Cats are teachers. Nap gurus with short-memories for accidental kicks. Lucid waking, able to turn from drowsing to maximum speed leap if need or curiosity pricks.
I have so much to learn about being.
So much to listen to like Philip Levine tribute show that JM did last night.
Death on death. Is the pile high enough yet? Now, Leonard Nimoy, who said he could too?
My wisdom tooth’s filling broke and the dentist filled it yesterday. I’m good for reading, that’s about all so reading I did. Here’s the first 17 books of the year.
Like a toothache.
Back in the early 90s when I got a filling I remember the large grey rubber sheet that isolated the tooth with a round clamp, the plastic over my chin, cheeks, nose, part of my vision. The terrible fumes. Being exterior to the experience, all conversation addressed to the hygienist, all decisions theirs. The dentist joking he should wear thick leather gloves because I keep biting him. The hygienist whose heat of hand came through the latex and who saw my chipped lips and asked if I wanted balm and rubbed a finger of gloss onto my lips with a compassion that brought me into a present.
Now a tiny tooth-sized raincoat and small layers, one added with a slow-release pain killer inside the tooth to soothe the nerve from the jars of drilling. Fewer small stages, no shoving on my jaw as if it is sand to tamp, more layers of magic light to buccal and distil to cure it, let is set and settle. Conversation with both, asking questions, not letting myself passively receive. Realizing how much skill they have. Imagine, rebuilding a tooth.
Otherwise I read, scratched notes. I called all halt yesterday to the usual. I tallied, because tallying is what I do and I read 276 pages in a day. I thought I made a few scratch notes but copying over it added up to 8 poems. The more you read, the more you see, the more there is to process.
And the more for dreams to work on. The delicate balance of not letting perishables perish and yet hoarding what we can before it is stolen. Another night of living in a war-zone, bombed out city, part-buildings, broken infrastructure, communication networks gone, squatter communities in lofts, seeds made illegal except for overpriced sources, furtive scavenged cans in hiding, trying to give them sun and rain enough to live without getting caught growing food.
What does the cat dream of, her small toe motions half running? Does she pursue or is she pursued?
So far as new years resolutions go, I’m on track for work and life shape, but this exercise aspect…let’s just say that going out once a week to walk a couple blocks to eat is not quite up to the task of building rock hard abs.
But it is double-double season, that is double all items of clothes except for the underwear. (Wait, can bras be stacked?)
Doubled socks, two pairs of pants over long johns, two shirts, two sweaters, mitts with gloves inside. Forgot to do nested hats, but two hoods are better than one.
It’s a good city to be a live-in tourist in. There’s always many things going on. It is a great year for Winterlude. The snow and ice sculptures are cut and stay put. None of this melt-right-away business.
As usual, it’s -37 with windchill, -22 without wind. Still, t-shirt weather if you don’t count the 2 or 3 sweaters/long johns, coat, hat, scarf, hood, double mitts, double socks…
Living Starts with the Small is an article by Lesley Strutt on being aware of the moment you are in. Listening, watching instead of letting the inner narrative decide what is.
It’s the time of day when the light hits the open book shelves. And the the house heating comes on again.
Now that I’ve rearranged the furniture there’s a clear run of hot air from the vent to my feet.
The last 2 days have been super productive. Chugging away in a beautiful run of physical and mental clarity, everything clicking as if this is what normal should be but often isn’t. My to-do list is a choppy sea of check marks.
And last night was a crash. From 7pm on, I was useless. I slept hard. Woke feeling compressed, that reboot thing of 11 hours unwakeable sleep, but gradually the feather-pillow of self fluffs back into its loft.
I only am scheduled to leave my brick hibernaculum 5 more times over the next 4 weeks, maybe 6 if we go out for my birthday.
Most contentedly, I am looking forward to my curtains. For 3 years I’ve considered window treatments, but nothing suited. Going store to store whenever I am near or special find-curtain missions. Nothing. Now I’ve found it and just need to make fabric into curtains and hang.
This is the year of completion, getting life in order, maintaining it along the way and keeping on track.
Instead of computer getting bloated with missed shots, taking the time to delete them out. Instead of making a to-do list and call it a day, going over them each morning, making priorities.
A day for groceries, an hour for reading, a scheduled time for editing, a scheduled time for new work. Computer off at certain times. No access to whatever happened to have happened somewhere in the world.
Time is more manageable when scarce. If given any amount of time, there’s no end to how long any stage of any one thing takes. So far, it’s working.
But doing everything right, having balanced days of work, play, nutrition, sleep, exercise, social and solitude, I still crashed. But I made progress while aloft.
I’m aiming to spend less time doing that by being aware of my energies better, knowing when I can push, and when I need to let myself be unhorsed. (Okay, that was autocorrect. “When should I let myself be unhorsed?” seems an improvement to “When should I let myself be unharried?”)
I’ve always been bullheaded but compromised without communicating that I was stretching myself, becoming a thin-gum while keeping up the sense that I was offhanded fine. Which benefits who, exactly?
Keeping up the insistence on the wrong method sounds like determination and discipline but might just be foolish. For example like the man who came into the dentist with a broken front tooth. What happened? He was trying to pull out his Christmas lights and it wouldn’t come, wouldn’t come, so he pulled, pulled, it gave and it came and he punched himself in the face so hard he broke his tooth.
Sticking my heels in and will not be hurried. But will be choosy and make sure I don’t punch myself in the efforts.
I’m getting in touch with my inner mule and adamant, not happening allows time for following the gut-yesses.