Composition, composure: hurricane's eye
Two-forty-five. A raging case of insomnia if there ever was one, and oh, what a night to have it. The soothing cup of tea and my most recent read were both finished two hours ago. The ink that's flowed out of my pen for the last thirty minutes has formed itself into words centering mostly around the idea of 'forgiveness.'
After finishing up on code work for the night, I did something silly. Utterly stupid, in fact. Something that I know better than to do, and yet I did it anyway: I looked at the sites for other bits of journaling software.
I came away angry—an emotion I seem to know too well these days. Angry at myself for knowing that my innate perfectionism will cause me to kick myself for being unable (or unwilling) to write a piece of journaling software that is the best of its kind, even though it suits my needs perfectly. Angry at myself for throwing myself wholeheartedly into this project after Dad died in March, knowing good and well that it was as much therapy as it was teaching myself to handle a large coding project.
Sometimes I think that if I spent half as much time knitting as I spent just annoyed with myself, that all my friends would have sweaters for Christmas.
I think about forgiveness a lot, in the same way that an unrepentant sinner idly contemplates confession on Saturday night; as something to be done—eventually. Later. Preferably tomorrow. Or the next Sunday.
I think about forgiveness a lot because the surge of pain and anger (at Fate, at God, at whoever is stupid enough or strong enough to stand in my way) at least reminds me that I am alive. With living comes the capacity to feel. Forgiveness is my secret toothache; I prod it occasionally with my tongue and it responds, reasserting its presence briefly before fading back into the silence.
I am angry because I am numb, and I am angry in the hopes that it will banish the numbness. Stay angry, young girl, and perhaps it will cause you to wake up one morning with a strong and vivid plan of how, exactly, to get on with your life.
Yet I still can't find a way to just—react—when someone asks me how I'm doing. More often than not, my responses are weighed, measured, calculated, and cut to size (with allowance for shrinkage) before being presented to others. Better, perhaps, just to draw a box in the air with my hands, point, and say, "This is where the scream would go, if I let it out."
Shortly after Mom told me Dad's cancer prognosis (read: fifteen seconds after the call ended) I started reading up everything I could about what he had and what we should expect. Everything I read came down to a brutal psychological statement: that the three most painful life experiences are the death of one's parent, the death of one's spouse, and the death of one's child.
They don't tell you that you become the hurricane's eye, the central point of stasis around which the anger swirls, destroying everything in its path.
I can deal with my memories of the oncology ward and everything after because I can write about them. In composition comes composure. With the end of the piece comes the recession of the anger; it goes back to its corner and I go back to mine.
As long as there are words, I will be just fine.
* * * * *
See? Calm now. Yes, I know your bill for therapy is something along the lines of three hundred dollars per hour, but will you locals settle for coming over to my house on the 4th and shooting off fireworks? That, and maybe a freshly-baked dessert, is all you're likely to get…