I'm blogging for Reverb11. Reverb is a thing where you get a blogging prompt every day of the month through December, and you're supposed to (I think) reflect on the year gone by in response to said prompt. I didn't do it last year, or any other year, but I've been a blog-slacker for months, so I figured what the hey, let's do it.
The first prompt was to sum up your 2011 in one word. So here's mine:
Certain aspects of my life are now dead and gone, and I'm stuck in the Waiting Place, which if you're up on your Seuss, you know is a terrible place. But that's where I am. I'm very in-between things right now. If someone said to me, "So tell me about yourself," I'd have to say, "Oh, I'm actually in-between selfs right now. Yeah, lost the old self--recession and all--but really looking forward to moving on to a new self. Lots of irons in the fire for a new self."
Which would be an utter lie. There are no irons. I don't think there are even any fires. But there will be, I'm sure. In 2012. Because purgatory has to END eventually. You can't just be stuck at the starting line forever. Eventually the pistol fires, and you're off, and you know what? That actually sounds like a lot of work. Scratch that metaphor. Eventually, the hot tub lid gets taken off and you get to sit in it sipping margaritas and listening to Enya. Ahhhh... that's better. Relaxing!
I figured since Purgatory was going to be my word for the entire year, I should learn some things about it. So I quote that great oracle of all things knowable, Wikipedia:
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven.I like this word even better now, for the following reasons:
- It is a process of purification, which means that I should come out the other side of 2011 a better person, and by golly, I think I already have. I've grown and matured emotionally, as one is wont to do when one's limits are tested. And one's were. I've learned to control my temper, I've developed greater self-discipline, and I've learned to let go of things both emotional and physical. And I even gave up sex. Sex! That's pretty pure!
- It is also temporary punishment, which as far as I'm concerned means the universe and I are all squared up for everything I've ever done wrong. Right? That's how it works. Trust me. And though I say that in jest, I probably did spend the last year having my mistakes catch up and wreak consequence on my life, so it fits like a sock. What? Those tend to fit much snugger than gloves.
- I have to have died in a state of grace.
Unrelated: do you know what happens when you study a lot of lit from around the 16th century? You just automatically associate the verb 'to die' with sex. Because they did. Like when Benedick says, "I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes" which is very romantic, and I quite like it, he doesn't mean he's going to cease to live while on her legs. He means... you get it. Anyhow, dying in a state of grace is lovely either way.
For our purposes, let's say that I lived up until 2011 in a state of grace. We won't talk any more about the dying.
- I AM BEING MADE READY FOR HEAVEN.
I thought you could go from purgatory to hell. I didn't know you for sure got to go to Heaven. So if this is purgatory, then... Next stop, ENLIGHTENED BLISS! Which would be lovely. I've done ignorant bliss, and I've done enlightened. I would like to take the best of both worlds and have enlightened bliss. I do so look forward to 2012.
So there you have it. My 2011 was Purgorative. It was Purgatorific. It was Purgatorrisome. No, I don't think there's a subjective complement there. It was purgatory.