It's dead bird season again.
I wrote those words in Sevy's Cosmica Sidera as one of Sevy's internal dialogues and although Sevy is based on a person completely separate from me, I think he's more like me than I care to admit. Sevy was called birdman because he poked around at dead birds. Not because he had an affinity for dead things, but he had this complete lack of understanding why life could not last forever.
Last week, I was waiting for the bus to start my commute and I watched baby pigeons playing in a parking lot. They were definitly babies. And if I had to put cartoony voices to them they would definitely be squealing in joy that their mates were playing and their collective curiosity surrounded the scene. There was a vibrance I scarcely notice with birds because of an unreasonable fear that they will turn on me, gather other avians and peck my eyes out. (Not kill me, just a painful and permanent reminder of their dominance leaving me in darkness so I can't see them coming after me ever more.)
I saw the cheerful little ones on a morning after I saw a featherless dead one lying in my path with flies gathering to eat its remaining flesh. And that was a day after I could not go into my mother's back yard because another featherless one was lying in the grass two steps out from the kitchen.
That's how I usually cross the dead birds some time late July, early August each year - the little ones that may have something wrong with them, discarded by their mama, or shoved from the nest when she is out swallowing bugs and seeds to vomit into their little beaks. "Where's Jimmy?" she would ask the remaining little bastards who reply, "Who? By my troth Mama, there were only three of us when you left."
But every now and then, there is a bird that appears to have fallen dead, full of its feathers without blood or anything implying foul play just lying in my path.
And I have nothing to say about any of this other than to say, it is in fact dead bird season again.
It has been too long since I have written for me. It has been too long since I have written for this site. It has been too long since I have put care or effort into anything more than the mechanics of waking and sleeping. My brain is atrophied and my spirit is weak.
That being said, I have not been idle in my steps. I have been cautious to have purpose in the small steps I take, so that when I reflect upon my days, they may have value, if not to me, then certainly to another [purpose].
I do forty percent of my intention; so it does not surprise me when I make plans and don't actually show up. It does not surprise me that when I'm inspired to write, I do not.
I went to see my father in his grave and the internal work leading up to the visit was difficult. My brain poked at me and asked, "How long has it been since you've seen your father?" and then started calculating the time to lay a path of guilt. My brain chastised, "You don't even know the cemetery name! You only know the approximate location! Bad, bad kid!"
I thought on the memories of my father and reflected on none. They came like sharp needles in my thoughts with sharp words that I would no longer hear audibly.
In my daily life, I came to know two ladies with graves of loved ones in the same cemetery. They checked on the other's plot from time to time and spoke of the landscaping and upkeep. It seemed to be an extension of housekeeping for them to have their appointments to visit and keeping fresh flowers rotating with the ones wilted from the previous season.
I remember going with my father to my grandparents graves and we would sit or kneel and pray and talk. It was important to go visit. We didn't always have flowers. I think I was the only kid in our family who ventured into Holy Sepulchre with my dad? I don't know - I was indifferent to a lot as a child.
So, in the past ten years I have realized that I have always wanted to be an accountant because the only man of whom my father spoke with respect as I grew up was his accountant. He spoke of this man's intelligence to add a row of numbers and create a balance sheet when my father owned a dairy farm. So, for me, school wasn't important because I was a girl he said; but to the contrary, he valued the intelligence of this stranger. And I hear it in my own experience. When I say, "I'm an accountant," many furrow their brow and say something banal like, "You must be really smart." And the thought rages in my head, "I AM SMART!" but not because I can organize numbers. It is my opinion that the ability to reason is equated with intelligence. And I search for knowledge and keep my brain busy so that I will be smart. Not because it's important to my father - although realizing this, he didn't even know how to say that it was.
So, in this epiphany, knowing my father thought his accountant was the bees knees, I wondered if I focused on math skills and took accounting theory and then later majored in the field, ultimately getting the jobs I've had to please my father? And the resounding answer in my head, of course is -- yes.
And to quell any curiosity about his pride in knowing I was an accountant, he never understood that was in fact my profession. He dropped me off, toting clean laundry, at the dorm not understanding my major. He wanted me to get a better job throughout my life - something with a pension (and a time machine?), he would say. Before he passed away, he asked me if I was still a secretary and how long I had to work until retirement. And when I said, "I'm an accountant Dad." He responded, "That's a good job. I hope you make it." As if I hadn't been accounting for inventories and finances for decades already.
My writing and drawing was always squashed by the same man. Sure he told me how great it would be if I could become a cartoonist; 'but you have to be really good to make any money at it,' he warned; 'and this is not good enough.' And yes, of course a child doesn't realize that a man who struggled his whole life to pay bills and ultimately retired from the police force after a terrible accident is not qualified in the least to critique her creativity -- but still, squash!
I digress to the cemetery. I wandered around looking for his grave and felt more guilt. In my younger days I knew exactly where headstones were for folks with interesting names or extreme ages within the cemeteries in the city through which I would tramp. And yet, now I could not find my dad.
What a dummy I was not to ask, not to prepare, not to organize this trek to the grounds.
So, I started over again. To the corner of the grounds in which I knew he now laid. I counted up nine and four over. Nothing. Start over. The numbers had to be correct. Up nine and four over. A hole. I walked over the other tiles that laid flat upon the earth and found him. Exactly where he was said to be. I laughed aloud and a man wearing his very best military garb turned to me and said, "You finally found him, eh?" Yeah. Yeah I did. I found in the ground, sunken into the earth, a marble stone that read my family name with both my mother and father.
I climbed over the stone and sat atop the mound of soil that presented itself from the sinking stone and laughed with my father for having a stone that was four times the size of any of his new neighbors and told him he was showing off, like he warned the rest of the world not to do.
I talked to him a lot that day. And I don't know the result, other than I know I have to make the serene conversations with this ghost a part of my routine. It was the cup of coffee on Sunday morning when everyone else was in church. It was the drive out to the park to turn over the car so the engine would not forget its purpose. It was time with my dad that no one else could understand.
I watched yet another version of Hamlet this week and I of course had to share with the world that I had found it. So on facebook I wrote my little introduction to the video and edited it over and over again because I was reflecting on his descent into madness. It reminded me of a few things and triggered some thought.
I decided that a better turn of phrase would be an ascent to madness. For if a descent is a downward motion and the earth/ground is below us, the term grounding would be a descent. Conversely, to have one's head in the clouds/to think lofty ideas/to be aloof? would be light and airy - not at all grounded in reality - where we all wind up in the soil becoming dust. Very plainly I shall say, it occurred to me that the path to madness is an ascension and to remain grounded is nothing more than a descent into one's grave.
I thought again about this heavy stone sinking into the ground prematurely. And my thoughts aren't all sorted out with it yet. (Unlike numbers, my thoughts don't fit into neat little columns.) In the eulogy I wrote for my father, I noted his need to work through the mechanics of living. Make sure there are groceries and locking the door at night. I didn't mention I couldn't see his passions. There was nothing lofty to counteract the dirt and grounding of life. I was angry that I was finally exploring my creativity and didn't want to acknowledge that he had any. I was bothered by the missed time cowering to working hard to the objective of getting through to the sunset. I was angry that he set me up to want a grounded reality being rewarded with nothing but a pile of sinking dirt.
I don't know where all this is going. I have been thinking all these things for over a month, with everything being so important I'm making notes in my head and then balling up the scraps in my head when I can't make sense of them .
So, it's been too long. For everything. I've been walking through my days getting stuff done and even having a good time doing it. But I feel like there is something so completely missing to make me whole. And at the same time, I feel like it could just be I'm looking too hard for the heavy rock that's going to hold me in the ground instead of letting me breathe the air and float into the clouds for a bit with some freedom. And understanding my thoughts have defined the descent into reality and ascent into madness, I wonder how open I am to the ascension of freedom knowing that when I feel most crazy--- I guess I haven't worked it all out yet.
When I started my current work in progress over a year ago, I knew I had to murder someone for the story. And I knew who it would be. I even knew the weapon and method. What I did not know was the events that would reasonably make sense leading up to the demise of my main character's husband. (spoiler?)
Honestly, I have not worked diligently on this project and partly is because the main character is so personal and I want to honor every aspect of her personality. I want to assure that I convey enough of her life that the reader falls in love with her, just as I have.
At the beginning of April I was stuck. Total writers block. I knew the objective, but my brain would not contrive circumstances that made sense. And then while in a hot tub one day, I had an epiphany about including a sauna. I thought this would move the story along and give me more time to create tension and discord with my characters while allowing the calendar to tick away through the pages of the writing.
And then a very unexpected revelation came to me while riding the train in the morning. I could use the sauna as a tool in the murder. It is going to be perfect I am certain. But I couldn't stay home and write. So I made notes and I am obsessed these past few days. I wanted to post the status on facebook that I had figured out the murder and couldn't be happier! I snickered in public thinking how I would have to explain myself yet again but beamed knowing that only a writer would think in such terms.
I have not written anything new in a while. Certainly I have not written anything moving me along as a writer. Still frequently, I think the words will string themselves together if I just focus for a moment and allow them to speak through me.
Now, life gets in the way sometimes and for sure my days and nights have been full of things that are just not writing and for that matter nothing lending to creativity.
And then it happens. I walk down the street and looking in the intersection, as I have a tendency to do, I see another toynbee tile. This one is in fact just about two blocks from the crappy house in the bad neighborhood I live.
I started noticing these tiles - oh who knows how long ago it was - that's not true, i know exactly when I noticed them... I had been on JFK Blvd and my eye caught one under my feet. Within a month, I had tried to map out the tiles, believing they were an art installation with a big picture I just could not figure out. Then in the year 2000, I stood at 16th and Chestnut Streets looking down at the biggest tile I had seen to date. It was part of the manifesto reading how the tiles should be laid alone and calling the media folk hellions.
At the time, I lived in a neighborhood that didn't seem to have any tiles. I only saw them when I was in center city. Then I went to Steve's Bug Off Insectarium - the museum devoted to bugs in a neighborhood farther from center city than my own in Philly. There was one right there in the intersection I had to pass to get into the oddball museum. I was convinced it was another marker for an oddity and more than ever I had to figure out how to map out these tiles.
Then another in the northeast. And another. There may have been as many in the northeast as in center city. We moved to the wrong side of the river and then back to [South Philly]. First walk to the grocery store, there is a tile on some little street that few would use. A documentary was released about these tiles and the man suspected to have laid them. I lived two blocks away from his home. I made sure when I was walking the dog or heading to the store, I walked past his house to maybe catch a glimpse of him. From the documentary, I inferred that he suffered from paranoia and it wasn't my intention to frighten him. I just wanted to know more about these tiles. The more I looked into this man, the more I felt a connection and kept thinking he was seeing something others could not.
As an aside, while watching A Beautiful Mind, it was pointed out that John Nash saw things that others did not. His brain, although brilliant, was skewed and he suffered from schizophrenia. I remember saying, "Why can't his wife see the things he does?" The reaction from my movie buddy was this puzzling look that I could not read.
With Sevy Verna, the man suspected to lay the tiles, I was so curious what let him see something that the rest of us couldn't.
At any rate, I have several projects needing a re-write (including Sevy's Cosmica Sidera featuring Severino) and I feel like I haven't got it in me to begin. And then I see another tile. I moved again. I no longer live a few blocks away from Sevy's house. I had not expected to see this tile. And even more strange, I walked a way I never walk to get to the train in the morning. It was a series of coincidental circumstances reminding me that I need to be mindful of this writing so that I can let it out in a steady stream instead of the vomit of words making little sense to anyone but me.
I read recently that writing is the art and publishing is the business. There are stressors that trigger when thinking about reading the work for publishing and I am not even sure that is the direction I want to go with my work.
I always thought art to be a struggle. Without really hard personal anguish there is no epiphany allowing the sharing of something greater than we are. The banality of suffering provides a commonality, but that moment that an artist translates their victory over the struggle is the moment art is born.
I've heard art is the murder of habit - merely the unexpected. I think to translate that more concisely would be to say it is the interruption of habit. We have to return to our habits and routine, but there is definitely an art to having the unexpected creep into our days.
I had a friend say to me once, an artist sees things differently than the rest of the world. He meant there did not necessarily have to be suffering or something extreme and unexpected for art to happen. And I reflect on these words each time I sit to write. I wonder what it is I can do to make the reader of my work see things as I see them - because I don't think I have ever seen things quite the way most folks do.
I'm stressing with a writing project that is not my own. I would love it if someone in the publishing industry saw my writing style, sampled some of my characters and commissioned me to work on something completely mine. Unfortunately, I don't live between the pages of a book and stuff like that just is not happening for me.
I have taken on some paid projects and it does not surprise me to say that my name does not appear on any of the paid writing. I have of course become a ghost.
So, in September I met someone on a Septa bus who had a story that he needed to tell. He had just that day received a contract to turn some of his writings into a real deal published book with a paid contract complete with professional marketing and support. I extended my business card and suggested I could help with editing and have since entered into a business relationship to get the words strung together for a publisher to green light the whole thing.
Now in September, we estimated a month to edit the already written words and compile the pages and photos for this very light and fun book that he is convinced is going to be New York Times Bestseller. Needless to say, it's six months later, the book has turned into a completely new story and truly is my interpretation and retelling of his search for nourishment and connection to his mother who sadly passed away a few years ago.
There are days when I grumble looking at the fragments of his memories and fret how I can make this work and keep it on the lighter side as requested by the publisher. There are days when I look at the work I've completed, think about the work that will be out there soon in between pages and feel a sense of pride when I think about how others may be struggling with food and connections with their past as well as moving forward after grief.
And then I get thrown for loop. Every time I feel comfortable with the progress of the project, I swear I open an email or have a meeting and I feel like throwing in the towel - never mind this is six months longer than I thought I would be invested in these words.
At any rate, the latest loop thrown at me was this: I have been requested to have my name on the book as the author. I said earlier that if my name is on the book, it should be written As Told To, but no. I've been asked to have my name in what I believe to be a disclaimer, that this is completely my interpretation of his story.
In short, I have one more thing I'm avoiding writing because I feel very uneasy about it. At the same time, I've worked so long on these words that I do feel like the story needs to be told. It is important and it may be important to folks in ways I can't even imagine. I need to write what will be an introduction or a forward (gonna ask my writer buddies what the difference is to assure I do the right one). And I am going to do my best of course to introduce this story that is complete and being proofed as I type these words. But I remain uneasy at the thought of putting my name on the completed work. I almost feel like I've been paid for the job asked of me and that's it - we're even. At the same time, there is a piece of me that thinks maybe this will be the catalyst to actually being recognized for some writing.
I know I'm floundering here, but that's what is going on in my brain - a floundering with the question why I am working on writing for which I will not be recognized with comfort and why I would not take the recognition for the work when it is being offered to me with a real deal publishing contract - even though it did not originate with my words?
Last blog entry of the year. I feel this should be inspiring and phenomenal; something that really encourages me to move forward into the new year. I also feel like I should reflect on the past year, having accomplished little of what I vowed silently to myself 365 days ago.
But more than anything, I'm sitting here this morning/afternoon, with too little coffee, too much headache and an aroma in my nose that I just can't forget.
I'm languid, in pain and everything stinks!
I don't have to sift through the words and highlight the sentences that are boldface as the words dance into the comprehension corners of my brain to point them out to the author. I just need to be mindful of the original words as it leads me to further insight about my personal struggles.
Yesterday I struggled with not having enough. For days before I worried and blamed and internalized my inadequacies and then I gathered up the supplies I needed to move forward and I took some first steps. I still sat lacking, but I felt accomplished by moving in the right direction.
Yesterday I was afforded the opportunity to help someone. Tired and cranky I put on my sneakers and intended to do my part. I was met with opposition and I was angry and disappointed and disgusted by the behavior and the results of behavior that I was witnessing. I was insulted and unwelcome and left the situation. My personal history and struggle with mental illness allows me to understand the situation. It also encouraged me to help. And with mixed emotion I can say it was the reason I walked away without a resolution to the problem.
And I sit here the next day in clarity. I understand that I'm in the same situation as both the blogger who recognized the difference between living in chaos and the joy found currently in their life is recognizing and treating themselves differently. I understand that I'm in the same situation as the immobile person who pushed me away living in fear of exposure for the inadequacies life has provided them.
I thought 2014 would be the year of success for me. I turned 41 years old on 1-4-14 and thought for sure there was something very special about being so close to the answer to life, the universe and everything. And now, so close to approaching 2015... Well, I just have no idea.
I feel like I've struggled this year to move forward and have been beaten down harder than in previous years. I'm still moving forward though and have some expectations for the new year.
Honestly, there are days when I want to give up. Today could easily be one of those days. I don't think it is the day I give in to that feeling though.
Yesterday there was a madness in which I spun. I'm not going to finish that sentence with the word again, because it was not like any of the madness I have ever experienced before. Or maybe it was; but the ending result was the complete opposite of anything I had ever known.
I had a meeting in the afternoon with two ladies and was given instructions on how to behave when I arrived at their place of employment. It was a confidential meeting and discretion was key. Walking up to the building, I hoped I was on time and not too early as the train arrived quickly and seemed to carry me with an ease that has become unusual for my errands and treks on Septa.
I buzzed a doorbell and was mindful of the suggested wording to use, keeping the nature of the meeting private. When the door responded with a growl, I knew I had passed the first test.
Second test: Waiting in the reception area was absurd. Each person who arrived was asked their name and was announced to their appointment, including me. And with each new arrival, a receptionist asked if a chair was necessary for waiting. She walked to a closet and retrieved a chair for each new arrival. The conversations from the reception area were tame and were limited to parking restrictions and current events as announced on a flat screen panel behind my head. The conversations going on behind the thin piece of glass providing little privacy were crazy.
"You can't use my phone - I'm on a conference call!"
"I'll just be a second! You can take a break from your conference call!"
"Why do I have to make copies!"
Stomping up and down the stairs behind a wall.
"She's with another client and will be with you when she is finished," I was told fifteen minutes in. Fifteen minutes is plenty of time for crazy to spin around and I was feeling anxious that this would be another day where I get to the moment I sit with a coffee on my sofa and feel again like I didn't belong anywhere even though I float through the day seemingly with ease.
Another ten minutes pass. Three more visitors. Three more chairs along the wall. Complaints about papers and phone calls. The doorbell buzzed and the magnetic lock growled when it opened to reveal additional visitors.
And then the person I was there to meet came to retrieve me. She popped in to the reception area from behind a wall concealing a stairwell. I followed her back upstairs and realized, I was walking through a row house - in fact, I was walking through two! There were twisty turning stairwells with hundreds of years of paint and varnish over the thick natural wood grain baseboards. I saw on each of the landings, I was surrounded by little doors leading to little rooms. I wanted to see the blueprints of the space in which I walked. It didn't feel welcoming - it was a professional space - no longer someone's home. But there was a level of comfort that pulled me through my steps as I followed this quirky woman into her office with steps leading into a private restroom and under a ceiling supporting an uneven peak roof. This was someone's bedroom!
I had my meeting with the quirky girl and another woman. Much information was traded between the three of us and during an abrupt intermission, the two left me alone to look at the nuances of the architecture. I noticed the old leaded glass around the perimeter of the window and tried to remember all the twists and turns I took to know what direction I was looking out to the brick wall of the row house that sat across the alley.
The two women came in. I reached down to the floor where my handbag sat waiting to be dismissed with derision and received two smiles and words of encouragement.
Not only was the outcome positive, but words I rarely hear, "Esther, we both really like you."
As an aside; I still feel like I'm just me, but it's so rare that someone likes me - people find me interesting, they are fascinated by me, intrigued maybe, curious for sure - but like me? Honestly, I haven't heard that a lot. (And those who say variations of it usually receive some awkward response from me making them reconsider their words.)
So they like me. The one takes her leave so the other can walk me out. Down the winding stairwells again. I'm looking around to soak in the bits and pieces of the building again.
"Oh, come here," she tells me to stop at another person for introduction. This very impromptu meeting resulted in the words, "Esther Buck! That's a perfect name!"
Perfect? I'll let my mom know!
And then I left to finish my day. I considered this interruption to my afternoon. I considered the spin of madness as the introduction, the twisting journey, which was a struggle with a bum knee in the chill of winter, and then the quiet exchange of information behind a closed door. Finally confirmation that there is a perfection surrounding me, even if it is something as simple as the label I've hid behind my whole life.
Maybe sometimes the twists and turns of my personality hide behind the walls and are only a vehicle to get to something useful? Maybe sometimes I just need someone to illustrate I've twisted and turned to arrive for someone to appreciate my value? Maybe sometimes I just need the acknowledgement of little bits of perfection that punctuate all of my inadequacies?
November is here again reminding me of all the things throughout the year that have not been accomplished. When most are preparing their thoughts on the things they can praise the heavens and earth at a feast of gluttony with family and friends they haven't seen since the last gorging, I hide. I hide from folks knocking on the door and ringing the phone and asking questions about my family and me.
Last year I discovered Nanowrimo, which for anyone not in the know is National Novel Writing Month. A month of writing and the mindfulness that goes along with string words together cohesively to tell a story that someone, somewhere may not only relate to, but could enjoy. I wrote last year in a fury and finished with the goal well behind me. I met some great folks locally and nationally who also participate in the challenge. Then, throughout the year, there were two camps in which I participated and wrote. Now, again, it's the big one and I haven't been able to write consistently. Even now, I have - who knows? four? unfinished projects lurking about in the hard drive and on notes in my purse and I haven't got the skill to put the words together for a cohesive sentence.
I know some would think this is writer's block and not bi-polar disorder and maybe it is. Maybe I don't know how to classify this lack of production and success?
And to intensify the feelings of absurd uselessness is the constant reminder from people that I have talent.
Yesterday I was given accolades on my skill and experience and then questioned why I would be willing to work in the same environment as they. Last week (or the week before) I was told a similar thing, requesting the work I do with a puzzling question of why I would even consider lowering myself to their mediocrity. I just need to work. I need to produce something that gets to the end of whatever needs to be done to complete the job. Why is that so hard for people to understand? And the constant reminder that I'm more than I am is daunting because the caliber of work I can do is not available to me. So, I should work for myself only and get the stories from my head onto a page to share with all these people who are insulted that I sit with them, yeah? Except the words don't come out that easily because they get stuck in the uncertainty and lack of motivation.
I'm just annoyed that no one is giving me a chance to be something that I can be, because they feel that I'm something more than I am.
And that stinks.
It stinks that I sink into my brain knowing I'm not as good as what people have said and have not by any means projected myself to be more than I am and still the perception is that I don't belong. I neither belong in the rank and file or the elite echelon.
So it occurs to me that it is Tuesday and that means two more days until there is a new round of judgement that I don't want to face. It's year two. It is the second year that my family will not be completely together for Thanksgiving and regardless of all the pieces that come together, those that are missing are like holes in the quilt that is sewn together with stuffing and turkey and cranberries. It's not alone for sure, but it's an incompleteness. It's being mindful of all those that are missing instead of those who are there. And it stinks.
I'm trying to be grateful, but hearing that I'm not enough and feeling that I don't have enough ... well, it's not very gratifying.
Knowing that most people take this time of the year to look at what they have instead of notice what they don't, I'm considering also being a missing piece. I'm considering letting the depression part of this stupid disorder envelope me and be my companion for ramen noodles and hibernation. I just don't understand any of it any more. How are there days when I feel like I've accomplished so much and I can point out that which makes me great and other days when I feel I'm no more than the six year old crying because I can't figure out my homework and know there is no one to help me?
I truly hope it's the bi-polar and that next week (or maybe even tomorrow?) I'll be manic again, ready to take on the world with a bourbon pie.
To get a complete understanding of this entry, I want to impress upon anyone reading this what my life looks like right now. I know it's been a long time since I have written here specifically, but honestly, I have continued to write daily.
So, I moved into this house that needs a ton of work and although I've cleaned and painted, stuff like hot water heater installation and replacing every bit of electric is taking longer than expected and honestly, it's taking its toll on everyone with whom I live. (yes, we have electric and water. I even have a hot water heater- it just remains in the box because the electricians keep looking at the old wiring covered with fabric insulation and then sigh heavily and wish me luck with the things I am doing.
The ceiling fan has been -- well -- in the kitchen there was a vintage lantern hanging from a copper pipe in the middle of the ceiling. There is some question if there was a gas line for a true lantern from a hundred fifty years ago , or if someone put the pipe in the ceiling to support the weight of the glass and brass electric lantern - but that is no matter. My daughter who works with electric said, "oh sure i can put that fan in for you... and it will cost you that vintage lantern that is hanging there now." Even better! the old light gets a new home! UNTIL, up in the ceiling, we discover the wires are the old fabric wires and we're not even sure the joists can support the weight of the new fan. So, I've been in limbo and she got busy, and an electrician came in and cut the old lines out. I bought the new wire and switches and finally last week (perhaps two weeks ago?) I hung the support and the lamp (sans fan wings) to assure the ceiling can support the weight before I attach the wiring. And yes, most folks cover the ceiling first, but i am leaving the stuff that's open, open until I'm certain all that old wiring is gone gone gone before closing everything up.
A neighbor in the burg said, "Don't ever try to live in the house you're fixing." And now I know why!
So, this ceiling fan is sitting in limbo. The new wiring is connected to the switch and just needs to be attached to the fan at this point. Oh yeah and wired to the circuit box. Like I said, it's in limbo. And that progression of static is how the whole house project has been. The floors are stripped down and need the next step. The carpet is almost all out and the basement is getting cleaned up and organized a little every week.
Then we had a bacterial infection scare and someone close is in the hospital. I'm only the visitor, and I'm not going to say I would rather not interrupt my days with hospital visits, but seriously, who wants to visit a hospital? It's a terrible inconvenience and I'm not even the one on an antibiotic drip.
I've been out of regular nine to five work for four months now. In my brain it's been much longer than that! I've migrated away from the professional world I've known and have been doing my best to write daily. I found a great marketplace for writers hawking their skills for freelance positions and although I had posted as a facebook status update that I could not list ghost as special skill yet, I have since been awarded quite a few writing assignments/jobs one of which is a true ghost gig. I'm plugging along and keeping the nickels in my pocket heavy enough to provide the essentials for my family. I've even been asked to do a temporary gig with a nine to five office using the skill set I had honed for twenty years aside from the writing. My point is, I've been working hard - or maybe working frequently is a better way to phrase it.
And thank goodness the times I have to sit and get down on myself because the nickels aren't enough are sparse! I have been a pile of goo emotionally and then pick myself up to do one more thing.
Now, the whole time I'm working on the house, I have taken my grandmother's ring from my finger for two reasons. 1-I don't want the ring to get broken or scratched. 2-I don't want the ring to get caught someplace I should not have put my hand and cause me to lose a finger. (i like all my digits where they are.) But for the past week (perhaps two?) I've worn the ring every day, moving it from finger to finger as my hand feels weird keeping it on the same finger. My favorite is my left thumb.
My left thumb has been cut, bitten, broken... it's a mess! And I saw her ring on my thumb yesterday while I was trekking to the office gig, concerned that I wouldn't complete the ghost gig on time and wondering how to approach a writing gig. At the same time, I was entertaining the idea of doing a monster editing job that I was asked about the day before. And while reflecting on the ring and exhausted from running to and fro with very few nickels in my pocket, I thought of the photo I saw each morning before I left the house in which I grew up. And I thought, she made it through the depression for crying out pete's sake! I can make it through a couple of weeks of overwhelming busy to care for my family.
But then the distraction creeps in. And the distraction I have now is trying to fit everything in. It's like a GPS when you make a wrong turn, or you get a call to stop one more place before you get to where you're going, the little machine needs to recalculate so you work effectively to reach your goal. I feel like my brain constantly is recalculating to fit in the distractions, never mind my personal procrastination or the tangents into which I find myself wandering.
Why take on more? Well, I think to myself, I spend a bulk of time doing the one thing, I can do a little thing here and there to get it done. But that doesn't allow for the curve balls that are thrown. And whether the curve ball is that the dryer at my mom's stops working when I'm leaning on her to do laundry while my washer dryer are sitting in a state of inactivity or an opportunity to complete a job that needs to be done in a week for reasons bigger than the money I earn, it's hard to stay on track and focus on the objective.
Even this blog entry has been a big diversion from starting the writing I committed to this weekend and I keep looking at my grandmother's ring and imagining her growling at me to just get started on the work instead of swimming in this nonsense of distraction. And I want to cry out, "I'll get it all done!" I always do.
When Sevy realizes the pharmaceuticals keeping their bodies young are weened from those deemed to have exhausted their usefulness, he believes he must delve into the purpose of this synthesized society believing it is not much different than the life he lived on earth.
Esther Elizabeth Buck
i'm halfway through my life with the stifled stories stirring. i should have done it earlier, but i am on the
Philadelphia Row is a term used, not only in Philadelphia neighborhoods, but elsewhere to refer to orderly rows of regularized housing.
But there is nothing orderly or regular about any of the goings on in a Philadelphia Row.