18 November 2011

Shutting Down

We were running this morning. I don’t know what the medicine I’m taking is supposed to be doing, but I am certainly running and feeling better than I have in months. Lately, when they say ‘take this,’ I take it and don’t ask too many questions. I know this response is a lapse on my part of good sense, but when I think the medicine will save my life (of course, I’m being melodramatic, of course) well, I prefer not to know too much and follow their recommendation. In this case, I have no idea what the medicine is meant to do, but it seems to be achieving whatever it was meant to accomplish.
So we were running this morning and today was his day to complain. And yes, he had a few harsh comments to make about the state of the world, the national and local scene, and even his intimate familial web. This is not the best of all possible worlds though it is the only world we possess. Today’s was a typical discourse with which after twenty years we are both familiar. Running enables this kind of release, and our friendship permits it. After about a mile I said, “It sounds like you are ready for Mexico.” He laughed for an answer, and I think I understood. He leaves for Mexico in about three weeks time for a two-week withdrawal. Of course, I’ll miss him, but he’ll return refreshed to refresh me.
Sometimes I feel like I need to emotionally and physically shut down. Close up. Make myself unavailable. Withdraw from human contact so that I question no one and no one questions me. To whisper nothing in nobody’s ear. I am in the midst of a retreat. This withdrawal represents for me a movement along the continuum towards the autistic proclivity of my personality. I think this shift serves to allow me to protect a battered ego, gather up depleted energies, and even renew my imagination. The present book project draws to a close, and it comes time to fill the cup again until it runneth over. I want space enough and time. Almost without my notice the books to be read begin to accumulate: everywhere I go in the cabin and the house there are newly purchased books in a random assortment of categories waiting to be read. The UPS man (yes, it is always a man) and I greet each other on a first name basis, and he even sometimes asks why I need so many books. I tell him it is to make sure he has a job and that I remain sane. Or insane, as the case may be.
I love my Lake of Innisfree and my cabin of clay and wattles made.
“And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow . . .”


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