused as to whether that is my song I'm hearing or yours.  So somtimes, I have to turn all of you off.  Because while Planet Kaere may be an illusion, it's the only one that matters. And I believe in it, even when I can't quite remember the address.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You speak to me, brave sister

September said...

Ah Sweet Kaere, this rang true for me in so many ways that it scared me.... Take care of you, my brave sweet friend.

Beatrice, Bea, Bibi--That's me! said...

OMG! Your words always speak volumes to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your gift of words. Peace to you, my friend.

sandi said...

Oh Kaere... you never fail to give me chills and make me fall in love with you... over and over again!!!

Sue said...

WOW! I have no words. Anything I might say would be swiftly obliterated by a passing gust of wind ~~~~as the words would be so small in comparison~~~~
However, my heart asks one question, "Can our Planets cohabit-ate?"
I surely hope so!

Very moving post.

Hugs my friend..

KatsKrops said...

I really appreciate this entry...and I am so glad that you have such faith in everything working out in the end...I'm still constantly working on that bit. I'm absolutely still surprised by people and things - and I wish I wasn't.... because it makes me sad that my surprise is based on actions that happen to negate my life experience developed pessimistic/doubtful nature. Shine on, Planet Kaere....from Planet Kathy...you're as bright as a star.

dawn13 said...

I truly Love to read your insightful,beautiful,sometimes extrasensory words. From what I understand of dyslexia is like a word blindness, & you have amazingly compensated in an extraordinary way in my eyes.Because you Had to, & obviously you did. I have seen the results of others where your words moved them to action. That's pretty powerful, because your words really do move me too Kaere.
I just wanted you to know it would be my pleasure to stop in on Planet Kaere, if you would let me. Love your blog.

cathyb.typepad.com said...

I know this is an older post but had to stop by and say I love this!