I guess its been about a week or so, maybe a bit longer, I’m not sure. I couldn’t tell you without looking at notes how long it has been for I have completely lost touch of time.
I am familiar with these episodes of mine where I seem to build this wall around me of yarn and interior writing, limiting myself from the world due to drastic fear. They happen every once in a while. And you have to give Phillip a hero’s badge for being able to tolerate the sullenness I evoke, the lack of self care, the filth that builds on the floors around me, the disinterest in life, my swimming around in the muck of mud hoping to find some priceless pearl hidden in there.
The depression comes, wreaks a little confusion and havoc on my heart for a minute, then dissipates somehow out of sheer disinterest in me….And the important thing about all this, and this is crucial to what I am about to confess to you, is that I do not recognize the onset of this depressing detachment from life, I do not even see it until it is gripping me tightly and my husband is urging me to come back to normal.
Today, I realized that I had been slipping into that detachment again…..but, in a completely different way that I never saw happening.
It wasn’t until I started seeing messages from you that I realized that I had been so quiet for so long. Where have you been? I miss reading your blog. Is everything ok? It isn’t like you to be MIA.
That’s when I just sort of snapped! and went, “Oh, wow….I’ve been ‘away’ again.”
But, this time was so different, so beautifully different than any time before. Now, I told my knitting buddy that I was going to be finishing up this new book of mine (I’m on a hard deadline), so I wasn’t going to be very available for the next week or two. And I guess that was when it started to happen.
My office was a wreck. Boxes of yarn that have been sent to me were stashed like skyscrapers in the corners, my poor books, whom I professed to have recued, were laying limply in negligent piles under my feet. The window blinds were battered and broken, bruised well before I got here. And the more I knit a bear or wrote a blog post, the more I hoped it would take me one step further towards some success. Then, only then would I spend the couple of dollars for bookcases.
I have paint cans everywhere, brushes I’ve bought, hammers, shovels, a garden weasel, etc. But business always took priority. I’ll paint when I have a minute, garden when I have the time. I have to get to a better place before I can do that right now. (WOW!)
But, then I sat down to finish up this book, this catalogue of a mad man who knit his way out of homelessness, then blogged his way out of a studio apartment and into the very house it’s attached to, with the probability he could likely own it one day….
That journey, filled with little steps in between big leaps, is one hell of a story. And of course, that journey began the day I was left with nothing.
From the moment I sat down to finish this book I noticed I would write for a couple of hours, then get up, wipe down a wall, then roll on a coat of paint. I’d head back to my desk, stamp out a few more pages, then sit with my husband as he came home from work, tossing his keys in a bowl, putting up his umbrella and coat. We laugh, snicker, giggle, then I head back to write as he sits back to relax and decompress while he waits for dinner. More and more of that bliss was happening every day, in a more amplified, richer way. I was writing more, working on Honeychurch more, spending time with my husband more, allowing us both time to breathe and enjoy more.
I am a very blessed man. I truly am. People will read this blog, donate and say, “Keep writing.” I am so grateful for that, so so so thankful. But, I’ve had this dark and irresponsible habit of wanting to pay off bills before spending money on anything else at all. My prior mind wouldn’t allow us to touch a penny because we had so few of them and this could be the last donation we ever get. Who needs bookcases? The books are fine where they are….and try not to kick one when you’re walking about.
I woke one morning to find that someone had blessed me with a donation. I sat back in my chair, sipped my coffee, looking around this space that was intended to be where I made all of my dreams happen. These little walls encourage big things. It’s time to let them say so.
I started working on some rewrites to my book, from very early on when I truly had nothing….not even a teddy bear. No, I hadn’t even knit teddy bears yet. I hadn’t even thought of it. At that time I was just homeless, scared, terrified, with no idea of where I was going to end up, with no idea where to go, lost to the side of the road in a ball cap at the age of 36 to either stand and wait with everything I owned in my backpack, or pick a direction to walk and hope it’s the path you were supposed to be on.
And then I look around at this house, these messages from people, this husband, these fur babies, this tingle in the ticker that feels like a hum letting you know you picked the right path. Look how far you’ve come. Look at what you’ve managed to do. You have earned book cases.
So, I bought bookcases. It was fun watching my husband reach for a screwdriver with a proud chest and say, “I’ll put them together.” While he assembled, I wiped away all of the grime and age that had layered the covers of my books, forgetting I owned half of them, smiling with delight at new found treasures.
A few days later we received another donation and I bought myself some curtain rods. Then a few days later some curtains and a shade. My work space was coming into shape. Everything nice and organized, much like my life has been going. Yes, I had detached myself from the “realities” of the world, but not in a way that was an escape, but instead, fashioned in a way that enriched my life more like a retreat. I had made this work space a cozy place to enjoy my craft in. In the process of doing all this I was able to enjoy something I don’t usually do: give myself enough respect for the work I do.
I knew I had done well when a cat went splat on the bookcases and said, “wake me at dinner.”
It’s been a wonderful two weeks and I guess I didn’t feel the need to surface 🙂 I love being in this little room, in this house that I have always wanted (and will one day own), while sharing the memories of being here with that big, beautiful man who builds bookcases for me, and all of you that took the time to write and ask if I was ok.
That’s pretty much all I need to know I’m blessed.
I’m going to spend a few days painting the living room, then write a few more pages so you may not hear from me before Thanksgiving. We’re hoping to have our first truly cool Thanksgiving dinner at Honeychurch, just Phillip and me. We’re likely to slam a few old traditions into a sandwich. We’ll see. 🙂
Until then? God bless each and every one of you.
If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate. I wouldn’t have the courage to do write without your support.