I’m eating chocolate and feel lazy and fat, her message said, I hope you feel better than me.
Nop, I’m not doing any better than you, I wrote back. . . . Swap chocolate for ouzo (while in Greece) and we’re in the same canoe.
It’s not as if I didn’t know this was coming. I had even told her, on Monday, that I need to mind myself and not overdo things, with the full moon coming up this Saturday.
I wasn’t listening to myself then and paid no heed to my own advice on Tuesday when I rose with a bounce and raced ahead all day—writing and editing my own and other’s manuscript—till long into the night.
I was on a high going to bed. Cooking with gas, I said to myself, turning out the light and firing up the Kindle to continue reading Fatherless.
Still fully charged I got up yesterday morning, but it didn’t last long. Was I a bit manic? I’ve never thought of myself as manic before. I had an accountability call at 10 and a Writing-Sprint at 10:45, where I had Karin all to myself for a short spell. She’s a bit of a spiritual oracle.
Karin spoke about Grief and Memoirs.
Grief, she explained, is no more than an overwhelming feeling of loss. When it pertains to the death of a person, grief related to the loss of someone we projected our xyz onto. As she spoke, I, of course, was thinking of my relationship with my father. What she said made sense. With him gone there are no-one left to project my internal feeling of abandonment onto . . . . shit, yes.
“The opposite of grief,” according to Karin, “is to do what makes you happy.” Good Memoirs, therefore, do not linger over how the writer lives with her grief, but how she journey towards living the life she desires. “Acknowledge your grief and the pain, but then move on. Dwelling forever on grief only perpetuate grief. Before we know it, we have cast our internal grief onto our external world. That’s when things start to go wrong. A leak in the bathroom, the car won’t start, stomach upset, a lockdown . . . Covid?
I’m not going into the rest of our conversation here other than to say it was interesting. By 11:15 it was time to write the next chapter, after that—I promised myself—I would go for a mountain walk. . . when will I ever learn?
I should have gone for the walk first. By 2:30 I was so frazzled and tired, from failing to write anything of substance, the only walk I could muster was from the office to the bedroom and down Youtube lane . . . where I met Ruby Wax.
DING! The lightbulb went on. I was having a mental break. Not a breakdown, just a break.
Then my new vacuum cleaner arrived. When I struggled to read the instructions—which were pretty much just pictures—I knew I was ‘losing it’. I managed to crack the code and plug the hoover battery in, to charge.
Surely, with my pupu platter of mental ailments, I wouldn’t be welcomed through the doors of Ruby’s Frazzled Cafe? But, she did say that everyone is welcome.
“What’s the weather condition in your head today?”
This is what Ruby asks, instead of “How are you?”
“How are you?” Usually spurs the same ol’ answer; “I’m ok.”
So, just in case she would ask me, I wrote out my weather condition:
It’s foggy. Someone has taken down all my guideposts and thrown them in a big heap in the middle of an overgrown field. I’m Lost and I feel Frazzled.
With that, I knew I’d be fine. After The Frazzled Cafe, I felt a bit better. Took a shower, went to bed and wrote, longhand, the next chapter.
So no, I’m not better than my friend. I’m ok, a bit manic, but that’s the energy of the moon and the rest of this crazy time on earth. It might sound weird but it’s how it is, for me, when the moon grows full and I forget to take a break.
Feeling Frazzled? Stop off at Ruby’s Cafe.
Have a happy, even if frazzled, chocolate-eating, ouzo-drinking, moon-rising kind of a day.
Love and Light