FishDreamer scribbles: Seeking Serenity Online

Wednesday, 9 March 2005

A Grand Shift

It's been a tedious kind of a week. It is very hard to come back from a week of working with people who love their jobs and are passionate about what they do, to this place where it's all sarcasm and anyone with enthusiasm gets ground into dust. I still like what I do, but the negativity of where I do it is almost palpable. I haven't talked to the boss about it yet, but I opened the dialogue. We'll see where it goes from here.

I think this all has put me back in retreat mode though. It doesn't help that fencing is twice a week, with open sessions two other nights to work on technique and get some practice in. Mr D is going for open session tomorrow, but I'm not sure I am. I might take the chance to run, or have some alone time. I want to read more, and I've found I won't get started on something if I know I have to go out later (fencing is later, so we come home for several hours before we go and don't usually get home until after 10).

I'm enjoying this month's fencing more than last; it's more drills and less sparring. We're learning new parries and attacks, and it's all one class instead of being split. It's a lot of fun now, and the more advanced students are great at helping the newer ones. My drill partner tonight was a six foot four inch man who trained in epee instead of foil, so he swings wider and hits harder. It was fun, and he helped me a lot. Even the person who pissed me off so much last month has settled down and stopped the bad habits, although she still hits me in the leg a lot. I'm glad I continued, and I'm waiting to see how long it is before my back has had enough. There's a lot of twist to the spine, particularly in the hips, which is a spot I have a lot of trouble with already.

So, the retreat thing. I do this regularly, and I think I've done it a lot in the last few years. When the world is changing, when I sense a shift in how I think or what my world is, I retreat into myself. I don't know if people I see daily even notice. I'm still social at work, but I am less outgoing. I think a lot, and I write a lot (usually), and I spend most of my time paying only half attention to the rest of the world. My focus is on my inner self, and how that part of me fits into the world. That's where my head is right now, and I'm still writing but not as much here. Sorry about that! I want to, but I don't like to start if I don't have time to finish and I just haven't felt adequate much lately.

I feel very superficial in the world right now. There's a whole lot shifting in internationally, on all kinds of levels, and while I saw it coming I'm still trying to see if there's anything I can do and what kind of affect it's going to have on me. Mr D bought a book today called The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy by T. R. Reid. This is something he and I have been predicting for years, and we're both fascinated to see the idea presented in hardback format. My boss saw it (he's rather conservative, if I never made that clear before) and said he'd heard it was a good book.

I haven't read it yet and neither has Mr D, but it is the visible manifestation of my belief. I know this shift in power is likely to hurt me personally (starting with how much more our vacation to Europe is going to cost than it would have a few years ago), but I think this is the best thing for the world. It is going to be ugly as the current seat of power in this country goes through the death throes and begins to feel the loss of power it weilded so arrogantly for so long, but as a citizen of the world I am very excited. I don't know how I feel about it being Europe rather than anywhere else that is apparently emerging as the new power. I'm not sure that I can see enough of the world stage to be able to see if somewhere else is coming up behind and ready to shift the tide to a new part of the world. I think it would be good if it did, despite whatever personal pain this may cause me.

That's where I am right now. Shifting all over, and hoping that being American doesn't become any worse of a liability abroad than it already is. I have to admit a bit of worry about Mr D in that regard. He's never been farther than Canada before, and he has some very definite ideas about How Things Are that he is willing to confront people about. I don't know that this will be a problem, but it could. He doesn't always stop to think about the danger he's putting me in when he does that, you see. (We need to work on this.)

And I am now going to go read the new edition of The Nation, which has my man Howard Dean on the cover. Cover story: Now he has the power, what's he going to do with it? (One of his catchphrases to the disenchanted electorate when he was running for president was "YOU have the power!" That's also one of his book titles, I believe. I have that one, it's the one where I burst into tears when he signed it. Anyway...) Have a lovely day, friends, and say hi if you'd like. It gets a little lonely from this side sometimes.

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