Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hiding Place

I came across this handsome turtle on my walk this morning, his or her back end covered in duckweed from the pond right next to the path where we met up. I know this turtle, I have seen it before, its shell more shiny than any I have ever seen, almost lacquered looking. I was glad to see it.
I took its picture and went on my way and by the time I came back down the path, he or she had disappeared into the woods and once again I thought about all the creatures which may see me pass by which I never even realize are there, registering or not registering my presence because it does not matter in the least to them.

I feel flat and uninspired today and on the verge of tears for no reason. In my head I go through the litany of all the ways I fail, that I am not good enough and I try to dismiss them, get on with it, but the list stays there in place, ready to be roused at any moment, ready for me to begin to tick the items off again, one by one. The garden overgrown already, the ridiculous annoyances I projected onto my grandson yesterday, the meal I made last night, my inability to go out into the world and engage with it, my weight, my (lack of) writing, the mildew in the bathrooms, the words I could not say to my mother as she died, the words I could not say to her when she was alive, and on and on and on. It never ends. The items loop and loop, like an iPod with twenty songs on continual shuffle.

And then the next list begins. Things to do to get ready to leave tomorrow and things to do to get ready to go out of town again next weekend, something which should be so much fun, a trip down south my sister-in-law has arranged to celebrate her birthday and my husband's and all of it is just overwhelming to me and so add to the first list ungrateful bitch, silly, silly depressive bitch, self-centered neurotic woman.

Grow up, I tell myself. Grow up, get up, just deal with it all.

I think of places I have been happy, I think of places I feel as if I have left pieces of my soul for safekeeping. They are all by the water, they are all hidden from sight. I am homesick right now for each and every one of them. There are creatures there and trees too, and my ghostly bits of soul do not disturb them one bit. They go on their way, duckweed on their butts, they do not miss me at all nor should they, even as I long to be hidden among them.


  1. Every day I dare myself to burn those lists.
    You have the ability to turn an overcast morning into a beautiful piece of writing.

  2. Citalopram has stopped me doing that, the negative cycling, remarkably effectively. Far better than I expected.

    The question now is how to dare to get off it and actually stop doing it all together instead of just masking the problem. As yet, I have no idea.

  3. What strikes me here is how perfectly the turtle appeared on your path, and if I could extend the metaphor, I'd suggest that days like today (for you) are best pulled inside. Does that make sense? You, like the turtle, have a beautiful, near glossy exterior and are tender on the inside, still beautiful but in need of protection. I hope your perceived inadequacies leave you as quickly as that turtle appeared and disappeared on your walk. And I'm sending you love, to boot.

  4. I don't have lists. I just look about and take first things first. And then let the others slide if I want to until tomorrow. I know what you mean about those special places. I am wanting to be near mine right now, but my wife leaves for Nantucket tomorrow and then I will be here alone. I'm already missing her.

  5. Love to you Mrs. Mary Moon. Love and solidarity.

  6. I'm sorry you're feeling this Mary. I can't say these things any better than Elizabeth does above. And you've written out your feelings beautifully here.

    But i can send love and encouragement across the miles, so i'll do that. All these things make you you, and you're a wonderful, compassionate human being. Don't forget it! Maybe turtle knew you were coming and came out to see you? Sort of.. though still in her shell? We never know. Nature knows us better than we know IT for sure.

  7. You show me that even as grown-ups we will have these moments and we will live through them, with a little help from our friends!I hope you can be a bit stronger for knowing that you are never alone with this or anything else! Sending peaceful vibes your way...

  8. Strength, Mary. You're way bigger than this internal conversation. It happens inside of your big brain, but it's just one of many much more fabulous things happening in there.

  9. Dang! That Elizabeth put it so much better than I ever could!

    All these creatures out here in the internet see you and register your presence, bear witness to your life.
    Rejoice and cry with you.
    send you love and support.

  10. Elizabeth is right, you're the turtle.
    Here's the thing with happiness, it comes and it goes. No one has any right to tell anyone that they should "be happier." Humans are allowed to feel sadness, selfishness, grouchiness, snappy, zippy, fleeting feelings. It's what separates us from the apes.
    If you start flinging your own turds, then we have a problem. Til then, keep on keeping on, moods be damned.

  11. Possible? inside you is a sad little girl who misses her mother, the one she had and the one she dreamed of having. every new death reminds me of my father's. so hide. put your bludgeons away. lick your wounds and know that you are so very loved. and this weekend, it will be okay once you get on the road, it always is, even when it isn't. xo

  12. I bet that turtle went home and blogged about running into you on his daily walk. "I know this woman; I've seen her before," he starts.

  13. I feel homesick all the time for all the places I've left myself. And somehow I keep finding more and more to give and new places to give them to. I feel empty and full all at the same time. Strange.

    Say hello to your turtle for me the next time you see him. xoxo

  14. I can't add much to Elizabeth's response above. You know this is all in your brain -- an artificial construct you've created, a set of arbitrary standards. I wish we could all THINK more like that turtle, turning off our inner voices and just rumbling along, pulling in when an external danger appears, cautiously extending when it's time to move again. Getting duckweed on our butts. Enjoying our days.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.