That is the picture of a rose whose vine/stem has inserted itself in the fringe of a banana leaf. I took the picture this morning when, even though I could not seem to stop crying, I was still able to see the beauty in the day.
It's been a hard one and I am so tired now.
Let's face it- I am not meant for Christmas.
I didn't want to get out of bed this morning. I wanted to stay right there in the warm covers with the cool breeze blowing over me, drifting back down under where nothing matters. But of course one must get up. And I did.
I'm simply feeling overwhelmed and unable to function which is stupid because there is no reason for me to be overwhelmed. It's not like I'm going to be making Christmas dinner for fifty or actually, anyone, and I have enough money to buy my family presents and they know I love them and I don't have to prove my love to them with gifts anyway. I sternly lectured myself with all of these logical facts but it did no good at all and in fact, only served to make me feel worse because if I would just get off my ass and out of my head and be grateful for everything that I have and quit being such a fucking little wussy, everything would be fine and GODDAM IT, WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?
Well. Something. Obviously.
I did laundry. I hung it on the line. I took the trash. I made the bed. I went to the post office. I cried through all of these things.
I got dressed in town clothes and drove to Home Goods to look for presents and it was horrible. So many people and so much pure junk, destined to be in landfills sooner rather than later and the aisles were blocked by people with carts and my mind was whirling away to somewhere else and I had to keep reorienting myself in space and time and the whole time I was there I was beating myself up because I'd run into someone in another store where I'd gone to look for shoes and I KNEW I knew this person and knew her fairly well and she hugged me and I hugged her back and we talked about kids and grandkids and for the life of me I could not figure out who she was.
I'm losing my mind, I'm losing my mind, I'm losing my mind kept chugging through my head like a broken belt in a car engine, whirling and snapping.
I bought one thing. One thing. It's an okay thing. It was a made-in-Mexico thing. When I checked out, the cashier looked as if she'd been crying. We both asked the other how we were doing and we both lied and said, "Fine, thank-you!" as if we were.
Then I went to TJ Maxx where it wasn't as crowded but there was nothing that I wanted to buy anyone. I drove to a kitchen supply store and that was okay because it's a smallish local place and I found what I wanted quickly and there weren't many people there and then I had to go to Publix and I did and by the time I got home it was four o'clock and I had to get laundry off the line and folded and put away and the dishwasher unloaded and buns made for Tennessee barbecue and a salad picked from the garden and I did all of those things too.
Kale and bok choy and baby collards and mustards and arugula and two different types of lettuce. I rinsed the leaves and they are resting, wrapped in a clean dish towel in the refrigerator.
Those. Those are real. That is what I can handle. Something tiny that I made happen that grew from seeds I planted and that I weeded and picked and washed and will dress with a little olive oil, a little vinegar, some salt, some pepper.
That is what I am capable of.
I finally remembered who the woman is that I ran into at the shoe store. She was our postmistress for awhile here in Lloyd. We talked almost every day. We shared stories. She invited me to her house for some sort of thing which I did not go to. But I liked her. Despite the fact that I didn't know who she was when I saw her today, I could remember that I liked her.
I still don't remember her name.
I'm losing my mind, I'm losing my mind.
I am losing my mind.
Whip, whip, whip goes the radiator belt.
Ellen, your roses are still blooming. They smell sweet and deep and spicy and wild and like the skin of the Virgin of Guadalupe if the Virgin of Guadalupe was real or maybe like the hair of Frida Kahlo who was most certainly real after she rinsed it with rose water and combed it out in the sun in her garden.
I need to go make supper.