Wednesday, August 24, 2016


For all of the pain and the disconcerting weirdness I feel in the midst of, slight beams of clarity or direction or some such are reaching me. I am not quite sure if I am articulate enough to even write sensical sentences.

For such a very long time I have felt stuck and dull, if not nearly dead on some levels. Today, everything felt scary, insecure, and intense. My own emotions, on a variety of topics, engulf me in tears. But you know, not so much despair, as I often am. Maybe that will come back, but I am more inclined to ... well not action, but 

That was maybe Saturday night. Or maybe Sunday. My ability to write a sentence was seriously impaired, and not by alcohol or anything.

Being off medication is quite a wild ride. There is nothing for anyone to really see; it is all internal roar and calm. There is a practice to it, too, which is always useful: get alone, calm down, ride it out, breathe it out shake it out, sleep it out.

But here’s one of the good side effects. After dropping Janet at church on Sunday, I spontaneously decided to take a walk at the bike path in uptown Whittier. I have been considering a walk or a bike ride since I got here. I had my hat in the car and walked for 45 minutes.

Not that I have been a Tasmanian devil of productivity, but I do get off the carousel of reasons not to do some things. (Does this mean I am on the Carousel of Progress? Be careful with that link there.)  I sorted through some of Carl's papers and some of Mom's as well. I entered the garage and realized there is no good reason to keep Walter's copy of The Sniper's Handbook (except that it is on a shelf too high to easily reach). So, while it might be better if I had a plan instead of random search and destroy, I can see the progress (watch out there).

Swimming is a challenge. I stop at the end of every lap not because I am tired or out of breath but I have to summon up the will to get back to the other end. 48 lengths sure seems like a lot. Once in awhile the beauty of propelling oneself through water kicks in and there are moments of enjoyment. The best part of swimming is getting out and watching the under-two-year olds having their first lessons with their parents. Another one of those moments I am started to tears. Maybe it is the innocence and hope and joy of those early years of the parent-child relationship.

I have been less angry with Janet, but not necessarily less irritated. I think my tone is somewhat kinder. Today I succeeded in getting her to go to her first yoga class in 18 months. She enjoyed it and intends to go again next week. I am trying to find her some dance classes or something to go to. There’s a square dance class starting in two weeks we could try out. I am not sure how she thinks she is going to dance as she uses a cane, but there have been stranger miracles.

I am up past my curfew again but I feel a bit better. Thank you.


I walk
into what light
there is

not enough blindness
or clear sight
of what is to come

yet I see
the water
the single boat
the man standing

he is not someone I know

this is another place
what light there is
spreads like a net
over nothing

what is to come
has come to this

this is the mirror
in which pain is asleep
this is the country
nobody visits

— Mark Strand, Selected Poems, Knopf, 1995

1 comment:

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