aearwen: (Default)
I lost a friend in an auto accident this week.

Musings about important things under the cut - somewhat a downer. )
aearwen: (Default)
Yes. I'm home. Tired, sore, and determined to stay very quiet for a day or so )

It was an interesting experience.

Not necessarily one I want to repeat in the near future, but worthwhile all the same.

PS: I'd have shared pictures, but LJ was being finicky. Maybe next time.


Apr. 30th, 2009 04:13 pm
aearwen: (Default)
I'm gonna do something I very, very rarely do: I'm gonna talk about events going on in my online life. Today's topic: losing friendships.

It seems that the fallout from my leaving that writer's workshop I mentioned a while back continues to haunt me. I recently wrote to one of the continuing members in that workshop, after not hearing from this person for quite a while, asking if they were mad at me.

I was told, point blank, that no, they weren't mad at me per se; but, because of the rather noisy way in which one of the other people who left the workshop handled their departure, and because my departure happened at the same time, I was a part of that same noisy departure and thus had violated her spirit of friendship. She "respected my decision" to leave, but wanted nothing more to do with me because I "supported" this other person by walking out "with" her.

Excuse me?

I have said little about my leaving to anybody not directly involved. My post in here was agonizingly brief, considering the huge amount of hurt that accompanied that necessary move. In the process of leaving this online organization, I caused absolutely no drama; I threw no temper tantrum, I posted no private messages in public, I did absolutely nothing that would cause anyone any grief or humiliation or anger. I posted one public message before making my decision, questioning the situation, which was answered in a way that made me feel like I'd been slapped - hard. When the time came to leave, I left quietly and with no fanfare at all. When asked by others after the fact why, I stated my case tersely and then recommended that the person also talk to the other principal involved so as to get a balanced view of the situation.

And now, according to my former friend, I'm persona non grata merely because I happened to leave this workshop over priciples at the same time as another did in a more boisterous fashion.

Well, I'm sorry. Principles are important. When I see someone being treated in an unethical manner, I am going to stand up for that person, no matter who else agrees with me. The behavior of those who make the same principled stand is not my problem or responsibility. I am responsible for the way that I behave, and/or any offenses I commit in the process.

But that's it, dammit!

That someone would hold me responsible for another person's behavior when I had no authority, no true influence over them, utterly defies my ability to comprehend. That this same someone cannot separate standing up for principles from the behavior of others involved in the same fracas makes me truly sad. And while it hurts immensely to say this, I hold that anyone willing to do either, much less both, doesn't deserve to be thought of as a friend in the first place - and I am better off knowing that as soon as possible.

I guess I'm glad I have choir practice tonight, and then have to get up bright and early to play piano/organ duets tomorrow morning. One of my music teachers once told me that "Music is an amulet to be worn against all adversity." I hope that continues to hold true.
aearwen: (Default)
The saying goes "The only thing that never changes is that everything changes." And so it goes in the online world as well.

Last night, I withdrew my membership at the Garden of Ithilien Writers' Workshop over my disagreement with the way the admin there handled an issue. I won't go into the blow-by-blows, but the upshot of it is that I walked away from a group with whom I have felt more online kinship than I've enjoyed in a long time.

Standing up for principles hurts, folks. It's necessary, but it hurts like hell.
aearwen: (Default)
Well, I'm back... (to coin a phrase...)

I left on the 8th for a 10-day vacation visiting my brother in Scottsdale, Arizona. Both the drive over and the drive back took almost exactly 9 hours to complete (and both times include about a total of 1/2 hour for gassing up and buying drinks/munchies.) For those familiar with the California and Arizona highway systems, our route took us from home (less than a mile off the US 101) to Scottsdale (lower eastern corner) via US 10 and then local freeway loops once in the Valley of the Sun. And yes, we have to drive through Los Angeles (our route takes us right downtown, as a matter of fact.) Gods but I hate LA!!! It is a three-hour-long roller-coaster ride in the middle of the trip that I would gladly do without, but driving around it (and even then, one doesn't entirely avoid the metro area at all!) would take even longer.

Monday to Thursday, our schedule was to do shopping/sight-seeing in the late morning, early afternoon hours, and then veg out and yakk with my brother and his wife late afternoon and evening. In the middle of everything, my brother's computer's hard drive crashed and burned hard, taking all his date irretrievably with it - and so my daughter (who, for the sake of this account, I shall call "Súl" which is Elvish for "Wind" [and those who know her name will appreciate that]) and I spent most of the day Friday installing a new hard drive and rebuilding his system to the extent that we could. At least, when we left, he had a functional computer - it's up to him to figure out where he has his most recent backups stored, if anywhere.

Friday night, we attended a concert at a Phoenix church, where we heard a consort of instrumentalists from the Phoenix Symphony and two soloists from the Phoenix Chorale perform the Dialogue Cantatas by JS Bach - as well as an orchestral suite. The accoustics in the church were such that the 8 instrumentalists sounded like a small orchestra - and their performance was spectacular!

Saturday - all day - we spent at the AZ Rennaisance Faire, located between Apache Junction and Globe (about 50 miles from Scottsdale.) The shows we saw were all great - "3 Men and a Bunch of Drums" was a riot - and Súl and I are fond of it because we both once played Japanese taiko and like percussion a lot. We caught 4 comedy shows: "The Ded Bob Show" (a real wise-ass puppet which is a skeleton), "Hey Nunnie Nunnie" (a gentle poke in the ribs at religion - in mostly good taste - and of which we saw 2 shows, each slightly different), and "The Tortuga Twins" (who were outrageous and raunchy and utterly hilarious.) But the show that was the most memorable was "Cast In Bronze", which was a short concert given by an artist on a carillon (a set of tuned bells, the like of which are normally found in church/university bell towers) accompanied by background music of orchestra and percussion. Like the first time I ever heard taiko in person, the bells do more than just ring a tone, you feel them in your chest as much as your head. Both Súl and I were moved to tears - and we of course made a point to buy CD and DVD (and definitely plan to listen to him next year!!)

Sunday we spent with one of Súl's highschool friends who had moved to Tucson, who came up since we came over. We spent part of the afternoon at the Scottsdale Railway Park having fun with new-ish babies and just enjoying the pretty day.

And yesterday was, for me, a lost day. I slept - a lot - I had to rest up from all that running around over the weekend.

So there you are. My vacation in a nutshell. I get one week a year to put it all behind me - and this year, I had a blast. Now, to get back to work...


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