Monday, April 22, 2013

Hello, April

It was downright cold this morning, after a chilly weekend that followed a few days of record-breaking heat. This is all my fault. I took my winter coats out of my closet too early.

But the fresh-cut grass smells beautifully sweet this morning, and the combination of smell and cool freshness felt like a morning at Camp, which is always nice. Made me a little homesick, though.

This past weekend I made two avocados worth of gorgeous, chunky guacamole* and bought two bags of sprouted grain chips by "Simply Sprouted: Way Better" snacks. Both were surprisingly delicious, and I have just run out of guacamole. Really a shame.

In other news, I have temporarily ceased recycling (I'm quite ashamed of this) because our back door (which leads to the recycling bins) is entirely blocked by inchworms and webbing. Also the recycling, which needs to be carried through the house to be taken out, is covered in inchworms and webbing. Gotta love April under the trees.

*I make it wrong, always, but I love it this way: avocado, minced garlic, salt, and apple cider vinegar to taste.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Summer is coming.

I've spent the last two days working quite a lot--daycare in the early morning, then for my aunt in the late morning and early afternoon, then daycare again, then helping to renovate a house up the street. I sometimes dread such days, but it's been pretty great, actually. It's amazing how much more productive I am when my free time is cut back. My taxes are done, I've got some books from the library, and I'm heading to NYC for the weekend on Friday morning. I learned to use a circular saw tonight--we cut all the shelving for the kitchen--and now I'm covered in sawdust and my nostrils are filled with it.

And sometimes I just love working for my aunt. Lately family means more to me than it ever did when I was younger, and I love my aunts. It seems as though they just attract beautiful things to themselves, and it all swirls around each of them like a tornado of light. Really, most of my family is like that, actually, on both sides. I'll be visiting my cousin in New York this weekend, and doing some work for her. She has some similar tendencies, though they're expressed in different ways. (Emma, will you be around? Assuming you see this in time? I don't know if/when I'll be able to get away but I'd be happy to say hello if you were interested in such a thing.)

Anyway, my aunt's house is beautiful, and spending time with her was just another beautiful piece in a beautiful week I've been having, really. Here's what I scribbled in my notebook this morning, favorite pieces of my week so far:

cold grapes on a hot day
sprinkler spray through a car window
a bottle of wine down by the river, in the dark
a rain of flower petals
polishing silver in the shade on the side porch

Also, I think I should move. I hesitate to write it down, because the more I talk about things the less they tend to happen, but here it is, just for the record. For my future reference.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Ian, sweetheart, texted me to make sure I'd eaten dinner. I had, but it was, as I told him, some utterly unsatisfying (though filling) leftovers. And I kind of wondered about that. What made them so terrible? They tasted fine. But I pulled them out of the fridge, scooped them out of their plastic containers, microwaved them for forty-five seconds. And then I ate them alone, hunched over my bowl on the sofa in the dim living room, watching a computer screen. And there's no joy in that. There's no life or satisfaction in that. After a night like this one, where the things I eat are nothing but necessary sustenance, I find I can better understand those people who find no pleasure in food. I can see how a life of microwaved and/or prepackaged dinners might do that to a person. I was raised on homemade lunches and dinners, because my mom is awesome and found the time to make them--and thus these days my most satisfying, most pleasurable meals are those that I cook with Ian or my roommate, and those that I eat with my loved ones. The food is second to the ritual of brainstorming, prep, cooking, talking, cleaning, and second to the community it fosters. After experiencing that kind of richness, eating alone in an empty house makes everything seem very grey.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring forward

Things have been better and things have been worse, in general, and in turns. Lately and always I guess. I have come to that place where everything rankles: my living situation, whatever it may be, my job, whatever that may be, my character flaws. Change as I may, those flaws are hard to shake.

I haven't been sleeping well or enough lately, but the weather has been growing nicer. I've seen a few more sunrises lately, thanks to daylight savings time. I took Ian to DC for his birthday and we spent Friday night and Saturday with his best friend Yuriy, and we all had a really nice time, despite my exhaustion, and the weather was nice. The weather was incredible, to me at least, given that every time I've been up there in the past decade or so it's been freezing, snowing, windblown, somewhat miserable.

We've been watching Walking Dead, and I've been reading the first volume of Game of Thrones, and I have zombies on the brain. Last night I watched a little video from Ian's birthday breakfast Friday, and I thought to myself, "it will be so nice to have this, to be able to show it to my children and help them understand how carefree things were before everyone had to be constantly worried about being eaten by the undead."  And then I laughed at myself, and told Ian, and he said, "Marie, batteries will be long gone by then." "yeah. it's a shame. clearly that is the single biggest problem with this scenario."

Then I went to bed and despite two benadryl I took hours to fall asleep again. It wasn't too bad though; I got up and worked until 9:30 am and went to try to nap just like I did yesterday, but this time I succeeded. And REM sleep after (or, as it may turn out to be, during) a bout of insomnia is the most delicious thing. I just don't know any other word to describe it, which is okay I guess, because "delicious" is probably the perfect word.

Regarding the anxiety in my feet: have I mentioned this? I write here so seldom that I can't remember what I've mentioned. I have this anxiety issue that I think everyone close to me knew about, and naturally they assumed that I knew too, but I didn't, because I also have a denial thing. Incidentally I have also had this tingling issue in my feet since 2008 or so, which, as it turns out, is anxiety related. And this happens way more often at night when I try to go to bed, because, as you may understand, insomnia leads to fatigue, fatigue leads to increased anxiety (read: unbearable, unstoppable tingling), anxiety (tingling) leads to increased insomnia, and so on, forever. Go figure. So I've been trying to figure out ways to break that cycle, and while bedtime is still tied to God-knows-how-vast amounts of repressed anxiety, I have been making some progress on the wacky physical symptoms. Lately the most successful tactic has been to point out that there isn't anything the matter, foot, so calm down and shut up. Cessation of the tingling doesn't necessarily mean I can fall asleep, but it does make lying in bed for hours significantly less miserable.

I didn't mean to be so negative. Lately a lot of the things I write seem to come out that way though, regardless of my intent. Ian's been very sweet though, and patient with it. Probably more so than I would be. I think there is a lot more kindness in him than I sometimes realize. The other day he said that we should go to the park so I could sit and be outside and write poems, because he thought that might make me feel better. And it probably would. I felt like it was one of the most thoughtful things anyone had ever said to me.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Morning Fog

Early this morning a dense, frozen fog lay across everything, and filled up the woods for miles in every direction. It melted more slowly than usual--turning to mist and then eventually to steam as the sun swung higher into the sky--and the rich sunbeams and shining air held on until the last moment before sliding away. The crystalline structures of the cold dawn faded back into wood and leaves and stone, and by 9 am the silent (save for birdsong) morning cathedral melted completely into the strong sun and noisy energy of day.

I should spend more time in the morning.

I stepped onto the gas station lot to put gas in the van this morning, and when my feet hit the ground I inhaled, and the world smelled like Turkey. Smelled the way the world used to smell when I loved someone else. On Valentine's Day. When I want so much not to think of those things anymore.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thoughts on a possible zombie apocalypse

I have something of a moral opposition to the idea of arranging one's life around a television schedule, and yet still I find myself regularly watching two shows when they are in season: Doctor Who, and Walking Dead. I've been watching far too much Walking Dead lately--catching up on the first two seasons, since I started on the third. I love the show, but now I've got zombies on the brain. I've been staying awake at night running back over the show, thinking about courses of action in the event of an apocalypse, eyeing buildings on my way around town and assessing which are the most defensible, wondering which kinds of people would fare better or worse.

I started thinking about what would actually happen, you know? Generally in talk and stories the zombie apocalypse is treated as an extinction event, and also generally (in my experience) isn't thought through to the end, or in a particularly logical fashion. For instance: These things are always set in populated areas. Even if they're set in the countryside, they're in the countryside near populated areas. Know why? Because that's where there would be enough zombies to be scary. What about Mongolia, where a third of the population is nomadic? What about communities isolated in the Amazon, far enough from civilization that corpses would rot or be eaten before reaching them? What about everyone who lives at high latitude? I don't care what people are wearing when they die--I doubt even the most warmly dressed zombie would produce enough heat to keep from freezing solid in the winter, or any time above the Arctic Circle. A lot--or even most--of the world would go to hell in a handbasket, I'm sure, but enough would survive. Gradually people would build safe havens, learn to protect themselves, begin to repopulate, and the next generation would be bred for intelligence and physical fitness and luck, or maybe even immunity. And slowly they would beat back the tide, retake the world, turn the power back on (probably renewable power this time, having learned a little from past mistakes), and start work on a cure. If things had followed the trend of Walking Dead, and people turned when they died, then the new world would take better care of their sick and elderly and mentally handicapped. They'd do a better job of making sure no one was alone. They would develop accountable communities out of necessity. They would be better than we are.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Oh, so that's what that is.

It has taken me until the age of twenty six to admit to myself that I have an anxiety problem. It never occurred to me before this week, though in retrospect it seems absurdly obvious. My paralyzing fear of graduate school that's keeping me in an endless cycle of unfulfilling odd jobs? My inability to sleep caused largely by my fear of not being able to sleep? My obsessive worry about relationships and commitment? Yeah. Totally doesn't sound like an anxiety issue at all. Two nights ago I had a two-minute argument with my roommate/twenty-year-best-friend/landlady about recycling, and then I cried for about an hour and a half before I could calm down enough to go to bed. I feel like that was a little bit of an overreaction.

In other news, I'm hoping that one of these days, breakup songs will stop tearing me apart inside* and making me emotional about David, making me start making bad, bad plans about giving him slightly-too-long hugs or sending him Valentines or writing him unnecessary emails full of oversharing. I think I'm getting closer, maybe, to not doing these things.

Speaking of Valentines Day, though I'm obviously Ian is so great, so sweet to me that I feel like he deserves something really nice for the holiday. I don't have any money, really, and I'm not sure what to do. I was thinking about saving dollar bills and getting him roses, which tends to be my typical response to Valentines Days, but it seems a little weak, especially since I know that, despite my protests, he has already ordered me a gift and will likely add chocolate and flowers to it. Ideas would be welcome.

*This still happens despite the obvious issues that existed within our relationship. Despite his apathy toward improving his emotional state of frequent if not near-constant depression, despite my proximity to his depression worsening my own, despite my fervent avowal that I am not willing to be with a person who is content to spend his life unhappy, despite our inability to communicate with one another effectively, despite the two-seater rollercoaster of love and fear and uncertainty we spent nearly our entire relationship riding...I told him I wanted to marry him, back in whatever year it was, a few months before we broke up, and I meant it. I wasn't the only one to have brought it up. And I guess I'll never know what went through his head--then or ever--but in the end, it wasn't what he wanted.