Fever dreams without the sleep.
Some days are just made for
dragging knuckles across concrete.
Walk the city for hours only to
collapse in a heap on
the rug where we wipe our feet
when we come home at night.
Leave on my shoes, coat, and backpack.
Stare straight ahead into the dark,
lying on my belly.
For hours I gasp for air.
My husband gets home and helps me into bed.
I sleep only partially and
wake up regularly to reach out into the night.
Press my palm against his shoulder and
my feet into the curve of the back of his knees.
I skipped the gym this weekend. Slept in on Saturday. Read books about football at a coffee shop and learned how to edit the CSS on my blog. Didn’t write anything that wasn’t code or text messages to friends. We ate ice cream and pizza. Watched TV.
And I was okay with everything.
Didn’t make up any stories about failure or wasting time. Didn’t try to assign meaning to food consumed or hours spent sitting, spent sleeping. We were playful and our apartment dripped with laughter. Kisses exchanged during lulls in the storyline. Shoulder rubs traded between trips to get another cup of coffee.
It’s been five days since I last felt hopeless. Since I felt the need to curl my knees into my chest and squeeze tight enough to shut myself completely. Existing hasn’t been hurting and that’s exciting. I’ve been catching myself humming.
The laziness of the weekend didn’t get a grasp on Monday morning. I bounced out of bed and made my way to yoga class. No griping about messing anything up. No mumbling about how I should have done something different.
Waiting for the tightness to creep into my chest. To whisper that I need to start preparing. Nothing smooth can last. We’re all bound to slip again. The impermanence of joy, of ease, of comfort. But instead I take another breath and ask, “Why should that matter?”
There’s always one more thing to do. One more counter to wipe down. One more bag of trash. There’s always one more email to answer or one more article to read. One more picture to look at on Facebook. One more thing to write. One more piece to edit. One more text message that needs attention. One more light to turn off. To turn back on again.
“Hold on. Real quick. Just one more thing.” Always busy. Always moving, sorting, doing.
I set aside time every night to stop. To sit. To give into the quiet and the stillness. It’s important. My doctor told me so. I make the time. I work it in. Fifteen minutes. It’s all scheduled. All laid out perfect so I can get to bed by ten. Get up in the morning at a quarter to six. Constant lists of things to do. A month’s worth of runs and gym trips planned in advance. Coffee dates and grocery shopping. Showers and mascara application. It all has its special timeframe. I wonder what I end up missing. The things that would happen if I let myself just be. Just do nothing. Sit with myself and just breathe. Spontaneous peace. Continue reading →