Tuesday, July 28, 2009

From The Thick Of It

What, you think a writer's blog should include WORDS? Picky, picky.

I haven't been writing publicly much because what to say? The question I've mostly had from friends and family members is How are you doing? And the answer is it's complicated.

Elan has a book that I love reading him called My Many-Colored Days. It's all about moods, very appropriate for a toddler. Some days we feel "happy pink. It's great to jump and just not think." But then there are the brown days, the purple days, and, of course, the black days: "I howl, I growl, at every cloud." Lately my days encompass a rich variety of colors, tending more than I'd like toward the gray, brown, and black spectrum. The bright end of the rainbow is not so well represented, though I do have times where I feel quite fine, relatively energetic and able to deal with the little and big mishaps of life. And then there are the other times, when I feel like I'm barely holding it together, whatever *it* is.

We writers hope to write about a specific experience an essay that teases out the details, gleans the essence of the experience, and then knits it back together with some kind of universal truth or lesson at the end. In order to write this kind of essay, one needs some psychic distance from the experience. 

My blog posts are clearly NOT this kind of essay. I have no distance, emotional or physical, from the events that have recently turned my life upside-down. I am still dealing with the sometimes startling physical effects of the miscarriage and partial molar pregnancy. I am still going to the doctor for ultrasounds (tomorrow) and getting blood draws to check my hormone level (sometime this week). I am still in the thick of it, and it's difficult from this vantage point to even understand my own reactions and feelings, much less try to impart them to others. If you talk to me on the phone, depending on the moment, I either sound completely normal or like a total mess. Rarely am I somewhere in between, though sometimes I try to hold off the mess part until I get off the phone, or Elan goes to bed. It's just not always an appropriate time or place to break down into tears.

Writing that last sentence makes me laugh though, because I have been pushing the boundaries that my previous self would have respected when it comes to appropriate places to cry. On Saturday, it was at the gym: locker room, sauna, steam room, and most impressive of all - in the pool while doing laps. And yes, it was difficult to breathe. My goggles got all fogged up, but I figured no one could hear a sob underwater. I was subtle about it; no one seemed to notice, or at least they didn't look twice if they did. This is Berkeley, after all. But what choice do I have? Some days, thankfully not the majority, I just can't stop crying. But life has to go on. I have to get my exercise. There's a tiger inside me, and he has to be walked. When he doesn't get his walk, he starts clawing at his cage, and it's not pretty. (When I shared this thought with Mikhail, he wondered why the tiger was male. It just is.)

And so, I write to you from the thick of it. These blog posts will not be prettily finished-off. They will likely not impart universal truths or little jewels of wisdom. They will be ragged and raw, seams showing, hems with pins still sticking out of them. Just like my days. I move carefully, trying not to prick myself.

1 comment:

  1. I think that's a beautiful bit of writing, I don't know why everyone's fussing about it.