In response to an Isabel prompt : some of that quote that brought me to my knees last time, what is in your margins, baby? what’re you constantly underlining, again and again, like new every time?
Colors, always colors. I’m downright a.d.d. when it comes to distraction by beauty. Color, shape, the painting I no longer do, the detraction of value from myself for that. Oh. So much. Slight miss, peeled off, scraped off, value gone, value gone. Not creating, not. Scrape, peel, scrape peel, bare walls left. And more, peeled, scraped down to studs. And then what? Where then? Shelter gone. Zero. And wind. The wind blows through. Again. That’s my underline, right there. the biggest one. over and over. manic. manic. manic.
I keep finding these men, these men who really cannot fit a woman into their lives, and I keep thinking of their loss, to lose me, this valueless non-creator, and then I see again that I am so uncertain I can do this all again and I know I use them to distract, like pretty shiny pennies.
Can I live on macaroni and cheese with an occasional tomato thrown in? Is rickets a thing for me now, on this pirate ship of a pandemic house? Am I at sea now, for months at a time, while the kids take their boats out again and again and I am home… rocking in my chair on the waves.
I’m not there anymore, I’m not there anymore, my chant when I wake from the bad dreams. Still, five years out. Anxieties about something so far gone. This brain, and where she roams when I sleep. Poor thing.
I stick my head in the plants. I run my hand through the rice. I light the tree until I feel the itch for space and emptiness . and it itches. And I return to dreaming of painting.
I woke up at four today. I feel pleasure in this, though I acknowledge that my evening will be affected. I have added another thousand words to the work writing and I am so glad and also, sad that there is still so much more to go and I’m running down my timeclock. Sometimes I think I deserve this, this halfass pride in work that I don’t want anyone to read. You know those cheapass romances that you buy for .99 on amazon? That’s me. I write that shit. sometimes. Welcome to the ambivalence. And return.
The potato bugs have moved in, must be the season of… what? Mate? Coldness? They are everywhere. Slow moving creature of prehistory. I love how peacefully we coexist. I’m not sure when we decided we could, but we did.
I keep meeting addicts. I keep finding them, the sharp, the intelligent, the weak, the traumatized. I find them, I love them. I have shifted away from taking them in, housing them, and that’s the change in the margins. Just a color change, same words, but progress. Big.
I understand how deeply I need winter. This return of the cold, the dark. The stay home. Pandemic or no. this is the acorn buried deep. This is the time I understand how to protect my children. Stay. Warm. Socks. Hats. Lights. This is the time I understand.
and its time, to reintroduce myself to this new crew, here. and, happily, it can fall into list form.
I am she who is a mother, to three, through and through. they consume much of my world, and i feel the skin peel off when they are not here, and the great joy that they have love in other houses, even though that is complicated and more skin peels.
I am the one who compulsively defends. Compulsively. I think it is in my personality to see all the sides, the justifications, and sometimes that hurts the ones I am actually loyal to. “Who’s side are you on?” is the refrain of the hurt. I’m always on their side, though, every single time.
I am one of those captured by beautiful things, and you’d be surprised at (and not) what I am caught by. Chaos, Simplicity, Complexity, Decking materials, fireplaces, typefaces, brick, deterioration, pattern, waterdroplets, owl pellets, dew.
I am she who sinks deep into thought, the otherworldly, the rehash of things long done, the pitterpatter of fairy toes, the simply blanks of looking. there is a meditation in my blankness that not even i can understand.
I’m of age, a weaver of my beauties, a grasp at tendrils of divine, a pull of greenlife, a beat of mothering. I cannot wait to see what comes of that.
I worry. I think to prepare for the worst, and know I could not ever handle that, and know I could, too. And I am betwixt and between which one I could stomach.
I am the hedonist, the seeker of pleasure, gratification and sense. Finding one to match that is proving elusive. There are so many rules I can’t understand, and stumble over. Intuition and expectation street fight in muck.
I’m the eyeroller. (thank god not every call is facetime) The one who allows so much bullshit to pass without confrontation. Zero confrontation. Do not mistake my lack of confrontation for respect. It is not that. I will let you have your ego. You keep it. Tend it, love it. I don’t give a shit.
I’m the one who struggles with taking care of myself beyond pleasure. I am not good at the hydration and the physical fitness. I am not. I love the donuts. I’m not on many of my lists of things to do. I am also she who works on that list, every day. I’m trying, sometimes.
I am the one who loves the list, the way in which you get the small capsules to read, the bits. I wrote a story in my 20s called Bites, and I loved the format and still do, of small bits and nibbles of story, and the blanks are yours, yours to roll around in, like poetry.
It begins with time, and thought and a space for them all.
It begins with coffee, and the luck to have some left over from yesterday afternoon, so- fastest ever arrival of joy.
It begins with I, because I can’t still be arguing with myself about my own self-worth. Put me on the damn list, already. (I literally resisted this one. what the fuck is that about ? I am 46 fucking years old and i still resist putting myself on a list?! Jesus.)
It begins with putting candles around the bathtub, now clean because, you know, it also begins with bathroom cleaning.
It begins with paying the mortgage.
It begins with re-assessing my relationship with retail therapy. I’m cut off, folks. I’m getting sloppy and trigger-finger with the amazon. It is not need-based and must cease. It is going to cause me problems paying the tripling heat bills. Cease.
It begins with rejoining a dating site. (and possibly ends there too. I’m of two minds. Its so deeply unsatisfying, and I have great trouble not putting too much import on it.)
It begins with locating the tarot cards, a focus is needed. There are so many things I need to find, this year, in this house, out there. Lost and Found, Hide and Seek, on a global scale.
It begins with reading the story I’ve been wanting to read but couldn’t find the time, or that focus.
It begins with clear eyes, feathers brushed along their closed forms to take the year’s cobwebs and tears away.
It begins with acknowledging what has died this year. And that somber note rings and rings and shakes the ground.
Getting dressed, like, fully. even put on a necklace and dug around in my drawers til i found comfy pants that I haven’t worn since the summer. I always get dressed, mostly, but I wear the same five things all the time, and its not necessarily representative of anything connected to me, the actual me under all this skin.
Deciding not to date because we don’t want the same thing. I want the whole shebang including crazy love and hope for the future. His intelligence meant he had words for what I was feeling. Isn’t that fantastic? and sad, a little, yes.
Incredibly grateful that my instincts are good and I’ve been surrounded by good men for a long time now.
Got home from the grocery store and my kid came around the corner and into the kitchen and said ‘I’m in class but I can help’. I leaned into his chest and hugged him and let him help. My kid is five inches taller than I am, at least. I know he was skipping class but man, that’s the rightest reason ever.
Spent time thinking about what I really want, and if settling into companionship would feel good or feel like death. These are pretty different things, and I’m in mid-life pretty certainly, and on any given day, the answer is different. but today? i think death.
Today is just five, because there is no rule and no expectation. These are small, big things and I’m tired out, kind of. I’ve got big plans to get all the gardenware put away into the shed today, or at least this weekend. and i’ve already taken out the compost. so there. Its not even noon and the wildness is out of control.
I’ve gotten two jobs/projects with high school friends this week. How crazy is that? It IS crazy.
This is not edited, as I can’t find my ‘document’ on this damn laptop. Just wrote in it yesterday and now it is gone. I have a shitton of feelings about this. Which leads me to today’s prompt.
When things go awry in little ways, i can get unmoored. Can’t get my focus back, can flit around a subject or a task for the longest time. Its not good for anyone, at all.
There’s no heat here. Something is up with the boiler, or down, I don’t know. I’ve been in the basement more times this weekend than I’d like, and plumbers don’t work on the weekend, and I have a woodstove and plucky-spirit so fine. F.I.N.E.
I called the plumber I usually use and they said my account was on hold so they couldn’t service my boiler, nor could they figure out how to solve that problem, because it was the weekend and the finance people do not work on the weekends. ( i pay bills when they arrive, this is some sort of error. “lil’ bit awry”? yes. fixable? no.)
I’m hosting three or four little girls here in my cold house in a birthday-like situation. I will be sending them outside a lot because it might be warmer out there and plus, covid. I bought a lot of individually packaged snacks and have hand sanitizer all over the place. I don’t know, man. I don’t know. I feel less risky here than I did at the grocery store this morning. There are so many freaking people out. Its astonishing.
So. no heat. lost document. ah. Online dating. My brain nearly collapses at the weird collection of mankind out there. Some who want to ‘date’ but not really spend any time together. So… thats not a super match for me. Its Covid, I don’t want to eat inside a restaurant and I like time. I like walking around a kitchen and conversing about whatever pops into my head. I can get sex anywhere, anytime, essentially. I haven’t been, but its just not a thing for me. (don’t tell my kids.)
Plus, when i have a heating emergency, I want legitimate offers of help. I do. I will turn them down, most probably, but I want to know that there is support out there. I do. I need it like I need compliments and direct communication.
Also, in online dating, just so you know, people disappear all the time. I have no idea what causes this. Its even hard for me to imagine, kind of, and I have a wildly good imagination. They cannot all be in ditches.
but i goddamned got another day down, didn’t I? damn straight. Cold makes me a little testy.