Friday, August 19, 2005

Drip...drip...drip...

Thunder woke me at about 6:30 this morning, when it was still dark. It's been so long since there's been any real rain to speak of; the trees are dropping crackly, dry yellow leaves and it's not even September yet. For two or three minutes I laid there with my eyes open in the darkness, running my hand over the head of whichever dog was lying on my right side, listening to the rain and feeling good about it. And then I realized M was still in bed with me and that it was an hour later than he usually gets up, and I woke him and thus began the day. He was not thrilled. He was late for work. He said some words that made my ears burn and then he left and it was me and dogs and the thunderstorm and the silence again.

I dreamed in color. I guess I always dream in color, but last night, I dreamed in color accents. My camera has a color accent feature that lets you select which colors in the camera's field of vision you want to show up, and the rest of the shot is in black and white. You can see examples of it on my latest photostream on Flickr, linked here and also in the sidebar if you scroll down a bit. It's easier to see than to explain. This is how my dream was.

In my dream, a person at work who I don't like was getting fired. I was at his house with a number of other people from work and the dream was in black and white except for his floor, which was a beautiful cherry hardwood, shining deep brown and orange and red. When I left his house with the group of people from work, the light outside was bright and glowing, but only the trees were in color, their green a beacon calling me to keep moving forward because behind me was...I don't remember. Something threatening. And the colors wanted to suck me in. I feel that I'm coming back around to color again; sometimes I let it go and stop looking at it because it's easier to live my life, but sometimes it starts looking at me, and that synesthetic connection starts happening in my brain and I have no control over the emotions that flood me when I see an expanse of purple with a hint of orange in it, or pale September-sky blue, things start stirring, memories of things I know I've never done, faint echoes of thoughts and emotions someone else lived playing out in my brain chemistry...

Being a human alive in the world seemed okay for the first few hours of the day. The air was clearer than it's been in a long time; there were actual rainclouds in the sky, although they scudded off as the morning went on and were replaced by patches of clear blue that you usually only see in spring and fall. And then Nathan started emailing me about his moonlight hike on Mt. Hood he's got planned for this weekend, asking me to fly out there, offering to pay for my ticket...

I don't know why, but this triggered a release of problem in my head. I want to be the kind of person who is spontaneous enough to do this sort of thing, but I'm not. I began to think about the way I think about things, about why I have a hard time relaxing and enjoying myself almost always, how my normal state of being is to feel tense and tight and like something's not quite right. How when I go on vacation there's maybe two hours of it when I'm unwound enough to simply be rather than always thinking about the next thing or the previous thing. I'd like my being to play like music, but it's always focused on what just was or what might be.

When these thoughts come into my head, they tend to settle deep in my brain core, as though they have physical substance and aren't of the ether, unrecordable and unmeasurable unless I choose to write them down. I could feel them weighing into my lungs. As I proofed copy about keeping your gums healthy and relaxing on your lunch break and eating colorful vegetables, I turned over in my head my approach to dealing with what my senses record, to how I react to being this person in this time in this place. And I felt worse and worse. I don't know why. I know why, but I can't enunciate it. Things continued on as usual around me, witty banter flying around my head at work and making me laugh, but I had to be careful not to laugh too hard, because it felt like something was going to leak out of my mouth. Something that wasn't laughter.

This feeling of darkness dissipated some as the day went on, but it didn't go away entirely. I am unable to be still today. My inner teen-angst turmoil tells me to keep moving. After I ate dinner I wanted to sit down and unwind from a busy day. But I couldn't. I went into the bathroom and started yanking out the metal trim a foot down from the ceiling where the previous owners of the house put a drop ceiling in. I've been intending to do a major remodel of the bathroom for a while and this seemed as good a time as any to do it. I took all the trim down, yanked the nails out of the twisted metal and pulled down the god-awful ceiling-trim wallpaper. The bathroom looks like hell now. They painted over wallpaper. It's going to be a much bigger job than I initially thought.

I don't want to question what I'm doing too hard. The way I've chosen to live my life. I know it doesn't fit me as well as I want it to fit me. And I know if I went to the opposite extreme, that that wouldn't fit me perfectly either. I know this reads cryptically, but it makes sense to me and all I want to do is get it down so I can look at it later, more objectively, and decide that I'm only thinking this way because I'm in a mood, not because it's real. I don't want to crack the surface of this. I don't know if I want to break this tension. I don't know if I can handle it. I can't write any more about this.

13 Comments:

At August 19, 2005 10:57 PM, Anonymous E said...

Hmmm...not sure what to say about this, other than for the first time ever...you sounded exactly like my husband. The way you have described your mood and your personality here, you could have been describing him.
Weird.
And about that last paragraph...cryptic. Hope you figure out what is troubling you.

 
At August 20, 2005 12:24 AM, Anonymous tatsuki said...

It's always darkest before dawn.

:hug:

 
At August 20, 2005 12:32 AM, Blogger Sangroncito said...

I miss thunder. On the west coast we almost never have thunder and lightening. We are having our typical summer fog, though. While the rest of the country broils day time temps are in the low 60's here in San Francisco. It's called natural air-conditioning.

It's very, very hard to get to the place where one can live in the moment. I'm getting there, I think, but it has taken a long, long time. I am restless by nature. I feel like I have everything perfect right now, but you can't imagine how long it took me to get to this place. It will come for you too. (You write well, by the way).

 
At August 20, 2005 8:18 AM, Anonymous Heather said...

Your day yesterday is a mirror of the way I'm now feeling today. It's a very dark day.

I hope today is a better day for you.

 
At August 20, 2005 8:33 AM, Anonymous Heather said...

P.S. Enjoyed the mall photos very much. That color tool is pretty impressive, very cool effect.

 
At August 20, 2005 9:47 AM, Blogger Jen said...

OK, seriously? You are a FABULOUS photographer. I mean it. You should sell your photos. I LOVE this new set on Flickr. And does my camera have that awesome function? Maybe I should actually pick up the manual and read about it.

Love, love, love the photos.

 
At August 20, 2005 10:47 AM, Blogger Dr. Charles said...

enjoyed your musings on that thunderous morning, a fitting backdrop for the thoughts in your mind. i often fantasize about being able to just quit work and be a spontaneous traveler, although i know this is entirely impractical. but it does make for a good back-up plan incase i ever get fired or decide to leave. mall suburbia never looked so artful in your photos!

 
At August 20, 2005 12:12 PM, Anonymous Jenelle said...

I have those days too, when I get so wrapped up into my own head and over-analyze everything, only you put into words what I never could .
Thank you for that.
The only thing I can say is that you are not alone.

 
At August 20, 2005 2:36 PM, Blogger d.K. said...

I'm going to come back in a bit and comment on your post, but Man! those photos of the mall architecture are unbelievable! You ought to lay out a brochure and pitch it to the mall management consortium. It can't be that attractive in real life. Now I have to check out my new, fairly expensive camera to see if I have that awesome feature...

 
At August 20, 2005 5:04 PM, Anonymous Suleyman said...

As we were driving across New Mexico I got to watch a thunderstorm rolling in the distance, probably 20 miles away. It's amazing how relaxing the destructive forces of nature can be when you're physically removed from them.

-Suley

 
At August 20, 2005 7:55 PM, Blogger d.K. said...

J,
I go through periods like that. A year ago I was ready to put a for sale sign outside and move to Panama - seriously. But I got over it. I call those my periods of "extreme restlessness." The best thing to do is find something, anything, to get really excited about and pour yourself into it. Something that really challenges you. That seems to work for me. It can be a new hobby, goal, project, academic undertaking, etc., the possibilities are limitless. Give it a shot. It might help put all else back in to perspective :-)

 
At August 21, 2005 12:21 AM, Blogger Raehan said...

I'm just stoping by to say I've been reading you posts and I've been very impressed with your writing, too.

You are also a great photographer.

Thanks for the nice comment.

 
At August 21, 2005 12:39 AM, Blogger J. Star said...

All--thanks for the positive comments. You are all appreciated...

 

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