Wednesday, March 07, 2007
neither here nor there
I suspect that only the very holy and the very ambitious live their lives according to a clearly articulated Mission Statement. The rest of us have less clearly thought-out goals (mostly short-term), habits, and expectations. We know that the world will be more or less the same every morning as it was when we went to bed the night before.
In fact, I suspect that most people avoid thinking too hard about all of those big "what are we doing with our lives" questions. The questions are too thorny to grapple with on a regular basis. In my life, these sorts of questions get addressed very late at night, either in a bout of insomnia, over one too many drinks, or angrily and at the top of our lungs. I tend to ignore these things until I feel really riled up, and then things come spilling out messily. Lots of passion, not much resolution.
And as far as the questions of "who am I?" Well, that's even trickier. I think we define ourselves by what we do, and what we wish to do. But, again, I think we often avoid thinking about these subjects, because they are so complicated.
Immediately following Robb's accident, I flipped a switch in my brain.
I stopped thinking (read: worrying) about the future, because we had no idea what the future would bring. I adopted the attitude that I was going to think about the moment I was living in, and just sort of ignore the other stuff, because there was nothing I could do about that, anyway. The future? Too many unknowns. Too scary. No point speculating about things we know nothing about.
Robb adopted a similar zen-like stance. He decided that his job from that time forward was to be the patient, and to do everything he could to improve the chances of his recovery.
Now, a year later, I'm probing these questions. And it is about as pleasant as poking at a sore tooth with my tongue.
Robb had been an actor, and an artist, and a teacher. We were hikers, and thing-makers. We had a lot of energy, some of which actually got channeled into useful activities.
And now? Due to the current state of Robb's health, he is able to sit in a chair for somewhere between forty minutes and two hours before he has to go lie down. By nine o'clock at night he is completely wrung out, and he goes to bed, leaving me to bump around the apartment. His energy level fluctuates, and we never know how much or how little he'll be able to do. And, if this isn't Too Much Information, he needs to be near a bathroom at all times.
So, that's the Now. As far as the Later, we still have no idea. Doctors don't know, and won't speculate. I live in a weird limbo-land between not wanting to get my hopes up, and being wildly, stubbornly optimistic.
However, this state of limbo is no way to live my life for extended periods of time. I'm doing fine at work, and accomplishing all my tasks. But at home, I feel weirdly rudderless. I tend to drift from thing to thing, and end up getting almost nothing done. I spend way too much time fooling around with nothing important. I'm almost incapable of finishing any creative project (not that I'm starting that many, either). I'm not making social plans, because of some weird unspecified discomfort. I'm not depressed. I'm just sort of floating, aimlessly. I feel very unfocused.
I really did put my life on hold after the accident, which, I believe, was the right thing to do.
But how do I get things back on a normal, productive, future-thinking track? I wish I knew.
Today's photo is from the farmhouse where I lived when I ran the paint shop for the Glimmerglass Opera. Over the course of the last two summers that I lived there, I had twenty cats (a dozen the first summer, and eight the second) neutered or spayed and tested and immunized for kitty diseases. I think that this particular sweet girlie is the mother of our kitty Linguine.