Saturday, May 29, 2010

On Pigs, Dehydrated Toads, Introversion, Prophetic Dreams, Big Exams, and Not Leaving the House

On Not Leaving the House:

Today I am Not Leaving the House. I have become too fatigued, anti-social and anxiety-prone to tolerate others, and the only cure I have found, after years of dealing with such a condition, is too simply have a day or two of Not Leaving the House. I used to feel guilty about this, because American society seems to have a deep mistrust of introverts, and wants to always urge us to "get out and be around people--it will make you feel better!" Or, "Learn to be more outgoing!" Or, "Stop hiding from world-go out there and engage in life!"

On Introversion:

I used to think there was something deeply wrong with me because of the amount of time I tend to require in seclusion from the world. But I don't care anymore. I've come to realize that while I can fake it for a while, I am never going magically transform from an introvert to an extrovert, and I am always going to require long periods of quiet and solitude in order to feel mentally balanced and healthy. And, more importantly, to be able to write poetry.

I read yet another article recently about some spiritual muckety-muck going on about how "isolated" we all are in this culture. To be honest, sometimes I don't think we're isolated enough. Or maybe the real issue is that we don't know how to make appropriate use of our alone-ness.

On Prophetic Dreams

The other day, I had a dream in which I blanked out and drove over two lanes of traffic, almost causing a huge accident. By some miracle, no one was hurt. A woman appeared in the dream and told me I needed to pay more attention in my car. I always take these things very seriously, so I was extra vigilant driving this week.

As I went to get into my car yesterday, the door wasn't opened all the way, and it swung shut and whacked me so hard on the side of the head everything went gray for a minute and I had to sit in the parking lot for a while until it stopped hurting. I woke up in the night with a bad headache and a really tender skull. Now I am wondering masochistically if I cracked it and will have a trauma-induced stroke.

But worse, I feel cheated by my prophetic dream. Couldn't she have been more specific, and said, "Hey, watch your car door this week, for it might just slam shut on your skull if you're not careful."???

On Dehydrated Toads:

There is a little hole cut in the mesh of our terrarium where tubes and things come out. We taped it all off, but somehow one of the toads (Neptune) managed to slip through last night, crawled behind my computer, got tangled up in one of my stray hair ties, (apparently I'm a slob), and lay there in the heat and dust all night. I noticed him missing this morning, and my husband found him; dark green, dried out, and immobile. We spent all morning fussing over him, holding him, pouring water over his dried out little back, and trying to hand-feed him crickets. Right now, he's back in the tank, lying in the waterfall, where he's remained for the last three hours.

Animals respond to trauma with wisdom. He seems to understand that he needs rest, quiet, and lots and lots of water. He seems to understand the value of immobility. He knows exactly how to take care of himself through this.

I wonder how much different things would have been for me if, after certain events in my life, I had been able to just lie immobile for weeks and weeks and let cool water run over me.

On Big Exams

This week, I sat for a Big Exam. One time, a psychiatrist put on my (permanent) record that I had "authority issues". That made me mad, but I think he's right.

Big Exams are giant authorities with huge shiny badges. I resent the power they have over me. At the same time, I want to be validated by them as "smart". I've never felt smart. I wanted to be a good student for this exam, something I never was, either. This exam was not so much tiring for the questions, although they were a bitch, but for all of the emotional baggage it dumped in my lap. I'm glad it's over so I can stop feeling guilty for being such a baby about it.

On Pigs:

I'm still on pigs. I may do a whole series of poems about them now.


Dale said...

I absolutely love these pig poems! (I'm going backwards, I'm afraid, as one does with Google Reader.)

And yes, I'm embracing introversion as well. Every time I have a new massage client, I'm nervous. I used to give myself a hard time about this (which scarcely made things better), but now I just take it as the way I am, and why not? What's so very terrible about being nervous with new people? It seems to go along with being able to be sensitively attuned to people, to being able to listen carefully, ears and hands. But whether it is or not, I'm too old now to bother with apologizing for myself.

The Good Typist said...

Dale, I remember that nervousness meeting new clients, too...I think it's healthy. I do think on the whole, this culture tends to feel that the outgoing, the extroverted, are somehow healthier than introverts, or that somehow extroversion is the "default" mode, and introverts should all be working towards to "growing" into extroverts. The value of introversion tends to be pretty lost in this society, but no matter. I don't plan to force myself to be someone I'm not anymore, either way. Introverts, unite! ( our own homes...where it's nice and quiet). ;)

Jo-Ann Svensson said...

My heart broke for Toad but I couldnt help but picture Mr. Toad from "Wind in the Willows" with his waist jacket lying open, sprawled under the waterfall after his latest adventure. I hope he/she is doing much better. But yes, the wisdom of our non-verbal brethern.
And as for Pig lady? Wonderful graphic portrayal of the conscious (and unconscious) hypocrisy in this world.(eg. The homophobic senators/ministers etc who get caught with their pants down). But I also see a reflection of myself in addiction ... How many times have I scarfed a whack of chocolate only to pass on dinner because "I am not a big eater". Its all about appearances.

The Good Typist said...

Jo-Ann, I love that image of Mr. Toad you invoked! He is doing much better, although he's still a little lethargic. I wondering if reading the Wind in the Willows as a kid is what caused my current adoration of the fire-bellied toads.

Boy, as women we sure get some fun messages about how we're supposed to have dainty little appetites, don't we? I can totally relate. I rarely overeat because I hate the feeling of being full, but I have definitely eaten before going out to avoid being seen as "too hungry" on a date or a social occasion!

masSoul writer said...

I enjoyed these posts. The one about the dream may not be necessarily just about you driving or the car door slamming onto your head (my god that must have been painful!). The way I interpreted it could mean that perhaps something tragic may happen if you're not vigilant or careful. Not necesarily tragic in the sense of death, but the loss of something significant to you? It sounds like in the dream you were on a journey driving to a destination, and the accident held you back from getting there. If you hadn't fallen asleep you would have gotten there. Question is, are you working towards something right now in your life, focused on a goal, and you're not being careful with how you're going about reaching it? Just a thought...