Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Scars

Your STOP last night when I spoke out of turn shocked me and the instant reaction reminded me of the fragility of scars....

My body, as all bodies do, bears the story of my life, the vicissitude, the pain, the detritus of a life lived and the events that form and mark us. The faint white lines on my wrists speak of teenage angst and despair. A thin, white slightly raised scar starts on the ball of my thumb, twisting sinuously around the shaft of the thumb then onto the meat of the palm - a reminder of being so exhausted and worn out, juggling 4 small children, working nights, feeding, cleaning and an attempt to rip open a recalcitrant cat food tin with an old rusty can opener while simultaneously holding a babe on one hip, two pulling at my body with childish demands. And the blood arching out, shocking crimson and the SOUND which to this day I can recall.. a wet, whistling sound as blood spurted and splashed against the cabinets and little M's face, shocked and white. I remember standing and watching the blood pumping out of my palm and saying quietly, reassuringly, "dearest M, go get mummy a towel honey, ok?" - putting the baby down into his playpen, then taking the towel and kissing M and saying, I'm fine, honey, really! and suppressing the cries I wanted to make for fear of frightening her more.... I remember with an almost perfect recall, taking a deep breath and turning on the water until running hot it sluiced like a razor into the gaping wound (gristle and bone visible)- and then when I felt it was enough, squeezing Polysporin into the red gash and using duct tape to close it.... Driving M. to school, wrestling a toddler and two babies into the car and out again, stopping at the walk-in and it not being open Mondays and contemplating and dismissing the hospital (not with 3 small kids!). For the next several weeks morning and night gritting my teeth, peeling off saturated gauze and duct tape, cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and squeezing in antibiotic cream and closing again with duct tape...

The scar on my shin from the horrific crushing of a ridiculous and quixotic cycling accident, steel rods and plates inserted from ankle to knee.... now so faint I have to search. For having pale, fragile skin that is remarkably resilient when all is said and done, assisted by a quirky child's home-made concoction of Vitamin E and other fresh herbs pounded and gelled together so that on check-ups nurses would call their fellow workers to see how remarkably I was healing...

Those scars, corporeal and real, touchable and solid healed well.... but at your STOP the thin fragile skin which lay atop the scars of emotional pain and deep, aching angst quivered and ripped and the pulsing realness lying beneath is once again exposed... so many hours and days and weeks and months and YEARS of work and one simple word undoes my hard, aching work. Yet not completely. Not entirely.

I am aware, painfully so of your own despair and pain, of your inability to grapple with the emotions which buffet and wound.

And I still stand today. I feel some despair and real frustration that my desperate measures to find a modicum of peace are so easily swayed ... yet, yet .... it does not bring me to my knees as it once did. I snapped back last night, denied the anger, repudiated the censure, refused to be cowed or made silent... though the reality is I am the crab and for me my first and most reassuring reaction is to pull myself in to my hard shell, to NOT cower but protect, to scuttle under the overhanging rock and nestle deep in my quiet, dark place where the rhythmic pulse of the ocean calms me and the quiet, white noise lulls me to that grey place....


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Daybreak

I shiver and pull the heavy, dark blanket of depression over myself, shuddering slightly at the musty odour which emanates from its scrathcy surface. Despite the weight, layers upon layers of angst and sorrow, of broken promises and shattered dreams, of goals not met and hope broken, all woven into the cloth of its making, it doesn't warm. Rather, as I stand beneath the increasing weight of expectation and despair, I feel colder. Not only does it fail to warm, but it feels damp and frsot begins to worm its way into my bones, and the pale, freckled expanse of skin, always pale, blooms cooler and bluish. The dreary, endless February days don't help... the frigid cold, the enforced solitutde due to COVID, the monotone of snow and ice, the monolithic trees standing grey amongst the drifting storm. Winter is like a snapshot from the past before Colour brightened and lit the landscape with promise, black and white tones and blue of drifts. Snow clings to the bare limbs of trees, yawning to a drifting sky, muted and obscured by the breath of falling snow. Evergreens, muted in the early morning gleam, stand palely in the soft light, while ice spills in a frozen stream over the reddish hue of the exposed Canadian shield . In the hollows of the forest beside the stream are steel blue shadows, whispering, sliding into the palest of blues then into cream and palest white, the surfaces smooth and untouched yet by foot or paw or wind. Dragging my own self-made hair shirt, trailing tendrils of despair and shivering within its cold embrace, I slip drearily to the kitchen to put on the coffee to drink energy into the beginning of yet another pointless day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Motivation....wherefore art thou?

I was perusing old posts and one of the ones I came across was a rendition of my regular "day" at the time. Dogs, cats, kids, fulltime work, walks, volunteer work - up at 3:30 am and going nonstop until 9 or 10 at night.... HOW did I do it? I literally am a SLUG right now - more so than I have ever been. To say I lack motiation is the understatement of the century - I CANNOT seem to muster energy or will to do ANYTHING. I don't think I've ever been this unmotivated. I used to tell myself that not reaching certain goals towards which I had yearned my entire adult life was solely because of the crazy ass schedule, hours and responsibilities I had. That no one, NO ONE could achieve my goals in view of the massive demands on my time on a day-to-day basis. Well, apparently that's not the truth. Because there literally is ZERO excuse for me to be so unmotivated. I have time -hell all I've GOT is time. Time demands in my current life could be accomplished in 20 minutes a day more or less! But still that exercise is not happening. Still that book is not writing itself. Still, those slides aren't getting digitized. Still those cupboards aren't cleaning themselves..... I'm actually mortified at my lack of ability to get my shit together and move onwards... to add stome structure in my aimless day to day existence... but even that kind of shame isn't helping nor motivating. My latest is losing myself for HOURS in Tik Tok ... yeah, Tik Tok?? Any port in a storm! Anything to provide distraction and allow me to avoid actually, you know, doing something! It's actually getting to the point of worrying me. I have been someone who has had goals, responsibilities and motivation since I can remember - I mean at 8 I was cooking full dinners for my family of 6! At 11 I had a babysitting EMPIRE.... I put myself through two university degrees whilst working fulltime and handled a houseful of kids (my own 4 and often up to 7 or 8 on a long-term basis - long story - my gf's kids), volunteered up to 15 hours a week at my kids' school and then in amimal advocacy, kept a spotless house, hell, RENOVATED said house, as well as putting in gardens and fostering hard to handle dogs AND WORKED FULLTIME (technically 35 hours which were never less than 40-50 hours a week)- living on no sleep - using all my "personal" and sick days to "commute" to Montreal to do all of the above for my mother and autistic sister... and yet here I sit. A slug. How does one get oneself motivated?