My brain feels as if it has lost the capacity to write. In the lack of practice, I have lost an ease that allowed me to sit and compose and produce something of substance within a rather short amount of time. Having gone from being compressed most moments to actually having some freedom of time, I have not adapted. My brain doesn’t get it. It’s like something that has been squished into a package for so long it retains the shape long after the package has gone. I’ve gone hiking several times, went on a 3-day backpacking trip, have been riding really regularly and reading actually quite a lot, and still the brain is only gradually unscrunching itself. It’s not sure what to do. I suppose I’ll have to get into practice again. Perhaps if I write tidbits like this one I’ll get there. As it is, right now I just want to brush my teeth and crawl into bed with my three dogs.
Making the List
I have the most profound ideas in the shower. Then I have to get out of the shower and run and I don’t get to stop running until those profound ideas are pebbles and grits of dust on the floor, obliterated.
Children, school, work, horse, dogs, friends all are taking me in bits and pieces in the edges and around corners. Live this life right now one day at a time, the theory being that at some point when I’m living these moments one day at a time focusing on one thing in that moment I won’t be neglecting ten others. This isn’t really living in the moment now because it is done with the hope for the future in mind; it’s bearing each moment now. Taking smiles when I can get them because most of the time it’s consternation and dismay.
The profound thought I had in the shower this morning was that I left myself off that list. I don’t even rank. I decided I would rank for three minutes while I wrote this one tiny thought down.
I used to write all of my thoughts down. I don’t write all of my thoughts anymore.
Tonight I crossed a street, and then crossed a parking lot. Two men were walking up the sidewalk when I entered the parking lot. Halfway across one of the men shouted at me, “You have a nice ass!” I said low and to myself, “No I don’t.” Then I got to thinking about the concept of a nice ass and observed that having a nice or not nice ass is a weird construct, but I also thought that the man who said that probably didn’t think it was a weird construct. He probably just had some idea of the way asses look and determined that some ways are nice. I suppose this is the way most people who think about asses being nice or not thinks about them. But I find it odd that we determine that certain shapes of body parts are nice or not. I know there is some biological basis to finding certain features attractive, that it seeks out opposite and healthy genes, and youthful characteristics that are likely to increase the success of child bearing. However, I’m not sure I see where asses fit into that and I wonder how it is that our society has developed into one where we make judgments about body parts. Actually, I don’t really wonder about it. I can ascertain how we got to this place. I just wish we hadn’t, that’s all. Not because I’m offended when someone yells about my butt, but because we are where we are now and that we are headed where we are and it’s not pretty.
I spend much too much time alone. And it’s probably a good thing I don’t write my thoughts down anymore.
Lapsed. I’m lapsing. I’ve lapsed. From nearly everything.
Lapsed seamstress. Lapsed writer. Lapsed knitter. Lapsed runner. Lapsed cello practicer. Lapsed student. Lapsed lover. Lapsed homemaker. Lapsed housecleaner (Actually, this one gets many lapses in one: Lapsed duster, lapsed bathroom scrubber, lapsed dishwasher, lapsed vacuumer, lapsed mopper, lapsed ironer). Lapsed makeup wearer. Lapsed friend caller. Lapsed snappy dresser. Lapsed reader. Lapsed photographer. Lapsed French and Spanish student. Lapsed cook. Lapsed popcorn-maker. Lapsed wit (I’d like to think I’m a lapsed half-wit because that would imply I was getting smarter). Lapsed activist. Lapsed memory. Lapsed. Simply lapsed.
I can’t really call myself a lapsed sleeper because I’ve been insomniac for two decades now, so it’s a permanent condition. I could only say I’m a lapsed insomniac if I were to start sleeping regularly. I also can’t call myself a lapsed laundry folder because I’ve always been abysmal at that too.
Thankfully, I have not lapsed in tooth care, keeping my body clean, or playing with my children or dog, although sometimes I wish I could lapse on these things too. I skipped a shower yesterday, and could barely contain my desire to jump in the shower this morning. An itchy scalp makes me bananas. I hope I’m never a prisoner of war or part of some other catastrophe that keeps me from being able to wash.
Maybe it’s my hair that has me so stuck, so unalive, so lapsed. I heard someone say in a movie that you should not keep the same hairstyle for decades, but I have not followed this rule. I’ve made forays into other hair places, but I always veer back because the texture of my hair is so inflexible when it comes to hairstyle variety, at least if I want to look moderately presentable, that I end up drifting back into blow-dried straight, shoulder-length hair. It doesn’t do well with layers, mainly because it’s really actually curly and layers turn me into a square head, which is so unattractive. Bangs. Those stick out straight in front and I look like I’m giving trailer girls circa 1985 a run for their hairstyle money. Again, it’s because I’m mostly curly. That’s the other thing. I’ve tried Gresham…er…curly, but I think because I blowdry straight every other day, some of the strands have become straight, so I end up with some parts curly, some parts bent funny, and the rest frizzy. Ugly. Ugh. Hence, no hair style change. Most days, it’s in a ponytail. I look the same all the time and this is boring. Just like me.
Tag: Motivation, lack thereof. There isn’t one of those, but perhaps there ought to be.
Let me state from the outset that I have been examined by a physician and I am not clinically depressed. I have also seen a psychiatrist and she has also said that I am not depressed. I was. During my pregnancy, I suffered severe perinatal depression. I came to understand that perinatal depression is often intrinsically linked to one’s relationships and support systems. Pregnancy creates its own little hormonal time-bomb; bad relationships or lack of support can set the bomb off. In my case, I had both. My partner was fundamentally incapable of dealing with the mental demands of my pregnancy, and I was 3000 miles away from my friends and family. I got well, however. I went to a psychiatrist. She helped me to understand the physical changes and demands of my pregnancy on my brain, and provided the support I was not getting at home. Although I do not see her regularly anymore, I maintain contact with her and have continued taking depression screens. I am not depressed.
I open with that caveat because I have changed in a way with which I am not quite at ease., but the lack of ease is not manifesting itself as angst. Rather, I observe that I am how I am. I’ve become ridiculously unflappable, even when it seems flap might be in order. I observe people experiencing their emotions, particularly in relationships, and often I wonder what all the excitement is about. It isn’t that I don’t feel. Quite the contrary. I love my daughters so much it can bring me to tears. Yet I see how people get quite excited about things that seem so silly and I simply cannot feel it. I feel like I’m observing beings from another planet.
I have become remarkably disengaged. I used to feel a pressing urge to write and publish. Lately, I have the desire to write, but it isn’t quite so urgent anymore. Words aren’t tapping my brain. They are there. They swim in and swim out. But mostly now it’s like I’m a fish swimming along observing, with no desire to share it with anyone. Life is there. I see it. Now I see something else. It’s odd, this feeling. My head used to be so energetic. No more. So much of what I observe seems so unendingly ridiculous. Humanity seems destined for demise, at a faster and faster pace, and I’m just swimming along watching. This is part of why I haven’t found much to write about lately; nothing seems much to demand so much energy. So much of what goes on seems such a waste of time, and I’m busy taking care of my baby, my daughter, and myself. I’m not talking about the things that are important. I’m not talking about working hard on things that are worthwhile. But a lot of energy is wasted on a lot that isn’t important at all, and I cannot fathom what all the fuss is about. The whole world seems caught up in a lot of nonsense. A LOT of nonsense. Reality television, piss poor bands, sports, “Tea Parties” by uneducated fools who wouldn’t know democracy if it hit them in the face, which star slept with whom, and on and on. I know. I’m being judgmental. But so much of what is important is lost in the barrage of incessant noise, background constancy that distracts and distracts and distracts, numbing and pulling attention away from most of what is important.
The other day I pulled up in front of my house to wait for my daughter to bring something out to me from the house. As I sat there waiting for her, a person drove up behind me. They could have gone around, there was room, but did not. After about 20 seconds, the woman gunned her engine and drove up next to me, screaming and flipping me off, before driving on. I just looked at her. What in the world was that about? Why all the fuss over having to go around? People can be seriously deranged.
Some say if you aren’t mad, you aren’t paying attention. To some degree I agree. But I just can’t get fired up anymore. Over and over and over, hypocrisy, ignorance, and idiocy seem destined for superiority. So I observe. I feel like someone watching humanity as it drives itself over a cliff.
I heard someone say or I read somewhere that “pregnant women are stupid.” I have to agree. Having gone from a person with so many thoughts running through my head I had to start a blog to deal with them all so I could focus on the other stuff I wanted to write, to someone who can barely compose a coherent sentence, let alone an entire blog piece, all in the span of just under 8 months, I have to agree.
The end of the first trimester and beginning of the second were the worst. I look back at my blog posts from that time. The number of posts start to dwindle. The topics become more inane. In fact I wrote about the fact that my brain seemed not to be functioning as it had previously. And I just wrote about the concern, but there seemed to be no real pressing urge to change it. I was sitting there muddled in a fog.
Gradually over the last few weeks I have started feeling somewhat clearer, but by brain in no way compares to how it was when I was not pregnant. My energy levels certainly don’t. I have always been the sort of person who has a list of 20 things to do and gets all of them done with time left over. Now? Now it’s a feat if I remember, oh yeah, I have that appointment today, and manage to dress and get to it on time. Then that’s it. I’m done for the day. I also used to clean the house once a week. Now it seems it takes seeing pink around the drain in the tub to remind me to clean mildew, or the dog chewing up a roll of toilet paper to force me to drag out the vacuum cleaner. About the only thing I’ve remained regular on in the housecleaning department is keeping the kitchen clean. Of course, our kitchen is so tiny, if it isn’t kept clean it’s a disaster within 2 days so the “mildew ring” shows up sooner, so to speak.
Words also used to flit off my tongue. I had a thought and a response to everything. Often these thoughts had some intelligence behind them, and I would analyze and think around all the angles. Not anymore. Now I don’t even have the thoughts, let alone intelligent ones.
I have some great writing projects I’m working on. They are like cars with broken batteries. I give them a jump. I get them going for a bit. Then they stop again and languish, waiting for AAA to come and jump them again. Only AAA takes its own sweet time. I took months completing and revising a short story I’m pretty pleased with. I was at the query phase, ready to send letters to the magazines I had chosen. Incidentally, choosing the magazines took weeks. Then I started to write the query letter, but it didn’t roll off the fingers as such letters had in the past. I had to write something saying what the story was about. Stuck, I stopped for the day, then took a trip to Portland, and I still haven’t finished. It’s on the list.
The list. I’ve started making these because I forget things. I was never much of a list maker in my personal life. As an attorney, I had lists. I had calendars. I am extremely organized. But I never had to in my personal life. Now I do. If I don’t make a list, even the stories and non-fiction pieces I’m working on are forgotten.
I realize pregnancy has hijacked my brain. I realize at some point the thoughts will return. However, I also realize that soon there will be a little baby to take my attention and getting these things done will be a practicality nightmare. This realization is somewhat overwhelming. Will it be years before I get my brain back? Will the stories I have been working on be dated by then? I feel the urge to complete these projects, but can’t seem to get them done. However, I have stopped just lying in bed in the morning when I can’t sleep after I had to get up for the tenth time to pee. I have started coming here and writing a little bit now and then. So maybe there is hope. I guess it will be obvious by the number of posts I make here. Or not.
My blog has turned into two things. One is me going on and on about how pathetic I am. The other is my ranting about the godforsaken political situation in this country. It’s as if my sense of humor has taken a monster shit and been flushed down the loo. It does not exist anymore, at least in writing. I am not sure though that I ever had it. I just had these magical moments where things came to me and I wrote them down, but they are gone now. Or maybe it was just that I was not living in mental chaos all the time. Lately I feel as if I live in mental chaos, in this box where I just want to know what the fuck it is that I want out of life and I go for it. But the times I’ve known what I want and gone for it have been monumental failures, so I have really almost given up trying. Well, I don’t know about that, but I’ve not known exactly what I want for ages, and that has been a big part of the problem. Recently, I have figured out exactly what it is that I want, but it is one of those things that requires others on board and I have not exactly figured out how to present these desires to the other parties involved. The result is that I mope about wanting these things, wondering if they are the right things to want, waffling whether I actually do want them, then wondering again if I do in fact want them how to present these things to other involved parties. It’s a conundrum, I can assure you.
As it is I just spin time, organizing my room, thinking about things I want to write, sitting at the computer and staring, trying to remember what it was I sat down for, then getting up and wandering over to my bed to stare at the wall, continuing in my humorless vein. It’s a good time. It’s such a good time I am going to do it again right now because I am tired. Good night.
Lara’s Vacuous Brain
I realized after posting my last blog that I have had a dearth of deep thoughts lately. NONE. It’s all nonsense. I wonder if it’s because I’ve been feasting on nonsense for the last week. But no, my dearth of deep thoughts has been going on a lot longer than this decadent, Venusian week. Maybe it is because there are so many other enormous changes going on at the moment that such happenings have sucked my focus from philosophical ramblings. Maybe it’s the books that I’m reading. But that wouldn’t be it. Usually books like the ones I’m reading at the moment make me want to write and write and write, but I don’t have that urge, and this is unusual because needing to write usually keeps me up at night.
The simple fact of the matter is that my brain has been dry for several weeks now and the words have not been pounding at my skull trying to escape. The books I’m working on that seemed so important even a month ago seem trivial and annoying now. I hope their seeming importance returns so I’ll have some desire to work on them again. Maybe this is what is meant by losing the muse. Who knows? I’m not terribly concerned because it hasn’t been going on for very long and I DO have quite a lot of other things to concern myself with. My house is selling and I need to move in a month. I’m going to San Diego for a conference and need to prepare. I need to find a place to live somewhere besides Portland and find Milla a Waldorf school there. I guess those are big things. But usually I would want to write about them. Maybe I’m reacting to a long insomnia spell that is finally over. I’ve been sleeping like a baby. Perhaps the brain is healing from that. Actually, this could definitely be the case. I was so sleep deprived there for a while I couldn’t remember words like remember. Uh, you know, that word about keeping something in your brain? What is it? Huh?
Anyway, until the deep thoughts come back I’ll continue posting pointless nothingness like this and today’s earlier post. Good times.
Have you ever gone swimming somewhere noisy, boats roaring, children screeching, just the sounds of summer and wetness…then you dive under the water and it’s silent and thick, the water fills your head? You might can barely hear the other sounds, but they are muffled and far away. You are present only in the moment of being there under the water by yourself.
Well, that’s like writing can be for me. I start writing and lose any sense of time. I don’t notice the sounds. I’m gone. I love that place. It’s better than any substance designed to obliterate reality and there isn’t a hangover, although there can be some disorientation upon returning to consciousness and having to deal again with reality. That can be somewhat of a shock.
I love that this blog thing tells you that no one reads what you say. That’s all good though because I might be tempted to edit myself if I thought anyone was looking at this or gave a damn. I probably do anyway because it’s not my journal. Oh well.