As it turns out, it really is possible to walk in darkness with a smile on my face. Never mind the side effects of new medication. Those in themselves are eerie eyes peering at me in the dark. The sedation is two-sided—the negative side causing me to stumble and the positive side allowing me to take it all in stride. And even when the fog lifts, though general motivation lacks, acceptance and comfort exudes somehow and channels its way through humor. Apologizing for falling short has never come easier, and as time laboriously wears on or smoothly glides by, the need to apologize is dwindling.

I’m slowly returning to the land of the living, and a smirk is rising against my cheek right now as I think of what living feels like at its best. So what if I don’t have the means to take off and climb mountains in search of ancient ruins or stand on the edge of that orange plateau I’ve dreamed about? Physically I’ve atrophied to the point of not being able to run a 5k or properly ride a horse, but that will be remedied soon enough. In the meantime, I can leap from a perfectly good airplane. That first step beats all. When the temperature rises above arctic levels I’ll go. In Texas, that could be an hour from now. Either way, I was assured that my face would not freeze off. I was careful to use that exact wording. So my face will not freeze off, then? (Laugh on other end of phone) No, you’ll be fine.

.

I had the bright idea of attempting a handstand about a week ago. In my head I could do it. After the third failed attempt, I remembered that I need to get back to yoga, which by the way I do in the comfort and seclusion of my bedroom where no one can see me lie flat for thirty minutes in pretend meditation after five minutes of hideous and exhausting animal poses. The stretching is nice, though. I’m looking forward to getting back to that. I’m looking forward to getting back to a lot of things. Writing, for instance.

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Slow down, Woman, before you wreck yourself.

 

I believe there are no coincidences. In the words of Merrill Hess, “I’m a miracle man.” except I’m a woman.

I’m sitting in my truck in the driveway, supposed to have left 20 minutes ago, because the brakes are out. I’m forced to take the day off.

Each time I come upon a wreck on the road, maybe one that happened just moments before my arrival, I think what would have happened if I had raced that light or not gone back in the house for the third time to get or do whatever it was that I forgot to get or do. I think about how that car in the ditch could have been my passenger and me.

I once told my dad that I should have died a thousand times during high school. I didn’t explain myself. He told me, without questioning or judging, that I lived because I had an unfulfilled purpose. I have lived by that since.

So I wonder, as I sit here in this broken truck in the driveway, what has this expensive disruption saved me from?

4:33am

The world has turned a flat faded drabbish shade of bland. Blood doesn’t feel like it’s flowing through my veins, but seeing as I’m still here and still very much awake, there must be something moving inside.

I’ve not much of anything to say, I’m just awake and passing the time. The words are all sitting around patiently thumbing through magazines and waiting to be arranged, but I’ve taken a seat in the corner of the lobby, watching incognito, amused at their timing as they lounge with their newspapers and pipes and monocles and makeup mirrors. They rarely show up anymore, but here they are in style and there’s just no fire in me to put them to good use.

And so this post ends, disappointingly uninspired and unimaginative. But, hey, the universe is a little better for it. For fifteen minutes, a little order pushed aside a little chaos.

. . . 

Goodnight. Good morning. Whatever. 

Running

I drove down that long winding road this morning, the one carved out of a thick carpet of pines, and the sun was coming up and it blinded me as it bled through the cracks. Pools of light gathered on the pavement and I saw streams shoot through the trees as though God were holding his thumb against the surface of the sun. I drove, hypnotized, eyes fixed on the road with a yellow wash over my peripheral, thinking I’d be happy if the road never ended and the flood of light drowning it never dried up.

one good thing: Day 1:

It’s been a while since I’ve been on this old laptop (a week?). I’d forgotten how temperamental it is. I have a new laptop at work, and typing on it feels like I’m gliding across a page with a rolly-ball pen. The keys have a tiny springiness to them. Typing on this clunker feels like walking on a bed of rocks. My fingers stomp and wobble and slip off caps into anonymous holes, cavernous and unlettered. Unmarked pitfalls splattering accidental g’s. Touchy little nubs.

Tomorrow is Friday. I’ll go to sleep early tonight so that I can get the day started as quickly as possible so that I can get it over with as quickly as possible. I slept last weekend away, and my plan is to spend this weekend doing the same. So tired. Flashes of awakeness hit me once in a while, long enough for me to see through the fog and affirm that my world is moving along just fine despite my half-conscious state. So that’s good.

I put a new plug-in scent in the bedroom. I think it’s lavender vanilla. It’s purple and makes me want to plant my face in the bed, makes me grow sleepy. Makes me feel better.

I decided recently to start a journal, not like what I write here, though I’m not sure I’d be able to maintain something so rigid in purpose…I’m not so sure I’d be able to maintain something…but I like the idea of it. I’ve started those sorts of things before, and though I didn’t keep them up I did have favorites that I’m glad I wrote and held onto. I kept a journal for a while several years ago devoted strictly to good things. I’d log one good thing that happened each day. When things got bad, and they always do, reading back on those good things, some from a few days prior and some from the heart of a different chapter of difficult days, was more encouraging than any advice I ever got. They were evidence that life exists beneath the rubble. They were that dandelion growing through a crack in a sea of dirty concrete. Even the most mundane things were big good things so long as they weren’t bad things.

. . . . .

It’s 8:32 pm, and I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open. It’s time to get working on getting Friday started.

goodnight

 

 

 

 

Fleeting clarity

I walked around with the light out and felt the furniture and walls from a distance as if waves of energy were emitted and absorbed by thousands of tiny tympanic membranes on the surface of my body. A stream of cold water ran over my hands, and I felt every smooth bead of liquid flow through my fingers. Every texture, from the rough strands of a towel to the smooth viscous air enveloping me, and every scent and every sound built a mental model of my surroundings. I was acutely aware of these physical details in the pitch blackness.

I’ve been deliriously tired these last few days. I was sure today is Tuesday until around noon when I realized that it’s Thursday, only to find out later that it’s really Wednesday. I ought to go to sleep, but I know that the second I close my eyes my alarm will sound and the real Thursday will begin.

.

Keep eyes open, put one foot in front of the other—the words my mind cry out as I numbly push myself to an obscure finish line that keeps moving farther back. It often feels as though I’ll be forcing myself forward in this zombie-like fashion for the rest of my life.

This world casts such a haze.

Then I find myself in the dark, and I’m struck with clarity. And it occurs to me that I’m alive.

…….

Five more packets of six-week waves. Temporal quanta.

Temporal qualia—good night

The mighty pen

I’ve been working the easy level Sudoku puzzles to keep my mind from trailing off into the shadows. It’s the quick, constant change of focus, the process of overlapping lines of restricted areas with simultaneous mental highlighters to find holes where specific numbers fit that keeps my mind occupied. And when the puzzles are easy, I don’t have to think. It’s a meditative process of emptying my mind by distracting it. It quells my anxiety. And there’s a lot of anxiety to quell.

One does all one can, and still the most important things fall through the cracks. If I’m lucky, I can do damage control while the problems go unnoticed. But they rarely go unnoticed.

And this is why one should never brutally condemn another for incompetence. Because sooner or later, human error or limitations will prove one to be equally inadequate.

I suppose I can look on this as additional practice for handling difficult situations with grace. I can’t wish the situation away. I can’t edit the past couple of weeks. Life isn’t an essay. But if it were, I’d write something enchanting and surreal. I’d perfectly juxtapose adrenaline and tranquility.

Like falling out of a blue sky.

I dreamed last night that I did that very thing and landed softly on my feet. I felt at peace.

. . . . . . .

There are things in the world, like jewels hidden to be found, that give life a new dimension. These good bits linger in the background of your thoughts, reminding you that life’s pretty great even when things go sour. Like the scent and taste of honeysuckle and falling through the sky. Like a swarm of fireflies in the blackest night. Enchanting and surreal.

. . . . . . .

Tomorrow has lost its grip on me.

Words are powerful things, are they not?

. . . . . . . . . . .

I have always had more dread of a pen, a bottle of ink, and a sheet of paper, than of a sword or pistol.

-The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

It is tomorrow’s sword and pistol that should fear. They are all but dead for now.