So sometimes I feel that one of my greatest casualties in the aftermath of Kim’s death is myself. And not just the emotional upset or the complete shattering changes in my life, but that which makes me, me.
I’ve noticed that I tend to be a bit snappish and have less inclination to ameliorate my words into something less aggressive. Additionally I just feel more bitter towards life in general. Now most of you may not have noticed any of this, or if you have it may not seem all that bad since I’m generally an open and easygoing guy. Most times. And such deviation from the norm may not be regarded as too awful. But for me this is kind of disturbing since it means I’ve lost my center and it’s too easy for me to go skittering all over, or least to the negative end. And it’s just tells me that I’m unbalanced in some ways. The short of it is that I feel myself getting shorter in temper and grimmer in disposition, and I don’t like it one bit.
Now I know that I’ve had a hard year and have been running myself pretty hard with no breaks. Now I’ll get some time off in a week for at least a week, and hopefully that will reformat my head a bit. However I’m going to need a little help, maybe. Basically all I ask is if I seem to be overreacting, by my standards, just call me on it and make me aware. Now if this never happens I know this may all be just in my head and I should stop dwelling. Otherwise just help if you can.
In other news things aren’t all bad. For example my writing down memories exercise seems to be getting me to have a much less painful relationship with my memories. Such as this morning I made breakfast for myself, like actually doing eggs with bits of cheese cut up into it (like Kim used to do) and toasted bagels with butter. And all this did was make me a bit wistful, not that sad. I know this sounds like cheese but for me it’s a good sign.
Well, life goes on.
So here’s the thing: Grief is insanity. On a psychological level it can certainly be regarded as such, well at least Freud regarded it as a pathological condition. To me I just think it’s insanity. I mean I’ve never been in any other situation where I can have a conversation with friends then suddenly break down completely for a couple minutes and then be back together. It’s really wearing me down. And last week was really bad for me with a lot of stress from my show, and the fact that I haven’t taken a break since February, and my birthday was hard for me since my Kim wasn’t there to celebrate it with me. Which just makes me feel sad and lonely. However I struggle on.
So I just finished reading Joan Didion’s book The Year of Magical Thinking, thank you Trevor, and while a great book it wasn’t much like I was going through. I don’t entertain much magical thinking. I never felt like she was coming back and if I just kept things the same everything would be fine. Nor did I feel guilty for changing things since that would prevent her from coming back. I entertained none of those thoughts. I think this is due to the fact that I watched my lovely Kim end in front of me and almost everyone that matters in my life. So there was nothing to make me feel like there is a chance she will walk in the door and everything will be fine.
The closest I come to this is the conviction that if there was a time machine I would get into it the second I knew and go back in time about a year and some and get her to go to the doctor and get diagnosed. By doing such I would prevent her death and erase this timeline from existence and replace it with one where Kim doesn’t die on Feb 15th. I’d still be happy, Kim would be here, we as a community would never have had to watch a friend die in front of us. Other than that nothing else would really change, 99% of everything would still happen. And yes I would do this. However since it’s an impossible thing it’s just sentiment, and the only vague hope I ever have to see my lovely Kim again is if there is some sort of afterlife. Though with my agnosticism, if it a fairly traditional one there may be problems with that idea.
And frankly the way I’m feeling these days I’ll take on anyone’s idea of an afterlife that would keep me from meeting my Kim. I’ll break the gates, destroy the opposition, and wreak the system for that meeting.
Sorry for heretical thinking folks it’s just how I feel about it.
In all honesty this week is better than last week, which is greatly helped with my show over and the hope of getting out of town for a while. And the bagels helped too. For me comfort food is the foods my mum made, good Chinese, and toasted bagels with cream cheese. Ahhhhh.
And now to bed to sleep the sleep of me.
Here are some poems i wrote many years ago, Enjoy.
In the beginning there was the word,
And the word was I.
Out of which poured out all creation,
From the galaxies to the little motes called life.
All part of this great, self aware construct,
Which is the universe.
Every so often,
One goes through,
A paradigm shift.
A change of state,
And after all,
All you can say is:
I did what i had to do,
I said what i had to say,
It's time to move on.
So here’s another round of what’s going on in Inky’s head.
One thing I’ve heard recently with great frequency is that some people apparently admire what seems to be the great strength I have within that allows me to survive this experience that is my life post-Kim. And I guess it’s true especially considering that I still go out into the world and interact, work, play, and try to live. As I’ve said many times: I don’t have a choice. Or rather I do but all the other options are weak or dumb. And anyhoo we all know that Kim would kick my arse for spending months being nothing but mopey and depressed. I guess the short of it is, what some of you regard as strength I see as just moving on as best as I can with no other recourse. You could look at it as how courage is perceived; when one is being courageous they don’t think they are. What they think they’re doing is just trying to do the right thing at the time. I’m just using that as an example though.
However, I don’t think that the perceived strength you folks admire is there all the time. Especially these days, I’m working so much and with weeks to go before things let up that the stress of work (which would be Okish on its own) combined with the constant low-to-high-level emotional strain of my life since February is taking it’s toll. Recently, due to the various holidays/celebrations and things that were supposed to happen with us I’m starting to get a bit more fragile. Mainly this seems to come out as being kinda snappish to others, getting a bit more bitter, and breaking down more frequently. To those of you I’ve unleashed on, I’m sorry. And to those of you that have been with me when I completely fall apart, thank you. Aka: my b-day. It was very hard to not have Kim around for that since it makes me feel really alone, so I fell apart. But how does the song go; “it’s my party and I can cry if I want to…” Though I don’t really want to, I just have no choice and I know I should unload instead of holding it in.
Short of getting out of town for a week there’s little to be done about the stress, other than getting me to talk about things with the hope that if I’m in one of those moods I can trace down the specific why and at least start to fix it. Or confront it in its entirety.
There is one other thing to do that I’m having a hard time with. Now there are two basic guidelines to my life now (in addition to all the rest): 1. Struggle through the learning curve that is my battle to love and honor the memory of my lovely Kim while not letting it keep me down and restrain me. 2. Make all these hard feelings my own, in other words control them. The second part is very hard.
Partly-to-mostly since I feel so terribly alone right now. Like I said in my last post, I’m having lots of problems getting over the lack of intimacy in my life. Hence I feel really isolated to some degree, and I’m on my own with that. However, this taps into much older feelings that I’m having a hard time with. Basically before I met Kim, I was rather lonely and single much of the time. I also was a fairly difficult person to deal with, I realize now and frankly if I met the old me of 10 years ago I would really want to kick his arse for being so self involved. And with these sense memories I feel crushingly alone and there’s nothing I can do about it.
So now I have to become OK with being alone now and not fall into the depression pit of feeling isolated forever. Now I know that’s in my head, and the way to avoid all of that is to take possession of that feeling. How do you do that? The only way I can think is to just live with it long enough and become used to it. However with the extra baggage of earlier memories that is kinda hard, but like I said; I have no choice.
So I soldier on, try to hit a state of more-or-less equilibrium, and try not become sad at the sight of happy couples. NO, don’t stop acting that way when you’re around me, just don’t be surprised if I get really quiet every so often.
Not to say that everything sucks these days but the rough moments are getting more difficult since they are these deeper more pervasive feelings. But things are getting slowly better, microscopic bit by microscopic bit, and at some point in time I’ll be better. I just hope that this experience doesn’t make me a more bitter and angry person.
Thanks for reading.
Sorry to go on some more on this but it's something i feel i need to say.
I miss the intimacy of our relationship. And i don't just mean sex, though that was freaking great too*, I miss that sense of being with someone. You know the closeness, the sense of partnership, the fact that she was there for me and i for her, and the love. It's possibly the one biggest thing i miss from before and it grates on me a bit since there is no way for me to replace that without being in another relationship, and i have no intention of doing that anytime soon. Or at least as far as i know.
Just another hard thing to get over.
*note: If you happen find the concept of me having had a sex life freakish, bizzarre, or just plain odd, take this moment to clear your head. Think of fuzzy kittens or something.
So my buddy John and I went to go see WALL-E tonight, a wonderful movie all in all. Real sweet, rather smart, and just plain fun. It's Pixar, I won't say they can do no wrong but they really haven't yet. The short of it is, I highly recommend it.
Now the other part to the whole thing is this was a movie that Kim and I wanted to see ever since the first trailers came out last winter. Which makes this yet another thing that was to be something that we would share that i must now do alone.
Ok not really alone, i have wonderful friends who are more than willing to drag me out of the house most times, but there are things still missing. Things that they cannot replace.
-Note: This doesn't mean stop dragging me out of the house folks, please do continue to do that-
Back to the point I'm trying to make. Basically this year was to be kinda big for us. A week and a half before she passed away we got engaged, with a plan to wed around early august to early september. On top of that there were to be the normal things that would be the certain semi-planned high points across the year. Such as Memorial day, my b-day, Labor day, the holidays, etc. So now i have to go through each of these things to mark it, remember and then make it my own. The first time is the hardest. The end of this will hopefully will be the one year anniversary of her passing. However to get to that i must go through all of what i mentioned above plus her birthday (jan 22), our anniversary (feb 14) and her end (feb 15). It's kinda like my own stations of the cross. After that i can start looking ahead for real because i'm ready to go on with my life, i hope.
On top of that i need to hit each thing that was something we did together, as best as possible, to make it my own as well. Such as when i went to Heartland Cafe this morn, that was one our favorite brunch spots in the city. So after i got home from that i fell into a bit of a funk. OK i got sad, cried and felt a bit depressed. And of course the rain made me remember a moment from early on in our relationship, and that didn't help any either. Sigh.
The short of it all is there is a long road ahead and i thank you for all your help folks but just so you know, i'll need some more over the months to come.
So a week ago I was talking to my roommate about a variety of things and in the course of our verbal wanderings he made the statement comparing our difficulties with nations such as Iran having Nukes to the knight class’s difficulty with gunpowder. Now I wrote that off at first blush but then I stopped myself and made myself think about it. Upon closer inspection in the confines of my own head I would never say that that our objections to third world and second world nations having nukes is based even partially on this concept. But maybe somewhere in the back of our heads this may have a little something to do with this.
But first a little history (because I love the subject): back in the distant days of the beginning of the middle ages life was divided into three “estates”. The first was the clergy, the second was the nobility, and the third was the commons. Now the second estate having made it to positions of power across Europe through favors, conquest, and hereditariness looked unfavorably at anything that would challenge their hard gotten gains. Especially challenges from the commons who didn’t always like the medieval system that generally put them at the bottom no matter how much money they made, since wealth was considered bad form by the church.
Now into this comes the crossbow: a moderate range weapon able to be made somewhat easily and could used with minimal training unlike a bow. Combine this with armor piercing chisel pointed quarrels and you had a weapon that could be supplied to the commons and when backed up with ranks of pike could poke holes (pun intended, sorry) in the idea that horse mounted armored nobility was supreme. Said nobility really didn’t like this idea so they banned the crossbow in many kingdoms and the like. These laws extended to the killing of any crossbowmen in a captured army since they were an affront to social order. However it was still regarded as useful enough that the Genoese made some good money renting out crossbow units to the French in their wars against the English.
However no real crossbow backed revolution ever takes off, though there were moments when I seemed like it might. Anyway technology moves on and by the 14th century hand held gunpowder weapons start becoming rather quite popular and once they were perfected the same arguments started cropping up. The additional twist was that firearms tended to be even easier to construct than crossbows so the ability to turn them out increased. I mean were talking about a metal barrel with an opening for the bullet and a touchhole to ignite the powder. Slap this onto a simple wooden stock, with a trigger mechanism of varying complexity, and you have a weapon that can knock a man off his horse at 100 yards. Additionally the projectiles are vastly easier to make than the quarrels of before: now you can just melt some lead and pour it into a roundish mold. Whereas before you had to train several people several years to perfect the various arts that were involved in making arrows and quarrels; making the shaft, fletching, and forging and folding the heads.
What also increased was the commons desire to tell the second estate to shove off. This was helped by the plague’s effect of getting the commons paid more for their labor since there were less of them and need for them increased. That and the reduction of authority due to the nobility fleeing/dieing let them finally do things on their own.
So now we have a situation where a non-hereditary military class can totally stomp on the hereditary military class due to the first groups acceptance of new technology to go with their shove off attitude. The knight class basically spends the next 300 years fighting gunpowder technology since it was seen as unchivalrous and unfair, and at the same time accepting it and adapting to it. One could say the predecessor to the modern handgun came from the short-barreled firearms that were developed for use on horseback. But the Knight class basically lost their position as the primary military force at the end of those 300 years due to a variety of reasons though gunpowder was part of that.
So here we have social and military change at least partly caused by technology, and a case that shows how it might have happened earlier. Now how does this relate to our current situation with Iran and North Korea? Well for starters it isn’t an identical situation to what we had earlier. Unlike before the objecting side had the same technology, heck we invented it, and the technology itself isn’t simple to replicate. However the connection is that we are very protective of the technology, for good reason, and that a poor nation with nukes will always have an equalized when going up against American forces. At this point the nuke is truly the great equalizer, if you have it you are unstoppable and your one device can kill thousands at least.
It’s the reason why the Chinese have four Sovremenny class destroyers each equipped with 8 supersonic 20kt nuke tipped ss-n-22 sunburn missiles. They may not have carrier battle groups but they have the ability to take one our own with each missile. Obviously a case where the nuke acts as an equalizer.
So when our government says the nukes in the hands of such people like the leaders of North Korea and Iran are the wrong sorts of people to have this kind of power in their hands. Yes they are right about that but maybe under that there’s a thought that it simply isn’t right for ones inferiors to have such weapons since it could give them ideas….
OK I’m tired, so to all good night.
So this will be a two-part post: the first about me, and the second will be my first wander back into my essay like blogging.
Well it’s been three and a half months since my lovely Kim passed away, and life has been moving on. How could it not? In case you were wondering I’m doing pretty decent these days, yes there are still the bad moments but they are fewer and farther between. But there are plenty of good moments too and because of them I’m getting slowly better.
They are mainly due to my wonderfully supportive friends and family who may not know that they are being so, but just the fact that they are in my life and make me get out and interact with them or make me want to do that is fantastic. Now that I don’t have a social life at home any more it’s kinda necessary that I get out and they give me the opportunity. So thank you all!
Now as for me, like I said there are the bad moments and I still miss my Kim dearly but I have a little more perspective on the whole thing. Maybe perspective isn’t the word I’m looking for but the result of whatever it is, is that now I have moments where it no longer feels as weird that she’s gone. And then I feel weird for feeling that.
After the fact my friend Liz discovered that the knot pattern of the ring that I got for Kim as the engagement ring, and Liz put on her arm as a tattoo J, means devoted. And I guess that one of the great challenges of my life right now. I want/have to properly honor and respect my memories of her without letting them cripple me and limit me. One way I’m dealing with that is by writing all my memories of our time together down which means pulling things in the back of my memory out and looking at them and then trying to remember them in the spirit of when they happened. I don’t know if I’ll let anyone else read it ever but I need to do it.
On top of that I try to live my life as best as possible and not let my singleness constrain me and make me lazy. Because as much as I would have wanted it, my life does go on (and so does everyone else’s) and I have to keep up with it. Partly that’s the nature of my job and partly it’s my mental survival mechanism, but it’s what I must do.
Though there still feels like there is a small Kim sized and shaped hole in my life and I missed the person who filled that dearly.
The next one will be posted later this evening.
I'm sorry if i haven't written in a while and left anyone lacking my voice, but there's a reason.
So for the couple of you who I haven't talked to in the last month, on Feb 15, 2008 my fiance passed away after a very short sickness.
That was...very hard to write. By writing that i feel like i've committed a finality to the whole situation and have closed something i left open to, something with. I had decided to write this to try and explain what i lost to myself and anyone who happened to be listening.
What have I lost? My Lover, my Friend, my Fiance, my Partner, My Lovely Lady, and much more. I lost the person who could make me laugh and be amazed that someone so wonderful would want to be with me. I lost the one who made me so happy in general, who i could show my love through all the little things that are what really remind me rather that any specific moments in my life. This is probably the main reason why i tend to grieve in the privacy of my own home more than anywhere else since this is where we cooked for each other, watched DVDs, talked about our days, and were with each other.
But still i want to stay in my home if i can since i still feel somewhat at home here. Even though this is where we moved in together and i asked her to marry me and our bed is where those four hard days started. I still wish to stay here, though i miss her so much.
I don't really feel lonely since everyone is here for me and support me to the fullest, and yes i will ask for help when i need it but i must also reconcile myself within myself. Though this doesn't mean don't call me or anything like that, i still love hearing from my friends.
But I do feel alone. I fully know what i lost and know how Kim will forever be special to me. And while i cry while writing this i know i need to continue onward in my life, it'll just be hard.
However I know that i can never say that i never said "I love you" enough to her, i said it plenty.
But i still miss my lovely lady.
This is something I wrote back in the Summer after reading a NY times article about the changing ideas of military force in Japan. Since then Shinzo Abe's coalition fell apart when his party lost the election, which resulted in him stepping down and the succeeding mild and moderate PM turned away from this military path. In fact at this point in time the Indian Ocean mission is over and we're seeing the slow withdrawal of Japanese military units from that area. Though they still fly cargo runs into Iraq. Anyway read this since i like how my writing has improved.
-A couple days ago in the New York Times, there was an article about how Japan is currently considering revising its constitution to allow it to have a real military. This struck me since Japan has been known to be one of the most peaceful major countries since WW2. Until recently they even went out of their way to avoid or limit any activity that could be construed as a possibly hostile move, such as live ammo training. It could be regarded that the 60 years since then have been a period of reform to make up for their being one of the aggressors of that conflict. So any move to disrupt this status quo on their part seems wake up some of the unhappy memories from the past.
Now at this point in time Japan spends about $50 billion a year on defense and can, in the terms of military strength, be considered in the same class as the UK. By which I mean that they spend as much, are equipped similarly (sans carriers and ballistic missile subs), and can project a similar degree of force. Of course Japan’s constitution, and specifically article 9, prohibit the projection of military might beyond their territorial waters.
Now as we may remember, Japan’s constitution was created in the post-war environment of WW2 where their military led government was defeated by the US. The creation of this constitution was to prevent a resurgent Japan from trying to exercise any renewed military might over their neighbors. And for the last 60 yrs this has worked quite well, with the possible side effect that with a fixed military spending budget this allowed more money to be spent on civil side of the government, leading to their status as the 2nd largest economy in the world. Additionally there was sort of a social contract against an aggressive military, which was best shown during the first Gulf war when an MP stated that they should also send troops to back the coalition. The response was a riot in the chambers, so Japan ended up sending supplies and money to the coalition instead.
However in recent years this has changed with the placement of non-combat troops in Iraq for a year or so in the beginning of the occupation. After the troops were withdrawn, Japan still has three cargo planes serving with the coalition supply chain. This may sound like not much though it’s certainly a bending of the provisions of the constitution. However there is more: additionally, there are Japanese destroyers and tankers in the Indian Ocean supporting the coalition naval assets there. On top of this, the current generation of combat aircraft in the Air SDF (Japanese air force), the F-2, has an unrefueled range of about 1100 miles. This gives it the range to strike at targets in North Korea quite easily. Finally there is a small but seemingly growing movement in Japanese society to want Japan to become Nuclear armed. At this point it only seems to be up to 30% of the population but it seems to be increasing.
Now why is this happening right now? Since their economy had a downturn in the late ‘90’s there has been a seemingly consequential strengthening of the right wing in the country. This has shown itself in talk about national pride, and defending said pride by force if necessary. And these elements have gained power within the government recently with the election of Prime Ministers Koizumi and Abe. Now with this power the right wing has used it to make the idea of increased militarization more palatable. This seems to have come in the form of a modifying of the perception of their place in history, such as changing history textbooks to give minimal coverage of the events of WW2 or to show Japan as heroically fighting western imperialism. And then there was the incident when Koizumi entered the Yasukuni shrine in to pray to the soldiers who died in the conflict. The problem with this is that several war criminals from that conflict are enshrined inside, which caused much uproar in those countries that had been Japan’s victims back then. Additionally the political right’s desire to start a nuclear weapon program is based on the idea that even though they were the only nation to have two nuclear strikes on them, this shouldn’t stop them from having such weapons anyway. In fact this should give them more reason than anyone else to have such weapons.
Now this desire for defense, and the ability to enact upon it, has shown itself in the form of the creation of long range strike aircraft and participation of the United State’s missile defense shield. These tools of defense are primarily aimed at China and North Korea. North Korea has always been a threat of some degree to Japan, be it the kidnappings of Japanese citizens in the 70’s and 80’s or the test firing of ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan or over Japan. And this has only gotten worse since the detonation of the nuclear device last fall. If the North Korean government were to threaten seriously the launch of a nuclear device at Japan, the Japanese military could launch a strike against them. On the other hand if Japan were to just feel threatened by North Korea, they could launch a preemptive strike. This could be bad even if they destroy North Korea’s long-range strike ability since it may start a conflict with China.
Now there is still a bit of bad blood between Japan and China over the formers occupation of the latter. This was shown a couple years ago when the news of the new history textbooks in Japan were going to overlook that occupation and the damage I caused riots in many places around China. Now the main problem here is while Japan has a military that is higher tech than China’s it is rather severely outnumbered by China’s slightly lower tech military. And any conflict that happens between those two will draw the US into it, but since we have serious interests in both countries we will be conflicted in what to do.
Now there is no clear threat that a remilitarized Japan is likely to happen anytime soon, especially with the defeat of Shinto Abe’s party in the recent parliamentary elections. The newly elected government is more interested in restoring economic growth instead of expanding the military. Additionally even if Japan were to start a nuclear weapons program, it would be several years before they could create a test device. So the short answer in don’t worry about a militarized Japan quite yet, but keep your eyes open. Since the situation in that part of Asia is in a nearly constant state of flux these days, anything could happen. Especially if North Korea finally collapses with the ensuing chaos many expect problems could happen (the rouge generals with nukes sorta thing), but lets hope not.
"When in doubt, be creative"