Saturday, October 31, 2009

Looking after me

Once in awhile, a little, formerly struggling part of myself surfaces and breathes, then disappears again for ever-lengthening periods of time. It surfaced this morning, and we took a look at our life together. I found I could understand and look at life from its perspective better than I could before.

It is the anxious part. It's the part of me I fought to stay married to, the part I turned my whole physical existence upside down and inside out to accommodate. I didn't blame it when it threatened to explode - I listened, stayed connected, tried to understand, then analyzed, and then acted. I thought things through while in Hawaii. I related to this part of me.

I do happen to view my "self" as a committee comprised of different characters, a choir of different voices, a community of selves apart from the one I normally inhabit as "me." I'm not sure this is pathological, although it might seem a bit odd. I have always seen my"self" this way, as a group of individual proclivities and interests, some of which can interfere with others at times. I've always seen my "self" as a collective comprised of "selves" of different ages and capacities and likes and dislikes and abilities and inclinations. I do feel like I have to actively integrate all of it ongoingly, most of the time, and need a lot of alone time to deal with it. I do sometimes resent the disproportionate amount of time this seems to take me, compared to how easily others seem to hold them "selves" together, but usually don't allow it to particularly bother me.. I just plug along with whatever I've got going on at the time. I do wonder about aging, how this process will be affected. Will it get easier or harder? Maybe every person feels like a whole tribe on the inside. Maybe others have brains that do this integrating effortlessly and non-consciously (it seems that way from the outside, at least..). Maybe this is way more information than anyone else needs to know about what goes on in my particular head.

Whatever the case, back to the anxiety "self":
It poked itself into my conscious awareness today, to announce that it feels better now, thank you. It noted that it is Hallowe'en today, which means that it's nearly November, a time when life would normally be dark and rainy and foggy, that it would ordinarily be fixated on the weathercaster's daily announcement of time of sunrise and sunset, would be poking me frequently, as daylight shortened and darktime lengthened. It noted that here, in the new place, in the 'land of living skies', the land of planetary hemisphere-size sky, it could care less, pointing out that it has paid almost no attention whatsoever to weather reports. It doesn't care anymore. It has more light and that's all it ever wanted, so thanks. It doesn't feel it needs to intrude on me anymore about light level issues. I agreed. The thank you was mutual. Both of us love the fact that we do not have to re-set the clock, now or forever more, if we don't want to. Saskatchewan very sensibly did away with this noxious stress-producing, imposed from without, jet-lag producing practice many decades ago. Such a relief.

Meanwhile, there are other internal fires to fight... The part I normally regard as the working part of me is still healing from the rippage away of what was once ordinary existence, and sets of daily habits. It has yet to find a new rhythm in life that is as productive as life used to be, but slowly it feels better and better. It knows that the only way to get through the rest of this year will be to get through the rest of this year, doing little more than attending to each moment as a suspended entity, experiencing life as a crawl by.

The part that had been longing for a sabbatical now has one, but experiences time as whipping by too fast to be enjoyed. It's the part which, if I allow, thinks it needs markers, things to weigh time down, to slow it down. Material objects and bought items, "stuff", money-wasting burdensome symbols of ownership, permanence. I've put a stop to most of that. It will have to find some other way to express itself. I cannot even buy a book right now - the wounds of having had to scuttle almost my whole library are still too fresh. I am firmly convinced that, on the whole, simplicity is preferable, but the acquisitive "self" is having a few issues with me over that. So, I might take it out today to purchase some winter boots, get it a flu shot, buy a bottle of aspirin to feed it, one per day, so it feels provided for and I will have simultaneously reduced the statistical probability of this "self" giving us both/all of "us" a stroke.

What I once felt was a somewhat budding and growing intellect is dormant for the time being. I'm still tending it, but it is ignoring "me" at the moment - it seems to need to compost for now. I hope it springs back to life someday. I see no reason why it won't. It's time for engine maintenance, is all.

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