The Thing With Feathers



Ah, all my lovely friends and blog readers.   It is Friday, Good Friday for some, Great Friday for others, and just today for some of the rest of us.

I wanted to talk about the fact that while I am not losing my job…I am being given the all-clear to look for another job.   This is a complicated thing that I’ve been talking about with the people involved – some of them and wrestling with for a while now.  A thing that’s causing a certain amount of stress in my brain.  It’s made me feel a bit like I am floating, it’s made me want to be told point blank what is to be done, it’s made me want to not do anything – read, write, exercise – that even yesterday made me feel good.  Like a flash flood of depression.


What the hell.

The impulse to whine about having to deal with this doesn’t get me anywhere.  I have a weekend.  I have plans and things to do.  I have a story to work on.  And I have a story to let go.

I so often use this blog for the reiteration, the focus, the underlining of things I tell myself I can’t do.  I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.   It is walking water torture.  It is a little beastling that runs ahead down every hallway and locks doors and windows.  It pulls down shades, turns out lights.  And for the longest time, I have just wandered along as though I turn corner after corner in these darkened rooms and just have to turn back out again.  Telling the story of my life and casting myself as the Little Match Girl is a profound addiction for me.

So, we climb out of that shell.  I am a thousand different women, a different one every day, but there’s a ribbon that runs through us all and knots us together.  This soul that exists without a name, a fire that burns for no witness, this river that feeds itself.  It is metaphysical, but it matters.  I matter in my own life.  Imagine that.

What does all of this mean?  It means I have to do some shit I don’t want to do.  Own up to things I don’t want to own up to in terms of food and negativity and my own flatout destructive laziness.  The damage I do by behaving like I don’t matter.  Because there is a very real cost to stress hiding, to living with an aim to stay invisible.  I pay it in health, I pay it in peace, I pay it financially, of course, when things get left undone because there’s emotional pain tagged to it – oftentimes, deeply irrational levels of emotional pain bound up in stories nobody knows but me.

Totally had go back and edit out the 2nd person there – POV matters, too.  I live in this floaty, 2nd person stance here.  As if the shit that hurts is just happening, not necessarily happening to me.  The woman who does this in writing group (she uses this rather aggressive form of 1st person that somehow requires her to refuse to use articles) kills me.

I am alive and in this body.  I have real desires.  I am not just my words written to meet a quota.  I have to deal with paper.  I have to deal with phone calls.  I have to goddamn grow up about this because laying back and wishing has not served me well.

So, more truth, less chatter.  Throw open windows, light candles, bust through doors.  Level up.

It is never so terribly impossible once we I begin.


To Have Done

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Happy Day, beginner of things.   Happy Day, continuer of things. Happy Day, ender of things.  We are all sparks and conduits and keepers and quashers.

It is frightening to have a mission.  To know what you are meant for, to know what you love in the world, to know that you bear gifts that exist in no other combination, in no other form and they will not exist again once you pass through this existence.  If you don’t acknowledge this, there is no one else who possibly can.   You have but one entrance and one exit.

It is also deeply comforting.  If you let go of others’ plans for you, if you can embrace what it is you’ve been given, you can get enough answers to tide you over.  To work with.

I know I am a writer.  I know it with Elizabeth Gilbert-style assurance. In blood and bone and when I wake and when I sleep. I know it as Robert Louis Stevenson knows his little shadow and it has gone in and out with me every day of my life since I made the first discovery of language.

I also know I’m a cute thing.   Maybe more like a stuffed animal cute, but cute, kawaii, Bee-ish.  I’m endearing and good-hearted and supportive of others.  I am empathic and attentive to the heartaches and discomforts of others.  I am clever, sharp-witted, bent towards the light, but with that shadow stitched to my ankles.  I am not so very different than any person who spends their time looking about.

I can also be the absolute opposite of all of those things and when I’m in stress, fear, anxiety, frustration, yearning, shame…I am rarely any of them.

It can feel embarrassing to nakedly say you’re lonely, you want help, you’re trying to get better, you’re afraid that you won’t, you’re struggling with money and weight and absence of love.  But I think over time, not letting yourself look and see the wound of that is far more dangerous than any collective laughter or rejection or pity you might receive by allowing your mess to be lived on paper.  To have it be spoken and plotted on charts and recited back at you.

Oh, there’s the girl who’s trying to lose weight.  Okay.  There she is.  There’s the girl who is trying to get over her driving fears.  Alright.  I see her, blinking at us with her girl-like eyeballs.  That’s the girl who wouldn’t like to be a one-girl show the rest of her life.

Deep breath.

Yes.  That’s her.


It feels rather nice to be wearing the waders, to have exercised and to be getting ready to sort out my assigned chapter, to know that my body feels different because I’ve driven it to be that way.  That if I keep going, it will come with me. I’ve taken steps.  The momentum is on my side.

No real pithy end line is coming to mind.  No big tears today, I know I’m working on this for me.

Time to write!


Oh, Cash in the Attic, the puns are getting to be painful.

I am alright.  I am a knot.  I am a frustrated knot, but I am better than I was this morning.  I was vaguely dead.  Or at least recognizably sick.  I had a sore throat and some terrible glob of blood from some trickle from my nose which apparently cracked and bled like some sort of nasal stigmata, appearing in the night and drying up without so much as a how do you do.   That, more or less sorted, I kind of gave up on my plan to wake up a half an hour early this morning.  The thought was that if I had a good start in the morning, I’d do better all day.  Be less frantic and manic and unpleasant, but when I woke up at 7:10, so miserable, my brain sort of surrendered the choice and my aching neck left me crawling out of bed just after 7:30, winding up makeupless, breakfastless, senseless and out the door just before 8:00pm.  All I can say is better try again tomorrow and tonight if I finish up with you lot and make another stab at getting myself destressed and relaxed before 11:00pm.

So, the day, gray and miserable and as it began, was rather schizoid and ran the gamut from the most giddy and full and consuming blaze of sunlight to in a matter of moments, back to that dreary grayness with rain, and then finally, just a fall evening.  Cold, but lovely.  Fine.  Dry roads.

What you must be desperately not all that curious, but I will share with you anyways, is how the day went exercise and foodwise.  Well.  Well.  I did alright.  I’m going to track once I’m done here.  I ate more than I intended since there wasn’t breakfast (ugh, that fucks things up, doesn’t it?) but I ate better things, avoided fast food, and no pop.  Had an excellent dinner.   Saw my mother and father which always lightens my spirits, calms the panic in the universe.

I want to do so much is part of the problem.  I want to learn so much and try so much, but I end up at home, eight pm and the house is still a mess, and I have to finish writing this boy back and I’m still so exhausted from the day and I need to somehow exercise and take a bath and I have to get more actual proofreading done and there is a part of me that just wants to eat.  To eat and eat and eat.  Not even that hungry, but there’s this gap.  There’s this feeling in my throat like some of my terrible thoughts have room to breath or breed and I want to stop that by pouring fat and sugar on top of them.

Self-care, self-care, self-care.  Mortgaging my sanity for any of these other options is ridiculous.  It’s a writer’s sensibility.  It’s an addict’s plan.  I can’t manage all of this tonight.  So, finish here, have my pudding, do an hour’s worth of work.  Write my letter. 10 minutes on the bike.  Bath.  Relax with MST3K.  Bed.  That’s it.  That’s enough.

That’s enough.

Staying In

Difficult day in some respects.  The sky is the color of the national mood – or at least what I hope is the national mood – gray with grief for the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – and not, I pray, red for blood.
The Congresswoman, who we hope survived, and many others including a small child were killed for…what?  Politics? The madman’s single violent expression of his insanity? Every generation feels it’s on the brink of something wholly terrible, for lack of a better phrase, looking at the end times.  I don’t feel that, even in the light of this beyond tragic event, this loss of life and security, that we are collectively standing on the edge of the abyss.  But we are perhaps, orbiting, the black hole above the abyss and if we don’t fight the pull, this is a way we could get pulled in.
On to other topics, I suppose, since I don’t much beyond the news reports readily available to anyone and don’t have much to offer but my continued hope for the families of everyone impacted.
Today, along with being gray and foreshadowy, is a day to be on my own.  I’ve been trying to accomplish a few things on my list.  I’ve done the bulk of my exercise using the WiiActive, but I have a few other calories to burn off to meet the goal.  I’m doing this post, as you see here, I’ve eaten broccoli for heaven’s sake!   Broccoli.  Raw.  If this isn’t an epic show of my good faith and intention, I don’t know what is.   I have read.  I have this snippet of a story going.  I would like some help, but it looks like I might just have to take a nap and get myself going again to work on the cleaning and other organizational things I’d like to do today.  Right now, I feel very slow and still.   I’m eyeing the last sprig/stalk of broccoli and I’m pretty sure that I’m so full on my little lunch that I couldn’t get it down.
But I am considering many things.  We got the invite to our cousin’s wedding in Minneapolis/St. Paul in July.  July is the middle of the year.  It is a big goal, but just to have lost fifteen pounds by then on my small frame would make such a difference in how I experience that event.  How much less it could be about how I look and what I’m wearing and more about being happy to see her and happy to be there and free to enjoy it.  Not perceiving everything through a funhouse mirror, all fragile ego and sugar-spun moods.
Already, on this micro-micro-micro level, I feel change.  I don’t feel like doing this forever is impossible.  I almost like the restriction.  I definitely like the fact that I’m not going to spend $11.33 to have a chicken burrito bowl and chips and will turn into formaldehyde and fat around my midsection.  I like the maybe person that may be.
Back to watching the news.

A Bauble

I’m having something of a battle with iceberg lettuce.  Well, more of a skirmish, really.  I have been rather remarkable of late, eschewing desserts and all kinds of perils for the joy of feeling healthier, better, and a paltry (but truly appreciated) weight loss.  Still, gazing down into a styrofoam box of iceberg lettuce can put the wanton desire for a big, greasy slice of pizza back in a girl.

Saying no is much easier when you plan outright to say it or more specifically you plan to not say yes to things.  Today could have been a fall off the wagon and break your face kind of day.  There was every sort of carbohydrate obstacle imaginable thrown under my path.  The pre-holiday into holiday into post-holiday baked goods extravaganza has begun at work.  Kind souls bring in whole boxes of doughnuts to say they’re thinking of us.  We get the tins of caramel popcorn, candied apples, homemade frosted pumpkin things and they’re truly, deeply frosted in a serious Sandra Lee sort of way.  We are the end of the line, the fruitcake repository, the place where cinnamon rolls go to die.

And this year, I’m having none of it.  None.  Not a sacred, secret crumb.

Not because I wouldn’t enjoy it.  I would.  I’d luxuriate in it and my eyes would go all anime-glittery and the coma would feel worth it until the very second it doesn’t and all that numb joy would be replaced by panic and guilt.  Because I’m not stupid and I don’t have a voluntary ability to gag up my food and I have no interest in developing the skill, I’d just have the panic and the guilt and the terrible sensation that I’ve ruined the diet over a ridiculous fucking doughnut.

I wouldn’t have ruined it if I just made myself not fuck up again but this year and all my years of doing this have taught me that it’s just so so so much easier just to not have it and not fixate on wanting it.

Today, I just let me take care of me in the way I see fit.  So I had my shake for breakfast and for lunch I got some blackened chicken tacos sans chips or tortillas.  Mostly just chicken and marinated cabbage and salsa.  Then, we had an event at a pizzeria.  Which means one can expect free pizza.  Just couldn’t have it so I ordered a salad and at all the good stuff I could before shovelling it in that styrofoam box, taking care of the event business and carrying on to the potluck and play we were having afterwards.

The potluck was chock-motherfucking-full of cookies, cakes, pies, little appetizers, more of that pizza and in general, not a damn thingthat was right for me so I didn’t eat and am now home, finishing the salad with a little cheese and water.

I don’t feel remotely upset or sorry about that.   I don’t feel like I’m missing out on a damn thing when my clothes fit looser and my face is sharpening and de-Mrs. Potato Heading and I have energy to wake up in the morning and handle business.  Eventually, there will be a burrito bowl in my life again, but I’m not in a race to meet it.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel less stick-to-it-tive, but that’s like a whole other fucking day.

Also, I drove when I didn’t want to on a road that makes me nervous.  I just feel like…I can right now without all the mental manacles and bondage gear, so why not?