In the Dark Backward and Abysm of Time

Shakespeare? Why not. I’m reading a book about World War II and time travel…Shakespeare was quoted. I don’t know yet if I like the book…but I liked the phrase. It’s a good description of trying to look back and figure out what happened in your life…and of what the brain does in depression. Of where you are. Of how hard it is to get out.

I worked on the drawing again tonight…

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It’s not done and now it needs another page below it. I don’t know what it means. It’s about getting old…the body aging. It’s about depression. It’s about being in the dark backward. That would be a good name for a quilt: The Dark Backward. Missy’s in it. Lots of my animals show up in my quilts. They have wings when they die. I guess that symbolism is obvious. This one needs Christmas lights too, but first I have to figure out the sides. You can’t see in this picture, but the paper is sideways and there’s a lot of space on each side. I think I was originally going to have her sitting with her elbows on her knees, but now she’s not. I don’t know what’s going on now. I just know I need to draw down more. Then maybe I can figure out the sides. Dream about it. It’ll come.

I also spent some time going through two of the smaller sketchbooks, marking drawings for smaller quilts. I may go copy some of those this week, although…deep breaths about this week. Not worrying about what hasn’t happened, but planning would help, and I’m not doing a good job of holding my head together well enough to do that. The big extended family Christmas party was today…not fun. It’s OK. I only cried twice…so I managed control best I could…until I meditated, and then it all fell out. I cried through the whole thing. He wants me to reflect on my pattern of breath, which is freakin’ impossible when you’re sobbing, because your breathing is so completely fucked. Yeah. So.

I’ve completed 100 days of meditation. I think it’s helping. I don’t know if it’s that which gives me some distance, or if it’s the depression dampening all emotions except sad. I’m less reactive. But I’m going to say (and hope) it’s the meditation.

I have lots of good family photos from today. Somehow I managed that. I didn’t socialize much. I’ve never been good at that, even with my own relatives, but today I was fragile and couldn’t handle much of anything. Oh well. Moving on. Family photos will follow when I have time to go through them all.

Girlchild drove up and back, so I sewed some more…

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Damn crazy birds will never be done. I think they’re almost all sewn down. I have 5 soccer games to go to in the next week; that’s a lot of potential sewing time. I also heard for the first time my daughter’s mom voice, as her cousin was kicking the back of her seat and she chastised him. That was amusing.

I know what my counselor will ask me about the party: “Did you have fun?” Not really. I enjoyed some moments, like the boychild analyzing pie cutting and giving me the physics equation for whether his cousin could be thrown down the cliff by a gust of wind. But I rarely have fun there. In 46 years, I think I’ve missed 3 of them: one year I was in the UK, one year I was pregnant with the boychild and really sick (he was born a week after Christmas, two weeks early…I spent most of the day asleep on the couch), and the one year two months after my husband and I separated…I just couldn’t handle it. I sent the kids with their grandparents. I was actually sick too, so I had a good excuse…really sick. But I also didn’t want to go. It’s the sense of failure, I fucked up, I couldn’t do it right. I have that now too. But then the smart part of the brain kicks in and reminds me of my kids and how amazing they are and my art and even sometimes my students, and I think I haven’t fucked up totally. I think that’s the hardest part of this time of year, being around all these couples and families and thinking you did it wrong, that you didn’t mean to do it wrong, but that’s how it turned out, and you really don’t know how to do it right and you’re not sure you ever will.

So I will just get through the holidays, the dark backward. I will just get through.

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The sky’s been amazing lately…way more amazing than this photo…I seem to be pretty good at appreciating the sky. It’s hard not to look up at a beautiful sky and feel some sense of relief.

One thought on “In the Dark Backward and Abysm of Time

  1. I have that feeling about some of my relationships too. “I messed up. I should have done something differently.” Thing is, it’s a two-way street. It’s hard to have a close, healthy relationship with family, lovers, friends if they don’t wanna. It’s hard to make things better if they don’t wanna. Maybe it’s a benign “don’t wanna” with the person being on a different wavelength and moving on, and maybe it’s a toxic “don’t wanna” complete with abuse. Either way, it’s out of your hands. (Speaking as the woman who went to marriage counseling by herself because her now-ex “didn’t wanna”.)


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