Sunday, October 28, 2012

Just Call Me “Crazy-Eye”, The Glory of Fall, Pool Cruelty, and Holy Crap, I’m Really Scared for the East Coast Right Now

Just Call Me “Crazy-Eye”, The Glory of Fall, Pool Cruelty, and Holy Crap, I’m Really Scared for the East Coast Right Now

Image from Women's Wisdom
I know the posting here has been a little scant, but the last several weeks have pummeled me so badly that the persistent eye twitch I thought I had long vanquished has returned with a vengeance, pounding my left eyelid with impunity and making me feel secretly crazy as I carry on totally normal everyday conversations while thinking, “Oh my God, this person has no idea my left eyelid contains the world’s tiniest jackhammer.”

It’s okay though, because the month of October is beautiful enough to almost mitigate the ill effects of massive stress. I’m one of those odd creatures who come to life in the Fall, who feels like the New Year begins when gold bursts out of the leaves and the dying and decay and cold set in and you know that Winter is just about to spread its damp sloppy tentacles over the planet and take a nice, long drunken nap. Call me sick, but I find it invigorating. In the Spring, when most people are feeling all optimistic and blabbing on about longer days (ugh) and new growth (ugh, ugh--allergies, people! Think!), I want nothing more than to dig a nice, dark hole, crawl into it, and cover myself with dirt until it’s over. But give me the Fall and—bam! Suddenly this competent typist is bursting with plans, ready to finish projects, and raring to start new ones. So shoot me. I like a little bite in the air. I like to wear boots and sweaters and drink tea in the afternoons. None of those things are much fun when it’s blindingly sunny and 86 degrees.

Speaking of projects, I have set myself a deadline of getting the third chapbook ready to send out before the end of the year. I’ve been alternately picking away at it and neglecting it, but now I’m impatient to actually put it together into a cohesive form. I spent some time with it this weekend, cutting out a few poems that just didn’t work, and rewriting others that weren’t where I wanted them to be. I read some work from it at last Saturdays’ Hugo House reading, and while my actual reading performance was, in my estimation, a bit lackluster and “off”, I did get good feedback from the audience afterwards about the work itself, which gave me a little boost of confidence to keep chipping away at it. (Now that I think about it, the term "chipping away” when it comes to writing poetry is problematic, but with this book, that’s exactly what it feels like.  Akin to when I recently scraped nine years worth of melted candle wax off of our fireplace mantle, and Mr. Typist meanly banned candles because in his mind that equals they're "messy".)

On a totally unrelated note, tragically, cruelly, my local public pool has CLOSED DOWN for almost three weeks for maintenance! Yes, I know there are other public pools in the city, but their swim schedules are all wrong for my schedule and I’d have to actually drive more than four minutes to get to them, and well, I just can’t face it. So I’ve tried to make do with the gym, but my injured knee is aching and everything hurts and creaks. It seems that this freshly 43-year-old body simply can’t handle impact-based exercise any more.  I was all scared to start swimming in the beginning, but now that I’ve been doing for a few months, I really miss it since it’s been yanked out from under me. Of course, I’ll see if I still feel that way when I’m slogging off to the pool in December in freezing rain and black of night.

Hurricane Sandy is making me very, very nervous for the East Coast. I preemptively sent a donation to the Red Cross and am keeping my eye on the news, somehow convinced that my worry has some warding/protective effect on those in the path of the storm. At least they have some warning and they’re getting as many people out as they can. If you’re the praying sort, now is the time. 

--Kristen McHenry


Frankly Curious said...

I'm with you: I like Fall and Winter. Mostly, it is because I like darkness. There may be a little agoraphobia happening here. Clear sunny skies make me feel exposed. Give me a blanket darkness!

Swimming. Exercise. Good for you! As for me, I am very comfortable with my little old man walks. Of course, now I have an abscessed tooth. I'm looking forward to spending almost all of my remaining money at the dentist tomorrow. Don't be like me!

Kristen McHenry said...

Oh, crumb! Sorry to hear about your tooth. Mr. Typist gets that a lot. He rinses with salt water and puts an aspirin the affected area, if you want some tips.

I'm with you--I like the darkness. You nailed it for me--the sun and heat make me feel too exposed, in addition to the fact that I don't really like the sun that much anyway--only in small dosed,when my Vitamin D levels are dropping dangerously.

Feel better!!