I am not moving. I was moving, had to, levering myself up out of school debt and despair via the only available course: sell the farmhouse bought and loved for seven years. so. I did the requisite mourning, did the requisite boxing and packing and cleaning and â€œde-clutteringâ€ for house shoppers and realtors with no interest in farm auctions and secondhand store effluvia, with no pets, no inclination to look past initial impressions–to make a show place–because everything hangs in the balance of making that fast sale during the short slice of season (june, half of july) while the market is happening. there was the minor complication of lack of money–for paint, for boxes, for perennials to plant in pots on the front porch. many trips carting carload after carload to consignment stores, shopping them my wares, trying them out one by one, then goodwill with the leftovers. checking in regularly on accumulated cash to be picked up– $20 here, $11 there–and used. there were friends who helped out through the thinnest period, one in particular, poised between med school graduation and start of hospital residency, who devoted several days to working beside me, helping me buy supplies, do things–without him, I literally wouldnâ€™t have managed it. seems small. was huge. I was unanchored and falling, reached out and held to him for those few critical days–the hinge that rights you, restores balance–for a moment, for a couple of weeks. because balance, always with me, seems to be a thing struggled for, only provisionally attained, always slipping, always negotiated. after that there came rounds with buyers, with lawyers, with inspections and repairs–round and round, august first an unimaginable distance inching closer. meanwhile teaching. meanwhile a class I’ve taught three times before and for the life of me can’t figure out how to do Right, do smoothly, gracefully–do other people? am I simply a terrible teacher? and so I continue to reengineer in midstream. now, maybe for good this time (there is no for good), I have it troubleshot, vastly improved–only I won’t be teaching it again. now I will be teaching something new, completely new, completely unfathomed. what am I doing? what am I doing here at all? where am I going? what do I know at all? need to be writing the dissertation. not writing. stuck on precipice. deadlines creeping up and slipping past. precipice of quicksand. also jobs are going to be posted soon–I need to look, assess, prepare myself. but what do I know, who am I anyway? what am I even still doing in grad school, I’m in the wrong program, every thing is wrong, I am wrong, wrong wrong wrong. spinning out of control. all that accumulated time spent worrying eats away. borrowed equilibrium leaches out. too much time by myself. my self. my problematic self. so: meltdown, vortex. wanted to die. hated. shook. could not stand feeling of food in mouth. could not sleep more than few hours. or slept too much. retreated into novels and hated myself for reading, while reading. felt like if I had to speak to one more person I would fall apart, if I didn’t speak to someone, anyone I would fall apart. read a memoir by a pole who said americans perpetually disassemble and try to reassemble identity. yes. that helps. perspective. this is losing perspective. go back on the meds–crazy for awhile still, then plane out gradually. still little freaked out person inside, but the feeling of crumbling precipice diminished. I am not moving. house sold, I get to rent it back for a year. all those boxes just sitting in the garage may just continue to sit. inevitable delayed by ten months–but at least, the hope is, then I’ll be moving toward something–very different prospect from now. can’t imagine how to get there, but working to rebolster the tiny voice, almost damped, that says I can get there. I am not moving–not writing–paralyzed and terrified of shadows that loom. all loom bigger through not doing. not writing does this. I am not moving anywhere very quickly–am moving in circles, little advance, retreat, tiny steps, stumbling, falling, more circles–oh, how I move in my crazy dance.
another summer friday
it just occurred to me how nice an old folks’ home might be, minus the “old” part. I was turning over in my mind for the forty bizillionth time how to start up a standing games night when it hit me– man, if I just lived in an old folks home, well, there’s always an agenda of activities and even a room devoted to people sitting around playing dominoes and spite and malice. and it struck me how nice that would be. cool glasses of iced tea. if only you all weren’t just waiting around to *die* or for something to break. a friend of mine whose grandmother just fell and broke her back was talking about that yesterday– how the places she’s been in are swank, like prep schools with salons and big squishy furniture, but with an evil-smelling fissure down the middle of disappointment and death. ick. that’s not really what I want. but just everyone kind of around– less of this busy-busy hyper-scheduledness. to be able to wander (*wander*! what a concept) around the corner and maybe pick up a game of ping pong. that would be cool.