Monday, November 28, 2011

showing kindness to myself

Every morning, as soon as I (finally) climb out of my warm bed, I head to the kitchen and put water on to boil. There isn't much to do while the water is boiling, so I put on my rubber gloves and do all the dishes left in the sink from the night before. This may be the best idea I have ever had. I do the dishes every morning while still half asleep. By the time I start feeling alert, the dishes are nearly clean and my water is about to boil and it feels almost like someone else has done the dishes for me: later on, after I've returned from the office, I come home to a clean kitchen and very little memory of having cleaned it. It feels like a favor I do for myself almost every day. 

Lately I've taken a similar approach to cooking. On an ideal Sunday, I get enough groceries for the week and make one big meal--usually some kind of stew. This will be my lunches for the week (works better for me than sandwiches do) and, if I am very good, my dinners, too. I enjoy my lunches, but my gratitude for dinner is even greater. This evening, for example, I heated up a hearty portion of a Moroccan-spiced chicken and chickpea stew and poured myself a (small) glass of wine and a (large) glass of water. My dinner was tasty, emotionally satisfying, and I have the entire evening ahead of me to write (ahem). It feels almost like someone else cooked for me (and cleaned up) and all I have to do is pour a little more wine, write, and enjoy these homey comforts.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

conjunction of the mind and opposition of the stars

The philosophotarian has a lovely new coat. The wool is very soft and the collar slopes and drapes. The cut is asymmetrical and the coat falls in flattering folds.
My coat is a cheery red armor against dark winter and despair. Passers by treat you differently when you wear a red coat. They talk to you in tones reserved for friendship. They offer you cookies from a freshly opened box and commiserate with you over the difficulty of writing.

It is difficult to feel perfectly despondent when one dresses well. In tailored skirts and cashmere, new boots and a daring red coat, I am well contained. No external threads are loose. No stains show. Nothing visible torn or ripped. 

When wearing bright colors, one can protest, disagree, insist one is not hiding. Hiding? In brilliant red? Hardly. Of course I am making an effort. Of course I am putting myself out there. I am hardly invisible. In a sea of bare heads and fedoras, I stand out in my buckled cloche. So distinctive it could be a costume. 

True, even a red coat--and such a red coat!--will not, cannot call back an absent or an unwilling lover. Cannot make him want to tell you about his day. Did he arrive safely? Did he? Coats are not prophets, either. 

And neither tailored clothes nor strange, invisible perfumes can guard against loneliness or heartsickness. The stepsisters were beautifully turned out and Cinderella was already worthy.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Basically, I have been avoiding my blog because I am not sure I like my therapist. If I start writing here or in my journal I'll have to think about it (the therapist; why I don't think I like her; my life in general; the crazy awesome momentum I seem to have right now that I don't want to think about because I am afraid I will jinx it; evil; money; family thanksgiving; peoples' lives being really, really hard; etc), and that is too exhausting. So I'm writing my dissertation instead. Back soon though. I won't hide forever. 


the philosophotarian