So I choose the moment that I’m coming down with a bug, fortunately for the first time in a long time, to write a post, which means I find myself facing an empty text field and not sure what to do, when only moments ago it seemed crucial that I log in. A cold brain fog rolls in.
Perhaps the run-down feeling that I’m getting from the cold reminds me of the adrenal fatigue, which for the longest time was the only thing I posted about here. I’m so grateful that I feel so much better than I did. Today definitely took more effort than usual to stay happy, and I think I didn’t quite succeed.
+I did sit on the porch at lunch staring up into the sun behind the trees’ leaves, which was marred only by my ticking brain reminding me how short my lunch break is.
+As I got out of the car coming home from work, I paused to note how the mess of bamboo, wisteria, and other plants tangling along my fence are all the same shade of green–as are the grass and the neighbors’ more tidy landscaping. All that green and the same shade of chlorophyll. No large observation, but it reminded me how all the life on this planet is related, much as mammals have the same limited palette: white, black, brown, red, yellow, gray, and their various combinations (or at least that’s what I’ve observed, but I could be wrong).
+I spent several minutes petting Zoey on the back porch after work. I petted her while Bogie ran off and played. I petted her until he returned and demanded his own pets. I also laid down with her on the couch. She looked so sweet, and I tucked myself around her. No one cuddles as good as Zoey. She’s a ninja at cuddling.
I’ve taken some extra sups–Vit C, magnesium, various minerals, L-glutamine, L-lysine, and Airborne. And now I’m going to bed if I can. It’s the best medicine, but sometimes I find it hard to peel away from the ten thousand things.
On the drive back from my mother’s birthday, I thought, as I often do on long drives, of writing. I took notes for a new writing plan (I always have a new writing plan, don’t I?):
- Live like an artist
- Listen to music, real music, whole albums, not just background Pandora
- Set aside devotional time. Like what some scholar I read about today called sacred time.
- Cultivate silence
- Write in nature after car rides (ha! The long slow monotony of the car ride liberates the brain; nature restores. There is order to my madness.)
- Make my own podcast of favorite poems just for myself, which basically means record myself reading my favorite poems to listen to in the car.
- Journal before bed
Which reminds me:
+ I downloaded and started reading translations of traditional Irish poems by Lady Gregory in The Kiltartan Poetry Book: Prose Translations from the Irish. “The Grief of a Girl’s Heart,” or “Donall og” as it’s often called, is as fresh as ever. I’ve loved it ever since I first heard it on the film based on Joyce’s “The Dead.” I found it in that year or two when I first found poetry altogether in high school. It is one of those foundational poems that stunned me with what words can do. So what if I found it in a movie?
I rewatched that scene many times in early high school, probably warping the VHS trying to transcribe it. It wasn’t until I found it in the school library that I realized the lamb was bleating, not bleeding. My friend Nicole and I made an interpretive dance that went with the poem, if I remember correctly. She’s maybe the only person I ever danced with and didn’t feel like a rhythmless baboon. Or maybe it was a dance that was also a prayer and a spell. I miss Nicole. I wish she still walked the earth. I saw the movie again in college and sat next to Alan Jefferson as we watched it in Bill Cobb’s class. I miss Alan. I wish he still walked the earth.
Here’s Gregory’s original prose translation (from http://www.digital.library.upenn.edu/women/gregory/poetry/poetry-01.html):
The Grief of a Girl’s Heart
O DONALL og, if you go across the sea, bring myself with you and do not forget it; and you will have a sweetheart for fair days and market days, and the daughter of the King of Greece beside you at night. It is late last night the dog was speaking of you; the snipe was speaking of you in her deep marsh. It is you are the lonely bird through the woods; and that you may be without a mate until you find me.
You promised me, and you said a lie to me, that you would be before me where the sheep are flocked; I gave a whistle and three hundred cries to you, and I found nothing there but a bleating lamb.
You promised me a thing that was hard for you, a ship of gold under a silver mast; twelve towns with a market in all of them, and a fine white court by the side of the sea.
You promised me a thing that is not possible, that you would give me gloves of the skin of a fish; that you would give me shoes of the skin of a bird, and a suit of the dearest silk in Ireland.
O Donall og, it is I would be better to you than a high, proud, spendthrift lady: I would milk the cow; I would bring help to you; and if you were hard pressed, I would strike a blow for you.
O, ochone, and it’s not with hunger or with wanting food, or drink, or sleep, that I am growing thin, and my life is shortened; but it is the love of a young man has withered me away.
It is early in the morning that I saw him coming, going along the road on the back of a horse; he did not come to me; he made nothing of me; and it is on my way home that I cried my fill.
When I go by myself to the Well of Loneliness, I sit down and I go through my trouble; when I see the world and do not see my boy, he that has an amber shade in his hair.
It was on that Sunday I gave my love to you; the Sunday that is last before Easter Sunday. And myself on my knees reading the Passion; and my two eyes giving love to you for ever.
O, aya! my mother, give myself to him; and give him all that you have in the world; get out yourself to ask for alms, and do not come back and forward looking for me.
My mother said to me not to be talking with you to-day, or to-morrow, or on the Sunday; it was a bad time she took for telling me that; it was shutting the door after the house was robbed.
My heart is as black as the blackness of the sloe, or as the black coal that is on the smith’s forge; or as the sole of a shoe left in white halls; it was you put that darkness over my life.
You have taken the east from me; you have taken the west from me; you have taken what is before me and what is behind me; you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me; and my fear is great that you have taken God from me!