an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Monday, November 27, 2006

winter break, week two


With rest, so much depression. Only with enormous effort am I crawling out from beneath the crash that always throws me at the end of the term into a tailspin where I do nothing but hide from the final overwhelming details that bring closure to the weeks behind us. The final grading, the many letters (because they must be as well written as possible) of recommendation, travel arrangements, packing, laundry, the fourth-year review application for reappointment, and the boxes and boxes of manuscripts I'm reading for a contest I didn't win, and of course email. Because I owe everyone I know an email, including you.

Instead I started dishes and the floors or a notebook post twenty times and forgot what I was up to and lost interest in finishing so that everything around here needs doing but is impossible to get done. That there are always dishes in the sink makes me want to pull my hair out; that I must do them to keep from yanking at my head makes me want to to go back to bed. Which is forbidden. So I wander from room to room. I open a book and another book. I forget what I've read and read it over. I think: better to read in the big blue chair than on the couch. I think better to read in the tub than in the big blue chair. I pour a bath. I am too tired to undress and get into it, and once in, too tired to read or to get back out again. Too tired to dry off, find clothes.

So: enormous the effort to rise, make tea, bathe, dress, comb, and brush, and to mindfully drink the whole pot as a way of beginning to take good care again. This is the time for pulling out the delicate white teas and the pearl jasmine and the red iron pot--the beautiful dear teas I bought in my city after spending an hour in the aisle suspended between wanting to have them and paying so much for them. A twelve dollar canister of tea? Never justifiable. And yet this morning I felt just enough joy while sipping from the cup in my palms the sweet complicated layers in the tea--just enough to get on my feet and go back to work.


"and what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?"

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