Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Circle Dance

Even as I find so many words advising me to remain calm, emotions swirl, rise and fall with no predictable pattern. Wanting to believe this all has some purpose, each evening I look for a constructive accounting of my time and struggle to hold onto faith.

Since the surgery now seems far off, I must learn to live with the disability. Spasms come and go, some days intensely and others barely at all. Much of the time, my energy feels nearly normal, as much as I remember. I feel as if I could pick up my feet and run; such a simple concept, but like a dream to me now.

It comes time then to look for a job.

A blessing that has kept me from being homeless, accepting money from my father now becomes an emotional challenge. To study his influence on my childhood and remain dependent on him to this day feels unacceptable. Difficult as it is to shed the skin of compulsive productivity with which I was raised, it is nigh impossible to take his money and ignore his questions about what opportunities are available. My entire life—even though only talking through my mother to him—I have felt compelled to explain and justify every step in terms of leading myself forward and creating a life he might approve.

So often there has been the urge to step aside and contemplate, ruminate with scribbles on paper the words and images that flow in my head. This injury has finally stopped me cold (I nearly wrote “dead”), but left me too shattered to think, much less write many words. Weeks have turned into months and I have grown quite accustomed to the quiet, the lack of pace and urgency, the various positions I rotate my body through to keep myself from getting stiff and more sore.

Hardly a movie on Netflix have I not streamed, nor status quote on facebook have I not read. Nearly every minute of the World Cup soccer matches held me enthralled, tempted me to play. I can now lie quietly for hours at a time, head propped, eyes closed, not asleep, not thinking…waiting.

Music draws me out. Band practice and shows help me feel normal. The banter with my son and keeping him fed, his room and clothes clean are realities requiring my happy focus. We have had some wicked games of Parcheesi. Visits to friends have provided exquisite distractions.

With more energy for several weeks, I have scoured the classifieds and sent resumes galore. With so little being built these days and unable to be on the job sites at this point, I have to look farther afield, but my construction experience, unfortunately, makes me look unqualified for other offices, despite the bright spotlight I shine on all the peripheral skills acquired in managing money and people as well as lumber. Any responses so far are to inform me they will interview other, more qualified, candidates.

So still and silent as ever I wanted to be, energized and supported financially by my father, I spend other days in search of writing opportunities. My eyes blur from the links on Craig’s List, click after click, imagining how well I could write copy or edit. Emails flow into the ether by the quarter hour with little response except a few politely formulated notices of unsuitable fits. I am proud of my perseverance, the same persistence that made me take another deposit in my construction business, convinced I could do the next one better.

Still, the mass of rejections in all directions takes its toll.

On Sunday, after several days of hard spasms, my body refused to budge from the couch. The computer connection took more energy than I had fingers to type. Phone conversations were an effort better left unspoken. Between the heat and the constant pressure of clothing on the tube into my belly, I never even bothered to dress. A pizza box was on the floor and the sink was full of dishes too dirty to invite the effort.

Recognizing this state of dishevelment might frighten anyone who chanced to visit, I checked in with my sister 3000 miles away. She knows my story well and the work I have been doing only hinted at in this blog. She could support this mood of lethargy, saying my work is in the silence of the inaction. She too heard my father’s voice often so stern, lately more bewildered, advising me to produce, account and justify some more. This sitting on the couch, she agrees, no matter how unhealthy it might feel, is somehow vital to my psyche and the healing that needs to take place far deeper than re-opening the urethra.

The next morning, even though raining and dreary, with purpose miraculously renewed, I clicked through dozens of more classifieds, eager, determined, and supremely optimistic. The mood carried well into the next day, a barrage of emails gone out against the few coming in. Music dates are booked, a few short stories readied for new markets. Ideas percolate rapidly. Inspiration ignites the grey skies into sunshine, opening my heart again, offering all (such that it is) I have to give.

My faith is deep that talents will find their home.

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1 comment:

kassia said...

It is always darkest before dawn. And...from the link I have sent you:
'So if you feel that your fear is uncontrollable, if you can make no sense of it, congratulations! This is where you want to be. You are right on the threshold of the new and you are very close to a breakthrough.'
Kip, congratulations are in order :)