It has come on for days, seeping in around the edges of my consciousness like the cold air sliding under the crack in the door. It is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Like the cold draft, I slowly become aware of it but neglect to address the source. At first there is peace in sleep, then it nags at me, tearing open small packets of anxiety and sprinkling the dust in my dreams.
I feel my age, my muscles are sore and my bones are cold. An hour-long talk with my sister allows me to just let go and cry, weep the sadness to the surface and let it overflow. There is no one event or action that caused this flood, it feeds on itself, gathering strength from the suppressed sorrow.
I sat myself down to a new task, a project that was repetitive but creative. I am organizing a holiday book fair for the Toadstool in Peterborough. Armed with a list of local author’s emails I sent out a flurry of requests for participation. Before I sent a request, I looked up each author and researched their work. It felt a little like stalking celebrities online. My own eggshell of existence seemed so insignificant.
By three o’clock, I had finished the list and covered the responses that were beginning to pour in. I realized I was still in my PJs, my lunch dishes were gluey and disgusting and the daylight would be gone in ninety minutes. the gloom crept back up my spine. Stripping the sheets from my bed, I made it back up with a crisp, clean set. I will end this day with a fresh start.
I walked out to the back deck and looked into the woods. It is the proverbial “stick season.” Clearing the road into my forest has opened the view even more. As my friend and fellow blogger Alan said recently, the bones of the forest are revealed. It was cold, but rather than retrieve a jacket, I stayed perfectly still, counting my breaths and allowing myself to just feel. A brisk walk up the new “road” with Alice focused my eyes on the minutiae I have missed all day.
When I sat back down, an hour later, the sadness was still with me but its weight was bearable. My mailbox was full of positive and supportive responses from the authors about the book fair…voices reaching out from others who know the solitude and sometimes, the quiet despair of choosing a creative life.