I Get To Stay At My Job, My Existential Angst Is Still Intact (despite how ancient my goth teenhood), And som Schnackenberg
I have excellent news. My review process at work is finally over, and having met the minimum level of skill and dedication required for retaining my position, my bosses are going to keep me around!
My stress levels about whether or not I would be sent back to my old position in this institution were really starting to get to me, because the official end date for my head boss’ decision was December the 10th, which would have meant my spending the entire Christmas season looking forward to going back to my dreaded old position and looking back on my failure in this position. The Universe should offer trades for things like that. For instance, the Universe would offer to pull out my fingernails after working them loose with bamboo shoots in exchange for my getting an excellent review and keeping a job I like. No wait, if that were the case and I had chosen the trade, then I would be sitting here with bloody and painful finger stumps along with the job I ended up keeping anyway. The Universe has chosen wisely in giving us limited control over our futures after all.
I’ll stop that thought there, because I’m losing my train of thinking, and there was an Endless Meandering threatening. Really, I want to be eating the canned peaches I brought for lunch. Canned peaches!
Now I am going right back to the depressing place I was in yesterday, because that is where my head really is. Despite my good job news, or the Fiery One’s offer to be the god that makes me chicken soup, or the fact that I have canned peaches along with me for lunch, I just cannot rise out of yesterday’s deep feeling of futility with my usual aplomb. I’m a little stuck. This is only Day Two of this, so there’s no reason to go around cleaning up all the sharp objects and things that could moonlight as ropes just yet. I will warn you, though, to skip the next part of this entry if yesterday’s whining left you peeved. (It’s sort of like that kids’ song in which every verse is the same but sung more loudly with each repetition, ending with the words “NEXT VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST”…)
Sweaters pill, the soles of shoes wear out, the belt that drove my old vacuum cleaner constantly burned through, meat goes bad, bread goes moldy, milk sours, good haircuts grow out, dye jobs fade, screw holes strip and loosen, made beds are slept in, soap scum persistently reappears in one corner of the shower, fingernails and toenails need clipping, pets get old, dust settles and settles and settles, filing builds up, pens run out of ink, no cold is my last, my favourite pants need replacing, each pint glass has its bottom, shaved legs grow stubble, clean dishes are used and dirtied, cracks run up nearly every wall in our apartment, my parents are growing noticeably older, my brother grows noticeably more disabled with each visit, there is a dead fly on the windowsill, my plants are wilting, no matter what I have eaten, I will become hungry again shortly.
Everything just keeps happening. Over and over, I can buy something anew, cut, dye, fix, make, clean, clip, file, regain my health, shave, water. It all comes back and back and back again. There is no end to it. I want to do most things once, and then forget them. The constant upkeep is exhausting for me. What is truly wearisome, is that my mind has split things into two categories today: “Things That Require Constant Upkeep” and “Things I Have No Control Over”. I can do my best to remember to water the plants and then actually do it when it occurs to me again and again; my brother’s advancing disability is not a thing that can be washed, clipped, spackled, or screwed back into place. Neither list seems better than the other. With “Things That Require Constant Upkeep”, I am faced with the constant cycle of revisiting the same activities over and over without end until death in an effort to keep things to a certain order, and with “Things I Have No Control Over”, I am faced with the constant cycle of the uncontrollable devolution of everything else.
I suppose part of the reason that I keep revisiting this mindset is that I cannot seem to keep myself from always looking forward and backward, as though I am looking both ways before crossing the street, gauging what I will do now by the two ends of the spectrum in my life where I am not. I look ahead and look back and then grow weary of all the repetition, when in the actual moment I am doing nothing more than cowering under a blanket. I suppose some would find cowering under a blanket wearisome. I am beginning to think that I definitely do.
Okay, and with that, I am done. No real need to complete that thought, anyway, don’t you agree? I am going to delight in my canned peaches, because they are very effective cloudbusters, and you should go indulge in something delightful as well. Delight doesn’t give a whit whether it is meaningful or meaningless. Go forth!
– Gjertrud Schnackenberg
The scene within the paperweight is calm,
A small white house, a laughing man and wife,
Deep snow. I turn it over in my palm
And watch it snowing in another life,
Another world, and from this scene learn what
It is to stand apart: she serves him tea
Once and forever, dressed from head to foot
As she is always dressed. In this toy, history
Sifts down through the glass like snow, and we
Wonder if her single deed tells much
Or little of the way she loves, and whether he
Sees shadows in the sky. Beyond our touch,
Beyond our lives, they laugh, and drink their tea.
We look at them just as the winter night
With its vast empty spaces bends to see
Our isolated little world of light,
Covered with snow, and snow in clouds above it,
And drifts and swirls too deep to understand.
Still, I must try to think a little of it,
With so much winter in my head and hand.
Many apologies to Mr. Saucy for the lack of links. Give me a day or two when I might give a shit.