Thursday, July 07, 2005

I need to whine, do you mind?

I'm sick today. I've slept most of the day, or simply lain prostrate on the creaky couch the rest of the day. I avoided watching television, but I did watch a netflix episode of The X-Files (I'm on season 8. As soon as the show ended two or so years ago, I began renting DVDs of the very beginning and watching it straight through, to fill in all the gaps. Now I'm going to cry when it's over again).

A darkness settles over me when I'm ill. And I've never been deathly ill, even, only flus and colds, and one case of walking pneumonia. But still, this shadow creeps in, and I feel strangely morbid, and think a lot about death and pain and sorrow. It's unpleasant and I'm doing my best to shake it off by reading when I can keep my eyes open long enough, or exchanging emails, or thinking about my friend Ingrid's new baby or other uplifting things.

What's weirder today is that this has actually been a day of death and pain and sorrow. First, the attacks in London. Fortunately, the only friends I have there are okay, though shaken and sad, but I feel for those who have lost someone or were injured. Plus I cringe at the instant hype of "terror attacks" and the subsequent frenzy that is likely to happen in its wake, with Dubya strapping on more rhetoric, sending more soldiers to Iraq and likely delivering yet more ear-polluting speeches about how we all have to come together again because terror is ever more on the make, and while we're at it we should just not look into this whole Karl Rove-as-possible-scumbag debacle, and would we please just look the other way while he installs another hyper-conservative judge in O'Connor's place?

Then, I get news of a former writing instructor of mine, a lively, talented unstoppable type, hospitalized with some kind of unidentifiable tumors in her liver, and fluid in her lungs. So I'm putting great energy into thoughts that the tumors are benign, and she will heal quickly and it's just the universe's way of telling her to take some time for herself.

Then I hear that bald guy's woman broke her ankle. So it really convinces the hippie child in me that something planetary is going on. And I really hope that's the worst of it. I would rather hear more about new babies, publishing contracts among my writer friends, garden bounty and inspired new ideas. I love knowing that young Lara is starting college at Berkeley, that my sister is beginning high school in fall, that there is newness and beginnings along with the spate of endings, or other states of limbo.

I wonder too, though, if my own sickness, which I kept thinking was going to hit me last week, is a little message about the pace of things. I kept feeling sluggish and ill upon returning home, but then the next day it would be better. So twice last week I actually went jogging (in the heat too, dummy!)...and so why did it choose today to finally slug me in the face? (Yes, I give intelligent characteristics to the virus in my body).

I have really been trying to stay slow and not go into stress. I've got a lot on my plate, but it always got done in the past and was never helped along by my worry. So I'm determined not to freak out. I'm determined to move gracefully and patiently through my life. Which is why I have given in to being sick today. I can't get anything done, and to try to push through it is just a guarantee of prolonging it. With this kind of rest, I could be better by tomorrow afternoon.

But I must say this. The way things ended at Bennington, none of us did a very good job of expressing any emotions to one another. I certainly couldn't. And now, I really am starting to sort of grieve the end. There are locked up feelings about it I want to get out of me. I can't explain it better than that. Even as I feel completely spent on the program, and can't imagine having to go through another semester, I'm an emotional person, and I experience the world primarily through that center of myself. So something is a little stuck in there, and I've got to find a way to move it.

Thanks for listening to me gripe.


At 10:28 AM, Blogger Sharon Hurlbut said...

I hope you're feeling better today, Jordan! I believe it's perfectly natural to grieve the end of such a seminal period in your life. I know I had a serious case of what I termed 'post-partum' depression when I completed my PhD.

It's a huge moment of change for you, and it's not surprising it might affect you emotionally and physically. Go ahead and mourn for what you're leaving behind. Just be sure to look ahead, too.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Thanks, Sharon. I hear you. I actually am doing a decent job of looking forward to the future. That's what's so interesting about this place in my life. I'm sad about the end of things, but jazzed about the beginning and continuance of other things. And besides, it's more fun to blog about the negative than the positive :)

Plus, as writers, we never truly graduate, do we?


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