I got out of bed at three in the morning, unable to sleep and went into my office to write for a while. Somewhere nearby a police helicopter was circling and circling and circling which seemed appropriate considering the thoughts that were circling and circling and circling in my head.

September came in like a hurricane, wreaking havoc and destruction for the three days of the holiday weekend. By now the tempest has given way to sunny skies and mild breezes, but I still feel like I’m standing amidst the wreckage and wondering how to start over. I’d been building castles out of straw on foundations of sand: what did I expect?

I’m speaking figuratively, of course. Our actual house is fine. The weather was fine. My health is fine. My job is fine. The family is fine. But for a long time I’d been dreaming of bigger things and I’d nearly convinced myself that they might be within my reach, and it was the dream that collapsed piece by piece and pillar by pillar until I found myself back in the real world, constrained to the limits of concrete reality.

“What’s wrong?” The Curmudgeonly Lion asked over and over as I struggled to engage in everyday activities that now felt meaningless and futile.

“I’ve been made small.” I told him, unable to think of any other way to articulate the feeling of how much less-than I now felt in a world that, physically, had not changed in the slightest.

I coped in the best ways that I knew how: I went running (so much running) because I knew it would override my spinning brain, I practiced the bass because it required all my attention and none of my thoughts, I laid in the hammock and stared into space (until a hummingbird flew overhead for the express purpose of pooping on me), I did planks because they were difficult and I did stretches because they hurt. I sorted the stack of last month’s receipts to clear the clutter. I did laundry and dishes as a tiny act of defiant order in the overwhelming entropy of life. I made a point of going out of the house to be social with friends new and old.

I mean, on the whole, not a bad way to spend a holiday weekend. But I still wish I could forget it.

People keep asking me “how was your weekend?”

Mostly, I just reply “Over, now.”

But it isn’t quite: I haven’t found my new direction yet. Everything just feels like it is suspended, except for my brain which keeps circling and circling and circling with no place to go and nothing meaningful to do.

It is a temporary state. I know this. I keep reminding myself of it: that I’m in the apogee of an orbit and this sense of stillness is an illusion as I change directions. But that doesn’t really make the feeling any easier to manage.

All I can do is wait.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 4, 2018.

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