a lot of anxiety. so much. I wake up too early and I'm shaking and I go to work at ridiculous hours because I can't sleep and there's too much to do and I'm constantly riddled with terror at doing everything wrong. I got into the car the other morning at 5:57 to go to work. the sun wasn't even up yet. I joked that in a couple of weeks I'll be heading into the office at 2 AM. I'm not sure I was joking, actually.
there's too much to do at work, an engulfing kind of too much, more too much than ever, an impossibility. and somehow it just gets done, because it has to get done. this is a problem in the nonprofit world in general, I think: we do the impossible so much that it becomes routine. but at such a cost.
the days of sun are punctuated intermittently with rain. the sun rises later, sets early. the leaves on the tree outside my kitchen window, harbinger of seasons, dry up and fall. I drive to the barn in the early morning fog and the pine trees loom in the sky, eerie and beautiful and so, so oregon.
in the garden the tomato plants, one by one, are taken by blight. it has been a good crop; jars and jars of soup in the freezer, sauce in the fridge, oven-dried tomatoes packed in oil. tomato sandwiches -- oh, tomato sandwiches! toast and tomato and an obscene amount of black pepper, the meal of late summer.
sometimes my anxiety is so bad that it's difficult to breathe, and yet somehow I continue to wake up and get out of bed and put on clothes and go to work. it seems like a small thing but it is so much more than I could do in the darkness last winter. september is a hard month, but somehow I keep moving forward.
far from here -- too far -- there is a very good-looking guy who tells me every day that I'm beautiful. I miss him constantly.
a year ago today, excerpted:
this is so so hard to write but if I don't write it I will forget it.
your phone call today: how you are staying, how maybe it's because you're 'a scaredy-cat' but at any rate you are not ready to leap.
we both cry on the phone. I explain that you will have to be dead to me, that there is no other way. 'maybe I'm just in europe,' you say, but that can't be true for me, it can't, and still I wonder what it is you mean when you tell me to 'find the middle place' between hope and death.
'I've made my bed and now I have to lie in it,' you say, and I tell you how terrible it is that you perceive your life this way, but you are not ready to hear it, not ready to change it, not ready to change. no one can get you there but you.
I tell you that I will love you a long time, that I will always be there for you, that you can call at any hour, for any reason, always. I cry while I'm saying it; I can't get it out.
I don't want to hang up the phone, because hanging up the phone means forever. is forever. for the last fifteen minutes of the forty five minute call we cry on the line. at one point all we do is cry. neither of us can talk. you've already told me that you've spent the whole morning locked in your office with your coat thrown over the window so nobody outside can see you inside, crying.
although I also understand you, I continue to think you're the stupidest person on earth to deprive yourself of all this.
when there is nothing more to say, we cry. there is nothing else I can say to convince you. I can tell you I love you over and over again forever, but it's done. I'm sitting in a ball on my bedroom floor, shaking.
'thank you for everything,' I finally choke out.
'you too, jess,' you say.
'I don't want to hang up,' I say.
'okay. I'll do it,' you say.
'I love you,' I say, at last.
'I love you too,' you say, your voice full of tears.
'goodbye, jess,' you say, garbled, crying.
'I'll talk to you someday,' I reply, and it is over.
what I have now is what I deserve, deserved: love that is sweet and easy, that is a constant source of comfort and peace, with a person who is open and honest and compassionate and kind, smart and silly and beautiful. and though I would not for one second give him up to have you back, g -- not for one second -- but wherever you are, g, I am thinking of you.
I keep wanting to come back here and I don't know how. I can't seem to figure out how to sit down and write anymore.