Tag Archives: family

Dramatis Personae

Summary:

The station crew are struck down by a ‘telepathic matrix’ brought on board by a Klingon who dies on arrival. The matrix causes everyone to become randomly obsessed and Kira mounts a mutiny with the rest of the crew taking sides. Sisko, though, seems completely disinterested in the whole managing the station thing, and instead locks himself in his office and obsesses over blueprints which he eventually uses to build a clock.

I’m not sure why.

Dax meanwhile does nothing but reminisce about old times with previous hosts, seeming pretty oblivious about the mutiny. In the end, Odo, who is unaffected by the matrix (although it knocked him out when it tried to affect him) works out  a way to assemble all the affected crew together and defeat the matrix by blasting it out into space, and everybody is alright again.

OK.

Probably the most interesting thing about this episode is the way Kira and O’Brien both fight for Odo’s loyalty, and Kira basically tries to seduce him with her feminine wiles! Perhaps this episode shows how the characters would act and behave if all pretense and inhibitions were abandoned?

Real Life Notes:

I’ve been so distracted, I thought I’d already written and submitted this post. But then I remembered that I struggled to see much purpose in it all. I’m not sure I can see any of this in our real-life characters. Thankfully, there is no big fault-line which could lead to familial civil war. The main issues are between Julian and Quark, and they regularly need pulling apart. But as far as I know, nobody takes sides, it’s more a case of learning to be peacemakers and negotiators. It is, however, depressingly constant. These two never seem to be able to learn to get on together.

I mentioned earlier that I would introduce my characters more properly in the episode ‘Dramatis Personae’, so here goes:

Sisko: my husband. We’ve been together 23 years which is somewhat miraculous considering how very different we are. Level headed, slow to anger, never acts in haste. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear he was a Vulcan.

Dr Julian Bashir: my eldest. Highly strung, sensitive and quite brilliant, friendly and sociable but never quite understanding people, so constantly confused, disappointed or frustrated. Feels strongly about social justice.

Jadzia Dax: my only daughter. Beautiful, strong, determined and feisty, capable and knows what she wants, but plagued by self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy. Talented and creative, but with no strong sense of direction.

Quark: my middle boy. Clever in a cheeky, cunning sort of way. Constantly working on any number of projects which usually include avoiding work and getting rich quick at the same time. Extremely sociable and extrovert. Has a heart of gold really but masks it with a thick layer of bravado.

Rom: my youngest. Shy and quiet and almost completely overshadowed by his older brother, (and like Julian, often completely confused about everything) but slowly beginning to come out of his shell to reveal a kind, clever funny young man.

Kira: that’s me. Even when I’m perfectly happy, there’s anger bubbling beneath the surface. I’m not sure anymore what I’m angry about, it just seems to be in my nature. In another dimension, I’m definitely Klingon.

For the purposes of this blog, the characters are interchangeable as I see aspects of ourselves in their stories.

ds9-cast

Advertisements

The Best Laid Plans…

I know it couldnt be further from husband’s mind, but after this most recent unexpected pregnancy and miscarriage I had hoped than once we were in our own home finally we would be able to start the adoption process again.

But two weeks before we were due to move house, my mother had an emotional crisis and was showing such severe signs of confusion and possible dementia that it was decided she would have to move in with us.

So there goes our ‘spare’ bedroom. Mum has actually been much better in the six weeks she’s been with us, so the plan is to make this a permanent arrangement.

Maybe it was just never meant to be. Every time our situation was starting to look promising, another hurdle would be thrown up in our way.

And now of course, I’m 45 so even if I could get on top of my health issues (I’m currently being investigated for Cushing’s and Diabetes Insipidus, all relating back to a head injury I had back in 1983) it would be too late for babies.

I keep thinking that I should just give up making plans and just let life wash over me and take it as it comes. Just shrug my shoulders and accept that whatever will be will be.

Years ago (actually straight after I lost my twins), a friend suggested I get myself a puppy. At the time I thought it was a really insensitive thing to say. But now, after 13 years of empty arms, secondary infertility and multiple recurrent miscarriages, I would settle for a teddy bear.

Emissary part 2

Act Four

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, in Act Four we are introduced to Odo, Quark, Nog, Jadzia, Dr Julian Bashir, Miles O’Brian (who we know from TNG) and the Cardassians.

In my original blog, Dr Bashir sometimes represented my eldest son, Jadzia my daughter. I can’t remember if I had a use for the others at the time. I suppose the Cardassians could represent anybody who might be my enemy. I think that, because they’re imperfect metaphors in that they don’t perfectly match specific characters in my real life, they will not always represent the same people.

Quark rather suits my middle son as he is absolute chock-full of cheek, and is always working on some scheme or other. I’m not sure who my youngest son was represented by but right now I am thinking along the lines of Quark’s brother Rom. O’Brien represented different aspects of Sisko’s character.

In the story, the crew of DS9 (and specifically Kira and O’Brien) move the space-station to the Wormhole to stake a claim on it before the Cardassians do. In my story, it was Sisko’s idea, and the move was designed to protect us from the Cardassians and give us all a better quality of life. I think it was a good plan in theory, but the reality has been far more complicated.

“The Provisional Government and I disagree on a lot of things, that’s
probably
why they sent me to this god-forsaken place.” – Kira

We have actually had to move several times, and although we are close to the Wormhole, I am not sure we have reached our final destination.

 

Act Five

Meanwhile, Dax and Sisko are meeting with the Wormhole Aliens, the ‘Prophets’ as the Bajorans see them, and Sisko tries to explain to these aliens who live outside of time the nature of linear existence, but they show to him how – due to the intensity of his grief in losing Jennifer – the existence that he experiences in his mind isn’t linear at all, but he “exists here”.

I love this sequence, and I think it is so profound. Until Sisko faces this fact, he is unable to properly grieve and move on. There are supposed to be stages of grief (5 or 7, depending on which scale you use) which takes you through anger and denial and so on, but in reality grieving doesn’t follow a linear progression at all. You might go from stage one to stage two to stage three and then back to stage one and back again before the next stage you’re ‘supposed’ to reach, and contrary to the lists of ‘stages’, you never get to a point of ‘done’ grieving, as even years later, grief still hits you in waves and you’re right back there at the beginning of the scale again. Perhaps not as raw as it once was, but no less real.

As I have already mentioned, my Sisko isn’t like this, he doesn’t like emotion and he doesn’t (as far as I can tell anyway) experience grief in the same way that I do. But Sisko in this sequence is me. I experienced grief, first in 2010 when I had a personal loss (which I probably won’t go into here) and then again in 2011 when my Dad died, and it has changed me profoundly.

I exist there.

It has become the pivotal moment of my life, and what defines the rest of it.

“And I have never figured out a way to live without her.” – Sisko

By the way, before you object, my ‘Acts’ don’t perfectly match with the content of the divisions of the episode. I haven’t fully covered Sisko’s meeting with Kai Opaka or Sisko and Dax’ orb experiences, so I will try and do a ‘part 3’ next.

I will love and leave you with another Metallica track from the most excellent Ride the Lightning album: Fade to Black. It won’t all be Metallica in future, I promise, but this is such an appropriately sad and melancholy tune, I thought it fit nicely with the theme.

LLAP.

Rounding Up the Year – 2014 – It’s been a weird one.

2014 has not been the greatest year, but it certainly hasn’t been the worst year by a very long mile.

We had only just moved into this house (in November 2013) with mixed feelings – not the home I had hoped for, we’re still renting with no end in sight, but relieved to be out of the hell that was the previous rental. But on the home front I have spent most of the year battling the agents over a long list of problems, not least of which the intermittent hot water, which thankfully was finally fixed in time for Christmas.

At the beginning of the year, I set out meaning to read one book a week for #Read52 but I doubt I have even read one a month. I can’t remember another year when I have read so little in fact. I started off the year with lots of energy and did several courses – an OU course, DD101, an introduction to Social Science, as well as several MOOCS, and I also volunteered with Scouts and Guides AND Boys / Girls Brigade. By the beginning of the summer holidays I had totally overdone it and had a relapse which kept me almost housebound over the entire summer and well into September. I have been getting better since then but I have had to pace myself and I haven’t resumed any of my volunteering again so far.

In the Spring – also when I was feeling healthy and strong and on top of the world – I put myself forward for Ordination. I had two interviews and was informed that, although it was considered that I had a ‘call’, I wasn’t quite Anglican enough yet and needed to do several things before coming back to them. Although I know it was the right decision, I did experience that as a kind of rejection that has made me feel quite miserable and frustrated since. This Spring I will need to decide whether or not I want to pursue it. I have a feeling that it may be an uphill struggle, and it’s a funny kind of mirror of the struggle one has to go through in order to convert to Judaism – you can expect to be sent away and persist several times before your wish to convert is taken seriously.

And then the other big issue of 2014 was the beginning of a possible adoption journey which so far has consisted of a lot of reading (mainly of blogs – see the blog roll to the right for recommendations) and attending information meetings with the Council and an agency, but not much else so far. I have been lucky enough to discover the amazing adoption community on twitter which, since mostly anonymous, is able to be very open and honest about the reality of adoption and they have been kind enough to answer my questions.

Oh and finally, I did successfully complete my second ‘novel’ for NaNoWriMo in November. I haven’t started editing yet…

Overall, 2014 has been something of a weird and unusual year – not good, not bad, but a lot of new stuff and big stuff being contemplated which could possibly lead to big changes.

There seems to be a lot of pressure to make resolutions and have a ‘new start’ for the new year. But ‘New Year’ is an invented non-entity. The winter solstice has already passed and there isn’t even a new or a full moon – there is no astronomical reason to say that the year turns on this day or night and yet somehow we imbue this date with significance that give it a kind of magic. Whatever. Every day can be a new start. I would love to resist it, but I find myself – as I often seem to do – in the position of being very unhappy with where my life is and feel the need to make some decisions about the direction it is taking. In that sense I would like to avail myself of the opportunity to make a new start. but on the other hand, I feel as though there is very little within my control that I can change.

I have realised that I perceive myself as a victim in many areas while often seeing everything as being ‘all my fault’ – all of which results inevitably in misery. in other words, my thinking has become rather negative and unhelpful.

I have made some painful realisations recently, the details of which I won’t go into in any depth but they revolve around needing to rely on myself for what I need. This is nothing new really – when I did the 12 Steps back in 2010 in working through grief and did a ‘life evaluation’, it became clear that my life was very strongly characterised by disappointment. What has taken me a little longer to take on board is the fact that it hasn’t just been ‘bad luck’ or that I just need to wait for hope to be realised around the corner. No, it is that my expectations (of God, of marriage, of family, of friends, of church, of community, of neighbours) were wildly outside what they were prepared to give or be to me. (The book ‘Disappointment with God’ by Philip Yancey, that I read many years ago springs to mind. Worth reading, although it doesn’t resolve anything, and I seem to remember wanting to throw it across the room! But it very eloquently explores the theme and I do recommend it.)

So the crux of the matter, I think, is that I need to change my thinking. I don’t mean that I need to ‘think positively’ – I have had an earful this year about ‘the Secret’ / Law of Attraction from people who have a ridiculously easy life because they’re selfishly and thoughtlessly living at others’ expense but believe they have ‘attracted’ their good fortune by thinking positively while all the dreadful things that have happened to other people were also somehow ‘attracted’ by them. NO, NO, NO! Although that philosophy may be ‘attractive’ (pun intended) it really is the most offensive claptrap when you think about it in any depth. So as my Dad (of blessed memory) used to say, “Take the meat and leave the bones” – if it helps you to think positively, that’s great! Please just don’t let it be a weapon to bash yourself or others when disappointment, failure and disaster happen. It’s not your fault. It’s not my fault. And if you’re successful while others aren’t, it’s not their fault. Really, people, as a philosophy LoA is severely lacking. It’s not that simple. Life is (and people are) complex, multi-faceted, inter-connected and unpredictable.

What I do mean is that I need to start thinking of myself as capable – capable of providing for my own needs without relying on anybody else to make me happy, capable of making my own decisions, capable of making the life that I want for myself without relying on anybody else to do it for me.

So, 2015…

My main goals are always along the same lines – get healthier, enjoy life more, be a better person, be more disciplined. This year though, I would also like to learn better how to look after myself (knowing now that nobody else is going to do it). That means, in the first instance, forcing myself to go to the hairdresser’s. Its such a small thing but I have developed something of a hairdresserphobia. I have probably only been perhaps three times in the last 15 years or more. I know that, if I manage to get there, I will feel better for it, but I really do have to force myself to do it.

I am intending to sign up for some new courses. My OU account is still apparently having funding problems, so I’m still not sure whether or not I’ll be able to do the course I had intended (I wasn’t able to sign up for anything in September but I was assured it had been sorted in time for the spring term, but it seems not…), but I have signed up for a Ministry Course with the deanery and a free Archaeology MOOC, and I may do some other things, depending on finances.

I have been extremely frustrated with my de-cluttering efforts over the holidays so far. I was hoping to be able to have the house spic and span with a view to finally registering for Stage 1 of the adoption process. (It has been around 8 months now since we first enquired with the Council about adoption). So now I’m not sure whether untidy house is an insurmountable obstacle. I have got rid of nearly 50 books along with old furniture and lots of other junk including 20 years of magazines! But the place seems ten times more untidy that when I started so it’s obviously going to be an ongoing project.

I do know that, for the purpose of adoption, I need to do some work on building up a bigger and better support network, since any that I had before we moved down here is now completely non-existent, and developing a new one down here has not come easily.

I may come back with some more specific goals linked to specific times and dates because I think the deadline aspect is a crucial layer of accountability that causes resolutions to fail when they’re not included.

So finally, wishing all (any?) readers a happy new year and, as ever, I hope to be more consistent 🙂