Thursday, September 26, 2013

Still Life

I know I should be working, honing, polishing, sharpening handouts, but a heavy weariness weighs me down. I cannot imagine the cause for this fatigue, but it does feel bone deep. I know I can ill-afford these almost constant naps; I have too many clamoring projects. But my eyes burn with left over sleep and my senses shift, unable to fixate on a coherent task. I feel unable, limbless, immobile, even, so that even the passing winds fail to sway me from this spot. A friend suggested that perhaps my fatigue emerges from my strict diet, the depleted portions from a limited list. Perhaps that is true; but my diet is not a new thing. I am quite used to it and comfortable with it. I have not over-stretched myself in physical labor by any stretch of imagination.

My spirit could also be homesick, a longing to go and touch something, some place of my birth and formative years, an event nowhere on the horizon. However, the buzzing of my tribe's presence every time I get on Facebook or emails reassures me immeasurably. A brief visit from some of my tribe feels more than wonderful. So it is not abandonment or despair that is responsible for this.

I believe this torpor is a natural cycle of my being, a condition that regularly drowns me as the year begins to set. Someone asked me for recommendations for a reading list for an upcoming trip, and I have been unable to come up  with any meaningful titles, something I'd thought in my youth, would never happen. I'd believed that I would ALWAYS be in the middle of at least 3 books, and the local public library would be my second home. However, things have not unfolded thus. My bedside is strewn with the most predictable of all reading, the epics. The new Atwood (of the Oryx and Crake series) is out, but I lack the will to hunt it down; today Salman Rushdie is in town, talking about his newest book, but the very thought of driving exhausts me. Once, I'd believed that as an active reader, I was an integral component of the world woven by words. This belief used to be the prime motor of all my willingness to hop aboard many a whirlwind and carousel, the dizziness convincing me of my relevance. Now, however, just sitting down is enough.

This exhaustion could be due to the time of the year. Elements are changing their wonted liveries; the golden sunshine glimmering on the still leaves has left for the West. Days are smaller, silver, breezy, like little jewels. This landscape demands almost constant rain, but the colors bouncing off the torrents have mellowed. The moon is getting larger, nearer. Perhaps the year wants me to sit still, take stock, and exhale the months passed. Perhaps I should listen. Perhaps this is a natural part of growing older, calming down, an increasing quietude.

Before I exhale, I breathe in the advancing Autumn. It smells different, like a dream of smokiness, of promise of a chill not here yet, of  velvet moonlight, of crisp dusks. I must confess, this particular evening smells not of endings, but beginnings. The air needs a little crispiness to herald the clanging of the Goddess' chariot; the days need to be silvery that Diwali lamps shine brighter.

After all, there are so many ways to banish the darkness; to banish such darkness properly, however, it needs to descend properly. I will not resent this sluggishness, since it looks to the busyness of the festive season. Inertia is a necessary component of animation.



  1. I love your Shakespearian way of expressing your landscape, both physical and emotional.

    And you need not worry about seeking out the new Atwood; it's on its winging way to my house, and we can share!

    Maybe what we need is an old-fashioned book club/grad school experience where we read the first two books of the trilogy together. It would be heartening to know that someone is reading the same book I am, and thus can discuss it with me!

    And then, for that writing goal . . . dare we try to be Atwoodian?