falling off the curb into the woods

why it happens, its frequency, i don’t necessarily get. i don’t get my teetering plunge as an able bodied semi intelligent relatively conscious entity. but it happens. typically i skirt my writing around it. avoid it. shove it away. pretend it isn’t so. snap, clickedy-click some selfies, plastered on smile confirming it hasn’t made me ugly yet. it is like loneliness, sadness. it is like extended grief, narrowed friendships or their amputation, damn isolation. to enter any of these, to write through them, unpack them, admit them, well, frankly is like smelling bad as you unbalancedly extend too far over the curb’s edge. you counterbalance, stepping just a tad too close to other, your pungent moment waifs, and the other cannot stop their visceral retraction. a straight face they may hold stiff; perhaps even a graceful excising of themselves from you, the apparent stench source. but to discuss, admit hard things, loosened or lost tethers, whether slack or cut, to smell badly, kiss off any coming along side longer than the other can hold their breath. it is not long. you can experience these things, be in the thralls of them for a month maybe two, but then you’d better pull yourself up by those dang bootstraps, scrub your pits, destench yourself, and slap on your happy face. fine. i am just fine. frozen smile, flat eyes you try and twinkle, yet you are thick with the scent of cover up.

i love my woods. it fits who i am and a huge part of what i need. yet, when i have been away, it takes an internal adjustment each time i return. it is beautiful, peaceful; it is highly depeopled. so brushing up against others and then suddenly NOT for days on end is actually difficult. initially it wasn’t because there were regular interruptions and capital flow in my peopled teaching practice, though not at the peer level. i have always been smitten with each student crew in unique ways. so though alone in my woods, it was punctuated with people. that practice is set aside for the time. i am not uncomfortable alone with myself. i need space, down time. the hermitage and microforest are nothing but gift. as time has extended pushing forward into my own future as i continue to crunch gravel underfoot, meander the paths, the gift becomes harder to be present within in the particular repeopled days. i work very, very hard to focus to experience this space, to be home, to be fully present, awake. the shadow beast and the sun provide a skeletal structure to the days. the microforest demands its care. i comply. all other tasks, tasks of self promoting, tasks that would move me back into that peck, peck cog system, tasks of readying the hermitage for another, all ify in my compliance to vest. i flounder. i fall off this curb again and again. like a herd of myselfs rushing the edge. i divert, i spin my heels and head back to a city, pup in tow. this system is not working. i wonder a lot about if there must be something wrong with me, something broken. well, working so tied to a crazy maker for two and one half years, did damage. then as i teeter for balance, i reread studies on actual isolation. of course i am no POW and can leave the woods, am not harmed out here, afraid, or held against my will. but still, i see how extended unpeopled days on end skim across and drop me into some of the side effects noted in the isolation studies. i recognize i am not nuts but in fact experience real ramifications of the hermitage’s remoteness. i work to make it not so, yet sense i am still find myself at the base of the curb. i am unsure how to weave together who i am into a primary flow, i am unsure of how to wade into the peckish way we live in our money making cohort clusters so evident in our corporate and institutional herds. it sucks because i need the herd, but i’ve never been good at herd behavior. i watch the peck, peck of the herd, the clutch, see it for what it is. see the pecking for coghoodification. i do understand the need of cog. i get that herd doesn’t work without cog systems. i understand that there is a natural tendency to peck. i get that even within these cog peck systems there may be real purpose found, real need for the human. i get that the peck, peck, of late childhood never departs and only becomes more sophisticatedly masked. i just don’t want to play that way. i suppose it is pouty of me to not want to play. maybe like scraping the game pieces into its box with a huff and going home. of course i trip on the curb in the process. i don’t believe that i am better or that you are, neither stands to far from the curb’s edge. we differ slightly, vary on the skill sets we bring to the system, to the interplay, to our coghood. because it is our nature to place ourselves, understand ourselves, promote ourselves in the reflective body of the herd, the clutch, PECK, PECK. so i avoid, put off, those things that would promote climbing the curb’s face back into that herd. aggggh, but freaking undisclosed expletives, i need the freaking herd. damn my human wiring as a social entity in need of tethering within systems of coghood.

why can’t i be hermit? why can’t that be enough? I love my microforest with its hermitage. I am smitten with the crunch of gravel under foot as a i trudge below the green canopies breathey with song. I am not a hermit so it is not enough. it is instead a dilemma of sorts.

i am reading anne truitt’s day journal. i get it. i even like to the idea my blog is like an unedited first draft of what she is doing. interesting that she began in clinical psychology, approached fiction writing as well, and then landed in the less temporal space of artist, of discrete object maker. i get the weaving together of psychology, writing, space, and object. i laugh when i read here residency experiences as she quickly runs in the the wall of chica muscles and the physicality of making and her limits. i get it. so how do i do all that, build or insert into new herd, new tethers, when i resist myself in heel dragging, curb falling sabotage because of my visceral repulsion to peck, peck, is so strong, so rippling under my surface. i am pretty sure i’ve struggled with these systems at a minimum since elementary school oral reading groups. OMG. peck, peck.


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