Monthly Archives: August 2015

3am

Sometimes when I’m feeling a little low, I spin stories of what my next free evening/day off will be like. I’ve been doing this for years. Sometimes luxuriating in the idea of free time is an aspirin to the headache of stress. What a lousy metaphor. I’m keeping it, though.

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Anyway. It’s not been the best few weeks. There are bright sides: Baxter’s feeling better. I’m in my new space. The weather is briefly changing for the drier.

But work’s been awful, and I’m not feeling great (a dehydration caused headache yesterday, I think, and just exhaustion today). I wake up at 3 am and fight against 3 am thoughts. I barely could drag myself from my bed this morning, dawdling till past 7.

So I’m day dreaming about tonight. About going home and giving baxter a treat, his dinner, a new toy. About crawling into bed with a cup of tea and my Scarlett Thomas book and maybe some Black Books on my iPad. About falling asleep before 10. About not waking up to hate the world at 3 am. About music playing. About delicious food. About a candle burning. About the dark falling slowly, cozy.

 

I don’t have internet at the new place. It’s weird how untethered I feel, despite the cellular iPad and phone. I feel a little like I don’t know what to do with myself, and I don’t know how much of that is just …Well, look. Even if you put aside the past few months where I felt like every second not spent cleaning was a theft (and felt hugely guilty as a result), I spent every second for the past few years feeling guilt, worry and horror over various situations. It wears you DOWN. I worried, ALL THE TIME. And then I worried about finding affordable housing on Cape Cod. And then Baxter was ill. And then I won some sort of cosmic lottery and found affordable housing, whereupon I started worrying about MOVING. And now I’m moved and Baxter is feeling better and … what do I do? Who am I now?

It’s a good feeling, mostly. I still have some REALLY serious worries. Every one does, there’s no off switch for bad news and struggling. But for once, my day to day responsibilities have narrowed to me, and Baxter. And I have a space that will get a good scrubbing this weekend but which doesn’t need a lot. And so I have time where I don’t feel like I should be doing something else every second of the day.
What do I do with that. Who do I want to be.

 

That’s why I wake up constantly, every night, to face the 3am demons.

Things that seemed like portents this morning

I can’t help reading the world around me like it’ll let me in on some big secret if I just hit the right combination. All those books I read as a kid, piling up in my mind: hit the bricks right and you end up in Diagon Alley, put on the ring and you’re through to Narnia, make a wish on a coin and…there are ghost children everywhere. (Half-Magic had a strong effect on me as a kid, all the Edward Eager books did).

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So anyway, there I was, driving to work. Along route 6 where it’s still “suicide alley” (aka, one lane on either side separated by only the smallest of medians), there’s a pond with power wires stretching over it, like bar lines. And cormorants perch there like notation. One cormorant sat with his wings stretched out, basking in the sun, a punctuation mark in the line.

When the road widens, in the now deeper median where the grass is brittle and burnt from the sun and the heat, something was jumping. Big somethings, bat sized, but translucent — I think maybe enormous grasshoppers? But they were jumping in this pattern, towards the center and out. I wished I could stop and watch and figure out what I was seeing.

Driving into Hyannis, towards the end of the very unlovely Willow Street, there were the grackles (swallows, who knows) in their clean little flocks, whirling and dipping, settling on the trees and taking off again. Not quite a susurration, but an echo of one.

IMG_0030Portents and echoes and signs.

Faith pours from your walls

I woke up this morning and took the dog for a walk and came home and checked my email and looked up to see that the house was as dark as midnight.

I had a legitimately eerie moment. Was it earlier than I thought? Had I dreamed already walking the dog (you know those dreams, when you’ve hit snooze a couple of times and during that half sleeping period you dream you’re brushing your teeth, changing, only to wake up still in bed?) and it was three am? But no, it was 7:30, so I checked the radar to see that we were under a huge storm. “Seek shelter! Away from windows! DO NOT DRIVE!” it said. “Widespread wind damage expected!”

Well ok. I got in the shower, which YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO IN A STORM DO NOT DO AS I DO. I only learned recently that thunderstorms are dangerous while showering. But I’m alone on the floor today at work and could not be late, so I said a prayer and took the quickest shower I could, listening to the wind roar.

Storms always bring it out in me, but I feel full of potential these days. I just can’t quite harness it yet, it’s all wild in my blood and making me restless and unsettled and also, kind of excited.

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In the fall, in a space that’s mine, with that gorgeous autumn light. So close I can practically reach out and grab it.

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