Negative Capability

The rains have arrived for a six day stay.  I’m sitting here watching TV and writing.  The two do sometimes go hand in hand for me…my roommate is completely perplexed by this.  When I work from home, I work with the drone of the TV in the background.   Woke up today with a hacking cough.  Just laid in bed until noon feeling feverish and coughing.  I’m still coughing.  I have to quit smoking.

So my New Year’s resolution this year is “self-love”. It’s not like I haven’t improved my relationship with myself in the last 5 years or so, but still, I slip up here and there.  So, I have to start somewhere.  This whole lifetime of moving around, uprooting myself, keeping distance from people, from myself.  It’s not going to work anymore.  At some point I owe myself forgiveness.

So, that said, self-love is going to entail some work.  Harm reduction comes to mind…in various forms.  Really pushing myself to find a relationship.  I’ve spent years not dating.  Leaning back on my old relationships long past their due date.  It’s time to find someone I can stabalize with, someone here.

In the meantime, I’m also trying to figure out how to be a better friend to those in my life.  How to really let love and friendship co-exist and how to let that make me feel loved, supported (and visa versa).  Well, this turned into some emotional drivel quite quickly, eh?

That aside, I have fourteen days alone, sans roommate in my flat.  I rarely leave except in the evenings to go to the bar and play cards.  Another thing that I need to stop, if some sort of stable, nurturing life is what I truly want.  I’m writing more.  Focused on work less, but still focused.  Just not burning myself out at the tech startup.  If I fall behind, I fall behind.  I’ve been there for a year and a half (the average stay at a tech startup is about 2 yrs).

Trying to find the right thing to read.  I’ll pick up one book, start reading, get bored.  Onto the next and the next.  Out yesterday, driving through the driving rain to Oakland to shop at IKEA.  Good christ, what was I doing at IKEA?  Trying to replace the bathroom mirror that fell off the damn wall several months ago.  Both the roommate and I are too lazy and/or irresponsible to replace it so after we swept up the broken mirror shards, I said something about I would replace it and then life careened on, sans bathroom mirror.  We’ve been hunching over a smaller round mirror I put on the counter in there for 8 months now.

So I go to IKEA and I spend 2 hours wandering the maze-like box full of suburban families, screaming children, hipster couples low on cash and looking for a bed, and look in vain for the bathroom mirror deptartment.  Meanwhile I had a lot on my mind and IKEA wasn’t really helping.  Finally, after discovering the bathroom mirror department and finding the mirror that would suffice in the fake display room, I wander the purgatory like aisles where the goods are packaged and ready for people to struggle them onto carts before the 45 minute wait for the cashier.

But, and not to drag this story out too long, the mirror was gone.  Out of stock.  I stood there heartbroken as a Russian couple next to me argued about a large hallway mirror and then finally dragged one down, still in disagreement, onto their cart to join the throngs of people; indeed all of them looking like the seething masses at an immigration check point.

I left the two water glasses I had otherwise planned on purchasing and walked out into the dusk and rain.  A beautiful bruised sky above me.  Found my car and started driving.  I’ve been going through some hard emotions as of late.  Some difficult realizations about myself.   But then this good feeling took hold of me.

And as I hit the Bay Bridge, I could see the lights had been turned on (the Bay Bridge has this beautiful artistic light installment) and the lights of the City were glowing.   And I felt some sort of faith again.  Not in god or anything.  Faith in myself.  And the fact that, generally, I’m pretty lucky right now.  I just need to continue understanding negative capability (this is a term the poet Keats used to talk about periods of uncertainty) and moving through it all to something more fruitful.