Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The two blogs below are from a long time ago

I guess I wrote them and the issues were too fresh / my impression of how many people were reading them too exaggerated. What the hell. Big ol' dump for all of you fans today.
Hello again.

My grandmother died. She had been very old for a very long time, and we were anticipating her departure for some while. It's remarkable how much it does feel like a departure. I feel as though she's left some kind of room I rarely take the time to notice I'm inside. She died the 26th of September, 2008, at 86 years old.

As she came closer and closer to the end, my grandmother lost many of her faculties. She was extremely aware and retained coherence right up to the end, but as her body failed from the extremities inward - arthritis hobbled her to varying degrees for almost as long as I can remember - it was beautiful and terrible to see what was left. Through her life this woman gave of herself, for her country, her husband, her family and all those close to her. To her church, before she decided that she simply did not "believe in the divinity of Christ." (I can remember when she stopped going to church. What an unbelievably classy thing to be able to do, so relatively late in life, to simply reach a new conclusion about something you had held so centrally in your life.) She was proud and giving and loving and it was a very long time before she gave herself over to my mother's care more or less full-time. It was even longer before they could both feel that my Grammy letting go of life - or, as they express it, this life - was a decision that she was making for herself, and not as one last act of generosity towards her child. Grammy - Elizabeth Iva - stopped eating and drinking when she wanted to. It is, of course, the way we all tacitly want to go. Right? As her brain slowly lost cohesion the last things left, after everything else went away, were love and giving. Even when she could not distinguish which of the figures before her were real and which imagined, she wanted to feed them pie.

When I don't write a blog for so long, it turns out a lot of things happen to me, so here we go.

I am not going to Montana any more. I auditioned for and got a very good role at Apple Tree Theatre, north of the city in Highland Park. The show is called Pen. I think it'll be good.
The process of deciding between Montana Shakespeare and Pen was necessarily brief, but difficult, and it's very much bound up in something I've been thinking about since I got back from North Carolina. See, my Grammy is dying. She's been quite feeble for what seems like a very long time now, but while I was there I was witnessing the beginnings of what must be truly her final dissipation. I'm reminded of a quote from a goddamn comic book, as I am in almost all situations, in which someone describes death as not a single, final severing, but rather a continual process of theft - one thing after another is stolen from us until, finally, we have nothing left to hold on to, and we let go. Much has been taken from Grammy, and I know she's ready to let go. One so-terrible-it's-funny thing was to participate in a frank discussion with my parents on the subject of "if she wants to die so darn much, why does the old broad keep easting!?"
But, my grandmother is a wonderful woman, and though she was seeing things and living increasingly in memory and accusing my mother of deceiving her when reminded where she was, she is still wonderful. When awoken from confused dreams, the blood flowing through a brain which has seen too many throbs already (bits and extensions breaking off, a mind truly rotting as it considers itself) her instinct, the tension which has been built into her body through constant repetitive exertion, is to ask whether she is late for the wedding, to insist I take the pie she has baked to the reception, to ask after the groom's name and apologise that she has forgotten. This woman lived her life as a source of love and nourishment and joy and, though I'm sure this slow - amazingly slow - process of death has the power to take that from her too, it will be the last thing to go, because it is her as deeply as anything can be.
This is what I mean when I say that I must make of my life a devotion. As my grandmother's was a devotion to love and sustaining others, I have to find a way to make my life a dedication to something greater than myself.
It is a powerful sacrifice, I think, to give your life for a cause in which you believe, but it is greater yet to live your life for that cause. I think it's probably an ubermenchian ideal to will yourself into the shape you

This Post Is To Push Down The Last One Where I Am Racist In The Title

Holy Crow, it has been so very long since the last time I posted on this blog. Frankly I forgot it existed. But I dunno, maybe I'll update more now.

These days I have settled into a steady (that is, unambitious, or "sad") rhythm of full-time work at a significant Chicago-based online "c"oupon company and work with my theater company, pH Productions. You can find those dudes at

I've also started dating this lady I loved in high school after an 8-year break. Obviously, between I had numerous wretched and spectacular relationships, many of them since the last time I updated this blog. I think, though, that that's done. If this is the last relationship I ever have, that will be well.

The problem is that everything is going well and everything fucking sucks. My job is challenging and engaging and I don't give even the smallest shit about the "career path" it might offer. My theater is fun and has all my friends in it and consumes 100% of my free time and pays nothing and everyone there is a charming idiot. My girlfriend is beautiful and brilliant and lives in Goddamn Brooklyn.

This latter is my frustration of the day. The intention is for her to move here. That would be so great. But, she's not ready. Understandably, she believes that she would be isolated away from all social support with no friends in the middle of this segregated hellscape. So, she's definitely not moving any sooner than the New Year. Because after that she will have made friends here. No, that last part isn't true, you see?

One last thing: Jesus Christ on a cross assembled from rotted wood by a crowd of blind fools, Facebook these days! Reading my old entries reminded me that that wasn't even a thing one second ago. I also do Twitter. @anaustincampion

Yeah, this was fun. Talk to you later, no-one at all!