Friday, March 03, 2006

Madonna of Gloom

Look here. Don’t you see?
I am depressed tonight. I slept for two hours after work
And now am out on the couch beside you checking
Email while our son asks what’s for dinner. I don’t want to make
Dinner. But I do want to eat dinner.
People need to know that I get a pass
When I feel this dull, smotheredness of tasks.
People need to understand that I get to sit on the couch,
Watch a movie,
Not smile.

This morning I went to a parent meeting and it was there
I began to feel this way:
I am a meager mother
Too little time to read
All the books the teacher held up
Our daughter a mirror of me
In both her brilliance and perplexity
I left the meeting without smiling
And nobody even chased me down in the parking lot
To sympathize.

Last night
Our dog bit another dog
Who I took to the vet and crooned to
While she whimpered.
I felt noble
And then I didn’t feel noble
Because it was my dog who attacked her
And she was hurt.

Here on the couch I wrap myself
In the soft muslin of discouragement.
You are doing a project I asked you to do
But it’s quiet here,

I want the house fairy to walk
Into my living room and vacuum the floors,
Answer my email,
Make spaghetti.

When people act around me
The way I am acting now
I find it supremely annoying.

All they need to do is act
All they need to do is decide
All they need to do is not be a black hole
Sucking in every bit of light
To feed their passive, lump-like souls.

But tonight it’s me and all I want
Is for you to say,
“Oh, my tulip, my buttercup,
My sweet mint julep baby,
Whatever could be wrong?”

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Big Rocks

I won’t repeat the Big Rocks story, because it’s all over the internet. Today I’m trying to figure out my big rocks.
They are:

  • Lancelot

  • Kids # 1, 2, 3 & 4

  • Writing novels

  • Writing poetry

  • Writing essay

  • Prayer

  • Order in my physical environment

  • Financial peace

  • Friends

  • Extended family

  • Mentoring

  • Conversation about meaning

  • Reading/learning

  • Internal/spiritual growth

I think that getting outside and having some exercise would also be a good thing to put on there, though I’m not really doing it now. The sun has finally come out after about four months of gray and I’m eager to get out in it.

If I have the above things in my life, I can feel really alive.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Order of Sir Lancelot

My husband needs a blog name, so I think I’ll call him Lancelot. I always thought he kind of rode in on a white horse and rescued me when I was a struggling teenage girl (and he was a hormonal almost-twenty boy).
I taught novel-writing last night and when I got home Lancelot had made this great spreadsheet budget. It has columns for us to subtract every time we spend in a particular category so we’ll know automatically how much is left. This does not = death.
I actually love order and could sit and look at it for hours. When I get busy, I think I’m unable to maintain order despite having as my home page. (Check it out.)
Order – financial, time and physical environment – is a gift, not a shutdown on my creativity. I’m happier living in order. I’m happier living in just a little order. This spreadsheet puts me over the moon. Now I’m realizing what makes boring people happy. I could be boring myself if it meant being happy more often. Then I could layer all the wildness over the boring order.

This does not mean I’d no longer be spontaneous
spon·ta·ne·ous P Pronunciation Key adj.
  1. Happening or arising without apparent external cause; self-generated.

  2. Arising from a natural inclination or impulse and not from external incitement or constraint.

  3. Unconstrained and unstudied in manner or behavior.

  4. Growing without cultivation or human labor.
[From Late Latin spont neus, of one's own accord, from Latin sponte. See (s)pen- in Indo-European Roots.]

I could do spontaneous planning. I could spontaneously plan what we will be having for dinner all month and then spontaneously eat it. I could spontaneously clean the house.
I don’t know if I want to spontaneously do everything, though. Chaos makes me tired.
This week we’re easing into the Lenten fast. I like fasting because it makes Pascha so much more fun. Last year I didn’t fast during Lent and during the Vigil I felt jealous of the people who had. They were soooo excited about that feast: meat and milk and cheese and eggs and wine and oil! Whooooie!
I thought, “It’s a feast. I like eating.”
So this year, I will fast. Maybe it makes me feel like I’ve got a little control over my life. And that’s a good thing.