Gratitude List 803

1. Just awoke from what must have been a three hour nap.
 
2. Melissa offered to help me clean the kitchen and bathroom.   Also grateful even to have a kitchen and a bathroom.   (This most certainly has not always been the case.)
 
3. Interesting detailed new email reply from my brother Steve on the theme of California-bashing.   Evidently this is something he’s researched a lot.   I’ll have to delve into it more deeply when more awake.
 
4. Kent called this morning.   It always seems that whenever I’m feeling pressed to make a blanket decision to remove all Californians from my life — for the sake of my health and sanity, basically — I mean, considering where I’ve come from, and my particularly traumatic experiences in that State – I start getting calls and emails from the Californians whom I particularly love.
 
5. The New Story is the one to live in, however, not the Old — no matter what role geographical location places in the settings of those stories.   I’d rather live in the New Testament than the Old Testament, and I would venture to guess it would be the same for any other Story.
 
6. I think this morning was the best time I have ever had at my church.   Kathy did a great job teaching the Wired Word class, and it was a lively discussion with an eye toward truth.  The combined worship forces of the Praise Team and the Choir blew me away.   I felt focused – on the Right Thing –and I was never distracted by logistic difficulties.   Although I was the only bass, in a way that wasn’t a bad thing.   I put myself on ‘double bass’ and boomed it out, when applicable.   “Assurance” rocked.   Megan is as close to indispensable as any accompanist I’ve ever worked with.
 
7. Finished Midnight Screams and sent it to Erika.  Finished Rat Race or Human Race? and submitted it to Street Spirit.   Denise said she will be publishing Treasures in Heaven in the upcoming edition of Class ActionEden in Babylon workshop is on the 26th, and if this sounds like boasting, please try to frame it vis a vis the fact that two years ago I was sleeping in a Berkeley gutter getting the crap knocked out of me by gang bangers while juggaloes were burning down all my possessions — and Berkeley police could have cared less.
 
8. Last two posts on WordPress doing well.  WordPress in general.   Interesting that Mark Landry and Lynne Fisher both submitted posts on how to deal with “assholes” and with “arrogant people” (respectively) yesterday; and that both posts showed up in my WordPress folder right at the moment when I was trying to deal with an arrogant asshole.   The WordPress karma seems very useful and positive, especially as a constructive alternative to the whole social media phenomenon in general.  
 
9. Jeremiah preached today and said he would buy my race registration for the Paradise Path 10-K on Mom’s birthday, and that we can have lunch afterwards on him.  It’s his birthday that day too.  He’s an interesting bright guy, really liked his discussion of Plato’s Theory of Forms and Gnosticism, and how that fit in to the whole mind-body thing in Christianity.
 
10. Won’t be long now.  My daughter and my ex-wife should arrive on Tuesday, possibly – hopefully – never to depart. The “Tuesday Tuneup” should be pretty interesting, and the Lord God Did It All.

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Never the Twain Shall Meet?

It’s been a week now since I’ve updated.   Mostly it’s been all bad.   The day after I last posted here, I was chewed out at work by a person who is not my boss but who insisted on giving me a ride home, evidently so she could lay on me all the things that she thought I was doing wrong.  Because I’d had a bad night that night, trying to function on very low sleep, and continuing to try to adjust to this new medication, I sort of felt as though I was being hit below the belt.  To address all her criticisms effectively would have involved implicating the conductor, which I did not want to do.   I felt, as I have often felt while accompanying this particular church choir, like a scapegoat.  It’s easier to blame things on the accompanist, whom you can clearly hear; than on the conductor, whom you cannot clearly see – and this is part of the problem.  I became really angry over the whole thing, and I almost quit my job.  It doesn’t pay me well enough to have to keep putting up with all this pettiness, when I feel I’m doing the best job I can do.

The conductor herself is not faulting me for my job performance, either.  It’s only the members of the Choir.  I’ve talked with my pastor about this, and basically what I’m supposed to do is try to remember Who is being glorified here.  But that’s the problem – God is not being glorified.   There’s just a bunch of petty bickering that makes me feel like I don’t belong there.   To be honest, I’m still thinking about quitting.  I’m on a fixed income anyway – and when the Feds found out I was working, they charged me all kinds of money and chopped my Social Security payments practically in half.  I’d have been making more money had I never dared to get a part-time church job to begin with.   So I’ve definitely only been hanging on to the job for its propensity to glorify God.   It’s not as though there’s a monetary advantage in my keeping the job.   In fact, ideally, I would only be a member of the church, with no job responsibilities whatsoever.   But somebody has to do it, and I have a funny feeling I’m not going to be able to quit.  Something tells me that, much as I dislike my world right now, it’s still the best of all possible worlds, for me.

So all of this has been preoccupying me.  I fell into a deep depression, and I called in sick on Sunday when, to say that I was “sick” was probably more than a minor understatement.  I couldn’t focus on my playwriting at all.   I had begun to worry that I have been focusing too much on the playwriting anyway, and not enough on my job.  I had even discussed this with my pastor, and no doubt will discuss it with the therapist when I meet with him next on Friday.  The church is supposed to provide a spiritual anchor – and I guess, in most ways, it does.   God probably also knows some things I am loathe to admit; for instance, that if I didn’t have the job, I probably would never make it to church.   So any “anchorage” I’m getting from the church itself wouldn’t be happening if I didn’t have the job that goes with it. 

I slept round the clock for three days solid.  Finally, I cut back on my medication unilaterally.  I just can’t be as exhausted as I’ve been, and expect to get anything accomplished on any level.  I’m beginning to curse myself for even conceding to take the meds.  They’ve never done me any good in the past.  Why would now be any different?  I thought they were helping me to handle the social interaction of my Writer’s groups.  But now I just want to lay in bed all day, and not interact socially at all.   This is unlike me.  I’m not prone to depression, as a general rule.  Maybe the meds are making me depressed?

I think I’ll take back my mania, thank you.   But gosh – there’s got to be a middle ground! I’ll call the doctor today, and hopefully he’ll either take me off the meds or cosign my decision to cut back.   I should have called earlier, but I was too depressed to deal with reality.  Only this morning did I finally arise at a normal hour.  Only last night did I make some headway with the script.   And, I didn’t like letting a whole week go by without updating, so I figure I’d post my truth.  Now, if you don’t mind, I must cease this whiny rant and all the self-piteous bemoanings that go along with it.  I abhor these kinds of personal entries; I’m an Artist; I have pride.  Guess that’s the bottom line.  

I’m an Artist – and I must have pride.   But I’m a Christian – and I must not have pride.  Somehow there’s a “never the twain shall meet” aspect of all this — and it doesn’t sit well in my stomach.