Thursday, April 21, 2016

Heart-full and heartsick

T.S. Eliot, I concede the point.  For years, I have maintained that February is the cruelest month, because it's smack-dab in the middle of Wisconsin winter and the jetstream knows this and sends massive blizzards our way.  I hate February.  But this year, for the first time in a long time, I can agree that "April is the cruelest month."

It's also National Poetry Month, so go to your local library and check out some poetry!  May I suggest Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It by Gail Carson Levine?

My librarian is showing.  Let me just ... tuck everything back in.  There we are.  

Professionally and personally, April has been a really rough month for me.  I don't know where I'm going or how I'm going to get to the place that I don't know I'm going to.  My brain feels like it's falling apart, and my heart can barely beat because it's stuffed full of all these emotions that won't go away.  Like anger and frustration and pain.  

I may not be reviewing as much in the upcoming weeks.  I need to just read for the sake of reading.  I need to remember what it's like to write for the joy of writing and not to get pageviews (not that I have any).  I need to let my heart process things.

Ever since I can remember, when bad things happen, I automatically feel as if it's my fault.  I also reason that if it happened to me, then things would be better.  Like if someone I know is sick or dying, I often wish it was me because then I could spare them that pain.  I know it doesn't work like that, but my instinct is to apologize for everything.  Needless to say, I felt quite at home when visiting London.  Perhaps that's why I like Canada so much.  

This probably sounds rather odd, but I'm always thrown into this odd spiral of depression whenever someone famous dies.  I often remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard the news.  They need not have been someone particularly important in my life for me to have a reaction.  I remember visiting London with my mom while I was living overseas and seeing all the papers spread out when Heath Ledger died.  I remember exactly how the sidewalk looked and the angle of the sun shining into my eyes.  I remember hoping that the sunlight was blinding me and I was missing a crucial word in the headlines.  I remember thinking it was a joke.  It couldn't be real.  And it was.  

When I was working today, I found out that Prince died.  I'm too young to be a die-hard Prince fan, but I enjoy his music and I respect him enormously as a creator and musician.  But mostly what I think about is how, as a child, I sat entranced by his music in Tim Burton's deliciously bizarre Batman.  Watching Jack Nicholson attack the citizens of Gotham to the tune of "1999" scared the pants off of me.  It's a part of me, and so is that music.  I didn't know him.  I cannot mourn him as I would a close friend or family member.  But I can feel lost and heartsick.  

And my first thought was that somehow, in some way, it was my fault.  It's irrational and silly, but it still haunts the back of my brain, taunting me.  If only I'd done this, then that would not have happened.  My ability to live in the moment and not in the past may be described as execrable.  Heinous.  Non-existent.  

So here I sit, pondering what to do with the next days of the rest of my life.  Telling myself things will be, if not okay, at least tolerable.  Perhaps even handsome enough to tempt me into smiling again.  One never knows.  Life is full of surprises, and I have to believe that not all of them are soul-crushing.  I have to believe that.

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