I’ve been walking around in a bit of a fog lately. I have a lot on my mind, and I’ve been filling Mike’s inbox with paragraph after paragraph of processing. It’s the kind of processing that can’t be done in a public arena, and he knows that just getting the words out there is helpful to me, so he’s been reading and giving advice and letting me work through it in the best way I can. Without the writing, I feel alternately unsettled and . . . almost pregnant with ideas that are way past their gesticulation period. But I don’t know what to do with the ideas and the words right now. I’m just starting to name some of it, to form words to describe what I am feeling, and it’s been a good process, if a difficult one.
It’s always been a tendency of mine to want to work things through right away. I have gotten better about being comfortable with conflict, but long-term conflict is not an easy thing for me to handle. Long-term unrest in my heart makes me feel the same way.
I had a brief respite from all of it at lunch, as I sat in my car and drank water and read A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (which is very good, and more importantly, which is going very quickly). Sometimes just being outside in the sun puts things into perspective.
At first I was kind of disgusted with myself for being so self-centered today, at the beginning of Lent. That’s not what Ash Wednesday is about! What is wrong with me! But then I realized that the reflection I’ve been doing is giving me the courage to brave putting some of this baggage behind me. And that’s exactly what I should be thinking about on Ash Wednesday – a day of repentance, a day to remember that the things of the world pass away. I’ve been in a lot of turmoil about my feelings, been caught up in myself. Learning to let these things go is exactly the repentance I need.