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I See Change, But Inside We’re the Same

“All the stories have been told
Of kings and days of old
But there’s no England now (there’s no England now)
All the wars that were won and lost
Somehow don’t seem to matter very much anymore
All the lies we were told (all the lies we were told)
All the lies of the people running round
Their castles have burned
I see change
But inside we’re the same
As we ever were
Living on a thin line, ooh”

Lies of the people running round, Their castles have burned, I see change, But inside we're the same, As we ever were, Living on a thin line

I have loved Tori Amos music (at least her first few albums) since I was 16 or so.

I’m not as familiar with it, or her, these days. I just asked Alexa how old she is and she’s 60 and that boggles the mind. I still think of her as 30-something. And I guess that makes a teen still! I had a college boyfriend, at some point in the early part of my Tori Amos love, who told me that the music she plays is so beautiful that it’s like it shows him a locked world he can never access. That has stuck with me for years. And I thought about it a lot the other day when I saw that this same ex posted an amazing commercial he had made for a very popular car brand. I’m talking big time. He has hit the big time, or at least that’s what it looks like on the surface. A loving wife, three adorable kids, big time commercials, and a whole lot of travel. I wonder if he feels like he has unlocked that beautiful world; that beautiful place. And I wonder which side of it I fall on.

Lies of the people running round, Their castles have burned, I see change, But inside we're the same, As we ever were, Living on a thin line

Scarlet got COVID last weekend, for the first time. She had a headache while we were at the Three County Fair, but we figured that was heat and spinning rides and dehydration. She had had a little sore throat earlier that morning, but she had screamed loudly at the School Bus Demolition Derby the night before so figured it was that (and still could have been). I had no idea she was sick and shared TWO drinks with her. Then we got home and she cuddled on the couch with a blanket and we realized she had a fever. The positive COVID test came the next day. SOMEHOW, knock on wood, no one else got it. I don’t know how! Maybe because we all had already had it and so we have antibodies? My sister’s family was with us overnight and they didn’t get it either. The long weekend gave way to a lonely and odd week. Scarlet stayed home, but stayed upstairs. I only saw her when I brought her meals. I kept Rider home from his first week of daycare, because there’s an unvaccinated baby there and we didn’t want to take risks.

I spiraled into my weird thoughts, because I had nothing to really stop me from this spiral. I despise weeks like this, because I feel weak and invisible, and have to pull myself out. It occurred to me that if I got COVID, it wouldn’t really change much. No one would know I have it because I work from home and don’t socialize much anyway. It would only really change the way I take Rider to daycare, and if I told some lovely local friends how sick I was, if I was very sick (Scarlet’s case was mild). If I didn’t publish here on the blog, no one would notice for a week. At least. If I didn’t post on Instagram, maybe some of my friends would notice, but that’s just maybe. And I don’t mean to wallow in sad thoughts – this is of my own doing. I used to want to disappear, and when it started to work, I didn’t know how to backtrack. These were middle school years, mostly. I didn’t know how to say, “WAIT! I changed my mind!” So I battled it. I smiled at everyone, was kind, wore the brightest colors I could find, and made sure it was impossible not to notice me.

I’d get high on life, and invite everyone to join me.

Lies of the people running round, Their castles have burned, I see change, But inside we're the same, As we ever were, Living on a thin line

I noticed everyone and everything, and tried to capture the more captivating. And I vowed to do something with my life that would be BIG and earth-shattering. There’s really no one out there I can compare what I wanted to – I’m still shocked that people like Tina Turner and David Bowie have passed away. I’ve seen best-selling writers burn out well before their time, and I’ve had an existential crisis, or 17, that makes me think against the way I’m used to thinking. Luckily the sparks are always still there, and the magic. The world once slowed down, and stopped, and I did with it. Then it went on again before I was ready. I was dealing with pregnancy and babies, and I realized I liked never worrying about parking spaces and nervous stomachs. And yet now, I don’t know where I fall. Do I want to see and be seen? See, and not be seen? Not see, and be seen?

There’s that locked world and place. Have I seen it? Have I experienced all it has to give?

It’s definitely a weird ride! I think my funks get deeper because I don’t yet know enough about self care. I don’t yet know how to ask for everything I want, and also, that I deserve it. It’s hard because the temperaments and ages of the people I live with can make it tough – they make me feel worse! Like I’m not needed or wanted. Like I’m invisible. During the good stretches, I know it’s ridiculous, but during the bad ones, none of us have the tools to make me feel better. At least one of us should, though, and that’s me I guess! And maybe Des, who is the closest to me, temperament/mood wise. Not that it’s his job, but he’s definitely always easy to be around.

It’s like a gauzy curtain separating me. I’m so close, and so, so far.

Lies of the people running round, Their castles have burned, I see change, But inside we're the same, As we ever were, Living on a thin line

And it’s ok. It really is. We’re always stretching and learning. I don’t like paying for crimes I did years ago, and would NEVER DO AGAIN. It’s a cross to bear, though. I wish I had gotten more help when I needed it as a child, instead of withdrawing further and further, that no amount of colorful clothing can take me out of it sometimes. It’s my challenge, though, this push and pull. This wanting to disappear, but not wanting everyone to let me disappear. It’s what they’d do, I know, and it’s what I do too. I’d like to make bigger waves, though, and bigger splashes. I’d like to swim more cleanly through the water, instead of treading it in the shallow end. Maybe there’s a reason and season for all the madness and the confusion, and maybe it’s all chaos anyway, and we’re all just trying to catch and contain it in our hands. The most healthy of us know that’s not possible; not really. So you might as well let it rest in your hands a bit. Look at it at every angle.

And then spin it into magic, and out into the world.

“Now another century nearly gone (no, no)
What are we gonna leave for the young?
What we couldn’t do, what we wouldn’t do
It’s a crime, but does it matter?
Does it matter much? does it matter much to you?
Does it ever really matter? yes, it really, really matters
Living on a thin line (living on a thin line), ooh
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line (living on a thin line), ooh
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?”

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2 Comments

  1. Phew, this post really resonated with me, Tamara. I also don’t want to be seen but I don’t want to be completely forgotten. Or something like that.
    This: “So you might as well let it rest in your hands a bit. Look at it at every angle.

    And then spin it into magic, and out into the world” Oooh, That is so good. Will be thinking about that for a while.

  2. Your closing lines that Lisa mentions are such colorful words of advice for all of us Tamara! Even the brightest Colors can be found in the deepest states of Chaos and Confusion. Keeping those three C’s together can help lighten the experience. Nice 🎵 pick here too! This song has long been a kind of underdog favorite of mine, and so were The Kinks.

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