I’ve been up for 3 hours already. It’s one of those early morning wakings when I couldn’t get back to sleep. It’s best to rise than to lay there thinking useless and maybe harmful thoughts. Sheba rose with me but then decided to go back to bed till way past her usual time. She didn’t come out till almost 7 and laid down on her pillow in the living room. She didn’t fuss for her breakfast. I thought maybe she got fed somehow.
That wasn’t the case though. She hadn’t. She must have sensed that I needed peace and quiet. Aren’t our pets precious? She is so intuitive and a comfort. She is my pillow, my blanket and cuddly bear. She is my best friend and the child I never had. This morning I had to ask if she wants to eat, a first ever. The answer was Yes!
Olivia Newton John’s song Have You Never Been Mellow has been playing in my head.
Have you never been mellow? Have you never tried to find a comfort from inside you? Have you never been happy just to hear your song? Have you never let someone else be strong?
Seeing the words and questions on the page, I have to say No, I’ve never been or I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt that. Mostly I’ve been feeling hostile, angry and dissatified. Why mince feelings and words? Sometimes I feel demons walking over my grave. Waves of unease and sadness wash over me. I want to cry. I feel such loneliness as if I’m the last human on earth. I’m that one hand clapping, the echo unheard. I want to act out but who’s here to notice? So I do not. I take a deep breath and try to change my thoughts – to change my feelings. I do not try to ‘fix’ anything. Fixing does not work except to make me feel worse.
Amid all the questions and feelings I do hear my adult voice. It’s telling me not to believe all these. It’s not who you really are, it tells me. You are hurting and harming yourself believing them. Choose another way to be. I have to listen to its wisdom. Another way is quietening myself. I try to focus on things that work. I concentrate on the mechanics of doing. Trying to figure out the ‘how’ of doing something engages my mind in the ‘doing’ and away from ‘feeling’. I have to be careful that the project is not too complex. That would only result in frustration.
Writing, tapping out the words, problems and feelings is my best bet. I find rhythm in flexing my fingers on the keyboard. It eases and releases tension. They are breathing in and out for me. Somehow solutions come along with the tapping. Cleaning house is therapeutic. Dusting is soothing. I’ve gotten not to mind vacuuming with my Dyson stick. I’m quite proficient at it. It doesn’t feel like such a chore any more. I’m getting some pleasure from having a dog hair free house. I’m killing several birds with one stone.
I have this compulsion and obsession to write because I love words, the sound of them and the beauty they can create stringing them together. I love how the letters, words and sentences march across the screen as I sit here tap, tapping. I write often/all the time for comfort. I write for the sound of a friendly voice, my own. I write to find objectivity, clarity, wisdom and whatever comes up in the conversation. I write to find and love myself as this poem expresses so beautifully.
Love After Love – Derek Walcott
The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.
I feel the need of comfort today. The wind blows and howls all day as if someone is suffering and crying. I feel the unease of someone walking over my grave. The sun and cloud vies for dominance, casting shifting shadows over the landscape. I hug myself for comfort. Really I would like to be in bed with the covers over my head. But I hear this voice saying, You can run but you can’t hide. So here I am, facing the music, tap, tapping away a bit of the fear. There’s nowhere to run.
Marianne Williamson wrote on her blog yesterday: It would be easy to slip into hopelessness now, to resign ourselves to the idea that the concentrated assaults on everything from the planet to our democracy have succeeded to such a degree that it’s no longer possible to stop them.
I understand those feelings and find comfort that another person is expressing them. I am not alone. However, I am resisting the urge to go down that slippery hopeless slope. I live on the same precarious planet but Donald Trump is not our leader. There is hope though I’m not feeling optimistic today. Can you, if you’ve had another sleepless night? Too much stimulation yesterday? Or too much smoke from forest fires in the air?
It is very true that I am not myself. I will be a different person after a good night’s sleep. I’m envious of Sheba sleeping so peacefully next to me as I sit and tap here. She is stinking me out though with her quiet, lethal farts. Phew! But she is sweet, so bonelessly relaxed with her floppy ears. It is soothing to have her near. She comforts me with her soft animal spirit. I am grateful for her presence.
I will try not to fret too much about my sleeplessness. I will sleep when I am ready. I am not totally incapcitated. I am half way through a book. It is an easy read. And I’ve primed two wood panels. They’re ready for a creative streak. This is a day for easy stuff, not a day for brain surgery even if I knew how. It’s not a time for serious contemplation either. I tell myself, don’t think. Just do and you’ll be fine. Yes, I’m resisting the urge to slip and slide. It’s a day for kindness towards myself. Tomorrow I can Wonder Woman again.
I have just decided to travel the high road yesterday. Why do you have to test me so soon? Your daughter is tired, her feet sore and blistered. The road is long and rough. She can find no comfort for her weary feet and soul. Even Comfort’s Cab did not show up by her house this morning as it usually does.
Heavenly Father, grant me your grace. Carry me for awhile. Let me rest in the comfort of your arms. Let me gather up my strength and resolve again. Let me feel the goodness of Ollie in heaven above. Let me feel the compassion for myself as you taught me to feel for others. In you I do trust and find comfort.