I woke up, or rather Cooder woke me up, way too early. As I dozed and petted her, I thought, as I so often do, of my confusing state in life. I came to the realization that I am a bull in the china shop of my own life. For all my well-meant intentions, purported intelligence, capacity for compassion, and any other good thing I could say about myself, I just blow it, I just stomp on and over things an awful lot.
|(View from the porch. Looks worse in real life.)|
Thursday Morning, Week 5
Yes, it was five weeks ago that I came out here. It feels both like forever and as if it is flying by. I feel rather numbly dislocated, depressed, or down, but not particularly anxious. Then again, perhaps weltpanik is just my way of life, my mode now.
The morning is still cool, brightly sunny with a washed-out blue sky and a very gentle breeze. The house faces southeast, so the sun blazes in the front door, which we, unlike most of our neighbors, keep open most of the time. Emmylou likes to sit and bathe in the light here most mornings. My mother has taken to calling her Tinkerbell because of the bell on her collar. It is quiet enough to hear a faraway train and a descant by the birds chasing each other through the front yard.
Although I am neglecting LBJ and the current hottest book of the cognoscenti Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend (that my brilliant friend kindly gave me for Christmas which was great because the waiting list at the library is long ... or at least it was in Brooklyn ... I kind of doubt it is in my local library ... just checked and zilch ... by the way, no etymology for zilch, but it was first used in 1956)
... I am getting a little bit of reading in. For some reason unknown or unanalyzed by me, I am quite taken with Colm Tóibín's latest Nora Webster. Loved this.
"At the moment the only topic she could discuss was herself. And everyone, she felt, had heard enough about her. They believed it was time that she stop brooding and think of other things. But there were no other things. There was only what had happened. It was as though she lived underwater and had given up on the struggle to swim towards air. It would be too much. Being released into the world of others seemed impossible; it was something she did not even want. How could she explain this to anyone who sought to know how she was or asked if she was getting over what happened?
Very much how one feels after a depression. Or after any traumatic event.
Well, there must be some progress. I did not turn on the tv this morning to work and catch up on Empire or Justified or any of the other things I like to watch and my mother does not. I have tried to get her interested in Enlightened or The Newsroom or John Oliver, but her media literacy has not grown with the new style of storytelling. She finds these confusing and slight. After a time, I did get her hooked on Olive Kitteridge (she likes Frances McDormand) which she enjoyed. I will try John Adams next. I often sit with her, fooling around on my laptop or knitting (yes! I started another scarf! ... as if anyone in this part of the world needs such a thing ... it is nice wool I found in a thrift store.)
I need to put on some clothes, get on the bicycle (got a new helmet!) and head over to the post office. I did that yesterday when I recalled that driving over would require more time and the annoying "getting-in-and-out-of-cars." My mother was shocked at how quickly I was there and back. Too hot and bright to walk for much of the day. Riding the bike took half the time the driving would have. And today is the farmer's market, so perhaps I will check that out as well.
The to-do list here seems endless. I was able to get the refrigerator partly cleaned out yesterday but so many other tasks do not get completed. Over her protests, I ferried my mother to get her disabled parking sticker. She doesn't want to use it, preferring to "manage" ... even if her arthritis and osteoporosis are painful and it is blazing hot. I understand the "raging against the dying of the light" but I think she causes herself more pain and consternation.
It has not been easy for either of us. So much of this makes me so sad. It is easier for me to observe her than myself in this situation. Or perhaps it is more comfortable. She resists my help because she has learned to live alone and take care of herself. There is an impulse in me to think I should stay here and take care of her, make her more comfortable (although she would argue she is fine on her own).
I think one of my lifelong faults is to drop in and out of people's lives. (I chuckle ruefully here.) And somehow, I was not very much in my own.
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This was tear inducing.
Ariel takes over the rocking chair which is my mother's favorite seat.