Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sunglasses & Sneakers

Writing helps. It is somehow comforting that I can - with effort - articulate what's happening. That there is some avenue through which a good piece of me can escape the darkness, make a meager mark on a sliver of the internet and then rest.

The comments help more and I wept a little in some mixture of gratitude and wonder that people see the effort to reach out and pause to extend a gesture in return. I'm hyper-sensitive right now, I know, but that strikes me as impossibly beautiful. And even before I opened this laptop, for I woke and checked work email, read a bit, went for a walk and showered before looking at Gmail, I felt sure that someone, somewhere, would offer something kind. It's simply the way of this corner of the blogging community and such a fact soothes me.

"We'll go somewhere new," I told Chienne this morning even as I scowled and jogged upstairs to grab the camera I'd forgotten. Went back again for socks. Searched once more for shoes. I made one last trip, surprised she didn't bark at me in sheer exasperation, to put in my contacts, thinking I'd been in glasses since October. I felt nearly hopeful, I decided, settling into the car - Chienne beside me, sunglasses perched on my nose and new sneakers tied neatly on my feet.

I followed familiar roads - my normal route to work, actually - and pulled over neatly at a path by railroad tracks. Then I panicked, having dropped my keys under the seat, worrying over a happy hound prancing too near the road while I searched for the key. It was too cold. I didn't know if dogs were allowed. I could get a cramp. Fall down! She could run away! Yet when I attempted to flee, Chienne frankly refused to get in the Jeep, stubbornly eager to have her promised walk, especially in a new and interesting location.

So we walked, making our way to the trail and heading east. Gloves on, hood up and right hand clinging to her leash, I followed as she moved along the pavement. I eventually relaxed enough to listen to the creek as it bubbled off to one side. I paused at the wooden bridge to take photos, enjoying the way my shoes sounded as we walked across the boards, the way the water sparkled under the partly cloudy sky, the way snow drifted gently to the sides. So I breathed, the air feeling cold as I inhaled, and let myself relax into the rhythm of walking.

I read all three new books once I thawed and returned home, losing myself in words upstairs by the fire and downstairs under blankets. Chienne and Sprout stayed close, napping and wrestling and napping again as afternoon hours drifted by and darkness fell again. I'm slow, settling into a post-panic lull perhaps, but feel slightly less listless than before. I'm able to pick up messes, albeit haphazardly, and answer email, though only the important ones.

Dad arrives tomorrow, for I travel again on Monday. I'll be gone a couple of nights and can't decide whether I welcome the break in my miserable routine or dread the disruption as I desperately seek balance again. Regardless, I'm to go and so I will.

As for vacations, I've little talent for them. I'm more of the 'live to work' type and I get twitchy when I don't know what's happening or if I'm needed for something or other. Worse still, when I do relax and actually let go, I'm loathe to return to my reality. So - for now, for better or worse - I'm struggling through my days and hoping they begin to feel consuming and fulfilling again. I'll get through this next bit of travel and my family will visit immediately after.

And when it's hard - for I've no doubt it sometimes will be - I'll picture the moment outside my car this morning, Chienne tugging insistently on her leash and demanding we go explore, even when potential consequences left me terrified. And remember that what sometimes feels impossible in the beginning often levels out and becomes manageable, even with moments of beauty, in the end.


JaneB said...

(((Katie))). Thank you for writing - it's appreciated. Hope the next bit of travel is fairly painless!

Amelie said...

I'm glad that you keep writing, and going out (or perhaps that Chienne makes you go out?). Hope the trip goes smoothly. Sending many hugs.

Post a Comment