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Day five of not waking to an alarm clock, yet I am still incredibly sluggish. I could easily stay in bed another hour. I can't deny any longer the state of exhaustion I was in and am still in. How did I stay at all functional? I will not recover during this week of vacation, even with today being a 'play day' due to non-compliant weather - no lifting, no real exertion but by day's end I cannot see straight. Having slowed down a bit without the work schedule driving me, my body seems to coming to a complete stop.
After many trials and tribulations, the transom windows on the porch begin to come together. Working with old wavy glass from the porch's large west window, I imagine what it would be like to do this for a living, working to restore old homes at an artisan level. Like baking bread, it is a process of creating something you can see or hold in your hand rather than the intellectual exercise of designing logical networks. Given my family's inclination towards perfection, I would probably be successful with either venture if I had a partner to soothe the client?s ruffled feathers.
Work. Even on vacation, I work. I think the only exception was last year's trip to England; no, I did spend one evening catching up with email. The cell phone has been quiet the last two days and I'm ignoring email in the meantime. At least this vacation, the work is what I planned to be doing, ripping apart the porch and putting it back together again. I really need to just do nothing for several days except sleep and eat, maybe read a bit or knit. I don't seem able to do that when left alone in the house.
Elsie Bender was the eldest of three sisters; her younger sisters Edna and Erma married brothers. Although Erma died childless in her early twenties, Edna divorced Frank Garside while her two children, Anita and Raymond, were still wee ones. The Garside brothers are complete ciphers, not a photo remains. Edna remarried: Dad suggests that if Lee Peck was the best candidate, pickings were indeed slim in Jones County, Iowa in the 1920s; Harlan and Lee Jr. were born in quick succession to Edna, who was my great-grandmother.
There's a very interesting story here if I can discover the details.
I found the perfect job. Actually, two excellent possibilities, both on the Island. One is unfortunately a consulting gig with right to hire rather than a permanent position. The other is pure info security here in Suffolk and just what I'd like to do as well as being of a nature that it would give me the opportunity to have my life back. I have no doubt I could succeed wonderfully at either job, but I also I certain that getting in the door for the interview will be the hardest part.
Bad days haven't gotten much easier. The nerve still burns along the length, the ends in my foot tingle with fire and ice, but is no longer a constant through the day, the sensations come and go unexpectedly. I am fine for an hour or so, working productively, then suddenly have to stop and be still for a while. While I can disguise a lot of this when I'm at the office, it is harder when I'm supposed to be helping in a construction project. This is a decent weather day; I need to be able to do more.
If this rain had been snow . . . well, it doesn't bear thinking about it. Everything is waterlogged beyond capacity. The drainage system and gutters and downspouts we installed in the first year are holding up well, as my basement is still dry, probably one of the only dry ones in the neighborhood at this point. What happened to spring?? I need to see the sun. I need for us to make progress on this porch. I need a few minutes for myself, with music. I need for something, anything, to go right, to be right, to work out.
Part of me feels quite foolish, acknowledging there is little chance that anything will come of my current personal obsession, that I've allowed it to grow in my own head to help fill the void caused by so much isolation and unhappiness. Yet if I did not have this unrealized reality to enjoy, to dream about, to linger over, there would be very little indeed to sustain me. I want to find someone to share my life with, to build a life together, have some form of family community. I would relocate anywhere if a real chance for that arose.
I suppose I'll be getting off easy if today's Editorial Opinion about my life is the only one I get this trip. I don't know whether or not to be pleased that it's about something completely new, not any of the old routines. When I compare my life to that of some of my peers it is not at all self-indulgent nor is my home filled with trinkets. Most of the "stuff" on display was inherited. My collection of books and music is rather small for one such as me.
I want to cry, really cry. All these problems will not make me appreciate the renovated porch nor dad's efforts any more than I would have if we had been allowed either decent weather or a door that arrived on time with the correct swing. Either one of those situations would have made things significantly easier. But the additional delays and days of being completely off my own schedule and routine have brought me here, my fists clenched because I cannot even cry in private. Leading me to wonder again, could I handle sharing living space with a significant other?
Looking through the train window, I track a rainbow through the passing trees for a mile or so while listening to mix of David Torn. The train changes angles as we head into Oakdale and the rainbow vanishes. The Tornmix comes to me courtesy of a member of the Crimson community, sent to a relay station so that anonymity is preserved. I miss the community - the last few weeks I have hardly been there, but there simply has not been time in the schedule. Some of this music is exactly what I was looking for that night in April.
I try to network these days, but it seems doomed. Not a social creature, I make the attempt at talking with people, talking business, interests, whatever, yet in a room of technical boys and Men In Suits, I stand out. It is obvious the people (men) who are prime networking targets would rather ignore me, as they avoid making eye contact with me. The only men who approach me are vendor sales guys who have to at least say hello to every person present. I've already checked for spinach-in-the-teeth and my hair is politely restrained in a twist. What gives???!
While driving through the North Fork this morning, the sun decides to come out from behind the clouds and play, making it a truly glorious day. The light out on the East End shimmers, not just because it has been so long since there was a day like this. Rather than chase radio signals, I pop in a tape of Peter Gabriel and Brian Ferry and am instantly transported back to the '80's in Chicago. The associations are remarkably strong and I wonder, in twenty years, what music will allow me to remember this time so clearly? Let me guess...
I didn't even realize there was a Friday the 13th this month until it was over. My pagan beliefs do not include such an occasion as in anyway special - the sun, the moon and the stars are my signposts and the cycle of seasons my guide. More important than the date of 13th occurring on a Friday was the waxing gibbous moon turning full yesterday. And once again, Solstice approaches and I am at 40° 51' N rather than 59° 21' N, or even 52° 27' N. One year, I will bask in the Midnight Sun on the solstice.
Cooling off my sunburn with a glass of May wine on the porch steps tonight I watch the sunset blaze in the western sky. There's been no opportunity to build up a tolerance for the sun this spring, so the first afternoon outside for twenty minutes yields me a hot pink shoulder, literally. Aloe doesn't seem to cool it off, which worries me slightly. As the sunset quietly fades, I watch for fireflies with anticipation, but there are none to be seen. The only twinkling lights tonight are the stars above in the midnight vault of sky.
I am not quite devastated by the news - we have been expecting something like this for many months. The timing of the event is nevertheless quite interesting in a sinister kind of way. There is little doubt anymore what the primary function of my life will be for the foreseeable future and that there will be massive change and upheaval in the coming months. The concept of a quiet summer is destroyed - I will be trying to bite my tongue while keeping my head low when I'm at the office and running a military campaign when I'm elsewhere.
I'm supposed to devise three affirmations to help me believe that I have what it takes to make it to the next level, to have faith in myself and the universe, because, as we all know, fear is the mind-killer. Here they are: I can do anything I set my mind to. (Rather than the grammatically correct: I can do anything to which I set my mind). I am ready for a career of real responsibility and significance in information security. Lastly, my favorite and most transcendental affirmation and exhortation (thank you, Julia Cameron): Leap and the net will appear.
All the opinions about what will happen and what the timeline is for things playing out are contradictory at this time, so I am left with relying upon my own thoughts. I do remember quite clearly what it is like to not be consumed by my job (the hiatus courtesy of surgery) and I want that back. That is the most important thing to me: to get my life back for myself so that I can start to do something meaningful with it - make new friends, start a new career, find someone to love who loves me, be happy.
Over the course of several months, I have a few times been able to get him to momentarily smile over a ridiculously dry witty comment. There have been one or two extremely brief giggles -- or whatever the male equivalent is -- but he is normally so serious, he makes me look frivolous. But today, ah, a little girl comment at the end of the meeting finally provoked him into real laughter and a round of jesting banter. Across the room I could feel the heat of that smile - a girl like me could get a sunburn from it.
It is disappointing that across the entire group, the majority have other plans. And that so many of the rest don't understand what RSVP means. While cleaning the many layers of grime off my floors today it occurs to me that it is time to do the same thing with my personal life, to shed all those acquaintances that do not understand or will not take the time to understand me. And that I should not feel bad about doing it. They have wasted many chances to be welcomed into my personal space - there will be no future invitations.
The Solstice arrives with only a few drops, but before it is a few hours old the rain beats a steady drum. I rescued the peonies from complete devastation, their ballooning blossoms capturing all the water, which weighs them down to the ground. Warm and dry inside the house, the delicate yet massive flowers gently scent the air with their fragrance. A day of serious preparation yielded a good harvest, with food and drink welcoming the guests into my home and life for a few hours. I can't imagine this would be my last Solstice Celebration here on the Island.
Despite having no energy, I make progress on several fronts today mostly out of sheer stubbornness and force of will. I reward myself with a soak in the tub, doused liberally with Epsom salts and lavender. When I am done, I am suddenly awake and energized, but the clock tells me I cannot consider anything other than going upstairs to the bed and snuggling in to protect against the chilly night air. As I slowly drift into Morpheus' arms, I think that it would be so lovely to have someone to snuggle with under the down comforter. Dream on, child.
A very chilly night brings long, trailing wisps of mist to the waterways we skirt on the early morning train into the city. The sun is at that singular spot in the horizon so that it rakes the sides of buildings and windows with an intense orange glow that suggests they are banked embers, a gothically ethereal start to the day that brings to mind all sorts of romantic notions to my understimulated yet overactive imagination. Completely inappropriate to work, they linger and incite me to Google for velvet opera-length gloves during lunch as the least of my transgressions today.
She is alive. Yet as we spoke I realized that it was very peculiar to be talking to her after three months of complete silence. It was as though I was hearing someone as if from beyond the grave. What are the seven stages of loss? I can't remember. Hmmm... Shock, Denial, Bargaining, Fear, Anger, Despair, and Acceptance. Oh, yes, I have basically worked my way through all of those stages during the last three months. And then I realized that over those months when I was left alone something in me changed. We are no longer the same person.
The fires of summer have been lit and are burning with a vengeance. We have gone from March to July overnight. By day's end, I'm completely out of sorts but I cannot tell what the cause is - the weather, the lack of pool time, or the impending final confirmation of how bad things are at work, or the convergence of all of the above. An indicator about work: a suggestion about possibilities in a slightly different line of work is surprising, but even given the circumstances, it is more surprising that I actually followed through and sent a resume.
With luck, Thela will today find out that his life, his future, are to be truly his again. It is a day of historic positive announcements, why shouldn't the ripples of good news spread outward to him? Any other outcome is morally reprehensible.
As I take a day to breathe, to sleep, to clear my head, the awaited announcement comes down from the corner office. Yet more evidence that the balance of the universe must be maintained: positive events are balanced by negatives. Few of the details are surprising, I nevertheless feel complete disappointment and more than a little betrayal.
Observation: Grown men shouldn't throw temper tantrums. It is extremely unbecoming and undermines their credibility when they are in a position of theoretical power.
It's a day of disappointing observations about work. Confirming the identity of the new kid on the block merely reinforces my belief that he'll be a complete failure: three jobs in as many years suggests he's good at getting hired, but not good at managing to stay. I am growing restless waiting for some possibility to shift into an actual opportunity. I really do NEED to know if I am staying in the house or relocating.
I tried to have fun out in the sunshine, really, I did. But the best part of the day was watching "A Beautiful Mind" as afternoon shifted into evening while rearranging the living room furniture. Russell Crowe was, as always, mystifyingly beautiful, and quietly electric as he disappeared, merging completely into being Someone Else. There were snippets of John Nash via Russell Crowe that reminded me very intensely of The Wizard, the great mind who is altogether aware that he doesn't quite belong in the society around him, the mannerisms of mental agitation, the intellectual abstraction that remains somehow grounded.
Waaaaaaah! Thela's in a holding pattern. The insidious machinations of the insurance and legal industries have resulted in complexities over what should be basic rights of health care that are truly appalling. I realize in retrospect how truly fortunate I was with the particular combination of insurance and the amount of disability accrued over the years with my employer. Thela is now confronted with having to make a choice that will truly be determining the lesser of two evils before he can begin what will certainly be a long, hard road to getting his life back. Where's my magic wand?!
A long day in anticipation of the Invasion (or insert your metaphor for the unwelcome arrival of Bad News Personified) relieved only by the stories over Starbuck's that were never told because we never met. Some were truly unbelievable, others were sadly all too believable, given the people involved.
Coming home after the pool, feeling good, very good, I stop dead in my tracks as I see the western sky, fired by sunset, doing its very best to be a Maxfield Parrish atmostpheric delight. Balance, the universe is all about balance, if you just slow down long enough to notice.
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