Yep, still worn the eff out, and there’s no end in sight for me. Yet somehow I’m gaining something in all this grind. I’m not sure what to call it yet…strength? resilience? I’ll let you know when I figure it out.
Still, I’m feeling a little frustrated because I’ve had little time in the last few weeks for the extra things in life that I love. I have photos on my camera I haven’t had a second to download, I’m horribly behind on keeping in touch with the people I love, haven’t sent a birthday gift to my brother, this blog, keeping up with y’all on Facebook or Twitter…oh this list of first world problems is endless.
Somehow, even with all my neurons fried by the end of every day, I’m still really enjoying reading Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale. Good thing because I’d like to have something intelligent to say when I meet with my alum sisters to discuss the book this week. But I’m not picky at this point…so long as I can avoid drooling into my wine glass and manage more than an occasional grunt I’ll consider the evening a success.
But now for your word. No special paragraph this week, just the tried and trusted closed eyes, finger pointed, random word choice. The word is:
Go forth word-nerds. WRITE!
Week 314 of the 100 word challenge? Well, something like that. I’m mired in some challenging times over here word-nerds, and can’t put enough firing neurons together to write a title so I’ve resorted to numbering, but since I only know the rough start date of VV, that week number is estimated.
Wasn’t that interesting? (queue eyeroll)
And guess what else? I’m late AND I still can’t summon up the brain power to write a proper post. Instead, a few paragraphs from my current book club book, The Handmaid’s Tale, because I’m not so brain dead yet, apparently, that I can’t recognize beautiful writing:
I sink down into my body as into a swamp, fenland, where only I know the footing. Treacherous ground, my own territory. I become the earth I set my ear against, for rumors of the future. Each twinge, each murmur of slight pain, ripples of sloughed-off matter, swellings and diminishings of tissue, the droolings of the flesh, these are signs, these are things I need to know about. Each month I watch for blood, fearfully, for when it comes it means failure. I have failed once again to fulfill the expectations of others, which have become my own.
I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will. I could use it to run, push buttons of one sort or another, make things happen. There were limits, but my body was nevertheless lithe, single, solid, one with me.
Now the flesh arranges itself differently. I’m a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear, which is hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent wrapping. Inside it is a space, huge as the sky at night and dark and curved like that, though black-red rather than black. Pinpoints of light swell, sparkle, burst and shrivel within it, countless as stars. Every month there is a moon, gigantic, round, heavy, an omen. It transits, pauses, continues on and passes out of sight, and I see despair coming towards me like famine. To feel that empty, again, again. I listen to my heart, wave upon wave, salty and red, continuing on and on, marking time.
Freaking Margaret Atwood. So go forth word-nerdlings, dig your fingers into your own soil, and write 100 words on:
P.S. This week’s challenge is open until Sunday to give y’all an extra day on account of the lateness of this post.
I’m feeling like I should have a good cry. I add “should” because I don’t do crying. Not out of pride or some false pretense of being strong. I tend to get stuck in anxiousness, stress, or anger before I get to the cry.
The new job is wringing me dry. Not in bad ways, just, “I’m givin ‘er all I got cap’n” kind of ways. I get home, my brain feeling like jumbled shards of glass, and the two people I live with still haven’t fully adjusted to my needing more than I can give when I get home. They’re not trying to be selfish, but you know, blood from a stone kind of thing. I don’t help matters by having been born with an overactive guilt gene. Like, what? You’re a grown adult and you’re hungry? Must be my fault! You’re stressed? How dare I relax?
The kind of things therapy was invented for. Probably.
Pile on big money stress (I’m not getting paid enough yet – it’s a start-up). Oh, and choosing a college for my daughter. And someone beloved by our family, especially my mother, having just been given six months to live. Aaaaand that we’re temporarily housing a family member who’s fallen on his own hard times. Who likes…no, NEEEEDS to drum to relieve his own stress.
Which? Fine, cool, groovy. When you’re in the mood. Or you’re full of verve and plump with energy. Not so much when you’ve come home, brain and soul dried up, just sunk down into a hot bath, closed your eyes, hoping water and bubbles will work their restorative magic, and the drumming starts.
What should have been restored, relaxed, and rested, ends up being naked, wet, and stabby. This is the exact point I should cry.
Instead I coil up, collapse inward, turn to dust.
Dust is not the matter one wants to be in a turbulent wind.
Still. Life goes on, and it’s actually damn precious. Maybe the bubble bath was a wash (aren’t I puntastic?), but there’s always Downton Abbey and cookies and milk and warm blankets and blissful sleep and hearing someone giggle and a tiny little cat with a purr in her throat. And this:
Enough, I hope, to get me through tomorrow with a little bit of grace. Have you guessed the word yet?
And then it was 2013. I celebrated the first day of the New Year by lolling in bed until early afternoon. There are so few days anymore when there is no place to be, nothing that needs doing now, no demands to be filled, and no person needing something from me.
I seized the day, folks! I squeezed every last drop of delicious relaxation out of this morning, happily watching the sun move across the room from under the covers, and not an ounce of guilt.
Until at last, hunger got the best of me. A quiet kitchen, golden eggs, left over red potatoes co-mingling with onions, garlic, and herbs atop flame and cast iron. The cats weaving around my legs hoping to catch a break, and Mr. Verbosity emerging from upper chambers, led by his nose to the kitchen.
After our simple brunch, Mr. V made a fire so I could continue with the lolling. It feels natural, right, and good to welcome in the New Year this way, without fanfare or adding obligations in the form of resolutions to the never-ending list of “to-dos” and “shoulds”.
Sitting by the fire I decided to go through some holiday photos. Here are a few favorites.
The holidays are over now, just some garland left on the railing I couldn’t bear to take down. The house feels quiet. I suppose it is resting just like me after all the guests and the lights and the noise.
Welcome to a New Year word-nerdlings. I can’t wait to see what’s in store. For now, a new word from a little vintage treasure, Woodland Book by Elmer Ransom:
*Elmer was referring to the redheaded woodpecker, of course, but you can do what you will with it.
My dear word-nerdlings,
I hope the holiday season is treating you well, whatever you celebrate, wherever you are. Will be back after the New Year!