There may be people out there who have the impression that I’m a misanthropic asshole with no sense of gratitude.
It’s true, I am a misanthropic asshole, but I am grateful for a lot of things and beings, including people. I thought it might behove me to step out of “character” for a few minutes and make a list. So here we go.
1. The Mother Unit - for rescuing me from myself last year, and having more patience with me than I ever would with anyone, including myself.
2. My friends. Even though I’ve lost a few since 2011, I’ve retained many very important souls in my life, many of which I met here on LJ. Despite my general dislike for our species, I harbour much fondness for my Tribe. Many of you stuck with me through the darkest period of my life, often saving my skin and literally saving my life and sanity when I did nothing to deserve such kindness, and there’s really no way I can ever sufficiently repay you for that. I just hope that I can do something for each of you someday, that might properly express how much you mean to me.
3. Smidgen and Toby. They cradle my soul like no one else would be willing to, or could. The unconditional love cats and dogs give us may well be the primary way god/dess is trying to tell us that we aren’t alone, that we count in some way. Despite my agnosticism, Toby and Smidgen are the ones who keep me from full-on atheism.
4. Music. Music is the closest thing to the concept of Force that we can get. I’ve long believed that the multiverse in which we dwell is a song that is still being composed. It is the purest form of communication, and it is something that every living being expresses in one form or another. We are all songs, we are the music of creation, we are the mathematics and art of dreams and concepts.
5. Fey Publishing - for taking a chance on me and my strange tales. My third book will be available soon, thanks to Fey’s original owner, Sophie Childs, and its current sovereign, Kristen Duvall. Click on their names to learn more about these brilliant women. I owe them both a great deal, for their initial and continued faith in me, and for their patience as I struggled through my own personal bullfunky to finally get the third Vampire Relics book to Dark Fey’s door.
6. Shriekback, in particular Barry Andrews, for letting me have a ringside seat to their ongoing awesomeness. Since 1990, they’ve been an almost constant source of inspiration and comfort, soundtracking my life’s highs and lows, and everything in between. If we lived on Arrakis, I would owe Barry a huge water-debt.
7. The Impractical Jokers and The Epic Rap Battles of History. My entire life, I’ve been a huge supporter of all brands of humour, but my quest for things that would make me laugh became a desperate effort following Aunt Tudi’s death. Of all the things I explored in my quest for laughter, The Tenderloins (Impractical Jokers) and the guys behind The Epic Rap Battles were the only ones who never failed to bring me a joy that was otherwise almost impossible to find.
8. You Tube and Netflix. When you don’t have a TV, these two wonderful services are a wonderful, and often preferable, alternative.
9. Dr. Harrington. Of all the therapists I’ve had over the years, this is the only one I’ve ever felt actually listens to me. His wry wit, proclivity to play devil’s advocate, and his willingness to swear are just three of many things that impress me about the man. And he’s a good person, a genuinely good person.
10. The Internet. When someone asked me how I felt about the Internet back in 1998, I told them that the Internet was the universe’s largest library. You could find out anything by exploring the endless halls of virtual books. You need only be aware of the pervert at the end of each aisle and act accordingly to avoid them.
11. Sleep. When you’re a chronic insomniac, the value of sleep increases a thousandfold. I was never one of those kids who balked at bedtime; I was always a fan of slumber, mainly because of my vast dreamscape. Being able to achieve lucidity at times only added to the wonder of it all. After I began suffering from insomnia, those rare occasions where I’d achieve a few hours of really good sleep with a possible bonus of now rare dreams, reached a level of miraculous for me. I am never not profoundly grateful for sleep.
12. Drum circles. I’ve always been fond of them, but rediscovering drumming and, in particular, trance drumming, has reconnected me to deity on a level I thought was no longer possible. There’s something about surrendering to a group rhythm that is both spiritual and therapeutic. Thankfully, drum circles in San Diego are never on short supply, unlike the Upstate of South Carolina.
13. Earth. I try to never take my home planet for granted, especially now that my species seems hellbent on destroying the only home we’ve ever known. In vast expansiveness of the multiverse, this magickal sphere upon which we all live makes it seem more likely than not, that life is more prevalent than we can imagine. And Earth is teeming with it, in mind-boggling varieties throughout an inconceivable history. This “pale, blue dot” may be tiny in the scheme of everything, but the planet is unique and precious, a work of divine art, from the towering trees of the Amazon to the majesty of the Smoky Mountains, all resonating with the subtle song of water, that which gives life as we know it. We have no right to visit so much suffering upon the body and spirit of our galactic mother. Throughout every day, I am stunned by the miracle of our home, and I grieve for everything that has lost in the wake of our destruction. I walk through life, grateful to Earth for her presence, and therefore ours, and I hope that my fellow humans and I can find some semblance of forgiveness for our transgressions.
So there it is. Thirteen things for which I am very grateful. I’m sure there’s more, but these are the Big Ones in my life, at this moment. What do you treasure? For what are you grateful?