Sunday, August 23, 2009

More psycho therapy

"Somewhere up and out there, the dust of Marnie drifts through space after the spacecraft she was touring on exploded upon re-entry into the earth's atmosphere... she would have thought would be a most excellent way for her to pop her clogs.

She was fortunate to be vapourized to smithereens with her lover by side, just like in that Smiths' song, she liked, 'such a heavenly way to die'.

She is survived by her houseplants Casey and Finnegan, an adopted Vancouver Island Marmot named Dylan and, of course, her friends.

She still had not returned Dr Zhivago to the library...."

This 'write your own eulogy' exercise sucks rat shit. I would not want a funeral. I would not a eulogy. I've only been to one funeral and I fucking hated it. I wouldn't inflict that sort of shit on people I loved.

Actually I guess this exercise doesn't suck. It clarified one of my life values: I don't want a funeral, I don't want a eulogy.

Next stupid exercise!


  1. ..... but like Morrissey sez....'There's a light that never goes out..... That's you that is...

  2. Library ,LOL! 8D

    Allways wondered why people are so worried about what's gonna be said about them after they've gone away. Why?

    Seriously. Do you believe that Adolf and Saddam are swetting in front of all bonfires and thinking; "We fucking blew it. Now I'm a shame".

    Maybe should concentrate what people thinks and says while we're still here. Just a thought..

  3. All I know is that if anyone tries to sing "all things bright and beautiful" at my funeral I'll rise up out the grave and fucking haunt them for the rest of their life !!


  4. Hey! I like the song "All Things Bright and Beautiful" and at the risk of sparking a flame some funerals (I've attended a lot) have provided a couple of profound experiences in my life.

    I see the value of writing a eulogy but you're living right now and isn't life about new beginnings. How about writing a birth announcement instead. What is being born in you right now? Through the pain, the anguish, the uncertainty what is germinating?

  5. Kathreen, I'm loving the "born" idea - your hopes for what your life will become, rather than, when in a difficult place in your life right now anyway marnie, trying to outline what you may have achieved (or what you feel you have failed in!). Mmm, not sure I really get the logic of writing a eulogy either.

    But hey, you've just 'saved' yourself thousands of dollars by not having a funeral insurance plan. Yay!

  6. Seems a miserable idea to me, writing your own eulogy. No good can come of this.

    Write a birth announcement instead.

    Something like Jack Nicholson in The Shining

    "Marnie's back!!!...."

    That should do it

  7. If you die in a spacecraft it would be inevitable to have numerous eulogies.

    I´ve had 7 or 8 funerals if you want to compare.

  8. Thanks for your comments peeps.

    The 'writing your own eulogy' is an exercise that is suppose to help clarify life values, ie, how you live your life; what does your life stand for; what's your compass. The assumption in the exercise is that want people want to be remembered for is what they value, their life values.

    I am finding this exercise difficult for a couple of reasons.

    First, although I'm spilling some of my guts here on my blog, I am actually a very private person and I usually find social rituals (funerals, weddings, beheadings, witch burnings, etc) too public and too contrived for my liking. The exercise just doesn't fit me.

    And second, and key, is the pain in knowing that the grand fucking canyon could bounce around in the chasm between how I am living now and what I value in my life. Painful shit, simple as that.

    I may attempt a sort of birth announcement thingy, although I instantly shudder at the word 'birth.' Even taking the ferry and docking at Birth 3 grosses me out. ;-) And will have to tweak it to fit 'me' by taking out of the realm social ritual.

    Picky, picky, ain't I?

  9. Back in May, I participated in a workshop in which we were invited to draw or paint a picture that depicted the life we desired at some point in the future. Each participant could choose for him/herself how far into the future to project. The majority of participants depicted scenes pretty far into the future -- 20, 30 or 40 years away. A small minority of participants illustrated scenes in the medium term future -- say 5 or 10 years out.

    I enjoyed the exercise and, since you seem to like painting, I thought you might too.

  10. But Judy, you've seen my paintings! =:-0

    I'm not sure there is a faux Cubist land of flowery phalluses... but I can dream! ;-)

    It's interesting that you mention painting though as I was just re-visiting an idea I liked from 'The Artist's Way' - the idea that I could perceive my life as something to create. An ever-unfolding artwork.

    Still... I'm still all confused about what I value in life, what I want my life to be about. sigh...

  11. To identify your purpose, it helps to identify your driving needs. Here are some exercises that can help:

    (1) TIMELINE. Divide your life from the age of 5 to your present age into 3 segments of equal length.

    I am 57. For me the 3 segments would be 17 years each. They would take me from 5 to 22, from 22 to 39, and from 39 to 57.

    In each segment jot down half a dozen experiences that gave you tremendous gratification.

    Then jot down next to each experience one word that identifies the need that that experience fulfilled.

    One of my highlights was playing Portia in The Merchant of Venice in high school. For me it fulfilled a need for recognition.

    Next, look for driving needs that are repeated. Ignore an experience and related need that appear only once. Focus on needs that come up again and again.

    Then look for synonyms and reduce them to one word. Going back to my example, I identified a need for recognition, approval, attention, respect, admiration, etc. I reduced the list to recognition.

    (2) HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME? What are the things that you do no matter what? What are the activities for which you sacrifice sleep? What are the activities for which you skip meals? What are the things that you do even if you're very busy?

    One of my driving needs is one I am fulfilling now. It is a need to promote understanding, both my own and other people's. To that end I will lose sleep, as I'm currently doing. Reading for my own understanding and writing for other people's understanding are activities that I often do into the wee hours.

    (3) WHAT HAS GOTTEN YOU INTO TROUBLE? This gives you clues about the needs that are so important to you that you are willing to take risks to fulfill them.

    A person might have stolen a car, for example. When they do this exercise, they may figure out that they did it for the sake of adventure. In continuing with the exercise, however, they may figure out ways in which they can fulfill their need for adventure without pissing off society.

    So, bring to mind the occasions on which your parents grounded you, you were expelled from school, you were sentenced to prison, you were burned at the stake -- you know, stuff like that -- and identify the driving needs that you wanted to fulfill in those instances.

    (4) DESERT ISLAND. Ask yourself which of your favourite activities you would do even if there was no one to witness what you were doing. This can be a valuable clue to driving needs.

    When I recalled acting in The Merchant of Venice, I identified many aspects of it I had enjoyed. I found it difficult to pinpoint which needs had been the most important. When I subjected the play to the desert island test, I realized I would not have bothered if there had been no one to clap hands for me. That helped me to realize how important recognition was to me.

    But there might be another person who would act even if he/she was on a desert island. In his/her case, acting would fulfill a need that did not depend on input from other people.

    (5) DISTILL THE LIST. Reduce your list of driving needs to six.

    Next, be even more brutal, and reduce the list to three. These three are the needs that you would walk over broken glass in order to fulfill.

    (6) CRAFT YOUR TOP THREE NEEDS INTO A PURPOSE. At the moment, my top three needs are connection, recognition and understanding. For me, belonging to a cohousing community is fulfilling all three needs. In this, I am fortunate. However, it is not necessary to find a single project that fulfills all of your top three driving needs. For many people it takes more than one endeavour.

    Hope this helps.

  12. Thanks for this, Judy.

    The 'what has gotten you into trouble' one is interesting.

    I've experience there... with car borrowing/stealing, being expelled, near arrests, cops chasing me, grounded many times .... one of my earliest memories is having to sit in the 'naughty chair' in preschool... and feeling damn proud of it too!

    All the exercises sound good but this one exercise is particularly interesting exercise to me! Ideas to explore in a very different way... cool.