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The ongoing quest for a guilt-free mind and happiness:
The first girl I learned to love emailed me today after reading some of my heart’s distress in October 22, 2006. I continued small update in a post later on October 31, 2006 under the religion section. After reading the following email I went back to the October 22 entry and edited a few items. For a full understanding I also suggest you read Pseudo seizure, that node really connects the confusion of this girl.

”You know, even after we stopped seeing each other at first, I continuously went back to this site to see if you had updated, and for the longest time you hadn't. Finally, I decided to check today after not having been there for a good 6 months or so. And what I find is severely hurtful. Not only had you deleted every node about me, but you also write about me in the October 22nd node as if I was a horrid person. I'm not going to get upset. I'm not going to call you horrible names. But I will say this: I loved you then, and always will love you, and what we did in the months of January through March were not good things, but it wasn't just my fault. You were there too and you could've stopped it. I do admit that I might've pushed it at first, but you enjoyed it as much as I did and I wish that you would at least admit that. I'm sorry to hear about Insert girlfriend’s name here and you, I had no idea and didn't think that she was capable of that. I hope that things work out for you.

Nervousness:
I brushed my teeth for almost twenty minutes today. I now know how it feels to replace my connection with my mother. She might have made me feel better if I were still living at home. I couldn’t decide if it was either a nervous habit presenting itself from thin air or if upon reading my first love’s email made me completely forget I was brushing. I’d occasionally move the brush around, but I probably brushed the every spot a good forty times. I burned my thumb today with a very small thin patch of vertical skin on the middle of my right thumb blistering. Typing with it is odd. I burned it because I had two candles in my room with near-to-no wicks left but I wanted to burn some candle to get my mind off the smell of last night. I don’t care to explain what I mean by that at this time, but it isn’t exactly what you are probably thinking. Regardless some of my nervousness is induced by that email.

My first love:
I figured I’d do two things here. First, I think she deserved a bit of credit and I need to write some good things about her. Second, I’m going to go over some of my feelings about her engagement to my ex-best friend.

Now, before I met her I thought of roses as a tool. You gave a rose to a girl, it made her smile. You touched the petal of a rose, you felt smooth inside. You smell a rose, and it makes you feel better. When I think of roses now, I think of her. I’m not saying that she was beautiful and that thorns pricked me – that’s not what I’m saying at all. In fact I think society could use many better metaphors for the consequences of touching something beautiful. Maybe even a cactus, cept that isn’t really beautiful. Any way, she is a rose. I felt better about myself around her. She did challenge some of my beliefs, possibly affected some of my actions even, but that’s only because she was a rose. Roses create action, I realize after a couple of years. Her favorite rose was the black rose. I saw a garden of them up in Canada’s famous rose park – though I don’t remember the name of it. This was a couple months after we broke up, I broke down in tears here. She probably said the same things about flowers to every boy she has ever met and dated, but she didn’t change their definition of a rose like she did for me.

What I believe of my former best friend:
My ex-best friend and I stopped being friends the summer after she and I broke up. I started hating him for what he did to girls I knew, two of the three girls I even liked. Now, his future wife doesn’t believe these things to this day, but I believe he used girls one after the other like a chain smoker might light the next cigarette from the previous one. He used the first one to practice, he probably didn’t enjoy her too much but he manipulated her too much. This is the girl I didn’t like, she probably would done anything with any guy, but he used to her to practice anything a guy could do to a girl. She called me up crying the first night he penetrated her and wondered if she was still a virgin. I reprimanded her, I was quite rude. I told her to stop seeing him and get a grip, at high school he wouldn’t of even be around her at all, he was supposedly dating another girl even. She didn’t have anything else though, or so she told me, she was content with what she had even if it was bad. People like that, people who accept what they have even if it is bad and don’t go for something better, are people I disapprove of.

The second girl was a girl I liked, I had in fact dated her after breaking up with my first love. I told her about everything he had done to the first girl, she said I was a liar and only tried to prevent them from being together because I was jealous. Hell no. After he used her and moved on to my first love, the girl he is engaged to now, this girl called me up and admitted everything I said about him was true. He used her too. This started her slut trend, and well she is probably in the same boat of the first girl – cept maybe she can get a few more guys. She hates the girl who stoll him from her with a passion, uses me to this day to get back at her, even admitted to the things she did with him to her face – but retracts everything she says when he asks her to because she loved him. Loving someone who uses you sucks.

I don’t think I could ever classify my first love as the third girl he used, it wasn’t ever like that. If that was true they’d both be using each other, and I don’t think they would want to marry each other if that was the case. So I believe they do love each other, even if I don’t understand why. When she started dating him she came back to me and shared kisses on more than a few occasions. Told me I was a better kisser and how much she missed me. I don’t know why she didn’t just get back together with me, I don’t know why at all. We went and got sushi about every four or five months too. When he first asked her to marry him she came up to my place and asked me what I thought about it on the deck of my parents home (where I was living at the time). She didn’t want anyone to know, and I never told anyone – but a girl who lived down in Provo came to her own conclusion after seeing my distress over a situation I couldn’t inform her much upon. After that my first love hated me. She went out of her way to make me feel bad, twisted a stake through my heart and turned away from me. About a month ago she finally became public about their marriage, she lives with him now. It wasn’t until she called me up distressed about him taking their newly purchased kittens to the pound without her consent, that I again believed she cared about me. She does indeed, and she even admitted she threatened him to spend the night with me if he tried to get rid of the cats again. These details are pretty hard to follow, I understand that.

The moment the friendship ended:
The major event that made it so my friendship with him severed completely though was a night he assaulted me at a park where two joggers called the cops and he didn’t walk away before they arrived. I will always remember that moment, “Dude, those sirens are coming here, this is your only chance to walk away before they get here.” He replied, “No they’re not! We’re not done here!” My nose was bleeding and there wasn’t much a scratch on him even though I remember the exchange about equal – I had thrown him to the ground and kicked him a few times but I didn’t have a bruise like he probably did, the only thing I had was a bloody nose and I get those very easily. I get one a month at least from clumsiness or blowing my nose. It could have been my own elbow is what I’m getting at. Regardless, the court ordered him to not come within three hundred feet of me, he was pretty good about following it too. Haven’t seen him since. I see his fiancé every once and a while, I’m hoping to stay friends with her for the rest of my life. I don’t approve of her choice to marry him, but it isn’t my decision. I think they are good for each even without the approval. I do believe they love each other too. I just hope she truly will be happy with him because if she isn’t I would do everything to help her get out of it. But I must end on a light note, my best friend and I were amazing Magic: The Gathering players. He now continues that with her - and one of the things most magic players believe is there isn't a beautiful girl who plays magic - well this girl proves that wrong.

It’s so weird when there are two types of people who read my diary entries. E2 people who read it for enjoyment and connective-ness, and people I know in real life (ex girl friends and current alike). I tell everyone that I write the truth about the feelings I have and don’t spice it up, and if they don’t like what I have to say that they shouldn’t read it. Luckily they agree to those terms.

Dear you,

The rain has finally begun, here in central Cally. I am incredibly relieved, and I want to run out and lie in the wet grass and let it soak through me into the earth. Once again, by folding over from harvest season into monsoon, this place reminds me that it has five seasons, not four.

The central valley of California does not have the typical four seasons that you get in picture postcards and advertising. For winter, instead of snow, we have pouring rain, monsoons, which lasts more or less from the beginning of November to early February. Spring is long and green and gorgeous, everything budding far earlier than my youthful yankee reptile brain remembers that it should, and lasting longer. Summer is shimmering, baking, hot, parched ground and frying eggs on the sidewalk and ceiling fans hot.

Siestas would be the sensible way to live, but we're far too Calvinistic to indulge in that sort of equitorial climate sin. The heat usually breaks around the middle or the end of August, and suddenly you have harvest season. So many tomatoes that you think they will never end. I won't even mention zucchinis, the mutant pod people of the vegetable world. Feasting and going back to school and leaves falling, and also the peak of fire season. The air smells like smoke, and it makes my skin itch. This differs from high summer in that it is no longer too hot to be outside for much of the day. Still hot, but not sweltering.

Then there's autumn, when the leaves are really falling, and we start having fires in the fireplace, and everything is going back underground. Some rain, but not pouring.

Now, that makes five, not four. Winter/monsoon, spring, summer/baleful heat, zucchinis/harvest, and cool/autumn. Granted, these are more subtle than the four seasons I grew up with - spring = flowers, summer = no school, fall = red leaves, winter = snow.

Winter begins today, not just the day, but the moment it really starts to pour - the warm dry that feels like it will never end lets go, and the water takes over completely. We don't live in a desert, we live in a flood plain.


So it turns out elephants, along with most primates and bottlenose dolphins, are self aware. They can recognize themselves in a mirror, and they do not greet the elephant they see reflected - thus, self-awareness. Or at least awareness of the difference between another elephant and a reflection.

Would someone please make me a mirror big enough for whales?

This seems like a scarily limited definition of self-awareness. Elephants seem to have a pretty sensitive sense of touch - and the difference between the texture of another elephant, and the slick glassness of a mirror seems pretty marked. Does the recognition of the difference between these define self-awareness? It defines, I suspect, elephantness and not-elephantness, but a sense of self?

I hope elephants ponder the nature of their being, and trade koans about suffering, the dharma, tonglan. I suspect elephants are buddhists, and ponder on their elephant nature. All religions are the same, especially Buddhism. What about elephanty buddhism?

Then there's the other question of self-awareness. I've been having an elaborate on-going discussion with my favorite sister about the nature of authenticity. It's a sub-topic of Jung and Jungian analysis, and our experience of personas, and the discomfort some people feel if you see their inner self and react to it rather than their persona. If I am being my authentic self, why do people's reaction to me sometimes not match up to how I see myself? Does an elephant ponder it's own shadow?




Perhaps it is that capacity for contentment that makes me discount its importance. Comfort is easy. I've been comfortable at the top of Mt.Rainier, in the middle of many wildernesses, in a tent in the pouring rain. Comfort, like happiness, is overrated.

I don't know how all of these things tie together for you, dear. Today is a series of discrete events, rather than a package I can tie up neatly for you. rain. elephants. self-awareness. club moss. comfort. tea cups.

Welcome back, monsoons.

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