Lagan and Derelict: Day Five

It’s Sunday.  My sister does not want to do anything as it’s her only day off and I don’t want to do anything except that I want to do everything because Saturday was taken up with the strain of buying the car and the “social” event.

I feel the great rush in my blood that comes from feeling I should do.   But I’m trying to learn that what I need to do today is relax.  If I want to play a game, I will.  I have driven myself to the grocery store, and while I did not lose my shit, I could see it rolling away as though the table I’ve set it on is at an angle and I have to keep after it lest it all splatter on the floor.  The shit being a metaphor for my mental state and not actual feces.  I feel I must make that clear for some reason.

I don’t think I’ve talked about this once in four years here, but I used to really enjoy running around outside as a kid. I used to feel at home there.  I spoke to the flowers and told them stories and made mud pies and left the fairies syrup to drink (aside from the one I actually saw, but that’s a story for another time).  We looked after ourselves and had gardens to run about in and not yet the technology to draw our imaginations into this collective heaven, collective abyss that the internet has become.  I pretended to be a horse a lot.  I liked the feeling of the air running over my skin, the mysteries to be found in a grove of old trees, the sunlight enlivening the day and my body.  Nowadays the only time I go outside is to march to my car, to march into work, to march to some destination.  The idea of just going outside to be outside seems…I feel ill to write it…boring.

But boring is just a cover for fear.

You wonder how a life can create such wake of panic and resignation that even sunshine becomes suspect.

But I go out in it today and I peel back layers of memory, fall at college and the story of the men who bargained that I wrote in my head as I walked back to my dorm from Eddy Hall, from hearing of the Decameron and the chips they put in childrens’ brains, these men who would be dead ten years from that day and if she held true, are surely dead now. I think back to walking home from elementary school, up that long hill, wrapping my handmade sweater from my grandmother that I called my “parchment coat” against the cool autumn wind.  I think even further to piles of leaves, the smell of them having been raked into piles and set under an amber sun, the crunch as you dove into them.   The feeling of freedom, of being right in your own skin, loved just as you are but glorying in solitude.  Then autumn was not some terrible augury of the frightful winter to come, but was its own beautiful experiment in coming to terms with the self, the spirit, the waning of days.  To teach yourself to find peace in the dimming, hope that as the stores emptied above, the roots were resting below for spring.  To remember the everlasting heart within that no season can begin to touch.

I am outside for two minutes today, but all of this flooded through me.  All of this took over momentarily and I remembered how I keened then for complication.  Hoped for a life that would require so much more of me than simple joy.  Funny trick of life to keep you unsettled.  Unless you settle in, wear your sweater, and know that winter is not the end.  The end only comes when you stop.

Goal: less than that.

Vermillion Cotillion

I don’t think it’s healthy to spend all day berate yourself for the small, weird habits you’ve no doubt accumulated over a lifetime of compensating for a less than satisfactory environment, but I do think I should stop closing Tumblr and immediately, without thought, open a tab and type it in the address again.  Like obsessively.  Like three times in a row. I think I should avoid doing that.

Distraction, distraction, distraction.

Today was one of the most beautiful days on record in my little town.  My hometown-worktown, not the place I currently live though it was beautiful here, too.  I got out a little bit and enjoyed it for a few minutes walk to lunch and back.  We talked about the best places to see the trees change color locally and we sat around the table for the “smoke break” and I remembered that I liked these people, for the most part.  It was nice, particularly in light of the harsh reality that is coming to pass tomorrow night.  Snow is coming in some form or another and this would be alright, especially given that my boss has already offered me a ride in on Wednesday morning for our full-day meeting (not that we’d cancel it or anything sensible), but because I’m pretty much in a DEFCON 5 situation level regarding slick roads.  Like I cannot.  You think I could and I could last year.  After the accident, though, I’ve been driving the furthest, backest, roundaboutest roads there are – roads that are not ideal during iffy weather.  And I know I cannot drive the main roads because I know I will lose it while driving.  This is not a maybe.  It’s completely horrible, but it’s like at this point, a gray sky is all it takes to trigger the anxiety and I haven’t had to deal with that until they started talking about it today.

I know that my panic is already without sense and without limit.

It’s getting to be that season.  I wish I was brave.  I made it through last year and I’ll make it through again.  But this time, I am going to rely on the bus if I don’t want to drive.  The route will suck and be stupid and slow, but I cannot have that feeling rattling around in my head: that anxious reliving of the car sliding into the bank, of not having control, of the brakes not working, of being trapped inside this metal cage that now has free-will as well as enormous fucking mass and has absolutely no regard for my life within.   I don’t need it.  I have enough real stress without prophetic stress.

Well, this isn’t really where I intended to go today.  Wanted to talk about Barbara Sher and her impact on me and watching her videos, but I’ll let that go.  Time now to wrap up, pull down the shades, pull up the covers, get the laundry in the oven, start the pushing and the shovin’ and turn off the lights on this rodeo.