Monday, March 19, 2007


I did something almost unbelievable the other day, especially when you consider that I lost my phone service last week and it will be a while before it is restored. [LONG story…]

I had spiraled down, focusing on how I had taken a week off from my afternoon job to finish some free-lance work and had not managed to get any of it done, and how desperately I wished, as long as I wasn’t going to get any of it done, anyway, that I had taken the chance to spend a week with the Silver Fox… and then: no phone, no chance of finding anyone to commiserate with me. I did send out some Big Saddo e-mails, but no one responded. So I went down deeper and deeper. And deeper...

But here’s the unbelievable bit: yesterday the Far-Flung Voice checked in, and we chatted all afternoon. Yes, I said all afternoon. Yes, I know how long that is. Hours. It was pretty incredible, and he left me in a really good mood. But then I proceeded to go on not get anything done all evening, and all the warm fuzzy feelings he had worked so hard to keep me in, just seeped away as night came on. This is what happens, the putting-off of work, that is, whenever I don’t have a deadline. But it means that now the deadlines I do have are all going to pile up at the end of May – the whole point of taking this week to get some of it done ahead of time was to avoid having everything due at once… I am going to be a complete wreck in May, I can see it coming. Consider yourselves warned.

I also got some bad news when I went back to work today, and will have to re-do something I thought I had managed to put to bed, which I will have to do outside office hours to stay ahead of the curve. So I managed to get right back on the spiral, and head right back down. So what’s the chicken piece, and what’s the egg piece? Am I despondent verging on hopelessness because I haven’t heard from the Silver Fox, or because I can see all too clearly the gap between our investment in our “relationship,” or because I STILL can’t figure him out – or am I depressed for other [or no] reasons, and that’s why I can’t stay afloat without him?

I think the worst of it is looking back at the wasted week, and realizing for all my professed devotion to Christ Pantokrator, the image I really worship in the way I live my life is that of Christ Prokrastinator, who is surely NOT a member of the trinity, at least not of the Holy one. What a mess.

I am just so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired of the mess I’ve made of my life. I want to wake up and have the sun shine in on something meaningful, preferably someone meaningful. I can’t help feeling that that’s where the root of all this protracted wringing of hands lies: my heart is starving to death. And the first thing that the malnourished lose is the energy to change their situation…

I know, in my heart of hearts, how well off I am:

even if my ex-wife can’t make her peace with me, my children are in fact trying in their own ways to stay in touch. And my friends and family have been great, if otherwise engaged... I have a roof over my head and a job that gets me out of the house where I would otherwise surely drown in my own tears long before I got evicted for non-payment of rent. I do actually see other people, including the young people who drift in and out of my afternoon job; and it was only in taking the time off to "finish up" some of my "grown-up" work that made me realize how much I have come to depend on contact with them, and the sense they give me that the world is going to continue and have a purpose.

Of course, I know what they don't, which is that their dreams will fail, and they will have to try to survive that, but it is their hope in the future that I need to feel, if only in reflection. My own, as you all know pretty well by now, is at the end of what I used to call "its little pink rope." A place where, as you have also heard, there are not many feathers left. And to think that I could have spent a week in a warm place, with the occasional embrace at least... oh, well. It really doesn't bear thinking of.

Instead, let's think of what ran on The Infinite Mind, the story of Floyd Skloot....
[and I've only changed the one word, otherwise it's all true...]

He has suffered heart damage, caused by an undetermined virus that targeted his heart , but he clearly remembers his old way of thinking. He has written a book called In the Shadow of Memory, about the damage done to his heart and the process of rebuilding his life.

'I used to be able to think,' the book begins. Now, his memory and abstract reasoning abilities are extremely diminished. He finds himself doing things like saying 'blood tower' when he means 'rush hour' or putting coffee beans in the carafe instead of the filter basket. 'Sometimes I see my heart as a scalded pudding, with fluky dark spots here and there through its dense layers, and small scoops missing. Sometimes I see it as an eviscerated old TV console, wires all disconnected and misconnected, tubes blown, dust in the crevices.'

To make any sense at all, Skloot says he needs to avoid all distractions... Skloot says his neurological condition is not all bad. It has given him a crash course in the essentials of life -- because he has no choice, he has learned to live in the moment and seek harmony, rather than mastery. His writing process, too, has completely changed -- it took him over eight years to write the book -- but he finds he has become looser and more open to discovery, and, in many ways, he appreciates the slower pace of his life."

Well, I wouldn't go that far, but I do know that one thing I have learned, in case I was ever in any danger of forgetting it, is that my children are the three REAL reasons that the world needs to continue.

Everything else is icing on the cake.
Hang in there, however you can.

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