Monday, March 24, 2008

Exhausted/overwhelmed

That is how I feel right now, except I think that sounds a bit too dramatic. I'm not really sure in what sense I'm exhausted. Spring Break ended yesterday, and it was tiring and busy in every way possible. I was very active, and a lot of things happened which could be classified as emotionally exhausting, such as seeing a lot of old friends who I hadn't seen in a very long time. These were things that I wouldn't NOT want to do - they were fun - but still exhausting. With some friends, you realize that you have to work hard to censor yourself, that you can't just relax and tell them every story that you would tell the people you see all the time, sometimes just because they don't know all the people involved and you'd have to stop and explain every name. With some people, it's exhausting just because you have so much lost time to make up for, you feel like you can't stop talking or you won't get all your stories and questions in.

Between everything happening right now that's my-life-centric and I think also because of the beginning of spring, I feel like writing. Writing like I used to - minus the teen angst. A lot of the things that have been happening make good funny stories; they are things that would be great in a novel or something, but I don't want to blog about them because they involve other people, and I think that would be unfair as well as weird. I don't want my life to be an open book, a thing in which I write about ongoing events and that has the potential to influence those very same events - things like friendships and relationships. If I'm going to write something personal, I feel comfortable writing only about things from the past. Those people either won't be affected by what I write because they won't see it, or if they do, they won't care.

I think this is part of the reason I don't write in here very frequently. I haven't quite figured out how to write interesting stories, interesting current stories, without involving other people. Most of my "funny stories" involve other people.

So, I finally reminded myself last week - duh! write in your journal! - and that way I'll have a record of the novel-worthy events of last week, in case I do ever take up my old goal of being the next George Eliot.
I haven't gotten to see Sussex County yet this spring. I was supposed to visit this weekend but I was too busy with schoolwork. I want to see if my "garden" has bloomed yet. When I was twelve, a friend and I used to play in the yard of this abandoned house, which had become overgrown with violets and some kind of Scilla. (I don't know which.) My love of violets and spring ephemerals probably has its root in these memories. Anyway, maybe because I found out that the house had been sold and was due to be torn down that summer, or maybe it was just good timing, but I uprooted some of the violets and scillas and planted them by Forsythia Lilac, the "fort" (pile of sticks that you could sort of sit under) my friend and I had constructed in my backyard. The fort is gone, but the "garden" is still there. For years I would count every plant that came up, and suddenly, last year, there were too many to count. I was really happy about this.

I'm thinking about old memories like this a lot, partly because changing of seasons always makes me start to remember past seasons (past springs in this case; past autumns in late September) and partly because such things are sort of relevant now in the path my life is taking - the decision to just stick with plants and stop acting like I have to choose something else and leave plants as a hobby. When I look at things like this that happened - things like the fort and the "garden" - it's plain that this thread was constantly part of my life's makeup. This was what I always wanted, yet somehow kept straying from it. Yes, I read a lot, and I read a lot of classics, but where was I when I was reading all those big books? On the "moss carpet," under the "roof" of Forsythia Lilac! (I'd like to say that I knew, when I was eight, that those two plants are related, but I think I just picked the name because they were pretty spring flowers.)

I changed the title of this post just now from "Exhausted" because I think "overwhelmed" is more appropriate. I am tired tired tired; I want to sit and write about things, think them over, and rest -- but I really don't want to stay at home, I don't want to go to bed, I don't want to stop moving because I don't want to miss anything.

Anyway, since I can't write about anything that's currently happening, I will end this post with a piece of crazy from last November. I was trying to do NaNoWriMo (it's time to admit that things like this NEVER work for me) because I was afraid that I'd get so caught up in science I 'd forget how to be a writer, and I was also taking my first taxonomy class which had a tendency to get in my head the way medieval lit classes do. (Where you start to read everything like it's Middle English, where you dream in Middle English...) For example, there's this part in the free-write about being a little kid at the playground with A.L. and playing with buttercups, and I randomly insert (RANUNCULACAE) like a crazy person.

Ok, here's some November 2006 crazy:

Then there was the safe forest on the land. But how safe is a forest? It’s often used as a metaphor for danger—it’s wild and tangled—but I find forests to be a place of safety.

I’d love to write my whole novel about nature and how much I love it. The sanctuary I find there, despite the fact that what’s going on is a lot of death and destruction (but also rebirth!) Fungi parasitizing plants, plants parasitizing plants, Monotropa uniflora parasitizing mycorrhizae and plants (why am I so obsessed lately with Monotropa uniflora? because it’s unusual and in its way, it’s beautiful.)

What would Anne Shirley say about Monotropa uniflora? I’m sure she’d love it, especially if she didn’t know what a nasty parasite it was. It’s ghostly, eerie, like a spirit of some kind, with its nearly transparent white flesh. Fleshy petals and stem. She would NOT talk about how it lacks chlorophyll, I’m guessing. Its ghostly white petals form a drooping hood, a hood around the stamens and carpels/stigmas (note how I can’t remove the scientific discourse), which together form a bell, that droops from the curved, cane-like stem, which is also ghostly white. It’s soft and ethereal. It seems otherworldly, springing up from brown dead leaves and black very much not dead (very organic) earth, a figure of brightness from the dark forest floor.

That was mostly for a fellow plant person who just read Anne of Avonlea. (One of the three people who read this blog.)

OK, I think that's enough for my Monthly Post. I was going to yap about knitting, but right now I'm mad at knitting. My Odessa hat came out so ugly. I frogged it and I want to try again, but I think the yarn I have is all wrong. Complain complain complain! I took some pictures awhile back of weird vegetables I bought with the intention of writing a short blog post about them, but I think that can wait. Oh, I made a really good quinoa salad last week from random things I bought at Whole Foods, but I don't feel like writing about food right now. However, once I perfect it (remember how much of everything I put in) I will post the recipe.

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