Friday, April 27, 2007

not exploding, just moving (at a slower pace)

"Unless you are utterly exploded, there is always something to be grateful for." (From Bellow, Saul. Herzog. Ed. Irving Howe. New York: Viking, 1976. p.7)
The other day Marlo was reading this book at the kitchen table, and I was reading Scarlet Feather, by Maeve Binchy. She laughed aloud at this quote and then read it to me, and then wrote it out onto a scrap of paper which I tucked into my book for safekeeping. I did that because it seems the sort of advice to keep with you at all times, and it will also remind me of Marlo.

Not that going home to Cape Breton is at all comparable to being utterly exploded, as there are many, many good things about home and being there. The sound of birdsong from the porch is one. The restfulness of the woods is another. But this is a big change for me, moving home and leaving here uncertain of return, and I've not yet completely recovered from the rough period that began this past February. Each day is still a question mark, some days are good, and some days I have very little energy and can't do very much. It will still be some time before I'm up to my usual tricks, or up to tackling anything too difficult. It is hard to admit this, because as Chloe said to me the other day, "You're quite a go-getter!"

I was very used to going and getting, it is true, and these days involve a lot of staying and resting. I find it hard to accept the fact that my body wants me to stop and let it rest until it needs no more resting, not just recharge enough to pretend I'm OK. I find it hard to accept that this can happen without my consent! I also find it hard to accept that when it comes down to it, after all my fears that no-one will understand, the person who understands the least is actually myself.

However, when I think about it, I realize that these things that are hard to accept are actually just fine. The harder it is, the better I will feel as I begin to accept them. Does that make sense? The harder the task, the better you feel when you accomplish it.

So, back to the point of this post: I'm going home to Cape Breton. I should also mention that none of the packing that has been happening lately would have been possible without my mother, who came here last week and is spending her week off here with me, helping me every step of the way. It sure makes a difference to have her here to tell me what needs doing, and do the things that I can't.

On Sunday we pack the little Golf and move. In the process I have to get rid of my old monitor, as it barely works right now, and I am going to dump it here and then buy a new one when I get home, a flat-screen model. I made many calls and nowhere in Fredericton is there a place to safely dispose of computer equipment, so unfortunately for my ethics and principles this monitor I've used for five years is going to end up in the landfill. It seems such a waste! Why, oh why, can't recycling technologies and businesses fill this obvious need as quickly as I would like them to? (She cried to the skies, not expecting a satisfactory answer.)

I probably won't get a new monitor right away, so I'll be using my mother's computer on a slow connection, or the computers at the library in town, my old fall-back method for when at home. That, combined with how little energy I've got these days, and the fact that I really do love posting, means I will still post, just not all the time. I just wanted y'all to know.

Allow me to counteract what seem like moderately unpleasant comments in this post with a few "good things", but have no fear, I'm not turning into Martha Stewart:
  1. Maeve Binchy novels with their comforting predictability and take-charge heroines.
  2. Driving out into the country with Mum, Marlo and a map.
  3. The way the indoors feels when it rains out: cozy, complete.
  4. Lebanese takeaway: falafel wraps, grape leaves filled with soft, tangy rice, tabouleh with lots of parsley, baklava with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
So, that's all the news at this moment. And if you can't think of anything better to do, some Lebanese takeaway is always a good idea. I'll write again from the little island that could.

*Source of the photograph: unknown. Picked it up somewhere while trawling the Web for inspiration, saved it, and found it again today. If it's yours and you don't want it used, tell me.

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