Some days there is so much getting in my way I get frustrated, and then cry. Or perhaps I hear some music or sing, especially in church, surrounded by hundreds of other people, and my throat grows soft and heavy, and I cry. I don't understand the life of a being like Sheba that cannot cry, or relate to tears, and I know there are human beings like that, too, ordinary people who almost never cry. Crying seems essential for me to express to myself my feelings and the chemicals that somehow come out in those tears, so I end up balanced again.
Frustration: There are things I want to do and they are getting in the way of what I want to do. Right now I want to do this blog, write, journal, consider a fascinating article on tragedy lying at my left hand. Sometimes less important things have to come first. For example, right now I need to put on my socks and shoes. I have learned the sports doc and therapists are right about that. If I go around barefoot, my left ankle begins to hurt, and that leads to the tragedy of being off your feet. While I'm up I need to put a load in the washer with my two everyday pants, black sweats and jeans, and my black socks. Wait, I don't really have to do that today. I can do it tomorrow in sweet Sabbath time. I won't need those pants till Monday. And I don't care if I wear white socks with my tennis shoes. People are just going to have to get over it.
Grandson and family are coming today mid-afternoon, and that means I have to lie down for an hour or so before then, or I'll be tired and lackluster by evening. What is all this getting in the way of? Sitting here slow, thinking. I'd like to let my mind play over this week of big change, in which I wrote every morning for two hours. I thought about a poem by Yeats this morning, with the repeated line, "Like a long-legged fly on the water, her mind moves upon silence." That reminds me that somewhere in a large box of old-fashioned film photographs I have one of a waterbug, and its shadow. When will I ever get at those? (Maybe tonight while everyone else watches the Olympics?)
As for poetry, I have come to think I have not been very kind to my poems, churning them out into a file of "unpublished poems," which means "unfinished poems," too. I am getting inclined to imitate the visual artists, who often have a dozen canvases in process, propped all around the studio. I once read that the poet Elizabeth Bishop had one certain poem taped on her refrigerator door for 20 years, but unhappily, I don't know what it was. She was probably trying to get the last line right.
It is almost 11:00 now. I see that the fooling around we did with my computer last night has erased the clock. This is annoying me, though I don't need the damn thing - I have a real clock in my study. . . . [pause] Aha, I figured out the problem and got my status bar back.
I got an e-mail rejection yesterday. Offhand, I don't know what poems I sent those people. I would like to get into that slow mood in which I just do this, do that, such as get into my files and see if a note on that submission is hidden somewhere. . . . Sending stuff in by e-mail and getting rejection by e-mail is much better than the old way, where they might clip to your stuff a little 4x4 inch form letter, as if they didn't even want to spend the money for a half sheet. Come on, my heart is written in those poems. . . . Found the record of the submission. [pause] substantially reorganized files, so I can easily search this year or the archive. How do things get in such a mess? In part it's not having enough time, or do we? Is it just being in a hurry to get on to the future?
When you're older, life is confusing. I take, quick count, ten prescription meds at three times during the day, and also medication with every meal. Not every one of those is necessary to sustain life, but I sure wouldn't want to go off of the ones that merely address the burning freezing feet of neuropathy. Slowly I have been getting those up on automatic refill. That will certainly help. But now I have sitting here in my box of "practical to do" a weird thing they want the kidney doctor to fill out affirming that yes, I do need EPO at intervals. Can't blame them, it costs something like $500 a shot. Gave myself one Thursday. Had it marked on the calendar, then checked it off.
Ah, the tragedy of life. How to begin working again in earnest as a writer, which is perhaps my fundamental practice, and yet find time to meditate, time to journal, two other spiritual practices. And fix dinners, pick up house. Shower. Get together with friends. Go to all those doctors. Buy just something pretty for spring, when shopping wears me out. The tragedies I must admit of affluence.
And also of wanting. It's not that we should not want things, I think. We should accept that we are wanting animals. And I think after this, it's time for me to select February's gift for extreme world poverty (see previous posts). That is sure to yank me upright and in touch with reality.