Sometimes, the sun is out. No more often than you’d expect in December. But it’s a gift. All light is a gift.
December is not like last December. A year ago was brand new, vibrant, scary, without precedent. This year is more measured, but feels more lost. Is it darkness after Texas sun? Pills? The sudden interest from employers during a slow month? The therapist says it’s a release of expectations, freedom’s vertigo. I pay cash to see the therapist now, so save her for special occasions.
I am taking a class, now ending. It’s gone well. I’ve made at least some solid acquaintances and have learned an important thing: in some instances, I do not make things harder than necessary.
Anxiety has been bad. Pacing, unable to breathe, filled with an unreasonable, faceless sense of collapse. It seems related to running out of pills in Texas, pills I didn’t think I needed. Anxiety, like joy, has an ineffable and exclusionary quality: while experiencing one, you can’t remember the other. The world has always been fabulous or terrible. Can pills do that? I refilled the pills. It’s much, much better.
The therapist describes “doorknob moments”: last minutes of the session where important things come out because there’s not enough time to talk about them. She ran with my Texas visit and the rich mine of parents, breaking with the past and living in the now-to-future. I wanted to talk about writing. She recommends a novel, Cutting for Stone. Giving up for a job, or taking time off and being exhausted and frustrated are two extremes. Is there something else? In the end she says it’s part of my identity.
My friend I haven’t talked to in a year calls Tuesday. He has a novel coming out next year, is keeping up with the teaching. A thousand words a day, that’s three months for a ninety-thousand word first draft. You can do that, man. I feel energized out of the panic. I have been making lists. I have been working not on this blog.
Tomorrow I have a promising interview. Next week I have a quick job. If you’re offered a job in the Second Great Depression, I tell people, I’ve concluded it’s smart to take it. I’m open to what’s being offered.
I discover SuperVivid on my little camera. Colors leap out and bloom like the days when TV cameras had tubes in them, but the little camera has that digital smoothness. Every bit of brilliance is quantified. The pictures are spectacular and alive, their origin as calculations obscured and irrelevant. The meaning is not in the numbers, but in us.
Christmas brings lights and candy.