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Plum on white. March 14, 2006

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.

Rain scatters plum petals:
Weeping stains the earth.
One can only take shelter
And wait for the clearing
Let us be sad;
it is feeling that makes us human
Deng Ming~Dao

I am sad. Melencholy. Palest grey purple frump-lump.

Do you remember being outside and laying on the grass in the sun during that first truly warm day in the Spring and soaking the sun up and feeling your skin warm and smiling in limp happiness….and then feeling the abrupt draining of color as the sun passes behind a cloud and suddenly you’re cold, and the rock nestled into your shoulder is suddenly jabbing and you slump back inside to do…oh, homework, work-work, wall staring – just a little less happy than before?

That is me right now.

Thankfully, stepping into the night is like sinking into tepid bathwater on a hot day, and I love that feeling. That’s one nice thing about overcast Florida days, that muggy neutral heat that hugs my arms, and the tossy wind that separates my frizz into curls and chases my skirt around my legs and brings an odd feeling of contentment in sadness.

And I couldn’t even say precisely why I’m sad…is it that I’m sitting alone in a small room and want to talk and talk but have noone to do so with? Is it a slight feeling of abandonment…though I was in no position to be abandoned in the first place? Is it the feeling of treding water, or the feeling of slowly being sucked under? Is it a mysterious combination of all of the above with a bit of anxiety thrown in for good measure? Who knows.

It is, however, a general feeling I’ve grown familiar with and almost fond of…something familiar, like a horrible old blanket that smells a little but you refuse to throw away. Hello, blanket of darkness! Cover me in your beautiful torment! Let me lose myself in the ink-dark unctuousness of your melodrama!

I’ve been looking at old pictures of myself. Specifically, Eric’s (of Evolving Beauty) pictures of me, and my eyes and my expressions and weird awkwardnesses of my shoulders and elbows and how much I love the shape of my feet and hate the bump of my chin. And, as always I’m poking and prodding my mind…who is this, who was I then, why was I that, am I still, was I ever…and that is the torment of photographs. The ability to look at that moment past and stare at yourself and ask…what were you thinking? What was in your head? And ideas I’ve forgotten? Concepts I didn’t explore? What was bothering me?

And then, the other questions…why does it matter? How arrogant of me to even bother looking back at these, who cares who am I and who I was, when what I am when relating to them in the present is what matters? But it does matter, to me, because maybe if I knew about then I could learn about now and sketch out some sort of picture for myself – to guide me and help me feel complete, to go back to and feel the edges of when I’m feeling lonely or sad or just need refreshing or reminding. 18 year old Brianna was silly and lazy and playful, 19 year old Brianna was in over her head, 21 year old Brianna was badly fitted into a boring puzzle, then struggling to hold breaking strings that were someone else’s responsibility…22 Brianna ran away and learned how to work. And now, we have 23 year old Brianna writing too much and being 23 and feeling time slip by too quickly and remembering that at 18 I thought I’d have some semblance of a future by now. And at 31 I will roll my eyes at myself, and even that thought marks me as someone in my early 20’s.

Sigh. By struggling against stereotype I become the stereotype.

I just wish this self-construction was a chemical reaction, cells dividing, water crystals forming jackfrost patterns on glass…something easy an spontaneous and interesting in any configuration. Not the slow and tedious house-of-cards building I’m doing, where every little tremor knocks parts down, and the rebuilding is never as nice as the concept.

Baaaah. I’m just tired….working on god, working on me, working on love and work and art and never getting anything, really – they’re all on the tip of my tongue and I almost, almost have it and it will all slip away for want of a conversation, a feeling, the barest tip in the right direction. And then the next morning it’s all gone and I feel as far away as ever.

In other news, my Romney is completely spun up, and is glorious in its pink and purple goodness. I wish I knew what to make with it. I wish I felt like making something! Or, I do feel like making something but am at a loss as to what to make. I was a good fourth of a way through a lovely sock before realizing it was too large and ripping it all out. I can’t work on my cashmere unless I’m feeling happy…because I refuse to knit bad, sticky grey feelings into something for someone else…no use looping thousands of sad stitches into a gift of the heart.

I have a letter I wrote three weeks ago I’ve yet to mail. One, because I don’t know where the post office is. Two, because I lack motivation, though I wrote the letter with the very best of intentions…I never write letters! I will bring it to work tomorrow and hope I remember to send it along. Maybe I’ll send my personal little stormclouds along with it.


1. girlonamission - March 15, 2006

I am trying to decide whether it is comforting that most of the people in their 20’s who I’ve read the experiences of, or talked to, or experienced in any way still haven’t found that defining characteristic of life. Of if you have and I have completely misinterpreted you, please! Let me in on the secret.

I loved your description of sadness, it’s so much like mine, but I’ve never been able to verbally express it as well as you. A blanket of darkness. Hmm, it almost comforts me, to think of the sadness I’ve often felt as a blanket instead of a burden.

2. thelode - March 22, 2006

By struggling against stereotype I become the stereotype.

many more nuggets and gems in this post.
you’re amazing in your writing
never give it up
good luck on this journey.

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