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It is Day of the Dead. My celebration consisted solely of a chocolate bar with Mexican chilis, hardly fitting, but all I seem to be capable of at this time. I feel rather like the walking dead today, even though Halloween was an early night, as there were only three groups of happy trick-or-treaters; apparently everyone tried to get through during the extra hour of daylight this year. I am committed to getting back on track this month, somehow, with general discipline and specifically the daily writing, or at the very least the daily meditations on the world around me.
It was almost a quiet day at the office, due to it being a change control Blackout day, followed by dinner home alone. Nothing interesting to watch on TV, no movies set aside, and no time spent knitting or reading, just an evening where I could feel myself begin to wind down from the work week. The occasional Friday night like this is great, but this seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Are the weekends spent running around wearing me out before I can get to the work week, so I start off with an energy deficit?
I headed up to the Gatehouse for another intense day of sorting, packing and cleaning. I was appropriately rewarded with a lovely dinner at Fish that was paid for from the proceeds of the change jars. It doesnít seem possible that a couple of jars would yield that much when the suitcases we hauled in a few years ago gave up just over twice this amount. I am going to miss Fish, I have missed it this last year; we will have to drive up occasionally, make a pilgrimage. And stop at Longfords afterwards for some Honey Coffee ice cream.
Driving around today, informally house hunting with Geoffrey and checking out the area, the trees seem unnaturally green. It did help to imagine what the area is like in spring and summer, never mind that it is November. The houses, well, they were not what we were looking for, although we did find some that would probably suit us very well, except for the price tag. I donít think weíre asking for anything so unreasonable, but there does seem to be a huge divide, either too small and crappy or too large and overdone with almost nothing in the middle.
First day of the new approach, to get up with Geoffrey and have extra time in the morning, so that our evening schedules are closer together. Perhaps this quiet time in the morning was his ďaloneĒ time, but Iíve got to do something different so that Iím ready for bed in the evening when he is, rather than perpetuating the hourís discrepancy. The bonus is that now Iíve got suitable time in the schedule to write, to contemplate. Maybe next week Iíll even have time to do some pilates in the morning, although from here, that does sound rather ambitious.
Thereís a perfect storm brewing in the office, one that Iím watching take shape with a certain delight and sense of righteousness that definitely bodes ill for my future at the company. I can see the developments on several different fronts that are being kept quiet for the moment but news of them will break open in a few weeks and even though I know it will result in turbulence and more work for me, I cannot wait to see it happen. Iím like a kid going to the circus for the first time Ė whereís my cotton candy and peanuts???
Whatever happened to ďAnything can happen WednesdayĒ instead of ďEverything Will Happen Wednesday? : It was a day spent sliding from point A (arrival at work) to point B (leaving for home) with no time to stop for anything. And yet, I didnít even accomplish anything, it was just motion for the sake of motion. I donít like days like this, but will admit it is better than a day when I donít really have anything to do. I really, really resent being not busy at work when thereís so much stuff I could or should be doing for myself.
Was I ever that young? It doesnít seem possible no matter how I try to consider it. I had more self-direction, that is absolutely certain, I always did. Perhaps that is why she seems so very young, although they all look young, fresh-faced, perky and full of energy Ė and none of them live in New York. I cannot imagine that they they have yet experienced stark disillusionment with their employer, disappointment on the career front, hitting the wall. But perhaps that only happens to the ambitious young, the not-so-ambitious get to wait a few decades before experiencing those particular joys.
Wow, dinner out with a girl friend, what a concept. It was great to see Stephanie, she looks good and seems happier; I know all about how getting out of a miserable working situation makes you look much younger and healthier. And although the restaurant was overcrowded, not the ideal spot to catch up with a friend, the food was good. But the whole evening was almost like having a real life. When did I stop going out, seeing friends, participating in life? Has the struggle at work taken so much out of me, that my retreat became so complete?
What a way to see a show, from the comfortable corner seat in the living room, with Pierce singing and swaying right in front of me. Iím probably ruined now for any other kind of performance, especially by Pierce. Singing choruses of ďHave you looked at the sun Lately?Ē along with him, I couldnít help but think of Spil and our times together fourteen years ago in the city. I hope youíre happy and well, Spil, even though I wish you could be that way and still talk to me. Geez, thereís another song title from those times.
Tired after the late night of the Pierce Parlour Gig show, I try to get chores and stuff done in the morning but am very behind when Geoffrey arrives. I am glad to see him but at the same time feel a bit deflated that heís arrived so early. I recognize the dichotomy here, Iím still happy, happy, happy to see my Geoffrey, to have him back for the week, but yet I know that I wonít get much of anything else useful done today. I give myself over to being non-productive, I donít have the energy to fight it.
I am sick, thereís no doubt about it when Iím too tired and blurry to knit, even when sitting in doctorís offices. Iím not able to focus on reading, either. I struggle through the day, half-awake at best when not napping outright, trying not to think of the repercussions of another sick day, or what I will do tomorrow. Iíd love to stay home another day, but I donít think I can do it. I donít exactly feel guilty about my sick days, but the conversation a month ago has me feeling very uneasy, which doesnít contribute to my well-being.
The island seems caught in fog that is both thick and high, and lasts even after the sun is up, even well away from the bay. It reminds me immediately of the Cloud Wall from Mark Helprinís novel that appeared on the bays of the City and New Jersey. It is slightly surreal, and I canít tell if I feel distanced from the world around me because Iím still sick, or if it is just the fog. The white mass of the courthouse in Islip shifts in and out of view, caught in the cloud wall, its bulk rendered ethereal.
I watched a parade on my way to work today. The Southern State Parkway is lined with trees and this time of year they put on quite a show. Evergreens provide a sharp contrast to the brilliant reds, yellows and oranges, a parade of fire lining the parkway. I donít think I really noticed the solid band of trees at the roadside before, perhaps I was concentrating too hard on the traffic in the first two years, or maybe the show didnít last more than a day or two and I just missed it. This parade has lasted a week.
The Dream House has sold. Iím stunned and canít believe it, donít want to believe it, even though Iíve driven past the house and seen the sign. Yes, Geoffrey was pretty adamant that the location was a problem, but the fact that we kept returning to it over and over again lulled me into thinking that it was still viable, that it would someday be ours, the perfect combination of square footage, backyard, layout and price. Apparently, some other family will be happy there amongst the dancing dragonflies, but it wonít be us. I try (unsuccessfully) not to feel devastated.
I keep looking at whatís currently available in the real estate market, and thereís only one viable house in our price range in Setauket; the south shore houses require too much renovation. There are a couple of houses weíd love Ė if we were in the market for 6 bedrooms or if we were prepared to pay another $150K. I know it makes sense to wait until the Gatehouse sells but this is still limbo and I still hate it. Although, honestly, until the Gatehouse sells and his weekend trips stop, it will still be limbo anyway you look at it.
Iím stalled on my knitting projects Ė I have two jackets half done, just sitting. I need some awake and alert time to finish the cabled collar for Juno, and the Lady of The Lake jacket, well, letís say the pattern and my upper arm donít agree. Iím going to have to fudge it somehow and I want a serious chunk of time to spend on resolving the issue. I laugh when I think that when I cast on both these sweaters in September I told myself Iíd be done before the end of October. Iím always optimistic about my knitting.
Iíve cast on a pair of mitts using the Sundara silk-wool blend. My swatch is still unbelievably soft after washing, so I have great hopes for this yarn. It is a pity sheís having problems with the supplier, I very much want to buy more of it. My two skeins arenít even the same color. Iím using the black over violet for the mitts, they should match my coat and celtic velvet scarf. I still cannot commit to a project for the single skein of violet over heliotrope. Iíd love to make wrap if I had another skein or two.
My list of works in progress has gotten out of control. The two jackets I swore Iíd finish in October have stalled at the stage where I need to pay attention; Iíve promised myself that I will make progress over Thanksgiving weekend. Mitts are coming along nicely. The midnight heather alpaca stole slowly grows during lunch hours and doctorís visits. And I want to get back to the pink cabled alpaca/silk sweater, now that I could wear it again. Nothing has been finished in a while, but Iíve consolidated the majority of the WIP so I donít forget about them.
Iím in awe of Anneís latest creation, the irtfaía shawl, and at the same time I really want to knit one, I recognize that I would probably never finish it. At least not now, not while Iím working. The thought of what it would be like to simply be, not to be tied to 8:30 to 5:30 in the office with all the stupidity driving one crazy, has been drifting through my head again. Working somewhere less stupid (what are the chances?) and being back on the train so Iím not stressed during the commute sounds like a better alternative.
Geoffrey brought up Plan B again tonight, which entails using some of the proceeds from the sale of his house to make my house acceptable. He also added a twist, which would be to take some of the remaining money and use it to launch opening a yarn shop. How could I not love this man? Even though Iím not sure the area could support another yarn shop, and there are many internet yarn shops now, competition in cyberspace is fierce. A decent, non-Italian bakery would probably mean more work, but I think it might be more likely to succeed.
Iíve never quite understood the familyís propensity for talking right over each other, or for interrupting someone elseís conversation. I find it quite rude, and itís not as though it is a large family. I started to laugh, though, when one of the girls pushed back when her grandmother barged into the conversation with a totally different topic: why worry about that now, at this point, I thought, when youíve just done the same thing twice in the last half hour? It seems like such insular behaviour, as though they never had to interact with the larger world of society.
Making Thanksgiving dinner, or any serious dinner, in my kitchen is something of a circus act. Or a feat of military planning. I readily admit it is never graceful enough to be considered a finely choreagraphed ballet. But sitting at the dining room table by candlelight, having our own Turkey Day feast (never mind that it is a day late), most of the grief of cooking in my inadequate kitchen (it outclasses anything Iíve seen on FoodNetwork) is forgiven. Thanks are given for an actual holiday, and we toast that next year, weíll be in OUR new house, not mine.
Another full moon comes and goes today, belle, belle Luna. I did manage to make the minimal observations and rituals this month, the first time in a while. Perhaps because it was a weekend, perhaps because it was so close to Thanksgiving, it was easy to reflect and consider what it is that it going well, and that which is not. And Iíve become very clear on exactly what is not working in my life, even though itís been obvious for some time, it is time to give up hope that somehow something will work out, and just move on.
Quiet at home before the storm. Geoffreyís job starts for real tomorrow, heís to be there at 6:00 am. Thereís a large difference between being on a train at 6 and being at work at that hour. A quiet end to the holiday weekend, which just wasnít long enough. They never are, I donít know why: I try to catch up chores, and also feel compelled to bake something, as it is a long weekend I have ďso much extra time,Ē and then also try to do something just for fun Ė read, knit, watch movies. Where does the time go?
In the blink of an eye, the trees have been stripped bare. Just a few days ago, they were startling in their enduring lush glory, and now, they are suddenly skeletons. It doesnít seem possible that the transformation could happen that quickly, even though it was overdue. Natureís transformations do not work at a human scale - they move either faster or slower than our ability to see them in action, we only become aware the results afterwards.
It is one of the quirks of life: you dread exercising, you find excuses, you put it off, then you feel worse and worse and convince yourself that the worst thing for yourself is to get your body in motion. Feauh!! I admit I was secretly hoping that Lee would be busy tonight when her phone was busy. Yet five minutes in to our walk, I was feeling better. I try to remind myself of that time and time again, but every time I still find myself resenting the ďinconvenienceĒ of going to the pool, of a late dinner, whatever.
What is my biggest concern of the day? What knitting project to take with me to the city tomorrow! I fret over this at lunch, on the drive home, and after dinner. I know I can work on the cabled collar on the train, but not at the event, I need mindless knitting for that. I refuse to cast on anything new, Iíve got too many WIPs already, I wonít even list them here at this point. In the end, I avoid Solomonís choice and take both the collar and the navy/green heathered stole, figuring each will have its time.
Standing on the train platform before 6:00 AM, the darkness not quite absolute, I realize that I have missed this quiet moment in my daily working schedule. A quiet moment when you can hear your own heartbeat, it is almost meditative. I spend the morning thinking about what returning to the train commute would mean, how the schedule would work with Geoffrey (much better!), how Iíd again be able to write, knit or read a few hours a day. And magically, another opportunity for me to pursue appears at noon, literally hand delivered.
Iíve done better this month, but not enough. Iím still distracted with job searches, house searches, trying to get a schedule with Geoffrey, or walking and pilates. Iíve not written every day, but I have mentally composed, taken note of something in the world around me. Unfortunately, Iíve forgotten a lot of those moments before I could put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard. Iím not certain Iím really more engaged in the world, but know I must leave this job as my first priority to myself. I canít sell the Gatehouse, but I can find a new job.
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