Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I Am a Sock, Knit in the Dark

I've been a bit breathless lately--maybe winded from a sudden, unexpected sprint of obligation, or maybe, breathless like a panic attack. The less that I feel I can breathe, the worse the struggle becomes . . . and the less I feel I can breathe. It's a round trip ticket.

I try very hard to accept that life has this jigsaw puzzle quality--that the pieces are scattered, some are missing. That no matter how you twist a piece, you aren't always able to see the fit. You aren't even always able to see the big picture. Right now, the clues to my big picture consist of a couple of blue "sky" pieces and a corner piece that might be flowers (or a pair of harem pants).

I don't even have a box to consult.

I didn't anticipate two classes this summer. I anticipated one class, then the remainder of my summer spent, organizing materials and files for my new job, playing "T-Rex attacks caveman mountain" with my boys, scribbling in my notebook in a lawn chair beside our 2 foot pool (just one step above rinky-dink, but ass on bottom, I'm able to submerge myself, nonetheless), lunching with my man at swanky downtown joints (the kind that don't advertise that children are allowed--the high chairs are hidden in the back), occasional afternoon delight . . .

Instead, one class became two (I cannot take the chance that I will get my current professor again, so I have to take the second class in August . . . when he's not teaching it), and my August will involve required reading, quizzes, assignments, group projects, and a twice a week commute in DC rush hour traffic. I return to work the same day as the last class. When I think about this, more often than not, I feel like hurling my coffee cup against the wall, or drinking a lot of beer, then lining the bottles up like they are members of a small family. I am greedy about my time, and terrified that without the opportunity to organize my life and my approach and my psyche, I will become unraveled, like a sock knit in the dark.

But I will work through this.

The brown paper bag that's keeping me from suffocating involves a trip to see my parents in Pennsylvania (tomorrow), grateful lists, "What Fresh Hell is This? The Biography of Dorothy Parker" by Marion Meade (who wrote a fun and uncomfortable-for-him biography of Woody Allen), daily exercise (I've substituted this for hurling coffee/the beer family reunion), purging (getting rid of the unnecessary is like providing me with an oxygen mask), and Poetry magazine (ony 3.95!).

I keep reminding myself to go easy. Go easy on expectations and accept that when unpredictable crops up, I just have to add those ingredients to the recipe of my life and try to make something tasty from them.

Stone soup.

In the meantime, it's hot and I'm breathless and I need an oxygen mask . . . stat!


GreenishLady said...

So glad to have found you here! And what a summer you are having! Those classes seem to be a bit demanding, to say the least! I love the way you describe the big picture's elusiveness, and the speculation as to what that corner-piece might really be. That's life. I'm also inspired by your "toss and keep" post. I'm thinking, I'm thinking...

Deb R said...

Here's to hoping you find that oxygen mask, and ways to fit in moments just for you.

Hope you have a great time with your parents!

Mags said...

Did you know some blind people knit...btw, try not to worry about the boys! We would sacrifice ourselves for them.

deirdre said...

The strength of forward movement and anger over not having enough time to accomplish what you want is powerful in this piece. I hope you get a good breather soon. Is the class with the bad professor over yet?