Wednesday, December 15, 2010
And Thus, It Begins
Well, it began last night, the horrible waking-up in panic that I am not ready for Christmas and it is days away.
It was a bad night.
When I'm in a play, I go through my lines to myself to get to sleep. Usually this works well but in last night's half-in-sleep performance, I kept getting stuck at one line. I say, "Annelle? Get Miss Clairee some paper. I think there's some stuck on the Frigidaire under the crawfish."
This I can say.
And then there's a line which the directors have eliminated. It is, "Here's that article on Princess Di."
I can remember that line despite the fact that I am not going to be saying it.
And then, and then...
I thought I had it but wasn't sure.
All night long I woke up and wondered.
The women in this play are amazing.
Except for me. I am the weakest link. No. Trust me.
Anyway, it wasn't just the play. I'd roll those lines over and over in my brain-palm until it was dirty with the effort and then the panic of Christmas.
I haven't sent cards. I haven't gotten all the gifts. I haven't planned a Christmas Eve supper. I haven't...
It was like my mind couldn't pick out the worst thing to worry about- Christmas or the play and so it kept bouncing back and forth between them.
"under the crawfish...."
I'm not ready. Cards, gifts, wrapping. A tree. We don't even have a tree.
I hate this.
Why does the thought of getting out those old and cherished ornaments put me in a funk so deep I want to declare insanity and go check into a facility?
Because the babies who made those precious ornaments are gone, grown up, and I can't hold them in my hands without mourning them.
It makes me cry to think about it.
Every ornament a memory and me? I'd just as soon not have to plunge so far back down. Christmas was not always good.
Never did enough, never made it magic.
Babies, oh, babies.
The ornaments Lynn got me. She's gone. The ornaments Sue got me. She's gone. The little Chinese couple that ride in the canoe was given to me by my beloved first mother-in-law. She's gone.
Instead of remembering with a smile on my face and one tiny tear of emotion, I want to sob.
The dreams last night. Michelle came to see me. She was as slender as you'd imagine, she wore yellow and reminded me of a lily, so pretty. We were camping rough by the water. I do not know why.
We bought a restaurant in St. Augustine. It was New Years. I was so tired and I kept having to ask questions, even though all I was doing was washing dishes. May knew everything. Everything. Owen was in my arms.
Then a small black mouse was trying to bite me in a cabin. He turned into a rat and his teeth were fierce.
Then he turned into a kitten and ran to his mother.
Oh what. What, what does it mean?
And see- Kathleen, who has cancer, who is in treatment for cancer, who is tired and worn-out and worrying about everything has shopped and written cards and made beautiful bags to put her presents in and sent packages all the way to Europe and who-knows-where-else, and put up a tree and probably baked too. She is knitting, she is sewing, she is filled with love and accomplishment.
Me. I sit here, healthy as a damn horse, whimpering in the corner.
I was happy as a goose yesterday, filling the crockpot, doing laundry, going over lines.
Today the goose realizes that the celery and the nuts in the kitchen are going inside of her. Very soon.
Children- come and take these ornaments. They are yours.
Children- tell me how to make Christmas magic enough and how not to ruin it.
Children- do you know I am so sorry I am like this?
Children- I love you so much that I am paralyzed when it comes to Christmas.
The rat bites down and I look at my finger and there are scratches but no blood. The rat becomes cat, a rooster walks into the road and he does not cross to the other side.
under the crawfish...
Jesu, joy of man's desiring.
Hello, Michelle, hello.
Children, forgive me. Husband, forgive me. Friends, forgive me.