Monday, January 27, 2014

This has been a get-through-it day. It helped to get through it in that it has been beautiful. So warm I opened up the doors and let the sweet clean air  rush in to sweep my floors and walls and it was such a pleasure. I did not have to let the dogs in and out and in and out one million times. They could simply step through the doorway as they chose.
That helped.
I took a walk. I can barely remember it. That's what anxiety does to me. It takes away my ability to think and process information properly. I think it must be like one of those functional black-outs they talk about which alcoholics experience. Maybe? I think that I reach a point with the anxiety where I simply have to check out and so I do and I am capable of doing dishes and taking walks and whatever simple tasks must be done but there is not a lot of cognition going on.
But I did walk. I know I did and I know it was beautiful. It must have been and besides that, I do actually and truly remember one purple azalea which had prematurely burst forth on a bush in front of an empty house on Main Street.

It's so hard to believe that tomorrow at noon cold air is going to start pouring in and then the rain which according to a National Weather Service advisory will be, "bringing a thin glaze of ice as far south as the Florida Panhandle and the Big Bend." We have no clue as to how to drive on ice around here. You might as well tell us that the roads are going to be coated with a thin glaze of cream cheese or olive oil or cherry Slurpee or okra or canned ham. That's how rare this event will be if it does indeed happen. The weather predictions lately have not been very accurate. Hard freezes are predicted and then maybe not. I hope this one doesn't happen. I looked at my own azalea bushes today and they are starting to bud and some of them are even showing color.

I remember an unexpected freeze we got once a long time ago when I lived in a different house in Lloyd. This was a house which my then-husband and I had moved from Monticello to our property in the woods about ten miles from here. He and a friend of ours restored it into livability, replacing rotten sills and putting on a front screened porch and I loved that house. It was just an old Cracker house but until we moved here, it was my favorite house ever. There was one large bedroom, one tiny bedroom that Hank and May shared, one very plain bathroom, a decent kitchen, a living room. And our friends David and Karen had come to visit one warm March day with their children and spent the night and we woke up the next morning to find that temperatures had plummeted and we had icicles hanging from the roof and we had already gone through all of our firewood (we heated with a wood stove) and it was crazy cold. I had already planted the potatoes and the peas and they were sprouting and here was all of this ice. I think we burned an old table the men broke up for fuel. I swear, I believe that's what we did. We were so young and it was an adventure and we bundled the children up and we burned that table and it was all fine.
It will all be fine if it actually freezes tomorrow too.

It has started to rain a little, as I write this, a gentle patter, a sound so soft it is barely discernible.

Another thing I did today was to sweep and tidy up what I call my office. It was originally the kitchen of this house, which was separate from the main building because of the risk of fire, I would imagine, and also because in the summer, the heat would be too much. It is such a gift- that room, even though I do not really use it very much. The boys love to play in it. Owen finds some of my treasures- an incense burner in the shape of a stone turtle, some quartz crystals, tiny booklets- and he puts them in a metal box I keep in there and we pretend Happy Birthday. He gives me the presents and then I give them to him. The boys run around the room in circles, screaming in joy, and Owen finds pens and paper and turns on the fan which is industrial strength and sounds like an airplane engine and scares Gibson to death and he runs to me and hides in my bosom.

Before my then-husband and I moved into our beautiful Cracker house, we lived in a ten-by-fifty foot trailer on our property. It was small but it was adequate. May was born in that trailer. I say "adequate" because before we lived there, we had lived in a house with no plumbing, no running water, an outhouse, barely functional electricity and no heat at all except for fireplaces which, when you lit them, caused all of the cold air to pour through the cracks in the walls and the floors, drawn by the fire in some scientific way which I do not exactly understand but swear to you- it was true. So that trailer with its relatively good insulation and its bathroom which we plumbed with running water from our well (and the day I figured out I was pregnant with May I was digging ditches through the hard red clay to run the PVC) was not a bad place to live. For awhile. But while we lived there, I would have dreams of finding a room I did not know existed. I would find a door and open it and there would be an entire room, spacious and light-filled and when I woke up from those dreams to the reality of my tiny 10 by 50 foot tin trailer, I would be so depressed. And now I have this house with rooms to spare and that one, that old kitchen, the room which is mine and mine alone, is like those trailer dreams come true. This house wends and winds its way from one end to the other. There are so many doors in it that I can fall asleep, counting them in my head. They lead from one room to another, they lead to porches and a deck. There is no shortage of doors or rooms and I cleaned one of those rooms today. My lagniappe room.

My mind is wandering tonight like the pathways in this house. When I take the folded laundry from the tiny laundry area off the kitchen to our dressers, our closets, I can choose one of two routes. I can go through the house itself or go through the back porch where I spend half of my life. Wandering. Wending. Winding.

Mr. Moon is out of town. There is nothing but the sound of the rain, now just dripping from the tin roof and those crazy frog-birds, their voices sharp notes in the darkness. I made an appointment today to start what for me is a terrifying process wherein strangers will know the darkness of the parts of my body which are hidden by skin which destroys completely my beloved illusion that we are, as Tom Robbins said in one of his books, filled not with blood and bones and organs and veins and miles of pink intestines and all of that gucky, real stuff but with white light. Pure white light. I did that. I walked. I picked some camellias, I threw away the old, browning ones, I put the new ones in vases. I printed out some documents I needed to print. I swept and tidied. I used Fabuloso and vinegar and KaBoom! I sprayed around the toilet that Owen uses and got on my hands and knees and wiped the floor and toilet clean because it was smelling like the men's room at the Texaco station. I gathered two eggs, one blue, one brown. I fed cats and dogs. I crumbled bread I had made for the chickens. I ate some food, and I can't remember what. I spent way too much time on the internet reading a blog written by a woman who is perhaps even more desperate than I am about how we need Jesus in our lives and also articles about what Madonna wore to the Grammys and how to deal with anxiety. Hope. Believe in hope. I took the trash. I made my husband his snack bag and stood at the stove and used the Whirley Pop to make him a huge bowl of popcorn and I made his coffee drink so that he could drive to Orlando without falling asleep. I have read quite a few pages of Alexander McCall Smith's newest book in the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series which is a little like taking a sweet, mild anti-anxiety medication.

The rain is pattering again. Those frog-birds are frantic. I am going to eat a left-over pork chop with a left-over sweet potato. Tomorrow morning I go back to the dentist for a final (god I hope) check there. And then Lily and the boys and I are going to do something and if we go to lunch, you can be sure we will call Hank to join us.


Here's the thing- I don't want my life to be a getting-through-it proposition. It is far too filled with goodness and richness and love for that and to merely get through it is a sin. I know that.

Well. There is hope, isn't there? For me there is not Jesus but there is hope.

On we go! Chin up! as my mother used to tell me.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. I had that dream about a very small, 2 bedroom Jim Walters house on stilts we lived in with 5 children in rural MS.

    Waiting for the ice and snow in Atlanta to hit tomorrow too.

  2. Lunch! I'm for it! May and I both have where did this room come from? dreams, but we both credit living in Short Street house with all those odd little attics.

  3. I love this! I know the stories of your children's births almost by heart. I love that I know that. Please don't stop telling your stories.

  4. Yes, I know the feeling of not remembering things because of anxiety. It is that damned fight, flight or freeze response. All you can think about is the moment you are in, or even worse, that fucking ruminating about everything but what is going on in the moment. My god...that makes no sense. But it does.

  5. Well, just because you're getting through it today doesn't mean you'll be getting through it FOREVER. You know?

    Your descriptions of your houses, both past and present, are so wonderful. I can really visualize all these places. You do seem to have an incredible house now. They say that space is the truest luxury (whoever THEY are).

    I've noticed lots of little flowers coming up here too, and I'm having my usual worries about them appearing too soon. I don't expect to have to break up a table anytime soon, though.

  6. I love hearing your stories of your previous lives and loves --

  7. I always forget that not everyone knows how to drive on ice and snow.
    Remembering where we've been helps us be grateful for where we are. You have that, and I love you for it.

  8. Kristin- It is probably very common. Be careful in the cold!

    Mr. Downtown- We'll call you!

    SJ- I probably won't stop until I can't anymore. I love you for knowing my life so well.

    Birdie- It's a mindfuck. Seriously.

    Steve Reed- Haha! No. You probably won't have to break up a table. The little flowers will be okay. I bet they will.

    Elizabeth- I've lived in some places. I've loved some folks.

    Mrs. A- I'll try, sweetie.

    heartinhand- I am grateful for most of it. Truly I am.

  9. On you will go, though the hacken-cracks howl.
    On you will go, though the weather be foul.

  10. This is lovely. You know, hope is not that easy. We are taught not to hope for fear we will be disappointed, and so when we dare to hope, it comes hand in hand with often crippling anxiety, at least in my experience. I mean, whats the big deal if we hope something and it doesn't come to pass? It's already happened so many times that our hopes were dashed and we survived. So why is it so hard to just trust that whatever comes, we will survive it. History shows this to be so. Today I'm trying to throw caution to the winds and just hope. So I love the hopeful note in this post, and ultimately, whether its a down day or an up day, in you. xo

  11. And what you wrote over on Elizabeth's blog? Perfect.

  12. This post drew me right to you, Mrs. Moon. Zip. West coast to east, just like that. I know the anxiety amnesia well. It's the strangest feeling. Wait. What did I just do. Where am I? Frightening and such a relief when I catch myself before I have fallen into some unconscious hole. Purple azaleas can be anchors then.

    And the room--the missing room. When my oldest daughter was an infant, and we were living in 400 sq. feet and I felt my whole life closing in on me. I woke--or thought I woke--to find a door painted over in our tiny hallway. What's this? I asked my husband, and I pried the door open to find the most beautiful empty white room.

    Sending warmth. And wondering what I would burn to stay warm.

  13. Stephanie- What a perfect quote! Thank you!

    Angella- Yay! Let's put our hope in hope! Might as well. And I think about what your mother says- put your faith in hope, not in your fear. I think of that all the time. It is sometimes impossible for me to do but it is something aspire to.
    And what I wrote on Elizabeth's blog was my heart.

    Denise- It's scary, isn't it? Yes my god it is. For me, at least. And it's wrong. We shouldn't be going through life not remembering what we did a few minutes ago because our brains have had to deal with all this CRAP! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.
    And that dream- it must be so common. It was always sort of beautiful.

  14. Hope that the old house is keeping you warm. It is sleeting here now. I expect we will lose power on the island over the night. It happens even in severe thunderstorms.

    I think your old house sounds just fine. We have all come a long way from where we started. Who knows where we end up.

  15. Syd- I am cozy as the rain pours outside. I hope that neither you NOR I lose power tonight. And there is no telling where we will end up. None at all.

  16. I'm forever working backwards through your posts, and it makes me anxious to worry I might have missed one this lovely, evocative and interesting.
    Not everyone can understand the minimalist hippie lifestyle. I did only a summer of one room cabin and tiny woodstove, a bed and a bare bulb. But the world was outside my door and I felt on top of the world myself. I marvel sometimes at who that fearless young woman was, don't you, when you look back at those different lives?
    I love your house now, it is perfect. Keep telling us all about it, and I hope that takes distracts or entertains you.
    My inability to remember I'm blaming on sleep, maybe a little stress, and getting older. But I still can have a blue ribbon panic attack that it's denentia. That's what I do for fun, it seems.


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