i've been rereading Wendell Berry's Sabbaths lately. it's a smallish poem, only a few pages, short lines, maybe a thousand words. i love his words, and it hits me again that i'm a crappy poet and writer. well, maybe a fair to middling writer, but certainly a crappy poet. it's especially easy to write bad poetry. the appeal of free form 'verse' (and i use the term loosely) fools us into thinking that we're 'poets' (again, loosely used terminology).
i dump out images, unfiltered, scrawling half thoughts across the page and willing myself to think that it's easier this way. 'the poem will just come to you.' nooooooo. it's hard work crafting a good poem. instead, i end up with ore, slag, not the fine tempered metal (mettle) of work done well.
and reading other journallers who do it well? bah. makes me want to throw in my hat. part of me does, anyway. the other part wants to keep reading good poets; i just picked up Coleman Barks's latest volume of Rumi, and Journal of a Writing Man has quickly become a favorite daily read. i read, and study, and enjoy, and hope to learn some small amount from those who write well.
i suppose i'm being hard on myself in part because i've been unhappy lately. that just compounds the high standards i tend to set for myself. not saying i get there, mind you, only that i set the bar high.
it's been really rough the last few weeks. i get up every morning and have to steel myself to go to work, or leave the house. since i am the sole source of income for this little household, it's not really an option. someone has to earn the kitty kibble around here. but still - i have a little debate every morning when the alarm goes off. i end up thinking about how nice a hot shower would feel to motivate myself, and then look in the mirror and remind myself that i have to go to work. no choice.
little things have been getting under my skin every day. comments i would normally brush off, situations i wouldn't take personally - they eat away at me. Mondays seem to be worst. last week? Monday chewed up my ass and spit it out in a sorry, soggy pile. this Monday doesn't promise to be much better.
last Tuesday, in fact, i woke up in tears. not the deep, sobby kind, more the light, high pitched, hysterical weeping that washes over you in a rush. i hadn't even known it was coming. i was just lying there listening to the alarm and replaying the previous day in my head, and the tears started.
good thing my boss wasn't in. i called him to quit. when he finally did get in, i told him i needed out of a particular project. there's still plenty of work i need to do; getting out of that project isn't really skeezing. the thought of having to face that morass of politics and misdirection every week was sending me around the bend. he and i had to talk it out, but i convinced him of it, and found a suitable replacement for myself. and things felt ... a little lighter.
yes, i do have an appointment coming up with my therapist. yes, i am getting myself back on medication. yes, i am taking steps to minimize the stress and look out for my health. yes, i am trying to eat regularly so as not to screw up my stomach again, as IBS tends to kick in at times like this. it's an uphill battle. and the fact that i get a migraine every fucking day from the fluorescents over my 'new' desk doesn't help.
but i've gotten all my bills paid and the dishes done, which gives me some sense of calm and control. and that's good.