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.