Wednesday, March 21, 2007

don't sneak up on me

bw eyes closed
Originally uploaded by gkp.
I will admit it- I love to be depressed.

In small doses, under my control, usually self-administered by way of memory-laden music, I love to be transported to a well of feeling I haven't sipped from in a while. I've often felt like this practice was my release valve, my way to circumvent any potentially serious problems by periodically skimming the accumulated fat off the surface of my psyche.

I love to sit up late at night and reminisce about how good it was, and how bad it was, and sway to dark brooding chords, and maybe have a good cry.

And then I fall into bed, snuggled on one side by my sweet husband and on the other by my sweet Lab, and I sleep peacefully, my appetite for sadness successfully appeased for another day, week, month.

Except when it's not, and it sneaks up on me for no reason- sometimes memories of being done wrong, but mostly just memories of doing wrong, and things that turned out wrong, and why and whether things now are being done right...sometimes it's just wondering where that old friend went and why did I ever let him or her get away, and now that part of my life is lost...lost like I feel.

I would not change a thing, as I love where and who I am today...but I can't get rid of these feelings. It's okay when I indulge myself on purpose, but more than I would like to admit, these feelings seep up unbidden, sometimes slowly as a funk that turns into a slowly rolling cold front, but more often like a volcano that lies silent and dormant, only to burst and spew lava everywhere, immobilizing everything in its tracks...

I've tried it all- quitting meat, alcohol, sad music, tearjerker movies, and Kodak commercials...and it still attacks me by surprise. Well, I've tried almost everything...everything but pharmacuticals. There's absolutely nothing wrong with rx- many people are able to function excellently due to the many fine medications that are on the market today. I feel no stigma attached to these meds, it's just that I'm not sure that it's what I need. Most of the time, I'm fine. Except when I'm not.

Maybe I'm overthinking, but I feel like this is a more existential issue...the essential human sorrow that is barely hidden behind the facade of our daily lives...or maybe I'm just afraid to go to a shrink and find out there's really something wrong with me. With a family history of mental illness, I am a bit gun shy, I'll admit.

For now, I am practicing watchful waiting...luckily, I live with a pretty good seismologist- if the tremors get too bad, I trust him to step in and warn me before it gets to the point that he has to give evacuation orders.

spring is in the air

water tower 2
Originally uploaded by gkp.
...and a young woman's thoughts turn to love.

Except I'm not so young anymore, and I'm married. So my thoughts turn to more practical things like home improvement and gardening.

We are getting ready to employ a contractor to work on the little cottage out back here at the old homeplace. This "Little House" as we have always called it in my family, is a 400-500 square foot house located about 25 feet behind our big house (which is about 1000 square feet, so 'big' is a relative term in these circumstances.) My great-grandparents built this Little House about 40 years ago to have parties and to have a separate area to cook smelly stuff like fish and collards, and 'put up' the fruit of their garden. They had a big backyard veg garden and canned or blanched (for freezing) everything in it- beets, beans, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, etc- as well as making pickles, hot sauce, and jelly every summer. It used to have a gas stove and heater, a water heater, washer and dryer, and an extra freezer and fridge. All the appliances are gone now, and the w/d have been moved in the house, which has been very convenient for my great-grandma.

However, now we're here, and we need a little more space to breathe, so we're looking toward rehabbing the Little House. Our dream is to make it into an 'in-law' suite, and add back the appliances, an electric heater, and a bathroom (woo hoo, an extra bathroom! If you have ever lived with anyone other than yourself in a house with only one bathroom, you know how excited we all are about this prospect.) We are also excited about having a 'private' space where we can go practice the 'married arts.' I'll leave the rest to your imagination. Just know that our current bedroom shares one wall with my great-grandma's bedroom and one wall with where the Kid sleeps, so we need some 'adult' space in a bad way. Moving on...

The contractor we hope to use is actually a man who helped his father build the Little House when he was a young man. He's still working, and we're excited to see if he can work on it again. Only in Bertie County.

We also just ordered a shit load of berry bushes. We've never grown berries before, but hey- the catalog said they were easy to grow! And we wanted plenty of berry alternatives for Noah, as he is allergic to NC's favorite summer berry, the strawberry. Say it with me- awwww. How terrible! We hope he'll outgrow this horrible affliction, but in the meantime, we will have loads of blueberries, elderberries, and blackberries to eat. In about 3 years, of course. These things take time.

I feel so old, getting excited about home improvement. Don't remind me that I'm going to be thirty this year. Sigh. But hey, when the berry bushes get laden and heavy, and we're overflowing with juicy goodness, we could pick a couple of bushels, and fill our new private bath tub, and...hey, I think I am feeling young and frisky thinking about gardening after all! If you'll excuse me...