Cycles and introspection. And space shuttles!

It’s weird how life seems to follow the pattern of appearing, submerging, then appearing again. I’ve noticed recently, particularly in therapy talking about relationships or recurring issues/themes, that that seems to happen alot. I used to think change was a constant in my life – it’s part of the reason I have my “death” kanji tattoo – but now I think that change is still a constant, but not the way I used to think. This is going to sound like absolute hippy shit (and I am a big old hippy at heart, even if sometimes my cynical side doesn’t want to embrace that shit), but it’s not so much that everything is in a constant state of chaotic flux and we come to grips with something only to be presented with a new obstacle, or find out we didn’t actually come to grips with that original thing at all. It’s more a process of (here comes the hippy) enlightenment. When I’m having a rough patch, and I come across the sentiment that “life gives you the lesson you need to learn, when you’re ready to learn it,” I really just want to do some face-punching. I mean, really, am I supposed to be thankful for the shit I’m dealing with because I’m supposed to learn from it? But then when I’m in a happier, calmer place, it makes a little sense. Although I would probably say it’s more your own subconscious trying to work through shit, than it is “life” (or god or whatever else you want to ascribe it to) generously arranging things to suit your needs. Anyway. It’s not just in therapy that things follow this pattern – “submerged” things seem to be reappering alot lately for me in “real life,” too.

I woke up this morning looking forward to the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Greg and I have been really into space lately, watching all sorts of stuff on the Discovery channel, the Science channel, and even the NASA channel. So I’m excited about Atlantis. When I was little, we used to drive down to Florida to watch shuttle launches in person. My dad had a converted Chevy van, with a bed in the back, storage space underneath the bed, a port-a-potty, and rigged-up, removable bunk hammocks for Susan and myself, they hung over the front seats. And curtains all round, for privacy and sleeping. We’d get up at some ungodly hour, pile into the van, and drive down to Florida. (Sometimes our parents would get us out of school to catch a launch. Which also meant they had to get subs for their own classes.) Susan and I would sleep on the bed (probably not legal so much, but we did), and when we woke up, we’d watch a space shuttle launch. It was so exciting. I haven’t really thought about those trips in a while, but recently I have, and they were nice. Not all my memories from childhood are bad, and I don’t think I’m as vocal about the good memories I do have. (Probably because the dysfunction kind of outshines the good, and probably also because I haven’t finished processing and working through all this stuff, and so don’t like to talk about any of it much.) But I am thankful for those trips. They were neat, and I feel lucky to have had them. I’m so excited about Atlantis that I’ve been double-checking the launch times to make sure the dvr is set to catch whatever coverage the NASA channel has. And I know Greg’s looking forward to it as much as I am. But at work, among our friends, on facebook and the other places I frequent on the interwebs, things are really quiet. We’re going into space, y’all! It’s EXCITING! We have people living on a space station, and Atlantis is flying to it! They’re going to dock! There will be spacewalks and robotics! HOLY SHIT!

If you’re so inclined, you can watch live streaming coverage over at NASA.

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