Friday, October 09, 2020

On the Changing of the Leaves

 The weather has changed. It's colder. I feel the light pass my window feeling unable to go outside, to actually take a step forward. I'm stuck, wishing I had the power to change colour to something bold like this tree, but knowing that the only changes happening right now are me falling deeper into the ennui of quarantine. The hazy, foggy year I spent being sick after having our son coming into stark focus as we're about to celebrate his tenth birthday. Ten. An entire decade. All those months that I've been carrying around the baby weight, carrying around the shadows of that traumatic time, all those minutes that have passed where I should have been able to get up and get around, to do something, all those seconds I passed staring at my phone. 

Yet. All those moments where we cracked up. The trips we've taken. The story that I wrote that I'm really proud of, the work I do every day. The busy business of raising him, of the dishes and the meals and the snacks and the trips to the rink, there and back again. It stalls, but it speeds along, too, time. Context, as always, is everything. 

Maybe it's the fall because it such a season of transition. A time when we should be excited about change, preparing for the hibernation season, the deepening of thought as winter comes in, dark, brooding. We've been lucky so far this fall, the weather's been perfect, not too hot, not too cold, but the rising disease in Toronto means that we're likely headed to another shutdown, and I can't get myself into good habits. Yes, I sit at my desk. Yes, I'm getting work done, attending meetings, contributing, putting books on shelves and mentoring writers through their journeys. It's rewarding work. But I'm exhausted. Mentally. Physically. Spiritually. 

I've tried an exercise tape a few times over the last few weeks. It was very hard. I've tried to stop working at points to take a walk, and yet. I've tried to turn off the TV and get to bed earlier, and then I'm knee-deep in Emily in Paris and it's 4AM and I don't even know what happened. I just can't be motivated to move. To change and I know I desperately need to but I just . . . can't. 

There are a lot of tears these days. Sadness threatening to overcome a more usual emotions, and I can't remember another time in my life where I have felt depressed like this but without the context of the disease or the drugs. The black clouds, I remember an article I read many years ago in Saturday Night Magazine calling them, circling, and swirling, hazy, overcast, never moving through. It's like I can't take a deep breath and clear it all out. I can't roll over and shake off the bad dream. I can't step outside and stand in the sun. 

Like everything, it'll pass. For now, I'll meditate on the idea of changing leaves, and try to make a list of a couple of things that I can accomplish in a day. Try to not let all of the people down in my life who need things from me when I can't seem to put one foot in front of the other. I'm deep in it right now, but like everything, something will shift, soon, I hope. 

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