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Old 04-03-2013, 02:36 AM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 412
Default Walking and Falling

I've experienced what I can only describe as a wobble in the relative equanimity of the past week and a half.

On Saturday and Sunday I was feeling just fine. The giddiness I was feeling at the end of last week carried over into the weekend . . . but I found myself worrying about it, a little. Everything seemed so clear; I felt I had achieved some new level of self-understanding, I had transcended previous tensions and contradictions and achieved a new insight, a new synthesis.

It was all terribly Hegelian, for anyone who knows what I mean by that.

I nearly got swept up in it, but I issued two cautions to myself. The first was that I had been here before, riding high on self-confidence, ready to cast off old props and soar . . . only to come back down hard.

The second was an effort to be even-handed in my skepticism: if I'm going to hold my anxiety and panic at arm's length to examine them, I should do the same to my giddy exuberance.

It seemed a lot harder to get critical distance from abounding joy than it has been to get critical distance from anxiety, though.

I'm glad I tried, because it saved me a crashing disappointment.

What got me, I think, was the state of my household, which does tend to get more and more cluttered with only me and (occasionally, reluctantly) the girls to look after it. Vix really does a lot to help hold things together, when she's here.

So, the panic snuck back, as did a sense of grievance at Vix for running off to gallivant around Europe with her boyfriend!

I struggled with this darker mood last night and all this morning. I told Vix about it, chatting on Facebook, but simply as a factual report about the state of me, and about my efforts to address the issue.

What I've come back around to is that I need to attend carefully to what I can do, and to those things for which I ought really to be responsible. The dishes piled in the sink were not really Vix's fault, but a consequence of the fact that I went off on a spontaneous road trip with the girls on Saturday - a lot of fun, that was, and a chance to see a dear friend of ours - which got us back late, which made Sunday a slow and sleepy day in which little was accomplished, etc.

Then, my attempt to be more diligent in organizing my work life left me with a too-long to-do list, which had me up until midnight last night, knowing I had to get up at six to get the day started, get the girls off to school, and go teach . . . then, after a long day, I would have to clean up enough to have friends over to play some music.

The thing is, when I look at it more critically, it's all so utterly manageable, especially when I can get the girls to help out.

That's something else for which I can take responsibility: getting the girls more involved in helping maintain the household, as should be expected of children and teens.

Woven through all this is the fact that I had to postpone my lunch with Nyx, scheduled for yesterday, because of the encroachment of meetings with Important People at work, and that I hadn't heard from Metis since late last week.

By the way, I think I'm still pretty much in love with Metis. What's changed, though, is that it's not a secret any more. I've told her about it and, even though she doesn't reciprocate, neither has she turned away from me. Whereas I experienced my "crush" on her as an ache or a kind of pressure, now I just feel a lot of affection for her, without any pressure or tension in it.

I'll be having lunch with Nyx tomorrow, I exchanged emails with Metis today, and I manged to clear the sink and do some straightening and vacuuming, schlep the girls hither and yon, and make dinner in time for an evening of playing music. Some combination of those things, a nice online chat with Vix, and stunningly beautiful spring weather have conspired to stabilize my mood.

I have a long to-do list still to deal with, but I think I'll be able to handle it.

I'm not quite as giddy as I was late last week, and that's probably a good thing. That kind of exuberance worries me more than a little. Instead, I'm calm and basically happy.

I think my vigilance has paid off, in this sense: what might have been a crash into despair and despondency instead yielded only a wobble, and a short-lived one at that.

Thinking of it in those terms brought to mind an old Laurie Anderson piece from the 1980s, which lends its title to this post: Walking and Falling

(If you don't know about Laurie Anderson, it's hard to explain what it is she does, exactly.)
You're walking. And you don't always realize it,
but you're always falling.
With each step you fall forward slightly.
And then catch yourself from falling.
Over and over, you're falling.
And then catching yourself from falling.
And this is how you can be walking and falling
at the same time.

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 04-03-2013 at 03:00 AM.
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