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Today’s guest poet: Sara Teasdale

I Have Loved Hours at Sea

I have loved hours at sea, gray cities,
The fragile secret of a flower,
Music, the making of a poem
That gave me heaven for an hour;

First stars above a snowy hill,
Voices of people kindly and wise,
And the great look of love, long hidden,
Found at last in meeting eyes.

I have loved much and been loved deeply —
Oh, when my spirit’s fire burns low,
Leave me the darkness and the stillness,
I shall be tired and glad to go.

 

Over Tired

Tired is an insufficient word
to express
The buzzing-hollow-drained feeling sometimes
leftover from a night’s unrest,

A night when strangers
stage dream interruptions
walking though a set not meant for them,
startling the dreamer,

A night of lingering spirits
of an unrecalled past
who are unrepentant in their repetitive passing
up and down the creaky floorboards,
the product of a sensitivity to souls
or an exhaustion-striped imagination,

either way,
equally real,

and
raptly unfinished.

I am extremely tired tonight, and that means I can get teary for no reason… but there is always a reason somewhere in the heart, isn’t there?

My heart and dreams have been rejected, nay, stomped on, but I am turning my face back to the sun, and starting to trust again.  That makes me happy.  It has taken a while.

Tonight is a perfect example of why I do not have smoke detectors.  I cooked a steak.  If I had smoke detectors, they would all be going off. All of them. Seriously. Way, way off.

I love the long way home – I don’t even think it’s any longer than the other ways home.  But the roads are winding, and I get to pass my one of my favorite trees.  And horses.  And a little old abandoned farmhouse that I would love to call my own. And have amazing views of the mountains and the clouds.  They matched tonight, with just a band of lemon sky in between them.

The earthquakes disturbed me last night and today.  Not physically. Well, not exactly.  I got home right around the time it was happening, but I wasn’t aware of it, though I think we were close enough to feel it. But the cat…aaaarrrrgh.  She was feeling  the “disturbance in the force”.  She would NOT leave me alone.  Lick my eyelids, sit on my head, bite my feet.  Sounds like a porn movie gone very, very wrong, doesn’t it?  I finally got her to settle down on the other side of the bed, so that I was not inhaling cat hair all night long.  But I still didn’t sleep – I might have had two hours of half-sleep, in which I had dreams I didn’t like or  understand.  And something was missing from my recessed brain.  I’ve had a presence that makes me happy in the background of my dreams for the previous five nights, and its absence was noticeable.  So between the dreams and the missing connection, I tossed and turned, too hot, too cold, all over the map.  Ugh.  I’m so tired I HAVE to sleep tonight, or it will be like Oban all over again.

I haven’t had a random post in a long time.  I had a lot more to say that I thought of when I was driving home, but after the near-fire and whatever, I’ve forgotten.  Which means they’ll show up for another dose of randomness sometime soon.

A work ethic is one of those things that you either have or you don’t.  I don’t think it’s something that’s learned.  I think it’s inborn.  I’ve known people whose parents were incredibly hard workers who think they can just skate by.  I’ve known people whose parents were functional alcoholics who have a remarkable work ethic.  I’ve known people with no goals of their own, who worked on the coattails of others, with the appearance of a work ethic — that appearance being a sham that dissolves as soon as they feel justified in not working for one reason or another (disability, a spouse’s success, their own twisted vision of entitlement).

I’ve always had a strong work ethic.  Always.  I don’t remember complaining about homework, and it always got done.  Money was not always the motivator.  When I was too young to do paid work, I volunteered.  I was one of the youngest volunteers they had at the hospital, and by the time I was done, I had worked so many hours that they didn’t have anything else to recognize me with – no one had ever volunteered that many hours before.  I had a few babysitting clients once I was sufficiently aged (including Damien (yes, really) the child from Hell) .   Then I started shelving books for my Dad after school (still not of legal working age).  At 17, I got my first “real” job, working in a restaurant, having had no previous restaurant experience.  And the rest is history.  I’ve either worked or been looking for work for the last 30 years, with the exception of the year I took off when Kelsea was two/three.  I’ve was my family’s sole support for the last ten years, and for many years off and on prior to Kelsea being born.

Even with my upcoming gainful unemployment, I am going to try to work for myself, and I’ll have the half-time job still.  Yes, I am tired, too tired and too old to try to start working for someone new in a 40-hour a week job with 2 weeks off a year for good behavior.  But I can’t stop working, not because of the money, but because if I’m doing something I like, I really like to work.

When Pat did work, he worked in bars, motorcycle shops or poker rooms.  In bars, he had always been drinking when he came home.  Ditto with the motorcycle shop.  And poker rooms.  My point is, all his work was playing.  Especially poker.  That IS playing.  Not working.  Playing poker for a living is PLAYING.  That always irritated me.  It wasn’t working, it was playing, and he didn’t always come in ahead of the game.  And I was working.  I was the drudge.   Yes, I was probably jealous, but injustice pisses me off.

Kelsea had a meltdown the other night about how much work she had for school.  I’m sure some of that was hormones, and she’d been doing the wrong thing for the project she was working on (she’s always had a little issue with not reading instructions and assuming she understands what’s wanted), besides the fact that it was a ridiculous assignment (even in my opinion).  Part of her tearful rant was that she never has time to do what she wants – she’s always in school or doing homework.  She never has time to be a kid – and this from a kid with only one afterschool activity.  Nothing she is learning feels like it pertains to her future goals.   I sympathize completely.  Though I did tell her she might be surprised at what does pertain to her future goals. 

At any rate, it was painful to hear her echoing my own sentiments about working herself (myself) to death.  I don’t know it it’s an attitude shift that’s required on both of our parts, or a life shift, that will help us feel like we are not just toiling to the grave, but actually living our lives joyously.

Where’s the balance?  And am I glad that I (and she) care about doing good work?  Yes, I am. 

But still, I sigh.

As I said yesterday, things are just out of control everywhere.  My life feels like it is chasing its tail, trying to swallow itself.

I am thinking, thinking, thinking about my own business, and so very much want to start putting energy into it.  A good friend was suggesting that I set aside one hour a day to work on the business (and that I not hold that one-hour session between 11:00 pm and midnight.)  Probably a good idea.  Funny how I don’t consider myself sleep-deprived, even though I only get about 6 hours a night.  Isn’t that enough?  Honestly, it seems like it’s unrealistic for anyone to get more than that.  I haven’t for years.  But my doctor disagrees and says I need more to stay healthy.

I must admit to myself that my own procrastination is part of what’s making me feel crazy.  But I can’t seem to pull it together.  I keep switching notebooks.  I make lists and lose them.  Have I lost my mind as well as my marriage?  Or am I just fighting off that sense of profound tiredness that I only allow to surface in the islands?

It could be that, after a year and with winter coming, it is time to rearrange the house again, to somehow make it more conducive to working at home.  Right now, I work at home from the couch.  I can’t imagine that’s good for the couch, my brain, or my ass.  But it’s so cozy, and the house can be so cold – I know, excuses, excuses.  I’ll figure something out.  I always do.

If you are keeping track, today is Cliché Day and National Sandwich Day.  I’m sure there’s some way to combine the two into something witty, but apparently not by me at this time.

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Today is, most appropriately, International Moment of Frustration Scream Day, and I am at another breaking point.  How can one person have so many breaking points?  How broken can I be? I am just freaking myself out, that’s all.

Between hormones (mine and Kelsea), depression, cold air, grey skies, getting behind on everything at both works, and fearing for my future, I’ve had it.  Going to work this morning and not having my docking station work was bad enough.  Being told I have to call the Help Desk in frigging Costa Rica to get someone in my own building to come and help me was my last straw. In the meantime, I can’t get onto my own computer.  Screw it.  So I am working from home, trying not to finish the remnants of a bottle of rum, or blow a blood vessel in my brain.  I am actually tired of working from home after last week.

I am so sick of my life.  I am so sick of the emotional roller-coaster.  I am so uncomfortable with the un-knowing of the future. 

What am I going to do?  I wish there was somewhere, someone, I could turn to for help, advice, comfort. 

I am so very tired.  Scared.  Tired.  Broken.

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It seems each night, as it gets late and I get tired, I spin down into not such a good place.  I think of Russ spending his evenings laughing and talking with Kim, and I get that jealous feeling.  I shouldn’t but I do. How would he feel if he were alone in his apartment every night, knowing I was at Pat’s house, laughing and talking?

He texted today, that he still wanted to be my guy, but I have to admit to my trust being very tentative, as he’s left me twice, each time telling me it would never happen.  Yes, I am tired.  I still had about 4 hours of work to do, and I just didn’t have it in me tonight. 

And I’m out of milk.

Bedtime, I guess.  I’m too tired and sad for profundity.

August 2019
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