Monday, July 27, 2015

Some Things Happened

Today I asked the publisher if they'd found someone else to write the Garbage book I'd turned down as too depressing.

"Yes," they said, "another author had started to write a book about World Hunger, said the topic was too horrible to live with every day, and chose to take on Garbage instead, saying it was far less awful than hunger."

I felt so much better. 
I'd felt guilty and even a bit ...lightweight for turning the book down (though I'd never think that of someone else who did the same thing!). And I hadn't realized other authors turned down horrific topics, but they said it happens all the time. So I'm not crazy or bad or weak as I'd feared I might be, a little bit.

The publisher then asked if I'd like to edit some books in a certain series, and I said yes, probably, let me look at some examples from the series before committing. 

I want to work around other people, but I also like editing, which is pretty solitary no matter where you do it.

Anyway--possibilities! Nice.

Then I met my sister for an exercise class at the downtown Y, after she was done with work. 

As it happened, the instructor this evening used to teach a class my sister and I had attended regularly the entire year before our mother's suicide. 
I'd liked this teacher but I'd stopped going to the downtown Y after my mother died, and so I hadn't seen her since. She remembered us though and was happy to see us.

It was like deja-vu, exercising with my sister to this familiar voice.
It came to me to remember that that year, 2002, I'd signed up for a training weekend to lead a certain exercise class. But after my mother died a couple weeks before the training, I'd been too wiped out to go--I slept all the time--and I'd cancelled my enrollment.

This doesn't elicit
exactly a happy trill from me, but it was a moment of transparent interconnection---like looking through a window in time, remembering in my body how active I'd been and how . . . hopeful?
Yes. A vivid recall of things feeling possible.
Of me feeling possible.

How odd. 
I can't usually point to a concrete fact and say, "This would be different if my mother hadn't died, this definitely changed", but in this one instance, I can. And I'd forgotten it.

If I'd taken the training, gone on and taught an exercise class, . . . then what? 
Maybe nothing. Maybe something. Perhaps I'd have stayed in better physical shape all these years. Or, quite possibly, not.

It doesn't matter what was going to happen. What matters was that it couldn't happen.

Remembering this change of plans brought me some relief, like finding out other authors refuse hard topics.

Maybe because. . . well, sometimes the fallout from my mother's death seems like an illusion. 
Did it matter? Yes, of course it "mattered," but it's all so nebulous... Did it signify anything? 

Wasn't I going to be just where I am anyway?

And here comes this mundane memory: 

I didn't take that class, and therefore whatever was going to unfold from that, didn't. 

That is proof:
Yes, it happened, like a meteor crashing into Earth and making a hole that became a lake, and now I'm used to the lake and forgot the impact of the meteor.

And as it is with exercise class, so it is, even more, with other  things I cannot name.


For more info on suicide prevention or help if you are struggling:
"The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals."
Outside of the United States, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.


deanna said...

What a process and a journey you've been on, with the book(s), with life after certain experiences. I appreciate learning some of it. Things happen to one person, and then in a way, they happen to everyone. Thanks again for your blogging friendship, Fresca.

Zhoen said...

Nothing quite like that moment when we find a reason, when that amorphous sense of insanity is quashed.

Fresca said...

DEANNA! I'm so happy you're well again and come visit. Cup of tea?

ZHOEN: Yes, I think that's it: Oh, look, there is a reason I feel this way.