Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Only Way Out



Noah was gone all last week. When he returned I drove us to a Mexican restaurant and as the girls got up for more salsa at the salsa bar I got teary over my untouched margarita and told him I felt like I was going crazy, like something in me had broken. I have a habit of starting conversations I can't finish in restaurants. In July when I returned from Colorado we went out only to have me sob into my sushi. This isn't a post about depression, it's just that I've had so much debris banging around in my head these last few weeks, my mind so busy I can't even sit down and finish a book, which always has been the lifeline for me, the tunnel, the way out.


Of course the book I most need to finish is my own. I am in the final throes of editing it, the home-stretch of work that needs to be done before I independently publish it. This process is surrounded by more angst than that sentence might tell, because while I am not only stuck in the purgatory of writing (editing myself is pure torture), here I am about to publish independently when all my life, since I was old enough to know there were people who wrote, I imagined I would publish traditionally. Things don't always go as we imagine, and that's all right, I only know with certainty that I need to birth this book and move on to other things. I tweeted that once it's done I'm going to buy a damn paint-by-numbers and never write anything again, and there is great allure in that. I see myself taking walks and planning meals and become something of an advocate in my daughter's education. Secretly I harbor the thought that Woolf was right, it is impossible to be a mother and a writer. Trying to do both is driving me mad. But I also know that the immense relief of finishing it will be the ability to move on to other things, as yet unwritten. I feel broken because I'm in labor, I realized. I am laboring this book and so naturally I am unable to focus on anything else and keep snapping that I don't want to be touched. 


The picture above is of my writing desk, which was supposed to be white, but Noah grabbed the wrong box at the Ikea, two hours away. The strange light is a HappyLight that I bought because I am so S.A.D. It has rained 90 inches since January and a doctor pointed out  that my depression is seasonally induced, a grief for light. Well, Brevard managed to finger the trigger in July. Every morning is misty so that the dawn doesn't seem to break until eleven. This is where I spend my days. You might make out a collage I made at a women's retreat where we sang and held hands, art work by my daughters, a card from dear Elizabeth, a card from my sister. On the left is a map of California and Nevada and every day as I edit this book that is set in the southwest, I stare at the outline of the coast and the desert. I don't make meaning out of this, I just like the names. Caliente, Lovelock, Truckee. I-15 from Beaver to Huntington, I have driven it so many times I've lost count. I've seen the sun rise red on the canyons of Arizona, hugging us like a woman's worn thighs, I've seen it come up behind the Joshua Trees in the national forest, twisted alien silhouettes against a new purple sky. There are so many ways to be in this world and where I'm at right now isn't a bad place to pass through.


*I'm not blogging much but I can't seem to stop myself on Twitter so if you tweet, you can come find me there. https://twitter.com/TheBrittany_Be

PS: I am disturbed that adsense has allowed a link to an anti gay and lesbian site on my blog. I'm working to block it immediately. Please ignore it, if you see it. Thanks. 

6 comments:

  1. Okay. I now admire and adore you more than ever.
    Yes. You are in labor. Which means you think you can't do it. Which means you ARE doing it and that the end is near.
    Pushing time is almost upon you.
    Bless you, birthing. Bless you.

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    1. Thank you, Ms. Moon. This means so much to me.

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  2. Oh, I do love to come here and I do love your writing and I am so excited about you book -- however published. We will sell it all over the place when it comes out! I will sell it! I will!

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  3. You can do this. Can't wait to read it. xoxo

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  4. I've just found your work for the the first time this morning after reading some Emily Dickinson. I'm already very taken with your writing, and your expression of your work. From a fellow writer, and a fellow SAD-ive, keep going. There is more support in the ether of the interwebs than you would ever imagine.

    M

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  5. I love this post in a whole new way. Truly, you are an extraordinary writer, so I hope you never stop. It is hard to be a mother and a writer, and yet being a mother can enrich the writing in a certain way. Your writing about your children, for example. So rich. It's a paradox. Hugs.

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